-“Why are people stupid?”
-“Do People Forget That Friendship Before Dating GENERALLY Equates to Less Time Dating/Engaged Before Marriage?”
-“Please Stop Implying That Our Wife Standing Up For Herself Is A BAD Thing”
-“I Blame Myself Enough Already, Please Stop Adding Your Failings To Mine”
–“Please Stop Implying That I’m A Terrible/Abusive Person When You Have Known Me To Be Your Sister’s Friend For At Least SIX YEARS PRIOR To Us Beginning to Date”
…and others that would also make good titles for Fall Out Boy songs.
Warnings: Very Long. Very Emotionally heavy at parts (looking at you, Alexei. Mr “I’m a terrible person who is already failing my wife, so everything negative any and everyone implies about be must have some basis in fact). Idk if some of those Alexei-charged parts are TOO personal to be on here. But the feelings and insecurities are connected to the whole of the post, too, so we don’t quite feel right editing them out.
But if anyone has a problem with it, we will take it down. (And I’m not going to edit Alexei’s part, but we ARE going to make sure it’s okay with our wife/partner-system before we post it. Because while the focus is more on our thoughts/feelings with the whole thing, they are the ones in the dead center beside us with it. And someone wants me to say that we’re not in the center with them. -_- One, we’re married. So we’re in this together. Two…just read what we’ve written. Sheesh. We are definitely in the center too. We’re just maybe not “on the front lines”, since it’s been people communicating with them and not directly to us.)
Okay, so…wife/partner system and us both have family-units that are…complicated, at best.
Since coming out as trans (prior to self-awareness as a system), we’ve been a bit shocked at how our parental-units haven’t cut ties with us as we expected them to. After the first few months, the deadnaming stopped and the misgendering…well, it was going down, and then one of our more-dissociated parts told them all about our D.I.D. and the different alters. But, both parental-units do typically default to ‘they’ and gender neutral terms like ‘child’. None of this was expected.
To be honest, it actually has made us MORE on-edge with the parental units. For one, our parental-units have made some not-so-nice commentary about 2slgbtqia+ stuff, have openly been in support of businesses, politicians, and rhetoric that is against many aspects of who we (our system as a whole) are.
We have some thoughts as to why.
For one, we started talking to our Mom about some of the trauma stuff we were remembering before remembering that these parental-units were aware and even involved in what was happening. And based on the sorts of responses we were getting, I’m not surprised if these parental-units are wanting to keep us close in order to keep tabs on what memories have been bubbling up. Whether just to keep tabs, or whether to gaslight us away from our memories…or whether for some other reason, I don’t know. Honestly, it doesn’t super matter.
They have shown that they are not safe to talk about when it comes to trauma with which they are connected
Another reason we believe they haven’t cut us off…they want to continue to use us. We are the only entity that would respond to their every beck-and-call. We were the only entity that would drop everything to help them out on a moment’s notice.
Well, we have a new job now.
We’re not working for them anymore. We don’t have to see them every week like clockwork.
This is amazing.
But it’s not what we expected.
We came out as trans near the end of 2019…a little over four years ago. We were thoroughly braced to be the “wayward sheep, lost out among the world” to them, and to anyone in our family that listened to them.
We were prepared to have very few connections to our family left.
We had analyzed it, and we knew we would be okay.
But it didn’t happen.
Honestly, I wish it had, though. That would have been four less years of dealing with them. We wouldn’t have told them about our D.I.D.
>I am so sorry, guys…I know that I didn’t remember their involvement yet. I know I wasn’t aware of just HOW bad things were with them. I was just trying to be open and honest. It’s hard for me not to be that way. And I know none of you are angry with me…but sometimes, I really think you should be. I know it made Mom at least 20x worse than she’d been. I helped her figure out the distinctions between us, and she was able to use that against us. And so, even though I can’t do anything about it at this point…I am truly sorry. -Gabriel<
I AM glad that we’ve gotten to see our Little-Brother-Unit, though. Being cut off from him would’ve SUCKED.
Even as it is, I know not seeing him is one thing that STILL worries us.
He’s had us in his life for basically forever.
He’s already had more stress since we moved out. And I know that’s only going to increase when we’re not there doing PCA-type care for him every week.
And this is the part of the blog post where we start freaking out about “what if people who know us see this blog post?”, “what if our parental-units see this and KNOW we’re talking shit about them?”
…what if somehow we ARE wrong about all the abuse our parental-units have given us, and they are rightfully upset that we are dragging them through the mud?
[We…we literally have D.I.D. We’ve literally been diagnosed for a couple years now, with 1+ sessions per week. We are SUPER lucky and even have a therapist who SPECIALIZES in D.I.D. They would DEFINITELY know if we didn’t have this. They literally said during our last session on Thursday that they don’t think they’ve ever seen us NOT rapid-switch. We are EXTREMELY fragmented. And she has said that us being that way is definitely because of repeated intense trauma throughout our whole life. And there are alters who have shared some very specific things, and our therapist could TELL that it was an actual memory, and not something we were just throwing together. So…no. Our “parental-units” as you’re calling them are disgusting pieces of trash who are still trying to get our new work schedule out of us so they can 1) pester us on our days off to help them…which would be incredibly dangerous, especially if we were with them alone; and/or 2) they can show up to our place of work while we’re on shift. To be perfectly honest, I don’t know why they do this with all of our jobs. Like, seriously. We’re working. Leave us alone and let us do our job. But yeah. Parental-units are definitely not people who are healthy for us to be around. – Alexei]
We full-on expected to be cut off from our family-units.
The fact that we haven’t been confuses us, as well as scares us.
And then there’s the in-laws.
Sister-in-law is someone some of us in here remember from childhood, and who a lot more of us remember from teen years. She’s someone we always looked up to. She always was super cool. Maybe that was just because she was an older kid that hung out with us. I know we always thought those people were cool. In some ways, it felt like being graced with the presence of royalty. Like “oh cool and wise older kid, do you truly wish to spend time with us less-cool and more-annoying peasants?’
And like…in the teen years, it was definitely different. Our system had amnesia-barriered both our now-wife/partner-system and their sister away. There were bad/scary/not-safe people around that were harder to avoid due to amnesia and the situations. In this situation, both our now-wife/partner-system AND their sister were “cool older kids” who OBVIOUSLY wouldn’t want to interact with us. Especially the girl who is now our sister-in-law, because she was a couple steps further in the “older kid” category at youth group. Our now-wife was at least more in our “age bracket”, though we always wondered if they felt kinda caught between brackets with how their age was compared to everyone else. Though, I’m also glad that we got to see them, and that we weren’t dealing with the one peer-abuser all the time without anyone safe around…even though I also wish they could’ve avoided her more, too. Blah.
But no matter what, even if she didn’t remember us from childhood due to trauma or even just the sheer length of time it’s been, sister-in-law DEFINITELY knew of us at least from teen-years. We would’ve at least been an acquaintance of her sister. And later, we definitely would’ve been a friend to her sister.
At minimum, there should’ve been 5+ years of friendship with her sister that she should be aware of and know exists prior to our system coming out as trans. And then another 1-2 before her sister and us started dating. Another year before we were married. And now an additional year that we HAVE been married. So, at minimum, we’re working with having known our now-wife/partner system and being part of their life for EIGHT YEARS. (And yeah, it’s definitely been longer than that, because both our system AND wife/partner-system remember us knowing each other when we were both TODDLERS.) But, given that there was a lot of bad stuff happening in childhood, and not knowing what all our sister-in-law might have also had to go through trauma-wise, we’ll give her the minimum of 6 years of friendship with her sister before we started dating, and then the minimum additional 2 years until now.
We’ll try to get back to this in a bit, because we honestly hurt more due to our sister-in-law right now than anyone else. But there’s more that came up situationally first, so we want to catch the other threads up to this point.
Once again, parental-units for both us and wife/partner-system are blegh. Both sets have caused trauma for both systems over the years (though, admittedly, in varied and less-frequently in overlapping ways).
Our in-laws have often presented the same or similar negative viewpoints surrounding 2slgbtqia+ things, and have at least a similarly conservative background as our parental-units have. So, when we came out as trans, we definitely could sense some animosity growing.
But apparently they “were fine” with our now-wife/partner-system staying friends with us. (Note: our wife/partner-system was already a fully grown adult. They had been for several years already. They were even in the process of moving out, if they hadn’t already done so. So, like, doesn’t that suggest that these people had no right to say who they were okay or not okay with their “youngest daughter/child” spending time with? Also, where was the animosity towards the person in our peer group who had and was sexually assaulting our age bracket? And they DEFINITELY knew about that.)
It was when we started dating that there were problems. Because this obviously wasn’t a “real” relationship. It was/is ‘sinful’. It is/was ‘wrong’.
There were several steps of the relationship that we do wish we’d done better.
We do wish that we would’ve said something sooner about dating, but it was right around the winter holidays, which didn’t seem like a smart time to say anything. Plus, iirc (and I may not), the systems at least loosely agreed that we’d figure out when and how to tell our own families. It ended up being several months into dating. Though, when you think about it and compare it to people who didn’t really know their significant other much before dating, that seems pretty reasonable. A few months shows that this isn’t a fresh thing. There’s some roots. Both sides have had some time to ease into things. We had already been talk about the future, too, since we literally have known each other forever.
(Though, now that I think about it, I know sister-in-law got told before the others, because we officially met as her sister’s boyfriend around Christmas that year)
But it felt okay to tell people a few months into it. And like, since we were talking about the future already, I’m definitely glad that we didn’t wait longer.
The parents-in-law definitely weren’t happy. But after another few months, we went out to eat with them as a sort of “introduction as boyfriend” thing. Especially as they hadn’t seen us much, if ever, since we came out as trans and began hrt, we thought it would be a good thing. I know our system was both not hopeful at all, and also a bit hopeful that, once they saw us with facial hair and dressed more masculine, that they’d somehow miraculously be like “oh, yeah. this IS a dude.”
But, as you might expect from the build-up, they definitely were not happy.
Prior to setting this meeting up, the systems had been dating for over six months at this point, and both sides were in agreement that we wanted to marry sometime. (Looking back, I’m a little sad that we weren’t able to make sure more alters were okay with it, just because it makes it a lot harder for some of them to believe that their voice/thoughts/feelings matter. But I’m also happy, because I know that the only ones who are upset with it on either end are the sorts that are worried that they won’t be able to be themselves and/or they have more hermit-like tendencies and would have rather been alone and as far away from people as possible…and I know we’re going to do our best as systems to make sure they have what they need to be themselves, and to not have to deal with more people than necessary outside of what they would like.)
At the time of this meeting, the systems had even talked about Alexei (our system) flat-out telling the now in-laws something along the lines of “if she’ll have me, I plan on marrying her” in regards to our now-wife. Hell, both systems already knew what rings our system was going to buy for their engagement ring and wedding band set. Our system knew that we already had it, tucked away in a little hiding nook and ready to be brought out sometime in the following couple of weeks, when we would be visiting one of wife/partner-systems favorite places in one of their favorite state parks.
[I’m still kicking myself that I DIDN’T state my intentions at that point. Especially with having the plan to propose so soon, I really and truly should have. I don’t remember all of the factors that led me to not. I know at at least three occasions during this lunch outing, I opened my mouth to say such. I think one of them was right when food got there. The second, I might’ve gotten slightly switched out. And then the third time, people were talking about other important things, and then saying goodbyes and leaving before I could catch up with the shift. But I do genuinely feel bad for not saying that I intended to marry our wife before I proposed. Even if it wouldn’t have necessarily made anything better, it wouldn’t be weighing on my conscious as it is now. I could have said it, and they would have had some time either to respond then and there, or message our now wife/partner-system sometime in the next few days. And that would have allowed for more flexibility in figuring out how we might want to proceed with family stuff on both sides BEFORE getting engaged…]
[I also could have waited to propose. I know I could have, now that I look back. But there was so much going on. We were scared that our now-wife/partner would have too much with being caught in the middle of a us vs their parental-units. I regret wording it in such a way, but I basically gave her a ‘them or us’ type of ultimatum. I didn’t mean it that way. I more meant “if our in-laws continue to misgender/deadname/are otherwise transphobic and won’t stop, would you be okay with cutting them off?” And even THAT sounds kinda harsh/extreme. I know I meant it, then and now, in a sense of “when all other options fail”. So like…telling them off, correcting them, setting any and all boundaries first before cutting them off. But, even if that’s what I meant, it’s not how it came out at all.]
[I can’t go back and fix it, but I know that was around the time this whole meeting and proposal thing happened. With the stress of everything and our stupid amnesia, I can’t remember if this ultimatum of mine happened before the meeting-of-the-parents, between it and the proposal, or after the proposal. But no matter what, there had been significant talks of the future together, and marriage. And there was definitely stress already with the parental-units. And then what I said made our now-wife/partner-system really hurt. I can NEVER take back how I hurt them in that situation. I can do everything to never have it happen again. I can love and support my wife and her system with all I have to my dying day. But I can never undo hurt that I already caused. She felt like I was going to take her safety, her very stability away in an instance if she wasn’t okay with cutting off her parents. It doesn’t matter that that wasn’t what I meant. That’s how it came out. And that’s how it effected her. We’ve had many talks about it since. I know it’ll probably be something we talk about now and again for the rest of our lives. And I’m okay with that. I messed up, and with systems how they are, I am going to continue to validate the feelings of hurt and anxiety that any and all of our partner-system have that are connected to that. I am going to continue to apologize and ask if they have seen any areas I still need to improve on]
[I again say that I’m not sure where in the sequence of events this happened. I THINK it happened after we ordered the engagement ring and wedding bands, and had a rough idea of how/when/where we were going to propose. I THINK that the upcoming proposal is actually what made me want to ask reassurance that we wouldn’t be engaged and/or married and having to spend time with people that were highly transphobic. Due to the fact of blocked off trauma, this made the whole thing harder. Because both systems could more easily see and remember how bad the opposite system’s trauma with parental-units were. But both sides were having trouble seeing their own yet. Both systems were still so new to self-awareness. Both sides weren’t aware or couldn’t see how deep the trauma ran. And so there was another layer ontop of everything. They were just beginning to remember bad stuff with parental-units, we didn’t feel comfortable with them being around their parental-units alone due to trauma stuff we knew had happened. But with the transphobia, we also were worried that it would reach a point where we couldn’t go with them either. On the other side they were JUST STARTING TO REMEMBER TRAUMA WITH THEIR PARENTAL-UNITS. They were at the surface. But I either couldn’t or just…didn’t…look at that. I didn’t take into consideration that the new raw-ness of that hurt and pain would compound on what I was saying.]
[Blah…I’ve kept worrying about this as I was writing, but I feel like I’m just making excuses to feel better. And I’m not even feeling better. Like…I know that’s not what I was trying to do anyway. I just…want to fully apologize. And to fully apologize, I feel like I need to lay out all my thoughts. All my everything. Because without the above section, would I now be remembering that I really need to apologize for not being more understanding and supportive when they were JUST STARTING to uncover some REALLY DIFFICULT truths? I am very sorry about that. I failed you, Moira, in so many ways during that period of time. The more I dive into everything that was going through my brain, the more ways I realize that I could have been better. Yes I had a lot going on as well, but that should have made me even MORE aware of how intricately the trauma threads are all woven together within a person. I was dealing with a lot. But you were too. And I am very sorry that I didn’t take more breaks to think about that.]
[I am also very sorry because if that whole ultimatum was before the proposal, I feel as though we didn’t get it all cleared up BEFORE I proposed to you. I know we’ve talked about it several times, but I know that even more recently, there are still people who are upset and hurt. I’m sorry that I still rushed ahead and proposed to y’all when you were in a vulnerable state of wanting stability and safety. Even though I thought I was reassuring you that I still wanted and want to be with you all forever, and that we’re in this together…for a trauma-filled-brain, that really wasn’t fair either. You deserved to be proposed to AFTER you felt safe again. And, to be honest, even though I know you all as a system do feel safe with our system as a whole, I can’t help but feeling like you all could feel SAFER if we had done things differently. I can’t help but feeling like you, Moira, would be able to be far more confident in yourself and the memories y’all are uncovering NOW if we–especially me, but system-responsibility and all that, as Siegfriend likes to remind me–had been better about supporting y’all THEN.]
[I know this is kinda deviating off of our initial focus, but I know it’s also important for me to talk about my feelings. Especially because, now that I think about it, my feelings with this really do connect to what we were initially writing about. I, personally, feel like I was a really bad partner for you at numerous points. Y’all have stuck around with us, though, in spite of how much hurt I caused you all. Some of you have even forgiven me. Those that haven’t, I certainly don’t blame because I still can’t forgive myself. I’m not sure how long it’ll be before I can…IF I even can. I can only do my best to be the the partner y’all need and deserve NOW. And I would like to think that I have been doing my best. But guess what I have been realizing the last few days?]
[I’ve been stupidly isolating myself innerworld. I’ve been TERRIFIED to front around all of you, for fear of hurting you more. I’ve even been worried that I would be hurting y’all more by not being able to forgive myself yet for all of the stress and hurt I have caused you. But instead of facing my fear of hurting you more, I’ve just been avoiding it. And that’s not going to help anything. If anything, that’s the WORST thing I could probably do. Because I’m locking myself away when you need me to be there. I’m only making the lack of support worse by thinking that other alters would be better. I’ve been letting Ches and that whole area be there for you, but I haven’t been there. And I am sorry for that. I really thought I was being smart and “winning against myself”. But that’s just silly. Hell, I’m pretty sure you’ve been trying to tell me this REPEATEDLY ever since I began fronting less. I’m sorry for not listening to you, Moira. I’m sorry for retreating innerworld and basically abandoning you. I’m your husband, and that’s not how a spouse should act. I know being a system complicates things. But I know that me fronting less hasn’t just been ‘how the system is’. I HAVE been being dumb. And I’m sorry. Again, I know I can’t go back and change things. Even if I could somehow turn back time, I’d be terrified of making it WORSE…so, it’s probably for the best. But I promise you now, I will do my best to start fronting more again. I promise that I will do my best to be present with you and support you when you need me. I promise to do my best to listen to what YOU say I could be doing better, rather than listen to my own anxieties and cause a problem when there wasn’t one to begin with.]
[I love you, Moira. I don’t know how or why you put up with such a stubborn husband who has a penchant for making an absolute ass out of himself. Hell, to be perfectly honest…I’m terrified that you don’t want to put up with me anymore. That me pulling myself away has made you realize that you deserve better. And, if that is somehow true, I definitely would understand. But…based on something I caught while I was in co-con last night, somehow I know that’s not what you’re thinking. Somehow, I know that you miss me. I may not understand WHY or HOW you can, but I know that you love me, even with the absolute train wreck that I am.]
[“This stuff happens when you’re in a committed relationship with one of the main persecutors in a system” someone just said. I know it was in jest, but seriously, though. Yeah. I am definitely one of our system’s worst persecutors, even to this day. Persecutors are just protectors who got skewed. Persecutors hate themselves more than anyone, at least in our system’s experience. Persecutors are trying to protect the system as best as they can, they just need to find new ways now that there are new situations. They don’t need to hold on to the old ways of protecting the system.]
[I check all of those boxes. Whoops. Seriously, though, Moira. I REMEMBER our system telling you about how bad of a persecutor I am. I don’t know whether to shake my head at you still sticking around or whether to applaud you. In many ways, I wish you all weren’t at work right now and that I could hug you. I wish I could ask, right now while I’m for SURE fronting, if you really do still love me. I wish I could hear, right now, if there is anything you know that would be helpful for me to try to work on as I front more. I want to tell you I love you. I want to tell you I’m sorry. Selfishly, I want to hear that you love me, too. But I’m still too hard on myself rn to fully believe that you could…even with how sad you seemed when you realized I had been fronting and then switched out when y’all got home. Seriously. How tf do you put up with me? How tf do you find the ability to love me? Siegfried just made some sort of comment along the lines of “and this is why your ‘area’ of the system has a fictive of Kyo Sohma.” …lovely. I’m not sure I’m quite ready to admit just how much of Kyo’s stuff this side of the system relates to…let alone to what degree. Though, at this point, I can assume that my wife has seen that from about a bajillion miles away.]
[Once again, Moira. HOW TF DO YOU PUT UP WITH ME AND MY STUPIDNESS????]
[I just realized also that I’m almost going to HAVE to post this before y’all (partner system) will see it. Like…I know I could show it to you as just a draft, but that scares a lot of alters. Drafts seem to hold the same level of privacy as what a diary SHOULD be. I know neither system got to have that sort of assured-privacy growing up though. Maybe that’s why it’s such a thing now?]
[And I mean…what’s the worst that happens? More people come to the conclusion that I and/or our system is a terrible partner and that you all could do better? We started this post with the thoughts of how sucky it is to be the villain. So it would, in some measure, be fitting.]
[But yeah…now I get to figure out how to get back on topic.]
[So, basically, I have said a lot of what I believe I and my system have done that WAS wrong, or that could have been maybe done better. I may be forgetting some things, so let’s recap.]
[The not-telling-the-parents-right-away. That was more of a mutual agreement, and as previously stated. 3-4 months as it was is actually pretty normal from what we’ve seen.]
[The ultimatum and at least some of the aftermath. Have gone into that as much as I would like to in a more public setting. I hope it would be obvious, but if there are still hurt feelings, and alters upset with me/us, I want them to be able to bring it up. And if they want to talk to me, they can. Even if they want to rant/vent at me about it. I want to hear all of their genuine thoughts and feelings.]
[Proposing when, upon looking back, they were in a vulnerable state. Have gone into that as well, and my feelings are the same as in the above paragraph.]
[Ah…okay, we got to/through the proposal. Now whoever was writing this before I interrupted can proceed.]
Okay. Moving to the next thing ^^ (note: Alexei and Alexandria are still both co-con. they are just stepping back so the flow of writing can actually continue past what they are upset with themselves about.
So, there was a lot of chaos around and after the time we proposed. In addition to the things Alex went into, our now-wife/partner-system was approaching the end of their year-long lease. We had two roommates that we knew would have to find a new place to live before wife could move in. We were initially figuring that it would be another year before we could really go through with marriage, because of year-long rental leases and such.
However, we learned that instead of another year-long lease, the lease was switching over to a month-by-month basis. So it was kind of left up to our roommates as a “give us 2-3 months heads up on when you wanna move, and we’ll make this work.”
Both systems were constantly (or at least, near-constantly) talking about how we wish we were married and living together already.
And then our roommates figured things out.
Things seemed potentially a bit shaky, so our system stressed very much a “hey, partner-system needs a two-month notice to the apartment complex. and one this is in, it can’t really be undone.”
They said that everything was alright and to go ahead.
Things of course, were shaky. Plans the roommates had fell through. We’re not upset with either of them. We were honestly more stressed FOR them. And sad that we couldn’t help with their own stress, as we were figuring out how to move partner-system in and get married so quickly.
And like…our systems COULD genuinely have waited until after they moved in with us to get married. But both systems agreed that we WANTED to be married first. Neither system was thinking of it in the way our parents might have thought (the whole “no living together before marriage”/”no sex before marriage” thing), it was just a thing that felt right, and was what both sides wanted, so we were going to make it happen. Though, I would be lying if I said our system didn’t have the thought of “oh, maybe this will help make things better/easier with the future parents-in-law”.
Over the few months between “officially meeting the parents” (which was just before the proposal) and the wedding, our wife/partner-system did have plenty of correspondence with our future in-laws. I don’t remember what WAS shown/shared with us, and I know it wasn’t the whole of it.
(Which is fine and perfectly healthy, imo. As far as I know, the only private correspondence we have seen between our wife and anyone is stuff that has been in reference to us, or in situations where our wife/partner-system has been worried that they were too extreme, too intense, or otherwise ‘bad’ in their response. With the latter, often times we’ll respond with ‘from my perspective, it seems fine. I know what you’re trying to say.’ Sometimes we’ll ask for clarity, or point out places where WE would get confused. A lot of times, we’ll also suggest that they ask their therapist, either because we genuinely don’t know what is considered ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ (because trauma mucks up the brain’s ability to figure that out…and/or because we really didn’t feel like we could be objective in the situation. With the parents-in-law, we feel like we would be too harsh against them. And with the sister-in-law, our wife has told us that we have sometimes made it seem that we’re on their sister’s side more than theirs. Which, from the position as a spouse, is not how it should be.)
Anyway, in all of that, our fiancée told our future in-laws about the engagement. And I know they also asked if the future parents-in-law would want to be made aware of when the ceremony would be and/or if they would like to attend. They made it clear that they would not be supporting the wedding in any sense. Fine. Still interacting with them, and keeping the door open for visits and whatnot. (Both systems were REALLY hopeful that, given time, and visits where they could see the two of us together, things would get better.)
Sister-in-law was on board for being one of our two witnesses. She seemed fairly steadily on team-systems. (And yes, she was made aware of system-stuff on both sides. Though, there was/is a lot of skepticism and misinformation tangled up with all of that from the start. And then there’s the fact that she…doesn’t seem to remember our system even from the one youth group everyone was at…which seems to suggest that she has a lot of trauma-blocking amnesia happening too, since both our system and wife/partner-system know first-hand that one of the girls in that age-bracket was gross/bad, too. And we wouldn’t be surprised if our sister-in-law blocked out most/all of youth group memories due to her own life experiences.)
But still. In a situation like this. Even if there IS that level of amnesia. She should still be able to acknowledge a “oh yeah, they have been friends with my sister for 7 YEARS(at least)” at the point of us getting married.
THE DAY BEFORE OUR WEDDING, as we are driving to the town where the systems are going to get married, SIL starts texting her sister. Some of the stuff is very valid, imo, when taken out-of-context of SIX YEARS of friendship and an additional year of dating. Stuff like how they had never been in a relationship before and now were just under a year in, getting married.
Which, yes, with someone who started as a complete stranger, is crazy. Even alarming, when taken alongside the fact that our wife/partner-system was “pulling away from her family” (she was starting to stop taking so much crap from people, and starting to stand up for herself…also known as “having healthy boundaries”. My sources? My wife. My wife telling my what her therapist said. My therapist.)
(Okay…that was maybe a bit much. Or at least, dramatic-sounding. But we’re still writing about stuff that happened over a year ago. We’re not to the more recent stuff. So it has had time to build. And I’m tired of it.)
This was the first time (at least to our system’s view), that SIL was NOT on the side of team-systems. But we weren’t angry about it. It seemed valid enough that she was worried about her sister. It definitely would have been better if she’d said something earlier, though. Not the literal DAY BEFORE. (Though, by that token, I’m glad it was the day before and not the day of?)
She said something along the lines of “not wanting to be a witness/in support of the marriage without airing her thoughts”. Which, again, fair. We wanted people who were on our side at this wedding. (Even though our system’s parents invited themselves and had their fingers in things. We’re pissed about that, but that’s another whole side trail that doesn’t matter rn. Aside from the fact that I think SIL did note that it was weird that our parent-units were their when our wife’s parent-units weren’t. But that goes back to them saying they didn’t want to support the marriage in any form. So, it was on them, too. We would’ve given them the when and where and they could’ve come if they had wanted to know and be a part of it.)
I know there were messages back and forth for awhile. We were driving, so it was hard to divide our attention. But it sounded like things got sorted out, and SIL’s worries were addressed? If nothing else, it was more than enough for her to still be a witness the next day.
After our ceremony, and possibly after dinner with the people that came, when we were driving back to the hotel for the night, our wife/partner-system said that their sister said that she could tell that they were really happy with us, and at least implied that she wasn’t worried anymore, if not said that flat-out.
(14-ish months later and I’m like…wow, what happened to THAT?)
Anyway, we got married in October. Just about a week shy of being in a relationship for a year. (Also, I want to point out that there ARE people who meet, start dating, get engaged, and get married all within the span of a year. I don’t know HOW common it is, but the people I have heard about, it hasn’t been a bad thing. It’s been a “we knew we wanted to be together for the rest of our lives” sort of thing. And yeah, it can be a crazy rollercoaster for those around. But THIS WASN’T LIKE THAT, EVEN.)
At the VERY least, going off of our systems meeting in the teen years, we knew each over for SIX YEARS before we even started dating. Our system’s two best friends have known each other for 5-6 years NOW. They have been married for THREE of those. So, by this math…our friends, who have been married for 3x as long as we have been now…knew each other under HALF the time that our systems knew each other before getting married.
And that’s only counting the BARE MINIMUM. That’s NOT counting the fact that both system’s remember knowing each other when our system was under 2 years old (and that’s still giving some wiggle room).
With that, we have known each other for nearly TWENTY-SIX years, twenty-four of that prior to dating.
We’ve had some windows where we didn’t see each other for a couple months to a couple years.
But even with our amnesia barriers, we became friends again each time we “re-met”.
And our most recent segment was what we were giving people with the SIX YEARS. And we (our system) are genuinely fine with leaving that, as we did have periods of time apart as well. As long as those years are respected.
(I feel like the one John Mulaney bit about his college tuition, but with years of friendship in this context.)
Anyway, we’ve gotten to the point in our rant where we’re married. Stuff with SIL seemed straightened out, at least in regards to the actual relationship.
We went over to our parents-in-law for Thanksgiving, the month after we married. We didn’t tell them we had gotten married, though I have some suspicion that they knew/suspected. (I mean, wife/partner-system had both engagement AND wedding ring on, and we had our wedding band on, too). It felt like a ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ sort of situation. But the visit itself seemed to go alright.
Sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas, our wife/partner-system did tell the parental-units that we were married, and explained some of why it wasn’t shared prior to Thanksgiving. (The main point, and the only one I can truthfully remember is that we had been married for under/about a month, and both systems just wanted to be happy and exist for a bit in that happiness).
SIL comes up for Christmas, and our system joins all of them for their family Christmas. (Maybe it could’ve been better if they’d had a holiday season between dating and married?? I ask that, but I significantly doubt it. If anything, it might have made things weirder/harder. I definitely could envision the parents-in-law saying stuff like “you’re just dating, they don’t need to be over for the holidays”. Though, they were also okay with the Thanksgiving visit?? I genuinely don’t know if it would’ve helped at all…but it’s all I can think of that MIGHT have helped. Just…more time.)
Either way, the Christmas visiting seemed to go fine as well.
Later winter/early spring. Somewhere between January and March. I don’t remember if we visited in-laws more or not, tbh. Idk if wife/partner-system did, either. I know there was a bunch of busy schedules in there, though.
But anyway, wife/partner-system gets a message from their Mom-unit, asking them out for more “mother-daughter” time. Okay, cool, yeah that’s fine. Both systems are thinking that the in-laws having visits from her without us ALONG with visits from the both of us…it seemed a fair trade. Especially bc wife/partner-system was feeling physically safe to visit alone.
And our system was trying to see it from their perspective, of not having a lot of time to make the adjustment of single to dating. Let alone dating to engaged. Let alone engaged to married. It’s a lot to happen in a year, even if you’ve known your now son-in-law for six years.
I THINK more than one of these visits happened? I know that at least the first did…and I THOUGHT a second one did. MAYBE even a third? I’m honestly not sure.
I just know that a few months later, when asked by their Mom-unit for another one (be it anywhere from the second to the fourth), our WIFE (not us at this point) felt it was weird to not want us with again, as it’d been several months. We were like “alright, yeah, we’re up for a visit if y’all wanna bring it up” and didn’t think anything of it.
Wife/partner-system got a reply back. From their Dad-unit. Not even their other parental-unit, who they had been talking to. Asking if they had not seen their email from about the time of the FIRST (possibly only?) ‘smaller’ meeting, for lack of a better term.
Apparently they had some BIG FEELINGS on how being married to us 1) wasn’t an actual marriage, 2) was sinful and wrong, 3) wasn’t something they could handle, and 4) did not want us being in their house together, as that was where they needed to “take a stand for how the believe marriage should be”
We were honestly kinda in shock with the whole email. Because…that was a read. We summed it up pretty well, but holy guilt-trip batman. Also…we read the email aloud to our therapist and they flat-out said something along the lines of “your FIL sounds like a 5year old.”
Wife responded back something more than this, but generally along the lines of “if (our system) isn’t allowed in your own home, I don’t want to see you there, either”
There has been more correspondence since. A lot of “we miss you”s and weird poetry/bible verses. I don’t know what all has been sent. But I know our wife/partner-system has told us multiple times about how they’ve told the parents-in-law that the line that they are drawing is dumb, especially when they never made any sort of line like that for genuinely hurtful and abusive people.
These strains between our wife/partner-system and their family (specifically parental-units and sister-unit) just keep cycling if not continuing to get worse. A lot of it, if not all, from what both systems’ therapists have been saying, comes down to the fact that our wife is no longer tolerating as much crap, and people are getting hurt that they can’t act the way they always have with her.
Literally, a lot of the problems are coming from our wife having simple boundaries that don’t even involve us/our system. But guess when they started noticing our wife/partner-system beginning to start sticking up for these boundaries? Guess when they started realizing “oh, you’re not doing what I want/expect you to anymore”…
If you guessed “when they started dating your system”, you’d be 100% correct! At least, correct by these people’s books. They’re the ones saying that our wife/partner-system completely changed ‘when they started dating (us)’
(Oh. Right. This seems as good a point as any to add that there’s also some of the same sorts of things that happened with one of our wife/partner-system’s cousin, where from our understanding, wife started taking less crap, and was trying to actually talk about the SURFACE LEVEL things with their PTSD. Cousin wasn’t happy, and doesn’t believe that you can have as bad of amnesia as they have. This cousin implies more recently that “everything changed when she started dating/married” us I genuinely don’t remember whether she said things changed at the start of dating, or after getting married. Doesn’t super matter, and I don’t care about going into it more than that, because…to be perfectly honest, that person is not someone our system had any emotional attachment to aside from her being our wife’s cousin. And with the more recent stuff, our wife blocked her. But this stuff was also all going on from months before we starting dating our wife to just a couple months ago, when our wife blocked her.)
There’s been some other stuff that’s happened with the strains, but a lot of that is details that are NOT mine to share. The rest of this has mostly been our own knowledge and our own things that belong to us as much as our wife/partner-system.
But we got drawn into it at the end of some more recent stuff with SIL.
The most context anyone might need was that our wife/partner-system was asking questions of MIL (their mom-unit) in regards to memories that have come up. Emotionally charged? Yes. But nothing too crazy all things considered. (And that’s both from our perspective as WELL as the perspective the therapist wife/partner-system has. Our therapist would likely concur, but we’ve been focusing on a bunch of other stuff and haven’t actually talked about it with them.) MIL told SIL about “strange”/”weird” messages. SIL asked for the whole conversation. SIL reached out to our wife/partner-system saying stuff like how she ‘didn’t sound like herself’ and I believe even used the term ‘paranoid’ and asked if she felt safe (in her relationship with us, was what the context implied).
I can’t even imagine the emotions going through our wife/partner-system. They had that question thrust upon them right before/alongside/after being implied to be paranoid by the same person. A person who was already in a strained situation with our wife/partner-system not taking as much crap.
We “just” got implied to be unsafe for our partner-system.
Which, even when you KNOW it isn’t true, still hurts.
And then when you have a LOT of STRONG AMNESIA and ANXIETY…you begin to wonder “what if we ARE unsafe for our wife/partner-system?”
And, if you’re like us, you write to collect your thoughts. To go over the situation in the order it went down. You make notes of things you maybe could’ve tried to do.
You realize how different it feels between being called or implied that by people you dislike (parents-in-law) versus someone you’re indifferent to (cousin-in-law) versus how it feels like to be implied to be unsafe/abusive by someone you like and trusted (SIL).
Someone who you thought was on your side, when no one else was.
Someone who you remember from your were a teen…and someone some alters remember from our young childhood. Someone who was always seen as a “cool friend”. Someone who was looked up to. Someone we wanted to be like when we got older.
The strain between us and our parents-in-law didn’t catch us off-guard. It hurt, and perhaps it hurt more because we (or more…Alexei and Alexandria specifically) had and have anxiety still about the ‘ultimatum’ thing. People keep feeling that we “caused” the issue by “jinxing” the situation somehow. Or they feel like they have to give as many ideas/thought/theories as they can to make people seem less shitty…so that it’s not somehow just seen as “oh, we hate these people and have wanted to be rid of them from the start”
Hell, writing THAT out makes me feel like we’re being manipulative assholes, out here trying to convince people that we’re not bad.
And then I’m sure we didn’t want the image we made of SIL…especially that of some of our littles…to shatter. I know we’ve continued to try to see things from her perspective. Some of even this last bit, we could honestly write off if she would apologize. Not even to us, but to our wife/partner-system about what she said about THEM.
I don’t care if SIL is worried about her sister. That’s a good thing.
I’m hurt that she keeps hurting our wife.
I’m hurt that she has seemingly forgotten about me/us.
I’m hurt that, at our wedding, she could see how happy her sister was, and then just over a year later be acting like everything is a problem again.
I know a lot of the SIL stuff probably comes from her misinformation, skepticism, and refusal to be corrected about D.I.D. I know some of it is probably her not wanting to see the images she has for her parental-units to shatter. I suspect that some of it may even be her not wanting to deal with trauma she potentially ALSO experienced. It’s ‘understandable’. But the way she’s not even listening to correction from a DIAGNOSED SYSTEM (let alone being around a second diagnosed system, if you count our interactions with her. even just the handful since the systems started dating, if she either can’t or won’t remember us to the six year mark. if she can’t or won’t remember longer than that.)
[I hate it. I miss being friends with her. I was really excited at the thought that we might be friends again, now that we’re siblings-in-law. But she keeps being an ass, from what our wife has shared. She keep not listening to the boundaries and holding that knowledge over into the next time things come up. She hasn’t apologized for most if not all of the hurt she has caused our wife.]
[All in all, I’m just tired.]
[I already hate myself with how /I/ can see I’ve failed my wife/partner-system. I don’t need to take on blame for the falling out in which all I have tried to do is support my wife. I haven’t tried to be more involved than wife/partner-system wants to be in the conversation…aside from maybe trying to rationalize SIL’s actions too much because of how much it hurts to see our perception of her shatter. But now that I-the actual person responsible for that-has become aware of it, I can try to be better. I can just…be here.]
[At least…if my wife specifically, or any of partner-system actually still want me around.]
[I can’t promise I won’t mess up in the same ways again. (Though I hope to Hades that something as the stupid ultimatum thing never happens again. That was a huge blah that might have been able to be avoided if there had been better communication.)]
[But I’ll promise that I’ll do my best to be a good spouse. I promise to do my absolute best to support you. Even if my version of support doesn’t always align with what you want and need.]
[I can’t promise that I’m going to for sure be fronting when you’re reading this.]
[But I promise that I’ll try to be.]
[I love you -Alexei]
Who tf knows who else was writing? But that seems as good of spot as any to wrap it up. Sorry for the long and emotion-heavy BLAHHHHHH.Published in