not looking forward to upcoming drama

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by upallnight, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    If I can just get through these next 2 days, everything will be okay. My brother in law and sister in law are coming over on Christmas for dinner. I am always very generous to them, all year round. My sister in law is a new addition to the family and she always brings her brother and his latest girlfriend and some girlfriend's kids, I am happy they come along. I always - 3 years now- buy them all gifts. They never give my kids anything. Who cares? I'm not about that. They have a 3 year old and a 23 year old. They say they don't have money but they make the same as us. by the way a conversation took place recently, sister in law was getting her pedicure so she wasn't there.

    The conversation was brother in law telling us, no gifts! Great! I respect that and won't give gifts. Now husband said, "Too late! You are all getting gifts!" I said I will return them, I wouldn't want anyone to be uncomfortable. brother in law said, "Oh no, we won't be uncomfortable, you go right ahead and give us gifts." not in those exact words. This is not going to be another year of this, when I know she gives gifts to her family, I overheard sister in law have a conversation with her brother last year about splitting the cost of a gift for their aunt.

    I am all for giving kids gifts and would feel so bad for returning anything going to the little girl. So I gave them to my school, going to needy families.

    The reason I'm so angry is because my brother died and NONE of these in-laws called, sent a card or expressed any condolences to me. I am so good to them!! I'm also really sad about my brother, and am not feeling Christmas. husband is going to be mad for donating the toys, but I bought them, and I want to give them to someone who will appreciate them, a stranger is better then them. They did say no gifts, but they want them and they also know husband is a good person and will do it anyway, hooray for them.

    Now I am off to the supermarket so I can make the Christmas feast. I am not going to let it bother me, I just had to get it out there. 3 years of kindness going one way is enough, they showed me their true colors and I'll go with that.

    As soon as I come back from the market I'm opening a bottle of wine. Care to join me?
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there, to a kind and generous soul.

    I'm sorry that your relatives didn't even call you about the death of your beloved brother...that's really callous, but it says TONS about who they are. There are some people you can treat really well, but they just take and take and never give and if you want to keep giving, you have to be ok knowing they will never appreciate it or give it back. I've been there!! I have decided I'm done with it, but I was there many times. It is very sweet of you to open your door to them and cook up a feast that they will enjoy. That's more than enough. Not that it matters, but I wish we had a kind and generous sister in law like you...our family would appreciate it with all we have and give back. But not everyone has the ability to be thankful for what they have.

    Have a wonderful holiday. Don't let them ruin it for you. I'm so sorry about the loss of your brother. That tends to be hard during the holiday season. Sending gentle hugs.
  3. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I had thought of you yesterday, and knew you would be missing your brother. Huge hugs and I hope you can recall some wonderful memories shared with your brother through the holidays.

    I think its very sad that your in laws did not express their sympathy for your loss. Unfortunately, some people lack couth (spelled wrong I'm sure). Even when someone doesn't know what to say, which is common, even a card signed by all would have been in order and I can imagine it hurt a lot to not have them reach out in some way to you.

    I do believe that gifts are given without expectation of reciprocation. At the same time, when this occurs year in and year out, it is perfectly acceptable to opt out of gift giving. It is wonderful and kind and giving to host a family gathering and there is no small work that goes into hosting holiday events and meals. That in itself is a gift. I am sure that whomever benefits from the donation of your gifts will be delighted and appreciative. That is a generous thing to do. I hope it left you with a good feeling from giving.

    I know that when a person loses someone so close such as a sibling it is extra difficult during holidays, especially the first holidays without your loved one. I hope that you can find some quiet moments of joy and peace this season, and have a few quiet smiles when memories come to mind of special times with your brother.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry that you have to deal with this. I have zero idea why some people are this way over gifts. I have several relatives I won't give gifts to, and other than stepmil I really don't give a dang what we give to those on husband's side of the family. I cross stitch something for stepmil each year because she gets so very much pleasure out of them. I enjoy giving these to her and she truly cherishes them.

    I spent YEARS wondering what was wrong with me that many relatives and even my own brother couldn't take any time or invest any effort into finding ANYTHING I might enjoy. Several people who think that they are very good to me cannot even bother to make sure that a gift bought at a thrift store has all the pieces needed for basic functioning. My bro and my mom's bff both routinely give things that they KNOW that I am allergic to and get violently sick from. I am pretty sure my bro does it on purpose so he can whine to Mommy that I don't appreciate his carefully chosen gifts and won''t use them or keep them. It is truly bizarre.

    A few years ago I decided that these people didn't contribute in any positive way to my life so I stopped making the effort to stay in touch. OTher than bro's rants on voicemail and packages of koi left as gifts on our doorstep, not a single one has called or sent a letter or email. I know for a fact that they all email and write, and they do this to my parents and brother, but they never even responded back when I was emailing and writing and many times they were too busy to talk on the phone and would call me back. But that call never came.

    With therapy I am coming to terms with this being a flaw in these people and not in me. husband says that several of them are uncomfortable around me because they know I see through their BS and the show of caring that they put on for my mother. It still hurts a bit, but nowhere near as bad as it used to.

    I thnk that you totally did the right thing by donating those gifts. It is clear that brother in law didn't mean that he didn't want gfts, he just didn't want to GIVE gifts! If your husband gets upset, then he can go and take care of things. in my opinion these people are users. Life is too short to waste nice things on people who just want to use you.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Make mine rum and pepsi and you have a deal. (can't stand coke and don't like wine)

    When Fred passed I didn't hear a peep from easy child's husband's family. Over the years I have done so darn much for his mom it is actually ridiculous. In fact it had gotten to the point of being so taken advantage of that I put an end to it a couple of years ago. But still, not so much as a card from them or heaven forbid they attend the memorial. They'd known us for 8 yrs! Due to schedules, health issues, Nichole's husband's family could not attend the memorial but they were kind enough to send cards and nearly drove me crazy inviting me to every single holiday last year. (awful sweet people) Huge difference. My family was worse than sister in law's family. I think if I'd heard just one more time I was better off that Fred had died, I'd have crawled through the phone and committed murder. Don't care what you're feelings are for someone, who the heck says that to the grieving widow??? (told ya they're difficult children omg)

    It certainly lets you know without a doubt who actually truly cares and who doesn't. Good for you for giving the gifts to those who will appreciate them. Ignore whatever drama pops up and enjoy your holidays. :)

  6. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    *HUGS* and condolences on your brother dearie. I'm also sorry your in-laws were so callus as all that. I think it wouldn't be out of line at all to donate presents in your brother's memory and I'll surely drink a Kahlua and Coke in his honor with you.
  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    UAN, first of all, I am so sorry about the loss of your brother. Gentle hugs for you..........

    Families are so complicated, aren't they? When I was reading your post I thought of a saying I heard in a codependency class, but it could be applied here in your scenario too...........the saying was, the different between codependency and loving kindness is that with codependency you feel bad (and often resentful) and with loving kindness you feel good............seems that the gifts to your brother in law and sister in law fall under the feeling bad category. For me that translates into giving where it feels good to give and leaving the rest out, regardless of the reasons, just doesn't feel good.

    The fact that your brother in law and sister in law could not act in a compassionate and appropriate way about your brother along with the way they handled the gift giving speaks to their lack of a generosity of spirit which you possess in spades. I'll have a glass of bubbly thanks.
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Many hugs UAN, I believe your brother will be right there with you. Take care of yourself, you deserve the best.