My mother-in-law isn't perfect. We've had adjustments throughout the years as we learned to communicate and define our roles as two women who love the same man. Her family isn't made of great communicators, so understandably there were extra challenges. But, we did get through it. Mostly because I knew her heart was in the right place. She never does anything maliciously. There have been times she invites herself along and we had to learn to be more clear when it we were not open for tag-alongs. She had difficulties adjusting when J and I wanted to start our own traditions. But, nothing unforgivable, right?
Apparently these things are way over the line for my sister-in-law.
A little back story... my sister-in-law has two sons from two different (previous) relationships. Those boys have been nothing but embraced by our family. They're included in Christmas, we call them our nephews, etc. My MIL was especially good at this. Thoughtful of their birthdays, taking them to the zoo, and so on. The only time I know she did anything "wrong" is that she saw on Facebook they were going to the park one summer day (in 2009) and she decided to stop by and say hello. Okay, she wasn't invited, but it was a public place and is it really that big of a deal? It isn't like she showed up at their Disney vacation and said 'I'll be sleeping on the pull out sofa!" My SIL said that she thought our MIL was stalking them and deleted her from her Facebook friends so that she couldn't spy on their whereabouts. ::rolls eyes::
My SIL and I do not agree on much. I never say anything, but I don't agree with the way she parents her children, how she managed her self-proclaimed "high-risk" pregnancy (w/ daily venti mocha frappuccinos and two meals of fast-food), the way she treats my BIL, the stupid passive-aggressive bull she puts on Facebook. She's insecure and frankly she has reason to be.
In the last 4-5 years she has slowly removed my BIL from his group of friends and sadly, his family. Now, I understand this is equally as much his fault, due to his lack of ability to grow a backbone, but that's a discussion for another day. I truly believe that through her emotional abuse (and that backbone I mentioned that my BIL is lacking) she has succeeded for the purposes of keeping him from others who may express their concern. Concern that we never see them anymore. That the number of times I have seen my two year old niece in the last year can easily be counted on one hand (I'd only need two fingers) and that is two more times than my MIL has seen her. Concern that perhaps she isn't a good person and that he could do better for him and my poor niece.
By the way, my MIL has not seen her one and only grandchild since the Fourth of July.
--okay, enough back story and on to the reason for my heartbreak today --
Today is my niece's 2nd birthday. This past weekend we got an invite in the mail to her party at the end of the month. (the celebration they are having tonight is just for family). We have not yet RSVP'ed because we were waiting to hear from J's mom. Well this morning I got an email that said she has not heard anything about E's birthday and sadly she isn't expecting to. How fricken sad is that?
We're not going. I will put a present in the mail and send her a card, but I am not going if my MIL is not invited. J called his brother this morning and his reasoning?? "Her and mom don't get along." WHO THE EFF CARES!? J asked him why she couldn't put her petty crap aside for one day so that their mom could see her one (and potentially only) grandchild on her birthday? Afterall, she was already left out of both of her first Christmases (those were just for family as well). How could he sit there and let that happen? Could he not understand why that would be devastating to their mother?
The saddest part is that J's little brother didn't even seem to care.
I feel awful. I know there isn't much I can do. We've spoken our dislike and it is up to them to make amends. It kills me that I cannot make this right. I cannot give her another child to love (not that it would remove the pain of missing the one she already has) and I cannot make her son, or his equally selfish wife, see reason.
They are supposed to be FAMILY. My family isn't always peaches and sunshine, but dammit if we hurt one anothers feelings, we talk about it (sometimes in raised voices), apologize (sometimes too late), and get the hell over it because we love each other and that is just what you do with your family.
I'm not sure what to do from here. I'm kind of sick to my stomach actually. I just want to drive over there, snatch my niece away from her awful parents, and hug her. After I shield her eyes while I smack her mom.
How can people be so mean spirited and selfish?