Friday, December 26, 2008

The Christmas compromise catastrophe

After the very loving email that Uncle J sent on Sunday, Bill talked to both Grandma L and Aunt Ju-Ju on the phone about Grandpa L's birthday dinner plans for the next night. Both talked as though nothing had happened (surprise, surprise). The next day at work, Bill received a few text messages from Aunt Ju-Ju: "By the way, Cousin B has a cough. Dinner will be at 6:00". Obviously trying to piss Bill off who simply replied with "really?". Then she asked, "Did you read the email?". He ignored her. She sent another message. "DID YOU READ THE EMAIL". His response? "Maybe". Speaking from experience, Bill is pretty good at pissing people off and he knew that Aunt Ju-Ju was just acting like she usually does in these situations.

Bill came home from work and showed me the belated birthday card that he got for Grandma L, since he forgot her birthday last month and was giving it to her that night at the birthday dinner. "My mom always taught me to mail off birthday cards early so they get there on time." On the inside, "But I'm a grown man now and I play by my own rules". I ALMOST DIED!! I warned him that this would probably start something huge, but he said he was prepared for that anyway. We talked about a "time-out" with them if things get out of control - he was prepared to walk out and follow though.

On his way home from the dinner over at Aunt Ju-Ju's house, Bill called me to let me know what happened.


They all acted like nothing happened and nothing was wrong. Uncle J even gave Bill a big hug when he walked in the door as if he never sent us the email. Aunt Ju-Ju and Uncle J got a Wii for Christmas and had Bill hook it up for them. They bowled a game and he came home. That was it. Talk about a palming your forehead moment. When Bill came home I was upset. After receiving the email, I told him that I really needed him to defend me. He said he would. I was let down.

After a long emotional conversation, I told him that unless we address this, I'm done with all of them until something changes. Bill wrote out a heart felt email to his family that came just from him - telling them that the way they are treating me is unfair. He suggested that when Grandma L comes out in January when Cousin Q is born that we all go to family counseling. He also asked me to stay home with the kids while his parents came to open presents with Logan on the next night. This was not our original plan or compromise, but I told him I would be here. It was asking a whole lot from me, but all I could do was try.

Tuesday morning Grandma L replied to his email and it flipped some triggers for me. She wrote about some crap about how she wishes the whole family could have been at the birthday dinner the night before (meaning, the kids - because that's what had been requested) and that even with all of the stuff that was going on, it was reassuring that "we can treat each other with the love that I know we all have for one another". Right. I'm sure her telling everyone that I abused her is her way of showing me love. She also suggested that when it comes to family counseling, that it should just be the two of us - she and I that go. I almost fell off the couch when I read that. I'm not married to her and this is a family issue, plus, if it were the two of us she would continue to tell lies and deny all of her hurtful actions.

I stressed about the visit all day. Clearly this compromise was asking too much from me. I was not in any place to calmly deal with the issue at hand and I felt like climbing the walls from the anxiety. I knew what was going to happen. We would open presents and pretend like the world was grand. I couldn't do it like that. Ignoring everything makes me insane.

Bill got off work and called on his way home. I had the freak out of all freak outs. I told him that I was angry and hurt, that when his parents came over we were talking about this first and not opening presents pretending like everything was OK. I told him that unless Grandma L and I came to a resolve about her making fun of me on the phone, hanging up on me and then telling everyone that I abused her, then there was to be no "Christmas" with them that night. The whole reason why we weren't having Christmas Eve with them in the first place. I also told him that I was standing up for myself because he wouldn't do it for me. He called them and told them to go home and not come over. No explanation, no conversation.

He came home and we had a long discussion with me mostly crying and yelling about how I can't take it anymore - I'm at my breaking point and I needed him to defend me (which I told him after we got Uncle J's email). It wasn't really an argument, just me flipping out. That's PPD/PPA for you I guess. Who knows. But Bill knew weeks ahead of time that this visit would be too much for me to handle and we talked about it extensively. We should have stuck with our original plan.

Wednesday morning the in-laws were still left hanging as to what happened the night before. I knew Bill wasn't going to be able to tell them the truth when he went over for Christmas Eve so it was up to me. I (nicely) emailed Grandma L, Aunt Ju-Ju and Uncle J explaining my feelings and why things were going the way they were - without mention of PPD. I told them every bit of the truth of how we came to the decisions we did. I am so tired of the lies, glossing over the issues and everyone flat out ignoring major problems. It's time to face everything head on and get it over with. If it's not resolved, it's over. And I made that clear.

Bill went over to Aunt Ju-Ju's after we had dinner, opened presents and Logan and Carter went to bed. Again, not much happened. In fact, I think it was Bill who brought up that they need to talk and they decided to talk the next day when Bill brought them to the airport.

Christmas afternoon, Bill and Logan went over to Aunt Ju-Ju's house to hangout for a little bit before taking the grandparents to the airport. There wasn't much of a conversation other than Grandma L asking Bill if we should have a sit down conversation before going to counseling (too late, already did that and it obviously didn't work) and asking him if I could forgive. He told her that it's going to take a very long time because she's done some extremely hurtful things.

She comes back out in three weeks when Cousin Q is born and we'll see what happens from there in counseling. This is my last resort.

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