100 lb. Club - MIL Nightmare... stressing, help! (LONG)

08-06-2009, 01:12 PM
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?

08-06-2009, 01:29 PM
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.

08-06-2009, 01:39 PM
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.

08-06-2009, 01:42 PM
:hug: 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

08-06-2009, 02:16 PM
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. :hug:

08-06-2009, 02:20 PM

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? :hug:

08-06-2009, 02:33 PM
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.

08-06-2009, 02:35 PM
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...


08-06-2009, 02:39 PM
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.

08-06-2009, 02:47 PM
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.

Thighs Be Gone
08-06-2009, 02:54 PM
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.

08-06-2009, 02:58 PM
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.

08-06-2009, 03:14 PM
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.


08-06-2009, 03:22 PM
Even though she is family, it is not worth putting your emotional health on the line to have her visit. Put your foot down.

08-06-2009, 03:41 PM
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).

08-06-2009, 04:32 PM
Oh dear! That is a whole lot of crazy you have to deal with. I agree with others that have said you should talk to dh about cutting her out of your life. It will not do anyone good to have her around; it definitely imposes on your peace of mind, might hurt your marriage if dh doesn't back you up, and doesn't sound healthy for your son.

My MIL is a crazy old bat, too. Thankfully they live on the other side of the world.

I hope you can work it out.

08-06-2009, 04:46 PM
Oh Tara, I'm so sorry! :hug:

Your MIL sounds like a bizarre combination of my good friend's mother, and my own MIL!!! What a nightmare!
Because of my friend's relationship with her mother, I do see why your husband can't quite completely cut her out just yet, although I WISH they would!
My friend's mother has that same kind of religion based psychosis, (drug issues too) and did many of the same things you MIL has done. She also stood by (in denial of course) while her own husband molested her daughter. The result of this is that my friend has drug issues, relationship issues, parenting issues (her son lives with her own father)...and somehow, she STILL can't seem to let go of her mom!!! So I TRULY feel your pain! It hurts SO much to see someone you love, unable to do the best thing for themselves!

As for advice, you've got some great stuff above. I don't think there's anything I can add. But I wanted you to know that I totally get where you're coming from, and I'm here, OK?

Side note: Kaplods, from this and all your other posts...I'm going to guess that you're a therapist? You always have SUCH amazingly helpful, wonderful responses to emotionally based stuff, and I adore you for it!

:hug: :hug: :hug:

Be STRONG....you don't want her to be able to do the same things to your kids! (Of course!)


08-06-2009, 05:44 PM
Side note: Kaplods, from this and all your other posts...I'm going to guess that you're a therapist? You always have SUCH amazingly helpful, wonderful responses to emotionally based stuff, and I adore you for it!


Close (and thanks). I'm on disability now, but I have two psychology degrees. Bachelor's in behavioral psych and master's degree in psych. I've never been a therapist or counseling psychologist, and didn't have much coursework in it, and in fact chose my field because I didn't think I would be very talented as a counselor or therapist. Child development, particularly language development was my passion (I was never able to find a full time teaching position, but that's what I loved best teaching college classes in human development).

I mostly worked in various aspects of social service and taught part-time until I started having health issues (then retrained as a computer programmer, oddly enough). Mostly, I worked in some aspect of substance abuse treatment and/or law enforcement, as a adolescent detention center worker (juvie jailer) as an adult probation officer and as a research case worker for a large research grant to a juvenile substance abuse treatment non-profit organization. As a result, I worked with a lot of truly messed up people. I used to think my family was crazy until I worked with more people and saw the true spectrum of weird and disfunctional.

08-06-2009, 11:35 PM
Thank you all for your encouragement.

I did sit down with DH and discussed this. I asked if HE wanted to see her. He basically said no, that he wanted the kids to see her and she wanted to see them. When I asked why, I got the same answer I always do... cause she's their grandmother.
"But she's horrible to us," I told him.
"But she doesn't treat the kids like that," was his response.
I explained this to him: No, but if she can't treat us well, and we're they're parents, does she deserve to see those kids? They're going to pick up on the fact that Grandma hates Mommy. She makes horrible comments to us and even if she doesn't say it in front of the kids her behaviors do- and she's begun making snide comments to Tristan.
One of the last times she saw him she told Tristan she'd "pray for him" after seeing him playing with a stuffed dragon, for his salvation, than added "Not that you'd know what any of that meant." Tristan's getting old enough that its going to eventually grind on him like it does us or scare the **** out of him cause she'll convince him he's damned or possessed.
I also explained to him that, in my eyes, being a grandparent is a reward for being a parent, and she is no parent. Just because she pushed him out doesn't mean she was a "mother" to him and as such, to me, she really has no place requesting anything from us, especially to see our children. I told him if it were his Aunt, whom I look at as the most motherly figure he had, I'd gladly welcome her and do everything to make her feel welcome.
His mother has now told us she has to save up money for the trip out so it could be awhile anyway...phew! There's a good chance that by the time she gets around to it we'll be moving again or have just moved or be getting ready to move (DH is trying to get promoted to supervisor and was told a new facility in PA would probably be where he'd be moved next year), so it maybe bad timing anyway.
WI also reaffirmed to DH that I am done dealing with the Crazy Lady and until she can convince me that she's stable and off all her addictions (drugs, alcohol, zealous Jesus addiction that she only does when the drugs aren't in play) and she and I can converse appropriatly than she might MIGHT be allowed to visit under some very set guidelines but if she can't she has no place dealing with our children.
We both agreed to reasess (sp?) the situation when/if Crazy Lady actually saves up the money. Her second son, a drug addict alcoholic and his wife as pyscho as off as MIL (she tried to "cut" her husband, OD'd causing her own miscarriage for attention, did drugs during her following pregnancies, is proud that her first daughter only weighed 3lbs at delivery at 36 1/2w along and oh, so much more) decided to pop out 2 of their own kids, less than 9 months apart, while neither of them could support themselves or kick their habbits, so they're a bit of a money drain on MIL...and welfare, but that's another grip altogether.

08-07-2009, 12:04 AM
Wow, Tara. So much to deal with! But it looks like you are handling it quite well. Good talk with DH. Incidentally, and kaplods can probably confirm or give more info on this, schizophrenics (*if* she is one) feel like they *have* to turn to something to explain why they are like they are or to escape what is going on in their head.. so when she isn't self-medicating with drugs & alcohol, it makes sense to me that she would do the overboard Jesus thing. My cousin to a T really. She might not be, but I have no idea how you would even go about getting her evaluated anything mental... they are SO in denial that anything is wrong. Their reality is not like ours.

:hug: :hug:

08-07-2009, 12:06 AM
Oh - and I forgot to add - remember we are here for you, even if you just need some place to VENT!

08-07-2009, 12:21 AM
Absolutely do not let that woman into your home!

08-07-2009, 10:21 AM
I would not allow her anywhere near my children. No way. Your job is to keep your children safe and that includes their mental health. You do not need to justify this decision to anybody.

I was raised by a very abusive mother (hate to use the word, she is no mother, mothering is way more than giving birth) and she is not allowed contact with my children at all. I don't explain or justify it to anyone. The people who need to know the reasons (my husband, in-laws and older children) already know them.

It would be a reasonable thing to tell her to not bother to save up her money and to stop communications, but then I like to make things very clear about such issues. As for your brother-in-law's children, have you considered reporting the situation to child protective services? They are at-risk from this woman's mental illness as well as their parents' drug use.

Good luck to you.

08-08-2009, 12:26 AM
In Colorado it is really, really hard to have your children taken away. So long as you aren't "abusing" (excessively seems to be the line, or as to not leave marks) or "neglecting" (they are fed) the State won't step in... I'm tempted to start an anonymus complaint anyways...maybe scaring them some will open their eyes.
And I would gladly shut the Crazy Lady out of my life...forever and ever and all eternity...its DH's mother and it creates some conflict. I hate the fact he still keeps in contact with her.

08-08-2009, 02:03 AM
NEVER leave her alone with your kids! She is a drunk and a mental case. Regardless of what your husband wants (because this is his mother) you need to tell him that she is driving you crazy! I have in-law problems and Im trying to move away. You should tell your husband that she can only DAY visit and NOT spend any nights and she has to stay in a hotel. If she cant afford it then she shouldnt come out there. NOTHING is worth losing your family.

WOW! I never thought any in-law could be worse than mine! Im very outspoken and although my family tried to teach me to turn the other cheek I cant! I say what I feel and how ever it comes out...ONLY because what she does is always so ridiculous...You can only turn the other cheek for so long...Ive been married for 7 years.

08-09-2009, 02:40 PM
I'm tempted to start an anonymus complaint anyways...maybe scaring them some will open their eyes.

You should do this. Definitely. They need to realize they can't just do whatever they wish when there are children involved.

And I would gladly shut the Crazy Lady out of my life...forever and ever and all eternity...its DH's mother and it creates some conflict. I hate the fact he still keeps in contact with her.

Fact of the matter is you stated she has already started abusing the grandchildren (your children) so any rights she feels she has to see them are now null & void. I think it's wonderful that your husband rose above his parenting & is now such a caring, loving person that he can't shut her out. I really do. But his children should come first.

Visits (if there are any!) with her should be short & sweet, absolutely she should stay in a hotel or motel & there should be a definite start & end date to the visit, INCLUDING how she is going to get home because I can 100% see her stating she doesn't have the gas money to get home. You've gotten some great advice here, hopefully she won't just show up one day. :hug: for everything you've been through.

08-09-2009, 05:21 PM
Just my opinion, but your husband telling his mother that she'd have to talk to you about coming is totally weak. Dumping that responsibility on you was completely unnacceptable.

It's his mother, not yours. Man up and put your family first. The lucky fact that she isn't coming this time doesn't change that; it's just another chance for him to not deal with it.

08-09-2009, 11:37 PM
I would tell DH no she can't come. Why should you feel uncomfortable in your own home.

It sounds like she cares more about drinking and drugging and what she can get from people than building a stable relationship with them.

I've been were you are except it was my sister. She only came around when she wanted something. Correction, she only came around when she needed money to get drugs. She would lie and say her kids needed this or that to get money because she new I would not let my niece and nephew go without.

She got me a few times but when I realized what she was doing I would go get whatever it was that they needed and take it to them. Then she started stealing from me so I had to cut ties with her until she got herself some help.

Maybe DH should have a talk with his mother about getting help if she wants to have a relationship with him and his family and if she doesn't want to get help DH should tell her well until you do will have to keep contact to just phone calls.

I don't think she should be around your children. You don't know what she will say or do to them.

Ultimately you and DH will need to discuss what is best for the family. I say don't let her into your home she may not leave.