I may have stated before that I don't have anything to do with my mother. I stopped talking to her a few years ago, then got a phone call a year later with her crying about money, not knowing what to do...dad in the background sounded exasperated saying "No, everything's just fine", which it was. My mother just wanted a foot in the door, so to speak. She then went on to invite us over, even my husband, who she had greatly insulted (which was one reason I stopped talking to her).
Stupid me, I was honest. She wound up insulting my husband again, and hanging up before I could say anything either in defense or about her. My mother's way. Dial, insult, hangup. No listening involved on her end.
Another year, she called out of the blue, and although the message she left has been erased (Thanks, Cogeco for not having that option of saving it over and over like Bell has), the words are pretty much like this, with emphasis on words she emphasized:
"Well, I'm SORRY if Hunter [my nephew that they were raising after my sister died] got too close to Delainey [my daughter] and she's a TATTLETALE But, I've talked to adults at the school, and they say...they're CRYBABIES. So, YOU'RE not a perfect mother either."
Well, I'd be upset at the last part if I ever, ever thought I was a perfect mother. I just raise my kids, and hope I'm raising them so they make good choices later in life. It was the first two that got me. You do NOT mess with my kids. Even if you're supposed to be their grandmother.
Fast forward to last night. Delainey graduates grade school tonight, and really wanted her grandfather there. Not her grandmother, because D heard that lovely message, left just because my mother was in a snarky mood and wanted someone else to be miserable too.
I told dad that Delainey had one ticket, and she would really like him to go. It would mean a lot to her. (And hey, it took a LOT of courage for me to call him on his cell, I was afraid it would lead to more)
My father said he'd see what he could do. Then called right back and questioned the 'one ticket' saying my mother had planned on going. Aaaargh, it DID lead to more.
Stupid me, I was HONEST. I said I was sure he understood why Delainey didn't want her grandmother there, after all, that phone call.
Well, that phone call was NOT my mother insulting her grandkids, she was just saying what kids at the school said. (Insert scream and hair pulling here) She said ADULTS. And the tone of her voice, and especially the first part...SHE was insulting. Not passing on what she'd heard.
I said, I stepped away from this, I was tired of playing the head games. Being treated like dirt because I had my own opinion that differed from my mother's (heck, once it was the same opinion, and she STILL shunned me), then treated like nothing happened.
Apparently, I was never treated like dirt. And an incident that happened when Mike and I were the only adults here happened in front of EVERYONE.
And after we said good bye, and I hung up. I realized, I almost played the one headgame I hadn't realized I'd been playing all along.
The one where you start to wonder if maybe *I* am wrong, that I am over-reacting. Then I shook my head, mentally planted my feet firmly, and decided I will not play that game either.
I have to say, this goes back years and years. I have nothing against kids doing housework, but when they do most of it, and the mother sits on the couch watching soaps and reading Harlequins all day, or nursing a headache while she makes YOU go buy her cigarettes and pop when you're home sick with a headache ("The fresh air is good for you"), or waking your kids up at midnight to scrub a pan that you left to soak overnight because it'd gotten food burnt on, or to clean up a living room that had nothing out of place...or waking your kids up at midnight to find a stupid Archie comic book you'd misplaced....
NO, NO, NO. I will not do that to mine.
(Dad's story is that mom was the one who did the cleaning at midnight, NOT us--and I know there were times when he told us to go back to bed and HE did it)
I will also not make my kids clean MY bedroom. I remember one time cleaning my mother's room and knocking over her garbage can. Key words, bedroom, hers, and garbage can. I almost threw up at the sight of all the maggots crawling around on the floor. When I called out to my mother, well, it was my fault the maggots were in there. If I'd cleaned like I was supposed to...
My mother got migraines, and for years and years took Fiorinal ( sp?--highly addictive). There were times she was so doped up she could barely sit up to smoke her cigarette, and the ash grew and grew until it fell onto the coffee table she was leaning on to write out the 50 states in alphabetical order. There were times she'd threaten to walk out on us. I remember being about 11, leaning against the door and crying. After a few times, I stopped trying to stop her and just wished she would leave.
Not a word of this is a lie, or an exaggeration. And a lot has been left out. Yes, there were good times, but they quickly faded. There were too many bad memories pushing them to the back of my mind.
I keep hoping my dad would come to his senses, but now I know, he's starting to either believe her lies, or just go along with them because it's easier. As they say, there are none so blind as those who will not see.
So now, Delainey has been hurt not only by her grandmother, but now by her grandfather who can't see what my mother is doing, and refuses to come to Delainey's grad because my mother's not invited. I still feel like I'm doing the right thing, Delainey didn't want my mother there anyway. Really, would you?
If anyone reads this to the end, and would like to say a few words of congratulations to Delainey on her graduating, please leave a comment, and I will pass it on to her.