Worried about a worrier
July 25, 2012 5:00 PM Subscribe
My mother-in-law spends her life worrying about everything. She says she's happier than she's ever been. I think she needs help.
posted by up in the old hotel to Human Relations (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I guess I'm lucky in that I wound up with a mother-in-law I really do love. My wife and I helped her move from the Midwest two years ago to live near us and be closer to her grandkids. We were very proud that she decided to come out but since then, she's kind of been like a turtle in her shell and has limited her life to a very small square area. She refuses to drive on freeways (a big deal here in SoCal). She won't go and try new things. She spends most of her day watching TV (although in fairness she does go to a gym now somewhat regularly). She has a single friend. Most of the time, she worries. She worries and worries and worries. When I look at her life, I see a life ruled by anxiety.
In what is now becoming an annual ritual, she gets upset at my wife and I for feeling that she's disappointed us for not exercising more, eating better or meeting new people. She says she's happy, happier than she was in the Midwest. She says she doesn't feel isolated. I don't believe her. I can't help but think how much happier and more fulfilled she would be if she got her anxiety under control and stopped being afraid of her own shadow. I guess I should leave things alone. I don't want to hurt her. But I feel responsible for her having helped bring her out and I'm not sure how I can ever stop from wanting to help her. Am I the one who needs help here?