TW: Physical and emotional abuse of children, adults, and the elderly; medical malpractice, death. Before anyone has the chance to misunderstand, this post is not meant to elicit any kind of sympathy for MHP because frankly she doesn't deserve any. Nor is it meant to excuse any of her behavior. However, it'll hopefully give some context to all of you armchair psychoanalysts and aid in diagnosing her insanity more precisely. **The Origin Story:** MHP comes from a white trash family in the mid-Atlantic. Her mother was a full-on JustNo -- in fact, they are freakishly similar by all accounts. GMIL got pregnant when she was 16, and from what it sounds like, kept the kid (MHP) due to religious reasons. MHP's biological father (we'll call him J) was your average type of working class dude. It seems he was willing to marry GMIL and take on the responsibility of being a dad, but GMIL thought he was too boring and would stifle her goals to have a fun and exciting life. So GMIL's strategy was to show J the door, dump the baby on her own mother, and get the hell out of dodge to do who knows what for a few years. By the time MHP was a young child, GMIL had calmed down slightly and found herself a new husband (we'll call him C). GMIL needed a slave now, so she made MHP move in with her and the new step-dad. C was an abusive sack of shit and frequently beat both of them. Unsurprisingly, MHP *hated* C, and *hated* her mother for leaving her angel of a bio-dad for C, so she got the hell out of that house as soon as she could. She did this at the age of 17 by marrying some other asshole whose name we don't even know (because the only way to stop being your father's property is to become the property of another man). THAT guy also abused her, so she stayed with him for a very short time before running away from him as well. **Fathers Are Always Special:** As a result of all the dad drama, MHP has some very bizarre notions about fatherhood and an extremely unhealthy obsession with all fathers, regardless of how fit they are for the role. She feels like her mother deprived her of a good father by leaving J and keeping him out of her life. (No one knows for sure if J was actually a good dude). As a side-effect of that, MHP also hates all single mothers, especially ones who divorced their children's bio-fathers. This applies to my mother, of course, as well as to her own mother. For bonus points, we've never seen J, but we suspect DH physically resembles him (while BIL looks like FIL), which might be the only reason MHP has any fondness for him at all. MHP's obsession with fathers is so intense, that my own father recounted to me that he had a long conversation with MHP about this at our wedding and that MHP invited him to visit her so they could become friends. Fun fact: my father lives in another country and speaks like 3 words of English, and MHP speaks no languages OTHER than English. Maybe they had a translator, but I can't imagine who it would have been... My family does not have a close relationship with my father. He calls a few times a year and we are basically acquaintances. There are not really hard feelings, but we're also not interested in any deeper involvement than this. He is also re-married (and re-divorced) and has two other children that live with him. There have been MANY occasions on which MHP tried to convince me that I NEED a closer relationship with my father because he's my father and he loves me. Obviously, I blow all of this off with things like, "If he loves me, he's had 30 years to show it; I'll let you know when I notice." She hates that. **The Good Years, Spiritual Awakening, and the Acquisition of FIL:** After MHP escaped her various abusers, she struck out on her own. She had no education to speak of. I'm not even sure she finished high school, but she busted her little butt and made a place for herself in the world. Eventually, she landed a sweet job at a law firm as some kind of secretary or assistant. This paid relatively good money, certainly way more money than she'd ever seen in her life. This also solidified her bizarre obsession with lawyers as the only worthwhile and honorable profession, which becomes relevant later as she raises her sons (probably another post). She used this money to enjoy life. She partied, traveled, and spent pretty much every penny. At some point, her spirituality caught up with her. She was raised Baptist and has claimed to speak directly to Jesus/God since she was a child. Some friends informed her that there was a spiritual man, a Guru, coming to her city, and she should go with them to meet him. She agreed. When she saw this man, she decided he was the real-life modern-day incarnation of Jesus and resigned to follow him with all of her being. What he actually was is the head figure of a niche eastern meditation cult, of which she became a committed member. Around the same time, she also decided that it was time to settle down, get married, and make babies. The cult had many rules, some more strict than others, but MHP took this to such absurdity that she became a proper zealot (and remains so to this day). She decided she could only marry another fellow cult member and nothing else would do. The cult has several branches that communicate from time to time and meet in person at joint retreats. When a cult member seeks a spouse, the channels are activated and a suitable mate is found through the cult network. Thus, FIL was procured from a few hundred miles away. FIL himself comes from a relatively wealthy and educated upper-middle-class family, but went through his own minor rebellion that was likely also faith based. FIL moved to MHP's city some 2-3 months after they met; they got married, and lived happily ever after...ish. **Mothers Become Special When They're Dying:** I'll post more about DH's childhood later if he lets me, but I want to finish this story by fast-forwarding to the end of GMIL's life. That's actually not as easy to do as you might think because technically, she died 3 times, several years apart. Just so it's clear, GMIL was always a real piece of work. She actually lived with MHP & family when DH was little, but she was so awful that FIL (who has no spine) actually demanded she move out. It might not have been that tough of a sell because MHP hated her own mother for most of her life anyway. Though we're also not sure why she was allowed to move in to begin with -- probably some standard JustNo manipulation and guilt tactics though. The first two times GMIL died were due to medical malpractice: one time due to being given incompatible meds and one time due to being given a medication she's allergic to. At least one of these resulted in a malpractice lawsuit that yielded a fat settlement. Being brought back to life twice did a number on her brain and body, so GMIL became disabled and lived entirely on the government's tab from then on. She spent all of the settlement money on random material things. For a few years, GMIL lived a bland life of watching TV and having home care aides wait on her. She even had a boyfriend, who would come over to her place and watch TV with her while drinking beer. One day, an aide found GMIL unresponsive and not breathing. She was taken to a hospital where a C. diff. wound was discovered, and GMIL remained in a coma for several weeks (or even months). It became apparent to the medical staff that this woman would no longer be able to stay alive without extensive care and likely the assistance of machinery. They approached MHP, who had power of attorney, to discuss end-of-life care and/or straight up unplugging GMIL. This put MHP into a fit of rage, and she had GMIL transferred to another hospital immediately. Eventually, GMIL was able to breathe on her own, but never regained enough cognitive power to even form words (actual aphasia). She was also completely immobile -- not only could she not walk, she could not even roll over. She would moan and scream if she was in pain, which was often. MHP had GMIL put into a series of care homes, but none of them were to MHP's satisfaction (as she has some deranged notions regarding what elder care should look like). She finally decided that GMIL would live in their home and they, MHP, BIL, and DH, would care for her themselves. MHP signed all three of them up as in-home care-givers so they could get paid minimum wage to do this. MHP was already retired, BIL was well into his streak of uselessness anyway, and DH was in college but lived at home. I'll spare you the gory details, but you can imagine the kind of hell it might be to have to care for a screaming, dying vegetable of a woman for more than two years. When I first met DH online, we would communicate via voice chat in our games. From time to time, he would say he'd be right back because he had to go roll his grandmother (because she would get bed sores). For those of you thinking BIL was spared as the GC, you're actually wrong, he got stuck with the brunt of it because a) DH was in school full time and b) DH tried his best to be away from that house as much as possible. I'm sure MHP got some sick satisfaction out of watching her GC care for her dying mother as she fantasized about how he would also care for her someday... DH estimated GMIL's care cost about $1M/year after the coma (paid entirely by the government). GMIL died about 2.5 years after she went into that coma, and about 3 weeks after DH and I started talking. We met for the first time irl 6 weeks after her death, which was my first real exposure to the hell world this man was raised in. He told me he had never been more relieved about anything in his life than GMIL's death, and that he felt like an asshole for being so happy his grandmother had finally passed on. He's doing fine now, but at the time, I couldn't have even imagined marrying him.