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Day of Reckoning/Shared Confrontation Experiences

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yearsofpain25 posted 4/11/2014 08:08 AM

Hello Everyone, first let me say thanks again. All of your words of wisdom have meant a great deal to me these past months. Many of you are familiar with my story. For those that are not, the full version is in my profile (very long), but here are the highlights:

- Family Of Origin (FOO), I'm not a BS or WS. I'm a BC (Betrayed Child).
- DDay I caught my mother having an affair March 1989 by reading her diary. I have all those awful details in my head.
- DDay I sat down my father and told him about the A. Needless to say it did not go well.
- Parents tried to R for next couple of years. Toxic environment ensued.
- Brother says his "quiet goodbyes" on my 21st birthday
- Brother committed suicide next day (not related to the A). I have many graphic details in my head from that weekend. Then also left with images of the cleanup and room remodeling.
- Father leaves for his secretary.
- Mother tries to throw me into middle of divorce.
- Mother never showed any remorse for any of it and displays narcissistic personality traits and depression.
- I leave for new city mother attempts suicide.
- I'm left with many personal issues that include, but not limited to: trust, relationship, anger, rejection, resentment, sadness, etc...
- Family blown apart and can point most of it back to the affair(s).
- March 15, 2014 have first meaningful talk with my father about any of it. 2nd suicide note confirmed where my brother states he is mostly committing suicide because of my mother.
- March 22, 2014 talk to my cousin about my mother and her mothers's/my aunt's part in enabling my mother's affair.
- Day of Reckoning, date TBD

Where I'm at now... After discussing with my C, she feels a confrontation with my mother would be good for me and would be one of the first steps in the healing process for me. Especially in regards to getting past my rage. The C has compared it to reading a victim statement at a sentencing. Although she has already sentenced herself. This would be a one time opportunity for me to be able to express everything that I feel I need to express to her. I'm going to start to work on a bullet pointed list of exactly what I want say to her soon.

I guess what I'm looking for here is experiences of what your confrontations were like. What are somethings that worked for you and what are somethings that did not work for you? I realize my situation is very different in that I'm confronting my mother, not a spouse, and it's 25 years later, but I can always twist some ideas to fit my situation. For example, I'm thinking of taking a page out of the MH and DS handbook of tough love:

After I say what I want to say, I think tough love ideas like the following are needed:

I will not tolerate dis-respect in my home.
I will not tolerate the mention of AP any longer (it's a trigger for me).
I will not tolerate you disciplining my kids
Don't mistake my kindness for forgiveness


Many of you have mentioned that maybe I should just cut my mother out of my life altogether. My C also said that she wouldn't blame me if I did. It's something I've contemplated for the last 2 months and have ultimately decided not to do that. My wife had an excellent point. I already internalize so much and have a tremendous amount of guilt that if I cut her out it will be one more large thing on top of the pile for me. However, it's very possible that she may never want to talk to me again after the DOR.

I should mention that I'm pretty sure my mother is NPD, just not sure where on that scale she is. Most NPD criteria fit her exactly. Due to that the way I see this going down is either one of two ways. It either falls on deaf ears, or more than likely she twists it all around by saying you don't love me, why would you ever say such hurtful things, blah, blah, blah. That's what she typically does and will make it all about her. Another very real concern that I have is she may attempt suicide again afterwards.

Any ideas on confrontation? Any experiences that people are willing to share?

Thanks again,

Sadmumma posted 4/11/2014 08:24 AM

YOP.. I am right here cheering you on, buddy.

I applaud you on your decision to confront. I fear for you that WM (wayward mother?) may just bat those eyelashes and play the victim.. barely hearing anything you have to say. In any case, you cant say you never tried.

I will not tolerate dis-respect in my home.

You may need to spell this one out a little for her. Give her specifics that you will and wont tolerate.

I guess, it would be important to let her know that you love her and want her to play a part in your childrens lives, but that is conditional on your key points being respected.

SisterMilkshake posted 4/11/2014 08:31 AM

Any ideas on confrontation? Any experiences that people are willing to share?
My d-day wasn't really a confrontation, so I don't have any experience to share. Just wanted to say I am so proud of how far you have come since joining SI and seeing an IC (<incredible in itself). I feel the DOR is exactly what you need to do for yourself.
Many of you have mentioned that maybe I should just cut my mother out of my life altogether.
Yeah, I was one of those. I have many friends IRL who's parent(s) are NPD. They have tried different techniques with the parent and inevitably it goes down like:
It either falls on deaf ears, or more than likely she twists it all around by saying you don't love me, why would you ever say such hurtful things, blah, blah, blah. That's what she typically does and will make it all about her.
Nothing changes and my friends suffer because they won't cut the toxic people out of their lives.

If you have little or no expectation of your mother changing from your DOR, that would probably be a good thing. (((yop)))

TrustedHer posted 4/11/2014 09:10 AM

Have you done much reading in the NPD thread in the I Can Relate forum?

It might prepare you better for the responses your mother will make to your arguments.

Expecting an NPD to change based on things you tell them is futile. Go into this with the expectation that you are having this confrontation as part of your healing. Don't expect anything to change as a result of it, except getting all your feelings out in the open.

NPD's will walk right through boundaries, and then blame the consequences on you, not them. No matter how clearly stated.

FrmrBH80124 posted 4/11/2014 09:15 AM


This is my first post on this site. I've read your story and in my book you are my hero! How you've kept it all together for all these years and still come out pretty normal is unbelievable in my mind.

I'm in agreement with you about the DOR with your mother. I'm glad you are going to confront her and I"m glad that your expectations are low. I agree that you shouldn't cut your mother out of your life just yet since it would only add to your guilt. If I were in your shoes, I'm not sure I would have the same thoughts as I'm vindictive enough and would cut my mother out completely. My mother cheated on my father as well. They divorced and she married the OM and now I have 2 half brothers and half sister.

I look forward to hearing about the DOR if you feel like sharing. I'm sending you strength.

Best of luck!

[This message edited by FrmrBH80124 at 9:16 AM, April 11th (Friday)]

nowiknow23 posted 4/11/2014 09:19 AM

After I say what I want to say, I think tough love ideas like the following are needed:

I will not tolerate dis-respect in my home.
I will not tolerate the mention of AP any longer (it's a trigger for me).
I will not tolerate you disciplining my kids
Don't mistake my kindness for forgiveness

YOP - you are laying out boundaries here, which is good for you. You should have no expectation that she will acknowledge, accept, or respect those boundaries, however. Which brings me to consequences. What are the consequences if/when she violates your boundaries? Give some serious consideration to what they should be, and make certain they are consequences you are prepared to follow through with on the very first violation. Do not let any boundary violation go by without consequence, or you will invalidate your own efforts.

Sending you strength. This is major work you're undertaking. Your courage in walking this path is inspiring.

yearsofpain25 posted 4/11/2014 11:07 AM

Thanks Sadmumma. You're right I do need to be more specific and break that one down for her. I'll give it some thought once I start to put by bullet points together,

Thanks SisterMilkshake. I'm really not expecting anything from her. I haven't gotten anything out of her my entire life. I would expect no different now. btw - my wife and I quote your throat punch comment from time to time. Thank you for that.

Thanks TrustedHer. Yes I have done a lot of reading over in the NPD thread starting before I even started posting. A lot of what's been discussed I can see in my own situation with my mother. So I've been a long time listener but haven't called over there do to it's not really my spouse but it's my mother I'm dealing with.

Thanks FrmrBH80124. Once I started sharing I haven't been able to stop. SI and getting all this shit out of me has been extremely therapeutic for me. I'll keep it going. Very honored that I was your first post. Very sorry to hear about your mother too. This infidelity shit really goes through generations of damage.

Thanks NIK. You are right! I'm going to need to think of some consequences. I'm first leaning toward she is no longer allowed to come visit me or er grand kids. The if she does any of it again via phone, she's done. Gone for good. I need to think that through some more but I certainly appreciate the insight of having consequences.

ETA - Damn auto correct!

[This message edited by yearsofpain25 at 2:45 PM, April 11th (Friday)]

Skan posted 4/11/2014 13:31 PM

I'm glad that you're going to confront, for YOUR sake. You need to be heard and if you go into it already realizing that there is not likely to be a big, dawning realization from her of all of the shit she's piled on you, then you are already ahead.

I'm going to agree that you need to think about consequences because if she's NPD, then I guarantee that the first thing she will do is to shatter one of your boundaries just because it's all about her. So IMO, you and your W need to be absolutely ruthless and united in slamming a consequence into place immediately like no visitation with the grandchildren for one month or whatever you two decide.

What worked for me was being utterly calm during the majority of the confrontation. And very, very prepared. I had printouts of pretty much all of the stuff I found out about him and his camgirls, on-line profiles, chat sessions, etc. So when I confronted, I hit him hard with two pieces of evidence (photos that left little to the imagination) and then I never let up. If he tried to minimize or gaslight, I would quote part of a conversation to him or drop another whores name, etc. I also didn't let him drag the conversation off into the weeds. If he tried to justify, feel sorry for himself, or bring in other items, I cut him off, telling him that that wasn't part of the discussion, we weren't going there, and to get back on track by answering my questions. It wasn't until the very end that I broke down, when he admitted to a ONS that I didn't have any evidence for.

Rehearsal, rehearsal, rehearsal. I had a plan of action, a rough outline of what I needed to say and of what I wanted to know from him. I went over it many times in my head and actually thought of various scenarios what would I do if he walked out, what would I do if he exploded in anger and started trashing things, what would I do if he absolutely denied everything. So when I actually confronted, I had a framework to stick to and go back to, if and when things went sideways.

I'm rooting for you!

yearsofpain25 posted 4/11/2014 15:46 PM

Thanks for sharing Skan. You certainly have given me some more to think about. I think the "evidence" that I want to use in my bullet points are going to be the things that I heard out of her own mouth, saw with my own eyes, or read in her diary. Things that I have heard second hand through my father or else where I don't think I'm going to use. For the reason that I will then not doubt anything that she may, or may not, say back to me. My W's analogy is that it should be like holding up a mirror for her to look into. Who know...I may not even get more than a sentence out before I get thrown out. Like you suggest, I'm going to need to be prepared for anything. Rehearsal, rehearsal, rehearsal. Yes absolutely! There is no date set yet and time is on my side. My C says I don't want to wait to long though because she wants me to start to get past the rage after this. Thanks again Skan. You're support is always appreciated!

norabird posted 4/11/2014 16:04 PM


I have no advice, but I am happy you have come to a conclusion that satisfies you, and I know you are strong enough to handle the confrontation and any fallout.

jjct posted 4/11/2014 16:24 PM

"...before I get thrown out."

Hmm. Any chance of picking a certain setting, say, a public park, where you're out in the open and away from passers-by?

yearsofpain25 posted 4/12/2014 08:54 AM

Thanks norabird. Not as confident in myself handling any fallout. If she attempts suicide again...I need to lay out consequences for that too I think. Last time I refused to see her in the hospital but I did make a trip back to see her. If she does it again and lives again, maybe I need to cut her off. Still need to think through this scenario.

Thanks jjct. I have started to plan out location,how it should be done, etc. I'm thinking at her place (my state of origin) so that I can leave afterwards and not have to deal with her and work on myself. Which I thought of and my C is insisting that it be done in her state so that I can get away afterwards. My C is also insisting that we each have someone with us immediately afterwards or even during to help mediate any fallout. For me that's easy. My W. For her, not sure how to go about this without tipping my hand in what I want to talk to her about. I need to think that through too.

As far as a public place? I don't think it would fair to any innocents that may happen to be nearby. I really don't know what her reaction may be. My preference right now is her place.

Thanks again everyone. You certainly have me thinking...

yearsofpain25 posted 4/15/2014 11:39 AM

First rough draft of outline on how I would like to see DOR go down.

Opening Statement of Loss and why this is all coming up now (health scare, etc.). Though IC Iíve gained some clarity (share the PTSD and DD dx) and feel a need to be honest with her and myself regarding what I have felt, what I have been through. For me, this is the way forward and the only way Iím going to be able to be at peace. This is important - that Iím not necessarily out to inflict pain but need to say my peace so that I can move forward in my healing process.

Bullets. ďThese are the things that have hurt meÖĒ

* Emotional abuse of myself
* What I saw her do to my brother
* What I saw her do to my father
* The betrayal of the family
* The horrific diary details
* Worry that she may have acted on those thoughts
* The effects this had on me, my father, and brother

What I have had to do to cope with the above:

* Remove myself from the family and ultimately move away
* Limit the amount of time I spend with her
* DD when she is around

Let her know that my visit with her in October and HER discussion of AP triggered me to the extent that my coping mechanisms no longer work.

What Iím hoping for going forward:
* That she continues to have a long distance relationship with her grandchildren and our family.

What I need to get there (list of boundaries/consequences):
* I will not tolerate the mention of AP.
* I will not tolerate any mention of my father.
* I will not tolerate any more letters or phone calls to my father.
* I will not tolerate any more blame shifting.
* I will not tolerate any complains about the divorce.
* I will not tolerate her disciplining my kids.
* I will not tolerate any snide comments about me, my health, my family.
* I will not tolerate her dictating the terms of her visits.
* I will not tolerate threats of suicide or suicide attempts.
* She will treat me, my family, my home with respect.

Any disregard for these boundaries will result in forfeit of visitation rights with her grandchildren. Donít ever mistake my kindness for forgiveness. I will never forgive.

Thoughts/comments always welcome and appreciated.

[This message edited by yearsofpain25 at 11:42 AM, April 15th (Tuesday)]

Skan posted 4/15/2014 14:10 PM

Suggestion? Forfeiture of future visitation and being IMMEDIATELY told to leave your property. If she violates the rules, you stand up, tell her it's time to go, and put her out of your house, no matter if you're in the middle of dinner, or what.

yearsofpain25 posted 4/15/2014 15:05 PM

Yes. Thank you Skan. I do need to remember to put my "big boy pants" on not only during the confrontation, but even more importantly afterwards. I still get weak about thinking about all this. Last night it's all I could dream about. Thus this framework today.

I really am afraid she's going to do something stupid afterwards and kill herself. I really don't want her to die. But I can't let this go either.

I hate being in this position but I have to do this.

Merlin posted 4/15/2014 15:18 PM

I would never argue with a trained counselor. And it's good you've gone that route and come this far.

It's good to that you want to offer your mother an opportunity to remain in your life. It's even better that that opportunity will come with clear terms from you. You are attempting to be a good son even though she has all but forfeited the chance to remain in your life.

That does not meant will be easy or unemotional. So I wish you well with that

My questions center in whether your mother is NPD and what that might mean for both your talk with her and her ability to meet your terms across time.

You will need to be both firm and vigilant, both now and as (if?) she will accept your terms. You seem well prepared to do both.

God speed YOP25!

ReunitePangea posted 4/15/2014 15:19 PM

Any ideas on confrontation? Any experiences that people are willing to share?

YOP - I think it is important to know your self and anticipate what you think the reaction of the person you are confronting will be. Are you going to be capable of getting through all the information you want to without breaking down? What happens when they want to debate your statement? Are you going to be fine with Q&A during? What if she walks out on your half way through?

For me, the way I confronted was with an email. I waited for the kids to go to bed. I told me WW I have an email to send her and I was going to leave the house for a bit so she could read it in private and let me know when she wanted me to come back and discuss it. I was breaking down just telling her I had an email so she new when I walked out the door this was a BIG deal.

I knew myself and knew there was no way I could get through everything I needed to say first. I also wanted control of the situation and did not want to debate whether she was cheating or not. My WW called me home shortly after and there began our discussions of her LTA that I had no idea about until a week prior that I found out. I never got a denial of the cheating so in that sense my confrontation method worked for me. I am sure that for many email is not the best way to go but for me it was.

Know what you are capable of, this is not going to be easy. I don't have much familarity with NPD so I can't help you there but is she really going to sit there and let you say everything you need to say. Maybe have a copy of what you want to say with you. That way if she walks out on you, you can still convey what you need to say by leaving the note. Good luck YOP, wish you strength. You have a good outline of your points you need to make so I think you will do the best you can given the situation.

FrmrBH80124 posted 4/15/2014 15:25 PM


You have to do this and YOU CAN DO THIS! I'm sending you as much strength as I can.

I really hope your mother doesn't do anything rash or stupid. If she were to commit suicide, it would be the most selfish act that someone with NPD could do. It's the ultimate way of saying that I get my way or else you all suffer. Please don't fall into that trap. You are not responsible for your mother or her actions. If she chooses the selfish way out, then so be it. (Sorry if that is harsh) Will it be hard and painful if she does, yes. You will survive as I did. My mother also took her life because she was stupid and didn't listen to her doctors. Long story for another day.

My main point is this. Stay the course and speak your mind. You need to get this out.

yearsofpain25 posted 4/15/2014 15:30 PM

Just read the last 3 posts. I have to split and I'm off to IC. Will comment later but wanted to let you know that I heard them and they mean a lot to me. Getting a bit choked up on my end from all of you.

Thank you.


cocoabean posted 4/15/2014 15:45 PM

I think that you have been given very good advise here. I can share an experience that my mother went through when she confronted her mother.

My mother has so many stories about her childhood that are horrific. She endured every type of abuse imaginable, especially from the "men" my grandmother had affairs with. When my mother was 6, she walked in on her mother and her current AP. He then slammed my mother against the wall and threatened to kill her if she told. That is the tamest story I can tell.

When my mother did finally confront (as recommended by C) her mother just looked at her and said "you are crazy - none of that happened". Like you, my mother only addressed what directly happened to her.

I am telling you this so that you are prepared for a possible reaction. As long as you recognize that it is very possible that your mother will completely discount what you say, then yes, you should have your say. But if not, will it further frustrate your healing process? Only you can answer that.

Whatever road you take, I want to wish you continued good healing. My thoughts are with you.


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