We're back from a wonderful long weekend visiting a wonderful person and family I met online. Maybe I'll mention tomorrow who this mystery person is, but I'd rather get her permission first.
Al and I traveled to look for a maybe new place to live in the not-so-distant future. To give a bit of background, we are living on the property of my MIL. That's right. MIL.
She does not live here, in fact this has never been Al's family's first home. It's a vacation home that was mostly rented out to other people. Until we asked to borrow it for a few years, with everyone in the family able to come and enjoy it. Of course, nothing goes that smoothly with families and coveted vacation homes, so things have been a bit bumpy over the years. The bumps got bigger and increased in frequency once we brought the boys back from Ethiopia. It has been as bumpy an experience as the drive into the mountains we took to meet H and L's first family.
We thought things had been going well since the last blow-up. Apologies were made, promises to try harder, etc. Then, for no good reason, things got ugly the night Al and I returned home. MIL and SIL had been taking care of the boys so we could explore new frontiers. We were (and still are) incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to leave for a few days alone. A kind of a vacation of sorts. Ahhh-lone. It was really nice. So the fact that it turned so awful still confounds me. I was irritated by something Lire told me. I wasn't annoyed with L, but with something he said my MIL had said. I decided to keep it bottled up inside me until the next day -- or until everyone went to bed. But my conversation with L was overheard by SIL, who pressed and decided we all needed to have a "discussion."
I told Alex that I hadn't had a "discussion" like this since my last interaction with my alcoholic boyfriend when I was 25. I hadn't heard such awful things said about and to me since then. Hadn't heard things from left field like that, hadn't heard so many untruths uttered.
To be unfailingly honest -- I am not saintly. I err. I lose my temper and get snappish and can be quite critical. However. I'm not as bad as they decided I was. When it was all over, I found Alex and repeated the entire thing. Then I cried, because put all together like that, it was pretty painful. I slept poorly, and then awoke in tears. I felt sick to my stomach, so very sad.
The bright spot in all this? My beautiful, loving, sweet, sweet boys! Every one of them. I missed H and L so much while we were gone, and didn't realize how much until I saw them and kissed and squished them again. Their love was so uncomplicated and open, it nourished me and filled me up so that my vision became clearer. Chauncey and Alex were also incredibly supportive. Chauncey removed my hat, wagged his entire body and tossed our new rubber cane toad about the house. Alex apologized for his family and was right there where I needed him. Which he always has been, and may he ever be.
Phew. Sorry for the rant. I don't usually blog about this stuff, but I felt so assaulted, I guess I needed to write it down. I may delete it later, just in case. The crux of the whole thing is that the house will either be rented or sold, so we must vacate, most likely by the beginning of the summer. We may try to rent here for a year or so until we find the right place to settle. Most likely we'll spend a good chunk of time this summer up in the area we explored this weekend. Then we can see the parts of it we like best, get a feel for how it will be with our blended family, etc and so on.
My camera has been giving the computer the silent treatment of late, or vice-versa, so I don't have any photos yet. Once I decide to have an intervention with them they might get it right and upload my darn photos. But I will not attack their characters! I will try to use "I" statements and utilize a non-violent communication strategy. Because I never want either electrical device to feel as badly as I have the past two days.
And until that day comes, here is a picture of two friends who continue to inspire me to this day.