Problem Solving => Daughter in Laws and/or Son in Laws => Topic started by: Smilesback@u on September 05, 2012, 10:38:49 am

Title: Is it all about me?
Post by: Smilesback@u on September 05, 2012, 10:38:49 am
Sometimes I realize my part that I play in problems with my family.  I am not real happy today with myself, with the way I perceive them.  I seem critical but realistic.  Some sons think they are smarter than they are and insult my intelligence with remarks.  I don't call them on it, but beginning to think I just might.  It makes me sad when I perceive that I am not being treated in a friendly, respectful way.  Seems friends treat me better than my family sometimes.  So I am finding it hard to keep turning the other cheek with my family.  Some days I feel strong and determined to be myself, engage with family, and not worry about what they think or how they deliver -- thinking they can adjust to me too!  Other days, well, I feel sad or mad when I think I am being too critical but not feeling respected and wish it was different.  I guess the better part of valor would be for me to keep putting forth my best effort with family, and let go of my expectations that they give more to me.  They are busy with their own lives, meeting their own needs.  Sometimes it feels like I am being asked to admire the Emperor's beautiful new clothes, and what I see is that the emperor is naked.  How do you keep silent about misperceptions - to hold your tongue, and why?  I think I should not stir up a hornet's nest and complain, unless there is harm being done to GD.  I have learned that much on WWU, that it is best for me to move on with my own life, not confront DS/DIL about anything, and deal with my personal issues on my own.  I get that my feelings are my responsibility to manage in healthy ways and it is hard sometimes.  This Thg, I choose to visit DS/DIL for less time just a couple days to keep it less stressful on me, also by staying in a motel, fixing my own meals, and basically fending for myself as they do not like to entertain.  I will visit more with them if I want to, but it is not likely.  It seems chaotic in their home with a lack of planning for meals and what to do, and so child-focused that I can't think straight it seems.  I really love them in the best way possible that I can manage, but it is hard to spend much time with them.  Maybe that is mutual?  Maybe I am showing my age?  I think of DS/DIL often but don't visit but a couple times a year, as we live across the country from them.  I don't call often because they are busy, sometimes the GD get on the phone, and then there is a disconnect, or they call when they are in the car and it is hard to hear.   I find calling DS at lunchtime at his work he seems less stressed, and seems the best time.  Sometimes I hunch that I am not such a fun phone call anywhere at anytime.  Not a pity party, just trying to face reality here -- it is not all about them, but I play a part too.  I do send souvenirs from our trips, little gifts for special events to show that I love them and wish them the best.  I bring fun activities to do with the GD when we visit, we babysit in the daytime and I do call DS to send good cheer.  I have called DIL but she doesn't answer, so I leave a cheery message and don't worry about it.  When DS/DIL do not meet my expectations, I feel unimportant.  I suppose they feel that way about some of the things I don't do too?  I really don't like FB lately either as I read how DIL is doing this and that and DS does not communicate much about what they are doing.  Other than seeing photos and keeping up with what's going on, I am thinking I will stop putting so much value into FB.  Maybe it is for their friends mostly to see.   I see to misinterpret what I read and then negativity sets in.  I think I will call more often to stay connected rather than pick up through FB.  I have the time now that I am not working.  Hope that's a good idea --what do you think?  Am I on the right track?
Title: Re: Is it all about me?
Post by: Lillycache on September 05, 2012, 11:01:54 am
I don't know Smiles.   But why not make it all about you?   I've decided to do that.   Let's face it... our AC and their spouses certainly aren't going to make it about us.   It's all about them.  We get the same privilege.  Once upon a time, I really believed it was all about family.  That was before I learned how easily they can turn on you..... just give 'em half a reason.. or maybe no real reason at all.  So might as well focus on ourselves and let them do the same.
Title: Re: Is it all about me?
Post by: Scoop on September 05, 2012, 11:10:00 am
Smiles, I think you have several different issues going on here.

1. You're angry at how you're treated (i.e. being talked down to)  - I've mentioned this before, but I strongly recommend "The Dance of Anger" by Harriet Lerner.  If you're angry, it's for a reason and should be addressed and handled appropriately.  It's a question of not under-reacting, NOR over-reacting.  But a quick "Do you really think I'm that stupid?" might just put the brakes on some of their behaviour.

2. Your expectations are not being met - well, you know how this one goes.  Maybe you can make a list and review your expectations and figure out which ones you're willing to let go, and which ones are "a hill to die on".  Babysitting during the day is okay, but not at night - that's fair.  Paying for ONE dinner out - that's fair.  But expecting them to NOT be child-centered is not fair, they're in the thick of it right now and that IS their life.  I agree that you should call more, but maybe expect shorter conversations.

In the meantime, develop your interests.  Tell your DS, "Sorry, I don't keep up with the latest string theorems, but I was too busy learning to paddle board.", let them get your machine once in a while.  Let them see YOUR fascinating life on Facebook and want to call you and ask about it.

One more thing, and I *know* I'm guilty of this, some people tell you all about themselves, and don't ask about you, because they expect you to tell them all about yourself too.  It's not because they're not interested, it's just because they share what they want, and they expect you to do the same.
Title: Re: Is it all about me?
Post by: Doe on September 05, 2012, 01:49:34 pm
I'm with LC here - I've been noticing how much happier I've been recently and it's in direct correlation to how much less time I spend worrying about my cranky DS and DIL.   
Title: Re: Is it all about me?
Post by: pam1 on September 05, 2012, 02:22:48 pm
From my own experience, I do think my problems with other people say more about me, than they do about the people I have a problem with.  KWIM?  There are things I personally find unacceptable that many people think are no big deal and vs versa.  To be honest, I really think that the less I think of those problematic situations (because IMO there is no solution but for one of us to change and let's be honest, there's only so much you can change of your core personality) the less it bothers me.  So, yeah, in a way I do think it's all about the individual.  The good news is that since it is about you, you do have the power :)
Title: Re: Is it all about me?
Post by: Smilesback@u on September 05, 2012, 02:36:30 pm
Sounds like, I have the power to not worry about things I cannot change like core values, I can let go of some of my expectations, I can make short phone calls, let them be child-focused, and I focus on myself.  Thanks for giving me words too -- Do you think that I am that stupid...will work for me! 
Title: Re: Is it all about me?
Post by: Begonia on September 05, 2012, 02:57:08 pm
Smiles:  Your post was just the most honest and open post; It just sounded so wise in so many ways and echoed many of my thoughts too as I reframe my life with AC.  I think everything you said made sense, from the AC having a different life, from the family situation being chaotic, from you thinking you have a different way to look at things now that you are older, to accepting your own responsibility for change.  It sounds like you are being very logical and are ruled by the brain instead of by pure emotion.  That is hard work and it shows you have put in the time to think of these things.  I give you a lot of credit.  Eloquent. 

You are one smart cookie, I think.   8)

And as far as I'm concerned FB is as damaging as anything can be to relationships. 
Title: Re: Is it all about me?
Post by: Smilesback@u on September 05, 2012, 04:30:07 pm
Thanks for that Bee.  ...and *Down with FB  >:(  I like your quote from Eleanor.  Here's another one you probably have heard: 

No one can make you feel inferior unless you let them.  Eleanor Roosevelt
Title: Re: Is it all about me?
Post by: enorton on September 07, 2012, 02:29:29 pm
I agree with you about FB- does more harm than good!!
Title: Re: Is it all about me?
Post by: Smilesback@u on October 06, 2012, 08:50:11 am
Yes E, recently I have made an attempt this past week to glance and not post, check photos and get off of FB fast.  Seems that I am happier doing that.  Hope you find the support you need here at WWU.  Sending you hugs :)