Monday, April 06, 2009

I don't want to

I mentioned in a earlier post about things going on my life that I wanted to write about, one of them being about the in-laws. They've been in a time-out since October, I suppose officially since December. They've visited every month except for the last and we had not seen them. Bill will go out to lunch with his mom or whatever, and he went out to lunch with Aunt Ju-Ju around our birthdays, but the kids and I have gone on with our life as usual.

I was going to write about how those months have been the best months ever. With the exception of Valentines Day (which ironically involved the in-laws), I don't remember the last time we had major turmoil in our home. Bill and I have been working really hard on our "togetherness" and frankly, have been very successful. We always seem to be able to get back on the horse and keep going and the last few months have been awesome. Not having the drama from them has made those months the best months of our lives. It was an eye-opening realization for me and I was convinced (I AM convinced) that the time-out should move into a full cut-off. Our life is undeniably better without them.

And then Bill got a phone call.

Grandma L called Bill on Thursday telling him that they would be in town for Easter and to schedule a time for all of us to meet with our counselor. My stomach dropped and the anxiety started. Here we were, doing so well. Our conflict at home was minimal, we were having productive conversations about issues, I hadn't had anxiety for God knows how long and I had been medication-free to boot. Now it was all about to change just because Grandma L decided it was time to finally follow through on our request at compromise - a little too late.

We had talked about going to counseling with them for a very long time, always to be pushed off with answers like "sure, when we move out there". It was an empty promise as there was never a time line to work with and it will most likely be years before they really do move. When I called to confront Grandma L about the guilt-trip email she sent Bill and Aunt Ju-Ju (and asked Bill to lie to me about it), I went on about how we all need to work together, about how Bill and I have been working hard and taking the steps - going to counseling, trying to figure out boundaries and learn better ways to communicate (with everyone). I told her that she needed to do the work too, that it had to be a collaborative effort if our family was going to be together. I was shot down with her telling me that she wasn't going to do anything, then proceeded to make fun of me, hang up on me and then spread lies about how I verbally abused her.

The offer from me was pulled off the table. That was the final straw.

As someone who actually has lived through abuse and was told I was lying about it, Grandma L did something unforgivable to me. I cannot and will not, ever, forgive someone who lies about abuse. Not only that, but she throws my childhood traumas back at me to use as a scapegoat. Whenever anything is to blame, it's me because of the way I grew up. She then uses this sensitive and personal information that I trusted her with and gossips to everyone she knows about it. I have never in my life told Aunt Ju-Ju or Uncle J (or the friends that she blabbed to) what I had been through, but they retort the same comments, "My gut feeling is there are many unresolved issues in Kristin's past that she carries and transfers to your parents" (direct quote from the last email). This is the same comment made time and time again - that every thing is happening because I hate my mom, which at this point isn't even true. I have no feelings towards my mother. I have the same feelings for her as I do my kitchen chair.

It's also interesting that my personal pains are always up for speculation and public amature psychological analyzation, however, Aunt Ju-Ju has been traumatized in a way as well, yet it's never spoken of. Nobody dares to declare that she is the way she is because of what she went through.

After this, I told Bill that we are way beyond "sorry", that when Grandma L asks (if she ever does) what she can do to fix the issue I will have no answer. I don't have the faintest idea how anyone could fix that. An insincere apology (which is what it would be) isn't going to cut it. This is an irreparable relationship with our family. Not only is this something that I cannot forgive, but I never want my children to have a relationship with someone who resorts to those kinds of tactics. What's done is done, she's made her choices and it's time to walk away.

Bill had asked me to still go and I told him that I would while also making sure he knew I was going just to go, that I was going for him. There wasn't any hope for the situation. This agreement was a complete waste of time. He knew where I was coming from. I fully expect nothing to come from one session, where I don't want to cooperate at all because I'm not interested in having them in our lives. I fully expect Grandma L to just sit there and cry, deny all of her actions, not take responsibility for anything and essentially, do the same thing she's been doing for the last 3 years. If there was hope for a different outcome, she wouldn't have ignored the situation for the last six months when talking to Bill on the phone, pretending like nothing was going on. She would have taken a step and called us wanting to talk about how to move forward before making the appointment for counseling. She would have done something of meaning for her grandchildren rather than buying them useless crap for holidays that she missed.

Her asking Bill to schedule a session is just another fake request. I suppose we have 2 weeks to find out. If it even gets that far.


Joanna said...

Oh wow, I feel for you. I know that this situation with them is just so crazy. I can not possibly understand how people can act that way.

I hope that everything goes well, and that this is a meaningful reach out on her part. (but I am with you, and doubt it because of the past)

Good luck!

Alicia Seevers said...

Maybe you should try to prove you are the bigger person and go into the counseling session with an open mind and at least give what you wanted months ago a crack to see how things work with the counselor. That is Bill's Mom and he has made it clear that he wants a relationship with his mother and you need to respect that irregardless of how difficult that may be to accept. If you don't at least try your next post could quite possibly be about Bill lying again about his contact with his family!
I'm not in your situation, but my husband would be devastated if I took all his family's rude and inappropriate comments and told him he had to disown them. I do the best I can with the situation because I love my husband. It gives me anxiety to deal with them, but I do it because I love him!

Kristin said...

I have been proving that I am the bigger person for years. YEARS. I have done EVERYTHING I possibly can; individual sessions, marriage counseling, Lexapro, and ignoring comments/actions just makes it worse.

Bill can have whatever relationship he wants with them, but their toxicity is not going to be a part of our family. He doesn't have to cut her off, but I will.

Charlie said...

You stick to your guns Kristin. From reading your blog over time it is so apparent that you have made every effort possible to have a tolerable relationship, but your MIL has thrown it all back in your face. If it makes you this unhappy you shouldn't have to deal with her and her malicious attitude. You have to do what you feel is best for yourself and your own family. I would do exactly the same in your position.

Bill knows how hard you've tried to make it work and I would hope that even if he is saddened by your decision, he respects it.

erica said...

You're completely right - cut off is the absolute way to go. And I'm totally with you on the abuse thing (also speaking from experience). She is something your little guys do not need to be around.

Despite the fact they're coming into town, I hope you guys have a really great easter anyway and I hope she doesn't give Bill too much grief over anything (or if she does, he tells her to back off!).

Eriness said...

I am so not liking this woman more and more. I would feel the same as you if someone tried to use confidential and hurtful information and throw it in my face. Especially a MIL.

One thing I have thought of is keep your friends close and enemies closer. IS it possible to let her come over and just let her screw herself over as she WILL DO? You know what I mean, let everyone see her in action, and never be alone with her.

I once did that with my MIL and her bfriend and when my hubby heard what he said, he was appalled. We don't have a lot to do with them but I let them do it to themselves.

But perhaps you guys are past that. I am so sorry, this is so sad.

Alicia Seevers said...

Eriness is a good friend of mine and we have similar situations as far as MILs are concerned. I have to agreed with her comment that you need to let MIL screw herself in front of Bill. Trust me it will happen and wouldn't it be even better if the counselor witnessed it.
I know your ILs are hell and I just wish there was a way for something so monumental (despite the fact that alot has happened and Bill hasn't seen fit to deal with it) to happen so that Bill would step up and put them in their rightful place, because until he does that they are going to continually abuse you! I feel for you, take deep breaths and try to get through it and be thankful they don't live in the same city right now cause then it would be even worse!

Kristin said...

If we even make it to counseling, I'm positive that Grandma L will screw herself. She doesn't have it in her to tell the truth and accept responsibility. It's going to be a complete mess of an hour. Seriously.

And I say "if we even make it" because I finally was able to convince Bill to schedule a time with our counselor to talk about this first before we go into the session with the IL's blind. We need to have a plan of action, know where we both stand and expectations of the outcome, etc. It looks like his procrastination is really kicking in because he hasn't scheduled the session, even after asking him if he wanted me to take care of it. He insisted that he would. And hasn't.

On top of that, the session on the 17th with the IL's isn't even scheduled yet. There's confusion about who's supposed to schedule what and the usual craptastic communication that happens with the IL's. I don't think anyone will be able to pull it together and make it happen in time to actually get a session in on the day they want.

Of all the times I've complained about Bill's procrastination and miscommunication, this is one time where I am not! I sincerely hope this plan falls through.

Anyway, I'm way beyond continuing to visit and letting them do/say as they do or confronting them about it (as I did when Grandma L called herself "mommy" to Logan), especially since Bill just stands there and says nothing (like he did that night). And really? Even if Bill did say anything, they wouldn't change. It's who they are. It's time to move on with our lives. Permanently.

Jen said...

Exactly. She won't change. You have the proof of how much better your marriage is now, and I'm sure Bill sees it too. Shawn's parents have been out of our lives for 2 years this June, and it has been the most blissful 2 years of our marriage, and he saw that, and it was all the proof he needed.

I don't give a flying crap if it's his family, blah blah blah...This is MY family....and these are the people I will fight for. And if he's 1/2 a man, it will be the family he fights for too.

Eriness said...

I forgot that she told him to call her mommy. Was it like "come to mommy, whoops I mean Grandma?" Or was it a "call me mommy sweetheart" Not that any is better I just don't remember. This sucks, you are supposed to be getting ready for easter, not having to deal with this shiz...

Kristin said...

She referred to herself as "Mommy" in the comversation - "Oh, Mommy was confused" as she was sitting right next to Logan while they played poker.

Major panic attack today because the session has been scheduled next Thursday afternoon - with a COUNSELOR OF THEIR CHOOSING WHOM WE'VE NEVER MET.

Eriness said...

How can that be? Why not your counselor?