My Thanksgiving visit to both sides of the family up in New Jersey was okay, but it has left me with a deep feeling of sadness. Acceptance, but sadness. I enjoyed seeing my sisters, my brother, my dad, step-father, nephews, nieces and a bunch of other relatives and friends. However, I was happy to return home to Texas to the peace and serenity of my humble dwelling. I was happy to escape from DYSFUNCTION JUNCTION!!
The Thanksgiving visit showed the true colors of two of my unmarried brother-in-laws who happen to be my son's favorite uncles. One pretended that he never received the e-mail that we were coming up for Thanksgiving as well as pretended that my son never mentioned our visit, so we never even saw him once during our week long visit. My son was angry and disappointed. When this uncle did call us on the phone on Thanksgiving Day, he was in New York City "dog-sitting" for some "friends." Nice to know that his friend's dogs are more important than his one and only nephew and his one and only sister-in-law who is a cancer widow, and this was our ONCE-PER-YEAR visit. Thanks for making us feel welcome, dude! This guy never answers his cell phone. We learned almost two years ago, while my husband suffered from cancer, not to expect for him to answer his calls nor to expect timely return phone calls.
The other "favorite" uncle we saw for 15 minutes the first day, but he proceeded to blow us off the next three times we called to try to get together. Then, perhaps he had a change of heart, and we did see him for a couple of hours on our last day there. Then, when he calls our home here in Texas, it seems that he really does not want to speak with me, the widow, only my son. This guy is in his 50's, yet instead acting like an uncle to my 15 year old son, he seems to treat my son as his peer. I have wondered if it is "transference" - that is - he acts like my son is the brother he lost to cancer??? I have to admit, this brother-in-law is moody, angry and .....weird.
My mother-in-law who lives in Puerto Rico, does not remember the date my husband passed or his birthday. It is a one-sided relationship. She never calls, but I call her. I find myself asking myself WHY DO I BOTHER??
It makes me wonder - is it worth even trying to keep in touch with these in-laws??? Death took my husband and I had no choice. However, I feel as if I am NOTHING to my in-laws. My brother-in-laws are all well into their 40's and 50's, none have ever married or ever stayed in a long term relationship nor had children. I'm trying to be objective, but I have observed a blantant lack of social graces, excessive negativity, a deficiency of relationship skills, and emotional UNavailability. These are things I encountered in my husband as well, but these guys take the cake!
As a widow still raising a child, I thought I should attempt to keep in touch with my husband'ss side of the family. However, now I believe perhaps I should just let the relationships FADE into oblivion. It is not what I really want, but they are hurting my son with their unavailability.
How long am I supposed to continue keeping in touch when I feel that it is not reciprocated?
Quite frankly, I am ready to throw in the towel.
Thanks for listening.