::pack:: of fixations

life after tragedy. living while grieving. love and triplets.


Not being “thanked enough”

Waxing different women throughout the years I’ve learned that none of us really “see” ourselves.  We all focus on our flaws, but most of the time the flaws we focus on aren’t even real.  I will have the most beautiful creature in front of me, the epitome of beauty & yet she has no idea.  In fact I don’t think any of us look into a mirror & really see our true beauty at all; only the flaws we’ve made up for ourselves.

Three Christmas’s ago I had returned to work doing eyebrows at Nordstrom.  They reached out to me & asked if I could work at the Anastasia counter at least for the holidays.  I also had 1 year old triplets & a 6 year old son.  There is one Day in December Nordstrom gives its employees a little extra employee discount & so I headed over to the handbag department to shop for my MIL.  There on the clearance table was a beautiful beige Kate Spade handbag, that being already on sale + the extra discount, & knowing my SIL wanted Togo in with me I thought it would be perfect for her.  My MIL & I are very different & I always struggle trying to figure out what to buy her.  

We drove to her house on Christmas Day, which we all know is a difficult day for us.  But We have to pretend that it’s not & that nothing ever happened.  And even if you don’t talk about your tragedy to them & pretend that it never happened at every family party you still get a letter in the mail saying that you “let your tragedy effect you too much”.  My 1 year old triplets were scattered throughout their Grandma’s house & Ryan was making sure that no one fell down a flight of stairs as she opened up the gift I had stressed about finding for her.  I was so excited to give it to her because it wasn’t too loud & it was also a neutral color.  She undid the silver Nordstrom ribbon & pulled out the beige Kate Spade handbag that I thought matched her style so perfectly.  She looked at it with extreme distaste & disgust.  She would barely even touch it with the tip of her fingers as she pulled it out & put it to the side, all while giving me, every sign of revulsion & hatred that her body & face could possibly bare to throw at me.  Her house is obviously not child proofed so it came of no surprise to me when Ryan said he didn’t see his mothers disgust with the gift I’d gotten her.  I also wonder if she knew that he wasn’t looking when she so deliberately tried to hurt me (for buying her a KATE SPADE handbag mind you).  The woman who gave birth to my husband, who my parents told me didn’t care if I lived or died, was trying to hurt me on CHRISTMAS DAY..., but why???

Looking back on that Christmas it’s funny to me because in my heart I knew something was brewing amongst the women on my husbands side of the family.  There were little signs all over the place coming from most of them for years.  For example: I got a tummy tuck, hernia surgery, & a breast reduction after I carried triplets full term.  I literally had a skin apron removed from my body.  My 21 year old niece from Ryan’s side stopped by unannounced shortly after & I mustered up the will power to get out of bed to show off the new me.  Because I assumed like most people she was happy for me.  As I limped out of my bedroom fresh from major surgery she looked at me with absolute horror & disgust.  She was trying to make me feel bad about the way I now looked.  I fully understand now that she was just trying to hurt me, & she did, she made me cry for days, but why?  Why did she want me to feel bad?  Her one mistake was doing it in front of my sitter, who witnessed the whole thing, which made her denial of it all a little tricky afterwards.  I was so grateful I had a witness to her behavior.

It’s a little blurry & confusing what happened months following the “biggest negative reaction to a Kate Spade purse ever” Christmas but it went something like this...

My MIL calls Ryan out of concern to tell him to call his sister, he calls his sister.  His sister tells him that his nieces (whom had been giving me dirty looks for years prior & I had no idea why), said that they heard from some one I said some horrible things about them  So that’s 5 women total that did not come & talk to me about these supposed things I said.  That’s 5 women talking shit about me talking shit about them.  Then they call their son, brother, uncle to try & convince him how horrible I am based off of hear say!!!

When I tried to stand up for myself it was hopeless.  Because the 5 women (4 being my in-laws) thought it was wrong of me to talk about them.  I asked why they didn’t come to me in the first place & they said because I would yell at them & make them cry.

A few months later one niece (she’s in her late 20’s not a child btw), says that all the women sit around & talk about how I didn’t thank them enough.  So does that mean Ryan thanked them enough?, or do boys not count when it comes to “thanking enough”!

 I’m no doctor but I’m pretty sure sitting around & talking about how your daughter/sister/Aunt in-law who was a victim of a very serious crime & then was pregnant with, & gave birth to triplets didn’t “thank you enough” is total gaslighting!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I wonder who the ring leader is?  Did you know that gaslighting is very common technique used in bullying?!?  It’s pretty successful too!  I cried for a good solid year about this.  I cried because I thought that they loved me.  I cried because It was all based on lies.  I cried because I loved them.  I cried because I crave healthy relationships.  I cried because I thought these people cared about us, like really cared.  I thought they helped us because that’s just what humans do.  Because what goes around comes around.  I’ve basically been family-less for years.  

Ya know how they say couples have a 90% chance of getting divorced after losing a child?  I’m actually wondering if their families have anything to do with it🤔?  I wonder if they’ve ever done studies on that?  I guess you’d have to study the 10% of people who didn’t get divorced & survived all the unnecessary bullshit of Unknowingly not thanking enough, etc.  I guess I didn’t get the memo of how to properly thank the in-laws after tragedy.  Maybe they could write us all a handbook on it, ya know for the future victims of people getting hit by others driving high & drunk & losing a child.  

There is no way I can win this fight.
And I don’t even care to try.
I know eggshells when I see ‘em.

In reading about abuse & abusers behaviors I keep reading not to listen to what they say, listen to what they do.  Also, I’m working really hard at “SEEING myself”.  Now that I know that I’m not completely nuts, I don’t want to waste anymore energy on wondering why mean girls are mean.  I’m actually taking all the mean girling that’s happened to me in like a positive way.  Like. I must bee something sorta incredible to have all these women spend so much time & effort trying to take me down when all I’m doing is trying to survive happily!  


  1. Kelly, I have been a loyal reader of your blog since Anatomy of a Car Crash Part 2. I've been anxiously awaiting a blog update since your long absence, and I'm so happy that you are posting so often lately.

    Obviously, I don't really know you in person, but I can see through your writings that you are just so authentic and strong, and I'm so proud that you are standing up to your toxic family. I think you would benefit from these two supportive communities:



    I've also left the Mormon church and have a true blue Mormon family that is "devastated" by that, and it's so nice to participate in an online community that shares the same exact pain that I have experienced. Hope to see you there!