Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by flutterby, Oct 1, 2009.
You've been in my thoughts and I wanted to check in.
Mine too. Hope you're doing a bit better.
Oh, how sweet of you to ask.
I'm doing a little better. I told my son that for Thanksgiving, we were going to hang at where the cooking was. This may sound silly or premature or obvious, but my son was DEMANDING (not in a mean way, but still demanding) that I tell him NOW what our plans were for Thanksgiving. After all, wifey needs to know so they could coordinate with HER side of the family (who she sees every single day). And son wants me to stay an extra night so I can spend the day at his house and see my grandson. And he makes a good point when he says that if I don't take him up on it, I shouldn't complain about not having a relationship with George.
The problem is, he doesn't like to take George to my daughter's house because he says there are shootings around there. This is a huge stretch. She lives in Carpentersville IL near Algonquin and anyone who knows that area realizes there are a few rough spots, but hardly nightly shootings and killings. It's safe. I'd live there myself. So he wants my daughter, who does all the cooking, to cook at his father's house rather than her own and for all of us to gather there.
How can he tell my daughter, who is going to school for pastry arts and cooks very elaborately, not to cook in her own kitchen if that's what she wants to do??? And if she cooks there, hub, the kids and I are going to eat at her house even if son is "afraid" to bring his son there. That got him angry. I guess he wants me to pressure daughter to cook at her dad's house. Maybe she will, then we'll go there. Problem #2:
If we stay for two days in Illinois, that's an extra night to board our three dogs. We are running of fumes for money and I don't know that we can afford a second night. The first night will be hard. So I told him we can't tell him at this time if we can stay that long. Also, this is probably on me, but as much as I'd love to have a relationship with George, I doubt it will be much fun to hang out at son's house with daughter in law around. She hates me and micromanages George's life and certainly won't allow me to take him to the park alone or out of McDonalds without her or even in my car because we have a good but used car seat and she doesn't approve of used things.
I came very close to hospitalization. My therapist WANTED me to sign myself in. I'm still not out of the woods. I don't believe that I can handle being with daughter in law for a day, even to see my grandson. I have accepted that, sad as it makes me feel, I probably won't have a close relationship with this particular grandchild. I can't risk my mental health even for that. I still have two minor children to raise, a husband to think about, and a life to live.
Anyone who thinks I'm not handling this right, please let me know. Be frank. You have all helped me before. I have right now put a distance between myself and this entire situation. Son can be very demanding. He told me: "Oh no no no, you're not going to pull that hard line on me..." He was talking about the days we planned on coming in and where we planned on staying when we got there.
My therapist calls him empathy-challenged. He has never had much empathy. I remember when he was about George's age or a little older. We were at a park and he was on the monkey bars. A little girl climbed under him and he looked down at her, smiled, and deliberately stomped on her hand. The little girl's mother grabbed her daughter and started screaming at me and I was too horrified and heartsick to do anything but apologize to her quietly.
Kids got hurt a lot around my son until I took him to therapy and then it got better. But he never did develop much empathy. He is very arrogant, loud, and certain he is always right. I'm worn out thinking about it. I almost forgot how he can be because I haven't dealt with him on that level for so long.
But since I'm in Wisconsin and he's in Illinois, I'm able to rest and heal and do a bit better. Thank you again for asking. All opinions welcome.
MWM you have always come across as a kind gentle person who goes out of their way to help. I know its difficult, but you have got to stop particpating in the drama that comes with grown children. You are getting yourself worked up and ill over whats going to happen two months from now, the what if, spinning out these various senarios, looking at reasons of things that may or may not happen
My suggestion is to write son an email - Our plans at this moment are we are arriving x date, staying at x place, plan to have dinner with daughter, and are leaving x date. Due to financial constraints are unable to extend our visit. We would love to spend some time with you and your family if you are able to arrange it. Love Mom End of story
And make your hubby your front man if you can not handle the confrontation. That is what my SO's job is now as far as my eldest when she calls, and she never ever calls just to call, there is always a back story about the grandkids and usually involving finances.
It was strange for me as I have never ever deferred to anyone in my life, let alone letting someone handle my kiddos, but its been a good thing. He has no problem whatsoever in commiserations, but can say No, sorry, we can't do whatever or we have these plans that day. For some reason there is no debate or argument if it comes from him. Once he has set the senario, he then hands the phone to me. Am sure she thinks he has "too" much control over me, but I have asked him to do this as previously, as just a phone call and I would start to stress out -she is such a drama queen I always start thinking uh oh, what now.
I think sometimes people just don't like each other. You may never get along with daughter in law, she may never like you no matter how much you give in to her, even if you were to do everything she wanted.
Some people are just oil and vinegar.
It doesn't make it right or wrong, it just is. I think you have said this before but, sometimes families just aren't meant to be around each other.
I know he is your Grandson, but maybe you need to step back and let your Son make the decision to either make you a part of his life or not.
You should not have to have your life and soul destroyed over another person, despite it being a relative.
Maybe in time things will change. Maybe with time your Son once again will want to be a part of your life in a healthy way.
This just all seems so toxic.
My Daughters will never see my Father again. If it were to happen it would be on neutral ground, at a function. But I doubt that will happen.
My Daughters will likely never see my Brother again either.
I don't care what either of them thinks. They are Psychotic and have unchecked Mental Illness. It is too unsafe.
My mother in law came close to having a very horrible relationship with me. But I am a Momma Bear when it comes to my kids.
Over time I let her realize that she wanted and needed those kids more than she needed to fight with me.
She also realized that I was right.
Reading all of the Doctors reports helped a bit. LOL
I also know that as my anger with my mother in law became worse, I also became worse. I started to just not care. I fought with her over dumb things and would not give in to anything.
I would hate for you to start spending time with your Son's family but harbor a hatred towards your daughter in law and start to always be angry no matter what it was.
This is very easy to do and hard to see when it is happening...
I would do as the others say regarding Thanksgiving. Stability is so fragile, you need it for the rest of your family.
When I almost had a breakdown over something regarding my mother in law, that was when I had to be done. I owed it to myself and my family.
hang in there.
Isn't this odd? I was thinking about our own Thankskgiving plans coming up as a.) we have fumes for cash and b.) we are on totally strict new lifestyle that does NOT include the FEAST. So I thought - I think this year I'm going to go dish it out at a homeless shelter.
MY FAMILY WAS HORRIFIED....and I sat there thinking "well if that's what THEY want...you know, a dinner I suppose I could
find the money
make a list
clean the house
plan a meal
do a deep clean on the kitchen and dining room
cheat on my lifestyle eating plan because omg how much will power have I
stay up late the night before baking
get up early that day and cook, cook, clean, wash dishes
wash more dishes,
set out my linens
hook up the tv in the kitchen.....no we didn't buy a converter so that's out this year thanks to sattelite....drat no parade....that's a tradition and now it's out
well crud now I don't even want to cook without the Macy's parade
.....Okay get over it - back to the menu
Take it all out - put it on the table
Get everyone together
Cut the bird
Serve it up
Say the blessing
Light the candles
Bake the rolls
Get them out
and in less than 20 minutes - IT"S OVER.
Then I get to clean up
Wash dishes alone
Put it all away in the tupperware
Pack it in the fridge
Debone the chicken
Take the trash to the back door
And by the time I get all the pans, pots and bowls, baking stuff put up and everything packed in the fridge, wipe down the table and soak my linen ? SOME ding=dong is ready for LEFTOVERS.....and up from THEIR nap....(LIKE THEY DIDN"T HAVE A NAP ALL DAY OR WERE WATCHING THE PARADE yelling MOM MOM come see....)
And then I dunno - I finally get to sit down with a smidge of pie and sugar free cool whip, blow my diet.......and for WHAT?
"Great dinner honey? Great dinner Mom?" Okay we're leaving now....see ya.. Thanks."
And out of all of that - I think.........NOPE Not this year - THIS YEAR It's MOM'S YEAR.....and since I never get help - NEVER have one offer of "I'll wash that you go sit and relax." and it's all on me?
All I can say is - WEight watchers had better make a good turkey dinner because it's what's for dinner -
I'm going to the homeless shelter - and stick to my lifestyle, not doing a dish, have people to chat with.....and when it's done? I'm going home and not feel a bit of remorse about who didn't get what flipping crescent roll.
You do what you want ......but I think you should stop trying to please everyone......and get a Swansons TV turkey dinner for you, the hubby, your daughter and each dog and watch the Parade and call-er good.
If son wants George to see G-ma THEY KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE - YOU ARE THE ELDERLY PEOPLE =Dang.
Empathy challenged sounds about right.
You need to ignore the guilt trip he's trying to serve you and do what is best for YOU. If you are not up to the trip, emotionally or even financially, then SKIP IT. It's NOT worth the aggravation you'd be causing yourself.
He cannot FORCE you to do anything. Only YOU allow people to treat you as they do. It's up to you to set the boundaries and stick to them. If people don't like your decisions, oh well! Then they aren't thinking of what YOU need -- and by gosh, you are his MOTHER. He should be treating you with a little more respect and consideration than he is.
I had to think about this a bit before I responded.
I think you're going to have to draw a hard line with son. With these new revelations (at least for me) into his behavior, I wouldn't be surprised if he's blaming daughter in law for some of the things that actually he is doing and/or saying. He might even be the reason for the way she feels about you - you don't know what he's said to her.
So, the hard line...I think someone mentioned an email (brain is on half power today, sorry):
Dear Son, We are having Thanksgiving Dinner at Daughter's house at X o'clock. We would love to have you there. If this doesn't fit into your schedule, maybe we can get together for a bit earlier or later in the day. However, we can only stay one night. You are welcome to come visit me at any time with advance notice. Love, Mom
The thing is to be direct. Leave nothing open to negotiation. This is what we're doing, this is where we'll be. Period.
I really hope that Daughter doesn't cave in to Son's demands for her to go cook somewhere else. I hope that she doesn't feel like she needs to keep the peace; it's not her responsibility. If Son wants to cook dinner at Dad's, more power to him. But, he doesn't get to decide where Daughter cooks dinner.
I'm saying this with love, but you need to stop giving Son the power to hurt you. A line in the sand must be drawn.
Thanks for the feedback. daughter in law acted mean and nasty to our entire family before this marriage problems happened. It was because of an incident where I asked my daughter, who was babysitting for George at the time, if she'd see if George made eye contact with her because he didn't with me. My daughter, thinking it was funny that I was being a worrywort, told daughter in law I'd said that. Immediately daughter in law flew into a rage that I'd mentioned that to my daughter, although that was ALL I said and I hadn't even said it to her. She called me up yelling at me nonstop for about thirty minutes, saying "I just knew you'd be looking for something!" She doesn't believe in things like autism and thinks my Aspie son is normal. SHe also doesn't think her mother, who has a breathalyzer in her car, is an alcoholic. She was ok to me before this incident. After that she has gone out of her way to be rude, even though I apologized. And you know what? I'm not sure what I apologized for. I guess I hoped it would help the incident blow over, but it never did.
by the way, grandson is now sixteen months and not speaking yet. He has no words at all. Says "dadada" but doesn't associate that with his father. He's way behind in language. He was assessed and she was told he needed speech therapy, but she won't take him. In fact, my son said she wept a river when she heard the assessment, but decided, "He'll get over it."
Son, of course, bowed to her. Of course, I'm not going to ever EVER bring up anything again to anyone. My poor daughter. She never dreamed daughter in law would call me up and yell. As for son, he doesn't badmouth anyone, not even her. He's more of a doormat, like me, at least to his wife now that she is threatening to leave him (he can be very controlling, but now he's terrified she'll leave him so he is doing anything she wants him to do). He, however, did tell daughter in law it was ok to call me and yell at me that one day. As for daughter and cooking, she isn't close to my son at all. She does want to please her father. The reason she doesn't want to cook at her father's place is because my ex can be a little strange...he wants her to do all the cooking at her house and then transport the food to his house. He doesn't want her to cook there. I know, it makes no sense at all.
Naturally daughter doesn't want to cook all day and then have to load the car with tons of food. What daughter decides to do will have nothing to do with son's wishes. So that's one good thing.
You are 100% right, flutter. I have to stop letting son/daughter in law hurt me. I am very sensitive and love my grandson to pieces and it hurts me that I can't really be a grandma to him. But I have to accept it and move on, and I am very grateful for your kind post. I appreciate bluntness.
Have a happy Thanksgiving with your daughter, 2 other kids, let him know what you're doing and that's it. Put yourself, and the rest of your family first, he's had his turn.
Your daughter who's cooking, she's making the plans. Tell him to call her, ask her for the details and she'll let him know what he can bring. If he doesn't want to come, fine, don't be upset- you just plan on relaxing, and having a nice time with your family, that's all. He can visit another day.
Star, you just described my Thanksgiving. All work, I'd be just as happy eating peanut butter and jelly.
I don't know if it means anything...
but I love all of you. You are all such good people. I appreciate each and every one of you so much and only hope I can pass some wisdom along to help when you're down.
This is very good advice. Let the two of them figure out what they want to do. If you have an opinion, you can share it with us if you need to. Don't let them set you up to blame you for "intefering" or whatever it is that they might do. You have been invited, and you will go, and it's up to them to invite each other and to accept invitations (or not).
Egads! I can't believe we are all talking about Thanksgiving worries already! Of course, they've had Christmas stuff in the stores since July...
MWM, it sounds like your daughter in law has made 'denial' a regular way of life! If her mother is that bad, she's probably been doing that for a long, long time. It probably stems from fear but you can't make something go away by pretending it doesn't exist! Surely she knows that her baby is not doing the same things that other babies his age are doing! Even if they don't mean to, it's almost impossible for a young mother not to compare her childs progress with others the same age. She's probably afraid that something is not right with him so rather than face it and deal with it, she denies it. And by refusing to believe that there could be a problem and not getting help for him at an early age, she's doing her child a huge disservice. Hiding her head in the sand is not a very adult way of handling problems but she's probably been doing that all her life and unfortunately you probably can't do anything about it. If she continues to deny that he has problems, she will have a very rude awakeing when he starts school and she's forced to face it!
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