Mother in law = Woman Hitler.
My mother in law lives up to that anagram. Also, she’s one of those people that calls her BMW a “Bimmer.”
My father-in-law might not like that I’m porking his daughter, but he likes me. My mother-in-law thinks I’m Satan’s spawn (and a complete idiot to boot) and uses every opportunity to tell people that I’m lazy and just sit around playing video games all day. Half of the family listens, the other half ignores her.
The problem is the amount of contact I have with the family members that listen to her. Nearly every time I go to a family function, someone brings up a job I should take, or a field of study I should pursue so that “when I get tired of playing video games all day,” I’ll be ready. It’s that quote that lets me know they’ve gotten their information from the Bitch in the Bimmer. Her powers of manipulation are so extensive that they’re almost a super power, so I do my best not to blame those that fall prey to it.
I’m not an idiot. I know who my enemy is. However, when I follow up with the reality that I’m a writer in the middle of my third novel, they act like that’s just as useless.
When people treat me like my life’s passion is a waste of time, it derails me. I can’t comprehend how they think that writing is a waste of time because all of them read.
I was dealing with it mostly fine until I found out that one of them (we’ll call him Blondie) is writing their first novel and everyone else thinks it’s so great. I wanted to throw things and scream, even shake some people violently.
This, folks, was when I realized I was stuck in an insane thought cycle from which there was no logical escape. There is no logic in their thought process. Instead, their thought process is based solely on the emotion of attachment.
To them, Blondie is doing a valuable thing because they value him. And for me (thanks to the Bitch in the Bimmer), my writing is a waste of time because they perceive me as a waste of time .
I could have let that depressing reality crush me, but instead I found a cure.
The (very simple) cure was reminding myself that none of these people would mean anything to me if they weren’t my in-laws. For that singular reason, I shouldn’t care what they think. I’ll appreciate the ones that love me, but there’s no reason I should worry over the ones that don’t like me because of what someone else said about me. I can’t please people that have resolved to never be pleased with me.
I’ll still be courteous, but I’m not going to fuss over their opinions of me, anymore. I can wish upon them the happiness and success that they do not wish upon me.
So, back to my point.
The reason in-laws suck is because they’re a trap. And I mean a you-need-Admiral-Ackbar kind of trap. Your spouse loves your in-laws, and they are a huge part of their life, so they become important to you. Due to that, their opinion of you matters. No one wants their spouse spending time with their family and getting an earful of why they hate you, so their opinion of you becomes even more important than the opinions of your own family.
Writers (and artists) have been met with similar distaste for ages, and we all need to learn to get rid of our opinions of it before it destroys our confidence and our art. We can’t let other people make us feel like we’re worthless.
I did not come equipped with this ability when I was spawned, so I have to learn it on my own. I am just now learning this and my wounds are recent and deep, so it might be a while before I get to practice putting this into action. I need to heal first, and you might need to heal before you can handle it, too. I wanted to tell you my story while it was fresh and relevant in the hope that it would help you more.
If it helps, come up with an “In-Law Manifesto.” Mine is a simple statement:
The Bitch in the Bimmer can hate me all she wants, but I’m still going to write books…
Oh, and she can go fuck herself because my blog is being followed by a publisher.
This is water. Make good art.
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