I’ve been dealing with difficult people all my life as I’m sure many of you have. At the moment I’m dealing with a difficult FIL. He seems to be judgemental to me but very subtle about it. I feel so much anger towards him all the time even though I only see him at Christmas for 2 weeks and in the spring for 2 weeks.
At first it was important to me to take what he said seriously and try to explain myself. I felt I had to defend against comments like “Sick people look sick” which was a comment he made to the room in general (he does that alot) when we were alone. I had to get him to repeat it, it was said so casually yet seemed so loaded. He repeated it and I went into once again trying to explain that I am sick with Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome and Fibromyalgia and that in my case they are both severe diseases and disabling even though I don’t look sick. It’s very common for ill people to look well that have all sorts of devastating diseases actually.
The thing is, he knew that this is something I’m dealing with and have been for years…not being believed.
So at first I thought it was about me not being able to pull my own weight and him concerned I was faking and taking advantage of his son. (I became disabled on the 3rd day of our honeymoon)
But now I’m realising that my FIL is on my case about everything. He now says he accepts my illness but I think that’s because he’ll look unPC to his family if he doesn’t since they all seem to believe me.
Anyway, what I’m concerned about is his constant barrage of verbal abuse. He says things like “Look at her, she doesn’t even know what she wants!” about me if i take a min. to answer a question. He acts like everything we discuss is a contest with a winner and a loser. It’s odd when he acts like he lost and I’m just defending my right to exist the way I want to. It’s even odder that most of the time he acts like he’s won or somehow I end up feeling like he’s just one-upped me over something that shouldn’t be a contest. Like the time he said that fiber optic lights would look good on my dark blue bedroom ceiling and when I agreed he said,“Listen to her, she’s serious! I was just joking”. It’s like he’s setting me up to be trapped and then I take the bait and he attacks me.
I’m really hurting over this, I want to get along with him but when I try to tell him how he’s making me feel, he claims he’s just joking all the time. Believe me, they’re not jokes. Especially not the racial slurs he says about other people that I’m sure he knows bothers me.
It’s getting to the point that i don’t care what he thinks anymore, even if it’s that I’m a malingerer (I’m 90% bedridden but look and act remarkably well when I can be up and about). I’m very concerned about staying at his house over Christmas. Now that I’ve confronted him and he’s just brushed it off, I may just blow up at his rudeness.
I’ve tried so long to give him the benefit of the doubt but now there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s verbally abusing me. He does it most when others aren’t around. I asked him last spring if he sometimes pushes peoples’ buttons to try to rile them up and he didn’t answer since my husband jumped in to try come to his rescue but my FIL did get a wry little smile on his face which looked like he knew he did try to push buttons to me.
It took alot of writing just to give you, dear reader, a small glimpse of this situation but I would love some input from those of you who would like to respond and who’ve made it this far
Thank you for listening,