Thursday, September 18, 2008

Beware The MIL With Internet Access. SERIOUSLY

Posted by Anonymous

I didn't expect to like this blogging thing. I figured I'd give it a whirl and abandon it within weeks, as I have countless other hobbies. Writing has never come naturally to me and it didn't seem like it would be a good fit. But, for some reason, it is and I love it. I love having a virtual baby book for my children. I love having a creative outlet and a world wide web of cyber friends. I love it all.

I began my blog mostly as a way to update friends and family on the kids. I figured it was better than sending photo links and long e-mails to people who may or may not care. People could come and go as they please. Sick of my antics? Take a break. Can't get enough of me? Visit every day, numerous times a day. Whatever. Had I known how much I would love this weird little world though, I would have done one major thing differently: I would have remained anonymous. Perhaps I would tell a handful of friends about it, and my husband would be privy to my rantings, but that's it. No aunts, no uncles, no parents, no siblings, no distant cousins, no neighbors, and no old coworkers. Most importantly, no mother in law.

Let me explain: My mother in law and I despise one another to the core have always had a rather strained relationship. We've battled for years and for the sake of my husband and children, finally arrived at an amicable place. Things were going along just hunky-dory. Until the day I blogged about her. If you read my blog, you'd see that I am very sarcastic and poke fun at those I love. My kids... my husband... even my poor dog. Imitation isn't the purest form of flattery, ridicule is. In my world, at least.

I meant it to be funny and light. I thought we were at a place where I could be myself with her and she'd appreciate the humor. I even called her to tell her about it and to make sure she wouldn't be offended. I thought we were cool. Apparently, I was mistaken. Within moments of posting, my husband and I received a profanity filled e-mail from my mother in law. How dare I write about them. I was called vindictive and hurtful and mean. And the letters haven't stopped; from his mother, his 97 year old grandmother and other family members. Letters blaming me for the demise of their totally dysfunctional "perfect" relationship. Letters imploring him to see the light and side with them. Really upsetting letters.

Clearly, the strain is about a whole lot more than my blog, but it's easy to blame everything on a post-- it's there in black and white. They aren't speaking now, and the future is uncertain. In a way, it's pretty damn nice not to have to put on a happy face with people I can't stand. But it came at too big of a cost. My husband and children suffer, and of course that's not worth it. I didn't take the post down though, as I stand by it. I have apologized in vain and refuse to grovel. I meant no harm, and their reaction is the problem here. (And the recipe really is good.) But it wasn't worth it, not at all.

So, my sage advice to you: If you are single, marry an orphan. And if you are married, don't blog about your mother in law. If you are new to blogging, keep yours on the down low for a while, until you figure out who you really want to share it with. It would be much more fun, not to mention therapeutic, if I could honestly write about all of the wacked relationships in my life. I've contemplated taking my blog private, so I could do just that. But I've come to love the attention of strangers and blog buddies too much to abandon them. So, I will remain myself, and stifle some of the words I need to express most. Except today.

21 comments:

WaltzInExile said...

It would seem my alter ego has discovered how to post to the Basement.....

Walking With Scissors said...

I am right there with you. SO there. I abandoned my old blog (one that was doing rather well, I might add) and adopted a new one. I've had to start from scratch and it really sucks. But I learned my lesson.

Scary Mommy said...
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Catherine said...

I censor my self on the in-law topics for that very reason. But, the blog-o-sphere is a big, big place. Nothing's stopping you from starting fresh with an additional blog. You don't want to shut down your kid-centric blog, just take your antics somewhere else.

Or, you can password protect posts. Maria @ Immoral Matriarch does an interesting thing where she protects some with the same password each time. So, if you've been granted the right you can read them. It just keeps out the unintended audience.

I'm sure you didn't come here for solutions. I cannot help myself. I'm a fixer.

So, in closing, this sucks - I'm sorry and you're right people are paying far too high a price. But it doesn't sound like the seas were calm before the post.

Lottifish said...

If you wanted to you could just start another blog and invite your bloggy friends there but not your MIL.

Louisa said...

Gosh I can relate! Good advice for those new to blogging. Sometimes I wish my blog was anonymous so I could rant on and be totally honest. It's hard knowing that people you know read the blog but not being entirely sure who...I know my in-laws know about it but how often they look, not so sure. I am so sorry that you've had it all blow up. Perhaps you can be consoled knowing that it wasn't the blog that caused this, it's just the excuse that can be used. It was inevitable (unfortunately) and I just really hope you are able to resolve it with them and that they are able to get over whatever issues they have and realise that they only hurt themselves, their son and their grandchild/ren by being so cold and hurtful to the woman their son loves! Good luck!!!

Guilty Secret said...

I've been blogging since July last year, anonymously and in secret (not even my fiancé knows) but lately I've been thinking about a time in the future when I might have a public blog. After reading this... hmmm, maybe not. The idea of my MIL (seven weeks tomorrow) reading anything I might write is pretty excruciating.

LAVANDULA said...

my husbands mother lives overseas and doesn't speak or read english so i guess i'm lucky that way...any how if i did have a blog it would still be anonymous.i'm a bit of a privacy freak. i mean sharing stuff online is ok because no one here really knows who i am... your inlaws problems with you sound like they were present before and they are just using that blog you are talking about as an excuse to cause strife.

LazyCrazyMama said...

Oh man! I can soooo sympathize! I too did not want to abandon my blog... after I shared it with my sister I had many apologetic conversations, a few deleted posts and major regret. I had also shared with the husband... another huge mistake. A bunch more posts deleted... then came the censorship on content... it was entirely too stifling.. so I just finally decided to start another one where I can post about the things I really want to post about! It sucks, and it's a pain to have to start from scratch like that -we all know how hard it is to gain readers in the beginning and get yourself out there and noticed. But for me it was either start an additional blog or abuse Her Bad Mother's Basement ;)

Missy said...

So where can we read the original blog that you wrote about your MIL? I'm curious.

Scary Mommy said...
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katesaid said...

Interesting. I went through a very similar thing a few years ago. I kept two blogs then; one semi-anonymous, where I posted more days than note and which continues today, and another much more private, meant for close friends and family and primarily for photos and cute, light kid-stories.

I use our first names on my regular blog, so anyone with any determination could find it, but my mother-in-law is just clueless enough not to have looked, and that's fine. I've been very outspoken about her there, and I know she would/will be appalled if she ever found it, but at the same time, she *did* the things. I only wrote about them.

But the family blog was kept light, and in the same vein as you, while our relationship always swayed between horrifying and mutually disdainful, we maintained a certain level of politeness and even reached a point where I felt like we could joke. So after the kids spent a weekend with her, I posted about how grateful we were that she had watched them, and how it only took a week this time for them to get over the Post-Traumatic Grandma Disorder, in which they are shocked to return to a world in which there is parental discipline and rules. My parents get it, they laugh about how much more fun it is to be grandparents... my mother-in-law Did Not Get It. At All.

After a while, I realized that the *only* people in the world who hadn't been specifically directed to my regular blog were my mother-in-law and her friends, and I didn't feel like maintaining a family photos blog just for her. So I took it down, and sent her the link to my flickr.com account so that she can see uncaptioned photos.

Someday, I bet, she will find my blog. But things between herself and my husband have already gone very, very wrong - that will only be another step toward meltdown, not a cause all by itself.

I wish you peace, and, if reunification happens, successful selective deafness.

Anonymous said...

W.H.Y. is it that the IL think that they "own" the husband??? The husband has made a committment to the wife and the kids, we ARE HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY NOW!!! OMG, why do the IL think they can "pull rank", what rank, and get the huz to side with them evvva! WE are his family now, yes you are related to him, AND, we acknowledge that and want to include you, but you have to work on being reasonable in the relationship for us to feel like including you. And, btw, what Kate said 9:00pm is fab...she *did* the things. Yes, the IL do the things so why are we the bad guy for saying outloud what they have done.
Gaaaa....makes me crazzzy.

jennifahh said...

I just read the "offending" post and your MIL must be a real beyotch with absolutely no sense of humour to let that offend her. I thought it was pretty funny, and being a non-cook myself, if someone wrote that about me, I would laugh because it would be true!

Scary Mommy said...
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Anonymous said...

Yeah, I totally agree w/ jennifahh, this woman is sniffing around your business looking for trouble. I have two of those types in my family - oddly enough both siblings since our mom's favorite game when we were kids was to pit us against each other and watch us battle while she moaned and cried about the drama (she caused). I find that keeping away and not responding to any of the bait not only will completely piss her off, and she can't blame it on you, but might make your life easier, too.

verybadcat said...

I've gotten to the point that if someone finds the blog, then oh freakin' well. It's my space to say what I want, if you don't like it, don't read it, and if you happen to find it, and wish you hadn't, then pretend you didn't!

I don't have kids to get all caught up in the middle though, so I can kind of afford my attitude.

Anonymous said...

I have been struggling on wheather or not to blog annoymously or not .. welp... now I know what to do. Sorry that you had to learn the hard way, but the upside is now you don't have to ever hide.

The Girl in the Office said...

Your MIL and my MIL would get along GRANDLY! Keep blogging, crazies be damned.

Katie said...

I would love to start reading your blog. Would you mind e:mailing me the URL.

jnkt1600@yahoo.com

I still haven't worked up the nerve to start my own Blog just yet. Maybe one of these days.

CC said...

You've learned your lesson. Some things you should just keep to yourself, or make your blog private.