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What is going on in this girl's head????

Started by smlgrammy, January 04, 2010, 04:04:01 pm

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I hope you all can help me gain some insight in how to deal with a very strange and upsetting situation. My son and his wife have been married for about 6 yrs. Both are in their 30's and hold responsible jobs. My son has a daughter from a previous relationship, and he and his wife have two precious girls, one three and one 18 mos. Since the 1st baby was born, I have witnessed a major change in how my DIL treats my son. Thefirst child became her whole world, while my son was reduced to chief cook and household helper. My DIL is very insecure and she overcompensates by telling anyone who will listen of some accomplishment or praise she received at work etc.  Not only will she tell the same story at least four to five times when the event occurs, she will remind you several times over the weeks and months to come. She is never interested in what anyone else has to say, and feels a need to constantly talk about herself or the children. This is frustrating enough, but I know she is seeking approval when she does this, so I try not to show how uninterested I am after I have heard the same information for the 4th time on the same day.

If this was all I had to worry about with her, I could handle it fine, but recent events have me very concerned not only for my son, but for the children and for her. Oh, there have been many times that I would like to sit her down and have a chat about how she  can push my buttons but I have refrained. . . so far.

Several months ago she befriended an employee of hers who is a pretty rough looking woman; several tattoos, bad attitude, a man hater. She is a single mom with two children and lives in a pretty rough neighborhood. My DIL began to stay with this woman overnight during the week. Her apt. is relatively close to where they both work. My DIL  lives about 23 miles from work. She came up with excuses like, "I've had such a rough day, I'm too tired to drive home, or, I had a late meeting, I am going to stay with XX tonight." The two children were with her. What began as an infrequent event quickly turned to 3 or 4 times per week!  Lo and behold, before long she told my son that she didn't love him anymore and she was leaving with the girls, and planned to stay at this woman's apt until she found a place of her own.  The baby at that time was barely a year old. Of course, he didn't tell me about any of this until she threatened to leave. I think he was totally embarrassed. He was devastated, and my heart ached for him. She came back after a week or so, but blamed him for her "stress" and unhappiness. I have to give my son some kudos here, as he is a wonderful person. He grew up without his Dad in his life, and vowed he would always be there for his children. He's a loving and supportive father, and does not mind changing dirty diapers. He has always cooked all the meals (he owned 2 restaurants) and helped around the house with chores. I'm not saying he is perfect, but he is far from a man who won't do "women's work." He works hard to provide support for his family as family is most important to him.

When his wife came back she did not change her habit of staying with this woman, and she became addicted to prescription pain medication. I saw her one weekend and could not believe my eyes! She was so out of it that she couldn't even speak or stay awake for more than a few minutes. I thought she was pathetic. My son told me that this was not the first time she had been like this. My oldest granddaughter was visiting her Dad that weekend and saw it too. Actually, it was her birthday. Some celebration huh?

Two week later she informs my son that she is leaving again, this time for good. Everything is his fault because she can never say she is sorry for anything or never apologizes for her behavior. In her mind, she's entitled to act or say anything she wants to. A few days after she left, my son got an emergency call that she had been taken to the emergency room. He rushed there to find that she had had a serious seizure. She had another when my son was there. He said it was the most frightening thing he has ever witnessed.  They kept her for three days, and found that she had taken too many pain pills and had induced cocaine the previous night!! The seizures were very serious and could have killed her.  She asked a nurse for a breast pump (I was taking care of the baby) and when the nurse checked her chart and found she had done cocaine, the nurse reported her to Social Services. My DIL in turn reported the nurse for reporting her! When she was discharged, she went back to the doctor and he refused to give her anymore pain med's and told her she needed to seek counseling. Guess what? She reported her doctor as being negligent! She did go home after she was discharged. My son was heartbroken and confused to say the least. A few days later, she is gone again with the children. The week before Christmas, she comes to pack her belongings and move to her new home. In the meantime my son finds out that the mortgage is four months past due, and other bills have not been paid  although both of their payroll checks were deposited to a joint account. She was responsible for paying the bills.  Ok, she packs the week end before Christmas. She's found and signed a lease for a rental. She has put down deposits for utilities, phone, etc. She moves in on Sunday, and by Wednesday of the following week she wants to come and have dinner with my son!! She is now back at the house with my son, and they moved the rest of her belongings back in last weekend!!! Have you ever??? I am at my wits end! My son has been avoiding speaking to me about this as I'm sure he knows how I feel. I now cannot stand to be around her, and I do not trust anything she says. We were there for several hours Christmas day, and I was as pleasant to her as I could be but did not go out of my way to hear anything she had to say. I am so angry with her right now, and I don't believe she is there for any of the right reasons. I didn't notice that she treated my son any different than she has over the past couple of years. What can I do without putting a wedge between myself and my son? This woman is poison. My son says she is not taking the pain pills anymore, but I'm not so sure. I tend to think he is avoiding the issue with me because nothing has really changed much, and he does not want to admit that to me. I love him and those girls with all my heart, but my DIL has lost every bit of respect that I ever had for her. I don't know if I could or would ever trust her again. Any advice is welcomed. This story is not over I'm afraid.   


Grammy, I'm so sorry!! What a hard for you to have to watch!  I just know that someone can help on this site.  There are many good hearted people on here who might have an idea for you.  In the meantime, stay strong.  Your Granddaughters are going to need you, I just know it. 


Grammy, I was reading more about what you wrote and what I noticed was that you said you didn't want to say anything to your son because you didn't want a wedge between you.  How wise!! So true.  It's going to be hard not to do it but don't do it.  He will likely be very protective of her.  You are a wise lady.



Thanks for the advice about not forcing my son to talk about this. I know he will when he is ready. I don't meddle in their lives, and I don't offer advice to him unless he asks for it. I do sometimes just ask how things are going, and I tell him I love him and support him. Having a "relationship" with her is my concern. I know he wants me to try and forgive her, but I can't, not right now. Maybe never, I fear. Her behavior is what I am trying to get my head around. This leaving and coming back so quickly. I don't get it, but my heart tells me it is for selfish reasons, not to mend the relationship. One day soon I'll have to tell you how she reacted to a Christmas present I gave to both of them with the best of intentions. 


Hi Grammy, I'm very very sorry you and yours are experiencing this heartache...
As Chickie said, there is not much you can do but stand by and pray...and be there for your son....what I would suggest is this...

First, if and when your son comes to you...advise him that this is not a healthy situation...and you will do all you can to help, reassure him that you are there for him, but do not talk about her. have every right not to trust her...when someone gets strung out on drugs, they become driven by the drugs and live for them...they will steal from anyone to get is an addiction that is relentless...but, remember it was her choice...she may try to play upon your sympathy to get into your house...but be very careful...b/c she might try and steal from you....hock what she steals to buy drugs...I believe when you do cocain, your hooked and it is not easy to kick that habbit.  Also...I hope she isn't breast feeding...I'm not certain, I could be wrong, but the cocain is in her system, and may get into the babies...

3rd...hang tough, and when you become depressed, frightened or confused, please come to these women and vent, if you must...don't keep it inside...and when your son is ready, I would suggest that he get counseling to learn how to deal with this whole mess....

Thats all I have...sorry it isn't more of a conclusion to this awful thing you are all going thru right now...

You willl be in my thoughts and prayers...


All you can do is be there for your son and grandchildren....what else can you do if he keeps taking her back. Trusting her will be hard after all she has done, but you will need to get along with her as long as your son stays with her.


Rose, that is so true!  Hard to do after all she's done but so true!! 



Please get a small notebook or calendar....start documenting your DIL's behavior with dates, times and observations of her behaviors.  You can do this later the same day that you have observed critical actions and drug usage or over doses that result in critical care procedures.  You do not need to inform anyone else that you are doing this documentation....just keep it for yourself at this time.
I'm sorry to have to give this advice, but, her actions are very good warning signs your son may need some kind of documentation down the road.  This is not just a DIL acting nasty or hateful...these actions are putting children in harm's way.  The nurse reporting her and the doctor refusing to refill her script are very important steps and THANK GOD they stood up and did it.


The suggestion was made to document everything...yes, a very good idea...any police officer would tell you to do the same thing...(date, time and issue that happened) also,  you have the nurse and doctor as was said, as witnesses if need be...

some very good advice here...again, my best to you...


January 05, 2010, 06:05:09 am #9 Last Edit: January 05, 2010, 06:23:42 am by penstamen
My heart aches for you and your family. I agree with Orly that you need to be documenting everything. In addition to the behaviors your DIL is exhibiting, you should document the things you and/or your son do for your grandkids (outings, playdates, purchases, activities, doctor visits, school events, etc.) These things can show who is the more involved/concerned parent if it comes down to a custody battle. A dear friend, who fortunately is very thorough in keeping a calendar, used all this info to her and her child's benefit a couple of years ago when she had to battle her own (crazy, narcissistic) mother for custody of her son.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


I feel terrible for what you are going through and second all the advice the very wise ladies have already given you.  I think right now all you can do is make sure your son knows you love him and your grandchildren unconditionally.  The idea about documentation is also a good one.  Anytime drugs like cocaine are involved, many of the rules about being polite go out the window....and if kids are around then that goes double...  good luck and best wishes with this.  The ladies on this forum give wonderful advice - they've helped me ALOT... so I"m glad you've found it too. 


I'm so sorry to hear about this.  I'm going through something similar with my son and his ...  girlfriend.  The advice you've been given is very true.  I made the mistake of saying something about my son's girlfriend to him and it backfired VERY quickly.  I kept my mouth shut for almost two years, but they couldn't pay their bills (long story short) and my son moved in with me.  She has three kids by another marriage.  She drove up here one day with her kids in tow (snow storm).  Since I live in the same house with my elderly parents, I asked my son not to bring her into the house as I didn't want them upset, so they met at another location.

He called me and asked for some money to give her.  She had packed her children into the car and driven (an hour and a half) to get here, without enough gas to get back home.  I gave him the money, but made a comment to him about what kind of a mother does this with her children, and he should open his eyes and start looking at all the red flags here before he marries her.  He became upset and said some nasty things to me.  I told him to please consider what I said and don't take his problems out on me.  I actually said at one point, "take your temper out on someone who deserves it.  Try $10 woman, who can't seem to read her gas gauge!"  I'm ashamed of that comment now, but I'm paying for opening my mouth.  My son left and hasn't talked to me in a week.

Don't get weak and say anything.  Let your son talk to you when he is ready.  You're getting such good advice here...


I don't believe handing money over was the best course. Closing your wallet is a much valued step in the growth process.  The weaning has to start somewhere and the girlfriend is the most auspicious  starting point.  A "no, I don't have it " , blunt comment should have sufficed.  Then give the option of calling the Highway Patrol.  Most Highway Patrol or Sheriff's departments have Travelers Aid  funds.  If you had suggested that course then she would have gotten the funds to drive back home (and the kids could have been checked by a deputy or officer for their well being).  You would have been offering a solution to her course of action without making that statement about it being an ill-advised move on her part.

As my suggestion is in hindsight to your past event, I made it so you have an option next time there is a "OOPS, don't have the gas to get home" instance.  Rest assured, this is most likely to happen again.  I have a brother-in-law who LOVES to travel without funds and pull the "OOPS" on whomever he is visiting,  and being such a "lovely" visitor, most of the hosts are more than willing to pay to get rid of him.


sml granny, I am sorry for what you are going through. You must be wracked with worry for your grandchildren, and your son.  Keep being a good friend to him (just listening, not talking bad about her at all in any way) and a good granny to your grandchildren.  To them, be the rock. This is the best thing you can do. 

If your son approaches you very upset, you might want to think about how to nonjudgmentally suggest he seek counseling. To get professional help for his current challenges, help soothe his many worries, help organize his thoughts.   He signed up to be husband and dad, but this situation he's in now, well it's like like he was plopped into a job position with no training.  Anyone would perform better in a new position with some training.   He's going through a lot, and deserves objective support to help him cope.  This is something I think would be productive for him.  Only if he would not get angry at you for making the suggestion (you know his personality)! 

The counselor would also be able to help him find resources to get his wife the help she needs.   Perhaps thinking of your DIL as "sick", can help yo manage your anger, because she really does sound off-balance, even before the drug problem surfaced.  DIL obviously needs help. She's self-medicating and the underlying problem is still going unaddressed.  She'll only seek help for that when she (and her DH) are ready and want it.

You are wise to keep biting your tounge.  In a way, what is there to actually for you to "say" at this point, that could make a difference?  There is a problem, and everyone seems very aware of it.  Including medical personnel and the social services agencies they are mandated to report to (reporting a nurse for doing her job was a waste of DIL's time). Her own M seems equally as disturbed and disgusted by DIL.

I do hope DIL is not driving with the children in the car while on drugs.  Cocaine and its effects are indeed passed through breast milk to the baby. If I understand your story correctly, Social Services have already been notified of this.

To vent, come here or write in a journal or shout at a pillow.  But to vent to DIL or your son about DIL, would not accomplish anything for you, her, your son, or their children.

DIL is in your life forever, so it's best to always keep that relationship as open as possible.  You're already aware that she and your son will break up and re-unite many times.  DIL might get treatment and recover.  But even beyond that, she is also the mother of your grandchildren.  If god forbid something happened to your son, you will need a relationship with her, to have one with your grandchildren.

I am so sorry for your heartbreak.  I think you've been handling yourself very well.  Your son is lucky to have you.


Orly, you're a woman after my own heart!  I actually use the "don't have it" excuse alot but in this instance, really wanted to see her go instead of moving in with me also.  I think I avoided that by my rude remarks about her, but still regret putting my son in that position.  He really still loves me and I can see that.  He is my sonshine and I have let go so that he can see for himself what she's doing.  I think she's looking for money from his family, hence - I only offered $10.00, and ONLY because her children were in that position.  The offer wouldn't have been there, if she had come alone.

I didn't know about the police fund.  Thank you for that information, AND the wonderful and warm welcome you extended to me calling me a "lovely visitor!"  Makes my heart sing even more to be here.  I know I made the "right" decision when I joined this site with such warm human beings.