Last Thursday evening, I ended up in a heated discussion with my parents over the phone. It got ugly. Really ugly. Honestly, I don’t remember all of the details of the conversation. I was so hurt by it all I blocked a lot out immediately.
My father called Thursday night. He apologized as soon as I answered for not going to the mother in-law’s funeral. “We would’ve gone, but we didn’t know until we read it in the paper..” I noticed his tone was kinda shaming, like I should’ve told him, but I ignored that. I said, “Why would you have gone?” “We wanted to pay our respects!” “To a woman who hated me from the day we met & treated me like dirt?” He went on to say they wanted to pay their respects & see my father in-law. I said she treated me like s**t for years, why give her any respect? He started back peddling & said, “I told your mother that..” Yea, spare me. I don’t believe that for a moment. Somewhere in the conversation, I forget exactly where, I also told him I felt betrayed that he cared more about her than me. He didn’t say a word in response. When he spoke though, he did ask if we’re still married. Apparently since I didn’t attend her funeral, my father assumed we were separated.
He then brought up the cemetery plots my parents bought Eric & I so we could be buried with them probably 15 years ago by now. (Mind you, they never asked us if we wanted that, or even if we wanted to be buried over cremated. It was decided we would be buried with them, period.). He asked what I wanted them to do with them. I said get rid of them. I’m being cremated & Eric doesn’t want to be buried in Glen Burnie any more than I would. He said he was sure Eric’s father had Eric’s plot anyway, since he’d want to be with his son. Really?! Also, why do we need to discuss this now?! I told him Eric would figure out where he wants to be buried, & I can’t deal with any of this conversation right now, because I lost one of my babies. He said he was sorry to hear that, & I thanked him. Also said please don’t tell mom, because I don’t want to hear the usual “she’s better off dead than with me as her mom” comments. He said he wouldn’t, but I’m not holding my breath. Then my father asked if Eric was home, & I said no. “Oh. Mom wants to talk to him.” I said tough, he’s not here. “I guess she’ll have to talk to you then..” How nice. Oh joy…
So my mother got on the phone & started the same apologizing for “disappointing my father in-law” by not being at the funeral. Yea, like he lost sleep over this. He’s seen my parents in person twice in almost the 22 years Eric & I have been together. Guessing they weren’t even a blip on his radar since he was busy burying his wife of 65 years! I said “You too eh? Nice. Why are you two so damned worried about her?! Why do you care at all after how badly she treated me all those years?!” My mother said, “That’s Eric’s mother!” I said, “But I’m your daughter! I feel really betrayed!” You could’ve heard crickets. Dead silence for a few seconds. Then my mother asked if I would’ve been mad if they went. I said, “Yes! She treated me like dirt! Don’t you know anything about loyalty?! She then said, “But she’s his MOTHER!” I reminded her that this lovely mother in-law of mine choked me when we told her we got married. More crickets. SERIOUSLY?! Not a peep?! I sarcastically thanked my mother for caring so much more about Eric’s mother than me. That’s really fricken awesome. I said more but I forget what it was. My mother kept playing deaf saying, “I can’t hear you Honey- you need to speak up!” I was yelling! It was a game to her to make me yell more. I know it well- she does it often. (in all honesty she has hearing trouble, but she also uses it when convenient to her.) So I said “Yanno, I can’t deal with you & this topic. I’m done talking about it. What else do you have to talk about anyway?” “Well my back hurts….” “I’ve seen Dr. Silva twice since I went to the hospital…” (went to the ER a couple of weeks ago & learned she has vertigo- nothing serious). I said, “Of course.. whatever.” That really ticked her off & she said, “Well I guess I should let you go then.” She was obviously really mad I didn’t care about her health complaints. I said, “Yes, you really should. Goodbye.” We both pretty much hung up on each other at that point.
Sadly, I knew a fight was coming when my husband said his mother’s obituary would be in the local papers earlier in the week. My parents get a local paper & my mother reads the obituaries first thing. I knew my mother would want to make some fuss over this to me, rather than simply send her condolences to my husband. I didn’t expect her to say they should’ve gone to the funeral though. Unfortunately because of grieving after losing my precious little kitty last Monday, I’m more sensitive than usual. That along with the surprise of attending the funeral being an option hit me harder than it normally would have.
Normally, I don’t flip out on my parents or cuss at them. I’m a pretty reasonable person, & able to tolerate a lot of hurtful words & actions from them because I am so accustomed to them. You would think they would’ve been surprised I raised my voice & used bad language, but they acted like this happens every day. They both were completely unaffected by my reaction. Stone cold! Neither had one word to say when I said I felt betrayed that they cared more for someone who has hurt me than me. Honestly, being ignored like that hurt more than when my mother has told me I’m stupid for feeling a certain way. Being ignored is the ultimate invalidation, I think. It says, “You’re not even worth acknowledging. You don’t matter enough for me to use my breath to speak to you.”
So now, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I really don’t. My mother was extremely angry with me last night, so she may not want to speak to me again. And frankly, I’m fine with that. I’ve opted to go low contact for years now, & it’s been hard. (No contact never really felt right which is why I stuck with low contact) Maybe this is God’s way of ending it. I don’t know. Time will tell, I suppose.
I did get a call from my father yesterday morning. He said he was sorry- he & my mother thought they should pay their respects to the Rug family, it wasn’t anything against me, I matter (could’ve fooled me!) & also there was no excuse for how badly my late mother in-law treated me. My father likes to say what he thinks you expect him to say, but truthfully, he doesn’t have the empathy to understand truly what I feel. There was more to the conversation, but it wasn’t even worth talking about. I’m sure he thinks it means all is fine now, but it’s not fine. In fact, I wasn’t even going to answer his call, but I know my father- if I didn’t take that call, he’d call me back constantly until I answered. I hate that, so I figured I might as well get it over with.
I also wonder… I firmly believe that if you opt to confront narcissists, your best bet is to be calm & collected. Don’t show that you’re hurt or angry because it only gives them more ammunition to hurt you. During our argument, I was completely the opposite of that. I wonder if that was what they needed. Neither of my parents get consequences for their actions from anyone but me, & I have let a LOT slide. Maybe it was time they saw all the pain that their actions have caused. Maybe it sunk in on some level that they caused me a great deal of hurt by caring more about complete strangers than their own daughter. I doubt it, but I sure hope so. I hope this all wasn’t in vain, & there was a real purpose for it. I believe God can make something good come out of anything, so He can do it with this situation too.