Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Didn't Take the Bait

So I mentioned in my previous post about spending about a week with my FOO for Christmas. All of us going to the vacation house for Christmas had been something my father brought up some time early last year. Since I don't come up to house on weekends as often as I did back when I was engulfed, I thought it might be a nice way to spend time together. I also felt like I was at a point where I could handle my NM and being around her for an extended period of time.

And you know what? I was right! Even when at one point I was discussing behavior modification ideas that could help my cousin with her kids, I didn't take the bait she threw out to get us started talking about my childhood and us. For the record my cousin lives far away but calls NM all the time to talk to and for help, because her own mother is way more disordered than mine. I'd say my cousin is the closest thing my mother has to a golden child, especially after she was no longer able to engulf me.

I was suggesting the use of token economies and some of the other principles of behavior modification I mentioned my post Punishment & Reinforcement. Despite how easy it would have been to start telling how she had done it all wrong when she started mentioning her attempts of using it with me, I didn't bring it up at all. Then she mentioned trying to use a token economy, with a chart on the fridge and everything, which I have no memory of happening. But considering this alleged attempt was supposedly when I was three years old at the time that's no surprise. The best part was NM telling me how one day I stormed over, tore the chart off, and three it to the floor while declaring "No more!"

This was clearly bait to turn the discussion into one I didn't want to have, even though I didn't quite realize it until I was in bed that night with my husband. I could have told her how she was probably doing it wrong- for example, a child has to be old enough to understand delayed gratification and that's not usually until at least five years of age (even then they aren't very good at it). I just shrugged while thinking that this wasn't something I was going to discuss, drank my tea, and let her tell me more about my cousin's kids. Despite NM's claims I think this would work with the right rewards for my cousin's children as they are over the age of five, but I didn't even bother arguing that point with her, either. If I really wanted to give my cousin my advice I'd call her, instead of musing over possible helpful ideas with NM anyway.

I feel pretty proud of myself that I was able to avoid taking her bait with so little conscious effort on my part. My DH on the other hand was watching a documentary at one point and got caught in a debate with my mother about something while I was showering. Of course, there's no changing that woman's mind and getting her to drop something while you still disagree with her is always a challenge. Even when you are more knowledgeable and are in fact correct. But he managed and other than that it was a surprisingly pleasant holiday.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Been Awhile, Still Alive

So I got kind of swamped with deadlines and the holidays and I have been neglecting my blogs and the blogs I've been reading. Nothing has changed between Samantha and I, in fact we haven't spoken or interacted at all since then. Never gave me an answer as to if I was in the wedding party still, which was unlikely anyway, but an answer would have been polite. I think it's safe to say I'm out, and wouldn't be a bridesmaid even if she begged. I was able to get all my things back from her though via her fiancee. Anyway, this post is going to be somewhat rambling, so I apologize in advance if it's hard to follow.

Our mothers did talk. However they have agreed we're adults and to stay out of it, although my NM says she did try to hint to Samantha's mother (who seems to have seen at least some of the e-mails) that this isn't just a problem between Samantha and I, but well, the entire group of friends and Samantha. Ah, if only my NM could learn to stay out of things that happen between E-Sis and me, not that they happen often. We've been doing pretty well and I'm censoring myself a little less because I've been discussing the book "Toxic Parents" by Susan Forward with a friend of ours whom I lent a copy to even when E-Sis is around. For the record, I think it is an excellent book for anyone who experienced any kind of abuse at the hands of one or more parent.

Anyway, the difference in my life without Samantha is negligible at best. It's amazing to look back on things between us without the haze of denial. Although I'm still working through some anger and grief. I suppose it might help if I removed her from my Facebook, but in a fit of petty revenge and possibly stubbornness I intend to keep her there until the bachelorette party do-over my friends and I are planning. I intend to remove her from my restricted list so she can see things I post again and then post a bunch of pictures of the wonderful time everyone is having without her and get a dig in about the crappy party she threw me and her telling people there I liked boring. It's a do-over for three of us, really. Samantha ruined mine and then nearly  caused the bride to leave at one last year. A third friend also didn't get the kind of party she wanted from her (narcissistic borderline) "best friend" at the time, so we're planning a big girl's night in honor of the three of us. About the week before dear Samantha's wedding.

(Side note: the Restricted List feature on Facebook is very useful for those people you don't want to defriend and cause drama with, but don't want to let see anything. Only things you post publicly will be visible to a person on your Restricted List, which in my case is nothing!)

But I digress... her posts are kind of amusing because I can tell she's trying too hard to talk about her "awesome new friends", and seeing a preview of her engagement photos was a complete riot because they look so fake, right down to the bottle of wine. Did I mention everyone knows about her crazy diet and that wine is something she can't drink on said diet? Which makes those pictures particularly laughable. Sadly though as she's essentially starving herself, her face is beginning to look gaunt and I do feel bad because she's probably going to end up in the hospital.

I suppose all that doesn't make me a much better person than Samantha is, but I'm working through things and this is simply where I am right now. I'll move past it all eventually, I'm sure. It will probably be easier after her wedding. I'm waiting to see what happens with that because my DH and her fiancee are still friends, so I'm waiting to see if we are or aren't invited still to the wedding, or if she's tacky enough to invite only DH. I also haven't ruled out the possibility of being invited simply because we would be a viable source for money compared to many of her other friends. I have contingency plans prepared for if one or both of us are invited.

In other news I spent a week with FOO for a Christmas vacation and survived remarkably well! I'll write about that next time.