Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Almost 2 years later -- have I finally learned?

Dear God, I hope so.

I am now divorced from R.  Another secret I hid.  He was physically abusive in 2007, dragging me across the kitchen floor by my hair and throwing me into the garage while telling me to get the f*** out after stopping him from aggressively disciplining C by carrying him by one arm & one leg and throwing him into the couch.  He was never physical again, but simply threatened with verbal abuse and intimidation.  Lots of objects in the home got broken, too.

I think R is bipolar.  My new husband, J, thinks he is, too.

How does this fit into the theme of this blog?  My mother and father found out through a fitness-related blog of mine that I was getting a divorce.  After more than 2 years of no contact, they sent me the most heartfelt correspondence I have ever gotten from them.  Like a FOOL, I fell hook, line and sinker.

They were back in my life for about 3 months, and I kept it limited contact.  J proposed shortly after my divorce was final.  My mother found out by seeing the ring on my finger when I traveled 2.5 hours to her home for her birthday, after driving 2 additional hours to get her a specialty food item.  I had no plans to discuss the engagement with them because I had gotten to the point where I didn't really care what their opinion of my life was, and telling them about it would be like asking permission in their eyes.

My father wasn't really communicating with me anyway, but my mother pretty much stopped after the trip for her birthday.  Then, I would get occasional texts.  I even called her once, as I was on my way into the courthouse to file a petition to change the time-sharing agreement and child support order due to R getting spiteful and yanking C all over the place whenever he wanted, just to show some sort of control and power (as a result of me telling him that he needed to pay his child support).

I let my mother in on the secret that I have had R's password to his email, so that I can see that conniving crap he's trying to pull... and 5 hours later, the password changes.  After 2 years of it not changing.  Coincidence?  Yeah, me neither.  I confront her via text and she DENIES it.  A few days later, I guess the security question for R's email and change the password to get back in.... and discover THIS:

Yes.  Betrayed by my own mother,  I texted the photo to my mother, called her some choice words that I will not repeat here to protect the faint of heart, and told her not to EVER contact me again.

I know I have said it before, and just spent the last couple of hours re-reading this blog, but I think we have finally come to the end of this chapter.  There will be no more communication ever again.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Always trying to figure it out

Still reading the blog that I mentioned in the prior post.

I cannot figure out the "labels" for my mother and father. It seems atypical that two narcissists would end up together; yet, they both are clearly narcissists. I've explored this before, reading about the different types.

My father is the compensatory narcissist, to the letter. He is the embodiment of every single one of those bullet points. For years, he has had this grandiose idea that he's going to be the next Ernest Hemmingway. He even has a framed photo of him on the wall in his home office. Like a typical daughter of a narcissist, I used to feed his ego by telling him how wonderful his works were. Um, they weren't.

Now, what of my mother? After doing more research on the above linked page, I believe that my mother is an inverted narcissist. This particular paragraph reminded me of a particular incident (of which, there were many) where my father allowed my mother to have accolades about having her name on a charity-dedicated road sign.

In comparison, the "Inverted Narcissist" can only vacillate between lack of self-worth and reality. No grandiosity is permitted, except in dangerous, forbidden fantasy. This shows that the invert is psychologically incapable of fully realizing their inherent potentials without a primary narcissist to filter the praise, adulation or accomplishments through. They MUST have someone to whom praise can be redirected. The dissonance between the IN's certainty of self worthlessness and genuine praise that cannot be deflected is likely to emotionally derail the inverted narcissist every time.

The sign is located in a shopping district where she works, so we were in all in the area. As we walked by it, my father brought it to everyone's attention and boasted about it. My mother acted (note I say acted) as if she was completely embarrassed by all of the praise (though the rest of us weren't as over the moon about it as my father), and my father's chest puffed up like a proud peacock. It was literally disgusting. It's a road sign. Big damn deal.

Yet, this paragraph doesn't really fit her:

Criterion FOUR Demands anonymity (in the sense of seeking to remain excluded at all costs) and is intensely irritated and uncomfortable with any attention being paid to him - similar to the Schizoid PD.

My mother seems to crave the spotlight. She used to be on numerous symphony, museum, and socialite boards. She once said that she always wanted to be in the social pages of the newspaper when she was a child. Such a commendable goal, don't you think? Maybe I'm missing the boat on the motive there.

On the OAD blog, she writes,

Having a mother who is narcissistic means you have a father that is nothing but her echo, or as the poster puts it, her puppet. I also like the term minion. These are all fancy ways of saying your father is too much of a coward to stand up to your mother. Or perhaps, so much time has passed, he doesn't have an opinion of his own and just defaults to whatever she feels and believes.

Our fathers are typically passive and enabling. Your father BELONGS to your mother and it has always been that way. My mother reminded me that my father and her are a "package deal." The father orbits around the narcissistic mother. As children, we are the outsiders who our narcissistic mothers consider to be an intrusion and competition for attention. Our fathers never cared enough about us to fight for us or protect us from our mother's disorder. The question you have to ask yourself is "Did your really ever have your father any more than you ever had your mother?"

Reverse mother and father and this was our family situation. My mother did nothing but tell me how my father is the smartest man she's ever met, how he's the most handsome man that she's ever met, how he's so wonderful at this and that. And, I've discussed ad nauseum how she never did anything to protect me from my father's beatings. I did, once upon a time, get her to admit that my father was supposed to be the one who was good with teens and, "he didn't hold up his end of the bargain." Yeah, that's an understatement.

Revisiting all of this brought up another memory. My mother was in a social sorority in high school. Apparently, during a sleepover, my grandmother (who was also a narcissist and probably bipolar) plopped right down in the middle of the girls and joined the party. My mother claimed that she was mortified, but that her friends just adored her mother. So, what does she do when I become a teen? She monopolized my friends when they would come over, especially the males. A few years ago, she said to me, "Your friends LOVED me." I mentioned it to my dear (male) friend, M, who said, "Oh yeah? Well, if that's true, why are none of us still in touch with her?" Thank God for reality and high school friends who remember the madness.

It also reminds me of how codependent they were on each other. They have actually said that they have a double bed and a love seat (no couch in their home at ALL) because they want to be as close to each other as possible. Romantic? No. Mentally unstable.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Another fine memory

I decided to do a bit of emotional dumpster diving and went to THIS site. It has been a great source of healing for me, but I hadn't checked out the links. In doing so, I discovered THIS blog. I'm only two posts in, but already have memories flooding back.

The author, One Angry Daughter, is discussing her baby shower. There are so many similiarities in our shower that it is ridiculous. But, it also made me remember my mother's inappropriate behavior at an after party for a concert that I was in.

A bit of background first.

My parents have these friends, M and J. I cannot stand these plastic people. The only thing that my parents did with this couple was drink. And drink heavily. This all started right around the time that I got engaged. My mother, who was never known to have a drink in her life unless it was a glass of wine with Christmas dinner, was suddenly calling me absolutely drunk. I don't care how old you are (and I was 25 at the time), no one wants their drunk mother calling them for anything. M and J moved out of state and I couldn't have been happier.

M and J came into town for my wedding and planned on staying with my parents after the wedding was over with, to visit. Apparently, during our honeymoon week, J got absolutely trashed and told my father that she wanted to have his baby. Yeah. Insane. So, my parents supposedly cut off ties with them. The next Christmas, I discover that they're exchanging Christmas cards and the whole dysfunctional relationship kicks back up again.

Cut to my concert, a few years later. My parents actually invite M and J to come to my concert. SO, they fly across the country to be here, and I did my best not to be angry that they were raining on my parade. They were actually quite reserved; it was my MOTHER who embarrassed me beyond belief. She got absolutely trashed at my after party, and proceeded to sit on the lap of M, flirting as loudly as can be. All of my friends were coming up to me and asking what the deal was, and if my parents were swingers. I was absolutely mortified. Yet, when I told my father the year prior that we were a dysfunctional family, he screamed at me that I hadn't had enough psych classes to be diagnosing. Riiiiight. I can't see that big elephant in the room, either. Must get credentialed. :-/

Monday, August 9, 2010

How many times do I need to learn this lesson?

Well, I shouldn't be surprised. But, I always am.

Today is C's birthday. I have tried to explain over and over again to people who think that I'm being this ogre of a mother by protecting my child against my parents, that they are not interested in being grandparents. They never used to call him, never used to send him notes in the mail, never offered to come over to see him on a non-holiday/birthday occasion, even before the huge fight on Thanksgiving '08.

In addition, their gifts have shown their lack of interest.

Birthday 2010?

A card. With this greeting:

Wow - we can't believe that you are 8 years old - already. I bet that you are taller than Grandma!!
We hope that you have the "bestest", most happiest birthday - ever! Here is a BIG huggie to you, through the mail. We love you bunches and bunches. Grandma and Grandpa

Apparently, if they're not receiving accolades for the gifts that they give, it isn't worth sending anything. Either that, or they honestly think that I wouldn't give Conor the gift cards (which I did). I don't want their blood money.

I attempted to read the card to C and he walked away. Yeah, the kid has the right idea.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Going Public

For years, I have kept these posts hidden. Used as a place to vent. Now, I am planning on stepping out and putting this out there in the world, for others to read and possibly help someone else heal and know that they are not alone.

In doing so, I had to go through all of my posts and re-read them. I wanted to eliminate names and replace them with initials. Going through this again was heartwrenching, horrifying.

Re-reading my father's letter to me brought up my despair all over again. The words of such deceit. Saying that I came to their house angry and upset, after accomplishing the feat of running a ten mile race! Saying that I created discord in the house as a teenager, when I was being beaten with the belt, getting smacked across the face, my hair yanked out of my head, being given a black eye for not calling (and still being home by curfew). Saying that I was a domineering mother! Saying that I told C that I was leaving without him. Saying that *I* was the one who brought up the crap from 20 years ago! The only thing that I said, which was absolute truth, was that my mother acted like she was the perfect mother when she kicked both of her kids out of the house. And, incidentally, I never asked how much time I have before I had to get out. I asked how much time I had to make the decision. Not that I should have to justify it to ANYONE, and that includes them, I left an abusive situation and thought that I was moving to something safer. As it turns out, it wasn't safe. And, I never said that I was raped. I was date raped. Of course, I didn't even know what had truly happened until years later, when I could process it with mature eyes. A castle of peace and a harbor from life’s storms??? My life was a living hell in their home.
But in your rebellion, you forgot the basic principals of a healthy Christian existence. First of all, it's "principle". Second, because I chose to no longer allow them to control and abuse me?

The really funny part was this: It’s time to deal with the truth. It’s time to realize that everyone else is not to blame for your life. Amazingly, my life is pretty damn awesome. Especially when they're not meddling in it.

I'm wondering if their life is all rosy, now that they don't have me to be the scapegoat.

Here goes nothing. Make sure to start at the beginning.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Getting it off my brain

I know it's coming. The email from my mother is coming. This Thanksgiving, it will be 2 years since we have spoken. I know that she's going to start trying to reach out, and I have already decided that it will be handled over the phone when the time comes. No email back and forth. No interference or influence from my father. In fact, if he insists on getting on the phone, I will not speak with my mother, either. He's volatile, disrespectful and refuses to accept that I am an autonomous adult. Here is my mind dump.


I wanted to talk to you on the phone because I don't want to turn this into an email relay. I just want to talk to you about where I have come with all of this.

When I wrote my apology note in April, you wrote back and said that you forgave me. You never apologized for any of the things that you did or said, but you accepted my apology.

Months later, in July, within days of each other, I received emails from both Dad and S.

Those two emails crushed me. I won't even elaborate on the vast differences between our view of what happened and the view that the three of you have clearly discussed and agreed upon, because S and Dad's emails were almost identical in certain parts. S told me that he had never liked me, called me a bully, accused me of being a domineering mother, accused me of physically attacking you and then told me that he hoped that someone knocks me down a few pegs and only wishes he would be there when it happens. If you don't have a copy of that one, you should ask him for it.
Dad re-wrote my entire apology letter, telling me what it should have said, brought up things that happened more than 20 years ago that had nothing to do with the context of the situation nor any relevance to anything that had happened, and sealed his letter by telling me that he did not accept my apology because I had not accepted responsibility for what happened. In other words, I had knocked on the door and it had been slammed shut.

I don't know if you read S's email, but I know that Dad carbon copied you on his. He wanted to make sure that I knew that you had seen it, because he could have blind copied you and I never would have known whether you even knew about his response. But, you did know. And, you said nothing. You could have emailed me and told me that those were not your views. You could have called me and told me that you disagreed with the things that they had said, told me that they were out of line, that you told them not to send the letters. But, you didn't. Your silence spoke volumes to me. You let those words resonate in my head, knowing what they said, and you did not defend me.

I will always love you. But, I don't see how this is mendable.
The worst part of all was that those emails were not said in the heat of the moment, like the events in the argument. Those emails were sent 3 months after my apology letter and 8 months after the argument happened. The purpose of those emails was not to mend fences or create a bridge. They were meant for the sole purpose of burning the bridge. And, that's what they have done. Even if I could bear to be in the same room, how could I ever get beyond knowing, "Well, I know exactly what they think about me as a person."

All a person has is his apology. I can offer nothing more. My character has been attacked, my apology has not been accepted and there is nothing else to say. I have accepted that and have had to move on.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Adding memories

Started reading the very first post on this blog and remembered how they treated me on the birthdays that I decided not to spend with them. I don't remember which birthday - my 16th, I think - when I decided to spend my birthday at the volleyball marathon. The CHURCH volleyball marathon. And my parents got absolutely pissed off at me that I wanted to do that, instead of spending it with them. And, they froze me out.

And, my 17th birthday (that must be right, because I was involved with S by then and had broken up with J), when I came home after JR had alcohol poisoning: R and I were supposed to be at the school's dance marathon, but of course J's situation blew that out of the water. I came home the next day, and my parents sat in the living room and didn't even acknowledge that I had walked in the house. There was a present and card wrapped up and sitting on the counter for me. It was a camera. I went around the corner and thanked them and my mother said coldly, "Since your friends are so important, we thought it you'd want to take pictures of them."
Always punished for being an individual, instead of catering to them.