Author Topic: Glad holidays are over. Tired of being muzzled  (Read 4165 times)

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Shelby

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Glad holidays are over. Tired of being muzzled
« on: January 11, 2012, 09:00:58 AM »
Recently Trying asked if anyone else was relieved that the holidays were over.  Count me in. 

We actually had very pleasant holidays.  All the AC were home.  The chilly DIL acknowledged us this Christmas.  No issues, no confrontations.  No arguments, no tears.  All very pleasant. 

I realize, however, that I am a complete non-entity for the duration of the visit. 
I can't ask any questions - because they are adults and for me to ask any questions would be considered nosy and intrusive (other than questions about the weather, of course).
Certainly I have never given unsolicited advice - but I cannot even express an opinion in a general sense because they would take it personally and consider it to be meddling.

I can ask questions of my friends, because they realize a question is simply a question - nothing more.  I can express an opinion to my friends, because they realize it is simply my opinion in a general sense, not a directive on how they should live their lives.  In other words, I can be myself.  I can have conversations and share thoughts. 

With ACs, particularly chilly DIL, since one cannot ask questions or make statements about much other than the weather, I find myself essentially a non-entity during the visit.  Several images come to mind ---

Putting a straight-jacket on my personality.
Being a Stepford Mom/MIL
Neutering any personality I might have. 
Being muzzled.

Thank goodness they're all gone.  ;D ;D ;D


Offline lancaster lady

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Re: Glad holidays are over. Tired of being muzzled
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2012, 10:42:53 AM »
Shelby ....

You should have celebrated the season with some bubbly , become yourself , stood back and watched the fireworks ! LOL

Offline Pooh

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Re: Glad holidays are over. Tired of being muzzled
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2012, 10:50:48 AM »
I think everyone has to decide what works for them.  You had a pleasant holiday, so if that's your goal, then you accomplished it.  Did it cause you to be quiet and out of character?  Sounds like it but can you live with that to keep peace?  Nothing wrong with that as long as you accept that how it will be in order to have those relationships. 

One of my goals this year was to remember that I am who I am.  Not apologize for it, make excuses for it and to just be me.  I'm not faultless, but I personally would rather spend holidays with those that appreciate me for me than those whom I have to be someone else to be around.  I made that decision for myself, knowing full well the consequences I will face down the road for doing it.  But I had a very nice holiday with people who were also themselves.  They have faults too, but I accept their faults along with all their good qualities.  I expect the same courtesy. 
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Glad holidays are over. Tired of being muzzled
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2012, 11:54:46 AM »
Glad you got through it. It was hard for me, too, because at my age (84) it is all getting pretty diluted. Mostly, it was having to deal (or not deal) with foods that aren't good for me and waiting to see those who are really busy doing other things or to hear from those that are far away. Life in the slow lane.  ;)  Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Doe

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Re: Glad holidays are over. Tired of being muzzled
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2012, 12:56:05 PM »
Hey Shelby-

How does DH feel about making other plans next year?

Offline pam1

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Re: Glad holidays are over. Tired of being muzzled
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2012, 02:37:58 PM »
Shelby, I feel your pain.  It's one of the biggest reason I refuse to make the inlaws the central event of the holidays anymore.  I don't feel like spending 3 days with a muzzle on either!  lol  So if we do spend any part of the holiday it is a small, few hour event with other people there that I can have a good time with.  Life is too short to have joy taken out of the holidays so I won't do it anymore.

I'm with Pooh, you have to decide what works for you.  Even if it was pleasant, is it still worth it to you? 
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

Offline Pen

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Re: Glad holidays are over. Tired of being muzzled
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2012, 09:56:03 PM »
Food for thought, for sure. I've become the queen of shutting up to get along, but I too am really tired of it. I find when I muzzle one part of myself I also close off other parts that I might  not have wanted to squelch such as my sense of humor or my creativity.

Thanks for this topic, Shelby, and thanks for all the input from everyone.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
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Offline Chrisky

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Re: Glad holidays are over. Tired of being muzzled
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2012, 07:31:09 AM »
Recently Trying asked if anyone else was relieved that the holidays were over.
 
I can't ask any questions - because they are adults and for me to ask any questions would be considered nosy and intrusive (other than questions about the weather, of course).
Certainly I have never given unsolicited advice - but I cannot even express an opinion in a general sense because they would take it personally and consider it to be meddling.

I can ask questions of my friends, because they realize a question is simply a question - nothing more.  I can express an opinion to my friends, because they realize it is simply my opinion in a general sense, not a directive on how they should live their lives.  In other words, I can be myself.  I can have conversations and share thoughts. 

With ACs, particularly chilly DIL, since one cannot ask questions or make statements about much other than the weather, I find myself essentially a non-entity during the visit.



I totally agree Shelby.  I've also had to muzzle myself.  I'm certainly not allowed to have any opinion about anything, so I also talk about the weather and mostly just interact with the granddaughters. 
But, thank goodness, this Christmas DS came over with GDs and the DIL didn't bother to show up, so we had an excellent day, could talk about all sorts of things (which I'm sure got back to DIL), but we didn't criticize her at all, didn't even mention her name.  So I'm hoping the next time we see them, she will not be there, I really don't need that stress. 

Doe

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Re: Glad holidays are over. Tired of being muzzled
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2012, 09:12:07 AM »
Shelby-
I didn't spend Xmas with My Punishers (new names for DS/DIL) but spent a week with them in their home earlier this year.  I got that muzzled feeling, but a stronger feeling of being bored with the conversation that I was limited to.  I was surprised since DS was always great fun to be with, smart, interesting tastes, quick witted.  But not now. It was a bit of a relief to get back to my own tastes and interests.

Shelby

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Re: Glad holidays are over. Tired of being muzzled
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2012, 11:16:40 AM »
Shelby-
I didn't spend Xmas with My Punishers (new names for DS/DIL) but spent a week with them in their home earlier this year.  I got that muzzled feeling, but a stronger feeling of being bored with the conversation that I was limited to.  I was surprised since DS was always great fun to be with, smart, interesting tastes, quick witted.  But not now. It was a bit of a relief to get back to my own tastes and interests.

That's it!  Boredom!

Food for thought, for sure. I've become the queen of shutting up to get along, but I too am really tired of it. I find when I muzzle one part of myself I also close off other parts that I might  not have wanted to squelch such as my sense of humor or my creativity.

Thanks for this topic, Shelby, and thanks for all the input from everyone.

When we muzzle ourselves in order to not say anything that could possibly not sit well with a DIL, SIL or AC, we wind up squelching our sense of humor or creativity.  That makes the whole interaction quite boring. 

Hey Shelby-

How does DH feel about making other plans next year?

There was no conflict, no issue with anything, just a Stepford Mom/MIL, and a couple of boring days.  I don't think we'll make other plans for holidays next year.   As long as my parents and my FIL are alive we'll stay home and see them.  Of course our ACs and ILs will be invited.   It's not painful - just a little boring.  But I can tough that one out.  What was amusing was one time I mentioned to DS that of course we understood that he and DIL would not want to vacation with us - that they were obviously beyond family trips.  He replied that they would be willing to go to (another continent half a world away) with us.  I just looked out the window.  Having them all home for the holidays, being muzzled and being bored is one thing.  And it was free.    Spending tons of money to haul the family half-way around the world on vacation - and be muzzled and bored in another country - hey, another hemisphere, for crying out loud --- Ain't gonna happen.  Any traveling DH and I do will be just the dynamic duo.  Or 3 Musketeers if the dog comes along.   ;D

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Glad holidays are over. Tired of being muzzled
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2012, 11:51:11 AM »
We all do what we have to do…and being muzzled is the pits for most of us. I have done it, too…left my real self at the doorstep and become a doormat. (When I was young, that's the way wives were supposed to be for all of the time. Hard to believe!) These days, with extended families, we weigh the consequences of being real and alive against the repercussions of doing that.

For many years, until a divorce intervened, I went silently to DS's place on the rare occasions we were asked and then toughed out the dry spells in between. When I was around DIL (so as to have a few moments with DS) I wished I was home…and when I was home and didn't hear from him, I wished I was there. If wishes were fishes…
 
He wasn't himself…he was subdued and silently apologetic and trying to pretend everything was fine. It broke my heart and yet, it was his lesson. We went there once to deliver a car that he was buying from us, and he had to stand out at the curb and talk to us because we hadn't been officially invited by Her Royal Highness. Hear the bitterness in that remark? That was twenty years ago!
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Sassy

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Re: Glad holidays are over. Tired of being muzzled
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2012, 12:21:12 PM »
Sometimes it helps me to think about it like being at work.  I remind myself not everyone needs to know everything about the real, true me.   In fact, things are usually nicer when they don't.  They can know slices of me, and they can know my pleasant surface me.  They don't need to hear my opinions on subjects they could be sensitive about, for me to have a good time.   I share this because I was so relieved when I truly realized, not everyone in my life needs to be privvy to such wonderful details about me. 8)

Not that it's a total blast to be on office etiquette around family - and in one's own house, to boot.  But merely pleasant can still be really nice.   

Offline Ruth

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Re: Glad holidays are over. Tired of being muzzled
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2012, 02:02:23 PM »
oh and also Luise, ' if wishes were horses the devil would ride'!   ha . 

you know I have come to terms with the 'muzzled' lifestyle.  There are many many people who are not able to sustain anything more than surface relationships, and my work has taught me to have to wear many faces and be on auto-adjust all the time to sense this out and react accordingly.  I think its a good skill to learn.   I've learned to dish this out to MIL, and be fine with me, the joke isn't on me.  The real meat is only reserved for those pea pickin' few in our lives who really matter. 

Sassy

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Re: Glad holidays are over. Tired of being muzzled
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2012, 02:17:29 PM »

you know I have come to terms with the 'muzzled' lifestyle.  There are many many people who are not able to sustain anything more than surface relationships.....

The real meat is only reserved for those pea pickin' few in our lives who really matter. 

I love this idea, Ruth.  Reminds me of the old saying "Like throwing pearls to swine." 
If they don't want my pearls, then I don't want them to have them.

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Glad holidays are over. Tired of being muzzled
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2012, 04:39:15 PM »
I think most of us learn to do that in superficial relationships. If we don't, we're in trouble. Where I live (a senior community) when we say, "Hi, how are your?", we really don't want to know. LOL! And there are those who want to back you up against a wall and tell you!"

(We call it an organ recital!)
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama