Almost daily diary!

Friday, September 11, 2009

The phone call. Part 3 (Or, money is the root of all evil)

I know it has taken me three days to get to the point, but the phone call was about making a will. Since Mum knew of my imminent divorce, she has worried about sorting out her will. She has been talking about it for ages. I really wish she wouldn't discuss it! I don't want to know, I wish I didn't know now.

What she really wanted to do was to leave her savings to me and also her half of the property that my parents currently live in. To do this she needed my step father to sign an agreement. Apparently there is a way of her bequeathing her half to me which also entitles him to tenancy rights until his death. It sounded complicated but do-able, and she has spoken about it often. She is convinced she will 'go' first, and I have to say, I think she is right, though I haven't actually said so!

Anyway, having heard her 'chunter' on about this for some time, when I called her the other night, and asked her what she'd been up to, she said she'd been to make her new will. I asked her if it had all gone to plan. Now don't get me wrong, I would MUCH rather have my mother here forever, than benefit from any inheritance, but it has been concerning her and so I was hoping it was all done and dusted and that she was happy with what she had done.

However, my step father did not sign the form, which she needed him to sign, so that she could pass her half of the house to me and she was upset that all she could leave me were her savings. She was disappointed.

Apparently he was worried that, should I inherit half the house in the future, I would somehow make him homeless. My initial response was shock. " Of course" I said to her "I would NEVER do that". See how deep the crustacean was buried? To me he is still my father, be it in name only, and I could never, ever do that. She agreed that she knew I would not, but she couldn't persuade him.

Then she told me what he was going to do with his will.

Everything, the property (all of it should he die last) and his savings (they have no joint account) were to be left, not to me, but to my daughter and her only. Not me, not Small Sprog. And what's worse, he was going to leave it in trust for her until she was 35! I will be retired by then and heading towards 70. It was then I became angry, and my mind started to put things together.

All these years, all this time, he has lied to me. Our whole relationship has been full of lies. He has led me to believe, over the years, that he cared. He has done things for me, painted walls and cut the lawn. He has taken my side in arguments, listened to my ranting, he has appeared to care, it has been very convincing. We almost have a normal relationship. Am I mad? I thought, stupidly, that after everything, because I had called him dad, because he had been sorry, because I had known him for most of my life, because he had shown me small acts of kindness, that he loved me. And now it seems he never has. He does not care, he does not want to help. I am nothing to him.

And as I thought about it I realised that, of course he thinks I will leave him homeless! He doesn't trust me. He doesn't realise I hold no grudges. He thinks I don't care, just like he doesn't care about me. But I am still the child, accepting and forgiving, I have done both those things and he has no idea. Though I am not about to tell him now. Perhaps he still sees the situation as the adult. He thinks I hold the things he did to me against him, he thinks I will still tell “Don’t tell your mother, she’d make me go away and that would make her very unhappy”, if only he knew. He thinks that if Mum were gone, I would show, what he perceives to be, my true colours.

Perhaps he is right. Now I know where I stand perhaps I would?

But no, I don't think I could, even now, and anyway it is all academic. He didn't sign and Mum has not had her way. She is used to that. To add to all of it I have 'told'. She has that to bare now, though I'm not sure that she really believes me, even now.

By the end of the call we both agreed that 'money is the root of all evil' Yet there is something pure to have come out of all this. Something that shines through the darkness, it is this; I now know where I am, I know where I stand, I know how he feels about me. I can be fooled no longer. Only the truth is left. Of course we will both go on pretending, playing happy families, having to, needing to. Yet underneath it all I will know, there will be no more confusion. He doesn't love me and I am free.

You can read part 1 here and part 2 here


XXYXX said...


Savour the freedom

You've worked hard to gain it

Maggie May said...

He is still holding the strings, isn't he?
Very mean of your mum to do that to Small Sprog.

I would never treat my two children differently or my 4 grandchildren.
I have shown my kids my will and have told each one *If I go loopy and try to cut one of you out in old age, the other one must realise that I would NEVER cut any one out in my normal mind* I have got both children to agree to remember the other one if this should happen and give one half to the other. I am thinking of putting this in a Letter of Wishes. Should my husband outlive me, he feels the same.

Talk to your mum about how you feel.

Suburbia said...

Maggie, it is my stepfathers will that only benefits Tall Girl.

Carol said...

I'm so angry on your behalf that I am speechless!! So I'm just going to send you lots of love

C x

Ladybird World Mother said...

Ouch. XXX

Steve said...

Hi paranoia will eat him up. That's his problem and his choice. In my opinion you're well free of it. And him to a degree.

Letty - A Little Girl With A Curl said...

phew! Well he will not die a "happy man", and at least you know where you stand.

Also, isn't it a good feeling to be "free"?

My Dad's family (he was one of 8) were always fighting, bickering and falling out, there was always some "scandal" buried beneath all the false bonhomie, there are truly more secrets and lies in families, be they step families or families.

You have two lovely children and with your experience of all these bad things, only hope can arise from the ashes. Hope and love, instead of secrets and lies.

I feel for you, I really do.

Letty xxxxx

mumplustwo said...

Gosh. How awful. Stepfather sounds like a very nasty piece of work. Manipulative & conniving. And he has revealed his nastiness, after all these years, by second guessing you (and getting it so wrong). You on the other hand are incredibly kind & forgiving. I admire your ability to deal with this in such a calm & rational way. Am glad for your sake that the truth is 'out' ... it can only do you good.

Furtheron said...

Tricky stuff....

Again I have remember how lucky I am not to have these situations currently.

I can't understand the different treatment of one grandchild over the the other. To me it shows something about that man's character that would probably mean we could never be friends. He clearly shares value system some way off from mine.

Eternal Worrier said...

Hey I know where you’re coming from on this one about your parents. You got me thinking about the relationship I have with my stepdad (one for another day perhaps). Thanks for the comment about the Haven Hotel. It’s a small world! 

Rose said...

Sorry it's taken me so long to get here; my blogroll on my sidebar didn't update at all yesterday...

Suburbia, you have such a positive, healthy attitude about this--to feel free is the best part of all! First of all, your Mum's lawyer should talk to your step-dad; the way she wanted to set things up, there shouldn't be any legal way you could turn him out of his home. He shouldn't even worry about this.

Secondly, I can so relate to this! It's a long story, but I'll just say that things were not set up equitably when my in-laws died. As a result, my husband and his sister haven't spoken to each other in 13 years. It's really sad and so needless.

But I am wondering what step-dad is doing by leaving Small Sprog out? That is just wrong!

Rose said...

I just saw Maggie May's comment--bravo to her! Although it made me chuckle, that is what happened in Husband's family--sister-in-law took advantage of MIL as she was dying.
I wouldn't dream of fighting with my own brother over such "things"; besides, my mother will probably outlive me!

CiCi said...

I hope you really do believe you are free of the past and moved on. You can't forget but you can be free. Yes the love of money is the root of all evil. Love should be in the right place don't you think? Good for you for telling your mom, clearing the air, letting go.

nick said...

A very tangled and frustrating situation, both for you and your mum. Not surprising he thinks you might throw him out after what he did to you, but he's brought that mistrust on himself. Unfortunately that mistrust prevents your mum making the will of her choice. But I can't understand why he wants to leave everything to your daughter, except out of sheer malice. Presumably putting it in trust is to prevent her passing it back to you, at least for a few years. I can't see any practical way out of this one, he's put his foot down and that's that.

But it's still good that you've told the truth to your mum and it's no longer a shameful and harmful secret.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

What a shocking man he seems to be. I am not surprised as I have heard it all within my own family. Mine field. Blood truly is thicker than water.

Jean said...

Leaving someone out of your will is the ultimate snub. The way to let them and everyone else know how little you care for them. Also it has a lot to do with having power over people, a sort of blackmail.
You have every right to feel hurt and angry. I'm glad it backfired on him because you told anyway.
I hope your mum can handle the knowledge. You say you're not sure she believes you but perhaps she may not want to.

Saz said...

OH MY I'm gob smacked, firstly that I missed completely these last three posts AND that He is still trying to control. Thats what these preadtors are about, they are weak and need to control other sto feel some humanity of some sort! Yuk...I so feel for you. Your poor Mum. he house must be in his name only>>?? or else why would he need to sign anything? I obviously no nothing of legalities Sub.

You are very brave and sensible to see through to the light! I hope you have some sense of lightness having released this into the the ether!

You are untying many tethered baggage aren't you?
Thinking of you and your journey ahead.

SAZ (hug)

Chic Mama said...

I'm so sorry he continues to hurt you.
Once a bully, always a bully, once a nasty piece of work always one....I may be cynical but it's what I believe. And yes, oh yes, I truly believe money is the root of evil.
I think you are very brave writing these posts, I know I would never be able to, and to put on an act too- I don't know how you do it. Take care.

Working Mum said...

How sad, and how wicked of him, but better that it is out in the open now and you know where you stand. I just hope your mum can rise above his actions.

Inheritance and wills can make people act crazily; I always feel it is better to stand on your own two feet and not to expect anything from an inheritance. (I am firmly keeping out of all discussions about my MIL's assets at the moment as she tries to write a new will)

Hopefully, if it came to it, and your daughter did inherit, she would have the good sense to share it as it should have been shared. She will feel better if she does and it will avoid more animosity in the family.

On a smaller scale, I inherited all of my grandmother's jewellery (a long time ago), but I knew that my aunt had always loved her gold watch so I gave it to her. It meant a lot to my aunt, she was overjoyed that I gave it to her, we have stayed good friends when there could have been jealousy. I have my grandmother's wedding ring to remember her (which I offered to my mum, who declined it).

Really better for the recipients to act morally after the event.

Anonymous said...

What a fucking bastard and to benefit only one of your children, god doesn't pay debts with money, lets hope he "go's" first!

Liz Hinds said...

Hard to credit. How pathetic. It seems to me he is still taking his revenge because you wouldn't play along with his game. Why does he have to sign and agree to anything? That doesn't make sense. Can you seek further advice?

Saz said...

You got post of the day winner!!! Yeah!!

Thumbelina said...

I didn't read part one or two yet... but I can guess. Your anger is righteous. Just look after you and your mum.
You're right. The money doesn't matter. It's not the money that is the root of evil, it's the love of money that is the root it. Or, in your stepfather's case, the fear of losing it and the lack of trust.

Just rejoice that your daughter will have a good inheritance and in the love of your mother. Power to you girl. (((hug)))

Anonymous said...

So sorry to have somehow missed all three posts but have now caught up. What a terrible journey you have been on. Now you have come to a resting place where you can take stock.
So much more hurtful for you, being under the allusion that you were loved.

the virification word is: sodstab, I kid you not, says it all eh?

Suburbia said...

Wow Moannie, How did it know?!!!! Spooky!

Boozy Tooth said...

And that's why real families are about love and not money. There are always lessons and we learn them all through life. I'm sorry this one stung with the kind of recognition you weren't expecting, but like you said... at least now you know.

Powerful words. Wonderful post. Congratulations on your POTD honor from authorblog.

Brian Miller said...

take comfort in the knowing...a sad tale indeed. congrats on the POTD.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Just stopped by from David McMahan's. I can see why you are the POTD. Congratulations. This is powerful writing.

Cheffie-Mom said...

I came over from authorblog. Congrats on the Post of the Day Award!!

Maria said...

You're an amazing woman. You were right in all you said and did. You'll be ok. Congrats on your potd win. Came over earlier to comment but was unable to get into your box.

♥ Boomer ♥ said...

Here from David's. Congrats to you! ♥

DeniseinVA said...

A powerful post and I am so sorry this has happened to you, but you have handled everything amazingly well under the circumstances. You are a strong person, one to be admired. I too am over from David's post.

introspection said...

I m here via David's POTD. This post was bound to win, and David is a Pro. Congratulations for winning: it's a small win, but it is these victories in life that makes it beautiful and worth living. You will enjoy it all the time as it is some thing that teaches you that not every thing in life is always ugly. You must feel that many times, but it is'nt. There are times when somethings are beautiful some times. Let's savour them.
Your step father is bad Man. When bad people get power they always misuse it. He did it too. Misused it. I am not surprised. You handled it admirably given your circumstances. Your mother was the most important part of your life at that time and for a 13 year old, security of keeping your mom happy is naturally more important even if it meant you have to bear humiliation at the hands of a demon. Perhaps that was a mistake you made. In hind sight at least, one can see this. If you had a counsellor available at that time, he/she would tell you to go ahead and reveal all; that nothing is worth this. Because they know how lives shape up; that dark secrets can ruin a growing teenager's psyche. You are lucky you could handle such instances. But may be you would have had a far care free/guilt free life all along and you would be a far happier person than you now are. All conjectures, my friend. My heart goes out to you and I pray for your happiness. Do let by gones be bygones, and have a great life with your daughter/kids. always! Cheers.

Barbara said...

I am catching up on blog reading so have only just read this. It sounds like you SF is still trying to have some control over you. What a mean person he his. My heart goes out to you. Take care.