This is me. This is me being a bitch.

Ok, I am going to sound like a Very Bad Person here.  Get ready to question if I am even part of the human race.

MrJJ’s paternal g-ma died this week.  He drove down to NC for the funeral today.  It started at 1pm.  He just called.  The damn thing lasted nearly six hours.  I suppose it takes that long to make sure you’ve nailed the stake through the heart and the silver bullet is in the head.  But that’s not what happened with this woman.  Apparently, as I predicted, they decided to deify this hag.

Does a dead woman deserve such words?  Possibly not.  But I have spent 15 years dealing with the fucked up mess that is her family.  She was ‘the matron’ and ruled with an iron fist.  When one of her sons moved down to Georgia and got a black woman pregnant, GMIL told him, “Don’t you come back having married that black bitch or you are out of the tribe.”  Yes, even wanted to pretend her granddaughter didn’t exist.  Thankfully, he eventually manned up (a decade later) and not only married her but fathered more children.  Unfortunately for them, they moved ‘back home’ and the poor wife had to deal with a family that didn’t want her.

GMIL called a daughter a slut for daring to marry a Navy man and moving away from home.  Said daughter has moved back and spends her time tending the family cemetery in her side yard as penance.  Navy husband avoids the family.

The twin daughters are certifiable.  Seriously.  One got admitted to the hospital one night when we were visiting GMIL.  We beat feet when she slammed into the yard yelling obscenities at her mom for butting into her business.  That same daughter (or her twin- equally crazy) went whackadoo at her father’s funeral, yelling at the tribe member officiating a burial ceremony, “You a liar!  My daddy told me before he died that he’s not Indian- he’s Jewish!”  She had to be hauled out of the funeral hall.

One of her son’s wives had a beautiful name, full of her heritage.  S—.  We didn’t know that was her name for years until S— died of cancer.  For decades, everyone, led by GMIL had called her “Th-“.  We thought that was her real name.  Near as we can figure, when her AF son wrote home from Thailand during the Vietnam War  that he was bringing back a Thai wife, GMIL decided the interloper didn’t need a name and bastardized the word “Thai”.

I’m sure there is much more.  With 13 kids, there’s bound to be.  MrJJ’s dad looks up to his mother, which explains a whole lot a/b why MrJJ calls his dad “Satan”.  I can see the dysfunction rolling through the family through the generations.  And she did her best to control it- not by eradicating it, but by strengthening it.  If a family member seemed happy or adjusted, she did her best to cut that down.

As for me, what she has done and said is somewhat mild.  At her own husband’s funeral in early ’00, she mentioned, “We don’t think MrJJ is the father of the baby you are pregnant with.”  This steamed me, on the heels of the particular issue that had happened in our marriage the summer previously.  We haven’t had contact with that side of the family since March ’03.  GMIL and FIL were yelling at Silly Son for something he wasn’t even doing.  Silly Son started crying, MrJJ and I yelled at them to stop.  I took Silly Son out of the house.  MrJJ informed them we certainly don’t yell at our kid when he is doing nothing wrong.  For some reason he added, we don’t spank him either.  “You don’t beat your child?  DISGUSTING!” she proclaimed.  We left to visit MIL’s side of the family.  GMIL called there and informed MrJJ. I was no longer welcome in the family.  We moved to HI the next week and never bothered w/ FIL’s side of the family, until today.

Apparently the close to six hour funeral and burial was the start of the canonization process.  She’s a goddess.  A regular Pocahontas, leading her tribe into the future.

To top it off, FIL had to try to pick a fight with MrJJ about the fact we wrote them off years ago.  Never mind that he agreed with his sainted mother that I wasn’t ‘in the tribe’ as I didn’t beat my son.  From what I understood, MrJJ truly has FINALLY matured and manned up to his father.  Perhaps all our troubles this past year have had a purpose.  He told his father he had been a crappy father and was never there for him, so if he thinks he can call the shots, FIL has a reality check on the way.  MrJJ apparently told him, “You’re nothing to me, I can take you or leave you.  If you want to be in our lives, there are rules.”  Hells YEAH!  No drunken calling in the middle of the night.  Maybe an apology for accusing me of marrying MrJJ “for the money and telling MrJJ to “slap your bitch and tell her to shut up” our first year of marriage.  Ok, I’m sure I’ll never even get recognition for that.  But at least MrJJ finally schooled him in what it means to be part of our family.  I cut my mom out of my life ecuase she’s fucking toxic and I sure as hell don’t mind doing the same with FIL.  After all, with him the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

As much as MIL grates my nerves because she is the quintessential mama’s boy mama; believe me, you don’t want to marry a boy raised by one of those unless he has done some major cutting of the apron strings and maturing.  Anyhow, as much as she grates my nerves, she has a kindness to her, a basic decency that is missing from GMIL and FIL.  I am glad that part of her rubbed off, in some small way, on her son.

So I guess it’s RIP A-B.  I’ve tried to be sad, but I can’t find it in me.  When there’s a familial culture that venerates their elders to some degree, then that power should be used for good, not for evil.  If my brothers and sisters blindly respected my mother in the same way MrJJ’s family did, I can see her doing very much the same things.  What I see in GMIL, I see in my mother.  And indications for my mom are that she’s borderline personality disorder.  I shudder to think of someone like that with her family under her thumb, getting more dysfunctional as time goes by rather than healthier.  BTW- did I mention that almost half of the family lives on the same couple of miles of country road?  So when I say under her thumb, I mean it.


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