She's A Force Of NatureWhat I have never understood is the kind of magical space that is created around her when she is doing her mojo.
This woman is a textbook angst/anxiety ridden human who spends all her energy making herself and all those around her some level of miserable. It's a talent, a gift, some kind of savant message she carries to the world. To top it off, she's is extremely self-centered. The world revolves around her and she will find a brilliant passive-agressive way to make sure you know it.
I'd love to know what a shrink thinks about her, she has gone to therapy and I would not be shocked if they said she suffers from Paranoid schizophrenia with some level of manic depression. I mean that in a constructive way, it would explain a lot about her.
If you try to describe her behavior it's like this:
Imagine someone who has a preconception on how just about everything should be, how everything should work and strongly voices that opinion. This person is also very rigid on how those opinions are, not very flexible or open to change. She is a very competitive person, you cannot tell her that she 'can't do' something or, heaven forbid, that she is wrong. Above all, she will project her feelings onto you and your loved ones. She will tell little lies in her favor and forget facts conveniently. She will openly comment about how right/wrong something in this world is with zero understanding. You can have all the facts at your fingertips to counter her argument and she'll smugly say 'if you say so'.
That is the person who spends time in my house. Totalitarian in her style, she will mope about all things she possibly can. During a visit to our house, if we ask her to make dinner, she'll tell us all how she screwed it all up and that it's basically unfit to eat. However, if we don't ask her to make dinner, she feels 'useless' around our house. It's all about her. It's about how she feels first and foremost.
She's also mastered 'the zinger' comment. If you suggest anything, plan anything, want to try anything, she will agree or ask for more information. Just don't be surprised if she says something negative in a quiet voice as you walk away. It's like she has no filter. It is literally impossible for this woman to keep something to herself. I call it 'muttering' but it's meant to be heard. She'll say that something is 'stupid' or 'a waste of time' or other choice words and if you hear it and say 'what was that you said' she will have this shocked look that you heard it and act all embarrassed. Sorry sister, it's an act, you don't really believe that I can't hear you do you?
This woman has no concept of how to be 'nice' about things. She has zero tact and loves to inject herself into everything. Every single holiday or birthday is odd to me because she has a running commentary on each and every gift. She will sit there and talk, out loud to the room about the package someone is opening. Saying things like "Oh I remember shopping for this one, I hope you like it but you can take it back if you don't. I just don't know if it is the right one, or that it'll fit or why you even wanted it, I just basically bought what you had on a list, I have no idea why anyone would like this, I just don't understand"
Imagine that kind of commentary on EVERY SINGLE PACKAGE you open, before it's open! On every one your kids opens, your wife, your extended family. I'm so glad you've decided to open up about how you feel about the gift I am in the process of opening up. How about you let me see it first and then tell me some funny story about it rather than you're inability to understand why this thing in my hand is even there?
Last story - Christmas 2011. She opens a present from my FIL. It's a pretty nice looking watch. She gets it about half open and looks at it and has a big smile that is quickly wiped off her face as she looks at him and says "You got the wrong watch!"
My parents are there and my dad says to me later. "Jesus, what does she do to him when he really screws up? Firing squad?"
That's just it. She is a driving force of nature that everyone is scared to face up to. There are likely 1000's of things I could share about her but they would only dilute what I'm saying. This woman, my MIL is a miserable person who cares only about what is important to her which is her. She plays the victim but is more of a puppet master. She acts all innocent but knows what she's doing. It makes my wife miserable, usually, when they visit, I end up spending most of my time at home upstairs in the bedroom watching tv alone.
My kids? Well, she only knows how to relate to them by buying them things. That's her way of showing love. Let me buy you something. Let me buy you dinner or a little dress or toy. Let me spoil you. Once in a blue moon, it's 'let's play a board game'. However, most of it is, let me turn on the TV so you have something to do. Let me turn on the computer so you can play games.
How about you teach these kids how to draw or color or do something at home? Show them a craft you like or music you enjoy or something they can connect with? How about you tell them stories of their family members before you? How about you get out of your own damn universe long enough to realize it's not all about you.