"well whose fault is that." Now granted, I am sure she was putting on a bit of a show for her mom who was sitting next to her. But, being of the mind to not engage in an aggressive, non-productive, immature conversation w/ her, esp. in front of my child, I responded that I wasn't going to listen to her speak that way, that my husband was on his way home and if she wanted to wait until then, I would talk w/ her. Her response was "oh, you called him, I figured you would." The tone was like a little smarty pants kid. It for some reason just set me off, though, and I regrettably engaged. Yuck...why did I do that? She was sure to point out that she "meant" to come to my house (but she didn't bring my number w/ her so she had to call my brother to get it when she got here) and I kind of said "uh huh" and added "on your way to...." She reluctantly admitted that she and her mom were on their way to vacation w/ her brother and his GF. From there the conversation continued to fall apart and get increasingly more juvenile and ridiculous. I am so disappointed in myself for even participating, but it was almost beyond my control. I've played the scenario over in my head a million times, what I would do if I happened to run into her when visiting my home town to see other relatives. It was nothing as I had imagined and I really thought I would have been a bit more prepared. It was a pointless conversation really because it was much like talking to a teenager who knows everyting and is virtually impenetrable where rational thoughts are concerned. She did seem to move the conversation along more quickly to the ditch (I guess so she could make her dramatic exit) when she learned my husband was coming home, and she ended w/ a "thanks for taking away my grandbaby" and "you're just like your daddy." Funny she should mention that about my dad b/c the way she was addressing me was the EXACT same way she addressed my dad during their marriage...and I engaged just like he did. So it very much reminded me of the regular yelling matches they used to have when I was growing up. At some point I told her that she is self destructive and I wasn't going to sit around and watch her destroy herself. She replied w/ "I've lived my whole life for everyone else and now it's time for me to
live for myself." Really? When did she live for anyone other than herself or her NM? I don't recall that time, I really don't. Anyway, I admittedly took the bait like a novice and spat back that she had lived her whole life for her mother, putting her ahead of her husband, children, etc. She only retorted "I have not!" Nothing she disputed had any facts behind it...it's tough to argue w/ someone who is just being stubborn and kind of "nah nah nah boo boo-ing" your every point. It was a strange exchange to say the least. Life has just been so "non-dramatic" over the last several months that I had forgotten what it was like...it was not a pleasant reminder, other than it did make me thankful and more sure of having made the choice to not have it in my daily life any longer. I feel very sorry for her that she is trapped by insanity. I feel badly about the way the conversation went...I really wished I had not engaged. I can just imagine how she and her mommy showed up to the vacation w/ my uncle and his gal, all in tears and playing the victim as she (and her mommy) both do so well. I very immaturely on my part did tell her to go on and give her sob story to her family so she could play the victim. The things that have been on my heart are things I feared I would say to her if given the chance, and I didn't want to say them so that's in large part why I have had NC for the last year and a half. That, in addition to being exhausted by her manipulation and drama. As much as I have regretted the conversation, my husband made a good point. No matter what I would have said or done, they would have spun it the way they wanted to among their family and friends. My husband says I did the right thing...I was home alone and was being ambushed by the two of them, w/out warning. Our child doesn't know who they are and it would have been a tension filled conversation that was definitely inappropriate to be conducted in his presence. Now that I think about it, I am really glad that she got mad and left, even if it will be something she will use to further trash my name to her family. The thought of either of them in my home again makes me sick to my stomach. This is my home, my sanctuary. I don't need their icky bad vibes in here! In short, I know I mishandled it, but I also know no matter how I had handled it, it would have been wrong in their eyes, and widely distorted in their subsequent reports to the masses which will definitely follow. I am sure my NM is on such a high right now from all the victim attention she is bound to be getting from her NM and my uncle/his GF. Good for her. And thanks for letting me spout it all out here among those of you who will understand.
Regarding not having the kids see grandparents. In my case, I guess I am fortunate that my N's love the victim attention as much if not more than the "I'm such a good grandma/great-grandma" attention. In fact, I think pity is my NM's very FAVORITE thing to have others bestow upon her. Her NM, however, I think moreso relishes everyone thinking she is perfect and loved more than any other grandmother/mother on the planet by her family. She plays the pity card a lot w/in the immediate family, but for the outside world, she craves the acknowledgment of being perfect and having the rest of the world think she is better then them. So, it's quite an embarrassment to her that neither of her grandchildren attended her 80th bday party recently. My brother who does live nearby (about 45 minutes) recv'd his first truly nasty lashing from my NM over that one...she was embarrassed and angry I guess because she couldn't deliver the goods to her mommy
dearest. She cannot be too nasty to my brother though because he's still her handy man! Yes, she calls and demands him to drive 45 minutes to lift this or move that. At any rate, I think the decision to go NC is a big enough one itself. I see it as if it's a situation that NC is the best solution for me, then I want no less for my child. I am coming from a place though where my NM offered me up as an object to her NM though so I am very sensitive about not objectifying my little one and making him some peace offering to someone who doesn't even have the capacity to care about him, or put his needs before her own. My husband and I have stated in our wills that there is to be no contact with my maternal family if something should happen to the both of us.
I wish you much luck in dealing with your parents. I think it would be so much more difficult if I hadn't had the guidance/example of my dad growing up. My dad did not enable my NM, at least not in the traditional sense. My parents were like oil and water...very opposite and very disjointed. My dad worked very hard to provide for our family, and once I was older, had my license, wasn't home as much, etc. he really was not home much either. He would stop by his parents after work and work on cars with my grandpa until 11pm or later. So they didn't see each other much. When they did, they were either engaged in explosive arguments or not speaking to each other at all. Usually they argued about my mom's spending $ they didn't have, her calling in to work sick all the time and then lots of petty little stuff. Usually it would be sparked by something she was hiding from him, like purchases or debts, and him somehow finding out about them. As much as all the fighting was difficult to endure as a kid/teenager, I'm glad I was at least able to see at least one parent's disapproval of the other's actions rather than thinking what was going on was acceptable behavior. It still took me a long time to figure out, especially since when I was younger my NM had me convinced that my dad was the trouble maker...too strict, too particular, didn't want us to have any fun, etc. After he died, and also mostly after having a child of my own, I can see things much more clearly. My dad was making the tough decisions to make good responsible adults out of my brother and me. My NM was just trying to have the least amount of conflict b/c it wasn't pleasurable, plus it was way harder than doing the right thing. Responsibility is the biggest turn off of all things to my NM. Accountability is a very close second.
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