I just had a really bad evening with my in-laws. I'm sure that I'm being discussed at this very moment. That I am crazy. They're all wondering what the hell is wrong with me.
As background, my in-laws all run on their own schedule. My MIL and FIL have been here every weekend, expecting to just drop by at their convenience, for the past month. And then every other weekend before that. They show up whenever they want and expect us to present the grandchildren so that they can have their little moments. They are very different from the type of person I am. We just have never clicked. Not they are not nice people, they are just inconsiderate people. They do little to predict or understand how their actions might effect someone else.
The short story is that they wanted everyone to get together tonight (us and husband's brother's family). They don't make plans. They just expect things to fall together. When we arrive at the restaurant their is a 45 minute wait. I have a baby. I knew that things weren't going to go well from there. Over an hour later we are still waiting for a table. My MIL tells my 3 year old that she has a gift in the car. Not for him now, but in the car. And she expects him to wait for it. She and my FIL think it's so funny how he politely asks to go out and get it (but don't actually get it). They come over and tell me stories about my son to ME as if I don't know him at all. They don't get that I'm getting agitated knowing that at any moment, my son is going to turn into a cranky mess. We sit down, and there is some grousing on MIL's part because she can't sit in the middle of the table. We all have small kids we need to attend to, but she can't be center of attention, and is annoyed. We finally arrange the seating at the table, quickly order some food for the kids and an appetizer for hubby and me (while everyone else waits to eat, making my poor niece and nephew wait the whole time). When the food comes, my MIL starts doling out food from one person's plate to the other. This is a thing with her. That everyone "share" whether they wanted to or not. This irritates me to no end. I know that it's not that big of a deal, but to me, it is such a boundary violation. Who does she think she is, that she gets to determine who gets what food and how much? She's grabbing my son's food, giving it to my niece (not that I mind him sharing, in fact, I encourage it) but she doesn't even wait to see if my niece asks for it. She just hands food around. And then starts sneaking her own bits of food off his plate. Again, I know this seems small. But it is a repeated thing where she will help herself to my son's food instead of getting her own. It's not about the food to her. It's about some weird "connection" she feels by crossing those boundaries and all being "one" that irritates me. She used to do this with me before my kids came along. I always left family meals hungry, as everyone else "helped" me finish food after they gulped down their own. It's a touchy subject with me. Not about the food, but the sense of feeling violated. No one cared if I was hungry, or what I wanted, just about what they wanted. MIL throws out (rather screams across the table) how great the card I sent her for Mother's Day was. She quickly sent me an email card this morning after mine arrived in the mail. (Is it the thought that counts? What if there is no thought?). I doubt her sincerity as well, it just doesn't seem sincere. My FIL loudly goes on about what my son knows of letters, although when I try to tell him what else my son can do, he ignores me. MIL makes pointed comments to my son about how good he is "sharing". My temperature is through the roof. My SIL starts suggesting that hubby and I need a night out (which we do) but I find the timing weird. She also suggests a girl's night, yet has been cold and reserved and on her phone all night. I am slowly getting swallowed by my anxiety. I feel pressure everywhere. Tension. And it is probably my fault. My SIL and BIL leave their kids all the time with the in-laws. I'm too afraid too (she's a space cadet). They have a date night tomorrow. My MIL has watched the kids all day and will watch them tomorrow. They are one, big, chummy family, and I'm the bitch that keeps my husband and kids from being that too.
We finally get up to leave, leaving everyone else to their meals that haven't arrived. But my infant is clawing at my head he is so tired. My in-laws finally ask to take my older son to get their gift from the car. I say yes, hold his hand (they act like this is a given, but with them, it is NOT) in the crazy parking lot, and to please hurry. We wait for them. Then they saunter in checking out cars. Then, my FIL suggests he needs to "stop by" to see my son play baseball. Again with the drop-ins. Again, no regard for what we have going on. Drop everything to see us, they push. I am boiling by this point. Then, they want to talk about my other son's birthday party. They just can't seem to get the point. I jump in the car, turn the key, and instantly feel awful, but at the same time liberated. They have pushed and pushed all night, but of course, I am the horrible, rude one.
My husband asks if I'm all right on the way home. He means mentally. No. I'm not the fuck all right. He suggests I need counseling. Really? No shit. He suggests I'm very angry. Hell yeah, I'm angry. I'm so angry. Angry at them all. Angry at myself. Tired of being taken advantage of. Tired of no one thinking past their own selfish needs, past their own asses. Tired of being bullied. I should feel worse, but I don't. Why can't I be angry sometimes? Why can't I be annoyed? Why should I just go along? Why is thinking about my kid's well being such a crime?
I'm so tired of it all. So lonely, so tired, so angry, so broken.