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Apparently my DiL's family are awesome (for now!)

(50 Posts)
OnwardandUpward Tue 24-Jan-23 17:04:27

On the last conversation I had with my son he ran down our family (a lot) in the most unfair and cruel ways but was saying how marvellous her family are.

I was stunned because I remember all the thing he said about her family. Three years ago he SAID that HER family beat him up. HE even asked me for help, which I gave generously. They even came to live with us to get away from her family- and now he demonises us.

He is vulnerable with his MH and has been brainwashed in the past, but he is also abusive. Life has been so peaceful since I stepped away from the conversation. I can't help him anymore seeing as I'm not a therapist, a priest or a Dr. His issues are too big and his abuse too much for me. My youngest son says it right, "he's very Changeable ". That's the polite way of saying that he will call black, white- and white, black but never at the same time and not interchangeably.

I don't know which mental illness this is, but it's too exhausting and upsetting dealing with his attacks. He is so paranoid that he reads books on war to try and outwit his opponents. Except we aren't against him and just want a loving family- or a peaceful one at least.

M0nica Tue 24-Jan-23 17:31:58

OnwardandUpward How sad and difficult for you. I think you were right to step away from the situation and I am glad you have other children to support you.

Perhaps you should concentrate on yourself for the while. It may well help if you too could talk to a trained councillor about what has happened to you.

Gillycats Tue 24-Jan-23 17:32:55

I’m so sorry to hear that OaU. You’ve been very brave and done the right thing by stepping away. Hopefully in time he will seek help and realise what a lovely family he has.

mumofmadboys Tue 24-Jan-23 17:39:47

Try not to take it to heart. Your DS will probably come round in his own time. All families are flawed as indeed we all are as individuals.

M0nica Tue 24-Jan-23 18:49:31

Remember O&U, it is the illness speaking not the person.

Redhead56 Tue 24-Jan-23 18:58:39

If you don't want to go to see a therapist. Would you consider a local Listening Ear group in your area. I understand the local Vicar in our village still facilitates these meetings in the local hall. I advised my friend to go there years ago and it did help immensely. Keep strong and look after yourself.

JaneJudge Tue 24-Jan-23 19:02:40

iirc he has substance abuse issues? I wonder if Al Anon or the narcotics equivalent might be helpful? you'll meet other parents i similar situations

no one judges you for protecting yourself, it sounds a very difficult situation

OnwardandUpward Tue 24-Jan-23 19:33:50

Yes he has substance issues. Yes, JaneJudge that could be a good idea as I'm sure many families have similar problems.

Redhead56 it's not that I don't want to go and see a therapist, it's just that the ones I've seen in the past haven't been very helpful- and there's no way on earth I would discuss this at a local group because I think estrangement and drugs are a real stigma. Thanks for the suggestion though. Maybe I'll look at an online counsellor.

Thanks M0nica yes I'm blessed with a loyal and kind son who has a normal life. I try not to mention this with him too much in case he feels he's not enough. I do appreciate everything he does. Thanks for saying you think I was right to turn away. I honestly had no choice because of the threats and abusiveness. There was nothing else I could do. He was so combative and paranoid that he has convinced himself that I am his arch enemy and that I have a vendetta against him. I am devastated, but I can't begin to work with it when I am the last person he would listen to (and I feel he's a threat)

Hithere Tue 24-Jan-23 20:01:49


Who cares about who is assigned the role of angel VS devil?

You need to concentrate on yourself and protect yourself from drama

OnwardandUpward Tue 24-Jan-23 20:05:12

Hithere I have not had anything to do with this abusive young man for four months. I have thought about him every day, but more the son he used to be.

What does this mean "Who cares about who is assigned the role of angel VS devil?"

Hithere Tue 24-Jan-23 20:10:31

His mental illness is beyond anything you can do.

Who cares who he is the good guy VS bad guy in his mind? His narrative is his, and his only.

You haven't talked to him in 4 months but this is clearly very much impacting you and consuming you

You need to disengage

Hithere Tue 24-Jan-23 20:11:11

Who he thinks the good guy is.... ate the think

OnwardandUpward Tue 24-Jan-23 20:39:06

Yes it is.

I care. Because it has caused him to be abusive and hostile to me, so that I've been forced to withdraw. Yes, his narrative is his.

I don't know if you are trying to make me feel bad for talking about this, but I don't feel bad. On one level I have successfully disengaged from him on a personal level, but unfortunately I am living with the effects of various things he has done.

It might get better with time.

Hithere Tue 24-Jan-23 20:45:57

Why would I try to make you feel bad?

My intention is for you to have a better quality of life

OnwardandUpward Tue 24-Jan-23 20:50:53


I just feel like people get fed up with me and wish I would stop mentioning it. But, I feel that if I can't talk online I would bottle it up.

JaneJudge Tue 24-Jan-23 20:57:20

onward, have you seen a counsellor at all? a talking type one?
haven't you also had a son who died? I'm sorry f i am getting mixed up
even this on its own is enough to warrant to just having an offload to someone once a month who is paid just to listen x

Delila Tue 24-Jan-23 21:09:31

Therapists vary so much - it’s very much a case of looking for one that suits you OnwardandUpward. Don’t give up. In my area if you google “therapists and counsellors” in a relevant location you’ll find a list with photos and a brief outline of the issues they specialise in and the approach they take. There may be something similar in your area.

OnwardandUpward Tue 24-Jan-23 21:10:02

Not for this...

No I haven't had a son who died, only estranged. (Where there's life there's hope, I suppose- at least)

I will look into it, thanks.

The thing is, it's HUGE secret. No one knows, not even my family. He's officially abroad. I'm actually too ashamed to tell anyone.

Delila Tue 24-Jan-23 21:13:03

Not good, holding on to a secret. Just sharing it with a therapist you trust to respect your confidentiality will make such a difference to the way you feel.

OnwardandUpward Tue 24-Jan-23 21:17:49

My husband hasn't told anyone either.

We both feel we don't want to have to talk it over with anyone we know, but possibly we could both see a counsellor.

Delila Tue 24-Jan-23 21:22:14

Good idea. Well worth overcoming your reluctance and opening up about your situation.

HousePlantQueen Tue 24-Jan-23 21:23:48

I am so sorry for this situation which is obviously causing you great distress. Do you think that writing your feelings, fears and frustrations down would help? Maybe spill it out in a diary, kept only for yourself? I know that some people find help in writing a letter to the person who has caused them great hurt, but don't actually post it.

OnwardandUpward Tue 24-Jan-23 21:56:03

My husband is heartbroken and still in shock.

I've actually considered writing about it and having it published after changing names. It should not be so taboo to talk about.

Hetty58 Tue 24-Jan-23 22:15:40

I don't understand why you'd be taking it to heart so much - or even taking it seriously - as you know his character and illness. You've stepped away, you say, but maybe you need to disengage even more.

There were two tactics I used with my abusive (mentally ill) mother. Either I'd completely agree with her - and apologise profusely - or (if safe to do so) I'd just laugh and call her a joker. I'd never give her the satisfaction of appearing to be hurt by her comments, though.

OnwardandUpward Tue 24-Jan-23 22:19:38

Because we lost our GC and because he used the GC to hurt us. We were both putting up with a lot just to have the pleasure of being GP.

Good for you.