Finally as it should be
When I last blogged in July after the "family vacation" at our lake house, I said we probably would not have any contact with SS27 until youngest SGD's birthday this month. Turns out not only did we not hear from him, but DH reached out to SS27 about the birthday. SGD7's birthday fell on a weekend that we were out of state due to Parent's Weekend at DS20's school. SS27 posted numerous pics on social media of her "birthday weekend" with BM, including fall festivities and her party. I decided this year I would be completely OUT of this process--NO party with elaborate decorations, no custom cake, no mess to clean up for them to be completely ungrateful for and to be snubbed on social media.
Therefore, DH made arrangements to meet SS27 & family at a restaurant for SGD7's birthday. DH shopped online for and wrapped all her gifts. I had to work late that evening, so I didn't even go. No pictures were posted online, and I'm fairly certain, none were taken. As far as the world could see, GUBM throughly celebrated the birthday and slack @ss DH did nothing. Oh, well. The most awesome part of this for me is, for the first time I can remember, I have NO resentment and don't feel slighted, since I did absolutely nothing and gave them no opportunity to slight me.
Processing all this, so many wise comments to me from my prior blogs ring true and have finally sunken in, including that this is a transactional relationship, where we give and SS27 and family take; we are not family to them. So very true! My DH accepts this treatment to keep from being estranged. That is his choice. However, I feel so good that I opted out of this awful treatment by these awful people. I won't say that I'll never see them again (there will be Christmas, after all!) but I'll continue to do the least amount possible. Any illusions I had about being family to them are gone. No need to spend time fretting over it, as I can't change it. I wish I'd come to this realization a long time ago, but better late than never! I hope my experience can help someone else reach this realization a lot sooner.