Went to the chiropractor today. MIL and ds were with me. We pull up and I notice a car in the parking lot that is the same make, model and color as NM's vehicle. As MIL is getting ds out of the car, I walk over and look in the window and see a towel on the driver seat and a booster seat in the backseat - it was definitely NM's car. Great.
I tell MIL, who looks at me and says, "Well...what do you want to do now? Do you want me to leave with ds and come back for you?" I thought a moment and said, "No. This was bound to happen sometime. Let's just get it over with."
As we walked down the short sidewalk to the front door, I felt myself beginning to get extremely anxious. We walk in the front door, and I'm expecting NM to be right there and notice us right away. Luckily, NM was no where to be seen. As I'm signing in at the front desk, I continue looking around and tried to peek at the appointment sheet. Sure enough, NM was scheduled at the same time as me! Eek!
Bless the dear staff of the chiro's office because they allowed MIL and ds to sit in a room down the hall where NM couldn't see them. I made sure ds and MIL were settled and then planned to wait in the main waiting room and let whatever happened, happen. It was eerie - it felt like time actually slowed down as I stood there, waiting to see HER appear. After a minute or so (that felt like a freaking eternity), I finally said to myself, "I can't do this" and I went into the room with MIL and ds and asked the girls at the front desk to call me when it was my turn and/or when my NM left. As it turned out, we never saw NM and, as far as I know, she never even knew we were there.
I felt okay about everything at first but, a short while later, I was pissed at myself for chickening out and not letting the confrontation happen. I still would have put ds in the side room with MIL and/or had MIL leave with ds and come back for me - I wouldn't allow him to be a part of the confrontation willingly, if there was a choice in the matter - but I hate that I ran and hid from HER.
I don't know what I expected might happen. Maybe that's the problem - not knowing what exactly to expect. But a part of me wanted her to see me, to see how good I look and how well I'm doing without her. (That same part of me also hoped she wouldn't look as if she were doing well.) Part of me wanted her to dare to say something or try to start a scene so I could tell her off and walk away. And yet, the other part of me is just sick of the drama and refused to give her an ounce of her precious N supply.
Had she seen us there, especially if she'd seen ds, I expect she'd have made this big tearful scene and there would have been much fuss over ds - "Oh, hi big guy! Grandma loves and misses you so much! It's so good to SEE you!", all said with fake ass tears streaming down her cheeks and having to make a big deal out of hugging him and whatnot. Then she'd have left and either called my NGM or aunt N on her drive home, all tears about how she got to see him by chance until I saw her and shepherded him away from her, once again "keeping" her precious grandson from her. That would have started the family gossip train running full steam ahead which would have brought the comments and FM's to me in full attack through the grapevine. Sorry (not really), but I refuse to give her the satisfaction of all that attention and sympathy! I also refuse to give my stupid N FOO any more "proof" of my badness/wrongness to use against me. So, that considered, walking away into the other room was the way to go. Still, a part of me feels weak for running away from the confrontation.
Dh says I should be proud that I even went inside knowing she was already there. I suppose I can see that but, unfortunately, it doesn't really help the feelings that I'm weak or was too chicken.
Another part of it is that I'm so SICK of being afraid of her, of all of them. I'm sick of them controlling me out of fear of what they might say or do. I'm sick of them making me upset, of them hurting me and making me cry over and over and over. For these reasons, it would have been nice to have confronted her and maintained the upper hand, to let her do what she will and not let it get to me and to have left her standing there wondering why all her old tricks don't work anymore. Worst of all I think is thinking, "What if she knew I was there and, not seeing me, knew I must have run to hide and got a laugh out of how she can still control me?" Or what if she realized I was there today and then decides to show up at my door or contact me?
Up till this near run-in today, I'd have thought I was now in a place where she couldn't shake me so much. However, considering how shaken up I was just knowing she was there at the same time I was, I can no longer deny the hold she still has on me and my emotions. And, boy, does that ever chap my behind!
I just want to be free of her, really and truly free of this insane hold she has on my life. I want to reach a place where I can think of the past and not have it get me upset or down for a day or two. I want to reach a place where I can see her car out front and walk inside, confident, my head held high and not be afraid of what might happen.
Maybe some day....