So, I have lots to post about, but am just sorting through it before I write it down.
Until then, a few notes:
Therapy has been helping (shocker!). I am making some progress.
She uses a lot of Brene Brown's therapeutic models and I've been reading more and more of her work. I find it to be very interesting.
One of the things I came across is this cartoon model of "empathy versus sympathy" and I thought some of you might find it interesting and I wanted to share:
Clearly, my NM and MIL lack empathy. But this really put it into perspective about what they don't get. They live in so much shame, that they couldn't even imagine putting themselves into my shoes and trying to understand. (not that that excuses them). NM tends to use pity rather than even sympathy. The pity than gives her the opportunity to feel like she's empathizing, while maintaining her superiority ("oh, that sucks. I feel SO bad for you." while she thinks "that would never happen to me, as I'm too smart/attractive/rich/whatever for that.)