Voiceless Monday

I’ve officially lost it … my voice, that is. There’s this bug that’s been going around work lately and I’ve finally succumbed to it. Definitely a pain in the butt, especially since my job requires interaction with both patients and providers (hospitals, home care agencies, etc). And that’s why I’m home sick today instead.

On the upside, I did get to see Kairi for a spell this past weekend. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to hold her for fear that I’d get her sick. That, and well … it’s not like her mom and I are on speaking terms at this moment.

I have to admit it, I felt really crappy afterwards … not having even acknowledged my SIL. And I’m sure it’s because I’m the type of person who totally hates confrontation and would rather sacrifice my own happiness in order to make things more comfortable for others. So yeah, part of me felt as if I should have been the bigger person and be the first one to make a move.

But then I remembered that I wasn’t the one that struck first. After all, what I’ve said in this blog has always been open for everyone to read. It’s been my way of letting off all those emotions I could never show or express in real life. It’s been my one way of letting people “in” to my life and inviting others to participate in my journey where, in real life, they might not be as comfortable in walking by my side.

And then I also remembered that since my one “strike back,” I’ve been hit … not once, but twice. However, rather than retaliate, I will simply continue to keep my distance. Because to me, not responding to those passive-aggressive behaviors * seems to be a much better move.

The way I look at it, my SIL can continue to deliver all the “blows” she wants but I’m still not going to give her the satisfaction of a response. Perhaps then she’ll realize that this “argument” (or whatever you want to call it) is not all about her. That her actions directly reflect who she is as a woman and as a friend. And that her behavior now will affect not only her relationship with me, but any of her other female relationships … especially the one with her daughter.

Quite frankly, I’m tired of always being the one to make the first move. I’m tired of the one having to be the one to help smooth things over for the sake of peace. To make things more comfortable for others. And all at the expense of my own health and happiness. So whenever she’s ready … she can make the first move.

The ball has ceremoniously been left in her court to do as she pleases with it.

I don’t know … what do you guys think? Do you think I’m being way too harsh?

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* NO … I don’t think I’m being passive-aggressive by posting this on my blog. After all, these are my feelings on my blog. At least I’m being direct about it.

6 Replies to “Voiceless Monday”

  1. Well, unfortunately that’s been the pattern since the beginning, and like you, I don’t see any signs of things changing. It sucks, but remember, ” that’s just how it is.” I don’t think you’re being harsh, but perhaps you could explicitly let her know somehow that whenever she’s ready to talk, you’ll be there to listen? That way she can’t put the blame on you for continuing this “argument,” and you’ve made an effort without making a sacrifice.

  2. it’s hard to overcome all that discomfort just to keep the peace. and it shouldn’t have to always come at your expense. I’d be keeping my distance for self-preservation. but every family dynamic is unique, as is each individual.

    hoping you feel better though.

  3. I think that sometimes we must pull back and protect ourselves by whatever means necessary. And there’s nothing in the world wrong with that.

  4. I had a counselor tell me that one of the only things you can change in a relationship is your behavior. If your behavior changes, the other person’s behavior is likely to change, too. I think you need to do what you need to do for your well-being. Easing back from the relationship may be all right at the moment. I doubt it will be forever, so take the time you need to get past the anger and the hurt to see what you need to do to make the relationship work.

    Take that as you want, but those are my thoughts.

  5. Hi Emily,

    I am a huge believer in the concept of ‘right speech’ and the idea that sometimes you simply don’t have to engage with someone in a way that doesn’t further any good outcome — if it isn’t beneficial — you just move on — and you can tell your SIL honestly from your heart how you feel — which you’ve done, and it is all you can do. She undoubtedly loves you, values her connection in the family you share — as you do — I wonder if the same principles that apply to marriage work here — they say that if your marriage is in trouble our brains do this funny thing where the only thing they can focus on is the negative and everything gets re-written in a negative light — and so therapists suggest to focus on the best of times, the moments of love and connection — because that brings your heart there — and then you act from that place…

    It sounds like the place you’re in now is so difficult Emily, and I’m so sorry. I hope you find the path that’s right for you.

    Love,

    Pam

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