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Working It Out... - Jessie T. Wolf
July 1st, 2008
10:25 am

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Working It Out...
I got an apology from Tim's mom, for yelling at me yesterday. She says she doesn't apologize for what she said - she just apologizes for the delivery of it.

I was doing some work on my newly acquired laptop yesterday morning, while Tim was out taking one of his dogs back to the kennel (she was over for the weekend). Kat gave me his 6-month old Toshiba, because my Acer died, and I needed a work machine. I've been trying to get it in working order before we go back to Vancouver next week. So I've spent the last few days (among trying to get other things in order before we head back to BC) setting up programs like Lightwave, Fusion, and also deleting the existing crap on there that I don't need, that's been taking up a ton of space on the HD... and I've of course been fighting with Vista the whole time, but I don't want to spend an extra day wiping the whole computer, to install XP, because I just don't have the time to mess with it.

Anyway, as I was doing a backup, Tim's mom came downstairs, and said, "Oh, good morning Jessie! Hey, in about 20 minutes or so, could I talk with you about something?" She sounded very pleasant at this point, and so of course I said sure! I told her that I was only doing a backup while I waited for Tim to get back from the kennel, so I would be happy to talk with her right away. I immediately gave her my full attention, and she sat down and started speaking.

It started off decently enough, with her letting me know that she's been concerned about some things that have been going on with Tim and I, over the past couple of weeks that we've been staying with them, while we sorted out buying a house. We did manage to get a house, by the way. We had the inspection yesterday, and we're now just waiting for the closing, and for all of the paperwork to be done, and we can move in on August 1st.

Anyway, Tim's mom was concerned about why I was going back to Vancouver. She just couldn't understand why, after buying a house here in Michigan, I seemed set on moving back to Vancouver, and why I was shipping some of my stuff back with me, when I now had a house to come back to here. She also said she thought I wasn't trying hard enough with the immigration visa, among other things. The "conversation" went something like this:

"Well, you know, I've gotta tell ya, I've been really concerned about what's been going on with you and Tim. I don't understand what's with this business about you now moving back to Vancouver and getting a job out there, and staying there with some other people, when you've got a perfectly fine house out here now with Tim. And who's going to be paying for that place in Vancouver? You can't say you are - it's coming out of Tim's pocket right now, because, I don't care, but you don't have a job out there yet! I just don't understand it... Tim loves you immensely, and if I seem like a mother Lioness, well that's exactly how I feel, and I'm going to look out for Tim, because I don't want him to be hurt by you! You should be one happy girl right now! And maybe I don't know everything that's going on... I don't know who made the decision to come to Michigan, whether it was you, or Tim, or if it was a joint decision... but you made a VOW to Tim, and you are not honoring your own marriage by taking off like this! If you were dedicated, you'd stay here and support him, and I don't think you've been making any effort at all to look into this immigration visa! All you do is spend your days sitting in front of the computer, and wasting your time looking for apartments in Vancouver! You say you have a ton of things to do still, and you don't know where to start, and yet you sleep in until noon! Don't tell me you don't have time! Get out of bed early in the morning, and make a list, and start working! You'd better figure out what it is that you want in life, young lady, and you own it to Tim to be honest with him! And if I seem pissed off, well that's because I am!! You had better get it together!!!"

...And then she stormed off upstairs leaving me quite speechless. :/

So I started quietly panicking, which only gets this chronic cough I've had for a while now all fired up again. I sat on the bed in the downstairs bedroom until Tim got back home, because I was too terrified to even step a foot upstairs, as long as his parents were there. I was quite upset about the fact that she conveniently waited until Tim was out of the house, before laying all of this stuff into me. Tim got back, and came downstairs, and had heard from his dad that his mom had a "chat" with me (for all intents and purposes, Tim's dad is a really cool, laid back guy, but he doesn't cross Tim's mother at all, and will blindly stick up for her, or keep out of the situation all together).

When Tim found out that his mom had actually yelled at me, he wasn't impressed. Apparently this is something that is typical of her to do, and is why much of the family isn't very fond of her. She comes across as very sharp/brash/insensitive, and is very opinionated and doesn't like to listen to anything that anyone else has to say. Tim's had issues with her for years, and has basically given up trying to have decent, rational conversations with her.

Tim and I talked about the situation, and while I understand that she is a protective mother, concerned for the well-being of her son, and I agree that she has some valid reasons to be concerned, a lot of what she brought up was quite off-base, and misinterpreted. There are a lot of things that may *look* a certain way, but unless you actually know what the situation is, you can't just come to an automatic conclusion. And it doesn't help that my and Tim's situation/relationship is pretty damn complicated and non-standard, at this point in our lives.

First, I know I have flaws, and I am realizing more and more that I sometimes do things, without being aware of how they may be interpreted by others. I do get so wrapped up in what is going on around myself, and my immediate surroundings, that I sometimes forget how it may appear to the outside world.

Tim and I have been working, a lot. Tim gets an office in the basement, where he can spend most of his days hiding away, and I have my computer set up upstairs, because Tim's dad likes to spend his days watching golf downstairs, and I can't concentrate on what I'm doing when there's a bunch of noise around. So I've been in an open area for the last two weeks, working on either fixing up the computer, or working on modeling weapons in Lightwave, for the current production that Tim is doing freelance work for. In the evenings, I've been doing the bit of e-mail that I can, and also looking for apartment listings online. So yes, I can understand how it could look bad to Tim's mom, when most of what she sees when she's home, is me at the computer. Tim says that was my first big mistake - being in an open area, instead of being set up in an office. We've now fixed that, and Tim had to move some furniture around in the downstairs office this morning, to make room for me to sit at a card table, while I work on Fusion training this week.

I am also very much NOT a social morning person. While I did sleep in until noon ONCE, during the first week that we were here, (because we had just driven for 5 days straight, from Vancouver!!) I normally get up at around 9am, especially if Tim and I didn't get to bed until 1am the previous night. I have my morning routine, and while Tim's parents get up every day at 7:30am, and Tim's mom will make breakfast in her bathrobe, and expects me to come upstairs and mingle, I am NOT a morning person. I do NOT like going upstairs into the bright morning light, not having brushed my teeth yet, or taken a shower, or anything like that... I'm sorry. Tim is allowed to see me first thing in the morning - we're married. I also hate to say it, but I am very self-conscious about my image, especially first thing in the morning. It is a very private thing to me, and Tim's parents have not yet earned that trust. I don't want to feel that vulnerable in front of them.

But I can understand how that might make me look unsociable. Very valid reasons for Tim's mom to feel concerned, but very poor execution in brining it up with me. She could have pulled me aside and gently told me how she felt. But I am now making an effort to get up at 7-8am, and be upstairs, having morning coffee with the in-laws. *flattens ears*

Regarding the house situation, she doesn't like my "attitude" about feeling like the house is just another temporary place. I had to explain to her (for at least the second or third time) that Tim and I have moved around 3 times in this last year, and have been living out of our suitcases for so damned long, that this house doesn't make any difference to me. I still have to go back to Canada, because I don't have a visa yet, and I am not allowed to stay in the U.S. So having a house, (which is ONLY in Tim's name, by the way, because I'm not allowed to have any kind of record of trying to live here) doesn't mean a hill of beans to me right now, if I can't actually live in it. I told her that until I am settled in ONE place, for at least a year, everything is temporary for me, at this point in my life. I have no bloody stability, and I am always feeling like the ground is going to fall from underneath my feet, or that the sky is going to fall down on top of my head. I can't be thrilled and happy about buying a house right now... because as far as I'm concerned, it's not *our* house - it's Tim's house. I just happened to help pay for part of the down payment. That doesn't mean I won't feel better about it in the future. It just means right now, at this point in my life, I am going to be thinking about how can I feel stable?

Then she brings up the fact that she's not seen me make any effort on getting a visa to stay in the U.S., which is utter BS, because I was the one who did all of the preliminary research into getting the K3 visa, when we were back in London! It's not my fault that the process may take over a year, and that I could be stuck in Canada, not even able to visit Tim in Michigan, until I get my visa! Tim's mom says that can't be correct, and goes into how she's had friends who have done the immigration process and have had no trouble. Well guess what? That was a few years ago, and government policies have changed since then, making things significantly harder for us now.

We've told her that we are looking into contacting an immigration lawyer, that can hopefully give us some advice on a different type of visa that I may be able to get, to make it easier for me to go back and forth from Canada and the U.S. But until I actually *have* some sort of visa, I need to be living in Canada, and that is why I am going back into Vancouver.

It was also hard not to be extremely insulted when she said that I'm not working and Tim's paying for everything, which isn't 100% true. Yes, he's always brought in the bigger income, but I was also bringing in about $2k a month while working in London, and part of the reason why I want to get this job in Vancouver is so that I can continue making a positive contribution to our relationship. What Tim brings in from this job goes to paying for mortgage on the house, and what I bring in with the job goes to cover my rent in Vancouver. Also, if I get this job, it's doing management for the same studio that Tim is currently doing freelance work for anyway, so I would be *helping* him out, by coordinating, so that the next few gigs we do go much smoother than this current one is going, because the main VFX producer for that place doesn't know what the hell he's doing!

But I've done plenty, financially speaking, for us. Who covered seven months of boarding for the dogs while we were in London? Who covered the expensive cost of moving all of our belongings from Vancouver to Michigan? Without my stupidly excellent credit, we would have been screwed for thousands of dollars! Also, who put together our mortgage financial package? Who makes sure that all of the bills get paid on time, every month? *I* do, because Tim trusts me with keeping our expenses tracked, and keeping everything organized, because I'm good at it! But his mom doesn't know anything about that!

I owe it to Tim to be honest with him... shit. I'm *brutally* honest with him, in fact he knows how much I don't even want to be here in Michigan. But if I didn't care, and if I didn't love and support him, I wouldn't BE here right now! And getting this house now is really the first big step. We made it, and we did it together. Tim now has a house, in the woods, and is going to have all of his dogs back with him in just one more month. He can now work on Kaze (during the times he's not doing these small freelance jobs to keep the money coming in) in the peace and quiet of his own place. I've helped him get to this point, because I know how damned important it was to him!

So now it's also time for ME to figure out what it is that I need/want to do with my life, and this time in Vancouver is what's going to help me do that. I need to have a job, I need to be able to pay for my own space. I need to pull my own weight, and become more independent and self sufficient. I love Tim dearly, and I also need to know that I can take care of myself, and not have to depend on my husband to do everything for me.

I need to get to know myself. Tim got the chance to do that in Alaska. Now I need the chance to do the same, and he understands and supports me in this.

Even after this conversation with Tim's mom, I feel like a lot has still gone way over her head. She said, "Well... let's just start over..." which I guess is nice coming from her. But honestly, I don't think I'm going to feel very comfortable, the next time I come to visit Tim's folks. For the rest of this week though, before we fly to Vancouver, I'm going to have to play the nice, happy, friend of the family, daughter-in-law role, (and the kids are coming over again on Thursday...) even though I'm feeling anything but happy at this point. I hate pretending - it is such BS.

*sigh*

I can't wait to be back in BC on the 7th. -___-

Current Mood: stressedstressed

(14 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
From:leaddogspock
Date:July 1st, 2008 08:06 pm (UTC)
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Hey Jessie, Miriam here...

Just wanted to send huge amounts of support from Alaska. I understand what your going through more than you know... not because Ive interacted with Tims mother or even met her in person but because my life has traveled down similar paths years and years before, even before I knew Tim. Many things your going through are so similar to my past that its just about eerie.

I TOTALLY understand your aversion to 'pretending', its not fun and I'm not totally convinced its the way to go. But kudos to you for trying, damn fine kudos girl!

If you need to talk email or call... in the mean time, hang in there and always be true to yourself... everything will work out alright in the end, getting there is the hardest part...
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From:wlfdog
Date:July 17th, 2008 08:46 pm (UTC)
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Thank you Miriam!! It's so cool to see you on LJ! ^_^

We are still working things out slowly. Now comes the challenging part, with Tim and I being separated for a bit again. But honestly, this will probably help our relationship out quite a bit, and help me figure out who I am. I need to stand on my own two feet, and I know that Tim is a bit sad about the separateness of our relationship at the moment... but a bit of pain now will make for much more happiness later on down the road. :)

*hugs*
From:leaddogspock
Date:July 23rd, 2008 08:23 am (UTC)
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Been cool seeing you on LJ too! *grins*

I totally understand about your feelings of being separated and I sympathize greatly. It sucks that the visa people have to be such a pain in the ass but in hindsight the delay and your separate living conditions should make more sense.

I just went through a similar thing of my own, not moving out but moving my office back to the main house. Strange how I wanted to close off for so long from every one including James. But I think I needed to do that, to feel safe, to know that emotionally and business wise I can make it on my own.

I'm still a long, long way from feeling 100% confident about my strength but that 'little' move in location (especially since I spend soooo much time in my office working) made a huge difference mentally. I was really surprised it had that much of an effect on me.

I feel so comfortable now, almost like a different person, more stable and open to feeling safe... I cant quite put my finger on it but if I were to do it all over again just to form this kind of foundation I would in a heartbeat.

I'm confident that it will strengthen not only my relationship with James but with other people as well.

My little move probably doesn't hold a candle to the distance you and Tim have to be apart but I hope you find the same results I did and many more positives along the way.

*hugs* You guys are always in my thoughts...
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From:cass_rising
Date:July 1st, 2008 08:15 pm (UTC)
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Ugh. There's so much suck in this situation its a wonder even light escapes from it. Many hugs for you, and if you ever want to talk I'm here. I probably understand some stuff a lot better than most people would.
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From:iron_raptor
Date:July 1st, 2008 09:03 pm (UTC)
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Your brutal honesty is why I consider you such a good friend. You're willing to be open and honest, and yeah. I know that feeling..

Fear has been... an inconvenient excuse in my case. I've let it consume me and hinder me from progress. I'm... not too comfortable in new places and new situations.

However, I will adapt. I still have family, I still have friends, all is not totally lost.

I hope things go well for you hon. I know this is a journey you need to do on your own, much like I have my journey I need to make on my own. Whenever you're back here, we can chat and stuff.
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From:siberhusky
Date:July 2nd, 2008 07:24 am (UTC)
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Wow ! :/ Yeah I'd have to say it seems as though you're in the middle of getting dealt some hard knocks .
I sit here in front of the computer tonight finnaly feeling able to pull my own weight . I moved here to Fairbanks after being inspired by seeing what Tim was able to accomplish when he was able to truly "find himself". It has taken me until today to reach a place where I am truly comfortable. I am now living in my "ideal" location north of Fairbanks off of the Elliot highyway.
My dogs have a nice yard, I have "MY" own place with a wonderful view and with independent renewable wind and solar power. And today it is official I've landed my dream job working for the local renewable energy supply company. I finally love my job. I am finally appreciated for the artist I can be when I,m just let alone, in my own medium of course .I'm making more money than I ever have before . I am happy. Finally !

But let me tell you I had to go through many nasty times to reach this point . And I'm not proud of everything that has happened to me to get here. It was a rough trip at times . Many many many times .

You are the only one who can truly "find yourself"
The only opinion you cannot escape is that of your own
You are only the person that you want to be.
Take the bits and pieces of bad stuff, and puzzle piece them together into something better than the sum of its parts

There were many times when I was tempted to give up and just leave it all and move back.
Alaska had beaten me, it seemed many times. But now here I sit, triuhmphant at last.

All I can say is that I feel for you and Tim both. You are both so talented. You both deserve better . Its gonna feel SO awesome when you finnaly ascend up out of the pit of despair, (I dont mean that to sound too awful), and enter into your own success, whatever that may be for you both. I know you both wont quit till you get there.

Good luck to the both of you.
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From:laceaurora
Date:July 2nd, 2008 07:29 am (UTC)
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I know she has all right to be concerned, but she has no right to be the way she is, especially without knowing the facts or jack shit about the immigration process.

I wish it was that easy for someone to get into the states or vise versa.

I believe in you and know you are doing what is right and all you can for yourself and your relationship. Hang in there *hugs*
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From:djagokemono
Date:July 2nd, 2008 12:15 pm (UTC)
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O.o; yeah i hate when i call them right.

Hard to say what kind of relationship you should have with her at this point.
Might have to swallow down some pride and work out what you can with her. I tell
Rusty this every time he has a rough day at work. Be Civil , kind , and think your words through, when dealing with those rough situations. You need to be Strong is all. It's going to be hard but things will find a way. Never right away , but some how they will. I know our post won't have the power of Tim's words to you, but i hope they will push you forward to do the things you need to do for the next few months and get the things you need done.


PS: yes since Sept 11th 4 new laws where put in place making it really hard to get a visa in the us let alone becoming a resident >< i swear does she live under a rock <.< or is she just daft
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From:jaxxblackfox
Date:July 2nd, 2008 02:45 pm (UTC)
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I'm glad to hear you guys landed a house. I hope your apartment hunt in Vancouver goes as smoothly.


Tim's Mom needs to come out from under her rock. It's not the 1940's anymore... ~_~'
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From:dark_prime
Date:July 2nd, 2008 02:53 pm (UTC)
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I totally support you in everything you and Tim well do just fine on your own I'm sure of it right now I myself am living in an apartment and hoping to get a house one day with my mate Jezza! But tell that day comes we well be planing and providing as same as you are ^_^! So don't worry your doing just fine and both of you are going to do great ^_^! "Hugs Tight"
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From:hesterbyrde
Date:July 2nd, 2008 04:31 pm (UTC)
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As a fan of your art, I thought I'd throw my two cents in.

I'm having to learn how to deal with family and inlaw politics right now as I'm about to get married. I was given a very good piece of advice right after I was engaged. That is that blood talks to blood. I think Tim needs to tell his mother to lay off of you and tell his mother that if she ever has a beef with you, she needs to bring it up with him present.

I'm not trying to sound like I think he's not doing anything to support you or like you need help dealing with her, but one of the fun things about marriage is that you never have to deal with stuff like this alone.

I wish you all the best!

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From:ebonyleopard
Date:July 2nd, 2008 06:41 pm (UTC)
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First of all congrads on being married, boy I really haven't been reading my LJs much, cause I totally missed that.

Congrads on the house, nothing like saying I'm going home and mean it in the possessive.

As for the mother-in-law thing, I honestly can't say that from her point of view, with how you laid things out, I could totally blame her for feeling the way that she does or expressing it how she is. Better that she be upfront with you and address her concerns directly to you than do so behind your back. And frankly, as a dude, this is where your Tim should be stepping up a bit as well. Man law and all that.

Do hope though you guys get it together and your immigration process goes as smoothly as possible.
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From:wlfdog
Date:July 2nd, 2008 07:59 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for the congrats.:)

My issue with her was not her being concerned - my issue with her was how she brought it up with me. I'm sorry, but you don't ask if you can "speak with someone" and then turn around and *yell at* them, and then storm off. That was completely uncalled for, and she could have handled that much better than she did.

The thing is though, a lot of what she was concerned about, (mainly the immigration/visa thing, and why I have to get a place in Vancouver) both Tim and I have already previously tried talking with her about, on a couple of separate occasions. But she doesn't listen. Not to me, and not to Tim. She literally says, "Whatever!" and turns her back on you and stops listening. That is not an exaggeration, either. O__o

Tim did talk with her, on my behalf, and he has stuck up for me. But again, she argues, and she doesn't ever listen. So Tim's stopped trying to talk with her, because you simply cannot communicate with her, on a rational level.

But honestly, neither of us will have to deal with it for much longer, since I will be back in Canada soon, and Tim will be in his own place. Better to just smile and nod, in her case, and just let her think/do whatever she wants. *shrugs*

Thank you very much for your well wishes. I hope you are doing well! Been a while since we've chatted, really. Do you still go to cons at all? Tim and I will be at AC next year for sure. :-P
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From:centrifuge_xeno
Date:July 5th, 2008 01:26 am (UTC)
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PLEASE read my LJ post for you! I know I seem ignorant for not responding directly to what you're talking about here, but it's important you read what I put up
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