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NC parent and skype xmas(20 Posts)
Ok I'm already worried about this so help me please!
I'm NC with narc mother. She's been telling people how awful I am..but in a very subtle way so everybody believes her. Including my brother. She's also cut people out of her life for talking to me. She's told people I've cut her off from her grandchildren, but she's made absolutely no attempt to contact them. DB and I don't talk about her because he thinks we're both "emotional" and that's the problem - i.e. it's 50-50. I'm in long term trauma therapy down to her and he's clearly suffered trauma too but has managed to not face up to it (yet) - he has almost no childhood memories before age 11 and can't deal with emotions (not on any spectrum).
The three of us live in different countries. She's going to be with him for Christmas. Normally we Skype on my Christmas morning/his Christmas evening. I can't face seeing her. I feel sick at the thought of it. My kids barely know her - she sends them a birthday card with the fewest words in it possible. But how do I speak to him and not her? If the kids see her they're going to ask who she is, which my DB will see as evidence I've cut her off from them. She will be either dramatically sad, but "trying" to put on a happy face, so we see how hard it is for her, or overly saccharine. I can't go through with seeing her, I really can't (I have PTSD from her and she's a trigger - DB doesn't know about this from me but I know she's spoken to him about my "so-called" PTSD and some stuff about psychologists being a waste of space, false memories etc).
What do I do?
Sorry if the solution seems obvious but I am in a sort of panic - I just feel sick.
In your shoes I would simply give the Xmas Day call a miss this year and speak to him at New Year instead. (Or before she arrives.)
Don't fucking let him guilt trip you over it, either. He's chosen to side with your abuser, that's up to him, he can't expect that choice to have no impact on his relationship with you.
I would speak to him the day before. tell him the truth, he will either believe you or he won't.
NC with her is the only solution for you
Remain no contact with your mother, you are already this for very good reason. She has emotionally harmed you and your brother immeasureably.
Unfortunately your brother is acting simply as her flying monkey; narcissists tend to use such well meaning but easily manipulated relatives into doing their dirty work for them and she has trained him well. He is also clearly acting in his own best interests rather than yours; he would happily see you get thrown under the bus.
What you describe is actually typical of how such narcissistic mothers operate. Do read the website entitled Daughters of Narcissistic mothers.
Do not skype him at all over the Christmas holidays; no good will come of doing so because mother will be there too. Do not also from now on hand over any birthday cards from your mother to your children; no contact is precisely that and all communiques from her should be shredded or otherwise thrown in the bin.
You give it a miss as others have said. It’s not worth it.
Give it a miss this year. You are being guilt tripped into it. Do what is right for you. There is no reasoning with narcs nor the sycophantic flying monkeys. Give them an inch, they will take a mile, come out of the shitstorm smelling of roses and leave you feeling even worse about yourself.
Oh thank you!! I've been feeling really guilty in advance of even thinking "no", never mind actually saying it! (Very well trained daughter).
She's going to stay with him for 3 weeks so I can't speak to him the whole time. I effing hate her for all this.
I don't hate DB because I wish I could block out what he's been able to. Can't blame him for being brainwashed by the only adult he grew up with.
And yes Mirrormirrowtw she will absolutely do that.
Don't feel any pressure to Skype them or answer their calls. You are not responsible for them being upset about this. You ARE responsible for protecting yourself and your chn from abuse.
She's going to stay with him for 3 weeks so I can't speak to him the whole time.
Presumably, your db knows that this is where you stand, so, he is making adult choices which have consequences. If he wants to talk to you, he can call you when he's out or she's in the bathroom or whatever. If he doesn't do this, then that tells you where you stand with him. (You can't possibly look after yourself and also maintain a close relationship with someone who ignores your feelings.)
Thanks Bread you're making a lot of sense.
I need to hear these things because I get destabilised so easily once she appears near the scene.
Agree with all previous posters that you should not engage with your mother on Skype.
Just tell your brother you will speak with him before she arrives and when she’s gone.
I would agree. Do not give cards to your children, do not Skype. Do not talk to your brother whilst your mother is there. You have every reason to stay NC.
I know what you mean, OP. I've had very similar experiences. I ended up not seeing my, much-loved, family member for a year & I had to repeat myself many times and keep going no matter how 'victimy' she behaved. She was so used to ignoring my views and feelings and me being the reasonable one, that it took a lot for her to change. She is now much more respectful to me re my boundaries and more honest about how horribly the other family member behaves. But I had to risk losing her completely to get to this point. I'm not saying it'll be the same with you, but that's my experience.
Yes, Bread, I’m worried I’ll lose him. It’s not an ideal relationship, but I have zero other family (all lost one way or another in the past few years). If I wasn’t having the trauma therapy it might be bearable, but I’m in so much pain (nightly nightmares woke me up now) that I’m not sure I could cope with having nobody.
I know it's a hard call. Maybe you could try to speak to him and explain what you'd like him to do in order to stay in touch with you. Maybe with the time difference, he could call you when he or your mum are in bed at night?
I'm interested to know more about your trauma therapy. I'm just starting with someone - going to do EMDR - it's supposed to be brilliant with trauma and abuse.
I've been doing EMDR for a couple of years. It's very helpful for specific events for me. I hope it goes well for you.
Pushed send too soon!
For me it's not been so helpful for trauma that I don't have a specific memory for - basically i was abused from a very early age and my body responds physically to things and I don't know why. So going to try (same trauma psychologist) psychosomatic psychotherapy to try to get my body to feel less of a scary place.
It's all hard work though. But once you get EMDR to neutralise something, it's a great motivation to keep going. Something I used to be hit with and couldn't say the name of or have in the house, I could suddenly go into a shop and buy, and put in my bag and bring home. The IDEA of that before would have brought on flashbacks and panic attacks!
That sounds really good. I had a session yesterday and am impressed so far.
Have a look at The Journey with Brandon Bays too. You can buy her book on EBay for under £3. It's a brilliant process - really works.
Good luck with it all.
Hey look if it's specifically Skype (or video call) and you can't face the conversation with your brother about why not, tell him your laptop/phone/tablet (whatever you use for it) isn't working. Shame, but wouldn't be the first person. I often get locked out of Skype...
Ellen I’ve been thinking about something like that but I’m exhausted. It takes more effort to make and keep a lie than say something true so I think I’m just going to tell him I can’t speak you him whilst she’s there. He won’t like it but at least I’ll be certain he knows and if he things badly of me (he will) then it’ll not be a surprise.
Bread I’ll take a look.
* It takes more effort to make and keep a lie than say something true so I think I’m just going to tell him I can’t speak you him whilst she’s there.*
You're right. It's much easier in the long run to be truthful. Just tell him you're NC with her for a reason, so won't be Skyping while she's there. And don't worry about it at all. It's a reasonable thing to do.
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