Since I made the decision to cut off contact with my birth family, I have heard from my mother several times. She’s a sneaky one, though. She knew that if she approached me straight up, she’d be ignored. She sent me a card in the mail at the end of October. She used my father’s return address label, though. That way she could trick me into thinking that my father actually cared and was reaching out to me. She knew I would open the envelope if I saw it was from him, just as she knew I would throw it away if I saw it was from her. I had Jay read the card so I wouldn’t have to, and then tell me if I should read it. He told me not to, so I threw it away. Then, I realized that the handwriting on the envelope belonged to my mother. I pulled the card out of the trash and read it. Bullshit.
A couple weeks later, I received an email from my father. At least, I thought it was from my father. It was in my trash folder because I set it so that all emails from my birth family will be rerouted to where they belong – THE TRASH. I opened the email, foolishly thinking it was from my father. It was his email address, after all. The email was some more bullshit. “We miss you. The cats are doing well. Hope to hear from you soon.” I am 100% certain that my birth family has been reading my blog since sometime in September, about the time I decided to cut them off. Shortly after I posted about being done with all their bullshit, I received a text message from my sister, and an email from my mother, my father, and my sister. All of them acted like they didn’t know what was going on. Talk about invalidating. I KNOW that they are aware of what’s going on, but they want to play dumb and hope I will not say anything. Nope. Not this time. Not again.
I ignored that email from my mother. A week or so later, I received another one from my father’s email account that was once again from my mother. See how sneaky she is? She thinks she can wheedle her way in by pretending to be something she’s not. A wolf in sheep’s clothing. A manipulative bitch dressed as a stuffed alligator. This email said that the entire family was just oh-so worried about me. Really? That’s odd. I haven’t heard from anyone but her. If the whole family is worried, why haven’t they contacted me? Because they really AREN’T worried. The only reason my mother is insisting on reaching out to me now is because she knows I’ve slipped through her grasp. She can’t sleep soundly unless she has all her children under her thumb. And her husband. And her extended family. And her friends. And her cats. And the workers at McDonald’s. And the bugs that crawl on the floor. Do you get yet that she can’t stand to have anyone out of her control? Good, then I can move on.
I ignored that email from my mother, too. Again, I KNOW that she is clued in to what has been going on with me. She knows how I feel about her. How I feel about the whole lot of them. She wants to continue playing games and act like she hasn’t a clue what’s happening. There was a brief moment after that last email where I wondered if maybe she really DIDN’T know what was going on. Then I read her email. Several times. Very very carefully. I can’t remember what the exact wording was that reinforced the fact that she knew I had cut off contact, but when I saw it, I knew it was best not to respond. She knows I said I would not contact them again. So what does she do? Try to poke and prod me to reach out to her after all. She is the queen of manipulation. I know her game. I decided against giving her the benefit of the doubt. I have been burned before by taking her at face value and thinking there isn’t a hidden agenda.
On Thanksgiving night, after Jay and I had stopped in Kentucky to spend the night, I found yet another email from my “father” waiting in the trash folder. More about her being worried. Wanting to know if she has done anything to make me mad (that part made me laugh). Then she commented that I must have spent Thanksgiving with a certain “friend”. The “friend” that rejected me when I needed her most. The “friend” I have not had contact with since this summer. The “friend” that my mother calls from time to time (read every week or two) to get information about me. I KNOW that my mother has been in contact with this person. Anytime I haven’t responded to my mother’s emails or Facebook messages, she reaches out to this person. I guess her thought is that if I’m not going to share my life willingly, she will force details out of someone else. She’s really good at that, but that is another story.
Jay and I talked about it after I received the email on Thanksgiving. He told me that he thought I should email her and officially inform her of my decision to never have contact with her again. I was against the idea for several reasons. After thinking about it for a few days, I decided to just go ahead and email her. I didn’t have her email address, so I sent it to my father. I know she has access to that account. My email was as follows:
This is in response to your most recent email. For various reasons I was under the impression that you were aware of the situation. I still believe you know the decision I have made, but I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and officially inform you.
I am through with the negativity and lack of attention I receive from all of you. I was emailing you all throughout the summer, and never heard back in a timely manner. In 2010 I told you all that I needed a break and couldn’t take the constant criticism that you spread and your manipulative nature. I sent back the phone that you purchased, deleted my Facebook account, and changed my email address. After eight months or so I mistakenly re-established contact. Since then I have tried contacting all you of numerous times, through Facebook and email. Occasionally I received a response within a week or so. More often, though, I found that I was waiting up to TWO MONTHS for a response to emails, and usually I received NO RESPONSE to my Facebook messages. I know that everyone is busy, but I’m pretty sure you don’t let important emails get cast to the side. This has caused me a lot of pain and a feeling of being rejected by my own family. I have decided to cut ALL negative influences from my life. I do not wish to hear from ANY of you. This is not up for debate or discussion. I am not sending this email to give you a chance to respond and “make things right”. There have been numerous opportunities for that to happen, and it always ends the same way: with excuses, explanations, and denials from all of you, and me feeling wrong, stupid, invalidated and unimportant. I am done with all of this and refuse to go through life anymore with a family that makes me feel like I’m less than shit.
Since I made this decision, I have been much happier and more positive. I realized that I have had a lot of negative people in my life dragging me down, and changes have been made.
Let me again say that this is not a discussion. My decision has been made, and I am not relenting. Please do not contact me again.
I thought that would be the end of it. No, that’s not true. I had HOPED that would be the end of it. I know my mother, though, and I knew she wouldn’t be able to just sit quietly and give me the space I demanded. I received an email from my mother this morning. It actually came from her account this time. Surprise, surprise. Her email address DOES work! Her response (that I specifically told her I did NOT want) is below:
Hi Meagan…Dad forwarded your email to me. I’m really sorry I didn’t always get back to you as quickly as you wanted. I know there were times that I didn’t quickly respond to an email. I get 100 emails per day and it’s really easy for one to slip my notice. I find an email from someone days or a week or two later when I’m cleaning out the inbox. I’m sorry; it’s just the way it is. I tell my friends that email isn’t the best way to reach me quickly; they should text or call my cell. I respond to those pretty fast. I used to be better about facebook, but I only spend a couple minutes on there each day. And fb changed how they do things, so I never get a notice that someone posted to my wall. Unless I go back and read my own post, I miss the comments.
I’m very very sorry. I have never meant to hurt your or neglect you. I think about you pretty much every day and pray for you very frequently. I don’t know what negativity you mean, as I have tried very hard to only make positive comments and questions since you decided to talk with us again. I am very very sorry…It has never been my intent to hurt you and I apologize that you were hurt.
I hope at some point you will be willing to see or talk to us again. I love you very much. Mom
Once again, an incredibly invalidating response. Of COURSE she can’t get back to me in a timely manner. She is so important and gets 100 emails a day! How can she be expected to see an email from her daughter (that she hasn’t laid eyes on in over three years, by the way) amidst all the others? I’m pretty sure my brother who lives in Massachusetts (closer to Virginia than Arkansas) gets timely replies. And then, in true form, she acted like she didn’t know what I was talking about. “I have never meant to hurt you or neglect you.” BULLSHIT “I don’t know what negativity you mean…” BULLSHIT “It has never been my intent to hurt you…” BULLSHIT
If she’s so concerned, if she feels so badly, if she never meant to hurt me, why haven’t we ever been able to resolve this? I have gone to her countless times over more than a decade, aching for a good relationship with my mother, hoping things will get better. And if not a “good” relationship, at least one that wasn’t so toxic. My therapist kept asking me before I left Little Rock what would need to happen for there to be reconciliation between my mother and myself. I told her that my mother would need to change into a different person. I finally understand that, no matter how much I want her to be different, my mother will continue to hurt and manipulate me, then feign ignorance when confronted. That’s ok. All the negative people are gone from my life. I just moved out of the negative town of Little Rock. I have shed all the things in life that have been bringing me down. Now I just need to surround myself even more with things that make me happy. I need to continue to build positive experiences. Tonight Jay and I are going to walk around the scenic downtown area. I am going to replace all the negative with good. I have my fambly, a good job, and a place to live in a beautiful town where I can see snow. I don’t need anything else.