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Ignore nasty letter from abusive family or defend myself?

(56 Posts)
animalsunited Wed 10-Dec-14 10:41:53

To cut a long story short, I've not had contact with most of my family for a couple of years. They have been abusive throughout my childhood and beyond. I have three lovely children, a happy marriage and good ILs so for the sake of my mental well being and my children I walked away.

Every so often they try to attempt contact but yesterday I received a pretty nasty letter from one of them. Full of blame etc

I'm so tempted to reply, even just to say don't contact me anymore! It really tries to insinuate I'm the problem and my poor dh and his family reluctantly put up with and support me (that particularly riles me).

pictish Wed 10-Dec-14 10:43:23

Yes it's designed to rile and has worked. But the sender need not know that. Hard as it is....ignore it!

LegoAdventCalendar Wed 10-Dec-14 10:43:34

Don't engage with these fuckers. Burn it.

Quitelikely Wed 10-Dec-14 10:46:46

It's designed to spoil your Christmas and cause you stress. Please do not let it.

They are clearly still bitter.

Which family member was it from if you don't mind me asking?

Meerka Wed 10-Dec-14 10:46:55

Ignore. And let your husband deal with all future attempts to contact you.

Shesparkles Wed 10-Dec-14 10:48:10

I have three lovely children, a happy marriage and good ILs so for the sake of my mental well being and my children I walked away.

This. Reread this any time you feel the urge to respond to the letter.
Rip it up and bin it. Don't allow these people to have any influence over your life

HeeHiles Wed 10-Dec-14 10:49:54

Ignore - That will rile them more than you getting mad at them.

GoatsDoRoam Wed 10-Dec-14 10:50:29


They will continue to see you as the problem, regardless of what you say, so a rebuttal is energy wasted.
And writing to tell them to stop contacting you is contact, and they will thrive on it.

Ignore. Don't open their letters in future. Revel in your children and new family, and in your own strength and wonderfulness.

Lottapianos Wed 10-Dec-14 10:50:39

I'm so sorry OP, that must be incredibly painful. But I agree with others - ignore. Ignore like your life depends on it. If you need to, write a reply defending yourself, but do not send it. Use it as a way to have your say and get it out of your system.

You have built a good, healthy, happy life for yourself. Be proud of that every single day, I'm sure it wasn't easy.

batteryhen Wed 10-Dec-14 10:52:37

Silence speaks volumes. I would ignore it.....let them be riled by that!!

NamesNick Wed 10-Dec-14 10:54:12

don't respond.

never give them ammunition to use against you.

you have all you need, don't let the fuckers in

CogitOIOIO Wed 10-Dec-14 10:59:49

Poison pen letter... how quaintly old fashioned. Personally, I would show it to my DH, hurl ridicule at the writer over a few martinis and then ritually burn the thing. What would you like to do?

castlesintheair Wed 10-Dec-14 11:03:10

I have exactly the same scenario as you and I know how hard it is to ignore this stuff. Particularly at this time of year. We have moved and the main narc and her enablers don't know our address but I still get occasional hate mail from them which is sent to my ILs. I've recently asked DH to destroy it without showing it to me as I still find it desperately upsetting. Courage to you.

animalsunited Wed 10-Dec-14 11:08:02

It opens old wounds that will probably never completely heal. I'll always mourn the family I never had. BUT it doesn't get to me as much as it used to.

From this particular family member it shocked a little more. It really is the ramblings of quite a deluded mind. And I'm convinced there is an evil streak.

The hurt they have caused is terrible. There were others in the family who suffered at their hands but they are sadly dead now. It's just me, the black sheep. I think it kills them that I have a happy life

animalsunited Wed 10-Dec-14 11:10:48

There are wrapped presents for the kids. Is there a charity I could give them to?

I have drafted a reply, got about a few hours sleep! But will sleep on it some more. I know deep down ignoring is the best way. But my dh is so angry. That they actually believe his family are in some wayin sympathy with them.

scattercushion Wed 10-Dec-14 11:10:53

Imagine a bin under the letter box and the letter dropping straight into it. Imagine yourself not reading it and carrying on with your day, with your lovely family. Well done for surviving toxic parents - onwards and upwards.

CogitOIOIO Wed 10-Dec-14 11:14:20

Given that this is a letter rather than an email, how old is the person sending it? I'm asking because my DM who was always a tricky character, since entering her 70s, has become really quite nasty and irrational. She's now been diagnosed with age related psychosis. I can imagine, if someone starts out as vicious and irrational, the ageing process could make it even worse.

dollius Wed 10-Dec-14 11:18:10

I have learned from bitter experience NEVER to open letters from toxic family members (in my case, my mother), and to make sure they know you have not read it. In one case, I left a letter unopened somewhere I knew she would find it.

In your case, you should cross out the address and write NOT AT THIS ADDRESS, RETURN TO SENDER. Throw the presents in the bin.

Fudgeface123 Wed 10-Dec-14 11:18:13

In future, send them back unread return to sender

Angelwings11 Wed 10-Dec-14 11:19:09

Burn it. Burn it now!

A friend I once knew, recieved such a letter from her family. She didn't write back...but posted turd in a box to them! Now I am not suggesting you do this, but you could imagine doing it and and laughing at their revolution! fgrin

Lottapianos Wed 10-Dec-14 11:21:44

animals, you sound extremely level headed and like you have a good understanding of what is going on here. This person is probably demented with jealousy at your sane, happy, calm life. I absolutely understand the urge to defend yourself, but you know you are not dealing with a rational person here. Responding would just be feeding the madness.

I like the idea of a ceremonial burning of the letter but do what feels right for you. I would suggest getting rid of it sooner rather than later though. You've read it, you know what it says, don't keep it and torture yourself with it

Chrysanthemum5 Wed 10-Dec-14 11:22:27

I'd burn it. Nothing you say will change their mind so don't bother. I'd open the gifts just to check they are ok, and then donate them to a toy appeal.

castlesintheair Wed 10-Dec-14 11:28:10

I'd chuck presents in the bin or give them to a charity if you can be bothered. Honestly, don't lose any sleep over this - this is exactly what the sender wants you to do. And don't reply!

My narc used to send advent calendars for the DCs every year in another pathetic attempt to try and control my life. I used to make a point of buying my own and giving the narc ones to my neighbour.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Wed 10-Dec-14 11:28:57

I would send the gifts back unopened. No note, no word of explanation. Just a clear signal that you will accept nothing from them.

I'm sure that I would be able to think of a million and one things to say to them in reply - but I actually totally agree that ignoring them is the best solution. Any letter you send will only be picked apart & used as evidence against you in the future - however reasonable and accurate it may be.

It sounds like you have everyone you need in your life. Allow yourself to be happy smile.

SlimJiminy Wed 10-Dec-14 11:29:33

Please don't send them your reply!! Think of it as getting things of your chest, writing them down, absolutely fine. Just don't post that letter!! What will it achieve?! Another letter with more nastiness? So you have to reply again? And now you've opened up the communication with them and have a load of stress and messed up shit to content with. Surely that's the reason you stopped speaking to them in the first place? Don't be tempted to plunge yourself right back to square one. Take the gifts to a charity shop and ignore, ignore, ignore. Enjoy Christmas with the people who really matter to you.

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