Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by lenasvn, Apr 23, 2006.

  1. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    Another post prompted me to post this. :)

    I have a hard time understanding my mother-in-law,
    there is something I can't put my finger on that irritates me.

    I just want to try to understand.

    It seems she don't want to hear about "problems". For example, if I email about something that is not a cheap surface joke I won't have any reply.

    The emails I get are jokes in all sorts and shapes.

    She knows I struggle with my health, but still asks what's wrong when I say I'm feeling ill.

    I met a wonderful lady from a Trinity Church that helps me out during my daily struggles, although I don't go to church myself. She is tremendously sweet and would never push me in either direction (faith-wise).

    This lady mentioned to me when asking why my m-i-l. won't come around so much or help out as she would assume she would, that she seems to avoid uncomfortable things, she always have this big unreal smile
    on her face. She had stopped going to the same church as her, and she felt it was because she wanted to avoid discomfort. She didn't go into detail which makes me respect her more.

    She appear only skin-deep. She keeps her house nice and neat for her church-friends to come by, it is all so sweet and jolly (sorry, but that's exacly how it is).

    I told her to let me know next time she goes to the store since my truck got hit-and-run, and I can't walk too much
    without getting ill.

    7 days later an email pops up about bringing my son to church on Sunday (I think that's my son's choice) and "by the way", she had been running in circles (she is retired) and "forgot" to call me about the grocery shopping. Happy, jolly, life is good, type of feel.

    When I first met my ex. husband, she was aware of that he was diagnosed as a pathological liar, that he had 10 women online besides me, that a gal came and stayed with him while I planned the move to his hometown to live with him. She never said anything. Fear, maybe, Idon't know, but I put children first! If I know a child is going to be brought in to a deceitful situation I would try to say something anyway. Now, after the fact and all the pain and a 2 year old daughter with no father around- my son needs counseling for the harm the relationship caused him. I, of course, thought it must be allright, he seems good since his mom is so nice and sweet to him (before I noticed she was that way, always, even when she thought crap about him).

    I feel resentful, it seemed all she wanted was some pretty grandkids to bring to church and be "prud of".

    I am just trying to understand, what is her fear of discomfort in life? Or is she just ignorant or selfish? I don't know. Maybe an outside perspective will put some light on this.

    As I said, there's no use bringing things up with her, she avoids discomfort.

    I believe in Christ, but not the church. She knows this. In a sense I would expect her to ask me first if I would approve her teaching her faith to my children. She never did.

    I have later "approved" her bringing my son to church, simply because my son think it's allright. I found
    her reading little Jona-books to my daughter (harmless, yes, but still, this is faith and I find it appropriate that she asks me, out of due respect). Imagine turning
    the table around and see if she would find it appropriate that a Jehova's Witness do the same without asking?).

    have I explained this correctly, do you get an idea what's going on? I am trying to figure her out since it causes alot of tension and unresolve within me. I think I
    want to understand who she is, since she is my child's grandmother.

    Is she afraid, does she have a mental disability?

    Any input would be appreciated.

  2. Tibbiecow

    Tibbiecow New Member

    What you describe to me sounds as though this woman has a true psycho-social disorder. In layman's terms, she "Aint Right in her Head' and you must be careful expecting her to behave in a normal way.

    Her problems with maintaining a clean, shiny, happy reality probably have quite a lot to do with your ex-husband's lying problems. (Seems as though he has a psycho-social disorder as well.)

    It is much more difficult for the lay-person to believe that this woman has a serious, diagnosable Personality Disorder, than say a pathological liar, because she seems so nice and 'in control' of her life. In fact she is probably terrified of her life going out of control if she ever really engaged with someone in distress,(like YOU for instance!) and this is what keeps her from 'avoiding uncomfortable things.'

    My husband was literally 'divorced' from his family because his brother, who has been jealous of my husband all of his life, made up a lot of lies and convinced their father that he should not inherit the cowherd that he has been promised by father for 20 years. (2 million dollars worth of farmground was for brother, cows for my husband. Until brother decided that he was entitled to the cows.)

    My brother in law has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which means basically that he distorts reality until he is convinced that it is the truth. He can believe that he is truly entitled to just about anything, and lie and warp until other people believe it, too. This man has never apologized to anyone in his life; that is what his wife does (a lot!). This man seriously believes, and will tell people, that he was the only one of the brothers who really worked on the ranch growing up. Preposterous! All four brothers worked to the point of borderline abuse in the 60's and early 70's.

    Their father always wanted everything to be OK. So if it wasn't, both kids got spanked (again, borderline abuse) until they learned not to rock the boat. No listening and solving the problem, just SHUT UP until nobody complains- everything's just peachy now, right?

    My husband and I went through 1 1/2 years with an outstanding therapist to repair our marriage. He is just beginning the hard work of NOT denying that his brother has some SERIOUS psychological problems, and making a good life of our own.

    I am afraid that you will have to keep a superficial relationship with your mother-in-law. Make friends with this other Church-Lady! And anybody else who WILL give you support when you need it. With fibro, very seldom is everything 'just peachy'.

    You may also enquire at one of the better grocery stores around, whether they deliver, or will prepare your grocery list order. Usually their store brands are pretty cheap, and are guaranteed with replacement by your favorite brand if you don't like it. This could be well worth the cost.

    I would be wary about your son, I don't know what to tell you. He needs everyone who will love him. But he probably doesn't need to grow up thinking grandma is normal! I think you need to talk to a qualified, very talented therapist/psychiatrist. You don't deserve, or need, to get into problems with this woman after the ones left by your ex. She could be just as poisinous.

    Good luck, honey.

  3. Cinlou

    Cinlou New Member

    I can understand where you are coming from! My Mother in Law sounds very much like yours. She would come and get my daughter for church on Sundays. She even made arrangements for my daughter to be Babtised without my consent!!! She wanted her to be Babtised in the Lutheran church. My daughter was 12 at the time. I asked my daughter if this is what she wanted. She told me she just wanted to make her grandma happy.

    My Mother in Law keeps her house nice and tidy too, for all her church friends. She loves to cook, and talk! She talks non stop about nothing,about the best laundry soap she found, the deals she got at shopping.
    If I am around her for too long of a time I get a headache. She never stops, if you try and chime in she just keeps on talking and ignores you. I've heard about how sick she is, blah, blah... Does she ever ask how I am? No. She has no clue in how self centered she is. It is very sad. I do care about her, but she is a toxic person to me, she just takes my energy and sucks it right out of me. I call her a Psychic Vampire! I cannot be around her for any length of time.

    I tolerate her for my daughter's sake. I have a son too, from my first marriage (His dad died when he was 9 months old)does she treat him like a grandson, no not really (I married her son when he was not quite 2 yrs old) She has left him out of things, a long story...it hurts me terribly, she says she is a Christian...I won't go there.
    She really does mean well, but has no clue...
    I wish you well with your Mother in Law. I do understand
    Best Wishes,
  4. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member


    I love your input. I also did think about this with my son observing her ways. I believe too that this could be damaging in the long run.

    You seem to know about those things, and it feels good to note that I am not over reacting to this. It's sure so that you can "sense" things, and I have.


  5. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    My son is the same, he goes it seems because grammy will be happy. I have told him though, that it is all up to him what he believes, and if he asks me what I believe, I'll tell him. grammie don't like it, but she dare not confront me, i am good at discussing faithbased stuff, and I don't do it meanly. but I do find holes.

    My son dare do the same thing. It sure is toxix, and it sounds like we have about the same experiece. I am moving back home to Viking-land in a year os so, this will be for a while longer. I will keep an eye on things, and make sure my son is comfortable.
  6. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member


    I could say i would not stay in touch unless it was because she is the grandmother of my daughter. Now, I start to think after those great replies that I have to be careful with how this energy affects both my kids.

    After all, her son turned into an anti- church person, a liar, thief deceitful pathological liar. People owe him too, and he also believes everything he says. Right now he is not replying to my emails because he "blew it" oce again when it comes to his daughters birthday. Like he did with christmas, and her first birthday and christmas. The same goes for my son.

    Even if you feel you didn't come up with answers, your reply have been very helpful.



  7. libra55

    libra55 New Member

    When I first met my husband, I was charmed with his sense of humor. Witty and carefree, he sailed through life without a care in the world. He flirted with waitresses, secretaries, bank tellers, and joked constantly with the men he crossed paths with during the day. Seems he had a funny joke or story about everything.

    People always comment to me, "What a marvelous sense of humor your husband has!" "Oh your husband is just too funny!" "What a comedian!"

    I sit there, and I smile, and say nothing. If only they knew the truth.

    My husband is very similar to your MIL. For the last 20 years everything has been one big joke. He can not be serious about anything. It's impossible to have any sort of intimacy or serious conversation with him. That went out the window long ago.

    The sad thing is he is still telling the same tired old jokes and they don't work as well as they used to. Especially on the young girls. I just cringe when I see it coming. I feel like saying, "Can't you see you are making a fool of yourself?"

    Sometimes I wonder if he is becoming senile. He will repeat the same old jokes and stories as if people had never heard them before.

    I agree with some of the others who responded to you. This is definitely some kind of psychosocial disorder. My husband got sent to a psychiatrist by his workplace; he would never go on his own. They could not decide if he was bipolar, borderline personality, or narcisstic personality. He had traits of all three!

    Lena honey I can't give you any advice but I am there with you, I have lived in pure hell with this for twenty years, and there ain't nothing you can do to change these people. My husband's sister is just like him. She talks non-stop, babbles on and on about her fishing trips and her nursing job and her sugar daddy husband, never even comes up for air and never shuts up, never lets anybody get a word in edgewise. Thank God she lives 1600 miles away from me. I get a sick headache when she visits. I told husband she would have to go to a motel next time.

    They grew up in a very dysfunctional home with a bedridden mother and an abusive father.

    I also use to work with a woman like that. Every day she had to tell the entire office what she had for dinner the night before. How she cooked it, baked it, boiled it, broiled it, how much they ate, what plates she served it on, how she froze it afterwards, phew it was too much.

    I would say just try to avoid MIL as much as you possibly can and feel sorry for her, the woman is truly sick.

  8. Tibbiecow

    Tibbiecow New Member

    You are not overreacting!!

    Congratulations to you for recognizing that something IS wrong, and trying to figure out what to do.

    My very best advice: if the person that you are trying to deal with will not LISTEN to you, there is really no reason to try to deal with them rationally. THEY ARE NOT RATIONAL!!! You will drive yourself crazy trying to do it right. They need professional help. Stay as uninvolved as possible. No problem, likely, with surface frendliness, in your case.

  9. Adl123

    Adl123 New Member

    Dear Lena,
    No, I don't think she has a mental disability.
    My mom was that way in some respects. She just could not handle anything negative, especially where I was concerned. I think it hurt her too much. If I wanted to discuss something "heavy" or upsetting, sometmes she would just change the subject. She found it almost impossible too speak "from the heart" or tell me she was proud of me. (I think she did that once.)

    I really think it is a different generation, mixed with the way someone was brought up.(My mom was so secrative that when I was 9 years old, she had a miscarriage, and told no one- not me, not her mother!) She never would let me see her cry. She never hugged me, or was demonstrative.That is just the way some people are. They can't face emotional things. Of course, that doesn't make it an easier.

    Good luck. I hope this helps.
  10. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    Tibbie, and Terry,

    Bless your hearts for replying!

    I am sure upbringing has it's influence.

    My father has this old flare about him, and prefer to be rational. I don't sense anything odd from him, but have come to appreciate his ways although I would enjoy him feeling alittle more :).

    It is possible it is all upbringing, but the other lady (who helps me out) who is still in the church she went to before had the same experience with my MIL, so did a couple of other ladies. It appears to be something a little more to it, but maybe not a personality disorder, who knows?

    I sensed a concern from them about the whole thing.

    It has been so helpful to post this issue, I've gotten plenty of inputs to ponder upon.


  11. ANNXYZ

    ANNXYZ New Member

    We all have a "crazy" person ( determined to CREATE their VERY OWN reality )in our world , if we look around . My M I L was called the queen of denial by her own sons . We just have to make up our minds that we do NOT NEED THEIR approval or support , and look elsewhere .

    If there was not so much pathology here , it would be hysterical. But , maybe we should find humor in the pathology !

    If there is anything I can learn, it is the value of being honest with myself ( and God ) and trying to be aware of my own " Blind spots" .

    God bless all of you !
    [This Message was Edited on 04/23/2006]

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