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Topic : 06/30 Inappropriate In-laws

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Created on : Friday, April 25, 2008, 03:04:05 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 05/01/08) When couples tie the knot, they don't just marry each other; they get hitched to their spouse’s entire family. But what would you do if your in-laws were demanding, condescending and sometimes violent? Bambi hasn’t spoken to her daughter, Kendra, for two years, and she blames her son-in-law, Adam. Bambi says she and Adam got into a heated argument in which she not only slapped him, but also went looking for a gun to shoot him! Kendra says her mother was way out of line for physically assaulting Adam and doesn't know if she can change her controlling ways. Bambi says Kendra is dead to her — and even built a makeshift gravesite in her yard to symbolize her grief. The irascible in-law says she's desperate to reconcile with Kendra -- but not Adam. Will the couple accept her terms?  Join the discussion.

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June 30, 2008, 9:52 pm CDT

06/30 Inappropriate In-laws

Quote From: bmdill

Kendra, I feel your pain

I have watched Dr. Phil for years, and this show was what prompted me to register an account, and go to the message board.  I feel that in many ways you and I are alike.

I have always been very close with my mom, and my mom has always been a very loving, caring, generous individual.  However, she also has a different side where she is extremely controlling, manipulative, and unstable.  She has very little control over her own behavior though.  There were ups and downs growing up, (which were blamed on me as a teenager), but I figured once I moved out, and started my own life that things would get better.  They did for a little while simply by not living under her roof.  But I then found that if she got mad at me for something, instead of coming into my room and screaming at me & hitting me, and taking off, then coming back 5 minutes later for round two, she had to call me on the phone, and vent her anger with me, hang up, and call back 5 minutes later.  When that didn't work because I stopped answering the phone, she would drive over to my house, and peer in the front window at me.  I then had to cover the window to stop that, and to have peace.
6 years ago, I found out about my father cheating on my mother.  She had told me stories about his past behavior, but this was new, and I felt I had a responsibility to tell her.  My parents had a rocky relationship as far back as I can remember, and I didn't think they should be together, especially after what he did.  So, I told her, I found her a therapist, and I found her a divorce lawyer.  Unfortunately, the therapist proved to be untrustworthy, and didnt really believe in keeping things confidential, (She was the one who gave us a lot of the information about my fathers infidelity) and my mother stopped seeing her.
I spent my 25th birthday with my mom at her lawyers office for support.  I felt that after all the stresses she'd been through that I needed to be the one person in her life to support her through the separation with my father, for as long as that took.
This was clearly a mistake.  Once she found out how deceptive my father had been, something took over, and everything and everyone was "out to get her".  Every time she had accused my father of cheating in the past, he told her she was a silly woman, and that she was crazy.  Now that she had found out he really had cheated, and that she was right, she felt that every new suspicion she had MUST also be true.
No matter how insane my mother sounded I was there to support her, and try to help her through it.  This started with being obsessed with mice in her attic, (plausible), but then it escalated.  I cant count the number of times I was guided around the house so she could show me the newest damage caused by the critters.  Then, it was squirrels in the attic, and possibly something bigger, too.  I mean, you know there is something wrong when not one animal control company will respond to your calls anymore.  Im off on a tangent here, but it wasnt just that she had animals in the attic anymore, they were now communicating with each other to plot against her, and one would distract her while the other went off and wreaked havoc elsewhere on her house.  I tried to talk to her about it, but if I said anything other than what she wanted to hear, WATCH OUT!  I felt that if I just made it through until she moved into a new place that it would be better. . . .nope!  She found animals everywhere she moved.  Unfortunately, this was the first of many obsessions.

First it was the critters, then her phone was bugged by my dad, then her television was bugged by my dad, then there were cameras spying on her, his family was spying on her, and it got worse and worse.
The few times I mustered the courage to suggest she go back to therapy, she would respond with Im not crazy.
After believing my fathers family was spying on her, she thought my brother was doing the same.
Finally, the separation was complete, and I TRULY believed things would be better, and that she might consider some therapy, even if only to get closure about the separation.
Instead, she called the cops on her sister (who was living with her), and had her kicked out, because, yes you guessed it, her own sister was now spying on her along with my moms niece, her nieces husband, and her nephew as well.  Next, her neighbours were all spying on her, any service vehicle that was parked on the street was spying on her, and on and on.
My mom slowly cut off all family contact except for my sister & I, and our families.

This has all been terribly stressful for my husband and I.  It all came to a head this past Christmas when my mom was supposed to baby-sit for me when my husband and I went to my work Christmas party (I work for my fathers company).  I didnt think anything of it because she was fine when I asked her to baby-sit, but 2 hours before the party she was acting weird on the phone, and when I asked her if she was mad at me for something, she went off on me about how horrible I was to ask her to baby-sit to go to HIS PARTY, and then went on about his mistress at the office, like it was somehow my fault or something.  I had enough, and told her that his having a mistress was not my fault, and that its not fair that she hold a grudge against me because I have a relationship with my father, and that I work for my father.  She would not stop, and I ended up hanging up on her.
We received MANY, MANY horrible voicemail messages from my mom saying every possible horrible thing she could to us.  When I unplugged the answering machine, she left messages on my cell, and on my work voicemail.  Then after a little time had passed she wanted it to just blow over.  With my mom, there has been a pattern of her blowing up on someone, and then her expecting it to all just go away because she got it out of her system.
 For the first time in my life I stood up to her, and said that I thought we needed to talk about what happened instead of just ignoring it, because I wanted to make sure it never happened again.  She refused to have this conversation and convinced herself that we were just trying to corner her to return the verbal abuse.

No matter how much I wanted to try to hurt her as she had hurt us, I held back, and refused to fuel the fight, and did not return the phone calls.  She took this as me trying to hurt her.  After another month or so passed, she started leaving me nasty messages again.  She called every five minutes, and left messages, and when I unplugged the answering machine, she just let the phone ring off the hook (while my daughter was trying to nap).  My husband finally had enough, picked up the phone and told her that if she called this number again, shed have to deal with him in person. (I was standing right next to him when he said this).  She panicked, and called my work, and left messages on my machine there saying he threatened to physically harm her, that I was in an abusive relationship, that I didnt have a mind of my own anymore, etc. etc.

Then, after having no contact for a few more months, she got to thinking and came up with a new conclusion for what was going on.  She called yet again, and this time said that she believes my husband was on my fathers payroll to spy on her.

I finally got myself into therapy to figure out how to get my mom some help, and the only real answer I got was that I should write a letter to her doctor to let the doctor know about her behavior, and see if the doctor could help.  I didnt want to do this, because I was unsure of whether or not the doctor would listen, and knew my mom would think this was some sort of revenge plot against her, so I never did it.

I finally opted to change my cell phone number to avoid giving her ways to leave nasty messages.  The very next day while I was at therapy, my mom called my house, got my mother-in-law who was babysitting my daughter, and decided to call my cell instead.  The number was no longer in service, so she called and left a nasty message for me at work, which I got when I finished therapy.  I immediately asked my father to change my work extension to avoid messages there.  I really did not want to have to change my home number as well, so I left that alone, and again, hoped for the best.

I had another month or so of peace and quiet, and then, the day after my doctor informed me I had a medical condition that is brought on my stress, my mother called my house.  I hoped that maybe it would be different this time, but when I answered the phone I was met with I am tired of waiting for my apology, and I got hung up on.  The stress was too much, and I finally called the phone company and had my home number changed, and had the number unlisted.

I let this go on much, much longer than I should have, and it has hurt my relationship with my husband as well along the way.  He has been very patient, and has backed off whenever I asked him to, and has let me decide how to handle things.  He has watched me suffer, and has still stood by me throughout this.
Im a grown woman, I have my own life, and I was also diagnosed with a disease that is affected negatively by stress (Multiple Sclerosis) 7 years ago.  The biggest factor however, and probably what touched home most about the show is that I have a 2 year old daughter, and I do not want to expose her to this toxic behavior anymore.
I cant change the past, but I CAN make sure my daughter doesnt have this in her future.

I don't blame you for cutting ties with your mother.  You tried and tried but when you are dealing with a mental illness like she must have, you can't win by yourself.  You should contact her doctor and let her know what is going on.  She needs help.  I would keep my distance until she recieves it for the sake of your child.

 

Good luck

 
June 30, 2008, 10:27 pm CDT

Why She hit him....

Quote From: macommander

Dr. Phil

What did the son in law do to cause Bambi to hit him? (Not that it's okay to hit.) Apparently it was very serious and would have hurt the daughter. He never stood up for himself in that matter nor was he honest about his behavior.

 

I have a similar challenge in my relationship with my daughter. I recognize that she and her husband are adults and make their own choices. I have learned that since I do not contribute financially to them, that I am the 'low man on the totum pole'    I cannot afford to, nor do I believe we should pay our children's bills (they are over age 30 and employed).  As time has passed, my daughter does not like it that her in-laws pay for things thereby making them obligated to the in-laws.  Since my husband and I have offered to pay for career counseling for our son-in-law, we are all of a sudden more a part of their family.

 

In the past my daughter has treated me terribly when I have had some serious surgeries. Not even a phone call to see how I was doing. When I had neck surgery and discovered a couple of days before the surgery that I was not to be alone for ten days (I was single then) I asked if she could come and help me over the Thanksgiving holiday. She stated she was unable to make any changes to her holiday because she was cooking dinner for her in-laws. (They contribute greatly to their financial well being). She also treated her grandmother terribly while she was dying from cancer.

 

I have learned that I cannot count on her to be there, emotionally supporting family, if I was in serious trouble (ie..homeless, severly ill). We have developed what I would describe as a 'casual' relationship. If it is convenient to her schedule, or the in-laws schedule, she will take a little bit of time to be with me when I am in her home town. As a result, I have learned to live my life and love it. I am missing wonderful time with my grandchildren and they are missing some great people in their life, my husband and I.

 

Granted, I could have been a better mother, nothing serious, but I feel we all wish we were better parents. Life shows us what we could have done to make our past better, but oops! too late, but it's what we do in the future that counts. My prayers is that this 'thing' that seems to be generational doesn't continue any longer in my family. But that is up to my daughter to choose to be loving to everyone.

 

I talk to so many mothers that have similar situations. Why does this happen between women? Do we need to be a 'cave women, marking her territory' to be a good wife? Why do we have to hate someone we really love in order to leave? As mothers, what can we do to help our children leave and still love, respect and honor their parents?

 

 

During the delivery of Kendra and Adams baby, the anesthesiologist was having difficulty getting the epidural into Kendras lower back.  Because he had to make a few attempts, Bambi accused Adam of 'letting the doctors stab her' and thus, she slapped him. 

As far as 'helping our children leave and still love, respect, and honor parents..."  children learn what they live.  It all starts when they are YOUNG.....Did you show love and honor and respect to them as they were growing-up, or were you from the generation that believed children should be seen and not heard?

Whatever the case, as we see in Bambi and Kendra, sometimes, your children can turn out INSPITE of how you raised them, or BECAUSE of how you raised them.   And by the way, it's never too late to be a better mother.....sometimes it's a matter of just saying I'm so sorry, or,  I wish I could have been there for you more often, or I wish I could have taken more interest in things you enjoyed, or I should not have ever hit you like I did..... will you forgive me?  My mom did that for my sister and me and our relationship hasn't skipped a beat!  I talk to her at least 3 times a day several days a week. She is a beautiful, loving, 'failable'  and exceptional woman who knows, without a doubt, that her two daughters will be there for her no matter what may come.  Her ability to see the 'err' of her ways at 64 years old, makes her even more exceptional!  She stopped the cycle of abuse by stepping-up and preventing it from happening to her grandchildren.  Now that is Superwoman!!!!!
 
June 30, 2008, 11:24 pm CDT

Thank you for the kind words of support!

Quote From: grandmashari

I don't blame you for cutting ties with your mother.  You tried and tried but when you are dealing with a mental illness like she must have, you can't win by yourself.  You should contact her doctor and let her know what is going on.  She needs help.  I would keep my distance until she recieves it for the sake of your child.

 

Good luck

Thank you for the support.  I started my message because I felt to close to Kendra, and the fact that her mother is attacking her husband unjustly, and that she also has a toddler she doesn't want exposed to that.  After I started typing, I realized that it was the first time I've laid out the whole situation in writing, and it felt more like therapy of some sort for myself to get it all out.  I wasn't going to post the message because I felt it was more like me just telling my story instead of talking about Kendra's situation, but my husband encouraged me to do so anyway, so I did.  He surprised me by saying that he'd be willing to go on Dr. Phil if I asked him to in order to confront my mom, but I said they just did a show on Inappropriate In-laws, and I wasn't writing for help, just communicating on the message board.
 
July 1, 2008, 1:25 am CDT

to the young couple on the show

 My suggestion is to move as far away from your mother as possible.  With no regrets, and no forwarding address. I can conly imagine what a difficult childhood you must have had.  It looks like you married a very nice man. Have a wonderful life together.
 
July 1, 2008, 3:50 am CDT

Get Over It!

     It is imperative that parents know when they should be involved in a marital relationship--especially when it is on the verge of one spouse is intending to kill the other. But when it concerns an in-law threatening Adam with a gun, then it is redundant that she should have anything to do with it. As a parent, Bambi has to keep her daughter safe no matter what. But when she's married to Adam, there is a word she should be careful of, that is, MEDDLING.

     To Bambi, get over yourself. You need to deal with your emotional problems. There is really no need for you to make a grave of your daughter outside your home and to threaten Adam. Fix yourself up woman...

     Adam and the wife, be easy on each other. You may be young and still have a lot to learn about each other as you guys live on in life. Learn to forgive one another after a mistake is made and move on. Don't hang on it for a long time. Just GET OVER IT! There is more happiness you two will find in life together than to be on each other's neck.

     Lastly, go to Jesus. He's the help you two need and the Bambi. He's not to far to help you when you need Him....
 
July 1, 2008, 8:20 am CDT

Why did Dr. Phil ignore the elephant in the corner?

I simply do not understand why Dr. Phil did not tell Bambi straight to her face that she had mental health issues severe enough that her daughter was absolutely justified in cutting off contact with her.  Bambi needs to seek treatment in a residential setting where she cannot harm herself or others.  If I were Kendra and Adam, there would be restraining orders in place and I would have moved across the country.  Kendra and Adam are doing everything they can to keep their child safe from extremely unstable person "who has a history of taking children" she believes are being neglected.  When Kendra said that, I got a cold chill down my spine.  Bambi is a ticking time bomb.  Dr. Phil should have told Kendra and Adam that they should protect themselves in every practical and legal means available to them, and cut off contact completely.  Until Bambi successfully completes a treatment regimen designed to reorient her to the real world, she should be hospitalized.  Bambi persists in blaming Adam for things that any rational person would understand were not his fault.  Bambi has assaulted Adam and admits to trying to kill him.  These are not the actions and attitudes of a rational, sane human being. 
 
July 1, 2008, 8:23 am CDT

THERE IS HOPE

Quote From: prettynpinkk

Hello all Dr. Phil Fans

 

I have just joined drphil.com. I don't know how this works yet , so a responce to this would be GREAT!

 

I can some what  relate to Bambbie . Differances is i am 27yrs old and i use to behave like her 3-4 years ago. I have came along way and still have a great deal of things still to work on. I have cronic anixety, depression, personality disorder, ADD, OCD, and alot of other things tht just have'nt been disignosed. I COMPLETLEY think that beautiful little girl should not be around her grandmother right now. In saying that i think the world has became completley blind to what alot of us have to in endure. I AM NOT MAKING EXCUSES FOR BAMMBIE JUST WANT TO ENLIGHTTEN A FEW PEOPLE.

 

 

  I am a person who tries to give 120% in everything i do , but can only give 70% the most in what i do. A lot of times i have no energy and feel like my brain is paraylized to do anything productive. Because of this i have not seen my son for 26months now. My perosnality disorder and anixey COMPLETLEY control my life. I would love to get a job one day( a had a few for a couple of days until being fired because i get emtional, forget things, have naixty attacks, and much other uncomfortable feelings. I so want to die many days but know that is not an otion because my   son  needs his mother. It is so hard many days to not give up , i have no friends, i don't trust doctors, i have all these mental disorders, my son does'nt have his mother, i want a job, a family, .

 

  I belive that there should be resourses out there like the PNP clinic ( dr. Frank Lawlis) FREE OF CHARGE. For the last 5 years i have been fixated on going to this clinic instead of doctors telling me all this different disignoses, when how can they help me when i don't know what the hell goes on in my brain 50% of the time. I can not say in words what is wrong with me. I just had  a friend of a friend hang himself because  he felt like he had no purpose, i think he felt all like me and MILLIONS of others ( especialy in the last 30years) that wants a purpose but don't have the right resourses and money to do anything.

 

 

MY QUESTION IS HOW CAN WE GET THE USA AND CANADA TO CUT THE COST OF NEUROLOGICAL TESTING SO PEOPLE CAN SEE JUST LIKE AN X-RAY WHATS GOING ON?PEOPLE GET SICK IN TIRED OF ALOT OF PSYCHOLIGIST AND NEED THINGS RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM. HOW CAN WE GET THE GOVERMENT TO SEE THAT THIS IS A SERIOUS ISSUE. I THNK ALOT OF IT MAY HAVE TO DO THE THE EVIROMENTAL PROBLEMS THAT ARE OCCURING IN OUR ECONMY TODAY.

 

  Ask your self this. i know we have all seen   that person  on the bus, a friend, a family member, someone just walking down the street , someone that says something that is just out of this world. Something  u can't even bring yourslef to compare opions , because you know it won't turn out to happy. I blieve bammbie has alot of dominating crazy chareater traits, and has too many loose ends to ever make her    life normal , but you can at least look at her like a human being and never give up on her, try your best to observe her behavior and look into what type of mentle disorders she has, and find statergies to help her. Brain excersies i would think. I think she definatley has a mild case of skitzofrinia.

 

I NEED EVERYBODIES HELP HERE, I FEEL NEAR THE POINT OF BEING LIKE MY FIRENDS FRIEND. I NEED A PURPOSE. I HAVE ALOTO F LEARNING DISABLITIES AND CAN NOT DO ALOT ON MY OWN. I AM REANTING ROOMS OUT IN MY FOUR BEDROOM HOME. I MAKE $800 A MONTH. I AM TRYING TO SAVE BUT I ALSO HAVE A SHOPPING ADICTION TO MAKE MY IMAGE BETTER. i AM TRYING T SAVING MONEY TO SEE DR. FRANK LAWLIS.

 

 

It seems your plate is piled very high with multiple problems - my heart goes out to you. Been there and am there right now as a matter of fact. Am reaching out to you because we can and must help each other in this life.

In spite of the learning disabilities you mention, you are still able to communicate your concern for others as well as your own pain very well. Props to you!

Don't know if the Lawlis scenario will ever be a part of you getting the help you need or not. Just wondering if you would consider - in the meantime - checking out a couple of websites that may help you help YOU right now. One is:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/takeonestep/depression/resources.html

This show talks a lot about the neurological & physiological problems that occur in the brain and cause people like us to have these daily battles that seem so insurmountable. It covers what med's can do to help and many, many other aspects of help available in field of mental health. You will be able to watch the entire show online, if you want to.

Here's the second resource:

WWW.NAMI.ORG -- they can help you find low-cost or free assistance re: some of what you are trying to cope with. They are a nationwide organization.

Please Listen - we both have children to think about and live for! Reach out and help your children's mother so she can be a part of their life. That's what I did, and will continue to do. I know it's hard and sometimes seems impossible, but you can do it.

God bless and strengthen you.
 
July 1, 2008, 9:51 am CDT

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE REPLY, I NEEDED IT

Quote From: suzistew

It seems your plate is piled very high with multiple problems - my heart goes out to you. Been there and am there right now as a matter of fact. Am reaching out to you because we can and must help each other in this life.

In spite of the learning disabilities you mention, you are still able to communicate your concern for others as well as your own pain very well. Props to you!

Don't know if the Lawlis scenario will ever be a part of you getting the help you need or not. Just wondering if you would consider - in the meantime - checking out a couple of websites that may help you help YOU right now. One is:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/takeonestep/depression/resources.html

This show talks a lot about the neurological & physiological problems that occur in the brain and cause people like us to have these daily battles that seem so insurmountable. It covers what med's can do to help and many, many other aspects of help available in field of mental health. You will be able to watch the entire show online, if you want to.

Here's the second resource:

WWW.NAMI.ORG -- they can help you find low-cost or free assistance re: some of what you are trying to cope with. They are a nationwide organization.

Please Listen - we both have children to think about and live for! Reach out and help your children's mother so she can be a part of their life. That's what I did, and will continue to do. I know it's hard and sometimes seems impossible, but you can do it.

God bless and strengthen you.

Hi there,

 

Well ijust want to thank you for reading my loooong message and replying to it. I tend to talk alot but theres just so much information the comes along with it all.

 

    I will look into those web-sites you gave me!! In saying that i mean no disrespect but i do not think they will help me. I knowi will definatly get somethign out of it but it will not nearly cure or help much. For some reason they way i think is sooo closed minded when it comes to WHO can help me.

 

My plan is to hopfully save enough money and see Dr. Lawlis, when going to see him i will try my best to see if he can get me on the Dr. Phil show. For the last 3 years or so i have been at the point that i just don't trust anyone to help me. Why do i say that, is because i think my brain is so tighten and backwards and loose ends that i can not articulate what going on with me . It's getting worse by the day , and i need a neurologist and psycholigist. Thing is i don't trust ANYONE anymore. I look up to Dr. Phil in every way, andi know if he deals with dr.LAwlis he must be good. I need ore than 2 days that Dr. LAwlis is offering and hope that Dr. Phil can help. I have wrote, and wrote, and e-mailed, and sent pictures, and video tapes to Dr. Phil but no reasponces. I just wait and wait for his e-mail back that it is driving me crazy. 

 

From. the person who does'nt trust anyone 

 
July 1, 2008, 2:58 pm CDT

I thought I was seeing myself

This show was amazing to me because, at 38 years old, I am going through the same thing with my mother.  I have felt very bad about the fact that my mother and I have not been speaking for almost 2 years.  I was married before and my mother gave me the blues the entire time I was married.  She was very judgemental toward my husband's family.  When we would gatherings, we would invite my mother and she would be a damper on the entire event because of the way she acted toward his family. 

 

I am getting married again and the storm has resurface.  I thought that we had both matured since my first marriage but that is definitely not true.  I hate that it has to be this way.  I do love my mother but she seems to want to control everything that goes on with me and my children.  I have purposefully never allowed that because I knew that it would go to far.  Even in being independent and not allowing her to control us, she resents things and tries to make it miserable for me.  She has even started degrading me in conversations that she has with my children when they are alone.

 

I hope that some day my mother will come to a point of thinking that if I am happy, she is okay.

 

Thanks Dr. Phil, it is good to know that I am not the only one.

 
July 1, 2008, 5:23 pm CDT

Bambi is very disturbed!

Bambi has some emotional problems if she thinks slapping and perhaps hurting her son-in-law in any way is acceptable.  She does not get it that her daughter probably was just trying to please her mother when she lived at home as to not cause a conflict.  Bambi is a very bitter, unhappy person.  Fortunately she raised a confident, beautiful young lady who appears to handling life with her husband as well as any young married person can.  There will always be ups and downs no matter what age you are.  She needs more help Dr. Phil!!!
 
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