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Making my new family understand

Mscortney
Posts: 10
Joined: May 2003

I am a 22 woman that has been in remission for about 18 years. Recently I got married to a wondereful man that has always been very supportive. My husband had told his parents of my childhood ordeal when we first started dating and that was that. But 4 months ago I gave birth to my first child, a healthy and beautiful son. My step mother-in-law threw me a baby shower that turned into a disaster. In front many of my in-laws (Nearly 25 of us), she announced that she thought that I was a fraud. She stated that although I've been in remission for 18 years, I shouldn't have any hair let alone be able to give birth. I understand that I have been extremely blessed with my remission but quite frankly, I was mortified and ashamed. Suddenly, the childhood memories of alienation and dissaproval from the other parents and kids at the playgrounds and schools came to mind. I thought my new in-laws understood. I couldn't help but wonder how long she had been haboring these feelings and what lies she had been spreading to the family. I sat through the rest of the party quietly and went home. I haven't spoken to any of them since and will not show my face there although my husband takes our infant son over to see them occasionally. My problem is that I don't know what to do now. A part of me wishes to confont this meddling step mother-in-law and demand some kind of apology, TO MAKE HER UNDERSTAND!! That may be impossible. Another part of me doesn't want to allow my son to develop a relationship with them in fear of ridicule that might be facing my son in the future. My husband is stuck in the middle, wishing I would atleast try to speak to his parents but would support any decision I made. The lady that did this is not his biological mother nor did she raise him. His widower father remarried this woman after my husband was out of childhood and I feel I owe her nothing. I feel like this was a calculated event and very childish. She could have pulled me aside and spoken to me in private. She wanted to mortify me in front of the family. Any adivice or thoughts would be appreciated...

christinedc
Posts: 4
Joined: May 2003

Wow. I wish I could help. Your step MIL is simply ignorant.(and maybe jealous? has she ever had kids?) I am not sure there is anything you can do to educate her at this point in her life. She OWES you a really big apology (unlikely). Since when is it a fraud to survive a disease? Crazy.

One thing you can do is ensure your son doesn't spend time in this atmosphere. Children absorb an incredible amount. So seeing his grandpa is great and his grandma (real) but not the step mother. And if she starts to make a stink calmly explain why.

p.s. what did you have?

keith
Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2000

WOAH! I am speechless... I think maybe the best thing is to write her a letter. This is easier than talking for many reasons, (you can get it all without being interrupted, don't have to have a confrontation, etc.)... I would write down the whole story, symptoms, diagnosis, feelings, treatment, and how this changed your life forever. I mean I have a brain tumor, but I have hair and can have kids, and everything! Having cancer doesn't mean that you can't live!
you can email me @ musicallyhis@mindspring.com
Keith

payoola
Posts: 2
Joined: May 2004

Kudos to you for responding with such grace in the midst of a public, baseless, personal attack. I still do battle with my OWN family at times to make them understand that my cancer may be something that they can put behind them, but I still live with the effects and ignorance of others every day! I admire your strength and dignity - your son is lucky to have you for his mom!

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