Monday, July 1, 2013

Drama opportunities

We travelled to the place where the funeral was to happen. It was quite a long trip. My FOO and I have stayed with DGM's husband for a few days, to help out and to keep him company. DB couldn't attend, but I knew this was the case.

So I was prepared to spend days locked up together with NM and EF. The only reason why I chose this because I was doing this for DGM, and because I wanted to test how firm my new boundaries were.

I also knew that these sad events would be like an amusement park for NM. All the sadness, all the drama, and all these grandiose events that she could twist and turn so that she would be the star.

I managed to watch her from an emotional distance, and from this angle, what she does is really pathetic and ridiculous. It was sometimes infuriating and disgusting too, but I just didn't care. All I cared about was DGM and her widowed husband.

And yes, NM has tried to stab through my boundaries, she tried everything that she could think of. And she failed.

For her, drama was everywhere, and she did everything she could to turn all eyes and all attention on here. (sarcastic remarks from me in brackets)
  • The means of travel we used was too uncomfortable for her.
  • She had to sit next to people. Whoah.
  • She could not get free spirits or wine to drink, to calm her down (since this whole thing was soooo stressful for her)
  • The bed DGM's husband provided was way too uncomfortable (but she did not want to pay for a hotel room of course).
  • She had to listen to DGM's husband crying over his beloved wife's death. It was impolite, improper and upsetting of him. He was not being considerate of her enough, that she needed her sleep. She was genuinely surprised that he was mourning, he didn't even love DGM anyway, he was lying about loving her for decades. So why bother at all?
  • That DGM's husband was mourning and crying, made her feel very uncomfortable. She wanted to go home. She could not take all this stress. How boring and upsetting it was to keep listening to him sobbing or talking about his recently deceased wife. How irritating this whole thing was to her, and she was such a hero to endure it.
  • The funeral sounded so scary. She hates funerals, they remind her of death (guess her own demise, huh?)
  • At the funeral, there were other relatives (what a surprise). And she couldn't chat with all of them. (wow... what a surprise again... what did you expect? a house party?)
  • Some of the relatives didn't even want to chat with her (how rude that they were too busy mourning than to discuss her successes that she wanted to brag about)
  • None of the children were enthusiastic (they haven't seen her for a decade or more and I doubt they even knew who she was) to being dragged through the funeral home by her, to me, while she bragged to me about how successful they were in their studies at high school or college and how they were so much better than me in choosing their future professions that must be paying more than mine does. When I told her that a funeral was probably not the best time to jump them and aggressively interrogate them about school and money, she was genuinely surprised.
  • The coffee was way too hot, and not strong enough.
  • Also, there was not enough quality food.
  • She had to see images of DGM and how shocking that was, that she had to look at the images of someone who was deceased.
  • She was genuinely disgusted by mourning people, or sad people. How uncomfortable that was, that she had to see sad and ugly red-eyed people.
  • She was constantly worried about the way she looked. She wanted to look elegant and beautiful, so she wore a light dress.
  • She then complained about being cold because of the AC, and how she was going to have kidney failure or lung problems. It was all the AC's fault, not her, being under-dressed.
  • She forbade me to wear my (bit worn) sweater, because it was 'not appropriate enough for a funeral'. It was black, and it was warm. But no, I would have made her look bad, if I turned up wearing that cr*p, standing beside her.
  • She hated everyone else's clothes. They were not appropriate, elegant, nice, decent, beautiful, or black enough. She was the only one apparently who knew how to dress.
  • We knew that part of the funeral would be held at an open air place, with ground and grass. She nevertheless wore high heels than complained about the difficulty of walking in high heels in grass.
  • She thought it was inappropriate that EF had to participate in the main parts of the funeral (being DGM's son, and closest relative). She considered it weird and unnecessary. Also us, being considered closest relatives (she never liked her).
  • DGM's husband was so grief-stricken that he did not want to have dinner together with relatives and friends after the funeral. He just wanted to go home and be alone. NM considered this disrespectful and exclaimed that he was throwing temper tantrums like a 2-years-old.
  • She offered to make breakfast for him. He refused. She was offended. (she wanted to act like a replacement wife for him, to prove that it didn't matter to him that DGM died, that he didn't love her at all and just needed her as a slave to cook for him, and as long as he got food, he wasn't even grieving... this didn't work)
  • She cooked lunch for him, then complained that she constantly has to cook for him and do stuff for him, while he was doing useless stuff like crying.
  • She was genuinely offended when he was talking about his deceased wife during lunch. How boring that was, constantly having to have DGM as a topic.
  • He went to buy some groceries and he left his money at home (gosh, I wouldn't be able to find the store at all if I was in his shoes) so she had to pay for them. This must have been an evil plan to rip her off with money.
  • I could go on, but you see the point.
I purposefully booked seats so that we would sit as far from each other as possible. So my travel was very pleasant.

NM attempted to freak out about this, and attempted to accuse me about not wanting to 'sit next to each other and chat pleasantly all the way long', but I shrugged her off.

I had meaningful and deep conversations with DGM's husband. We even hugged each other. I could console him a bit, and he said that it helped him a lot that I was with him during these difficult days. It was also good that we shared our love towards DGM and we could talk about our happy times together, and that she was a very good and loving person.

I got some really personal items from DGM's, that dated back to my early childhood. NM demanded that I show them to her. I firmly said no. She was furious, then accused, then demanded, then cried, so attempted the whole scale, to get what she wanted. I told her no again and said that it was too personal and painful for me to discuss, so no matter what she did, I would not be showing them to her. She then wanted to hug me. She literally chased me around the house, while I kept telling her that I would not hug her either. That I did not want to be hugged. By. Her. She went through her whole repertoire again. When she attempted to literally jump me, I stepped aside, and said NO in a very calm, but very firm and authoritative manner. She was shocked, started screaming and crying that I hated her and now she knew it. I left her there.

After this, she arrived a few minutes later as if nothing has happened. So that's how her 'I'm dying from desperation because my daughter does not love me' act was genuine.

I've managed to really experience how she was all about herself and nothing else, how she was a complete emotional illiterate, and how she had absolutely no clue about empathy or grief. I've also managed to keep my boundaries. I'm getting to know the new me.


  1. Difficult time but you were there for your DGM's husband and managed to observe your NM and see through her. These types complain but actually love funerals.

    Your post brings back memories from when my husband died. I met him when I was 26 and he died when I was 62 but two months after his death, my NM told me she was sick of my tears and I was to stop talking about him. Then shortly after, she made this tragic scene in front of an acquaintance about how she'd never get over the death of her son-in-law when, in fact, she hated him and was glad he died because she got her doormat back.

    Your NM's behaviour is truly sickening. Proud of your for rising above it!

  2. I'm sorry for your loss. Like mulderfan, I'm proud of you for rising and above the drama and maintaining your boundaries.

  3. It's so weird, isn't it - after you can SEE and are aware of narcs, it is so weird to be around them and realize how frantic they are to keep all the attention on themselves. For me, I sort of manipulate conversations with my mom now to see her response - I'm the only one who knows or plays, but it's funny how predictable they are.

    Scatha, it sounds like you really have your boundaries and armor in place. You did it - you went into the lions den and saw the behavior, but you didn't react. That is HUGE. You have successfully undone YEARS of trauma-based training.

    You are so strong.

  4. Your choice to console and share comfort with DGM underlines your caring and kindness. I am so impressed with your healthy choices to stay as far as possible from NM. Telling her no and maintaining that boundary regardless of her behavior is what being free of narcissistic behavior is all about.

  5. I'm sorry for your loss.

    One of the things you mentioned about your NM expecting to just "replace" your DGM by cooking a meal is so typical isn't it? I've seen that a lot from my NM and MIL. They think that you can just replace another person by copying their behaviors.

    When my NM's mother died, it was so similar. She used the event to chastise family members for not seeing it coming (as she had). Or for being to emotional (and not strong like her). Or not being there for my grandfather (like she was). Or for not including her (or putting all of it on her, take your pick. She argued both ways.) Or....I'm sure you get the picture.

    And like MF's mother, my NM know uses her mother's death to garner sympathy and complains about how hard it was to lose her mother (whom she didn't grieve over at the time and always complained about). It's sickening how they can milk a tragic event for every bit of supply they can find. Even if they contradict themselves.

    I'm so glad you were able to remain distant to her, but kind to your grandmother's husband. You sound stronger and stronger. And good move booking your traveling ticket separately!


Comments are welcome!