Thursday, October 11, 2012

Specific Points In Time

Today, I found myself wondering at which point NMIL and each one of her crazy cast of characters decided that they had to rid themselves of me? During which crucial moment, for them, did I become the enemy? What event, during the course of my relationship with any of them, led them to believe that I was a threat? When did NMIL begin to formulate her plan to destroy me and decimate her son's budding relationship with me? When did EFIL and L begin to entertain thoughts that I was the person, in all of this, who was looking for power and control by way of con games and manipulation?

And the reason I was wondering this is because I can pinpoint very specific moments in time; right down to seconds, when I determined that, if the decisions were up to me entirely, I would have chosen to walk away from these people and not allowed them further access to me, my loved ones, or my life. I knew precisely the moment when my suspicions about NMIL became concrete and irrefutable knowledge. I knew precisely the moment when I realized that Naunt was looking to decimate my relationship with DH. I knew precisely the moment when I came to accept that EFIL and L were simply spying on us for NMIL's purposes and reporting back to her the private details of our lives. And all of these moments, for me, represented the specific points in time where, if it were up to me, I would have cut them out of our lives and never looked back.

So I began wondering what their points of no return were. When did our joint relationships with DH became a zero-sum game? When did the promise of my life joined with DH's become a threat to their relationship with him? When did Jonsi's existence become the bane of their existences, because it seems pretty clear to me that it is.

For me, the moments are very specific, and I will outline them below. For DH's entire FOO and his base of friends-from-years-past, I don't know whether they have specific moments like these, and if they do, whether they would be even remotely capable of telling the truth about them, if pressed.

For me, the exact moments in which I would have completely and irreversibly cut these people out of my life were the following:

NMIL (May, 2009) - I was standing in my old bedroom at my mother's house. DH was standing in front of me, manning his cellphone, which was being blown up with texts from his Naunt and NM. After weeks of playing along with his NM's games, wherein she kept stringing us along about her apartment-for-rent, DH got a well-played email from his Naunt, sneakily informing him of NMIL's MAJOR deception: that NMIL was planning to charge us triple or quadruple the amount of rent money she told us she was going to charge, and, of course, letting DH know that he was still welcome to stay at HER apartment, if he felt he couldn't afford what NMIL was going to be charging. NMIL ended up confirming that we would be paying more than she had originally promised, but never once admitted to the lie. Instead, she chalked the whole thing up to a "misunderstanding" and never spoke of it again. But, just in case you are fooled into believing Naunt was just trying to "help a nephew out," wait 'til you see what SHE did with her bid for power, after she tried wrenching it away from her sister.

Naunt (June, 2009) - I was sitting in her kitchen with DH, attempting to have a dialog about the "terms and conditions" of renting from her; which she kept tightening and tightening and I couldn't understand why, until she blew me away with this line, "It's not like we want you to leave. [Pause for effect.] Well, we don't want YOU to leave, [DH's childhood nickname]." In other words, "Jonsi is not welcome here."

EFIL and L, who I see as a co-conspiring team (January, 2011) - DH was sitting on our family room sofa when he got a call from EFIL the night before he was supposed to come and pick DH up to bring him to the airport for a two week business trip. DH got off the phone with EFIL, telling him he would have to call him back, turned to me and said, "My dad told me he talks to my mother at least once a month. He suggested that my mother bring me to the airport tomorrow. He said, 'I have a great idea. Why don't you ask your mother to drive you to the airport.'" And I knew. I knew that the fifteen minute "visit" he'd had with us a few weeks before that phonecall was not about him wanting to spend quality time with us, or seeing his grandchildren; nor was it about him dropping off belated Christmas gifts for our children, as he had claimed when he'd called us out of the blue to ask if he could stop over. It was about him spying on us and reporting back to NMIL. I knew, in that moment, that when we had told him that we were pregnant with DS, he had gone behind our backs and informed NMIL; even though we had already asked him not to communicate with her about our lives. And I also knew, in that moment, that when he came to "visit" us, that he had been gathering information about us for the SOLE PURPOSE of turning around and feeding it to NMIL. And one of those bits of information was to tell her the details of DH's trip, including where he'd be going, when he'd be leaving, and when he'd be back. DH ended up being forced to call my mother to bring him to the airport because, after that phonecall with his father, (along with a subsequent voicemail from his father, in which his father asked him, "Why he hated his mother so much") we were afraid that EFIL and NMIL might show up together to pick up DH in an attempt to sabotage his trip and/or force him into a car ride with just the two of them. In one email that we did not save, but that I do remember (and have not previously discussed here), NMIL wrote to DH just ONE HOUR after he left our house for the airport, "Hi [DH's childhood nickname]. I just wanted to say that we love you and miss you. Have a safe trip." DH never talked to NMIL about that trip. The only way she found out was from EFIL. And I don't find it at all coincidental that she emailed him an hour after he left his home for two weeks. As with all communications from her, she was just hoping it could all be her and DH's "little secret." And, in the moment when DH relayed the information that EFIL suggested "NMIL pick him up to take him to the airport" EFIL nailed the final nail in his own coffin.

For me, moments. Seconds. Just a few words:

"Are you sure you want to live there, [DH's childhood nickname]? I'm surprised you want to, since you'd be paying SO MUCH MORE MONEY then you would if you'd just stay here."

"It's not like we want you to leave. [Pause for effect.] Well, we don't want YOU to leave, [DH's childhood nickname]."

"I have a great idea. Why don't you ask your mother to drive you to the airport?"

 These moments, these words, represented deceit and malice; betrayal and selfishness. These were not the words of kind, open-minded individuals; nor were they the words of people who had either my, my husband's, or our childrens' best interests at heart. These were the words of people who wanted to crush my DH into submission and scare me into running away.

So I wonder, what were their moments? When did they decide that I had to be run-out? When did they decide that the only option available was to destroy the bond DH and I were forming? When did they decide that it was them, or me? When, Dear Reader? When?


  1. The minute his twice-wedded "wife" from childhood, Exhibit A was obviously no longer a "contender."
    It would never have mattered who or what you were about jonsi: They planned his life "together," conspired to keep it "on track" and some where along the way, DH didn't follow the "script." He didn't marry to please THEM. That guy (DH) had some sense of self-preservation buried under the detritus called his "life."
    You think "Arranged Marriages" only occur in other "cultures?"
    Welcome to MINE. I didn't marry "when" or "who" I "should" have. My decision was accepted with much greater equanimity than your DH's: I had NC'd Psychob and Dad and my S/M, while surprised as hell were intimidated as hell by my DH-they did NOT know what to make of him, but they knew he made ME one happy woman.
    They folded their hands and opened their hearts.
    And it all worked out not only graciously but ultimately with great affection between all parties.
    And we lived happily ever after until he died. My Wedding anniversary is today, the 12th. The 20th anniversary of his death is the 20th. And that lil' hijack may help explain why I'm up so late and perhaps not fit for human consumption. ;)

  2. "My Wedding anniversary is today, the 12th." That certainly does answer the question of why you may be up to late today. Though I know your family did NOT "graciously and affectionately" accept your DH into their lives, I am glad that you met and married him. I know that he was a bit like me, in that he loved you despite your 'fleas' and never knew quite what to make of your fucked up FOO. I'm sorry that he passed away, and even sorrier that, while he was here, your FOO did not treat him with respect, kindness, courtesy, or love. TW, dear friend, these twenty years after he's left, I know that your heart must still ache and I'm very sorry for that pain. Thank you for turning around, on a day that must be very hard for you, and using your experience and wisdom to help me, and so many other people from our community. I very much appreciate you, and all that you do by coming here and blogging it out with the rest of us.



  3. "We don't want YOU to leave"

    7 words.

    It takes only one second to say second to ruin things.

    I've got 7 words too.

    My parents came to visit. I decided that we would go meet DH for lunch since he had to work. The 30+ mile car ride there was silent. At the restaurant, my parents didn't even say hi to DH, and except for placing their order, neither of them said a word during the meal or on the ride home. I couldn't take it anymore. It was a simple question - I asked NF straight up "Do you guys like DH? Because it sure feels like you don't" And the response I got was:

    "Well, I don't NOT like him"

    7 words. Bam. Nail in Coffin.


    1. Wow-Oh-Wow. That's...that's like exactly the same. Slightly different words, exactly the same meaning and exactly the same barely-concealed hatred (or at the very least, dislike). Wow. That's astonishing, Grey.

    2. I said the same thing when I read your post! After years of being the peacemaker between DH and NF...diffusing every word bomb that NF would throw out there, telling DH that NF "didn't mean what he said" or, "He was just joking". That was the moment when I was finally able to read between the lines for myself. I couldn't believe it.

      Like you, all DH wanted was to be accepted by my family. On our wedding day (You know, the happiest day of our lives...The day when everyone should say "Welcome to the family!"), all poor DH got was "You can't go running back to mommy anymore" from my Ngrandmother. Also, he was never called son-in-law. He was only ever referred to as "Grey's husband."

      After all the shit he dealt with (including mine when I was still on "their side") I still can't believe he didn't head for the hills. I'm thankful every day for it.


    3. !!!!!

      "He was only ever referred to as "Grey's husband.""

      Do you know that I have ruminated about how they refer to me for such a long time? I recently told DH, "I bet they don't even call me "daughter-in-law" because they don't want to acknowledge a connection to me at all. I bet that, if they absolutely have to, they say 'DH's wife.' Or they just avoid giving me a title at all and stick to referring to me as 'she' and 'her'."

      I'm not kidding - said that to DH just the other day. Wow. That's just insane, and it's insane that you know EXACTLY what I'm talking about.

      I'm going to read your comment to DH right now!

  4. Very early on, while DH and I were still dating, his mother and I were talking on the couch. She brought up DH's aunt (DH's father's sister-in-law). She told me all manners of things about Aunt. How Aunt had been cruel and distanced Uncle from his mother (grandmother). NMIL blamed the entire situation on Aunt. She did state that there had been "an incident" when Aunt and Grandmother had lived together, but regardless, Aunt had forced Uncle to stay away from grandmother. Aunt had kept her kids from grandmother. Aunt had been completely to blame. All of DH's brother's (and DH at the time) had felt the same way: Aunt was a horrible person who had broken up the family.
    Well, over the years I pieced more of the situation together. Aunt was always pleasant to me. I never found her to be particularly divisive or mean to grandmother. And although I loved grandmother dearly, I really felt that there must have been something between the two of them for a situation like this to continue. And maybe, instead of pointing the finger at Aunt, Uncle should also be held accountable if he allowed his wife to keep him from his mother for "no good reason". And in the end, I decided none of it was really my business.
    So, here's the part that relates to me. NMIL, while telling me this story to begin with, used it to lay out her own fears. She told me how she had always worried her boys would marry someone who would "take them away". DH and I had only been dating a short amount of time. I found this story completely inappropriate. She didn't know me at all and had NO REASON to suspect I would take her son from her. Her projection of her fears on to me and blaming me, well before we even had issues really set me on edge. I felt she was not only accusing me of being like aunt, but also starting to take defensive measures against me for crimes I hadn't even THOUGHT about committing.
    When I look back at this story, I realize that NMIL was ready to cut me out of DH's life long before she ever even knew me. She had her paranoia all ready to go long before I came into the picture. It wouldn't have mattered who the hell I was, or how nice I was. She would never be able to see me past her jealous and insecurities. I never stood a chance.

  5. Wow, Jessie. You really nailed that one!

  6. IMHO, The moment they decided you were an enemy was the same moment they realized that you were not simply a passing interest to DH and that he was serious about being with you.

    Seriously, my MIL was very nice the first few times we ever met. Until it became clear my DH wasn't just "sowing his wild oats" (She literally told him that it was okay for him to do that with me). She's messed up in her own right, although not on the narcissist track so much, more paranoia and a very bad case of Old World versus New World issues. I was not the desired ethnicity, lol.