This post is about events one year after the Incident.
Prior to Christmas 2016, I mailed three cards to Donna’s house.
One was addressed to Stuart. One was addressed to Coraline’s aunt and uncle to be forwarded. One was addressed to Frank.
Days later, all cards were returned, opened.
The note inside just said, “Boo-hoo!”
I was devastated.
This infuriated Coraline.
She deleted the text messages between her and Donna. For the best, I’m certain.
She showed me them at the time. I remember bits and pieces. So does she.
But she doesn’t get stuck like I do. I kept the ones between me and Donna.
I have paperwork from the separation and divorce, from numerous therapists, etc. as I need to reread them at times to force certain memories back to the surface. To remember what was real.
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Fri, Dec 30, 3:47 PM
Nicole: None of those Christmas cards had your name on them.
Donna: And I didn’t send them.
Fri, Dec 30, 4:50 PM
Nicole: Coraline is a phenomenal young lady, despite all the nasty things you have said to and about her. She remembers.
Donna: I have no idea what you are talking about.
Saturday 12:22 PM
Nicole: You said negative things about me in front of her, and degraded her for being so much like me. For looking like me, sounding like me. She remembers. You never treated Stuart and Coraline equally, just as you didn’t treat (Tyrone’s brother) and Tyrone equally. She remembers that, too. She is so much like Tyrone, all the good things, and you’ll never see it. Now, Frank never had a single cross word for her, or even for me, and now we are supposed to believe he sent the “boo hoo” note? Not unless I hear it from him. It would break her heart if that were true. She has been wanting to see him for some time. He was always kind. You never asked for her side when it comes to anything. I now have to wonder if Stuart got any of my cards and notes or if they were intercepted.
Donna: You never cease to amaze me! I never talked bad about you to Coraline or Stuart. I certainly never said Coraline looks like you! ! Stuart receives all of his mail and responds as he sees fit.
Nicole: She even told me what Tyrone said to her after you said it. Sorry, going to believe her over you.
I never tried to cut ties between you and Coraline. I encouraged her to text you, invite you to things, until this past year. After your stunt last Christmas, you really think SHE owes YOU an apology? She has given you enough chances to treat her like a beloved granddaughter. Your words and tone towards her make me sick. She’s only ever wanted to be treated equally.
It wasn’t me who ruined all those Christmases. It was the way you treated Tyrone. And continued to treat him after I was gone. She remembers. She remembers the fights, him leaving, the way you talked to him. She realizes now, that Stuart is (Tyrone’s brother) and she is Tyrone. And I tell her all the time about all the positive ways she reminds me of him. She will never hear the word worthless from me.
Donna: She never heard the word worthless here either. She certainly did not hear me fighting with Tyrone or anyone else. Please find something else to amuse yourself!
Nicole: The way you have treated Coraline is not amusing in the least.
Saturday 2:11 PM
Donna: You are such a liar! You cannot open your mouth or even think without lying! The bad part is you start to believe your own lyes. I don’t really see any help for you. You wallow in your lyes and they grow. You are pathetic!
Saturday 3:51 PM
Donna: Just wanted to correct your warped mind and memory. It was you that ruined our Christmases. Every year you would erupt over nothing and run to my bedroom and wait for someone to come to you. You always attacked Tyrone, until we started just leaving you there. As soon as we were ready to eat you were there. I finally had to tell you to stay out of my room. All these years later and Coraline is doing the same thing, just different targets. As they say “the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree”
Nicole: I’m sorry. My mental illness was not diagnosed properly until 2001. I’ve not once had that issue with Westley’s family. I am actually truly sorry for the way I reacted to my circumstances in the 90s. I had no coping skills.
Donna: I accept that, just don’t try to put your behavior on someone else. We tried to be understanding and tried to help, you would not accept help. You still don’t accept responsibility for your actions, you still blame others. I am concerned about Coraline doing the same.
Nicole: I just wish Stuart would talk to me. I’m not the same as I was 5 years ago. One of my symptoms is mirroring. Unintentionally, I mimic the people I spend the most time around. At that time, it was the party crowd. I neglected him. I took him to shows, but my focus was on my good-time friends. I’d give anything for another chance. I have no excuses. I have to be exceptionally careful about who I surround myself with. And I’m aware of that now.
Donna: Coraline’s behavior in (city where her aunt and uncle live) was eerily reminiscent of your behavior back then. She too takes responsibility for nothing, blames others.
I have talked to him at great lengths about it. Every time I make a little progress, either you or Coraline erupts and he is done. Frankly, from some of your texts, I’m not sure either of you wants a relationship with him.
Nicole: What would you have her do, if Stuart was saying nasty things about me in front of her young cousins? She asked him to stop. He would not. She overreacted. She has seen what I’ve been through these past four years. She knows how devastated I am. I told her she shouldn’t have done that. But an apology for the situation should be a mutual one. She was hurt as well. She yearns for someone to talk about her dad with. I wish more than anything that she and Stuart could be friends like when they were young. But as long as he is hostile toward me, it doesn’t seem possible.
Donna: He tried to talk to Coraline that day, she doesn’t admit it but she was snapping at (her youngest cousin) when he got angry with her. She had been being rude to Stuart for a while. She put a show eerily reminiscent of yours. I am not trying to be critical, I am concerned. I would like Stuart to have a relationship with both you and Coraline, I can guarantee the behavior of the last year won’t do it.
When I have tried to talk to Coraline about Tyrone, I am met with stony indifference. I have talked to her about when she was little. I have talked about him growing up. Stuart loves to hear it, so I tell him.
FYI I have videos of every Christmas before Tyrone died. There is none of the fighting you said you and Coraline remember. There is a lot of laughter. I haven’t looked at them in years, but I know what is and isn’t there. I love Tyrone and I won’t let you or anyone else mar his memory. Shame on both of you for trying.
Sunday 8:34 AM
Donna: You say you wish Stuart and Coraline could be close again, Stuart wanted that also at one time. She has destroyed their relationship, it will take a monumental effort to rebuild. After her colossal, A hole performance 2015 Christmas, and her attitude this week, Ii don’t see it happening any time soon ,if ever. It is sad, but it is a 2 way street, she only sees 1 way, her way. At this time what he sees is more of what he had with you. He hates that both of you attack, lie and NEVER NEVER accept responsibility. He is a wonderful, thoughtful young man, kind and loving. He is happy without the drama and chaos of a relationship with either of you. He has a beautiful, sweet awesome girlfriend, he’s happy and what more could you want? I would like to see him be able to have a relationship with both of you, one that is good and healthy.
Nicole: I just want him to be happy. I am hopeful for a relationship, someday, where we can communicate. He’s an adult; I don’t want to run or ruin his life. l’d like to be able to ask how school is going, what he thought of the last couple of Star Wars movies, which new bands he likes, and be able to tell him I love him and l’m sorry. I think of something every day that I wish I could say, or ask.
Donna: One thing I am going to insist for this new year, is that you stop telling your version of my life. My life was wonderful before you and is wonderful without you. The only good thing you ever did was have two wonderful children. One you threw away, one you are turning into the worst of you. I have videos and handwritten pages by Tyrone describing life knowing you. It was written several months before he died. If you persist in telling the lies that you say Coraline remembers, things that never happened, I will show her what her dad said about it and you. I prefer that neither of them ever see them, they are painfully blunt , and truthful.
Every time I make a little progress, either you, Coraline or both do something hateful and he is done. As he has said many times, he doesn’t miss having to watch his back around people who are supposed to be family.
Nicole: Once again, I am truly sorry for the way I was in my 20s. I had a severe and undiagnosed, untreated mental illness that dominated my interactions with others. I own that. Fortunately the symptoms diminish with age and I have studied it and take medication which helps. In my 30s I was better than in my 20s, and now in my 40s I am better still. I am not a monster, but I acknowledge I behaved very poorly. I wish I’d gotten an accurate diagnosis when the kids were young. I wish I’d had the right medication when they were growing up. I’ve put Westley through hell and I know it’s not a fraction of what it was like for Tyrone. But there were good times too, and those children were made from love. They may be night and day, but they are both our children, with all of our best parts and some of the same pains and struggles.
Donna: I agree with most of what you say, I hope you are better, but I still see the instinct to always lie, until you are pinned down by truth. I loved you, you were family. It was a painful experience to learn what you really were. I can’t think of anyone I have ever known, who was and is someone you can’t turn your back on. The scary thing is you are turning Coraline or allowing her to turn into the same person you were/are. She has so much going for her, but potential for so much to go wrong.
You don’t understand how disgusted we are with Coraline right now. Yes, even her grandfather, he sent the cards back, I didn’t. What you don’t understand is we are one. We have 51 plus years of a loving marriage. If you attack one, you have attacked both. Stuart is a loving, protective grandson he won’t stand for attacks against either of us.
Nicole: I wish you could see what other people see. She is beloved by our friends, just the way she is. You only see her when she is tense and defensive. I do not write her story, I only listen. She started senior year with a new circle of friends, the valedictorian, the salutatorian among them, after toxic drama in her long time friend group forced her to walk away from those bad influences. She has been in counseling for years. She is strong and mature, far more than I was at her age. She has a great work ethic, she loves her job and enjoys school. She is so much more than me, than my influence. But she is as protective of me as Stuart is of you. For us to have an adversarial relationship, it can’t do anything but hinder theirs.
They cannot be friends unless we put our past behind us.
And yes, I have wrongfully blamed and attacked you because I see you as a literal barrier between me and my son. I needed somewhere for my anger to go.
I know it’s a lot to ask, to put our past behind us. We both have experiences that are hard to put aside. But I’m not sure that Stuart and Coraline can repair their bond unless Stuart and I can repair ours. Or at least be able to talk about what has happened and what we want for the future.
Donna: I agree , but sadly every time we have trusted you, I have been stabbed in the back. Now, it appears Coraline has taken over your vendetta, I have never done anything to deserve your hatred. I don’t hate you and I am not always looking for mean things to do to you as it appears you are doing to me Now I have to watch my back around Coraline. That is not love or family as I know love and family.
Nicole: Stuart is protective of you, Coraline is protective of me. They cannot see how alike they are from this perspective. We need to leave our animosity behind for them to move forward.
Donna: As I said, I agree it would be good if they could mend their relationship. What I disagree strongly with is them being alike. While Stuart is protective, he DOES NOT ATTACK AND LIE. He admits when he is wrong, he is not always looking for a fight. Right now, he is happy without either of you to worry about. I want him to have family, but I think Coraline prefers all the attention.
I am sorry that Coraline has had a hard time lately. You both need to remember what Stuart went through, mostly because of your behavior toward him, You made his life hell, and appeared to relish the stress you caused. The first several months he was here, he had nightmares where he was back at your house. The nightmares soon stopped, but there was the reality that he wasn’t completely free. After high school, he relaxed a little. Now he is gaining confidence and he is happy.
Nicole: I’m glad to hear he is happy. Someday I’d like for him and I to be able to talk. But it’s a relief that he is doing well. A friend showed me the pic of him and (friend) on Facebook. I’m glad they were able to meet.
Do you think it is in ANY way possible that Stuart might have seen the letter Tyrone wrote about me? It would explain so much about some of the things he has said to me in Messenger.
Donna: She is a bright, shining star in his life with none of the ugliness. Please don’t try to interfere. You will be met with such anger from so many people like you have never witnessed in your life! !!!!!!!!!
Nicole: All I said is that a friend showed me the picture. It was nice to see a picture of my son for the first time in years, even if it was on someone else’s phone. Please try not to overreact to me saying I’m glad for him.
Donna: Absolutely not! He doesn’t know they exist. I prefer to keep it that way. They are damming! !for you persist in telling the story you have been telling and saying. She remembers. That really has me angry. Tyrone and I didn’t fight and especially around the kids. That is something I will strike back ,hard and vicious on. Tyrone and I had a warm, close relationship. So what I am saying is stop the lies or I will provide the truth. Trust me you won’t like it!
As you can see can see by the mistakes, you have made me angry. I am done.
Nicole: I learned about Stuart working at (retail store) from my sister-in-law and have avoided that store since so there would be no chance of conflict in his workplace. I was very surprised to see him enter the downtown (community college) campus the same time as me, and made every effort to avoid running into him again, for his comfort. I am not trying to interfere in his life. I’m only asking to be able to say, did you like the new Deadpool movie, or, what’s your favorite Epic Rap Battle… the conversations we used to have 90% of the time. Not all of us remember it being hell. We had mostly good times. And some struggles. But we both said I love you to each other every single day. I am devastated. I screwed up. I can’t fix this. I just want a place in his life where I know he’s alive and well and safe and happy. I’ve been shut out so completely. Maybe for the best, for him. But a couple days ago I had to wonder if he even knew I’d been writing him.
I cannot change or influence Coraline’s experiences. She remembers him leaving, and coming back later. I don’t know what was
(gap in screenshots)
Donna: What Stuart remembers about life with you is being scarred most of the time. He remembers talking about movies to. He has said it was a time he didn’t feel like you target.
Nicole: Please feel free to show him this entire conversation. I spent almost 24 hours crying, after I got those cards back. (Coraline reacted in response to my grief.)
Then, between 2-4 p.m. yesterday (see gap in messages) I decided I wasn’t going to bring our differences into 2017 and began trying to find a way we can let these old wounds heal.
I’d love to say I’m not the same person. I am the same person. But I have become better at impulse control, better at controlling mood swings by staying consistent with my meds, and better at managing my mirroring behaviors by avoiding the very bad influences that were in my life at the time Stuart felt especially abandoned by me. I made bad choices. I wish I could go back.
I cannot guarantee I’ll never hurt Stuart again. I’m better, not perfect. Not cured. Just doing everything I can to be a person Stuart is willing to converse with sometimes. Ask if he prefers The Force Awakens or Rogue One. Tell him I finally wish I’d paid more attention when he talked about Pokemon. Laugh about memes. I wonder if he likes Cards Against Humanity. If he likes his job. If he and Westley play the same PS4 games.
You miss the little things, when someone leaves your life. I miss his upside-down grin and the way his eyes sparkle when he’s talking about something he enjoys. I miss seeing him play with the youngest nieces and (Rebecca’s oldest). They are getting so big, but there are new ones. Hanging out at the lake on 4th of July. Him driving his uncle’s van through the field. I miss everything. We had struggles and challenges but I don’t think about those now. just think of all the times I’ve wanted to talk to him or see him these past four years.
Donna: I wish I had as much optimism as you are trying to convey. Your first texts were to me the same Nicole . Not a pleasant thought. As for Coraline, more Nicole. Trust me I’ve had my fill of that. You both have a long way to go to keep me communicating.
Nicole: If Stuart is willing to simply unblock me, not become “friends” but just allow me to communicate on Messenger, on a trial basis, that would be an incredible gift. If not, I will try to continue to limit my letters and cards. I try to make them brief and not intrusive. I just miss my Tigger.
Donna: This is Stuart. You are not welcome in my life, nor will you ever be. I want a do-over too, those first 17 years without you in them. I never want to see or hear of you again. I do not love you, and the only thing I regret about leaving is not doing it sooner.
Nicole: I’m sorry. I don’t expect an overnight miracle. I have years of mistakes to atone for.
Donna: I handed Stuart your message to read, he said he would answer, I didn’t know it would be that harsh. His mood had softened some before Coraline’s distinctive performance last year and her smart-ass text to me a few days ago. His response was” the nut didn’t fall far from the tree ” Like I said, I’m not seeing a new version yet. The pain you both have inflicted is not forgotten obviously.
Nicole: I won’t ever be able to erase the mistakes of my past. I have to live with that. Thank you for your time. Tell Frank I’m sorry. He was always kinder than I deserved.
Donna: I know I don’t trust either of you farther than I can throw you. I now look at the two of you as Pete and repeat. I love Coraline, I have no respect for her or you. Time will tell.
I told Frank what you said, he didn’t respond.
Nicole: Okay. Thank you.
Donna: I will continue to try to soften Stuart’s feelings towards you. You have to remember the pissy attitude you both took at first and Coraline yet, was what he had escaped when he left there. You will get no where attacking.
I am also going to tell you Coraline has a long way to go to repair the damage she did to a year ago. She nearly destroyed her relationships here, but damaged my relationship with Angela. And then had the audacity to complain because she hadn’t heard from us. Also we didn’t come to her concert,graduation and open house. I’m sorry were we invited? I realize she is young, but she knew what she was doing. After Angela blew up, Coraline strutted off with a smirk she had gotten what she wanted.
I never did hear what Coraline told Angela, but if it was the same crap you put in one of your texts, she is much worse than I thought.
Sunday 3:38 PM
Donna: This is Stuart. I want to say I’m sorry for the harshness of my text. At this time I don’t want a relationship, I will try to keep an open mind. Coraline’s behavior just reminded of what I walked away from. I have tried to stay on good terms with Coraline, other than kissing her butt, there is no way. I’m not going to do that. At some point, sometime maybe it will feel different and maybe we will be able to communicate, not now with either of you.
Nicole: Thank you for keeping it a possibility for the future.
Donna: A distant future. Perhaps.
I tried. Maybe in time. He did talk about it a little. He said finally, it’s like walking by a skunk that just sprayed you, and as it lifts it’s tail and turns, it says “trust me, I won’t spray you again “
Nicole: A sliver of hope for some sort of connection, some time in the future, maybe, is more than I had yesterday. Thank you.
Donna: You are welcome, but please remember, my loyalty is to Stuart. I will do what I can, I suggest help for Coraline. She has a nasty attitude.
Sunday 6:13 PM
Donna: I was reading back over the texts and they make me furious. I want to make it clear ,I WILL NOT TOLERATE ANY MORE ATTACKS AND/ OR LIES!!!!!!
It is the first few that sounded like the Nicole that I do not like. Not the new and improved version you promised. I hope there is a new, improved Nicole. She is the only chance to repair a badly damaged relationship.
I do wish good health for you in the new year and the future. I also wish happiness in the new year and the future.
Nicole: Thank you. I know any progress will take time. I’ve had 3 surgeries in 3 years … I’m learning patience. Healing can’t be rushed.
Donna: That is true. I am trying to stay healthy and help those I love to stay healthy , happy, and safe. I didn’t know about your surgeries, I hope all went well.
Tuesday 6:15 PM
Donna: I have an important question to ask, I hope you will answer honestly. Coraline’s behavior Christmas 2015 had an extreme, adverse effect on my health. The things you cite as her “memories” never happened. My question is did you feed her these “memories “? You can’t remember things that never happened. My blood pressure was affected again. My dr. read Coraline’s texts, he was shocked by her vulgarity. Especially speaking to her grandmother. His comment was “unbelievable “, maybe you should cut ties. I told him I had at least for now. He said don’t let it kill you.
Tuesday 7:35 PM
Donna: The reason I asked, it makes a difference if she thought she was telling the truth, or if she knew she was lying.
Nicole: She is at school.
Donna: But you know if you told her those ugly stories.
Nicole: She said she remembers him leaving, and returning later. When you are little you don’t always know exactly what is going on. This was after the divorce, I wasn’t there. I don’t know why he left, or for how long. I don’t have any reason to make it up and I don’t know why she would. She said he left the house, and was gone, and returned. She would have been around 6-7 years old, 8 at most. It was half a lifetime ago for her. She might remember it differently than it happened. But it was from her, not me.
Donna: The only time he left without telling the kids where he was going was when he went for cigarettes. He was trying to quit, he didn’t smoke around them.
I can understand that her memories might not be accurate, but for decency sake, she should check with someone who knows before she tells everyone such stories. A lot of pain and suffering can come from such carelessness. I am sure she would like consideration in a situation like that.
Wednesday 2:07 PM
Donna: Another thing I can’t understand is why Coraline attacked me at (Tyrone’s brother’s). Supposedly she attacked Stuart because he said something about you, I wasn’t around her, so why did she attack me? She made me the focus of her lies and thought I should just accept it as “normal ” behavior. We are still angry with her, and concerned about her lack of remorse for her behavior. She has some serious issues, until she accepts responsibility for her words and actions I see no redemption.
Just wanted to add that the Dr. I mentioned is my hemotologist. I have been anemic most of my life. He is great, and keeps me healthy. I have monthly checkups and sometimes an infusion. Stress takes a toll, I am concerned now with keeping stress away. I am determined to keep it away.
Nicole: She only broke her silence when she saw how devastated I was about the returned cards. She has been in regular counseling since Stuart left.
I hope your health is stable. My mom has been having heart issues and I hope she and Stuart are able to talk again before it’s too late.
Donna: Time can be important especially when it is running out and there are so many things left unresolved. Coraline attacked me on Christmas day with no provocation. Absolutely no remorse, thinks somehow I owe her. Stuart has reached out to her many times, only to be kicked in the teeth. I lost my beloved brother two months ago. We had a remarkable, loving family. We spent our lives loving each other, not looking for ways to hurt each other. I lost my other brother in 2005, I still miss him. I still have my sisters and we are close I can’t imagine having to deal with what Stuart has an example of family that you and Coraline present. I lost Tyrone and I wasn’t sure I would make it. I was immediately surrounded by love of family and friends. There is not a day that I don’t miss him. My greatest comfort is knowing he always knew how much I loved him and knowing that he loved me. It was and is unconditional. I know that Stuart knows what love is, here he has unconditional love. He is not one to arrack, he does respond, usually in defense of others. He shouldn’t have to watch his back around his mother and sister.
I will tell Stuart about your mother’s health.
You appear to be ignorant of the time line. Coraline attacked me on Christmas day 2015. The cards you are complaining about were in 2016. What is her excuse for attacking me I was nowhere near her, had said nothing to her or about you. She has no concience and it appears no morals. Too bad, but it is on
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