It seems the bullshit is coming at me from every side these past few days. I find that I'm not angry exactly. There's some hurt in there but, more than anything, I'm just so very tired.
Had written to my aunt N yesterday and toward the end I mentioned something about the fact that, with ds' birthday coming up soon, I suppose a package from NM will be arriving in the post. Here's the exact comment I wrote:
It also occurred to me that with ds' birthday looming so close, I suspect another package will be arriving soon from mom. *sigh* Sometimes I wish she'd just give up the farce. If she truly wants [ds] to know her and to have a relationship with him, I feel she'd have called or at least made SOME kind of effort over the past year +. Sending a card or gift 4 or 5 times a year doesn't really mean squat.
And that is the truth as I see it. When you love someone, truly love them, and want a relationship with them, you put the effort into it. 15 months ago when dh and I last spoke with my NM, we made it clear that she could come to our home and visit with ds anytime she wanted. We did everything we could to make it easy on her, including saying that we'd arrange it with my MIL so that they each had their own private visitation time alone with him and didn't have to share constantly. NM was the one who said that she didn't WANT to come to our home, that she wanted to be able to take ds out WHEN she wanted, WHERE she wanted and stated that she should be able to do so simply because she's my mother. We never heard from her again, presumably because if she can't have it HER way then she'd apparently rather not have a relationship with my ds at all.
So aunt N writes back a few things about this and that, but it's the part about NM that riled me up a bit. Here's what she wrote:
As for your mom. What do you want her to do? She is doing what she thinks is the only thing left for her to do. Right, wrong, or indifferent, she simply doesn't want to ignore ds' birthday. I don't think it's fair to deny her sending gifts or cards to ds - what harm is it doing? I know that you don't believe this, but she does miss you and ds very much. She doesn't listen to what I have to say about it-in fact, I've given up trying. However, she talks about how much she misses going antiquing with you, and she misses that connection you used to have in regards to both of your artistic talents. If she came to your door and tried to initiate a relationship, would you answer the door? I just don't know what you want from her now. She DOES care-she doesn't show it in the manner that you want her to, and she is lacking in many ways, but she isn't this evil person who is trying to make you miserable. She believes that she IS doing what you want her to do.
A few things, and I'll break this down into bullet points so as to make it easier to follow:
* What do you want her to do? I want her to be a MOTHER, damn it! I want her to love and accept me unconditionally. I want her to feel joy at my successes and pain when I'm hurting. I want her to care more about having me in her life than getting everything her way. I want to be able to trust that my mom loves me and will be there for me always. I want to just be able to be with her and enjoy our time together instead of having to be on guard constantly in order to prepare for the onslaught of negative comments that I know are coming. Thing is, that's not reality.
* She is doing what she thinks is the only thing left for her to do. And whose fault is that? Not mine certainly. She is not in my life because SHE has chosen not to be and for no other reason. To this day, at NO point have I expressed a desire not to have her in my life, told her not to contact me or forbidden her to see ds. Rather, I stated the exact opposite.
* I don't think it's fair to deny her sending gifts or cards to ds - what harm is it doing? First and foremost, I have not denied her sending gifts or cards to ds, though admittedly I've wanted to do just that. NM has threatened many times in the past that ds will seek her out some day and when that happens, she plans "to tell him the truth" about his mother so that I will know what it's like to have my son turned against me. So while part of me feels that I don't want ds to get the idea that NM's false proclamations of caring about him are legit, I also don't want her to find him someday and say to him, "Did you get the gifts I've been sending all these years?" with an evil grin on her face and then him to turn to dh and I and say, "No...?". I refuse to aid that bitch in destroying my relationship with my child which is why I've continued to allow him to have the things she sends. Basically, it's the lesser of two evils.
* I know that you don't believe this, but she does miss you and ds. The way I see it is this, if NM TRULY missed me (and ds) so much, she'd have made some kind of effort to contact us, to fix things and/or would have accepted our offer to visit ds at our home and put her own wants aside in favor of at least being able to see him. Furthermore, sending 4 or 5 stupid cards or gifts a year to ds doesn't mean squat in the grand scheme of things. If she loves us so much, ACT like it! That being said, I also miss the times we'd go antiquing together. Sadly however, the few crumbs of positive times spent together weren't worth all the abuse and anguish I had to put up with the other 98% of the time. If she wants a relationship with me, all she has to do is be nice but, again, that was too much to ask of her apparently.
* If she came to your door and tried to initiate a relationship, would you answer the door? This would depend on if I was home by myself or if ds was in the home. If ds was in the home, hell no I wouldn't answer the door because I know that a scene would ensue, either by NM herself or she'd upset me to the point where I'd be very upset and I refuse to expose my young child to that as it would upset him. If I were home alone, I don't know. It's possible I'd answer the door and talk to her or at least give her the opportunity of hearing her out for a bit. Truth is, I love my NM very much. Always have, always will. As I think is true for many of us, I would love nothing more than to have a positive, healthy relationship with my mother. But, again, that's not reality. Likely what would happen is I'd get some sob story about how she's hurting so badly, how she just can't take it anymore and can't we please put all this "silliness" behind us and move forward? Again it would be all about HER and HER pain and suffering with no regard whatsoever for all the pain and suffering she's caused ME and, sorry, but I'm no longer interested in dealing with that crap.
* I just don't know what you want from her now. Same thing I've ever wanted - her love and respect. Two things she's not willing to give, at least not unless I go back to being the family Scapegoat and a good little doormat.
* She DOES care-she doesn't show it in the manner that you want her to, and she is lacking in many ways, but she isn't this evil person who is trying to make you miserable. She believes that she IS doing what you want her to do. See, again, this is where I get confused. How could NM NOT know what I want her to do when I've been crystal clear about my expectations? How hard is it to understand, "Just be nice"? Fuck the "manner I want her to" show it, NM doesn't even REMOTELY come CLOSE to showing she cares about me. At every single turn, she does what she can to hurt me or otherwise cause me pain, to tear me down. These are the actions of someone who cares about me? I don't know if I'd go so far as to label NM "evil" necessarily but she most certainly IS trying to make me miserable. I mean, here is a woman who has deliberately LIED about me and made every effort possible to smear me and turn my own family against me. She's done everything she can over the years to ensure I don't succeed in life and allowed my NHS and NSJ to abuse me as they pleased with little to no interference from her. Yet I'm to believe she cares about me and isn't out to make my life miserable? If these are loving, caring actions then I want no part of them! And AGAIN with the "she's doing what she thinks you want her to do" crap! As I said before, at what point have I said I don't want contact with her? At what point have I said, "Don't contact me again. I wish nothing more to do with you"? True, I haven't contacted her but she also has made no attempts to contact me so, at the very least, we're BOTH to blame, yes?
But once again it's all about how my NM is suffering and how SHE'S been victimized. Would someone please tell me, when the hell is it about MY pain, MY suffering? When do *I* get to be felt sorry for? Always, always, always it is implied - or flat out stated - that I need to put my feelings on hold or take someone else's feelings into consideration, as if THEIR feelings are somehow more important or have more value than mine. When I finally say enough and take responsibility for my own feelings - which is what they've all been telling me to do for years, ironically enough - I'm once again labeled as bad, wrong, selfish, etc. I truly cannot win!
I will say this, generally speaking, my aunt N has been very supportive of the whole situation with my NM and has been a great advocate of mine and defends me to the rest of the FOO whenever my name comes up or they start badmouthing me. I believe in my heart that she loves me and understands as well as someone who didn't live through it CAN understand. I guess that's why when she says stuff like this I find it so upsetting. It's like the rug has been pulled out from under me and I'm left wondering just what the hell happened. And it's happened this week to boot, while I'm currently having to deal with so many other stressful things. *sigh*
Am currently sitting around waiting for the phone to ring. I know NSM will likely be calling soon and as she's made it clear that, sick or not, she intends to come here Thursday and take ds out shopping and to eat, it looks like I'm going to have to somehow muster up the courage to tell them the truth - that I don't want them here, that I'm done with being insulted and disrespected and am pretty much through with the relationship. I have no delusions that NSM and NF will roll over and accept NC as NM did. There is going to be some MAJOR fallout and it's going to be some very rough going for a while. I am SO not looking forward to this. I just hope I can do what needs to be done.