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How to forget the past for the good of the future?

(8 Posts)
StrawberriesTasteLikeLipsDo Fri 14-Dec-12 18:35:46

Can I canvas opinion please? I am having DS2 by ELCS a week today. When DS was born, MIL and I had no relationship, other than negative.

she has said hateful things in the past (criticising my dead dad on my first outing from home after he died, just as an example).

Anyway The inlaws made the early days with DS awful.. Or rather certainly put unnecessary pressure on me.

They Tried to Force a visit at hospital when I was very poorly (long labour EMCS lost blood). I had seen only DP and my mum, I hadn't even agreed to See my sisters who I'm very close too (so it wasn't favouritism on my part).

They said they would visit on the evening when we got home from hospital, which we agreed to as my family came in the afternoon. DP text at half 7 to see where they were only to be told they were eating out, and would see us "about 9", given we were both shattered, me from being in hospital for 4 nights (1 pre 3 post) we told them
Not to bother. The MIL and SIL then came the next day.

His mum didn't greet me, wouldn't hold DS(!!) and said they had only come as the SIL was off to brownie camp the following day and it was "important" she see DS, then when I gave him a bottle said to DP (not me!!) "I thought she was feeding him herself".

Writing all that down sounds horrific. And this disinterested behaviour carried on for quite some time, right up until DS's first birthday. Along with snippy comments. Pre DS she did things like not tell any of DPs family I existed, one christmas I met his aunt and uncle who jovially said "hope
You dont mind a voucher, We didnt know you existed until this afternoon." - We had lived together a year at that point, and been together 4!
She also told a friends mother, upon hearing I was pg "I had hoped she was just a phase". Her first words when DP told her was "have you thought about money?" Followed by "I still have a dependent child!" (SIL was 14 or 15)

Our relationship has very much changed, we get along, have shopped together, been out together with DS, I cant pin point the turn around but its like a different person.

BUT there has never been an apology for those early days, nor any of the past. Id say we have a good relationship with them now, they certainly do a lot for us, and pay for a lot, Part of me feels they buy/ pay for so much to try and make amends.

Anyway thanks for reading, my question is, with DS2 coming soon these memories feel so fresh. Does anyone have any tips for not letting the resentment caused by the memories to creep back in? Im just finding it hard not to think about it.

I will talk to my mum next week privately rather than DP.

garlicbaubles Fri 14-Dec-12 19:12:40

Good for you, Strawberries smile I was all ready to come and talk about how 'forgetting' is rarely the answer to past injuries, but I see you're not planning to erase the truth and have already done wonders in repairing the relationship.

She was really quite vile to you! I can see how your impending second birth has stirred up all the hurt you felt when DS1 was born. Your instincts will say you shouldn't trust her a second time, despite changes in the meantime. But it really does look as though she's trying to make amends. The gracious thing is, of course, to allow her to try and make up for her earlier mistakes this time around.

How would you have preferred her to behave? Ask for this - without raking up the past - and don't offer compromises if she fails. (If she were to pull the late evening stunt again, just say No to the visit.) It'll probably feel better to you if you look on her involvement as graciously allowing her the chance to make good, iyswim.

Yep, do talk with your mum and all the best with DS2! Almost a Christmas baby smile

izzyizin Fri 14-Dec-12 19:21:07

Unless whole swathes of our memory is erased injury, illness, or other means, we can never forget our experiences but what happened in the past is done. It's gone. That was then and this is now.

When you find your mind wandering down memory lane to places that aren't comfortable to revisit, simply think of something else.

With the impending arrival of ds2 to look forward to, you shouldn't be hard pressed to turn your mind to positive events that are taking place in your present and future.

Be thankful for the good relationship you now enjoy with your ILs, look forward to their continued support, and don't allow the past to have a negative impact on the here and now.

StrawberriesTasteLikeLipsDo Fri 14-Dec-12 19:31:50

Thanks Garlic, thats a great perspective. I think I want her to continue with how she has been - interested but not over bearing, I've made this expectation quite clear, and think they are all (DP MIL FIL) on board with it. You are right though, I think i will be fighting my instincts to be more giving and not feel protective? I used to find myself almost body blocking her when DS was small, subconsciously!

I think much will hinge on how she is with DS around DS2, as part of my issue was I felt he was a possession to her. (She took him from me at his christening only to hand him around her family!)

Much water under the bridge I know, i suppose its easier to remember the bad.

Sorry Im probably not making a lot of sense, I figure sounding things out here and then with my mum should give me a few ideas on what it is reasonable to expect (although mum is a bit biased!)

We dont live in each others pockets so long term I dont think there will be an "invasion" issue, I'm more wondering if they will try and see us at hospital, although again her attitude this time is very different, and I have been much more open about wanting to get home (particularly with christmas) and also making DS a priority.

I feel much more positive this time, I just dont want a negative experience this time.

StrawberriesTasteLikeLipsDo Fri 14-Dec-12 19:35:48

Izzy thanks, if only it were so easy! I am mainly positive, (without boring everyone with my life story this in itself is no mean feat at times, as im sure everyone feels) the issue is not over riding my life or anything, its just something playing on my mind, and I dont want it to affect my inlaw relationship, or mine and DPs relationship (as it caused friction in the past).

I suppose its more of a niggle or doubt of my own personality than a worry.

izzyizin Fri 14-Dec-12 19:47:55

If you want it to be, it is that easy, honey. Replacing negative thoughts with positive ones is effectively the main plank of CBT; it's a tool we can prevent the past from adversely affecting the present.

This shouldn't be mistaken for 'sweeping everything under the carpet' but it seems to me that you've spent many hours pondering, and otherwise thinking about and around, your MIL's inappropriate behaviour and it's now time to consign those thoughts to the bottom of the 'not needed on voyage' trunk.

I would suggest that during the next few days you take time to let MIL and any others you don't want appearing at your bedside know that, depending on medical advice, you'll look forward to seeing her/them shortly after your return home with the new arrival.

izzyizin Fri 14-Dec-12 19:48:29

tool we can use to prevent the past etc

StrawberriesTasteLikeLipsDo Fri 14-Dec-12 20:20:10

Thanks thats very true, especially telling myself that the negative memories just aren't needed. Hopefully things can move forward positively

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