Guilt: SO tired of feeling like the "bad guy" - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-26-2004, 05:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am just so mad right now.

Some of you may know about this stuff that is going on, but all of it happening together is really bothering me.

It is like people in my life keep making the worst choices possible (in some cases over and over) and it totally affects my life. Then I am forced to make a decision because of their actions, I upset the apple cart and have guilt.
But it is not my fault that these people choose of their own free will do these things in the first place!

On top of everything, I have my own issues going on, that I won't get into here. But let's just say *my* life has not been a bowl of cherries lately. Then, I am EIGHT months pregnant and supposed to be taking it easy to aviod any more early babies. Then these things happen...

1) MIL, SIL, and DN decide that they want to move over 2000 miles and live out by us. It has a lot to do with SIL getting away from her DD's bio-dad. That is fine, I love them, it would be great to have them around our town.
The problem? They are getting here this week and want to live in my house! My teeny tiny two bedroom, one bathroom house. That is all I need- three extra people to clean up after, cook for, etc, at this time in my life, for an indefinite amount of time. They had people give (not loan) them over $1000 just to get here on, and they are giving them more to rent a house when they get here. SIL allready has a job here. There are hotels and campgrounds all over within 5 minutes from my house. Why do they want to stay IN my house, on the floor?! It is illegal and our landlord wouldn't approve, and I don't want them LIVING here. So, we say no and they ask again, and we say no, and they ask again... It is officialy an ISSUE.
DH actually thinks I should just cave in and let them. Easy for him to say when he is never home and doesn't do anything around the house.
So, GUILT over takes me.

2) FIL (who is coming out to live with MIL and SIL and DN in August) is quite the man- he has a violent, weird porn addiction that he intentionially exposed my DC to. DN that lives with him has been sexually molested and he sleeps alone with her at night. He is a liar and creepy. MIL has made weird references to me not having to worry because she is watching him for me. So, I don't want my DC around him, and DH thinks it's not that big of a deal as long as we watch him, etc. So, I am in the hard position of holding my ground, and being the 'bad guy' when FIL *chose* to do these things and I am just stuck in the situation! Why?!

3) My parents are just terrible people, but they came out here last month and just acted like nothing ever happened and wanted to hang out. They have abused DS to the point where he is scared of them and has nightmares about them, etc. They have been very emotionially and physicially abusive and we have had to call the police on them, and they have tried to sue us for our DC, etc. So, I don't see them in the 18 hours they are in my town (with no notice) and would you belive I even feel weird about that? I feel like they are so out of touch with reality they don't even know what they did is wrong or something. To them hitting and screaming and threatening is normal and they think I am just something else, and I feel bad that they are SO far gone mentally that they don't understand that normal people are not like that! In their minds, by protecting my DC, I am an evil monster.
At least DH agrees with me on this one.


But, is it me, or in the past two months do I have a re-occuring theme of other people's poor choices making me play the big bad guy? I am so mad right now, because DH is feeling guilty and then I feel guilty...
It just sucks. We have our own problems right now, and I am eight months along and do not need any more stress!
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Old 07-26-2004, 11:58 AM
 
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Your husband needs to say "NO!" with you! Your doctor/midwife would tell you that adding all that stress to your (tiny) home could physically endanger you and your pregnancy. You have enough responsibility right now- resting & taking care of yourself, taking care of little ones & your home, preparing for the new baby, etc. Those relatives are responsible for themselves- you can't "save & rescue" them, so try not to feel guilty.
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Old 07-27-2004, 01:32 AM
 
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Try to find the book "Emotional Blackmail" by Susan Forward. It might help you make sense of what is going on.

You are right. Hold your ground.

The hardest part about being in relationship with people who are so unhealthy emotionally is that they will always make it "your fault" and will exercise no honest, critical self-reflection, take no responsibility for their actions and will make you feel crazy in the process. It is part of whatever is wrong with them. They aren't trying to be difficult, they just are!

Is your midwife or doctor someone you can really talk to? Do you know of a decent therapist who can help you keep track of what is real, right and fair in these relationships when they are pressuring you to give into them?

Can you tell I've been there? Hang in there! Really, see if you can find that book.

peace,
Shantimama
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Old 07-27-2004, 02:03 AM
 
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to your dh like you have told us that it would be illegal and you could lose your house -which is something you do not need right now???
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Old 08-01-2004, 03:41 AM
 
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I'm sorry you have to deal with other people's crap.

The most important thing is to keep your baby inside of you, for as long as you can. That's it. Anything that makes that not happen is not acceptable right now.

You are eight months pregnant, with a risk of delivering early. They can stay in a hotel or motel or something and they will be just fine. If they have bad feelings about it, so what. They're adults, and can get over it.

I was 35 weeks with dd when my FIL, who is an alcoholic, perverted, obstinate jerk and his wife came to stay with us for a a weekend. I said, I can handle it, I'll be fine. It's only three days.

The morning they left, my water started leaking and two days later I had dd. While they were here, I'd done the wash and cleaned up after them (they're slobs) and cooked, and tried to be a good hostess. Dh had worked the whole weekend, and I had been their entertainment. I was supposed to be able to handle it, because I was 25, and vibrant, and could multi-task.

It just didn't work, and even if it's untrue, I still blame their visit for a huge reason that dd made her appearance when she did. Even though I was SO happy to see her.

Take this upcoming month to relax and live in a cocoon. A month from now, they'll all be fine, still there, and if you want to deal with all of this then, you'll be in a much better position to do so.
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Old 08-01-2004, 02:15 PM
 
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You are not the bad guy. You are protecting yourself and your family. You have the right to do that. The Emotional Blackmail book is a great one and if you are a Christian, Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend is very good also. I am really sorry you are having to deal with this now, especially when you need a safe and calm place to be while you are waiting for your baby to be born. It is okay to say "No."

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." -Plato
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Old 08-07-2004, 07:31 PM
 
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holy carp!!!

You are not the bad guy. You seem to be the only sane thinking person in the whole freaking bunch! It is summer. they can sleep in a tent. would be willing to bet you have one they can use Hold you ground, let go of the stress and the guilt. We are talking about someone with a porn addiction who llikes little girls sleeping in your house. They are lucky you aren't going to have social services waiting for themwhen they arrive. ANd you hsould only have to tell your dh NO. this is his family and his responsibility. it is his job to protect you and your children from all that kind of crap.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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Old 08-07-2004, 11:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everybody!

Well, for an update... I got DH on 'my side' about his dad/FIL by explaining it to him another way. I was like "If it were my best friend's husband who showed our DC violent porn and slept with a sexually molested four year old and we had caught him in lies, would you let him around DC?" And of course DH said "NO!" so then he had no way around agreeing with me about FIL- Thank God!

Then the ILs came- just MIL, SIL, and DN. We were pretty firm in our boundaries, and in the end I didn't feel guilty anymore- I felt used and upset, but now they are gone and I feel happy. (sorry, but i do! ) It was awful.
The very first thing that happened was that MIL, SIL and I had our first fight ever- in 12 years!!! MIL got mad at me for 'not forgiving' FIL, and then she turned it into an all-out attack on me. Fortunately I am not an easy target (my house is really clean and nice, my DC are smart and well-taken care of, I am a rather nice person and all that) so she didn't have a leg to stand on. But she tried and ended up freaking out over the way we DRESS. Okay, whatever. I was cool and calm and non-defensive and I think she just made herself look really stupid.

DH wasn't here, so I told him about it and he was 110% behind me, and he talked to his mom and she ended up apologizing to me and hugging me twice.

But it gets crazier. They came here to LIVE here in WA. Once they got here they changed their minds every five minutes about staying or going back to IL. Then they lying started. First they had plenty of $$$$, more than enough. Then they were destitute, and NEEDED to use our washer/dryer/soap/bath/prenatal vitamens/etc, take food out of our cuboards, sleep in our house, etc. We said NO nicely but firmly, even when they got really pushy on some things. Then they would mention the expensive places they ate at, that they had bought clothes, rented movies, etc. Whatever. Then the worst thing happened. They were over here about 2 or 3 on Sunday afternoon, and SIL goes "CAN WE EAT NOW?!?!?" wanting us to feed them. Then MIL pipes up that none of them (even DN-4 or pregnant SIL) has eatten in over 24 hours because they have NO money. She said DN woke up screaming and crying from hunger in the middle of the night and all they had was a few potato chips to give her, and she hadn't eatten since. : DH and I were just dumb-founded. He ordered pizza for all of us, and packed DN a bag of bread, PB, and apples. Then, a bit later, they let it slip they had $60 on them, plus the $$$ they were using to get back home, etc.

DH just had this terrible look on his face the whole week they were here. (Maybe I did too!)

So, anyway, they kept saying they couldn't leave til they re-organized their car and DH checked their engine. DH went out and did it all (hint, hint) and redid DN's carseat which was so loose it would tip over. They they finally left for home, and decided not to move here!

The other worst part is that I started to have contractions the night after MIL let me have it, and I had them for about a week. I think I have them under controll now, but I now basiclly need to not move in order to keep them away-- which isn't really easy.

But, at least I am beyond guilt now. I am just relieved it is over and ready to forget we even know people from out of state! I am so happy just to be back-to-normal after last week. I am glad we said no to 90% of their stuff, and I bet they will not be hurrying back after realizing we won't support them financially. (We couldn't even if we wanted to!)

Just so I don't sound mean or anything- we took them out to eat the night they arrived, showed them around, took them to some fun things, etc, tried to help them find a rental house... We just had to keep some things off limits or I *KNOW* they would still be living in my home right now. And *I* would be in a hotel!

Oh, about the book suggestions- I did read Emotionial Blackmail just this week!
And I am a Christain, so I will look into that other book as well.
Thank you!

I can honestly say I no longer feel like the bad guy. I feel like "what is wrong with people?!" but I just need to listen to DH and be glad that we feel like this and that we don't blend in.
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Old 08-07-2004, 11:52 PM
 
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I'm glad you were able to make things work out. You were nice, but didn't let them walk all over you/abuse you. Congratulations! (I imagine you feel a little stronger and more confident now that you've handled such a big problem so well.)
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Old 08-07-2004, 11:53 PM
 
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Faith, I am so impressed with you. In the time we have been on these boards together, you have become a role model for me in the setting of appropriate boundaries when other people behave inappropriately. Your writing even reads more self-assured than it did before. Right now I'm having some not at all comparable struggles staying true to myself and I feel very inspired by you.

Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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Old 08-09-2004, 01:34 PM
 
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Good for you! I'm sorry you've had to deal with so much garbage lately (I've posted on the thread about your FIL too), but I don't think it has anything to do with who you are, or some kind of 'defect' you have - some people just have more to bear, and more muck to fight their way out of than other folks. You're doing a magnificent job, and I'm so glad your dh is now behind you. Best of luck to both of you!
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Old 08-09-2004, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for all the support!

I could not have done any of this without you all here at MDC. When I first came here, I was so used to having my own family walk all over me, I thought it was normal. Then I posted here and got so much great feedback and book recomendations... Now almost two years (and 2000 miles! ) later I at least can stand up for myself and my DC when I need to- even if it was making me feel guilty for a bit.

There is nothing like a group of AP mamas helping each other.
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