Near Miss: I almost contacted them in anger

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Starboard Song

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Near Miss: I almost contacted them in anger
« on: January 14, 2019, 11:00:07 AM »
Today is the anniversary of my last conversation with my FIL.

We are 3 1/2 years NC, and on this date last year he asked to speak with me. We always left my mobile phone as the one acceptable means of contact.

And I met with him for two hours and forty minutes. It was astounding. He was exhaustively incapable of holding together actual facts. Anything we'd done was magnified to monstrous proportions and described as a genocide. Anything my MIL had done was very understandable.

Because I have my wits about me, I had my phone with me, with all the relevant history available at my fingertips. Throughout the conversation, I would catch him plainly lying as to dates or words. And I would read reality to him, and he'd just stare, or tell me that the reality sounded "silly," apparently unaware of his pants around his ankles.

This, as I say, is the one-year anniversary of that meeting. I wasted an hour of my life, writing, what I've wasted many hours thinking about. I didn't send it. Didn't send the fact-based email highlighting things he'd lied about. I want the fight. I really do. I think this is all so very wrong, and I will always -- deep in my heart -- believe all such things are fixable. This is all so wrong and will grow poisonous fruit for years to come.

But this game has many players. It isn't my right to drag them all into a knuckle-busting dustup that is unlikely to change anything.

So I deleted the drafts, and get to work this morning. Unsatisfied.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 11:02:20 AM by Starboard Song »
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

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Psuedonym

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Re: Near Miss: I almost contacted them in anger
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2019, 11:50:24 AM »
I feel for you, Starboard Song.

I don't think writing the letter was a waste of time, because writing something out is different from thinking it - it uses a different part of your brain - and it was probably in some ways cathartic while in other ways frustrating. I also spend a lot of time having arguments in my head with uBPD M. It is, as you know, impossible to use logic. Mine will, when trapped by an irrefutable fact, say 'I don't think that happened'...sort of a version of sticking your fingers in your ears and saying 'I can't hear you!' I actually sent her a long fact filled letter after my bf (who is the brave one who contacts her when necessary) repeatedly told me that she said she had 'no idea why I wasn't talking to her'. When he gave her the letter he said if there was any hope of us ever talking she needed to take the letter to heart and change her behavior. The response has been.....crickets.

I think a big part of it is the cognitive dissonance that keeps popping up. A voice that says 'we're all adults here, we can address this and move on'....the critical error being that we're all not really adults. :) I hope you still manage to have a good day!!

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Summer Sun

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Re: Near Miss: I almost contacted them in anger
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2019, 01:15:52 PM »
Starboard, I’m sorry for your (understandable) frustration and anger, anniversaries can be so triggering.  The writing is a good way to get it outside from inside, so never a waste.  You did not use it to harm anyone.

It is painful to have a heart’s desire for love, connection, harmony in unchosen relationships whereby others harm, hurt and damage and yet refuse to express accountability much less remorse.  The injustice of it all can keep us spinning in circles, IME, it Manifests in monkey mind.  Conversations I’d like to have - which are basically JADE -  yet consciously I know would be futile.

The bottom line for me is accepting that it “takes two” to “want” or desire relationship, two to care, inclusive of making amends or changing “abusive” behaviors.  Years ago, in business, something that resonated with me I read about conflict management was to seek first to understand, and then to be understood.  It seems to me, IME, the PD’s are not interested in understanding others POV, perspective, experience of them.  Permission, IMHO to drop the rope.  Unsatisfying yes.  But we are only one part of a greater equation. 

Hope the rest of your day is uplifted, that you know you help others from the place of your pain. 

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

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Amadahy

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Re: Near Miss: I almost contacted them in anger
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2019, 04:55:36 PM »
Bless your bones, SS!  I will always regret/lament that all my Nmom's actions, ideas, etc are so unnecessary.  Such a waste! It is her illness, I know, but aaarrrggghhh!  Strength and peace to you and your FOC.
Ring the bells that still can ring;
Forget your perfect offering.
There's a crack in everything ~~
That's how the Light gets in!

~~ Leonard Cohen

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moglow

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Re: Near Miss: I almost contacted them in anger
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2019, 05:30:33 PM »
Quote
I wasted an hour of my life, writing, what I've wasted many hours thinking about. ...
I respectfully disagree. I think anything you take the time to write (or type) out, that means you thought it through. You reasoned it out. You reread and reexamined, checked your sources, didn't react out of emotion. Yes, you're angry and thus emotional, but you still didn't react. Reality is still there and the awareness of likely outcome were you to share it - but at least you got some of it out.

I believe letter writing alone is therapeutic and even calming (once the initial boil is lanced). Even if no one ever sees it but you, you're getting it out instead of holding it in. Write another, or two or three, whatever it takes. Honestly, it helps me put it and the emotions down, even if only for a while.
Seriously, keep writing. Let all that anger out in a safer more productive way. BURN IT.
“Nothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.”  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

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Starboard Song

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Re: Near Miss: I almost contacted them in anger
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2019, 05:47:27 PM »
Thanks, everyone. Let me see if I have this right.......

Step 1: Feel the rage
 :hulk:

Step 2: Light the fuse

 :cake:

Step 3: Blow up in writing
 :blowup:

Step 4: Celebrate my control in not sending it
:fireworks:

Step 5: Accept indifference to those who do not love me

 :meh:

Step 6: Exchange virtual hugs with my peeps at OOTF
 :hug:

Step 7: Chillax
 :uhhuh:



Is that the long and short of it?
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

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moglow

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Re: Near Miss: I almost contacted them in anger
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2019, 11:17:19 PM »
Kinda sorta, yeah. Feeling but not being able to express the anger has a tendency to lock a person down. Getting it out without tippy toeing around someone's wee feewings sets you free. You don't want to open that conversation with them and just add to your frustration with their deny-deny-lie-attack-deny some more. But the getting it out may need to happen so you can at least begin to let it go.
What about imagery? Face an empty chair with what you've written and spew it all out, imagining that they're sitting there. Or have a willing friend be the sit-in for your ILs and let 'er rip. You get it out, you are *heard* instead of talked over and/or ignored.
Or do like my brother did - hang a punching bag in the garage and when you can't take it anymore, go at it with boxing gloves. Even five minutes and he'd be to exhausted to be mad. And he got a workout.
“Nothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.”  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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Malini

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Re: Near Miss: I almost contacted them in anger
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2019, 06:02:40 AM »
Hi SS,

I know you know this but I’ll say it anyway, even if your DW is the point person in this journey (because it’s her parents and she was THEIR child) your feelings are valid.

It’s still early days - I know a year sounds like ages but looking back the first 2 years were the hardest for me with feelings like yours rising to the surface quite regularly.

I read your message and I got a strong vibe of Poppa Bear. We talk a lot about Momma Bear coming out, teeth bared and claws at the ready to protect her kids from the PDs, and less about Poppa Bear.

Even if DH and I have a relationship based on equality of the sexes, his instinct to protect me and his kids will sometimes kick in and he’ll figuratively start looking for a caveman club and bearskin to go and “give them a piece of his mind”, and then, out of respect for me and MY journey he then has to find ways to rein it in and let it out more appropriately - usually at the gym. On some primal level, he feels he has failed in his role to keep us safe.

In reality, the fact that he has stood by me, let himself be led by my cues, been a buffer for many a stalking encounter, intercepted hate mail/hate dumping and accepted I’d be MIA emotionally for a big while in the beginning and then picked up the slack has been more than I could ask for.

Those feelings of injustice and powerlessness are so overwhelming in the beginning but I came to understand that  the feelings of anger they engendered were the necessary powerful motors I needed to bring about change and forge on on a path which felt so unnatural and so far from my values about family.

That letter you wrote is a great way to release anger. Journaling worked well for me as did screaming in the woods or in my car with music blasting. Both my sons had foam baseball bats growing up, very useful for beating the crap out of duvets and mattresses when the challenges of teenagerhood got too much for them and they had no words to express them.

Your feelings will come in waves and good for you for finding a way to ride this one out. Each “anniversary” that came and went presented its own challenges and by rising to them and finding ways to manage them brought me a step closer to acceptance.

Stay strong  :bigwink:

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"I keep it simple." said light
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Starboard Song

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Re: Near Miss: I almost contacted them in anger
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2019, 10:04:21 AM »
On some primal level, he feels he has failed in his role to keep us safe.

Same.
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward