Thursday, June 21, 2012

She Just Can't Let Go

I stopped answering the phone when she called and refused to answer her calls.  This was August 2006.  She showed up at my house three days after Christmas, which happened to be her own birthday too.  I lived (even now) 600 miles away from her.  She just showed up at my door one afternoon while I was home alone.  It would be an understatement to say that I froke out when I saw that gold Dodge SUV in my driveway.

These were the days before I knew about NPD.  The days when I was still afraid of her.  I actually huddled down in a corner while she and AF walked around my house knocking on windows and checking to see if back doors were locked.  I hid where they couldn't see me, which was no small feat considering how many ridiculous just-above-the-floor-and-6-feet-tall windows there are in that house.  I called my friend, and between panic-attack hyperventilation breaths, I told her what was going on, and she told me to call the police.  I did. I felt a little stupid at first, but I realized that Medusa and her obedient husband wouldn't back down unless something bigger and badder came along.  NAM was always afraid some authority would find out that she had not been so nice to me, so I knew the coppers would prolly scare the shit out of her.  Plus she would see that I was serious about not ever talking to her and keeping her away from my children for good.

I did feel like a complete (but scared shitless) idiot sitting in a corner with a death grip on my cellphone, wondering what they were gonna try next.  I felt relief when, as soon as I dialed 911, my cellphone went into "emergency" mode, and I knew that if something awful happened, the police would at least cellphone

After getting a surprised reaction from the 911 operator (we live in a small town with a near-zero crime rate, except for the occasional bit of vandalism) who couldn't believe I was calling the cops on my parents until I told her they were trying to get into my house because I cut them out of our lives after I found out they were abusing my children, and that they had driven 600 miles to get here--showing up with no warning, I think she started to understand.

The po-po showed up in about 90 seconds.

The circus lasted almost 2 hours.

One police officer came to my door, and I let him in.  He told me that my parents said they were "worried" about me, and I told him the situation.  He asked me if there had been sexual abuse, and I said I didn't think so, but that I absolutely would not talk to them.  He was also trying to guage my sanity, which makes sense, and fortunately the house was pretty clean and looked quite nice.  The cat came up and rubbed on him, and we had a nice little chat about cats and such.  I told him that NAM had always accused me of being "crazy" even though she beat the shit out of me regularly.  I told him that I tried for years to have a good relationship with them and didn't automatically assume that they would be the same with my children.  I found out that I had been dead wrong.

He was very nice, but he did tell me they looked like "nice people," but I told him that was the problem.  I said we had always been a "good on paper" kind of family, but that appearances can be deceiving, and he agreed.  He told me that if they didn't leave, he would charge them with trespassing, and that if they ever bothered me again, to call the police again, and they would be arrested.  He said he hated to arrest my parents, but that they didn't have the right to be on my property harassing me.

I'm sure the picture NAM painted of me for them was that of an unstable maniac.  She had often told me (if she called more than once and didn't get me) that she was so afraid that I was "being held hostage," which is just nuts.  I guess she couldn't fathom that I might not want to talk to her, or that--gasp!--I had a life that didn't revolve around her phone calls.  I must be a hostage to someone else because I'm her hostage, and it's just awful that someone else would try to keep me from talking to her.

She left a message on my machine after they left.  She claimed that she never treated me differently from her other children, and that they were worried about me, and that they just wanted to see my children.  It was her pity play, which I later learned was the tack they take when they've been put in their place.  It's all about their pain.  I had told the police officer that she told me (in front of witnesses) that she had to hit me more because I was "hard to reach."  He must have mentioned this to her because I doubt she would have mentioned that she "treated me the same as her other children" without him telling her I brought that up.

Shortly after that, I got an email from my SIL who acted like it was the latest morsel of gossip, and she asked me for "the scoop."  She's also the same weirdo that compared being gay to committing murder, but I digress.  I still got emails from AS for a year or so after, but they were more family newsletter types.  She acted like nothing had happened, which seemed loony to me.

For three years after, NAM and AF would call my then-husband's work number and leave messages.   I never listened to them.  Ex2 told me they were wanting to see my children.  I had blocked all family members' phone numbers with our call-blocking service.  I'm pretty damned sure they tried calling with a new cellphone that they bought for my retarded aunt who lived with them.  I guess they think I'm stupid.  I blocked that number too.  I guess they didn't realize that my aunt's name would show up on the caller-ID.

On my birthday in 2009, I got an email from them.  I'm still not sure why they didn't try this method before because they had my email address.  It was the same old "we love you" shit and another request to see and talk to my children.  They had always liked to ruin my birthday, and some of the worse beatings I got happened on my birthday, so it was typically never a good day for me, even after I was an adult.  I called my ISP and had the email address cancelled and was issued another one.  It was a local company, so it wasn't difficult, and I didn't have to show any documentation.

Then I started getting messages through Facebook a couple of months later.  I had friends from my childhood that I talked to on FB.  Well, NAM and AF saw me in the friend lists, and started their pity game again.  I blocked them.

I've not heard anything else, except for the occasional Christmas card that would be sent to the address of my now 2nd ex-husband.  I hate that they were bothering him, but at least it finally stopped about 2 years ago.

Now, I don't care if they can contact me or find me.  I'm not afraid of them.  I would easily unleash hell on them, in person if necessary, should they come anywhere near me or my children. 

I am no longer afraid.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Child's Hair-- A HUGE Issue

When my oldest was in first grade, she decided she wanted a bob-type haircut.  She had long hair and wanted something different, so I took her for a haircut.  We stopped by NAM's house after, and my oldest was on cloud 9 and so happy with her new look.

NAM took one look at her and went apeshit.  She told me that I should have consulted her about getting my child's hair cut because "as many times as [I] have run a brush through her hair, [I] should have been asked before you did this."

My poor daughter's face showed that her little bubble of excitement had not only burst, but it had been shit on.

Fast forward 5 years--and we were living in GA.  My oldest put a spray in her hair that made it have a bit of a "summer glow" to it in the form of simple highlights.  She was 11, and all three of them were visiting my parents for a few weeks over the summer.  NAM asked my oldest if she put something in her hair to lighten it.  She became enraged when she found out what happened.

You see, to someone like her, hair is a big deal...even the hair on someone else's head.  She must be in control of it at all times, and should the owner of said hair decide to change it, then she must give her approval first.  It's really her hair, only it's on another person's head.  That's it.  That must be how it works.  The other person is very much like those foam heads that display wigs.  No person underneath at all.  Just a shape the hold the hairstyle.

I cut the bitch and the rest of the family out of our lives not too long after that.  I didn't find out about this little episode until a few months later when I promised my children they'd never have to go back.  They started unloading all kinds of stories that they'd been sworn to secrecy not to tell me.  Things like her hitting them, talking bad about me, etc.

Hair.  It's not like it grows back or anything...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

She's Such A Gem

I love this:

I should make a poster that reads the following:

"How would you feel if you were gang-raped?  You couldn't handle that."

Said to me after telling her about the older foster child in our home who molested me.

Monday, June 18, 2012

It's All About Winning

NAM got into an argument with my nephew once.  He couldn't remember what you called the things with the one eye in the center of the forehead, and he wasn't sure that it only had one eye.  NAM went ballistic because he was questioning her, and she told me (because I was in earshot of this little conversation) that she had to show my nephew that "he couldn't win."  She said she had to prove to him that he was wrong so he would know that she "won the argument."

He was four years old.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

My Birth Mother--NAM's Nemesis

NAM hated my birth mother.  She never said anything good about her, or even anything neutral.  She also used to tell me--whenever I did something she really didn't like, or when she was So Concerned about me--that I was acting just like Alice Jo.  

"You're doing just like she did, and you're gonna turn out just like her, no matter how hard I've tried to keep it from happening.  I just don't know what to do anymore."

She would tell me about the traits of my birth mother that she didn't like, such as how she dressed, or how her clothes fit her.  Ridiculous things that meant nothing.  I think she had to disparage and devalue my birth mother so that she would feel superior by comparison.  The common theme of "tearing others down to build yourself up" was her life's mission.  I think they kept the adoption open just so I would have an idea of who my birth mother was and would think she was inferior compared to my adopters, and so they could show how much better they were doing with me and my brother than she did.  With a closed adoption, she would never see how big our house was or that we had a pool.  A closed adoption doesn't allow a narcissist the chance to show the birth parent how much better off the child is with the adopters. 

I'm trying to remember what specific "offenses" would get her up on this cross, but I'm thinking it was mainly anything to do with me not reading her mind, acting a certain way around other people, or just being a person who was separate from her.

She also loved telling me something I'd done wrong after it happened.  For example, if we were somewhere around lots of others who knew us, and I was able to be myself for a bit because she was not glaring at me and watching my every move and policing my every word, she would tell me (either on the way home or the next day) how I had "showed my butt" or "made them think I was snooty and better than everyone else."

"Showed your butt"--usually meant she didn't like how I acted because someone complimented me to her, or it meant that I acted confident and less like I hated myself, and other people saw.  It could also mean I acted like I was hurt by her actions, and other people saw this, or she feared I had told someone what she had done.

I look back on these things and realize how pathetic and fearful she was.  If only I had known about narcissism back then, I could have been spared much heartache and self-blame. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Grandparents' Rights

A real problem for ACONs.  I'm not in favor of any legalized rights for grandparents because of my own experience and that of people I know.  Plus it makes things even more complicated in a divorce, when the children are being pulled in different directions already. There are also parents who must protect their children from the grandparents, and the "rights" movement doesn't address this.  Nothing about the grandparents who were awful parents and think they are entitled to be in their grandchildren's lives, ordering around their children, and not accepting that their children are parents themselves.  It's all about how grandmommy and granddaddy miss the precious child, and how they did absolutely nothing to deserve this poor treatment.

It's all about them.  Their feelings.  Their "pain."

Sound familiar?

I've read sob stories on message boards and in comments, and I see the same old shit. 

"I don't know what I ever did.  I love my grandchild so much, but my daughter won't let me see him.  This is the most painful thing I've ever dealt with in my life.  If only there were a law that gave me the right to see my grandson.  Why is my daughter doing this to me?"

What I've yet to see is children who are harmed by not having grandparents.  Children who have irreparable damage because they don't see or talk to grandparents.  One could make the argument that there are children who are damaged because the grandparents aren't around to help out, but honestly these kids are suffering because of having shitty parents.  If the situation is so bad, then grandparents only have to involve child services and try to get guardianship or custody. 

My girls have no real grandparents.  On my side, there's NAM and that family that we haven't talked to in 6 years.  On their dad's side, there's his parents who have no real involvement with them.  They don't call or send cards for birthdays.  They don't send gifts.  They don't try to keep in touch.  The do, on the other hand, wait for the girls to go see them, and then browbeat the girls for not coming to see them more.  We live 600 miles away, and the girls see their dad maybe once a year.  They really aren't a priority to either their dad or their grandparents.  You can tell what people think is important by where they spend their time, money, and effort. 

Several years ago, after we had moved here (and away from relatives and such) the grandparents claimed they were sending a birthday card to my youngest.  When it never arrived, she asked her dad about it, who then asked the grandparents.  They claimed they got the address wrong.  They claimed they would send it again.   That child went to the mailbox every day for a month looking for her card from them.  She was 6 years old, and it broke my cold, dead heart.  When I asked their dad about it, he claimed that they would give her the card when she and her sisters went to visit them for Christmas (3 months later). 

She never got that card.

No apologies.  Just ridicule for wanting the card she was promised.

It's all about them.  What a surprise.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fear of Difference: Food

I've written before about how narcissists don't like new information, unless they find it themselves, or rip it off someone and pass it off as their own.  They also hate it when you can do something they can't.  Not that you're so gifted or anything, but because they either didn't have the patience or the inclination to bother.  So when they see that you have taken an interest in it, they hate it. They usually do one of two things when they discover you can do something they can't.  They either disparage what you can do, telling you it's not worthwhile, or they tell you about someone they know who is perfect at it, and that you'll never do it as well as the "special" person they know.

I've always loved cooking and baking.  NAM thought everything she made was earth-moving, and if you attempted to make one of her dishes and did it differently, she would get mad.  God help you if you made an improvement.  It was as if her recipes she got from the books she owned were sacred, and if anyone dared branch out, buy other cookbooks, use different ingredients in their version, she would instantly disparage them, their cooking, their kitchen, their name it.

I didn't have internet access until about 2001, at least access from my own computer.  I'd had cable before and could watch the Food Network and such.  NAM used to get mad when she found out I had watched "cooking shows" or tried a recipe I saw on one of the programs.  If I talked about a particular person, whether on Food Network or not, she would disparage them and everything they did.  I always liked Martha Stewart and subscribed to her magazine and bought a couple of her books.  I had to keep them out of sight when NAM would come to my apartment.  I had to hide most of my other books too, whether it was literature or regular fiction.  Pretty sad to think that I had to keep my reading and interest in learning a secret around her.  Even sadder that books were almost like contraband, even when I was growing up.

I remember her having a snarky attitude toward something I made back in 1996.  It was Christmas, and she was having her usual family shin-dig at her house.  And it had to be the center of everyone's holiday, and if you dared have anything as big or important somewhere else with friends or in-laws, then she would be furious.  Her house was the center of the universe.  Anyway, I had made a White Chocolate Pistachio Cheesecake.  It was incredible, not because I made it, but because it was an incredible recipe.  Whoever came up with it was a genius.  It was a frozen one, so no baking (and no eggs).  Well, NAM asked me what I wanted to take to her house for the big gathering.  I told her.  She told me that no one would want to eat that, and that the foods I made were so weird, and that no one would want anything to do with what I made.  I took the thing anyway.  What do you know?  It got the most attention out of any other food.  It was a very rich cheesecake, so you could only eat a small piece, so there was enough for everyone.  NAM got so mad when she heard guests making happy moaning sounds when they ate it.  She got even madder when they asked me about it, i.e., the recipe and such.  

Wow.  A grown woman getting mad about a cheesecake taking all of the attention away from her.  This was but one incident like this.  There were so many more.  She finally shut up about my food after years of me showing up with things everyone loved.  She then decided that I would have to make things she didn't want to fool with.  Dishes that she had done before and I had never done.  She'd tell me to make something, and that I had always done such a good job with it (even though I'd never made it) and that everyone loved my (fill in the blank with the food I'd never made).  She would then insult me if I told her I'd never made it before, claiming I should have, and if I'd stop making such weird foods, I'd have more time to make the things she asked me to make, which makes no sense.

She would tell me to make more "good ole' country cooking."  Whatever in the hell that means.  She actually told me once that the only seasonings used in Southern cooking were salt and pepper.  Not true.  I didn't tell her that her idea of "Southern food" wasn't really Southern.  Cheez Whiz?  Really?  Canned green beans?  Cream of mushroom soup?  Those were convenience foods she based her entire cooking repertoire around.  I did try to tell her what foods had been traditionally used in Southern cooking, but she didn't believe me. 

I had back surgery in 2005, and she and AF came to our house (600 miles from hers) to help with my children.  I had stocked the pantry, fridge, and freezer with food, and I had made a few things ahead of time.  My children told me that she dug through everything and complained that there was nothing to eat and nothing to make.  Well, true, there was no Velveeta, COM soup, Lipton Onion Soup Mix, canned green beans, Jif peanut butter, or Hamburger Helper.  She actually could not make a meal out of the foods I had.  You know, fresh vegetables, pasta, meats, fish, butter, cream, and cheeses.  My children tried telling her the things I made and how easy they were to do, but she would have none of it.  She even cooked some frozen corn that I had put into a zip-top bag and had used as an ice-pack.  It had been defrosted and refrozen, and it was obvious, but she cooked it anyway and then complained when it tasted like crap.

Another example:

I remember her complaining that she could never make Pound Cake.  It's actually quite easy to make and a good recipe to use when teaching children to bake.  I made Cream Cheese Pound Cake fairly often, and of course, she loved to tell me that I didn't do it right.  Like she would know.  She then told me about some old lady she knew that made Pound Cakes and was so good at it, and that hers were always perfect.  She told me that mine "fell" because it wasn't as tall as the one the old lady made.  Well, it was a different recipe, a smaller one that made a smaller cake.  The look on her face when she told me I did it wrong?  It was a mixture of sadistic pleasure combined with smug satisfaction.  What in the world would be wrong with me being able to make the damned cake?  Just because she couldn't?

Well, this ended up longer than I intended, but I guess my point is that people like NAM are so hostile toward anything different that they get downright nasty.  I used to wonder what I was doing wrong and would beat myself up about it.  I tried to be what she wanted (and cook/bake what she wanted) but I had the desire to be true to myself.  Perhaps that is what she really found so threatening: my need for self-awareness, personal growth, and knowledge.

Monday, June 11, 2012

NAM As A Grandmother: Part 2

It started when I told her I was pregnant with daughter #1.  I had gotten married just two months before and showed her my home pregnancy test.  She actually didn't believe I was pregnant.  I went for my first prenatal appointment a week later, and the first thing she asked was, "Did you get any results?"  She actually thought I couldn't possibly determine that I was pregnant without going to the doctor (to the same medical group she used).  She actually seemed surprised when I said, "Yes.  He confirmed that I'm pregnant."

I started swelling very soon and was unable to even wear my wedding ring to my 14-week appointment because my fingers were swollen.  She told me that Dr. wouldn't "allow" me to gain more than 15 pounds and wouldn't believe me when I said that the current recommendations were to gain between 25-35 pounds, and that her doctor actually gave me that information.  She got so mad that I was reading books about pregnancy and babies.  I think she was so threatened by me gaining any knowledge that she didn't give me herself.  Like all N's, if you do something different from them, it means you're saying that their method is worthless; therefore they are worthless and shouldn't exist.  How DARE you read something and get knowledge that they didn't give you?  Don't you know that they know everything!?!

I gained 55 pounds during that pregnancy because I was so swollen.  NAM was so "embarrassed" by my weight gain and told everyone she knew how "worried" she was about me and all the weight I gained.  It didn't matter that I had pre-ecclampsia, which ended up undiagnosed because of my shitty medical care.  I'd also had a raging UTI, which I never got treated for because my lab results didn't get sent to my doctor.  (I got this info by requesting my records after I delivered because so many things went wrong).  I would gain 5-7 pounds in a couple of weeks while vomiting 12 times a day, so there was something seriously wrong.  My blood pressure was still all jacked-up at my 6-week visit, but no one really gave it a thought.  Really bad medical care, and it wasn't like we lived in Somalia or something.

I mentioned in a previous post about her comments to me when I was having trouble finding maternity clothes.  She said "we could just take two sheets and sew them together."  I already felt gross, ugly, and unlovable--also because then-husband was grossed out by my pregnant body and its changes.

She had to inject herself into the baby-naming process too.  She picked what ended up being my daughter's first name (she goes by her middle name and has an old-lady first name that I hate).   She refused to call my second child by her first name because she said it sounded like an old man's name. 

And Jesus H. Christ.  The breastfeeding thing.  I posted about her problem with this already, but the woman had some fucking issues.  I think perhaps she had some kind of problem with her boobs being small and me having a rather nice rack as a teen?  Always complaining about my boobs and how they didn't look right.  Of course, this got worse when I was pregnant, and especially when I was nursing.

I should have slapped her in the face with my 40DD lactating tit.  She would have been out cold in no time at all.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

In Rebuke Of Mother's Day

I see no honor in Mothers’ Day.  No specialness.  Nothing happy. 

I just feel pain.  Pain for the mother I didn’t have.  Pain because of a national day of appreciation for women who have children, whether the children were properly cared for or not.  It is assumed that “mother” sacrificed, sweated, slaved, and struggled to properly take care of the children who are obligated to honor her on this special day.  This and every Mothers’ Day.

And what if she doesn’t deserve it?  What of those  mothers who were abusive?  What of the children who had to cut their mothers out of their lives in order to save their own sanity, or to ensure the safety of their own children?

There is no day for us.  No recognition for those of us who did the unthinkable and stopped speaking to the woman who birthed or adopted us.  What we do get is criticism.  We’re told that we should forgive and forget because, after all, she’s your mother.  As if that title makes everything ok. 

The honor bestowed upon women simply for reproducing is repugnant.  So you had a kid.  Big deal.  You used one of the features of your female body and brought forth another person.  Or perhaps you went through some legal hoopla to acquire a child to whom you didn’t give birth.  There’s nothing remarkable about that.  Expensive, yes.  Potentially life-threatening, yes.

To deserve all this credit and honor, a mother must do much more.  For example, she must instill in her offspring a sense of who they are separately from her.  She must show them respect, kindness, compassion, empathy, and must also model these traits so that her children learn them too.  She must ensure that her children grow up to be productive and independent individuals who are a credit to humanity instead of a drain on it.

Only then does she deserve honor and approval.  Or does she really deserve anything? For doing what she should have done anyway?  Her job?  I go back and forth on this one.  Children don’t ask to be born, so I have to wonder if honoring women who’ve had kids is such a good idea ever.

Give birth or adopt, then get approval and attention?.  And don’t even get me started on “push presents.”  Diamonds and other jewelry for giving birth?  I think it’s ludicrous and even borders on obscene.  I'm all about women being treated as equals, but I think many have taken this too far and expect to be treated as superior, under the pretense of "feminism."

I don't expect gifts or acknowledgement on Mother's Day.  Hell, even the woman given credit for being its founder ended up hating her creation.  As with Valentine's Day, it's all about the merchandise.  It's really a retail holiday designed to induce guilt-purchasing.  Fortunately, long-distance calls aren't a big deal anymore, so there's no money for the phone companies in that. 

Call me jaded, but perhaps Mother's Day can be the day you call your mother and tell her how she's fucked up your life, and that her superior attitude and controlling behaviors have made you want to bring up your own children completely differently. 

"Hi, mom.  Happy Mother's Day.  I'm just calling to let you know that you did an awful job raising me--remember the bruises?--and tell you that I'll be raising my own children differently.  You know, like trying harder and not treating them like shit?  So take yourself out for a meal or something because I'm sure as fuck not going to.  Bye."

Actually, it would probably be healthier to use Mother's Day as a reminder that you were able to free yourself from the vile woman and create a life for yourself that no longer revolves around her and constantly seeking her approval.  But there is often a need to be a bit naughty and to try to get at least a little revenge.  So here's an idea:

A homemade card that reads "Happy Mother's Day" on the outside, and when she opens it, it has the following screaming bold print:

You sick, twisted cunt.