(Closed) My MIL thinks Mary and Jesus talk to her…

posted 9 years ago in Family
Post # 17
1551 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

If she is cognizant of the fact that you will think she’s crazy if she admits something to you, she isn’t suffering from dementia.  

Post # 18
2154 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I’ve known people who were always talking to gods and spirits and stuff. They weren’t even old! If she’s functional in all other ways, I think you can write this one off as just her faith. 

Post # 19
10846 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

View original reply
@Mrs.KMM: Fair enough. My grandmother does that too. She’ll think I’m my mom or my grandfather is her deceased son. But it sounded to me like the OP’s Future Mother-In-Law is talking to invisible people. I’ve found with Alzheimers it’s a regression to people they used to know in real life. My grandmother has never thought I was say… Marilyn Monroe, if that makes sense. If the OP’s Future Mother-In-Law had ever met Mary or Jesus I’d be more likely to agree it could be Alzheimer’s or something like that.

Post # 20
1086 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

This sounds like a lot of cultural stuff. I agree that she is probably just fanatical. She probably thinks she is just uber spiritual. And hating you b/c you’re white is just ignorance. Stubborn old lady it sounds like..

Post # 21
941 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I agree with DanielleZara, in considering the cultural side to it. I work in a psychiatric institution, and much of what we deal with is talking about the diagnosis this person has, or the different symptoms that allow us to apply this or that label to them.

I think one of the challenges though, when looking strictly at the psychiatric perspective, is that culture is left out, which can be a significant part of who the person is. I don’t think you said how long she’s been believing Mary and Jesus talk to her (I’m sorry if I missed that information), though it could be a part of her upbringing, a part of her spiritual beliefs, and very normal in the community she was raised in.

I think in the United States, though it is a strongly religious country, there doesn’t appear to be as much spiritualism as other areas, and ideas associated with that tend to get swept aside and or labeled as “crazy.” Though, what I’ve learned to think and consider, at least in the work I do, is question the meaning behind the behaviors, and consider if it really is causing damage to the person. And though your Mother-In-Law doesn’t sound like the nicest person, it doesn’t necessarily sound like she’s sick. Especially if this is the norm for the community she comes from, or if she’s been thinking this for awhile.

Post # 22
965 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Some people really just hear voices (I used to, and mercifully, they were benign and I recognized them as overactive figments of my imagination.  Honestly, I kind of miss them.)  If the voices are benign, it’s not USUALLY a problem.

Some people also use the “I talk to God” thing as a way to justify shoving their point of view down your throat.  Elevating her “holiness” beyond “personal relationship to Christ” to “I totally gossip with his mom” may be her way of subconsciously justifying her behavior/attitude towards you.

Tell her that Mary was a mortal woman, and she probably shouldn’t be communing with dead people.

Post # 23
1062 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

Im a Christian and I believe you can feel Jesus’ presence and “hear” him, like feeling convicted when you are about to do something your not supposed to. I cant really explain it. I believe Jesus can show you himself through dreams and visions but not in real life. Also, my father went through cancer and lived through the worst stage of it, God touched him so much and he would be sitting in the chair just talking to him out loud laughing and telling him how much he loved him and having a convo with Jesus lol. I believe he felt his presence and that was the way God was communicating with him 🙂 Yall may think im crazy but its true!


I dont believe Mary talks to her and that Jesus talks outloud and she seems them, no! That is a little crazy! hahaha

Post # 24
311 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

You mentioned your Fiance used a bottle until he was 8.  Are there any other things like that?  Maybe not just focus on the part where she talks to Mary and Jesus, but there could be other things that could raise some flags.  A bottle until age 8 is certainly a flag to me and I would be looking for other warning signs.  It sounds like she could definitely use the advice of a medical professional, but I think your Fiance or her husband (boyfriend, SO) might have to be the ones to suggest that and actually get her there.  I wouldn’t feel it was my place if I were you. 

To avoid answering her when she says things like that, I would just tell her that you have your own beliefs and you prefer to stick with them.  You don’t have to tell her what they are and you may or may not have any, but I noticed that sometimes, super religious people will lay off if they know that you believe in some sort of way.  If that doesn’t work, then just ignore her or change the subject like previous posters said. 

Good luck.

Post # 26
376 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@maybride2011: You can’t force her to have a doctor look at her or have her committed UNLESS she is a PHYSICAL danger to herself. My mom I’m pretty sure is manic-depressive— causing her to live in a JUNKY place, fail to pay bills on time, fail to go to the dentist/doctor for basic things etc. She’s also lost 6 jobs (every job except 1 that she has ever had since I’ve been around)– I’m pretty sure because she has manic episodes at work. But NONE of that causes PHYSICAL harm to herself just financial and emotional harm— so I can’t force her to get evaluated and treated. I’ve looked into this.She denies that she has a problem and refuses to go to counseling.

In short, unless your Future Mother-In-Law is PHYSICALLY hurting herself, yelling at the tv, telling you mean things because of church beliefs, talking to mary and jesus, bottle feeding– is nothing that could justify forcing her to get help (unless of course she wanted to do it on her own– but most people like that enjoy living like that).

((hugs)) it sucks I know, I grew up with crazy.

Post # 27
188 posts
Blushing bee

@maybride2011: Others have suggested dementia. Another possibility is schizophrenia. I have a couple family members who have it and a high school friend. My family members have more auditory hallucinations/paranoia, but my friend started telling me in high school that he literally “saw Jesus” and they talked while he was working at Target. I thought he was joking around, but shortly after he told me that he was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Post # 28
9024 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I dont think she is crazy, alot of people “talk” to religious figures like mary/jesus/ etc.. I agree that it sounds more of a cultural thing than actually being mentally ill

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