As always, if you'd like to use this space to tell stories/secrets/confessions of your dangerous maternal (or paternal!) mind, send me an e-mail and you too can enjoy the refuge of the Basement...
In a manner of speaking, I have been dooced. My harmless blog has sparked a hurtful family rift and I don’t know what to do next. Advice, please!
I have a problem with the in-laws. I never thought I’d say that, because for the entire six years of my marriage, I didn’t think there was a problem at all, we got along just fine. I always knew we were different—I’m a vegetarian, don’t go to church, very liberal. But I tended to hide my true thoughts to avoid conflict (I’m a huge conflict-avoider). They know the basics, but I never told them how I really feel about anything. It didn’t seem necessary. We weren’t extremely close, but I think we knew what to do with each other: avoid politics, focus on the kids, make small talk and enjoy our time together. I didn’t need them to be my best friends. It all seemed to be fine.
But then we went on a trip to Texas to visit my husband’s sister.
He had not seen her in 8 years. I had never met her. She has NEVER EVER come north to visit us. So we visit and had what we thought was a fine time. I endured her racist and homophobic comments. I played nice. We stayed in a motel because she has lots of animals and I was sure my daughter and I would stop breathing if we stayed there (bad allergies, asthma). I had to defend myself 5 times on that. She thought I was being rude I guess. Perhaps I should have brought a doctor's note to explain ALLERGIES.
Three weeks or so after we got back, my husband posted a short entry about our trip with pics of the cousins and all. We had been so busy until that time and he just didn't have time to write at length. He said "we had a nice time...blah blah" in the first paragraph. In the second paragraph he decided to get witty, so he talked about some of our observations of Texas. Like how Texans like pickles (reference the pickle available for sale at the movies, also at gas stations). Or how the weather in Houston sucks and we wouldn't want to live there (reference the two unbelievable storms we drove through that almost killed us). Or my favorite, when we drove past the Huntsville prison there was a blue visitor sign that said "For visitor information turn here." I thought that was HILARIOUS.
The sister didn't like his comments about Texas. The unfortunate thing was that my husband wrote it in the third person, so she ended up thinking I wrote it. Then she sent me a NASTY email saying I was hateful and what I said was unforgivable. That if the only thing I took away from Texas was pickles, prison, and weather, she's sorry for me. She yelled at me about staying a hotel too. Bullshit about not letting my husband stay with his family and reconnect. Then she said I was "lucky" she didn't post her comments to my blog. Ahem.
So the husband calls her back and leaves a VM saying "if you have a problem, talk to me cuz I wrote it" and then I start to feel sicker and sicker, like maybe her vile attitude will rub off on their parents: I don't want them to think badly of me. So I beg my husband to call his mom to make sure she still likes me. Bad idea.
My usually very quiet mother-in-law then proceeds to go off and say she thinks I'm driving a wedge in the family, I'm godless and I should be raising my daugher to know god, and that I FORCE my daughter not to eatmeat.
In case you’re keeping track, so far I'm hateful and godless. I should interject here that my in-laws no longer go to church. And she’s asked me for veggie recipes to help her husband whose cholesterol is very bad.
So the next day the husband writes a long letter to his parents about how they have no right to judge how we raise our daughter etc and he’s sorry they have problems with the very things that he loves about me. That night his mom and sister both call him to talk about it and they both say they're sorry to him and when he says, "you really need to say that to my wife" they both (separately) say, "Oh, not tonight. I just can't tonight." Poor ladies. It must be so hard for them, you know, finding out after six years that your in-laws HATE you, oh wait--that's me.
That all happened almost two months ago. I have received NO call of apology. Now, I'm pissed.
Then it gets worse.
The sister emails to say that her husband has cancer. So obviously my husband calls her and talks to her and we both feel terrible for him and for her and the kids. But then, she's started emailing jokes like nothing ever happened. And 60% of the phone conversation was her asking how everyone was. Like normal. Asking how I was. But he doesn’t say anything because this is an awful time for her. Inside I’m screaming, “I’m still waiting. Please apologize to me. I’m a very nice person. You’re wrong about me.” And deeper inside I’m screaming, “God you suck! YOU are hateful.”
Now his mother has been hospitalized for complications following a surgery. He called as soon as he found out, which was last night. This morning we get an email from the sister saying that she really hopes he can put his feelings aside and call Mom. That she made the first step in apologizing to him and that Mom really isn’t in a good place to deal with me just yet, but he needs to “start the healing process.” That families always argue, but that doesn’t mean that any love is lost. Meanwhile, I’m having a hard time believing there was any love there in the first place. And not all families are like this. I have to believe that.
The whole thing makes me sick. I don’t know what we should be doing. I’m not worried about our marriage—that is very strong. But I hate drama. I go to great lengths to avoid it. I haven't blogged since and I'm actually thinking of moving the blog so they can't find it. I don’t know how to get past this. I know I should, but I don’t want to be the better person. If I move on and don’t expect an apology, doesn’t that mean I’m subtly telling them it was okay to do this to me, that they can do it to me again?