Monday, November 16, 2009

Just One of an N's Many Tricks - Feigned Ignorance

If you've ever confronted or attempted to reason with an N, you've likely received their comments of "I don't understand what you mean." or "What are you talking about?". When pushed into a corner and held accountable, N's generally take one of two roads: rage or feigned ignorance.

I find it hard to imagine that they couldn't know what we're talking about. After all, having spoken with many daughters of N mothers, I think we've all tried our best to explain in the hopes that a miracle would take place and our NM's would suddenly "get" how they've been hurting us and change.

I know I've written letters, emails and talked with NM until I'm blue in the face all to no avail. In my last email, I was especially specific about what it was about her behavior that I found so upsetting. Yet, the next time I spoke with NM, she kept saying how she "didn't understand" and repeatedly asked, "Well like what? What is it that I've done that is so bad or that you find so hurtful?" I just looked at her like, 'You have GOT to be KIDDING ME!!'

I know full well NM knew what my issues are with her. She was just feigning ignorance as as way of deflecting blame. After all, if she doesn't know what she's doing wrong then she can't be blamed, right?

Got a big dose of feigned ignorance earlier today. Last week, NM casually hit me with the news that she would be spending the Thanksgiving holiday with my NHS, who apparently suddenly decided to host the holiday at her house this year. Now, as NHS and I are completely cut off, I know this was a calculated move on NHS' part to cut me out of the holiday festivities as well. Since she would have had no say had NM hosted the holiday at her house, NHS knew this was the only way to ensure her holiday would be spent without me. NM, never one to miss an opportunity to let me know how little she thinks of me, accepted NHS' offer to attend Thanksgiving at her house and dropped her bomb over the phone last week.

Forward to today, NM caught me off guard by calling the house phone - she usually calls on my cell and the house phone has no caller ID. At one point during her conversation she asks, "You are going to your MIL's house for Thanksgiving right?" I told her, "Yes, of course. Why wouldn't we be?" NM sensed my tone and was all, "Why are you upset? It can't be anything I did because I haven't done anything!" I felt like letting her have it but, since I knew it wouldn't do any good, I just excused myself and hung up.

NM is never in the wrong. Her behavior or actions are never the problem, it's MY REACTION to her behavior and actions that is the problem. She's always saying how I need to stop acting "this way" or stop being "silly" and "let things go". NEVER is it she who is in the wrong. Always it is ME who is the problem. For over-reacting. For being "too sensitive". For being "overly dramatic" or unwilling to just "get over it" and move on. And if I try to hold her accountable, I get the ole feigned ignorance trick.

Hence why I'm at the point of considering full cut off. Unless I want to spend the rest of my life being the family scapegoat, it's the only way to stop playing NM's ridiculous blame games and move on with my life.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't help but hear my own NMs voice in my head as I read your interactions with your NM.
    "NM sensed my tone and was all, "Why are you upset? It can't be anything I did because I haven't done anything!""

    Must be her guilty conscience - after all you didn't say a word, but she still wanted you to know she wasn't at fault.

    I hope your Thanksgiving at with your in laws is a happy one! At the very least NM and NHS won't be there plaing their manipulations and games.