Since Blue Eyes reconnected with his parents in December, I have not had any contact with them other than the one dinner in Los Angeles. This is a good thing for me. Blue Eyes tells me they are quite often these days sending him messages asking about Portland. They express disgust with what is theoretically going on in our city, and ask what is wrong with our mayor and our governor, and why can’t someone stop the madness. And as an afterthought, are we in danger??? blah, blah, blah. They also talk about how great their mayor, governor, state, etc… is because EVERYTHING is a competition with them.
This is how we know for sure that the press is out of control and constantly looking for a titillating sound bite, and Trump will lie and conflate any situation to use for his perceived benefit. Portland is not under siege. Portland itself is a liberal city and we have a large number of people who are protesting in relation to the Black Lives Matter movement. A movement which will be ongoing until substantial strides are made in nearly every facet of how we live, especially in relation to bettering the lives of people of color. Most of those protests are centered in a specific area downtown and most are peaceful. Every once in a while tempers flare (like when Trump sends in his troops) and things get burned. Things like garbage cans. I don’t know who organized the crazy Trump pick up truck rally that happened last weekend, but I was home making apple butter and apple cider from some of our newly harvested apples.
We are at most 2.5 miles from downtown and I did not see or hear a thing. I, like most everyone else, read about it in the headlines and I am now seeing information come out about the man that was shot, but I hesitate to believe anything at this point, no matter which side it is coming from, especially if from a source on Facebook or other social media. We never really know what goes on unless we are there and seeing with our own eyes, and even then, some things are unclear. We know the man that was shot was part of the right-wing Trump rally, but we don’t know who shot him. It’s very messy, but I can only assume that the trump truck rallyers were there to take the position that black lives don’t matter? Otherwise why congregate in the middle of a peaceful protest and shoot people with pellets, beebees, and paint balls. It makes no sense and is hateful behavior driven by a hateful man hell bent on dividing our country and spreading lies, rumors, and… hate.
Back to the in-laws. When Blue Eyes reached out to his parents, he also reached out to his sister. Unfortunately his sister wasn’t very nice and so meeting with her was cancelled. She tried to include herself in Blue Eyes’ dinner plans with the parents, but Blue Eyes said no. He needed that time with them alone. This upset her and she didn’t include us in her plans for a dual birthday celebration for the parents in January. She did invite our older son. This was all good with us as it would have been awkward, to say the least.
About a month after my dad passed (end of February) the sister sent me a condolence text. I thanked her. That opened up communication and she started texting regularly. She re-friended me on Facebook and started following me on Instagram and liking every single post. Her messages have been sweet and encouraging and complimentary. I know she wants to have a relationship. Their parents are aging (80 & 85), and Blue Eyes will soon be the only family left from her childhood. I get it. She seems genuine. Unfortunately, there is a lot of baggage with her that precedes today. I want to be friendly, and kind. I’m not a hateful person, but she has been downright horrible to me and Blue Eyes in the past. No question she is her mother’s daughter.
So I am using this venue to purge my bad feelings towards this person. Not gonna lie, it was way easier without this woman in my life. But I don’t want to be a total bitch about this. I’m going to purge here and attempt with everything I’ve got to leave the bad feelings behind.
When I met Blue Eyes in early 1984, his sister and their parents were not on speaking terms. The sister was working two jobs to pay for her then husband’s drug addiction. When they divorced, he sued for palimony and sister reconciled with the parents so they would help her with a good lawyer. When Blue Eyes and I became engaged in late 1985, the sister was yet to meet her second husband. When she remarried in late 1988 (Blue Eyes was living in Japan and I was in the US) I was not invited to the wedding. Not invited. I had been engaged to her brother for three years. When Blue Eyes and I married the following year, sister’s feelings were hurt because she wasn’t invited to be IN my wedding. Mother in law tried to force me to have her daughter in the wedding. I said no. Of course she was AT the wedding, because not inviting her would be cruel, right?
Sister spent the next decade vacillating between blaming me for her horrible relationship with her own mother, and trying to drive a bigger wedge than was already there, between me and her mother.
Then there was the time I had pneumonia (full on in bed for 3 weeks pneumonia) during her daughter’s Bat Mitzvah weekend and, after getting plastered at her daughter’s party, she took out her anger at me (probably didn’t believe me) on Blue Eyes in front of our children. Really bad scene.
Then there was the time she behaved so badly at my older son’s Bar Mitzvah party that her parents didn’t speak to her for two years, which she blamed completely on me. Oy vey! 🤦🏻♀️
Throughout the entire 35 years I have known her, Blue Eyes’ sister has been competitive and unkind to me, but she has usually shown compassion for her brother. After discovery of Blue Eyes’ addiction, knowing he would be unable to share his situation with his parents, I encouraged Blue Eyes to share with his big sister and ask for her support as the one person who had known him his whole life and maybe, just maybe she would set aside her selfish ways and be there for him. I couldn’t have been more wrong and misguided. Blue Eyes’ sister became hysterical, blaming him for bringing her into his horrible situation and causing her stress and anxiety. She then set about trying to turn me and Blue Eyes against each other! She told me she couldn’t believe I would stay with such a horrible person. Meanwhile, she was also speaking with her brother telling him he must have done the things he did because I was a horrible wife. Unbelievable!
Blue Eyes determined at that point that his sister was just as unsafe as his parents and we met with her and her husband and said we were going no contact until Blue Eyes felt he could handle and feel safe in a relationship with her again. She was furious. Then six months later she started contacting him obsessively saying he had told her he needed six months and his six months was up. She hounded him for weeks until he finally told her he would contact her when he was ready. That was 5 1/2 years ago.
I have now exhausted myself thinking back over all this and the vast majority of what has transpired has been left unspoken. I’m pretty sure under all the childhood wounds, abuse, and bad behavior, the sister wants to be a good person and a decent sister in law. I’m going to give her that chance, but I also have on my protective armor… the armor I constructed for myself when I found out my husband is a lying, cheating sex addict.