Thursday, January 16, 2014

What are my fears? Why do some things bother me so much more than it should?

One of them would be the sense of belonging. Growing up, I never felt like I belong. My peers were of another race and religion. I was made fun of and often I didn't feel like I belong. When I went to highschool, kids from various schools came into one and I found myself not fitting in with my own for I had more in common with those of another color and believes. When I moved to a bigger city, it was better until our graduating years. Everyone had path planned out for them and there I was, not one of them. There is a price to pay for wanting to be one of them. I reach out more than I should and when my effort is not received or returned, I feel more hurt than I should. I became that little girl who didn't fit in.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

So Narcissistic mother in law finally called to ask to speak to me. I was rather surprised by my timid reaction but I quietly refused to take the call. My anger was rather delayed as usual. Before long, I was losing sleep and getting more and more aggravated. I became enraged as to "who does she think she is! what makes her think she gets to decide when to or not to speak to me!" Then I started plotting as to how can I have my final say. On one of my sleepless night, I decided that it was a great idea to tape record my point of view, call her and press play. I started drafting my letter filled with insults but I didn't get very far. I planned on continuing my letter today but had an epiphany on my way to work. I came to realization that I am not going to be able to go anywhere with my letter. There is nothing I can do to remotely come close for her to realize her transgressions. Like all Narcissistic, she will  and has in the past distort the truth and use it against me. Reaching out to her in any shape or form merely gives her more ammunition to strike back.

I reached out to a friend, who is a mental health therapist about my feelings. He asked if my anger and frustration stem from my unresolved feelings towards my own Narcissistic mother.  I agree completely with him and from the very beginning I was well aware of it. But what came to light is that my strong need to attack her stem from my perceived second chance to strike back. An opportunity that I did not have with my own mother.

I also did quite a bit of reading online about how to deal with Narcissistic people. One article spoke about not playing games. In order to stop playing games with a Narcissistic, simply let the ball fall on the ground, don't pick it up, and walk away. Contact in any form, is like picking up the ball and throwing it to a Narcissistic. The ball is now on their court and now they get to choose what to do with it. Therefore, I will resume my no contact and be at peace with myself. For as long as I stay in no contact, I have the winning card.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Today I am reminded of how fragile life can be. About this time last year, a coworker much younger than me passed away from cancer leaving behind an infant daughter. Just before the holiday, another much younger coworker was diagnosed with cancer. Saw her today and she already had a wig on. As I was driving home, I suddenly remembered a very brief call from a college friend two days ago informing me that her husband has been sent home with hospice care. I called her as soon as I got home and again, our call was cut short as he needed her care. After I let the dog out for his business, I started cooking. On most days, I would have been very frazzled. Rushing through my chores so that I can catch a quick glimpse of my favorite show before the boys get home. Today, I was lost in my thoughts of what my coworker is currently going through. I don't know her on a personal level but I know that her chemo starts tomorrow. I know she has two very young children. I know that she lost her mother also to cancer. I heard that her husband is having a hard time coping. I heard that she is falling apart. I heard that she is worried about her sick time, job, money etc.  There is just so much on her plate. I feel that my life is on an upswing and I wish that things like that don't ever happen to anyone. I can only ponder quietly and say a quick prayer or two for those going through their down swing. Days like these remind me to cherish my time here. No one knows how long we are assigned to live. Anyone one of us can be gone tomorrow. My mother-in-law lost her first husband to cancer. She has always said that having lost someone so young, she feels that she has earned all her wrinkles. As I begin to see the signs of my less firm skin, I have to remind myself that my time here is a privilege. I hope that one day I am able to proclaim that I earn my wrinkles too and not be resentful that I live a day too long.
Jody Stadler's self-portrait at age 70: "70th Birthday: 2,207,520,000 Seconds."

Sunday, January 5, 2014

This Christmas is as perfect as I envisioned it for my son. Spending time with family. It was very heart warming to see his cousins giving him so much attention. Seeing the teens putting up with him jumping on their beds, rummaging through their stuff, and taking over their ipads. To see true love from his Papa and from one whom I considered his true grandmother. To have him keep us out in the cold so that he can marvel at his Papa's Christmas lights. To see him so excited when he spotted another house with Christmas lights on. To catch him steal a piece for candy right after breakfast. To see him showered with presents even from ones who couldn't be there in person. To see him spoil rotten. The presents will soon lose their appeal. He will soon outgrow the new outfits. But the love will linger and so will be memory. That I will hold dear.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

This Christmas for the first time in over 12 years I did not make the trip up north to see my Narcissistic mother in law. The decision not to go was made months prior and as the time approached, my husband's agony became increasingly more apparent. He was short and finally the late phone call from her pushed him over the edge. He regretted taking it out on my son's toy but admitted that it has been very difficult for him. It opened up our channel of communication and it helped to give him some perspective. He finally decided not to tell her in advance and to lay the truth out for her to see after he arrived.

When he arrived alone, he merely told her "they're not here!" She was clearly upset and her immediate response was "I need a drink!" She also had to ditch the idea of taking us on a field trip to walmart to pick an air mattress for us to sleep on that night. She clearly did not prepare for our visit and had we gone, we would probably have to sleep on the floor on the first night as the battery on the air mattress would have needed an overnight charge before we can use it. When the opportunity came, my husband told her about how she taunted me with a bottle during her visit in February and she said "I did no such things." Before long, he realized that they were going no where and he simply stopped as he could not get through to her. She also said that she was always good to me. That she would do anything to mend our relationship but that was also followed by, "I am too old to change." Best part is, he told her that I will only speak to her after she sees a therapist. Apparently her face dropped after hearing that.

She still have made no attempts to speak to me. Last I heard, she is working on writing me a letter. What is there to write if she has done no wrong? What can the letter possibly do when she has no insight whatsoever? Being who I am, I am curious in terms of the content but I also know if I am to open the letter, I will have more stuff to get aggravated on. For now, I wait to see how long before the letter finally arrived, if ever. If it does, the best is really to return it right back to sender, unopened. That should send a clear message as to where I stand. 
I was raised Christian and surrounded by staunched Christians most of young life. Marriage was taught to be forever through thick and thin and divorce was not an option. I witnessed my parents unhappy union and yet, they remained married their entire life. When my first marriage failed, I had no support from my parents and my Christian friends advised me to pray and stick it out. God will take care of it. One friend told me that separation was ok but divorce was a no no. In the midst of it, an elder of a church listened to my plea and my anguished. Him and his wife did not ask me to stay. They were supportive and gave me great advise.They told me to be fair, not to let him roll me over with nothing to my name, and to let go of the small stuff. Specifically, they told me not to spend my energy fighting for pots and pans. That was my guide and I did just that. Fighting for what was my share lingered longer than I had anticipated. At one point, I had almost given up. It took every ounce of me to stick it out. Blood, sweat, and tears.  Letting go was also hard. But I came out of the battle with what was mine, enough for me to move on. I still would have loved to be able to have that peacock chair at my patio, the imported sofa set, the custom made curtain, and the side cabinet I picked up from a local salvation army. It was an emotional bond I had with those things. They were things that were carefully selected and placed with much thoughts but at the end of the day, they were just things.

My husband's brother was already divorced  and his sister was about to file for a divorce when we met. When my mother found out about their "failed" marriage she made a comment that "westerners like to divorce!" I didn't give much regard to her comment knowing that she was ignorant. The people I know never took marriage lightly and the decision to get a divorce was never an easy one.

So this Christmas I  met up with a childhood friend. I knew that she had been fighting with her husband but I was not prepared to get a text from her stating that she is contemplating leaving. But I also know that it had to be at a point of no return. Subsequently I found out about his violent temper, the throwing things and the years of emotional abuse. When she called after our visit, I not only told her to leave, I told her to go as soon as the window of opportunity presents itself. I told her to be careful. To be safe and to have the courage to protect their infant son. I do worry about her. Truth is, I am afraid that he may hurt or kill her. That is the reality. There is so much I want to tell her and there is so much I wish I can do for her. I still hear the whisper of the advise I was once given.  In time, I will also tell her to fight for what is hers, what is fair, and to let go of the small stuff. I will also add one more of my own.  I will tell her not to feel bad if she sees faces of happy family because within each smile, there is a story. Be it bad or good. That kept me going during my tough years. Made me realize that all is not always what it seems. Reminding myself that "everyone has a story" made me feel like a fighter and not a failure.