I could use some advice on how to handle this. I am very upset.
DD7yo spent a few days @ Gramma's house. Last time we talked (Friday), dd told me that she would be home Sunday (which MIL had said before, too). So this AM, ds and I get up and leave the house to run errands. DH is in bed coz he worked a graveyard and got to bed @ 5am---he is a heavy sleeper and totally crashed out. I left the house unlocked. Abt 9am.
We got home around 1:30, dh woke up a little later, then MIL calls and says they're on the way to bring dd home and show up 15 minutes later.
They show up and chatty chatty, nice nice. I'm really glad dd had a nice weekend with them. We have not had the best relationship track record w/ MIL; without getting into it too much, she's super controlling, co-dependent, narcissistic, toxic, yada yada. No boundaries. She has been "good" for a while, and we genuinely want our kids to have grandparent relationships, so we are forgiving and try really hard to have a functional relationship with her.
A little while later, dd comes to me very seriously and says she needs to tell me smth that Gramma did.
Okay---so she describes how Gramma wanted to drop off her clothes early so they wouldn't have to bring them when they dropped dd off later (what? that doesn't make sense to me but sounds like smth MIL would make up), they came in the unlocked house while dh was sleeping and I was gone, and Dd says Gramma was going through our house, opening kitchen cabinets, looking behind books on the bookshelves, looking in the bathroom medicine cabinet, sifting through our dirty laundry (wtf?), and opening and looking through our filing cabinet, sifting through papers in our office, and dd says she started to turn on our new computer (dd's comp for school). She says Gramma said she had to change clothes and climbed over the baby gate (not an easy task coz it's at the top of stairs), down the stairs, through our laundry area (which was by now means up to "company standards"), and into the downstairs (basement) bathroom--dd says she asked her why she didn't just change upstairs (the bathroom everyone uses) and Gramma said, oh I don't know (umm, coz you wanted to snoop). Dd said it made her feel all anxious inside to see MIL's actions, and dd said to her 'aren't we going to go?'
She basically rifled through our whole house while dh was sleeping. I feel totally violated. I'm really angry.
I want to confront her and set boundaries--I want to email her because anytime someone calls her on inappropriate behavior face to face or on the phone, she A. denies it B. starts yelling as loud as she can over them so she doesn't have to listen C. all the sudden literally loses her hearing (she has legitimate hearing problems but it rly "flares up" when she wants to shut you out) D. calls everyone in the family and spins the story of how somebody just flew off the handle and attacked her, victimize, etc.
Dh is furious, called his stepdad (FIL) and let him know (coz of above phone communication issues w/ MIL), hey we know she did this and are upset abt it, need to be able to trust, etc. He wants to cut ties with her coz this is just one more straw, kwim? FIL says they should go to counseling--I feel bad for FIL, he's pretty nice and really wants to be a grampa (MIL estranged his son and son's kids from them).
I'm torn because I am estranged from my dad for trust issues--it sucks and I feel like that's a last resort. I'm sad because I felt like our relationship with MIL was finally getting pretty functional, and we were able to trust her enough to send dd for the weekend. How can I trust my kids with someone who invades my privacy like that? Dh is convinced that she weasels dd for information about us, too. I feel really sick to my stomach and more and more upset about this-also, what is she looking for? We are good parents and pretty damn responsible. Yes, we have dirty laundry; please don't search through it looking for poo, coz you will find our poopy diapers! We have nothing to hide, though. There's nothing she could "find out" on us that we wouldn't just tell her face to face.
WWYD? Should I write an email? In the past, I have called her on crap and set boundaries, after which she ignores us for a while til things scab over, then is really nice for a while and on good behavior because she wants to be with the grandkids, then does something totally wack like this. This is the worst blow yet, though. I don't think I will be able to fully trust her again.