How were things before?

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You might have read one of my previous entries on how my FIL blew up on me and DH one day last year and stopped talking and interacting with me. He had a bit of a tantrum because his son sat down to talk to him about having his own life. His son, my DH had put his life on hold for 10 years to watch his mother without any sort of financial support 80+ hours a week. Every single day. The man rarely left the house. He asked the ogre perhaps could he only work 30 hours a week and spend some time with his wife? Oh Hell NO! The ogre could not handle that idea! That would mean… he might have to watch his own wife for some of those hours??!! Well, apparently as DH just put up with it for so many years I must have been the one who made him sit down with his dad and discuss this new radical idea! Man, I am a truly terrible person. I think I did pretty good for being patient. I mean dating my DH consisted of never actually going on a date but sitting at his dining room table playing games while five feet away from his mother so she could be watched. On our wedding day? We still watched mum. Could we have a honeymoon? Nah, still had to watch mum, FIL would absolutely not do it. Like DH said, he was fine watching her all those years for all those hours because he did not have anyone special in his life, now that he does he actually wants to spend time with them… aka me!

So you might ask, how was life here before the big blow up? It is pretty much the same now except two differences – one my MIL has passed away so I don’t have to see the ogre abuse and neglect her on a daily basis and he no longer talks to me. 

Before the ogre stopped talking to me I couldn’t stand being around him. I told DH months later that I found his dad really odd even in the beginning and that was due in part to his passive aggressiveness.  How do you tell your fiancé that you think his dad is creepy and weird? That you don’t even like being in the same room with him? That something is just “off” with the man? You don’t, so I didn’t for a very long time. I actually ended up taking Valerian root drops which is pretty much like valium to cope with the man. 

Much like now, the man needed constant attention. As DH had to watch his mother and I actually wanted to spend time with him I moved my computer to the downstairs dining room table so we could interact during the day. The ogre would come through the dining room (to wander around aimlessly like he does) a good thirty times a day. No joke. No exaggeration. Each and every time the man would come through the door he would just stand there. He would not move until you acknowledged his presence. If you did not see him (how could you not) he would cough and stand there until you said hi. And when you would say Hi he would repeat the Hi and in a snotty type voice that was almost mocking. At first I felt odd when he did it, he couldn’t be mocking me could he? Why would he. Oh wait, he’s PA. Of course he is. So I would still say Hi but inwardly I would cringe every time he would make fun of me. I played the game of “Hello” thirty times a day for about four months then I just got tired of it. It got to where I would say Hi once or twice a day and then put my headphones on and pretend I didn’t see or hear him. And this was not easy because he would not let you ignore him. 

Having to say hi multiple times a day wasn’t the only headache. As soon as the man would hear you coming down the stairs he would immediately open his “office” door located at the bottom of the stairs and want to interact with you. It was creepy. This happened almost every time he was in his office. If he caught you then he would engage you in a conversation that involved talking about how he made good money at a company he started and ran, his gardening, all the places he’s been etc. He would literally hold you hostage for 45 minutes. And don’t you even think about trying to change the subject! He will talk right over you and turn it back around to being all about him. So it was the same conversation all the time. The man did not want to talk about news, or politics or fucks sake anything else.  I could see now why DH never really had a relationship with him. How could you, the man is all about himself!

So I would get ambushed coming downstairs and then going into the kitchen. Even trying to avoid him in certain parts of the house began long before his blow out with me. Like I told DH, I just want to make a sandwich, leave and eat it. I don’t want to get mixed up in a 45 minute discussion about him every time I want to eat. Oh and he would always linger in the kitchen. If you had been making sandwiches your entire life you were probably doing it wrong. He would tell you how to do everything. EVERYTHING. Oh and let’s see he would have to open the oven, take off the lid of every pot you were using to cook with just to peer in. Sounds petty, but when the man irritates you so much even things like this have a habit of getting on your nerves. 

Let’s see… the man is always drunk. So I would be subjected to him being “drunk close” to me. Meaning that he likes to be extra friendly when drunk and the concept of personal space becomes null and void.  I don’t like people being so close to me that they are constantly brushing up against me. Let alone people who I find creepy. When he would talk to you his face would be literally three inches away from mine. 

His generally creepiness has caused me to dress differently. I used to like wearing sun dresses and skirts. I haven’t wore any for two years now. I’ve caught him before standing behind me looking down at my boobs and that’s when he’s not just staring at them anyway. It made me feel really uncomfortable. 

I’m sure there are more changes  since the incident last year, but I must mention one last one. This one involves DH much more than I. DH since he was stuck at home all the time would run a roleplaying game twice a month at the house. His friends would come over in the evening and play for a few hours. Now I could see the ogre trying to be friendly but it went beyond being courteous to the guests. He would always come out and offer the friends wine. These people really aren’t wine people… they are gamer geeks. But sometimes they would be polite and have some. Then the ogre would try to engage them in a half hour conversation of where do they think the wine is from? Every single time they came over these poor people had to hear about the man’s wine. He would also linger in the dining room where they would be playing and interrupt the game to make useless conversation with them. At first before I figured out that the ogre was PA I thought, well maybe he is lonely. No. He needs attention. He knows that his son rarely has friends over or does anything besides watch his mum, but by god he will monopolize DH’s friend’s attentions as long as he can. And being the polite people they are, they can’t ignore the ogre. Another annoying thing is the people would bring snacks and such to eat during the game and the ogre would always and without asking help himself to stuff.  He would stick his hand that he never washes (even after the toilet) into their bag of crisps/chips and shovel them in his mouth. DH doesn’t have games here any more and it has since come to light from these friends how annoying they truly thought the ogre was…

Overall I’m glad that the man doesn’t try to talk to me anymore. It’s one less stress that I have to deal with. I literally existed for him to try to impress or talk at about himself. He still is attention seeking although through negative means. He still punishes DH and I in passive aggressive ways. I am still avoiding him before and after… and even before he really didn’t like me. I think he may have actually felt threatened by me in the fact that his son would someday have to leave and go on with his life leaving the old man to watch his wife by himself. (which he got out of easily because she passed away) The only real change is the dislike the man had for me is out in the open and he is covertly hostile which stresses me out. You know, when I think of it this way, it really isn’t that bad compared to before!!

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It has been decided that there should be new flooring…

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So apparently the ogre changed his mind about some repairs going on in the kitchen yesterday. The fix it man was quite irked.  He thought he would be done by Monday in the kitchen and moving on to other jobs he has. Guess not! Ogre had the man rip up the carpet in the kitchen and was going to keep the tile that was below the carpet originally.  Well when the fix it man got to work yesterday morning at 8am that all changed.  Ogre now wanted the title busted up and removed. So no using the kitchen again yesterday and everything is now covered in a thick layer of dust from the tile being cut out.

So all last night I am woken up probably 4-5 times by the ogre making horrible sounds in the bathroom. You know what sounds… the sounds of someone with the squirts. Ick. I’d like to think it was the rotting soup but hell could have been all the diet pills he consumes.  Anyway as the bathroom is right next to our bedroom I got to hear everything!

At 4am he was still at it and that’s when I heard rain starting to come down. The ogre was milling around when DH came home from work last night so we avoided the downstairs area, which meant DH’s workshirt was still on the line outside and it was now starting to rain… hard. So I got up and stumbled downstairs. I didn’t want to turn on the bedroom light and wake up DH to hunt for my socks so I had to go downstairs barefooted. I must explain. I don’t walk around this house in my barefeet period. The carpet is so disgusting that it makes my skin crawl just thinking about it. So, the trip downstairs barefoot was torture enough, but then I had to pass through the kitchen to go outside.  The kitchen that is now dusty and the floor is jagged as hell as not all of the tile is completely cut off. So, a bit painful plus I was in a rush. I go to open the kitchen door to go outside and guess what? It’s locked. Not the top lock, but the bottom lock is locked. The one that requires a key.

The ogre always keeps the door double locked which is quite irritating. I guess for two reasons, because I am an expat I am not used to having doors that you lock from the inside needing a key. Usually it’s just something you turn or bolt shut. I really don’t see the use for a key that could be lost when a bolt will work just as well.  Second the man always hides the damn key. He thinks if a burglar breaks the glass he will then reach through the door to grab the key off the counter to unlock the bottom lock and let himself in. No matter that the burglar even leaning over the glass that he just shattered has be really tall. Probably 7 feet tall to have long enough legs for his hips to come to the glass part of the door so he can bend over and in and then the man must again have either really long arms or upper body to be able to reach the lock at the bottom. I think the odds are really in our favor that some freakishly tall person isn’t going to break in and steal… I dunno… curry stained carpet? Old rotting tomatoes? That it just might be OK if we keep the key in a designated place in sight. I guess I should also mention there are about seven other keys on the ring. Is a burglar really going to try the seven other keys while he is breaking in? My money is on the man will just climb through the glass he shattered… but that’s just me I guess…

Anyway, because of this, he never puts the key to the door near the door and it’s always hidden under shit. So you can imagine how fun it was this morning stepping on jagged flooring barefooted, half awake and trying to find a damn key to the door while the rain is now bucketing down. Almost every day it’s play find the key. I’m waiting for the day that the house catches on fire and the back door is our only exit and we can’t find the key.

The ogre left this morning so I decided to go downstairs and do laundry that I have been trying to do for days. Nope. No access to the kitchen again today. Awesome…

Rotting Soup

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I am on a roll today it seems with posts. But I feel like I have a lot to vent about this week…

The good news is that DH’s friend is letting us stay at his flat this weekend while he is away, so it will be like a mini vacation away from the door slams and grumbling!! 🙂

Last night DH and I got takeaway, which let’s face it, really isn’t in the budget. But we just couldn’t face cooking in the kitchen with the ogre stomping around.  The ogre did make food last night! The entire downstairs smelled of burnt garlic that I’m surprised the fire alarm did not go off. That’s right he cooked in the kitchen, which generally means on the rare occasions that he does cook he made soup. When the ogre does cook his meal is already rotten. The man is notorious for buying hundreds of pounds of groceries and just letting them rot in the fridge or on the counter. The items will rot and the next week he will buy more. They will rot again. When he makes soup – which is generally tomato, a beef stew or a chicken stew the ingredients will already be bad. He will let the beef or chicken sit in the fridge for weeks and it will already be past the eat by date and the plastic package will be puffed out as if there is a lot of gas built up inside. The meat will look slimy and brown. He will take the meat/chicken out of the fridge in it’s already rotted state and let it sit on the counter in it’s package for about 2-3 days before putting it in a crockpot to cook it.

Do you know what rotting meat stewing smells like? It’s F-ing rancid. It stinks up the entire house. It literally stinks so bad I cannot go into the kitchen no matter how hungry I am. That’s bad enough right? WRONG. Although he made this soup – usually he’ll make two giant pots of it at once – he still likes to eat most of his meals out. He will not put these pots of soup in the fridge!  For two to three weeks these already rotting soups will sit out in the heat on the counter and continue to rot away.  The smell does not get any better.

Last night he made tomato soup – from tomatoes that had been on the counter rotting away for at least a month. I mean almost liquefied and covered in mold! Don’t forget the cream in the soup! That’s always delicious sitting out and rotting in the heat. This morning while lying in bed I smelled the familiar smell of stewing meat… the stench from these soups were bad enough in the winter and spring… but now that it is around 25 degrees out I can’t even imagine…

I just can’t even fathom how he can think this is safe.  So there you go… only about two days of smelling the rotting meat before DH and I can head off over to his friend’s flat.

 

We will never be able to cook alone

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DH and I went to the charity shops a couple days ago and DH purchased a book by the Dalai Lama about how to have more happiness in your life.  So, I started reading the book. The content was decent, but I don’t think the Dalai ever had to live with a nutcase FIL. Most of the things he says cannot be applied if you live under someone who actively wants to be a daily thorn in your side.

DH and I sat down and had a discussion about the ogre a few days ago. You see after 2.5 weeks the kitchen cupboards are still not all on. Cooking in the kitchen has to wait until night time when the fix it man has left and even then most of the time DH and I don’t want to cook because of the ogre. DH tries to avoid cooking in the kitchen if the ogre is home because he does not want to interact with the man whatsoever. DH told me it is better when I am in the kitchen because the ogre will just linger but won’t start a conversation with DH.

Not that the conversations with DH are truly conversations.  You must have two people talking and listening to have a conversation. All FIL does is tell you something “wonderful” about himself. He does not really care to talk to you, he just wants someone – ANYONE to tell something about himself to.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve heard it 100 times. The topics are generally how he used to own his own business and made tons of money or about how he traveled here or there and about this nickname workmates gave him. If you were to try to make conversation about anything different he will interrupt you within a minute and turn the story around to tell you about himself.  You could be talking about diaper rash and the man will turn it around to talk about how successful he was in life then carry on talking over you for a good 45 minutes. (I will expand on this topic in a future post)

If I am present in the kitchen then the ogre will just make a show of saying hello to DH and completely ignoring my existence. Here’s the thing though… even though pretty much all three of us don’t get along ogre will not just stay out of our way.  This is what DH and I talked about – the fact that the man needs attention. He cannot just let us get on and use the kitchen for 30 minutes or so to make our dinner in peace. Not once. He needs to stroll in and be present.  He needs to let it be known that he is still ignoring me. He will come into the kitchen and linger for several minutes or keep coming in and out for no apparent reason.  He will pick up a spoon on the counter and look at it for several minutes then lay it back down or put it away and then leave for a minute then come back again to do more useless stuff.  I feel some of it is that he knows DH and I don’t have much time together so he monopolizes some of our time as when he his lingering about we generally stop whatever conversation we are having and just cook silently. Also I feel like he is trying to eavesdrop. (Which I have caught him in the past doing) Add in twenty or so loud door slams a few seconds apart and that is generally our evening trying to cook.

DH and I try to think of ways to cook and avoid him while doing so, but we’ve come to the conclusion it is impossible. The man needs attention and he needs to let us know that he does not like us – no matter this is generally reinforced all day every day in various ways…

 

Peeping

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Well, it’s been a balmy high 20’s/30 degrees here the last couple weeks. (75-85ishF) Which really isn’t bad unless you factor in the humidity, then it sucks.  The windows are designed to where they do not open very far and are at an angle that when opened not a lot of air flows through.  However, I still try to keep them open for the pitiful breeze.  However I’ve figured out trying to enjoy any air coming through the window is pointless.  I always have to keep the curtains drawn. Why you might ask?

Because of the peeps. I’m not really sure what else to call it, except the “peeps”. Are peeping Tom neighbors staring through my windows? Nope. Fortunately we live next to an old lady and I’m pretty sure she couldn’t even see as far as my window… no, no… it’s the ogre.  Ogre wanders around the house and back garden all day. DH and I have just come to the conclusion that he has nothing else to do and no friends to visit so he wanders around aimlessly and bored as the man doesn’t really do anything. He just wanders around with his hands on his hips staring at things.  So being that he wanders aimlessly around all day that means he doesn’t go do gardening work, finish and come back in the house for the rest of the day. Nope!  It’s unpredictable when he’ll be wandering around. And he likes to stand in the back garden and stare up into my window.  How do I know?  Because I’ve caught him a few times. Now, I’m not undressing or anything like that (I would close the curtain for such things) but I am merely up here on the computer or doing whatever.  He doesn’t even try to disguise he is blatantly staring up here.  So I’ve taken to always keeping the curtains closed. If I open them within ten minutes he is always outside in the backyard! No fail. So, it’s hot in here. (There is also a 50ish gallon water heater in the airing cupboard in the bedroom so that adds a lot of unnecessary heat)

Ogre does not just peep at me in the room. He also peeps at DH or DH and I whenever we come or go. Every morning I stand at the door and wave goodbye to DH as he leaves for work.  Every morning he gets in his car, puts his lunch container on the passenger seat and then looks up at his dad’s bedroom window. Every morning. Why? Because the old man loves peeping out the window at you.  You will either see the curtains rustle and a face peer out at you or he will pull the curtains completely to the sides and leaning on both hands (or hands on hips) on the windowsill will make a show of staring you down. One might think, oh, it’s early, he probably thinks it could be someone else in the front yard? Except this is every morning.  Even during the day when the old man hears us coming down the stairs and out the door he will race to his window and stare out at us. Usually DH and I will pretend we didn’t see it but confirm with eachother that we had.

If we come home or leave while he is in his “office” and the blinds are open he stares at us until we get out of the car and come in. It’s not only nosey but creepy.  I went through a phase where I just wouldn’t leave the house at all. I thought, maybe he stares out the window to see if I am going with DH and whether he has free reign to go through the stuff in our bedroom (as he likes to do)? I mean why else would the man stare at us every time we come or go. I still haven’t figured it out yet.

Inquiring Minds Want to Know…

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DH comes home for lunch and so we decide to use the oven as fix it man is not working this weekend. We take out the marinaded chicken and begin looking for the baking sheet we always use to cook in the oven with.  Last time we saw it the ogre threw it outside.  Because thats where baking sheets belong…. I guess… ?

It is not on the table outside. Guess where it is? In the sink? No. Washed and put away? Guess again! I open the fridge and I shit you not… there is the baking sheet tossed on the lowest shelf halfway hidden. Why? I pull it out and it has burnt residue on it and has about a quarter of an inch of grease now congealed resting on it. Why would someone hide a dirty greasy empty baking sheet in the fridge? 

Anyway, I see the ogre has taken our clothes off the line in the back and has mowed the back lawn, however it doesn’t look like he is mowing the front lawn tonight.  So wouldn’t it have been easier to mow the front lawn tonight and leave the back lawn unmowed until tomorrow? No no… he’s got to take our probably still damp clothes off the line. I’ve not gone downstairs yet, but I’m waiting to see them wet and thrown on the dirty ass floor again like he likes to do. So, I can hang those back on the line again. It’s small things like this that really piss me off. Last time he pulled our clothes off the line he claimed he was doing us a favor and that he “thought they were dry” never mind I hung them outside only 30 minutes previous. Some of the clothes I had to hand wash in the sink and wring out by hand so they were actually dripping still! I could totally see how someone could think clothes that are dripping water are dry. My mistake! 

Diabetes

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I want to type – “This week has been fairly quiet with FIL”, but that is funny because it is never quiet here.  There is always door slamming, grumbling and mumbling shit about DH and I. But, there haven’t been many new annoying incidences.  I’ve not noticed any of our things randomly thrown in the trash lately. – Unless he is getting really good. The ogre did open DH’s mail a couple days ago then apparently shredded the envelope (the envelope which would have had the vet’s name on it was not in the recycle bin) but put the opened letter on the side table where the mail is generally placed.  How is that even acceptable? How does one open another’s mail and then just leave it unfolded setting out for that person? It’s almost like him letting us know that he’ll open anything he likes whether it’s his or not.  

Work on the kitchen took place all last week and will continue for the next week at least. It has been really hard to cook any food in there although we were told we could while appliances were plugged in. This is not always the case.  This is causing a lot of problems on top of the already present annoying problems surrounding food in this house. Due to the ogre’s unpredictability it can be many hours before I can eat breakfast. Although I am up at six am I am not usually able to access the kitchen until three pm. The average time since my last meal and eating breakfast is generally twenty hours. One day I was unable to use the kitchen for thirty seven hours. So I am generally very weak, lightheaded, very irritable and generally don’t feel well. So add on that my already limited use of the kitchen has been made more limited. Also when DH has tried cooking in there the fix it man has told him not to because it will make the room hot for him…! All this does not bother the ogre though as he eats just about every meal out or has takeaway. It would be nice if we could afford a few meals out!

DH and I found out the ogre lied about his diabetes.  The ogre told DH two years ago that he might be at risk as he is .01 points away from diabetes. Well, the ogre said this to DH not in passing but after the ogre did something wrong and felt he was being criticized he threw that in the conversation. The man said it to get the heat off him and for pity.  And I don’t pity the man. DH and I see a paper from the Dr. on the ogre’s desk. The way that the ogre has papers on his desk (you must pass his “office” to go to the pantry) they are turned not so that he can read them while he is sitting at his desk, but completely turned around so that if you come in the door you can read them! I feel as if he leaves things there on purpose so that we can read them. Anyway the paper said that he was type 2 diabetes and was diagnosed with it three years ago. So his attempts to get pity saying that he is at risk was a total lie. He knew he had it a year previous to saying that and apparently even in his attempts to get sympathy couldn’t even admit that he really had it. He could not admit that his actions has caused himself to get this disease. I don’t think he can actually admit to himself that he has caused it. Type 2 is from being overweight – which he is, but his attempts to lose weight are taking diet and caffeine pills for years. It doesn’t make him lose weight, it only makes him shit his pants on a regular basis. Forget exercise and cutting down on food.  How can I feel sorry for a man who used to steal DH’s and I’s food (We just don’t buy things in jars or pots or specific foods anymore for him to steal) and gulp down entire jars of jam in one sitting and drinks 3-4 bottles of wine a day and will sit and eat an entire tarte by himself? The man who thinks rice pudding and desserts are meals… I’m pretty sure that only leads to more obesity and diabetes, but what do I know!

Speaking of obesity or losing weight. The week that the ogre went away to France I was exercising and jogging… now back to sitting up in the room doing nothing much. I sit so much, I figure one day I’ll just get a blood clot in my leg and die. You watch… sorry to be depressing… but it does suck being stuck upstairs for so long. Four more weeks and it will be a year that I’ve had to stay in this room all day.  I had been trying to exercise downstairs when he is gone but the length of time he is gone is so unpredictable that I’ve not exercised in an entire week. Most of the time when he is gone I race downstairs and put on laundry, do dishes, bathe/use bathroom and get food/water. Exercising is kind of the last thing on my list.  Yesterday I went downstairs to start my day – I got the mail, sat on the couch and opened the first letter. He wasn’t gone 10 minutes and he was back.  I didn’t even get to finish reading the letter before he was home again! So I don’t know what to do… I’m tired of being out of shape and feeling bad. I’ve actually looked up exercises to do in my small space – hotel room exercises and prison exercises. Erm, the prisoners have more space than I do!