conflicted over pending visit after 4y of VLC

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wingspan

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conflicted over pending visit after 4y of VLC
« on: April 14, 2019, 10:51:59 PM »
hello all - i've been visiting this forum on and off for the last two years as i'm coming to terms with the seriousness of my FOO's dynamics. your posts have been so helpful, and so thank you all for sharing and being so supportive with each other!

it took many years of failing at fixing my self (rather than heal my self) before i could begin to acknowledge that my M, S, and aunt (deceased dad's S) all struggle with some form of uPD, and that in particular the triangle between my M, S, and myself is completely toxic. learning about gas lighting, scapegoating, etc. has been tremendously helpful and painful and i'm working on letting go of the fantasy of having healthy and loving relationships with what are 'supposed to be' my closest female relatives.

the big breaking point for me occurred four years ago after a two-week family vacation (M, S with her H and kids, and I), where i witnessed my S's NPD in full bloom and how she was being enabled by the others. my only option was to 'not get involved', yet somehow my M still tried to blame the whole mess on me at the end (- like i said, learning about scapegoating has been a HUGE eyeopener).

i went VLC with both M and S after that and have not seen my S since then despite wishing to be more involved in my nieces and nephews' lives. i've visited M a couple of times (we all live in different countries) since, but have had to work hard on staying emotionally sober and also we both kind of had to eliminate S as a topic of conversation, as otherwise it just kept feeding the toxic triangle. i haven't initiated contact with my S, but responded to requests to skype with the kids (2-3 x year) and continue to send gifts for b-day and xmas.

last fall while skyping with the kids i ended up chatting with S as well - and her cordial behaviour completely sucked me back in. suddenly i allowed myself to think visiting them would be nice, and now five months later i'm weeks away of a "reunion": several days at her place, M is coming as well, so basically a repeat assembly of the same people i left behind four years ago.

it took a recent trigger reaction during a convo with M to realize that i'm really not looking forward to this trip, yet i can't get myself to cancel. i'm also stubborn and thinking that 'i should be able' and 'want to be able' to not be affected by their PD. i'm recognizing a lot of anger over the past transgressions and don't feel like they've actually earned my time and presence - yet i'm hopeful that maybe it could at least be a 'calm' trip where i can at least spend some time with nieces/nephews... so basically pretty confused at the moment.

i'm over here rummaging through the toolbox while reluctantly packing my suitcase  :stars:



 

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all4peace

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Re: conflicted over pending visit after 4y of VLC
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2019, 12:55:41 PM »
Hello, wingspan, and welcome! I'm glad you're already reading through the toolbox and have had time to learn from the posts on this site.

Families are complicated and messy systems. Something I have been told repeatedly on this site, and value tremendously, is that we each only have control over ourselves and our reactions/responses. If you clearly define your boundaries (to yourself, or to others), and hold them, that's really all you can control.

Only you know what it feels like to be you, and only you can decide if going to this reunion is an act of courage or an act that is too scary to be managed at this point in your life. I've been at both points in my life--unbearable and simply uncomfortable--and it's doing ourselves a kindness to figure which is which and to honor ourselves in whether we step forward or stay protected.

I'm not sure if you're looking for advice or support, but either way you're welcome here and I'm glad you found us.

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wingspan

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Re: conflicted over pending visit after 4y of VLC
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2019, 10:08:09 PM »
thank you for your warm welcome and thoughtful response - you gave just the right morsel of wisdom.

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Goldielocks

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Re: conflicted over pending visit after 4y of VLC
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2019, 08:52:46 PM »
Hi, wingspan.
Your post made my heart sink in places because your story is quite similar to mine. I know all too well the situation of M and S being a unit.
A few attempts were made over the years to draw me back in as well.
Good Luck with your upcoming visit. Watch out for gaslighting and all the other contents of their box of tricks.