The Dangerous Narcissist I'm translating for, apparently now as a volunteer, as he's not paying me, sent me an sms today:
"Hello, I just want to inquire how much you've translated so far. We haven't heard from each other in a long time. Regards."
I replied "I'll send a short installment this evening and write in detail in the e-mail." I wanted to buy time and think of the perfect reply that simultaneously extends the deadline, demands money already owed, and returns us to the original agreement, all in decent terms, inoffensive, and preferably without a single lie.
I'm an incurable optimist. But I do need to stop running away from this and face it. When my father left and I allowed myself to remember the ongoing problem I have with this man, I spent the whole day obsessing over it and it was that evening that I spanked my daughter! It's not a justification, not by far, but the stress of this thing that is weighing on me is NOT contributing to me being a good mother. I need to resolve this.
So, I'm sending a short installment that will, with what he owes me, add up to a nice, round number. Which will enable me to calculate his debts again and write them out in black and white, just so there's no misunderstanding. Without a new installment just restating his debt might seem accusatory.
Then I might write the TRUE sob story of how I had to accept other translations because I needed money for my family and my two little kids, and that's why his translation got temporarily put on the back burner. How I'm returning to it now, but will really need monthly payment, as previously arranged, so I can afford to decline other offers.
That's all I've got. Advice? Ideas? Very open right now. Will write and send the e-mail in a couple of hours, as soon as I finish the short installment I plan on sending.