Realizing You’ve Been Spun by a Narcissist

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I’ve mentioned our dealings with CPS before, here.
What I haven’t written about was putting some of the puzzle pieces together, when we were given one new puzzle piece, and realizing that while the caller probably could be who we initially thought, it’s far more likely to be the person who told us it would be them….
Let me explain that.

After a few years of tolerating my mother-in-law’s emotional abuse (I may or may not repost it from my old blog, some other time), putting on a fake smile to make my husband happy (who was unknowingly an enabler, as is the rest of his family, and I became one with my broken smile), and growing deeper and deeper in PTSD with each interaction with her, I made one decision boldly “against” her, if it could even be considered that.
We’d talked with her about her forcing herself on me, making false accusations, and trying to control us. Daryl was working hard to pacify her… but I didn’t want to see that then. But I’d never said, no, I’m just not doing x anymore. It was more like, please stop doing this terrible thing, we hope you will, please?

Anyway, I had made this decision, because her and her husband smoke and going to their house made me sick and get physically ill AND I had never been okay with Melody being in the house, much less new little baby Leela… I said we would not be going in their house so none of us got sick. She took the kids in anyway. So I said we weren’t going over anymore, but they were welcome to our home. She was angry, but tolerated it for a few months, since we invited her over more frequently (though it was rarely “convenient” for her to come over). A couple months before Easter two years ago, I made sure to invite them to our house, to let them know we were willing to spend the holiday with them. She didn’t answer right away as she had been, and when she did it was basically that they’d come to our house “too much,” and we had to do Easter at her house.
I hit my limit. She told Daryl this over the phone a few hours before she was coming over to visit. So she could smother Leela, who would scream when near her, and ignore Melody who desperately wanted grandparents in her life (but, MIL, no one else in DHs family, had said previously that Leela was her first grandchild, so it wasn’t unexpected).
I said out loud, “enough. This is garbage. I’m not letting her control me anymore – I lived through this hell with my ex, and I refuse to let our children see me doormat myself again, teaching them to do it too. I’m done, Daryl. I’m taking the kids to the park and you can tell her whatever you want, but if you don’t tell her that I’m protecting the kids and I from her and taking a break from her until she changes, I will do it far less pleasantly than you will. I won’t ever forbid you from seeing her, but our kids won’t be collateral in your desire to please her, and I am deciding now that I won’t be either.”

When he told her, she threatened to do “whatever it takes to get ‘her babies’ back,” even if she had to drag us to court. Daryl said, “mom, please think about that. You are an alcoholic and no judge would let you have kids how you are. Don’t put us in a place to reveal your struggles so publically, to protect our children from you.”

Fast forward 5ish months, Daryl still keeping in contact with her while the rest of us rested from her, and the CPS thing happened. We didn’t realize that his dad was keeping in contact with her in any way, so we didn’t assume she could know the weird story to be involved in it, since it mostly revolved around my step-MIL asking weird, invasive questions of our young child.

After we cut off contact from his dad’s side of the family, he remained in contact with his mom, still unaware.
Well, he kept in communication until she drunkenly called him one day, sobbing that she hurt herself, she missed him, etc. When he called her mere minutes later, she was perfectly cheerful and acted like nothing was wrong. He was not amused. She started on some tangent about his dad’s side of the family, then told Daryl that if our kids were still on mattresses on the floor (you know, like healthy people around the world do), that she’d call CPS on us. Daryl cut off from her after that.

Eventually, his dad wrote me a “precious” letter (sarcasm), which included these statements (I omitted names where necessary and edited Daryl’s name to reflect his blogging name, otherwise, these are his direct quotes):

“Your remarks about our family gossip is simply not true and is simply your misunderstanding knowing how close we are and sharing all aspects of our lives with each other. Something you have not been around or experience before. And yes this would include my wife _____, mother, _____ and ____ [his sister and her husband, DHs aunt and uncle], Daryl and yes his mother.”

My note: {Sadly amused}
Okay. Let’s get this straight. You share all aspects with each other… even when you’ve been asked not to, but you DON’T gossip. Sure. {Smack my head} I’d like to think he’s just a simpleton that doesn’t understand the meaning of words, because then he’s not a scumbag but an idiot. But I’ve recently come to understand the term “flying monkeys” and the reality that entails. It’s not being a simpleton.

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“Your jealous of the love our family shares and are afraid that you may lose Daryl to it. You do not want to participate in family functions with is a sign of self esteem.”

My note:
If only he knew that I am a Type 4 and I am abhorred by ignoring other’s privacy and autonomy… It’s not “love,” to a Type 4 to violate privacy, dismiss feelings, and force yourself on them… It’s gross. So, I’m not jealous but disgusted. It’s actually laughable that he said I am afraid of losing Daryl to uhh… “love” like that. He came from it, he began in , so what am I losing him to?? Honestly, it’s more logical that, as Scripture says a man will leave his mother and cleave to his wife, they’re afraid of losing him to me… but I know the more you give of love, the more you get… so I’m not holding him away from others, but try to hold him out TO others.
Daryl and I are still completely baffled by the last sentence, as I went to every single family function, even when I was assaulted at them. Oh, I guess he means I have low self esteem because I didn’t smile cheerfully and I wasn’t oblivious to knowing I was being abused. His own wife did far less things with us, so hopefully she can learn to umm… love herself? What weird logic.

“We get it River you have been violated, molested, rapped by ____ [Daryl’s mom] and abused. And for some reason you want to continue to bring up ____ [Dr Horrible] and all of that stuff.”
My note: this was the comment that ensured we would never contact his dad again. It’s clear he doesn’t care, at all, about victims, and doesn’t understand PTSD or care to. We’ll never put Melody around that jacked-up mindset on purpose. Basically a We get it. Blah, blah, blah. Shut up and take it. Yeah, “love.”

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We have since started contact with Daryl’ s aunt and grandmother, when puzzle pieces fit into place. It’s interesting to note that his Dad said he sent this email to Daryl’s aunt as well, but she told him she never received it, he said he would send it again and she still never got it. Couldn’t be because he sounds like a real douchebag, could it? Ugh. She still has no idea what his email said – we’ve never told her.

So, when we decided to start up contact with his aunt and grandmother, we chose to send all of them an email asking that they honor his aunt and grandmother and not ask them about us, as we would cut off contact with them if we ever found out our lives were being shared. This is where something finally clicked for me and I began rereading these emails between the family, including his Mom.
Daryl’s Mom called us three times that night, the first two leaving messages on his voicemail, slurring words worse the second time than the first. But she said, about 5 months after Daryl stopped communicating with her, “son, I haven’t heard from you in over two years. Not a call, an email, or a visit. I miss you. Don’t do this to your family.” (She also tried calling his aunt and grandmother, who she hasn’t been “family” with for about 30 years, but they said they didn’t answer or call back.)
That massive time discrepancy is what made me go back through the emails. Because that time lapse was very similar to the false information given to CPS about our trumped up “dentally neglected” child.

That is when it all washed over us. We assumed Daryl’s Dad hadn’t been sharing anything with his ex-wife, but he later said boldly that he had and would continue to… even after he’d been told she was abusive to us and threatened to take us to court to rip our children from us. And… SHE had threatened to take our children from us. She was just waiting for her perfect horrible moment to try. How could we have been so blind?

She has spun around her family so well, that it is hard for any of us to see through the webbing and realize what has been happening. She was triangulating all of us.

Even after realizing “oh my gosh, not only could it have been her, she is the most likely one…” I still kept trying to Type her, hoping I could somehow use that knowledge to help her, hoping then I could bless her somehow. Thinking that was actually possible. Until today, when something on Pinterest brought me to reality…

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