Author Topic: Ambushed  (Read 4086 times)

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Offline pam1

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Ambushed
« on: February 28, 2011, 07:42:52 AM »
Alright, so most of you know we are cut off from MIL.  She knows we are cut off from her.

What does she do?  Ambushes us this weekend at an event she wasn't invited to, but I should have known she would get in.  Surprisingly, I wasn't angry, I found the whole thing amusing.  DH was angry though.  Anyway, she's flapping around hugging and kissing us, picking up DD (who's 8 lol) and acting like nothing happened.  I'm pretty sure she was hoping that I would flip out in public and she could point at me as the "bad guy."  But I found it all very funny...I'm starting to wonder if I'm cracked in the head lol.

Anyway, so I guess I'm doing better...she doesn't bother me much, that whole episode proved to me that I can be in the same room with her and not be ashamed of my behavior later.  BUT, I'm not one to pretend like nothing has happened.  And DH is still very upset.  We were told (by her counselor) that having a conversation with MIL would never work b/c her self esteem is too low that she cannot acknowledge wrong doing and instead will attack immediately. (and I know this to be true as we've experienced it many times) If we want to resolve this, we should write her a letter.

Now what in the world do I say?  I mean, if she can't handle a conversation....wouldn't a letter just be worse? Do I write down explicit "rules" with consequences for her?  I mean, the whole thing seems so...childish. 
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

overwhelmed123

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Re: Ambushed
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2011, 07:51:26 AM »
I don't want to say the counselor is "wrong," because I hate to criticize a stranger...but my DH tried the whole letter route and it got us nowhere with a capital "N."  He got a 9 page novel back from his mom where she spun almost everything he had to say and justified the rest.  She lied about several things, I mean just flat out lied about the way something happened.  She spent 9 pages throwing out all the stops about why she is not at fault for anything that has happened and he should feel ashamed of himself because the things that have happened with him have caused her to be more unhappy than when her previous husband died, etc etc, then at the end throws in a "I'm sorry for whatever I have done to cause you pain."  Butttt you just spent 9 pages explaining that you don't feel you've done anything wrong?  The letter didn't do anything for us- and I would imagine that my MIL spins it around for the same reason.  She has low self esteem and is insecure and cannot accept responsibility for ANYTHING in life.  From my understanding, she has always been this way and she's surrounded herself with enablers. 

Then when my DH wrote his grandpa a letter, he just completely dismissed it.  Wouldn't even talk to him about it.  Called him like nothing had happened and when DH brought up the letter where he told him his feelings, grandpa said, "As far as I'm concerned, there's nothing to discuss."

Everyone is different of course, but I agree with you.  If she isn't going to hear you guys out in person, the letter probably won't work except to give her something to show everyone how mean you are.

holliberri

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Re: Ambushed
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2011, 07:56:46 AM »
Pam,

I commend you for staying as cool as a cucumber. Handling it like that by surprise is awesome, and for you, it just reinforced the type of person you are.
 
I don't normally advocate letters, but since the counselor said so..then maybe it will help, but only if you're ready to write one and maybe open the door open for communication.

I wa reading somewhere that when you didn't like someone's behavior, you needed to tell them that, and say that the next time it happens again, there will be a specific consequence. List the consequence.

Something like..."When you do XYZ, I fee like ABC. I will not tolerate this, and if it happens again, I will do DEF. DEF= not talking to for a week, not allowing you over at our home...etc. " A letter like that would maybe be helpful for her: your feelings about what she does are there, as well as what will happen if the behavior is repeated. I've never actually tried this, but my guess is that since it is also recommended by counselors, it must've worked at some point.

Yes, it does seem childish. But then again, I'm not sure you've been dealing with an adult.

seasage

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Re: Ambushed
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2011, 07:57:28 AM »
What's to resolve?  As far as I can see, if you cut her off, then you must mend the fences if you want to resolve this.  And in that case, a letter mentioning boundaries and consequences is not a method of mending fences.  The letter you are contemplating will make things worse.

If she cut you off, I say fuggedaboudit. 

overwhelmed123

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Re: Ambushed
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2011, 07:59:23 AM »
Holli, I agree.  It would give her something to base her behavior on.  My H told them the same thing- "When you do this, it makes me feel ___.  I don't like it, and I won't tolerate it any longer.  Now, when you do this, I will react by ____ ."  He even added that he was going into detail about it BECAUSE he loves her and cares about her and WANTS to have a good relationship.  Still..nope.  He was deemed as cruel and even a BULLY because he spoke up for himself.

overwhelmed123

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Re: Ambushed
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2011, 08:00:41 AM »
What's to resolve?  As far as I can see, if you cut her off, then you must mend the fences if you want to resolve this.  And in that case, a letter mentioning boundaries and consequences is not a method of mending fences.  The letter you are contemplating will make things worse.

If she cut you off, I say fuggedaboudit.

Seasage, if she cut her ILs off to protect herself from certain behaviors, she can't "mend fences" until those behaviors are addressed and corrected so everyone can have a mutually respectful relationship.  Don't you think?  It's not all up to her.

holliberri

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Re: Ambushed
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2011, 08:01:30 AM »
I'm not saying the letter would work, but at it could be possible...plus...Doctor's orders and all....

I really don't know.

Offline pam1

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Re: Ambushed
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2011, 08:04:42 AM »
What's to resolve?  As far as I can see, if you cut her off, then you must mend the fences if you want to resolve this.  And in that case, a letter mentioning boundaries and consequences is not a method of mending fences.  The letter you are contemplating will make things worse.

If she cut you off, I say fuggedaboudit.

Actually, DH cut her off and I went along with it.  You may not know our history with her and that's fine.  But DH and I both are kind and generous people and don't cut off others for no reason.  DH is the type of person who will give you the shirt off his back and never mention it again. 
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

overwhelmed123

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Re: Ambushed
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2011, 08:06:52 AM »
HB- I agree, and if nothing else, at least Pam could say she gave it her "all."  MIL's counselor (5th one in a year) asked if we would come in and talk to him.  We didn't want to and didn't think it would help at all.  DH really struggled with it but we decided that we would do it this once, only with this one counselor.  That way nobody could say we refused to do what we could to help MIL "get better."  We did it and it felt good to get it out on the table.  Did MIL ever go back to him once he met with her and said, "Your DIL is not the devil and you have some things to work on?"  I don't think so.  But we could say in good conscience that he asked for our help and we gave it to him, the rest was up to her.  We did more than our "fair share."  It might feel good to be able to do that, Pam.

Offline pam1

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Re: Ambushed
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2011, 08:08:14 AM »
OW, that's what I was thinking about the letter.  I'm not sure it would help, unless I just state certain behaviors I don't like and that I won't be around them without going into detail of what she actually did.  But then I don't see how that works?  How can you mend fences if you can't talk to someone when they have hurt you?

Holli, thanks.  I do wonder, her doctor knows her better and all, but still.  I just can't see being able to write this letter and have it be better than a conversation.  She'd have something to wave around at anytime and I'm sure she would show it to others.

I don't know, I would like to air it all out with her but I don't know how you can do it with someone like this.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

seasage

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Re: Ambushed
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2011, 08:16:09 AM »
What's to resolve?  As far as I can see, if you cut her off, then you must mend the fences if you want to resolve this.  And in that case, a letter mentioning boundaries and consequences is not a method of mending fences.  The letter you are contemplating will make things worse.

If she cut you off, I say fuggedaboudit.

Seasage, if she cut her ILs off to protect herself from certain behaviors, she can't "mend fences" until those behaviors are addressed and corrected so everyone can have a mutually respectful relationship.  Don't you think?  It's not all up to her.

I don't think either Pam1 or her DH can change those behaviors.  Only MIL can.  And I believe that a letter that spells out the offending behaviors in detail is not only useless (MIL already knows what the problem is), it is also aggressive and likely to prolong the separation for many years. 

I would sit in the bushes on this.  MIL needs time to think.

seasage

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Re: Ambushed
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2011, 08:27:03 AM »
What does she do?  Ambushes us this weekend at an event she wasn't invited to, but I should have known she would get in.  Surprisingly, I wasn't angry, I found the whole thing amusing.  DH was angry though.  Anyway, she's flapping around hugging and kissing us, picking up DD (who's 8 lol) and acting like nothing happened.  I'm pretty sure she was hoping that I would flip out in public and she could point at me as the "bad guy."  But I found it all very funny...I'm starting to wonder if I'm cracked in the head lol.

I don't think she was hoping you would flip out.  I think her actions are those of an insecure woman who would like to have a relationship with her DS and GD, but who doesn't know how to make it happen. 

I glad you found this amusing instead of annoying or threatening.  I hope your DH eventually sees it that way too. 

I presume that during this weekend event, MIL did not do any of the things that caused you to cut her off?  If that is true, I believe she is actually trying....

AnonymousDIL

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Re: Ambushed
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2011, 08:33:42 AM »
...but my DH tried the whole letter route and it got us nowhere with a capital "N."  He got a 9 page novel back from his mom where she spun almost everything he had to say and justified the rest.  She lied about several things, I mean just flat out lied about the way something happened.

Been there doe that. MIL also flat out lied. Said the things never happened. So, my advice. Since you didn't try to kill her at this event lol, just leave it alone. Do your best to get your DH to the point you are at. I hope I can get to that point too lol I'm close, I no longer want to kill her, but a smack up alongside the head would feel great! lol

And, I think she was probably doing it to get a rise out of you too. Bravo to you for not letting it bother you. How did you do that? What is the secret???? I desperately need to learn!

Offline pam1

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Re: Ambushed
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2011, 08:36:48 AM »
No, Seasage, I know her.  Her kissing and hugging is an act, she only does it to me and DD and it is to show others that she is the loving one while we are not.  She has used it in the past to demonstrate to others that I'm not affectionate while she is.  She has never done it in private or at an occasion when she doesn't have an audience.  This event had friends and family that she could show everyone that she didn't cause the rift, see she loves me, she is kissing me.  It would just be icing on the cake to get me to pull away or act out in some way in front of others.

I'm not sure that DH will ever see this as amusing, he's quite embarassed and hurt.

Yes, MIL did something that crossed boundaries at this event.  She showed up uninvited and ambushed all of us, when she knows clearly that she has hurt both DH and I.  She knows that DH does not want to be around her and did I mention, she was not invited?  lol

I don't know if my amusement is a good thing or not.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

Offline pam1

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Re: Ambushed
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2011, 08:40:16 AM »
...but my DH tried the whole letter route and it got us nowhere with a capital "N."  He got a 9 page novel back from his mom where she spun almost everything he had to say and justified the rest.  She lied about several things, I mean just flat out lied about the way something happened.

Been there doe that. MIL also flat out lied. Said the things never happened. So, my advice. Since you didn't try to kill her at this event lol, just leave it alone. Do your best to get your DH to the point you are at. I hope I can get to that point too lol I'm close, I no longer want to kill her, but a smack up alongside the head would feel great! lol

And, I think she was probably doing it to get a rise out of you too. Bravo to you for not letting it bother you. How did you do that? What is the secret???? I desperately need to learn!

That's what I think would happen, she has just bold faced lied before. 

I have no idea what the secret is, I do know it kept running through my mind this was like a horrible sitcom or cartoon.  And she does act cartoonish in some ways with all the flapping and bouncing about.  And it's somewhat like The Truman Show, everyone knows but no one says anything.  I'm not sure how to adequately explain it, every single person at that event knew what was going on (hey, she told everyone!) Just so bad that it was funny, if you know what I mean? 
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift