Saturday, November 12, 2011

Oh Yeah, By The Way

DH and I were talking today about the time that NMIL moved and didn't tell DH about it until several months later.

Now, under normal circumstances (i.e. in relationships with non-narcs) information as important as one's parent moving would be shared openly and freely with the most-important parties several weeks, if not months before the event was to occur. Not only would the information have been shared willingly, but it would have been a conversation that the parent would have with both her son and her son's spouse. The reason why I find the latter point to be significant is because I initially wrote "NMIL moved and didn't tell us about it" and I had to go back and change the "us" to "DH" because no important information was ever shared with me by NMIL, period. I often find myself saying things like that and having to edit myself later: It's just a given that vital information, important information, information that required thought or decisions, was never shared with "us" because, to NMIL, "us" did not exist.

Anyway, I don't remember the circumstances surrounding the phone call, nor I do remember who solicited the phone call to begin with. But one thing was very clear in my memory: NMIL told DH one day on the phone, in a nonchalant kind of way, that she had moved. I have the distinct notion, though the complete details escape me now, that DH hadn't spoken to NMIL in a while prior to that phone call, and that it was NOT the point of the call. I remember giving our DD a bath and listening to DH talking with his mother on the phone and thinking, "What the hell is she up to now?" And when DH got off the phone and relayed what the conversation had been about, I was really struck by the oddness of the whole thing.

What kind of person moves and doesn't tell her own child about it? Can you say "A power-hungry narcissist?" What kind of person withholds important information as a means to confuse, disorient, anger, hurt, and manipulate the people she is supposed to love and respect? Can you say "An evil narcissistic witch?"

I have several theories about why NMIL would pull this kind of stunt, and none of them paint her in good light. DH and I both believe that the most likely theory is that NMIL didn't tell him about the move intentionally. He believes her message was one of attempted cruelty: It was "We're having all these problems, so why should I tell YOU something this big? You mean nothing to me." Granted, neither one of us was hurt by it, the whole event was just too absurd. I remember asking DH a couple times, in a row, in between bouts of laughter, "Wait, she was just like - oh, by the way, we moved." And every time DH confirmed that that was indeed what she said, we just started laughing harder.

I told DH that we would never be intentionally or even unintentionally made unaware of my parents or siblings moving. Chances are good that we'd be helping with the moving process, but if that wasn't the case, then at the very least we'd know about it. But for my parents or siblings to move and keep it a secret from us? Never! The idea is just too absurd.

A couple other noteworthy comments about this particular scenario:

1. As we all know, Ns are expert as using people. In fact, they are so good at using people that they don't have relationships with anyone who can't (or won't) be used. I've told DH a couple times that I believe she chose her ex-spouses well when she married them. After all, they still provide her with a good amount of narcissistic supply. Her first husband (EFIL) as a source of NS is fairly obvious - twenty something years after their divorce, he's STILL acting as her shoulder to cry on and plays the part of a loyal flying monkey. Both EFIL and J (her second ex-husband) also provide her with and extra set of hands with which she can control her children. (SIL is J's biological daughter, which means that she and DH are half-siblings). But NMIL's move brought up another interesting fact: she obviously chose her second husband well, for she is STILL reaping the financial rewards of having used him for so long: The house she sold was one that he built and they lived in for about eight years (one can ponder a guess as to how much of that cost came out of HER wallet). She was able to turn around and sell that house and move into a mini-mansion in the next town over. Who knows what other financial benefits she gets from having been married to both of those particular victims/cohorts? But it seems obvious that she used her N charms well, since she obviously set up her entire relationship with J so well that she could use him and discard him, all the while reaping the rewards of the fruits of HIS labor. (FYI, I don't think highly of that man either, he's pretty much useless as a human being and not at all any sort of loving influence for either his daughter or his ex-stepson).

2. DH and I believe that the move may have been inspired by NMIL's desire to live closer to her sleazy boyfriend, since the town she moved to was the town where he lived. I remember asking DH, "What about your sister? Was she uprooted from her school and is now being sent to some other high school, during her junior year?" Somehow, we found out later that she was able to continue going to the high school of her home town, although we were never entirely sure how that was possible. (You know those narcs, they're always so sparse with the details.) But even though his sister was still able to attend the same school, the decision to move at that particular time struck us as being very strange, and we wondered how much NMIL's relation-shit with her boyfriend had to do with the decision. Certainly, her daughter's well-being was not factored into the equation.

3. As always, the possibility remains that, to NMIL and SIL, the thought just didn't cross their minds that moving to a new house in a new town was information that should have been shared, in a timely-manner no less, with us. With Narcs, it's always possible that they don't tell you because, if you aren't providing them with the kind of narc-supply they want, then you aren't worth the effort it would take to even think those thoughts in your direction. While I don't think this particular theory is likely, I don't dismiss it from the realm of possibility. But regardless, the situation is pretty crappy whether NMIL left out the information intentionally or not.


  1. Another possible scenario...she wanted to do what she wanted to do with no one interfering and not telling meant no room to say anything.

    N's do play by a set of rules designed for their own comfort and not much consideration of anyone else. Kind of sad in so many ways.

  2. "As we all know, Ns are expert as using people. In fact, they are so good at using people that they don't have relationships with anyone who can't (or won't) be used."

    Ugh...this is so true...and thank you...because I needed to be reminded of it today!

  3. Ruth - That's a solid theory too. I hadn't thought of that as a possibility, but I can definitely see that mentality in the Narc way of thinking. Your thought sort of goes along with my idea about her seeming lack of interest in how such a move would affect her teenage daughter.

    Katie - Yes, it's so sad when the narcissist in question is someone who you wish you could be close with (parent, sibling, etc)...once you start laying down healthy boundaries, they eventually give up because you can no longer be controlled. Sad. But a necessary truth to discover (and remember!)

  4. My NF also did not inform me, and this while he was asking me to keep the door open for him. I figured it out while I was updating the family calendar that I distributed each Christmas. What is funny, is that I looked up his address not knowing that there were two people living in units with the same name and age. So what happened is some strangers address and phone number were included in the calendar of the family contacts that I distributed for Christmas!

    I am sure the oversight was meant as my punishment for finally standing my ground over boundaries. I found it funny, because a stranger got my calendar, and I bet I would like him better than my own NF!!

    The door was closed later on, not as a punishment but because I saw there was no reason to torment myself and keep the door open. Obviously, NF just wanted the "appearance" of being on speaking terms with "his legacy", but not the reality of it. And that is just fine with me:)

  5. Winterskiprincess - Aha! That makes two of us, which means we're establishing a pattern here. I find this phenomenon of "narcs moving but not telling the important people" to be a very interesting one. Sad and demented...but very interesting nonetheless.

  6. IMO, just another "Oh, by the way and f u. You don't matter enough for me to bother telling you about my latest scheme because you wouldn't get it any way. And my daughter? Who gives a sh**. She's also a part of Mrs. Perfect's "Picture" and don't you EVER forget it."

  7. Anon - Yeah! Her "scheme"...perfect word to describe this whole scenario. And it would definitely seem that everyone is picking up on the "you don't matter enough" theme going on. Great observation, thanks!

  8. My NM sent my NF (really should be SF for sociopath) a letter telling him she got remarried, but had never told me. I needed to be dragged in by SF and told accusingly (as if I withheld it from him) that my NM had remarried.

    Oh yeah, she also neglected to tell me that she had been having an affair while married and before she left, another thing I got to be yelled at (and how I discovered this) by SF.

    But this is something they do to everyone that does not matter, and that is mostly everyone that is not regularly working to feed into their whatever...

    This is what they do, and who they are.

  9. Winterski - I've been pondering the idea of NMIL getting remarried (eesh! A scary thought in itself) and wondering, if it were to happen, how she would handle it. I'm guessing that she would handle in it nearly the same fashion as your own NM...that is, she would probably tell EFIL, and not inform her own son. Granted, at this point, we truly don't want to know what drama is going on in her life anyway, so we'd be better off if she didn't tell us...but the point remains that their reasons for NOT telling are completely evil.

    Ditto on the NM who cheats and doesn't fess up - Can we say that DH's NM and yours are cut from the same cloth? Of course, extra-marital affairs are, by their very nature, secretive and wrong, but it makes it worse when they turn the whole thing into even MORE drama.

    "But this is something they do to everyone that does not matter, and that is mostly everyone that is not regularly working to feed into their whatever..." Yes. I so agree.

  10. It wasn't the non fessing up thing that got me, but she left me with SF who verbally and emotionally abused her for years. And me too, how did she think he would react to a young woman that now looked like her and he was left with (considering his temperamental makeup). Never occurred to her of course.

    And this was not some shameful thing to her, this is something she went over with her therapist (the affair) before she did it while married. She was proud of it. It was her coming out and freedom, and of course there was no reason to give anyone else (let's say their child) at least a heads up.

    Narcissists are something else. You know I was so brain washed, that I would have (and did) support her no matter what at that point. Children are simply pawns in these situations to be pulled this way or that with these types of parents.

    It is so much more fun for them to get their digs into the party they feel is injured, rather than think of those people who may at that time care for them. It is sad, but your NMIL probably would tell EFIL first or only based on this pattern (or years from now in a BTW discussion LOl)

    I wish I had been smart enough when I was younger to forget to tell my NM or SF or Step Monster about my wedding!

  11. Winterski - "how did she think he would react to a young woman that now looked like her and he was left with..." I understand why you call him sociopathic. It's so scary to think that someone can blame their own child for what their spouse (or ex-spouse) has done. And I've seen this many more times than I'd like to admit. How sad for the children in those situations (whether they are children or adults).

    I see another similarity between your NM and NMIL, although I'd be hard-pressed to "prove" it. I think NMIL was also proud of her the very least we know she isn't ashamed of them, nor do they bring her any feelings of guilt or remorse. But since you brought it up, I wonder if she too was proud of what she had know, it probably made her feel young and wanted. Yuck. DH said that when he found the conversations on his computer between his NM and her boyfriend, she was talking about how amusing it was to her that she had met his children (and then went and had sex later). It's totally immoral and disgusting and it would seem she certainly enjoyed the whole scheme at the time...again, makes me wonder if there was a sense of pride going on. That's even scarier.

    On being brain-washed: that's something I have to remind myself of from time to time, that my hub was brainwashed into being loyal to his scummy FOO. Thanks for the reminder...sometimes I have to tell myself that when I want to be really hard on him. He's got so much negative training to unlearn.

    It's too bad you didn't "forget" to tell your NPs about your wedding. I'm thinking about doing a post about the whole juxtaposition between US not telling THEM important things, when they aren't allowed to do the same. (It all has to do with the reasons and intentions behind that whole decision-making process).

  12. So true, allowing onesself to be brainwashed as a child is a coping and survival skill. I mean you HAVE to live with them, unless someone calls Child Protective Services and it is one of the things they pull you out of your house for (which could land you in a worse situation).

    I don't know about anyone else, but I did not have the strength to be in an argument 24/7. To think or express yourself in any other way other than NM or SF was to be tormented until you did. So much easier on your psyche to just do what you needed to do to get through the day.

    But then, you come out with all these things that you don't even know you need to unlearn. By delving into who I am, I've only recently (if you consider how many years old I am) come to understand what the problems were, and how exactly they effected me. It's years and years of shedding off this stuff.

    Even now, if someone expresses an interest in me as a person, I feel suspicious and start to tense up. That is because on my donors part, it was the beginning of a grilling session or something. If I expressed my opinion and it differed, watch the F out! I was told how I felt. It was not allowed for you to disagree with that either.

    I am sure your husband struggles with these same issues. Many times you don't even know it until someone who you trust points it out, and it's hard to trust a lot of people.

  13. Winterski - I don't see the brainwashing part as something that children allow, so much as their minds are like sponges and they absorb everything around them. As an adult though, then you have the choice to continue to allow it, or choose to end the cycle. Know what I mean? But it's so true that the kids don't have a choice in the matter, unless someone can prove that the abuses going on are really obvious (and even then, it's hard to get kids away from their abusive parents!)

    I would say my husband grew up in a very similar way - he couldn't disagree, couldn't have an opinion, was told what to think/feel/do, etc. And he just had to go along with it as a kid because that's all he ever knew and it wasn't "safe" to do otherwise. That pretty much sounds like what you're describing, and he's said the same to me! No child could emotionally survive (let alone thrive!) in those conditions.

    I know I've brought a lot of this to light for DH - I was the first person he ever knew to tell him there was something wrong! That still surprises me...

  14. Hi, me again. OH LORDY.

    I can see why DH felt like he was 'parenting' SIL - it was him and nmil, then she meets J and they start dating. But she kept DH as her confidant, oh it just makes me ill.

    I am going to venture a guess about the moving. She planned it that way. I can hear her telling everyone 'do NOT tell DH!! do not say anything, SIL i mean it if he calls you are not to say anything.' I would guess her whole cadre of monkeys was under direct orders to keep it from DH. This is all her acting under the assumption that DH would give a fuck. She really thought it would hurt him.

    Because to narcs, info is power. They are the keepers of ALL the info. Holy crap. She is one big asshole. <--wink to you :)