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MIL Please Go Away!

SKIDSarekillingme2's picture

There is dysfunction, trauma, abuse, and boatloads of crazy in my DH’s family.  For that reason, my DH and I have decided it’s not safe for our children to have a relationship with MIL.  There is a lot more to the story, but I don’t want to tell it all right now.  Just know that this decision was not taken lightly, and both of my SD’s therapists agree that MIL was dangerous to their mental health.  One of the therapists actually threatened to call protective services if the SD’s were left alone with MIL when they were minors.  This caused the domino effect of most of the rest of DH’s family to ostracize him (and me but I’m pretty sure they never liked me all that much anyway) and side with MIL.  Some of them actually told DH they think MIL is in the wrong, but they will still side with her.  Like I said boatloads of crazy.  We have a few of DH’s family members that still are actively in our life, including MIL’s best friend.  They are helpful loving and understanding to our situation and I’m grateful for them.

The point I’m getting to today is that MIL refuses to go away.  SD18 decided she wanted MIL back in her life.  Since then all sorts of problems have ensued.  SD18 and BM are very friendly with MIL and IL’s.  They are often on social media together.  Invited to DH’s nieces’ weddings when we aren’t.  BM initially agreed, actually pushed, to removed MIL from SD’s lives.  BM thought MIL was dangerous too.  Not anymore though, now they BFF’s.  BM has told SD18 and MIL that I manipulated both of the SD’s therapists and BM to remove MIL.  BM also claims she “knows” DH doesn’t want MIL out of his life but he has too because of me…ugh!  MIL has told DH that she believes I’m a master manipulator and I talked the therapists into saying this was best for the SD’s.  The truth is I never spoke to either therapist without my husband present.  I rarely spoke to them at all in fact.  The times I did meet with the therapists it was with BM and DH.  I always felt like I was only there to try to understand what SD’s were going through and that my input (or frustrations) were not important in that forum.  Reading this back I just get mad that I have to constantly defend myself like this….its an awful feeling to feel like I have to convince people that I’m not an awful manipulative bitch.

Back to the point.  DH has made it clear to his mother and SD’s BM that he wants zero contact for SD13.  He has made this clear dozens of times with BM.  Every time she swears there is no contact.  SD13 gets lots of mixed messages from SD18 and BM about MIL.  I know she’s confused but we do our best to explain why MIL can’t be in our lives.  MIL won’t quit though, she contacted SD13 via text message yesterday.  SD13 didn’t tell us we found out by checking her phone.  SD13 says she will block her and not respond again.  She also says she doesn’t want a relationship with MIL right now.  I wish there was something DH could do to keep her the f$@* out of SD13’s life.  DH again made it clear to MIL and BM that he doesn’t want contact between MIL and SD13, but I know that won’t matter.  I wish we could legally remove her somehow, it’s just so frustrating.

I’m really trying to separate my own feelings about this and just focus on how dangerous it can be for SD13, but I’m struggling.  MIL is a threat to my marriage and generally just a really terrible person.  The things she has said about me are among the most hurtful anyone has every said to me.  Why can’t she just go away.  Why can’t the pendulum swing toward me and why can’t good win over evil.  I have a real fear SD13 will follow SD18’s lead and end up having a relationship with MIL (as an adult).  I think this will cause DH and I to struggle to have a relationship with her (as an adult) and f&%$ I don’t want to lose her too.  I’ve been her SM since she was 2 years old.  I’ve given her my whole heart and loved her like my own.  The pain is too much to think about.  I know this likely falls under the category of things I can’t control but UGH….THIS SUCKS!  I have so much darkness in my heart for these terrible people it eats me up!  Why can’t good vs evil turn out like the movies Sad

Comments

tog redux's picture

Seems like you would be better off helping SD learn to think for herself and stand up to her grandmother, rather than cutting her off entirely. MIL sees that as a game she intends to win.  Help SD13 develop her resiliency and critical thinking skills. And both of you do the same - learn not to react to MIL, but to expect her poor behavior, and not let it get you so upset.

You can't win the game with this kind of person - you can only learn not to play. Disengage from MIL and help SD13 learn to do the same.

SKIDSarekillingme2's picture

Not letting it get me so upset is always the right choice, but sometimes it's just so hard to do that.  DH and I both try to help her learn to think for herself and be strong enough to say how she really feels (with us and BM/S).  It is a struggle, she says very little with us and we push very little.  We almost never talk to her about it.  Based on some on the conversations she has shared with us SD18 is using all means to turn her sister against me and make MIL seem like a saint. I don't think SD13 falls into the trap and seems to think for herself when it comes to me, but I'm not so sure about MIL.  I don't engage with MIl at all anymore and DH rarely does.  It is just a sad situation for all of us and a great example of how trauma and mental illness can tear a family apart.  Thanks for the advice I appreciate it.

SKIDSarekillingme2's picture

I'm not so sure that all of those options are acceptable for SD.  MIL is truly toxic and highly manipulative.  MIL was aware and did nothing while a now deceased family member was sexually abusing both of my SD's, her two older cousins,  and at least a dozen other children.  She refuses take any accountablity for her lack of action when finding these things out.  As for why the rest of the family doesn't support us my best guess is MIL is very good at seeming harmless, feeble, and mentally frail.  I think the family has fear of hurting her as they beleive she is too mentally unstable to handle anyone supporting our decision to remove her from our lives.  Plus it is easier to just keep the comfort of the dysfunction than confront and remove it.  MIL has said to DH and I specifically that SD13 lied to everyone about telling MIL that she was being abused by a family memeber.  She has said both SD's have exagerated how long the abuse went on and "how bad" it actaully was.  So I apprecitate your questioning her actually toxicity and I'm used to having to explain and defend myself, but those are the hard and sickening facts. It's increbibly sad but there is no "if" in her being truly toxic.  

You are right that I can't control what happens and MIL was a huge part of both SD's lives (mine too) so I understand the reasons they are drawn to a relationship with her, but for as long as I possibly can I will fight to keep SD13 safe from MIL. I can't sit by and allow MIL to diminish SD13's experience and abuse. Even though in the end it will likely hurt me and may alienate SD13 at least for the next few years I can keep her safe. At least she will always know that I fought to keep her safe even when it was really hard. I will fight to keep her away from all of this dysfunction as long as I possibly can. 

Sometimes it all gets me down, sometimes it feels like evil always wins.  Sometimes it feels like the people that manipulate and hurt are allowed to do that and still be reveared by others.  It's sad and today I feel broken over it....ugh!

Gimlet's picture

Are you telling me that BM knows that MIL covered up the sexual abuse of her children, that MIL minimizes it, and still has a relationship with her AND wants her daughters to see her as well???

SKIDSarekillingme2's picture

Yes! Shocking right! I feel like I should write a book! BM says she understands her daughters (SD18) need to have MIL in their lives and so she now supports it. SMH, the truth is she was just so thirsty to be back in DH's family she would except anything. She's with DH's family for social occasions all the time according to SD13. I guess IL's have changed their minds about BM being a cheap, cheating, lying, alcoholic, POS that neglects her kids (all things they've said to me).  Now she's a sweet girl with a heart of gold and just so much fun.  It makes me want to puke...BM is a piece of work.

Gimlet's picture

WTF, this really is a toxic stew.

If my MIL did this with my child, on the off chance that I managed to restrain myself and not go to jail, that woman would be so dead to me that not even a necromancer could bring her back.

Your husband's family is seriously twisted.   I would go harcore no contact with these people.  

SKIDSarekillingme2's picture

They are twisted and the weirdest part about it is they are outwardly some of the "nicest" people that you've ever met.  That is what people that know them say.  They are fun loving, kind, accepting people.  That is what I saw at first too, it almost makes me question myself sometimes.  I know I'm highly logical and I trust my instincts when it comes to the best way to handle things, but sometimes I question my own decisions regarding the IL's.  The reality is though; if you accept MIL knowing she knew about this abuse how can you be "nice".  That is where I always get stuck.  The uncle my DH was closest to said that he thinks MIL knew but he just can't treat her differently.  He justifys it by saying she is so ill that logically she knew but couldn't really know.  That her defense mechanism kicked in so strongly that denial was overiding all.  I can be on board with that right up to the point when she said SD's were lying about telling her and SD's were exagerating the abuse.  WTF is the excuse for that at this point.  If she were saying they told me but I just didn't think it was true because of my denial I could maybe except that, but calling SD's liars....NO WAY!  Also, since this happened she has attacked me in the worst possible way.  Saying I was a disciplinarian and I treated SD's badly.  Has told everyone I was always trying to get rid of her.  I just want her to go away...I'm begging for it!

Crspyew's picture

Accepting the enabler perpetuates the abuse.  I'd go hardcore no contact with anyone in the family who has participated in thes "rehabilitation" of your MIL.  Is this something that SD13 therapist could help her work through?  Ughh I hate to read this because BM and the others are allowing these girls to be re-victimized.  

SKIDSarekillingme2's picture

I really am digging in on zero contact with anyone related to MIL. Unfortunately that includes SD18, but there are lots of other reasons to go no contact with her right now.  MIL won't F*&%$#@ go away though and keeps creeping in one way or another, usually through SD's and thier horrible mother.  She even showed up at one of SD13's soccer games in the fall (the balls on this women).  I assume she was invited by BM but BM denies this blamed SD18.  SD13 went to her therapist once a week for about 2 years and then asked if she could stop going.  The therapist felt that would be ok for her as well as she was coping with her abuse well.  I think it would be helpful for her to see someone again though.  Especially since she is stuck in the middle of this toxic sandwich.  BM and MIL and SD18 all try to heavily influence her and I think she needs a 3rd party to help sort it out.  I hadn't really thought about that angle for her before.

Gimlet's picture

I feel awful for the 13 year old.   Sorry if you've stated it, but what is the custody schedule for her?  How much time is she spending with her mother and sister?

SKIDSarekillingme2's picture

The custody arrangement is one week on one week off but we often get SD13 more.  She has stayed with us through the entire COVID thing which has been nice.  BM has seen her 3 times I think.  BM has been out partying through the entire thing so she gladly gave her up.  I wish this would continue after and I have some hope that it will. I think BM is enjoying not having the responsibility of parenting and just dropping in when it's happy and light.  However; SD13 talks to BM and SD18 daily.  SD18 really manipulates her so they are always present. :(  I know it is confusing for her and I'm encouraging her to talk to someone but she doesn't want to.