Absurd level of in law dysfunction...I just can't even....

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Pepin

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Absurd level of in law dysfunction...I just can't even....
« on: October 22, 2019, 05:55:53 PM »
I wanted to separate this particular incident from another topic I have been working through with regards to the dynamic with PDMil.  This happened 2 days ago at a party for another family member and I am still grappling with what transpired and need to have a serious conversation with DH as we cannot move forward until we have some resolve.  This was just too much.

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*sigh* And now for the gem of the afternoon....

As we were gathering our things to leave, SIL (DH's sister) comes over and abruptly asks what are DH and I doing for Thanksgiving?  Before we can answer she blurts out that her in-laws will be hosting Thanksgiving and that is where she will be going with her family and that she knows PDMil doesn't like being with them -- and that if we are having Thanksgiving at home, that PDMil would prefer to be with us. 
 :aaauuugh: :aaauuugh: :aaauuugh:

Shocked and without thinking I put my head in my hands in front of everyone.  It was a complete knee-jerk reaction that I semi regret but hey, it is over now.  I was blindsided by SIL's words -- that she spoke out loud in front of her mother -- words that would have been better said through a text to DH.  Not only that but DH and I were clearly cornered because we have no plans...yes, we will be staying home this year.  (It was assumed that PDMil would be with us or we would do something separate with her.)  But honestly, DH and I had not really nailed anything down.  I replied y saying, of course she will be invited to our home...but I may have said it in not the best tone as all the blood had rushed to my head at the absurdity of the situation.

What really bugs me though is that for the last 19 years, we have generally had PDMIL (and FIL when he was alive) over for Thanksgiving and Xmas.  FIL did not like his daughter's in-laws.  DH feels the same way and let his parents come over because they had no where else to go.  But the problem that I have is that in all those years, we have NEVER officially invited them.  It was just assumed that they would celebrate with us.  We have never chosen what we wanted to do.

During that time I have celebrated with my family a handful of times.  And once PDMil and FIL hosted and the other time, we did a potluck at PDMil's house after FIL died.  So 14 years then with us...and DH has 3 siblings.  3.  That is a huge problem in my eyes.  It isn't like the other 2 siblings haven't extended invites to their homes....because they have and PDMil (and FIL) declined.

This dysfunction is unreal.


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My additional take away from all of this is the realization that DH's sister (my SIL) is truly a horrible person.  This particular behavior is off the charts.  Since I have known her, I figured she was just not a very well rounded and caring person...someone that is living in a very tiny world.  Over the years I have also understood that she is highly manipulative of PDMil -- and I suspected that it was an act of retaliation since DH is the GC.  SIL desperately wants her fair share of attention -- attention that as the youngest of 4 siblings, she did not get because PDMil didn't have time to give it to her. 

As a result, PDMil has let her daughter manipulate her because she feels guilty for not giving her daughter the attention she needed as a child.  But behind SIL's back, PDMil has complained bitterly about all of her daughter's shortcomings....and FIL when he was alive, went out of his way attending any family event where his daughter's husband was present as he did not approve of him, a super slam directed at SIL.  PDMil and even FIL managed to convince DH to give the cold shoulder to their daughter and her husband.  Maddening as this all is, SIL's husband is actually a "dangerous" narcissist.  There is no doubt in anyone's mind that he has SIL under his thumb and she knows it.  She's making the best of her parents disapproval by manipulating her mother.

The other 2 siblings in DH's family have their own share of issues in their lives and largely are removed from the drama.  One is mostly forgiven because she has a tough situation with her kids and inlaws.  The other sibling, DH's brother, is treated like an outcast that can only do wrong -- needs messes cleaned up, guidance, chastised for not calling PDMil enough (or ever - gee, wonder why), etc.  DH has been asked by PDMil to look after his brother for eternity...so that he doesn't blow what PDMil and FIL worked hard for and will inherit.  Gotta keep that dysfunction going, DH is his brother's keeper.   :doh: 

Anyway, now that you have some backstory, how do I proceed?  Yes, I need to speak with DH.  After the party, DH was silent in the car ride home.  We were supposed to go run an errand together and he declined so I went on my own.  I know he needed to decompress.  I was also worried that he was angry at me for my reaction because he likely thought it was directed toward PDMil when it was meant for SIL.  When I returned home, I acted as if nothing was wrong and DH came around.  Perhaps this incident with his sister is the wake up call that he has been needing to break this madness.

I mean, putting myself in PDMil's shoes (whether she is PD or not) how could she not feel like crap that her own daughter is making arrangements for her for Thanksgiving like she is some object that needs to be shuffled around?!  The indignity is astounding.

Lastly, I forgot to mention that at the beginning of the party, SIL took me aside (before telling DH, her own brother) that PDMil had just been diagnosed with mild Parkinsons.  Of course I am saddened to hear this diagnosis but now I am realizing that it was SIL building up to her dumping PDMil on us for Thanksgiving!  I am LIVID that I got played like this.

Done with SIL going forward.  I will not attend any functions that she hosts and I will not be speaking to her anymore.  As for PDMil, depending on what I hash out with DH, she is also going to get the gray rock, ST from me as well.  She doesn't speak English to me anymore, so no loss. 

Can I just say d*amn with regards to all of this?
Why work so hard to have a relationship with someone that does not care the same way as you?

No PD is going to tell me what to do.

Born into a dysfunctional family and married into a dysfunctional family.

People who don't bring joy, let them go.

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Bloomie

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Re: Absurd level of in law dysfunction...I just can't even....
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2019, 10:04:35 PM »
Pepin - my heart goes out to you having been caught unaware with this by your sil. The hit and run as you are gathering or the culling you away from DH to give you medical information regarding your mil, all of it I have experienced myself in DH's dysfunctional, triangulating, family. (I am very sorry to hear of this diagnosis for your mil.)

You and your DH are to be commended for not allowing this to come between you. How wise to take your time and address this with your DH.

Let us know how that talk goes! :hug:
"You can understand and have compassion for someone and still not want a relationship with them."
Amanda E. White, LPC @therapyforwomen

Bloomie 🌸

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Pepin

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Re: Absurd level of in law dysfunction...I just can't even....
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2019, 10:57:05 PM »
Thanks Bloomie, for your kind words.  I am still reeling a little bit...mostly upset that I didn't stand up to SIL.  But then again, neither did DH and she is his family.   :wacko:  On the brighter side, at least I have confirmed my suspicions about SIL and it means I can easily remove her and shut her down going forward.  She and her husband just make my skin crawl.  And how sad...

The ironic thing though is that I clearly come from a dysfunctional family.  Sharp as a whistle, and DH knows this.  And it has never come up in conversations that his family was also operating on the same wavelength....a little different, but still pretty bad.  DH is a smart man and I am perplexed as to why he cannot just come out with it to me.  He has to know now. 

I don't think he is in denial....I think he is hiding something from me and doesn't want to tell.  My life has mostly been an open book for him....he's seen my ugly side several times no doubt.  But, I have always managed to resurrect myself after collapsing because I know that no one else can do it for me.  Maybe he is afraid to break down in front of me...that's a guy thing?  IDK what he is going to do when PDMil passes...it will be mostly a relief for me, but a mess for him....that I will also riding along with.   
Why work so hard to have a relationship with someone that does not care the same way as you?

No PD is going to tell me what to do.

Born into a dysfunctional family and married into a dysfunctional family.

People who don't bring joy, let them go.

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Seven

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Re: Absurd level of in law dysfunction...I just can't even....
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2019, 11:56:49 PM »
Pepin

Regarding how heíll behave when she passes... watch the first 10-15 minutes.  Kris Godinez doesnít cry, but here she does.  This is part 2 that Iím only half way done watching. Just started this one this evening

https://youtu.be/SM6kbQuzRoE

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Pepin

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Re: Absurd level of in law dysfunction...I just can't even....
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2019, 12:44:53 PM »
Thank you, Seven.  Coincidentally I have been focusing on Kris and her work and listen to at least one of her podcasts a day.  I havenít gotten to this one yet but did quickly listen to the first 10-15 minutes.  Thankfully, as my kids are teens, they want nothing to do with DHís family at this point and they figured this out a few years ago.  DH used to become unhinged when our teens refused to attend family gatherings and now he has given up.  Itís not worth the fight because they wonít show up to an event and be their happy selves which means unwanted attention toward DH.  Glad he has finally figured that out...
Why work so hard to have a relationship with someone that does not care the same way as you?

No PD is going to tell me what to do.

Born into a dysfunctional family and married into a dysfunctional family.

People who don't bring joy, let them go.

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Pepin

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Re: Absurd level of in law dysfunction...I just can't even....
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2019, 01:04:37 PM »
I had a quick chat with DH yesterday...not easy when the teens are in the next room.  It was casual, thankfully.  Anyway, SIL will be now be celebrating Thanksgiving somewhere else other than her inlaws...meaning SIL and her family will be out of town.  As DH relayed this information to me I asked him how he felt about the way SIL confronted us in front of PDMil.  DH replied by saying that his mother has no idea what was being taken about.  *sigh* This is hard for me to believe.  Is she that far gone cognitively?  Anyway, I reiterated to DH that I thought we would be hosting PDMil anyway since we would be in town...and then the conversation quickly changed to talking about how we want to do the turkey this year. 

IDK....if PDMil is so out of tune with "life" then perhaps we can do something quick with her before the actual Thanksgiving Day.  I will offer this to DH and see what he says because I know he doesn't like being chauffeur when we have meals like this.  NO, PDMil does not do taxis, Uber or Lyft -- just her precious son.

Personally since we are sending off our oldest to college next fall, I just want DH and the kids at our table.  Same for the following year, too if our oldest elects to come home.  Would definitely travel to have Thanksgiving wherever she is though...except that we have pets that I am sure she will be missing.  Having PDMil in our presence as a family is merely static noise at this point.  Lights are on but no one is home inside her head it seems...

*sigh*
Why work so hard to have a relationship with someone that does not care the same way as you?

No PD is going to tell me what to do.

Born into a dysfunctional family and married into a dysfunctional family.

People who don't bring joy, let them go.