- 2 years ago
- Wedding: City, State
It’s definitely a hard situation and I don’t think there’s a right answer here.
She will trash their house or rental property, she’s an extra expense, letting her live in the rental means lost income, assisted living is expensive ($100,000 a year in the US, though I know OP is in Canada), she refuses to help herself. Truly, I don’t think OP’s Mother-In-Law *IS* a competent adult, I think she has mental issues that are preventing her from functioning. If the Mother-In-Law was working two jobs, busting her ass, and all she could afford was a rat-infested apartment, that would be one thing and I would say help; but she is refusing to do anything to improve her situation. That makes her dysfunctional and I think she needs help more than anything. I really think psychological help is the only answer here, however that comes. Everything else is a band-aid – either enabling her behavior at the detriment of OP’s family, or letting an incompetent woman suffer the consequences of her mental disorder.
There is a negative about every possible outcome because nothing will change MIL’s mental status, and that’s the biggest factor here. I think *someone* would have stepped in / discovered this situation at some point, even had OP not reported her case to the police. Eventually there would have been signs of infestation and degradation from the outside, and someone would have noticed. Had someone else figured out what was going on, Mother-In-Law would be in a shelter and this wouldn’t be a question. But I guess that’s a moot point now.
OP, I sympathize. I am not looking forward to figuring out how to handle my mother, she is within 10-15 years of not being able to work and has been a financial, emotional, and physical mess for 12 years, to a nearly debilitating degree in the last 6.
ETA taking out “nearly” in my last paragraph……she’s been on food stamps and/or unemployment multiple times in the last five years; she’s moved several times and has relocated states a few times as well; she carries her legal documents, a few suitcases, and her dog around in her car; she has a delusional level of confidence in her professional and intellectual abilities, despite not having a job for longer than 9 months in the last few years, and not working for 15 years before that; and she has previously only avoided sleeping/living in said car because of the generosity of longtime friends. It’s debilitating.