update, dad and our "talk"

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all4peace

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update, dad and our "talk"
« on: November 29, 2017, 10:35:47 AM »
I had the holidays with my mom, dad and extended family. Because all my siblings were home, I extended my visit in their home for nearly 2 days. Dad managed to not have a single conversation with me. When I arrived, I found mom whose hands were too full to give a greeting hug (no problem), and followed dad around to 3 different places, speaking his name, before he could finally "see" and "hear" me to say hello. When I said it was nice to see him, he stopped for at least 5 seconds, then finally said the same back.

And then the next 2 days I got to watch him (tried hard to not see anything, but it's unavoidable) be incredibly sociable with all my cousins, aunts, uncles, siblings, my DH, my kids. Every person except me.

As the crowd got smaller, it got harder to take, and I decided to head home earlier than planned. My sister questioned me about it, asking why I didn't want to "be with the family." I was incredulous at her question, as she knows the situation, but she repeated it while I tried to gather my thoughts and not cry. And I ended up bawling. All I really wanted to do was leave while I was still composed, and just go home to DH and my kids, my life.

Sister made dad aware of why I left, that I had been crying hard, she let him know she was upset with his behavior and that all any person wants is the unconditional love of their parents (I would have preferred she not say anything at all). Dad said he knew I was upset and that he "wants our relationship to be better."

That was almost a week ago. Crickets.

I assume I will eventually get mom and dad's responses to the conversation they started weeks ago. Eventually they will get around to continuing the discussion they started about the state of our relationship.

And all I can think is that for the first time in more than 2 decades I had a relative offering me a place to stay for Thanksgiving (we always, always, always stay with my parents, who live in the same town, and all my siblings were going to be home, my parents house is enormous, and this felt a LOT like my fear of being cut off from the family in any way possible)....... and when I did spend time with my parents, attempting to be friendly, I got a whole lotta cold from my dad and a whole lotta pay-attention-to-me fakey saccharine behavior from my mom (which didn't even extend into "how are you? how was your recent trip?" Just a lot of gossip, knowitallness and conversation designed to focus on her)

This is all too familiar. The burden is on our shoulders, with both my parents and my ILs. Their behavior is not supposed to affect us in any way. They can ST for 2 years, be absent and silent during our family's crises, badmouth, undermine, trample boundaries....but then when they want the relationship to be "all fixed" again, it is put on us. We open ourselves to conversations, to trying to repair it, I open myself to sleepless nights and anxiety in their presence to be open to fixing it, and they are either totally inconsistent or consistently cold and silent. And somehow, even that gets put on us.

Seriously, if there are any estranged parents who read this forum, take a really close look at your behavior. YOU ARE THE PARENTS! You DO owe your children the basic decency of consistently kind behavior. And if you cannot manage that, do NOT pretend cluelessness, fake helplessness, put the blame on them, complain to your friends, try to cut them off from the rest of the family, subject them to a ST or stalking, try to go around them to their kids or friends. Just stop.

If you are doing anything except having open, honest, calm and clear conversations with your adult children, IN WHICH YOU ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR BEHAVIOR and APOLOGIZE for the hurt and harm you have caused, you most definitely a large part of the problem.

As I told my sister, I am not going to chase dad around, begging him to love me. I have already forgiven him so much abuse and abandonment from childhood. We rebuilt our adult relationship on shaky ground based entirely on our (my siblings) ability to forgive our parents. If they want to take that precious gift and burn it to the ground, hopefully the flames of that will keep them warm. If they want to wrap themselves in their pride, I hope that's a comfort to them.

My dad and I didn't have issues in our adult relationship. I didn't even have issues with him as a child. When he was slamming me into walls, I fully blamed my mom for egging him on. I still haven't properly tapped into the anger I should have for him and the way he was as a father. But I am certainly starting to find a lot of anger for how he is behaving now. His level of entitlement and enabling is breathtaking.

I guess I'm just venting. I thought I was done being hurt by my parents, that they couldn't reach that child inside of me anymore. They can.

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: update, dad and our "talk"
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2017, 10:50:00 AM »
Offering a gentle cyber hug to your inner child from mine.

Excluding others is bullying. Read any website about the definition of bullying and most of them will mention excluding others, making them feel like an outsider because they're different or don't agree. I'm so sad for you that this was your experience when they had specifically expressed concern and a desire to repair the relationship. Given the opportunity instead they chose to step all over you, for days.

Please take time for some self care, I say this a lot but really mean it from my heart. It helped me so much sometimes just to wrap myself in a blanket and have a good cry. That's what worked for me but please what do whatever works for you to feel soothed.
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practical

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Re: update, dad and our "talk"
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2017, 11:27:07 AM »
I'm so sorry this is what Thanksgiving was like to you, that you were subjected to that kind of treatment. :grouphug:

My dad and I didn't have issues in our adult relationship. I didn't even have issues with him as a child. When he was slamming me into walls, I fully blamed my mom for egging him on. I still haven't properly tapped into the anger I should have for him and the way he was as a father. But I am certainly starting to find a lot of anger for how he is behaving now. His level of entitlement and enabling is breathtaking.
Sometimes we have to see how we are treated as adults to then be able to unravel the past. This was how it worked for me. Yes, I knew my F's role as enabler, had had discussions with him about it even, but I never got really angry at him, was still his dutiful daughter, only when his treatment of me as adult become unbearable to me, was I also able to see the past for what it was and accept that I hadn't at any parent.

My heart goes out to you, and I second Springbutterfly's advice for plenty of selfcare. :hug:
If Im not towards myself, who is towards myself? And when Im only towards myself, what am I? And if not now, when? (Rabbi Hillel)

"I can forgive, but I cannot afford to forget." (Moglow)

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daughter

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Re: update, dad and our "talk"
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2017, 11:35:53 AM »
Accepting the reality of our so-called relationship with our parents is difficult, and sad.  I've been there, and know that feeling of "being tacitly shunned  even while physically-present", trying to be a diligent "dutiful daughter" even when my parents' behaviors toward me were obviously dismissive, unkind, and/or disrespectful, even while I was fulfilling their every expectation and demand.  I came to realization that no matter how hard I tried, this relationship had failed me, and wasn't salvageable.  Period.  We often come to a profound realization that we can continue to "fake" some sort of familial bond with our dysfunctional parents, even as "faking it" takes its emotional toll on us, or we finally disengage, to increasingly greater degree, to appropriately protect our own emotional well-being.

Please realize that this situation is symptomatic of your parents' personality flaws and dysfunctional expectations, and not your own.

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Idiotic

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Re: update, dad and our "talk"
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2017, 12:26:15 PM »
Im sorry to read this about your relationship with your dad. I don't have anything to offer except my support.
When i was a child i feared my father, when i was a teen i hated him. By adulthood i was indifferent to him, I didn't care for his opinions well being criticism or anything. But now in my late twenties and living with him again, i feel slightly sorry for him, i see his pathetic inner life and i now i understand more about his dynamic with his own parents. I don't care for him as much as my mother, but i understand him more. Having said this , at the slightest affront by him my childhood hatred comes to the front, and i have to calm myself. We have grown into boundaries, which lead us to have a more peaceful interaction. I will never be really close to him, but now it doesn't hurt me. 

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practical

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Re: update, dad and our "talk"
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2017, 01:02:07 PM »
I assume I will eventually get mom and dad's responses to the conversation they started weeks ago. Eventually they will get around to continuing the discussion they started about the state of our relationship.
I think they already did, your M with her "whole lotta pay-attention-to-me fakey saccharine behavior from my mom (which didn't even extend into "how are you? how was your recent trip?" Just a lot of gossip, knowitallness and conversation designed to focus on her)" and your F with his "whole lotta cold", the ST. Actually in a way both gave you the ST as neither talked to you, with you, you M talked at you, and your F just didn't.

In my experience these invitations to conversations about our relationship were orders to fall back in line, and when I didn't, then nothing was ever heard about the conversation. If I brought it up, they obfuscated and switched topics, or I was shut down, yelled at, got the ST. I traveled several times 300 miles to have a talk with M, she really needed to talk to me, then it didn't happened or was something that didn't even come close to the issue we had but rather was about her.

If I was in your shoes, I would forget about the talk they wanted to have, there actions have now repeatedly given you an answer. Actually if they were really interested in resolving the issues, they would have done it before Thanksgiving, because nobody who is normal wants this kind of thing hanging over the Thanksgiving family gathering, you want everybody to feel comfortable and relaxed.

I'm really sorry for you have no support on either side of the family.
If Im not towards myself, who is towards myself? And when Im only towards myself, what am I? And if not now, when? (Rabbi Hillel)

"I can forgive, but I cannot afford to forget." (Moglow)

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bopper

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Re: update, dad and our "talk"
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2017, 01:07:55 PM »
OMG Why do you want to visit people who clearly don't care if you are there?

Just because they are incapable of loving you, doesn't mean that you are unlovable.
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all4peace

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Re: update, dad and our "talk"
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2017, 01:15:25 PM »
OMG Why do you want to visit people who clearly don't care if you are there?
I don't visit them anymore, ever. I visited for the holidays since they host my entire extended family and my siblings were home from far away.

And I also understand that they each have their own stories, my dad's far worse than my mom's. I'm willing to extend some effort, as much as I can handle, and then it's time for me to leave.

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Peace Lily

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Re: update, dad and our "talk"
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2017, 01:35:50 PM »
Hi All4peace, I don't know how you managed to stay so long and hold it together!  Spring Butterfly is right, this behaviour is bullying -your parents are bullies.  I am glad that you don't make a habit of visiting them, because it must be hard to recover - it takes me a long time for a lot less bad behaviour than you seem to have experienced.  I stopped spending Xmas with my parents when they gave me ST for 7 years and so I did not feel welcome (we used to spend the holidays with my extended family). After a number of years my aunt told my parents they were not welcome anymore (not because of their treatment of me, she did not understand at the time) because my mother would start washing up before the mea had finished and then sulk in her bedroom because she could not bear to see the rest of my family having a good time with children and grandchildren when she didn't have hers around. (self inflicted!!).  She was ruining everyone's Xmas.  Since then they have spent the holidays alone, even though I have been back in contact.  I tried on 2 occasions to have them over with the ILs, but she ruined one Xmas in particular and went off in a sulk!  Why?????? Anyway, I was hoping that your extended family may understand (more than you realise) what your parents are like. It took my family a long time before they told my parents not to come for Xmas, they probably felt guilty as my Mum and Dad had nowhere else to go and they are family.  It sounds as if your sister does, even if she did not handle it well.  Some of them are hopefully not so self absorbed that they can see what is going on. It sounds pretty obvious that you are being very poorly treated from the way you describe it. I hope you feel better after the venting and from all the messages of support owning their way to you. Sending hugs x
"It is not the the bruises on the body that hurt. It is the wounds of the heart and the scars on the mind". Aisha Mirza

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overitall

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Re: update, dad and our "talk"
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2017, 01:46:01 PM »
I used to believe that the holidays would bring a different set of behaviors from uBPDm and uNPDf.....sadly, I would also be dismissed.....too busy to talk with me, but a cousin would walk in and the room would light up and the "how are you?" and "what's going on with your job, kids, etc.?' conversation would begin...I would stand there speechless....so they DID know how to have a conversation and inquire about one's world....I have to accept that they just DIDN"T WANT to do this with me....they were not interested....

I was shunned, humiliated, and abused for years and years....I would attend the holiday events over and over, due to that "family obligation."  I completely understand how you feel....I would leave the holiday events and it would ruin me for weeks....I would replay the day over and over in my head, trying to figure out what I did wrong...

I have been NC for over 6 years ..... I do holidays with friends, and I enjoy every minute of my holiday...no stress, no anxiety

Please take care of you....focus on yourself and your FOC and don't get sucked into their negativity....everyone here understands

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all4peace

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Re: update, dad and our "talk"
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2017, 01:49:10 PM »
There's just so much plausible deniability. Big group of people, siblings from out of town, they're hosting..... what kind of self-centered person must I be to expect them to actually engage?

And to be more transparent, there is an elderly family member who is dying in the middle of all of this, which can account for some of my mom's attention-seeking behavior, but in my mind is actually just a viable reason for her to demand even more attention than usual.

Still, I think if a person starts a conversation with an adult daughter bemoaning the distance and emptiness of the relationship, then perhaps when that daughter works up the courage to spend 2 days in their home (something I haven't done for an entire year), maybe you dig deep and find AS MUCH friendliness for her as you do for every single other person in your home.

Also to be transparent, if cutting someone off is bullying, then I have been doing this to my mom. Of course I don't want to spend time with someone who gossips, backstabs, literally nonstop lies, disrespects the 2 boundaries I have ever set with her in my lifetime, has no concept of the 2-way nature of a loving relationship.... So, I have trips and phone calls and texting conversation with my sisters, sister in laws, brothers, extended family. And almost never with my mom. I do believe both she and D are responding from this place of hurt, and that she likely feels shunned and bullied.

I did continue trying to keep that bridge intact by texting nearly totally one-sidedly for the last nearly 2 years. The phone and roads do run both ways. However, that's not likely how she will see it.

One good thing is I'm being very clear with my siblings. I used to bend myself to what they wanted, but now I clearly told my sister that if dad wants a good relationship, his behavior will have to show it. That of course I want time with my family, but when I'm spending a lot of energy trying not to cry it is time for me to leave. That the ONLY thing I did in adulthood to trigger all of this is make one reasonable request of my parents (please don't discuss my IL relationship with my ILs), followed by 2 commonsense boundaries (please respond to texts about my kids when they are in your care, and please talk to me before making plans with my kids). I will try to keep the story clear, but I am developing a fear that I could be the one who ends up losing out in all of this.

Sometimes it is very hard for me to not lose myself in the anger about all the harm that PD behaviors cause in families that could otherwise have a chance.

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: update, dad and our "talk"
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2017, 03:45:36 PM »
You have every right to be angry.

When I said excluding others I guess I wasn't too clear - I didn't mean cutting someone off (see comments below). What I meant was excluding a person within a group of people, interacting with everyone present except for one person to the point where it was uncomfortable, then I believe that's bullying. That sort of behavior is designed so that those who are different or disagree feel outside the group while surrounded by people.

It's beyond simply being overlooked due to there just being a lot of holiday hubbub activity around with no particular anyone getting any sort of targeted negative treatment. It's different than choosing to back off from a relationship (or cutting off someone) because you're either busy and have to set priorities elsewhere or just not into the other person's companionship for whatever reason. And it's very different from communicating one's feeling in a straightforward way and others choosing not to listen so the relationship begins to die a natural death of starvation.

Whatever you wish to call it I'm sorry you were targeted with such negative and hurtful behavior.
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Malini

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Re: update, dad and our "talk"
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2017, 03:46:59 PM »
All4peace,
I'm sorry that you were shunned by your parents to such an extent that you broke down and cried because of the pain in was causing you.

They should be ashamed of themselves and thanks their lucky stars that despite the abusive childhood they subjected you to, you are generous enough to want to spend any time with them at all.

How surreal it all must have been, because there is the shadow of your letter and their ominous 'we'll get back to you, in a MONTH', hanging over everything and then you're there in person and there is silence and emptiness.

One part of me thinks that this is something you needed to experience in order to move forward because you sound quite angry in your post and I think this is a good thing and may power you through to the next steps you want to take.

Your bit about rebuilding a relationship based on your ability to forgive the abuse you were subjected to in the past really resonated with me, because I think a lot of us here did just that in the hope that they would appreciate the gift of forgiveness and of being given a second (sometimes third, fourth...) chance and shoulder their responsibility in the relationship and step up to the plate. SGB and I forgave our enNF everything that happened as a result of his alcoholism and put our trust in his capacity to work with us and create a more loving, respectful, egalitarian relationship. ROFL - as if that was ever going to happen. 

Also, I'd just like to ask you - if your DH had egged you on to hit your children, would you have done it?
Your father is entirely responsible for his actions, at the very minimum he could have said no, and that is the MINIMUM. As a parent there was a lot more he could have done to protect you from your M.

In the light of this traumatic visit, and then coming home to discover your FiL had 'just been lending a helping hand' and trampled literally and figuratively all over you boundaries, I also hope you can practice a bit of self care and find comfort and respite.

Thinking of you.  :hug:




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carrots

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Re: update, dad and our "talk"
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2017, 04:18:00 PM »
Thinking of you all4peace  :hug: I left last FOO thing in tears too, after crying for hours.

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Iguanagos

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Re: update, dad and our "talk"
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2017, 09:56:43 PM »
all4peace, I'm so sorry.  I wish I had words of wisdom here, but just wanted you to know that I hear you and I can completely relate to your tears after that awful passive aggressive treatment at what should have been a happy family occasion. It sounds as if it were a slow punch to the gut, yet another abandonment of you by the people who should always have your back.  No wonder that inner child was devastated.

The fact that you M can turn it on and off like a faucet is revealing.  Your parents have made a choice in their behavior.  They are choosing to act in this way.  Whatever led them to be as damaged as they are is irrelevant.  They don't get a pass because of their difficult childhoods.  Most of us here have had difficult childhoods, and seems like most of us are really trying to stop the dysfunction.  You'e right about the EF too.  That's also a choice.  He chose to not protect his most vulnerable.

Don't know where you'll take this in the future, but just wanted to say that you deserve better.     :hug:


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all4peace

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Re: update, dad and our "talk"
« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2017, 03:22:40 PM »
springbutterfly, thank you so much! I very much appreciated your quick offer of comfort yesterday :bighug: My response about bullying was not in the spirit of arguing with you, but to be very transparent and acknowledge that my mom likely feels excluded (because she is now quite a lot, due to her behavior). I do feel their version of it is DARVO. All too familiar at this point, after dealing with ILs. I guess, however, it shouldn't be surprising. If someone is unable to take responsibility for their behavior, and the relationship is falling apart, someone else HAS to be to blame.

And thank you for the reminder for self care. I'm getting to be a pro :) Crying, breathing it all back out again, exercise, cuddle time with DH, friend time, kid time. I truly have a rich life and feel so good now that I'm back home again.

practical, yes! That's exactly how it has worked for me. A few simple boundaries in adulthood, immediately fought and disrespected, and you start to take a look at where all of it started. Not to mention the fact that I literally could not manage even basic self-protection from uNBPDmil's behavior and started trying to work through why I took such hateful behavior from someone for more than 15 years. Oh, that's right! We were literally not allowed to even put our arms up to protect our faces when mom started swinging.  :stars:

And I think you're correct about what the goal of their "conversation" will be. Who knows? Time will tell. I have weekly T scheduled for this entire month so I will have help in dealing with it when it happens.

I used to drown in the grief of having no parents. It's too painful to dwell on. I have a really great husband, awesome kids, amazing friends, a supportive and caring community, and this forum!! I've decided that it would be greedy to wish for more. Of course not having parents as a soft landing is a pretty huge hole, and worthy of a lot of pain and grief, but I simply can't stay there without drowning in the sorrow.

daughter, I really hope my parents can pull it together and manage civil behavior. That's all I require from them. It makes my heart to think of you facing an entire family of shunning and hateful people. You had nobody. I'm trying to manage what I can for the sake of sibling and extended relationships. I very much appreciate your last sentence. And it's a sign of my healing that I believe it 100%.

Idiotic, it's amazing how quickly that childhood hurt/anger/hate can be triggered. You have done a lot of hard work to get to your current position with him!

peace lily, how terribly sad that your M chose impossible behavior that forced her out of holiday celebrations. And how validating to have your aunt recognize her behavior!

 overitall, there was a crowd that included my siblings and cousins, who are pretty awesome people :) Once the crowd shrunk to my FOO, it got tough and I left. You describe EXACTLY how my parents are now operating. SO many questions for everyone else, SO much energy, SO much interest. Seriously, at one point my D sat down 2 ft away from me, turned his chair to have his back to me, and was super animated with my cousin for at least 30 min. Wow, nice move there, dad. Really subtle.  ::) I'm so sorry you've suffered in this dynamic. It's very hurtful.

malini, I'm having a hard time labeling their tactics. As my dear BIL said this week, "It's hard to imagine what they hope to achieve in behaving the way they do!"

A lot of my inner work has been on losing the hypervigilance and lessening my need to "figure them out" because it took way too much energy. I don't know if they are behaving from a place of hurt, pride, one-up-manship, or what. What I do know is that if someone is genuinely trying to repair a relationship, this is not how you behave. And I'm not at all looking forward to hearing from them again, at which time their words are very likely to again be in direct opposition to their behavior. I clearly defined all I needed from them: Civil/friendly public behavior. And that is what they are not offering. Coincidence? Don't know. I do know that my parents do NOT like to be told what to do. Even something so freaking obvious as to not need to be clearly defined.

Oh Malini, so many wounded adult children here, having forgiven so, so much. I'm sorry for your childhood, too. And it seems so fair and generous to try to get past the past and work for a better present and future. Although, I guess it's actually kind of obvious that if they didn't have the tools to do better in the past, and haven't done the hard work, then they're unlikely to have them now, too.

For sure as a parent I came to understand all too well how much my dad had also let us down, and actually actively contributed to the abuse and committed a lot of himself. Since he wasn't the one who was the most out of control, he seemed like the warm one. He actually seemed to like us. But he still did so much. And I openly addressed a childhood flashback to one of his abusive episodes when I responded to him. I doubt that was welcome.

carrots, I'm so sorry :( I hope that you have found crying to be healing. :bighug:

iguanagos, I used to think it was uNBPDmil who was wildly inconsistent in her behavior, but I have come to see that my own uNBPD?m is also. I was just acclimated to her version of it. My mom can be an ice-cold queen/witch with black glittering eyes, or she can be a warm, sweet gma with sparkling eyes and tender face. We're supposed to not see the one face and respond with trust and warmth to the other. I'm sure all of you can understand how distressing and disturbing it is to see 2 faces on someone, with no apparent reason for the change, no events to explain the change.

Thank you, lovely people, for your support and understanding. I needed to get this out and hear all the things you said. Thank you! :bighug:

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Rose1

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Re: update, dad and our "talk"
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2017, 04:43:39 AM »
Hi, I've been following your story for a while because it seems to mirror mine in many ways. Sorry you had such a difficult time :bighug:.  I've had a few lightbulb moments over the last couple of years regarding my mother's pd, traits, or whatever it is.
Just the other day I had another one - my ex inlaws were updmil and enfil. exbpdh in the mix with all the usual treatment meted out by this combination.  So it was this difficult situation where on the one hand I had my inlaws emotionally and verbally abusing me, my exbpdh telling me how they were nice really and my M telling me it's no wonder I got treated that way because of the way I was (admittedly cold and distant after years of it). So when it comes from both sides I think it can be extra difficult because it tends to reinforce to us that we are the problem even though we know deep down that we aren't.  When you have it from 4 or 5 people you start to doubt if you even know the sky is blue. So it's not surprising that when thrust into these difficult situations, that your mind and body starts to reject what you are being force fed.

Another thing I found since expd inlaws have passed away and exbpdh is long out of the picture, is the slow realization  that my mother wasn't all that much different. This realization took way too long. Maybe it was denial. It really started once my children were adults and my ex inlaws were out of the picture.  Maybe because I realised there was no way I would speak to or treat my D's the way my mother treats hers (females in the family mostly for some reason). Name calling, smear campaigns, passive aggressive behaviour. It's always been there for me but much worse over the last few years, partly due to her ageing and partly due to the diagnosis of my youngest of various conditions including recently MS which all appear to be my fault. Either that or she is now digging her heels in because she's told everyone it's my fault but MS is a little more difficult to put that onto, so now it's how everything that has gone wrong is my fault etc etc. I think I'm being given the silent treatment now which is another story.

Anyway, slow as this is, and quite painful to work out, it does explain a great deal including why I ended up in the pdexh mess in the first place. No boundaries.

So I understand the double dose and the years of stress this has caused and the difficulty of extracting ourselves from it, but also the need, because as we get older we just can't handle the stress as well anymore. One thing I did learn from my ex in laws was never ever ever ever get involved on one of those family "meetings" to sort things out they all seem to want. These meetings are purely to brow beat you into submission or make you do something that you have already refused to do. So can I make a suggestion? Don't go with your fathers desire of a little "talk". you don't have to and from my experience, no good will come of it. I regretted every single time I fell for it, including the few times I had a third party present to moderate their behaviour. As well as being a forum for abuse at the time, it damaged me emotionally as I relived it etc etc. It's not worth it.

Before they died exinlaws attempted to drag oldest D into one of their family conferences (they were all unhappy she wasn't going to have her father walk her down the aisle because she had no relationship with him) and my advice was just don't go. She didn't and the sky didn't fall. Eventually she went NC which in my opinion was the best thing for peace in the family that she ever did.

Sadly as I'm finding, detaching is very difficult and very stressful and a long process. Self care is very important otherwise the end result is high blood pressure, various other illnesses associated with stress and I found a much lower tolerance to stress than I used to have.

Take care, and consider abstaining from their request. Apparently we can say no and we don't have to answer the phone (still working on it)
Rose
« Last Edit: December 01, 2017, 04:46:12 AM by Rose1 »

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all4peace

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Re: update, dad and our "talk"
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2017, 10:31:59 AM »
Rose1, it's a mixed gift to know that others understand but to also know the hurt others have been through. I'm sorry for your completely surrounded experience of PDness, including your ex. :(

This paragraph stood out to me:

Quote
So it was this difficult situation where on the one hand I had my inlaws emotionally and verbally abusing me, my exbpdh telling me how they were nice really and my M telling me it's no wonder I got treated that way because of the way I was (admittedly cold and distant after years of it). So when it comes from both sides I think it can be extra difficult because it tends to reinforce to us that we are the problem even though we know deep down that we aren't.  When you have it from 4 or 5 people you start to doubt if you even know the sky is blue. So it's not surprising that when thrust into these difficult situations, that your mind and body starts to reject what you are being force fed.

What I FEEL in my bones is that it really must be me who is the problem. My brain sorts it out over and over and over again, but that little child or logical person who thinks it's mathematically unlikely for a decent person to have all poor parental relationships feels guilt. It is very hard to do the very basic thing of setting boundaries in self protection and have it all come crashing down.

And PDs, with their DARVO, make it very easy for us to doubt ourselves. I have had to remind myself constantly over the last few years that just because our parents act like victims, they are not, in fact, victims. We have not even once spoken angrily to them, insulted them, smeared them to their friends or family (although I certainly have told my friends and T ALL about them), violated their boundaries, etc. It gets hard to keep it straight when they behave as if they have been terribly wronged.

So I really understand the "admittedly cold and distant after years of it." For sure I don't treat any of them the way I used to. I am careful, withdrawn, guarded.

I have also had to learn to work really hard on self care. When I was really struggling with anxiety, it felt like it took enormous amounts of "good" internal pressure to offset the bad external pressure. These days it doesn't take nearly as much but it still takes attention and care.

Thank you so much for your hard-won wisdom. I have already told my parents all "discussion" will need to be via email. It gives them a voice while giving me protection from an awful family meeting. I am so thankful for your sake and for your D's sake that she was able to be true to her actual (non)relationship with her father and not to societal and family expectations. I am thankful that you are now free from your ILs and hope your life has some much-deserved love, peace and support for you. :bighug:

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daughter

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Re: update, dad and our "talk"
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2017, 11:51:59 AM »
I think that npd-disordered parents often treat their individual adult-children quite differently, depending on that child's family-role.  Those parents rationalize their dismissive and disrespectful manner towards one adult-child as somehow deserved, while another gets the "royal treatment", without any basis beyond enforced favoritism and proven ability to "pick-on" that particular adult-child.  Both my parents have on occasion verbalized this notion that "it is what it is", meaning their bad behavior towards me.  And in same sentence, they'd note that they can't say anything to nsis without her getting mad, while I was supposed to just take it, because I wasn't allowed to take issue.  None of this is rational or defensible, yet it persists.

I worked for a CEO who is a textbook narcissist.  He split his employees into two categories: those he could aggressively abuse, and those he didn't.  (Curiously, I was in 2nd category.)  He'd horribly rage at his target-victims, throw stuff at them and humiliate them in front of others.  (I never intervened, just watched in horror too.)  He expressed no remorse for these take-downs, never got push-back from his victims, even from targeted senior execs.  He developed quite the reputation, yet ultimately it damaged neither his professional reputation nor ended his receiving civic awards.  My parents have that same expectation that their bad behavior won't provoke a self-defense response, nor expose them as "bad people".  I hardly resisted or fought-back, because I was that thoroughly-intimidated obedient and meek "good girl/dutiful daughter".  (And I wasn't supposed to discuss it with anyone, including DH.)  For some reason, your parents also think they're now empowered to behave dismissively and disrespectfully towards you in obvious fashion, yet with expectation that you'll "just take it" too, as if you've "no right to issues".  I'm glad you left their home earlier than planned. 

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all4peace

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Re: update, dad and our "talk"
« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2017, 12:13:29 PM »
I feel like I'm right back to my newbie-to-OOTF self, shocked all over again at how some people behave, and trying all over again to figure out their intentions and motivations!

And Dh's family is ramping up. I recently lost a family member, posted the obituary to social media, and Dh's extended family (yes, I know I can block them) and friends were making passive-aggressive comments about the importance of ALL family to ALL children, etc.  :barfy: And then ILs showed up at our child's event flanked by mutual friends, sitting far away from us (thank goodness, but so weird).

I have no idea how these parents justify their behavior. No idea at all. But they do get away with it. DH keeps expecting the world to clearly see what we see. Nope. It generally isn't happening. And yet both sides keep on pushing for whatever it is they want (never clearly defined) and we're not supposed to be affected by their behavior in any way, and if we are, THAT normal reaction becomes The Problem, instead of their behavior in the first place.

It's crazy making. WAY too much time around both families lately, and I can tell by how angry and frustrated I feel, and my sleep being affected again.

The one thing I can promise is that I will absolutely not fall back into the arms of either family, ever. And as long as they play their games, I won't even let down the drawbridge for them. I will not budge from my position UNTIL they show consistent signs of normal/healthy/honest/kind human behavior.