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Narc acting nicely - getting sucked in and doubting myself.(10 Posts)
Name changed for this and it's long, sorry. I posted about my narcissistic Aunt in chat last week, so some details are repeated here, but I need help again please.
As a bit of background, my Aunt has a history of being lovely if you agree with her and follow her rules and ideas, and being horrible and belittling if not. She has said that she only makes friends with people who can benefit her in some way, and that she always likes to be in charge of things because then she knows it is done correctly, and she doesn't trust anyone else with things. She has not got on with two of her siblings, including my DM, but does get on with my Uncle, who frankly is scary e.g. Loves to wind children up until they cry and tried to shoot cats with his air rifle.
Despite all this, my Aunt and I used to be close, I even lived with her for a bit, and this is when I learned what she was like, and how she would manipulate and emotionally blackmail people to get her own way.
Suddenly, following my Grandad's death three years ago, my Aunt stopped speaking to me. She gave no reasons whatsoever, and all my attempts to find out the reason were rebuffed. After two years, I made contact again and she finally told me that she had stopped talking to me as she felt I had made a rude comment to her husband, by telling him he was being grumpy.
She has also had a humdinger of a fallout with DM, so didn't want to talk to me as I'm my DM's daughter, and she thought that my mum and I had a conspiracy against her husband, due to a huge row between DM and her husband. My Aunt also said that once my Grandma dies, she only intends to stay in touch with family members she likes, but wasn't clear as to whether I was on that list.
As a result of this estrangement with my Aunt, she didn't see my own DD for nearly three years. We're having DD christened soon and Aunt was told she'd be Godmother when DD was born, as we were incredibly close until 3 years ago. Obviously, she is no longer going to be Godmother, but to avoid unnecessary hurt, we are just going to have a small ceremony with Godparents and Grandparents there.
Anyway, we passed Aunt and her DH and DCs in the car yesterday and they completely blanked us. DD wanted to know why they did that. I explained that even though my Aunt loves her very much, she doesn't like mummy and daddy anymore. DD asked why, so I told her the truth I.e. That I had been rude to her husband and because I am my DM's daughter.
DD then asked whether she could see them without us there. I explained that I didn't agree with the way they acted towards other people, including their own children, and that it my job to make sure that DD is only in contact with people who are not going to teach her negative ways of acting. I told her that I disagreed with the way they shout at their children (way beyond normal shouting). DD then declared that they sounded "horrible" and said she didn't want to see them again.
Today, I've received a text from my Aunt saying she was sorry for not seeing us in the car until the last minute, and it was a shame we missed them or we could have seen their new dog.
I am now just totally confused. Have I given Aunt too hard a time? Should I not have told DD the truth? All I know, is that I was in tears last night due to the hurt of being cut off by my Aunt for so long, despite a little bit of communication since, and that I feel sick whenever any form of contact is made. I don't know what to do or think anymore. Please help.
Your aunt and this disturbing uncle you write of (has anyone ever reported him to the authorities for attempting to shoot cats with an air rifle) have something in common; they are both abusers.
It is not possible to have any sort of relationship with a narcissist.
Your DD has the measure of them by declaring that she does not want to see them again. You were correct to tell your DD the truth about them.
The text from your aunt is really non communication as well as a poor excuse and no you have not given this woman too hard a time at all. She has not fundamentally altered since you lived with her for a period of time. You're being softened up by her prior to her doing something nasty to you. When narcissists start being "nice" you need to run fast in the opposite direction; they are never nice. Adult narcissists are like vampires: they will take all you can give while giving nothing back, then curse you for running dry and discard you as a waste of their precious time.
That is EXACTLY what she is like. If I'm not useful to her, or God forbid, disagree with her, then the gates of hell are unleashed and cue a massive strop and being cut off.
I haven't reported my uncle (her brother) as it was a long time ago. I mentioned in my chat thread last week that my Aunts husband also groped my breasts at a family gathering, in front of my now-DH, and I didn't report that either. My whole family except my mum would turn against me for betraying them. It's awful and I don't want to be a part of it anymore.
Am I right about her being a narc do you think? She was bullied very badly at school, then suffered from bulimia, and I think she is determined to never let anyone drag her down again.
She sounds like a narc, for what it's worth - obviously you and I can't diagnose that but it's a decent working assumption.
The fact that she's been so nasty in the past, that you've had the talk with your daughter about your relationship with your aunt and your daughter is satisfied and doesn't want to be in contact - all are most excellent reasons to stay away from her. I'd be massively, massively surprised if this is anything other than "come closer so I can hurt you again".
Thanks. Do you think she will consciously be intending to hurt me again? I worry I'm being unfair and making too much of a big deal about it all.
Yes I think she wants you to come closer so she can hurt you yet again.
You were groped by your uncle and that was a crime. None of these people are worth any of your time and effort, you will be better off not having any of these people at all in your day to day life.
It doesn't matter what her intentions are or are not, nor the backstory which may or may not explain her behaviour.
You are not being unfair. You know how she has behaved in the past. You are protecting yourself and your DD and rightly so.
Thanks for the reassurance. It's nice to know that others outside of the family think I have grounds for feeling as I do. For too long, the family mantra was to "forget about it, life's too short" as a way of trying to get me back in line, so to speak. I didn't realise until I left home, then got married, that not all families are suffocating and belittling.
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