I'm not sure if anyone is still out there reading this blog. I know it's been awhile. I have still been working on dealing with my Ns, but I've needed to do some more personal work, rather than the more lengthy blog posts.
It's been 4 years since I went NC with my sister. When she lied on FB about having cancer, I'd had enough. I asked her to change her relationship with me. I changed my relationship with her. I refused to participate in the drama, the codependency, the enmeshment, and, most of all, the enmeshment. But the merry-go-round of drama continues to go around with her. Last year, she rushed to my grandmother's death bed to "make amends" after 15 years of estrangement. (She N-raged against my grandmother and then blamed my grandmother for not "reaching out" to her and making her feel better.) She managed to "martyr" herself into getting the most money of any of the grand kids out of my grandmother and my grandmother's car. She also used the opportunity to try and force me into contact. The latest drama is centered around her break up with her long-term and abusive (she's abusive too) boyfriend. Again, she suddenly wants to "fix" our relationship. But really she just wants me to take on her issues again. She has been buzzing around a lot lately, trying to see what she can do to get me to interact. Up to this point, I have held strong.
I slowly went more and more LC with my mother too. She had started in picking on my oldest son and I'd had enough. So, I severly limited contact between her and my kids. And I started to fade away. Although NM was clearly not happy about it, she didn't bring it up, but rather, silently seethed. In May, while visiting for my youngest son's birthday, NM spent over an hour trying to pick a fight with me. She kept bringing up ridiculous subjects that she knows are touchy subjects (one being politics) and tried to force me to get angry. What she was really aiming for was to confront me about my NC with my sister and my LC with her. She mimiced me, made fun of me, belittled me and basically treated me disrespectfully. I finally lost it and told her: treat me with respect and like an adult or we won't have a relationship. I finally told her (quite calmly but VERY firmly) that I was done with the relationship as it was. She (literally) glowered at me. She glared unblinkingly at me. I asked her twice to stop. She didn't, so I left. She then started in on my husband, complaining to him about me and saying what I was doing "wasn't right" (I'm assuming what I was "doing" was going LC/NC). He defended me and she claimed to "understand" that he was defending his wife, but that he "knew" I was in the wrong. I grey rocked her for the next day in order to keep the peace for the sake of my son.
After she left, she sent me several texts and an email, apologizing for "her part" in the disagreement and that she "wanted our relationship back the way it was". When I didn't respond, she started texting and bugging my husband again. I finally responded that things weren't working as they were, that things needed to change, and the relationship would require some work. I haven't heard from her since then. Of course, until now, when she wanted to come for my older son's birthday party (not his actual birthday, but the party.)
I know, I should just cut her off. (Especially after watching the co-dependent mess she participated in with my sister this summer. After the break up, my 36 year old sister moved back home for a month, sponged off my mother, and then moved back out when they couldn't get along. Shocker! NSIS had been making up more fake medical issues and expected everyone to rescue her. Really, she just needs a therapist. But God forbid, she gets on of those. She verbally abused my father, threw tantrums, and basically caused havoc. And NM lapped it all up, enjoying the drama and then complaining about being involved in the drama. And then she and NSIS would go on FB and act like the perfect mother and daughter.)
My sons (especially the oldest) still loves their grandmother. I still don't feel completely right about going NC. I am allowing NM to come for one day for the birthday party. And I'm dreading it (as my sons skip around excitedly for grandma to come). I have no doubt she's still seething and looking for ways to get revenge (she is a horribly vengeful person). I can see now how much the stress and anxiety around these two woman makes me sick. I have had nightmares and been irritable and depressed. I plan to grey rock the shit out of her (it will help she has my step father with her this time. She behaves somewhat around him), But I'm dreading it. My husband is against NC. He feels my kids will resent me for cutting off their grandparents (my MIL is a narcissist too.) We have little to no extended family around our kids. (They have 4 uncles/aunts +their spouses; none of whom makes any effort to be in their lives. My BIL and SIL only live five minutes from us and we never see them.)
The whole situation makes me sad. I do feel a lot stronger than I have in the past. I feel more self assured. Standing up to NM in May really helped my self-confidence and independence. But I still feel mired in the shit. I still feel sad, and lost, and lonely. I feel like a person without a "home". I worry about my kiddos. I worry about the covert manipulation by their grandmothers. I worry about them feeling isolated and alone without extended family.
We also don't have many close friends. We are working on it, but it's been a slow process. People our age have friends and don't need new ones. I had made one friend, but after I asked her to watch my home for a week, some sides of her came out that I was not thrilled about (she wasn't honest and allowed her kids to have a play date with another kid at our home). That relationship is on "pause" while I figure out what to do (our kids are close friends, so, yet another decision that can effect my kids).
I'm stuck also trying to explain things to my kids. I don't believe in completely not saying anything to the kids. As with any difficult subject, I think it's important to share age-appropriate information. I don't want to like giving my sons the impression that their grandmothers are great people and people we should want to be around a lot. I don't want to participate in them being "groomed" by their grandmothers by acting as if grandma is normal. Both my kids are very perceptive and have picked up on things. But they are young, and I've been warned to not burden them emotionally with "adult" issues.
On the plus side, my father finally has heard me. When my grandmother died, I finally let it all out. That I was in therapy. That I had PTSD. That I had been suicidal. That the relationship with my mother and sister was horribly toxic to me. My father isn't particularly warm or open emotionally. H has had his own trauma and suffers severe depression (which made him angry and abusive when I was a kid. He's getting treatment and is a lot better). But he, at least, understood and told me I was doing the right thing. Of everybody in this world, he is the only other person who understands the depth of the problems with my mother and sister. He's a victim of them too. He's not great at support, but he's at least been there somewhat. So, it's something.
So, I'm still plugging along. But I wonder if it will ever get significantly better. To where this doesn't weigh on me so damn much. To where I can detach and completely focus on my own family. It bothers me SO much that this takes up so much of my energy and emotional space, which takes me away from my own family. As I watch my kids grow so quickly, I don't want to waste this time on unnecessary drama. Which is why I moved away from the Ns in the first place. But I become frustrated with the time and effort it takes to make progress. I wonder if I"m progressing fast enough to not harm my kids. I wonder if I'm doing the right things by my kids (am I being selfish with LC/NC? Is it fair for my kids to have no extended family? How much contact is reasonable? How much should I share? How can I protect my kids from the covert nature of my Ns? It goes on and on.)
Wish me luck in the next few weeks. It is so frustrating that all my Ns come hoovering around during important times in my kids' lives. I think I'll make it through, but I am so anxious....