Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Family celebrations and professions

First there was DB's birthday. I reminded my FOO beforehand so that they remember when it was, and I also told them what to buy so that they wouldn't give some crap to him. After we agreed on everything (and we even visited them on that day), they conveniently 'forgot' it, and asked me after several days have passed, about the date of DB's birthday. And of course, NM baked the cake that she knows I hate. What a surprise.

Then, I attended to a family celebration with my FOO. I was quite reluctant to participate at all, but it was supposed to be about me, and I arranged it with DB before, that we would only stay for a short time and then leave.

It was the usual narc get-together. I got presents that I would have never wanted for myself and that did not make me happy at all. NM even told me that she knew what I would have liked to get as a present, but she was not getting it for me, because she 'could not compete with DB in buying those kinds of presents for me anyway'.

The whole event was about NM talking (meaning spitting venom) about a certain subject that she knows nothing about and that she loathes (and that happens to be DB's profession and hobby as well). She kept flooding DB with 'information' and 'knowledge', while saying that well, she knew nothing about the subject, but anyway, she knew 'how these things worked' and that 'it is nothing else but conspiracy and money laundry'. She kept attacking DB and twisting every sentence he said, she kept confronting him with sentences like 'you said A about a subject before and now you say B about a completely different subject, so you have contradicted yourself' - waiting for DB to take the bait.

I'm extremely proud of DB, because he was all the while confident about his expertise and his knowledge, he did not get into meaningless fights with NM, and kept his emotional distance.

After this, he asked me 'what the hell was this all about?' and 'where did she even want to get with all this?', and we did not seem to find any answer. And then we realized: EF brought up the subject in the first place (I don't know his opinion on this field because it was one of the 'forbidden' topics that was never allowed to be talked about in the family, since NM loathed it). He showed interest in it, and it seemed that he was happy that he could finally talk to someone (DB) about it, especially because DB knew so much about it. They had a really great time talking to each other, for a few sentences - and this was when NM interrupted and stole the show for herself.

When we left, NM told us that she hoped that for the next event (EF's birthday is coming soon) we would not 'run away so fast', and that we could have a 'real family event' with spending lot of time together, eating lot of food, etc. (I told them that they should not prepare food for me because we had plans for having dinner at a restaurant afterwards). I was so enraged by this time that I couldn't even answer properly, but I felt like exploding. I walked out of the door, when she ran after me, jumped on me and force-kissed me, while cursing me because I left without kissing her. The whole thing was so disgusting.

So, while still being half-blind from rage, I told DB that I would not attend EF's birthday at all, because I'm not going through this shit again. He was trying to comfort me and telling me that NM did not harm him at all and that he did not take her attacks on his career choice and hobby personally, but I am still enraged. How dare she!

And now, I'm scared out of my mind, because somehow I would have to tell EF that I will not be visiting them on his birthday, nor his celebration of his professional successes that he was looking forward a lot (which would also be an evening with NM and him and nobody else). I know I could offer giving him his presents somewhere else in private (and he would refuse and be extremely offended). It has always been the most important thing in my FOO to attend family events and to act like as if we had any connection to each other whatsoever. Missing any of these is taboo, and postponing it by even one single day (even if it is my birthday) is close to blasphemy.

I feel nothing but disgust. I want to celebrate EF, but I don't want NM anywhere near me. And he does not want to be celebrated without her. I feel stuck.


  1. Send EF a card and have his gift delivered.

    In recent years, I've skipped the obligatory birthday visits for NF, even though at his advanced age, any one of them could be his last. Guilt made me go for NM's 90th birthday last year. My daughter cried all the way home and I fumed all the way home. We were both upset for several days afterward.

    Normal families look forward to these celebrations as a happy excuse to get together and enjoy each others company. I've actually experienced this scenario with my cousins and my late husband's extended family.

    People like your parents (and mine) reap what they sow. They can whine about their daughters not showing up for birthdays and other occasions but need only to look in the mirror to see who is responsible for this outcome.

  2. I'm so sorry that it's come to this. They are a package deal - you cannot have one without the other. Your parents have created and enforced this outcome for your entire life.

    You call your father EF - he is an enabler of the horrific abuse your mother hits you with. He colludes to make it happen to you. HE IS IN ON IT. There is no respite - there is no 'good guy'.

    He insists that your mother be present at all times, because HE WANTS IT THAT WAY. It absolutely sucks that they both want you to suffer. They both want you and DB to suffer and be miserable and uncomfortable.

    There is only one answer. But only you can decide when enough is enough. This is what I mean when I say that no child ever, EVER, goes NC on a whim. It is a horrible, horrifying, paralyzing decision. It's truly awful, and both your mother and your father are forcing your hand. He is as guilty as she is, perhaps (arguably) more so.

  3. Agree with both of the above. EF CHOOSES to enable her in her ongoing abuse of you. NC is the result of YEARS of trying to have some sort of mutually respectful, adult relationship with the Package Deal. Although NM may be the more overt of the two, he still is culpable for refusing to protect you and worse YET, for insisting you make his life with her easier by having a relationship with your abuser. In effect he's requiring you collude with him towards your abuser for HIS gain. Yeesch!
    Mulderfan offered a very reasonable option if you wish to acknowledge the occasion. As far as your presence at the occasion? After years of feeling as you described post interaction with my NM, what finally dawned on me was this: If my presence isn't helping (and it wasn't, either for Psychob or me) my absence won't hurt.
    Further, if you do attend? It seems to me you're providing positive reinforcement to your NM and Daddy-Dearest: NOT the message you wish to send at all. I'm also delighted to see DB has now experienced the Crazy and understands exactly why you've chosen to limit your interactions with your FOO. People who come from normal FOOs often see far more clearly and quickly than we do.
    Scatha, I really, really get how difficult this is and so do the rest of us. Please remember you have a bunch of supporters here as well as in your T and BF. You're not alone by any means!

  4. For years I saw my mother as another one of NF's victims, then I accepted that she was his enabler. It took me even more years to realize she a full-fledged silent partner.

    Rev. Renee points out that the silent partners are even more to blame than the abusers. They SEE the abuse, they KNOW it's wrong and yet they continue to provide tacit support for the abuser.

    Our parents count on years of conditioning and societal expectations to keep us coming back for more of their abuse. Time to break the cycle.

    1. MF: "Our parents count on years of conditioning and societal expectations to keep us coming back for more of their abuse. Time to break the cycle." YES YES YES SCREAMING YES!!

      That is the point of my 'take off that shirt' post, and also the meat of the nut of my comment at Jonsi's blog about how I kept on being a "VICTIM" long after I had actually left the abuse situation. It is YEARS of conditioning, years of mind-control tactics. The societal crap of expecting children to honor their abusive parents is a whole 'nother thing.

      I love this 'neighborhood'. Scatha, TW is right (isn't she ALWAYS? sheesh) you are not alone. We're here. We hear. We know and we see.

  5. Easy test. Before every visit ask yourself, "Why am I doing this?" If it's because you feel Fear, Obligation and/or Guilt (FOG) don't go!

    I'd also suggest if you do feel guilt, yet you know in your heart you've done nothing wrong, it's a sure sign that you've been manipulated.

    You are only responsible for your own happiness, not that of your parents. Besides, you didn't break them and even if it were your responsibility, you can't fix them.

  6. Scatha, I'm sorry you are struggling with this. It can be so hard. I recently told my NM that I won't be travelling to see her for her 60th birthday (which is FOUR months from now, and she was already trying to pin me down). Fortunately for me, I had a "legitimate excuse" but I still trembled for days, worried about what to say. She took it in stride, but I imagine I have some payback coming to me. So, I can relate to how hard this is. I wish I had more comforting words to say than you are not alone.
    I do think her treatment of you and your DB was disgusting and horrible. And I'm sorry that it is so difficult. I, too, have heard tale of families who enjoy spending time together, but I don't know a lot of them.
    I also like MF's "test", above. I think it will be so useful to help sort out the manipulation from reality.

    Good luck!

  7. Thank you for all your comments! It strengthens my belief in myself and that I'm not insane when I think the same.

    mulderfan: Thanks for the FOG test, it is a great help! I've realized that those three are my only reasons for visiting.

    And yes. EF chooses her over me, and his ass over mine. I'm sad, but I have to face the truth.


Comments are welcome!