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Classic projecting? Or just being rude (or at best, thoughtless) ?

(32 Posts)
alltoomuchrightnow Thu 02-Feb-17 13:08:27

DP's mother is overweight and diabetic.
She is basically agoraphobic (which she won't admit to and says she's very happy to be housebound) and sits watching tv all day. She literally never does anything else apart from watching tv and going on her laptop.
Family come to her, she never leaves.

I am a fairly fit person, love being outdoors, rarely watch tv (didn't even own one for about 8 yrs). I can't stand sitting around, am a total fidget and can't even do sit down jobs which is why always worked in retail management as used to being on feet all day (not doing this right now which does not help). I have been tested for diabetes, cholesterol etc inc again recently and all is well, and I've never been told to lose weight (even though I may have needed to lose a couple of stone.. am not trying to be totally delusional here!). I have under active thyroid which is hereditary from both sides of family and is manageable. Only real problem I have is nightmare periods so I've just started (in my 40s and infertile) on the Mini Pill)
This time a year ago, I was a size 20, having ballooned after starting Citalopram several months before. I had a posh wedding to go to in the summer and used that as a goal to lose 2 stone, using a famous low cal diet.
After that, I went on holiday (last autumn) and relaxed things a little and came off the diet. Hardly gained as DP and I hiked most days and it was strenuous (we never have relaxing holidays , by choice) I told myself if i gained i would not beat myself up about it as it could be dealt with when i was ready again. Intention was to get back on track. Soon after I had an injury and have been pretty much housebound since end of November which being an active person has driven me nuts. (live in middle of nowhere, wasn't allowed to drive and DP was away with work on and off for weeks on end)
Last summer, i was approx a size 14 or close to (large 14?) DMIL knew as we stayed last March when i'd started on the diet.
I'm now up to an 18. I had intended to re address the situation due to starting on the Pill as told to expect some weight gain. It's all personal to me and I HATE talking about diets and my health (ok I am right now but it's anon!) but I will if asked.
At home, DP and I eat pretty healthily and have both been veggies for over 30 years. I don't drink (DP does) for health reasons inc the cal content.

We've just been staying with DP's mum and she hasn't stopped with the constant comments about diet/ what I eat. She was the same as xmas even though I ate v little .
When we were there this time, her Tescos shopping arrived and it was full of buns and sugary pastries (things I would never touch as I just don't like them). Everything that came was ready made (sandwiches, lunch pots etc even though she's been told to eat cleaner). Her daughter has told me before that she eats the sugary stuff in secret. I'm not judging her on this level as obviously has a problem, just giving background here. I had one bag of crisps as we had no food there and she had a go about that (I rarely eat crisps) but she has stock piled about 200 bags under her stairs (she buys in bulk) She's looking at the odd thing I eat when I'm there (as she provides nothing for us) and thinking it's the whole picture. But even if i did eat terribly, it's nothing to do with her.
I can't stand the hypocrisy. I'm 30 years younger and need to lose about 2.5 stone to get my BMI back to acceptable. This is achievable. I took a few months out and shouldn't have to keep justifying it. It was Christmas plus I was out of action for a while (still mending i.e. bones). It's up to me whether or not i get back on track before it goes to far the other way again.
Sick of the rude remarks and don't feel like visiting again but always have gone extra mile for her (she's 200 miles away and widowed, I always take holiday off work to go with DP etc..) She is nice in most other ways! So it's really odd.
We just spent three nights there and all the time (like at xmas) she was saying what happened to my diet, why aren't i still on it. no wonder i'm big again etc if that's what i eat (she never ever feeds us and there's nothing we can help ourselves to so we treated ourselves to a chinese, which was a rare treat, we don't bother with takeaways at home as live middle of nowhere. As veggies we just shared two dishes (so one entire meal each) of mushroom omelette, tofu and black bean sauce. Hardly the most unhealthy meal and as i said, a treat for us. She ruined it for me by making comments the whole time about how greedy i was, yet her son was having the same and we'd not eaten the whole day!
Is this her denial and classic projection?

The crazy thing is that today DP got his blood test results back. Turns out he has high cholesterol, type 2 Diabetes (like his mum) and high blood pressure (he needs to lose about three stone too and has a huge beer gut). He rang to tell her. I have none of those things yet she turned the conversation to me (I overheard as she talks so loudly) Totally nuts when it's her son that is unwell. After the call I said this to him and he just said take it up with her (fair enough as he's just got bad health news)

alltoomuchrightnow Thu 02-Feb-17 13:08:38

Sorry so long sad

alltoomuchrightnow Thu 02-Feb-17 13:13:47

Basically she didn't seem to listen much to her son and his ailments and was still harping on about me eating crisps (one bag!) sweets ( a few chocolates on xmas day when i'd had no proper dinner! and hadn't had any all year! and it's not me who's diabetic) and the chinese meal that me and DP had. (because we have to bring all our own food with us or buy it in when staying)

She keeps saying why aren't i on my diet and how big i've got.
I'm a size 18 but tall (very leggy) and people think I'm a smaller size than really am.That's not my denial..i know what i need to do.. I might look ok (obviously not to her) but I want to get back to where I was last summer
But I won't be bullied and pressured into it!

Dieu Thu 02-Feb-17 13:17:31

Stop justifying yourself, or feeling the need to!
She is the one with the problem, yet obviously lacks any kind of self-awareness.
Totally annoying, but no point in fighting a losing battle ...

StripeyCover Thu 02-Feb-17 13:20:59

Maybe I'm missing something here?

Your DP's mother is castigating you for being overweight? As you say its nothing to do with her. Especially when she is overweight herself.

Really, why don't you tell her to button it. I mean talk about kettle and pot. Personally I would be quite rude pointed about it.

Can you not speak up for yourself ... I don't mean this unkindly.

Every1lovesPatsy Thu 02-Feb-17 13:25:14

She is nuts, bored, obsessed about weight, loyal to her own flesh and blood and the person most suited to feel superior over is you.

She has the excuse of being old and past it and too far gone and that is why she is focusing on you.

Stop caring, you can't make her logical, she is a bit nuts.

alltoomuchrightnow Thu 02-Feb-17 13:25:20

Yes, Stripey. She is overweight, only moves from chair to chair and is diabetic and is told to watch her diet.
I am overweight by about 2 - 2.5 stone, active (when don't have broken bones, but even then have been doing housework etc!) and not diabetic, low blood etc. I have also been running charity shops until recently, which involves unloading vans, lugging donations etc.. all heavy work

alltoomuchrightnow Thu 02-Feb-17 13:28:51

It's difficult , Stripey, I try not to rise to it as she's had a few bereavements in the last four years (bad ones) so I try and be kind.
All I really said was, that the Chinese wasn't so bad in terms of takeaway (but she was still harping on about it when he rang her today) and that i'd relaxed the diet when I'd had my accident, was life was miserable enough being housebound without going back to 500-800 calories a day too and i was going to re address it (starting this week actually, but I'd already planned that before seeing her.. as i only started on the Pill last week)
But then I got annoyed with myself for justifying it .. should have just said, your son is eating the same (and drinks to excess every night!) and can I enjoy a rare treat without you ruining it and watching me (I HATE being watched when eating anyway!)

alltoomuchrightnow Thu 02-Feb-17 13:29:52

I wonder if she was taking it out on me because we saw her Tesco order arrive and all the pastries and desserts etc!! Even if she was doing it subconsciously. She hated us seeing it. We didn't comment on it though!

Dieu Thu 02-Feb-17 13:30:07

She really is pathetic, and more to be pitied than anything. Very frustrating for you though.

alltoomuchrightnow Thu 02-Feb-17 13:30:32

She is feeling smug though as she's just lost a stone (how I do n't know, given what she eats and that she never moves)

Every1lovesPatsy Thu 02-Feb-17 13:32:08

I also hate other people analysing food intake.....its sooooo judgey...please fuck off.

Can you ask her to turn the spotlight on herself and focus on making herself the best version of herself (vom lol). Tell her to practise what she preaches and remind her of boundaries.

Fuck em all.

alltoomuchrightnow Thu 02-Feb-17 13:33:31

Also her ex cleaner popped in to say hi to her when we were there this week.

I've never met the woman. Opening conversation with her was her asking me about 'my diet'! (i.e. the well known diet i was on last year)
I said, well obviously I'm not on it now ! (said in a nice way, not rude). She then felt awkward (not my intention) and said well i didn't know how far you were on it.. i said i started it a year ago and quit months ago having reached my goal! Then end up explaining why i've gained since, and she said yes oh i know (about your accident) I just hated having to stand there talking about diets with a stranger, it's so boring, why is MIL so obsessed that she's telling the cleaner all about me?!
Having no life, I guess.

Bloopbleep Thu 02-Feb-17 13:40:25

Sounds like my morbidly obese chain smoking almost an alcoholic mother who constantly criticises my lifestyle (non smoker,don't drink alcohol, exercise as regularly as arthritis allows, just lost 2st) - she's found a focus that isn't her. Don't ever let on if you're unhappy with any element of your lifestyle or weight to her or she may use it as ammo. Tell her you're happy with your weight (even if you're not) because she's turning it into an obsession which more likely reflects her obsession but be careful she doesn't make it yours too. If she thinks it doesn't bother you she /may/ stop going on about it. I started telling my mum to sort her own life out first but it doesn't stop her. It's just how she is.

StripeyCover Thu 02-Feb-17 13:44:45

I see your point Bloop.

But I dunno, it doesn't justify rudeness.

If I were OP I'd tell her MIL to change the record and take a look in the mirror (smiling, a nice touch of passive aggressive grin). I would never justify my own weight or lifestyle though, I do agree.

schlong Thu 02-Feb-17 13:45:11

Another goady loon of a mil. Poor you op but you really must stand up for yourself. You sound paralyzed in her presence. My porky ex mil got off on calling me fatty when I was PREGNANT. Note EX mil. What happened to the thread by another goady passive aggressive mil (*NannyNAS*) who complained she couldn't get her claws into dgs on her own? Thought had crossed my mind it was a subtle wind up.

Op tell her to back off and she's hurting you. If she carries on ditch the harridan and go NC.

alltoomuchrightnow Thu 02-Feb-17 13:55:06

None of it really makes sense as she is the least vain person that I've ever met . She hoards everything inc clothes but wears the same things daily as she never goes out. She doesn't wash her hair and it's in a stringy ponytail down to her waist (she does shower, probably about once a week though), she hasn't had it cut since the 80s 'I just let it break off'. I find this really depressing TBH but it's her call. (It's not about money, she's well off and lives in a big house and owns several others) Her face is sunken in as she has no teeth and doesn't wear false ones. She eats soft foods that she can manage with just her gums. She's a few years older than my mother but if you put them side by side they'd look like mother and daughter (my mother is a v young and fit 70 and looks late 50s)

MIL has also been projecting in other ways as she sent me an email of an article when i got home, I don't even know how she got my email.
She's not a horrid person just blunt and in denial. She can be lovely. But i can't stand hypocrisy and people being judgmental and not looking at themselves. Maybe I'll just make an excuse next time and not go with DP but I like going to that part of the country and like seeing his family (she has more family a few doors down although we never stay there, she has more room)

alltoomuchrightnow Thu 02-Feb-17 13:55:33

That's awful, Schlong!!

HandbagCrazy Thu 02-Feb-17 14:02:58

You work in management - that should come with a healthy dose of being able to hold your own and be assertive?
You need to tell her, clearly, in a way that can't be misconstrued, that she is in the wrong here and you don't have to put up with it.

"MIL, why are you commenting on my diet? It's up to me what I eat. I don't comment on your food, stop commenting on mine." Then stop talking, don't explain why your weight has changed, how you're normally better / fitter / smaller. You don't have to justify anything!

gandalf456 Thu 02-Feb-17 14:05:40

Ask her if she has any mirrors in the house and, if so, why doesn't she use them?

alltoomuchrightnow Thu 02-Feb-17 14:20:53

I would under normal circumstances (say a bit more). She lost her youngest daughter last summer (whom i was v close to and ws my age) She seems fine but you just don't know how people really grieve do you.... so i have compassion and try not to rise to it but having to bite tongue!

alltoomuchrightnow Thu 02-Feb-17 14:22:41

maybe it's resentment, who knows, I'm here and fit and healthy. (ish)
and her daughter isn't.
Her other daughter chain-smokes in her kitchen when visits and she says nothing.
Daughter who died , chain-smoked, drank too much and smoked too much weed. Again no criticisms.
With her son, nothing despite he has not helped his health problems with hs drinking and lifestyle.
it's all about me and I'm the one she's not related too.
it's so boring

alltoomuchrightnow Thu 02-Feb-17 14:25:07

\what mother would not listen to her son ringing her about his diagnosis, and just starts commenting on me again?!
I;m too nice, I'm always a door mat with her.. but you know, I'm in her house, her territory, she loved DP's ex who ws with him for ten years (wonder if she ever made comments to her!? she's about 6 stone more than me, i know her . bet she wouldn't have dared though)
Ive always got on with his mum and when i ws dieting she ws fine (like i had her approval!) Now I'm off it she doesn't approve (obviously) and making it v clear. So odd given what i say about her teeth, hair and ancient worn out clothes

alltoomuchrightnow Thu 02-Feb-17 14:26:25

Her husband chain smoked too and it caused his early (ish death.
Again all her whole family and herself.
Easier for her to point at the 'outsider'

StripeyCover Thu 02-Feb-17 14:30:49

You sound rather "enmeshed" in all her problems OP.

You could tell her you would appreciate it if she could keep her negative opinions to herself (smiling as I said).

Or just go LC. Swan in, have a quick breezy cup of tea, and then out.

Or NC.

Or just put up with it.

Its really your call.

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