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Im in santa fe and i got myself into a little tiff.

So I get here, right. And yeah I'm bitchy and yeah I'm depressed. But grandma doesn't seem like the happiest person on the planet to see me anyway. That's ok. We'll drive from Albuquerque to Santa Fe and everything will be okay.

Things are kind of in "eh" mode. I finally break down crying because I am a little ball of rage for the past few weeks. Grandma suggests we talk about it. So we drive back to the house (we were out) and I tell her what's up. She suggests I talk to a therapist. I am trying to convey to her that I have been trying to get ahold of one of my old therapists...I called the bitch like five times. Left messages. No calls back. But I'm already frustrated and depressed and Grandma is taking kind of a "fix yourself" tone so i'm like "It just doesn't fucking matter anymore!"

I go to my room to sleep. The bitch won't understand anyway. Grandma goes to make some calls, gets ahold of one of her third cousins (Leigh and Kalyn's aunt). This woman tells me that I can stay with her for a while in Santa Fe if I need to get my head together (as grandma and her husband seymour are going to be going to california in a couple days). I am so happy to hear that; I spontaneously realize that a MAJOR factor in my depression is being in Tulsa in the first place. I give the phone back to grandma and she kind of icily says "well that's the first time she's been happy since she's been here, what did you tell her?"

Anyway later on Grandma (or the woman on the phone, I can't remember which) mentions a local camp nearby that needs volunteers. I'm like "dude. sweet." But part of me is wanting assurance. So I ask Grandma "so I really can stay with this woman?" and Grandma is like "we'll see." Although the woman said YES I could. But somehow Grandma decides that she is not sure. Even though I'm beyond the age of consent anyway. I forget these things in the presesnce of Darth Cunt.

Anyway. Grandma is pissy because I only brought one dress. I was supposed to be here for four goddamned days. I don't need more than one dress. And sandals. I brought sandals to wear with the dress. Short Story time:

"A little lesson in the Santa Fe style."
Once upon a time, there was a magical city in the mountains, whose population dressed in sandals wherever they went. If it was a very expensive restaurant, they would wear a nice dress or pant suit with their sandals. Some of the people wore dressier shoes. But sandals were a staple of the style of this magical city. Our Hero, Melissa Schiller, was well aware of this style sensitivity. She savvily packed a pair of Birkenstock mules, which would help her blend in with the Birkenstocked city. The end.

Grandma is LIVID that I brought sandals. "You can't wear those." she says coldly. "they're terrible." So I'm like ok well I can borrow shoes from her, that's ok. Grandma also decides that no one wears a dress to an art gallery opening so i need a pair of black pants. She says we will go to Chico's. I politely remind grandma that Chico's does not cater at all to my age demographic; we had this problem the last time I was up here and she was forcing shirt after ugly shirt on me.

So Grandma calls up one of her artfuck friends and her friend Jill lets her on to a hoity toity boutique that is more my age. Fantastic.

Grandma is, in her typical style, cold on the way there. She has not expressed a word of warmth or kindness the whole trip. I decide i'm okay with it, that's just the way she is; the only thing i"m terrified about is the stay with her cousin not materializing, because if I went back to tulsa I could be in a very dangerous place mentally. All I want is to survive the next few days with grandma.

We go into this store. THe saleslady is pushier than any bitch at Express. I keep politely telling her that I am the kind of person that shops on my own. Grandma keeps pointing out clothes to me as well. I am reminded of the trip to Philly with her where she pointed out a quilted jacket (I hate quilting) and I politely turned it down and she actually got a haughty attitude because she couldn't believe I didn't like the jacket. And then when I tried on anything that fit close to the body, she said it was unflattering and suggested something baggy. I never ever blamed the problem on her back then. Instead i figured out ways I could lose weight. The adderall was becoming a detriment to my sanity back then, but I was so ashamed of my body that did not look good in close-fitting clothing that I took it anyway. I would rather be thin and win her approval, even if it meant i had half a brain left. I couldn't bear her being mean to me.

But I took all the blame at that time. Spent the year and a half between that trip and now mostly in shambles and panic attacks over my body, which i had already subjected to starvation before. She just did not make me feel good.

here we were, in the hoity toity Santa Fe chic-y overpriced boutique, and I decided something.

I was not going to take it anymore.

I tried on a cute green shirt that would require my strapless bra. I tucked in the bra straps to show her how it would look, and she said "No. that looks terrible." I tried convincing her otherwise, but she just just flat out no. So I was like okay. Then I was back in the dressing room, and she was throwing some baggy shirt over the door that I KNEW would not fit, and she was getting mad because she was convinced I woudln't KNOW if it didn't fit if I didn't try it on. Bitch, please. I have about four years of experience designing clothing, and I also know good and well enough what BASIC types of shapes work and don't work for me.

I decided to make the fatal mistake of saying "Well *I* like it." about the green shirt. I didn't like the other shirts in the shop. They were not my style. I told her that.

She didn't like that. She said "Well I'm buying this for you and I will not have you look terrible."

Fair enough. I told her, though, in a quiet voice that I wish she would please not use the word terrible on me because I have had a history of body hatred. She snapped, "Well, it DOES look terrible."

I sucked it in and tried to keep my cool, but this and the philadelphia incident was getting on my nerves. Through more delegation she was telling me that I was ungrateful because she was about to spend a few hundred dollars on me for clothing.

OK. LET ME MAKE ONE THING CLEAR. NOBODY EVER SHOULD BUY ME ANYTHING IF THERE IS ANY RESISTANCE ON ONE OF OUR PARTS. I do not accept gifts that have strings attached. I did not WANT the new clothes in the first place, but it was HER idea that I couldn't wear the dress to the gallery opening. The dress...there was nothing wrong with it really, I don't know where she got off on thinking it wasn't right for the gallery (where I would see people wearing sweatpants at, later on that night). But if you feel that I am being ungrateful for what you're doing for me, PLEASE DONT DO IT FOR ME. I BEG of you. I do not think ANY material item is worth this kind of bitter struggle on your part.

I told her "I am grateful for people buying me things but not like this. Not when I dont need them and not with strings attached."

And she said "WEll that is the way the world is. THere are strings attached to everything. I know why you're depressed. Because you won't get along with me, you won't get along with the saleslady. You want it all your way. It ALL revolves around you, doesn't it Melissa? You have to have it your way or the highway."

(the only reason I wanted it MY way that night was because she has been so very pushy on previous shopping expeditions, crushing my self esteem, getting only what she likes. And I usually have to end up throwing what she gets me away because I never wear it. When I go shopping in St Louis with my other family, I am more open to suggestion because they let me BE. If they don't like something it has more to do with the appropriateness of the occasion, or because it is not conservative enough. But they NEVER make a comment to how it looks on my body, unless the pants legs are too long and then they ask if I will promise to take them to a tailor. THIS Grandma [the santa fe one] makes the comments centered on ME and how BADLY my OWN body looks in something [i literally have the wrong body for anything not baggy, according to her. i think she's just jealous because her body is uglier than it has ever been], and when she sees a taller, thinner woman in the same basic attire she will comment on how beautiful that woman is. She has not told me at all how good I've looked, unless I"m wearing the baggy shit she has gotten me.)

I am in tears by the end of our argument, which has dragged on a bit more by now. I run out of the store to avoid making an ass out of myself in front of too many people. I tell grandma that because she MUST get the clothes tonight as she stated (she said i would NOT stay home and I would NOT wear my orignal dress so she HAD to get these clothes, yet *I* was supposed to be thankful for this favor. Everytime she buys something for herself it costs a few thousand dollars, so I don't know how I killed her on this expedition.)

I simply will not have someone crush my self esteem like that anymore. It's not normal and it's not right. I call the only person who will understand. Her daugher, my crazy mom.

My mom was understanding about the whole thing, and i told her that i feared i would not be able to stay with the cousin now. she said that is probably a rational fear because grandma knows its important to me.

When grandma comes out and we get in the car, she tells me she can't have someone as misbehaving and ungrateful as me staying at someone else's house. She tells me that the whole universe revolves around me and I have never done a days work in my life. (i've done jobs she would never have touched. because she won't do most jobs.)

Well you married rich, i retorted.

she yelled back that grandpa was poor when they married and she worked her whole life.

A little background.

Grandma, after marrying grandpa, was an interior decorator. That is NOT to be confused with interior designer, as interior designers are the ones that have to actually go to school for their craft and know math and other skills. No. She accessorized rooms.

Grandpa, her husband, eventually became very wealthy by being in the oil business.

Grandma's current home is in a luxurious Santa Fe neighborhood, an exclusive gated one. Her house is appraised at a little over a million dollars. One million dollars. She has at least a hundred pieces of valuable artwork in the home. Her most recent "installation" is a sclupture by an artist who has similar ones for sale on Canyon Road for about 11,000 dollars; I verified that later that night. That is one of several new art pieces I have seen in the house since my visit in Spring of 2004. She could very well have spent 50,000 on art alone in the past year and a half. She wears only designer clothes either made by a seamstress or bought from the most expensive shops in Santa Fe (these shops are priced in the same range as those of Aspen or Carmel.). She and Seymour, her husband, eat at the more exclusive restaurants in Santa Fe, and often. Average cost of a meal that includes her Glenlivet scotch is about 50 dollars a person. She has a BMW (albeit a lowly 3 series, haha dumb bitch), she does not have to work and has not had to for several years (makes sense because she IS 73), but has been able to retire more comfortably than 99 percent of the country's population.

No interior decorator who performed their operations in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Enid, Oklahoma would ever be able to afford this lifestyle.

But an oilman would.

That would be my grandfather.

My dead grandfather is the reason why she can rip me to shreds in her BMW (again, it is only a lowly 3 series the dumb bitch, and for someone who bitches at me for the mess *I* make she has some nasty drink stains in the cupholders, as well as dirty kleenexes crammed in them. I nearly threw up when i got into the drivers seat). My dead grandfather is the reason why she can bitch me out in a ritzy retirement city 8,000 feet above sea level. My dead grandfather is the reason why she can eat veal and drink her glenlivet and forego the more normal items that most retired folk eat. My dead grandfather is the reason why her icy stare is obscured from me through her Christian Dior sunglasses with the logo obvious, my dead grandfather is the reason why i kicked aside a Louis Vuitton duffel bag (those cost about 8 thousand) on the closet floor of the guest room to make room for my stuff. My dead grandfather is the reason why she has a larger art collection than the multimillionaire whose house i ate dinner at last night. And that her children have never seen her with wet hair, because she always got it washed and styled at the salon. And that she never learned to pump her own gas until 5 years ago at the age of 68. I taught her. Now her new husband pumps the gas.

She did not earn a god damn penny of this.

She may have earned enough to pay some taxes, to get the Ralph Lauren sheets for the bed because you CAN find those at TJ Maxx. She may have earned enough for some of her clothes and some of her meals. But not the hosue. (Oh did I mention she is married to someone who is probably richer than my grandfather ever was, now?)

And yet she believed herself to have the gall to tell me that i had never known what real work was like, i was unappreciative, I was undeserving of anything from her (by now I didn't want it. If she leaves me money in her will [which i don't want but i do hope she dies soon enough! PLEASE GOD!] I will donate every penny to the American Socialist party just to spite her (she is a very strong Republican).

Grandma has this habit of butting in to pay for what people need or want (which they could reasonably afford on their own but she puts on a generous front) then makes you her slave and subtly berates you for it. My aunt apparently had a fallout with her over this too. BTW, I didn't talk to that particular aunt for seven years, because i thought she was responsible for a falling out that involved her, my grandmother, and I. My grandma is exactly like Marlin, excpet Marlin will be to explicit in stating his objectives, which kind of ruins his game. Grandma Singer is far craftier. Far more subtle.

Anyway, back to the car. She told me that she didnt think i could stay with the cousin now. I blurted out "I KNEW YOU WOULD DO SOMETHING TO TAKE THIS AWAY FROM ME!" and she got real sarcastic and basically made me out to be paranoid.

No, I shouldn't have said that...see, I didn't mean it in the paranoid way. Of course she didn't ENGINEER that situation, she is so god damned self-centered that she couldn't even focus on another person long enough to really break them (but she has helped them break themselves.) But she wants the CREDIT for everything, no matter how serious it is (I was depending on this extended stay because I was fantasizing about suicide in Tulsa; this was a very serious matter, not a trip to Six Flags. I was desparate for this stay. I was afraid of what would happen if I went back to Tulsa right away. But it didn't matter to her, she still held it over my head. Control is more important to her. She, by the way, was one of the people in my family that helped me believe that love is a scarce source, rationed out; you have to do a little dance for people and be what THEY want you to be.) Anyway, back to the point. she wants the credit for things, and she HAS to make sure you are somehow endebted to her (she recently held a 50,000 "gift" over my aunts head, a vital medical treatment for my aunt's son. my aunt could have paid it but grandma was pushy in offering help.) She gets a sick, sadistic satisfaction out of watching you be scared out of your wits when something of vital importance is being ping-ponged across the board.

I started to give up, I just decided to stay silent and i figured maybe it was god's will that I go home anyway. When grandma and I got to the house, I calmly told her and seymour (oh grandma was a perfect angel around seymour, so good hearted and agreeable) that i was going for a walk.

Once I stepped out of the gated luxury community of 1000 East on Santa Fe's exclusive Hyde Park road, the tears were unstoppable. I called my dad. I didn't know what to do. I held off on calling mom back because I was now convinced that I truly WAS paranoid after grandma shot down the suggestion that she had some part in driving me to the point of losing the extended stay with her cousin. So I decided mom was wrong. I called dad, told him the whole thing. He asked in a serious and somewhat angry tone if I had been talking to mom. I told him yes a little bit and he told me that i was blowing this out of proportion (he also said that when I had a nervous breakdown; he believed my suicide attempt was an allergic reaction to one pill although he was there when the doctors pumped about 30-40 pills out of my stomach.) He asked me if I was having certain symptoms that would imply psychosis (delusions of grandeur, paranoia, hallucinations). I remembered what I learned at the somewhat irrational world of inpatient treatment; I learned to stay the very calmest I could and accept any suggestion he had to throw at me. I gave him the email address of someone he could talk to that would get him a better idea of my particular disorder. I took his advice and tried to see grandma in a positive light. He even did buckle down and agree that Grandma was getting delusional; as when he had talked to her on the phone (she called him too), she had called him "Joie" several times. But that was beside the point, in his eyes. She was calling him the wrong name and I was emotionally upset, so therefore I was the one that might be schizophrenic. Well, I was used to this anyway. So I stayed calm. I called my dad's mother, Grandma Schiller. She too angrily asked if i had been in contact with my mom and she gave me many words on how relationships are more important than fighting, on how I MUST go back and make amends, on how i should NOT rock the boat, and how she could understand grandma psycho's point because I grew up in a lenient household and tend to be messy. (I had failed to make the bed on this day, which got both grandma's talking. I made the bed the day before, but I didn't make it today, and I didn't make the bed because we were running late to get to the store, and that was testament to my messiness. OH did I mention grandma psycho has a maid? grandma psycho was also angry that i slept on the couch that night, which I did so because the stiff mattress hurt my back. she said "but everybody else loves that mattress" oh so am I a goddamned princess because I dont' jive with her mattress? I guess so. I should have drooled on the genuine zebra-skin pillow i slept on)

Anyway, I decided dad and grandma were right, became ashamed at my own behavior and hated my mom once again. I go back to the house and am extremely compliant with a more tranquil grandma/bitch, and later on that night in private I apologized for my behavior. I took all the blame and blamed her for nothing and expected no apology. She apologized too and said lets just forget it.

I remember when her daughter (my Mom) and I used to fight. Mom would call me a fucking bitch, a prima donna, and someone who was only nice when they wanted something (i became convinced i truly was a horrible, using person). She called me these things before the age of 12. So apparently I was an awful child too. Then later she would apologize and be like "lets just forget it."

Anyway, I'm kind of weary about "lets just forget it" but I let sleeping dogs lie.

so we are decent to each other the next day, but she is still cold and when we are shopping (she is back to buying me stuff, which i once again am NOT comfortable with, ESPECIALLY NOT NOW GODDAMNIT), she sees skirts like the one she bought me in the hoity toity store the day before and keeps pointing out that she got ripped off at that store. I really don't want to hear it because I thought we were past that incident, but i am in total fear of losing the chance of staying in New Mex that I keep quiet. I hold back tears when she makes a comment on some girl walking in the plaza, when the tone of her hate of the girl's unfitting outfit makes me realize that was the source of much of my body hate. (in her world, everybody would be wearing things that did not hurt HER eyes. I, at the height of anorexia, thought just like her.) I held back tears and rage and pain because i could not risk losing the vacation i needed. It was either feel suicidal for an hour or feel suicidal back in Tulsa. I had to choose.

She takes me to the camp, after making many mentions that the woman SHOULD let me volunteer because she wrote a CHECK to the camp (the check was 200 dollars. the woman running the camp could not pick grandma's name out of a crowd if her life depended on it. but remember, my grandma is the generous millionaire who makes everyone suck on her hard, hairy, giant, MASSIVE TWO HUNDRED DOLLAR COCK for survival)

I find out later that it was her cousin (the one i am currently staying with, who is so cool and open that i'm afraid i'll screw up STILL) that not only mentioned the camp but made an offer to the woman to donate old appliances on TOP of the monetary donation SHE made. So it wasn't really my grandmother's doing.

We get to the cousin's house, and grandma had made a phone conversation with her earlier saying "I will go over the rules with melissa on how to act at your house" (while in Santa Fe I keep forgetting that I am a well rounded 23 year old and actually become slave to her will) and the cousin interrupted and said "Helene, this is MY house. I will tell her the rules."

and on top of that, when discussing the volunteer work over the summer, grandma suggested that I can stay with her if i don't want to stay at the camp to sleep. The cousin told her "Helene, she can stay with me...I love you but if I stayed with you I would shoot myself".

So apparently it's not just me that sees what a fucking psycho my grandma is.

So now I am still in high alert mode, although a bit calmer...i feel more free to do what i want and i am more willing to clean my messes for this woman, who was already astonished at how clean my room was i guess i was never that messy just a burden on helene bitch cunt singer. I think helene is a shitty name anyway.

Anyway, about 24 more hours of paradise, the bitch comes back to town tomorrow.

In Santa Fe, one of the kitschy styles of art includes landscapes at night with multicolored coyotes howling at the moon, and in the sky there is a giant head of a cat or some other animal. Walking around in what is supposed to be one of the most peaceful spots in the nation, I still cower in fear because I imagine her face in the sky.

It's not over yet.

I really don't want her to be alive.

I am not her little girl. I won't take this controlling abuse. I'm sick of hating myself. Im sick of the panics and the bad treatment i've learned to accept from others what with her as my original role model superimposed onto my mother.

I want out of her will. And out of her life. It may take me awhile to muster the courage to tell her this, and to threaten that any money she gives to me goes straight to trashy lingerie for myself and lots of cash for the Socialist party, both purely to spite her. And to fuck off and kindly die. We did make our amends technically but I can't erase the pain and the hate and I don't want her on the same planet.

And no dad, this started WAY before I started talking to mom again. THanks for the kind words of non support. Thanks for helping me feel like i was the insane one.

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Jesus H Christ !! :eek: I actually read it all that, even though I, er, paused for a moment here:

I tried on a cute green shirt that would require my strapless bra. I tucked in the bra straps to show her how it would look
I really don't know what to say except, Christ !! Families can be hell. For what it's worth, apart from my mother being very caring and has literally saved my life in the past, she reacts to my occassional sulleness, when I withdraw into myself - with anger. I don't understand that. If it's supposed to 'snap me out of it', then it doesn't work -it just adds a side salad of guilt to my already overflowing dish of self-loathing.
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