There are many things going on in my family right now and on some days I just feel overwhelmed. Today has been one of those days.
My husband and I raised our niece for the last 3 years, from ages 8 to 11. Two months ago, we had an argument with my sister-in-law (niece’s mother) and she took our niece back without any warning. Poor kid went to school in the morning expecting me to pick her up in the afternoon. Instead my sister-in-law picked her up and told her that I said I didn’t want my niece anymore and she wasn’t welcome in our house. None of this was true. My sister-in-law was angry at me and wanted to hurt me. Well, she succeeded. We only see our niece once every two or three weeks now. Her grades in school are slipping and her behavioral problems have returned. The reason we had our niece for 3 years is that my sister-in-law is mentally ill and cannot provide an emotionally healthy environment. Unfortunately, we never had custody, and for a lot of reasons, aren’t likely to get it.
My father-in-law sided with my sister-in-law and called my husband on the phone and basically disowned him. My husband was very hurt and he and his father have had several arguments since then, with a lot of hard feelings for both of them.
My mother-in-law has leukemia and is dying. My husband is of course very worried about her, and he has been quite depressed for the past few weeks.
My mother and aunt are both in their 80s and live together. My aunt was just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and her tumor is inoperable. She is back at home after spending two weeks in the hospital and I am helping my mother care for her after I get off from work every afternoon. My mother does not want to tell my aunt that the doctor thinks she has less than a year to live. She will also not discuss death with my aunt at all. I think my aunt has a right to know and I think someone needs to talk to her about what to expect in the coming months. My mother has asked me to talk to my aunt at some point about these things. I’m willing to do that, but I’m scared. I’ve never had to talk to someone about their own death before.
After my aunt is gone we will have to sell the house my mother lives in and she will be moving in with my husband and I. That is likely to be stressful on everyone.
I feel like everyone in the family needs things from me right now. My mother needs emotional support from me. My aunt needs physical care. My husband needs emotional support from me. And I am still dealing with the fact we no longer have our niece with us. I miss her so much. And now my mother-in-law and my aunt are going to die. I could handle any one of these things, but having them all come at once is a bit much.