I went out my front door and found the following note stuffed into my mailbox, hanging out. I recognized my mom’s handwriting at once. Here’s what it said:
“July 9, 2010
Hi [SDW] & [Wife],
A long time has passed. Maybe we could meet for “coffee” tea” soon.
and then on a separate piece of hotel notepad paper (they were small, and printed with the hotel’s address and phone…).
“Just so you know, Joetta [her dog] died yesterday. I called B—- [the dog’s former owner], she came to see her. She developed Cancer that spread. She couldn’t walk. I had her checked at the xxxxx Vet Hospital. xxoo”
Why would she travel so far (to my town, a journey of perhaps 5 hours) to have her dog put down? Perhaps because the former owner of the dog lives here, or perhaps because my brother was here to offer emotional support. That seems more likely.
I’m relatively calm, but I had a sudden impulse just now to burn her notes. I spaced out a little, because when I went to find the notes to transcribe them here, I was surprised to discover I’d put them back in the mailbox. I instantly came in and wrote her a reply.
I’ve sealed the envelope now, but it reads roughly.
I’m sorry Joetta died.
I’ve been waiting for a written reply from you to my letter. I would welcome a written response with some of the information I requested.
PS: [my wife’s name] and I are doing well”
She’s having an emotional crisis and needs her mommy – me. Generally the safest way for me to be with her is ‘big sister/therapist’ since it meets her needs enough that she stays relatively calm. In fact I think she’d like me to be like this forever. She thought given the situation, the death of her dog, that I’d feel socially obligated to be nice to her and let bygones be bygones. I’ve let two Christmases and birthdays pass without contact, so she’s getting desperate perhaps. She was hoping I’d call her at her hotel and all would be forgiven. It creeps me out a little that she was here and I didn’t know, although my dog was barking quite a bit earlier today. Perhaps it was when I was out for breakfast, since I didn’t go by the mailbox on the way back. Yick.
I think my response sets the boundary I want to set: I’m not speaking to you unless it’s on my terms. Whether she abused me directly or not, she overlooked my father raping me so brutally that I had large tears on my vulva. When I remember that, I hold firm. I expect I’ll have feelings later, and I’m going to leave my house in case she comes by again. Ick.