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Is this strange for me to feel like this?

Posted by lovehadley (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 6, 10 at 14:15

Bm's MOM has been trying to be very friendly. Ever since I took SS on vaca, she's been (through DH/SS) trying to be extra kind to me and DD.

The night before our trip, DH was actually in bed with a terrible flu/cough/fever thing. He asked me to answer his cell and take any sales messages. Well, I answered one of the times it rang and it was BM's MOM. She went on and on to me about how sorry she was for what happened with BM last year, and how BM feels terrible about it, and how she is a totally different person, I sdhould give her another chance, etc etc.

Then the next day when SS came over for us to leave on vacation, he had a gift bag for DD from his grandma---full of activities/candy/treats for the plane. It was sweet and thoughtful. Then SS's birthday party was last weekend and DD went and SS's grandma had brought her a couple keychains, one with her initials on them, and one Wenbkinz keychain. Again, very unlike her, but thoughtful nonetheless.

Well--today I received an email from BM. She was tellling me that today BM hasd 1 year sober. And today IS one year to the date that BM came over drunk, tried to take SS, attacked me, etc. I was just thinking about the fact that it had been a year a couple days ago.

Honestly--it's a day I'd rather forget. Anyway, BM's mom went on to say how this is a wonderful day for their family and it should be for me and DH, too, because it is the anniversary of BM stopping drinking. NOW--I have to say--there have been 3-4 occasions where we have been almost 100% sure she'd been drinking, one within the last couple months!

But whatever. She says she is sober, so whatever. Great, I hope she is. I truly do. But today is not a day I am going to "celebrate" and I think it's kind of ballsy for grandma to act like I should. I am not sure why it bothers me, except that it was at MY expense that BM hit her rock bottom. So I should feel good that it was such a terrible day for her that it prompted her to quit drinking? Well, that was her own fault. Disease or not, she CHOSE to drink and she chose to take that path. So I have very little sympathy or celebration in me. I still get upset when I think back to that night, and I still wonder WHAT IF...wha if I hadn't gotten inside the house (away from her) fast enough? What if she'd gotten inside too, before I locked the door? She was screaming and ranting like a crazy person, saying she was going to kick my @$$, and this was after she'd already decked me! If she'd gotten to me again..I don't know what she would have done.

It upsets me to think about it.

Anyway, then in her email, grandma went on to say that she hopes IK will give BM another chance, because BM really enjoyed being friends with me and "it is so much better for SS" when BM and I can communicate.

Ummm, okay, A) no it's not better for him and B) I will NEVER be *friends* with her again. Cordial/civil if I absolutely have to see her, yes, but friends? Not a chance in h*ll.

I'm D O N E. I do not wait to be punched twice.

I just get sickened by the alcoholic/addict mentality...oh, yay for me, I stopped drinking/drugging/whatever, so everyone else should just accept it at face value and forget the past.

UGHHHHH.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Is this strange for me to feel like this?

Wanted to clarify---I received the email from BM's MOM, not BM herself. I was typing to fast and didn't finish the sentence.


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RE: Is this strange for me to feel like this?

"I do not wait to be punched twice."

Well, duh, noooo, that is not strange way to feel;
my concern has always been the people around you who seem to insist that the problem is yours & who *want* you to stick your face up to be punched again.

Disengage.

Do not respond to the email.

If you must email grandma, do not refer to this.

In fact, my gut feeling is that you should never put anything at all in writing about the entire mess & shouldn't email grandma or mom or anybody who's involved.

Smile, but guard yourself, & keep your distance from the lot of them;
this is your husband's problem, not yours.

Let him email grandma.


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RE: Is this strange for me to feel like this?

"my concern has always been the people around you who seem to insist that the problem is yours & who *want* you to stick your face up to be punched again....In fact, my gut feeling is that you should never put anything at all in writing about the entire mess & shouldn't email grandma or mom or anybody who's involved. "

Ditto. Let DH handle it. Don't respond. Keep your shield handy and don't let your guard down.

I'm 100% on your side on this one. Don't second guess your gut reactions.


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RE: Is this strange for me to feel like this?

you don't want to be nasty to them, but you do not have to ever communicate to mom or grandma. dad can handle it.

if it is truly her anniversary of not drinking (i doubt) it is nothing YOU should be celebrating, why is grandma talking to you about it? it is not even appropriate! my mom would not dream of contacting ex's wife to discuss my personal problems! my mom talks to ex's mom, and if needed talks to ex, but calling/emailing his wife?

don't reply in writing, who knows what is their agenda.


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RE: Is this strange for me to feel like this?

I agree with Sylvia.

This BM has shown no signs of her deep anger towards you having vanished. Even if she suddenly had, why put yourself into that situation a second time? Gma might think BM is totally recovered, but you've seen the signs of still drinking yourself (you posted not long ago on her behavior warning signs).

As far as Gma bringing a treat pack for DD and a small gift at birthday, yeah, that was thoughtful and nice of her. But don't let your thoughts towards the gesture go beyond that. She's likely pleased you and SS had the vacation and that you're so kind to SS. I find myself doing little things for other kids when I give something or do something in their presence to my daughter or grandsons. It's just the considerate thing to do. No, it's no expected, but kids are kids, they all like to feel included.

As far as the email. Cringe. It's sad. Gma sounds so excited and hopeful, but Sylvia is correct. Don't answer that email. If DD would like to send a small thank-you card for the gifts, great, but no mention of the BM ordeal or dry anniversary should come forth from you. Celebrate? She clobbered you, what's to celebrate? Yeah, great so's sobber, but you know that might not be true. I can't blame Gma for hoping but surely Gma knows nothing can EVER be the same again.

This is the Gma who helped bake a cake a while ago? Lined up along the street and sang? Comes to the sport games and wants all to sit together? I'm sure she does wish she could erase the past and make the actions of her daughter poof, but that's not realistic.

Maybe Gma is feeling out as to if you have filed to renew your court order? Hoping you won't, celebrate it's been a year, right!? BM has not clobbered you again. Gma is just going to have to accept the fact the past relationship is gone, it's not returning. If it becomes an issue, let DH handle it. You're not wrong, Love, don't let them guilt you, you were the victim. Why put yourself out there a second time, especially knowing that there are signs of still drinking even if BM says not and Gma has not seen them. It's Bm's mother, she wants her daughter well and healthy, she wants to believe, she may be clouded in actually seeing the outward signs.


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RE: Is this strange for me to feel like this?

Thanks everyone. It helps to know my feelings are okay, and that I'm not some uncharitable (is that a word?) wench!

I wasn't planning on replying to BM's mom's kooky email. It surprised me a bit to get that from her but not really at the same time. She is the NOSIEST person in the world, always wanting to know this and that, and asking DH prying questions any chance she gets. She's always been outwardly friendly to me, but something pushed her over the edge hard-core after our trip. It probably is just her thinking it was kind of me to take SS, seeing that SS had fun, etc. I appreciate the gestures she's made towards DD, and I did ask DH to pass along my thanks---but that's as far as I would go. I don't trust ANYONE in that whole wacky family.


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RE: Is this strange for me to feel like this?

"I don't trust ANYONE in that whole wacky family."

Probably a very smart position...
And from what you've said before, GMa wanting you to not renew the order of protection is the first thing that crossed my mind.

I'd suggest you prepare some pleasant and polite non-replies in case GMa tries to put you on the spot, because it sounds like she's fixin' to...

GMa: "BM's stopped drinking for a year now!"
LH: "That's good news"

GMa: "BM wants to be friends with you"
LH: "That's nice of her"

GMa: "BM wants to be Facebook Friends with you"
LH: "I'm more comfortable with email"

GMa: "Are you planning to renew the restraining order?"
LH: "I'm carefully considering what's best. That was so nice of you to make DD a goodie bag! She really loved it and it made the plan trip go by so quickly. Gotta run - bye!"


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RE: Is this strange for me to feel like this?

"I just get sickened by the alcoholic/addict mentality...oh, yay for me, I stopped drinking/drugging/whatever, so everyone else should just accept it at face value and forget the past"

I too HATE this mentality. My sister was once with a guy who was a drug addict. She met him when he was clean and got pregnant accidently. During her pregnancy he began using again. For the next 2 years they were together he went through periods of being clean and periods where he would steal everyting not nailed down and sell it for drugs. My sister hit bottom with him when he stole her car, purse, cash, and credit cards and left her at home with an infant for days with no way to go anywhere or get anything like diapers or formula. During that time I was on vacation and when I got back found my house to have been broken into. He did not get much, which all I can attribute that to is either our dog or something scaring him away quickly.

My sister left him and after he sobered up he tried to get back into everyones lives by saying we should not hold him accountable for things he did under the influence of drugs, because that was not the real him! I said that I held him accountable for using drugs again which caused him to do those things that he had also done in his past. I told him that I would never forgive or forget and that everyone is responsible for their own actions. Never allowed him near my home again. My sister and her child lived with us for a while and when he was clean and seeing his child we never allowed pick-up or drop-off at my home.

I understand that drugs and alchol abuse are diseases, but it does not mean that the people should just expect everyone to get over what they did under the influence of those things when they knew the dangers and gave into their temptations.

Stay away from bm and her mother. Who knows what they have up their sleeves. The way you feel is justified!!


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RE: Is this strange for me to feel like this?

"I find myself doing little things for other kids when I give something or do something in their presence to my daughter or grandsons. It's just the considerate thing to do. No, it's no expected, but kids are kids, they all like to feel included. "

Totally!!! this is something I would *normally* do, or expect (if that's the right word) from a caring adult who sees two children and one might not be getting something just because of birth status. It's just a nice thing to do when there is a child you are buying for and there is another child who will be there with nothing. Buy a pack of bubbles or a coloring book or something so everyone is included. It's a nice gesture... but nothing else.

I say, pull the SSS on her (Sweet Southern Sweeby) and coat her with cream. DEFLECT!!!


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RE: Is this strange for me to feel like this?

The thing is to BE PREPARED --

You sense it coming. Be ready for it so you can get the result you want -- which is neither to enrage BM and escalate the tension, nor to enable her to start messing with you again.

Find your ground, stake out your boundaries, then pleasantly deflect (if possible), firmly deflect (if appropriate), get reinforcements from the courts (if needed), and fight like heck (if absolutely necessary).


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RE: Is this strange for me to feel like this?

lovehadley,

The whole thing with people in recovery is to wait and see. Wait and see what they do, not what they say they will or won't do. Only what they do or don't do.

Grandma is probably thrilled that her daughter, BM, has whatever sobriety she has. Maybe it really is a real year. That's her daughter and she has probably been worried sick for YEARS about her daughter, grandkids and so on. Understandable for her.

For you, just watch and see. Tell Grandma and BM if you feel like it that you are glad that she hasn't had a drink in a year. Part of their recovery is to make "amends", not just an apology which can be very shallow, but an amends meaning they make up to you what they did AND don't ever do it again. Which means BM has to figure out how to make things up to you versus just expecting you to forgive and forget.

Grandma is acting as a representative for her daughter. Sweeby's script above is a good one. BM needs to prove herself to you. She needs to "get that."
Grandma is trying to cut in front of that process. Watch yourself, accept BM's sobriety as it is a big acheivement, be forgiving but don't forget! Let them know BM has to EARN her place back and sobriety is just the first step.


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RE: Is this strange for me to feel like this?

I hear what you are saying, lamom.

My mom is a recovering alcoholic with almost 8 years sobriety. But she WORKS a program and always will. She goes to meetings several times a week, has a sponsor, sponsors other people in the program, has made direct, sincere ammends to me, etc.

But I view that as very different from BM. I don't want ammends or anything from BM. I mean, if she was working a program (which she is NOT, she does not attend AA) and wanted to do it as part of her 12 steps, that would be fine. I would listen.

But other than that...whether she stays sober for the next 20 years or drinks again...I want nothing to do with her. I will NEVER be "friends" with her again. My DH has to deal with her b/c she is SS's mom, but I have no reason to talk to her now or ever, sober or not. I was speaking with a friend of mine whom I really respect--he is very level-headed and rational. He is 34 yrs old, divorced with two daughters and he has joint physical custody. He is remarrying a wonderful woman this fall. I was asking him how he handles communicaiton between his fiancee and his ex-wife. He looked kind of confused. He said they have obviously met in passing, and will see one another from the car at drop-offs, but he said that he sees NO REASON for his fiance to ever talk to his ex. The whole issue came up regarding cell phones--should the BM have the stepmom's cell #---and he said he would always respect his wife's privacy and that he would NEVER expect her to talk to the ex, make plans regarding the girls, etc.

It made a lot of sense.

That is where I am now. DH HAS to deal with BM. I do not. I will not. I don't plan on her EVER having my cell phone number, or being FB friends, or anything other than polite and civil on the RARE occasions (Christmas music program, bday party, etc) that we would have to be in the same room.

I know this might sound harsh...but it's what I am comfortable with. I mean--it took me YEARS to forgive my mom, and she's my MOM. BM is "nobody" to me. I don't LOSE anything by not being friends with her, so... I forgive BM in the sense that I am not angry or harboring a grudge or resentment. But I just won't ever be someone who deals with her and is in her life....she is my DH's cross to bear.


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RE: Is this strange for me to feel like this?

It is not harsh at all, you do not need to communicate to DH's ex at all. I like my ex's wife and she is not trouble at all, she gave me her cell number for emergency. But I used it only twice: once not really for emergency, when she and ex had a baby I called her in person to congratulate. and second time when my grandmother died and DD was at dads, but neither DD nor ex could be reached over the phone so I called SM's cell number. Other than that, no need.

Don't even compare to your mom, family is family, BM is no family to you.


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RE: Is this strange for me to feel like this?

Agree, BM is really no one to you. Keep it that way.


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