In the fall of 2009 I emailed my NM and told her that she was bullying me and a few other honest observations including that the kids would not be visiting her alone. She responded that my email hurt her and that “she was letting go.” We didn’t speak until April 2010 at which time she asked again for the kids to visit her that summer because she deserved it because she was getting older but still young enough. I replied in email that I could visit with them or she could visit here. I have not spoken to her on the phone, nor have the kids seen her in 24 months.
I was upset to see an email from her last week that my grandma had had a heart attack as a result of her elective surgery. She sent the email many days after the heart attack happened. (Note: the email gave that fact about GM and continued on with 2 sentences about what she has been up to regarding trying to sell her house).
So after I spoke to my GM I called my NM and she proceeded to give me an update on GM and what she had learned from her docs and how she should be moved soon to a rehab center but not sure what day that would happen.
As usual she tried to dominate the conversation. Once again she tells me how she sees all these other grandparents in her resort town that have their grandkids visit but not her. Once again she mentions how they are getting older. Once again I tell her that there have been times when I have asked her to come visit for a long weekend and she said she is busy working, and then we observe her managing to go with friends on a vacation. My NM is pretty quick with her excuses. She says, “I was working then. Now I am retired.” I tell her that I have worked for the past 25 years since I was 22 and have managed to take long weekends to visit her and take one week’s vacation several times to drive with the kids to visit…and then I see her lose patience after 36 hours. She tells me that she made a point to have my brother and I see our paternal grandparents often even though she and my dad were divorced. “I didn’t keep them from you,” she says. (My grandparents conveniently helped her out watching us for weeks at a time when needed. They were 2 hours away and she never drove us—she had no relationship with them. As young as ages 6 and 8 she put us on a Greyhound bus which had 3 stops in between and took 4 hours).
She tells me, “You were my princess. I have always done everything for you.” I told her I have been an adult for a long time and she has not done much for me as an adult. As far as the childhood goes, I tell her that I did get food, shelter and those things. She tells me that I got a lot more than that. She continued on, “Until you got married and someone else was responsible for you.” (Note this is a really oddball thing to say. I married my DH who is same age as me. We have worked hard—I would never say that anyone was responsible for me).
I told her that it is the realization of many things over the past couple of years and her comments in front of me and behind my back that have made me realize that there is not like for me or love or respect.
There was no reaction or dispute to that. I’m sure she wasn’t listening to me. But she knows what I am talking about. I stated a couple times that there was no respect for me.
I continue and tell her what she said in front of the kids summer of 2008 made me realize these things. Note: after a weekend visit to her in summer of 2008 with me/the kids and her bitching at them for not playing certain sports that make a lot of money (golf), and bitching at them for walking in front of a glass door that scared a cat outside, and telling them that they need to visit her without me as they would have more fun…….she also told them something else as we were getting ready to leave.
The story about my ex-step-father is a long one. But pivotal to where I am today.
I continued and told her that what she said in front of the kids and me has really made things clear. What she said to the kids that day in 2008 after I told her I didn’t appreciate having ex-step-father drop by un-announced: “The ex-step-father is a nice man. Your mother is the one with the problem.”
Back to our conversation….She said, “If that is the worst thing I ever said to you, then my mom (GM) has said much worse things to me.”
I told her we were going to have to agree that we are never going to see eye to eye and that we will disagree. I also said a couple times during the conversation that I did not cause this situation.
She tells me that we should do one of two things. Either (1) see a counselor together, or (2) go on a vacation together for a few days and talk it out (I almost LOL’d).
Years and years ago I thought to myself that she and I should do counseling. I thought she was the way she was as an adult child of an alcoholic and got books on it and felt bad for her childhood. But now I know what my DH has always told me—that she will never change and can’t be reasoned with and all I can do is change how I want to deal with her.
I said, “Well, option 2 is not going to happen.”
Toward the end she mentioned how she wants to hear from the kids once in a while and how hard can it be to make some calls on Sunday night and also to call GM, and she says, “She is leaving them money (in her will) so the least they can do is call her on a Sunday.”
And then her cell phone died. She must have plugged it in because pretty soon she left me a vm: “I did not hang up, my phone died. I just wanted to say that you only have one mother, so remember that. Give it some thought.”
At no time in our conversation did she ask me one word about what I am up to. At no time did she ask one word about how her grandkids are.