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I'm Back and Working on ME

shes driving me crazy in my retirement's picture

Had an absolutely wonderful time in Illinois.  Time with DD and her family is priceless.  She had a good long talk with DH who was home down in the SW.  Guess she told him that I could not go on like this because it was taking a toll on me both mentally and physically and she didn't like it.

I am in counseling and one thing I have found out is that I am VERY ANGRY with all that I have had to go through.  My system, on hyper alert is always waiting for the next onslaught or problem.  The anxiety of never knowing when THAT person is going to act up and cry to her father again about who knows what, and her constant problems etc. never seem to totally leave me eventhough I have worked through a lot of BS on this.

One thing the counselor noted to me was that whenever I would talk about THAT person I was inclined to break into tears or start shaking.  Hearing just some of my history with her she says she can understand why.

DH, well he is concerned, but he doesn't seem to understand why I still have such a strong raction to THAT person as we moved away.  He just doesn't seem to understand that every time she starts up it brings everything back for me.

Counselor wants to see him too, but not right now.

marblefawn's picture

Sounds as if you got some real insight and you're digging in to get a grip on your situation. Good for you. Therapy isn't easy...I sometimes walked out of that office feeling like I'd just be through a war. Keep up the hard work. Your body deserves a break from the stress!

mapitout's picture

"I am in counseling and one thing I have found out is that I am VERY ANGRY with all that I have had to go through.  My system, on hyper alert is always waiting for the next onslaught or problem.  The anxiety of never knowing when THAT person is going to act up and cry to her father again about who knows what, and her constant problems etc. never seem to totally leave me eventhough I have worked through a lot of BS on this."

Along with anxiety comes fear and that is so painful!

MissTexas's picture

Glad you had a nice visit, and so happy your counseling seems to be working.

Like you, I think many of us share the same feeings of defeat, anxiety and anger. Daily, I have to remind myself who I'm married to, DH, not SD, and move forward from there. I can relate to what you commented on, about it feeling like it brings everything back for you. Reminds me of "50 First Dates" in a way.

With the holidays on the horizon, I know quite a few must worry about how that will go, given the circumstances.

Keep up the good work. You are making progress. Thanks for sharing.

shes driving me crazy in my retirement's picture

My counseling has just started.  I have a long way to go with this.  I know I have a lot of pent up anger that has to be released over this issue because if not, it will destroy me.

 

Survivingstephell's picture

I think you are going to have a hard time getting DH to respect your new boundaries where what's her name is involved.  He has been a enabler of her for so long, can you really teach this old man new tricks?  He has some dysfunctional behaviors that are keeping him and you locked in place, and you changing the rules will be hard on him.  I hope your therapist has some really good stragies for dealing with this.  I hope you share them too, I'm always looking for new ways to keep our home life in the healthy zone.  

shes driving me crazy in my retirement's picture

Great point!  Yes, DH admits that, being the only member of the family on his side, that has much, if anything to do with her, he cares about her and looks out for her.  But it is at my expense and that he just doesn't seem to get.

DH knows that Twit is sick but aside from subtle remarks, refuses to admit it to me or anyone.

 

shes driving me crazy in my retirement's picture

Great point!  Yes, DH admits that, being the only member of the family on his side, that has much, if anything to do with her, he cares about her and looks out for her.  But it is at my expense and that he just doesn't seem to get.

DH knows that Twit is sick but aside from subtle remarks, refuses to admit it to me or anyone.

 

sandye21's picture

So glad you are seeing a good therapist.  Your DH is stuck in a place he doesn't know how to get out of.  You have been strong in the past.  With the therapist's help you will be there again.  It will just take a bit of time and the therapist will give you the tools to be able to tell DH once and for all to leave you out of any communications from 'you know who'.  As another poster requested, please share these tools with us.  (((HUGS)))

shes driving me crazy in my retirement's picture

You know Sandye, you are right.  He's stuck and he keeps dragging me back into the mess.   This time counseling is for ME, not for dealing with marital problems, because THAT person is the cause of those.

May I say I am also angry that I just can't deal with it any more like I use to.  I guess I am worn down.  Thought moving hundreds of miles away would be the big answer.  Now we have good distance, but she still crawls into our life and upsets it with all her problems and wackiness.

SacrificialLamb's picture

I am glad to see you back and that you are addressing what is most likely PTSD. I have PTSD after a not so fun childhood.  The hyper alert and anxiety you describe is common, with hypervigileance being a common symptom. 

Therapy has helped me a great deal but also meditation. I will likely be on a low dose of meds for the rest of my life, but it is a med that helps with other conditions, so it's a win win for me.

Your DH needs to understand that security and feeling protected is very important to women. He has shown that he is willing to put his boundaries down to appease his daughter  - someone that no one else wants to deal with - which causes you to feel threatened.  I hope he joins you in therapy so he understands your needs and how his behavior is negatively impacting those needs.

Aniki's picture

I distinctly recall MY breaking point at which I finally disengaged. DH said to me, "You so angry all the time." To which I replied, "I AM angry, DH. At YOU."

I went on to tell him I was tired of being the bad guy, telling the boys to put away this or clean up that. I was tired of picking up after all three of them. I was tired of being angry and I was DONE. HE thought I wanted a divorce. Nope. I was done being a nag and playing housemaid and that DH could take over that role. It took only a couple more skid weekends for DH to realize what kind of crap I'd been dealing with and he got tired of it, too. The Disney Dad shell cracked and slowly began falling off. 

It saved my sanity, saved our marriage, and the boys started being responsible. And they didn't keel over or hate DH for having to do a little work!

thinkthrice's picture

for Chef to realize his kids had been weaponized against him by the Girhippo and her clan from DAY ONE.

 

shes driving me crazy in my retirement's picture

Here is an example of what is going on that sets me off.

This morning I check my email and here is an email from Twit's hubby: wishing me a happy birthday and telling me just how busy they are, no time, etc. 

Okay, my BDay is not for a couple of days and I'll take all the best wishes I get, but I have to wonder WHY he even bothered.  I mean it is not like we talk on any basis and I haven't had B-Day wishes from him in YEARS so why now?

The message is from his place of employment so it was not sent by Twit - not that she has any well wishes for me at any time.

I don't know why I even opened it except curiosity and the line showed it was a B-Day greeting,

What I did notice is that the "we are very busy, no time, etc." sounded just like Twit when she would tell her Father how she  missed his B-Day, Father's Day, etc.

At first I was going to just respond with two words (no not that :<) ), but thank you.  But I decided just to delete it and not respond at all.  I don't want to open the door in any way to any more carp from that camp regardless of who sends it.

I won't even mention it to DH.  If I tell he he will say that THEY are trying to mend fences etc. and I am being difficult.  Sorry, DH, at this point I don't want fences mended, I just want peace and for them to leave me, us alone.

 

sandye21's picture

"I mean it is not like we talk on any basis and I haven't had B-Day wishes from him in YEARS so why now?"  You guessed it - the person we will not mention used her hubby's phone.  The words are too similar to her style to assume otherwise.  Good for you for blocking him.    And the business of DH putting that thank you note on the fridge, when he knows how you feel, like you wrote, is a meager attempt to get you all together again.  The note was a lame attempt at stirring up some sort of guilt - it didn't work.

The thing that is noticeable SDM, is that you are taking action instead of just complaining, and by your actions, you are demonstrating to all of these toxic a$$es that you are not taking it.  You are done.  Good for you.  Sometimes trying to get rid of a problem immediately can backfire, whereas chipping away at it slowly insures success.  You are doing this for you now.  You are worthy of peace.  (((HUGS)))

shes driving me crazy in my retirement's picture

I don't tink she is using her hubby's phone because she wouldn't be wishing me happy anything.  But then, who knows.  I do know the last few times I did speak with him he seemed to have picked up the victimization pattern etc.  It was different than how he usually had been.  Kind of like he has thrown in the towel and just goes with the flow.

shes driving me crazy in my retirement's picture

And even that contact has me clenching my hands and starting to tear up.  That is not a good reaction.

Rags's picture

She who shall not be named has caused so much dammage that DH needs to be brought into the counseling activities to gain some clarity.    I am glad to hear that your therapist intends for that to happen.

It has boggled my mind for much of my life as to why people tolerate toxic influences in their life at all, even if those toxic influences are family.

I guess I am not capable of unconditional love.  My love is dependent on the behavior and character of the person I love.  Maybe it is not unconditional love that I am not capable of, maybe it is unconditional tolerance.   Either way, I can write that person off nearly instantly with only a short period of regret or grief if th eir behavior and character is not worthy of my love for them.

I hope that your DH can get to that point with "her".

Take care of you.  I wish you the best on getting to a place where you just don't care about them all at all. 

shes driving me crazy in my retirement's picture

Rags, IMHO this thing called unconditional love is related to being a door mat by those that abuse you and demand it.

I also believe that some people, not the one that shall not be mentioned, can have an ephifany (sp?) and change in which case it is okay to trust and love them again.

I, too, don't understand how DH can let THAT one do the stuff she does t o him over and over and just ignore it or at times he ratinalizes it.   By that I mean that if it was to be said she was too busy to bother with him for Father's Day, he would accept her at face value eventhough the being busy was something totally self-centered.  My outlook is like yours, treat me well and we get on, try to make me into a door mat or expect me to believe that one was abducted by space aliens and that is why that one was too busy, I don't buy it.  On second thought, maybe I should.....heck, even they returned her*biggrin*

FWIW, I also blocked him from being able to access my email any more.  Don't want it, don't need it.

Rags's picture

SDM,

Oh yes, being a door mat is a regular demand that toxic people put on others. 

Not a direct corelation but my DW has a cousin (the daughter of her crack head inmate 1st cousin) who definately had a rough childhood.  She is now all about unconditional love.  So much so that she is 3/4 of the way through her second OOWL pregnancy in less than 2 years to surround herself with a school of spawn that will love her unconditionally.  Everyone swarms around her expounding on what an amazing young woman she is (21) and what an amazing mommy she is.  She is one of a suprisingly significant tribe of  single young OOWL breeding women who pop in and out "in a relationship" status on FB that it is nauseating.

No one of course says a word to counter their "my child doesn't need a father" and "boys suck" estrogen fest ... except me of course... it is just the mutual appreciation society of desperatve  young women in need of "unconditional love".  I am the only one who seems to give a shit that they are breeding ruined lives to so that they can have what they think they want.  I have brought it up a few times and even this young woman's Aunt has commented that she is doing the same thing to her two teen sons.  They are her source of unconditional love in a crappy marriage.

smh

She who shall not be named is likely an early adapter of this overwhelming need for unconditional love and total control of the form that love takes movement.

Sadly, she has ruined the lives of at least one of her own children.  I have little doubt that my DW's cousin will do the same with her children.... by two different baby daddies... and counting.

shes driving me crazy in my retirement's picture

You know Rags, you can love someone but not want to put up with their carp.  I believe it is called tough love.  It is setting limits on what kind of behavior is acceptable to you and you will tolerate.  It also makes them responsible for what they do....can't blame it on you or expect you to put up with their carp.  It's being civilized and socialized and treating people with consideration not using them.

As you say, people who seem to demand unconditional love are those that are out of control and goofy.  Thus they must IMHO demand it from their babies, etc., because normal people will run like h*ll away from them.

 

MissTexas's picture

As upsetting as the email was, I think you're making the right move to not discuss it with DH, and they tend to get giddy at any hint of resurrecting the chaos. They cannot see the heir of manipulation. It is clearly NOT trying to "mend fences", but rather, a futile attempt to reopen Pandora's Box and get the craziness started all over again. Good move.

I can completely understand how just that brief message caused you to have a negative reaction. You did the right thing by not only deleting the message, but blocking any future contact. Most likely it was twit typing from her DHs account. You said the wording seemed more like hers. That's evidentiary proof, of the "meddling" and mind games to come, had you responded.

My DH's emotionally stunted 40+ year old daughter always liked to "group text" us. WHY? She attempted a "group text apology" (and called DH to see "how it went", he told her "not very well") however, I saw clearly what was going on; attempted manipulation, and an attempt to create a paper trail, (because I am within my parameters to file a restraining order against her) and I squashed it in its tracks, explaining to DH the "apology" needs to 1.) Own the behavior (2.) Empathize with the offended (3.) Address how they will change their behavior in the future.( And if she can scream inches from our faces, then she can certainly offer up an apology in person.) This group text offered none of the above. She used the words, "I want to aplogize AGAIN for my behavior..." Again? I NEVER got an apology, but she was quick to get on the phone with DAAADEEEE to offer up one, (damage control), email him, and explain that she's had a lot "going on". What's new? She always does, but this time,supposedly, that was what triggered her rant. Making excuses for behaviors she chose, is clearly an attempt at manipulation on her behalf. I'm not having it, and I made it clear, "She can use mind manipulation on you, since you're enmeshed with your mini-wife, however, SHE WILL NOT CONTROL ME."

Keep going to counseling and stick to your instincts. Eradicate your life from all this toxic, stressful mess.

BTW-Unconditional love, doesn't mean one has to take whatever anyone else decides to dole out. Unconditional love means loving yourself FIRST, unconditionally, and forgiving yourself for making the assumption that others also have pure motives, when they don't.

shes driving me crazy in my retirement's picture

 "I want to aplogize AGAIN for my behavior..."   

Those words caught my eye because it is putting the blame on you making you sound unaccepting and little.  Makes me think of the time my problem acted up big time and I left.  She later tried to make me take blame for her bad, nasty behavior by saying: "I apologize for MY PART and I expect an apology from you for your part"!!!  Imagine, the whole dust up was her and her craziness that I wouldn't stand for but somehow I shared in the craziness.  Give me a break.  Yet, back then, DH tried to tell me I should accept that as an apology and do likewise.  WTH!  That was nuts.  Needless to say, I didn't apologize for something I didn't do.

I also like what you say here about unconditional love:  "forgiving yourself for making the assumption that others also have pure motives, when they don't."  For a long while I just wasn't understanding what was happening as I had never in my long life experienced anything like THAT thing.  One thing I always noted with her was that the words never matched the eyes.  People tend to express themselves not only in what they way, but with facial expressions and eyes.  THAT never quite seemed to gel when dealing with her.

MissTexas's picture

That's exactly where it belonged. File 13, the trash.

Regarding SD apologizing "again"  she had never once offered an apology to me, and at this point who cares? Narcissists do not know empathy, and therefore, cannot give a sincere heartfelt apology. Interestingly enough, during her rant, she DEMANDED an apology from  me. I asked why? What did she perceive I had done? I went on to explain that no apology I could deliver would be eloquent or long enough, gracious enough or sincere enough, so what is the point? But that's also classic NARC, they think everyone owes them an apology, while they can rip everyone's head off and shit down their windpipes without any ramification or consequence. I had pointed out that we could all do better, owning anything I may've contributed, to which she ignored. NARC's also never take ownership, like any grown woman would automatically do. It's a maturity and self-respect issue. After her verbal pistol whipping/jousting, she had the nerve to say in her baby voice, "Love you, DAD!" ?????

Why should you accept her false apology? What's your DH say in order to try to justify that? You shouldn't apologize for anything you didn't do. Good for you.

The eyes never matched her words...I'm not surprised. Actions ARE ALWAYS THE CUE TO FOLLOW, not the words. Words lie but actions tell the entire story.

SD says she loves her dad, but what daughter would utilize the "divide and conquer" strategy? Would 90% of the adult population choose to explode in a volatile way, and verbally castrate their father while verbally abuse his wife, completely unprovoked? That is an indication of emotional instability. SD has been allowed to bully and behave however she chooses all her life, withough being held accountable.

Just stay strong, and remember where you've been and how emotionally taxing it's been, and make a pact with yourself not to ever go back there again!

shes driving me crazy in my retirement's picture

Yep, just another way of opening Pandora's box to start up again.  I mean I haven't had a B-Day wish from this guy or any of them in YEARS and now all of a sudden.

Just like the Thank You note DH received while I was away he put on the refrig.  After I read it I threw it in the trash, because that was what it was GARBAGE.  The newlywed couple thanked us for our card (we sent no gift or $$), and went on about how though we were not there we were thought of and missed.  Give Me A Break!  What BS.

Didn't say anything about throwing it in the trash to DH either.  If he notices it is gone he isn't saying anything.