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Mother in Law’s Tongue

8 December, 2014

You think you’re doing ok and then a day happens where you wonder where all the progress went and are you in fact pedalling backwards.

Last week I thought I was doing ok. Hubby returned from overseas with his mother and I knew to expect him to hit the ground running exhausted from two time zone changes. I didn’t expect to have to deal with a juvenile adult in his mother though.

Day one of their arrival our Uni boy had popped home for a visit and even with a family upheaval on her end, the eldest’s partner came for a family dinner. Unfortunately “Ma” decided she “wasn’t hungry” and stayed in her room.

Monday passed and I went to work as normal and hubby took a day to flip back into Aussie time. I got home and got dinner and was again dealing with this woman who was making massive sighs at I don’t know what.

The following day we left her alone in the house and went to work. We decided to leave work early though and go home for a “deep and meaningful” talk. I prayed that we’d (I’d) have the right words to say to her.

Imagine my surprise when we arrived home to all our ironing done, the kitchen cleaned and “Ma” busying herself around the house looking chipper. She broke down as we talked to her and at least we understood that it was all over-emotion that had her on the back foot though.

So she’s been home alone during the days we are working or she’s had our daughter at home with her (because we’re still having those dramas). She’s busy cleaning, weeding or making our sink shine and washing up (badly).

She’s bad at letting us know what she wants until she complains after that she couldn’t do/get what she wanted. It must be very strange for her to get used to all of us with our busy routines too. I don’t envy that either.

I can see how hubby isn’t the way he is due purely to his own bad communication skills but has learnt or returned to the way of his childhood in his communication. I see so much of his behaviour in his mother.

Knowing a lot of his issues are behaviour gives me some hope that we can actually see change in him – he changed when we met to not be like that or I allowed him to slip into rude and unacceptable behaviour by being a poor communicator myself.

Throw in major depression and I don’t know how he even manages with me let alone himself!

Apparently we haven’t debriefed after he chatted with my family who are concerned about me so I don’t know what they feel about my lack of communication. But the flip side of that is when I talk with my family and talk to hubby about what I talked about with them (just general chitchat) he got all critical which made me pull back more from them. Vicious circles.

We have an annual bbq shortly after Christmas each year and hubby this year had removed himself from Facebook (allegedly). So he put it back on me to invite our local friends, something I struggled to do – reach out.

Last night I was on my phone with mindless tv on so he said I should go and invite people – I did and then heard exclamations and incredulous noises as he complained over some of the people I’d invited. Sure there are some cuckoo people on that list but they are like family and go way back to when we first arrived in Australia.

So I felt dejected with his response to the point that our daughter piped up in my defence. Hubby tells me I’m in my phone all the time (as he writes an article), or he’s sailing rather than entertaining his “Ma” and I have to kill hours with her.

We have another five weeks of her here before she returns back home alone. We are one week down and both hubby and I want to leave! This is a woman who waited in the hospital waiting area while we visited a friend – we walked outside the front door and 30 metres to the traffic lights to hear her exclaim “Bus!” WTF?!

This woman has no filter between her brain and her mouth (much like our Uni boy who is now soft spoken but when he was little used to say what he saw/thought). I wondered how smart she might actually be, did she need to be on medication of some kind for erratic mood swings but I checked a cross word she did the other day and she is definitely not stupid.

She mentioned in her ramblings that she was married at the age of 17. I knew she was young but damn – that is a child. I was 21 and I know how much growing up I had to do when I had kids. She was trapped in a marriage which was fuelled by alcoholic rage and I daren’t poke that bear again and ask her about it yet. She misses the bastard and, even sick, he still beat her.

But back to me, I don’t want to get up in the mornings, cooking and eating is too much bother (I still do it). I’m sitting at work and only half here. I’m alternating my Prozac tablets from one to two tablets in the hope that it will give me the lift that I need.

My dreams are vivid when I wake and they are better than real life. I wish weekends were longer (ok, who doesn’t want that really?) but I wonder how I could make that a reality for my regular working life. I have some time due to me over Christmas and on one hand I need the time off work but I don’t know that I want it with hubby and “Ma” with all the kids around.

And with those thoughts I wonder how broken I really am and how ungrateful I now seem. Then the mood drops again and I feel like a heel and would rather it all ended sooner than later.

I honestly don’t know if I’m sick, sick and tired, or sick of being sick and tired.

Pip

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