Friday, November 1, 2013

Nightmares About Mother-in-law

You might think that having nightmares of your mother-in-law kidnapping your baby is pretty extreme. But, there's more to the story. Her youngest brother had a baby with his longtime live-in girlfriend, Missy. Missy was a wonderful person, that I personally liked very much. The man got his girlfriend hooked on drugs. He was able to dabble in drugs recreationally, but Missy became seriously addicted. Their marriage suffered, and they both eventually went to jail over a domestic altercation. The child spent a year in the custody of my mother-in-law. It was during this time that she assumed the title “NahNah” because although she was not the mother, she was more than an auntie. When the parents were released from prison, the child had a difficult time adjusting to living with her parents. And the drug use continued, which gave my mother-in-law good reason to take the child home whenever she suspected problems. The child adopted all of my mother-in-laws mannerisms, speech patterns, and prefered her company to her own mothers. Missy eventually developed similar feelings, and a wedge was driven. The couple eventually split up. The father straightened up his life and retained custody of their daughter, and Missy was sent to prison again. To this day, the child, now a teenager, is a frequent occupant of her NahNah's house.

Some of this was unavoidable circumstance, but a line was definitely crossed. I realize that I'm not a drug addict, but I fear that my mother-in-law will find mistakes in my parenting—no doubt I'll make plenty—and convince my husband that she would be a more suitable caretaker.

At one point, my own mother's in-laws told my father that if he would leave my mother, they would take over the care of me and my two siblings. It is shocking to think that people would plot to separate a child from a parent, but it does happen.