History, part 3

After a while, and quite a few ups and downs, it escalated to the point it was no longer bearable. My memory isn’t clear about all that transpired, but it was mostly unpleasant, and sometimes horrid. I purchased a tape recorder that records from the phone line (I live in a 1 party state) and began recording conversations with her, and between her and my kids. We avoided her, and kept the kids away during her worst times. Dad would occasionally just go up to their cabin in the mountains for a few days unannounced. There’s no phone up there, and it ‘allowed’ us to handle the hysterical calls while he recharged his batteries.

Well, enough was finally enough, and I had to go have ‘The Conversation’ with Mom & Dad. Mom had said some really innapropriate stuff to my daughter, and it was now time (or long overdue) to confront them directly to get it fixed. I was VERY clear that there would be NO contact between Mom and the kids. They were NOT going to visit, she was NOT coming over. Mom was NOT being invited or permitted to attend any of the kids functions. I also told them what I thought the problem was (bipolar) and asked them to let me know when it was fixed.

Obviously that didn’t go over well, but they had no choice, and a few weeks later, Mom’s angry calls tapered off, and we could actually leave the phone turned on at night again. The restrictions didn’t apply to Dad, but he chose not to visit or call either, probably so that he wouldn’t have to deal with Mom about it (salting a wound, etc).

Several (very quiet) months after, some time around Thanksgiving or Christmas, I got a call from Dad asking if I thought it would be OK if he and Mom called the kids that Saturday. We could leave it on speakerphone, and he would stay on the other line as well. I assumed that he had taken Mom to a counselor, as asking us for anything, and scheduling in advance were things that NEVER happened. The typical pattern was a demand, and always immediate.

Well, I let them talk to the kids, and after a few pleasant calls over the course of a month or so, they came over. I was amazed. Mom was NORMAL. Mom had NEVER been NORMAL.

~ by namegoeshere on April 7, 2007.