I did finally kind of snap this afternoon – but not directly to her face. It’s just been building up for a while. This morning she called me and said “Now have you been lying down the way you’re supposed to?”
I said, very coldly, “Yes.”
“Because every time I come over there you’re sitting up. Just let me know what I can do to help you so you can stay on your back and not on your bottom.”
Yeah, that’s steam coming out of my ears. I’d spend a lot less time sitting up if you spent less time coming over!!! Good god.
So then tonight we were all invited over to their house for dinner, and I’d just spent the previous 7 hours on the couch with my knitting and B.uffy Season 3 (yay Ne.tflix!), except for 20 minutes when I got up to eat the lunch my mom made. We were headed out the door and I said “I’ll drive.” It’s literally four minutes of quiet neighborhood to their house, and less trouble in some ways for me to drive than to sit and give directions to one of my parents. Just then the phone rang and I thought “oh, it’s MIL, checking to see if we’re on our way yet” (we were running a little late and when that happens she always calls). But it was T. calling from Albania, so I was talking with him in the driveway when my dad’s cell phone rang, and listening with one ear I could tell MIL had called him when I didn’t pick up my call waiting, and I could hear him apologizing for being late, and then I heard him say “Oh, I didn’t know she wasn’t allowed to drive,” and I just got so furious at MIL – why is it any of her business to inquire who is going to do the driving from our house to their house, and it’s not like I’m not ALLOWED to drive, it’s more that I should avoid it when possible, but I’d been resting all dang day and it’s not like driving four minutes of a familiar route was going to drive my blood pressure through the roof, and I just got so ANGRY. And T. is in my ear admonishing me (for the GAZILLIONTH time) that if my parents are stressing me out, they should stay at my in-laws’ house instead of my house, and that just made me even more angry because he so misunderstood the situation, so I went back inside and gave him an earful about how his mom is driving me nuts.
Yeah, that’s exactly what I want to talk about on an international phone call with my husband.
So she sent my FIL over in the minivan to pick us all up and drive us over there (I should mention that my parents are here from Peru, my dad’s US driver’s license has expired, and my mom’s still getting used to driving in the US). It was so ridiculous. But by the time he showed up I had calmed down at least. I came out of the house to find my folks pulling weeds in the front yard. (And my mom spent all day cleaning and organizing our basement…).
Anyway, dinner went fine, MIL was so focused on serving the food that she didn’t have time to micromanage me.
I feel like I need to do something to defuse the situation – but I hate confrontations – and I’m really just not sure what to say. I got an e-mail from T. saying “I think the meta-message is something like ‘I want to help’ and ‘you are important,'” which is probably true, but the meta-message I get is “you are a child that can’t be trusted to care for yourself, make an independent decision, or know what is in your own best interest and you need to be told what to do every minute of the day.”
She micro-manages everybody, it’s just what she does. When my FIL drove us home, my dad asked if we could stop by the pharmacy so he could pick up an item or two. It took longer than we all expected and just when we got to our house my FIL’s phone rang, of course it was MIL asking what had happened to him and why he wasn’t back home yet. People, I’m not making this stuff up. This is what she is like. It’s just exacerbated right now I think because of my “delicate condition.”
I could go on and on with crazy stories but I’ll stop now. Just needed to get it out of my system. And if you have any suggestions… I welcome them.