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"But We Took You To Stately Homes!" - Survivors of Dysfunctional Families

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DontstepontheMomeRaths Tue 11-Feb-14 17:30:01

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It's February 2014, and the Stately Home is still open to visitors.

Forerunning threads:
December 2007
March 2008
August 2008
February 2009
May 2009
January 2010
April 2010
August 2010
March 2011
November 2011
January 2012
November 2012
January 2013
March 2013
August 2013
December 2013

Please check later posts in this thread for links & quotes. The main thing is: "they did do it to you" - and you can recover.

Firsttimer7259 Wed 12-Feb-14 11:30:15

Sorry to those of you getting a difficult reaction from colleagues etc. I tend to keep my family shit under wraps because people just don't understand - I'm protecting myself because I have to not being a hitch cos I like the drama.

Anyway I'm having some rumblings I just need to get out. I find writing things here helps me feel less panicked. I've been nc for 2 years. I've known my family wasn't normal for at least a decade - anyway f is a narc, m died a long time ago was an enabler at least nit sure about the rest. 2 sisters who have their damage. I'm the person who doesn't matter in my birth family, I can suck up the insults be called on at the last minute, etc. I wasn't happy with this but put up w it until my life went nuts. My dd is severelying disabled and h was diagnosed w life limiting illness. Went on holiday w my family and got treated as bottom of pile as usual - people aannoyed w us for not fitting in around their schedules and participating - dd was 2! Big fall out f writes email going on about how I'm making a big deal about issues and should be less bitter and angry.
So it's 2 years later nc has been really good to me. It's allowed real supportive relationships to flourish, given me insights and perspective. I do feel perhaps I should have some perfunctory contact w my f - mainly for faith reasons - I would want to find a way to respect him as my f even tho I don't like or love him and suspect that won't change as he won't change. But I'm scared of being sucked back in. A few months above called in the spirit of this kind of contact and had a brief talk. He then sent me an email thanking me for the call because of all the worry and stress he's had over this. That made me see how self centred he is and I backed off sharpish
Now we got a diagnosis for our dd. It's really bad so I informed f and sisters by email. So there have been calls and I'mruffled by it. My f called Monday - I told him I was v busy ( was just prepping teaching) and said I'm usually in 5:30-7:30 and that phones had been broken last month but fixed now. I missed a call from him that evening. The next day he calls at 4:30, I pick up say I'm at work and can't talk just then but would be Home in an hour or so . Then he starts on about how he'd called previous day at that time and not got hold of me. I interrupted him saying I'm at work and hung up. Sat in office feeling angry and sick.I'm not entirely sure why it gave me such a whoosh of anger but it's this sense that I'm supposed to wait on his call. On the other hand I would have been that short to someone else - tho I don't think someone else would have the expectation that I'd stay on the phone when I've already said I can't talk...
I don't know what to do w this - I just don't want him riling me or this feeling that I'm slipping into old habits of behavior. I do feel I should do something other than just run away but I hate the feeling I have now

Hissy Wed 12-Feb-14 12:41:35

bigbad do you think you are being cyberstalked?

Could you get your PC checked out for key logger/malware? Change all passwords and ideally block this monster from everything. If FB is an issue, set up a new page and leave him and the family alone on there, migrate all the others, put them on restricted view too.

You/DH leaving the stage is extremely frightening for these narc types, they are terrified at losing their control of you//your family.

Expect worse before it gets better, do whatever it takes to protect yourselves. call the police without a second thought if you are scared of physical harm, or if you encounter proof of hacking etc.

Meerka Wed 12-Feb-14 13:02:39

firsttimer it sounds from the outside as though at -this- point, its not actually too bad with your family. What's difficult is your feelings around them. Is it possible to step back and detach a bit and simply not take any expectations of calls too seriously?

This sounds easy, but every single person on this thread knows it's not. This detachment means giving up hope that your family will be there as the supportive, helpful people that families should be. They havent been and they almost certainly won't be.

Letting them know about your daughter's diagnosis (I am so sorry, it sounds as though she's in a very bad situation) is more courtesy than active communication with hope of emotional or practical support, in these circumstances. Look to your partner or friends for support, not them.

I'm so sorry that your daughter is so ill.

Hissy Wed 12-Feb-14 13:38:56

I too am so sorry to hear about your dd firsttimer

I agree with Meerka

Can you sit yourself down and ask yourself what you contacted them for? why did you feel you had to?

You know that it wasn't for their unstinting support. If it was just to inform them, then consider that box ticked.

You know that the calls your F is making is for HIS benefit, not yours, so if he can't respect you enough to call you about 6pm, then tbh, you don't need the aggro.

distance, detach, delete....

you can do this, we do know how hard this is, just dig deep and you will get there.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 12-Feb-14 14:47:55

Very sorry also Firsttimer to read about your DD.

I would certainly agree with Meerka about the detach and ignore part of her posting.

How supportive or otherwise have your sisters been?.

With regards to your father I would not contact him again; what he has done since you renewed contact was to disregard any boundary you cared to set ie the times you are available. He called earlier and more likely than not did that deliberately as well. He will go on to make this all about him. He does not give a fig for any of you, only his own self.

BadBadPuss Wed 12-Feb-14 15:23:17

Thanks all, I think DH might be being cyberstalked, can't say yet. BIL is a computer expert and we suspect that he's bugged the ILs computer. Also, sorry forgot the pps name but I am getting slightly worried about being recognised but I don't think he would look for me...but still.

We've already checked for microphones because he visited us a little while ago sorry that's just being paranoid...god I don't know. We have thought of the bug on the computer but he's not had physical access to any of our computers. I am afraid of saying too much. Bugger!

DontstepontheMomeRaths Wed 12-Feb-14 15:23:24

First timer I noted your comment about faith. I go to Church but firmly believe I shouldn't be in contact with abusive people. I don't hate my Dad. He is what he is but for my own emotional well being, not seeing him is the right thing to do. It's too upsetting for me when I do have contact tbh. He'll never change, he'd be fine for awhile but sure enough it would all kick off again and I'd be the scapegoat as usual. I'm not prepared to suffer that anymore and I don't think any 'God' would want that for me either. It crushes my self esteem, it creates huge stress in my life, it can make me ill with worry and cause me not to sleep. So I've decided to protect myself.

I haven't got any advice really but I do understand a little. If he does become more difficult and you continue to feel angry when you speak, please don't feel guilty at backing off and going nc again. You need to look after you here.

Madonnaquintessential Wed 12-Feb-14 15:36:55

Posted here not so ling back regarding drama with inlaws. Some have suugested I post on this thread too? Any sdvice aporeciated ! :
Since that post things escalated - so basically MIL and SIL are not speaking to me. My dh is speaking to MIL but not sis. I feel quite low about it all - wary too. I recently went on ADs which helped massively... Now i feel a real knockback has occured in my psyche. I want to get along with Inlaws for dhs sake but they are very difficult. MIL is hyprochondriac, depressed drama queen. (Harsh , but true ) sil is basically a mouthy, aggresive chav ( again, harsh- but it os the best way to describe her) I am no snob believe me ... But sil takes chav to new level ! Despite rest of fam being well mannered, decent people etc
After a big fall out of mil interfering again, my sil threatened to smack me one ! ( its like jetemy kyle lol ) God help me!
Mil wants me and dh to split and sil has spread lies that we are using our dd as a weapon ( total lie! Never would!)
All of this is incredibly immature amd pathetic, but unfortunately I am in the middle of it as his family seem to hate me (despite whole thing being started by my dh storming out on me .)
So basically... What do i do? What would you do? Is it wrong to not want to speak to them again? Just want whats best for dd...

Firsttimer7259 Wed 12-Feb-14 15:48:03

Thanks for responses. I've been nc for 2 years and it works for me. The sheer amount of disturbance this is causing just now makes me wonder if I can really handle anything arms length I don't have hope or really wish for relationships w any of them - but I worry about what God wants from me. I don't believe he wants me harmed but I need to forgive and I need to honour my father - not for his qualities as a person but just because he is my father. I wrestle w how to do this without getting sucked into a nasty web

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 12-Feb-14 16:30:19


re your comment:-
"I don't believe he wants me harmed but I need to forgive and I need to honour my father - not for his qualities as a person but just because he is my father"

God certainly does not want you harmed.

But you do not have to honour or forgive him to my mind (and I am quite religious also) simply because he is your father. He being your father is simply not a good enough reason to do so. When has this man ever honoured you or even respected your own wishes exactly?. I do not think he understands forgiveness or even knows what it is either. Your father only cares for his own self, he thinks that other people are there purely to serve him. You do not have to be in contact with abusive people because they are family.

Looking after you in such circumstances is perfectly acceptable, you can and should protect your own self from malign influences.

bethcutler13 Wed 12-Feb-14 16:47:29

I don't know where to post... can anyone help me with this? I've been pointed towards this board for guidance.
here is my original post

bethcutler13 Wed 12-Feb-14 16:47:49

Meerka Wed 12-Feb-14 17:49:43

beth they sound dreadful. Um .... what are the chances of you going totally NC?

they are appalling to your husband, to you, and they cannot possibly be good for your daughter. "gold" to her comes with some absolutely massive strings attached, doesn't it?

I WILL tell you the worst that can happen...that is your DD spends so much time with them she gets brain washed, they gets their hooks into her and expetc to see her lots more. the lady who posted that had it right.

This is intolerable for you. Your partner needs to side with you, not them. YOu need to know for sure that he will. If not, im afraid that your doubts about marriage are justified. Your inlaws won't change, but only get worse.

madonna I hope someone will be along shortly to give you some support ... afraid I'm strugglign with preg nausea yet again and can't post more

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 12-Feb-14 18:34:24


There is simply no reasoning with such disordered and dysfunctional people like your ILs. Emotionally healthy people in no way act like his parents do. MIL could likely have some form of untreatable personality disorder; it is not your fault she is this way. Her H in all this is her willing enabler and just as toxic.

The only thing you can do here is detach completely from them and ignore and attempts they make to pull you back in - that is known as hoovering.

All this may seem drastic but it is truly necessary to do if you want to keep your own family unit intact.

If they are too difficult for you to deal with, they are certainly too toxic for your both vulnerable and defenceless child. She should not have any contact with them at all. If they cannot or will not behave then cut them off altogether; these two anyway have had more than enough chances and you (coming from a family yourself which is not dysfunctional like this) have acted in the normal manner i.e acting more than reasonable towards them.

You would not be depriving your child of grandparents because these two are dysfunctional and emotionally abusive towards her own mother and father.

Your ILs will not change; you can only change how you yourself react to them. Your DH is mired in FOG which is a common legacy of such damaged people; fear, obligation, guilt. He has his own path to follow which will be just as hard if not harder than yours.

I would also suggest you read "Toxic Inlaws" by Susan Forward to further recognise the dynamics.

bethcutler13 Wed 12-Feb-14 18:50:38

I can physically deal with them, it is however incredibly stressful and my oh's inability to say no to his mum is starting to cause arguments because I take it that he would rather hurt me than say no to his mum (I know o shouldn't) and I feel frustrated because I don't feel it's my place to tell them myself.
I can't see myself coping with the way they are now forever, especially when they move back home. doesn't help that they're mlt just awkward people but they've hurt me so much in the past I can't stand to be around them, I can literally feel my blood boiling and my heart racing when im in their company and I think the cracks in my friendly act are starting to show. guess I'm running out of patience. just want to cry actually.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 12-Feb-14 18:57:55


Do not let such disordered people grind you down any longer. They cannot hurt you if you completely disengage from them.

You do not have to physically deal with them any more; they can and should be cut out of your life as of now. These people do not have any sort of grandparents rights with regards to their granddaughter either and I would keep her away from them. Some people really should not be allowed access to their grandchildren; these two are a case in point.

Your man's loyalty should be to you and his child; not his parents. He does not need to seek their approval any more; that is probably what he is still looking for from them. He is very much in FOG with regards to his parents, his mother in particular. A lifetime of such conditioning is hard to break and it will take him a long time. He has to realise that he is hurting his own family unit here by not being able to stand up to them.

Such people like his parents never apologise nor accept any responsibility for their actions.

Do read the book I recommended as well as the resources at the start of this thread.

bethcutler13 Wed 12-Feb-14 19:04:06

I will order the book off amazon for sure. thank you. and I've had a good ppok at the information on here.
here's me feeling guilty for things turning out like this and me thinking about cutting them off, I'm as bad as my must have got to me.too! hmm

LookingThroughTheFog Wed 12-Feb-14 19:23:00

Firsttimer, I just wanted to come back to you on the God thing. I'm religious too, and occasionally that whole 'honour thy father...' commandment eases its way into my mind, along with the turn the other cheek and forgiveness things. My very religious brother does believe in that one, and he comments that it is 'right' for children to honour their parents., though he's not stupid enough to push me on that point.

The thing is though; I honestly do not believe that the God I love, the God I believe in, puts that much stock on a tiny sperm.

That's what Dad had to provide to be my dad. That tiny, microscopic thing. I cannot believe that that thing ties him to me regardless and forever. I do not believe that God values the provider-of-sperm more than he values me. I believe in his eyes, my father and I are equal; I am not lesser.

Moreover, when the scripture talks about parents and their children, I believe that the emphasis is on the role, rather than the biology. I think parents are awesome - the care, the energy, the wisdom they pass down to their children; I think they're phenomenal. So I read the 'honour thy parents...' as being 'honour those people who nurture, care, encourage and teach you...' If your parents are taking from you, rather than giving you strength and independence, then they're not really worthy of the parent name.

To my mind, I am his child (God's), and he loves me. He would not want for me to be hurt or pained or even disrespected by another person, whether that the person who provided the sperm or not.

Madonnaquintessential Wed 12-Feb-14 19:36:16

Any feedback for me!? The latest is my MIL arranged her shifts to mind my dd on a sat. Due to unpreditable weather and us not speaking it seems pointless to keep to it being a sat that she sees my dd. So dh is arrangin to see her frid with dd toi. I know i will be getting slated as i am not taking my dd up sat as planned again- but i cannot gauruntee weather ( if stormy i am not walking the 50 mins to her house with dd) plus we are not speaking. I just dont want to be seen as cruel keeping her gd from her esspecially as she areanged her shifts so she could mind my dd on a sat. Again though; she did this for her benifit too as it means she gets to see dd more and has company on a day off. She just started arranging it all and i went along with it like an idiot - not really caring if she minds dd on a sat or not ( as dh can mind her on a sund anyway while i do the lil job i do) i care too mich what people think!
I would go as far to say it is easier for me to do the job on a sund anyway as my dh can drop me there and back, therfor i do not have to walk 50 min there and back with my dd. I know for a fact mil was adamant we did this so she was still kept in the loop- seeing us lots and hopefully gettin invites to stay over (i could this by the wy she kept hinting that we cAn walk back together to mines after and she could stay over some weekends)
This all sounds harsh and presumptuous- but in the context ( which is her being an interfering/ imposing nightmare) it is not i assure you! Why am i so scared what everyone will think of me!? Its just so hard because she is such a conving blabber mouth victem i just know she will contort this to be alk about how awful i am again and poor her again sad

Hissy Wed 12-Feb-14 19:42:56

maddona why is contact between mil and dd so vigorously maintained when she's too toxic for you?

Why is your dh enabling contact with people that enable you to be threatened with physical harm?

Get a proper childminder and tell them that when they know how to behave, you'll reconsider, but atm you're trying to raise a successful adult, and having such dysfunctional people around your little girl won't help.

ok, so that statement's not likely to happen, but somehow you have every right to think it and protect your dd.

Madonnaquintessential Wed 12-Feb-14 20:20:34

Thanks for reply. It was the sil that threatened violence not mil. Mil is just a pain in the arse but she not toxic for dd- dd is 10 mo ths and mil adores her and very good with her. When dd older and capable of userstamding the crap she can talk i would then ask her to not do so or there would be no contact. At te moment that just seems a bit ott. Dh would be distraught too if his mum couldnt see her.
I wan dd to have a gran in her life as i mever did, but mil is going to need to change big time of dd is going to be around her when old enough to understand her martyr behaviour...

MommyBird Wed 12-Feb-14 20:54:27

Can i just ask a quick question?

If a Grandparent takes you to court for access, what proof do they need?
MIL is toxic (posted a few times. She has got into contact and threatened to 'see you soon', just abit worried she will try and take us to court.)

bethcutler13 Wed 12-Feb-14 21:01:11

Apparently I do have to physically deal with them! partner has just told me he doesn't think his parents mean to be the way they are and wants to continue to try and "comprise". I don't know how much longer I can stand them and now he's made me feel like im being over the top. hmm

MommyBird Wed 12-Feb-14 21:08:49

You dont have to see them. He cannot force you to spend time with them.

He is welcome to see as thats his choice. Regarding your DC limit contact as much as you can.

bethcutler13 Wed 12-Feb-14 21:13:24

true, thanks smile if you ever need any advice/just want to vent give me a shout. smile smile

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