I feel a few words of explanation may be in order after my Six Word Week posting - Explication, as les Francais say...
I have a chequered history with my in-laws, or out-laws, as I prefer to think of them.
Father-in-law in his eighties, still giving us grief. Treated mother-in-law badly, started an affair with the mother of my husband's friend the month she died. She was then pregnant to her husband. She's still with him, her husband that is... He left his first family for an affair with my mother-in-law whom he never married... All this remained hush-hush in the family for around forty years. He never saw the children again. They were left saddened, we found out from an aunt years later... Silence. Pictures in their grand-mother's photo albums cut in half, that kind of thing! He has lived all his life in pursuance of the better deal, woman-wise. Chauvinist. Charmer. Intelligent. Greater-than-thou attitude. Politics-crazy. A pain in the proverbial.
Sister-in-law I met in College - Two husbands, three kids. Chronically depressed, occasional alcoholic. Doom-monger and stress-giver. It's all someone else's fault, never hers. Has never sought counselling. Probably addicted to anti-depressants. Never divorced from her second husband, now a legal citizen of this country after marriage to her. Pays no upkeep towards his little daughter - But takes three holidays a year to his and his fiancee's countries... Not holidays, to his mind. He works illegally, and fails to pay tax in this country. Drives a car without licence or insurance... Sister-in-law whines but never acts on any advice, especially from me. Is a right royal pain in the proverbial with everyone but men through whom she lives her life.
She has ruined all but my last three Christmases with her histrionic breakdowns and selfish demands. Sectioned once. Many crises, many drink-related. The week I lost my dad she drank herself stupid in public and almost lost custody of her daughter. Never allowed me to have a decent relationship with my niece or nephews even though I wanted to be a decent aunt to them.
Never says sorry, or apologises. For anything. Not especially self-aware.
Things have been quiet for a time. She is now in another relationship and, until it breaks down, will be out of our hair. Temporarily.
'Phone rang on Friday night - It's mid-winter January. I hate the phone ringing late. The 'phone ringing late is a portent of death and disaster to me, experience shows... She could have rung at any time, chooses not to. I answered the 'phone.
She always makes me feel awkward and so I stiffen my reserve. She eventually tells me that her father has ruined yet another car through his reckless and devil-may-care attitude to what he owns, and needs two thousand pounds to fix the engine. Wonders if we can help out? He doesn't know she's asking us.
I have no ready cash. I am no cash-cow. I am in debt to my late father's house and its upkeep. It's not yet let to tenants or on the market to be sold. I have a son in College (so has she, her eldest). I am about to be made redundant from work with no real or full-time employment option in sight. I am paying my way through part-time College and the therapy course... My own home needs repairs and maintenance - Badly. I have no kitchen ceiling, or kitchen to speak of, and wild-at-heart electrics!
I tell her so.
She feels no empathy with anyone but her own concerns, and her silences speak volumes, "I do not believe you. You are hiding the truth from me. How can you not comply. You are more well-off than I have ever been. You are a liar. This is our right! You owe us..."
I cannot yet forgive her yet, for she will never, ever let me be. I owe them nothing.
Fhina is in her Therapy Room... Rocking.
Knock gently, s'il te plait?