Time-share and the universe's most well-hydrated baby
First off, I promised baby tax of the Peter Pan outfit months ago. https://imgur.com/a/a2WW5 He still loves his Tinkerbell doll, and I don't care what anybody else thinks.
Secondly, FH officially became FH over Christmas. Before, it was more of an understood "Well, we have puppers and an offspring, so eventually we should make this legal for sweet tax breaks" to actually asking me and giving me a shiny thing.
Yesterday we went to visit Time-share. We're going about once a month and I'm cool with it. LO and I went for our Sunday morning visit to my Grandma and we got down there around 1. Immediately she started fussing about LO's cough (OUR HOUSE IS FULL OF BLACK MOLD AND WE'RE GOING TO DIE!) which literally did not start until we got there. I told her several times that there's a cold that keeps going around the community and everybody keeps passing it back and forth. I've had it 4 times now. Nope nope nope that can't be it.
We were going to go out for lunch and she kept asking about giving LO a bottle first. I was happy to make one and take it along so he had something to do while we waited for our food, but she kept messing around and fussing that he got hungry and I gave her the bottle. "Oh no, why is this cold? (It was room temperature, straight from the drinking spigot) You can't give him this, he needs a warm bottle!" Every time!
"He doesn't care. He doesn't care if it's breast milk or formula. He doesn't care if it's out of a boob or a bottle. He doesn't care what temperature it is. He just wants you to shove food into his face. I give him a warm bottle in the morning and at bed time. Any other time it's straight from the tap."
"Oh well, I don't know about that. Babies like warm bottles or it hurts their tummies."
FH cut her off. "You keep whining that you're hungry, feed the baby and let's go. Beagle has already told you this a hundred times." So she popped it into his mouth and started asking us about juice. LO loves juice, I just dilute it with water. As soon as she finished feeding formula she handed me the bottle and asked me to get him some juice. Again I thought we were just going to take this to the restaurant with us. No. She then proceeded to give him juice. He kept turning his head because he didn't want anything else to drink, but she kept putting it back in his mouth. He was hungry and I handed him a baby cookie. Between bites, she just kept cramming the bottle in his mouth. He finally did finish it, making it 4 oz of formula and 6 oz of juice. He hadn't had any actual food since about 730 and we'd been messing around for over an hour. He's been doing pretty well eating real food, so bottles don't cut it anymore. And this kid gets HANGRY.
FH knows we're due for a meltdown if we don't get food into this tiny human and puts LO into the carrier and orders Time-share into her coat. We get to the restaurant, and now she pulls out his bottle filled with water and tries to give him THAT. FH snaps. "He's hungry, not thirsty. He won't have any room for food and he's going to be pissed off. Put the bottle down. If he wants it, he'll let you know."
We order our entrees and a side of sweet potatoes for LO. When the salads and bread arrive, I cut up cherry tomatoes, carrots, and bread for him. LO excitedly starts devouring it, and FH gives me his tomatoes too. Time-share starts grumbling about acidity in tomatoes, and FH just tells her nobody cares. When the meals come, LO happily eats all of his sweet potatoes, plus some of my broccoli and another piece of bread. I go to wash my hands and FH goes to have a cigarette while we wait for the bill, and when I came back, she's giving him the bottle of water again. I just pulled on my coat and took him to look at the lobster tank until we left.
LO got her back, though. We went back to her house for a while, and she was playing with him on her bed (tiny house and she doesn't like him playing on the floor) when we heard a shriek. LO had a poosplosion the likes of which I've never seen. Out the legs and top of the diaper, through the onsie, through the pants and down the leg, just dripping, oozing green poo. And he's sitting in the middle of her once white quilt, laughing his little head off. Apparently he'd had so many liquids that when he finished peeing his diaper, there was no more room for anything else. So it went everywhere else.
I put the stuff in the washer, and Time-share gave him a bath, and all of my annoyance just melted away because of a giggling, poo covered baby. I think she's having a hard time accepting he's not a snuggly little infant anymore. She doesn't see him every week and he's made huge strides in the last month. He's almost a year old and he has stuff to do, like feed himself actual food or shit everywhere.
JNMILITW- now theres 3, 2 will disappear
Okie dokie so the usual preface of LTL FTP, on moblie so format will suck applies. Might be kind of a ramble, so I'll do my best and add a TL;DR.
I have the most wonderful BFF anyone could ask for, strong, independent, smart and a smartass. She had a tough time growing up due a disability and developed a shiny spine early and now it's so bright that it can be seen from space.
Her and FDH have been together for 5 years. He has 2 LO's from a previous relationship and they have an 8wk LO. She posted a new profile pick of her and squirt on fb cause and I quote "I look fucking awesome". A pic of BFF and 2 LO's is her cover photo. In comes JNFMIL. She posts a status on her own fb profile "now there's 3, 2 will disappear". Two guesses whats that about.
All my whats peeps, this is the same person who when BFF posted about being pregnant went on another fb rant about how she felt betrayed and lied too, cause BFF dared to pregnant after being told it might be impossible due to PCOS and other health complications so I guess JNFMIL was hoping it will never happen.
So she gets called out on the post and she did the same thing that she did on the last one and goes on about how it was about something from work. But for some reason can't elaborate on what the issue is about... hmmm.
Another little tidbit is that her sis is gonna a MOH at the wedding, she's also going to be her's. And brother is going to be in the wedding but not in the actual party itself. JNFMIL had a whinge in the past about how when one of her other sons got married that none of the other sibilings were in the wedding party.
Well that's happening again cause she can complain all she wants because as BFF has stated "She can bitch all she wants, I'm doing what I want. She's not paying any money to the wedding. I'm paying for it myself".
Godspeed my friend.
TL;DR: FMIL has a snark on fb, gets called out and denies it. And the possible makings of future posts.
MITW : Playground edition
sorry for wall of text, but tea kicked in halfway through and I'm now sleepy.
We got a random break from all the cold and it was gorgeous for like 3 days, so of course every parent in the neighborhood took their kids to the park. DDs playgroup got about 7 new kids added and I met some new moms. We parents stood off to one side letting our kids burn off some energy after being stuck at home for the holidays, and in DDs case just getting over a nasty bout of Strep. I'd brought puppers (12lb dachshund/Beagle/Chihuahua mix) out who was happily stretched out in the grass sunning herself next to a very large German Shepard K-9 officer whos handler had also brought his kiddo to play.
We'd been there about a half hour when I hear DD yelling "No! Don't touch me! Mommy Help!" My pooch made it there before I took three steps, and was snarling as loudly as she could at this woman who had my daughter by the arm trying to pull her off the climbing wall. The K-9 handler and I pulled the woman off my dd, and he drug her off to one side while I check over DD. She was fine and wanted to go right back to playing.
I turn and there is now a young couple whisper yelling at the old lady. Officer Pup is now at attention and keeping his furry self between the lady and any child he can see. I start marching over to chew this lady out when she starts wailing, "that little brat was in DS's way and wouldn't move, it just kept telling him to "wait your turn' while it kept climbing." I got right up to her and snarled "My daughter isn't an It. Your lucky she didn't bite you because that's what she's been taught to do if someone she doesn't know grabs her like that. How dare you grab my child, scare her, and pull her off playground equipment by one fucking arm. I should have you arrested for assault." The Handler clears his voice and points out that technically it would be kidnapping and that he already called dispatch and a uniformed officer was on the way.
The younger couple just stared at the older woman in horror and I hear this "Again Mom? We brought DS out here to play with other kids his own age, and you grabbed a child who was not only playing with him but encouraging him to play politely? That's it we're done." The man apologized to me for his mothers behavior and complimented me on what a cute dog and kid I have, and what a great climber DD was. His wife just stood there staring at the sobbing old lady. Old lady tried to tell me it was a misunderstanding and I didn't need to press charges when Handler spoke up. "Mam, not only did I see it. I had to physically remove your hands from a young child who isn't related to you in any capacity. I'm required to call that in." Two cars pull up and one officer arrests the old lady and while everyone's giving their statements all of the kiddos noticed how fluffy Officer Pup actually was, and I'm still not sure DD didn't start it, but the K-9 ended up happily cuddled under about 5 toddlers. My pup had stretched herself back out on the grass.
They took the old lady away while she was screaming that it wasn't her fault. We left shortly after since the wind was picking up and we didn't want to risk more crazy. The playgroup got a post later that afternoon from the Mom apologizing for her MIL and saying she totally understood if we booted her. Apparently the MIL had caused her to be booted from a few mom groups and at least one daycare. I messaged her this site and the contact info for DDs PDO program. We have a high concentration of cop kiddos there and retired officers and teachers make up the staff. I also resolved to consider wearing a body cam for posterity reasons.
TLDR: Warm weather brought tons of kids to playground, Crazy lady pulled my kid off the climbing area because her GS wouldn't wait to take his turn. DD did exactly what she was supposed to, Cop with K-9 was present. Old lady got arrested.
JNMILITW - You're looking pretty good, for a dead woman
I work in the HR Department at my work. It's also what I've based my username off (Aech = H, ar = R). Part of my role is getting the departments mail and sorting through anything that isn't addressed to a specific person, or on the odd occasion marked Return to Sender, if an employee forgot to tell us about a change of address.
Earlier this week, I was sorting through the mail and found a letter with the recipient crossed out and 'RTS - DECEASED' scrawled on the envelope. My heart sank when I looked closer and saw the name, a graphic designer (GD) from our Marketing department that's absolutely amazing at what she does. It was a letter confirming her promotion and salary increase. I couldn't believe that something had happened to her and this is how we (the company) were finding out. She seemed fine when I saw her yesterday...
Then the cogs in my head start turning. This would have been in the mail back to us well before yesterday and she was fine then. There's something fishy going on here... I pull up the staff directory and dial her extension.
GD: Hello? Me: Hi GD, it's Aechar from HR... How are you? GD: Oh hi, Aech... I'm good thanks. Yourself? Me: I'm good... Hey, could you come by HR? Your letter confirming your increase came back to us marked Return to Sender. There's... another issue with it too GD: Yeah, I've moved recently. I must have updated my address after it was sent... What kind of issue? Is it serious? Me: I'm leaning towards Yes. Come around and I'll show you. GD: ... Okay, I'll come around now. See you in a minute. *click*
A couple of minutes later, she arrives. When I show her the envelope, she stares at it for a few seconds, processing what it says.
GD: Oh, that fucking bitch! Me: O_O GD: Sorry... That just slipped out... So, I suppose I should explain this...
She goes on to explain that up until recently, she had been living with her now ex-Boyfriend. In recent months, his mother had moved in aswell due to health complications. There were a number of 'personality clashes', with simple boundaries being established, such as "If the bedroom door is closed, knock before entering" leading to one quick knock and immediately opening the door.
The straw that broke the camels back was, after being told of their anniversary plans, the mother intentionally making appointments for that day and demanding the ex be her chauffeur for the day instead. The ex was given the ultimatum to either stand up for his girlfriend and stamp out his mothers insanity, or GD moves out. The ex chose poorly.
They stayed on amicable terms, with the ex agreeing to hold any mail that came for her and to hand over when they met to discuss the situation. Now it seems like the ex is having second thoughts, which has lead to arguements with the mother, which means that GD is 'turning her son against her'. Her chosen course of retaliation now appears to be take the mail that's being held for GD and send it back as 'RTS - DECEASED' (100% her handwriting, according to GD) as a way of saying 'You're dead to me' I guess?
GD says that right now, it's too little too late from the ex. There were more issues than just these and his mother , but didn't want to divulge any further.
At some after-work drinks at the end of the week, I told GD about /sub/justnomil and she said that she'd have a look, but didn't know if she'd post anything. She did say that she's okay with me telling this story though.
Reading old emails from Punkin has confirmed what I have only come to understand recently. Her parenting was so smothering that I have to relearn basic behaviour now as an adult.
My wife and I have been reading through old emails from my mother to me (some from more than a decade ago when I was first starting university). They are pretty eye-opening. I always knew she was annoying and had a tendency to nag, but I saw it as run-of-the-mill overbearing mother stuff. Seeing those emails with what I’ve learned in the past year or so puts things in a whole new light. Emailing multiple times a day about mundane tasks, going through my bank statements to see what I’ve been buying (a personal account), constant lecturing and intervention about marks and social life, reminding about birthdays and offering gifts for me to give to people so I wouldn’t have to shop, etc... I can now see the harm she did to me by raising me like this. Not treating me as if I’m an individual human being, just trying to insert herself into my life as much as possible. So much of her behaviour that we thought began with our engagement has always been there. Manipulating me into breaking plans with friends to do something with her instead, for example. I could even see my responses change throughout time. My incredulity at how she said my father was behaving at the beginning of their separation gave way to acceptance after awhile (I’ve now realized that a lot of this was just flat-out lying on her part).
The most insane one we read came after I learned that I got a job I had applied for (when I was in my mid-twenties), it is like a goddamn cartoon caricature of a narcissist mother. And I quote:
Good Morning Thumper,
I woke up this morning and was truly happy. Than realized that it was because of you. You are an extension of me, so when something happens to you, it is as if it happens to me. That will always be the case.
Holeeeeee shit! I have all kinds of new stuff to talk to my therapist about now.
Edit: /u/thatwhinypeasant for all the background
MILTW: Says, “isn’t she fat?” At a baby shower
Hey guys, long time, no see!
My own crazy FMIL has been relatively laying low. I survived Christmas by handing her the most thoughtful present in man kind the moment I walked in her house and avoiding her anytime she wasn’t in a perfect mood. I also handed her jerk of a husband his favorite bottle of liquor. I was on the defense.
Now on to the MILTWs I witnessed today. This was the pregnant woman’s MOM and her MIL. I’m just going to do a check list because this would take an hour to type.
JNMom: -Frequently discussing how huge her daughter was getting and how fat she looked (which can I say, her daughter looks so tiny for 32 weeks) - had the loudest makeup on her poorly cosmetic surgery done face and tiara - having a professional individually wrap all 15 of her gifts - each one of her gifts being “firsts”; baby’s going home outfits, baby’s first bathing suit, baby’s first birthday outfit, you get the idea - removing a mini chicken salad sandwich from her daughters hand and handing her carrot - Griping about how fat cake can make you as everyone made the worlds thinnest slices of shitty cake - Cheating in every game and getting so “surprised” when she won - “What ever the baby wants to call me, I’ll take as my grandma name” - is making a whole room in her house for the baby, crib/painting, the whole thing - having her husband come in and steal gifts that she wants for her baby room at the end of the shower - griping constantly about the decor - we will get to that in a moment
MIL: - I heard about this prior to the party but the MIL insisted on throwing a baby shower, and failed to do a single thing for it so... drum roll please... hired a party planner to do it. - bought a bunch of passive aggressive clothing that said “I love my nana the most”. I didn’t even know you could buy that many outfits with it - gifted her DIL a “road trip to nana” super bag stocked with everything so “you just have to bring my baby to me!” - talked openly about making DIL move closer to her - had her friends, whom DIL didn’t know, who were invited bring “Nana gifts”
As a young thing, I drank champagne in the back and bounced around a 10 month old that was there for awhile. That was until JNMom found me.
JNMom: “Doesn’t my pregnant daughter look so fat?”
Me: “She looks incredible.”
JNMom: “Well, it’s going straight to her face.”
Me: “Well, isn’t that why there is plastic surgery? Isn’t that what you did?”
She slammed her drink on the table and stormed off. A grandma high fived me and I drank another glass of champagne.
Update: OK WOW - I did not expect such an awesome amount of feedback, but let's share in the rage. Rage with me. Rage against the awful MIL and JNMom. I truly only believe it could've gone worst (without the cops being called) if my own FMIL was there.
No contact MIL crashes my mom's funeral
TL;DR MIL drives 2 hours to crash my mother's funeral. Manipulates a close family friend to pressure us to kiss and make up, because "life is too short". Ends up being scolded by husband and the manipulated family friend.
This happened yesterday.
My mother (mid 50s) passed away less than a week ago, the funeral was on Friday. And it sucks and hurts like hell, but she was such an incredible woman the entire town rallied to help organise the funeral, guesthouses giving family and friends insane discounts, etc etc. I can't even list all of the things she did for charities and especially random kids and people. She was abnormally virtuous.
I digress, so many people wanted to attend, so the details were widely known. Thus my husband and I KNEW MIL (Bubble Bitch) would show up to use this tragic occasion to guilt us into breaking our 9 month long no contact.
And wouldn't you know it, the bitch pitches. Sobbing and telling us bullshit like "You're like my own child, I love you so much." Awkward silence. Anyway, ignoring her, we get through the funeral and burial and everyone meets afterwards for drinks and stuff at the church hall. MIL got my surrogate mom/school teacher to try and force us to have a conversation with MIL. Surrogate mom clearly didn't understand the severity of MIL's crazy and we got cornered by MIL and Surrogate Mom anyway.
The angle was "you need a mom. You don't have a mom anymore. So don't chase away the only mom you have left. Life's to short to hold onto grudges." etc etc etc. The angle of course being my mother's death.
So with Surrogate Mom in the conversation, I said "okay, let's talk. Why did you make up lies about me to get husband to leave me? Why do you blame me for everything? Why did you try to destroy our relationship?" Of course she yells that she did no such thing, and husband (his spine had evolved into idk dragon spikes or something) pulls out his phone and asks her if she needs to see the messages she sent about me again. And MIL tries to blame shift. So I bring it back, "Why do you blame me?" MIL: "I never did that, how dare you accuse me!" I pull out my phone and point out that I have a voicemail of her saying just that.
Geeze I mentioned so many things, like if she really was so cool with us getting married on, why did she try to stop it. Her answer she helped make the invitations (she didn't, she just sat around) so that's proof that she wanted us to get married, just not so soon, we needed to work through some issues first. And so I asked her why the hell make the invitation with the set date on it if it was too soon.
I mentioned how she always snooped through our messages, and she yelled "WHAT DID YOU SAY I DID?!" absolutely revolted by the notion. Husband starts telling the story where she dissected my 1 month anniversary card to him, while holding the card.
Somewhere through all this crazy my Surrogate mom clicked about what happened. And she started repeatedly telling MIL how I have never ever done anything wrong, that there is nothing wrong with me. And then Surrogate mom proceeded to quote the Bible on how the son will ditch his family to be one with his wife. (like the exact quote).
Husband pulls MIL aside, while she scolds him and he rolls his eyes. And about 20 minutes later MIL approaches me and tells me she's sorry that she thought that it was my fault all these years, and then starts telling me about how much of a "monstrous mother" she is. Clearly trying to get sympathy from us. So instead of saying "No no you're not!" I just said "Yes, I know you are."
Surrogate mom asked me for forgiveness and tells me how MIL manipulated her before church. Easy to guilt trip and soft soak people when they're mourning the death of a loved one. Surrogate mom is still furious and she's so ashamed having been fooled by that scorpion woman.
Meanwhile husband tells MIL that she can email him all the things she thinks she did wrong, and we'll think about reading it. MIL forgot emails existed so this was a brand new avenue of communication to her again. She pleaded and cried and husband wasn't having any of it, his last words to her was "Yeah well. You know what to do if you want to try and make it right."
NOTE: MIL never once mentioned my deceased mother, NOT once. Just how there's a mother position that opened up in our lives. MIL had to drive 2 hours to my home town to try and manipulate us on probably the weakest and worst day of our lives.
I'm officially initiating Project Petty Revenge. And I am open for suggestions.
How Hummingturd came to realize she texted her lies to me
Sorry for the delay! Babies, groceries, mom life, you know.
Here is the email that DH sent to Hummingturd. I kind of wanted to just yell and scream, but we decided that we needed to present as level-headed so that she doesn’t have any legitimate things to point to as us being the bad guys in this.
Note: DH is actually an atheist, but added the religious touch because she is big time Christian (except, of course, for actually following any practices related to being a kind human).
I was right next to [Worrier] when she received the text that I’m assuming was accidentally sent to her. I am so very disappointed, and also angry. I really appreciated the apology you sent and it gave me hope that we were maybe in the right track to start rebuilding our relationship. I appreciated that you were sorry for speaking negatively about [Worrier], and that you see how it hurts me (not to mention how much it hurts her). Then receiving that accidental text talking about [Worrier], a mere few weeks later, was disheartening. It makes it very hard for me to believe anything in the apology was sincere and not merely going through the motions. Even more worrisome is the face that the message was received accidentally; I can’t help but wonder what is being said that we didn’t see, and to whom. [SIL who is a FM] has already been mad at me in the last few months and I don’t know if anyone else in the family had a negative opinion of me or my family after speaking to you.
I need a break from communication with you until I can decide what I want. This isn’t the first time a message about [Worrier] accidentally made it to her, and things don’t seem to be changing over the years in regards to you views of her, which hurts me deeply because she is my wife, my partner in life, my other half. We are one flesh, as the Bible says in Genesis 2:24: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.””
This was about a month ago and it has been radio silence.
MIL and Engagement Ring Shopping
My MIL needs a name. I’m between Charybdis or Haole Hattie (I get all aquiver at alliteration). I’ll take your votes now.
I mentioned in a few comments on my last post that MIL started her nonsense when she realized DH was going to marry me. Here’s the story of when she found out DH wanted to propose.
DH and I have been together for close to a decade. When we were juniors in college, we decided this was it for us. DH is kidding himself if he thinks there’s another woman out there that would put up with his ever expanding collection of weird quirks and Star Wars legos. DH said he’d find a ring and I made a Pinterest wedding board...pretty official if you ask me.
Around this time, MIL planned a cruise for the family to celebrate BIL’s high school graduation. As DH’s long time girlfriend, I was obviously not invited for the cruise. I did, however, weasel my way into spending the last few days of their trip with them because I had a family member in this particular spot I could just happen to visit at the same time. The rest of this story is what I learned secondhand from DH and BIL. It involves copious amounts of alcohol and bad decisions.
Ever had Caribbean rum punch? Like actual rum punch they make in a vat that is 90% rum and 10% juice? I warned DH about it. Did he listen? Nope.
BIL and DH got absolutely TRASHED on a snorkel boat and when they got back to their ship, MIL wanted to go shopping. She would not let them say no, despite her very underage son being outrageously plastered. And when DH is drunk, he becomes Ferdinand the Bull. He just wants to sniff the dang flowers and be left alone.
These were the days when Pandora bracelets were really in (are they still?) and MIL wanted to get some beads from every island. Of course they went into a jewelry store. While MIL was poking around at the beads, DH drunkenly stumbled to the ring section and started taking drunk videos to send to me later. The person helping him select rings must’ve had the patience of Mother Teresa pulling out engagement rings for the drunk guy with the shitty camera phone, but the way DH talked about his undying love for me in these videos I can see why she helped him.
MIL eventually found DH on his fifth ring video, slur-a-lurring about how goddamn perfect this ring is, and asked what DH was doing.
DH told her he was looking for a ring for his Hawaiian Siren.
I think astronauts are still discussing the scientific significance of the CBF that appeared in the Caribbean that day.
MIL lit into DH like he had set fire to her most precious set of antique furniture and pissed on the ashes. He was too young to be thinking about marriage. I was his only serious girlfriend, didn’t he want to explore more (seriously?). How could he marry someone like me (looool) with all my tattoos and weird personality (I call it a general zest for life, but ok). All DH could do, in his very zen-like drunk state, was stare into the cavernous maw as she continued her barrage of stupidity at him.
BIL, who loves me, stepped in at that moment to show MIL some more beads he’d found while DH went to take a moment to pull himself together (or, take bathroom mirror video on his phone to show me later about his mommy derailing the ring shopping effort). MIL, who could not let it go, became a wild MIL and told the woman helping my DH that if she sold him any rings whatsoever, she would get her fired. When the woman acknowledged the fact that DH was a grown man, MIL put a call into their bank (since DH’s account was hooked to theirs at the time) and reported DH’s credit card as stolen. BIL does not have a shiny spine like DH and FIL, so he said nothing.
Then, to put a cherry on top of her petty sundae, MIL picked out a few beads for the pandora bracelet that DH had bought me for my birthday earlier that year. A crab, because I’m crabby (her words), the mascot of my school’s rival team, and a dog bone. My dog had just died and I saw this as a little insensitive.
She then went looking for DH and practically knocked the door down to get him out of the bathroom, then wasted no time in ushering him out of the store and back to the ship. She tried to put them both on lockdown the rest of the trip, but FIL came in and shut that down after it was discovered she’d fucked with DH’s account. When they finally met up with me at the last stop, MIL was so far up DH’s ass I thought she could see his back molars. It wasn’t until DH showed me the drunk videos that I understood why.
Jokes on you, MIL. The next chance we got, DH and I went ring shopping together. He took her off his account and purchased the ring I had fallen in love with, and proposed to me on our next vacation with my family.
Remember how I’ve mentioned MIL and I used to have a good relationship? This was the beginning of the end.
Giada crossed every boundary. Part 3
Trigger warning: domestic violence, self harm.
Note: I read every comment. I try to respond to as often as I can, but sometimes I get overwhelmed. I appreciate every single comment and all of your support. You are all amazing and wonderful people and it warms my soul to know you all exist and make the world a better place.
My relationship with my ex got worse as his relationship with his mom got stronger. The more time she spent at our place, the more his mental health declined and the violence got worse and more frequent. I was still clinging to the hope that things would get better. Our relationship would be perfect if he would just get out from under his mother's influence. I was positive there was something I was missing, some way I could fix this, some sequence of magic words that would get through to him so we would be happy again. And I never told a soul what was happening because I loved him and I didn't want anyone thinking he was a bad guy. It wasn't his fault that he had an overbearing mother and a mental illness. He just lost his temper sometimes and his mom usually provoked it. Besides, I should have known not to do/say XYZ when he was ABC. (For the most part, I no longer believe this or blame myself for his abuse. I am just explaining the headspace I was in while this was occurring.)
Over time, I learned the tricks of the abused spouse trade. Long sleeves, sunglasses, bangs, special effects grade concealer, deflection, avoidance, excuses, isolation. Things got so bad that I was fired from a job for taking too many sick days. When Giada found out I was fired, she came to our place and screamed at me. She called me a gold digger and accused me of trying to make her son have a nervous breakdown. My ex didn't say a word while she yelled at me. When she left, I broached the topic of taking a break and he choked me for the first time. I started to plan to leave that night.
Giada had access to our finances and knew how much we made. Because of this, I knew I couldn't touch our money and we didn't have enough in savings for me to leave right away anyway. And I didn't want to leave him with nothing to live on. I got around this by lying. I found another job quickly and lied about how much I was making. I claimed that I was working under the table so my paycheck was cash. I hid what I could while turning over the rest to my ex.
Giada loved having access to our finances. She would call me and ask about random spending habits. She'd question how much I was spending on gas, groceries, bills. She asked why our cable bill was so high. At one point, she accused me of spending too much on Amazon. I pointed out that the orders were for my ex and she smiled and said he deserved his toys. She would berate me for not making enough money and called me a spoiled princess when I asked her why I was expected to work twice as much as her son. Eventually, I became so tired of fighting with her and my ex that I just accepted defeat. My anxiety and depression were off the charts and I was drinking almost a bottle of wine a night just to sleep. My ex, during one of his clear moments, noticed something was wrong and broke down. He confessed to me that he didn't feel like himself and he was scared of the way he was acting. He told me he felt like his mom was getting too involved and he was losing me. I was too scared to tell him the truth - that he was - and still hopeful that cutting out Giada would cure our relationship, so I skirted the issue by suggesting we take a month to just focus on us.
When Giada found out about our plan to take time for us, she flipped out. My ex got a frantic call from his youngest sister to come over right away. As sick as this sounds, part of me hoped that Giada had been in a fatal accident or killed herself or something of that nature. I literally wished for her death. When my ex came home the next day, he looked broken. He told me his mom had a breakdown and started clawing at her arms and face. She told him she felt abandoned and was afraid to be alone. He said he wasn't comfortable cutting her out when she was so unstable and sad. When I suggested he call the police or a hotline if she was a danger to herself, he got angry and asked if that was what I was going to do to him. He yelled at me that she had warned him that I was going to try to get him locked up, called me a cold bitch, and slapped me hard enough that my ears rang.
Giada came over for dinner two days later, covered in scratches, but smiling and cooing about how she had such a "good son."