Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Strong Memory of Being Used

I have a memory of something cruel that my mom did to me that I have thought of often.  I may sound like a broken record, but as a mother of a 12 year old I cannot imagine my DH or me doing anything even close to this to one of our children.

When I was about 5 we lived in an apt (my NM, brother and me) and my NM made friends with another single mom.  A few years later my NM remarried and we moved to another state and lived in a posh house with lots of room and this friend of my mother’s was down and out and came to live with us for a month or two.  She had a daughter who was about 5 at this time and I was about 9.

A few years later we were located back in the same state (NM had divorced hubby #2) and my NM had done well for herself with her own business.  I was 13 years old, maybe even close to 14—I am horrified as I write this.  My NM and this friend were not close anymore and as I learned later this friend had asked my NM to borrow some money and my NM had refused.

Well, my NM and I were at a restaurant and I have no idea if this friend knew it and came by—those details aren’t clear, but no way was it coincidental—it was a very large town, and their friendship had been mostly phone because they didn’t live super close to each other.

Well, my NM put on a big air and acted pretty snotty as this friend stood next to our table.  Then my mom says that I had been to Italy that summer (on some sort of an exchange program).  A big fat lie!!!  Always the protector of my mother……I just sat there.  And didn’t deny it.  My NM’s friend stood there and looked at me (you could tell she was assessing the situation).  I felt so embarrassed and ashamed that this was a blatant lie.  This friend was originally from that country – what if she asked me what cities I’d been to??  What if she asked me something in her original language?  I don’t think I ever met her gaze.  She just asked me if I had a good time.  I said yes.  She was cordial and went on her way.  I don’t remember any explanation from my NM later.  I only picked up later from other conversations that for some reason my NM didn’t like this friend anymore. 

I realize that I still feel bad about that and regret it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It Was Easier When She Was NC, But Now I'm Gonna Have To Deal

So here is where we are at when the daughter (me) of a NM doesn’t realize until her 40’s that her mom is an NM, and the daughter has teen/pre-teen age children who realize that grandma is a wackadoodle, and the daughter really prefers it when the NM does not contact the daughter or the children, and how the daughter does not deal with it or respond; instead the daughter prefers to not even think of the NM, but to keep busy and enjoy her family of 5.

With that being said, let’s catch up since the Christmas card that was sent to the kids in early December.  She wrote a note to the kids to buy them a plane ticket if they wanted to visit.  I had heard from my grandmother that my NM was peeved that my youngest took a month to send a thank you for a b-day gift in Sept and that she just wasn’t going to send gifts anymore.

So I knew the mention of a plane ticket was just words—she knows I won’t put them on a plane.  She knows I won’t leave them with her.  She knows why I am justified in this.

Well, Christmas got closer and then of course I felt bad that she would not even have a card so what did I do?  I mailed her a card and in it were a few photos (she hasn’t seen them in 20 months) and a newsy letter written by each of them about school, Christmas break so far, what sports they are doing, etc.

The week after Christmas, a glorious, relaxing time off for me to enjoy the family, a letter arrives addressed to the kids and of course I opened it first because that is what you have to do when you are in my position and have seen wackadoodle stuff written to them before.  Each child had a letter written individually.  I can tell she felt really bad that she did not call or send anything to her only 3 grandkids, and so how did she spin this?  Each child had this sentence in their letter:

“You did not communicate with me prior to Christmas regarding your wish list.  Write back and tell me what you wanted that you did not receive.”

And my youngest got this variation, “I rec’d your letter and photo on Christmas Eve.  But I was out for the evening and I was sad that I had not heard from you.  Then on Christmas Day I went to the mailbox and there was the card and letters.  I was so happy.  I did wish you boys had phoned me or written me sooner with your holiday wish list.”

What crap.  She never asked them for a wish list (by the way they are older but she acts like they are 6) and amazing that she took no responsibility and stated they failed to do something.  Her letters also included some questions about the weather, etc.

And get this.  The letter to my eldest asked him to “be her friend on Facebook.”  I thought those of you reading would get a chuckle out of that since so many of you write about the narcky Facebook antics.  My DH and I do not use Facebook, and it has never been mentioned to my NM so she must have looked around (she just started Facebook and is very inactive.  I know this because I have a fake account that I do not use).  Well, Eldest had no intention of contacting her via Facebook.

Yours truly received a short letter too.  It just mentioned a couple of things she is keeping busy with, including taking care of my grandmother (her mom) if she has an up-coming surgical procedure (they live in the same town and more on this another time).  I actually got a “Love, Mom” at the end.

Then a few days later she called on the home phone that DH and I never use and she said the same thing to them (they tell me everything) about how they did not write her prior to Christmas about some gift ideas.  And she asked them to email her and gave them her email address (my kids do not have their own email as DH and I do not believe in kids needing that kind of privacy).

Then for a few days I had dreams about her, which I had previously managed to not have in a long, long time.  As I see these letters and hear what she says, I know this is not right and needs to be dealt with.  She needs to not bypass me and have access to the kids like this.  She needs to be reminded of why I am not into her anymore.  And this means I have to deal with her.  Most of all it means I need to be a better mother regarding this situation to my kids.