Posts Tagged ‘in-laws’

In-Laws, How to Share a Loved One

February 20, 2010

In this culture we don’t have a say in choosing who our children will marry, and they may very well marry someone with emotional issues or someone who hates their new in-laws.  Whats a parent to do?  I wrote this little scene after listening to families struggle with new additions who aren’t connecting.

I have a baby tiger in my garden.  It is not at all tame, and it appears to have some old, unhealed wounds.  I have been trying to get close, but it growls and hisses.  Sometimes, when I speak gently to it, I can draw closer, and then it bites or gives me a nasty scratch.  I don’t hate it when it bites and scratches.  I know it is what it is.  Its not tamed, and its protecting itself.  I do wish I could get a vet to look at its wounds, or an expert who can help me tame it.  But I can’t do those things, for it doesn’t belong to me.  My child, whom I love very much, has brought it into my garden.  So for the sake of my child, it is welcome.  I hope someday it will become used to me, and the growling and hissing will stop.  It may never let me touch it, but perhaps we can both be in the garden in peace.

Baby Tiger

August 22, 2008

My daughter-in-law Marie has been having serious issues with her son and his wife.  I have written about this in previous posts.  Marie has seen a family counselor to help her cope with her own anxiety and difficulties.  The family counselor has suggested Marie’s daughter in law has behavior in common with borderline personality disorder, and even if that is not the case, Marie could find a lot of help in borderline personality disorder websites.  The counselor also told Marie something I find helpful in my own life.  I am probably codependent myself.  I am a “fixer”.  I like to think I can make things better for people, that I can help them find their answers, and that my love will somehow be healing.  I have bumped up against some tough folks in my life who just don’t respond to any of my “niceness”.  Anyway, here’s what the counselor told Marie.

Your son has brought a baby tiger into your garden.  She is a beautiful creature, and quite magnificent in many ways.  However, she has been severely injured.  The injury just doesn’t seem to be healing, and she is very protective of herself.  The injury isn’t your fault–it happened a long time ago.  However, both your son and youself are in danger if you get too close to her.  She is so defensive of her wounds that she will bite and shred you whenever you get too close.  Often you won’t see it coming, because you will feel she is trusting you more and you are succeeding.  It will be particularly difficult when you watch her bite and shred your son, but if you get involved, you may be seriously injured yourself.  Don’t blame her for what she is.  She is badly wounded.  All you can do is hope one day she will allow someone to get close who is trained to help her.  Meanwhile, you are not that person!  Take care of yourself first.  And remember, if she has cubs, she may well get worse.  She may not let you near the cubs.

Not exactly full of hope for a “fixer”, but still it helps me to have compassion for people like this in my life, instead of being angry or bitter toward them.