Friday, December 30, 2005

And the adventure (unfortunately) continues…

For those of you betting that I wouldn’t be able to rid myself of my mother so easily as ending our relationship with a phone call and a follow-up letter, congratulations: you’re a winner. Apparently she got my letter (in which I told her never to contact me again) and she immediately called and left a message on my answering machine. How do you think she took the (repeat) news of our separation? Did she call to curse me and tell me I’m a rotten son due to no fault of her own? Did she tell me she didn’t understand and ask what happened? Did she apologize and ask for reconciliation? (yeah, right) No, she matter-of-factly told me told me that I owe her money and she expects me to begin making serious payments.

In her message, she stated that she had loaned me money over the years and I had in turn promised to repay her after finishing with college. She claimed to have kept “meticulous records” on how much money she has given me during my entire adult life (I’m surprised she didn’t ask for reimbursement for raising me), and she mentioned two grand she supposedly loaned me when I was in trouble in Germany and claimed various other loans have left me $10,000 in debt to her. She also told me she didn’t want any piddling payments of fifty or a hundred dollars per month, she expected monthly payments of no less than five hundred because she is very poor and barely able to survive. That’s it – no mention of our rotten relationship or the fact that I declared it over, just a bill for services.

With my mother I’m never certain if she’s lying to me or to herself. Put another way, I don’t know if she just made all that up just to pester me and force me to remain in her life or if she actually believes it to be true. I’ve seen her rewrite her memories before. In an hour she can remember a movie or book however she wants; give her a week and she can rewrite an entire relationship like she did when my sister blew her off.

There have been times – after high school and the military but before college – that I needed money and she gave it to me. She was more than happy to share. It gave her one more thing she could hold over me in case she got tired of mentioning the fact that she gave up her entire life for me, which was how she described raising me (my sister must have been a freebie). There have also been times that she needed money and I provided it, although I never kept records on who owed who more. Her “meticulous records” obviously don’t reflect the money I’ve given to her.

I don’t know what she was thinking when she claimed to have spent two thousand on me when I was in trouble in Germany. I never got in trouble there, and I’ve never involved her in any legal matters I’ve had in the states either. That one’s a total fabrication. She did help to pay off some credit cards sometime later which I appreciated even though she made my life hell in return. As a result of that experience, I made myself a promise (which I kept) to never accept money from her again because the price was just too high.

I never promised to repay the money she didn’t loan me after finishing college, and I seriously question her total of $10,000. It not only sounds a tad high, but it’s a conveniently rounded number and one she knows I can’t immediately pay. Similarly, she knows enough about my finances to know I can’t easily carve $500 a month out of my budget.

As for that little bit about her being destitute and needing my cash to survive, I know better due to an uncharacteristic slip she made a few years ago. She had been pumping me for information about my retirement plan, repeating her questions ad nauseum, but I was unable to answer to her satisfaction since I didn’t know how much I had invested. Growing exasperated and desperate, she hauled out her latest statement and showed it to me in the hopes it would jog my memory. It didn’t, but I did notice that according to the accounts listed on that statement she was worth over a quarter of a million dollars. It’s far from rich, but even farther from poor, especially when you own your house and land outright. She realized her slip and took every opportunity over the following years to claim the stock market was continuously crashing and she no longer had that money, but you know what they say: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me 94,574,325e+09 times or more, shame on me. If that wasn’t enough, last year she bought a new Dodge Dakota with cash. She used it to back into my car, then got me to pay for the repairs with cash so she wouldn’t have to claim the matter on her insurance. Actually, getting me to pay for it with cash was a compromise. Her original plan was for me to defraud my insurance company and get them to pay for it by claiming it was a hit and run in a Wal-Mart parking lot.

Anyhoo, getting back to the bitch at hand, despite our relationship and my recent attempts to end it, I still felt a pang of guilt. I can’t send her $500 per month, not without impacting my beer and movie and book allotments which are sacred to me, but I considered a hundred or two even though she doesn’t really need or deserve it. One minor truth had slipped through her packet of lies – I had accepted money from her in the distant past, more (I assumed) than I had given to her, and the honorable thing to do would be to square matters. On a lark, before writing any checks I checked my MSMoney files which date back to 1998 to see how much cash I had sent to her, and…Cazart! I’ve sent her nearly $17,000 in checks over the last seven years, not counting the online things I’ve bought for her at her requests – music and movies from Amazon, books from Books-A-Million, and vitamins from Those probably total another thousand at the very least. No wonder I’m not rich.

My first impulse was to send her another letter requesting compensation for the outstanding $7,000, but I resisted. Any further communication will be playing right into her hands. Time to play defense again – stay low and quiet, wait for the enemy to make a move, defend as necessary.

I regret not killing her as a child. I sometimes regret being alive. But I’m glad I’ve taken steps to remove her from my life. It will be a long and hard road, but one worth taking.


Valkyrie said...

Do what you need to for survival.

I advise looking into legal council, if you can afford to do it.

Protect yourself. Don't give into her demands. Don't be like me, trapped into a situation where Mommy Dearest calls the shots.


I Hate the King said...

Rid yourself of Ddot!!!! Join the boycott!!!

lccb144 said...

Don't pay her!!! If she threatens you, make copies of the slips, send them to her and be done. She just want to dig some claws in you.

(and good luck ridding yourself of her)

Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

"Stay low and quiet"

Yep, I agree....force her hand....make her make the next move.

sands of time said...

Even if you pay her i'm not sure it would be done with.


sorry, but i had to giggle a bit at the whole buying a truck just to back it into yours! i'm not one to give others family advice, but i do support anyone's decision to do whatever it takes to live their short life a comfortably & joyfully as possible. i hope your new year is fantastic & full of happiness!

Leesa said...

If this wasn't so painful, it would be funny. Sorry to hear about this, Grant.

Liz said...

I would not respond and get my phone number changed if she continues to call. Hope you have caller id so you don’t have to worry about picking up when it is her. As far as her alleged charges of money you owe, I wouldn’t worry about it until you get contacted by her lawyer. My guess is she wouldn’t take it that far, she is just trying to make you feel bad. Don’t let yourself feel guilty Grant or the terrorist wins.