Be kind

One of my all time favorite photos of my baby, The Peacemaker (Sammy). It just happens to be with the mother-in-law. Quite a pair!

Today is my mother-in-law’s 81st birthday. This would be the woman who birthed and raised my incredibly dysfunctional husband. I met her 36 1/2 years ago. She was 44 years old, had been married to my father-in-law for nearly 23 years and had a 27 year old estranged daughter (you do the math), Blue Eyes at 21 (we met when we were both 20), and an 18 year old son, Uncle D. Blue Eyes was a sophomore at college and I was a freshman. Blue Eyes invited me for Thanksgiving.

I wrote the below post about that Thanksgiving.

https://trynottocryonmyrainbow.com/2015/02/18/just-another-love-story-part-four-meeting-the-parents/

After Blue Eyes was diagnosed as a sex addict in January, 2014 and his childhood wounds were being ripped from deep inside him, and addressed, and his parents were behaving as mean as ever, he stopped contacting them. Neither of us knew if he would ever speak to them again, especially after my buried trauma was unearthed as a part of my therapy and healing, but my instincts were that he would want to contact them one day. That day came far sooner than I would have liked.

Now, mind you, it’s not like his parents were reaching out to him. They just couldn’t be bothered. They never ever took responsibility for their deplorable behavior. They chalked it all up to Blue Eyes being a really crappy, disrespectful spoiled rotten son (he wasn’t) and they went on about their lives. Because that is what mean, narcissistic people do.

For some reason that eludes me, after nearly six years of living without them and coming to terms with all the abuse and trauma, Blue Eyes decided to contact his parents. We met them for dinner in Los Angeles in December, 2019. His father was about to turn 85. Since that time I have not talked with them, not once. I have no desire and there is no need. Blue Eyes communicates with his father often, and occasionally speaks with his mother, who is as self absorbed and mean as ever. I did, however, last year on her 80th birthday, send her a magnificent bouquet of 80 roses, from our family. She made it to 80! Good for her.

A couple weeks ago MIL was rushed to the hospital with bleeding varicose veins. Apparently there was blood everywhere and they couldn’t stop the bleeding. I’m sure this scared her and no doubt there was pain involved. She doesn’t do well with pain. I orchestrated sending her a bouquet of tropical flowers. She loves Hawaii, so I thought she would appreciate the tropical nature of the bouquet. Apparently not… she called it unusual, and then chastised Blue Eyes for changing his mobile phone number (which he did seven years ago).

So yesterday I called up an LA florist and ordered a huge bouquet of more traditional blooms plus french macarons to be delivered to her for her birthday, from all of us, including the Brooklyn couple. It was a spendy venture. This is my way of trying to be kind to a woman who has rarely been kind to me, and I love flowers, so not a huge chore.

The arrangement is actually much bigger than this photo makes it look… it was not exactly what I asked for, but pretty nonetheless.
With a box of macarons, very French… MIL loves Paris

Blues Eyes received a quick email thanking him for the flowers. She actually copied me on the email, however she used an email address that hasn’t been active for many years. She merely said… “thank you very much. Mom”

About an hour later I received an email from the florist that went like this:

“Your mother in law called and said the flower arrangement is magnificent. That she has never seen anything like it. We talked for quite some time. She is nice.”

In this case, the apple doesn’t fall far from the proverbial tree. For some reason it is easier for my in laws and my husband to treat strangers better than they treat the people they profess to love. I will never understand it and I certainly will never emulate it.

I have found the following article to be immensely helpful to me in reminding me how I was raised and how I choose to behave:

https://www.marcandangel.com/2012/01/29/20-things-to-start-doing-in-your-relationships/

“Set an example. Treat everyone with kindness and respect, even those who are rude to you— not because they are nice, but because you are.” ~Marc and Angel Hack Life

Now I want to send my own mom some gorgeous flowers… for just being a kind, thoughtful, loving, giving, nurturing mother. I’m gonna do that!

Peace, friends! 🌸

7 thoughts on “Be kind

  1. Oh Kat… I got to this sentence “For some reason it is easier for my in laws and my husband to treat strangers better than they treat the people they profess to love” and whew!! That hit home. For me, less with my in laws (I’ve had blessedly little contact) but definitely true for my husband. I can’t count the things he did that he knew would hurt me, all to be accommodating or thought well of by some acquaintance or stranger. It’s so bizarre.

    I went and hugged my (good, kind, loving) mom after this. ☺️

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  2. Oh my. I am grateful that the woman who birthed and raised and screwed up my husband is dead and gone. I understand how she ended up being such a narcissist given her own life/childhood but you might think that people would observe other mothers and perhaps see how they could improve. She was inappropriate with him and abandoned him over and over as a child. To make it worse, he was her favorite. My MIL was a very cunning and hateful person to me when nobody was watching or listening and I talked about that over the years with my spouse. In hindsight I wonder if my anger at her fueled his addiction because it raised his stress levels and he needed relief. I will never know. My MIL was fond of sleeping around with whomever happened to show her attention and I often referred to her as a whore. Little did I know that hubby was seeking out whores too. By the time my MIL was in hospice care I really did not care and to the very end, like the day before she died, she would wake up from her coma, see me and say vile things. Ugh. I am so, so glad she is gone. I regret that others have to deal with people like that however you have developed some really good skills and understand that her importance in the world is in her mind. She is such a gnat on the tree of life. Why welcome that kind of evil into one’s life? We are adults and are capable of withstanding whatever it takes to maintain our own sanity. You are one stable and strong woman Kat. Thanks for always sharing your strengths and occasionally your sadness.

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  3. It is funny that you still got to know your MIL’s reaction to your bouquet – even thought it came through the florist! Even more since she probably wouldn’t have called had she known that the flourist would call you after 😂

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  4. I haven’t spoken to my mother, a raging narcissist, in 25 years now. She is 83 and suddenly flipped into dementia (could be Alzheimer’s, could be “normal” dementia, nobody cares) last year. She went through a period, which turned out to be brief, of civility toward my brother, SIL, and their kids. That ended suddenly and she reverted to her nasty, mean, demanding, vile behavior via phone calls and texts. They can’t get her out of her home but they did take the car after a neuro exam. All this and yet she apparently presents as “normal” on facebook and to non-family members. Forum shopping to the end…like your MIL, whose perfunctory email to BE and you is soulless bullshit.

    All her recent behavior has reaffirmed my reasons for staying away all these years. No way could I ever have created high enough or thick enough walls to protect myself from her. I would have ended up dead or in jail. My brother has shown her kindness all these years despite her ugly behavior toward him and his family, but it has taken a toll on him and his ability to be happy. Dealing with a narcissist when you are an empath is very, very tough.

    Nobody will miss her when she is gone. Nobody.

    Hope you are finding something good in life every day under these horrid circumstances ❤️

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