Mama (in law) drama

Ugh. I want to reply to comments from my last posts, and even though I have read most posts in my feed, I haven’t commented. I want to, I am just drained and overwhelmed right now.

My mother in law….ugh. She is crazy, cruel, insane. Truly irrational. I don’t even have the energy to type out the story, so I am simply going to post the email I sent Bea (which contains emails written between hubby and his mom) and her response.

I texted her this afternoon, asking her to call me. It’s rare for me to reach out like that, but this woman, hubby’s mom who I will call Betsy, threatened to go to court and take my child away from me. I believed for a moment that she could. I couldn’t breathe. Bea called, and promised me that Betsy did not have the power to do that. I believed her. She rationally went through why that will not happen. She asked if she could read the emails, and I sent them to her. Here they are.

Hi Bea,

Thank you for calling me. I just really needed to hear that she can not take Kat from me, and I trust what you say. So thank you.

Here are the emails between hubby and his mom. I put a _____ between emails. I had to add some thoughts, in italics, because….well..I don’t know. I guess I still feel like I have to prove I’m not this terrible person she says I am. I don’t know.

Anyway, here are the emails.


Dear Son,

I think we owe each other a mutual apology. I apologize for showing my anger at you, esp. with the bad language.

You also owe me an apology for demanding that I respond like your child or your dog and show up at your feet in order to be disciplined. Please DO NOT ever treat me like that again because you have no right to do that. A son should never speak to his mother like that.

You never asked me what happened. Shame! The fact-finding should be the first thing to search for, per your training. I have known Alice to tell lies so I will never accept her version of anything. She lies whenever it suits her needs. Her fault lies with spoiling her child’s birthday party by making a small thing a big thing. As usual. Shame to her also. She can be a terrible mother, putting her own needs above her child’s. Shame on her.
It didn’t have to be a big thing, all Betsy had to do was say “okay” and leave Kat be. She turned it into a thing by saying I only wanted Kat to be independent because I did not want to have to parent my child.

The facts: That bounce house was harder than the others and it took cousins a long time to get thru it the nite before. I watched Kat struggle up the wall steps in the 1st part because rain or something had pooled on the bottom and her feet were wet when they should have been dry. She kept slipping.
She said nothing about her belief Kat’s feet were wet to me or to hubby that day. I feel like this is just some excuse for how she acted. I don’t know.
Then when she got up the wall, she could see the next section was a repeat but there were no kids before her or right after her to show her it was achievable. She paniced (Kat panicked when Betsy got anxious and began freaking out asking the attendant if a 5 year old could do it) and asked if I would help her. (Betsy asked Kat if she needed Oma’s help) I said okay, but let me check.

Remember, I’d already seen the slippery water problem on her feet and also remembered cousins finding it more difficult. I asked the boy/monitor if a 5-yr-old could do the inside okay by themselves and he hesitated (I believe he hesitates because of how anxious/loud Betsy was being) but then he said yes. So I would have defaulted to just coaching her thru. When it was taking a lonnggg time for her to advance, I traded in line at the bungee jump so cousins could go guide her thru to the finish. (Kat had been through twice on her own by the time the cousins- came over there)

NO mother is unfamiliar with the concept of motivational achievement in a young child. Alice is just late in dealing with it. (What does this even mean????) BUT never should a child be put in a possibly trauma-instilled situation, esp. not all by herself.
Again, too bad both she and you had to make a federal case on her b-day party. And what did all the other guys in the family do to deserve you guys just leaving without saying anything? Please, please don’t become like Alice. God has married you to her for a reason. We only hope it is to make her a better, more responsible adult.



I was originally going to call you as per a usual Tuesday, but let’s face it – it would be a rather unpleasant conversation. Maybe I’ll feel different next week. You are my Mom and I love you which makes this even more difficult to write. I appreciate your apology for the way you acted towards me and I apologize as well for barking an order at you. It was your “I’d like to hear a response from Kat rather than her mother” comment that set me off. If a child’s parent gives you a response on their behalf, it is for a reason. Kat told you 3 times that she did not want to do the bungee jump but you didn’t listen or respect her decision so Alice responded for you.

With that being said…. here are my issues:

You are a grandmother, who at a church function, told me that my wife can go F herself. And you very specifically stated that you will do whatever YOU think is best for Kat, even when it goes against what we say. What makes you think that I am going to stick around and pretend everything is fine? I’m thankful that Kat did not witness that.

You have perpetually undermined our parenting and do whatever you want or “think is best” for Kat without even listening or taking a second to ask us. These decisions are not yours to make. We have a very qualified team that is built upon supporting Kat and her needs. They constantly compliment us on the progress she has made the obstacles she has overcome. Based on your attitude towards Alice and the actions I’ve seen it is clear that you don’t respect our parenting and as a result I am making the decision that you can see Kat on holidays and birthdays only at this point. If any other person who I trusted with Kat told me that “they will do whatever THEY think is best” – rather than listen to an instruction from the parent, I assure you – they would not be watching Kat again. (She says this all the time, acts like we make bad choices for Kat, acts like I don’t care about/love my own child, does what she wants and then claims it was because she loves Kat more than we do. In hubby’s own words: “mom refuses to accept that Kat is autistic. Alice has forwarded articles and recommended books and mom refuses to read them. Because if she doesn’t accept it, it won’t be true. Mom believes she is an expert based on some child development class from the 80’s.” )

You don’t have to like Alice but understand that she is Kat mother and my wife who I love dearly so I would suggest not insulting her intelligence, maturity, or responsibility. Kat is an exceptional child and lives a very happy life. It is not your place to judge or question our parenting.

We have been working very hard on building Kat confidence so that she can become more independent and also go to camp and school by herself. We have made significant progress with this. By you treating her as if she were a baby/borderline infant it results in her acting like one for days after… not wanting to put her shoes on, clean up a small thing, follow simple directions, ect. Our BCBA, ABA techs, and Kat’s therapist can all tell very quickly when Kat has been at Oma’s the day before, simply based on her behavior. And then you insult our parenting…. It’s simply unacceptable.

You said that you didn’t know if a 5 year old could do that bounce house and that there is some large hole in it, but yet in the same breath you tell me that cousins both went through it the day before?

And what is with this “making a federal case”? Anytime we try to tell you something with a situation that could have been handled differently you don’t accept responsibility but rather you play the victim card.


We – Dad, Pop and I – are shocked and sickened that Alice’s poison has infiltrated your heart. We raised you better. Dad wants to talk to you in person. you have broken our hearts.

We always knew Alice would like nothing better than to alienate Kat from us and you from your family. (This is just not true I don’t want her crazy influencing Kat, but I have always tried to keep hubby involved with his family. He is the one who says no to my suggestion of visits or invites) . If you continue with the seeing-Kat restriction, here’s what will happen:

We will ask our entire family, incl. all those in (other town), not to see you any more. We will fill them all in on Alice’s crazy behaviors thru the years, and how this punishment doesn’t remotely fit the “crime” (yes again). But it does fit her agenda. (I have NO agenda, except keeping Kat safe and emotionally healthy, and confident in herself.) They will be sickened as we are. (We all, incl. the (other town) group, always suspected this threat would come if we didnt kiss her ass enuf – in fact THEY warned us she would be like that and we said – oh no, our son would never let such an insane thing happen). (I don’t know who ever thought that, I have always supported hubby seeing his family, and only ever asked that he stand up for me and not allow his mom to talk to me/ treat me the way she has. We had a horrible fight when I was pregnant, and I avoided Betsy for months. But I have always gone out of my way to encourage hubby to spend time with his family.)

2nd, we will get a very good attorney, and ask for a court case, and get a restriction that (1) Alice needs to stay away from all of us, and (2) that we have a right as grandparents, having not harmed Kat, and will gain custody of Kat. Alice will not see that child again.
We will sell the house for the money to do that, if we have to. We care about Kat’s safety, and Alice is not safe or loving.

Is that clear?

Again, to everyone else the Q is, what’s the horrible crime here? My words on Sunday were to say that I will never leave a grandchild of mine in jeopardy where I see possible danger. And that since the motivational push to get Kat thru some new-activity fears DID work when she went down the water slide with me at park , (and we asked Betsy to leave Kat alone on the water slide as well and to allow her to go on her own, and show confidence that Kat can do it on her own. Instead, she continued telling Kat she needed help, and it was when we put our foot down and were harsh with Betsy, telling her to let Kat be, that she left Kat alone to go down the slide on her own) following her cousins, how would that same logic not work at the bungee jump, which she did before with her cousins also? Also, I said f— it in extreme exasperation that once again, Alice’s immature, inconsistent take on things was screwing everybody up.
If there is inconsistentancy, it is because of Betty’s behavior— she acts respectful and kind, we respond to that and begin to trust her. She then takes advantage of that trust, and does what she wants, and then we revoke privileges of seeing Kat without supervision, ext.

This whole thing makes me so mad on so many level. And guilty, and awful and just….ugh. I don’t know. And I’m mad because I wanted to talk about the Ferris wheel on Thursday morning, but now this needs to be worked through. Ugh!!

And, Bea’s response:

Wow! I am so sorry that you guys are dealing with this. There is nothing rational about anything she is saying. I don’t know how you could ever have any sort of relationship with her after she said these things about you–and I do see why hubby was trying to protect you from them. I feel for both of you, and if hubby needs someone on the outside to hash this all out with I’d be happy to meet with him. That’s just vicious and mean!

So, that is what I have been dealing with since Sunday. Ugh. 😥


39 thoughts on “Mama (in law) drama

  1. Oh my gosh, Alice. I am so sorry you are having to go through this. I hated reading this post because of all your posts, this is the one I relate to most. It makes me angry for you, and sad for you. The difference in my situation is my husband suffers great childhood trauma from a mother who behaves like your MIL. He was neglected and disrespected and treated badly. I always tried to keep the family together and my boys have always spent time with their grandparents, until we determined that they were going to do the same things to our boys that they did to their own children. After that, everything was supervised by us. My husband never had any boundaries with his parents and even to this day, he is 51, he is scared of his parents, believes they think he is a failure, and he believes they don’t love him. Last year in an email to their son (and they know nothing of his addiction issues that surfaced early last year), they said they were so disappointed in him as a son that they would take his name away from him if they could. They have already lost a son to suicide. These kind of people never change. We have had no contact with them since the email last year. Although my MIL still sends emails periodically. At first she insinuated that I had caused of all the tension in their family when in fact I have tried to keep everyone talking respectfully with each other. It was a lost cause. I am their scapegoat. Actually they blame me for absolutely everything wrong with their family… issues that go back well before I was born. The last time I spoke with my MIL she was yelling at me that my boys (then 19 & 21) were selfish, spoiled, disrespectful children, just like their mother. They have been nothing but kind, loving and respectful to her, but one of them hadn’t responded to an email from her for a couple days, so she got mad about that and decided they were both awful children. My boys are amazing young men. I couldn’t take it. She could complain about me all she wanted, but not my boys. Then I realized after going through the trauma with my husband’s disclosures and all that I actually couldn’t handle their abuse. I had thought I was handling it, but I wasn’t. I had a nervous breakdown when I thought we would have to see them at my son’s college graduation last year. I had panic attacks and there was self harm, and many dissociative moments. I had been deeply affected by their abuse, and I didn’t even realize it! We have no contact. There is just no other way around it. Just last week, she sent an email to all of us saying they would be traveling to a nearby town and they will see all of us there. As if we are just to drop everything to see these people we no longer talk to. She is delusional, narcissistic, hateful, and evil. No contact is the only way my husband is maintaing any semblance of sanity. Hateful people do not deserve contact. You do not deserve to be treated that way. I am so so sorry. You just don’t deserve any of this. Thank goodness your husband has good boundaries with his parents. This is not about you, this is about them. Some people are lost causes. So sad you have to deal with this. 😦 . Many hugs to you. ❤


    • Thank you Kat. I am sorry you know how awful this is, firsthand. You are right, this is about her, not me. I am thankful hubby learned good boundaries– he wasn’t like this at the beginning of our marriage. Hugs back to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds exactly like dealing with my mother in law! I can actually hear my mother in laws voice when I read your emails.

    I am so sorry that you are having to deal with this. I know how tough and draining it can be. So glad that your husband stuck up for u!!!

    The thing about people like that is, no matter what you do, you can’t win. There comes a point where I think they really believe their own crazyness and they will lie and manipulate and twist things to try and get you to cave into their reality.

    You sound like a really great and loving mum and she has no right to speak that rubbish over you or your relationship with Kat.

    Be strong! X


    • No, there is no winning. Hubby has decided the best way to deal with his mom is to stop responding and cut off contact for now.

      Thank you for validating my feelings over this, and for saying i sound like a good mom. I am not perfect but i try. Xx


      • Im the daughter of one of these narcissists who sent deserts to the principle for a week to “apologize” for me after I spoke up about the Monsignor touching me during face to face confessions. She allowed it to go on for years along with my brother molesting me at the same time. After having my children I began to see her for what she and the rest of my family for what they were – self serving, self absorbed. When she began to treat my children in the same manner I began restricting visits, distancing, detaching until I finally felt confident to cut all ties ( took 13 yrs!) and I have never felt more free and light. She still attempts to contact my children with desperate pleas which they ignore guilt free. I know your struggle. You and Hubby are on the right path.


      • I am so sorry. I can not imagine how hard that had to be. You never deserved any of that. I am so glad you found the strength to cut ties and be free. Thank you for sharing your story and telling me we are on the righr path. Xx


  3. OMG, I’m so sorry. But no one could read that email and not think Oma is crazy and vindictive and spiteful and mean. She is just godawfully mean. And now YOU have proof.

    And I can relate to your mixed emotions. I think it’s normal to know the truth that this is all crazy crap and yet feel as if you have done something wrong and that you aren’t right in the head or whatever it is that might be triggered. But you are competent and your working on being healthy and well. And you haven’t done anything wrong.


  4. That’s too bad she struck back like that. She’s scared, hurt and fearful. Doesn’t make it right. She must defer to the parents and abide by your rules. I hope that part can be resolved.
    All the other. Yikes. It all got over the top and extreme.


    • I wanted to add that if me, I’d have a very time forgiving the things she said. But keep in mind, that is all about her. She wants power, control and to still be the nucleus of the family. She has to let her son go. You are number one for him now and she can’t seem to accept it. And it also sounds like it’s impossible to let go of the reins of child-rearing.
      If she had the good sense to enjoy it, the ease of not being responsible for a child is quite freeing and fun.
      Just keep doing what you are doing for your husband, daughter and yourself. She’ll either come along, or miss out.
      I’m sorry for all this drama. You have enough to deal with.


      • She always goes over the top. We can talk to her about something that should not make her defensive and it turns into crazy. She’s never been able to let go of hubby or to not behave like she is in a competition with me– she has always had this kind of attitude that i stole him from her.

        I wish she could just let go and enjoy. I would like nothing more than to enjoy her and see her enjoying her family. My mom has/had such a good relationship with my dad’s parents, they were like a mom and dad to her. I had no idea that there could be a bad relationship with a mother in law until i was engaged and my mil behavior got out of control.

        Thank you for all your support…xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Absolutely! And I was also thinking that your husband’s rational and logical emails will never be able to get through to someone like that, so I hope at some point he can make peace with knowing he isn’t in the wrong. He seems like an incredibly sweet person, I hope he isn’t personalizing her behavior too much. But I know how hard that is. Sending the best to all three of you!


      • He is the best guy. I don’t know what i did to deserve him. I think he has a lot of feelings and is a bit overwhelmed right now. I don’t know. I do know he is extrememly confident and appears to beleive that he did nothing wrong and his mom is the one being over the top and cruel. Thank you for all your kind thoughts.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Holy shit, that woman is insane! She obviously can’t stand the fact that she can’t control her son or her granddaughter, and I’m sure your husband standing up to her (and he did great!) probably sent her over the edge. I’m sure if she goes saying any of that nonsense to anyone else in his family that they’ll see her for what she is, if they haven’t already. It’d be one (ridiculous) thing to make that custody threat if you guys were divorced, but to make it to him while y’all are married? Whaaat? What a toxic POS.

    I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this.


  6. Wow. She is legitimately crazy. I am so so sorry that you have to deal with this woman at ALL, let alone as a MIL. Jeez. What a nightmare. Hoping it doesn’t turn into anything too much more dramatic. And Bea is right – she absolutely cannot take that child from you. Sending love and support xx


  7. hi,
    I read your blog and just had to reply so I hope you don’t mind. Run away from these people. For many reasons.

    First, off I have been through the MIL like yours – mine’s not spiteful like yours but that does not listen to you as a parent, especially with a child with special needs. It is disastrous. In my case, my MIL convinced my h. over time she was right. She would tell my child not to listen to me. Well, now my child is 24 and unable to be independent though we are working on it and h. is finally coming around. My MIL still treats my son as if he is 10 and breakable. I have been to a future where what you are doing didn’t happen and I will tell you I wish I could go back in time and not have given in to the craziness.

    While thankfully MIL would never be as spiteful as that – my mother would. And has. My mother spent most of my son’s life telling me what a bad parent I am.

    Kudos to you because Kat needs independence. Kudos to your h. because he has bought in and sees the boundaries that must be there and supports you and puts his relationship with you first. All positives. .

    So while this is upsetting, you all are doing great.


    • Thank you. I am sorry you have been through this and that your mil behavior and beliefs effected your child.
      We love Kat and are blessed to have her. I really feel she has changed so much of how we think and act for the better. BUT….a special needs child is more challenging. You have to plan for everything. We have worked this last 6 months to get Kat ready to go to school (and she will go only 4 half days this year). This is a huge milestone for us, and something we were unsure would happen. So, anyway, thank you for the validation that we are doing the right thing.

      Hugs to you and thank you again for sharing. Xx


  8. Alice I’ve only been following your blog for a short time and haven’t read all your posts but wanted to send you a great big virtual hug and tell you you’re amazing – as both a mom and a survivor. I get this on so many levels. I too have a child with autism, a 9 year old son, and I have a typical daughter who is 8. I was also sexually abused as a child.

    A little over 6 years ago my sister accused me of being an awful parent, of abusing my kids, at the height of reliving all the childhood crap and trying to sort through the mess and find my way both as a parent and as a survivor.

    I ended up cutting off all contact with her and a couple of other family members because the priority was me and the kids and I couldn’t find the space to heal with all their issues and negative crap infiltrating my life.

    Fast forward to today and we are all good. Being apart allowed each of us to deal with our issues on our own, find our solutions and have the confidence to be the people we knew we wanted to be and support each other.

    So I get it and wanted you to know that. Kids throw an extra wrench into our healing – add autism to that and it’s a whole other set of tools that most people just simply don’t get.


    • Thank you for the big hug. I’m sorry for the abuse you went through as a child, you didn’t deserve it. Kids do throw an extra wrench into healing. I keep feeling like “why the heck didn’t I do this junk in my 20’s??? Ugh.” And yes, autism and special needs make things more difficult in some ways for sure. We do need a second tool box others don’t need, and usually can not understand.

      I’m so glad things have worked out for the better for you. And thank you for saying I’m amazing. I’m not any more amazing than any other mom or survivor, but it is really nice to hear. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ugh, she is so toxic! But at least it’s so blatantly obvious that no one can take her seriously. She would never win custody, no way in the world. She just thinks she can get her way with a bunch of threats and bluster.

    My older son has autism, and his father refused to believe it for years and undermined many of the things I tried to do for him, so I feel for you. It does sound like just keeping her away from Kat is the healthiest thing you and your husband can do for your family.


    • She is toxic, i agree. What is awful is that she is very, very good at pretending normality. I have always felt she was “fake” anx unkind, and been aware she would like me to disapear, but most people seem not ro sense those things from her; they fall for her over the top expressions of love, joy, warmth instead of authentic feelings and what you can feel from another person. As i said, she is very good at faking normality and kindness.

      I’m sorry that your son’s father undermined all you tried to do for him. It’s really hard when you try so hard to help your autistic child function in society, and then to have someone undermine that? I am just so sorry. I also feel like– at least in our situation– it is cruel for a person not to accept autism. Kat knows she is different, she has stated to Bea that her brain works differnent than Bea’s and that is what makes her (kat) smart. We have never hidden anything from Kat, and autism is not a bad word in our home. So, for her to have her grandmother refuse to accept a part of her that colors her entitre world….just ugh. (Okay, rant over!)

      Thank you for your kind words and for validating the best thing is to keep Kat away (for now).

      Liked by 2 people

      • I bet you aren’t the only one who notices that the normality and kindness is a facade. Just the way the anger and vindictiveness explodes out of her in appropriate places (like “f*ck!” at church) says she can’t always hold it together. Anyway, sounds like you are very wisely taking care of Kat and your family.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. I’m completely sympathetic to your situation, it’s just soul-crushing to see someone you trusted drag you through the mud over a mild grievance that is absurd to begin with. Hang in there and set up some boundaries for your sanity. I hope it gets easier for you to handle these episodes of emotional abuse, stay strong!


    • Thank you. I’m so sorry you have experienced this. It’s not fair. This back and forth, crazy behavior can make you question your sanity. I have set some boundaries (I am not seeing her at all, and hubby is allowed to take Kat there for 1/2 hour every other week). Hopefully that will help keep things drama free.


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