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Author Topic: Holidaze  (Read 1500 times)
sfalken
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 52


« on: December 21, 2011, 01:03:17 PM »

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.
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-SF
SilverLining
Sr. Member
****
Posts: 379


« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2011, 04:56:49 PM »



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.


I feel for you SF.  It is weird how they sabotage themselves in one situation  in order to get narcissistic supply somewhere else.  I believe the more deflated N's  get "self supply" just from feeling sorry for themselves.  Supply from others is the major goal, but if they can't get it anywhere else, there's always talking to themselves about how mistreated they are.  With these unconscious dynamics, there is no way we can win. 

I do like that word Holidaze.  There's no place like home for the holidaze, for sure. 





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JustKathy
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 556


« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2011, 05:14:42 PM »

Quote
Ah the holidays. The yearly dysfunction-fest.

Yep, dysfunction-fest is what it is alright. Glad you made the decision to leave the country and put some distance between you and all that mess. Have a great time over there. Smile
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BonesMS
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 6374


« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2011, 07:25:40 AM »

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.

Hi, Sfalken, and Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year!

FWIW, it sounds as if the NQueen Womb-Donor B*tch took that long olive branch, yanked you in close enough to punch you in the face, then turns to her NSuppliers with Crocodile Tears to "cry poor little victim me"!  Thinking about that NWomb-Donor and what she continues to do makes me go BLEAHHHHHH!!!!!   Razz

You can tell your therapist you gave his suggestion the good ol' honest college try and the end result was more abuse and slander.  Which is worse, going NC or being continually abused by these NMonsters is the question I would put to the therapist, if I were in your shoes again.  (Thankfully, my NWomb-Donor is dead and I am NC with what is left of the NRelatives.)

((((((((((((((Sfalken, his wife and kids)))))))))))))))))))))))))))

Bones
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sfalken
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 52


« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2011, 10:55:14 AM »

True - perhaps this warrants a new discussion with the therapist.

I was thinking on my long drive to work today:

One of he things that makes it so difficult to manage a relationship (or non-relationship) with a Narcissistic personality, is that after so many years, the person who once lived at the core of the Narcissist disintegrates, and it is impossible to manage a relationship with the remaining image (or images), or the empty shell of the person who once had the opportunity to exist.

I often use the imagery from the Wizard of Oz. My NM is always projecting the image of the 'Great and Powerful Oz' (or the "Poor and Victimized Oz' rather), and warning me and others in so many words, not 'to mind that man behind the curtain.' (I was the kind of child that always called out the man behind the curtain however, which caused considerable trouble for me.)

But after so many years of projecting specialized images for each and every person or entity that they come into contact with (in order for their image to be everything to everyone), they become so exhausted with remembering their own lies, and maintaining that image (or number of images), that one day the image takes over, 'the man behind the curtain' is gone, and no one is at the helm anymore.

In the beginning, they loved their image, because they loathed their own core, and at one point, they began believing and living the lie of the image they created, and the core died.

So what we - people who are forced to live with Narcissistic personalities - are left with, is dealing with the N's empty container. We no longer believe in the image that is (or was) being projected, and we understand that the core is empty.

It's just a shell, nothing more - and you just cant reason with, derive empathy from, or have a relationship with an empty shell.

Now the co-enabler on the other hand, he (in my case) made a decision that ultimately betrayed his own child - leaving him at the hands of the N, and I'm left with more of an issue with forgiving him, and managing my own anger toward him here in the aftermath. He stood by her and made the last attacks that destroyed what was left of a relationship - between he and I. That is a puzzle I cannot so easily solve. For me, he is accountable, where she is in my opinion, such a pitiful and sad case that, I view her as mentally challenged.

You cant ask a one legged man to run a race. My mother had only NO emotional legs to begin with - and so there you go. It's sad, its hurtful, but shes a lost cause. My father was at one time in possession of both legs however, and that is not so easy for me.
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-SF
KayZee
Full Member
***
Posts: 182


« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2011, 11:01:15 AM »

((((sfalken)))))

Merry Christmas.  Wishing you and your family a great holiday in Germany, where hopefully the folk's dysfunction-fest can't touch you.

I'm so sorry that you and your wife have had to endure your mom's mixed messages, weird headgames and general passive aggression.

Why do N's amp up their nastiness this time of year?  It's like they really actively try to ruin the holidays for everyone. 

I'm in a similar boat at the moment.  FOO giving me the runaround.  NM playing the victim.

I knew NM was going to make this year extra horrible because it's our first year in our first house (we're new homeowners).  Accordingly, I set this boundary in September: We'll come to your house for Thanksgiving, but we're doing Christmas on our own here with my husband's visiting family (we'll be full to capacity). 

Long story short: in November, everyone else bailed on my folks for Xmas because NM has gotten so nasty; DH felt bad for my folks and repeatedly (at least 4 times) invited them to our place; a haughty NM repeatedly refused the invitation.  Then, a week ago, NM called me up to say they might come to our house for Christmas after all, but they're still not sure. 

So here we are, three days before Xmas and I'm still left hanging.  Folks offering no clue whether they're coming or not, spending the night or not, etc.  Basically, I'm just supposed to wait and see if they're going to turn up and ruin my holiday.  I think not telling me is the way they can, pardon my language, s*** on that boundary I set in September.  It's NM's way of saying, "You can't escape me.  I own you, so I can come unannounced."  Agh, the hellidays!  I wish I could numb out until Mid-January.

Quote
It's just a shell, nothing more - and you just cant reason with, derive empathy from, or have a relationship with an empty shell.
  This is very wise.  A painful, but very brave revelation you've come to.

Hope you all get a little peace on earth...
love, Kay



« Last Edit: December 22, 2011, 11:38:03 AM by KayZee » Logged
SilverLining
Sr. Member
****
Posts: 379


« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2011, 02:22:50 PM »

One of he things that makes it so difficult to manage a relationship (or non-relationship) with a Narcissistic personality, is that after so many years, the person who once lived at the core of the Narcissist disintegrates, and it is impossible to manage a relationship with the remaining image (or images), or the empty shell of the person who once had the opportunity to exist.



I think this is a good insight, and corresponds with what I have been thinking of as the "deflated N".   It can be hard to identify this "empty shell person" as a narcissist because they might not be continuing the claims of personal grandiosity expected of an N.  They just sort of limp along while continuing the covert relationship sabotages and abuses. 

For sure it is difficult or impossible to have a relationship with the empty shell.  For many years I tried to find common ground or interests for a reciprocal relationship with my father.  I finally gave up when I figured out the only real "core" to him is the need to oppose other people and prop himself up.  Having common interests is, after all, common, and what he wants is to be superior.   

I'm off for my annual holidaze trial with the FOO the day after tomorrow.  Last year my mother was having a psychotic break.  This year my father is having health problems so we'll see how it goes.   It's always something. 
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sKePTiKal
Hero Member
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Posts: 2949


« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2011, 05:58:49 PM »

Hi SF - Merry Christmas! (no, they really can't take this from you; I wished you and it didn't have a thing to do with them... let that be my little bit of revenge countering all the Ns...)

Re: your Dad. I hear how tough this is for you. Sucks. No other way to describe it. That said, I wonder if you can imagine what it might have been like for him to be married to your mom all these years? What horrible things must she have put him through? What awful compromises of his core values would he have had to make, to keep on day in and out with her... ??

I'm going out on a limb, but I do think it's possible he found himself in perhaps an equally awful position as you do, in relationship to Mom. It's likely, even, that she leveraged her knowledge of him and his weaknesses to further wrap the ropes around him. But I don't know this. Just pointing out it might be a possibility. Any chance you could see him alone, somewhere where he is comfortable, to start talking some of this out? At least, you'd know if my guesses are anywhere close to the mark... or are way off. I thought I was hearing that this might be the more important parental relationship for you... and I'm just trying to come up with another type of Limited Contact option... that might be more to the point, for YOU (not Nmom).

Gosh - I'm almost envious of your trip to Germany! I loved the short trip I had there. I'll bet it's wonderful during the holidays. I'm at least half German, so the cultural aspects of being there were easily comfortable for me.
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Success is never final, failure is never fatal.
JustKathy
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Posts: 556


« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2011, 09:23:05 PM »

Quote
Now the co-enabler on the other hand, he (in my case) made a decision that ultimately betrayed his own child - leaving him at the hands of the N, and I'm left with more of an issue with forgiving him, and managing my own anger toward him here in the aftermath. He stood by her and made the last attacks that destroyed what was left of a relationship - between he and I. That is a puzzle I cannot so easily solve. For me, he is accountable, where she is in my opinion, such a pitiful and sad case that, I view her as mentally challenged.

I can't tell you how much I related to this. I'm going through these same feelings right now with my own co-father. I made excuses for him my entire life, thinking that he couldn't help what he was doing because he was brainwashed, or maybe even mentally challenged. But he wasn't. It wasn't until I was nearly 50 that he made the final attacks that prompted me to go NC with the entire FOO. Believing that his N-wife was dying of cancer (and it looks she's been faking it), he disinherited me on her request, and flaunted the fact that he had done it to spite me. My anger wasn't about money, since they really don't have any left, having already distributed it to the GC. To me, it was a clear statement of "we don't love you - we disown you." Both my husband and I tried to talk to him, and tried to make him see how badly he had hurt me, and the response was "la la la la I can't hear you."

In many ways, I have more anger towards him than I do her, for the reasons you stated. She was mentally ill, but he was fully cognizant of his actions, choosing to hurt me, sometimes physically, in order to remain loyal to his queen. That, in my mind, is unforgivable. For years I managed to convince myself that he really loved me, and had no choice. Now I know better. It didn't hurt one bit to walk away.
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Hopalong
Hero Member
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Posts: 9723


« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2011, 10:52:06 PM »

One night, in my 20s, after my first year of therapy,
I confronted my Dad, and told him, painfully, how much
sorrow I had because Nmom always spoke for them both,
demanded all my time and attention...and how I truly
wished for more of a relationship with him.

"I need you, too" I told him.

All I remember is that he got tears in his eyes.
He never said much, and nothing much changed...

except I think I saw then that he could not leave
the role he had with her, but that in those tears,
I saw that he loved me, too.

The competition for him was lost before I was born,
her demands were too huge for one man to fill and
also be a protector for me. It would have split him
in two.

After that night, I lost my anger...I realized he
wasn't abandoning me. He was just doing the best
he knew how to do.

xo
Hops
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"That'll do, pig, that'll do."
sunblue
Sr. Member
****
Posts: 289


« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2011, 10:40:22 AM »

Oh, how I envy you being able to leave the country!!!  Christmas escalates the dysfunction and narcissism to unbelieveable lengths.  I can't stand it....I want to scream at the top of my voice...

This  year, for the first time ever, I put my foot down and insisted that I host the annual dysfunctional Christmas Eve celebration.  My brother always hosts it and everything must be his way.  All my life, I've been the one to compromise, to give in, to go along.....No one in my N family ever considers my feelings or what I want.....Not a surprise.

This year, when I insisted, you'd think I asked them to kill their first born.  I received all these emails from my bro and sister-in-law about all the reasons they should continue to host it.  I held my ground.  It wasn't about the dinner or anything.  It was about me insisting that my feelings be acknowledged.
 
Not surprising, it all fell apart.  My mom starts crying and complaining that her leg is bothering her and no one understands....that Christmas is a nightmare every year and SHE never has a good holiday...that no one appreciates what she does...You know, the "N" "Me, Me, Me".  My favorite comment was my co-enabler Dad, who told me it was my fault for changing things this year...and that the ONLY person that matters is my mom.  That says it all, doesn't it? 

So.....looks like, my brother will be hosting it again...just like he's always wanted it.  My mom will get tons of mileage from this little emotional outburst from my Co-D dad......and I will most likely spend Christmas Eve and Christmas in a hotel by myself-------which, in the end, will be much better than the dysfunctional mess the holiday would have turned out to be.

At the end of the day, what I learned, is that I don't matter.  If I ever doubted it for a second, this year told me everything I needed to know.  My dad, who was critically ill this year....and for whom I spent 6 months spending every single night sleeping on a hard chair next to his bed in the hospital, after working all day long....Yes, my dad, tells me what I've really always known, that I don't matter, and that "the only person that matters is my mom."

How I wish I were out of the country!  Narcissism runs soooo deep....but you know, I know the co-dependency runs even deeper and cuts just as deep. 
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sunblue
Sr. Member
****
Posts: 289


« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2011, 11:12:31 AM »

My little update.  As usual, I was forced to cave.  So, I called my brother and told him he "won", he gets to host the holiday just like he always wanted.  Oh, it gets better.  Then, because my "poor, injured" mom who shed her crocodile tears to great effect wants to dictate the menu, I had to cancel the food arrangements I had made and then I get to go and pick up the food my mom wanted....Then, I get to deliver it to the door of my brother's house....

Oh yes, and as I'm making these arrangements, my dad, who told me "the only person who matteris is my Mom", says, "Thank you.  Your poor mom is hurting."

My second favorite comment:  When I call my bro to tell him the new change of plans, that yes, virginia, you now win and get what you wanted all along, he says, with all kinds of fake convern, "Why?  What happened?"  Really?  You make such a big deal the one and only time I insist on not being disrespected or disregarded and you ask Why? 

Since I really can't fathom my sitting in the same room with these people...I'm thinking I will do these little errands and then bid them all a good riddance and head to a hotel.
Not really sue if it will be worth the angst it will cause.....but I know being alone in a hotel room would be far superior to the anger and hurt and resentment I will feel.

Next year, for sure, I'm going out of the country.

Ho, Ho, Ho. 
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JustKathy
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 556


« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2011, 04:53:49 PM »

Quote
The competition for him was lost before I was born, her demands were too huge for one man to fill and also be a protector for me. It would have split him in two.

That's so well said Hops. There's probably a good deal of truth to that. In the case of my co-father, he managed to split himself in two to accommodate both his N-wife and his GC's every whim and "need." He just wasn't able to protect his daughter, and that's what hurts. In our family, it was NM comes first, GC comes second .... and ..... who's that girl?

Sunblue, I'm so sorry that the N won again. They are such master manipulators. I told myself easily 20 years in a row that I wouldn't go, and they got to me every time, and managed to get me there kicking and screaming. It was a VERY long before I had the strength to put the brakes on for good and say "no more." All you can do is keep trying. Here's to next Christmas being a time of peace for you.
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Garbanzo
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*****
Posts: 1792


« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2011, 12:14:31 AM »

sfalken:

The damned if ya do and damned if ya don't feeling you are describing on here is something that I relate with.

In the past I've tried NC with father, mother, brother. Seems that limited contact is the most likely. NC is just hard to maintain but I know what you mean, when I'm around my family there is a burden of unresolved stuff that lingers in the heart like a sliver that just isn't gonna come out.

Peace, happy Holidays, Good luck
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sunblue
Sr. Member
****
Posts: 289


« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2011, 12:18:16 PM »

Happy Holidays Everyone!

I just wanted to send out a big thank-you to everyone on this board, especially those who are patient enough to read my vents and rants and struggles and who take the time to respond to them.  I just realized that I've been on this board for a number of years now and it is truly a life saver.  I keep thinking that maybe I won't need it anymore...but somehow I do.  The holidays bring out the very worst of the dysfunction in my familiy and this year was perhaps the worst....so I come here for comfort, for empathy, for acknowledgement and understanding and I am never disappointed by your generosity and that of Dr. Grossman who so selfishly provides this outlet.  I am eternal grateful.  Some might say it's sad that I depend on those who I've never even met....but I just look at it as a blessing.  I need this board especially during this Holiday season when my clinical depression is at its height and triggered by the dysfunction of the holidays.

My wish is that we all can survive these holidays intact...and that we can find the strength in 2012 to move past the life-changing circumstances that the Ns in our lives have caused.  I know I need to be reminded that I matter, that my feelings and opinions count.  I don't have anyone offline who can acknowledge that.  Indeed, they continuously confirm just the opposite...that I don't.  So the people here provide a more healthy reality check.

Thanks again and I hope that you will be spending the holiday with good friends and non-N family who can provide you a measure of the happiness and joyful spirit that the holiday is all about.

Sunblue Razz
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