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#12210 - 11/05/11 11:44 PM Dealing with the holidays
blueheron Offline
member

Registered: 10/14/11
Posts: 84
Hi,

Perhaps you have read my posts about the psychopathic mother-in-law and (maybe) "secondary psychopath" sister-in-law. Things have gotten a little bit quieter in the couple of weeks since the death of my husband's father. We are still deciding if it would be worth it to see an attorney about making them honor the intent of the will. My husband has relaxed, but I am waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Anyway, we moved out here to the southwest one year ago, for the climate and our health, and kind of thought we would have some family out here. We have some nieces and nephews here, etc. I moved away from almost all my family back in the southeast and I miss them. We miss our friends and associates.

The holidays with husband's family last year were "okay," since the new hadn't worn off yet, and the **** hadn't hit the fan yet. But this year I told him that if I am required to spend Thanksgiving and/or Christmas with them, I would probably have to say some things to some people. It has become glaringly obvious that MIL and SIL have told all the family some pretty bad things about us, for sure that we continually threaten to sue them and they're scared to death of us. Which couldn't be further from the truth! Nobody has mentioned suing anyone. (Actually I think it's what THEY would like to do, but I can't imagine upon what grounds. Or perhaps they think it's what they would do if they were in our shoes, and if that's the case, then we probably should.) I can see the hairy eye from several of the nieces and nephews whenever we cross paths. We no longer get communication from any of them, no invitations to family events, etc. Can't even get anybody to tell us the best places to find goods and services -- that's no skin off their nose, but no, they won't talk. I might as well have moved out in the middle of the desert by myself and lived under a rock. Hmm, not a bad idea.

At the holiday gathering I would want to tell them that if they are hearing unpleasant things about us, they might do well to come directly to us and ask if they are true. That's a pretty good thing to do within any kind of group. But you know the old psychopath isolation thing. They are probably told that they're the only one who knows this deep, dark secret, and to keep it under their hat under pain of death. Meanwhile, the weird looks in our direction for who knows what.

My husband says that if I do that, MIL will have gained a victory because she'll know she's finally gotten to me. Well, yeah, intellectually I know that. But I would sure love to throw a royal ruckus and break some things and smack a few people. Geez, that is not like me. I am ranting here. My heart is broken.

I am infuriated that my husband and I are probably the most honest and open people in the whole group, yet we are being vilified as some kind of wacko trouble makers -- because we insist on reality and the truth.

Today at the store I turned a corner and ran into a beautiful Christmas dinner display with Christmas china and wine goblets, candles, red and green linens, the whole thing. My mother back home always does this for the holidays, and I don't think we're going to be able to get back there. With our health as it is, traveling is very hard. The sense of loss and anger and grief upon seeing that display almost broke me down right there in the store.

I asked my husband to please keep an eye on me today because my mood was slipping down pretty badly. And I had been doing so well ...

I'm feeling kind of bleak at the moment. Looks like we might be spending Thanksgiving and Christmas by ourselves.

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#12212 - 11/06/11 03:27 AM Re: Dealing with the holidays [Re: blueheron]
1Healing Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/11
Posts: 87
blueheron,

I hope you have a good holiday despite the family stuff... Change is not easy & it sounds like there are changes on mulitiple levels right now. I can relate.

Too, the unique thing of this is how to keep the anger out of it, not easy!

This holiday will be complicated for myself as well. There are stages to loss/change which I'm aware of.. but the holidays can create added stressors..

Yrs ago, when alone, I remember at times on occassion spending a holiday alone, out of choice as I didn't feel good & just didn't feel up to the gathering/company. Fortunately noone was insulted but I just didn't feel good & knew my prescence wouldn't help anything.. BUT I made sure to celebrate myself & actually did have a good day inspite of it all (when I spent holiday alone). I don't think it's a good, "habit," but at the same time, maybe some of this too is about giving permission to grieve, the loss/es & celebrate, life & as is.. ?!

There are many changes here as to transportation cuts & since I am not able to drive (ex h Psychopath took car & I am in no financial position or ability even at the moment to get a vehicle) SO my own getting out has been further hampered, plus the charge of city bus service has gone up.
I'm trying to put my life back together which was literally toppled by his undoings (he stuck me with debt/ & made sure to unravel what was before he conveniently walked out of my life.. which to him I guess was rather humorous..?..)..

IF I can keep my whits about me that somehow there has to be a bigger picture to this, Psychopath stuff & God, that I refuse to let him destroy me, & eventually I will get things back ordered as I need them..

Too, what you say blueheron about honesty, is so important to me. I've had situations arise which I could have taken the easy route & numerous as well, but when I have to choose I am forgoing that.. at least where I feel it compromises my ethics /beliefs, etc.. I'd rather keep walking through the fire of which seems turned up on high right now.

When people upset me at times I try to tell myself that I have to recenter, keep the focus on my life, my own healing, etc. It's good that others do have their own world, whatever that is for them, even if I don't agree with or understand at times. The worst of my being married to ex h Psychopath was that he was so close to me & the effects were very direct & thus now lifealtering to the extreme. I don't have him in my face any longer to do further damage. Not that I wanted a divorce, he left & it was his undoing, all of this .. BUT I'm trying to see the glass 1/2 full .. even when it seems less.. as long as there is the ability to fill up on / my spirit remains in tact & that which is good remains / no evil can destroy me.

Too, it seems that God Wants me to Himself, I guess, as that is how my life is ending up..
if I were living a life of sin & disrespect, doing whatever I want to do without caring for & about others I would maybe say otherwise.. but you are so right, being honest, doing what is right..
living a life pleasing to GOD.. that is what matters most..
I'm glad I did have my yrs single because I know that I can build upon, it's having the foundation right.. I try hard to love at all times.. it's not easy. I found that having Psychopath in my life has created the most difficult situation I have ever faced & to love past this (him / as God Loves) my greatest challenge. There is a big picture to this.. I hope you have a WONDERFUL holiday!!! I think I am going to do some really extra special things this yr (holiday) just because I can?! smile

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#12259 - 11/12/11 11:28 PM Re: Dealing with the holidays [Re: 1Healing]
blueheron Offline
member

Registered: 10/14/11
Posts: 84
1Healing, I just loved your special reply, and have read it several times without knowing what to say.

As for being honest and walking through the fire, it is the Refiner's fire, and the end result is pure gold.

Let's do be kind to ourselves for the holidays.

blue heron

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#12265 - 11/13/11 04:10 PM Re: Dealing with the holidays [Re: blueheron]
blueheron Offline
member

Registered: 10/14/11
Posts: 84
Hello, all,

I am still dealing with the idea of staying away from the in-laws on Thanksgiving Day. There's only one problem: my husband feels the need to be in attendance, and hopes I will make some food and go along with him.

I cannot talk him out of it, that's his choice. But I'm concerned that if I do not go, he will reap some pain and grief from them about it. That's his choice too. It hasn't gotten too upsetting between us over this issue. He knows better than to pressure me into doing what I really don't want to do. He only expresses a hope that I'll change my mind.

It's just that I'm concerned about past experience plus what I keep seeing over and over in these postings and in the online articles about psychopaths. During any contact you have with them, they use it to gather info to use against you. It does not seem possible to behave in such a way that they can't find something useful, and that you are Teflon. If you talk, they record every word in their memory banks and twist it. If you're quiet, you're being snooty or keeping something secret. If you talk to everyone else in the room except them, that does not go over too well. Plus -- I'm not too thrilled about having the rest of the family staring at us oddly because the Psychopaths told them things about us that are totally untrue.

Well, except for the Psychopath sister-in-law. She won't even look at me, much less speak to me. And she thinks that makes me pay!? HA HA HA HA!

Soooooo, if you can't stay completely away, what's a good way to behave to minimize the fall-out?

blue heron


Edited by blueheron (11/13/11 04:11 PM)
Edit Reason: typo

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#12272 - 11/14/11 07:15 PM Re: Dealing with the holidays [Re: blueheron]
1Healing Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/11
Posts: 87
blueheron,

Maybe if you have things well thought out in your head as psychopaths are, for themselves, in their nature, maybe go in with what you want out of the dinner/holiday. Perhaps write a list, are there things you want to know about others, ancestry questions, etc.? Maybe take a portable dvd player, Ipod, cd player, ANYTHING to distract if things get tense. My b in law used to spend a lot of holidays staring at his iphone/computer.. Now I would say that some of that was more about him, & his own uncomfortableness.. he hasn't been doing that as much lately .. but I think it's almost a given that any lack or awkward moments are often filled with overuse of personal electronics.. I'd say borrow one if you don't have one, for the occassion! take the headset too just in case or a set of earplugs?
When ex h would go in his rage modes (often) with me it was so hurtful that at times I would put earplugs in so I didn't have to hear him. Go prepared.. whatever that means.. Maybe? if you can plan something exciting for after the holidays so you are thinking not only about that.. say.. ok if I make it through this I will reward myself with.... Perhaps a journal book to write in / maybe if they make you nervous pull out your notepad to take some notes.. LOL
like a therapist would.. ya know? hee hee..
maybe some goofy looking glasses.. give them something to talk about.
Oh the aftermath.. I'm still way far from healed & it's been so difficult to get grounded..I'm not looking that forward to the holidays frankly. I love my family so much.. but I still am not where I need to be as to regrouping from my losses.. I may not spend a huge amt of time w/family myself, maybe dinner & a bit after or before..
If there is a store open /nearby on the day perhaps you can go out & do some pre Christmas shopping.. Perhaps it's the personal structure we are needing with this type of thing.
That is something most people rely on normally in life but Psychopaths just do not adhere to any of that.. so either affected by them or around them currently / one needs to maintain continuity..
Maybe I'll start a holiday journal book just to keep myself organized in my own mind...
You have me thinking blue heron. smile

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#12287 - 11/15/11 05:21 PM Re: Dealing with the holidays [Re: 1Healing]
blueheron Offline
member

Registered: 10/14/11
Posts: 84
Good thoughts, 1healing. Thought provoking, because I haven't gotten to the calm point of thinking of some of what you've said.

Hmm, suppose I could always stay in the corner and play board games with the great grandkids on Thanksgiving. That could work.

Thanks. You helped.

blue heron

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#12299 - 11/16/11 09:39 PM Re: Dealing with the holidays [Re: blueheron]
1Healing Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/11
Posts: 87
You're welcome! smile I know in my own family once in a great while there will be a time or so when I have had to think hard about how to get through this in a literal fashion/ with my parent's aging now & there is more stress for all of us lately, but I was thinking too of how to get past a family gathering if/when it seems tense & the technology which can be rude, at times yet if there are some or one who are playing that game then why not? meaning being rude... Puzzle books, computers, even ancestry books or family pictures, anything to distract.. I think the family gatherings can be stressful even in good times, to a degree, so having ideas of focus, outside of the relationships themselves.. Yes, board games etc...
Maybe even take a camera, don't psychopaths love to have their pics taken? ex h did..
he loved cameras & filming.. but maybe do things/ ideas where one has it planned ahead.. leave no gaps /come baring gifts (they love presents too smile. Kill em with kindness.. !!!
Maybe a honey pot too.. lol.. seriously if it's love they can't deal with/ then flipping it to be in their face with the love/ but come from so many directions & distractions of potential that they don't have time to think as to interceptions of, "the love." kinda like hooville for The Grinch.

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#12356 - 11/24/11 03:37 PM Re: Dealing with the holidays [Re: blueheron]
blueheron Offline
member

Registered: 10/14/11
Posts: 84
Okay, today's Thanksgiving report.

Actually, it started yesterday when husband and I were at the community cafeteria. A lady walks up to us and asks if we are the [last name]s, and I said yes. She asks if we're the ones having the big Thanksgiving lunch in the community rec room, and I said, "Well, I don't know! I don't have a clue ..." (I thought the gathering was going to be next door at MIL's.) And it went from there. Nobody tells us anything.

As of this morning, we still did not know when Thanksgiving dinner was supposed to start. After calling and begging a couple of people to please tell us (they didn't know either), we were referred to the head Psychopath herself, who said that everybody knows what time it is, it is always the same time every year. Damn. And what time would that be? Well, 2 o'clock! As if we're idiots.

So 12:45 rolls around, and we get a phone call. I have just climbed out of the shower with wet hair, and my husband is fiddling around with a shirt he's going to wear. He picks up the phone, and gets: "Well, everybody's here! Where are you? We're going to start in a minute! Oh, and by the way, keep an eye out for your niece, she's driving 4 hours to come be with us."

At that point, I was about to start throwing fruit salad in every direction.

Our niece usually stays with us when she visits. But we were not expecting anyone, so our home is all "lived-in," and the room she would be staying in is a disaster (because it's my room and somehow the catch-all room). There are no clean sheets and the bathroom is the pits. And there is absolutely no time to clean it up.

So after I have a conniption over that, husband finds out that niece is staying next door. Bless her poor heart. He also goes and talks with somebody and finds out that no, everybody is not there yet, all the food's not there yet, including the grandson with the turkey.

I ended up staying away until just before they said the blessing, and I ate my meal quietly. Then somebody had the bright idea of going around the room and having everyone say what they were thankful for. And I was conveniently and very pointedly passed by, by MIL who was running that show. It's probably a good thing, because I'd have told them I was very thankful God had given me the eyes to see who my MIL and SIL really are. So after I complimented the brother-in-law who did the bulk of the cooking, the nephew who fried the turkey, and took my plate to the trash, I slipped out the back door and walked home. I could not watch that family struggling to make nice for five more minutes.

Think I'll play the piano for a while ... and take something for my stomach.

Happy Thanksgiving

blue heron

Note: The niece never showed up. I bet she had no idea she was supposed to be coming here. But it sure put my stomach in a knot! Chaos! They love it.


Edited by blueheron (11/24/11 06:31 PM)

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#12360 - 11/24/11 07:14 PM Re: Dealing with the holidays [Re: blueheron]
1Healing Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/11
Posts: 87
Blueheron, happy thanksgiving & you made it thru.
I'll keep this short, my brother & his family are stopping over in a bit..
Well they say that dark is repelled by The Light so maybe that was a good sign you were passed by.
smile

Oh my I can't wait till Jesus Comes back.
I think too when people act like your MIL did to you it says a lot more about them than it does about you!

Take care!


Edited by 1Healing (11/24/11 07:25 PM)

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#12361 - 11/24/11 11:26 PM Re: Dealing with the holidays [Re: 1Healing]
blueheron Offline
member

Registered: 10/14/11
Posts: 84
Thanks, 1Healing, I hope your brother's visit was enjoyable and that it brought you good things.

My husband is like you -- he waits for Jesus' return daily. He's sick of all the craziness. Not just in our family.

blue heron

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