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Freakin boundaries dammit

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knightsbff posted 4/28/2013 21:55 PM

OK, so lots of us have FOO issues. I have FOO issues, my BH has FOO issues.

Today has been so crappy I don’t even know where to start.

I love my MIL, truly love her, BUT she is a piece of work.

BH’s younger brother is in residency, his wife is in a masters PT program in another city, they have a 1 yo dd. The dd stays with my BH’s parents in our city (about 4 hours away from either of her parents) because her mother can’t handle her even though she was in daycare until 5pm every day.

So my sil would say she was unable to write her papers without help for her masters program and would email them to my mil for her to rewrite even though she was keeping her grandchild. Mil would then pass this duty along to my BH and myself to write. My poor BH would be guilted into rewriting these papers until late at night even though he works full time and we have our own kids and plenty of problems right now. I would pitch a fit and end up helping him anyway. These papers would usually be passed on to us at 8pm and be 12 pages or so….fun.

The reason for the proof reading is English is not sil’s first language so having family proof read is reasonable, BUT she would send the criteria for her paper along and want us to also check that she was getting all the points. I told mil nope, I will proof read that’s it. And that is what either BH or I did for the past 6 months or so….

On to today. BH, kids, and I went to his parents for dinner after church. This was a horrible trigger for BH. First time he has been there since d-day since I met om at his parents house once when they were oot. Yes, I know, it’s awful, I have ruined his parents home for my BH. Well, we couldn’t get out of it so my BH endured the visit feeling sick and very badly triggering. BIL who is a first year resident was complaining that it takes him an hour per patient to do discharge summaries and he had 5 to write tonight after his 4 hour drive home. He had tried to work on them at mil’s house but internet was too slow. I told him he could use our internet if he wanted so next thing I know mil is driving bil to our house and my BH after just escaping the trigger house from hell is sitting on the couch writing his brother’s discharge summaries. MIL who isn’t a doctor apparently just came along to make sure BIL got “help”.

My freakin BIL was the one who was “gifted” all the way through school. BH has severe dyslexia and has never had his mother or anyone else do his damned school work for him. He made it through school and residency all by himself. Everything something goes wrong with one of his 4 brothers or any of their family members it is my BH who gets the call to bail them out. What the freak! He is hurting, he is tired, and no one knows but me. I want to strangle people for him.

I can't make BH set boundaries with his family. Maybe I'm wrong to be upset with them because this is the way they have always been. It's the way they are...

I need to help and support my BH. I need to set boundaries with my inlaws. Can I do both?

stilllovinghim posted 4/29/2013 00:33 AM

Okay. So. First off have you talked about your concerns to your BH? Letting him know your concern for him being overwhelmed/taken advantage of. There's a possibility that this overwhelms *you* but not him.

Secondly, you are correct in that you cannot make him place boundaries for himself, but you can still uphold boundaries for yourself. Let the SIL know you will proof-read only but that's it. If she wants someone else to do the work, don't come to you.

I know it's frustrating and your concerned for your BH but he is a grown man and he has a mouth and when he feels he's had enough, then he'll say it and you will be there to stick by his side. Don't be his mother hen. Be his loving and supportive wife.

It is okay for you to say NO. It is healthy to draw a line in the sand. Talk to your BH. You guys supporting each other and communicating is what will keep the boundaries in place.

[This message edited by stilllovinghim at 12:34 AM, April 29th (Monday)]

BaxtersBFF posted 4/29/2013 06:56 AM

It's really selfish for your BIL and SIL to be in such busy programs AND have a child that they pawn off on others to care for. Then your SIL is having you guys put significant effort into her papers? And I'm sure HIPAA would have something to say about your BH having access to reports of your BIL's patients.

I think you can have boundaries and be supportive of your BH. But like SLHim says, you can't make your BH put boundaries in place. Proof the papers if you want, but that would be all you should do. And don't offer to let them use your internet again...

solus sto posted 4/29/2013 07:23 AM

It is tremendously worrisome to me that your husband is willing to jeopardize his license to write discharge summaries for his brother.

Unless he is directly involved in each patient's care, he has no business knowing ANYTHING about any of the patients for whom he is writing discharge summaries.

The breach of ethics is unconscionable.

(Similarly, if your SIL is being helped with anything patient-oriented, she's jeopardizing her ability to become licensed. If you're simply doing rewrites, there are some school honor code issues with which I would be concerned.)

Why is the validation of his family more important to him than the good standing of his own license? Does he realize he stands to lose it, if his actions are discovered?

[This message edited by solus sto at 7:36 AM, April 29th (Monday)]

knightsbff posted 4/29/2013 11:27 AM

To clarify:
BH was basically holding his brother's hand walking him through his discharge summaries (again, he's done exactly this before). No personally identifying information was shared. SIL's papers are sterilized of pii and are written as research papers. They refer to patients as "the patient" only.

ETA: No one had access to any patient reports and information other than bil who was doing the typing.

[This message edited by knightsbff at 11:45 AM, April 29th (Monday)]

knightsbff posted 4/29/2013 11:43 AM

I think agreeing to proof read only was a good answer and I managed to do that.

BBFF is right, I think I messed up yesterday when I offered up our internet. I'm always too quick to be helpful without thinking things through. I should have been thinking of how my BH was feeling after being at his parents' house all afternoon and being badly triggered. It shouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure that he may not want his brother over after that. I wouldn't have guessed that mil would invite herself to ensure bil had help though.

I need to slow down and count to 10 before I make an offer of anything ever to anyone. I have a bad habit of doing that too quickly without thinking things through. It frequently causes trouble.

That's something I'm working on lately.

[This message edited by knightsbff at 11:46 AM, April 29th (Monday)]

StrongerOne posted 4/30/2013 00:32 AM

Even proof reading your SIL's work may not be allowable. She needs to check with her instructors, with the program director for her degree, and with the student code of conduct. If she won't look into this, then you could (y can keep SIL's name out of it).

Her school probably has a tutorial center for this help -- she needs to learn how to do it for herself, because what's she going to do once she's employed? Empower her to learn!

Redirecting her to other resources will also help your BS, and your relationship w him, I think.

knightsbff posted 4/30/2013 19:32 PM

I'm told she has written her last paper.

She says once she graduates she's going to be a SAHM. That should be interesting.

solus sto posted 5/1/2013 12:10 PM

I was beaten to the punch about your SIL, but even without shared PMI, your BIL should not share ANY patient information with your husband unless your husband is directly involved in the patients' care. Involving him in summary-writing is grossly inappropriate, and likely actionable.

If your BIL is having difficulty completing the tasks required to make him a qualified physician, he needs to explore resources available at his hospital (transcriptionists, etc) rather than involve family members who should not be given any information about any patient not in their care.

Sorry to be a hard-ass; this is an area that is getting more and more health care professionals sanctioned by their state registration and disciplinary boards.

Has your husband always had boundary issues with his family, or is the validation more important to him in the aftermath of infidelity?

918Mama posted 5/4/2013 14:03 PM


I think it's great that you are identifying your own issues here and that you need to slow down, think things through, etc

One other tip I would offer you is to talk to your husband first before you speak up or do something, especially if it affects him.

Maybe it's your own bad boundaries, need to be a fixer, want to be seen in a positive light, etc...but your H is your teammate. You should be consulting him and making decisions in tandem with him.

So whether it was pulling him outside for a quick walk to check in and see how he's feeling, make your suggestion and see what he thinks...or send him a quick text doing the need to talk with him.

I'm learning to do this myself and it really does make a HUGE difference!

knightsbff posted 5/5/2013 02:32 AM

BIL states he cannot get help within his program.

BH has always had boundary issues with his family. He is the oldest of 5 boys and has always been expected to rescue everyone.

I have to remember that his boundary issues are his. I can support and love him and keep working on my own issues which are plentiful.

I agree, I do need to check with him first. I'm working on it. He says he's seeing improvement.

[This message edited by knightsbff at 2:46 AM, May 5th (Sunday)]

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