Preparing for a visit

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Andeza

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Preparing for a visit
« on: October 16, 2019, 02:40:53 AM »
Well UbpdM acts like she's elderly, so I guess I'll post about her here.

So here's what's going on. Around Thanksgiving my foo has a big get together that has turned into something of a mini family reunion over the years. This year, I want to go. Why? Well I really want my sweet, very old and frail grandmother to meet my ds. That and this big todo is surrounded with fond memories even if the occasion is a lot of physical hard work. This tradition is about twenty years old and I've missed a lot of those years due to college and finances.

My foo, cousins, aunts, uncles... Aren't without their problems, but I think M is the only honest to goodness pd individual.

So I'm getting hung up, in my head, about how to handle her. Let me explain. We have, dh and I, discussed our boundaries. All good right? Blegh, were it so easy.

I'm working through this tangled knot of emotions evoked by her latest email, to which I have not responded yet. It included a lovely, melodramatic fauxpology that, honestly makes me angry. It owns none of the behavior, makes mention of nothing specific. It is, in fact, your extremely typical, broad apology for nothing that pds are great at in general.

So I'm stewing a bit over that.

My previous email to her was all of two lines long. By comparison, her reply is the better part of a page, with unsolicited information about her health, etc. Things I just don't really need to hear about.

So I'm stewing a bit over that as well, because no matter how gray this rock gets she just verbal vomits everywhere. Had a T ask if it were possible, when I feel the conversation start sliding into stuff I don't want to hear ad infinitum, to gently redirect. I informed her the conversations don't slide so much as pitch headlong of a cliff.  :stars:  Oh, verbal vomit is the term dh and I have assigned to this behavior of talking nonstop and with no healthy boundaries whatsoever. I guess monologuing would work as well.

I guess I'm more than just angry though. I'm frustrated. In fact that's much of what I feel every time she goes back to her old tricks. Earlier today I realized as I was staring at that email that I had begun to disassociate from my surroundings. That's really hard to do with an eight month old in the room. Which was good, ds crawled into my lap babbling and brought me back to the moment. :tongue2:

I guess I thought I had myself a bit more over the whole mess than I actually am. I recognize that this is not going to be an easy trip, but hope to focus on the positives.

Any advice, friends? I haven't seen m since I came ootf and I think she'll try to use this visit to "iron out" the wrinkles. Aka, why isn't the vending machine working anymore!

We're starting in a hotel by the way. No way I'm under her roof.  :sadno:

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Leonor

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Re: Preparing for a visit
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2019, 10:55:18 AM »
Hello!

Would it be possible for you and your dad to take a special trip to see your grandmother? That might create a much more meaningful experience for all of you, as well as keep your dad safe from the impending storm.

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Andeza

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Re: Preparing for a visit
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2019, 01:07:51 PM »
Ah, my son, not dad. But no, it's a huge road trip for us, two long days driving. It's too far to make a visit short, and I do want to see the rest of my family as well.

My Foo all live within about half an hour of each other, so if we go, they'll all show up. Including my UbpdM.

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WomanInterrupted

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Re: Preparing for a visit
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2019, 02:14:52 AM »
I'm glad you're staying in a hotel!   :boogie:

Verbal vomit, conversations pitching headlong off a cliff (GREAT descriptions, BTW!), monologues - those deserve something a bit stronger than Medium Chill, in the form of Bean Dipping, which came from Etiquette Hell.  8-)

Cut your mom off the first chance you get and say something like, "That's very interesting.  Have you tried the bean dip?" (Insert food, insert person they may not have seen, insert person YOU just noticed and want to see - even if there isn't one!)   :ninja:

"That's very interesting - oh, there's Sue.  I have to say hello..." - even if Sue isn't there, you just walk away, without another word.  :yes:

"That's very interesting - I have to go help set up the buffet."  :ninja:

"That's very interesting - did you see how nice the Halloween decorations are?"   :ninja:

"That's very interesting - I'll be back.  Nature calls."   :ninja:

You'll get the hang of it.   :yes:

Talk to your DH and ask him to make SURE you're not cornered by your mom, and if you are, can he *please* rescue you by "needing to borrow you" for a few minutes?  (And not return you, of course!)  :)

You could also ask your DH to stick to you like glue and have a code word for if either of you gets too overwhelmed and wants to leave - even if it's still early.

I wouldn't even say goodbye - I'd just sneak out and apologize later.  Perhaps the baby needed a nap or was getting cranky.  :ninja:

Another thing you can do , if your mom keeps bringing up stuff you don't want to discuss, TELL her, "I'm not discussing this with you now.  It will have to wait.  It's not a good time."   :ninja:

If she starts acting like her nose is all out of joint, sits by herself and sulks, stares out a window and stews, or parks herself somewhere in full view of others and "cries" - ignore her.   :yes:

I'm serious.  Ignore her.  Encourage others to do the same with a mild, "She'll be fine in a bit."   :yes:

If she starts stomping, slamming things, banging things, giving you evil looks or  starts any other aggressive behavior toward you - leave.  Calmly and quietly, leave, without a scene.   :thumbup:

I don't think your mom is going to focus on you, though - I think she's going to focus on your son, because he's so  young and such a *good* source of supply.  :roll:

You can practice this with a pillow, so you're a natural at it  when the visit comes:    holding the pillow like a child, swivel on your hip *away* from anybody reaching to take your son, or actually take a step back and turn to the side, while saying, "No.  You'll have to wait until we're settled." (or whatever you'd like to say.)

If your mom tries overriding your parenting in *any* way - disrupting DS's naps, feeding him things you don't want him to have, insisting he sit with her when he CLEARLY wants to go explore (or just get away from the stranger) - or starts criticizing your parenting because she's so much better at it and what would YOU know about a teething baby? - it's time to LEAVE, without muss, fuss or drama.  :yes: :thumbup:

Always remember - you have the option to LEAVE before you get upset and blow your cork.  Some people just don't get a hint - unBPD Didi was like that.  She'd expect to hang off me, all day, and want me to fawn over her, when I didn't want to be her captive audience.  :P

So I'd leave - I'd make an excuse and just go.  Forgot something at the pharmacy.  It's late and I have to dash.  I left something in the wash and just remembered it's been there all day -  but in your case, you have young child, which is a built-in excuse.  ;D

Kids get fussy.  They get tired.  They get cranky.  They also develop colds very quickly, just in case you decide you've had your fill and *really* would rather go home!  :bigwink:

Good luck!

 :hug:

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Andeza

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Re: Preparing for a visit
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2019, 09:55:45 PM »
Have you tried the bean dip, haha! I love it. We are southerners so there'll be no end of food available to discuss.

The benefit of this event is that she'll avoid the work, so I can avoid her to a degree by rolling up my sleeves. Dh and I talked, at length, last night about our game plan. I asked him to stick to DS like glue. Son is never out of his sight, and he is completely cool with that. Dh intimidates m, so she'll behave better around him. She's scared of men. I'm more worried about her around my son than myself. I've become a very different person than the girl she thought I was. I don't put up with truckers and their nonsense, I won't put up with hers. Obvious pep talk is, well, obvious :blush:

She'll also avoid the early morning work, which I'm looking forward to, so I'll get a couple of hours to spend with my cousins, etc, before she even shows up. If she does. She's been harping on that "I'm soooooo sick!" card  :violin:(the one in every pd playbook) for ages, so I doubt she'll make it more than one day in addition to Thanksgiving itself.

Excellent advice, thank you!

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Andeza

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Re: Preparing for a visit
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2019, 03:39:59 AM »
Just a little update, we'll be leaving over the weekend, hotel is booked, car is almost ready to go, etc, and then today M decided she wants to touch base and offer for us to stay with her. No thanks, already booked the hotel. Then starts pressing, are we going to come visit her at all?

Blegh. For the call, I had her on speaker, with dh right there participating, and at one point she even had the audacity to ask to speak to me alone. Good grief. Thankfully the signal here is so absolutely crap, had I moved my phone an inch the call would have dropped, so told her no, it's not possible.

She's also pressing, keeps saying she gets the feeling she's done something or upset me somehow, so she's definitely noticed the medium chill I've been using for the last year. Keeps breaking out WIs didi's favorite line about not bothering me.

If she keeps pushing me for the answer to what has she done, she won't like it. Not at all. Because I'm toeing the fine line of just telling her she's disordered, my treatment growing up was abusive, and I do not want a close relationship with anyone that is unwilling to work on their own mental health.

Blegh. On the bright side, sounds like she's already breaking out the woe is me card and won't be present for a good chunk of our visit.

Dh, bless him, went back through every text message I've exchanged with her since I got this phone, taking pictures of the ones where she's waving her freak flag, and then shuffled them all off to a folder in his email. I took a look through them, and the two years in question contain a substantial amount of disfunction. It is truly alarming in hindsight.  :sadno:


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Andeza

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Re: Preparing for a visit
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2019, 08:28:47 PM »
Relatively uneventful thus far. We've been having a really good time with the rest of my family, helping, working, eating.

UbpdM has been present more than I expected, but I think she senses I'm unwilling to engage her in conversation, and I've been making myself scarce as much as possible. Plus, the work I'm doing makes it pretty much impossible for her to hang around. It's very hot, steamy, and uncomfortable, lol.

Today, Thanksgiving, she tried to catch me as I popped into my GM's house, asked if we could talk. As there were cousins on the porch I said sure. With witnesses I feel pretty safe. She clarified, she wanted to talk with me alone. No. And I walked away to find dh. What surprised me most was how calm I was. And annoyed, of course.

She asked again couldn't we just talk for a bit alone? Nope. And I just ignored her pouting after that. Wasn't long before she left. She doesn't like not getting her way.

I think she's still convinced that dh is controlling me or some such nonsense. Oh well. One more day and we'll make the long trip home after that. She might come tomorrow, might not. We've decided not to go to her house, as originally planned, in order to retrieve a few sentimental items. Dh is sensitive to people's mental stability and he's been increasingly uncomfortable with the idea, so we'll play it safe. We've got lots of pictures this trip, and good memories, I'm happy with that.

Ps, WI you jinxed me  ;)  ds just popped in two teeth overnight, I swear, lol