Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! 

DA

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Well, it finally arrived....

The dreaded Christmas package from NM for ds. I was sitting on my living room sofa on Monday afternoon when I heard a "Plop!" on the front porch of a package. I knew immediately that it would be from NM. I had hoped that since it was so close to Christmas with no word from her by that point that it meant NM had finally given up. No such luck. Damn.

I brought it inside and tried to decide what to do. Return to sender? Throw it in the trash? I was going to go the "return to sender" route at first but thought it would likely only cause unwanted drama with NM. More to the point, it would give her more ammo to further her victim status and I'll be damned if I'm going to help her with that. Then I moved onto contemplating just tossing it away. I asked dh what he thought and he actually brought up a really good point.

Back when I was much younger, apparently my dad and half bro sent a few things over the years, completely unbeknownst to me. I guess my NM and NHS had intercepted the items and gotten rid of them without telling me and then lied to me whenever I'd ask if there was anything for me from my dad, etc. I didn't find this out until years later and it resulted in much hurt, anger and resentment toward my NM. Dh said that if we didn't give the items to ds and he later found out NM had been sending stuff - and you KNOW NM would love only too much to be the bearer of that news - it could cause him to resent us later on and, worse still, to doubt our word and make NM's word more credible. Definitely NOT what we want.

So, after discussing the matter, dh and I decided that we'd pre-screen any packages that come and pass along what we deem okay to ds.

Considering the crap NM sends, she's certainly not going to endear herself to ds anytime soon. This year's Xmas gift consisted of two cheap plastic "Ben 10" action figures and a Pez candy dispenser from some show that I've never ever heard of. Attached was a cheap Xmas card that read simply, "Merry Christmas, Love Grandma XXXX".

While simply having to touch the items made my skin crawl (literally), it also made me rather sad because it made it clear that NM doesn't know ds at all. If she cared to know him at all, she'd know he isn't really into action figures and doesn't even like "Ben 10". He's far more into creative things, things he can build or use his imagination with. Things like arts and crafts, musical instruments, Play-Doh play kits, Legos, those type of things. When I mentioned this to dh, he said,"Well to be fair, she hasn't spoken to us or seen ds in almost a year now." I said, "So? My half sister, L, has never met ds yet she seems to send appropriate gifts all the time for him. Same goes for my dad and SM who also send stuff he likes. The fact is that NM doesn't care and has NO idea what makes kids tick whatsoever and doesn't CARE to know either."

As of right now, NM's "gift" is under the tree. I've been tempted a couple times to just grab it and toss it into the trash but then I think of what dh said and I know he makes a good point and so I put the gift back under the tree. At any rate, like dh said, when ds opens NM's crappy gift, he's going to care about it as much as he would a pair of socks. (Especially considering some of the other gifts he'll be getting this year, like a Nintendo DS he's been asking for forever.)

And some day, when we run into NM and she asks ds, "Has your mom been giving you the gifts I've been sending all these years?", he can say, "Yes." and it will be the truth. And then he can (hopefully) tell her that if she wants to be a part of his life, she should have been around all those years and been willing to suck it up and come visit him at our house instead of walking away since she couldn't have everything the way SHE wanted.

One thing's for sure, ds is a very smart little guy, even at the young age of (nearly) 5 years old. If NM thinks she's going to put one over on him and turn him against me with her twisted version of the truth someday, she's got another thing coming. ;)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Had an interesting dream the other night...

It was one of those 'I'm back "home" with NM, NSJ and NHS' type of things only this time, for whatever reason, we were at my IL's house. I was in the kitchen looking at stuff on my laptop and NSJ came over and was bugging me. He was taunting me and being his usual verbally abusive asshat self and I kept talking back to him. For example, at one point he said, "Who do you think you're talking to?" and I responded, "I'm talking to YOU!" Getting more enraged by the moment, NSJ started to "tickling" me by jabbing me hard in the ribs, the intention being to cause pain obviously, as he continued to verbally assault me. I told him to stop a couple of times to no avail and then suddenly, having had enough, I said loudly, "I said STOP IT!!!" and as I did this, I turned and shoved both my arms out in front of me as hard as I could and knocked NSJ down. I seem to remember this shocked look coming across NSJ's face as he fell back on his fat behind but it was at this point that my ds came in and woke me up, thus ending my dream.

The differences in this dream compared to previous ones about the same subject are a) that I stood up for myself much more strongly than I ever have before, dream-wise or in reality and b) that I didn't wake up from this dream feeling negative and sick to my stomach. There was none of that this time, only a sense of "YES! I stood up and protected myself!".

Not sure if this dream symbolized anything. It's possible that my IL's house represented my new "home" that I'm building for myself as I continue to heal and refuse to tolerate anymore of their abuse. And I think the rest of the dream is pretty self explanatory - I've taken a stand to protect myself by going NC with all of them which was a big deal, just as it was a big deal in the dream to shove NSJ down and tell him firmly to leave me alone and stop abusing me. Then again, it's possible it meant nothing and was just another dream!

Hope you're all doing well!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Holy freaking heck!

Just had an awful realization..........when it comes to my dad and NSM, I'M THE GOLDEN CHILD!! ACK! Talk about an awful thing to be. About the only thing worse I can think of is being the scapegoat!

I realized this as I was talking to my HS (the good one) the other day. She was telling me that NSM was once again berating her for another "wrong" she and HB had supposedly committed. This time it was that neither of them had called the GM's over Thanksgiving. NSM pulled the "This could be their last Thanksgiving!" card. *eyeroll* I thought to myself, 'Well I didn't call the GM's either yet I didn't get reamed out by NSM.'

Then I remembered a couple days previous when I was talking with NSM on the phone. She was - again - complaining about HS and HB. This time it was their "crime" of "living in sin" with their chosen partners. Both NSM (and my dad according to NSM) are pissed off. When I felt NSM was pushing for me to agree with her, I said instead, "Well I can't really comment seeing as dh and I lived together for a few years before getting married." NSM's response was to say, "Well, that's okay. It's totally different because of the abusive household you had to grow up in. I could understand why you'd want to get out as soon as you could but that's not the situation with HS and HB at all." And that isn't the first time exceptions have been made for me either.

I am now more glad than ever that I didn't grow up in that household from a very young age. I shudder to imagine the negative impact growing up as the GC might have had on me. *shiver*

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Update on talking with GM yesterday...

Well, had a bit of back and forth conversation with my GM yesterday after her initial email and it seemed to go well. She said she was sorry for what I'd had to go through and admitted that my NM wasn't a good mom and that NSJ was, in fact, abusive. She also said she was glad I seemed happy now and that I deserved to be happy.

My only concern now is that anything I say to her is being/will be reported back to my NM. I emailed my aunt N with my concerns and she basically confirmed my worries by saying that I was correct, much of what I say to GM WILL likely be reported back to NM. Aunt N said that she can get GM on the same page and then NM will call and as soon as GM is on the phone with her, suddenly she switches allegiances and immediately sets to agreeing with NM and supporting/enabling her.

So now I'm kind of torn - I'd like to be able to have some kind of relationship with my GM but I do NOT want NM getting any specific info from her. General comments like, "Oh DA is doing well." or "DGS is doing well in school." are fine but I don't think NM has the right anymore to know anything beyond that nor do I care for her to know anything more than that. An easy way to fix this, I suppose, would be to just not give GM any specifics but what kind of relationship is it when the only things you can talk about are the news and weather and not get into any news about what's going on in your life? And what about pictures? As far as I'm concerned right now, sending pictures to GM is out of the question as they'd likely just be forwarded along to NM (if they were sent via email) and, again, NM LOST that right to see pics of ds or know anything about us when she decided to allow me to walk out of her life without protest and then set about smearing me to anyone who would give her the time of day.

It has also occurred to me that this might be a fishing expedition. Admittedly, it has crossed my mind that it was awfully coincidental that this email from GM just happened to appear in my inbox not even a day after NM's little "message" was given to me by the chiropractor. My guess is that NM was wondering if I got her message and so pushed GM for info. Since I haven't spoken to GM in months however, GM probably figured she'd have to reach out to me since I clearly wasn't doing anymore reaching out to her and thus the email in my inbox yesterday. So far, all GM got was me stating that NM would remain out of my life and the reasons why which is nothing NM doesn't already know. But any future emails would likely be about stuff going on in our lives and that is the stuff NM would be fishing for. GM also asked for pics of ds. Now it could be she just wants to see pics of her great grandson but it could also be that she wants them to show to NM.

What do you all think? Should I continue to talk to GM but just keep to very general info, stuff I don't care if NM finds out? Or should I maybe just tell GM flat out that I don't want info being passed on to NM and/or maybe even go a step further and let her know that if I find out info has been passed on that she will find herself not getting anymore info as well?

Honestly, it's nice to be talking to my FOO again in some capacity but, if I'm honest, I have to say it was a lot simpler when they weren't speaking to me. Yes, I now have communication with them again, or at least with my GM, but I also have the N drama again. I'd thought - quite foolishly it now appears - that it was possible to have a relationship with them without it being contaminated by NM and her crap but I'm quickly realizing that's not going to be possible, is it?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Email from GM earlier today...

Logged on to check my email earlier and found this in my inbox from GM:

Good Morning DA, Where in blue blazes are you? have you left town or have you disowned me? I've waited and waited but haven't heard a word. I'd really love to hear from you. I think a lot about you and would like to hear how ds is doing. Soooo, if you feel like it drop me a couple of lines. Love you

Now, as I've stated before, I've been here the entire time. I haven't gone anywhere, my address and phone number and email address are all still the same at they were 11 months ago. If anyone wanted to contact me, they know how to find me.


I find it funny that she would accuse me of disowning her when I'm the one that's been sending emails and cards and getting no response. I'm also the one who received no birthday card this year from her for the first time in my life. So accusing me of disowning them is projection to be sure as it is all of them who have disowned me.


At any rate, I decided to respond and lay it all out there. This is my response:

Hey!

Silly grandma, I'm right here where I've always been! And no, I haven't disowned anyone. Rather, it feels like it's everyone else who has disowned me. I've tried emailing several people but no one ever responds anymore so I took the hint and quit trying.

Yes, I realize that I unfriended everyone on Facebook and, looking back, perhaps I should have explained myself at that time. But, then, hindsight is always 20/20, isn't it? At any rate, to sum it up in as short a way as I can, it was a very bad time for me given that I'd just lost mom from my life. I thought, perhaps foolishly, that my relationship with mom would have no bearing on my relationships with all of you. Yes, I figured some would disagree with my decision and/or not understand my reasons but I never expected to be ostracized the way I have. And then the passive-aggressive comments on Facebook started, comments about the importance of family and forgiveness, etc. Since I'm obviously not stupid, it was clear they were directed at me given what was going on with mom and I and it hurt and upset me a great deal. It felt like when I needed my family's support the most, it wasn't there. And the way I deal with the pain of rejection is to withdraw which was why I unfriended everyone. It's something I'm working on finding healthier ways to cope. Basically, at that time, I was just so raw emotionally and so tired of being hurt and rejected that I just couldn't take anything more.

Since then however, I did try emailing many of you and/or sent out e-cards for birthdays and whatnot and all of them went unanswered. Then you asked for the gown back and I took that to mean that I wasn't family anymore which was also very hurtful to me. So, not being a glutton for punishment, I stopped trying to contact anyone (with the sole exception of aunt N) and focused on rebuilding my own life and healing from my past pain. It's taken much hard work and a lot of time but, as I'm sure you've heard from aunt N, I've come a very long way and have made much progress. For the first time in my life, I feel truly happy and blessed to be alive. I'm actually LIVING life instead of just existing day to day. Of course it pains me greatly that all this has come about due to the loss of mom from my life but what more can I do?

I truly did try so so hard to make things work with mom. I talked till I was blue in the face, I wrote letters and emails in which I poured my very soul out to her, desperately trying to be good enough for her and make things work between us...I even took her into therapy with me on my dime as insurance wouldn't cover her going with me. However, dh and I felt it was worth it and necessary so we agreed to take on that debt. Over 8 years I tried anything and everything I knew to do and then some but nothing I did was ever enough. Always it is me, me, me who has all the problems, who is flawed and needs to change or make amends while mom, N stepjerk and NHS are without fault. Nothing about me is or has ever been good enough for mom, NSJ and NHS. Not saying I'm perfect by any means. Lord knows I've made my fair share of mistakes and have regrets but I'm NOT the horrible, awful, lying, stealing, "severely mentally disturbed" person that they make me out to be.

At any rate, enough about that. I don't want to badmouth anyone. I love mom and will always love her and I wish her well but I simply cannot allow her (and NSJ and NHS's) toxicity to affect my life anymore. I was constantly stressed, tired, cranky and feeling ill when I was around them. They were always hurting me and so I'd withdraw and that would make me angry that I couldn't speak up for myself more and that they continued to treat me the way they did. And because I was cranky and tired and angry and hurting, I was less patient and that overflowed onto dh and ds who did not deserve it. In the past 11 months, I have improved considerably emotionally as well as physically and my relationships with dh and ds more than I ever could have imagined. Dh and I, it's like we've fallen in love all over again. And ds, ds has blossomed beyond my wildest imaginations. He's a happy, healthy 4 1/2 year old and he absolutely LOVES his preschool. His teachers say he's doing VERY well and is easily one of their favorite students, if not their most favorite. Best of all though is that ds' relationship with me has improved. I'm a better mother now that all that stress is gone from my life and, in turn, ds is free to be a happy little boy.

All that being said, I'm very happy to hear from you and I hope we can continue to chat via email like we used to. I've missed talking with you and everyone else. I'd very much like to have a good relationship with all of you and leave my issues with mom out of it. After all, that stuff is between mom and I and you all shouldn't have been brought into it anyhow. I mean, I'm glad you all have been there to support mom and all as I think mom needs that. I have my friends and my sister L and dh's family for support. All mom has is NSJ and NHS who are about as helpful as a raging case of herpes. All the same, I feel bad that so many of you have been dragged into it by her and put in the middle.

Anyhoo, we recently got some school pics of ds. I have some set aside to send to you, I've just been lazy about getting all of them sent out to everyone. I'll try to get them out soon. If I can find them.....

Oh, before I go, how are you feeling? Is your knee doing a lot better? I hope so. A painful knee is just awful. A while back, I kept getting fluid under my kneecap and boy did it ever hurt!

Take care and I hope to hear from you again soon.

Love,

DA

Knowing my N FOO the way I do, I'm sure this email response has already begun circulating amongst all of them. It may even make it's way back to NM. I wasn't thinking about that when I sent it and now regret slightly that I responded in one regard but, in another, I'm glad I stayed true to myself and spoke my truth. Let them do with it what they will.

How to detect a smear campaign...

Happened upon this AMAZING post on the DoNM board today, written by Light and just had to share! Light writes:
 
There are a few handy ways to help detect a smear campaign:

1. Look for personal admittance of responsibilities or personal acknowledgment of any mistakes. Is the person only claiming to be a victim, or do they admit they may have done something to contribute to the matter?

2. Look for solid details. Does it contain hearsay such as, "Somebody told me"? and "Another person I know said that she did such and such to someone." Where is this person, and just exactly why can't you know who they are? Why isn't he telling you this himself?

3. Is the person at all trying to resolve the matter, with a genuine wanting to get things squared away, or is it just, "Victimhood, victimhood, victimhood," all the way home, and they won't be making any attempts to resolve because they're enjoying building up the dramatic attention?

4. Do things seem out of proportion? Maybe a tiny thing happened, and they're too angry. Or they say there were repeated wrongs, and yet, it doesn't appear they ever spoke to their boss, the police, etc. Supposedly, they just kept letting themselves be victimized over and over. But if you ask why, they'll say something self-serving, of course - they were trying to give the "abuser" lots of chances, because they're such a meek, kind soul...


In regard to my own NM, my answers would be:
 
1.  No. There has been ZERO personal acknowledgement of any mistakes or wrongdoing. In fact, my NM went so far as to state flat out that she bears NO responsibility whatsoever and that the only thing she's ever done wrong is allowing me to abuse and disrespect her! Since I went NC with her last January, it's been a steady stream of "woe is me" sob stories and claiming to have "no idea whatsoever" as to what she might have done to warrant my cutting her off and being so cruel to her. There is a total and complete denial of any wrongdoing at all.
 
2.  One of NM's favorite phrases is, "So and so says..." in regards to whatever wrong it is she's claiming I did. NHS is one of her favorite people to mention but since I've been NC with NHS for almost 2 years now, it's not like anything NM says can be verified. NM has also mentioned some "lady" at the local grocery check out, another "lady" at the doctor's office and my chiropractor as supposedly being in total agreement with NM's assessment of my character.
 
3.  As I said above in answer #1, NM has cried victim from the word 'go'. Not once in the past 11 months has she attempted to contact me in any way, including on my birthday which came and went without her acknowledgment. Of course, to hear NM tell it, I'M the one staying away from her and who is "keeping my ds from her". Funny, but I have yet to say to NM "Do not contact me. I wish nothing more to do with you." At NO point have I told her she can't see ds or have contact with him or any of us. In fact, at our last meeting in January, dh and I both told NM she could see ds as often as she wanted only she had to see him here at the house instead of taking him out by herself as she kept pressing for. Her response was, "You know what? I don't WANT to have to come here to see him and I shouldn't have to! I should be able to take him out WHERE I want, WHEN I want to!" SHE is the one who has chosen not to try and mend things between us and who hasn't reached out to me and my family, yet I'M supposedly the bad guy, the one wronging HER.
 
4.  Oh yeah, things are waaaaaaaaaaaay out of proportion with NM. A perfect example - it was recently brought to my attention that one of the main claims of NM and NHS is that I "lie" and "steal" as well as having "major mental problems". The truth? When pressed, NM says that I supposedly lied a lot as a teenager. (I'm now 34 years old for the record.) The stealing? Apparently I was always taking cookies and other food items out of her kitchen pantry. As to the mental problems, I do suffer from anxiety and panic attacks but, ironically, both have decreased dramatically since going NC with NM. Moreover however, I hardly think that anxiety and panic attacks qualifies as my having "major mental problems".
 
NM, NHS and N stepjerk all claim I "destroyed their lives" (LOL As I typed this just now, I wrote "destroyed their LIES". Freudian slip anyone?) Talk about being overly-dramatic. In truth, all I did...all I've EVER done is to bend over backward to accommodate them in the hopes that I would finally be good enough and worthy of their love and approval. Of course, if they're talking about the fact that I quit being their scapegoat, considering they all have decades invested in me as their scapegoat, I suppose my sudden refusal to continue performing my assigned task could be construed (at least from their dysfunctional perspective) as my having "destroyed their lives".
 
I hope you will follow the link and read the rest of the article by Light. I promise you won't be disappointed! It's very good stuff indeed!