What can I say. A lifetime of gaslighting and I'm a little defensive.

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Artsy

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I have gone no contact with 2 older siblings and kept arguing with myself if I needed to do that with the other two. One of these 'other two' is my NPD brother. His wife called me with some news about my niece and I misunderstood her phone message and set a line in the sand, showing more cards than was wise. She immediately went into the classic FOG behaviors of my family, using all this sneering innuendo. I realized my mistake and simply texted her, "I misunderstood your message. I'm a little defensive because of my sister's behaviors." The part about 'my sisters behaviors' was strongly pushed by my husband who is tired of hearing me say things like, "because of what is going on" or "because of how I'm feeling right now." He says I always beat around the bush and encourage the smear that I'm 'crazy'. Even my first text was measured and I didn't deserve her guilt trips and indirect jabs. She said, "[your brother] didn't know that he was one of the ones your limiting contact with.

With all that said, I'm kind of glad it happened. I really need to go no-contact with them as well. I've just been so torn about it, like a need a smoking gun or something. With a lot of inner turmoil and expensive therapy I'm getting stronger every day and feeling better and better. My sister in law was kind of funny when I said I misunderstood her text. She replied, "I wasn't expecting that answer..." But she closed with "May everyone be open to peace". I just left it there. Here's what I would have responded if I chose to:

I'm open to peace. I'm always open to peace. But I'm open to real peace. There are so many nasty, horrible things that can be done to people in ways that allow them no way to defend themselves. Peace is a recipe. It can't be declared as people turn tables, gossip, or sit by and watch one person get ganged up on. It can't be used like a blanket of snow on a garbage dump, masking all the garbage and making it look like the rest of the countryside. I will not be open to a false peace. A peace that requires me to take all the blame, endure vindictiveness and spite, to be lured and then attacked, and then to be treated like I'm crazy when I dare to speak and say 'no more'. Peace is not forced on people. I have always, and will always, be open to peace. I am not the problem.

It feels good to type that. It would have fallen on deaf ears. I haven't been on the sight in a little while now, because I was feeling better. This exchange has brought back the rapid heart beat and shallow panicked breathing. But I'm feeling it ebb as I write this to those that I know understand. The good news is that it was just a matter of time till my nieces and nephews were played like chess pieces. In our exchange I was able to tell her, "My nieces and nephews know where to find me". I'm so glad that's out there. Just wait till the weddings come as some of the kids get older. I've already resigned I won't go. All family affairs are props and set ups for abuse, plain and simple.

One of the things my sister in law said was that I'm going to 'have to' reach out to my nieces. What a set up. I'm supposed to change the distant relationship we already have and reach out to these girls I hardly know, so they can defend the PD's who are poisoning them. They are going to be told, that since I'm not making this radical change in our relationship, that I'm directing it at them. That is an old game in my family - the set up.

The good news is that my brother and now his wife, and this misunderstanding, has sort of forced me to put them on the No Contact List. I could tell my sister in law was utterly shocked when I simply admitted I misunderstood her message. That is not how our family behaves. Maybe someday when she wants to file domestic violence charges, she will remember that. Nothing tons of money in therapy can't buy you, right? ;)
"I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone." Robin Williams.

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Totallytickedoff

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Re: What can I say. A lifetime of gaslighting and I'm a little defensive.
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2016, 07:20:11 AM »
Artsy, YES! Real Peace. Not fake peace. Not pretend it didn't happen peace. Not "why can't we all just get along" peace! Not "let's just tuck this elephant in the room under the rug" peace. I'm done w/ fake peace, therefore I'm NC with MIL. No one else seems to grasp this concept. You nailed it, Artsy!

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all4peace

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Re: What can I say. A lifetime of gaslighting and I'm a little defensive.
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2016, 02:32:30 PM »
Ha! I love the "Why can't we all just get along?!" question. I got that one. When I asked uN/BPDmil what she thought that looked like, she literally could not answer. I think in her world it meant she got to keep being vicious and backstabbing, unsupportive, unloving and unkind, and we would keep pretending to be happy and content family members.

Artsy, I hope this can possibly work out for you. It's so depressing and sad to keep losing family members. :(

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Artsy

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Re: What can I say. A lifetime of gaslighting and I'm a little defensive.
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2016, 09:44:12 PM »
Thank you for both of your replies.

It is very depressing and I'm trying to accept grieving as part of this process. I've actually gone from PTSD symptoms to depression, which (to be honest) Is much better.  Any movement feels like progress. It's so hard not to just get bitter and stay numb or mad. Every time I cry, I try to say "good job" to myself and accept that its part of the process to feel vulnerable and sad. My family puts SOOOO much pressure on the image of close 'family' ties (we're a big Spanish family and it's so cultural). I truly wish I had the family my family pretends to be. My older sibs might actually have a connection (they sure seem to), but two NPD's and a sociopath (and I don't say that lightly), I'm not sure how real their connections could possibly be. But I'm MUCH younger (12, 10, and 7 years) - so who knows what experiences bind them together. Of course, I know they play it up so I feel more isolated and alienated. So much of my denial has been believing the façade and blaming myself. The only thing worse than thinking it's all me, is realizing that it's not (if that makes sense). It really is truly sad, but I'm more sane when I face the truth. Not thinking this will ever get worked out, unfortunately. But I have real friends, great kids, and a husband who loves me. I can focus on that. I can also see myself. I'm not only trying to get out of my family, I'm trying to get my family out of me. Making progress every day.
"I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone." Robin Williams.

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all4peace

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Re: What can I say. A lifetime of gaslighting and I'm a little defensive.
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2016, 11:46:46 PM »
The only thing worse than thinking it's all me, is realizing that it's not (if that makes sense).
I think it might be because if it WERE us, we could do something about that. When it's not us, then all hope is gone. I'm so glad you do have the support you have, although it's so sad to not have your FOO.

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Summer Sun

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Re: What can I say. A lifetime of gaslighting and I'm a little defensive.
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2016, 11:55:31 AM »
Artsy, I so related to your post.  From the expectation of fake peace to PD siblings and wondering how close and for how long a Narc and BPD will endure.  I too am younger, now in the role of scapegoat.  Like you, have been grieving these losses, so I am sorry for your pain, your losses, the deep sorrow.  You are courageous and an inspiration for your clarity and strength.  It is reassuring that you have FOC, great kids and spouse.  Sending a warm hug your way.

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

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oldboy

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Re: What can I say. A lifetime of gaslighting and I'm a little defensive.
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2016, 12:37:06 PM »
I'm open to peace. I'm always open to peace. But I'm open to real peace. There are so many nasty, horrible things that can be done to people in ways that allow them no way to defend themselves. Peace is a recipe. It can't be declared as people turn tables, gossip, or sit by and watch one person get ganged up on. It can't be used like a blanket of snow on a garbage dump, masking all the garbage and making it look like the rest of the countryside. I will not be open to a false peace. A peace that requires me to take all the blame, endure vindictiveness and spite, to be lured and then attacked, and then to be treated like I'm crazy when I dare to speak and say 'no more'. Peace is not forced on people. I have always, and will always, be open to peace. I am not the problem.

this is pure poetry to me - it says something i've been trying to say since i was a small child. it could be embroidered and framed. thanks -

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movingforward2

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Re: What can I say. A lifetime of gaslighting and I'm a little defensive.
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2016, 09:55:07 AM »
Yes!

I am always open to peace and forgiveness, but not when it is all fake. 

I'll never forget last April when my NMIL declared I had to meet with her.  Privately.  To have an 'honest' conversation.  And...if I didn't do this, I would not be allowed at her house because if one is not willing to have an 'honest' conversation than one can not go to her house.  I saw this as a perfect opportunity to get out of going to her house  ;D.  I never had the 'honest' conversation with her.

See...conversations with my NMIL are never honest.  She takes words and twists them.  I once thanked her for toilet paper she bought us (we were young and broke).  I said, "Wow!  Thanks, now we will never run out."  She interpreted this to me saying, "Oh...well...we never run out of toilet paper, but thanks anyway."   I also once told her, "NMIL...I'm glad H is close to you.  My mom always told me that how a man treats his mom is how he'll treat is wife."  That was translated into, "It would really bother me how close you are to my H, but I know it means he will be good to his wife."  Let me tell you...13 years later, it is still brought up as a reflection of my rotten character.  Things that I never said.

There was no way I could ever win with her.   No peace was to be had, because as you said, for her, she wanted to put a blanket of snow over a pile of garbage and lies. 

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Totallytickedoff

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Re: What can I say. A lifetime of gaslighting and I'm a little defensive.
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2016, 12:14:36 PM »
I'm open to peace. I'm always open to peace. But I'm open to real peace. There are so many nasty, horrible things that can be done to people in ways that allow them no way to defend themselves. Peace is a recipe. It can't be declared as people turn tables, gossip, or sit by and watch one person get ganged up on. It can't be used like a blanket of snow on a garbage dump, masking all the garbage and making it look like the rest of the countryside. I will not be open to a false peace. A peace that requires me to take all the blame, endure vindictiveness and spite, to be lured and then attacked, and then to be treated like I'm crazy when I dare to speak and say 'no more'. Peace is not forced on people. I have always, and will always, be open to peace. I am not the problem.

this is pure poetry to me - it says something i've been trying to say since i was a small child. it could be embroidered and framed. thanks -
Amen. Poetry at its finest. I want to re type it in a calligraphy font on a decorative background and frame it near my front door so MIL can read it next time she visits (if she ever does), or at the very least so H who is FOG'd can read it!

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mommabeans

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Re: What can I say. A lifetime of gaslighting and I'm a little defensive.
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2016, 09:01:18 PM »
Artsy, do you find those types of responses, "May everyone be open to peace" to be fake and downright annoying?   I do.  I really can't deal with sappy, drippy syrupy answers and responses.   I mean, who talks like that in real life?  I'll bet Queen Bess doesn't even talk like that when the cameras aren't on.     LIke, their a greeting card writer or something.  Ew. Save it!   

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Artsy

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Re: What can I say. A lifetime of gaslighting and I'm a little defensive.
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2016, 02:08:59 PM »
Mommabeans,

Oh my gosh, YES! My brother and sister-in-law always talk in these terms. I honestly believe my brother is a cult leader of sorts in his state. People have accused him of that. He and his wife have invited hordes of people to their house and "started weeding out the haters". Who does that? Can you imagine being invited to someone's house to go through some kind of selection process? My brother has all of the traits of a NPD, and his toasts at Christmas time have always been 'extremely cheesy and corny' according to my husband, but they have always made me cringe, because they are outright false. Once I had to call the police on him because he wouldn't give me access to my toddler (whose now 23). After smear campaigns (both he and his wife) and a whole lot of emotional abuse, we actually talked about the incident. I told him I would do it again in a heart beat, and he said, "so harsh." Any kind of boundry is 'mean' and 'may we all be open to peace' reminds me of the phrase 'may the odds be ever in your favor' from the hunger games. It creeps me out! 
"I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone." Robin Williams.

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mommabeans

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Re: What can I say. A lifetime of gaslighting and I'm a little defensive.
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2016, 07:36:37 PM »
My ex talks like that when he thinks it's going to make him look like the better person.   "Live simply so that others may simply live."   

What dude?  Like, what internet quote site did you get that from? 

"I feel their love and wanted to share it with you."

Oh, give me a break.   I'm going to sprain an eyeball rolling my eyes!   

"May you have a wonder day and may the love of the universe elucidate all your  lifepaths." (or some crap like that.  Elucidate. Not only was the context completely wrong, but  Who the fug says that word? Ever. First time I ever heard him say that word I laughed.  He got really mad.)

Like I said,  I want to ask, "Do you work for Hallmark?"      LOL. 

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Candywarhol

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Re: What can I say. A lifetime of gaslighting and I'm a little defensive.
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2016, 07:43:23 AM »
Thank you @Artsy. That sounds like a perfect response - pity it would have fallen on deaf ears.

Like with many others who have already commented, your unsent response totally jives with me!
If I said something like that, it would be met with something along the lines of, "Can you not just take
an offer of peace and stop over analysing everything all the time!?" The general feeling of "there she goes again" would permeate the room and I'd be oft to feel like a small, needy, nut job who just can't be like everyone else; get over it, suck it up, snap out of it and just go along with the longest game of pretend in history.