I'm slowly coming to terms with many of these exact dynamics in the ways my MIL treated my hubby as a child. They've been estranged three separate times in his life, adding up to more years apart than together, and she has no relationship with our children. She just reeled him in for another correspondance--he will not see her at this point--kicking off an email with this tantalizing lure: "I think I can finally see what you are feeling." Yet the exchange came to a screeching halt when she ultimately revealed her unchanged colors, how everything's always about her, what can she get from him, his feelings aren't valid, don't even exist. My heart hurts for him--and for us, having to try to soldier our way through her muck. There is no darker entity than a parent who cares more for her- or himself than her or his child.