Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Family Feud....

And for once, I'm NOT directly involved!

I do need some feedback on this particular family situation, coming as it does right before Thanksgiving, when we're all supposed to love each other and be thankful that we're family...

The Background: My husband's older brother bought his dad's house from him. His dad is building a house on his new property but it's not going to be finished until the end of January. So instead of renting a place, dad and stepmom are staying in their old room of their old house. Brother is paying the house payments, moving in his furniture and family and all that. Dad and stepmom are taking their sweet time moving OUT their things into storage, as they promised as per their sale contract.

The Problem: Stepmom acts like it is still her house. She had her teenage son move into the house, but didn't think to mention it to the actual OWNERS of the house. Brother's wife was upset by that. Teenage son moved out, back into his dad's house where he and his siblings have lived since stepmom moved out on them three+ years ago. This week, stepmom (seemingly forgetting the trouble caused when her son moved in secretly) has moved in her daughter, who drinks, smokes pot and allegedly has sex for money and drugs. Allegedly. She's in short, not a good kid. Brother has two little boys aged 7 and 2. When his wife confronted dad and stepmom about the girl moving in, they just shrugged it off and said, "she's going to be living here, I hope that's OK"

The BIGGER PROBLEM: This morning, my sister in law emailed me and told me that stepmom had moved in her daughter and that she was pissed off that they are treating her with such disrespect in her own home. Apparently, dad and stepmom are acting as if they did brother and his wife such a great service by selling them their house, when in reality they NEEDED to sell the house to get out from under debt and it is actually BROTHER who is doing the favor by letting them stay rent free while they wait for their house to be built.

Shortly after I got the email from my sister in law I got an email from stepmom. The email was actually addressed only to my husband's sister but was sent to her, my father in law AND myself. Why? I don't know.

Here's the email (with slight edits to protect the innocent):

Hello [Sister of Jessica's Husband]!!

I am so sorry that I hadn't gotten back to you sooner than this...things are so hectic lately!
I really miss you, and [your husband] and of course, [your kids]! I hope the kids are happy; I don't blame you for not wanting to home-school....it takes alot of time and energy, and a lot of money, and if the parents aren't "on the same page" entirely regarding the kids, then it causes marital problems, too.

I think your kids are too social, too loving, to just stay home. [Two of my kids] are like that. Anyway, I especially miss you now that [Brother's wife] is here. I like [her] well enough but she is very rigid and inflexible, kind of selfish really. My kids have had some trouble with their Dad since his girlfriend moved in, and she won't even let them come over here....not even one at a time for a visit. I think that is sad....more sad for her even than for us.

I wonder if [Brother] isn't secretly embarrassed by her sometimes. I remember how nice you were to the kids, how you tried to help me and pick-up [my son] from school that day...of course I told him about that. I think it is much nicer to be open to people, and to let yourself care, and you were always like that. I know people have to have boundaries, but do you have to build a frickin' castle around yourself? I have never thought of myself as a threat to anyone, and I have never wanted to.

Me and your Dad are uncomfortable even going downstairs!! I really think she has obsessive-compulsive disorder. Oh, well.....the good news is that we got a loan and they will start making the house we ordered today. We should be moving in there by the end of January...but the way things are going, it is going to feel like a long time.

Seriously, what the fuck?
Do I tell my sister in law about this bullshit, or let it go? I already emailed Bob's sister to tell HER that this email was chock full o' lies so as not to pop off an even bigger war between the sisters in law.
Happy Thanksgiving!


Amy said...

Well it totally sucks but is probably not unexpected. Did your BIL get a good deal on the house, or did he pay what they would have gotten had they sold to a third-party? If he paid normal price, I'd say he has a bit of an extra leg to stand on in standing up to them. If he got a deal, then, even though it sucks, he's stuck and should have seen something coming.

And I totally wouldn't tell the SIL what the step mom wrote to Bob's sister. Just don't go getting into the middle of it.

Freebird said...

Yeah, you don't need that kind of drama.

Jessey said...

They paid pretty much normal price, I think they paid what they would have got for the house on the open (and sagging) market. But that's just MY opinion.
People up here with 300K to burn on a house are buying brand new.

I totally didn't WANT to tell SIL the situation, but my husband has a big mouth and is a gossip and he told his OTHER brother who told BIL who tipped off SIL and I just got off the phone with her after an hour. Basically, this has solidified the daughter in laws hatred for the stepmom...it once was amorphous and ebbing, but now, it's a solid mass of hate.
sad. but true.

eaf said...

I totally need a family tree for you before I can really begin to understand this. But basically, sounds like it's time for SIL and Step-mom (if that's the right relationship) to sit down and have a chat. Obviously, they aren't seeing each others' side of the story. Perhaps step-mom is just lying, but perhaps she is really confused.

This does just rest my case on the argument "one should never do business with one's own family."

Amy said...

Elizabeth is right, no business with family or friends. Unless, of course, you are trying to get out of ever having to associate with them again, in which case it's a great idea..

Jessey said...

Elizabeth is totally right.
The stepmom truly is not living on the same planet that the rest of us are...either she has problems with perception or she is straight out pathological, my vote is for pathological.

I mean, this is the woman who told my father in law that when we lived with them that she washed all the dishes all day and cleaned the house and I did nothing, when IN FACT it was totally and completely the other way around....so...yeah, she's crazy.

eaf said...

Oh, that's not crazy. That's just mean and manipulative. I hate people who take credit for what others do. This is perhaps the reason I enjoyed this week's episode of Heroes so much. You want the glory of the rescue? Great! The serial killer will kill YOU instead! Mwuahahahaha!

Good luck, Jessey! She sounds like a stellar human being.

Jessey said...

Oh man you have NO idea!'
Now that the shit's hit the fan for her, she's lashing out.
She's spreading all kinds of shit around now about ME!
That's fucking insane.

What is that saying....
You mess with the bull, you get the horns?

She better back track her smack talk...fast.

Amy said...

Hmm, step moms are great. Not that I know from personal experience (thank god) but just the drama that goes on with David's current step mom (he had another one in junior high) is plenty. His sister recently let loose on the dad and said that the dad loves his wife more than her, never wants to see his grandson, that she hates the stepmom and the stepsister, and that the step women hate her. They were supposed to go to therapy. They did not. Surprise, the step mom does not like to see my SIL anymore. When we went to Chicago she asked David, "Are we okay?" because she was afraid he was going to let loose too. Family, yay!

Jessey said...

Now the FIL is saying that he'd rather disown his kids than lose his wife.
His fifth wife.

Amy said...

Hmm, I guess at least he still is a romantic who thinks the odds of this one working are in his favor.

My FIL did not say that, but as I said they did not go to therapy. And he still does not visit a lot. But, my SIL should not be so surprised, you cannot tell your father you despise his wife and expect them to want to visit often!

Jessey said...

Romantic, codependent
To-may-to, to-mah-to