Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Letters From Mama: Christmas Debt

Many moons ago, we cut Mama out of our lives.  She made one too many public gaffes and it was time to remove the tension and frustration from our lives.  After 10 years, we finally were able to breathe freely.  We no longer had someone trying to insert themselves into our relationship.  Our life was our own.

Since the day we cut her off, we have received one note saying that she thought of us while eating a bowl of mac n' cheese.  Not steak and eggs or caviar and pickles, but mac n' cheese.

Until today.  We received a package in the mail from Mama.  On the "envelope" which was nothing more than recycled packaging tape, was inscribed, "VERY, VERY BEST THING NOT TO OPEN UNTIL CHRISTMAS MORNING :)."  Oops...   In it was the following:

To Me:


The nature of the gifts to your children are such that if they receive them soon, they will love them, and the memory, all their lives.  But, if too much time goes by before they receive them, the gifts will seem too childish and have lost their magical gleam.  So, come soon.....soon.....

Love, Mama

[Again, as you will see over and over again in these letters and others I transcribe in this series, she enjoys the power of control.  Holding gifts hostage until she gets what SHE wants.  But wait...it gets worse.]

To my wife, Kristine:

Love you, daughter, Mama Mary.

[She has been trying to get my wife to call her that for years.  It's uncomfortable and will not happen.  A sane person would accept anything.  But, don't focus on that.  Zero in on the fact that she sends my bride a one-liner and then never mentions her again in any of the other kid's notes.  I don't know why.  Curious.]

To Renaya, my 9 year old daughter (in which she folds a $1 bill):

Dear Renaya,

For you I have a cat (a kitten :)).  Not a real one, but a statue that sits on your dresser and you can rub its smooth coolness just before you hop into your bed each night.

And Renaya, can you tell your little brother Jack that for him I have a white and cotton-candy-pink trike airplane with pedals, that he can ride down the sidewalk on?  And for your baby sister Analisse, a red, white, and blue trike airplane, a smaller one that she can sit on and push herself along with her feet.  But the two trike airplanes are buried under the wall crumbles at the back of the basement, so when yourr family comes we'll need to dig them out and clean them up in the bathtub, or if it is Spring, outside with a hose.

Here is a dollar for you, Renaya, as earnest on the promise.  But the promise will end sometime.  You can ask your Daddy when that will be.  I wrote it in his letter. :)

Love, Grandmama, XO!

[WOW!  She tells my 9 year old that she can have a statue to rub every night and then begs her to come over and dig out some old toys in a crumbling basement, clean them up and give them to her sister and brother.  Worse yet, she gives the girl a dollar but puts a guilt trip on her, stating that the dollar is only a bribe IF she gets her dear old daddy to bring her over.

How sick.  Actually, I think she is sick.  Something has or is going to snap soon.]

To Laura, my 8 year old daughter (in which she folds a $1 bill):
Dear Laura Rose,

For you I have a cat (a kitten :)).  Not a real one, but a statue that sits on your dresser and you can rub its smooth coolness just before you hop into your bed each night.  There is a black one, and a cream-and-brown one, and you and Renaya can decide which one each of you would like as your own.

When your family comes, we can wrap the kittens well, so they will not break on the way home.

Here is a dollar for you, Laura Rose, as earnest on the promise.  But, the promise will end sometime.  You can ask your Daddy when that will be.  I wrote it in his letter. :)

Love, Grnadmama XO!

P.S. Here is a kiss and a hug for Jack XO! and for Analisse XO!  Will you give them to them for me?  Thank you.

[Quite repetitious.  Another bribe.  Another guilt trip.  And a bald-faced lie.  She never gave me a specified time.  She said "soon".  That's pretty relative.]

To Frederic, my 6 year old son(in which she folds a $1 bill):

Dear Frederic,

For you I have a puppy, not a real one :), but a statue that sits on your dresser so you can rub the cool smoothness of its head before you jump into bed each night.

When your family comes to my house, we can wrap the puppy up real good so it will not break on the way home.

Here is a dollar for you, Frederic, as earnest on the promise.  You can ask your Daddy what "earnest" means. :)

Love, Grandmama XO!

[Fred.  It means "bribe".  She gives you a dollar to get something back.  We're calling her bluff.  Enjoy the Christmas money.]

To Felicity, my 4 year old daughter (in which she folds a $1 bill and tapes a quarter):

Dear Felicity,

For you I have a horse (a pony :)).  Not a real one, but a wooden one like your cousin's that sits on your dresser, and before you hop into bed each night you can rock it while it sits on your dresser, and listen to it go "clickety clack, clickety clack", as if it was trotting down the street!

[Perfectly fine note for a 4 year old.  But it isn't the gift she is focusing on, as you'll see when I finish this note, rather, it is the power she wants when she sees us walk to her door.  It's sick to use kids as pawns.

Now, back to the letter to Felicity...]
When your family comes to my house we can put it in a box for you to carry safely home to put on your dresser.

Here is a dollar for you, Felicity, as earnest.  You can ask your Daddy what "earnest" means.  :)

And Felicity, can you give this quarter to Jack so he can put it in his piggy bank?  Thank you.

Love, Grandmama XO!


Note:  All punctuation in the letters was hers.

Well, there you have it.  She's bat cap crazy.


  1. I don't quite know what to say to that. LOL? Bizarre.

    What do your kids think of her? Is she kinda like the crazy Uncle to them?

  2. Oh. My. Word.

    Cut and paste job, big time.

    The part about rubbing the cool smoothness of its head before you go to bed each night really creeps me out.

    Everything she writes has a creepy factor to it. *shudders*

  3. Lewis, kids are interesting creatures. They would take all her eccentricities and love her just the same.

    I just don't give them the chance.

  4. From hruppert:

    I wish that I could just comment on your blog. That would make things so much easier.
    But my blogger account won't let me even though we're both on blogger. Stupid modern technology.
    I'd comment more on Lewis's site, too, if I could.

    It just grieves me that this world is so screwed up that children can have crazy parents. I work in social services so I see it all the time. It hurts watching children try to make sense of their little worlds when their parents don't make a lick of sense on a good day.

    I comforts me to see you rising above it and getting past it. If I could be your cheering section in your comment section, I would. But I can't... Stupid modern technology.
    (I can comment at home using google chrome, but my computer time at home is severely limited to close to nothing because of sharing the computer with four others, including a major computer hog. I'm limited to the most basics of on-line work and a few house-keeping things.)

    So, anyway, this is my little note to you to let you know, I'm still reading and I'm still pleased with the direction you and your wife are taking your beautiful children. Even with all the faults you make sure the rest of see concerning you as a father, your heart is in the right place and I wish you and yours the best Christmas ever.

  5. Got a letter to Jamison for his family.....sigh...

  6. I don't want to jump to erroneous conclusions, but I am convinced that she is truly crazy. I made a cursory scan of my DSM-IV to see if her behaviors lined up to anything identifiable, but the closest I got was narcissism, and it is not very close. The tone of those letters she writes is... I don't know, it's bizarre. It's like she's completely out of touch with reality.
    Anyway, that was not just in an effort to insult your mother, and I hope it didn't come off that way. I really look up to you for, as hruppert put it, rising above it all. Keep it up, Joe.

  7. Wow. I didn't think my mom could be beat in the crazy lady competition. Hats off.

  8. Andrea Grace, say whatever you want about anything on here. I can handle it. In this case, you're quite correct. I would probably classify her as having Borderline Personality Disorder. Schizophrenia runs in the family too.

    And please don't look up to me. I promise, I WILL let you down.

  9. Remember me? Just wanted to stop by and say hello.

  10. Would never forget. It's wicked awesome to see you're still out there.

    Everything working like clockwork?

  11. Pulling up my armchair to comfortable offer my amateur psychoanalysis. I am even putting on my reading glasses so I look smarter! ;-)

    Andrea, I think you are correct, and that we are indeed reading about yet another NPD mother here. A book I have found worth much more than it cost: "Children of the Self-Absorbed:A Grownups Guide to Getting Over Narcissistic Parents" by Nina Brown.

    In the section of gift giving (from memory because I loaned out the book), NPDs give the crappiest gifts, and conversely expect to be worshiped for their thoughtfulness in offering you the crappy gift and be lauded for their excellent taste as well. I think this blog is even a better illustration than the one in the book.

    For his twelfth birthday present, my son received from Grandma a STICK (not a pack) of gum that was all ugly and old looking, like it had been carried around in the bottom of a purse for a year first. The debris-laden trikes in the corner of this grandma's basement are eerily similar: old piece of crap just laying around gathering dust- a great present for a grandson! Only an NPD would come up with that idea, AND expect that people would be excitedly grateful.

  12. I know about crazy parent manipulative behaviour. Never had to cut my parents off, but it still hurt. I don't think they were crazy, they were just convinced they were right about everything and that I was crazy or rebellious, I don't know but they thought I was making bad, wrong choices because they were not the ones they would have made and the difference of opinions was so vast it made both sides seem crazy. It is a super hard situation, no matter what the motivation.

  13. I no longer speak to my parents. My extremely manipulative mother likes to dole out merit-based love. During the period that we were testing whether or not she should be in our newly-born daughter's life, she told us to come by to get her Christmas present from them. When we came by, we never got a present, just a huge scolding. She told us that until she sees "brokeness and repentance" for marrying without their blessing, she'll always resent us. Later, when I confronted her about not giving my daughter anything for Christmas, she said she didn't thing the relationship was "there" yet. *cue eyeroll. Then, we invited them to her 1 year birthday and they didn't come because they decided to go to a "missions" conference. Instead, they sent a wadded up $20, no card with my brother-in-law. That was the final straw. I actually no longer speak to any of my immediate family because the relationship is so toxic. Glad to know I'm not the only one out there doing the hard thing to protect my family!

  14. Wow, Andrea! Are you my sister? Though my siblings are pretty cool.

  15. Dude. So much no. I hope you didn't actually give your kids those shitty letters, or maybe saved them for when they're adults who will just be amused by the crazy.