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:
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.


  1. NM give me the silent treatment periodically, and it is ALWAYS such a blessing. I don't have to second guess or wait for a shoe to drop or anticipate a backhanded compliment.

  2. I've always loved when my narcs "punish" me with NC!

  3. My NM loves to punish me with the silent treatment. She is the abandoning type narcissist, not the smothering type. I'm sure right now she is thinking I'm withering in pain from the lack of her presence in my life since I declared that I would no longer eat her shit sandwiches. (credit to upsi for that expression, love it!)

    Thank you for continuing to share your story, and for exposing the narcissists in this world.

  4. Ah, so it seems we all feel the same way about NC. If someone is abusing you, why WOULDN'T a break from the abuse be a blessing, right?

    Elizabeth - hugs. Thanks for reading.

  5. I too went through a phase after speaking up where everyone in my FOO was pretending nothing happened.

    They chose to invalidate & ignore my issues, blame my husband, blame anything and everything, and it made things much worse.

    While her cold shoulder must have been a relief at the time, it only entrenched the problems DH raised.

    She made her choices, and she's gotta live with them.