I have completely and totally run out of patience for my mother. Not just patience, but compassion, respect, and even love are out the window at the moment. I’ve had it!!! I’m so ready to just be done with her, and yet I can’t completely cut ties because I want access to my nephew. My mother is a vindictive bitch, and I truly believe she would withhold my nephew from me should I not keep up the illusion that we are a truly loving mother-daughter pair.
I’ll try to start from the beginning-ish (I don’t have the time to get into the history of me and my mother’s relationship right now, but I will at some point.)...
This is a terrible time of year for my family. If you’re a regular reader, you know why. If you’re new here and don’t know why, I’ll summarize it: my nineteen year old sister was murdered on December 19, 2007. You can read more about that here, if you’re so inclined. I wrote earlier this month about how I refused to let this time of year drag me down anymore. How, instead, I choose to celebrate my sister’s life and celebrate the holidays as she would, were she here with us.
My mother is making it nearly impossible for me to do that. It’s like, because she’s completely miserable this time of year because she chooses to wallow in grief and sadness, the rest of us should be as well. She called me yesterday and said, “I think we should all be together on Sunday (the anniversary of my sister’s death), so everyone is going to come over here.” Well, that’s great, but she doesn’t get to make those decisions for everyone anymore.
I’m a 32 year old married woman with my own family and agenda. I will decide where I need to be and what I need to do. I lost a sister—no, a daughter, because that’s what she basically was to me my whole life, especially after my mom and my stepdad divorced—too, and as such, I (and I alone) get to decide how I’ll spend the anniversary of her death. Besides, we will all be together on Saturday at the memorial bonfire meant to honor her.
Kristine has been gone for three years now. Time has healed the wounds for some of us; it's left behind jagged, ugly scars—sure—but the pain isn’t as raw anymore. While others, like my mother, choose to wallow instead of trying to heal. And that’s just fine, as long as they don’t try to force the rest of us into it. But it’s not her wallowing or insistence on focusing on the loss and death that gets to me so much. That I can get past. People grieve differently, and she has a right to her methods. What I cannot get over is her never-ending need for attention and the fact that she consistently tries to profit from my sister’s death.
That is where I draw the line. Right now, I’m nearly ready to vomit over how disgusted I am with her.
As I’ve mentioned before, my mom and her husband are not in a good place financially. They probably never will be either. Why? Because they make stupid, bad decisions and don’t have their priorities in order. At all.
For example, mom’s husband up and quit his job last spring. Why? Good question, lovely reader! Because he has a bad back and the hard work of sitting on his ass driving a school bus every day was just too much for him. He was off of work for three months, and it was only when the threats of eviction started that he realized he probably needed to get out and get a job. My mom’s meager school bus driver salary couldn’t support a family of four all on its own. Of course that put them even more behind than they already were, so now they’re playing a constant game of catch-up.
The new job that mom’s husband got doesn’t pay nearly as well as his old job. And, due to my mom’s illness, is the only income they have at this point. There is no doubt that they’re struggling. They depend on the food shelf, barely get by paycheck to paycheck, and are behind on all of their bills.
Musicman and I have offered to take custody of my nephew since the day after my sister’s death. And I consistently remind mom and her husband of our willingness to do so. Not just to remove some of their financial burden, but also to allow my mom to just be a grandma again. And, of course, to make sure that my nephew’s needs are consistently met and that he grows up in a home that’s loving, nurturing, and supportive.
A memorial fund was setup, a few days after my sister died, to help the family with funeral costs. I don’t know where that money ended up, but it’s gone now and my sister’s funeral was never paid off. Nor will it ever be now that mom and her husband declared bankruptcy. A few months later, there was a benefit for the family, because new financial concerns came about after my grandmother passed away and mom’s husband’s son had medical issues. Of course, at that time, people were reminded that this family had tragically lost a daughter to a senseless act of violence. (Gotta tug at the heartstrings; it gets people to open their pockets and wallets a little wider.) Thus began mom and her husband's addiction to public support and attention.
Musicman and I have helped them out faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar more than we should have. This year alone, we’ve given them well over $1,000 in financial assistance; to save them from eviction, to put food on the table, and to help out with my nephew. Or so I’m lead to believe. Until I read Facebook and find out that they had their internet turned back on (not a necessity), they’re eating takeout, and my mom’s husband is out standing in line (with his bad back) for the midnight release of a $60 video games. But, whatever. Shame on me for giving them the money and expecting them to honestly use it for what they said they needed.
We’ve given them money to help my nephew more than anything, because our offer to take custody of him also came with the offer to help when needed, and they’ve caught onto that and have started to use him as a pawn to try to get more out of us. When we found out that, due to my mom’s recent illness and lack of paycheck, they weren’t going to be able to buy even a single gift for my nephew for Christmas, Musicman and I offered to buy gifts on their behalf. Despite the fact that we’re already out over $1,000, we refuse to let my almost five-year-old nephew go without Christmas.
We decided we’d purchase one “big ticket” item (around $50) from them and a few smaller gifts and some clothes from Santa. I figured my mother would see this as our Christmas gift to her and her husband (even thought adults in my family don’t exchange gifts) and that we’d give them the gifts at the bonfire this weekend so that they can have them all wrapped up and under the tree—ready for Li’l D on Christmas morning. Of course, we will also purchase additional gifts for him from Auntie Elle and Uncle Musicman too.
Yet what do I see on Facebook yesterday? A second fundraiser has been setup for them. One fundraiser was setup weeks ago, but apparently that one hasn’t garnered enough interest or attention, so a second one was started. Of course my mother insists that she and her husband had nothing to do with this and that their friends and neighbors want so badly to help them out. Yet she’s the one spamming everyone’s walls with the link to the fundraiser.
This recent fundraiser says that the family tragically lost their daughter three years ago to a senseless act of violence, and since that time have cared for her son. That’s pretty much the only part that’s true. The description goes on to say that the family faces financial hardship because mom’s husband was forced to temporarily quit working due to a back injury and that they’ve been struggling financially since their resources were used up in their quest to make sure that the murderer was convicted. Oh, and that because of this financial hardship, they will not be able to provide a Christmas for my nephew.
*Queue eyeballs popping out and head exploding here* What. The. FUCK?!?!? First of all, mom’s husband was never forced to quit working. As I stated above, he chose to quit his job. Because that’s what you do when life gets hard, right?! You just quit and later on depend on other people to finance your life. And it wasn’t because of an injury he had recently sustained—it’s an old injury that, to my knowledge, he’s never really sought treatment for, choosing instead to complain and whine about it. If there's one thing he and my mom excel at, it's playing the martyr.
Secondly, NONE of their money was used to convict my sister’s murderer. The state prosecuted him. The only out-of-pocket expense any of us had was getting time off of work (some of us unpaid) and paying for transportation and/or parking to attend his trial, and numerous pre-trial hearings, which of course wasn’t required of us. But, we all attended every day; each for our own individual reasons, but also for one we all had in common: to see justice served.
The part that really gets me though is where the fundraiser's description says my nephew isn’t going to have a Christmas. REALLY?!?! Why are my husband and I busting our asses, while watching our bank accounts dwindle, to purchase gifts for my nephew on behalf of my mother, her husband, and Santa?!! It’s like a slap in the face! No…A kick in the gut.
The slap in the face came after our generous offer when my mother texted me to see if we could bring nephew out shopping to buy gifts for her and her husband, because Lil’D has really been talking a lot about buying Christmas gifts for nana and pop-pop. Apparently our gift to them wasn't enough. No; I’m not joking. Within 24 hours of us offering to basically finance Christmas for them (not including all the food I’ll be preparing and bringing…just talking gifts here), she texts to see if we’ll also buy gifts for her and her husband on nephew’s behalf. SERIOUSLY?!?! Who does that?!? Selfish much?!?
I haven’t received a Christmas present in I don’t know how many years. Musicman and I agreed long ago not to do gifts (we go all out for each other’s birthdays instead), and no one in my family can afford to do an adult gift exchange, so no Christmas gifts for me. It goes without saying that, since most of the adults can’t afford a gift exchange, we also do not get auntie and uncle gifts from our nephews and niece. And that’s okay. Christmas shouldn't be all about presents. I think the focus of the holiday should be on the kids, and I pay out quite a bit of money each year buying my nephews and niece what I hope are the perfect gifts.
Needless to say, I told my mom I wouldn’t have the time or the money to take my nephew shopping and sent an email to my sister asking her to step up (for a change). I wrote to my sis that, if she was having her kids make gifts for grandma for Christmas, it would be nice if she could include our nephew in that. She responded that she was going to take all of the kids (her two and Li'l D) to see Santa and to shop for gifts for mom and her husband from the kids. Great. Finally a break for me. My mom’s response to me saying no to her request? “No worries. You’ve done enough already.”
Really?!?! You fucking think so?!?! I’d say mooooooooooooore than enough. Waaaaaaaay more than enough! And, apparently, it’s still not good enough, because now there is a fundraiser that outright lies to people in order to get them to finance your life. The pathetic thing is people fall for their sob story. Their chronic bad luck is just unimaginable and so undeserved. How could such a caring, kind, hard-working family deserve to endure so much hardship?
The sad thing is, no matter what, it’s never going to be enough. Nothing is. Because my mom and her husband apparently think that the world should pity them for the rest of their lives, and as such, should pay to support them. It won’t be good enough until they are millionaires, because neither of them should actually have to work for a living.
And, as though I don’t have enough to be upset and angry about already, I get an email this morning from my mother indicating that she had forwarded details of the bonfire to the news media. One local station responded that they will pitch this as a story idea for their Saturday evening news program. WHY?!? Why would she do that?! Because my mother needs attention. She is addicted to drama and attention. I seriously think she went off the deep end long, long ago.
God forbid the memorial bonfire be a private event for friends and family to remember and honor my sister. Nope. That’s not good enough for mom. She needs attention on her.
I’m telling you right now, if the news media shows up on Saturday, I’m leaving. Enough of my private, personal thoughts, feelings, and emotions were on display for the public three years ago; when I was in too much shock, and my emtions too raw, to know that I could've (and should've) said no to the interviews and the prying. I will not stand there and watch my mother’s disgusting attempts to garner sympathy and pity by telling the world about how not only does she continue to struggle with recovering from the tragic loss of her daughter and the burden she carries raising her grandson, but also her bad luck never seems to change. Now she’s terribly ill and once again faced with struggles that no one should have to deal with. Poor her. Poor, poor her.
I’ve had it. I’m pissed off. I’m beyond pissed off. I’m so livid right now that I’m almost turning myself inside out with rage. I don’t want my nephew being raised to think that this is how life works; that because his mom was murdered, he’s entitled to do what he pleases and not worry about the consequences because the world owes him everything. That’s bullshit! I also don’t want it constantly thrown in his face that his mom was murdered and that he should be perpetually sad about that. Of course, he is probably the biggest victim in this awful, terrible, horrible tragedy, but that should not define him. He doesn't need to live his life as a victim; not when he can live as an inspiration, a survivor!
I honestly don’t know how my mom lives with herself. How do you sleep at night knowing that you’re
When, really, she let her daughter die. She sent my sister to the murderer’s house that day. Alone. Because she insisted that her grandson should see his father. Despite the fact that she, unlike many of the rest of us, knew that the murderer had been violent towards my sister in the past, she sent her daughter to the lion’s den. Of course, she will admit that to no one.
Instead, she gets to look like the poor, grieving mother whose heart was ripped out the day her daughter—her baby—was murdered. And, while there’s no doubt that’s tragic—trust me, I get that; I live through the loss of my sister every single day—the true tragedy lies in the fact that she chooses to capitalize on her daughter’s death instead of celebrating her daughter’s life and focusing on the wonderful little piece of her that's been left behind and helping him to grow into a better man than his daddy ever was (instead of using him as a pawn).