Thursday, April 16, 2009

The showdown

From the moment I woke up this morning, my anxiety was in full swing. I was able to do our morning stuff as usual - make the kids breakfast, hang out and play with dinosaurs, but once I got Carter down for a nap I turned on some cartoons for Logan and had a shower cry. This was just nuts. I had tried my best to think happy thoughts and get my mind off of what was to come. After dropping the kids off at a friends house and picking up Bill, I could feel my arms going numb again the closer we got to the office. We sat in the parking lot for a quick minute to breath and chill before going in. I knew we had done everything we could to get ready and I just had to relax (as much as I could).

We get to the office and have to wait in the waiting room with Grandma L and Aunt Ju-Ju for what seemed like eternity (15 minutes). All three of them, Bill, Grandma L and Aunt Ju-Ju are just chatting away "Hey, how about that weather!" and "Did you hear so and so broke their arm?" and a bunch of random crap as if nothing happened and we weren't about to go into a session and talk about all of the horrid things they've done. I sat there in silence irritated to hell that they were doing this - BUT THIS IS WHAT THEY DO. One day they call you a crazy bitch and the next day they want to go out to lunch.

We finally all sit down in the room with the counselor and start introductions and goals. Grandma L wants to get the family back together again, Aunt Ju-Ju just wants to come to an understanding (like Bill) and they all know that I'm done and there to support Bill. We started to go over the history. She read the copies of the emails that were sent after the Virus Visit and we discussed the difference of poor judgment and character flaws. In this case, either way the in-laws are screwed. If their judgment was so poor that they didn't think exposing a 4 week old newborn to a serious virus was a big deal - I can NEVER trust them to be alone with the kids. If it's a character flaw (which I think it is), same situation. Can't trust them. I really think it's a character flaw because I refuse to believe that two teachers, one who happened to teach child development, are ignorant enough about basic health care precautions. Especially since Grandma L touts herself to be a child expert and is highly irritated and offended that I don't ask her for advice.

While the notes and copies of the emails helped, the counselor said I shouldn't write anymore because it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. I'm not stopping because then I'll be liable to rip someones arm off and shove it up where the sun doesn't shine. I'd rather not go postal.

Grandma L, as predicted, cried and played the victim. Aunt Ju-Ju, as predicted, put all of the blame on me. She kept saying things like, "It's evident she doesn't want to be a part of our family". Well, no kidding! Bill has been bribed to divorce me, there have been many personal attacks, I've put up with all of this crap for 10 years and they think I'd want to stick around and keep taking it?

Bill DID speak up when Grandma L tried to lie and boy, did she try and wiggle her way out of answering. We were talking about the beginning of the history and when the relationships all fell apart - when Grandma L told me I wasn't smart enough to be a Doctor when I was leaving for grad school with Bill. In the session, she turned to me "Well, how many credits did you have? You were struggling with math. I was looking out for you FINANCIALLY (making sure to emphasize this part and repeating it) because we were supporting you (unbeknown to me at the time). I never even said it like that". Then both Bill and I said at the same time, "Yes you did". And then he said, "Mom, I heard you". She sat there, huffed and rolled her eyes.

She was way pissed that I showed up with a manila file full of "evidence". There were many times that she "forgot" about events, like the time after she cut me off and we had the driveway conversation where she wouldn't come into the house. She kept pretending like it never happened and it took every ounce of self control for me to not whip out the printed blog post to read aloud. I wish I had been able to be heard like that, because I think that is a MAJOR part of the issue. I wanted to read so much - I had everything I needed to prove her wrong and all we did was listen to her huff and sniffle. But, really - what did I expect. Again, here's the false hope of her possibly taking responsibility for her actions (the same blind hope that Bill has).

Other than going over a fraction of the issues - we really didn't get anywhere (as to be expected). The session took an hour and a half since there was so much to go over. The counselor was good and began to touch on some important issues - but you know how counseling goes. This stuff takes time. We were given a very good graph handout on "crucial conversations" that is very beneficial for us even outside of the in-law issue. We talked about the boundary issues and why we are having a difficult time. Is it because we all have vastly different views on boundaries or is it because there is mistrust? If it's a difference of opinion, then we can come to a common understanding. If it's mistrust, we may never resolve this because it's a core issue. Considering everything that we've been through, I don't trust them at all.

I was very satisfied with myself during the session because I didn't shed so much as a tear. I was able to stay calm and get my point across and be stern when I needed to be. I tried my best to stifle any emotion in there and did a pretty good job. And I had my stupid notes and preparation to thank for that.

After the session, Grandma L and Aunt Ju-Ju left without saying anything. They actually hid in the building until we left (or were leaving). Talk about a major pout. Bill will most likely see them again before they leave this weekend and I'm sure I'll hear more about them pretending that nothing is wrong.

Overall, this is exactly what I expected. They still refuse to accept any responsibility and they certainly are NOT sorry for anything. Aunt Ju-Ju was quite proud of herself for sending the nasty email over Christmas and Grandma L tried to justify telling me that I wasn't smart enough. Nobody ever said, "Gee - that was wrong and I can see how it hurt you. I'm sorry it happened this way". NOTHING LIKE THAT. It was all, "Kristin has these hidden rules that nobody can figure out". "Kristin doesn't want to be a part of our family". "I'm tired of Kristin's shit". "It's all Kristin's fault this is happening". "We never said/did those things. I don't remember any of that". "That's not what I meant".

We are not going to get anywhere with them. They will NEVER change. And now? Now I'm being suckered into trying to keep working with them. Bill thinks they are going to change. He refuses to give up hope that they will actually be normal. At this point, I feel like he'd rather subject me to their crap to keep giving them another chance, time and time again.


Joanna said...

WOW! I can't believe they didn't even apologize for the emails...The counselor didn't say anything to them about the way they were being is wrong..Your kids your rules...Good grief!

Kristin said...

The counselor did say to them the the email wars have to stop to which they replied, "Oh, they have". And that was it. No, I'm sorry for attacking you, etc. The counselor did seem pretty shocked at what Aunt Ju-Ju (Uncle J) wrote - but other than saying it has to stop, that was as far as it went.

Alicia said...

You did a great job! But the last three sentences of your post say it all. Until Bill decides what they do is wrong and that they aren't are screwed!

Mindseye said...

I don't see how writing is a self fulfilling prophecy. The issues of the past cannot be forgotten because if they are, you are allowing the same issues of the past that you are writing about to disappear. It's like they don't want you to be able to recall the events in order for you to "move on" and wipe the slate clean. This method doesn't work when the crimes are still being committed.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me...

I say keep writing, it's your outlet, it's your sanity. Forgetting history dooms us to repeat it over and over again.

You've turned enough cheeks!