.............and my avoidance of my NM only simply delayed painful interaction for me. But maybe it was necessary that I visited my NM a couple weeks ago. I feel bad that I took my kids there. DH keeps telling me not to feel bad--that they are teens and a tween now.
However, even though I took the kids and visited my NM for just under 48 hours, which I shouldn't have done, the positive thing I can say is that I had a huge realization.
Even though I am almost 50 years old (and inside I already knew this, but the weekend's events made it so obvious) my NM acts as if time has stood still and that I have not gotten married two years after college, and have not lived through my 20's, 30's and 40's. My NM is only able to speak and act as if none of that time -- which is now the same amount of time I am married as unmarried -- has had any meaningful events between the two of us. And actually there haven't been.
She cannot see anything about me other than the time long ago when she was financially responsible for me. She did pay for college (in-state and not expensive back then).
I still have the grandmother situation -- my NM's mom is getting way up there in years and is the only reason I stay a distant connection with my NM. Grandmother (GM) lives in state C. I live in state B. NM left state C a few years ago and lives in state A. GM lives all be herself and since my NM cajoled her into paying for a major part of NM's house in state A so that GM could visit, GM decided to visit NM for 3 months. Three summers ago my NM was so rude and freaky to GM that DH and I had to drive to state A and get her and then me drive her the next day 10 hours home. GM has now decided that she has cooled off and that NM is all she has and decided to visit her in state A. Of course I was needed to pick GM 7 weeks ago from an airport and then drive her to state A to deliver her to NM at a designated spot. I could handle that 45 min visit.
I felt guilty about my kids no seeing GM so that is why we visited a couple weeks ago. GM may soon be wheel-chair bound as she is barely getting around in a walker. A couple years ago she could still be taken out to dinner but now she is in pain (btw, my NM is loathe to take care of her in any caregiver kind of way so no matter where GM lives, she has a home health aid over for 4 hours to help her with getting dressed, shower, take her to get hair done, etc.).
And looking back I really should have taken the kids, gotten a hotel, picked up GM, taken her for a drive and out to eat and then returned her. But that would have taken some more balls than I have and been awkward for GM who is pained that we are not a happy family (although she understands but does not bad mouth my NM much anymore due to needing her more).
Lots to say about this 2-day visit a couple weeks ago, but this scene speaks volumes:
Of course my NM no longer has any friends she has known for a while so she has met some new ones superficially. Two couples were over for a cook-out. The women and my kids were inside eating. One of the women is my age (!) and has a daughter who just graduated college and is trying to find a job and lives somewhere else. So we had a brief discussion about schools and then in an accusing tone my NM blurts out, "WELL! Tell her about the private school I sent you to!!!!!"
Readers, when I later relayed this to DH he almost snorted out his orange juice. It feels good to laugh sometimes about this never-ending recording about how she paid for that school, which was a boost to her ego. It is not as if she ever in the age 12 to 17 time I was there ever took me to anything after school or even once asked about my classes.
I would have loved to have said to this nice woman, "Can you believe I am almost 50 yrs old and apparently I need to tell you that my NM chose to live in a crappy school area and sent me to a private school 38 years ago and that she has not done anything for me other than some gifts she will tell you about, for the last 25 years?"
So I smiled at the woman and said, "Yes, when I was 12 I went to private school and it was a very nice, steady place to be because we then moved over the next few times in the same town I was able to stay in one school for the rest of my school years." My NM also added that she paid for college too. Of course there is no mention of my having any studious potential or the ability to get into and graduate from college and get a job within 30 days.
And then it was a hoot because this woman says to my NM, "Well, and your daughter is an independent and responsible person now," NM had to back peddle a little bit on that. NM also threw into the conversation that she paid for my wedding (Readers, it was a small affair that cost $6,000).
I have heard the above over and over from her and also relayed to me from others. I am supposed to do what she wants because of things she bought over 25 years ago.
It is almost humorous that my last post one year ago is of my NM showing up at a school dance when I was 16, wearing my uniform. My NM is obviously obsessed with the life she feels she gave me as a teen. Notice how there is no mention of my life prior to then in front of new friends? It wasn't pretty.
The next morning she had some errands to do and then we almost made it to departure time but then she had to open her mouth and we had a showdown resulting in her playing the victim for GM and my NM's partner of 10 yrs. More later.
And the kids? They thought as usual that she is a nutcase. Oldest said he sees to need to ever visit again. I don't either. I still have this issue of GM in the middle.