Post # 31
My bil takes a lot of restraint on my end. My emotions are a constant roller coaster with him, I get so frustrated but then I feel ok, then I get frustrated again.
I don’t believe it’s intentional, he literally just doesn’t know how to be an adult. He’s now a widow with three kids so it makes me want to work through my emotions so I can be there for the kids and be there for him only as much as I can be.
I’ve found that it’s essential to take breathers from him. I want to be in his life and in the kids lives but I can’t do that if I’m fuming at him and wanting to shake him. When I start to feel that way, I take a step back and don’t see him for a week or so, it refreshes me.
It would be healthier to just say “buh bye, I’m done wasting my energy on this and you and I’m tired of being angry” but I want to be there for the kids so it really sucks
I was seeing him and the kids twice a week and our kids have bonded, but I found it necessary to cut back our mid week visits to every other week visits, but the 11 year old has noticed our absence and he misses us.
Post # 32
Your Brother-In-Law has been a constant source of aggravation for some time now, hasn’t he? Talk about the double whammy; losing your sister and being stuck with that Brother-In-Law.
There is no question in my mind that having you, a loving, stable adult in the children’s lives is the best possible thing for them. But, put your oxygen mask on first. The actual numbers of minutes you spend with them isn’t the most important issue.
There are people who grew up in horrendously abusive environments who credit one loving adult for saving them. I realize that is not the situation here, but I’m including this for an example of how powerful your loving guidance can be. Sometimes it’s a relative, a teacher, a neighbor, a family friend, whatever. The amazing thing is that there are cases in which the healing adult was someone to whom the child was only exposed once!
I do hope you are practicing good self care. You are, right, Bee?
Post # 33
sassy411 : we saw him twice a week for about ten months, I recently decided that we need to cut back for my own mental health. So I’m definitely trying to make sure I remember myself. I often feel like I’m at war with him and that’s not good for me, or the kids.
Stepping back has made me feel more centered and I’m calmer about him now. I want to take all of that energy that I was spending on him and put it into my life and my daughter.
It’s a work in progress but seeing how much better I feel after taking some space is something I will keep in mind. It’s been a constant source of discussion in therapy so I have a lot of help navigating this thank god
Edited, I wrote twice a year when I meant twice a week. We see him a lot
Post # 34
sassy411 : Yes, my awakening was gradual. I noticed when people would ask how I was doing (you know, general casual conversation) I would start complaining about everything that was wrong – which is something he did all the time. Then I would ask myself why was I burdening people with all my problems? And yes, a big clue was when that friend called me by his name on purpose so that I could see what I was doing. There were also times when I would hang out with him and just start to tune out because all he did was drone on and on about things – some things that he had control over but chose not to do anything but complain about them. Again, because I didn’t have depression and couldn’t completely empathize with him (or was just too naive to understand the disease) I felt like I was a terrible person for not letting him vent. As I said, I wanted to help, but over time I realized that he also needed to help himself, and it was clear he wasn’t doing that.
Because I was a people pleaser I tended to be a bit of a doormat when I was younger. It’s something I work on to this day.
Post # 35
One thing that is finally sinking in for me is the reality that, as Carl Jung said, “What we resist persists”. This is a tough one for me, having the Happy Warrior persona (extreme Pitta for Ayurvedic Bees). It finally became clear when I realized that fighting a three+ year neuropathic itch was exactly the wrong approach and the reason it was getting stronger.
Also, it became clear that words matter. I am making an effort not to refer to disorders as belonging to anyone, including myself. It’s the itch, that knee injury Dh was treated for, etc. It’s about programming. My friend is struggling with depression.
It’s so good that you have been able to identify the energy drain and do a positive redirect. In time, you will find yourself less affected by your Brother-In-Law and be able to recognize the troubled soul that he is. Not excusing any of his behavior; advocating for your ongoing evolution.
Post # 36
sassy411 : When you lock your doors at home, do you experience guilt? Locking our physical doors is something we do to protect ourselves. There are plenty of people wandering the world in need of money, food, and a warm bed. Are we being cruel by locking them all out of our homes?
This is a really good way to frame it that I’ve never really thought about before! I’m working on not feeling guilty for my needs, so I’m always looking for tips other people have or ways other people think about things. I’m going to remind myself of this when I feel guilty!
Post # 37
- Wedding: August 2015 - City, State
Yes, I have had experiences with energy vampires. Sadly, I now realize a couple former friends are EVs. Those friends had the same characteristcs in common–they constantly complained to me about their persistent problems that they refused to fix and cared very little about my needs or opinions as an individual. I felt that I could not be myself around them because they lashed out at me if I ever said something they did not want to hear in a genuine effort to help them move past their problems. I constantly felt drained around them and the friendships devolved into pretty much exclusively negative interactions. Weddingbee has actually been instrumental in me freeing myself from those toxic relationships. I’ve been lurking here a long time taking in all of the awesome advice this supportive community gives each other about how to respectfully navigate relationships in a healthy way. I realized that I needed to distance myself from the EV’s and I will no longer be a doormat to their insatiable needs. I still love and care for those friends, but I need to take care of myself. Thank you, bees, for all your wisdom! I finally decided to join the community to hopefully contribute something, too.
Post # 38
What a great and inspiring post! Welcome! So glad you are feeling comfortable enough to come out of the periphery and say hello.
It sounds like you have been able to learn the beautiful art of detachment, particularly detachment with love. Did you work on that in a specific way? If you don’t mind my asking, could you share how you got there? That could be helpful for many Bees.
I notice that yoga is part of your username. Did your practice play a part in your ability to detach?
Post # 39
- Wedding: August 2015 - City, State
sassy411 : Thank you for the welcome! When I first became distanced from those friends I was not so detached. Actually, what ended up happening was I finally voiced my feelings to them, and boy did they not like that. They blew up at me and said they did not want to talk to me. I used that opportunity to focus on myself and get out of the friendship. I was able to detach more once out. Those friends eventually tried to come back into my life, but I did not allow that. I think that my yoga practice definitely contributed to my ability to process the hurt I felt and to appreciate those friendships for the good things they brought into my life so as not to carry around resentment. Sometimes I am tempted to reach back out to those friends because I do miss them on some level. But yoga has taught me that just because I feel something doesn’t mean I need to act on it.