Logs on a fire.

There is a question I am asked on a very regular basis. The same question is also thought about me or spoken of behind my back but many just will not ask me because they think I am handling things all wrong OR that they would do it all differently.
What am I referring to?
It is my complete lack of contact with my mother. They do not question why I have no contact with her any longer but they know that even 10 years after me leaving that horrible relationship, she still contacts me by phone uttering horrible things. She sits in my driveway and honks her horn. She drives large wedges between other family members and I. She talked about me in a very hurtful and misleading way within our small community. She has told them I am a liar, a cheat, that I have messed around on my husband, that I have used money meant for my children on myself and many more, far more vicious lies. She walks by here with her dogs and stands in front of my house for as long as she can physically manage to do it, she just knows that she is getting right down to my nerves with every single form of contact… yet I do nothing.
I do not call the police. I do not go out and yell at her. I do not defend myself in such a way that I speak of her at all. This is why my full name is not on my blog. I do not speak ill of her no matter what she says in regards to me. When people go fishing for details by asking me “How is your mother doing these days?”, knowing full well that we have not spoken in years but they want the dirt (small town), my answer is “I am sure she is doing well.”.
I do not react at all. Ever.

Why?
Isn’t this just allowing her to continue her abuse?
Am I not just avoiding dealing with her?
Shouldn’t I just go punch her square in the face or hurl obscenities at her?
Why not call the police or charge her?
Am I crazy? Well yes, I have a certificate. Two actually. But she caused that crazy. 😉

So why did I make that choice and stick to it for a full decade and counting?

I see my monster/mother as a fire. She burns very brightly at first and seems to be able to burn indefinitely even without any fuel. She is proving this by still wreaking havoc on my life a decade after I broke off all contact. That said? Her fire has been at the same level for a long time now. She occasionally flares up but then the fuel runs low again and she must go back to her normal size fire.

I am the one who holds the logs. I also have some gasoline.
If I speak poorly of her and it gets back to her? I have added a log.
If I am rude in any way? I am adding another log.
Do something like call the police or filing charges? I’ve been through the court system trying to get justice. I’ve had all the facts, the proof, I’ve even gotten a guilty verdict. Several of them (12 actually). Yet is anyone in jail for causing me harm? No. Was anyone truly punished? Unless you count probation as punishment? No. Did I leave the courthouse after MONTHS of pain feeling any better? No, I felt worse. FAR worse. You know what it does accomplish though? It adds gasoline to the fire. Huge logs and streams of gasoline. Her fire gets so bright that it goes from being this never-ending small and annoying fire that is seen by those around her to being a huge bonfire that can be seen for miles in any direction.

So I keep my silence. To the outside world I do not react at all. Even though it causes me a great deal of pain, fear, anxiety, and the occasional psychotic break (oh how I wish I was joking).
The outside world sees a woman who won’t defend herself, won’t speak up or who is powerless to stop the onslaught of bullshit that gets thrown her way.
This is not the truth.
The truth is that I am stronger than anyone knows. I hold all those logs and I keep that gasoline. I never use either. To use them is to give some of my power away and allow my mother to use it for evil once again.
I am not willing to give ANY of my power away ever again.

My silence IS my power.

15 responses to “Logs on a fire.

  1. Agreed – it’s a sorta don’t feed the troll thing too. If nec, quietly get a restraining order, but you’re very wise not to engage.

    *appears outa nowhere and slaps yo mama with a large fish*

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    • That is a funny quote.
      Restraining orders are useless pieces of paper around here. It is not the police’s fault. They are just too far away to ever get here before she leaves.
      I am positive that my silence does 2 things. 1) Doesn’t add fuel to her fire and 2) Makes her nuts that she pokes and pokes yet I never even look her way.
      Maybe one day she will actually just stop?
      Happy new year to you!

      Like

  2. You know, I’ve always thought that my not dealing with situations was a sign of weakness in me. A lack of confidence. Yes, lack of confidence in myself and my abilities may well have stopped me standing up for myself on more than one occasion, but it doesn’t mean you are weak.
    You are the strongest person I know Heather; if you choose not to react to Monster Mother’s provocation, it sure ain’t because you’re weak! By NOT reacting, YOU are the one in control. The strong one. The wise one.
    I love the fire analogy too. Destructive, unpredictable – and it must be SO tempting to dump a load of water on it to put it out. But you know what? That will cause a lot of smoke and steam. Without fuel, eventually it will just burn itself out.
    Great blog Heather, and a brave one. Much love to you my friend.xxx

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    • Thank you Wendy. 🙂 Believe me, it would be so much easier to react.
      I think society views not reacting as weakness yet I believe it takes far more strength than just blowing a gasket.
      I sort of doubt she will ever burn herself out (her stamina for drama is INCREDIBLE) but I also know it makes her BONKERS that she gets no response. That is my secret joy in it all.
      Happy new year Wendy! Cwtches.

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  3. It seems to me the way you react to your mother (or don’t react, I should say) takes an amazing amount of self-restraint and strength. You know what you need to do, and that’s what you are doing. Bravo!

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    • You are so right. It is SO HARD to do yet fighting her will never be the answer. I can never win. She plays dirty and I don’t. That can never end well. Thank you for noticing the effort it takes. 🙂 Happy new year to you!

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  4. Much in a similar way, we’re haunted by a Monster Mother (one colder and smarter than any human being we’ve ever met), and find that if at all possible, distance is the only option which will ever truly get her away from us.
    Thankfully, we’ve managed to put a thousand plus miles between us, and yet the host wants to move back to her state, where she’ll return to precisely the same state she’s always had with us.

    It’s been five months since we cut contact with her, since a protector said straight up “you’re unhealthy for us to be around”. Ever since she texts, calls, and emails twice as often bringing up whatever she can that she knows will upset us.

    The only way to deal with people who want to hurt you is to ignore them. To refuse to give them a foothold, any influence over you.

    To not fight, you’re choosing the only effective way to continue. Doing nothing, despite all her bait to do so, is the strongest thing you can do right now.

    You’re doing amazingly.

    -Emily

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    • We really appreciate you sharing with us. It does help to feel less alone although we are very sorry that you must deal with this as well. We moved 3,000kms away from our monster in August of 2002. She found us and moved 1km away by October.
      Stick to your collective guns and follow your protectors leads.
      We hope you will keep in touch and let us know how you manage over the next months. We found hitting a year and realizing she was STILL burning that damn fire was a very hard anniversary to pass. It got easier after that.
      Happy new year to your system!

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      • Happy new year to you all, too. We’ll def stay in touch.
        It really sucks she followed you. Thank our lucky stars our monster only hunts us down online, and even then we’re alright at evading that.
        Anyway, we’ll see you on our reader!
        -Deathborn

        -Deathborn

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  5. I have been in a similar situation with sounds like a similarly type of woman. I don’t know what really keeps the fire going without adding wood or gasoline to it?
    I agree completely with your non reaction to your mother. It took me a lot longer to figure out that is the only way to handle such a person. It does take a lot more strength to not react to someone because you have to practice self control and self restraint.
    Self control and self restraint are not easy and no one like to practice them, so that is possibly why people tell you that you are wrong for handling it the way you are.

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    • I appreciate your words. I also have no clue how they keep burning and burning with nothing added. 😦 I just know the burning would get a lot bigger and brighter if you add to it. Trust me, a reaction woudl be SO MUCH easier… yet so far less effective. A tough spot to be in isn’t it?
      Happy new year to you!

      Like

  6. I think ignoring her is a sign of great strength. Hopefully, she’ll get the hint soon!

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