"Out of the FOG" is a perfect descriptive phrase

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myself

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"Out of the FOG" is a perfect descriptive phrase
« on: November 20, 2016, 11:55:33 AM »
Hello, i am very new to all of this.  Everything I have read about NPD fits exactly with my MIL.  I moved to a new country with my husband when we got married, left my friends and family, ended up stuck living with my inlaws for 3 years, which had NOT been in the plans, they sold the land they had promised to give us to use, which was the whole reason I had left my home.  I was very ill and pregnant when we moved in with them, my MIL was extremely abusive, even putting me into physical danger, but always denying it, always making a big show to everyone outside the family of what a good person she is, and how she was helping us (she wasn't, we stayed to help during FIL's illness).  I didn't know people like that existed.  She took my things and sold, lost, or used them up, let some of our livestock die to teach us a lesson about her knowing what's best, would set up social situations pretending to be nice, only to turn on me and ridicule me in front of an audience.  That kind of thing went on for years. I felt like I couldn't talk to anyone because everyone I knew, knew her as well, and would say what a good person she was and how it must be so nice to have her help all the time!! It made me feel like i was the wrong one for ever suggesting she was anything other than what she pretends.  I was afraid to even try to find information or help online in case she saw it, she read my mail so i felt it likely she would check my internet history, too.  My husband doesn't like to hear anything about it.  I guess it's probably unpleasant to be faced with the fact that your perfectly normal, typical family you grew up in actually was abusive.  Whenever I have tried to stand up for myself or our children she has created huge dramas, lying to other people about us, talking about how much she has cried and how all she has done has been to try to be good to us,and then she turns nasty and starts spitting out every fault my husband or I have ever committed, real or imagined, like she has saved them all up just to prove what bad people we are and we should be grateful she loves us and put up with our abuse.  It's good to finally know there's a name for it and it really isn't just me.

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xredshoesx

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Re: "Out of the FOG" is a perfect descriptive phrase
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2016, 12:54:46 PM »
welcome to the forum myself,

i can't even imagine how frustrating and isolating it was to be in a different country with such a difficult person as you've described your MIL.  we can't say for sure if she has NPD, however, some of the behaviors you have described fit in with the descriptions and common traits of someone who may have NPD, and i am glad you feel that site can be a good resource and place to get validation for you.  i'm glad to see you have found the inlaws area of the forum and have started to participate in the discussions there too.

a word of caution.  you did mention your MIL has checked your computer search history.  please makes sure you are browsing safely here, and always log out after visiting ootf.  some members take an extra level of precaution by clearing their own search history after each visit, something that may be a wise thing for you to do as well so she doesn't use your participation here against you as well.

your H may be in the fog too.  does he have other siblings?  have any of them been cast in the role of the golden child, or have any of them been painted black like your MIL has done to you?  the web of abuse that can be woven by an NPD parent is very tangled, and often denial is a defense mechanism that adult children of NPD parents employ as a coping skill- if that is in the case in your situation, his denial makes it even easier for her to target you.

i am so sorry you are dealing with this.  from reading your other posts i can see you are a strong person and have the ability to pull yourself above this treatment and protect your children from her as well.   in your situation it's exceptionally  difficult because it sounds like  the financial relationship between your H and his parents is part of the measures of control she holds over you all.

hope to see more of you on the boards soon-


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Ursula

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Re: "Out of the FOG" is a perfect descriptive phrase
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2016, 02:03:04 PM »
I was afraid to even try to find information or help online in case she saw it, she read my mail so i felt it likely she would check my internet history, too. 

I understand what you're going through myself.  What you've written about your MIL reading your mail is the same behavior my uMIL exhibited when she visited us.  In addition to opening our mail, uMIL would also go through my luggage when we visited her home (she'd make comments about my undergarments and items stored in my suitcase revealing that she'd been snooping.)  This is totally unacceptable behavior that violates your privacy.  Your husband doesn't have to agree with you about his mother opening mail. You're well within your rights to say no. Just tell your H and your MIL that no one allowed to open your mail or go through your personal papers. Furthermore, I agree that a person who opens your mail may be capable of snooping on your computer.  I suggest Installing a password on your computer and not giving it to anyone else, including your kids. If they want to use your computer you can log them on.
 
She took my things and sold, lost, or used them up
Once again, my MIL has done similar things showing she has no idea that other people are separate and distinct individuals. She "borrowed" my clothes; threw away my plant even after I specifically said I wanted to keep it; took food out of our kitchen and gave it away to neighbors saying I had bought too much (I'm pretty sure she's anorexic and she can't stand to be around food, even food that's in our kitchen); worst of all, she threw away my son's bedtime cuddly (an old pajama top that my son had kept it under his pillow for years and liked to touch at night --he's very tactile and handling the old, soft pajama top was comforting to him even into his mid teenage years). When you're ready you might begin to assert that your stuff is your stuff, not hers.

  My husband doesn't like to hear anything about it.  I guess it's probably unpleasant to be faced with the fact that your perfectly normal, typical family you grew up in actually was abusive. 
Enmeshment, check that box too.  Your Husband may have no idea that his mother's "love" crosses the line into abuse.  This may create conflict between you and your H as you assert boundaries. Consider marital therapy if that happens because sometimes a third person can deliver a message that your spouse can't hear when you say it. Going to a marital therapist has helped my husband understand that there's a problem with his mother.  We also learned that he has no emotional memories from his childhood, an indicator of emotional neglect according to our marital therapist and consistent with my husband's markedly unemotional adult personality. How emotional is your husband?

Lastly, I agree with xredshoesx that your situation is particularly difficult since you live in close proximity and may have a financial relationship with your in-laws. I'm so sorry that you're dealing with these issues and offer my best wishes that you'll find resources and support here. People on this board truly get it.

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myself

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Re: "Out of the FOG" is a perfect descriptive phrase
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2016, 10:05:40 PM »
Thanks for the replies.  I am safely out of the clutches of my MIL now  :) . It was the 3 years we lived with them that caused most of the damage. I'm still trying to figure out how to shed the effects of that period of time.  We see her a few days every couple of months, though she still manages to cause me a lot of stress from a distance.  I was trying to give a brief picture of the kind of behaviour she uses, but there's a lot of years of history, and very few interactions that have been normal.  I have not been her only target, I was completely shocked when I first witnessed the level of abuse directed at FIL when they were at home, and when we were first married, while she was still being nice but controlling towards me, I heard her spreading some very vicious and damaging lies about her SIL.  Both those family members have been passed away a few years, but nobody in the family ever talks about anything.

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myself

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Re: "Out of the FOG" is a perfect descriptive phrase
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2016, 11:41:17 AM »
Can I ask others' opinions on these observations?  These are the things that really made me think my MIL has something very deeply wrong.  I think on the whole the descriptions of NPD, especially covert type, fits well, but not sure about these things:
1. in over 10 years of close association, i have never, ever seen a hint of being sorry, either for anything she's done, or for something that happened to someone else.
2. her initial reaction to her spouse being diagnosed with terminal illness was jealousy - it should be her who gets to be made a fuss of! - Of course in her public response she did all the right things, dabbed her eyes and talked about how she must try to be strong for him.
3. when I was pregnant, she seemed intent on causing me harm, and kept arranging situations where i might have been hurt.  at one point she gave me an electrical shock, but just snapped that it was my own stupidity, didn't even make an attempt to pretend it was an accident.
4.  Goes on about being an animal lover, but didn't make much effort to conceal her glee when she let two (of ours, not hers) baby lambs die in order to teach H the lesson that he is too irresponsible to have animals, and that she should have them.  (this was after she had said how much she liked lambs, and he wouldn't give them to her.  so she told them to put them in a shed overnight for bad weather, pretending  to be helpful in offering a shed, knowing full well it was too cold, then blamed him, apparently forgetting he had been following her "helpful" instructions, and after that took charge of all of our sheep, including eventually selling them and keeping the money when she got tired of them.)  So killing animals doesn't bother her as long as she makes her point.