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  1. His biggest suggestions are to duck calls, decline invitations/requests to visit. To use him as a barrier.
  2. She asks every time I speak to her the status of the dog (indoor vs. outdoor).
  3. If/when I tell her that the dog will live inside, her response will be "so I guess I'm not welcome here any longer?"
  4. Would you do that even if she had a true allergy? Let's say your mom had a true allergy to dogs and was over at your house at least once a week. Would you have an inside dog then? Of course you would put it outside when she's there, but would you have a dog inside the house all the time if it meant she might not be able to come over?
  5. DH thinks I need to set more boundaries, that she's not normal. He has a normal, healthy family, so it's very hard for him to sympathize, much like it's hard for several of you to sympathize.
  6. I have stood up to her many times. I have done things that have made her very unhappy. My strength in those circumstances have come from protecting other people who were unable to protect themselves. Calling me weak is very painful. I don't think a weak person could have survived my childhood and ended up in functional adulthood. As one wise older friend put it, I am the liver of my family. I absorb all of the toxicity so that it doesn't cause cancer. I can see that this one snippet makes no sense to someone from the outside, but that comment actually made me cry, which is quite impressive as I really don't ever cry. Telling her how I feel isn't a good choice. It's not possible to have a normal relationship where you can be emotionally vulnerable. I really don't know how to explain it, so obviously this wasn't the best idea. It did crystalize that I'm not doing a good job of working through this on my own, that it can and will affect my kids, so I do need to look for additional help.
  7. This didn't sound harsh - I appreciate this feedback. Several people I trust have disagreed with the NPD diagnosis (these are people who know her and are MDs) because she lacks some key characteristics. I don't know where the lines are. Example: We recently got a dog, which I had every intention of living outside. Grandma hates inside dogs and says she has an allergy, but I'm not sure that's true. She comes over frequently. Dog really wants to be inside, and it seems to work well for our family. I don't know how to handle this. On the one hand, if she has an allergy, it seems wrong to place her comfort below the dogs. On the other, I'm not sure if it's a real thing or a "that's not the right way to do things" (i.e. having a dog inside) thing. I don't know how to navigate this because I recognize there's some level of not-rightness in our relationship, but that doesn't mean that I have the right to cut her off, be unkind, ignore her emotional needs entirely....
  8. I once cut contact for a few weeks and I was much happier. But we live in the same town, and there are a lot more complications I don't want to get into. DH and I have talked about moving, but they have said they would move wherever we did. Plus that would mean moving away from ILs.
  9. On the subject of wanting things or not wanting things: in my experience, my kids are not good judges of this. And I rarely if ever know what I want out of any situation because I instead analyze it with respect to what all of those around me (including her) would want. So, the question of whether anyone "wants" or "doesn't want" a particular dress is entirely moot. I have no input on the dresses, fabric, etc. And even if I did, I'm sure I couldn't pick something that she would actually want to make. And I would spend the whole time I was looking for something thinking about whether it's what she would want to make. Does that make sense? And I am going to try to start seeing a counselor. Ugh. Not my first time, never found it helpful, but if at first you don't succeed...........
  10. Yes, Grandma is very good at enforcing her own boundaries. Not so good at accepting boundaries from others. Oldest was rude. I tend to come down on her very hard a lot for a lot of reasons, and because I was really unsure of how to handle this, I didn't in this case. She did lose her kindle for the rest of the day. I knew she was coming over, but I didn't realize what it was for - not clearly communicated.
  11. Yes, I agree with all of this. And after I got out of emotional-lizard-brain, that was the conclusion I came to. Thank you.
  12. Yes, I think you're right. Who has time and money for that - isn't the internet cheaper and easier!?!?! (I'm kidding - truly).
  13. It's actually not ok. And I don't know how else to explain it except that it's not.
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