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Rowena

My Hubby Has A Pita For A Mil

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On Friday, I forgot to pack the disposable diapers in my diaper bag. (J has an infection so I was going to wait until it cleared up to try CDing originally) However my MIL was helping me wash the new diapers and such, so we decided since the only diapers she had at her house were ones bad for J, we'd just put him in a celiac disease. The difference was night and day. We enjoyed seeing him in cloth diapers and no red skin, and a happy baby (even more so than he normally is). So knowing we'd need more if we didn't want to do wash twice a day ish, I call my mom and ask if she would be willing to help out. Bad idea. Despite the fact she was willing to buy the most expensive disposables on the market at least once a month for us, (and we never asked her to, she pretty much told us, 'Let me know when you need more diapers) she wouldn't invest in CDs.
Why? Because she said we 'didn't have the facilities to do it' and we also weren't going to go through with it when it got hard, and so on so forth. The list went on and on. So WHILE I WAS AT MY MIL's HOUSE and my hubby's cousin was even there too, I was bawling my head off. (And MIL caught me too!) My mother didn't even want to compromise, and so, I just hung up, saying 'I'm done arguing with you, since we won't agree on anything.'
So the next morning, I wake up, STILL frustrated, wracking my brain for a solution. We REALLY needed more diapers so we could try this situation out more. So I figure, fine, *I* will spend money we don't have, and then once she realizes I'm dead set, she can pay us back. So I call her, and say very nicely, 'Since we won't ever agree, I came up with a compromise, would you like to hear it?' She says, 'yes.' So I tell her my plan, and she says, well that's almost exactly what I texted you last night on Brent's phone. (Which by the way took her 13 texts I think it was to write, AND we didn't get them until after I hung up the phone with her.) So that's an agreement to the compromise, right? Or am I crazy?
So anyway, she THEN tries to argue with me some more after that, and tries now to tell me I can't do it because I keep losing my phone. How the hell does that make sense even? And for goodness sake, I only had a baby three months ago, you have to give me some time to get my brain back! (Meanwhile, my mom can never find her keys!) And then she tries to tell me that I never call her unless I need something, (true but that's because even when there is a call to talk, she always find SOMETHING to get after me and my husband about.) and if she calls, I ignore her. (Not true) So I said, 'Mom, I'm done talking about this, I really don't need to be crying when I hang up the phone YET AGAIN. Goodbye.' So then she KEEPS going. So I say, 'Bye mom, we're done arguing, bye.' And hang up.
So then I finally get the texts she supposedly sent last night (all VERY accusatory mind you.) and read them, getting more and more upset. (And in those she also tells me all about her problems with me.) But she DID say she found some information I need for a doc appt on tuesday, so I call her back. 'I only called to hear the information you said you found Mom.' So of course, she DOESN'T give it to me, and yells at me for hanging up on her. 'If you ever hang up on me again, I will give you ZERO help. If you ever hang up on me again, you get NO help.' and she says that in as many different ways as she can think of, plu trying to tell me that I *SAID* she agreed to the compromise when she didn't. I told her, 'Did you or did you NOT say that was pretty much the idea you had. --Yes. So then you agreed!' and then ... yeah... of all things... SHE HANGS UP ON ME! So I call her back, and she REFUSES TO ANSWER!
Well about another hour later I get ANOTHER thirteen texts telling me how awful of a person I am, blah blah blah, and then at the VERY end she tells me, 'Oh and you need to call me and tell me how to get you that information you need.' Um HELLO! That's what I called you for the second time!
So I then decided, screw it, I'm done trying to get help from her. I don't want her help if she's going to treat me like crap... again. And we go out to target to see if they had any of the CDs I bought the other day (stupidly forgetting they all were 'online only' buys). So we come out of target almost empty handed.
And we head over to my MIL house so she and I go fabric shopping so we can make cloth wipes. (I LOVE MY MIL, just saying) Well, I ask her if she minds taking me back to the cloth diaper store we originally bought my CDs from (she has REALLY good prices for NEW diapers). She says she'd love to take me. I was all ready to put everything on my credit card, but she bought me 90 dollars worth of stuff herself! (Granted, she did say she'd not be able to help out with as much of my rent doing that, but now that we have two workerbees again, we should be able to do it this month.) And then she bought 14 dollars worth of flannel! So that was an amazing part of my day. (And she even bought me more prefolds than I was trying to buy because she wanted to make sure I was firmly set up!)
But THEN my hubby comes home and says, 'Your mom texted you on my phone again, her texts weren't AS bad this time though.' I think he mostly said it to calm me down. Didn't work cause I saw them later on last night, and FREAKED. She is NOW saying that she and dad saw the pictures of 'Jayden' on facebook, and they are fancy smancy diapers, and they will NOT pay for them. (All because they did research and found cheaper diapers. What? The lousy gerber prefolds that we use as burpcloths and already are falling apart?)

And on another note, how does my mother STILL mispell Jaden when I've corrected her a million times, AND she's seen it written a million times?

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Wishing you a better today!

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Yeah, my day already started out like crap today.  Get to work, open up my email, and there is my mom's reply to a long butt email that I took forever writing.  (I'm a horrible writer, I am the person who gets straight C's in English classes if I'm lucky because I fail all my essays no matter what I do.  Hence the reason I'm not in school.  So I took a long time making sure that my email made sense, and contained everything I needed and that it transitioned nicely, all while trying not to sound accusatory.)  I am SOOOOOOOOO mad though because here was her response to my long butt email:  Dad and I love you and always will.   That's IT?!  What the hell?  What kind of mother do I have?  Meanwhile, this is the email I wrote to her:

 

 
Mom, 
This email may bother you in so many ways, but read it all the way through before you start getting upset please.
 
First off I understand you are my mother, and as such you want what's best for me.  I know raising me cannot have been easy, especially since I came to live with you at age 7.5 and a half, and come with VERY difficult misconceptions to change.  I know I am not perfect, nor will I ever be.  I know I'm a difficult person in general.  I don't let people understand me, get to know who I am.  And yet, you've molded me into a good person that I can be proud of, despite all the challenges I came with.  I cannot thank you enough for that.
I want you to know, you are an amazing mother, and I do love you.  Words cannot describe how I feel toward you.  You've taught me some of life's greatest lessons. Or at least the greatest lessons for me personally.  It was you who would worry about me every time I said I wanted white skin and my skin was ugly.  Heck, you may have even shed tears over it.  But somehow, you managed to right that, and make me realize even if I were ugly on the outside, even if my skin was ugly, it was what is on the inside that counts.  And now, I'm married to someone who tells me every night that he loves my caramel color skin.  That is so important to me, and you helped me come to terms with that.
Time and time again, I've told you that I cannot thank you and dad enough for teaching me the value of hard work.  Often you refuse the compliment, and say I came that way.  But no.  My work ethic comes from you and Dad.  Every summer day that I weeded in the yard, I learned how important it was to work hard.  And it taught me that there is always a reward, even if it taakes a while to manifest itself.  Every flower I planted with you was worth thousands of pulled weeds.
I don't know if you know it, but I know how much it broke your heart when I was having 'friend troubles' at Bullis.  And then the day you came to me in seventh grade and said you wanted to switch me to public school.  You gave me an opportunity to have friendship like I've never known.  You took me away from the bears that said awful things to me and about me.  And the day that I went back to visit and was told 'Oh no the halls just got dirty again,' that day still haunts me to this day, but I look back at the same time, and realize just how lucky I was to have a mom who loved me so much that for a year and a half, she braved messed up schedules often ruining vacation time and other family times, just so she could see me happy again and not afraid to go to school every day.
At the time, I often found it really annoying that you were the type of person to say 'go to school sick unless you are throwing up or have a fever,' especially since I rarely did either.  It drove me nuts when you had to be convinced that I needed to see a doctor for a jammed finger or sprained ankle (or my favorite, when you insisted my shoulder was bruised.)  But looking back, not only do I laugh about it, because honestly, how many kids can say things like 'My mom was so worried about scarring on my eyebrow and insisted I had a bruised shoulder blade, and it turned out I had a significant fracture in it.'  But I also realize, without you doing that, I wouldn't have a lot of the strength today.
It also drove me nuts when you'd try and help me 'get over my fear of people' by making me call and schedule/reschedule appointments, talk to teachers by myself, etc.  But now, I'm VERY glad you did.  I still don't like doing it, and heck I still break out in a sweat when I leave messages, but I can do it now.
However, as you might have noticed, we do not have a perfect mother daughter relationship.  And this is where its going to get unpleasant for you probably, but read me out, and I hope that I can write this without sounding accusatory.  However, if I do come across accusatory, know its not my intent.  I'm not the best writer, (As you and dad WELL know) but I will definitely write this as best as I know how.
I never told you this, but the ABSOLUTE hardest time in my life wasn't foster care, believe it or not.  Yes, it was hard, but that's not what was hardest for me.  It wasn't the hell I suffered at Bullis either.  The hardest time in my life was when I thought you were leaving our family.  I still remember that day very clearly.  I heard you yelling at Dad.  And then you found me in my bathroom, and you started yelling at me.  I know its stupid, you'd never abandon our family, you really do love us, but I was hurt.  I only had a month left of high school, and while I had just turned 18 two days before, and I was technically an adult, I needed you.  I didn't want to lose my mom.   I only had a mom for ten years.  She couldn't just leave.  No.  I know its probably not a memory you want to dwell on, it probably isn't the proudest moment of your life.  But you have to know, I really did blame myself, far more than I probably should have.  But I will NOT take back the words I said the next day, since it was Mother's Day. I DO love you, you ARE a wonderful mother, and I DO need you in my life, and I CANNOT thank you enough for everything you've done.  You are the woman who molded me into the great woman I am today.
But even still, we had and do have our problems.  And I don't think I ever did tell you this.  The large part of the reason why I checked myself into see a therapist at the Y was not just because I just couldn't get out of bed.  There was more to it than that.  I felt that you and Dad were pressuring me to do exactly how YOU wanted me to do.  I distinctly remember calling you once when I got a C on a test, and it was a REALLY hard test for me, and you told me I didn't study hard enough.  I balled my head off when I got off the phone with you.  And that's not even all of it.  You and Dad made it very clear to me that you didn't think too highly of me wanting to be a senator in high school, or pursue engineering in college.  And I'm a people pleaser, so of COURSE I wanted to do exactly what you and Dad wanted me to do, and when it wasn't good enough I felt like a failure.
That's why I checked myself into therapy.  And while I was trying to learn how to accept that there will always be people in my life who don't approve of my life choices, and some of them will be people I love dearly, it didn't get better with your expectations.  And during that time, I also learned even more about me and my educational life.  I learned that I will never be a good writer, and I will ALWAYS need help.  And yet, I was told I was a waste of money.  Yes, Dad said it first, and you agreed with him.   What child wants to hear that?
So then we decided when I wasn't going to be able to get the help I needed sponsored by SLCC (I think that was the timing) we decided we needed to get me help from Sylvan Learning. So we got their initial testing done, and they said, okay, well there are huge discrepancies in her Reading Comprehension and whatever the other English section was, I don't remember what it was called.  So they said, without the educational testing we aren't sure that however we help her, it will be retained.  So we'd like you to come back when you have the testing done and we know the problem.  That way we know exactly how to help her.
So, we went to a therapy session with Jolene all prepared to go and get the testing, but when she said I didn't need it, because she could right a note to the school, you said, oh okay, despite the fact I've had problems for YEARS.  Well yeah, that didn't work.  I remember even a couple years later asking if we could PLEASE get me tested, and I got a flat out no.  So yeah, I pretty much gave up on college.  And now because I am too stupid to learn in that particular setting, I often feel like you and dad feel like I am a complete and utter failure.  I didn't graduate college, and I probably never will.  It makes it hard for me to accept for myself that I'll never be able to complete school.
Yes, I only call when I need something.  There is a very good reason for that.  Frankly, for years, I've been living a life, trying to do the very best I can, and yet for every one thing I do right, you find five things that you don't approve of, and in so doing, it makes me feel like crap.  Sometimes its small, sometimes its large.  And frequently, you unnecessarily even bring Brent into it, and find some fault with him.  Even when you get a hold of me 'just to talk' there is ALWAYS something you get on my case about and make me feel like crap.  You say I hang up and am rude because I don't agree with you.  That is NOT the case.  I hang up because I cannot handle being told I'm not good enough, which is how I feel you come across everytime we talk.
That's why that one day, Brent stood up to you for me, and then whisked me off to his parents house.  He was NOT going to let his fiance feel like she was worthless.  And that's when I knew I had to marry him, because he stood up for me when he saw that though I did one thing right, you finished the sentence with a 'but you didn't do this right.'  A compliment with you always seems to be followed by something negative.  Now, I know, I'm not perfect.  Yes, there are things I do wrong.  And yes, I need to be told that time and time again.  But compliments should really stand on their own.
And then on the subject of Brent, for some odd reason, I have only heard ONE compliment from your mouth about him, and that is that he is patient.  Evberything else is about how he is flawed.  We know he has his flaws, and we are working on them.  I have my flaws too, and I am working on them.  But I would appreciate it if you are going to talk to me about him, its not about how flawed he is, and how slow and meticulous he is about doing things.  First of all, it hurts me to constantly hear things negative toward my husband, but it also hurts him.  Jaden is too young to understand right now, but what about when he grows up.  He's going to hear things like 'Brent is quite slow,' or 'Why doesn't he have a job yet?'  And then he'll think he has a deadbeat father and it will ruin his relationship with him.  Of course that's the extreme end of what could happen, but I think it clarifies my point.
So with all that said, I do love you, and I really am trying to work on our imperfect relationship.  I do not fault you, I know you are just trying to make sure I am the best I can be.  That's your right as a mother.  I understand that, even more so that I am a mom.  But I also know, that I cannot live my life crying after every phone conversation. For one thing, it raises my anxiety.  But for another thing, its not healthy.  I want things to be better.  I will admit, over the more recent years it HAS improved, you HAVE been less of the way that makes me feel like a failure.  But again, its still not perfect.
I'm truly sorry for every time I've upset you, and I'm truly sorry for any pain this message causes.  I do love you, very much, and I am SO glad you are my mom.  You are a wonderful person, and do not let anyone tell you otherwise.  That's the greatest lesson you've taught me, and I want to feel like you believe I am a wonderful person.
I love you very much.

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As a parent of kids almost your age...I probably would have responded the same way.  That note sounds like you want them to answer for everything you think they have done wrong since you were a kid.  That's hard to answer. Its also likely that some things a 10 year old or  even 18 year Rowena thought was happening wasn't exactly what was happening.  That isn't phrased well but - you may have seen a part of the whole picture as the kid or only heard the part you wanted to hear.

 

You are now a grown married woman with a child.  You should have a different relationship with your parents now. They are still your parents, but the 3 of you will need to figure out how you relate as adults.  They are not forever responsible for your financial support or setting rules & consequences (punishments) in your home - or other things they did when you were a child.

 

I have always liked you but I know this may really piss you off.  I'm sorry for that.  I also think you may want to reconsider your post, as in a few weeks or months, this will may not be something you want people to read.

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Kareng- Nope not pissed off at all, though I will say, I don't mind the one sentence factor, but it would have been nice to get even a 'I'm sorry you feel that way,' or even the usual berating.  However I didn't.  And I realize every person is different, and I realize I was a teenager, and yes there are times where I've heard what I want to hear.  However, the way I was raised, I often got taken to therapy every time I tried to say to my parents how I was feeling.  They never even bothered to ask WHY I felt that way, and didn't let me explain why.  So I grew closed off.

And yes, I realize they aren't responsible for my finances or rules/consequences in my home.  That's why I never ask them for much, and we actually are the most independent from them of all their children.  However they still are my parents, and what they say does matter to me, and if I am in a bind, I'd LIKE to be able to go to them and be able to trust they'd actually hear me out.  But as of right now I can't.  My mother wants me to talk to her as a friend, and not just when I need something, but that's not how I was raised.
And also, I don't write really well, which I did mention in my letter, and I did apologize if I came off accusatory, but that's not how I meant it.  My parents know how I write, but you don't.  Writing isn't my strong point, which is the whole reason I'm not in school.  But they've also never heard my side of the story, and that's what the letter is supposed to do, convey that I love them, but also convey that we have problems and this is my side of the story.
With that said, I've also vowed to myself, my kids will NEVER be treated the way I was, and not just how my parents treated me either.  They will always know they are loved by me and my husband, and we will give them every opportunity to succeed, and if they take a different route, that's their choice, but I will always love them, and find the good in them.

 

Edit:  Also, if there WAS something that I didn't hear right, or that I didn't see the whole picture of, this is a very good opportunity for my parents to explain that.

 

Edit 2:  I didn't say this in my email to my mom, simply because it involves a sibling of mine, but my brother who is 12 years older than me has seen the way she treats me, and despite being a dad to a five year old and 3 brand new triplets, he wanted to take me in his home and just let me feel a moment of peace from the negativity I was getting, just so you can see that I'm not entirely blowing smoke up butts.

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Ro - I don't have the time right now to be sugar-coating stuff. Ok, I rarely do that at any time.   My mom just died and I have a lot of stuff to take care of, including my Dad who has taken care of her for 4+ years and is now wandering around, sort of lost, looking for things to do.

 

You are a grown-up - with your own life.  You need to get past these perceived or real problems from when you were a kid.  Getting them to apologize because they didn't take you to a tutor or to the doctor once -  that is past.  Its over.  They probably screwed up!  You probably screwed up! You probably misunderstood some things.  They may have misunderstood some things.   You and they and I - we will all keep making mistakes with our kids.  Mine let me know but we don't go back to the time they were 10.  We can't change that.  We try to work, respectfully, with each other now, in the present.

 

 

I had issues with my folks, too. I could give you some ideas for going on and trying to start a mature/grown-up relationship with your parents but, until you are ready, there is no point. 

 

Good luck with that sweet baby!

 

Next week, if you want to talk to me, pm me.  I still won't be sweet and sugar-coated  ;) , but I would be happy to listen and make some suggestions. 

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Just want to add - We women tend to hold onto past grievances.  But there is nothing we can do to change them.  They are over.  Bringing them back up and expecting people to even remember them - much less remember them the way you do, is not productive.

 

  You say you were a foster kid - your parents were probably scared to death that something in your past had damaged you.  Taking you to counselors was what they knew or were advised to do.  I bet they were scared to lose you or that they would say the wrong thing and make it worse.  It sounds like they are doing things, right or wrong,  out of love.

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Kareng - I'm not just holding on to past grievances, those are just examples of what my mom has done right/wrong so she can see them, the OP post is as of Friday/Saturday so you can see that its nothing I'm just looking back on.  She still says five things she doesn't agree with for every one thing she does like that I do.  And nearly all of those negative examples are more recent than when I was eighteen.  In my family we weren't raised to verbalize our problems, and that's why the letter.  And also if you notice, the 'not taking me to the doctor' part was in the section of the letter that I said I actually am grateful for her doing.  I said it gave me the strength I have today, and it gives me something to look back and laugh on because it really was funny!  (Not at the time of course being I was not feeling good or in pain or some such.  But it is funny now to tell people my mom once made my brother walk on a broken leg for three weeks or she tried to convince a NUMBER of docs that my shoulder was just bruised despite the fact I couldn't move my arm at all.  And plus, I also have a story about myself because of it.  I once rolled down a hill landing really funny on my ankle, stood back up all gimpy like, and tried to convince everyone I was fine.  20 minutes later I was being pushed around in a handcart [it was on a reenactment of pioneers coming out to Utah for my Church] because I couldn't walk.  Yeah, by the way, walking around in dirt roads up hills and through rivers on a sprained ankle? Not my brightest idea)
Also I didn't say it wasn't that they didn't take me to a tutor.  They DID.  Its that I said the tutor didn't know how best to help me without testing so that I could actually do well in school.  But they were all ready to finally do the testing we should have done years ago, (that's how long we've known I've had learning problems but they've been undiagnosed.) And then the therapist told my mom that she could whisk away all my learning disability problems with a note and I'd do all fine and dandy in school.  I still wasn't able to get the help I needed, so when I asked again so I could do well in school, they flat out told me no testing. THAT'S what I have a problem with, the fact for six years in particular (because it really didn't start showing itself until I had to write papers for classes in eighth grade.  Before that English was mostly the grammatical stuff which I'm really good at, and reading on a level I could understand.  Sylvan tested me while I actually was trying to do college, just before what would have been my sophomore year, and I read at the level of a ninth grader in high school.  But my vocab and grammar was amazing.) I have had this problem, and my parents didn't want to do the last thing they could to try and help me succeed.

Yes I am an adult. Like I said.  But they ARE my parents, and as their daughter, I have a duty to love them and respect them, and they have the same responsibility to me, but the way they treat me over the years, I'm not going to be able to trust them easy.

Also the therapy had NOTHING to do with foster care.  It was supposed to be for my anxiety, but it really was an excuse for them to try and tell me that I was wrong in feeling how I do, an excuse to avoid me telling them how I feel.
I'm not trying to get them to apologize for what they did either.  I just for once in my life was trying to tell them how I feel, without having to worry about them twisting what I'm saying.  And it would STILL be nice to actually know that my mother read the email at all.  She CAN tell me I'm wrong in feeling the way I do, or at least say, 'I'm sorry you feel that way.'
Another thing is, I was also raised in provided examples to back up what I say, because that's how my parents respond best.  They don't like hearing, 'I feel like you think I am a failure' without an example to back up why.

But again, perhaps, your thoughts are coming because you don't understand how my family works, and how I work.  Or what we were raised to believe, so on so forth.  That's why I'm not mad at what you are saying.  Its hard to understand a person if you don't really know them...

 

(And sorry if its accusatory or anything, I just don't write well and can't fully express myself on paper and my thoughts often don't make sense.)

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Having gone through therapy for a childhood that sounds at least as "bad" as yours, I'm going to side with karen here.  Get past it.  You're not past it if you're bringing it up.  You're not past it if you're still using it as part of the "why I am this way" in a conversation.  So it's a part of why you are they way you are - great, but it doesn't matter one bit outside of what you do with it now.

 

I probably would have responded the same way your mom did too.  She could have said more, and almost anything she said wouldn't have sat well with you.  So, instead, she's doing her best to separate a bit.  Honestly, that's probably the best thing for both of you.  Separate - not avoid contact or anything like that, but separate so that you are two completely independent adults.  Can you see her, on some levels, as your equal?  Because your roles in life have some equal now.  Can you see yourself, having made some mistakes that your little one feels so strongly about?  Because it's likely to happen (I can almost say guaranteed. :P )  Of course, finding your new relationship with yourself, and your mom, may take years.  For me, it was something like ... oh, I don't know?  five, six, eight years of actually trying to change it.  (Three years of those in therapy.)

 

For now, don't ask her to pay for your diapers (even if she did before).  Buy some used prefolds and covers and go the cheap route.  (Ok, kawaii diapers makes reasonable cheap pockets.) Yeah, getting hybrids and fancy pockets and hemp inserts and so on is awesome, and some of them have super prints, but in a few years, you'll be done with them.  And, honestly, prefolds and covers hold up better in the every-other-day-washing.

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I think you are expressing your thoughts well, and your writing is fine, but I think what the others meant is should you be saying those things? Why do you need them to hear it? Your parents aren't responsible for how you feel about things, even if it is situations that affected you. You can't change others' reactions and thoughts, only your own. I think you might be fighting a losing battle if you try to change them in ways that you want... we old moms get more stubborn as we get older too.  LOL ;)

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ok First i will confess, i did not read your full email.  it was very personal.

 

The current event of my situation.  my sister-in-law is not speaking to me, and has convinced another sister-in-law not to speak to me.  my daughter is having more medical testing done.

 

now my dream...  my father-in-law has been dead for 14 years often comes to me in dreams when i am really stressed out.  Well he showed  me some things.  he gave my daughter an A grade book, her tests are going to be just fine.  (whatever the outcome results from the lab, she is going to be fine.)  my sister-in-law appeared to be bald with a mystery maya or Indian script carved all over her pale fleshed face.  i was really upset to see her that way, so i left that area.  i went back to my father-in-law.  he explained to me how we are all on our own path in this life.  We only interact and have moments in common, but we have our own life to live.  i interpret that to mean...  Her own reasons for pushing me away is her way of dealing with her life.  it is not my fault or my problem.  no one is perfect.  Do we have to apologize every day for that?  We can't change what has happened.  We can try and do better, but we are just human and can't live up perfection.  We will screw up every day and hurt those that truely love us. 

 

To err ~is human, to forgive ~devine.

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