30 Jul Sisa’s Bitter Pill: Why You Shouldn’t Cry About those ‘Monsters-In-Law’

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(Sisa’s Bitter Pill serves as a warning to those who find her writing too negative or too bitching. In this series ‘Sisa’s Bitter Pill,’ she writes from personal experiences and what went on in her head as the events unfolded. This series is where Sisa speaks her mind and braves all judgments of how she thinks. She speaks of what is true, real and not so ideal. Often times her views are not popular, thus some find it offensive. If you don’t like reading her, then by all means press the exit button. She really doesn’t give a sh*t!)
 
01
 
To be or not to be that is the question. I have made a mistake, a long time ago, of making part of the requirements of choosing a guy that I wanted to be with should include the attitude of his mother and his family towards me. If his mother or any of his family doesn’t like me, then I’d show him the way out. I also made the mistake of putting up with the guy just because of how much I loved the family. And I have made the mistake of staying in a relationship just because of his family.
 
It has been a constant argument between my mom and I, and every time she would remind me: “when you marry the guy, you marry the family.” And many times I was tempted to reply, “so mom, am I gonna have sex with the family every single day of my life that I need to consider what they think of me?”
 
02 
 
Case in point
 
I got a call one day from one of my close college friends. Let’s call her DAGA or  “D” for short. For one whole hour that we have been talking over the phone, she ranted and whined about her  “future-mother-in-law” and how this crazy woman has misjudged her and made her feel that former didn’t want my friend for her son.
 
It must have been because my friend D knew that I was once in that situation that made her decide to talk to me, to get empathy and sympathy. I guess if I kept a record of the boyfriends versus the “monsters-in-law” in my life, I would have a 50-50 split. I know, You see, I am not exactly the girl you would want to bring home to your mother. I am loud. I am brutal. And I can be very manipulative if I wanted to. If a mother doesn’t like me, I could smell it from a distance. And back in the day, it would affect me, tremendously. I would have fits and insisted that his family better like me or I’m walking out of this relationship. As if liking somebody was as easy as forcing it on anybody just because. And indeed, I have walked out a number of times just because someone from his family didn’t like me. Today, I realized that it was a mistake. A very big mistake. 
 
03 
 
How I became your worst nightmare
 
I was a free spirit when I was 19. I fell in love with a man whom I thought I would end up with. In my heart he was THE ONE. The RIGHT ONE. Our relationship lasted only for two years, I guess it can be said that that I was too young then to handle the pressures of being in a relationship with a guy who has a family who had a lot of issues, and double that, the things that they had to say. Just like any other relationship, we too had our ups and downs. We supported each other on what we wanted in life. We have even reached an agreement where I was supposed to wait for him until he finished med school and his specialization. And I was very willing to do so.
 
But it was the surrounding people that got the better of me. Again, I was young, and you wouldn’t expect me to swallow everything that they had to say about me. But two years down the relationship was just too much for me.
 
“Yan si Sisa, pera nyo lang ang habol nyan. Kasi diba, may scoliosis yan. Ang gusto nyan kayo ang magpagamot sa kanya, parang kay Zsa Zsa at Dolphy,” she said. This is quoted verbatim.
 
One time that same crazed aunt went to buy something from the sari-sari store of my then childhood best friend G. “Sana ikaw na lang ang girlfriend ni R. Ayaw ko dyan sa kaibigan mo para sa pamangkin ko. Nagsisigarilyo sha. And she is too loud.” Talk about being loud, literally. My mom and I could hear her screaming from the second story of our house, right across the street.
 
On one Sunday afternoon while R was visiting me at home, he absentmindedly said: “sabi ni nanay, pag namanhikan kami daw kami sa inyo, sana nakalipat na kayo ng bahay. Kasi baka hindi kami kumasya sa bahay nyo.” Ano daw pakiulit? Nilait mo ba ang maliit na bahay namin?
 
And the horror stories, the back stabbing, the misjudgments went on and on and on. Finally one day, after many months of holding it in, I snapped. During one of the band concerts that he participated in, I suddenly went up the stage (well I was actually hosting the program) and decided to give my “speech.” “Wish ko sana wala ng kokontra. At sana wala ng mga pakialamera. Eto lubid oh, patiwakal na sila!” I stormed my way out of the concert. And the rest of what I did? I am to this very day, their worst nightmare.
 
I am not justifying my juvenile actions by saying that I just got too much lashing from other people. I know it was wrong. But at 19, I know I could just run to the bathroom and cry my eyes out. But I guess I was pushed to the wall and I just did what I did because that was the way I knew how to survive – to fight back.
 

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Siguro it’s part of being a mother na you just can’t let go. And you think that you should still be thinking for your son. But, I guess they should start accepting the fact that their son is already grown up now. And if they reared him right, they can make right decisions for themselves. Nasa nanay na rin yan, pano nila pinalaki ang anak nila. – EP, total martyr

 
04 
 
And Back to My Telephone Convo with Daga

 
“So are you gonna have sex with your future mother in law?” I asked D as she held her breath trying to figure out what to say to me. She has been talking about that woman since I picked up my cell an hour ago. “Is she the one signing your marriage contract? Is she the one paying for your wedding? So tell me honestly, are you gonna have sex with that woman and you have been so spent and concerned about her opinions about you?” I asked again.
 
“NO!” she exclaimed.
 
“So what the hell is your problem?” I asked.
 
05
 
Like air, I rise
 
After my horror experience with that family, and walking out of a very beautiful relationship (and an amazing man), I have made a vow to myself that I will NOT listen to the drama of the family of the guy that I date. Heck I could make the drama if I wanted to and win in all points. They don’t know me, and they don’t know the shit that I’ve been through. So forgive me if I am NOT exactly the typical girl who speaks in hushed tones, nor the girl that doesn’t speak at all. I do. But after many years of enduring broken relationships and heartbreaks, I have realized that we should know when to speak and when to shut up. Maturing, as they say, is realizing how many things don’t require your comment. And that swings both ways.
 
I stood strong in my belief that I am NOT marrying the mother. And I will not have sex with his mother for the rest of my life, so why should I even care about what she thinks or says? For all you know, she is just experiencing second childhood.
 
I am NOT marrying the whole family, and I would like to believe that in anything and everything that I do, I don’t need to belong. Hindi naman sa hindi ako makikisama. But my response will always be depended on how you — the family, the mother, etc., treat me. Who would want “to belong” to a family who looks at you with judgmental eyes? Who would want “to belong” to a family who does nothing but make gossip, blow everything out of proportion, and make a bitch-fest about you? I mean, aren’t they busy enough with their work? Aren’t they busy with their own domestic issues? Don’t they have issues of their own that they have to talk about what you do, how you talk, what you say? If gossip could make one rich, I would’ve been a billionaire!
 
My mom has this rule: “when you get married, you get out of my house. I maybe a good mother to you, but I can’t promise that I can be a good mother in law.”
 
I do understand where my mom was coming from, and I do respect her honesty in the whole situation. And I would like to believe that if a guy really loves you, he won’t make you suffer by living with that witch every single day of your life. And I guess, it goes without saying, that if the guy loves his mother, he won’t let her suffer and live with someone that she doesn’t like. Who wants to be caught in the crossfire of a scorned mother, and a daughter in law who doesn’t really care?
 
Again, (and I can’t stress this enough), I am not marrying the family I am just marrying the son. If she has a problem with that, then talk it over with your son, and don’t take out all your frustrations on me. If you were once upon a time, mistreated by your own mother in law, then for the love of God, don’t repeat the same mistake that, that old hag has done to you.
 
I also don’t think that a mother not even the whole family has the right to dictate nor impose on her son. She should have done that a long time ago. You know when he was still little. Not now. Not today, when he is already, uh 35. Sabi nga ng mommy ko: “pakialaman ba? Eh nakakabuntis na yan!
 
06
 

“She’s the girl with her middle finger in the air ’cause for the first time she doesn’t care” Pink, God is a DJ

 
Then after all her fits and “mala-telenovela eksena” of killing herself, of playing the kontrabida role in my love story, and I still end up with the “happily ever after,” then I WIN. The END.
 
If she or the family feels that I need their approval to be happy, then they are up for a big disappointment. Sino ba kasing nagsabi na gusto ko rin kayo? Ayaw ko rin naman sa inyo eh. Anak nyo lang ang gusto ko. Ok na tayo?
 

 Any woman will have issues with her mother in law if the latter is insecure about her place in her son’s life. No matter how perfect you are, a selfish and needy mother in law will not stop until she is absolutely assured that her son is more devoted to her than he is to his wife. – I.V., master’s degree holder in “monsters-in-law”

 

Forgive me please for my super emotional take on monsters-in-law, but I am not saying that you should be a complete ass and show disrespect and retaliation to the monster este, the mother. Just be civil, even if she is going barbaric over you. Ibigay mo na ang eksena. Baka ikasaya pa niya. Remember mas mukhang tanga ang nagwawala, kaysa sa taong hindi nagsasalita. Ang unang apektado, TALO!
 
Anak, no matter how much your lola showed that she hated me, I did not want to put your dad in between the war zone. I am afraid that if I do that, your dad will choose your lola over me. Remember what they say, iisa lang ang ina, maraming pwedeng maging asawa,” my mom reminded me at one point. Being the crazy person that I was I retorted: “Eh di pakasalan nya ang ina nya.” Sa totoo lang, akala ko sa mukha ang landing ng lilipad na plantsa!
 
I would like to believe that if you truly love someone, you set them free. You let them run their own lives. You let them make their choices. Loving is letting go, sacrificing your personal biases, wants and needs for the son you love. People see what they want to see. And people can choose to be blinded with the obvious just because they don’t want to see it. Are they blind? Are they in denial? Is there something wrong with the world? Can they die now?
 
Letting him go can be likened to the first time that the father let’s him walk on his own. It is when the mother left their kids for the first day of school. It is when the mother finally let’s her son run through the playground by himself, and to be totally against the woman who your son chooses to marry is outright and downright SELFISH. Hindi naman pokpok diba nay? Mas gugustuhin mo pang mapunta sa pokpok ang anak ninyo nay? I really don’t get this.
 
I also don’t believe that the guy should demand that I like his family, much less treat them like my own, if there is already bad blood to begin with. Ano ito, package deal? Buy one take all? Eat all you can?
 
If they treat me well, why wouldn’t I treat them nicely? Now if they choose to treat me badly, and make me feel as if I am not wanted whenever they see me, then that is a different story. I know I will get what I bargained for. And I will deliver what I’ve negotiated on. I wonder, where did it say in the marriage contract that I have to put up with the dramatic episodes of the monster-in-law? Where did it say in the bible that I have to submit to my husband and the mother, and the father and the family of my would-be-husband? Husband lang, hindi po kayo kasali sa eksena. Cameo role lang po kayo. Ktnxbye.
 
Sure it says there to honor your mother and father. And by affinity they become my “family.” A family I just inherited, because I fell in love with the son, not with them. Sure, I could honor them by being polite and curt in my responses. By trying to stay away from their path if necessary. But expecting me to love them like how I love my own mother and father would be too much to ask for. Anything of too much is well, too much. Please teach me how to love a monster. Please. As my mom has said: amor con amor sepaga. You give love for love.
 
All I know is when I get married my two obligations are: to be a good wife to my husband. To submit to my husband (husband lang po, hindi HIS family); and to be a good mother to my children. Now if I am required to be a good daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, aunt-in-law, cousin-in-law; Ay! Hindi ko na kaya yan! After all, you can’t please everybody. Having a permanent relationship is hard enough to work on. Being a career woman and a mother and a wife all at the same time, makes it even harder. Tapos hahalo pa ang ibang roles?
 
In most cases in life, there will be people who will be for you, and there will be people who will be totally against you. And it is your choice on how you would respond to these types of situations. You can fight it out, and win with all the scars. Or you can choose to be better – do not respond, do not react. Silence is golden. Patience is a virtue. Yun lang minsan may mga taong walang virtues. Nuff said.

 

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