Tag Archives: denial

Cutter

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Hurting people hurt people.  They do this to focus their attention elsewhere so that they don’t have to deal with the real pain of their situation.  It’s like people who physically cut themselves.  While these “cutters” don’t actually draw blood, their “cuts” come in the form of attacking others. 

However, knowing this information beforehand only makes it slightly easier to tolerate their toxic behavior.  I still wonder:

  •   Why can’t they get themselves together? 
  •   How do they feel once the temporary high of cutting subsides?

It is hard not to respond in a similar fashion, yet I know that doing so won’t get me very far.  Plus cuts do leave scars!  I can’t begin to count the number of times I have wanted to slice and dice Eliza right back  with a machete the length of Texas.  I have envisioned myself filleting her like a piece of meat at Benihana’s!   And she’s not the only one in queue for those knife tricks!

Fantasies aside, I have to remind myself that I don’t want to do anything to add to her already troubled state.  I breathe easier that way!

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I Told You So

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I knew that Eliza would find  a way to make the court order our fault.  Her brother left a gruff message on my cell phone demanding that my husband give him a call ASAP.  Of course, my husband did not return his call and does not plan to.  He is not going to answer to him about anything regarding his kids.  He is not a concerned uncle, he is a dangerous goon with a terrible attitude and a notorious reputation. 

I can only imagine what Eliza told her brother.  I’m sure she told him that we have been telling the therapist bad things about her which is why she (the therapist) wrote the letter to the court.  I know she failed to mention how she intiated the court order with her letter. 

It wouldn’t matter anyhow.  Her brother is a male version of her—only worse.  When Eliza was first jailed she did not want us to have the boys.  She wanted them to stay with her family.  Needless to say, my husband wanted his children. Her brother refused to surrender the kids and spent  a lot of time threatening us for trying to get them. After two months he literally dropped them off at our doorstep because his girlfriend couldn’t handle caring for the boys.

However, that does not stop him from attempting to interfere on her behalf whenever she directs him to do so.  We have had our home phone number changed and had our alarm system upgraded since he has forced his way into our lives.  Many of our friends, relatives, coworkers, and the staff at the boys’ schools (he has been banned from both Ethan and Evan’s school and was actually arrested at Ethan’s for trepassing and demanding information) know how much he has harassed us. I like to let people know in case something happens to us the police will know exactly where to go. 

I am afraid that he might just show up at our doorstep.  Being that my husband works late, the odds are it would only be me and the kids at home.  If he shows up, we have decided that I should immediatedly call the police.  I am not going to waste my time explaining anything to him.  He is not welcome at our home under any circumstances.

I really wish that Eliza and her family would let us be.  But I am afraid that will never happen…

Strange Fruit

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A comment emailed to me from a reader, Old Friend on Makes Me Wanna Holler inspired me to write this post.  He mused that Eliza is a of a rare breed.  I have to agree; Eliza deserves to be in a class of her own for she is the strangest of fruits.  I try and try to understand her with little success.   Her behavior and life remain a conundrum.

 

There is no way I can explain why she has done some of the things that she has.  Or why she presently operates in a state of frenzied paranoia.  The old saying goes that you can’t compare apples to oranges.  I don’t know what kind of fruit she is, maybe an Elipple.  Or an Elnana.  Perhaps an Elizaberry.  She might just be a Dingleberry. Whatever she is I know that she is a lot different than your everyday garden variety.  The fruits of her spirit are quite devilish.

 

With that being said, I can’t compare her to much of anything.  It is really fruitless (pun intended) of me to keep attempting to understand her.  I just have to accept the fact that she is not healthy (overripe) and therefore does not have the capacity to act in a sound manner (leaves a sour/bitter/mealy/disgusting taste in the mouth). The rancidness of her fruitage is nausea inducing.  Fruit cake is not something I enjoy eating.  So I have stopped trying to psychoanalyze her behavior.  But this is really hard for me because I like fruit!  It is so versatile—you can bake it, puree it, can it, cook it,mash it, candy it, dry it, kebob it, and even use it as a garnish.  But it has its limitations.   You can’t heal it.  Fix it.  Reason with it.  Understand it.  

 

Me and most of the people in my circle are pretty normal fruit.  We are the apples, blueberries, pears, cherries, watermelons and strawberries of life—you know your everyday type of people produce.  While I love exotic fruit such as guava, passion fruit, and kiwi to name a few, my appetite just does not tolerate alien fruit.  Unfortunately, I am going to leave Eliza in the fruit bowl (bin) where she belongs!

Turn, Turn, Turn

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Dealing with Eliza’s paranoia is down right exhausting.  It just overwhelms me the way that she processes life.  Case in point, yesterday I received a letter from her that clearly displays what I am talking about.  She wrote under the guise of seeing how the boys were doing.  However, her real intent was to throw “verbal stones.”  Here’s an excerpt of parts of her long rambling letter that troubled me:

I have written all of my boys every week for the past two years.  After you stated that it was instructed for Evan not to be able to speak to me even after the court order.  I can’t help but to wonder if my baby is receiving all or any of his mail.  And it worries me.  I don’t know what these people were told but I am not and never have been an unfit parent so there is no reason why such actions should have been made without properly notfying me…

I pray that you can see my position in this situation…

If for some reason Evan hasn’t been receiving his mail I could only imagine the effect that it has taken on him.  Regardless of any past feelings toward me  it is in the best interest of Evan to know and feel that he is loved by his mom and if his mail has been or is being held this I know is very hurtful to him–not to mention it’s just wrong.  I pray this is not the case at all.  But Morocco can you blame me for worrying?  You know in your heart that I love my boys dearly and their good upbringing shows very clearly.  Evan’s behavior disability should not be taken advantage of by any means.  I pray me voicing my concerns have not offended you.  I apologize in advance if the contents of this letter has in any way.  However right now Morocco I really don’t know what to think.  But I do know that there are things that need to be addressed.  I can only pray that God continues His work with our situation.  He  has already begun and though we still may have ironing we can rest assure that God is still at work.

First of all, I have assured Eliza on several occassions that Evan has been receiving his mail.  I’m puzzled as to why she thinks that he doesn’t considering that when he writes back, he often makes mention of something she said.  We have nothing to gain by holding them from him.

Evan’s therapist did not feel that it was a good idea for her to get him more stirred up during his manic phase.  Again, she has no way of speaking to him anyway because she is in prison–the facility does not accept collect calls and I don’t think any judge would force them to do so.  She has not even been able to arrange a third party call to call our home to speak to Ethan so…??? I’m guessing that she just wants to have SOMETHING to complain about.

Unfit parent, hmm, I don’t think she is necessarily unfit (she did keep them clothed, fed, and sheltered), but I do think she is unbalanced and unhealthy.  She has killed someone in front of them, been in MANY fights in front of them, had them removed from her custody for neglect, been in MANY volatile verbal confrontations in front of them, alienated and kept them from their father–do you catch my drift?  Much of what has been told to the therapist came from Evan’s own mouth. 

Notfying her?  She is not the custodial parent so they don’t have to do so.  It hurts when the shoe is on the other foot, which is why I do keep her informed.  There are SO many things that she didn’t inform my husband of, but we don’t hold that against her because I know that an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.

Who is she praying to–the Devil?  Her blasphemy scares me.

I have told her several times that the past is the past.  Apparently it is not for her.  I think she remembers how she kept Evan and Ethan away for years and is afraid that we are going to sneak and use that against her one day.  I don’t know why she feels this way because we haven’t yet.  I take them down for monthly visits faithfully, I send pictures, school work, and report cards, I encourage them to write her, I keep her informed about their development, and I make sure that they acknowledge her on all special occassions.  What more can I do–seriously?

This is the second letter in which Eliza has mentioned how she has done such a good job with the boys.  I think she wants me to agree with her.  The problem with that opinion is that I don’t, so I can’t validate that for her.  We have picked up where she has left off.

Yes, I can blame her for worrying.  If she has handed her situation over to God as she has told me that she has many times, she shouldn’t worry.  I sent her the Serenity Prayer months ago.  The lack of control she has over this is killing her.

Behavior disability??? Try mental illness.  It blows my mind that she wants to keep her child crippled.  I can’t understand why she does not want him to get better.  We are getting him the help he needs–not at all taking advantage of him.  That was really hurtful to me.  I almost think that she has something to hide.

She doesn’t care about offending me.  She lives in her own world and plays by some set of imaginary rules that she created.  And she finds a way to contort any information that I provide her with.  I was momentarily offended and upset, but then I decided it was fruitless and made the choice not to be.  Being offended and angry about her character is like getting mad at a bee for stinging.  You can’t get mad–it’s what they do.  They were born to sting.

 The primary emotion I experienced after reading her letter was sadness.  I just feel so sad because she is making herself miserable.  I know she has a lot of time on her hands and is probably listening to the advice of many “prison lawyers,” but her paranoia is getting ridiculous.  And it doesn’t have to be this way.  We should use our problems as stepping stones to get us to a better place.  I am here for her, but only if she will allow me to be.  Though I refuse to allow her to enmesh me in her mess.  I knew one day soon the tides would turn, and surely enough, they have.  But I am not going to “turn” with her.  Here is my response to her letter:

Eliza,

Hi, I am well, thank you for inquiring.  The boys are doing fine, too.  They are both participating in the “Summer Spectacular Reading Program” again this year.

Evan is doing awesome! God has been answering our prayers.  He really loved the picture that you sent of your mom.  He was so excited to receive it.

Take care,

Morocco

I am proud of myself for not letting her manipulate me into something I am not.

Real Talk

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            Monday I made the two hour drive down to see Eliza so that I could speak with her face to face regarding the voicemail she left.  I could detect the veiled hostility in her message that she attempted to cover up by concluding with and have a blessed day.  I wanted to give her a chance to talk about whatever it was that was obviously bothering her. 

It was a pretty intense visit in which we talked about a lot.  She was defensive (understandably so) and seriously in denial about Evan’s reason for being in residential treatment.  It was primarily her parenting, life, and motives that were being examined.  As I knew would happen sooner or later, events from the past surfaced.  But I was okay with that and was actually looking forward to an end of the pretense that all was well.  It was like a breath of fresh air to a collapsed lung.

 It was weird how the conversation flowed.  She jumped around from topic to topic and eventually landed in the past.  She began with the scarf story.  When CPS had removed the kids from her custody, we had them for a period of five weeks.  One day after visiting with her for a couple of hours, Evan came home with the scarf that she used to wrap her hair up at night.  She sent it to comfort him.  She continued to say that Evan told her that I had thrown the scarf away proclaiming, “Nothing that belongs to your mother will ever be allowed in this house.”  You’ll have to forgive me, but I started laughing at the absurdity of it all.  I would never do such a thing and I actually thought it was kind of cute that she had sent it with him.  I explained this to her and she burst out crying.  Apparently she believed this—though I have no idea why Evan would weave such a tale.  But then again, I do.  Sometimes when children know that their parents want to hear certain things, they will do anything to “feed” this need and begin to fabricate stories.  I’m sure she wanted to hear something “bad” about us, and because he wanted to please her, he came up with the scarf story.  She heard what she wanted to hear and used that among other tales to keep the animosity burning and the rift growing. 

She said that Ethan told her that I said that she would never be able to afford a house like ours.  Another lie.  One day Ethan asked me how much our house cost.  I thought it was a rather strange question coming from the mouth of a then ten-year-old boy.  I responded by saying that there are certain questions that you just don’t ask people and that the question he had just asked was one of them.  I knew that she sent him fishing for this particular information.

Eliza was also holding it against us that a friend of her middle son’s father, Carl, told him that my husband and I said that we did not want the kids at our house.  Carl, of course, relayed this misinformation to her.  I gently pointed out to her that immediately after the incident that landed her in prison, my husband made arrangements to get them.  Now mind you, Eliza is the one who did not want my husband to receive custody.  Before her husband went to prison, she had him call my husband asking him if he would terminate his parental rights! Not to mention, she fainted in jail upon learning that we had Ethan and Evan.

            I was a little shocked at how much she thrived on the whole “he say-she say” phenomenon.  But then again, she does have that drama seeking, immature personality.  It seems that she was expressing her own actual feelings through Ethan and Evan.  She didn’t want to come off as totally paranoid or as if she really cared what I thought about her.  These are her adult insecurities that she has bequeathed to her children.

  She also said that social worker involved in the CPS case told her that she felt I was too controlling.  Again, I had to laugh as I informed her that Shan, the caseworker, had told me that exact same thing about her!    

Eliza attempted to badmouth my husband but I stopped her by simply saying “I am not here to defend my husband—what for?  You had a past with him that I can’t speak on.  Your experience with him belongs to you and him alone.  I understand that he is not perfect and I’m sure that you both did things wrong that resulted in a failed marriage.  But I would like to remind you that he is not the same person that you married, as I’m sure you are not the same.”   She appeared to accept this.

I guess I have moved on because I didn’t once mention any of the problems that she caused for me.  My entire focus was on the kids and how we could continue to work together for the good of the whole.  And in case you’re wondering, Eliza did apologize twice for leaving that message.

            The kids were I teach have a term that they use to describe a serious moment of conversation known as “real talk.”  Yesterday, as tedious as it was, was our first “real talk.”  In the end I was glad that she had the opportunity to get some concerns off her chest.  Do I think there’s more? Yes.  Am I ready to throw in the towel? Kind of.  Am I sick of dealing with her and the whole ordeal? Absolutely!  Am I going to keep talking and working through this mess? Most likely.  Why?  Because I know that I can’t always give up or give in when the going gets tough.