Battle of wills?

This is what I’m deliberating today:

When I made contact with my mother in March or April this year, my reasons were:

  • I couldn’t tolerate the guilt and fear I felt
  • I wanted a relationship back with my sister
  • I wanted my sister at my wedding
  • I wanted my grandparents at my wedding
  • I was worried the absence of my mother at my wedding would be harder than having her there in some limited capacity
  • I was worried I might regret her not being there one day in the future

When I met with her for the first time (with my sister), I told her that I no longer wanted to drink alcohol with her, go with her to any drinking events such as parties at her house or to pubs etc and that I wanted all future contact to me healthy and between me, her and my sister. I also said I wanted to work on the dynamic between the three of us (i.e, stop the triangulation and attempts to put us against each other which had clearly worked in the past).

As I explained back then, she didn’t like these new boundaries of mine. She made that very clear. She made excuses about having a lack of time or money but I said that’s how I felt things needed to be.

Fast-forward to now, we’ve been “in contact” for about 5 months and I’ve seen her:

  • The first meeting referred to above – Sunday lunch with my sister also there
  • The second meeting – a very quick breakfast meeting with my sister there / she didn’t even eat!
  • The third meeting – the eve of my 30th birthday, a meal also with my sister there (however I did drink a few glasses of wine)
  • The fourth meeting – an evening at a pub with her and her friend (I shouldn’t have done that as that went against my own boundary!) where we all drank and she said the whopper of a comment “when you have a baby I better see it more then your husband’s mother” – entitlement at its finest.
  • The fifth – my wedding although she wasn’t around me at all
  • The sixth – Wednesday night

Out of all of these “meetings”, Wednesday night’s was probably the worst. Wednesday night she was clearly not happy, not enjoying it and very angry. I also felt extremely uncomfortable and awkward.

I spoke to my sister on the phone about it last night and she said that the reality is that my mother just doesn’t like doing the things we’ve been doing – I.e. going for meals. My mother is all about drinking and parties and karaoke and my sister said it’s clear she is not enjoying it because it’s “not her thing”. She likened it to me having to go to a football match when I have no interest in football – she said I would also look like she does, uninterested and miserable.

Fair point.

However, and as I told my sister, I cannot do the things she wants anymore. It’s not good for either of us (for me anyway) and it’s not who I am. My life is different to her’s.

I explained to my sister that half the reason she wants to be around me/us in a social (drinking) setting is because once she’s had a few drinks, she starts poking me for potential drama and conflict and gossip and once I’ve had a few drinks, I loosen my tight boundaries and am much easier to manipulate. My guard comes down, I’m easier to hover. Easier to attack.

The other half is that she’s an alcoholic.

Now the thing is that I’m not enjoying these “meetings” either so it’s not like I’m getting anything from them and I’m sure I spend the time feeling just as uncomfortable as her (possibly less angry though). I get the feeling she’s seeing it as a means to an ends – that if she perceivers, soon I’ll stop this silly nonsense and go back to drinking at her house until 5am whilst telling her every tiny detail of my life and giving her a much needed source of supply (not to mention someone to control and be a mirror to her).

And I’ll admit, as much as I hate to, that sometimes I wish we could go back to the evenings of drinking and chatting together because it was less painful than the emptiness I have to witness now…. but was it really? I think maybe it wasn’t but I was more dissociated then and so blissfully unaware? I’m not sure.

I found myself crying last night and writing the words “I miss how it used to be! I miss her”…. however once I started writing more and questioning my words, I realised what I miss is the illusion I had of her and what I’m experiencing now is the “death” of that image/that illusion. I had projected onto her all of my life and now I’m seeing the real person. I clearly don’t miss “her” at all – I just don’t like what I’m left with.

So my quandary now is that I set the boundaries of meeting in non-alcoholic settings – no parties or drink fuelled evenings. I’ve set (internally) the boundaries of staying detached and not telling her things just for her to sink her teeth into, for example anything negative I told her about my life, she would LOVE and anything good she would belittle and ruin and what’s left is sooooooooo shit – for both of us!

Adding to that the fact that she doesn’t acknowledge the existence of my husband and stepkids and I now refuse to acknowledge her husband since he’s been so aggressive and rude, so there’s no potential left for any family meetings either.

The point being, I set the boundary for these dinners/breakfast meetings and I’m not enjoying them one bit. She hates them too (clearly) and I’m not prepared to go back to the old ways of seeing her – so what now? How long do we do this for despite how empty and uncomfortable it is? It’s like we are head to head waiting for the other one to give in somehow. It’s like a battle of wills.

She is never going to enjoy sober interactions and I am never going to be able to let myself be around her and heavy alcohol consumption for my own sake… so what happens from here?

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Last night

Morning all,

So the meal with my mother took place last night. Im writing this just to try and process some of my feelings about it all as I’m feeling rather foggy headed today.

As you already know I was dreading it for the last two weeks or so and have spent a lot of time preparing myself emotionally and feeling anxious about what to say etc.

I arrived at the restaurant ten minutes early and my mother and sister were already there, sitting outside with a drink (my mother had a large glass of wine as usual, my sister a coke). I walked over to their table after parking my car and they were clearly having quite an animated conversation my mothers hands were all over the place. That conversation stopped as I got to them.

I kissed them both hello and then my sister said she liked my jumper and asked where it was from, I told her and then put my bag down and she said she also liked my bag and asked where that was from – as silly as this sounds I felt quite pleased with that because my mother has always told me that I dress “dowdy” and spent years telling me to get more fashionable clothes and to do my make up a certain way or to avoid this or that… my mother just smiled through her teeth and didn’t say anything.

We walked inside and my mother asked what name the table was booked in, I replied “‘my name” and then as the waiter looked at us I said “hi, we have a table in the name of [insert married name]”. I didn’t look at her but I knew she wouldn’t have liked that – a reminder of the fact I’m now married and a reminder I’m using my husband’s name and that it’s real!

Once we were sat at the table, my mother came right out with “So, what are you doing Christmas Day?” and aimed her gaze at my sister. Gulp. My sister replied saying she’s cooking at her house for her dad and that she was with my mum last year (explaining) and that she would be with my mum again next year.

I knew it was my turn… she stared at me and said “I gather you’ll be at home” and I said “We are going to my dad’s”. I then held her eye contact and didn’t rush to look away – this was my attempt at giving the illusion I wasn’t worried about what she thought about this and in all honestly, I didn’t feel fear, more awkwardness. She nodded or said ok, I can’t remember exactly but her face said it all. She was not happy. I then asked if she would be spending the day with my grandparents in order to move the conversation on a bit. She didn’t look happy.

There was a lot of awkwardness and a lot of silence. We all pondered over the menu for far longer than necessary and I felt uncomfortable.

I excused myself about 3 times during the meal to visit the bathroom, mainly just to gather myself a bit and try to think about things. The evening was not enjoyable, I had no doubt she also felt the awkwardness.

As I expected, she didn’t acknowledge the wedding at all. I had prepared for that but it’s still quite shocking as it’s the first time I’ve seen her since – she could have easily said something about the venue or the flowers or anything but she just didn’t mention it at all.

Needless to say she didn’t ask about our honeymoon, after my husband or the kid’s or even my job… I thought to myself I do wonder why she wants to meet me when she clearly has no interest in me at all.

I asked about her new house and she told me about the renovations she was doing and I pretended to care.

She did mention my wedding photos and asked me which was my favourite. I told her I wasn’t sure as I loved so many. She said she would show me her favourites and opened her photo app on her phone. She had screen-shot a few photos but had zoomed in and only screen-shot my face. She had effectively cropped my husband out. It was weird!!! I mean one of the photos is me looking lovingly up at my husband and so the picture is just weird without the other person in it!!

You have to laugh I suppose. She then moaned that the photographer expected £12 a photo.

After I excused myself for another toilet break, I came back to another animated conversation full of a lot of “I don’t give a fuck’s” and things like that. I picked up the gist quickly, my half brother had lost his job (again) and was asking for money and she was not happy about it. She was visibly angry and spoke about how her and her husband had been arguing over it and how she had told her husband that if he gave his son money, “that would be it!”.

For background my mother has always been like this about his adult kids (well after the fake niceness wore off which lasted about a year). My mother kicked his two sons out and has purposely downsized to a tiny bungalow so they can’t ever move back.

I let her talk for ages and then offered that whilst I agreed with her frustrations over his inability to hold down a job, it was her husband’s son and he isn’t going to see his child on the street…. she interrupted me in anger and almost shouted that he wasn’t a “child” that he was 27 and why should she “work her arse off everyday just to give it to him?”. She called him names such as a “delinquent scumbag” etc. I stopped bothering to give my opinion, to be fair I didn’t actually care so what was the point?

During this conversation she mentioned his other daughter, she went VLC a few years ago (unofficially) because she hates the man her dad has turned into since being with my mother and my mother clearly hates her too. She mentioned her and said she hasn’t seen her months and “couldn’t give a shit” about her (or her children). She said that the 27 year old “delinquent” was not welcome in her house again and said she has text him, without her husband knowing, telling him to NEVER ask them for money again.

So much anger !!! So toxic.

As that conversation died off, I said I better be going as I was up early for work today. We all left and I walked to my car, waited for them to leave and gathered myself. I started to drive home and before long had tears running down my face.

I felt so sad. I decided to take a bit of a detour and just drive around a while before going home to settle myself a bit. I cried quite a bit but not enough that I couldn’t concentrate on my driving.

I questioned what the tears were about and basically came up with the fact that 1) it’s so sad how empty and disconnected we are, but also 2) that I felt sorry for her. She was such an angry, bitter woman who was cutting off what was once a fairly happy family unit (as in her husband’s adult kids, their partners, me and my husband and my sister and her boyfriend – we used to all get on very well and get together often. Now look at the family – one of her husband’s daughter went NC ten years ago, one is VLC, one my mother would happily see on the street homeless regardless of her husband’s feelings and then there’s me and her.

What a mess!

I got home and debriefed my husband. I didn’t cry anymore but had a thumping headache and he said I looked extremely done in and drained.

When I went to bed, I dreamt that I was making my bed and saw maggots climbing out of the duvet and I was hovering them up and then threw the duvet away. I’ve looked that up this morning and it’s quite symbolic really – no surprise there I guess.

Anyway. It’s now 8.20am and I’ll soon be at work. I have another headache and feel very tired and down. No tears today, just a kind of hangover from last night.

I’m really not sure how long this will be able to carry on, the emptiness is so shit but the NC leaves me feeling so guilty. I hope things work themselves out as this just feels like limbo. It can’t be enjoyable for her either – the disconnect is so obvious.

Bank Holiday Ponderings

Happy Bank Holiday Monday everyone.  I hope you all have a nice, calm and relaxing day ahead.

I’m looking forward to writing this morning. It feels like it has been a while since I sat with my laptop and properly wrote my feelings out, particularly just to take stock of where I am (emotionally) rather than quickly typing out anxious thoughts on the train or on my phone somewhere.  I find taking an hour or so to sit and properly think and write very therapeutic and so I’ve decided to do that this morning and then afterwards, do some exercise.  Writing and exercise are good for my mood and good for the soul I think.  So that’s my plan.

Looking back on the last week, I can see that I’ve been highly anxious and feeling very scared.  Monday I woke up for work and felt physically and mentally drained and so took a day’s holiday from work in order to try to feel better.  I spoke about my mother to my husband that day and tried to voice some of my worries and thoughts, that must have helped as I felt better and less tired after that and was fine to go back to work on Tuesday.

Tuesday I went to work feeling fine, but then to my surprise, found myself sobbing hard in the half an hour between getting home from work and heading off to my therapy session.  I didn’t see that coming so it was quite a shock.  The tears were grief tears for sure, but also I can now understand, they were tears of hopelessness and helplessness.  I was frustrated beyond belief at how “stuck” I felt.

During my therapy session I cried again. I told T all of the things I was worrying about which I now see was basically my utter terror of saying “No” to my mother.  I was clearly very “in” the feelings and rather triggered.  After this session I felt emotionally exhausted and drained. I felt fed up, angry, frustrated and sad.  I cried to my husband before I went to bed but then slept very deeply.

That session was very helpful.  That session made me write quite a lot over the week, both on here and on a forum that I am on for adult children of parents with personality disorders.  Thanks to that session, and my writing I finally admitted something to myself once and for all.

I am still scared of my mother.

A simple sentence I suppose.  One that probably doesn’t mean a lot to anyone else – one that is probably blatantly obvious to everyone else, but for me, felt really big.

I felt stupid. I felt ashamed and embarrassed. I hated the fact that as a 30-year-old adult, a wife and stepmother, I was still scared of my mother. I hated admitting it, but also there was a sense of relief at writing the words with no “but” after it.  No “but’s” just “I am scared of her” end of. I suppose the relief came from no longer trying to pretend to myself or others, but also it made it clear what I need to work on next in therapy.  This is what holds me back. This is what prevents me from fulling moving on and fully protecting myself.

It amazed me when I sat back and thought of all the ways I unconsciously denied it.  I thought I was just trying to protect someone else or that I was just being a decent human or I was trying to be forgiving – or something… you get the gist. I now see that most of what I came up with was just excuses.  Just pure excuses because I was too ashamed to admit to you/to T/to myself that everything I do (and don’t do) is all based on my fear of her.

So I decided to break this down a bit.  What is the fear of her about?

As people have said both on here and on the forum, the fear is something that I’ve had installed in me since I was a child.  I was taught/programmed to keep mother happy.  To stay out of her way, to be a good girl, to do the housework, to fetch her bottles of coke for her vodka etc.  I learnt to be one step ahead to try to avoid her rages – by doing all of the housework before she came home and raged at how lazy I was, or whether that was to shout at /break up with a boyfriend she didn’t like, slag my father off so she felt the better parent.  Whatever it was, I learnt to be one step ahead to keep myself as safe as possible.

With that in mind, it is no surprise that making decisions that I know will cause her to feel bad (angry, jealous, rage) would feel me with that same fear.  It’s like an emotional flashback in a way I suppose.  It’s a trigger for me.  Knowing that something I do or don’t do will cause a negative reaction from my mother, takes me back to being that helpless child.  The fear comes back and is just as alive in the here and now as it was twenty years ago.  As someone said, it’s like a PTSD type response, automatic, programmed into me.

But I am not that helpless child now and that is something that I know logically but hasn’t yet been fully accepted emotionally.  Clearly I still feel responsible for her feelings even at the expense of my own.  That is still quite a shock to see so clearly.

Pleasing her also used to be about seeking her approval, about trying desperately to get her to love me and that is something I no longer feel I want or need.  Since the illusion of her fell apart, I do not need or want either from her.  In fact, I would go as far as to say that if I were to get her approval, I’d probably want to reconsider what I was doing as it would probably not be a good or healthy thing.

I think that I’ve managed to build a much stronger sense of self now and I finally believe that I am good enough whether she agrees or not – so that is helpful.  It’s sad to think that my own sense of self was tied up in her.  I could have spent my entire life not feeling good enough and that is sad and also makes me feel very angry.  In fact, it makes me feel bubbles of real disgust as I think about that.

So if it isn’t about her approval or even her love then what is it about? It seems it really is about not letting her feel her own emotions.  It’s about not allowing HER to feel her own sadness or upset or disappointment.  Christ knows why, she never protected me from my feelings even as a child – this is another one of those things you don’t realise you do, another one of those hidden and unconscious behaviours I’ve learnt over the years as a daughter of a narcissistic mother.  Protect mother – be the adult.

So why?

I know this sounds weird, but despite her rages and her controlling ways and punishment, I think somehow I’ve grown up to believe that if I don’t protect her, that she will fall apart! I’m literally only this moment considering this idea so bear with me…

I think somehow, being the little adult and being the one to always protect and pacify her has meant that somehow I thought if I didn’t, not only would I lose that bone-deep desire and need for my own approval and love but that she would be annihilated.  She would die without me.  Therefore, it was a VITAL role for me to take on and without me, mother would die.

This sounds ridiculous.

I suppose that my mother (like all narcissists) has an insatiable need for validation, love, admiration and approval and that the reason for that is that anything else is seen as a rejection and perhaps a repeat of her own childhood pain.  As sad as that is, it isn’t for me to take on or to fix.  As much as I can (almost) understand that having suffered from the pains of rejection for most of my own life, I can’t ever make that better for her.  I wouldn’t ever be enough anyway.  Nobody would or will be.

I could go back to being utterly enmeshed with her and whilst that might satisfy her needs briefly, soon enough I wouldn’t be dedicated enough and her raging would start again.

With the situation as it now is, me having individuated and pulled away from her, she tries to play the victim with the hope (I guess?) of making me feel bad and guilty – she is still counting on me putting her needs before my own and so imagine the FURY when I still don’t go running to her.

I can’t look after her – fix her – take her pain away – protect her…. and more to the point. I shouldn’t have to and don’t want to.

All I want to do now is find a way of staying true to myself and my desires, not fearing her response but if at all possible, find a way of doing so kindly.  I don’t want to become bitter and nasty like she is.

I need to really learn and believe that saying no does not make me a bad person and that SHE is the only person responsible for her feelings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last night’s session & today’s therapy hangover

Today a very kind reader commented on last night’s “The Fear” blog and kindly explained that my responses to my mother (the overthinking, gut-wrenching anxiety, stress, worry, tears, fear) were not actually me being stupid – but were a form of PTSD.

Reading that really, really helped me so thank you to that kind reader for taking the time to say what may have seemed simple and obvious to you, but was far from it to me.

Those words have been going around my mind all afternoon. PTSD. That makes so much sense. That removes so much shame!

I didn’t write much in my post last night, I was very sad at the time and very emotionally exhausted. I slept so deeply last night after that session and all of that crying but today I still have a therapy hangover, I’m hardly surprised.

I think, looking back over last night’s session, that the feeling that wasgetting me down so much was powelessness. It felt to me that there really was no way out – no winning scenario and I guess that is the case really. The way I saw/see it, is that I literally have two choices –

1) Go back to no contact and not have to spend time being this anxious about every encounter or;

2) Find a way to implement my boundaries and stay strong.

Sounds easy doesn’t it?

The thing is, in my powerless state all I can find is all the negatives for both situations and then it makes me feel so angry. This isn’t f-ing fair is it?! Why do I have to be in this crappy situation in the first place?

I hate her for how much she effects me still, for how much of my time is spent thinking about her, worrying about her, reading or writing about my feelings because of her etc etc… it is SO DRAINING.

When I was speedily spitting out all of the numerous worries about my next encounter with my mother to T last night filled with constant “what if she says…”, “what if I say and then she…” etc… I was in full-on panic mode. I reckon my T could probably FEEL the fear oozing off of me, I could feel it in my veins! When she said, nicely, “So what if she does? What is the worst that can happen?” I felt so pathetic. I remember visibly shaking my head and in anger (towards mysef) telling T I knew how ridiculous I was and how I felt so stupid! Lovely T was kind in her response to me, she said “I understand, we just need to keep on questioning your fears” (or something to that effect anyway).

I have to try and remind myself that if I am deciding to go for option 2 (implementing and maintaining strong boundaries) then that is my choice. It doesn’t feel like it to be honest, but it is, isn’t it? Just like if I decided to go no contact again, that would also be my choice. It doesn’t feel like much of a choice because obviously it isn’t what I actually WANT. Nobody WANTS to have an arm’s, legs and body length “relationship” (if you can call it that) with their mother. Nobody wants to try and maintain an empty, pointless, meaningless whatever with the person who they are meant to go to for comfort, warmth and reassurance. But, as someone else commented earlier – it is what it is.

The thing that upsets me the most at the moment is how she refuses to acknowledge my husband and stepkids. She only says negative things about my father and stepmother (always has) and ignored my in-law’s existence too… it leaves me with literally nothing to talk about.

I don’t mean to imply that I’m nobody without my husband and the kids, but they are my life now. I literally work and spend time with them! I don’t go out to pubs and clubs anymore, I don’t drink and get stupidly drunk every weekend like she does anymore – I’ve grown up and she hates that she isn’t controlling me so she decided to just block these facts out.

I nearly wrote that you have to make the best of a bad situation but that’s just taking the micky really because it is far more than a bad situation and I am certainly not making the best of anything.

My reasons right now (which I may change) for opting for option 2 is, if I am brutally honest, that I am still petrified.

There, I said it.

Clearly I am too scared of her to cut the contact again. Last time was easier because it was on the back of a VERY explosive argument where she said so many horrible things and where she so clearly demonstrated a total lack of empathy and care and refused to hear me out or apoologise. For 6 months that did not change and I felt justified in my decision.

However, those 6 months were bloody hard due to all of her flying monkeys and enablers and perhaps some innocent family members that just don’t understand this ridiculous dynamic. I won’t repeat all of the stupid things that happened as there are plenty of blogs about it at the time (see most of my blogs from November).

Going old-school for a moment and making a list of pro’s and con’s of staying in touch with her in this very empty and limited way:

Pro’s

  • I can keep a relationship with my sister where as she couldn’t handle it when I went NC
  • I don’t upset my grandparents
  • I don’t have to receive long, name-calling, aggressive texts, letters or emails
  • I don’t have to fear I will bump into her or her husband all the time and not know how to act or what they will say or do
  • I don’t live with the constant crippiling guilt of being NC

Con’s

  • I hate the emptiness of it
  • I hate dreading her messages and feeling the heart-sinking feeling I get when she does text
  • I hate how sick I feel when she asks to “meet up”
  • I hate how sick I feel in the lead up to these encoutners and how anxious I get
  • I hate how I cry about it before and after
  • I hate how she upsets me with things she either does, or doesn’t say
  • I hate the fear I feel about what she might say to me
  • I hate that I have to constantly remind myself to stay “grey rock” – reminding myself constantly not to give ANY kind of emotional response.
  • I hate that I cannot be my true self – I cannot be authentic
  • I hate that I can feel sorry for her when she is sat in front of me knowing how damaged she is
  • I hate that I still worry that she will “get inside my head”
  • I hate that I can’t relax around her
  • I hate that she is always trying to find something to pull apart – my husband, my stepkids – always hoping it is going bad
  • I hate knowing that what would make her happiest would make me utterly devastated (mainly the ending of my relationship)

I could go on but I think the gist is there already.

Clearly I am just not ready right now to cut that contact despite the fact that maintaining it is hurting me just as much (probably).. possibly more? It’s hard to say.

One thing I really need to work on is learning to say exactly what I WANT and not the best thing to pacify HER. That sounds a hell of a lot easier than it actually is. For example, one of the things that has been worrying me the most is that it is her birthday next month and she will soon mention that and possibly invite me to a meal or a party or whatever she decides to do. Clearly I won’t be going for two reasons

1) Me and her and partying is not a good mix and

2) I absolutely do not want to see her husband.

I’ve been tieing myself up in knots about how to say no without WW3 kicking off and then someone commented on my blog the other day saying that in some ways, WW3 NEEDS to erupt so that I can basically prove I am not going to be manipulated into doing what she wants. Such a true comment (see, this is why you lot are so amazing).

I find myself more able to implement boundaries if I feel I can justify myself to other people – doesn’t that sound ridiculous? I know, but that’s a realisation I had last night.

For example, I was able to stay firm when I told her that her husband would not be sitting at our top table at our wedding because I knew I had a right to say that. I stayed firm despite her kicking off because there wasn’t physically any way that could be changed and what’s more, I did not want it to change AT ALL so I stayed firm.

Her birthday on the other hand… I don’t feel quite so justified in saying “I won’t be coming to your birthday because I do not want to be around your husband” – I imagine her forwarding my message to her friends and to our family and everyone saying how awful I am because he is sooo nice…. Bleugh! Yet, why do I care? I don’t know.

Xmas is another one I’m dreading. I am spending it with my Dad this year – I have a right to do that I know and yet, her asking me what I am doing will result in such obvious dissaproval and rage that I dread answering it. Why do I care? I guess I feel ashamed that I will upset her at a special time of the year (again).

I even make myself laugh as I read some of this back. After all of the things she (and her husband) have done to me I still find myself worrying about upsetting them. I know.

I told T last night I am dreading her saying to me “I don’t know why you got back into contact with me, you never want to see me, you never text me or ask to meet up, you don’t want to attend any events with your family” (etc etc) because what the hell is the right thing to say to those things?? She is right after all. I DON’T want to see her, I DON’T ask how she is, I DON’T text her first or ask to see her and I DON’T want to attend any family events………….

What is the right thing to say to that?

A lie – of course I do mum, I’m so sorry I’ve upset you and made you feel like that… (erm no); or

The truth – no, neither do I.

The bluntness of the truth is just too harsh. There is no nice way to respond. There is no way of being a “nice person” is there – perhaps I need to make my peace with being the bad girl.

I often think being discarded by her would be the easiest way out of this mess. If she could just stop bothering with me that would be great. If she stopped texting or asking to meet …. That would be ideal but it is unlikely to happen I think and, as much as it pains me to say it, I’m sure I would experience a whole different type of pain and grief it it was her doing.

I had hoped I would bore her so much she wouldn’t bother anymore but so far, she hasn’t stopped. In fact, T thinks that now my wedding is over and done with and she doesn’t need to feel so utterly envious and angry, she might even believe me and her can “get back to normal” (or something). I said to T she is utterly deluded if she belives that to which T said .. well, she is. True.

I know this is a hideous thing to say but I said to T last night through my sobs that it feels as though she has died, that I am grieving her and yet somehow, she is still here and it is so utterly confusing. T said that it would have been easier for me if she was actually dead (I know… I know) but in a way I agree. I would never wish anyone dead, but I know what she means. For my own peace of mind, that would be easier to grieve and accept than this is. The constant attemps to manipulate, always staying on guard, always having to think about every interaction so that I don’t do the wrong thing… it is exhausting.

I also said it felt a bit like you wanting to break up with someone, knowing you don’t love them but also feeling copious amounts of guilt and also slight worry that you’re doing the wrong thing.

Anyway, I am rambling again. I just needed to write something. Thank you to everyonoe that’s commented because honestly your comments help so much.

The fear

T said to me tonight

“So what if she “kicks off”, what’s the worst that can happen?”

(Amongst a lot of other things)…

I feel so utterly pathetic that despite “knowing” that – I can’t properly believe it.

I know I’m not a child. I know she can’t hurt me. She can’t punish me….

Why do I still have this fear??

I’m a married 30 year old for Christ’s sake.

Lots of tears tonight. Feeling rather delicate and very tired now I’m home. Bed for me soon.

Anxiety over seeing her

Hey everyone,

I thought I would write a little something whilst I’m on the train to work this morning to set out my latest feelings regarding my mother post-wedding.

After he total disinterest at our wedding she pretty much vanished and I’ve already written about her passive aggressive blanking of my wedding photos on social media and her clearly purposeful “liking” and commenting of other people’s photos such as my sister and my step-brother’s girlfriend’s. Well last Tuesday she text me asking when “we” got to see the wedding photos…

I was shocked because 1) she’s only in two photos from the entire day and 2) she didn’t give two hoots about the day when she was actually there and now she wants to see photos?

I replied to say I wasn’t sure, which I wasn’t at the time.

The the next day, Thursday last week she text again (this was very weird after two weeks of nothing!) to say “fancy meeting up soon” – that was at the bottom of other nonsense but was clearly the point of the text. My heart fell because, well… no I don’t.

I replied to all her random shite and then said yeah sure just let me know when you’re about in an attempt to kind of park that bit but she responded immediately with a list of times and dates. Annoyingly we ended up agreeing on Friday night (this week).

Nothing was said about where we would go or whatever but I was already trying to plan something where I could drive so that I couldn’t drink. Drinking around her right now (well ever really) is a bad idea.

Anyway, fast-forward a few days and I begun having bad dreams and nightmares and by Friday night I dreamt that someone led me in the dark down some concrete steps and as I couldn’t see, I didn’t realise there was water at the bottom – like a lake or something and I was about to drown. The next night I had another strange dream…

I then woke up yesterday morning and I felt absolutely physically exhausted. There wasn’t any reason for feeling like that, I had 8 hours sleep but I felt as though I’d only had two. I took a day’s holiday from work and so did my hubby and we had a nice relaxing day. In the afternoon we spoke about my mum and I told him how it was making me anxious and nervous.

Hubby thinks it’s the stress making me physically feel so bad, I’m not so sure but I do feel a thousand times better since we spoke it out so maybe he’s right.

Anyway, hubby’s view (like most people’s) is that I should only do what I actually WANT to do. He can’t understand why I’m agreeing to see her at all, especially after the wedding. I just feel as though it’s the path of least resistance.

No I don’t want to see her. I hate it and I hate how it makes me feel before, during AND after but equally telling her that would cause a shit tonne of drama and I seriously don’t want that either. I agree to see her every now and again purely to keep the peace (kind of peace anyway…).

I don’t think it’s going to be long before she points out it’s only ever her asking to see me and only ever her texting me first…. I’m not sure what I’ll say when she says that to be honest. It’s true.

I’m anxious about how she will be and what she will say when I do see her. Will she dance around the wedding like it never happened? Will she make digs at my loved ones like my dad and stepmum? I just don’t know.

It’s hard predicting how she will behave when one moment she’s so blatantly disinterest and disapproving and the next is asking for photos!!

I’m trying hard to stay “grey-rock”… trying to not react to anything, not to show any frustration, anger or sadness… just not reacting whatsoever. Every time she goes on about photos I want to tell her that there’s plenty on Facebook but she already knows that and me pointing it out just tells her that I’ve noticed she’s ignoring them. So I stay shut.

I have been running conversations through my mind, what will I say to things. For example:

Her “Your dad looked old”

Me – “funny, he said the same about you”… hahha but no, I should probably say “well it’s been 30 years, I guess he would look older”.

Her “Your stepmum looked gaunt”

Me – “She’s done so well losing so much weight this year!”

Her “We weren’t in many photos”

Me “yeah we decided to have more on our own than with family”

Her “the bedrooms didn’t have air-con, we couldn’t sleep”

Me – “Oh that’s a shame! How annoying for you”.

Her – “We couldn’t stay for breakfast as had to get home for the dog”

Me – “Oh I know, that’s fine! We had plenty of people there for breakfast anyway”.

……

Can you see my thoughts are all over the place?

The other thing bothering me is that I will not see her husband ever again. Neither will my husband and I have no idea if she realises this. It’s her birthday next month and soon enough, possibly when I see her, she will mention it and she may invite us to a meal or whatever…. I will have to say no as we do not want to go.

How will I do that? What do I say?

“We won’t be able to make that I’m afraid but let me know when you’re free and me you and (sister) can do something”….

Or do I tell her the truth?

“Sorry but I’m not comfortable to see your husband so we won’t be coming. Let’s do something separately when you are free?”

Surely it’s going to start WW3? She won’t admit that he was an aggressive arsehole at my wedding. She won’t see all the ways he was rude and just look at how she reacted when she found out her husband wasn’t sitting at our top table! She went mad and removed herself… what will she do to this?

Then there’s Christmas ….

What are your plans this Christmas Day?”

Me: “We are spending it at my dad’s this year”

* wait for WW3 to erupt*

Boxing Day we have the kids….

I haven’t spent a Christmas Day with my dad since I was a child. She won’t expect that, but as we were no contact last year, I’m pretty sure she thinks I owe her. I also refused her Christmas presents when she wanted to give them to me in April.

I won’t be going to her house over Christmas – and she won’t be coming to mine (not that she’s ever been to mine!!).

All these things are in my head. They take up so much space and time. These constant thoughts are the cause of my disturbed sleep, my anxiety-producing dreams and possibly the fatigue I felt yesterday.

And yet this is the least dramatic path?! Ahh.

That’s it… I’m married!!! Part 3

Following on from Part 1 and Part 2, this is the 3rd and finally part of our wedding day.

After we all had breakfast (with yet more wasps!!), we packed up the cars and headed home.  Me and my hubby and the 3 kids in the back of the car drove home, still not quite believing that our Big Day was over and that we were now officially married.  The kids said that I was now really and legally their stepmother and I told them that nothing would change.  They said they knew but I just wanted to reassure them I wasn’t going to suddenly turn into the wicked stepmother !

When we got home it was another absolutely boiling day so we ran around opening every single window in the house and then my husband and eldest stepson went out and got everyone a naughty McDonalds. After 8 months of dieting and constant exercise, that was very much enjoyed I can tell you!

An hour or so later my Dad and stepmum came over and they and the children watched us open up all of our cards and presents.  My stepdaughter made a list for us of what everyone gave us so that we can send individual thank you cards out.  It was fun.  My sister and her boyfriend came over too with a huge wrapped present. She was very excited to watch us open it and I can see why now.  She had made us a “box of dates”.  In this box were several gift bags and in each gift bag contained a “date”.  For example, one bag had a tablemat, plastic plate and cutlery and a voucher for a supermarket – along with a miniature bottle of champagne and two glasses. Another had two hula-hula necklaces, cans of cocktails, there were also vouchers for various different restaurants, bags of sweets, a cinema voucher and a bowling voucher. She had clearly put a lot of time and effort and thought into this and we absolutely loved it.

My mum had given my sister a gift bag to give to us which contained a card, a candle and a glass ornament and she said she had sent us £100 to my bank account.

I text her later in the day and said thanks for coming and that she looked lovely (I didn’t really know what else to say and for someone so image-obsessed, I knew she would like that).  She said thanks and “Ditto”. That was that.

The following day when the children were back at their mother’s house, we headed into town and I went into one bank to change my name. That was fun! We then went home and packed for honeymoon.

Over the last week that we were away, a LOT of photos have gone up on Facebook and Instagram. There are loads of really lovely photos of me and my husband and of the bridal party and of me and my dad etc – as anyone that uses Facebook or any social media will know, photos like that tend to get a lot of “likes” and comments and these photos were no different… with the one exception of ….. have you guessed it?

My mother has not “liked” or commented on a single one.

I know, I know, it’s pathetic and very immature that this hurts me and I know I’ve written this before about her. It’s stupid. I really do need to get over it but I can’t help it. It feels so passive aggressive.

The morning after the wedding she “shared” a post about some dancers… I am pretty sure she did this just to prove she was active on there and just purely ignoring me/us.  Later that day, she started to “like” my sister’s photos of her and her boyfriend and even my stepbrother’s girlfriend’s photos of her and him.  She commented on one of the photos saying “beautiful!!” with a heart emoji.  As I said above, as ridiculous as this might sound, it hurt. It really did hurt.

My husband slept the day before we went on honeymoon and I looked at all of the photos she was commenting on of everyone else and tears fell down my face as it hit me.  She didn’t give two shits about my wedding day or my happiness.  She was nowhere to be seen, she made no fuss of me whatsoever – she didn’t tell me she was happy for me, proud of me, that she was glad.. anything.  She didn’t even try to fake some happiness or pride.  She just wasn’t around.

That, mixed with leaving before 7am the following morning without even saying goodbye – the fact her text could have said I looked beautiful or that I seemed so happy – anything really but only said about the dog (who by the way was staying with someone overnight so not home alone).  That hurt too.

And those things now mixed with her ignoring my wedding photos on Facebook whilst very clearly (and purposely I have no doubt) liking and commenting on everyone else’s was just sad.  I know it probably makes ME sound like the narcissistic one here, but I just wanted her to make a bit of a fuss of me on my big day.  I would have liked her to have written a status about “her daughter’s wedding day” or uploaded some photos of me and my new husband – heck, even of herself at our wedding.. but there is literally NOTHING at all.  For anyone that didn’t know I had got married, there is no evidence of it whatsoever. Just random shit, oh and a post about how she brought herself a new car a few days later….

I did cry. I had a few tears silently as my husband slept. I didn’t want him to see me upset two days after we got married.  I text my stepmum and said “I just don’t get it”. We had a short conversation and then my phone rang and it was my Dad.  I took the call outside into the garden so I didn’t wake my sleeping husband and he said that he did not want me to be upset right now. He said this should be the happiest time of my life and I should not think about her. I shouldn’t let her get into my head.  I told him that I knew that and that I knew he was right, but that I couldn’t help my thoughts/feelings.  He understood but told me to try and block those thoughts out until we have got back from our honeymoon – he said not to let her win.  I cried a little as he spoke to me, not enough for him to hear.  It was nice to have him phone me, I needed a bit of “parenting” in that moment I think.  It was also nice because he’s not done that before.

He told me on that phone call that my Stepmum had said to him, despite everything I’ve said about my mum she could never quite believe she was “that bad” but having seen her and the way her and her husband behaved at the wedding, and the day after – and since – she could now see she really was “that bad”.  I laughed Yep.  He said that as a mother, she just could not understand how you could be like that at your own daughter’s wedding.

He said that he thinks she felt jealous and left out.  I said if she felt left out or excluded then she only had herself to blame and he said he most certainly was not defending her.  He said that he thinks at the wedding she saw how well me and my dad, stepmum and brothers get along now (she hates that) – and not only me but my husband also.  That she would have seen how well I get along with my husband’s family and how well my dad’s family get along with them – and also my sister and my brothers (who are from different sides) also got along so well.  He said that she clearly felt like she didn’t have a place and that for all we know, the reason they didn’t come to breakfast the morning after could have been because her angry, idiotic husband was threatening to say something to me/my husband or my dad which clearly could quite possibly be the case. Who knows.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that in the grand scheme of things, I should be thankful nothing worse happened. That nobody had to be removed, nobody had a fist-fight etc and I am – but her utter disinterest and now her passive social media stance does hurt.  It just does, whether it should or not.

I don’t really know what happens from here to be honest…. what happens next?

I am already anxious about when she next decides to contact me and ask “When am I seeing you next???” because I just don’t know how to be with her. I mean, I haven’t really known how to be with her for a while since breaking no contact but now…. there is no need for me to keep the peace for the sake of the wedding and yet I have no intention or desire to start a discussion or argue with her.  Now I feel a bit at a loss with it all….

If we were to discuss the wedding I am sure she would show as little interest as she did in the lead up to the big day as on the big day itself… she might even complain that she felt left out and I just don’t know what I would say to her now.  What even is the point?

I know we’ve all said it countless times before but I know I can’t change her – I truly know that, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it does it? and I don’t like it.

I don’t think I should have to be eternally thankful that my mother didn’t ruin my big day do I.. I guess in her head, she feels sorry for herself. I know how she thinks sometimes and I am sure it will be something along the line of “She barely even noticed I was there. She barely spoke to me, I had no part in the planning of the wedding or on the day itself.  She seems to have forgotten who brought her up when he father didn’t want to know.  She has a very short memory!“.  I can literally hear her saying those words – and then some. I am sure the money they gave us will also be involved in both his and her anger but my husband did thank “all sets of parents” and then nodded over to each set, his parents, my dad and stepmum and my mum and stepfather for their help with money to make our day possible.  We also gave out flowers to each of the mum’s – my mum, his mum and my stepmum (she probably hated that too!).

The thing with my mother is, she likes to be the main attraction – the centre of attention and she wasn’t.

I’ve questioned a lot since the wedding, what could we have done to include her that we didn’t and I just can’t think of anything.  She and her husband had reserved, front-row seats for the ceremony, she was offered (and refused) a seat at the top table, we thanked them for the money they gave us during the speeches, we gave her thank you flowers, we sat them with the people they liked the most in the family…. I don’t know what else she was expecting to be honest. I just don’t know.

She didn’t even dance with me in the evening.. she hasn’t sent me a single photo of us during the day (did she even take any? I’ve no idea!).  She genuinely has acted as though the whole thing was a dream and didn’t happen.  It’s just plain weird.

It’s very difficult to ignore behaviour like this from your mother at such an important time of your life.  The balance of not bothering to confront her, knowing there is no point and at the same time feeling like a fraud and a fake pretending it isn’t upsetting me… it’s a weird one. It leaves me feeling very unsure and uncertain.. very up in the air really I suppose.

I like to think sometimes that she doesn’t do things purposely to hurt me, it’s just a side-effect of her being so terribly self-involved but then I think the blatant ignoring of my photos and statuses about the wedding is actually being done on purpose to hurt isn’t it. There is no other explanation that I can come up with.  My husband reminded me that she knows that is a way of getting to me because when me and my sister had a falling out a year or so ago, at her house, I said to my sister that she ignores my Facebook posts and posts about all her other siblings and friends.  He thinks she heard that and stored it up as a way to get to me, knowing it had bothered me before.  What better time to implement that than now?

Anyway, despite all of this, it has been the most wonderful time.  The wedding and the honeymoon were amazing and I do feel extremely grateful and lucky about everything else. I’m not that upset about her at the moment, but it is on my mind a lot.  It’s like I am trying to “work it out” but I guess when it comes down to it, there isn’t anything to work out.  It is just her being her.

That’s it…I’m married!! Part 2

So, to carry on from Part 1, our guests had been lined up outside ready for our confetti shot and after about 5 or so minutes someone came to get us.  As we walked towards all of our guests all standing holding handfuls of rose petals and our photographer all ready to snap away, we walked through the man-made aisle laughing and trying to avoid being smacked in the eye with a petal or ten! It was a very fun moment I have to say despite everyone’s viciousness! (I told them that too!).  It was particularly lovely to see my Nan who looked so excited at finally being able to do this – she’s waited 30 years to see me married.

From that point the photos begun.. my goodness there were A LOT of photos!! I’ve never really taken in quite the amount of photos that the bride and groom have at weddings before so I was quite shocked. It was also a VERY hot day, about 30 degrees which in sunny England, is rather ridiculous! Unfortunately there was also a wasp’s nest on the roof of our venue and so wasps were literally EVERYWHERE that day – so many photos had to be retaken from me screaming and flapping around (now the ceremony wasp made sense).  That was rather annoying but I didn’t know there was a nest at this point and thought it was just because it was such a hot day and there were a lot of drinks around.

Due to the issues with my mother and stepfather, I didn’t ask for many family photos, instead we had a photo with each “set” of family – so a photo with my husband’s family, a photo with my Dad’s side of the family and a photo with my mother’s side of the family.  Ordinarily we would have both liked more than that, but it was the easiest way of keeping things simple.

Oh I’ve missed a bit haven’t I, let me just quickly go back to the confetti shot… my stepfather (aka the prick) was there and this was the first time me and my husband had seen him since that night last October.  He went to say congratulations to my husband at exactly the same time the photographer spoke to him and so it looked as though he had ignored him and he pulled a face and muttered something about him… when my husband realised (like a nano second later) he apologised to him and shook his hand and patted his back – despite wishing he could just ignore him… he did not look happy!! He said congratulations to me but clearly he didn’t mean it. I thanked him but not overly and moved on within a second.

Back to photos, my mother and “her lot” sat quite far on one side of our venue, my dad and “his lot” on another – but my 3 brothers (from my dad’s side) and my sister (from my mum’s side) were all in the bridal party and so in nearly every photo at this point.  My dad lingered around a lot and joked about – he actually seemed rather drunk at one point but I was told he was just “high on excitement” haha, bless him.  He seemed VERY happy.  My stepmum also seemed very happy, she told me how much she loved my dress and  how beautiful I looked. She seemed so genuine – they both did.

You may notice there is a distinct lack of mentioning my mother here and that is for one reason only – she was barely there.  I mean, she was THERE but she kept her distance the entire day. I barely saw her.  I imagine she probably told me I looked nice but I don’t remember it… I also imagine she probably told me she was very happy for me/for us … no actually, I can say with certainty that she did not say that.  I have no idea quite where she was during the entire day and evening, I imagine she sat outside in the evening when we were dancing or mingling with guests, but I don’t know.  She was pretty much not there.  I know that given the background and our current relationship, this is better than her kicking off or causing a scene but it was weird though.  I didn’t have time to acknowledge this on the day – its something I’ve thought about more since the wedding.

After what felt like hours of photographs in the boiling sun and wasp city, it was finally time for the sit down meal.  We were told to hang back so that all guests could be taken through to their tables and then our MC (toastmaster) announced us into the room as Mr & Mrs.  Everyone clapped and cheered and whooped and we walked through them all smiling and laughing, it was great fun. I didn’t look at anyone in particular and I purposely avoided my mother and stepfather’s table.

When we were all seated the food came out, at the top table sat (from left to right) the best man, my husband’s dad, eldest stepson, stepdaughter, groom, bride, youngest stepson, my father and then my husband’s mother.  It worked well.  My mother who, as you may remember, took herself off of the top table sat at one of the 3 tables in front of the top table but luckily (as bad as this sounds) she was at an angle where I couldn’t actually see her face from where I sat.  Unfortunately however I could see her husband’s face and he was one angry man.

By this time I had been made aware of a few things he had said or done and so I knew the mood he was in.  His face was pure anger. Just like the time he kicked me out of his house a year ago and just like the time on the train.  I really dislike him and seeing him again only reconfirmed that.

Apparently when my husband arrived at the venue in the morning, he saw my stepfather driving in the opposite direction so when he then came back, my fiancé (to break the ice having not seen or spoken to him for a year!) said to him “Was that you I saw driving a moment ago?” and he said… “Yes, I was hoping to ram you off of the road“. I mean wow.

My husband said he ignored that comment entirely and turned to talk to someone else where he then heard my stepfather say (to someone else) “and then I came back for another go!“.  What a dick. My sister says this was probably a joke but after everthing that has gone on and after a year of us not speaking at all, and moments before my husband was about to marry me – it was certainly not funny or appreciated.

During the confetti photo he was heard to say “Oh for fuck’s sake, if I’d known it was a family photo I would have stood at the back“.  But the worst thing I think was his angry face. I’ve never known someone to look so consistently angry.

After the wedding breakfast, the speeches begun.  My Dad went first, I was very excited for this.  My dad is very nervous of public speaking and I know he has been worried sick about the speech for about a year now – no exaggeration.  He had told me a lot recently that it wasn’t a long speech, but that he meant every word of it.  Well, his speech amazed me – and my husband too.  It was incredible.  He did not look at all nervous, he told the room that I was a beautiful, kind, caring and intelligent woman and that he doesn’t tell me enough how proud he is of me.  He spoke about how I am a stepmother to my husband’s 3 children and how much time and effort I spend with/on them. He spoke about how my husband was a great guy with fantastic morals and said that if he could cherry-pick a husband for his daughter, that he would be right at the top.  He also thanked him for laughing at his dad jokes. Ha.

I have been told that during my dad’s wonderful speech, stepfather apparently rolled his eyes, laughed sarcastically and refused to clap.  Apparently my mother looked like she was chewing a wasp which I quite believe given how much she hates my father.

Next was my husband’s speech where he spoke about how we met, how he proposed, about what a fabulous stepmother I am to his kids (aww) and about how he always feels loved and appreciated by me.  He promised he would always love and protect me.  It was lovely.  Then the best man’s speech which was a great mixture of funny and sentimental, he actually choked up and had to stop speaking for a moment which was very cute.  In all, the speeches were just lovely.  I felt extremely lucky and happy for the ten millionth time that day.

Everyone raised a glass to us and then clapped for all of the speeches and then my husband’s dad stood up, came over to congratulate and shake my father’s hand for his speech, then before long everyone was congratulating each other – the best man, the groom – I thanked all 3 of them for their speeches and all of a sudden I burst into tears with happiness. That was the first time that day that I had cried.  I just couldn’t believe how lucky I was.  I couldn’t help but think how differently this day could have gone, how differently the speeches would have been… how I might not have ever felt this way and the strength of that just hit me and the tears came flying out.  It wasn’t a hysterical breakdown don’t get me wrong, just a few tears of joy and luckiness I guess.

Again, my mother and stepfather were not around – not that I looked for them, I just noticed their absence then and again now as I recall the day.  I can’t help but think that my mother’s envy from how great the speeches were, from how well my husband’s family got on with my father’s family etc would all have been way too much for her.  She would have been absolutely seething.  Especially as during the best man’s speech he spoke about my husband’s stag do and their little inside jokes with my father – she would not have liked that one little bit! My father also made reference to getting to know my in-laws and even spoke of how wonderful my mother-in-law’s cakes were!! She would have been furious.

After that, me and my new husband were taken off by the photographer for some photos of just us two.  We were handed a glass of champagne each and then went off for about an hour.  I think the photos will be lovely as they were much more relaxed, the sun was much cooler by now and I’d had a few glasses of drink to relax.  The main part of the day was done which was sad, but I felt I could now just enjoy myself. We had photos taken in the fields, in front of a beautiful sunset, with lovely clouds – all sorts of things.  By this stage my wedding dress was so dirty but I just didn’t care – I didn’t want to worry about a bit of dirt on my dress, I just wanted to really make the most of every second and I am so glad that I did.  Funnily enough when we got home the following day and I shook my dress out to hang up, a beetle came out! LOL!

When we got back from having those photos it was time to cut the cake and have the first dance.  Our first dance was to a song called “My Best Friend” by Tim McGraw.  It isn’t a particularly popular or well-known song but we loved it.  As cheesy as it is, the words truly do sum up how I feel about my now husband.  Neither of us know how to properly dance and so we just kind of cuddled and moved from side to side as the song played.  It went really fast and before I knew it, the DJ welcomed other couples to come and join us on the dance floor.  When I turned around to see who was coming, my new mother and father in law and my stepkids all ran towards us and I burst into tears again!! There was something about that moment that really hit me.  I know (again) it is very cheesy but it felt like my new family were walking towards me or something – I’m not sure. It was lovely and everyone was (playfully) laughing at my sappiness.

From that point the night just flew-by. The evening guests arrived about 7pm and I barely saw them.  I remember however, being at the bar stood behind my (angry) stepfather waiting to get myself a drink and he turned around, holding his drinks and just totally ignored me and walked past me like I didn’t exist.  I remember thinking then, that could have been his chance to say something.  He could have said I looked nice, he could have said he is happy for me.. that he is sorry about how he treated me this past year – anything really.  But he decided to blank me.  I think that sums him up as a person.

I think I had a few too many wines because all of a sudden we were being told to get into the car with our bags and taken to the special “hideaway cottage” where we would spend the night.  I don’t even remember saying goodbye to anyone!!!

When we arrived at our hideaway cottage, it was dark and so we couldn’t see the surroundings but the actual place was lovely. It was much bigger than we had imagined and had a fully kitted out kitchen, bathroom, lounge area and bedroom.  We were both shattered and clearly not going to  be doing any cooking and so we went to bed straight away.

In the morning I was woken by my alarm but my husband(!!) was wide awake and playing on his phone – tracking bloody aeroplanes that were flying over us because he is a plane geek LOL.  He seemed very happy, as was I.  We both giggled and laughed and looked at our wedding rings.  It was all so surreal!

We got showered and dressed and then I saw a message on my phone from my mother. I knew what it was going to say before I even opened it.  It said that she had gone home “for the dog”. It was sent at 6.50am.

I was not at all surprised and told my husband.  He seemed utterly furious and just shook his head. He said “I think that’s it now darling”.. meaning he doesn’t think me and her will ever have any kind of relationship at all now the wedding is done.  He seemed very worried for how I felt but I felt fine.  I utterly refused to let her ruin a single second of this special time. He was definitely more angry than I was! I didn’t reply to her message, just read it and closed it again. I wasn’t at all surprised that she had left early. I wasn’t surprised she didn’t want to congratulate us again or say goodbye or anything else.  Given the way she acted during the entire day, it really wasn’t a shock.

At 9am we were collected and driven back to our venue where we walked into the breakfast room and all of the guests that stayed were waiting for us.  As we walked in they all clapped and cheered us again and I laughed and (probably) went red.  The kids were there, my husband’s parents, my dad, stepmum and brothers and their girlfriends. It was lovely and do you know what? the absence of wasp-chewing mother and angry bear stepfather was a blessing because everyone was relaxed.  Everyone was chatting and laughing together, there was no separateness or awkwardness.. there was no tension or worries.  It worked out well.

I told my Dad and stepmum about her text and they both looked surprised and rolled their eyes in disapproval.  They both kept telling me “don’t let her get to you today, this is the happiest time of your life”.  I told them I was genuinely fine.

Part 3 coming next…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s it… I’m married!! Part 1

Wow, well hi again everyone at WP!! I got back from my honeymoon a few hours ago and thought I should write a little blog about how the big day went.  I can’t believe that not only is the wedding all done and dusted, but that the honeymoon is too!! I’ve just this minute finished unpacking our cases but we now have about seven hundred loads of washing to do (only a slight exaggeration!!) and then it’s back to work again on Monday. Booo!!!

Anyway, less of the depressing stuff.  Let me tell you about the wedding.

SO last Wednesday, the day before the wedding me and my (then) fiancé went to our venue to take all of our stuff – this included table place names, seating charts, decorations, iPod with our playlists on, everything basically.  Going there 24 hours before the big day was so exciting. It was still really hard to believe at the time (it still is) and we were both on a bit of a high.

From there we drove to my wedding dress shop where I finally got to try my dress on one last time before the big day. I was nervous about whether I had put any weight on and whether the alterations had been fixed since the last fitting – luckily the dress did fit and the alternations were fine.  One of the buttons had come loose on the back of my dress so the lady in the shop quickly sorted that for me and then I got to carry it out of the shop! That was seriously exciting stuff.  My fiancé was so worried the dress would be in a see-through bag as he didn’t want to see it before I walked down the aisle but obviously it wasn’t so all was good.

From there we went to the florist to drop off one last flower box which were going to be our centerpieces and then we went and got a drink from a nearby coffee shop.

A few hours after that and I was finishing packing my suitcase.  I was so nervous that I would forget something important that I had been packing and unpacking for days. I had even been Google-ing what I needed to take and even took along an emergency kit which included plasters, safety pins, scissors, you name it! My sister arrived a while later to come and pick me up as me and 3 of my bridesmaids (including my sister) were staying at a guest house the night before the wedding and getting ready there.

When she arrived she seemed a bit miserable. She said she was really tired and had a busy day.  This did put a bit of a dampener on my mood and after an hour or so of her being there, my mood changed and I burst into tears at the thought of having to leave my fiancé at home.  He was great and reassured me that as soon as the other girls were around, she would be better and that I would be fine once we had got to the guest house and unpacked. I knew he was right but suddenly felt very sad to not be with him.  It’s quite a strange feeling leaving your fiancé behind knowing that the very next day you will become man and wife – or maybe its just me.  Perhaps I am more of a sap than I realised ha!

My best friend arrived shortly afterwards and luckily for me she was in very high spirits and lifted the mood instantly.  As my now hubby (eek!!) predicted, my sister snapped out of her miserableness and things picked up. We drove to the guest house and met another of the bridesmaids and were shown around the place. It was great, they had a swimming pool, a cinema room, a roof terrace – amazing stuff.  We picked our rooms (me and my sister in the room with the double bed and the other two girls in the twin room) and then we headed out for dinner at a lovely country pub where a work friend of mine joined us for dinner.  The service was terrible that night but I didn’t really care.

When we got back to the guest house we all got into our pjs and dressing-gowns and sat on the roof terrace to have a cup of tea. A few of the girls gave me cards and small gifts which I was not expecting – one of them even gave me a cluster of celebration balloons which was so sweet! I felt a very lucky girl.  We all said goodnight to each other and headed off to our rooms to get a good night’s sleep… I started to feel butterflies about now. My wedding dress was hanging up on the curtain pole right next to my bed – I just couldn’t believe I was getting married in the morning! ME!

It wasn’t the best night’s sleep I’ve ever had as the room was sooooo hot.  The light had a fan on it so we switched that on and my sister made me laugh by saying “imagine if the fan chopped our legs apart..” just what I wanted to hear the night before I got married!! Still it made me giggle and before I knew it, my alarm was going off (stupidly early!).  I jumped straight in the shower before the hair and make up girls arrived and then we all piled in to the other room.

The hair and make up girls arrived at 6am and started work immediately on the other bridesmaids.  I told the bridesmaids that they could have their hair and make up however they liked – I really didn’t mind as long as they were happy.  Watching them start to get their hair and make up done was very exciting, even at 6am.  It was my wedding day!!

About 8am the final 2 bridesmaids arrived (my stepdaughter (12) and my now sister-in-law.  I gave all of the girls a little present (a necklace and earrings set) but told them they didn’t HAVE to wear it, it was just a small thank you.  I had also made them these cute little things you put on the stem of a champagne glass, each had different colour beads and said “bridesmaid” apart from mine and my sister’s – she had “sister of the bride” and I had “bride” (obvs).

We staggered having breakfast in two’s and before long it was my turn to get my hair and make up done.  The girl doing mine put my hair up and clipped my veil in whilst I was still in my pjs, that was quite a strange look but fun!  Soon we were all done – hair and make up and all still in our pjs.  Then the florist arrived with our bouquets and my dad’s button-hole and then the photographer… and then my dad himself. AGGHHHH shit was getting VERY real at this point!!

I had absolutely no nerves whatsoever, I was so totally calm, very relaxed but very excited. Me and my fiancé had exchanged a couple of messages during the morning and both reassured each other that we would turn up LOL and that we loved each other so much.  I had no reason to worry – I couldn’t wait to see him, to get there.  I just wanted things to speed up but equally I wanted time to go as slowly as possible so the day didn’t end too fast (which it did).

The photographer was clearly very good at what he does, but maybe slightly forceful. He surprised me as when we booked him, he seemed super nice but on the day he was a little scary! I wasn’t the only one to notice this, I guess he had a job to do and a tight schedule.  He told us what to do, where to stand, when to get our dresses on etc.  My favourite part of the morning I think was when he took the “dress reveal” picture where he  captured my dad seeing me in my dress for the first time.  My dad’s face lit up, his eyes filled up with tears and he told me I looked absolutely beautiful.

I cannot write that moment in a way that would convey the happiness I felt.  I have written about my dad on my blog for the last year or so but we haven’t ever had a real relationship. There has been (literally) years where we have not spoken to each other at all and over the last 3 years or so, we have been slowly building something up.  In the lead up to the wedding he and my step mum have been really great, they have shown a lot of excitement and happiness for us which was so lovely.  I never, ever thought I would have my dad walk me down the aisle and yet there I was, looking at him looking at me – he seemed so proud.  I felt pure joy in that moment. I felt very emotional and very lucky that I was able to experience that moment. A moment I had literally always wished for. I choked back the tears so I didn’t ruin my make up – as did he and we had a cuddle. I cannot wait to see those photos, I think I will cry properly when I do and I can ruin my face ha.

Before long the wedding car arrived, I was excited to see this car and to travel in it with my dad.  The bridesmaids left to get to the venue before me and about ten minutes or so later, we were off.  The driver didn’t fill me with confidence when he said he wasn’t sure where the venue was… he also didn’t fill me with confidence as he near enough stopped ON every single roundabout trying to look at his map and drive!! LOL.

During the drive to the venue I was still very relaxed. Things were still extremely surreal.  I could sense my dad was getting nervous (probably about seeing my mum after so many years) so I was probably trying to calm him.  I chatted about random stuff, nothing of any importance and then I saw the sign for our venue and knew within a minute we would be there. OH MY GOD THIS IS REAL!!!!

We were bang on time but the gates were closed and I could see feet.  Someone from the venue ran towards the gates and asked us to stay put.  Clearly there was still people not yet seated in the ceremony room.  I hoped that my fiancé would see the car had arrived and would feel reassured (if he needed it!).

And then they opened the gates and my 5 bridesmaids stood lined up, looking beautiful, holding their bouquets, smiling at me as the car drove as close to the venue doors as possible and I felt this huge surge of emotion in me and nearly burst into tears.  (Oh I forgot to say that when the lady told us to stay put, I asked her to get my mother as I had told her she could see me before everyone else – yawn).  Anyway, I had to swallow my tears back down again – still no nerves but a lot of emotion.

Just as my dad was helping me to step out of the car, my friend from my old work came running past (late – as usual!!) trying to cover his face and they were shouting at him “don’t look at the bride!!” haha that made me crack up. I got out of the car and was ushered immediately into the room where the wedding breakfast would take place to go and speak to the registrars.  I said hello and kissed all my bridesmaids and my mother quickly and then went to speak to them – unexpectedly my mouth had totally dried out and I was given a glass of water and a straw (not to mess up the lippy I guess!) and I confirmed my details, my fiancé’s details and my father and witnesses details.  Within a few minutes they headed out and into the ceremony room.

I turned around at this point, shrieked with excitement and disbelief and thanked my bridesmaids. I singled my stepdaughter out first and told her she looked beautiful and told her that if she got nervous when walking down the aisle, just to look at her dad and that he would be so proud of her.  I have since been told that she did not take her eyes off of him and that she kissed him before standing at her seat – bless her.

The ladies that worked at the venue then asked us to go and line up outside the ceremony room, me and my dad last.  My heart started racing at this point!!!! I heard all of the guests stand up and our wedding song began playing. Jesus, this is it… this is the big moment .. I couldn’t believe how fast it was all going.  Then it was our turn.. mine and my dad’s big moment to make our entrance – my first glimpse of my groom!

We took our first step into the room, I was grinning like a Cheshire cat on speed at this point.  My veil was over my face and I saw a few familiar faces beaming back at me and then I saw him – he looked SOOOOOOOOOOOO handsome. So utterly happy. I walked towards him smiling and just amazed that I was so lucky.  When we reached the end of the aisle, the registrar asked the room “who gives this woman to this man?” and my Dad replied with “I do”.  She thanked him, he lifted my veil off of my face and I gave my bouquet to my best friend and bridesmaid.

WOWZAS.

I am still getting all the feels and butterflies typing this out more than a week later. It is so fun reliving it.

Me and my fiancé beamed at one another. We were clearly both in utter disbelief that our big day had come. Neither of us were crying, we were both looking at each other smiling and happy. We held hands (or more accurately we squeezed the life out of each other’s hands!).  My mouth totally dried out again here and when it came to repeating the vows, I wasn’t even sure I would be able to talk.

At one point during the vows, I giggled out loud, I can’t remember why now – I think it was when she said “to be your wife” and I just couldn’t believe that word was about me.  When I giggled, the entire audience giggled and I relaxed a bit more.  I nearly cried once during the vows and that was when my groom said the words “I will love you always” and he squeezed my hand and nodded his head as he spoke.  I exhaled deeply and continued without blubbing – thank god!

We held hands during the exchange of vows and rings and then they announced us as man and wife! The registrar said the groom may now kiss his bride and everyone clapped and whooped as we smooched!!

As we prepared to walk back down the aisle together, now a married couple the funniest thing happened…. a wasp flew into my face and I freaked out! I am really petrified of wasps and so I flapped around like you wouldn’t believe as the registrars, my groom and a few guests tried to swat it away. Needless to say everyone found this rather amusing!! We walked out of the room to L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole and we kind of danced our way out where we were then ushered off into a little room and our guests made their way outside to line up for the famous confetti shot.  We were given a glass of orange juice AND a glass of bucks fizz (my favourite!) and we both took both – haha greedy!!

I better stop here as I am aware this is realllllyyyyy long and as my hubby keeps telling me “nobody cares about the wedding as much as we do”! so sorry if this is far too detailed, but its fun haha.

Part 2 to follow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEDDING DAY!!!!!

Hi WP fam!!

It’s finally my wedding day, nearly 7am and I’m watching my bridesmaids have their hair and make up done and feeling very excited!

Thank you to all of you for all of your help, advice and encouragement with all of the stress in the lead up to the wedding with my mum and everything else. You’ve all helped me so much.

I know it sounds weird, but I’ll think of you all today and be forever grateful. Xx