Thursday, November 15, 2007

Chief Slave and Bottle-Washer

My cousin, "Lee", relates her memories and impressions from the first visit to my parent's home as a child in this post. Before we get to that, I have remarked in other posts about my cousin about her exceptional memory. Her great recall has earned the opprobrium of my mother. Back when Lee was under my mother's thumb (1997-2002) my mother began to be annoyed at Lee's excellent recall of conversations, events, time and place. One day my mother told Lee, "you really need to work on this [her memory]. It isn't good to remember every thing that happens. I have learned to not remember certain things because some things are not good or right to remember. You need to learn to do that too." At the time, my cousin's memory was getting in the way of my mother's truth revision and therefore earned her a lecture. The silliness of this demand makes me want to burst out laughing every time I think of it. But, there it is. The confession from a narcissist of how she can do mind-wipes on herself at will. Um, yeah, I had noticed that.

My cousin went down memory lane while visiting with me on Saturday night. Here is our conversation:

"I remember I was six years old the first time we went to visit your family in Oregon. I was fascinated watching your family. What really fascinated me was how much work you had to do, Anna. That was a completely foreign concept to me. My mom, as you know, was a fiendishly obsessive house cleaner. She didn't want me or my brother in her way or doing anything because we would not do it "right" in her estimation. I had a few chores I had to do at age six. Clean my room. Take a shovel and clean dog poop out of the yard. Feed the bunny. That dog poop thing, now that I think about, that was kinda yucky. But feed the bunny? How fun is that to give the bunny lettuce and watch him eat it? That was a treat, not a chore."

"Then I go to your house. You had to work. Real work. It was a whole new thing for me to see; I was amazed and fascinated, which is why it made such a deep impression on me."

"It seemed like every few minutes your mother would be calling you. 'AAAAAAANNNAAAAAAA' she would yodel. And then standing there with this satisfied and smug expression she waited for you to come running, literally running, from whatever other chore you were working on to see what demand was being issued at that moment.

"Your mother then fixed us dinner. She had you and your sister doing this and that helping her with all the simmering pots on the stove and things bubbling in the oven. Again, I could see how proud your mother was to "show off" her finely honed and trained slave -- you-- in addition to her culinary skills. It was obvious to me that your sister was really good at looking like she was busy, but she really hardly did anything. She would keep drifting away from the work in the kitchen and would be chatting us up. I noticed your mother didn't give your sister much to do in comparison to you. I also noticed how your sister would strategically disappear especially when clean up time began. After dinner every one went off to the living room. There you were -- alone in the kitchen cleaning up the big mess. Your sister, no where to be seen; you uncomplainingly made the mess go away."

"Oh, yeah, then your mother, after dinner, tapped the floor with her foot and said, 'Girls, the floor is sticky. After dinner I want you to mop it.' She said that while staring straight at you, Anna. It was obvious who was expected to get it done. Sure enough, you were the one who did it."

Lee paused, then asked, "How old were you at the time?"

"I'm eight years older than you." sez I.

"Okay, um, that would make you...um, well, not good at math here..."

"I was fourteen."

Lee goes on, "Okay, you were fourteen. My mom and I couldn't help but marvel at how you seemed like the house slave."

I was getting into the spirit of the memory so I helpfully volunteered, "Yeah, and you only saw all the indoor chores. There were all the outdoor chores I had to do every day."

"Oh, yeah!" Lee responds. "That's right. I left your house after that visit thinking you were Cinderella. Poor thing. Both me and my mom felt really sorry for you. We talked about it often."

Since I'm on the subject, I'll elaborate. Here is what I can remember of my outdoor chores. Throwing hay for cows, horses and goats and watering them (this was in winter). Tending the chickens, milking the goats, working in the garden, etc. In the summer, the daily chores included moving irrigation pipes and hacking weeds out of the pasture. The first summer I had to move pipes (age 15) I was able to use the child labor of one or two of the older kids my mom babysat. Sometimes my sister would be forced to help. As with most cheap labor, you get what you pay for. I got to where I would usually just do it by myself as I became stronger and more skilled. Then there were the weekly chores of mowing the huge lawns (no, it wasn't a riding mower), washing my dad's delivery truck, mucking out the chicken coop. Only the lawn mowing ended with winter. Washing that truck in the cold, after dark and, often, in driving rain or icy cold weather. Good times.

All during the summer and fall there was the harvesting of the garden and the huge amounts of canning and freezing to preserve the fruits of the earth. My parents were always heavily involved in these projects because they were HUGE productions. Damn, that was fun. Kinda like jabbing yourself in the eye with a sharp stick. Working with my parents was always a special kind of hell. They were short-tempered and mean. I would get verbally beaten up with regularity during these work sessions as they took out any of their frustrations on the nearest target.

My sister? Other than helping a little with the harvesting and canning...she was no where around. All those chores outdoors were mine and mine alone. For years, the only farmyard related work she had to do was wash the eggs. Something she did indoors after I had gathered them. And she always had to be nagged and threatened before she would get around to it. After many years my parents finally gave up on getting her to do this particular chore. Probably because I started doing it just to keep the eggs from rotting in the laundry room utility sink.

Which is exactly why I was entrusted with the care of the animals. When dealing with animals you need someone dependable. Someone who won't "forget" to feed and water them every day. Someone who would remember the recipe for the calf formula and remember to feed them twice a day. Or bottle feed the occasional abandoned baby goat. (Which I loved doing. I loved feeding any of the barn babies.)

When the really nasty and difficult projects came along, I was on the front line. My mother would "throw" me at my father when he'd come around looking for help to de-horn the baby goats, or castrate the goats, or help deliver baby goats. Castrating the calves would require both my sister and me, so I won't count that. Other non-animal projects like helping dad with any scary big thing he needed to do that he really should have had a son to help him. I was the boy they never had. Unfortunately, I was a petite young girl without the brute strength or aptitude needed for some of these projects. What made many of these projects scary was my father's mercurial temper in addition to the sense of life or death. Like getting crushed by a camper Dad was trying to back the truck under, or getting knocked in the head by a spooked horse. My mother and sister didn't like getting cursed and yelled at during these events. Neither did I. But, unfortunately for me, he had come to recognize I was the most competent of the bunch, so I would get drafted...and yelled at when things went wrong. I quaked under the sense of responsibility if I screwed up and something very major was damaged or worse.

Laundry became my job at around age 15. I endured much hassling and annoyance from my mother until I learned to do things exactly as she did them. Different towels must be folded in certain ways. I had to learn to take things out of the dryer just perfectly so as not to wrinkle anything. It never failed that every time she saw me carrying an armload of laundry she'd snarl at me through her teeth, "you're wrinkling them...don't do that."

Fridays were a perfect storm of housework and my mother would unfailingly be in total bitch mode. Vacuuming, mopping, dusting, sweeping, scrubbing. I would collapse in an exhausted heap at the end of a week.

Keep in mind that all the winter projects were concurrent with the school year. I had school and homework to do too. There were also piano lessons and practice. Washing dishes after dinner. I'm sure the list could go on if I spent more time trying to remember.

Memories. Precious memories.

In my dad's last letter to me in Sept. 2005 he said this:

"If you can dredge up things that happened so far into the past and ignore the good things and good times in between I see little hope for any of us." [emphasis mine]

Yeah, good times. Rockin' good times were had by all. Maybe if the bad times didn't outweigh the good times 100 to one I could stand corrected by his point.

I remember that sometime when I was a kid my sister and I made a comment that infuriated my dad and got us an angry lecture. My sister and I were working out in the garden. At some point we chirped that we had figured something out. Dad was the king. Mom was the queen. We were the servants. I crack up now when I recall this innocent comment. My dad immediately turned on us and yelled that if anyone was the servant it was him and our mother! We were then treated to a diatribe on all that they did for us every single day. What little we did was the very least we could. That was the attitude of my parents all my growing up. Whatever was expected of me was the least I could do. Appreciation? In my dreams. Commendation for being consistent and doing well? Shit, no. You be the judge. Do you think that maybe, just maybe, they might have possibly over-worked me and taken full advantage of my free labor?

I'm not looking for sympathy about all the hard work I did. I benefited from it in more than one way. First of all, I learned how to work hard. Secondly, after I left my parents' home -- whatever work I had to do was Easy Street by comparison. Thirdly, I had a knock-out body from all the exercise and was as strong as a horse. Okay, that last one isn't a big deal, but both my sister and mother were a bit jealous of that one. Served them right. I should do all the work and they should have the great figures?? I don't think so. Since I left home at the tender age of 17, all this work had me fully equipped to make it out there on my own. I knew how to cook and to run a home. I wasn't afraid to work. When I got my first paid job at age 18 I busted my ass and made a place for myself.

I guess what I'm saying is that all this work made me competent and independent. Also, my mother unwittingly gave me space by forcing me to work outside for sometimes hours and hours a day. It was time away from her control. It gave me time to think and to decompress emotionally. I loved the animals. Some of the chores related to caring for them were icky and difficult. But I loved the births and would often conduct vigils to make sure we were able to help if a goat started having difficulties with the birth. I would be the first to notice when the barn kitties had kittens and would hunt until I found them to make sure the momma had them in a safe place. Then I would hand raise the kittens so they wouldn't be wild and we could give them away. After I left home, all the new barn cats went feral.

No, I tell you all this because it is all part of the picture of my upbringing by a narcissist mom, a surly and unhappy dad, and a sister who was spoiled beyond measure and only added to life's difficulties for me. This post is added context for the previous post. Those two women, my mom and sister, made my life hell. They used and abused me and then, 30 years after the fact, want to pretend I had a "rage" problem as a teen. No, I had a MOM problem and a SISTER problem. One used me to make herself look like a perfect mother and housekeeper and the other used me to get out of doing anything and everything.

I contend that my problem hasn't been that I was too angry...I wasn't angry enough. I suffered from a plenitude of patience which allowed these women to keep me in their lives much longer than they deserved to have me there. They would, if they could, continue to keep me down by these negative assessments of my character in order to pretend they are somehow better than me. In order to keep me subservient and "less than" those two high-n-mighty and full-of-themselves bitches.

So, how patient have you been with the years and years of use and abuse? Is it time to cut your losses? Is it time to let the narcissists actually have to get through life without depending on your competence, your sweat, your tears? If they are so much better than you, then you can leave them to themselves. Obviously, they don't need you. At least, that is what they are always trying to convince you of. Take their word for it and leave them. They'll muddle through.

The U.S. ended slavery back in 1863.

24 comments:

Naive No Longer said...

They should all be SHOT.

kroseloree said...

I feel sick with my own memories. The only difference is HOW it was 'justified' by Nmom. "SINCE you don't have anything better to do, you might as well....(heaps and heaps of every kind of chore you can think of...)" The kicker is: Anything I would start to do independently of her was considered 'not wholesome' (Gawd! I loathe that word..!) or "Well, that's fine and good as long as you get (heaps and heaps of endless chores) done first." The possibility of 'finishing' a chore was not possible...it was nebulous, mobile...never good enough, never perfect, always interrupted....It was like jumping in place just for the hell of it.

I feel sick. Absolutely ill.

Anna Valerious said...

kroseloree,

You're describing the scene in Cinderella where she gets to go to the Ball....right after she does this, and that, and this, and that...

I'm with NNL. Line 'em up and shoot 'em.

Anonymous said...

while i was engaged to my husband, his mother "chored" him out. in fact, many nights i would help him do them, just so he could rest from his long day at work. we've been married several years, and i nearly fell down laughing when his mom called him a few months ago, asking for him to come take out her trash.

although my husband's sister was already gone from the nest when we met, i picked up the vibe very quickly that she had been the "princess", and chores were beneath her. hell, according to her mom & husband, she's still a frickin' princess, and it disgusts me to my core. but thanks to never having to lift a finger, she's admitted to being a slacker on household chores.

her brother, my dh, is just the opposite. hard worker, neat freak, and organized. whodathunkit?

as unjust as it was, i'm thankful for the man she created in that aspect.

-dil of a n.

Anonymous said...

OMG Anna,

I had to read this post over and over....you described my childhood to a TEE!

At 9 yr old i was a latch-key kid and had to babysit my 7 yo sister while my mother worked. We had to cook dinner and wash the dishes every night. My sister was the slacker but i think it was a part of her plan.
....

Do it as terribly as possible to annoy my mother...even worse when she had to repeat it... keep doing it terrible so my mother would get frustrated and NOT ask her again...

Sadly it only worked 1/2 the time. My mother caught on when I was about 12. So my sister would do it like crap and then I would have to do it "properly".

From the time i was 12-20, every Saturday was spent cleaning my mother's castle from top to bottom. Now that i think about it, i cannot remember WHERE she was during these times..,.but it certainly wasn't with her sleeves rolled up scrubbing away with us.

Noooooooooooo....not the queen dame. In the beginning, she was always PERCHED above us, coming up behind us with her white glove makign sure we dusted and cleaned to her "satisfaction". By the time I was 15, her methods had been drilled into me, such that she happily left to get her hair and nails done.

Whats worse, is that both she and my stepfather took a sick twisted pleasure in not only assigning chores, but making them as UNPLEASANT as possible.

Floors had to be washed - but NO MOPS....hands and knees only.

Dishes had to be washed....but NO DISHWASHER. Everything had to be washed by hand. So the dishwasher was brand spanking NEW 10 yrs after it was purchased. When i left home, i caught Nmom using the DW and putting pots in it... and she smirked when i commented as to WHY i could not use it all those years.

NO RUBBER GLOVES - my mother insisted these were VAIN. Only "queens" and "princesses" used them and so my skin was constantly dry and itching from the dishwater and harsh chemicals.

What makes me sick is how the day i left, my mother goes and hires a cleaner. A CLEANER! Unbelievably, she couldn't "afford" one until the day i left.

Anonymous said...

PS.

Even though my mother hired a cleaner, for YEARS she would bellyache and moan to me about how a "good daughter" would continue to come and clean her house for her so she wouldn't have to waste all that money.

It didn't matter that i was working and putting myself through school at the same time. It was my DUTY AS A DAUGHTER to keep on paying rent on the lease.

Even married with small children, it didn't matter.... and what about the crown prince? My step brother? What does he do?

Oh, his Saturdays are spent playing paintball and going to movies with his buddies. Once in a blue moon he takes out the trash and vacumnes.

And my mother has the nerve to tell me I was SPOILT while he has had a "challenging" childhood.... quick! someone pass me a barf bag.

I blame the fact that i'm a chronic messy person on my mother. Every time i get into cleaning mode (and i do, when it gets too much), I can hear her shrill voice drilling commands into my head.... "Yoouuuuuu missed a SPOT! Re-do it!"

Anonymous said...

I love your blog! I have learned so much from you, I wish you were my friend. I was going to email you tonight about this, but I feel the question is related somewhat to your current post.

I was the peacemaker in my family and the only one who could speak to all members at the same time. I am the middle of three children. Older brother (close in age) and much younger sister. My Mother is N and she favored both my siblings. I was dirt. Still am in their minds. My brother is N -- though a very severe case. I also think he has a lot of breaks with reality. My sister, I would say is borderline N, though under the influence of brother and mom, she is doomed. Her behavior changes when she's with our mother for the worse, and in the last few years she's been drinking a lot. My parents divorced when I went to college. Neither my brother or sister speak to my father. I was the only one who spoke and could be in the same room with all members, until January.

After one of those horrible scenes that N's create at my 3-year old daughter's birthday party, I finally broke ties with my mother in January. It's been great for me. I have had almost no contact with my brother for years. He absolutely hates me. He hates me in a way that I cannot even comprehend. And he feels free in writing me first emails, till I blocked him from emailing me, and now letters telling me exactly what he does think of me. I don't hate my brother back. I feel sorry for him. I think he is a tragic human being. It is sad.

So my question: My brother has always accused our dad of having NPD, and now, since I broke ties with my mother, and my mother can't see her grandchildren anymore, my brother is in "attack mode" says I have NPD, too, along with many four-letter words and nastiness.

My family feels like that episode on the original "twilight zone" where the ugly pig-nosed doctors believed that the beautiful woman was actually hideous looking and are about to perform face surgery on her to make her look like pig-ish, just like them.

My brother, mother and sister are convinced that our father and I are the evil, horrible, manipulative, self centered ones. They truly believe this, and will all twist reality together to make sure all their stories about us conform to their combined thinking, then they spread these lies to extended family and friends -- many people who either don't know me or my dad or have very little contact with us.

Do your parents and sister feel the same way about you as you feel about them? How do you handle bend in reality? I am having trouble.

Thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

When I was 11 and my brother was 5, my mother went to college to "find herself," and for the next five years I had to raise my brother and take care of the house by myself. My dad was always gone, traveling on business to foreign countries. At my mother's graduation, and for years afterward, everyone in her sphere praised her for being SO amazing, getting a degree after she was married. No one ever thought about the sacrifices that I and my brother were forced to make.

I did my best with him . . . I think I was a kind older sister. But I was only 11. He needed a mother, and all he had was me. I can't tell you how much I've suffered, wanting to go back in time and take better care of him, fix him better meals than toaster oven chicken or hot dogs, which were pretty much the only things I knew how to make.

Now my brother is an unmarried 38 year old, unable to commit to anyone, very childlike and dysfunctional and possessing a few narcissitic tendencies, although by no means full-blown. And he's tied to my mother's apron strings, still trying to get the love and attention she never gave him. And never will.

What floors me is the similar wording my Dad used, Anna . . . he told me I needed to remember "all the good times" and "all the good things" he and Mother did for me. Apparently what little he and my mother did for us, is supposed to cancel out years and years of abuse and neglect.

I'm the bad guy, for not being happy about my childhood. And as I've said in previous posts, I've been slandered and villified, and friends and neighbors all think I'm an ungrateful bitch for no longer wanting to sacrifice everything in my life at their whims.

I think what helped me was to have my own children. Because I understand how a normal parent should behave and what a normal childhood should be. And I'm giving it to them, to the best of my ability. I'm not perfect, but I love them, and I want them to actually have a childhood. Which is a hell of a lot more than I had.

Thanks for letting me vent. Thank you for understanding. It is a great comfort to me.

--L.E.

So, what IS in a heart? said...

To those of you who've been lied about: Have you considered suing for slander? If you haven't already?

Just curious.

Anonymous said...

oh- i've thought of several things.. like mental anguish, malice, defamation of character, slander, etc. but what would that accomplish? yeah, i know.

i did tell my mil last night that since all she has to say are negative things about me, to keep my name from her lips. i told her i don't appreciate her lying about me to family, and that she's guilty of the defamation of my character. upon that, i mentioned that if she continued to do so, i would seek legal action.

wanna know what she said?

she laughed, and then rattled off the number to the sheriff's office. told me to go right ahead.

guess who's husband works at the sheriff's office? that's right, satan herself. gee.

let's just say that if i could win without a doubt.. i'm not going to say i wouldn't go for it.

-dil of a n.

Nicola said...

I can indentify with this Anna. Difference is that I was "farmed out" to a 3rd party who worked me like a dog from dawn until dusk. This feels like a double whammy to me that a) Mum didnt want me around and b) she had no care as to how I was being treated by those she chose to "take care" of me. All I remember from childhood is the permenant exhaustion. To add insult to injury she then used to abuse for not being up to speed on what was going on within the family. If ever I queried anything she use to say "Anyone would think that your not part of this family" - which of course in effect I wasnt. She also used to take great pleasure in telling me "if your own Mother cant love you, then who can?". Thanks for your blog Anna, this is the first time Ive posted, but yours, and others experiences are a huge source of comfort, knowing its "not just me"

Anonymous said...

((To those of you who've been lied about: Have you considered suing for slander? If you haven't already?))

Yes . . . but I'm not going to, because among other reasons, my mother would LOVE it. She would relish the attention, she would have a new forum in which to play the victim and spew out more lies, and point her finger at me in front of more people. And I'm not sure, but I think I would have to prove that I'd suffered some kind of "tangible" harm as a result of her slander, such as the loss of a job or money or something.

The solution I found--and it has been GREAT so far--is to move to another state. My brother has told me never to go back even for a visit because my mother has spread such poison about me. Apparently when her lies and accusations get boring and no one is shocked any more, she ups the ante and creates new stuff to get another attention cycle going. I call that impressive, since I'm not providing new material for her in any way. *g*. She's just a little poison factory, churning away.

My father is a classic enabler, so he's not doing anything about it. He's terrified that she's going to leave him, beacause even at 65, she is still very attractive and in great shape, and she is open about her belief that she could "upgrade" husbands any time she wanted. (I can't believe she thinks some older man with money is going to choose her over some hot 35 year-old.) But there's an N for you.

--L.E.

Anna Valerious said...

Anon who wrote on Nov. 15 @ 6:31 PM,

"Do your parents and sister feel the same way about you as you feel about them? How do you handle bend in reality? I am having trouble."

The last I was privy to how my parents and sister are choosing to portray me I was being called weak, wounded, pathetic. (Which made me laugh when I first heard it because it was the first time I was forcefully standing up to my mother. She turned my image completely inverse in order to try to discredit my words to those who knew us both.) My mother was throwing in for good measure that all her health problems are due to the strife I have caused in the family. Sometimes I am portrayed in much uglier terms. It depends on the audience.

I have no idea what they've been saying for more than two years now. Not a clue. The reason for this is that I live in another state, my last move I left no forwarding address. They don't have my phone number and it is unlisted. I have cut off all contact with not only my parents and sister, but anyone with any connection to them. So they can say whatever the hell they want to about me. I never hear it. It doesn't affect my life. I am completely outside their sphere of influence. This kind of complete and total no contact is the only way you can be unaffected by their lies and slander.

Anonymous said...

Every summer my mom bought us Pool passes to our local Swimming Pool(Because that's what good moms do). Every morning my siblings and I were given a screwdriver and a section of brick patio and told to clear away the grass and weeds or else we wouldn't be swimming that day. We worked furiously so we wouldn't miss the pool bus. (She wouldn't drive us a mile to the pool.) What was really going on didn't occur to me until I was far into Adulthood. The fact is, she would have paid to have ANYONE cart us off for the day so she could lounge quietly and watch her Soap Operas. Not only did she get rid of us, she got a clean patio too.
In fourth grade she told us she wanted to go back to work and we would have more money to go on vacations and all the trimmings of life. Life would be spectacular! But, if she went back it would require us children to chip in with chores. She made the kids decide whether she went to work or not. Why yes Dear Mother, with sparkly carrot dangled in front of us, surely we want you to go back to work. I was promptly turned into a workhorse and I got one miserable vacation out of it.
She is a lousy Human Being and a worse mother.

Anonymous said...

I copied out this list from a book called THE GIFT OF FEAR [Gavin De Becker]. It is basically about dealing with psychos and stalkers and predatory people. It says that victims very naturally want to:

Destroy
Expose
Threaten
Avenge
Change
Humiliate

It spells "DETACH" and it is his reminder that with abnormal people, the best course of action is RUN FOR YOUR LIFE. I keep the list handy because my whole childhood was spent hopelessly trying to 'change' and 'fix' my Nmom, and half my adulthood so far went to trying to 'fix' a N partner. I was endlessly embroiled in the world that they are comfortable in: upset, drama, scheming, plotting, acting, deception etc. Even if a fight totally backfires on them, they still don't get it.

Speaking of family slavery & subsequent slander: I was my single Nmom's loyal and terrified servant, doing anything she required any time. I and my siblings were continually threatened with being fostered out, and I was told I was not wanted, and that I "ruined" her life and she couldn't wait to be free of us. However, when I actually got old enough and left home, suddenly she did a 360. She pulled out all the stops to get me to move back, including trying to cause me to drop out of college. I was offered bribes, was pressured and coerced to move back in with her, but I wouldn't [others did]. I wasn't too far away geographically though, and still under her spell enough to be doing all sorts of tasks well above and beyond the call of duty. But, since I wouldn't move back nothing I did was "enough", so I was slandered endlessly for [drumroll]: BEING SELFISH! After years of slavish, unreciprocated attention, work and help while being neglected and threatened.

So, what IS in a heart? said...

"let's just say that if i could win without a doubt.. i'm not going to say i wouldn't go for it."

Heh, and I wouldn't blame you, but from the looks of it, you'd be playing against a stacked deck, and it looks like you fighting back is exactly what she wants. Looks like Anna's way really is the best way, but for some people, it's very hard.

Yea, "DETACH". Too bad a lot of people don't like to hear that.

Anonymous said...

i know a fight is exactly what my nmil wants, and calling the sheriff's office would tickle her pink. that, and she probably doesn't think i have the guts to do it.

here recently, dh was ignoring her phone calls, and not returning messages left, basically because he knew what she wanted. to just stir shit.

but the other night, dh decided to return a call, and it turned into a bitter blood bath between her and me.

so now, dh is confused, once again. he wants to have hope & faith that she'll change, but he doesn't believe she will. it's crazy, and i've told him he needs to make a decision. i refuse to live the rest of my life (or hers) being miserable or yanked around by his undecisiveness & failure to make our lives peaceful.

you know, he asked me what good distancing our selves from her did. and i told him, we were happy. and we were.

hopefully we'll get that happiness back soon.

-dil of a n.

Anonymous said...

ps- i've been more than ready & willing to cut contact, permanently for a long time. dh is the weak link, and i honestly don't understand why. she's not subtle, and there is PLENTY of proof pointing out what she's all about. in fact, she let something major slip in our last conversation, and dh confronted her about it. she refused to discuss what she "slipped", and it was apparent throughout the entire convo that she's not sorry, doesn't think she's wrong, and i'm 'that evil wife' of his.

see how i don't understand the chances my dh is willing to give her? i told him he may not live on fantasy island with his mom, but he visits frequently.

- dil of a n.

kroseloree said...

I would have to agree with the Anonymous re: D.E.T.A.C.H. I believe that it is the ONLY thing to do with any integrity at all. The 'ititials' clarified and validated ALL my 'feelings' ('feelings' just ARE....what you DO about them is where your own sense of yourself comes in.) I do NOT want to engage with an Nmom because I see now that we are NOT living by the same rules. It has taken me years to see what SHE means when we use the same words. Wow. Mind boggling...to say the least.

Since she does not LIVE 'fairly'...nor BEHAVE 'fairly'....nor FIGHT 'fairly'.....I simply do not want to 'play' with her anymore. It is ALWAYS on her 'playground' and I just didn't realize it. She is the nasty 'playground monitor'. Boo. I'm packing up my toys and switching parks and and company I keep.

Don't think for one minute....ANY of you...that N will change. They are AttentionAddicts. If you withdraw yourself, they will simply 'find someone else'. ANY addict only USES...and when a 'source' runs out, they are driven to find someone else. You are 'history' long before you feel like you are finally detached sufficiently. You are NO LOSS to them if you remain detached.....and who needs a SUCKER leeching off your time, energy, and money.

Cut 'em off!

Anonymous said...

Anna,
You Rock !!!
This blog is awesome. And your ability to quote scripture and to show how it applies is refreshing.

BoB ;)

Anonymous said...

Lol. My little brother and I made the same comment about being slaves to our mother when we were younger. Boy she got mad.

Our chores weren't so bad but they are here daily with her yelling at us and screaming at us to make us do them. "Nothing gets done when I am not here" she says. Yeah right..........


Garfield

Matt Tucker said...

I'm glad you brought this up. It is an issue I dealt with but have found little written about in all my readings on the N-parents. I was the only male of 4 children and I was raised to simply believe more was expected of males. It would have been more believable if I wasn't also doing the dishes, sweeping the floor, hand washing the kitchen floor, vacuuming the entire house including other siblings rooms. I remember my sister leaving in the early am to go to the beach or out with friends while I worked away for 6 to 12 hours a day on the weekends. It was insane! My wife got to see this first hand when we returned from California to my parents home in Michigan for a week long visit. My parents left to go golfing (had no real interest in spending time with me) and left a chore list on the refridgerator just like when I was in highschool. I laughed at it and cleaned only my mess. Insisting that I was a guest and promsing that I would not require them to clean my home if they should visit. My younger sister went into a rage. She didn't want to get stuck with chores, although she still lived there. My father was quickly notified and had to return home to talk sense into me. It almost got violent and ended with me giving a forced apology to my younger sister and mother for refusing to do the chores and thus threatening thier otherwise peaceful day. My wife was on theh phone in a matter of hours and we were out of there. I should have ended it then, but I continued to beat my head against a useless family for another 14 years.

girl said...

HOLY CRAP. This is my exact childhood. Only I started at age 6 or so: Doing everything. Washing, handing washing, washing all dishes, cleaning bathrooms, bedrooms, vacuuming, folding washing, ironing washing, sometimes shopping for food and sometimes cooking. In addition to being her emotional punching bag and slave. My brother got away with doing nothing, dodging it all. i was the whipping girl. She also used to scream for me, just like she did for you Anna, and my name ends with an A! SO it would have a long 'AAAAAAA 'sound at the end. Reading that gave me chills up my spine, man. She would wait for me to come running. Holy crap. Thank you for this blog. Thank you for writing this.My God, our Malignant NM are all the same. Its like fucking carbon copies of the same person here. scary. x

Bola Fuego said...

Anna, I could relate so well to a few comments that you made. I too thought of myself as Cinderella, and in fact a few visitors to the house observed that I seemed like a prisoner there.

"They used and abused me and then...want to pretend I had a "rage" problem as a teen. No, I had a MOM problem and a SISTER problem." That is my story, too. I did all the housework without complaining (b/c I was afraid of my parents), and my NSis threw temper tantrums and got out of doing any. Both NM and NS insist to this day that I was "a difficult, moody teenager." From reading your blog and learning about the tactics of Ns, I'm pretty sure this was just so they could discourage me from criticizing the family (ie, telling the Truth) b/c then it would look like they were right about my "attitude problem."

"I contend that my problem hasn't been that I was too angry...I wasn't angry enough." Oh, absolutely. I am certain that my NM hated and took advantage of me precisely because of my good nature.

Anonymous, your mother must be my mother's twin: “you MISSED a spot!!” is exactly what my NM would sing out gleefully while she followed us around as we worked. (She couldn't work, b/c she had a "bad back." Oh please.)

It's such a relief and an encouragement to find this blog and read about other intelligent, articulate people having experienced and survived the same N bullshit that I did.