|At 90th birthday family reunion|
Some things can't be fixed. Families can be complicated at the least but when mental illness enters the picture, it becomes a nightmare.
My mother in law and her oldest daughter have a very unnatural relationship in which the daughter controls the mother. In psycho babble it would be called "co-dependency". But that hardly explains the reality of this situation. This is the stuff of a Betty Davis movie.
I will here refer to the oldest daughter as OD. OD began her path of destruction early on when she was in high school. According to all family members, she would keep her mother captive not physically but spiritually, in the car for hours in the driveway, while the father and other children fended for themselves. No one knew what transpired exactly as nothing was said by either of them.
In her strange control, she turned her mother against the father. "He's no damn good" MIL would say about him. When going to pick him up at the hospital after recovering from a heart ailment, they were told that he died. Would he maybe have died of a broken heart?
OD has retained control of everything that MIL does and says, which now explains why when we call, all she will talk about is the weather. MIL is not allowed to use a computer or a cell phone. She has related to other family members that she is abused verbally if she does anything that OD doesn't approve of.
Don't think that the family has not tried intervention. MIL refuses to be taken out of her nightmarish lifestyle. There are some secrets about this strange relationship that we will never know.
This all came clear to my husband as he traveled 14 hours to see his mother after being alerted that she is in failing health. When he talked to her alone and asked her how she was doing, she said that she "just didn't want to talk about it....it upsets me too much."
I don't know if this is mental illness or is just pure evil possession. But it is out of our control. And so MIL is living a life of quiet desperation. Only God can help.