...she's always been a somewhat "challenging" individual, she's struggled with the concepts of personal space, conversational appropriateness and with anger management for as long as my partner can remember. Emotional intelligence has never been her forte.
However, back in 2011 she lost her husband of forty nine years, who'd barely survived a massive stroke some six years previously. She also cares for my partner's sister, who's very profoundly disabled. Over the last three years, Mrs PJM and I have noticed that her mother seems to be struggling to cope, and ever since her husband passed away she's been getting progressively worse. It started with extreme neediness, MiL would phone my partner several times a day or would ask for help reading mail, or simple meals would take several hours to prepare. Both my partner and I work very long hours, so it's proved very difficult for us to take over the cooking duties outside of weekends.
In addition, MiL has never understood our need for privacy and would walk into our bedroom at all times of the day and night without knocking first on the flimsiest of excuses. Aside from the episodic outbursts of crying, which we'd expect, she's having difficulty managing her emotions and latterly cannot cope with calling a plumber or workman out without resorting to being abusive if she feels she's getting short shift. Matters came to a head a few weeks ago, when she became very abusive to me in front of family members. She's decided that my partner and I need to be split up and thus told me to leave the home.
Since then, she's changed the locks on the house because she apparently believes that the key I've returned is fake and that I'll attempt to break back into her home. She also believes that I'm conspiring against her in any one of a number of ways. TBH, I'm pretty much at my wits end with her and have gone to great lengths to ensure that she and I don't have any contact, but it's evident that something is very wrong with MiL's cognitive functions and her behavior is becoming ever more bizarre and irrational.
I really don't know what to do. At the moment Mrs PJM is utterly appalled with her mother's behavior, as am I. They've never had a particularly great relationship but it's evident that her mother feels like this has become a tug-of-war situation and is hell bent on causing trouble.
I really don't know what to do for the best...I suspect we're dealing with either the symptoms of delayed grief, or worse some form of diminished reasoning ability. My partner's disabled sister is being cared for by MiL at home, five days out of seven and I suspect it's becoming too much for MiL to deal with. I don't want to become embroiled in any family disputes, but apparently I'm the focal point for MiL's rage and paranoia at the moment and it doesn't seem to have abated since we moved out in January.
Mrs PJM and I are off to see the GP on Wednesday to discuss this. I'd really appreciate some advice on how to begin to handle this unholy mess.