I've wanted to reply a few times. Sleep deprivation isn't serving me well right now so I will keep it short.
Big hugs!!! I'm very proud of you to stand up for yourself and set boundaries. That email is very nasty and I can picture my mom writing something similar because she loves twisting everything around to make herself feel better. My last response to her when she wrote one of her classic horrible messages, I told her if she writes me one more time, she will never be allowed to speak to me again. I've been battling boundaries with her for nearly a year now and it's ugly at times. The optimist in me hopes you have a happy ending sooner than later. Whether your foo is there or not.
Take care honey
You have GOT to be committed to doing this for you and NOT to force some type of change within your family dynamic.
... I'm not holding my breath.... Guess this is why the counselor said that them getting a clue could take years. If they get one. *sigh* They don't want to change. Why should they? They've been fine for 30 years. I gotta keep remembering that. I can't forget that. I wanted change. Not them.
As I said above, I have not had a relationship with my NPD MIL since Dday -----she is toxic to me & to my marriage. I want to be healthier, I want my marriage to be stronger, & I have to protect those things.
I have not interfered with WH & our kids having a relationship with her, but my actions have affected their relationships.
There is no more grand pretense going on that WH's FOO is the Walton family.
To this day, MIL still vents to WH: “How dare MChercheur treat me this way! I didn’t do anything wrong!” I have no hopes of changing her. I agree with WH & his siblings that she will never change, she doesn’t want to. She gets off on being “The Dictator”. She has never once tried to contact me since Dday (she lives around the corner from us, & WH stayed with her while we were separated for 5 mos after Dday). I am not looking for an apology, because I don’t think she is capable of genuinely apologizing.
I recently came across this list of narcissistic traits:
--Grandiose sense of self-worth
-- Lack of remorse or guilt
--Callous/lack of empathy
--Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
--Can not accept criticism
--Unable to truly apologize
--Use people for whatever they can take from them
ALL of them apply to my MIL. So, if you are dealing with people who have similar issues, it is very healthy for you to draw a line in the sand & say “no more”.
Yes, you have really upset the apple cart. There are consequences for their actions---for their disrespect & selfish, arrogant behavior. You have finally realized that you are worth it, you are worth being treated with respect, you love yourself enough not to let anyone treat you that way anymore. You have drawn your boundaries, so they can either change or not have a relationship with you anymore----but that is their choice.
(((sending you strength)))
[This message edited by mchercheur at 11:57 AM, October 26th (Saturday)]
The stuff in that book, I dunno. Makes me doubt myself again. My life isn't near as bad as most of the case studies in there. My life is mild sections of different chapters. Maybe I'm just blowing this whole thing out of proportion. Ya know? I just feel in shock and more than slightly overwhelmed.
There has to be boundaries, no doubt about it. But as for the rest, maybe I'm overreacting.
So Dad has a crap day and talks smack to me. Who doesn't do that? So Mother gets dramatic and throws mud back in an email. If I got my butt handed to me, I'd be hurt and defensive too. Can't say I blame her reaction. They had childhoods like in the book. Functioning alcoholic father, emotionally dead parents, physically abusive stepfather, etc. They are doing the best they can considering their own pasts. They have made improvements from their own prior experiences. No set of parents is going to be perfect.
It's just smacking me around. I'm so exhausted from it all. Being damaged, causing damage, hurting those I love.
"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne
"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?
Maybe I'm just blowing this whole thing out of proportion.
You're minimizing here. It was important enough to you to draw the boundary in the first place, right? To call the big meeting and hash it all out? Why do you doubt yourself now? Your counselor recognizes it:
the things I saw and felt, which were then bashed and brushed aside by my dad, were brought back up by the counselor who said, no you're not crazy. It's real.
A couple other things that stood out from this thread:
We're just tired of our feelings being discounted. We're tired of being stupid children that cannot think for ourselves. We're tired of not having a voice. We're tired of being taken advantage of.
It's what it is. A betrayal. They are not who I thought they were. We don't really have the relationship I thought we had.
I'm not there, Aubrie, so I don't really know what goes on amongst you all, but at the very least, these people don't seem to have your best interests at heart. I can see why you don't trust and why you feel betrayed continually.
I was PMing someone about forgiveness. I know I *should* forgive my parents.
Have your parents actually humbled themselves and in genuine contrition asked for your forgiveness? Maybe that's the source of your hesitation to forgive- because you know their apologies are hollow.
ETA: Thanks to all the stress, I've developed a lovely case of IBS. And I'm consuming vast amounts of my comfort foods. (Coke and chocolate) And I'm still losing weight. Losing weight! Granted I could loose some. But it just seems so ludicrous that this stuff is affecting me so badly.
Am I going to have to hightail it up there and forcefeed you a steady diet of decadent foods until you're through this mess???
Seriously, take care of yourself. As always, here if you need me.
Mother: Have you heard from Aubrie?
Sis: Here and there
Mother: I'm guessing this is the way she wants it. I haven't heard a peep in 10 days.
Sis: Why don't you text her?
Mother: I told her she would have to open the door because I will not be guilty of intruding. I don't know what else to do. It's frustrating.
She did NOT! After bombing me via email, she ended it with a "ball is in your court. Once burned, twice shy" stuff.
Then! Then! A little while ago, I get a knock on my back door. My brother is standing there with gifts for me and my son for our birthdays, (which were the 12th and 15th) a key lime pie (always my birthday request) and a, "Happy Birthdayyyyy!"
I was like, "Umm...we haven't done our party yet..."
He said, "I know but...here! Presents! Pie!"
Seriously! You are too cowardly to fricking text or call me so you try to find out about me thru my sister and when that doesn't work, you send bribes and "peace offerings" via my brother? For real? And now I'm obligated to send a thank you text or call her. She's forced my hand on her terms. I'm just so annoyed! Argh!
I hear you abbycadabby. The actions today just gave me more reinforcements. Unbelievable.
You communicated your feelings when you met right? Did you tell them what behaviors are not ok with you?
No discounting Aubries feelings.
No interfering in parenting or disciplining Aub's and QS' kids.
Do they have to agree with everything you expressed? I wouldn't have expected them to see things the same way you did. They were looking at them from the other end but after some reflection some things will likely have sunk in. What's important is that you expressed yourself.
So you have boundaries. Do you have a plan for how to handle boundary testing or breaking?
With boundaries in place you and your family know how to act to be safe and healthy. You won't have to worry about controlling how the parentals act because you have a plan.
I'm probably missing something important but why are you guys waiting each other out? I think your mom is tiptoeing around it because this is new from you and she isn't ready to own her part of it and face it head on. That's her.
What do you want? Offer what you want on your terms and stick to your boundaries.
For example, we don't have holidays at my mother's house anymore. That was a long standing family tradition but since my mother's toxic husband has caused more family drama over the last several years than we feel is tolerable we don't go there anymore. We are just barely allowing him to our houses (my siblings and I) now and we will ask him to leave if we need to. We are just trying to figure out how to respect ourselves and others while dealing with the crazy.
You don't have to cut your parents out of your life if you don't want to. So long as they adhere to the boundaries that you have in place. If they start 'poking' at those boundaries, then you *check* them.
Call and check-in with your mom. If she starts trying to make you toe your dad's line, then re-state your position. "love you guys, but I'm not putting up with <this shit> anymore." Or go over there for a visit....and if your parents start acting like jerks with your kids, then leave.
You expressed your new boundaries to them. It's okay to give them a chance to *get used to it*.....with you backing it up (because you KNOW that they are going to *test* them).
IMHO, it is too early in the game to just write them off.
Right now it is all about 'adjustment'. If your parents prove that they are unable to *handle* the adjustment, THEN more drastic measures may be in order (cutting them off completely). I just don't see this as a *one and done* situation......
eta: why do you need to call or text your mom because your brother showed up at your house with your most favoritest key lime pie? Unless he said that *mom told me to* bring this over....the parental units influence is irrelevant. And if he says that mom told him to do it....then that is an issue to bring up with your mom under your new-found *boundary* issue.
[This message edited by gonnabe2016 at 11:38 PM, October 28th (Monday)]
In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.