I’ve grown a lot in five years. But the biggest thing I learned in 2019 is how to say no to my parents. If you’ve read my diary before, you know they’re toxic.
Recently they gave me one of the best birthdays of my life. Weird, I know. But I knew I was going to end up paying for it... Here’s how:
To start this off, foreclosure! My brother isn’t paying his rent, which means my mom isn’t paying her bankruptcy, which means the house will eventually foreclose, which means I get screwed. Most recently, I threw $350 at a bankruptcy payment because I’m really, really not ready to deal with a foreclosure. Yep, I knew full well I wasn’t getting that money back. And I only bought myself another month of life without debilitating anxiety and stress.
But surprisingly, the money is only part of why I’m about to blow a fuse.
Literally a day after my birthday, my mom announces she’s hosting a New Year’s Eve party. Cool, whatever. She claims to have invited all my friends and that I am required to be there.
I inform her that I have had NYE plans for the past six months and I’m not going to drop them. This is true, my NYE is going one of three ways:
1. I’ll be on a date.
2. I’ll be with my Gambler team.
3. I’ll be at my favourite LGBTQ spot.
Number 2 was planned back in June with 1 and 3 as backup plans. It looks like we’re going to Indiana to celebrate NYE. So yeah, I have plans.
Mom gets straight on the manipulation train and says that my absence will be embarrassing and upset all my friends. Again, the friends she invited before even asking me if I’m free. I told her I’ll uninvite them because again, I have plans She says no, I’m required to be there. I am required to cancel any plans I have. NYE is a family holiday** anyway. Family is more important than anything else and you don’t want to disappoint your friends, do you?
**Last time we celebrated NYE “as a family” I wasn’t even old enough to drive. Not buying it.
Ten more minutes of being lectured about family ensue. Again, remember that this is about a NYE party.
Eventually, I just tell her I’ll think about it just to get her off the phone.
The very next day she spams all the people she thinks are my friends with invites. I immediately tell those people to ignore her.
My mom ups her game and starts gaslighting me. I know her demands are at this point very unreasonable but she’s now trying to convince me otherwise. Add in her trying to leverage my friends against me and now she’s really really crossed a line. “All your friends will be angry with you”. Not my fault you invited all my friends without getting a confirmation from me. That’s on you, nice try. I again tell my friends to ignore her.
This continues for a few days, with me literally saying “I’m not going to your party, I don’t know how many ways I can say it.”
Surprisingly, we’re into Day 5 of December and she just won’t let it go. This isn’t the first time this has happened, last time I had hotel reservations somewhere and telling her that got her off my tail. So I tried it again.
This time she sicced a mutual friend on me. I applaud the effort, but it’s not going to work. The friend puppets the same manipulative stuff and I tell her straight up to stop.
A few hours later, my mom hits me with this:
I’ve been transitioning for five years. My parents still don’t respect me enough to call me Mercedes. In fact, my parents tell everyone my name is “Missey”. No, not nickname, but *name*. So I get to hear this nickname (the origins of which? Mom says Mercedes is a hooker name and she refuses to call me a hooker name) from every human that comes into contact with my parents. It grinds my gears so hard I’m amazed there’s a transmission left.
My mom has decided to offer my “hotel fees” back. Now, I like the idea of making money, but the trade-off is spending time with my parents, so not worth it. I continue what I’ve been saying for five days in that I’m not going to this party.
Five days, five days arguing over a party over an unimportant holiday. Now you could just say “if the holiday is so stupid, just go to the party”.
“It’s the holidays, it’s family time!” - At no point have we ever celebrated NYE in my adult life, so nope.
“I invited all your friends and the people that came to your birthday party”. Cool, I’ll uninvite them.
Mind you, another frequent fight I have with my parents is over my choice not to live with them. I’m serious, they demand I move back in because family and I’ll save money. The reality is they know with me being away, they have no power over me.
No. They need to respect that I’m not a child, they can’t just demand I drop everything to bow down to them. I don’t even live with them. They need to respect that they cannot just manipulating me into getting their way. And using my friends as pawns? All kinds of fucked. That’s low, even for them. I will spend every day of this month if I have to hammering this in. I am done having my mental health and financial health obliterated by my parents.
And finally, my mom has planned a heist. My dad is due to get a $500k windfall in 2020. He’s a pushover, so he’s going to let my mom steal $400k of it. I don’t know how z but I plan on getting a significant chunk of it. Knowing her history, she won’t spend a single penny of it on the house under foreclosure. She’ll blow it on something dumb (like she has with the previous $2m in windfalls my parents have gotten) then wonder why she can’t afford the house that’s foreclosing.
And on one final note, there is a ridiculously easy solution to our foreclosure problem: She moves out of the house she’s renting and move into the house she literally has a mortgage on. All this time she’s refused to do this because “the house isn’t pretty” and “I don’t like it”. Ugh, you have got to be kidding me.
End rant. This is part venting, part documenting. Since my memory can sometimes be iffy, it’s great to have something like this to prove things aren’t the way my parents try to say they are. They like to rewrite history in a manner that makes them look good.
So why after all this abuse do I keep them around? Well for starters, there’s a mortgage hanging over my head. I can’t just walk away. It’s a mistake I made a few years ago and one I have to see through to the end.
Second, I find it impossible to hold hate in my heart. Likewise, I like trying to fix things. I like to think of a future where my family isn’t so broken, so sad. I know it’s a fool’s errand.
And finally, distance. Ten miles is not a lot of distance. I don’t see it possible to just ignore the existence of my family when they live literally a town over. Even if I lived halfway across the world, at least I’d give them a phone call every now and then. In the end, cutting family out of one’s life isn’t as easy for everyone as cutting friends out of one’s life.
ETA: Cash Rewards brought up a good point. By engaging in conversation for multiple days, I'm letting her control the conversation. Never thought of it like that. I generally think of control as giving into demands or suggestions. I guess now that I've learned to say no to that stuff I now have to watch out for the less obvious forms of controlling.