Author Topic: DIL with Bulemia/Control Issues - Any suggestions?  (Read 5690 times)

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Blind-Sided

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DIL with Bulemia/Control Issues - Any suggestions?
« on: June 13, 2011, 09:17:34 PM »
I'll be honest from the beginning.  My son is a factor in this problem because he is an adult with ADD and underdeveloped social skills. Actually, one of the charming things about him is his naivete. In essence, a little boy in a grown man’s body. He met this wife online. Inside of one week they were sexually involved but I was unaware of it. He told me she was living in her grandmother’s unfinished basement and asked if she could come stay at our house. I stipulated that she had to pay rent and she would have a separate room. That very same day she moved in – literally. And when I saw her for the first time, I realized that she was anorexic. She admitted to being a recovering bulemic. Food in my pantry was pushed aside for hers, which was baby food and non-nutritional fillers. Dishes in my cupboard were replaced with hers. And, she never stayed in the room I prepared for her, instead she moved into my son’s room. I didn’t want to come off of as a prude, so i said nothing. She would sit and watch TV with me in the room and not say a word to me. If I left the room, she changed the channel to what she wanted to watch and still never said a word to me. During the time she was with us, I learned that the day they met on the internet, she had ended a 5 year engagement with someone else. I felt that my presence in my own home was disappearing and found myself keeping to my room to avoid her. My son worked a lot and at night, so I saw little of him. When I did see him, it was briefly as he headed to him room and there, behind closed doors, would start the sexual activity with this girl. The experience was embarrassing and humiliating. One time when his married brother came over to visit, the ceiling started creaking from the sexual activity upstairs. His brother got up from where he was sitting, stomped upstairs, and banged on the door, yelling at his brother to knock off the activity and start respecting the home. After a few weeks, I boiled over and demanded that she leave. My son got upset, took a stand, and left with her.

As I’ve said, my son is not perfect. He has stolen from me, he lies often and has an unrealistic perspective of the world. Yet, the one thing he always affirmed was that he loved me and cared deeply for me.  Moreover, he honestly believes that if he works hard enough, he can fix problems.  I think that's one of the reasons he was attracted to this girl -- because she was in distress when he met her and he wanted to "fix" her.

After they left my home, we learned that the girl was pregnant. She claimed she didn’t know when she got pregnant due to her bulemia and stated that it was only a few weeks from the time she announced it. We calculated from the baby’s arrival and found that conception likely occurred the first week my son met this girl. Five months into the pregnancy, she proposes to my son and asks him to get married in Las Vegas so his child won’t be illegitimate. In essence, a shot-gun wedding.

Not long after they start living together, my son loses the best job he ever had in his life. He had a 401(k), he was planning on going to school and he had promotion prospects.

A few months after the baby is born, they disappear. It took me an entire year of searching on the internet to find them. They had moved 400 miles away to an area where a large number of her family members lived. My son now works his tail-end off at a thankless job that doesn’t pay him enough. Also, his employer is less than ethical and pays my son under the table so he can under-report his earnings in order to qualify for Medicare. Despite being on Medicare, they don’t have enough money for food and other necessities. After I located them again, I drove 400 miles and left a present for my granddaughter at the door. My daughter-in-law had a fit that I had found them. My son was overjoyed. Since that time, we’ve had a less than ideal relationship, although I have tried. I have gifted generously on holidays and birthdays. Despite that, I got to hold my granddaughter for all of 5 minutes when she was 18 months old. In the last 2 years, my son called to borrow money, which I paid in good faith believing that my granddaughter would go without if I didn’t. After the third incident of borrowing, I found that a week after they borrowed money from me they went gambling. So that ended.

These days when I text my son, my daughter-in-law responds for him. How do I know? My son can’t spell for anything and the messages I get back are perfect in grammar and punctuation. In the last few weeks, my son called and said that they were going under financially. I work in the legal field and he asked me for financial help to file a bankruptcy. I told him I was tired of paying money to him and getting nothing in return, so I proposed that I would pay for a bankruptcy if he would move closer to me and get a job because jobs were better in my area than his. The reasoning of this was to get him away from his dishonest boss and to get him back in a situation where he had the medical benefits he so desperately needs. My son has a blood disorder and has had three heart attacks due to clotting issues in the last 18 months (he’s barely 30). My son was all for the plan and we proceeded with getting his credit report, with his permission and at my cost, getting copies of his 401(k) because the IRS says he owes taxes, etc. My daughter-in-law found out I was helping him, went ballistic and reamed him up one side and down another. She told him she would leave him if he went with my plan. My son is easily intimidated by people who scream at him.  While talking with him, I could hear him saying he could do this himself and he didn't need my help.  More confusion on my end, because he was the one who called me for the help.  Then, I realized she was in the room and telling him what to say to me.  After that, my son lied and told me his boss gave him a raise and gave him $4,000 to pay for his bankruptcy. I doubt that this is true because I’ve been checking recent bankruptcy filings in the state and nothing has shown up.

I know that my son is part of the problem. I worry about him because of his inability to see underlying motives of people and this makes him fairly maleable when it comes to people. I’m pretty sure my daughter-in-law’s bulemia is the underlying issue with her control. She uses threats to make my son do what she wants.  She intercepts his email and will respond to his text messages for him.  My DIL refuses to work citing the desire to stay home with her child until she is old enough for school. Now that my granddaughter is preschool age, my DIL has become pregnant again. I find it interesting that this came about just as the issue of her returning to work became a consideration.

I’ve tried telling my son that he is in the middle of a controlling relationship, but my attempts only seem to distance him more. and I realize that she has him brainwashed.  Like many others, I’ve come to the realization that I can’t change this situation and in all likelihood, it won’t change. I am becoming used to the idea that I won’t have a relationship with my granddaughter or her yet to be born sister. It’s extremely painful to turn away, but I know I have to do this and force myself to look toward healthier relationships with my other son, his wife, and my grandson. Or with my daughter and her husband and their yet to be born children.

I look back on this situation and remember the day I visited a women’s convention about a year before my son met my DIL. While strolling through with my daughter, I became adventurous and handed a psychic $10 for a quick reading. One of the first things out of her mouth was that I was going to lose a child. . . . And so I have.

I would appreciate suggestions on this situation.

Offline Pen

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Re: DIL with Bulemia/Control Issues - Any suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2011, 10:14:12 PM »
Blind-sided, welcome to the site. I'm glad you're here where you'll find comfort and strength for your journey towards finding your footing again. My heart breaks for you; soon you'll hear from those who've struggled with similar situations. I've heard that bulimia/anorexia are about control, & it does sound as if your DS is in a very controlling relationship.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline pam1

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Re: DIL with Bulemia/Control Issues - Any suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2011, 10:16:16 PM »
Blind-sided, welcome :)

If you haven't already done so please read the Modified Forum Agreement in the category Open Me First.  We ask all new members to do so not b/c there is anything wrong with your post.

May I ask how old your son is now?
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

Blind-Sided

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Re: DIL with Bulemia/Control Issues - Any suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2011, 11:08:50 PM »
Thanks for the welcome.  Agreement has been read.  My son turned 30 last December.  Still 18 emotionally.

Offline lancaster lady

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Re: DIL with Bulemia/Control Issues - Any suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2011, 12:57:24 AM »
Welcome Blindsided :
I think you have already decided the best path to take albeit painful .
I think you have been used and abused enough .The only person that can change your son's lifestyle is himself .
You have done your best to point him the right direction , however if he chooses another route , there's not a
lot you can do .
I think you have to stand firm on the monetary funds , that might jolt him back to reality .
We do our best when they are small to protect them from all evils , no so easy when they are adults .

Offline Pooh

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Re: DIL with Bulemia/Control Issues - Any suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2011, 06:18:10 AM »
Welcome Blind-Sided.  I am so sorry.  What a horrible situation.  Two people, both with very big issues.  I think that in itself is never going to resolve.  They are both dealing with mental issues and I don't see how they can help each other, because they are not even helping themselves.

LL said it well.  You are taking the best path, although it hurts.  You can not enable them any longer, and yes, that's what we do when we keep giving in to monetary or "helping" requests and never see results.  It sounds like you have done everything you can to try and see that they have help, and it is not working.  They have to want to heal and get better and nothing you do is going to make them seek help. 

Reading your post, it was obvious that you know what you need to do after years of trying.  Keep writing and venting here to work through your hurt and anger.  It's time to heal yourself.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline luise.volta

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Re: DIL with Bulemia/Control Issues - Any suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2011, 07:17:17 AM »
There is no path around, over or under what you are facing…you have to go through it. I'm so sorry. Your pain can't be decreased here but it can be understood.  You went way beyond where I would have gone when your home was invaded and taken over.

I have a sort-of great grandson, (his gramma is my sort-of daughter,) who is in high school facing similar challenges and the idea of him, in his innocence, going out into the world terrifies us.

I agree that your only course of action is to focus on the rest of your family and not involve yourself further, since your attempts to bring clarity have brought him pressure and stress. What a heartbreak to have to face and accept. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

foofoo

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Re: DIL with Bulemia/Control Issues - Any suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2011, 09:35:06 AM »
Blind-sided,

Here is my two cents.  Please keep in mind that I am coming from the perspective of a DIL who refuses to have any contact with her MIL for a variety of reasons.

First, you need to drop the whole "my DIL is a manipulative nutjob" attitude.  I don't if you realize you are coming across that way, but you are.  Your son is a grown man.  You can treat him as a child all you want, but reality is that he is old enough to hold a job, marry, and father two children.  He is a man and he is responsible for his own actions to the same degree as anyone else.  His wife is not responsible for his choices.

Second, those grandchildren of yours are first and foremost her children.  She is the one who gets up with them at night and provides for them.  As such, she has primary say in how they are raised and who they are exposed to.  Reality is, if they were to divorce tomorrow I would bet dollars to donuts that she would receive full custody.  If you want to see your grandkids, you are going to have to make peace with her directly, not just your son.  I don't know what it is that you may have done to upset her and I get the impression that you don't even know.  So, you might want to find out what it is that you did that ticked her off so bad.  Maybe she really just a nutjob, but I think it is more likely than not that you did something that really ticked her off, whether you realize it or not.  For instance, my MIL went around accusing my whole family of being thieves and me of being a whore.  Of course, she didn't do it to my face and she is too oblivious to realize that pretty much everything she had to say got back to me.  So, it wouldn't surprise me if my MIL was clueless as to this issue (Please note, my issues with inlaws are far more severe than most so I simply mention them by way of example.  I am not implying that you are like them).  My question to you would be, did you speak of this women to your friends and family because if you did so without justification, you probably owe her an apology?  Did you speak to her directly about the rules of your house that you claim she violated or did you leave that to your son, who may or may not have told what they were?

If you want a relationship with your grandchildren or with your son, assuming that he doesn't divorce, you really need to sit down and think long and hard about your actions and your sons actions.  It sounds like you have spent lots of time thinking about your dils actions and blaming her for your issues, without considering your own families role in the conflict.  I know you love your son and it is much easier to blame his wife, who you don't have such strong feelings of affection for, but similarly, if you tick of your dil, she is going to be much less likely to forgive you than your son, who has similarly strong feelings of affection for his mother.  You are not her mother and it sounds like she doesn't even like you, let alone love you.

Offline jdtm

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Re: DIL with Bulemia/Control Issues - Any suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2011, 10:12:26 AM »
Quote
If you want to see your grandkids, you are going to have to make peace with her directly, not just your son.  I don't know what it is that you may have done to upset her and I get the impression that you don't even know.  So, you might want to find out what it is that you did that ticked her off so bad.

Sometimes, DIL, it is the result of a mental health illness.  Those with personality disorders "perceive" they have been wronged when; in fact, their perception is totally bazaar.  I know - been there.  But, it is up to  the son to "rectify" the situation and often, they are too scared to do so.  This is not to let the son "off the hook"; but it is a fact.  And, those of us caught in this "web" struggle to survive.  Oh - by the way, I do know why my ex DIL shunned and abused and smeared my name - I caught her physically abusing her children (threw the little girl against the wall and then repetitively bashed her on the head) and I told her father.  Unfortunately, our son did not believe me (although he did state "Mom never lies") - then again, maybe he did as the "abuse" did lessen.  Sometimes, we can't win ....

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Re: DIL with Bulemia/Control Issues - Any suggestions?
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2011, 10:36:01 AM »
Quote
Like many others, I’ve come to the realization that I can’t change this situation and in all likelihood, it won’t change. I am becoming used to the idea that I won’t have a relationship with my granddaughter or her yet to be born sister. It’s extremely painful to turn away, but I know I have to do this and force myself to look toward healthier relationships with my other son, his wife, and my grandson. Or with my daughter and her husband and their yet to be born children.

I am very sorry for what you have been through.  As a parent you want to protect your child always, but there are some lessons he has to learn for himself.    It's terrible they're so painful for him to learn and painful for you to watch from afar as he learns.   His health makes it more scary.  I am so sorry.  There is only so much you can do, and you have tried to do it.  He knows you love him and will help him when he does ask.  As far as suggestions, I think you already have the right idea for beginning to move forward. 

Offline lancaster lady

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Re: DIL with Bulemia/Control Issues - Any suggestions?
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2011, 11:05:36 AM »
Foofoo:

If you read Blindsided OP , you will see she housed her sons partner , even though she had never met her ,who then showed her no respect whatsoever .
When staying in someone's house , especially the person who has taken you in , I think  deserves a bit more consideration
than this person showed her . If her son's partner wanted to give a good impression of herself I think she went the wrong
way about it .
I am only sorry that her son went with her when she was shown the door !
As for the rules of the house ? I think having sexual activity in close proximity to your partner's mother , would be against
anybody's rules .

Offline Pen

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Re: DIL with Bulemia/Control Issues - Any suggestions?
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2011, 11:08:29 AM »
As an interesting exercise, I reversed the male/female (DS/DIL) roles in this story. Very interesting, very different view suddenly.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

foofoo

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Re: DIL with Bulemia/Control Issues - Any suggestions?
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2011, 12:37:17 PM »
Foofoo:

If you read Blindsided OP , you will see she housed her sons partner , even though she had never met her ,who then showed her no respect whatsoever .
When staying in someone's house , especially the person who has taken you in , I think  deserves a bit more consideration
than this person showed her . If her son's partner wanted to give a good impression of herself I think she went the wrong
way about it .
I am only sorry that her son went with her when she was shown the door !
As for the rules of the house ? I think having sexual activity in close proximity to your partner's mother , would be against
anybody's rules .

If you recall the woman was paying rent -- OP did not just take her in.  When you rent out a room to another adult in your house, if you don't want adult relations going on in that room, you really should say so before you agree on the rent.  If she was a guest, then, I could see your point, but she wasn't a guest.  She was a tenant.  Her son was the one not paying rent.  If anyone was disrespectful, it was her son.


foofoo

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Re: DIL with Bulemia/Control Issues - Any suggestions?
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2011, 12:46:52 PM »
Quote
If you want to see your grandkids, you are going to have to make peace with her directly, not just your son.  I don't know what it is that you may have done to upset her and I get the impression that you don't even know.  So, you might want to find out what it is that you did that ticked her off so bad.

Sometimes, DIL, it is the result of a mental health illness.  Those with personality disorders "perceive" they have been wronged when; in fact, their perception is totally bazaar.  I know - been there.  But, it is up to  the son to "rectify" the situation and often, they are too scared to do so.  This is not to let the son "off the hook"; but it is a fact.  And, those of us caught in this "web" struggle to survive.  Oh - by the way, I do know why my ex DIL shunned and abused and smeared my name - I caught her physically abusing her children (threw the little girl against the wall and then repetitively bashed her on the head) and I told her father.  Unfortunately, our son did not believe me (although he did state "Mom never lies") - then again, maybe he did as the "abuse" did lessen.  Sometimes, we can't win ....

I guess we just see this differently because I'm sorry, but any person who claims a woman is anorexic, while in the same breath claims this same woman got pregnant within a week and has now had two kids is exaggerating the woman's mental health issues.  A true anorexic isn't fertile enough to have one kid, let alone two in just a few years time.  I'm not saying she doesn't have issues -- we all have our issues.  But I'm not convinced OP's dil is a total fruitcake.  It sounds to me more like they just don't like eachother.  That doesn't mean there aren't dils out there who aren't fruitcakes, I'm just not convinced about this case. 

Plus, if there was child abuse going on, I'm pretty sure OP would have mentioned it.  She seemed to mention anything negative she could possibly come up with.  I can't imagine leaving something like that out.

Offline jdtm

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Re: DIL with Bulemia/Control Issues - Any suggestions?
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2011, 12:54:39 PM »
To be honest, I was replying to my own situation.  I just wanted others to know it is not always about the MIL.  Sometimes, there are other circumstances - as in my case.  Sometimes, there is no way to make "peace" because it takes two.  Many members in our family also wondered what I did to make our DIL so angry; I didn't know (not sure she even did) sometimes it is just being ...  A person who is incapable of logic cannot reason.  I would never have believed this until I lived it.

Sorry if I misunderstood - it's just been a bad day ...  MIL's also have their limits.