Friday, July 29, 2011

Introducing, my NM...

Okay, not really, but the NM in this video might as well be my NM. (Part two of the clip can be found here.) They have the same facial expressions, the same tone, the same maddening denial of ANY responsibility whatsoever as well as that same mind-boggling complete and total cluelessness as to just what it is they did wrong. My NM has even used many of the same phrases, such as "I didn't know what to do" and "I never did anything to hurt you on purpose!". I also had to laugh at one point when the eldest daughter was talking about how her NM wore an off-white dress to her wedding. Guess whose NM did the exact same thing? (At the time, while out looking for a dress for NM to wear, she had shown me the dress and asked what I thought. I had suggested a couple other non-white dresses but NM seemed to like the off-white one the most so I, being a good little scapegoat at the time, supported NM in what SHE wanted despite the fact it was MY wedding. I'll have to see if I can find a pic, though I'll have to blur every one's face for privacy reasons...)

I had my dh watch these two clips last night when he got home from work. I told him that I wanted him to watch it and hear his thoughts. Beyond that, I said nothing as I didn't want to color his impression in any way. It was about half way through the second video when dh turned to me, eyes wide and mouth agape and said, "Oh my God! This is SO your NM!!!" LOL

I think the most infuriating thing watching this NM on Dr. Phil was seeing the total and complete lack of comprehension on her part as to just what she'd ever done wrong as a mother. In her own mind, and she even says as much on the show, she wasn't just a good mom, she was a GREAT mom. (Another thing, coincidentally, that my NM said except I believe she used the word "perfect" instead of merely "great". *eyeroll*) It is just crazy-making to me to try and conceive how any mother could NOT know that taking her child's bed away or saying to her, as my NM did to me once, that "having a relationship with you is more trouble than it's worth" is hurtful, cruel, wrong, abusive, sickening, etc. These N's clearly know enough about emotions to recognize their own anger and hurt, so why, then, is it so inconceivable to them that others feel similarly? How is it that another person - in this case, our NM's - see others as nothing more than a wooden chair or kitchen table, cold and without emotion? And if that's the case, that they see us as mere "things" instead of human beings, why do they then take the precaution to put on a nice facade for strangers, bosses, etc.?

*sigh* I suppose that, despite how infuriating it is to try and figure out, it's a good thing that we're unable to fully understand because it means that we aren't narcissists and don't think in crazy, dysfunctional ways.

Moving on, to give a mini update about the situation with my NM, I've decided to just take some time and give it some thought as to how I want to proceed. I think I need to really pay attention to all that I'm feeling and try and figure out exactly what it is I'm looking to get out of maintaining contact with my NM. If my expectations are realistic, then maybe it would be okay to continue limited contact with her. Likewise, if my expectations of what I hope to achieve are unrealistic, then it would be wise to walk away and go back to full NC again. In the meantime, I'm just going to take things as they come. My IM service is currently not working so NM can't contact me that way. As for any emails that may arrive, I'll decide whether to read and answer or not based on how I'm feeling at that moment.

Hope you're all having a great day and enjoy the upcoming weekend! It's forecast to be 100 here today which means, with the heat index or whatever, it'll likely feel like 120 outside. WAY too stinking hot for me! I'll be staying comfortably inside with my A/C!


Thursday, July 28, 2011

A few more thoughts on NM...

Lest anyone think I've begun to lose my perspective, let me assure you that I am still fully aware of what NM's true nature is. Let's take a poisonous snake as an example. A snake will always remain true to it's nature and, at any moment, may strike. NM is no different really. Given half an opportunity, she will try to hurt me again and I know that as surely as I know my own name. Despite that knowledge however, there remains a tiny part of me who longs for more connection with a real mother. That being said, I have no illusions that she'll finally "come round" and become the mother I've always wanted.

I guess where part of my confusion comes in is in trying to figure out what the point is for me and is simply having some contact with NM just to know where she is, what she's doing, etc. enough? More to the point, is it worth it? Before, when I had zero contact with her, it just felt wrong somehow. Thinking of never seeing or talking to her again, knowing that the next time I heard about her or saw her would be when I saw her obituary in the local newspaper just felt wrong to me. So, when NM first contacted me via IM, I responded. Since then, we've had a few more chats and it's been okay. We generally talk about general stuff and I especially avoid anything that would give her an opportunity to hurt me. 

The problem is, I'm no longer so sure that's enough for me. The little girl inside of me (and the adult part of me too, actually) longs to be able to talk to NM about how I feel, how it felt to hear back through the grapevine that she was smearing me, how it felt to know that my own mother would try to turn my own family against me, how it felt to be a virtual orphan because my four "parents" aren't worth a damn. I want her to listen to my pain and really hear what I have to say. Just to have her really HEAR me, even if she doesn't "get it", and to not respond with, "Well I'm not perfect" or "Well you don't think I'VE been hurt too??!!" would be nothing short of a miracle. But, of course, the hard reality is that I can't talk to her about any of that and I especially can't expect any sort of normal, logical response from her. I know with near total certainty that her response would be one of the two I just listed previously because it's always all about HER and how SHE feels and/or her shirking any responsibility whatsoever for the state of our relationship.

Even during the first chat I had with her, anytime I tried to make her accept responsibility she'd come back with, "Well you can't expect me to be perfect. I'm not perfect you know." If it wasn't that response, it was, "Well, you know, I'VE been very hurt by this whole episode too." and "You're not totally blameless either." Forget for a moment that she's right about the second comment, that I'm NOT 100% blameless truthfully, if only because I almost never spoke up and stood up for myself, that is completely beside the point. The point is that, by making such comments, she is trying to convince me she's accepting some form of responsibility when, in truth, she's doing the total opposite and making herself totally blameless, as usual.

I'd rather hear NO response from her than to have it thrown in my face how SHE'S been hurt too (the implication being BY ME) or how I can't hold her responsible because "she's not perfect".

*sigh* I just wish there was an easy answer in stuff like this or, at the very least, I wish I could completely take my emotions out of it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Trying to make sense of what I'm feeling...

Forgive me if this doesn't exactly flow and kind of rambles. That's kind of how my thoughts and feelings are on this subject so it's hard to get them organized at the moment.

Since having that IM convo with NM a few weeks ago, I've spoken with her two or three more times, all via Yahoo Messenger. Nothing major, just minor chit chat mostly, and I guess it's gone about as well as can be expected. Part of me wants to progress a bit and call her up on the phone but every time I start to do so, I hesitate. I just can't seem to get past (and not feeling I really SHOULD) all the pain and nastiness NM has caused me in the past. (And I'm speaking primarily of recent past here, like within the past 24 months, though of course the rest also figures in somewhat.) 

I wouldn't mind being on friendly-ish terms with her but I just cannot get past the fact that my own mother could be so deliberately cruel and vicious when speaking about me, that she would deliberately attempt to turn my own extended family against me and that each time my name was brought up in conversation by one of them, NM would begin spewing her hate and venom about me. (During the period of NC with my  NM, I was told by a couple of extended FOO members that the venom apparently started spewing when my name was mentioned. In an effort to spare my feelings, no details were ever given but I can imagine all too well the sort of things that were surely said).

Another problem is that I know full well NM is expecting things to proceed. She likely has this scene in her mind of me, dh and ds sitting in her living room on holidays and other family occasions. It's probably much like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting with us - NM, NSJ, NHS, NBIL and their two kids and dh, ds and I - all one, big, happy family. I know that will never happen. It's not even a question of maybe. It will not happen - not now, not ever. 

In all honesty, I don't even know if I can ever progress to hanging out with her face-to-face again. I think about it from time to time and, in certain circumstances, I have to admit that, yes, it would be nice. However, the reality is that chatting via IM is one thing but talking on the phone and face-to-face interactions are a whole different ballgame. I don't want to be deliberately cruel regardless of whether NM "deserves it" or not and so I don't want to lead her on... Then again, I'm not even 100% sure where I see this "relationship" going so....?

I'm still glad I responded to her initial IM and that I got the opportunity to talk to her and catch up a bit. I guess I'm just feeling confused about where I want this relationship to go, what the point of proceeding (if any) would be, etc.

Oh, to have a normal mother instead of an NM! It sure would make things a HELL of a lot less complicated! LOL

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Talked with IL's yesterday....

I spoke with FIL first. I called over there to address an issue with ds. Can't remember if I'd mentioned this previously but ds had said to me the other day that while he liked going over to "nana" and "papa's" house, he wishes nana would come to his house like she used to. DS has a couple little imaginary friends, one of whom sometimes takes the form of his hand, who he calls "Thummy". Well, I had noticed that "Thummy" had been somewhat aggressive lately. Always hitting Jack and doing (pretend) bad things. Nothing terrible, but just out of character for my usually sweet and easy-going little man. So I began a line of questioning yesterday and eventually figured out that "Thummy" (who was speaking on behalf of ds obviously) was upset that nana was spending so much time with the new baby lately and not coming to see ds like she used to. When I asked ds if he felt "Thummy" might feel better if I arranged for her to come see him for a little while without the baby being around, ds enthusiastically said yes, that that would make "Thummy" very happy.

So anyways, I called over there to speak with my IL's about the issue with ds and FIL answered. For the record, I didn't get into anything about them and me or about "Wayne", just told him what ds had said to me and said I felt that it would mean a lot to ds if MIL could come here in the next couple days and spend time alone with him without the new baby around. FIL was kind of cold and snarky, which is unusual for him with me. He generally acts that way when he's pissed about something. He kind of snarked that MIL wasn't over there for the baby. Apparently SIL cannot be left alone until the blood clots in her brain are completely dissolved as there's still a risk of stroke. Well, dh and I did not know that as no one said anything to us and I told FIL as much. He went on to say - still being somewhat snarky and pissy - that MIL probably couldn't make it that day but he'd tell her what I'd said and see if MIL could get away for a couple of hours. I responded that while I get that they've been busy helping BIL and SIL out so much lately, that I'm just trying to do right by my own ds. I felt my ds was hurting and, as his mother, I want to try to alleviate that pain which was the purpose of my call. FIL said again he'd talk to MIL and then hung up.

MIL called a little while later - she'd been with SIL taking SIL to a doctor's check up - and she was especially cold and very "clipped" in her speaking with me. She immediately said, "Tell ds I'll try to get over to see him later today for a couple hours." I said okay and tried to say something more and she repeated the same thing. It was obvious to me she did not want to talk to me. I was able to get something in and MIL responded about the blood clots and that's why she had to be at SIL's side. When I told her what I'd told FIL, that we weren't aware of that, MIL seemed pissed that I didn't know. Whatever. We said our goodbyes and hung up.

After speaking with both of them and them both being rather cold and snarky, I felt more convinced than ever that they believed it all MY fault as to why dh didn't come visit "Wayne" when he was there, etc.

Around 4pm, I think it was, MIL arrived. She wasn't too cold but didn't seem interested in speaking to me so I just stayed out of her way, did my own thing and let ds enjoy his time with her. And, boy, was he ever happy to have his nana here all to himself! LOL Poor little guy didn't know what to do first. They'd start playing a game on his Nintendo DS and then he'd say, "I know! Let's go do this instead!" and he'd grab her hand and off they'd run to the other room to go do something else. Regardless of MIL's mood, it felt good to see ds so happy. Ironically enough, since spending time with his nana yesterday, "Thummy" has been back to perfect behavior.

Dh came home while his mother was still here and whispered to me if I'd said anything to her. I said no and he went back to say hello and hug ds. MIL started to leave about 35 minutes after dh got home and dh pulled her aside and talked to her. He told her that he should have mentioned it sooner, but that the reason he didn't want to come visit with Wayne was because of the creepy vibe he gives off, how we feel he's very inappropriate with children, what BIL told us about making his kids cry for kicks and how dh cannot STAND his passive-aggressive behavior, etc. MIL said she understood completely and by the time she left, she seemed back to her old self with me. I made sure to thank her for taking the time to come and visit with ds as I know she's been really busy helping take care of SIL and the baby. I said that it had obviously made ds very happy to spend time with her that day and, thus, it meant a lot to me that he was happy. She said, "You're welcome." and added that she wishes she had more time to come play with him here.

After MIL left, dh told me that MIL had told him that after Wayne had called here for like the 4th time (when he asked if we wanted him to come over and dh said we weren't up for company), he went directly to his keys and asked if anyone wanted to ride over here with him! MIL said, "NO, we don't. They just told you they're not up for company. If you want to go, you do it alone." According to MIL, Wayne then tried the "But I don't know where they live" line to which he was again told, "Too bad. You want to go after they told you not to come, you do it ALONE."

Dh then called FIL (after MIL left) and told him that the reason we didn't show had NOTHING to do with me and gave his reasons for choosing to stay away. FIL told dh that after dh had told Wayne that we weren't coming, Wayne made the comment to everyone (MIL, FIL, BIL and SIL), "What kind of doghouse does (dh's name) live in over there?" !!!! I've mentioned before that my dh is a very laid back, easy-going guy. He just doesn't really get mad or even upset very often. I don't think I have EVER seen dh as furious at someone as he's gotten at Wayne repeatedly the past few days. Had Wayne actually showed up over there that one night, I fear what dh might have done. Likely it would have come to blows and dh would have kicked Wayne's sorry butt all over our front yard. (Other than a couple minor schoolyard fights growing up, dh has NEVER hit anyone.)

I am SO glad - as is dh (and my IL's) - that Wayne and his kids are back in their home state and far, far away from all of us here. Even hearing his voice over the phone was enough to make my skin crawl the other night. I am SO glad I didn't have to be in close physical proximity to him.

There was one final, and very bothersome, report from MIL with regards to Wayne. Apparently his one young daughter sat in the hallway on a few occasions and repeatedly beat her head against the door as she rocked herself. It doesn't take an expert to know that that is a sign of extreme emotional distress, though I'm sure Wayne would label it tantrum behavior or something like that. Of course that's presuming he even notices it at all. I feel so bad for all his kids and wish so much there was something I could do to help get them away from their sorry excuse for a father. Their mother is still in the picture but is apparently worse than the dad as I understand. Such a sad, sad scenario. I just pray that someone eventually steps in and saves those poor kids.

I just continue to be floored by Wayne's horrid behavior. Refusing to accept no for an answer, being all weird in the way he behaved and spoke to all of us, abusing his children and then laughing when they cried, actually having the gall to think it would be okay to just show up here at our home after dh told him not to, labeling our home a "doghouse" and making me out to be this horrible wench of a wife to dh......He almost makes my malignant NP's look harmless as newborn puppies.

I get the feeling that the previous child abuse charges aren't the last the local police will hear of good ole Wayne.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Flipping PISSED...

No, not at NM. At my IL's.

So here's the of dh's cousins (we'll call him "Wayne" as a means of protecting the guilty) came into town Saturday evening with his three kids from the Chicago area, I think it is. He just announced he was coming a couple weeks previous, didn't tell anyone WHEN exactly so no one knew specifically when to expect him. Anyways, so he calls a few minutes outside of town Saturday evening and says he's almost there. Now, it had been agreed, when ds went over to my IL's that morning, that they'd bring him home early as a) he went over there a bit earlier than usual and b) ds had requested to come home early so as to have time to play his new video game with dh and I. MIL tried to get me to let him stay til 8pm because "she wanted him to visit with Wayne and his kids". I said NO and insisted they have him back at 5:30pm. Now, before any of you think me over-reacting, let me tell you this...

Wayne and his wife split about a year ago. In recent months, he's been arrested and jailed for abusing his one baby daughter. Supposedly he left bruises all up and down her rear end after spanking her. In addition to that, the guy just gives off some VERY bad, creepy vibes. He just strikes me as totally inappropriate, specifically with regard to kids. For example, he recently posted a pic on FB of him in the bathtub with his young children. (He had a bathing suit on but the kids were nude.) I reported it to FB who made him take it down. I mentioned my feelings to dh and was kind of surprised to find he felt exactly the same way about the guy.

Anyways so dh's parents - mostly his mom - have been pressuring him to come visit and hang out with family, etc. Yesterday, dh and I were busy cleaning up our house. It was a total disaster what with cleaning out all our closets and then having to clear out various rooms to treat the carpet for fleas recently, etc. Not dirty, just really, really messy, ya know? So MIL calls yesterday and tries to guilt dh into coming over and he says that we're busy cleaning right now, maybe we'll come over later if we have time. Needless to say, we spent ALL day cleaning hard and were pooped though, to be honest, we wouldn't have gone over even if we hadn't been tired because, again, we don't like the guy and don't want to see him much less have our child around him. BUT, rather than be rude, dh just planned to say we were tired and would have to catch him next time he was in town and then give his parents the full disclosure later when Wayne was gone. 
Well, the phone rings around 7:20pm last night and shows my IL's number so ds answers thinking it's them. (He always answers with the speaker phone so I can hear what's going on, be said, etc.) Turns out it was Wayne. Immediately Wayne sets in to ds - playing around but creepy like, ya know? - with "Why haven't you come to see me today?" DS, not knowing who it was or what to say, was all like, "I don't know." So then Wayne says, "Well tell your daddy to get dressed and bring you over to your Nana's to see me." I mentioned to dh that it was only an hour and a half until ds' bedtime and ds, hearing that, says to Wayne, "I can't. I have to go to bed in an hour and a half." Then, pissing me off royally, Wayne says to ds, "Oh, NO you don't! You can stay up! Tell your dad to bring you to see me. You need to come see me for a bit." At that point, I stood up to take the phone from ds because I do NOT like anyone trying to manipulate my kid and/or telling him he doesn't have to listen to his parents or adhere to the rules, etc. but then ds tosses the phone at dh and says, "I'm done talking." I followed to play with ds and left dh to handle the call.

Dh said we were just really tired and couldn't make it tonight, sorry we'd missed seeing him (Wayne) but we'd just have to catch him later. Then Wayne asks to speak to me. (I know...WTH, right?) Dh, strongly suspecting that they were all thinking it was ME who wouldn't let dh go visit over there and that Wayne was hoping to talk some sense into me, said, "She's right here. Here, I'll put you on speaker phone." Wayne, stammering at not knowing what to do, just said to me, "Hey." I said hello back and then he says that he just wanted to hear my voice and make sure I was okay. (Again, WTF???) I said, "I'm just fine thank you." and then excused myself and walked off. Dh hung up shortly after.

Not even a couple minutes later, the phone rings again and it's MIL wanting to know if we're coming over. (WTFH is WRONG with these people??!!) Dh tells her NO, says again that we're just both really tired and that we'll see Wayne another time. Shortly after that, he hangs up. Not even ten minutes after THAT, the phone rings AGAIN. It's Wayne again, wanting to know if it's okay if they all come over to OUR house. Dh says, "NO thank you. We're not up for company right now.", says goodbye and hangs up. A couple minutes later, you guessed it, it's Wayne again, this time laying the guilt on thick and pushing dh hard to bring ds over for just fifteen minutes. Dh, stupidly, agrees and says they'll be there shortly.

Upon hearing dh's end of the conversation, I say to him, "What did you just do?" He says that he agreed to take ds over there for 15 minutes. I stood my ground and said, "Absolutely NOT. NO WAY is ds going with you." I then asked dh, "All things aside, do you WANT to go over there and see Wayne?" Dh says to me, "Honestly? No. Not a bit." So I said to him, "Then don't go. Don't allow them to manipulate you into doing something you don't want to do. If you WANT to go, then go but if you don't, stand your ground and tell them firmly NO." I also mentioned how he might want to consider that, despite his and my having said no several times already, that none of them had listened and kept pushing. 
I read a book recently (the title slips my mind at the moment) from a guy who's worked with several law enforcement units, including the FBI, and who now helps people protect themselves. One thing that really stood out to me in that book was a quote that read something like, "When a person refuses to accept your no, they are trying to control you." I mentioned that to dh as well, he said, "You know're 100% right." He called back and said he'd reconsidered and, sorry, but we wouldn't be coming after all.

Forward to today, not so much as a PEEP from my IL's which is HIGHLY unusual. They are usually calling here multiple times a day to talk to ds over the course of the day. So I KNEW something was up and that they were avoiding calling here, most likely to avoid speaking to me. Dh calls just a bit ago and says his dad called him at work and wanted to know if dh was coming over, that Wayne had stayed over another day and really wanted to see us and ds. Now, mind you, FIL would NEVER normally call dh at work unless it was an emergency - and even then he usually calls me - because he strongly feels that it's inappropriate to bother dh at work. In talking with dh, I asked him flat out if his dad had mentioned anything about me. Dh said no but I just have this feeling that there's something that WAS said but dh doesn't want to tell me, probably to spare my feelings or whatever.

I've suspected for some time, as I've mentioned to you all before I believe, that my IL's don't much like me and that they prefer a girl like my SIL. This was confirmed by me when I broached the subject with MIL under the guise of some rude comment NSM had made to me in that regard. Rather than deny that she feels that way, MIL instead made excuses/gave reasons why it was understandable she felt that way! Though he won't admit some comment was made, dh did state that he feels his parents think it's all MY doing that he didn't go over there last night, like I'm some kind of controlling wench who won't let her husband do as he pleases. As if! I have news for them, even if I WANTED to control dh in that way - which I most definitely do NOT - I couldn't. Dh has NEVER been a follower in all the 15+ years I've known him. He can be a peace-at-all-costs guy occasionally, but has always been one to do what he wants. Yes, he takes my feelings into consideration - as he should - but, ultimately, if he really wants to do something, he will, regardless of what I say.

At this point, I'm just done with my freaking IL's. The plan had been to sell our house and move out there and take over their house and they were to add on an attached IL suite. FIL had proposed the arrangement to dh as something that would help them out considerably as FIL wants to be out of town for long periods of time hunting and fishing but doesn't feel right about leaving MIL behind for such long stretches. This way, we'd be out there to keep an eye on things and to help in an emergency. It would be mutually beneficial though as dh and I would no longer have a mortgage payment, nor the amount of bills that we have now. Needless to say, we will NOT be moving out there!! To hell with doing them any favors! In fact, to hell with them altogether! 
I will continue to encourage a relationship between them and ds because, at this time, I feel it's in ds' best interests and I will go over there and be pleasant and polite when required but I will NOT go out of my way for them anymore. I am who I am and, you know what? Dh married me BECAUSE I speak my mind and am not a doormat to him, not in spite of it! As much as I'd love to have their approval, I will NOT be someone I'm not and/or sell my soul to be just like my sister in law, wonderful though she may be (and is). If they don't like it, they can kiss my YANKEE ass. I am d-o-n-e, DONE with them both. Asshats!

Oh, forgot to mention the best part! Dh was talking to his BIL earlier via email and BIL sent dh this email about what went on when he went over to visit at my IL's house last night:

Swing by for 30 min and they will not bother you anymore. It's actually fun. I was about to bust a gut yesterday. Dad was picking on two of the kids and made one cry. A and T got the kids some gifts one of the boys got a crappy one and it didn't work. Wayne told him that they didn't love him as much as the others and that's why he got the crappy one. And he cried for a while. Sounds mean, kinda was.
Oh sure, let's go over to my inlaws' tonight and mentally and emotionally abuse some kids! Sounds like real fun! Nothing triggering for my PTSD there! Are you freaking KIDDING me??! Am so glad I wasn't there last night because I would NOT have been able to keep quiet and may well have gotten myself banned from their house permanently over that crap. Making kids cry for "jollies" is NOT "fun" in any context. It is SICK and FUCKED UP, not to mention sadistic and I seriously question the personality of anyone who believes otherwise. The ONLY reason I would continue to allow my son to be around FIL after this is because I believe that he would never treat his own grandchildren that way. Even still, I'm seriously questioning letting him be over there without dh or I present anymore.

So far, we haven't heard anything else from any of them over there. Dh thinks maybe they finally took the hint. I think they're just biding their time and we'll likely either hear from the tonight or MIL and FIL (and Wayne?) will show up unannounced tomorrow while they know dh is at work. I'm actually quite surprised they didn't call and give me shit today about not letting my dh go and see his family, blah blah.

Fucking assholes.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

My thoughts on my convo with NM...

Let's start with this comment:

DA, it has never been my goal in life-ever, to hurt you or make you feel bad. There's alot I just don't get, or understand about our relationship. One thing I can promise is that I will listen-and not "talk" over you.

On the one hand, I believe NM truly doesn't get it but, on the other, I think she knows exactly what she's doing. It's almost like there are two people inside of her - one part which can be nice and the other who is total malignant N. It's like the nice part of her wants to be a good mom and believes she loves me and that she'd never intentionally hurt me while the malignant part does everything it can to hurt me and knows full well what it's doing. I think that the reason she allows herself to conveniently forget is because her mind couldn't handle the full realization of the truth. In all honesty, I think having to face the full brunt of the truth would send her over the edge into a complete mental breakdown. The truth simply cannot coexist with her dysfunctional version of reality.
Moving on, just after I confront her about the things she, NHS and NSJ have said over the past 18 months during their smear campaign against me, NM responds with this comment:
NM:As much as I love you-our past conversations have been frustrating don't you think? I'll work on it with you, but please just don't expect me to be perfect. I am who I am-just as you are who you are. We both have to learn to except each other the way we are-crazy or not! Re: your last comment-I don't know who's been talking to you, but NHS and NSJ know that I'm not going to tolerate any bad-mouthing. At first-yes, but no one says anything to me at least, and NHS doesn't really talk to Aunt N or GM.

First and foremost, she doesn't acknowledge any wrongdoing on her part. She knows as well as I do that she did say the things I just accused her of. The fact that she didn't deny it proves it, at least in my eyes. Instead, it's once again the comment that dealing with me is "frustrating". A few years ago, I'd gotten one of those emails that you're supposed to forward to all your friends asking them to describe you in one word. My NM's word that she sent back was, you guessed it, "frustrating". While I agree with her completely that our previous interactions have indeed been "frustrating", it is not for the same reasons that she would state I'm sure.

Her next comment is that she's not perfect and "she is who she is". In some ways I suppose this comment is very true. Without knowing it, she is, in effect, saying that I can't expect a normal, healthy relationship from her, a dysfunctional, unhealthy narcissist. Of course, her actual intention with these comments is to shirk any responsibility and blame, both past and future. What I think of as normal, caring, respectful behavior, NM considers excessive and my asking her to be "perfect". In her mind, she's just fine and I, as her daughter, should just "except" (accept) her for who and what she is.

Her final comment in this part of the conversation is to say that supposedly NHS and NSJ know that she's not going to tolerate any badmouthing of me. Well, AT FIRST, okay but not anymore apparently. Then she says that no one says anything to her and that NHS doesn't speak to Aunt N or GM really anyway, which isn't exactly true. Since I know what has been said to me directly and in my presence by NHS and NSJ (and NM on occasion), I have no doubt that the vicious comments and smears made against me by NHS, NSJ and NM are true. I also don't buy for a second that NM "doesn't tolerate any badmouthing" of me by her mental case dd and dh. NM can try to convince me otherwise all she wants but I know the sort of person she is.

NM:I'm sitting here trying to say the right things to you. I can't believe that your name popped up under (nephew's) name. I didn't know if it was a joke or not.

This is part of the problem I had with NM previously. She was always saying how she was always (supposedly) trying so hard to say and do the right things, the things *I* wanted her to say/do. The thing she doesn't get is that I just want her to be respectful and nice. Once, when I said as much to her, she said to me, "I don't understand what you mean." When I repeated, "Just be NICE.", she responded again, "But what does that MEAN?" I now believe that this is the NPD part of her. Lacking the empathy that gives normal people the ability to understand how certain words and actions can hurt another person's feelings, NM doesn't understand what I'm talking about when I tell her certain words and actions on her part hurt me and cause me pain. It's like there is no "mean" and "nice", everything just IS.

DA-again, I'm not perfect. However, you've never been 100% the one at fault, but neither one of us are totally blameless. I've been wrong talking about your dad and NSM-hopefully I will keep my mouth shut. Let's try to start over and be totally honest with each other. If I say or do something wrong-tell me at that moment what I'm doing etc. 

Again with the "You can't hold me responsible because, after all, I'm not perfect!" excuse. This time it was because I attempted to hold her responsible for her previous acts of shirking responsibility and placing all the blame on me and my NF. She then takes it a step further and tries to assign a large portion of the blame for the way things are between us on me. Not surprising. The thing is I have never, in all my life, ever expected her to be perfect nor have I ever stated anything to that effect. I also have never said that I am 100% blameless. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes and I am no exception. But while I may be responsible for some of the blame, it is a very small percentage. In this instance, it is NM, NHS and NSJ who bear the brunt of the blame for the way things are between them and I.

I will give her credit where credit is due though.She DOES admit some wrongdoing - even if only barely - to badmouthing my NSM and NF to me, though her comment of "hopefully I will keep my mouth shut" [in the future] seems to leave wiggle room for her to shirk blame for any future bad behavior in that area.

Regarding her comment of my telling her when she's doing something wrong, if you read through the previous posted transcript of the conversation, you'll know I told her that we'd been there, done that before and it didn't work. Anytime I've attempted to confront her in the moment in the past, she's had one excuse after another why I'm wrong, why I shouldn't feel that way or why it's otherwise not her fault and she's not in the wrong. Mind you, that won't stop me from calling her out on her bad behavior in the future. Just because she'll still make excuses and shirk responsibility for her bad behavior doesn't mean I'm going to just turn over and let her get away with it. Sad for her but if she thinks I was "frustrating" before, she's in for a whole new definition of "frustrating" with the new, healthier me! LOL

LOL Then we come to the infamous eyebrow comment. NM writes:

NM:Guess what I did the first of the year?...had my eyebrows fixed, so they look more even! Did it hurt-hell yes!!!

Right in the middle of my talking about some very serious issues - that my feelings toward her are NOT a result of anything my NF has said but 100% due to my interactions with her, period - she makes a comment about her stupid eyebrows. Really?! I have to laugh though as it's so utterly and completely N of her to make such a comment at such a time. (For the record, as someone commented about her having had her eyebrows waxed, she didn't have them waxed, she had minor plastic surgery to fix her previously droopy eyelids.) Previously, before NC that is, I probably would have gotten super pissed or been hurt by this type of comment but now, to use NM's own words, she is who she is. Now that my expectations are on par with who she is, these things don't really get to me anymore.

It was about this point in the conversation that I felt NM was getting way ahead of herself and taking my tiny handout of speaking to her and running with it full speed ahead. I wanted to be clear about how I felt and so I told her, quite clearly and bluntly, that my speaking to her did not mean I was ready to jump back into a relationship with her head first and added that I also was not ready to see her face to face or speak on the phone yet but I did say I was okay with sending emails here and there. NM's response to that was:

NM:I understand what you're saying. I really would love some pics of ds. He must be getting so big now. I miss you and him very much. I can only promise you that I will listen-with both ears. I don't know if I'm ready to see you on a daily basis yet either. I have been hurt by this episode-very much. I resent (your dh) on the last time I saw him. I understand that he was defending you-still didn't like his playing "therapist" with me. I also will never be friendly toward MIL and FIL again. For MIL being so religious-that's a crock! I will never trust them again!

First, my guess is to save face since I called her out on getting carried away, she says that she doesn't know if she's ready to see me yet either, though she says she's not ready to see me "on a daily basis" whereas I said I wasn't ready to see her face to face. This tells me that my previous assumption that she was taking my talking to her as, "Oh good. Finally DA is ready to stop being silly and has come to her senses! Now things can go back to the way they were again!" was spot on. Previously, NM and I had spoken pretty much on a daily basis and she was constantly popping in on her way to or from somewhere, using my house as a rest stop to use the bathroom and make herself a cup of tea before heading on to wherever.

Anyway, then NM moves on to saying that she has also been hurt by this "episode". While I thing that feeling hurt by such circumstances is understandable, the point is that I've just opened myself and revealed my pain to her and all she can think to respond is, "Well what about MY pain? I've been hurt too, you know!". So NOT the response of a healthy, functional parent.

As to NM's comment about resenting my dh, she's been saying she feels that way toward him for some time now. Why? Because dh doesn't buy into her bullshit and, thus, NM isn't able to control and manipulate him the way she does with others. I don't think I have to tell any of you that dh did not "play therapist" with NM the last time we all talked back in January of 2010. He did act as mediator to an extent and called both NM and I out on a couple of occasions when we were getting too emotional and straying from the topic at hand. Beyond that, he acted as any husband should - he defended and supported me, his wife. 

NM is just pissed that dh can't be manipulated into siding with her against me. Which, coincidentally, is precisely why she now hates my IL's. When I first went NC with her, NM tried in vain to get my IL's to side with her. She called up FIL and cried the blues about how she had a gift for ds and could she drop it off and he'd give it to ds since I wouldn't talk to her? She used her best "woe is me" act. FIL, being a generally nice guy, said no problem. Once NM arrived, she paraded NHS' two kids around to my IL's and said, "Do this kids look abused to you?" in reference to dh's and my refusal to allow NM to take ds out on her own, which was NM's main bone of contention with us. (Her own fault that she lost the privilege due to repeatedly going against our wishes and abusing the privilege back when she still had it.) NM, quite cunningly, attempted to get my IL's to agree to let her see ds behind dh's and my back when ds visited my IL's at their house. IL's said she was welcome to visit THEM any time but did NOT agree to let NM see ds against our wishes. My IL's have also stood firm and repeated dh's and my wishes and feelings to NM whenever NM has tried to lie and badmouth dh and I. Because of all of this, NM claims my IL's have "mistreated" her and betrayed her trust. As with dh, NM is just mad they won't allow themselves to be manipulated by her and fall for her bullshit.

NM's final comment to me was:

NM:I guess I will go and start dinner-I still hate to cook. I hate to say goodbye - I love you so very much and want to make this work for you and me. I have asked grandma or Aunt N from time to time about (dog's name)-nobody knew anything. My granddog! Give ds and the dog a hug from me. Take care of you and we'll talk again whenever you're ready-you write me when you want to. I'm willing to talk whenever you want to. Hey..we've just had a conversation and no problems! See we can do it. Love Mom XX

The very final comment of "Hey...we've just had a conversation and no problems! See we can do it." rankled me only slightly but, otherwise I found the rest of our talk to be okay. I believe that SHE believes she genuinely loves me but I think the truth is more she loves me to the best of her ability. Because of the NPD, she's not able to
truly love me unconditionally, the way I love my son. And, once again, I need to give credit where it's due. She does say that we'll talk again whenever I'm ready and for me to write when I want to. Of course, if past behavior is any indicator - and we all know that it is - chances are this is more of her saying what she thinks I want to hear. I give it a handful more conversations between us and her impatience is going to start showing and the questions of "When can I see ds already?" will start.

I think this can work and I can maintain what I have with her now but it's going to take work. It will mean keeping my expectations of her very, very low and maintaining a healthy balance between my mind and my heart. It would be all too easy to allow myself to just surrender and believe what she says despite the fact that I know much of it is untrue and know her true nature. As it was during our conversation the other day, I need to make sure that I walk that fine line between standing my ground and enforcing my boundaries without allowing myself to be sucked back in emotionally where I start getting into old habits and defending, justifying, excusing, etc. I need to be vigilant about what I say and not sharing things that are too personal with NM.

As I think about the type of relationship I'm describing, it occurs to me that rather than a real, functional relationship, I'm talking about more of an empty husk. If any of you know anything about tarantula spiders (I personally HATE spiders but know a little bit due to working in a pet store for a while as a teenager), you know that they periodically molt their outer skin/shell. The shed part looks exactly like a dead tarantula spider but is really a dried out, empty husk of the real thing. I suppose my new relationship with my NM will be like that. At this point in my recovery though, I think that's okay. I know now that I can never have the relationship with my NM that I'd like to, but I think that having her in my life, even in some barely there capacity, is better than not having her in my life at all. The way it was before, never knowing if I'd ever see or speak to her again, just felt wrong somehow. Beyond the obvious I mean. It just didn't seem right FOR ME and my life that it truly was all said and done, that I'd never see her or speak to her again. It didn't seem acceptable to me. This, I think I can live with. It's far from perfect obviously but it's okay.

Friday, July 8, 2011

A transcript of my IM convo with NM yesterday...

Jul 07 5:04 PM

Jul 07 5:06 PM

Jul 07 5:06 PM
NM:Happy Birthday-belated, but all the love is there! I miss you XX

Jul 07 5:06 PM
Me:Thank you. I miss you too.

Jul 07 5:07 PM
Me:And of course I love you.

Jul 07 5:07 PM
NM:Are we ever going to be together again? I miss my antique shopping buddy

Jul 07 5:09 PM
Me:I don't know. Honestly, I've thought many times of contacting you but I just cannot go back to the way things were. I don't like feeling like I'm never good enough, that no matter what I do, it's wrong. It hurts.

Jul 07 5:10 PM
Me:I tried so hard, so many times to get you to understand but it always seemed to be about YOU. I get where you're coming from in some ways but, in others, I just feel like when is it ever about ME, MY pain, MY feelings, etc.?

Jul 07 5:11 PM
Me:I try to tell you - all four of you, I mean - how I feel and all I ever seem to get in response is, "Oh yeah, well what about ME? Haven't *I* been hurt?" I don't dispute that but I need to be heard too.

Jul 07 5:13 PM
NM:DA, it has never been my goal in life-ever, to hurt you or make you feel bad. There's alot I just don't get, or understand about our relationship. One thing I can promise is that I will listen-and not "talk" over you.

Jul 07 5:15 PM
Me:I want so badly to believe that but, if I may be perfectly honest here, it's hard to accept that when all that you, NSJ and NHS have been saying about me the past couple years gets back to me. I am not a liar, I am not a thief and I've certainly never attempted to destroy anyone's life, nor does anyone have any reason to stay away from me. And while I may have anxiety issues and have recently been diagnosed with PTSD, I do NOT have serious mental issues that would also warrant my being labeled "dangerous" to be around or associate with.
Jul 07 5:20 PM
NM:As much as I love you-our past conversations have been frustrating don't you think? I'll work on it with you, but please just don't expect me to be perfect. I am who I am-just as you are who you are. We both have to learn to except each other the way we are-crazy or not! Re: your last comment-I don't know who's been talking to you, but NHS and NSJ know that I'm not going to tolerate any bad-mouthing. At first-yes, but no one says anything to me at least, and NHS doesn't really talk to Aunt N or GM.
Jul 07 5:22 PM
Me:I've gotten reports back, mostly early on, from pretty much everyone on our side of the family and, for a long time, everyone except nancy refused to speak to me. Aunt S still will have nothing to do with me and while I do speak again with Uncle C and GM, it's very tentatively.

Jul 07 5:22 PM
NM:and they have said that to me also.

Jul 07 5:23 PM
Me:Yes, our conversations have been frustrating. For the record, I've never expected you to be perfect and I don't now. I'm not going to go back into all my issues with you because I've said it all before and you should know by now how I feel.

Jul 07 5:24 PM
NM:Aunt S doesn't have much to do about anyone besides her dh, and now her 2 new babies-new grandchild (so cute), and her new puppy.

Jul 07 5:24 PM
Me:They've said that I've badmouthed you? Because I have not said a thing to anyone. I have mentioned a couple things to Aunt N early on but it wasn't badmouthing, just stating the facts as I saw them. In fact, I've gone out of my way NOT to badmouth you to anyone, and that includes ds.

Jul 07 5:25 PM
NM:NO, No nobody has badmouthed you to me.

Jul 07 5:25 PM

Jul 07 5:27 PM
NM:I'm sitting here trying to say the right things to you. I can't believe that your name popped up under (nephew's) name. I didn't know if it was a joke or not

Jul 07 5:29 PM
Me:That's kind of the thing. I don't want you to say something because you think it's what I want to hear. I want you to speak from your heart and I want us to be open and honest with one another. The part I can't handle is the constant criticisms, the defending NSJ and NHS and their actions to me, the blaming of everything that is wrong between you and I as being totally and 100% mine and my dad's fault and you 100% blameless.

Jul 07 5:30 PM
Me:You sat here in my living room back in January of 2010 and stated flat out that you have never done anything wrong besides allowing me to abuse and disrespect you. It's ALWAYS mine and my dad's fault with you, always and that's just not reality.

Jul 07 5:31 PM
Me:Be right back. Gotta pee.
Jul 07 5:32 PM
Me:Okay. I'm back.

Jul 07 5:35 PM
Me:For the record, I think you have good reason to feel about my father the way you do. I don't deny that and even understand it far better than you think. But I do not now, nor have I ever treated a person, you included, badly because someone else told me I should. I don't talk to my dad about you (actually, I don't talk to him at all anymore, if I'm to be honest) and I wouldn't tolerate him badmouthing you anymore than I tolerated you talking badly about him. I love you both equally and it hurts me to hear the other spoken badly about even if it was/is the truth, deserved, etc.

Jul 07 5:36 PM
Me:My feelings toward you are 100% based on my interactions with you. Period.

Jul 07 5:37 PM
NM:DA-again, I'm not perfect. However, you've never been 100% the one at fault, but neither one of us are totally blameless. I've been wrong talking about your dad and NSM-hopefully I will keep my mouth shut. Let's try to start over and be totally honest with each other. If I say or do something wrong-tell me at that moment what I'm doing etc.

Jul 07 5:37 PM
Me:Just as my feelings toward dad are 100% based on my interactions with him and a result of his actions/behavior.

Jul 07 5:37 PM
NM:You're writing faster than me!!!!!!!!!

Jul 07 5:39 PM
NM:Guess what I did the first of the year?...had my eyebrows fixed, so they look more even! Did it hurt-hell yes!!!

Jul 07 5:40 PM
Me:I've admitted that I'm not 100% blameless and I don't think I've ever said that I was. As to my telling you in the moment when you've done something to upset me, we've tried that before and it did not work. You either told me why I was wrong, why I shouldn't feel that way or it was, "Well you don't think you upset me too?!" (Sorry if that's harsh but I'm trying to be 100% honest here.)

Jul 07 5:41 PM
Me:Before you get too far ahead of yourself here, I want to state flat out that my talking to you here today does not mean that I'm ready to jump back into things with you again. I'm also not ready to see you yet or talk on the phone. I would feel okay however with the occasional email being sent back and forth or with sending you some pictures of my house, ds, etc.

Jul 07 5:43 PM
Me:I've only just started back with a new therapist in recent months and been diagnosed as having PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). I've addressed the topic of getting back in touch with you with my therapist and she said that she thinks it's totally possible but it's going to take time and I still need time to heal and work on myself. I spent too long trying to please everyone else and putting everyone else ahead of myself and my health has suffered for it. I need to do this for myself and I hope you can understand and respect that.

Jul 07 5:50 PM
NM:I understand what you're saying. I really would love some pics of ds. He must be getting so big now. I miss you and him very much. I can only promise you that I will listen-with both ears. I don't know if I'm ready to see you on a daily basis yet either. I have been hurt by this episode-very much. I resent (your dh) on the last time I saw him. I understand that he was defending you-still didn't like his playing "therapist" with me. I also will never be friendly toward MIL and FIL again. For MIL being so religious-that's a crock! I will never trust them again!

Jul 07 5:53 PM
NM:Re: the eyebrows...not the eyebrow itself-but the fatty piece beneath it.
Jul 07 5:54 PM
Me:I'm sorry you've been hurt. That was never my intention. When I walked away, I did so NOT to hurt you or get at you but because it was what I needed to do FOR ME. As you said, dh was just defending me but I wouldn't take it personally. Lest you forget, he admonished me a few times during that conversation too! As for my IL's, they have their issues but they love me and FIL especially is protective of me. I will say that other than reporting back things that were said, they've never been malicious or badmouthed you in any way. FIL said he's seen you and NSJ in (grocery store) several times and always says hey.
Jul 07 5:54 PM
Me:Oh, I thought you meant you'd had them tattooed or something! LOL I bet they look nice. Glad you were finally able to have them done. I know you'd been wanting it for a while.

Jul 07 5:55 PM
Me:Don't know if you heard but BIL and SIL just had a little boy a few weeks ago. His name is B and he is ADORABLE. SIL had bad complications, including a stroke and we almost lost her. Thankfully, our prayers were answered and SIL is back at home enjoying her new baby with BIL.

Jul 07 5:57 PM
NM:I"m very sorry to hear about SIL's troubles, but glad to hear that she's well now and has a baby. FIL has spoken to NSJ, but I've walked on past him-he's never said anything to me

Jul 07 5:58 PM
NM:How old is the baby?

Jul 07 5:58 PM
Me:3 weeks.

Jul 07 5:59 PM
NM:OMG! that's so young-I thought you meant that this happened a while back!

Jul 07 5:59 PM
Me:No. She just got home a few days ago.

Jul 07 5:59 PM
Me:She had a leak in her spinal fluid which triggered a seizure and then had four small blood clots in her brain which cause a very minor stroke.

Jul 07 6:00 PM
Me:She seems back to normal now but can't drive due to the seizures.

Jul 07 6:00 PM
Me:She's not having anymore but just in case.

Jul 07 6:01 PM
Me:Don't know if you've seen any recent pictures of me but I've lost about 50 pounds now. I now weigh less than I did at my wedding. In fact, my wedding dress is slightly big on me! I had to go buy a bunch of new clothes and take in a lot of my old ones. I'm a 12/14 now, down from a 18/20.
Jul 07 6:03 PM
Me:MIL's mom also died recently. I think it's been 3 months now? We miss Nanny a lot. Apparently she had a stroke and then another more severe one and just never recovered.

Jul 07 6:04 PM
NM:It seems that NSJ and I may be doing some traveling again this summer/fall. There's quite a large (huge amount) of gas to be gotten out of the West by God Virginia area and so NSJ may be sent up thar, but I'd stay with grandma. Or, they're sending some guys up to Vancouver again-ton of work there-time will tell. I did see that you'd lost weight, and that you've let your hair grow long! The last pic I saw of you was just a small one at grandma's last summer-you look great!

Jul 07 6:05 PM
Me:Thanks. Actually, I've cut my hair shorter again. I really liked it long but it took so long to blow dry and style so I got it cut shorter again.

Jul 07 6:06 PM
NM:I knew Nanny died-Aunt N told me. That's the only thing she HAS told me!!!

Jul 07 6:07 PM
NM:Actually-I've gained weight! Not a whole lot-but too much for me!!!

Jul 07 6:07 PM
Me:We're actually planning to move out to (nearby town), the sooner the better for me. I've had it with this house. IL's are giving us the title to their house and will be adding on a small, attached inlaw suite with it's own living, kitchen, bath and bed areas so it'd be kind of like a duplex arrangement. MIL will be over at BIL and SIL's most of the time taking care of B when SIL goes back to work in another 4 weeks or so and FIL plans to go out of town for long periods hunting and fishing. We're going to take the money we get from this place and totally overhaul their place and make it our own, plus by new furniture, etc. Probably the closest we'll ever get to building our dream home.

Jul 07 6:08 PM
NM:I'm going to start back to the gym and look into the Zumba classes!

Jul 07 6:08 PM
Me:We're just waiting for the property at the beach to sell so FIL has the funds to use for the addition and then we're putting this house up for sale and getting the hell out of dodge. I've been VERY busy completely redecorating the house the past year or so and have been working extra hard lately to finish up little things here and there.

Jul 07 6:09 PM
Me:I'd considered taking a Zumba class. It looks fun. I plan to start back with bellydance as soon as I have some money again, but not with D or J.

Jul 07 6:10 PM
NM:That sounds great about the house-best part is no mortgage-or at least a large mortgage. I can't fault them for being good to you guys-you're very fortunate.
Jul 07 6:11 PM
Me:Yes, we are fortunate. Their house is paid off so we'd get to put that money into savings and build up our savings again. Since dh's boss cut insurance coverage for me and ds, the premiums eat up a lot of our extra money. Then we needed an extra car since ds is starting kindergarten this year which eats up the rest.
Jul 07 6:12 PM
NM:I considered belly dancing again-but I had to stop because it was killing my back. What kind of car did you get?

Jul 07 6:12 PM
Me:Aside from a minor speech issue - stuttering - ds is actually showing that he may be gifted. We're looking forward to the formal testing coming up this year so we'll know for sure.

Jul 07 6:13 PM
Me:We got a ----- truck from a girl dh works with who's going through a divorce and wanted to unload it. We got it for half what it's worth. We lucked out big time.

Jul 07 6:13 PM
NM:That's wonderful! on both accounts!

Jul 07 6:14 PM
Me:(Dog's name) is still hanging in there, poor old girl. She's not doing so good anymore though. She's on mega pain meds for hip dysplasia and arthritis pain and also has Cushing's disease ontop of the lymphoma she was found to have when we had that lump biopsied a few years back. Then, this last big snow, she blew out her left rear knee so now has a permanent limp and can no longer get up onto the couch or into the car by herself. She's still quite spunky though and isn't showing any signs that it's time quite yet so Dr. B just agrees to keep her comfy until the time comes.
Jul 07 6:20 PM
NM:I guess I will go and start dinner-I still hate to cook. I hate to say goodbye - I love you so very much and want to make this work for you and me. I have asked grandma or Aunt N from time to time about (dog's name)-nobody knew anything. My granddog! Give ds and the dog a hug from me. Take care of you and we'll talk again whenever you're ready-you write me when you want to. I'm willing to talk whenever you want to. Hey..we've just had a conversation and no problems! See we can do it. Love Mom XX


And there you have it. Our IM convo. There were a couple of things that jumped out at me but I'll post my feelings on that in a separate post later on. I have this stupid headache right now that won't seem to go completely away and it's driving me nuts!