I came across a written piece by9 Things People Don’t Realize You’re Doing Because You’ve Been Abused By A Nacissist. It really spoke to me. Two sentences that were especially relevant to me were… “To counter abuse amnesia, it’s important to have a list of abusive incidents or at the very least, behaviors you experienced with this person. This will help you to reconnect to the reality of the abuse and keep you grounded in what you experienced.”titled
Since my husband’s interaction with his mother on Christmas morning I’ve found myself thinking about our relationship with his mother and sister, hoping he won’t regret ending his relationship with his mother, wondering how he’s going to handle losing his mother when that time comes (as she’s 80 years old), and whether he’s going to regret not having a relationship with his sister. I find myself, in true doormat fashion, questioning whether there was more we could have done to make things right, wondering if we overreacted to things, etc.
After finding the above linked piece, at a time when I’m second guessing how we’ve handled things, maybe I need to remind myself of what we’ve gone through with these people?
My husband’s mother has offered odds on how long our marriage would last, lied to my husband by telling him she saw me in public while I was at work. His mother has excluded us from holidays, when we lived within 25-30 miles of her, while driving to another state to spend holidays with his sister. Since we adopted our son, she spent only 2 birthdays with him, only one Christmas (which we had to negotiate to get). We gave school pictures to her every year at Christmas time, but never saw any of them displayed in her home. In recent years we noticed close to a dozen pictures of her granddaughters in her apartment but only one picture of our son and that was only there because he was part of a family portrait we gave her. After numerous problems between his sister and us he’s tried to talk to his mother about these situations, but she’s told him she’s not interested in hearing about any of it, doesn’t want to be in the middle. She’s reprimanded him numerous times instructing him to reconcile with his sister because she doesn’t want to die knowing her kids aren’t talking to each other. She orchestrated an ambush (for lack of a better term) of my husband and I at her apartment by his sister and brother-in-law. She’s isolated my husband under false pretenses numerous times to try to guilt him into reconciling with his sister. Recently, she accused him of hurting his sister, when he told her he wasn’t interested in reconciling because he’s been hurt too many times.
His sister’s abuses started our first Thanksgiving as newlyweds, when she called us and wanted us to give her our turkey because she’d not planned on making dinner, but her husband’s family had decided to come for dinner, she didn’t have anything. She was outraged that we wouldn’t give it to her, seeing as how it would be just us and we had many future Thanksgivings to celebrate. She’s accused me, for decades, of controlling my husband’s thoughts and actions. She lied to us about her oldest daughter being sent to NY to live with her father, then didn’t let us know she was coming home for Thanksgiving. She chose not to intervene and educate her oldest daughter as to how to appropriately handle her disappointment that I couldn’t be as available to her as I once was and encouraged her to write me a letter to tell me what she thought of me, rather than talking to me, or trying to help her daughter understand the situation. She destroyed my relationship with her daughter. She later promised my son she’d spend more time with him, at his request, but when pressed about when she might want to do something she denied having agreed to spend time with him. When I started getting closer to her youngest daughter and she was visiting us without her mother, she discouraged us from getting close to her husband, telling us he exaggerated and was a liar. She told us her daughter was threatening to withhold her granddaughter from her if she didn’t get her way. She denied everything, telling her daughter I was just making stuff up about her, destroying that relationship. Now she’s playing the victim again with her mother, getting her to intervene on her behalf, trying to get to her brother (my husband). She’s assisted his mother in destroying that relationship, as well.
His sister has lied to us repeatedly, as every time she’s told us something and someone else in the family heard what had been said, she claimed that I made it up, she never said it. She has always been good at veiled insults and accusations.
After writing this, I think it did help to remind myself of some of the ugliness that brought us to the point of cutting her off, limiting exposure to my mother-in-law. People often say to forget hurts of the past, put them behind you, out of mind… but I do think it’s important to remember, so you can protect yourself and don’t allow the same wounds to be inflicted over and over again. Remembering without dwelling on them seems like the best way to protect ourselves.