I want to start from the beginning. For this story to be told right, I need to go further back then that Sunday.
I've got a rocky relationship with a lot of my in-laws. For years there have been standing rumors that I made my hubs get married too young, have kids too young, that I made him quit school. There are even whispers from some of his uncles that I'm too controlling. That my husband has no back bone. That I'm a bad mom who neglects my children and doesn't cook or clean. (Where did this come from?? An uncle who visited our house the week I found out I was pregnant with #2, just 8mo after #1 - an uncle we didn't tell about the pregnancy!)
Due to these rumors, I'm very iffy about being around the majority of his family. They all play nice to my face and talk shit about us behind our backs. Whenever my kids do something "wrong", they come to me. They don't ever tell my hubs anything. Seriously or jokingly, they come to me. They lay it all out for me. This is not something my hubs is okay with.
The only in-laws that I am close with is my MIL, SIL, BIL and my hubs Tia & Tio. I've kind of dismissed the rest as people who I have to deal with on special occasions. I put on a fake smile and play the best mommy/wifey in the world. Over do everything and get frazzled as shit.
That Sunday (the day after Valentine's day) was already a bad day for me. For too many reasons. Needless to say, my panic disorder was on red alert and going to spend the day with his family for his Tio's birthday party that night was making me sick to my stomach.
First, my son accidentally spilt a soda and they all yelled for me to come clean it. Not my hubs, who was standing right next to me. I went to do it, and my son cried because they made a big deal out of it (which we don't do at home, accidents happen).
Then one of my hubs uncles (who i have on-going issues with) comes up to asks how I was. He then mentions to my hubs Tio "Oh look, she did her hair, just for your birthday!" Haha, funny funny. No, I hadn't ironed my hair. It was raining outside, why bother??? So, it was a bit frizzy. Seriously? We were out bowling, not at some fancy diner. Kiss my ass.
Later that night he made a comment about my hair again. I had put it in a pony tail 'cause I got hot. He acted as if I did it because of the comment he had made earlier. Uhm, have I mentioned that he's so not that important???
Let's not bypass the fact that we were bowling. The whole family. And their friends. Somewhere around 20 people. Hubs and I chose not to bowl. Mainly because my hubs knew that I was on high alert and may need to leave as soon as I started to feel too pressured. Also because the kids hadn't napped and were a bit frazzled themselves. But it was also because we wanted to be able to watch our kids as they bowled and ran around the bowling alley like crazy munchkins. How could we possibly do that if we were involved in a bowling game??
Through out the night my hubs cousins girlfriends (got that?) were playing with my boys. The two of them are like best friends, seeing as they will most likely be sisters in law very soon. I am close with one, but not the other. The one that I'm not close with was kinda stand off-ish all night. I just kept getting this strange vibe from her. Like I was bugging her by having my kids around her. It's not that I made my boys go with them. They like my hubs cousins, so they were obviously going to be near their girlfriends, right???
So at one point I finally sit down with my MIL and she takes all three kids (my two and my niece) and bowls with them. Some lady at the party starts a conversation with me about how well behaved my kids are. I see my hubs come up and sit with my MIL, so I know that the three kids are well taken care of. I'm enjoying my conversation.
Suddenly I see the girlfriend of the cousin (the one i'm not so close with) come up and snag my youngest son and walk away with him. I don't know why she did it, but I'm okay with it, because she's been playing with him all night. Around three minutes later I look over to see her, and don't see my son. I become a little alarmed. Try to continue the convo with the lady. Look over at my hubs, no kids. Look to my MIL, she has my niece and oldest son. Where is my youngest??? As I glance back over to the convo lady, I see my Tia approaching me at high speed with my youngest held awkwardly in front of her.
"Some strange man was just walking away with your son." As she drops him in my lap.
"Uhm... no... he was with (girlfriends name)."
"NO. He wasn't. Some man was just walking away with him." And she walks away, goes to a wall where the uncle who I don't like (the hair guy) is standing, links arms with him and gives me a smart ass look.
I look over to my hubs. Tears are stinging my eyes.
"It's time to go."
"No. Now. I'm fucking pissed. We are leaving. NOW." My voice was shaking.
"Shit... okay... let's go."
He grabs my older son from my MIL and says we are leaving. She says that she'll walk out with us as soon as she sees my face. We walk over to say bye to everyone. We say bye to the cousin and girlfriend that I like. My Tia comes over and gives everyone a kiss and hug, including the son I am holding - but ignores me. I'm fine, whatever. Just hold it together. Another five or so minutes.
I say bye to her co-worker and my Tia gives me a look. "Okay. Fine." She says.
"What??" I am practically yelling with a cracked ass voice.
"No, that's fine."
I stormed out of that bowling alley, with my youngest in my arms. I tried to hold it together while hot tears burned my freezing rain soaked cheeks. As soon as I got outside I was hyperventilating and doing my best to stay erect while I held my son. I'm scared and alone in a parking lot in the late night. I'm worried about how I'm reacting in front of my son.
My MIL, hubs and oldest son come walking out of the bowling alley and get me to the car. Kids in the car and me calmed down. I'm so furious that I'm screaming the whole situation to my MIL who just looks like she cannot even imagine what the hell happened.
All I keep seeing is some strange man trying to leave with my son. Why the fuck did that bitch come take my son from my MIL - just to let him go without supervision?? He's TWO.
Why would my Tia come to ME and not my hubs? Why is it MY fault that my son wasn't supervised??? That night could have ended so badly if my Tia hadn't seen that man walking away with my son. And who was this man??? Why weren't the cops called for him trying to take my kid?? Why didn't something happen?? I'm so confused and barely holding my thoughts together.
Not more than ten minutes into our drive home - my hubs cell rings. It's his Tia. She wants to talk to me.
She's not mad at me. She was joking. She wanted to bowl another game and needed another bowler - she asked the girl who had my son and she said she couldn't because she had to watch my son. So she brought my son to me, said her joke and that was it. She was playing around. No big deal. She's so sorry that it affected me the way it did, she wont joke with me that way again. How could I be so upset???
Because I feel like I'm always being judged. I hate when my kids want everyone but me when we're at an event. It makes me feel like my kids don't want me and that people are going to think I'm pawning my kids off on them because I'm some sort of awful mother.
She says how could I ever think I wasn't a good mother? Don't I know that I'm a good mother?
She enforces the fact that she thinks I'm a wonderful mother. Just look at how smart and well behaved my children are.... blah blah blah. I can't remember the rest, other than she said she loved me and wanted me to relax.
So... I try to wrap my mind around it. My kids have fallen asleep by this point. I'm freaking out. I don't get it. No one tried to steal my kid?? I still can't get the image out of my head. It's haunting me. How stupid could I have been to let anyone watch my kid without me there?? I can't trust people that way. They don't know what it takes to keep watch of a two year old. Why would she say she couldn't bowl because she had to watch my son? No one asked her to watch him. He was doing just fine with my MIL. Did my Tia really just want someone to bowl with her?? If so, why didn't she go bowl? Why did she go lean against that wall with the uncle she knows I have such issues with??
A few days later my hubs talks to my Tia and she says "I'm sorry for making your life such hell the other night."
"It's alright." He's uncomfortable about the idea. I still hadn't talked about it.
"No... it's not. I'm sorry."
What did that mean? Was she truly sorry for her actions? Or was she sorry that my hubs was married to some crazy over reacting bitch??
A week later - the girlfriend who was watching my son, calls me. About some author. Wants to know if I've ever read her books. No, I've never heard of her. "Oh, alright. Bye then." STRANGE. We don't ever really talk - except about books... and even that is usually limited to text messages.
Fast forward two weeks. We go by their house. She wasn't around when we first got there. When she came in, she was bustling around doing stuff. I eventually say Hi when I get close. I got no answer. Then she ran to do an errand while we visited with my hubs Tio and cousin. We left before she got back. It was just too awkward for me.
I tell my MIL that I'm a lil confused and hurt by it. She says that my Tia told her that I didn't say hi to her, so why would she say hi to me?? But that she did feel bad that we were gone before she got back from her errand.
I'm SO confused!!! This was two weeks ago and I'm still so unsure of how I feel.
I'm hurt. I'm hurt because the joke was just not funny. No one could possibly think that was funny. I'm hurt because I still don't know the truth. I'm scared because I know if I tried to find out the truth they'd tell me that I'm over thinking something that was so minor and to let it go. I'm hurt because I don't know if I should be mad at the girlfriend or not. What if she didn't really say it that way?? Did my Tia really need a bowler, or was she sick and tired of seeing her soon to be daughter in laws playing with my kids all night?? She did mention that she was a lil sad that I wasn't having fun and bowling that night - I know she picked up on my foul anxious mood.
I'm still so hurt. I feel stupid for having gotten so close to her. I've tried for a very long time to not get close to people. I've been let down and left too many times. After losing my mom, I had been broken to a point that I didn't think I'd ever recover.
I don't want to say that I looked at her as a mother figure - but I did consider her as more than an in-law. In my opinion, family shouldn't judge. They should love you for who you are, not in spite of it. They should be able to say "This is my crazy ass niece who panics for no reason and is a bit controlling, but she's an awesome mom and makes my nephew happy, so we love her." Yet, I feel like I was judged on the one thing I'm most sensitive about. Being a mom. I felt like I was smacked in the face, on a particularly sensitive day.
Maybe it wasn't a big deal, maybe I am over reacting... but I am so fucking hurt. To the core. When I think of going around her or talking to her, or of the event in question, I feel like my nerves are raw and exposed.
What am I going to do???