Big Mistake?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Hound dog, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I think I made a huge one the other day.

    I've kept that we've been in contact with K from mother in law. I wanted to be certain of K's motives before saying anything. Figured mother in law doesn't need drama at the age of 94. So since we've pretty much established that K's motives are pure..........

    I told mother in law. Since she has asked periodically over the years if we'd heard from K, I figured she'd like to know that we had and would be hurt to be out of the loop if she heard the kids or grands discussing K and family.

    I have to say I'm still reeling from her reaction. I don't doubt K's leaving hurt her too. But I certainly didn't expect the reaction I got. It was (except for the cursing and loud stomping) exactly like husband's. And in a way worse because that reaction didn't change once she pinned me down on the reason behind contact (she has a fantastic Momma look when she puts her mind to it) and I told her about K's diagnosis and explained it.

    I've always though of mother in law as one of the most loving/giving/caring people I've ever met. Yet once the fact that K was contacted and the diagnosis was known all she dwelled on was money and what K wanted. Even after I explained that in all this time K has asked for nothing except for us to be a family again.

    I felt bad when I left because the last thing I'd wanted to do was upset her. I thought she'd like to know that K is ok, Kayla and Alex are alright........ But no, not really. And she kept checking to be certain the 2 carat diamond ring once intended for K was still on my finger. :(

    So I let it go thinking how it took us awhile to get used to it all.

    She called me last night still all upset. Again she went on about the money, how she couldn't give K any........Then told me she didn't want anyone to give K her address or phone number. It hurt for me to say it, but I told her I'd make sure the family stood by her wishes. Although all K has to do is call information for both as mother in law is listed.

    Now for some clarification. mother in law has only given K money once. That was the bus ticket for her and Kayla to come to live with us. And that bus ticket wasn't even 200.00. Plus husband and I paid her back. So I don't even understand this whole money issue. And I know K never went to her for money because K wouldn't visit mother in law without me. (my kids all have a thing about that) And mother in law would've told me about it at any rate.

    And this I guess galls me because I know mother in law has handed over thousands of dollars to brother in law's kids for various reasons to get them out of trouble over the years. Money that has never been paid back. And has never had to do so for our kids. (we wouldn't even think of asking)

    I didn't comment about the ring, or the china that was supposed to go to K from mother in law. K was written out of the will. Obviously mother in law has no intention of changing it. Someday when Kayla is grown, the ring sitting on my finger may be passed on to her along with the china once intended for her mother. I haven't ever told K what her inheritance would have been or that there even was any. I'd decided to keep that subject closed with K as 1. her condition is terminal anyway and 2. their financial position is precarious at best and her husband has a tendency to take valuables to pawn shops. (I'm not stupid) These are family heirlooms that are meant to be passed down thru the generations. The ring on my finger belonged to mother in law's great grandmother.

    Sigh. Makes me sad. Has me confused. And it hurts my Mommy heart although I'm not quite sure why. Definately has changed my view on mother in law a bit. Although I still adore her.

    husband has done a turn around. Most likely only because I ripped him a new one. You don't get to ask me info on K and the kids but then refuse to have anything to do with her when you also refuse to even listen to the facts. Yep. My attack was swift and vicious and I didn't even raise my voice.:mad: Does he actually care, or is he pretending to keep peace with me? Most likely the latter. But if it makes K feel better to believe her father forgives her for something that wasn't really her fault, except for really bad communication........then that's fine with me. I can live with it.

    I just don't get husband and mother in law.
  2. Star*

    Star* call 911


    At 94.....and still sharp, I think you have underestimated your mother in law's ability to call a spade a spade. When K did all those things to YOU - do you not think that your mother in law KNEW about them or was informed, maybe asked your husband? Got an earful from your other kids about how badly she hurt you, your husband and them - even her?

    I think the old gal is right to be guarded, and I keep trying to remember and stay open because a lot of things that Dude has done to us, I FORGOT I whined to my Mom about - and in my life - forgotten. IN HER MIND? Fresh as a daisy (no pun intended).

    Listen, you did the right thing I feel in telling your mother in law what has happened. You could sit there and say until you are blue that K will NEVER want any money - but even YOU said her husband is a pawntoad - and I'm sure your mother in law figures misery loved compay, and pawned her stuff. So I think she's right to remain guarded, and I think you are BOTH right to give those things that her mother should have gotten to Kayla when she's on her own and older. When Kayla hands it to her kids it will STILL be a family heirloom...just a generation lost didn't get to wear it as intended...but it will still have belonged to her great great great great grandma.

    I think you hurt because WE (our generation) really really takes too much "do-over" your mother in law's generation didn't give third and fourth chances nor did they GET anything past a first chance so OUR culture of forgiving over and over must seem really queer to them. And stupid (according to my Mom)

    Hope maybe this has some answers for you - and also think of it that YOU and your kids have WANTED to make up with K for a long time - your mother in law probably wrote her off with good reason years ago. Call it generation smart or Generation stern - but I'm having to try NOW to do what my Mom and her MOM did all along - tough love from the word go -
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry mother in law's reaction hurt you. I tihnk you need to remember that at 94 she may be perseverating on things, and one of those may be k's treatment of you and her other grandkids. She has a right to her feelings/opinions just like you do.

    It may come to the point where you have to say, I understand that you feel X and want W. I will respect that in regards to your things, but this is MY CHILD and she WILL be at my home. If you can't handle it, we will be glad to come over on a different day and have a second celebration with you.

    Or whatever line you may need to draw.

    some of it may truly be what Star explained. Some of it may be mother in law just getting older.

    I am sorry.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Star you may be right. I did try not to let mother in law on too much as far as K was concerned when she was here. Due to age we as a family attempt not to worry her overmuch. But husband could've said things or unloaded on her that I have no knowledge of. And she could still feel quite a bit of anger over the way it hurt us as a family when K left. I also understand her wanting/needing to protect family heirlooms that have been passed down for generations.

    I know she has a right to how she feels. It just stunned me. Sort of out of character with the woman I've grown to love so much. But as I said, I know she was hurt too. Maybe she'll come around eventually, maybe not. I'll respect her wishes either way.

    Susie easy child also believes some of it may be just that mother in law is getting older. And she may be right. I just hope I didn't upset her too much. :(
  5. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I'm going to add my .02 here. Your mother in law is quite elderly and may not want to revisit a relationship that she had terminated. I'm sure she feels like it's done and over with - at least for her - and that while it was a difficult situation to leave K in the past for everyone, she has accepted things as they are. It's probably not at all about money, but about the emotional cost of rebuilding a severed relationship with someone she and her family were hurt by. It takes a physical toll and may be more than she is ready to do at her age.

    Let her know that you understand her concerns and will abide by her wishes. Also let her know that it's difficult for you to rebuild with K, and you are going slowly and being sure to protect your family from being hurt by her selfishness again. It doesn't seem reasonable to debate it with her, so maybe the list for things to say to distract when our difficult child's call would work with mother in law? You aren't going to change her mind. Maybe you could change the topic. It's hard that you are having such a disagreement with her when you yourself are going through so much, and neither she nor K may not be with you much longer.
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Witz thank you. That made alot of sense to me. And it took the "personal" sting out of it. (don't know why I felt it anyway) You're more than likely right.

    I will let her know how cautious we are being at rebuilding this relationship and the boundries we've put into place. I won't debate it with her. And I will respect her wishes to the letter. mother in law didn't say anything about us rebuilding a relationship with K. So that may not be an issue. I'll call her again this evening and we can talk so she'll know all is ok between us. I love and respect mother in law too much to allow this to cause a rift between us. She did an awesome job as family matron before passing it on to me, and I do my best to follow the model she set.

    On a brighter note..........husband talked to K and the grands on the phone last night. The expression on husband's face is one I haven't seen there in a long time. Worried but happy. The man actually went to bed with a chuckle on his lips and a smile on his face. And I know from talking with K that it meant the world to her to talk to her Dad again.
  7. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I'm sorry about mother in law and I think Witz is probably on to something, too. It probably stings a bit because you would like her to feel as good about it as you do. You would like for her to have that happiness, too.

    I'm really glad that husband stepped up. Glad for everyone.