Friday, July 23, 2010

Stepmom strikes again...

This actually occurred on Tuesday I believe it was but a) the cord to my laptop went kaput causing my laptop to be useless and b) the only other computer in the house, which is my dh's work computer, has either been occupied by him or the little black ants that have seen fit to invade various areas of my house the past couple days. Hence why I haven't posted about this sooner.

Anyhoo, so I'm talking with SM on the phone a couple days ago or, rather, I'm listening to her complain about her many woes. To be fair, she has been through a lot lately what with taking care of not one, not two but three ailing elderly family members, dealing with the death of her beloved aunt, a new job and continued renovations of her mother's condo in which she and my dad are currently living (along with my step GM). So I agree, she's had a lot on her plate lately. But she's also partly to blame herself in that she, being the sort of person she is, knowingly takes on more than she can handle all the time. Maybe, like a lot of N's, she just likes to complain? I don't know.

At one point in our conversation, SM inquires whether or not dh and I have decided that we're definitely doing the vow renewal for our anniversary in September. It will be our 10th anniversary so we had wanted to do something special. And since my dad and I were estranged the first time dh and I got married, I thought it would be extra special for both of us - my dad and I - to be able to have all the things we were denied the first time round, like him getting to walk me down the aisle and the father/daughter dance, etc.

I told SM that I was sorry, that I didn't know but promised to talk with dh and have a concrete answer for her either way by the weekend since I knew they needed to plan their trips well ahead of time to arrange for other caregivers for certain family members and such. SM responded, "Well yes but that's not it. With all that's been going on these past few months, I'm just totally burnt out and our friends (the ones they spent all their time with when they were here visiting in June and several trips before that as well) usually rent a beach house around that time of year and, really, I'd just like to spend my vacation time having FUN and RELAXING." Okay. So apparently I'm NOT fun and she can't relax around me? At that moment, I felt like saying, "OH, well I'm SO sorry that I'm not "fun" and that visiting with me is so much of an imposition on your time that you're unable to relax in my presence! You know what (SM's name)? You can GO TO HELL." and then hang up. Instead, I made the excuse that my MIL and I were getting ready to take ds out for ice cream (which we actually were but it came in handy) and hung up.

Talk about a slap in the face. She couldn't have made it any clearer - visiting me, spending time with me and even something as important and special to me as renewing my wedding vows and being able to have my dad there means SQUAT to her. If she doesn't want to come, fine but most people would have made up an excuse like "We're just really busy caring for those family members right now and can't get time away" or whatever. You don't freaking come out and SAY what she said! Then again, NARCISSISTS would say EXACTLY what she said, wouldn't they? Which I suppose just further proves my initial assessment that she's an N was spot on. (Though I'm strongly considering amending it to her being a malignant N rather than just an N given that, like my NM, she seems to feel the need to go out of her way to be especially hurtful and cruel.)

Any normal, non-N person would have been hurt by my SM's actions but I suppose it's more than that for me because this whole N thing just seemed to come out of nowhere. Sure, I've always had issues here and there with SM but one is always going to have some problems with another. No relationship is problem-free. And in the years since I reconnected with SM and my dad, SM and I have grown close (or so I thought) and we seemed to get along so well over the phone. She's certainly never been so N-like on previous visits (or perhaps she has but, busy with my NM issues I just didn't see it so clearly before?). So when she came here in June and was so awful and critical and just plain ole MEAN toward me, it really surprised me. And since then, she seems to have gotten even worse and is now behaving just like my mother. Figures. I finally get away from one N and wind up with another to take her place. Only, because SM and my dad are a package deal, I can't just cut SM off unless I want to lose my dad too.

I've been thinking a lot about this the past couple days and, looking back, I suppose there were signs she was N after all. For example, the last time I was up in Ohio visiting my dad - I was 12 - and SM was always helping herself to my clothes. However, the ONE time I went into her closet without asking and borrowed a pair of shorts, and OLD pair to boot, she lit into me about being "disrespectful" and how she wasn't going to tolerate it, etc. There was also a time, I was much younger than 12 then, when she flat out said to me that I would be pretty when I grew up but I'd never be beautiful like her daughter. And she always seemed to be insanely jealous of anything my dad would do for me or give/buy me. Apparently HER kids were to be given first dibs and I was to be happy with whatever little was left over. Looking back, yes, I can certainly see evidence of narcissism there.

The irony is that she accuses her older sister of being the malignant narcissist. Talk about projection! It's been years since I've seen or spoken to SM's sister but I feel I can say with relative certainty that she is NOT an N. She was always so kind and wonderful to me and it was sincere, unlike SM who I now realize always seemed to be putting on an act. No, I'd be willing to bet quite a lot that SM's sister is definitely not a narcissist.......but SM sure as hell is!

FOUR parents and ALL N's and not a ONE of them worth a flying furnal! Lucky me. NOT.

On a side note, I wonder if any of them know about this blog?


  1. Hugs DA! All you SM could do was talk about what she wanted to do and how she wanted to relax. Sure the woman has obviously been through a lot, I can give her that - but to suggest you 10 year anniversary is an inconvience for her - wow. No its a celebration! If she didn't want to come, couldn't there been a nicer way for her to say it rather than "DA you anniversary is really putting me out." Grrrrrrr!

    I'm curious to know how your father feels? You had mentioned you all were estranged when you first got married and reuniting must have been significant for him. I couldn't imagine him not wanting to be there for the vow renewals to get that "second chance" - is there anyway you can talk to you father without SM around?

    Hugs and good luck. DH and I are celebrating 5 years. We're celebrating elopement-style by going to Vegas :)

  2. DA - She sounds very inconsiderate and self-absorbed. It's so hurtful to imply that your 10 year anniversary is not worth it to her and she'd rather focus on herself in a pool somewhere. N folks have the ability to underhandedly criticize others constantly while seeming to be actually NICE or CONCERNED! I would have felt the same way - gee, thanks for telling me I don't entertain you enough or meet your preferences enough when you're around me.

    I've become a little worried that my NM has found my blog - and as long as she doesn't start commenting, I guess that's just the way it is. Part of me feels like if they found our blogs, we'd know - they can't play nice and lurk for long if their images are at stake :)

    I'm sorry you're having to face more and more N behavior, it's like a wildfire! It feels lonely and disappointing, frustratingly impossible and relentless. The good thing is that you can see her for what she is and protect yourself - your strength grows every day that you don't allow the N force to penetrate your family.

    stay strong,

  3. Thanks you guys. OAD, the thing of it is - and this was VERY apparent when they came to visit last month - my dad is now a broken man who has given himself completely over to SM's wishes. SM has always sort of held him by the cojones and called the shots but he used to at least talk back and stick up for himself from time to time. Not anymore. Even before they got here, I'd call and speak to my dad (even when SM wasn't around) and no matter what I asked him about, such as "Is there any place special you'd like to do when you're here?", his answer was always, "Talk to SM. You guys decide and she'll let me know." or "Whatever SM wants." It was sad and disgusting at the same time. I just wanted to shout, "I don't GIVE a shit what SM wants, I'm asking YOU, you big jerk!"

    I see my dad as having several N tendencies or maybe being a lower level N. He can be a bit of a bully and goodness knows that HIS way - at least when it comes to us kids and others - is the ONLY CORRECT WAY, PERIOD but he doesn't strike me as being openly malicious the way SM and my NM are. It's more like he's just set in his ways and wants what he wants. He doesn't set out to hurt any of us but doesn't seem altogether TOO concerned when it happens, if that makes sense.

    I feel in my heart it would mean a lot to my dad to be there for the vow renewal but if SM wants to go to the beach instead, they'll be going to the beach. PERIOD.

    It's meant a lot to me to at least have ONE parent in my life but with all this latest crap, I'm starting to feel like I did in the beginning with my NM - that NC as some point is inevitable. It's not a matter of IF, it's a matter of WHEN and that just makes me so very sad. :(

  4. Hi DA, So sorry your plans for the anniversary may not work out.

    Sounds like your father has made the classic mistake of, in effect, making the same choice each time he picks a mate. Like girls whose boyfriends always turn out to be losers because, if they really thought about it, they are figuratively picking the same guy over and over.

    Then your father adjusts to the demands of his narc in order to survive. Unless he realizes what is happening, sadly, things will never change. Or course, you could suggest they have separate vacations so she could have her friends and he could be with you but I have never heard of a narc agreeing to a compromise...that would be way too mature!

    Go ahead and celebrate in spite of your SM or anyone else who tries to impose their negativity on you. You're a great person who deserves the best!

    Hugs, mulderfan

  5. DA you said:
    " He doesn't set out to hurt any of us but doesn't seem altogether TOO concerned when it happens, if that makes sense. "

    Sadly it makes perfect sense. That's my dad too. I'm sorry that he is letter her call all the shots and you have to get through your SM to get to him. I guess its just too threatening to to these moms to step out of the way and allow their daughters and fathers a normal parent child relationship. It is all about control.

    Their loss if they don't want to come to your vow renewal. It is your father's loss of a second chance handed to him on a silver platter. Does he think he'll get the chance again in another 10 years?

    Time just keeps moving on and you can't get it back.

    I hope you are surrounded by people who love and support you on your anniversary. Hugs!