Missy defended her friend’s behavior of the other day by saying,
Respond directly to my non bigot friend John or Laura…I just miss you. She found out well after the fact of it being my family. Her name is Kristina L [redacted] and she keeps telling me she is more than willing to tell you what she thinks. It’s very sad that things came to this but I will not silence my friends. It is the world wide web after all…you let yourself he wide open to it.
- Missy, Sparky, and parents apparently think the divide comes from financial jealousies (this was the reason addressed by their parents). It does not. It comes from father-in-law’s blatant bigotry, as well as his divisive favoritism in regards to his children. Worse, Missy not only accepts and acknowledges both the bigotry and the favoritism, but has shifted (over the years) to defending it. This is a stance John and I find incomprehensible, insulting, and untenable. It was all made worse when Missy said John essentially deserved such treatment because he was careless with material goods and not respectful enough to his father.
- I think if the father in law was not such an overwhelming presence in the family, we would all get along fine. I continue to maintain this, though I sometimes wonder if it’s sheer naivete on my part. As families and individuals, we do seem to share many similar interests and hobbies, and I really do believe we would all get along if it weren’t for the favoritism exhibited by father-in-law and defended by Missy. This has been perpetuated down through the grandchildren. I suspect Missy’s in a hard spot here — if she’s kind to John and I, she loses the approval of her father. With her father in town so often anymore, she has to find a point of common discussion, and I rather suspect that point of common discussion (once politics, children, and trucking issues have been exhausted) is a negative feedback loop regarding their opinions on the decisions and choices John (or I) have made in our lives. If you’re constantly negging someone behind their back, it’s hard to be respectful or positive to their face.
- It may be the world wide web, and Missy has a point that I can’t stop people from airing their opinions on content I post publicly. That said, personal blogs are generally difficult to haunt down. I keep changing blog addresses, user names, etc. so as not to enrage them with my writing, and they keep intentionally seeking my blog out. I can’t stop them if they choose to keep stalking out my blogs and reading my stuff, despite the fact they know they hate everything I have to say. To paraphrase, It is the world wide web, after all . . . find something else to read. I don’t read Glenn Beck because he’s a moron whose writing upsets me, so why would you keep reading my stuff if you think I’m a moron and my writing upsets you?
- It’s intriguing to me that Missy takes the side of her friend, while simultaneously remonstrating her brother for standing up for his wife and child. His family. Also, according to what Ms. L apparently told Missy, Ms. L did not “realize we were family” when she left the vitriolic comment in question, so that’s pretty fascinating to me that she’d flip out like that at an alleged stranger.
- I have no interest in talking to Kristina. I don’t know who she is, and other than the fact that she’s Missy’s friend and has gathered her opinion of me based on Missy’s representation of me, I know nothing about her and I don’t really see why I should care to. I’m not concerned about defending myself to her, because I’m not concerned what she thinks of me — rather, I’m concerned by what her opinion (gathered from Missy’s representation of me) reveals of what Missy thinks of me, and of John’s life choices. As far as Ms. L herself is concerned, I wish her a long and happy life away from me — a wish we seem to be in accordance with.
Those are some of the reactions I have when I read that she will not silence her friends (with the unspoken reality that she will gladly silence John hanging heavy over the words). I can’t express them to Missy et al, because a) I’ve tried in the past to express my point of view, and it’s a futile exercise; and b) I’m tired of it. Part of me wants to call them up and try to work it out again, but just the thought of talking to them and dealing with the hot-cold, up-down, in-out nature of the relationship makes me feel exhausted and drained, and I end up never making the call.
John doesn’t like my family. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. He doesn’t like them, and they’re nerve-wracked and freaked out by his silent stoicism and bluntness. I still talk to and visit my sister and dad regularly. My husband doesn’t have to get along with my family for me to talk to them or visit with them. Likewise, I don’t have to get along with John’s family for him to talk to them or visit with them. The spouse does not have to come along, it’s as simple as that. I’ve opted out of in-law visits for the time being, and my husband is free to make his own choice, which he has. I just wish his choice could be respected (for once) by his family.
I would say this is the end of it and the last time I’ll write about it, but it probably won’t be. I blog out my thoughts. I like blogging. I generally like the differing views and feedback I’ve gotten on the various blog platforms from unbiased strangers; some comments encouraging empathy and forgiveness, others advising me to cut my losses and protect my son while I can. I’m tired of moving platforms and losing the tiny little readerships I gain.
In addition, while I normally treat John as a sort of pseudo-therapist, I can’t in this situation. I don’t want to upset him by discussing the situation, so unless one or the other of us are directly contacted I try to avoid bringing it up. I keep hoping that time will fade his hurt and anger, and he will be able to mend ties with his family on his own, without my involvement. I do wish I could tell Missy to give him his space for a few months to a year, because right now her regular guilt-trippy texts and messages are just stirring up his frustration and hurt.
So I will probably continue to write about this rather personal issue on my blog, knowing the in-laws might find it (again), but also knowing it’s highly unlikely anyone else who stumbles upon this blog would be able to place names, faces, etc. Missy and Sparky and the in-laws — indeed, John and Kidling and I — while easily identifiable to the parties involved, are anonymous, blank-faced characters in a far-away story to the average internet reader. At this point, I have to admit, that I do feel if the in-laws are hurt/ angered/ bothered by anything they read on my blog, it’s kind of their own fault for continuing to read my writing while knowing they will be enraged by it.
Right now, though, I just feel sad and sick (literally, my stomach is pretty upset) and exhausted with it all. I wish for a few weeks or months of silence, or at least an acknowledgment that John may have a valid reason to be upset and hurt.