Friday, August 5, 2011

I knew it was coming sooner than later...

Got this email from NM earlier today...

Hi-have you seen Repticon advertised at the ***** arena? Just saw it on ***********. It's this weekend at the ***** Arena, and they have tarantulas, scorpions, and different lizards, etc. The lizard on the show was 6 feet long, and weighed 50 pounds. Very gentle, and was raised by his owner from birth-good with kids-(you need one for ds!!!) We're going to go tomorrow I think. It's $10. for adults, and $5. for kids. DS would probably enjoy this ya think? Just thought I'd let you know in case you wanted to take him. I hate crawly things, but this should be interesting-and something different to do!

How is my grandson doing? By the have you explained my absense? I feel bad that I'm missing his growing up-I love that child with all my heart, and want him to know me, and love me back. What do you think we could do about this situation? I don't want to push you or force you to do anything you're not ready to do-but I don't want to miss his early years and want him and myself to have some kind of a relationship. Anyway-think on it, and let me know. I love you lots! XX

The thing that strikes me first and foremost is that we've only spoken just a few times - maybe 5 by now? - and I told her flat out just a few weeks ago that I was nowhere near ready to see her face to face at this time.........yet I'm supposed to arrange a visit with my ds for her? I can understand inquiring as to what I've told ds about her not being around. That seems a logical enough question. But really? Asking already to see ds when she and I have only spoken a handful of times and haven't even so much as spoken over the phone yet??!! Only an N would make such a ridiculous request!

And while I'd like to believe she's being sincere in saying how she loves my ds and wants a relationship with him, I know all too well that she's full of crap. If she loved him so much and wanted a relationship with him so badly, she'd have been willing to abide by dh's and my rules and visit with ds here at the house and gone through the necessary steps to earn back our trust. Bottom line, coming here to see him even though it wasn't ideal would have been better than not seeing him at all. Instead, being an N, because she couldn't have everything HER way, she walked away and we didn't speak to her for nearly TWO YEARS (in actuality it was about 19 months).

As for his "early years", ds is now 5 and starting Kindergarten in just a couple weeks so I think that boat has long since passed. The time to build a relationship with him would have been from birth up till now but, again, since she couldn't have everything HER way, she chose to pout and walk away. NOT my problem, nor was it my fault. And now that ds will be starting school, making friends and wanting to hang out with them more and more as he gets older, NM has missed her chance. Too bad, so sad. Not.

I plan to respond but I think I'm just going to be honest with her and say basically what I've just said above, though a bit more respectfully. (Not because she deserves it but because it's the sort of person I choose to be.) I'm sure she'll just throw a giant pity party because I "won't allow her" to have a relationship with her grandson and/or otherwise try to tell me why I'm being mean or unfair but, whatever.

I'll let you all know how it goes.


  1. Here's the response I sent to NM:



    No, I hadn't heard about the Repticon event. It sounds really neat. Thanks for letting me know. Don't know if we'll be able to afford to go but ds would definitely like it. We took him to the free "Snakes Alive" show they had at the library last summer and he loved it! He held several of the snakes and dh helped to hold up the huge 12 foot Burmese python they had there. It was really cool.

    DS is doing great, a ball of never ending energy as usual. Yesterday we made some homemade playdough (salt dough) in different colors and had a fun time playing with it. DS made all sorts of pretend foods out of his. LOL We also did a few puzzles, read some books, played video games, played "bad guys" and watched Spongebob. At least I slept good that night!

    Regarding what I've told ds about you, I told him the truth as I saw it in an age-appropriate way. I told him that you had said and done some things that you thought were okay but that hurt me and that I felt you owed me an apology but you saw things another way and we just disagreed. Until you apologized or it was resolved, that we wouldn't be seeing you for a bit. Aside from that, I've encouraged him to look at pictures of you and talk about you if he wants to and have assured him that it's okay to love and miss you and/or to feel however he feels. I have not badmouthed you to him and have made a point that any discussions dh and I may have were had when ds was asleep or otherwise not around to hear anything that was said. NOT that anything being said was so horrible but it just isn't stuff that ds needs to be exposed to being that it's adult stuff.

    I have said from day one that I'd love nothing more than to see ds have a good relationship with you and have you in his life. It's been very painful to me to have to live with the fact that ds has such a good relationship with my in laws and only an okay one with you. I have previously done all I can to try and facilitate a good relationship between him and you and continue to do so.

    That being said, I would not be comfortable with you seeing ds right now. If you want to write him a letter or send a card or small gift or something, I am fine with reading the letter to him and/or giving him the gift just as I've done all along and I can even try to get him to write a note or send something along back to you if you'd like, but given that you and I haven't even spoken on the phone or seen each other face-to-face yet and I don't know where this may lead between you and I, I don't want to act prematurely and involve my son only to risk things not working out and then we go our separate ways and you're taken out of ds' life again. Depending on how things work out between you and I in the future, we can certainly re-evaluate the situation again later on but, for now, this is how I feel.

    I hope you're feeling better today. I had a slight headache earlier but I took some Motrin and am feeling much better now. This rain is so nice compared to the God awful heat we've had recently. I hope it lasts at least a couple more days.

    Love you,

    DA xoxo


    It'll be interesting to see how she responds. Will it be N rage or begrudging acceptance...for now? Guess we'll find out soon enough! :o)

  2. Clarifying, praying for continued peace and inspiration in handling this difficult situation, that something in this email will get through and make a life-changing impression for the better.

  3. Where are *YOU* in all this mix? Why didn't she say how much she's missing YOU and wanting a relationship with YOU in all this???

  4. Good question Katie! Guess she either figures we already HAVE a good relationship given that we're on talking terms and/or she doesn't care about ME. More likely, she just wants contact with ds so that she can put forth the illusion that she's Grandma of the Century.

  5. wow REPTICON sounds awesome! haha
    i figure it'll go one ear, out the other. i thought that by modeling reasonable behavior and explaining things out, my parents would learn, like, out of osmosis or something. nope, didn't work. i figured they were crazy by then. don't let taking the high road cause you to stand around justifying yourself to them. you don't need to prove you're a good person. you are. to their crazy eyes, they'll never see it. it's like throwing things into a rotating saw. everything comes out in shreds.

  6. What is it with N letter and exclamation marks!!! :) There is so much that your NM writes here that my NMIL wrote to us in the same situation (limited contact after a few weeks on no contact). I will point out the things that most strike me - after only a few awkward emails she has become very familiar and invited you, she has included lots of irrelevant facts. She refers to your DS only as terms of ownership relating to her ie 'my grandson'. My NMIL never ever refers to our children as ours, they are ALWAYS referred to by her as 'my grandchildren'. Irks me no end. I could go on and on but those are the things that stand out to me the most.

    Grrr!!! I have had so many of these emails and from the surface they look so reasonable but underneath they are a sething pool of manipulation and the calm in them is almost disturbing.

  7. @ Girl From the Ville - You know, I hadn't really thought about it before but you make a good point, NM DOES nearly always refer to ds as "MY grandson" or by his name. I can't think of a single time she's ever referred to him as "YOUR child" or "YOUR son", always "MY grandson". But then, I guess when you're the sun of your own universe, it makes sense that everything relates to YOU! LOL :o)

    I also noticed as I read the email how quickly she went back to being uber familiar and invited me to the Repticon event as well as previously having invited me out antiquing at the local antique mall. But, then, I knew it would go that way. Now that I'm speaking to her again, she conveniently overlooks the things I've said to her and has it set in her own mind that things are back to normal again and everything's peaches and cream when the reality is anything but.

    Oddly enough, I commented after the second time I'd communicated with her how I knew it wouldn't be long before she was asking to come visit with ds again. And I can guarantee that if I DID let her come visit ds - and that is SOOOO NOT going to happen - that it wouldn't be long before she'd be saying to me, "So...when can I take ds to my house/out on my own?"

    She/they just doesn't/don't get it and she/they never will.

  8. @ Lisa - Rest assured, my ONLY intention in responding to NM was to set and enforce my personal boundaries. I've long since given up the hope that there's anything I can say or do that will make her "get it" or change. Ain't ever gonna happen and I'm done trying! ;o)

  9. "Where are *YOU* in all this mix? Why didn't she say how much she's missing YOU and wanting a relationship with YOU in all this???"

    I've got to second this statement. The Dragon was AAAAALLLLLL over getting at the kids, but didn't give a shit about improving 'our' relationship. I felt like she was just grooming the next generation for her use and abuse.

    Let her take a step back and start being realistic with you and your relationship first. I'm guessing it's going to be VERY difficult for her to do that.

  10. I started to write a reply to you to explain our story but ended up putting it in its own blog space. So if you want to have a read, you can see it here ...

    I have really appreciated reading your blog. I have had some issues with my computer settings and haven't been able to use the comments box until now but I have been reading for a while.

    It is a challenging journey dealing with NPD. In my situation, my MIL has NPD but I also suspect my own father does. MIL is probably more of an engulfing Narc where my dad is an ignoring one which makes it possible to still have contact. I don't post openly about my dad usually because we are still in contact. But I know what it is like to live with one and also to have one as a PIL.

    We are still figuring it out and it has taken a long time to come to the point we are at. I think we are finally at a place of peace. The issues are still quite unresolved, but understanding NPD has given us the vocab and capacity to understand what is going on and to understand our own feelings.

    Anyway, sorry for going on about myself. Thank-you for writing this blog and putting it all out there. It has helped to read other people's stories. And it is eye opening how similarly Narcs speak/write/think. We don't feel so alone.

  11. My view was first the hook then reel you in. After all, you don't want to deprive 'my grandson' of this great opportunity. In advertising this type of ploy is bait and switch. It is illegal in the business world but seems to be fairly common operating procedure with N parents. I do like "(Not because she deserves it but because it's the sort of person I choose to be.)" Repeatedly you show what kind of caring person you are. Using you to get to "my grandson" is so sad. I now understand better why my own son chewed me out for not treating my kids with more respect when wanting to see grandkids. I had said things in jest that reading what happened to you I now recognize came off as really unkind. Your parent may not change but I heard loud and clear and I'll work harder to let my kids know that they themselves are important to me. Yes, their children are wonderful too, but that is because they are part of their parents. I learned from this. Thanks. Ruth