My letter from the bride and groom

Mom,

Thank you for standing up in our wedding. You and I have always had such a close bond. I cherish our many memories we have made together. Some of my favorite memories include running with you in the mornings, going on the train ride at Disney, and the many community theater shows we were in together. I remember sitting down while you attempted to put makeup on my twitchy eyes. You will always be my best friend and person I turn to during hard times. You are strong, hard working, and patient. The love I have for you can’t be put into words. You are the best mom a girl could ask for. Thank you for the time you put into raising me and the investment in giving Dan and I our dream wedding. You always have my back and I love and appreciate you so much.

Love, Angel

Alissa,

Thank you for all of your contributions to our wedding, and for raising such a wonderful daughter. I feel very fortunate to have you for a mother-in-law and future grandmother to our children. I look forward to becoming a member of your family.

Love, Dan

Angel gave me this note right before the wedding ceremony. It was hard to keep a dry eye and this was a very special touch. I am so excited for them as they start the next chapter of their life together. I know my daughter married the right man. I can’t even describe how joyous their day was to me. It was one of the happiest moments of my life.

My mother is a narcissist

Looking back it seems so obvious. Right now I’m feeling glad my mom sent my daughter a picture of her ex-boyfriend on her wedding day. I am angry, upset, confused, and sickened by it too. But what I am glad about is that this has been a wake up call for me. Anything else I could accept or take, but not this.

My whole life my mom has been manipulative and controlling. She had a way of making me feel guilty for not wanting to be the person she wanted me to be. She didn’t like my friends, my hobbies, the music I liked or the clothes I picked out to wear. She didn’t even like my husband when she met him and tried to set me up with my ex-boyfriend. Nothing was wrong with my choices, she just didn’t like them and made me feel bad for wanting something different.

She wanted to be the favorite grandma to my kids and often bought them expensive gifts the other grandma couldn’t afford. She used her money to control. She used guilt. She always tried to push back on boundaries. Her favorite cards to play are victim, martyr, and heroine.

I was thinking a lot the last couple days and I have a lot more thinking to do. The main reason why I was angry at my siblings in the past and more recently with my Aunt Jan was because of things my mom said they said about me or my family. There is a hint of truth in what she says, but she exaggerates it causing drama. I can’t believe anything she says.

My mom always wants to be the center of attention. She was angry she didn’t get to sit facing the head table. She was probably upset my dad couldn’t be there. She was probably upset my brother Matt couldn’t go to the ceremony. But what I think really upset her was the fact that I stood up in my daughter’s wedding. Lately she has been making passive aggressive comments towards me in jealousy. She is never happy for me. It must be nice that you get to do things I never got to do…

I am trying to turn something negative into a positive. Don’t get me wrong, I am still pretty upset by what she did. In some ways it has been freeing.

Here are the ways I am going to deal with it in the future:

  1. I am going to talk to safe people as a sounding board. I am going to talk to my therapist about how to deal with this.
  2. I am going to be writing about it and processing it.
  3. I am letting go of my anger towards my aunt and other people my mom told me said bad things about me. Part of this is on me. I took my mom’s word to be true. Instead I should have called my aunt and worked any potential conflict and hurt feelings out with her directly.
  4. I am going to communicate better with my brothers instead of having my mom relay messages. Last night I talked to my brother Luke for an hour and cleared some things up.
  5. My mom is a toxic person and I want to limit my contact with her to twice a month. This is going to be really hard because she walks all over my boundaries.
  6. I want to be more genuine to myself around her.

These are all thoughts off the top of my head. I’m sure I will be thinking about it a lot more over the next several weeks. This has been a very eye opening experience for me and I’m just starting to process another layer of garbage in my life.

Wedding wild cards

I was feeling a lot of anxiety before the wedding because of the wedding wild cards, the several difficult people who would be there.

A few days before the wedding I expressed to my mom how I wished I had a dad who could be at the wedding celebrating with us. My mom took it to mean I wanted my dad at the wedding and went on to say Angel needs to forgive my dad in order for God to give her forgiveness. I decided to let that conversation go. Even if everyone forgave my dad, it still wouldn’t give us the kind of relationship we wanted with him.

My mom invited herself to the rehearsal dinner which wasn’t a big deal. But while there she got upset about the seating arrangement. She was upset she wasn’t facing the head table and told Angel how disappointed she was in her. My mom didn’t seem to understand it wasn’t about her.

Later that evening, my mom said Matt wanted to attend the wedding ceremony. My mom expects everyone to cater to Matt. Angel told my mom Matt was welcome to come to the reception but she didn’t want him at the ceremony. Matt acts socially inappropriately. He often grunts, farts, burps, makes gagging noises, and stands up to kick his legs. If he has to go to the bathroom he wouldn’t have any qualms about pushing his way up the aisle oblivious to who was coming down. No one wants to worry about that on their wedding day.

I understand my mom wanted my dad and Matt to go to the wedding but because of their behaviors they were not able to. In a perfect world, I wanted them there too. I could only wish.

I really wasn’t expecting what happened next. While Dan and Angel were having wedding photos of just the two of them at the park, the rest of the wedding party waited at the limo. My mom sent a picture to my kids and I of one of Matt’s birthday parties Angel’s ex-boyfriend attended. MY MOM SENT A PICTURE OF MY DAUGHTER WITH HER EX-BOYFRIEND TO HER ON HER WEDDING DAY!!! I was pissed. Do you understand why I was worried about the wild cards now??

Angel left her phone in the limo. I tried really hard to crack her code to get into her phone and failed. I was worried she might get locked out of her phone. One of her bridesmaids decided to take the phone to Angel to get the code under the guise of us wanting to use it to take pictures then deleted the photo. None the wiser. It was really stressful and I was embarrassed in front of the wedding party about how dysfunctional my family is. I texted my mom and asked her what she was thinking. She texted back, guess I wasn’t thinking.

Everything was going great up until that point, then my mood just crashed. Inside of me my blood was boiling. On the outside I was trying to pretend everything was fine. Of course my daughter Angel can read me like a book. She asked me what was wrong, I replied nothing. She was getting really anxious so I ended up telling her. Your grandma sent a picture to you of you and your ex-boyfriend on your wedding day.

It was the last thing I was expecting. I was thinking maybe Alex would be late for something, but Alex and Lexi were on time and very involved the whole weekend. Everything went great with Arabella too. She could tell I was stressed so Will and her came back to clean up between the ceremony and wedding. Will accidentally put dish soap in the dishwasher which created a big bubbly mess. The dishwasher was running when we got home, when I went to bed, and the next morning when I got up. It wouldn’t shut off with the bubbles so high. But how could I be upset with good intentions?

But why did my mom send us a picture of Angel and her ex on her wedding day?? What was that? I had an amazing time at the wedding but I was pissed. Then my mom went up to randomly give a speech after the best man and maid of honor saying how she gained a grandson.

I decided I was going to confront my mom. She hurt my daughter and son-in-law on their special day. I was just so angry. I want a peaceful life, but sometimes you have to confront people especially apparently in my family. I was ready to chew my mom out, but she came over apologetic and crying hysterically. Will I forgive her? She will never be able to forgive herself until the day she dies. I found myself comforting her instead of confronting her. I had to be the mature one. I just fell back into the same old pattern. Then my mom went over to apologize to my daughter and her husband.

I asked her why she did it and she said she didn’t know. I am so confused. Then she called me later in the evening and said that I was the only one who was really upset about it as if something was wrong with me. She had my dad on speaker phone and he was asking me how Alex was doing. I just need a break from my parents. I feel so upset and sorrowful over the hurtful things my parents do. I don’t want to let it bother me but it seems like it always does.

I am still feeling angry and sorrowful over this and have been crabby and moping around. My husband said my expectations are too high by thinking my parents are going to be functional people. I guess he is right about that.

My daughter’s wedding

I awoke early after a restless night of sleep. Once the day started it went by fast, although I felt like I was moving in slow motion. Although tired, I was feeling pretty good. All the bridesmaids showed up around 10 AM. Afterwards there was a flurry of activity. My friend Lisa showed up to do my daughter’s hair and we ended up going to the store to buy ingredients for mimosas. I also opened an expensive bottle of champagne sent from our foreign exchange student from France. I was just waiting for a special day. It wasn’t long after we got back that the photographer arrived for pictures.

It was a gorgeous autumn morning. Angel bought us robes to get ready in that said bridesmaids on it. I got ready here and there. Angel didn’t sleep much the night before and her stomach was too upset to eat or sip champagne that morning or even the evening before. There were a couple little problems like the light burning out in the bathroom everyone was getting ready in. Arabella found they never removed the big plastic tag from her dress at the store and left in a hurry leaving her dress shoes behind to get the tag removed. I set out snacks for everyone. Just like that it was time to leave and I left the house a mess. Angel was getting very anxious about leaving on time and everyone else started getting anxious too. Angel lost her phone and we couldn’t find it anywhere. She was ready to leave without it, but it was found at the last minute.

Angel was a big mess at the church. She put her dress on and started crying. She gave everyone little notes to read. I will share mine at a later date. It was hard not to cry as well. The ceremony itself was excellent. They rented a wedding chapel and minister. I was really pleased with how everything turned out. After the ceremony was over, I felt immensely relieved. We took a couple family pictures outside. Paul’s step-dad asked me where my dad was. I guess we never told him and probably never will. I told him my dad was not well enough to be there. Darryl sighed and rolled his eyes. No one mentioned my dad again the rest of the day.

After a few pictures, the limo was ready for us. We stopped at several places to take pictures. For a picture, the guys pulled out some cigars. I said the girls needed cigar pictures too, so we did. We cracked open all the leftover bottles of champagne from earlier that morning. We even had a picture in the park where Dan shook a bottle of champagne and it sprayed everywhere. I can’t wait to see the pictures because I really didn’t take many even though I was supposed to.

It was really a lot of fun to spend the day with Angel and Dan. They were so happy. After pictures, we still had some time left in the limo so we stopped at a bar where the best man bought everyone a round of Fireball shots. Then it was off to the reception hall for the grand march and dinner. I ordered a Long Island Iced Tea. Go big or go home. Paul did an amazing job with his prayer. I was so impressed. The maid of honor also had an amazing speech.

I probably had a little too much to drink. I wasn’t the only one. But it was a great night and we all had a lot of fun. I tried to make the rounds and talk to everyone. Most of the night, though, you could find me on the dance floor. The music was great. I was hugging everyone which is pretty out of character for me. When I wasn’t on the dance floor I was outside with the smokers cracking jokes, giving unsolicited advice, and telling people to stop smoking (even complete strangers). Then I came right back to the dance floor dancing and sampling random people’s drinks. Everyone had a great time, especially the bride and groom. Everyone clapped and cheered for them. The atmosphere was that of festive celebration because everyone was happy for them because they are great together. It was the best wedding I’ve ever attended. My daughter did a great job with planning and picking the right guy.

Gratitude week 144

  1. My daughter got married yesterday and it was a perfect day!!
  2. It was wonderful to see family and friends who helped celebrate our daughter’s wedding with us.
  3. They couldn’t have asked for better weather for the wedding.
  4. I’m grateful for everyone who was a part of Angel and Dan’s special day. There are so many details that go into planning the perfect wedding day.
  5. I’m grateful to have a daughter who is so organized I didn’t need to worry about all the little things.
  6. I’m grateful my daughter picked the right person to spend her life with. They are a wonderful couple and that is more important than anything else.
  7. I’m grateful the stress of the wedding is behind us now and it is time to move on.
  8. I’m grateful our friends decided to host their annual Halloween party this year. It’s a disco theme. Time to dust off that leisure suit.
  9. I’m grateful to be flying out this weekend for a business/fun getaway. I will be checking another state off my bucket list.
  10. I’m grateful to have a lot of stuff going on the next couple of weeks to ward off some of the after the wedding blues.

1 day

I can’t believe by this time tomorrow my daughter will be changing her name. It seems surreal to me right now. They are getting really excited for the big day tomorrow.

My husband will be saying the dinner prayer and he is really nervous about it. I told him no one is going to remember it unless he accidentally says the f word or something. My son is going to be an usher and he is nervous about that. I don’t feel any different than any other day really. And that is the joy of struggling with anxiety. I’m used to feeling this way. There has to be some perks.

I’ve spent the last couple of days just getting ready. Mom and I went and got our nails done. I made the beds for guests tonight. Angel will be staying over with a bridesmaid. Arabella and Will will be staying too just to make sure they are up and ready in time. Angel is getting ready here with her bridesmaids so I bought some easy lunch foods. I expect somewhere around a dozen people being in and out of the house tomorrow morning. Then we may or may not have overnight guests the night of the wedding.

In a couple hours will be the rehearsal and dinner afterwards. I expect it will really hit me and I will be nervous then. Hopefully we will be able to sleep tonight!

Tomorrow Dan and Angel will begin their married life together. I can’t believe my daughter is getting married tomorrow. I am so happy and excited for them. I hope they will be blessed with many wonderful years together. One more day…

3 days

Today I found out all my closest friends will be attending the wedding. I am pretty excited about that. You know what they say, friends are the family we choose. I have a lot of family I consider wild cards. You never know what you are going to get.

My mom said my brother Luke won’t like the music. There is no doubt about it. After he stopped drinking, he became addicted to faith and very legalistic. He does not listen to any music that is non-Christian and neither does his teenage homeschooled kids. I know he looks down upon my family and views us as a bunch of savages. I also know that religion is where he feels safe from all the crap we experienced so I try not to take it personally. It’s not even that I disagree with him, I totally understand and think it is better for him than drinking too much. But he has a tendency to judge instead of support, the latter something we were never taught to do either.

Luke isn’t the only one questioning the music and other choices regarding the wedding Angel and Dan have made. I told Angel that I trust her judgment. What she really has a problem with is people not trusting her. She’s got this. Music is her thing. She has a music degree and a job in the industry. I can understand why it is so important to her. She said she doesn’t want to take requests because they bog the DJ down when she has a well thought out playlist already made. They will have jazzy dinner music from 6 to 8, dance music from 8 to 10, and club music from 10 to midnight. At the ceremony, they will have several singers and a pianist that hold the minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in music. I told my daughter I think she has this handled and validated her feelings of frustration over people questioning and criticizing. It’s their wedding. Angel said she is starting to feel more excited about the wedding than anxious today.

Other than that, I ironed my son’s shirt for the wedding. If it was up to him it would probably still be sitting in the bag I bought it in laying around somewhere. I can’t remember the last time I ironed. Yes, I have an iron. I got it for a high school graduation gift from my aunt. I remember that because when I opened the gift I was excited to see what was really in the box and it really was an iron. Our house has an ironing board built into a drawer in our kitchen island. It looked well used but it was the first time I used it.

As I was ironing, I started to think about ironing. When did that stop being a thing? I missed the smell of ironing. I started to think again of my grandma who was always ironing it seemed. She had a glass soda bottle with a little sprinkler on top to put little drops of water on the clothes before ironing. If you think laundry is a hassle now, try ironing everything.

My mom also gave my grandma laundry to iron. I remember my mom saying the smell of ironing also triggered my brother Matt’s violent outbursts. In the summer, my mom would iron outside. When she couldn’t do that, she sent it all over to my grandma’s. I had forgotten about that, but it all came back to me today. My mom thought if we could perfectly follow all of the crazy rules then Matt wouldn’t be violent anymore when in actuality all it took was the right anti-psychotic medicine. It’s no wonder why my brother Luke fell into following rules so easily and becomes upset when they are broken. I have to fight against it myself with my thinking if I do everything right I won’t get sick, etc. But hey, nothing about my childhood was normal, except maybe my grandma. To think ironing could trigger violence. How flipping crazy is that?

Anyway, I am excited all my best friends are coming to the wedding. I’m happy for the family members attending, even the wild cards. I’m glad Angel is starting to relax a little and enjoy the last couple of days before the wedding. I know it’s going to go by fast now. I’m glad to report everyone is healthy (except Arabella with mono but she will be there!). Only 3 more days to go…

4 days

My dress fits! Yeah!! The alterations didn’t take too long and I was able to see my daughter in her wedding dress which looks absolutely gorgeous on her.

Angel is keeping up with the tradition of something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. Her future MIL is taking my grandma’s wedding dress and making a little handkerchief out of a piece of it. So, in a way, my grandma will be a part of the ceremony.

I remember when I was 12 years old, I tried on my grandma’s wedding dress. I told her when I got married I was going to wear it. That never happened. My grandma was a short woman and the dress pretty much fit me at age 12. Grandma never had a daughter or even another granddaughter so I ended up with her wedding dress. It was a very plain dress. It sat in a box untouched for many decades. It’s almost been 80 years since she got married. Over time, the dress started to fade. The buttons on the back of the dress rusted and bled into the dress.

I never thought the dress would be used again, but now it is. It’s special to me because my grandma was the number one positive influence in my childhood. I don’t know where I would be today without her. Now a part of her will be with us on my daughter’s special day.

I can’t believe we only have 4 more days to go until the big day. So far the weather is looking really good for Saturday. One less thing to worry about. And our dresses are ready to go, even my grandma’s.

5 days

My dress doesn’t fit. When I first tried the dress on at the bridal store it was a good fit albeit a little snug in some places. I decided to order the size up just to be on the safe side. If anything it seemed like I was more apt to gain weight than lose it. The dress I ordered was a little too big. It was also too long, but I was expecting that. The dress has small sleeves off the shoulder. It was too big in that area so Angel’s future MIL did alterations for a tighter fit in the shoulder area. In doing so she also brought up the chest and now the cups are way too high. I’m hoping it will be an easy fix.

Needless to say, Angel and I are both going back this evening for alterations. Angel is a nervous wreck. I have been anxious too, but it doesn’t even compare to my daughter’s anxiety over the upcoming wedding. I’ve had some rather strange worries too. I’ve been worried about my brother Matt. The other day I even asked my mom if he was okay. It just came out of the blue a premonition he was sick and going to die. I wonder if my daughter’s upcoming wedding triggered in me some memories from my own wedding when we feared my brother could die because he was really sick. That’s the only thing I can think of. I can’t recall feeling this way towards him since I got married. How utterly bizarre.

Other than that, I feel good today. I feel confident in how I look. I have confidence in my immune system. I reminded myself that I was only sick once this year (with COVID) even after being around other sick people. I reminded myself that before I got COVID, I can’t even remember the last time I was really sick. I think it was 8 years ago when I had walking pneumonia. I exercise, eat healthy, take vitamins, drink a lot of water, and don’t do anything fun. I’ve been avoiding groups of people. I’ve taken precautions and the extra steps to strengthen my immune system to the best of my ability. What more can I do? Angel is doing the same yet she worries. Maybe she is more like me than I even thought.

One good thing is I will have a preview of Angel in her dress tonight. I really don’t want to cry at the wedding when I see her in her dress and be a big pile of snot with raccoon eyes. Angel said she wrote me a letter to be read right before the ceremony with the photographer taking my picture. Why?? Oh, why?

I can’t believe we only have 5 days left.

Gratitude week 143

  1. My daughter is getting married this week!!!
  2. My best friend and I found Arabella a beautiful dress to wear to the wedding.
  3. Today is my husband’s birthday. I’m grateful for him and his mother for trying to give him the best life she could as a single teen mom.
  4. I’m grateful Paul’s gift arrived early (when he wasn’t home to see it) since the delivery date wasn’t until after his birthday.
  5. I’m grateful to have the kids home to help him celebrate his birthday. I bought him a pie and we are going to order Indian take out.
  6. I’m grateful for some time to just think and reflect over the weekend. My husband was gone all weekend for work and my son, his roommate, and girlfriend were out of town to celebrate a friend’s birthday. I realized I haven’t spent a lot of time alone in my life. I’ve never lived alone. It was refreshing to have some quiet time. It was nice to do what I wanted. I could listen to the music I like without someone asking me to turn it down or complain about how depressing it is. LOL I finished the book I was reading.
  7. Earlier this past week, I was able to enjoy what the rest of summer was willing to give. Then like clockwork it got dark and cold on the first day of autumn. Nearby areas had frost warnings. I’m really sad to see summer go, but I am looking forward to my second favorite season autumn. The leaves are starting to change colors and that’s simply gorgeous. I enjoy the cool crisp air, campfires, fall cleaning, not having to do the endless weeding, wrapping up in a blanket, pumpkin pie, and fall holidays.
  8. The landscaping company came and replaced all of our dead plants.
  9. My mom got a last minute call on the waiting list for cancelled appointments to see a specialist she had to wait several more months to see. They were able to do some tests and hopefully she will have some answers soon, a lot sooner than waiting until the middle of December anyway.
  10. I’m grateful for my close friends who offered to do things for the wedding. Lisa, who previously worked as a hairdresser, is going to be helping Angel get ready. My best friend Cindy offered to take their vehicle back to their house after the ceremony and drop off the gifts later that evening. Angel asked two of her bridesmaid’s fianc├ęs to help, but one of the guys apparently didn’t feel comfortable driving anything bigger than a Prius. Seriously??!? Our friend James offered to drive people home who have been drinking.
  11. I’m also grateful to have a lot of people we know helping with the wedding such as the florist, the photographer, and the DJ. It’s great to support local businesses. They all gave us discounts even though they didn’t need to.