Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Anyu (part 1)

For some reasons, maybe because Monkey asked me about it, I feel like telling you about how it was with my now defunct MIL. For the people related to her (Hubby, etc.) who do read my blog, please don’t be offended. I just want to tell my story. You knew her and of our relationship. I’m grateful that in the last few months before her death, her attitude towards me changed completely. We made peace, or rather, she made peace with me. From the moment I’ve met her (over 13 years ago) she didn’t like me. I wasn’t what she hoped for her son. I wasn’t Hungarian. I was French-Canadian. I didn’t have a master, like her son. Those were a few of the things she had told me over the years. I never said anything back. To this day, I don’t know how come I never talked back to her, because it is so not me. I tend to be more “in your face” than “shy away”, but with her, I always kept quiet.

While talking with a friend, our discussion led to how my MIL used to treat me. She was mean and rude and despite my best efforts to ignore her, it did affect me. It hurt. Hubby would say it wasn’t me; she treated all his girlfriends that way. I didn’t give a rat’s ass how she treated his ex; it was currently me!

She was subtle at the beginning. She would do little things. When we were there for dinner, all the women would have a fine porcelain cup for their tea, and I would get a mug. She would offer little wooden jewellery boxes that she painted (she was quite the artist) to all women and would give me two Hershey Kisses. People would notice, but nobody ever said anything. That was just her way with me. It was hard to swallow at times. But I never said anything. I never let my “true nature” surface. I was polite and bit my tongue on more than one occasion. I still have the sores to prove it!

As time went on, she became a little more verbal with me. She would take jabs at me. Each time I’d force myself to think that she was a poor, sad woman who needed help, but deep down it hurt.

I had decided that 1999 was going to be a “clean up” year for me. So, in January I had written her a letter in which I simply said that I accepted her not liking me, but wished for her to respect the fact that I was with her son. Hubby wasn’t happy when I told him I had written his mother. He always thought it was useless. A few days after sending it, we had a serious car accident and she came to pick us up at the impound lot. She barely said anything to me, and very little to Hubby. She only mentioned that letter last Christmas. It had been over seven years since she did receive it.

In April 1999, my father committed suicide. Nobody from Hubby’s family came to pay their respect – not one member. That truly hurt me at the time, and still does when I think of it. I wasn’t a “passing” girlfriend; I had been with him for five years at the time. I must say though, his mother had the decency to send me a sympathy card…

Then we decided to get married. We did everything ourselves, and covered all costs. One evening Hubby went to his parents’ and when he came back I could see that he was upset. His mother had given him a choice: Her or Me. Hubby informed his mother that he was getting married to me. Hubby’s parents didn’t attend our wedding in Hawaii. They had also said that they wouldn’t come to our reception in Montreal, but changed their mind in the end. We were welcoming people in and when his parents came in, his mother looked at me, lifted her nose up and said “mphm” as she walked past me! During the dinner, some guests came to tell me that a lady was crying in the bathroom. I told them not to worry; it was my mother in law. It made for some interesting conversation I’m sure!


Meirz said...

MILs seem to be a unique species altogether!
Liked the term 'opinionated lurkers'.

nicotine Jones said...

And through it all, you carried yourself with class and dignity when you could have gone the easy route and been as mean and bitter as she was. I'm glad she (maybe) saw the errors of her way towards the end...It's too bad she didn't realize sooner that she could have had a much more full life if she'd welcomed you to the family instead of trying to push you away.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to read this. Was her intense dislike really just because of education and ethnic background?
Was she a bully to her entire family?

Does Mr. Paw have siblings? None of them knew you acknowledge someone's death?

You must really love the hubby because that is a family I would never want to marry into.

lizgwiz said...

It sounds like you handled the situation as well as anyone could. Truly, what a sad woman she must have been.

Marius said...

I'm very lucky in that both of my In-Laws are very cool. I'm sorry you had to go through that. My first true love had a mom who was just the opposite. Treated me like a saint, and treated her daughter like absolute crap.

Kim said...

it's both sad and disgraceful that people can treat others like that...especially someone who enters into their family.

it's incredible that you held your tongue for all those years...I sure wouldn't have been able to.

this sure makes me thankful to have a MIL who is both loving and respectful and that my parents treat Bill the same.

Ananke said...

Oh my gosh, I'm amazed that you were able to hold your tongue all those years. I would have found that very difficult. What a shame that it took your MIL so long to accept you.

pawpads said...

Although it's not in your nature to stay quiet ~ I think that behaving with the decorum that you obviously have for so many years is so much more satisfying.
Your poor husband must have known how his Mother felt about you, and must know what it took for you not to answer her back. I'm sure that it put him in a very difficult situation.

But, you've both managed to come through it and that's what counts.

Families suck though, don't they.

Stinkypaw said...

meirz: Welcome to my blog! Yes they are and thanks for being an opiniated lurker! Drop by again soon!

nicotine: Thanks, she did realised certain things. Better late than never, right?

monkey: Hubby is a single child (just like me), and his family knew. Her dislike for me was that and also because she didn't like the way her son introduced me - she had issues with him but took them out on me. She could be a bully at times. I married Hubby, not his family, and he did the same for me! :-)

lizgwiz: You have no idea...

marius: You should enjoy your in-laws and I've heard of others who are also treated like gods and their own kids like crap, go figure.

kim: She didn't want me in, and made it REALLY hard at times to remain quiet. You're lucky and cherish them!

ananke: It was rough, and a lot of good times were wasted because of that... can't go back now.

pawpads: It was hell for him at times, 'cause I would get upset at him and he really felt stuck in the middle of it all. We don't get to choose our family, unfortunately.