Flying monkey? Really torn....

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Liz1018

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Flying monkey? Really torn....
« on: May 17, 2020, 12:50:10 PM »
Hi guys, hope you are all safe and healthy. What a tough few months it has been. My FOO has been popping up in my head more than I would like. Not enough to break NC. Thankfully Nsis and Nmom and pretty much the rest of them havenít attempted contact during the crisis, not that they have any such avenues left.

But over the past 6 months, my nephew (who was totally enmeshed with them has sent occasional ďI love you and miss you so muchĒ messages on social media and a couple of emails, has contacted me. I never blocked him because none of this was his fault. But I knew they would use and manipulate him as a means to get to me, and I just couldnít take the chance.

It deeply saddened me to have to cut him off too. How would he possibly understand? If all he heard about me was negative, what chance was there for me to get through to him? I have lived 600 miles away for 25 years, only seeing him once a year for 20 of those (3 days on average). He is now 26.

Today I received a DM from him and it nearly broke my heart. He told me that he had found out more about the family in the last couple of years and now understands why I did what I did. And that if I wanted to contact him, he promised he would not tell anyone.

This is the first time EVER I have felt like I had an ally in my family. EVER. He is a dear, sweet kid with a big heart. I know he understands that itís nothing he did, and I actually believe that he might not say anything. But at the same time I donít want to put that burden on him. Secrets are toxic. And what if they wear him down and he gives in in a moment of vulnerability?

At the same - I am super curious of what he has found out. Is it that his grandmother is a covert narcissist who pitted her kids against one another? Or that his grandfather is a pedophile who had a 10 year secret relationship  with a 15 year-old while he was her 52 year old teacher? That he went to jail for statutory l rape at the end of the 10 years because the girl, then 25, secretly recorded a conversation where he confessed they had a relationship?

Or that his dad cheated on his mom and that was the reason they divorced? Or that nobody in the family was ever allowed to talk about any of it? Or that my mother maligned DH when he was nothing but kind/generous to her?

Or was it that my mom and BPD sister meddled in my brothersí marriages and turned them against their wives? Or did he learn about personality disorders and now it all makes sense?  Malignant narcissism has been  much more understood in the last 4 years. Gaslighting is everywhere.

Or did he find out that I suffered from severe depression and anxiety, went to therapy and got healthy? That I have stayed married to DH for 22 years while my siblings are never married or divorced -  because  of all the fó-d up stuff my parents did? Or that we were all gaslighted and I was scapegoated?

This really stinks. I hate to think of him becoming educated and enlightened and having no one else that gets it. I hate to think of him suffering from depression over the same things. I hate to think about how he felt when the secrets were revealed and just how mind-blowingly  horrible it all was. It saddens me to think that he found out these people are not who he thought they were. And that he probably has debilitating trust issues now.

I know itís not my responsibility but he is the age I was when I found out and moved away for good. He canít really escape - theyíre too engrained in his life.
Being wise to it is no easy burden to carry alone.  I would not wish this on anyone.

Need encouragement. Rock and a hard place.

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moglow

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Re: Flying monkey? Really torn....
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2020, 01:35:15 PM »
Maybe it's best to simply be the ear for him that you once needed so badly. It's hard enough coming to grips with pd behavior. It doesn't really matter what he found out but more how it's affected him. My guess is he's had time to sit back and watch or possibly had much the same treatment inflicted on him that you have.

I'd probably keep conversation centered around my and his personal experiences, be a non-judgmental sounding board when he needs it. Going into the he said/she said gossip would only serve to make me question the one telling it. He may have seen and heard way too much of that to trust anyone else doing the same.
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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Liz1018

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Re: Flying monkey? Really torn....
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2020, 03:03:48 PM »
Hi moglow and thanks for your response. I am completely NC, so breaking 5 years of it to have a conversation that I am not even sure about seems like a risky move.

I think itís not a great idea to open myself up to that, because once itís open, itís open. I would love to be able to be there for him because nobody was there for me, but I just feel like I need to trust my gut and say nothing.  But it still hurts.

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looloo

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Re: Flying monkey? Really torn....
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2020, 04:35:39 PM »
He says he understands why you ended contact with your FOO now.  If you eventually feel like a response to him would be helpful for YOU (youíre very empathetic to him, but really, you donít have any info about his circumstances or his feelings), you could say that you deeply appreciate his understanding, that it was very unexpected, that youíve thought about him the entire time and have hoped he was doing well.  You can also say that continuing NC with everyone is necessary for your own mental health, and wish him the best.  Or, leave the possibility of further contact open, but keep it to email only and be ready to shut it down if you have to (and deal with the disappointment that will bring).

You can handle this any way you choose though, and in your own time.
ďIf you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.Ē  Oscar Wilde.

"My actions are my true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand."  Thich Nhat Hanh

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Morocha2015

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Re: Flying monkey? Really torn....
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2020, 05:17:01 PM »
I have a 10 years older half sister who lived with us briefly when I was very young. When I was 16 she reached out to me and it was the first time I discovered someone else knew what I was going through. To this day she's the only person I feel really gets it. We're not even that close, but when we do talk it's so refreshing and validating for me. I don't know if that's for sure what your nephew is looking for, but I can say I'm incredibly grateful to have a family member who hears me.

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moglow

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Re: Flying monkey? Really torn....
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2020, 12:35:04 PM »
Quote
I am completely NC, so breaking 5 years of it to have a conversation that I am not even sure about seems like a risky move.

I think itís not a great idea to open myself up to that, because once itís open, itís open. I would love to be able to be there for him because nobody was there for me, but I just feel like I need to trust my gut and say nothing.  But it still hurts.
I'm sorry - I was thinking you wanted to have contact with your nephew and were trying to figure out how. He's caught between a rock and a hard place as well, and it may well be that they pick him for information. Who knows what his relationship is with them at this point.

I guess I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt unless/until they show otherwise. I'd have a tendency to listen to him without revealing much/any of my own stuff, but as you say even a crack in that door and they may shove it wide open. Godawful position for both of yall to be in.
More than anything I'm sorry you're hurting. This isn't anything we'd ever happily choose, not for ourselves or others.
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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Liz1018

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Re: Flying monkey? Really torn....
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2020, 11:48:10 AM »
Thanks, moglow. I agree - he is in a terrible spot as well. My brother (his dad) is the classic coddled GC. When I was a kid (he is 8 years older) he was funny, curious, intelligent and inspiring. He suffered from depression starting around 19, just like I did. Did my parents recognize this and try to get him some help? Of course not!

He managed to finish college, but never had a real job. He married and had a kid (Dnephew), but quickly ran the marriage into the ground. She divorced him and that was pretty much the same nd of him. He spiraled down and down and down. My Nmom saw this as her opportunity to control him and pounced.  At 56, she is still doing his laundry, going into doctorís appts. with him, cleaning his apartment. Still no real job - no job at all. His health issues get worse and worse - last time I saw him he looked 20 years older than his age and was a shadow of himself.

Meanwhile he never paid child support, and as my nephew grew older, DN became my brotherís caretaker. I am guessing brother had bipolar disorder, but I think most likely PTSD. Also, over time, Nmom continued to draw him into her spider web - he thinks she is a ďselflessĒ saint. They have a very strange relationship. Yuck. And so a new generation (nephew) thinks Nmom is this sweet old lady  :sadno:
But who knows how much has changed in 5 years?

Nephew and his dad were very close- more like friends than parent-child. So unfair. Now nephew is the parent. He never left the family or the area for college or any other adventure. No change in perspective. He followed in my brothers footsteps - no drive or ambition. We do come from a family  of folks who see progress as a threat. And therapy? The ultimate enemy to them, until they can scapegoat our significant others. And we all know how that works.

Anyway, not much else to say on this. It just stinks, plain and simple. I appreciate your kindness. I do realize that I have all of the leverage and my decision is mine to make. That is comforting at least. Just going to have to let this one play out.

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blues_cruise

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Re: Flying monkey? Really torn....
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2020, 08:01:55 AM »
It's a frustrating, sad situation and you can see the unhealthy dynamics being passed down from your brother to your nephew. I can understand why you would be reluctant to get in touch. The thing is, I think when you're enmeshed with a toxic family member there can be moments of clarity, but unless you're fully aware and have boundaries with them then it's very difficult to have a relationship with another family member who has chosen to distance themselves from it all. One of my brothers was going through a rough time a couple of years ago and appeared to be starting to acknowledge that much of this was a result of years of mental abuse from N father. I was fully on board with supporting him emotionally, dropped my boundaries with him and was ready for a closer relationship where we could be honest about the reality of the family situation and support one another. Then within literally a week after being love bombed with new furniture from NF for my brother's new house, he did a complete U-turn, allied himself back to NF and stuck his head back in the sand. It was really disappointing and I felt like an idiot for opening up and being vulnerable with him. 

So I totally see why you feel more comfortable keeping your boundaries in place. If you were to get in touch with him again I would try to keep as much emotion out of any exchanges as possible. Although it's good to have an ally when you start seeing toxic people for who they really are and it's natural to want to be that person for your nephew, it shouldn't be at the expense of your own peace of mind.
"You are not what has happened to you. You are what you choose to become." - Carl Gustav Jung

"When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time." - Maya Angelou

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Maxtrem

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Re: Flying monkey? Really torn....
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2020, 05:36:30 PM »
If he said:
''He told me that he had found out more about the family in the last couple of years and now understands why I did what I did. '
I don't think it's a flying monkey. He must have had an awakening, and he's referring to you, who is the only other one who also had an awakening. Maybe he wants to talk to you about his experience, because when we have experienced psychological abuse it is very difficult to talk about it, most people who have not experienced it would not understand. 

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Liz1018

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Re: Flying monkey? Really torn....
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2020, 11:28:10 AM »
Thanks, blues cruise and Maxtem , for your replies.

Right now I am doing nothing, just as I have for 5 years. It is the only safe play for me. As much as I care about him and the possibility itís above board, it is still not worth blowing up my life and 5 years of progress.

Stepping away from it for a few days has helped. I realize that the fear we are all experiencing due to coronavirus makes us vulnerable and full of emotions, some of them undefinable. So I am going to stay on the path of logic for now.

If I read too much into it, I am afraid I will extract what I want from it. His statements were vague. Right after Motherís Day too - I have had attempted contact from them each year around this holiday. So I have no proof, but it seems likely the expert manipulators are preying on him and his kindness/FOG even without him being aware. By now they know he is the last line of communication and I am 100% sure that is being exploited.

It took me 20 years to finally walk away from it, and that was with hundreds of miles in between me and them, decades of therapy and with support of DH.  I had a deep desire to distance myself from them and moved away at that exact age. I donít see him as being that aware of just how unhealthy the situation is. Maybe in time, but no now. He is in too deep.

Thanks all, your comments and support are really valuable to me. 

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PeanutButter

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Re: Flying monkey? Really torn....
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2020, 12:02:53 PM »
I was thinking after I read through the thread that he may ime believe that he 'understands' BOTH sides, yours and M. He could see himself as a would be hero to you M if he could get you to make contact.. While he could genuinely understand why you went NC it doesnt mean he agrees with you staying that way.
I think he is flying monkey just maybe unwittingly so.
Im glad you are keeping your safety needs as priority.
If there is a hidden seed of evil inside of children adults planted it there -LundyBancroft  Self-awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong good or bad -DebbieFord The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none -Thomas Carlyle