AARGH...family stuff (very long rant) - Page 7 - Mothering Forums

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#181 of 208 Old 04-24-2006, 08:01 PM
 
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...But just wanted to say your husbands letter was fantastic! I'm sorry your inlaws are putting you through this. From all the pages on this thread I assume there is a hot debate going on about what you should do. If it were me I'd think about going and just nursing in another room, but I'd also consider staying home..It would depend on how deeply hurt I felt by all the brohaha. I'd probably also refrain from discussing parenting choices with this side if the family. I personally think anyone who has a problem with NIP is a moron. But I understand that different people have different points of view and if I can find a way to be respectful of differences without compromising myself, that's the path I'll choose.

Now if you don't feel like taking the high road, there's the whole "What do you think Baby Jesus ate?" route....

Sorry if this was redundant.
Best of luck and keep nursing that babe!
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#182 of 208 Old 04-25-2006, 10:31 AM
 
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There have been so many long exchanges filled with information and feelings. Maybe its time to drop it. Do the "pass the bean dip" thing. Stand firm on your boundaries, but don't try to explain/justify them.

I'm sorry, we won't be able to come to dinner. Pass the bean dip.
Yes, we received your letter. Pass the bean dip.
Yes, K is still nursing. Pass the bean dip.
etc.
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#183 of 208 Old 04-25-2006, 10:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callmemama
There have been so many long exchanges filled with information and feelings. Maybe its time to drop it. Do the "pass the bean dip" thing. Stand firm on your boundaries, but don't try to explain/justify them.

I'm sorry, we won't be able to come to dinner. Pass the bean dip.
Yes, we received your letter. Pass the bean dip.
Yes, K is still nursing. Pass the bean dip.
etc.
:
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#184 of 208 Old 04-25-2006, 12:57 PM
 
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#185 of 208 Old 04-25-2006, 03:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victorian
personally, if someone insulted me so vastly (and to compare your breasts to playboy is insulting IMO), I would respond "see you when she weans".

V.
I think that would be my reaction too....I could also add that doing that would deprive my child of contact with extended family...but then...I would also have to add that if they cared that much about my child to begin with they wouldn't say such things anyway...

It jsut sucks to have to make such a compromise......your heart KNOWS it's not right....It doesn't seem fair to have to be the bigger person when you KNOW the other side's thinking is TERRIBLY flawed.

What to do? Sorry mama you're dealing with this issue ....you shouldn't have to.

 

 

Crazy mom of 9. grouphug.gif  A wife to one.  flowersforyou.gif

 

 

-Life is a long lesson in humility.-

 

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#186 of 208 Old 04-25-2006, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by nonniecita
With man gone, will there be hope for gorilla?
With gorilla gone, will there be hope for man?

OMG, I just had to say it's been years since I read that book. I need to reread it
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#187 of 208 Old 04-26-2006, 10:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by iamthesmilingone
OMG, I just had to say it's been years since I read that book. I need to reread it
My fav book!
(and to kill a mockingbird)
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#188 of 208 Old 04-26-2006, 10:08 PM
 
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Hi Michelle,
Hope things are going well with you all, I was just thinking about you and came to find out how you are. I'm sorry to hear about what has transpired I honestly would have done the same as you did given the situation. I know that doesn't help, just wanted to let you know that I hope things start looking up soon.

Michelle
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#189 of 208 Old 04-26-2006, 11:10 PM
 
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Ugh, so sorry to see what has transpired. It looks like the issues run deeper than simply breastfeeding in front of them, so I guess now it's all out on the table. Still, it's sad and stressful to be at odds with your family. I hope you are able to come to peace with yourselves and eventually, with your inlaws
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#190 of 208 Old 04-27-2006, 02:20 AM
 
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Another question to ponder, would love to hear some feedback from the wise mamas here...

If you were invited to a family event and the host calls you 2 days before requesting that you go to a private area to nurse your child because everyone there is uncomfortable with breastfeeding, what would you do?
At this point in my life, I'd be asking if everyone else would also be leaving the room to eat in privacy. The baby is EATING. Eating is NOT one of those "acts to be done only in private".

If that was a condition of the invitation, we'd decline it.

"What will you do once you know?"
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#191 of 208 Old 04-27-2006, 02:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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HI, mamas...

thanks for all of the hugs and well wishes. it's been such a horrible 2 weeks. dh and i are coming to terms with a lot of pathology in his family, most notably the inexcusable behavior and reaction from smil, who happens to be 'running the show'. we have made some really hard decisions. i have decided to cut off relations with smil in order to protect myself and dd. she has done enough in the past 3 years that i've known her that i can no longer ignore. dh is going to do his best to maintain some type of relationship with his father, but with very established and non-negotiable ground rules in order to protect himself, me and dd.

this ended up being about so much more than breastfeeding. this was about control, manipulation, inability to accept healthy boundaries, disrespect and selfishness. we also realized that we are dealing with true psychological pathology, as it seems that smil has undiagnosed borderline personality disorder, and fil has diagnosed narcissistic personality disorder. what a combo, they really pack a one-two punch!

Here is a little something I wrote this morning to remind myself where I stand.

I responded to a request to play the game.
I decided to go a few rounds.
I realized that people were not playing by the rules.
Thus, I’m deciding not to play anymore.
I’m stepping off of this crazy merry go round.
I walk away knowing that my integrity is intact and I spoke my truth.
I won’t let them make me think that by not playing the game anymore is a concession of defeat.
I’m just refusing to play by their ‘rules’.
I am strong, courageous and can protect myself and my sweet, precious, innocent daughter.

Thanks again, mamas, for your incredible support through this distressing time. I sincerely hope that no-one else ever has to deal with a dysfunctional family such as this.

On the flip side, I have made some incredible realizations about myself and dh.

Also, I am grateful for the H family for the appreciating my power, courage and ability to protect myself and the ones I hold dear to me. As long as I can stay in the state of mind to 'reframe' this entire incident as a positive one, I'll be a-ok!

Hugs to all you mamas, you rock.
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#192 of 208 Old 04-27-2006, 03:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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ooops, double post! (the first time it's happened to me on MDC)
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#193 of 208 Old 04-27-2006, 04:21 AM
 
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FIL has been *diagnosed* with NPD? Wow! Actually that makes me optimistic for him. Very few people with that problem ever set foot in a therapist's office. (I mean if you're perfect, you don't need a doctor, right? It's all those other idiots who need to come to their senses! ) So maybe there's an outside chance that he's going to work on his issues. Just to have some hope lingering out on the horizon, I guess.

Anyhow, having made a similar decision under different circumstances, I applaud you for having the ability to see what's going on here and maintain your boundaries, even when it's not popular.
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#194 of 208 Old 04-27-2006, 09:35 AM
 
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We have mental health issues in my family too, (undx'd) NPD too. I am sending you healthy vibes. I know how hard this stuff can be!

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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#195 of 208 Old 04-27-2006, 11:13 AM
 
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I see your family in my Dh's.... Luckly they cant write .
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#196 of 208 Old 04-27-2006, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by BelgianSheepDog
FIL has been *diagnosed* with NPD? Wow! Actually that makes me optimistic for him. Very few people with that problem ever set foot in a therapist's office. (I mean if you're perfect, you don't need a doctor, right? It's all those other idiots who need to come to their senses! ) So maybe there's an outside chance that he's going to work on his issues. Just to have some hope lingering out on the horizon, I guess.
Aah, BSD, you touch on a very interesting point. Very perceptive!

Alas, I should have elaborated. I guess he's not officially diagnosed, but with several mental health professionals in the family, he has been 'diagnosed' by the family. So I suppose it's an unofficial official diagnosis . He very much exhibits that unabashed, unapologetic grandiosity and above-it-all attitude.

He's still trying to contact DH and to convince him how crazy I am, how I went berserk and threw a temper tantrum because they wouldn't allow me to nurse in front of them (what? )and to "leave it to those women to start World War III".

I have one word for that. A$$HAT.

Did I say that out loud? Ooopsie!

The other very interesting development is that someone anonymously sent a "peace lily" plant to their home yesterday, and the florist was from our hometown so they assumed that it was from us. It most certainly was not. Somebody's playing some kooky games.

BIZARRE!!!

As for boundaries, we have come to the sad realization that from the very get-go, they have been violating our boundaries and we do recognize that we let them do it to us, over and over. Things like trying to convert us to Christianity and bombarding us with books/DVDs (even though they are aware that both dh and I are very comfortable and grounded in our spirituality), getting into heated debates over politics with us (H family is super conservative and is very proud of such, with several members involved with national politics, dh is independent and i am a liberal hippie), making sexist comments to us knowing that dh and I have strong feelings about this, talking about gory details from hunting trips knowing that I feel very strongly about animal rights and am veg*n...time and time again they did it to us, and quite frankly, we let them.

DH is needing a lot of support right now, he is having a hard time. He is so strong and luckily our relationship is coming out of this more solid than ever, because we have been able to support each other 100% through this. I am very much inspired and awed by his courage to take a long hard look at his family dynamics, and for standing up for us and refusing to be party to perpetuating dysfunctional family patterns.

Blessing in disguise? My optimistic side thinks so.

Sucks going through it though... Thanks for all of your hugs and support, it means so much to me.
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#197 of 208 Old 04-27-2006, 04:51 PM
 
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Wow, what a journey you and your family has been on. After reading 70% of what was said over the last few weeks, I have to applaud you on standing up for your fmaily and giving your little girl the best there is! Your DH is in for some tough times as family always seems to know your weakest points but with your help and support he will be able to have a better relationship (or non-relationship?) with them. Take care of yourself and family and I know you will get support here at least!
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#198 of 208 Old 04-27-2006, 05:29 PM
 
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I have been following your story and I bow down to you and dh in your mature, compassionate, eloquent responses to the craziness.

Blessed, I hope you find it in you to APOLOGIZE to the OP for obviously missing a huge point in this- she did NOT draw first blood. And you have accused her and her dh of it time and again. I think you brought up some great points, but now it's time to follow your own advice and own up to your mistake.
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#199 of 208 Old 04-30-2006, 04:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kidspiration
Alas, I should have elaborated. I guess he's not officially diagnosed, but with several mental health professionals in the family, he has been 'diagnosed' by the family. So I suppose it's an unofficial official diagnosis . He very much exhibits that unabashed, unapologetic grandiosity and above-it-all attitude.

He's still trying to contact DH and to convince him how crazy I am, how I went berserk and threw a temper tantrum because they wouldn't allow me to nurse in front of them (what? )and to "leave it to those women to start World War III".
....
As for boundaries, we have come to the sad realization that from the very get-go, they have been violating our boundaries and we do recognize that we let them do it to us, over and over.

DH is needing a lot of support right now, he is having a hard time. He is so strong and luckily our relationship is coming out of this more solid than ever, because we have been able to support each other 100% through this. I am very much inspired and awed by his courage to take a long hard look at his family dynamics, and for standing up for us and refusing to be party to perpetuating dysfunctional family patterns.

Blessing in disguise? My optimistic side thinks so.
Michelle,
You and your dh are totally amazing. Facing such a volatale situation you were able to express yourselves eloquently and candidly. It is never easy dealing with the elder generations ... I have had many older relatives and can say that they for some reason equate getting their own way with "respecting ones elders". Frustrating to say the least.: Getting distance from them as much as possible and getting on with your family's life sounds like a plan to me.

I know that if I were able to breastfeed, there would not be anyway to disuade me from feeding my dd at any time or place. (I made that clear to all my friends when I was pregnant .. but that was before I had low supply issues and had to resort to formula : .) Your ILs need to get it into their heads that your darling comes first and that they need to deal with their apparent discomfort at the idea of nourishing their granddaughter as GOD intended (that should get them... I mean last time I checked, women were born with two breasts attached, not two bottles!)

If they are so Christian then they should understand that you are providing the best for your darlin and asking her to eat under a blanket or hide somewhere out of their sight is insulting and degrading to her. They should be proud that their DIL is willing to make it a priority (even under the most physically challenging times) to breastfeed their Granddaughter not undermine your relationship. I am a Christian. It sounds to me as thought they need to reexamine what being a Christian means ... it certainly sounds to me like you and your dh have exhibited more Christian behavior than the ILs.

I hope you can find some peace from this situation. It is a blessing that you and dh have been able to support each other during this crisis. I wish you both a future filled with happiness.
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#200 of 208 Old 04-30-2006, 06:15 AM
 
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Michele,
I'm so sorry you have to deal with all this. I think you're handling everything beautifully.

I was invited to a Thanksgiving dinner at a family friend's house last year, along with my parents and sister. A few days before, my mom informed me that the host had let her know that she wouldn't be comfortable with me nursing in front of the rest of the guests. I decided not to go. The rest of my immediate family still went, which was very hurtful to me. However, I know that I made the best decision for myself and my daughter by standing firm in my beliefs and refusing to be in the company of such negative and unsupportive people.

Know that you made the best decision also. What a great mom you are.
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#201 of 208 Old 04-30-2006, 10:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Victorian
personally, if someone insulted me so vastly (and to compare your breasts to playboy is insulting IMO), I would respond "see you when she weans".

V.
OH. MY. GOD! if someone compared my lump, saggy, uneven, chewed on breasts to perfect playboy breasts i would stand up and kiss them while cheering "GOOOOOOOOOO BOOBIES!!!!"

seriously, if anyone could compare nursing my son to anything remotely sexual or erotic i would fall over in a faint. my boobs are so much more bovine then sexy, that would be the ultimate compliment.

i didn't read all the responses, but i would have to say, i wouldn't be visiting them until my kid was weaned! my brother, in all his ignorant and mean-spirited glory gave me shit exactly twice about nurisng my son... once in public and once in my own home... and i didn't speak to him again until my son was weaned. (i did invite him to dinner and to my son's first birthday party but he never showed) my life is too precious and my child's childhood is too short for me to waste my time with people who can't bother to give me the benefit of the doubt about what is best for my child. my MIL's boyfriend is as sheltered a middle aged man as you ever want to meet, he grew up in a tiny town in NY, went in the marines when he was 17, stayed there until he was in his 50's and then moved back to hs tiny town and now works for a car dealership. when my son was 4 weeks old we went out to dinner with them and i nursed my son thourgh the whole meal. he never looked at me once while i nursed my son, but he never said a word either... WHY? BECAUSE IT'S SOMETIMES POLITE TO NOT OPEN YOUR MOUTH!!!!!! i will never get past the fact that people will complain about NIP but allow someone to abuse their child in public... it just amazes me.

anyway, enough ranting... i didn't look ahead to see how easter went, but i hope you did what was right for your child and ignored your ignorant ILs.

"Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift." -- Mary Olivercoolshine.gif

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#202 of 208 Old 04-30-2006, 12:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kidspiration
)Blessing in disguise? My optimistic side thinks so.
I think so, too! It turned out that way for me - we are much MUCH better without a poisonous relationship with my mother.

I'm going to cut and paste something I wrote on Gabysmom617's thread:

Please be aware that you (or more likely, your dh) may experience grief regarding the relationship with your family. I know I did. I grieved deeply for my mother. Then, through reading and counselling, I realized that the grief was for the mother I should have had, not the mother I DID have. I was grieving the loss of the relationship I wanted and needed, not the one I had with her. Am I making myself clear? Anyway, grief is part of the healing process. This, too, shall pass.

Michelle, I hope that you and your dh find peace in your lives once again. I know how hard this situation has been on you.

Ann-Marita. I deleted my usual signature due to, oh, wait, if I say why, that might give too much away. 

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#203 of 208 Old 05-02-2006, 10:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kidspiration
He then goes on to criticize 'our generation' for throwing etiquette, traditional values and culture out the window. Say WHAT?
I haven't read everyone's response to your post, but this line always gets me. I think by our generation bringing AP, cd, organic farming, etc. that would make the older generations happy. I wonder, sometimes, if THEY are the ones who watch too much MTV.

Jakob 10/12/2005...He thinks he's
Mollie 12/8/2008....Pure sweetness
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#204 of 208 Old 05-17-2006, 01:59 PM
 
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Just wondering how things are going for your family lately, Kidspiration. DP and I are dealing with his family re: boundaries at the moment as well. Different specifics, but following your story and admiring your example has been such a great help to me.

Curious, and hoping things are looking up.
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#205 of 208 Old 05-17-2006, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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hey, secretresistance and everyone, thanks for checking in, i've been meaning to update this for a while, thanks for the reminder .

secretresistance...i am sorry that you're going through something similar, it is so hard to establish healthy boundaries with family. hugs to you, and thanks for the kind words.

the thing that keeps me going is that both dh and i are absolutely committed to setting a good example for our dd. recently, some of our family members have been making flippant comments to us along the lines of "what's the big deal, just go into the other room", "you're making a mountain out of a molehill" etc., especially since dd is "only" 6 months old. as if she's some amorphous blob that has no awareness. she is incredibly sensitive, as most babes are, to her environment and especially to the emotional states of dh and i.

fil and dh have been talking here and there, by phone and by email, although this is completely behind the back of smil, who has put herself in the role of martyr. surprise, surprise, huh? it's so manipulative, i don't exactly know how it is that she pulled it off but now she's the one that's SO hurt, SO angry and SO disappointed in US. it's almost comical. i've been reading this book called "emotional blackmail" by susan forward, and our eyes have been opened.

we have extended several olive branches, we even sent a kind but generic mother's day card to smil. no response, no acknowledgement. and dh is quite miffed that they didn't have the decency to send me a card for my first mother's day. i really don't care, as their true colors are coming to light and if they're going to think that they're punishing me by not sending a card then that's all right with me. it just continues to make them look petty and immature. all i really expect from others, family or otherwise, is the same respect that i afford everyone else. they haven't been respecting dh and i for some time now, and the breastfeeding issue was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. so except for the secret correspondence between dh and fil, we are presently incommunicado with them, and there is no resolution presently in sight.

we have also heard through the grapevine that i am being painted as a royal b!tch. fine by me, i really have gotten beyond caring what these cruel people think of me.

it just is so incredible to think about how rude people can be. how many of us here can say that they were questioned or asked to compromise their beliefs and philosophies in order to conform to other's notions of what is right or proper? becoming a mother has certainly toughened my skin for sure, and for that i am grateful. this experience has been an impetus for personal growth and reflection for both dh and i.

i believe it is the dalai lama that spoke of how we should love and be grateful for our enemies, as they are the ones that will help to light our paths to enlightenment and compassion. truer words were never spoken.
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#206 of 208 Old 05-17-2006, 08:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kidspiration
i believe it is the dalai lama that spoke of how we should love and be grateful for our enemies, as they are the ones that will help to light our paths to enlightenment and compassion. truer words were never spoken.
wow. I have been following this from the beginning, and haven't fel t I had anything original to add, so hadn't posted anything, but this is the most beautiful way of thinking I think I have ever heard. And so relevant to my life regarding my own relationship with my ILs. I seriously teared up when I read it. Thank you.

R~mama to 3

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#207 of 208 Old 05-17-2006, 09:10 PM
 
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Good for you, for keeping a positive spin on all of this.

The situation really sucks, but I'm so glad to see that you're not letting it get you down.

Stay strong!
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#208 of 208 Old 05-18-2006, 05:14 AM
 
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I very much relate and am sending out good, peaceful vibes to you and your family.

Other's shameless tantrums never have anything to do with the people they direct them at. It's projection, and it can (and in your case, has) gotten pretty ugly.

Though I'm sure you already knew that, insightful and wise as you are.
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