...to think my inlaws are creepy in a twilight zone sort of way?(154 Posts)
I can't believe the weird situation we are in with my inlaws. We are not speaking to them and I'm not sure if our relationship with them is even salvageable. They say they are loving Christians (so are we) but their behaviour is anything but. Forgive me if I ramble, or "drip feed" or get muddled, I'm not sure where to begin.
For background, my sil (married to my husband's brother) has made little digs at me since I married dh. One example is when she told me the inlaws didn't approve of dh marrying me because I hadn't finished my degree, chuckling as she said this as if disguising her dig with humour. I truly was not offended by this at the time and ignored her remarks thinking we'd get to know each other and all would be well.
Sil had two miscarriages, both of them happened very early in the pregnancies, and my dh and I supported her during that time. When I got pregnant later on, my dh and I were very careful to share the news with sil and bil, and mil, quietly and with sensitivity, without any air of celebration or anything like that. We had hoped for a child ourselves for a very long time and finally got pregnant after nine years of marriage.
A few months into my pregnancy, my sil called me to say she wished something would happen to my baby, saying it matter of factly. She killed my joy. I can't express how much her saying that hurt me to the core. She said she resented my nickname; sil is a Disney fan and while my nickname is the same as a Disney princess, it has nothing to do with Disney or princesses, it is something my brothers have always called me since I was little and everyone at work calls me, including dh. Sil said she considered herself ***, the Disney princess, even fixing her hair to look like her, and that I was to be relegated to another (lesser) princess, Ariel--I know! it's nuts!!--it was like she wanted to set me straight that the name belonged to her and it didn't matter that I'd had the name since I was four or five years old. She also said my dh would do anything for me even stand on his head...she said it accusingly and I could not understand why she said it that way, I wouldn't have thought she would be jealous of my relationship with dh, it seemed to me that her husband was devoted to her as well. I let her rail at me because I felt her miscarriages in the past had a bearing on her behaviour. Unknown to me at the time, she knew when she rang me that she was pregnant too, as I was, and her child was born three months after our child. I went to the hospital to support her when her daughter was born. She did not come to see our son until months afterward, but again, I knew she had difficult feelings to deal with and hoped she would soften toward me.
Things improved somewhat over the years, she became friendly even, to the point that I allowed her to be ds's music teacher. My husband and I thought she would develop a bond with our son and that it would foster in her genuine good will toward him. To add, because I think it is relevant, dh's family are singers and/or can play instruments, dh is a trained singer and is very good.
As ds got close to his solo recital for completion of the first level of the program he was taking under sil, sil began making insinuations, saying she loved how different her students were, using ds as an example of "trying hard" while her other students were musical and had natural gifts. Her dd was also taking lessons at the time too and I think sil is a competitive person and she resented our ds doing well. I kept most of her remarks to myself, I am a private person generally, and I did not want to cause trouble within dh's family. Dh and I had had conversations over the years about our strained relationship with sil, but I see now how much I kept to myself because I wanted so badly to keep the peace.
Two weeks before ds's recital, my mil came over while dh was at work and told me that at one of the family dinners when dh's uncle asked ds to perform she said "I knew I had to stop that because it would be a bad idea. Now if he had asked (the other gc--sil's dd), that would have been great," and she chuckled, just like sil when she's making an insult but doesn't want to get called on it. I didn't know what to say. I managed to say something like I didn't kids being put into categories, I probably was not very coherent, but she could surely tell I was surprised and hurt, and she made no effort to clarify.
The recital went well, ds played everything from memory and musically, he also played a piece on the violin as a duet with his best friend who plays the cello (ds asked to take violin lessons a few months before the recital so we let him add that instrument and he enjoys it), and he sang a song with his dad. His friends and our family were there. The uncle on dh's side of the family who is supportive of ds wasn't there because he is at a facility and mil acted strangely and said she wasn't bringing him, as if she didn't want him there.
A couple of weeks after that we had another family dinner at mil's. Sil insinuated again, very brazenly this time, that poor little ds didn't have any talent in music, and too bad that he had failed the program he was in! The same program he had just completed his recital in!?! I suddenly had had enough. I asked her to clarify what she was saying, and she put her hand on mine, shook her head, and repeated that ds had no talent, none, as in 0%. We were still at the table, everyone else had gone into the living room, and my ds and her dd were running around the house playing. He could have overheard what she saying, so I asked to have a private conversation with her upstairs, in mil's bedroom. She started saying all sorts of things about ds, one of which was that her colleagues would refuse to teach somebody like ds and that she was the only person who would even give him lessons...I couldn't believe she could be so malicious. She said many many things about how untalented ds was, it was sad. A few times her dd burst in from playing and looked at sil and nodded her head and made the ok sign and said approvingly, "I know what you're talking about, mom."
I went downstairs and sat next to dh on the sofa and told him what sil said. He said, wow. Bil and sil followed me in there and bil said sil was just being honest and that they just want the best for our ds. Bil said that just because ds can play pieces musically (at his recital) it doesn't mean he is musical. He said I needed to lower my expectations for ds. Bil said to me, are your expectations way up here (he put his hand up in the air) or are they down here (his hand down very low, below his knee (!!)) where they should be and where ds is?
My ds also drew the artwork for the cover of the recital program. He is pretty good at drawing, music and art are his two things, I would say. His art teacher wrote "masters class skills" on his report card. I say this because bil then said, it's like being able to draw but not being artistic.
So bil was able to double insult my son with that one statement.
My dh and I were speechless. Sil said again that she was just being honest, that I had "asked" for it (I did not).
I said to sil, you know, when I was pregnant and you told me you wished something would happen to our baby, that hurt me.
Sil patted my arm and said, I was just being open with you.
Dh told her she was no longer ds's teacher. Sil had the nerve to turn to me, as if appealing to me, and said, don't you think I should still teach ds? and I said, after what you've said about ds? and she looked at me as if she was confused, like, what did I do?
Meanwhile, mil was hiding out in the kitchen.
We collected ds and went home.
Over the next several days, we got texts and calls from bil and sil acting like nothing had happened beyond "setting us straight" which was right and proper in their eyes. Mil left a message on my phone saying, it's in the Lord's hands, and that she was praying for us.
After about a month of this garbage, Dh wrote a letter to bil, sil, and mil explaining that what sil and bil said about ds was hurtful and not true, basically putting it clearly how he and I felt about what they said. I wrote a letter to mil telling her exactly what was said and asking her what she thought about ds.
(To add again for context, ds is not mozart, but he is definitely not 100% devoid of any talent whatsoever like sil and bil are arguing. He sings in the choir at his school, his violin teacher thought he should audition for our city's symphony youth orchestra which he did and he got in the first violin section in the middle of the section. His violin teacher came to see ds sing in a play where he was chosen to sing the lead part and says what sil said about ds is not true and that sil's claim that her colleagues would refuse to teach ds is absolutely outrageous. It is not like they were giving us helpful advice, which would have been fine. They made these malicious statements, blanket statements labeling ds. He was eight years old and doing very well.This is not even about music really, they are using that because they feel ds is encroaching on their territory or something.)
Bil began barraging dh with texts, emails, letters, and voicemails insisting that he and sil are right and we are wrong, insisting we agree and accept what they're saying, and that we are terrible people. It is unbelievable the abusive things bil has said in these voicemails and emails, etc. He always adds at the end that he continues to pray for us (that we will accept the "unfortunate truth" about our son?) Dh has not responded to any of these messages, because he sent that letter at the beginning which bil completely ignored and denied. It doesn't seem possible to even talk to them at all, it wouldn't do any good. If I had insulted someone's child, I would apologize. Dh and I would never, ever say to any child (or adult for that matter) the things they said about our ds.
My mil responded to my letter with a short, cold, and cruel statement, "It was painful to read how wounded you are. I have no words to utter to take away your pain. I pray that God cares for you."
I never would have believed the level of malice or whatever it is driving them to do this.
Sorry this is so terribly long. There is more, but I'm tired, will post rest later. basically we have tried to ignore them.
What a nasty bunch of bigots!
I'd consider cutting them off, get him a new teacher and just let your son enjoy music. She must be dripping nasty comments to.him all the time too during lessons
Wow! Find another music teacher. And maybe distance yourself from IL's?
My goodness, your inlaws are deeply weird. And your SIL (from her behaviour) sounds about 14 years old. What on earth is all that nonsense about Disney princesses?
If it had been me. when she made that appalling comment when you were pregnant, that 'she wished something would happen to your baby' that would have been it, no further contact. Absolutely unforgiveable - and from a 'loving Christian' (ha! ha!)
I think you and your DP are obviously good people and consider family important, but I really think you made a mistake by continuing to be involved with them, and allowing SIL to tutor your DS. You need to get him away from her before she damages his sense of self belief. I know it is your husband's brother, but these people are really abnormal and best avoided.
Wow a lot going on there, they sound awful I think it's probably best to go NC with the lot of them
They sound toxic. There is no way you should keep in contact with them. Cut ties and prevent any more hurt being inflicted on yourselves or your son- God knows what poison she's feeding him during his music lessons.
All that "pray for you" pish- are they part of a cult?
You need to change your phone numbers now so they can no longer contact and harass you.
Or at the v least block their numbers so you don't receive their texts.
Going full non contact with them is going to be hard work - but absolutely has to be done. They are beyond bonkers and who knows what she might do to esculate this.
I wouldn't want my children anywhere near that woman. Glad that she is no longer teaching him! Should have been sooner.
Oh and stop looking for a reason. I learnt years ago that some people are on a totally different planet and leave them to it. step away, smile and wave , smile and wave.
Bunch of Jeffing loonies. The only way to deal with this is not to allow them into your life at all.
Agree with the previous poster - if someone had said they wanted something to happen to my baby, that would have been it, no further contact. As for being 'Christians', I find it difficult indeed to believe that Jesus would endorse such behaviour...
On a much lesser scale my mother who was normally lovely, used to laugh at my small dd's efforts and dancing and considered that she had two left feet. My poor mum died when my dd was quite small, but I'm sure that if she had lived she could have inadvertently had a toxic effect on my child. As it dd grew up to be a professional dancer.
If her son loves playing music which it sounds like and works hard at it, he will probably go far, as long as you keep him away from his toxic relatives.
They sound odious and deeply jealous. I hope she hasn't been grinding away at your ds's confidence for years. How does he feel about his music?
They are nasty, jealous people. Your son is so obviously better at music than their DD they can't stand it. They're being evil then justifying it and forgiving themselves through their faith.
Thank you for the replies. Ds's violin teacher gave us a different piano teacher for him. Both his violin teacher and his new piano teacher are violinists (the other violinist teaches piano as well as violin) with the symphony orchestra. They are supportive of ds. Yes, it was a huge mistake to allow sil to be his teacher, I realize so much now afterwards.
Ds enjoys music, he really enjoys and is proud to perform. He wanted to play the violin because he heard Vivaldi's the four seasons. He would not stop leaping through the house to Spring and he asked to take violin so he could play it someday. He can hear a song somewhere that he is not familiar with and he can come home and play a good sized portion of it on the violin and piano pretty accurately. He prefers the violin to the piano and I can see him just focusing on that eventually.
They are Presbyterians! Not some crazy cult, though it does sound like it, doesn't it. We were Presbyterian too and then we became Catholic three years ago. We still admire and love the Presbyterian church, as well as the country gospel church I grew up in. What they are doing has nothing to do with any church, they are simply nuts.
My inlaws are involved in charitable type things...this is part of why I can't wrap my head around what they're doing. What they seem(ed) to be on the outside, nice, outgoing, very involved in church, does not compute with this bizarre behaviour. And all three of them?? It's like sil is the witch from oz and bil and mil are her flying monkeys. Dh and I are still surprised that they are propping up sil's malice. I truly do feel dh and I were caught up in a twilight zone episode. the dinner where all this came to a head happened a year and half ago! We have not seen mil since that night though she has sent cards saying she's praying for us, etc or cheery cards pretending nothing has happened. Bil has sent probably around 150-200 messages since then. A month or so ago, he called dh's phone (he blocks bil but we can look at the voicemails if we want) ten times in one day. The day after that he showed up at our door like he had threatened to, after driving by our house countless times, once even waving to ds as he was playing outside. When we saw bil at the door, dh went out and talked calmly to bil, and I could see bil lecturing dh. I finally go out there and give bil his words back to him. I said, you and sil said this...and this...and bil actually REPEATED all the garbage he and sil had said before! Yes, he said, sil's colleagues would not teach somebody like ds! Yes, I "asked" for sil's opinion (NO I DIDN'T!!), And no, poor little ds simply has 0% talent, that is simply a fact we must accept, it doesn't matter what his other teachers say!
So bil didn't come to apologize, he came to repeat the same garbage as before and tell us that we had better get back in their crooked line. He said no apology was necessary if we would just take what they said the right way. It was fine that sil said she wished something would happen to ds when I was pregnant. She was a "little crazy" but no apology needed, in fact how dare I be upset about sil's right to be open with me about her wish? that was pretty much bil's reaction when I said, sil said she wished my baby would die??! No remorse, no apology, no empathy for how that made me feel??
I finally told him to leave, that he was trespassing, and that he was not welcome here, after I told him that we have all his voicemails, emails, letters, etc. His ears perked up at that.
He left and then sent dh two emails that night, and then another email after that, which we've ignored. One of the emails he said he was sorry if he sounded bipolar and overly accusatory in his messages. He didn't apologize for what they all said about ds.
Maybe they are part of a cult, a satanic cult. just kidding. kind of.
Awful. Regardless of whether your DS is Mozart or not they should keep their mouths shut. Learning music is a fantastic thing to do even if you don't make a career out of it.
She sounds like one of those people that feels she needs to set everyone straight because her world vision is the only world vision.
Tell her to jog on and send her this song
Batshit crazy, stop replying to texts, emails calls. Change your numbers & email address, no need for a big announcement.
Your DH sounds on the same page as you so that's great. It will be harder for him as they've always been this way with him, but for your sanity step away.
What nasty people! Your first priority needs to be to protect your son from this venom. Don't try to change them, reason with them or explain - it won't work. Just stay NC and live your own lives.
Wow, they are bonkers! I'd keep NC from them all.
Thank you, yes, we do our best to not have anything to do with them. Dh has not responded to any, not even one, of their communications with him.
Several months ago, sil followed us into a store at the mall and tried to talk to dh as if nothing had happened. Then a month or so ago, bil came to our door. Other than that, we have not seen them, and not responded to anything they've sent, at all. They even sent cards to ds signed, your loving aunt, and your loving uncle!!!!!
They sound utterly unhinged. I would not want my child being anywhere near these mentalists.
No contact is the only way to get this poison out of your lives.
And I thought my DH SIL was bad!
They all sound deranged.
How can any adult be so cruel about a child who loves music? No teacher would ever refuse to teach an enthusiastic child who tried hard!
Tbh it sounds like they are all jealous of your family.
They don't apologise for deliberately hurting people and then continue to rub it in for 18 months?
Seriously, these people are toxic.
Keep on ignoring them. You do not need them poisoning your lives.
Bonkers, unhealthy and deeply manipulative.
Cut them all off.
I'm glad to read how supportive your DH is though. He sounds like a keeper!
Id be tempted to go passive aggressive here, because shes such a cow, but that's prob cause more issues!
Hope she doesn't speak to other students/parents like that.
The mc don't allow her to act that way, I mc and had to deal with 5 peoples pregnancy announcements in the following weeks. I just removed myself from being near them until I could deal, would never ever wished harm on another's unborn baby!!!
Steer clear and on see at family events, when do see them just smile and nod, not worth agro.
They're as mad as a box of frogs, continue to ignore the loons and your ds sounds wonderful!
SiL in particular is a nasty piece of work.
Batshit crazy doesn't even come close, does it? They sound dangerously bonkers to me. You've had a lucky escape I think. What's happened recently to make you think about them again?
Unfortunately you can't choose your family. You and dh are very unlucky there and no amount of forgiveness by you will change things. Have you moved far, far away?
They need to say well away and make absolutely sure they stay away from your ds. Does he see his cousin?
Wow they sound like absolute loonies. Doesn't matter how good your son is at music, he loves it and takes part with enthusiasm and I'm sure he's good anyway! The bit about wishing your baby would die is hideous and I agree just ignore, change your numbers and email addresses and be glad that you and dh are on the same page
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