Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ketchup

I have to start off by explaining the title of my post. I'll give you some hints, Dear Reader, and maybe you can figure it out before I get to the end of my explanation. I figure, it'll be more enjoyable to read this post if I include some fun trivia before we get into the dark stuff.

Hint 1: It's a play on the words "catch up." You see, I'm still playing "catch up" with my story and I'm rather anxious to get to the present so I can talk about what has happened today.

Hint 2: Jelly Beans

Hint 3: Nintendo

Ah, what an obscure reference. If you haven't guessed it yet, the title of my post is a nod to the old-school Nintendo game A Boy and His Blob: Trouble on Blobolonia, in which a boy uses jelly beans to turn his Blob-friend Blobert into various items that will help him navigate through his adventure. In the game, when the boy throws a ketchup flavored jelly bean behind him, Blobert will "catch up" if he's been somehow left behind.

So, here I am, throwing out my ketchup flavored jelly beans to you, Dear Reader. Let's get all caught up so that I can talk about the most current events. Whether you've been with me from the beginning, you are just joining me now, or you've been been a presence on my blog from somewhere in between, this is definitely the post to read, because it will give you some of the most-telling evidence into our relationship with DH's FOO. I have included some events that I've never talked about on the blog before, so if you have been following my posts from the beginning, you might find some new points of interest.

I figured, what better way to share the past two years with you than with a list. I have created a list of all the major events leading up to today, with as clear and succinct explanations as possible. All of the items on this list are crucial to our understanding of how and why we have decided to go NC with DH's family of origin. For your clarification, Dear Reader, from the beginning:

- March 2009 - Upon meeting NMIL and SIL, I discovered their extreme immaturity and attraction to drama, as they spent the entire lunch dual-texting and behaving in an immature, unhealthy, and superficial manner.

- March 2009 - I witnessed my first "NMIL guilt-trip" on DH, when she manipulated him into house-sitting for her.

- May 2009 - We shared our pregnancy news with NMIL and found her reaction to be lacking in the Genuine-Happiness-Department. She spent her time making comments about how she was "too young to be a grammy" and asking if she could text the news to all of her friends. She never congratulated us or showed sincere happiness for our happiness.

- May 2009 - We shared our pregnancy news with EFIL and L. They told us that they "Had hoped we would have gotten married first." DH was disappointed with the responses we got from both of his parents about our exciting and life-changing news.

- May 2009 - NMIL showed her "interest" in our pregnancy by questioning DD's paternity and suggesting we get a paternity test. She then disguised her resentment of me by claiming to know what I wanted, concerning our wedding.

- June 2009 - NMIL tried to manipulate us with lies and trickery with her offers to "help" us out by letting us rent the apartment she owns. When we discovered her lies and DH addressed them, she responded with the typical blame-and-shame garbage that all Narcs like to use. She did not apologize. She did not show remorse. She never brought up the subject again, except when she was trying to use it as a means to prove that we had somehow lied to her.

- June 2009 - NMIL had an email exchange with DH in which she blamed him for her lies and made it clear that she disapproved of his relationship with me. She concluded the chain of emails with the sentiment: "It's not all about her DH."

- June 2009 - Naunt told me I was not welcome to live with DH in the apartment he was renting from her. She made it very clear that she wanted me gone, and that her offers to "help" us were no better than her sister's. She tried to scare me away and continued to try and win DH's loyalties.

- June 2009 - NMIL hosted a party that she told DH was a birthday party for him. She behaved in a cruel and manipulate manner, showing no remorse for her past behaviors, and rewarding DH for coming by sticking two-hundred dollars in an envelope for him. No one wished him a happy birthday or gave him any presents. It was really just a party for NMIL.

- July 2009 - We attended SIL's birthday party and I was treated with as much disdain as ever. NMIL busied herself by taking photos of her "family" and making sure those photos did no include me. She blamed DH for his sister's bad feelings about her party because he didn't invite his friends so that she would be surrounded by tons of people that day.

- July 2009 - NMIL used tactics of triangulation in an attempt to undermine my authority when she invited us on vacation with her. She was not forthright with the details of the trip that would be taking place an entire year later, but it was clear that she wanted my husband to accept her offer. She never once mentioned these plans to me (either directly, indirectly, in person, or via email) which made it obvious to me that she was hoping I wouldn't have a say in the matter. Though she feigned understanding when we declined her offers to vacation with her on two separate occasions, both DH and I have reason to believe that she was actually angry and disappointed, even if she didn't have the courage to voice those feelings. When we asked her to inform us of her travels when the time came to actually go on the trip since we did not feel comfortable promising our time a year (or even six months) in advance, she agreed. But she never did.

- August 2009 - NMIL did not RSVP for my baby shower until three days before. When she finally called, she told my mother her reason for RSVPing so late was because, "She was so excited [about my shower], she forgot to call." She bought the biggest gift on the registry, even though she already knew it had been purchased, because she wanted people to think she has "so much love" to give.

- October 2009 - DH's "friend" Pig proved that his loyalties lie with NMIL, and that she's got him wrapped around her pinky finger. Pig called DH to express his disapproval of DH's recent life choices, his disgust with "how terribly DH was treating NMIL," and to share his thinly-veiled hatred of me.

- October 2009 - NMIL emailed DH to inform him that she thought "SIL felt left out a little." That may have been so, but DH and I decided it was not healthy to be including her in our marriage, which was what NMIL was implying that he do.

- October 2009 - J, NMIL's second ex-husband, called DH to ask him to check-in on his sister. His "request" was in fact a demand that DH act as SIL's father, as he had been expected to do his whole life. When DH told J that he could only be her brother, rather than a parent to her, J responded: Sorry I asked you to check on your sister, I will never again ask you to do any thing that is a inconvience for you. You so selfish it is just amazing...I don't expect you to be her parent. She misses her brother thats it, so if you could be a big brother that would be great. Second I don't deserve any lip from you, I have always treated you with respect and encouragement. I have never asked you for anything before nor will I again. I am being same dad to her as I was to you!!!!! And you turned out OK!!!! I wish you luck with your new Family, just don't forget your old one!!!! We don't need to meet, I don't want to take up your precious time!!! There's no explanation needed, is there, Dear Reader?

- November 2009 - NMIL disregarded our needs concerning the birth of our DD. She risked DH's life, my life, and the life of our unborn child when she kept DH on the phone while I was in labor en route to the hospital. She proved that she cared more about the pictures she took that day, then she did about the people in them.

- November 2009 - For the ultimate NS, NMIL posted photos of DD on her Facebook page without our knowledge or consent. When I requested that she remove them and ask permission in the future, she responded with feigned concern. Always keep in mind, Dear Reader, that NMIL is a liar. A promise means nothing to NMIL.

- November 2009 - DH's old "friends," all of whom are closely linked to NMIL, spent much of their time weighing in with their thoughts and opinions about me, DH, and our DD. What they had to say and how they chose to behave proved that none of them had our best interests at heart.

- November 2009 - NMIL was willing to risk the health and life of our newborn, when she exposed herself to the swine flu and then expected us to visit for Thanksgiving.

- November 2009 - Conveniently forgetting the way she had chosen to behave concerning her apartment offers in June and that there was no way we could trust her, NMIL sent an email to DH, informing him that she'd would love to help us financially with the purchasing of our first house, and that she had "secretly hoped" we would still end up "down the street" from her.

- December 2009 - We declined three Christmas party invitations. L tried to guilt-trip DH into feeling badly about not going to theirs.

- December 2009 - NMIL showed up to our apartment to celebrate the holidays with us and came bearing gifts of guilt, shame, manipulation, lies, and a no-doubt-re-gifted scarf for me. SIL was not in attendance.

- December 2009 - After NMIL left from her Christmas visit, DH got a call from SIL, in which she asked him, "How could you do this to Mom?" She proceeded to tell DH that, "No one else will tell you this, but someone has to say it. You're wrong. We all think so, but they just won't say it. You're wrong!" She cried. She told him he was hurting their mother. It was the first and last time DH ever heard her tell the truth.

- January 2010 - I witnessed NMIL bully a small, innocent child. It was horrible, and the fact that I did nothing to help that little girl will haunt me forever.

- February 2010 - DH told NMIL his truths and that he would no longer accept or tolerate her lying. She responded with every manipulative tactic she could. She refused to accept responsibility for any of her actions. She refused to offer up a sincere and heartfelt apology. She blamed, shamed, and guilted. She excused herself and all of her lies. She tried to turn DH and I against each other. The topic was never discussed again.

- February 2010 - NMIL continued to pretend that everything was "fine" and acted phoney in my presence. She asked to look at my wedding dress before our wedding, as though nothing she had ever done mattered and she expected me to say yes. I said no. My "no" in the moment was symbolic of my "no" to her.

- March 2010 - We discovered that NMIL was in contact with EFIL and L. EFIL took DH out for lunch to discuss NMIL, after disguising the date as a "father-son-bonding-time." Once there alone together, EFIL opened up a can of festering worms. He told DH that he didn't have to marry me, if he didn't want to. He asked why NMIL had been "treated so terribly" at our wedding shower. Most of all, EFIL and L exposed themselves as flying monkeys and proved to us where their loyalties remained.

- March 2010 - L sent DH a chain email about how much mothers do for their thankless children.

- April 2010 - NMIL wore white to our wedding. She was uninvolved in it, and never once offered up a sincere and heartfelt offer to help us with it. She never took photos of DH and I, as a means of "cutting me out of the picture." Aided by her cut-from-the-same-clothe siblings and ex-husband, she took photos of DH prior to our wedding, in an act of desperation. It was as though they were saying, "We aren't going to taint our memories of this day with photos of HER." She also gave DH a card that was addressed only to him, riddled with guilt-inducing commentary about how she wanted things to "go back to the way they were before." Her card begged the question, "Before, what, Mommy-Dearest? Before Jonsi?"

- April 2010 - After our wedding, I sent out a mass email requesting that people not post pictures of our wedding on the internet, out of respect for our privacy. No one from DH's FOO responded to the email. When DH called his NM to ask for the confirmation that she had received the email and would follow our request, NMIL responded with a nasty message: "Have you called everybody from that email? Or just me?" She added, "Why would I do that, after the big deal you made out of the pictures I posted on Facebook of DD?"

- May 2010 - EFIL and L gave us their "Forgiveness / Judgement Talk" and insinuated that we should be offering forgiveness to whomever they deemed worthy of it. They told us we shouldn't judge anyone because it wasn't our right to do so. They thumped their invisible bibles at us throughout the entire conversation.

- June 2010 - We did not attend SIL's birthday party, as a result of her continued lack of interest in DH's existence, so long as he was married to me. She offered up her tantrum in the form of an email to DH in which she informed him that she "didn't want him to come" to her birthday party since he wasn't willing to give up the whole day for her. NMIL called DH and left a message on his voice mail. Full-fledged underhanded guilt-trip over his decision not to attend the party ensued.

- June 2010 - We informed NMIL over the phone that we were pregnant again. She responded with fake surprise. We now have reason to believe that she already knew the news, having heard it from EFIL. She did not ask for details about the pregnancy or offer up any sincere congratulations.

- June 2010 - EFIL offered to help DH with our car, which needed a new engine. EFIL picked a weekend and said he would come pick up the car and take DH to his house so they could look at it together. The day before, he called DH to tell him he had found something better to do and would be doing that instead. EFIL and L went on a mini-vacation to go snowmobiling out of state with friends. EFIL didn't call DH to make good on his promise until one month later, when he finally came and picked up the car.

- June 2010 - DH invited NMIL over to read his Declaration of Independence to her. True to form, she responded with guilt-trips, denial, blame, and lies. Also true to form, she did NOT respond with kindness, sincerity, apologies, understanding, or respect. Like DH's last REAL talk with her, it was never discussed again. Nothing from his list of what he needed from her was respected. She then gave him the cold-shoulder for four months.

- August 2010 - NMIL's best friend called DH to tell him she "missed him" and "loved him so much." She asked him if he wanted some old television set that he had lended her five years before. There is no doubt she was acting under the orders of NMIL, who was hoping to find out about us through a third party, since she was too busy ignoring us to find out herself.

- October 2010 - NMIL finally broke the silence and called DH. She left a message on our house phone, feigning sadness, and expressed her "interest" in seeing "us." The eventual meeting with her was a failure: She offered no sincerity, attempted to buy our love with gifts for DD, and never once inquired about my pregnancy. SIL ignored us, except when NMIL asked her to take photos of DD with the camera. Then she sat in a chair, robotically carrying out her mothers orders. Neither NMIL, nor SIL could look me in the eye for the entire visit.

- November 2010 - EFIL and L decided that attending a concert was more important to them than DD's first birthday party. They bought tickets for the concert, despite the fact that they were informed three months ahead of time about the party. When we addressed our concerns, both responded with guilt-peddling nonsense and asked us to disrupt our plans for theirs.

- November 2010 - NMIL sent a big bouquet of flowers to DD for her first birthday, as a way of "showing" her puny love. The act did not impress any of us.

- November of 2010 - DH attempted to schedule a visit with SIL. SIL accepted our invitation for lunch. But, once NMIL was through manipulating her, SIL cancelled, stating that she "didn't feel comfortable" going out to lunch with us without her mother.

- November 2010 - DH offered our time to EFIL and L for Thanksgiving. They refused the offer. He asked them to join us in our own festivities. They ignored him. EFIL attempted to guilt-trip DH into promising to spend the upcoming Christmas eve with them, as DH had always done in the past. When DH declined due to the impending birth of our DS, EFIL told him that "The holidays are about family" (as in DH's FOO) and in not-so-many words, showed us that he didn't care about my well-being, or the well-being of our babies.

- December 2010 - NMIL and SIL came to the hospital after the birth of our DS and spent all of fifteen minutes with us. The only gifts she brought were a pair of useless baby socks, a useless trinket, and a bag of candy for DH.

- December 2010 - NMIL forfeited her Christmas visit with us when she decided to call DH the day of and blame him for being such a big fat meanie. She tried to get us to change our plans, in the hopes that her guilt-tactics would work.

- December 2010 - NMIL Fed-Exed some gift-cards from Naunt to us and included a note card from herself that said she was holding onto her Christmas gifts for us until she saw us in person. We never saw her in person. She never sent the gifts. We doubt that she ever had any gifts in the first place.

- December 2010 - EFIL and L made an obligatory one-hour visit to us so that they could prove to the world that they had done their "duty." L offered underhanded commentary about how their were "no pictures of NMIL in our wedding album." EFIL asked to take pictures with DH and our two children, at the exclusion of me.

- January 2011 - EFIL pretended he wanted to have dinner with us once a week so that he could spy on us and report back to NMIL. He spent his time during his one and only visit with us confusing our one-year-old daughter with our one-month-old son. At some point after the visit, he shared with NMIL DH's travel plans and called DH to suggest his "great idea" that NMIL be involved in them. He informed DH that he speaks with NMIL at least once a month. We all know that they aren't talking about the weather.

- January 2011 - When DH informed EFIL that he would no longer be needing EFIL to give him a ride to the airport, as a result of his continued communication with NMIL, EFIL left a message with DH, asking him "Why he hated his mother so much."

- January 2011 - NMIL chose to ignore my birthday as a clear indication that she either doesn't care enough to remember it in the first place, or that she wanted to send the message to DH that she hates and resents his wife.

- February 2011 - L attempted a guilt-trip on DH for not calling his father for his birthday. She sent her guilt-trip in a voice mail, as well as an email.

- March 2011 - DH offered his mother a golden opportunity. He invited her to therapy with us. Instead of graciously, respectfully, and thankfully accepting, she chose to turn her nose up at it. SIL tweeted, "We're all starting to forget [DH] was ever a part of this family" the day after DH asked his mother to therapy.

- March 2011 - Naunt reared her ugly face in a sappy and superficial email to DH, no doubt attempting to see if he would engage with her, in spite of his most recent request to disrupt his mother's abuses by inviting her to therapy.

- March 2011 - NMIL called to leave a message on our answering machine about the supposed death of DH's childhood cat. The message was superficial and guilt-ridden.

- April 2011 - DH's entire FOO ignored our one-year wedding anniversary.

- April 2011 - NMIL friended DH's college ex-girlfriend on Facebook as a way to show her very public support of DH's life before it included me, and her continued lack of respect for DH's choices.

- April 2011 - DH informed NMIL we were cancelling our therapy session with her. We did not offer any reasons for the cancellation. NMIL responded immediately with a phone call to our house, where she left a message addressing ONLY DH. Then she sent a follow-up email demanding that we call her back. She pretended to ask, but we knew she wasn't.

- April 2011 - I made a heinous discovery about a promise that NMIL had broken a thousand times over. It represented the worst kind of intrusion of my privacy and her complete lack of respect for me as a human being. I can not share what that discovery was, Dear Reader, in case NMIL shows her face here on this blog someday. All anyone must know, however, is that her behaviors towards me were the biggest indication of her feelings, no matter how much she pretended to DH that she "liked" me.

- April 2011 - DH sent his letter of NC to NMIL. She did not respond directly. Instead, she sent out multiple feelers through her Flying Monkeys.

- May 2011 - Attack of the Flying Monkeys! DH and I learned that his best friend's obnoxious girlfriend, OG1, may have had some contact with NMIL and was drinking the kool-aide. OG1 showed her bizarre connection to NMIL when she offered her opinions to DH that he was being controlled by me, he was a coward, and that he was losing people in his life who "really cared about him." She packaged her rant with an "I care about you" bow.

- May 2011 - OG1 excluded me from her wedding invitation in a sign of open contempt to DH, thereby sealing her stance as a Flying Monkey and an all-around disrespectful and rude snob.

- May 2011 - DH's ONLY remaining "friend" from his past refused to stop communicating with NMIL. He had done so in the past on numerous occasions and even felt comfortable enough to go to her holiday parties even when DH wouldn't be attending. This so-called "friend" informed DH that NMIL had contacted him via email twice prior to our wedding "out of desperation." He refused to share with DH what was discussed. This "friend" offered up non-apologies for his behaviors, blamed me for DH's "bad relationship" with his mother, and claimed that "missing important events like NMIL's Christmas parties two years in a row" meant that DH didn't want to reconcile with his NM.

- May 2011 - When EFIL told DH that he wanted to have dinner alone with him and drop off some gifts for our kids, DH's red flags went up. Suspecting foul-play, DH started inquiring into EFIL's intentions, to which EFIL and his wife responded defensively. We believe EFIL wanted to get DH alone to discuss NMIL. Both EFIL and L's behaviors at this time proved to us that they were acting under NMIL's direction, that they had no intention of backing down, that they did not respect me, and did not have DH's best interests at heart. When we called back and put him on speaker phone, he ended the phone call by saying he was "DONE WITH JONSI!" and that he had things he wanted to tell DH that he didn't want me to know about. L attempted her own brand of manipulation when she spoke with DH and I on the phone after her husband's temper tantrum. Our communications with them were very much like conversing with the wall.

- May 2011 - J randomly called DH to "check in" with him.

- June 2011 - EFIL and L put their "Easter gifts" in the mail. The Easter gifts were wrapped in Christmas wrapping paper. There were two cards shoved in the box as well. The one to DD read, "Have a very happy first Easter, DD. From Grampa EFIL and Grama L. With all our love, be blessed." The problem with L's message was that it was DD's second Easter, not her first. I wrote a one line thank you note that read: "Thank you for the gifts. -DH & Jonsi."

- June 2011 - EFIL called DH and left the following voice mail: Hey DH, it’s dad. uh I just called to say hi and let you know that I love you very much and I miss talking to you. Ummm call me back if you like, alright? You know the number. Love you. Bye. It was an obvious attempt to get back to the status quo and further proof that he expected a "get out of jail free" card for his most recent behaviors.

- June 2011 - L's daughter, who has no relationship what-so-ever with DH, g-chatted him online to say she wanted to "wish him a belated father's day and ask how the kids were." It was obvious to us that EFIL and L were sending her to do their dirty work. Five minutes later, EFIL sent DH a letter stating how wrong DH is, how disrespectful and controlling I am, and how DH should be accepting God into his life. The letter was filled to the brim with condescension, denial, and tactics of control. DH put his response to that letter in the mail today.

11 comments:

  1. I can SO relate...I wish I had documented my story as beautifully as you had...I have a mish-mash of private-ish journal entries as things happened--but nothing all together like this. It really says something when it's put all together like this, eh?

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  2. Katie - It took me months to document this story, it was no easy feat. Many of my early entries were originally written like yours, as a mish-mash of private journal entries.

    It was really important to me to write about things in the order that they happened. I attribute that in part to my anal attention to detail and orderliness. I'm really glad that having the story presented in such a way is something that you appreciate.

    It really does say something HUGE when you see the facts all laid out like this. It's pretty powerful. Thank you for your thoughts. I appreciate you as a reader and blog-friend.

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  3. I wanted to ask how Narcs don't see it, and yet, I'm immediately able to answer my own question: They re-write history (a nice way of saying they lie). My NM thinks she's so sweet to me, and I'm so rude to her. She would swear she never said any of the nasty, cruel things she has or that I misunderstood or heard wrong. There is something about seeing it all mapped out that makes it all so glaringly obvious. I don't imagine that letter will change them, but it has changed DH and the future of your family into something much healthier.

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  4. I agree with you, Judy. Narcs don't see it because they either can't, don't want to, or a little of each. So they lie to themselves and everybody else. It makes me wonder, how would the "key players" (EFIL, L, NMIL, and SIL) refute the evidence I have laid out here, if they ever found my blog? More importantly, would they even try?

    If they are anything like Upsi's gang, they would try to refute the evidence, and then some. It's unbelievable how anyone can reside in their current state of delusion, but there they are, reveling in it.

    I'll take my truths over here though. It's much safer without them around.

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  5. Many of us experience this cumulative effect and when we look back over what we allowed to happen we are astounded that we didn't come to our senses sooner. For me hindsight is a wonderful lesson on how the narcs in my life managed to manipulate me for so damn long.

    Stepping away from the old song and dance is a great way to clear your vision. It's even better when you turn on your heel and walk away the way you and your DH have done.

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  6. I think that was one of the hardest things I did for homework was to put my story together in a time sequence. The evidence was then overwhelming. I suspect that since DH's FOO doesn't read your blog the main thing is for you and DH to recognize your own story. I am sorry this happened to DH with his FOO. I am happy for both of you that you found each other and are choosing a healthier way of living. I am learning to see the patterns of behavior in my family. I am also learning a lot from the story you and DH have shared. You are an example to me of standing up for your family of choice. Thank you.

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  7. Mulderfan - I agree with you. Hindsight can be a real kick in the butt. But on that note, I am so proud of DH for being willing to open his eyes. He has seen things a lot faster than I ever could have imagined. "Turned on his heel" is a great way to describe what DH has done. He has done an about-face.

    Ruth - You are so right. The evidence, when looked at it this way, can be overwhelming. We have not yet seen any activity on our blogs from DH's FOO, but we do realize that someday that could be a possibility, as both of his parents are well-versed enough in the internet to find us. But the point of our blogs was not for them to read what we had to say. The point was to share our story with others, to say our Truth, and to use our own thoughts and feelings to figure out what is right.

    Thank you for your compliment. I am truly glad that telling our story is helping you in some way. Here's to fighting the good fight.

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  8. Inspired to map out my own FOO acts of unkindness toward me and my husband. Thank YOU!!! Nice to know I'm not the only one with a crazy family.

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  9. I accidentally found your page on the net. I have read it and I think YOU are the sociopath. I think you just want to take your husband away from his family so he will have no one but you. It can't be that ALL the other people are crazy and under the control of your mother in law. Seriously you need some psychological help yourself. I see grandparents who want to have a relationship with their grandchildren and their son and you who won't allow it. I truly pitty you. I doubt if my comment will make it to your page, but I'm sure others who read the crazynessin your posts can see this as well. Hope your husband comes to his senses some day and apologizes to his family for his behavior. I know you won't ever apologize and it's funny that you complain about how your MIL won't apologize and basically bow down to you which seems to be what you secretly want.

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  10. Jonsi. If you will notice anon has nothing better to do on Christmas Eve but stalk bloggers and harass them. Most people are enjoying their families but not her. I don't think that's a coincidence.

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    1. An important detail, Q. I don't believe in coincidences so I have to agree with you.

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