A few months ago a whole bunch of drama spun up between my in-laws, myself and my family. Every few months my husband and I seem to be in the dog house for some crazy reason or another and at least once a year a big blow up occurs that sends us into our respective corners.
Every time this happened in the past I was able to ignore it, rise above it and generally not let it bother me for more than a day or so. Our relationship continues and I do my best to be in their presence and to act pleasant, (despite all the turmoil), in front of them.
This time something changed for me. This time I cannot seem to look past the problems. This time I have two children. This time I have a baby to take care of. This time I am almost forty. This time I realized that nothing will ever change. This time I realized that no matter what I do I will be judged and criticized. I am tired of the drama and sick of being told I do not measure up to their standards.
I am no longer capable of smiling in their presence and pretending that nothing is wrong. As a result when we are together it is uncomfortable and awkward.
Over the past few weeks I have spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about this situation. I have replayed the events of my past too many times and vented much too often.
I am not certain how to proceed. I wrote a letter and spent hours every night for an entire week revising it. I removed the emotion and anything that would further inflame the situation. I sent that email but it was so dumbed down it didn’t really say anything at all.
When I sit down with my thoughts I am unable to articulate why I am mad. I can cite specific incidents, but it is difficult to explain how those incidents made me feel or why I am angry about them.
I worry that my actions will impact my husband’s relationships with his family and that my children who are very close to their grandparents will lose that special bond. For the record: My husband believes my thoughts and feelings are warranted.
I’ve thought about writing another letter. One that expresses the truth of how I feel and why I feel it, but I worry that nothing will change as a result of my words. I worry that my words will provide further ammunition that they will use against me.
In the mean time I feel sick to my stomach over the matter. It’s the first thing I think about when I wake and the last thing I think about before going to bed. My emotions are incredibly raw.
I know that things will not change, but I also know that I need to see these people quite often. So if I cannot fix the problem how do I come to terms with it? How can I be in their presence but not be bothered by their judgements? How can I sit across the table from someone who is weighing my every action and word?
And most importantly how do I learn to let go? How do I resolve to no longer waste my energy on things that will not change? How do I learn to stop getting hurt by their accusations?