Ah yes, that searing stab to the heart called betrayal

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Farmwife, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. Farmwife

    Farmwife Member

    **long winded post, sorry**

    I am thoroughly ashamed of, dissapointed and disgusted with difficult child. The sad thing is that he has actually gone easy child for the last couple months. I thought that maybe just maybe life with him didn't have to be an ongoing exercise in torture.

    I know it's sick but I really hate hate hate to be happy because everytime I let down my guard something catastrophic happens. I realize that is paranoid thinking and everyone has life troubles but my track record is astounding and pathetic.


    Although difficult child/easy child is now doing well the fall out of some of his previous actions, the awful things he did when he was more difficult child are haunting me, not him...why would he have any residual consequences? :mad:

    As you all may know I live practically in the back yard of husband's large extended family. As it turns out difficult child had a habit of venting about me when he used to have his rages. His venting also included pieces of very personal conversations that he eaves dropped into. difficult child would take information that should stay in the confines of home and spread it to the rest of the extended family.

    What it boils down to is that I did say things in confidence to my husband in the course of life, normal wife venting things that most people have the sense to not spread around to others, you know...secrets. Well difficult child took it upon himself to air all of that to the extended family and particularly emphasized what I said about others. I am not a gossip but I do tell husband thigs that happen here on the farm and things his family did to aggravate me, normal husband and wife chit chat. Well...now each and every member of the extended family knows all of it and have known it for months which may explain a lot of the junk I get around here and why they act differently to me.


    I'm not talking about mean spirited stuff. I'm talking about telling husband that he needed to explain to the rather large person who is his relation to please sit on a particular sturdy chair because they had already broken a few or that it was in fact NOT our pets leaving surprises all over that would make gramps mad it was actually gramps pets etc. Not bad stuff really but when taken out of context and said by an angry trouble making teen and well...you get the picture. I never had a good reputation here and never fully fit in because I am a "tattooed divorce' " who stole a Mommas boy out from under a very controlling Momma hen. The deck was always stacked against me and it just got worse.

    I look like a complete horse patootie in a way I can't possibly clean up and as much as I hate living next to these people and having them be a constant presence in my life I can't move or it would mean divorce or life long misery for husband. This is his childhood home and he built our house by hand. This land is in his blood and in order to love him I have to accept this part of him.:whiteflag:

    Anyway, as usual difficult child now less easy child has zero remorse. He only cares about getting caught but has no compassion gene. He has no idea how many decades of my life are left living next to these people who think I am awful. He has no concept of how much of my life I have sacrificed for him, life I should have spent on myself instead.

    After everything else he has put me through and let me assure you it was a lot, this has to be the most painful. Today I stopped seeing the sweet baby boy I wanted to protect and save. Today something in my heart broke in a way I know I cannot ever retrieve. Today I stopped loving my child. Today I realized he really is just a beast underneath of it all and all the hope was just my wishful thinking. difficult child may be just a teen but he is also a bad person and no amount of my love would have ever changed it. Now in true form he is doing well, will be moved out in a couple years and has left my life in ruins. Ruins not just from this latest incident but from years of his abuse.

    Kind of hoovers looking back at the last decade of my life knowing I threw it all away for someone who treats me like gum beneath their shoe.

    Sorry to ramble, just one of those soul weary kind of days.
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I'm so sorry it has reached that point. I remember getting there with Kanga. I think it is a mix of realism and self-protection.

    Just keep being polite to husband's relatives and I would bet that they would, eventually, move past this. Those comments are way too minor to hold a grudge for decades. Especially once difficult child is out of your house and no longer feeding the fire.
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Aw, Farmwife, I am so sorry. I wish I were there to hug you.

    Have you discussed any of this with-your husband? You need his support now, more than ever. You have been dumped in his world and he can help you out with-his extended family.

    Your story is an old one, you know. So many people marry into extended families that don't really accept them, and then someone carelessly or deliberately betrays them. It sounds like a Charlotte Bronte novel. (And I have to admit, I laughed out loud at the big person breaking the chair. You can't see it from your point of view but it is funny. As is the doggie do-do and whose dog it really belongs to.)

    Does this family not understand AT ALL that there are problems with-difficult child? Do they take everything he says at face value? We've had our kids say all sorts of things that make us want to crawl in a hole, but we usually laugh it off, as does everyone else. In fact, one of difficult child's kindergarten teachers told us at the beginning of the yr, "If you promise to only believe half of what your child tells you about me this yr, I promise to only believe half of what he tells me about you."
    Sounds like your relatives have no sense of humor and are sorely lacking in compassion.

    Here's my idea: Recruit one sympathetic person from husband's family. There's got to be ONE. Set up a mtng with-difficult child, husband and Person. Tell Person that difficult child has been gossiping about them and extended family, and has been gossiping about you as well, as since you know how much it hurts you, it must surely hurt them as well. They are going to respond by saying, "What did he say about me?" and you merely nod sagely and say, "Nothing that important. What is important is that he said it with ill intent and he needs to understand there are consequences. Are you with me on this?"
    Sit down with-difficult child and explain how powerful words can be, that despite the fact he thinks this is all no big deal, the people around him that YOU love and care about have been hurt, and will no longer tolerate it. So every time he says something about someone, no matter what it is, unless the house is on fire and requires a 911 call, he will have to muck out the stalls, or pay a week's allowance, or lose TV, or whatever hits him the hardest.
    If he doesn't understand gossip, he will certainly understand consequences. Period.

    Many hugs. Take a long, warm bath with lots of bubbles. Lock the door. Take the phone off the hook.

    P.S. Read Prince Machiavelli. And David Sedaris. (You wouldn't believe the hysterical stuff he says about his family and makes big $ off it. Of course, I have no idea if they're on speaking terms.)
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    FW....I so completely understand too.

    I am barely on speaking terms with my SO's family either. We also live on family land...lol. When I came into the family, my reputation was that I was some big city-slicker woman who came down from "up north" to steal this southern country bumpkin away from his family. I was also a *gasp* exotic dancer! Now where that came from I will never know because I weighed 190 lbs the first time they saw me...lol. I was also from Richmond VA and I moved to SC....not exactly coming down from NY!

    No one liked me. Ever. Nothing I did was right. Ever.

    I dont care. Ever.
  5. Farmwife

    Farmwife Member

    Thanks you guys for a soft landing.

    The whole thing is insane-o as I like to call it. The problem is that the main sounding board is also the adult difficult child I mentioned not wanting to "adopt" in another thread. This person is sorely in need of an intervention of some sort, as is the rest of the family for that matter. lol difficult child loves the adult difficult child because they are both mentally adolescents so not exactly a great role model for difficult child. Sadly, a lot of more serious and hurtful topics have been covered as well. *sigh* I was trying to down play how really badly I must look in my first post because I feel so bad about it. I am human and I know I said a few choice things like "loser" or what not, so when difficult child spread that it was major and made me look so so bad. The guy IS a loser, the things he does are beyond ridiculous but of course because I have an opinion I share with husband I'll end up being the bad guy.

    If my baby diva does something cute that I tell Great Grandma an aunt in the next state knows within the hour...news travels like wildfire around this farm. I could pass gas and they would all know what I ate the night before.

    I keep joking with husband about how truly messed up his family is if they are worse than mine. I told him that everyone has *those* relatives but most people have the sense not to live next door to them. I have a laundry list of my own dysfunction and it truly is frightening to find a bunch of people who make ME of all people seem sane and well adjusted. It boggles my mind sometimes to just watch them in action. We truly belong on an episode of Jerry Springer.

    I do try to keep a sense of humor over it. When I finally caught the doo doo bandit in the act and could prove it wasn't us (after many months of pretty rude comments from the real bandits owner) I was so happy. Even though it didn't take back the aggravation and offense I sure felt smug to prove I was right to husband. I know he must think I am a big whiney baby when I confide in him and am yelling non sensically about per doo doo several days in a row when he comes home like I am some detective on a stake out but I am always proven right months later and get to do my "told you so " dance. Doesn't amount to much but I get tired of feeling like I am the one who is crazy around here. I am fine, it's the rest of them that are wingnuts.

    I have that Machiavelli book and was just about to read it. I can play nice like the best of them but it gets on my nerves after awhile, the act just feels so fake. I'm not a rear kisser so better deal with being disliked.

    *wondering if I can put "happy pills" in the shared well water?*
  6. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Another one who understands. Sending many hugs.
  7. Farmwife

    Farmwife Member

    Oh my gosh Janet, we could be related through marriage, except for the part where I am the only "new" person and black sheep of this coo coo clan. It is sad and funny that you know EXACTLY what I mean. Farm families are soooooo peculiar about their sons, I swear.

    I keep hoping one of the cousins would marry his girlfriend who is a mess then I could be the good one. : )

    I will NEVER be good enough, EVER. I barely got to join the club as a non voting member when I produced an heir. grrrr

    I am also one of those people pleaser types. Need to get over that for sure.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Just remember that YOU are a person and should be at the very top of your list of people to please!!

    I am sorry the family thing is so stressful and impossible to escape. Make it a point to make friends in town and to do things with them, even if you have to join a club to find them. It will help you keep some perspective. I would likely lose my sanity in your situation. whatevery bits of it I have left, that is. Sorry the extended family is so strange and hard to get along with.
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I feel your pain- for different reasons but I completely understand feeling betrayed then left to pick up the pieces without any remorse, much less help to straighten ANY of it out.

    What a nightmare though for you to have to live with this daily, and it be your husband's family. I can't imagine how many hurt feelings their are- even though I can see that you weren't being mean spirited. I hope they come to put this behind them someday- remember, they aren't perfect either and I'm sure they know that, too.
  10. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    Add another member to the club ! LOL husband and I had serious problems with his "cookoo for cocoapuffs" family for years. The malice they spread about me was horrorfic. I always referred to them as the "Doom and Gloom" family. Everything was always so negative and they always complained how poor they were. husband and I have been together for 15 years so in time things have gotten much better. His dad has passed away and his Mom still complains about how poor she is but spends like she is rich. I distance myself and the kids from all the drama. We do our required visits and we are pleasant and try and make positive conversation. I am sorry farmwife and I hope in time things will improve. Take Care and many, many hugs to you !
  11. WearyWoman

    WearyWoman Guest

    Farmwife - (((hugs))) - I understand your situation and am sending you warm thoughts today. We lived next door to my in-laws for over a decade, and difficult child 1 used to do the types of things you describe, although he was young at the time. Of course with my husband being an only (and very perfect) child who had lived at home until we married, I was doomed from the start. My mother in law said that I told our difficult child to draw nice pictures for Grandpa, but not for her, etc., etc. Not true. difficult child told her I said this or I said that . . . some of which was true and some which was not (in and out of context, of course). None of this helped our relationship any. In the end, we ended up moving away due to husband's job. That has been a lifesaver for me. I know you said that isn't possible in your case, but I still think you can "move" mentally/emotionally by distancing yourself from toxic relationships. EVERY husband and wife have the conversations you describe, and your husband's extended family has them too. They're hypocrites if they think they are any better/different. They may not have difficult children to spill all the details.

    I know you must feel so defeated, worn out and sad inside. I understand the need to let certain dreams for your difficult child go. Remember to take good care of yourself. Maybe as difficult child gets older and has to be responsible for himself, you'll get some much needed time to give back to yourself - hobbies and interests, new friendships and activities, vacations, baking, classes, whatever. You deserve to have some time to focus on your needs, and maybe that time isn't so far off. I know others here have mentioned having healthy boundaries from their own difficult children, and I sense that is the case for you too. Your difficult child has withdrawn much more from the relationship than he has invested. I hope that in time, with maturity and some real-life responsibility for his own actions, he'll change. But if he doesn't, you still need to be alright, and I think that will happen for you if you're able to nurture your own needs.

    Sorry you're having a rough time.
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    OH, Janet, LOL!!!
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I have that Machiavelli book and was just about to read it. I can play nice like the best of them but it gets on my nerves after awhile, the act just feels so fake. I'm not a rear kisser so better deal with being disliked.

    *wondering if I can put "happy pills" in the shared well water?*

    I like the way you think. :)

    I can see that you are trying to play nice and it does get old. Glad you have the Machiavelli book in case you need it again. If it's big enough, you can always use it to throw at your difficult child's head. ;)

    Many hugs. Susie is right--YOU are a person, too!
  14. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry-this has to be such a difficult situation. I hope, in time, things will improve. Hugs!
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    This too will pass - although it is likely to take some time.

    If they can't see that difficult child is a tale teller one way (and therefore is likely to be telling tales all around) and if they take it all personally when really, there are more important things in life, then all you can do is move on. BUT - never, ever again should you have those pillow talk conversations in earshot of anybody else. Not even in front of a baby. It's a vital rule especially when you live in other people's pockets and you feel hemmed in and constricted.

    Over the years there have been times when husband or I felt overwhelmed or angry with his family (or he got angry with mine). We needed sometimes to take a drive so we could talk in private. My problem in the past has been husband himself telling stuff to his family from those conversations; he thought he could fix a problem, or he just got interrogated and simply wasn't used to keeping stumm without divulging that he had a secret he wasn't sharing. He's too honest and is (was) just not skilled enough at keeping secrets from people who were too accustomed to knowing absolutely everything. It caused a lot of headaches at times. One time I was going into hospital for a D&C, I'd been through so much trauma with difficult child 3's birth that I knew I should never have any more kids. husband had intended getting a vasectomy but we were running out of time to organise it. My in-laws found out our intentions and gave us heaps - it was wrong to get sterilised, either of us. I should go on the Pill, they said, but I already had problems with the Pill and frankly, it wasn't certain enough. Whatever we were considering, husband's parents would get out of him. They were too good at questioning hi and he had no defences. Finally he had to outright lie to them; we had decided against sterilisation, we told them. But the doctor had said I needed a D&C. That was true, but I had also asked the doctor to do my tubes while he was in there. We didn't tell my in-laws this and it was a huge struggle to keep it from them. I really felt uncomfortable about them knowing even about the D&C, this amount of detail about my innards has always felt too personal.
    The day of the procedure - my in-laws kindly took me to the hospital. I really wished they wouldn't but we couldn't stop them. So the nurse came in to discuss the intended procedures and I had to say to the nurse, "Can we do this later?"
    My mother-in-law said, "It's OK, we're family. Plus I used to be a nurse, it's OK."
    The nurse began to explain the procedure in front of them, I said, "It's OK, I have already been told what to expect."
    Nurse left. I actually did not know what was intended in detail for me by the doctor, but I couldn't take the chance that the nurse would spill the beans. Very awkward.
    I tried to talk to the nurse after my in-laws left, but there had been a shift change, nobody was available. The hospital had a timing and procedure, I had no way of finding out what I needed to know, in the narrow window when my in-laws weren't with me.

    So I went through the D&C plus tubal ligation, without knowing what to expect. It was rough. I had not expected the pain, I had not been prepared for a lot of other stuff. Plus difficult child 3 was with me, he was less than a year old and still breast-fed. I was in bad shape.

    I was glad of the help from my in-laws, have been often, but their disapproval in some strange areas have been a huge problem for us at times. They never accepted or understood the PTSD, for example, so again we had to keep this from them as well as keep from them that I had been seeing a psychiatrist (or later, a psychologist) - they were vehemently against this and also disbelieving in any kind of mental trauma. It was all wrapped up in this hospital visit, for which I really was not mentally prepared. It fed back into the PTSD and caused a lot more trouble. About this time I was dumping my psychiatrist because he really wasn't helping. He would sit there and not feed back, expecting me to just talk. But I needed someone to challenge me, to get me thinking.

    Anyway, this is just an example. father in law died a couple of years later and we took on an even closer role with mother in law. Eventually she moved to live very near us and is increasingly dependent on us as she gets more frail. I drive her to a lot of places, take her shopping and we're sharing dinner 6 nights out of 7. In the early days of our relationship, mother in law didn't want me around. I was an interloper stealing her son. I was the first serious involvement with any of her kids and it scared her, I think. I am a fairly passive person and put up rather than argued, but it was very difficult. Over the years we have been in their pockets a lot and it has been very stressful at times. I've tended to put up and shut up. Politically we are poles apart. There have been times when I've had mother in law saying things in the car tat I find really objectionable. Times when sis-in-law has been visiting and I hear both of them discussing, say, politics with broad assumptions which try to involve me in agreeing with them. I've had to then say, "I don't agree with your politics but I don't want to argue about it." I'm the driver, I should be able to drive without this sort of aggravation, but I also know that leopards don't change their spots easily, so I stay away from political discussion. mother in law can at times be provocative, especially if she is feeling cheesed off at life. She then prods and pokes at other people almost trying to start an argument, because she's feeling cranky and wants a reason. I deliberately don't engage. Call me a sadist. But I won't reward bad behaviour. Instead, I stay calm and if I can, I will change the subject. I have worked hard to get on with mother in law. I do it for husband but as she has improved, it is a lot easier for me to choose to spend time with her. Over time, mother in law has improved a great deal. We are actually now very close (I never would have thought it possible) but I constantly self-censor. Constantly. Ad I bite my tongue a lot. Sometimes it feels almost bitten in half. Plus we never discuss mother in law in front of difficult child 3 (or any other kids) unless it's stuff we want them to know. The same goes for any other people.

    My rule of thumb now is - always assume that what you say will get out. Even if all you're doing is talking to one person, never fully trust that person to shut up about it. However, if the person you're talking to would be similarly damaged if it comes out, your trust of them n this can increase. But always be aware of who is in earshot, because they have far less investment in your confidentiality. Plus children especially are sensitive to vibes of hostility, of conflict and anything possibly negative. That's why you should never argue in earshot of the kids.

    Hugs to you, Farmwife.

    Many years ago when I was a kid, I was often in earshot of my sister W complaining about her fiance and his family, and their obstruction of their wedding plans. From the way W was talking, I wondered why she was wanting to marry the guy. She was quite venomous. At the time there was a comic of a very mischievous girl who told the truth even when she should have said nothing. It was funny (to my eyes) so I behaved like that little girl and at a family barbecue, when W and fiance plus W's BFF (her maid of honour) were all sitting together, I began talking in detail. I dropped W right in it. When W began to say, "You shouldn't repeat what you only half hear; you must have come into the room halfway through," I said, "No, I was there the whole time. You also said, '...'" and I went into even longer detail.

    W tore strips off me the next day. I was 13, I should have known better. She made it clear that it was NOT funny, not at all. I don't remember being too upset, although it did teach me that no, it's not funny to do that. But I think also I must have done this to test her relationship, to make her put up or shut up about my current brother in law, before the wedding. She was put in a position where she had to really think about what she wanted to do, and she chose to continue with the wedding. She probably never had any doubts, although I remember someone telling me that she was getting cold feet a few days before the wedding and that our mother told her, "You can always call it off. It is never too late. But YOU have to make a choice now, to go forward or to back out. Whatever choice you make, stick with it. Just don't continue with it because you feel you have no choice. You always have choice. Own it."

    Overall, I think my mother's approach was more mature than mine.

    W is still married to the guy, over 40 years later. She still says far too much in front of people who shouldn't be involved (such as kids) and vents inappropriately. But it's her life.

  16. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Farmwife, you're definitely not alone.

    Occasionally, husband still calls me S-H as a pet name. It stands for "shameless hussy", which husband's family and our neighbours labelled me when we first got together.
  17. tawnya

    tawnya New Member

    I've been with husband for 16 years, and I am still a "friend of the family". And, yeah, we live on a farm. I try and let it roll off my back, and usually I do pretty good, but sometimes it "puts an itch in my crawl". LOL

    mother in law is one of the nastiest people I have ever met.

    ((HUGS)) from one that has been there and still doing it.
  18. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Not even in front of a baby.

    In fact, my little sister was badmouthing her M-I-L to her newborn baby, in a baby voice, "Don't woowy about dat mean owe gwandma, she won't hurt you, just because she's cwazy ..."
    M-I-L was in the livingroom ... listening to the other end of the baby monitor!
  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member


  20. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Omgosh....I would have died!

    Now my grands can tell some whoppers to whomever they are with at the time. My theory is to never believe anything a preschooler says in its entirety. Keyana has been playing her momma and other grandma for the last week or so saying her leg hurts. They called me asking if she fell at dance class last Monday. Now if they would think about it, after she returned home she was jumping on her trampoline with her older brother that evening! Supposedly all last week she was complaining her leg hurt so badly they took her for an xray but nothing showed. I have no doubt nothing showed because she only has a hurt leg because she wants to be like her Grandma!!! Grandma has a hurt everything...lmao! She is perfectly fine here with us. Running, jumping, dancing, etc. No complaints.

    I also have a problem with not being able to tell anyone else in my family anything about anyone else. Like if I tell one of the kids something about one of the other kids, they will tell them in a red hot second! Or even if I tell Tony something about one of them and ask him to keep it quiet...he cant manage it. Ticks me off no end.