Maybe this is a watercooler post... maybe not. My difficult child-bro's new wife asked if they could get together with us this weekend, but because difficult child-bro is severely allergic to our cats, she suggested that if they came to our house that we just hang outside. Their condo is a small one-bedroom, so that was really not a good option either. So I suggested a beach outing, which she thought was great since both she and difficult child-bro have licenses and enjoy that, and my difficult child 1 loves to fish and the other kids (including husband) love the water, too. We met yesterday afternoon around 4pm. High tide was at 5pm, so it was good timing for surf fishing. difficult child 1 and his uncle (difficult child-bro) got busy scrounging the sand for bait (soft-shell sandcrabs). After about 15 minutes of no luck, I pitched in and caught three for them (yeah, I'm braggin ), so they were soon casting their lines in the water. husband took the job of supervising the other two kids, so sister in law#4 and I sat on the beach to "chat". We talked a little about my difficult child-dad and his current medical issues (he's getting over yet another leg infection because of his merry-go-round with edema) and I decided it was time to share my opinions for why my difficult child-dad is ON the merry-go-round in the first place. sister in law#4 said she'd observed some odd behaviors and attitudes in my dad... his rudeness to my mom, his string of excuses for why he has the health problems he has, his paranoia, to name a few. She said she thought it was just his anxiety. So I took the opportunity to reveal a little of our family history and I essentially told her I think my dad has borderline personality disorder (among other things)... and here's why. At first she wasn't really convinced, but as I offered example after example of his dysfunctional behaviors over the years, her eyes widened and she was nodding her head. I don't know if she really understands the depth of his problems, or even if she knows what Borderline (BPD) entails, but I thought that since she's part of the family now it was time to air a few things. The honeymoon's over babe! Welcome to the FAMILY! At one point in the conversation she said that difficult child-bro had mentioned something about my boys having behavior problems in the past and she wondered how they were doing now. I could tell she didn't really understand what the issues were, so I spelled it out to her: difficult child 1 has ADHD and difficult child 2 has bipolar. She suddenly looked like she swallowed a bug! She asked what medications difficult child 2 was on, and when I told her, she looked even more shocked (apparently in her experience as a P.T. and her education in kineisiology she learned about different psychiatric medications) and suggested point blank that they were very heavy-duty medications for a young kid and wasn't I worried about what they might be doing to his still-maturing brain. At that point, I thought that maybe I'd said too much. But rather than backpedal, I told her that the alternative to those medications was simply impossible to live with... and then I proceeded to describe the manic/hypomanic behaviors we've dealt with over the past few years, including the stint with the auto-immune mediated movement disorder that's currently in remission. Then she starts to ask if and practically suggest that the behavior symptoms and the movement issues were medication related. Ugh. So I just left it that I was confident in the numerous doctors who have seen difficult child 2, and that he's doing much, much better right now than he has in a long time on his current drug cocktail. She got very quiet about the whole topic after that. Sigh. Time will tell if she can deal with us or not, I guess. Oh, and by the way, difficult child 1 was the only one to catch a fish -- a HUGE surf perch. His uncle was shocked, because the sandcrab he used was really too large for most of the surf-living fish. difficult child 1 was pretty jazzed about that!