Today was the day that he spoke to his mom. Before he could even say anything, she apologized for her behaviour and said that she should not have reacted the way that she did.
She had also sent an email to his brother, trying to bring him into the fight as well. His brother emailed her back and said pretty much the following: no one wants to spend time with her because she is so depressing. Everyone is sick of how she treats her stepdaughters. She lives so far out of the way that it is difficult for people to accomodate her for long periods of time and on short notice, she needs to plan better. He also wrote that he would not get in the middle of this argument and that she needed to talk to Chris. He also said that she needs to give Chris a break as he only has one day off per week and works his ass off.
Chris did not let her know that he knew about the email and told her pretty much the exact same things as his brother. She said that she knew that Thanksgiving was a disaster, which it was, (I wasn't there) and she felt like a failure. She said that people only come out, watch a movie, eat and then watch another movie and leave. Chris said, "mom, those are the only choices you give us. We all ask to help and you say no. then we all go do our thing and you sit in the kitchen and bitch and cry. You do it to yourself." She then said that she is a fixer and only wants to do it herself. He said, well, then you get what you ask for." She says, "Yes, I need to let go."
At this point, Chris brought up the doctor. He said that maybe a doctor and a therapist could help her let go. Maybe go on meds and talk it out, because she has been dealing with this for years and it hasn't gotten better. She said adamantly that she is doing better and there is no way she needs a doctor. At least he brought it up.
He did tell her that as far as I am concerned, I will be a part of her family when I feel comfortable and until that point she needs to let it go and stay away from me. He also told her about my depression and how careful I am to take care of myself, even setting boundaries with my own mom when I need to. That I know if I am around such toxic depression, that it will get to me as well.
As things stand, we are going out there for Christmas Eve. And I'm hoping that things will go smoothly. Since getting told by both Chris and his brother that she needs to change, I think that she should be on her best behaviour. But then again, I know how ill she is and how even in denial things can't change unless she gets help. I'm just going to take it day by day and try not to worry about it too much.
Chris and I also came up with a plan. If she tries to get to me again when he is in another room, or tries to belittle me when I can't defend myself without looking badly, I'm to say, "Chris and I need to see you in the other room." That way, I can say my peace and she will have to repeat whatever she says to him as well. Having this safety net in place makes me feel really good. I hope that I won't have to use it, but know after 6 years that I will have to use it eventually, if I even go out there at all.
When I talked to my pastor about the letter, she said that regardless what Chris or I say to Chris' mom, she will hear what she wants to. That manipulation and victimization are highly honed skills with a lot of practice. I asked if she thought that the situation was as dire as I thought. She said that as far as she was concerned, Chris' mom is dangerous to us all and that we need to be aware of it, especially where the kids are concerned. She also said that anyone who would say that they were about to have a knock down drag out fight with me was obviously crazy because there is no one else that would ever consider hurting me. I felt really good about that. My sister then asked me, "How many people hate you Karianne?" I said, "One" she then said, "So who has the problem?" That helped too.
As an end note, one of the things that really gets me is that throughout the letter, she spells my name wrong. Don't you thing that if you are going to write a hate letter to your son about his wife, that you would at least spell her name right? She also spells Bec's name wrong. This all still amazes me.
Wish me luck. Thanks for all of your support these past weeks. YOu all have been great.