Pour Me

With all the advances we’ve seen in medicine, science and technology wouldn’t it be nice if someone could figure out what makes some people prone to self-pity?

The “poor me” mentality may not be rampant in the world as a whole, but in my little corner of it I’m practically buried in the bullshit. Between JD and his mother I’m not sure who would win if it were a contest. Yesterday was the first day in a long, long time that I seriously asked myself what I was still doing in this marriage. For those of you not paying attention, yesterday was Christmas – a day of supposed joy and love. Uh huh.

Not being tuned in to their conversation, I wasn’t sure what happened this time, just that JD went out in the back yard where the dogs were, shutting the sliding door with a louder bang than necessary. And dear MIL sat there justifying whatever it was she said to him. Inside I felt the Grinch get a grip on my heart and I cringed.

A short time later JD came back inside and immediately went through to the front door and walked back out. My first inclination was to go after him but since that has always worked so well in the past I opted to stay inside, where I whined out loud that I was sorry I hadn’t brought the bottle of wine I had at home. Within a couple of moments I had a glass of a nice white zinfandel in my hand. I was enjoying the grandchildren and seeing my favorite daughter’s new beau win points with the rest of the family who were meeting him for the first time. If JD wanted to sulk in the truck let him.

Then apparently he started the truck and drove away. I didn’t see this, but a few others looked puzzled and one of the daughters wondered aloud where he was going. I can’t remember what I said but it was the equivalent of a verbal shrug. I do remember feeling so done. But I’d stopped at the single glass of wine. Sure it was more because the bottle was already nearly empty and others might want some. But I could easily have told myself “screw them” and finished it off.

When I finally texted him to see what he was doing, he responded back “gas” meaning he was filling the truck’s tank. Then he parked the truck back in front of the house and sat out there a bit more. When people started loading plates with food I texted him to say we were starting to eat and was he coming inside. His one word response was “maybe.” So I went ahead and got food for myself.  He’s a grown-up, numerically anyway, and can fend for himself.   When I finished eating and got up to carry the paper plate to the trash JD came in the front door muttering something about finding our dog wandering around out front.

We’d earlier put the dogs outside briefly and while we were eating our Beagle made her escape from the backyard.  I mentioned that I’d seen her in the backyard right before I started eating. It wasn’t what JD said next but his tone was sharp almost like a reprimand. He repeated that he’d found her wandering around outside and had just brought her in.   Like maybe I hadn’t believed him or I was disagreeing with him.  What the hell, I could see she was right there.  At the end of my patience I snapped back that he didn’t need to bite my head off and he said “fine” or something similar and went back out to the truck.

The rest of the day was much the same. When I went out a bit later to see if he was coming in for opening presents we disagreed about the interaction in the house and it was going nowhere fast so I went back inside. The daughters brought out dessert and someone found more alcohol so I added a healthy splash of bourbon to my coffee.

He did finally come back inside in time to watch the grandkids open their gifts. I think he even forced down some food. He didn’t speak to anyone though unless they asked him a direct question. And when his mother and sister left I don’t think he said goodbye.

Favorite daughter and S were planning to stay and watch the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with daughter A and her hubby and son so we said our goodbyes and headed out. It was a nearly silent drive and when we got home JD went to bed. And I let him.

Now that’s I’ve thrown up all that family drama I wonder what good it will do. The drama will subside eventually; JD will likely make up with his mother. But he’ll nurse the incident, build it up into more than it was and mitigate his own part in it. And somewhere down the road it will happen again.

It’s been like this for the eighteen years I’ve known this family. So what the hell am I still doing here? I think that’s something which needs further exploration because I’m not sure I know.

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Thank You

 

I was going to title this post VICTORY in all caps with at least one exclamation mark.  But lest I tempt the hand of fate, or karma or what have you, I’ll just quietly say thank you to everyone who responded to yesterday’s rant, and tell you all that we are taking the grandkids to dinner with their aunt the week after next.

Phew.

Also – yahoo!  (A wee little celebratory note shouldn’t tempt fate too much, right?)

Thanks again all of you who weighed in on my dilemma yesterday.  I so appreciate your support and that you took the time to respond.

Suggestions?

Not to step on Gibber’s toes but I have a need for answers.  Over the weekend I called the other grandpa of two of my grandchildren who live a couple of hours away.  The kids live with him and his wife because neither my daughter nor their son has what it takes to parent.  So now that the kids are close enough to visit we took them camping during the summer.  It was much too short a visit but we promised them we would see them again.  I recently asked if we could have them visit over Thanksgiving weekend.  My request was denied with a comment that they were expecting family to come into town.  I thanked him politely and said that was great and I didn’t want to ruin a family time.  I asked if there was another weekend between then and the end of the year when we could have them visit and was told no.  No explanation, no nothing – just no.  Then he appeared to realize how bad that sounded and he backtracked and said something about he’d have to see.  Yeah, right.

Saturday, I asked whether we could have the kids visit us for a couple of days after Christmas so we wouldn’t interrupt their holiday.  With Christmas on a Thursday this year we were graciously* given that Friday off.  It would make for a nice couple of days with the grandkids and they could still be home by Sunday.  Well Grandpa Dickhead said no.  Again.  In fact, he flat out lied, saying that “everyone thinks they have two weeks” of school vacation but they only have one.  Hmm.  I didn’t call him on it because what the hell do I know for certain?

This morning though I called the district where they attend school and asked about their holiday schedule.  LO and behold!  They’re off from December 22 to January 2.  That’s what?  Two weeks?  Amazing.

So now I need a little assistance.  Tonight I plan to call dear old Dickhead and ask whether we might at least take the grandkids to dinner one night between now and Christmas.  I want to make sure they get the gift cards we have for them and I don’t trust that jackass even a little bit.  I’m not a pessimist most of the time, but realistically, based on our last two conversations, I believe he’s going to find a way to deny our request.

In case that happens, should I call him out for lying?  Call him a dickhead jackass son of a bitch?  Or should I remain polite and try to negotiate with him?  What say you all?  Geez, I’m starting to get a complex here; you’d think I was the Wicked Witch of Seattle or something.  😦

 

 

*When the hell is someone going to come up with a sarcasm font!?

The truth can be ugly

It turns out that I’m a liar.  Not just white lies or little fibs either.  This was a blatant, though not face to face lie.  I’m a lousy liar.  My face turns red and I can’t look the person in the eye.  Lying via email is soooo much easier.

JD’s daughter (let’s call her A shall we?) emailed this morning to let the family know her youngest is being dedicated at church next month.  She hoped everyone could join them and maybe have a potluck at their house afterward.  I emailed back by replying all (so JD would see my response and not rat me out by mistake), and said we were going away that weekend because we didn’t get to go camping.

You have to understand something here in order to “get” why I lied outright.  JD is Jewish through and through.  On the surface you would never know it.  He doesn’t attend a synagogue or practice his faith openly that I’ve ever seen.  The only time he plays the Jewish card is when he’s joking about getting something cheaper.  But it is his heritage and it’s in his blood.  It hurts him that his daughter chooses the Christian faith over her birthright.  I think he should just suck it up and be happy she’s a woman of faith.

He sees it as disrespecting him.  Wait, what?  That makes no sense and it’s futile to expect a child you weren’t allowed to raise to follow your path; especially when your path isn’t all that clear.  In my opinion, respect has to be earned and with an attitude like his he isn’t earning any points toward that goal.

Let’s move on before I digress into a tirade about his attitude; none of us want that.  We did attend the dedication for A’s son a few years ago.  They belong to a nice church.  As a formerly regular churchgoer myself, I enjoyed the atmosphere that imbued the service.  I could see myself going to services there, if I were to ever decide I need that in my life again.  The entire time we were there JD was on a slow boil.  He didn’t say anything to the daughter or other family but I definitely heard about it both before and after the service.

Every time we meet up with this daughter and her family there’s always something that sets off JD.  It could be as simple as them saying grace over the meal we’re all having.  Before JD agreed to go to Passover with Mom, he demanded that grace would not be said before the meal or he would get up and leave.  He would have too.  On this point I agree with him.  Passover is Jewish and therefore Jewish traditions should be honored.  Here’s where I think A has a lot more class than JD.  She worked with her son N, who would be the youngest male there to teach him the questions which are traditionally asked.  To my knowledge, she didn’t grumble or whine about not being able to pray as she is accustomed to doing.  In my mind (and after some of my experiences with The Church), A is a good example of what a Christian should be.  I would be proud to call her my daughter.

JD thinks if one of my kids chose to be a Rastafarian, Buddhist or some other faith that I’d understand his disappointment.  I hope I would be more tolerant (and I abhor that word) if they chose to practice a different faith.  Being spiritual doesn’t necessarily mean being religious and I’m the first to admit I’ve been lacking in the faith department lately, which is completely beside the point.

It isn’t only the daughter’s choices that irritate JD.  He personally doesn’t make the effort to celebrate Hanukkah for example, but grouses when we’re invited to “Christmas” at his sister’s.  She still goes to synagogue – once in a while anyway.  But she too married a Non-Jew and her husband’s daughters celebrate the holiday with their father so they have a tree and exchange gifts.  I’ve tried to work around JD’s animosity about the family celebration by making sure the grandchildren get both a Christmas gift and a Hanukkah present.  It has not helped.

He acts as if everyone is out to make his life completely miserable.  And in the process he makes mine miserable.  I used to enjoy the holidays but I often dread them now because of how JD reacts.  It’s pointless and a complete waste of time and energy.

Is it any wonder then that I lied about having plans?  I think not, and I’d do it again.

A little advice please?

I try really hard not to be a whiner, my last post notwithstanding.

Recently, I’ve been considering whether I should contact the Employee Assistance Program.  If that terminology is unfamiliar to you just substitute “shrink”.  Okay, so that’s an overstatement.  The EAPs provided by employers help with all sorts of needs.  They can help you address stress in all its forms (did you know there is bad AND good stress?).  The programs can direct you to resources to help with grief, anger management, job change, etc.

So after my last post/venting, every time I pass the fridge in the kitchen on our floor and see the poster there for the EAP, I wonder whether it would be a good idea.

Then I realize that I probably wouldn’t be as honest as necessary with my counselor or whatever.  Not because I’m dishonest, but because I don’t always know the truth myself.  Why do I repeat mistakes from the past?  Is there a part of me that wants to feel lousy or out of control?  Can I end the cycle, and if ending it will hurt people I love, should I?

Truthfully, there are times when I would rather it was Monday than Friday.  Friday means I have to go home and spend two whole days with JD.  Now don’t get me wrong – this is my partner, my love and I CHOSE to be with him.  Not every weekend is bad either.  But seventeen years of negativity can wear on you.  Well, probably not seventeen whole years – I’d like to hope that if he had been this dark when we first met and were dating that I would have bailed in a heartbeat.

Even then I knew I needed more positive people in my life and when we met he didn’t seem so mired in sadness and self-pity.  There was a lot more fun involved in our courtship than I remember having with anyone else.  This is the man who dipped me in the buffet line at the casino after all – to much applause and laughter.

I’m all for having a pity party – sometimes you just need to wallow in whatever is ailing you.  Down a few chocolate chip cookies followed by an ice-cold milk chaser … indulge yourself.  But there usually has to be some reason for me to wallow.  For example: an event more recent than 20 some odd years ago.

How do people hang on to crap and let it drag them down for decades?  WHY?

So your parents treated you and your sister differently – geez, join the club.  Oh, you were constantly warned that because of your size you might hurt someone, so you can’t fight back.  Not to mention being told (or having your parents told, I can’t remember which) that if you defend your sister from bullies you’ll be prosecuted as an adult.  Yeah, standing over 6 feet tall at 13 ain’t no picnic.  Gee, sorry about that.  And let’s not forget that your first wife split in the middle of the night, right?

Not only did she split while you were at work, she took the children, all the new furniture and appliances AND she ran up the credit cards before she left.  And that was only the tip of the iceberg.

Don’t get me wrong, I can and have empathized with JD; I know his life sucked on occasion.  But life sucks for everyone now and then, doesn’t it?  Hell, I was sexually molested by my freakin’ grandfather!  I think that trumps the unequal parental treatment at the very least.  But I do not dwell on that.  Honestly, the only time I think about it now is when my brain rebels against hearing JD’s “poor mes” for the umpteenth time and my inner bitch whines about trading places.

Sigh.

So?  What say you Dear Reader?  Should I consult a counselor?  Confide in a shrink?  Bare my soul to a prognosticator?  Beat my head against a wall?

Hmm?

Disclaimer:  The author makes no promise to follow any advice provided, though she will consider all suggestions.