Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Truth Speaks For Itself

After radio silence from NMIL and Co. for DD's birthday, I will admit I had thought we were in the clear. But I also recognized that, while I'm generally operating from a place of rational thinking, the same can not be said of DH's FOO. Thus, I was not entirely surprised when we got a piece of mail from EFIL and L on November 25th. Nor was I surprised that the envelope had no return address and that it was just transparent enough that I could see it's contents without even having to hold it up to the light.

Maybe L thought it would come as an unpleasant shock to us to get an invitation to their three hundredth annual Christmas party since they didn't send one out to us last year.  I know they didn't actually expect us to show up or even to R.S.V.P., though it is really super funny to me to imagine what THAT might have looked like. So my analysis with this one is pretty simple:

The lack of return address on the envelope was such an obvious power play: L knew we would recognize her handwriting and had clearly envisioned us receiving the envelope but not being able to return it to sender; though I also don't think she's stupid enough to assume that we wouldn't just write the return address on the envelope ourselves and THEN return it. Which I had considered for a moment, until I realized that to do so would just be to voluntarily re-inject ourselves into playing the game by their rules and then I scrapped the idea. I'm fairly certain that when L wrote out the address, she was fully aware of precisely how it would be perceived on our end.

I'm also fairly certain, as I already mentioned above, that they didn't believe for even a second that we'd actually be attending their little shindig. There are times when I wish I could be a fly on the wall or that I was clairvoyant or something - because it really is fascinating to me to pick at this stuff a little bit. I have found myself pondering what, precisely, these people are thinking when they pull this shit out of their asses. I mean, after a year of stalking and hounding us, and then a year of complete silence, a Christmas party invitation is the best they can come up with? It's really...I mean, it's laughable. It's a total joke. And I think the fact of the matter is that their lame attempts at randomly slapping at us now and then are the great and final culmination of their anti-Jonsi war. You know, Christmas party invitation once a year equals the last dying breaths of a fish out of water.

Pathetic is what I'd call the whole thing. I remember once, sometime in 2010 I think, having a brief conversation with L in which she admitted to me that she and EFIL still sent out Christmas party invitations to all of his siblings, even though only two of his brothers ever came and the rest didn't bother to respond let alone show up. The bit of information that I tucked away in my pocket though, was the reason she cited for keeping up the tradition - she said that they continued inviting EFIL's brothers to their major events and parties because they "wanted to be the bigger people." According to my translation, which is just as significant in our case and I'm sure applies to this most recent attempt at contact, this kind of mentality speaks to EFIL and L's constant craving for having an unblemished social noteriety. Sending out their little yearly holiday invite has nothing to do with a genuine desire to communicate with us and everything to do with their annual renewal of spit-shine on their reputations.

Especially when you consider the fact that they aren't supposed to contacting us anyway. In a rational person's world-view, it would have been pretty obvious well before we sent our official letter of NC that we were no longer interested in conversing or in having a relationship any longer. And, such a rational person would have seen fit to leave us the hell alone, likely without ever requiring a point-blank statement such as the one we sent to EFIL and L in November of last year. But, as I've said, EFIL and L are not rational individuals, they don't see reason, and they are not interested in respecting us. This recent invitation is just as clear a sign as any that they are not interested in reconciling, nor are they aroused by the idea that actually respecting our needs and our space could have potentially earned them some of our time in the future. I think it's all really just a game to them at this point; one that they still hope to win even though they seem to barely spare a thought for it every once in a while.

One thing I will say is this: it truly is a relief not to have to deal with these people (or their lame annual get-togethers) any more. Because of our history with them, I can't help but feel that for as long as we had a relationship with them their stupid Christmas party would have been a point of contention every year. Unbeknownst to them I'm sure, the date of their party also happened to be the date of DS's third birthday party. Take just a second to imagine how THAT would have looked, if we were still in contact with these fuckers. All anyone has to do is see how they behaved during DD's first birthday party or in the weeks prior to DS's birth to understand precisely how they would have behaved in years to come for other of our important functions. So I'm glad - oh-so-glad - that we don't have to worry about dealing with their self-absorbed agendas anymore, or their scheming or wheeling and dealing. That's all over now.

And I can continue to tuck their nonsense away in my binder, where it will stay until any one of our children are interested in knowing our history with Daddy's FOO. The truth speaks for itself.

35 comments:

  1. These continuing efforts to draw us back into their lives make them superior to us ungrateful little bastards. They can mournfully tell anyone who will listen how hard they've tried to do the right thing, stay in touch, include us in family events, blah, blah, blah... They've lost us so they have to create another source of supply by garnering sympathy from anyone dumb enough to believe their bull shit!

    Fuck 'em!

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    1. Exactly! Sums up the "Christmas party invite" in a nutshell.

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    2. OMG, Mulderfan, I think you captured my NFOO down to the last blah, blah, blah. Narcs really do share the same playbook, don't they? --LuLoo

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    3. LuLoo, I find the "playbook" thing kinda creepy although, once you catch on, it makes them extremely predictable. When I was blogging the tracker showed people worldwide (different cultures/languages) suffering the same kind of abuse I did and that's just plain creepy!

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    4. "So I'm glad - oh-so-glad - that we don't have to worry about dealing with their self-absorbed agendas anymore, or their scheming or wheeling and dealing."

      AMEN to that!

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    5. I hate that part of the playbook so, so much. Some of my extended family have totally bought into the "but she's trying so hard!" thing, while I look like I'm not trying at all. Guys, I'm done trying. All of my trying went on quietly without me sobbing on your shoulders.

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  2. I wouldn't let my guard down. I doubt if you have seen the last of them.

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    1. I don't think we'll ever be completely off-guard. There's ALWAYS the chance these fuckers will decide to just "pop in" again and test the waters. DH was a source of NS for them for far too long to just simply let him go after only a couple of years.

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  3. IMO The only way they'll completely give up on your DH is for the Ns to find another source of supply. I suspect my NPs have, and I further suspect it's the NGC. That may be why he's so bitter toward me. Oh well, it was his turn!

    Nice thing is, they've never had a chance to groom your kids as replacements and I know you guys will make sure they never get the chance.

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    1. I think they know that they don't have a chance with our kids, which is why they really don't ever reach out to them or "try" to groom them. They really can't. (ha! That must kill them, that they have no power or control there). This is one of those "over my dead body" moments for me, with the exception of course that even if I were dead, they STILL wouldn't be able to get their claws anywhere near my babies.

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    2. I worry about the kid thing. I had contact with my Ngrandfather, so I was able to witness some of his crap on my own. It gave me context for my mother's experiences (which, honestly, were worse than my own...he was a much worse parent to her than she was to me). My kids won't have that. I wonder what will happen when they're older - will my mom contact them privately? What will they make of that? I hope my relationship with my kids is strong enough and that they feel respected enough by me that they understand the decision I made and don't get sucked in.

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    3. Hi Claire,

      I've thought about the long-term issues with Ngrandparents too. I think that, at the very least, EFIL and L will try to contact my kids privately when they turn eighteen or something - I think it's actually part of their long-term plan. (You know, a card in the mail one day with the sentiment that they've always "loved" DD and DS so much but never got a chance to have a relationship with them, and oh, by the way, they have some money they've been saving and if DD or DS will just come to lunch with them, then maybe they can have it...blah blah blah). Like you, I hope that my relationship with my kids will be strong enough, and that hearing the truth from us for so many years will ensure that if anyone from the NFOO does reach out to them someday, they'll know it's not worth responding.

      I've always believed that narcs don't do anything unless they think they can win - and I do think there is power in NC. If you stick with it long enough, they do eventually (mostly) get the picture. That doesn't mean they'll NEVER try to sink their claws in again in the future, but it does usually mean that their attempts are fewer and weaker.

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  4. Jonsi, I wanted to thank you for this blog. I've been reading it for months now and it's been so helpful. I haven't caught up yet (currently in May 2012) but everything that I read is help me understand a world that I’m suddenly orbiting.

    See, my friend J is currently going through a divorce because of his NMIL. On top of that it seems like his soon-to-be-ex-wife K is displaying increasing narcissistic tendencies. J was the one to figure out that his NMIL is a narcissist and, back when he was still hoping for a reconciliation, showed me the info about it in the hopes so I could help him convince K to get counseling. Unfortunately it was too late. However, she has recently left her FOO because she said that realized that her NM was a horrible person and is currently back in Chicago attempting to make amends to everyone she hurt (J and her friends, including me).

    I have two questions to both you and all ACONs who might read this and, if you've already answered them in posts that I haven't gotten to yet, I apologize. My first question is: do you think it's possible that, although K may have had narcissistic tendencies, that her NM could have been turning her into a full-fledged narcissist even though she's 28? Do you think that now that she's gotten away from her NM that she can stop her own narcissistic tendencies? I know that you generally have a rather pessimistically realistic view on the ability of narcissists to change but this is someone that didn't show such extreme narcissistic tendencies until a few months ago. Any insight would be appreciated, as I have no idea what to think.

    Before I get to the second question, there’s some long backstory which I apologize for; I swear I do have a question at the end of it. See, I had decided that I was done with K and didn't want to talk to her again (she did some truly horrible things to J, especially when it came to their DD) but J interceded on her behalf, asking me to give her another chance. (He has decided to do so, but as a friend not a spouse.) I decided to do so by writing her a letter that I'm planning on reading her (thank you, both Jonsi and LSV, for the idea). In it I am incredibly blunt. I straight up just say that her NM is, in fact, narcissistic and that she should go NC with her FOO. On top of that, I tell her that I can't be her friend if she goes to visit them because when she goes there she has no support from people that really love her. I'm not asking her to go NC (I recognize that she needs to decide to do that herself) but I am asking her to put this boundary up because I refuse to watch her kill herself. I'm going to admit that although I'm doing this in an attempt to get her really thinking about her relationship with her FOO, I'm also doing it to protect myself. The things that she did to J were so horrible that it disturbs me to think that I could consider someone like that a friend. I just can't sit there and watch her destroy not only herself but also J and their DD. It would kill a part of me. I have told her that if she chooses to go see her FOO without backup that I will end all contact with her because I won't watch it happen again.

    Again, I apologize for the long explanation. What I wanted to ask was this: is there any chance that this will work? If a ACON had had someone they trusted and loved, even if it was just a friend, come to them and bluntly say such things to them, do you think that it would get through? That it would at least cause them to start thinking about it? I know that I'm going to say it no matter; I need to protect myself but I guess I'd like to have an idea of what reaction I'm going to get.

    Thank you again, dear Jonsi, for this absolutely wonderful blog and for any insights you can give me into my own situation. To any other ACONs that can also give me insights, I thank you as well. It means the world that you have taken time out of your day to help me.

    Sincerely, Mari

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    1. Mari,

      I am confused as to the nature of the relationship you have with your "friend" J - are you romantically involved with him? Is that why you have taken it upon yourself to seemingly insinuate yourself between he and his soon-to-be ex-wife? In my opinion, it is irrelevant whether she is a narcissist or not, but that you have become involved in matters that have nothing to do with you. My advice to you would be not to read whatever letter you have prepared for her, as it's absolutely none of your business to tell her what she should or should not be doing with her FOO. The only thing you can do if you feel that she has a character disorder is move on from whatever relationship you have with her, which by the way, is not at all clear from what you have written above. I can not fathom how you are "protecting yourself" by behaving in the manner you have described. I find your self-described relationships with all parties involved to be incredibly bizarre.

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    2. I apologize for the confusion. It is a very confusing situation and I'll try my best to explaon. DH and I consider J to basically be a sibling; he is family. We used to be the same way with K. So, yes, we are (I am) far more invested than a normal friend would be. We helped them after K's FOO abandoned her during her first pregnancy after a miscarriage. We were the family that was there when their DD was born. She was there to help me through my own miscarriage and subsequent depression as well as my fertility problems.

      When K finally ended the marriage, we were the ones that helped J as his FOO is too far away to visit. DH and I got involved because we wanted to help our family. K cut us off (encouraged no doubt by her NM) but we continued to reach out to her, at least until her cruelty crossed a line that we found unacceptable. At that point, we cut off all communication.

      However, she has recently come back, as I said before, saying that she knows she need to change and that she knows her FOO are no good. I still love her and want her to seek help but was ambivalent about speaking to her again until J asked me to. He hoped that having more friends up here would help her attempts to grow and says that I should give her another chance. Obviously, I have doubts, but between my love for her and my love for J, I feel I should give her a chance to prove she has changed. It just feels petty to say no when J is willing to do so, especially since the cruelty was targeted at him and not me. When I talk about protecting myself I mean making sure that I guard myself from cruelty should that cruelty not be able aberration.

      I *am* worried she has a character disorder but haven't seen enough to know if she really does or if it was a reaction to being around her FOO. She *never* acted the way she did in the past few months as she did in the years I knew her. That was my reason for asking about the ability to become a narcissist later in life; I'm attempting to make sense if a situation that probably has none.

      Does that help? It's hard to describe it all and have it make sense. Even my therapist (who I see weekly) can barely believe everything that's going on and keep track of it. Also, I'm not sure if it will put your mind at ease, but he knows that I consider J family and used to consider K family, as well as everything that has happened, and thinks that my path is a healthy one, at least for me.

      If I were to become friends with K again, I'd be starting a relationship with *her* not as a go-between for J and K. It will obviously have some spillover, especially at first, but I think if we're both willing to work on it, I can becomes friends with K without having J involved in that friendship.

      DH and I are involved in a weird awkward way, I know that. It's why I was hoping to get some sort of insight from you, because it is insane. I mean, normally if a family member divorces you just don't deal with the ex-spouse. But when both are (were) equally your family... Then things get even more wonky.

      Thank you for you help.

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    3. Hi Mari,

      Thanks for the clarifications. I will say though, that while it does help me to better understand where you are now, my analysis o the situation is still essentially the same: My advice would still be for you and your DH to pull out of your involvement with K and to a certain extent, J as well.

      You mentioned that K had cut you off and you continued to reach out to her during that time - in the ACoN world, that's a big tip-off that you are crossing boundaries and disregarding the other person's need for space and time, regardless of their reasons for needing them. By continuing to reach out to her when she either asked you not to, or made it clear with her actions that she was not interested in communicating with you at that time, you were only showing her that you were disregarding her needs.

      Something else you mentioned that I think is an issue: "It just feels petty to say no [to speak to K again] when J is willing to do so, especially since the cruelty was targeted at him and not me." Regardless of the status of your relationship with her, this is a very unhealthy reason to continue reaching out to K. If you do so under these circumstances, you WILL be acting as a middle-man, rather than as someone who is deeply and personally invested in keeping that relationship going. It is my opinion that, if you reach out to K, you do so as HER friend, and not because you still consider J a friend. You say that her cruelty was directed at J and not at you - and that helps my point precisely - it's not for you to fix their relationship, or make her see the cruelty of her ways, or to point them out to her. That's all a responsibility that lies with J.

      As for becoming a narcissist later in life - I don't think that is how it works, at least not by my observations. In my experience, people with cluster B character disorders only get worse as time goes on - A really good resource for you to check out that I think can give you much more insight is Joanna Ashmun's website (http://www.halcyon.com/jmashmun/npd/) which her husband has kept up and open to the public even after J.A's death in 2009. It's a great resource and I think you may find some answers there. She lays out the components of narcissism there in a way I haven't seen in other forums.

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    4. "In my experience, people with cluster B character disorders only get worse as time goes on" - Correction: I meant to add something along the lines that I've never witnessed a person *later in life* sort of suddenly becoming a narcissist. I've only witnessed a process, over time, and that the narcissists only get worse as time continues to pass. So chances are that if K is a narcissist, she has been right along (due to possible genetic factors, but mostly due to some sort of childhood emotional triggers and/or severe emotional neglect). In my experience, sometimes ACoNs DO revert to a deeper level of narcissism, if you will, when they are exposed to their NFOOs - probably as a result of their exposure to abuses that trigger such reactions. But the short answer is that I have never seen an instance where someone just wakes up narcissistic where they weren't the week before.

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    5. Jonsi, thank you for your response. As I mentioned, J and I have been reestablishing more normal boundaries (not that the other ones were unhealthy, not for the short term, he just needed more from us than normal, which we were willing and able to give). I highly doubt the boundaries will ever go back to what they once were but that's because we've all become closer, not because they're being ignored. We're no longer seeing him multiple times a week nor talking to him every day, which he is what he needed before. I just wanted to reassure you that, at least in that area, things are regaining normalcy.

      If K had told me she needed space then I would have stopped contacting her and respected that boundary. As it was, she just suddenly stopped talking to all her friends with no warning and none of us were sure what had happened. After a few attempts with no answer, I did indeed stop. I have great respect for my friends and, as I said, the one time she told me I was crossing a boundary she felt I shouldn't cross, I apologized and haven't brought it up since.

      I would never reach out to K *just* because J asked me. Rather, I had been thinking about it before; I love her and I miss her (or, my fear is, the woman I thought I knew) waffled back and forth for weeks. J asking me if I would do so tipped me in a direction that I'd already been leaning toward. I'll admit I do have doubts as to whether this is a good idea, but I would have those no matter what I chose, even if it was not to give her a second chance.

      I actually just recently came to my own realization of how important it would be to keep my relationship with J and K separate. Stupid that it took me this long, I know, but I'm so used to thinking of them as a couple that I'm having to deliberately work to do so. I realized then when at first I offered to let J read my letter to K. No, I realized the next day (thankfully before I sent it), that letter is about K and I's relationship and J doesn't need to know about it. So, I am attempting to do so, although it's difficult because it's basically rearranging my thinking patterns in that regard.

      I am not attempting to fix their relationship; in fact, I'm very deliberately not offering my opinion on what J should do regarding her, even when he asks. However, her cruelty to him is something that I have to talk about with her because that was the final breaking point with me. I think you understand, Jonsi, when I say that it's one thing to go after me but it's quite another go after one of my loved ones. I need to discuss it with her because she needs to understand that that was the point where she really lost my trust.

      Thank you so much for the link. Next chance I get, I will begin to read Ashmun's blog. And thank you for your help with the narcissistic tendencies later in life. That has been one of the things that has so flat-footed me and made it so difficult for me to figure out how to approach this situation.

      Regarding your other comment, I know have stated that I'm uncomfortable with what I'm asking her to do regarding her FOO but am having a hard time trying to find a medium for keeping myself a but safer from any hurt while also respecting the fact that the healing she needs to do needs to be her choice. I guess I'm thinking of much of what I want to say to her as an intervention sort of thing, where you point out how a self-destructive behavior is destroying her life in the hopes of making her realize she needs rehab. I'm unsure as to how to bring up her behavior with mentioning her FOO, since that *is* the self-destructive behavior. If you have ideas, I would love to hear them, as I have no idea how to approach it otherwise. I think I will go back and maybe get rid of some of the stuff about her FOO, but I'm unsure how to get rid of it completely while talking about behavior since so much of what happened was driven her relationship with them.

      Thank you again for your kind words and level-headedness.

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    6. I am still a proponent of discussing ONLY how her behaviors effect you directly if you are to write K a letter regarding the possibility of a continued relationship with her. Everything else is completely out of your control, including whether or not she recognizes any problems with her own behaviors. You can only control the controllables, if I may borrow a phrase I once saw from another blogger (Kiki, I believe, but I don't think her blog is up anymore).

      I'm having trouble pinpointing why you feel it would be difficult to broach the topic of K's behaviors without mentioning her FOO.

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  5. Mari, from experience, I have finally learned that the only one I can change is myself. Regardless of our relationship with the other parties (in my case elderly parents) we need to admit that they are free to live their lives as THEY choose. We may not approve of those choices, but everyone has the right to follow THEIR own path no matter how screwed up it may seem.

    Regardless of the relationship, this is not your burden to carry, so don't pick it up.

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    1. "This is not your burden to carry, so don't pick it up." - Exactly. I think that's what I find so odd about the described situation. It seems a lot of drama where Mari's involvement is concerned. She is too far removed from whatever relationship K has with her parents and IMO should not have ever involved herself with whatever relationship K and J have together. I find that to be boundary-crossing in the extreme.

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    2. If it would help, I've explained more to Jonsi in an above comment. I'm not sure if it helps or just makes things seem even crazier. I dunno, it is a really crazy complicated situation, I won't even try to deny it.

      I don't want to change her, I know she needs to do that. But I just feel like I would be failing as family if I didn't point out that the way her FOO is treating her is wrong. Someone other than J, who has actually been abused by her FOO; someone who was part of her FOC but not attacked (at least, not that I'm aware of). I am asking her to change one behavior, that's true, and I'll be honest that I'm not entirely comfortable asking it of her either, but at the same time I can't watch her do it again. I admit it's for my protection, hell I even say to her that I know I shouldn't do so, but I just can't watch her again. It has been a long time coming but my therapist has drilled into my head that I need to make sure my emotional and mental health comes first. And this is the only way I can do this with any sense of peace. I feel I owe it to her to at least let her explain my thought process so she knows the truth. The whole situation *is* completely fucked up, I know. I'm just trying to do what's best for everyone involved, including myself.

      You're right, she needs to pick her own path. I just want to make sure she sees a couple different paths, even if she won't accept them. I think part of me is going at this with what I wish that I'd said to her back when I thought we'd never talk again, so I know if don't get a second chance I know I'll have said my peace.

      Thank you, mulderfan, for your kind words. I know what the likely outcome is to all this and I think a large part of why I asked for everyone's opinions is just to keep me grounded and realistic about what will probably happen. I've been trying very hard not to dare get my hopes up and it grounds me to hear your words.

      Jonsi, I appreciate that you are concerned about the fact that I seem to crossing boundaries but I promise you that, at least where J is involved, I haven't crossed any that I wasn't invited over. (He changed many boundaries when he needed help and now we're standing back as he figures out which ones he wants to put back up.) I did cross one once with K and I apologized and we moved past it (until she cut herself off from everyone but her FOO). However, the fact of the matter is the way K's FOO has been treating her has been directly affecting my FOC, which includes J and K. I want to support them both and, at the moment, that means attempting to figure out what to say to K so that I can try to be her friend again. Which, obviously, is complicated.

      I'm sorry that I'm disturbing both you and mulderfan. But they're my family and I want to fight for them and be there for them while also keeping myself happy and I'm honestly really worried about doing so. But I have to try once. Just once. To keep my family together even if it's not the way it once was.

      Again, thank you both for taking time out of your day to help me.

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    3. Again, I see so much of this as a fight that isn't yours. If you are invested in having a relationship with K, then maybe you could approach it in a way that says you are interested in preserving a friendship with her and that you are concerned with her well-being and don't want to watch her self-destruct. But delving further into your thoughts on her relationship with her FOO is, even if truthful, still not your responsibility.

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  6. Mari, you remind me so much of what I used to be: a caretaker with all the right motives. I'll say it another way. Taking responsibility for other people in hopes of helping them change is hurtful to both sides. It's a no win situation.

    Here's how my family situation was explained to me: If you know a train is headed for derailment, lying down on the tracks won't stop it and you'll end up dead, so MYOB

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    1. Mulderfan, both you and Jonsi make good points in that I need to back off so much when it comes to putting forth my opinions of K's FOO. However, as stated with Jonsi, I'm unsure as to how to bring up K's self-destructive behavior without mentioning her FOO. If you have ideas, please let me know, as I stated before, I am uncomfortable with some of the things I say, in my attempts to protect myself while also telling her I won't watch her self-destruct. Any ideas are greatly appreciated.

      I don't want to take responsibility for her but at the same time I feel, as part of her FOC, I need to point out her destructive behavior in the hopes of making her realize she needs. As I told Jonsi, I guess I kind of see it almost like an intervention: you point out the behavior, how it's hurting them, ask them to get help, and then the rest is up to them.

      Your train analogy is a good one in other situations but the problem with it in my situation is a don't know if that's where it's headed. She has never done anything like this before in all the years I have known her, so I have no idea if it was an aberration brought about by extenuating circumstances while being surrounded by her NFOO or her real self coming through. I guess I feel since it happened only once I should give her the benefit of the doubt while at the same time the extent of her cruelty frightens me because I don't want it directed at myself or my loved ones.

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    2. Mari, for clarification, FOC (Family of Choice) refers to one's significant others and children - it does not refer to chosen friendships. I believe that our responsibility to friends is different than that of our responsibility to FOC, though both are relationships of choice.

      For yourself, I would recommend reflecting more on what your relationship with K was in the past - if she is a narcissist, then chances are you've just missed the signs and you might want to take that into consideration when re-evaluating what message you'd like to send to her.

      Narcissists are not that hard to spot if you know what you are looking for. But I must stress again that I am NOT a proponent of anyone acting as a Flying Monkey or a go-between for any other interpersonal relationships (FOO, FOC, marital, ex-spouses, etc).

      Before you do anything, I would urge you to contemplate your past relationship with K more deeply and try to assess whether your observations of her in the past were accurate or skewed. Then it might be easier to decide whether or not you'd like to continue a relationship with her.

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    3. Jonsi, I'm not trying to be confrontational, but I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with you on what FOC means. I am taking it to mean exactly what it says, family of choice, which means that *I* choose who my family is. That includes J and, once, K. They are the only people that I would say about that; it's not a term that I throw around lightly as I have very strong feelings in regard to family. If I should decide to cut K out of my life, it wouldn't be as painful as if I were to end my marriage but it would be much more painful than cutting anyone else out of my life, with the exception of my mom and sister and J.

      I'm not trying to convince you that my way is the right way. I think that we both see FOC as something different. However, I wanted to let you know that when I use FOC I am *not* using it lightly. I fear that I may have accidentally offended you and I apologize profusely if I have done so. However, my first thought when I think of FOC is of my own DH and then J and K.

      I have been attempting to figure out my past relationship with K but I'm having difficulty doing so. Besides the fact that I have a rather horrible memory, the last two years of my life have been... complicated which makes it even more difficult. I don't keep a diary and so have nothing to refer to and I'm very aware of how anything I try to remember now may be changed by my current situation. But I will continue to attempt to do so. Thank you for pushing me to keep doing so.

      K was self-destructive because of her FOO. I guess I just feel that the two are so entwined that to try to separate them seems like it would be downplaying the self-destruction. However, I acknowledge that that may be my own perceptions coloring it and I will sincerely take that into account.

      I'm sorry that I'm causing so much drama. That wasn't my intent.

      Thank you for your help.

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    4. It could be that I am wrong about the definition of FOC. I had always taken it to mean the juxtaposition of FOO - "Family" being the similar key component in both. I am also skeptical of the truly and completely platonic relationship between a male and female - I know they do exist, but rarely, and so it's hard for me to reconcile the fact that you have such a self-described closeness with a man who is not your husband. That observation, however, comes from my own personal experiences and may not accurately reflect your situation.

      For the record, I do not offend easily and am not offended by this conversation.

      I wish you the best of luck and hope that whatever you choose to do works out for all parties. If you are dealing with narcissists, then I offer the realistic possibility that those who are character disordered will not change. They will merely change the way they play the game.

      In truth,

      Jonsi

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    5. Jonsi, sweetie .... seek help. You are without a doubt a Borderline Personality Disordered individual. Throw in a huge dose of NPD and you are one sick litte girl. You are pathetic.

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    6. HAHAHAHAHAHA. Wait wait - Are you the same person who found my blog with these search terms? "valentine's letter to estranged daughter." If so, I find your commentary to be even funnier.

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    7. Sweetie, Don't care if you publish my recent comment. Just a private message for you. Just a tip BPD and NPD are one of the few conditions where the patient is left alone and everyone else is treated. I can spot you a mile away, honey. Your anger issues are stunning!

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    8. This is too funny. Keep 'em coming.

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    9. Stunning? Like...breathtakingly beautiful?

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  7. Anonymous, your passive-aggressive remarks make me think of the schoolyard chant, "Ha, ha. Takes one to know one!"

    Sweetie, perhaps you see yourself being described by Jonsi in this blog. Honey, you're so transparent the Windex people might want to hire you for a commercial!

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