VENT/LONG Mood rings for toxicity....

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by mstang67chic, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    ....people need them.

    Before I go any further, let me explain something. J is my aunt and has never had kids although she's always taken a big interest in the nieces and nephews. She has a good heart and usually has good intentions. She's an independent person, she doesn't take carap from anyone and she voices her opinion. But.....she has her moods, she has her attitudes and she has her opnions. (And did I mention that she doesn't hesitate to voice said opinions?) When she has her moods, it's literally pointless to argue with her. It does nothing but inflame the situation and doesn't get you anywhere. Even later, she will mostly refuse to see what was wrong. Sometimes she WILL apologize sincerely and acknowledge that she shouldn't have said/did what she did. If she doesn't apologize and you say something about how you were hurt or upset by what she did/said, sometimes you'll get an apology. And sometimes....well.....ever heard of Pompeii? She's been diagnosis'd but I don't know with exactly what. All I know is that when she is on medications, she's a mostly different person than without. Mostly. This is something we (all of us who are related to or know her) know. Right or wrong, we've accepted this as how she is. We sometimes vent and rant amongst ourselves but we do love her. She really is a good person, she's just.....J. We realize that to enjoy the immense good in her, we have to take the crazy sometimes.

    Today while I was at the store I ran into another aunt, P. Because of a conversation I had with P and then with her daughter V, I found out that P's other daughter A was at my aunt J's house (same town I live in). I hadn't seen A in awhile so I thought I would stop in at J's and see both of them. (confused yet?) Turns out that A was doing some painting in J's house for her so when I got there they showed me all that was done/being done. We were talking about all kinds of things and the three of us had a really nice visit. Up until the last half hour or so that is. A has a son who has Aspergers Autism and is a few years younger than difficult child. When we see each other, A and I will spend some time comparing notes on the boys, their progress, issues...whatever is going on. I should have known better....I really should have. But with J, you never know, and can rarely tell, which way her hay bale is going to fall. Sometimes she'll be supportive and say positive things.....difficult child will graduate, difficult child will get his head together, etc. Other times.....not so much. Tonight was one of those nights. difficult child was brought up a couple of times by A and me and J made a couple of comments here and while they didn't start out bad, they got a bit worse with each one. I was...annoyed but that's not an unusual emotion when conversing with J. It happens. At one point though, something was said in reference to difficult child living at home and J knows that I would love to see him living in a group home after he graduates. (J works for a company that runs group homes for mentally disabled adults but ones who are in a different category as difficult child. If he went into a group home it would be through a different organization.) Even if I didn't already know J was back on medications I would have been able to tell because when she made THE comment, it was said in a normal (disgusted, but normal) tone of voice and not screeched at the top of her lungs.

    She turned and looked me in the eye and said that if I ever got difficult child into a XXXXXX ran home to let her know so she could QUIT HER JOB.

    Then she matter of factly turned back to what she was doing.

    Now, when dealing with J you learn at an early age to just move on. To dwell, contest, argue, or otherwise challenge anything said is to possibly invite a screaming banshee into your world. Some people have and will challenge her. It does happen, I've seen it. Personally, I don't have the guts and I should. But as I said, you just don't know which way that bale is going to fall, medications or not. Sometimes you can have a reasonable discussion about what was wrong with her comment(s) and maybe accomplish something. Other times you get a screaming fit. Still other times, she won't speak to you for some time. (Which can be and usually is followed by acting like nothing was ever wrong)

    Being the cowardly, nonconfrontational person I am when it comes to J, I went on autopilot, explained that he would be going through a different company and then moved on. I honestly didn't see what A's reaction was although I'm positive she heard the comment. Inside though......I was LIVID. And stunned. And calling J all sorts of names in my head. Then I felt horribly guilty for not standing up for difficult child. I'm sitting here now with all of these things running through my mind that I could have said, SHOULD have said. She was talking about my SON and I didn't say a flipping thing. Then again, she talks like this about all sorts of people she doesn't like. Men in general (unless her heat is out and she needs me and or husband to come help her), politicians (oooh! should have heard her go off when I mentioned to A that husband wants to run for city council)....the list goes on and on. Men are *&^%$#...they all lie, they are good for nothing bums, etc. She's said stuff about husband and I don't know where she gets it from. He's NEVER done anything to her or against her. Even though he doesn't know all the things she's said about him, he knows some and STILL helps her when she needs it. (I'm the only niece/nephew in the same town with her but there are a couple of others close by) Granted, she goes off on another cousin's husband but in all honesty...she's got a couple of points when it comes to him. Not the point, I know, but still. Anyway.....She's never really said anything about husband to my face but has to my mom. My mom will stick up for husband because A) she ADORES him and B) she knows he's never done anything to deserve it. My mom has told me something else that J has said about difficult child and it REALLY made me angry. Back when husband was in the hospital with that nasty urinary infection, I guess J basically accused difficult child of poisoning him. WTH????? Neither my mom or I have ANY idea where that came from and I guess Mom got pretty snippy with her over it. I, again, never said anything because I wasn't supposed to know.

    Wow. Reading back over this, it really makes it look like J runs roughshod over all of us but she really doesn't. It's just how she is and as I said, we've accepted the crazy with the good. Sometimes I really wonder why, but we do.

    I KNOW I need to speak up, if not for myself, then for difficult child. One of these days I will, I just don't know when. I tell myself that I'll wait till I KNOW she's in a cooperative mood or that I'll write her or, or, or. *sigh* If I was reading this from someone else, I would reply the same way I know you all will. TELL her what her comments do. Tell her that it won't be tolerated. Tell, tell, tell, tell and if she has a fit about it....that's her problem. I know this. Why then, is it so hard to actually do?

    If you've made it this far, you have my thanks and appreciation. I know what you guys will say.....I just needed to get it out. If I told husband...........he'd go off and I really don't want him to be upset about it. Thanks for listening!
  2. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    I have no answers for you, but you just described my brain injured/ BiPolar (BP) sister. Right now she is mad at me and I can't figure out if I should be relieved or sad. There is no win for you, you know that.
  3. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Another one chiming in, that is my mother (bipolar and other issues) to a near tee (except that my mother seems to have less enjoyable qualities than it sounds like you have with this woman).
    I understand how hard it can be to put words into action and speak up. Don't beat yourself up and don't let her comments get you down. Try to remind yourself to consider the source, she doesn't sound exactly charming when she behaves this way. Everyone seems to know this about this woman. You have a right to be insulted or angry or hurt or any mixture. If the day comes you say something, good for you! And if that day isn't predictable or immediate, that too is okay. Just don't let things she says torment you. Everyone has opinions, and those screaming the loudest usually aren't warranting much merit. Usually its the quiet peoples opinions that matter. Seems a family of loving quiet people including YOU. ;)

    Hang in there.
  4. Lori4ever

    Lori4ever New Member

    I agree to just consider the source. But don't feel guilty if you are in the right frame of mind one day and really tell her how you feel. been there done that. It does get hard to take.
  5. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I don't think you have to get irate or angry. You at least don't have to sound like it. I thought of 2 things I would say:

    1) You do realize this is my son you're talking about? I happen to love him very much.


    2) Why do you think you can talk to me that way about my child/husband?

    But, I do know how it is with some people. I'm a direct person and generally don't have a problem saying something like the above. But, there are some people where it's really just not worth the effort. I think when we know that it won't change anything except damage the relationship, but you still want the relationship, Know what I mean??

    I have a friend like this. I don't talk to her much anymore because, well, I finally got tired of everyone excusing her behavior and some other behaviors have gone over the top, and she's really failing her kids. I just can't be a part of it anymore. That filter that most people have in their brain? She doesn't have it. But if you say anything to her about it, she gets defensive, shuts down, and there is no talking about it.

    I finally said, why do you think you can talk to me that way? Not in an angry or threatening tone. Just a question. It didn't stop her. She is aware now that she does it and she does try a bit harder. Sometimes. Sometimes she uses it as an excuse...a, you know me, kinda thing. In the end, like I said, I just get tired of the excuses.
  6. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member

    That speaks volumes about you, that you continue to see the good. You probably have realized that nothing you say will change J. I think Heather's on to something; you can always say, "Sorry you feel that way. He's still my son, and I love him dearly." No anger, no defensiveness, just fact.

    Meanwhile, you can always vent here!
  7. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Wow... I think you're fine. I'd be what I call "irkitated" too. Geez.

    I don't know what to say except... Take her with a grain of salt - or sand. And I'm sending you lots of hugs.

    I have a mood ring... I'd be willing to mail it to her! *snicker*