Support and advice Npd sibling in- law

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pestopasta

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Support and advice Npd sibling in- law
« on: January 22, 2020, 09:20:13 AM »
A little background, I have had the (common) misfortune to come from a NPD FOO and then marry into another family with some members who have strong NPD characteristics, and in at least one case, seems to be a full blown N.

Without getting into a lot of detail, over the years it has become necessary for me to go NC with my N FOO and N in-laws. 

There was a lot of hoovering in the beginning, which while extremely stressful, I had expected and resisted. As time has passed I have been able to reestablish a couple of relationships - but have strictly stuck with the NC with the NPD sibling in-law who is totally unable to deal with it.

This person has been extraordinarily persistent in their campaign to regain control over me, and shows no signs of relenting. Unable to get to me directly, they have repeatedly barraged close family members with which I have good relationships for information such as why I went NC, when I will be in C, what had they done, etc, etc and deflecting their frustration with me onto them.

I made one critical error in dealing with this N sibling in-law about a year and a half ago by responding to a highly emotive letter they sent me, in which they apologized profusely for any offense they had caused me and begged me to reconsider the NC. No reference to any specific behavior or act on their part however, and it was only after I had impulsively agreed to reestablishing C and had a phone conversation with them in which they expressed a lot of aggression towards me that I realized that their letter was only a means of drawing me back in again, and promptly went back to my NC policy with them - without informing them.

As a result of this miscalculation they have continued their campaign of harassing my supportive relatives and have also started to act out in other ways, which they have been in no uncertain terms told off for. This has resulted in yet more hysterical emotional blackmailing.

I guess in addition to writing out how sad I feel about the effect my need to go NC has had on my support system that I wanted to ask for advice on how to proceed here. I know that they are going to have to make their own decisions about this relationship with the Npd in law, but there are shared sick elderly relatives and thus inevitable high drama meetings with this Narc in our future.

I feel genuine dread about this and do not believe that this is a person that I will ever be able to spend time with without it causing me a lot of distress, but they are proving to be such a thorn in everyone else's side that I am considering it.










 


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Bloomie

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Re: Support and advice Npd sibling in- law
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2020, 12:17:24 PM »
Hi pestopasta - I read through your other posts to get a sense of what is going on and it seems like you are dealing with a lot from both FOO and in law sides. I am thankful you are here for support and trust that you will find your time here as helpful on this journey as I have.

Quote from: pestopasta
I guess in addition to writing out how sad I feel about the effect my need to go NC has had on my support system that I wanted to ask for advice on how to proceed here. I know that they are going to have to make their own decisions about this relationship with the Npd in law, but there are shared sick elderly relatives and thus inevitable high drama meetings with this Narc in our future.

I feel genuine dread about this and do not believe that this is a person that I will ever be able to spend time with without it causing me a lot of distress, but they are proving to be such a thorn in everyone else's side that I am considering it.

If I am understanding the question correctly sharing relationships with elderly relatives means you will inevitably have contact with your high conflict sil as part of your life package? And that contact brings distress and exposure to histrionic and attention seeking, problematic behaviors.

I can closely relate to this no win situation as my my DH and I 'share custody' of an elderly parent with his uNPD/HPD sister who has brought much drama and chaos into our lives and who I am NC with.

For me, I choosen to be my DH's support and by his side at certain times with his family knowing that his sister will be there in all of her glory :dramaqueen: and that she will most certainly turn her laser focus and ravenous need for attention onto me during those times. It is an intensely uncomfortable experience and yet, not being there as a support for my DH is hard as well. It is a choose your hard situation to be sure.  :wacko:

In our case, at the heart of it though the superficial focus seems to always be dominating me, the real goal is simply and always to win her brother back to loving her the most and allowing himself to be in a step down position.

With the disordered mind in my own sil case, it seems that the more neutral I  became - in an effort to be able to have some kind of contact - the more determined and triggered my sil has been to reassert herself and dominate (this is an extremely overtly and covertly aggressive and dominating person) everyone in her family system and by extension me. And she will use any means, including using her elderly mother as a proxy, FM, attempting to avail herself of my elderly mil's financial means and much more... but I am sure you can imagine the lengths this has gone to.

I could completely step back and have zero contact and miss larger family events that matter to me. I could step back completely and let my DH only deal with her. I have chosen to stand with him and be very strategic in when and how I do that and to use the support here and all of the tools in my tool belt when I do choose to engage face to face.

For us, a united front means greater strength because together we are smarter, wiser, stronger and our defenses much harder to penetrate. But that also means I have zero direct contact with her. I do not answer texts, phone calls, emails, and I am never, ever alone with her in the very few times I do see her and I have become a master at getting lost in the crowd even if it is a small crowd.

The fall out of that NC decision (unspoken just did the slow fade) that came after years of attempting to work through issues and find some common ground has hurt everyone and there has been loss of relationships with certain family members and all of that has grieved my heart.

What I can say that I hope is an encouragement to you... with time and distance that has allowed healing from a lot of really terrible targeted stuff, learning some great strategies here and elsewhere, building a united front with my DH, learning to strap on my imaginary kevlar vest over my heart whenever I will be in contact and to medium chill (see glossary) my way through these moments, I have gotten to the point where most of the time I simply do not care what she says and does. :meh:

And I am really clear on what is/is not mine to do in those moments and that has really helped me. Whatever you decide - to stay NC or have some contact related to your larger family - it does get better. It really does! Keep coming back and sharing with this fine community for support! :yes:

« Last Edit: January 22, 2020, 09:04:11 PM by Bloomie »
"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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pestopasta

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Re: Support and advice Npd sibling in- law
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2020, 06:11:54 PM »
Thank you Bloomie. That is all great advice and very much appreciated. I also want to support my family and be there for them during the tough times, and you have given me strength in reminding me that it will be about THEM, not N in-law.

My hope is that I will successfully be able to manage N inlaw's hostile and excluding histrionics, which will undoubtedly be on full display and designed to play to the crowd, because I refuse be in contact with someone who is literally champing at the bit to lay into me one second before it's absolutely necessary. When the time does come I will carefully orchestrate my attendance to protect myself as much as possible, knowing fully well that in their eyes that nothing I do will ever be right.

I'm sorry that you can relate so much and wish you well with your Narc in-law. You have described the dynamic really well and given me an idea of what I might have in store.

I may be back to ask for more advice at a later date if ok!