Thursday, January 18, 2007

The V.B. strikes again

This story is for Esereth.

The Mister went to visit his mother last Sunday. She lives about an hour away, but he hasn’t seen or talked to her in over a year and a half. I could never explain the sad history of all this to you. Let’s just say that his mom has transferred the hate she used to feel for her husband to the Mister, with no reason as he is not like his father. She withholds important information and then gets angry with him for not knowing anyway. She and the Mister’s sister (the vituperative bitch of the title) then talk smack about him.

She called us in the middle of the night a week or so ago, seemingly without reason. As a result of that, he went to visit her in her new assisted living studio apartment.

She is very unhappy in her new tiny home, as she doesn’t really need to be in assisted living yet. The place depresses her. So why is she there?

She moved in there after some advice and pressure from the sister. She also gave up driving at this time, also on the advice of sister. Who then drove off with the car, as she “needed” it.

There were no incidents with MIL’s driving that led to this, just advice from sister. “I really don’t think you should be driving anymore mom, and by the way, can i have your car?”

Nice. Really nice.

The sister is in her late 40s and on her 4th husband. Time to learn to take care of yourself woman.

I feel sorry for MIL, but i gotta say, she did this to herself and it is part of a life long pattern of giving the sister money, cars, furniture or whatever she “needed.”

When she dumped her first husband because she was sleeping with her boss and wanted to marry him, well, after he dumped his wife and the mother of his two kids, my FIL bought her all new furniture for her apartment. (Someday i'll give you the condensed version of her life, hoo boy!)

I told the Mister that he should dump me, get all new furniture, and then we could get back together. Except i don’t pull that kind of crap.

You know, i didn’t mean to go on so long, but i guess i have some feelings about this. It’s like the Mister has always been punished for taking care of himself


Lynnea said...

You really meant it when you used the word vituperative.

How conniving and downright mean do you gotta be to convince your mother (even a bad one) to go into assisted living and give up driving when its not necessary. I wouldn't even do that to my mom, and believe me she would deserve it. That is like a total loss of freedom in one fell swoop!

Anonymous said...

It is REALLY tough to live around other people's shit, isn't it? PARTICULARLY the shit of in-laws. You have my sympathy, though I'm afraid that's really all any of us can offer you....

Dick said...

There is no explanation for the behavior of some relatives. You get to choose who your friends are but the relatives are always there. I guess I am lucky in that I like all of mine and do not have any that are big problems.

Mother of Invention said...

Wow! What a piece of work they both are! I feel hurt for your husband. I feel a anger and pity for the two sick puppies. No wonder you have some issues with them. The Mister sees his mother enough..aren't you supposed to leave after visits with friends and family feeling good?

Bob said...

wow. I feel for the Mister, and for you by extension. V.B. more than deserves her title. What a piece of work.

QT said...

So frustrating, Meno. I worry about one of my sisters talking my parents into something similar.

Sorry for you and the Mister having to deal with it.

Mignon said...

Wow. It's Esereth's story on a different platter, huh? At least it's not your sister and mom... but then on second thought, you'd probably have an easier time complaining about it to your spouse. When you bring it up does the Mister plug his ears and shout LALALALALALALA?

meno said...

maggie, oh yeah, i meant it. She would probably argue quite convincingly that she did it out of concern for her mom, but how nice for her that a car appeared when she needed one, and for free too.

mrs.chili, it's what i married into, all those years ago. I just hate it that MIL thinks the Mister is a bad person, when it's she who had driven him away. Bah!

dick, you ARE lucky if you like your relatives and they don't try and use one another.

MOI, oh the stories i could tell you. After 25 years together, this is just one drop in the bucket.

bob, and the saddest thing is, is that he still wishes that he could have a mother to love. It just isn't going to happen. Sigh.

qt, but if your parents let it happen (and they are in possession of all their faculties) there isn't much you can do. I would also bet you real actual dollars that MIL gave V.B. money too.

mignon, sometimes he does. It's been a difficult issue between us, because for years he resented me pointing out the obvious truth about his family. He has changed to accept more that they suck, and i have learned to shut the hell up, most of the time.

Bobealia... said...

That is sad about your mom-in-law. It's sucks that she suddenly has very little independance. Any chance she can be coerced into asking for her car back?

thailandchani said...

It sometimes amazes me how families interact with each other. I have been watching one of my housemates get manipulated by her son for months. There's no positive outcome to this. They believe because they need to believe. No amount of logic will ever convince them otherwise.



Anonymous said...

I've heard that we often hurt those we love most. Mothers can have a unique power over their sons. I can't explain it, I certainly don't understand it, and I have yet to find a logical and efficient way of diffusing situations that arise between my MIL and my husband. But I make sure that he knows that I will support him in any way....and I make sure that the MIL understands she doesn't have ANY power over me. Best wishes to you and the Mister.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Meno, you wouldn't believe how close this comes for me (the VB part). My wife is the youngest of 13 (good Catholics, dontcha know) and there are several bitches in the family who verge on vituperative.

When we moved house five years ago, we decided that it was time someone actually stopped talking about getting MIL to move out of her big, drafty farm house and into town. So, we modified our housing criteria and asked her to move in with us.

Peachy, yes? No. The VB's decided that they had somehow magically sprouted the right to have input into the location of said shared home and they made damned sure that everyone knew that our new house was in the wrong location. Obviously, we're deluded and led Mom down the garden path and had her buy the house for us. (For the record, we own it, she pays rent.) Five years later, these asses rarely come to visit their mother. It makes me sick.

I'll have to write this stuff down. My in-laws are a mess.

urban-urchin said...

Honestly Meno you just described the relationship bw my husband and his mother and sister. (with the exception of the sister being a little more together than yours by the sound of it.) I have goosebumps. For years I tried to understand why my MIL didn't like her own son. Finally, at a party a few years ago, we met up with his cousin who he hadn't seen since his brother's funeral. She gasped when she saw my husband and said you ARE Uncle---! Then it all made sense- she HATES her ex husband so much that she's transferred it to her son who is just like his Dad.

Anonymous said...

I'm there with ya, darlin'.

But you read that story.

Next, I'll be updating the Frango story.

Anonymous said...

I think the sister should be driving Miss Daisy. Forever. Whaddaya reckon?

Susanne said...

Argh. What did someone write, that you're supposed to feel good when you have visited with family? Well, I thought so too, but then I wondered why I never did. I can honestly say that most of our family consists of people, whom we love, and who are not nearly as bad as your MIL, but whom we wouldn't be meeting at all if they weren't family.

And every time you see them they suck you in so you can't think about anything else than their problems. (Really, that exorcizing your mom's voice from your head via phone sounds better and better.)

Andrea Frazer said...

If you want to play the game in a positive way, have your husband by your MIL a new car. It'll put him on her good side and piss off the VB. a win win.

Andrea Frazer said...

I mean "buy" her a car. Bye.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand families sometimes. You know I have issues with my own mother but as a mother myself I just can't imagine ever hating my child. I just can't get my head around it.

Lucia said...

I can't believe how many comments there are here from people who experienced the same thing!

Anonymous said...

wow. I echo Lucia's comments. And oh yes, witness something similiar in my partner's family - but thankfully, not in mine.

meno said...

bo, you know, the pattern in the family is for the Mister to try and fix the problems, and then get shit for it. i don't know if he wants to help her or not. Or if he should.

chani, Exactly, you have nailed it.

patches, i don't think there is a way to diffuse the situation. It started long before you, or i, came along.

gordo, 13 kids! Yowza. You are a hero for having the MIL live with you. I couldn't do it. That's a sad story.

u-u, what a tragedy. I thought this thing with the Mister and his mother was odd, but sadly, i guess not all that odd.

nancy, we need to form a support group, VBanon. Actually, we haven't seen our very own VB in 14 years. We just get tp see her aftermath. Looking forward to the frango scoop.

ortizzle, good idea, except VB lives in Las Vegas and MIL lives at least 1000 miles away.

suzanne, It makes me realize that i am fairly lucky with my family, in many ways.

mamap, i think he will offer to help her shop for one, but he doesn't want to rush in and try to make it all better and then have her shit on him in the end. That has been the pattern in the past. She got herself into this mess all by herself.

patches, i don't get it either. Which is a good thing i think. :)

lucia, sad isn't it?

jen, see another story to add to the pile of family tragedy.

Julie Q. said...

Ah, in-law baggage. The one topic about which I wish I could vent but have to hold my tongue -- uh I mean my fingers.

Anonymous said...

My husband too, has been long punished for taking care of himself. And ridiculed for taking care of his family, by his mother and some extended family members. It's so sad. I hope The Mister isn't terribly damaged by his visit with his mother.

Anonymous said...

Meno, I get along fabulously with my MIL. It's the sibs-in-law that drive my wife and I around the bend. She's fairly certain that when the MIL dies, the family won't bother getting together much any more. The vast majority of them just won't be bothered.

luckyzmom said...

Don't let me get started. It would almost sound like plagerism. .

lu said...

With in a year after my In-laws moved to town to be closer so we could help them through the end stages of FIL's Alzheimer’s, The Ex. told me he wanted out of the marriage. The marriage counselor and I were/are certain this contributed to all the insanity that lead to the end of everything, but he never speaks of the specifics of it, he only makes vague references to abuse and growing up with the fear of being abandoned. He's an only child and I've never witnessed anything but love and affections from them. My experiences with them have always been positive. They continue to be supportive for me and are always more giving than demanding- even in the face of the most dire of illnesses. I'll never know what damage if any real damage was done because he never opens up about anything, but the fact that I helped to move them closer to us, pushed us apart. The fact that your Mister is still so supportive of his mother and so willing to help her speaks mountains for the kind of person he must be. I totally understand why it makes you crazy; at the same time I admire a man who can be so open with you about his emotions and so forgiving of his Mother and Sister. Still yet--gah, I'd be biting back the urge to bitch-slap the pair

meno said...

julie, you can tell us, we'd never tell anyone. Promise.

ddm, it seems to be a common story. I just can't imagine the reality that some people live in.

gordo, well then, maybe that will come as a relief. Not the death of MIL, but the absence of all the self-appointed critics.

luckyzmom, i am surprised at the number of people who have a similar story. Sad.

lu, I have to tell you that the Mister is not forgiving of his sister. Oh, the stories i could tell. But he wants to be in a place with her that when she dies, he will be able to know that he did what he could to help her and will not feel guilt. I wonder how much of your ex's story is true.

lu said...

Maybe part of the desire to be guilt free is somehow all mixed up with forgiveness.

As for my ex's story--I don't think it's in my best interest to believe much that comes from him. He’s like a child that way; you know, his mouth covered in chocolate “...I swear I didn’t eat the candy …” I'm certain that he believes every lie he tells himself to justify his choices. His mother did keep secrets. His biological father was killed in a car accident when he was 2 and she didn’t tell him about that until he was a teen. His stepfather adopted him. That’s messed up, so I’m sure there were dysfunctions, I just can’t imagine any heinous abuse. It was probably silence that hurt him more than anything.