Thursday, April 16, 2015

Is it appropriate to title this with a curse word?

Apparently I have more work to do.  I thought this woman could annoy me, but that I had en-armored myself enough that she could not penetrate what has been lovingly (and not so lovingly) referred to as my armadillo skin.

Yeah.  FAIL.

Busy cycle at work continues.  As I write this, I am taking a quick break from a creating a PPt presentation for a presentation to a law school and our largest renewal grant.  I write this from a hotel room in my home state, approximately 80 miles away from my hometown, and 6 hours away from my home in another state.  Against better judgement, I let my hoarding, narcissistic mother know I would be nearby, and tentatively made plans 'to make plans' to meet for dinner on either Wednesday or Friday of this week.  I have not seen her since April of 2013- the last time I was able to attend this particular conference- 3 months before the health issue that nearly took my life with two major surgeries in 10 months, just for a frame of reference.  So I called her to firm up these plans.  

Yeah.  No.  Ever heard the saying "Some folks have a problem for every solution"?  This was my mother.  I offered a couple of options.  We could meet somewhere half way.  I could pick her up at her door and drop her off.  We could do one of two nights, as my conference schedule and my presenting schedule have me in harness until May 1st.  Her demurrals included the following reasons:

  • Her taillight on her 22 year Honda is burnt out- she did not want to drive.
  • She does not want to be out, driving or riding, after dark because of all the deer.
  • She does not feel well due to an ear infection (that she spent 20 minutes telling me how much better she was feeling since her doctor's visit).
  • She does not want to leave when the despised neighbor 'in the turn' is home to see her leave.
  • She does not want to be away from her property at night as if she is, hordes will descend to steal, vandalize and pillage.
You get the picture.  I finally said to her that it appears a visit is not going to work this time.  She very effectively manipulated it so I 'did the deed' to kibosh the whole thing.  I was annoyed and hung up.  I had no more than walked away from my phone when my text indicator went off.  It was her neighbor who had called to check in as our call ended.  Mom was complaining to her that I was so close but could not find the time or effort to be bothered to come see her, she further speculated that it was because she thought I thought I would be asked to help her with something.

My first thought was ... F_ck you.  (Not the neighbor, but my hoarding mother).  I am so done with all of this.  She has driven me nearly mad with her manufactured drama regarding being bitten by the neighbor's puppy and her ear infection, and her recent increase in really screwed up statements (charming things like the police should not have the ability to treat a narcotic OD and all druggies should die and she has not seen a movie since 'Home Alone' because all movies have nothing but screwing and killing and drugs).

I am still processing this, and I realize it is yet another gaslighting/ambient abuse tactic, but I am so sick of it.  I creep closer to making the decision of going from low contact to no contact.  And I know this latest bit of asshattery was a punishment for setting and maintaining boundaries... but who is being punished here, really?  I think she will be disappointed to know it is not me.  I have been able to make lovely plans with friends for dinner each night that I had previously held open, and my trip has been more pleasant.  I also never doubted that her view of our relationship is sharply transactional, and I do not measure up, and that I only exist as an extension of her... I am merely a supporting cast member in her drama with her as the protagonist.  

I am done.  I am not making any more efforts, no matter how minor, to accommodate her.  My friend pointed out that at 78 or 79, this quite possibly could have been the last time I saw her.  Honestly, I suspect she will outlive me, but I doubt she will be provided another opportunity to see me.  In the 16 years I have lived in an adjoining state (7 hours away) she has never attempted to visit, not even during any surgery that I have had.  Granted, that made my life much easier... but it also sent me a clear message.  

Just restating the obvious.  I have no biological family.  I have never had a mother, except my lovely grandmother who did the best she could to fill that gap.  However, I have the most amazing family of choice, my friends.  And my FOC is who I will focus my love, my friendship, and my efforts on.

Have a great evening everyone.  Thank you for reading.


  1. I'm sorry you had to go through this again. There's always that little sting. My mother similarly boxes herself in with ridiculous reasons why something has to be done, or can't possibly be done. Regardless how insane her reasons are, she gets to be RIGHT, and that's more important in her universe than anything else. Sending you peace and good wishes.

  2. Thank you Valerie. I apparently needed a refresher vaccine on how disturbed, miserable and self limiting she is. I had a lovely visit with friends, and had the most beautiful drive home ... 6 hours of sunshine, moonroof open and windows down, music blasting... home to my loving cats who missed me, A LOT.

    I had time to contemplate that my home state is not, and has not, been home for many, many years now. I was able to be present with it, and feel the joy that increased as my tires rolled over the miles, taking me away from that place, and her. If that is escapism or running from my problems, so be it... I look at as self care and self preservation.

    I did call when I crossed over into the state that I live and call home, and she did not answer, which made me happy. She called and left a voice mail later. She needed to run some errands, get her brake light repaired, and other things.

    I suspect her 'Low Contact Plan' will get even lower... Thank you for your support. Sending positive thoughts back to you as you navigate your situation with your mother. ((Hugs))


  3. I'm always happy to hear you keeping your head up.

  4. Hello Lisabeth!

    Thank you for your honesty and your writing. As a child of a hoarder I can completely relate. When you speak of the child you once were and of the childhood lost, I share in your pain. You totally capture the feelings that all children of hoarders can relate to.

    I just wrote a book (The Emancipation of a Buried Man) talking about my childhood and how I broke away from the shame I felt. I think you'd like it. Would it be ok if I sent you a little more information?

    ( - you can contact me there and then we can communicate via email)

  5. Lisa:

    Thank you so much! Hanging in there. Hope all is well with you!



    Thank you so much for reading. I am sad that we need spaces like this, but I am so glad we can connect. I would love more information on your book. I can be reached via Please feel free to contact me there! I look forward to hearing from you.