Friday, June 27, 2008

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...


Alicia Seevers said...

Our situations are similar. I know for a fact that my MIL and SILs talk crap on me behind my back. I do nothing about it, because people that do this will ALWAYS deny it when confronted. Chris and I have talked about it, but I know that he would never say anything to anyone in his family.
About a year ago a situation occurred because Chris had forgotten to communicate with his family (he told me he would take care of it) and of course I was the bitch, etc., etc., etc. Chris got an earfull about me and had to correct his family and defend me. From that situation on, Chris has taken a different tone with his family. He usually chooses avoidance, but has been very supportive of me not having to attend his family's events without him. THANK GOD!
Additionally, I like you NEVER offer advice to any of the ILs. It is a recipe for disaster.
Unfortunately, it appears that you and I have both married men whose mothers do not know how to back off when their sons get married. My Mom mastered the art without losing her relationship with my brother, so I know it CAN be done!

Kristin said...

You are so right.

This is why she & I will never have a relationship - she will never take responsibility for her actions, never be truly sorry for how much she's hurt me & the rest of us in our home and she will never change. This is why I gave up at the end of last year. It's pointless. Bill is beginning to realize this too, mostly with Aunt Ju-Ju, but really - they are from the same mold.

It's one thing to say things you don't mean in the heat of an argument (which I have NEVER done with her), it's a whole different ball of wax when hurtful things are said behind someone's back, in a "non-active" drama moment in life - especially via EMAIL! This wasn't something that "just came out", she had time to think about it before hitting the send button (even though she didn't know it was going to me, but still).

I don't understand why it's so hard for her to "get it". I'm not asking for any ass kissing here, I'm asking for some common respect. The same respect she would give a stranger off the street! If she would just do this, she would actually have a chance at having a decent relationship with Logan & Carter.

COURTNEY said...

Its hard dealing with people when they are rude to your face, but its even WORSE when they're doing it behind your back! Your in-laws sound like the kind of people who will never change, its just too bad that your the one that has to suffer for it.

You were right about my picture being at Centerra. We love going up there to shop. I don't live that close unfortunately. I live in a small town about an hour and half east. If your trying to make your cookies come out chewy (I prefer them that way too) then the author of this book suggests using melted butter instead of softened butter (the recipe I used called for two sticks of it) and also putting your dough in the fridge for at least ten minutes before portioning it out so that it doesn't spread very much. Good luck with your next cookies and with your crazy in-laws!

Joanna said...

Wow, that's all I can really say. The nerve. I am so quickly angered I would have probably replied back to it with a little cussing and telling them all where to go! I am thankful (i think) that my in laws don't talk smack about me. I know that they probably used to before our relationship started to sorta flourish. Zack was never on my side during those moments. He thought I was overreacting as well. Men! Although, I am glad that Bill now sees how you feel and how it's effecting the family and things. Good Luck!!

Debbie said...

I would forward the email back to Grandma L with a comment saying "I think you accidentally sent this to me." Nothing else need be said...she'll either ignore it or is it possible...apologize? I doubt it.
I will admit that I have defended your in-laws in the past thinking all they want to do is love your child, but this is beyond stupid.
I have the secret on how to be a good MIL. Keep your (my) mouth shut. It DIL likes me. LOL

Kristin said...

Debbie, that's what Bill & I talked extensively about (with your words exactly) & decided not to say anything because it had been about a month since it had been sent. Bringing it to her attention now wouldn't have done anything & I HIGHLY doubt she would have apologized. It would have made this upcoming visit totally unbearable.

But Bill now really understands how I feel & how his mother really is treating me. It's undeniable now.

This is also why I vehemently defended my feelings & position regarding our relationship in the comments, because I know without a shadow of a doubt that this issue between us isn't my doing. Alicia is right in that our MIL's are similar because they don't know how to back off (or anything about boundaries) when their children get married.

I really feel like I have Bill's full support & defense now when it comes to things like this, so I feel a bit better about addressing things as they arise at this point.

Rebecca said...

And that's exactly what it will take...your Hubby standing up to them and telling them what's what.

I had an IL problem, finally convinced the hubs it WAS a problem. He took it up with MIL....who threw a grand fit and didn't speak to us for 2 months....but then she came around and has been sweet as sugar ever since.

Thank goodness for a very sane and nice FIL, else who knows what we would do!