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Is the word 'SELFISH' a dirty word?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

I wonder how many of us were taught that being 'selfish' was bad? I certainly was! My mother drilled it into my head, along with - tell the truth, be a lady, be nice, treat your elders with respect and NEVER talk back, and ALWAYS be polite! Unfortunately my mom didn't live long enough to teach me what the exceptions to some of the 'rules' were, and how to stand up for myself. So I was the 'good girl', that morphed into a 'polite doormat'!

I never put my needs first, to me that was selfish! But what that behavior did to me over time was - made me feel that everyone else's needs were more important than my own. Webster's defines SELFISH as - taking care of oneself without thought for others. SELFLESS is defined as - not selfish. There should be a word that fits between those two words! That word should mean that we take care of ourselves, but still have regard for others, without being self-sacrificing.

When you put yourself on the bottom of your priority list, over time you become resentful. 'Caregiver' was a role I had since I was a teenager because of illnesses in my family, I felt as if the needs of others were greater than my own. But as the years went by, and that was no longer an issue, I continued that behavior, and didn't put myself first. Taking a stand, setting boundaries, and defining MY needs were things that I simply didn't know how to do - until recently! However, if someone ever said ONE word against my DH, I would jump to his defense in a blink of an eye. I was the same way with my late sister - protective.

There are some people that mistake 'niceness' for weakness, and take advantage. There's that old saying - 'we teach people how to treat us'. For every nasty comment directed my way, that I remained silent for, or was too polite with my response, I taught the other person that it was okay to mistreat me. A few of my friends commented on my 'lessons of life and loss' blog, that in the past I might NOT have stood up to the gossiping group of people from the church, during the memorial service. The 'old' me would have hesitated to jump in, but the 'new' me didn't! I just did it, and it felt GREAT! It was me against 8 older people that were gossiping, but I set them straight, and was still polite. My mom would have been happy! LOL!

Last year, before I turned 50, I felt a shift from within starting. I realized that it's MY life, and my choice. Just because I acted a certain way in the past, does NOT mean that I have to continue that behavior. It's up to ME! I spent years of my life being the 'peace-keeper' with my in-laws, only hurting myself and sacrificing my needs. This past year as I started changing my life, I did get some resistance from so-called friends and in-laws, as I was no longer available to be the 'polite doormat'. TOO bad, they can find something else to wipe their feet on - because it WON"T be me!!!

I've been learning how to stand up for myself, by saying how I feel, while still being myself. I think that my mom would be proud of the changing me! I think the word that I've been looking for is - SELF-RESPECT, which means - proper regard for oneself as a human being! And it feels pretty darn good! Being a little bit selfish isn't a bad thing either, as long as I still have regard for others. Change is a GOOD thing! It's a fresh start and a new beginning!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAVELNISTA 2/12/2010 8:55AM

    Excellent Blog Doreen. In fact I am checking it off hoping that more do the same so it hits Popular Blog. It has a very important message. Women need to stand up for themselves and also make themselves priorities too. If we don't take care of ourselves they they will have no one taking care of them. Women are caregivers but we must learn how to balance all things, including taking some ME time for our health benefits and stress levels.

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FLYINGB16 2/10/2010 10:08AM

    Doreen this was a wonderful blog that I could have written myself. If you take out the family illnesses and replace that with 7 divorces (total between my Mom & Dad's marriages). I grew up as a people pleaser and a YES (wo)man. As I reflect on all the things I said and did to make others happy while I did nothing for myself I know how I got to 300 pounds. Even now, married to my best friend, the stress of him always being gone has definitely added to my weight issues. I also have a nasty person I work with that enjoys putting me down. One day she came into my office and commented on a picture of my daughter...she stated that my daughter is really beautiful (which she is) and then she asked me if I was sure I brought the right baby home from the hospital. Because this woman is a member of upper management (but not in my department) I felt like I could not defend myself. I immediately told my boss what she said and she just told me to let it go because that's just how that person is. I have thought a lot about it and other comments this woman has made and I decided the next time she comes at me I will tell her to go to hell. I mean really what would I have to lose? She would not be able to defend her comments to me so she would have no course of action. I however would have options. emoticon Your struggles with self care and your MIL unfortunately are shared by so many people. My MIL-a-like just happens to work with me. You write such great blogs and I get so much out of them. I just really appreciate you sharing your experiences and stories. You are helping others as you help yourself. You Momma is definitely proud of you. You are such a beautiful person! emoticon emoticon emoticon
-Bonnie

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PUDLECRAZY 2/9/2010 11:43PM

    Excellent blog! You are so right about the importance of YOU in the equation of life and I am glad that you are standing up for yourself. It sounds like you have found the power of the 50s. These are good years for self understanding and appreciation.

You go, girl! emoticon

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RASTUS55 2/9/2010 9:39PM

    What an awesome blog!!! You know Doreen a little selfishness sometimes can mean the same as self preservation. If "I" or "ME" is seldom heard in your vocabulary then it is definitely time to regroup. I am so proud of how you have grown Doreen and I know that your Mom is beaming from ear to ear and proud of her beautiful daughter. Self respect is a good thing and the other good thing that evolves from that is confidence. You are definitely showing that in a big way!! Good for you doll!! Feels pretty good doesn't it!! YOU HAVE COME A LONNNNNNGGGG WAY!!
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Ruth

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CNTRYMUM2 2/9/2010 9:15PM

    Beautifully written, I couldn't have said it any better..bravo!

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CATHYGETSFIT 2/9/2010 8:33PM

    There needs to be an emoticon for applause because I was taught the same things as you. Also, like you, I was everyone's doormat and now that I'm no longer there for them to wipe their feet on they think I'm no longer the sweet little Cathy they knew. We are still good people. We just don't let people walk all over us anymore...we no longer have the words DOOR MAT stamped to our foreheads. I completely understand what you mean about friends and in-laws resisting this change in you except for me it was my own family. I am so proud of you and glad that you set those gossiper's from the church straight. You handled them perfectly without being mean or tacky. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MEOWMAMA3 2/9/2010 8:31PM

    You articulate little butterfly you!
Fabulous blog!
May the next 50 be twice as nice!
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TAKINGCAREOFKIM 2/9/2010 5:18PM

    As with anything, there is a balance. There is such a thing as being too selfish (your MIL, for example???) and there is such a thing as being too selfless and sacrificial. I'm glad you're finding your balance, we all have to take care of ourselves along the way!

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JERSEYGIRL1950 2/9/2010 4:13PM

    What an awesome blog..just think how great the next fifty will be..50 seems to be a turning point coming in the age of wisdom, grace and knowing..or to put another you don't have to put up with anybody's "stink" anymore. Woohoo!

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NGCHILD 2/9/2010 4:09PM

    Powerful blog Doreen!! You have come a long way baby!! It is unfortunate that there are people in the world who mistake being polite as a license to walk all over someone. Good for you for sticking up for yourself and what you believe in.

I have no doubt in the world your mother would be very proud of you!! You are an amazing woman and I am proud to call you my FRIEND!


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PEDAL-PUSHER 2/9/2010 3:55PM

    What a powerful blog! I think we have all been the giving person at some point. I learned early on that I needed to be whole, or I waw simply no good to others. There are times that I will sacrifice my needs for the needs of others, but it is always by choice and not because I was 'guilted' into it.. It has been said that nobody can take advantage of you unless you let them.. Congrataulations on refusing to let them any more!

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NOTABOUTHEFACE 2/9/2010 3:49PM

    KICK @SS BLOG GIRL!!! It's all true. I cannot begin to tell you how as a spouse it kills you to watch the one you love slowly picked apart by vultures who seem to take pleasure in their misery. I am glad you said 'we teach people how to treat us' because I've been trying to say that in my roundabout way in some of our conversations without being offensive. I've seen it. I've lived through it with the Mr. I'm am happy to tell you there is a better life on the other side when you finally wipe the word "welcome" off of you. You may not have as many people in your life as you did say even 5 years ago but too often people focus on the quantity of people in their lives and not the QUALITY. Even if that means scraping off family members who do nothing but make you feel like crap every time you communicate. This was unheard of 20 years ago and there are some people who are still appalled people would consider not speaking to family (your own or in-laws) but when it eats at your core, you aren't living and you sure as hell aren't doing yourself any favors.

I am proud of you and the transformation you are making. And yes, as you showed, you can be firm yet tactful! GO YOU!!!
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Comment edited on: 2/9/2010 3:50:27 PM

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MANDERSON19 2/9/2010 3:40PM

    Good for you! I am 35 and am just learning to put myself ahead of others. I still have a very long way to go.

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WANNABTHIN02 2/9/2010 3:38PM

    WOW WOW WOW. I COULDN'T HAVE WRITTEN THIS BETTER ABOUT MYSELF. VERY TRUE. EVEN WITH BEING A CARE GIVER AND NOT HAVING MY MOTHER HERE ANY MORE. I AM LEARNING TO CHANGE BUT IT STILL ISN'T EASY. I FEEL BECAUSE OF MY WEIGHT PEOPLE DO NOT RESPECT ME. BUT THAT IS CHANGING. THANKS FOR THE WONDERFUL INSIGHT.
HELENA

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Blogging's given me a "NEW ATTITUDE"!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Before this week, I didn't REALLY understand the value of blogging. Sure, it's a way to get our thoughts and feelings out, and maybe share something with someone else, but it's more than that. That realization really hit home today for me. Anyone that's read my previous two blogs knows that it's been a difficult week, and that I felt like I was going to explode. Writing about my feelings and posting my blogs helped me feel better. Like I finally could take a breath and let go.

On Wednesday, my DH and I set boundaries with my MIL. I told her flat out - you're suffocating me and I can't put up with 7 phone calls a day. She promised to only call once a day, and that "I" needed to have MORE patience with her. Yeah, right!!! I told her that I've had more patience than most people, but I'm done. She played the 'I'm old. alone. and helpless' card, and said that she would call once a day to check in - so that we would know that she's 'not dead on the floor'! She did NOT keep her word - what a shocker. By 9:30 last night, she called here 5 times! No, I did not take all of the calls, I let the answering machine do it's thing. So much for boundaries!

I felt drained, frustrated, angry, and quite frankly - miserable! The last call last night Hubby took, and she started to stir up crap regarding my SIL. We were trying to watch a movie and unwind when she called. He let her know that his patience for her crap was GONE, and that he's NOT interested in her gossip and the fact that she's trying to cause trouble between us and her daughter. In a firm tone he told her that he's heard enough, and that he's done. He got off of the phone and tossed it onto the coffee table, visably aggravated. Instead of enjoying the movie, I felt like I wanted to scream, and I must have LOOKED that way too! He asked if I was alright, and I wasn't! I could actually FEEL my blood pressure and told him that I was afraid that dealing with her was going to shorten my life! As soon as I spoke those words, I knew that I reached a cross-roads!

I think that my words, which still hung in the air, frightened him. He's going to have a VERY firm talk with her, and tell her that if her behavior doesn't change, he's blocking her number. He and I both know that she won't change, but it's the LAST step before blocking her. We've talked about moving, but WHY should we?? This is our home! We moved from Jersey to get away from HER, and she followed us to Florida! I cut her out before, but she wormed her way back in using the poor health card. Me being the sap that I am, I allowed it!

When I say I'm DONE, I'm not kidding! The thought that my health could suffer from this stress is one heck of an eye-opener! I went back and re-read my previous blog about 'lessons of life & loss', as well as blogs from a bunch of my friends today. I didn't expect it to have the impact it did! I felt like someone took off my blinders and I saw things with clarity! Whether it was one word or phrase, I was able to take something from what you all wrote. I don't know if any of you thought that when you posted your blogs, that you could actually be helping someone - but you ALL did!!! Each of you said something that I could relate to.

My feelings of suffocating are GONE today, and I decided that I won't waste another precious moment of my life dealing with such crap! I also won't put my health at risk for anything, or anyone! I'm tired of hearing myself vent over that witch, and I don't want to waste my energy with such toxic waste! I deserve better! So, the value of blogging is twofold! First it helps you get out your thoughts and feelings, so that they don't fester inside. And second, what you share can do good and really help someone else! After reading Kim's blog, where she mentioned Patti LaBelle, I thought about one of my favorite songs, of hers - 'New Attitude'. My DH printed out the lyrics from that song and I have the words stuck in my head. This is what I keep hearing:

I'm feelin' good from my head to my shoes
Know where I'm goin' and I know what to do
I tidied up my point of view
I got a new attitude
Runnin' hot, runnin' cold
I was runnin' into overload
It was extreme
I took it so high, so low
So low, there was nowhere to go
Like a dream
Somehow the wires uncrossed, the tables were turned
Never knew I had such a lesson to learn
I'm in control, my worries are few
'Cause I've got love like I never knew
I got a new attitude....

What I get from this song, is a woman that now feels powerful and knows who she is. This is what I'm working on! A new day - a new attitude!


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANITAWPG 2/22/2010 11:38PM

    I am so glad your DH see's this the same way and is so supportive of you - you totally deserve it

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MEOWMAMA3 2/9/2010 8:27PM

    Go Doreen! Go Rick!
It is what it is. But her problems and character flaws shouldn't rule your life or jeopardize your health or your quality of life. You've been gracious, patient, kind, helpful and a million other things to her, but she's never going to change and you had to do what you had to do. I feel for Rick, but he did the right thing. It will be ok, don't back down, and don't let it interfere with your successes!
Work that new attitude gir!
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TRAVELNISTA 2/7/2010 9:28PM

    emoticon new theme song you have there. I am so emoticon Vampira is still at her antics. I am sad to say this but I think she may be like this for quite a while till she comes to terms that Bob is gone. Can't you talk dear SIL in inviting Vampira up to give her a change of scenery to get over Bob?

I hope something changes for you soon because I know she has tried your patience long enough. emoticon emoticon

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LAMOUR0 2/7/2010 6:54PM

    Wonderful, you deserve to have a happy and stress free life. Go for it and don't look back. It will be worth it in the end, even if the journey is tough along the way. Good luck with your new attitude, it is a good way to get this year going for the better.....go go team.....take care, Doreen! I will be thinking of you.

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NOTABOUTHEFACE 2/7/2010 6:10PM

    I'm so proud of you and the hubby! PLEASE follow through. I know first hand what in-laws can do to your health. I used to breeze along just fine and 7 years of dealing with his mom and brothers gave me a delightful anxiety disorder that SUCKS. It takes a LONG time to manage naturally and you don't need to go through something like that. Stress manifesting itself physically can take hours to days away from your life when you could be doing something else. I want you guys to be happy and not have to worry about when she's going to swoop down and make your lives h(ll. Wishing you both the courage to stand up for yourselves and take your balance and phone back!
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JUSTMISHY 2/7/2010 5:49PM

    Yeah for you!
I'm sooo happy that you are working on your boundaries. Sometimes it just feels like a lot of work, and that you have to "cut" people out of your life for self preservation, but it often has to be done until you are strong enough not to be their doormat. Thankfully, your husband is strong by your side. It must be sad for him to have his own mother treat you so horribly! I feel for him.
My own husband has had to set boundaries with his MIL on my behalf (yes, HIS MIL, my mom) and I didn't speak to her for several months at one point due to her toxicity ( and yes, we screened calls...got an answering service etc for a period of time). She also plays the health/widow/need a man to fix things card, but it is getting less often now. I've also been able to develop a healthy ability to leave/walk away when she gets to be too much. And she's getting much better. I also don't make excuses for her, or her behaviour. She is who she is, and I am who I am. We all have choices to make. You sound like a kind person. Continue to choose kindness. Even with her. Just don't be her doormat. I wish you well.

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PUDLECRAZY 2/7/2010 4:59PM

    I am so glad to hear that your husband took a stand. He needed to do that. I hope things will go better for you now, and I am glad that blogging is working in this way for you. Festering bad - blogging good!

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Stick to your guns with the MIL!

Chris

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JERSEYGIRL1950 2/7/2010 2:56PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticonGive me a D.O.R.E.E.N go girl go!!!
I haven't dealt with toxic family for 8 years..living down here sometimes I get lonely and bored then you remind me some of what I left behind..No thank you..stick to you guns sweetie..you've come a long way baby..happy hubby is sticking with you and supporting you some men get caught in the middle...she most likely won't change but you are and don't let anyone take that away from you...WE ALL LOVE YOU !!!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/7/2010 2:56:56 PM

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RASTUS55 2/7/2010 2:43PM

    I am so glad your hubby stepped up to the plate and helped to put her in her place. She is a vile snake in the grass hiding to strike at any moment to share her poison. Time to make your house and your heart snake proof!! You have let this go on long enough and when it starts to affect you like it has then it is time to block her from your lives. This woman needs some very serious mental help or some major meds!!! Your right Doreen that constant nagging stress will shorten your life so don't let it happen. You have taken steps to remove those so called "friends" in your life that had such a negative impact so now it is time to remove the wicked witch....I wonder if pouring a bucket of water on her would make her melt away like the witch on the wizard of oz?? HEY WORTH A TRY!!! LOLOL! You know what you need to do now....just make it happen!!
Ruth

Comment edited on: 2/7/2010 2:44:46 PM

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MOTHERLORI 2/7/2010 2:40PM

    Very insightful! I have both my father and father-in-law living with us and I know it's affected my husbands health. I just let thing ride, he gets upset about things he can't change. However, I can't change that either. Just know that you both have to make decisions to not let toxic people affect you. That's them, and you can't change them. You can however set boundaries and have consequences if they are crossed. You're doing the right thing for both of you. CONGRATULATIONS on coming to that conclusion and feeling so much relief from it! Way to go! Lori

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TAKINGCAREOFKIM 2/7/2010 2:38PM

    Good for you--go Doreen! I was singing the song...!!! Although I've never had to deal with someone like that, I have had friends who have and the only way to deal with them, is cut them off, just like you said ESPECIALLY if they do not respect your boundaries. Keep up the good work!

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DIFROMWYOMING 2/7/2010 2:35PM

    So glad you were able to come to an agreement with DH about his mom...and she is HIS mom, after all, so it's good he will deal with this. I am with you today, it is very easy to let everything in our life push us to the background, but we really MUST take control of our own health and make that a priority. Every part of it. Good for you, hon. Big hugs today, Di

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The lessons of life and loss!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

The past 6 days have been challenging, to say the least. I think that people show their 'true colors' when life throws you a curve ball. I see it as character. This is really a follow-up to my last blog. The other day I felt so much stress, that I thought that I would explode! I was going to write in my journal and try to let it go, but instead I wrote my blog. I hesitated in posting it because I was venting SO many feelings, and I felt very exposed, but I posted it anyway. The strange thing was, that soon after, I started to feel relief. Reading your comments helped calm me, and I thank you!!

Yesterday was the memorial service for my MIL's companion, Bob. It was a lovely service, followed by a luncheon at the church. Bob's faith and his relationship with his son were THE most important things in his life, without a doubt! The next holiday at our house will be Easter, and he will be missed! He had a HUGE sweet tooth, and would come here on various holidays, looking for the desserts - before dinner. He knew that I always made baklava on Easter, and I can still see him sneaking a piece, as soon as he got here. When I had my baking business, and tested recipes, I ALWAYS kept the goodies for Bob. He was like a little kid on Christmas morning when I would hand him the bags of treats from my freezer - his face lit up! Memories like this make my heart smile!

The other night, the pastor asked my MIL for a picture of Bob.,.she gave him a photo of herself with Bob. This infuriated my husband, as she is always trying to make herself the center of attention. He felt that the service was about Bob, NOT her. I asked the pastor about us sending photos to the church, that could be used for a slide show. He welcomed the idea. My DH and I spent hours going over pictures of Bob from years of holidays spent together. We tried to include his son and his friends as well. I'm so glad that we did, because we could hear people commenting on what great pictures they were of Bob. It enhanced the service. I also called the church to offer my help, and offered to make desserts. I spent the previous day baking his favorites, feeling like it was the last thing I could do for him. I asked my MIL what she was going to contribute...her answer - nothing! She said "let the other people bring the food". She came empty handed, and didn't even order flowers! USER!!

When something like this happens SO suddenly, there are lessons to be learned! Here are some of my thoughts:

MAKE YOUR HEALTH A PRIORITY!
Bob was having chest pains for the last 6 months, but ignored it. He was in denial about his worsening pulmonary and cardiac conditions, and it cost him his life.

IF YOU'RE NOT HAPPY WITH SOMETHING IN YOUR LIFE - CHANGE IT!
My DH and I couldn't help but notice how unhappy Bob was with my MIL, but stayed because he needed the money. He spent the last 9.5 years of his life literally waiting on her hand and foot, without ONE kind word, or thank you in return! Don't waste your precious life in an unhappy situation.

DON'T GIVE UP YOUR DREAMS!
If there's something that you really want to do in your life - DO IT! I can remember a conversation with Bob and my MIL from 2 years ago. He said that he always wanted to see Las Vegas. She could certainly afford it, but said no, so he didn't go. I remember telling her that if something ever happened to him, and this was one of his life's dreams, that she would regret it. She still refused - and Bob never saw Vegas, and she had NO regret!

IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS IN LIFE THAT MATTER MOST!
I know for a fact, that Bob and his son cherished their Sunday afternoons together, watching football. I'm glad that his son has those memories of his dad. My MIL, however, resented his son, and the time he spent alone with him, and would call him constantly while they tried to watch the game. His son told me that they would shut off the phone because they couldn't stand her calling when they were trying to enjoy their time together.

LET PEOPLE KNOW WHAT THEY MEAN TO YOU!
Bob's son knew that he was THE light of his dad's life. My DH and I know what we mean to each other, but I thought about the other important people in our lives. Our extended family is our closest friends, and we all consider each other 'family'. They know how important they are to us, but they also need to HEAR it! I told them both the other day, how grateful I am to have them in my life and that I love them.

PEOPLE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THINGS OR MONEY!
No one at the end of their life will ever think 'I wish I had more stuff or money'. Love is THE most important thing! Bob's son told my MIL the other day, that she should try to fix her relationships, especially with my DH and myself, because she's going to die alone - with her bank statement! Instead of taking his words to heart, it made her angry. She called me, demanding to know what he was talking about and what 'I' said to him. I had no idea that he talked to her about that, and I had NO part in it. I thought that it was a pretty profound piece of advice he gave her - she didn't. You either get it or you don't!

GIVE OF YOURSELF - BE A GIVER, NOT A TAKER!
It can be as simple as hug, when someone needs it most, or a kind word. Yesterday I saw many 'givers', as people brought in food and flowers, or showed their feelings for Bob. SHE however, offered NOTHING! She did stay until we were the last people there, despite our wanting to leave, and she made sure that SHE took home the flowers, and ALL of the food that was left!! It was literally a box full of food, when she didn't even bring a crumb! She even had the nerve to COMPLAIN about the food later, that she didn't care for it!!!! TAKER!

SPEAK UP WHEN YOU WITNESS AN INJUSTICE!
I overheard a group of 8 people repeating poisonous comments that my MIL made about Bob's son, as if they were the truth. Without a second thought, I approached them and spoke the TRUTH! I told them that Bob's son is NOT a bad person, that you can't believe the gossip that SHE spreads, that he and his dad had a wonderful relationship, that I 'chose' to not judge him, but show him compassion! They were silent at first, and I wasn't sure what would happen next, but I was PROUD of myself for opening my big mouth! They started telling me all of the BAD things that SHE said, and how it spread through out the church. To be honest, I was surprised and a bit disappointed that a group from church didn't give him the benefit of the doubt, but believed gossip! I told them that I was at the emergency room and held his son while he cried. They looked shocked, because they were told that his son didn't even care. I hope that I helped them see his son in a different light.

WORDS HAVE POWER!
Beware of gossip and those that thrive on it! It's VERBAL POISON! A cruel or untruthful word can cause SO much harm, and spread like wild-fire. But, a kind word can do SO much good!

DON'T BE A DOORMAT!
This is one that I've been working on. In the past I was a polite doormat- but NO more! Don't let yourself be manipulated into doing things that you don't want to do. This was a lesson that hit me in the face 8:30 yesterday morning, and I'm THRILLED to say that I passed with flying colors!!!!!! My MIL called to ask me "to intercede with Bob's son and ask him WHEN he's going to repay her the 2+ thousand dollars that Bob owed her"! YEP, you read correctly! The morning of his funeral, this was the first thing out of her mouth. She does NOT need the money!!!! I was SO shocked by her disgusting behavior, but pulled myself together...and said NO, I'm NOT doing that! She got nasty, which only made me get my back up. AS she pushed, I told her flat out that I couldn't believe what she wanted ME to do, and that he TOLD her that he would repay her, and that I want NO part in it! SHE yelled at me on the phone and got REALLY nasty. I didn't take it! YAY, no more doormat! Tacky bitch!

DON'T EXPECT WARMTH AND KINDNESS FROM A RATTLESNAKE!
After all, it's - or should I say SHE, is a cold-blooded reptile! Don't expect people to be something they aren't - in this case - human! The only one you can change is yourself!

DON'T TAKE CRAP!
Another one for me! But, I'm doing okay! Speak the truth and set boundaries, otherwise you have no one to blame but yourself! SHE started on me as soon as we picked her up for the service, but my husband and I IMMEDIATELY shut her up by letting her know, we're DONE with her crap! Yes, it was one tense ride to the church, but I didn't care. DONE, DONE, DONE!!!

DON'T BELIEVE ANYTHING THAT A DELUSIONAL LIAR SAYS!
Do you know that saying - when someone shows you WHO they are - believe them the first time??? My MIL actually told us that 'NO one liked Bob, that they only tolerated him because they LOVE her'. She didn't expect much of a turn out for his service. Well, there were at least 90 people there to celebrate his life! Both my DH and I noticed that some people were giving her odd looks. Everyone spoke highly of him, but NOT even half of the people approached her! Many didn't even speak to her.

DON'T EXPECT WATER FROM A DRY WELL!
People can only GIVE what they have. If they're honest, expect the truth. If they're kind, expect compassion. I stopped expecting even ONE kind word from her! She didn't even introduce us to ANYONE!!! Both my hubby and I mingled and introduced ourselves, only to be SHOCKED, REPEATEDLY - that NO one knew SHE had a son or daughter-in-law! I heard how they ALL knew about her daughter, but she never mentioned having a son!!! Evil witch!!! It still 'stung' to hear this over and over again, because it had to hurt my husband. Both my friend Helen, who came to the service, and myself, overheard people telling her 'what a sweet DIL you have'. Her reply.... SILENCE! Instead of being hurt, I now chuckle, because SHE's one dried-up well, with nothing to give!

NEVER SACRIFICE YOUR VALUES TO PLEASE SOMEONE ELSE!
I won't get into details here, but over the years I've seen Bob 'loosen' his values a bit. Don't let yourself be pushed into doing things that you KNOW aren't right for you.

DON'T PUT YOUR NEEDS ON THE BACK BURNER!
By Friday night I knew that it would be a rough few days. I ate a small bowl of granola and almond milk for dinner at 10:30 PM! I knew that I wouldn't have the time or energy to Spark. So I made a decision to get through the service, stick to my food plan the best I could, and get back on here on Thursday. Instead of being side-tracked like I would have in the past, I took a few days to do what needed to be done, THEN put myself back on the FRONT burner.


I'm by no means perfect, but I do have a very strong sense of right and wrong. I am a work in progress, as my friend Yvonne says on her page. I try to do my best on any given day, and do no harm. I'm working on making myself a priority, and I'm thankful that I was aware enough to 'see' the lessons that Bob's passing brought to light. I will do my best to learn them all and put them into practice! Thanks Bob, you will be missed!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLYINGB16 2/7/2010 7:14PM

    Thank you so much for this blog. It's full of wisdom that can benefit everyone. I know it's hard to bare your soul to others but look at the army of SP friends that have your back! Your insight is dead on and those lessons should be read everyday as a reminder to us all. I hope things get easier for you and DH in the future. You should be so proud of yourself for taking all the stands with MIL and the gossiping ladies from the church. Being an honest person with morals is not such an easy thing to be nowadays. Sometimes it can feel like your swimming upstream. I wish you were my neighbor so I could come over and give you a big hug. I would also help you box up your MIL and send her off to the middle east somewhere. She could probably make Osama Bin Laden surrender! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Hugs,
Bonnie

Comment edited on: 2/7/2010 7:15:47 PM

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MUSETTE29 2/6/2010 4:53PM

    Good for you, good for you! Your blog was thoughtful and thought-provoking. I certainly stopped to consider how your message was reflected in my own life. Thank you so much.

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TXLIZWOLF 2/5/2010 2:43PM

    MOVE!!! MOVE FAR AWAY!!!

I was blessed that life placed an entire nation between me and my MIL. While mine just does not like me and has little snide remarks I am certain it did not escalate because we never see ach other, and I don't answer the phone when I see her caller ID.

:) every time she talks to my husband, she asks: "Is Liz still there?" and it's been 32 years....

I say MOVE!!! and get that wretch out of your life - somehow. She is is HUSBAND's mother - not yours. While people say you marry your spouse's family, you do not have to take their abuse.


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RASTUS55 2/5/2010 2:27PM

    OMG you really need to some how exclude her from your life even though she is your husbands mom. That woman is truly evil demon spawn!! Sometimes family can just be so poisonous and destructive to our lives we just have to do what is best for us. None of what you wrote about her surprises me because I have followed the path of her broom stick since day one that I met you. She leaves a path of destruction and ill will wherever she goes. She is more like a damn tornado then a human being. This woman needs help she IS NOT right!!!! I can't tell you how darn proud I am of you standing up to the evil she spews out to other people. I am so glad you stepped up to the plate and took the part of the son!! KUDOS TO YOU!!! LOOK AT YOURSELF GIRL!!! A few months ago you might have cowered under her evil spells and now you stand with sword in hand ready to battle her!! MAN DOREEN!!!! What an evolution...you definitely left your cocoon and are using those new beautiful wings!! I am giving you a standing ovation as we speak here! HATS OFF TO YOU!!
Ruth
I am swept OFF MY FEET over this new you!!
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CATHYGETSFIT 2/5/2010 8:48AM

    Bravo Doreen! Bravo!! You and DH are a class act. I always wonder about people like your MIL...I wonder what happened in their lives to make them the way they are. I still feel so badly for Bob's family. At least they know that you and DH cared for Bob. I'm glad that you set those gossip monger's from the church straight. emoticon I'm glad you didn't let that vampire of a MIL bring you down. Honestly, the thing's your MIL does just floor's me. emoticon I'm so proud of you and DH for helping Bob's family and friends make a slideshow of memories of Bob. Whenever you feel your MIL trying to tear you down, I hope you'll remember these life lessons. Perhaps you can come back to this blog from time to time so you never forget. You're a strong person and becoming stronger every day. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MEOWMAMA3 2/5/2010 12:43AM

    Although sad, this was a great and inspirational blog! Doreen, you showed Bob's family that he was loved and appreciated. I'm so proud of you for setting the church biddies straight! I'm sure that every time you take a stand you will just get stronger and stronger. The MIL is beyond belief. What a callous wretch. It will all come back on her. I don't know how you control yourself from tearing her to shreds.

Here's to Bob and homemade baklava! Enjoy your sweet memories of him and be assured that he's finally resting and will never be nagged or neglected or taken advantage of again. emoticon

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MTNHIKER1971 2/4/2010 11:09PM

    From what you wrote:
I asked my MIL what she was going to contribute...her answer - nothing! She said "let the other people bring the food". She came empty handed, and didn't even order flowers! USER!!
Honestly Doreen, I'm STUNNED, my mouth dropped.

I'm really, just in awe..... seriously. Sad for the lost, angry over the MIL but soooo very proud of you Doreen. This blog took a great deal of time and thought and I'm glad that it makes you feel better when you're done because that whole mess is nothing short of TOXIC! You don't want to bottle that up inside.

and having the cahones to go up to a bunch of gossiping ladies and confront them with the truth is an AHA moment for you. I have a feeling that prior to the new you, you wouldn't have done that.

You're not wrong in your thoughts, or your feelings, but I feel sad for the MIL. She will never know what it feels like to be the focus of someone elses affection and love, and that's a choice that she's made.



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TRAVELNISTA 2/4/2010 11:08PM

    Doreen that was just beautiful. I am glad you were in Bob's life and I am quite sure he knew just how much you cared. I can not believe that Vampira couldn't even act human or behave herself for one day. I feel so bad for what you and DH have to go through with her antics.

Your life's lessons were great. We all need to learn to live up to them. Doreen you are such beautiful, loving, compassionate women and it really shows in this blog. I am lucky to call you my friend. emoticon emoticon

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DIFROMWYOMING 2/4/2010 9:41PM

    I'm glad you were able to do what you could for Bob and that so many people turned out to celebrate his life with you and his son. I appreciated your honesty here and some of what you said helped me a lot tonight, so thanks for sharing this. hugs, Di

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MMICKEYP 2/4/2010 8:41PM

    What a beautiful and honestly written account of what happened before, during and after the service for Bob.

You certainly gained some wonderful insight and life lessons from which you'll glean for years to come. Bob's memory will live on in the hearts of those who truly loved him and had a real relationship with him.

The tree is known by his fruit..for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. A good tree produces good fruit..and evil tree produces evil fruit.

You handled yourself with grace, compassion and love.
You stood your ground with your MIL and set straight those who were misinformed. You and your husband took the time to put together a slide show and you baked Bob's favorite desserts to bring to the church. The things you did are all the fruit of love. It is obvious Bob was blessed to have people like you in his life.

You showed your love and respect for him by not just honoring his memory..but by honoring his heart and the son he cherished.

Well done, Doreen..well done...Love Never Fails.


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TAKINGCAREOFKIM 2/4/2010 5:25PM

    What great memories you have of Bob! You definitely succinctly put into words some very good life lessons which were front and center in your life the past few days. Good for you for staying on track the best you could during these tough days and getting back to SP when you were able. Keep up the good work with keeping MIL in check, it will be a lifelong process, I'm sure.

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NOTABOUTHEFACE 2/4/2010 4:34PM

    AMEN sister!! Congrats to you BOTH on putting your foot down with Mother "I've Still Got It" Why am I not surprised that she didn't acknowledge either one of you to people? She is an emotional vampire, break out the garlic and repel her forEVAH! I am so proud of you for approaching that little group of gossip mongers and setting them straight. Ye art my hero!
As for Bob, I am so sorry that he felt forced into being a kept man and treated like crap by her the last years of his life. Thank God for you, truly. Lord knows what kind of slideshow they would've had otherwise. MIL posing with Bob's hair sticking up behind her.

Re-read this blog whenever you feel her attempting to break you down.

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JERSEYGIRL1950 2/4/2010 4:22PM

    Wow Lady you cetainly covered just about every subject and well said sweetie..you learned some valuable stuff here and woohoo Doreen..I glad you helped make the service special..so all I have to say is..BAKLAVA emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticondo you need my address for xmas??? love ya

Comment edited on: 2/4/2010 4:23:54 PM

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I feel like I'm suffocating from the toxic vampire!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The last few days have been very sad and extremely stressful. Friday, late in the afternoon while I was starting dinner, I got a phone call that caught me off guard. My MIL's companion of 9.5 years was being rushed to the hospital without a pulse or a heartbeat. I shut the stove off, changed my clothes, and rushed out of the door. By the time I got to the hospital, he had passed away. His name was Bob and he was a part of our extended family. His son moved down here from Ohio a few months ago, and without a doubt was THE light of his father's life!

Bob was my MIL's paid companion/male friend. They had a very strange relationship that was based on mutual need. There was no love, and sometimes they didn't seem to even like each other. She wanted him to cater to her, be her companion, and keep her company. He needed the money and the companionship. He would come over every day around noon and fix lunch, hang out all day, and go home after dinner. He spent holidays at our house, and my DH and I liked him. She is NOT handicapped in any way, but THE laziest woman I've EVER met. She does have some health issues, but nothing that would stop her from doing things for herself - she just chooses NOT to!

When I arrived at the hospital, I was greeted by Bob's son. When he told me what happened, he started to cry, and I hugged him. He took me back to where his dad was, and I was totally shocked by how bad he looked - his face was purple. My MIL was in the room, in FULL drama-mode, ACTING like she was crying - without shedding ONE tear!!! I actually walked around her so that I could see her eyes, which were DRY. Not a big surprise, since she complained about the man EVERY day!!! What bothered me the most was her total lack of compassion for his son and DIL. She didn't offer one shred of support or kindness to them, she didn't even get off of her @ss to give either of them a hug!! When Bob's DIL came into the room, I went over to her and offered my support. She sobbed as I held her. My MIL did...NOTHING!

Bob's son took me to the side and told me that he had to get out of there because he was "going to ring my MIL's neck". Bob was having difficulty breathing while at my MIL's house, but instead of calling 911, she called his son-who was at the beach with his wife! He told her to call 911 and that they would rush to the hospital. She waited to call...until he collapsed on his face on her floor! Yes, that's what I said! She WAITED!!!

My MIL's friend drove her home from the hospital, and she wanted me to come back to her house. I went home first to put the food, that was still on the stove away, and wait for my hubby, who was on his way. When we got to her house, some of her friends were there, and she looked and acted like she was having a party. She had nothing to put out for people, so my DH and I went to the store to pick up some food. When we got back, 2 pastors from the church were there, and she sat there with a smile on her face like she was the queen. She actually joked around saying "now that Bob's dead, who am I going to complain about"? She proceeded to say negative comments about Bob's son in front of all of these people from church. It got REALLY uncomfortable, as she verbally bashed his son, and I could NOT keep my big mouth shut. I told her that she really shouldn't be talking about his son like that, and that I felt like she should stop judging him, and show the man some compassion! There was silence as she glared at me.

The next morning she called Bob's son and told him that she wanted a ring back that she gave him. When he arrived at her house, with the ring, before EVEN saying hello, she asked about repayment of money that she lent to Bob. The poor man wasn't even gone 24 hours, and that's ALL she cared about. She does NOT need the money!! So now she's acting like 'Helpless Hanna' and wants everyone to cater to her. My husband tried talking to her about going into an assisted living facility, since she doesn't want to be alone, and doesn't do anything for herself. She's NOT interested! He also told her to hire a REAL caregiver/companion to come in to help her - NOT interested! He told her that it's not fair to us, or her friends-to be at her beck and call. I said - nothing! Yet, the next day my SIL called, saying how her mother told her that "I" want her to go into a facility. ME??? Why do I get blamed when I didn't even say anything?

So, she's calling here up to EIGHT times a day!!!!! She wanted me to come over - and are you ready???? ...put the bedspread on her bed FOR HER!! Oh, but first HER SHEETS need to be changed! Yeah, like that's going to happen! I went to get my hair cut this morning, and by the time I got back home - she called THREE times! When she called back, yet again - I did answer. The FIRST words out of her mouth were "where were you"? Uh, pardon me???? I guess I didn't get the memo that stated that SHE was my keeper!

Bob's service is tomorrow morning and the only way to describe her behavior about his passing and the way she treated his family is-- DISGUSTING! I've done my best in the past to keep her at arms length, to avoid her toxic behavior. Then my SIL is calling me, telling me that my MIL shouldn't be alone and WHY is she driving herself to a dentist's appointment? My reply was that she's more than capable of driving herself! And as for the 'alone' part, maybe my SIL should get her botoxed- face with her silicone- inflated boobs on a plane and keep her evil witch mother company! Two raptors!

I can't allow myself to get sucked into dealing with her! I feel like I lost my nice little arms-length of distance, and now she's in my face. The 5th call from her today, on my answering machine, she's trying to line me up to take her to numerous doctor's appointments in March. She's actually using 'the lump in her breast' tactic that she used on me in the past. I kid you NOT! Last year she did the same thing-claimed that she had a lump in her breast so that I would take her to the doctor. It worked, and I took her. I went in the exam room with her, waiting for her to tell the doc about the lump - she NEVER did! I did!!! I said in front of the doc, what about that lump? That witch said "what lump"? I reminded her what she told me before I agreed to take her, and she replied "well, I guess it went away". So she's trying that one again. I feel stressed to the max and don't know how to handle this.

I feel sad for Bob, and such compassion for his son and DIL, but revolted by my MIL!! I feel like I'm suffocating from her constant neediness and drama. As of 2 minutes ago, she's called here SIX times so far today, despite the fact that she KNEW I spent the afternoon making desserts for Bob's memorial service. I've been having a hard time sleeping the last few nights and feel like the stress is choking me. I will NOT let myself be pulled back into a toxic situation with her, as she'll suck the joy and life right out of me! I've worked so hard on myself the last few months, and I won't un-do all of the progress I've made!! My DH wants to lay down the law with her - yet AGAIN! Any ideas would be GREATLY appreciated!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GLYPNIRSGIRL 2/11/2010 1:24AM

    CALL BLOCK HER NUMBER. I am serious. This woman is a narcissistic nutcase. Nothing will ever make her happy except being the constant center of attention. You cannot sacrifice your life to hers - it will always be a bad bargain. And call block your sister in law, too.

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WANNABTHIN02 2/9/2010 4:04PM

    Don't get sucked into being the caregiver. I agree. She is too toxic for your health. You come first.

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FLYINGB16 2/7/2010 6:55PM

    Wow! This is a horrible situation and your MIL is insane. Stay as far away from her as you can. Your DH needs to tell her how it is and if he can't or she won't listen, just don't awnser her calls. There is no fixin that one. I am so sorry for everything you have been through and for Bob and his family. Just pull out and focus on you and your health. I don't have a relationship with my only sister because of similar behaviors. I got over trying to be the nice girl and the peace keeper in the family. It takes time but my life is much more peaceful without all the drama. You are your number on priority. Let the evil MIL take care of herself. I am here for you. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MUSETTE29 2/6/2010 4:45PM

    Good for you for venting here--I hope it was cathartic. My opinion is that your DH needs to step to the forefront here. WWMIL is not going to change, and so hour husband's first priority should be to protect you, himself, your marriage from this sick and toxic woman. She is not looking for solutions, so nothing anyone suggests or tells her is going to do any good. You and DH (after all, you are DW) should circle the wagons, pull up the drawbridge, man the harpoons and every other defensive metaphor you can come up with. Take care of yourself, my dear, as you have taken care of everyone else. Yikes.

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CATHYGETSFIT 2/4/2010 11:09PM

    Doreen, I'm so sorry for you, DH and Bob's family!! I haven't read all of the comments left here but I know just from this page that you've received a lot of good ideas on how to deal with your wicked witch MIL. Here is an idea though that may or may not have been suggested. Tell your WW-MIL that she should go live with her daughter so that she can take care of whatever her needs (a.k.a. wants) might be.

You definitely need to screen your phone calls. DH is just going to have draw a line in the sand and let her know that she is NOT allowed to cross it or there will be consequences of some type. I am so sorry that you have to deal with her antics at all! She truly is POISON!!

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Cathy

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NGCHILD 2/4/2010 10:15AM

    Oh Doreen -- I ditto all comments here. I am so sorry for your loss and please know that I am here to talk with, vent to, etc. Whatever you need!!

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MADAMEAJA 2/3/2010 8:12PM

    Seems like some criminal charges are in order . . . But my advice would be to politely decline any and all requests she and SIL make to you. After all, you are an adult and have your own life to manage.

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JERSEYGIRL1950 2/3/2010 4:06PM

    Holy Crap !!!!!..my god Doreen I'm so sorry for that family and you..I deleted the rest of my potty mouth remarks..it bothered me ..sorry

Comment edited on: 2/4/2010 11:42:07 AM

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ANITAWPG 2/3/2010 12:24PM

    Well
I know what I would like to say to the E.W.W. (Evil Wicked Witch)
sigh

but it all depends on how much your husband is wanting to cut off contact with her.

Thank heavens he is supportive

Try suggesting that perhaps she needs to get away for a bit, it was so traumatic for her - if you can get that out without gagging anyway - . help her pack and ship her off to her daughter ASAP.

That will hopefully allow you andthe DH time to come up with a better plan.

I guess moving and changing your number without telling her isn't really an option

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MTNHIKER1971 2/3/2010 9:10AM

    Yuck, this post made me exceptionally nauseous. I would start the conversation with her a little bit like this.

"You know, you're family, but your such a Bit@#. You get back what you give out and the way you treat people and expect them to be caring and understanding to your needs, and returning the same needs to others is what needs to be done. Your lack of compassion for others, constantly putting people who love and care about you down, manipulating others to do what you are very much capable of doing yourself is nothing short of being very inconsiderate of others. Although we're family, no one should be the receiving end of such inhuman behavior. I love you, and what I do for you, my actions, tell you that you are cared for. What was the last thing you actually did to show us that you love us too?"

It can go either way on this one, my guess is she won't change. It appears, unfortunately, that nothing or noone else matters than what she sees in the mirror, which really, is very sad. She is missing out on soooo much happiness if she would only reach out, and behave, the right way.

Good luck Doreen... you DON'T have to take it. I'm spraying you down with anti-negative MIL Scotchguard so whatever negative things that come your way, will roll off. Personally, I would love to see you do what you did at the holiday party. She said something mean toward you in front of all of those guests, and you laughted.... To be a fly on the wall that day.

Hang in there... this too shall pass!
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NOTABOUTHEFACE 2/2/2010 11:52PM

    "Now that Bob's dead, who am I going to complain about"? OMG, girl...I don't even need to say it, do I? I didn't think so. You KNOW what I'm thinking.

You know what's coming right? She's going to suggest moving in with you. I'm not trying to stress you out but you NEED to make it clear that you will NOT allow that to happen. And do NOT let her sucker you into taking her to those appts either. You have come WAAAAY too far on your stress, self esteem and getting your happiness back to let her affect you. I know its easier said than done but block the woman's number from home and cell phone and she can call hubby if she needs something (Sorry!) And ol' 960cc's can drag her emotionless @ss, collect her mother and take her back with her if she's so worried about her.
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My condolences to those who are actually suffering the loss.

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TRAVELNISTA 2/2/2010 11:17PM

    I am so sorry that you have to deal with your MIL's antics. Nothing she does surprises me. I have nothing to add to all of the good advice you have already received, Unfortunately DH is going to have to lay down the law of the land and then stick to his guns.

We are always here when you feel the need to vent. Also the next time SIL calls let her know that you are not sending Vampira to assisted living but are packing dear MIL up to send to her. emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/2/2010 11:20:12 PM

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TAKINGCAREOFKIM 2/2/2010 11:14PM

    WOW, that's all I can say is wow! I cannot fathom having to deal with someone like that--I feel for you. I send my most sincere condolences to Bob and his family and will be praying for them. Thank you for being there for them, I know they surely appreciated having SOMEONE there who showed some genuine care and concern for them. I know you are strong and you will handle this. She just needs to be cut off--from everyone! I just have no words... emoticon

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LOGOULD 2/2/2010 10:49PM

    My sympathies to you, Bob's son and DIL and their family. These toxic people can be such a drain...and as so many have already said, she is your DH's responsibility. You are going above and beyond in trying to be kind and show compassion to a family in grief...you do not need to extend yourself anyfurther by playing into the drama that your toxic MIL and SIL are trying to conjure up.

Let them feed off each other when it comes to that! emoticon

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EBFAIHD 2/2/2010 10:31PM

  Doreen,

I think your MIL's phone number should be blocked from your home number and your DH should do it. He needs to once and for all deal with this overbearing woman in his life. Remember she's his mom, not yours.

As for Bob and his family I render my most sincere condolences. Try your best to stop this woman from taking over your life. I think its great how you stood up to her. Keep doing it. She needs limits in her life. Sometimes shocking people like this by changing the subject many times during a conversation helps to distract them. It also gives them a bad feeling when they talk to you and makes them think and feel their not the center of attention anymore (which is how they thrive). Consequently, she won't want to talk to you anymore. Try it. It works for me!

Good thoughts and prayers go out to you and Bob's family.

Anne

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MEOWMAMA3 2/2/2010 10:20PM

    I'm so sorry to hear this news Doreen. You were a wonderful friend to be there for Bob's family and to comfort them the way you did. Be happy and at peace knowing that you are a kind, caring, generous woman.

I'm not surprised at any of this, after reading so much about her in your blogs. It really shouldn't shock or embarrass you, it's completely expected. I feel badly for Rick, but he's a grown man and will need to learn to deal with her like a grown man. You know it will get worse before it gets better.... she's gonna go into super leech mode, so KEEP HER OUT OF YOUR LIFE! I'm with Ruth, DITCH THE WITCH! You need to set the boundaries with Rick, since talking to her does not sink in. You are married to her son, not to her. DIVORCE HER! You have done everything under the sun to help and tolerate this creature. Change your home number and she'll have to call Rick on his cell phone. You do have the right and plenty of reasons to cut her off completely.

The best thing you can do for yourself in the short term is to take all that MIL induced frustration out on a killer bike trail...turn it into something good for you!

We're here if you need us, stay focused on the reason why you are at the funeral tomorrow. Your presence will be so appreciated by Bob's family.
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RASTUS55 2/2/2010 10:00PM

    Looks like the wicked witch of the east is on her broom again! She reminds me of a tick....using people to suck the life out of them by using them up and spitting them out. This woman is not right in the head....she really needs medicated...........or shall I say OVER MEDICATED! LOL! Don't let her or her worthless daughter corner you. Set the law down now in no short order...you are not this rips keeper and never will be. Your right she can go live with her daughter...that is a perfect solution. Little miss silicone queen and her wicked mother...they can both hop on the next broom and blow away! POOR POOR Bob and his son, I shouldn't be surprised at how evil and cold that old hag is but I found myself absolutely shocked and my mouth was wide open in complete disbelief at how crude and cold she is!! My vote is this..............DITCH THE WITCH!!! Tell her you want to take her for a ride and go about 200 miles from home and drop her off! LOLOL! EGADS! She is a mess. Don't let her bring you down Doreen like you said you have come to far to let that happen now. Be tough and stand up to her and that bitch daughter of hers as well. I am always here if you need to vent!!
Ruth
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BIONICBETH 2/2/2010 9:57PM

    Holy Cow. I tripped across this blog, and the title drew me in. I am SO sorry to hear of that situation...and am amazed at...well...at most of this!

I agree with a lot that's been posted here already. She's not very likely to change, unless there is absolutely no other choice. (Don't hold your breath for this one.)

The only thing you can control here is what YOU are going to do. Set some boundaries...and stick to them. I know it sounds harsh, but I believe your best bet is to tell her you will NOT take care of any of her needs. Sorry MIL, but you're on your own. (And I sincerely hope your husband can be on board with it...or at the very least not oppose your decision.)

I can not even fathom experiencing such a self centered entitled controlling personality. Just astounding. Well, this is going to be rattling around in my head for a while.

I wish you the very best of luck with tomorrows service...and even MORE luck with deciding, and implementing how to handle the evil MIL.

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AHEALTHIERME9 2/2/2010 9:42PM

    My condolences to everyone who knew and cared about Bob...

I do not even know where to begin... it sounds like your MIL is miserable, and you know what they say; misery loves company.

I can tell just by how upset you are that she has managed to suck you into her drama. What you now need to do is put an end to the drama and do not allow it even to take up any energy in your thoughts. Your time is valuable; your journey is valuable; YOU are valuable; and your thoughts are valuable. Put your thoughts to work FOR YOU, not for her. And get away from all this stress. Stress prevents weight loss... did you know that? Kick this stress right out of your life, don't answer the phone, and let your DH answer her calls or return her calls when he's home.

I feel for you, my friend. You need to settle the conflict you have within you: on the one hand, you feel sorry for her or feel badly to say no to her or not deal with her; on the other hand, you end up hurting and stressing yourself out when you do deal with her.

Time to put the conflict within you at rest so you can focus on you and your happiness.

I hope this helps, and I'm sending you a big hug. emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/2/2010 9:43:11 PM

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LAMOUR0 2/2/2010 9:26PM

    Doreen, I feel for you, I really do. I know the torture of such situations. You are damned if you do and damned if you don't. For now, I suggest breathe and meditate to help deal with the stress, that is all that helped me to get through some tough times. Other than that, the woman is not your responsibility, she is the responsibility of your DH and his family. Make your decisions on what you are willing to put up with and discuss it with him and then let it go. What else can you do? People like her will never change and there will be no pleasing her. DO NOT let her undo all the wonderful progress you have made. I know it is tough but in the end you have to put you first and then your hubby, she just happens to be baggage and I think your hubby has to decide where he will also draw the line. There are no easy answers on this stuff, but go with your GUT on it, follow your heart and the answer will reveal itself to you. My thoughts are with you and big hug across the miles. Condolences to Bob's family, as well. Take care!

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DIFROMWYOMING 2/2/2010 8:53PM

    Gosh I'm so sorry about all the mess at your place. My sympathies to you and his family for the loss. It is astounding to me that during a time when you should be free to grieve and comfort those who are grieving you are instead being held hostage emotionally to someone who just wants catering to.

I am sorry I don't know a solution here. We've always lived several states away from my MIL and I suppose moving is out of the question. Is there any way your husband could have a 'family meeting' (siblings, not spouses) and have the family come up with a solution as to what to do with mom? This isn't uncommon and you and your husband should not have to be the only ones to deal with the situation. Perhaps his mother is not in a good position to make these decisions for herself. If she is, you can always let her, and block her calls. Tough situation, though. So sorry! emoticon

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MMICKEYP 2/2/2010 8:40PM

    You poor dear! What a nightmare! She should move in with her daughter..?! Try your best not to bitch slap her at the funeral. Bob's poor son and wife..I feel so sorry for them. It's bad enough for him to lose his father but to have to deal with that...my goodness! I'm glad you were there to show them some love.

You must be exhausted in more ways than one.
I could feel the stress coming through the screen. You absolutely HAVE to lay down the law with her..just being around her is poison! You're going to have to sit down with her and tell her EXACTLY what you will do to help her and what you WILL NOT do to help her...that's really the most loving thing to do.

Nothing you say or do will change her...but you can change how much contact you have with her and how much time you and your DH decide is reasonable as far as helping her. You can even tell her how many phone calls per day you will take from her and give her the name of some agencies or services that she can call for help....what else can you do? My goodness.

You'll never please her or make her happy...nothing you do or don't do will ever be good enough...so if it was me, I would make it absolutely clear to her what you are willing to do..and stick to your guns.

I'll keep you in my prayers...hang in there!
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Comment edited on: 2/2/2010 8:41:27 PM

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ZEBMONKEY1274 2/2/2010 8:10PM

  (((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))))).


I work full time and don't have time to do half of my housework, let alone anyone else's. I wouldn't know how to deal with someone like that.

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CRISCOBEAR 2/2/2010 8:05PM

    My sympathies to Bob's family, and you. Toxic MIL are without a doubt one of the most stressful things in life. My dh and I had this kind of issue (toxic MIL) and its ended up, we no longer communicate with her directly. My dh does not visit his family (he was adopted) and he restrains himself to 1 or 2 phone calls a month with her. He does speak to his father on a weekly basis. But he had to make this choice because of the tormoil he was dealing with. Best of luck to you.

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LABYRINTH 2/2/2010 7:51PM

    My sympathies to Bob's son and his wife. I am sure you will be the rock to lean upon during this difficult time.

In re: to her getting money back, she needs to sue Bob's estate. I wouldn't give her a dime.

For you, ((hugs)) but I would strongly advise (coming from some toxic family relationships myself, that you block her number at your house and tell your DH that he will need to deal with her on his own - either that or look to having an ulcer or a heart attack yourself induced by this womans' CONFLAMA (conflict + drama)

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All of the little things add up!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

This morning before I went out for my bike ride, I took a container of cooked, steel cut oats out of the fridge, to have for breakfast when I came home. I warmed it up, added a banana and some almond milk, and was good to go. This made me think about all of the little things that I do, that make this journey easier. My DH teases me about being a 'list maker', but it's a habit I got into years ago to help keep myself organized. It's one of my quirks, but it works for me! I never leave the house to go shopping without my steno tablet - I would be lost without it. I can't stand having a bunch of notes on loose pieces of paper, I would rather have it all in one place - my trusty tablet.

I really appreciated all of the helpful ideas that you all gave me in yesterday's Meatball blog. So I thought that if you guys could pass on new ideas to me, maybe I could return the favor. I love learning new stuff! Up until 2 years ago, I had a small wholesale baking business. I quickly learned the value of being organized and a well stocked freezer. I realized that if I wasted ingredients or my time, that it threw off my bottom line. I took what I learned in my business and let it spill over into how I ran our house. Below are some of the things I do to save time and money.


I soak steel cut oats in water, in a container in the fridge overnight, which cuts down on cooking time. I ALWAYS make twice the amount needed, and portion it into glass Pyrex containers with snap on lids, pop it into the fridge for breakfast the next day.

Despite the fact that we live in Florida and MUST keep a case of bottled water on hand during hurricane season, I stopped buying it for every day use. I use a Brita pitcher and filter the water and fill our own bottles. Saves the landfill too!

I keep cut up veggies in containers on hand for snacking. I also buy the big bags of organic baby-cut carrots at Sam's Club, the price is fair and they're ready to go.

I always have Cedar's brand Tzatziki in the fridge to put on top of potatoes, mixed in with mayo in tuna or chicken salad, but mostly to dip my veggies into. Tzatziki is a strained yogurt dip with garlic, cucumber, and dill. I buy it at either BJ's Wholesale Club or Sam's Club in a 24 oz container for $4.88. And the best part - 2 tablespoons is only 35 CALORIES! You can make your own, and there are even recipes for it on Spark.

I have a problem with milk, and can only tolerate up to about 6 tablespoons a day in my coffee. I also can't eat regular yogurt, but I CAN eat strained yogurt with the whey removed. Instead of buying Greek yogurt, I strain my own. I buy large containers of plain non-fat yogurt, and dump it into a colander that I lined with a paper coffee filter. I then put the colander into a bowl to catch the liquid that drains off, and put the whole assembly into the fridge for a couple of hours. I put the strained yogurt back into it's original container and keep it on hand in the fridge. The longer you let it drain, the thicker it will become, and it's a heck of a lot cheaper than buying Greek yogurt.

When I make my lunch today, I'll also make hubby's lunch for tomorrow. It saves time in the morning and ensures that he has something healthy - as long as he stays away from the pizza, wings, and other crap food people bring in and scarf down!

Portioning food has become a valuable tool for me. I'll wash a large container of grapes, and portion them into 1 cup plastic containers, and stack them in the fridge. This way they're ready for hubby's lunch or a snack - and I know the amount that I'm eating.

I'll buy the family size packages of chicken breasts, and roast them ALL on a large sheet pan. When they're cool enough to handle, I'll remove the skin and bones, slice or shred the meat, and put it into freezer containers. When I need cooked chicken for a recipe, chicken salad, or to put on top of a salad - it's ready.

When I make chicken for dinner, I always make twice the amount - I LOVE leftovers! Last night I made lemon garlic chicken with artichokes, and tonight we're having the leftover chicken for dinner. I also do the same thing when I make brown rice. I'll cook 2-3 times what I need, portion it into containers, and put it into the fridge or freezer. So dinner tonight is a snap because the chicken and rice are already done. Tonight I'm going to broil some portabella mushrooms with balsamic dressing, and I'll make extra, and morph the leftover mushrooms into dinner tomorrow.

When I make soup or marinara sauce, I always make extra, and put it into containers and pop it in the freezer, for those nights you want something easy.

I make roasted veggies often, and I put the leftovers into small containers in the freezer. I'll use them in an omelet or wrapped in tortillas with some chicken or beans.

When I make meatballs, I bake them on a sheet pan covered with heavy duty foil that I sprayed with cooking spray. Clean up is a breeze. I put the cooled meatballs into freezer bags and pop them into the freezer. They don't stick together, and you can just pull out what you need.

Since Florida can be the bug capital of the world, and the thought of it alone grosses me out, I keep all of my grains in sealed containers in the pantry or fridge. I bought a bunch of cheap measuring cups, and have a measuring cup in each container of oats, rice, couscous, etc. This way there's NO excuse for portion distortion! (Thanks Anita-love that term)


If anyone can take away 1 new idea from this blog, that makes things easier for them, or saves time and/or money - great! I think that these little things add up and make my life easier, but the MOST important part - it helps me stay on track!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NGCHILD 1/25/2010 4:06PM

    Great ideas Doreen!! I have never heard of Tzatziki but I am going to check it out. I do alot of the same things ... great minds think alike!!

My parents grow sweet potatoes in their garden and every year my dad grows one bigger than the last year. In summer of 2008 he had several 8 pounders. I know .. GASP right? Well we thought it would be woody so my mom and I cut into it and it was perfection. I helped her peel it and cut it up and we then boiled it and put it into serving size baggies in the freezer. In summer of 2009 he had a 12 pounder .... can't wait for 2010!!

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CATHYGETSFIT 1/24/2010 11:19AM

    Wow, emoticon Doreen for sharing! I do a lot of these things except that I don't bring a tablet. I use my phone for notes. I will be using a lot of your ideas though. I can't find Greek yogurt here in hillbilly country and have always wanted to make some but it sounded complicated. I will try it the way you said you do it though. Also, I don't write down a shopping list instead I memorize them using what's called a tree list. Years ago, there was an infomercial on television selling Kevin Trudeau's Mega Memory Workbook. I didn't buy it but DH's brother did and DH had it while we were going to college. So that is what I use for memorizing lists of things. Here is a link to the workbook online if you'd like to try it out: http://www.scribd.com/doc/7550918/K
evin-Trudeau-Mega-Memory-Workbook Just copy and paste into your browser of course. Also, it came with tapes to listen to but they really aren't necessary. There are other systems out there if you prefer to use them but I got started with Kevin Trudeau's list. Anyway, I hope that maybe that will help you out. emoticon

Cathy

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LAMOUR0 1/23/2010 8:15PM

    Wonderful ideas, Doreen, thanks for sharing. The only thing I might offer you is the water bottle thing. It sounds like you still might still use plastic and refill them, you didn't specify. If you do, not healthy for you (can be cancer causing). I stopped buying bottled water 2 years ago, as well as not refilling plastic bottles and invested in a few SIGG stainless steel water bottles (for the three of us). Much better for you and come in beautiful colors and creative designs. I drink way more water this way and out kitty cat can't decide to share when she is thirsty (like she did with our glasses of water sitting around). Thanks again.....I will try some of your ideas soon!

Heather

Comment edited on: 1/23/2010 8:16:26 PM

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RASTUS55 1/22/2010 10:04PM

    You are even more awesome then I knew....great ideas! I love being organized and these ideas will help keep me that way!! Thanks Doreen!
Ruth


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MTNHIKER1971 1/22/2010 12:57AM

    great Doreen... printed and ready to implement them.... good call. I heard that Steel Cut oatmeal tastes horrible compared to regular old fashion oats. is it true? I almost picked up some because of the Men's Health article about it, but my goddaughter made an awful face and said do you know how long that stuff takes to cook.... so I put it back on the shelf.

Thanks again for posting the tips... it's cool that we share our tips and tricks with each other.



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MMICKEYP 1/22/2010 12:44AM

    Great blog! Well, I'll certainly take more than one thing from it! Thanks for posting. My hubby is an Over the Road truck driver/trainer and it's been a real challenge for him to get good nutrition out there. I invested in a foodsaver and it helps to make entire meals that he can warm up and put in his refrigerated cooler..then warm up later. I love this foodsaver so much I'm shrink wrapping everything! lol ..well, at least until the novelty wears out. It IS those little things that really become so important to us and help keep us on track. Keep sparkin'! Love to try new things, thanks for the ideas! emoticon emoticon

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NOTABOUTHEFACE 1/21/2010 7:29PM

    Excellent ideas! I do a few of those but will make sure to implement some others. Perhaps...to quote Blue Clues...I can be like you and get my "handy dandy notebook!"

Bow bow booooooooooooow!!

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TAKINGCAREOFKIM 1/21/2010 6:34PM

    I'm not even close to being as organized as you! Thanks for some great tips!

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FLYINGB16 1/21/2010 5:46PM

    Great ideas! I am a fellow list maker so I understand the NEED to keep lists. Nothing fulfills me like a list with everything highlighted (that means I'm done). I love shopping the sales and I use coupons -ALWAYS- but only for things we already buy. We don't have a warehouse club near us but they are supposed to build a Sam's in the next year or so. I am looking forward to it. I portion out things like granola in small containers so I don't have to spend time measuring everyday. I am working on eating less processed food but it's going to take some time. I think your ideas about cooking ahead will help. emoticon

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TRAVELNISTA 1/21/2010 5:11PM

    emoticonideas and emoticon for sharing. It is important that we plan ahead and are organized and all of the tips will help a lot of us to be successful on our weight loss journey's.

I love tzatziki and I never thought of putting it on a baked potato. emoticon ideas.

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