Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by witzend, Dec 9, 2009.
to M and L.
Let the chips fall where they may.
And got my reply...
I responded that I was sorry that she misunderstood me at Thanksgiving, that we had no plans to give gifts or celebrate and that it was something that M understood. I told her I was sorry that she wouldn't be joining us.
What? I'm supposed to wait around the house all day Christmas because she has five invites I'm not welcome at?
She's ticked off because she's not getting what she wants. How is that any different than any other day?
I think your response was good. You've reiterated what you said at Thanksgiving. It's obviously understood by now, even if she did misunderstand. I'm of the opinion that she chose to ignore it, but that's just my feeling. In any case, knowing how L has behaved in the past with the repeated texting, calling, etc, I would ignore any further communication on this subject - unless she is civilized and tries to understand why you are doing what you are doing instead of only being concerned with how it impacts her.
I just am flabbergasted by the "I should be your priority and you should coordinate with me because I am invited to 5 parties and am not including you" thought. I'm still thinking Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
She's soooo selfish. This is over the top. I'm really tired of the "you've never really been a mother to me" every time things don't go her way.
I have to see her tomorrow at a function at someone else's house. Otherwise I'd block her messages. But, there will be many people there and I'm not going to make her more angry by doing that because she will just humiliate me.
Although this is very hurtful, it's pretty much what I expected from her.
Witz---I really think she is my mother's daughter and not yours. This sounds so much like something she would say to me. I'm truly sorry that she doesn't get it.
Well that response was probably predictable, but frustrating I'm sure. I know that I am STILL not taken too seriously about the way I choose to celebrate holidays, although I weaned into it over a few years, and have had the EXACT SAME holiday plans for the past 4 years. I don't buy gifts and don't want gifts. S/O and I buy for easy child and difficult child who still live at home at only 10 and 16 years old. We do or we don't exchange a little something between the two of us, depending on mood and finances. The 23rd is our Christmas eve, and the 24th is our Christmas day. This is to allow easy child to go to her bio dad and step mom after dinner on the 24th. They do a big family party every year the evening of the 24th, and this way she gets a Christmas Morning at both our home and her dads. On the 23rd we stay home, watch movies, kids get to open one gift plus new pj's. We play board games etc. We dont' have company and we don't go visiting. We just enjoy the 4 of us together, quiet, stress free, no electronics, just quality time together. The 24th we open gifts in the morning, have an early morning brunch type meal, then spend the day playing with the new presents while I make turkey dinner. We eat early for easy child to go to dads at 6p.m. On the 25th, S/O and I take difficult child and we do 2-3 back to back movies at the theater, pig out on popcorn, wear our pjs there for comfort, then come home to play a long game of Risk and eat leftover turkey. Thats it. No visiting. No visitors.
We do like to visit family AFTER Christmas day. I love hosting visitors. I like visiting. But I like it when the stress is all over, when it can be enjoyed by all without extra work at a stressful time.
Well ... last week I was being badgered to either A) host a potluck at my house for entire family, or B) attend a potluck at my cousins building where there is a large room rented free for tenants for get togethers. of course in the case of the rental room, its always up to me to decorate it, contribute a potluck dish but also supply all deserts, and then arrange for all the kids to have a small gift to keep them occupied. I said I could handle the rental room anytime AFTER the 25th. No problem. We can all chip in a potluck dish PLUS a dessert dish PLUS divide equally the rolls, butter, beverages, etc etc etc. to keep it fair and balanced work and finance wise for all. I was blasted about it being AFTER the 25th. Told it "wasn't very Christmas oriented that way". Then was blasted that I have always done all the extras for the potluck so I can't expect people to this late in the game be able to afford the money or the time to contribute further. Umm, well I didn't ask anything this late in the game. I didn't ask for a potluck big dinner at all. I suggested some family visiting after the 25th. GRR!
Then tonight I was speaking to my brother, saying I'd be having a courier on the night of the 24th deliver a bunch of decorated food trays (cheese/crackers, pickle, veggie and dip, cold cut meats, desserts) to my mother (who lives a few doors from my brother). I don't see my mother, for plenty good reason. not a shock to anyone. i am only even sending a courier with gifts across town because easy child asked me to, and if asked, that's what I'll do for my daughter. My brother knows all this. He tells me his latest flavor of the week g/f (who is NOT his g/f lol) is going there for holidays and will drive him here to pick me and S/O and kids up to deliver to my mom in person and have a holiday visit. Heck to the no!!! I dont' see her 365 days a year. I'm not destroying my Christmas spirit by her toxic hateful painful words or actions. Nope. I put my foot down quick on it and asked him to be more respectful. i respect he has a relationship with her in spite of the pain she causes him, respect that I have chosen to get rid of that pain and that meant have her out of my life. GRROWL!
Then the conversation veered into what was I getting his 5 kids for Christmas. (5 different moms, so can't even do joint gifts) Umm .... like every year, a lovely visit after Christmas day with their aunty Melissa who loves them, will snuggle them, play in the snow with them, shower them with hugs and kisses. They never seem to mind at all. Aunty Melissa is a hit (even if that is bragging). This isnt' news to him. He just doesn't want to hear what he doesn't want to hear.
My solution: Keep on doing what is right for us in this house. I have a thing I told myself and haven't veered from. I pick what I'll be happy doing. Then I offer the openings available for others to do something with us. If they have other plans, I am in no way offended. I don't expect anyone to juggle schedules for me etc. It sounds like you don't expect that from anyone either. So I stick to my schedule without guilt. I make sure I let others know clearly it is perfectly okay to not juggle around for me, it is their holidays too. But I always leave the door open (after the 25th) for some family time spent together. And thats it.
I really think you should just not stress things. If your daugher brings it up again, I'd tell her:
You certainly do have a ton of extended family to try to visit etc. I imagine if you try to make everyone happy, you may not be happy yourself and nobody can make everyone happy all of the time either. And the holidays should feel good, not stressful! So please, do enjoy whatever you and yours are up to in the holidays. Thats my Christmas wish for you all. To enjoy it YOUR way as husband and I are enjoying it our way. Of course, the door is open for a visit or we can visit you if you have time, during the week or so after Christmas. We can enjoy time together once the busy-ness is died off a bit."
There is no way she can take that personally and shows you are not expecting her at all to juggle you into a hectic schedule.
I do have to question her, my brother, others in my own family, who think it is anti-christmas to not exchange gifts or spend tons of money. To want a quiet day doing things that make those in your home feel good should not be a reflection of a scrooge attitude! Christmas isn't about presents. It shouldn't be anyhow. I get so frustrated when people hyper focus on gifts. So what, it isn't Christmas if you don't do a big pricey stress ridden gift exchange? It isn't caring about someone to spend quality time together if it doesnt' include wrapping paper, bows and consumer merchandise??? Or a big turkey dinner or whatever. That can be very stressful, very costly, soooo much work. I used to do it. All of it. I'd be in tears nearly. I hosted every family event. I have cooked and paid for dinners that cost hundreds of dollars and took 2-3 days of preperation along with weeks of baking. Hundreds and hundreds of dollars in gifts and days spent wrapping. Then on "THE day", I was so busy being the hostess, topping up drinks, mopping kids spills, referring kids, picking up wrapping paper and toy boxes, setting tables, cooking huge turkeys and hams and numerous side dishes, cleaning cleaning cleaning, that I never got to take part at ALL in the visiting going on. While everyone enjoyed themselves, I was sweating in the kitchen. Even if people wander in to help throughout the day, it gets crazy. And demanding. So much pressure. And the day is over and everyone goes home and I'd sit back and go HUH? It's over? Thats it? I did all that, and its over? What part of that was enjoyable for me and what part was shared with my S/O and my own two kids??? Yuck!!!!!
So now, we do it our way. I make the meal, but for just us 4. If it isn't on time, oh well. If I get frazzled and cut something off the menu, oh well. If the table isn't perfect, oh well. We just laugh.
Do it your way. I'll be thinking of you watching Sherlock Holmes. We'll be making that one of our must see movies on our 3 movie marathon that day too. Kick your shoes or boots off, dive into your popcorn, relax and smile and enjoy. You will be doing what you want to do. others will be doing what they want to do. Does it get better than that?
Yeah, there are definite traits of NPD at the very least.
I had a few choice thoughts about her comment regarding the parent-child relationship, but thought it best not to share them in the manner they would have come out. She's something else.
I'm really sorry she is so hurtful. However, that is who she is and that is how people with NPD are. The only feelings they are concerned with are their own. The only thing you can do is try to protect yourself from it as best you can.
I swear that has to be one of the most selfish responses I've heard. Sure she wasn't raised by my Mom? lol The entitlement in that response is outragious. OMG Cuz she loves xmas she expects you to go out of your way to celebrate it the way she wants you to and because you won't that makes you a bad parent. Gag me!
You know, my Mom hasn't put on any actual xmas gathering but maybe 4-5 times since all of us kids left home. Shoot, when we were kids we always went to relatives. I think she did it once cuz my aunts forced her to. lol
And you know what? I don't think any of us have really thought much about it. The way she wanted to spend the holidays was up to her. We most certainly did not expect her to make her plans around us and do it cuz we wanted her to. sheesh!
I do (normally) xmas as a huge deal. Mostly because it is the ONLY holiday I get any real pleasure out of. My kids are invited. And because they have their mates families to consider I'm pretty plan flexable. But this is because I want to, not because they expect me to. Huge difference there.
I'm sorry she hurt you Witz.
I think she made some points that are valid from her desire of how she wants to celebrate Christmas Day, just as you made your own valid points that stem from your desire to ignore the mass holiday extravaganza.
However, she then begins to just babble about how she's not important enough, as if your plans to not make plans that suit her are out of resentment or some evil plan. Ugh.
I would just have to let it go. No response is necessary because there is nothing you can say that will make her see your point of view. Be done with it and just do your own thing and let her do her own thing. If she still wants to traipse around to five different families, then let her. But you have your plan and if she wants to include herself, she is welcome to...but you're not changing your plans to accommodate her schedule.
boyfriend and I are both very much into Christmas and will be spending X-Mas in an X-Mas manner. Those are her feelings - can't negate them.
Presents don't really matter. I'm fairly sure I can go back and return them, if not I would still like you to have them. She's trying to manipulate you here - ignore, ignore, ignore - do not run out and buy things just so you can reciprocate. If she truly feels that presents don't matter, then accept them graciously and offer no apologies for not reciprocating!
Ok, fine, you and Al are making your own plans, but they are not plans that are thoughtful for what anyone else would like to do. It's just what you want to do, and you've invited us to join in for your non-Christmas plans on Christmas day. If boyfriend and I do anything X-Mas morning and day, it will be visiting family that are celebrating. Again, these are her feelings. If she wants to go visit 'celebrating' families, let her. There is definitely some manipulation going on here, but you can ignore it.
I've been trying to be the planner for holidays for a few seasons now, because if I don't, then non-celebrating happens on your side of things, and what I also preceive as resentment for my not doing more to try and include you in what I do end up doing. I think it's not always fair for me to have to plan things, and have everyone else (Brian's family and my family) drive out to our place, for the most part, so that I can make sure that your included, because you guys are done celabrating (hosting) holidays. It sounds like she believes your plans to NOT plan anything special for Christmas are out resentment. Is there any truth to this at all? If not, let this go - not worth responding to because her response is that she believes she knows what's going on inside your head; knows what you're thinking and feeling without truly listening to anything you've said or how you truly feel. I suppose you could come back with something about friends listen to their friends so they may better understand them and how they feel, rather than trying to change their minds and change how they feel.
God, she sounds so much like my loco sister, reading her note made me cringe. Hugs, Witz. Back and forth communication will only make things worse - probably best to leave it now.
Great advice, JoG! Yes, this message is so full of manipulation and it isn't even subtle. You are not preventing her from celebrating Christmas in her own way. I would just stay very neutral and if I responded at all it would be just to say she is free to do what she wants and you are free to celebrate (or not) as you want.
Stay strong, Witz!
I think your initial email, and your resopnse to hers, are perfect. You are entitled to "celebrate" (uncelebrate) the holidays any way you please, you are an adult and your kids are grown. You extended the offer to them to hang out on Christmas day (which sounds like a great day, by the way.. wish I could come watch the movie and play wii with you!)
I'd say you handled it all well.
Thanks, all. I think I'm probably going to go with my original plan - which is what I have wanted to do for Christmas all along - which is to do nothing. I had felt manipulated into having to do something to start a new way to celebrate Christmas and that is the way that the movie and crock pot and games thing got started. The honest to God truth is that I don't want to celebrate it.
If we go out and do something, fine. If we stay home, fine. But I'm not going to pretend that the day means anything more or less to me than any other day of the year. I've spent most every Christmas of my adult life miserable. The half baked plans I made for this year won't be anything other than miserable because it wasn't what I really wanted to do, and yet again, they were used as a weapon against me. It's time to stop pretending and putting myself out there to be hurt.
Sending some hgus to you. It is a dang shame that L cannot understand that LOVE is the real purpose of Xmas. The FIRST Christmas, and many many after that were NOT spent giving expensive gifts and partying all over the town. Yes, travel was involved. But the celebration was in a stable and tangible, touchable gifts were only given one way, NOT exchanged.
Manipulation was NOT part of those holidays. Seems L thinks it shoudl be because SHE knows how to celebrate Xmas in an Xmas way.
This letter was clearly designed to hurt. Manipulate also, but to shoot poison darts into our beloved Witz.
I would HAPPILY send a "Scrooge and teh Grinch got nothing on YOU" card to L. She sure deserves one accompanied with a boot to her tushie.
Witz, you ARE including her in your plans. SHE is the one who is not in the spirit of teh season because she isn't getting her way. Her way, from past years, is to invite you along and then do what she can to hurt you.Part of her "Christmas Fun" seems to be to see how bad she can make you feel and to see how many people she can hurt and humiliate you in front of. THAT is NOT, N.O.T., what Christmas or any other holiday should be about.
I am sorry that she cannot act like a decent human being to you. It must be some personality disorder. I hope that you know that you deserve MUCH better. We love and respect you, and we KNOW that you deserve every happiness in the world. PLEASE try to enjoy your day in spite of her. Living well and enjoying your life truly are the best revenge.
Wow, Witz. That's a hum-dinger.
It would sure be nice to go back to her and say that the season is about being together and cherishing people, but I don't think there's any real point to saying it again...
Hugs. Enjoy your movie.
if you want to do nothing to celebrate Christmas that is your right! I am glad you are standing up for yourself and doing "nothing" if that is what you want to do. Yay for you for withstanding pressure--pressure from your difficult child and pressure from society in general that says something is wrong with you if you just treat the day as any old day. Here's to doing nothing on Christmas!!!!
I will make my statement very brief......
YOU ARE SO MUCH NICER THAN I WOULD HAVE BEEN.
So, now everyone understands why I hate Christmas, right?
I love our new swear word!
And a Frogs Uncle to all...and to all a good night!
witz - you do what YOU want to do. You offered to let her join. Her choice.
I do the same thing. Have since my oldest was born. I can remember being dragged all over town on Christmas day, and I hated it. I decided I would cook a meal, and anyone that wanted to come were welcome to join in, but other than going to mass, I wasn't leaving the house. Some years we've had 2 people. Other years we've had over 20. I also don't focus on my kids having to absolutely be here. They know the routine, but they also have other family members (especially the one that is married).
As to the whole "tradition". Many traditions don't do anything on Christmas. A small stocking is received by kids on St. Nicholas Day (Dec 6th). Of a small gift is received on the Epiphany (Jan 6th). Christmas day is spent in quiet reflection.
Sorry you're going through this, Witz.
Separate names with a comma.