Am I Horrible?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Stepmil called about xmas arrangements today. I finally admitted why I do not want to go to their house for xmas. Or any other time really.

    I admire stepmil, think she is a really nice person. father in law is okay. husband's sister (she has told me that she is NOT my sister-in-law and her husband is NOT my brother in law, they are husband's sister and his brother in law according to her, and her son is husband's nephew and not mine) and her husband are, I guess, okay to see once or twice a year.

    I have nothing in common with them. I do not EVER feel welcome or like part of the family at their home. I don't think my husband does either. He NEVER calls them. They call maybe 2 or 3 times a year. We only live an hour or so apart. Back when we got married I tried really hard to find common ground with them. NOTHING was reciprocated. Not a single invitation that was not Wiz birthday or xmas was EVER accepted and many of the bdays were cancelled.

    When I am there, I don't feel as if I am. I don't like sports. Esp don't like football. It is about the only topic of discussion other than people I don't know and they have specifically told me they don't want me to meet and won't invite me to be there if other relatives are there.

    I usually say I am sick when time comes to go. I don't voice ANY of this to husband or the kids. I guess the only good thing about more than 20 migraine days a month is an easy excuse. I feel awful using it if I don't have one but I really don't EVER want to go see them.

    It is so dang HARD to go and feel so totally unwelcome. The ONLY real option now that I cannot stand long enough to help cook or clean with-o making myself really hurt for a week or more is to sit there and try not to look bored or vacant. My husband's sister barely speaks to me and I have NEVER been less than really nice and genuine with her. In over 20 years of marriage she has had ONE conversation with me that was not because other people were there and expected her to say something to me. When I do try to enter ANY conversation, either she or mother in law or father in law brings up people I have not met and things they have done without me.

    Is it totally horrible to just tell husband that I have a migraine? I don't want to tell him I simply have zero interest in EVER seeing them again. Our gift to stepmil is ALWAYS something I cross stitch, usually a nativity because she loves them. I know she truly treasures them, but you would NOT know it if you ever saw us together. She smiles and is pleasant the same as she is to anyone she would meet on the street, but she never really includes me the way she does husband's sister. I don't know what I ever did to these people, and husband is really hurt by the way they keep him at arm's length but stepMIL's family is ALWAYS treated like family and so is husband's sister and her family. I don't know if it is just because of something about me, or about husband, but I really loathe going to see them. Really and truly I feel like an interloper, and that is just hard after 20+ years of trying my hardest to forge some sort of relationship with them. I. Give. Up. Is that awful?

    Should I just go no matter what or say I am sick even if I am not? Is it awful that after so many years of trying I just don't see the point? If they needed/need help or care, I will do what I can for father in law and stepMIL because it would mean the world to husband, but otherwise, I really don't care if I see them or not. I won't, under ANY circumstance, help husband's mother with anything. I drew that line decades ago when she made her ugly feelings toward me and the kids very clear.
     
  2. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    No you're not horrible. Who did you finally admit your feelings to and what did they say in return?

    At this point, after 20 years, maybe it's time to be honest with all of them. I would go, so this way I can see them face to face, pull them into a private room (and I really don't care if it's Christmas or not) and basically demand to know , why after all these years, they treat you this way? Look them in the eye. Don't you think it's time? Be prepared for not so nice answers and if they mention you things you might have done to upset them, apologize for it or don't. Say we are going to talk about this and have closure one way or the other. If you don't want to do that, at least do it by phone. It's time to clear the air this holiday season so this way you don't have to feel like this every time the holidays roll around. Personally, I think these things are done better face to face, if your family is not aggressive or violent of course. Time to have a come to Jesus moment with these people.
     
  3. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    maybe keeping all this stuff inside is what is causing you so many migraines.
     
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Susie, it doesn't matter why they do what they do. Talking it out won't clear it up. It will just make you the scapegoat.

    There is never a good reason for people to be mean to somebody and many people are just mean...they don't even know why. Long ago I quit going to affairs that made me uncomfortable. You are a good person with no reason to walk into the lion's den. There is no reason to go if you are treated badly. I have learned the long, hard way that, no matter what, it is unlikely to change. I'm not one for large confrontations with difficult children. It usually ends up a finger pointing, angry event with nothing resolved.

    I find it easier to just hang around with those who obviously care for me than to try to make those who don't come to that "aha" moment. To date, that has never happened, especially large groups can be like a pack of wolves.

    GuideMe, has this ever worked for you? I have tried it over and over again and all it ever did was make me feel like dirt under their feet and nobody was ever nicer for long because of it. Has it made your abusers be nice to you? Have they ever had a good or even consistent reason for treating you badly and have they changed? Just curious. I don't think you can change how people think about you or me, even if they are laughingly wrong.

    If I have to have confrontations with people for them to be nice to me, in my opinion, I'd rather go elsewhere.

    Susie, my son's in-laws did this to him the entire time he was married to his ex. They either ignored him or threw barbs at him. Finally he just decided not to go to family affairs with in-laws. His wife was really angry, but he wasn't telling her not to go and he wasn't withholding their son. He would spent the time in peace at home and do the things he liked to do without feeling uncomfortable, then they'd have a quiet holiday at home afterwards. You are not awful. You make sense. Now 37 is not perfect, but he did nothing to them. He is very quiet with people he is uncomfortable around and unable/unwilling to try to defend himself against her huge family.

    I don't think you are horrible. I think you make sense. Why deal with toxic people? If you have a nice husband, he will understand. If not, perhaps he is part of the problem or doesn't see it. Tell him and do what you have to do. You are all adults here. Twenty years is long enough to endure it in my opinion. You tried. They deliberately won't. Oh, well.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2014
  5. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    MWM, I still think people who are in susie's position should at least try. To answer your question, yes, it has worked for me the very few times that I have done it, are you kidding me? Of course! And I plan to do it more in the future, because it was more for me than it was for them. I think things should at least be talked about if they never have been addressed before, especially after 20 years. It's not about changing them, changing how they feel or changing how they treat you (because most likely, that won't change ). It's about just airing it out in the open once and for all. Telling them how SHE feels about the situation. Getting it off of her chest. I think she should do it, heck ya! And if in the rare chance it changes the relationship for the better, which could happen, then it's just the cherry on top of the cake. It should be a goal to make peace with the other party and if you can't, then at least you tried. At least you got it off your chest. You just have to be prepared for what they might tell you and you might not like it. You have to be willing to accept how they feel about you, especially if it's negative. You have to be prepared for whatever may come out of it (except for violence. if that is even a remote possibility, then keep your distance for your own protection. This is not worth getting hurt or going to jail over and karma will eventually get them in the end) I have no problem anymore accepting the negative remarks or outcomes , because the most important thing to me more than anything else is that at least I got to say HOW I FEEL. That is the important thing. After I hear their take on things and if they are not willing to budge , I tell them how I feel and my take on things and say "sorry you see it your way but I see it my way and we will just have to agree to disagree, but at least we know where we stand now and I appreciate you talking to me and being honest with me" All of this can be handled in a mature and respectable way, even if you don't like each other and never wind up being friends. At a certain point, the truth has to come out on both parts. The truth , in a very mature and respectable way, has to be spoken eventually. Can't live like this forever.

    If she does decide to do it, then the best part about it is, she wouldn't have to lie or make excuses anymore which living that way can cause great stress like it is now for her. I know, I been there. They already treat her badly, what else does she have to lose at this point? For the VERY few times that I have done it, it made me feel so much better, the problem is, it's ONLY been a few times. The relief of getting things of your chest, confronting issues (not running away from them) and talking about things (so long as you have realistic expectations) knowing where you and the other party stands, is compared to none. You can't pay for a feeling like that. Having that feeling can change your life. In my opinion, it's very therapeutic.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2014
  6. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    And there is one thing I do agree with you on MWM, and that is, she should absolutely not be feel made to go. I totally agree with you on that. I was just offering an idea because the outcome of what I suggested, 99% of the time feels so good for me. It really is a great feeling. However, what you said is a real close runner up. I stopped going to the big family affairs long ago and while I use to feel guilty for it sometimes, I do not anymore for the exact reasons you stated and I'm glad you state those reasons because it just reinforces how I feel/felt about the situations and how in the end, I did make the right choice for me. However, if we are being totally honest here, there are times where I wished I confronted some of my family members, stood up for myself, that's the only thing I regret and it's a major regret that I have. If I had just said something, anything, I wouldn't be so angry today. I truly, truly regret not confronting some of my family members. And when I say confronting, that could mean standing up for myself or just talking to them about an issue, even if the outcome did not go my way. I hate that I felt so terrified of what they might say if I addressed the issue with them. I hated feeling terrified of them rejecting my feelings, calling me stupid ,crazy, getting angry at me or just laughing at me. I was so scared of all of that and I realize now, now, that I should never have been so afraid. I put them up on such a high pedestal and it was ridiculous. Now I'm like, so what if they responded in all those ways???? Why was I so afraid of what they thought??? They are no better than me, and in the end , even if I was outcasted from saying how I felt, guess what, I'm in that position today ANYWAY BUT THE KICKER IS, I NEVER GOT TO SAY HOW I FELT! I wounded up in the same position that I was deathly afraid of no matter what I did! It is a terrible, terrible feeling to have to live with right now, today as we speak. They look down on me or feel negatively about me anyway, so I really had NOTHING to lose back then. It's souly the reason why I have so much anger. I also feel that maybe, just maybe, if I talked it out with SOME of my family members, things could have been squashed and I could have actually had a good relationship with some of them. I was just so afraid to speak back then, again, out of fear.

    But guess what? I plan very soon, to address as many of them as I possibly can. It's not over yet. I already confronted two of them and I can not wait to address the rest. I am just waiting for the right time, I will redeem myself.
     
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I see your point.

    My problem with that is I did that with my family and they turned around my words on me. And it made matters even worse.

    I guess it's up to Susie if she wants to try. For me, I'm done trying. I tend to get too emotional when I do get around people who I feel are abusing me and it doesn't make me feel better to air it out. And it has never changed anything. Basically, I'm not an angry person who feels the need to tell off my DNA. I'd rather just let them go as I don't like who they are and how they treat me. The big confrontations...they are not for me.One-on-one maybe, if the person was willing to listen. In my case, that didn't go well and nobody will really willing to listen or try harder.

    But Susie may feel you are right.

    by the way, good morning ;) You beat me again...lol.
     
  8. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    Well, if it is going to make matters worse for you, than don't bother doing it. We all have different situations and any advice we have and give must be used with caution by the recipient. I just figured , in her situation, she don't need these people, she don't depend on them for anything, what is the worse that could happen that isn't already happening right now? Are they going to stop talking to her? Think bad about her? Talk about about her? Oh wow, they are already doing that to her now. What could be worse than what they are doing to her right now? I see confronting the issue, in this situation, can only bring positive for Susie. However, I could see if it were a different situation, such as, the issue you have with someone is someone you depend on or could literally make your life worse and more miserable than it is now, , then I would have a different response. Don't know what it would be, but it would be different. It would be the response you are having now most likely.

    As I said, it's not about telling them off. I never said that. It could be just talking about it, coming to terms, bringing closure, clearing the air, etc. etc. I think I made that pretty clear in my posts because in the end, I do want to have a good relationship with everyone. Who doesn't? However, if that doesn't happen, at least you got to say how you feel and you don't have to be "fake" anymore. Good can come out of addressing an issue with someone. Me and my sis in law had it out two months ago, and you know what? We are the better for it. We don't talk anymore, but it feels good we don't have to be fake with each other anymore. When we are around the family, she is nice to me and I am nice to her for the kids sake and we both understand that. She proved that to me on Thanksgiving because that's the first time we saw each other since the argument. I don't have to have the headache of pretending to be friends with her and nor she with me. We dont like each other right now, that's it. If it changes in the future, great, if it doesn't , I'm ok with that too. It's been such a RELIEF for me for us to have be honest with each other. We had a pretty nasty argument, but we stopped it before it got worse and we respected each other at the end of it even though we totally disagreed with each other. It didn't go beyond what it needed to go. No one else got dragged into it. No one was out for blood at the end of it. It was the perfect argument , lol.

    Haha, I don't think I beat you. I think my sleeping schedule has just been thrown off again. I was doing good for a while, but as usual, it changes every few weeks. Now I'm up all night and sleeping during the day. Pretty soon, I will be moving. Yikes.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2014
  9. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    and it's not about being right. Most people never agree with me because my opinions are usually not popular ones. I'm use to it. Just trying to help in any way I can, I don't like to see people suffering like this because I know how it feels.
     
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    WEll, if it's one-one sometimes, yes, it can make things better. If you are confronting a group...not so sure. And I don't care if everyone likes me. To me, tolerating each other isn't having a good relationship, but if you have to see her and it helped the kids, that's GREAT. It would never have been that way for me. I didn't depend on my family at all, for anything, starting at eighteen, but they are a pretty vicious group and it would not have made anything better, just more fodder for gossip.

    I don't try to take popular views, but I also keep my unpopular views, say, politically to myself. I don't feel everyone needs to know everything I feel. If a bunch of people are sitting around the dinner table talking about something I disagree with, unless I know it will be friendly banter, I just finish dinner and let it go. I don't like confrontation and I doubt I've ever changed anyone's mind about anything...lol.

    I just really enjoy a peaceful, tranquil life and don't like to fight losing battles. It is true that sometimes one-one you can get some understanding. A whole group of in laws? I don't know. I'd stay home and let it go. Most likely, they will form a pack and it could make it awkward for her husband.

    So...that's JMO :)

    Wow, time for that first cuppa coffee. It's always the best one :)
     
  11. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    Good for you.
    I stoppped doing things I didn't want to do a long time ago.
    I wouldn't bother wasting any energy confronting them.
    Just don't go to their house.
    Simple.
     
  12. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    I so agree with you. As I said, just for the kids. I love my niece and nephews so much. If it wasn't for them, we would have zero relationship and that's including my brother. That's sad, really, really sad.... but true and by my choice :). As long as I get to see the kids in a nice manner, that's all that matters. However, what difficult child and gfgbro put me through this past Thanksgiving, I have been thinking very heavily on whether or not to go over there for Christmas, I'm so torn because of the kids. I know they love me and always ask where I am. Heartbreaking. And I know you will call me a glutton for punishment for even considering it. When it comes to my niece and nephews, I just have such a special bond with them. Even though they are kids right now, I feel they are the only ones in my family who will want to associate with me and I don't want to risk losing that. I have tolerated so much for them, but they are worth it. They bring me joy (the middle child, he can be a handful and his affections for me can definitely be questioned, but the older one and the youngest one, I have no question in my mind). So I am investing in them with the far future in mind and of course, the here and now :)

    Why is it we say this , but yet we waste so much energy not confronting them? Look what's happening to Susie right now as we speak. I'm sure she thought of just not going before, obviously, it's not working. We waste so much energy living in misery even when we don't talk to them or bother with them. Really, why is everyone now a days so against addressing or confronting the issue with someone? We give up so easily on each other, and sometimes for the most minor of offenses. What if something can actually be resolved and we throw away that opportunity just because we "don't want to waste any time or effort on someone"? They say or do something to offend us, then out comes the saw to cut the cord right in half. Really? We say that to quickly about any and every little thing now a days. Something to think about. Food for thought that's all :)
     
  13. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    and if not for the sake of reconciliation, then the sake for having get it off your chest is reason enough to do it alone because obviously, this is bothering her and have been bothering her for a long time.
     
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    GM, because some of us have no desire to have relationships with certain people so why try to fix what you don't care about?

    I also don't feel confronting people gets anything good off your chest. It may work for you, but it doesn't for me. I'd rather not do it and it feels just fine not doing it. Depends on the person. Why do they have to know how we feel? They don't care and unless you DO get some sort of great relief and move on from there, I don't see the point.

    It take a while to detach. Susie may yet decide not to go and I doubt she'd be worse off for it.
     
  15. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    Hey, that's great. No sweat off of my back. Just giving advice. I'm just trying to help. She can do with it what she wants with my advice and if it doesn't suit her, maybe it will suit someone else in the future who might come across this very thread one day who has the same problem.

    I also just realized my very first reply to this post should have included what my second and third comments said. I should have taken the time to explain everything in my first comment. I should not have just started out with that comment and only that one. I now understand the reaction you had to it MWM. I really do and anyone for that matter. That was my bad. However, I know you still would have disagreed with me, because you , you did disagree with me latter comments as well, lol. Oh well. :)
     
  16. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    I don't waste any energy in not confronting people.

    My life's already full enough with people who matter.
     
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Guide Me, if it works for you, I say do it. I'm just with LucyJ on this one. I am not going to waste precious time in confrontations with people I don't care about. But you are free to do it and it's not a bad thing. I just think it creates unnecessary drama and since I don't like them anyway, pffffffffffffft :)
     
  18. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    That's a nice idea. I love doing cross stitch :)
     
  19. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    "I don't waste any energy in not confronting people."

    Well this thread is about Susie, but good to know that you don't waste any energy on worrying about people like Susie has to worry about, and obviously is worried about or else she wouldn't have written this

    Well, what can I say, that's wonderful for you. High Five :)

    No one said you had to MWM, lol. I was answering this for Susie. :)
     
  20. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I can so relate to this. I have a sis-in-law that has never liked me. The day my husband and I got married, after the reception she came up to my husband, her brother, and while sobbing uncontrollably hugged him and kept saying "I'm losing my brother". I found this very odd as did my husband.
    For many years, every other year husband and I would travel 1100 miles to spend Christmas with his family. When this sis-in-law would come over to my husband parents house she would of course greet him with a big hug and proceed to look right through me.
    My husband and my mom-in-law noticed this behavior and wanted to confront her about it. I told them not to bother, for whatever reason she did not like me and confronting her about would only add fuel to the fire. I told them that I was ok with her not liking me as I do not require any kind of approval from her. 12 years ago husband and I moved back here because my in-laws were getting older and needing more help so I now have to deal with her on a more regular basis. She still doesn't like me and I still don't care. When we have get together's I just tolerate her. One thing I do is I go out of my way to say hi and engage in some small talk. She already doesn't like me for whatever reason but I refuse to "give" her a reason by acting the same way she does to me.
    Only you can decide if confronting them will have any benefit. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't. If you choose to and it doesn't go well at least you tried.
    There are always going to be people in our lives that don't like us and that's ok, there are some people I don't like but even the people I don't like I still treat them as I would want to be treated.
    Wishing you all the best in dealing with this.
     
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