"I'll remember this in my will"

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daughter

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"I'll remember this in my will"
« on: August 01, 2017, 12:01:04 PM »
Recently encountered NBM and NF at oldest DS' large event.  I knew they'd likely attend, so prepared myself.  Picture: large event, no assigned seats, so people guarding their corralled seats, me saving DH one spot in nearly-filled hall, but lots of seats on fringes.  So in walk my parents, who immediately approach, Chesire Cat smiles, NF proffers a hug and NBM smirks a "you look nice" weirdness.  I'm polite, composed, surprisingly calm, but not enthusiastic.  Fifth sentence, they ask if I "saved them those seats" pointing to spot next to me.  Now note that I'm 5+ years NC.  I've experienced their "off-stage" awfulness, their "disinheritance" paperwork, and worse yet, their horrid manipulation of my emotionally-vulnerable oldest DS.  But "did I save them seats?".  No, just one seat for DH; everything else here already taken.  My internal reaction?  WTF.  I say we'll see each other afterwards.  It gets worse.

In our brief conversation, I also noted DS hadn't packed but must move out of his apartment immediately afterwards, his move-out deadline yet that afternoon.  I repeat this afterwards, when we meet-up again.  Does it register?  No, of course not.  They adamantly insist that "DS and his girlfriend come eat" with them - now, "because that's expected".  It's "DS be with us; ignore your parents", all over again, like those past Christmas Dinners.  So yes, DS dutifully goes off to restaurant with my parents, yes, to collect his Big Check, for certain, us left to start packing his apartment.  Yes, I'm hurt.  Yes, I'm mad at DH for not intervening here.  So after about 30 minutes of mutual frustration with locked doors, no parking, and an apartment not packed, DH calls DS and says "you need to get here NOW, and do your packing!".  DS promptly arrives, chagrined, his poor girlfriend in tow, who's probably wondering why the weirdness here.

Yes, I realize DS, with his poor ASP social skills, was yet again in a no-win situation, stuck between whether to comply with my parents' expectations (and get Big Check), or ours (just his patient parents, as ever).  Worse, NBM told him at restaurant that she'll "remember this in her will", meaning, of course, I'm disinherited, already done, but now flagged for DS' appreciation, as if for simply this fresh "sin" of mine, even though my disinheritance is frankly "done deal", already a decade in-process, pre-NC, while I was still NBM's "dutiful daughter".  DS duly reports NBM's angry comment, doing NBM's dirty work, again, as intended, my parents' pawn, again.  (I tell him it's old news, already done, that it's grossly inappropriate for NBM to tell him this.) 

And I'll add, another milestone FOC Family Event, marred by my NBM's and NF's nefarious presence.  But I think DS now fully understands the magnitude of NBM's malevolence towards me.  I think she overplayed her hand.


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illogical

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Re: "I'll remember this in my will"
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2017, 12:34:17 PM »
...And I'll add, another milestone FOC Family Event, marred by my NBM's and NF's nefarious presence. But I think DS now fully understands the magnitude of NBM's malevolence towards me.  I think she overplayed her hand.

That understanding by your son has to be some compensation for having to be, once again, drug through the mud by your NBM and NF.  They won't ever change, but your son's understanding is rather a milestone, in and of itself.  Your NBM loves to try to control everyone with her money.  Money can be a big lure.  My NM also tried to control me with her money, but it didn't work.  Worked for a little while, until I said to myself there wasn't enough tea in China to make me bend to her will.
"Applying logic to potentially illogical behaviour is to construct a house on shifting foundations.  The structure will inevitably collapse."

__Stewart Stafford

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all4peace

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Re: "I'll remember this in my will"
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2017, 01:10:34 PM »
I want to tell people like this, "You are standing there totally naked," in the psychological sense. Someone who is doing the right thing, who is basically decent and good, doesn't need to behave the way your NM does. I know you already know this, but it stands out to me again.

She's lost control. It really sucks for her that she's no longer able to use you for her punching bag. She's trying awfully hard to hurt you through your son, but I truly hope she overstepped this time also! It must be so very hard to hold your position, to do the parenting you need to do, and to not give into really understandable possible urges to retaliate, counter-bribe, or whatever.

I hear from my DS that my own uNM has also started gifting huge sums of money to one of the grandkids. It makes my blood curdle, as it seems like a terrible sign for family relations and a sign of my own uNM's desperation to at least hold onto the next generation as her children slip through her controlling fingers.

It must be terribly sad to need money to hold onto family members. It makes me wonder what impoverished PDs do in these situations.

I'm so sorry that this important event for your DS was marred by your awful parents. WTF is the perfect response (unspoken) and one I've often had myself, as their behavior is so inappropriate and bizarre. Maybe the only good that can come from it is to be freshly aware of the reasons you stay NC and that possibly your son or his gf saw more than your NM intended to expose.

Hugs, my friend.

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Danden

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Re: "I'll remember this in my will"
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2017, 03:37:12 PM »
I think it is good your son saw his grandma as she is.  If she has disinherited her own daughter, doesn't this reflect on him, your son, too?  It seems to me it does, since that which does not come to you does not come to him (indirectly through you).  Now he is in the unfortunate and difficult position of maintaining a relationship with her if he needs/wants money from her.  And she uses that to control him.  And he also probably has some feelings of wanting to have her in his life.  That is very sad for him but I hope he finds a way to come to terms with it in a way that does not compromise him.  So sorry to hear this.

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Terichan

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Re: "I'll remember this in my will"
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2017, 12:02:51 AM »
Wow. "I'll remember this in my will" is pretty much straight-up manipulation with money, she's not even trying to hide it or be subtle or anything... I know you've said that your DS has poor social skills, but does he have strong analytical skills? With his ASP going on, your mother probably is shooting herself in the foot here, it sounds like it's very clear to your DS what's going on. And he sees that it's hurtful and mean and manipulative. He'll have to navigate this difficult scenario, but he has you on his side, and that's what's most important.

My uBPDm used to try to control us with her money -- she calls it "your inheritance" :roll: -- but it has been completely transparent and ineffective. My stepmother also tried to "punish" me after my father died by making a big fat deal about giving her own grandchildren stuff from his estate, like loudly announcing she gave her granddaughter his car (to emphasize how *we* weren't getting anything, I guess. I couldn't have cared less, I have my own car, a much nicer car at that, thanks). In a way it's lucky for me and my kids that I came Out of the FOG when they were tiny, while your children were older when you came Out of the FOG and they were more susceptible to their grandparents' influence.

I'm sorry your parents ruined yet another important family event. But yes, I also think it's good that your DS can see his grandmother's malevolence now. Eventually, she'll out herself completely with him.
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

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Iguanagos

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Re: "I'll remember this in my will"
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2017, 10:16:42 PM »
Daughter,
I meant to respond to this earlier.  The gall of your parents was astounding.  I know I shouldn’t be surprised given all your backstory, but still.  Not only coming right up to you after disinheriting you and not speaking for so long, but then assuming your seats were theirs.  And then of course, commandeering your DS after the ceremony when you made it clear he had other responsibilities – plus, making sure to take him away from you and DH right after the ceremony.  I am amazed that you kept composure through it all.

I’m really sorry they continue to be such a thorn in your side, very intentionally, it appears, which is just heartbreaking.  I’m hopeful that as your son continues to mature, he will expand his social network, (like with the girlfriend and eventual work colleagues), in a way that gives him tools to better compare behavior and spot the PDs out there. With your and DH’s continued steady and reliable (i.e., non-PD) behavior, he will begin to connect the dots on his own.  He will hopefully begin to see that he is being manipulated.  And while the money is tempting, especially as DS is so young, one sign of maturity is recognizing when you are being ‘bought’, and refusing the bribe.

Your parents are in their 80s, I believe, and although healthy now, the reality is that anything can happen at that age.  With PDs, my understanding is that even if dementia is not in play, maintaining the façade gets more and more difficult as they age, and their mask begins to slip more frequently, making it easier for others to see what they are really made of.  I think I recall a recent post of yours where you said their circle of friends was getting very small.  That’s all going to make it harder for them to cope as they age.

One thing that occurred to me that might possibly help is to not allow DS to be used as a conduit to pass nastygrams from your parents back to you.  I’m assuming he is not fully aware he is being used as a messenger, so maybe just telling him you don’t feel it’s appropriate for him to do their dirty work for them, or anything anyone wants to say to you, they should say directly to you and not through him – or whatever words are best.  It would seem perfectly appropriate, and maybe helpful to him, to call out their specific behavior that is inappropriate.  Not them, per se, (because he will be inclined to then defend them) but the behavior itself.  I’m sure you are expertly walking that delicate balance with DS given his challenges, but just wanted to mention that. 

I’m hopeful he one day soon pulls you aside and says, “Mom, you were right.  They are really messed up.”

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daughter

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Re: "I'll remember this in my will"
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2017, 12:18:52 PM »
Our oldest DS insisted on maintaining contact with my parents post-NC.  He's still believes NF's facile "I'm just a victim of NBM too" mask, still thinks NF is "nice guy" who's supportive of him (DS).  Truly sad that DS doesn't seem the sociopath in NF.  DS views my NBM as a "witch", who he readily acknowledges is manipulative and unpleasant, but she rewards him with large cash gifts at every face-to-face encounter, including this recent milestone event.

That said, DS recently saw my parents again, where they tried to "discuss event" in context of their "hurt" at my supposed bad behavior (stating that there's no time for restaurant meal when packing needs to be done).  DS told them he didn't want to discuss said event.  Then NBM further overstepped DS' weak boundaries, when she tried to undermine DS' relationship with his girlfriend with several doubt-setting comments.  DS responded with "why would you say that?", and I think NBM finally exposed her true self to DS, where there's no-way to rationalize her malevolence and spitefulness.  But NF still retains his "halo" of "nice guy/victim".

Outcome of these recent events is that DS asked me why I didn't prevent him from remaining in-contact with my parents post-NC.  Given how hard he resisted my encouragements to not go visit them, his resistance to my efforts to explain situation, to make him see that overt manipulation and obvious effort to undermine our parental authority and loving-relationship with DS, my response was "but I tried, I tried, with no success, you know this".   That said, a lot of emotional damage has occurred here.  I wish I'd denied my parents any and all access to my FOC Family, because I knew all along how toxic and truly damaging my high-functioning sociopath parents were.  It took me that long to finally grant myself permission to "buck authority" and go NC, far too late in my life.
 
« Last Edit: August 08, 2017, 12:27:09 PM by daughter »

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all4peace

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Re: "I'll remember this in my will"
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2017, 12:42:55 PM »
When i get frustrated with the coverts maintaining their facade, I remind myself that it took me 20+ and 40+ years for me to finally understand the fathers' covert-aggressive behavior in the context of my and Dh's N/BPD family systems. I think many of us, including our children, "need" there to be one "good guy" or we "lose" our entire family. It may take your son much longer to understand his grandfather's role in all of this.

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Iguanagos

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Re: "I'll remember this in my will"
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2017, 11:01:56 PM »
When i get frustrated with the coverts maintaining their facade, I remind myself that it took me 20+ and 40+ years for me to finally understand the fathers' covert-aggressive behavior in the context of my and Dh's N/BPD family systems. I think many of us, including our children, "need" there to be one "good guy" or we "lose" our entire family. It may take your son much longer to understand his grandfather's role in all of this.

 :yeahthat:

Totally agree.  In my case, it took me decades longer to fully see my EF's role in the whole family dynamic.  He is not nearly as overt as N/B M, and has many redeeming qualities, but still, he fully supports his wife and would throw his children under the bus to protect his wife.  So it's not surprising at all that your son, as young as he is and with his challenges, having more difficulty clearly seeing your NF's role.  But he's come a long way in just a few years, so it would seem there's definitely hope.

DS views my NBM as a "witch", who he readily acknowledges is manipulative and unpleasant....

...That said, DS recently saw my parents again, where they tried to "discuss event" in context of their "hurt" at my supposed bad behavior (stating that there's no time for restaurant meal when packing needs to be done).  DS told them he didn't want to discuss said event. Then NBM further overstepped DS' weak boundaries, when she tried to undermine DS' relationship with his girlfriend with several doubt-setting comments.  DS responded with "why would you say that?", and I think NBM finally exposed her true self to DS, where there's no-way to rationalize her malevolence and spitefulness. 

Wow, this to me seems to be huge.  He is on to her.  And he's so young, so much younger than you were when you came OOTF.

Outcome of these recent events is that DS asked me why I didn't prevent him from remaining in-contact with my parents post-NC.  Given how hard he resisted my encouragements to not go visit them, his resistance to my efforts to explain situation, to make him see that overt manipulation and obvious effort to undermine our parental authority and loving-relationship with DS, my response was "but I tried, I tried, with no success, you know this".   

This also seems huge to me.  He is directly asking you to explain why you did what you did, because he is trying to figure this out.  I'm so glad that you and he have such a good relationship that he feels okay asking you such a difficult question openly.  I know you've expressed regret many times that you didn't go NC sooner, and hindsight is always clearer.  I've followed your story for a long time now, and I'm impressed with how far he seems to have come recently.  Your young man is navigating a very difficult situation in what is (to me) a surprisingly mature fashion.  I'm guessing in the long run, he will look back and appreciate not only your loving guidance and efforts to protect him, but also your trust in him and his judgement.