Saturday, December 27, 2014

Nailed It

On Christmas Eve, I got the following comment on my 2011 Ketchup post :

"I accidentally found your page on the net. I have read it and I think YOU are the sociopath. I think you just want to take your husband away from his family so he will have no one but you. It can't be that ALL the other people are crazy and under the control of your mother in law. Seriously you need some psychological help yourself. I see grandparents who want to have a relationship with their grandchildren and their son and you who won't allow it. I truly pitty you. I doubt if my comment will make it to your page, but I'm sure others who read the crazynessin your posts can see this as well. Hope your husband comes to his senses some day and apologizes to his family for his behavior. I know you won't ever apologize and it's funny that you complain about how your MIL won't apologize and basically bow down to you which seems to be what you secretly want."

I'm really glad that I got this comment because Anon has hit on some key arguments that have been thrown out against me before, and they are ones I'd like to address. These arguments are - 1. That I am a sociopath. 2. That I want to "take my husband away from his family so he will have no one but me." 3. That I couldn't possibly be correct in my assessment of the scope of crazy and general assholeishness of DH's FOO, or in my belief that there are many people acting under NMIL's heavy-handed control. 4. That I won't allow my husband's parents to have a relationship with our children. 5. That I won't apologize. [And my personal favorite] 6. That I [secretly] want NMIL to "bow down to me."

It's been a while since I've seen some of these accusations, and I'm not sure that I've ever seen them so clearly posted from one source before. Now seems like the perfect time to acknowledge, and in some cases, dispute them.

On the accusation that I am a sociopath: As always, I have to consider the source of such a statement and in this case, it did appear to be largely baseless, as the person saying it was anonymous and I did not recognize the IP address from which it came. It seems likely that the person saying it did not spend much time on my blog and made his/her assessment based on very little evidence. However, since I have been accused of being a sociopath by passersby in the blogging world before, and of being "controlling" by members of DH's FOO, I still feel the need to examine it. Most often when I see this particular accusation being lobbed at me from afar, I imagine that it comes from people who are themselves controlling, sociopathic, or otherwise character disordered. It was always so ironic to me that NMIL and EFIL and L (among others from DH's past) called ME manipulative and controlling. I have discussed my control issues before, as I feel that it is not entirely inaccurate to describe myself in such a way. I have and continue to, at times, struggle with a sometimes obsessive need to micromanage and control the people that I love and care most about. True facts. The argument that I am a sociopath or a manipulator, however, does not hold water. Those that know me, know that I strive, even under the most difficult of situations, to tell the truth and to live genuinely. Sociopaths are either incapable or completely unwilling to do these things. They do not live in truth and they do not want to see truth. The responses of my DH and I to the various goings-on from 2009-2012 were largely acts of self-preservation, not acts of manipulation, selfishness, or greed. The anonymous commenter above, like some others before, seems to be attributing characteristics to me based on projection. I'm not one to claim that it takes a long time to get a handle on someone [I believe that if we know what to look for, and where to look for it, we can accurately assess an individual in a matter of minutes or even seconds] and so I don't think it impossible for someone to figure out my M.O. after reading one or two of my blog posts. I also think it's reasonable that an individual can come to my blog and dislike either my writing, me, or both. But I don't think it's reasonable, or particularly astute to label me a sociopath.

On the argument that I want to 'take my husband away from his family so that he will have no one but me.': First of all, if it were true that I want my husband to "have no one but me," I sure as hell wouldn't have had kids with him because I well knew before having them that for each child we added to our FOC, we would lose time with each other and we would forevermore have beings that rely on both of us, both together and individually AND whose well-being we would be solely responsible for. It's what happens, it's just inevitable - especially in the early years. The fact that DH and I have children together has automatically made this claim stupid. Fucking stupid. But what I think this anon really meant to say is that he/she thinks that I want my husband to have no one else to rely on, no support system, and possibly no one else who relies on him (so that I can have him at my beck-and-call, I presume). Once again, this accusation is shaky, at best. For one, I don't believe that anyone can be "taken away" from any person, place, or object that they sincerely and strongly do not wish to leave behind. If DH wanted his FOO in his life, he would have fought and be fighting still, to keep them there. I have never had the power to "take my husband away" from anything. What is the nugget of truth that this anon hit on? That I wanted my husband's FOO gone: gone from his life, gone from ours, and gone from our children's. Irrevocably and forever. But not, as anon so viciously charged, because I selfishly and impractically, wanted to ex-communicate an entire support system. (If I wanted to do that, I'd have cut off my side of the family.) I wanted DH's past ripped away, with the full acknowledgment, eventual understanding, and strength of will of DH because his entire (yes, entire) base of prior relationships consisted of nothing but users, abusers, assholes, and manipulators. It makes absolutely zero sense to say that I would ever have envisioned, upon meeting DH, that I would have any interest in taking away my future husband's support system (if one was available) - a support system that, if it had existed, would have been mine too. I STILL, several years after having cut off DH's family, imagine what it might have been like to have HEALTHY relationships with his sister and step-siblings. It's only because I recognized very early in my relationship with DH, just how toxic his FOO is, that I don't and didn't have a stronger pull to try harder to fit in with them. I think it is an absurd and childish assessment of my character to say that I "want DH all to myself."

On the argument that 'it can't be that ALL the other people are crazy and under the control of my MIL': Yes, it can. People like NMIL, in other words, narcissists and abusers, surround themselves by people who are easily targeted, manipulated, and controlled. They make sure not to spend too much time with people like me because I have a strong sense of self, I have high expectations for how I'd like to be treated, I am intelligent, and I communicate clearly and well. I have never believed in "picking my battles." I fight them all. Narcissists don't like people like me on principle, just as I don't like narcissists - on principle and because I've been in relationships with them before. I understand them in a way that only victims do. And I'm observant. Why is it that NMIL is no longer lucky enough to have us in her life? Because she chose to behave in such a way that would ensure our departure from it. It's that simple. The people who choose to continue to have relationships with her are either working for her, or are too stupid to realize they are being used. I don't throw the term "crazy" around lightly and I don't think it's fair to say that it's a fit description for the majority of her minions. And, while she is largely to blame for controlling much of the game, NMIL is not the sole power house from DH's past. Several of his "friends" and members from his FOO acted outside of NMIL's influence, reaching completely around her to slap DH on their own accord. I feel that this would be a more accurate description of the situation: "Most of the people from DH's FOO (on his NM's side) or those who had a willing relationship with her, acted under the control, agency, or subtle and negative influence of NMIL during nearly every interaction he or I had with them; while most of the people from DH's FOO (on his EF's side) either were working in conjunction with NMIL with the shared desire to tag-team him, were still blindly under her influence, or else could not effectively deal with their own dysfunctions enough to have a healthy relationship with DH, myself, or our children."

On the argument that I won't allow my husband's parents to have a relationship with our children: Uh. Yeah. That about sums it up. Here's the why and how of it - My husband's parents were assholes to me, and for the extremely tiny amount of time they had with my children, were assholes to them too. They were assholes both directly and by proxy. They treated my husband like a doormat, as evidenced by their brief scuffle over "losing" him and then hasty retreat when they realized he wouldn't be placing himself under their feet again. I would be asking for my children to be abused if I allowed these known and recognized asshole abusers into their lives. The last time we were supposed to see NMIL was a few weeks after DS was born in 2010 - one of the things she said to DH on the phone that day, when she called up just a few hours before she was scheduled to show up, was that it "didn't take a rocket scientist to realize that we were limiting her time with our babies." If I had been talking to her on the phone that day, I would have said, "You're right." And she lost even the limited time she could have had because she is a willfully ignorant, abusive, manipulator with no regard for anyone except insofar as their capacity to serve her. So fuck that shit. You're damn right I won't allow my husband's parents to have a relationship with the beings that I love most in the world. Furthermore, anon observed that he/she saw "grandparents that want to have a relationship with their grandchildren and son." But not me, right? Because that's really fucking seriously a huge problem. Anyone who thinks they can have a relationship with my children without also having a HEALTHY relationship with me is going to be walking the plank. The same can be said for anyone who thinks they can have a secret relationship with my husband, or a relationship where there is intent to hurt our marriage in any way.

On the argument that I won't apologize: As with most anons who leave comments like the one above, I doubt this one will come back. But if he/she did, I'd like to know what it is they had imagined I should be apologizing for. I believe in the power of a genuine apology. I have asked for apologies in my life before, and I have offered up apologies of my own as well. I learned, a long time ago, the importance of a sincere apology - my parents taught me how and when to do it. I know, on a most basic level, that when you hurt someone you love, respect, or care about, an apology is a most important follow-up. Sometimes I expect them. Sometimes I am responsible for them. In the case of DH's FOO, there is nothing I should apologize for. I am absolutely unapologetic in every choice I have made in regards to DH's FOO, every word I have spoken either to or about DH's FOO, and every expectation I had for how I should have been welcomed and respected, if not loved, by DH's FOO. So the argument that I will not apologize is inaccurate; I will apologize when I have hurt someone. I will not apologize for protecting my FOC, I will not apologize for choosing to step away from relationships that are unhealthy, and I will absolutely not apologize to anyone who tries to make the claim that protecting my FOC or going NC with abusers is hurtful to the abusers.  Intended prey doesn't apologize to a predator. A target doesn't apologize to the huntsman. One can say the opposite is true in both these cases as well. Though I will always expect an apology from NMIL, EFIL and L, and the entire rest of DH's past relationships, both chosen and familial, I know that none will ever be issued. And I have accepted that.

And finally, on the argument that I "secretly want NMIL to bow down to me." This one is funny and sort of a new one, though I don't doubt that some of my other haters have thought this about me as well. If I was ever interested in playing NMIL's game, then I could see some possible truth in this accusation. And if I was a ruthlessly manipulative, emotionally weak, needy, and hypocritical individual, like NMIL, then I could see some possible truth in this accusation as well. If I was so interested in having "NMIL bow down to me," than I'd still be working on that shit, probably obsessively, attempting to come up with endless methods to accomplish such a goal. She'd likely still be around because I imagine it would be a constant and exhausting never-ending battle to get anyone, let alone my husband's mother to grovel at my feet and such. I'm not even sure what it looks like to have someone "bow down to me." And for the record, if I wanted NMIL to do such a thing, it wouldn't be a secret.


  1. In my dealings with narc politicians, I have managed to uncover the "essence" of why people like you and I are such a threat to them. We are, quite simply, women of PRINCIPLE. We do not lie, manipulate or pretend to be anything other than ourselves. This is, of course, foreign and quite frightening to a narcissist.
    Your anon commenter doesn't "get you". I do, and for that I'm eternally grateful! You rock, Jonsi!

    1. Thanks Mulderfan. You rock too and I'm grateful for your insights. Xoxo

  2. Apparently Anon hasn't heard "Birds of a feather flock together," or they'd know it is not only possible but probable a whole group must be left behind. I don't associate with my NM's friends because I know what they think of me. An interesting note: Her "friends" walk away when they realize how much she lies. Those that don't walk away justify her behavior, which requires lying.

    I cannot imagine how anyone would want their child to be subjected to an abuser. And yet, I see it all the time. Excuses, justification... and those same people will rant about strangers allowing abusers into their home.

    Thanks for fighting for healthy, Jonsi.

    1. I just read somewhere a quote about the nature of people who have relationships with narcissists - I'm WAY paraphrasing here, but it basically said that they are ALL enablers on some level. It's an interesting thought. Like you said, Judy, a Narc's friends are justifying her behavior.

  3. It's so hard to stand up for myself when people continually assume that I have the bad motives. That no "good" "sane" person would want to get away from their family. It is this belief in this myth that kept me quiet and in pain for so many years.
    When I started studying Narcissism, I was surprised how many people chastised people for cutting out blatantly violent abusers or sexual abusers who had been caught (not counting how many people refuse to belief this kind of abuse without "evidence"). I wondered how people could expect someone to "love" and be in a relationship with someone who harmed them in such a horrible way. And I knew that if people couldn't understand someone in such an obvious case of abuse stepping away from their abusers, they would never understand my reasons.

    It has been difficult to believe in myself despite all of these doubters and name callers and shamers. So, I always appreciate anyone who is will to stand up, tell the truth, and call a spade a spade.

    1. DH, at least once that I'm aware of, got the "It's not like [your mother] is a homicidal dictator" line from one of his "friends," who so obviously wanted to defend his OWN relationship with NMIL, as well as try to convince DH that he shouldn't be going LC (at the time) with her. Some people have that line of thinking - if you were OBVIOUSLY sexually or physically abused (according to THEIR standards, that is) than it's okay if you leave the relationship. And then, like you pointed out, there are the people who think it's not right to walk away from even those kinds of parents.

      What's most interesting to me about it is that these people pretty much always claim to know better than the person citing abuse. They disregard the victims needs/feelings in much the same way that the abusers themselves have. They often seem to think that THEY own the truth, or at least their version of it is the "right one." And they too want the victim to go along with it, because they have something to gain from him/her staying in that position.

      When I think about it in that way, it makes it much clearer to me why his "friends" and other family members continued to try to push the idea on him that, according to what THEY saw and believed (or wanted to see and believe) that NMIL wasn't the "bad/evil" person that DH was beginning to see. Those people, those enablers/justifyers, stood something to gain from behaving in such a way.

  4. I am fascinated by people that find blogs 'accidentally' then proceed to rip the person on their actions and behavior. I had one comment from a person that accused me of being narcissistic because my blog was about me. I am intrigued how this person that wrote the above comment knows you won't apologize. On what basis are any of the claims? The comment so does not reflect the person I believe you to be. After years of reading, my opinion is that you are a caring parent and wife. You are choosing healthy and by making that choice you are choosing to protect those you love from those that wish to harm them. I admire your courage and your willingness to state your perspective. I am cheering you on. Ruth

    1. Hi Ruth - I didn't touch on the "accidentally" point in my post, so I'm glad that you did here. People don't "accidentally" find a blog - they actively search for it, or they find it by clicking around on other blogs or links that look interesting to them in some way. It's not accidental that this person found my blog. It was intentional. And obviously, anon had some sort of vested interest in at least some of it because he/she took the time to leave this sort of lengthy and thought-out comment.

      I also thought it interesting that anon thought my husband should be apologizing for something as well. I really think this person (who only read a few of my posts) had already had his/her mind made up about "people like me" before she finished reading the first post. Nothing here was going to change anon's opinions.

  5. Lisa, I got your message but couldn't publish it because you left an identifier in it. I just want to let you know that you are welcome to read my blog at any time.


    1. Hi thanks.
      Yeahhh sorry bro! I was being an ass. I realized you probably couldn't post/reply afterwards.
      Anyways, glad you're and you guys are doing relatively well! I'm assuming from the less posts. Merry holidays or whatever is going on right now or whatever it is. Something called NYE.
      See u around!

  6. Pretty much all of the above became irrelevant when I was finally able to accept one simple concept:
    What other people think of me is none of my business.

    1. My own philosophy is that what other people think of me can be my business if I want it to be, but that I shouldn't let what they think bother me. Lions don't lose sleep over the opinions of sheep and all that. ;)

  7. Replies
    1. That was a conclusion I came to as well.

  8. Glad to see that many of you are still here, jonsi. Best Regards, joyfulalivewoman.

  9. "It can't be that ALL the other people are crazy and under the control of your mother in law."

    YES IT CAN! Yes it can. Yes, it absolutely CAN be..... it is the same case in my husband's family. It's really not unusual. And as Judy commented - Birds of a feather flock together. Surely that's not mysterious or difficult to understand? I don't know why Anon finds it so hard to believe.

    "..basically bow down to you which seems to be what you secretly want."

    BOW DOWN???? What the... Who talks like this? Who thinks like this?

    People who have a very limited view of people, that's who. In their world, which is tribal and primitive, someone always has to be on top, someone is "winning" and someone else is "losing". Someone is the leader, and if you are not with the tribe, you must be against them, blah blah blah. That's really how they think.

    Narcissists and the people who follow them, don't have any concept that relationships between people could ever be equal and harmonious. There assume there must always be a hierarchy. That "bow down" comment says it all.

    I found with my mother-in-law that several years of me attempting to offer her genuine friendship, just confused her. She couldn't figure me out, because I didn't want anything from her - except to have a good relationship. I wasn't trying to suck up to her to get in her "good books". Nor was I trying to cut her down. Friendship? What use is that to her? She has to dominate, she has to control.

    The Anon who wrote to you Jonsi, has revealed a whole lot about the kind of people who defend narcissists.

    1. "Can two walk together unless they be agreed?" Amos 3:3

  10. Spot on analysis, Anon.

    This--> "Friendship? What use is that to her? She has to dominate, she has to control." Definitely describes every relation-shit I've ever had with a narcissist.

    It seems crazy to imagine so many people getting sucked in to the web of such shallow and often obviously manipulative individuals. But that's how it is - the narcissists are good at what they do and the fact of the matter is that a hell of a lot of people seem desperate to believe their own delusions. When you walk away from a narc, you stop believing the delusions.

  11. Would you please be able to give some tips on protecting one's family? My inlaws are very controlling, abusive & manipulative.

    My husband--their only child, naturally--is on my side one hundred percent. They can not accept this fact. He has told them face to face, in writing and by calling the police to contact his parents by phone that we are NO CONTACT.

    They stalk us and the kids! They stand outside my kids' school with signs. They send creepy emails with "we know all about your life" statements. They are obsessed with control and use intimidation and play the victim with others.

    I have told them off as did their son but they just love the drama. The beauty is they wrote a note cutting their son and then blamed me for breaking up the family. They thought they could get everyone, including my husband, to hate me.

    Thing is, we love being cut off! But now in their perverted thinking they say they have not cut the grandkids and tell others that I am withholding.

    We tend to ignore because we know that negative attention fuels their sickness. They joined our parish in an attempt to get close to my kids. We exposed them and they are not allowed to be near my kids at school but they are trying to infiltrate our community to figure out our kids' athletic schedules.

    I'm pretty sure I don't have enough for a restraint order. First, the FIL & Mil think they are in the mob so they would interpret the request for a restraining order as confirmation that I fear them and that may fuel their delusions.

    Would it be a gift to allow then a say in court to fight against the restraining order?

    I shudder if somehow their martyr act wins and I lose my case for a restraint order.

    Please, any words of wisdom?

    1. Hi Anon,

      No Contact will win every time, as long as you follow through. I've long thought that when they "get" that you won't respond to them, no matter what tactic they use, and when they "get" that they aren't going to "get your husband back," they will eventually back away. I'm going to direct you to this post for the "musts" of going NC:

      As far as your In-Laws go - they sound like stalkers. My advice would be to keep detailed records of every incident - be very specific and write down dates, times, and a clear account of what happened. Inform the teachers/administrators at your childrens' schools that persons x, y, and z are considered dangerous/harmful to your children and tell them to call the police if ever they show up again. The next time they attempt to contact you, I recommend telling them very clearly (even though you have already asked them never to contact you again) that, if they continue to do so, you WILL contact the authorities. Then DO NOT RESPOND TO ANY FURTHER TACTICS FROM THEM, expect to CALL THE POLICE and REPORT THEM. Start a paper trail. Keep all records.

      You may very well have enough for a restraining order. But the longer you ignore them, keep records, and call the police to report their stalking behaviors, the more likely they are to go away. It sucks, but you have to be patient. I wish you the very best of luck - I well know the situation you have described and I don't wish it on anyone.

      Well wishes,