Friday, July 20, 2012

Email, love and pain

NM called yesterday. I didn't want to pick it up. I called her back today, for only three minutes. She managed to tell me that they, have been thinking about someone whom they could contact if something bad happened since they surely cannot count on me.

I've received a long email today from NM right after this. Just a few parts from it:

"I always hope that you are really interested in how I, we are. And then I am sad to realize, that you don't have time. As if you were saying don't bother me. You never answer my calls. I feel that we have become a nuisance for you. Why do you make us feel that you don't want to contact us anymore? I would like to invite you over, have lunch together, talk, just naturally. What should I do to change this? Is it only a dream? Have you decided not to meet us anymore? I hoped it was not only me who thought that family was important. Please don't neglect your parents. If I'm wrong just tell me, that you can meet more frequently. I don't want to tell you what to do with your life, but I beg you for your love. It hurts so much, I cry so much. Do I have to live my life without you? I don't believe it and I don't accept it. Please help to change this. I hope that we can find a solution. We love you so much, with Dad. Mum."

I feel awful. I feel betrayed. I feel abandoned. I feel so alone. This feels like a living nightmare. It hurts... so bad I can't even describe it.

I borrowed a cigarette from a co-worker after this. I don't even smoke normally.


  1. It seems like clear manipulative nastiness to me. I just *love* the "I cry so much" and "don't neglect your parents." gag.

    I'm so sorry you were hit with this. The way she started the email about how you can't be counted on... just awful.


  2. Scatha, this letter sounds like so many that NM send to "reel" escaping children back in. They use similar phraseology, the manipulative language. As if you could just see them, have lunch, be "normal," and "relaxed," if you just put your little mind to it. Take comfort in the knowledge that there are thousands of us ACONs who have received similar letters. Although not me, I usually get the "up yours" kind from my NM.

  3. "Please help to change this." I notice that all the change is demanded of you. Even the change she allegedly is willing to make must be first explained by you, "What should I do to change this?"

    And if I may say, she could dial down the drama about a hundred notches and still be queen of the melodramatic self-absorbed engulfing mothers society.

    These kinds of messages are hard to deal with, hard to see for what they are: tactics. You are not responsible for change that SHE wants, and if you don't feel safe talking about why there is distance, please be easy with yourself and take it slow. Diving in and talking real is hazardous at best, disastrous at worst. The NM is not known for her ability to empathize, as we've all known since the day we were born. Big support, this is a rough one.


  4. Upsi is so right. NM will say something like "what do you want from me," or like your mother, "what should I do" so they can later say they gave you exactly what you asked for but it still wasn't good enough. YOu must see it for the tactic that it is. My mother said "what do you need from me": I told her, "no more triangulating with my sisters." Two years later (after the plagiarism), she asked "what do you want from me?" I told her "nothing is what I want from you." It was a trick question she could use to justify cutting me out of her will (along with her "malevolence" accusations.) Your mother is basically demanding that you either fall back into place, or you explain why you won't. Both are unacceptable. Remember, no JADE: don't "justify, argue, defend, explain." Not my term, I found it out there on the web, and lots of different sites.

  5. There's no love in this email, only guilt, manipulation and obligation. I could almost hear the violins in the background!

    Your NM is using exactly the same playbook they all use, including my NPs who I'm guessing are quite a bit older than yours. I'll never get over reading letters like this one and realizing that at some point in my life I have received the EXACT same letter.

    It'll take every ounce of strength you have but my best advice would be to ignore it.

    Virtual (((hug))) coming your way, mulderfan

  6. I know you feel alone, Little One. But please KNOW behind the words you're reading on a screen are real people who are walking this road with you. Every *step* of the way.

  7. When I read this letter, I scrolled down to a previous post and reminded myself how she treated you before. This is the same weirdness I experienced. If I pulled away, pleading and guilt trips flew. If I came close, verbal abuse and nastiness increased. Then I stopped playing either way, I found a bit of peace. Cultural traditions add pressure and guilt trips. I am thankful that I was taught that I decide how much I give to them is enough. The letter is about what they need but the response is about what you are willing to give. I recognize the tactics, you're not alone in being treated this way.

    1. My experience has been very similar to what Ruth has described. Any attempt at limited contact was met with guilt and manipulation. Every time I capitulated, conditioned to feel that I was responsible for my NPs, the abuse not only continued it escalated. Time after time, I tried to be a dutiful daughter and make things work between us but relationships with these people are simply a train wreck waiting to happen.

      For the sake of my mental and physical health, not to mention my sobriety, I absolved myself of ANY responsibility because half-measures were doomed to fail.

      Within a few months of me no longer being at their beck and call, my NPs, WITHOUT my help or consultation, moved themselves into more age-appropriate living accommodation and actually brag about being safe and just fine without my services!

      I beg you not to waste more than 60 years of your life caught in the depressing cycle of abuse and reconciliation, only to be followed by more abuse. Narcissists don't mellow with age, they get worse!


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