Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Breaking Wind

I sit here waiting for the exterminators to come and kick me out of the house so that they can rid us of horrible, disgusting bedbugs. We have a theory about how they came to our house; they got into our luggage during a trip to California last Autumn. Silly us: my parents always told me to wear at least my socks at all times when staying in a hotel. I stopped doing that a while ago and got so comfortable that we put our bags on the floor. YUCK! Never again...

Anyway, as I sat here waiting, I thought about my in-laws and how I wish they'd stop coming from California.

I'm sorry to those of you who have been curious about my interpretation of the infamous meeting with the therapist a couple of weeks ago. I'll start it now and then if the exterminators interrupt me, I'll finish later.

So, it was a miserable experience. I never enjoy seeing them, except to see my children's happiness at seeing them. They came in the night before and we all, including my parents, had dinner together. Tasha came to the restaurant from work, so she did not have time to change from her man clothes, so the in-laws were comfortable. Eventually, although I only overheard parts of it, the father-in-law started asking questions and spouted concernes about how this transition will affect the kids. This was not the first time this subject was discussed. We talked about it at length when Tasha first told them in February. I wasn't surprised. They never remember anything you tell them. They don't really care to remember because then what ever would you talk about the next time you saw them?

Then, finances came up. Again, it's been discussed. Tasha's hopeful plan is to finish teaching at the end of NEXT year. If we don't have the finances to do so, she won't.

Oops! They're here... More later... :-)

Okay... sorry for that interruption.

The next day, we met at the therapist's office. Right off the bat FIL (father-in-law) was on the defensive. He continually referred to Tasha as he and used his male name. S, our therapist, politely continued to correct him until he abruptly exclaimed that he would use whatever pronoun or name he wanted. Then, the questions... the same questions... were asked. You can read Tasha's blog for the details. But what really got to me was SMIL (stepmother-in-law) saying over and over again, "But you're such a great actor." This, after exclaiming upon seeing Tasha that she looked like she was wearing a costume.

Here's the thing. I know what SMIL was trying to say with the costume comment. "I'm not used to seeing you with women's clothes on." And, "You're such a great actor," meant, "Your such a smart person and you can be very convincing. Are you sure this is what you want?"

Said in translation, it seems like she really cares, right? But here's how it comes out: The costume comment is interpreted as "You look ridiculous." The actor comment is interpreted as "You hate yourself so much that you're looking for something big and extreme to get attention and you're such a good actor that you've convinced YOURSELF that this is real, but it's not."

Should I (and Tasha) forgive her knowing what she probably meant? The thing is that I like to hope for the positive even when I know from experience that it is not the case. So, no.

I was glad my dad was there because, although he kept his mouth shut most of the time, he opened it when it was necessary to ease some of Natasha's pain at having to listen to her father and step-mother question the validity of the condition and the therapist's credentials to treat her. Yes, I can definitely understand concern. I know it is hard to swallow at first. Nobody is saying that acceptance should be easy and without reservation. The problem with the session was that Tasha's parents came in with an idea that they did not change through the course of the hour. While FIL admitted to my dad that he felt better about things after it was over, he felt better about the sanity of my kids, rather than feeling better about his relationship with his daughter.

The day just got worse, but I won't get into it since Tasha told you what happened at dinner. We should not have gone, but we went because the kids needed to see them.

Tasha did not let me say anything at the session. I mean she told me before that I was not to tell them off or anything. I almost did when they questioned our ability to do what's right for our children, but I didn't. What I really wanted to say was, "F**k you, you piece of s**t! Who are you to criticize how we raise our children? You were the sh*ttiest father I've ever met. You have no credibility as a responsible, moral person, especially since you left your first wife... Tasha's mother... for her best friend, cheated on HER, and left Tasha alone for weeks at a time so that you could run off wherever! You should go rot!"

Now, I do have some tact. It wouldn't have come out like that. However, he definitely would have been called out on his hypocrisy. Oh, you bet! There are so many things I want to say to them both. They're fake. They're insincere. They're materialistic and they are selfish. Their hypocrisy gets me the most. I mean, come on! Tasha's father has so much money that to pay for her surgery AND get a new hairline would be like handing out the change in his pocket. He claims to care about what Tasha is going through and he claims to be supportive, but do you think he's going to pay for the surgery?

So, that's my rant about my in-laws. Taaha's mother is much more supportive, but will also probably not give a single dime even though she could. But emotionally, she's in the game. It's not surprising to me because it doesn't really affect her. Really. That's how she thinks. She doesn't really care either way, except that now she has another daughter to buy girly things for (tacky, but girly). Whatever her motive, at least she isn't doubting.

Some day, our kids are going to understand how we really feel about FIL and SMIL. We're not necessarily going to straight-up tell them, but they are already quite observant and we will not lie to them if they start asking questions. They will see how Tasha and I are treated (especially Tasha. I think at the very least FIL and SMIL are impressed with my fortitude and seem to be treating me a little more respectfully... a little). Perhaps my in-laws will begin to understand what they have done when their grandkids don't want to see them or, more likely, when they confront their grandparents. I just wish Tasha would have it out with her father. I know it won't change anything for FIL, but I think it would make Tasha feel better. Her family never really says what's on their minds anyway. It's either danced around or sugar coated or misrepresented.

Ah well. It's over, and I hope we never do that again. If we do, I'm not going to keep my mouth shut, though.

Why the title, "Breaking Wind"? It's what comes out of my in-laws' mouths. It's often foul, lingers long after it's over and either makes you laugh due to its ridiculousness or cry due the pain it caused prior to its evacuation. Stretching, maybe, but it still makes sense. :-)


Anne said...

Here is a thought. Why not ask your FIL to send me a R/T airfare or better yet a 1st Class Travel Voucher and I will spend some time with him and provided him with a seemingly much needed "attitude adjustment".

My gut feeling is that once he has "seen the light", he will pop for the needed $$$$

Melissa said...

There comes a time when you just have to stand up to intransigeant parents and in-laws, and tell them in no uncertain terms that your life belongs to you and to not them. If that means being cut off, then so be it. Your independence and self-respect is worth more than any potential inheritance.

Good luck with the bed bug problem.

Melissa XX

Teagan said...

I think that Anne's idea would have some interesting results.

From what I heard of the therapy session, this sounds just like how I expected you'd have felt. Not only were they insulting Tasha, they were insulting you and your judgment as a spouse and worse yet, a mother.

Like Melissa said, there will likely come a time that you're unable to show the restraint that you did in the session. You mentioned that someday you hope that Tasha has it out with her father, that it would make her feel better. I suspect that if you were to let them have it, that you would feel better, too.

I hope it doesn't need to happen. Realism being what it is, though....

Halle said...

Just wondering if the overlapping themes of in-laws and bedbugs and exterminators was intentional. Given my experiences with blood relatives and in-laws, it gave me a chuckle anyway.

It is admirable that you and 'Tasha are patiently attempting to coexist with such people. Perhaps there will be an epiphany for your FIL resulting in much needed support financial and otherwise. One can hope I suppose.

Natasha said...

Anne - HAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!! That is the best imagining you could have given me today. Thank you :D But to be fair, I don't think even you are a match for him. You'd probably just end up talking to him about how much you both hate Obama and there I'd be, still without his money :P


Anne said...

Stranger things have happened. I know. I look in the mirror everyday.

Natasha said...

Anne - GRS procedures happen all the time. Not as strange as my father sending you a plane ticket ;)


Anne said...

OK. I admit it. That WOULD be pretty strange, I said, stranger things have happened.

On the other hand, plan 'B' might be an option as well...;-)

Casey said...

Ladies, thank you for your comments. As much as I'd like to think a good talking-to would make a difference, I fear it would be like talking to a wall. We are only putting up with this because of the kids.

Halle, yes. I'm glad someone picked up on it! :-) I thought later that I should have chosen a different title, like "Unwelcome, Blood-Sucking Visitors."