Friday, May 16, 2008

My Email to Sister

Here's how I'm going to do this. My email-to-sister post is going under an old date so as to keep it off the front page. This is how I'm dealing with its length. Since Blogger doesn't have the "below the fold" feature that would allow me to truncate the post, this is how I'm doing it. The five most recent posts are what show up on the front page of my blog. Because new people are coming here all the time I don't want to overwhelm them with a huge post that they have no context for and therefore would likely just move on.

After I eventually get at least five new posts up on the blog I will move my email to sister post into its proper order in the archives. I hope this doesn't seem complicated. It really isn't.

My email can be read here.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing this out BlowByBlow-style, Anna. Wow. If only I could write, say, think (oh LOOK like...) you, too!

I found myself exhausted having read your letter....not because it was tedious, but because it spells out what we all went way or another. I can't believe any of us have anything left.

Perhaps if my Nmom wrote me out a whiney-ass letter like your Sis...I could answer it back in the same style.....BUT...ol' Nmom would NEVER open herself up to that. She is a 'sniper' and follows any disagreement or 'attitude' with some off-subject 'dynamic' to back herself up. It is NEVER 'personal' ("You hurt me"..or "What have I done?" would never fall from her lips...)...AAANNNNDDDD I was never allowed to make anything 'personal'.

I am rassling around writing a letter such as yours....(and not mailing it)....because I was thinking that perhaps one is only as 'free' as they are able to address and articulate. Even if it is simply before God and myself. I am wondering if the 'freedom' comes from being able to make a specific judgement. I still feel 'squirmy' about judging in the specifics of my abuse. Overall, damn right! I was abused by Nmom (and family). Maybe the 'squirm' goes away(?) with 'practice'? Thus: Writing a letter....mailing it or not?

Geez....I can't even spit out what I'm trying to get at.

Anna Valerious said...

I still feel 'squirmy' about judging in the specifics of my abuse...

Maybe the 'squirm' goes away(?) with 'practice'? Thus: Writing a letter....mailing it or not?


I do think the squirm goes away with practice. Time and practice. As to the letter writing. I do encourage you to write. You can tell yourself before you start, and along the way, that you have NOT made a commitment to ever let anyone else see what you write. Just start by writing it so you can see with your own eyeballs the actual words describing what happened. There is something to be said for the concreteness of the getting it out in writing. When you're done with this exercise you'll have a lot better idea of whether or not to send it to your mother. Or some version of it. To begin with, though, write with the objective of just doing it for yourself.

Don't expect that it'll come out just right the first run. All of the letters I wrote to my mother, father and sister took me many days to get hammered out. Some of them close to two weeks. I go over it and over it making sure it says things just exactly as I mean them. Sometimes I held onto the letters for days past when I first thought they were done so I could leave the letter alone and come back to it after several days of not looking at it. Gives you fresh eyes. It also helps you judge better whether or not it is saying what it is supposed to say.

Hope this makes sense. Feels like I'm rambling.

Anonymous said... didn't ramble at all! It made total sense. I hear you. I 'got it'. Thank you.

I DO remember ONE TIME...(about 5 years ago) I had saved and purchased this beautiful hooked rug for Nmom. My folks live in the country, own a 'hobby farm'....and have a rather 'country flair' to their furnishings. This rug had 2 whimsical black crows....very tasteful....not comical at all. I was so excited to go out and give it to her. OhMyGawd. You should have seen her face. She was so insulted. Crows! "Scavengers!" How dare I? I felt so horrible about it. Every time I spoke with her she would bring it up. She and DumbDad even had a fight when she bitched so much about it..he wanted to take it and put it in his office...but was going to sit in the den 'for the dog to lay on'. This went on for months, Anna. Finally, I printed off anything and everything I could find regarding the symbolism of crows. The sheaf of papers was about 1/2 in thick. I stuffed it in a manilla envelope..with a letter to her about how I saw the I believe she perceived the crows...why I felt she was 'insulted'....and why she was plain WRONG about my intentions. I also made very CLEAR that if I had wanted to insult her, I sure as hell would NOT have spent $175 for a 3ft. diameter rug! AND...that I would take the rug back because I loved it....get her something she thought was suitable...or she should never mention it again.

Not one more word. Ever. And the rug sits to this day in a place of honour for the DamDog.

So....I see what you mean. I took the time and the energy and did a thorough research on the crow subject....did not give her ONE loophole to use against me. And IT FELT GOOD to address a specific. I'd forgotten I'd done that once.


Anonymous said...

Can I suggest, if you are anything like me, that often your first draft actually says things most honestly. I did a writing course a few years ago, and they were always encouraging us not to edit as we went, just let it all out onto the page, then go back a few weeks later and the truth of it will often hit you right where you live.

I found too much editing can actually make you too conscious of 'saying the right thing', when in this situation, your first response is often the most authentic (even if it contains more than the acceptable amount of expletives. Ahem!)

Anonymous said...

Your friend request has been denied

on a postcard with our childhood

address as the return .

Anonymous said...

Anna, I have a huge "mob family" & they are sending nasty, hostile, accusing emails even now. Any attempts I make to answer them are taken out of context & twisted so badly that I can no longer respond. I'd LOVE to be able to dissect their nasty letters & throw it back at them like you have--but it has proven to be an excercise in futility. So I force myself NOT to respond, which only makes them more crazy. I have gone NC with some of them, & they know why, yet they have turned it around to project their evil onto ME--& sold that bill of goods to anyone that will listen. They now goad the others on, & they all somehow believe I OWE them an audience because I'm the one who cares for our elderly parents. Anyone of them could've helped with that task, yet they all chose not to. Now they have turned it around on me. The tales get taller everyday, & I refuse to try to defend myself, because they don't listen anyway. They take every scrap I give them & turn it into something ugly. So I have to just try to "rise above it", which sucks! They share everything with the whole community, so I'm better off not even trying. When I try to state truth--it comes back around to me that I ATTACKED someone. Its a Lose-Lose for me right now. Thank you for the pic! It came at a great time. I can now put a face to the strength that has given me such hope. And a BEAUTIFUL face at that! Katrina

Anna Valerious said...

Any attempts I make to answer them are taken out of context & twisted so badly that I can no longer respond.

I imagine this is true for anyone who has dared to speak their mind in a letter to a narcissist. They never will get the main and most important points of what you're saying, but they will grab a sentence here and there and build a universe on it. Yes, I can see that it is contraindicated in your situation to try to take the fight to the Ns. They have a huge advantage in your situation. I'm really sorry to hear what you're having to deal with.


Anna Valerious said...


That is an interesting story about the rug. What a classic moment with a N mother. Very cool how you were able to shut her the f**k up. What an ungrateful, vile witch she is.

Anonymous said...

krl said: ....did not give her ONE loophole to use against me.

Your mom's fixation on the precieved insult over the crow rug reminds me of many of my mom's bottomless list of rants of people doing her wrong. She pride herself on being a statistician so one time I counted how many times she bitched about her son-in-law and after couple months I told her she complained about SIL 150 times in 3 months, so now what is she going to do about it? She nearly cried from being stunned like that. Now it's down to one a week. And that guy who was rude to her in the library? Or the staff who isn't on her side? She knows I'm counting so she tones it down alot, but she. Just. Can't. Do. Without. The. Fix!