Disappointed - Again.

I grew up in an abusive household, and when I was 16, I met a family who lived two houses down from us and recognized it and asked me move in with them.  It got complicated and CPS got involved and they told my mother the best place for me was with my friend's family which made her very angry and she's never forgiven me for leaving. But it was very generous of them to accept me into their family.  They treated me just like their own daughter.

But over the years things have changed with this family.  And the mother - the one who I did anything and everything to try and win her approval - was odd, although I didn't realize it at the time.  I didn't know God when I moved in, but I soon did, and Mark has told me if I had gone to his school, I would have been in the "God Squad".  I think that's the best way to explain my behavior.  But the mother - at the time I didn't realize how far off the deep end she was, I was very naive, very innocent about God, the way people worship, what was right and what was wrong, and blindly followed whoever led me.  I was told rock music was wrong, except for contemporary Christian music, I didn't go to the prom because of dancing, I guess, I don't really know why that was wrong but I wanted to go so bad, and just a lot of things I missed out on.  But don't get me wrong - it was so much better than my previous living situation.  Please do not think I am not grateful - in a million years I could never repay what they did for me.

But here's an example of how bizarre it was.  The mother was not this way when I moved in, but she started attending a new church and slowly started changing.  She truly believed she was a prophet from God - that God spoke to her and told her the future, and she would write down what God was telling her, and then tell people what He told her.  She once told me I had a "demon lesbian spirit" and tried to "cast it out of me".  So I guess she decided that God had told her that her husband was going to die, how he was going to die, what day he was going to die, and EVEN who her next husband was going to be - this certain man who went to our church.  I believed her, I was such a sheep.  We even went so far as to wait to see if he was coming home from work that night, looking for his orange work truck to come around the street, not expecting it to as God had told her.  What happened?  He came home, and I was so confused.  Was she WANTING her husband to die and to marry the guy at church?  Why wasn't she more upset that her husband was going to die?  I assumed it was because she just wanted to follow God's will.  Thinking back now it was SO FREAKING MESSED UP!

She was also rude to me.  They had a new house built, which at the time I thought was a beautiful house, but this was rural Kansas, so that's not saying much at all.  I was saying how much I liked it when we were moving in, and she was telling me all the things I needed to do to keep it clean.  Then she told me I would NEVER live in a house as nice as that one.  It really hurt me that she had such little confidence in my success, that she saw me as such a small person compared to herself. 

So, I graduated from high school, I got a job in the small Kansas town at a music store, and I think she got jealous that her husband was giving me attention.  It all started when an old teacher of mine came into the store and asked me to enter the local city beauty pageant.  I was excited, and so were my coworkers, they were already starting to plan.  I went home that night and they were both there, and I told them the news.  She was NOT happy, and told me I should not, would not do it.  Her husband, who rarely got involved in anything, I believe out of fear of her and her wrath, actually spoke up.  He said he thought it was something I should do and he totally supported me in doing it, and said he thought I could actually win.  You could have cut the tension with a knife.  I think the fact that he thought I was pretty enough to win a city beauty pageant and I was living with them was too much for her.  She soon asked me to move out.

So many other things happened that annoyed me, and I ended up moving to Texas and losing touch with her.  I later found out her husband had divorced her and she was living in a recreational trailer in her son's backyard in Texas.  I went with my then-husband to visit her at Christmas, and she put me down again.  She told me I was the kind of person that would never be able to live without a man, I couldn't survive on my own.  At the time, I had a full time job and could have supported myself without my husband.  Obviously, SHE was the one incapable of living without assistance, she didn't have a job and was living in her son's backyard. 

So, fast forward to the present day.  She's been married and divorced two more times.  We've lost touch for years, then reconnected, with her always being as crazy as before.  She's having health problems, and after her last divorce, I think things are pretty hard on her financially, she declared bankruptcy several times - the last time maybe a few years ago, and now she's just living on Social Security.  I think her son gave her an old car to drive.  That's what I've gathered, because I won't talk to her on the phone since she goes ON and ON about her problems and she NEVER asks anything about me, how I am, about my welfare, what I'm doing - she would have no idea if I didn't just interject the information.  Even then, I have no idea if she even retains what I've told her.  The weird thing is that she created a Facebook page for herself and put my birthday as her birthday - Month, Day, Year and all.

So where am I going with this?  She's originally from a small town in Illinois, and I thought since eventually we're moving to Chicago, she might want to come visit us.  I know she doesn't have a lot of money, so I sent her an email saying I would pay for her plane tickets to Chicago once we moved, and we could drive to her hometown so she could visit if she wanted.  It actually wouldn't cost me anything - Mark has so many miles that it would take us a lot of free trips to use them all.  Her response?  To write paragraph after paragraph about her health when I simply asked if she was going to have surgery on her knees, go on and on about all the prayer people are doing for her for God to heal her, and at the end, to tell me she couldn't go to Chicago because her car wouldn't be able to make it. 

What?  That really hurt my feelings, because what is the real reason she won't go to Chicago?  Obviously it's not her car because I didn't ask her to drive there, I told her I would buy her plane tickets.  I'm not the one who wants to visit her little hometown, I thought SHE would want to go there.  I know she's on a fixed income, and she would be my guest, I wouldn't ask her to spend a penny while she visits us.  Mark doesn't even like her, so it was really a selfless act on my part which was why it hurt my feelings!

I'm so disappointed in people in general.  It seems like everyone is just out for themselves, or at least they are with me.  I don't see anyone trying to make a connection with me, and when I try to make connections with other people, no matter who they are, I get rejected.  My family has really disappointed me, my surrogate family has disappointed me, Mark's family has disappointed me, my friends have disappointed me.  I keep lowering and lowering my expectations of everyone, but I think they best thing to do is HAVE no expectations of friends or family, then if they actually DO something nice, it's a pleasant surprise!



Flabbergasted Mom said...

I am thinking that it's a good thing she turned you down because she doesn't sound like a healthy person to have in your life in any way, shape or form.

My suggestion is that you might be pinning your hopes on the wrong people and based on what you've written about your childhood, that may because you were taught/accustomed to doing so.

As to your last statement - That's actually something I have "tried" to live by since I was in high school, but yet I cannot seem to squelch a small bit of hopefulness inside of myself that so often ends up leading to disappointment.

I really wish I had some good advice.

Instead I can say that you aren't screaming into the wind, someone is hearing you...

KansasSunflower said...

Thanks FM - once again, I think you are so right. I wasn't going to say anything to her, but I'm just tired of people disappointing me so I let her know what I thought. She freaked a little and sent me a text and two emails right away saying she didn't understand I meant to visit in Chicago. Umm, I only wrote a paragraph of about six sentences about it - how could that be confused? I didn't reply right away, but finally sent a short text that we would talk later. I really wonder if people are worth it. Someone besides my husband and dog will have to come along and prove it to me to convince me to exert energy to a new (or old) friendship.

Flabbergasted Mom said...

I do think that if you do see her you should FOR CERTAIN take your husband with you so that you aren't the only witness to the potential oddness that could ensue (and I do not mean from *you*)

Good luck! :)

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