My In-Laws Disrespected My Work And Made Me Feel Worthless
05 May 2017
I am married to my in-laws. At least that’s what it feels like. I got married to Vinay about 1.5 years back. He had to leave for the US just a few weeks after our honeymoon and I am still waiting for him to come back. He didn’t want me there because he felt I should at least take care of his parents if he isnt able to. I only see him on FaceTime and during too-short vacations. His parents seemed really sweet at first, but once he left their true colours bloomed. My husband is very nice but like most men, he can't hear anything negative about his parents. As a result, I kept suffering in silence at a time when I should have been enjoying a romantic beginning with my husband.
I have changed a lot in these last few months. My mother-in-law left no stone unturned to make me feel useless. I was an independent working woman but they had snatched away my confidence and self-esteem. They felt my job was useless and I was just wasting time. They had told all relatives that I work because I want to get away from them. It’s an excuse to go out and roam freely. They want me to stay at home, take care of them and do all house work as their son is already earning great money for the home.
This hurts me to the core… how can they say my job is pointless? I really value my work. I have studied and struggled hard for it. I was earning decently for myself. Yet they say it is bringing a bad name to their family. They feel the meagre salary isn’t respectable and no sane girl would work for so little. I for a moment wanted to leave this job and get over with the insults but I couldn’t picture myself not doing what I love to do. The constant bickering made me feel that something was wrong with me. I felt I was not able to fulfill their expectations. They hated whatever I cooked. They skipped dinner whenever I cooked. I used to feel really bad and the guilt was weighing upon my heart. They never lost a chance to bad mouth me in front of neighbours and relatives. It was very embarrassing to even step out of the house. I felt I was good for nothing. I had never felt so worthless. I was full of self-doubt now. The constant complaints and the negativity were taking their toll on me. I never really answered back. I didn’t have the courage at all. I was feeling so demotivated and useless. It was getting tougher and tougher to survive like this.
I couldn’t share any of this with my husband. Because of different time zones we hardly ever talked for long and I also saw no point in explaining on the phone. How could he understand what I was going through when they were so sugary to him in front of him? It would be their word against mine. Even my parents could not understand so how could he? Life was horrible and nothing was changing no matter how much I tried.
My colleague turned out to be an angel in disguise. Apparently she had been noticing the changes in me for months and was worried. She referred me to her therapist and said talking it out would help me. I was desperate and decided to call the number. Over the next few weeks I learned so much about myself and the toxic situation I was in. My therapist made me realise how important my self-respect was. She helped me shield myself from my toxic home environment and revive my spirit.
A few weeks ago, this became obvious. I was late home from work and my in-laws turned abusive. My MIL asked me where the hell I have been going after my useless work.
I calmly replied, “If you have a lot of problem with me and my work I can shift to an apartment near my work. I will be happy to move out immediately.”
The therapy had empowered me and my reply shut my in-laws from trying to pull me down anymore. They did not know how to respond, but from that day on they have been keeping a safe distance from me… The possible consequences of their actions scared them and I was able to get my peace back. I know I will love myself again.
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