This is a saying that i have been telling some people for the last couple of years. I'm not sure where or when i came up with it, but i have used it in many situations.
Take the recent death of my MIL.
BBB and quad bro have been telling me about how the other members of their family have screwed them over in years past.
Step-sister from Montana arrived on what turned out to be MIL's last day. She loaded up some items that MIL wanted her to have and spent the day visiting. That night, MIL went to sleep and her heart stopped.
The following day, we found out MIL had died because we called!! And it didn't sound like niece (who was MIL's caretaker) had even been planning on calling to let us know anytime soon.
According to step-sis, niece had told horrid tales about how BBB was verbally abusing his mother and calling her all kinds of names. How he must have stolen some gold that MIL had stashed for step-sis, because it was there in the cabinet last she had seen it and how he was bringing over a level 3 sex offender to help him clean out the house now that MIL was gone. And finally, how he was trying to run her life and she wasn't going to let him.
First of all, BBB and his mom had a difficult relationship overall. Up until 3-4 years ago, he'd had nothing to do with her. These past couple of years, he's been exceptionally helpful to her and never asked anything of her, mainly because of the relationship between her and quad bro. Basically treated her like any other older person that he takes the time to help. However, he has always called her "old bag" or "older than dirt" or something like that. She returned similar verbal sparring, regularly flipping him off.* We are figuring that because he didn't treat her like an invalid and acted like everything was the same, niece took that as "verbal abuse" (though some of the names reported were nothing that he would ever have called her to her face). Matter of fact, if he had gone in and NOT treated her normally, and did the "poor you" thing to her, she wouldn't have lasted the day. She was a crusty old bitch and was rather proud of it.
Second, the only thing that we are concerned about is quad brother. MIL received his SSI checks and turned around and paid the nursing facility where quad bro is living. I now have POA to do his business dealings for him, and his mail needs to be forwarded to me so i can make sure that the place is paid. (whee! That's a whole 'nother JE)
Quad brother heard from an independent 3rd party that niece and her brother (who had screwed quad bro over when we let him rent the house in E WA two years ago) were hauling things out of the house. Now, this house and most of the things in it, belong to quad-bro. The land and trailer were placed in my name, due to the fact that if the state figured out that he was living in a care facility, the state could (if they so chose) take the property in exchange for the care that he's getting. MIL had been living in the house since her husband had died, her only rent was paying the monthly bills and the real estate taxes.
The day after MIL died was the last time we heard from niece, she disappeared and wasn't answering the phone. It took her almost a week to finally call us. The excuse was that she got scared, staying in the house that MIL died in.** I had to explain to her that it was a viable excuse, but not letting us know what had happened and basically dropping off the face of the earth was inexcusable.
I also mentioned that step sister had told us things that she had said about us and she was upset and wondering why step sister would say such things "I hardly talked to her".
Hence the "the truth is somewhere in the middle". Until we are able to go up there and see for ourselves what is happening, we won't know for sure if anything is really missing.
We are also going to be bringing a rental agreement, so that if niece chooses to live in the house, we will have legal recourse if she tries to do something stupid, like her brother did.
Whee! My life is so much fun.
BBB had to ask me if i regretted getting involved with him, because of the roller coaster that we've been on lately. I snorted at him. We may not be married, but i accepted him, for better or for worse. This is merely a pothole in the road of our lives.
*The last picture we have of her was three days before she died, where she is flipping him off.
**To be fair, she's 27 and this is the first death she's ever had to deal with up close and personal. (though she's expressed an interest in getting into hospice care, so i had to tell her that she'd need to get used to it)