Author Topic: Saw Something Heartbreaking Today  (Read 4379 times)

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Victim

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Saw Something Heartbreaking Today
« on: January 02, 2010, 09:26:31 AM »
There is a DIL on our street and she approached me as she wanted to put her garbage with ours so her husband did not see what she was throwing away.

She throws away everything her MIL gives her, doesn't want any of it in her house.

I said no way, that she should be ashamed of herself treating her MIL that way, so she left mad. Then I saw her waiting for the garbage truck with the bag in her hand and she handed it to the garbage man and laughed.

My heart broke.... :'(

cocobars

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Re: Saw Something Heartbreaking Today
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2010, 09:43:59 AM »
I'm sorry you had to witness that.  It probably happens more than anyone really realizes.  I used to give stuff to my son and his girlfriend, until I noticed it was the first stuff to be sold off.  I gave them an antique china cabinet, 56" tv, bakers rack, antique secretary, barbeque grill, etc....  The list goes on, until one day, I showed up with a box of stuff my son wanted.  She came in and he told her about the box of stuff I brought and wanted her to look through it with him.  She didn't have time.  I was back over to see them two weeks later, and it was still there in the same spot, unopened.  I got the message.  Haven't brought anything else. 

What I don't understand, is that they have three kids and eat off of paper plates, get food stamps, etc.  I thought I was doing something special for them.  You learn...

cremebrulee

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Re: Saw Something Heartbreaking Today
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2010, 11:18:00 AM »
There is a DIL on our street and she approached me as she wanted to put her garbage with ours so her husband did not see what she was throwing away.

She throws away everything her MIL gives her, doesn't want any of it in her house.

I said no way, that she should be ashamed of herself treating her MIL that way, so she left mad. Then I saw her waiting for the garbage truck with the bag in her hand and she handed it to the garbage man and laughed.

My heart broke.... :'(

well, good for you for saying something to her....that was a good thing.

Offline isitme?

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Re: Saw Something Heartbreaking Today
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2010, 01:14:09 PM »
That is really sad.  It's really sad that she laughed like that.

Is there anyway to politely refuse things you don't want from a MIL?  I haven't dealt with this too much yet but it's going to come up.  Based on the way I have been treated, I don't want to accept anything from her right now - I've brought her gifts and been told very rudely that she "doens't accept gifts from people". I gave it to her anyways but am thinking I shouldn't bother in the future. But if that is the relationship I will have with her, than I don't want to accept anything from her either.  I know it would be rude, but I'd like to say "thank you but I don't accept gifts from people who don't accept gifts..."  :P  But of course that would never fly....

This might be a different issue than the one survivor is discussing but maybe not?  I would never want to seem ungrateful - and accepting things that you will then just throw out (while laughing) is not only disrespectful and rude but also very wasteful....  I don't think most of the MILs here would be like this but sometimes I've noticed that in-laws give "gifts" or money as a way of making you feel obligated to them - the whole "you owe me because I"ve done you a favor" schtick.  BF didn't understand why I was troubled when I was told over and over how his brother's in-laws bought him (his brother) an expensive watch, a car, a house, a quarter million dollar wedding... then one day when he was commenting on how his mom complained how his brother spent more time with in-laws than them, I said "well, maybe he feels obligated since they gave so much money.."  It did not go over well and I don't think BF gets it to this day. 

sorry for that longer rant but the question I'd like to ask is this - is there anyway polite way to say "thank you but no thank you"?  If I don't have a good relationship with someone why would I accept anything from them?  Especially when I know the gift or favor is going to be filed away in an emotional bank account and held over my head in the future. 

That's why I dont' understand your DILs who accept favors like babysitting etc. (I'm specifically thinking about Anna here but the same could apply to many of you I"m sure) but then they treat you badly...  that just seems so wrong to me.  If I was going to be that rude or disrespectful to someone, why would I accept or even demand a favor from them?  It makes no sense to me... :o
« Last Edit: January 04, 2010, 01:18:31 PM by isitme? »

2chickiebaby

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Re: Saw Something Heartbreaking Today
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2010, 02:02:33 PM »
Is there anyway to politely refuse things you don't want from a MIL?  I haven't dealt with this too much yet but it's going to come up.  Based on the way I have been treated, I don't want to accept anything from her right now - I've brought her gifts and been told very rudely that she "doens't accept gifts from people". I gave it to her anyways but am thinking I shouldn't bother in the future. But if that is the relationship I will have with her, than I don't want to accept anything from her either.  I know it would be rude, but I'd like to say "thank you but I don't accept gifts from people who don't accept gifts..."    But of course that would never fly....
_______________________________________________________________________

I never heard of such a thing!! WHAT??  She doesn't accept gifts from 'people'?  Does she accept them from cats?  I don't understand why she would say that to you.

As far as people giving to get back?  I'm sure that goes on....but you know what?  I found that when I got my new DIL, all the things I saw in shops I wanted to buy her.  I would look at things and say, "DIL would love that!!"  I began only shopping with her in mind.  Crazy isn't it?   It was because I loved her and was thrilled to get a new Daughter to love.

I never wanted anything back but respect.  Yes, I wanted to be loved...I'm not totally altruistic.  But I did want to give.  It's human nature. 

If I give someone something, I don't want to see it thrown out.  I don't want to see them give it away.  It hurts my feelings. It would hurt anyone's feelings. I bought DIL a sofa when they married.  She gave it to her Mother....she had used it a lot and it needed recovering but it still hurt my feelings!!! Her Mother?  She told me about it too.  "I'm going to give this sofa to MY MOTHER".  OH!!!!!! :'(

cocobars

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Re: Saw Something Heartbreaking Today
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2010, 06:35:13 PM »
Isitme, you are being polite by saying it's really sad.  To be honest, I would think of it more as creepy that she laughed like that. 

I'm more like chickiebaby.  I would give things because I was so excited to have a new daughter, that I shopped to please her.  I do that with my grandchildren now.  Woops, gave up on the new daughter part.  It is sad, because it really hurts that you are so excited about someone that smashes your heart for it.  My grandson doesn't!  I'm not finshed yet!  HA!

Offline isitme?

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Re: Saw Something Heartbreaking Today
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2010, 06:14:58 AM »
Thanks for that MIL perspective ladies.  I guess that kind of sincere giving is what I"m used to in my family but not what I've seen so far in my BF's family.  I'm doing some thinking about how to be more positive though.  I feel a little beat up from my counseling session last night  :-\   but I think it was a good thing because it's making me think.

Yes Chickie, I have also never heard someone say "I don't accept gifts from people".  I don't think she would accept it from a cat either - she hates cats.  Once my BF told me she hates EVERYTHING.  But I think that's just her way - to always negate everything.  maybe because of her own insecurities?  In some ways it reminds me of the MIL (I think it was cremebrulee?) who's DIL walked by her on the webcam and didn't say hello..

I think I have to learn to be more sensitive to my FMIL's and BF's issues.  I know I have to.  But I still feel like it's a little bit unfair since no one ever seems to consider MY feelings.  I"m not trying to be passive aggressive or anything, but it does make me a little mad.  I need to think about this more. 

Thanks again!

2chickiebaby

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Re: Saw Something Heartbreaking Today
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2010, 06:24:06 AM »
I sure am sorry about the session, Isitme....I know how you feel about no one ever taking account of your feelings.  I've had to change for everyone and no, it is not fair.  For me, it's been a matter of whether I want to play in the game or not.  If I don't do what I'm supposed to do, I'll be forgotten. Pretty pitiful but true.

I hate that you felt beat up in counseling!! How did that happen if you don't mind me asking?

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Re: Saw Something Heartbreaking Today
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2010, 08:10:25 AM »
Warning: loooooong post ahead in response!

Hi Chickie,
thanks for asking.. I think I’m okay about the counseling feeling a little rough because I’ve always thought the point of counseling is that it makes you think about things you haven’t thought about before which can sometimes be uncomfortable.  The way I see it, I don’t need to pay a professional to tell me what I want to hear or make me feel better because honestly, that’s what my family and friends (you ladies included!) do for me. 

Well the counselor asked me think about what my power issues are (implying that I have them) and to reflect on my own negativity and how this affects my BF. She really made me feel bad for being the “wet blanket” last week when my BF told us how he had “confronted” his mother about her behavior and gotten her to agree to “accept” us.  She said that his mother’s grudging tolerance of me is the best I should hope for but that I should be ecstatic that she’s been able to reach that stage and I should be giving my BF a HUGE thumbs up for making this breakthrough instead of saying “Hmm…okay” like I did.  I think I agree with this – I should be more supportive and open.  But I think she’s also confirmed for me that despite his confident demeanor, my BF has a lot of insecurities and is really desperate for his parents approval which he will never get – this confirmation helps me see my BF with a lot more compassion.  I think I’m going to have to be that source of unconditional love for him and I’m okay with that – it’s just a little scary because I don’t want to let him down..

I realized I’ve made my BF feel insecure because he doesn’t feel I am as committed him because of his family.  And I shoudn’t have said anything that made him feel emasculated because he gets enough of that from his mother.  Even the counselor kind of yelled at me and said “you have this great guy here and any other woman would snap him up in a second but you’re finding things to complain about.”  That made me feel insecure because she’s right – he could find someone else and it doesn’t help that I know his family has been telling him he SHOULD find someone else who is richer, better, good enough for their family etc. etc.  So maybe that’s why I’m finding it hard to let go of my negativity and resentment right now.  Sometimes I think he SHOULD find someone better too but I hate that I feel that way.

One thing that made me feel terrible is that she suggested I might be the type of person who will always find something to complain about and that I needed to think about why I was always focusing on the negative when viewing my future in-laws and to think about how my actions may seem unfriendly to them.  This REALLY struck a chord with me and is what made me feel like a terrible person.  But then when I was thinking about it later, I realized, except for certain things, I’m NOT usually like this and that’s what disturbs me so much about this.   Usually I am a pretty easy going and open minded person, and also generally someone who likes to look on the bright side and give people the benefit of the doubt.

That being said, there are definitely people who “push my buttons” and elicit this kind of strong negative emotional response from me – my BF’s family is now like that….other people include an old friend of mine from college, one or two ex-boyfriends, and my twin sister.   With everyone else, I can be pretty easy going but these people are the ones who really touch/ed a nerve…  When I think about their common factor:  well, first of all, I think many of them were/are a little bit psychologically unhealthy….but that puts the blame on them and not me.  So when I thought a little more deeply about it – I realized that they were all people who often acted like they OWNED me.  Like I was their property so they had the right to control me and expect me to make them the center of their universe.

Unlike the ex’s and old college friend, my relationship with my sister is as strong as ever…..but that’s because I try to keep our lives a little bit separate.  My sister doesn’t like that though – sometimes I think she hasn’t come to terms with a lot of things about our parents’ deaths.  After they passed, we lived together for several years to get through college and to give ourselves a sense of “home”.  I’m glad we did that, but after we grew up a little bit and had more independent lives, I thought it was better that we separate a little bit.  I often feel like she expects me to replace our parents for her and I can’t do that.  Not that I didn’t want to be there for her – but I didn’t want to have a shared life.  I didn’t want joint accounts, I didn’t want to live with her anymore and I didn’t want to go to grad school in the same town – I just wanted a little distance because ironically, I feel like it’s easier to be closer to her when we each have our own lives. 

I got talked into living with her for a few years in our late 20’s while she went through residency and I finished my dissertation, but I found it really stressful and sometimes I think that was a mistake.  But it’s in the past and though I still want to be close, I never want to live with her again.  But sometimes I feel like she thinks I abandoned her the way our parents did.  In turn, I think I respond very negatively to her clinginess and the times I think she is taking me for granted (when SHE wants attention, I have to be there..  when she doesn’t need me, I don’t exist).  I love my sister though but these are just some of the issues I have with her.  As several of my friends have commented over the years “wow, twin relationships are messed up!”

I realized some of this last night when I was hanging out with both my BF and my sister (she’s been staying with me this week while she looks for a place – I have a studio so it’s cramped which probably also wears on our nerves…).  I felt like I was playing ping-pong.  Making sure my sister felt included, then making sure BF felt included, then making sure it went back to my sister….and so on…
Later that night my sister mentioned to me that she could tell BF was desperate for attention and hated the fact that she was taking my attention away from him.  I didn’t really see this as the case – in fact I actually think it was the reverse but when I said “well, you’re also like that too”, she quickly changed the subject..

Okay, so that was a long rant about my sister (like I said – we’re in close quarters right now lol!) but it makes me think about how I respond to people like this:  people who act like they own me and can do whatever they want.  I re-act very very negatively and every little thing they do elicits a very strong emotional response.  I think this might be what’s happening with my BF and his family.  I want to commit but I don’t want to be OWNED.  I’m afraid I’m going to be “engulfed” by his family but I have so little in common with them, I don’t want to be “engulfed” – I just want to have a good relationship.  I’d like to share some things in my life with them.  But I don’t want them to own me.  And that’s how I feel they have acted. 

I think there’s a lot more there that I need to think about – maybe in terms of the broader context of my life like my childhood and upbringing, dealing with my parents’ deaths, going to grad school in a very malignant program, doing well in my academic career but being underemployed now and being pretty unhappy with my current job…..but I try not to complain about these things.  For example, I try to look on the bright side and say “wow, I’m lucky to have ANY job right now” etc. etc.   But I think these things have been hard on me too – and maybe that’s why I sometimes feel insecure and defensive. 

Sorry for the very long rant.  I think there’s a lot I still need to think about and I’m trying really hard to process everything I’m getting from this counseling.  But writing it out like this makes me feel better and makes things seem clearer to me. 

Wow, going to counseling is hard work!  How have the rest of you who have gone found it? 

2chickiebaby

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Re: Saw Something Heartbreaking Today
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2010, 09:17:39 AM »
Isitme....I think you're a lot like I am in some ways. Not all ways but some.  I had breakfast with some old friends today and both said that they knew I was too sensitive and that I take everything as a hurt against me.  That makes about the 50th close friend who has told me that.  Okay, I get it.  Can't help it!

I am sure it's because of the childhood I had. I don't know how I lived through it but I did and I know others had it much worse. I do think that when you experience an abandonment it makes you a different person than you might have been.  Maybe your situation made you that way too.

I see danger everywhere too...I sensed that in your words. Your BF sounds like a dream guy and I know you're trying your best.  Most likely, if you're like me, you see some danger where there really is none.  Or, danger where the danger isn't as dire as you think it is?

I make mountains out of molehills and at the time, I'd swear they were mountains.... Only to find out later that it wasn't like that at all.  Drats!!

I do find counseling to be hard.  All this work and for what?  Only to find out that I'm too sensitive?  I am better than I was but hey, I'm about dead now so thanks a whole lot for the lesson. 

These are just rambling thoughts and might not apply to you at all.  I said all this to say...everything is not as horrible as I make it out to be.  I think the new term in Psychobabble is or was:  "Horribilizing"   (I'm "on" to them!!)




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Re: Saw Something Heartbreaking Today
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2010, 09:39:51 AM »
I think you're right chickie - not everything is as horrible as we think it is sometimes.  But it's tough to open yourself up to that.  Maybe abandonment does do something to you to create that - my parents were great but sometimes I feel like they emotionally abandoned us years before they ever died because they had their own complex issues going on.  Hmm.... lot's to process I guess but thanks for listening and helping me work out my thoughts.

I'm thinking about calling my FMIL this week - just to see how it goes.  I"m not sure how to go about it though so I"ve emailed my counselor to ask her what she thought about it.  Do you think it's a good idea?

2chickiebaby

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Re: Saw Something Heartbreaking Today
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2010, 11:32:58 AM »
Isitme....I'd just be very careful in the emailing.  The reason is that you don't want to get any bad reactions from the FMIL.  You might not but she might wonder why you're emailing her now since you haven't been in contact.

Can you just let it be until you go there?  Not everything can be tackled all at once.  I know you're wanting it to be over with and done and everything made right but just taking it in baby steps, done with kindness and consideration, might work a lot better with her than rushing in.

I hope that makes sense. Sometimes just saying nothing but being 'kinder than necessary' is the ticket.  You know that sentiment...'be kinder than necessary because everyone you know is fighting a battle of some kind whether you know it or not.'

That is one true statement!


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Re: Saw Something Heartbreaking Today
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2010, 11:44:47 AM »
thanks for the words of advice - that is totally a true statement!  Actually, I just checked in with my counselor who advised me to go ahead and call her tonight....am going to post a separate thread about that....already nervous but trying to take some deep breaths!

Invisible

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Re: Saw Something Heartbreaking Today
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2010, 07:10:20 PM »
Survivor,
My son told me my DIL threw out everything I gave her. I don't care I still give her stuff. I just gave her a Christmas gift. No, I don't spend a lot of money on gifts like I used to do. But I give her things knowing she will toss it. Why?

Because she allows me to see my GD. After my son died she did not allow me to see her for 10 months. Yes, I will give her something just to let her know I am grateful. If she doesn't like what I gave her ..I hope she learns in time to "re-gift" rather than throw it away. It is better for the environment.

There is a DIL on our street and she approached me as she wanted to put her garbage with ours so her husband did not see what she was throwing away.

She throws away everything her MIL gives her, doesn't want any of it in her house.

I said no way, that she should be ashamed of herself treating her MIL that way, so she left mad. Then I saw her waiting for the garbage truck with the bag in her hand and she handed it to the garbage man and laughed.

My heart broke.... :'(

technorebel

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Re: Saw Something Heartbreaking Today
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2010, 10:44:37 PM »
It's funny I should see your post.  I've been crying off and on all day about the same thing.  My dil doesn't like anything I've gotten either for them or for the baby.  I drive up to babysit for them 3 days a week so I notice what's in the house and where my gifts have gone. 
Clothes I've gotten for the baby are never worn or simply disappear.  I tried asking her ahead of time "Do you like this outfit?" etc. and she always says no or I don't care for it.   The toys I got for my grandaughter for Christmas are in the garage still in the boxes and bags, a few are just simply gone.  I brought a little rocking pony I bought for baby out of the garage last time I was there, and on my next visit, it was back in the garage. 
I feel like my gifts are somehow not expensive enough or not the right brand or something, but no one will tell me anything.  My sister (who I am on the outs with), her gift to the baby has a prominent place on the dresser and my dil wrote her an efusive thank you on Facebook describing the gift as a treasure. 
My husband says just don't buy them anything, but how can I not want to buy things for my only grandaughter? 
I don't know why I'm up late reading this board when I have to be up at 3 AM to drive up there and it's after midnight now.  I just can't seem to get over the feeling of not being good enough.  I'm very careful to do exactly as she says in regard to feeding the baby, etc., and never to say anything that could be construed as criticism as I know how sensitive new mothers can feel. 
I'm going to stop complaiing now, but just one more thing:  I have a big ugly plastic crucifix on my wall and have had it there for 25 years because it came from my lovely mother-in-law.  But then maybe my dil doesn't think of me as lovely.