Tuesday, 5 March 2013

In-Laws.

I have been so stressed and anxious lately. It's an accumulation of things - silly things really but they must be of some substance in order to get to me so much.

The in-laws have been extremely trying. I've always gotten along fine with Adam's mum, step dad and sister - my contact with them is somewhat limited (maybe that provides an explanation) but we're always pleasant and exchange small gifts on birthdays and Christmas. His Dad and step mum are nice, though his Dad is one of those people that takes what seems like a small life time to explain the simplest of things.

Recently, Adam's step dad was admitted to hospital as the result of a stroke. He lost the ability to walk and, initially, he could not really speak but fortunately, his recovery has been pretty good as of late. I've met the man on a handful of occasions - I do not know too much about the ins and outs of his family but I'm aware that his mum left his dad for another man when the children were young. Adam has been doing his bit and visiting Rob in hospital but unbeknownst to myself, his mum has been quietly fuming over the fact that I apparently have not done enough. She has been somewhat nasty towards Adam over the past few days and now, it transpires, is that it is all because she feels I haven't 'been there' for Rob. No-one has spoken to me about it or asked my opinion until two days ago when Adam's sister sent quite a scathing text message to him outlining how selfish I am.

I won't lie, it both shocked and upset me so much so that I haven't really slept much for a few days. I drafted a long message explaining how I felt about the whole thing and mulled it over for several hours before finally plucking up the courage to send it to his sister. I didn't really expect a reply despite the message being both polite and factual ..... and I was right, still no reply. Katie is a keyboard warrior, quick to shoot her mouth off but never has the courage to address the consequences. I was so angry that a) I was being made out to be a selfish, thoughtless person when clearly I am not and b) that I was being dragged into another family's drama that I do not even see myself as part of. I have my own family to contend with without the petty squabbles of another. To cut a long story short, I've told her to get their mum to speak directly to me if it is affecting her that much instead of making mountains out of mole hills.

What gets to me the most is the fact they know how affected I was by my mum's illness whilst in hospital before she died yet there is no trace of understanding from them whatsoever. It is ridiculous just how much courage and preparation it takes to get me inside a hospital for just ten minutes - I'll never even forgive myself for not managing to visit my own Nan when she had a hip operation a few years ago but my family knew and they understood. I'm pathetic and broken and it frustrates me to the point that you would not even understand, yet that is something I have to deal with and the constant negativity of others just makes it harder. Despite having only met Rob on a handful of occasions, I have shown my full support and I believed that to be enough when it is someone that I do not even really know! Silly me for thinking that I was required to be at everyone's beckon call at all times. If my Dad's girlfriend was suddenly hospitalised, I wouldn't expect Adam to be there every waking minute. I think I need to stop as I'm starting to sound like the thoughtless person they're making me out to be.

We'll see what happens as I refuse to stoop to a childish level over it but if I'm honest, I'd rather stay out of their way as they have a natural poisonous negativity around them at the best of times and I'd rather not be affected by it. I just don't understand how people can be so quick to form conclusions and throw around pointless accusations without stopping to put things into perspective - wouldn't their energy be better channelled into Rob's welfare? I was raised to love everyone until they give you reason not to love them, to attempt to understand others as they're all fighting the same hard battles as yourself and to be attentive to the feelings of others. I guess I've failed on the second one - I really do not understand their views.

In-laws ay? Who'd have them?

3 comments:

Ms. Moon said...

The issue of in-laws is one of those classic examples of why stereotypes arise in the first place.
I completely get your hospital anxiety.

Steve Reed said...

Sometimes when things happen, people take their stress out on a completely blameless third party. Maybe that's what's going on here. Maybe they're feeling stressed about Rob's condition (understandably) and they're taking that stress out on you, perhaps even unconsciously. Just a thought.

Charlotte | Charlotte's Web said...

Oh you poor thing :( this is so annoying.. it sounds like they are being completely unreasonable.

Also, if it helps at all, I'm also deeply affected by hospitals since my Dad died, and hyperventilate like a maniac if I have to go near one alone. I can go in but it makes me very uncomfortable - so I'd probably do the same as you if it was someone I wasn't close to. I hope that made sense.. I wasn't sure how to word it xx