Posted by: Judy | April 22, 2015


I’m remembering the value of writing it and sharing it. Feel free to skim or skip this. I need it out of my head.

Apparently, the war is on. I’ve been successfully avoiding NM for months, very little interaction and rarely, if ever, alone. The last few weeks have been brutal.

I shared how and why I lost my temper with first NM and then EF, last week.

On Saturday evening, I went to dinner with a dear friend. I enjoyed the lemon pasta, lemon orzo chicken soup, and lemon lava cake but especially my friend’s company. I always come away feeling re-energized and ready to jump back into the battle.

We natter at each other and talk things out. Her field is psychology. I’ve told her about things going on in my life with NM and EF, and more than once she’s given me a heads up about things about to change in their effort to regain control. She’s been right, every time. I always feel like I should pay her for a session. She wants to be adopted by my sister as a sister. I’ve told her she’s more than welcome to join us. I consider her a sister.

She warned me that my successful avoidance pattern meant NM/EF would have to up their game. I didn’t anticipate the lengths to which they’d go. I can’t go a day without them violating simple boundaries. NM tells everyone she makes sure I have my alone time in the kitchen. Well, this is partially true; no one is in there at 6 a.m. They may or may not be in there or near by at 11 a.m., but they are invariably in there (“Just need to get ____; I’ll only be a minute.”) at 5 p.m. The insane thing is that I chose times when they habitually didn’t use the kitchen. Now, they make a “special effort” so I have my time. The one good thing for them is that at least now they have a consistent meal routine, based on mine. It’s crazy. Sorry, stating the obvious.

My nephew, bless him, has been helping me with my arm. Hallelujah! My arm is almost straight when he’s finished working. Unfortunately, muscle memory of over a year has it bent again by the next day. However, there’s significant improvement. Friday night, he hit a sore spot. Not the first time. Not the last, and it’s what he’s supposed to do. We both know this. NM shifted into protection mode, “Don’t hurt my kid,” in a voice she only uses for that line. I hate it. I replied, “Hush up.” Yes, I did. I should have added that she is not allowed to guilt my nephew. I didn’t think about it at the time. He was doing what needed to be done, and I didn’t have a problem with it. I was grateful. He’s made such a difference. In any case, the NM’s plea was brain-numbingly insane, thinking about all the things she’d done to hurt me, up to an including the repeated violations of my healthy boundaries, as recently as that day. Should have said, “Speak for yourself.” Maybe next time.

Back to the weekend madness… Nephew was Friday, so Saturday… wow… escalating. I had a much needed evening of chatter and delicious food, not to mention the restaurant knows us well enough the waitstaff knows us by name. I came home and went to bed.

Background information: I come in the back door because NM swears using the west door after a certain time in the afternoon causes her to have asthma attacks. My dad leaves the backyard lights on for me so I’m not walking in the dark. His preference. I don’t care. My night vision is good enough I don’t need the lights. Onward.

Sunday morning, I woke to find a note in the bathroom I use. NM implored I use the west door so my friend can watch me make it into the house safely. She used her old excuse about being raised in the city.

I know, this all sounds so wonderfully normal and even caring.

Here’s the crazymaking:

I used to use the west door, when I came home from being out in the evening, because I wanted whoever was dropping me off to see I made it inside okay.

NM went absolutely ballistic. She cried her asthma attacks were caused because the west door was used after the witching hour.

Important note: If she doesn’t know the west door is used, she doesn’t have an asthma attack. If she “catches” me using the west door after the witching hour, she has an asthma attack that night. Yes, it’s been going on long enough I’ve watched the pattern. It’s been going on for years.

Apparently, she decided it was falling on deaf ears with me, so she complained to EF. He begged me to use the backdoor and promised to leave the light on for me so I wouldn’t have to walk in the dark, something he hates to do because his night vision isn’t great.

NM actually suggested I use the west door at night a few months ago. I would come home and see the backyard lights on, so figured I was still to use the backdoor. It doesn’t matter to me.

Now, this note shows up. She may have told my dad her change of plans; she may not have. It would be in keeping with pitting people against each other for her to tell me one thing and EF something else.

For the last bit of crazymaking: She was the one who told me years ago to use the backyard door at night. I ignored her and used the west door. Last year, I finally started using the backyard door because I was tired of hearing about her asthma attacks because I used the west door and because EF begged me to use the backdoor. I was tired of fighting the insanity, so I used the backdoor. Now, she’s begging me to use the west door because it’s safer.

No matter what I do, it’s going to be wrong.

And yet one more: For years, the ads that come in the mail have always been turned over to me, because I go through them. NM and EF always wanted to dump them straight into recycling because “we never buy anything in them.” Yesterday, NM pulled out the ads to a couple of stores. I saw the one that I always shop at sitting at her place at the table. I glanced through it to see if there was anything. NM says, “I didn’t know you shopped at that store.” Wait… what? I’m the one that has repeatedly told them an item they want is available at that store because I buy it there.

I leave the door slightly ajar so the room doesn’t become stuffy. They don’t knock; they simply talk to me through the door. The other night, I snapped at EF for interrupting my writing. So what does NM do the very next night? The exact same thing.

The gaslighting and crazymaking is reaching new heights. My fault for refusing to play the game.



Now, I can laugh at myself:




  1. Love the pictures…sorry things are escalating but you are learning new lines. I would still like to get you borrow our child gates to lock yourself in the kitchen a couple of times….just for fun. 🙂

    • LOL! Yup, they behave like toddlers, child gates seems appropriate. 😉

      • Yes, it does, but can you imagine the backlash… of course, there is an impish part of me that gleefully chants “Do it!” Fortunately, God also gave me a brain, which I tend to use. Surprise, surprise. 😀

        • Yea it is easy for me to suggest when I don’t live there. I think your brain is awesome.

          • I’m not complaining. It’s a funny suggestion I never would have imagined. It made me laugh… I may use it as a visualization tool… oooooo that has possibilities.

            • 🙂 glad I can help.

  2. The efforts that she puts in to regain control is outstanding. “No matter what I do, it’s going to be wrong.” You are doing great dealing with the her upping the antics. Great pics, so appropriate to their crazy making behaviors. 🙂

    • Thanks. Validation is incredibly helpful.

  3. Athsma attacks and West doors. that would be an interesting research study!

    When you grow up like this, your whole life is affected because you learn to shrug off “crazy.” In effect, you learn to live with it and conform. So I can easily imagine how nuts it must be, coping with a mother who is suffering from a particularly virulent variety of Western Athsma. The miracle in your story is that you know know you’re sane and she’s not. What hell it is for the ACoN who has no measure of “normal” because in her childhood, crazy WAS normal!

    • Hey! Westdoor Asthma study. What a brilliant idea! Considering some of the insane (stating kindly) studies out there, this one might actually benefit someone. 🙂

      I can imagine the hell. I would still be there if not for the fact my sister courageously sought counseling. For years, she didn’t remember anything about our childhood. In truth, I’ve only been tackling the truth campaign for nine years, and a few of those I spent fighting the truth. I only started this blog five years ago. At the time, I didn’t know what an ACoN was and narcissism was something no one I knew personally exhibited. How things have changed. Thanks, czbz!

      • Yup, your awesome brain took on the insanity. I couldn’t have made it without you.

        • ((Ruth)) God put us together for a reason. Blessedly.

  4. I’ve said it before, but your parents suck.

    • Yep. 🙂

  5. PS I may be asking the obvious, but have you tried a small fan in your room in lieu of the cracked door to help with the stuffiness? The whirring noise might even block out some of your parents’ noise.

    • Yes. I have a ceiling fan I use, but it doesn’t improve the stuffiness. I need to make my earplugs a habit.

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