Well these past weeks have brought upon us the visits from the far off. We are both from very large families. DH has an even large family than I.
We recently had a 50th anniversary celebration in the family, which brought cousins from near and far. Throughout my life, I have never been able to get past that feeling of inadequacy. It was hammered home once again by some of the cousins. Being talked down to, ignored. Just because I have chosen to go to college and work here at home instead of going to one of the degree programs I was accepted to in my teens and twenties (teaching after high school and 3 years later Computer Science majoring in Software Engineering) does not make me any less intelligent, than those who did and have moved to the city to work. I did not want to live in the city. Why spend $100,000 for an education that would have taken me near and far, if in the end, it was not what I truly wanted. Yes, we do struggle at times to make ends meet but in most ways is worth the sacrifice to be in a quiet area surrounded by nature and small town setting. In recent years, I have swung the other way. I have been cutting this from our lives. I do not allow these people, family or not, to intervene and allow their narrow-minded CRAP to change our daily life. We are worth far more than their ignorance.
That being said. I have touched before on the issues with the in-laws. My MIL after the birth of our son etc. My BIL has been having issues with the family for some time. But chooses not to vocalize most things to his parents. They live a couple of hours from here and this was their first visit home in 10 months. My SIL commented several times on the weekend about how stressful it was to come here. How stressful my BIL was and how angry he became the moment they got in the vehicle to come here. I listened to her make this statement several times over the course of the day…. Finally, I could be quiet no longer.. I responded…”It does not do the 4 of us any good if he is not open and honest with his feelings. If he has issues then he should be telling them. At the end of the day it doesn’t help us all any if I am the only one saying something.” No response to that.. Sometime later she continued with the how stressful it was to visit. At this point I was beyond my point of no return. I responded, “In case you forgot your drive down here, it is a VERY short distance from here to their house. You do not think we do not know how stressful it is.. WE LIVE HERE.” What is with this? They swoop in for 36 to 48 hours every 10 months and expect me to hold their hand and eat the constant complaining about the stress. They expect us to offer sympathy for their pain. Sorry fresh out of that!
I am not trying to belittle their feelings on the subject. Nor do I wish for them to bow down to us. But at the end of the day it is really too much to ask for them to not recognize that we do indeed live in the hot spot and deal with it on a daily basis. We do not live hours away and have the availability to ignore the phone, emails and texts.
I apologize for the negative. I do not wish to portray that I do not care as I really truly do. Since the death of our son, our dynamic and our personal interaction has changed with ourselves and with those around us. Not everyone can understand this and continues to think we should be the same people. Three plus years later they expect us to be those other people. Nothing has changed this year. On the anniversary of our son’s death, the clock did not suddenly rewind, and we did not suddenly become those people from 3+ years ago. We have different priorities. The world around us has a different effect on is than it once did. But one thing that does not change is our need for each other. I used to be a person of supreme sympathy and would never answer back. I would just take it all and bear the brunt of the reality so that whomever it was in the family or a friend would not have to. So they would not be worried about the subject.. I still offer sympathy and support but I do not own the situation for them anymore.
My grandmother was not feeling well earlier this year and had to undergo some tests. She told me the partial outcome. On one had it is comforting that she trusts me enough with the truth. But what an ultimate slap in the face. I have to life with stress of the knowledge.. She told me not to tell my cousins, because she did not want them to have to worry. Who I might add are all adults and married with children. So I get to worry about it….. But they get spared.. Trust sometimes is a hard pill..
I can no longer do this. I cannot own their crap. There is no place for it in my life and more importantly in our lives. I offer assistance and support where I can but I can no longer allow it to consume me. I can no longer allow it to become a stress for me so that this other person can live without distraction or an unkind event.
Unfortunately, tragic life events, can change many things. It is the reality of it. It also allows us the clear vision to what is most important in our lives. I love my family very much, my cousins, my parents, our siblings. But ultimately the single most important thing and person in my life is my marriage and the person that I share it with. Love you very much DH.
Wishing you all a wonderful long weekend. I hope that you all have a wonderful time and can find joy in even the smallest of things.