I'm not sure how many of you remember this story, as it happened almost 3 years ago, but to say that I am traumatised by the whole situation it very much an understatement. "Back in May of 2015 a family gathering was planned in my apartment, for my boyfriend. He was turning 30 and his family wanted to fly over (from Italy to Belgium) to celebrate. I didn't end up celebrating much of that birthday as I had gone completely insane already days before that. The way I was treated by my in-laws, in my own house, was absolutely horrific." This is what I wrote then, followed by a detailed description of everything that went down. I've been wanting to update that story for a while already but it's taken me some time as it is, still, a very sensitive matter. I haven't seen or talked to my in-laws since and to be honest I'd like to keep it that way, at least for another while.

I'm in a completely different mind set now which is good. I've been going to weekly therapy for almost 2 years and this in-law horror story has been discussed plenty of times. I've learned a lot since then but I still harbour a lot of resentment and I'm still really hurt by everything that has happened. Even though it's been 3 years I can't help but cry hysterically about it now and again. Living in the very place where it all happened doesn't make it any easier, even though my apartment looks nothing like it did then. My therapist has told me that a lot of the things I feel angry and sad about are actually feelings I have towards my own parents, which makes sense because when I'm asked in my therapy sessions what I would say to my parents today I'm always quiet, so I probably reflect a lot of the issues I have with my mother and father on my boyfriend's parents. I just can't stand the fact that they don't hold themselves accountable, for anything. My boyfriend wrote them a very long and emotional letter shortly after the whole situation and they had nothing to say, which to me spoke volumes.

I think I told you, the last time, that me and Marco split up for a while after that, for about 3 or 4 months. We've been together 5 years now and things are great - but this is still something I argue with him about. I just can't seem to let it go. I've definitely made progress, there's no doubt, but I'd like to just be over it, you know. To stop being heartbroken. It's just tiring. It's tiring to be bothered by the way his family swept everything under the carpet and doesn't talk about it. Marco doesn't talk to his uncle anymore now, and his wife. The one that sent me the hate mail I plastered all over my social media. The relationship with his brother hasn't been the same anymore either. I blocked everyone on Facebook and I haven't accepted any invitations I received in the past year or so, from their part. There were a couple, last Summer was the first one. It was a wedding invitation. I don't know why they'd think I'd have any interest in staying at their house when they have treated me so horribly - and that doesn't include the homophobic, racist and condescending remarks towards my family, my culture and my morals and values. So, being trapped in a car with them for hours to go attend a wedding didn't seem like a great idea to me, or a good way to rekindle a relationship. The second invite was from an auntie. She came to Brussels for a weekend and asked if I'd like to join them for dinner. Even though I knew she was coming long before she arrived, I just couldn't deal with it. I was so afraid Marco would bring her to the house that I had my period twice that month. That's how stressed out I was.

We did agree that his family is not allowed to come or stay over at our house anymore, but the fact that my boyfriend still hopes that everything will, magically, be fine again just scares the shit out of me. I wouldn't know how things could get better. No one is talking and they like to pretend we aren't together. Marco told me that it's loud and clear that we are (and live) together but that they were in denial about it for a long time and then got upset when they came here, back in 2015. It was a reality check, one his mom was really hurt by. I'm guessing she felt like she was being replaced in a way. I was told that she, herself, has been treated like shit by her in-laws as well, so I'm no longer surprised by the way she acted.

Another reason why I find this situation so upsetting is because all of this makes it hard for me to think about the future, about my future with Marco. Getting married, having children, buying property .. I don't want anyone at my wedding who thinks it's okay to behave like a total dick and not apologise for it. I don't want anyone there who wouldn't be happy for me. I don't want to share my house or my children with people who have treated me, and my relationship, with such disrespect - and lastly I don't want to leave my children with someone who clearly has mental health issues and thinks they don't need help. That last one sounds harsh, I know, but I was very clear about my health the last time I saw them and they didn't think it was important. A lot of stuff has happened over the past 3 years and as my therapist has said: me and Marco's family, even though culturally different, are so alike in many ways. Especially mental health wise, which is really sad.

There are a lot of other things I got to know about my mother in-law and believe me, I do feel sorry for her, but I can't have someone in my life who exhibits such toxic behaviour. I just hope she realises one day that she deserves better and that she can do better. Just like my mother. My mom is exactly the same. I haven't talked to her in months and I haven't seen her since last Summer. Also this is something that makes me even more sad and uncomfortable: the fact that I seem to be problem. I'm the one not talking to anyone. I don't talk to my boyfriend's family and I hardly talk to my own family. It just hurts and it's confusing. I'm glad I finally wrote down all of my feelings though and I hope this will help me to hopefully forgive at some point and let go of all this shit. Despite the fact that I have some very strong opinions about Marco's family, I have been punishing myself about everything that has happened and I'm tired of carrying that guilt around. I'm just so done.