I am touched so deeply and profoundly by everyone's response. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart!
I'm saving all your words to read through carefully and map out my approach. I have read Toxic Parents but it's been a few years and warrants a revisit. Great suggestion.
I cannot communicate the relief I just know I'll feel if I cut my parents out now or someday. I see it suspended out there, like only caged by my guilt and all that. when I please them (always at the cost of my authentic self), I am totally sick with resentment and self-hatred. When I 'disappoint' them (by being myself and making right choices for me), I feel tremendous guilt as the bad daughter.
My brother doesn't get it either and always pulls a Rodney King on me (about all getting along). He will never understand why I have to do this, b/c he has a different relationship with them. I've told him I do not want him to choose sides, I would never, ever want to contaminate his relationship with our parents. That is his choice and he has freedom from me to do that carte blanche.
They are visiting us today, most, most unfortunately. For three days. They are
staying in a hotel and have since our baby was born, but still!! Ya know? It's too much for me and DH!
We just rec'd a call from them and my father thought he would get the answering machine again so when my DH answered, he heard my father swearing over his predictioin that he'd get the 'GD answering machine again!' and 'they make me crazy!!' Then my DH said, 'hello?' and AS ALWAYS, my father pretends like nothing happened and tries to chat DH up. What a farce.
My parents are crystal clear that they do not care that much about seeing me and DH, they only 'need to see (our) grandson'. Well, f- that. I didn't have a baby for them. My father repeated this again on the phone this morning after saying 'we're looking forward to seeing you guys', he qualified that with a correction: 'well, we are really looking forward to seeing (my DS), not you guys!' And then laughed.
My DH came upstairs to tell me that and we both looked at each other and asked, 'Why are we putting ourselves through this?!' We agreed that after this visit, we have to do something. It is SUCH negative crap in our lives and we are a happy family but this wrecks that for three days now.
Maybe it will all end up in a big blow out while they are here anyway. I know my DH is ready to take them on b/c he has had enough!! I refuse to talk to them about this stuff since 1. not in front of my DS and 2. I've said it for 15 years and they only tell me that no, it wasn't that way, it's your fault, you disappoint us and embarrass us with our friends.
I need that like a hole in the head! They don't deserve to hear what I think or feel. Let 'em stew over the whole 'it's a mystery why you were so unhappy since we were all fine.'
Sorry for the rant again. I believe there are no accidents and my DH hearing my father talk that way this morning has pushed my DH further into wanting them out of our lives. My parents are so stupid - if they had a clue they'd figure out that by treating me and DH like crap, they ain't gonna see their grandson. But of course, they are so blind in their self righteousness and think that they can control us and pout and whine enough to get what they want.
I don't think any mom or dad should hand over their child to someone to hold if that person, whether it's grandma, uncle, daycare employee, etc., if that person disrespects the mom/dad. Makes no sense to me. Why should I hand over my child for my dad to hold him when my dad treats me like crap?
Thank you all so much again. I feel so supported and that means the world to me. I take your words to heart, believe me.