Author Topic: Really not sure what to do  (Read 2205 times)

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Jillinthesky

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Really not sure what to do
« on: July 18, 2011, 06:15:51 AM »
I am not sure if anyone remembers me but I had some inlaw issues with my newborn twins (cross painting on sidewalk as an example).  The main issue was one that my husband had with his parents and the way that they treated him and us.  I left it up to him and though he was hurt that they ignored any issue he tried to present to them, he decided that we would cut them off for the time being.  Just to get space and heal and get out of the anger zone.  We said it wasn't permanent.  They did not respect that wish and continued to send snarky emails and texts, alternating with sad and guilt trip messages.  He decided that we would block their numbers and emails until they could calm down and stop bombarding us.  So here is my issue.  Not a week after we blocked them, and after a promise of respecting our wishes, they have started contacting my family.  They have never, not once, shown any interest in my family.  They don't know their names even.  Never met them, not even after the babies were born.  I only have my father and his new wife (we are friends, I think she is great).  My mother died about 6 years ago and they were married a year and a half ago.  I like her a lot, she just isn't a mother figure since we met so late in life (I am in my 30s). 
My MIL went on to her friend's facebook page (she is blocked from ours), looked at my friends list (you can't hide that), found my step mothers name and added her as a friend.  She was ignored.  She then a few days later sent a message that asked if this woman was my mother and could she help her with me, etc etc.  I know I shouldn't care, but the fact that this MIL has no idea my mother is dead because she couldn't be bothered to get to know me made me angry (she had been told).  The fact that she is now aggravating my family makes me angry.  The fact that no matter what we seem to do, these people plow over our rights as human beings makes me livid. 
So, what the heck can I do?  Do we ignore it?  Let is escalate as it has been?  My stepmom isn't going to talk to her, but when she realizes she is being ignored, she can just use 411 and call them.  Or heck, send messages to my friends.  I just feel so very violated. 
A bit of a background on me, I had a stalker, an actual restraining order, went to jail, had to change my number and move kind of stalker.  Someone doing this to me just triggers all of those feelings again and I see many of the same behaviors and phrases in my mil.  I am hesitant to say someone is "crazy" but when you are saying the exact same things (literally) as someone who did that to me, something is really really wrong with you.

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Really not sure what to do
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2011, 07:38:53 AM »
Would you write about the cross painting on the side walk again for renewed clarity?

Off the top of my head I think all you can do is to have your MIL do what she does and trust others to be able to deal with it. "Hold them able" is the phrase my son uses. Even though you have blocked her where you can, there are definite limits…like 411, followup calls., etc. You have asked for a ceasefire and she's coming at you over the back walls of the fort.

Because of your previous experience, I would also suggest you see a counselor to help you through this.
You and DH get to enjoy your twins and each other. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline pam1

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Re: Really not sure what to do
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2011, 09:03:08 AM »
I agree about seeing a counselor too.  In the meantime, you can see an attorney to send a cease and desist letter.  This does not take her to court or involve the authorities. 
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

Offline lancaster lady

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Re: Really not sure what to do
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2011, 09:14:15 AM »
Hi Jill .....
If it was me that was being harassed by my husbands mother , I would expect him to sort the problem .
He needs to contact them in person , and reassure them what will follow if she continues .
This has to be nipped in the bud , and by all means mention the authorities .
She must realise she is pushing you further away by her actions .

Sassy

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Re: Really not sure what to do
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2011, 11:25:16 AM »
I'm sorry about the loss of your mom.  I'm sorry your MIL asked your stepMIL such a question.  I'm sorry you're going through this.  I don't recall your MIL's background.  Crosses on sidewalks can't be good.  Contacting people she's never met and asking them personal questions about you is strange and aggressive behavior.  What would hapen if DH let MIL know her attempts at reaching your family and friends are not appreciated? And he advised her that she is making the estrangement worse not better, and asked her to stop?  Would that be like waving a red flag at a bull?   

If it were me, for my own peace of mind, I would have a consult with a local lawyer just so I knew all the ropes on that topic in my town, if it came to that.  And for a brsuh up on a legal perspective in the modern age (facebook) if it came to that.  I realize making a lawyer call can be more anxiety filled than peace bringing, for different people. Is MIL the type of person who respects laws, who would be intimidated into curbing her behavior by a C& D letter.   

Something else to think about might be regulating the flow of information towards you? If you're not in contact with MIL, only people you know are.   They are the ones talking about MIL to you.  For example, so you're not caught off guard by the news about what MIL's doing from someone else, maybe you could ask them (those whom MIL contacts who contact you) to tell you only via email marked "MIL's name" in the subject line, then you can decide to open later, or when DH is there to read it with you. I would apologize to my them and tell them it upset me she contacted them and I wish she'd stop and I hope she does soon.  (Please not - the apology is notyour fault for any reason at all, just I would apologize for me for social ease that I knew they were in a momentarily awkward situation just for knowing me,   Your friends and loved ones won't change their opinion of you.  They'll feel for you, having extended family that acts like this to them and to you.

And yes, I would also have a meeting or two with a counselor.  Because why evaluate decisions and go through it without objective professional support, if you don't have to.  My husband and I met with 3 different types of counselors over the years (minister in premarital counseling, psychologist, msw social worker) to help us deal,  when my own MIL began acting dramatically aggressive to sometimes the point of frightening.   It was, like this website, tremendously helpful.

Sassy

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Re: Really not sure what to do
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2011, 11:27:34 AM »
I've used this before, so please bear with me, but I've read Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing.

Offline Pooh

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Re: Really not sure what to do
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2011, 11:43:34 AM »
I remember you and the story of the cross painting by MIL and another, in the name of a religious walk-about on your steps.  It was eerie to me then, and eerie to me now.  When someone has been asked to not contact, then starts going behind your back with friends and family, that's a no brainer to me.  IMO, DH should definately call them and let her know that you are aware she's trying to contact your SM and that it is to stop right now.  If she continues, then the temporary time-out will be a permanant time-out and you will contact the necessary legal sources.  There is no excuse for her behavior.

I'm so sorry jill that you are having to deal with this.  I hope the twins are making you smile!
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline Keys Girl

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Re: Really not sure what to do
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2011, 09:03:59 PM »
Jill, this sounds like such a difficult set of circumstances.

I've also found that when in doubt the best thing to do is nothing, that advice has served me well in the past and my experience in dealing with people like this is that they can sometimes "enjoy" the attention that a legal suit might bring, even being bold and brazen with the police.  I would carefully detail every contact with every person, get copies of all emails sent to you and other family members for future use but not go to the lawyers without a mountain of evidence.

I would get another telephone with a separate number so you can give that to people that you trust will pass it on, and relax whenever the phone rings, you will know it's someone you want to talk to.

If you don't have a dog, I would get one........a BIG one......one that will prevent anyone from painting anything on your steps again and he'll protect your twins from harm.

It would appear that she has some serious "boundary" issues and doesn't respect her son or his family and in my experience these people sometimes live for conflict, they are confident that they can take anyone else "down".  I wouldn't give her any ammunition by being in touch with her in any way and would alert all family members to avoid any contact with her.




"Today I will be as happy as a seagull with a french fry." Author Unknown

Jillinthesky

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Re: Really not sure what to do
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2011, 05:49:08 AM »
Thanks for the advice everyone.  It has been pretty quiet, at least that I am aware of.  So far no more contact to my dad and stepmom, though I am not sure if they would tell me at this point.  It definitely took me a while to get out of that panic state that this woman puts me in.  Now that it's been a while, I am more calm and rational about the whole thing.  I did have to block a few more of their relatives on FB but now that the only road to getting to us is literally physically showing up, the harassment seems to have stopped.  I will say, that with some thought, I have come to believe that MIL is very insecure and seeks to control her environment and those in it to alleviate some of her insecurity.  I have also learned more from my husband about her, and apparently I didn't even have a chance.  Every girl, be her nice or awful, was on the receiving end of atrocious behavior.  Ignoring the girls, praying for them to go away, nasty talk.  They all hated her.  Some left just because of her.  Heck, even my DH left areas because of her, but she followed, literally.  From CA, to OK, to FL, etc.  But, honestly, that isn't my problem.  Short of some intensive therapy and real change on her part she has burnt her bridges with me.  She doesn't bring anything to the table except anxiety for my husband and I.  So I am just moving on and forcing myself to stop worrying about it. In the end, I control myself and who is allowed access to my children.   And they certainly don't need to hear that mommy has the devil in her or other such nonsense. 
I do however continue to wonder about her motivations.  I know that most likely, those motivations will never be  understandable to me.  Why you would want to force yourself into others lives where you aren't wanted is beyond me.   

Offline Pooh

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Re: Really not sure what to do
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2011, 05:58:14 AM »
I'm so proud of you Jill!  I love this line, "She doesn't bring anything to the table except anxiety for my husband and I."

I think that is good lesson learned and one that Keys has made me think about many times.  We don't need toxic people in our lives.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline tryingmybest

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Re: Really not sure what to do
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2011, 06:33:39 AM »
You have come to a great place Jill!  :) but please continue to take care of and watch out for your family. She sounds, if not crazy really close to it. {{hug}}

Belle

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Re: Really not sure what to do
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2011, 08:19:43 AM »
LOL - TMB, that reminded me of something my mother used to say:

"Now I'm not saying she's crazy, but she knows what a straightjacket smells like."

It still makes me laugh when she says that.

Offline Pooh

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Re: Really not sure what to do
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2011, 08:34:20 AM »
LOL - TMB, that reminded me of something my mother used to say:

"Now I'm not saying she's crazy, but she knows what a straightjacket smells like."

It still makes me laugh when she says that.

Ha ha ha
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline Keys Girl

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Re: Really not sure what to do
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2011, 08:42:58 AM »
She's a very troubled individual, to move across the country and follow her son.  Wherever she goes, trouble is soon to follow.
"Today I will be as happy as a seagull with a french fry." Author Unknown

Offline Pen

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Re: Really not sure what to do
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2011, 10:32:31 PM »
I'm always amazed when people who "know what a straitjacket smells like" (love it) have the wherewithall to travel all around, following people & causing problems. How do they afford to do this? I work hard every day, have never stalked a soul, never painted a cross on anyone's front walk, yet I can't afford to travel around like that! What am I doing wrong, LOL?
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb