From a text conversation I had with DD this morning:
Me: Do you want to go to the pool today?
DD: I will lyk (let you know) in a few, I’m trying to find a way to cough up $50+ for Weston’s (best friend’s 2 year old son) birthday present ugggh
Me: Cool, but you do remember you forgot to even get me a card or anything on Mothers Day
DD: Wow, it’s always all about you isn’t it. You can be such a selfish c__t.
Me: Really? You are the one being a you know what. And you know how I feel about that word. Your father always liked to call me that. I am sorry you are depressed or whatever but I would like an apology. I am tired of you treating me like crap.
DD: WTF are you talking about? I’m trying to sleep for a few and I care about that child, hence why I am getting him something nice for his birthday but since your selfish ways won’t permit me to get him anything nice I’ll spend the rest of my money on YOU so stop worrying.
Me: Just read my last message. I hate how you talk to me.
DD: Honestly, you are too self absorbed to realize that I care about that child and want to spend money on him but since your selfish ways exactly what I just said are getting in the way of me doing that, don’t you worry I’m not going to buy him a damn thing, instead I’ll buy you everything! That was pretty much what I just said 3 minutes ago so I know how I sound, I am always nice to you and you just have to call me up telling me not to spend money on a two year old because how dare I not get something for you, God forbid. Don’t talk to me the rest of the day, I am not in the mood for you.
Me: Don’t be ridiculous. You didn’t spend one penny on a gift for me but went all out for your dad on his birthday, getting him 20 things, and guess what. I have feelings and that hurts…it’s called having feelings and not being selfish. It’s like I mean nothing to you. Sorry you’re in one of your bitch-moods. I still want to go to the pool with you today.
DD: Money is a really important issue in your life, isn’t it. Actually that’s a dumb question because I know it’s pretty much your whole life. So I am so so so so so so sorry about not spending thousands of dollars on you, God forbid that you never pay me back that $5000 [for the record, she never loaned me $5,000] but I’ not going to bring that up am I?
Me: You just did, and you and I both know you never loaned me that sum of money.
DD: Whatever. I haven’t slept, I’ve been stressed, I have no money ever, I have a job I hate, I hate my life and you want to call me at 7 in the morning and say we’re going to be late to the pool and they don’t open til 10. I probably will not be joining you today we can go another day nut I do not want to see you today to be honest. Doesn’t mean I don’t love you, just means I don’t like you right now. I stayed up all night now I need to get some sleep
Me: (replying to an earlier message–I had not got her last text yet): Why are you being so mean? Go back to sleep.
DD: I’m going to sleep. I forgot it was Fathers Day too. Now both my self absorbed parents are mad at me now because I haven’t bought them a gift. So excuse me for not spending money on you, too bad, bye.
Me: Even if you had only made a Mothers Day card-it’s not about the money, like I keep telling you, it’s the thought. Anyway, I think when you get up later you should apologize because you were really mean to me and hurt my feelings.
DD: I think you should apologize for waking me up, keeping me on the phone to argue, and self diagnosing me when you’re not a licensed therapist [where did I diagnose her in this convo?] so please keep your opinions to yourself. You’re not getting an apology, I always apologize, this is your turn. So this is the last time I’m going to tell you. I am not going to answer any more from you so please do not text me again.
Me: I am texting again because I still want to take you to the pool. I will be there at 12:30. I also want to say this for you to think about. If I consistently always forgot your birthday but always remembered everyone else’s, don’t tell me you wouldn’t be hurt, I know you would. You need to grow some empathy. And I was not diagnosing you, where do you see a diagnosis? But I did see that you called me “self absorbed” which is kind of a diagnosis, isn’t it? I just wanted you to know that I feel like I’m unimportant to you, so it isn’t about the money at all. You know I’m not the materialistic type.
There were no more replies after this.
Reading this back over, I think both of us were acting like narcissists.
DD was using the old tactic of “all or nothing” (a form of splitting), eg, “you complain that I didn’t get you a gift–even a cheap $1 gift–so that means you’re materialistic and only care about money.” Also she was the one who started the name calling by calling me a c__t (knowing how I feel about that word). She also lied (telling me she loaned me $5000 when it was only $1000 and I paid most of that back). It’s true–she did completely forget about Mother’s Day (claiming she was broke), but still went out and spent $100 for her father on his birthday which was the same week. It’s not the money that was spent, it was that I felt like he was important to her and I was not (and maybe that’s partly true). She was also projecting her own self centeredness onto me (although I think we were both being pretty self centered). Of course, she has heard a lot from her father (my MN ex) too, about my alleged narcissism. Then she lied a second time, accusing me of diagnosing her when in fact I was not.
In her favor, I know she’s been depressed lately and she’s quick to anger when depressed, but sometimes when she’s like this I feel like I’m walking on eggshells. It was early and I probably got her up when she was half asleep.
On my side, I did use guilt-tripping on her and kept belaboring the same issue even after she said she wanted to go back to sleep.
In conclusion, I don’t think either of us approached this argument in a healthy or mature way. For the record, she has also been diagnosed with BPD and PTSD, and she is symptomatic a lot. Put two Borderlines together (even when one is recovering) and there’s always going to be drama because all kinds of stuff gets triggered. But I’m never prepared for it when it happens. I feel kind of horrible now, but should I apologize to her anyway even though she was at least half wrong?
Anyway, this is the beauty of text messaging. You can go back over a conversation later and analyze it in a way you can never do with a spoken conversation.