13 Dec 2022

I have a present dilemma: my brother is critically ill still in a top London hospital after four operations to the heart. Until now, I’ve supported weekly, spending 2-3 nights a week in hotels, or hospital accommodation which is cheaper (but shared facilities) and spending a fortune on meals, train travels and taxis. I do not begrudge the money, but my sister-in-law, who is naturally very stressed at this point… after all, her husband might well not make it… is abusive to me and others. Very.

This week, it has been just me at the hospital. Others have melted away, not wanting to ‘take it’, and she has no close friends to support her. We are her only family as she was an only child. I left a day earlier than planned because, amongst other insults aimed at me, she made horrid comments about my disabled son in particular that nearly destroyed me. Control seems to be her tool, and, over a meal alone with her, I was mortified but didn’t walk out or retaliate. Family up here insisted I return, for my own sanity.

My dilemma is this: Do I put up with her, albeit at a distance, for the sake of my brother (who is not awake) and if so, how on earth do I get her to ‘value us’ and see that her behaviour is totally unacceptable. Please do not put it all down to the stressful circumstances, she is increasingly alcohol dependent and manipulative in her choice of where we eat (near a bar!) and yet my conscience pricks me about ‘leaving her in the lurch’ at this awful time. She has already asked me if I will go back.


A Moodscope member

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