New, Do I have a NMIL?

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solongStockholm

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New, Do I have a NMIL?
« on: February 04, 2017, 12:42:02 PM »
I've been a silent observer in this community for awhile. I have to say I appreciate the supportive nature here and am really looking forward to the helpful feedback on my own situation. I'll be brief here...

I am a 30-something married woman with a young child. My own mother fits the profile of a waifBPD; I've known this since I was a teen and have been in therapy since then to overcome the emotional damage caused by growing up in that household. My mother is an addict, emotionally numb and very emotionally immature. My father is a kind person but it also very emotionally immature. My new therapist recently told me that I fit the profile of someone who was emotionally deprived and abused. My family was the kind where everything looked okay from the outside (and even sometimes inside) but I was always suffering inside and only recently (since the birth of my daughter) have come to terms with that pain, as I used to blame myself for my feelings. (I just learned that's common in emotionally abusive homes). I do feel I have gained strength in terms of managing my own family, which brings me to the real reason I am here...my MIL.

I have known my MIL for over 10 years, since my H and I dated young. I suspect she fits the profile of having NPD, but she isn't as nasty as some describe a typical N. I cannot tell if she truly is N or just a B.  :o Here are some traits and examples:

-She is HIGHLY egotistical as everything revolves around HER to the point where it seems as though she has no awareness that there are other ways of being, feeling, living, outside of what she experiences herself. And when challenged she will either crumble/cry (I've never witnessed but other DILs in the family have), forcefully keep pushing her agenda in an effort to get you to back down from your position and agree with her (ex., in the past she would often say an opinion to a group of people and then repeat to me "right, (my name)? right (my name)?" until I nodded. Her children seen to be "extensions" of herself in that she seems to have this incessant need to make herself involved in their adult life decisions and if there's a loss of control something she highly values, she spirals with anxiety and will push and push verbally.

-A consequence of her egotism, is that she is a HIGHLY judgmental individual who lives a very superficial life. She incessantly gossips about others and- most toxic of all- gossips about all DILs to each of the other DILs. Her three sons are almost always spared judgement and harsh criticism, but it's gotten so bad that lately I have caught her gossiping or making "look what she did this time" statements to other family members about me IN MY OWN HOME when I was still present.

-Never takes accountability. Her ego is too fragile to admit fault, as it would require vulnerability. I have heard her apologize ONCE and it was only after she made a hurtful comment about my 3 week old daughter being "too skinny" (a direct dig on my actions as her breastfeeding mother, as if I wasn't doing my very best) and even that apology was couched with deflection.

-Nasty comments/attacks toward only me (never my husband) when she loses control. For example, after we deflected her attempts to control our behavior one time (in the context of discussing our new kitten) she said "(cat's name) seems to really like you (to me)"...then under her breath but audible "why would anyone like you?". My husband called her on it and she claimed "it was a joke". WTF.

I realize much of what I have shared DOES sound like the traits listed on here with other NPDs. But she just seems more sneaky about it and not as aggressive as some describe. She doesn't stomp and yell; she manipulates, triangulates and makes snide remarks.

I am trying to figure out how to definitively deal with her. I think because of my own childhood I often find I "slide back" (or maybe I'm being sucked back in, as some say here) and fall back into old ways of thinking the situation rests on my shoulders. I've been in therapy since the birth of my daughter to deal with the sudden surge of childhood emotional pain that was triggered by having a child of my own. My MIL seems to just keep me in this place of feeling abused.

Anyone have thoughts to share with me that may help?

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Latchkey

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Re: New, Do I have a NMIL?
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2017, 10:20:39 PM »
Hi solongStockholm,

Welcome! I am glad you posted. Dealing with a NMIL is not easy.
This article someone posted here years ago helped me realize what was going on with my own NMIL.
Characteristics of Narcissistic Mothers

Have you seen this link on Medium Chill . Medium Chill is a good way to deal with a N MIL and also with your BPD Mother.

Once I realized I was dealing with a NMIL it helped to level the playing field so to speak. Check out our Dealing with PD IN-Laws and also Dealing with PD Parents board for finding others with similar stories who can offer insight.

We are here for you.

 :bighug:

Latchkey

Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.
-Mother Jones
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There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
-Maya Angelou
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When we have the courage to do what we need to do, we unleash mighty forces that come to our aid.