An email not meant for me
In the last week, I've mentioned that there's some interesting stuff going on with the in-laws. No extreme drama, but interesting nonetheless. It certainly doesn't help the current situation & is concrete proof of how they really are.
At the end of May I received an email from Grandma L that wasn't meant for me. It was meant for Aunt Ju-Ju & it seems that when she was adding her email address, she accidentally added mine. Our email addresses must be right next to each other on her contact list. This kind of mistake happens occasionally (it's happened to Bill at work & it's happened to me when I sent out the email to friends & family after we found out that Carter was a boy). Apparently Cousin B is having some problems with hitting & either Aunt Ju-Ju doesn't know what to do about it or Grandma L is just sending unsolicited advice on how to correct the situation.
Now, when it comes to my parenting techniques, if I'm unsure of what to do, I figure it out for myself. It's just how I am. I've checked out many books on toddler behavior, tried different tactics, talked to other moms in The Club at playgroup, Googled for help, read blogs of families in the same predicament or checked out Baby Center (among other message boards). I don't ask Grandma L & this seems to offend her & Aunt Ju-Ju to the core. On the flip side, I don't offer "assvice" unless specifically asked for it, either. Especially to family.
So, Grandma L found some kind of information on Baby Center (either from a message board or a blurb with a parent's first hand experience on what they did with their hitting toddler) & sent it to Aunt Ju-Ju ending with a very snide, mean-spirited comment making fun of me & how I choose to figure things out for myself. It was completely unnecessary.
When I first read this, I felt hot with anger. My stomach tightened, my heart began to pound, my breathing became shallow & Carter was doing flips from the stress induced adrenaline spike. You have got to be kidding me!, I thought. Now, it's no surprise that they talk about me behind my back & poorly at that. I've overhead conversations before. I'm not shocked. But they've always denied it, especially Grandma L, claiming that's it's "not in her nature to say these things". When confronted about it, she claims that I make up these stories & that I need "help", insinuating that I'm crazy. Well, now I had physical proof of her "nature".
However, I didn't do anything with it.
I knew that this was small potatoes compared to what we've dealt with in the past & that confronting this issue would do nothing. I didn't bring it to Bill's attention because I figured he would just say, "So what?" & tell me to ignore it. I did save it though. The only action this provoked from me was further separation from them. And this is how it was brought to light.
After I made Logan's montage of him disc golfing on Father's Day, I found out that Grandma L had seen it. The agreement that Bill & I have is that he is the one responsible for sending his family pictures & videos. I have no problem with that, but I don't want to share the special things that I make (montages, specifically) because I spend time & love on these. I don't share things like this with people who treat me with such disrespect. Plain & simple. He had sent it to her & "forgot" that we had talked about this.
We had a conversation about it (a very productive one) where I explained how I felt. He didn't think that his mom disrespected me that much. I printed out the email for him to read. At first, he reacted just as I thought he would, telling me to just ignore it. Then after talking a bit longer, he got it & understood how these actions effect me & our family. We still decided not to do anything about it since so much time had passed, but Bill assured me that he has my back & that if anything like this happens again (which it undoubtedly will) he will stand up for me & tell his family to knock it off.
With all of that, they will be here for a visit over the holiday weekend...