(Closed) Advice for dealing with parental estrangement

posted 5 years ago in Family
Post # 2
Member
11389 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

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MKWeddingBee:  I’m sorry you guys are dealing with this. I don’t have a forum rec, but you aren’t alone. Fiance doesn’t speak to his mother, who has been diagnosed NPD and doesn’t think she needs to do any work other than keeping her children in line by sending horrible guilt messages every Christmas. So yeah. very familiar.

we got warned in her lovely texts that she had breast cancer and was dying and it was all our fault. I was very alarmed unti Fiance said, oh, she’s been saying that for years. Apparently she doesn’t have and never has had breast cancer. 

I was done after that. So cruel. Good luck, bee. 

Post # 4
Member
1887 posts
Buzzing bee

Reddit’s Raised By Narcissists board is a great community for support:

http://reddit.com/r/raisedbynarcissists

It’s definitely helped me figure out what was going on with some people in my family, and how to support their children. Best of luck to you.

Post # 5
Member
11389 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

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MKWeddingBee:  isn’t that charming? Gee, I wonder why they have to resort to terrorizing threats to get anyone to spend time with them… 

E hugs right back at you, I feel so bad for your DH and my Fiance, it’s just heartbreaking to see a parent be so coldly cruel. Here’s to a lovely holiday season sans threats of impending death. 🙂 

Post # 6
Member
1311 posts
Bumble bee

Hmm interesting Reddit threads… I’ve heard of NPD before but never learned what it is. How can you tell if someone has NPD or if they’re just crazy? Lol some of the symptoms sound like people I know, but not all apply. 

Post # 7
Member
139 posts
Blushing bee

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MKWeddingBee:  So sorry you are dealing with this, but boy do I know the feeling.

It was like you were describing my Mother-In-Law. She is exactly like you described and my relationship with her is extremely complex. There have been times when we did not speak, times when she would rage like crazy, sending me awful messages through every single medium really.. But right now it is calm and I think it is because I finally understand her better.

My Mother-In-Law (and perhaps yours) is very lonely. She just wants to feel loved and needed, and remembered. She doesnt want to thnk that one day if something happens to her, it would take a week or two before someone discovered it. That I think is a cmpletely legitimate fear, but the problem with people with personality disorders and mental problems, is that everything is amplified and distorted. So she goes from being lonely and scared, to going nuts on the the DIL because the DIL had spirited her precious son away. 

My advice is to be the bigger person, go to her before the holidays, bring a thoughful gift and take her hands and tell her that you want to apologize. (Doesn’t matter if there is nothing to apologize for) then you say that you want to apologize, because you want to be able to spend the holidays with her and the family and that you want her to be a meaningful part of your lives. After all, your children will need a grannies, right? 

Doing this will kill your soul a bit while you do it, but remember you are doing this out of selfless love for your husband and unborn children.

Whenever my Mother-In-Law throws a tantrum, or says something particularly nasty, I bite my tongue, smile and excuse myself. Then I go somewhere where I don’t have to see her face, and where I can remember how much I love my Fiance, and how wonderful he is to my mother.

He never asked me to do this for him, he is very aware his mother is OTT, but I want to do this for him. And ever since I committed to making her a meaningful part of my life, things have been much easier. I call her/text her/e-mail her with silly things a few times a week, separately from my Fiance. She enjoys that and I can tell she appreciates it. Because I keep her feeling relevant, she is also cutting Fiance some slack and no longer calls him a loser like she used to on a weekly basis.

Our relationship has improved as a result, and my Fiance and I are also stronger than ever. He tells me all the time how extraordinary I am and how much it means to him that I make this effort.

So what I am saying is that it is tough in the beginning, but if you want her in your life, and you think it will make your husband happier, then you need to really try.

Good luck! <3

 

 

Post # 8
Member
139 posts
Blushing bee

Perhaps I should show you the other path you can take as well:

FI’s brother and wife took the other path, of no contact. Mother-In-Law is now absolutely hating their guts and they only started blocking her numbers and emails because it was such a constant barrage of vitriol at all hours of the day. So they cut off contact for a while. Mother-In-Law did not take that kindly, and has declared full war on them. They are expecting a baby now, and she doesn’t know, because she is too busy hating them. Meanwhile they are relieved they no longer get nasty messages, but they look very unhappy. They both admit they are not happy with the situation, and would like to fix it, but it has just gotten to a point where she is SO bellicose that they are scared. As a family the rest of us are trying to calm down both sides and we are still pushing to have Christmas together, but right now it looks quite unlikely. My SIL wants to take my example, but she is facing an uphill battle, because she is a little fierier with our Mother-In-Law than I am. I never say anything back to her. I would be heartbroken if Fiance said anything hurtful or disrespectful to my mother, so therefore I made the choice years ago to never say anything bad to Mother-In-Law (that is why I always excuse myself and go away for a bit when she starts with me). My SIL unfortunately did speak her mind to Mother-In-Law, so the road to redemption will be longer for her, but I think it can be done.

Post # 9
Member
1123 posts
Bumble bee

I am on my 8th year of no contact with my Dad. Fortunately I have a great relationship with my Mum which makes up for it. I cut my Dad out due to violent tendencies and serious lies told repeatedly. I have not been seen him for 8 years however I am soft and we do make occasional contact my text message. 

I’m not going to lie it is hard even now, it is like a break-up that you never quite get over. I still have weak moments where I reminisce on the good times (there were many) and get tempted to meet up with him. However I then have to remind myself of the bad times and the reason I made the decision in the first place. I also fear his death and how that will make me feel…will I regret cutting contact when he is gone?

I also went through a phase where I feared I was just like him and that my children would also cut me off in the future (I don’t even have children yet!) However my logical side knows that I am a much different person to him and it is unlikely I will have the same fate.

I don’t feel like I’ve given much advice as such…I suppose all I can say is that you will get stronger but weakness will creep in at times. At those times it pays to think logically and don’t allow ideas that they may have changed as a person creep in – these are simply fantasies.

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Post # 13
Member
79 posts
Worker bee

I have no personal experience with NPD, but having no contact with family members, I do. I haven’t spoken to my parents since February of this year, and some of my extended family for 8 years. I am so sorry for this predicament you are in. I know it may be hard and difficult to stand by, but I can say it will be easier as you give the decision time. The choice may be raw and tough right now, but with you and your Fiance together in this, it will get easier.

Some memories will never be made. To accept that is really tough, even after all this time for me. But it does it easier! Don’t give up!

I am truly sorry that you’re going through this. I wish you and your Fiance a wonderful time these holidays.

Post # 14
Member
139 posts
Blushing bee

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MKWeddingBee:  I totally understand, and heaven’s knows I sometimes want the same. But Fiance have abandonement issues from when his mother left him as a child. In fact, all 3 sons are fiercely protective of her even though they can clearly see what she is doing. My Mother-In-Law uses similar tactics to yours it seems, for example, her sons tell me their mother has informed them she has cancer (3 different ones in a little over a year), she also nearly drowned or her ex-husband (my FIL) threatened to kill her etc. etc. All these are figments of her imagination or illnesses of course.

 

And image is very important to her, I am of asian origin, and it kills her. It kills her that her son brings “the exotic addition to the family” to family brunches at the country club or that her grandchild looks so asian.

But my Fiance wants his family intact, and my mother is also very insistent I maintain a good relationship with her, and so I try to learn as much as possible about NPD and Schizophrenia as I can, in the hopes of one day having a harmonious family life.

But perhaps the difference here is that I have started thinking that my Mother-In-Law is not a bad person, she just can’t control the havoc she is wreaking. You know your Mother-In-Law, if you think she has bad intent and that she thrives on your suffering, then you are right to cut off contact. 

Keep your fingers crossed for me though – Fiance wants us to marry in secret without his family present, so I am already terrified of the consequences…

 

Post # 15
Member
1123 posts
Bumble bee

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MKWeddingBee:  I’m so sorry you are going through this. I can think back to when I was in the first stages like you are and it was such a difficult time. It was easier for me as the only other family my Dad still spoke to at the time was my step brother and he cut my Dad off at the same time as me for the same reasons, therefore I didn’t lose any other family along the way. Also my Dad made no real effort to try and see me again, I guess that is also a symptom of NPD in the form of lack of concern for others. It has always offended me slightly that he didn’t really fight to save our relationship, however in the long run it has made it easier for me.

It sounds like you have made your decision, don’t let others try and talk you out of it (not referring to people in this post, but more people in real life). I’ve often had people who have no idea of the background declare that I must reconnect with my Dad as life is too short. They forget that is the exact reason I don’t see him…life is too short for the drama and heartache he created.

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