Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wish me luck!

Very soon, I will be spending several days with my in-laws. If you know me in "real life," then you've undoubtedly been subjected to my litany of stories about my mother-in-law, in particular, and how she drives me absolutely nuts.

The last time I saw my mother-in-law (which was two years ago), I couldn't contain my frustration with her antics, and she ended up cornering me in the bathroom and crying while I tried unsuccessfully to get her to leave so that I could USE THE FACILITIES.

So, I'm a bit nervous about our visit coming up, especially because my mother-in-law's issues have gotten much worse, and I am due to be at a particularly moody phase when I am with her. I have prayed endlessly about my relationship with this woman and have asked for patience or at least civility so that I can get through my time with her.

For this visit, I'm seriously thinking about starting a Twitter account so that I can have some way to vent the stress. Or maybe I should use it as a way to document the bright side of things at any given tense moment. One of my friends suggested that I tweet about all the ways I can find to hide alcoholic drinks (because my in-laws don't allow drinking, which is SO unfortunate because a nice glass of wine would really help take the edge off my desire to scream at and throttle them) - LOL. If I do any of these, I'll post the link. :-)

The thing is, my in-laws are very nice. They are kind, good people. But they are also infuriating and manipulative and completely oblivious to reality. What makes me so frustrated - with myself - is that I can be nice to pretty much anyone. I can smile and bear things that are much worse. But, with my in-laws, I turn into a grumpy, annoyed, sarcastic jerk. I hate myself when I'm with them! I've noticed that this personality transformation also happens to my normally kind, patient, easy-going husband when he's with them. So I'm definitely not the only one who's bothered by them. In fact, we've co-lamented about A's parents at length with A's siblings. But it doesn't make it easier.

I guess I'm just asking for your best wishes and prayers. I want this visit to be nice, especially for R since he never sees these grandparents. And, this may be the last time we get to see A's parents before their health deteriorates further. Plus, after months of stress and late nights at work, A and I could both use a relaxing vacation.

So, pray for the best!


sandwhichisthere said...

I don't know anything about a situation such as the one you describe. I was blessed with the two most wonderful in=laws a person could have. You remember your Grandmother. She was probably the sweetest, tenderest, most loving person that I have ever met. Ray was not a typical Sicilian. He was kind and rational and had a wonderful sense of humor. I hope that he wouldn't mind that I call him tender but that is the way that I remember him. The only times I ever saw him get angry, he was angry at himself although I understand he was very upset when Uncle Merle totalled the Pontiac in the driveway. He did not even get angry when Uncle David rear ended the local police chief's cruiser as it was parked in front of the police chief's house.
It might help, if you get in a trying situation, to think "What would Grandma Eulo do?". She would smile her little smile, with that twinkle in her eye, and just keep on living.
Just one suggestion, have you ever watched "Everybody Loves Raymond"? One undertone of that show is the bond that exists between Frank and Deborah. It is subtle but tender. Your Father-in=law has more experience with this situation than you or Alan do. Try to get closer to him and you may find a surprising resource to draw upon.
Try to remember, as you have to put up with this situation, and you do or things will get much worse, Alan has to put up with a jerk like me and does so in his quiet and enduring way. Keep Rix out of this! He will form his own opinions over time and needs no outside input.
Posting these thoughts may not be such a good idea if the people involved are computer users. Knowing you, this comment may be unnecessary, as there may be another purpose to them. You are intelligent and loving and nice but not as docile and simple as many people might think.
A thought comes to mind, rattling around in my brain like a marble in a boxcar. Your in-laws live in California, where a certain herbal remedy is available by prescription. I wonder what would happen if they were to avail themselves of this resource? I bet that there would be a lot of laughter and cookie baking.
Remember Grandma Eulo, you will persevere!
all of my love, always, daddy

Ericka said...

Hmmmm.... Valium? Just kidding of course, but it does sound like a glass of wine situation. The parallels I have here aren't much (in general, I get along well with Drew's family), but some of the people at work are a bit annoying in those same ways. I try to remember what my therapist tells me - that some of them don't think before they open their mouth - and "save" the sarcastic humor that I see in the situation for later. Maybe you, A & R could take a walk in the evening to decompress? Or perhaps you & A's mom could do a prayer/devotional in the morning (she's religious, right?) that might help her to feel closer to you, and make her less likely to do the manipulative thing. Of course, that usually doesn't work, but it's worth a shot. Good luck, and give your boys a big hug from me :)

Greg and Kim said...

Well, friend, I definitely don't think I have it as bad as you. But I know that when I'm preparing for a visit with the in-laws, my thoughts and fears are right in line with yours. I'm praying for you, asking that God would give you an extra dose of peace (beyond the circumstances) and patience (with yourself and the others) and most of all, laughter to help take it all lighter! :) I know the latter greatly helps Greg and me get through his parents' visits.

LEstes65 said...

GUH! I will pray for you all. Big time.

One thing I did with a really divisive inlaw of my own was, I prayed that God would bring her real happiness. She was miserable in life and therefore wanted everyone around her to stop being happy. She was incredibly destructive to my family.

I prayed this off and on for years. And around 6 yrs ago or so, she has been changing. And she seems to have found real happiness in life. So now my brother is happier and my family is not fractured any more.

I will pray for real miracles in this particular trip, though.

Love you tons! Call to vent any time!

shaun said...

I hope you are having a good trip

heidi @ ggip said...

Ugh! I hope you have a good trip and find some creative ways to lighten the mood!!!!

Teachermom said...

Good luck! Although by now perhaps you've had the visit already? I hope all goes(went) well. I know what you mean. I think that, no matter how wonderful your in-laws are, it's difficult to be in closer quarters with people who aren't your parents. If it's a strained relationship I'm sure it is even more difficult! Hang in there!