Not at all.  I don’t know what’s wrong with me or how I got like this but I just don’t like myself these days.  I’m angry and depressed and bitter.  Throw in a little jealousy and resentment, too.  It’s no wonder I look like crap.  It’s a reflection of the inside.  Not very pretty.  This post is not going to be very pretty either.  Fair warning.

I’ve always been such a nice person.  Now I’m just angry and depressed all the time.  I don’t think I’m the kind of person whose wiring will allow them to hold a grudge and it’s harder on me than it is on the person I’m angry with.  It just kind of bubbles and boils beneath the surface and the rage is ready to explode at the least provocation.

Sometimes I tell myself that it’s just being assertive and showing tough love and all that crap but it’s really just uncontrolled anger.

Yesterday was a prime example.  I was nasty and mean to everyone and I went to bed seething with anger.  For those of you who know me, you know all about my DIL problems.  I really let them get to me yesterday.

It was Scout’s birthday.  DS remarked that for once, DIL was going to have to step up to the plate.  It seems like everytime there’s a holiday, birthday or special occasion, she manages to get David to take the kids.  He’s broke most of the time but he always manages (with my help) to get the balloons, the cakes, the Halloween costumes, the Easter baskets, etc.  It was DIL’s weekend with the kids and she should have taken care of all that.  Instead, she started calling DS Friday evening whining and complaining and working him.  She was exhausted.  She had a headache.  Couldn’t he just take the kids for a few hours?  She called and texted over and over until he finally agreed to take them Friday night but she promised she’d pick them up early Saturday.

He drove over to pick them up and she was all dressed up and ready to go out partying.  He asked her what happened to the headache and exhaustion and she starts in on him.  “Don’t you understand I need some adult company once in a while?  All I do is work and watch kids.  I took some aspirin and one of my friends offered to take me out to cheer me up.  Why are you making such a big deal out of me getting a couple of hours with my friends???”

Yeah, sure.

Saturday morning, she doesn’t answer the phone.  Finally calls and says she’s picking them up around noon.  She gets here and asks him what he’s doing for Scout’s birthday.  He tells her we bought a small cake and had ice cream and gave him some presents.  She wants to know what he’s going to do about a party.  He tells her he didn’t plan anything because she was supposed to have the kids this weekend.  She’s out in the front yard putting him on a guilt trip and DH and I left to go shopping at thrift stores.

DS calls and says DIL had planned to take the boys to Wave Tek for Scout’s birthday but Wave Tek is closed because it’s supposed to storm all day.  She wants to know if they can take the RV and go camping for the weekend.  Are you kidding me?  NO!  You’re not taking my RV and going camping for the weekend.  Forget it.

DS calls me an hour or so later and wants to know if I have any ideas about what he can do for Scout’s birthday.  Now I’m really mad because DIL should have been planning Scout’s birthday instead of going out with her friends Friday night.  And I know her game, too.  She simply planned on David taking the kids for the weekend knowing they’d be at my house and we’d take care of everything.  I told him he might want to take them to Gatti-land for pizza.

Another hour goes by and DS calls me and says DIL wants to know if they could have a cookout and pool party for Scout’s birthday.  DIL enjoying my pool and cooking out at my house.  No.  I may seem like a bitch but for the chicklets who know the situation I am never getting involved with DIL again.  Never. After everything she’s done to me and my family.  Not a chance in Hell.

So I hang up the phone and I’m feeling really, really bad.  On the one hand, I’m aware that she’s the master manipulator and I’m determined that she’s not going to use me again.  On the other hand, I know it’s Scout’s birthday and I’m feeling bad that he’s not getting any special recognition for it.

DH and I decide to go ahead and throw him a party.  I call DS and tell him I’ll pick up a cake, ice cream, balloons, etc. and invite DGD, Holly, and a couple of kids down the street for a quick party around 6:00.  We’ll order pizza and the kids can swim in the pool.

So I dish out $20.00 for a cake, another $5.00 for ice cream, another $15 for balloons, crepe paper, party hats, etc. and head home.  After I get home, DS calls and says he and DIL took the boys to Gatti-Land.  I’m royally pissed because I’ve bought all this stuff but he says it’s not really a party.  They’re just going to get some pizza and let the boys play some games for an hour or so.

DGD, Holly, gets here and helps me set the table and do the decorations and then we wait.  And we wait.  I called DS twice and he didn’t pick up his phone.  Finally, he calls me at 7:00 and says, “Hey, Mom!  What’s up?” 

“What’s up???  What do you think is up?  I thought you were bringing the boys over for Scout’s birthday?  I’ve got kids in the pool and cake and ice cream and you’re not here.  That’s what’s up.”

He apologizes and says he couldn’t hear his phone over the noise at Gatti-Land and says they didn’t realize it was so late and they’re on their way.  And, oh, by the way, Stacy wants to know if she can join us for cake and ice cream.

I was so mad I couldn’t even think straight.  I said, “Are you kidding me?  No, she can’t join us for cake and ice cream.”

DS says, “Well, she wants to.  She just wants to be included in his party.  She feels bad because she doesn’t have any money to do anything for him.”

He may buy that BS but I’m not.  I know exactly where she’s coming from and she’s not worming her way back into my good graces in this lifetime.  Not a chance.  I told DS, “Okay, you decide.  You can bring her over here and I’ll leave.  I’ll be glad to take a hike because I am NOT going to sit here and act like everything’s hunky dory and sing Happy Birthday with that bitch in my house.  After everything she’s done to me, to you, to everyone in this family, she’s not welcome here.  If she wanted to sing Happy Birthday to Scout and have a party, she should have planned it instead of running off with her friends last night.”

So DS comes in with the boys around 7:15 and he’s all patronizing and giving me the “Gosh, Mom, why are you so mad?  She just wanted to have some cake with Scout.  She thought it would be nice if we all sat around and watched him open presents.” and I’m totally unmoved.  I HATE that bitch.  I can honestly say there are only two people that I’ve hated in my entire life and she’s one of them.  I try not to show it around the boys but that’s the way I feel.

I guess it’s not healthy.  One small dose of her and my blood is boiling.  No one can infuriate me the way she does.  I don’t like myself when I act this way.  I really don’t.  But, then, I don’t want to forgive her either.  I know how manipulative she is.  I’ve been through it over and over with her.  She’ll never change.  If I give an inch, she’ll take a mile.  Much better if she goes her way and I go mine.  So why did I toss and turn last night and feel like such a bitch? 

Yesterday was not only Scout’s birthday.  It was the 17th anniversary of my granddaughter, Laura’s, death.  She was two years old when she died.  And I’m angry with her parents.  I’m angry that they let it destroy their lives.  I was as close to her as I am to all my grandkids and her death was devastating.  There is never any getting over it.  Still, you have to move on.  Pick up the pieces and keep going.  And my son and other DIL never did.  They just stopped doing anything.

I go in the bathroom yesterday afternoon and Holly has left bloody panties and a used kotex lying on the floor.  I know, TMI, but I’m absolutely appalled.  There’s blood on the toilet, the floor and I’ve got a houseful of kids.  She’s only 12 years old but she started menstruating almost a year ago.  I call her into the house and take her to the bathroom and I’m like, “Holly, look at this mess!  Young ladies don’t do this.  You have to clean up after yourself.”

She says, “I’m sorry, Nana.”  Picks up the kotex and tosses it in the wastebasket and turns around to walk out.

“No, Holly.  You have to fold it up, wrap it in toilet paper and then put it in the wastebasket.  And you have to clean up the floor and the toilet.  Girls have to be very careful because it’s nasty to leave blood from your period on things.  You have to clean it up.  That’s not something you want a bunch of boys to see.”

And she turns around and I notice that she has a couple of stains on the back of her dress.  So I point it out to her and she says, “It’s just a little bit.  It’s not dirty.”  So I have to sit her down and have a talk with her about things she should have been told by her mother.

I’m raising Andrew and Steven.  They’ve lived with us for the last 7 years and we were practically raising them before that.  Mom and Dad did not give them what they needed.  And Holly is a disaster.  I feel bad for her but she doesn’t get what she needs either and I can only do so much.  I’m angry that Darryl and Tina don’t step up to the plate and take care of her or help us with Andrew and Steven.

So, yesterday, Tina posts on FB a message that says, “Today is the anniversary of my beautiful daughter’s death.  I miss her everyday.  She was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

And, again, I’m angry.  Angry that she can’t see that the twins and her other daughter are the best things that ever happened to he.  I feel like shaking her and screaming, “What’s the matter with you?  Can’t you be a mother for once?  Can’t you see that you have three living children who need you?  Stop dwelling in the past and open your eyes!”

The irony of all this is that I don’t doubt for a minute that she would have failed if Laura had lived.  She just uses that as an excuse for everything that’s gone wrong in her life.  Even before she died, I was doing most of the work of raising the twins.  They spent every weekend from Friday afternoon until Sunday evening with us and they never wanted to go home.  They would beg to stay at our house and we would usually let them.

I need to stop.  Get over it and get on with the day.  I don’t like it when I dwell on this kind of stuff.  I warned you that this post was not going to be pretty.  I don’t like myself very much today.


susan says 31st July @ 15:13

That DIL of yours makes MY blood boil. Only Gandhi could MAYBE get over that kind of continual crap. What is wrong with people?

You are wonderful Patty; we here all like ya lots. 🙂

Thanks for giving all those kiddos a steady foundation for when the adults shake their worlds again and again.

fatnomo says 31st July @ 18:22

Hugs Sistah. Just lots and lots of hugs for you. I TOTALLY know that seething anger that exists when others lack of basic common sense and absence of all responsibility is grossly placed in your lap. It’s okay to be mad, and even nasty. Just don’t bottle up. Again, hugs girlie. Your grandkids will understand what a rock are, and THEY are what counts. Hang tough.

misscatty says 1st August @ 16:03

All I can do, is tell you that you aren’t the only one with people who will use you to get what they want. I am step mom, and wonder mom, with the bio-mom, who sounds alot like your DIL. I want to hug your grand kids, and give you a hug too. Your DS has evidently never figured out DIL, and with out the help of another girl in his life saying if you want me, you have to say no to her, PERIOD. My husband was the same fool when I met him and he was played over and over again. My foot went down and he began to see the light. There is a line that you must walk, and if you waiver from it, then you pay the price. Kudos to your spine, and yes its tough as hell. I wish people weren’t like your DIL, or my kids bio-mom. Sleep well knowing that if you would have caved it would happen again. Foot down, you give your grandkids what they need and what you want to give them, and you rest well!

brseay says 1st August @ 17:48

I have read this post a couple of times and my heart aches for you. One question I have, though, is why don’t you like yourself? Is it b/c you feel bad for saying you hate your DIL? Is it b/c you finally expressed your feelings and you’re accustomed to always being nice?

I think we may have talked about this before, but so much of what is stressful in your life involves things you can’t control. And as easy as it might be to say “you don’t have to raise your grandkids” we both know that’s not the truth. That’s not the kind of person you are and it’s not the kind of person that anyone should be.

You posted a comment on my blog that you are going to go to the doctor. That’s great, but can you also schedule an appt w/a therapist? You need a place to be able to say “Stacy is such a bitch and I HATE HER” and have it be ok. You need a place to be able to mourn Laura. You need a place to be able to mourn the fact that you are not enjoying this stage of your life as I’m sure you envisioned it. It’s ok to say you resent being a parent again. The reason I feel so strongly about this is that for so long after Kyle was diagnosed I tried to handle it myself. He almost died when he was 16 months old and there were times after that, when things were really bad, that I wondered if it would have been better (and easier) if he had. I felt like the worst mother in the world when that thought would go through my head, but once I had the courage to say it outloud to my therapist he said “Who wouldn’t feel that way? Your life is hard b/c of his illness and yes, your life would be easier if he wasn’t around. That doesn’t mean you don’t want him here, it just means that you’re human.”

Because so much of what stresses you out involves your family you can’t 100% lean on family to help you though. This is why seeing someone who can be objective and uninvolved is so important. You can say that you’re disappointed that your son doesn’t stand up to Stacy w/o people looking at you in horror.

OK, I’ll quit telling you what to do, at least for now 🙂 No matter what, I want you to know that I think you are an amazing person and I feel lucky to have gotten to know you. I am a better person because of you.

beerab says 3rd August @ 21:24

*HUGS* Girl just reading your post made me feel tired! You definitely wear a lot of hats and your son is CRAZY to even THINK of asking to let that woman come over. I hope he doesn’t get back with her again if he was spending time with her and the kids again- that’s definitely a mistake on his part!

I’m sorry for all you are dealing with with the other son and his wife, that sucks that they can’t take care of their own kids and have used the death of one child as an excuse to neglect their other kids. 🙁

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