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Old August 11th, 2008, 02:40 PM
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Re: Unwanted Gifts

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Originally Posted by LadyLove View Post
My relationships with the in-laws has been strained since day one. I made it clear to my husband as well as his folks that I do not want to recieve any gifts especially during Xmas time which is the time that they go crazy with gifts. I dislike their take on Xmas gifts: BIL's wife expects something great out of us but in return she gives us used gifts like things that she does nto want from her nicknack cabinet anymore. That is when I realized that this family really does not put a little thought into their gifts. We live in a busy city where even the Dollar Store offers something that everyone could use. I would be happy if someone bought me something for a $1.00 as opposed to receieving a dusty old nicknack that isn't even cute to put in my own cabinet.

My point is that some people do not honor the true meaning of gift-giving. My husband and I have struggled financially and sometimes we are not able to give gifts as often as we would like. Instead, I make things, little crafts like magnets and ornaments, and it is something that comes from the heart. Those kind of gifts are the best because there is actual thought and effort put into it.

I am not close to my in-laws so when I get something from them I am weirded out. Most of the time I get some thoughtless gifts but one year MIL actually got me a Betty Boop watch because she knows that I like Betty Boop. That was nice. She didn't have to but she wanted to.

I have repeatedly said NO GIFTS but my husband will come home from his folks house with a bunch of gifts. What am I supposed to do? Drop them off at their front door? Instead, I give them to charity or I will hold a get together and see if any of my friends want to swap the gifts that we do not want or like. It is a cute way of getting rid of things that are not wanted.

I will say this: I cannot stand BIL and his wife SO if they decide to get me something this year for XMas I guarantee you that I will drop their gift to me at their front door. Most of you have no idea how upsetting it is to be around condescending figures like this. They are heartless and pathetic. Grrrrr!

I agree that one should RESPECT the other's desire and in this case the OP is about not wanting gifts from the in-laws. I still think that it would be more than okay for her to say something along the lines of "I recieve plenty of gifts from hubby and my relatives. I am good but thank you." Or my own personal approach was "All I want is for this family [the in-laws] to be nice toward my children. That is all I want" and make it clear. I would leave the gifts there and not even touch one. If she were to do something drastic like that then they may actually get the point.

Sometimes people do not do nice. If you are too nice or too sweet and polite they will step on you like a doormat. But if you show that you can play their game then they may actually back off and take you seriously.
I feel very sorry for this entire situation...I so wish things were different for you...but I don't think I'd drop the gift off at their door, no matter how you feel about them....and you have every right to feel that way...and I say this in all sincerity to you...by shoving the gift back in their faces, only makes you look the worst for it...not them...don't fall into the trap of being like them...be the lady you are and if you don't want the gift, just give it away....to Good Will where someone else might get some joy out of it. I guess, Lady Love, what I'm trying to say, it's so hard sometimes to do the right thing...but when you do things out of anger/site/resentment/ your the one who becomes the looser...not them...be better then them...don't do what I did and retaliate in anger, hurt, frustration....Lady Love, think about it...one bad turn doesn't deserve another...somewhere along the line, someone has to be more grown up and stop...this is actually how wars are started and people are killed.

Honestly, I cannot stand my BIL either...but, I tollerate him...for my sister's sake....and I promise you, when you get to be my age....you will feel differently...you change, you evolve, and you look back and realize...there are things Lady Love, that I did, when I was young, out of spite...and anger, that I am now very ashamed and sorry for....when you get to be older, think of me, think of my words to you, will you, and smile...

I hope in some way, I've shed some light...I really do care

Last edited by Cremebrulee; August 11th, 2008 at 02:44 PM.
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Old August 11th, 2008, 03:45 PM
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Re: Unwanted Gifts

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Originally Posted by Cremebrulee View Post
I guess, Lady Love, what I'm trying to say, it's so hard sometimes to do the right thing...but when you do things out of anger/site/resentment/ your the one who becomes the looser...not them...be better then them...don't do what I did and retaliate in anger, hurt, frustration....Lady Love, think about it...one bad turn doesn't deserve another...somewhere along the line, someone has to be more grown up and stop...this is actually how wars are started and people are killed.
Creme, this is a valid point, but there really are extremes that you're ignoring. It's not a question of being "grown up". If LadyLove's BIL and SIL were "grown up" she wouldn't have this predicament.

Consider it like this. You are stuck in a room with someone who pushes you. You can pleasantly say "cut it out" and let it go. They push you again. You say "Knock it off" and let it go. They keep doing it, over and over and over. And everytime they push you, they push you harder. You can say all you want that one bad turn doesn't deserve another (and I agree) but there comes a point when the ONLY way to stop abusive behavior is to PUSH BACK.

It's called self-defense. And I'm not being immature or childish when I say this; I have two kids who are victims of bullies and I have done a lot of reading on the topic, not to mention discussions with friends who are therapists. The preferred means of dealing with bullies are "grown up" but sometimes you get backed into that corner.

And there's nothing wrong with being angry sometimes. That's often the impetus behind injustice being fixed.
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  #23  
Old August 11th, 2008, 04:24 PM
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Re: Unwanted Gifts

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Creme, this is a valid point, but there really are extremes that you're ignoring. It's not a question of being "grown up". If LadyLove's BIL and SIL were "grown up" she wouldn't have this predicament.

Consider it like this. You are stuck in a room with someone who pushes you. You can pleasantly say "cut it out" and let it go. They push you again. You say "Knock it off" and let it go. They keep doing it, over and over and over. And everytime they push you, they push you harder. You can say all you want that one bad turn doesn't deserve another (and I agree) but there comes a point when the ONLY way to stop abusive behavior is to PUSH BACK.

It's called self-defense. And I'm not being immature or childish when I say this; I have two kids who are victims of bullies and I have done a lot of reading on the topic, not to mention discussions with friends who are therapists. The preferred means of dealing with bullies are "grown up" but sometimes you get backed into that corner.

And there's nothing wrong with being angry sometimes. That's often the impetus behind injustice being fixed.
I didn't mean to imply it was wrong to be angry...sorry if I did....those are emotions which must be released...and yanno Kay Kay I do understand what your saying...and I do well know there is definately a breaking point...but do you really and honestly truly believe Kay Kay, that dropping their gifts back on their porch is the right approach?

I'm asking you this, because I keep thinking, is it more important to be right, or to assume control...

If she does that, then that stupid SIL of hers is going to retaliate in some negative way, and it just keeps going on and on, and it will drive people to do things, which I'm sure, we're all very understanding of, that we're very sorry for later...not to the people, but b/c we've allowed them to bring us DOWN to their level....?

There are bullies yes...and these people are indeed bullies...but sometimes, like with my DIL, it's just a sad no win situation, and yet, sometimes, when you think you haven't won, if you've done everything in your heart...that you felt was right, and didn't seek revenge...then, Kay kay, you've really won...you've actually took a step up to the next life issue and are now ready...and you feel soooo much better about yourself.

For instance...yes, my BIL deserved the way I went nuts on him...but am I proud of it...no, I am not...and what never ceases to amaze me, I did the same thing with DIL...didn't act out like that to her...just clammed up, I got scared...and I'm getting more and more sick of the lack of consideration for the feelings of others from people...so I spazzed...and I'm not proud of myself...I should have sat him down and said..."now look here...this is the way it's going to be, or we all sit down with sis and discuss this" In the end, I would have been the one in control....of not just him...but of myself...and I would have been very proud if I could have handled it that way. and yeah, maybe he wouldn't have listened...but in the end...I would have been the bigger person.

I think, life throws these experiences in front of us...for tests...I think, we are the only ones who are in control of our own lives, we can't control others...never, ever, but we can control ourselves...and I truely do believe, whenever we act out with bad karma, it's returned to us two fold...and whenever we do something good, it to is returned to us two fold...so on a scale, I would rather want to tip the good...but we're human, and anger, and the lust for revenge, when someone hurts us, really is tempting...and the more they do it, the more they drive us...and whose to say, that is exactly what these kind of people lust for themselves. so maybe the sweetest revenge would be Not to act out...be a lady, and ignore it? Whataya think...sounds good doesn't it...sometimes Kay kay, I scare myself...no, just kidding, I hope you know...

Kay kay, it is so easy, to look at someone else's situation and see things so realistically, so rationally, but when we're personally involved with a situation like this, yanno, it eats away at us, slowly and brings out the worst in us...and soon, we start thinking everything these people do, is against us...just read my posts about my DIL...but cha know something...even though, deep in my heart...I know she hates me, and I know she wanted me out of their lives...I feel like I've done the right thing...not just for me, but for my son as well...I thought about it for years...and it seemed the only logical answer...I didn't like who I had become because of it...and I believe if we all thought about our own situations...we'd all admit the same thing...the thing we hate the most, is who we've become because of all this idiotic nonesense.

So, we can change that...we don't have to stoop to their level...we can be better then them, we are already...yanno why, b/c we don't have to resort to their game plan...and they hate us b/c they know they can never be like us...I think that is what bothers them the most. I've read a lot of everyone's posts, and honestly believe in most cases, those sick people see who we are inside and they can't be like us, so they are going to do their best to annoy us, to try and bring us down to their level, and then comes the favorite words of all time...."See, I told you she was like that!"

whataya think...

I mean yeah, I could be as devious as them, and retaliate, I could have taken all the gifts my son gave me and thrown them back on his doorstep, but yanno, that's gotta hurt...and I don't want to hurt anyone like I've been hurt, not even my most worst enemy...not even if they deserve it...I don't...cause I don't believe we get anywhere by hurting others...all we do to ourselves, is regress and we then stagnate our own paths....

and kay kay, just for the record, I never ever thought you were immature, much nmore so, the differ...

Last edited by Cremebrulee; August 11th, 2008 at 04:27 PM.
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Old August 11th, 2008, 04:43 PM
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Re: Unwanted Gifts

Creme,

I've already said I wouldn't have handled the gift incident with LL's SIL the way she did. I get what you are saying.

HOWEVER.... I think you are missing the point.

LL wants her boundaries/her own personal space to be respected.

LL said no gifts; SIL brought gift

Creme said I don't like you coming in my house without calling; BIL keeps coming anyway

LL says no gifts (again); Again, she gets gifts

etc. etc. etc (thump, thump, thump)

LL loses it and returns the gifts

Creme loses it and tells her BIL off

What's the difference? It's not about the gift, it's about being respected.

And, although I don't personally know the dynamics of the gift-giving issues in LL's family, I DO KNOW that some people use gifts as manipulations and to cause pain. It becomes all about the gift-giver getting what they want and caring nothing about the recipient. (I have experienced it and I know KayKay has as well.) If this is the case in LL's family, I wouldn't blame her one bit for wanting that poison out of her home and her life.
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Old August 11th, 2008, 05:00 PM
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Re: Unwanted Gifts

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Creme,

I've already said I wouldn't have handled the gift incident with LL's SIL the way she did. I get what you are saying.

HOWEVER.... I think you are missing the point.

LL wants her boundaries/her own personal space to be respected.

LL said no gifts; SIL brought gift

Creme said I don't like you coming in my house without calling; BIL keeps coming anyway

LL says no gifts (again); Again, she gets gifts

etc. etc. etc (thump, thump, thump)

LL loses it and returns the gifts

Creme loses it and tells her BIL off

What's the difference? It's not about the gift, it's about being respected.

And, although I don't personally know the dynamics of the gift-giving issues in LL's family, I DO KNOW that some people use gifts as manipulations and to cause pain. It becomes all about the gift-giver getting what they want and caring nothing about the recipient. (I have experienced it and I know KayKay has as well.) If this is the case in LL's family, I wouldn't blame her one bit for wanting that poison out of her home and her life.
No no elaine, your right and I do understand what your saying...
but, now, calmer, I'm looking at it from another perspective as well...no, believe me, I do understand...and I wish I could make myself clearer....I think, in LL's case, the sweetest revenge, would be, to be the wiser, more mature, lady...that she normally is...like I wish I could have been....and not retaliate...give the gift away...say nothing more about it to anyone but us, here...vent here...but in the end...she breaks the cycle...she has the last laugh actually....and although it's very very hard to do...very hard...in the end...I would have won, instead of reacting negatively.

The book I was reading...for instance, talks about this...any negative thoughts we send out, return to us...so, while I surely do understand...and while it is human to react as such...believe me, awful hard not to...what I'm saying is...if she could possibly not react like that...she might send a much more powerful message. Something that would eat away at that witch...you see, that woman of a SIL, is probably actually waiting for her to retaliate.

There have been times, when I saw my DIL, actually change like day and night...I really do believe she was pushing me. These people are not dumb, they are very cunning people...and I believe their whole life evolves around the power by being a bully to others then sitting back and wallowing in the trouble they've caused.

Have you ever heard of emotional vampires...well, this is exactly what these people are...they suck the life right out of you...they make you do things and react to things that you wouldn't normally do...they make you become someone you are not.

When my son got married, I was all happy and excited and naieve and felt like a little kid...I was...very immature in my way of thinking....and in all these years, I've become very synical...very serious...and I now see negative in a lot more then I want to. Elaine, I truly believe negative begats negative...and I'm trying so hard now to stay away from that woman...she is not going to run my life, or bring the worst out in me, or cause my health to decline due to hurt, worry, feeling of being a failure, inadaquate...I think I've said before, I don't like who I've become...because of it....and I believe in her heart of hearts...LL doesn't like this anymore then any of us do....its a rejection, and not one of us wanted or even expected such rejection, such disrespect...but it hit us all like a ton of bricks...and we got fightin mad, didn't we...we lost a lot because of it...but mainly, we lost ourselves...we loose when we retaliate negatively...it's what they want, and we go right ahead and prove them right...God, why didn't I see this before??????

But, yeah, Elaine, I surely understand where your coming from...I just hope you guys can understand my point of view. you all, including me, have every right to feel hate, to feel violated...anger, great hurt, and remorse, despair for what these people have done...but lets work together on this and not let them win...lets form a club of somekind and make a pac that these people will not bring us down to their level...lets try and help each other to be much more then them...ladies, and I bet, we'd all be surprised how this comes into play in our lives...it's going to effect us in a different way, our husbands, in a different way...our children...and it'll all be positive...well, for you guys, I'm not married...but believe me...if you trust yourselves to believe...to have faith in who you are, in the end...your going to come out a winner, no more tension...you can hold your head high, and your husbands will be proud...and so will you....and I really do believe a lot of these problems will go away...but, if we retaliate, in a negative way...why my goodness, that woman (LL's sister in law) is sitting back, simply waiting for LL to react in that way...she's pushing her to do so...and then she'll retaite trying to top LL's act...and LL will react back, and it's slowly eats away at us, it erodes who we are, and we become someone we're not very proud of...but to ignore her...would start this sick game of her's in a new direction....now LL would be in control...and in time...I betcha, this woman gives up...not completely, but bullies grow weary of a game they only have to play themselves. And slowly LL begins to heal over time...it takes a lot of hard work and time, but these people slowly fade in our minds and are not such a big part of our lives any longer and peace begins inside of us...we then are the real winners, and no words need be spoken....and then, as your quote says Elaine, we begin to move forward with our lives, we become much more productive...and that witch stays where she is...on the outside looking in...and LL wins...she is the wonderful loving lady that her husband married, and he believes that, b/c she has acted like the woman he met...and it takes a great deal of tension off of everyone, except the witch that's standing there with her mouth hanging open wondering what the heck happened, and never being able to be the great woman LL is.

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Old August 11th, 2008, 05:22 PM
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Re: Unwanted Gifts

something else I just thought of...

When this problem was happening with my DIL...I mentored with two men on the subject...none of which was my brother in law...yanno what they both told me...no matter what happens Creme, always be a lady...so, I remembered that...and I didn't go to visit for a long long time...but I remained nice...to both of them...was very generous...and kind to both of them...and yanno what...she ends up spazzing out in front of his father, and throws 3 brand new dresses away that I sent...now they didn't know the dresses were from me...but they sure did know she made a real class fool out of herself, so much so, they told someone who told me.

So I go down there, and she pushes and pushes, and she wins...cuz I clamed up and was so nervous, fearing I'd spaz out....like I did at my BIL...and instead I should have just left the whole thing roll off my back...and enjoyed my son, enjoyed my GD and left her decide what she wanted to do. But the years of her games destroyed me...broke me down, to the point that I now had to explain to my son why I was acting like such a idot...I was defending myself now...look what my actions caused, and she won...mission accomplished...and if I'd have acted the other way...just think, maybe she'd have slowly but surely come to terms and we could have tollerated each other...maybe we would have even been able to talk.

Now, another example, my BIL...he told me once, he loves to start trouble, get people going...maybe, just maybe that is what he was doing to me. I know he lies...that is a fact...and by spazzing out...well, look what I did...maybe he went home and told my sister, well, I did it....I walked in Creams house and she went balistic on me...she's a real nut case...maybe, he's jealous deep down inside, of the relationship my sister and I share...who knows...but it was surely the wrong thing to do....he wins...doesn't he?

so, now, next time I see him, we have a talk....very calmly...and I intend to express the tension they put me under all these years....and that I need my privacy and space...and if my sister comes down, then BIL comes down and not without her...and no one walks into my house....if it comes to that...we'll see...but I'm going to try very hard to stop allowing people to put me in a place I don't want to be...or to retaliate...sometimes ya gotta, but most times...we react out of all the anger and hurt that has built up and we make ourselves look like the evil one.

Just some thoughts to toss around?

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Old August 11th, 2008, 05:29 PM
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Re: Unwanted Gifts

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Originally Posted by Cremebrulee View Post
...but do you really and honestly truly believe Kay Kay, that dropping their gifts back on their porch is the right approach?

I'm asking you this, because I keep thinking, is it more important to be right, or to assume control...

If she does that, then that stupid SIL of hers is going to retaliate in some negative way, and it just keeps going on and on, and it will drive people to do things, which I'm sure, we're all very understanding of, that we're very sorry for later...not to the people, but b/c we've allowed them to bring us DOWN to their level....?

There are bullies yes...and these people are indeed bullies...but sometimes, like with my DIL, it's just a sad no win situation, and yet, sometimes, when you think you haven't won, if you've done everything in your heart...that you felt was right, and didn't seek revenge...then, Kay kay, you've really won...you've actually took a step up to the next life issue and are now ready...and you feel soooo much better about yourself.
Yes, Creme. I really and honestly truly believe that leaving the package on the back porch is the right approach. (Well, technically, I wouldn't leave it on the back porch because I'd be worried about it being stolen or lost or ignored... I'd mail it back. ) Frankly, I don't think there's anything "down to their level" about it. *shrug* Now if she were to destroy it and THEN leave it on their back porch...

It is not, IMO, "retaliation" or "revenge" Creme. It is a consequence. There's a difference. Revenge is LL leaving a flaming bag of dog poo on her SIL's front porch or deflating the air in SIL's tires. But refusing to accept the gift is not retaliation or revenge. It is setting a boundary, or actually in LL's case enforcing an existing boundary.

I'm sorry, but that's just the way I see it. It's like a kid misbehaving. If they do X, there will be consequence Y. They do X, you have to follow through with consequence Y. Do you consider it "revenge" if a drunk driver gets arrested? No. There are rules (no drinking and driving) and consequences for breaking them (being arrested).

In your case, you feel you've done everything you could with your DIL, and that's good. But IMO about your situation is that you *didn't* do everything you could. You took your DIL being abusive to you. I don't think that revenge is the answer - of course not! - but wouldn't you feel better about yourself NOW if you had said to her "Don't speak to me like that" or if you had said to them "Please don't walk down the street ahead of me acting like I'm not here. That hurts my feelings." IMO, if you had spoken up in a firm but polite manner about her bad behavior, you'd feel better about yourself no matter what the outcome ended up being. *shrug* I may be wrong. But I kinda think if I was wrong you wouldn't have the trouble letting go of it that you have.

BTW, how old are you that you have all of this "when you're my age" wisdom? I wonder if you know how old I am. I ain't a spring chicken, let's just put it that way.
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Old August 11th, 2008, 05:32 PM
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Re: Unwanted Gifts

(aside to KayKay - I don't think you'er that old & I think we're close to the same age)


{snicker-although if I'd had a kid right out of highschool I could be a g-ma now - LOL}

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Old August 11th, 2008, 05:50 PM
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Re: Unwanted Gifts

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Yes, Creme. I really and honestly truly believe that leaving the package on the back porch is the right approach. (Well, technically, I wouldn't leave it on the back porch because I'd be worried about it being stolen or lost or ignored... I'd mail it back. ) Frankly, I don't think there's anything "down to their level" about it. *shrug* Now if she were to destroy it and THEN leave it on their back porch...

It is not, IMO, "retaliation" or "revenge" Creme. It is a consequence. There's a difference. Revenge is LL leaving a flaming bag of dog poo on her SIL's front porch or deflating the air in SIL's tires. But refusing to accept the gift is not retaliation or revenge. It is setting a boundary, or actually in LL's case enforcing an existing boundary.

I'm sorry, but that's just the way I see it. It's like a kid misbehaving. If they do X, there will be consequence Y. They do X, you have to follow through with consequence Y. Do you consider it "revenge" if a drunk driver gets arrested? No. There are rules (no drinking and driving) and consequences for breaking them (being arrested).

In your case, you feel you've done everything you could with your DIL, and that's good. But IMO about your situation is that you *didn't* do everything you could. You took your DIL being abusive to you. I don't think that revenge is the answer - of course not! - but wouldn't you feel better about yourself NOW if you had said to her "Don't speak to me like that" or if you had said to them "Please don't walk down the street ahead of me acting like I'm not here. That hurts my feelings." IMO, if you had spoken up in a firm but polite manner about her bad behavior, you'd feel better about yourself no matter what the outcome ended up being. *shrug* I may be wrong. But I kinda think if I was wrong you wouldn't have the trouble letting go of it that you have.

BTW, how old are you that you have all of this "when you're my age" wisdom? I wonder if you know how old I am. I ain't a spring chicken, let's just put it that way.
LOL, your a hoot...i will be 60 soon...but immature, for my age.

well Kay kay, you might be right...I don't know...maybe I've been reading to much...

but one thing...Kay Kay, it is never easy letting go of your son, or your GD, she and I grew very close. I had her every weekend...

so, I still vent in here and talk about him sometimes..but a mother, can never ever leave go of her child...her child is part of her...and yes, I have done the right thing by all of us concerned...for now, I think?

And yes, I do understand what your saying regarding LL...

LL, I really do hope your heart is laid to rest and you do what you feel is the best for you...
and I hope by some small token, I have not been a pain to you, but perhaps by telling my story, you'll believe I am on your side...and find something in all those words that help you...cuz no one should have to hurt like that...

LL, wishing you the very best....I pray you have peace....and love always...just know your in my thoughts

Kay kay, thanks so much....

Hugs
Creme

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Old August 11th, 2008, 06:02 PM
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Re: Unwanted Gifts

Sorry Creme, I wasn't clear.

When I said you wouldn't have the trouble letting go, I didn't mean of your son and GD. I know that must have torn a hole in your heart.

I meant that you wouldn't have the emotional trouble that you've had concerning your DIL and her behavior. IMO if you had set some boundaries with her, you wouldn't have gone through the very difficult emotional time concerning *her*.
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