But yes, this is still displacing blame. It's not about you. It's about how you see her--totally different thing!
[This message edited by norabird at 1:19 AM, May 7th (Wednesday)]
I'm not as seasoned yet as some of the others here at handling a narc. So take my opinion with a grain of salt.
I think all of your points are valid and reasonable. However, this is raising red flags for me:
I also avoid guilt by at least knowing I tried giving her a chance to remain in my life.
This says to me that you are expecting, on some level, for her to react like a rational person.
The reality as I see it is that this conversation is terminating your relationship with your mother. Period. And in that scenario I think you've spent way too many words on her.
She is never going to be the mother you wanted, needed, or deserved. Neither was mine. Took me a lot of therapy to move past the anger I had about that and realize that she did the best she could, she loved me the only way she was able, and that she had her own fucked up shit to deal with. It wasn't about ME.
Idk YOP. I just fear that we are seeing a lot of bravado from you regarding this meeting but that somewhere inside you are thinking to yourself that this is going to make a difference in how she behaves or that she will even know what blame shifting is, for instance, which would also require her to recognize that in her own behavior, which she won't do.
You've basically set her up for failure with your list of requirements to continue your relationship with her.
If you want NC, just say it and tell her the reasons why in as few words as possible. Don't take the long way of setting forth all these boundaries that you know she isn't capable of respecting and then go through the drama of confronting her about it and giving her the cut direct.
Just my opinion. It got a lot longer than intended. Sorry. It just seems more and more problematic the more I think about it.
Start with the end (goal) YOU want in mind and work it backwards.
Do you want her involved with your kids? How much? How often? In what capacity?
Do you want a relationship with her? How would you like that to be? Family dinner? Monthly dinner at a restaurant? Weekly phone calls?
You've stated what you don't want from her, those are your boundaries that are coming up against her habits. It takes time to establish new habits. Be prepared she may want (or not) to end those habits, adding stress might not work as you anticipated.
In my experience, stating a boundary to a narc is like issuing a challenge for them to get past the boundary. It almost becomes a game to them.
Boundaries are for your protection. It's you who changes the dance dynamic- puts the change in place. The narc reacts to your action. Like any dance partner.
I fear your telling mom your stating and putting boundaries in place and expecting her to respect them just because you tell her to. It won't work! She has to be taught the new dance dynamic and you need to take the lead.
Do you want her to admit that she feels responsible for your brothers death? That she's caused everyone in her family a mountain of pain? To do that she needs to admit to herself first..... The NPD can't do it! No one is home inside for the mask to confess to. The NPD doesn't work the way other people do.
I feel your anger in your post. I understand the need to release it, do you need to release it onto her? Can you release it another way ? I don't think you're going to get the satisfaction you need from your talk as portrayed in your post.
Have you checked out Melanie Tonia Evans Narcissistic abuse recovery program for FOO? She's just released updates to the original program. It might be worth checking out. She has a lot to say about FOO narcs.
I still don't know exactly what I'm going to do yet, but my brain sort of hit a wall on nekorb's post, as well as seeing the concern on Mrs's yop's face this morning. This is effecting more than just me.
I'm at work but have not been able to even remotely concentrate on work. After rereading everyone's post here, thinking about what Mrs's yop has been telling me, thinking about what my C just said to me in our last session, this is what came out of me without really thinking about it this morning
I was hoping to have a meeting with you regarding our family history and also to discuss certain boundaries that I need in place so that I can live a healthier mental and emotional life with you in it. With this latest letter that you have sent me, it is now becoming overwhelmingly apparent that this is not a possibility. You didn't listen to a single word that I said regarding having a meeting. All I was asking for was a meeting. Rather than immediately trying to empathize and listen to why your child who may be hurting, you called back and started to lash out. You took my suggestions of having support there for yourself as a threat. In your letter you continue to twist everything I said and made it all about you. Any conversation that I would attempt to have with you, I'm afraid would fall on deaf ears and be further twisted around so that once again everything would be all about you.
By your suggestions of meeting with my counselor, coming here, not wanting to get your therapist involved, or have a support group of your own is a very telling sign that you feel threatened. I'm not threatening you. You threatened me by saying "maybe we should go our separate ways and never speak again". I called you on it because unfortunately that is something I didn't want to do, but with the help of my counselor and support groups that has been something I have been preparing myself for.
You didn't listen when I said why my counselor suggested you have a support group in place for yourself if I'm insisting on having this meeting. You're right that my counselor advised against us having a meeting. She has been pressing me hard as to why I feel I must have this meeting. My counselor has wanted me to take a look at my life to see what it would be like without you in it. My support groups also have been pleading with me to not have this meeting and to just cut you out of my life permanently. My inner circle of friends and (my wife) have also been pleading with me to not have this meeting and cut you out of my life. That absolutely no good could come from this meeting. (my wife) is willing to support me with any decision I make. If you had listened to me, which I know is an impossibility for you because you will always be stuck on yourself, you would have heard the following reasons why I wanted to meet with you:
1. I wanted to discuss our family history.
2. I wanted to show you through my eyes what I saw as a child growing up in our house and the impact that it's now having on my health.
3. I wanted to establish some boundaries and consequences of having you in my life going forward so that I could mentally live a healthier emotional life with you in it.
I said those three things but you clearly didn't hear any of them. I also said that because I wanted to talk about our family history and how painful I know some of those things are for both of us that you should have someone close by to support you and to have a counseling session booked for yourself afterwards. You didn't hear any of that. Instead you chose to hear that as a threat of me coming to you to force you to do things that you don't want to do.
I did say that you discussing your affair partner was a trigger for me and brought an avalanche of emotions down on me when you talked about him this past Oct. I had buried it all for a very long time and then my coping mechanisms failed me. However, these emotions were not limited to your affairs. Your affair was merely an entry point into a lot of questions that I have had and is one of my triggers. I did lie to you as a 16 year old and say that I only read a page of your diary. Guess what? I read most of it while waiting to be picked up by a friend so that I could go and do one of the hardest things I've ever had to do in my life. Tell my father. Among the many things that I read in that diary was how you and your affair partner thought of you as such a great lover that you should teach (my brother) and I how to fuck. In your own words I read about (my aunt's) involvement and your various "friends" involvements. Very telling of many things on many levels. Many of the details of your affair are burned into my memory from your diary. However, once I figured out your why you had an affair, at least the only why that matters, I was able to connect the dots and figure out who you are. Things that I have seen my entire life and the letter you sent me is only more confirmation of those points and what I saw before I moved out. That letter is such a tiny window into who you are, but it's so telling.
This is why I would have liked to have talked to you about your mother. I know you have said in the past that she abandoned you and you felt abused by her. I didn't know her well enough as the only version I know is the ill person that I saw for the last 10 years of her life. I'm guessing she plays a huge part in the person that you are and I would like to have known more about your childhood with her. Honestly though, you are so full of lies I don't think I could ever believe anything you would tell me. It's pointless to talk to you about anything really. I know my grandfather's and aunt's role in shaping who you are very well. I at least had the chance to see their interactions with you. They shielded you and protected you from everything your entire life. As such you never developed the emotion of empathy.
Everything I have said above is because of your lack of this emotion. It's not your fault you don't have it. I don't blame you for a lot of things because you were brought up to not have this emotion. I even know that the reason you feel threatened is because you're afraid I'm going to expose you. Why? I already know the truth and don't feel a need to expose you. Sure, I'm not happy with how you have rewritten our family history with other family members and "friends" and I will forever tell the truth about it all when asked.
This truth about who you are is why everyone is begging me to not meet with you and cut you out of my life. Yet I still wanted to give you a chance. I see now that this is an impossibility and I'm going to heed the advice of everyone else in my life and say goodbye. This is not something that someone else talked me into doing and I choose to do this as it's time to start thinking about myself and more importantly my family. Your final act of sending cards to my kids as a manipulation tactic to get back at me has brought me to this finality. I cannot, and will not, continue your unhealthy emotional acts in their lives. My father, my brother, you and I did not survive as a family because of your behavior and lack of empathy. Everything was all about you all the time. It still is. I will no longer tolerate your behavior in this new life I have built for myself. I have empathy for my family and I will always put them first in an effort to protect them.
I'm very sorry to say that going forward I will have no further contact with you. That means any letters that you may send or phone calls that you may make will be ignored. They will never make it to their intended destinations. Period.
I know you may struggle to understand the meaning of what I have said in this letter and why I have said it. I suggest that you bring it to your psychiatrist and your psychologist in an effort to help you better understand.
I still don't know what I'm going to do yet, but this very well may be it. Thank you everyone for hanging in there with me.
Feeling crushed today. Prestone is determined to passive-aggressively pretend like he's doing everything right, but ignore very clearly worded requests. I've been dragging my feet, mainly because I am afraid I don't have the strength to come through a mess on top of still reeling from the last DD and coming to terms with so much in our history that I just couldn't look at with open eyes before. And, to be completely honest, I think I keep hoping I can persevere and nice him into doing the right thing so maybe I don't have to bear the full burden. At our talk Saturday, I mentioned looking into mediation (ugh, don't flame me, he was talking that rational stuff that confuses me in the moment). Last night I looked at the collected messages from him, and they're all either he's going to get a lawyer to look after his personal interests, or he's looking into marriage retreats. He's working so hard to play both ways. It feels threatening, his talk of lawyers, and then the messages about how he still has hope with marriage retreat links in them. Am I paranoid?
On top of that, he's frustrated again that the kids are not responding to his emails. Well then, call champ. Come talk to them. Man up. Oh yeah, and he wants them to let him know if they want him to come -to my house- for Mother's Day. Um... they asked for a couple of weeks with no visiting (due to his hurtful and selfish behavior), and he said he'd respect that but has done nothing but email them about concerts and trips together, etc. I'm afraid I'm being set up.
Friday I see the lawyer and lay it out. How the hell do people pay for divorce?
D-Day: Too many in 17 years of marriage. LAST time 10/17/2013.
I'm glad you wrote all that out. But DO NOT SEND IT!
You have put too much of your heart out there. It is fuel for the N's fire. She will gobble this up, and spit it back at you in the most hurtful and venomous ways.
It's good to get these feelings and issues out and verbalized in writing. Take it in to your counselor and pour over it there.
Please consider what Kajem has written as a means of approaching this. I would suggest maybe your meetings be limited to a public place such as a restaurant. It's less likely she will throw a full-on tantrum there, and it won't last for hour upon hour.
You will have your boundaries. She does not have to have them spelled out to her. When she bumps up against one of them, she will be corrected. Your boundary will be stated. ("Let's not talk about that." "I have already told you I don't wish to discuss xxxxx with you.")
If she refuses to respect your boundary, then you will remove yourself from her presence. If any NPD drama begins, just leave. Excuse yourself with an "OK. Well, we're going to get going now."
I wish you the best. I hope your counselor has good ideas for you on dealing with your mother.
QuakingA, he is trying to keep you off balance and reeling with this sort of stuff:
... his talk of lawyers, and then the messages about how he still has hope with marriage retreat links in them. Am I paranoid?
Crickets to him about his communications with his sons. That relationship is one that he needs to foster. As long as you aren't denying him access to them, then you are fine. He certainly knows how to dial a phone or send a text.
And Mother's Day? He better not show his sorry-ass at your home on Mother's Day. It's not Happy MotherFucker's Day, afterall!
Everybody, soon or late, sits down to a banquet of consequences.
~Robert Louis Stevenson
When XH did that ( with things other than divorce) I viewed it as a we can do this nicely - aka ' if you stay under my control'. Or we can do this the hard way aka ' if you are not under my control' there'll be he'll to pay.
I felt it was a threat thinly veiled.
It's meant to keep you off balance. Deep breathes, it isn't an all or nothing situation. Run worst case scenarios in your head.... He doesn't get to dictate your life post divorce. He may think he does, but it isn't the situation unless you want him to.
Breathing = balance every tightrope walker knows this.
I agree with wb2! Don't send it. You've tried to talk to her - she isn't listening or can't hear what you want her to hear.
I know you wanted a meeting thinking confronting her would help unburden your heart. For so long, I wanted to give XH a piece of my mind, to tell him the many ways our children suffered because of his actions. To explain to him exactly what went on in my household when he pulled some crap that sent my kids swirling down the drain. GOD, how I wanted to tell him sooo much! The feeling was eating at me day and night. I was having conversations with him in my head 24/7. It was driving me to what I don't know. It was time consuming! And it started to affect my health.
My situation is different, with him being my x-spouse. Eventually thru little things I realized he will never see my kids as the complex human beings they are. He doesn't know them, he knows only the superficial stuff. He doesn't get their hopes, dreams, pain, foibles, or struggles. If I gave him a piece of my mind, I would have given him access to a part of my kids that they don't share with him. That would have hurt my kids. I would have hurt my kids.
It's very difficult to try and fix a relationship with someone without involving both people in the relationship.
Maybe it's time to let the old relationship go. And create a new relationship one where you have no expectations of your mother parenting you as you need her to. I gave up on having a mother daughter relationship with my mom. I have what I call a hallmark relationship. I send cards and pics, visit every so often, share a meal. She gets what she loves - bragging rights to her friends. And I get peace, because she is my acquaintance she gets no further under my skin than any other acquaintance and I don't experience pain at her hands. She has no ammunition to use against me that will pierce my walls, I haven't given her any. It doesn't stop her from trying, but it goes nowhere.
Wb2 has some excellent advice! It states your boundaries and shows you how to follow thru.
It's so painful realizing that I was a prop in the drama she staged for her audience. XH was the same. The people who I was able to be real with, I was isolated from.
Healing takes time, please give yourself the gift of time to heal.
Plenty to talk about in IC on Fri. I will be bringing her letter and my response letter.
Thanks again everyone. And K, I did check out that link as well as the other one you sent in a PM a while back. Thank you.
For about 10 minutes I just let go of it all and it felt great.
What 10 minutes? The minutes it took you to write it?
I just let go of it
I don't hate to say it at all! Told ya!
you are my type of guy jjct!!
we need to get together and go bowling or something.
wait, I see you are in Texas...
we need to get together and go shoot some guns or something
Maybe you let her go and don't announce it?
I've done that with my mom. It gives me clarity to do that. She calls and I let it go to voicemail. If I have to answer a question I do. Usually her calls are to gossip, I don't lke it so I don't call back. It takes her about 3-4 months to realize I'm not calling her.
It can't hurt to try. Let it go!!!
Keep the letter to go over with your IC.
My mother is BPD with a lot of NPD tendencies (or better put: just messed up)
I tried for years to get her to see my POV, to no avail.
She was not able to. She is not capable of doing it.
Try to think of it as a disabled person who has a hearing impairment....they. just. can't.
I finally had to draw HUGE boundaries with my mother. I used to obsess about her. She'd call me 4-8x a day every day. I had to fix everything and listen to everything.
Finally, I had to withdraw completely and actually not be in contact with her for months. Every once in a while I would talk to her and keep it "friendly" as if I was visiting an old acquaintance.
It is very difficult and hurtful to have survived the abuses of our parents. But I truly believe, in my mother's case, she did not do it on purpose. She loved to the best of her ability, but it wasn't healthy or enough.
As I've told my sons on numerous occasions, "Your father loved you to the best of his capability. He may not have shown you the love in the way you wanted him to (like spending time), but he loved you as much as he could".
It still hurts, I know, YOP. Believe me, I do KNOW. But, I don't believe your mother is capable of understanding your hurt or will be able to own her own shit. SHE IS NOT ABLE TO.
When they ACT nice, we believe that and give excuses for the bad behavior: "he's in a bad mood, he's upset because of work/health/family; he has a headache; he's tired"
I have been lurking and behind in the posts. Just wanted to give a hug to all who are in pain and thank the kindness all of the wonderful people here for their kind words and support.
We are meeting with attorney's today (Thursday) to discuss the settlement and see if we can come to an agreement.
However, today I pre-emptively gave him a letter from my DD's doctor saying that she thinks a guardian ad litem is in order. She is the fourth person to say this to me. There are safety concerns with visitation with WH and him not following the safety plan.
I didn't want to spring the letter on him at the meeting, so I gave it to him today. He is furious.
I'm afraid. My attorney isn't. I am. I know it's the right thing to do. It just terrifies me.
I've had to just stop communicating with him about it at this point.
I'm exhausted. Must sleep.
Help me to be brave. I just keep thinking that somehow all of this can't be true...then I start to wonder if I'm overreacting....then I remember the truth of the things WH has said and done...and they are just that - truths - and I realize that this IS what is happening....
I have always been afraid of the consequences of me standing up for myself.
Right now, I've finally stood up for my kids, and am terrified.
Sweetie, if you don't protect your DD, who will?
I think you were right to tell him before the meeting. It shows that you are willing to coparent with him.
It's good your attorney will be with you, let the attorney do a lot of talking. If you need to you can leave the room and discuss things in private with your attorney.
Think of us sitting behind you,feel us supporting you, we've got your back.
ps what time is your 4way meeting? I'll concentrate my positive thoughts your way?