Hello Beautiful People!
I am sure glad to see you here this morning! I know there are folks now reading in different time zones, and I’m trying to be mindful of that. I am so grateful for all the new readers. I’m seeing people as far away as the United Kingdom, and that makes me amazed and happy. So, if you are in a different time zone…I’m glad to see you, whatever time of day or night it might be.
I am so grateful this morning because even though I have had many harsh life experiences, I have also had many beautiful ones and some really wonderful people to walk with me. I’m late posting because I have read and reread today’s post making sure this comes out for good and doesn’t sound like I am being spiteful. This is gonna be a raw and honest post. I mean no disrespect to anyone I’m talking about here. I know what they say…don’t speak ill of the dead. I’m just speaking truth.
My amazement continues to grow as I peer into the depths of my inner self, and I see things I learned that are not healthy for me or those around me and daily work to do better. I am honored to hear your life stories and experiences too. It makes my heart happy that you are working and growing. We are growing together and getting stronger every day!
It is therapy day for me, and I look forward each week to pulling back another layer and not just letting go of the painful places deep inside but the immense joy that comes each time I do that. I know deep in my Soul that we are here for a purpose.
Ultimately, I have come to conclude our purpose is to love — ourselves and others. I have said before that it is a challenge for me sometimes, and when I think I am getting good at it, I get tested to love someone who is being anything but lovable. I send them blessings, as my friend Sara advised, when I can’t bring myself to send them love.
Years ago, Lee and I were summoned to the home he grew up in. Time has made me forget what year it was, but I clearly remember the gist of the visit. Lee’s mom had passed on, and his father, Jerry had met another woman. I’m pretty sure they were married, but I wouldn’t swear to it. What I do vividly remember is that when we arrived, his dad and his new mate announced they were having a dispute over money. The new woman told us that she didn’t want to put her money with his money because she knew there was a woman before her and thought the money should stay separated. I was taken aback because when my dad met his eventual wife, there was no talk of such. What was his became hers. Granted, my mom and dad divorced, Mama didn’t die.
Anyway, they asked us what we thought, and we told them we had no opinion as it was their decision, and we respected that. Both went on to say they had just given money to a family member who was in a dispute over the construction of a home they had been working on. According to them, the builder had taken money and left the couple in a bind, which stressed the couple terribly. We weren’t in financial trouble at the time but had been there years before and felt compassion. We weren’t really sure why they were sharing that with us, but they did.
Lee’s dad and his new mate wanted us to know that they were sensitive to the fact that Lee’s Mama could never be replaced, and they wanted Lee to know that if they did put their money together, the family money his mother had received, along with her part of the marital money would be notated and set aside. In addition, Lee’s great aunt and uncle’s money and his grandmother’s would be earmarked as well. They also informed us they intended to honor the promise Lee’s dad had made to Lee after his Mama passed that the family home and land that Loree helped pay for would eventually come back to him. Lee’s sister had already been given their grandmother’s home and their great aunt’s home, so Lee would receive the family home so he wouldn’t be slighted. Through the years, that promise was repeated again and again.
Life rolled along, and years passed. Last March, Lee’s dad passed on too.
A few weeks back, Lee and I were summoned to participate in hearing Lee’s dad’s “last wishes.” I touched upon this then but have had some time to sit with what happened and want to come back around to it today because it relates to what I talked about in my Facebook post yesterday. Lee and I are still reflecting on the lesson the experience was meant to teach us. I am well aware this circumstance happens to a lot of others in death, and I also believe it happens in divorce. People lie and manipulate for their own good. I’ve heard many stories like this privately and sadly, especially when it comes to blended families.
Anyway, my little voice told me the summoning was all a farce, and my little voice was right. It was evident to Lee and me because we weren’t summoned to a lawyer’s office or home but to a family member’s business. Lee was told a box would be opened, and he would hear what was what. In truth, I wasn’t invited, but I went anyway. The person who called Lee made out like they were just the messenger and had no idea what to expect. Having already done the literal box opening when Mama passed on, I knew what was coming.
We arrived to discover the person who called Lee wasn’t even there, and it was not a great time to meet as the business was trying to close up for the day. When the summoner finally arrived, we were shuffled into a very small office with a desk and three chairs. Lee and I stood awkwardly against a wall, and I did what I do — nervously chatted. I was grounded, but I still chatter when I get nervous, and damn I hate that about myself.
After all of the hoopla, there was no box, and the last wishes were from 2005. It was very evident the person who called Lee knew all of that. In reality, it wasn’t even last wishes — it was a piece of paper telling Lee and me something different than what we had always been promised by all parties. Not a will but a direction. The real reason we had been summoned was to ask for repayment for the check with the promissory note we had not even cashed back in 2011 that I mentioned on my Facebook post a few days ago. And to verbally tell us that promises made through the years by all were lies while continuously pointing out that we had nothing in writing. I said we didn’t have anything in writing, and we trusted, so there was nothing more to be said except our conscience was clear. That stepped on some toes.
For the first time ever, I saw Lee speak up. He made multiple attempts to represent the person he was there for, to begin with…his mother, but nobody in the room besides Lee and myself cared about her wishes or the many years she lived and worked hard and contributed. She was frugal and died before getting to ever enjoy the fruits of that labor.
Well, actually, there was one family member there that I believe did. She is the one who notarized the document back in 2011, and I think she cares and heard Lee’s pleas because as we walked out, she looked at me and mouthed…I am sorry.
Yesterday on my Facebook page, I spoke about gaslighting, and many of you shared too. Our meeting could have been used as a teaching tool for a gaslighting class. When you have been gaslit, you learn to recognize it, and as my friend Alison said yesterday, you learn not to believe the lies.
You cannot change a gaslighter. So when they call you a liar or crazy or go back on their word, you must stay grounded and know those are all tools to control you. I don’t know about you, but I have learned that money is one of their best tools for control, and they wield it well.
I hope this won’t make you think of us as small, but Lee and I secretly taped the conversation so that when it was all said and done, we would have proof of what was said. I’m working on another memoir, and I want to be sure I can quote word for word, not from my memory.
When Lee and I relistened, it was clear the intention was never meant for anything good in our regards. There was no love flowing toward us. To be fair, there was no love from me towards one of the attendees, but I did my best to show love and compassion for another just as I always have, even when that person hasn’t reciprocated.
We left and pulled the will, which was also from 2005. It was another gut punch, to say the least. We have had plenty of time now to talk about how Lee’s dad insisted on him being honest to a fault, and yet for seventeen years, his dad made promises that wound up being nothing but lies. It is my belief that everyone has a right to do with their money and possessions as they please. They earned that right, and it is nobody’s business.
I just don’t know why people like Lee’s dad would go out of their way weekly and sometimes daily right up until he passed on to Lee and say that he would be true to his word and hadn’t forgotten his Mama’s money, his Mama’s family money, and his Uncle Brack and Aunt Rene’s money or his own Mother’s money — which he kept telling Lee belonged to Lee and his sister and son because that was what all of them would want.
Why would you do that to a person? Why not just keep your mouth shut or say you changed your mind? That feels like the ultimate gaslight to me.
The beauty is that Lee has breezed right through this. Of course, it hurts him, but he has not let it get to him. The one thing he has continued to say to me is how it would hurt his Mama, his Aunt Rene, his Uncle Brach, and his Granny Allowee. I’ve told Lee that I know how much it hurts him and I am sorry for his pain, but they see it all from the Other Side and want him to trust that it all works out. I believe that in my Soul.
I hope this doesn’t come across as the airing of dirty laundry. That is not why I am sharing. I’m sharing because I encounter people regularly who are being gaslit and don’t even know it. They stay in relationships because they are hoping the person will eventually toss them some love. Isn’t that what we are all hoping for? I watch and see how that is damaging them and us in ways most don’t even know. My hope is in sharing this story, you may see patterns that get your attention so you can stop being gaslit too.
Alison, if you are reading, thank you for giving me the courage to share this even more personal story which hit much closer to home than the angry mama I encountered back in the 90s.
Gaslighting is destructive when it comes from anyone, but I believe when it is parents or partners gaslighting us, it cuts a whole lot deeper.
The picture above is our wedding day. All those years ago, on that day, Lee and I were unaware of what life would bring us. We had no idea that Lee’s Mama, Loree, who was such a sweet and giving woman, would leave us way too soon or that his grandmother, Granny Allowee would follow a year later. I did know as I stood on that spot that Lee’s dad could be sweet, but there were two very different sides to him. That has now been confirmed by his own signature. To be fair, I have two sides too, but I work to tell the truth, even when it is uncomfortable, and I would never gaslight someone.
I am so thankful that all these years later, Lee remains just like his beautiful Mama, who is in pink and who is always by his side.
I hope this day brings joy to your heart and Soul!