A4P. Do you want them to genuinely offer help / support? Or not? Do you truly think they are capable of it? Does part of you think maybe its something you've done that holds them back? I am not suggesting there will be a simple yes / no answer to this question but it reminds me of something I faced a while back regarding contact ( I know its not the same but bare with me, it just chimed in with a feeling I had when I was reading your posts,). I was struggling with PD not contacting me plus me not wanting to contact PD, I was angry. Like a brick falling from the sky I realized subconsciously what I did want was for her to come get me - ask what was up and be real. And i found that really hard. Because of how toxic it all is, yet despite that, I still longed for it. I wanted her to do something she can't. I wanted her to be real, to see my distress without me spelling it out. Now this might be obvious to you and many other people, to me it wasn't. And hey I go round and round with this like, once a month at least. But it made sense of my frustration and turmoil - I was both wanting and not wanting and then came some grief. I think we know, the people we can rely on, safe people. On an animal / amygdala ( did you say that somewhere else?) level. Animals go to a safe place. They don't choose to go somewhere where their basic needs are not met - there is no cognitive wrangling. We work on the same level too.So where are you on this. Are you still wanting them to be loving reaching out normal people who can make the kind of human connections you so /we desperately need? How 'unfair' does it feel that they aren't? How much have you let go of that? How much overlap is there still - for we know how frustratingly gradual this process can be? Sorry long, what do you think? make any sense or just way off from your situation?
Yes I think they are deliberately pushing buttons and kids pick up on those things. My kids although young - oldest 11 would question why "do they do that?". We went no contact and then my inlaws started giving us the silent treatment - they stopped hoovering or arguing with us. I think they are ignoring you in your time of need because it sends the message "you and your family are unimportant to them." They will ignore you when they think that your feelings or thoughts of them are punishing and how dare you try to change that system. A loving family doesn't play this game, healthy people do care for others, they do "show up". Healthy people in general do that. Why would you want those people around your family or you in any way?For me peace of mind comes when I and DH set boundaries that both of us agree on. It gives us somewhere to feel secure. I'm a high school teacher and even my high school students want me to set boundaries - these kids feel more secure when they know this is what we expect from you and you can expect the same from me. Our relationship is defined in a way and that helps us interact with each other in a way that is giving and receiving respect.My opinion I just think you and DH would feel better if you defined the boundary. I don't expect help, calls, mail, voicemail, and this makes me feel safe. My inlaws have never shown any change - why would I want back the relationship that hurt my marriage, hurt my kids. Unless they change the relationship is dead where it stands. It is kind of you to inform them of boundaries. You can feel safe and maybe even let go of any resentment or anger that you have because you will know that you have instructed them to stay away, back off and you move on in your life. This is the only way I could allow myself to let go of resentment, hate, thoughts of vengeance to vindicate my DH.I will never change them, DH won't either, neither will you guys. Walk away completely, if they change they can catch up but I can't stop my life with my FOC - and they stop me, my thoughts of them, my anger at them, the injustice of these people. What are you waiting for? Have they changed. Would you be there friends and have the around your children if they weren't family. We always said that if this wasn't DH's family they were just people we met on the street we would never NEVER be friends with them. We would stay far away. We would run. Most people would run once seeing behind the mask, all the hate, control, greed, selfishness these people display - most people would run.In order to be a part of this family I reflect them. I show them a me I'm not. I listen to the gossip and hatred, I feel anger, I will never choose to go back. I have no trust, no relationship between them and I ever existed. All that existed was a set of rules that if I followed we would maybe be somewhat excepted and only a few moments of the year. I became overwhelmed frustrated, really angry, and dissolution. They set boundaries that work for them. I set boundaries that keep the peace, are kind and respectful towards others, and keep me saine so I can love and help the people who want to be a loving part of our life.You are not wrong to define healthy family. PD people punish the healthy family, they probably look at you and think "how dare you think your better than us". My inlaws actually said that. They hate people and punish people who challenge their life system. We are allowed to define healthy family. What happens when you don't do that? I don't know if you believe in Christ but one of the things that brings peace to this situation for me is that Christ love is not like the worldly love society accepts which is "If you don't agree, support and love everything I do say and think you hate me" Christ came and he interrupted that he told us what we were doing that hurt our relationship with Him. He told us the truth and ask us to turn from it so we could find happiness not based on worldly ideas and concepts. We are suppose to learn from Him, love like Him. Which to me means I tell you the truth if your doing something that hurts you or me so that we can restore relationship. I love you enough to tell you the truth and set boundaries so that I don't keep doing things that hurt myself or you. Relationships are what I think make us the most like Christ. I have many friends who are struggling and I will be there like they are for me through the worst and best of life. But these PD people are not struggling they have given in to these sinful ways, they punish, destroy, control,manipulate, gossip, purposley hurt people to make them conform to their thinking and way of life. I believe they are giving you the silent treatment. In your time of need they are showing you you are not meaningful to them, your struggle is not their problem. When you are performing as they like - you get invitations positive reinforcement. This is not how Jesus operated and I don't believe it's how we should operate. They are not struggling - cut them loose, set the boundaries, pursue meaningful relationships in your life, or further invest in the ones you have. Teach your kids to do so. It took me a long time to get here. I know this is easier for me to say than for you to do. I just wanted people to tell me I'm not a jerk for doing this and I've finally found this to be true. All my meaningful relationships have improved 10 fold since I let them go. I even believe that was the plan all along. I think God want us to let certain things go. We just look so long at that door that is locked, screwed and shut that we are afraid to move forward. I don't think you have closed the door - they did by their behavior. You are allowed to set boundaries that make you feel like you can move past them because that relationship is at the moment a locked door. Trust me if they change you would see it in behavior, words - they will become new people. You will know, so will we, I'm just not waiting for them anymore and that's not mean.
All4peace,Exercising self-protection or protection of our FOC is not always exactly the same as holding a grudge.I found this link that I think addresses your concerns: http://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/dont-mistake-awareness-of-the-past-with-holding-a-grudge-or-a-necessity-to-press-the-reset-button/