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MIL Nightmare... stressing, help! (LONG)

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Old 08-06-2009, 12:12 PM   #1
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Default MIL Nightmare... stressing, help! (LONG)

So, for anyone who didn't read my long personal thread about me, let's start by informing you all, I had a stillborn baby boy my first pregnancy. He would've been turning 6 this September.
Now, that being said, my husband and I moved from Colorado to West Virginia. Partly because there was more advancement oppurtunity out here for his job (which turned out to be a good choice as the laid off 300ish people where we used to live) and more importantly to escape family, specifically, his pyscho mother.
This woman gave birth to my husband stonecold drunk. The nurses told the family they'd never seen someone that plastered and that the whole room smelt like a brewery. She ran out on the father while she was pregnant, said he threatened to kill her if she didn't get an abortion. Her sister, who was friends with the guy, said the guy was heartbroken. He loved Renee and wanted the baby more than anything. He spent years trying to find her before he gave up. Did I mention she's unsure of his last name, doesn't know his birthdate, middle name, where he's from? She then spent the next 15 years emotionally abusing and negelcting DH and his brother. She'd give him money to go walk miles to a kmart, or Gibson's or wherever so she could get high, have sex, get drunk...whatever. When he tried to runaway she lied to the authorities and said he was trying to kill himself. It got him out of her hair as she managed to keep him locked in the pysch ward for months and then into half-way houses. Needless to say my DH has had a very hard life. He moved out on his own when he was 15. He'd live with other family members or friends.
Fast forward to me. My husband and I eloped. We did it to avoid inviting our families. He let his mom know and she showed up anyways. We went to dinner afterward and she ran up a $60 bar tab that she didn't have money for and asked one of my friends if he or his girlfriend had any pot (BTW, this guy was in the police academy and my husband and I were living hand-to-mouth had to cover the tab).
Next issue- a couple months after we'd been married she and her second son moved out of her husband's house. She was "leaving him" yet again and DH and I let her stay in our apartment while we went to help his cousins in Utah. We had NO money at all. We barely got back because we couldn't afford the gas. They had eaten all the food, left all the dirty dishes and took movies that I had borrowed from my Grandma. I realized she took them because I saw one at her house, thought, oh I borrowed that from my grandma I need to return it when we get home. Got home...no movies. DH called her and she admitted she had "borrowed them!" I was raised NEVER to take someone else's stuff without asking.
Next...a couple weeks later, drunk or high or talking to Jesus again (she's a born again and she litterally has conversations back and forth with Jesus, like he sits with her in her kitchen and talks to her...she SEES him, oh and she's half Jewish and half Christian...don't ask) she calls me and started telling me I was trying to possess her son and make him worship me like a God. She than quoted a line off a very personal love letter my husband had written. She not only stayed in my apartment, ate all my food, left it a mess, stole from me, she went through my underwear drawer where this letter was and read it!! God knows what else she went through.
We never have gotten along as you can tell. She told me once that I deserved to have my baby die because I didn't believe what she did...God was punishing me. She also accused me of beating my son...this Mother of the Year, had the nerve to imply that I was mistreating my beloved son, whom I went through **** to have. A year ago, before we moved, I went to drop the kids off with her...she was smoking pot...high and this was a scheduled thing.
She keeps telling DH I'm trying to do witchcraft against her; that I'm manipulating her since we've moved here. I have only spoken to her once maybe twice since we moved here and one of the times she asked to speak to me after she had spent 5 minutes speaking to DH. She told me a family member DH was closed to had died, and oh... could I let DH know...bye.
When she found out I was doing Yoga and wrote me a letter to inform me that yoga was a tool to keep people a way from God. I wrote her a nice letter back, very casual, about how everyone was doing, what the weather was like, and I added a paragraph (even copied the letter cause I knew this would blow up in my face) asking her to please not bring her beliefs up to me anymore. I was very glad she found something that made her feel so... alive but after 7 years I had hoped she's learn to accept me and would've figured out I am never going to believe what she believes and it makes me uncomfortable and I try to avoid her. DH got a call telling him I was again practicing witchcraft because I was trying to make her not talk about god.
Well, this *****, excuse my language, has decided she wants to come out here for a visit. She has no money for a hotel room so she'd be staying with us. We're a family of 4 living on a very tight budget with only one car. I'd have no escape from her when DH is at work and we can barely afford our own groceries, not to mention she eats some bizarro diet because certain foods are "tainted" or some such B.S. DH told her he'd have to talk to me before he tells her she can come. I had already told DH after the last "letter" dispute I was done. I had done the good thing, turned the other cheek, tried to forgive (I can't forget, but I tried to forgive), I was always at the very least tolerant of her, have always been at least socially acceptably decent and only three times have I ever gotten rude... when she read the letter, when she said I deserved to lose the baby and when she accused me of hurting my child. I was raised in an enviroment that taught me to respect my elders, just because someone is crappy to you doesn't give you the right to treat them any less than you would any other human and to not judge. She makes it hard to do any of these things! She is the embodiment of my personal ****!
My stress is through the roof. I don't want her here. She makes me so angry, to a degree I never knew I could reach, she sets out to make me feel like a bad mother and person and she'd screw up my routine.
What do I do?
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Last edited by TaraLee : 08-06-2009 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:29 PM   #2
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No, you don't let people like that into your home, bio-mom or not. She's not fit to expose your son to.

BTW, and this is just my opinion, but forgiveness and limits are two different things. In fact, you might just find forgiveness a lot easier if you have strict boundaries with her.
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:39 PM   #3
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Personally? I think you and your DH need to have a serious conversation about cutting her out of your lives. At this point, is it mainly your husband keeping ties to her? If so, he needs to seriously consider cutting them. She is not only destructive and consumes resources she does not have, based on what you've said here, she's also not safe for your children to be around. The woman you described is abusive, and I would have real problems if my DH insisted that I subject my children to an abusive individual.

You need to have a conversation and set limits with your DH about acceptable contact with her. I'd probably ask to limit it to public places, at this point...no staying at your house, no contact other than meeting in some neutral, public location. And I'd also ask him what it is about this woman that makes him want to continue a relationship at all, given their history.
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:42 PM   #4
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To you and your family!!

With that said, you need to do what's best for Your Family, and you know that without another word being said, what that is. Problem is, she is Still your DH's Mother {and she knows that has some mental input into his decision} Can you set some ground rules, no surprises, your DH tells her up front that these things are not to be discussed or brought up, and the minute she breaks one, which from her track record won't take long, she is sent packing and on her way home?

My thoughts are with you, I know how hard it is, my BIL was into drugs and stealing and my DH thought having him move in with us, {family of 5, also living paycheck/paycheck} would help him. In his case did not!!

good luck to you and yours
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:16 PM   #5
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Some people in life are just parasites. I stopped talking to my father for various reasons mostly emotional and psychological bs he'd laid on me. When I found out I was pregnant the thought of that person around my son turned my stomach.

I agree with the posts above. The main question I have is why does your DH want her around you and your children? He knew she was unfit at the age of 15 and ran away so why is he opening his house to her?

I think you need to discuss all of these items, your concerns and fears with DH. Once you both come to a decision he will have to inform his mother. If you give the decision she will just warp and twist it, which she might do anyway. It's a lose/lose situation.

Hope everything gets better. Remember to take care of yourself in the midst of the drama.
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:20 PM   #6
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She sounds like she has mental issues. I have a cousin who was doing odd things like that.. and then started clinging to religion (not in a healthy way!) to try to explain to himself why he was messed up.. but he kept saying and doing all sorts of wierd things and some in the name of God.. to the point where he was a danger to himself and others. He was finally diagnosed with scizophrenia.

I would never let someone like that in your house with your son. Who knows what she might do in the name of religion? She just sounds like she needs mental help and some kind of medication.

Sorry you are having to go through this!! I think you are going to have to set some strict limits (as others have said).. but always watch your back, ya know?
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:33 PM   #7
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Allowing her to come into your home to stay with you is just inviting chaos, financial hardship and hard feelings. Given her "issues," and self-centeredness, there is no way that this visit can be a good thing for your family.

Have your husband decline saying that you just can't afford it right now because you're on a very tight budget. If she can't understand that, tough.
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:35 PM   #8
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At the very LEAST you need a firm arrival and departure date, and YOU need to enforce it if your DH won't. SOMEONE has to set some boundaries there. You need to be polite, genial, non-argumentative EVEN when she pushed your buttons, and to keep you and the kids away from her as much as possible IF she has to stay with you.

Can you take the kids and leave for a visit to your family during this time? I know money is tight, but your DH can manage for a while without you and the kids there. Or can you stay with a friend?

Or best yet, tell her that this isn't a good time because you just moved there, so perhaps next summer would be better than now.


Good luck with this...

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Old 08-06-2009, 01:39 PM   #9
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I agree with HotWings; this woman sounds to me like she is mentally ill. I would think long and hard before letting her stay in my home, especially with children in the house. It sounds chaotic at best, and potentially unsafe. She doesn't seem like a safe person to have around children.
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:47 PM   #10
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Your situation is getting crazier and crazier. I have always hated the saying, "You can pick your friends, but your can't pick your family," but it really seems to apply to your situation. You may not be able to pick your family, but you can definitely choose how you want to involve her, if at all, in yours and your child's lives. She seems to be grossly negligent and irresponsible, not only with herself, but with your child/children as well. I personally would never let her be around my child unsupervised. I thought my baby's grandmother was a complete nut, but now I see that it could much, much worse. I don't know if you've seen on the news, but a mother got really drunk off vodka and had a lot of THC in her system was driving down the road the wrong way for two miles and killed a slew of people. One survivor. That's it. Your MIL is not harmless; you have every right to feel the way you do. The situation to me seems intolerable, and I would have cut her out of my life sooner.
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:54 PM   #11
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You know, where my hubby's family is concerned I expect him to man up and deal with them as he needs to. And he does. It doesn't become my business because he deals with it. The same goes for my family. I deal with them if I need to.

I will say this though. Anyone or anything that has potential to come between me and my spouse or disrupt my family--they have no place in my home or my life really. Ever.

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Old 08-06-2009, 01:58 PM   #12
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If she can't afford a hotel, how is she paying for the trip? If your husband wants the visit with his mother (he seems like an optimistic guy), have him chip in for a hotel - 1 night - & she can visit with him over dinner & then go back home. Short & sweet. If hubby wants to take the kids to see grandma, fine, but you don't need to be there. Good luck with all that! I'm glad he asked your opinion before letting her stay with you.

I'm sorry you lost your baby.
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Old 08-06-2009, 02:14 PM   #13
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You are living a crazy life.

She will take you all down with her. If you're not really strong, your DH is going to help her do it. He won't just let her go.

Do not invite her to your home. Tell her she cannot come visit. Talk it over with your DH first, but make it clear to him that you will not have her around in your house unless he plans to be there 24/7. If he says he can't do that, then the answer is--there you go! She doesn't come.

It doesn't matter what excuse you give her, tell her you're all leaving for Europe, whatever! But don't let her in your house. Not judging someone doesn't mean you have to put up with them or expose yourself to their craziness. One does not judge a fox for killing chickens--it's the fox's nature--but you don't leave the henhouse door open.

Oh, and btw, the reason she was going through your drawers was she was looking for drugs. Addicts do this all the time. Keep all medications LOCKED UP in your house, no matter what.

Good luck. You can find your way out of this crazy life, but you have to be willing to say NO, NO MORE.

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Old 08-06-2009, 02:22 PM   #14
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Even though she is family, it is not worth putting your emotional health on the line to have her visit. Put your foot down.
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Old 08-06-2009, 02:41 PM   #15
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I would agree that this sounds like serious mental illness (schizophrenia was my first thought).

I would strongly recommend that you and your husband have a serious conversation about seeking counseling and support groups for family members of people with mental illness for yourselves, because you may not be able to get her to seek treatment, but you will learn better coping stragegies.

Her behavior is not only strange, but potentially very dangerous. Psychotic behavior is a lot like cockroaches, for every one you see, there are hundreds that you don't. It's very common for a psychotic person to hide the worst of their thoughts, beliefs, desires, and actions because they know it marks them as "crazy." That she isn't hiding them very well may mean that she's a lot sicker than she seems (and more dangerous).

You have a right to be safe in your own home, and I don't feel that having her in your home would be safe. Your husband has grown up with the craziness, and may not realize the potential for danger. People raised in dangerous situations, often dismiss the danger (sort of the "it must be safe, because no one has been killed yet" theory).

The problem is that psychotic illness is rarely stable, it very often not only gets worse, it can quickly spiral into a dangerous situation, often without a lot of warning (though I would say there are a lot of warning signs in her behavior and statements).

I'm really not exagerating the importance of getting professionals involved. You and your husband need to understand how serious, dangerous, and volatile the situation is, and how to cope the best you can. Having her in your home probably is a pretty bad idea, at least unless and until she's been evaluated (and she may not do this voluntarily, and you may or may not be able to have her forcibly evaluated), and/ or until you and your husband have had some professional support and training in dealing with someone this ill.

This isn't about forgiveness, it's about your family's safety. The kindest thing to do for her and yourselves, is not to accept her behavor or to take her into your home, it would be to do what you can to get help for her and for yourselves. You may or may not be able to force her to get help (a counselor would be able to help you in that regard), but you can seek help and support for yourselves. It's important that your health (emotional and physical) and safety are given first priority.

In an ideal world, she would voluntarily check herself into a hospital for a mental health evaluation, and would comply with treatment. That's unfortunately extremely unlikely, but if you can provide family pressure in the form of an intervention or get authorities involved, you may be able to get her in that door. If she is psychotic, antipsychotic medications could completely change her (and your) life, but getting her into and complying with treatment may not be possible. You may have to settle for keeping your family safe by limiting your contact with her (that's why seeking counseling for yourselves is so important, you need to know HOW to keep your family safe).
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