I knew that when I told my dad he had to apologize, otherwise I’d never let them meet Kaia, that my mom would get angry with me for even the mere threat. So I was waiting for her to confront me about it, and conveniently and expectedly, she did just a couple hours after Chris left for the office this morning. It started with, “Do you have five minutes? I need to sit down and talk to you about something. Don’t get offended.” (This is a cue that she is going to unleash her anger). In my head, I told myself that it was definitely going to happen, so I had to mentally brace myself and not allow myself to get emotional, raise my voice, or do anything to show she had power over me. I had to own the conversation. Well, it didn’t matter if I raised my voice or not because of course to my mom, I was the bad tempered one. I was the ungrateful one. I was the bad one, the awful, disobedient, disrespectful daughter. These are just some of the things she said to me this morning as I was pumping milk. If I hadn’t been connected to an electric nipple sucker, I would have just walked out. These are just some of the things she said:
“How could you threaten to not let us see our grandchild? What have we ever done that is so wrong to you? You are wrong! It doesn’t matter how bad your parents treat you; you need to respect them from your head to your toe and obey them! Jehovah sees all, and he will punish you!”
“I have never hurt you or Ed in my entire life! I raised the both of you almost by myself! I did EVERYTHING for you! And you say that I hurt you! I HURT YOU? I HAVE NEVER BEEN ANGRY WITH YOU!” (I didn’t respond and continued playing with the baby. Not really sure how she should decide whether I feel hurt or not?).
“Your father already texted you to say sorry! What else do you want him to do? What do you want us to do? Why can’t you just forgive and not make such a big deal over everything? We paid for your college education and this is how you treat us! You want us to bow down to you and beg you for forgiveness?” (I said if she wanted to, she could).” Then, she started fake crying and literally got down on the floor to bow down and say sorry over and over. Then, she ran over to the window and started praying to Jehovah loudly, asking him to give her strength to deal with her ungrateful, “powerful” daughter with a bad temper. I didn’t say anything.
“Your father said you called me a bitch and an asshole. Did you do this?” (I said he made it up, which he did because he’s juvenile). “Under Jehovah’s eyes, he said you did it! I am going to ask him to swear it!”
I told her she was wrong to accuse my friend of being dirty and loaning us a pack’n’play that was not cleaned. Her response? “So you are saying you favor Rebecca over me? You like your friend Rebecca more than me?” (very rational)
“Oh, of course it’s useless to talk to me! I’m stupid! I’m uneducated, stupid! I’m not like your mother in law who is a DOCTOR, so smart, so smart, so educated!” (My response: “Just stop.”)
“Do you know what your mother in law and brother in law did to me the night of your rehearsal dinner? Do you know how they insulted me?” (I cut her off and said she had no idea what she was talking about in a monotone. Also, how is this relevant to anything… this was 6 years ago?).
“Your in-laws and Chris would never treat you as well as I have treated you! NEVER! They don’t do a damn thing for you!” (Sure – classic abuser language).
“None of your friends ever went to private school! Only your parents sent you to private school!” (ummmm, false, and I simply cut her off and said “stop comparing” in a monotone. The monotone approach just infuriated her more and more as time passed, and she repeatedly accused me of yelling and raising my voice).
“Your Auntie Linda inherited Ms. Hazel’s house and never sent her kids to private school even with free money!” (“stop comparing,” I said over and over).
“Your husband treats me poorly because he learned it from you!” (No, Chris does not treat her poorly, but I don’t care what she thinks).
“He won’t let us see our own granddaughter on Tuesday and Wednesday! He’s so powerful, isn’t he? You two won’t even let us into your hotel! You won’t allow your own parents to see their grandchild!”
“When you are talking to me, you need to act CHEERFUL! Why aren’t you cheerful and always so mean faced?” (Gee, I wonder why?).
“I texted you and told you I was going to the doctor and my chest hurt, and you didn’t even text back or call. You don’t care about me! Now I know what you really are!” (She used that as a manipulation as she always does to get a response she wants. I don’t fall for it anymore).
“You will be so happy if I die! You will have a celebration!” (“No,” I said back).
“If I die, you and your dad will be miserable! You will have nothing!” (Not really true, but I didn’t say anything).
She loves to talk about her “health not too good,” “I’m disabled,” “I suffer from depression,” and that she could die any day now. She’s been saying these things for over 12 years now. Those are her favorite things to go back to in order to manipulate us and make us feel bad.
The private school theme always comes up again and again. She repeatedly has tried to use it as a weapon against me, as though I took something from them that was so valuable and wasted it. They make it seem like I owe them something. Considering they rarely paid for any extracurricular activities, I never had lessons of any kind, I had a pretty “poor” childhood relatively speaking. You would wonder what my parents would have done with that money if I had never gone to a private college. Well, you shouldn’t wonder too much. They didn’t starve or eat canned beans every day for four years because of it. They didn’t take out loans, refinance their home, or wear rags because of it. In my friend’s words, “They make it seem like because they paid for your college that you have to take their constant abuse and shit. That’s not the way it works.”
I was mad that this happened, but I expected it. I honestly didn’t even really get that angry because I just felt numb. I barely reacted. I never raised my voice, though my mom thinks I did and kept repeating over and over how bad and scary my temper was. I thought momentarily about not coming back this weekend to stay with them, but I realized that we would barely spend any time alone with them given the family meals, plus I’d be out with friends most of Saturday. Plus, Chris would provide a buffer as they’d never be their full, monstrous paranoid selves if he’s around.
After this trip, I have no idea when we will see them again, or when they will see Kaia again. To be honest, I have zero desire to see them again. They will only become more angry and paranoid as time goes on, and they will continue to think that their verbal abuse is acceptable. I can’t really tolerate their alternate reality anymore, especially now that I have my own child to care for and raise. I don’t want her exposed to their mental illnesses and abuse. It’s just a good thing she couldn’t understand the insanity coming out of my mother’s mouth today.