So I pretty much have to be nice now, right? UPDATE post 78 - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 89 Old 06-02-2010, 01:06 PM
 
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I'm a breast cancer survivor. I can double check with my oncologist, but as far as I recall, it doesn't mean that everyone in the universe is obligated to have me as a facebook friend.

I think that you did your part with not bashing her to your husband when she was being dx. Now that they are pushing the issue with your dh, while I wouldn't harp about her, I wouldn't pretend, either.

I think it's nice if you can send a card periodically. I liked getting cards while going through chemo. You don't have to say stuff you don't mean in a card--it's perfectly OK to send funny cards, or cards with beautiful pictures and just say something like "hope you are feeling better."

You do not have to pretend to be close to someone who has been toxic to you because they get cancer. And you certainly don't have to let them hurt your kids.
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#62 of 89 Old 06-02-2010, 11:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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MIL emailed dh back and ignored the whole point of the email and talked about the move The Passion of the Christ. ??!!


So Dh went more into what FIL said last night... he said that he should call CPS on me for the way I treat my son.

I am so freaking done.

BIL is here with us now visiting and while he let me in on more family info and these people are just crazy.

After all of the crap that went down they had the gall to call BIL (not dh...) and ask if dh and I would skype with them tonight. Wtf. No way crazies.

I can't have any part of any of it anymore.

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#63 of 89 Old 06-03-2010, 08:45 PM
 
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It seems awfully hypocrital to me for someone to be disowned, but then be re-accepted just because of an illness. If you don't want someone in your life, them being sick doesn't change that.

It sounds like there's some major toxicity in this family and you'll be wise to keep them far away, in health or in sickness.

I hope it doesn't backfire on you for letting this far back into your life. That cps comment.....

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#64 of 89 Old 06-03-2010, 09:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ya the CPS comment really worries me. We should have never started taking their calls again.

FIL also said some weird stuff about how dh needs to "make me" write a letter to them stating that the kids are no longer going to be involved in their lives. I worry that they want me to send this letter to make me look nuts or something so they can send it off to CPS. They can freaking investigate me all they want because I am a darn good mother and anyone who knows me would vouch for me. I am not going to give them a letter to fuel further drama. I don't know why they want it but they are surely not getting it.

It is sad that she's sick, but I don't need this stuff.

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#65 of 89 Old 06-03-2010, 09:36 PM
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I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. Those people are definitely twisted and toxic. Stand your ground. Your children need protecting from these people.

Does your DH have good boundaries in general? It sounds like his parents have exactly none, so it might be a good idea for him to learn about healthy boundaries and how to maintain them with crazy people.
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#66 of 89 Old 06-04-2010, 01:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Dh is actually really good with boundries, probably because he knows what it is like to have yours disrespected your whole life.

We had a long talk. He applogized for not having stuck up for me better sooner. He really just wanted to believe that it could beit worked out.... I don't blame him, who doesn't want things to be better with their family? Who wants to think it's this bad?

The kids and I won't ever have a relationship with them. DH may or may not occasionally call his mother. Not his father. He's realized that this cycle won't end, that they won't change and that this relationship is unhealthy. He doesn't want or expect me to ever deal with them again. He says if they follow through with the CPS threats he will sue them for libel.

So I guess after all of it--- nope you don't have to be nice to someone when they have cancer. It could turn around to bite you big time.

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#67 of 89 Old 06-04-2010, 12:32 PM
 
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Wow. You are so, so lucky that your DH is so level-headed! What a difficult situation for all of you. And yeah, these people are the epitome of bridge-burners. You owe them nothing.
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#68 of 89 Old 06-04-2010, 02:22 PM
 
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It sounds to me like you are trying to be decent and polite, yet they continue to push the envelope. You owe them zero.

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#69 of 89 Old 06-04-2010, 07:05 PM
 
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Saw your other thread on parenting and checked in here.

I am sorry that your son had that terrible experience and it still reverberates. But don't worry -- it will be an incident that made him hear, realize and triply know how much his mom DOES love him.

I think that you can both forgive them and realize they are incredibly toxic people that you and your children should have no interaction with whatsoever.

I recommend the forgiveness and understanding as way to free your heart. Think of them as incredibly, incredibly ill -- which they are.

But I think the extreme cruelty to your son, the lying to your husband, the threatening to call CPS -- I would never trust them again. I would never allow my children to see them.

I would go so far as to request that your husband doesn't talk to them on the family/home phone. I would ask him to ask them to call him on his cell/work phone and to never pick up the home phone when they call/delete all messages. And tell them that this is what will be happening. Because they are spiteful and will be harrassing you, guaranteed.

Regarding her cancer. Please. What the heck does that have to do with anything? It could be her last day on the planet and it doesn't change who she is.

I had an ex who I had had to get an order of protection against. Several years later he contacted my place of worship to ask them to tell me that he had just had major heart surgery and almost died and something he had made for me was still waiting in the hands of a mutual aquaintence. I just laughed and laughed and laughed. How manipulative. Like I would suddenly want to have contact just because he had a brush with death??? Like it changed the fact that he had stalked me, harrassed me, told others he wanted to KILL me, tried to steal my dogs, broke into my home and chased me ....

Finally, I agree -- give your husband the freedom to visit and communicate (not on the family home line) with his parents.

Good luck... hope CPS doesn't come visiting.

Kids. I got two of 'em.
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#70 of 89 Old 06-05-2010, 04:17 PM
 
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Definitely cut them out of your life, what disgusting toxic behavior. Can you be sure she wasn't lying about having breast cancer? Also if you do decide to make up with them, have boundaries, don't leave your kids alone with them etc...
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#71 of 89 Old 06-06-2010, 08:48 PM
 
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I am also a breast cancer survivor. Just because I dealt with a crappy disease doesn't mean I have the right to treat people poorly and then have them just excuse it like it is no big deal.

I would think about forgiving your MIL and making peace with the situation. I mean genuinely forgiving her. If she is saying things that are completely untrue and come from no part of reality (and that she has been doing it for a while now), she sounds out of balance to me. In a strange way, I would feel sorry for her. You can forgive and make peace with a person, and in a limited way even offer some support, while still protecting your family. And really, given the distance, that shouldn't be too hard to do. If you guys are 2500 miles apart, it seems pretty easy to keep the kids away from her. So, you could send her a card or write a simple note stating that you are sorry your relationship hit a hard point, but that you would like to move forward in peace - no need to try to place blame or accept blame. It doesn't sound like she is ever going to see your side of the events (because it sounds to me like she isn't really dealing in reality), but I think there could be some value in clearing the air a bit. It seems obvious that you wouldn't leave your kids with her, but given their ages and the physical distance between you, it doesn't really do much to make a point of it all. Other than that, just continue to support your husband in his relationship with his mom. Treating people poorly, even when dealing with a major illness is NOT OK. Sadly, though, I have seen a number of families not handle major illness well and in the process treat others poorly. The stress and fear of it all unfortunately brings out the ugly side of people sometimes.
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#72 of 89 Old 06-06-2010, 10:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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As of right now, we don't have plans to speak to anyone. It's been so many years of crappy treatment and we just are done... they've called and left messages as if nothing happened but we are ignoring it for now. DH may or may not explain exactly why or we may just let it go and ignore them. Not really sure. He may talk to his mom but I can not handle either of them so I am not going to.

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#73 of 89 Old 06-06-2010, 10:48 PM
 
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I am so sorry this is happening to you, your Dh and your child It sounds like they have some serious mental problems I hope that they don't call CPS. It sounds like not speaking to them is probably for the best

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#74 of 89 Old 06-06-2010, 10:59 PM
 
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Haven't read any of the responses, but:

I don't think you have to let her back into your heart (or giver her complete access to your children) just because she is ill. Heck, any of us might be dead tomorrow, that doesn't mean you need to allow toxic people into your life.

However, I do think you need to support your husband in connecting with her in any way possible if that's what he wants to do. I don't think you need to be participate directly, though. If she approaches you with apologies and attempts to make amends, that might be different, but otherwise...no, you have no obligation to allow someone who has been so hurtful in the past the opportunity to continue to hurt you now.

Edited to add: And now, having read the rest of the updates, I think you are doing absolutely the right thing by cutting them out of your lives entirely. It sounds like an awful situation all around.
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#75 of 89 Old 06-08-2010, 12:40 AM
 
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Stephenie, has anyone already recommended Toxic Parents? Or maybe Toxic In-Laws?

I went through a somewhat similar situation, culminating in cutting my mother out of our lives.

It was hard, there were even times when I regretted it, but over all, 13 years later, it was the best thing I could have done.

I'm sorry you and your family are going through this.

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#76 of 89 Old 06-08-2010, 11:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann-Marita View Post
Stephenie, has anyone already recommended Toxic Parents? Or maybe Toxic In-Laws?

I went through a somewhat similar situation, culminating in cutting my mother out of our lives.

It was hard, there were even times when I regretted it, but over all, 13 years later, it was the best thing I could have done.

I'm sorry you and your family are going through this.

I actually have been meaning to check these out at the library. Thanks for the reminder.

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#77 of 89 Old 06-09-2010, 01:08 AM
 
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I've read / scanned through many of the replies and the thing that strikes me most is that your son is 3 (correct?). I have a 3 yr old and while he will occas. tell a "white lie" (e.g. "my brother did it"...even though he did it himself), pretty much any 3 yr olds I've met (ever) would in no way be able to "create" a "lie" to the extent that your IL's (and, maybe at some point DH) say did. In other words, there is no way your son could lie about his gpa having told him "mommy doesn't love you". Not only that, but his reactions (crying, nearly feverish) are a TRUE reaction that he was scared/hurt/confused and again, that is not something kids "make up". If your DH is still not sure his father (or mother?) said that to your son, I'd reiterate all of the above! (though it does sound like your dh is now much more supportive of your views).

Personally, I would never allow my children to be around the IL's at all (even supervised) as they are just to toxic. (if circumstances / illness do change, well, then at that point you can reconsider for BRIEF and COMPLETELY supervised visits with ILs, but for now....NOTHING!!!).
FWIW, I agree with posters comments that you are handling this the best way you can! Your job/duty as a parent is to protect yourself and your children!
Hopefully, things will get better in your new environment and you can meet lots of new friends and just completely move on from this situation!

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#78 of 89 Old 07-02-2010, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So DH has refused to talk to them since the CPS threat. They've both tried to contact us, his father sent a half-hearted apology where he said they'd never meddled in our affairs and he was sorry if we "took anything the wrong way" but he'd never meant to offend us. Right because "I should call CPS on your wife" is compliment in some circles.

But his mom just won't let it go. She sent him a facebook message about two weeks ago saying she'd give him some space... followed by three more emails and a phone message that week. Then a hytrarical phone message where she called me a liar ("Whatever Steph says is not true." ) Then, as my husband is trying to figure out how to process this, my cell rings... and it's my mother, saying MIL had called HER. (They've had almost no interaction... not friends by any means) And of course made everything out to be my fault... which my mom corrected and said she knew that it was DH's choice to keep his distance. After this, dh emailed her saying she needed to give him his space and he was not going to talk to her until he'd had the time to talk about it with a therapist.

So then, I get another call this morning, and she's emailed my mother TWICE this morning, once asking for our address and a second to "let her know that Nick is in therapy." I got off the phone and BIL, who was here at the time, told me that he just got a voicemail that said that DH was getting therapy to learn how to talk to people. Oh my goodness. This woman knows no boundaries.

So DH emailed her and told her that this was exactly why we were not talking to them and she needs to learn boundaries and asked if she thought we didn't talk to my mother, his brother or each other and that he wasn't going to see someone to learn how to talk, but to learn how to deal with all of their drama and weirdness. We'll see how that goes.

I am soo close to changing our numbers... but it wouldn't stop her from harassing my poor mom.

I am quite overwhelmed by this all. I keep hoping it will get better for us, but it doesn't.

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#79 of 89 Old 07-03-2010, 12:28 AM
 
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Oh, no. She is just completely toxic.

I would not blame you for changing numbers!!! And your poor mom. If she has caller ID, I think she should probably not pick it up. Or if she does, say to MIL, "Please do not contact me any further about the issue between you and your son!"

What she is doing seriously IS harrassment.

I feel for you. I wish this did not remind me of my MIL..but it does. When DS and I were sick on Mother's day this yr, and we were supposed to visit her, and then had to cancel because we were just too sick, she called everyone in the family to tell them that I "keep her son from her". Well, not my family, because she doesn't know how to contact them. Thank God. And not ME of course. Just everyone else.

Anyway, keep up the boundaries with her on y'all's end. If you need to change numbers, do it.
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#80 of 89 Old 07-03-2010, 12:44 AM
 
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This woman is totally nutters, and I'm really sorry you're dealing with this.

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#81 of 89 Old 07-03-2010, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So far there's been no reply to the "This is why we are not talking to you" email. Nor has my mom been contacted again. I am sure she's going to be talking BIL's ear off about the whole thing because he leaves today to go visit them...but maybe we'll get a break from the situation for awhile now. Not holding my breath though.

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#82 of 89 Old 07-03-2010, 11:22 AM
 
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Stephanie, you may want to look into advice given to the victims of stalking.

www.stalkingvictims.com

They have a lot of good information there, and a discussion forum.

I'd stop ALL contact with them. Don't answer their phone calls or emails, not even to say "we aren't talking with you". If she sends you things by mail, mark them "return to sender" and put them back in the mail unopened. Don't respond to their accusations and threats.

I know this is hard. That period when you are done, but they are still harassing you, that's the hardest. It will pass.

Still so sorry you are going through this. It took about 6 months for my mother to finally stop most of the harassment. And it took another couple of years for her to completely stop all attempts at contacting us.

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#83 of 89 Old 07-03-2010, 03:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I spoke too soon. She replied saying "I do understand about boundaries. I've done a bible study on boundaries and learned about them at counseling." She then said she did NOT apologize for contacting my mother on multiple occasions. She seems to feel since they are both grandmothers it is appropriate to contact her as she pleases and share personal information.... Then she said that her and FIL have tried so hard to be nice to me () and that all of these problems stem from me and I have always tried to keep them away from the kids... and now I am trying to take their son away. After he has told her sooo many times that HE wants the space. After I dealt with countless family dinners, bbq's, holidays, etc etc where they belittled my parenting and personal choices.
She then gave him a guilt trip about how she's sick (by the way they are ending her chemo EARLY because she's doing so well...) and quoted some Bible scriptures (another guilt trip really.)
She is nuts. I mean I really think she has a mental disorder. How can she think she is ok with boundaries?
DH is off talking this over with our pastor... hopefully he'll come home in less of a frustrated state than I am in, I really want to call and yell at them (I wouldn't- just would feel nice to give her a piece of my mind....)

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#84 of 89 Old 07-03-2010, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ann-Marita, thank you for the link. I would never have thought it would get to the point where I am looking at advice for victims of stalking, but it does seem appropriate.

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#85 of 89 Old 07-03-2010, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok my mom just filled me in on more of their conversation. Apparently, MIL says I am "unbalanced." I can not believe the gall of this woman- to call up MY mother and tell her I am crazy...
Dh had good talk with our pastor who agreed that there really is no way to work it out with them.

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#86 of 89 Old 07-03-2010, 10:09 PM
 
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Three things:

1.) No contact means no contact. Do not answer the phone when they call. Throw their letters and packages directly into the garbage, unopened. "RETURN TO SENDER" is a form of contact. No contact. DH should not talk to her either. The time for talking is done. If he chooses to talk to her/them, he should do it from his own private cell number and email address. You should block her on Facebook (it's under your privacy settings) as well as your FIL and anyone else you think might be sympathetic to her lies and stories. Stop giving her and her allies access to your life.

If possible, block their phone number(s) from calling you (call your phone company or cell provider to find out how); if not possible, put their numbers into a catch-all "DO NOT ANSWER" contact, the same place you put known telemarketer numbers and other assorted annoyances. This makes it much easier not to answer the phone no matter how steaming mad you are at them. You might consider changing your number(s) and keeping the old one(s) and just letting the voice mails pile up. Your stalkers never know you changed numbers because the old ones are still active, and you don't have to be afraid to answer the phone. Read Gavin de Becker's The Gift of Fear for more helpful hints.

Do not discuss them with mutual acquaintances. Do not discuss them with anyone but the police, which leads me to...

2.) Restraining order--it's time to get one. Your MIL's behavior is escalating and at this point I would be fearful that she may try to actually harm you and/or your husband and children. Get it on record with the police that she is actively stalking you, harassing your mother, and otherwise destroying your peace of mind and sense of safety. Seriously, go to the police station in person and find out how to get a restraining order against this person. I know it's intimidating and seems drastic, but the police are used to dealing with this sort of thing. A restraining order is just a piece of paper, but if she violates it she will spend the night in jail. With sociopathic/delusional types like your MIL, sometimes this is what it takes to show them that their insanity and abuse WILL have negative consequences.

3.) It's time to let go. This woman and her husband are clearly mentally ill. They will not change. They will not suddenly see the light and stop being crazy. They will never come around. I know you understand this, and your pastor is helping your DH understand it, and his therapist will too--and that's good. But you really have to internalize what it means to stop caring about their opinions, their lies, and what they say and think about you. Fuming about them and worrying about the latest smear campaigns and lies they spew might be satisfying for a while, but it's actually very bad for your well-being and mental health. Don't let these people's toxicity seep into your life. Don't focus on what they say about you, and don't let well-meaning or meddling mutual acquaintances tell you what they're saying about you. It doesn't matter.

Let them go. Decide that they are dead to you--because they should be--and once you've taken the necessary steps to keep them away, cut the emotional cord that keeps you wondering what they're saying now. And then give your DH the biggest hug in the world, because these people were his parents--he grew up in this craziness, and of course he's in therapy because that's what you have to do when your parents are toxic like this. He's probably the strongest and bravest person you know, and pretty much no one in the world is going to give him a medal for walking away from these lunatics, even though it's clearly the right thing to do--because they're his parents and for some reason, parental abuse of adult children is considered more acceptable in our society than severing contact with those same abusers.

Huge hugs to you and your family. Things might get worse before they get better--but then life'll be so amazing and sane that you'll wonder why you didn't walk away years ago.


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When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty. --George Bernard Shaw

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#87 of 89 Old 07-03-2010, 11:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you peainthepod. You are so right, I need to let go. I have been so shocked by their behavior that I have not really known how to deal with it- but letting go is the only way, I think. Nothing I do will change it. I am so frustrated with it all and it is not doing me any good.

I will talk to dh about a restraining order, I just don't know how he'd feel. I'd be ok with it. I do worry about them getting our address out of BIL. He knows we don't want them to have it, but she says she wants to mail things to the kids and that sounds so harmless that I worry he'll cave. If she has the address I worry that they may eventually, when she's well, just show up on our doorstep. Which would NOT be ok. A retraining order would help prevent that.

I am so sad when I think of DH's childhood. Just so glad he's able to break the cycle and our kids are growing up in a happy home.

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#88 of 89 Old 07-04-2010, 01:33 AM
 
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Lots of good advice from others already in this thread, especially peainthepod.

Stephenie, you are handling this situation extremely well, and I am so glad your husband is standing up to his parents, which must be so hard when you've been raised around that level of toxicity and manipulativeness. As time passes you will truly stop caring about their lies about you--the important thing now is to keep your family's distance, not keep track of the latest crazy thing the crazy in-laws are doing.
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#89 of 89 Old 07-05-2010, 12:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hillymum View Post
Hi, my name is BITCH and I would say keep your distance! Sorry but she seems to have gone out of her way to really cause harm. Her being ill (even with breast cancer) does not equal a free forgiveness and open welcome in my opinion. If she called you and apologised then maybe you can start afresh, but only then.
I would, however, encourage dh to be a son and I would support him. I would not let ds stay or visit unsupervised.
Hello, we must have been separated at birth.
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