I have never made any real secret on here that my sister-in-law tends to make me crazy. I remember meeting her and finding her so overbearing and making myself pretend I didn't feel that way because I was so glad to see my brother happy. And for years as angry as she has made me and as hurt as she has made me at times I have been glad my brother had her. My brother can be an intense experience as well, and he has his own set of issues from growing up. He's considerably older than I am and we didn't really grow up together and things were very different for him, but my father was terribly cruel to him because my father didn't want him. He was the result of a teenage pregnancy and my father was involved with someone else when forced to marry my mother. In later years my father would claim he never wanted any of us (even though I was conceived after years of infertility before that was really treatable so he sort of knew what was ahead if that succeeded) but that was more a way to hurt than truth. My brother he truly resented. My sister-in-law made my brother happy, gave him a path in life that he was finally happy to follow, and they just were a pair because they were so alike in so many ways.
Last week my mother and I started wondering if something was seriously wrong. My sister-in-law has been away for a while because of the death of one of her parents and then she went away for a while after that. Her trip plans were weird and we had a discussion about "could there be problems?" "no, everything seems fine". And her behavior had been normal enough for her, right down to asking to borrow money to go away after the funeral.
At Christmas she was plain weird. One of her weirder things is that she'd never made an effort to meet my niece. So soon after my sister arrived and I was holding my niece I carried her over and told her "now you need to meet your aunt um... Doris". My sister-in-law did not talk to her, reach for her (despite that I was practically holding her between us), or anything and paid little attention to her the entire day. As per usual she made me angry, once by doing precisely what you don't do when someone gives you a handmade gift and is trying to explain something about it, interrupting about how it wasn't going to work, without even giving it a shot or letting me finish my sentence. And as per tradition she made an inappropriate joke about psych patients at dinner then commented how she has the right to do this because she worked in a psychiatric hospital for several years. It's totally inappropriate for one thing because it's making fun of ME to say the kind of things she was saying, and also because there is a time. I have hilarious stories from my years of working in psych and some I'll share but in the correct context and only with respect. I never have laughed at my patients in a cruel manner nor did anyone that I worked with, where she seems to have the idea that messing with people's psychotic minds is funny.
Anyway, during Christmas I noticed my brother was tense and that the two of them didn't talk much. Again we blamed it on grief.
And today we found out she's moving out and they are getting divorced. And while I've always been willing to be rid of dealing with her I find that that was always hidden behind that "but she makes my brother happy" thing and now all I want is to have my brother's life by happy again, even if it require medication for me to handle time with her.
We won't go into what I think is the incredible inappropriateness of being at Christmas to begin with, much less accepting gifts that could have been used to help my brother out of a tight financial situation. I know it's judgmental. I don't care. I'm angry because whatever has happened she's hurt my brother. He's not perfect and I'm sure he had his role, but this has her name all over it. I think she's been planning this for a very long time, hence the avoidance of my niece. (I guess there's now only one other aunt to beat out for best aunt :)--JOKE. She should have used one of the myriad of excuses available to her and not been present. My mother suspects she was planning to use Christmas to tell everyone and that somehow my brother stopped her or she never got a chance as things were moving pretty rapidly because of the baby. And during the one time at dinner she might have had a chance I would have prevented it by handing out my family Christmas gifts which distracted everything for a bit that normally would be chatting.
I hate this so much. Just because her social skills suck doesn't mean I want my brother to hurt. And there are things that are part of this which make it even more easy to be angry because just like always my brother will bear the brunt of a lot of it.
I just wish there was a way to make my brother feel better. And there's not.