Tag Archives: family issues

Return Policy?

Some days I wish there was a return policy on parents.

Harsh? Yep. How I feel? Yep.

Mr. A and I both would like to trade in for different dads. Our moms we love to the moon and back and they are amazing.

My dad and I have always had a rocky relationship and it’s just gotten worse in the last few years. I don’t want to get too much into, mostly because I’m having a good night and if I talk about it in too much detail it will rapidly turn into an angry sob fest.

But, the core of it all is that my dad wants more to do with my brother and stepsister than me. I’m not saying it for sympathy. There are facts that prove it’s true.

My mom doesn’t really put it into those terms, but says that he and I “aren’t in sync”, whatever that means. If nothing else, I’m the stepdaughter, and not my stepsister.

And if I’m being honest, along with this summer’s events, it’s why I’m in therapy. My therapist is amazing but this is a problem I’ve had for a very long time and it won’t be resolved any time soon.

My poor mom has had to endure my crying, sobbing, yelling fits so many times, she deserves an award. Sometimes I need her to try less to get me to see his side or gain some understanding, and just be on my side, but she is doing what she thinks is best when I get into those moods.

Mr. A…well, he got the shaft in the dad department. He just did.

Now, before I go any farther, there are some of you that read this that know Mr. A and myself in real life, on a personal level. I write this blog for me and because it’s a space I feel I can say what I want. If you are one of the few people that I interact with regularly, I told you about this blog because I trust you, so please don’t go talking about this stuff, especially concerning Mr. A.

His dad never wanted a son. He wanted a drinking buddy and they have had a very rocky relationship.

Within the last two years, it has gotten so much better. Not perfect, but we were no longer living in Mville and it felt like they were getting to some sort of normal father son relationship.

But within the last two months, shit has hit the fan, and it really hit hard this weekend.

Since it’s not my father, I’m not going to give details, but it’s so incredibly angering all that has happened.

Mr. A is embarrassed and angry, but it’s also his dad and he feels pulled and unsure of what to do or how to say no. My MIL and I are just afraid his dad is going to try to pull Mr. A down too and we won’t be  letting that happen, even if it means my FIL no longer likes me.

Mr. A and I have a family motto. “Team ‘Smiths’” (Not our last name, but you get the point.) It’s our reminder that he and I are a family and we have to make decisions for our family and do what is best for us and that will help us to meet the goals we have for our family. Yes, parents are family, but Mr. A and I are a very close team and we have to work hard to get where we want to be in life.

And if we have to distance ourselves from my FIL, we will.

Am I trying to come between them? Not at all. But I can’t let him ruin everything we’ve worked for, everything Mr. A has poured his blood, sweat, and tears into because he can’t think beyond the immediate and makes horrible decisions. He doesn’t think about anyone else. And that’s fine, but if it’s going to interfere with our life and all we have going for us, we can’t allow it.

Mr. A feels the same. I’m not being the bitchy wife. I normally brag up and down about my in-laws. And my MIL is a saint and more than makes up for the crap his dad has done to him his entire life. Mr. A agrees. He just still wants to help if possible, but this time, it is very quickly not going to be something we can help with without wrecking our goals for life.

I know we can’t pick our parents. It’s the luck of the draw. Because of that, I honestly believe that Mr. A and I were meant to be together in order to make up for those gaps and problems in our own families and we now make our own team and our own family and work towards not repeating the mistakes of our dads.

While logically, I wouldn’t trade in my dad because without him, I wouldn’t have had these experiences and maybe would do the same things in the future or to someone else or to my future kids. It’s a piece of me, that makes me who I am and I will (eventually) be stronger from this. I just pray Mr. A can get through this, as unscathed as possible, and to not let his dad set the guidelines for his future. It’s what I’ve been praying about every since yesterday morning. Team “Smiths” will get through this.

(But maybe a month long exchange program? Could that be developed?)

Can we go on our cruise now? Maybe a two week cruise without phone service and maybe some of this crap will be solved while we’re gone. If only…

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Filed under A little More About Me, Normal Family?

Seriously Update

So this is an update from yesterday.

After having a heart to heart with my husband, I had decided to talk to my professor and basically say that I wouldn’t be in class the day the other play was discussed and that I was going to try to find a critical lens that would allow me to avoid the suicide in my assigned play as much as possible.

However, when I got to campus today, my good friend gave me the idea of seeing if the gender and sexuality class that she is in, and that also just started yesterday, would fit the requirement being filled by the other class.

It sure helps to have an amazing secretary who has decision making abilities and who likes you.

So she approved it, marked it in my file, I filled out the paperwork and I have officially switched classes.

This new class is a history/women’s studies course focusing on gender and it’s role within modern European societies.

No suicide there!

So now I feel a HUGE weight is off my shoulders. I am just waiting for my original class to get out so I can go and talk with the professor and explain why I’m no longer in her class. Hopefully she understands. Especially since her husband is our department chair.

So wish me luck with that conversation and the 80-100 pages of reading I have for tonight to catch up, but this will be a lot less work and a lot less emotionally draining. Which is something I just can’t handle at the moment.

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Filed under A little More About Me, Grad School?

Not Daddy’s Girl

And I always thought my family didn’t have much drama. I think I was just trying to ignore it. Or even when something would happen, I would forget about it for a few months until something else happened.

But today…I don’t know that I’ll forget this one.

And I know I’m going to blog this and people are going to think that it’s not that big of a deal. And maybe this one incident isn’t, but it’s a culmination of things and this has just pushed me over the edge.

I’ve never hidden the fact that I don’t like my stepsister. We don’t mesh. I think she’s rude and self-centered and I can’t stand her. I’m not alone in this assessment either, but whatever. We don’t get along.

Now, I understand my dad trying to make sure she feels included in things. (She’s 21 btw…not a little kid.) My dad’s usually pretty good about those things, so fine.

But over the last two years, he knows a million more things about her life than mine. I had to annoy and pester to get him to complete the two different tasks he had for the wedding. His only daughter’s wedding.

He knows who her friends are. What classes she’s taking. All sorts of things. I brought three friends home a few weeks ago and I bet he couldn’t tell you any of their names. He has no idea what I’m taking. He probably doesn’t even really know what I’m doing in grad school.

I also have an older brother. My dad and brother have always been close. But that’s fine. B is 7 years older than me, they are both into the same music and play/played in bands and have similar sense of humor. For some reason, even thought it used to at times, it doesn’t bother me as much. B wasn’t a “threat”. Dad still had a daughter and we just had a different relationship.

Until my dad apparently developed dementia and thinks my stepsister is his real daughter and now feels no need to include me in anything at all.

You see, my dad and his friends and my brother all go to this place every year. They rent cabins and go to a show on Saturday and they grill and hangout and have a good weekend. They look forward to it every year. Well, last year, my brother and his girlfriend had broken for a little bit, and B had an extra ticket to the show, so I was invited to go. Awesome. My dad’s friends are like extra uncles- they have been around my entire life. They are fun and I love seeing them. My stepsister was also invited last minute, but she was on fall break and whatever. Fine.

Well, this past weekend was the weekend away again. I knew it was coming. I was a little bummed that I wasn’t invited, but I figured dad assumed I wouldn’t want to spend the money on it. I am a grown up now and can’t expect dad to pay for everything, and if I had gone, I would have wanted to pay my part.

Until I get an e-mail today from my dad with the group picture they take every year and my stepsister is in the picture. (It’s taking all restraint I have to not have a million curse words in this. My text message to my brother did not contain such restraint.)

Just thinking about it makes me tear up and simultaneously want to punch someone.

I KNOW she didn’t pay her part. And, somehow, even though dad had talked to me about the trip, never once mentioned that she was going. Funny how that happens.

I’m beyond hurt. I feel empty. I feel like I’ve been replaced. My dad HAS a daughter. It’s just not the one he saw being born or took pictures of her on her first day of school or the girl he consoled when her first serious boyfriend broke up with her. It isn’t the girl he had nicknames for and went to choir concerts for. Nope. it’s the girl he’s know for less than 4 years. The girl who is rude to most people. But hey, she happens to be a theater major and does plays, so at least he has something to brag about, right? What do you say about the girl that was unemployed for 6 months, worked in retail for 8, and is now in grad school for English? No one gives a shit about that. That’s not impressive to his business contacts. No. Completely understandable why he’d trade us out.

I’m just done. I’m tired of feeling unwanted. I’m tired of feeling like a guest in the house I lived my entire life. I’m tired of not knowing what’s going on in the family. I’m tired of feeling like a needy 10 year old in family conversations, just trying to get any morsel of acknowledgement. It hurts too bad.

So maybe this Christmas business will be easier this year. Maybe I just won’t worry about trying to schedule time to see him. He already buys her really awesome presents and I get crappy sports team hoodies in big sizes. Guess it doesn’t hurt that she’s a size 4 and 5’10”. Yeah. I’d probably pick her over me too.

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Filed under A little More About Me, Normal Family?, WTF

Scrooge

I actually feel more like Two-Face from Batman. Or maybe just a bi-polar, pmsing, drama queen.

Whatever the cause or fictional character I’m acting like, I’m not really into the Christmas spirit. Part of me wants to go buy or first Christmas tree. A small, real tree and decorate it with lights and pick an ornament color scheme and also a nice “First Christmas” ornament. We’ll drink coffee with Kahlua and enjoy the time. I want to find stockings to hang on our book shelves and sneak in small, silly little gifts for him to open. I want to find the perfect gifts that will make people light up when they open it, knowing I took the time, thought of them, and wanted them to be happy with their gifts.

But then days like today happen.

Today happens and I want to skip to next May and ignore all this holiday business. Today and the thought of putting up and decorating a tree exhausts me. The thought of stepping foot into a store and trying to guess what might make someone happy kind of makes my skin crawl.

See? Two-Face.

Strangely, I had a fantastic day at work. I won the drawing since I met my sales goal on Sunday and won $25 in store money. I was at 310% of my sales goal, which is unreal. I sold quite a bit of pre-sale, which might mean I wouldn’t have to work on Christmas Eve. I signed up a credit card, which meets my goals and earns me more store money. I had some good customers and I got some recognition from my boss for my hard work. I also feel like I got some info that means they will keep me after the holidays, which relieves some of the stress that I’ll be jobless again.

But then I came home.

And really, nothing in particular happened. Dishes were in the sink. And while I could have done them, I’ve been busy and stressed and after some of the work days, I couldn’t physically stand at the sink to wash them. I got irked because I think Mr. A should have done them at some point. He may have finals coming up, but he had plenty of free time also. Whatev. We both should have gotten off our butts and done it. Fine. I bought the wrong garlic bread at the store. Not normally a huge deal, but it made me want to throw or kick something. The cookies I made last night stuck to the cookie sheet, so when I tried to get them off, every single one of them crumbled which then made me want to just throw the whole cookie sheet away because the thought of having to scrub it makes me furious.

And thinking about Christmas is making me nauseous and mad and frustrated.

You see, my dad’s side has decided that we will draw names this year and play the dirty Santa game. $25 limit for the game. And when I asked about the drawing of names? $100. WHAT THE FUCK????????????

I was worried that it would be $50. $100. And in case you have yet to put it together, that really means $200 for us. Same bank account and one, minimum wage paying, part-time pay check.  Still aren’t seeing the problem? Mr. A didn’t take the extra loan money because it would have a higher interest rate and be the last to pay off and would be ridiculously expensive, so we didn’t want to take it unless absolutely necessary. We’re waiting for the spring loan money. Which we will get in January. January rent is due the 1st. Before the loan check. Along with all the other bills we have. And everyday expenses. And I’m refusing to ask my parents for money. I already don’t pay my car insurance, health insurance, or half my cell phone bill. Maybe if I couldn’t afford everything, maybe I should have waited to get married, lived at home, and been a hermit so I wasn’t being such a burden on the parents.

And guess what? That’s $200 on top of what I had already gotten for my parents because I stumbled upon things ar great prices and would be perfect for them. Husband and I? Not exchanging gifts. I still need to get something for his parents. And then two more silly gifts for the dumb game. So for Christmas Eve alone- $250. For people with real jobs, that may not be a big deal. For us? It makes me wonder if we will be able to afford rent, electric, water, internet (which yes, is a necessity for law school), gas, groceries, and fuck it all to hell if either of us gets sick. Oh wait, I forgot. Both of us are on daily medicines. And my bc is about to run out, so that will be $50. And my migraine meds require me to go to a doctor this week to get another prescription.

And no, I can’t say that we will opt out. Weird, but my family might love me, but they won’t be understanding of this. My mom would be, but not my dad’s side. My aunt is already pissy that I probably won’t be able to be there until 8pm, even though my brother often couldn’t get there until then due to work or needing to go to his girlfriend’s family or whatnot. Me? No one seems to be willing to budge. My dad might understand, but my stepmom and aunt will harass me the whole time, which then makes me want to say forget it and we’ll just go to Mr. A’s side this year, but I’m also being a big baby and not willing to not be at my mom’s for Christmas morning just yet. And no, it makes no sense to go to Mr. A’s for Eve, then my mom’s for the morning because it’s too far to drive. And his family doesn’t really do a big thing on Christmas Eve. Gahhhhh

Add on the usual stress and family issues that arise during the holidays, and I’d really be okay with skipping them this year. Which really kind of depresses me, since you know, it IS my first Christmas as a married couple and it’s already sucking.

But, I will be excited as I see pictures of everyone’s decorations and hearing about all the fun plans. I’ll just be patiently waiting for January.

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Filed under Freak Out Much?, Life After College, Life in Law School (even if I'm not in it), Normal Family?

Cling Wrap

clingy (Source)

Houston, we have a problem with lift off.

Wait, that sounds like my husband has, ehem, personal issues. He doesn’t. I’m not talking about this.

Anyways….

What I mean is, my MIL is showing a side to her that I didn’t know about.

I have loved my MIL from the beginning.

She welcomed me into her house with open arms. She’s very funny. Her and I have enjoyed many drinks together. She took me out for my first drink when I turned 21. She was there for me when I was a little homesick. I was at her house when I was told my grandma probably wouldn’t make it through the night. Mr. A was out of town on a work retreat, so she let me stay at her house so I wasn’t by myself. She’s helped to take care of me when I was sick. She would also just give me a gatorade and some advil when we came over and I was obviously “under the weather”. She’d laugh and say, “It happens to all of us.” We’ve girl talked. Gone to chick flicks together so the boys didn’t have to.

She’s bought me things. She’s spoiled me rotten. She’s loved having a girl to shop for Christmas and she’s gone above and beyond what she should.

I have always liked her a lot. In my mom’s speech at rehearsal dinner, she even thanked her for everything she did when my mom was too far away to help.

So you see, going into this marriage, I was so excited, and even bragged about how lucky I was to have in laws I liked so much.

Ummm….things may have changed.

I’ve mentioned this before, but until a couple months ago, Mr. A had always lived within a 5 minute drive of her.

He went to college in the same town he grew up in. He got his MBA at the same school. 23 years and he has never not lived in his hometown.

Anyone see the problem that is developing?

She won’t leave us alone.

It’s not obvious. She doesn’t call constantly, but when he calls, she’ll say, “I just don’t want to bother you..” She may not mean to, but it sounds like she’s trying to get sympathy and it annoys me to no end.

I receive “I miss you guys” text messages. I e-mailed her about when the family Thanksgiving would be, and it turned into this drawn out thing.

She made food and froze it for us the last time she came to visit. I truly appreciate it. I use about one a week- gives me one night that I don’t have to cook a meal and give me a break from my new cooking hobby. She asked if we needed more and seemed hurt when I told her that we still had some of each. Yes each. She made four different types of food and lots of servings of each.

Yes, she’s helping financially. She’s paying Mr. A’s car payments right now and has offered to help in the future if we need it. I’m praying we don’t need it.

And then today happened.

Tomorrow, we are headed to Mr. A’s hometown because his best friend’s, his best man at our wedding, surprise birthday party is this weekend. More precisely, tomorrow night. By chance, Mr. A’s afternoon class was cancelled for tomorrow, so we get to leave at noon. That puts us in Mtown around 2. We’re not meeting up with our friends till about 5 to go to the lake house, so we have some free time. Also, we are planning on staying at my MIL’s so we don’t have to drive the whole way back after being out with our friends all night.

Mr. A calls his mom today to let her know and all that. We figured we would stop by her office when we got into town to say hello and all that. Probably have breakfast with her Saturday morning before lunch with the FIL and heading back home.

This is her girls’ golf getaway weekend.

They are leaving tomorrow at noon and will be gone till Sunday.

Okay. No big deal. We were there last weekend and it probably wouldn’t be long before we were back there again. I mean, all through undergrad, it wasn’t uncommon for me to go a month before seeing my parents. By the time we go to my hometown, it will have been a month.

But guess what? I’m an adult. Shocking, I know. But I am.

Even more? I’m married. To a great and wonderful man who is also an adult and fully capable of taking care of himself and me.

She got all panicked that she wasn’t going to be there. She even tried to see if the other girls would be willing to skip their golf game tomorrow so that they could leave later so that she could see us. REALLY?

Like rational human beings, her friends said no since they had already paid for tomorrow’s tee time.

Her solution?

She’s coming up here one night next week to see us.

……………………………………………………………

Am I the only one bothered by this???

Not only does this mess up my meal planning for next week, that I’ve already done, but then I feel obligated to clean the apartment, look nice enough to go out to dinner, and act like I couldn’t be happier to have my MIL insist on coming to visit.

Last weekend, my mom came down on Saturday and took me to Macy’s because she had an awesome coupon that would get me a $100 dress that was on sale for around $32. We shopped. Mr. A studied. She offered to buy us lunch, and then she went on her happy way home. I was the one that called to see if she had a coupon and I was either going to drive up to get it or she was willing to come down.

She was at the apartment no more than 20 minutes and got me out of the apartment so Mr. A could study.

Somehow, I see the difference between these.

Also, I tweeted a little while back about being nervous and anxious about figuring out how to divide up Christmas now that we’re married. My dad’s side does Christmas Eve together and then my brother and I would go to my mom’s for Christmas morning. Both Mr. A and I did Christmas morning with our moms, and then we would alternate years as to who drove to who Christmas day afternoon. That way, we both had our mornings with our mom and then we saw each other later in the day.

His family doesn’t do anything on Christmas Eve, and I was nervous about my dad’s response to us only being there every other year. (My dad’s side gets weird about people not being at family functions and they don’t always take into consideration other family obligations.

I have talked at length with my mom about alternating years for Christmas, but who to skip first.

My mom’s response: “You guys do whatever works. I will be willing to do our Christmas either before or after. You guys are married so you have to decide. If you think your dad will be most upset, then go to Mr. A’s family this year. That way your dad gets used to the idea of you not always being there.”

My mom has always wanted what was best for us and, as her mom never did, she doesn’t put pressure to visit or be there. She’s always excited and happy to see us, but she knows we’re busy.

MIL’s response: “Well, I guess switching years is fine. I sure will hate it when you’re not here. Maybe you can drive back down Christmas day afternoon like you have in the past!”

Lady, if it’s my family’s year for Christmas, I’m not leaving early. The same as when it’s Mr. A’s family- we will spend all Christmas there and arrange something with mine for another date.

*****

I’m putting it to you. Am I looking at this wrong or is she being pushy and a little clingy? She writes on both of our Facebook walls about her missing us. Does your MIL do things like this? What do I do??

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Filed under Life After College, Normal Family?