Fallout

I’m warning you in advance that the word “fuck” appears 12 13 times in this post. If you are offended by my cursing, I suggest taking a break from my blog for the next 4-8 years.

We drove home from my in laws’ house yesterday. It’s about a 2-3 hour drive and Charlotte was taking a much-needed nap, so we were both quiet. I was browsing Facebook on my phone and Catch was driving.

I don’t know how long I’d been engrossed in my phone, but when I looked over at Catch, I saw tears running down her face.

This is what my in laws do to us. Her, especially. It has been one of my biggest struggles since the election the day I walked into a restaurant to meet them for the first time and came face to face with my FIL’s confederate flag t-shirt.

But specific to the election—how does our little family accept that people who claim to love us and our daughter so much voted for a man who won’t stand up for us? How do we make peace with the fact that fetuses and guns are more important to them than their daughter and granddaughter? How?

I am completely at a loss.

We went to the beach on Saturday. My in laws have been dying to take Charlotte to the beach ever since she was born. They asked if we’d take a photo of them with Charlotte for their Christmas cards.

It took absolutely every ounce of strength I had to allow that photo to happen. I was so angry. So incredibly fucking seething mad. I wanted to rip Charlotte from their arms and throw the camera in the ocean.

No. You cannot claim our baby girl. Not if you refuse to do everything in your power to protect her. You cannot say you love her when you use your power against her best interests.

FUCK YOU.

That is all I could think this weekend. FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU.

Catch is hurt and confused. She loves her parents. She hoped they would do better. Me? There’s no love between me and my in laws. I’m just angry. So incredibly angry.

So what do we do? How do we move forward?

We have no idea. Absolutely no idea.

We could cut them off. Write them out of our lives completely. The devil on my shoulder pops the champagne when I say things like that, but I don’t actually believe that’s the answer.

I think the answer is complicated. To begin with, I think we need to reclaim the power in this relationship. I don’t want to hold our daughter over their heads like a pawn, but that’s really what it comes down to. You want Charlotte in your life? You need to be decent human beings.

We’re not asking for much. We’re asking for them to respect the future we’re trying to shape for our little girl.

On Friday night, we had Sesame Street on. A black bear came on the screen and my FIL said, “Oh look, it’s Obama.”

What. The. Fuck.

I mean for starters—huh? It’s a bear. A muppet bear. WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA? He meant it as an insult, but what’s insulting about that?

Bears = TOUGH

Bears = STRONG

Bears = DON’T FUCK WITH ME

So fuck yeah, OBAMA = BEAR

Really though, it’s goddamn Sesame Street. Can we just shut up and learn about the number of the fucking day? Can we just let Sesame Street be fucking Sesame Street?

That’s what I want going forward. I want a muppet to just be a damned muppet. Check your confederate flags at the door. Leave your gun at home. Shut up about your religion. JUST BE A FUCKING GRANDPARENT.

OR ELSE!

I can say that now! I’m a mom! DO IT OR ELSE!

Or else what?

OR ELSE WHATEVER THE FUCK WE DECIDE. KEEP PUSHING US AND YOU’LL FIND OUT.

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23 thoughts on “Fallout

  1. Oh my friend, I hear you and I understand you. Please know you are not alone and I’m sending so much love your way.
    We too have an “or else” in our relationship with Mr. MPB’s parents for a few different reasons. We don’t know what that or else means, but one day we may find out. In many ways I’d love to cut them out, but I also know that’s not the answer. But I don’t know what is.

  2. Holy fuck (I hope it’s okay that I’m following you on that one – there’s been a lot of “fuck this” and “fuck that” in our house lately – we’re going to have some deprogramming to do…). I want to give you all a big hug right now. Or maybe a glass of the blueberry infused vodka my parents made this week. Or how about both? I knew it was bad, I didn’t know it was that bad. I have been there with every instinct telling me to *get my kid the fuck out and never look back* and also, it’s not just up to be because it’s not my birth family. Dammit friend. I’m just so damn sorry.

  3. OMG I am so sorry. So, so sorry. I wish like anything you had different in-laws.

    FYI, loved the cursing. Just like I loved how my daughter’s pastor started out their prayer at Wednesday night worship last week (she lives in Baltimore and I’m in Kansas. She’s found an awesome ELCA Lutheran church there):

    “Dear God: WHAT THE FUCK?”

    I’m with him all the way on that one, and I know that’s what his people needed to hear that night. A few weeks ago he married a pagan lesbian couple who are part of their community. I’m so thankful that our daughter has found her tribe so far from home. And I wish the same for you.

    • I love your daughter’s pastor! Thank you for the kind words. I’m only just now realizing that we haven’t put nearly enough effort into finding our tribe. Time to start!

  4. Friend, at Callie’s “Thanksgiving before Thanksigivng” who ALL voted for Trump with the exception of Callie’s 18 year old first time voter nice. I saw her siting at a table full of WOMEN defending her reason for voting for Hillary, asking how they could, if they are “as inclusive” as the claim to be, vote for a man like that. Their response? “what choice did we have?! ” And i heard her defending the rights of so many people the disapproving looks of her entire family. As much as I wanted to defend her, i took my CLEARLY Latino ass and my 4 children into the other room, because there are 3 possible outcomes to me speaking up…1) I’ll get asked to leave, and despite everything, i Love her family. 2) I woulda lost my shit and flipped the FUCK out on everyone and then cursed them all out in Spanish as i slammed every glass door in that place. and 3) Callie would have to step in and defend me, and then…well, WWIII would seriously have started Saturday night.

    I completely get what you’re saying though…you wanna give them ultimatums but then you’re the asshole for doing it.

      • I think that’s the MAIN reason I didn’t say anything. This election cycle has been REALLY emotional for me. Like feeling WAY too much, and I think that I have allowed these really HUGE emotions to cloud some of my judgement (and i mean that in the sense that, I have said things that I probably never would have said or done things I never would have done had i not been so emotional and invested, but honestly, these are HUGE things to be worried about) because of this NEED to prove how fucked up Trump people are. It’s not even worth it anymore. So I step away, and cling to the people who are just as scared, or just as angry, or just as dissappointed. It’s so so hard though..really really fucking hard!

  5. Oh, friend. There has never been a better time for the word ‘fuck’. I’m so sorry that you’re in this situation. My in-laws are also quite conservative, and it is so hard to reconcile their politics with their deep love for their daughter and granddaughter. Hope you find a way to move forward with Catch’s parents, and personally I think it’s a-okay to leverage their love of Charlotte to get them to behave.

  6. Oh god. I’m so sorry. I wish this blog site allowed us to have wine delivered to each other!! I’m so dreading our next visit to the in-laws. One of them voted for Trump and the other just didn’t vote – almost as bad in my book. Gonna have to take a shot or two before we walk in the door. Although if my FIL were to make that Obama comment, there’s no fucking way I could hold my tongue. Find your tribe! We feel so lucky to be surrounded by like minded families and friends. When Mabel is older, each visit to our families (mine included) will have to begin and end with a little talk about “views that are different from our own.” Yeesh.

  7. Holy shit. That bit about the bear – what the ever loving fuck. I agree with you – you’re the mom and who your child spends time with is up to you. She doesn’t need to be near that kind of awful and it’s your right to protect her from it.

    I’m also having a hard time with my dad, who voted Trump. He’s here, helping out his queer daughter and her wife with their new baby and yet he could, with clear conscience,cast such a despicable vote. I couldn’t look him in the eye on Tuesday and my wife had to leave before he stopped by because she just couldn’t. Not a word has been breathed between us about it, because politics was officially banned in family conversations, but it’s an obvious elephant in the room. I’d bring it up, but I’ve tried to reason with him about politics before and he just repeats Fox News verbatim. It’s so frustrating and depressing.

    Whew, all that to say – I get it. I hope you can stand up for Charlotte and what’s right, but it’s so very hard.

  8. Families are so fucking hard. Based on the rage I feel reading your circumstance, I can’t imagine if it were my own family.

    I’m not sure how reasonable they are. But you are eventually going to have to address this. And it will be done calmly or it will end badly and I believe that is their choice. My only suggestion is to tell them you very much want them in Charlotte’s life but you also want to dictate the values she is raised with. So if you feel something they say or do is inappropriate, you will say “not around Charlotte” or “keep it to yourself” or some other code that will let them know you don’t like what they are selling. Not sure if it will work but it’s worth a shot.

    Good luck to you friend. We can’t shield our kids from all the bad shit out there but it sucks when it comes from your own circle. I truly feel for you.

  9. Wow. Just wow. Just wanted to send some support your way. That urge to say you don’t get to have her in your life if you aren’t in our corner? We deal with that too. Or I should say I do, because it’s my in laws too. We have repeatedly said over and over, u cannot talk that way in front of her and yet they still do. It’s infuriating and so freaking hurtful. I would love to write our family like this off, but it’s not possible as it’s my partners only family still alive. And it breaks my heart because I feel like it tears at our relationship the worst because I feel this visceral motherly need to protect her from this. I’m struggling with it so badly and don’t have any answers but just wanted to say FUCK! You aren’t alone. ❤️

  10. Wow. Just wow. I can’t imagine letting somebody like that around my daughter. I really feel for you. What a horrible position they have put you in. We talk about race non stop in our house, and I imagine our 4 year old would call out your in-laws for that behavior considering how openly awful it is. I’m so fucking sorry.

  11. Sister, you’re speaking my language. I’ve been so fucking mad at my FIL for so long and the election has made it worse. He actually had the fucking nerve to comment on one of the posts that I shared about a hate crime against a muslim woman that “it had nothing to do with the election.” Fuck no. He’s been sharing the most vile shit on facebook too. i have him hidden but I’m a glutton for punishment so i go over and check every once in a while. I feel the same way about letting him claim Charlie. He shares the pictures that I post of her and the only reason I let it happen is because my settings are so tight that I know none of his people can see them. He doesn’t know that because he’s fucking idiot, but I do and I revel in it. I told Chief the other day that I never wanted to see his parents again. i regret saying it and I apologized, but I feel it.

  12. I stand next to you in the complicated relationship involving in-laws group.

    We are leaving Saturday to spend the week with Erin’s family, and both her mother and grandmother are Trump supporters. My sister in law told me that when they were over there this past week, their grandmother was quoted in saying, “You better get down on your knees and thank God that Trump won.”

    I told Erin that I will not have our kids around that bullshit, and I will pack them up and leave immediately if that happens. She agrees with me, but she doesn’t like it. I’m pretty sure I’ll completely verbally assault them on my way out as well.

    “How dare you tell me to be grateful that Trump won when he wants to prevent us from adopting YOUR GREAT-GRANDCHILDREN?!”

    I am so with you, and I am so sorry. It really, really sucks.

  13. I just read this I don’t know how I missed it. All I can say is, I don’t know how you didn’t kill them. There is no way I could act appropriately in this situation. No way. I can’t even LOOK at trump supporters. When I’m with my in-laws at thanksgiving, who hate trump and are democrats but drive me crazy in other ways, im going to think of you and be grateful. Poor Catch. This is just horrible. She (and you) have every right to be confused and hurt and disgusted.

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