Monday, May 18, 2009

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink

The last month has been one hellacious mess. It was a battle of wills where nobody wins. We thought we had it all figured out, we thought we were on the same page, but we weren't. We once were on the same team only to find that we were playing a completely different sport.

It all started with the counseling session with the in-laws (of course).

After the session, I had all the confirmation that I needed that we weren't going to get anywhere with Grandma L and Aunt Ju-Ju. I knew this before even going in, but I said I would go and I did - even though I didn't want to. They still believe that they have no part in the family problems and continue to place all of the blame on me. Somehow, the "unresolved issues of my past" are to blame for everything and my "hidden rules" (like being honest, expecting conversation when addressing issues rather than being met with tantrums and nasty emails, and not snatching my children away from me) are too unpredictable for them. Continuing sessions with them is a complete waste of time and until they are ready to accept responsibility for their actions, then we are going to continue being at a stand-still. It takes effort from everyone, not just us, to make these changes effective.

This is where the problem started. I went and didn't want to go back. I was already at the end of my rope when we went into the session with them. It was too little too late. I fulfilled my obligation and we never agreed to a certain amount of sessions. Apparently everyone else had a different idea. I suppose everyone else thought we were going to do this long term. I was going to go insane from the stress. I was essentially being forced to have a relationship with someone I didn't want to speak to. It became a month of hell. Absolute HELL.

For weeks it was an intense tug of war, you have to put up with my family vs I can't deal with them anymore. I was being driven closer and closer to the edge of a nervous breakdown. I was not happy, Bill was not happy, the kids were not happy. Being in our house sucked. Our life sucked for longer than it should have. More tears were shed than there needed to be. The future of our family was in question. Can either one of us be satisfied with the others decision? We seemed to be hopelessly at odds. Trust had been breached. We were not in a good place.

After teetering on the edge of lunacy and pretty much at rock bottom, Bill seemed to finally hear and understand my pleas of getting us back to where we were before the session with the in-laws. Back to the best months of our lives. He canceled the session we were supposed to have with the counselor (without the in-laws), where we were supposed to figure out where we were going - which in reality was going to be another session into working me over to continue long-term sessions with them. After he canceled the session, he told me that Grandma L was in town now and that he didn't want to tell me until things had calmed down in our home. He was going to have lunch with her the next day and was going to tell her that continuing sessions with them isn't going to work for us.

So, he went and he told her. He told her that the direction we were going wasn't as we had hoped and that once she and Aunt Ju-Ju take an introspective look at their responsibility to the situation, we might re-visit the idea of sessions again. But until then, we're done. Not much was said and the conversation turned to "how about that weather!" The next day he met with her again for coffee and she asked if we were going to schedule another session. "Apparently you weren't listening", he told her and again, the conversation changed to superficial topics.

Now we are trying to re-group and get us back to where we were before this ridiculousness. Once we are on the right track - our life together is fabulous. 98% of the hell we go through is because of the in-laws and if we just cut out that cancer in our family, life is a whole lot happier and stress-free.

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