Hoovers & Flying Monkeys Following Birth

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Hoovers & Flying Monkeys Following Birth
« on: January 17, 2020, 06:11:44 AM »
TL;DR: My in-laws are using a host of Flying Monkeys and Hoovering to get us to break No Contact following the birth of our 1st child. Not sure how to deal--husband still hopeful for change.

We just had our DD a week ago, and the Hoover attempts and flying monkeys are just sad.
Throughout the pregnancy (before NC) my in-laws didn't ask about it or even acknowledge it (his NPD father going as far as pretending it wasn't real/ignoring until my husband informed him of the pregnancy directly). If/When it was discussed, my name or well being was never brought up--just demands that we uproot our lives to fly to their country and have DD there because "only [NPD mother in law] can take care of the baby!" (Aside: with our nephews, she uses spoiling and splitting, undermines the parents so badly they call HER and NFIL 'Mama & Papa' while referring to the parents by their first names...these are little kids! DH's siblings seem to tolerate/enable the behavior because the parents are rich, so nobody has to work as long as everyone tows the line)

When my DH explained we will be remaining here, where our jobs, lives, and mortgage are--NMIL went on a guilt-trips rampage and just laid on the insults (All variations of: "your wife deserves to be attacked" "everything you've achieved is because of us and therefore you owe us", "if anything happens to the baby it's because you aren't as religious as I want you to be and hence it's punishment from God" and a slurry of unreality to ridiculous to recap.)

I ended up blocking all their social media after my NSIL (who lives with them so they can pamper her, her spouse and 2 sons) used my other SIL's phone to text me, pretending to be her and pressuring us to send more $$ after we just gave them $5K. For context, theyve never been communicative wiyh me despiye being fluent English speakers. Outside of Facebook, most communications went through my husband. I finally got invited to their text message Family group a while back, but it turned out they only used English on it to be more obvious in excluding me so I just stopped participating since they never interact with me.

Flash forward to the last few weeks: my husband gets a friend request and message from his NFather (his 10th profile) but DH ignores it; his 2 aunties we didn't block are commenting on the baby pics like 'Oh you must have had a boy (It's a girl), and his brothers wife (who he remains VVVLC and asks only to be notified of serious illness in the family ) messages him "Your brother asked me to tell you to call your mom".
I got a random text from his mother (didn't even know she had my number!) Just asking ""[Dear husband's name]?" When he hasn't blocked their phone numbers and she could be just texted him (he is still hopeful they'll take responsibility for their cruelty, apologize, or just congratulate him w/out punishing/making it all about them).

It's like they're doing everything in their power to be indirect and force US to contact THEM!

It's upsetting to watch him go through this when it should be a joyous time. Just getting a "friend request" is triggering and ruins his whole day. He has been coming Out of the FOG but the guilt-hold is still powerful and he isn't ready to go full NC yet, hoping they will someday show love or respect for him like normal parents...

Anyone else have similar experiences? How did you commit to either VVLC with better boundaries vs. NC?
« Last Edit: January 17, 2020, 06:19:28 AM by Zuul »



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Re: Hoovers & Flying Monkeys Following Birth
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2020, 12:05:22 PM »
Zuul - congratulations on the birth of your precious little one! What a wonderful time filled with adjustments and much recovery for you. It is so important to keep a calm and drama free zone around your little family as much as possible in this tender time. :cloud9:

Is it possible to step away from social media and any texts and contact for a bit and remove the daily triggers that are happening with his family? Is it possible to decide together that what is best for your family of choice right now and make this a season of peace and doing whatever you need to do to insure that happens?

Nothing needs to be done or decided right now. This is not a new or urgent matter because the baby has been born even if others are communicating urgency and insisting we contact them. :no: Your in law family has had months to repair and create connection that would possibly allow them into the intimate circle of your family. They are living with healthy consequences for their continued behaviors that are harming you all.

We cannot make another person show us love, respect, interest, regard, loyalty. But, we can be faithful to show those things to our family of choice, putting their needs first. And we can redirect that emotional energy that we might feel at moments like this to getting a clear understanding of what is our responsibility and to avoid going toward harmful and divisive people.

Maybe right now it is a time you might choose to not contact - that does not have to be permanent, but more of a response to the intense needs of your family right now with a newborn babe and recovering momma.
"If you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer. If you focus on the lesson, you will continue to grow." Dr. Caroline Leaf

Bloomie 🌸


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Re: Hoovers & Flying Monkeys Following Birth
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2020, 11:23:08 AM »
Zuul, congratulations!

Our DS is 17, and I remember those first days well. They are sweet times: take notes and keep a journal.

At that time, we were dealing with little stresses from my in-laws, but by and large they were helpful and positive. Over the first two or three years of his life, we started having conflicts whenever we had preferences as parents that my MIL didn't like. My parents always accomodated us with polite deference. The in-laws were always judgemental and negative.

Looking back, we realize that over and over again we tolerated things we shouldn't. When we got the silent treat for three months over our decision that a toddler shouldn't be given soda, we ended that stand-off with a gracious and compromising letter of openness. When schedule requests were not consistent with normal, respectful standards, we bent to accomodate them.

We didn't do the hard work early.

I don't know how it would have changed things in the end. Maybe we'd still have ended up NC. But I tend to believe that PD folks are able to take advantage of the fact that all good and decent people accomodate little infractions all the time. And with a PD we are all like a frog in the pot of water. We accomodate one thing after another, and it gets more and more outrageous, and we get more and more used to polite fiction.

Start now.

Good boundaries are not hostile: they are a kind expression of our morality and needs. When very politely enforced from day one, we don't ever suffer the little, growing grievances. Now, I failed to do that hard work, so you can't trust me. Maybe, if we'd hewed to our boundaries from day 1, they'd have gotten angry and we'd ended up NC far sooner. I don't know. But I do know that such a choice and outcome would come of their personality disorder, and not from me.

I wish we'd enforced high standards of behavior from the beginning. I wish that after blow-ups we'd insisted on a reckoning ("let's discuss what happened last week, so we can avoid that type of unpleasantness in the future"). But we didn't know what we were up against. We didn't know it was going to get worse.

You are here, so you understand early. I believe you can establish boundaries now and play the game. You may very well train them to their better angels. If you cannot, and end up NC, you'll be there with the piece of mind of knowing you did your best.
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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Re: Hoovers & Flying Monkeys Following Birth
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2020, 02:42:17 AM »
Congratulations on having your first child.  Enjoy your little bundle of joy. 

I think a lot of people when they grow older, thankfully not all of them, may forget that brining life to the world is a special time for any couple and very tiring for a new mum.  The sleepless nights, the physical pains depending on the type of delivery and constant care, around the clock of an innocent little being, the hormones, all this means that new mummies may be vulnerable this time of their lives. 

Anyone you allow into your private life should be caring and helpful.  Not the type who expect to come to be served tea and coffee to see baby and criticise you.  You need the type of person who comes to make you tea or look after baby while you have a shower or a nap.  Or at least those people who when they leave your home, they leave you a happy you.  Do you think your in-laws can achieve that?  Did they do it before?  If not, get in Mumma Bear position and stay firm there.  You may change your mind later on, when you have recovered, you have adapted yourselves to life with a baby, when you guys are sleeping at night again, 5 months later maybe, but please try not to feel pressured now. 

Keep your baby in the country you are in. Normal people don't wish the woman who is carrying their grand kid to be attacked.  They don't make grand kids call them mum and dad and their parents by their first names. Big red flags. 

Also hubby may feel so proud as a new dad, that he wants to share his pride and joy with his parents.  Mine a couple of years ago acted like he wanted their approval and to show thst he has achieved something when we had our daughter.  In-laws who never cared about me, covert type pretend they do, but actions don't match words, all of a sudden wanted weekly gathering when we were seeing each other twice a year for 6 years beforehand.  It felt so intrusive to me, so much disregard to the fact that I felt uneasy with that.  After 5 months of that mascarade, I got fed up, I left to go back to my country with my baby girl to distance myself, because I felt my marriage was falling apart and I needed the peace.  These in-laws who never help, had an opinion about my sleeping arrangements with my child, the combined surname, where and what I should do for my child's birthday, how we should spend our free time.  I came back a couple of months later and hubby joined us as well when we were away.  He missed his DD and me and I think he realised that I would not put up with that non-sense.  We left his country of birth before DD turned 2 and are muvh happier without the fortnightly Nmil and nsil visits.  Sorry for the long explanation, it is just to explain that adults coming from these family may seek approval with their new born pride and joy from their parents, who will end up bringing division in your home. 

Stay safe, enjoy your baby.  From what you have written you can see clearly through their mine field games.  Make yourselves a priority and let disruptive people stay far away.  It will save you from a lot of tears.  Try to explain to hubby that this is YOUR FOC special time.  No positive will come out of people who have never been able to show you respect before hand,what good will it do to expose yourself to that right now?  None.  Take care.