Dear Senior Master Sgt.,
I can only assume after being deleted and blocked by you on FB that you somehow feel as if your step-dad sticking up for, and asking you to be more respectful of me, is somehow an attack on you? I’m not sure why asking for respect from you makes you so incredibly angry, but each time he has asked you to be nicer to your mother, you do some sort of childish behavior like this. You’ve gotten angry, left our home early, used the silent treatment for months, molded your childhood friends into flying monkeys to do your bidding for you, pouted worse than any child, sarcastically and passive aggressively commented on posts for years, and this time, told us to “have a nice life” and deleted us off FB.
When you knew I was close to publishing my book, you hoovered, and unblocked just me, quickly sharing the link to my book on your FB page, proudly sharing my accomplishment as if it was your own. I’m not sure you even read it? And if you did, you didn’t tell me, or even let me know what you thought about it. I never heard, “great job, Mom!” or “I’m so proud of you.”
After, being added back to your FB, I watched you honor your father on Father’s Day with the clinking of two beer mugs, and a change of profile picture while you said not a word to your step dad. And we said nothing. When he was diagnosed with a brain tumor you said nothing to us, yet wrote a huge FB post about how Senator John McCain’s passing from a brain tumor affected you so deeply because he was such a great guy and you felt such sorrow for the family. And again, we said nothing.
I know you are way past the age for me to parent you and you’re so over me for some reason you can’t roll your eyes quite far enough back into your skull, but now I’d like give you some of the same “feedback” you give so liberally give to me.
You little shit. Who the hell do you think you are?
Your excuses for treating us like this have been; “I tell people like it is, it’s just how I am.” “If you want compassion and empathy, that’s what you have your husband and other son for.” You tell me I’m “Negative all the time,” or “I’m a victim and never happy,” or “My husband only agrees with me because if he doesn’t, I’ll make his life a living hell.” And my all time favorite comment was when I asked you if you talked to your father like this, you told me, “Why should I have to talk to my father like I talk to you?” And these are not things you’ve said to me on the phone. These are things you’ve said to me on Face time where you can clearly see how upset I am. See the tears flowing down my face and how what you’re saying to me is hurting me. And you know what I’ve noticed? Tears egg you on even more. The more of a reaction I give you the more you enjoy it. There’s something wrong with that.
You no longer even remotely resemble the boy I raised.
You say, “I’m stupid,” “overly-emotional,” “dramatic.” You mock me and pretend to talk like me, raising your voice like a girl to further twist your knife. You talk about your stepbrother and stepfather’s military experience as “not as hard as yours and not service that really counts as service.” “Your step-brother’s positivity gets on your nerves.” And when we discussed a dietary issue I was concerned about for a friend’s upcoming wedding, you told me that when and if you get married again, “You will eat chicken or beef at my wedding, or you can stay your ass home.”
When I finally decided the No Contact my therapist was recommending I do to protect myself because I was going crazy with pain, I turned to my blog for an outlet. You sent a huge email making fun of me, and a blog post I wrote about feeling suicidal for the first time in my life. You wrote, “It was quite ridiculous,” “immature,” and “dramatic,” to delete you and anyone associated with you from my FB. You said how angry it made you feel and even accused me of libel.
Your inability to see me, and others, as human, with needs, feelings and imperfections, cuts me to my core. I did not raise you to be this way. When I cried in therapy asking what I did wrong, the therapist said I was a sitting duck for more of your abuse if that’s what I thought. It was there I learned that not all narcissists are abused. Some are created in the military.
Your excuse of a bad memory, and not remembering what you say and do isn’t cutting it with me anymore. How can you not remember saying some of the atrocious things you’ve said to your own mother? You have made it clear that our relationship is over if I expect to be treated with respect. You have made it clear that you will not tolerate a ‘no dumping ground’ sign in an area you wish to shit. You’ve all but said I am not loveable. You’ve warned, that this No Contact with you has “second and third generation consequences.” I get it. If I ever expect to see my future grandchildren, I won’t because I refuse to take your abuse. And I simply do not care.
You did say the last time we talked that you were who you were because of me first, then the military. You said, “We’ll always butt heads because I can’t handle the truth.” But, I can not only handle it, I can say that shit out loud. You are who you are at your core because of me, but it’s because of the military that you’ve become hardened, detached and difficult to reach. You’ve removed yourself from our family, gravitating toward your father’s side and that’s fine. I get that too. You are comfortable abusing me, and terrified to let your father know how he made you feel as a kid. He puts you on the pedestal that you crave. It’s because of that hardness that it’s you that can’t handle the truth. You’re much more fragile than you’d like to admit and your tough, untouchable exterior is a façade. I know that because I am your mother.
You freely hand out your feedback to people in your life, yet tell me it’s me who is toxic to be around. You tell them how you think they should be living, as though you have it all figured out, but no one has the liberty to do that to you in return? You wouldn’t even hear me respond to your accusations on Face time without talking over me and running me into the ground with your soapbox, Tony Robbins lecture. Your nose in constant reading of leadership books. But, you’d do better to read something that dealt with learning to have some compassion and empathy for others, as you lead.
I am sick to death of your disrespect, your mouth and your behavior. It’s been six months of no contact and I have been feeling so much better. For the first time in a long time, I am finally walking straighter and taller. At fifty-one, I no longer have to feel worried that I will do or say the wrong thing and get pounced on and punished for it like I’m the child.
Oh, and I got your Save the Date for your wedding. We will not attend. I will not eat what the fuck you serve. I will instead do as you say and stay my ass home.
Yesterday was your birthday. You are thirty-three years old and you act like you’re seven. It was a sad day for me. Not because I miss your abuse, but because if someone would have told me this is what our relationship would come to after growing up together and being close all your life, I would have told them they were lying.
Mother’s Day is tomorrow. I brought you home on Mother’s Day from the hospital after giving birth to you. I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was so nervous. I didn’t want to do anything wrong. But, the day felt like a gift. A gift I was given, to help me do the very best I knew how to do for eighteen years.
Now. You look down your nose from your fast-tracking military perch and snub your nose up at the very people who put you there. When I said I’d love to have a talk with your superiors about how narcissistic you’ve become, you said, “They gave you the confidence to say no, and to tell people you love they are wrong.”
You’re right. I’m wrong for everything, and I’ve never been happier.
Happy Birthday, Son… I mean, Happy Birthday, Senior Master Sgt!