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.