MIL wants to "know my story"

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2011
MIL wants to "know my story"
Tue, 07-12-2011 - 10:20am

So... after my and my husband having to ask my MIL to stop being overly dramatic and showing off oozing incisions to my 4 yr old and then "fainting" in front of him... we had a very tense conversation where I felt the need to disclose a little about my son and my past. I didn't say much, but just said my ex-husband was an a**hole and the kiddo has some issues where certain things can trigger nightmares. She ask for a list of those "certain things" so I began, "yelling, loud noises, fighting, hitting, punching,..." And, I got caught off by her and her husband becoming livid, saying I was accusing them of doing such things.

After a few weeks of me being livid and not wanting to continue the conversation, we got talked into going to dinner with them. At which, my MIL decides it would be ok to mock-slap her husband, and then at the height of a very tense conversation - she throws a fake punch almost in my direction. My dh knows (from his own accidental joke-making a fist) that I completely shut down, tunnel and start crying if I even start to think someone is going to hit me. Luckily my son was facing the other direction, but I quickly excused myself to the bathroom for a quick cry and to hyperventalate a little.

Apparently, while I was in the restroom, my dh gave a stern little lecture to his folks, stating that this is exactly what we were refering to with "hitting, punching, etc." in the conversation on what no to do. Well... last night his mom called. She apparently now thinks she can only "love and support me" if she "knows my story." And is demanding full-disclosure with details. He explained that that is so innapropriate, and from my reactions to hearing his side of the conversation, he could tell I was beyond livid. he tried to explain that even he didn't know all the details and respects me enough to not demand or even want to know EVERYTHING. Hell... I don't even remember/want to remember EVERYTHING.

Plus, she made a big deal of saying that she felt so bad about making me cry that she couldnt sleep for days and ended up in the ER to get a sedative and it's making her physically ill. Ugh. There is no way that I am going to re-live through the worst parts of my life in order to make her feel better.

Am I being too callous here, or is there really a need to tell someone who asks all the sordid details?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Tue, 07-12-2011 - 11:30am

Your MIL is a "whack job" and a "drama queen".

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2011
Tue, 07-12-2011 - 12:03pm
I'm definitely aware that she's nuts. And counseling (specifically - my support group) is the only place where I feel a need to tell anything, and that's the only place where the details come out. Definitely trying to work on PTSD, and the hubby definitely quickly apologized and has never had a repeat of that time of behavior. He is extremely protective of me and my son, and definitely made a firm stand with his mom, but she just really doesn't "get it." And, he said that if she asks me to let him know so he can tell her to back off, but I clearly told him that if that happens I will have no problem putting her in her place. I feel very strongly about this, but I wasn't sure if my take was being "overly dramatic" or overly sensitive. I'm glad to hear that I'm being reasonable. While, I'm doing good on alot of things, I still second guess my gut reactions.

Lately, I have seen others posting brief summaries of their full stories to encourage others and I really want to, but I don't know how well it will go. I've put some on my blog, but it's in little bits and pieces.
Avatar for winter2007
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2006
Tue, 07-12-2011 - 12:57pm
oh do end up with unfortunate parents and now in laws. Glad that your H turned out nice. Honestly you are in no obligation to give ANY details to anyone. Mock punching , however mock is not a good role model for your son. She is a drama queen and she should know better. You see how they are implying it is your problem. Whatever your past, if my in-laws displayed that behavior in front of my kids, that is way immature. Limit your contact, that is all I can say. Let your H meet up with them. you are in no obligation to them to meet or tell your story. In fact, I would keep it private.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-04-2000
Tue, 07-12-2011 - 1:36pm
you could ask her "why is it important for you to know the gory details of me being abused?" then walk away leaving her unable to answer the question but forcing her to ponder why...
You could tell her that "when I write my story and have it published you are welcome to purchase the book or you can pay me in advance hummmm 50,000.00....then laugh at her.....You are not obligated to tell anyone anything you are not ready to tell them regardless what they demand or feel entitled to...
You can politely decline the next few invitations to her house letting her know you dont feel it is a safe place for you or your son at this time and perhaps by the time the baby arrives you might feel safe again but for right now you just need to keep you and your son can let your husband know that by all means if he chooses to go he has your blessings...

As for writing your story...only when you are ready. but I do know that once you get it down on paper (or other written form) it can take it outside of you to free you to deal with other healings...
Perhaps you can buy yourself a spiral notebook and write it out there then tuck it safe away somewhere...or open a word document and type it out there then save it somewhere safe that someone wont accidentally find make a new folder and label it something truly boring then save boring things in there...tuck another folder in there with again another boring name and store more boring things that for a few layers then place your document there...if someone finds it it would be on purpose not accidentally...then when you are ready to share with others you can simply copy and paste it.....just an idea...I do encourage you find someway to write out your story whether you feel ready or not, simply because once it is out and in wirtten form it frees you in ways you wont realize until long after the fact...if you are in counseling, ask your counselor what he/she thinks about you getting it journal ed and see if maybe you can do some of the journaling while in session so he/she is there to help you process whatever comes up....just some ideas
Avatar for queen_brat
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 07-19-2011 - 12:08am

No one needs to know your full story. Even if they know it not many can understand what you went though and put up with if they never walked in your shoes. It sounds like your mil won't understand so why tell her anything? All she needs to know is certain things set you and your son off and if she wants to be around either of you then she needs to respect this. If she doesn't there is nothing that says you have to go around her.

As far as posting your story when and if your ready you will. For some of us it helps to get it out there but for others it makes things worse. I post mine to show others that you can get away and to remind myself of some of what I went though. It is not always easy to post and there are days I can't even handle coming to this board and responding to post. Some days seeing what others post or responding to them makes it all come back and some times it hits me hard and I have to walk away. Some times I know it is best to stay away from the board. If you never post your full story it is OK.

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