“I have been living with my adult son, his wife, and my 2 grandchildren for 2 years now. I finally set boundaries regarding the expectation that I cook and do the laundry for a family of six in addition to providing babysitting and childcare help for my two granddaughters, ages 5 and 6. I am a 58 year old woman, divorced with two grown sons.
Since I have set the limits, I am getting the silent treatment from my daughter in law. If I try to communicate, I get curt, short one word answers. I have overheard her yelling at my granddaughters when they come to me, “I told you to leave her alone”. When others are present, she will talk to or share with others cards or pictures or anything relative to what is happening, and she completely bypasses me.
Usually on Fridays we order out, she now never asks me if I want anything and does not order anything for me, so when they order out, there is never food for me — which in the past I have always paid for. Now that she cooks, on most nights there is not enough food made to go around for three adults, a 12 yr old and the two girls, so I don’t eat. I pay my son and her $800.00 a month for rent and food. Most months when I was doing all the cooking I would need to spend hundreds of additional dollars as there would often be a lack of anything healthy to make for dinner.
I have a history of trauma. Living in this kind of environment is causing symptoms of PTSD to manifest. I have many coping skills: meditation, prayer, go to a Buddhist temple meditation and teaching group 2 times a week, read literature daily: daily readings, inspiration, listen to hemisync cd’s on relaxation, mediation, reclaiming self, synchronicity — all kinds of spiritual explorations, I journal, self explore… I have no clarity however.
I believe I need to move out of this environment. I have tried talking with my daughter in law and my son but everything gets flipped back on me somehow. How does one break through all the toxic negative energy of another when in the same household?” ~ Claudette
First and foremost, I want you to know now that your story is a hurtful one and I am sad that it has turned out to be so negative.
Secondly, please understand that this entire ‘drama center’ may not even be about you. These types of behavior tend to come out when people are unhappy within themselves and are unable to express what they really want. So instead of sitting down, like a family should, they slash out and ignore without thinking how confusing this must be for their children.
When people are unwilling to communicate, there is nothing you can do. They have shut themselves down and no matter how hard you try, it will fall on deaf ears. It’s unfortunate that they don’t feel they can express what their expectations are and then communicate and negotiate what’s best for all involved.
As a mother myself, I can’t help but remember all the things I did for my son over the 19 years he lived in our home, and then when I go to visit him, he doesn’t even offer me a glass of water. We do tend to get the lesser deal, don’t we?
One of the good things you said, was that you set boundaries. That’s pretty awesome, because as a parent, we continue to take all that they give us and keep our mouths shut. So with that being said, I say hats off to you for being honest about your feelings and setting boundaries! Hey, it’s better late than never!
Claudette, you may be right. It may be time to take yourself out of that environment, especially because you are becoming ill over it. It’s not a bad thing; it’s just something that may be a ‘relational saver.’ If they choose to let go of you and your feelings, that’s their decision. As for you, then you must have more respect for yourself and pull yourself out of the toxicity.
You sound like a great mother/mother-in-law; yet, if they can’t accept what it is you bring to the table, it’s time to go. Don’t go too far, just get a place close by and allow the relationship to mend. Who knows, maybe then they will realize that you were giving all you could.
Continue to walk in love, peace, harmony and forgiveness. Remember if you didn’t create the drama, you don’t have to own it. It’s not your story, so let it go and trust that God will restore this relationship.
Who knows, you may find out that your personal space may be exactly what you needed after all. Please make it a positive separation and then let go of the thoughts that may chatter in your head. Not everyone gets along my friend, even family members.
Enjoy every day. We never know how much more time we will be given, so count it all joy in everything you do. Be good to yourself and continue your life journey, always knowing what an amazing being you are.