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MIL snooped through our house - Page 2

post #21 of 27

That is straight up weird and creepy.  I would never ever again trust my child to be unsupervised with someone like that.  I am trying to think up an explanation in my head of what exactly she was digging for that would maybe make some sense...like curiosity about your finances or something (that still would be totally inappropriate but less creepy), but she was digging in your dirty laundry too.  That is bizarre and borders on some sort of weird fettish/obsession.  I don't know what but it just is "off."  Plus, your DD trusted you enough to tell you what was going on and she obviously felt very uncomfortable, so I wouldn't give granny the chance to make her feel that way again.  Granny broke trust and lost her opportunity for that sort of relationship with your DD because clearly she isn't stable and cannot be a positive adult in your DD's life.

 

Also, I will just say that I hear a lot of people saying that they want their kids to have a relationship with grandparents despite the fact that they themselves have enough issues with grandparents that they don't want a close relationship with them.  I really don't think kids suffer one bit from not being close to grandparents who lack boundaries, yell and scream like you describe, etc., and this is coming from someone who wasn't allowed to have a relationship with certain toxic grandparents.  I did not miss a thing.  I am glad that they weren't part of my life.

 

I agree with others who say only supervised visits here and there and not at your house.  Your MIL doesn't sound like the type of person any of you need to be spending a ton of time with.  Good luck!

post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by craft_media_hero View Post



 (she says she was looking for a tool to fix our toilet?),

 

 

Do you generally keep tools among your dirty laundry and behind your books on the bookshelves?  It seems like she's obviously lying.  Even if she weren't lying, though, this is still a boundary violation.  She doesn't get to walk into your house and start fixing things without being asked to do so. 

 

 

post #23 of 27

As for the tool for the toilet excuse:  She's counting on your dd to be too stupid to describe what she was doing, or you to not believe your dd.--more likely the first.  I've noticed a lot of people doing shady things with children in tow really underestimate the perceptions and intelligence of children as witnesses.  They get used to them being babies who can't discern and who are helpless non-people when it comes to witnessing things and don't notice them getting older, knowing exactly what is happening and also able to articulate it.   

 

I have known a few liars who didn't even know or care if their lies were the least bit believable.  That's pathological.  It was always a hopeless relationship...  They can't see anyone's perspective except their own, and they usually can't even tell for themselves what's true and what's a lie.  I think it is a survival skill for people who feel compelled to do things they know deep down are really really wrong--they muddle themselves up so they can't face the truth inside or out.

 

I would not tolerate the behavior at all.  And I would try to keep discussions very brief since they are useless.  Simple statements, like "because of what you did we don't trust you" are the only kind of things I would be willing to say, avoiding anything like rehashing details which seems to go nowhere good.  I would most likely attempt to preserve some relationship with supervised visits, but remember that this kind of person will say false and undermining things to your kids later on, often sneakily so that the kids don't quite pick up on it. No outside force is able to make a person like that have respect for others when deep down inside they simply don't.  You cannot talk them into it.  Don't try.  State your position only.  She has already shown hers.  Done.

 

My little OT story:  I discovered my mother had progressed to listing my faults--particularly her criticisms of my parenting--to my young teen right around the time time her husband started being verbally abusive toward my special needs son (my dear annoying and oblivious Aspie).  Apparently she was telling her how I was too restrictive a mother.  Oh, and I was being too protective of my son as well which was the reason he wasn't able to learn (verbal-abuse style?) from his mistakes.  I feel bad for my mother because she mainly doesn't "get" a lot of boundaries for herself or others so is barely aware what she is doing.  Her husband was the one with serious aggression issues.  But even though she knew how bad his actions were she referred to me as "holding a grudge" rather than simply protecting my children when I wouldn't leave them for overnight visits with them.   She had to find a way to take his side and make out like they were victims of my harsh decisions.  I decided not to debate that kind of thing, thank goodness.  We did a couple of overnights where we camped at their house with the kids, but Mr. Scream and Rage caused a few more problems partly because he was mad at us for staying.  So we ended up with a rather distant relationship.  Much, much better.  You can't change others.  You can really only change your response.  We do a few holiday visits.  That's okay.

post #24 of 27

Yikes poor dd!

 

I don't have experience with seriously toxic family members but in this situation I might try something like, allowing her craziness from this incident to blow over and when she gets back to her "acting somewhat normal so she can see her grandkids" I would try to settle in a place where you, dh, kids, her, grandpa all get together like once every month or something in a public place (no ones home) for a predetermined amount of time.

 

Personally I don't think cutting family out of your kids lives is always the way to go when people act insane. If she can handle this kind of set up without doing something that would freak out the kids I'd try to maintain it, with absolutely NO room to expect she will gain ground. I would not let her have the kids over again, that's for sure.

post #25 of 27

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by craft_media_hero View Post
This is what I'm going for ^

 

I did email her in a very positive, non-violent communication type of way, and talked to dd more about it, and I think she was probably giving our place they hawk-eye (she says she was looking for a tool to fix our toilet?), I don't think she will be coming over without me or dh actively present here---I'm really glad I brought it up coz we've had a long email conversation, and I think that in some ways we might be better off than ever, and I'm glad I did set down some boundaries, though I was really gentle and positive and open about it. So . . . we'll see!


That's all well and good, but ... you'll also be locking the door, right? And what about letting your DD be alone with her? It was a really terrible position your MIL put your DD in -- I wouldn't give her an opportunity to do something like that to her again. Your MIL sounds quite untrustworthy, so I wouldn't just assume that all will be fine just because she says it will. 



Quote:
Originally Posted by les_oiseau View Post
Personally I don't think cutting family out of your kids lives is always the way to go when people act insane.


I agree, and want to clarify that my position is that the MIL shouldn't be alone with the kids, not that she should be cut out entirely. I don't think there's anything wrong with only visiting as a family. 

post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post

 


That's all well and good, but ... you'll also be locking the door, right? And what about letting your DD be alone with her? It was a really terrible position your MIL put your DD in -- I wouldn't give her an opportunity to do something like that to her again. Your MIL sounds quite untrustworthy, so I wouldn't just assume that all will be fine just because she says it will. 


 


 

I totally agree. If she still has a key or is allowed to be alone with your child, then you and your DH didn't learn anything from this.

post #27 of 27

I think what happens next should be mostly up to your husband, because this woman is his mother. If he wants to cut contact entirely, you should respect that. It sounds like your MIL has serious mental illness and has probably put him through the wringer his entire life. If he wants to cut her out, he has every right to do so and I firmly believe you should support him in his choice. I also think it's sad about your FIL, but I have trouble sympathizing with him too much if he actually allowed this woman to estrange him from his own children/grandchildren. Perhaps not getting to see your DD anymore will be the push he needs to see his wife for what she truly is--a toxic and manipulative liar who badly needs some sort of help.

 

Your DD was incredibly brave to tell you about this--she needs to hear that whatever the consequences of your MIL's actions, it was your MIL's actions--and NOT your DD's telling--that created the situation. She did the right thing and will need to be told this more than once, I imagine. What a great daughter you have!


Maybe your DH will change his mind about cutting her off, and of course that's fine. But if he doesn't want his toxic parents to have any contact with your family--and that certainly doesn't sound unreasonable, given the kind of people they are--then that's what should happen. Your DD will suffer far more from having a toxic relative in her life than from not having contact with her--I speak from experience. greensad.gif

 

Good luck, mama. What a sad situation. 

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