The original post of this story suffered a blogger glitch, ironic I know, so I decided to reupload the article in a clean and new post. All the comments left on the original post are lost, unfortunately, I did however post screenshots of the comments at the end of this post just in case you're interested. I want to thank you, and those of you who have contacted me trough the contact form on my site, for being so kind and supportive, I really appreciate it.
Back in May 2015 a family gathering was planned in my apartment, for my boyfriend. He was turning 30 and his family wanted to fly over (from Italy to Belgium) to celebrate. Even though I was anxious about it I was very happy for him and he assured me everything would be fine. I didn't end up celebrating much of that birthday, I had gone completely insane already days before that. The way I was treated by my in-laws, in my own house, was horrific. Every time I think about it my heart rate raises and I become extremely sad and angry, my anxiety levels go trough the roof and I've had enough. Even though this is a very personal story I still want to post it on my blog so I can finally let it go. I divided it in different parts so it's easier for you to read, I didn't think it would end up being so long.
Being gay is a disease
I had only met his family a couple times before and every time, as in most formal situations, I smiled but was shy and introverted. Formal situations make me extremely uncomfortable and his parents are not exactly pleasant to be around (for me personally) as the only subjects they touch on is money, status and education. I was very depressed and sad at that time. I had dropped out of school, had no job and no future plans. I asked my boyfriend repeatedly if he could bring this to his parent's attention, and he said he did. I was very down in the dumps and didn't want to talk about such things. I also asked my boyfriend numerous times if I could not be left alone with them and if I could organize a separate place for his family to stay, right next to our house for free, as our apartment is only 55m2 and not ideal to host so many adults. His brother knew this, because he had stayed with us previously, and we all had a good time. Everyone would have had his privacy and I assume things would have gone way better. My boyfriend's parents are people who barely leave their little village, ever, and are not happily married. His mom has terrible (untreated) OCD, spreads negativity like it's candy and thinks being gay is a disease. You can imagine my excitement to host people like that. I am also the one and only girlfriend my boyfriend ever introduced to his parents and for us both it was the first time living together as a couple and making something for ourselves. This whole way of celebrating a birthday was not only foreign to them, it was foreign for us too. I tried to stay positive about it as much as possible and told myself that since it was their idea to come over they must have an open mind, and maybe keep everything they are usually vocal about, at bay.
Mi casa su casa
Unfortunately things went south as soon as his parents entered the apartment. It was very awkward for some reason (I still have no idea why) and there wasn't loads of hugging or smiling. As we all sat down my mother in-law started ranting, my boyfriend said she wanted to kill the silence because she was 'uncomfortable' but in my opinion there are no excuses for what she said and there was no sign of her being 'uncomfortable'. She asked where the kitchen was (??), why the apartment was so small and why we didn't have 2 bathrooms. She pointed at furniture, plain out said it was ugly, and continued by checking the upstairs and screamed how disappointed she was about the size of our closet (??). She mentioned how she wasn't gonna leave the apartment and that Belgium was horrible. She continued her tantrum by asking about my studies and while she clearly saw I was very upset, she kept on asking anyway. I just left the room and went to cry my eyes out in my bedroom. This whole entire time neither my boyfriend or father in-law did or said anything. I ended up sleeping at my sisters house that night.
A clean house is a sign of a wasted life
The next day when I got back home and my boyfriend had gone to work she was cleaning the house like a mad woman. She broke my expensive designer lamp in the process, and pretended nothing had happened the previous day. The laundry machine was going and she was ironing in her pj's, complaining her back hurt from sleeping on our couch. I was very confused as I had cleaned the house and done laundry before they'd all arrived. She bossed me around the entire time and called me out for thinking that ironing was not a priority in my life. That afternoon her brother, my boyfriend's uncle, arrived. He clearly saw things were not going well and asked me about it, when I explained his sister was behaving in a very disrespectful manner he just told me to let it go. I was so upset that no one was addressing anything, that I couldn't join them at the table for dinner that night. Not to mention that my mother in law had taken over the kitchen (oh she found it?) and was not open to trying any Belgian cuisine. I had imagined we would have cooked together, or that me and my boyfriend would have cooked for them but that wasn't in any of her books, I guess. I stayed at home, hid in my bedroom and I cried myself to sleep that night, I didn't even dare to go downstairs to pee. The day after my boyfriend's brother arrived, at this point I was so desperate for an explanation, and an apology, that I had lost all patience. When they left the house to visit the city of Brussels and pretended everything was fine, I completely snapped and trashed my entire apartment. All the tension from the passed couple days had come to the surface.
I was so angry and disappointed. How can you be a guest in someone's house and be so disrespectful? How could this women not simply be proud of what her son had accomplished (and maybe enjoy her vacation?): sharing his life with someone he loved, having a great job and being able to afford an apartment on his own for the first time! How could her husband have let this all happen? I don't understand this behavior and I still don't understand why my boyfriend did not stand up for me or for what he had accomplished since living in Belgium. I still feel betrayed by him to this day. He threw me under the bus after being together for 3 years and let his family harass me, for what? For a bunch of people who've never supported any decisions he's made in his life.
Apologizing is not a sign of weakness it's a sign of strength
Even though I ended up staying at my parents after trashing my own place, the harassment continued and lies were spread like pesticides. I was also sent hate mail by the wife of the uncle, who was never even present, and my boyfriend was not capable of doing any damage control whatsoever. No apologies were made and nothing was (ever) resolved. I was blamed for everything that went wrong, including for leaving. They all expected me to step up and say I was wrong without thinking about what instigated my behavior in the first place. Their conclusion: I was a bad person and I didn't love my boyfriend because I had left. I was the one who had ruined the entire trip and I was not to rebel on any level because that is the way his mom is. I hope your french is good because the message below is for sure spicy. I've posted it before and it caused at lot of backlash but I deal with haters on Youtube the exact same way: don't send me things like this if you're not willing to own up to it when it becomes public.
The cultural clash
Till this day his family still doesn't understand that I've done nothing but adapt to their way of living whenever I visit them, which is a bit easier for me since I've lived in Italy for almost 5 years and even speak the language, they have been disrespectful towards me from the very beginning, and have done zero effort. They were ignorant towards my values and morals and were not willing to learn anything about my country or culture. They've crossed boundaries and think it's okay because they are parents. I'm sorry, but being a parent does not give you a free pass. Inviting yourself to your son's house, which he shares with another human being, not from your own country, and expect everything to be just like home, is just not the way traveling works. I'm all about making people feel at home when I host them but not when you treat me like a piece of shit. This whole story almost caused to be hospitalised because I was in such a bad place mentally, which they were aware of and chose to ignore.
The queen has spoken and her will is the law
I later discovered however that pretty much anything is ignored and swept under the carpet by these people. His brother claimed no one knew I was going to be there. I don't understand why I wouldn't be present in my own house, especially when this was said by someone who's stayed with us before and was clearly aware of that. Apparently his mom has never really acknowledged the fact that I'm her son's girlfriend or that we even live together (not because she hates me) simply because it's not what she pictured for him. The rest of the family just seems to go with it. I don't see why my boyfriend would have moved from Italy to Belgium then. To live on his own? I've been at my in-laws house and we've talked and joked about all this. They know we live together. I think his parents, mainly his mother, just don't listen to what their son has to say. She doesn't wish him happiness, she wishes him lots of money and misery.
Me and my boyfriend ended up being separated for about 3 or 4 months. He was very upset about everything that had happened, apologized and promised it would never happen again. We're back together now but things are still tense at times. Our relationship suffered an enormous amount of pressure and it's not been easy. I've talked about how I'm a person who holds grudges so I feel like I'm betraying myself in a way, by staying. His family would also love me to be out of the picture, a statement made by his brother. I honestly cannot bare the idea of ever having to see them again. I'm also bothered by the fact that my boyfriend has already forgiven his mother, even though she pretty much ruined his entire life in just a couple days. I wonder how it would have been if I hadn't been so depressed at that time, and I wish my mother in-law would take responsibility for her actions and understand that she doesn't have respect for me, her son and even herself. She obviously is in a very bad place and it's clearly affecting other people.
Q: What do you think about my in-laws? Have you ever been in a similar situation? Tell me everything in the comments! Congrats if you made it till the end of this post by the way.