Mother-in-Law (77) increasingly belligerent

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And she's mad at me again.

She is an only child and I married her son who is also an only child. He is a well-regarded physician who is never home (and I mean never) and who is killing himself working (I suspect part of this is so he doesnt have to deal with her). We have three kids, all in high school.

MIL had something wrong with her before she started her recent round of belligerence, BPD/NPD/something. She's always been odd with no friends, no filter, she looks odd (dyed hair either in tiny poofy perm sitting on top her head or grey hair down to her bra strap worn in a pony tail) and has always been miserable and demanding.

She was mad at me in October: actually screamed at me on the phone (something about something with a "you look here missy") (I hung up) and then she was mad at me in December (something about something) and now she is mad at me again: this time, joy of joys, she posted sarcastic sh*t on my Facebook wall and her wall. (Don't you just love Facebook for this?)

She's mad because she isn't getting the attention she feels she deserves to have from me. (I'm her main contact point) And do you know why I can't give her the attention she feels she deserves to have? Because 2 of my 3 kids spiraled with mental health issues in 2015; one having debilitating panic attacks and one with either an emerging diagnosis or an overlooked one (like high functioning autism).

Since May, my life has been hell trying to fix my kids. They both had difficult issues that required many doctor appointments, many meds, many side effect from meds, many med changes, and many therapy appts to go with ghe doctor appointments.

My son is a senior in high school and was dual enrolled in 9 hours of university classes, so I had to learn all the material so I could reteach it to him in the evenings (im a retired teacher); I also had to drive him to most classes. Once I ws in an appointment with him to get the ADA accommodations set up and my daughter called me because she was at school having a giant panic attack.

Let me post this and come back to finish


It nearly killed us, but my son pulled off a 4.0 and has mostly settled down into a sweet spot of meds. My daughter is doing better and is learning the EMDR thedapy technique. (Son starts this too this month).

By December I was unded so much stress I had ballooned up 3 sizes (i think I blew out my adrenals) and in early December I called DH and told him I was leaving, going to Florida and I'll be back when I get back. I couldn't make that work but it was nice thinking about sitting on a balcony on the beach eating salads and getting sunshine.

So IT.WAS.BAD. But we got through it and things are starting to calm down, but I've had bronchitis since Dec 30 and am still not well.

The other day MIL posted a poem to my FB wall with a personal note about how this is how she feels sometimes and how we neglect her. The poem has not one thing to do with reality: something like "dear son, i know you are an adult now but you will always be my baby. I know you are out having fun with your friends and living your life but it would be nice if every now and again you could call me to say hi mom, im fine and just wanted to say hello."

I got so mad I deleted her post and turned off facebook for a few days. She is apparently so out of it she has already forgotten the EXTREME stress and chaos we SURVIVED. I'm still in survival mode, because not only did I get sick but two kids got sick too so I had to take them to urgent care, etc.

The only thing that matters to her (who lives ten minutes away) is how lonely she feels.

Then she posted a pic of a skeleton on her Fb wall that said "this is me waiting for my kids to appreciate me" UMMMMMMN, excuse me??? How rude! She who has a phone but cannot call (because that would mesz up her game of winning the "no one ever calls me" game).

DH's birthday was early December and because she was mad at me, we didn't invite her for cake and it was so wonderful!!! I never realized how much of a drag she is on family events. All about her. For once it was rightfully about my husband.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that the week of Christmas I had to put my elderly dog down and the next day found out my puppy had parvo (but lived!). All that matters to her is what isn't happening in her world.

Still. I feel bad for her. She won't let me go to doctor appointments; she is diabetic but insists she isn't. There are so many sweets in her house its like a bakery. She plays with her diabetes meds: takes on empty stomach, blood sugar drops then she eats a cupcake and coke.

God, how long is this going to go on??? I know I have to not let her attacks on me get to me, but it is such a wounding.

I just needed to vent, thanks.
Here is the stupid poem so that we can all engage in a collective eye roll:

"To my child, I worry if you are tired and how your day has been. I pray you are happy and surrounded by friends. A part of me still needs to hear these things from you. Many days you are busy, but a simple "hello, I'm fine" definitely will do. You are an adult now and you have told me so (uh, yeah. We are middle aged now) but the parent in me can never completely let you go, as you will always be my baby deep in my mind and sometimes I need to hear "hello mom, im doing fine."

Whoever wrote this should be shot.

I turned off FB before I wrote a comment that says: oh, i had no freaking idea you were under the delusions that we are fine and doing ok and are living carefree lives hanging out with friends. We have been in our own one star shit parade since the summer. Your son has high blood pressure and will proabably have a stroke and die at work. I've been trying to do all I can so my oldest son doesn't kill himself. Remember in December when I wanted to run away from my life? WE ARE NOT FINE. We are barely holding it together. You know this.

For a start unfriend her on Facebook, then she won't be able to post on your wall or see what you post. Ignore her for now - your family and your own health and sanity must come first! My "Mommie Dearest" lived to be 89 and was pure hell life long so you could potentially have another 12 or 15 years of her shenanigans which will get worse with age and possibly dementia/alzheimes.
SW, I do feel your pain. I won't go into detail, because you don't need to verify that I understand and have similar relatives. I WILL tell you that your husband needs to be responsible for his own relationship with his parent. My MIL is a narcissistic waif in search of rescue and has health issues to warrant concern. My husband buries himself in work and would gladly leave his dysfunctional parents to me to manage, BUT I can barely be around them after a series of nasty and self centered episodes over the years. Honestly, once I told husband that I wasn't responsible for his parent's happiness or contact, my life improved. It's not my responsibility to buy her birthday or Christmas gifts. My son is graduating this year, and the lament of how lonely she is 50 miles away and what will I do with my time once he's gone has already started. When my mother died, MIL's main comment to me when they came down for her funeral was how nice it was to have a romantic getaway. Block her on facebook if you have to. You are only her primary contact (unless you have Power of Attorney) if you CHOOSE to be. Many years of therapy got me to this point and it really makes a difference. You have primary responsibility to your children, not to her. and IT WON'T get easier. She WON'T UNDERSTAND. just vent here and know that you are accepted and understood. :)
Avoid her on social media by either staying off of FB or unfollow her posts.
Focus on your own health and your childrens'. There is enough on your plate already. If FB or texts upset your children, do not allow them to take the devices to school. Keep it simple.
This is tour husband's mom. The vitriol is for him. Unfriend and ignore. I know that isn't easy to do advice. But try.
you are getting so angry and stressed at what your mother-in-law is posting & I bet her blood pressure has not got up a bit. She is enjoying this. She probably knows she is getting to you.

Good advice here - DISENGAGE. Unfriend her on face book. Don't follow her posts. Focus on getting you and your children healthy - her awfulness is pulling you back. DISENGAGE. If she calls - your husband has to call and deal with her. Actually, make your husband put on some big boy underwear (maybe star wars??) and deal with his mom.

I know so many people with MIL like yours in their lives - either parents or inlaws. If you refused to play - you will have cut out all of the stress and anger that keeps this going and going and going on and on and on.

As my therapist told me many times "it is OK to love yourself too"
Well, with the poem - she's quoting somebody else's stuff, isn't she? Pretty trite stuff it is, too, but while your MIL should be spanked for lack of discrimination, arguably, she's only sharing something that struck a chord with her. It's not like she wrote her own or posted "my DIL is a cruel heartless how's-your-father who keeps my son chained in the garage etc etc etc."

But never mind the degree of what she's up to. Great or small, you don't need it on top of everything else; and, besides, surely the first casualties of the kind of battles you've been through are one's normal sense of proportion and one's normal sense of humour (or at least one's ability to stomach other people's humour). So *of course* you just can't cope with her now; and so don't, and don't feel bad about it either.

I agree with everyone else: bye-bye Facebook, let MIL be DH's problem - or not, indeed, seeing as he prefers to avoid it, but that's up to him.

I feel bad for her, too. Her story is what happens when you expect your single child to supply your social and emotional needs. But you know what? THAT wasn't your doing, either.

Just… can you find a way not to exclude her from his birthdays? Can he at least drop in to see her, maybe? (Though again, this is his problem, not yours). I'm not sure why exactly, probably it's my own baggage, or the fact of her having played a pretty pivotal role in the event, but that one instance jars with me a bit.
Thank you all for having my back. It was such a relief to see replies and understanding.

I had just turned her back on FB lol!!! Yes, she will get turned off again.

Random points, thoughts based on the replies:

DH is doing better about handling her instead of me. I laid down that this fall-- she's your mom, you deal with her. He is taking her this weekend for an overnight visit to their city of origin. I don't know how this will go for him since he has to take a xanax to even talk to her on the phone.

I have several years of therapy under my belt from having to deal with my family of origin (FOO). I know all about FOG and JADE (mentally ill, stalker sister, enabling mother)... Just got a bit rusty perhaps. Its been good reading on here to be reminded of how to set and maintain boundaries.

MIL needs to win most pathetic life of all. You know. Its never enough and its never going to be enough. I try to keep my kids away from her because she is a jerk and triggers their anxieties. She is a woman-child.

She doesn't comprehend that we are now middle aged and she is elderly. Oftentimes (her birthday soon) she tries to state that we are the same age, and she'll make a dig about how I'm as old as her, etc.

As for birthday presents, she always wanted a Pandora bracelet because her friend has one. My goodness, there is no better way to spend a ton of money and have nothing to show for it. Between christmas and her birthday, I have spent wdll over 300.00 and she now had 4 charms, a bracelet and a safety chain. but, at least I can just get online and order them, so not a lot of sweat for me.

Oh this reminds me, we have never celebrated grandparents day and is just gets her riled up that we don't acknowledge it. (I know no one who does). So I finally said, ok look... Pick one: mother's day or grandparents day. You choose. You all already knew the answer, right? She wants both. Lol. I hate mother's day because of her.

I am trying to find some time for me to have space alone, and it looks like this weekend I will be by myself in my own home!

Oh, about meds:

That's what the first rage/screaming phone call was about recently. I found out she had stopped taking her Cymbalta cold turkey (which is worse of a withdrawal than Paxil). I was trying to communicate the risks of doing that to her (obviously communication is strained and a one way street based on what she wants to hear). She somehow took it as a dig from me that she needs medicine and something something something but it ended with her raging at me about it and trying to blame me for it.

I have also mentioned a sitter before and she will have none of that.

i also find her behaviors are much worse when she eats lots of sugar. When I go over there, I see old cake and pie containers, etc.

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