Jump to content

Menu

Another NPD "special handling required" situation :)


LarlaB
 Share

Recommended Posts

MIL is bonafide NPD and we have very limited contact (see previous posts if desired) Cutting off relationship or confrontation are not options.

 

ILs have Christmas presents to give to kids and are asking for a time to get together before they leave town (they don't live here but have been in state since November). This will be the 3rd attempt to deliver presents. We had a big Christmas get together but MIL "forgot" to have presents ready for our kids (but had them for everyone else). And so we met them for dinner at a restaurant 3 weeks after Christmas because they were "leaving town ASAP", but they "forgot" to bring presents again.

 

They are still here but "leaving town" in 10 days!!!! So it's urgent!!!! Need to see us again!!!!

 

Now, we have more than exhausted our limited amount of safe small talk and tolerance for them. Neither DH or I want to do this and can see obvious manipulation at play. They are not welcome in our home. And we will not be manipulated into sitting thru another dinner. Kids don't really care about presents or spending a lot of time with ILs. But, we don't feel we should put up a full stop wall. It's stupid and childish on their part but oh well.

 

What's a quick way to get past this? I'm sure someone here has a brilliant clever solution. :).

 

Offer drop off in limited period of time? In.my.house.

Quick Chipotle restaurant meet up enroute somewhere else?

Tell her to mail them?

Meet in a parking lot at Costco near their house?

 

Vote away.

Edited by LarlaB
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dh goes and retreives the 'gifts'. Its usually uneventful because the snubbing has been done...npd just needs them out of sight because out of sight is out of mind. Unfortunately goodwill isn't on his commute route so I get to do that chore.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You said that they are not welcome in your home, nor do you want to get into a dinner situation again at this time.  So stick with those limits, don't second guess yourself!   If you want to allow actually meeting in a place for a short time, maybe meeting for ice cream/dessert, or in a park or at a mall seating area.  But if you don't want to set up for that, just meet in a parking lot or tell her to mail them.  If she already "forgot" the presents twice (seriously, who does that?!), then she's not really serious about the presents, and I don't think you need to go out of your way to accommodate her whims.

Edited by Denise in IN
  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sounds like she is using the presents to control you and your DH, manipulate you like puppets.  She wants to make sure you know who is the one calling the shots.  Set boundaries.  You stated that you don't want them in your home or to meet at a restaurant.  Stick with that.  Don't cave.  Don't let NPD person manipulate you and DH further.  You made a good faith effort to get the presents on two separate occasions.  It didn't work out.  Let her know that while the gesture of Christmas gifts is appreciated, they will just have to mail them since she forgot them the times you did meet with them.  

 

Or have your DH pick them up from his parents at a designated time and place, without involving you and the kids.  He runs by to get them on his way to something, so he has limited time, etc.

 

Don't let MIL make you second guess yourselves on the boundaries you had already set (whether you conveyed those boundaries to her or not, it appears from your post you and DH had already agreed you were at your limit, no meetings at you house, no more meetings at restaurants but in the same post you start waffling).  That is what an NPD person is excellent at, manipulating the people around them into feeling bad, feeling obligated, caving in and letting boundaries go by the wayside.  You and DH are going to have to make boundaries work by dispassionately keeping those boundaries clear in your own heads and sticking with them.

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

  • Like 19
Link to comment
Share on other sites

But you might also consider saying that physical gifts really are not that important to you and your family, although the gifts are appreciated, and you and DH and the kids are thinking it would be a lovely gesture if the gifts were donated to a charity in your children's names....

 

:smilielol5:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sounds like she is using the presents to control you and your DH, manipulate you like puppets. She wants to make sure you know who is the one calling the shots. Set boundaries. You stated that you don't want them in your home or to meet at a restaurant. Stick with that. Don't cave. Don't let NPD person manipulate you and DH further. You made a good faith effort to get the presents on two separate occasions. It didn't work out. Let her know that while the gesture of Christmas gifts is appreciated, they will just have to mail them since she forgot them the times you did meet with them.

 

Or have your DH pick them up from his parents at a designated time and place, without involving you and the kids. He runs by to get them on his way to something, so he has limited time, etc.

 

Don't let MIL make you second guess yourselves on the boundaries you had already set (whether you conveyed those boundaries to her or not, it appears from your post you and DH had already agreed you were at your limit, no meetings at you house, no more meetings at restaurants but in the same post you start waffling). That is what an NPD person is excellent at, manipulating the people around them into feeling bad, feeling obligated, caving in and letting boundaries go by the wayside. You and DH are going to have to make boundaries work by dispassionately keeping those boundaries clear in your own heads and sticking with them.

 

:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

 

Agreed that it does sound like I'm waffling as I reread my post...what I was trying to communicate is the length of time changes everything including significance.

 

We've had bad experiences in our home (and theirs) and felt trapped at a dinner with them (last dinner out I had a mild PTSD response during and afterwards) so at this time do not care to commit to more than brief time and casual setting. So meals at homes and formal restaurants are off limits. Too long and too intimate. That's our thought process. Obviously I need to stay away from them given the last time- DH knows that. But I can suck it up for a few moments if absolutely necessary.

 

Costco parking lot OR DH picking up presents are the winning votes so far.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

But you might also consider saying that physical gifts really are not that important to you and your family, although the gifts are appreciated, and you and DH and the kids are thinking it would be a lovely gesture if the gifts were donated to a charity in your children's names....

Ironically, we are pretty sure that one of the "gifts" is a family heirloom that DD already knows about....Great grandmothers easel (she just passed away in November).

 

Of course ILs will make it all about them. The gifts for our kids aren't normal presents.

 

FIve years ago, FIL gave DS a RC boat- retrofitted and ruined because FIL added extra batteries. So it didn't work. Then told DS they were going to keep it at their house. Hmmm. Last year DS asked FIL if he could take his boat home- FIL said, no he bought it for all of the grandchildren. Um ok- no other grandchildren even existed 5 years ago.

 

So yeah- gifts have always been a thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Costco parking lot OR DH picking up presents are the winning votes so far.

 

These options are still allowing them to inconvenience you.

 

You pick them up at Costco and they'll be late or too busy to make it.

 

Dh picks them up, and he'll look rude saying "Give me the presents so I can get out of here." He'll either get sucked in, have to hear about how rude he is forever, and he'll possibly have to leave without them anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Costco parking lot OR DH picking up presents are the winning votes so far.

If these are the options, I'd go with the latter. Let dh deal with his own folks and shield your kids (and yourself!) from another disappointing encounter. IME, NPD types can get their jabs in pretty quickly, so even a parking lot handoff gives room for hurt.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ironically, we are pretty sure that one of the "gifts" is a family heirloom that DD already knows about....Great grandmothers easel (she just passed away in November).

 

Of course ILs will make it all about them. The gifts for our kids aren't normal presents.

 

FIve years ago, FIL gave DS a RC boat- retrofitted and ruined because FIL added extra batteries. So it didn't work. Then told DS they were going to keep it at their house. Hmmm. Last year DS asked FIL if he could take his boat home- FIL said, no he bought it for all of the grandchildren. Um ok- no other grandchildren even existed 5 years ago.

 

So yeah- gifts have always been a thing.

 

 

These options are still allowing them to inconvenience you.

 

You pick them up at Costco and they'll be late or too busy to make it.

 

Dh picks them up, and he'll look rude saying "Give me the presents so I can get out of here." He'll either get sucked in, have to hear about how rude he is forever, and he'll possibly have to leave without them anyway.

 

I agree with Rosie, meeting in a parking lot somewhere gives them potential power.  Your DH has to meet them and they will make it at a time of their choosing and they may be late or not even show.  If you feel this is the best course of action, have your DH meet them in the Costco parking lot and get the gifts but tell them he has a limited window of time (no more than 15 minutes tops) and if they don't arrive in that time frame he will have to go on without the gifts.  Don't let the kids get dragged into this and don't let yourself get dragged into this.  Stay away.  You saw them at Christmas, you met them for dinner, you know that being around them causes you serious stress and the relationship is unhealthy.  Let DH get the gifts.  And if they fail to show up within the time window given, so be it.  DH drives away.  If they DO show up, DH thanks them and drives away at the specified time.  Have an alarm go off on a phone or watch or something.   Then no matter WHAT they say, he drives away.  

 

Honestly, there is no way to win here.  If DH has thick enough skin to do the above and stick to his guns, then o.k.  Otherwise, I'd walk away from the whole thing.  Ask them to mail the gifts.  Whether they do or not is up to them.  Don't let them suck you in.

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd either go get them alone (or actually send DH) or set up a time to meet, even the chipotle thing.  So agree to meet at 2pm, get there at 1pm.  That way when she arrives you have already ate and need to hurry to an appointment.  I also have an NPD MIL.  DH was the scapegoat while his sister was the golden child.  Life has been so much easier since we stopped speaking to her (14 years ago).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

since meeting up with them just isn't possible - they can drop them off with another relative who lives in the town, or they can mail them.  

 

she'll continue to stew that you are not properly playing her game, and her grandchildren will continue to have no gift from her to open.  but, by all means, protect your kids first.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I must be missing a huge back story here bc  if you and your DH are on the same page - simply say that your schedule doesn't have any openings and they should feel free to mail the stuff.  Why even consider other alternatives?

 

Based on your post, even if it is a family heirloom, how do you know they will actually relinquish it to your children?  They might just show it to them and then say "we'll keep it in our house for now".

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just. Don't.

 

Even with a normal person, the third attempt to hand over presents is a bit weird.

 

Tell her to mail them, and move on with your life no matter how she reacts.   

 

File "quick" and "brilliant, clever" way to deal with an NPD under "unicorns and pots of gold".

 

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

They leave them on your doorstep and you do NOT answer the door (even if you are home and see them.) Or DH goes and picks them up. They may not be there when he shows up, so be prepared for that.

 

 

They leave them with another family member and your Dh picks them up after everyone is sure they have actually left town.

 

I have so much PTSD from my NPD that my kids delete voice mails from her to protect me. I have the best kids ever. : ) 

 

Edited by MomatHWTK
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have (or rather had - cutting them out was a lifesaver!) some NPDs in my life, and someone else who uses gifts as leverage (she's still in my life, le sigh, sending gifts to my middle child that are the size and color for my older child, or sending boy things to my girl).

 

Don't lift a finger over these gifts. Don't meet in a parking lot - they either won't show or they'll get some jabs in. Don't pick them up at their house. They won't be there, they'll get some jabs in, or they'll decide the gifts must actually stay at their house.

 

They can mail them or place them on your doorstep. You're terribly busy for the next ten days. Terribly.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The 'family heirloom' Is the bait. Don't get involved with that.

 

By age 6, my children knew mil was mentally ill. It didn't really sink in until they were adults and had visited other families and experienced laughter at family gettogethers, and genuine celebrations at graduations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hubby stops by unannounced at their hotel or wherever they are staying, collects gifts, hug and kiss. Bye bye! Doesn't give them a chance to play power game and hubby is in control.

 

I like this one - that way they can't keep anyone waiting in the parking lot of Costco. Either that or they can mail them. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hubby stops by unannounced at their hotel or wherever they are staying, collects gifts, hug and kiss. Bye bye! Doesn't give them a chance to play power game and hubby is in control.

I agree, I am for this.  

 

Maybe hubby can drive to where they are staying, at like 7am, before they are likely to be gone, tell them the family is incredibly busy but the kids really appreciate the gifts, he has to run but he thought he would save them the trouble of having to try and mesh schedules so here he is to help out by picking up those gifts MIL is so worried about and now she doesn't have to worry any more.  Big smile on his face.  If she stalls or gripes (which she will), explain he has to run and if there is some reason the gifts are still not available, well, she will have to mail them or hold onto them for next year.  Bye!

 

But only follow this course of action if your husband is strong enough not to get sucked in.  Otherwise, don't even try.  MIL has a mental illness that is going to prevent her from functioning in a logical and healthy fashion.  It is on you and DH to keep your family from being negatively affected by her issues, which she cannot help and cannot change.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would not put my kids through that again. If you're determined to meet with them again about presents, I'd do it alone.

 

I'd underline Katilac a million times. NPD people are flat-out dangerous. Our culture tends to put them down as "annoying," "irritating" etc.

 

But it's more than that. They're dangerous.

 

Alley

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

DH has a business meeting 40 minutes away near where IL are at…I think he's going to text and offer that a quick stop in on the way home that day. Otherwise, she can mail them to us or save them for another time it gave them to someone else.

  • Like 14
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As someone who tends to feel obligated when someone gives me gifts, I would, if at all possible, not accept gifts from them. There will always be strings attached.

 

If you can't reject them outright, I would tell her to mail them. You've met with them twice. They are just using this to get you to jump through hoops. Don't do it. Good luck!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't understand why you would even accept gifts from them after the above stunt they pulled on your ds.

 

 

Because they get stuck mentally on completing their plan. Remember, there are cousins now. The golden child's children must know they are special. This is done by giving them very expensive or desireable items in front of the other cousins who get nothing or junk.

They followup with junk if they gave nothing...its a bonus that they get to have another session of emotional upset. Another variation is to give the child something he desired,but its broken and can't be returned. A minor variant is the box is desireable, but inside is junk.

The satisfaction they get from the emotional upset is strong enough that they will not let go of the opportunity.

 

Editing for clarity: They and them refer to the npds.

Edited by Heigh Ho
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Because they get stuck mentally on completing their plan. Remember, there are cousins now. The golden child's children must know they are special. This is done by giving them very expensive or desireable items in front of the other cousins who get nothing or junk.

They followup with junk if they gave nothing...its a bonus that they get to have another session of emotional upset. Another variation is to give the child something he desired,but its broken and can't be returned. A minor variant is the box is desireable, but inside is junk.

The satisfaction they get from the emotional upset is strong enough that they will not let go of the opportunity.

 

I don't understand who is "they" in these scenarios.

 

and OP still doesn't have to accept gifts.  (personally - I wouldn't.)   the grandparents "forgot" twice - they can mail them. or not.  too bad they missed their opportunity to perform for the family audience at the family function - but it was their choice.    (the gift in front of the family audience would have reinforced the golden child knowing they are "special".  the persistence and suggestions of non-golden family audience presence to "dispense" the gift indicates the npd person is more interested in causing emotional havoc/power.)

 

OP - I'd move on.  if it's so important to her, she can mail it.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't understand who is "they" in these scenarios.

 

and OP still doesn't have to accept gifts. (personally - I wouldn't.) the grandparents "forgot" twice - they can mail them. or not. too bad they missed their opportunity to perform for the family audience at the family function - but it was their choice. (the gift in front of the family audience would have reinforced the golden child knowing they are "special". the persistence and suggestions of non-golden family audience presence to "dispense" the gift indicates the npd person is more interested in causing emotional havoc/power.)

 

OP - I'd move on. if it's so important to her, she can mail it.

Dispensing the gifts to the non golden child grandchildren in front of the golden child gc is not as powerful as forgetting the gifts for the non golden child gc.

 

The gifts are not important - gifts are bait and a tool to elicit strong negative emotions in person. Mailing will not satisfy the emotional feeding the npds are after.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dispensing the gifts to the non golden child grandchildren in front of the golden child gc is not as powerful as forgetting the gifts for the non golden child gc.

 

The gifts are not important - gifts are bait and a tool to elicit strong negative emotions in person. Mailing will not satisfy the emotional feeding the npds are after.

 

I agree with that -  the suggestion for the OP to tell the npd person to 'mail it' - is precisely because it is refusing to play the game. (npd person had two opportunities to mess with their heads, npd isn't owed a third.)  feeding the warped emotions of a manipulative npd (but I repeat myself  ;p.) is not the OP's responsibility. (nor is it healthy.)

 

one line I remember from years ago - "the only way to win is to refuse to give it battle".  when dealing with NPD - the only way to deal with them and say mentally healthy - is to refuse to play their games. (my npd would get really angry I wouldn't play.  I. just. didn't. care.  not. my. problem.)   meeting the npd person anywhere to "pick up a gift" (or anything else), even caring about the gift at all - is playing some part of their game.

i'd tell the npd person to mail it and then forget about it.  if it comes it comes (and write an effusive thank you note), and if it doesn't, it doesn't.  but it won't be me going bonkers. . . . .

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The NPD will keep trying to come up with different ways to achieve the same results until the victim says "no." Then the NPD will try something else. We now get the "Well, since I'm not allowed to send gifts..." garbage. It's like the think there is a "For the Record" recording being made somewhere and someone is going to see how they did "everything they could."

 

I use a form letter to respond. Copy, paste, send. 

 

Also, you have to let go of any sentimentality. They will use it. Our NPD spent a year claiming that she was going to sell a childhood home in order to get us to respond. I finally got tired of having to worry about whether we could afford to buy it, how my children would feel if it were sold out from under them, etc. So I broke the news to the kids that we needed to assume we'd never see it again. We worked through our sense of loss and now she can't use the property as leverage anymore. Relative, heirlooms, legacies, appearances, reputation... anything an NPD can use to get to you they will use and they won't care one bit about the emotional harm it does to you or your children. 

 

(Yeah, I know, bitter much?) :glare:

Edited by MomatHWTK
  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agree. The only reason to get the gifts is to stop the npds from harrassing their child, who at this time, per the first post, is not interested in cutting the npds off or havimg a confrontation. Otherwise its phone call after phone call until the next birthday. Personally I don't bother bringing the gifts inside...they go straight to a donation center.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with most of what has been offered. It would be easier and perhaps psychologically healthier to cut off the relationship.

 

We, in large part due to our faith, have intentionally chosen NOT to cut off ILs but rather to show honor by keeping the relationship marginally intact. This is between DH & I and God. We have chosen the hard way and that means a constant tension. We are attempting to master our attitudes, discipline our mouths and actions to legitimately reflect respect and forgiveness while still protecting ourselves and our children and maintianing significant boundaries.

 

It's difficult and always will be.

 

I'm really appreciative to have a place like this in which to be understood and for the perspective and input given.

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...