Now itís on to the birthdays.... triple whammy!

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Sojourner17

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Now itís on to the birthdays.... triple whammy!
« on: May 16, 2019, 11:32:43 AM »
Itís 7 in the morning and I just got another text asking if I celebrate birthdays/do a party for the kids. They donít know if they should acknowledge them or not, they donít know who I am anymore. For a long time theyíve been living in fear of judgement from me as I seem to think everything they do is a manipulation. They never set out to do that and itís the way I choose to see things.
Ugh.  I woke up an hour ago exhausted (baby not sleeping well) realizing itís my moms birthday tomorrow... I knew Iíve just been putting it out of my mind . Itís my middle childís birthday today. I baked him a cake but we keep birthdays low key as a general rule.
She didnít send my boys anything last year or the year before that... we were either not talking or she said it was too expensive to mail.
I donít want to get into it. Yes... Iím finding this very manipulative. No Iím not judging them (I donít think.... maybe I am  :stars:). 
Why does it have to go like this?!?
What in the world does she think texts like this are going to do?
I want to live my life with grace. I know that there are trials and hardships that we all go through. Iím not God, Iím not perfect.
Itís times like these that I start thinking that maybe I havenít been clear enough on what we do or donít do.  We are NOT typical by any stretch being a multicultural couple (hubby from another country/culture/people group). Weíve forged a different way. Praying itís Gods way but again Iím not God.... just trying to do my best.
Can I just crawl in a hole now?!?
Nope, gotta get up and get ready for the day. Thanking God for hubby who is,right this second, making coffee and pancakes.
But seriously guys/gals. How did you handle this? Iím not ready to go NC but I donít know what to say..., again.
Probably should just say nothing.
"Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it..." - Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

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wisingup

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Re: Now itís on to the birthdays.... triple whammy!
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2019, 12:06:40 PM »
Hi Sojourner - this is so head-spinning.  My  uBPDm communicates similarly.  She is trying to convince you that you have interpreted things wrong, their intentions are good so you must excuse and accept their behavior.  From our perspective, every interaction with them leaves us confused, drained & upset and so we try to minimize the interactions. 

Lately, after almost 3 years of increasingly LC and many repetitions of my requests that she quit making everything so damn hard all the time, she is managing to be calm and pleasant around me.  And that's all I ever wanted.  She won't be able to keep it up forever though, something will happen in her life that will make her feel justified in dumping all over her family again, at which point the whole cycle will probably begin again.

I wish you strength - I think this could end up being a turning point if you're able to hold firm.  Keep posting!!

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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: Now itís on to the birthdays.... triple whammy!
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2019, 12:36:17 PM »
Bahaha the old, ďIíM walking on eggshells around YOU!!!Ē  :stars: Iíve heard that one before, too.

In a sense your M is telling the truth. She is afraid. Sheís scared to death. Sheís afraid that youíve seen through her, and that yes, in fact a great deal of what she does is manipulation! The part that she never intended was for you to figure it out and act accordingly. Like we discussed she never thought she would reap what sheís sown. But by calling your boundaries ďjudgmentĒ sheís calling in the FOG again. And yup, itís another classic DARVO move.

Hereís the thing: We judge other peopleís actions all the time. Itís not inherently a bad thing. Am I judging your mother? Yep. I could possibly be wrong. But based on the evidence, this is the conclusion I think most likely to be true. If we never judged anyoneís actions we couldnít have good boundaries. We would never be able to tell if someone had shown themselves to be trustworthy or not. So judge away, my friend. Stay safe.

And this text of ďDonít you celebrate birthdays anymore?Ē Is exactly like the Motherís Day one omg. I would love to say yes I do, and itís so much more fun without you! But I know youíre too classy for that.  ;) Itís as if she thinks if sheís not included the celebration doesnít exist.  :unsure:

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LifeIsWorthLiving

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Re: Now itís on to the birthdays.... triple whammy!
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2019, 12:42:14 PM »
My uNPDmom will pester for what the kids want and if you don't respond, send the exact same thing she sent last year. I'm pretty sure she just goes into her Amazon history and reorders. It's like she's trying to hurt the grandkids feelings as punishment.

I don't know what to say that would console you, but I came to the conclusion in my family's situation that the guilt I felt was completely unfounded. I had to go completely NC because the VLC was resulting in this sort of thing.

Hang in there. Even if you are going to keep in contact, maybe just ignore the things that are clear boundary violations. I just wouldn't respond to texts like that. She's looking for a reaction. Any response will be twisted into a way she can use it to continue to harass. Just go on like you never received the texts in the first place. Send her a birthday card (if you were going to anyway), celebrate your kid's birthday, and see her behavior for the immature attention seeking that it is.

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moglow

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Re: Now itís on to the birthdays.... triple whammy!
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2019, 12:45:21 PM »
"Nothing has changed - we keep birthdays for the children simple and lowkey, just as we've always done." And to myself - you're the GRANDPARENTS, do something for your grandchildren or not but stop debating it with me. I'm not going to tell you what to do, either build a relationship with them or not but *I'd* rather be left alone. If you want to send the kids a card or gift, do that. If you haven't been invited, don't show up. It's not rocket science and we're not debating this further!


But seriously, they wait until the actual birthday to go into this with you? At 7am, no less?
ďNothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.Ē  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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LifeIsWorthLiving

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Re: Now itís on to the birthdays.... triple whammy!
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2019, 01:11:02 PM »
But seriously, they wait until the actual birthday to go into this with you? At 7am, no less?

I'm convinced that PDparents look at the calendar, think "What way can I ruin my daughter's day today?" And craft a text with that in mind.

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moglow

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Re: Now itís on to the birthdays.... triple whammy!
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2019, 01:21:36 PM »
Possibly. I'm not so sure mine has that presence of mind, to be honest. Mother is so caught in her own endless loop and completely oblivious to other people and/or their lives, it's as if nothing else exists other than her need of the moment. Until she finds another outlet or is somehow redirected, it continues no matter what I say or do.

ďNothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.Ē  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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wisingup

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Re: Now itís on to the birthdays.... triple whammy!
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2019, 05:31:47 PM »
 :yeahthat: 

Moglow sums it up nicely!

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Peaceforme

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Re: Now itís on to the birthdays.... triple whammy!
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2019, 06:16:56 PM »
I can completely relate to this. We have said to my mil over and over that we wonít keep the kids from her as long as we feel that she is kind and not manipulative to them (so far so good) but that we just canít deal with the fights and drama anymore. So weíve asked her to let us know if she wants to see the kids. Silence. Then months will go by and she will say sheís afraid to call us and ask or she just doesnít know what to do. Itís maddening. Iím sorry youíre going through this!

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Sojourner17

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Re: Now itís on to the birthdays.... triple whammy!
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2019, 08:12:46 PM »
3:30 update. Another text. Paraphrasing
They have had enough. Saying I donít know what they are going through and donít care.  They know DH doesnít like them.  Mom didnít like her mil either never kept her son or her grandchildren from her honoured and included her. My gma didnít like her either but they worked around that. I and DH haven't done that and the whole family has suffered as a result. They could use my support but there is none they only feel disapproval and contempt.

Sheís amping up. Iím trying to visualize just stepping out of the way but really fighting the urge to say something.  Iím fighting the urge to doubt my DH and his intentions. I donít want to go there. We are a team.

You guys,  I CANT give her the support she wants! On a good day I get to the end of my rope. Parenting and trying to do it well enough is hard work! Im in the trenches big time.  I know you understand. 
I donít think she thinks about what her words /timing of her words does. I canít go to the place of thinking she does.... itís bad enough thinking sheís clueless to what she is doing.  The thing is... I see this dynamic when Iím dealing with my eldest and he digs his heels in when he doesnít want to do something. I keep pushing and I KNOW Iím doing it and know it doesnít work (ugh.... anyone with tips for high spirited boys who donít want to do quiet time.... that battle is one Iím losing... I need to do something different.... but I digresss!). So if I know what Iím doing isnít working (and yes Iím working on correcting /changing tactics) why canít SHE see it?!?

The programming picks up and I start feeling crazy, anxiety, inability to think straight, second guessing myself (even though as I write I know itís best to just stay radio silent).  Why canít I just say enough already!!?!
"Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it..." - Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: Now itís on to the birthdays.... triple whammy!
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2019, 09:07:35 PM »
Why canít you? Actually my instinct is to reply something like, ďIím experiencing these texts as highly manipulative. This is not a constructive method of communication for us, so Iím blocking you for a week so we can both calm down.Ē

And after that time out...? Whatever you want, I guess. But really, this is getting ridiculous. These stupid texts are taking up so much of your energy.

Maybe others have a different take, and maintaining radio silence wouldnít be inappropriate, but it does seem like somethingís gotta give here. It might be more empowering to take control instead of just waiting for the next attack.

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Andeza

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Re: Now itís on to the birthdays.... triple whammy!
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2019, 12:55:26 AM »
3:30 update. Another text. Paraphrasing
They have had enough. Saying I donít know what they are going through and donít care.  They know DH doesnít like them.  Mom didnít like her mil either never kept her son or her grandchildren from her honoured and included her. My gma didnít like her either but they worked around that. I and DH haven't done that and the whole family has suffered as a result. They could use my support but there is none they only feel disapproval and contempt.

This is hilarious, take a closer look. She's saying that she suffered a nasty MIL and put up with it anyway (martyr much?) and now wants you and your DH to repeat history! Worked around their dislike? More like mutually ignored it or each other because that happened in my family. My uBPDM absolutely despised my enDad's possibly NPDM. Add the Italian to it and it only gets worse. They hated each other until the day uNPDGMA died. Mutually. I think it was because the narcissist was never fooled by the borderline and refused to give her an inch.

So this is what your M is asking you do to. Put up with her and your F, make your entire family suffer, in order to "honor" your parents? In the words of Admiral Ackbar from Star Wars "It's a trap!" Why, if she cared for you or your family would she ask you to "suck it up" concerning their bad behavior instead of honestly trying to improve that behavior? Honor and respect is a two way street, and from what I see you've given until you're drained and they haven't given you so much as a pat on the back. :stars:

Yes, God says to honor your parents, and three verses down from that he tells parents not to provoke their children to wrath. And perhaps in this case honoring your parents does NOT look like just letting their misbehavior slide anymore. Letting them continue in error and pretending you see nothing... It's like where are the Emperor's clothes?  :sadno:

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daughterofbpd

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Re: Now itís on to the birthdays.... triple whammy!
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2019, 03:15:24 AM »
I was thinking about this with my own M. They assume everything you do is personal. If you donít text back right away or if you arenít supportive in the way they want then they think of it as a personal attack. Does it not cross their minds that their children are going through things as well? That maybe we arenít trying to be mean, weíre just dealing with our own stuff?

Me, needing closure, I think I would reply back simply saying something like: I do care about what you are going through. I am going through things too. I have a lot on my plate and canít offer more than what Iíve given. Iím sorry you are hurting but I canít fix this and I donít want to fight.

I donít expect the response will be very positive and you may need to block their number again at that point. Of course, you donít have to respond at all, thatís an option too.

You are so hard on yourself. You are just trying to get by, same as them. They need to have some empathy & compassion for you life too. Take care & good luck.
ďHow starved you must have been that my heart became a meal for your egoĒ
~ Amanda Torroni

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WomanInterrupted

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Re: Now itís on to the birthdays.... triple whammy!
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2019, 03:58:39 AM »
I agree - don't be so hard on yourself!   :bighug:

If you don't want to respond, you don't want to respond.   :)

You can block their numbers and be done with the whole mess if you *allow* yourself to do it, and ask your DH  to please check your blocked folder, on occasion, lest it get clogged up with unwanted messages.

They are ANGRY.  This is PERSONAL and you are WRONG - that's the only narrative they know and the only one they'll accept.

Please think of this realistically - if you block them, what can they actually DO to you?

You're no  longer a child, dependent on keeping mommy and daddy happy because your survival depends on it.  You're living on your own with your FOC, making your way in the world, paying your bills, fulfilling your obligations, maintaining friendships, so what can they actually DO to you?   :???:

They can't ground you.  They can't send you to your room without supper.  They can't take away your allowance.  They can't take your car keys, deny you internet privileges, confiscate your phone or *actually do anything TO you except use WORDS as a weapon.*   :yes:

Angry words!  Hostile words!  Words that make you feel like you're five or seven again and oh  God - this time, I'm REALLY going to get it!   :spooked:

But you are *not* five or seven - you're an *adult* - and you get to *choose* the relationships you have, and the ones you walk away from.   :yes:

They've had enough!?  What about YOU?  Haven't you had MORE than enough - a lifetime of expectations you can't fill, love you'll never receive, acceptance you'll never get, and more and more FOG, as time goes by, all in the name of making them look PERFECT - while you and yours suffer in silence.     >:(

That's not living - that's towing the line to make them look good and playing at happy families, at all costs.   :no:

You don't have to do that.  You are not *required* to provide  good optics to others, just because they say so.   :thumbup:

My advice to you - drop the rope.  Please.  Just drop the rope and walk away.  There's nothing for you here except more pain, disappointment and invalidation, and they've already decided a reason:  your DH, who is *on your side, 100%* and they're trying to fuck with your head!   :aaauuugh: :aaauuugh: :stars:  :aaauuugh: :aaauuugh:

He's this, he's that, he's whatever - no he is NOT.  You are a TEAM.  You said so yourself, so please   don't doubt that.   8-)

Trust YOU.  Trust your DH.  Neither of you are wrong in wanting an end to this intimidation, which you were programmed to accept since you were a baby  - but it can't harm you now.  You are FREE.  You are SAFE.  And you are *silent*  - which is a boundary.  8-)

Please allow yourself  yet another - blocking all this nonsense.   :yes:

You never did a thing to warrant any of this, and it's okay to walk away from it.   :)

 :hug:


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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: Now itís on to the birthdays.... triple whammy!
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2019, 10:55:59 AM »
ďI have had enough. I donít know what you are going through and donít care. I am entitled to your compliance but you arenít giving it to me. I paid my dues with my MIL and yes, we hated each other and it was miserable. But thatís what you have to do, daughter of mine. Again, I donít care about your feelings. I deserve unfettered access to my children and grandchildren, and you all have to pretend to like it. You only ever wanted love but there is none, I only feel disapproval and contempt for you.Ē

#thereifixedit #projection #narctranslator

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Psuedonym

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Re: Now itís on to the birthdays.... triple whammy!
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2019, 11:49:09 AM »
Sojourner17,

So they appear to be working their way backwards through FOG; they've given up on the guilt ploy and are on to obligation. Yeesh. This seems to be a five alarm tantrum on their part.

You said: I donít think she thinks about what her words /timing of her words does. I canít go to the place of thinking she does.... itís bad enough thinking sheís clueless to what she is doing.

If you are trying not to doubt your DH's intentions in the slightest, it might be time to reconsider that, as painful as it may be. They can and will go after your source of strength and resolve if they think it will work, and that is intentional. The end game in their minds is you going back to the way things were, and as Machiavelli once said, the ends justify the means. I know from personal experience that it works the other way, too. If they were in contact with your DH instead of you, you would be branded the problem.

As others have suggested, if your mother is getting to you and starting to make you doubt your beloved DH, it might be time to take a little break and stop reading those texts. I found it to be an enormous relief when I finally blocked M's number; I didn't realize how unnerved by the phone I had become until I stopped feeling that way.

I know its super sucky, and its hard to let go of the belief that one day they're magically going to stop being who they are.

 :bighug:

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qcdlvl

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Re: Now itís on to the birthdays.... triple whammy!
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2019, 12:09:33 PM »
... They know DH doesnít like them.  Mom didnít like her mil either never kept her son or her grandchildren from her honoured and included her. My gma didnít like her either but they worked around that....

Just because others let themselves be abused (because that's what I imagine "working around that" means) doesn't you should do the same and let you, your husband or your kids be abused. It's like telling a battered woman: "Gee, other women let their husbands beat them, put them in hospital, even wind up murdered rather than leave or call the cops." Yeah, just because some people put up with it doesn't mean you should too.

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Amadahy

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Re: Now itís on to the birthdays.... triple whammy!
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2019, 12:18:41 PM »
Oh, Sojourner! There is no marrying your life and your mother's perceived needs. I tried for 30 years and it almost killed me!  I had shielded my children, but when she started in on them, that was it!  We're LC/MC now, but the 5 months of NC was a necessary step in my healing.  You would be perfectly reasonable to step away, drop the rope, take a time out, go NC, or anything else to take care of YOU.  A good friend kind of jarred me to reason and self-care with the following statement and I now gift to you -- "Enough is enough!  Shit, Amadahy!"  🙂 

:hug:
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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SunnyMeadow

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Re: Now itís on to the birthdays.... triple whammy!
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2019, 12:43:16 PM »
You only ever wanted love but there is none, I only feel disapproval and contempt for you.Ē
#thereifixedit #projection #narctranslator

Perfect!  :yes: How I wish I had a narctranslator for the passive aggressive emails and texts from my uNPDm! Would have made my life a lot easier.

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Sojourner17

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Re: Now itís on to the birthdays.... triple whammy!
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2019, 06:00:00 PM »
Talked with hubby about it again tonight. He was not happy about mom pulling him into it. I get it. My hubby has barely talked to them through this whole thing Iíve been handling any communication other than when my parents were physically here. He wants me to ask my mom where she got the idea that he doesnít like them. Heís never said that.  I know this was just his initial gut reaction to her text. I donít think he really wants me to ask that question.
I drafted up a text last night basically saying that it sounds like they are going through a rough time but Iím confident they have the resources they need there. I have a lot on my plate canít give more than I have, I do care. Sorry they are hurting but canít fix this and donít want to fight. Yes we celebrate the kids birthdays they can acknowledge if they want no expectations. This is a busy time and my plate is full but everything is well. Then wished her happy birthday.

I sent it this morning. Within half an hour she fired off three texts. I havenít looked at them yet.  Might not until Sunday or might get hubby to read them first. We go on holiday on Monday to a cabin where there is no cell reception or internet for three nights. I need to figure out what I want . 

I donít feel loved by them or like I or my DH or kids matter. Itís all about them. I need to build up some reserves and get some external and internal peace and quiet.
Both hubby and I woke up exhausted as did my kids. I feel fragmented and muddled deflated and beat up.
I feel pulled in multiple directions. Hubby says heís concerned about what this is doing to me/our relationship. I want a reset... hoping the cabin will be that.
Thank you all for the support, for pointing out things, for finding the humour. For being kind to me but at the same time firm. Each time I post itís an exercise in faith that I am worthy of help and acceptance. Itís an exercise in exposing things I donít fully understand. So often I want to go back and delete things as I start to panic that Iím creating drama/perpetuating drama, or that Iím gossiping or slandering. But Iím always glad I post and always greatful for what I glean from being on here. I have learned so much.  Again, thank you.
"Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it..." - Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery