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Difficult sis and NPD mother - how would you manage this?(3 Posts)
Sorry this is long but i wanted to explain the full story. My mother has a history of serious psychotic illness and has been diagnosed with 2 personality disorders although as she doesn't believe the diagnosis I don't know which ones. I assume from reading up these are narsassistic and borderline PDs as they seem the best fit. My GM is her main carer and there is a big history of enabling and minimising there. She has past alcohol abuse issues and was very EA towards me when growing up.
I have 2 sisters, DS1 who is the golden child and DS2 who is kind of on the outskirts. I am the scapegoat. My M is a very difficult woman and for many reasons we have limited contact. After standing up to her when my Dc1 was born she is now very much on best behaviour when I see her (usually only 3-4 times a year).
She lives about 3 hours away and we either call in for lunch for a few hours on our way home (after spending the weekend at my dad + stepmums) or she will occasionally visit us, staying in a nearby hotel overnight. My house is small and full of children, my mothers is a 1 bed flat so staying at each others houses would be chaos even if the relationship was there to make that level of intimacy appropriate. We get on fine but are not close, she seems fine with this.
These visits have been fine, she behaves herself and she likes my 2 children (both under 5) but finds contact tiring and struggles to interact with them. But generally it's all fine, she gets what she needs, kids like her enough and she doesn't do anything inappropriate.
DS1 has a history of also being difficult and will occasionally go off on one at me for not having done something right by my mother. For example she kicked off when my DC1 was born as she thought it was disgusting that I didnt take the baby to visit M until she was 6 weeks old. For context DC1 was a refluxy baby who didn't sleep, I had a lot of pain post birth from SPD and a broken cocycx and we weren't up to a 6 hour round trip.
The reccuring theme is that I do mean things like this to M. I believe my M goes to my sisters with sob stories, DS2 rolls her eyes and ignores as she knows what M is like, but DS1 always believes every word and will either confront me or bitch about me to family behind my back. I'm sure I'm no angel but these "crimes" are so far fetched and unreasonable but DS1 is so keen to believe them. Even though repeatedly it's come out that they are untrue. For this reason I have been very limited contact with DS1 for years.
My dad won't get involved between DS1 and I but SM (supported by my dad) will usually tell DS1 when shes being ridiculous. I had thought everything had calmed down in recent months but just found out it did kick off again a few weeks ago. This time my crime according to DS1 was not visiting DM enough during a weekend when we were staying with DF & SM. I think we do btw, usually for about 3-4 hours after which time M and DGM look tired and kids get restless.
Apparently DSM told DS1 not to be ridiculous as firstly it would have been rude to her and my dad if we'd used her place as a hotel to visit M repeatedly and secondly we visit M every time we are in the area which is fine and normal. Neither DS1 or 2 stay at my mother's due to logistics, I believe they do the same thing we do, it's just the usual bollocks about how horrid I am. DS1 apologised to SM for any offence to her suggesting that we should do this, but of course wouldn't admit I hadn't done anything wrong. My SM has told me she will always point out the truth to DS1 if she slags me off in her hearing and will only let me know what goes on if I need to know. So I don't know how much this is happening as its usually behind my back unless it escalates in which case they warn me if it's really bad in case I might get abusive phone calls from DS1 or need to nip something in the bud with my mother etc.
It's my sisters behaviour that is the main problem but I'm the only one who sees it? My dad and DS2 blame my mother for winding her up but I feel DS1 is an adult and is choosing to believe these stories (DS1 will disregard other bollocks my mother says but never the stories about me).
I think I'm going to get a load of hassle again as my mother got a bit funny when she was here when she found out we were at home on Xmas day (i haven't spent Xmas day with her in many years due to practicalities and needing the distance in the relationship). My mother always spends xmas day with other family members (usually DS1 obviously), and only asked when we were about between Xmas and new year, so I didnt realise that she hadn't gone to DS1 this year so it was just her and GM. She had assumed we'd be with PIL for some reason. So I'm now waiting for the inevitable backlash of not having magically known and not having seen her Xmas day.
I'm also 8 months pregnant with DC3 and I'm expecting DS1 to kick off again when I have the baby for "making" my mother come and see him here (to be fair she says she's v happy to do this and travelled to see DS1 and DS2 when they had their first babies last year, but obviously it will be seen as unreasonable of me to allow M to do the same if that makes sense).
I am also worried as M's primary illness has "burnt itself out" so she is reducing her medication, allegedly with support from her MH team. I am concerned that this is going to mean that the behaviours that were previously under control (from the PDs) are going to resurface and I'll be on the end of that again too. She is good at hiding some of these from HCPs.
I guess this is a kind of wwyd, and a general needing of advice or perspectives from outsiders familiar with dysfunctional family dynamics. I am the only one who seems to find anything odd about any of this and it is wearing. I had really disengaged from it all and got on with my life but it just creeps back in and starts taking head space and I feel like they all think I'm an awful person. I know the majority of it is happening behind my back and it's nice that DS2, DF and SM don't want me bothered with it but obviously I'm imagining what is being said about me and waiting for hassle to start. I just want a quiet life and for people to stop thinking I'm mean when actually I believe I go far beyond what i should have to do in allowing her a relationship with my children after the things she's done to me in the past.
It's a shame you can't just leave DM, DS1 to whinge, criticize, bleat to their heart's content but stay out of the drama yourself.
You are doing 'your duty' by the sound of it by seeing DM regularly. It would be good if you could stop feeling guilt about DM and stress about what someone is or isn't saying about you behind your back. You have enough with your DCs I would reduce contact with DS1 if possible.
Thanks mistress maisie yes you are right it all comes back to the guilt / worrying about what people are thinking. Argh i wish brains were like computers and you could just delete bits of code you don't want!
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