It’s CONFESSION time again! This morning I dipped into my ever expanding bag of confessions and pulled out a gem from the country of my residence, beautiful Barbados. The lady in question gave no alias for me to use so I have taken the liberty of making up a name for her. We shall call her “Spitts”. Hehehehe, ok, no, let’s not. Let’s call her Janice, and she wrote thus…
This thing has been bothering me for a while now and I really want to confess it and clear my conscious. I know that God don’t be sleeping and I would like to publicly apologize for my actions and hope that the lord will forgive me.
My mother-in-law is a tyrant. From the day she met me she made it clear that she did not think I was good enough for her precious son. For so many years I have put up with this woman’s abuse. The sarcasm, the insults and the constant condemnation of everything I do has left me feeling very bad about myself. I used to be a strong confident person but bit-by-bit my mother-in-law has chipped away at my self-esteem and left me feeling worthless. Last Christmas I simply could not take it anymore and it all came to a head.
I love Christmas, it is my favorite time of the year, and although I knew that as usual my mother-in-law would invite herself to our home for Christmas lunch I was determined to have a good time.
I cooked up a real feast that day, Turkey, ham, roast pork, fish, jug-jug, pie, stuffing, green peas and rice, sweet potato pie and more, you name it, I cooked it Christmas day. I even made eggnog and sorrel drink too. I invited my brother and sisters, and my husband’s siblings also. When everyone arrived they were all ‘wow-ed’ by the feast I had prepared and I was showered with compliments. But as usual, as soon as that woman arrived she began to criticize my efforts with comments like…. “Oh turkey is so dry, and pork is too fatty, macaroni pie is so unhealthy”, and on and on she went.
My husband and his sister did their best as always to deflect her criticisms and make light of them, but it was Christmas day and I had made a supreme effort to make everything wonderful for my friends and family, and then to have this sour faced, miserable, old sow looking in my face and insulting everything she could see, well it was just too much for me to bear.
Somehow I managed to quiet the hurricane that was whirling inside of me and I asked my mother-in-law if she would like some pumpkin soup instead. With everyone starring at her I think even she felt too embarrassed to say no after refusing all of the food I had prepared. So she conceded by saying “oh yes, I suppose that would do”.
I stormed into the kitchen and I flew around with pots and knives and vegetables like lightening, and before you could wink your eye I had finished the soup. I was about to pour it into a bowl when my mother-in-law walked into the kitchen and said “I don’t feel I want soup anymore, I will just have a little of that rice and turkey you cooked, never mind the turkey is so dry”.
I am sure you can imagine just how I felt? I stood there just allowing all the anger I felt for that woman consume me. I was mad as hell. I paced up and down the kitchen, I wanted to shout and scream and throw things about but then I remembered I had quests and my own mother had always taught me to be a good host. So I walked up to my mother-in-law and as calmly as I could I told her that the soup was finished and if she did not eat it I would scold her with it. I guess she realized I was not joking because she turned and walked out of the kitchen.
I have never been so angry in my entire life. I think at that moment, 16 years of insults and criticism just made something inside me snap. I walked over to the soup bowl I had put out, I picked it up and snorted as hard as I could and spat in the bowl. I then poured the hot soup on top and stirred it up. I walked into the dining room and place the soup in front of my mother-in-law and sat down at the other end of the table to eat.
I watched with great satisfaction as she drank every drop of that soup. “Got ya, yuh bitch”.
At the time I did not feel bad about what I did but as time has passed I realise that it was not the best way to handle the situation. Unfortunately there is nothing I can do about it now so I am writing to you Carol in the hope that by owning up to what did, somehow I can gain forgiveness.
Buhahahahaaa, OMG, Janice you bad!! And it seems you cook a proper Christmas lunch girl. You pulled a sick one Janice. God bless mother-in-laws. J
But you know, as a professional chef, I always tell people, if you go to a restaurant and you have to complain about your food, do so as politely as possible because you just do not know what goes on behind closed doors.
But that aside, having someone constantly chip away at your self-esteem is one of the slowest forms of torture a person can experience. I have personally watched a good friend of mine, a vibrant, beautiful, intelligent woman resort to stuffing herself with food until she reached over 400lbs because of a mother-in-law from hell. I have also been on the receiving end of constant criticism, so trust me when I say that I fully understand how you felt.
And as per usual the sixty four million dollar question is….would I of spat in her food?
NOOOOOO!!! Absolutely not! The chef in me would not allow me to tamper with another person’s food in such a horrible way. Would I of cursed her till the cows come home? Without hesitation!
However, I am a woman with self-esteem intact. The same cannot be said for you Janice. When a person has low self-esteem they feel victimized and powerless. It is as though every single person in the world is more powerful than them, and a person who feels powerless can only act in a cowardly way.
The more positive thing for you to have done would have been to give your mother-in-law a mouthful. Anger is a step up the emotional scale from despair and self-pity. But it was already too late for you to curse her. You did not wake up Christmas morning with low self-esteem; it had been creeping up on you for years. And it was only when you found yourself spitting into the soup bowl of your oppressor did you have the opportunity to see what you had allowed yourself to become.
This may sound harsh Janice but you ALLOWED yourself to become the person you became. It is not your mother-in-laws fault. People cannot make us do or react in a way we do not want to. It is human nature to point a finger and say, ‘that person made me so mad’. Or it’s her fault I spat in her soup. But the reality is you had a choice. We all have choices. And no person outside of ourselves is to blame for the choices we make. That is done solely on our own.
Janice, as you live in Barbados so I would suggest that you take a trip into Bridgetown. Go to Jenns health store and Cave Shepherd and see if they have any books on building self-esteem. Also search online for more tips. You could also think about taking a course either online of off.
You gave away your power to your mother-in-law Janice, it’s time for you to take it back, and there’s no time like the present.
So what do you think folks?
Was Janice wrong/right?
What can she do to turn her life around?
Tell us what you think in the comment bow below, as always we look forward to hearing from you.