(This is mostly for members who I've already dragged through all Crazz's FOO issues.)
We had Crazz's grandparents with us over Christmas. Granted, he invited them a day earlier than he told me, but we made it work.
They are pretty much the only family of his that really make an effort to be involved in our lives. He has an uncle and some cousins who we are cordial with but they live far away and have their own lives etc. We pretty much meet up at weddings... no drama though and that is great.
Well, no drama except for what his friggin father and sister try to drum up as often as they can.
We are keeping them at arms length because they are angry, toxic people. NPD, Bipolar, alcoholism... just judgmental assholes... whatever you want to call it. Our counselors and Dr. Susan forward have helped us keep them at a distance, much to their indignance. Ironically, when we TRIED to work things out with them they either didn't want us around or treated us like crap. I have a litany of hate-emails to prove this.
So his grandparents live very close to them. When Crazz's mother passed away in 2009 holiday celebrations pretty much ground to a halt for that family. She did ALL the work, and nobody appreciated that until she was gone.
We have spent the last few years including his grandparents every holiday. They lament that nobody else wants to do anything for Christmas. Crazz's sister has yelled and screamed at them year after year NOT to invite her to do anything because she doesn't feel like celebrating. So twice since 2009 we have spent the night at their house on Christmas Eve so that they wouldn't feel so lonely, and so that they could spend some time with DD. On the other holiday we didn't spend the night there we had dinner with them on Christmas Day. This year, DD was very Santa-aware and we wanted her to experience being home so that he could come down her chimney. We checked in with the gparents over the course of November and it was apparent that nobody else in the family was making plans with them, so we invited them to come to our house/town for Christmas. They were soooo happy and excited. We had a GREAT time. DD adores them and they are so wonderful with her. They even wanted to make sure that they were there to see her little face light up Christmas morning. It was magical for everyone. (Well, Crazz was reading a car magazine - but that's for another post)
Then the phone started ringing. First their son, then Crazz's cousins. Everyone was in a panic because they had "disappeared." Keep in mind that they drove 2 hours to our house Monday night, and this was Weds morning. Their son lives a state away and normally wouldn't care, but it turns out Crazz's sister went by their house to "spend Christmas with them" and she "felt abandoned" and was "terrified that something happened to them."
Crazz's uncle knew they were staying with us, but was distressed that they "abandoned" Crazz's sister. I had to hear them confused, sputtering, and apologizing. They had no plans with her. She never calls them or drops by. Then the cousins started calling because SIL got a hold of all of them to tell them that we are making the Gparents lie and keep secrets about their whereabouts.
Good lord in heaven I assumed everyone knew they were with us! We really don't care who knows what about anything - we want things open and honest. SIL and FIL are the ones who didn't tell Crazz when his childhood dog died. To SPITE him!!!
We had to spend the morning putting out this fire while trying to put on happy faces for DD.
What really and truly kills me is how the rest of the family thinks that this is a "two sides to everything" situation. Papa's crying in his room asking us why we can't all get alone and why Crazz and I are "holding a grudge."
I'm amazed. AMAZED that nobody is seeing how fucking cuckoo this all is.
Trying to let it all roll off my back. This holiday was unnecessarily hard.
"Welcome the rawness of vulnerability as an opportunity to open." - Pema Chodron
Me: BW 35
Crazz: WH 33
Daughter: 4.5 Going on 16