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The Welcome Mat / Confused
« Last post by Ootf123 on Today at 02:26:06 PM »
Hi I'm not sure whether I belong here or not and would like some advice. My mother stayed with a man who physically abused my siblings and I very badly throught our childhood. We were encouraged to keep it a secret. I self harmed and had depression/ medication for years. I went no contact with him for around 10 years but since having my children my mum has been slowly introducing him into my children's lives, to the point they now ask for him. It makes me physically sick and panicky and I feel out of control.

My question is that my mother does not fit the descriptions I read on here but does carry out some of the behaviours such as minimising or making me think I imagined everything. She also manipulates situations to get things the way she wants them. I feel awful but am considering going no contact as I want to protect my children, and every time I see him interacting with them I feel old wounds opening and feel in my mind that I am 10 years old again. But feel guilty as she is not horrible person, just cannot put her children first. I know I'm not making sense I just can't put it into words and have never spoken to anyone about it. We agreed a few years ago that I would come to see her when he was out but lately he is there every time, and plays with my children, rubs suncream into them etc. Two of my siblings have very minimal contact with my mum now, just Christmas for an hour really and one still lives at home.
Common Behaviors / Re: Has anyone else experienced this ?
« Last post by ItHitMeLikeaBrick on Today at 02:21:39 PM »
Hi Bloomie,
         I did try to include the link but got an error message saying that I could  not post an external  link . Just tried again with no luck   . It's at  w w w  .   Titled " Language abuse and human consciousness ". Great article , I  would really like your thoughts on it .
  Here is another article that also addresses this subject  -   w w w  (I'm purposely entering the URL's wrong so the system will publish it . Still don't know why I can't post and external link ) .
I'm glad there is interest in this subject , it's so new and mind boggling that I really need a good soundboard to fully understand it. Couldn't hope for a better place than this . Thanks everyone .
Chosen Relationships / Re: Questioning if Husband has Fleas or PD
« Last post by movingforward2 on Today at 02:12:22 PM »
I'm not sure if it is full blown pd behavior or just fleas from growing up in a pd home?  What are your H's parents like?  Are they normal?  It sounds like his sister is a full blown PD and she had to have gotten that from somewhere....

My H is NC with his FOO (due to them trampling all over any boundary we had), but he has a friend from childhood that oversteps boundaries all the time and H never puts his foot down with his friend.  This friend will come visit us and will say he's going to stay 1  night...he'll stay 5.  The friend recently booked a flight for H to see him...H said 3 or 4 nights...the friend booked it for 5 nights, which was crossing over a serious boundary for me...being a lone star with my kids for 6 days while my H is off at his brofest is not how I imagined spending my vacation.  Does your H let most of his family members just do what they want?  I noticed a pattern with my H...he lets everyone walk all over him...even me to an extent.  There have been times where my H has totally flipped out on me for no good reason and when we talk about usually stems from a boundary I unknowingly crossed that he never mentioned to me. 

How old are these kids she dumped off at 12:30 am?  That is totally odd to me.  I have felt badly in the past for bringing my kids to my mom's house at 8 pm for a sleepover.  12:30 is just unacceptable. 

Sorry you are going through this, but good for you for going to counseling and working on  you.  I am hoping to return to counseling this August.  I have co-dependency issues with my H and even though he has a lot of his own issues that cause havoc in our marriage, I have my own as well.  As far as the bpd diagnosis, I wouldn't worry too much about that.  I think if you question whether or not you are bpd, then you probably aren't .  My MIL is bpd or npd and she thinks that there is nothing wrong with her.  She's gone to counseling on and off her entire life and leaves as soon as a T tells her to work on herself.  It sounds like that is not the case with you.
Dealing with PD Parents / Re: Moving/quit fb?
« Last post by moglow on Today at 02:10:05 PM »
For what it's worth, a restraining order would require a whole lot more crap you really don't want to get into!  I have to agree that physical distance will likely be your friend.  Without a physical address - which she may try to get by wanting to mail something to you, btw - she can't just show up.

Instead of focusing on not ticking her off [because how can we possibly ever know the many and myriad ways we do that until it's done?!], build your new life with your family.  Focus and enjoy them, putting together your new home and settling in, getting to know your new town, etc.  How wonderful that will be!

Working on Us / Re: Jumping in to help / fix others
« Last post by Orangeblossom77 on Today at 02:07:34 PM »
That's right, you can get blamed for stuff through helping. It was a red nose day at school for charity and I was in town and noticed there were hardly any left. So, I got the rest and emailed the mums at school to say I had some for them. Of course, there weren't enough o go round and some of the mums had relied on me having them, not going to the shops and then their little ones didn't have a nose and were upset. Won't be doing that again! I try and remember the consequences and step back a bit, thinking 'do I really want to get involved in this'. Suggesting something that might help someone of they ask might be a way to go forward, i guess.
Chosen Relationships / Is my irritation justifiable?
« Last post by movingforward2 on Today at 01:50:46 PM »
I post here once in awhile and clearly struggle with determining whether or not my reactions to my H are normal or not.  Quick back MIL is a mixture of bpd/npd.  H is either pd himself or has some serious fleas.  H drank a lot at the beginning of our r/s and as a result I have co-dependency issues that I've slowly been working on.  Sorry for the length of this...I just can't think of how to condense it.

H has a friend that is independently wealthy...meaning that the friend lives off inheritance and doesn't work.  H's friend realized H was out of work for a couple of months and paid for H to fly to see him.  I thought it was going to be a weekend trip (like 3 nights, that seemed reasonable to me).  H told his friend he could come 3-4 nights.  The friend booked his flight for 5 nights  :stars:  The friend is paying for H to do a number of things with him that are very expensive...the entire trip is probably totaling at least 2K.  H went up there with no money as we don't have a  lot of money right now with him being out of work and the money H had saved up he chose to spend on a hobby he does  :yes: .  I do get time off in the summer and I am home with both of our DD's right now, which is fine. I didn't have to take time off from work or anything.  And...H doesn't really do much to help with the kids, so in all honesty, I'm not overwhelmed or anything with him being gone.

I can't help but feel really irritated with this situation, but I don't know if I am over reacting, being jealous or really rightfully irritated, or a combination of all 3.  I am sort of happy for my H to be able to spend time with his friend as H doesn't talk with his family anymore, but in the same vein I find this trip to be excessive.  I would never go away for 5 nights to go hang out with a friend or even family.  I also wouldn't allow my friend or family to pay for everything either.  On top of it, I know this is a booze fest of a trip and that is the last thing H needs right now.  He really struggled with drinking in May and June.  He finally got on a better path and now he's off to the races with his friend. 

Before H left, I expressed my extreme displeasure in the fact that the trip was so long.  I also told him I flat out that I thought it was unfair that I work all year long to provide for our family and he is the one who gets to go off on a vacation, while I am home with the kids.  H told me that if I had a wealthy friend, he wouldn't care if I left for a couple of nights to go hang out with her.  The thing is...I know he would care...he'd be pissed because he can't handl our kids when I am not around.  For's not so much the hanging out with the friend as much as the length of the visit and the fact that it is a booze fest.  He is calling me and keeping the communication open (which is something that has not happened on past trips) but I still can't help but feel a rush of anger towards him. 

I guess my question much am I over reacting?
It's awful that the PD is spending his visitation time guilting the older children and putting them in the middle of this, rather than doing whatever it takes to gain the youngest child's confidence.

I see red flags all over the field.

Have you asked the older children what they think their father can do to gain back the youngest child's trust?  I wonder what they'd say?

It would be interesting to see their response to having the problem placed back in their father's lap, opposed to their own, IMO.

He could write a letter of accountability, explain what he did, why, and how he's going to avoid repeating that behavior going forward, for instance.

He could set very short lunch dates, and be overtly kind, patient and most of all appropriate, so that younger child begins to feel more comfortable, and trust again.

What does he do, instead?  He gets furious with the younger child, and makes flying monkeys of his older children.

I wouldn't force my younger child to do anything without some accountability from the PD if you truly believe he's acted inappropriately with that child.  Even though the older children are suffering....honestly.... is he being appropriate with the older children when he mopes and makes their visits about his feelings and fixing them for him?

I don't think it is, and I don't know what to say about it other than to point out to the older kids that we all have choices.  How  do they feel about dad putting them in the middle?

Can they think of healthier ways to handle the situation?  How would they handle it if they were in his shoes, etc?

SOmehow they need to know that this isn't the way healthy people deal with their problems.... shifting responsibility for them to their children.

You can't tell them this... you can only ask non judgmental questions that lead the kids to their own conclusions, IME.

Good luck,

Separating & Divorcing / Letter to a family member of my N
« Last post by eyeofthetiger on Today at 01:47:37 PM »
So this is a letter I wrote to a close family member of the N in my life who I've recently broken up with.  This person has their own problems and the family is in general has many issues and problems beyond that of the behavior of my N.  I'm concerned that I may be acting selfishly if I send it, but this person has been the only one who has been able to see things objectively and has urged me to end the relationship on more than one occasion- should I send it?  Do it seem self serving?  I am having trouble doubting my own motives these days, thought I'd run it by the forum and ask for some feedback.  Thanks!

I hope things are going well for you, I've missed being able to see and talk with you lately.  I would call or text but I think your phone is on (N)'s plan and itís not safe for me to allow him to know anything about who I contact, especially you.  As much as Iíd love to be able to even just say hi and find out how you and your family is doing I canít safely do that by phone.  I hope that you are well and settling back in to life back home.  I donít know if you are still working with (N), last he told me you had made some kind of ďapologyĒ, accepting whatever blame he felt you deserved no doubt or maybe that was just some of his magical thinking.  At any rate, I know all of this stuff has to have taken a big toll on you and my heart goes out to you.  I am hoping you are doing something for yourself in all the family madness that you have returned to. 

There is no one to share this stuff with who could possibly understand any of it but you.  I donít know what, if anything, your (N) has told you about us recently.  It doesnít matter what he says, none of it is based in reality and the truth hardly even matters at this point except as something I need to find for myself after being buried in his deceptions for so long that I started to doubt my own sanity.  Itís time to start rebuilding my life and exposing what he does to people is about the only way I can get down to the truth and face what I need to face about what has happened.

Iíve done a lot of research, much of it just in the past few weeks after he asked me to go to see a doctor about having narcissistic personality disorder or borderline personality disorder.  I told him I would be happy to see a doctor to be evaluated for that or anything else that a doctor feels is indicated.  I even scheduled a consult that day after I told him I couldnít afford it but I would do it if he was willing to pay for it. 

This agreement prompted an immediate display of affection and love from him.  For about 36 hours it seemed as if we would find a way to reconcile- he was positively giddy with excitement and I was basking in his show of warmth and caring.   That lasted until... (long story full of personal details)

I was unable to reach (N) so I went to his house... (more story with personal details).  I was so angry and hurt and simply CONFUSED about what he was doing!  I begged him to see that he was hurting himself with his behaviors.  We argued loudly and he insulted me calling me every name in the book, ugly hurtful names designed to deflect the reality of what I was telling him.  He told me to get out and I told him if I left it was for good and I wouldn't be returning.  Incensed, he came down from the top of his stairs, physically grabbed me and threw me out his front door, screaming obscenities at me the whole time.  As I left, I told him it was over and went to my car.  He yelled after me thanking me for hurting and abandoning himÖ ahhh, irony.

That was over a week ago.  While we have had contact off and on by text all week I have not seen him.  At times I have felt bereft and apologetic, alternating with rage at being so unfairly treated by someone I have given so much to.  As the days have ticked by I started looking to myself, trying to understand what it is that I have become and why.  He and I have been going through this process of disconnecting for a couple of months now so this past week I have actually felt better about things than I have in a very long time, but itís still been gut wrenching, just in a more quiet and introspective kind of way. 

Mostly I have managed to avoid sending him a lot of messages but have sometimes answered his or felt clear enough to state some boundaries to him- which usually elicits a barrage of abusive follow ups or strings of delayed attacks in the middle of the night.   He has sent me many, many texts berating me, insulting me, threatening me, cajoling me and at one point telling me how much he loved and wanted to be with me and asking me to come be with him.  I have felt vaguely detached from a lot of it, semi cognizant in a cocoon that dulls the worst of his attacks so I am far less reactive than I normally would be.

At any rate, Iím not actually writing to tell you all about what is happening to me- I digress simply because I have had no one to talk to about what Iím experiencing, but that isnít the point of this email.  What Iíve discovered has actually shaken up everything I have believed and thought I understood about him- which is helpful to me, gives a much needed perspective around which to rebuild my ability to think and act clearly.  Although I know he is heavily using the drugs and alcohol and maybe pills again as well, I am no longer certain that is the primary reason for his dysfunction. 

He projected so many of his faults on me, deflecting and blaming me for his behaviors that it has become almost second nature for me to just accept that whatever he said about me had some basis in fact.  The thing is, heís sick, far sicker than I could've imagined even a week ago.  Whether that is a direct result of the substances or vice versa I do not know, but I do know that he is a disturbed far more deeply than I have understood up until now.  I am no doctor but I have spent many years in therapy since I was a teenager for my own problems, I know what I am and what I do and I have always had a very clear understanding of how to be accountable for myself, even when I wasnít (or especially when I wasnít!)- I never could've quit doing the drugs and alcohol and turned my life around to the extent I did if I had not learned self examination and acceptance of my own mistakes so that I can make needed changes in my life.  Iím a damaged person, victimized by things that were beyond my control, but I am not a victim, not now- not ever.  But being victimized is not the same as seeing myself as a victim. 

Itís my inability to capitulate to unfair treatment that has caused the rift between (N) and I.  In a way, he has almost nothing to actively do with it- he is after all just doing what he does with everyone.  On the other hand, my endless refusal to give in to him has escalated what would probably otherwise be an average sort of relationship for him into the realm of something darker and more telling than perhaps what he has experienced before.  Iím not one of his broken little girls, even though at times I have acted that way in anger and confusion and sheer pain.  Iím no longer under any false illusion that I am special to him, but I know who and what I am and Iím not afraid to hold onto that despite the manipulative and abusive tactics that seem to work so well with others he prefers to surround himself with.  Iíve only known him in the context of our relationship.  Iíve only seen him operate from a point of disadvantage, seen him have to fight to claw his way through adversity to hold onto everything he can.  He has some pretty amazing traits in that regard, his tenaciousness is certainly one of the things I love most, but my understanding of him has always been through the lens of my understanding about his addictions to some degree or another.

Because Iíve only known him as an addict, I made some misjudgments about what I was seeing, based in my own limited understanding.  It honestly never really dawned on me that maybe the addiction was a symptom of something else and not the actual cause of the behavior. 

A couple of months ago he showed up at my house in the middle of the night.  He was so intoxicated, not just drunk but obviously very high, pills maybe.  He insisted I get up so we could go out.  We went down the street, to a park by my house because that was about as far as he could get.  He was slurring and having trouble walking and it made me so sad- this beautiful man that I love who is trapped within a prison he built and sees no reason to escape.  Actually, as I think back, that was the night that things really began to crumble between us, it was after that that I got in touch with you the first time and told you what was going on.  That was when I started to really understand that things were far more out of control than I had realized.

He uses people.  He manipulates and tortures and practices deception with every person in his life, no matter how close or important someone is to him.  He does not see or acknowledge how his actions hurt everyone he comes into contact with.  Because he is incapable of accepting responsibility for what he does he blames others.  He doesnít just blame them, he often seeks to harm anyone who challenges his wrong headed perceptions- he is vindictive about it.  As time has gone by Iíve seen him idolize, then devalue, then discard and denigrate so many good people- even his family members.  Thereís a name for it, I know it because he has been trying to convince me that I am suffering from his disorder which is why he was so happy when I told him I would see a counselor to be evaluated for NPD- in his twisted logic I think he believes that if I can be ďcuredĒ of his malady then he will also be ďcuredĒ  That makes perfect sense when you apply the logic that I am nothing more than an extension of him in his eyes, a puppet to control and get what he needs from- a proxy for his self image because he cannot bear to face the reality of who and what he is buried beneath all the swagger, rage and grandiose thinking.

Its funny, when Iíve seen him in social situations, especially at family gatherings (maybe because he doesnít really have any friends) Iíve taken note of how subdued he is, so out of character with the guy I know- itís actually something Iíve puzzled over for a long time but always chalked up to normal family dynamic stuff, figuring Iíd come to understand it better as I got to know him more.  But now I know itís something else, or rather something more complicated than that.  Itís his self loathing that Iíve seen at those times, his deep hatred for what he has become bubbles up to the surface when he is surrounded by the people and/or dynamics that he has been hurt by.  I donít think he realizes it, Iím not even sure if anyone else but an outsider who also happens to have a lot of personal knowledge and intuition about him could see it, but I am certain of what I have seen- I know exactly what it is.

Seeing (N) as having a ďdisorderĒ does not feel good to me.  I love him and want to have him in my life so badly.  I hate the idea that he could possibly have a pathologic problem that isnít a direct result of his substance abuse which would then by default be something he can conceivable recover from.  But I also have to be realistic and true to what my experiences have shown me.  I donít believe he can feel love in any way that I can understand or relate to, Iím not sure he can feel it at all from what Iíve seen except in the most superficial ways.  My mind and heart scream in frustration over that thought- so desperate am I to believe in the fairy tale he has been feeding me for so long.  When I first met him I was dazzled, but I was also tremendously wary about him.  It took me several weeks for the dazzle to finally blot out my distrust, but I never really forgot it, just tucked it away into a very deep pocket knowing that I ignored it at my own peril. 

Some things are incongruent, match up better with your normal run of the mill addict, and, as I said, my experience is limited to him as a user only, I have no knowledge of him as a sober person.  None of this would have ever occurred to me if he hadnít been trying to convince me that I have NPD, I never wouldíve started researching it.  I have narcissistic tendencies, but Iím not pathologic nor would any doctor label me as such- I suffer from co-dependency- far too much empathy, not the lack of it.

So I am writing to tell you what I now believe to be true about (N).  I alternate between fear of making a terrible mistake and total conviction in what I have experienced, now giving it a name.  He has hurt me, in so many ways.  It would be silly to think I can just magically stop loving him but I do not have to be with him, especially considering that the physical violence has steadily increased and I have so much trouble backing down from a confrontation with him.  I don't know if there is much to be gained by telling you any of this, but maybe you will see something new or different about the situation that your family must deal with as long as his behavior continues to make everyone's life so hard.  He is so loved, I wish he could see what a wonderful thing that is and take advantage of the bounty it could deliver him in terms of help and peace.
Dealing with PD Parents / Re: Moving/quit fb?
« Last post by Freedup on Today at 01:35:43 PM »
Yes, good input ya'll.  I have to say,  sheer physical mileage between her and I is already feeling amazing.  No more drop bys! I am also set up to truly break free.  Little by little,  i can change my #,  not tell her my address, and i have figured out some things on fb.  I put her, and any possible minions to a new category called "so done", so i have been posting to "friends" except "so done".  I have already felt some freedom.  I can post w/o hearing her voice and her taking over every single post. 

My new fear is that bc she's put in an offer on a smaller place in the city i just moved from, and she's finally fixing her house,  I'm thinking, i KNOW she is not gonna just move here on a whim.  I really want to make sure she buys that new place before i tick her off, bc i could see her forcing the situation if she felt like i was not speaking to her.  Like on what about bob? He just goes to the town and starts yelling for "dr leo Marvin".  And  later Richard Dreyfuss says "you think he's gone?! He's never gone!!!" 

But i can't worry about this, there is always a restraining order right?
An Unsent Letter / Re: Final Goodbyes
« Last post by hhaw on Today at 01:28:12 PM »
It's odd but I notice often that it's your childhood, and family stories that come up as I move through life.

Not my families' stories or my parent's history.   Your touchstones,  and family history... not mine.


I know more personal stories about you, your mother, aunts, father, and brother than I know about my own parents and family.

My mom didn't tell me personal stories about her mom, or aunts like you shared with me.  The stories centered around her... all of them.  The more personal stories were shared by my Grandma, I adored, but there weren't as many as you took the time to share with me while gardening, having coffee, lunch, cooking dinners, or just walking or vacationing.  You were interested in my life.  REVELATION.

My mom didn't vacation with me when my children were small or watch my children while I vacationed, like she did for my sibs or SIL, and I didn't complain or ask for more until I was desperately in need of help.... and then she said No... she was too busy to help... and she didn't actually hear me.  Ever.  Even when I told her what was going on, she didn't hear the danger, the decision I had to make about going to the police..... nothing. She had a nail appointment and "wasn't that nice?"  Ummm.... actually NO.  Having to consider jailing my husband was not nice, Mom.

You heard, even though you didn't always agree with me, or interpret what I said in the way I did.... at least you were able to listen and hear my voice. 

What a powerful thing that is to gift to someone....

to SEE and HEAR them.

I'm so sensitive when talking to people who don't listen to me, or who talk over me, or carry on conversations with other people when on the phone with me, or just answer with shouts for me to DO something for them... SING! 

What the hell?

I called for a reason, and I have a question, and maybe it's urgent, how dare you answer the phone and demand I SING while barking orders at other people at the same time about something stupid?


Put me on hold, and give me a chance to hang up, but don't just shout and talk over me, and bark orders to people while I'm ON THE PHONE. 

How can you stand to hear me say.... "OK, I'm going to repeat myself again...." then hear me calmly talk with the expectation that you'll listen this time? 

How can you listen to me do that every conversation and not GET IT?  No connection, none whatsoever, bc you can't hear me, no matter how I say something, it's like my voice doesn't register in your brain, and so I have to be pointed, and sometimes it's not comfortable, but for Pete's sake.....

it's triggering, and annoying and disrespectful, not that you can do any better for ANYONE else, besides those who's favor you're courting, usually those who have zero to offer you outide validating your irrational reality to help you sustain it, which isn't at all on target.


I get physical symptoms of distress when I think about this.

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