Much has been going on, where shall I start? The beginning I suppose.
My brother moved back from out of state at the end of last year. I had super mixed feelings about it to say the least (you can read about the beginning of why here). After he and his wife moved here, we had a family meeting, and I informed him that I did not hate him and he said he wouldn't blame me if I did. It was a very mature conversation, and I left feeling surprisingly confident about the future. Of course there was still no trust. But hope.
Things were going well. Everyone was working and working well together. My dad, mom, husband, brother, sister-in-law, family friend, and two employees. In a very small office. Then we get to the middle of May, about six months into All Goes Well. Then this happened and this too. Basically, my brother has been out "sick" one day a week for about the last two months. Just for one day and then he has a miraculous recovery. Then he was out "sick" for one entire week, came back for three days after the Memorial Day three day weekend, called in sick the Friday of that week, and then called in "sick" again for the entire next week. At the end of that week, wifey came in and said he has "smoker's flu" which I promptly Googled and search results produced this: YOUR BROTHER IS FULL OF SHIT.
Oh yeah, and my dad is totally not acknowledging that any of this is happening. Everyone else in the office is totally pissed and talking about it, as we all have to pick up the slack for the work he is not doing, something that nobody has time to do. Nothing is being said to my brother or us about how this will be addressed and how it is not acceptable. So of course he will keep doing it - he's getting paid for staying home and being lazy! He's the smart one, we're all the idiots because apparently we too can get paid for staying home. The difference is that we would never do that.
And the lack of concern by my parents regarding his health just proves that they do not believe that he is sick. If my kid was sick for three weeks straight, you bet your ass I would be worried sick and get involved in trying to help him. And when I asked his wife why he wasn't seeking medical attention, she said they don't have health insurance and cannot afford to go to the doctor. Okay, fair enough, but don't then turn around and in one weekend take your dog to the vet and purchase an entire maternity wardrobe, and for goodness' sakes, stop eating fast food for every meal!
Early last week, before the fake diagnosis came up, I said to my sister-in-law, he's not really sick stop covering for him, and it started this entire drama with her because she is so blindly in love with him that she would believe that the moon was actually made of blue cheese if he told her it was true. She is in her early twenties but acts like those tweeners on Maury who say they want to have their boyfriends' babies and they are ready to be adults, all the while wearing a pink unicorn shirt and braided pigtails. P.S. she is pregnant and he doesn't want children. I rest my case. Anyway, what came out is that she thinks I hate her, which I don't, even though that one post I wrote said I did (she doesn't read it, btw). Also, she is lonely here and has no friends (she never goes anywhere, I shared with her the magical concept of socializing). I explained to her that she is the only portal to him because HE IS NEVER HERE. And unfortunately when a couple works together, what one does reflects on the other. That might not be fair, but it is the unfortunate truth. I apologized for putting her in the middle, I also said that it is not my place to say anything since it is technically not my company, but I told her that everyone is so angry and frustrated. She said she understood, we kissed and made up (metaphorically, I don't like her that much), and everything was cool between us. As cool as it can be anyway for sister-in-laws with nothing in common.
This was all done in the conference room. We come out and my dad sees us and calls me over to his desk and asks what's going on. I told him that I said something to her about my brother being gone but that we worked it out and I apologized for putting her in the middle. He said okay and it was over, or so I thought.
Next day, I get called into the conference room by my parents. I'm not really thinking anything of it, this happens on occasion to discuss money or other confidential business issues. I sit down and my dad hits me with this speech about don't I want to be a better person, a person who can control herself and her words in order to spare other people's feelings. I'm like what? Are you serious? What I actually said was that I think you should be honest with people and not worry about their feelings. Of course there are boundaries for that, i.e., there's no need to walk up to a complete stranger and tell them they need to wax their uni-brow. But if there is an issue that is affecting my family and my business, then you better believe I'm going to say something. WELL, you'd think I just told them that I eat babies for fun from the looks of shock on their faces. And seriously, DID THEY JUST MEET ME? Am I not their daughter, that THEY raised? They really don't know me at all! Unbelievable.
So they go on and say how this is just childish and so they have an "Exercise of Parenting an Adult Child" (FYI, I'm 30) for me to complete. I am to go back to my office and create a chart. On the side I am to list the names of all of the people in my life (everyone at work, The Boy, and My Person). On the top I am to make the following column headers: Church, Health, Finances, Social, Job. Then I am to fill in the squares with my expectations for each person under each category. And I am told to be completely honest and not to fluff it up just because they will be looking at it. I am informed that we will meet again tomorrow
Oooookaaaaayyyyy. I go back to my office and shut the door and tell my office mate, Cupcake, and we are laughing about how absolutely ABSURD this is. I start doing the chart and I call The Man in to ask for his opinion about one of the squares and he is like, what in the hell are you doing. So I explain to him what happened in the conference room and the assignment and he is LIV.ID. He says this is sick and wrong and I should not be doing it. I'm like okay dude, calm down. I explained what our therapist told me when I started working for my dad, which is that my dad has a square hole that he believes I should fit into, and I am a circle peg. So I was just going to do the exercise for them and move on with life. He is having none of it. He says to call My Person RIGHT NOW and ask what she thinks.
I get My Person on the phone and she agrees with The Man that it is disturbing and that I don't have to do it. But she says don't just not do it because The Man tells me not to or he's no better than they are for bossing me. So I tell The Man, okay, My Person agrees with you on the weirdness. I am going to compromise and say that I will meet with our therapist to discuss how to proceed, and I will tell my parents that I am going to wait to chat about the chart until after I have consulted with an unbiased third party.
I'll let all of this soak in for a day before I tell you the rest of the story.