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.