Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Two questions

EF forced me to call NM yesterday (my assumption is that he was tortured and threatened to convince me to call). She called me the day before but I did not answer, since I figured she would be yelling at me about some nonsense that involved my upcoming birthday.

I absolutely loathe my birthday. I remember having ones that I waited for. When I was little, and got toys as presents, and a cake. But most of them were about me getting some present that I never liked or wanted, and then I had to pay heavily for them. I learned that all presents have a very high price, one that I'm unable to pay. Such as being forced to repeat for months, every day, several times, how happy and grateful I am that I received such a wonderful gift from the best mother in the world, whom I bless and who must be a real angel, my sweet sweet mother. Yes I had to call NM sweet. I feel sick just by writing this down.

So I called her yesterday. She had two question: when we will visit them to celebrate me, and what special food should she cook. I answered 6PM and that I want nothing.

We talked for 1.5 hours. I will miss these hours so much at the end of my life.

She answered that no, we will not visit at 6PM, but at 5.30, since she loves me so much that she wants to see me more. I told her that IF she wants to know when I can visit, she has to accept what I say. If she knows beforehand that only a particular time frame is acceptable for her, she should phrase it in a statement and not a question. She did not even hear me.

Then she went on about how she will cook food A (that is actually both my and DB's favorite, but he mustn't eat it because of some meds he has to take for a while. The food would negate the effects of the medication and might put his health in severe danger. For the same reason, he mustn't consume any alcohol). I told her that as I have mentioned EVERY time I talk to her, he mustn't eat food A. Oh, she never knew that, she says, and sounds genuinely surprised.

I mentioned to her that the last time we had lunch, she made sweets with a lot of alcohol in them and was proud of it. And wanted to give him wine to accompany the meal. Oh, she didn't know that he cannot drink. How wonderful it is that we now talk about it, she says.

I still wonder whether she is that evil or that insane. I vote for both. My best guess is that she literally does not hear what I say.

I literally told her that she was killing DB. She didn't even react. Anything. At all.

She then decided to cook food B, which is acceptable by its components.

NM also kept saying that she really really wanted to see the two of us together. Especially DB. And that we so rarely visit together. I told her legitimate reasons why we are usually not even at home, and when we are, I want to see him, and no one else. And that 'no one else' includes them.

Only when I could finally hang up, I realized that she completely negated both my statements. I wanted no food for my birthday. And I told her that I was to visit at 6 PM. And I was stuck with special food and 5.30. And the main result was that I was cold, unloving, uncaring, distant, whereas she was waiting for me in her warm home with all her motherly love and all the wonders I ever wanted in the whole world.

When I hung up, I was so blind with rage, I thought I could smash something. I was shaking with fury.

When I woke up, I couldn't stop crying. I still can't. I feel like a complete failure.

No matter how hard I tried to stick to what I wanted, I still couldn't. How could she twist things around again, so that I only realize what happened when I'm already in it?


  1. You're not a failure! You're working through a process and fighting years of conditioning. I'm glad to hear you were angry, it's a natural reaction to being manipulated that takes you one step closer to putting an end to this abuse.

    Easy out, next time remember no one, not even your EF, can "force" you to do anything. Keep conversations with your NM EXTREMELY short and remember JADE.


    Any of these things will give her an excuse to yammer on and trample your boundaries.

    IMO, If you go at all (a quick "Sorry we can't make it" call might be fun) you should show up at 6:00 and tell her you're not hungry.

  2. Update: NM called. I didn't pick it up. I strongly guess she must have triggered something in me yesterday that I did not notice, because currently I can think of nothing else but that I have to die either by my hand, or by NM's. I am horrified and panicking.

    My only idea now is to tell myself repeatedly that I will survive this day alive.

    1. You will not only survive you will thrive!

      Your anger is natural. Try sitting with your anger and examining it. When I did this I found I was most angry at myself for being such a doormat. But then, I realized if the anger was directed at myself, it was good. While I had no power to change my NPs I had the power to change myself and one baby step at a time that happened.

      I have no doubt my NPs remain exactly as they were, but I don't really know or care because I'm no longer their door mat.

      You are like a little bird struggling out of the confines of it's shell. It's hard work and messy, but one day you'll soar!

  3. Hugs Scatha, I remember this part of the process. It is hard to recognize all the "have to's" as manipulation conditioning from childhood. I still remember the day vividly that I was telling my counselor that "I have to...." and he chirped back, "No you don't." The thought was stunning. What do you mean "NO I don't." He pointed out I am not a child any more. It is hard at first going against decades of conditioning to be obedient to parents. At the extreme end, simply don't show up at all. Or pick your battles and decide you have done enough this time and you will plan for next year. I learned that I don't have to be strong all at once. You are a survivor. Think about the post you plan to write when you simply don't call or hang up after 10 minutes or put the phone down and let her talk but go do what you want to do. Possibilities, choices, and progress can be done a bit at a time and take some getting used to. Cheering you on, Ruth

  4. Whoa, Scatha! Little One, Ain't NO way, NO how you're a "complete failure."
    Listen up, OK? Every LAST (and FIRST) "successful" ANYTHING created by human beings resulted from epic crash-'n-burns. And I DO MEAN "epic." When ever we're learning what ever we're learning, we screw up-BUT we learned something new about ourselves, the world and what it means to be human and live in this world. And you actually didn't screw up here: You're learning to "listen" with new ears. You're learning how the game actually works "in real time." The phone is a huge pit-fall for all of us because we don't have time to think before the NPs have us all tied up all which way but loose before we even realize what just happened here.
    Just as Ruth and muldefan said above, it's all part of the process. There are no grades, finals or report cards, OK? You really ARE IMO, moving along in a positive way on this whole journey. Your last comment @1:25PM reminds me of something my late DH use to say to me at night when we went to bed after another day in not paradise: "Some times, TW, the best thing you can say about the day is you survived it. And that's more than good enough." Amen.

  5. The narcissistic specialty. My NM has done the same thing to me. And I was so angry with myself for allowing her to turn something she'd done wrong completely around and it was my fault and I hadn't even been there.

    Remember when you used to answer the phone all the time? Remember when you didn't voice your opinion? Remember when you felt like you were at fault for everything? Remember when you did everything expected?

    You don't always answer the phone anymore. You voice your opinion. You know not everything is your fault. You don't do everything expected. You are making progress. Sometimes it helps to look back at where you were so you appreciate how far you've come.

    I agree with the idea of sitting with your anger. Accept it. It's part of you, and it's the part of you screaming your boundaries are being violated. I love mulderfan's idea of showing up at 6pm and not eating, but I also see the merits of Ruth's idea to not show up at all. TW is exactly right: Sometimes, the best thing you can say about the day is you survived it. And that's more than good enough.

  6. Ooof. I totally get ya, Scatha.

  7. I feel for you Scatha and can so relate. This crap is hard and she's making it so difficult for you. I agree with the others that you've made important steps. I hated most holidays and birthdays because they became such battlefields.

    I liked this comment from MF: "IMO, If you go at all (a quick "Sorry we can't make it" call might be fun) you should show up at 6:00 and tell her you're not hungry."

  8. I have survived. The last day of October as well as the next day, and the days after.

    I showed up at 6:00. They didn't even dare to say anything.


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