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How to win at life...

KinaTina357's picture

My MIL is a sweet old lady (76) and looking at her, you wouldn't think her home life is the way it is. My SIL is 35 and still lives with MIL, in the gross basement where she hordes everything she finds at garage sales in. SIL doesn't have a job and hasn't had one in 15 years. I believe she was fired for stealing office supplies at her last job or something to that effect. She smokes in the house while MIL is on oxygen and literally anyone and everyone who comes out of that house smells terrible, is covered in animal hair and almost tripped over 20 things on the way out. SIL is generally pretty gross looking. She uses MIL's money to buy clothes at goodwill so she's always in scrubs and Slayer T-Shirts that look really bad. She also doesn't take care of herself very well so she always smells like B.O and her face is all zitty.

As if this was bad enough. My MIL, who is still working as a nurse to support her scummy daughter, just lets this happen. SO gets so angry about it and neither of us can believe MIL just lets this go. SIL has totaled 4 of MIL's cars in the last 3 years and MIL STILL tried to keep her insured but the insurance company said no. SIL borrows the cars to drive her friends around because she somehow found a crew of 35-40 year olds that also don't work or own cars.

She also has this child mentality, like "when I grow up, I'll do all of these things." She recently found out I was 5 years younger than her and was in pure shock. I think it's because I have a job, a house, a family and you know, do adult things.

Recently SIL found herself a 65 year old boyfriend who works as a handyman and moved him right into her hording basement. He isn't allowed to drive due to "mental issues," but he recently bought a old taxi that doesn't work and had it towed onto MIL's lawn. It's like a checklist for how to be a redneck!!

The crazy thing is, MIL is well put together, with her pretty old lady clothes and coordinated jewelry. She's a wonderful grandma to the skids and it wonderful in social situations. She's completely "with it" but just lets her daughter be a parasite. It's infuriating!! SO gets stressed beyond belief about this situation because Mom is working herself to death when she should be retired.

Meanwhile, the house isn't paid off and if mom can't work anymore what happens? SIL, who has been warned of this forgone conclusion thinks she'll just get a house I guess?! Her and old boy are going to show on our doorstep, hopefully we'll smell them coming and lock the doors!


KinaTina357's picture

So ridiculous!! I don't know why they think they are helping at all. Nothing is going to change unless you force leeches to take care of themselves.

kathc's picture

Sally has an excellent point.

Your DH should be stepping in and taking care of this.

Or, you know, you could anonymously call an elder abuse hotline and report that SIL is taking advantage of MIL...

KinaTina357's picture

I actually did speak with someone associated with Social Services about the anonymous call. I was told that most elder abuse is someone taking the elders social security or retirement after the victim has stopped working. It also has to be taken via manipulation of some kind. The fact that a person is still competent enough to work full time generally means they are competent enough to manage their finances, if that makes sense. The fact that SIL has lived with MIL for over a decade rent free and MIL still has a full time job doesn't really bode well for abuse.

KinaTina357's picture

DH has offered to help mom many times. Every time they talk, he talks to her about the situation and it almost always turns into a fight. He gets really stressed out about the situation, I have to calm him down sometimes, he gets so fired up. SIL isn't invited to events at all anymore, DH can't stand having her around.

Sally and Kathc, I'm not sure what you expect him to do here. This isn't a recent development, it's the worse it's ever been, but SIL has been mooching for over a decade now. She pretends she's "helping her elderly mother." MIL is a nurse for a family with a disabled son ( she sits with him at night and has to move him in bed, change diapers, be there for emergencies) and they love her. DH has considered calling social services, but that would put MIL's nursing license on hold even during an investigation. And I think they would deem her competent as she holds a job, and defends SIL constantly.

I think MIL is just terrified to be alone, but doesn't want to live with us because she enjoys just being grandma to her grandchildren and not a live in nanny. Which I understand, but we wouldn't ask her to do anything extra for the skids.

We don't want SIL to be evaluated, we feel like she'd just find out how to pretend to be disabled and then all of us tax payers are taking care of her the rest of her life. She's unbelievable lazy, so I don't think she would eve look into it on her own. If mom passes or has to live in the old folks home, she'll probably just couch surf for the rest of her life. DH thinks MIL would sneak SIL into the retirement village at night.

I've suggested therapy, which MIL scoffs at because she knows the therapists is going to think the same things DH and I do.