Author Topic: Playing the Victim at the GC's Expense  (Read 4970 times)

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Offline NewMama

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Re: Playing the Victim at the GC's Expense
« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2012, 02:08:33 AM »
I think if a situation gets to the point of being that toxic, you need to circle the wagons and protect your own family. IMHO, cutting off a FOO should always be a last resort, but you're tried to fix it and she's not cooperating. I don't think you should ever tolerate someone badmouthing you to your kids, ever. I know your child is still a baby, but the potential for her to do that is there. Is your DH open to some counseling? It may help him figure out how to detach.

Vasilisa

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Re: Playing the Victim at the GC's Expense
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2012, 07:18:42 AM »
This isn't just about the baby, either. You do not deserve to be treated this way. This is beyond putting up with a MIL's annoying mannerisms and a personality that clashes with yours, it is outrageous abuse that you shouldn't have to submit to even if she were being the best grandma in the world. Which she obviously isn't going to be.

You know, I was blessed with lovely grandparents and I'm glad I had them, but in general grandparents are not the most important people in a child's life -- parents and siblings are first, then friends tend to be. Of course it is enriching and wonderful to have a childhood filled with loving extended family, but if you don't have it, I don't think it's the end of the world, especially if you have caring parents. Your son likely will not miss what he's never known. On the other hand, if he is continuously exposed to people who judge and reject his mother and are not interested in him, that will hurt him.

I just can't believe that people are such judgmental busybodies that they are coming up to you out of the blue to tell you how horrible you are. Anyone with a speck of maturity should realize that there are two sides to every story and that even if you were the Queen of Mean they wouldn't help matters by charging up to you and giving you what-for. I am so angry for you that you have to deal with that!

Offline jdtm

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Re: Playing the Victim at the GC's Expense
« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2012, 09:01:15 AM »
Quote
You know, I was blessed with lovely grandparents and I'm glad I had them, but in general grandparents are not the most important people in a child's life -- parents and siblings are first, then friends tend to be.

This is where the problems start.  As parents, our children are foremost in our lives.  Then, when our adult children get married, we don't count anymore.  So, after our children putting us "first" (or second or third or even fourth) for many years; in a blink of an eye, we become tossed on the garbage heap. Sometimes, not even a "Happy Mother's Day", let alone a birthday or Christmas greeting.  This is especially true if one has a son(s).  It is so difficult to go from being "special" to being "invisible", and that is why some of us "fight back".  If only someone told us years ago to help prepare us ...

Offline Pen

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Re: Playing the Victim at the GC's Expense
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2012, 09:37:03 AM »
So true, Jdtm. Very well put. Those of us who valued our relationships w/our GPs never imagine we'll be considered obsolete by our AC. Shocking when it happens!

IMO, Ps need to model and promote good relationships between DC & GPs. My Ps taught me to value my GPs and other older relatives. We weren't told to retreat when they visited; we were encouraged to listen to their stories and learn about history through them. That knowledge served us well when we studied bygone eras, social movements, wars, economics, politics, etc. in school. I felt like an important part of the FOO, sitting around  talking w/the grown ups. Those discussions are my fondest FOO memories.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Vasilisa

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Re: Playing the Victim at the GC's Expense
« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2012, 10:28:13 AM »
All that is true in a normal situation. The OP is dealing with someone who is either severely personality disordered or uncommonly vicious, so fun times with Grandma are unlikely to happen on that side of the family.

I am shocked that sons with loving mothers neglect that relationship when they grow up. I have no insights since I have never, literally never had a close relationship with a man who had had a normal mother/son relationship.

Vasilisa

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Re: Playing the Victim at the GC's Expense
« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2012, 10:35:22 AM »
By the way, my comment that GPs aren't usually the most important people in a child's life was not meant to be a comment on how important parents should be to an adult child. I refer to my own maternal GM, who had a definite hierarchy in her affections: first my GP, then her children, then her GC. I loved my GM and know she loved me, but neither of us got each other's first or even second best love and I think we were both the happier for it.

I don't mean that to knock anyone's pain in getting left out altogether, though, or only getting crumbs after giving your all.

Offline Pooh

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Re: Playing the Victim at the GC's Expense
« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2012, 11:44:41 AM »
I think in a some-what normal situation, that is true as well.  I say some-what, because honestly, who's family tree isn't full of a few nuts?  We learn to deal with those few in whatever way.  I also think the family dynamics set up the priority order.  Mine would have been, my parents, my GPs and then my siblings.  Simply because there is 10 years difference in my brother and I, and my GP's helped raise me due to divorce, etc...so I was very close to them.  Sibling and I love each other, but were not that close as children because of the age difference. 

I actually had both sides going.  One set of GPS's that were like second parents, and the other set was never involved.  I miss my loving set every day, but don't miss the other side, because I never knew them.  So I do think that GPs can be very good for GC but I also think they are not required.  Each dynamic is different.

In this case, GM is toxic and verbally abusive.  She's using the family to promote her cause and I would start using the words, "This is our problem.  I refuse to gossip about MIL.  I so wish everyone else felt the same" and walk off.  Family members that are helping try to instigate a divorce don't deserve a response and are going to talk anyway, no matter what you say.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline Scoop

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Re: Playing the Victim at the GC's Expense
« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2012, 12:01:56 PM »
I think it's 'telling' that CPR's DH didn't have much of a relationship with his M, prior to getting married.  I encouraged the relationship between DH and MIL too, until I realized that neither party appreciated it.  I've taken a huge step back, and sadly they've let the relationship settle to a very low level.  Oh well, not my problem, not my fault.

I know that MIL talks about us and badmouths us to anyone and everyone who'll listen.  Honestly, I don't care.  If these other people can't be bothered to make up their own minds about us, instead of just blindly relying on MIL's 'stories', then they're not anyone I need to worry about.

At first SIL would listen to MIL (her Mom) and then try and call us on the carpet for what we allegedly said about her.  The funny part is that this totally blew up in MIL's face.  We told SIL straight out to please consider the source.  That MIL talks smack about her too, but we don't believe a lick of it, and could she please give us the same courtesy.  Since then, SIL and I have been particularly close.

So CPR, drop the rope.  You can't win, so stop playing.  Step back.  Stop JADE-ing (justify, argue, defend, explain).  Let MIL talk smack to whomever she wants to, if they're foolish enough to BELIEVE her, then they can go push a rope.

Vasilisa

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Re: Playing the Victim at the GC's Expense
« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2012, 12:28:18 PM »
Been thinking. Although I have many years ahead of me before I have to worry about being someone's MIL, I do understand a lot of what the MILs here are saying about being high on the son's priority list and then getting scrapped when he marries. I understand that hurt because something similar happened to me when I had a baby. I used to be interesting and intelligent, had friends, did things, was looked at, spoken to, conversed with. I was friends with my SIL and my MIL was nice to me. Then I had a baby and everything completely changed. I got kicked off a couple of committees because those in charge decided I couldn't commit to them if I had a baby to take care of. My friends (all single folk) stopped coming over because they "knew you must be so busy with that baby". Nobody ever looked at me anymore, they looked only at the baby, anyone who came over was coming to see the baby, no one talked to me except about baby stuff, and my in-laws started the sneering, snubbing, and punishing, all the while expecting me to be available whenever they wanted something (namely access to baby). Yeah, I know how it feels to go from being a worthwhile human being who people like to being the stupid, boring bag who does everything wrong and nobody wants to see. I do feel for you ladies and will try to remember that in the midst of my anti-MIL feelings.

Offline Pooh

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Re: Playing the Victim at the GC's Expense
« Reply #24 on: May 01, 2012, 01:06:23 PM »
It is hard for anyone to have someone important in their lives that suddenly drops them.   It hurts, no matter what the situation.  Your situation with your MIL is definately a hard one to be in and I don't get her.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline pam1

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Re: Playing the Victim at the GC's Expense
« Reply #25 on: May 02, 2012, 11:38:27 AM »
cpr, we have gone through similar here.  I was bewildered, I would even give MIL suggestions she could do with DD but to find out she was running around telling anyone who would listen that I was keeping her from DD!  it is very, very weird and unsettling. 

It was one thing when she was just telling stories about me (although that added up and I got fed up with that too) but WHY drag a child into it?  And it lead me to think that I couldn't trust her not to do this nasty mess with my child either.  She would speak about other children with such disdain, a small child once said that she didn't like where MIL lived and we heard about that for years lol.  I couldn't imagine thrusting my DD into a situation with this type of person.

*I* can't handle the woman, I won't leave a child to do it either.  Just my take.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

cpr

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Re: Playing the Victim at the GC's Expense
« Reply #26 on: May 02, 2012, 12:57:43 PM »
I have known for some time that leaving LO alone with her was not something that I would ever be comfortable with, but I had hoped that we could have some kind of relationship with her if for nothing else then for my DH. His FOO is like a tiny universe with MIL as the sun. They all circle her. If we have nothing to do with her then he will loose his siblings and his father as well.

Offline pam1

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Re: Playing the Victim at the GC's Expense
« Reply #27 on: May 02, 2012, 05:32:39 PM »
DH was afraid of that too, cpr.  I thought it was a good possibility.  So far his father and his relationship has not suffered and to be frank, he never really had a relationship with his siblings.  He still talks to a couple but the others (who act similar to MIL) he doesn't seem to miss.  In hindsight I think I worried more about his relationships with his folks than he did, in fact I think he is taking it all better than I am.  And I'm not even close to them!
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

Offline Doe

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Re: Playing the Victim at the GC's Expense
« Reply #28 on: May 02, 2012, 06:15:26 PM »
Yeah, I know how it feels to go from being a worthwhile human being who people like to being the stupid, boring bag who does everything wrong and nobody wants to see.

LOL!   This isn't quite how it is for me.   It's more like "did I raise an idiot?" at times.  Not all the time, but at times.

Offline Pooh

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Re: Playing the Victim at the GC's Expense
« Reply #29 on: May 04, 2012, 01:29:02 PM »
Ha ha ha....I'm chalking mine up to "pod people"
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell