Grandparent Denial Issues

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Calgon_Take_Me_Away, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. Calgon_Take_Me_Away

    Calgon_Take_Me_Away New Member

    I've been googling to find articles or websites that help grandparents in dealing with denial of difficult child's issues.

    mother in law mentioned a couple weeks ago that she felt she should have been involved in therapy since the beginning ~ so we took her to therapy. The therapist even said, "she just doesn't get it". So here we are going on the family tour tonight ~ I invited her a week ago when I made the appointment. Her reply at that time was let her sleep on it. Over the weekend it came up and she told me she was scared of the unknown ~ I replied that's why we're going: to learn. I asked yesterday if she was planning on going with us and she said she hadn't thought any more about it, but knew she needed to. So I called this morning at 10 and she said she's not going. I'm quite irritated and told her I don't want to hear any more complaining about not being involved.

    I have several thoughts on this: she's in denial or she's just too lazy to want to learn. I have given her 4 1/2 yrs worth of information that goes in one ear and out the other because she refuses to see. When she feels like talking about it, it's generally with other equally ignorant people and then they cluster flip it all up.

    My mom on the other hand, I give her information and she's off running looking for information or if she runs across an article, she'll email it to me. When I was telling her that we were trying to get him into a residential facility, she asked for the name and city ~ by the end of our conversation she was saying, "According to their website ....". My parents live 2000 miles away and see us once a year ~ mother in law lives a mile away and sees us once a week.
  2. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Your mother in law grew up in an era that mental health issues were taboo. Everything was hush hush. Familys were looked down upon if there was someone in the home with a mental health issue. They were not diagnosed or medicated - they just had to live with it. And although her generation started to bring these issues into the public realm, not all people of her generation are still willing to get on board. Their upbringing has instituded a fear about this. This is why I was so hesitant to tell my parents about difficult child's struggles. I just didn't know how they would react.

    I knew someone once who would refuse to step foot on the state hospital grounds - she was so afraid of the residents and she was from my generations. So even today, there are lots of people who are afraid and do not understand.

    The fears and misunderstandings are still out there. I think your mother in law is trying but finds it extremely hard to change the thoughts she grew up with. And then she discusses what she has learned with others of her own generation and they go off on the little info they grew up with which is totally wrong.

    Since she has talked to her friends and most likely given and received wrong information, maybe you can have a group meeting with all of them and put them all straight. There may be one in the group that will understand and be able to turn the others around.

    I usually would not recommend a group talk on your difficult child's struggles, however, if there is wrong info out that will effect how difficult child is being looked at, I think it would be o.k. to do so in this situation.
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    My inlaws wouldn't dream of being asked to help make a decision about the kids. They work in mental health (mother in law teaches Dr. Glasser's work to prisons around the world, they both volunteer at the women's prison, and with various other programs with kids). When we started to homeschool Wiz they thought I was crazy. Truely nuts. But he was suicidal BECAUSE of the way he was treated at school, so no other option, really. They were relieved when he was out of psychiatric hospital. When they visited him in psychiatric hospital they refused to let him blame his being there on us - put his behaviors squarely in his lap.

    My parents ahve been more involved. My mom sends articles, calls, etc.. And when Wiz was looking at placement by the courts my parents wanted a shot at helping him. So he went to live with them - their choice. It is working out well, and I hope it continues to work out well.

    I am sorry your mother in law refuses to learn more. That must be very frustrating. Good thing you have your mom on your side!
  4. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    As hurtful as it is, I really believe that she WANTS to get it, but really and truly does not understand.

    She's probably no ready to hear what she knows she is going to hear, either.
  5. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    It can be hard to make others see what we see or understand how things work. I still love it when husband's and I's boss says the phrase "they can't do that" or something else of that nature. I inwardly giggle. My parents are very much not understanding of the situation either. Just continue to give her the info what she does with it is her choice. She seems to want to understand but can't and there are many people like that. If you don't live it you sometimes can't understand it.

  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Neither my mother or my mother in law got the difficult children issues. (and my mother is a nurse)

    mother in law was much kinder concerning the whole thing, she just simply didn't see the behaviors. If I wanted my kids to be angels, all I had to do was take them over to MILs house. lol Nor does she know much about mental illness.

    My Mom has been a royal PITA forever. (she also has mental illness) Deny enough and it will not be so. That's her motto. It has taken all of these years but she is finally beginning to see the light. She still wavers from time to time though.

    mother in law didn't really understand until Travis was 20 still acting like a 10 yr old. THEN it clicked for her. Nichole she worries over, but she doesn't understand, although I do try to explain so she can.

    Kills me that my 95 yr old mother in law gets it better than my Mom. :rofl: But that's the truth.

    Most of it I just keep to myself. I answer questions when they arise. Period. It's so much easier that way.
  7. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Miss KT's grandma (Useless Boy's mother) will never admit there is any kind of a problem with anyone in her perfect family. When Miss KT started on Ritalin, she sent me several letters about how I was "poisoning the child." Any issues there might possibly be with Miss KT are all because of me, even though I "come from a good family." Grandma's family knows my mother's family from way back...too many small towns in this valley.

    in my opinion, I wouldn't include mother in law in any of it. It's none of her business. You need to do what you believe is right for your child and your family, no matter what anyone outside of that immediate family says.
  8. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    My mother in law gets overwhelmed by mental health topics and shuts down. She literally gets this glazed look over her eyes. And even if I try to dumb it down, she just does not get it, nor do I think she wants to. It's just not pleasant. And she's the type of person who is only interested in something or someone if it's entertaining to her. Grandkids who perform well get her attention. Those who don't, don't. My dad's kinda the same way. My mom, on the other hand is VERY involved and very interested in understanding where this came from in the family and how it can be treated. Probably because she sees how loony my dad is and the rest of his family. And she's trying to understand herself and her FOI as well. mother in law is just an ostrich when it comes to the unpleasantries of mental illness. Don't ask, don't tell. I gave up a while ago on husband's family ever understanding. I think the only one who remotely does is his youngest sister who is married to a psychiatric PhD. Good thing, too, cuz she's got serious issues.
  9. Calgon_Take_Me_Away

    Calgon_Take_Me_Away New Member

    Thanks guys for trying to help heal my open wound :faint: