The subject of birthdays has come up frequently on my blog, and for good reason. How one chooses to acknowledge the yearly anniversary of another person's birth can give great insight into their modus operandi. Since the act of celebrating a birthday is equivalent to celebrating the life of the person, clearly then, opting to ignore a birthday is equivalent to disregarding that person's very existence. In a similar vein, when dealing with Narcs, any time a birthday is celebrated, there are always strings attached to the celebration: including but not limited to the party, if one is thrown, the gifts, if any are given, and the acknowledgments, if there are any to be had. If one benefits from the attention of a Narc, it is only by chance and, in most cases, because there are strings attached that the Narc wishes to pull at a later stage of the game.
Enter, NMIL. I have seen her disregard DH on his birthday. I have seen her draw attention to herself on her own birthday, on several occasions, in a grandiose attempt to remain the center of attention at all times. I have witnessed her ridiculous attempt to buy DH's love by sending an obnoxious bouquet of flowers on DD's first birthday. As though any one year old has an interest in flowers. In 2009, the only acknowledgment she made of my special day, was a brief mention of it in an email to my husband after the fact.
In 2011, she ignored it completely. Here's why, Dear Reader: NMIL knew that no amount of flowers would impress me. No birthday card decorated with her phony script would fool me. No extravagant gifts would sway me. She ignored it because she believes she can treat people however she wants and there won't be any consequences. She ignored it because she was hoping that all of her nastiness would drive DH and I apart. She ignored it because she knew, thanks to EFIL, that DH wasn't going to be around, so there was NO ONE HOME TO IMPRESS. NMIL ignored my birthday because she wanted to send the message, loud and clear, that I mean nothing to her and she wishes that I did not exist.
I have no doubts that her lack of acknowledgement had nothing to do with a poor memory. No, Dear Reader, I assure you that this woman is hyper-aware of my birthday, and our childrens' birthdays, and our anniversary, and every other special occasion we might celebrate.
Here's the thing she is too dense to figure out: I know what she is. I can so clearly see the slippery, slimy monster lurking underneath her pampered skin. It doesn't hurt my feelings, though she probably wished it did, that she ignored my special day. It came as no great shock to me that she would choose to behave in such a manner. I called her shit-storm from a mile away because I have met monsters like her before and they are ALL THE SAME.
She must not have realized that she was digging her own grave, slowly but surely proving her self a monster lacking even enough empathy and love to fill up a thimble. NMIL was giving us more and more reason to ex-communicate her from our lives with each passing day and every sleight of hand.
Two weeks after my birthday passed, and one week after DH returned from his business trip in February, she wrote DH an email:
Date: Thursday, February 17, 2011
Time: 11:09 PM
Subject: Hi DH...
Me and SIL are leaving for a little vacation tomorrow morning – wanted to tell you I love you and am thinking about you. SIL told a funny story today about how somebody said something that reminded her of you and she laughed so hard – we do miss seeing you and talking with you.
Hope to see you and your family soon – please call when you can – we will be back on Tuesday night. I send [sic] you and email a few weeks ago and called you but I haven’t heard back yet. We would love to come see you and Jonsi and [DD's name spelled wrong] and DS.
The dynamics of DH's past relationship with this woman were such that she assumed he was merely going to eat up the shit she so readily offered him. Though DH responded to the above with some superficiality, I assure you that behind the scenes, his unhappiness with his mother's behaviors was growing. NMIL's superficiality and complete disregard for the feelings of others has become more and more obvious to DH. He is growing increasingly more aware of her disingenuous and cruel nature.
How completely dishonest to say, "We would love to come see you and Jonsi and [DD's name spelled wrong] and DS." What lies she was spewing!
It makes me laugh just thinking that there are actually people who would believe her lies and fall for her trickery, when it's so easy to See through it! Believe me, not one detail of her email was overlooked, not one component missed in our discussion as we dissected it. Everything, right down to the ellipsis at the end of her subject line was crucial to our greater understanding of her motives. On the ellipsis, according to Wikipedia (highlighting for emphasis, mine):
Ellipsis (plural ellipses; from the Ancient Greek: ἔλλειψις, élleipsis, "omission" or "falling short") is a series of marks that usually indicate an intentional omission of a word in the original text. An ellipsis can also be used to indicate a pause in speech, an unfinished thought, or, at the end of a sentence, a trailing off into silence (aposiopesis). When placed at the end of a sentence, the ellipsis can also inspire a feeling of melancholy longing. The ellipsis calls for a slight pause in speech.
The email was a set-up. It was an attempt to gloss over her most recent behaviors and get back to the status quo. It was also an attempt to elicit enough guilt from my DH that he would back down and conveniently forget what she had done. The email represented her most superficial and ridiculous stretch for attention: Her pathetic little anecdote deserves nothing but mockery - I heard something from someone who heard something from someone who heard something that kind of sort of reminded me of you. The absurd commentary revealed her poorly-hidden message: We miss you. I miss you. I need you in order to feel whole. Come back to me. Come back to me. Come back to me.
Of course NMIL misses seeing DH and talking with him. Because he once was one of her greatest sources of NS. The lies she concluded her email with were merely one last attempt at gaining his attention: "See?" She said. In my mind's eye I can see her charming grin. "I'm even mentioning your wife and children because I care about you so much."
Ah, no, NMIL. We don't see any such caring. We see a stretch of emptiness behind your eyes that indicates that no one is home. We see a woman who ignored my birthday because she wishes I didn't exist. We see a hopeless monster who did everything possible to sabotage the relationships of both of her children from the very beginning and, if given the chance, would continue to do so.
NMIL, don't think for one second that I don't know EXACTLY what you are doing. And I'm not afraid.
But you should be. Because I see the truth and I've learned how to tell it. Because I know exactly what you are and can smell your deceit like shit on a shoe. Because my knowledge is power. And you've given every last drop of it to me.