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. ;)


  1. I don't know if my previous comment went through. Great decision, and for good reasons. It is almost good that you had that experience to think this through.

    I don't have children myself, but I also remember how I felt if things were kept from me OR put up to a magnifying glass before I was ready. Your son will grow and learn about life and the adults in them with your support and encouragement.

  2. I really, really, really feel this post. The conundrum really played havoc with my psyche this year, especially considering the present my mom sent my kids. The gift she actually sent really reinforces the notion of the N as shitty gift giver. The last time my folks were in town and had gifts for my kids, they were lollipops and t-shirts from the airport newsstand.

  3. IMHO, an important part of being a good parent is to protect our kids from BAD influences:
    BAD people
    BAD experiences
    "Gifts" from BAD people

    Gifts from BAD NMs belong in the trash. When they arrive, put them straight in your outdoor garbage can. That way you don't help her hurt you (ie. every time you see the "gift" under the tree).

    Your 3rd paragraph: IMHO, you are comparing apples to oranges. Assuming your dad and half brother were decent people when you were a kid, it WAS CRUEL of your NM and NHS to not give you what they sent. This is NOT the same as you not giving your young son the so-called gifts your narcissistic "mother" sends for him. She's using the old "guilt handle" on you. You aren't doing anything to feel guilty for if you choose to toss her trash in the appropriate receptacle:)

    Your DH said: "Well to be fair, she hasn't spoken to us or seen DS in almost a year now."
    My thoughts: (1)Who's fault is it that there's been ZERO contact??! (2)BAD people, like your NM, know they can usually count on our goodness and use it to their advantage (ie. they guilt us into thinking we have to be fair to everyone, even rotten people!). So, you and I have to bend over backwards to be fair to our N-parents while they feel free to do whatever it takes to get whatever they want. Don't let your NM distract you with the fairness crap.

    Your body is telling you The Truth. Touching the garbage your NM sent for your innocent young son MADE YOUR SKIN CRAWL. You have every right to be revolted by her "gift". Remember, she's the one that taught you from an early age to ignore your gut feelings (ie. "your feelings are wrong, so stuff them way down deep and DO WHAT I WANT! I'm your MOTHER!!!). Sound familiar?

    You have my profound sympathy; you and your DH are going through the N-wringer. My final thought. What action minimizes the damage your NM can do to your whole family? Maybe the following word picture will help you make your decision. Visualize every little NM *gift* you bring into your home as a stick of dynamite. Your NM is on the other end of the fuse just itching to blow up your happy little family. I've read your whole blog and I'm sure you've only told us a fraction of the evil your NM has perpetrated on you. Run!!