Advice? (Much Ado about group texts)

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whitedeer

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Advice? (Much Ado about group texts)
« on: March 22, 2020, 07:32:09 PM »
Highly welcome advice here  :) I'm part of a family member group text. I'm LC with most with plans to go NC with one in the chain (uNPD sis)

I've just been ignoring the chain and turning off notifications, not reading at all (the amount of text banter is too much and triggering sometimes). It's been a huge help to my mental health.

But just today someone decided to share something that would come off as really rude to ignore :aaauuugh: won't go into details.... And I just happened to read it  :doh: (I do suspect this could be a hoovering tactic to bring me back in touch with uNPD sis, btw, since I've been radio silent in the group mostly - they could have just texted me this individually, so hmmmm....)

With regards to LC/NC with all, this is my strategy: :disappear:

What would you do? I just want to slow fade, but blocking would alert all of them and raise questions.

Is it worth it to just not check the thread if I miss news, no matter how bad it looks? Come up with an excuse? (Some ideas: Say I turn off notifications for group texts because I got caught in a really annoying group text in the past while I was at work? Say I read it and just havent/didn't answer yet?)

Not having to hear what uNPD sis has to say *at all* has been healing. Thank you in advance  :)

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No.

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Re: Advice? (Much Ado about group texts)
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2020, 07:55:01 PM »
Hi, whitedeer! I happened upon your post and read it because I too have had a group text issue in the past. In hindsight, I wished upon being added to the group I would have said "sorry y'all, I don't do group texts." But, I didn't so it became more awkward.

If you don't feel comfortable leaving the thread, just never respond and they will get the idea that you don't check it. Or if you do check it and respond occasionally, you can say that..that you check it occasionally and answer when you can. If something's really important, reach out to me individually..

It seems like they use it for drama (as group texts often do).. You might even think about saying nicely "hey, y'all, I'm bowing out of group texting, but feel free to reach out if you need me." or something... then you can block who you want from there and not see or worry what the others think..

I hope this isn't overstepping. I don't know the best thing for you, but I'm going off of experiences, and a group when N's are concerned, especially if you're wanting to reduce or eliminate contact of one or more, has the potential to get harder to manage.


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overitall

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Re: Advice? (Much Ado about group texts)
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2020, 11:08:13 PM »
I'm stuck in a group text situation that I never wanted to be a part of....if I leave the group, it will definitely get noticed...I don't respond to anything, ever...I'm hoping that eventually they'll just drop me out of the group....I can't understand how people spend so much time on cell phones!!

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guitarman

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Re: Advice? (Much Ado about group texts)
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2020, 12:15:41 AM »
What are you afraid of? Being in the group text is causing you stress and anxiety. You need to put your own mental health and well-being first. Do what YOU need to do. If others react in a bad way that is their problem not yours. How they cope with rejection is up to them not up to you. You are not responsible for their inability to cope. That is their problem to deal with not yours. 

I know itís not easy to put our own feelings and well-being first because of all the programming weíve had to cope with for years, maybe even decades. All the FOG fear, obligation and guilt takes it toll. You need to look after you. No one else is going to do that for you.

Itís OK to put your own feelings and well-being first. You matter too. You need to work on building up your own self esteem and being more assertive. Calmly talk more about your own feelings first and what you want and need. How others behave is up to them, not you.

You do not have to JADE that is justify, argue, defend or explain yourself. You could simply tell them that you are not going to take part any more. Keep it short. They may try and goad you but stay strong and donít engage.  Whatever happens stay calm.

Keep strong. Keep calm.
"Do not let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace." - Dalai Lama

"You don't have to be a part of it, you can become apart from it." - guitarman

"Be gentle with yourself, you're doing the best you can." - Anon

"If it hurts it isn't love." - Kris Godinez, counsellor and author

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WinterStar

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Re: Advice? (Much Ado about group texts)
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2020, 10:00:14 AM »
whitedeer,

My NBIL and NSIL have a group text. Did you know that their Christmas tree two years ago was two stories tall? Did you know that they had 800 Easter eggs for the hunt in their backyard for their four children last year? Do you have a picture of every pie, every side and main dish they make for every holiday? Because I do!

Those texts along with the oohs and ahhs from the rest of the family drove me batty. I tried not to be bothered by them. I suck at that. I tried not to read them. I suck at that too. Just before the holidays last year, I started to get anxious and angry about the texts I would receive. So I changed my cell number. Extreme and a pain in the rear, yes. But the msgs are gone and my inlaws will never get my new number. Bonus, MIL can't text me and try to tell me she thought she was texting my husband. (Doesn't she have separate contacts for the two of us? I would think so.)

If they ever figure out that the number they have is wrong, husband is to tell them, "She doesn't text." I never responded to those group texts anyway, so that should track. They can be mad if they want. My family doesn't like that I answer voicemails with emails. Oh well. I don't really talk on the phone anymore, so that's just how it is.
I am only resolved to act in that manner, which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness, without reference to you, or to any person so wholly unconnected with me. -Elizabeth Bennet

Treating a Bengal tiger like a kitty cat is a good way to get mauled. -Eric Barker

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overitall

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Re: Advice? (Much Ado about group texts)
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2020, 10:13:45 AM »
Wow Winterstar,

You just described my group text group!!  I get daily (sometimes 3) texts about the beautiful, smart, amazing, talented baby....how they have traveled to this country and that resort....how wonderful their house is...what restaurant they are visiting...the food they are eating, the next new car they bare buying, etc., etc., etc. :stars:
I honestly don't understand it except to say that this person is addicted to social media....I have never experienced this before but this person spends all of their time on FB, Instagram, Twitter, etc.  They even keep track of who comments or "likes" their posts or not....Before you assume this is a young teenager, this is actually a very very highly educated professional person...I don't understand it except to assume that they are so narcissist that they can't stop themselves...Sadly, all of the family members who play along and comment and respond only add fuel to the fire...
One thing is certain, watching this person has completely turned me off of social media (not that I was big fan anyway)

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whitedeer

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Re: Advice? (Much Ado about group texts)
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2020, 02:23:04 AM »
Thank you all so much for your responses! Seriously, seeing them all has warmed my heart like nothing else, and the support is real :grouphug:

No. - Thank you for your advice! No, you're not overstepping (By the way your name is perfect.) I don't mind group texts inherently - just def not with my FOO anymore. The group text isnt so much drama as it is passive-aggressive uNPD sis zingers aimed this way or that, otherwise it's personal "look at me!" group text hour (while ignoring what everyone else says). Hmmmm, yeah, I suppose that's drama...

But if I said I didn't like group texts to their faces, Im sure I would have gotten flack for it
 (If I don't go with the flow in my FOO I get called out/scapegoated for it, even called mean sometimes.) Thus, I feel a lot of pressure not to antagonize, and the slightest twitch in the wind could be seen as antagonism.

DH used to get pulled into these group texts and he'd leave them immediately, not answer, and/or voice his opinion about how he didn't like them. My family was really sensitive to it (smh...) and found it to be an unpleasant part of his personality (though now more and more I see his side and I think they're the unreasonable ones.) I'm sure it's one of the many tiny logged away/stockpiled pieces of evidence uNPD sis is using to smear campaign DH to the rest of the fam right now...

Guitarman - thank you! If I had money I'd fire my inner critic and hire you instead. I *am* trained and I hate it! I think if anyone outright *asks* or confronts me and finds my disengagement unacceptable (which is really ridiculous when I think about it) I plan to say what I feel and stick to my guns.... But in addition to avoiding the JADE, I'm gonna be the greyest, medium-est, chillest rock there ever was.  :cool2: We'll see how it goes...

Winterstar - That. Sounds. So. Painful. You and my DH would be able to commisserate... Except he would probably love pictures of side dishes lol.... he would have loved that way more than having to listen about obscure artists and filmmakers and musicians and actors and blablabla and act like he liked it and knew what was going on, just like the rest of us....(P.S. 800 Easter eggs is too much!!! I also hate talking on the phone too...)

Overitall - FOO? FOC? In-laws? (If you're comfortable sharing).

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overitall

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Re: Advice? (Much Ado about group texts)
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2020, 11:21:04 AM »
The group texts originate from an in-law (can't be more specific) It is a huge issue, especially after the birth of a child...it is constant, multi-daily texts and photos...then the comments start...I turn the volume off of my phone...if I drop out of the group it WILL be noticed....I do not understand how people have literally hours of each day to do this...Moreover, I think that the more they keep bombarding people with how "wonderful" they are, they are likely losing friends.....
I never comment, never "like" anything, hoping they will just drop me out of the group...it would be such a relief :yeahthat:

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treesgrowslowly

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Re: Advice? (Much Ado about group texts)
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2020, 11:13:11 AM »
Great posts here already. Including one that made me chuckle -thanks winterstar- that really nailed it about how people use these group texts.

I posted my 2 cents about a group text with toxic ILs just now over in the ILs area to member teddy2008.

Trees

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Free2Bme

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Re: Advice? (Much Ado about group texts)
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2020, 01:42:35 PM »
On a similar note (hope I don't offend).  I really loathe the annual Christmas letter I receive from a couple of friends.  The dreaded 'year-in-review' that amounts to a self-congratulating, laundry list of self-focused bragging points.  "my child passed kindergarten", "I earned an award", "our fabulous vacation", " H was promoted to xyz".  All about performance and ranking. (Similar to the 2 story Christmas tree and 800 Easter eggs.)
Ughhhh.... makes me want to run myself on a sword.

I am not against Christmas letters in general  (updates, family move, birth of child, etc.) and I don't have difficulty being genuinely happy for other's success, even if I don't share in that success!   It's the one-upmanship that annoys me. 

Maybe this is just my particular acquaintances that do this to an extreme?   Maybe it's me?   :Idunno:


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whitedeer

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Re: Advice? (Much Ado about group texts)
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2020, 02:21:57 PM »
Thanks Trees for alerting me about that thread! I'll have to hop over there and read/possibly share. I already read your post there - loved it.

Free2Bme - THANK YOU. No offense taken at all, I actually have the *exact* same opinion as you about Christmas letters/cards - I don't dislike them as a rule, but I don't like getting an "oversharing" letter from someone who doesn't themselves bother or care to know how I'm doing/what I'm up to, or even invite me to things. I find it really tone deaf, honestly.

My DH and I have a couple acquaintances, and completely out of nowhere they sent us one of those posed Christmas cards with pictures this year. I have no idea how they got our address!  They haven't bothered to visit or spend time with us even when invited over ( and they definitely don't invite us anywhere), and they always seem snooty or like they have better things to do.

But somehow they made the effort of finnagling our address from someone we know (or online - not directly from us at all?!) so they can force us to read their loudly trumpeted accomplishments wearing ugly sweaters holding their dog, and then we have to hang it on our fridge just to be nice.

So obnoxious.

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WinterStar

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Re: Advice? (Much Ado about group texts)
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2020, 02:34:04 PM »
Yes Free2Bme, PDs also use the annual Christmas letter. My NF loooooooves his Christmas letter. He retired early. He went to Alaska. He's spending the winter in Florida. His life is so perfect. Living the dream. Funny, NF didn't send a Christmas letter the year he was in jail for possession of child pornography. The whole jail/child porn thing never made it into subsequent letters either.

This past Christmas he bragged about getting his second grandson. I have three daughters. My brother has a daughter. They weren't worth mentioning. Just the grandsons my brother gave him. He also said something about needing to be in contact with our loved ones and how important it is to all be there for each other. At least in part, that was certainly meant for me, his vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvlc daughter. She needs to straighten herself out and stop keeping the granddaughters not worth mentioning in the Christmas letter away from him. I cut the letter and accompanying photo of him and his current live-in girlfriend and their pets into a zillion pieces. It was very cathartic.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2020, 02:36:07 PM by WinterStar »
I am only resolved to act in that manner, which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness, without reference to you, or to any person so wholly unconnected with me. -Elizabeth Bennet

Treating a Bengal tiger like a kitty cat is a good way to get mauled. -Eric Barker

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Free2Bme

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Re: Advice? (Much Ado about group texts)
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2020, 02:15:10 PM »
"NF didn't send a Christmas letter the year he was in jail for possession of child pornography. "

Thanks winterstar,  lol......... I needed that today.   :laugh:

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Pinkos

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Re: Advice? (Much Ado about group texts)
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2020, 03:05:03 PM »
I think for me I've realized that if a person doesn't show any interest or care in me, then why should I care about their accomplishments or vacations or Christmas trees or what have you? I feel like that's the crux of it. It almost feels hostile for someone who never reaches out to you in a meaningful way or genuinely asks how you're doing to so adamantly update you with their life events. It makes sense when you think about the narcissistic condition. They need an audience. But beyond that, they need to put us down too. There's definitely a competitive, one-upmanship element involved in these "updates," like others have said.

We can be certain of this because we instantly feel like crap upon receiving them. I feel lonelier and excluded when I get these "updates." I had a similar thing happen last week completely out of the blue. I've been NC with my family/relatives for the past 5 years. None of them have really made a genuine effort to reconcile. It's all my fault of course. No one understands what happened and I'm cast as this angry/volatile person who is lashing out by giving everyone the silent treatment. I'm trying to control them, in their eyes. And I broke NC earlier this year and was swiftly reminded why I HAD to go NC. I've spoken to my father a handful of times in the past 3-4 months and each time I was feeling dread and anxiety. It all just felt perfunctory and futile.

So why this second cousin would include me in a group text about her graduation from a prestigious law school baffled me. I didn't even know who it was and had to Google the number to find out. I felt guilty for not being happy about the news. Of course the inner critic was having a field day with me. I feel certain that her mother put her up to it with my parents full support. (There's a long history of the two parents comparing their children's accomplishments, esp my accomplishments. It's interesting how in my family it's only the daughters who are compared in this way and who fail to please no matter what they do. Sons are given all the benefit of the doubt and coddled.) I feel certain this was a message aimed at me, to take a dig at me and make me feel unaccomplished and like a failure. And momentarily it did make me feel all those things. I had to wrestle with that for a whole day. And every conversation with my Ndad for the last 3-4 months was peppered with these veiled criticisms - the message is always the same - that I'm a failure, not good enough. So I was primed to then go down that slippery slope after this text. They (as part of my inner voice) were telling me that I was just envious because I wasn't as accomplished. That I was miserable and looking for an excuse to blame her and them for my feelings. That to prove I wasn't feeling that way I should text back and offer my congratulations. Ha!

Why should I want to be updated about this cousin's accomplishments? I have had zero contact with this cousin and her parents in the last 5-7 years. But I'm supposed to be supportive and congratulate because this cousin deigned to inform me about her life? It felt like self-betrayal to even acknowledge this message. Because none of them are asking about my life. Their silence towards me has been deafening. But I'm supposed to take time out of my day to watch her graduation online? So what was the real intent in including me in the text? And believe me they do plenty of excluding so it's not about being inclusive.

In the end I didn't respond and I blocked the number. Because you know what, no! I went ahead and blocked my father too. It was a colossal mistake to break NC. Of course nothing had changed after all these years. It was like we had picked back up exactly where we left off.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2020, 03:10:28 PM by Pinkos »

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yarlanzey

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Re: Advice? (Much Ado about group texts)
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2020, 08:58:00 AM »
Great to see other people talking about this.

I was in a big, extended family group on Whatsapp. It used to irritate me because it was mostly people bragging about their achievements, or their children's achievements and so on.

Things came to a head last December. I was angry about how I was treated by a certain family member, and then her mother posts something which kind of implied that this "person" was angelic or something lol. On top of this, some toxic former friends had added me to a group, trying to get me to engage with them just because it was Christmastime I guess. I've fallen for that before but I won't be doing so again.

So anyway, I "left" the family group without saying anything, but nonetheless they would all see that I had left. Shortly afterwards I got rid of Whatsapp altogether.

I'm not really on any social media these days. I deleted Facebook several years ago.

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nanotech

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Re: Advice? (Much Ado about group texts)
« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2020, 10:08:26 PM »
Iím NC on social media with family of origin. They used to be just the same, either the show off, or the put down, or both.
They like to read all about me, and either ignore me blatantly, or try to passive aggressively criticise me and belittle me, both publicly to their friends, and also in group chats.
They loved social media for the window on my world  it offered them. Countless times, they crossed the line. I would point it out and they would get their last word in, and then dramatically unfriend me.
After a time, I would feel sorry that we werenít speaking. I would always be the one to reach out. It was always me.
 Things would be fine for a while, then nasty whisps of abuse would begin to curl in, and the pattern would start all over again.
I tried to talk to two of them about boundaries. What a waste of time that was. One laughed. The other got furious. With the furious one, Iíve had to ban texts as well.
Thereís no appealing to their Ďbetter natureĒ.
NC with them and VLC with my one remaining parent.
No more of the posturing,  passive- aggressive group chats.
No more of the magical thinking/sickly sweet love bombing for each other on their various Facebook pages  ( posted so friends could tell them what a lovely family we are. And they did tell them).
The FOO despise me now. Not that they ever liked me, but my oh so public non -compliance REEKS of family discord, which they canít have , because it isnít a good look to their Facebook friends, whom they are all about impressing.
Iíve never been happier. I can be myself online. I donít have to worry about them breathing down my neck.
Thereís dislike and  disapproval from them, but hey, whatís new? Itís water off a ducks back. Once you realise that they will never have your back, the decision is easy.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 10:15:47 PM by nanotech »

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DistanceNotDefense

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Re: Advice? (Much Ado about group texts)
« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2020, 11:05:49 AM »
Once you realise that they will never have your back, the decision is easy.

I'm starting to feel my FOO will never have my back on emotional matters, but the decision for me is hard. I wish it was easy. I wish I could shut the door on them forever but some part of me is terrified of even worse abuse after that to follow somehow. Maybe that's a fear I need to overcome.

I did block their group message thread though. I don't even care if they saw it. Bombing everyone's phones with texts at 1:30 AM. I'd had enough. If they follow up or something I'll tell them I installed an app that blocks group texts.

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nanotech

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Re: Advice? (Much Ado about group texts)
« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2020, 04:30:26 PM »
Once you realise that they will never have your back, the decision is easy.

I'm starting to feel my FOO will never have my back on emotional matters, but the decision for me is hard. I wish it was easy. I wish I could shut the door on them forever but some part of me is terrified of even worse abuse after that to follow somehow. Maybe that's a fear I need to overcome.

I did block their group message thread though. I don't even care if they saw it. Bombing everyone's phones with texts at 1:30 AM. I'd had enough. If they follow up or something I'll tell them I installed an app that blocks group texts.
Thatís dreadful. Iím glad you blocked them.
I think my post should have also mentioned that it was a cathartic moment for me when I realised that they had never HAD my back. Itís actually a huge shock.
I understood that despite that, I still loved them and always would, but I wasnít going to engage in relationships with them any further. The connections just werenít healthy. 


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DistanceNotDefense

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Re: Advice? (Much Ado about group texts)
« Reply #18 on: July 10, 2020, 09:51:19 PM »
Once you realise that they will never have your back, the decision is easy.

I'm starting to feel my FOO will never have my back on emotional matters, but the decision for me is hard. I wish it was easy. I wish I could shut the door on them forever but some part of me is terrified of even worse abuse after that to follow somehow. Maybe that's a fear I need to overcome.

I did block their group message thread though. I don't even care if they saw it. Bombing everyone's phones with texts at 1:30 AM. I'd had enough. If they follow up or something I'll tell them I installed an app that blocks group texts.
Thatís dreadful. Iím glad you blocked them.
I think my post should have also mentioned that it was a cathartic moment for me when I realised that they had never HAD my back. Itís actually a huge shock.
I understood that despite that, I still loved them and always would, but I wasnít going to engage in relationships with them any further. The connections just werenít healthy. 



I feel you nanotech....I was so disgruntled and lost sleep over that. So far it's only been crickets and no waves since blocking them, so that's good. And they banter about things I just don't relate to, that's the worst part.

My FOO has never had my back, either, on emotional matters especially....materialism is a different matter, I think my M feels deep-buried guilt she can't handle emotions so she'll give me money, though it makes me uncomfortable especially when I don't need it ...

I'm still in shock over absorbing this over the last couple years, that family will never rally or validate my emotional past or present. Only ignore it or chuck it aside or use it as fodder for passive aggressive drama. If Im silent and keep to myself and have boundaries, I'm too inaccessible and inconvenient; if I'm honest and speak my mind then I'm somehow abusive, scary, and mean. It just sucks. Hope to get out of this FOG soon.

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nanotech

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Re: Advice? (Much Ado about group texts)
« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2020, 09:16:52 PM »
Once you realise that they will never have your back, the decision is easy.

I'm starting to feel my FOO will never have my back on emotional matters, but the decision for me is hard. I wish it was easy. I wish I could shut the door on them forever but some part of me is terrified of even worse abuse after that to follow somehow. Maybe that's a fear I need to overcome.

I did block their group message thread though. I don't even care if they saw it. Bombing everyone's phones with texts at 1:30 AM. I'd had enough. If they follow up or something I'll tell them I installed an app that blocks group texts.
Thatís dreadful. Iím glad you blocked them.
I think my post should have also mentioned that it was a cathartic moment for me when I realised that they had never HAD my back. Itís actually a huge shock.
I understood that despite that, I still loved them and always would, but I wasnít going to engage in relationships with them any further. The connections just werenít healthy. 



I feel you nanotech....I was so disgruntled and lost sleep over that. So far it's only been crickets and no waves since blocking them, so that's good. And they banter about things I just don't relate to, that's the worst part.

My FOO has never had my back, either, on emotional matters especially....materialism is a different matter, I think my M feels deep-buried guilt she can't handle emotions so she'll give me money, though it makes me uncomfortable especially when I don't need it ...

I'm still in shock over absorbing this over the last couple years, that family will never rally or validate my emotional past or present. Only ignore it or chuck it aside or use it as fodder for passive aggressive drama. If Im silent and keep to myself and have boundaries, I'm too inaccessible and inconvenient; if I'm honest and speak my mind then I'm somehow abusive, scary, and mean. It just sucks. Hope to get out of this FOG soon.
Hi Distance Iím just going to sleep ( Iím in the UK) but I did want to answer you. Your last paragraph describes how my FOO view me too. Itís uncanny really. When I did try to connect and improve things ( I tried to enlighten them on the family dysfunction) they simply found me bossy and overbearing and they told me so. Iím an introvert so.... hello? Donít think so.
Now Iím low to no contact I hear they are frustrated and annoyed by the lack of access and the fact that to speak to me they can only ring me.
They miss the fb group messaging where they used to love to indulge in passive aggressive behaviour at my expense. They miss being on my fb page in general. They enjoyed nosying about me and seeing what they could criticise.,
 One to one phone calls donít  happen of course- for starters they canít perform to an audience. And the N siblings know I have phone boundaries now too. No triangulating. No waifing, no interrogating. No guilt tripping, no fearmongering, no catastrophising.
I only speak to dad by phone and I keep it VLC. Iíve told him directly the things I wonít  now discuss. With anything that still comes up ( he tries but not often) I just grey rock or change the subject, but I handle it.
Iím NO fun anymore!
They miss me as a target, not as a loving sister/ aunt/ daughter.
Keep your boundaries hun. I read in a book called ĎToxic Parentsí ( Susan Forward) that Narcissists need to put other family members down in order to raise their own self -esteem. If we do well, they dislike themselves more. This is scary to believe,  yet when I read that I thought,
ĎThatís my family. That explains everything. Now I understand why they get upset and annoyed when I achieve things.í
We are not Ďcloseí, we are all just competitors. Iím now  finding my tribe elsewhere- made a good start with my hubby and my kids.
 Iíve got some extended family who are emotionally healthy and Iím in more contact with them these days. I was warned off them, and kept away from them physically when growing up. Guess what, they are lovely.
Itís my lot who have the problems! Find the good folk, and stick with them. Our dysfunctional FOO donít have any power to cage us with their skewed narrative. Itís all bluster.
When we make these changes itís still upsetting to begin with. We have to deconstruct a fantasy weíve been indoctrinated into and held close for a long, long time. I think I even felt grief. It does pass. They might try lovebombing you- watch out for that. Itís a trick. Or they may engage a Flying Monkey to try to charm you back into the fold. ( see the toolbox).
« Last Edit: July 11, 2020, 09:37:30 PM by nanotech »