Friday, November 12, 2010

Emotional Blackmail

I am currently reading a book about emotional blackmail. It's not Al-Anon approved literature but it's basically about setting boundaries and breaking yourself out of the FOG (Fear, Obligation, and Guilt). So much of it is common sense type stuff. It's about detachment with love, and coping with the reactions of the blackmailer etc. It's good stuff I think. I'm reading it slowly and trying to absorb it. I don't want to read it while my kid is bugging me every two minutes so I am not finding a lot of time to do the reading, but I'm getting through it. I think it will help me with these boundaries that I am struggling with. The book is by Susan Forward, and there seems to be a lot of write-ups on the internet already about it so I'd guess it's been around for a while.

On the platform, readingImage by moriza via Flickr
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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Calling all Adult Children of Alcoholics! Help me here please!

I feel like I'm really done. I mean it. I'm tired of empty threats from the alcoholic parent. I'm tired of empty threats from myself. I want to be DONE with the drama. She's been bothering me for weeks. I keep stepping back, hoping she's calmed down, and then I pick up the phone and try to reach out to her only to have her go nuts again. She's not that far away right now, less than 20 miles, but I haven't seen her in a while. So at the beginning of the week she left some crazy messages on the answering machine. I waited until tonight to call her back because I didn't want to feed into the insanity. She started right up though. 20 minutes later she's in tears slamming down the phone for the 3rd time and I'm angry that I got sucked into another fight that I wasn't looking for. I want this to END. I know my daughter deserves to have grandparents in her life, but this grandparent doesn't possess the qualities I want her to see. This grandparent is untrustworthy and mean and a huge blackmailer.
So what do I do? How do I make it end? Do I confront her and let her know that I am cutting her off? Do I tell her why (not sure I can explain it anyway, and she's so irrational she won't understand etc)? Or do I just stop returning phone calls and let it "slip away"? My father has been divorced from her since I was less than 2 years old (he says she cheated on him). He says that if I cut her out of my life completely I will regret it later. I don't know. She's been gone from my life before for months at a time (her choice). The difference now is that she is older and not in good health. Well she's never been in good health. That's always been one of her ways of getting at me with her blackmail.. but anyway... I keep asking myself "How much more do I have to take before I am allowed to walk away?" and if I am allowed to choose when to walk away then I want to do it soon and get it done with. There is a CHANCE that she will move away in April or June next year, but it's not a guarantee. So I could wait until then and just let her go but that seems like a long time to wait, especially with the holidays on the horizon.
So if you've got any advice or experience on this, please...!!! I'd love to hear it. I'm exhausted from this roller coaster ride that I've been living on for the last nearly 40 years and I think it's time to get off.

thank you.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I am grateful

I don't post about my gratitude much on this blog. I live it, feel it, mediate on it often, but I don't post it in every post. Someone else has that blog, and it's not me.  :-)

Today I am grateful for rain instead of snow.
I am grateful that I did not marry the drug addict so many years ago. I am grateful not to be living with an alcoholic spouse.
Today I am grateful that I have not yet lost my father. (I hope that day is far in the future. The passing of that final grandparent a few weeks ago brings that thought closer to my heart.)

I am grateful that I can hang up the phone.
I am grateful for a supportive husband.
I am grateful to be reminded of the innocence of youth by being blessed with a beautiful daughter.

Today I am grateful for a home, food, heat in the house, a car, and all the things that we usually take for granted because I know for myself I have not always had these things.

Productos de la gama de Oficina y Comercio, AP...Image via Wikipedia

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I think I can set my calendar now

It seems from looking at this blog that every month around the 24th or 25th my mother and I have an argument. Not necessarily a real argument but she goes off on me and I end up wanting to cry, trying to detach, and asking myself if I have to continue this relationship with her.

On October 24th  my grandmother was being buried. My mom was on the edges then, complaining about me not spending enough time with her. When she realized she'd been outranked by my father's family she backed off.  After the burial my mother went to the cemetery to visit her parents' grave (same cemetery as my fathers' parents) and then she made some crack to me on the phone about how my father's family hadn't put enough flowers on my grandmother's grave. I was speechless at her lack of tact, but I didn't feel guilty because I knew that I had put flowers there even if no one else did. I guess this was her way at striking back at me for not spending time with her.

Then we had my father's birthday and Halloween. Well really, my father's birthday was November 1st, and she couldn't wait. She called me during the day yesterday and left a message. It angered me. I called her back and left a short but simple message that was direct and detached. Today she called again with 2 more messages, plus she managed to run into my father during the day and tried to get him on her side as well. Much to my amusement I heard about the encounter from my father's point of view and was glad to hear he had supported me (even though he didn't know about last night's game of message tag).

SO here we are again. The Holidays are coming. My husband and I have agreed on boundaries for Thanksgiving (we will not have her in our house, and we will not visit hers, we can meet in a public place). My mother is trying to change that, but I have my husband's support and I am strong.

Of course Thanksgiving and Christmas both fall in that window of 24th-25th when she seems to come after me. Should make for another eventful holiday season if I don't figure out something out soon.