Friday, July 04, 2008

Rented Space - List of Grievances

[Well, enough of my petty problems. There are a lot of folks dealing with bigger issues than a silly break-up, like this reader here. She first shared with us in this post, an open letter to her mother. Now, she needed to share this list of things "she" has done to cause problems. Please offer your kind support, as you so often do for me.]

* When I was six, I was a tom boy (was? Who am I kidding I’m STILL a tomboy.) I loved boy games boy toys playing with boys being rambunctious. “She” approached my parents in front of me with her fear that I was gay. I didn’t know what gay was, but I knew it was bad, (Not that I have anything against gay people but if you can imagine what my parents reaction might have been to their six year old daughter being accused of being gay because she was a tomboy, and then imagine a six year olds understanding of this: yeah, I was freaked out, I thought they meant my arm was going to rot off, or something that dramatic.)

* When I was eight, “she” took me on a very girly adventure where I had to wear a dress and tights and white uncomfortable shoes and drink tea and act, like a girl. I hated it, and being an outspoken little girl, but at least polite, I told her something along the lines of “I’m glad you enjoyed it, but I didn’t, and don’t want to go back.” Her reaction was to tell me that I would never get married because boys don’t marry tomboys. She told me that I would never have kids, or a life unless I learned to be a lady.

* The summers the years I was 10 through 16 years old, I lived with her, out of state, to serve as nanny to her five grandchildren. They worked me like a slave, never doing anything to entertain me (never taking me to a movie, to the pool anything to that degree) and I was never paid a penny. When I decided to cut the summer short when I was sixteen because I was tired of being stuck with five kids all day ever day “she” threw a fit. She lied to my mother saying she offered to take me places and I refused to go. Luckily my mother believed me and sent me a plane ticket to return home. (When her children were the ages I was when I nannied for them, they would spend their summers with my parents and were constantly entertained.)

* I drove my grandmother to her house when I was 17 for Christmas. It ended up being a terrible visit. I ended up having a drug reaction to some sinus medication I had taken, and ended up in the emergency room. They kept me over night for observation do to my heart rhythm and breathing issues. “She” had the audacity to tell me to my face in front of grandmother, that she thought I was faking it, because once I convinced the family, (who were busy with Christmas dinner) that something was wrong with me and I needed to go to the Emergency Room, when my grandmother got up to take me “she” said I bolted out the door and that if I was really that sick I wouldn’t have. (If you’ve ever had a allergic reaction to medication it makes you feel like your panicking physically, I saw the ER as my way out and I was afraid I was going to have a heart attack. If I was faking it I did pretty good as the hospital felt the need to keep me because my heart was racing.) When we returned home my grandmother and I went to my parents house and told them what happened. My mother was horrified and called “her” to tell her off. She denied saying it. “She” came in a few months later and confronted me about telling my mother. My mother and father and her got into it again and “she” continued to claim that I made the whole thing up. My mom then told her fine let’s ask Grandmother what happened. “She “ then refused to bring “grandmother” into this argument.

*I had a stroke several years ago in which I spent three weeks in the hospital, eight weeks in inpatient rehabilitation and 18 months in outpatient rehabilitation. During this time I received temporary disability because for a great deal of the time I wasn’t able to walk or control the left side of my body, and physical therapy took up literally all of my time. I was very young, 22 at the time of the stroke. I also had an 18 month old son. After much debate it was determined that my parents would move into my house (keeping their own) so my son could stay in his house with his somewhat normal routine while I tried to get better. “She” wrote a three page letter, detailing that she felt like I was manipulating my parents into caring for my son and paying my bills. I was never supposed to know about the letter but mom dropped it out of her purse and I found it. It was horribly hateful. I cried hardest over this than anything because I wanted my life back. I wanted to be able to run down the hall to my baby when he had a nightmare. I wanted to play in the yard with him. Hell, for a very long time I wanted just be able to lift him onto my own lap without having to ask someone to help me. I hated that my parents had to live with me and totally appreciated their love for me and my son. Yes I’m sure they paid for some things during that time because disability doesn’t make you rich, but they stayed only for as long as I needed them. Which was about 7 months, as they moved back home when I was able to get around well with a cane. I had learned to get my son in and out of his car seat and in and out of the house while using a cane for balance, I was able to make small meals and dress myself and my child and as soon as I could get by, I had them leave. I did not in any way manipulate them, and I have “paid” them back (though they never felt it was necessary) both financially, and having my mother live with me while she recovered from a total knee replacement, which wasn’t the same length of recovery but I was there for her.

*My grandmother used to say I was her favorite Grandchild. (For the record I visited more often than any of the others (all older than me), at LEAST 4 times a week we were there and on most occasions we were there every day. My boys adored her and now that she’s gone still talk about her. “She” told me 4 days before my grandmother died, and after she was too weak to talk too, that my grandmother never really loved me and that my boys and I created so much stress in her life (with my sickness and other day to day things) and that she never really liked me coming down all the time to tell her about my day. My heart tells me that my grandmother loved me, she was always happy to see me and the boys, but, part of me wonders sometimes if maybe “she” was right.

*When my grandmother died, my grandmother had written in her will that I was to get her four poster bed. I got off the school bus at my grandmothers house everyday and spent the night a lot when I was little. I slept in that four poster bed every time I slept there. I’d carved my name under it (got in trouble for that), and spent many an hour jumping on it. When she asked each of her grandchildren what piece they wanted of hers, that’s what I wanted, and it wasn’t the piece chosen by any of the other grandchildren. Well, after she died, we didn’t want to clean her house out immediately. We wanted to wait a few months and get used to Grandmother not being there. Grandmother was buried the 29th of October, by the 31st her house was cleared out. “She” took every family photo, every single one of my grandmother and our other family, every piece of furniture, except for the kitchen table which she left for my mother, my bed, my brothers dresser and bed set, everything. You name it…gone. I received nothing. It’s fine though, I have years worth of memories, when she and her children couldn’t be bothered to spend time with Grandmother, THEY can’t steal that. Even so, I wonder what grandmother would think, to know that half of her grandchildren not only didn’t get what she’d “given” us, but didn’t even get photos of our heritage.

She hates me, but she wont admit it. Her actions speak as though she does. And yes there is a reason. I was adopted. I was supposed to be retarded, though it turned out I had a fairly normal IQ. But “she” never did respect me or accept me as family. “She” even requested I not call her “aunt” when I was small, which was fine, I know a five letter word that’s more appropriate for her. She has also said that the memories she took in taking all of grandmother’s photo books were her children’s heritage and not mine.

She’s a deaconess at her church, and she thinks people lover her, but I really wonder. I really do. How many people have seen her true colors. She hates me, because when I was a helpless baby, of two months and two days old, I was given to my parents who loved and took care of me. She has said more than once, that I’m not even family. More than once to my face.

She does the same thing to my kids. They are young now, and cute and adorable, so she is all “sweetness” wanting to hold them especially when they were babies. And then, last Christmas it started. She said to my oldest (in front of me), who is speech delayed do to hearing problems that have been combated with two surgeries and soon another. She said to him “girls won’t like you if you don’t learn to speak clearly, you are lazy (then said his name) try harder to speak clearly and I’m sure you’ll be able too.” (She seems to know it all, like my son didn't really need the two surgeries he's had or the one he's going to have, he's just too lazy to speak correctly.)

And that was the last time she saw him or his brother.

And the last time, if I can help it, she will see him or his brother.

My family is not based on blood kin. She wrote me out of her life, as accepted family years ago. She chastised me, made me feel self conscious, she hurt my feelings, (and honestly still does, though, and this still amazes me, she did tell me last summer that I’m a very good mother, the weird thing was, she acted surprised. Like she couldn’t believe that I would be a good mother) because of her I thought less of myself, and maybe she was just one in a line of those who broke me, but sometimes, most of the time, I think “she” had the biggest opportunity, and she just kept reminding me how I’d never be good enough, because I wasn’t even born good enough.

Why am I writing this?

Because she’s coming into town Saturday, and staying a week. To visit some cousins. My parents refuse to see her. She has called and left me 7 voice messages. She wants to take me and my kids out to eat, to “straighten” out our disagreement. Which translates into us sitting down to eat while she excuses herself for what she said to my son and explains how she was only trying to help and once again me and the loser self that I over reacted and now I have caused a big separation in our family and that my grandmother and deceased aunt (the one who loved me) would be very ashamed of me if they could know where they are. I know this because this is almost exactly what she said on my voice mail.

But you know what?

Not a chance.

Sorry. No, actually I’m not sorry.

Witch, if you read this. You gone too far. I let you walk all over me for my mother’s sake. You’re all she has left. Other than me and my brothers and our children. But this time, you went too far. You attacked my baby. Do you know, when I asked him about what you said and how it made him feel do you know he said “it made me feel sad.” Oh no you don’t. Target me all you want, I know who I am. But don’t you screw with my baby. He deserves better than you.

(To all you kind people. Thank you so much for your comments and for reading this. I can't post this at my own blog because my aunt I'm almost positive reads it, and if not her my cousin does. I don't need more problems but I did want to get the anger off my chest.)


Anonymous said...

For your sake and the sake of your son, do not see this woman. This may be judgmental but here goes: I can't imagine this woman has anything to say that will be honest, sincere, or bridge-building. I imagine it will be a bunch of excuses for her behavior that will subtly point out how it was your fault. Maybe I'm projecting my own experiences with people like this onto your situation but all I can say is that when I have given someone like this a "second chance," I always got burned.

Take care of yourself and your son.

flutter said...

her God will take care of her, you don't need to.

BetteJo said...

As far as I am concerned, family is only family if they love and care for you. Better to stay away from people who you know will always hurt you. Especially when she starts targeting the kids. No excuse for that kind of toxicity.
It's okay to let her go.

Anonymous said...

She's a manipulator. You don't need that stress in your life.

And about your grandmother? I don't know of a single old person who resents regular visitors, especially family. Put your mind at ease about that one.

Jennifer S said...

You're better off never going down that road with her ever again. I've had to make the decision to protect my children from my mother, because she is capable of the same sort of venom. Like you said, I can handle it for myself, but I won't let her do that to my children. She never takes responsibility for the things she does, and always blames others. Not an example I want my children to have.

This is your mother's sister, then?

Wolf Lover Girl said...

Wow! Isn't amazing how someone who is within church can be some of the dumbest people in the world? I agree with Flutter, God will take care of her.

Congratulations to you for standing up and deciding to longer let her have access to you or especially your kids. There's just no sense in a thankless, "I'm sorry" which is obviously for show for someone.

~ Wolf Lover Girl

MB said...

life's too short to spend time with people who are not nice. a simple rule to live by but one that took me until i'm almost 40 to finally get. good job, girl.