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'I'm worried my SIL might have been trying to harm or full-on poison me.' MAJOR UPDATE

'I'm worried my SIL might have been trying to harm or full-on poison me.' MAJOR UPDATE


Our gut instincts are a powerful gift, particularly when it comes to keeping us safe.

In a popular post on the True Off My Chest subreddit, a woman shared her unnerving experience with her SIL, and asked if she was "crazy" for suspecting foul play.

"I'm worried my husband's sister might have been trying to harm or even k*ll me."

Three days ago, my husband and I went to his parents' house to visit for the weekend. His sister is a college student and was home for the summer as well so we got to see her too. Since they have a lakefront property and the weather was very nice, a lot of our time was spent at the lake this weekend, and some very...weird things happened.

For some background first, I've always gotten kind of an off vibe from my husband's younger sister. When we were dating, it seemed like she would find any excuse in the world to avoid me, and when we did interact, I sensed some hostile undertones pretty much every single time. I brushed it off as just me maybe not "clicking" with her or misinterpreting her.

Still, when we got married last year, I included her as one of my bridesmaids. And lowkey, she was a huge pain in the a$$ for that entire experience. My other bridesmaids told me she made snide comments to them that made them quite uncomfortable. Was huffy during the bridal shower and wedding rehearsal.

Made weird faces at the decorations and pulled weird faces when she ate the cake too. I still brushed it off as maybe just her personality and left it at that. At the lake, though, a number of events occurred that kind of unsettled me. On the day we arrived, my husband's sister had invited a number of her own friends from college over and the group of us spent some time together in the water.

At one point, we all decided to have a big chicken fight and at first it was quite fun and lighthearted. Then a bunch of people including my husband broke away to do their own thing and his sister turned to me and said let's do another round (with her other two friends left in the lake) and asked to get on my shoulders.

I said sure, knelt down under the water to let her up, but instead of getting on my shoulders properly she got on top of my head and wouldn't budge at all when I tried to move her.

I couldn't get her off me or even get my head up to breathe for what felt like a long while, my head was being squeezed between her thighs and I was seriously panicking by the time I managed to dislodge her and bring my head up to the surface. What's weird about it was that the other two weren't even paying attention to any of this or even participating in the attempted chicken fight at all.

My husband's sister didn't say anything to me when I came up to the surface, just kind of gave me this weird snort-chuckle and got out of the water. I was noticeably shaken and trying to catch my breath but I assumed maybe this was just some sort of an accident, so I tried to act fine and didn't say anything. My husband's parents have a seadoo that they let those of us with a boating license use.

I don't have a boating license so it was mostly just me riding behind my husband with him at the wheel. My husband's sister offered me a ride, though, and I didn't wanna say no (thinking maybe this was a chance to bond with her) so I agreed to it. I told her the seadoo still made me quite nervous, though, and to take it easy if she could. She definitely did not take it easy.

She took any and every opportunity she could get to jump the seadoo off the wakes of boats that passed us by, was doing sharp turns at high speeds like crazy, and I found myself having to cling to her for dear life throughout the ride. There were points where we both nearly fell off the seadoo with how wildly she was driving it.

Again, though, I didn't say anything about it and acted fine because I thought maybe she didn't realize how fast and crazy she was going. Later my husband's dad yelled at her for attempting to splash my husband with the seadoo while he was in the water. Their dad told her it was dangerous to try and ride close to people in the water like that because she could have run him over.

After about an hour or so, it was just me in the water with my husband's sister on the seadoo, and she drove that thing within a couple of feet of me just to turn it and splash me with the water. Way closer than she ever got to my husband when she'd do it to him. I laughed it off but again was inwardly freaked out. That brings us to yesterday at dinner.

As everyone in the family has been made acutely aware of by my husband, I have a serious dairy allergy, to the point where ingesting even a little bit of it can risk causing anaphylaxis. My husband's sister contributed a big pot of tomato rice and told me there was no dairy in it so I could have some.

I trusted her and helped myself to a portion of it, but shortly after eating it I had to excuse myself because I started to feel extremely ill and wound up spending the rest of my night puking my brains out. I felt super faint and it took a lot of effort to breathe.

Thankfully I had my epipen if things got bad enough but still the whole experience was just awful. The explanation I got later was that my husband's sister finished the tomato rice with butter to make it creamier and then forgot she put it in there before serving it to me.

Seems again like it could be an innocent mistake, but...given the combination of everything that happened this weekend, I'm starting to feel suspicious that it's more than just that at this point. I don't know if I'm overreacting or just being a paranoid mess, because this is a huge accusation, but I can't help but feel that suspicion that maybe my husband's sister genuinely meant me harm. I feel like I'm f$%king crazy.

Redditors had a lot of comments and questions.

zephyreblk wrote:

Do you attend therapy? Because if nut, you should. You have no boundaries and that will cost you a lot in your life. Possibly also a fear of rejection if you try so much to bound with someone, when all your guts say no.

You are gaslighting yourself, it doesn't matter how innocent it looks like, you had 3 dangerous incident in not even a week because of her. That's enough to not being her around. Tell about it to your husband and his father, if they brush it off, you are definitely not in a safe place.

Really take therapy or learn boundaries on your own but how you are feeling now and acting is really bad for you. (I know it from my own experience but also from friends that discovered with me that saying no make life easier).

OP responded:

My therapist does tell me I'm a massive people pleaser lmao. My husband and I balance each other out a lot because he's the more extroverted one who isn't afraid of confrontation. I do agree though that there needs to be more boundaries on my part and it's something I'm working on.

lyncati responded:

What has your therapist said about all of this? Please tell me you've disclosed all of this to them.

OP responded:

I've texted her about it throughout the trip, but she's not been the most reachable as of late due to a death in her own family. We've got a session scheduled for next week though.

ClarityByHilarity wrote:

10/10 she’s trying to kill you. Talk to your husband, seriously talk to him and gtf away from her.

OP responded:

I just don't even know how to broach this kind of a subject. He knows we don't click but he's very close with her and for that I've really been trying to make an effort to build a bond with her too. Idk how to even suggest the idea that his sister is intentionally or maliciously trying to hurt me, let alone kill me.

Laartje_ wrote:

You can start by bringing up the incidents and say you want to limit contact as she makes you uncomfortable and see how he reacts and take it from there?

OP responded:

I think I'm going to start by just bringing up the weird incidents and see what he thinks before I suggest limited contact. I don't want him to be put in an awkward position where he feels like he can't see his sister if I'm around.

Lazuli_Rose wrote:

This sent a chill through me. Absolutely NEVER leave her alone with or let her babysit any child your have with your husband. I do not care how upset your husband or the in-law's would be, just don't do it. I would rather have the whole lot of them mad at me than have to bury a child because one of her "accidents."

OP responded:

Well we don't plan on having kids so at least I don't have to worry about that.

JazzlikeDot7142 wrote:

I can definitely see her playing innocent. “Whaaaat do you mean? I was just trying to bond with you and treat you like family and you give me an attitude like that?” “I wasn’t trying to hurt you!"

"All I was trying to do was share some food with you and you think I was trying to hurt you! sniffle big brother can you believe it? She’s being so mean and accusing to me! All day long I’m just trying to be so nice to her and look how she treats me!!!!1!”

OP responded:

To be honest this is exactly how I'd expect her to react, insincerely or sincerely. I'm having a talk with my husband when he gets home tonight.

f1newhatever wrote:

Yeah why are you laughing everything off here? You don’t have to go nuclear on her but it wouldn’t be overreacting to name the behavior and say “hey, why’d you sit on my head like that” or “hey, why’d you tell me there’s no dairy in this?”

I get that we’re raised to not make waves blah blah but there’s a big gap between laughing it off and doing nothing vs causing boatloads of drama.

OP responded:

At the time I thought each individual incident could have been chalked up to an accident or just not that bad. Her sitting on my head could have been a genuine attempt to get on my shoulders gone wrong, her crazy seadoo driving could have been how she always drives her passengers (she does do a lot of wild stunts on that thing when she's alone on it).

The splashing thing could have just been her being irked by her dad and defying him, and the rice thing could have been a careless mistake. It sounds stupid in retrospect but in the moment that was how it seemed.

ExpandUpdog wrote:

This would be an amazing plot to a horror movie or something.

Good thing you have it documented in writing, you could probably just show them this post. What were the snide comments?

OP responded:

Here's some examples I remember off the top of my head:

After my maid of honor went around showing us pictures of her dog (a doodle) apparently my husband's sister made a comment along the lines of, "I don't know why people even get doodles, they're so unethical."

She made a comment about how much my maid of honor "loaded" her plate during a girls' night out to eat. Later on that night out she apparently insinuated that another bridesmaid of mine had "drugstore" makeup, said in a way that made her uncomfortable.

ProfessionalNo9572 wrote:

Info: Did you even get an apology from the sister about the butter in the rice?

What was your husband's take on it?

Can you stop laughing at every time she tries to kill you, reading this was like watching a horror movie where you’re the character that gets killed off in the first scene. We are all rooting for you, time to fight back. You could even have a one to one conversation with her and record it on your phone.

You could say something like, "I wanted to talk to you about something that happened recently. I felt hurt by what occurred and was wondering if there was any intention behind it or if there might be a misunderstanding."

This approach opens up the conversation without being confrontational.

OP responded:

Yes, I did get an apology from her about the rice. My husband was pissed at her about it and went off on her about being so careless, but he seems to think it was just a really dumb accident on her part. I'm going to tell him about the other incidents though.

Dry_Ask5493 wrote:

Stop trusting her and laughing her sh*t off. Tell your husband about everything she has done and stay the f**k away from her psycho a$$. If she does anything else start calling her out, loudly.

OP responded:

I needed to read this tbh. Admittedly I do have a lot of issues with confrontation and people pleasing so it's hard to stick up for myself but yeah I'm glad to know I'm not crazy for feeling suspicious about her.

Three days later, OP shared a major update.

Update: I'm worried my husband's sister might have been trying to harm or even k*ll me. First off, I'd like to extend my most sincere gratitude to the Redditors who took the time out of their day to give me advice. I wasn't expecting so many people to come to my support and confirm I wasn't being crazy or overreacting.

I definitely needed to hear it, and in retrospect, I think this whole situation was really the wake-up call I needed to be more assertive and confident in my assessment of situations. A book I noticed a lot of Redditors recommend to me was Gavin de Becker's The Gift of Fear, so I gave it a look and have now begun reading it - so far I've found it really insightful, thanks for the rec.

Anyways, here's what's happened since my last post. So I did end up talking to my husband about his sister's behaviors toward me last weekend. I was planning on sitting him down and just point-blank raising my concerns about her, but her name came up organically in conversation so I ended up using it as a springboard for telling him about last weekend's incidents.

As I went through each sketchy incident I had with her, my husband believed me and was angry on my behalf about what happened. He also supports my wishes to keep more of a distance from her going forward.

He told me to let him know if she ever pulls anything like the incidents in the water/seadoo again (the dairy thing he still believes to be a genuine accident; apparently she was in tears over how badly she felt about that). Apparently my sister-in-law's behaviors last weekend weren't 100% out-of-character for her.

After telling my husband about my incidents with her, he explained to me that she's had a history of crossing lines and testing the limits of people's boundaries like this, albeit never this egregiously.

Until college, she struggled making and keeping friends due to constantly crossing peers' boundaries - my husband even had to come to her aid in grade school due to her pissing off the wrong people who were ready to beat her a$$. He thought she'd gotten much better in recent years, which is why he was so taken aback when I told him about the stuff she did last weekend.

Apparently she's been in therapy for a very long time now to treat some mental health and behavioral issues. My husband was/is pissed at her for what she did to me, but he genuinely doesn't think her intentions were to k*ll or maim me - just to test my limits and "haze" me, albeit extremely recklessly. I'm inclined to agree with him, but my guard is still up in case it's anything more than that.

His theory is that because I'm quite shy, she figured I was less likely to put my foot down with her, and that's why she did stuff to f#$k with me in particular. It's not anything I did or said (...yes, I did ask). So going forward, I'm going to try to keep brief any interaction I have with her at future family events and stuff.

I'll still be polite of course, but no way am I going to be alone with her anymore, and my husband says he's on board with this arrangement and will intervene if necessary to make sure it stays. It sucks to realize I'm probably never going to have a "good" relationship with my sister-in-law like I'd hoped.

I've never had siblings before, so I was excited by the idea of having someone accept me as a sister and having that sort of a relationship. Ah well. I get along well with the rest of his family, and I have enough kicka$$ friends in my life who are like sisters to me in their own way, haha.

The internet was deeply invested in the update.

im_a_knitiot wrote:

I’m so glad your husband believed you right away! And that he’s got your back from now on. I don’t know why, but I find your SIL’s behaviour scary. Makes me curious what her mental health and behavioural issues are. Please stay vigilant with her, even if she tries to make up and win your trust back…

Also it’s ok to let people go. Not all relationships are worth it, even within families. Please do whatever you need to keep yourself safe.Take care!

OP responded:

I'll preface this response by saying I don't judge anybody for going through mental health issues - I have plenty myself, and I don't want to further the stigmatization against my sister-in-law's disorders when I mention them.

From what I remember my husband telling me, she had some sort of conduct disorder as a kid, then got diagnosed with bipolar disorder and ADHD. It's possible she has autism too, which would make sense considering a lot of her family members, including my husband, have it (and so do I).

None of these disorders excuse her behavior, and I don't want anyone walking away thinking these disorders inherently make people behave the way my husband's sister does.

ProfessionalNo9572 wrote:

Glad he’s got your back! But I mean she did try to drown you so don’t know why he thought she didn’t try to ki*l too but okay. It does suck you won’t have that relationship with her but least you know it isn’t anything you’ve said or done. She clearly has unresolved issues.

What happens in the future when you have children? Do you leave kids at in laws while she’s around without you being present? Just make sure you clear all this now with your husband before you have kids.

OP responded:

My husband thinks she wasn't trying to drown me, just roughhouse. I'm 50/50 on that one tbh, and my guard will remain perpetually up with her in any future interactions. Neither my husband or I want kids, so that's a non-issue as far as I'm concerned.

raggedyman_goodnight wrote:

As much as I would like to think that the incident with the dairy allergy is an accident, it’s just not sitting right. She knew about your extremely serious allergy when preparing the food. It was one ingredient that she added and then served to you. If you know someone is near deathly allergic to a specific food you go out of your way to make sure they don’t ingest it. But she specifically added it.

This, in addition to her almost drowning you and everything else just points to the clear conclusion that this girl was trying to damn near kill you (if murder wasn’t her actual intention). I don’t know her so I can’t say for certain, but after hearing that she apparently turned on the water works after the dairy incident, she may need to get checked out for any antisocial/sociopathic personality disorders.

I knew a girl who could make herself cry on command. She could cry and wail and make it look like she was on the verge of hysterics, but when it became clear that the tears weren’t going to make things go her way, she stopped. It was like she turned off the faucets in her eyes for the way the tears stopped flowing almost instantly. Again, I don’t know her, but that might be something to look out for.

It’s good that op will have her guard up moving forward, but I think it’s safest for you to have as little contact as possible. She has marked op as a target and even seems to be relishing her distress (as seen with her brushing op’s necklace after almost killing her).

Boring-Charge wrote:

Have you talked about her past behavior as well? Her comments and behavior at your wedding I mean. They could be completely separate things, but the fact you’ve gotten hostile vibes from her since you’ve met, that would make me think there’s more than just “hazing.” But your safety is the priority, so if you leave it where it is or try to figure it out is entirely up to you.

LittleBirdy_Fraulein wrote:

IDK what ppl in these comments are saying. Your husband is being extremely dismissive. “she’s not trying to hurt you she’s trying to haze you 🥺." The absolute disregard for your life is insane. She tried to K*LL you. She tried to drown you, she could’ve sliced your stomach open, you wouldn’t died if you didn’t have your epi.

How is it you have such little self preservation skills?! I guess do what you want. But I care about my life and safety and if this were me I’d be telling my husband we were going no contact or I’d be calling divorce lawyers in the morning. How is it you care so little for your own life?

Hopefully, moving forward, OP is safe.

Sources: Reddit
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