Saturday, June 30, 2012

Recipe For Success

Oh for the love. NSIL just tweeted the following: I will always be disappointed because I aim for perfection, which has already sparked one of her male "friends" to respond with: You are perfection. Just yesterday, one of her female "friends" wrote: NSIL, Sorry this is random but you're like the prettiest person ever!!!

Please, someone mail me a spoon with which to gag myself. If NSIL isn't just a mini-me version of her putrid narco mommy, then I don't know who would be. I wish people would stop falling for the narcissists' pity-party-look-at-me bullshit. It's all drama people! Put your brown noses away and run straight for the hills. You aren't any more special just 'cause you kissed the ass of a narcissist.

I mean, let's talk about this: I will always be disappointed because I aim for perfection. Well then. I guess you're in for a pretty miserable existence. But oh wait, here come the compliments, just rolling on in. Superficially, that will fill up your vapid little head just long enough to let you forget that your mother doesn't love you, your brother will likely never talk to you again because he's chosen to fight the dysfunction and you haven't, you have no real friends, you're empty inside, and the only way you will survive emotionally is to shuck your emotions forever. Well hey, that's a recipe for success right there!

Okay, now lets move on to the fact that all you do is talk in useless generalities, spouting off cliches on twitter about perfection and disappointment because you're so desperate for attention that you're going insane. Let's talk about how you spend your days mimicking your mother (yeah, now there's a success story) and relishing in your disappointment so that you can soak up all the narcissistic supply that comes your way after making such claims.

Let's talk about who's perfection your supposedly aiming for. And what the hell that even means, really. Perfection in what capacity? Oh yeah, you think "perfect" means "skinniest bitch with the longest hair, fakest tan, biggest tits, and emptiest eyes." Well. I hate to tell you honey, but you'll likely ALWAYS be competing with your mommy if that's what you think perfection is. It's a bit like you're chasing your own tail, or else you're chasing rainbows. You're not dealing in reality, if you know what I'm saying, and you likely never will. You're not, like, the prettiest person ever!!! cause like, your mommy wants to think she is and you'll never live up to her standards.

Why can't you understand that, you twit? You're just living your mother's fucked up vision for you: Like, Mommy will always be disappointed in you because she also aims for perfection and you ain't it.

Snookums, grow a pair. You've officially reached attention seeking whoredom in my estimation.

Seriously Fucked Up

Just found this at a website called Heartless Bitches International and I el-oh-vee-eee love it:

How NOT to Apologize When You Have Seriously Fucked Up:
by: Annesthesia

1.) Apologize in email. Hey, why should you actually have to FACE the person you harmed and DEAL with the real consequences of your actions - like the fact that they might still be hurt and upset? It's so much easier to do it from a distance - that way you can go around telling everyone how you made all this EFFORT to rectify things. If questioned on this, you can fall back on your old excuses about how the other person is just too scary to face in person. (People you have betrayed aren't usually very compliant). Ignore the fact that this avoidance is completely contradicting any statements you might make about "taking responsibility" for your behavior (see below).

2.) Make sure the "confession", er, apology comes MONTHS or years after the incident. It's just too much work to actually own up immediately afterwards. Let's face it, you're not after any real resolution, and you are not offering any kind of restitution - you are looking to assuage your guilty conscience and buy absolution, and, if you play your cards right, you can get attention for your act of "bravery" in coming forward. If it's absolution you are looking for, why not join the Catholic church instead?
"Powerful and sneaky people use apologies as end runs around repentance. They betray a trust; and, when they have been found out, they say they are sorry for "mistakes in judgement". They smile through their oily apologies when their crime calls for quakes of repentance. They get by only because we have lost our sense of the difference between repentance for wrong and apologies for bungling.... We should not let each other get away with it. A deep and unfair hurt is more than a mere faux pas. We cannot put up with everything from everyone; some things are intolerable. When someone hurts us deeply and unfairly [deliberately], an apology will not do the job; it only trivializes a wrong that should not be trifled with."
-- Lewis B. Smedes, "Forgive and Forget"
3.) Use generic sweeping statements, so that you don't have to own up to, or deal with any specifics. This is a great way to avoid any REAL acknowledgement for the stunts you have pulled, while giving the appearance of sincerity. As Dr. Phil (C. McGraw) says:
"Acknowledgement is a no-kidding, unvarnished, bottom-line, truthful confrontation with yourself about what you are doing or not doing, or what you are putting up with in your life that is destructive. It's not some pious, phoney-baloney, half-hearted rendition of what you think they want to hear. Nor is it a watered-down, politically correct 'confession' that you think will buy you closure at the expense of truth. I mean brutal reality: slapping yourself in the face and admitting what you are doing to screw up your life. This also means admitting that you are getting payoffs for what you're doing, however sick or subtle those payoffs are."
And God knows, real acknowledgement and acceptance of responsibility is not what you were after or you wouldn't have apologized in email in the first place.

4.) Try to evoke sympathy for yourself as part of the apology. Use worn-out lines like "It may not mean much to you now...". Thank the person for their past "support" of you in your (largely self-inflicted) trials and tribulations as a not-so-subtle reminder of how "rough" things have been for you. You can also use this as a way to look magnanamous and introspective while avoiding taking any real action. Whine about how you are finally working on your "issues" (never mind that you have been saying the same thing for years), as if that is supposed to mean something real. Avoid any discussion about what you are doing *specifically* to work on those issues. After all, (despite your previous litany of lies) the person you are apologizing to should trust that you really mean what you say this time, right? Talk about how you are finally accepting responsibility for the consequences of your behavior, and then avoid making any effort to talk to the other person face to face. Talk about how you miss the fun you had with the other person (carefully avoiding any mention of the fun you had at that person's expense at the same time). See if there is still a chain left to be yanked. Remember, this is all about assuaging your conscience and repairing your damaged image - not about doing real work or genuine caring for the other person, but nobody else needs to know that. With a little careful manipulation, you can use this apology to get sympathy and attention from other people as well.

5.) Don't give any reasons about why you have suddenly decided to extend this tremendous effort (writing an email) after so much time has passed. It is equally important that you avoid replying to any questions they might ask about specifics. Remember, this isn't really about making amends, it's about making yourself feel better.

6.) Expect instant redemption and forgiveness. Remember, no matter what you have done, a few words are supposed to magically wipe away all the pain of the past with no further work required by you. Now that you have made a token gesture, the other person should just "forgive and forget" so that you find it easier to sleep at night.

7.) Get upset when your trite "olive branch" isn't received with warmth and acceptance. Go whining to whomever will listen, about how you made all this *EFFORT*, and how *HARD* it was for you to take that step (what with all your issues, and all), and how it was REJECTED because that awful person actually expected you to DO SOMETHING REAL. After all, you have ISSUES and such, and that means you should be exempted from behaving in a manner congruent to your words, and everyone should coddle you and praise even the smallest effort on your part.

8.) Take no further action. Use pat phrases like, "I'm doing my best to take responsiblity for the consequences of my behaviour", but don't actually DO anything beyond sending the email. It plays well, and you can always use that "doing my best" as your cop-out when you don't actually follow-through - it wasn't a REAL commitment to change, it was a "best-effort", and your emailed apology was a fine demonstration of how good THAT is. I can't stress enough how important it is that you don't reply to any questions the other person might have about your email, especially ones that ask "why now?", "what specifically do you acknowledge was inappropriate?" and "what specifically you are doing to take responsibility?". After all, you don't owe them any explanation. Like I said, this isn't about doing anything for *them*, it's all about YOU. Indicate in your original apology that you still have some of the other person's belongings, but don't actually make any effort to RETURN them, or contact the other person in any way. After all, once you've made your apology, you can wash your hands of the whole messy affair and wipe your conscience clean without having to dirty yourself with uncomfortable things like integrity, sincerity, action or actually facing the person you harmed.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Contrived Suprise

I was browsing the threads over at DailyStrength recently and I came across one that got my noodle flowing. The group I was browsing happened to be Christian Parents of Estranged Adult Children (you know, because the CHRISTIAN parents of estranged children have it so much harder than the HEATHEN parents of estranged children that they must distinguish themselves accordingly). I check that particular group's postings often because I'm hoping it will give me more insight into the fucked-up thought processes of DH's born-again-Christian-bible-thumping father. In a post written on April 7, 2012, user GuelsMom responded to a post titled, If we only get one chance at a surprise encounter. She wrote [bolding and enlarging of text for emphasis, mine]:

...I don't think I am the one to say which is best to pray first and have something ready or if it is best to address at the time of an unexpected encounter...I don't have to worry about chance encounters either because ES lives hundreds of miles from here. He would never show up here unannounced - ever. DH and I have discussed driving to where he lives and showing up at his workplace when he gets out of work to try to talk to him without DIL around to influence him but that was just a momentary thing and I don't think we will do that without some kind of movement on their part first...Good question though for those that might live near their EK's!

So my thought on this is that the scenario GuelsMom is describing is not exactly a surprise encounter...it's actually more like an ambush. First of all, she's totally premeditated her fantasy meeting with her son to be one where he'd automatically be uncomfortable, defensive, and caught off-guard, likely without his biggest supporter around to help him. By "influence" him, she really means "support" him. That's not at all an ideal situation in which to have a mature, adult conversation with someone who has cut off contact with you. And it reminded me of my theory that there are no coincidences when it comes to narcissists because every move they make is calculated and carefully measured to ensure their own personal success. The situations they "find" themselves in are almost always contrived, kind of like the cheating spouse who "Oops!" just "accidentally" had their penis "slip" into another woman's vagina. "Like, woopsy-daisy! How'd that happen?"

The narcissist's version of this with their kids is more like, "Well, howdy son! Fancy meeting you here, at your work, that it took me months to find after I paid a private investigator to track you down, since you moved over a thousand miles away from me and never told me where. And, oh! Too bad, your wife's not around either? Shucks, whadayaknow? I guess I'll have to try brainwashing you without her around. And here, have a couple of useless trinkets for all the kids. I don't know how many you have now, so I bought ten, just in case. After I'm done trying to embarrass and strong-arm you in front of your co-workers, would you just go home and tell them how much Grammy looooooves them?"

I have a BIG problem with anyone, regardless of their relationship with my husband, who thinks it's perfectly acceptable to expect him to talk with them and then keep it a secret from me, or to just keep their secrets, period. In a healthy marriage, there are no secrets. That doesn't mean the participating members of the marriage don't have a right to privacy. But privacy and secrets are two very different things - privacy is acceptable. Secrets are not. And I say, fuck anyone who tries to tell you otherwise.

Change

Ruth, over at We Are One got me thinking about change today. As I often do when I need a pick-me-up, I found a couple of quotes that inspire change. Some of these things have been quoted at me before, during a time in my life when I lost myself and needed help; others are things I'd like to say to someone I love who needs guidance right now. Change is a hard thing, which is why so many people choose not to do it. But I believe that if we are not living in truth, then we are not living at all. I believe that if we are not willing to be real and to do the hard work, then we will never be happy. I believe that love is lived in the truth, and if their is no honesty, then there is no love. Some of the most amazing people I know are so because they changed. I am lucky enough to be surrounded by a very strong and loving extended family unit, as well as this wonderful world of blogging friends - they are my inspiration and my guides. 

The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking. -Albert Einstein

They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. -Andy Warhol

For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again. -F.Scott Fitzgerald (**special thanks to Ruth for also posting this quote)

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. -Lao Tzu

Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge. -Ekhart Tolle

The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself. -C. Joybelle

Someone was hurt before you, wronged before you, hungry before you, frightened before you, beaten before you, humiliated before you, raped before you… yet, someone survived… You can do anything you choose to do. -Maya Angelou

If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. -Tony Robbins

If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today? -Steve Jobs 

If there is anything that we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves. -Carl Jung

It's the most unhappy people who most fear change. - Mignon McLaughlin 

High Five

And the high-five prize goes to Tundra Woman, for guessing correctly in my Can You Spot The Narcissist game! Here's your high five from Jonsi, TW: **high five!**

I have to say though, everyone's guesses were superb and the reasoning behind them were spot-on. I didn't recognize any of the other people who had answered the question that NMIL's "friend" asked, but I'd say, given some of their three-word answers, it could very well be that they are narcissists too. I'm thinking maybe it wasn't as easy to spot the narcissist as I thought it would be, simply because there were a couple of three-word answers that could be indicators of narcissistic thought patterns. To recap, one of NMIL's farcebook friends put up the following status: You and I are handcuffed together in the back of a Cop car! Using ONLY 3 words, what would you say to me? And, now you know that NMIL's three word response was, I love you!! :)

The reason why I found this to be disturbing was because, given the context of the hypothetical situation (i.e. both people had presumably been caught doing something wrong and were now being arrested for their offense) an "I-love-you-exclamation-exclamation-smiley-face" reaction would be ridiculously inappropriate. Her answer makes me wonder, "Damn, bitch. Did you even read the fucking question?"

And after I read her response, I thought that it wasn't surprising at all. This woman is famous for behaving inappropriately given the context of every situation she's ever found herself in. I mean, this is the same woman who continues to send DH emails that are totally incongruous with the relationship we currently have with her. She's so busy smiling her little smiley faces and twirling her hair innocently that she pretends she hasn't even noticed that we haven't spoken to her in well over a year and that the last time we did it was to tell her to fuck off.

Yeah, NMIL would sit in the back of a cop car smiling her creepy little smile, quite sure that no one could possibly prove she had done anything wrong, professing love for her partner in crime while being hauled off to the slammer, before claiming innocence and blaming her "friend" for whatever they had been caught for. NMIL's hands could be covered in the shit she was playing with before getting caught, the police could have walked in, catching her "brown-handed," and she'd still claim innocence.

Her answer reminds me of an instance last year when I read an inappropriate comment she left on one of Pig's statuses some time last year. Pig left up a status in memorandum of a colleague who had passed away recently. He even included a photo of the two of them standing together, which he indicated had been the last time they had seen each other. Amidst the sympathetic commentary from others, NMIL's words stuck out like a sore thumb: "Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Piiiiggggg! I loooooove youuuuuuuuuuuuuuu. I miss youuuuuuu! Okay byeeeeeee!" It was epically inappropriate, again, given the context of the message being shared, and quite frankly, scared me.

This bitch straight up sold her soul to the devil, and she did it a long time ago.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Can You Spot The Narcissist?

A woman with at least one narcissistic friend wrote this as her Facebook status a couple of days ago: You and I are handcuffed together in the back of a Cop car! Using ONLY 3 words, what would you say to me? Several of her "friends" answered, one of them a confirmed narcissist. Can you spot her, with only her three word answer as a clue? Here are all the answers people gave:

- Damn, got caught
- Told ya so
- Don't tell Steve
- Let's call Ricky
- Say a prayer!
- Is this good?
- Shit, now what?
- Any brighter ideas?
- It was you
- I love you!! :)
- What's that smell
- Is this good
- Here we sit
- Where's our clothes
- I shoulda listened!
- This is awkward
- Get the key
- Way to go
- You're under arrest

**I of course have the answer, so maybe it's just way obvious to me because I already know it, but I'm curious to see if anyone guesses. The prize is a high five from Jonsi!
**Alright, I'll give you one hint: look for the answer that seems the most absurd, given the context of the hypothetical situation.
**Okay guys, hint number two: The narcissist in question is, in fact, NMIL.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Nosy Neighbor

My, but the world does seem to get smaller and smaller everyday. A few days ago, one of our neighbors, who happens to be moving in just a few weeks, stopped over to chat while DH and I were outside playing with the little ones. Before I tell you what we were chatting about, I need to give you a bit of back story: I knew immediately upon meeting her that this neighbor, who we'll call "Nosy," was not the sort that I would ever be friends with, or with whom I'd share anything that I didn't want the whole world to know. She's nice enough, but that only gets you so far when, as soon as you turn your back, she's gossiping about you to the rest of the street (along with anyone else who will listen). Nosy is the kind of person who will smile at you as you walk past and then turn to the person next to her and whisper, "You know what I heard about her..."

Typically, I don't trust people who share other peoples' private information with me, and Nosy was all about that. Once, when I was watching my kids play outside, she walked up to me and volunteered the "news" that one of our other neighbors had had a miscarriage. I remember thinking, "That's none of my business, and if it had been me who'd suffered the miscarriage, I certainly wouldn't have wanted that information shared with everyone on my street." I loathe the idea that there are people out there who exploit another person's misfortune because of their own selfish and unhealthy need for attention. Though I already knew to expect that kind of behavior from her, that moment just solidified the thought that the woman had little, if any, desire to behave honorably. And, oh the propensity for drama!

During a backyard barbeque we went to at her house last summer, she tried to regale me with tall tales of excitement and intrigue, that all happened right here in her backyard! While her husband stood behind us, rolling his eyes and refuting her stories, she told me, "There were like a hundred fire trucks right here on the street last night! I'm surprised you didn't hear it! I had to call them because there was a drunk man spinning around our backyard in his car! He almost took out the beams holding our deck up!" One look at the backyard told me that no one had been burning rubber in her backyard. One look at her husband told me that "a hundred firetrucks" was probably more like one police car. I wondered whether the man was really drunk, or if he was just wandering around looking for directions. Her story was so grossly exaggerated that it had easily crossed from truth to lie.

Nosy was definitely not my idea of a best gal pal. She was too superficial, too meddlesome, and far too willing to gossip about things I wouldn't want gossiped about. I warned DH to stay away from her, except to perhaps to say a polite "hello" or to talk about superficial things. This was not because I'm a jealous spouse or because I don't ever want DH to be in the presence of a female, (though I don't believe that truly platonic relationships are anything but rare) this was just my judgement call on one particularly pesky neighbor.

A few weeks ago, she caught me walking down the street and asked me if I wanted to spend a bit of girl time with her and another neighbor who's husband was out of town. I obliged, mostly because I wanted to have a beer and girl talk sounded appealing (something that's rare for me, as "girl talk" usually entails a lot of giggling and superficial chit chat). So I went over, had a beer, and mostly listened. I listened to them badmouth their husbands (which, from the sounds of it, they deserved), but I did not badmouth my own. I listened to them discuss how many times they'd been to rehab and all the drugs they'd tried in college. I listened to them reveal that they had been pregnant before they got married, and confessed to the same because I feel no shame in it. I walked away from my one beer and two hours of girl talk, all the more enlightened and resolute that I'd been right about Nosy to begin with.

So, fast-forward to a couple days ago when she stopped by for a chat with us. (She and her husband have been stopping over occasionally to offer us furniture and kid's toys that they don't want to take with them when they move.) She caught site of a book that was sitting on our patio table and said, "Oh, what are you reading?" It was Toxic Parents. A wonderful book, but not exactly the easiest to explain to nosy neighbors. I opted not to and just to let her think whatever she wanted to think. Eventually, we got around to talking about where Nosy was moving to, which she'd already revealed a while back but had not yet confirmed. As it turns out, she is moving to the same town NMIL lives in, and even looked at and considered buying NMIL's McMansion for sale.

And it gets weirder. Nosy actually told us that she "felt bad" for NMIL, because when she and her husband asked her if she would consider lowering the price of the house, NMIL told her she couldn't and that she was upset because she'd gotten a cash offer on the house when it had first gone on the market and she had declined. The way Nosy was describing the interaction, you would have thought the two had actually chatted face-to-face, a possibility I have not yet discounted once I considered the source of the information being shared.

Let's pause here for a moment and reflect: When she was talking about all this, I couldn't help but think that NMIL and Nosy were like a match made in Heaven. Nosy is just the kind of person who would be attracted to someone like NMIL, and NMIL would eat her up in a hot second and immediately turn her into a Flying Monkey...especially if she had any inkling that Nosy lived on our street. (Like, who needs to hire a P.I. when you've got a neighbor with a degree in peeking over fences and a propensity for feeding the gristmill?) You know all my theories about how narcissists attract the most superficial people, who are always more than willing to do their dirty work? Well, this little relationship, however slight, between NMIL and Nosy is the perfect example. The world isn't all that big with this many narcissists running around. And just look at NMIL! She's so good at her craft that she's able to invoke pity in others through a third party: chances are good that NMIL and Nosy have not met (yet) and that they were merely communicating through emails sent from their respective real estate agents, and NMIL was STILL able to invoke pity in her target. Phew. That's a real mind-fuck right there.

A fellow blogger and Truth-fighter, Vicarious Rising, had this to say during one of our behind-the-scenes discussions about Nosy's behavior: "It's annoying how [Nosy] had to mention feeling sorry for your NMIL. Poor bitch made a stupid investment. Boo hoo. I have a hard time buying the cash offer for her home, not unless it was the late 90s/early 2000s, and even then it's a tough story to buy. I was in the mortgage industry once upon a time, so I have a little knowledge. My bet would be that she's embellishing to make her home seem that much more appealing." Vicarious said it well, the whole "cash offer" tidbit shared by NMIL really does seem like it was just a fabrication on her part to get what she wanted (in this case, to sell her house to some unsuspecting fool). If anything, I do have hope that there aren't as many suckers out there in the world as I had previously thought: Her house has been on the market for almost seven months and she keeps having to lower the price. Cash offer, my ass.

I have no doubts whatsoever that if NMIL and Nosy ever do meet, that Nosy will immediately become her "new best friend forever" and that she'll switch over to the dark side faster than you can say Jonsi's MIL is a narcissist.

What did we say to Nosy, when she realized that she'd looked at DH's mother's house and that she'd been talking with his mother? What did we say when she point-blank asked if DH is talking with her? The same thing we'd say to a five-year-old who just realized that "Daddy has a Mama too?" We told Nosy that DH does not talk to his mother because, "She's not a nice person." The only thing I added, which I often add when I feel like explaining a bit further, was that, "The bitch wore white to my wedding." I always figure that particular detail paints a pretty good picture of who NMIL is, and that most women will get that. Nosy looked at me with her mouth wide open and said, "She didn't! That's so mean!" Then she added, "Well, now that I know she's not nice I don't feel bad for her anymore."

I laughed at that, inside my own head. Sure, sure you don't, honey. But we all know that when you bump into her on the street in the town where you now both live and you realize who she is, you'll share every bit of information you have about us with her. And when she complains about me to you, you'll collude and commiserate with her, telling her that you "never much liked Jonsi" either. And that's fine, because that's who you are and it really doesn't matter to me. I can rest easy, knowing that you don't know much, that I've protected what I am able to protect, and that you'd just be joining the ranks of Jonsi-Haters and they'll be lucky to have you. I could never have known, those few years ago, that Nosy would someday move to NMIL's town, or that she'd be looking to buy NMIL's house, or even that the two might be friends someday. But I knew enough to know that she meant trouble, and I did what I needed to do to keep us as safe as possible. And I'm happy that I've learned from my mistakes over the years, enough to keep me from over sharing with people who mean me and my loved ones harm. That was something I might have done years and years ago, but no longer.

Good riddance to bad rubbish, I say. At least it's off my street now.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

What A Tart


A picture really does speak a thousand words, especially one that a narcissist tweets of herself that she thinks is cute/attractive/socially acceptable/sexy (barf). I kid you not, my friends, this is Exhibit A. Can you say capital-T, Tart? Even if I am ugly on the outside, my emotional innards are FAR prettier than the reflection Exhibit A is hoping to see when she gazes into the mirror. I think even the mirror would have a hard time lying to her. Actually, I'm pretty sure that her external appearance matches her internal one quite closely. I'd say this picture is the perfect representation of precisely what she is.

What's funny to me is that girls like this don't actually have any self-esteem to speak of, and so they walk around snapping photos of themselves, like the ones on her Twitter account, thinking that it will make them feel better but in actuality, it never does. I just...don't get it. Does she think she looks good? Does she think this is attractive? Would she care if she realized that most people who look at this who have any sort of self-respect wouldn't find this attractive at all? I'm someone who believes that women, all women, deserve respect, even when they don't expect if for themselves...but holy hell does this girl make it hard to maintain that value.

Instead of feeling bad for her, I'll just lob some of her insults right back in her direction: Um, like honey? Your outfit is causing my retinas an intense amount of pain & I plan on billing you. And like, I totally get that your nickname from the "meat department" is babydoll, but we all know that there are a ton of morons out there right? Like, um, were you drunk when you picked out that outfit? No? Wait, what's that? Oh, I see. So you picked it out for a Mermaid Parade? Like, um, what? I mean, how old are you, twenty three? Cause, I'm pretty sure that only three-year-olds dress up in mermaid clothes and pretty-princess crowns and wait to meet Prince Charming. Like...I feel bad for those seven kids you plan on having, cause like, you're gonna be competing with your two-year-old daughters, like daily, and your sons will probably feel like you're emotionally raping them everyday. Gawd....like, bitches get stitches! (Whatever that means). I know you think you're hot, but damn gurrrrrrlllllllfrannnnd, PLEASE PUT SOME CLOTHES ON THAT ACTUALLY FIT YOU. Honey. didn't anyone ever tell you that you look like a chubby three-year-old in dress-up and that you aren't supposed to go out in public like that? Looks to me like SOMEONE needs to be slapped across the face with a little thing called the truth.

I mean, I could deal with this if she wasn't such a vapid, controlling, meddling, conniving selfish twit. But the fact that she is all of those things just makes this picture so sad that it's just a little bit funny. I go back and forth between those two feelings, but mostly I just have to laugh.

She's pathetic.

Nut Jobs

Our recent discovery of DS's multiple food allergies and my FOO's response to the situation has, once again, gotten me thinking about how narcissistic individuals respond so inappropriately in situations such as this. I've read umpteen articles written by frazzled parents from all over the internet who's own parents or spouse's parents simply refuse to accept or abide by the needs of their grandchildren, even in life-threatening situations. And, whenever we're dealing with allergies, there is always the possibility that a reaction could be life-threatening, even in children who's reactions typically tend to be less severe.

Here's what it should like:

My mother has been slowly but surely stocking her pantry with foods that are are both safe and appealing for DS. She's found everything from pasta to cookies and even wants to keep his special milk on hand for when we come over. She's offered to bring jello jigglers to every function we attend together, just so that DS has a guaranteed special treat when snacks come out. She gave me her bread machine so that I can experiment with making DS fresh bread everyday. (His is far to expensive to buy at the store, costing over five dollars a loaf). When the first bread machine didn't work, she gave me the new one that she just purchased for herself. She makes sure to cook pasta whenever we come over for dinner that's the same shape as DS's so that he won't think everyone else has something different or better than what he has.

She has offered to help us pay for a new family room sofa because we can't afford one and we think the cat dander in it may still be affecting his skin. (Even though we recently found a loving home for our cat, the old sofa we have is still covered in ever-elusive cat dander, which I've read may take up to two years to be gone completely). She gave us her old (but still functioning) air purifier. She's always the first person I call when I need to ask advice about how to alleviate DS's itchy skin, and she comes over to babysit for nearly every doctor's visit. I never have to worry that she won't read a label or that she'll give something to DS that could harm him.

For the record, my parents are not even close to being rich. They're about as middle-class as they come, and don't have much more money to spend than we do. When I told my mother we would pay her back for buying us a new couch, she said no. I told her we couldn't accept unless we paid for it. She said we could pay for some of it. (We're paying for all of it, she just doesn't know it yet.) When I said, "That's too expensive, Mom." She said, "Jonsi, it's not for you, it's for DS. If I can help out, then I will." She doesn't have any more money than we do, and buying specialty foods to keep on hand for our son is very expensive.

Just yesterday, when we were discussing the purchase of a new couch, she advised me not to wait for DS's next check-up with the allergist if I think that he's uncomfortable. (He's started breaking out all over his body again, and spends a good deal of time scratching wherever he can reach). She's genuinely concerned for his well-being, in fact, she's as concerned as we are. And that's the way it's supposed to be.

Narcissists, on the other hand, spend their time either exploiting their grandchildrens' allergies to make themselves appear more loving/special/interesting (etc.) or else completely denying that there is anything wrong at all and do little but disregard the parents' requests concerning their child's specialty diet. In short, Narcissists are nothing but a bunch of fucking nut jobs, handing out nuts to the most allergic kids they know, just because they don't give a shit what happens to them.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Triumph Of Bullshit

Attention Dear Readers, this just in from NMIL:

From: NMIL [most recently used work email address]
Sent: Fri, June 22, 2012 at 9:38 AM
Subject: HAPPY BIRTHDAY [DH]!!!!!
To: DH (Work Email)

Hope you have a great day with your family!!!

Love,
Mom

Ah, Mommy-Dearest, to that I will put to use a fantastical poem by T.S. Eliot, which I think sums your horsecrap up rather succinctly:

The Triumph of Bullshit - T.S. Eliot 

Ladies, on whom my attentions have waited
If you consider my merits are small
Etiolated, alembicated,
Orotund, tasteless, fantastical,
Monotonous, crotchety, constipated,
Impotent galamatias
Affected, possibly imitated,
For Christ's sake stick it up your ass.

Ladies, who find my intentions ridiculous
Awkward, insipid and horribly gauche
Pompous, pretentious, ineptly meticulous
Dull as the heart of an unbaked brioche
Floundering versicles freely versiculous
Often attenuate, frequently crass
Attempts at emotion that turn isiculous,
For Christ's sake stick it up your ass.

Ladies who think me unduly vociferous
Amiable cabotin making a noise
That people may cry out "this stuff is too stiff for us"-
Ingenuous child with a box of new toys
Toy lions carnivorous, cannon fumiferous
Engines vaporous- all this will pass;
Quite innocent, -"he only wants to make shiver us."
For Christ's sake stick it up your ass.

And when thyself with silver foot shall pass
Among the theories scattered on the grass
Take up my good intentions with the rest
And then for Christ's sake stick them up your ass. 

Not Leaving 'Til They Get What They Want

we're at my parents house. there's a knock at the door. my aunt goes to answer it but i don't want her to. she just opens it without asking who it is and that makes me angry. she lets the people in. its EFIL and L. i am more than angry now, i don't want them here. they don't belong here. what are they doing here? i look at my aunt and show her my anger but she doesnt seem to understand and she just shrugs. i turn to EFIL and L and say get the fuck out of my house. EFIL says it's not your house, and walks right past me. i know now that they are not leaving 'til they get what they want. now they're walking down the stairs down into my mom's sewing room. there is a basket of colorful yoyos she's been working on for a yoyo quilt she's making for the baby. L plunges her hands into the basket and pulls a couple of them out. some spill onto the floor and that bothers me. what's this, she asks. now we're going back upstairs, back to the living room. they sit on the sofa. they won't leave. they're not leaving 'til they get what they want. i keep mentally counting everyone that i love, to make sure that no one is missing when i turn around: my babies, DH, my parents, my brothers. no one is missing. i don't know why EFIL and L are here but i know they are after something. i walk outside, pacing on the sidewalk. call the police. the dispatcher seems to take forever in asking me what my emergency is. i explain to her, anxiety growing in the pit of my stomach, knowing that my mother is inside and she will keep everyone safe, but wanting to go back inside anyway. there is too much for me to protect inside for me to be out here. i have a moment of worry, thinking that EFIL and L are going to lock me out. lock me out of my own house. i tell the dispatcher to send someone, hurry, there are people here and they need to leave. my husbands father is here and he is dangerous, he must be sent away. he won't leave until he get's what he wants. she says okay, we'll send someone. a mental image in my mind: a dream within a dream of a post-apocalyptic world. the image fades and i'm back inside my parents house again. DH's father is still there, though L has faded somewhere into the fabric of the dream. some time passes. EFIL tries to talk to DH, who won't oblige. i go back outside, frantic now, and call the police again. i get the same dispatcher and she gives me an attitude for calling again so soon. i think you're not supposed to be giving me attitude, there's a problem here and you're supposed to be sending someone, you said you would send someone. she says they got tied up somewhere. chill out they're coming. i yell at her, this is your job! my job is to call you and tell you there's a man here. your job is to send someone. send help. i want this man gone. i want him gone! i want him gone! i keep yelling this into the phone, over and over again. i am very, very angry. i go back inside. my mother warns me that EFIL is up to something, he's going to do something bad. i am in the kitchen now, watching him. he's going crazy. he's guzzling wine from a bottle. i say, to no one in particular, he's going to do drugs now. EFIL turns, his back to us, face in the corner and makes a loud snorting sound as he hunches over. when he turns back around, he shoots something white out of his nose and it lands at my feet. his eyes are like those of a madman. things are moving quicker now, somewhere my conscience is telling me to wake up. this is only a dream. we're in the kitchen again. it's my parents old kitchen, EFIL is standing next to the patio door. he's drinking red wine out of a long-stemmed wine glass and it pours out of his mouth onto his chest like blood. i am frightened. i knock the glass out of EFIL's hand and it shatters on the ground. i continue to see glimpses of that post-apocalyptic world now, but it's right outside the window. behind me, DH has brought DD and DS into the room, and they are standing there watching. i don't have much time to think, i scoop them both up and start walking away, back to the living room. i don't want them to get cut on the broken glass.

When we're little, the monsters in our dreams are not based on real people. Not yet. It's when we're adults that we realize who those monsters really are. They can be mom or dad. Our brothers and sisters. Our best friends. Girlfriends, boyfriends, school teachers, neighbors. The monsters are real. They're coming to get us. And they aren't leaving 'til they get what they want.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Prisoner's Dilemma

Below is an excerpt I've copied from my favorite self-help book, "Who's Pulling Your Strings? How to Break the Cycle of Manipulation and Regain Control of Your Life" by Harriet B. Braiker.

This book has been a life-saver for me, on more than one occasion. On a recent post, fellow-blogger and narc-fighter Vicarious Rising wrote the following insightful comment, "I think the paranoia [of a narcissist] has to do with both the idea that everybody is looking at the narcissist since they are so ├╝ber important and that they are terrified of being revealed as frauds...And they probably also figure that everyone is thinking as deviously as they are, which means they have righteous cause to be paranoid."

The concept of narcissists' extreme paranoia is a fascinating topic for another day, what I'd really like to focus on is the idea that Vicarious mentioned about how narcs "figure that everyone is thinking as deviously as they are." Reading that made me think of the excerpt I'm about to share from my anti-narcissist bible. It's kind of a mind-fuck, but in a good way, in that it'll get you thinking and maybe even answer a few questions for you. (Bolding for emphasis mine):

The Prisoner's Dilemma
by Harriet B. Braiker
Who's Pulling Your Strings (McGraw-Hill, 2004)

A classic social psychology study demonstrates the self-fulfilling prophecy impact of this interpersonal strategy. It is a match called the prisoner's dilemma game in which two people play, and it is sometimes referred to as a game of social domination.

The late, great mathematician Albert W. Tucker developed the game in 1950. In his original game, he conceived the story of two burglars, Bob and Al. The two crooks are captured near the scene of a crime and are taken to police headquarters, where they are split up and placed in separate cells and interrogated. The police tell each of them that things will go easier on them if they confess. Will it?

Each prisoner now has to decide whether or not to confess and implicate his pal. The police tell them that if neither man confesses, they will both go to prison for a year anyway on a charge of carrying a concealed weapon. If each of them confesses and implicates the other, then each will go to prison for 10 years. But if only one confesses and implicates the other, then the one who confessed will go free, and the other will serve the maximum sentence of 20 years. How do they decide?

There are only two possible strategies: confess or don't confess. No other option is available. In the following matrix first developed by Tucker, known as the prisoner's dilemma matrix or payoff, you can see the  options open to each prisoner and the consequences of each decision when viewed against the decision of the other prisoner.

Bob's possible consequences are to the left of the comma in each square of the grid, whereas Al's are to the right. If Al and Bob both confess and implicate the other, they each get 10 years. If Al and Bob both clam up, they each get 1 year. However if Al confesses and implicates Bob and Bob does not confess, Al goes free and Bob gets 20 years. And if the reverse is true, where Bob confesses and Al does not, then Bob gets 20 years and Al goes free.

Over the years, many variations of the prisoner's dilemma have been conceived to look at how people cooperate or do not cooperate in social settings. We can view manipulators through the same prism.

In one variation, the matrix labels are changed from "confess / don't confess" to "cooperate / compete." The game is sometimes played by awarding gold coins or dollars, depending on the outcome of each move.

Each person, on any given move, can play to cooperate or to compete. In the game's setup, if both people cooperate on the same move, they both win moderate outcomes ($10). However, if one person cooperates while the other person competes, the cooperator loses  (earn's $0); conversely, the competitor wins big ($20). This is the zero-sum outcome - one winner and one loser. Finally, if both parties choose to compete, they each get only a small win ($1).

A true manipulator will always look at the game by assuming that the person he or she is playing against will compete. Competing is the manipulator's natural mind-set.

However, when you ponder the game, you will realize that the best strategy to maximize both parties' outcome is for them to trust each other to cooperate on every move. If both cooperate, each earns $10 for each move. However, the risk involved is that if you choose to cooperate and the other player competes, you get zero and your opponent wins $20.

People who play with the manipulator's mind-set believe that everyone will automatically play to win - or to maximize gain and minimize loss on each turn - by playing competitively. However, this option will only work best for the competitive player when the opponent plays cooperatively. The competitor gets $20, and the cooperator gets $0.

Manipulators always play the competitive move. When they first sit down to play with an opponent, they make the competitive move. Sometimes, their opponent will make a cooperative move on the first try; sometimes he will not. However, given that the manipulator continues to play competitively, the originally cooperative opponent has no choice but to change his tactics into also being a nontrusting competitor. In this way, the opponent will improve his score by $1 (up from $0) and in so doing also reduce the manipulator's score to $1.

On the other hand, consider the experience of people who examine the matrix and choose on their first move to play cooperatively, trusting the other player to also cooperate so that each gets $10 on every move. If both players do play cooperatively, over 10 moves, each will accrue $100. As long as both players continue to play cooperatively - that is, by trusting one another - their gain will be guaranteed over the course of the game.

However, if a cooperative person gets burned by a competitive person on the first few rounds, the only option to the trusting person is to switch strategies and become competitive too - just as a defense.

Studies of behavior in the prisoner's dilemma game show that cooperators have varied experiences playing the game. Sometimes they meet other cooperators and they both walk away happy. At other times, though, they meet competitors whose distrustful, self-aggrandizing strategy makes the cooperator shift by necessity to a competitive strategy as defense. Very few people will continue to play cooperatively throughout the game when faced with a competitor. When asked to summarize their feelings after several rounds playing with different people, the cooperators may shrug their shoulders and say that it's just like life: There are all different sorts of people.

On the other hand, competitive players almost always wind up having the same experience that both players compete in the game. Because the competitive (manipulative) payer converts his opponent to a competitive strategy (but will not allow himself to be similarly converted to a cooperative strategy because cooperation requires interpersonal trust), his experience with others is not varied. His own behavior creates competition in others and thereby validates his original view that that others are not to be trusted.

Using the prisoner's dilemma game as a model for life, you can readily see that manipulators who inherently distrust others and project their own competitive impulses on others actually will create the very social world they imagine. Their life experience will wind up confirming their belief system, although they typically do not understand how their own distrusting behavior creates distrust, competition, and rivalry in others.

The pattern captured by the essence of the gaming model shows how and why manipulators rationalize their view that life is a dog-eat-dog game where each person must do what is necessary to advance his own personal needs even if it is at the expense of others. Manipulators believe that this behavior is justified because they believe that other people will do the same to them.

Think how this mind-set can affect and poison an interpersonal relationship. Trusting people who allow for the possibility that other can, on occasion, choose to behave altruistically and/or generously or, as in the prisoner's dilemma game, others can choose to cooperate because it is rational and adaptive will be open to the possibility of trusting relationships. If you approach the world with an open but realistic attitude that allows for both kinds of people - trusting souls and self-promoting competitors - your experiences will mirror your expectations. You likely will meet both kinds of people who have the opportunity to form relationships in which mutual trust and cooperation exist and are cherished by both participants.

In cooperation and trust lies the context for mutual respect and healthy interdependence - the blend of autonomy and interdependence that makes intimacy, high self-esteem, strong sense of self, and solid self-reliance possible.

However, the realistic cooperator also knows that competitive manipulators exist in the world; when the competitive opponent is met, the cooperator can adjust and adapt his or her behavior accordingly. You do not have to reward manipulators by allowing their exploitative behavior and tactics to work.

Summary: Manipulation derives from a mind-set and world-view that allows it to be rationalized and denied. Trying to get a manipulator to change by setting a good example and allowing yourself to be exploited only rewards his or her manipulative tactics.

The best chance you have to change a manipulator is to stop rewarding her tactics. Manipulation persists because it works. It is effective. As long as a manipulator gets you to comply with her needs and give in to her control, she will continue to relate to you in a manipulative fashion.

To change a manipulator, you must change your own behavior. The manipulator wants to advance her personal gain and self-interest and simply does not care if this happens at the expense of your interests, well-being, piece of mind, or psychological or physical health. When you learn to block her tactics effectively with moves of your own...you will block the manipulator and gradually stop allowing yourself to be manipulated.

When her manipulation stops working, the manipulators self-interest will be better served by switching methods or - and you must accept this possibility at the onset - by switching relationships altogether. Blocking the manipulator's tactics may not result in losing the relationship. However, you must confront the possibility in order to embrace your freedom and to find the way out of the destructive pattern of exploitation and manipulation in which you may be enmeshed. If you are not willing to lose the relationship - even when it means losing yourself int he process - then you are not ready to stop being a victim.

Finally, people are not always consistent with respect to the role they play in relationships. Many manipulators have learned their craft of control from participation in relationships in which they were the victims. Sometimes people who have been subject to aversive manipulation in one relationship vow to never be in the victim role again; instead, they successfully position themselves to be the manipulator in their next relationship.

Chasing Butterflies In The Sun

"What's that, Mama? An airplane?"
She's pointing at an eagle,
graceful, serene
fingertips stained with cherry juice.

We talk about flying, Ruby and I
free as the airplane birds
swooping
soaring
diving

She moves her miniature sunchair
closer to the bumblebee wading pool
to dip her feet in
then she shows Hale
how to throw his heavy sippy cup into
the water

It splashes me,
my shirt is soaked, face dripping
I laugh

Humid air makes their hair curl
little ringlets bouncing
as they run
blades of wet grass stuck to their legs

Then back to the picnic table
eating snacks,
watching ladybug ants march to the food
Seeing what happens when a pretzel
gets wet

sidewalk chalk stuck to their lips.
They don't seem to mind

A lone butterfly flutters over
the neighbors fence
and lands for a brief moment
on Hale's arm
before taking off again to rise and fall
on the gentle breeze

Are we all chasing butterflies in the sun?

*I've replaced my children's names with aliases for the online version of this poem

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Inaccessible Place


As we know, I frequent the twitter accounts and social networks of my husband's FOO. And what I find only ever manages to prove all of my theories accurate. What you see above is not a photo I took off of some random Google image page. It is actually an image that NSIL posted to twitter some time ago, and it's really got me thinking.

Now, I don't know the context of the above textversation, but I immediately found myself wondering what NSIL was trying to convey underneath the superficial idea on display. To individuals not at all in-tuned to the inner-workings of a narcissist, and perhaps for those who are just plain superficial, the above picture probably doesn't mean very much. Where those people would likely focus on what's in the middle of the conversation (i.e. the fact that NSIL now "has sundaysssssssssssssssss offfffffffffffff yayyyayayayayyaya!!!!) I, instead, focused on the messages from her NM. (And for anyone wondering, NMIL's words are in the white bubbles, and NSIL's are in the green).

I believe that her superficial reason for tweeting the above image, was in fact, to share her news that she has Sundays off. I also believe that, in that section of her mind that has been locked away and is no longer accessible, is the thought that she needs to show the world that her mother's love is a farce. This girl defends her mother so fiercely because she has not the strength, courage, or know-how to call the bluff. While inside she has locked away the knowledge that her mother is not, in fact, "glad" that she is happy, (and in fact, is quite smitten with the fact that NSIL is not happy at all) on the outside, she is still trying to convince the world, indeed herself, that her mother is capable of empathy. She can not face the reality that her mother does not love her. She can not face the reality that her mother does not feel for her. So she lives in that denial, and she tweets photos of superficial conversations with her mother, in which her mother professes love for her, and she can keep up the facade that all is right with the world.

While she tweets images like those above, she simultaneously tweets comments that are indicative of a person who is miserable, drowning, all alone, in the shallow pool she resides in. Her mother is not "glad" for her daughter's happiness, both because she is incapable of feeling such a thing, and because her daughter's happiness does not exist.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Love Is In The Gray

You don't have to be this way
Mommy-dearest lied
So tell the truth today

However much you might dismay
You, her son, her precious pride
don't have to be this way

"But I can't," you may say
"Too much of me has died"
you tell the truth today

It's far past time for you to stray
from the emptiness inside
You don't have to be this way

I need you to be brave
Please show me that you'll try
to tell the truth today

Don't let our love decay
where black and white collide
You don't have to be this way
if you just tell the truth today

Help

My dear, dear friends and readers, I could use some help today.

I could use a hug, a whisper of love, some words of kindness
a poem, a story, a wish for good luck,
a funny anecdote, or three or four

I could use a quote that reminds me there's still some hope
a conviction that there is light, even in my darkest hour
I could use a little reassurance, even just a bit

I could use a four leaf clover, if you've got one on hand
if not, how about a locker room pep talk
to get me through half-time

I could use some motivation, some lyrics from a favorite song
perhaps a bite of chocolate, do you have some?
I've heard it's good for the heart

I could use a rally, or perhaps a vigil
with little flickering candles lighting my way
and great red balloons to let go of, so the only place I can look is up

I could use a prayer, an encouraging smile, a joke
that will make me laugh
or a handful of chocolate chip cookies

I could use a promise that isn't empty
which you intend to keep
or a care package to help me get through

I could use  a back rub, a virtual one would do
a thank you note, or bouquet of flowers,
a bit of good news that has brightened your day

Please, dear friends and readers, send me your love
it doesn't have to be a big thing
to be extraordinary

Friday, June 15, 2012

Cease And Desist

A faithful reader and fellow narc-fighter, Tundra Woman, wrote the following (brilliant) comment on my post "Fuck It" and it was just too awesome to leave it be. I asked her permission to post it front and center, in the hopes that anyone who might have missed it as they passed on by may now see it and find it helpful. (I certainly do!) Her advice speaks to anyone who has gone No Contact with a narcissist who either A) Wishes to prevent from being stalked, in the likelihood that his/her narcissist is as crazy as the rest of ours or B) Wants to know the steps to take in order to put a halt to the stalking that he/she may already be experiencing. And actually, her advice works well for victims of non-narcissistic assholes as well. In her ever-witty, fantastically clever and resolute way, Tundra Woman, aka TW, tells us how to maintain NC and force our stalking narcissists to face legal ramifications for attempting to break it:

Thoughts/Lessons Learned re: Initiating NC
by Tundra Woman

- You have had a lifetime of experience with these "Parents." You KNOW what you KNOW. Believe yourself. If you haven't yet tried LC, MC etc. please try these options first. NC IS a metaphorical "death." Be prepared to treat it as such. This is an ABSOLUTE BOUNDARY. It's not gonna be comfortable to begin with but no new way of doing or being in this world ever is. Give yourself a chance to grieve before you initiate NC. Anticipatory grieving doesn't mean you're "done" with your grief work but rather you have a handle on your emotions and are prepared to move forward.


- ALWAYS, always, always (got that??!!) refer to the Estranged Parent(s) as "My BIOLOGICAL Parent(s)." I can't stress how important that term is: It sets a tone and tenor that is imperative to get your point across when dealing with anyone outside your immediate family. For all anyone else knows you were adopted and later your "biological" parent(s) started with the stalking, etc. You will be taken much more seriously, it will not appear a Permanent Estrangement is "just a Family Feud" and IMO, it is an HONEST appraisal of their role in your life.

- Get a VERY unlisted #, email, stay OFF any Social Networking sites, make sure your kid's school(s) has a copy of your letter on file. If the jerks show up on school property, the school officials are responsible for escorting them off/handling the situation.

- Put any correspondence that has any personal info/account #s on it etc. through a shredder if you don't do that already.


- If possible, engage an attorney to write the letter for you-it really is IMO the best option. If you can't-


- Put it in WRITING. Short and sweet-ex:" I do not wish to have any further contact with you through ANY means. Do not contact me, my immediate family, neighbors, friends, employers" etc. Address the "Parent(s)" by their first names. Sign off with your full name.


- Have it notarized and notarize a few copies. Keep one with you in your wallet at all times.


- Send it SNAIL MAIL, RESTRICTED DELIVERY, RETURN RECEIPT.


- Give copies of the letter and return receipt to all local law enforcement so they can have a "Heads Up" and keep it on file. You are now covering that end with a paper trail.


- Most of us can't stand public "scenes." The assholes depend on our reluctance and WILL violate the request VERY publicly. Call Law Enforcement IMMEDIATELY, FIRST time, EVERY time. I know it's embarrassing to have a Law Enforcement vehicle parked in your driveway. Get over yourself-they have. You may be the "talk of the neighborhood" today but people loose interest when you politely refuse to discuss your personal business.


- There are now laws available to assist you with Stalking, Unwanted Contact etc. USE THEM.


- Anticipate they are NOT going to simply gracefully accept your decision. Have a plan in place to address various scenarios. Keep your doors locked, don't allow kids to answer the door if they're too young to understand what's up. How you explain "what's up" is age contingent. (Hint: Just do the exact opposite of what your "parent(s)" would have done and the kids will be fine with Mom and Dad's decision.)

- Yes, it's going to "get worse" before it "gets better." In every way. Don't hesitate to use every tool at your command to enforce your boundary.


- You're a lot tougher than you know. If you survived growing up with these kinds of "parents" you have inner resources beyond your expectations and current self-knowledge.


- If you had ANY lingering doubts about your decision to terminate the relationship I can absolutely assure you your decision will be confirmed spectacularly. PROMISE.


- As an adult you absolutely have the right AND the responsibility to determine WHO will be a part of your life and who won't. If this person was anyone besides a "parent", would you have them in your life? In ANY capacity?


We're here and we'll help you any way we can. I stumbled through this alone, prior to "Self-Help" books and the internet, cell phones etc. You're NOT alone.


And that's a PROMISE too.

If This Is

You coward, you toad,
yellow-bellied pantywaist
sissy, chicken, pansy weakling
wimpy immoral snake

You namby-pamby milksop
dastard submissive cad
too afraid to face the truth?
You craven scaredy cat

You spineless, gutless jelly fish
lily livered fraud
You two-faced, phony four-flusher
absorbed in your facade

You bigot, bluffer, con artist
nebbish crooked swindler
You're a wussy and a fake
one bona fide truth fiddler

Your time to see the truth is past
Your revolution's bust
You're remit to face the facts 
so now it's up to us

What's the opposite of cowardice?
That's easy, bravery
grit, guts, heroism, pluck
indomitability

In ourselves we must look deep
to draw out the strength inside
Are we crooks, or champions?
s'up to us to decide

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sock Puppets

From a "new" old blog I just discovered, What Makes Narcissists Tick (I believe the owner of the blog has since passed away, but it is still up and open for public consumption, and it contains a ton of gems). An anonymous commentator left the following assertion on one of her posts:

Sometimes I think that the worst torture one could devise for these freaks [narcissists] would be to lock them in a room all alone for about three days. After about an hour, they would probably have their socks on their hands like puppets, just to have someone to lie to. 

If any of you have not yet seen that particular blog, I recommend that you check it out as soon as possible. I've been reading through the archives with my bottom jaw sitting on the top of my desk. It's utterly fantastic and worth about a million read-throughs.

Fuck It

I was keeping all this stuff private for the past few months, except to share it with a few of my nearest and dearest, but I've decided to air it all out for you guys. I didn't want DH's FOO to know what I was thinking about their shit, if they ever found my blog.

But you know what?

I do. I want them to know. I want them to know that no matter how many emails they send, no matter how many nasty birthday cards, no matter how often they wish me dead and gone, no matter how deep their denial or uncanny their ability to pretend that everything is perfect, no matter how long they keep their damn finger in the pie, I will never give up the fight. I will protect myself and my loved ones the best I know how for as long as I can. I will keep my children safe from their grasping claws. I am not afraid of them.

And if they never find my blog, then I want the world to know these things. I want to expose them for what they really are.

Sit back, Dear Readers, I'm going to be throwing a lot of shit your way from happenings that have occurred over the past few months. It's quite the shit storm of nonsense and nastiness.

The following is a “behind the scenes” look at everything that has gone on since DH and I decided to stop writing about his FOO’s recent manipulation tactics. We made that decision right before the holidays because we figured they’d be most likely to strike at that point in time. Herein, you’ll see a couple of emails I sent to my good friend Upsi, as well as emails from DH’s FOO and my descriptions of the goings-on these past few months. [Note – the reason why I’ve chosen to include my emails to Upsi is because, in them, I explained some of the current events – like how EFIL and L and NMIL chose to treat our childrens’ birthdays and the end-of-the-year holidays].
I’d say “Happy Reading!” but we all know that this stuff ain’t happy. Anyway, without further ado:
November 3, 2011
Sent from: Jonsi
Sent to: Upsi
So, EFIL and L sent DD a birthday card with a certificate for a savings bond. They wrote: happy second birthday DD, love Grandpa EFIL and Grandma L.
A bit of history about the savings bond thing: they have been giving our children savings bonds since they were born. DD got one when she was born, one for her first birthday, one for last Christmas, and one now for her second birthday. DS also got one when he was born, for his first Christmas and we're assuming they'll purchase one for his first birthday, which is coming up in December. Here's the thing about the savings bonds: For one thing, as we know, giving cash gifts is the easiest (and most thoughtless) gift to give a child - it shows no creativity or thoughtfulness on their parts. And secondly, and perhaps more importantly, if these people knew anything about us, and had LISTENED TO OUR REQUESTS about gift-giving, they would know that savings bonds are NOT what we wanted for our children.

When the babies were born, we asked that, if they really wanted to give a gift (and no gifts were expected) that it would be most helpful if they gave us cash to put in the kid's savings accounts. When DD was born, we very specifically asked that any gift given be cash that we could put towards her cord-blood banking, which was very expensive. The only people who did that were my parents and my aunt - no one from DH's family complied with that wish, or really even acknowledged the request.

I've already toyed with the idea of cashing the savings bonds ASAP and just taking whatever money I can get and putting it in their savings accounts. I asked my Aunt what exactly the point was of doing savings bonds and her answer was that, "Basically it forces the parents to save the money in the hopes that the kids will get it when they're grown." And the phrase that stuck with me was "it forces the parents..." I very highly doubt that EFIL and L sat there and thought all this out...but the point is that they can't even comply with a simple wish to send our children cash, if they're going to gift them with money...and furthermore, it just shows they continue to see us and our children as obligations instead of human beings to love. The bottom line is that they don't know us, they don't know our children, and they never will. How sad.

Now, NMIL played her cards as well. Once again, she sent flowers. The card attached read: Happy second birthday DD! Love, SIL and Gram/NMIL.

Like in
my dream, she did the thing that was unavoidable, un-ignorable. I could have thrown a card out, or read it and trashed it, or chosen to put it aside until much later. She, naturally, sent the (useless, for a two year old) gift that could not be ignored...the sheer size of the flowers makes it unavoidable. It's also a lot harder to refuse flowers because you don't really know who they are from until you get them and look at the card. We pretty much knew it was from her, given that I don't know anyone else who's stupid enough to send a two-year-old flowers and that she did it last year, but there was still the chance it was someone else who sent them.

And again, DH and I were struck by the ridiculousness of it - like she REALLY thinks her flowers are going to impress anyone, and that it's going to change anyone's mind about what we're doing. I told DH that it's sad because she's created her own lose/lose situation. If she ignored DD's birthday, that would be bad. And when she chooses to acknowledge it, she loses too because she does it in the most inappropriate way.

And sorry, but someone who sent flowers to my daughter but ignored my birthday entirely (and most likely will do it again this coming year as well) is doing nothing but continuing to play her games. In the post where I talked about how she ignored my birthday,
Judy (Ladyhawkhollow) made the suggestion that perhaps NMIL really forgot my birthday because it just wasn't important enough to her to remember. But I believe, as I've always believed, that that is not the case. Every punch she throws is well-planned. She knows all the important dates, I guarantee she's HYPER-aware of them all. She just isn't ready to let go of the control she had all those years over DH- he was too good a supply for her narcissistic needs for her to give up that easily.

I told DH that she WILL stop sending us this crap, probably sooner rather than later, because it will not elicit the response she's looking for.

An interesting note - we got a call on our house phone from EFIL last night. We didn't pick up and I've already turned our answering machine off, so it felt really empowering being able to stand there as the phone rang, knowing that we wouldn't have to listen to some crap message from DH's dad or step-mom.  So we just let the phone ring. And then ten minutes later, they called again from L's cellphone. And again, I just felt like, "HA!" Beat that, suckas.
We don't have to listen to your bullshit.

December 17, 2011
From: Jonsi
To: Upsi


DS's birthday is tomorrow. We haven't heard from EFIL and L yet (for DD's birthday, they sent the card with a savings bond a couple days before)...although EFIL did call our house phone last night. He couldn't leave a message because we have our answering machine turned off and I actually don't think he was calling for DS's b-day anyway...I think he was calling because his Christmas party is today and we so obviously didn't rsvp and have been completely ignoring him and their lame Christmas party invitation. Anyway, if I had to guess, I'd say EFIL and L have NO IDEA what day DS's birthday is...they don't care about it. I really think that's what's happening with them, they just don't know, and if they’re even aware of it at all (they might not even realize it's this month) they'll just guess and send out their stupid birthday card sometime around the date they think it might be.

And we literally just got a delivery from the same flower place that NMIL sent flowers from for DD's birthday: A balloon, a small stuffed animal, and a totally for-show wooden fire truck that is NOT age appropriate. The whole thing just stinks of her narcissism - she doesn't know our kids and will never know them, so this is the best she can do and I personally think she'll give up soon.

The cool thing is that DS and DD were napping when her little package of narcissism arrived, so I totally yoinked the balloon and am going to repurpose it for his birthday party tomorrow. I'm glad they were napping, so I didn't have to worry that they'd even see the nonsense.

Same old, same old. I figured she'd send something today...tomorrow is Sunday and most places don't do deliveries and she'd never wait until the day after because she's so obviously set on destroying things for everyone (not that it worked. DH and I just went about our business. It's so funny because her antics are so not accomplishing what she wants.)


December 20, 2011
From: Jonsi
To: Upsi


EFIL and L sent three cards (they came the day after DS's birthday) - one for each of them for Christmas, and one for DS's birthday. The funny thing is that L wrote "Merry 2nd Christmas, DD!" (It's her third) and "Merry 1st (2nd written over it) Christmas DS!" Each card (including DS's birthday card) had $50 savings bonds in them (which means she spent $25 on each of them for birthdays and Christmas). So, that's it. I'm assuming that's all they'll do to acknowledge our children for Christmas and we all know it's only out of obligation that they even did that - they TOTALLY think we're the bad guys and that they are the bigger people. Bah! Whatever. They haven't changed in the slightest.

Nothing from NMIL yet for Christmas - no cards or packages. No idea if she'll send anything, and maybe (hopefully?) she's so offended that we didn't respond to her crummy gifts for the kids that she just won't send anything and she will cease and desist. She's bound to stop at some point because she simply won't want to put in the "effort" to manipulate DH.


**Note: NMIL never sent us anything for Christmas, or acknowledged our children in any way. No surprise, there.
From: NMIL (sent from: yet another work email address DH and I had never seen before)
Date: Tues, January 3, 2012 at 2:01 PM
Subject: Lots of changes…wanted to let you know…
To: DH (work email); DH (extinct personal email); Jonsi (extinct personal email)

Hi Jonsi and DH –
I won’t bother with too many niceties – not even sure if you will read this.  I hope you all are well and had great holidays.  I am sure DD and DS are so big – I still hope to see you all someday.

The house in [Town she is currently living in] is up for sale and so is [house her company owns - the same she tried to rent to us in 2009].  We will probably move back to [DH's hometown] when the house is sold. [NMIL's boyfriend of 3 years] and I are no longer together, and I also left [company she owned] and just started here at [company name] (where I used to work when you were little DH) in [DH's hometown].  SIL still waiting to hear from a few colleges, but she got into her first choice, [College X] in [Town name].

Love,
Mom/NMIL

My initial thoughts:
1. This is the first time she's ever willingly sent an email to me (not that that is indication of her changing, this is just her newest tactic. I'm happy to know that she'll get an email back saying that her email was undeliverable to both my email and DH's.)
2. This is a little bit more "real" as far as communication goes...it almost sounds like a real person's email. There is none of that fluff shit she usually adds in all of her emails to DH. Again, I don't take that as an indication of real effort or change on her part, I think it's just her newest tactic and when it fails to get a response, she'll stop.
3. I'm surprised it came after the holidays and not during or before. Could be a sign she'll be giving up with the  manipulations soon. (The holidays are too prime time for narcs not to use them to their full advantage, so it's interesting that she waited.)
4. I for one don't give a crap that she broke up with her boyfriend.
5. I also don't care where she moves to, or that she selling her house.
6. As always, the mention of his sister is a ploy. SIL is being used as a prop.

7. Additional note from Upsi: And what's wrong with niceties?  don't bother with them if they're fake, but the way she phrased it is really weird - like before she would bother with them but now you don't deserve them or whatever?
 

From: NMIL (sent from: latest work email address)
Date: Fri, January 27, 2012 at 3:12 PM
Subject: Would you and Jonsi and the kids like to use the timeshare this summer?
To: DH (work email)

Hi DH - hope you and the family are healthy and happy.  I would have CC'd Jonsi but I don't have an email address for her that works.

I wanted to offer the Ocean Club to you and Jonsi and DD and DS - we won't be there of course, but I thought you could enjoy it.  No strings attached.

SIL won an award for her artwork so we are going to [Town name] to see her art on exhibit - it was a High School scholastic competition - so that is pretty exciting considering she isn't even an art major. She is still waiting to hear from two schools.

House is on the market still so we are still in [Current place of residence].

Take care DH.

Love,

Mom


Upsi's thoughts, which nicely summed up most of my thoughts as well:
The email from his mom reads first as "do I have anything that you could possibly want?" then as a strange mix of answers to questions he's not asking.  The timeshare thing is just....so missing the point.  Leave it to narcissists to unwaveringly attempt to solve relational problems with material goods, time after time, despite their WORTHLESSNESS in the field of human life in which they are being offered.  Is everything barter-able in her world?  Timeshare for love?  Is that some kind of peace offering?  Does she really think this could fix what has been broken?  Is that all she's ever willing to offer in the way of repentance?  If she could catch herself in the act of this need-to-be-of-value to her son, it might give her a glimpse into why he has no place for her in his life.  It's sad, really, because it's not an adult son's place to give his mother's life value by accepting her token gifts - strings or no strings.  She offers him the choice to either (a) accept her "gift" and give her some pleasure that she has something he wants, (b) reject her gift and become the ungrateful son, or (c) ignore her offering.  I'll take C any day of the week with options so limited.  As for the rest of the information she gives him, she doesn't seem to CARE that he's not asking after his sister or their house-for-sale - so it's really for her benefit in the end however you slice it.

A few additional notes from me:

- I just love the “I would have cc’d Jonsi” line (and of course I mean that sarcastically). To me, it reads “I would have [done what you’ve asked me to do so many times before even though I’ve chosen to ignore the rule that I was supposed to include Jonsi whenever I emailed you about important things] and cc’d Jonsi, [but she’s such a bitch that she changed her personal email address so that I could no longer contact her and now] I don’t have an email for her that works. [So it’s all her fault that I couldn’t email her too.]
- In her previous email, she indicated that she “didn’t even know if we were going to read her email.” Which is why she included the “point” of this email in the subject line. Normally, her subject lines are all oozing with mystery and drama that’s meant to suck you in out of sheer curiosity. In this case though, she wanted to make sure DH knew EXACTLY what the email was about…that way, she can be certain that, even if he’s thrown the email out without reading it, he knows what it’s about. She’s just ensuring that, no matter what, DH looks like the asshole. As Upsi pointed out, his only viable option was to completely ignore her ridiculous offer…and she’ll use that to paint him as the bad guy. Now, she feels she can officially walk around badmouthing him because she can claim that she made the offer, he knew about it, and he chose to ignore it. Oh, what a bad, bad son!
- For anyone who is wondering, I’ve been keeping track of her house online and it hasn’t been sold yet. It is actually on the market, which I looked into after seeing this email…I couldn’t come up with a viable reason why she’d lie about selling her house, but I also wouldn’t put it past her to lie about it either, if it meant she had something to gain. I’m waiting for the house to sell because I think it’s a safe bet that she’ll use that (or the purchasing of her new house) as a reason to contact DH again. And, another interesting note: I’ve found multiple pictures of her house-for-sale on the real estate website that it’s listed on – it inspired this post about how empty NMIL’s house was the one time we ever saw it in person. You know how, when expensive houses are for sale, people will “stage” the house so that it sells quicker? Well, when we saw her house in person, it looked just as “staged” as it did in those photos. In fact, there weren’t many differences at all, so far as I could tell. Her house-for-sale looks as empty and cold as it did when she was actively living in it. Creepy.
- I read somewhere recently that people often use first names (and repeat them at odd moments) when they are trying to bully someone – kind of like when you’re totally not on a first-name basis with someone, but they use your first name in conversation anyway (I mean, it comes across as demeaning sometimes, doesn’t it?) That’s how I read NMIL’s constant repetition of DH’s full name in some of these emails – there is just something slightly bullying about her use of his name.

January 29, 2012
The “Birthday Card” from EFIL and L

I got a “birthday”card from EFIL and L.

On the front is a picture of a very unhappy looking cat (a real cat, not a cartoon cat) that's wearing a clown wig and a ridiculous bow tie.

At the bottom of the front of the card, it reads "A Birthday Warning..."

The inside reads, "There's always gonna be someone at the party with a camera phone."

And L wrote, "Happy Birthday. EFIL + L"

The analysis:
- Obviously, it's a slap that my name isn't anywhere to be found, except for on the envelope. Now, here’s a case where using my name would have been appropriate – but it’s almost as though, by not addressing me directly, the intent was to hurt me. Like, I wasn’t even important enough for them to actually write my name out…
- The card itself is SO not a happy birthday card, it wouldn't be funny or nice even under a different circumstance. I mean, the poor cat on the front is obviously miserable, and the message of the card (without the added message from EFIL and L) is - you look like a fool and there will ALWAYS be people around taking "pictures" of your terrible or embarrassing moments...you'll always be on display...etc. And I mean, what the hell kind of birthday card is that and who the fuck would think it was a nice card to send someone, right? I know, it's not a birthday card, it's a fuck you card. Clearly.
- Okay, then there is the added message from these fucktards - they know all about how serious I take the picture thing, and now they are admitting that they know it. I already know that they've discussed it amongst themselves, they've posted whatever they've got all over the internet out of spite, and they've shared their entire stash with NMIL, since "Jonsi is so evil that she won't even share her photos with her children's grandparents!!! Oh, poor, poor NMIL!" It's totally fucked up. This card must have come from the section of Hallmark for people who don't get along with their family members - the dysfunctional family section."
- If I'm supposed to be the unhappy clown cat on the front, then they seem to be implying that they are the “people who are always there to take my picture” and if not them, then SOMEONE is out there taking our pictures, right?
- And then the whole, "A birthday warning" thing? Fucking creepy. My very first thought when I opened the card was, "So, have they been taking pictures of us against our knowledge? Have they sent someone here to take pictures of us, or our house?"
- These people have spent more time thinking up ways to be nasty to me, then they EVER spent trying to get to know me or do kind things. And this, coming from these "pious, loving, forgiving, wonderful, the light shines out our asses" people. They are so willing to shove down our throats how loving and perfect and forgiving they are...but oh my god, their actions speak so much louder than their bullshit words. I know why they hate all over me, I know why they blame me, but seriously what the hell is the point of being nasty? What will it accomplish?
- This is SO NOT about them being the “bigger people” anymore - that isn't even what they are trying to show us. No, now they just want us to know how much they hate me. I didn't get the feeling that this was a, "Oh, see of course we love your wife, DH" thing - they're beyond that now...the truth comes out (well, still in a round-about way, but it's there none-the-less). I mean if they were still focused on faking it, they'd have sent some sappy shitty card, like they did to our kids for the holidays. So, no this is not about them sending the message that they like me or have accepted me, it's the total opposite. This is the "I hate you" card. This is the "Look what you've done, you bitch!" card.
- The art of self-reflection is so totally lost on these people.
- This was the nasty, spear-headed birthday card, proof that their final blows will be vicious.
- If they only spent five minutes picking out this card, that was five more minutes they spent on being unnecessarily cruel. What I would love to know is…how the fuck do they lay their heads down at night and go to sleep, after having done such awful things? They have spent more time being nasty then they did on being productive, being understanding, being caring or loving. They NEVER spent even that much time thinking of ways to be kind to me.
- It's all a game to them - they don't care about DH- this card was even further proof of that (like we needed that). I personally think that L was the driving force behind it - she picked it out, she wrote it in, she addressed the envelope and sent it. EFIL might not even know a thing about it - after all, they don't communicate with each other about anything anyway. But I see him being just as guilty. He's guilty for not ever getting to know me. He's guilty for being disrespectful. He's guilty for, as DH pointed out in his letter to him, not caring enough to even spell my name right. He's guilty for not thinking about anyone but himself. He's guilty for doing nothing to stop this...he's guilty of so many things. And L....man. L is nothing but a manipulative meddling cunt.
- And still, I have some satisfaction...and I owe quite a bit of it to DH, who was willing to cut these people off way sooner than other's in his position have been. They started a game I didn't want to play. They started this fucked up game where no one but them knows the rules. I had no intention of playing. I would have been happy "sharing" their precious "DH's childhood nickname." This was never about me being unwilling to share him, or wanting to control him, or wanting to destroy his relationship with his FOO (nah, they did that a long time before I ever came along). And you know what? I won. I beat them at their own game. I feel satisfied in knowing, that's a huge reason why they hate me so much. They hate me because I won THEIR game. I've got what they want. I've got DH, ALL TO MYSELF, and they can't have him. 

Upsi’s thoughts: Lord have mercy.  My first reaction paraphrases their card this way: you can't control everything, Jonsi.  A jab at this phantom villain they've constructed you into, who would have a lock-box for all cameras and cell phones at the door to prevent any and all photography!  It's like they need you to be the Picture-Nazi because that's the only way they know how to relate: power and control.  Not only is it a painfully un-funny joke at your expense, it calls you unreasonable in its subtext, which is NOT THE GODDAMN POINT!  The point is respect, not control - but these fine points belong to an entirely different constellation of relational principles, one which they show no interest in understanding.  Happy Fucking Birthday, indeed! 

From: EFIL
Date: Thu, February 9, 2012 at 2:28 PM
Subject: Life
To: DH (Work email)

It's truly a real shame and a tragedy DH that for what ever reason that you conjured up, or should I say you and [Jonsi's name, intentionally spelled wrong], and I apologize for any misspelling, to take away, and in some cases make enemies of, your self and your new family from your side of family. You have no good reason to act this way DH. Nobody beat you like my dad did to me and would draw blood till I couldn't sit for taking old gum and chewing it Or kneel on rice for talking back till I couldn't kneel any more. This was all by the age of 9.  And then at 10 it made it all up to us kids by leaving us with no dad at all for the rest of my life. If that's not enough for you. Wait till u hear L's story.  Hers makes mine look like a love story.  So your excuses DH are lame at best. Grow up and open your eyes and your heart to really see....

We all love you so much.

Dad

 
[My notes concerning the above email]:
-No wonder DH's dad thinks his children OWE him - he's passed along HIS debts to his own child.
-This is where DH learned to hold it all in - if we don't talk about it, it goes away mentality
-I'm not surprised that his father was abused, it was something I considered. It does explain why his dad may have struggled with drugs/alcohol abuse, it helps explain why he picked out NMIL in the scheme of things, and it also goes further to explain why he's buried his head in his version of Christianity as a panacea for the hurts he suffered and never got over.
-These people are incredibly childish and will never grow up.
-Whatever sympathy I might have for the child in DH's dad is undermined by my disgust in him for not being a strong enough person to overcome his own legacy and prevent from passing it on to his offspring
-These people are terrified of change
-I wonder if L will be passing along her sob story too...the way his dad said, "Wait til you hear L's story.” It made me think she'll be sending a follow up of the abuses she suffered.
-They are getting nasty and desperate and don't realize that what they are doing by writing something like this is the antithesis of love - it is abusive and nasty and could be seen as a form of stalking/harassment
-From this email, we can see the obvious accusation, "You've made this all up" and worse, "You and YOUR WIFE made this all up. Get over it asshole."
-His father has declared that we are all enemies now. Well, actually, he said that DH has made enemies of his mother and father and the rest of his family.
-There is not even one iota of possibility for them that they may have done anything wrong. They really think they are perfect!!!
-In a less dysfunctional system, his father's past never would have been a secret. His children would have been privy to the information about where he came from and what happened to him. There would have been openness and honesty to talk about the abuses he suffered. His father would also have done major work to overcome the atrocities he suffered as a child - all of which would have been made public knowledge to his son.
-He's still not truly being honest, he's just throwing out tidbits and scraps to DH in the hopes of getting him back (to abuse him further)
-I was right about the b-day card being evidence that their final blows will be outright nasty.-Working through EFIL’s awful writing - I got this - "It's truly a real shame and a tragedy...[to take yourself away from us]...and in some cases to make yourself and your wife and kids our enemies."
-EFIL's birthday was a couple days ago. The email L sent to DH last year was sent on exactly the same day: February 9th, 2011. No coincidence that his father's was sent a year to the day later. (It was sent yesterday, February 9, 2012) I would have thought to expect something if I had marked his birthday down on our calendar. This year, I opted not to write down the birthdays of DH's FOO, for obvious reasons. No wonder...no doubt EFIL was feeling betrayed because DH didn't acknowledge his birthday.
From: NMIL
Sent: Friday, March 23, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Subject: FW: BHS Yearbook AD Proof
To: DH (Work Email)

HI DH!

Hope everyone in your family happy and healthy.  Time flies - attached is SIL's yearbook ad...she is so grown up! She has now decided on [college] as her first choice and is getting excited.

Would love to hear how everyone is doing at your house.

Take care.

Love,
Mom

attachment: yearbook "ad" showing pictures of SIL at various ages and this message from her parents: Congratulations SIL - We are so proud of you, Thank you for being the best daughter we could ask for. With all our love - mom and dad
Upsi's thoughts: Good lord that ad is definitely a dig!  the only way it could be worse is if SIL were gazing at herself in a mirror a la the classic narcissus myth!

DH's mother is a fucking cunt.  the depth of her willful ignorance is immeasurable.  she's playing games and hoping to wear him down.  she shows more commitment to her games than any other single thing in her fucking life.  her messages are more invalidating than anything else - she ignores everything real about him in hopes she can rope him back into her "world" - it's maddening.  and the worst part is she is being provocative - playing innocent and nice in hopes to get ANY kind of reaction - she would love it so fucking much if you told her to stop emailing.  oh what a martyr she could be then!
- she plays dumb pretty consistently, but we know she's not dumb.  just a complete asshole.  I'm so sorry she's still playing this angle, it's infuriating to have to sit on your hands.  because silence is the best way to respond - it gives her nothing.  but still, i'd like to punch her in the tit!

My additional thoughts:
- Sending this message that SIL is the "best daughter" gives the juxtaposition that DH is the "worst son."
-  She hopes that DH and I will not end up together, and is therefore attempting to keep her “finger in the pie.”
- She continues to play the “Look, I’m so nice” game.
- She is pretending everything is fine, acting as though nothing has happened, or that we haven’t been ignoring her for almost a year.
- She's playing the whole "good cop/bad cop" angle with DH's father. EFIL (what a dumbass) doesn't even know that's what's going on. He deserves it, really, for all his stakes in her game. But she's trying to play the whole, "I'm the nice one" angle. Nearly every time we've gotten contact from her, it's followed up by something nasty and vindictive from his father.
- "Time flies." According to NMIL, we're not "ignoring" her. Time is just flying by so quickly, we must not have noticed that it's been a whole year since we last talked with her, acknowledged her, or saw her! Yes, NMIL, CLEARLY that's what is going on here. We're just too busy to take note of the fact that we haven't contacted you in a while. We'll be sure to send our family updates asap! I don't know what happened there. Must have slipped our mind!

And finally, the most recent from NMIL:

From: NMIL [most recently used work email address]
Sent: Wed, May 16, 2012 at 2:12 PM
Subject: NSIL is graduating June 13th - do you think you guys could make it?
To: DH (Work Email)

Hope all is well with you and your family. Would love to see everyone.

Love,
Mom

My thoughts:
- The body of her recent emails are always as empty as she is
- She continues to write the entire “point” of her email in the subject line, so as to ensure that DH can’t miss it. Even if his intention is to delete it, then he’ll still see exactly what she was hoping to communicate
- Amazing – the continued lack of detail and willful ignorance about the reality of the situation. This email, as all previous ones, is so incredibly inappropriate for the current circumstances.
- She continues to communicate as though NOTHING has happened. How anyone could ignore the atomic bomb that is her tumultuous past with her son and daughter-in-law, I’ll never know.