Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Useless Gifts

We welcomed our second child into the world in mid-December. I can't say this enough: No amount of nonsense from the NMIL camp could ever dampen our joy or trample our happiness. As with the birth of our daughter, the birth of our son was exciting, beautiful, and mostly peaceful.

Any hiccups we experienced were derived only from NMIL and her peons.

We did not call NMIL or EFIL, or anyone from DH's side, on the way to the hospital as we had when DD was born. In fact, we did not call them until a few hours after DS was born. That was intentional. I did not want a repeat of NMIL's behaviors from the birth of our daughter in 2009. And I did not trust EFIL and L enough to share any important information with them, because I knew they would, in turn, share it with NMIL. So both parties had lost their privileges. Therefore, they were not included in the knowledge of my labor. I'm not sure that being excluded had any affect on EFIL and L, but I'm fairly certain that it angered NMIL. I don't have any proof of that, I just know enough about her to know that she believes she can treat people however she wants and still get to be a part of their most intimate moments. We effectively slammed the door in her face.

The grudge-holding side of me has no problem with that.

EFIL and L never came to the hospital to visit. Supposedly, EFIL had a cold. If that was true, I was glad they weren't coming. If it was not true, I was glad they weren't coming.

Naunt called DH moments after he hung up the phone with his NM. We were still in the labor and delivery room. She congratulated DH, and then put DH's young cousin on the phone to say how excited she was about the new baby and ask when she could meet him. Nice one, Naunt, you heartless bitch. That move forced DH to have to carefully choose his words, so that he didn't promise her something he couldn't follow-through on. Naunt and her crew were not invited to the hospital to meet DS. I feel badly for the children. I don't feel badly for her.

NMIL was not allowed to visit until the next day. I didn't feel comfortable inviting her to the hospital that night - I decided to make her wait until a time of my choosing the next day, so that I could be showered and mentally prepared for her arrival. She arrived at the hospital the following afternoon with her favorite human shield in tow. I remember sitting up in the hospital bed, after having taken a shower and put on my own pajamas, and greeting them when they walked in. My greeting was stiff and formal. I couldn't wait for them to leave.

Several weeks prior to DS's birth, we had sent out an email to NMIL, EFIL & L, and Naunt, asking that, though we were not expecting any gifts either for the upcoming birth, if they were going to purchase anything it be diapers, wipes, or simple baby necessities. We politely requested that no one send baby boy clothes, as we had been blessed with generous and kind neighbors who had given us an overabundance of hand-me-downs.

Not surprisingly, no one responded to the email.

Let's talk about gifts, Dear Reader. I think you'll see from this post that the subject of "gifts" is a tricky one. I recently re-read Shaun's post about the gifts he received from his parents in Christmas of 2010, and I think he does a really great job of identifying some of the main concerns about receiving gifts from Narcissistic or otherwise self-absorbed people. Essentially, when it's the thought that counts, a Narc's doesn't add up to much. Ns are the Kings and Queens of sending the most unthoughtful, superficial, or otherwise cruel-intentioned gifts of all time. Here's how NMIL handled our polite request about presents for the newest addition to our family:

1. As stated above, she ignored it.
2. She handed me a dinky gift bag with an equally dinky gift in it while saying, "I got this because I thought of you." Then she turned to DH, handed him a bag of candy, and said with slight derision, "I got THIS because I thought of YOU." In other words, "Here Jonsi. I got a small, crappy, insignificant gift for you because that's what I think of you." And "Here, DH, eat some candy. You fatty."
3. DS got a pair of baby socks and a tiny stuffed dog. Wow. How generous. She probably picked them up in the gift shop on her way up to our room. They represented her lack of caring, her non-existent effort, and her conditional love. It was as though she was saying, "You didn't call me when Jonsi went into labor. So here, all you get is this pair of stupid socks and a useless toy."
4. DS also got a powder blue Christmas stocking that read, "Baby's First Christmas." I threw it away when we got home, and here's why: Anyone who knows anything about me knows how important Christmas is to me. Also, anyone who knows anything about me also knows that like to be prepared and had already bought DS's Christmas stocking. Furthermore, anyone who knows anything about me knows that I HATE little blue stockings that say, "Baby's First Christmas." A few weeks before DS was born, NMIL had called DH to tell him that she was "so excited" because she "bought something special for when the baby was born." That lame stocking was a pretty pathetic gift when you consider the hype. It represented how very little that woman knows about me and those I love. It represented her deep-seeded desire for approval from outside-sources: Can't you just see it, Dear Reader? "Oh look at what I got my grandson, everyone! Isn't it so cute? Aren't I just so thoughtful? Christmas is just right around the corner, I'm so clever."

After handing us her useless gifts, She stayed for twenty minutes and chatted with DH about insignificant things. She instructed SIL to take photos of DS. Everything in me was screaming not to let her do that, but at the time, DH and I were still under an agreement with each other that she wouldn't lose her picture-taking privileges until I caught her in the act of abusing them.

NMIL did not speak to me that I can recall, save for a few superficial comments. I listened to her chatter at DH for a few minutes before my aunt arrived to visit. I couldn't tell if NMIL was more relieved because then she was no longer obligated to speak to me, or uncomfortable that someone else from my side was present. SIL, as per usual, symbolized a ghost-like entity, having no real substance to represent her presence in the room. I don't even recall if she held the baby, but my instincts tell me she did not. She mostly just stood in silence, acting on her mother's orders and snapping away photo after photo of our precious child. No doubt, so that NMIL could go home and upload the photos to immediately send out to all her friends as evidence that she is special.

She is not special.

She is as useless to us as her gifts were. She offers us as little as she offered us that day, or that she had ever offered us. Nothing had changed, she was as superficial as ever. She continued to prove that her way of "moving towards a healthier relationship" meant ignoring all of the problems and sweeping them under the rug. I assure you, Dear Reader, that for me, the rug was sitting atop a mountain of shit. I can only imagine what DH's pile looked like, having that useless woman in his life so much longer than me.

If you're waiting for a slam-bang finish, Dear Reader, I'm sorry to disappoint you because there isn't one. Though I haven't yet gotten us up to speed in our tale of Narcissism, I will say this: The above recollection represents the first and last time NMIL ever saw our DS.

It was the last time we saw her before going NC in April of 2011.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Chopped Liver

Thanksgiving 2010 arrived. Despite our best efforts to include EFIL and L in our plans, they were, once again, unavailable to us. We gave them several weeks notice. I asked L if they wanted to come to our house for T-day Leftovers. I wanted to include at least some of DH's FOO in our plans, since we were not going to be doing anything with NMIL and I thought it would make him feel better to know that we could at least extend some of our time to his father. When I spoke with L, she told me that EFIL would probably be working that day and that they would let us know.

They never let us know. They didn't call or email us with information about whether EFIL would be working that day.

We tried again. I sent L an email saying that if the day after T-day didn't fit in to their plans, since it was understandable that EFIL might be working and wasn't yet aware of his schedule for that day, then perhaps they wanted to make plans for that weekend, instead.

Again, no response.

DH and I decided that it wasn't worth communicating with EFIL and L about the holidays, since they obviously weren't interested in getting together with us. As it turned out, our town holds a special Christmas tree-lighting ceremony the day after T-day and my best friend asked us to join in the festivities. After realizing that EFIL and L were not going to make plans with us, DH and I opted not to set aside any time for them on the chance that they might change their minds and respond to our polite requests for their precious time. We accepted my best friend's offer to see the Christmas tree lighting and invited my parents to come along. DH left a message with his EF that he and L were welcome to come as well, if they were interested.

They weren't.

DH didn't actually speak with his father until Thanksgiving day, when he called to wish his father a Happy Turkey Day.

After wishing each other a happy day, EFIL asked, "So what are your plans for Christmas Eve?" This was an important question, that DH was already well-prepared for. He and I had predetermined that, because of the proximity of my due date to that particular holiday, we were not going to be making any plans and were instead going to play things by ear. I had written out different sets of plans in my private journal according to all the scenarios that might occur: If I was in the hospital on Christmas, if I was home already with a days-old newborn, and if I hadn't yet had the baby. The only aspect that remained constant and unchanging was that I wanted to see my family (Mom, Dad, and brothers) on Christmas day, regardless of the scenario. They mean that much to me, and I and my family to them. I knew that they would respect our needs and boundaries, and furthermore, do whatever we needed to accommodate us.

DH and I were agreed on that. We knew that we were not making plans with anyone, that we would see my family at some point on Christmas Day, and that everyone else was just going to have to wait until we were ready and willing to see them. I reserved that right for myself and my new baby - that I could put off any holiday visit, with any person or people I so chose, for our emotional, physical, and mental well-being. Period. I didn't give a flying-fuck if people had a problem with that. DH supported me fully. He knew, if anyone from his FOO asked, he would tell them we were not making any plans for Christmas, due to the upcoming birth of our second child. Not only was it impractical to commit to holiday parties and gatherings, it was just not something I wanted to do.

In the past, DH had spent Christmas Eve with EFIL and L. In 2009, we spent Christmas Eve with them, for the sake of upholding a holiday tradition of DH's. We had given up having dinner with my family that year, because we were still trying to include EFIL and L in our holiday plans. So it is not surprising that EFIL would inquire into our plans. But, given his past behaviors, it was becoming less surprising how selfish he really is.

When DH told him we were not going to be making plans, EFIL responded with the following guilt-inducing, self-serving vomit:

1. If Jonsi goes into labor on Christmas Eve, can't she just go the hospital from our house?
2. But, DH, Christmas is about FAMILY.
3. The holidays are about seeing your family, and if you don't include them, then you're going to be alone in the end.

What were the unspoken rules that EFIL was preaching to DH? What was he really saying? Let's take a look, Dear Reader:

If Jonsi goes into labor on Christmas Eve, can't she just go the hospital from our house?
Translation: I don't care about Jonsi or her comfort. I don't care if she goes into labor at our house and doesn't make it to the hospital in time to safely deliver my next grandchild. Grandchild, what's a grandchild? I don't care about her safety or well-being, or that of your unborn child. All I care about is getting what I want, and what I want is YOU, DH, to do what I say, when I say it.
My feelings: This was a shitty thing to say and it pissed me off. I could tell, just from hearing DH's side of the conversation, that the discussion that had started on a simple and innocent note had quickly moved to a very toxic place. Who the fuck was this asshole, to declare that my needs were not valid? Who the fuck was he to say that he expected us to do what was not in our best interests? Who the fuck was he to be making demands of us, however polite he pretended to word them?

But DH, Christmas is about FAMILY.
Translation: Christmas is about your Family of Origin. It's about showing your allegiance to the people who raised you, not to the family you have chosen and who you want to nurture and take care of. You owe us. You owe us your time and energy, no matter what circumstance you are in. Your FAMILY is and always will be your parents and your siblings. We want your wife and your children to come second, or third, or fourth in your list of priorities, because your parents should come first. I am angry and frustrated that you won't do what I want when I want it.
My feelings: That's right, Christmas IS about family. But the concept of family takes on a whole new meaning when you have fallen in love and started one of your own. For us, Christmas is about our children, more than anything else. I want for them to have beautiful, wonderful memories of their holidays past. I want for them to feel our love, strong and powerful. I want for them to enjoy the traditions we create, and know that when the time comes, it's okay for those traditions to change and evolve. I want for our children to feel safe, and warm, and cared for. You are right, EFIL, that Christmas is about family. Just not the family you are trying to shove down my DH's throat. Family is people who love you. Family is people who are honest. Family is people who have your best interests at heart. Our Christmas is, now and forever more, about OUR family: Me, DH, and our children. Someday, it will include their children too. Christmas will grow and change, as it should. Eventually, we will no longer be the most important people in our children's lives, and that is good; that is right; that is healthy. Remember that, the next time you blame us for "cutting you out" of our plans. Remember, EFIL, that no matter how hard you try, you can't come between my Dear Husband and I, and you will never be important enough to come before our children. Remember, too, that we gave you a place in our new family, and you chose not to take it. That was your choice.

The holidays are about seeing your family, and if you don't include them, then you're going to be alone in the end.
Translation: You don't do what we want you to do, you're gonna get burned. And we're controlling the flames, baby. We'll guilt you at every turn. We'll ignore you with the cold shoulder. We'll cut you out of our wills.
My feelings: What am I? Fucking chopped liver? What are our children? DH will never be alone, and he'll never die alone, though I'm glad that EFIL was at least honest in his moment of selfishness. I don't think he meant "alone" in the sense that DH wouldn't be surrounded by loved ones on his deathbed. I think he meant "alone" like "We, the important people, will cut you off from all the material possessions we could have provided you with, if you don't do what we want." If EFIL thinks that DH will ever be alone, then he is a fool. If he wishes for DH to be alone, then he is a monster.

After all this talk of wanting to see us on Christmas Eve, you'd think for sure, this guy would take the opportunity offered and visit with us the day after Thanksgiving.

He didn't.

He was not sad that he couldn't see DH. He was angry because DH wouldn't do what he wanted him to do. He felt entitled. He was selfish. He wanted what he wanted, when he wanted it. He didn't like that DH said no.

It's events like this that have lead me to the realization that it is not so surprising that EFIL and NMIL were once a couple. They deserved each others' selfishness.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

NMIL and Piggity-Pig, Sittin' in a Tree

A little bit of Farcebook nonsense for you, Dear Reader.

But first, I will preface with some important information. By November of 2010, Pig and DH were no longer friends. The last they spoke had been for a few brief moments at our wedding, which PIG and wife attended, most likely, out of obligation. Prior to that, DH had spoken with Pig twice, over the phone, in an attempt to explain to him that in order for their friendship to continue, they both had to grow at the same pace and in the same direction. Alas, though Pig assured DH that he wanted to grow out of his immature and piggish behaviors, it turns out that he was just talking out his ass. After those two phone calls, both of which were initiated by DH, and his attendance at our wedding, DH never heard from Pig again.

I say "Good riddance to bad rubbish." He was one dirty piece of garbage.

But apparently, NMIL doesn't think so.

They are friends on Facebook, Dear Reader.

And maybe even in real life. Well, as much as either of them has the capacity to be "real" anyway.

That's right, even though DH is no longer friends with Pig, because of the way Pig treated him and me, NMIL has decided to remain loyal to her son's ex-friend. Her friendship with him on Facebarf is a public way of showing the world who she REALLY wants as a son.

On NMIL's birthday in November, Pig wished his "mom" his very public birthday well-wishes, saying, "Happy birthday, Mom!"

NMIL responded, "Thank you honeypiecake!!!! Did you get my email? We are having our holiday bash Saturday December 11th at the new crib! I hope you and [wife] can come!!! Miss you guys tons - Love, Mom p.s. [SIL] has her license!"

Honeypiecake? BARF.

And, just so you know, Dear Reader, the invitation she is referring to was sent SEPARATELY from the one she emailed to us. Mull that one over for a moment, and you'll probably see what was actually going on.**She didn't want us to know that she was inviting Pig and his wife. She wanted to keep from DH that his ex-best friend would be attending her Christmas party because she KNEW they were no longer friends. Rather than be up front with DH and inform him that Pig was invited...better yet, rather than ASK DH if she could invite Pig...BETTER STILL, rather than wait for DH to announce his attendance and respectfully wait for him to request the presence of his friends, she went ahead and invited Pig behind DH's back. So, what might have happened, Dear Reader, if DH and I had shown up without realizing that Pig would be there? How awkward and uncomfortable was she hoping it would have been for DH? How awkward might it have been for me, knowing that Pig and NMIL had been in cahoots, and had probably been gossiping about me for months, and they surprised us with their presence? Like: Surprise! Look who's here, DH and Jonsi! The dude DH used to be friends with, before he made it known that he didn't approve of DH's life choices and wanted things to go back to the way they were BEFORE Jonsi. The dude who ended his relationship with DH and never spoke with him again, after DH told him they had to grow up. The dude who made derogatory comments about Jonsi. The dude who calls NMIL, "mom" and, more-than-likely speaks with her privately about DH and his life. Surprise!

Sneaky, sneaky, Mommy Dearest.

And when the day was over? She made sure to change her status update to something like this: "Thank you everyone! Oh, I'm sooooooooooooooo lucky! I got so many cards and sooooooooo many presents and ate so much cake! How luckyyyyy am I?"

Double barf with a cherry on top.

Don't Hold Your Breath

The sister is not "like" the mother.
The sister is the mother.

"What the fuck does his sister have to do with it?" You ask.
But you know. You know.
The sister is another pawn.
A powerful one.
An extension of the Mother.
Her right hand.

PUNCH.

The mother will know through the knowing of the sister.
She will see through the eyes of the sister.
She will speak through the mouth of the sister.

DH can not have the mother as she is,
So he tried to get her through the sister.
The sister was as close as he could get.

The sister is so much more than just a victim or a blind follower.
She is the means to one very powerful TKO.

A distilled kind of narcissist

She stands even less of a chance of breaking free.

The sister is eerily empty.
Hollow.

You can see it in her eyes.
She's not even adept at hiding it
like the mother.
She's the kind of person who makes the hair
on the back of your neck stand on end.
The perfect robot, a valuable extension, the N's dream.

I remember once, when they came to visit.
The mother and the sister.
The sister just stood and stared. Empty. No one home.
And the mother directed her..."Say hello."
The puppeteer's hand was moving expertly.
The sister said "hello" in my general direction.
And the mother said, "Now smile."
It gave me the chills.

The sister is the eyes and ears of the Beast.

DH can not be his sister's friend,
unless she comes out from under the mother's thumb.
The mother will never allow for them to have a relationship
outside of her, one that strays from her requirements.

Together, they are one.
One robot. One mind. One soul-less being.
Incapable of genuine emotion.
They only know that tears invoke
pity and sadness and guilt in others.

The mother knew that the sister
once worked as a tactic
of control.

She tried to enforcing the belief that to be a "good" brother
to be a "good" son, he had to do what she wanted.

So don't hold your breath, Dear Reader,
that the Sister will ever be any different.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Not Without Mom

November of 2010 was, not surprisingly, a very busy time for us. I was in my eighth month of pregnancy, we had just celebrated DD's first birthday, and the holidays were just around the corner. Despite our busy schedule, DH wanted to try and schedule a visit with his sister. In order to do so, we had several unspoken requirements:

1. We were going to visit with just SIL. This was very important, as DH had never been able to bond with his sister because NMIL had such extensive control over their relationship. Because of our need to see her alone, we were not going to spend time at her house. Instead, we figured we would pick her up and take her out to lunch, so as to remove her from her NM's intrusive gaze.

2. DH wanted to create a situation in which SIL could talk about more serious matters, if she so chose. Obviously, being in NMIL's presence would have prevented that from occurring.

3. As with NMIL, DH wanted to send the message to SIL that he no longer came as "just DH" but as a package deal with his wife and DD. DH was hoping that SIL might grow to like me, if she was given an opportunity to meet on our terms, instead of on his NM's. He was also hoping that SIL could spend some time with DD, as she had only seen her four times since she'd been born (At the hospital, at LC's birthday party, during the visit in October, and at DD's first birthday party.) SIL chose not to interact with her niece-by-biology-only half of those four times. Her interactions consisted of holding DD for two-five minutes a piece. At this time, DH was not yet ready to accept that SIL had no interest in DD and never had. For me, her age only goes so far in explaining her lack of caring, narcissism explains the rest.

4. I wanted to inquire about the Christmas gift we had given her the year before, as well as the birthday gift card we had sent in the mail to her, as she had never indicated that she had received them or showed her appreciation that we were thinking of her. For your clarification, Dear Reader, it was SIL's choice on both occasions not to see us, and as a result, we had to send the gifts to her via snail mail.

Other than asking about the gifts, we did not plan on asking her any deep or thought-provoking questions. DH's main goal was to get together with his sister, give her a chance to bond with DD, and see if she might open up to us in the event she felt comfortable enough to do so.

DH set about making his attempt to plan a get-together with SIL. He called her and asked if she might be interested in going out to lunch with us one weekend in November. As he did with NMIL, he offered her two choices: Weekend A or Weekend B.

I could hear her voice blaring out of his cellphone when she said, "Oh, just you and me?"

DH said, "No. me, Jonsi, and DD. We thought maybe we could come and pick you up for lunch one of those days."

She said okay and picked a weekend.

DH asked, "Do you have to ask NM for permission or anything?"

SIL said, "No, why would I have to do that?" They made vague plans for the weekend she chose, because neither party would specify a time. DH couldn't, because timing depended on our DD's nap schedule, which has never been an exact science; and SIL didn't because she had been taught that specifics are dangerous. I marked it on the calendar, and we didn't hear from her again. DH had to call her two weeks later, the night before our visit, to let her know what time we'd be arriving the next day to pick her up.

She feigned surprise. I think she was pretending to have "forgotten" our plans.

When DH asked her if she still wanted to meet up with us, she said, "Oh, hold on, I have to talk to mom about this." She put him on hold for a few minutes and DH looked at me with his brow furrowed.

He mouthed, "She's talking to my mother."

When SIL got back on the phone, she said, "Does mom get to come?"

DH said, "No, it was just going to be us."

To that, SIL replied, "Well, I don't feel comfortable going without mom."

DH was hurt, I could see it on his face. Hurt and surprised. He repeated, "You don't feel comfortable going without mom." It seemed that he was running that one over in his mind, trying to understand it. He said, "Well. I guess, if you change your mind, we'd still be happy to come and take you out for lunch."

"Yeah, okay." She said.

I'm sure I don't have to tell you that no such change of mind came.

What happened, Dear Reader, between SIL's acceptance (and over-exaggerated excitement) of our plans, and her rejection of them? Answer: Her Narcissistic Mother. You see, SIL represents a necessary emotional limb to NMIL, without which she would be crippled until she could find a replacement. NMIL had already lost one such limb, she was most certainly desperate not to lose a second. The gender bond between a mother and daughter is strong, so when that bond is poisoned, it represents a very toxic relationship.

I found the following excerpt to be a most compelling argument that effectively describes the above situation perfectly:

[The Narcissistic Mother] destroys your relationships. Narcissistic mothers are like tornadoes: wherever they touch down families are torn apart and wounds are inflicted. Unless the father has control over the narcissist and holds the family together, adult siblings in families with narcissistic mothers characteristically have painful relationships. Typically all communication between siblings is superficial and driven by duty, or they may never talk to each other at all. In part, these women foster dissension between their children because they enjoy the control it gives them. If those children don’t communicate except through the mother, she can decide what everyone hears. Narcissists also love the excitement and drama they create by interfering in their children’s lives. Watching people’s lives explode is better than soap operas, especially when you don’t have any empathy for their misery.

The narcissist nurtures anger, contempt and envy - the most corrosive emotions - to drive her children apart. While her children are still living at home, any child who stands up to the narcissist guarantees punishment for the rest. In her zest for revenge, the narcissist purposefully turns the siblings’ anger on the dissenter by including everyone in her retaliation. (“I can see that nobody here loves me! Well I’ll just take these Christmas presents back to the store. None of you would want anything I got you anyway!”) The other children, long trained by the narcissist to give in, are furious with the trouble-making child, instead of with the narcissist who actually deserves their anger.

The narcissist also uses favoritism and gossip to poison her childrens’ relationships. The scapegoat sees the mother as a creature of caprice and cruelty. As is typical of the privileged, the other children don’t see her unfairness and they excuse her abuses. Indeed, they are often recruited by the narcissist to adopt her contemptuous and entitled attitude towards the scapegoat and with her tacit or explicit permission, will inflict further abuse. The scapegoat predictably responds with fury and equal contempt. After her children move on with adult lives, the narcissist makes sure to keep each apprised of the doings of the others, passing on the most discreditable and juicy gossip (as always, disguised as “concern”) about the other children, again, in a way that engenders contempt rather than compassion.

Having been raised by a narcissist, her children are predisposed to be envious, and she takes full advantage of the opportunity that presents. While she may never praise you to your face, she will likely crow about your victories to the very sibling who is not doing well. She’ll tell you about the generosity she displayed towards that child, leaving you wondering why you got left out and irrationally angry at the favored child rather than at the narcissist who told you about it.

The end result is a family in which almost all communication is triangular. The narcissist, the spider in the middle of the family web, sensitively monitors all the children for information she can use to retain her unchallenged control over the family. She then passes that on to the others, creating the resentments that prevent them from communicating directly and freely with each other. The result is that the only communication between the children is through the narcissist, exactly the way she wants it.


So when SIL went to her NM for approval, of course NMIL would not give it! To do so would have meant that DH and I could have "brainwashed" her daughter. We might have had plans to "poison" her against her mother, after all. When NM made it clear, whether overtly or covertly, that meeting with us alone was unacceptable, SIL had no choice but to obey. Had she chosen to act otherwise, she would not have emotionally survived the aftermath. NMIL would have destroyed her.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

True Colors

Believe it or not, DD's first birthday proved to be more of an issue with EFIL and L than with NMIL. NMIL had some tricks up her sleeve as well, but in the scheme of things, I took up more of an issue with the behaviors of DH's father and step-mother than anyone else.

But We Go Every Year:

Three months before DD's birthday in November, while we were visiting with EFIL and L, I made a point of telling them when her birthday party would be. Three entire months in advance. Three. I stood there and watched L write "DD's birthday party" on that otherwise blank date on her calendar. You see, any time we have made plans with them, it has always had to be months in advance. There is no such thing as having people just "stop over" because their jam-packed schedules don't allow for it. They are the kind of people who are perpetually late, because they don't allow for unforeseen events that may throw off their plans. For instance, during one particular visit, L had offered to help me cook for dinner. She said she'd show up at 5:30 and prepare the meal with me. She didn't show up until 7:00. I made dinner anyway, which I had planned on doing, because I was expecting her to be late. She came, packed with excuses about why she was late. Apparently, her washing machine exploded and she was trying to clean up the mess before she came over. The problem, for me, isn't that her washing machine exploded. The problem is that they are always late, they always have excuses (and only some of them are valid), and they don't allow that their plans might be disrupted and they might need EXTRA time to deal with the disruptions.

It was always the same story when we went to their house for dinner as well, which is not at all conducive to the schedule of a napping infant. There was only one occasion where they hosted dinner earlier, for our sake, and they complained about how difficult it was to get dinner on the table so early, as though we were just such a big inconvenience to them.

Thus, my reasoning for telling them three months in advance about DD's birthday party. I was making sure that they would absolutely be able to come, save for some major catastrophe, of course. Then, I sent out the invitations, by snail mail, four weeks in advance, to give all of our guests enough time to RSVP. So, imagine how silly I felt when it turned out my assumption that they would WANT to come to their first grandchild's first birthday party turned out to be wrong. Imagine my surprise when EFIL called DH a couple of days after I sent out the invitation and said, "Yeah, so we made plans that day, DH."

DH asked, "What plans? It's DD's first birthday party."

EFIL said, "Well, you see, we're going to a concert. We already bought the tickets."

DH replied, "Dad, that's the date of DD's birthday party. I mean, when did you buy the tickets? These invitations went out a whole month in advance."

To that, EFIL said, "I bought them a while ago. Why aren't you having her party on her actual birthday?"

DH said, "Because we're not, Dad." He got a little flustered and tried to explain the reasons why we decided on that date for her birthday party. And of course, they were all very valid reasons, but it is my feeling that EFIL wasn't asking because he genuinely cared about those reasons. He was just being selfish, as was very evident in what he said next.

"Well, can't you change the date of the party?" He asked.

"No, Dad!" DH said, exasperated.

"But her party is on a Saturday. We bought extra tickets! Why don't you just go to the show with us and have the party the next day, on Sunday? We thought you might want to come to the show with us. We do it every year, DH. We don't want to miss it."

DH said, "Dad, you're not going to make me feel guilty about this. I don't feel guilty."

EFIL said, "I guess I'll have to call you back later."

Shortly thereafter, L called me. She said, "Hi Jonsi! Good, you're just the person I wanted to talk to. So, funny story, EFIL bought tickets to go see a concert because he didn't know that DD's birthday party was coming up."

She tried to continue. I attempted to cut her off (unfortunately, there is no other way to get a word in with this woman, than to do that). I said, "L, here's the thing. I watched you write it down in your schedule book several months ago. I made a point of telling you months in advance when her party was going to be, to avoid this exact scenario."

She said, "But EFIL didn't know. And we even bought extra tickets because we figured you would want to go. We do this every year."

I replied, "Why would we want to go to a concert on the day of our daughter's first birthday party?"

She said, "What if you change the date of the party? Can't you change the date? We would do that for you!"

At this point in the conversation, I knew she was trying to manipulate me and my thoughts were getting fuzzy. I was thinking the following thoughts, all at once: What the hell kind of a selfish woman is this? There is no excuse good enough for missing her granddaughter's first birthday. Change the date. Fuck that! Change the date. How selfish. Yeah sure, I'll change the date and expect the rest of our guests to clear a different day on their schedules and then tell them it's your fault. Change the date. All for some people who don't think DD's birthday is important enough to remember in the first place. Yeah, I'll show you change the date. Oh and you would do it for us, would you? You, who have never made it easy for us to visit, or changed your plans for us?

I chose not to say those things because I sensed it would go nowhere and just veered the conversation back on course. I said, "I think it is unfortunate, L, that you would rather go to some concert than attend your first grandchild's first birthday party. It's sad to me that you think a concert is more important than DD. Concerts are a dime-a-dozen. First birthday parties are not. You said you go to this concert every year. How many first birthdays will she have?"

I could practically hear her puffing up like an angry bird, "The concert isn't more important!"

"Clearly," I said, "It is. Otherwise, you wouldn't be going. I know that DH is hurt because I heard him express his disappointment to EFIL. It's really too bad you are making that choice."

You know what though? At that point, I already decided that if I had to convince her to come, I didn't want them there anyway. I didn't want to try and force her to come to an event she didn't want to be at.

L finished the conversation on a rather ridiculous note. She said, "I didn't make that choice!" She was not implying, Dear Reader, that she hadn't yet made a decision, but that the decision they had made to go to some concert instead of DD's birthday party was out of their hands.

EFIL called back a week or so later, saying that they had changed their minds and decided to come to DD's party. He did not, however, give up on the attempted guilt-trips. At least twice that I can recall, EFIL said, "What am I going to do with all those tickets for the concert? They were expensive!" Then he tried to make it seem that his commentary was all a big joke by saying, "Ha! Hey, I have an idea. Why don't you buy the tickets from me?"

Those Big Flowers Can't Hide Your Puny Love:

NMIL's birthday party nonsense happened prior to the birthday party itself. From an outsiders perspective, I imagine that it would have appeared that she was behaving just fine. But that's only if you're taking her at face value.

She sent this ridiculous, over-the-top bouquet of flowers on DD's actual birthday.

What kind of an idiot sends a one-year-old flowers?

It was so painfully clear to me who those flowers were really for, and they sure as hell were not for DD. I would bet my last penny on the idea that those flowers were really an extravagant show for DH. NMIL was really just using a legitimate life moment (our daughter's birthday) to say this to her old favorite source of NS: See? You see how big my love is for you? It's as big as these flowers! It's sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo big!

I remember thinking, "NMIL. You're really just hiding your puny love behind these great big flowers. The flowers may be huge, but your love is still the same." Her show was so not impressive. No amount of pretty flowers was going to change the size of her love, or how we perceived it.

DH called to thank her for them. She called back and kept him on the phone for a while, talking about superficial nothingness, as per usual. She asked him what she could get for DD. He asked me. I said, "I'm sure whatever she picks out will be fine." I was thinking, "Figure it out yourself, NMIL. It's not my problem that you don't know anything about our DD or what she needs or wants." I'm pretty sure she knew that was the intended message.

She asked if she could bring something. DH asked me. I said, "No thank you, we're all set." I was thinking, "We don't need or want anything from you." We had already informed her of what we wanted and needed, and she had failed to comply, on any level.

The party itself was wonderful, as were all of the exciting events in my life so far with DH. No amount of petty bullshit from DH's FOO could change that. And it was petty: EFIL and L showed up an hour and a half late to DD's birthday party, once again loaded with excuses. "Oh, we had the time written down wrong!" and "Oh EFIL took too long to get ready." and "No! L took too long to get ready!" and "I forgot to pick up the blah-dee-blahs." and "We got stuck in traffic." and on and on. NMIL spent the entire time feigning interest, because she was really just ridiculously uncomfortable being there, surrounded by my FOO. When L asked me what DD had been for Halloween, NMIL fluttered over and said, "Oh here! I'll show you! There are some pictures in the kitchen!" She said it like she had been privy to that information all along.

She hadn't been. When she's had the nerve to request that I send her Halloween photos several weeks prior to the party, I ignored her.

Still, no one was rude to her. My dad and best friend even made pleasant chit-chat with her. If she was uncomfortable, it was her own actions and issues that lead her to feel that way. I have never spoken anything but the truth to my family about her and her behaviors. They knew well, the kind of person she is.

SIL came. I wasn't surprised. She had to. She was required to go, in order to act as her NM's human shield. She didn't want to be there and didn't partake in the festivities. She sat in some corner and never spoke a word to anyone. It was the first time she had even been to our house, despite multiple offers for her to visit. She was actually more interested in seeing our dog, than she was in seeing our daughter. Her presence was required because NMIL knew no one else from her camp would be there (except perhaps EFIL and L, who are, oddly enough one would think, technically in her camp). She came and acted as her NM's faithful human servant. Her role was the silent supporter.

L was more of a bold supporter. While snapping off photos of our daughter with NMIL, she said, "Oh. Don't worry, NMIL. I'll make sure you get these photos." Translation: I know what assholes your son and daughter-in-law are, and that they won't let you have or take pictures of DD. So I'll take it upon myself to send them to you."

I didn't say anything in the moment because it was one of those "One second too late" moments, where it didn't dawn on me until later that something needed to be said. But in hindsight, I wish I had said: "Can it you nit." Translation: Step off, you ridiculous and pompous jerk. Your holier-than-thou attitude is getting tiring. If NMIL wanted to take photos, she would have brought her damn camera. She didn't bring her damn camera because she knew my butt would have ended up in every frame. And that's her problem, not yours. So back the fuck off."

The Love Contract

I have made some changes to the post that was removed and would like to do a re-post and include the original, unpublished comments. Thank you, Dear Reader, for staying with me and sharing your thoughts. Here it is, all doctored up:

I believe that people like NMIL are afraid of those individuals they can not manipulate or control. In a zero-sum game of their own creation, they are afraid to be the "losers." Oddly enough, NMIL set things up a long time ago for her own inevitable downfall. When she created sides and made me out to be the bad guy, she lost. When she attempted to force her son into a role he didn't belong in, she lost. When she tried to harm me and my children, she lost.

I believe NMIL is afraid of me because I asked DH to chose himself instead of her. She's afraid of me because I won't play her games and be her superficial pet. She's afraid of me because, to her, I represent the LOSS of an emotional limb for her, and without it, she feels crippled. She's afraid of me because she believes, with all of her measly being, that I took away her son...as though I had the power to do that...as though he didn't have the power to stop me. She is afraid because I look her in the eye. She's afraid because I can See her for what she really is. She's afraid because I can See through her manipulative tactics. She's afraid because I won't be controlled, and I won't let my loved ones be either. She is afraid because I LOVE, while she can not. She is afraid of DH's love for me, and mine for him. People like NMIL are always afraid of people like me.

Narcs always use the same tactics. Guilting: Check. Scapegoating: Check. Manipulating: Check. Shaming: Double check. These people are fucked up. Because love, real love, is not selfish and it is not a contract. Love is not a push-me-pull-me game, and if it's real, it can never be a failure. Love is not about fulfilling someone's neediness. No amount of loving will ever fill an empty person up.

I value my mom's opinions and insights infinitely. I will tell you this: The phrase, "More Phony Than a Three Dollar Bill" came from her, when she was describing NMIL's RSVP to our baby shower. My mom was the first person I called, immediately after the Naunt Apartment Fiasco, and even then, she had my back. As I told her the events that had unfolded, and the things that had been said that night, she echoed my thoughts and validated my feelings. I trust my mom without a doubt, and she told me that I needed to trust mine. My mom has almost a sixth sense about people. When she says she doesn't like someone, I believe her. She doesn't like NMIL. My mom is a true champion, the bravest person I know. People like NMIL absolutely cower in her presence. They may be afraid of me, but I guarantee my mom could haunt their dreams.

For all those NPs out there like NMIL there are people like my mom: kind, loving, and beautiful. Together, we can untwist the contortion that is a Narcissist's love. We can break their "love contract".

The following are comments from original post, which still apply. I have no way of publishing them as comments, which is why I'm including them in the post instead. I didn't want them to be lost when I deleted the original post:

Shaun said: I believe NMIL is afraid of me because I asked DH to chose himself instead of her. She's afraid of me because I won't play her games and be her superficial pet. She's afraid of me because, to her, I represent the LOSS of an emotional limb for her, and without it, she feels crippled. She's afraid of me because she believes, with all of her measly being, that I took away her son...as though I had the power to do that...as though he didn't have the power to stop me...She is afraid of DH's love for me, and mine for him. Gawd damn! That’s powerful stuff right there, Jonsi. There’s a parallel here: like seeing a spider in the corner of a room. (I’m deathly afraid of spiders!) What does one say when they try to calm the frightened person down in that situation? “They’re more afraid of you than you are of them.” It’s so true, even of the Narc. Yet I’m still irrationally afraid of my N-mom. Lots of food for thought to digest in this post, Jonsi.

Pronoia Agape said: Yes, so true! I also saw love as a "flawless contract" and was really surprised when my DH didn’t leave me if I said “no” to him or disagreed with him or told him what I disliked about his behavior! I was shocked every time!

Judy said: What a blessing there are mothers out there like Jonsi’s mom!

Mulderfan said: My NPS hated my late DH because he saw right through them. At first, when he was just my BF they turned the charm on full blast and maintained the family fa├žade. The longer we dated the more he saw and when we married, their masks slipped completely. Their victim had an ally and the the gloves were off!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Whopping Failure

In mid-October of 2010, some four plus months after we last spoke with NMIL, she called us. We screened the call. The message she left must have been hosted by Pity Party Central. She spoke with her most practiced timid-little-girl voice and said, "Hi [DH's name] and Jonsi. Um. It's been a while since we've heard from you. Um. We miss you guys. Uh. I'd love to hear from you. I hope everything is good there. Um. I love you (DH's childhood nickname]. Um, so call me sometime, okay? We haven't seen you guys in a while. Bye." By the time the phone clicked, her voice was barely above a whisper.

DH and I sat on that one for a couple days. I was in favor of ignoring the call and therefore ignoring NMIL. I felt NMIL had played her cards and she was not in a position that she deserved to see us, certainly not at that point, and maybe not ever. In over four months time, she had done nothing, absolutely nothing to show us that she would be willing or able to change her ways and I felt it would be a really bad decision for us to act in such a way that showed her that was acceptable to us. DH, not yet completely ready to break the cycle of abuse, caved in to his fluttering hopes and expressed, to me, a desire to see his NM and NSIS. At the end of the day, his needs won. I could not be the reason DH decided to go NC with his dysfunctional FOO. If our path lead us to NC, that was a choice DH had to make. Don't get me wrong, I expressed my feelings and concerns to him, and he listened. He just wasn't yet in a position to say that he was whole-heartedly on board with ex-communicating his NM.

Rather than argue about it, we came up with a game plan, complete with time-limits, code-words, and expectations if we were to plan a visit with NMIL. I decided that, if we were going to wade onto the battlefield, we'd at least be prepared.

DH called his mother back to plan a lunch date with her. She didn't know that he and I had already decided that she'd be getting two options, and two options only. She could choose to have weekend A, at a specified time, or weekend B, at a specified time. No other options would be made available to her, and if she chose not to pick one or the other, then she was choosing to forfeit her chance to see us. When DH gave her the options, she said, "Well, what about this weekend instead? Maybe we can go apple picking!"

I didn't get to voice my thoughts. But they went something like this: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Apple picking? With you? Not on your life.

DH stuck to his guns and said, "No, Mom. You can have weekend A or weekend B." He didn't say that she was not at liberty to have any other weekends, and that she should take what she could get because she was one god-damn lucky Narcy-Narc.

She said, "Oh. Why?"

To which he replied, "Because those are the weekends we have available."

I was keeping my fingers crossed that she would put up a fight and forfeit a visit. But she picked a weekend and the plans were made. Lunch. Her place. October 16, 2010. I put it on my personal calendar with a doodled perturbed face. Then, she asked, "Can Naunt come? I'm sure she'd love to see DD. [Naunt's two kids] haven't seen her in so long."

Again, DH was prepared for this. I had prepped him before-hand with the knowledge that she might attempt to invite other people to our shindig, and I was not at all comfortable with that. So, DH said calmly, "Let's have it be just us this time, Mom." When she again questioned his choice, hoping he would back down, he said, "Because we haven't seen you and NSIS in a while and I'd like it to be just us." She relented.

We had exerted about as much of our control over the scenario as we could. The event was taking place at a time and location of our choosing. We chose her place, rather than ours, because it tends to be a heck of a lot easier to walk away, then it is to kick out an unwelcome guest from one's own home. DH and I agreed that if anyone else was there when we arrived, or showed up, during our visit, we would leave immediately, regardless of whether we had been there for two minutes or two hours. Speaking of time, we had a maximum time limit for our stay: two hours. That was my threshold and nothing more than that would be tolerated. We had a code word just in case one of us felt too uncomfortable and needed to leave. We were about as ready as we could be.

The night before our visit, NMIL called again. She told DH that she sounded sick because she was getting over laryngitis and her doctor said it was not contagious. I only half believed her. This was the same woman who would have knowingly exposed our newborn daughter to the swine flu, if DH hadn't made an innocent phone call to wish his sister a Happy T-Day in 2009. I conferred with my mom on the subject of laryngitis being legitimately "not contagious."

In her phone call to DH, she also asked what DD liked to eat, because she didn't know anything about her. Four months is a really long time, Dear Reader, to miss out on an infant's life. The first year goes by incredibly quickly: missing even a few weeks that early in a baby's life can be a big deal. DD was nearing her first birthday, which means that NMIL had missed nearly half of her life. Again, fine by me, given the circumstances. Like I've said before, that cold-shoulder business was actually a blessing to me.

Next, NMIL asked DH what size clothing DD wore. When DH turned and asked me, I gave him a look that said, "Why the fuck is she asking that?" Aloud, I said, "It depends. She fits into some 6-9 month clothes, and some 12 month clothes." I gave DH a vague answer, because I wanted NMIL to have a vague answer. It dawned on me what she was up to: She was actually going to go out and buy things for DD just in time for our visit the next day. Heinous, I tell you, purely manipulative intentions.

Finally, she inquired about DD's upcoming birthday. "Is DD having a birthday party?" She asked.

"Yes, of course" said DH.

"Well, am I going to be invited?"

"Um, well, yeah. We didn't mail your invitation. We're bringing it tomorrow." It wasn't a great, self-assured answer, and he didn't sound confident when he said it. But I couldn't blame him. DH didn't know what to say because he and I had not yet actually decided if we were going to invite her. He didn't want to say yes, though she put him on the spot to do so, because it could have been a lie. He didn't want to say no either, because he just wasn't entirely convinced that he didn't want her there. What she didn't know was that her invitation to the party was really contingent upon how our visit with her went.

What she also might not have known was that I was watching her very, very closely.

And I was so not impressed.

I already didn't like that DH's letter had been completely ignored, and that her idea of "solving" things was forgetting about them. I didn't like that she was trying to manipulate my Dear Husband. I didn't like that she was trying to out-maneuver us every step of the way, or that she had the gall to go out and buy our daughter gifts in an effort to exploit my husband's love. No one was asking her for gifts, that's not what we wanted from her. I didn't like that she felt entitled to an invitation to our daughter's birthday, or that she put DH on the spot for an answer about it. It felt wrong to me, to be giving in to her request to see us, after all the cruel and manipulative things she had done, and all the kind and respectful things she had not.

The next day, we packed up our DD and headed out to NMIL's new house. We rolled up to her mini-mansion...you know, the one she had just randomly bought and not told us about until months after she'd moved...and the moment the car stopped moving, I was ready to go home. Out came her two dogs, running in circles around us and barking happily. I'm pretty sure they were the only ones who were genuinely happy to see us, as they were the only occupants of that house capable of real love. We exchanged greetings. We entered the mini-mansion. Our voices echoed in the cavernous foyer. I looked to my right and saw a foggy mirror with a talking head in it. Just kidding about that last.

Some "low-lights" of the visit:

1. NMIL did, indeed, buy DD a whole bag of crap including clothes, books, and stuffed animals. I was not impressed. I said thank you and put the bag next to the door immediately, making it clear that I couldn't care less that she had spent money in an effort to impress us.

2. SIL was there. That girl never looks anyone in the eye. Or speaks to anyone except her mother.

3. While flitting around the kitchen, preparing her food, she said that she was "hoping to have lots of little babies around for Thanksgiving this year!" I am pretty sure that "babies" meant our DD, because I don't know that she knows of any other very small children, or that any of them would be attending T-Day at Naunt's house. I ignored this statement.

4. When DH went for a quick ride with SIL because she wanted to show him her new car, NMIL spoke mostly to her dogs, which was pretty funny. At one point she said, "Shush dogs. You're hogging DD. I never get to see her." Again, I ignored her. I knew the comment was aimed at me, since I'm "so mean" and "never let her see DD." But hey, if her thinking that way means I get to see her having conversations with her pets because she's too afraid of me, then she can have at it. It was funny.

5. NMIL asked if she could hold DD. We were eating lunch. I said, "When we are finished eating, you may." Had she asked again, I would have allowed it. But she didn't. So I didn't.

6. Never once did either she, or SIL inquire about my pregnancy. They didn't ask how I was feeling or how the pregnancy was going. I'm not saying this because it hurt my feelings. Actually, had they asked, my answers would have been so short and vague that they would have known that it was not a topic up for discussion. The point though, is not how I would have responded had they asked, but how obviously disinterested they were because they didn't.

7. NMIL asked if she could take out her camera to take some pictures of DD. I reluctantly agreed. DH and I were under contract with each other: NMIL could take photos of our child UNTIL we caught her doing something she wasn't supposed to be doing with the photos. It was an unfortunate agreement for me, because I knew that NMIL was only as good as her word, and her word ain't worth shit. The best I could do, given my agreement with DH, was say, "You may take photos. As long as they don't wind up on the internet." I spent the entire twenty minutes she had the camera out making sure to use my body to block her from getting any shots. She might have managed to get a couple, but I sure as hell tried my best to ensure she didn't get any viable ones. I don't even care that she may now have 500 photos of my rear end. Better that, than my DD. Before we left, I made sure to tell her again, "Do not post the photos you took on the internet." She didn't look me in the eyes when she said "Yes. Of course."

Leaving that place was awesome. Driving away from it was even better. In my book, the visit was a huge, flopping failure of epic proportions. It was clear to me that NMIL was never going to create an opportunity to discuss DH's letter, nor was she going to change any of her unhealthy, manipulative, and exploitative behaviors. The visit was evidence that the very best we could ever hope for was superficiality. And for me, that just isn't good enough. It's not good enough for my family, it's not good enough for my DH, and it's not good enough for my children. I've never been able to stomach that which is superficial for very long. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I marked our October visit down in my book as a huge, whopping failure on NMIL's part.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Cold Shoulder

June 29, 2010, the day DH read his Declaration of Independence to his NM, would be the last we'd see or hear from her, either directly or indirectly, for nearly four months.

I thought going NC was fantastic. It would prove to be the least stressful four months we'd had since DH and I met. There was very little drama in our lives because, other than EFIL and L, we were not in contact with the majority of DH's FOO. We were able to settle into a comfortable rhythm, and much of the summer passed without incident. By the end of the summer, everyone knew DH and I were expecting again, and we spent the months of NMIL's cold shoulder feeling relaxed and generally worry-free about any effect she might have on our growing nuclear family.

Despite the dispute about SIL's birthday and his mother's failure to react appropriately to his letter in June, DH called his sister in early July to ask if she had changed her mind and wanted us to come the morning of her party to celebrate. Like a typical GC, she chose to side with her NM and ignored him. DH called on her birthday to wish her the best. Again, she chose not to respond. We ended up having a fantastic time at my brother's house that day anyway, enjoying the weather, my family, and the festivities.

There were only a few, other minor irritations in the summer of 2010:

1. DH received a rather strange email from his ex-girlfriend out of the blue. Their relationship ended in late 2007, and DH hadn't spoken with her since early 2009. The last time they spoke, it was a g-chat based conversation, the subject of which was that DH no longer wanted to have any sort of relationship with her, even one that was superficial, and that he would not be speaking with her again. She didn't understand why he was being "mean" to her, but there was nothing DH could do about her lack of understanding. In the email over the summer, she said she heard that DH had gotten married and had a baby, and she wanted to congratulate him upon hearing the news. She did not, of course, explain the source for the information, but she went on to throw herself a pity party, saying, "I haven't experienced these things for myself, but I'm sure it's great." It was a plea, if ever I've seen one, from a desperate soul. But again, DH couldn't provide her with what she needed, as he had his own Self and growing family to take care of. After discussing the email with me, he decided that it would be best to ignore her and chalk the whole thing up to gossip. Our final thought on the matter was in wonderment of who might have told DH's ex-girlfriend about his personal business. We could only imagine that whoever was doing the talking planned for his ex to contact him. We came up with three likely candidates: OG1, Pig, and NMIL. All three continued to have relationships with her and had motives but no alibis (to the best of our knowledge).

2. I had a sneaking suspicion that EFIL was still speaking with NMIL, about us, behind our backs, even though DH already asked him not to. The idea that EFIL had shared our pregnancy news with NMIL before we did, was tickling some remote part of my brain that whole summer, and it really bothered me. To be clear, we had shared the news with NMIL several weeks before DH read his Declaration to her, and about a month after we had told his EF. By the time we told her, we were already five months into the pregnancy. The long wait was intentional. I kept going back, in my mind, to the phone call in which we shared the news with her. It was several weeks after we had told EFIL and L, and NMIL was the last person on our list to tell. When she picked up the phone, we told her she was on speaker phone, because it was important that I be present for what we had to say. At the time, I chalked up the odd feeling I got about her response to her normal disingenuous nature. But each time I thought about it, I couldn't shake the feeling that her response to our news lacked one major element: surprise. She drew out her words to feign surprise, but it was my feeling that she was not, in fact, surprised. She said, "Ohhhhhh. That's greaaaaaat. [Pause] Ohhhhhh. I'm soooo happy for yoouuuuu. [Pause]. That's so nice." Then she randomly offered me a job. Or, at least pretended to kind-of-sort-of offer me one. Which was weird, to say the least. Was she changing the subject because she didn't want to talk about our good news? Was she trying to manipulate me by feigning some new-and-improved concern for my well-being? No idea, Dear Reader, no idea.

3. Farcebook. Neither DH nor I have Facebook. I only just recently found the following odd comments on Pig's Facebook page. I'll let you be the judge of what's going on here, Dear Reader:

NMIL to Pig:
Miss you Pig! Love to [Pig's Wife]! xoxoxooxoxoxoxo
June 14, 2010

NMIL to Pig:
Happppppy Birthday love!!!! Enjoy the day!!!!!! Love you - Mom [NMIL's Name]
August 9, 2010

Naunt to Pig:
Happy Birthday, Pig! Hope you're doing well! xo Naunt
August 9, 2010

SIL to Pig:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BIG BRO! I MISS YOU!
August 9, 2010


The comments on Facebarf were not an irritation for me at the time, because I didn't know about them. To be honest, they aren't really a problem for me now, just more evidence of the Truth. It's the representation of the words that are the problem, more-so than the words themselves. So, while NMIL, SIL, and the rest of DH's FOO were "loving" all over Pig, and adopting him as the "new" DH, they were giving us the cold shoulder.

NMIL's ignorance of the really, really big problems was the issue that DH and I have always been most concerned with. Like my dear friend Upsi says, NMIL was given chance after chance to prove that she could treat us with respect and kindness, and she pissed on every one. Ignoring DH's letter was no way to help us move towards the path of reconciliation. It was a step in the wrong direction in proving that she could ever love and accept us. DH had given her a copy of the letter when she came that night to speak with us. If ever she had a golden opportunity to make a change, that would have been it.

But, nothing. She never talked about it, never mentioned it, and certainly never made any changes to her behaviors. Instead, she gave DH the cold shoulder for almost four months, in an attempt to guilt DH into making the first move, and with the hopes, I'm sure, that everyone would just "forget" about the whole thing if enough time passed. For four months, she was willing to completely ignore her grandchild because she was so invested in being right. I'll tell you right now, Dear Reader, she did me a favor with that decision. By this point in our relation-shit, I would not have allowed her to be around my child for any extensive length of time anyway. But still, rather than take DH's words and do something to make some positive changes, she ran the other way. Rather than accept responsibility for her behaviors, she blamed everyone else for what had gone down and then, like the weak, pathetic person she is, she bolted. She went into hiding.

What. A. Coward.

What. A. Narc.

Fine, I say. You did me a favor, NMIL. Like I said, I didn't mind the cold shoulder. It was a million times better than having you around, for even the shortest length of time.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Emptiness

Nearing the end of June 2010, DH decided it was finally time to confront his NM. I supported him in this endeavor, although I was not holding out any hope that NMIL would change. I told DH that whatever he was able to say, whether or not she was willing to listen, would be considered a success in my book. I felt that, for a person who had been trained to avoid confrontation, going head-to-head with his NM had to have been the most daunting task he had ever faced. He crafted a letter, over the course of several days, that was poignant in it's meaning, and heartbreaking in it's honesty.

As with all written communications DH had with his family, I did not write that letter. I read it, offered my insights, and edited for grammatical purposes only. Together, we practiced reading it, as his plan was to read it aloud to his mother in a face-to-face meeting and he wanted to feel as prepared as possible.

Every time I read it, I cried. I could not read it aloud, or to myself, without feeling the incredible and intense emotion that DH poured into it as he wrote. I felt sad for the child DH, who did not feel loved. I felt anger for adult DH, who was not being heard. I felt weary for him because it was a battle he had unknowingly fought his entire life. Above all, I felt proud that he was taking a stand, and that he wanted to protect his FOC even if he wasn't entirely sure how to do it. I thought this was a great opportunity for him to speak his truth, although I was pretty sure NMIL would remain unwilling to hear it. I wanted to be a part of this confrontation, as his wife and life-partner, to show my support for him as well as my loyalty. I wanted to send the message, loud and crystal clear, to NMIL, that she wasn't going to ever get DH back under her thumb. It was my hope that my presence would strengthen DH's resolve, and that it might make it easier for him to speak his truths, knowing that I was on his team, no matter what. By being at DH's side, we were going to show NMIL that she couldn't have DH without me, and that there was no such thing as "Team NMIL & DH" with Jonsi on the side. When DH read his letter, the message would be this: You accept the both of us, or you get nothing. You listen to our truths, or we walk away. You change, and learn to be a part of our new family, or remain the same and lose us forever.

We were giving her the choice.

As with all Narc-situations, this one started out on a bad foot. DH asked NMIL, over the phone, if she would come to our house one evening at the end of June, so we could discuss some very important things with her. Over the phone, she agreed. But several days later (and shortly following the SIL Birthday Party Nonsense) she sent him the following email:

Fri, June 25, 2010
From: NMIL
To: DH


Hi [DH's name],

Couple of things… I was wondering if you got the card I gave you on your wedding day – not the one to the both of you, the extra one just for you.

Secondly, when I go there on Tuesday, is the goal to resolve things to move towards a healthier relationship? Or is it more for me to listen to what you have to say? I just want to know if it is an open forum, a discussion, or something different.

Love you,

Mom


If you are an ACoN, Dear Reader, I know I don't have to explain this nonsense to you. For those of you who are not, I'll give you a quick rundown: This email is evidence of a setup, and of NMIL's extreme distance from reality. The card she was referring to was a card she handed to DH on our wedding day that was addressed to only DH. In it, she wrote the following, amidst a swirl of superficial verbiage: "Jonsi and DD are so lucky to have you" and "Gram always said you were her shining star, I hope someday you realize that" and "Someday I hope things can go back to the way they were before." and "I love you and I miss you." It was ironic that she asked about this particular card, because DH already addressed it in his letter...and he wasn't going to be saying nice things about it. She, on the other hand, obviously thought it was a good thing, in all of it's vomit-inducing bullshit. The reason why she brought it up in her email, prior to showing up for our meeting, was because she was hoping to re-establish any feelings of guilt she mistakenly assumed had been induced the first time around.

I also found it amusing, at best, that she set up her question about our meeting in such a way that the choices were either to resolve things to move towards a better relationship OR for her to listen to what DH had to say. And, as I pointed out to DH at the time, how odd for her to think that the two were not contingent upon each other. Somewhere in her warped reality, it made sense to say that listening to DH meant they wouldn't be resolving things. It's also very apparent that NMIL was under the impression that whatever she imagined DH was going to be saying would be resolvable in one meeting...without any work what-so-ever on her part. DH responded that had some things he wanted to tell her and afterwards, we could have a discussion.

She must not have liked the fact that he was holding his cards close to his chest.

She played for power at every opportunity.

The day before she was scheduled to come, she called DH and asked if she could meet with him somewhere first, before coming to our house. DH said no.

She called back and told DH that she was afraid of me. I wrapped that bit of information up and put it in my pocket for later. DH tried reasoning with her and told her that I wouldn't be saying much during the meeting. It wasn't until I pointed out to him her likely motives, that he realized he wasn't responsible for making her feel any differently. I told him that the only reason she admitted her fear of me was to illicit his guilt. The unspoken words were: What a terrible person and son you are, for making me go there and be with that person I'm so afraid of. I coached DH to stand his ground. If she was afraid of me, it was only because I had already slapped her in the face with my Truths, and she couldn't take it.

She tried, with one last attempt, to gain some power. She actually begged and pleaded with DH for him to allow her to bring some unknown entity to our meeting. When DH said no to that ridiculous request, she said, "What if they just sit in the car?" DH said no. Again, I know I don't have to point out the ridiculousness. But I will point out this: She was afraid. Very, very afraid. Every attempt she made was an effort to get DH away from me, his biggest supporter and strongest ally. She knew that I am DH's rock. His strength. His Eyes, while he is learning how to See with his own. And though I will always be his rock, she knew that one day, he'd have Eyes like mine, that could See right through her once and for all. Oh yes. She was afraid.

That is not to say that the meeting was easy.

She showed up an hour early with no random persons in tow. When I answered the door, having known it was a possibility that she might show up early in order to throw us off-balance, I calmly and assertively said, "Oh. I can see you are early." She wouldn't look at me. She said in her little girl voice, "Oh well, I thought DH said 6:30. That's what I thought he said on the phone. I thought he said 6:30."

I said, "No. You didn't. I heard DH say 7:30, very clearly, when he spoke to you on the phone." Then I lead her to the dining room and said, "You'll have to wait, as we were expecting you later." I went up to tell DH that his mother had arrived. He was in the shower. Then, I went back down, offered NMIL a glass of water, and proceeded to empty the dishwasher, while she sat, texting away, in the dining room. DH decided he wanted to get the meeting over with, and we began as soon as he came down from taking his shower. We had a moment in the kitchen when he looked at me and said with his eyes, "I just want to get this over with."

If I could have taken this particular bullet for DH, I would have. But this was not my battle to fight, and the only thing I could do was stand by his side, metaphorically arm-in-arm with him as he courageously laid everything out on the table. We hadn't known how NMIL was going to react, though we tried to mentally prepare for all the possible scenarios. I think she was so side-swiped by the content of his letter (since he had given no hint of it's contents prior to her arrival) that she simply couldn't react. I had been prepared for anger, crocodile tears, and stubborn accusations. But I did not expect the blank stare on her face as she listened to what DH read. Dear Readers, if ever mine eyes have seen emptiness, I saw it that night.

How could anyone with a heart listen to a letter like DH's and express no emotion regarding his pain? Regardless of whether she agreed with it or not, that woman should have felt something. But I saw nothing. No emotion, Dear Reader. No feelings of pain or sadness that her son had experienced such heart-breaking agony, and that he was continuing to feel it. There was no expression from her of pity, sorrow, or anguish at the thought that her child felt so deeply wounded. I mean, my god, I've wanted to cry at the slightest provocation when my children have been injured or hurt in some way, and the only thing that has prevented my own tears being shed is that I know they need ME to be the strong one so that they don't have to. It's my job to remain calm when they are hurt, because they are the children and I am the parent. And to think that they could ever suffer the depth of emotional pain that my husband has felt and continues to feel, would be a torture beyond belief for me. And if I caused it? That would be my greatest failure.

To see nothing from that woman as she listened to my dear husband, my love, pour out his aching soul to her, was as painful to me as having to imagine my children suffering. If ever I had a reason to hate that woman, that would have been the time for it.

I felt angry when she reached out to pat-pat his hand when he was done reading. That was the best she could do, Dear Reader, to console him. I felt angrier still, when she said, "Now I hope you can listen, with an open heart, to what I have to say." It was the single most invalidating and accusatory judgment she could have made. How dare she accuse my husband, who had just opened his heart to her, of revoking his willingness to listen. How dare she ignore everything he had just said and tell him that her thoughts and feelings were more valid than his.

She spent every moment of her time with us blaming, shaming, and pointing fingers at everyone but herself. She threw her daughter under the bus. She accused me of being mean, and DH of not loving her. She told DH, in not so many words, that he was a bad brother and a bad son, because he was no longer fulfilling the duties she had created for him. She told us that she was seeing a therapist, as though to invalidate DH's claims that she is unhealthy. She asked us if we were going to see a therapist. DH told her it was none of her business. Her commentary was oh-so-typical of a Narc Parent: I know you have a new family, but why are you forgetting about your old one? But what about me? What about your sister? Why don't you ever visit her anymore? Will you come to therapy with me some time? You didn't let me help you with the wedding. I offered, and you said you didn't want my help. My therapist said everything I wrote in that card I gave you on your wedding day was fine! Why don't you love me? I was a good mom. I feel like you don't care about us anymore. I feel like you don't care about me."

For such an empty person, I'm amazed at how little room she has in her. There is no room for anyone else to be right, no room for acceptance, and certainly there is no room for love. She's empty, and she always will be. I am heartbroken for the little boy in my DH who never knew his mother's love, because she never had any to give.

All Aboard the Gossip Train

A few days after SIL's birthday planning nonsense, Exhibit A took to her blog once more. This is what she had to say:

June 24, 2010

1) i got engaged :D 2) my best friend, or who i thought was my best friend, turns out is the BIGGEST ASSHOLE IN THE WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD. i tried making excuses for you for months. i honestly didn't think you would act this way or treat other people the way i heard you did. i hope you see i'm writing this, even though i know you won't. you do NOT treat family like shit. it's just down right shitty of you. i don't understand what i did to deserve how you treated me, but your family? really? i honestly can't even describe the hatred i have for her. what she turned you into.. i can't believe you would let someone take over your life like this. & maybe i'll regret saying all of this later on, but right now, this is exactly how i feel plus more. i just can't seem to word it right because i'm just in shock.. wow. i really thought you were better than that.


My best guess is that Exhibit A had founded her off-base, shit-lined claims on the gossip that was flying around. A more mature, well-informed individual would have stopped when she got to the phrase, "the way I heard you did" and re-evaluated her sense of entitlement and self-righteousness. She is entitled to her opinions, I'm not denying that. But the fact that being so far removed from the situation didn't sway her from trying to get involved in it is very indicative of her lack of intelligence, maturity, and basic social graces. The phrase, "I heard" is an immediate indication that this girl doesn't know what the fuck she's talking about. She knew nothing except third or fourth-hand information about the goings-on in her "best friend's" life. Yet, her delusions of grandeur remained substantial enough that several months later (around February of 2011), she would make comments on her twitter page, the likes of which are absurd: In response to SIL's sarcastic commentary (I miss my brother. Wait, what brother?) Exhibit A wrote, "I miss him too! When was the last time you talked to him?" Over a year after she wrote about the (all caps!) biggest asshole in the entire world, she was commiserating with SIL about how much she "missed" him. Which is it, sweetheart, asshole, or friend? And if you were suddenly changing your mind from Point A to Point B, what the hell happened in your lunatic mind to get you there?

Honestly, folks, the last time DH talked to this bimbo was November 6, 2009. That was a short email in which he asked her to remove the photo he posted of our DD from her Facebook page. Prior to that, she had emailed DH the day after our DD was born, to say this: Heyy [SIL's name] told me the good news! Congrats to you and [Jonsi's name spelled wrong]!! How are mom & baby doing? When are you going to be in town? I can't wait to meet your little baby girlll! :) Let me know if you need anything. :) How dimwitted! Granted, DH responded to her superficiality with some of his own, but I believe that was more the training kicking in from his time in the Narc trenches, than due to some defect in his mental capabilities. I can't say the same about Exhibit A. Even if DH responded to her nonsense on a couple of occasions, his behaviors were such that it should have been pretty clear that she was not a person of great value in his life, indeed, our lives, nor was she ever. Her place value was about ten zeroes down past the decimal point.

I probably don't need to tell you that, aside from some pictures, Exhibit A has never seen our DD. She has never met either of our children. Nor will she ever. As DD's mother, I reserve the right to protect her from bratty, two-faced, immature, wickedly ridiculous, moronic, and incompetent people like Exhibit A.

Which brings me to my next point, on the following: i hope you see i'm writing this, even though i know you won't. Imagine my surprise when I read this and discovered that even after months of not speaking with DH, she still thought her opinion mattered to him. Like, really, honey? He married me. I don't claim to own him like you do, but if anyone has any rights to claiming "mine" - it's me. You don't have any claim to stake, and he stopped thinking about you a long, long time ago. Your thoughts and opinions and (gasp!) feelings really don't matter in all of this.

She says she's "not sure what she did to deserve how he treated her." Again, after talking with DH about it, we have no idea what she could possibly be imagining he did to her. Here's the list we came up with of possible offenses:

1. DH did not respond to a text she sent him at 2AM one morning in June of 2009 about how she "missed him" and "wanted to see him again." For anyone who doesn't know my full story, DH and I met in February of 2009 and by June were engaged to be married, looking for an apartment, and preparing for the birth of our first child. Needless to say, sloppy-drunk, "I miss you" text messages are far from appropriate.
2. DH emailed her and asked that she remove the photo she posted without permission from her Facebook page.
3. DH did not make any attempts to communicate with her, share his life with her, or see her since we met in 2009.

Of these three offenses, none of them can really be construed as acts of violence or cruelty on DH's part. It's Exhibit A's problem if she chooses to think that they were. It's also her problem if she continues to think that DH still wants her in his life, in spite of the message he was sending with each point.

I'm finding myself getting quite bored with her commentary now, so I'll end on this last point: i honestly can't even describe the hatred i have for her. what she turned you into.. i can't believe you would let someone take over your life like this. Yawn.

That's my point: Yawn. It is so obvious the source of all this drama, and it's not Miss-I'm-So-Clever over here. Seriously though, the nonsense is really getting tiring. NMIL and her army, collectively, are just one big party-pooper.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Broken Crayons

The past few days have proven to contain perfect reasons for distraction from my recollection of the events that lead up to DH's estrangement from his FOO. In order to get back on track, I'm going to bring us back to where we left off, which was June of 2010. In early June, DH had called his sister to ask about her birthday plans for the following month. Because her birthday falls on a major holiday, and we had other invites to respond to, he wanted her to know that her special day was a priority for us. He called about a month prior to her birthday and left a message along these lines, "Hey! I just wanted to know if you were planning on having a birthday party this year. Please give me a call back so I know what you're plans are for that day. Talk to you soon."

No response.

Two weeks passed with no word from his sister. As a result, we accepted our other invitation to spend the holiday with my brother and his family. The day after we accepted the invitation, DH (and DH only) got an email from NMIL. Though we did not save the email, I recall that it said something very similar to the following, "Hi [DH's childhood nickname]! We are having SIL's birthday bash at the house on such-and-such a day at such-and-such a time. Can't wait to see you!" Again, I can't say for certain that these were the exact words, but I have a vague recollection that the "invitation" was more an assumption that we would be attending, than a request for our presence. I know for certain that it was sent to DH only, as nearly all the communications from NMIL always skipped me. And I'm pretty sure she concluded the email with her signature superficiality: one hundred x's and o's comma mom.

I remember reminding DH that he had originally called HIS SISTER, rather than HIS NM about the party for several, very valid reasons: Because he wanted to convey to her that her birthday was important to us, and therefore it took precedence over our other invitations; because she is old enough to deal with directly when it comes to special occasions and events given in her honor; and because it was long past due for him to communicate with HER, rather than with his mother, about important things pertaining to her life. Thus, it made the most sense to ignore his NM's attempt to insert herself as the Master and Commander of their communications, and instead, go directly to SIL.

I feel that it is only fair to tell the truth here, Dear Reader, as sincerity is so important to me. I will tell you what I told DH at the time: I did not want to go to SIL's birthday party. I did not want to surround myself, or my loved ones, with people who I knew did not have our best interests at heart, indeed, who were doing everything possible to try and hurt us. I made no secret of this to DH, when we were talking about our plans for that day. I wanted to spend the day with my family. I also made it clear that, although I understood the importance of his sister's birthday, it was not anyone's fault that it fell on a major holiday, and in future years, SIL would be faced with the fact that she no longer came first in DH's life, his children do, and we would be celebrating the holiday accordingly. However, although we would be celebrating differently in future years than we both had in the past, that did not mean the holiday would have to be ruined, or that we would be ignoring his sister's special day. After discussing all of that with DH, I told him that even though I did not want to attend her birthday shindig this year, I would overcome my own discomfort enough to do so, for him. Even after we made plans for the day, I was still willing to deal with my discomfort, enough to spend our morning with her.

So once again, he called SIL to speak with her about the plans for her birthday. Since we had already accepted another invitation for the day, DH and I thought it was fair to offer to spend some time with her that morning even though we would not be attending the actual party. When DH called her, he told her that we would be unable to attend her birthday party because when we didn't hear from her, we assumed that she wasn't having a party and accepted another invitation. He asked her if we could come and spend the morning with her instead, since he still wanted to see her that day. She agreed. When he asked her why she never called him back when he called two weeks prior, she said that she had never gotten the message. Neither DH nor I believed that: SIL is a mini-NMIL, and NMIL wears her phone like a cowboy wears his gun in an old Western. It's a guarantee, they've gotten every communication the second you hit "send."

Moments after DH hung up the phone, his NM called. As per usual, she called his cell phone, because she's too cowardly to call our house phone, where there is any possibility I might pick up and tell her like it is. She left an absolutely disgusting message in my husband's voice mailbox, that was dripping with so much disdain and guilt-inducing drivel, you could have ladled it into a bowl and eaten it for lunch. She said, in a sinister-sounding whisper:

DH's childhood nickname. [Pause]. Your sister. [Pause] How could you do this to her? You're her brother. [Pause]. What did that girl ever do to you? [Pause] When is the damage going to end? [Pause]. Goodbye.

Not many words. But, Holy Hell, what a message. Each drawn-out pause was a demand that DH bask in his own guilt. Every breathy tone signified control. The statements were short, concise, and at times, not even full sentences. They didn't need to be: Your Sister. Two measly words that spoke volumes. By using his childhood nickname, she was attempting to put him in "his place." She wanted him to feel as small and insignificant as possible while simultaneously placing a world of blame on his shoulders. Her words aimed to injure, each syllable a piercing arrow. Between each line, an accusation: How could you put your sister second? How could you marry that bitch? How could you leave us? What did we do to deserve this? What did your sister ever do to you? What did I ever do? When are you going to stop this? When are you going to come back to us? When are you going to come back to me? Me? ME? You asshole. You jerk. I revoke my love from you, though it was puny to begin with. I revoke it because you have cast us aside, you have deserted us, you have chosen someone else. We need you. I need you. Come back to me. Or else.

There wasn't much time to let NMIL's voicemail sink in, before DH got an email from his sister, the next day, which also happened to be DH's birthday:

Tue, June XX, 2010
From: SIL
To: DH


Happy Birthday, [DH's Nickname].

After talking to you yesterday I have been thinking a lot. I decided that I do not want you to come on my birthday. I was completely surprised that you had made other plans on my birthday. Literally, since the year I was born, we have had a party. You are WELL aware that we don't send out invitations or anything to "the usual" people. You are WELL aware. As my brother, I guess I just assumed that you would come to your sister's birthday that has taken place every single year. Who knows, maybe I'm just crazy for thinking that. So don't bother coming to my birthday. I don't want you there.


Thinking a lot? Or being controlled? She decided? Or her mother did? SIL's response to the situation was pathetic in it's immaturity, and obvious in it's source. It rather reminded me of what a kindergartener does when a friend has broken her favorite crayon and refuses to repair the damage by offering a crayon from her own box: "Fine then! Be that way. I don't like you anymore. And you can't come to my birthday party!"

Bam. Invitation revoked, bitch! And I don't like you anymore.

Senseless Meddling in Worldly Matters

Okay my dear friends and fellow bloggers. I have been holding on to the following piece of writing for quite some time now, waiting for the perfect occasion to use it. A friend and I wrote this in college one day, in a class that did little to keep our minds fully occupied and engaged. We thought it was funny. I still think it's funny. So, without further ado, I give you my AWE-INSPIRING INSULT! (I think you all know who I am aiming this one at):

Dear Madam,

Your attention in this matter would be much appreciated, but unfortunately, your lack of basic comprehension is, in itself, the issue. You are a moron! A dimwitted shadow of a person who showcases such inferiority in stock that it would be remiss of me to not label you a shameful and chavish bastard. Do not tread upon me lightly, my friend, for a woman like yourself should be confined to a locked closet, where your senseless meddling in worldly matters would not be such an issue. Furthermore, your presence has been regarded as an irritation and thus, it is my responsibility to notify you of my distaste for your character. Ignorance and absence of wit would be far too generous in providing other persons with a record of your behavior. So I shall proceed to give a more reasonable and accurate account: You are a dullard! And a harlot of spoken word! I deprive myself of life and energy when I attempt to interpret your moronic and asinine communications. These lack intellect and propriety and I would much rather converse with a circus clown! You have insulted my honor and I intend to make you pay for your grave insult!

Sincerely,

Jonsi


I am not, of course, going to send this. I just thought it was very appropriate, given the circumstances. And really, really funny.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Shinging Flit

Last night, DH emailed R and OG1 regarding the invitation he received in the mail. This is what he had to say:

Wed, May 18, 2011
8:21 PM
From: DH
To: R & OG1
CC: Jonsi


R & OG1,

I received your invitation to the wedding.
I saw that it was addressed only to me and not to my wife.
OG1, for someone purporting to follow common standards of decency, this is the rudest way to proceed.
R, I'm very disappointed and hurt by this.
I am insulted and offended and I will not allow me or my wife to be treated in such a way.
Jonsi was not included in the invite, I will not be attending the wedding.


For all those people out there who think I am controlling DH or that I'm pulling some invisible puppet strings, I did not write this. I read it. I offered my insight into how I thought it would be perceived. I asked if DH could make each sentence a separate line, for emphasis. But, the words and feelings expressed were his own. More importantly, the ideas behind the words originated in DH’s own mind and heart. This is not to say that I think there is anything wrong with borrowing the words of a loved one, or a dear friend, when a person is struggling with finding the right things to say in a tense moment. This particular time, DH used his own feelings and thoughts (and just a touch of Upsi) to say what he wanted to say.

What's most important to me is that in all of our talk of “what it means to defend” recently, DH is finally starting to piece together the puzzle. He knew that writing this email to his supposed “friends” would mean he’d have to take the hit. He knew that OG1, in particular, would see it as a criticism, when in reality, he was merely defending himself from her attack. He was also well aware that OG1 would turn on her full-fledged ugliness the moment he hit “send.” When he pulled the invitation out of the mailbox a few days ago and saw that it was only addressed to him, it was clear he wasn’t going to be attending the wedding of “friends” who were choosing to react so immaturely and disproportionally to the crimes committed against them. And it was also clear that he had to take a stand - to defend not only himself, but his wife. It was obvious that OG1 was the driving force behind the drama, that her rudeness was intentional, and that she was aiming to do a lot of damage.

I find it humorous that so many people are saying that I am controlling, that I am pulling strings, that I am manipulating DH to do things he doesn’t want to do. All those Flying Monkeys out there think that I am the driving force behind his most recent changes. These accusations are funny to me, because in the court of law, I would plead “not guilty” to the charges. And, so long as my jury was not made up of The Wicked Witch’s Advisors and Advisees, I know I would be found innocent. OG1, on the other hand? Well, to find out how controlling and nasty she is, let’s take a look at her response:

Wed, May 18, 2011
9:13 PM
From: OG1
To: DH
CC: R & Jonsi


I am sorry that you feel so hurt by this. Please do not blame this on R or take it out on him; it was a decision i made, and he does not deserve to be hurt by it. The decision was made because of your wife's negative feelings towards our save the date, as well as many of the hurtful and derogatory comments made towards me and about me in the time that followed. I didn't particularly feel that i was obligated to invite someone to my wedding who clearly did not wish me the best on a very special day. It was also made to avoid the issue of photography that was sure to arise if Jonsi were to attend. Honestly, I can't understand why you would be upset about this as it was done to protect Jonsi’s privacy, since there will surely be videos and pictures being taken at the wedding. We wanted to protect her privacy, and judging by her blog entries from the save the date, it didn't seem that she would be interested in attending. Also, R did inform you approximately 8 months ago that she would not be invited, so this should come as no surprise.

I am sorry that you will not be attending, however, i cannot say i am surprised. But if you truly care about R, you will understand that he had nothing to do with this and you won't hold a grudge against him.

I love R, very much, and the last thing i ever want in this entire world is to hurt him. If you feel the same, you will act accordingly. Don't contact me again if you wish to insult me.


Alright, Dear Reader, here we go. I'm going to do a line-by-line analysis here, since DH and I have chosen not to respond to her filth and taking it apart on my own gives me the greatest satisfaction I can get without sending a response directly to her.

I am sorry that you feel so hurt by this. Ah! Let the flit shinging, commence. What a lame non-apology. We know, right off the bat, that OG1 is not sorry. A real apology looks like this: "I'm sorry that I did not include your wife in the invitation to our wedding. I am sorry that I have hurt you. I am sorry that I was rude to Jonsi." With just the first line, we know exactly where her message came from, and it certainly wasn't coming from her mouth. If she were telling the truth, her first line would have sounded more like this: "Ha! Ha! Hahahahaha! I hurt you! I hurt your feelings! Too bad! Too bad for you, poopy head! I hurt your feelings!" Yes. It would sound that immature.

Please do not blame this on R or take it out on him; it was a decision i made, and he does not deserve to be hurt by it. You know, the fact that she comes right out and uses the word "blame" makes me feel that she was well aware that her insulting invitation would be taken as such. She knew, the whole time she was planning to leave me out of the invitation, that DH might do exactly that: blame his friend. I would go so far as to say, she was hoping he would, Dear Reader. Yes, that's right. OG1 is so conniving and cruel, that it was actually her intention to inflict as much pain as possible, on everyone, (her own husband-to-be included) in order to extract her revenge. By implying that DH was unfairly blaming R, and then playing the martyr, she has made it clear who is really pulling strings here. Oh and P.S. Way to show how controlling you really are. How is it possible that R didn't have a say in who he gets to invite to his own wedding?

The decision was made because of your wife's negative feelings towards our save the date, as well as many of the hurtful and derogatory comments made towards me and about me in the time that followed. Dear Reader, if you are an ACoN, or someone who has experienced manipulation on any level, you know that we can talk all day about the idea of "negative feelings." What OG1 is saying here, is that she doesn't like it when people express opinions that differ from her own. The "negative feelings" she is referring to are my opinions that I don't like save-the-date cards because I find them to be ridiculous and unnecessary. She chose to think that my rant of "negative feelings" regarding save-the-dates was written towards theirs, specifically. It wasn't. But even if it was, I am still entitled to those thoughts and feelings. As to the "hurtful and derogatory comments" made "towards" her and "about" her? Your guess is as good as mine, Dear Reader. I'm thinking OG1 has been sipping a little bit of loony juice. She's either extremely paranoid, or else flat-out lying in an attempt to get her way. No further blog posts were written by me in regards to her wedding. No words were spoken about her or R outside of the safety of our own home. No gossip was spread, no lies were told. The last time DH spoke with OG1 was during her g-chat rant several months ago. So she clearly pulled that accusation out of her ass.

I didn't particularly feel that i was obligated to invite someone to my wedding who clearly did not wish me the best on a very special day. Remember, Dear Reader, that this is someone who has claimed, on numerous occasions, to care about my husband. She is also someone who claims to care about her husband-to-be. But really, what kind of a person purposely excludes the wife of her husband's best friend from their wedding invitation just because that person isn't particularly excited about her "special day?" And remember, OG1 is the person who, at our wedding, saw fit to insert HER opinions about what DH should be doing: "You should dance with your mother. You should go over and ask her to dance. You're going to want that memory later. But you know, it's your wedding, you can do whatever you want. I'm just saying." So, in other words, she can insert her opinions about other people's special day, but other people can't return the favor. You want to talk about obligations, OG1? I would have excluded the majority of DH's FOO from our wedding if it were up to me. But it wasn't up to me. We were obligated to invite them to OUR wedding, because my husband-to-be wanted them there. It didn't matter that I didn't like them, or that they were not happy for us. It did not matter that his FOO did not wish me well on my "special day." They were invited because DH wanted them there and what is important to him is important to me. So, you may not have "felt" obligated to invite me. That does not mean that the obligation wasn't there.

It was also made to avoid the issue of photography that was sure to arise if Jonsi were to attend. Honestly, I can't understand why you would be upset about this as it was done to protect Jonsi’s privacy, since there will surely be videos and pictures being taken at the wedding. We wanted to protect her privacy... This string of nonsense is particularly fun for me. OG1 is, of course, referring to the issue I had with her posting personal and revealing information about me and my family on the internet. The fact that she claims, after explaining that she made the decision not to invite me because she disagrees with my opinions, to have done it to protect my privacy is absolutely hysterical. Can we say, talking out of both sides of her mouth? I mean really, what a crock! OG1 must think we are really stupid. Again, here's what it would look like if she were being honest: "I know that I totally just gave away why I chose to be so rude to you and your wife. But now, I'm going to pretend that I did it because I'm so thoughtful and considerate. I totally insulted you just now for your own good. Yeah. I get to do that to people. 'Cause I'm so entitled. I get to insult people and then tell them it was for their own good." I know my ACoN friends are probably thinking, "Oh, Dear God, please don't let this asshole have children."

And how about this: If she really wanted to protect my privacy, she simply wouldn't post any information or photos of me and my family without our knowledge or consent. Just because she owns the photos, doesn't mean she can claim rights to the people in them. Oh! And one more thing: It makes OG1 look like an imbecile to try and play the martyr by pretending to take the blame, and then totally throwing her beloved husband-to-be under the bus. Hint: When she says, "I" and then suddenly switches to "we" when describing who was making the decisions, the recipients of her message can totally See what she is up to.

...judging by her blog entries from the save the date, it didn't seem that she would be interested in attending. Correct. I wasn't interested. But I would have gone for DH if he wanted to go.

Also, R did inform you approximately 8 months ago that she would not be invited, so this should come as no surprise. My first thought: OG1's fakey fakey email to us, in which she thanked us for the Christmas card we sent, was a test. I believe she wanted to see how we would respond to her superficiality. I'm not convinced that responding in kind would have changed her mind about the invitation deboggle, I just think it was her way of showing that she could be the "bigger person." And when we didn't respond, it probably pissed her off even more, strengthening her resolve to effectively end the relationship between her husband-to-be and his best friend. Holy petty popsicles, Batman! My second thought: Holy hell, she's been holding onto this for a long time. Eight months of grudge-holding is a long time. It must have felt so good to her to finally set her diabolical master plan a'rolling. All along, she was playing the caring college friend, using a Christmas greeting card as a means to try and manipulate the situation for her benefit and secretly planning her shit storm. In DH's words, "What a fruitcake!" We both chose not to respond to her email over the holidays because it felt so disingenuous. Apparently, we were right to feel that way.

I am sorry that you will not be attending. No, she's not.

But if you truly care about R, you will understand that he had nothing to do with this and you won't hold a grudge against him. Translation: I want you to know that R is a push-over, that he sanctioned this, and that if you want a friendship with him, you've got to go through me. The truth is that I don't really care about R and I'm going to project that lack of depth and feeling onto you. I'm also going to blame you for being the one to hold grudges, when it's really me doing that. PS. Shame shame shame. Blame blame blame.

I love R, very much, and the last thing i ever want in this entire world is to hurt him. OG1 your words and actions have been everything BUT loving. You are selfish, conniving, cruel, and manipulative. You have certainly attempted to hurt my husband, and made attempts to insult me. I don't believe that you are capable of the depth and emotion required to feel for others. You lack empathy. You are crass and rude. That's right. I'm going there. I'm having the "who you are" conversation, rather than the "what you did" one. I can See right through you, OG1. You're nothing but a nasty, controlling Narcissist, flinging your shit at everyone who gets in your way. And you ended your message on such an ironic and shit-lined note: with the claims that it's really my DH who is incapable of love, and that he's the one who has been doing all the insulting. Little girl, that isn't even close to the truth.