It's all been done before, so many, many, times - so I shouldn't expect different, but somehow I still do at times.
Following a suggestion from a therapist, I and my wife decided around the end of summer to extend a 'long olive branch' toward my parents - in lieu of continuing with NC, which was tearing me up emotionally. What my therapist called 'detaching with love'. It seemed reasonable and a good move for me, as NC was something that left me with more guilt and dark feelings than the benefits could outweigh.
So we we met with them on a couple of occasions for dinner. No one acted too out of hand, and we all survived, but for me, what wasnt being said by my <explicative> father - after the extremely hurtful things hes said to me over the last two years, and the continuing obsessions and button pushing from my mother all throughout each encounter, made me begin to think twice. I'm not really sure if a 'longer olive branch' is making anything better. It seems as if, if anything, its making things more obvious, and painful, instead.
As the holidays approached, I offered my mother the possibility for us to all meet again on the 18th of December for a dinner in a restaurant. She called me back immediately and (Me standing in a home depot - I decided to answer - God knows why) push the same pressure points she always does, and to berate me, and tell me that meeting in a restaurant wasnt good enough, that the children "need a chance to get to know them" in private, and to... and to... end result was me telling her that it was a mistake and to forget it, click.
I talked with my ex-wife later that week and she told me that she was planning on inviting my parents to visit her house on Christmas morning to spend time with my two eldest children. Her decision. So she invited them - and - would you believe it... my Nmother told her first - 'let me get back to you..' followed by an email with the usual lame excuses for why they couldn't come by to see the kids. They had plans with another family and their young children for Christmas day instead, and a function with the rest of her dysfunctional siblings to follow. Also that she has to sleep later now per doctors orders and cant leave the house too early. Lie, lie lie lie lie lie. Excuses.
My mother is the victim Narcissist. He the co-enabler borderline personality. She personally loves nothing more than to whine and moan to every person who will listen about how horribly ill she makes herself seem at any given time (she is not) and about her terrible son (hi guys - that's me!). Together, these are the same people that make it their favorite pastime to slander my wife and I - lie after lie to everyone they can - saying how my wife and I dont allow them to see the children, on and on...
Yet, as usual, they are the same people that turned down two major opportunities to see the children, again.
Thr truth is, I think, that the work, or effort required to salvage a connection, let alone a relationship, in order to see the grandchildren, or less their son and daughter in law, is too great, when compared to the narcissistic supply they can derive from moaning to others all throughout the holidays, badmouthing us all, saying that we didnt allow them the chance.
Could it be that my mother's subconscious called me to sabotage that meeting purposely so that she could secure that attention and supply from others during the holidays? Could they have purposely turned down the chance to see their own grand kids on Christmas - to spend that time with other people and their children instead - in order to ensure the right to 'cry victim' to others? I guess I gave her the 'best gift ever' when I ended that call.
Ah the holidays. The yearly dysfunction-fest. St. Patty's day can't come fast enough.
We're off to Germany with our youngest to spend a little time with my wife's family from Christmas until early Jan. I can't wait. Somehow a good German beer with my mother and father in law and some time outside of the states helps me to put it all into perspective: "They're just people I once knew." That should get me through Jan and Feb at least.
Hey Merry Christmas to everyone here that celebrates it. Happy year end to anyone else.