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Not long ago I posted an article titled “The Land of Milk and Honey”. It was the most difficult few words I have typed in my entire life. Next to this.

My in laws arrived safe and well after their holiday and graced us with their presence yesterday bringing with them the most terrifying gift they could have thought of.

I was shown a handful of photographs and asked to identify the people in them. It felt like a police line up. There was the deepest lack of compassion and an air of smugness coming from my in laws which I just could not comprehend.

“You can look at the photos, but you cannot keep them” they said. Not that I cared. I don’t ‘want’ anything in life that I don’t ‘need’ so there is no point in taunting me with materialistic things.

The people in the first few photos were unidentifiable to me, but then I started recognising my family in other photographs. My heart started pounding and I began walking backwards to try and back myself out of a terrifying situation.

They didn’t stop. I could not conceal my horror and when they tried to hand the photos to me I refused to touch them. My husband recognised there was a problem and took the photos on my behalf.

“You can keep the photos” they said. It was worse than when they told me I could not have them. I thanked them very much for the offer but told them that it was best if they kept them. Of course they did not want to take them back.

Somehow my in laws had got a hold of photos of my family and I from our holiday to Sri Lanka- over TWENTY years ago.

Looking at the photos was like seeing myself before a disfiguring accident. I did not want to see my before photo. I did not want to be reminded of my life as an innocent child. I was trying to pretend that holiday never happened. I did not want to ever be reminded of it especially through photographs.

I couldn’t sleep. I can’t think. I feel flooded by ill memories.

Sometimes I feel they purposely do these things to me as some sort of test. They knew what happened on that holiday. They know that I still harbour feelings from my ordeal. Yet they chose to show me photos from that moment in my life.

It made me question whether they knew I would fall to pieces and not be able to cope by myself with my four little ones for a few days after being taken back to that horrific moment in time.

Perhaps they are genuinely thoughtless and out of touch with anyone’s feelings other than their own. Which albeit plausible, I personally feel is no excuse for their lack of empathy.

I may not be their biological daughter, but I am someone’s daughter and even more so I am the mother of four of their grandchildren. That in itself should count for even the smallest amount of respect.

It was out of respect I did not insist they take the photos back. I knew it would cause disharmony. So I met them with tolerance instead.

In life that’s one of the only things which we can offer to one another, it costs absolutely nothing, however it can mean a world of difference. If we can just muster enough love within ourselves to be able to offer respect to all beings without any expectations nor ulterior motives there would be such a major change in the world.

To anyone who has read this, thank you so very much for your time, I truly do appreciate it.


Posted by someonesmother, 1st June 2014


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  • top storie great

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  • What is wrong with them? I believe they did it on purpose they don’t seem to care at all and your husband needs to man up!! Ugh im so frustrated and this story isn’t mine

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  • Just think of those 4 beautiful children and how much they mean to you.try to move forward

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  • Sometimes for our own wellbeing we have to let go of people around us that are bad for us. I think your husband needs to open his eyes and realise what his family is doing to you. He is the only one who has any hope of trying to fix this situation. Until then, I would avoid contact with them and forget about being respectful,etc, you need to take care of yourself. I really feel for you, and don’t understand why people behave this way.

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  • I am so sorry. I can’t think why they would do this.

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  • You have horrible in laws & a husband who needs to stand up to his parents & put them in their place.

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  • I also read your 1st story to understand what you have gone through & I’m utterly appalled that these 2 people haven’t shown you the compassion you deserve. Your husband needs to step up & stick up for you. May the love of your children help you through the tough times.

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  • that is just plain horrible! i think there is something wrong with them!!! Your husband needs to step in!

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  • Wow i just cant believe that two people who are meant to accept you into their own family as their own be so horrible to you.
    I really think you need to tell your husband that he has to speak to them about this before it really gets out of hand and you say something that you dont mean (or do).
    I really hope that they just back off from as you dont need to be reminded of something that you have spent years trying to forget.
    Good luck my thoughts are with you xx

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  • I really felt you were in pain over this event of your inlaws and do not think it was nice of them for what they did as any one would know if something bad and life changing had happened after they were taken they would affect you in a bad way as you are human after all. Could your Husband may in a nice way point out this is not good for his wife and Mother of their 4 Grandchildren to be put through this sort of upset and bad memories. I hope you are starting to feel better now or at least soon

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  • Dearest Rochelle – I’ve just read your first story, so that I could better understand what you’ve said in this story. I am still in awe of your gracious attitude, filled with forgiveness and concern for other people. I don’t know what I could be so generous in my thoughts and actions if I were you. I hope that your children grow up with an attitude similar to yours, because that would be an amazing gift that you could give to them. Please do take care, and remember to be kind to yourself. I wish you well.

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