Thursday, October 30, 2008

writer's block

Bleah, I've got nothing too interesting to post, or maybe just no energy to post. The results from my 35-week bloodwork came back and my anemia is worsening - hmm, perhaps because I am not taking iron supplements. There are uncomfortable side effects, and I was feeling ok, and I've added red meat into my diet so thought I was ok. But, the iron starts up this week. I got STUFF to do and need motivation.

But, at least one writer's block has thawed. We (mostly my husband with limited input from me) wrote the letter to my-laws last night, and I think my husband is e-mailing it today. Here's the text:

Dear Mom & Dad,

It’s unfortunate that we’ve not really talked or seen one another for the past 10 months. A lot has happened. We wanted to write to you not to rehash the past but to explain what we’d like to do to move forward as a family.

Our chief concern is [daughter] and making sure that she is not inappropriately involved in disagreements between us. We will have disagreements in the future, and that’s OK. Hopefully, we can resolve them in a civil manner between us as adults and not involve any of the grandchildren. In the heat of the moment, statements like “I’m no longer her grandparent” are extremely hurtful, and acting like it is simply inexcusable and unacceptable. She is a gentle child who adores all of her grandparents. She will always be your grandchild, and we know you adore her as much as we do. As her parents, we will not put her in a situation where she could be directly or indirectly hurt or confused.

Our other main concern is showing respect for the decisions we make as a family. We have never intended to hurt or slight you in any way. Of course, you are free to disagree with decisions we make, and we appreciate your advice and counsel when offered with “no strings attached.” We need to be able to have disagreements in a civil, rational, constructive way and work together to develop a common understanding of whatever situation we are facing. This means changing our behavior as individuals and changing the way we interact with one another as a family.

Lastly, we need you to understand that 2007 was an incredibly difficult year for us. We are still working to strengthen our family. We want you to be a part of our lives. We need your understanding and your support. We want you to spend as much time as practicable with your granddaughter. For that to happen, we need to come together and agree to work on the aspects of our relationship that we expressed above. And to address the concerns that you have as well.

We love you both. And we look forward to being a richer and stronger family.



Wow. We'll see what this brings us. Probably nothing good. But trust me, you'll be the first to hear.

* ETA - Meg in her comment brings up the really important point - no, they still don't know about the pregnancy. The plan is send the letter, talk on the phone, tell them then. My husband was going to tell them in person, but after many discussions, we decided phone was best. First, he was going to take time off work - time he doesn't really have and that we'd rather spend when the baby arrives. Second, one of the hassles about his parents is their demand to rehash, over and over, and "negotiate." Well, negotiate what? Why not talk on the phone, when it can be more controlled, and if it gets out of hand, husband can say, ok, well, this not going well, let's talk again when you're calmer, I'm going to hang up now. (the general advice for disengaging with people who are trying to control you - refusing to let yourself be controlled). So, I actually suggested this morning he edit the letter to include a specific reference to talking on the phone.

I said to my husband, your mother is going to throw a fit over not knowing about this pregnancy before now. I hadn't really considered her reaction, but yeah. We're 3.5 weeks out. Not a lot of time to adjust to the news. But, that was their choice. Somehow they'll deal.

Friday, October 24, 2008

blog love

Yay! Someone hearts my blog!

Always nice to be hearted, especially when it comes with a meme. Answer these questions with one word answers (yikes! 1 word! Brevity is not my strong suit. I may cheat.).

1. Where is your cell phone? Back pocket
2. Where is your significant other? Work
3. Your hair color? Golden brown
4. Your mother? Trying (both senses of the word)
5. Your father? Himself
6. Your favorite thing? Feeling glamorous
7. Your dream last night? Did I dream?
8. Your dream/goal? internal peace
9. The room you're in? Master bedroom
10. Your hobby? pastime? Blogging!
11. Your fear? Abandonment
12. Where do you want to be in six years? Happy
13. Where were you last night? Bed
14. What you're not? Together
15. One of your wish list items? JOB
16. Where you grew up? Small, small town America. You know, real, pro-America
17. The last thing you did? Grocery shopped
18. What are you wearing? Too big maternity jeans that keep sliding off. HATE.
19. Your T.V.? Prominent
20. Your pet? Siamese cat/semi-Westie dog
21. Your computer? Full
22. Your mood? Surprisingly cheerful
23. Missing someone? Not currently
24. Your car? Forrester
25. Something you're not wearing? Anything remotely stylish
26. Favorite store? Target
27. Your Summer? Gone
28. Love someone? Yes
29. Your favorite color? Multi/brightly/not neutral
30. When is the last time you laughed? 8 am
31. Last time you cried? Last Friday.

So who do I heart? Many many. Antigone's been tagged, as has one of my favs where I lurk, I'm a smart one.

Am I doing ok?
Wabi-Sabi Life
The Muddled Sage
Jeez Louise
Please Give me Back My Heart

And, it looks like other people have been tagged already, so I'll stop at 5.

But this reminds me, as part of year 2, I want to do a little cleaning up and reorganizing. If you're a reader and want a blog link in the good old blog roll, let me know! I've slowly been adding blogs to my reader, but haven't done any cleaning up here since last year, so I'm past due.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Today is my one year blog-iversary. If I had my act together, I could have timed it to also be my 200th post, but I've been a blogging slacker this week.

Wow. A year. A long, long year of lots of ups and downs and downs and a lot of medium, too. Getting to know other bloggers and creating a bit of a community online - a high. So thanks for reading and commenting and just making this a nice place to be. I told Antigone when I met her that for me, blogging was journaling. But that in real life, I've never managed to journal for more than, um, a day. So this is a meaningful date, in a time period of remembering too many bad anniversaries.

So I was thinking about boxes. A year later, which boxes am I checking?

Pregnant? Check. 36 weeks tomorrow.
Married? Check. Still, and working on it. Slowly. Verrrrr-rrrrry slowly.
Unemployed? Check. Unhappily so.

I ask in my header - happy? Sad? Angry? Can I check, check check? All of the above, though angry is, and will always be, tough for me.

And I've been tagged by the awesome Tash, so I have a post for tomorrow. See you then. And next week, and for, I hope, the long haul.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Counseling makes me sad

The few times I've mentioned counseling, people have commented that it's such a good thing, and they feel better after. Hmm. I may be exaggerating looking back at some comments. I don't know, I guess I think of counseling is something that is supposed to help you feel better, not worse. But maybe like Niobe said, the things that are the most troublesome are the things I least want to talk about.

I just leave each session so sad. Whether it's a joint session or my own, I always leave feeling more burdened than when I started. Why is that? Will it get better? Do I have to let all that sadness out? My husband and I really do not talk about our relationship much. So this was the first time in a long time it was out there. And I just cried the whole time. The hurt is so deep, I can't even describe it. I don't know how to "get over it" or "forgive," or anything like that. Hell, the ignore it strategy and just let time lessen the pain might actually be the best option. I don't know.

We left with me still just too teary, so we stopped and took a break at a coffee shop. I had mentioned during the session that I just so felt my husband wanted to ignore everything. My example was that a few days prior I had gotten an e-mail from one of my friends - our husbands had spent some time together at a party recently. And in the midst of a longer e-mail, my friend wrote, oh, by the way, my husband really enjoyed getting to know your husband. I want to ask her, but I interpreted this along the lines of despite preconceived notions about my husband, friend's husband was pleasantly surprised he actually seemed like an ok guy. My husband said, well, he thought it had just meant the other guy was a tad shy, kept to himself, and enjoyed talking to another guy for once at a get together.

And so later, at coffee, I said see? What I don't get about you is that everything, and I mean everything, we do I view through the lens of infidelity. And you just don't. It's why it was a good thing - I think - for me to say to my husband this weekend that no, I wasn't just tired (what I usually say), but it was hard to be there given everything that happened last year. So, I guess that's progress?

I just don't know. I have a solo session tomorrow. They just leave me so wiped out. When do you start to feel better in therapy? When it really works, how does that feel?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

weird employers

Sigh. Ok, so last week I got a sort of rejection letter from my Boston interview. I interpreted it as I was the best candidate they had, but for some reason (PREGNANT!) they didn't want me.
To review, this is a contract position, no benefits, 20 hours per week. But I left the interview feeling like they were a little naive about contract positions - no discussions of deliverables, or schedules, or goals - it really was an interview for a staff position.

So I've been toying with responding to the letter by preparing a proposal, including a deliverable schedule, that covered the first 3-4 months (which would include any 'leave' time) of the 1 year contract. But I hadn't done anything, just not sure of the right response.

Yesterday, I got an e-mail from the staff director, a person with whom I have worked and someone I like, though we didn't work together long enough to develop anything beyond that feeling of hmm, we could maybe be friends if this continued.

It read:
I wanted to let you know how much all of us thought of you and your work. You stood head and shoulders above the other candidates, but we felt like we wanted a broader playing field before making a final choice. It puts you in the awkward position of being too good! It is also important to us to evaluate direct experience, and we just felt like we needed to meet a few more candidates of your caliber before making a decision. I hope you hang in there through our next round, but I absolutely understand if it is not ideal.

Anyway – I just wanted to send a less formal note to say thanks, and to let you know we all thought you were terrific and continue to be a top candidate.

Very best, [name]

I sent this to my husband, who responded, great! Finish a proposal and send it off.

I decided to write back right away, sincerely, off the top of my head a quick note that I continued to be interested and would continue freelancing, and meanwhile I was
doing one project that might be related, and had just heard of a new project someone else was doing that they should connect with.

And then I also sent the note to one of my more practical friends, asking what he thought. His take - if they wanted to hire you they would on the spot. But clearly they (or someone on the panel) thinks there's better out there.

Yeah. Blah. I mean seriously, I'm just supposed to hang in there while they search for someone better, can't find them, and then come back to me? It is a little on the absurd side. If this was a full time staff position, maybe I could understand. But a part-time contract? Come on. It is a tad on the galling side. Jerks.

I once interviewed for a job and was told I did not get it. But then, the HR people called me back and said the #1 candidate had backed out, so they were re-interviewing. And then I didn't get it again. But then their 2nd choice person turned it down, so they came back to me and offered me the job. Third choice, and I knew all the excruciating details. I had just started a new job 6 weeks prior and it would have been awkward and sticky to extricate myself, so I turned it down - leaving them with no other option, so they had to start all over again. If they hadn't kept me in the loop of every twist and turn along the way, honestly I might have taken it and quietly bitched about how long the process was.

We're definitely closing in on even if they offer me the position, maybe I don't want to work for them. So, tell me your most absurd employer story. I know there's worse out there.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act - S.3142 and H.R. 5979

I've been remiss in getting this up - October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day in the United States. More than 25,000 children are stillborn in the United States every year leaving mothers, entire families and communities devastated. Estimates of the rate of occurrence of stillbirth make it at least as common as autism.

Antigone is spearheading a blogger effort to raise awareness of these bills, which are right now still in sub-committee. The bills are Senate Bill 3142: "Preventing Stillbirth and SUID Act of 2008," and H.R. 5979: "Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act of 2008." I have not had the chance to research these are thoroughly as I would have liked before posting, but both appear to be in subcommittee still (and Tash has a good analysis of them both). And, they're not going to move this calendar year, I'm sorry to say. Senators and Representatives are all home campaigning. They may or may not be additional sessions this Congressional cycle, but to deal with the economic crisis. So realistically, nothing could possibly happen with either of these bills until the Spring. But! That doesn't mean awareness raising isn't a good thing. By starting to raise awareness now, we can help build a grassroots support effort for these bills when their time truly comes. Antigone and I are talking about what next steps might be - if you have strong interest in these bills, or Congressional outreach experience, please get in touch with her or me - and we'll see if we can put some blogging power to work.

For now, as per Antigone:

Action Steps:

Step 1. Use Your Blog to Enlist Others
-Copy the contents of this entire post and publish it on your blog immediately.

GOAL: Enlist 10 of your readers to spread the word

Step 2. Use Your E-mail to Enlist Others
-E-mail 5 bloggers and ask them (nicely and in an unspammy way) to publish these action steps on their blog. Consider contacting celebrity bloggers, political bloggers, medical bloggers, or bloggers who are not part of your reading community.

GOAL: Enlist 3 bloggers outside of your normal blog sphere to spread the word in other online communities.

Step 3. Help Pass the Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act
-By October 15th, publish a post on your blog supporting H.R. 5979 Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act. For maximum impact, title your post: "Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act."

GOAL: 1,000,000 Google results on October 15th when that term is searched for. Currently, Google only returns 20,400 pages - most of which have nothing to do with the bill.

Monday, October 13, 2008

fudge and trolls

Spent the weekend eating too much fudge, courtesy of the lovely Antigone.

My very first meeting with a fellow blogger, and I had a very nice time. Not just because of the fudge present, either. We talked about blogging, about anonymity, building community. And we talked about trolls. I have never been so blessed, thank goodness, part of my (partially intentional) lower profile.

Funny enough, this weekend I got the closest I've ever had to a troll! We went away for the weekend, meeting up with my husband's college buddies. 3 families, 6 adults and 6 kids - ours is the youngest, and only girl. I usually don't check my google account much during the weekends, but was standing in a long line and pulled out my iphone to pass the time. And found a long, anonymous comment on a post from, I'm not kidding, 48 or so weeks ago. Not a real troll, but a stinging rebuke for trying to work things out with my husband, with lots of biblical quotes.


48 (ish) weeks ago. Did they start at the beginning and when things got really ridiculous, couldn't help leaving a comment? And then did they keep reading, I wonder? But no more comments? So odd. I keep light track of visitors, but given being away, and that it was two days ago, it would be more work than it's worth to do any sleuthing.

Last year this college buddy trip was in November, when it was really bad, and while I wanted to go and pretend everything was normal, I wasn't on the invite list - my daughter and I stayed home "sick." Actually, the fact that my husband wouldn't tell his oldest and closest friends that we were having trouble was something I took as him having second thoughts. I'm still sad, about it all. But this weekend, when my husband asked me if I was tired, I whispered to him that it was hard to be here this year and hear talk of last year. And we were both able to tell each other we were glad we were there together. Small steps, one day at a time.

So, anyway, between the fudge, new friend, and sorta troll, I feel like I've made it! Have you ever been trolled? What do you think when someone criticizes you anonymously? Ignore? Reflect? Delete?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

teh crazee

First, you all crack me up. Double down on chocolate? Good stuff. I found a brownie mix that came with icing, so double down I did. (sadly, no chocolate chips in the house, or I would have tripled - instead I compensated by having three brownies over the course of the evening.)

I had some ups and downs yesterday thinking about this whole ridiculous job stuff, but really, what can I do. I'm better today, though growing more pissed. Still have not decided on a response, what I should say, what form it should take. This is not an amateur group, though they are small. And I think this is new to them. This is for a contract position, not a staff position, but I don't think they've really thought through what that would mean. I think they'd treat it as a part-time staff. I asked questions about how they'd structure hours, deliverables, etc, and they could not answer even the most basic query. So I think a period of time where I'd be "on leave" is not something they know how to handle. I still want it, but we shall have to see.

So - those crazy in-laws. My husband decided not to go to the funeral. And he decided not to send flowers, because apparently his family already did, from everyone. I think he should have, but his decision. He did e-mail both his cousins, the immediate family of the great aunt, and got a quick blackberry response from one of them that was very nice.

Over dinner, husband tells me his mother called him yesterday on their drive to the viewing. Why, I asked? To thank me for not going.

It makes my head hurt.

She also gave him addresses and e-mails for the cousins. As we were eating, it just didn't make sense to me, so I asked again, wait, why did she call? I don't get it. And he said to thank me, and well, she also agreed that we had to talk soon.

You all get this, it was obvious in the comments. I'd be perfectly happy cutting off all contact. My husband isn't there yet, but he is close and holding a firm line. The involvement of his siblings makes it harder. His parents want everyone to be so intertwined, it's difficult to breathe in this family. I don't know what's going to happen. I haven't had the time or energy to do any drafting. I have verbally suggested a few lines, and each time he's nodded non-commitally. I think he thinks my words are too strong. But I'm not sure.

Oh! we just hung up the phone. His old job called him on a totally unrelated manner. He said he chatted perfectly amicably with the president, who told him about how they'd just separated from a difficult business partner. President then said they should talk about his unresolved financial issues with the company. So, good.

Tomorrow is our first joint counseling with the new counselor I found. Tomorrow is also 34 weeks. 6 weeks to go. And we still don't have a name. Moe on that later......

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Just got a snail mailed letter from my Boston job interview. My heart sank at the sight of the thin envelope.

Here are the contents in their entirety:

Dear first name,

Thank you for taking the time to travel to Boston to interview with us. We all enjoyed meeting you and were very impressed with both your professional experiences and ideas for our program. We also very much appreciate your enthusiasm for the position and your attention to our programs and goals.

We will be keeping the position open for an additional round of interviews, but wanted to let you know the your you've [sic] been chosen to continue on in our selection process. We anticipate this will take several weeks and we will keep you up to date as we progress. We understand that your situation may change, during this time, and ask that you keep us updated as well.

Very best,


ARRRRRGGGGHHHHHH. This is exactly the bullshitty non-answer I was dreading. This is a fucking part-time job. It should not be this hard. I think what this means is I'm the best they've got, but they dont' want to hire me. FUCK.

Gritting teeth. I just got this not 5 minutes ago, so still processing. But am thinking of a mailed letter (MAILED!! WTF! They could have e-mailed this.) that says thank you for the notice, I would continue to be a freelance consultant and would likely still be interested as their process continued and I continue to believe I was the most qualified person, in terms of knowledge of their program and needs, that they would find for this contract position. I need a better way to frame that, but again, it's off the top of my head.

Seriously. Well, at least it's not an outright rejection. I've put searching for freelance gigs on hold (and just lost one - but it was one I didn't really want to do), so I need to ramp that up. If I could find one short project, I'd be in such better shape.

I am going to make brownies.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

shoe dropping

My husband came home this afternoon, walked in the door, and announced, well, the shoe has dropped.
Husband's brother sent him a long e-mail this afternoon, saying in-laws had asked brother to tell husband not to come to the viewing tomorrow. It would be too upsetting, particularly since husband didn't even bother to send them an anniversary card. Further stuff in e-mail about how we haven't responded to in-laws gestures, are being selfish and stubborn, someone has to be adult, etc etc. Husband writes brother back, I don't know all the details, but that yes, husband has been swamped and has just not had a chance to send card, he can be blamed for being insensitive, but there was nothing meant by not sending card, etc.

Then, husband calls his mother. And she lights into him for not properly responding all the times they've sent cards to us. Apparently we were supposed to call them and thank them for their thoughtfulness. Husband yells at her that she couldn't even bother to call for daughter's birthday. MIL says she didn't bother since we would have seen caller ID and not answered. Husband shoots back - it wasn't even worth trying to make the call? Trying to talk to her? There's much yelling back and forth (thank god I wasn't around to hear, these calls stress me out so much), and it ends with MIL crying and hanging up on husband.

So. Here we are. Husband says he is in a lose-lose situation. Go, and risk a scene. Not go, and offend other family. He would like to go. But in the midst of all this, work is insane, and his car is up on jacks in the backyard (I told you we were classy). I first suggested he think of what HE wanted to do - ignoring his parents. I think he'd rather go, but he doesn't want to spend hours in the car with his brother (he'd drive to brother's, they'd drive together) arguing over this. So then I suggested sending flowers tomorrow, writing his second cousins heartfelt sympathy cards, and then sitting down and writing it all out for his parents. I think that's the current plan. Of course, it all could change.

Midway through relating this to me, I burst into tears. I just really, really despise my MIL so much. The drama, the histrionics, the pressures. She's a crazy woman. And it plays into my insecurities. I'm not an ideal daughter in law. Isn't it the wife who buys cards and remembers things? I am terrible at that. I've never been her ideal daughter in law - I'm just not wired that way. I'm not compliant, and I believe in independence and creating an adult life. I don't know how reasonable I am. I don't really blame myself all that much - I know she is troubled and selfish. But there's definitely a piece of me that gets hurt by all this drama.

So, we're less than 7 weeks out from birth. They still don't know. I do think a letter is the next, best step, but I don't think these people will magically grow up. Any ideas?

aw shit

One of the great aunts died yesterday. My mother-in-law lost her mother at a critical age - when MIL was 18. I think it's scarred her in many ways, and kept her always the perpetual victim, the forever baby of the family, the needy one. Her mother's sisters have all lived into ripe old age, into their 90s. Great Aunt Jo is the first of the great aunts to pass, though another is quite ill.

I like these great aunts. I like extended family. It's the immediate in-laws that are the problem. I guess extended family is just a little more distant, you only see them on special occasions, on relatively good behavior. They probably have their issues too, but not the same as dealing all the time with in-laws.

We found out when my husband's brother called last night. Yep, brother. Not my husband's parents, despite "all the reaching out" they are (not!) doing. My husband is pissed his parents couldn't/wouldn't call him directly, especially after husband called them on their anniversary.

We've known this day would come, so I'm not being heartless when I say this timing is the timing I dreaded - I'm at 33 weeks. So technically a 5 hour drive is doable, though not advisable. My daughter has been to 3 funerals, but they've made no impression on her whatsoever - she's been too young to get what's going on. At three, that equation starts to change. We got the news in a voicemail, and discussed plans before husband called BIL back. I took a deep breath and said, I really don't want to leave you alone, but I don't want to go, I don't think it would be good. Husband agreed, and said yes, there was no way he wanted daughter to go.

But the planning was far smoother than I thought. It's right away - viewing Wednesday, funeral Thursday. BIL was just able to go up and back for the viewing, and he and his wife were going to leave their 4 year old in daycare for the day. So they worked it out that only the two brothers would go up and back.

I don't know if there will be any time for my husband to talk to his parents. He said he was going to write a letter tonight. We'll see. I'm not heartless, I'm really not, but it sounds heartless for me to say that my MIL, a drama queen, will be a mess. Probably best if the brothers just go and leave, without adding any more drama.

My husband did joke, well, we'll have a lot to talk about Friday morning in our first joint session.

Monday, October 6, 2008

and the other update

I don't know what it is - I just am full of the blahs lately. No inspiration for writing, no thoughts. Plenty of stuff going on, I'm just feeling disengaged from it all. And I'm still stuck on last weekend.

So last weekend I dealt with more inlaw crap and more job crap. And yep, the other big thing, my marriage crap. Last Saturday, my husband and brother volunteered at a beer tasting, while I watched my daughter and my brother's 6 year old twins. It was a long 8 hours, I tell you, though we had a lot of fun. There were hot football games going on, so my husband and I texted throughout the day, me giving him score updates. We don't text all that much - after his affair I basically refused to text with him, given that was one of his preferred methods of conducting the affair. We were leaving early the next morning for Boston, so despite the availability of beer, he remained mostly sober, while my brother got a little crazier. But on his way home, suddenly out of the blue my husband texts me - can we have sex tonight? A few minutes later - sorry, that was stupid.

It didn't go over well and actually upset me quite a bit. It took me a while to realize why. First, was this a text he would have sent his girlfriend? Second, I spend 8 exhausting hours while 7 months pregnant babysitting so he can go uto and have fun, and then I'm supposed to service him? But ultimately, I realized it was more about romance. What about a text that says I missed you today and am glad we're on our way home? So, needless to say, no sex. And then Boston, with his parents and a perhaps discouraging job interview, and a toddler not sleeping so well in the hotel room.

By the time we got home Monday night I was beyond worn out. Which led to general weepiness as we were getting ready to collapse in bed. I don't remember what kicked it off, but my husband said, once we have a clearer idea of our financial situation, we really have to think about counseling again. After a long pause, I told him I had been seeing a counselor by myself, found a new person who took insurance, and I thought we should go together and had set up an appointment for us gently.

This, I think it's fair to say, shocked my husband. I don't know why I haven't told him before, but I have been three times, so nearly 4 weeks, without mentioning it. He asked me many times why I couldn't bring it up. My only answer is that I was going for myself, and I needed to do things for myself. It's not a good answer, but it's an answer. He also asked if my pressing on his parents came from me or the counselor. That answer is both - my need for something to resolve, helped by the counselor to be put into words.

Somehow, it also led into talking about the money - our money - still held by his old company. I flat out let him know how much it bothered me. How every day he didn't take action was another day he chose his old job, his old girlfriend, over his family. How bitter I was at how much it had cost us, financially and emotionally. And he said he'd handle it. We'll see.

So then these past few days I've been thinking a lot about forgiveness. Do I forgive him? No, I don't. I think partially because I'm not sure he's living up to the other side of the bargain. Don't you have to ask for forgiveness? Show remorse and regret? And mostly we're just going along, pretending there's not this big black hole in our lives. I do think that he has regret and remorse. I think he does not show regret and remorse.

The last time I saw the counselor - two Fridays ago - her take on it was my goal should be to figure out how to stabilize during a stressful time and prep for even more stress of a new baby. But not to open the entire can of worms, because it can't possibly resolve before the baby arrives. I don't disagree. But the status quo is not working for me, right now.

I realized yesterday another 'anniversary' had passed - Oct 4th, his first 'official date.' I knew something was going on that night, but chose to ignore it in the face of everything else going on at that tmie. But it alerted me enough to figure it all out two weeks later.

Blah. I'm just typing without any point now. I've got no big point to tie this all together. Just disgorging my blahs, hoping that will help shake things up enough to get me out of this mood.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

in-law update

So, it's been a couple of weeks, and stuff has happened, so I promised an update. But first, last week I bitched that potential jobs weren't getting back to me. I have some egregious examples (sending out a press release without letting other candidates know!), but last night I got a very nice, very personal note from my contact at the science center rejecting me. So she's off the hook - she even offered to sit down with me and discuss networking. So not everyone is out to get me. Just most people. Like my in-laws.

Anyway, when last I wrote about them, my anxiety over the unknown with the in-laws was crippling me, so I asked my husband to contact them and at least tell them about the baby. Instead he found out they were going on, seemingly unconcerned that it had been nearly nine months since we last had contact.

It was nine months exactly on my daughter's birthday, September 22nd. The week prior to her birthday my in-laws vacationed in the Outer Banks, so any worries I had about them just showing up were unfounded. Instead, they sent a card, with a gift card to Gymboree. It was nice, $50, she definitely needs new fall clothes, so I certainly appreciated it. Maybe this is petty, but couldn't they send an actual, you know, present? An actual gift to say, this is a gift from your grandmother and grandfather? A gift card the day before her birthday is not exactly a tangible present, you know? But that's petty, so whatever.

What was more interesting was the PS in the card - please tell your father to send us a picture so we can see how much you've grown. We love you so, so much.

I'll admit I took a level of perverse pleasure in this. The week before I was hurt they didn't even seem to care. A little pleading at least made me feel like there was a part of them that actually did care.

My husband, on the other hand, was enraged by this. His take: Why can't they stop putting a child in the middle of this disagreement with me? He's right - after all, that's the worst part of their treatment of us all - ignoring a two-year old, telling her that her father sucks. What kind of person involves a two year old in a dispute?

So, that's the birthday. Oh, yeah, btw, no call or anything to my daughter on her birthday. Not that a three year old noticed (honestly, despite my attempts to keep them in her mind - showing her pictures, god blessing them every night, I think she's mostly forgotten who they are). It was the first card we've gotten from them that my mother-in-law has written - the others - from Valentine's Day through my birthday, were all written, addressed, and sent by my father-in-law.

My in-law's 40th wedding anniversary the week after the birthday, the 28th. On Thursday of last week, my husband gets a text from his sister - are you all coming for the anniversary dinner on the 28th?

WTF? Sure, yes, let us hope right on that. Haven't talked to them in nine months, but we'll pop right in the car and drive two hours to just show up and have a pleasant anniversary dinner with them. These people are DELUSIONAL.

On Saturday, my husband's brother calls to find out why we are not coming to the dinner. WTF. Husband learns my mother-in-law asked her daughter to ask my husband if we were coming (Note: not please come, but ARE we coming). I seriously do not understand how these people's brains work.

My husband tries once again to explain to his brother that this is not going to be swept under the rug, all is not forgiven, things have to change in how this family dynamic plays out, etc etc. Brother is having none of it. Why is my husband so stubborn, why is he hurting/punishing his parents, etc, after all the parents have done to reach out to us......(yes. He actually uses these words!). Husband cuts him off - all they've done? What the fuck have they done? They couldn't even CALL on daughter's birthday! They have done nothing.

Brother-in-law retreats at this. Husband realizes nothing is getting through, so just goes to the practical - besides, we're going to Boston, job interview, unused plane ticket vouchers that will expire, etc. Brother-in-law is relieved at this! This is an actual reason. An actual reason is ok. It makes sense. He can understand that, and can explain our absence in a way that works for everyone.

I used to think I was good at denial, but these people!

Brother in law elicits a promise from my husband he will call on anniversary.

So, that's what happened. While in Boston, she and I took a nap, and my husband went down to the bar and called his parents. Talked for about 20 minutes about nothing much of all, just a perfectly pleasant normal conversation about nothing. Weather, Boston, daughter, etc. No mention of pregnancy.

This call actually kind of bothers me, because it plays into their everything is normal worldview. But whatever. I think the next step is a letter from my husband to them. They clearly do not understand where he - we - are coming from. At least you can't ignore or outshout black and white. A letter that says what happened in December is unacceptable. That we will not be manipulated by these periodic outburst from my mother-in-law, and we will protect our daughter above all else. And that tells them about the pregnancy. And about how our family is our most important priority.

Meanwhile, we did get pictures taken around the birthday. They come in this weekend, and I will grit my teeth and write the thank you note and enclose the photos that I ordered for them. And I will do the first draft of my husband's letter to them.

I am so worn out by them, by this situation. But I'm worn out by all of it, my entire litany of issues.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

back and blue

Sorry, I know it's been a while. And of course a lot has been happening. New movement on the in-law front, new ideas with new counselor, new discussions with the husband, and a job interview. I've just been feeling blue about it all this week and too overwhelmed to post.

I did make some fudge, though, so that helped.

Let's start with the easy one, and I'll tantalize you by pledging the in-law update tomorrow. So, flew to Boston Sunday, for the interview on Monday. Weather in Boston was crappy, and traveling with a toddler who still naps presents a bit of a logistical challenge. Glad we made the trip - a change in scenery is always good to shake things up a bit. But we spent far too much time in the hotel. My daughter is a very funny, very verbal girl. As we walked around she kept saying when are we going to Boston? And we'd say we are in Boston. And she'd reply, no, this is my city. I guess all cities are the same to three year olds?

It was damp and muggy in Boston. And I've started to reach the stage of just being uncomfortable in my own stretched out skin. And hot. And sweaty. Throw in interview nerves and I just have this sinking feeling I was a hot, sweaty mess. I left wanting the job more than ever. It's part-time, 20 hours per week. But being pregnant is an issue. They frankly asked me about it in a way that crossed the "legal line," but hey, if I was hiring, I'd want to know too. I spent two hours yesterday writing customized thank you notes, addressing any missed points, to the 6 people with whom I interviewed. I'm really curious who else I'm up against. I'd be good at this job, but I come with one huge negative. What negatives do the other applicants bring? Essentially I'd be their on-site presence for a large number of their clients - clients I've worked with before. People I already know,though some I'd have to meet and establish relationships with. Part-time relationship building with an infant is doable. It would work. I used my line that I care about them and the issues and if I felt I couldn't do it, I have the personal integrity to withdraw my name from consideration. So, who knows.

They said they'd let me know next week. Fingers crossed.

It left me bummed out on Monday. Just blue about everything. And then seeing the national news left me feeling scared and worried. There is too much stress in my life. My counselor's take is that I need to focus on removing stress and getting through these next few months. Easier said than done. I don't even know what that would look like. I do know that nesting is starting to kick in - the clutter in our house is making my skin itch.

So - tomorrow - the in-laws! Stay tuned.