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Moving on from pil anger

(54 Posts)
ledkr Fri 02-Sep-11 10:37:40

Hi all,i never thought about posting on here for advice but here goes.
Some of you maybe aware of my story but ill try to be brief.
I had dd 7 months ago,my 5th and dh's first baby. Pils live away and when visit arent helpfull and quite demanding even when i was heavily pg.
As the birth approached i discussed with dh about them being able to vist after the birth (elective section) but that i didnt want them staying overnightuntill at least the following weekend.
Dh aggreed and told pils towards the end of the pg.

I was due to have her on the mon which was great as pils couldnt come till the following weekend due to work.I had her earlier on the Thursay and so told dh they could visit in hospital as pil were understandably reluctant to wait until the following weekend.

They live 2 hrs awat so stayed on the Friday night then could visit at 3 the folloing day,i was going to come home after the visit which ended at 7.

They went off into town and then arrived at the hospital late at 5!
Then stayed but didnt leave so i started getting ready to leave,still sat there,i even had to ask them to go outside the cutain whilst mw checked me.

I was crying and said to the mw,i just felt tired and wanted to go home,mw sadi to pils "i think she just needs some peace and quiet" Mil said "yes we will just see them home safely and leave them in peace"

We all left the hospital at 8 I had to wrestlre my baby off her to dress her and she told dh and fil to walk on ahead with baby as i was slow.

They arrived at the house just before us,were inside with slippers on and blow up bed still up from preveious night.

I had told dd1 that when i came home we could have fish and chips and cuddle up on sofa with new baby.

Without me knowing Mil asked dh if she should get take away and i said well i had promised dd that we could have some but that we had planned on having our first night home as just us,(as he had pointed out repeatedly) Mil then said they may as well stay as it was late (her fault not ours)
Dh again said that they could come next weekend but t the moment we wanted to be on our own and that i needed time to recover form op and get to know baby.

Mil then stormed into the kitchen ranting to fil that "we have to go,we will have to eat in the car" Dh offered a snadwhich and she screamed "a sandwhich? we need more than a sandwhich we are hungry"
I was still sat on the sofa holding baby with my coat and boots on.
Dh lookd as if he was going to collapse so i said "just make them something to eat"

I then went to my friends down the rd with dd1 and 2 to have a cry.

Got back at 9 and they stayed until gone 10 watching tv even tho it was clear we wanted them to go.
Left reluctantly and we were up getting bottles sterilised and prepared until 11pm.

The next day baby was rushed into hospital with cleft palate,jaundice and pneumnia and pils came no where near us,didnt even call me to see how i was feeling.

The problem is now that i cant get past this.Much as i try i cant like pils and am angry with them and dh for it all. I feel i was denied my homecoming and dh and i will never have another child.
They still come to stay and do nothing apart from ask when the next meal is and dont do a thing with the baby.

It may sound ridiculous but i am struggling to move on from this,i have had some pnd which isnt necessarily due to this,dh is very guilty and blames himself for not being more forcefull but i dont see why he should have to be,he made himself clear and that should be enough.

I dread them coming and just feel hatefull towrads them.

How do i get past this as i know i have to for everyones sake and i dont want to go thru life with this anger.

Sorry its long.

HeifferunderConstruction Fri 02-Sep-11 10:58:08

I not sure what to do bout I'm very sorry you had this

Have you sat down and told him how upset you are?

ledkr Fri 02-Sep-11 11:08:45

Yes we have had lots of discussions,he completely understands but mostly blames himself for not being more assertive but that is not his way and his own parents should know this more than anyone,he made our wishes clear but they ignored them.
I feel that the problem is that i will never be able to confront them about it,they are not very deep people so would never be possible to talk on any level other than chit chat. I think they know we were annoyed btw. but it hasnt stopped them bulldozing us since.
Eg,turned up to stay unnanounced,overstayed one weekend even tho i had visitors and dh had made it plain they would need to end their visit early,and came on our holiday univited so that now we have to lie about where we go.
Somethimes the thought of this for the next 20 yrs makes me feel like ending my marriage.
I have to pre empt school holidays or they would come for the entire time!

TheArmadillo Fri 02-Sep-11 11:51:38

You need to breakdown exactly why you are angry and why you can't let go.

E.g. you are angry because they didn't listen to you or your husband
you can't let go of this anger because
you and your husband feel powerless towards the way they acted - you did what you felt should have stopped it but didn't. Now you have to reassess beliefs about behaviour (e.g. that most people are reasonable and will listen to polite requests), he has to reassess his views on his parents (which is upsetting), you feel threatened by them because if they can act like this what will their future behaviour feel like

or you are angry because to prevent jealously issues or to help your dd1 accept her sister and the changes to your family you wanted to make the homecoming just the 4 of you and a special occassion
you are angry because they destroyed that one off special time adn you feel it cannot be moved or recreated
you feel like they potentially damaged your dd1's acceptance of dd2 by their behaviour
you had promised your dd1 something at a time she was vunerable and then couldn't follow through because of their behaviour and you feel that this may affect her

Once you have identified them you need to deal with them and come to terms with them by developing strategies for the future.
e.g. you and your dh felt powerless - it was a combination of being in a vunerable situation and being unprepared. So prepare yourselves as to how you will tackle the behaviour next time. You know what didn't work so now find ideas that do. Take back the power.

These are only examples - obviously I don't know exactly how you feel, only you can know that. And yes you have the right to be angry at their behaviour but working through it can help you let go and move on.

ledkr Fri 02-Sep-11 12:53:25

Thanks,you are right because as i was reading your poast i was thinking,oh im not sure what i am most angery about and that is probably why i feel it still.
I am aperson who is not afraid to speak up for myself but in those circumstances could not so that goes against my nature.
I think i am most angry that another female could ever think it was appropriate to be accomodated in the home of a woman who has just had a baby,i want to ask her if that was her experience and whether this would be ok for her daughter in the future.I want to ask them both why they didnt leave when i was crying or even later when it became clear we didnt want them here.I want ask them why they couldnt have at least texted me when i was sat at my sick baby's bedside weeping but it hurt so much to cry cos my scar was infected.I want her to know that her ds feels terrible about upsetting me at such avulnerable time but most of all i just want to move on.
We are getting there,we have told them not to come when it doesnt suit us,but it takes days of negotiation to get thru to them!
We have begun to invite them rather than be told and i do feel this is working.
Most of all i want to feel that this isnt me being ridiculous or spitefull and to hear others say this is helpfull,my friends and family aggree but then they would wouldnt they.

ledkr Fri 02-Sep-11 12:55:17

btw,she didnt even look at the baby at my house so it wasnt an issue of plain excitment at a new baby,more getting what she wanted i think,and proving to dh that she was still in charge.

SnapesMistress Fri 02-Sep-11 13:48:28

How awful, sounds like you need to try and avoid them for the sake of your mental health. Just make sure you are away when they come to visit or just send DH and the children to thiers without you.

TheArmadillo Fri 02-Sep-11 13:52:32

there is so much there that anyone would be angry about (and tbh you'd be quite worried about anyone who didn't get angry about it)

your mil, who you believe would know how you felt and what you were going through, used this information not to support you but to exploit your weakness in an exercise in power and control, and in doing so she highlighted to you your weakness, that for once you couldn't stand up for yourself as you normally would have done.

to top it all off she couldn't even show an interest in, let alone be excited by her new granddaughter.

add on all the other crimes including the affect it has had on your dh and how could you not be furious? How could anyone not be seething with rage?

And then, to add insult to injury, as someone who does stand up for themselves, this part of you is frustrated yet again in that you cannot even tackle it with them, you cannot point out what they did and make them understand how they hurt all of you, you cannot get an apology or get them to change their behaviour themselves in light of what they did.

You can only forgive someone if they accept what they did and are sorry for it - to do so otherwise is just accepting their behaviour. And we are taught in the most part you cannot let go until you have forgiven. This is bollocks. Susan Forward (wrote toxic parents and toxic inlaws) covers this very well. I have only read toxic parents but assume toxic inlaws covers the same not forgiving but letting go. It might be worth a read.

scrambedeggs Fri 02-Sep-11 14:17:40

but you say she showed no interest in baby, yet you had to wrestle baby out of her arms??

pommedechocolat Fri 02-Sep-11 14:37:10

Ledkr - I had a similar although less severe experience with my pils post dd. Although everything is getting better with pils now I still cannot stop thinking about certain things and when they are due to visit for 24 hours I am really horrible to be with, totally wound up. Dd is 17 months now so it's a long time on.

I think my real issue is that I can't get that time back with dd and dh. I never imagined it to be horrible not lovely and fedel upset I wasn't allowed to behave as I wanted. I am pg again now and it will definitely be different next time but that still won't change how it was with my firstborn.

Time has made it blunter and so I am simply hoping tha more time will make it fade away - especially as more and more memories of dd build up.

It is such a vulnerable time and it annoys me how many people think it is okay to walk all over that. Even more annoying when it is women who are mothers themselves!

Sorry - no real advice just empathy and a vague hope for time healing all wounds!

ledkr Fri 02-Sep-11 14:48:14

scrambled-yes once when i got the carseat ready to put her in to take home she picked her up and started to get her in her snow suit and i wanted dd to be able to help get her ready-she is 9 btw,she wouldnt pass her to me and then i took her as i knew mil had no idea how my carseat worked-thanks for that,very helpfull confused She showed no interest in her when gravely ill or has shown concern for her condition and upcoming surgery since.

Thanks everyone for your words,its sometimes enough to just know it isnt me and that other people would be annoyed.
Dh is visiting them atm with baby and i have had some time with dd1 which was lovely so maybe that is the way to go.

Its hard with pnd as everything seems a big deal,hopefully as time goes by this will seem less important and Dh is very supportive now as well as he realises how they can be,i am still carefull to recognise they are his parents and its hard for him.

ledkr Fri 02-Sep-11 14:58:46

pomme x posts there.
Thanks,that is just how i am,dh only has to mention them and i feel prickly and i am also really irritated when a vist is due,but when it happenes its never that bad now as i am quite assertive.They used to come late Fri till late Sunday but we have started to say come Saturday morning and this takes the pressure off and means we have at least on weekend night to ourselves and its only one morning of bathroom hogging massive breakfasts and no offer of help.

I knew in the pregancy this would be a disaster if it happened and i was right,i havent even had the christening as it will mean a weekend of them being here expecting everything whilst im also organising a christening.

You are right tho,its hard to let go of the fact that someone could be so inconsiderate when you are at your most vulnerable and needy.

Tianc Fri 02-Sep-11 15:33:48

Oh ledkr it's in no way just you.

I lurked, jaw hanging open in horror, on your threads leading up to and just after DD's birth.

Buckets of sympathy here, and considerable admiration that you're managing to be this nice to them. They are obviously jaw-droppingly selfish people on many levels.

ledkr Fri 02-Sep-11 15:41:44

smile Thanks.

2rebecca Fri 02-Sep-11 15:51:40

They sound awful and I think your husband should have been much more assertive with them and refused to let them come to your house. When they were leaving you shouldn't have backed down. If they wanted more than a sandwich they could have gone to a restaurant or chippy. You should have said to them that you had told them you didn't want people on your first day.
Now I think I would see very little of them for a couple of weeks until things calm down, and start being more assertive about them only visiting when it is convenient. Make it clear to them that they have damaged the relationship by not leaving you alone on the first day and that if they want a good relationship in the future thay have to visit at mutually convenient times and be less forceful.

lovelybertha Fri 02-Sep-11 16:09:19

ledkr - I also had a similar experience with my ILs after the birth of dd (dc2). We spent a total of 5 days in hospital, and at that time the longest I'd ever spent away from ds was 24 hrs. I was just absolutely gagging to get out of the ward and home with DD to DH and DS.

ILs had been unable to visit the hospital because DD was born on a friday afternoon before they went away for the weekend. ILs turned up immediately we got home, made themselves comfortable, let me make a round of teas, and announced that they'd 'decided to stay until friday' (4 days shock). When I told them that this wasn't okay - we needed a bit of time and space to ourselves, MIL absolutely lost it. Shouted at me in front of DS, called me ungrateful, selfish and inconsiderate, cried, tried to get DH to side with her etc etc... Was truly, truly awful. I then went on to suffer PND, which may or may not have been related to this. My marriage also suffered because I was angry with DH for allowing it to happen, and he felt guilty.

Anyway, 2.5 years later I still feel really bitter about it. As you say, it feels like you've had those first precious days stolen from you. It is very difficult to deal with things like this assertively when you've just given birth - you feel quite vulnerable. However, I do feel that the passing of time and the end of PND has helped. My feelings of outrage and anger used to sometimes dominate everything, and now I barely think about it.

It's awful, but taking revenge (in a my own small way) has helped. We have not spent xmas with the ILs, and they have not seen the DCs on their birthdays. For a long time, requests for visits were politely declined. I believe they now understand that they don't have 'rights' to do what they want, we don't have to do what they say. DH has been very assertive with them, and I think they are now beginning to comprehend that they have to make us want to spend time with them - they can't just impose themselves on us. For the first time, they are hearing the word 'No'.

Sorry - bit of an epic post. Just trying to say that I know how you are feeling, and I think it will get easier for you. It's unfortunate, but I think women insensitive and self obsessed enough to behave like your MIL need very firm, fair and consistent treatment. They need to be shown that their behaviour will have concequences.

MrsBloomingTroll Fri 02-Sep-11 16:31:59

OP, I also lurked on your threads leading up to and around the time you had your baby. I couldn't believe what you had to out up with, you poor thing.

I still have unresolved anger about how PILs behaved after birth of DC1. Nothing as bad as your PILs! I was lucky enough to have DC2 recently and have handled it completely differently, which has helped put some of it to bed. I'm sorry that you won't get a chance to do that.

I really don't know what to suggest, but I felt compelled to offer some sympathy, having followed your previous posts. Take care x

ledkr Fri 02-Sep-11 16:32:59

Thanks evryone,at risk of sounding fraudulent can i just say dd is now 7 months so im not post natal or anything,i am just struggling to move on in a positive way.

lovelybertha we have done exactly that tbh,hardly had them here and reduced evrything we do with them,its a great shame for dh being his only child so of course he wants to share her with his family.
He knows he should have been more assertive but if you had heard the way she went off when he told her she couldnt stay i can see why he was cautious,i really wish id done what 2rebecca said and told her myself but 2 days post section you hardly feel yourself do you?I just couldnt believe it was happening tbh.

The last time dh asked them if they would like to vist fil was heard to challenge mil saying "are you sure its ok" so i think they have got the message,he has visited the last few days to avoid them coming here as i wanted abit of peace before school re starts,but it took two days of convincing for them no to come back with him tonight,in fact he is due in an hour and am not entirely convinced they wont be behind him grin
I have told him i will be off to a hotel if he does.
It has been lovely to get this off my chest.

Inertia Fri 02-Sep-11 19:02:28

Firstly I can completely understand why you still feel angry. You are at your most vulnerable, your baby was at her most vulnerable, and you needed someone to fight your corner and stick to what they'd agreed. If it were me I'd feel that I'd spent 2 days (or however long) doing the hard part, and DH was required to do one thing, i.e. organise his parents, and he still put their demands above the needs of his new child and exhausted wife. To be fair, your DH was probably too tired to argue, but I'd have expected him to be crystal clear with them afterwards why their behaviour was unacceptable.

It sounds as though PIL have never really had to face the consequences of their actions- they still come round and get waited on, and make demands. You know, you don't have to make massive breakfasts etc- you can just give them cereal and toast.

Have you ever told them how their behaviour made you feel? Could you have a clear-the-air talk one Saturday evening with them?They might not listen- at least you've tried. They might storm out in a huff- their loss. It sounds as though they believe they own all rights to their son's life, including your family, and nobody has ever challenged them on it.

fiorentina Fri 02-Sep-11 19:50:44

I totally understand why you still feel angry. I have a 5 month old and have always felt guilty that I still feel so bitter towards my MIL, who arrived the day I left hospital after staying in 3 days having feeding problems, sat there holding the baby when I wanted to try and get him to BF and kept telling me 'I wouldn't have wanted my MIL staying the night I came out of hospital' whilst leaving me to sort things around the house and not helping us in any way.

I too feel bitter that I'll never get that time again, our first night as a family, but feel petty that this is how I feel. I still have to take a deep breath when she comes to stay, and as my husband says, it appears that I'm just tolerating the situation but I find it very hard to get over this, and I feel that's pathetic.

Your situation was 100x worse and I don't think you should feel bad at all, unfortunately I have no real advice, I'm hoping someone comes along with something useful I can also use to help.

waterrat Fri 02-Sep-11 19:55:50

ledkr, have you ever spoken to a counsellor about it? One possible way forward is indeed to speak clearly with them - perhaps even write a letter. But - from what you say, it sounds like she is not reasonable and you would then be left with the possibility that she wouldn't respond in the way you want. That could cause more hurt.

I don't know the answer but you almost need a way to have a ceremony where you accept your anger and put it away. respect it, understand it, know it came from a deep pain and hurt - but see that it is not useful to you anymore.

It's a bag of painful rocks you are carrying around inside you - and only you can put that down. I heard a phrase once that I have found helpful - think of the person you are angry with and say in your head and heart ' I forgive you for not being the person I needed you to be'.. She is who she is, she let you down and hurt you - but if you move forward, you aren't 'letting her get away with it' you are simply recognising her failings/ weaknesses and allowing yourself to lighten a load.

2rebecca Fri 02-Sep-11 19:58:39

If your husband is currently visiting them with the baby I don't understand why they would then expect or want to come to your house for the weekend. Perhaps you make things too easy for them when they do visit and should insist on them helping prepare the food and clear up afterwards and make them take baby out for walks, play with baby etc.
I certainly wouldn't spend 2 days telling someone they can't visit my house. I would just firmly tell them no and that we don't want visitors, end of discussion, repeat same sentence over.
Perhaps having had a crap few days due to the inlaws you over romanticise what the first few days with a baby is like and that is making you angry.

My parents and inlaws were great, no-one intruded on us at all. I still had a crap time with my eldest feeling completely exhausted, son vomiting with reflux constantly, crying alot, sore boobs.
It wasn't a cozy relaxing time at all.
The first few days really don't matter in the grand scheme of bringing up kids though. I would try and let your bitterness over the first few days go and concentrate on making sure future visits are when it suits you both and being firm with when they come and go and get them contributing more. It sounds as though things are improving, but you basically have very little in common with them and are never going to be good friends.

WhoseGotMyEyebrows Fri 02-Sep-11 20:14:30

Yeah I completely get it too.

My PIL couldn't be arsed to visit us after the baby was born so we had to go to them as DH felt guilty they weren't seeing the baby much, so we were there every weekend at least. They were making him feel bad about not seeing the baby but kept turning down our invites and saying they were to busy. Would then find out that they were busy running around wiping my BIL and SIL arses and looking after their kids for them so they could go play golf!

Wouldn't have been so bad if my mum hadn't just died and I was trying to look after my dad, and if my baby wasn't ill and breastfeeding wasn't failing. It was just all to much. Way, way too much. Must say though that initially my DH is to blame for that. WTF is wrong with just waiting for them to get of their arse!

This went on for 2 years! 2 years of putting them before me and my needs while grieving and having a new baby. On top of that they refused to help us in any way, even when I told them that I wasn't coping and could they please help, they just said no. This was at the same time as saying how lucky we are that we get so much help! We have NO ONE else!

They spent at least 2 days a week and every school holiday looking after my DHs brothers kids but refused to help us with ours even though I had told them I wasn't coping. When they did agree to help they changed their mind at the last minute screwing us over and meaning I missed a friends wedding and another one's christening. They also wouldn't help when my DH had an accident and had to go into hospital and let me down the first day of a new job meaning that I lost my job.

I am still angry about it, but think what TheArmadillo said about why you are angry has struck a cord with me. I think it's because my DH didn't do anything about it. He's a lovely man but can't stand up to his family so I feel completely let down. Eventually even he reached his limit and we stopped asking them for help (never came anyway) and stopped visiting. Eventually PILs started making comments about how they missed their GC. I feel that we took away their power and it's what needed doing.

WhoseGotMyEyebrows Fri 02-Sep-11 20:22:55

Should have also mentioned that with 2nd baby they refused to look after oldest while I was in labour. Eventually they did but then demanded we pick them up at 8am the next morning . . . so they could go out clothes shopping.

So no one at the hospital to take oldest for a little walk or anything or help out in any way. So we had a toddler running about and screaming and waking all the other mums and babies. DH obviously wanted to spend time with his new baby so I discharged myself as it was impossible in the hospital with oldest there doing what toddlers do. Then I became ill with an infection. Connection? Who knows.

waterrat Fri 02-Sep-11 20:30:50

I think rebecca2 is right about this incident meaning you are grieving for a time that may not have been perfect anyway. I had a friend who had an awful wedding day, she dreamt about it for months, totally tortured by the wedding she wished she had had. But in the end, a wedding is a tiny, tiny part of a marriage - and those first few days are a tiny part of your life. I know that your hurt is because you can't understand how she can treat you like that - but she did it because she doesn't know any better. People do what they are capable of - some people are weak/ stupid / have no empathy> it doesn't make it okay, it just means that is sadly all you can expect from them.

Don't let this poison your life - you are a good person and have been hurt - they are who they are, just feel sorry that they are such insensitive unkind people - it makes their life shit.

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