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Grieving loss of my narc infected family and now what(17 Posts)
NC as fear stalking. DM known to do that
I have been somewhat passive and quiet with my family (parents, brother, sister in law) over the years as this has been the easiest way to stay under the radar with my (undiagnosed but the evidence speaks for itself NPD father). DM financially and emotionally under his control. DB and I manipulated by DF into being seething 'friendly' enemies most of our adult lives. DF incredibly sexist and 'old fashioned' when it suits him. However I had regular contact with them and appreciated family times, DS had a strong attachment to them.
DF could not cope with me being married / DH, so found he has been unable to manipulate me/us or bully us successfully to make us comply with his random unreasonable and illogical demands so has thrown bomb after bomb into our marriage / wider family events and relationships until we are now cut off entirely as of a few months ago (they went one by one).
I am grieving the loss of those family relationships though admit under scrutiny they were not great, they were after all my family of origin, my history and my memories if nothing else. Most shocked at the loss of DM who always pretended to take the moral high ground but seems to have been on everybody's 'side' in private .
Generally I sadly accept that my life is calmer and more emotionally comfortable without them in it. I am grieving this loss though and in tears if they are mentioned. I am in counselling and trying my best to keep on an even keel.
DM just text requiring to see DS on his birthday. We have other plans which in all honest I could adjust to accommodate her.
There is some legal stuff (too outing to detail) rumbling on which she is holding up which could cause me financial harm.
DF has form for ruining other peoples occasions e.g. this year I and all my guests had to 'hide' stay out of the house as he texted to say he was coming over and DM advised me to stay out of the way! Or my birthday last year when he deposited DM on my doorstep informing her their 50 year marriage was over - it isn't.
Feel like I have been systematically taken to pieces by their actions in the last 8 years.
DS (7) would want to see her.
I don't know if I can bear to be in her company. I can hardly type for crying.
And yet another working day where I am in bits and non-productive.
Unsure what DH will feel we generally oscillate from finding DM infects us with narc poison from afar to thinking we should be welcoming and supportive of her because she is so emotionally abused. But I feel she has shown her true colours lately and let me down beyond words.
Worried now if I don't handle it well she will turn up anyway so I feel we will have to absent ourselves from the house and area like on my birthday to avoid a scene.
What should I reply/do?
(Sorry it is long - trying to give relevant context)
These don't sound like people you should be subjecting your child to. They may not have turned their toxic behaviour on him yet, and for this reason he himself may not be keen to lose contact with them (yet), but from the outside it seems like the best thing to do would be spare him the difficult process of pulling away that you're currently going through. They are not good people for him to be around. Don't subject him to that just because he's too young to have realised it himself yet.
Which is going to be least damaging to you current state of mind/emotions and do that.
I don't see my parents - they were far less damaging than yours (they are emotionally vacant rather than outright abusive) but it's the best I can do in order to keep myself healthy and my children deserve to have me in the best state possible.
It's painful and I still grieve for not having a family.
Absolute boatloads of sympathy OP. My family are very similar to yours. I get it completely - letting go is like a bereavement. You are grieving and that is a process that takes a long time. It hurts so very badly to face up to what your family are really like, and to realise that they can never ever be the people you need them to be. I visited my narc parents at the weekend ( long story) and have been all over the place emotionally for the past couple of days.
Take a step back for a minute - imagine a good friend was telling you that she was in the same situation, in floods of tears, struggling to function at work, having a physical reaction to the thought of seeing her mother at the weekend. What would you tell her - to suck it up, or to be kind and gentle with herself, and to avoid putting herself through something that causes her such agony? We're often a lot kinder to other people than we are to ourselves so it may help to think of it from that perspective.
Your son is 7 years old and cannot possibly understand how toxic your family are. Sometimes you need to take tough decisions on your child's behalf because you're the parent and you can see the risk. I'm sure you would love him to have a nice relationship with his granny, but not all grannies fit the stereotype of being sweet and loving. Think about the pain you're in right now because of your family - isn't that way too difficult and way too heavy to subject your boy to?
Your son is too young to know how dangerous she is. Don't expose yourselves to her just because he wants to see her. Would you let him get in the car of the friendly man in the park with sweets "but he's nice and I like sweets". No, of course not, you are the adult, you see the dangers and protect your child.
Definitely refuse to have her there then absent yourself from the house. How fucking dare she take everyone else's side against you then turn up anyway after you've asked her not to!
You should be very very angry with her for even asking, without a huge side order of grovelling apology to you. That you are sad not angry indicates that you are still in the FOG and still need more space before your head will get straight.
Thanks GCT you are right but communications from them send me into a tailspin and I forget these points and go into panic mode
I hear you and totally understand. I am NC with narc mother, despite her living a few doors away!!
My life is sooo much calmer and I have been able to develop confidence and self esteem since being away from her evil clutches. My one big regret is that I didn't stop her from seeing DC. One DC is completely immune to her in a way that I truly envy, he sees straight through her and nothing she says or does touches him. Unfortunately DD is enmeshed with her and this causes regular problems as DM tries to punish me through DD.
My advice to you is that at 7 years old, your DS is young enough to cut off the relationship with the Narc family - your DM is at best co dependent. She has allowed your DF to abuse you for your whole life.
If I could do it all again, DM would never have had any contact with my DC.
Oscillating between blocking her number and sending a ranting text. I know I should send something vague and bland but but but
Thanks for your help Random, Lotta , RunRabbit you have helped me a lot and I can see you have all been here or similar too.
If I let her come and ply him with gifts all his memories of her have an undeserved halo on top, if I don't encourage her to come then I am the cow keeping them apart (in both their eyes).
DS will notice her absence though.
Trying hard to make DS's life so happy and full he noticed their absence less.
I am dizzy with the stress of this, wonder what my blood pressure is doing . I am going to take the dogs out and try to calm down.
Getting out for a walk is a great idea. Doing something physical literally gets you out of your head (in a healthy way!) when you're feeling overwhelmed by thoughts and anxiety
I get the urge to send a ranting text but to be honest, these do not seem like people who genuinely see or hear you, and I'm not sure there's anything you can do to change that. Anything you say right now could be used as ammunition against you at a later date, or 'proof' that you're the crazy unreasonable one, not them.
There is no winning with people like this, nothing you ever do will be 'right' in their eyes. Detach, detach, detach would be my advice, while fully acknowledging that this is not easy and will be very painful for you for a long time to come
DS will be just fine, honestly. You're being a good parent by keeping him away from such a toxic influence.
To quote someone else, "you can't communicate with batshit". I would put my child first and be the bad guy by protecting him from them. At the moment they have some legal shenigans to hold over you, so I would get that cleared up. Distangle yourself from them emotionally, legally and financially - they can only hurt you, if you let them. And remember; you are already the bad guy for refusing to be controlled by them. So what if they call you names to the rest of their family and friends? Or play the victim? Hell, they can post their disappointment on the front page of the Daily Mail if they want to: it still does not have to affect you.
DS is only 7. Reducing contact now can only benefit him. He may notice, but a simple "granny could not make it" will work. When he is older, you can explain more, then.
Keep both yourself and your child well away from your toxic family. Do not contact these people or otherwise accommodate them in any way now. It will be a mistake to do otherwise.
Do not send any communications in reply; doing that will just give them an "in" to bother you even more. The reward for such disordered of thinking people is the response, that is what they really want from you here. They have not let go of you that easily at all.
You are the parent and your 7 year old is not emotionally mature enough to realise manipulation when it happens. He is relying on you and your good judgment. Continue to be that good parent to him by keeping him well away from your narcissistic relatives and their associated enablers; men like your dad always but always need a willing enabler to help them.
I would always advise people with narcissistic relatives to keep their children well away from them and not let any sort of a relationship be established. They are deplorably bad grandparent figures to have around. They were also not good parents to you, where the adult child of a narcissist slips up sometimes is their narc parent's ability to adapt to changing circumstances.
Do not reply to any messages; infact I would block all their means of communication with you as of now. These messages apart from anything else are loaded with obligation and you in any case have FOG (fear, obligation and guilt) in spades.
Given that they absolutely force themselves on you to the point that you and guests have to avoid your own house (did I understand that right?!) and that they deliberately isolate you and then still intrude .. and that they have you shaking like a frightened teenager even now ... have you considered getting an anti-harassment order against them? I am not quite sure how it works but in your situation, it might actually have the best outcome for your health and your mental health and most of all, your son.
It could be worth looking up or trying to get some advice from CAB because this situation is clearly having a bad effect on you and your own little family.
I'll join the chorus too saying heep your son away from them. But do let him grieve. He has to come to terms with his loss of them (^which is absolutely necessary for his own health^). We have also said to my son that we don't want to meet Grandpa because he says and does very mean things, and until he is willing to act in a fair and decent way towards us then we have to not be around him. When he -is- willing to be nice all the time and not nice-then-nasty, then we can see him again. I think it's sadly young to learn the lesson, but it teaches children that you can't and shouldn't put up with being treated badly from anyone.
Genuine question as I am not sure if this is possible, but can you divert their number to your dhs phone. Therefore he can check the message and show you if he feels it needs passing on. ??
I know you can do that with all calls but not sure if individual. If not, change you number and just keep your old number for them. Either divert or get dh to check once a week.
That will help you dealing with any communication.
Yes SeaEagle we had visitors (not my family!) staying for a few days and late the night before my birthday DF kicked off by text and DM advised me to be out, also by text. We all got up early and went out in the p******g rain for the whole day, had to make up venues on the fly. Got several texts from him during the day just so he was remembered you know. He did come to the door, I know this for certain even though we were out.
Its all about him you see - for him, for her and therefore for all of us. Argh.
Well I have practiced blocking their numbers on my iPhone so I am going that way I think.
I am drained and have spent most of the day in tears and framing responses that I didn't dare send.
My cbt counsellor is teaching me to be more assertive (my work colleagues would find this most hilarious as I am not an obvious candidate for such guidance) but it is designed to stop me doing the roll over and die thing I have been trained to do for family members. But it is early days - 3 sessions in.
I do feel a little better this evening, I am grateful for your help each of you and for sharing your experiences. The advice makes sense and I am detaching myself as best and as quick as I can but sometimes the grief response hits me like a brick.
I do not want DS to be bonded to them like I was as it is only a matter of time before he has different wants to theirs then he will get the same problems I now have
Detaching is never a quick process and it's intensely painful as you know. I'm glad you have some professional support with it, its too frightening and painful to do alone. Well done on blocking their numbers
Be prepared for wobbles and self doubt and periods of intense grief - all perfectly normal when you're in FOG. They will pass. Dealing with this is extremely draining so remember to eat well and exercise and sleep as much as you can. You're doing really well x
Yeesh, that's way too much to have to spend the whole day out of the house on your birthday in order to avoid your father!
Blocking sounds a good start. It is worth planning how you will handle your father if he turns up unexpectedly though, since he's done it before. Planning how to deal with him gives you more control over the situation, it's awful when you're flatfooted by someone you really don't want to see, unless you can think very fast on your feet!
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