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Memory #4

June 5, 2012


I was in my 30s and was living out-of-state. I had a good friend who was an older woman. She became like the Mother I always wanted and never had. My parents visited me during that time and they happened to meet my friend. I did not think much of it but I should have kept my friend away from my Mother. A few years later, I had moved to another state but my friend and I kept in touch by phone. My friend had a son and he had come home to live with her. He had come home to die. He was very sick due to AIDS. It was early on when AIDS was a death sentence. My friend loved her son but she was very upset that he was gay. She was embarrassed that he was dying of AIDS. My friend was not perfect and I did not really understand her embarrassment but I did not try to talk to her or change her feelings about it. I knew she loved her son and they were both coping as best they could with a hard, sad situation.

One day my friend called me and told me that her son had died. We talked a long time. The conversation made me very sad and I cried after I got off the phone. My Mother has always had an uncanny knack for calling me at my low moments in life. It is like she knows when I am down so she can kick me. She acted nice to me but it was really a maneuver to get me to talk. That is what happened this time. Of course, I have always been half stupid. I have fallen for her tricks and her fake concern time after time. I made the mistake of telling my Mother that my friend’s son had died. I told her he had died of AIDS and that my friend did not want anyone to know about that. I had promised my friend that I would not tell anyone. I told my Mother. I broke my word. I have no excuse for that. I was really upset and my Mother acted nice to me so I broke down and told her why I was upset. I specifically told my Mother not to talk about it to anyone.

Within the hour after I had talked to my Mother, my friend called me back. She was very angry. My Mother had called her and had said to her that she was sorry her son had died of AIDS. I had no idea that my Mother had her number. I had no idea that my Mother had been calling her over the years. I had no idea that my Mother could be so cruel as to call my friend and say anything about her son having AIDS. I understood my friend being angry at me for telling my Mother about the this. It was wrong of me. I should not have broken my promise. I also should have known better than to trust my Mother. Still, I did not think she would be so cruel to someone else in order to get at me. The woman’s son had died and she was hurting. It was a horrible time for her.

After my friend let me have it for breaking my word and betraying her confidence, I called my Mother and I let her have it. This was one situation I was not going to let slide. She acted like she had misunderstood me and she tried to convince me that she was trying to be nice by calling my friend and telling her she was sorry her son had died. It was all a lie but she would never own up to it. I have no doubt she went around and told everyone that I yelled at her for calling someone to give her condolences. She is infamous for distorting the truth in a way that paints her in a positive light. From this situation, she was able to cost me my friendship and act like I was awful to her for simply offering comfort to a grieving Mother.

My friendship with my surrogate Mother was never the same after this. My Mother occasionally gloats and asks me how my friend is. She always has a sick sort of grin on her face when she asks about her. She knows the friendship was destroyed. The friendship did not end that day but it was never the same. It faded away. I suspect my Mother kept calling her because I always had the feeling that something was off somehow. I am sure my friend is no longer alive. She was older and not in good health years ago.

My Mother has always been sneaky and underhanded in trying to make contacts with the people in my life. She convinces people that if something happened to me, that person may need to contact her. Phone numbers get exchanged without my knowledge and she begins her little calls where she acts like the loving Mother. Slowly she begins to say things to try to convince them that I am a rotten person. She hates to tell them supposedly…but she slowly begins to tell them out of concern about me that I am really a bad person. For example, I have 3 dogs. My Aunt called me one time and asked about my dogs. My Mother had mentioned to my Aunt that she hoped I would not hurt my dogs. I love my dogs and I don’t abuse animals but my Mother tried to plant that seed of doubt about me in my Aunt. I have no idea of the magnitude of her underhanded behavior because few people would ask me or tell me about it. I was grateful my Aunt mentioned it. My dogs are around 10 years old and they are healthy and spoiled so maybe it is clear I don’t abuse animals. My Aunt was just concerned about the dogs or else she wouldn’t have said anything.  My Mother, by the way, used to kick dogs and cats when I was little and she has always hated animals.

My husband and my Father-in-law clued me in on my Mother’s treachery. She used to call them both and work on changing their perceptions of me. My Father-in-law is deceased but he stood up for me and he also told me all about my Mother’s attempts to  convince him I am worthless. My Father-in-law loved me. My husband also loves me and he has told her to shut the hell up a few times. He also has told her if that if she were a man he would beat the hell out of her. She is very clever though. It took a few years for both of them to really see what she was doing. I am grateful beyond words that my Father-in-law and husband figured it out and defended me.

I have learned to be very careful not to give my Mother any information or to introduce her to anyone in my life. I could not control her from calling my husband or my Father-in-law behind my back. I can’t control her from calling my relatives and talking to people in the community where I once lived. I just try to block her as much as possible. She still tries to get to my husband. She acts like she never heard him tell her shut up. She is so sweet with him and once she thinks he has warmed toward her, she begins her attempts to denigrate me all over again. It is just freaky crazy and cruel. Why she wants people to hate me I do not know. It makes me mad that I am still trying to figure it out. Why, why, why…..

I miss my friend, my surrogate Mother.

  1. Your mother sounds very much like my x-monster. My X would do things like what you mentioned above. I thought, often, “If you hate me so much, then why try so hard to keep me??” I later began to believe that it was all in the brainwashing he was trying to do. He absolutely HAD to keep me on my toes, second-guessing everything I might say, see, or do. He sought out to keep me in constant anxiety. My biggest on-going mistake with my X, is that I kept falling into the false belief that he was, at least a little bit, normal. That he was human. He made me regret that, every time.

    You weren’t wrong in telling your mother, really, though it did betray a confidence. Our mothers are supposed to be our foundation…our rock…someone we can go to about anything. You needed someone to talk to, every bit as your friend did. Your Mother betrayed YOU, by using that against you. She did it just to get a rise, and nothing more. I suspect your mother is a Psychopath. The patient scheming your mother has done, is an echo of my X-monster, and I can SOOO relate to the torment! Unfortunately your mom had been talking to your friend. She did so, to keep your friend snow-balled into believing she was (enter chameleon mode) the caring, sweet, loving mother. This was something your mother WANTED. When the time came, she could be the twisted, conniving, changeling. It was your word against hers. When she went to your friend, it was just another piece in the con-game, to her, that she implemented quite some time prior.

    Keep writing, keep talking, and keep reading. This is a wonderful tool to be able to find a way to absorb everything. You might never understand, but you’ll find a place where “no answer” is the “best answer”.

    Peace to your heart.

  2. Thank you so much for your response. I am sorry about your ex. Your words helped me.

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