Saturday, February 16, 2013

Ketchup - 2013 Edition

Since I'm such a fan of fact-checking and history-recording, and since it received a positive review the last time around, I've decided to do another Ketchup post, in which I lay out all of the major events that have lead DH and I to where we are at this precise moment in time in terms of the narcs and their treatment of us. I find that it's very beneficial to have this clear and concise list of reasons why we initially went NC with DH's family and I detailing why we chose to remain in such a state.

- March 2009 - Upon meeting NMIL and SIL, I discovered their extreme immaturity and attraction to drama, as they spent the entire lunch dual-texting and behaving in an immature, unhealthy, and superficial manner.

- March 2009 - I witnessed my first "NMIL guilt-trip" on DH, when she manipulated him into house-sitting for her.

- May 2009 - We shared our pregnancy news with NMIL and found her reaction to be lacking in the Genuine-Happiness-Department. She spent her time making comments about how she was "too young to be a grammy" and asking if she could text the news to all of her friends. She never congratulated us or showed sincere happiness for our happiness.

- May 2009 - We shared our pregnancy news with EFIL and L. They told us that they "Had hoped we would have gotten married first." DH was disappointed with the responses we got from both of his parents about our exciting and life-changing news.

- May 2009 - NMIL showed her "interest" in our pregnancy by questioning DD's paternity and suggesting we get a paternity test. She then disguised her resentment of me by claiming during a conversation with DH to know what I wanted, concerning my own wedding.

- June 2009 - NMIL tried to manipulate us with lies and trickery with her offers to "help" us out by letting us rent the apartment she owns. When we discovered her lies and DH addressed them, she responded with the typical blame-and-shame garbage that all Narcs like to use. She did not apologize. She did not show remorse. She never brought up the subject again, except when she was trying to use it as a means to prove that we had somehow lied to her.

- June 2009 - NMIL had an email exchange with DH in which she blamed him for her lies and made it clear that she disapproved of his relationship with me. She concluded the chain of emails with the sentiment: "It's not all about her DH."

- June 2009 - Naunt told me I was not welcome to live with DH in the apartment he was renting from her. She made it very clear that she wanted me gone, and that her offers to "help" us were no better than her sister's. She tried to scare me away and continued to try and win DH's loyalties.

- June 2009 - NMIL hosted a party that she told DH was a birthday party for him. She behaved in a cruel and manipulate manner, showing no remorse for her past behaviors, and rewarding DH for coming by sticking two-hundred dollars in an envelope for him. No one wished him a happy birthday or gave him any presents. It was really just a party for NMIL.

- July 2009 - We attended SIL's birthday party and I was treated with as much disdain as ever. NMIL busied herself by taking photos of her "family" and making sure those photos did no include me. She blamed DH for his sister's bad feelings about her party because he didn't invite his friends so that she would be surrounded by tons of people that day.

- July 2009 - NMIL used tactics of triangulation in an attempt to undermine my authority when she invited us on vacation with her. She was not forthright with the details of the trip that would be taking place an entire year later, but it was clear that she wanted my husband to accept her offer. She never once mentioned these plans to me (either directly, indirectly, in person, or via email) which made it obvious to me that she was hoping I wouldn't have a say in the matter. Though she feigned understanding when we declined her offers to vacation with her on two separate occasions, both DH and I have reason to believe that she was actually angry and disappointed, even if she didn't have the courage to voice those feelings. When we asked her to inform us of her travels when the time came to actually go on the trip since we did not feel comfortable promising our time a year (or even six months) in advance, she agreed. But she never did.

- August 2009 - NMIL did not RSVP for my baby shower until three days before. When she finally called, she told my mother her reason for RSVPing so late was because, "She was so excited [about my shower], she forgot to call." She bought the biggest gift on the registry, even though she already knew it had been purchased, because she wanted people to think she has "so much love" to give.

- October 2009 - DH's "friend" Pig proved that his loyalties lie with NMIL, and that she's got him wrapped around her pinky finger. Pig called DH to express his disapproval of DH's recent life choices, his disgust with "how terribly DH was treating NMIL," and to share his thinly-veiled hatred of me.

- October 2009 - NMIL emailed DH to inform him that she thought "SIL felt left out a little." That may have been so, but DH and I decided it was not healthy to be including her in our marriage, which was what NMIL was implying that he do.

- October 2009 - J, NMIL's second ex-husband, called DH to ask him to check-in on his sister. His "request" was in fact a demand that DH act as SIL's father, as he had been expected to do his whole life. When DH told J that he could only be her brother, rather than a parent to her, J responded: Sorry I asked you to check on your sister, I will never again ask you to do any thing that is a inconvience for you. You so selfish it is just amazing...I don't expect you to be her parent. She misses her brother thats it, so if you could be a big brother that would be great. Second I don't deserve any lip from you, I have always treated you with respect and encouragement. I have never asked you for anything before nor will I again. I am being same dad to her as I was to you!!!!! And you turned out OK!!!! I wish you luck with your new Family, just don't forget your old one!!!! We don't need to meet, I don't want to take up your precious time!!! There's no explanation needed, is there, Dear Reader?

- November 2009 - NMIL disregarded our needs concerning the birth of our DD. She risked DH's life, my life, and the life of our unborn child when she kept DH on the phone while I was in labor en route to the hospital. She proved that she cared more about the pictures she took that day than she did about the people in them.

- November 2009 - For the ultimate NS, NMIL posted photos of DD on her Facebook page without our knowledge or consent. When I requested that she remove them and ask permission in the future, she responded with feigned concern. Always keep in mind, Dear Reader, that NMIL is a liar. A promise means nothing to NMIL.

- November 2009 - DH's old "friends," all of whom are closely linked to NMIL, spent much of their time weighing in with their thoughts and opinions about me, DH, and our DD. What they had to say and how they chose to behave proved that none of them had our best interests at heart.

- November 2009 - NMIL was willing to risk the health and life of our newborn, when she exposed herself to the swine flu and then expected us to visit for Thanksgiving.

- November 2009 - Conveniently forgetting the way she had chosen to behave concerning her apartment offers in June and that there was no way we could trust her, NMIL sent an email to DH, informing him that she'd would love to help us financially with the purchasing of our first house, and that she had "secretly hoped" we would still end up "down the street" from her.

- December 2009 - We declined three Christmas party invitations. L tried to guilt-trip DH into feeling badly about not going to theirs.

- December 2009 - NMIL showed up to our apartment to celebrate the holidays with us and came bearing gifts of guilt, shame, manipulation, lies, and a no-doubt-re-gifted scarf for me. SIL was not in attendance.

- December 2009 - After NMIL left from her Christmas visit, DH got a call from SIL, in which she asked him, "How could you do this to Mom?" She proceeded to tell DH that, "No one else will tell you this, but someone has to say it. You're wrong. We all think so, but they just won't say it. You're wrong!" She cried. She told him he was hurting their mother. It was the first and last time DH ever heard her tell the truth.

- January 2010 - I witnessed NMIL bully a small, innocent child. It was horrible, and the fact that I did nothing to help that little girl will haunt me forever.

- February 2010 - DH told NMIL his truths and that he would no longer accept or tolerate her lying. She responded with every manipulative tactic she could. She refused to accept responsibility for any of her actions. She refused to offer up a sincere and heartfelt apology. She blamed, shamed, and guilted. She excused herself and all of her lies. She tried to turn DH and I against each other. The topic was never discussed again.

- February 2010 - NMIL continued to pretend that everything was "fine" and acted phoney in my presence. She asked to look at my wedding dress before our wedding, as though nothing she had ever done mattered and she expected me to say yes. I said no. My "no" in the moment was symbolic of my "no" to her.

- March 2010 - We discovered that NMIL was in contact with EFIL and L. EFIL took DH out for lunch to discuss NMIL, after disguising the date as a "father-son-bonding-time." Once there alone together, EFIL opened up a can of festering worms. He told DH that he didn't have to marry me, if he didn't want to. He asked why NMIL had been "treated so terribly" at our wedding shower. Most of all, EFIL and L exposed themselves as flying monkeys and proved to us where their loyalties remained.

- March 2010 - L sent DH a chain email about how much mothers do for their thankless children.

- April 2010 - NMIL wore white to our wedding. She was uninvolved in it, and never once offered up a sincere and heartfelt offer to help us with it. She never took photos of DH and I, as a means of "cutting me out of the picture." Aided by her cut-from-the-same-clothe siblings and ex-husband, she took photos of DH prior to our wedding, in an act of desperation. It was as though they were saying, "We aren't going to taint our memories of this day with photos of HER." She also gave DH a card that was addressed only to him, riddled with guilt-inducing commentary about how she wanted things to "go back to the way they were before." Her card begged the question, "Before, what, Mommy-Dearest? Before Jonsi?"

- April 2010 - After our wedding, I sent out a mass email requesting that people not post pictures of our wedding on the internet, out of respect for our privacy. No one from DH's FOO responded to the email. When DH called his NM to ask for the confirmation that she had received the email and would follow our request, NMIL responded with a nasty message: "Have you called everybody from that email? Or just me?" She added, "Why would I do that, after the big deal you made out of the pictures I posted on Facebook of DD?"

- May 2010 - EFIL and L gave us their "Forgiveness / Judgement Talk" and insinuated that we should be offering forgiveness to whomever they deemed worthy of it. They told us we shouldn't judge anyone because it wasn't our right to do so. They thumped their invisible bibles at us throughout the entire conversation.

- June 2010 - We did not attend SIL's birthday party, as a result of her continued lack of interest in DH's existence, so long as he was married to me. She offered up her tantrum in the form of an email to DH in which she informed him that she "didn't want him to come" to her birthday party since he wasn't willing to give up the whole day for her. NMIL called DH and left a message on his voice mail. Full-fledged underhanded guilt-trip over his decision not to attend the party ensued.

- June 2010 - We informed NMIL over the phone that we were pregnant again. She responded with fake surprise. We now have reason to believe that she already knew the news, having heard it from EFIL. She did not ask for details about the pregnancy or offer up any sincere congratulations.

- June 2010 - EFIL offered to help DH with our car, which needed a new engine. EFIL picked a weekend and said he would come pick up the car and take DH to his house so they could look at it together. The day before, he called DH to tell him he had found something better to do and would be doing that instead. EFIL and L went on a mini-vacation to go snowmobiling out of state with friends. EFIL didn't call DH to make good on his promise until one month later, when he finally came and picked up the car.

- June 2010 - DH invited NMIL over to read his Declaration of Independence to her. True to form, she responded with guilt-trips, denial, blame, and lies. Also true to form, she did NOT respond with kindness, sincerity, apologies, understanding, or respect. Like DH's last REAL talk with her, it was never discussed again. Nothing from his list of what he needed from her was respected. She then gave him the cold-shoulder for four months.

- August 2010 - NMIL's best friend called DH to tell him she "missed him" and "loved him so much." She asked him if he wanted some old television set that he had lended her five years before. There is no doubt she was acting under the orders of NMIL, who was hoping to find out about us through a third party, since she was too busy ignoring us to find out herself.

- October 2010 - NMIL finally broke the silence and called DH. She left a message on our house phone, feigning sadness, and expressed her "interest" in seeing "us." The eventual meeting with her was a failure: She offered no sincerity, attempted to buy our love with gifts for DD, and never once inquired about my pregnancy. SIL ignored us, except when NMIL asked her to take photos of DD with the camera. Then she sat in a chair, robotically carrying out her mothers orders. Neither NMIL, nor SIL could look me in the eye for the entire visit.

- November 2010 - EFIL and L decided that attending a concert was more important to them than DD's first birthday party. They bought tickets for the concert, despite the fact that they were informed three months ahead of time about the party. When we addressed our concerns, both responded with guilt-peddling nonsense and asked us to disrupt our plans for theirs.

- November 2010 - NMIL sent a big bouquet of flowers to DD for her first birthday, as a way of "showing" her puny love. The act did not impress any of us.

- November of 2010 - DH attempted to schedule a visit with SIL. SIL accepted our invitation for lunch. But, once NMIL was through manipulating her, SIL cancelled, stating that she "didn't feel comfortable" going out to lunch with us without her mother.

- November 2010 - DH offered our time to EFIL and L for Thanksgiving. They refused the offer. He asked them to join us in our own festivities. They ignored him. EFIL attempted to guilt-trip DH into promising to spend the upcoming Christmas eve with them, as DH had always done in the past. When DH declined due to the impending birth of our DS, EFIL told him that "The holidays are about family" (as in DH's FOO) and in not-so-many words, showed us that he didn't care about my well-being or the well-being of our babies.

- December 2010 - NMIL and SIL came to the hospital after the birth of our DS and spent all of fifteen minutes with us. The only gifts she brought were a pair of useless baby socks, a useless trinket, and a bag of candy for DH.

- December 2010 - NMIL forfeited her Christmas visit with us when she decided to call DH the day of and blame him for being such a big fat meanie. She tried to get us to change our plans, in the hopes that her guilt-tactics would work.

- December 2010 - NMIL Fed-Exed some gift-cards from Naunt to us and included a note card from herself that said she was holding onto her Christmas gifts for us until she saw us in person. We never saw her in person. She never sent the gifts. We doubt that she ever had any gifts in the first place.

- December 2010 - EFIL and L made an obligatory one-hour visit to us so that they could prove to the world that they had done their "duty." L offered underhanded commentary about how their were "no pictures of NMIL in our wedding album." EFIL asked to take pictures with DH and our two children at the exclusion of me.

- January 2011 - EFIL pretended he wanted to have dinner with us once a week so that he could spy on us and report back to NMIL. He spent his time during his one and only visit with us confusing our one-year-old daughter with our one-month-old son. At some point after the visit, he shared with NMIL DH's travel plans and called DH to suggest his "great idea" that NMIL be involved in them. He informed DH that he speaks with NMIL at least once a month. We all know that they aren't talking about the weather.

- January 2011 - When DH informed EFIL that he would no longer be needing EFIL to give him a ride to the airport, as a result of his continued communication with NMIL, EFIL left a message with DH, asking him "Why he hated his mother so much."

- January 2011 - NMIL chose to ignore my birthday as a clear indication that she either doesn't care enough to remember it in the first place, or that she wanted to send the message to DH that she hates and resents his wife.

- February 2011 - L attempted a guilt-trip on DH for not calling his father for his birthday. She sent her guilt-trip in a voice mail, as well as an email.

- March 2011 - DH offered his mother a golden opportunity. He invited her to therapy with us. Instead of graciously, respectfully, and thankfully accepting, she chose to turn her nose up at it. SIL tweeted, "We're all starting to forget [DH] was ever a part of this family" the day after DH asked his mother to therapy.

- March 2011 - Naunt reared her ugly face in a sappy and superficial email to DH, no doubt attempting to see if he would engage with her, in spite of his most recent request to disrupt his mother's abuses by inviting her to therapy.

- March 2011 - NMIL called to leave a message on our answering machine about the supposed death of DH's childhood cat. The message was superficial and guilt-ridden.

- April 2011 - DH's entire FOO ignored our one-year wedding anniversary.

- April 2011 - NMIL friended DH's college ex-girlfriend on Facebook as a way to show her very public support of DH's life before it included me, and her continued lack of respect for DH's choices.

- April 2011 - DH informed NMIL we were cancelling our therapy session with her. We did not offer any reasons for the cancellation. NMIL responded immediately with a phone call to our house, where she left a message addressing ONLY DH. Then she sent a follow-up email demanding that we call her back. She pretended to ask, but we knew she wasn't.

- April 2011 - I made a heinous discovery about a promise that NMIL had broken a thousand times over. It represented the worst kind of intrusion of my privacy and her complete lack of respect for me as a human being. I can not share what that discovery was, Dear Reader, in case NMIL shows her face here on this blog someday. All anyone must know, however, is that her behaviors towards me were the biggest indication of her feelings, no matter how much she pretended to DH that she "liked" me.

- April 2011 - DH sent his letter of NC to NMIL. She did not respond directly. Instead, she sent out multiple feelers through her Flying Monkeys.

- May 2011 - Attack of the Flying Monkeys! DH and I learned that his best friend's obnoxious girlfriend, OG1, may have had some contact with NMIL and was drinking the kool-aide. OG1 showed her bizarre connection to NMIL when she offered her opinions to DH that he was being controlled by me, he was a coward, and that he was losing people in his life who "really cared about him." She packaged her rant with an "I care about you" bow.

- May 2011 - OG1 excluded me from her wedding invitation in a sign of open contempt to DH, thereby sealing her stance as a Flying Monkey and an all-around disrespectful and rude snob.

- May 2011 - DH's ONLY remaining "friend" from his past refused to stop communicating with NMIL. He had done so in the past on numerous occasions and even felt comfortable enough to go to her holiday parties even when DH wouldn't be attending. This so-called "friend" informed DH that NMIL had contacted him via email twice prior to our wedding "out of desperation." He refused to share with DH what was discussed. This "friend" offered up non-apologies for his behaviors, blamed me for DH's "bad relationship" with his mother, and claimed that "missing important events like NMIL's Christmas parties two years in a row" meant that DH didn't want to reconcile with his NM.

- May 2011 - When EFIL told DH that he wanted to have dinner alone with him and drop off some gifts for our kids, DH's red flags went up. Suspecting foul-play, DH started inquiring into EFIL's intentions, to which EFIL and his wife responded defensively. We believe EFIL wanted to get DH alone to discuss NMIL. Both EFIL and L's behaviors at this time proved to us that they were acting under NMIL's direction, that they had no intention of backing down, that they did not respect me, and did not have DH's best interests at heart. When we called back and put him on speaker phone, he ended the phone call by saying he was "DONE WITH JONSI!" and that he had things he wanted to tell DH that he didn't want me to know about. L attempted her own brand of manipulation when she spoke with DH and I on the phone after her husband's temper tantrum. Our communications with them were very much like conversing with the wall.

- May 2011 - J randomly called DH to "check in" with him.

- June 2011 - EFIL and L put their "Easter gifts" in the mail. The Easter gifts were wrapped in Christmas wrapping paper. There were two cards shoved in the box as well. The one to DD read, "Have a very happy first Easter, DD. From Grampa EFIL and Grama L. With all our love, be blessed." The problem with L's message was that it was DD's second Easter, not her first. I wrote a one line thank you note that read: "Thank you for the gifts. -DH & Jonsi."

- June 2011 - EFIL called DH and left the following voice mail: Hey DH, it’s dad. uh I just called to say hi and let you know that I love you very much and I miss talking to you. Ummm call me back if you like, alright? You know the number. Love you. Bye. It was an obvious attempt to get back to the status quo and further proof that he expected a "get out of jail free" card for his most recent behaviors.

- June 2011 - L's daughter, who has no relationship what-so-ever with DH, g-chatted him online to say she wanted to "wish him a belated father's day and ask how the kids were." It was obvious to us that EFIL and L were sending her to do their dirty work. Five minutes later, EFIL sent DH a letter stating how wrong DH is, how disrespectful and controlling I am, and how DH should be accepting God into his life. The letter was filled to the brim with condescension, denial, and tactics of control. DH put his response to that letter in the mail on June 20, 2011.

- June 2011 - DH received an email from his Naunt, a voice mail from his NM's friend Toast, a voice mail from J, and a voice mail from EFIL in regards to his birthday, in spite of his recent request for NC with his NM and just a few days after he sent the response letter in the mail to his EF. Naunt's message was full of her typical guilt-inducing vomit, and Toast sounded like the NMIL incarnate, most likely because she was acting as a puppet for NMIL. In her message, she promised to send us a gift for DS, whom six months after his birth she had still not met. Unsurprisingly, no such gift ever came, as it had many strings attached that we had refused to accept. J's message was obligatory and short. It was unclear, based on EFIL's voice message if he had yet received DH's response letter, but what was clear was his continued effort to guilt/manipulate/con/or otherwise force DH to "come back" to his "blood family." All Flying Monkeys made it very clear that they were going to continue to ignore the very real consequences of their behaviors, as well as the reality that they faced. The onslaught of phoney, insincere, and otherwise manipulative communications made it abundantly clear that DH's FOO cared more about their own needs than DH's.

- June 2011 - DH received two emails from his father on his work email address; the first containing yet another copy of his original letter, the second containing a request that DH "send his response to the letter" via email so that he could "respond to them easier." The smiley face at the end of the second message was not only creepy but begged the question, did EFIL even read what DH had written? That rather ambiguous and odd message was the only even remotely-direct response DH got from his father.

- July 2011 - We sent NSIL a birthday card, and DH called her twice the day of her birthday to leave messages on her voice mail wishing her well. As we expected, there was no acknowledgement from her.

- July 2011 - DH received a voice mail from his EF on his cell phone while he was at work, in which his father expressed his "hope" that DH would "respond to his email" but that it was "up to him" whether or not he did. It was unclear to which email EFIL was referring: his first, containing his long letter to DH, or the second, in which he requested that DH send his own responses back via email. The voice mail made it abundantly clear that he was not going to communicate any further with DH about the issues that had been brought up in either letter. EFIL ended the voice mail under the sentiment that he "loved" DH and he would talk to him later, as though we had no choice in that matter at all.

- July 2011 - DA sent DH an email informing him that NMIL had contacted him via Facebook inquiring about the Jonsi family. DH and I saw NMIL's behaviors as an obvious act of intrusion and a loophole in the laws of NC. DA revealed himself (yet again) as a Flying Monkey, making it very clear that his loyalties did not lie with us. When DH did not respond, he sent another email a few days later informing him that he had gone against DH's previous requests and responded to his NM anyway.

- August 2011 - Out on a date, DH and I bumped into Exhibit A's friend, K.B. She very obviously recognized us but said nothing and DH decided to leave without a confrontation. We imagined the surprise run-in was the talk of the town for a while.

- August 2011 - NMIL directly broke NC when she sent DH an email containing a form letter of amends that she nabbed from Dr. Coleman. It was a typical narcissistic form of communication, bearing no resemblance to an act of unconditional love. Instead, it show that she was empty, barren of empathy, and pathetically lacking in the creativity department.

- August 2011, DA sent DH an email stating, "I'm still here. I still care," implying that because DH had been the one to pull away he was the bad guy.

- August 2011 - I received an invitation in the mail to Brainwashed's baby shower, to which I responded via voice mail to L hat I would not be attending.

- August 2011 - NMIL directly broke NC again when she sent DH an email with a loaded subject line and the message that we could contact her if we needed anything during the hurricane that was about to pummel our state. The message was absurd, both because it was apparent that NMIL would use anything as a means to break NC, and because it was ridiculous to think we would ever call the most unreliable person on earth, whom we had already declared no contact if we needed something.

- September 2011 - DA sent DH another email stating that he had been going through old pictures and that, upon coming across some of DH, he was "hoping all was well with DH and the family." As with everyone that DH had known, DA was no different in his willful ignorance of the situation and of the needs DH had hoped to express.

- October 2011 - NMIL directly broke NC again when she called DH's cell phone (just one hour before I acted on impulse and had his number changed) to tell him about some bad dream she had supposedly had the night before, in which he had the starring role. Whether true or not, I used it as a talking point with DH to discuss how any reason to break NC was a legitimate one for NMIL, no matter how absurd, far-fetched, or ridiculous.

- November 2011 - EFIL and L sent DD a birthday card with a savings bond in it, even though I had asked in years past that if they were going to gift our children with money, that it be cash or check. My wishes had never been regarded before, for any circumstance or for any reason, so it wasn't a surprise that they would overlook that particular preference again. NMIL sent DD another ridiculous bouquet of flowers, which did nothing but give further evidence that she still hoped to impress DH enough for him to contact her; and that she would continue to ignore the fact that we had told her not to contact us again.

- November 2011 - A few days after DD's birthday, we received a phone call from EFIL's cell phone on our house phone, followed by a second phone call from L's cell phone just a few minutes later. They could not leave a message because we had intentionally turned off our answering machine for the holiday season. We never found out what they wanted.

- November 2011 - We received an invitation to EFIL and L's annual Christmas party, the date of which was a day before DS's birthday party. It felt to us that they were acting out of obligation and it smacked, once again, of their impartiality to hearing DH. It was frustrating that more and more time passed since DH's response letter to his father, without any real acknowledgment on EFIL's part on the valid points that DH had made. As determined as we were to be heard, they were equally determined not to hear us. DH and I ignored the invitation, having grown tired of the games they were playing.

- December 2011 - The night before their Christmas party, we received another phone call on our house phone from EFIL, though he could not leave a message because we had still not turned on our answering machine. We imagined that it was in regards to either DS's upcoming birthday, or EFIL's Christmas party invitation that we had not responded to. That same day, the day before DS's birthday, NMIL sent a delivery from the same local flower shop she had used to send DD flowers. It was painfully obvious that she was just continuing to use our children as a reason to contact DH. EFIL and L sent a birthday card and one Christmas card each for DD and DS, a few days after DS's birthday. Each contained more savings bonds and messages that made it clear L wasn't even quite sure how old our children were. NMIL sent our children nothing for Christmas, which was odd considering that she had blatantly disregarded NC in order to send them some shitty and inappropriate birthday gifts but spoke to her dark motives and arbitrary use of our children as pawns (in whatever capacity she was able to use them).

- December 2011 - We received a hand-written note from DA's wife, Freckles, in the mail that saddened me because she was someone I had for a short time considered a friend. In the note, she insinuated that a reconciliation between her husband and mine was inevitable and equated DA's sense of loss over his uncle's death as being equivalent to his sense of apparent loss of DH's friendship. I chose not to respond because I felt it would not be in DH's best interest to do so.

- January 2012 - NMIL directly broke NC yet again when she sent DH an email at his work which contained a lot of information about both her and her daughter's life that we had not expressed any interest in knowing; thereby making it clear that her effort to communicate with him had everything to do with her desires and nothing to do with his.

- January 2012 - More evidence of NMIL directly breaking NC when she sent DH yet another email at his work, this time where the entirety of her message to him was in the subject line. The email read first as a ploy to get his attention: "Is there anything I have that you could possibly want" and second, once again, as a mix of answers to questions he was not asking. With the vague offer of use of her timeshare over the summer that came with obvious and endless strings-attached, DH and I were very aware that there was no way in hell we would ever accept such a proposition. As my very Dear Friend Upsi put it, "Is everything barter-able in her world? Timeshare for love?"

- January 2012 - EFIL and L sent me an absolutely cruel card for my birthday that sent the clear message that they see me as the enemy. It labeled me controlling and spoke to their need to paint me as some sort of "picture-nazi." It was no more a birthday wish than sending someone a bag of flaming shit on their birthday, but the message it contained was just as toxic.

- February 2012 - EFIL sent DH a scathing (and poorly written) email which was framed as a "loving" message yet contained nothing but guilt-inducing drivel and harsh putdowns. In it, he intentionally spelled my name wrong (thereby passive-aggressively acknowledging DH's letter to him from several months before where one of the points DH had made was that his father didn't care enough to spell my name correctly) and briefly illustrated the kinds of physical abuses he and his wife had suffered, supposedly as being clear evidence that DH could not have been abused. The message was a loaded one and it strengthened the line in the sand between us and them - he declared war on us, claiming that DH had "made us their enemies."

- March 2012 - (Are we surprised?) NMIL directly broke NC again when she sent another email to DH at his work, again including the entirety of her message in the subject line, as was her new M.O. The message indicated that "time flies!" and included trivial and dishonest sentiments about our well-being. It also included an ad for NSIL's yearbook that we didn't give a shit about but that managed to subtly take a dig at DH's place in his NM's life. It was a reminder to DH of what he was "missing" out on and a way of sending the message that they are only proud of the loyal offspring who continue to worship NMIL and do her bidding. I was struck by the notion that NMIL was keeping her finger in the pie, just in case DH were to "come back" to them. She continued her obnoxious and toxic game of willful ignorance with each correspondence.

- May 2012 - Another email from NMIL to DH's work email, with the entirety of the message in the subject line and nothing but fluff in the body; inviting us to NSIL's graduation.

- June 2012 - Another email from NMIL, this one with the over-the-top proclamation that she was wishing him a happy birthday. Indeed.

- August 2012 - Expecting more attacks from his parents and growing tired of the constant barrage of emails there, DH and I sat down and set up his work email so that we could block emails from undesirable sources coming through. If anyone from his FOO attempted to send emails after that, we are unaware of them.

- October 2012 - DH received a letter at work from his Naunt. The envelope was addressed to him but the letter inside addressed the both of us. It was an invitation to both his cousin's graduation and one guilt-trip. We put a "return to sender" sticker on the envelope and sent it back, unopened.

- November 2012 - EFIL showed up at our house, unannounced and unwelcome, under the guise of dropping off a gift for DD's birthday. DH wouldn't find out until the next day that EFIL had left a message o his work phone informing him that he would be coming to our house that night. After asking him to leave several times, I finally had to threaten to call the police when he would not comply. As soon as the police were mentioned, he was off the porch and back in his car in seconds. The gift he dropped off contained a stuffed animal and an envelope with the message, "Happy Birthday DD...we have started a savings account for you." Both the invasion of our home territory and the intended message of the "gift" were clear: EFIL and L had no intentions of backing down, addressing the obvious issues between us, respecting our needs, or treating us with any kind of caring, consideration, or respect. The monetary gift was about two things and two things only: power and control. Fed up with their constant overstepping of boundaries and apparent disregard for our desire for authenticity, we took pictures of the "gifts" as evidence, then "responded" by shredding up the birthday card, put it in an envelope and sending it back to them in the mail. Our message to them was a resounding NO: no to the guilt-tactics, no to the manipulation, no to the blood money. We wanted nothing to do with any of it.

- November 2012 - After the showdown on our front porch, EFIL again called DH at work later that night, leaving a voice mail where he complained to DH that I had treated him poorly and that I had given no valid reason for doing so. He insinuated that I had no right to ask him to leave or to threaten him with the police, and he flat-out said that DH had no valid reasons to have cut off contact with his FOO.

- November 2012 - Just a few days later, J showed up on our doorstep demanding entry into our house and refusing to leave because DH wouldn't hear him out. The message he brought was that NSIL was in the hospital for attempted suicide. The police were called and a report was filed; J was informed that we could have him arrested if he ever came back. I believe that J's purpose in coming was not merely to inform DH of the news, but in fact to make an attempt at blaming and shaming DH back into his old role as substitute father and emotional care-taker for his sister.

- November 2012 - The same night that J showed up, NSIL called DH on his work phone after hours and left a vague message about how she was in the hospital because "something happened" and with the promise to keep the phone call to him a secret from their NM. It was unclear whether she had been manipulated into calling him or what her true motives were for the call.

- November 2012 - EFIL left yet another voice mail message for DH on his work phone, this one more threatening than the previous two. In it, he acknowledged his receipt of the ripped-up birthday card and expressed his intention to stalk my husband for all eternity.

- November 2012 - We sent official letters of NC to EFIL and L and J, via certified mail with return receipt indicating in no uncertain terms that they were never to contact us again in any way, shape, or form, and that doing so could result in legal action on our part. Both letters were signed for and received by the intended recipients.

- November 2012 - Congruent to the letters of NC he was sending to EFIL and L and J, DH also sent out a letter to NSIL, containing reading material he'd hoped she would read and the sentiment that he cared about her but would not be responsible for saving her. He sent it to her via email as well as via snail mail to the hospital in which she was staying. He made multiple attempts to get these messages to her but due to the circumstances, we were not sure whether she got the letter and we attempted to have it forwarded on to her residence though there was less of a guarantee that she'd get it there if it fell into NMIL's hands. It still remains unclear whether she ever received the original letter, as she never directly acknowledged it.

- November 2012 - During the hours prior to NSIL's departure for the mental hospital where she'd stay for two weeks as part of her treatment for her mental disorders, NSIL again called DH's work phone several times both during and after business hours. She did not leave any messages, but the sheer volume of her attempts to reached him spoke to some kind of desperation on her part. DH and I are uncertain what, exactly, she wanted or what she would have said had she made contact. We do find it odd that, if she was so insistent in her attempts to reach him, she wouldn't leave a message. Couldn't have been that important, if she wasn't willing to say it to his voice mail, thereby basically ensuring that he would get it.

- November 2012 - A few days before Thanksgiving, DH received a delayed letter from NSIL, that she had written while in a mental hospital where she was being treated for her attempted suicide. The letter was an emotional sucker-punch to the gut, wherein she blamed DH for all of her physical and emotional issues and tried to blame and shame him into letting his inner "childhood nickname" out again. Both DH and I worked on responses to that letter for several days. When we were satisfied with our responses, we attempted to contact her via email informing her that we had already tried once to contact her using several mediums, and that we had a response to her letter that we were putting in the mail and which we'd send to her in email form if she was interested. She responded only to say that she had never received anything from him before and wanted to know if it had been sent to her home address. We responded that yes, it had. She did not directly respond again, either via email or snail mail. We had no confirmation that she ever read any of our correspondence. We only know that NMIL signed for the package delivered by certified mail which contained both a letter from DH and a much shorter note from me.

- November 2012 - NSIL's only "response" to both DH's and my attempts to communicate was the following, which she tweeted just a few weeks before shutting down her Twitter account: "It is so strange to me that my brother is literally a different person completely...and evil and insane and I will never talk to again." Whether she got our messages or not, it was clear that she was not interested in the kind of help, love, or support we were offering.

- December 2012 - Both DH and I experienced a security breach on our blogs when an anonymous commenter with indisputable ties to NMIL and NSIL left messages containing our real identities as well as the personal and somewhat bloated opinion that I was leaving cyber crumbs that would eventually lead NMIL and Co. to our blogs. The self-important Anon also managed to insinuate that I was crazy, that both DH and I were cruel for "dissecting" NSIL, and that I am a bully. DH and I removed the identifiers in the commentary and published it alongside our individual analyses. 

- December 2012 - Just a few weeks after having received out letters of NC, EFIL and L sent both DD and DS Christmas cards (and DS an additional card for his birthday) containing more attempts to induce guilt and the repeated messages that they had opened up a savings account for each of them. This move was in obvious contempt of our recent request for NC and spoke very clearly to their (ever-present) desire to control. Everything and everyone.

- December 2012 - Our blogs were discovered by several members from NMIL's camp who carefully combed through our entire blogs and continue to check in almost every day.

- January 2013 - I discovered, on a relatively obscure internet article, a comment left by someone by the name of "Sara" that contained both my real name and a link to my anonymous blog. We suspected foul play, as the message seemed to have come from a non-friendly source, rather than someone who meant well.

- February 2013 - In an attempt to battle the demons of his past, and bearing in mind the knowledge that we had already been discovered, DH sent an email to none other than Exhibit A which contained an invitation for her to read the truths on our blogs. She did not respond directly, but she did make her twitter account private a few days later, which lead us both to believe that she understood the directive and was intimidated by it.

16 comments:

  1. Jonsi, you did a stunning job of documenting the years of crazy. Keep several copies of this in a variety of places in case you need it later for legal action.

    Also, I found it chilling that EFIL plans to stalk DH for all eternity. The blinding narcissism behind being told by someone, "I no longer wish to be associated with you" and responding with, "I will stalk you against your will!"

    --LuLoo

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    1. The "all eternity" part was just me being facetious. He did say he was "never going to stop" trying to get DH to come back to "this family" and that we should expect him to "be around."

      It's about the same. :)

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  2. This all makes me so sad for you and DH. It's easy for narcs to take one or two things and make it about that small issue. But, how can they look at the entirety of it all and still only dish out blame. I don't see where they ONCE tried to give you a chance or be supportive or be accepting. They never once thought about how your DH felt about YOU. That by bashing and judging and alienating you they are trampling on the "son" they say they care about so much. And I've never seen them give a shit about your feelings at all. I'm curious too if they think about your children at all. Your kids are technically their "blood" family. Do they wonder ever what effect their little war against the kids' mother is going to have on them?

    And just as a side note, the picture thing pisses me off. Even if you are being a "picture nazi" (which is so ridiculous as you have EVERY right to protect your privacy and that of your family from very PUBLIC display) but what does it cost them to comply with your wishes. Why is it that them posting pictures is not a big deal, but you wanting them not to post the pictures is a HUGE deal? Because it's only a huge deal if it effects them in some way. The situation just shows me how very little they are willing to compromise on to make things work. If they can't even respect something like this, you can never expect them to respect the "big" things.

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    1. Beautifully put, my dear friend. It all makes me sad too because it just didn't have to be this way. Writing out my list of grievances this way really makes it clear how much we were up against. I don't need the confirmation to stand firm in what we're doing, but I do think it explains, in a pretty succinct way, why we are in this position now.

      I don't think people like this care what effect their "wars" have on anyone, so long as it gets them what they want. The children are just casualties of their sick and twisted games.

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  3. ^Yes, your last paragraph-so true. Certainly this chronology speaks to the ramping up of behaviors and the dynamics I experienced as well as soon as I started to implement Boundaries and personal autonomy.
    No doubt, the NFOOs will spin this chronology as "Holding Grudges." I've heard that as well. The totality of circumstances is greater *yet* than each individual event in their Campaign to destroy your relationship with your DH as evidenced from the initiation of your relationship. IMO, DH's comments re: "House Sitting" was perhaps an unconscious warning, but a warning nonetheless to you: "This is how NMIL is" and how the relationships within his NFOO operate. Over a period of years friends, acquaintances and occasionally strangers made observations to me re: Psychob in minimally a neutral tone or in a questioning manner. They had no agenda but were simply perplexed/confused by her behavior and words. Those kinds of confirmations/observations really helped me on my journey out of the FOG.
    Gaining space away from NFOOs helps even more; a chronology of events really clarifies the pattern. If you want to know what people are about, listen to what they say and watch their behavior. The disparity is striking particularly over time. People who marry into NFOOs must feel like they've entered some really bizarre "world."
    They have! ;)
    TW

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    1. There is absolutely a striking difference between what they say and how they behave, and this list is a pretty fair reputation of that. Coupled with our continued physical and emotional distance from DH's FOO, his vision has cleared considerably.

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  4. Dearest Jonsi,

    I have perused your sight over and over...I have read LSV's blog from top to bottom...

    First...I admire you! and I wholly support and feel for you and LSV...

    I have taken the entire winter off starting in October 2012 because I have come to a crossroads in my life...I have been in an abusive relationship for the last 6 years...he beat me..he neglected me and he has done terrible, rotten things to me...and yet I stay...and I feel that I stayed because there seemed to be a reason for him...as strange as that sounds...the Domestic Violence answers just did not seem to fit...

    Last October, while planning the stages of my departure from my DH..I came across an article on Narcissism...WOW! I have since spent months, day and night, educating myself on the horrifics of it all...and enlightening my DH...he was very resistant at first..it was ugly...and scary...but inside a 60 day period...something happened...he admitted and succumbed to the information, sought therapy and has gone no contact with his family...friends..acquaintances...anything to do with his old life...we even GAVE away our home in order to expedite the process of no contact...it is a dire situation for both of us as they are actually life threatening Narcissists...

    I don't know how I survived other than sheer will and stubborn, bullheaded stupidity...

    My DH...is in recovery...as am I...I do not feel like I am wholly deficient in the self esteem department any more...self worth is growing..I KNOW I am worthy...and I believe it was that first article that boosted me to the strength I have now...and the unselfish, candid blogs like yours that supply the information needed to truly understand...

    The problem I am having...after experiencing this for most of my life (I have been estranged from NM and family for most of my life) and realizing the reasons for the problems in my relationship with DH...I AM PISSED OFF!

    I feel for DH...I try to be patient...understanding...afterall..I DO understand that his behavior is a result of a very long process of abuse and neglect, brainwashing, severe emotional and physical devastation...but my ability to be kind and loving towards the lies, the gaslighting, the manipulation...THE GAMES...is thin...I explode anymore...after the 3rd consistent episode...even when he admits it and tries to practice with the tools he was given in therapy...I find myself resenting him...feeling like our entire life is about the DH show...I feel no respect for him..no trust...which I feel is not abnormal for me to feel...

    I would like some insight from you...I love this man...I no longer want to dispatch our relationship... can I ask how do you cope with the recovery process?

    I have been trying very hard not to take his traits personally...I really can honestly say, they are not about me...they are about him and what he has been thru...being married and not being able to take him personally is very difficult for me...selfish, yes...I have felt the need to be selfish in some ways to care for myself...learning that I can no longer be his scape goat and his savior...and I no longer feel it is my job to save him!

    Any advice to my dwindling patience? do you experience these bouts of not wanting to deal with it any more? How do you cope..any strategy?

    I am signing this anonymously due to the fact that I would rather keep my own blog and personal life private to an extent...

    Thank you Jonsi...and LSV...I would never have had a clue if not for your information...I would have remained a beaten, small, sick child...

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    1. Hi Anon,

      I'm sitting here trying to reconcile what you told me with my own experiences and history with the personality disordered and I don't know that I have any clear-cut answers for you about what to do. I can relate to what you have shared, since I experienced a highly abusive relationship at one time in my life. It's my own personal system of beliefs that says that if any man ever raised a hand to hurt me, I would leave that relationship (though in an effort not to be a hypocrite, there were a number of times in that relationship when physical violence was eminent and I did not leave.)

      I'm at a loss because of what you've shared with me. In my experience, I have never met a narcissist worth maintaining a relationship with, and I have never seen a physically abusive individual change for the better. If your husband is a malignant narcissist, I would not recommend staying with him. And the physical abuse you say you've suffered at his hands really bothers me - I just haven't had an experience where those kinds of situations end up alright in the end.

      You mentioned that your DH is in recovery - can I ask what he is recovering from? Because if the answer is that he is in recovery for beating you, then again, I'm not sure whether my advice would help or hurt you.

      You seem to have drawn a comparison between my husband and your own - and though there may be many similarities, mine and yours differ in one very obvious regard: my husband has never laid a hand on me. So dealing with his recovery process is probably different from your own.

      I keep going back to this: If he's a narcissist, get away from him. Be wary that the hope you feel for him isn't blind; that it's not just you wishing like hell he can be different. Because narcissists don't change. They just get better at hiding who they really are.

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    2. "but my ability to be kind and loving towards the lies, the gaslighting, the manipulation...THE GAMES...is thin"

      At the risk of sounding very harsh, I feel I must say this: If he lies to you, manipulates you and subjects you to gaslighting, then he is still abusing you. I don't think there is any therapy that will fix him. He sounds like a narcissist and an abuser.

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  5. Thank you Jonsi...I cannot thank you enough for your input! My DH is recovering from Alcoholism (he has not had a drink for two years) and probably the most toxic, mean, destructive family I have ever met...since his going NC with his entire family and support structure, he is so sad...the loss of his so called "friends" has shaken him to the core...he is afraid of everything...the guilt he feels is at times, overwhelming for me as I am still recovering from the wounds he has inflicted...until he let go of his family...he had never tried to make amends or apologize for what he has done...now it seems as if he is one large constant apology...his emotions overflowing... I didn't really believe he had any til now...he jabs himself and punishes himself for every infraction..every behavior that he finds he emulates that are like his family...he does catch himself and he does not argue about anything I call him on...His therapist does not think he is a narcissist(we picked this therapist because his specialty is narcissism and is actually quite confrontational with DH)...just a very programmed and brainwashed lackey of his mother...it has been determined that everything his father or mother had done to him, he felt the need to act out against me...and they encouraged his behavior...the actions are almost identical...it is as if all the stuffing has been pulled out of him...he has not physically abused me since 2009...or threatened me in that way(which does not in any way excuse that he did it at all)...the habits he is trying to overcome, though...set me off anyways...he will do the action and then catch himself...and the rage I feel is harsh...I, in my own need, have abolished any patience with his...I care that he caught himself but it still pisses me off that he even did it in the first place...I have never had any experience with helping someone get well...only myself...and I am so hard on myself and demand that once I identify what it is that I am doing, there is no room to do it again...and I expect that from him...

    I really wanted to know how you put up with it all.. how do you cope day in...day out without going FUBAR on someone? (this made me laugh, it seems I am asking you how to grow some more patience...got any Miracle Gro stashed away for me?);) The more I write...because my whole existence has been a secret for so long...I keep asking myself...what are you asking her for? and you know what? I think I am just so glad to be validated...piss poor on my part...realizations come slowly to some of us...

    I have tried counseling...I find it a very tedious process..I really did not want to wait for years to find out what in the hell was going on...when I made up my mind to know, I went balls to the wall and found the info I needed...thanks to folks like you!

    My DH lies...his expressions of recognition of this behavior were very reminiscent of a couple of posts made by LSV.. LSV's loss of his childhood "friends" was also very close to what my DH said......and they felt familiar to me ...drawing conclusions between LSV and my DH is not fair though...I realize that their circumstances are wholly different and I am sorry for drawing those conclusions,Jonsi...

    LSV is an inspiration and I do appreciate his candor and that he is trying so hard to overcome a life of abuse...

    I will accept harsh...truth is what I seek...and I really appreciate your response!

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    1. Hi again Anon,

      Rather than try to address this in a comment, I'd like to do it in a post if that's alright with you. I think this might be a good opportunity not only for me to offer whatever insight I might have for you, but also to discuss some of the points your brought up as they pertain to me and my husband.

      Would you mind if I did that, or would you prefer to keep the conversation going here (or maybe via email?)

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    2. I can tell you from experience that as we folks in AA begin to TRULY dry out the emotions we suppressed with alcohol can overwhelm us. The practice of "rigorous honesty" can be pretty damn frightening too!

      As for amends, if these will harm ourselves or others we need to find another way to handle theses resentments. This is where it is vital for your husband to work with his sponsor. Making amends to people who would still abuse me, if we had any contact, is just not in the cards nor is it expected. My sponsor has helped me work through this.

      Active alcoholics can be selfish and abusive but in recovery they tend to shed this ugly skin and show the decent human being beneath. However just because we sober up doesn't mean we recover, some in AA just become "dry drunks" because we don't work the program with our sponsor. Could be that the most important "friend" your husband misses is his bottle!

      IMO If you want to stick it out with your husband, you might consider going to Al-Anon where they will help you cope with a lot of the things you describe.

      There is an email attached to my blog if you want to talk further.

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  6. I HOPE...sincerely... that the gratitude I feel is coming through in these words...I have been to every blog and article I can find on the web to find answers to my dilemmas and abate the confusion in my own response to these dilemmas...I have never asked for support...milestone for me...I am truly humbled with respect and appreciation for your patience in giving this issue the time it takes to address my mess...

    Jonsi...I would rather remain open to the public comment and scrutiny, if you would honor this situation with a post...I feel that it would be best to address openly as it may help some one else too, as you and this community have helped me...

    I need the frank, open, brutal honesty that can come from this...

    Sometimes when I keep things in my head...some of the details become lost and a lot of those details can make a difference in understanding...

    Thank you Mulderfan...I had no idea how true your perspectives are...until AA..the broken, bloody, raw mess DH has become...I thought only the abused felt this way...how self absorbed is that? I am questioning my anger, my rage...and my motives...and my abilities to process empathy towards him...in light of the abuse...how healthy am I? and I think with this communities help I can finally put doubt to rest and learn to move on and grow...thank you for your support! I am feeling as if I am not as enlightened as I thought I was and look forward to this challenge...even though it may be painful I think it so worth it!

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    1. Hi Anon, consider it done. I will do my very best to offer my thoughts and suggestions in a post.

      You are not alone.

      Hugs,

      Jonsi

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  7. You are a rare...rare person, Jonsi...the hug alone was enough to fill me with emotion...the heartfelt way you just addressed this? was staggering...thank you...

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    1. I like to think I'm not that rare. I feel like I'm part of this awesome community and we're all just trying to help each other out. I'm glad you've found your way here and that it's helping you in some capacity. Also, thank you for voicing your thoughts and questions here. Hopefully it will spark a dialog and make things a little easier for you.

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