Letter from mom

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Astrid

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Letter from mom
« on: December 11, 2014, 06:19:47 PM »
GCsis messaged me this today: "Oh mom wanted me to ask if you got something in the mail? I guess she mailed you something"  (I am NC with both of my parents, have been for about 6 months now)

I hadn't gotten anything in the mail, but I assumed it was because I had asked DH to screen the mail and not show me anything my mom or dad sent me. I asked him about it today and a letter did indeed come in the mail, from my mom about a month ago. I know I probably shouldn't have read it, but I asked if he still had it and he did. The reason is because with the holidays coming up my resolve in staying NC is waxing and waning. I'm a lot healthier, mentally, since cutting them out but I can't help thinking about the good times sometimes. I wanted to read the letter to see some of her hoovering attempts and guilting tactics to remind myself why I'm doing the NC thing.

So here goes, I'm just going to type it out word for word here. Interested in getting you guys' opinions on it! I see some of those familiar guilting tactics, not sure if there's anything else I'm missing (hoover-wise). Also, the letter came with no return address or anything saying who it was from on the envelope.

Astrid,

I am writing this letter to you in the sincere hope that you will read it. It's the only way I can think of to communicate to you how much you are missed and thought about every day. Not just by me or your dad, but [little sister's name], [brother's name], [big sister's name] and your nieces. They asked why you don't come around anymore. We tell them you are very busy with work and school. I or I should say (
uhh I don't know what she was trying to say here) we hope that you and [DH's name] are doing well as well as the "kids". (kids = my dogs, that's what DH and I call them) We haven't always done or made the right choices when it comes to you but our hearts have always been in the right place. We are sorry to have caused you pain. Families forgive, fight, cry and laugh together but most of all they stick together they are always there for each other. So know there is nothing you can say or do that will ever turn us against you. The door here is always open. Realize that sometimes time is short. I have learned that the hard way. Just know we love you. The rest does not matter! I'm hoping to hear from soon, but if I don't I don't. I understand.   

Love you always, Mom and Dad


I don't know, I feel like she's just saying what she thinks she should say to get me to talk to her. I don't think either her or my dad have any understanding of what they did that hurt me. I'm sure if I said "name a time you hurt me" they wouldn't know what to say, and if I gave them an example they would rationalize it or say it didn't happen (which has happened in the past). For example: "Hey mom, dad threw a broom at me because it rained today"  "No, he wouldn't do that"  "Yes, mom he did that"  "Well... you know, he has some issues, nobody's perfect." (True Story)

Also, this is one thing that bothers me, I don't know if I'm making a big deal out of nothing but... the "you are loved" and "you are missed" is so.... robotic? My whole life, it's always been "you are loved" and "you are missed" never "Astrid, I love you" or "Astrid, I miss you". Even their loving statements seem impersonal, somehow.

Thanks for reading guys!!!
Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes. -- Unknown

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gratitude

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Re: Letter from mom
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2014, 08:07:02 PM »
Well, she's pretty good at making a sincere-sounding letter. But using your sister to alert you to it is a definite tactic. "We are sorry we caused you pain" is such a blanket statement... My NM uses sentences like that to just sweep things away.
Hang in there.
Grat

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kayjewel

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Re: Letter from mom
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2014, 08:37:52 PM »
Quote
They asked why you don't come around anymore. We tell them you are very busy with work and school. I or I should say (uhh I don't know what she was trying to say here) we hope that you and [DH's name] are doing well as well as the "kids".

This feels like proxy recruitment or flying monkeys in absentia. "It's not just me who thinks you should do such-and-such, but also all of these other people who aren't party to this letter." She's presuming to speak for everyone in the extended FOO, and is using them to guilt-trip you.

Also a bit of triangulation going on there. Other people supposedly ask M about you, and she presumes to answer on your behalf.

Quote
We are sorry to have caused you pain.  ...I have learned that the hard way

I don't see anything to indicate that she understands what she's done to cause you pain. Just that she's sorry that she's caused you pain. I don't see any statement by M that she's given serious thought to how she does her relationship with you and that she's going to change her behavior. Therefore, I read this letter as an invitation to come back for more of the same. She wants you to engage with her, but she hasn't indicated a willingness to look at what might be necessary on her part for you to do so.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2014, 08:40:01 PM by kayjewel »
There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.
-- C. G. Jung

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Astrid

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Re: Letter from mom
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2014, 10:05:25 PM »
Gratitude- She is very good at making the letter sound sincere. The thing is though, all this stuff isn't stuff she ever says to me... like, ever. In fact, for every supposed loving thing she says, I can give several concrete examples of how she's behaved the exact opposite towards me.

Kayjewel - I agree that I don't think she understands what she did, either. Very little in the letter addresses why I feel hurt, but rather how I'm making her (and I guess others) feel. Side note: I still talk to both my sisters, brother, and just made plans to go see my nieces to give them their Christmas gifts. The only ones I don't speak to are her and my dad. Yet she's making it seem like everyone is soo affected by this.

From what I know about my mom, the thing that is probably upsetting her the most is that her picture perfect looking family isn't picture perfect anymore and it's making her look bad. It fits her M.O. to a tee: sweep everything unpleasant under the rug and deny that it's there. It's not surprising to me, considering the stuff Ndad did that she was willing to ignore for appearance's sake, or how she REFUSED to acknowledge my depression, or other physical health problems I had (I had a congenital heart defect that wasn't diagnosed until I was 16, despite having symptoms for years, because they wouldn't take me to the doctor- it only got found by a doc by accident when I was in for the flu!)

Anyway I got really off topic though, lol. The point I'm trying to make is that she never has and never will address the things that have happened that made me decide to go NC. Another interesting thing is that I keep getting all these letters from my mom but there's silence on my dad's part, who is the biggest reason I went NC. He has been telling me that he doesn't care about me since I was about 12 though, so again not a surprise. He never even signed my birthday cards growing up.

Thank you for the responses guys!
Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes. -- Unknown

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WomanInterrupted

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Re: Letter from mom
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2014, 11:39:28 PM »
did you notice *she* signed the letter "Mom and Dad"?

It fits with what you say about your father ignoring you. 

It's just a vanilla, generic apology letter that says all the right things, ticks all the right boxes - and offers NO sense that anything is going to change, ever.  Your "welcome back" to the family will be the welcome of a now once-estranged SG, and you better believe THAT will be held over your head forever!  "That time you weren't speaking to us..." will NEVER be forgotten.

And yes, as Kayjewel noted, since you do talk to the other folks mentioned, her line about them asking about you is very suspicious.  And she's taken it upon herself to give these Others A Good Reason - you're busy with work and school.  That may or may not be true - you could be having an extended beach holiday, for all she knows - but she HAD to save face instead of telling the Others, "Why don't you give her a call and ask her yourself?"   ::)

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InspirationHealing

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Re: Letter from mom
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2014, 11:56:41 PM »
Wow. I've never gotten anything close to "we're sorry we hurt you" kind of letter. But if they are lying, I can understand your upset.

 If I tell my NM and her co-bully husband that they hurt me, they say I'm ungrateful for saying that and throw insults at me. I guess there's different degrees of narcissism. There are times I wished I received letters like the one you posted, but I guess I should be careful what I wish for. It could all be lies and cover-ups. Glad I know.

Who can you trust these days?

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Malini

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Re: Letter from mom
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2014, 02:09:16 AM »
Hi astrid,
The tone of the letter is nice, and I too would welcome something that was not the sort of toxic mean stuff I get from them but...

We are sorry to have caused you pain. Families forgive, fight, cry and laugh together but most of all they stick together they are always there for each other.

Such a blanket apology, followed by, whatever we do to each other, we stick together, however much pain that may cause the person we have hurt.

Just know we love you. The rest does not matter!

Love is an action, words are cheap, the rest DOES matter.

I'm sorry to be such a downer.
"How do you do it?" said night
"How do you wake and shine?"
"I keep it simple." said light
"One day at a time" - Lemn Sissay

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NotAlice

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Re: Letter from mom
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2014, 10:13:53 AM »
I know the letter says, "We are sorry to have caused you pain," but the tone I get is more that your mom is forgiving you than that she is asking your forgiveness.   Well, maybe she's not forgiving you yet, but she would eventually. 

That line about "Families forgive each other," just raises my hackles.  Family knows best how to hurt us, but they should try hardest not to do it, IMO.  When you know what bugs your FOC, you don't do it, rather than keeping it up and insisting, "if you love me, you'd forgive me."  Even then, forgiveness doesn't mean coming back for more of the same.

Just my thoughts, FWIW.

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HealingMeFL

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Re: Letter from mom
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2014, 10:27:19 AM »
We haven't always done or made the right choices when it comes to you but our hearts have always been in the right place. We are sorry to have caused you pain. Families forgive, fight, cry and laugh together but most of all they stick together they are always there for each other. So know there is nothing you can say or do that will ever turn us against you. The door here is always open. Realize that sometimes time is short. I have learned that the hard way. Just know we love you. The rest does not matter!

This was the part that bothered me the most.  There was an element of shaming here . . . and not necessarily shame on her part.  It was like she was saying that you are not honoring the "family code" but it's OK - you're forgiven no matter what.   ::)

I also agreed with kayjewel that there was some triangulation going on there.

Wishing you peace.

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Terichan

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Re: Letter from mom
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2014, 10:40:45 AM »
Also, this is one thing that bothers me, I don't know if I'm making a big deal out of nothing but... the "you are loved" and "you are missed" is so.... robotic? My whole life, it's always been "you are loved" and "you are missed" never "Astrid, I love you" or "Astrid, I miss you". Even their loving statements seem impersonal, somehow.

I don't think you're making a big deal out of nothing, this is one of the signs that PDs don't take any personal responsibility for relationship dynamics. There was just a thread a couple of weeks back where we discussed this "usage" by our parents -- "You are loved" really IS impersonal, it takes the PD out of the equation, leaving only a nebulous "someone" out there who's doing the loving, and that's what we are supposed to accept. That means they don't have to actually DO anything loving, or actually demonstrate any loving behavior. They say those words and we're supposed to fall for it and "know" that somehow, in some way, without any action on their part, that we are loved.

Yeah, that wording doesn't work for me, either. Like Malini says, "love" is a verb, it's a doing word, an action word. Real love shows up in a person's behavior toward us, not in some written words in a letter. You're right not to trust these words.

 :bighug:
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

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Inonepeace

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Re: Letter from mom
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2014, 11:00:59 AM »
Hoover, hoover, hoover. Even when it sounds like a new kind of apology. Remember PDs will keep trying any tactic until they find the one that works.

Using your sister as a sentinel? My NM did that after the second round of NC.

Nowhere in this letter was there anything genuine about addressing what your NM had done to make you choose NC. Offering to go to therapy? Nope. Announcing that she understands it's obvious she's screwed up somewhere and letting you know she's getting professional help in an attempt to repair things and become a better mother? Nope. Wanting to understand truly why you are so upset you want nothing to do with her?

If my child went NC, I'd assume she had a good reason and I'd take that as a sign I needed to do some serious work on myself and our family dynamic. I would not minimize her pain with a blanket apology. I'll bet you would do the same with your loved ones.

The "families fight" is a friendlier sounding version of "Get over it."

But it means the same. Get back into line, play your role, the holidays are coming.

I'd ignore it and stay strong, Astrid.




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delta

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Re: Letter from mom
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2014, 11:20:43 AM »
No return address shows that she has no respect for your boundaries and was trying to pull a fast one.

These NPD parents are all the same.....

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betta fish

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Re: Letter from mom
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2014, 11:31:28 AM »
I've gotten that letter before.  My unBPDmom doesn't get what she has done and how hurtful she can be.  The only way I was able to keep a relationship with her is through strong boundaries. I am lucky (my mom not so lucky)  that my mom has a strong fear of abandonment, it makes it much easier to impose my boundaries.  If you are able to go that route it would the only way to have a semblance of a healthy relationship.  PDs don't tend to change much over time. 

“Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman.”
― Maya Angelou

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divorcingnpd

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Re: Letter from mom
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2014, 12:16:59 PM »
I wonder how many hours she spent trying to craft this letter? To the average person the letter could look like a sincere attempt at reconciliation. Which is what is most important to a PD. They need to keep their public image squeaky clean and blameless.

However, she does not validate any specific reason that you have gone NC. And there must be dozens if not hundreds of reasons for her to pick from.

I agree with the other commenters that words are cheap and actions are what really matter. Love is what we do, not what we say.

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WomanInterrupted

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Re: Letter from mom
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2014, 01:16:22 PM »
"Just know that we love you.  The rest does not matter!"

If she means the crap you've had to endure, of COURSE it doesn't matter to them.  Holy invalidation, Batman!

This letter, in its entirety, is the definition of plausible deniability.  You show that to a non and they say, "Awww...isn't that nice?  She's making amends!  Isn't that wonderful?  Just in time for the holidays!"

But we here know it's a coded message.  There's nothing straightforward or honest about it.  It's just more self-serving drivel meant to make her feel better, so she can say, "I tried.  I extended an olive branch, so I don't know what Astrid's problem is."


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SeaSalt

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Re: Letter from mom
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2014, 02:36:25 PM »
I find this letter very cold. If she has not mentioned others members names it could have apply this letter to anyone. There is nothing personal nor about or about her. Everything so geenral. Families this, families that. No offers to do any therapy, no admitting of anything, juts generalizing, banalazing, minimalazing your pain. Practicaly she told you that no metter what is bothering you, you have to forgive and forget because that is what families do (according to her and all NMs). She did not even try to specify what she might have done, or if there is anything she feels bad or guilty for or, or what she could do fix things, there is NOTHING.
And the letter is a way too short. If my child was gone NC with me I would write 12 pages trying to mention every single thing i did wrong and apologizing for it and another 12 of suggestions what I am willing to do to make him forgive me. Not 5 lines. 5 lines!!!!! I write more to my DH to ask him what do we have for lunch.

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Astrid

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Re: Letter from mom
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2014, 10:40:46 PM »
Wow, so many replies! I've worked a lot the past couple days and just got a chance to check them now, thanks everyone!

Wow. I've never gotten anything close to "we're sorry we hurt you" kind of letter. But if they are lying, I can understand your upset.

 If I tell my NM and her co-bully husband that they hurt me, they say I'm ungrateful for saying that and throw insults at me. I guess there's different degrees of narcissism. There are times I wished I received letters like the one you posted, but I guess I should be careful what I wish for. It could all be lies and cover-ups. Glad I know.


The thing is, I've tried so many times to tell them that they've hurt me and I got insulted and told I'm ungrateful etc, just like you. It wasn't until I went NC that my mom started talking this way... which is exactly how I know it isn't sincere.

I know the letter says, "We are sorry to have caused you pain," but the tone I get is more that your mom is forgiving you than that she is asking your forgiveness.   Well, maybe she's not forgiving you yet, but she would eventually. 


 :yeahthat: Her saying "There is nothing you can do to turn us against you" pins me as the one in the wrong, not them. As if they are innocent and I am hurting them but I will be forgiven if I come back.

 
"Just know that we love you.  The rest does not matter!"

This letter, in its entirety, is the definition of plausible deniability.  You show that to a non and they say, "Awww...isn't that nice?  She's making amends!  Isn't that wonderful?  Just in time for the holidays!"



I think you've hit the nail on the head! This is EXACTLY what my mom does. She does something awful, then acts like an angel so that other people think you're nuts for being upset with her. I know she's playing the victim card with my extended family because of all their passive aggressive facebook posts about how some children are so ungrateful and moms love their daughters more than anybody can love someone and sometimes parents come off as the bad guy but they're only doing it out of love for you. OH! Really?! When my mom told me I was spawn of the devil and never should have been born because life would be so much better without me... that was out of love huh? My bad, I must not know what love is then. :blink:


The "families fight" is a friendlier sounding version of "Get over it."

But it means the same. Get back into line, play your role, the holidays are coming.

I'd ignore it and stay strong, Astrid.


I've literally been told by them so many times to "get over it" that I know this IS just another one of those things, just worded nicer because I've pulled away now. She's acting like she's finally addressing the problem but she's not. A blanket statement of "I'm sorry, but families forgive each other and stick together" does not make up for all the damage control I have to do in my own life now, what with severe depression and PTSD. Sorry, but your generic sort-of-apology just isn't going to cut it, mom!

Everybody else thank you so much for your responses, they've all given me strength! Sorry I can't address each one of them, there's just so many  :)  :grouphug:

All my instincts tell me that the "sincerity" in this letter is fake. Fake fake fake. She can come off sincere to people who don't know her, but unfortunately I know her too well.

Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes. -- Unknown

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Inurdreams

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Re: Letter from mom
« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2014, 10:00:42 AM »
Quote from Astrid's letter:   It's the only way I can think of to communicate to you how much you are missed and thought about every day.


This bothers me the most^^.  Why not say, "I miss you and think of you every day"?

IDK it just reads very impersonal to me.  Like she is distancing herself from actually saying that she feels that way.

Peek not through the keyhole lest ye be vexed. - Stephen King


Response to a Flying Monkey:  Apparently you are suffering under the delusion that I give a damn.

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Astrid

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Re: Letter from mom
« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2014, 11:21:27 AM »
Quote from Astrid's letter:   It's the only way I can think of to communicate to you how much you are missed and thought about every day.


This bothers me the most^^.  Why not say, "I miss you and think of you every day"?

IDK it just reads very impersonal to me.  Like she is distancing herself from actually saying that she feels that way.

Yes, exactly! She always says "you are missed" and "you are loved". The sad thing is, even that amount of affection just started coming to me recently as I started pulling away with medium chill and LC (which eventually led to my now NC). For most of my life she didn't even say that much. The last time I heard the words "I love you" come from her or my dad must have been when I was about 5 years old.
Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes. -- Unknown

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GarbageChild

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Re: Letter from mom
« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2014, 12:46:19 PM »
I think the bottom line is this:

PDs can often control themselves, and are able to do and say the right things when they want to get something from you.

I doubt that anyone goes NC without having tried everything to avoid this drastic solution.  If PDs don't get the message before you go NC, they never will.  Everything that comes after is only words they use because they miss using and abusing you, and they want that back.  They don't want you back.  They want the pleasure of abusing you back.