It’s another beautiful May Sunday here in Germany. As I mentioned in my travel blog, I was hoping Bill and I could go do some really fun stuff this holiday weekend. But, thanks to a lack of planning and general laziness, together with raging allergic symptoms, we’ve kind of stuck close to home. It has been kind of a busy weekend in other ways, though. Bill and his daughter have been talking a lot, mainly because the youngest grandchild has just turned one year old.
We’ve been learning more about younger daughter’s college years and escape from Ex. Every time I hear more about what happened during that time period, I’m flabbergasted anew. I sense that younger daughter doesn’t want us to feel badly for her, nor does she consider herself a victim. I find that a very refreshing and admirable attitude to take. However, it still shocks me to hear about the challenges she faced during that time period. I do think a lot of her blessings came from being involved in her church, where people are encouraged to help each other. That’s one of a few things I do like about the LDS church. I especially find it funny that church people helped younger daughter so much, since Ex used the church as a parental alienation tool against Bill.
Anyway, as we were reacting to some of the revelations last night, I found myself trying to explain my reactions. I reiterated that I don’t think of younger daughter as a victim. I think she is incredibly resilient and resourceful. I just find it regrettable that it was more important for Ex to be hateful to Bill than do what was right for their daughters. Younger daughter didn’t have to go through what she did. Bill would have been so happy to help her. It would have been an honor for him to set her up for success at school. But Ex not only didn’t want to allow him to help their kids, she didn’t even want her kids to help themselves. I think she meant for her kids to all stay in her home, and those who try to flee the nest get punished.
It became clear as younger daughter was talking that Ex didn’t expect her kids to have ANY money of their own. At the time younger daughter was applying to school, Ex didn’t know that younger daughter had some money socked away, and she used it to pay the application fee for college and have her transcripts sent to her school of choice. She had just $80 of her own money— at age 18, no less. And she used it for higher education. Ex had not wanted her to go to school away from home and when she found out what younger daughter did, she got VERY angry with her. I think she was angry, not just because she’d applied to college (imagine being a mother upset about THAT), but because she’d secretly had the money in the first place!
I mentioned that I didn’t think Ex wanted her daughters to have money because money equals power. And, as I was talking, I explained… “Bill wanted very much to help you. He just didn’t want Ex to be part of it, because Ex always has to be part of the deal.” And then, before I knew it, I blurted out, “Your mom is a total psycho.”
And then I apologized… because “psycho” really isn’t the best word for what Ex is, at least not when I’m talking to Bill’s daughter. I didn’t want to offend younger daughter, either. But then it became pretty clear that she wasn’t offended by that comment.
I did explain at the end of our session that I am not the most politically correct person. I often speak my mind, sometimes out of turn. Often, I piss people off because I don’t tend to hold back on what I’m thinking, and sometimes I use language that would make a sailor blush. But… at least you know that what you get is what you see… as the great Tina Turner once sang.
Once again, I am absolutely floored by how forgiving and kind younger daughter is. She doesn’t seem to have a drop of anger or bitterness in her. I’m sure it’s there somewhere, but I have yet to see it. I find that amazing… and very admirable. Maybe she has much to teach me. But anyway, she says that there are always people who have it worse. That’s true, but it doesn’t negate what she dealt with back in the day. She shouldn’t have had to struggle like that.
I’ll try to be a little more circumspect… or thoughtful about what I say. I suspect younger daughter’s husband, if he heard that comment, probably thought it was funny, though. I think he and I can commiserate about a lot of things. I don’t envy his position, when he has to deal with his mother-in-law. She is a challenge… or maybe she’s more like a trial. Whatever she is, one thing’s for certain. She is a psycho, and that is the truth.