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Indigo Blue

Deception involving inheritance to children

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1 minute ago, Katy said:

She's lying because golden child is her favorite, but if she admitted to having a favorite people would judge her, crushing her carefully constructed persona of lies. Yes, it's terrible.  Tell your husband.  If he creates a scene, who cares?  Your relationship with your husband is much more important.

I seriously doubt your brother is going to keep all the dogs.  He'll take them straight to a shelter.

DING DING DING - we have a winner.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

I have two brothers with a fairly significant disability. If my dad was in that situation and elbowed the brother to keep quiet, I definitely would be hurt. If he’d he said “it’s because they will need it more” I’d totally understand. I don’t need his money don’t really want it. But a normal person wouldn’t hold that kind of thing back from their kids. 

So...she was and is an unkind person who is emotionally crippled. But pity her. She’s had a rotten life, it’s all her own fault and she’s too self centered to get it. She’ll never have real relationships with anyone.

Although you may have pity, it’s still going to sting. May I venture a guess that you’re annoyed with yourself too that she still has that power to hurt you? I agree with the idea that you need space. Arms length relationship is all you will be able to have and if you can’t achieve that emotional distance while seeing her regularly, you will have to put physical space there too. 

No confronting, no talking it out. People like that will blow things up in your face. Just know that she was a jerk and that says something about her not you.

 

Thank you. This is true.

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6 minutes ago, Katy said:

She's lying because golden child is her favorite, but if she admitted to having a favorite people would judge her, crushing her carefully constructed persona of lies. Yes, it's terrible.  Tell your husband.  If he creates a scene, who cares?  Your relationship with your husband is much more important.

I seriously doubt your brother is going to keep all the dogs.  He'll take them straight to a shelter.

These are good points, Katy. But he does love the dogs. They both do.

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25 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

gently - have you dealt with a NPD parent?  you don't "call them on behavior".  that is what you do with a rational person, and NPD's aren't rational.  it will lead to a very large explosion as they deny everything you say, and twist it to be you are the guilty party.  you will be punished for having the effrontery to suggest they did something with which you are not ok.

and boundaries dictate - you walk away when it doesn't work.   just don't announced you're walking away, you just do.

I agree she needs to be honest with her dh, and he should back her up.

I have dealt with several NPD relatives.  Sorry, I did not state this as well as I could have.  I shouldn't try to type more involved answers on mobile devices.  My actual point is the OP is still stewing on this 2 years later.  At some point you can make a choice to make an emotional break.  I don't think dwelling on it for 2 years and doing nothing is emotionally healthy.  If you truly can't rationally talk to them, it may be time to step away and put some distance.   If you feel you can't even talk to your spouse about it, it's probably time to seek some outside help.   I think that is a very telling piece of information.  The OP seems to be avoiding conflict at all cost.

Edited by FuzzyCatz
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I've deleted my original post already. I've read each reply. I'll think about talking to dh about it, too. I feel bad that several of you can so closely relate.

If all this ever becomes conflict in our family, I'll feel more solid in my thinking because of this thread. That's not going to happen, but just in case.....

Thanks so much.

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I have two late uncles that are very protective but lack in anger management. For those two uncles, it was just safer to tell a counselor and/or someone trustworthy who isn’t going to react violently. (ETA: as in I can understand why some people choose not to tell everything to their spouses or parents)

Could you lessen or stop your visits? That would also lessen your husband’s anger with your mom.  

Edited by Arcadia
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2 hours ago, FuzzyCatz said:

I don't think it's that unusual for aging adults to try and avoid conflict or skirt issues when talking about their own death.  If she lives with your brother and the brother is in charge of the animals, I don't think it's that weird that she would leave more or all the money to that sibling.   Like a sibling getting 12K after taking care of a dying parent for 6 months?  That is really a drop in the bucket for giving up 6 months of your life to service as hospice for someone.  Not being honest?  Yep, that sucks.  But I  also think it is emotionally healthier to call other adults on their deceptive behavior and stepping away if you feel you should and not just let it fester and never talk to anyone about it.  

I think you can and should call her on behavior you are not ok with, and walk away when it doesn't work for you.  I also don't think it was emotionally healthy to just pretend you didn't have an issue, leave, and never say or do anything.   I think you should be honest about it with your husband.  I think if you need to distance yourself from your mother from your own emotional health, that is ok.  

12k or 6k is a lot of money to me.  More so to my disabled brother.  But again, the money isn’t the issue.  The deception is.  If my dad or my brother had said, hey your brother and his wife are taking care of me as I die so all the money is going to them.  And you Scarlett get my watch.  I would have said cool.  And then rejoiced with my brother that he was able to remodel his home after dad died.  

It is difficult to explain that money. Is. Not the issue.  

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6 minutes ago, FuzzyCatz said:

I have dealt with several NPD relatives.  Sorry, I did not state this as well as I could have.  I shouldn't try to type more involved answers on mobile devices.  My actual point is the OP is still stewing on this 2 years later.  At some point you can make a choice to make an emotional break.  I don't think dwelling on it for 2 years and doing nothing is emotionally healthy.  If you truly can't rationally talk to them, it may be time to step away and put some distance.   If you feel you can't even talk to your spouse about it, it's probably time to seek some outside help.   I think that is a very telling piece of information.  The OP seems to be avoiding conflict at all cost.

I truly can't rationally talk about it. When a person behaves this way and is manipulative, there is no rationally talking. There is no one else to discuss this with because it's too personal. I don't want to talk to my sons, of course. Telling dh wouldn't change anything and may make things worse. I'll consider telling him at some point, though. Where my mom is concerned, avoiding conflict is the best thing to do. 

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3 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

12k or 6k is a lot of money to me.  More so to my disabled brother.  But again, the money isn’t the issue.  The deception is.  If my dad or my brother had said, hey your brother and his wife are taking care of me as I die so all the money is going to them.  And you Scarlett get my watch.  I would have said cool.  And then rejoiced with my brother that he was able to remodel his home after dad died.  

It is difficult to explain that money. Is. Not the issue.  

I'm so glad you understand. 🙂

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5 minutes ago, Indigo Blue said:

I truly can't rationally talk about it. When a person behaves this way and is manipulative, there is no rationally talking. There is no one else to discuss this with because it's too personal. I don't want to talk to my sons, of course. Telling dh wouldn't change anything and may make things worse. I'll consider telling him at some point, though. Where my mom is concerned, avoiding conflict is the best thing to do. 

Avoiding conflict in this situation is the right thing to do, but you need to process and understand what you can do separate yourself from it completely.  In your head, in your heart, and possibly even physically.  What would be the worst thing that could happen if you tell your husband?  He gets really mad?  He thinks you shouldn't see her anymore?  It's not like he is going to do something to her.  If he loves and cares for you, then he'll want to protect his wife from bad people.  That's his job (perhaps I am old fashioned but I think that of my husband and I know I would do the same for him).

ETA: Telling your husband could change things.  It might means he gives you extra love when you do go visit her.  Or he runs interference.  Mine learned to do that.  At the very least you know you have someone in your corner and that is really something important, especially to the person who was bullied by a NPD person.  They know you are not greedy or nuts or bad.  And they can tell you the truth.  And give hugs. 🙂

Edited by YaelAldrich
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1 minute ago, YaelAldrich said:

Avoiding conflict in this situation is the right thing to do, but you need to process and understand what you can do separate yourself from it completely.  In your head, in your heart, and possibly even physically.  What would be the worst thing that could happen if you tell your husband?  He gets really mad?  He thinks you shouldn't see her anymore?  It's not like he is going to do something to her.  If he loves and cares for you, then he'll want to protect his wife from bad people.  That's his job (perhaps I am old fashioned but I think that of my husband and I know I would do the same for him).

Yes. He would probably get mad. He might not ever say anything about it, but it would be stressful having to worry about that. Keeping peace in our family for the boys sake is important to me. Even though they are now adults. I don't want them to know. They are happy and this doesn't concern them or affect them. I just want it to stay that way.

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1 minute ago, Indigo Blue said:

Yes. He would probably get mad. He might not ever say anything about it, but it would be stressful having to worry about that. Keeping peace in our family for the boys sake is important to me. Even though they are now adults. I don't want them to know. They are happy and this doesn't concern them or affect them. I just want it to stay that way.

I see you are using ABeka?  Do you have an elder/pastor/minister/minister's wife in your congregation you can talk to?  I think you need to get this out in the open and if you really think your husband would stew on it (guess what?  it's his job) and you don't want that, please use a person of faith (who knows about NPD) to talk it out.

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4 minutes ago, Indigo Blue said:

Yes. He would probably get mad. He might not ever say anything about it, but it would be stressful having to worry about that. Keeping peace in our family for the boys sake is important to me. Even though they are now adults. I don't want them to know. They are happy and this doesn't concern them or affect them. I just want it to stay that way.

Your children love you.  Think how terrible they would feel that you kept such a big hurt from them.  Allow them the honor of standing up for you.  

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2 minutes ago, YaelAldrich said:

I see you are using ABeka?  Do you have an elder/pastor/minister/minister's wife in your congregation you can talk to?  I think you need to get this out in the open and if you really think your husband would stew on it (guess what?  it's his job) and you don't want that, please use a person of faith (who knows about NPD) to talk it out.

Our pastor's wife (and family) are good friends. It would be a possibility to talk to her, I suppose. But honestly, I'm handling it. I've lived with and dealt with these types of things for years. I get it now. Things will never be normal and authentic. I just needed for someone else to say what she did was awful (I think it was). This has been one of the more hurtful things, so it's a bit tougher.

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8 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Your children love you.  Think how terrible they would feel that you kept such a big hurt from them.  Allow them the honor of standing up for you.  

Oh, Scarlett. I just thought telling them would cause them to change the way they feel about her. Is that what I should do?  They do know how she is, but they don't know about this biggie. Even though they realize her faults, she is still grandma to them. I just want things to be normal for them. I had planned to tell them....some day. 

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3 minutes ago, Indigo Blue said:

Oh, Scarlett. I just thought telling them would cause them to change the way they feel about her. Is that what I should do?  They do know how she is, but they don't know about this biggie. Even though they realize her faults, she is still grandma to them. I just want things to be normal for them. I had planned to tell them....some day. 

I can't think of a reason to tell them this specific thing right now, no. Children don't need to carry all of their parents' burdens, they'll pick up plenty of their own along the way.

 

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1 minute ago, maize said:

I can't think of a reason to tell them this specific thing right now, no. Children don't need to carry all of their parents' burdens, they'll pick up plenty of their own along the way.

 

Well yes I agree about this specific thing.  But I don’t think it is wise or helpful to in general overprotect our children from family dynamics. 

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8 minutes ago, Indigo Blue said:

Oh, Scarlett. I just thought telling them would cause them to change the way they feel about her. Is that what I should do?  They do know how she is, but they don't know about this biggie. Even though they realize her faults, she is still grandma to them. I just want things to be normal for them. I had planned to tell them....some day. 

 

The thing is, love isn't love if the person is loving a lie instead of something real. 

Real love sees all the warts and mistakes and issues and loves anyway.  You want your kids to love her DESPITE how awful she is, not because they imagine she is perfect. Tell your family.  Break the silence.  And don't let it be an excuse not to love her. She probably had a quite terrible first 6 years of life, when she had to put on an act to get approval at all.  So that's still who she is. It doesn't mean she's not worthy of love DESPITE her being completely incapable of loving you & the other, non-favored children in the way you deserve.  Telling the truth isn't mutually exclusive to love.

ETA: which isn't to say they need to know this thing right now.  Just not to shield them from understanding NPD in general.

Edited by Katy
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12 minutes ago, Indigo Blue said:

Oh, Scarlett. I just thought telling them would cause them to change the way they feel about her. Is that what I should do?  They do know how she is, but they don't know about this biggie. Even though they realize her faults, she is still grandma to them. I just want things to be normal for them. I had planned to tell them....some day. 

After the Thanksgiving thing I took my oldest aside and talked to him.  Guess what?  He already knew (without the specific words NPD) that she was off!  Kids aren't dumb.  They can see how people treat you and them and others.  He said to me, "Why do you think I ignore most of her emails?  She tries to control everything I do and tries to make me who I don't want to be!"  She IS his grandmother but he knows that she isn't necessarily a good hearted person.

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8 minutes ago, Katy said:

 

The thing is, love isn't love if the person is loving a lie instead of something real. 

Real love sees all the warts and mistakes and issues and loves anyway.  You want your kids to love her DESPITE how awful she is, not because they imagine she is perfect. Tell your family.  Break the silence.  And don't let it be an excuse not to love her. She probably had a quite terrible first 6 years of life, when she had to put on an act to get approval at all.  So that's still who she is. It doesn't mean she's not worthy of love DESPITE her being completely incapable of loving you & the other, non-favored children in the way you deserve.  Telling the truth isn't mutually exclusive to love.

ETA: which isn't to say they need to know this thing right now.  Just not to shield them from understanding NPD in general.

Yes. Exactly.  

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The deception is so hurtful. 

My father’s parents were horrible people.  Probably NPD, but thankfully I wasn’t around them enough to know for sure.  Before they died, they both made a point to tell my dad that the inheritance would be split evely among him and his siblings.  My dad didn’t really care.  He hadn’t asked.  They were the ones who made a point of saying it would be equal.  But when they finally both died and the will was read, it wasn’t equal at all.  And my dad didn’t care about getting less money.  It was the setup that bothered him.  It was the lie saying that it would be equal, just for the “gotcha!” moment after they were gone. And his parents were just horrible enough that it pleased them to know that they would be hurting their children after they were gone.  Some people are twisted inside.

You’re not crazy or in the wrong.  These sorts of deceptions and secrets are hurtful.  

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1 hour ago, FuzzyCatz said:

I have dealt with several NPD relatives.  Sorry, I did not state this as well as I could have.  I shouldn't try to type more involved answers on mobile devices.  My actual point is the OP is still stewing on this 2 years later.  At some point you can make a choice to make an emotional break.  I don't think dwelling on it for 2 years and doing nothing is emotionally healthy.  If you truly can't rationally talk to them, it may be time to step away and put some distance.   If you feel you can't even talk to your spouse about it, it's probably time to seek some outside help.   I think that is a very telling piece of information.  The OP seems to be avoiding conflict at all cost.

I agree - and I strongly suggest she read up on townsend and cloud's boundaries.  she needs some.

I was extremely prayerful about what I should do.  I knew nothing about boundaries, because there were no boundaries.   that prayerful led me to one 15 minute phone call once a week, as long as she was nice.  as soon as she wasn't, say goodbye and hang up.  a number of phone calls were <5 minutes.

OP    . . . . . again - I would also strongly encourage you to impose appropriate boundaries.  being upset 2 years later, that's a problem.  you don't announce what the boundaries are, you just start living them.  protect yourself from a toxic person.  don't underestimate the extent of the damage a NPD grandmother can do . . . I'm a living example of the amount of damage a NPD grandmother can inflict on her grandchildren.  protect your children, and denying she's nasty so they think she's wonderful . . . that's enabling her to damage the next generation.  that was the message with which we grew up.

 not being able to talk to your spouse is a major flag the relationship with your mother is destructive to your marriage.  please put your marriage first.

50 minutes ago, Indigo Blue said:

I truly can't rationally talk about it. When a person behaves this way and is manipulative, there is no rationally talking. There is no one else to discuss this with because it's too personal. I don't want to talk to my sons, of course. Telling dh wouldn't change anything and may make things worse. I'll consider telling him at some point, though. Where my mom is concerned, avoiding conflict is the best thing to do. 

talking to your sons is inappropriate.  making them think your mother is wonderful - is even more inappropriate.

if talking to your dh would make things worse - go to counseling.  you desperately need it.  the best way to avoid conflict - is to control the relationship.  that means b.o.u.n.d.a.r.i.e.s.   

and be prepared to walk out when she throws a tantrum.  no arguing, just pick up your coat, say you have to go now - and walk out the door!

39 minutes ago, Indigo Blue said:

Yes. He would probably get mad. He might not ever say anything about it, but it would be stressful having to worry about that. Keeping peace in our family for the boys sake is important to me. Even though they are now adults. I don't want them to know. They are happy and this doesn't concern them or affect them. I just want it to stay that way.

it does affect them.  you are deliberately misleading them that their grandmother is a good person.  they will have seen "things", and they will also wonder about their perceptions because you have deliberately mislead them about your mother.

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8 hours ago, Indigo Blue said:

I just feel like it would affect the way he feels about her, make him angry, then it would surface later when we were visiting or something. She's getting old and I don't want to open that can of worms right now.  He knows how she is, though. I just don't want to make things worse. She and he have slightly butted heads before. Most people in her life have at one time or another crossed her and ended up in an argument with her. It would just make things worse.

Yep. Totally been in that exact place. I'm sorry indigo.

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1 hour ago, Indigo Blue said:

Yes. He would probably get mad. He might not ever say anything about it, but it would be stressful having to worry about that. Keeping peace in our family for the boys sake is important to me. Even though they are now adults. I don't want them to know. They are happy and this doesn't concern them or affect them. I just want it to stay that way.

I really relate to this indigo, may I be so bold as to say - are you continuing the same role, that you learned from your mother, in your marriage? Are you trying to manage and avoid and tiptoe around his feelings like you do with her? My dh isn't calm and easy when he's angry - but he's not my mother. The problem is, we are all conditioned by our upbringing to view anger through a certain lens and react in a certain way.

It took me a very very long time, over a decade of marriage and years of no contact with my mother, to be able to get these things separate in my head.

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13 hours ago, LMD said:

I really relate to this indigo, may I be so bold as to say - are you continuing the same role, that you learned from your mother, in your marriage? Are you trying to manage and avoid and tiptoe around his feelings like you do with her? My dh isn't calm and easy when he's angry - but he's not my mother. The problem is, we are all conditioned by our upbringing to view anger through a certain lens and react in a certain way.

It took me a very very long time, over a decade of marriage and years of no contact with my mother, to be able to get these things separate in my head.

Thanks, LMD. I've seen you post in these types of threads and know that you, too, have been through these things. 😞

Things really are not the same with other people as they are with my mom. When I'm around my boys and dh, friends, people at church, etc., it's just not the same. It is in my nature to avoid conflict because it's uncomfortable, but I will if need be. Once I've been pushed to a certain point and I've had enough, I'm not afraid to stand up for myself. (I've even stood up for people here on this board, lol). Being a parent brought it out, too. Before we pulled ds from school, I had to go up there lots of times and get the most ridiculous things sorted out. It took a lot of assertiveness. I'm an introvert but I can be assertive if I realize I really need to. My sons can be assertive with me and I'll listen to what they have to say. I can be assertive with them. I'm sure my upbringing has affected me in ways that I might not be able to see, but people (you, too) who have been through this stuff just have to do their best. It doesn't go away, and things can't be undone. Being married and living an hour away since I was in my early 20's has given me a chance to become who I really am, warts and all. The difference between my mom and me is that for some reason, I can see these things and can think of how others are feeling. I can be introspective. I don't lie and manipulate. But I'm not perfect. Dh doesn't lie and manipulate. It's not necessary to respond to him or anyone else in the same way I do my mom. My mom can't accept blame or feel that someone thinks that she's responsible for or capable of doing something really ugly. She just can't. She will either get angry or melt down. In either case, she does this 180 thing and makes you feel so awful and ashamed. Yes, we are all conditioned to view anger in a certain way. But  I think that I've come a long way in healing, getting wiser, and educating myself on what actually happened in my life. So I do respond to her in a certain way because it's for the best. I don't necessarily do that in other areas. Actually, dh has a tad bit of a dominant personality, and I have to be careful to keep things balanced. I'm not afraid to do so, lol.

I'll add that I believe that I "got away" as Tanaqui put it because of the personality I was born with. I didn't emulate. It's the reason I deliberately and consciously parented the way I did. What I went through had the affect of making me more aware and not to repeat behaviors. Some don't do that. Some become their parents. And they can't see it. I don't know why. I believe this explains why some get away and some don't.

So, to answer your question, even though i am quiet and introverted, I don't tiptoe around people to avoid anger. Just my mom. BUT she is older and I have put distance (emotional, mostly) there and things have been going "okay" for awhile. She still fibs and manipulates, but I can see it. There hasn't been one of those big outbursts toward me in quite awhile. I believe it's because of both her aging and my creating distance.

One more thing I will say is that if I am ever visiting from here going forward and something comes up, escalates, and starts to boil, and I can feel she is going to unleash a lot of undeserved harshness on me to make me feel bad or guilty, I have decided that I will just calmly get in my car and drive away. And if she later calls, I won't talk unless she is being calm and reasonable. And lather, rinse, repeat if needed. Within the last year, I made a promise to myself that I would never endure that again.

 

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15 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

it does affect them.  you are deliberately misleading them that their grandmother is a good person.  they will have seen "things", and they will also wonder about their perceptions because you have deliberately mislead them about your mother.

Oh, my, no. They are not in the dark. They have been on the receiving end of her unfair actions. They know a lot. I just didn't tell them about this because it is truly hurtful and a huge blow to ME. The time isn't right. They are adults now. And they are both smart. I have discussed with them both about personality disorders (as in mom) and also about being careful with whom they let into their life because people like this are everywhere. They aren't being deliberately mislead. But I don't need to be getting off into these discussions right now.

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16 hours ago, Katy said:

The thing is, love isn't love if the person is loving a lie instead of something real. 

Real love sees all the warts and mistakes and issues and loves anyway.  You want your kids to love her DESPITE how awful she is, not because they imagine she is perfect. Tell your family.  Break the silence.  And don't let it be an excuse not to love her. She probably had a quite terrible first 6 years of life, when she had to put on an act to get approval at all.  So that's still who she is. It doesn't mean she's not worthy of love DESPITE her being completely incapable of loving you & the other, non-favored children in the way you deserve.  Telling the truth isn't mutually exclusive to love.

ETA: which isn't to say they need to know this thing right now.  Just not to shield them from understanding NPD in general.

Katy, I wholeheartedly agree with this. And, yes, she did not have a healthy childhood herself.

Editing to say: Well, I agree with this to a point, I guess. When someone has chosen to be abusive, it's okay to cut them out of your life even if it is family. A person has the right to protect themselves from emotional harm even if the abuser had an abusive childhood. BUT in my case, I have chosen to have a relationship with my mom. When I first read about people who went "no contact" with parents, I was really shocked. I've come to realize that, sometimes, people have to do that.

Edited by Indigo Blue
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5 minutes ago, Indigo Blue said:

Katy, I wholeheartedly agree with this. And, yes, she did not have a healthy childhood herself.

there are some rumors and suppositions about how "unhealthy" my grandmother's childhood was.  considering the clear issues several of her sisters had - something definitely happened.  however:

eventually they became adults, and mother's themselves.  they can choose to work to be different than their childhood (even without modern psychological thought.  might not be perfect, but it is still better than the previous generation's parenting), or sink deeper and perpetuate those traits.  there is more choice than outsiders realize - I know, because I made those choices to change things long before I understood what was going on.

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Hopefully I didn't miss anything in the thread, but just wanted to say it sounds like your mother is NPD and this interaction was truly awful. At the same time, if I'm understanding correctly, you haven't actually seen her will and don't know exactly what she intends (or if she has updated it according to those intentions). 

Again, this doesn't at all negate the toxicity of your mom and this interaction. But it's surprising how many people say one thing (or many different things!) about inheritance while they're alive, yet their wills say something completely different. Or they die without a will at all, despite talking about it frequently.

If I were going to discuss this with dh or my kids, I'd distinguish between the very hurtful interaction and the unknown regarding what her will actually says. 

And this probably gets to the point--not the money, not the contents of the will, but the exclusion and favoritism. 

Amy

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I do not know what the original post was about, but I am in the situation where my dad has always made it clear who his favorites were. My mom did too. Mom died first. I see one child, who is not even one of the child but rather a grandchild (grandchild to my parents), suddenly visiting my dad and my grandmother all the time, only since Mom died. She never called or otherwise my grandmother before. My dad had the nerve to tell me how it is okay to treat kids different. I had explained to him I would not pay for something for one of my children unless I could afford it times five because I needed to treat all my children equally. He told me that is ridiculous and the kids need to just accept that some get more than others. Then he went off telling me about all this stuff he has bought for my siblings that he never bought for me. Well, the lack of buying for me was neglect. He refused to even pay for school lunches or shoes or a winter coat for me. It was horrible. My childhood was traumatic. I actually had to be jealous of others for having their basic needs met. 

 

The point is, I have been taking care of my dad for a while now. I have done more for him in the last year than he had done for me in my entire life. It has been hard. It is full of triggers of what I went through as a child. When I drive him places and do things for him, I think about being a little girl who could not get my basic needs met. He would not even take me to get glasses, nothing. Now I drive him an hour away and deal with his walker and take him to doctors appointments that go on for hours. IF he leaves everything or a disproportionate portion to any of my siblings, or anything to that grandchild who is suddenly visiting him constantly, it will be a big huge final stab in the back and it will hurt very bad. I have no idea what is in his will. I know previously, as in years ago, he said he cut me out because I am not one of the kids he likes. I have been told the will has had to be redone since Mom died but do not know if it was.

Edited by Janeway
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On 1/10/2019 at 10:09 PM, gardenmom5 said:

it does affect them.  you are deliberately misleading them that their grandmother is a good person.  they will have seen "things", and they will also wonder about their perceptions because you have deliberately mislead them about your mother.

1

 

This is very true.  I have spent a lot of time in therapy trying to sort out the cognitive dissonance that is my perception of the toxic person in my life vs. the way they were represented to me by others.  The end result is that I do not believe anything told to me by my relatives because they all lie so easily about each other.  

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6 hours ago, MissLemon said:

 

This is very true.  I have spent a lot of time in therapy trying to sort out the cognitive dissonance that is my perception of the toxic person in my life vs. the way they were represented to me by others.  The end result is that I do not believe anything told to me by my relatives because they all lie so easily about each other.  

I came to realize my mother would say her mother was good - because she had been brought up to please her mother, and needed to justify it.  it's a big paradigm shift to admit the truth that she was a horrible person.  mother and I argued about it for years - starting when I was a teen.  "don't tell me this woman loves me, this isn't love."  her claiming 'oh, she loves you in her way."  was the equivalent of saying  "you deserve to be treated like carp by your grandmother, whose opinion you've been taught your whole life is the cat's meow."

a scripture I used to have a super hard time was "what man, if their son asks a fish, will give him a stone?" . . and I'm thinking - my grandmother would!

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11 hours ago, Janeway said:

I do not know what the original post was about, but I am in the situation where my dad has always made it clear who his favorites were.

Janeway, basically I found out that a sibling was secretly getting an inheritance that I wasn't supposed to know about. My mom was deceptive instead of talking to me about it. I think given what you said in your post, you can truly get how hurtful this has been.

You've been through all that and there you are doing everything you can for your father. It's sad that he will never fully know how lucky he is to have you doing these things for him after his bad treatment of you. Reading your post made me sad. I hope you find a way to find the peace that you deserve.

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6 hours ago, MissLemon said:

 

This is very true.  I have spent a lot of time in therapy trying to sort out the cognitive dissonance that is my perception of the toxic person in my life vs. the way they were represented to me by others.  The end result is that I do not believe anything told to me by my relatives because they all lie so easily about each other.  

No more cognitive dissonance for me. Yes, until a few years ago there was. But I'd call it ignorance more than cognitive dissonance. Good for you for getting therapy and getting a much better perception. That's huge. I have good perception now, but I still need confirmation and validation that something she did was really bad. Because she's so good at making things not look bad. So my head still gets all jumbled up, but I think I've got the memo now. Finally.

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On 1/10/2019 at 4:49 PM, RootAnn said:

My mom has always been hurtful. She purposefully pitted us siblings against each other & it affects all of us (well, except for my dead brother) to this day. Many of the things you described in your OP are familiar to me. She continues to do these type of things now & more -- and does it to her grandkids, too. (She has clear favorites - but she tries to keep them in line by changing favorites if one or two get out of line as far as she's concerned.) I've severely cut down on her in person contact with my kids because of some of her actions.

My oldest brother, who saw all this before the rest of us realized what she was like, always refers to her horribleness like this, "Are you surprised when you see a gorilla eating a banana?"

So, when she's up to her tricks, I try to remember she's a gorilla eating a banana -- these are things she just does & I shouldn't be surprised or hurt.

Even knowing what she is, I still find myself reverting back to my childhood of trying to please her or impress her. It helps to remind myself that nothing I do will ever be good enough. I will never be skinny enough. I will never succeed enough for her. It is hard to break out of those thought processes that were there for so long. But, try.

Thanks RootAnn. I'm sorry your mom has been hurtful. I can also see my mom  having favorites now with grandchildren. One of mine and one of another sibling seem to be favored. Did you read the thread about grandparent/grandchild relationships and whether parents should play a part in keeping those relationships alive? There was a lot of interesting things to read there, but, as I read, all I could think was this just doesn't apply to us because things just don't work that way here. I see mom doing lots of stuff with one grandchild in particular who does live nearby, but there is no effort made to stay in touch with the others. I have thought about this and wondered if I should encourage my boys make the effort out of politeness if nothing else, but with the history and background that's there (and....she has hurt them, too), I've decided to let that ball drop and let those chips fall where they may. I still care about her, but I've lost my will to try to impress or please. That's just not important anymore, and I'm glad. (I do things for her, but not because I want to please...just because she needs something done and I don't mind doing it).

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41 minutes ago, Indigo Blue said:

Did you read the thread about grandparent/grandchild relationships and whether parents should play a part in keeping those relationships alive? There was a lot of interesting things to read there, but, as I read, all I could think was this just doesn't apply to us because things just don't work that way here.

I actually posted pretty early on in that thread. My mother would keep them all dancing to her tune if she could.

[Deleted a bunch for privacy. Sigh.]

I'm going to protect my kids even though that means they won't have much of a relationship with their grandma. It is better that way. She isn't like the traditional grandmother of literature!

Edited by RootAnn
Decided to delete details.
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I had (now deceased) a mother with likely BPD and my mother-in-law almost certainly has that disorder as well. I have dealt with multiple people through the years that are almost certainly impacted by NPD or BPD, most recently a business partner. I've come to the conclusion that either the disorder is exceptionally common or that there are elements of my personality, having grown up soothing my disordered parent, that draws in the affected. It's probably a mix of both factors.

A lot of good stuff in this thread. I will add that years ago I had to accept that it was not possible to really know my mother, because the uncontrolled disease masked her true self. That concept was a heartbreak and a comfort at the same time. It did help with setting boundaries and not taking things she said and did personally. I did not vent to my children about their grandmothers, however they were told that they had mental illnesses which impacted their behavior. I did not want them to think that it was normal/typical to have the sort of distant relationships with grandparents that became necessary in our family.

I agree that there is no point in attempting to talk things out with a true narcissist, Even straight facts are filtered through the illness and become unrecognizable. Feelings are used for future manipulation. That said, it is helpful to stick to facts in those necessary conversations. At this point in my life, I am all about creating firm boundaries and I recognize that there is no making sense of the behaviors that result from the illness.

I sure wish these illnesses were easier to treat. There is more hope for those with BPD than NPD, but it remains a long and difficult road.

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Just on the grandparents/grandchildren thing, we decided that those relationships weren't real and weren't worth the risk. When my npd mother showed us she was prepared to use/hurt them for her own ends, we were done. (She threatened, amongst other things, to report us to cps, sue for custody, made us homeless)

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3 hours ago, GoodGrief1 said:

I will add that years ago I had to accept that it was not possible to really know my mother, because the uncontrolled disease masked her true self. 

 

 

My unprofessional opinion is that people with these types of illnesses do not have a defined "self", OR their sense of "self" is defined in terms of other people.  I've been thinking a lot about this lately, in regards to one of my parents.  My dad needs a lot of external validation that he is a good guy and a "success".  Many of his interactions with his kids revolve around getting us to talk or behave in ways that validate he was a good father, and thus a success.  It's exhausting.  You can't ever just have lunch with him.  It's not "just lunch"; it's a one-act play to bolster his self-esteem and reinforce his identity as "Good Father, Successful Man". 

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This is a website I found that helped me understand the motivations of the dysfunctional/narcissistic people in my life.  It's about women, but there were still many things that applied to the male self-absorbed people I know, as well.  It doesn't look like the blog author is updating anymore, unfortunately. 

Narcissistic MIL

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43 minutes ago, MissLemon said:

This is a website I found that helped me understand the motivations of the dysfunctional/narcissistic people in my life.  It's about women, but there were still many things that applied to the male self-absorbed people I know, as well.  It doesn't look like the blog author is updating anymore, unfortunately. 

Narcissistic MIL

WOW, Miss Lemon. I skimmed through, but that will definitely be something to read later! Thanks for posting that.

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8 hours ago, GoodGrief1 said:

I had (now deceased) a mother with likely BPD and my mother-in-law almost certainly has that disorder as well. I have dealt with multiple people through the years that are almost certainly impacted by NPD or BPD, most recently a business partner. I've come to the conclusion that either the disorder is exceptionally common or that there are elements of my personality, having grown up soothing my disordered parent, that draws in the affected. It's probably a mix of both factors.

A lot of good stuff in this thread. I will add that years ago I had to accept that it was not possible to really know my mother, because the uncontrolled disease masked her true self. That concept was a heartbreak and a comfort at the same time. It did help with setting boundaries and not taking things she said and did personally. I did not vent to my children about their grandmothers, however they were told that they had mental illnesses which impacted their behavior. I did not want them to think that it was normal/typical to have the sort of distant relationships with grandparents that became necessary in our family.

I agree that there is no point in attempting to talk things out with a true narcissist, Even straight facts are filtered through the illness and become unrecognizable. Feelings are used for future manipulation. That said, it is helpful to stick to facts in those necessary conversations. At this point in my life, I am all about creating firm boundaries and I recognize that there is no making sense of the behaviors that result from the illness.

I sure wish these illnesses were easier to treat. There is more hope for those with BPD than NPD, but it remains a long and difficult road.

True that. 

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9 hours ago, LMD said:

Just on the grandparents/grandchildren thing, we decided that those relationships weren't real and weren't worth the risk. When my npd mother showed us she was prepared to use/hurt them for her own ends, we were done. (She threatened, amongst other things, to report us to cps, sue for custody, made us homeless)

 

We have a close relative who has threatened the bolded, and DH and I still find ourselves going back and forth on whether it is right that we no longer visit them 😥(sad face because logically, I know it's the right decision, but emotionally... it's tough.)

The kids have a set of grandparents that are great to them, and respect us. It's been over a year since we've cut off visits with them, and it's good to be (mostly) free of the manipulation and drama that accompanied it.

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I'm sorry for what you have been through, Petrichor.

We're on 5 years of almost no contact. It is hard. Like yours, my kids are blessed with a set of wonderful, boundary respecting grandparents.

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Didn’t read all the replies but my thoughts/experience are, especially wrt wills:

If you don’t get it when they are alive, do not presume it will ever be yours. For so many reasons. Many people are not honest about their wills (some for legit reasons and some not) or they are and other people just disagree with it or don’t hear it. 

Liars, narcissists, manipulators - if that is who they have shown themselves to be, accept that will not change wrt to their wills or your children. It’s not about you and has nothing to do with you, unless you choose to let it.

Do not ever cover for them.  Do not ever let your children think those people are something they aren’t.  All that does is set your kids up for unrealistic (and unhealthy) expectations of that relationship and to be used by those people and to drive meshes between parent and child.

It sounds like your brother is okay with it so just be glad that when she is gone someday - all you’ll have to do is be at the bedside to say I love you, show up at the funeral and your brother can have all the headaches of probate and funeral planning and medical care. 

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