We made plans tomorrow to meet at the county clerk’s office: me, my sister, and my parents, to transfer the title of my sister’s car to me. Then my dad would drive home, and I’d go with the others to my mom’s condo, where my sister would show me how to drive the car. (I’ve only really driven my 1995 Saturn and my dad’s car, which is ancient. Apparently, I need to learn about these newfangled key fobs that make the car honk when it’s locked.)
So like I said, we made the plans earlier today to meet tomorrow, and a few hours after we made the plans, I had a total stress-related panicky meltdown. I thought I was fine, but while walking with my dad and LuLu the pup, I started ranting about how evil Ellen is, and how much I hate her.
The only bright spot was that her kid wouldn’t be there. I can’t let myself open my heart to her kid because then I might care so much that I’d want to kidnap the kid once Ellen becomes an abusive parent. (It’s only a matter time.) It’s not something I can remotely cope with, nor do I expect myself to. Keeping a distance and never meeting the kid is in everyone’s best interest.
I was talking to Sonya about it, and she said I needed to confirm that the kid wouldn’t be there. I called my mom, and… holy shit, Li’l Sweetmeats, my niece, was going to be coming along. Because she’s not in daycare, and blah-blah-blah.
“Mother, I don’t mean to sound accusatory, but did you buy me a $17,000 car in order to orchestrate a reunion with me and Ellen, and a meeting of me and her daughter, Li’l Sweets?”
“No! Of course not! How could you think so? I’m not that diabolical,” she wailed.
“Of course, Mother. If you say so, I believe you.” Not. (For any of you who think my mom was being honest, just keep reading.)
I cancelled tomorrow’s plans and promised to find a way that we can orchestrate all this. We ended our call. I feel immense relief right now, but I’m super-tense. I’ve never willfully hurt a kid, but if I were to encounter Li’l Sweets, I’m sorry, but she would be dead to me. I’d shun her. That’s the best-case scenario, since I can’t let myself love her. It would hurt too much, watching her grow up with an abusive parent, and I flat-out can’t put myself through that level of pain. In fact, I’m terrified right now just picturing it. Oh, God, Li’l Sweetmeats was almost shoved in my face by two master manipulators, and I barely escaped.
I’m still in a state of panic. It’s terrifying, because once I accidentally meet the kid, it’ll be game over for me. I’ll love her, and then I’ll want to protect her, and then I’ll wind up in federal prison. (If you all are wondering why I don’t just report my sister once she becomes abusive, she works as a social worker, and she’s gotten really good at saying, “Oh, Meg’s just my paranoid schizophrenic sister. Don’t listen to her.”) (Also, I don’t want to even witness or know about that first act of abuse, which is one act of abuse too many.)
My sister has similar personality issues as my mother; and my sister’s husband, Mr. Perfect, is relaxed and laid-back like our dad. Li’l Sweetmeats is their first kid. She’s close to two years old, and my sister’s pregnant with another child as well.
To give some family history here, I was never abused (that I know of) until I was seven years old. My childhood was idyllic, as is Li’l Sweets’. It just didn’t stay idyllic, and neither will hers. My mom reached a point where her personality issues took front and center, and her children were terrorized. My sister’s following in the same path, and as you all probably know, she’s assaulted me six or seven times as adults. Although she seems like a great mom to Li’l Sweets, so too was my mom when I was two years old. It won’t last.
The fear is real.
My mom just called back. They found a babysitter for tomorrow! Great!
“Are you okay with being in the car with your sister?” she asked.
“I have no choice,” I conceded. “She has to show me how to drive her fancy car.”
“Very good. Goodbye, darling.”
And then, after I hung up, she called back again. “Hello?” I said.
No answer. Instead, I heard my mom talking to my sister in the background. (My mom was babysitting, and my sister had gotten home from work.) Holy goodness. Had I been butt-dialed? My jaw dropped.
“It’s just so hurtful,” my mom wept. “It’s just so hurtful.”
“It’s her life, Mom,” my sister said. (At least, I think that’s what she said.)
“Yeah, but Li’l Sweetmeats would be so good for her. I just know it. And Meg would be so good for Li’l Sweets. This adorable child deserves to have another auntie.”
In the background, Li’l Sweets cooed and gibbered. I listened for a while longer, but I couldn’t make out much, and then I hung up on my mother’s dialing behind.
She’s such a victim. I’ve done nothing but assert my important (read: really important) boundaries, and she’s playing the victim over it. It’s so absurd. I think it’s perfectly fine for some family members to not have relationships. But my mom’s eager to be the victim wherever she can be.
I just can’t believe I was butt-dialed! Oh my goodness. I have lived.