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Another scapegoat here, nothing I did was ever good enough and I always heard about how my brother was better at everything even when he wasn't. My pdMom picked him as the golden child because he was male and more likely to see her as 'vulnerable' and support her financially and in frankly, do pretty much anything she wants. He still performs this work and his wife takes over a lot of it when he is busy.
I am still the "one with a temper" and he is "just that way" (describing me and H being invited over and beings said about 3 words to by GC). I think they do this in part to have someone to blame their 'less than perfect life' on. It can't be them, after all so it must that horrible child that caused it.
I still find it hard to deal with sometimes, to be honest.
Chosen Relationships / Re: Hiding the secrets
« Last post by BeautifulCrazy on June 18, 2021, 10:43:09 PM »
One of the things I would do over, given the chance, is share the truth about what was going on in my home with as many people as possible.
I would have talked to my family doctor, emergency room doctors, police, CPS, the domestic violence shelter, counselling centers, people at church, people in the schools.... anywhere I could. If I could go back in time, I would have sought advice and help from anywhere and everywhere so that when I finally left, I would not have been working from the defensive position of trying to convince anyone that I was NOT the crazy one making up horrible stories and that I had not abducted the children. Mostly I mean professionals and community organizations, but I would have brought a few friends and family into my circle of trust too, instead of blindsiding them with how insane things really were when things finally fell completely apart. They would have been able to support me so much better.
It would have been easier for me too, not having so many additional burdens of trying to figure out important next steps from within an already chaotic situation (in a dv shelter) while also under relentless attack by my husband.
Dealing with PD Elderly Family Members / Re: My spouse, my ward.
« Last post by 1footouttadefog on June 18, 2021, 10:40:49 PM »
Regarding me time.  A local hiking group did a hike that goes through both suburban neighborhoods and park Greenway. It was followed by getting a beer at a local micro.

I did better on the hike than I thought and the 5 miles went quickly.

There were some interesting folks and everyone was polite for the most part.  There was one obvious narc/bpd type.  So nice to be Out of the FOG and not take her seriously or personally.  I could just recognize her moves and almost laugh to myself.

She was supposedly a hiking leader who takes tours to hike in Europe etc.  She was chatting with me until I mentioned I had traveled in Europe three times but had not gotten to anything beyond urban hiking.  I saw her chat up two other women then abruptly drop them also.  Later at the micro, I found out they had also both traveled extensively in Europe, one as career army.  I think she feared we could sniff out the bs in her banter.

It was a nice outing and even a pd being there was not a spoiler.

They have the right to their boundaries, too.
Point taken  ;D

Leonor - I agree with everything you say, except for two minor modifications.  uHMIL is not competent due to dementia.  However, as long as FIL is alive, this is really his problem, not ours, unless he asks for help with her, which he hasn't.  FIL *has* asked for our advice on where he should live, and his sons have provided it.  As I noted earlier, we have gone so far as to preview homes and neighborhoods with realtors on my in-laws behalf and at their request.  But, and this is key, FIL and MIL never actually follow through on anything or take any advice, even when they have specifically asked for that advice.  They're not making any changes, and it's time we all admit it.

As Andeza says, this is more about attention than genuinely seeking our advice or truly wanting to make any changes.  I need to let it go.  They can age however they want and I don't need or want to discuss it endlessly and get worked up about it.  And the calmer and less interested I am, the more DH will be able to let go as well.  At least that's my hope.
The Welcome Mat / Feeling ready
« Last post by Torn and confused on June 18, 2021, 10:20:18 PM »
I've been a long term reader of this forum but this is the first time I've posted.  Just being able to read other's stories has helped me immensely, I remember one time I cried for half an hour letting go of the guilt of not wanting to touch my NPD mother after reading that others feel the same. So thank you for that.

I am a 40 year old woman with a husband and two kids. I grew up in a single parent family with four kids. My mother is undiagnosed but clearly narcissistic. If you believe her narrative she was abused as a child and "Did her best" as a parent to raise four kids while always working. Truthfully she was physically abusive, emotionally distant, neglectful, blames everyone and everything for her failures in life and hides or destroys every bit of evidence to the contrary.

I was (and still am I suppose) the golden child and suffered a great deal of guilt my whole life for that fact. My siblings have either gone NC or LC but I can't do that. I still feel an overwhelming amount of obligation to her. Without me and my children (who she is actually a decent grandmother to) she would have nobody. She lives alone, hours away with no friends or support and is on disability due to complications from cancer treatment.

My current form of self preservation is to have minimal contact with her outside of school holidays and when we're together I live in the moment and refuse to engage in any conversation about the past or about my siblings.

I have plenty of stories to share but for now, thank you for helping me to feel ready to process my feelings.
The Welcome Mat / Re: New Member Introduction
« Last post by Aeon on June 18, 2021, 09:57:35 PM »
Howdy hi ArtLover!
I think you may see that you have come to the right place.
I spend a lot of time lurking but I do not know where I would be without the good advice and down to earth talk that I get here.
Big hugs right back at ya!  :bighug:
Separating & Divorcing / Re: I'm over it
« Last post by JustKeepTrying on June 18, 2021, 09:51:23 PM »
Kat54 and notrightinthehead,

Thank you for responding.  I have been struggling with this for awhile and I appreciate your responses more than you can ever know.  It greatly helps.

I am putting together for me the effects of my cPTSD and my problems with emotional regulation.  I have appts with a therapist and I know that together with her, I can make strides in progress for my mental health.

I worked so hard over the largest portion of my life to keep them safe and in retrospect, shield them from my OCPDxh.  Now looking back since I left, I see his victim act and their fleas.  From a post over a year ago, a wise person told me that I need to "rest in the belief that I did what I could the best that I could with the knowledge I had at the time."  And that is accurate.  Like you both said, I need to step back and let them live their lives; let them know I am here and use the toolbox for all future interactions.  I will work with my therapist to develop those tools. 

I struggle with them and maintaining them and knowing when to use them.  I think I have trouble dismissing the swirl of emotion and thinking logically, remembering to wait/pause and use the tools.  I am in my mid 50's and my life has been spent with PDs.  I am not sure how else to live.

Fortunately, I have a plan to travel in the fall after my son starts school.  I will rest in the wilderness of the national parks and heal.  Until then I will work with therapists to lay groundwork for that healing.  Until then, I will follow the preferred contact of my children and try to support them best that I can.

Thank you all for allowing me the place to work through these difficult feelings.  I am facing a difficult late summer and fall and with your advice, I believe I will have a plan in place for the transition.
Dealing with PD In-Laws / Re: Mother wound
« Last post by Alexmom on June 18, 2021, 09:12:59 PM »
IMO mother enmeshment is a form of child abuse, and I had no clue it even existed until I married DH, and experienced first hand the results of a mother/son enmeshed relationship.   I think these women are deeply troubled and flawed, and they are just bad for your marriage.  I regret not putting very firm parameters in place early on to keep my MIL out of our home and for the most part out of my life except for maybe a visit once or twice a year in which I gray rocked it and really rewarded myself after going through with the visit. 

To answer another poster's question, when my MIL passed, I felt a sense of relief and I felt lighter knowing that she would never pull another antic or try to meddle or try to insert herself in my marriage or my family.  I think the passage of time - when you are free of any involvement with these troubled relationships - is a great healer.  My MIL has been passed for almost 3 years now, and I think about her less and less.     
Dealing with PD Elderly Family Members / Re: Technology crisis
« Last post by Pepin on June 18, 2021, 09:02:32 PM »
Some people take a wierd pride in not learning to use technology.  My pdh is one of them.  It's a sick wierd cycle.  We bought him a TV that has Alexa built in to remove a level of remote changing etc.  He wants help looking up certain things but I can see he has been seeking out porn on YouTube.  No one in the house will help him with TV now.

I was thinking about this today.  Remember when we stopped going to tellers to withdraw from our bank accounts?  That was probably in the mid 90s for most of us.  Yeah....DPD MIL still doesn't know how to use an ATM machine to get cash.  Needs help every single time.  She was in her mid 50s back in the 90s.  What a sad way to live.  Not interested in technology whatsoever because as you all have said, she found the loophole: servants.

Perhaps to think of this situation in a different way.

Your ils are adults. They have the right to live as they wish to live. They have the right to age as they see fit. They have the right to make their own decisions, medical, financial or otherwise, without any interference from their adult children. They have the right to their boundaries, too.

You can disagree with their decisions, you can present your point of view, you can even lay out options. But you cannot control them. You can't push them to do something they don't want to do. Respecting boundaries works both ways.

Of course everyone else is worried, and there may be grounds for worry and there may be, frankly, a certain payoff they get from everyone else being so worried. But your worries are *your* problem. You and your h are going to have to manage your anxiety around your ils, because frankly my dear they don't give a damn and it's actually none of your business.

The worry and the rushing and the gossip and the travels, this is all a product of you and your dh's anxiety. They're not asking for your opinions or help or options. They're doing what they do. So dh is going to show up and freak out and ... what? Bundle them up and toss them into a care facility (they'll sneak out and go back home)? Shove a nursemaid into their kitchen (they'll fire her)? Leave your dh to tend to their daily necessities and errands (ah, that one they might like. *You'll* hate it, but they'll be all right with it)?

The one way to ensure that the adult child remains parentified is for him to pretend to be his parents' parent.

Breathe. Disagree. Have better ideas. Know of practical options. But you didn't cause it, and you can't control it. Trying to control it will only make you and your dh exhausted and less able to respond when a real emergency arises.
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