"You are feeling sorry for yourself"

  • 8 Replies
  • 402 Views
*

magnetron

  • New Member
  • *
  • 9
"You are feeling sorry for yourself"
« on: June 05, 2021, 10:49:41 AM »
I feel really angry about my brother and sister-in-law dismissing my complaints about my narcissistic mother’s past behaviour as “feeling sorry for [my]self”. They are fully aware of the things she has done (an example is given below but it’s a long way from being the worst thing she ever did), but they make out that I am the one at fault. Not that I have any contact with them now, but I get into JADE mode, feeling like I want to show that complaining about harm that someone has failed to acknowledge is not feeling sorry for myself. But even if I was feeling sorry for myself, in no way does that justify or mitigate what she did, she is still morally obliged to acknowledge the pain she caused me and take responsibility for it.

I also get angry about them saying “she’s a much loved granny” and that “she has lots of friends who are very fond of her” (for some reason I feel really creeped out by my brother saying that people “are very fond of her”). They are fully intelligent enough to know that neither of these things is evidence that she wasn’t a child abuser, nor do they mitigate anything that she did.

I don’t know why I feel so bad about this since neither of them would have any credibility anyway. My sister-in-law declared, shortly after she had graduated with a geography degree, that there was nothing wrong with referring to black people using the n-word, and my brother has said that our mum doesn’t have an anger management problem, something that is so easily shown to be untrue that it’s safe to ignore everything else he says on these topics. But they are the ones that get to depict me in such a dishonest way to the rest of the family and lots of other people, I feel quite powerless against their dishonesty. 

*

magnetron

  • New Member
  • *
  • 9
Re: "You are feeling sorry for yourself"
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2021, 10:51:44 AM »
A story to illustrate what I'm talking about above:

When I was 10, we went on a summer holiday to stay with my uncle and his family. My uncle had worked much harder on his professional qualifications than either of my parents, and in general he was a lot more informed and less bigoted than my mum.

We were out on a long country walk and I’m way out front with my uncle having a 1-1 chat. It was a good conversation that would have opened up my perspective on various things. I remember talking about the chances of world peace in a way that wouldn’t have been possible with my parents.

We get back to the car park and some minutes later my parents arrive. My mum says to us “I was saying to your dad there, ‘I wonder what rubbish [magnetron] is saying to [uncle’s name]”, quite pleased with herself.

So not only did my mum express contempt for her intelligent 10 year old son behind his back, she was so proud of herself that she chose to crush his feelings by repeating the quip in front of him and others. She can get people to find her endearing, but she’s a nasty, nasty person. I’m pretty sure I described this incident in an email to her a while back, but as with everything else she completely fails to acknowledge the damage done or take any responsibility for her actions.

*

magnetron

  • New Member
  • *
  • 9
Re: "You are feeling sorry for yourself"
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2021, 11:06:01 AM »
I’ll shut up after this post, but while it’s probably true that a lot of nice people “are fond of her”, this is the sort of person she really is:

When I was about 15 my mum, dad and me were sitting watching TV one evening. A short film came on, in which a family were sitting in their car, just about to leave on holiday. The dad was checking the roof rack and just as he was going to get in the car, some white racist skinheads ran up and beat him to death in front of the rest of the family.

It was absolutely shocking, but my mum’s response was to stick her lower jaw out and say “I can understand why people get angry in [region], it’s like Wugga-wugga land there”. Knowing how she would have responded to any comment or criticism, neither my dad nor I said anything.

Another time my mum gave me a lift back from a car hire place as I was dropping off a car. She said “you were in the office with that dusky chap so long I thought he’d sold you into white slavery”.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2021, 12:01:58 PM by magnetron »

*

Hepatica

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 501
Re: "You are feeling sorry for yourself"
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2021, 11:12:38 AM »
Dear megnetron,

Don't worry. There is no doubt that your mother has issues. And your SIL from the example you gave as well. The wugga-wugga land comment and your SIL's strange comment that it is okay to say the N word is shocking. I'm so sorry that you have had to witness this and know it is wrong and yet, are put in the role of scapegoat because you find their words and behaviours aggressive.

They are all behaving overtly and covertly aggressive. They are perfect examples of ignorance (which is okay on its own i think because we all have to learn somewhere) mixed with lack of compassion, empathy and basic human kindness.

That's awful and I would support you in saying that yes, your mother has issues, even beyond anger. She sounds entitled, rude and mean-spirited and childish. What she said about you speaking with your uncle shows how she realizes too, that she is in the wrong and threatened by anyone who might try to help you realize that.

That's hard to reconcile, I know. You are digging deep and what you're seeing is not easy, but at least you're being real and compassionate. You are not "feeling sorry for yourself." And even if you were that's okay, because you have every right.  You are standing up for what's right. You are brave. It does sound like these people would be difficult to be around. I doubt they'd change their minds very easily.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2021, 11:20:23 AM by Hepatica »
“There is a place in you where you have never been wounded, where there's
still a sureness in you, where there's a seamlessness in you, and where
there is a confidence and tranquility." John O'Donohue

*

magnetron

  • New Member
  • *
  • 9
Re: "You are feeling sorry for yourself"
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2021, 11:45:42 AM »
Thank you Hepatica. The context of my SIL's comment was that she was saying her granny refers to black people with the n-word, but somehow that "isn't racist". Looking back, I would have asked if her granny or she would use the n-word if there were black people within earshot. I'm pretty sure the answer would be no, showing that they knew full well that it was in fact abusive and racist.

For a long time I thought my SIL perhaps had a more balanced view of the situation between my mum and me, but a few years ago she made it clear that she is just as closed to empathy and truth as my brother is. I've since had no contact with them whatsoever (I keep in touch with my mum with emails every few months). I wouldn't care much about that but it means my relationship with their children has been destroyed.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2021, 12:00:38 PM by magnetron »

*

Hepatica

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 501
Re: "You are feeling sorry for yourself"
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2021, 11:55:35 AM »
I get it about the loss of relationships with your brother's children. I'm dealing with that too and it's a great loss. Also relate a lot to your post because I backed away due to subtle and overt mean/racist and generally lacking in compassion behaviour with my sister and her husband. Unfortunately as her children grew up, they too began to say racist things. I just can't stand it. My son is half-Latino, so I feel like I am betraying him (and myself) by just trying to play nice with them.
“There is a place in you where you have never been wounded, where there's
still a sureness in you, where there's a seamlessness in you, and where
there is a confidence and tranquility." John O'Donohue

*

Cat of the Canals

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 599
Re: "You are feeling sorry for yourself"
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2021, 12:43:39 PM »
I'm sorry your experience is being denied by other members of your family.

I'm very close with my brother and SIL, but they are also both quite enmeshed with PDmom. They live a short distance from her, and my parents provide childcare for my nephews regularly.

They are still very much in the fog. They have moments of clarity here and there, but my mother is capable of appearing quite "normal" a lot of the time (presuming everything is going her way), and that leads them to say things a lot like your brother and SIL. "She's not THAT bad." and "But she does SO MUCH for us." or "I've met something with a PD, and she's not like that."

The few times my brother has gotten completely fed up with the behavior, the second I try to validate his experience, he flips back to, "It's not that bad." or "Mom is allowed to have feelings, too." It causes a sort of emotional whiplash for me. Here, I thought this person that shared much of my family experience is *finally* starting to see the light, and then he reverts back to the old status quo, which is to always protect PDmom, to always worry about HER needs and wants before everyone else's, and to excuse her abusive behavior.

I'm beginning to accept that my brother and SIL are still in the FOG and may never come out of it. It isn't my responsibility to drag them out of it or try to make them see the truth. (As if that were even possible.) And it is unfair to continually put myself in a situation to be hurt by their denial. It's also unfair to expect them to react differently when they've shown over and over they can't do that. They are just living too deeply and too closely to the dysfunction to see it. And it is a safer choice for me, emotionally speaking, to not discuss this with them.

It isn't easy. I hate having to be guarded around my brother. But unfortunately, having a PD in the family often means a lot of collateral damage to other relationships as well.

*

magnetron

  • New Member
  • *
  • 9
Re: "You are feeling sorry for yourself"
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2021, 01:32:21 PM »
Thank you Cat of the Canals. "My mother is capable of appearing quite "normal" a lot of the time (presuming everything is going her way)" - that's just like my mum. My brother and SIL have definitely felt put upon by her, and felt her micro-aggressions, but they will always say "yes" when she makes it clear that's what she wants to hear. You can see in my brother's body language that he is so worried about pandering to her that he doesn't even know what his own thoughts and feelings are.

*

Spring Butterfly

  • Spring Butterfly
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 17141
  • You can be free and heal ❤️‍🩹
    • One Key to Better Boundaries
Re: "You are feeling sorry for yourself"
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2021, 08:09:24 AM »
“ I don’t know why I feel so bad about this since neither of them would have any credibility anyway” 

because that’s how invalidation and gaslighting is designed to make us feel. You likely already know deep down that you don’t need others to validate you BUT when we’re invalidated it’s a slam against our confidence. We’re all here to validate as needed because it feels good and provides some balance.

In my case uPDm and enF also have a way of coming off normal - which is kinda good fir many reasons. They can hold a lid on their most hurtful PD behaviors for a time but uPDm needs an outlet when the steam builds like the release valve on the pressure cooker.

You’re going to be ok and we here all know your gut was and is telling you the truth. You can trust it.
· Every interaction w/ PD persons results in damage-plan accordingly, make time to heal
· Individuation is one key to emotional freedom
· It's foolish to expect of others what they have no capacity to give
my Empowered Growth blog