Phone Call

Nervous breakdown in 5… 4… 3…

I had never wanted to hear from her again in my life.

About a decade ago, she had a stroke.  Or two.  It doesn’t matter now, but during one of them, she reached out to have me contacted.  I kept that she had contacted me from the kids.  My then husband and I had been discussing how I was going to see her.  I was in a wheelchair at the time, with a newly 3 year old, and I was trying to figure out how this was going to happen.  He pushed back the visit by days.  More days.  And more days.

I was calling daily for updates.

Finally, we got a call from the local to her police department.  Apparently, I was “threatening” her.  He talked to the police and, because we actually never spoke to her, the officer realized she, and her friends and nurses there, were talking out of their arses.  He was warned by the officer that I should stay away from that woman for my safety.

Who was she?

My mother.

We have a convoluted history.  I survived her abuse.  She denies any mental illness on her end, and that she never abused me.

I was an artistic child.  The difference in how I’m raising my artistic children and how she raised me is night and day.  I had a tiny allowance and, for a while, a paper route for spending money.  I used my money to buy what little supplies I could so I could draw.  I know the last three years of my high school, she did not buy my school supplies.

My kids have a box of school supplies they can go into and grab from without having to ask me.  I have made sure the artistic ones have sketchbooks and notebooks available to use.  I had to buy my own supplies, and “borrow” from school when I could sneak stuff out.  I bought my sketchbooks, my paintbrushes and more.

“You rewrite everything so you’re the hero of your own story,” she said on the phone to me and my children.  I had put her on speaker phone.  She had used the phrasing of how she didn’t have long for this world.  That’s what she said, word for word, when the message got to me three years ago through a friend’s son who I was in contact with.  That relationship there died within days of that message.

My phone rings, and the caller id comes up as her number.  I’m thinking, “oh good, she’s finally gone.”

No such luck.

It’s not her voice, but it is how she manipulates.  She sounds so very different.  Probably from the strokes.  I was forever scarred by how she uses her tone of voice to manipulate me.  I couldn’t hear those tones anymore, but she was trying to manipulate my children.

Yes, I let them talk to her.  It was probably going to be the only time those kids will ever get to talk to her.  They tried to get her to admit to stuff, and she played the game she’s so good at – everything is my fault.  The newest version of her story had me rolling my eyes.  She was playing the manipulation game and when I called her on it, she said I was “re-writing the story to make (me) the hero.”

She was also trying to manipulate my children into getting jobs as teens, and overstepping my authority with them.  Excuse me. 5 minutes talking to my kids does not make you an authority on how they should live.

I let her continue to ramble as the kids played with the phone.  One wore it like a hat for a bit.  Another was spinning it around while she talked.  A third was playing “balance the phone” on objects while she rambled.

Me?

I never wanted to hear from her again.  The next call I want from that number is the one where she’s finally gone.

I would give almost anything to have 10 minutes with someone who loved me for being me, than hear her utter another word at me. 

The one thing that has me shaking my head – she still smokes, even after two strokes.

Yes, the police have been called, and I have a file number.  I’ll deal with that on Monday.



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