3 comments on “The Bag of Gold

  1. My last Christmas with my NM I got those really cheap in the way Wallmart polyester cotton PJ bottoms. ( polyesters makes my skin rash very bad which she knows) though I have not worn PJs since I as 6 and a DVD with 3 musicals from the 40s that must have come out of another Walmart bin. This just 3 days after the doctors told me my brain tumor is not growing. My golden child older sister gave me a handful of dollar store chocolate. That’s right. A handful. While everyone but me was opening their presents she reached to me and put a hand full of chocolate in my hand and said merry Christmas.

  2. I finally weaseled out of the whole gift giving affair. Citing the economy, it was easy to convince them not to send anything anymore. The holidays were a little tough to shut down due to the extended family tradition of a seasonal card exchange but my deep resentment of forced letter writing in childhood coupled with a scorching case of atheism seems to have done the trick. Plus, I’m not alone in my sudden postal silence, I’ve got cousin back-up on this one, so bite me, everybody.
    But the gifts…(sigh). My father is a birdwatcher, so he sends bird books. I hate bird watching, always have. My mother loves these Dutch cookies called Stroopwafel, so she sends me boxes of them. They taste like sticky, undercooked dough and leave a greasy residue on everything they touch. I can’t stand them.
    I like dark chocolate, she knows this. But she does, too, and can’t eat it for some reason or other so no chocolate for me, just health lectures, which I nipped in the bud along with the Christmas cards. We’re reduced to exchanging copied and pasted jokes in emails and links to cat videos on You Tube. Which is so much better than fucking bird books and stories about diarrhea.

  3. Yesterday my wife and I were talking about my N-mom and I suddenly remembered a gift she had given us once. It was when my first son was born, and she came to the hospital. One of my wife’s friends came to the hospital also. What did the friend bring? Some homemade chicken soup she had thoughtfully prepared. What did my N-mom bring? Some half-eaten, leftover cake from the teacher’s lounge at her school.

    I was kind of surprised by that, even then. I thought, “Geez you had to bring us leftovers? Couldn’t even be bothered to give us an unopened cake?” It would have been better had she not brought anything at all.

    So the gift-giving thing is spot on. I also found that when she asked for me to give her a Christmas list for my kids, she didn’t really like the items the kids wanted. So she preferred to just ignore whatever list I sent, and send up a box of $2 junk you could pick up in a dollar store. Most of her presents to my kids are so bad and she’s so unreliable on them that I eventually quit giving her any lists at all, because she wouldn’t read the list anyway. (Now I’m no contact anyway, so it doesn’t matter at all.)

    On a side note, one of the interesting things was also when my son was born. This was 12 years ago. Even then, I was starting to come out of my mom’s brainwashing, and starting to realize that something was slightly “off” about her. At the time, I told her and my N-grandma that we didn’t want them to come to the hospital the day our baby was born, but to come visit the next day. The reason why is hard to explain to someone without an N-mom, but is easy to understand for someone who has one. If she had come, then the focus of the entire room would have immediately shifted to her. In fact, she would have demanded it through her behavior.

    So instead of it being my wife’s moment, and all about the baby, the entire event would have been all about my mom. Again, this is hard to explain to others because it sounds really rude. “How could you not invite your mother?” But they don’t know what she’s like. She’s domineering, loud, and constantly talking – about herself. She’s exhausting to be around, and doesn’t allow you any privacy. That’s the last thing we wanted to deal with when my wife was so tired on delivery day.

    But anyway, I really paid the price for that one. She and my N-grandma both gave me the cold shoulder, big time. And when I told them the baby is here, and come see it (on delivery day after all, so they still got their way regardless), I was told, “Well we might not be able to make it. We’re busy.” And then when they showed up, with the half-eaten cake, they were pretty cold and hardly even wanted to see the baby.

    I do remember another interesting thing. My mom was holding my son, and then his diaper went dirty. She immediately handed him back to me and said, “Clint, looks like you need to take care of that.” She refused to lift a finger to change one diaper or help in any way. And then weeks later when I asked her to come over and watch the baby for a few hours (only 2, maybe 3 times), she later complained about what a drag it was and how I was “using her”. I was actually wanting to give my mom a chance to bond with her grandson a little bit, but she saw that as me doing something horrible to her. Amazing.

    A couple of weeks later, my wife was also in the emergency room with a breast infection. I needed to be there with her, and we had no family who could help watch our baby. My mom was too busy riding horses with her friends. So we asked one friend to help (the same one who brought the soup – bless her!), and like a champ, she stayed at our house all day taking care of our baby. I called and called my mom and asked her to help. She finally agreed, but then just called our house to check on our friend, then told me, “She said she’s okay there.” I argued that our friend hasn’t eaten anything all day and we need her help. Finally she came over to help, but came hours late. By that time, we didn’t even need her.

    She’s just totally unreliable. It’s amazing to me. I can depend on friends – or even total strangers! – better than I can my own family. It just sucks, dude!

    But on the upside, in January this year was when I finally wised up to what my mom is all about. That this is who she is, and she will never, EVER change. Reading this blog helped. That’s when I went No Contact. She didn’t fight it. She dropped me like hot potato. I was too much of a drag on her life anyway. Nowadays I don’t have her or any other family blocked on email anymore. (I still have her blocked on the phone.) I had them blocked for a long time, but now I feel like I’ve healed a lot. I feel strong enough to not answer, should she or her flying monkeys send me a message. And I have no intention of answering or reacting in any way to anything she says. So I feel good, knowing I’ve unblocked them but I’m not worried about if they try to contact me.

    It’s getting easier, this No Contact stuff. It just takes time.

    Kind regards to you, Stephen.

    Clint

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