Bewilderment

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Love

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Bewilderment
« on: April 20, 2017, 01:29:51 PM »
Fergie put it best ďbewildermentĒ.  It doesnít sound good to say Iím in utter awe of my pd inlaws.  They are an anomaly to me, but yet there are so many of these pd people out there.  I do not know how any person can live this way.  They live in complete opposition to their own words and supposed beliefs.  Say one thing do the opposite and then claim to have not done it at all.  They live in a crazy making cycle of madness.
Iíve been reading a lot of the forums.  It reminds me a lot of how I used to feel, not that there arenít times that those feeling still creep in, feelings such as fear, anxiety.  I believe Fergie said itís like a ďhorror movieĒ.  It is a horror movie with no ending.  I just keep watching whatís going to happen next.  I want to turn off the tv now.  The movie is just too long and all the characters are so dumb they deserve to get caught and die. 
Itís taken a long time for me to feel this way - a bit of free and a bit I donít care anymore and a little of this is stupid.  I took too much responsibility from my in laws.  I believed the ďwell you misinterpreted, thatís not what I meantÖĒ excuses.  I carried the relationship for so long Iíve been afraid to put it down.  I just didnít feel right doing it, you donít just give up on people.  I was wrong, you can give up and doing so is appropriate. 
I always thought I would go out with a bang.  A lot of fireworks, I would get my say and they would hear me and they would know the pain they caused.  That was extremely childish of me.  I prefer the idea of slipping out the back door, no note, no goodbye Ė Iím just gone.  So many people on here have helped me see that itís me that makes that decision and it is a well informed decision most of us have to make.  Iíve struggled so long with this.  Itís been basically three years of no contact, solid no contact for a year.  I wanted validation to set it down, but thatís the old manipulated me talking.  I wanted the validation but in the end I didnít need it.  I needed to face the truth.  I had to admit I was duped.
I couldnít go back if I tried, into a relationship with them that is.  I know too much, Iíve seen too much.  A long time ago I knew that going back wasnít going to happen but I thought a good person would leave that door open.  Do a lot of you feel this way?  I know my DH felt this way for a long time, and sometimes still does.  Because they are his ďparentsĒ by title only he must leave a crack in the door.
I donít agree with this.  It just feels wrong.  I didnít close the door so I donít think Iím the one that has to prop it open.  Still GUILT!  AHH so annoying.  I can go a week and feel good and then I doubt myself, DH doubts his self.  The time between doubting keeps getting further apart but I canít say it goes away completely.  3 years is enough time, actually 1 day is enough time for me to get my head on straight and own my behavior and apologize.
I just havenít given myself permission in so long to think.  Around Pdís this is dangerous.  When you start applying logic and reason, because we all have a mind Ė no angle you can create makes sense for staying in or around that relationship.  Not at the beginning, middle or end or the relationship can I come up with one reason I should have stayed around to watch the circus.
I was scared of all the harm they would do.  They got me looking at one hand while slapping me with the other.  They were doing the harm the whole time and it ravaged us for a long time!  Itís not worse on the other side, itís better.  If you were about them slandering you, degrading you to others, they all ready are.  If you worried they are going to cause people to mistrust you and perceive you the wrong way, THEY ALREADY ARE DOING THIS.  I didnít have to wait for shit to hit the fan, it already had.  Going no contact was just tapping out.  I stopped participating in my own unraveling.  I stopped participating in my dismantling.  They were talking about me and harming me and my marriage the whole time.  NC just permission for them to do it without my participation.
Iíve learned you canít prepare for these people they will always surprise you.  All4peace mentioned in a forum to ďnot sit and worry about what may never happenĒ Ė so very true.  Iíd worry about what theyíd do and howíd theyíd do it.  The always would bewilder me.  What they did was much worse than what I thought.  No use in worrying Ė they will act poorly.  The best judge of what theyíll do is what they have done and are currently doing.  I donít want to continue to watch the horror movie.  IF it is in your ability to go nc, and Iíve tried everything else before doing so, do it, donít allow the fear of it stop you.  Itís better on the other side.  For so long I hesitated because of guilt, fear and bewilderment.  The circus did get boring Fergie! 

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DJCleo

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Re: Bewilderment
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2017, 01:41:16 PM »
 :applause:

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Fergie2

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Re: Bewilderment
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2017, 04:50:46 PM »
In a way you do have the last word because the silence from you and your FOC speaks volumes. I also wanted to give them a piece of my mind, but I'm at the point now where I don't care about them anymore and feel they are not worth my time. And that in my opinion, is the ultimate burn. To maturely let go, without childish last words because that would be stopping to their level. And we are above that. There will be no fireworks because in reality, deep inside PDs are like scared children and have the emotional maturity to match. There won't be any fireworks because anything they throw at me will be deflected with my armor of boundaries. After a few years it is likely they will have already smeared you to other people so they won't likely do anything too dramatic lest their public mask slip and their smear campaign be exposed. NC takes care of that. Other people will begin to see and naturally step back from them with their boundaries.

We would expect different from normal people but, they have a PD. it took me awhile to get this too. I also wanted some sense of NC validation but recently realized that I've actually been NC for basically 3 years. The "validation" in my mind was a huge blow up where DH would have some miraculous instant breakthrough, inlaws would know we were right and still abuse and then after the fireworks DH would say that was it, they would also say they were done and then it was just somehow done. I was way past the point of thinking they were going to do the right thing. And looking back at this now, it sounds so immature and naive. That would NEVER happen. This is the only way it could naturally go (the way it already has).

The thing is we all DID leave the door open, how much time has passed since (I'm assuming multiple incidents) happened and how long have they had to take responsibility for their behaviour, sincerely apologize and change? Just because an abusive person denies their behaviour and has their own excuses of what their intentions were does not make it right or ok. You get to define abuse, and they don't get to invalidate it. You can remove yourself.

And honestly, it's not like any of us decided NC after one incident. We've all experienced abuse in different forms for years and decades and that's honestly naturally how an abusive relationship is going to progress sooner or later. It will dissolve. Because it isn't natural or human nature and the most basic underlying aspect of a relationship is respect. When you take that away (which inlaws decided to do) those are the natural consequences, LC or NC. And no sense of denial on their end is gonna change the real reality, in which we actually live in.

Their sense of denial will be seen in the stories they will make up stories about you and your FOC to justify why they don't see you anymore. Keep your head high and ignore this (it's none of your business anyways) because they need it as an excuse for others (how embarrassing must it be that their behaviour is so bad their own extended family members don't even want to be around them) and they also use this denial as a coping mechanism. It's honestly nothing to do with you. But all that is "their stuff" which should be left to the professionals to study, not me or you.

Just know that you're not alone, there's tons of us here on this forum and even more I'm sure that don't even comment (like me in the beginning). It sucks, I feel for my DH having horrible parents, I feel for me having been clueless and so naive in the beginning of our relationship. But I was younger and I can't blame myself. I could never think people like this actually exist. It's like a veil that came off my eyes and now I'm seeing PD everywhere, in television and media, past friends etc.

All I have to say in the end of this is that I'm glad to know that I'm a good person and I look forward to moving on with my FOC which is my future. Live and learn.

"I didnít have to wait for shit to hit the fan, it already had. Going no contact was just tapping out." Exactly!

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Inurdreams

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Re: Bewilderment
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2017, 09:01:03 AM »
Excellent thread!

I felt so much of what is stated here.  Even though I have been NC for decades, I still felt guilty, I still suffered under the delusion that one day they would see the error of their ways and come back and take responsibility for it and we could all move forward, in love and kindness and be that elusive, happy family. 

And when that did not happen I continued to question myself.  I ruminated over questions like What did I do?  What did I not do? What can I do to make it better?

I suppose I was waiting for closure.  But what I ultimately realized is sometimes, in order to get closure, we have to be the one to close the door. We have to stop propping it open in the hope that the PDs will come back in with a change of heart.

It was the guilt that kept tripping me up.  I was already past the fear because I was setting boundaries.  I was already past the obligation because it no longer mattered to me what their role was in the family.  All that was left was the horrible guilt that all of the dysfunction rested on my shoulders and it was up to me the fix it.  In reality, that dysfunction was present long before I ever entered that family.  I was just the one who noticed it and brought attention to it, and eventually refused to play along with it, and that my friends, is the kiss of death in dysfunctional families.

I agree, it is like a horror movie that never ends until we decide that we have had enough.  We can watch it over and over but the ending, in the movie, is still the same.

You know how in horror movies, the characters will hear a noise, usually when they are alone, and what do they do?  They go looking.  And we sit there watching and cringe because we know they are just looking for trouble.  We know something bad is about to happen and if the movie is cheesy enough we may even laugh at their stupidity for venturing into the darkness looking for that low growl or blood curdling scream.  But isn't that what we do IRL with the PDs we encounter?  Instead of running away, don't we go looking to tame the monster?  Don't we on some level think we can be that hero who can turn everything around and make a happy ending?

For me, the only way out of the horror movie is to turn it off, walk away, close the door and write a new ending





« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 09:06:48 AM by Inurdreams »
Peek not through the keyhole lest ye be vexed. - Stephen King


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Love

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Re: Bewilderment
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2017, 09:29:20 AM »
Inurdreams it is so nice to hear that for decades you've been no contact and it has worked for you.  You're still going, the weight hasn't crushed you. 
I as well was the kiss of death for the family system.  I couldn't play anymore, I couldn't stay quiet anymore.  It was like I was on fire and the only way to put it out was to speak the truth.  I was just slightly unprepared for the response.  I say slightly because I knew they were crazy mean, crazy opinionated and just some time of toxic crazy but I couldn't quite ever put my finger on it.  We would get in the car to leave from a visit with pd family and I would have to say to DH, "this wasn't right, this thing that happened, RIGHT?"  I would go on for the whole car ride, trying to straighten out if I was crazy or they were.   I was slightly confused and then half expecting the mass destruction when I couldn't keep quiet any longer.  It is probably the only time I felt like myself since I got married.  I stopped being part of their destruction.

But regardless I am still 3 years later after starting nc bewildered by their behavior.  I have hesitated time and again with closing, locking the door and throwing away the key.  Guilt has kept the door cracked for so long.  But the truth is, there is nothing they could say or do at this point that would ever allow me to enter into a relationship with them and allow my children around them.  So essentially the door is shut but I pretend to leave it open from time to time because I am a very critical judge of myself and the voices I hear make me feel bad. 

Trust, respect, love I really don't think those things are possible with them.  They don't have any relationships that reflect those standards.  It's just the more time goes by the I think really?  They couldn't tuck in the crazy to get their son back, really?  They amaze me, and that's perhaps a good thing.

Inurdreams how does your DH deal with the NC?  My Dh has said that he is shocked, he thought that they would come after him, beg him, do anything to get him back and they did nothing.  So for DH it's a slow process of realization, which is fine, because I think all at once the sum of his relationship with them may kill him.  It's a lot to realize someone didn't really care, after all that time, all that effort.  A horror film - and I agree sometimes I want to watch but I'm shutting off the tv and starting a new film in a different genre. 

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Inurdreams

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Re: Bewilderment
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2017, 10:18:26 AM »
Love, you said:  Inurdreams how does your DH deal with the NC?

I know it has hurt him.  He, being the SG, was always looking for his NM's approval, which never came.  It wasn't until our DS was born that DH realized that he was not going to allow NMIL to do to our DS what she had done to him which she was already showing signs of up until shortly after DS's first birthday.

It was the rest of DH's family that have become NMIL's enablers that hurt DH the most.  DH and I were a huge support, emotionally and sometimes financially for his sibs and for them to turn on him was devastating for him, initially.

But time and distance has taken most, if not all of the sting out of it, I believe.  At least he doesn't seem to be all that concerned about it anymore. It's just something that no longer comes up, thankfully.  On the rare occasions he hears from someone about his FOO, he just rolls his eyes.  They may as well be talking about someone DH knew in kindergarten or something.  He seems to have completely detached from them.  But it did take time.  Years, in fact.  I think the key was out of sight, out of mind.




Peek not through the keyhole lest ye be vexed. - Stephen King


Response to a Flying Monkey:  Apparently you are suffering under the delusion that I give a damn.

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Fergie2

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Re: Bewilderment
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2017, 11:03:25 AM »
With my DH who has been VLC for years and NC for 6 months (due to their Silent Treatment) but officially blocked them last month keeps saying that all feels like a lifetime ago. He said yeah it hurts but he finally wants to live his life on his terms and will never go back. His future is more important than his past. We don't talk about it much either. Only if I bring it up (if I have an issue or question) which he doesn't like so I've stopped. Out of sight and out of mind works well for us. Anything I need to discuss or ask about I usually turn online to for the sake of our marriage.

I read an article posted from here that addresses the guilt we experience. I would recommend it to anyone feeling guilty aka "ashamed" of themselves which is what guilt really is. I believe with PD it is toxic shame, not true shame which needs to be addressed by us in order to move on. Any residual guilt Inhad remaining vanished after reading this article: http://karlamclaren.com/embracing-guilt-and-shame/

I read a good quote the other day that said "Sometimes the chapter never ends and we need to be the ones to flip the page."


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Inurdreams

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Re: Bewilderment
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2017, 03:58:11 PM »
Fergie, that is one of the best and most profound articles about guilt and shame I've ever read.  Thank you for this!
 

Excerpt from the link you provided: http://karlamclaren.com/embracing-guilt-and-shame/

Guilt is a factual state, not an emotional one. Youíre either guilty or not guilty. If youíre not guilty, then thereís nothing to be ashamed of. However, if you are guilty, and you want to know what to do about the fact of your guilt, then youíve got to embrace the information shame brings to you. (From pages 198-200 in The Language of Emotions)

Wow!  Just wow!  I did nothing to be guilty of therefore there is nothing to be ashamed of.  Where the hell was this article when I was being raised by Ns who told me my whole childhood and most of my adult life that if someone, anyone, is being cruel, then  I must have done something to cause it?

I'm printing this baby our and taping to my bathroom mirror so I can read it every day!   Because even though I am much better and on the road to healing, I still think it is and will be a work in progress to deprogram my mind from all the crap I was taught.

Again, thank you!!! :applause: :applause: :applause:


Peek not through the keyhole lest ye be vexed. - Stephen King


Response to a Flying Monkey:  Apparently you are suffering under the delusion that I give a damn.

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Love

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Re: Bewilderment
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2017, 06:32:36 PM »
Absolutely mind opening article.  So true I didn't do anything, can't think of one thing to be guilty of in my involvement with inlaws. And then in the same sense I do feel shame when I've done something that is hurtful, wrong, deliberately out of character to fit in.
I have done this deliberately act out of character around my inlaws, allowed hurtful behavior to occur and my silence was participation.  This I have felt ashamed about.  This behavior was my choice and a choice I made out of fear.  Again out of character for all other sync with the rest of my life. 
The guilt of ... leaving an abusive relationship, harmful situations and negative atmosphere?  I've been confusing my feeling for so long.  I do think particularly this is what keeps us playing the game with them - a sense of shame that we couldn't do enough, didn't do enough, couldn't fix - thoughts and shame established by their abusive manipulation of the truth on all levels.

Resulting in toxic shame.  I didn't do anything to them.  I can't fix other people.  The longer I stayed in their presence the more confused I was about who I am, what I was doing.  One time pdmil told dh I glared at her.  I revisited the whole day we spent together, replayed it - I knew I didn't do it but I sure questioned myself for a long time.  "Maybe I did glare, maybe ...." I knew the truth - I didn't do it but they made me question my own reality, what I knew to be right and true and good.

I believe that my mil knows she's doing it.  Maybe I'm wrong.  I believe she knows but can't stop her self - negative, toxic behavior, selfishness, her desire for what she wants regardless of others - it's as necessity to her like breathing.  She knows breathing keeps her alive, and she thinks control keeps her vision of family alive.  The establishment of "concepts of guilt and shame" keep her vision alive.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, in all this mess, in all this toxic shame, and pain why don't they hit reverse?  This is what bewildered and confused me.  Do they really not love dh?  Do they really not know how to be happy?  Can they really not just apologize?
I'm not waiting for this to happen.  Since I started researching and learning about pd people I do "see them every where".  And it still completely baffles, bewilders, shocks me.  I get them, pd's but I don't get them at all if that makes sense.

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Inurdreams

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Re: Bewilderment
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2017, 08:56:18 AM »

 The establishment of "concepts of guilt and shame" keep her vision alive.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, in all this mess, in all this toxic shame, and pain why don't they hit reverse?  This is what bewildered and confused me.  Do they really not love dh?  Do they really not know how to be happy?  Can they really not just apologize?
I'm not waiting for this to happen.  Since I started researching and learning about pd people I do "see them every where".  And it still completely baffles, bewilders, shocks me.  I get them, pd's but I don't get them at all if that makes sense.


I really think that guilt (shame) is the last weapon in their arsenal.  Like I wrote earlier, when we establish boundaries we are saying we no longer fear them.  When we stop falling for "But it's your mother/father" the obligation is gone.  All they have left is our sense of shame and our misguided belief that we are the guilty party.

They will not sincerely apologize or take responsibility for their actions because if they do, if relieves us from that guilt (thinking or wondering if we did something) and our guilt and/or shame is their power; the last power they have over us.

Oh I understand about getting them and not getting them.  I understand the dynamics, at least what I have been able to research, but I don't understand how they can be the way they are.  It makes no sense.  It's like they are some alien race that has been seeded into our population. 

The scary thing is that they have no immediately recognizable physical anomaly that warns us.  They are so good at blending in we never see who they really are until we are in deep.

The good news is that once you've been burned by one of them, you tend to be a little more cautious and can see similar traits in other PDs that raise a red flags.  Of course, until you realize that this is not normal, like if you were raised by a PD and have no clue what normal looks like, you might keep attracting PDs thinking that this time things will be different.

This was my problem.  I was raised by PDs.  Upon first meeting NMIL I thought she was the perfect mother.  I didn't realize she was just as PD as my own family, she just showed it (and hid it) in different ways.






Peek not through the keyhole lest ye be vexed. - Stephen King


Response to a Flying Monkey:  Apparently you are suffering under the delusion that I give a damn.

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Fergie2

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Re: Bewilderment
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2017, 03:14:17 PM »
I can't seem to remember my password and accidentally logged out, so here is Fergie2 😂

It dawned on me recently that they really don't know what real love is. And that's kind of sad. They will never know true love because receiving their version of "Love" is dependent on compliance and what they approve or don't approve of. They devalue people constantly based on what they can do for them or who they think they are. Even their own partners or themselves. Which in turn makes them unlovable and unable to experience real love.

In the case of enmeshment (which is what my DH was) they wanted him SO CLOSE, but without trust and respect (the underlying aspects of a relationship) what it did was drive him further away once he opened his eyes. They tried to bring us back with hoovers and toxic shame but once we beefed up our knowledge their grip no longer worked on DH and me.

Because they are unable to self reflect or sincerely apologize and change, they will forever continue in their toxic mindset while DH and I will grow stronger. They need their stories and smear campaigns because to them it's their supply. Since they don't get the supply from you anymore, they need to turn the tables and cry "poor me" for sympathy supply and for people to hate on you (which gives them more supply and satisfaction. Flying monkeys mean they can say they are innocent while the abuse gets transferred to someone else's responsibility). It was supply to them when they abused us, and their supply and abuse continues but we chose to no longer engage. Let them have their stories for PD supply. It must be difficult to live a lie. Living in our truth is the right and honest thing to do.

I realized recently that I was still angry about something, which I recognized the other day as me being angry that I wasn't myself and that I trampled my own values and morals just to "keep the peace". This is the next stage I am working through and I believe is the last one for me. Since these are DHs parents he unfortunately has a lifetime of work. But being free and more knowledgable than him now I can easier support him without the arguments.

I really do believe the guilt/shame is their last weapon. When all else fails, this is what they resort to. The silent treatment is a perfect example. Even being NC, they could have tried to make things work earlier. But in hindsight, they will never sincerely admit any wrongdoing and change, to do so would mean taking personal responsibility (being in the wrong, which they believe they never are) and a lost source of supply. After a public smear campaign there's no way they would take responsibility. It has already been put on you.

There is no physical anomaly to warn us, but believing and valuing ourselves, being firm on our values, morals and priorities in life will help recognize toxic people in the future. If anything, this is an excellent learning lesson. I feel sorry for people that are truly stuck in this cycle and will never see it. Passing the dynamics on from one generation to the next.

« Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 03:15:48 PM by Fergie2 »

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gypsysoul44

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Re: Bewilderment
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2017, 09:01:03 AM »
Totally agree that guilt and shame is their weapon of choice that intensifies once they realize they have lost control.  Emotional abuse seems totally acceptable behavior to a PD.  It is so sad that they do not understand how to love.

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Pepin

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Re: Bewilderment
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2017, 10:17:08 AM »
When we stop falling for "But it's your mother/father" the obligation is gone.  All they have left is our sense of shame and our misguided belief that we are the guilty party.

This was my problem.  I was raised by PDs.  Upon first meeting NMIL I thought she was the perfect mother.  I didn't realize she was just as PD as my own family, she just showed it (and hid it) in different ways.

Both of these things just bring me to my knees.  Obligation has kept me in line for years...and it cost me a sense of self.  While I have not considered PDmil "perfect," I was content that DH was happy with her raising of him.  My obligation to her through DH warped my view of who she really is.  When I started to understand the scope of the situation - how she only isolated DH and rejected the kids and I - it became clear that she was an imposter.  Since that realization I have been working to build myself back up and protect our kids.  I am floored that once again I am being forced to stand my ground with a PD after having worked hard to push NF out of my life.  I really need a break from this. 


 Excerpt from the link you provided: http://karlamclaren.com/embracing-guilt-and-shame/

Guilt is a factual state, not an emotional one. Youíre either guilty or not guilty. If youíre not guilty, then thereís nothing to be ashamed of. However, if you are guilty, and you want to know what to do about the fact of your guilt, then youíve got to embrace the information shame brings to you. (From pages 198-200 in The Language of Emotions)

 :yeahthat:  DH has told me a couple of times that he was ashamed of his mother at times growing up.  He was ashamed for her not owning up to do something that would improve her life.  As a result he hid her burden by stepping behind the scenes by becoming her enabler.  I asked him recently how does it make him feel to keep fixing things that are not really his to fix?  He said he doesn't mind (that sense of obligation/ warped family loyalty)...meanwhile I had to keep silent when all I wanted to say: when you fix things outside of our family, you lose time in your marriage and FOC.  I will be bracing for his emotional walls to fall hard when PDmil passes away. 
Motherless daughter (now mother) raised by raging narcissist father. 
NC with NF since 2008 and 1997-2001.

Sometimes the grass will appear greener on the other side because it has been fertilized by bullshit.

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Love

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Re: Bewilderment
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2017, 08:40:30 AM »
My Dh feels as if he missed out on 12 years of our marriage.  He did.  He tried to mimic his family.  He tried to do all the things that would please them.  For example, putting my in-laws, all in-laws needs first; setting apart every holiday and special occasion to be spent with them - for 12 years, not taking one holiday or moment for our family. 

Pretty much our FOC didn't exist until the inlaws were removed from our lives.  It is such a struggle for the children of pd people and then the people who care about them - spouse, kids, to watch and allow the pd family to strip you of any right to identity, autonomy - It's a bullet that the doctors can't completely remove because it fragmented in your body and touched every part of your being.  The wound, the bullet fragments become a part of you because they are too close to vital organs to remove.  My pd inlaws went for the vital organs.  I believe although they are sick, they do have an understanding and were and are away of their mistreatment of others.  The problem with pd individuals is although they are aware of their mistreatment I do think they feel completely justified in their behavior. 
This is what created the need for NC.  A lot of people on these forums struggle with going NC, and it's understandable.  I have struggled with in and still do from time to time.  The most confusing part of my struggle is that NC is all I want and at the same time I want to do the right thing.  I don't want to hurt people because they hurt me, so I am always reflecting on my intentions and reveling with the appropriateness of NC.  It is appropriate.
Some I'm sure would argue with me being vocal about my husband being NC.  I admittedly told him I think the relationship is not beneficial to him and if and when he contacts them it will negatively affect us.  A lot of peoples spouse are in the FOG.  I understand giving them time and letting them speak, hopefully speaking to a therapist is needed.  But I also think I have earned the right to speak my mind, kindly and honestly to my husband.  The first 12 years of our marriage involved a lot of secret keeping, a lot of shame and no ability to have an opinion on the subject of our lives.  Too many secrets and lack of real communication hurt him and I  deeply, both individually and as a couple.  So unlike many, who I'm sure are better than I, I am not quiet on the subject towards DH.  I believe dealing with it is the only way in which we can heal.  No more pretending that we don't have emotions or minds.  Dh's family didn't just attack him and strip him of his identity, they abused me - straight to my face and behind my back.  I am not a second party to my DH.  Someone said once, and I do understand where they are coming from, but they said they are his parents so I should just let him handle them in the way he sees fit.  I do agree with this and disagree.  I allow Dh to make his own decisions, and he is the only one who communicates the boundaries to them (yes I have written them 2 letters 2 years ago).  But what I don't agree with is the other part of that statement or what the statement implies "I don't have a right to a voice or to defend myself because they are not my parents."  I believe in being respectful and kind to all people and I also believe in telling the truth in all occasions, whether I expose myself or others, I will tell the truth.  Dh's parents didn't just abuse him, in fact he was the golden child for many years.  Dh's parent directly abused, lied, shamed me, isolated me, and tried to create ruin almost all loving and supportive relationships that existed in my life.  It's none of my business until they made it my business.  But if I'm 100% honest I do not believe in standing by while others are being hurt and demolished.  If you mistreat people in front of me, you've involved me.
This thread is about "bewilderment" and this is one of the other things that floors me, bewilders me.  The abuser continues the abuse long after the boundaries are intact and perhaps no contract is appropriated.  Their abuse continues through us in a way because I believe we remain quiet with our spouse and others.  We go on pretending in some instances that because it is hard for DH to face the reality of the abuse that I don't speak to him about it.  I don't gauge how he's doing and if he needs to talk.  When my DH gets angry and doesn't want to talk and many times takes a bit of it out on me, I'm understanding, but I'm not quiet.  I would lose respect for DH and I would lose respect for myself, as I did when I sat and watched and quietly supported pd inlaws treatment of others by not saying anything at all.  I was part of the abuse, and part of that abuse is keeping us quiet, saying it's only DH's problem because I'm no contact.  I am a person too, an adult in fact and I choose to share my life with this other person.  Should I not say to DH, it will negatively affect our relationship if you have a pretend relationship with your family for the sake of saving face?  I will politely disagree with others who hold a different opinion.  I will tell him, I have.  Some type of pretend relationship with abusers is not harmless.  I do not think it is harmless to them or us.  I don't know everyone's situation but mine involved the mistreatment of many, DH and I included in that group, many people are affected by these individuals and a relationship with them without change and Godly repentance is just enabling.
My kids and husband and I do not benefit any from a relationship with inlaws.  Nor are any of us hurt that they have no grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles on Dh's side of the family.  It is what it is - a failed relationship, no mutual respect available, only harm and pain.  Like Bloomie had mentioned in another forum, "it's a privilege to have a relationship with your grown children" and I want to take that a step further all of my relationships with other people are privileges.  No human being owes me their time, love, or loyalty.  My grandmother and dad passed away recently and it was a complete and utter privilege that they allowed me to have the relationships I did with them.  So what does this all mean?  Are some relationships more privileges than others?  Should I maintain a civil relationship with inlaws based on their title?  I know this is probably making no sense.

What this situation has taught me, is all of us are valuable, no relationship more valuable than the next and all need to be treated with care because at any moment my DH could decide that this relationship is not working, my kids, my FOO, my friends.  Now all relationships obviously have different levels of intimacy and require different care, but since they all involve people all of them are a privilege, no one is just dispensable.  I'm bewildered that so many take a back seat and stay quiet, we need to help our loved ones deal, I need people to help me deal with life.  I do not demand Dh "get over it" or "not feel sad" but I don't let him fall back into the FOG, not even for a second. 
My in-laws taught me through their blatant abuse of others kindness and openness to relationship and love, that all relationships are privileges not just the ones with titles attached to them, in the end, that's all it is a title "mom, dad, child, grandparent" - no one should be treated like their kindness and respect and love is less of a privilege because my title is daughter in law.  This to me is the covert abuse, the way in which they, pd people, permanently try and change our thinking.  I thought some people in the family of pd people did not deserve my respect and love because they were not the "original blood line" they didn't have a crown on their head because they didn't come out of my mil's wum.  It is all insanity to me, abusive behavior, abusive teaching, and training.

Don't wait until you mil dies to help your husband cope.  Help him face now, help him live his life now.  Bewilderment is part of the abuse, I truly believe it keeps use quiet and paraniod and enabling.

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Pepin

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Re: Bewilderment
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2017, 09:59:15 AM »
What this situation has taught me, is all of us are valuable, no relationship more valuable than the next and all need to be treated with care because at any moment my DH could decide that this relationship is not working, my kids, my FOO, my friends.  Now all relationships obviously have different levels of intimacy and require different care, but since they all involve people all of them are a privilege, no one is just dispensable.  I'm bewildered that so many take a back seat and stay quiet, we need to help our loved ones deal, I need people to help me deal with life.  I do not demand Dh "get over it" or "not feel sad" but I don't let him fall back into the FOG, not even for a second. 
My in-laws taught me through their blatant abuse of others kindness and openness to relationship and love, that all relationships are privileges not just the ones with titles attached to them, in the end, that's all it is a title "mom, dad, child, grandparent" - no one should be treated like their kindness and respect and love is less of a privilege because my title is daughter in law.  This to me is the covert abuse, the way in which they, pd people, permanently try and change our thinking.

Don't wait until you mil dies to help your husband cope.  Help him face now, help him live his life now.  Bewilderment is part of the abuse, I truly believe it keeps use quiet and paraniod and enabling.

So true.  Part of my healing has been making myself more vocal.  If my gut is triggered I right away speak up without emotion - just a question or clarification - to let DH know how absurd something is that involves PDmil.  Actually we had a few of those conversations yesterday - peeling back the layers to reveal PDmil for who she really is.

Titles...when we strip those away who are we anyway?  I know that I would not associate myself with PDmil if she were just another person on the street and I am sure she would feel the same because I am not of her kind.  And I only speak English boo hoo living in the US. 

As for mimicking his family - YES DH does do this and it bugs me a lot.  I have to intercept him and remind him that our FOC is allowed to have our own traditions -- and that we do not have to do things the way he had them growing up -- I am also in the marriage, too.  For example, DH really got hung up that our kids do not go to PDmil's house every Sunday for dinner because he did that at his grandma's house.  Well, different times, different traditions.  Plus our kids have a say in their lives.  We also do not live around the corner either....big difference.  I think we need the weekend to connect as a family, too.  It would be disruptive to do this every Sunday after a busy week.  Times have changed.

Literally the last 16 years have been spent with PDmil at each holiday.  That ceased last year.  Reclaimed Thanksgiving, Xmas, (New Year's has always been ours alone) and recently Easter.  Phenomenal.  Kids are happier, I'm happier....DH doesn't seem ruffled.  He has three siblings and you'd think they would want their mom there with them, no?   ::)

I would love to be NC with PDmil...but DH is enmeshed -- although wiggling free in baby steps -- so I have to tread carefully.  I choose my words around him extremely carefully.  But he is making progress...the more ways I can have him see the absurdity of the situation, the more "bewildered" he gets.   :applause:
Motherless daughter (now mother) raised by raging narcissist father. 
NC with NF since 2008 and 1997-2001.

Sometimes the grass will appear greener on the other side because it has been fertilized by bullshit.