My brother is being a flying monkey

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Griffen

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My brother is being a flying monkey
« on: August 26, 2018, 02:19:34 AM »
Backstory: I went NC with my uNPD mother several years ago. Apart from the occasional text message on holidays (from her, not responded to by me), I haven't had to think about her much.

But my youngest brother and his wife have kept in contact with her. And in the past year or so, she's had some medical stuff going on that... well, she's had a couple of strokes. Treated, and caught in time, but she is in her 70s now. Supposedly she's being nicer, according to my brother, and she's "come around" on some of the things she abused me about, because his son is having similar issues and she's being totally open and supportive for his son.

And because she's being nicer now, supposedly everything is hunky-dory and she's a nice person now and so...

Apparently this means I'm expected to "reconcile" with her. Because she's had these strokes and she might not live much longer, you see.

On to the current flying monkey stuff: It started out as a text conversation, but then I insisted on a phone call. I explained what the abuse was like with her (gaslighting, invalidating my experiences, laughing when I was in pain, not letting me think for myself or believe anything she didn't like or approve). He admitted he was unaware of most of that, in part because he's six years younger than me. I also told him I am in therapy because of Mom's abuse.

I eventually told him, "I am not ready to see or speak to her, and I may never be ready to. Please don't bring this up again - let me be the one to bring it up. And tell your wife to stop pushing me on this." (My SIL has no concept of what PD means; she had a non-dysfunctional family.) He said he would, but still... I don't know if I've really been heard. It's been a rough week - two sessions of therapy where I would normally only have one.

My mother also apparently made a "gift" for me that my brother wants to give to me. I told him I'd think about it, but a friend of mine said "No! She doesn't get to do that!" She said what I should say to my brother or his wife if they try this again is: "Are you saying they want to apologize to me? Is there some reason they can't do that in writing?"

And that's a good question. Is there? She has my text message number - it's not like she hasn't had the opportunity.

The friend also points out: "Generally "wants to reconcile" means "wants you to drop your beef". "Why can't you just get over what I did to you already?" kind of thing."

Also true.

The friend also (also) points out this: "The actual conflict between abuser and victim is whether the abuser may treat the victim abusively. The abuser thinks they may and the victim thinks they may not (duh). Given that the abuser will not concede that they may not abuse, there is no reconciliation available except the victim capitulating the abuser may abuse. If the victim responds to that odious situation by estranging themselves, that's their response to the conflict."

Yes. And I needed to read that tonight, because that has been my response to her abuse. I refused to let her do it any more. I went NC years ago. And I kind of resent my brother for not getting that.

My husband is having trouble understanding what's going on with me because although he was abused, his mother woke up, learned, and was (and still is) honestly sorry for what she'd done to him. And she's way improved. But then his mother isn't PD'd. I finally got him to understand when I said "Look, my mother is like *rump. She will never see that she did anything wrong and she'll never apologize. She'll never even think she should have to." He got it then, but I decided not to talk with him about it further for now, because he's the kind of guy who wants to see the best in people and it hurts when he has to admit that some people are not good people.

Not doing well, as you can probably tell. But I think if my brother does try to be a flying monkey again, I'll tell him "If she wants reconciliation, I will accept a written apology admitting what she did and owning up to her abuse of me. That's the only reconciliation she will get. No, I will not have any in-person meetings with her."

Frankly I really doubt she wants reconciliation enough to admit her abuse. She just wants vindication - she wants to look like the "good guy" here while I'm the "unreasonable one who won't forgive."

Which brings me to the last help my friend gave me on this. I was worrying about it to the tune of: "What are people going to think of me if she dies and I didn't at least give her a chance to apologize?"

The friend: "But you did. She had endless opportunities to apologize. She could have apologized anywhere along the line. Childhood, adolescence, adulthood. Indeed, if she wanted to write you a letter of apology, by way of (your brother), you might even accept it. Maybe. If it were made clear in the outset it was a total unilateral apology.

"Your worry is maybe more accurately, "What if people think I didn't give her a chance to apologize, even though I did, and she dies?"


She's right. I know she's right. It's just hard to remember that I have the right to my boundaries. I have the right to say no. My girlfriend said to me the other night, "I wish you the ability to remember that 'no' is a complete sentence."

I am mainly looking for sympathy, not solutions. :(
"The people who hate it when you set boundaries are the people who benefited from you having none."

Queer male autistic with a uNPD/uBPD lesbian man-hating mom - gee, what could possibly go wrong?

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WomanInterrupted

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Re: My brother is being a flying monkey
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2018, 04:40:07 AM »
Hi Griffen  :)

I know you want sympathy - you've got it in spades.   :bighug:

I *know* this one and it ain't pretty - and only keeps getting uglier and uglier, unless your boundaries are made of titanium.   :yes:

So...she's had a couple of strokes and she's in her 70's.  She now wants to "reconcile" - or sweep things under the rug and pretend they never happened, or minimize the damage by sniffing, "You didn't come with an instruction manual!  I didn't know!"   :roll:

When you've been telling her *all your life* and she just didn't want to hear it.   >:(

Griffen, I strongly suspect your mom is looking for a CAREGIVER and your brother and SIL do not want to be "it" - so there's a GOOD possibility they're setting you up to be the one to move to mom's, move mommy in with you, be at her beck and  call, wait on her hand and foot - while her claims of being "nicer" go RIGHT out the window, and she's back to herself, at her WORST - because now she's sick, has problems/deficits/may need assistance,  and has nobody to take it out on but YOU.   :aaauuugh:

She'll be nice to your girlfriend, for a while - but the claws will probably come out, to drive her away and you BELONG to your mom again - just like when you were a kid and couldn't make sense of a thing, because nothing MADE sense.   :sharkbait:

I lived through this drama with unBPD Didi, and after her, unNPD Ray, and my best advice is to *stay out of it completely.*   :yes:

I did and I'm still here, and what passes as reasonably sane...  :bigwink:

You won't get the move in/move her in bomb dropped on you, right away - it will creep up.  She JUST needs a little help.  Then a little more.  And more.  And more than that.  And before you know it, it's a full-time job, you have no life, you hate yourself for listening to *the same things you heard when you were a child, but now you're an adult* - and you wonder how the fuck THAT happened! 

WHEN did this become my life?   :thumbdown:

And meanwhile, where are  your brother and SIL?

Probably absent, but *complaining* to you about all the things your mom complains about that *you either get wrong or don't do for her.*   :stars:

In addition to her griping to you, to your face.   :roll:

Drop the rope.  Walk away now.  Minimize contact.  You'll "see what you can do" - and that is NOTHING.   8-)

Your mom has options, even if she doesn't have resources - there are amazing Senior Services out there, and if she's got a phone, she can call Meals on Wheels, Merry Maids - or her doctor, who can give her a list of agencies for home health aides, and perhaps send the visiting nurse to check on her once a week or so.

If she needs more help than that, there's Assisted Living or Nursing Homes - and she can make the arrangements herself.   :)

YOU do not have to do a thing except live your life and put the ball squarely where it belongs - on your mom's side of the fence.  These are HER problems, not yours.

And it seems to me like your brother (Golden Child, is he?) is trying to fob it all off on you.  You do the work - he collects the money when she eventually passes.

I'm sorry - but when something smells shitty to me, I call it for what it is - and THIS "reconciliation" smells especially shitty. 

Especially if SIL is pushing it - women are most often called upon to be caregivers.  I went through four rounds of Social Worker Hell when it came to unNPD Ray - NO, I can't go over for an hour a week, NO, I can't check on him, NO I can't call him, and NO, he WILL NOT use a cane or walker, be medically compliant, do anything his doctors tell him to do, and NO, I will NOT be a part of that!   I'm actually *on your side* and know he needs to be in a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF).  Anything I do will be COVERING for his deficits, so I'm NOT getting involved.

Be prepared for that, too -  maybe not for a while, if your mom has had mini-strokes (TIAs), and can still function without help, or minimal help.

Your mom's life is that - hers.  She needs to make reasonable. sane, logical decisions - and won't do it, probably get Life Alert and won't use it - she'll instead call YOU because she doesn't want to BOTHER them, and hunker down in her house or flat, that "they" can't take from her, because she's got rights and SOMEBODY (you!) needs to just help her out! 

NO!

It doesn't work like that!

I know it sounds dire, but when I hear a scenario like you described, my hackles  go up, and I tend to go on the offensive for the person being HOOVERED (you!) - she's got a GIFT!  That makes it ALL okey-dokey, everything will be FINE for her - but not for you, because *they all want something.*

Look out for yourself.  Do NOTHING that makes you uncomfortable.

Stay away from the train wreck, happening in slow motion.

You'll be VERY glad you did.   :)

:hug:

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Starboard Song

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Re: My brother is being a flying monkey
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2018, 08:54:39 AM »
Your friend is an excellent friend.

Your dilemma is real, and you are thinking clearly in this post.

You spoke  very well and kindly to your brother.

You should be extremely proud of your strength.

This person has no new powers over you.

You have the right to retain the peace and calm you have established with your own hard work and choices.

It is really hard to be abused, poorly understood by some of the most important people in your life, and then find that you are the one being given a morality pop quiz.

I am so sorry you are going through this. You deserve your peace and your calm and your safety.
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason

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BentNotBroken

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Re: My brother is being a flying monkey
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2018, 05:32:05 PM »
I hate this so much, life's going good then one little dash of them and the bubble is burst and you're left open and vulnerable to old and new thoughts and worries and opinions. It's a perfect storm but how do we control it? We can't control what others say, think or do, so how do we remain safe? We teach others how to treat us.

You're friend sounds amazing. Is that what a good sense of self looks like or have they been here themselves? You don't have to answer that lol. I'm just saying as far as the best advice I've heard in your post, it's theirs that resonates on a very simple and straightforward this-is-how-it-goes kinda way. Tip her for me too :)

Holidays, birthdays, everydays and some days are going to knock us down, we all know it yet, for myself anyways, don't anticipate how strong the emotions are going to be...bulldozer comes to mind. If you're anything like me then having a game plan for when it happens is about your only defence when this stuff comes up and out. A strategic hypervilligence, not an unhealthy reaction, keeps life's ups and downs concerning our pd's a little more manageable and controlled.

I think that's perfectly acceptable to have that condition of brutal honestly, admitting and apologizing. You wouldn't expect anything less from anyone else in your life, that boundary works for your pd as well. Remember, mothers and fathers usually do get more passes than anyone else in your circle, but that's a general rule, not a rule for someone who continually repeats bad behaviour and never even admits their wrong doing. It's such a grey area that gets so confusing when emotions are high. You're doing great as far as not reacting...keep sitting on it until it doesn't feel so raw, then decide your course of action, even if the action is to remain the same as always, nothing. Keep listening to your friend too. :)

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Griffen

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Re: My brother is being a flying monkey
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2018, 06:07:52 PM »
So I just wanted to clarify a few things (and I also want to thank everyone for the support).

There is no way I could take my mother in, and my family knows it. But it's also unnecessary. Mom managed to get married to a younger woman who was very rich and they live in their shared, paid-off house. I do not live close enough for regular visits to be a regular thing. Brother and SIL are not caretakers; they just visit Mom once or twice a month.

It's just hard when you've been abused into believing that boundaries are a sin to keep holding them up.
"The people who hate it when you set boundaries are the people who benefited from you having none."

Queer male autistic with a uNPD/uBPD lesbian man-hating mom - gee, what could possibly go wrong?

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Robinette71

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Re: My brother is being a flying monkey
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2018, 09:23:37 AM »
I needed to read this! So validating! My sister is the biggest flying monkey and I resent her for it so much but have been enlightened by your post! You have my sympathy whole heartedly. Mom is "sick" and the world dictates you must forgive everything before she passes and give her peace. FUCK THAT. You don't get peace after she's  gone. Her abuse is a permanent part of who you are. She doesn't deserve peace. I'm waiting for my Nmom's next medical emergency and for the flying monkeys to swoop in. I will definitely use some of your wisdom when I go to battle!