Enabling or Ignorant?

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SnugglyHedgehog

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Enabling or Ignorant?
« on: August 30, 2018, 09:49:44 AM »
Some of you will know my story by now and thank you for taking the time to read, reply and support me. I really appreciate it.

My aunt came to visit me yesterday for a ďchatĒ. I knew beforehand it would go downhill and tried to be prepared but it didnít go very well.
She has been the most supportive person on that side of the family but even then she has still come out with some crazy comments and is still expecting me to ďfixĒ it.
She asked what was happening with my mum. I said nothing, explained how much happier I was and how much better I was coping with life. That Iíd had a lot of realisations and was getting a better understanding of myself and the situation.
I explained a bit about our childhood to her and I compared my mum and dad. I havenít had contact with my dad for 9 years but as a teenager I did confront him and got a very different reaction to the one I got from my mum.
She said from her point of view me and my mum didnít have a healthy relationship.
That I should talk to her but the relationship wonít be the same going forward, that boundaries need to be in place.
I decided I was going to try and drop some slightly more serious words or topics into the conversation in the hope she would realise what I was saying and take on board the severity. But to be honest I wished I hadnít bothered.
I used the word abuse. Which I felt was reasonable because I had already discussed abuse throughout my life in general.
But later in the conversation she said I had unrealistic expectations and that no ones perfect. I explained that expecting someone to be nice to me and think before they speak isnít too high an expectation and thereís a difference between someone not being perfect and not being abusive. Her response was ďwell she canít get a personality transplantĒ. Kind of says it all really!
She suggested mediation. I said my mum wouldnít do that because that would involve admitting wrong doing which I now know she is incapable of.
Basically everything I said she justified in some way or said it was an assumption or my opinion. I donít think thatís fair really because my opinions and assumptions are based on fact, things that have been said and the behaviour, things that have happened over and over again. I donít think itís fair to suggest Iím jumping to conclusions after everything that has happened.
There was an answer for everything. That my mum has made an effort by saying I should contact her if I want to chat for example. Despite the fact I had contacted her first and asked how she felt and she ignored me then turned up to collect something and said she couldnít answer that and I was to let her know if I wanted to talk. This to me isnít effort, this is a game, putting the responsibility back on me.
I said she was just expecting an apology and that was never going to happen. She said well maybe you could give a certain type of apology.
I explained that at the end of the day she is my parent, we havenít spoken in 4 months and she has made no attempt to contact me for nearly 2 of those now. That as a parent myself I could NEVER do that to my child. That Iíd told her I felt uncared about and that no effort was being made and she didnít even correct me.
I also said that I had been willing to make an effort but that is a two way street. As a parent I would have reacted completely differently but even if she had given me 1/4 of that, itís something I could have worked with. She has given me ZERO.
I suggested that something deeper was going on (NPD) and she again said that was my opinion and I said that I am in therapy so it has been discussed with others. She was horrified and said that basically thatís a disgrace if someone has made a diagnosis without meeting the person and that thereís nothing wrong with her and itís ridiculous. That everyone says hurtful things at times. I explained that if you look at symptoms itís not a case of it could fit or some of it doesnít, it fits completely and that Iím completely clear on it. That it happens a lot.
She said my mum is ďnumbĒ. I said to be honest that infuriates me because at the end of the day this was all about how she was making me feel and if you asked her now I bet she canít even remember what that was because itís all about her feelings and ďhow dare I do this too herĒ.
She also tried to blame in on generations and the fact they were brought up to always obey their parents.
I said that as her daughter she has broken my heart.
I just gave up eventually. I realised I wasnít going to get anywhere.
What infuriates me the most is that both my aunt and my gran have both had conversations like this with me now. Multiple times. And NOT ONE person has said ANYTHING to my mum. Because they donít want to upset her further.
The conversation ended on her saying I needed to talk to my mum for everyoneís sake- mine, my daughter, my gran and my mum. She brought my daughter into it multiple times throughout the conversation and I didnít say anything until then. All I said was that at the end of the day my DD needed a happy mummy and that was what mattered, that the negative impacted her and me being miserable and spiralling into depression impacted my ability to be a parent.
After she left I felt really upset and drained. We went round and round in circles for what felt like hours, again. Thereíll be more Iíve forgotten but I think Iíve got the main things down. I felt like I had just had to go to battle to defend myself. And yet again no one seems to grasp the fact that sheís my parent who I told was hurting me and has done nothing to make anything better or accept any responsibility, yet again itís all on me.

Seriously what am I supposed to do with that?
What can I say to make myself any more clear?
Is this enabling or ignorance?

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11JB68

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Re: Enabling or Ignorant?
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2018, 10:02:58 AM »
So sorry You're going through this. It reminds me a bit of what happened when I went nc with uPDm. I was theonly one to ever confront her. EnF right in front of me said to her that she had done 'nothing wrong'. Later an aunt called me and asked 'why are you doing this to us?' (Which was interesting because I only ended up nc with extended family because m wouldn't allow me to have relationships with others in the family without her getting involved. So imo SHE was the one 'doing this to them'. ) I've ended up nc with my entire FOO.

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Starboard Song

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Re: Enabling or Ignorant?
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2018, 10:18:30 AM »
It's an age old question, isn't it?

I see it this way: I suspect we have a deep instinct for mutual protection within our family. That there is a survival benefit to putting up with crap from relatives that we would never tolerate in our FOC. Without the mutual protection pact we all have with our families, so many old folks would be uncared for, and far fewer grandparents would do baby sitting duty or help out when times are hard.

Se we get really good at this.

When a family member moves beyond the ordinary and becomes abusive or destructive, I know how hard it was for us to make that call. Deciding to break the bond was a huge challenge. If those of us on the direct receiving end of abuse can sit on the fence for months or years before going NC, it makes sense to me that others will never get on it, much less cross it.

I suspect that family members are either in or out. If they aren't with you, it is so very hard to process that they erect barriers.

We have had little of this. Very few family members are in any cross-fire, and everyone else is just going silent or quietly expressing to us their support.

I am so sorry you had to endure that, but don't take it personally. She'll probably continue to be a good and loving aunt, as long as you stay off this topic. It will show her that everything else is normal. I hope she doesn't become an active FM on you.

Best of luck. Be strong!
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SnugglyHedgehog

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Re: Enabling or Ignorant?
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2018, 11:25:48 AM »
So sorry You're going through this. It reminds me a bit of what happened when I went nc with uPDm. I was theonly one to ever confront her. EnF right in front of me said to her that she had done 'nothing wrong'. Later an aunt called me and asked 'why are you doing this to us?' (Which was interesting because I only ended up nc with extended family because m wouldn't allow me to have relationships with others in the family without her getting involved. So imo SHE was the one 'doing this to them'. ) I've ended up nc with my entire FOO.

Thank you for your reply.
Iím sorry that youíve gone through a similar experience.
The fact that they havenít even discussed this with her and tried to fix it from that side just blows my mind.
Not to sound Ďwoe is meí but at the end of the day she has mistreated me. They are then pushing me and upsetting me and making me feel guilty for something that was completely out with my control.

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SnugglyHedgehog

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Re: Enabling or Ignorant?
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2018, 11:30:29 AM »
It's an age old question, isn't it?

I see it this way: I suspect we have a deep instinct for mutual protection within our family. That there is a survival benefit to putting up with crap from relatives that we would never tolerate in our FOC. Without the mutual protection pact we all have with our families, so many old folks would be uncared for, and far fewer grandparents would do baby sitting duty or help out when times are hard.

Se we get really good at this.

When a family member moves beyond the ordinary and becomes abusive or destructive, I know how hard it was for us to make that call. Deciding to break the bond was a huge challenge. If those of us on the direct receiving end of abuse can sit on the fence for months or years before going NC, it makes sense to me that others will never get on it, much less cross it.

I suspect that family members are either in or out. If they aren't with you, it is so very hard to process that they erect barriers.

We have had little of this. Very few family members are in any cross-fire, and everyone else is just going silent or quietly expressing to us their support.

I am so sorry you had to endure that, but don't take it personally. She'll probably continue to be a good and loving aunt, as long as you stay off this topic. It will show her that everything else is normal. I hope she doesn't become an active FM on you.

Best of luck. Be strong!

Thanks for taking the time to answer :)
You are absolutely right.
The fact they arenít willing to even LOOK at it from the other point of view and putting ALL of the onus on me is just so hurtful. Especially when I am already trying to heal from the hurt my uPDm has caused.
I have been trying to be normal. My other Aunt saw us once and didnít mention it once. We spoke about the kids and what we normally would. The problem is, this Aunt views herself as the family mediator. Every single conversation we have revolves around this.
Is there anything I can say in your opinion that could help explain it better than Iíve already tried?
If not, I will be telling them I wonít discuss it again. I canít for my own sanity.
Iím still anxious and completely tense today.

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Summer Sun

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Re: Enabling or Ignorant?
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2018, 12:01:11 PM »
Iíve read somewhere that when we go NC and extended FOO punish us, or shun us, or disbelieve us, that we are being abused twice.  I agree.  Our experience, our pain is being invalidated.  Invalidation is a form of abuse, it is hurtful.  When we are further isolated and shunned, we are being victimized, twice, first by being the abusers target and secondly by the FMís.

My two cents:  If Aunt approaches again, I would put up a boundary.  Look, I have tried to explain, you do not want to understand and only defend or make excuses for M, I am afraid this is hurtful to me so the subject is closed.  If M wants to speak with me, apologize, work at this, she needs to contact me directly.  Are you and I able to have a relationship?  Then change the subject to something g she is I erested in.

Sorry for what you are going through.  You are not alone.  Good you have a T for support.

Summer Sun
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Groundhog Day

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Re: Enabling or Ignorant?
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2018, 12:18:45 PM »
Good mornig Snuggly,
I've read your story and can relate. Reading the book "Stop walking on eggshell" helped me comprehend. I had to read in small doses to digested and accept the fact that M had a PD. Eventhough she had been diagnosed by a physhologist with BPD and N, I still needed to understand what it was. I had no clue, I just knew that something was off and was getting worse. Getting a diagnosis does not make it better for me since her behaviour has not changed.

Just like you I was SG. Until I had my child at the age of 20, her first grand-child was born, so I became GC. I never understood our relatiionship but was happy that she paid attention to me and wanted to help and care. As I had never had that as a child.

I do admit the first 6-9 months of NC are very difficult. Stress, anxiety, flying monkeys, feeling remorse, loosing relatives, constant thinking about the situation...etc. It has been one year of NC and sometimes I feel sad of the outcome, but I will not sacrifice my health in order to please her.

As for you aunt....she knows deep down how your mother is but is defending her to keep family intact. I've had a relative telling me that M was starting dementia and Alzeimer! What? No way. She can remember every little detail but when it comes to twist the story to her advantage she forgets the truth? I have lost contact with relatives who are NC with M. It seems they do not want to speak to me or my sibblings. Maybe because it reminds them of our M, I don't know. It hurts but it is what it is. If you want to keep a relationship with your aunt, then the topic of your mother should be tabou. If you think that she would grasp personality disorders, then give her the name of a book for her to get at the library. Once she starts reading, she will see her sister's trait in it as a difficult child and adult. Once again, getting a diagnosis from a doctor will not change anything. Your M will still deny it or use it as a crutch to get her way.

I agree with Starboard, NC is not a desision that is done in one day, it took me over a year to go NC. My younger brother had the most difficulty making that call and it was when he got hopitalized from the anxiety and irregular heart beat that is when he had to cut ties. Just give it some time, you are new to this and still researching what are personality disorders, which one applies to your M. You are going in the right path, the process is very emotionally draining.  It will get better!

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Starboard Song

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Re: Enabling or Ignorant?
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2018, 12:31:43 PM »
Is there anything I can say in your opinion that could help explain it better than Iíve already tried?

I am so sorry, but no. It sounds like you were very kind and diligent. I suspect you need to apply the no-JADE rule, even though this is a non-disordered person.

I encourage you, when asked, to just deflect, "You know, this has been very hard for me, and I know how difficult it can be to understand. I appreciate your continued love, while I continue to work this out. I need for us to focus on other things, please."

Good luck. With a little calm perseverance, we got the few concerned relatives we had to lay back. That is way better than cutting off all the heads.
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    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

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SnugglyHedgehog

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Re: Enabling or Ignorant?
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2018, 12:33:48 PM »
Iíve read somewhere that when we go NC and extended FOO punish us, or shun us, or disbelieve us, that we are being abused twice.  I agree.  Our experience, our pain is being invalidated.  Invalidation is a form of abuse, it is hurtful.  When we are further isolated and shunned, we are being victimized, twice, first by being the abusers target and secondly by the FMís.

My two cents:  If Aunt approaches again, I would put up a boundary.  Look, I have tried to explain, you do not want to understand and only defend or make excuses for M, I am afraid this is hurtful to me so the subject is closed.  If M wants to speak with me, apologize, work at this, she needs to contact me directly.  Are you and I able to have a relationship?  Then change the subject to something g she is I erested in.

Sorry for what you are going through.  You are not alone.  Good you have a T for support.

Summer Sun

Wow this really hit home for me! Thank you for your reply and being so honest. Thatís definitely given me something to think about.
I appreciate you giving me an idea of what to say to her the next time it happens too. I will write something down soon so that when it does happen I hopefully donít feel as stressed.
Thank you so much, it helps to hear what youíve said from someone else because she did make me doubt myself.

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SnugglyHedgehog

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Re: Enabling or Ignorant?
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2018, 12:46:33 PM »
Good mornig Snuggly,
I've read your story and can relate. Reading the book "Stop walking on eggshell" helped me comprehend. I had to read in small doses to digested and accept the fact that M had a PD. Eventhough she had been diagnosed by a physhologist with BPD and N, I still needed to understand what it was. I had no clue, I just knew that something was off and was getting worse. Getting a diagnosis does not make it better for me since her behaviour has not changed.

Just like you I was SG. Until I had my child at the age of 20, her first grand-child was born, so I became GC. I never understood our relatiionship but was happy that she paid attention to me and wanted to help and care. As I had never had that as a child.

I do admit the first 6-9 months of NC are very difficult. Stress, anxiety, flying monkeys, feeling remorse, loosing relatives, constant thinking about the situation...etc. It has been one year of NC and sometimes I feel sad of the outcome, but I will not sacrifice my health in order to please her.

As for you aunt....she knows deep down how your mother is but is defending her to keep family intact. I've had a relative telling me that M was starting dementia and Alzeimer! What? No way. She can remember every little detail but when it comes to twist the story to her advantage she forgets the truth? I have lost contact with relatives who are NC with M. It seems they do not want to speak to me or my sibblings. Maybe because it reminds them of our M, I don't know. It hurts but it is what it is. If you want to keep a relationship with your aunt, then the topic of your mother should be tabou. If you think that she would grasp personality disorders, then give her the name of a book for her to get at the library. Once she starts reading, she will see her sister's trait in it as a difficult child and adult. Once again, getting a diagnosis from a doctor will not change anything. Your M will still deny it or use it as a crutch to get her way.

I agree with Starboard, NC is not a desision that is done in one day, it took me over a year to go NC. My younger brother had the most difficulty making that call and it was when he got hopitalized from the anxiety and irregular heart beat that is when he had to cut ties. Just give it some time, you are new to this and still researching what are personality disorders, which one applies to your M. You are going in the right path, the process is very emotionally draining.  It will get better!

Hi Groundhog  :)

Thanks for taking the time to read and reply. Iím sorry youíve been in a similar situation.
I will look up that book, thanks.
My mum is undiagnosed and she likely always will be. But the behaviour is leaning heavily that she has NPD and this is constantly backed up by whatís happening. Even by my Grans reaction and manipulation showing that M has always been on a pedestal from a child. Itís been eye opening and thereís just realisations one after the other. I have also felt the need to research a lot but it can be very overwhelming and many days I donít feel strong enough to do that.
Youíve hit the nail on the head with all of the feelings flying around at the moment! I am so glad you are doing better a year down the line.

The difficulty I have with my Aunt is, she continues to defend my M over and over again yet says ďshe knows what sheís likeĒ. My issue with that is that really she doesnít. She knows her as a sister. She lives hours away and sees her a few times a year. She does not know her as a mother and see the impact that she has had on all of her children. You are right though. She will want to fix it for my grans sake particularly I think. I felt a huge amount of guilt about that to start with and it upset my hugely but Iíve come to accept it now. I have said nothing to my gran to upset her, my mum has made her feel guilty and thatís just not on me to be honest.
I donít think I can broach the subject of PD for that reason above and also based on her reaction. I tried. If she was to come out with a question then fair enough. But I canít open that discussion to be battered back down again.

It took me a couple of months after the initial conversation to go NC with M. Because I just knew by the extreme reaction and things that it was done, she was never going to accept any of it and make any effort to build on our relationship. I am not willing to be the only one doing that. Also every time we spoke she just made things worse and worse. Sheís actually caused more hurt since I told her than she ever did before.

To me at this point it is very clear what she has. Itís absolutely textbook. That realisation has been the scariest one of all really.

She has not had 2/3 children go NC with her and still both M and the family do not see her as the problem.  :stars:

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SnugglyHedgehog

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Re: Enabling or Ignorant?
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2018, 12:52:58 PM »
Is there anything I can say in your opinion that could help explain it better than Iíve already tried?

I am so sorry, but no. It sounds like you were very kind and diligent. I suspect you need to apply the no-JADE rule, even though this is a non-disordered person.

I encourage you, when asked, to just deflect, "You know, this has been very hard for me, and I know how difficult it can be to understand. I appreciate your continued love, while I continue to work this out. I need for us to focus on other things, please."

Good luck. With a little calm perseverance, we got the few concerned relatives we had to lay back. That is way better than cutting off all the heads.

Sorry this might be a silly question but what is the no jade rule?

Thanks for that suggestion on what to say. Iím definitely going to have to have something prepared for the next time she contacts me about this.

Rehashing it all over and over and having to defend myself is just not good for my mental health at all.

One Aunt has been normal, thatís all Iíve really been left with and we see her for a couple of hours around twice a year. My brother who lives with M continues to ignore me, I am deeply concerned about him, knowing that all of the abuse is now focussed on him. I will keep trying. Hopefully this Aunt will stop grilling me on this now. My Gran keeps cutting contact with me and has also been hugely manipulative towards me. At the end of the day Iím just having to accept the things I donít have control over. But my brother isnít one Iím willing to let slide because I know how she treats him too.

On the plus side I am now in touch with my other brother who was NC with M for years. Myself and my other brother were FM against him. We are working on repairing that damage now.

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Starboard Song

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Re: Enabling or Ignorant?
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2018, 01:30:20 PM »
JADE stands for Justify, Argue, Defend, and Explain.

We often find that we spend a great deal of time getting JADEd: forced to do those things. Through in the penchant for circular conversations and you get stuck doing it.

With healthy folks, it is a courtesy to explain a request. "We have gotten so busy, I really need you to call before dropping by at breakfast time like this. I am sure you can understand." But with disordered folks, we get caught: JADE, JADE, JADE, for ever. And this has consequences:

- It acts like there is even a judiciable answer to questions of YOUR preference. There is not, so there is nothing to debate.
- It shifts a burden of proof onto you that does not exist. If you don't want to discuss [insert topic], there is nothing more to say.
- It creates an argumentative tone, where -- with healthy people -- you need only explain your preference once, and nobody wins and nobody loses.

Sound familiar?

Your aunt is not disordered. I'd suggest packing in a few concepts in your statement: this is hard, you are not taking it lightly, you love and appreciate her in your life. And then, with luck, she will accept this as not a topic for discussion.

Good luck!
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    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

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SnugglyHedgehog

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Re: Enabling or Ignorant?
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2018, 02:03:43 PM »
JADE stands for Justify, Argue, Defend, and Explain.

We often find that we spend a great deal of time getting JADEd: forced to do those things. Through in the penchant for circular conversations and you get stuck doing it.

With healthy folks, it is a courtesy to explain a request. "We have gotten so busy, I really need you to call before dropping by at breakfast time like this. I am sure you can understand." But with disordered folks, we get caught: JADE, JADE, JADE, for ever. And this has consequences:

- It acts like there is even a judiciable answer to questions of YOUR preference. There is not, so there is nothing to debate.
- It shifts a burden of proof onto you that does not exist. If you don't want to discuss [insert topic], there is nothing more to say.
- It creates an argumentative tone, where -- with healthy people -- you need only explain your preference once, and nobody wins and nobody loses.

Sound familiar?

Your aunt is not disordered. I'd suggest packing in a few concepts in your statement: this is hard, you are not taking it lightly, you love and appreciate her in your life. And then, with luck, she will accept this as not a topic for discussion.

Good luck!

Thanks for taking the time to explain.
Thatís exactly what it is!
Thank you again for the advice on what to say.

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qcdlvl

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Re: Enabling or Ignorant?
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2018, 04:38:49 PM »
You told her your M had been abusive and told her some of the things that had happened. She still expected you to apologize to her. She's not ignorant (at least not after that conversation), she's an enabler, period. We can only speculate as to her motives - valuing the illusion of big, happy extended family over your welfare, or throwing you under the bus to get your M off her back, or whatever - but I don't see any room for doubt as to her being an enabler for your M rather than an honest, if misinformed, broker or a neutral party.

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SnugglyHedgehog

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Re: Enabling or Ignorant?
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2018, 06:01:23 PM »
You told her your M had been abusive and told her some of the things that had happened. She still expected you to apologize to her. She's not ignorant (at least not after that conversation), she's an enabler, period. We can only speculate as to her motives - valuing the illusion of big, happy extended family over your welfare, or throwing you under the bus to get your M off her back, or whatever - but I don't see any room for doubt as to her being an enabler for your M rather than an honest, if misinformed, broker or a neutral party.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me on this. Itís can be difficult to see it when you are on the inside.
You are right and that does help order my thoughts a little.
Her response to me telling her that M is abusive was that no one is perfect and everyone says things that hurt others. Itís just not the same thing and she is an intelligent person, she knows that.
My M isnít in her ear I do know that much, they arenít discussing it so as not to upset M further (aunt and gran).
Thank you for helping clear it up for me.

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moglow

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Re: Enabling or Ignorant?
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2018, 06:12:13 PM »
I get where your aunt is going with this - she wants things to go back like they were, where everybody coped and played nice (as far as she knew) and pretended to get along. From her perspective it's not so bad, it's manageable etc. That's fine, she can have whatever opinion she wants but your reality is something very different. Your *relationship* with her sister is and always has been very different. That's how it works, however much she may not want to admit. And again, that's okay.

What's not okay is going over this time and time again. Your relationship with your mother is between you and her, not all of creation. I get that your aunt feels caught in the middle as a relative, but frankly she put herself there. She can remove herself any time she wants.

As mentioned above, it may be time to lay down some firm boundaries with your aunt. That's not a bad thing but she might not realize that all relationships need boundaries. Sometimes we have to simply agree to disagree, and move forward from there. Doing this repeatedly isn't helping anyone, and is tearing down your relationship with your aunt - if it continues you're not going to trust her at all.

Find a way to kindly and respectfully draw a line in the sand with your aunt. Let her know you love and appreciate her, and that's just not a conversation you care to have with her anymore. Tell her you don't want to talk about your mother and that it feels disrespectful to talk about her behind her back, then just don't going forward.
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SnugglyHedgehog

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Re: Enabling or Ignorant?
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2018, 07:38:40 AM »
Thanks moglow for your reply firstly!

*Update*

The opportunity to say something has come a lot quicker than I thought it would. She messaged me this morning and obviously realises she pushed me too far.

ďsorry I had to rush off the other day. I only had a bit over an hour to have dinner and get to * for my flight. Sorry too if you found that it was a difficult conversation about the difficulties with your mum. It wasnít the intention, i only want the best for you, your mum and your gran. It was good to see you this time after not seeing you in # and I will be thinking and praying for youĒ

I feel this is the opportunity to write back using some of the suggestions above.
If anyone has any other ideas or things to add please get in touch.

Thanks again.
SH

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SnugglyHedgehog

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Re: Enabling or Ignorant?
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2018, 09:26:13 AM »
Am I on the right track? I have a stress headache already trying to write a reply. I want to get it right. I am trying to be strong but I end up writing things like ďI feel I need to put my feelings firstĒ NO! ďI NEED to put my feelings firstĒ end of story!
This isnít a final draft. Itís just my initial thoughts and have pulled suggestions from above.
Any input would be really appreciated.

***

Hi, donít worry about having to rush off, I had realised the time either.
I did find our conversation difficult and really upsetting.

I appreciate you wanting whatís best for me, Mum and Gran. But unfortunately whatís best for me isnít what you may feel is best for them. For the first time I need to put myself and my feelings first, itís the only way I can take care of myself.

I have tried to explain the severity to you and I have tried to explain what I have learned and to be honest I feel like our conversations have invalidated me further and I feel I have had to defend myself when I have done nothing wrong. That is really hurtful to me. My opinions that I have tried to be open with you about are made on fact and what has been said or done and behaviours shown time and time again.

My mum is your sister and my relationship with my mum is extremely different. You will never understand or know the extent of what us as her children have gone through because you werenít there and you didnít go through it yourself.

I am distressed that this pressure and these conversations are only being had with me, the victim of abuse in the first place. I feel like we go round and round in circles, just like me and my mum did and everyone is expecting me to go to her to fix this.

I feel really sad that my mum now doesnít have contact with two of her children and yet no one has looked at the bigger picture and realised why. It feels like we are still looked at as children who have hurt their mum.

I donít have unrealistic expectations of how I want to be treated by others. But as you said my mum canít have a personality transplant and is unable to treat me any other way. That doesnít mean I have to accept that treatment and allow her to make me so unhappy.

I donít want this to affect our relationship, it is between me and my mum and going forward I canít have any further discussion about it with you or other family members, thatís not whatís best for any of us.


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Summer Sun

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Re: Enabling or Ignorant?
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2018, 12:43:36 PM »
Snuggly, I think you have spoken from the heart, and with clarity in how your aunt is invalidating you, your position and reasons for NC with M, and, the boundary of discussion of M is off limits in future.  The only thing I would include is that this has not been an easy decision for you to make, nor one youíve made lightly, but necessary for your own health? 

If she responds with more excuses, enabling justifications etc, this is when you have to keep it short and direct.  ďI told you I would not engage in these types of discussions with you.  Hope to see you soon though, Aunty, lunch next week?Ē And leave the ball in her court, donít pursue.

If she responds that you choose both of them or lose her too, I would respond that you are sorry this is her position, but uunderstand and will miss her. 

You have done so well through some very heartbreaking relational challenges.  Hope it goes favourably.

Summer Sun
"The opposite of Love is not Hate, it's Indifference" - Elie Wiesel

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SnugglyHedgehog

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Re: Enabling or Ignorant?
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2018, 01:46:33 PM »
Snuggly, I think you have spoken from the heart, and with clarity in how your aunt is invalidating you, your position and reasons for NC with M, and, the boundary of discussion of M is off limits in future.  The only thing I would include is that this has not been an easy decision for you to make, nor one youíve made lightly, but necessary for your own health? 

If she responds with more excuses, enabling justifications etc, this is when you have to keep it short and direct.  ďI told you I would not engage in these types of discussions with you.  Hope to see you soon though, Aunty, lunch next week?Ē And leave the ball in her court, donít pursue.

If she responds that you choose both of them or lose her too, I would respond that you are sorry this is her position, but uunderstand and will miss her. 

You have done so well through some very heartbreaking relational challenges.  Hope it goes favourably.

Summer Sun

Thank you for your reply.
I will add that in.
I donít really know what her reaction will be. Iím hoping that she will realise that I canít keep discussing it and that my feelings arenít going to change by them putting pressure on me.
But after Mís reaction the other month I donít make any assumptions anymore!