Hi Folks -
I used to come here years ago but couldn't remember my old name/password. My DIL had cut me out of new GD's life and this place was like intensive care for me. You all helped me to recovery and develop new strengths and I'm grateful for that.
Things are better since I apologized and adopted the "I wont do/say anything that would come close to making you want to kick me out of GKs life again" approach and have gotten on with my life. It's a tricky path - to bend enough to keep our family is intact and also make sure my own integrity is intact at the same time.
I do run into situations that leave me speechless and will be asking for suggestions for words that would fill the void. Sometimes when we visit, I find myself just looking at DIL and thinking, "Huh?" - she is unlike any other person I've had in my life.
Anyway, glad to be back
Welcome back. :) When I was facing very similar circumstances, I eventually learned to say to myself, 'This makes perfect sense to her.' My expectations got in the way for a long time until I came to the realization that she probably found me to be just as off-the-wall.
Hi Luise -
Good point. I'm still working on the internal adjustments and haven't fully arrived yet at complete acceptance. So far, I just look, listen, get quiet and find a way to leave soon after and then it's hard to want to look at her for a while. Then we go home, time passes, and we start over again, trying to be comfortable with each other. This might be the best I can hope for.
I do have a specific question - what do other MILs do when the DIL is publicly excoriating the young GCs? And I mean harsh, fierce, startling type stuff. The type that turns heads. Then it passes and things are back to normal. It's the public humiliation part that bothers me most.
If I say something to DIL, I may not ever see the GK again. If I don't, then the GK don't have a sense of backup. Once, DIL came to me when she noticed I was bothered by it and told me that I had misunderstood, she wasn't angry.
I've taken to making a point of finding the GC later to cheer them up but one is getting angrier and angrier over the years. (preschool age)
I'm basically just looking for words to fill the void. Or do I just learn to live with the silence?
I have a very hard time watching abuse of any kind. Children being raised by cruel parents, cruelty to aging parents, cruelty to spouses...and for that matter, cruelty to animals. My thought is often to wonder if this is what is done in public, what do the defenseless have to live through in private? I know from experience that criticzing the abuser often ups the amps on their inner wrath. They are expressing something that is about them. You are offering the only antidote I know of and that is compassionate validation. It tells the victim that all adults, spouses, adult children and/or pet owners, for that matter, are not insecure and vicious. As you know, I am in my late 80s. I see the same thing on my retirement campus in the form of neglect and disinterest. It can be lethal. I can't step in and challenge an adult child who only comes once every 6 months to see a parent (and perhaps check on the proximity of an inheritance) but I can offer love. That's what you're doing.
Welcome back, F. I get your frustration and sadness over this.
I suppose most of us feel that we should step in if any child anywhere is being mistreated. Some of us work in professions where we are required to report abuse. But it stops at our AC & their spouses, I guess...a sticky situation for sure.
I do not have GC yet and do not know how I would handle it. Keep reading and posting.
Sorry to hear about this type of discipline. That's how I was raised, and it's taken me many years to heal from it. Verbal abuse is as bad as physical -- maybe worse.
I didn't read any mention of your AS -- does he agree with it?
If these were my GCs, would speak to my son about it.
And we have done this several times in the past when abuse was apparent. The parents never kept us from seeing our GKs afterwards, but each family is different. But I could NOT stay silent.
Parents who behave this way have emotional issues that need attention; otherwise, the children will continue to absorb the negative overflow.
I too was raised this way and learned to shut up and shut down. I am 51 and still recovering! That's why I am so dern wordy as an adult!!!!
My elder relatives all say now...if I had known I'd have reported it.....but my parents did not show their worst outside to others.
On the surface, we looked like a happy and well adjusted family but if my relatives followed their gut in witnessing verbal abuse and humiliation, maybe my parents could have gotten council to break these damned family traditions of disresepoect and control? I still cringe when I see the perfect family photos from my past. Even if I see someone else's perfect lil fam all dressed in their best lined up in from of the fireplace, I get a bit of a shiver even if the family truly is healthy!
6 children in 10 years to blue collar, hard working people who were 19 and 20, uneducated, stubborn and ill equipped. Neither of my parents graduated from highschool but very capable and highly intelligent. So then WHY? Simple ignorance and following the sins of their parents. Reacting to their own abusive and or neglectful childhoods.....and the country was in turmoil! Luise can attest because she too is a child of WWII and the Great Depression. Times were imossibly hard and everyone was worried. These "sins of our fathers" become apparent when we model that abuse from when we were on the other end of it. When times are impossible and we marvel at the ability to cope, this is when the ghosts come back. Subconsiusly, we become them and it shows in our action or inaction. ! We do not ebven knownwhy,e just shove it under ther ug and treat it as nonsense....owe
So please trust your instincts? Luise is right! What do they do in private when no one is looking or in earshot?! It deserves a conversation and that is why your heart led u here again. Welcome back:)
These situations are so delicate and u r in a tight spot. Maybe tak with ds about it and tell him what u are saying to us. u are worried. We get so disgusted with iour kids when they get mouthy or disrepectful but for some reason, parents do not think the kids deserve common respect. Children get ignored, shouted at, cussed at or talked to with a tone that should be used with a terrorist but never a child.
I know we are human and lose it at times but the goal should be the golden rule. If u want disrecprct and distrust from your kids then raise them as a bully.
we want them to obey but be free minded
we want them to speak nicely to others
we want them to control their anger
we want them to take ownership for their mistakes and lack of good jugement: (fix it, and prevent it from happening again)
but do we model that good behavior? How often do we lose it in front of them? Do we apologize and explain why we were wrong and offer a new way of dealing with stress or disapointment? Or are we like so many and say do as I say not as I do?
I would bet $1000 that your poor DIL was treated worse than what she is showing others in her parenting. In her mind, she may be thiunking she is a perfect mom because after all, her kids have it way better than she? Well that is not good enough!