Today, on Thanksgiving, after 6 years, I had to encounter my Out-laws. Out-laws you question? Yes, those would be the in-laws that I don't like or care for. My husbands parents and sister are definitely on the "10 most wanted list" when it comes to being an outlaw. For reasons too difficult to explain nor do I really understand them because my mind does not think in this manner....these people are selfish, self-centered, self-serving...self everything. Truly, I know I have never met such people - all in one family - with such a deep degree of all those things. A tiny bit of background....the sister-out-law is just bad. I could think of worse words but because its Thanksgiving....I won't use them. Her jealously over what others have and she thinks she deserves is her driving force. I will say, there is a small part of me that finds great sadness for her. Their parents divorced when she was just 3....her mother leaving her to go "enjoy life" again. Leaving 2 small children 3 and 8 to be raised by various babysitters while their dad worked long hours at his new business of being self-employed. I guess in today's terms, you would say she has a "detached personality disorder". After dating a boy all their her school years - over 10 years and figuring "he was the one", he dumps her and marries another within just a couple of years. Lucky me for walking into my husband's life shortly before all this happens. Hence, why she hates me and her brothers life. She had done MANY horrible things towards us - simply because she probably had nothing better to do. Fast forward....she had a falling out with her brother 8 years ago and stopped all contact. For that I am forever grateful. Though we have made small attempts to reach out, she has rejected them. SO she hasn't seen my son #1 since he was 3.5 yrs old and never has seen #2 or #3. But because of this arguement, the backlash that occurred also took away both parents. Both parents who are afraid of upsetting said "out-law". Parents who would rather cutoff any contact with their son and grandchilden, just to please the wicked daughter. Doesn't it sound like it should be a "Made-for-TV" movie???
Its now Thanksgiving and we decide after many years to attend a meal at my husbands aunts house. Its quite a distance away and we figured there is no way, the out-laws will show up. But it wasn't too be. But that was good. They did show up. Probably to get a "free" peek at the boys without ever having to make any effort. I call those "freebies". In the past, prior to the split in the family, every family function or possible encounter would twist my stomach into knots, my heart would race and my anxiety level would shoot through the roof. Not good for ones health. You never knew what to expect from them. But today I was assured that it all didn't matter to me anymore. That they couldn't effect me anymore. When saw them walk in...nothing. No nausea, no heart racing....nothing. I decided that if they came to me to speak - fine. But I would make no attempt on my part. Sounds petty I know but I would have to write a novel for your to know the whole story. I knew the sister-out-law would come looking....wanting to make her presence...wanting to provoke me. She walked in attempted to make eye-contact with me (I kept ignoring it)...she finally said "Hi, how's it going". I responded "Hi, just fine". That was the end of our interaction. Whew. She then attempted, stupid that she is, to come over to son #2, and touch him saying "hey you, hey you". Little did she know...I couldn't have asked for a more perfect moment...that son #2 does NOT LIKE to talk or have any interaction with anyone he does not know. If she had tried that with sons #1 or #3...they would have responded or engaged in converation willinging. But not son #2, who was already in a foul mood because he was there and didn't know anyone and was not at his Auntie's house with his cousins. He was stuck like glue to me (even at age 7) and refused to detached his body. So when the out-law chose to poke him and talk to him...there was no response. THEN she had the nerve to say to me "what he doesn't talk"....okay she has never laid eyes on her 2 youngest nephews since they were born, what do you expect? My moment had come. The moment...the very moment I had waited for all these 8 years...the perfect moment and the perfect thing to say. My response was "he doesn't talk to people he doesn't know". She walked away. The moment was over. Done. I thought I would have had more to say after all these years....but this okay. I knew that at that very moment, she didn't matter any more to me.
But my favorite moment was when we were standing in the food line, son #1 was standing in front of the sister-out-law and step-mother-out-law...while they were discussing how they saw sons #2 and #3 but WHERE was son #1? I heard the conversation but said nothing. Shaking my head in disbelief because he was standing right in front of them. Finally they spoke up and asked my husband where son #1 was today....it was a beautiful moment when he said "he is standing righ here". That said it all.
We left the dinner satisfied that we had braved the unknown. Made an appearace despite the unknown. Glad we went to show we had no fear of seeing the out-laws if they were there. Pleased that we realized we had moved on. The out-laws will never change, they will never make any attempts to be in our sons lives - and that is okay. There are so many other people in our sons lives to give them support, love and encouragement. They don't deserve negative energy and complications that these people bring with them. Its sad, yes, but not for our children but for the out-laws. Sad to be so overcome with themselves that being part of such amazing and wonderful little boys lives....isn't worth it to them. But that is how they are - its who they are - we have to repsect and accept that. So onward we march in life. Happy Holidays - we pray that 2011 will be a good new year for us all.