I’m going to have a section on here that are things that my mother-in-law has said that are just outrageous, but are things that have made me think more positively on how I’m raising my son. Not because she was ever remotely uplifting, but because her outlook is so bleak and distorted, that she makes me realize that I’m not as miserable as I could be. Now I have to say that when I was young, I was always of a mind that I would always love my mother in law because no one could be as evil as my own mother (she’s not that bad, really!), and later on, I thought would love my mother in law because well…hell, I was going to be the ‘different’ daughter-in-law. You know, the one that is just good friends with her husband’s side of the family, since they could in no way be as screwed up as MY family.
Well, it turns out that this just wasn’t possible for me, not because I didn’t try and not because I am a total bitch (though that IS still possibly on the table about other things!), but because my mother-in-law suffers from depression as well. Her way of coping, however, is to play insane mind games and deal with everything in a snippy, passive-aggressive manner, and to meet the conflicts she creates by this behavior with a smirk, pursed lips, crossed arms and a big old “I told you so” – which by the way, rarely makes sense for the situation at hand, but is still her answer to everything.
A brief history – I’d met her twice previous, the first time while I was in the middle of a massive breakdown, the second time at our wedding.
Highlights from the first visit include: Her cleaning the already clean apartment, her telling my husband in no uncertain terms that no one with depression was “too sad to get out of bed”, her saying that our less-than-50-total, all-given-to-us-as-gifts DVD collection was an example of our “bad choices in life”, and her telling my husband that being sad was no excuse for not getting a full time job, and not keeping the place clean. Note: She had come to “help” me with my depression, since she suffers from it. I think we spoke directly for all of two minutes. The rest of the time she spent huffing and puffing with her back to me while she cleaned and recleaned everything in the place from top to bottom.
Highlights from the second visit include: Her forcing us to change our honeymoon plans at the last second when she revealed she was not getting a hotel and was now going to be sleeping on our bed, and her other son was going to get the couch. No money for a hotel? Well, don’t look at her! She might have money, but this is a lesson in “doing right”, we should be *grateful* that she’s “getting us out of the house”. She also bought me a pair of walmart-quality earrings after I had detailed to her on the phone that my “something borrowed” was going to be a pair of beautiful heirloom earrings from my great-grandmother. She told me that they were the “something new”. I found out later that she found it disgusting that I would wear earrings someone else had worn. Never mind that rubbing alcohol exists. They didn’t match the rest of my jewelery, looked cheap and gaudy and made my ears break out. Oh, and the house? Too dirty again. She was insulted that things were messy, shouldn’t we have cleaned instead of oh, I don’t know…been working on our wedding.
So when she let slip that she intended to be present for my due date with Ollie, I just lost my head completely. The house was a wreak – I’d been on limited movement, and bedrest for over 3 months (her comment to my husband on the phone was that even if the doctor said that I shouldn’t be walking, that I was just faking it, and needed to get back to work, or at least pack the house so we could move!) – I managed to delay the visit by a month, but she was bound and determined to come. My husband said she promised she was there to help out, to make life easier, to let me get a little sleep. She had 8 siblings, she’d taken care of a zillion children, she’d been doing this for 40 years, and well, she was just so happy to have a grandkid, all her cruel remarks and insensitivity would be smoothed over by the presence of a baby.
Yeah. That didn’t happen.
But rather than put to words here all the things she said or did before things came to a head and she became so abusive that my husband told her to leave – I’m going to take specific quotes and deal with them with a post each. Because to be honest…one needs time to actually react to how horrifying the experience IS when one deals with this woman.
And yes, that might make me a bad daughter-in-law, but I can say, honestly…that I don’t give a fuck. I’m just glad that my husband was largely raised by his father…not his mother.