A few things have happened since my last post. One, my NM came back into town late Friday afternoon so she was home for ds' birthday weekend after all. I spoke to my aunt N on Friday via instant messaging and she happened to mention that my NM seemed really upset, as if she really missed having ds and I in her life. According to my aunt N, NM seemed genuinely sad. That really stuck with me and I found myself questioning my beliefs and actions of the past several months. Mostly I wondered, 'Is my M really an N?'
As we were driving to my IL's house Saturday for ds' birthday party (ds was already at my IL's house as they'd picked him up earlier that day so as to have extra time with him), I talked with dh about it and told him of my thought processes over the past day and a half. Dh said that he didn't doubt NM was possibly feeling upset or sad, at which point I interrupted him and said, "Yes but doesn't that then prove she's not N since N's don't feel sad or miss people in that way?" Dh responded that there was no one mold that applied to all N's. Rather, there were varying degrees of N. While some may be totally incapable of feeling sadness or missing someone in their absence, others may very well feel those things. That made a lot of sense to me.
Since that talk, I'd been thinking of NM and, while I wasn't totally aware of it at the time, I suppose I may have been tinkering with the idea of breaking NC and maybe trying things with her again.
Forward to today.
I was doing stuff around the house with ds this morning when the phone rang. It was my FIL. He said, "Your M just called here." I said, "MY mom?" and he said, "Yeah. She wanted to drop off a present for ds for his birthday here, since she's not welcome or allowed at your house and wanted to know if (MIL's name) would bring it to him." I said that I supposed it would be alright and thanked him for letting me know about NM's call.
I wasn't terribly upset at first about it. I mean, I was upset she'd once again found a way to drag my IL's into her drama but, over all, I didn't really see any real harm having been done so I just kind of shrugged it off.
Shortly after that, ds said he wanted to go over to my IL's and visit for a bit so I called to be sure my NM had come and gone and then drove ds over there to drop him off. Before I left, MIL mentioned to me that NM had come over with my N half sis' two kids in tow. Shortly after getting in the door, NM paraded them around dramatically and said to my IL's, "Do you see any bruises on these kids? Do they look abused?" The implication being that supposedly dh and I said we worried for ds' physical safety, specifically that NM would abuse him, if she were allowed to have him on her own. Not true. MIL told NM that that wasn't our worry. I don't know if NM responded to that or not.
Then MIL says that NM made the comment that she wasn't allowed to see ds or otherwise stated that we - dh and I - were keeping her from seeing ds. MIL again told NM that that wasn't true, that dh and I had offered NM to visit with ds as often as she liked only she had to visit with him here at the house. NM's response was to ask (yet again), "Yes but WHY?? WHY couldn't I take him to my house or have him on my own? WHY???" To MIL's credit - and this is huge because MIL hates confrontation and will generally go out of her way to avoid it - MIL said to NM, "(NM's name), if you don't know the answer to that question by now then there's really nothing more for me to say."
NM, apparently realizing she wasn't going to get anywhere with my IL's, took NHS' two kids and left but not before adding snarkily, "Oh and you can tell DA and (dh's name) that the money for ds' gift didn't come from (stepjerk's name). It came from MY money I made selling my jewelry." This goes back to Xmastime when NM told me, after I "disrespected" her with my gift of a charity donation in her name, that I WOULD, in the future, honor my abusive stepjerk with gifts on any and all gift giving holidays since any gifts given to us came from HIS money. Refusing to honor the man who abused me all of my life, I returned the gift card to my NM.
I thought that was the end of the whole mess today but, when MIL brought ds back home later this afternoon, she said that while she and ds were at the local grocery store, they ran into NM. As they were finishing up checking out, there wasn't much MIL could do. As it was, NM got to fawn over ds for a few seconds and then MIL made a hasty retreat. Once safely back in the car, MIL asked ds if he knew who that lady was in the store and was surprised to hear ds reply, "I don't know nana." MIL, thinking he may be joking around, said to ds, "Are you sure you didn't recognize that lady?" and ds said, "No nana. I don't know that lady."
How sad is that? My ds didn't even recognize his own grandmother. It's only been about 3 1/2 months since he last saw her and he doesn't know her yet he can see a picture of my aunt N or my dad and SM, neither of whom he's seen in over a year, and he knows instantly who they are. But then, they're always calling him to talk to him on the phone or sending him little gifts and stuff "just because". So because they've invested the time and taken the effort to get to know him, he remembers them. Says a lot about my NM and her efforts, doesn't it?
How do I feel about all this? I'm a little angry, though angry seems a bit too strong a word. I'm more upset that NM drug my IL's into the middle of her drama, though it's actually turned out to be a bit of a good thing because now my IL's have seen NM in action for themselves so it's no longer a case of them taking dh's and my word for it. Mostly, I'm sad that ds doesn't even recognize his own grandmother when he should know her instantly and love her and have wonderful memories of times spent with her. But I don't suppose there's anyone but NM to blame for that.
It'll be interesting to see whether or not I hear anything from NM in the upcoming week. Clearly she's growing increasingly desperate for some n supply as I can't say as I remember her ever exposing herself (for the wackjob she is) in this way previously. This "I'm just giving DA her space" act can't last forever. Pretty soon the "Stop acting like this right now!" emails and/or the "DA....please pick up the phone and talk to me" voice mails will start. It's only a matter of when.