Putting the Fun Back in Dysfunctional

It’s clear that my father-in-law is pissed at me.

I can trace it back to a conversation he and G had after grandmother died.  G was having to take time off and fly down several times over the course of about a month.  I stayed home allowing the girls to continue with school, extra curricular activities, and life.  The funeral wasn’t going to happen until later.  The act of going down there was more about settling the house and the estate – less about celebrating her life.  It was about closing a chapter in the lives of my husband, my in-laws, and G’s aunt as her passing marked the end of a long life in that house, at that place.

My father-in-law was upset that I had not dropped everything and come down there.  My goal was to keep the kids going with life – and save my vacation for the actual funeral, not the other stuff.  Plus, leaving the kids behind would have not been possible without a whole hell of a lot of coordination.  When he asked G why I wasn’t there – why I wasn’t supporting them in their time of grieving, he explained.  My FIL didn’t let the situation drop – he pushed it more, so G explained – my FIL is also hypercritical of our kids which I hate, G hates – keeping my kids in a normal life with normal adult responses is important to me – guilt and other bullshit that is my FIL’s modus operandi is something unacceptable to me.  And honestly, I look at how it fucked with G’s head – how much he struggles as an adult to be in a good place sometimes in terms of responses to things – and I don’t want that for my kids.

My FIL did not take it well.

Since then, it’s clear that I’m in the doghouse with him.

Right now, he is lobbying for us to come visit them in Southeast Asia which is where he and my mother-in-law will be over the next year.  He is pulling out all of the stops.  He wants us there for Christmas.

Problem is? I’m not sure I can do the flight.  It’s one thing to travel from the West Coast to the East Coast – it’s another to travel to SE Asia.  Towards the end of the visit today – the final visit before they leave for SE Asia – I was just having a hard time.  Caught between how I feel – the anxiety, the stress of getting on an airplane for 12 hours or more acrossed a big ocean — wanting to go take some amazing pictures — and knowing that if I cannot go….cannot get on that plane – that it’ll not be perceived as the truth (I have a phobia) but as another way I’m not supporting them – not being part of the family.

Sigh.

So here I am – feeling caught between a rock and a hard place.  Feeling pressured to do something I’m not sure I can do. Already feeling the stress of what could come over the next few months.

What a way to start my vacation….

….anxiety attack anyone?

Sigh….

What do you think?