Sunday, January 4, 2009

Am I crazy??

The mail came today, and in it was a letter from my crazy ex-sister-in-law. I know I've written posts about her before, but here's a summary of the situation:

Crazy SIL = mental health issues, drug/drinking addictions, in jail/rehab, divorced from MM's brother, was pregnant with fourth child (not sure of paternity, not her ex-husband), nobody would speak to her, baby was going to foster care, she's from NY and has lived in AZ, got in trouble passing through TX, knows no one here but us.

Me = feels horrible for crazy SIL, and even worse for innocent baby, convinces MM we need to take care of baby to keep him out of foster care, takes guardianship of baby at two days old.

SIL's dad = lives in NY, thinks daughter should be forced by state to have tubes tied, wants baby to be taken away from her permanently, refuses to speak to her or take baby until he realizes that said baby won't be taken from her by state and no, they won't just sterilize her without her permission, decides he wants baby after all because hey, he's got two of her kids already and what's one more, works on convincing SIL that she should give baby to him.

OK, I think those are the more pertinent details. So....Hubby gets promotion, we need to move less than 100 miles away [(but across state lines) which has since changed], SIL freaks out and tells everyone we're moving and "she'll never see her baby again" and begs her daddy to take him. Doesn't tell us until a week after her dad calls to tell us. After seven months of caring, feeding, clothing, diapering and loving bubby, after taking him to see her every week while she's 30 miles from us, and then taking him hundreds of miles away to see her (with us footing most all of the bill) when she was moved, she doesn't trust us. She literally told people we were going to disappear with him. 'Cause apparently what we did was all just an elaborate ploy to steal her child. We're sneaky like that.

So. Months and months ago I told her I was going to get her this self-help book she wanted - some Joel Osteen book. And I had it in my cart at Amazon for months. We haven't heard from her since all this happened, just one brief 'sorry, this is what I'm doing' letter after the fact, and that's it. So I send her the book for Christmas. Because I'm nice. And there wasn't even the tiniest bit of sarcasm to my gift. I did not send it because, obviously, NOBODY needs help more than her. Not at all what I was thinking. Really. (Heh.)

Anyway. I didn't send a card or a note, just the book. And today I get a letter from her. And she's just saying, 'oh, how was your Christmas, mine was fine, yep still here, blah blah blah, hope you had a good holiday, thanks for the book, blah blah blah' like nothing ever happened. Doesn't even mention bubby or anything.

I don't know what exactly I was expecting, but that wasn't really it. I'm not even sure why I sent the book. Because I can't drop something and let it go? Because I can't figure out how you can do so much for someone, give them a chance when NO ONE else in their life will, and then still end up getting stabbed in the back? Because I want an explanation or an apology, preferably both? Because the "Top Ten Reasons My SIL Is A Crazy Bitch" PowerPoint presentation I created just didn't make me feel as good as I expected it to? (Yes, I make PowerPoint presentations when I'm upset. What of it?)

I wrote back and asked a few questions, like 'what's happening, you were supposed to have been released, why are you still there, why aren't you in NY yet'. You know, those types of questions. I don't know what I expect from that either. I haven't sent it yet. I'm not sure I will. But by sending the book, I opened some sort of door, and I can't decide whether to keep it open, or slam it shut and run for the hills. With my hands over my ears. Going LALALALALALALALALA, so I can't hear anything.

I know I should just leave it alone, but it's like some annoying itch I can't scratch, or maybe the last cookie in the cookie jar, just calling my name. I want an explanation from her. And I know that it's really, really dumb to expect one. How do you explain crazy? How do you apologize for being mentally unsound? I mean, she's not going to say, 'yep, sorry about all that, you know I'm unbalanced and I told you no sudden moves, what did you expect?' or something along those lines, right?

So, what to do, what to do....I need to find somewhere else to focus my attention. The house isn't selling, I'm at loose ends. I'm so glad Anatomy and Physiology is starting in a few weeks. That oughta keep me busy, right? And homeschooling. Maybe we'll start a foreign language this year. We've been talking about Greek. Because, you know, it's so useful to know here in West Texas. There's a huge Greek population. Huge. And Eva, I can focus on training Eva. That should keep me occupied.

You know what's going to happen, right? The house will sell the day I start class. We won't be able to find somewhere else to go, I'll be packing and house-hunting and moving and home schooling and taking mid-terms or finals all at the same time. Crazy SIL will be in a half-way house nearby, calling me, crying 'I'm so sad and lonely, I miss my kids, please come and be my friend, I'm sorry I'm crazy, you know I can't help it' all because I just had to send the frickin' book, because I couldn't leave it alone. No good can come of that, my friends, no good at all. And I'll be reduced to sitting on the floor in a puddle of tears, rocking back and forth and begging for it to all be over, hoping to break an arm or something because forallthatisholy I just need to rest.

But at least I won't be taking in crazy people's children, or the crazy people themselves. Because, if nothing else, I have learned a lesson: if you're going to take in strays, stick to dogs. And that is all that matters.


sixgables said...

Howdy, thanks for reading my haiku....Yowsa, you've got quite a tale here and you don't know me from Adam (but Amy will vouch for me. Just as she would for Adam), but I'll just say: Crazy. After that, there is no making sense of it in a rational world. Crazy people don't behave rationally, except by accident. That's why we call them crazy. I was a psych major 20 years ago. I know things.

Zayna said...

Talk about being between rocks and hard places.

My heart goes out to you. To do so much for "family" and to endure such lack of appreciation at the same time isn't easy.

And though I understand to a degree, I can only imagine how difficult it is when there is a baby you've been caring for involved.

I wish you all the best. Is Bubby still in your care?

lisafer said...

No, Zayna, Bubby is with his grandfather now. As difficult as it was to go through, it was probably easier to see him go when he was seven months old rather than 12 or 18 months old. And he never had to go through the foster care system, so no regrets. As an added bonus, now I get to admire his mom's crazy from afar, which is a good thing.

Thank you, Zayna and Sixgables, for your kind words!