I find myself deeply bothered by the recent events that unfolded during my mother-in-law’s visit to my mother’s house, where my younger sister resides. I am currently staying here until renovations on my own place are complete, and my mother-in-law expressed a desire to see her grandchild, my baby girl.
During her visit, she engaged in several infuriating actions that have left me feeling increasingly agitated. First, she persistently attempted to force my sister to eat doughnuts, despite a previous encounter where she had taken it upon herself to advise my sister on her weight and junk food consumption. On this occasion, my sister refused to indulge in the doughnuts, and my mother-in-law’s aggressive insistence caused an uncomfortable silence to descend upon the table. I intervened by stating that my sister was on a diet, which finally prompted my mother-in-law to cease her pressure. However, she couldn’t handle rejection and redirected her attention towards convincing me to eat the doughnut, to which I complied.
The situation further escalated when my mother-in-law decided that we should have a photo shoot in the living room. However, my sister declined to participate, much to my mother-in-law’s increasing annoyance. She incessantly pestered my sister to join the picture, creating an uncomfortable atmosphere. Finally, I approached my sister and asked if she would mind being in just one photo, which I assured her I would take on my phone and refrain from sharing it publicly, respecting her desire for privacy. My sister, feeling relieved and trusting me, agreed to a single photo with our mother-in-law. She was growing increasingly uncomfortable with the attention my mother-in-law was directing towards her throughout the evening.
My mother-in-law, resentful that I took control of the situation, became increasingly frustrated. Knowing that I would not give her the taken picture, she grabbed her own phone and attempted to force it into my sister’s face to capture photos against her will. She even reprimanded my sister for covering her face with her hands. Initially, my sister laughed nervously while shielding her face, but both my husband and I responded weakly, as we found the situation uncomfortable for everyone involved. I politely expressed that she should refrain from taking photos if my sister didn’t consent, with my husband quietly agreeing.
To my dismay, my mother-in-law was delighted to show me how she managed to capture a photo of my sister’s face on her phone, despite my sister’s efforts to shield herself. I offered a weak smile, conditioned by years of cultural expectations, and turned to my sister with a sigh, informing her that my mother-in-law had obtained a picture of her. I requested that my mother-in-law refrain from sharing the photo with anyone, to which she responded that she would only send it to my sister’s phone. My sister smiled sweetly but confided in me that she found my mother-in-law’s behavior rather unsettling throughout the evening. It seems that my mother-in-law has developed an excessive preoccupation with my younger sister.
I’m plagued by feelings of inadequacy, believing that I failed to protect my sister from my mother-in-law’s persistent attempts to impose her will upon her. I can’t help but reflect on the situation, growing increasingly angry at my mother-in-law’s skill in getting her way. I feel deeply sorry, dear sister, for not being a stronger older sibling for you.