Post # 61
DHs family sat SIL down for a conversation.
Her son was at a friends for a play date- that’s been planned for months so he can’t miss it (whatever).
I took her daughter for a pedicure and chatted. I asked what she would like for Xmas. “Friends, pink shoes and to go to the Art Gallery” The last two I can take care of. But the first- breaks my heart. I know SIL never goes to her school parent nights and my niece doesn’t get the same socialization as her brother. I talked to Darling Husband and maybe I could make time to do it for her? Get her involved with school activities so maybe she would have something outside of just home and academics. I’m just worried about overstepping. SIL and I don’t have the greatest relationship as it is.
I asked Darling Husband what his brother had to say about this- and nothing. He just sat there and didn’t say a word- played on his phone. DHs mom is trying to talk SIL into trying some therapy- because what’s she’s doing isn’t normal or right. SILs mom is no help. From the handful of times I’ve met her- it’s been brutal. I can see where SIL gets her attitude from.
SIL was told XMas gifts would not be purchased as a whole option. We would take what was on the list and maybe purchase one or two items. She threw a fit and stormed out- meeting was over after that.
I brought niece home and SIL came running out and grabbed her by the arm. Glared at me and said “we have to spend mom and daughter time together- let’s get this over with” and slammed the door in my face.
mrssanfran15 : I’m so sorry that happened to you. I can’t even imagine what that would feel like. It’s sad to know my niece is going through this but even sadder that this isn’t uncommon. Hugs
Post # 62
taytay41 : she wants friends for Xmas,oh my god my heart is hurting reading that. Poor poor girl
I actually want to punch your sil clean on the nose
Post # 63
taytay41 : Believe it or not, it made me a stronger person. My Grandmother wasn’t really a consant part of my life or my childhood because my parents felt that she was too toxic. I had parents, sibilings, and friends who loved me and helped build me int the person that I am today. Your niece has her mother saying and doing these things to her, and is being pitted against her brother. There’s no escaping that. Is there any way that the family could band together to present a united front for your niece? Instead of just you showing up to events, maybe the family as a while could? This would prevent your SIL from lashing out at just you.
Post # 64
- Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle
Your SIL is an awful person. I think showing your niece that you care about her is probably the best thing that you can do – in all honesty I wouldn’t bother about being concerned that you’re overstepping with your SIL, because fuck her, she’s certainly not behaving like a parent to her daughter.
Post # 65
Gross. I’d be giving her a gift card just to spite het.
Post # 66
This whole situation is nothing to be taken lightly. Family besides SIL and Brother-In-Law have been talking and we might all get together to discuss what can be done. Everyone I’ve heard from wants the best for niece and presenting a united front would be the best option instead of going solo.
DHs mom heard about a crafting day end of November for the kids to make XMas gifts. She’s quite talented herself so she’s going to volunteer and help. Niece would very much love to join a choir thru school. But had no way to get home from practices. If she’s still able to join- I’ll be taking care of that.
Her grade is organizing (with the rest of the school) a XMas concert. Darling Husband and his other brother will help set up and build pieces for the sets. We’ll all go and support niece. Nephew will be in there as well and of course we’ll be cheering for him as well. But I just selfishly feel I have to go for niece more than nephew. Does that make me a bad person?
Hopefully with time niece will see that her family and people love her. I feel bad it’s taken this long for us to see how horrible and lonely her life has been
Thank you very much bees
Post # 67
taytay41 : it’s fantastic that you’re taking positive steps. Hopefully then she will also feel able to confide in you.
One thing I would say though is to also keep an eye on your nephew, as in these kinds of dynamics then golden child can often end up more damaged than the scape goat. My husband was the golden child of a narc, and he has a number of issues, including narcissistic traits which have made our relationship very difficult as he can be abusive. So although your neice is the one more obviously suffering/affected, just keep in mind that this favouritism will do significant damage to your nephew which could have a major impact later on in his life and make having or maintaining relationships difficult.
DWIL is worth a look as they can probably offer more constructive advice than I can; also Out of the Fog. Because I’m not sure how you would go about dealing with this.
Post # 68
How heartbreaking. I’m also alarmed that the girl seems to have significant delays and has never been evaluated or had them addressed, if that is true. Would Brother-In-Law be more receptive if someone talked to him privately?
Post # 69
sugarcloud : omg I love this idea!! I’m definitely using it if anyone ever gives me a list like this lol
Post # 70
taytay41 : I’m glad to hear that the family is coming together to show up for your niece. SIL sounds like a piece of shit but she may have inadvertently managed to give her daughter the best possible gift with her selfish holiday demands. I hope the kids are able to get the love and support they need. It sounds like the entire family (mom, dad and kids) could use some therapy.
Post # 71
WOW. This whole situation is insane but I’m glad it sounds like the rest of your DH’s family is normal enough to see the issues. Your niece is lucky to have you all! Such a sad, strange situation. Has SIL always been this crazy or is this a new level of it?
Post # 72
My heart breaks for this little girl! She wants friends for Christmas, that is just the saddest thing. She is lucky to have family that not only sees the problem but is actively working to find a solution. That family environment sounds so toxic for her, is it possible that talking to Brother-In-Law without SIL could be ther could be more productive?
Post # 73
Darling Husband has mentioned in passing that before I even came into the picture- the Brother-In-Law seemed distant to family life. He’s tried to have talks with him (along with his other brother) and he’s just disinterested I guess is the best way to phrase it.
In some way I think SIL has always been like this. She’s always been slightly over the top. I didn’t know her before her son was born so I can’t say first hand. But Darling Husband said that ever since her son came into the picture she’s been focusing all her attention on him and forgetting everyone and everything else. Before- she was just focused on what was good for herself.
We’ll watch her son closely. Keep suggesting therapy for the whole family. Because like PP said… it’s not healthy for my nephew either. I myself might try therapy- or something- to try to figure out how best I can help the situation. By no means do I want to make it worse.
I don’t know about the rest of the family- but Darling Husband and I are looking into lawyers and courts to see what we could do if it gets worse (could it?). We’re only in the beginning stages of the conversation but I think we’d be committed to taking our niece in if necessary. And even the nephew if need be.
It’s a whole effed up situtaion and I’m starting to resent my SIL for putting us in this spot. Even Brother-In-Law for not caring about his family.
Going forward I’ll be trying to be positive in front of niece and not mention anything negative about her family. I’ll be more than willing to listen to her as she opens up- but I fear I may have a hard time not crapping all over her mother and father for how she’s being treated.
– I keep thinking about this all day and it’s keeping me up at night. I just so much want this resolved
Post # 74
taytay41 : You’d be amazed at how bad a parent has to be before the courts will get involved, especially when the parents are married and parenting how they see fit.
Not that either one of them are fit IMO.