My daughter, Lexi, called a few weeks ago. I knew why she was calling before I even spoke to her as I had dreamed she was pregnant only a few weeks earlier, but had convinced myself “it was only a dream”.
She said, “we’re not telling anyone yet”, so don’t tell anyone. Which of course meant everyone already knew, but that she didn’t want me to tell anyone since after a long discussion it turned out her dad, sister, friends, etc. all already knew…. not sure who else she feared I might “tell”, but oh well. Of course I’ll not tell anyone.
Who would I even tell anyway?
She cried because she felt her dad was ashamed of her. She cried really hard about that actually. I can’t know if that was a manipulative set-up or the truth… Regardless, I responded only that I was sure her dad was not ashamed, but was simply worried for her and not expressing that well because of his fears. I’m sure he is ashamed, but I’d never tell her that because he has no business or right to be ashamed of her for that! He’s a malignant narcissist, of course he’s ashamed of anything less than perfection as he fears it’ll reflect poorly on him. I wasn’t going to tell her he probably was ashamed though. As even if she’s sobbing over how much he’s hurting her, I still know that if I even hint of anything negative about him she’ll start screaming at me, tell me how horrible I am, how WONDERFUL HER DAD IS, and hang up and “shun” me again.
So I carefully encouraged her that her dad was just not expressing his feelings about this well and that he’d be fine once some time passed.
As this conversation was happening, I went into my kitchen to grab an iced tea and as I put ice cubes in my glass, I felt sick thinking she’d hear that I was getting something to drink, so I felt compelled to say, I’m just getting a glass of tea. I can’t know if she might hear me putting ice in a glass and later tell her dad, sister, boyfriend, friends, grandmother, coworkers, whoever, that she could “hear her mom was drinking” if I didn’t clarify that I was getting myself a glass of tea. And sadly enough, even as I told her I’m getting a glass of tea, I knew that it didn’t matter that I clarified it; she’d still go and say whatever she thought would be more interesting or ugly about me to tell anyone else anyway.
And I just felt sick…physically sick that I am frantically fearful of my own child, her temper tantrums, her lies, her false accusations, her eagerness to talk, think, and believe badly about me…
Being literally petrified of your own child is terrifying. Most people I’ve feared in my life, I just broke away from and eventually ceased all contact to protect myself from their physical, mental, and emotional abuse. I’ve still not figured out a way to tear my heart away from loving this child and thinking of her as the incredible, delightful, kind child she once was. I suppose my heart and my brain refuse to accept she’s what she is today in spite of 6 years of nonstop evidence that she’s in no way that child anymore. Even though she’s admitted to me she lied all the time to me growing up, I can’t force myself to accept that totally.
So, we had a nice talk because fortunately I walked the eggshells well enough and didn’t say the wrong thing the wrong way, I guess. I told her I supported her no matter what, whether she moved back here to “be by her boyfriend’s family” or stayed out there, I would do anything I could for her.
The next day I texted her some home remedies for the nausea she said she’d been having and that went okay.
Then the next day, after 2 days of being excited and scared to death to have her maybe back in my life, I decided to text her a very lengthy text saying she had my full support in everything in her life just as she’d always had, but that I was very scared to be hurt more because I really didn’t believe I could handle much more hurt. And I said that whatever she feared her dad felt didn’t matter because in my opinion the only shame we should ever carry in this world is how we treat other people – that things like having sex, experimenting with drugs drinking wine, not doing well in school, getting pregnant, whatever it may be – none of that was anything to be ashamed of as long as we treat people well.
She went off on me in an ugly reply text saying that she “just doesn’t text” and she “wouldn’t change that for me” (not sure what that was about?), that I was a “horrible manipulative passive aggressive person who needed to do some yoga and just forgive myself”, and that she’d “never say mean things to HER child like I do”, and then ended it with “no need to reply because I’m blocking you again”.
So, that was that. I guess telling your 21 year old daughter (who hasn’t acknowledged you exist in over 2 years) that you support her but you’re also afraid to be hurt any further and that getting pregnant isn’t something to be ashamed of, that the only actions in the world that should carry shame are treating people badly is all just too vile and passive aggressive to say to your pregnant child.
So incredibly interesting but sad that that’s exactly- and I mean exactly – how her father would respond to me saying, I’m afraid you’ll cheat, lie, be cruel, abuse, me again to him 21 years ago. Fury and flip it back on me for being afraid, but never ever taking responsibility or instead choosing to reassure that he wouldn’t hurt me; just beating me up with my fear until I apologized to him for saying I was afraid.
My daughter has one upped him though being 2000 miles away with new technology. She just analyzes my every word – twisting and turning what I said – then because of her own guilt and responsibility in it all, she flips that on me too, then refuses to communicate at all with me, much less allow me tell her that her hateful interpretations were way off the mark.
Fuck, she doesn’t even give me the chance to apologize for being scared.
I’m broken all over again, but seeing how she replied, I know my fears were valid and can safely assume the entire phone call was to manipulate me and just to see if she still could manipulate me and use me if she ever needed me. Maybe she was hoping I’d put her dad down or something while she sobbed how badly he was treating her and then she’d have another reason to say I’m a terrible mom. I didn’t though, so then she had to get mad because I’m afraid of being hurt.
It’s fairly clear her next tactic would be to manipulate, use, and terrorize me through my coming grandchild now.
Lovely. Just what I need, as if she and her sister haven’t ripped my heart and soul to pieces enough already.