So after that little run in with My Evil Mother I decided enough is enough. I also decided that I need to set boundaries with my grandparents as it’s all good and well that I ignore her calls and delete her messages without reading them, but if they keep sucking me into her crap, I would be tempted to intervene.
I decided to write my grandparents a letter. I wanted to write a letter to ensure that I didn’t forget anything and because I am so super emotional right now, I would probably break down crying and the conversation would end there. I’ve decided to post part of the letter on my blog. There is a part of the letter that I will be leaving out though, because I’m not willing to share that here right now. So here it is:
I thought it would be easier for me to write these things down. There are some things that will be said here that are still hard for me to talk about. Things I have been afraid to tell you, things that I was perhaps protecting you from. Things I thought you could go without ever knowing.
Last night she contacted me again. It’s the same old story with her. ‘God doesn’t sleep’ and ‘What you do unto the least of Mine you do unto Me’. Just some of her favourite quotes, as you well know. Eventually she had me in tears. Whether or not she is my mother, she is toxic to me. She hurts me over and over again. When I stopped her from doing it financially, she started doing it emotionally. Right now I have my own child to protect and concern myself with. Even today at work I am still crying about her, the after affects of her latest verbal assault. She has a very powerful negative effect on me and I cannot afford to have that in my life, for the sake of my child and my family.
I know that she has this effect on you too. I know that she manipulates you and makes you feel guilty. I know she has cost you a lot, not only financially, but also emotionally. She still does. While I cannot control what you let in and how you allow her to work in your lives, I can control what I will allow in mine.
She has already started making claims to my child and I will not allow it. As a new mother I will have to stay as calm and relaxed as I possibly can. Stress and worries can cause my breast milk to dry up and can cause the onset of Post Natal Depression. She can cause me to not be able to feed my child with what is best for him. You must understand that this is a great concern to me. While I thought I would not withhold her grandchild from her, I have come to realize that this will probably be necessary, for my wellbeing as well as his. You know that she wanted to take George’s second child (my half brother, Nicholas) from him. She wanted to do the same with [my cousin] when we were living in Selbourne Street. She also wanted to take Coke Head’s child away from his ex (this information I get straight from Coke Head’s ex). Somehow she seems to think that everyone around her is an unfit parent and she wants to take their children away from them. Why would this be different? [My aunt and uncle] are family, are they not? Her own sister that she claims to love so dearly. I know she would never succeed in taking my child from me, the thought is ridiculous, but the mere fact that she would try is disturbing enough.
Despite how it may appear on the surface, this is not about money. This is not about the fact that she exploited me and used me until she no longer could and turned around and said ‘So sue me’. It is about so much more than that. I cannot trust her. I cannot believe a word that comes out of her mouth. She has not changed and probably never will. She continues to harass me and hurt me. Every time I speak to her I come away from the experience a little more hurt and bruised. She adds absolutely no value to my life, in fact, she poisons it. I cannot and will no longer allow her to do so.
I have told you about the incident where she asked me to draw R500.00 for her from my credit card and that I refused to do so. What kind of person (not to mention mother) stages their own suicide to ‘teach their child a lesson’ because she would not give her money? That day she led me to believe that she was killing herself by gassing herself in her car “somewhere along the R300” because I would not give her what she wanted. I phoned the police. [Boogaloo] was with me that day. He could tell you what she did and how it affected me. She is shockingly ruthless and has no conscience.
Here comes the hard part. The thing I thought I’d never tell you. I guess I never have told you because in a way I was ashamed. At the time I was asked not to tell and I honoured this request. In a time where I still trusted her and thought she had my best interests at heart. I know now she obviously didn’t. Perhaps I’m telling you this now so you can know exactly how deep this pain runs for me and so that you can see the full extent of her selfishness.
[Ed: Section removed]
I still live with that. Do you think it keeps her awake at night?
For these reasons and so many more, I need to cut her out of my life. I do not want to hear about her. I do not want her to contact me and I have requested her to stop. I do not want to be made to feel guilty for making this decision. If she is discussed in my presence I will leave. I need to do what is best for me. Having her in my life is not healthy. If and when she ever gets her life together I may reconsider, but I am not willing to compromise on my decision before then. Bear in mind that, realistically, this may never happen.
Although she is my biological mother, I feel that it is you and Ouma who have been the constant support and role models in my life. You were always there for me when I needed you. You always ensured that I was fed, clothed and had a roof over my head, even when she could not. I could not have asked for anyone better. Both of you are fantastic and I am so grateful to you and to God for what you have meant in my life. I am truly blessed to have you both. My intention in telling you these things is not to hurt or upset you, but to help you understand why I have taken such a seemingly harsh stand with regard to my mother. I wish that I could fix her, but I cannot. Neither can you. I really feel that she is draining both of you, but it is your choice to let her.
Please respect my decision. Please do not discuss her in front of me or talk to me about her. Please don’t make me feel guilty for trying to protect my family. I love both of you dearly and wish I could protect you as well, but only you can protect yourselves.
I love you very much, more than anything. Never forget that, ever.
I cried many tears writing this letter. I cried when I sent it. I was terrified to send it. I am not afraid of my grandparents at all, but I was scared this would harm my relationship with them and perhaps they would see me differently (specifically because of the part that has been edited out). I will post the full letter on a password protected post and you may request the password. I will be very selective about who I give it to. If I do give you the password, please respect my decision to password protect and do not divulge it to anyone.
I was very nervous about the repercussions of the letter. I was afraid to speak to my grandfather after he had read it. This morning I called him. His disposition towards me has not changed. He seems to understand slightly better now and has agreed to respect my decision. I hope he can put this into practice. I think it will be hard for them to not even discuss her as they confide in me, but I know that I cannot hear about her either. Just speaking about her or hearing about her makes my blood boil. I will admit that I may also struggle. I am curious by nature and she is the juiciest gossip in the family. I will need to be strong though. I will need to stick to my guns and leave the conversation should they discuss her at all.
My only concern now is seeing her at church. It’s a place she hones in on when she needs to target us. She knows she can always find us there. At the moment she is a fair distance away from our congregation and my grandfather has refused her pleas to come and fetch her for service. Usually he would not do this, but I think he understands her motives a bit better now. We have many congregations and there is one much closer to where she lives. If going to church is all she wants to do, she can attend there.
If I can manage to completely cut her off, life is going to be a lot less stressful. Wish me luck!