Batshit crazy SIL and my poor mother(139 Posts)
Ok long story with lots of history and identifying circumstances which I can't detail. Brief version for background is that my brother married very badly and his wife is toxic and has over the years initiated massive rows with various family members and has gone NC with nearly everyone at some point. My mum is terrified of being cut out of her grandchildrens lives and treads on eggshells ALL THE TIME.
SIL hates my guts and for years has repeatedly fallen out with my mum for various things... Like mentioning my name in conversations, talking about my children to her, not asking me to leave her house when they've called in unexpectedly etc.... (Last time that happened she didn't speak to my mum or let her see her grandchildren for 6 months)
Before anyone asks, I'm not a devil bitch from hell, she's just a fantasist and has fabricated ishoos in her head to justify falling out with us so she can play the 'favourites' game with my mum to try to get her to choose DB and herself over us and other family members. We're talking serious ishoos here, she is in my unqualified opinion batshit crazy.
Anyway the current situation is that she fell out with my mum a month or so ago, and told her she didn't want her to contact them again. (She'd done nothing wrong, see batshit crazy up post ^) She historically goes to theirs for Christmas and we go to my ILs BUT since mum was chucked out into the snow we rearranged Christmas to have it at our house and not go to our ils, . You can guess where this is going. Turkey ordered, house decorated, food and drink all bought, looking forward to a lovely day with mum and the kids. After not a word from them in over a month, mum gets a text from SIL,asking when she'll be arriving for Christmas.
Now I love my mum to her bones and wouldn't for a second fall out with her over anything, but I just feel so bad for her. It feels to me very much like she's being manipulated, yet again... That SIL just wants to know that despite them being so awful to her she will once again drop everything and change her plans to suit them. I'm worried they've asked her for Christmas s so mum will drop everything and 'prove' to SIL that she will still drop everything and come running when they summon her, and that they don't actually want her there because they love her and want to enjoy her company. Once again I think it's all game playing and trying to force mum into choosing. SIL is a total cold fish and I've never seen her laugh btw, I don't think she knows what true love or affection is or how to ellicit it and all this stuff with my mum and trying to create divisions in the family is in some way her trying to secure a place, it's all very fucked up.
DH reckons mum's facilitating their behaviour and letting them think that mum is one of their monkeys who will dance for crumbs of affection off their table, and there is perpetuating the shitty way they treat her. I'm inclined to agree but totally understand her fear of being cut off from her grandchildren if she stands up to SIL or calls her on her shit.
Does anyone have any sensible suggestions for how I can help my mum? I've lost count of the tearful conversations she's had with me over various callings out and the awful things SIL has said to her.
Sorry for lengthy post, if youve got this far well done!
Ask your mum what she did with you when you had a toddler tantrum.
Where is your db in this scenario?
Tbh, if I was your mother I would detach myself from that toxic environment. Yes, it would be very sad to lose contact with the grandchildren, but there are limits to what one is willing to put up with!
To be honest if everything is as straight forward as you say your mum does seem a bit of a fool for going to SILs as soon as she snaps her fingers- why does she want to go there so much more than yours?
How does your brother behave in all this?
Brother is as bad as SIL, they were made for each other. She's effectively isolated him from everyone. All contact goes through SIL, she even replies to his text messages from his phone!
I've found the best thing to do is to step back and let them get on with it. I find if I kick up a fuss etc it just upsets the person (your mum in this case) more than they already are. The behaviour your mother is displaying is conditioned, she just doesn't want to upset anyone. I'd just be ok with whatever it is your mum suggests. Yes it's sad, unfair etc but really, there is no talking to people like your sil and I imagine your brother is in need of the love/support off your mother
Bloody miserable existence your sil has. Wtf is wrong with ppl
Why does she hate you so much? Was there a significant conflict?
Your Poor Mum she can't win no matter what. Can she ignore the text till Christmas, pretend she's been having phone trouble and text sorry I'm already at Dd's house hope you are having a lovely Christmas. Hope to see you all very soon. Boxing day maybe?
Well it's like having a loved one in any abusive relationship really.... I'd tell them I love and support them, try to build their confidence in themselves so they have the courage to stand up to the abuser.
But bottom line, its up to your mother to decide whether to stand up for herself or to keep taking what sil dishes out.
Rightly or wrongly I'd be telling her I was hurt and disappointed if she decided at this late stage to decline my invitation though.
Wow SIL sounds awful OP! I honestly don't know what to suggest. I think your mum should stick up for herself and do what she wants for Xmas. I take it she'd rather spend it with you? I understand why she's scared to do that though. Extremely difficult.
Fwiw I don't get on all that well with my SIL and I think PILs know that, so it does feel a bit strained when we talk about her. Funny enough SIL and I are fine when we are together as we're mature enough to find trivial shit to chat about and hold it together for the family even if we aren't besties. That's what you do! You don't decide you hate someone's guts and go NC unless there is a really good reason IMHO. Sorry I'm probably not being very helpful here but just wanted to offer support. Sounds so difficult.
Arfarf. Yes, brothers behaviour sucks too. My dad I'm sure is turning in his grave. We weren't brought up to condone this sort of behaviour. And of course you're right it is just so very sad.
The only thing I can do is support mum and not take any offence but then am I just helping to feed into this as a continuing cycle as well?
How old are the children? Because at some point they will be old enough to decide for themselves if they want to see your mum, or will be out doing their own thing anyway.
Answering his text messages sounds like very controlling behaviour tbh. Is he a bit scared of her do you think?
Had similar in my family, but to less extremes. Mum had to do whatever to keep the peace because of not wanting to be left out of the DGCs lives.
I feel for your mum as well, but as the price she would have to pay for standing up to your DB/SIL is too high for her, I can understand why she would choose to keep giving in.
How old are the DGC? I mean, in a few years' time, they'll be old enough to not put up with this shit from their parents, and see your mum independently. She just needs to wait it out.
Just to be clear -
Your Mum is going to you for Christmas but has now had an invite from SIL and so wants to drop you in favour of them?
If I have that correct, then I think that is pretty shitty behaviour from her. Ultimately you can't help how SIL treats people but you can help how you conduct yourself and how you in turn treat others.
I know you said you would not get cross with your Mum, but if I was dumped in favour of a better offer (which this is!) I would be very hurt.
Owllady, you're right it is conditioned behaviour of course. Its just so horrible to think that my lovely mother has been bullyied into submission by the threat of never seeing her grandchildren again.
Has your mum responded to the text? Can she delete it and pretend it never came?
I know, it's really upsetting I am by no means minimising what is happening, it's heart breaking. I'm guessing your mother is a lovely woman as well as you sound like a nice, caring family (apart from the obvious). It's so difficult
Surely she's doing this to force your mum to make one of 2 decisions,.which is either 1) dump you and go to theirs: outcome - feeds SIL desire to better you. Or 2) knowing mum is at yours,.force her to chose between children and chose you, at which point SIL and BIL will completely cut contact because of your mum's perceived refusal to attend their Christmas.
So your mum can't win.
Only she can. She can say no, she can let them get on with it. I realise she won't and why she won't, but that's the only way this will be resolved.
squinkies that's not an option, if she ignored the text, that would and in fact has been a reason for SIL to go no contact again!
potoftea she knows I'm disappointed, no need to tell her, and I wouldn't put any more guilt on her anyway as I know how shit she feels about it all.
crisp the children are young and mums no spring chicken. We all started late in life so tbh by the time the kids are old enough to speak up for themselves mum'pl be really quite elderly
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