Friday, May 23, 2008

Last Chapter on the Book of Sister


Here is the final episode of the sister drama. I sent this Tue, 20 May 2008 12:53:54 my time:




D,

In your May 10 email you said,

"I know I have always stepped unaware on your sensitive spots."

My last email of 2006 and the one I sent you last week were not efforts to induce you to apologize for past misdeeds; it was an effort to give you some clue as to why you are unsafe for me and my family to be around. It is your ongoing behaviors, much more than your past "crimes", that have been my concern. It is your complete lack of empathy. It is your refusal to recognize the rights and privileges of others - in the present - that prevent me from trusting you and having you in my life as well as the level of deception you're willing to employ to get your way. You can't think of even one lie to cop to. That is a lie in and of itself. Look at the lie in the sentence of yours quoted above. The words "always...unaware" is the damnable lie. You proved the lie in your most recent email. You have done things with intent to hurt. Yet you persisted up to May 10 to insist you never intentionally hurt me.

This latest email of yours confirms what I suspected about your May 10 email; it was a fishing expedition for the next phase of "Operation Trojan Horse". You didn't really care what I had to say as long as I gave you a list. Even though I rejected your pretense of not knowing your offenses of two years ago, I went ahead and reiterated. This suited you well since you ultimately got what you wanted: a formulaic opening for your "repentance" shtick. But it took me having to repeat myself for you to suddenly 'know' what to apologize for. Then, suddenly and miraculously, you can remember details from 2006 that I didn't reiterate proving you were lying about not knowing what the hell you did. This mitigates against me believing in the sincerity and the motivations of your apologies. See my problem? You talk, you lie.

You then indicate you're willing to apologize for more if I'm willing to give you the list. You're only going to fess up to whatever it is I "have" on you.

This is a criminal mindset.

Let me illustrate. A career criminal has finally been caught for one of his crimes. He's been dragged into court before a judge with a list of related charges against him. The evidence is irrefutable which convinces the crook his best hope is to plead guilty to the charges and throw himself on the mercy of the court. This criminal has been doing his life of crime for years. He has just been caught for a crime, but not for a fraction of what he has done over his lifetime. He is willing to plead guilty to whatever the DA has on him because he knows he can't dispute the evidence. There is a list of crimes longer than both his arms that he has never been caught doing. He does not plead guilty to those crimes. Oh, no. He is only going to take his lumps for whatever it is he can't wiggle out of. Whatever it is the "law" has caught him on...that and only that will he confess to.

That is you. You still think like a crook. For all your vaunted "change" and "healing" you still clearly show you operate from the mindset of a criminal.

I don't need to spend my time coming up with your laundry list for you. I'm not going to provide your Jiminy Cricket services. It requires you to do no introspection when we rely only on my memory to come up with what you need to confess to. Expecting me to come up with things for you to apologize for shows me you're not interested in making things right. You are only interested in convincing me you're making things right. It is about rehabilitation of your image, not your character.

I'm not interested in more apologies or confessions. The time for that is long past. You finally getting around to some unvarnished apologies is too little, too late. Sincerely sorry people don't wait two years and several lengthy emails on the part of the victim to start to come clean. Even if I did give you a check-list and you apologized for everything on it, I would still be left with my basic problem concerning you. My inability to trust you. Your way of apologizing inspires zero confidence in you. The only way to find out if you're truly sincere would be to admit you back into my life. That is more of a risk than I'm willing to undertake. There is simply not enough evidence to believe anything has changed.

You need to understand something about my state of mind toward you. I don't think about you 99.9% of the time. And when I do think of you it is just a passing thought with no accompanying emotion. Well, I do usually have an emotion. It is one I would describe as relief. Relief that you're out of my life. By the way, relief is what we call a positive emotion.

That being said, you have gotten a sense of my anger in my letter. Here's the deal: I went from not having to think about you at all to being hit out of the blue with one of your letters where you yet again plead ignorance and pure motives. This is provocative, annoying and manipulative on your part. So, yes, in the present, while I'm having to deal with your latest shenanigans, I'm frustrated and angry. You are mistaken when you extrapolate my frustration at what you've just thrown in my lap to deal with again into some kind of proof that is my constant state of mind and attitude about you. It isn't. Quit pretending my anger is coming from harbored resentments and recognize my anger is directed at your behaviors in the present. Because the past with you looks like the present I bring it up. Your present behaviors make the past relevant. Yes, I was angry in my last two letters of 2006 because of what you had done in the present. I wasn't suddenly lashing out based on some simmering resentment.

I know you'll continue to ignore what I tell you about my state of mind because it doesn't serve your agenda. It is much better for your state of mind to pretend I am the one who is broken, the one with the problem, the one who isn't being "spiritual" enough.

You say you have no expectation that your apologies will result in reconciliation. Yet, you magnanimously offer me the service of further apologies with the obvious implication that you think I need them for my "emotional healing". My emotions are fine and your services are not needed. You have nothing I need and nothing I want.

In the future I will be the one to contact you if that is what I decide to do. Do not initiate contact again. I told you in April 2006 that "Maybe, at some point in the future, I'll call you and see if you're willing to have an mutually respectful, healthy and adult relationship with me". No where in there did I tell you I was waiting for you to initiate contact. I indulged your forwardness. It was yet another time I have given in to your demand for attention that I have lived to regret. I have wasted my time in responding to you. I won't repeat this mistake.

If you want to show me that you've learned to respect my wishes prove it by leaving me alone. The only avenue for the restitution you claim you want to engage in is to leave me to my life without you in it. I am content to let eternity prove who you really are.

Signing off,
Anna

****************************************


Thus ends the sister saga. At least, this ends my participation in that saga. If I ever hear from her again I'll let you know. Be assured, she will not be able to provoke a response from me. It has been three years since I cut off from my parents. They have not heard another word from me. I tell you this to assure you I won't be lured from my peaceful life into my sister's maelstroms going into the future. When I'm done, I'm really done. Maybe I should say she's done. Cooked like a Christmas turkey.

Stick a fork in her.

[Credit for the great 'Princess Bride' icon goes to]

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Anna, the final letter to your sister is music to my ears. It is written so eloquently, it sticks to the facts and I love your legal bent. You took her down good and you've shown that crazy making cow that you remain unflappable in the face of her madness.

Your letter would probably lay the matter to rest with a normal person but with an N, well, I guess that remains to be seen. They love to create dramas so they can cast themselves as the stars. This type of shit just doesn't happen with normal people.

Anna, I applaud you! I have been living vicarously throughout this email epic with your sister dearest and your victory is mine too. Thank you!!

You must be exhausted. I know I am and I was just an engaged supporter. It's amazing how any type of contact with an N can be so draining. I hope you get some much deserved R & R.

PS. The last line in your letter was brilliant!

Anna Valerious said...

Anonymous,

Thank you for your comment. You made me laugh and smile all the way through it. The "crazy making cow" made me laugh out loud. I agree, with a normal person this would all be laid to rest. Her tenacity, combined with her intentional obtuseness, reveal her narcissism. Whatever she is, she ain't normal.

You must be exhausted. I know I am and I was just an engaged supporter.

First of all, thank you for your support. It is good to know I haven't annoyed everyone with this interminable drama. I know I've been annoyed by having to be put through it myself. Guess misery loves company. :o) You are right. I'm pooped. I was pooped after her first letter. I was ready for a vacation at that point. Then round two commenced.

I appreciate your enthusiastic reaction to my letter. It really does me good to know you feel a part in this and can savor victory with me. Yes, it is a victory. Whether or not the sister-vampire comes around sniffing for another infusion, I know she will come up empty. That is the victory. Showing myself impervious to her various shape-shifting games is also a victory. She can "eat shit and bark at the moon". Gosh. I love that. (Thank you again, dear commenter who gave me that one!)

Again, thanks for your comment. You made my day. :o)

nocaster said...

Very nice. Telling her you don't think of her 99.9% of the time should deal a hard blow to her ego. The fact that you never think of her is probably nearly incomprehensible to her.

Your entire email exchange with her highlights exactly why we eventually cut these family members out of our lives. I don't recall seeing anything in her emails where she wanted to know any details of your current life. A normal adult would beg you to tell her if you're in good health, if your children are ok, or anything. Any estranged loved one would beg for these details and express deep sorrow for whatever caused the estrangement. Not so with the N. It's all about them all the time.

Cinder Ella said...

Well done, Anna. An n family member is a lot like cancer. It grows and feeds off you. It drains you. It's pervasive and tenacious. It seeks to take one's very life. It's often hidden or subtle -- that is, until it has it's claws dug deep. It's truly awful. May your remission from sister saga last many, many years. Being n-free *is* such sweet relief.

Ella

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this Anna. You are truly brilliant. And victorious! I am standing, clapping, and cheering for you!

Please get some rest. I too am an exhausted passive observer here, I can't imagine how you feel!

If I may request, sometime I would really like to read about how you cut off your parents. I think I've read through all of your posts here, but maybe I missed some.

I have learned so much from this exchange, that is why I ask.

Thanks again for sharing.

Peggy

Naive No Longer said...

Brilliant...just, brilliant!!!

There's nothing more to say!

Katherine Gunn said...

Well done, Anna. Well done.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna, I'm the one who says Ns should eat sh** and bark at the moon. :) (I'm also the one who emailed you about the book.)

Anyway, great letter. I commend you, the long journey with your N family is now finally over, you can rest, pull out the beer and umbrella and enjoy the beach as you watch their ship sailing out to sea, far far away, hopefully to never return...

Ahhhhh...the joy, the peacefulness, the freedom. Good job, you are part of my tribe, thank you. :)

Haiku for Anna:

Sitting on sunny beach
Wordless poet
Wiggles toes in sand
Watching pirate ship sail into nevermore.


WAHOOOOOO!!!

Anna Valerious said...

Hi Anna, I'm the one who says Ns should eat sh** and bark at the moon. :) (I'm also the one who emailed you about the book.)

Well, how cool is that. Now I have a name to go with the great line.

A haiku! Wahoo! LOL Thank you for that. It's beeeutiful!! **big hug**

Anonymous said...

Anna, your letter is brilliant. Yes, I've stuck a fork in your sister, and she's definitely done. : ) She has some nerve, that one.

Renewed

NymphadoraL said...

What else can I add? Bravo!

krl said...

Wow....and 'Bravo!' is right!

Even a few years ago when I had a TV and would watch JudgeJudy, I would cringe at 'how harsh she was'....yet still respect and admire her rulings. Ha! She has NOTHING on YOU!

Incredible. (Out)Standing Ovation!!!! Thank you. Wow.

Anna Valerious said...

It probably isn't surprising that I love Judge Judy. I adore her.

krl said...

Yeah....I was half expecting to see JudgeJudy's photo when you finally unveiled yourself! Hahaha.

Anonymous said...

Anna,

I have to admit I was very sad when I read that your sister had contacted you again, and that you said that you were going to cut her off completely. Not for her sake, but for yours.

There have been moments when I wished the death of my father (no he's not an N, maybe has some traits) but to cut all ties to my parents is very difficult to imagine. You have done that. And you gave your sister the benefit of a doubt, but now you have to cut her off too. That makes me very sad.

However, having said that - your response to your sister made me (hello, I'm not in this drama) feel so much better. First, I too thought that her asking you to give her more examples of her wrong-doings was rather strange. You just can't begin a letter by saying "I know my behavior to you was wrong" and then finish that very same letter saying "what else have I done wrong?". Either you take full responsibility or you take none.

I find myself having difficulties replying to you. What on earth can I have to say to you that you don't already know? I really wish I could return some, at least some, of all that you are giving me and all others here.

While at it, I also want to say that I felt so relieved when I saw that Kathy's work is being taken cared of. When I heard about her death my first thought was "what will happen to her site?" I actually thought abouther site before her. I don't like that prioritization of mine but perhaps it mirrors how important I think her stuff is.

Thank you.

--------

(Ahaha, I just read my preview response and saw your comments about judge Judy. We have her show her in Sweden too - and I just love it. Perhaps I'm a little bit sceptical to that kind of court but she amazes me by her ability to see through people. It's brilliant)

Anna Valerious said...

Poe,

I'm not sure that feeling sad on my account is necessary. I was only 'sad' to have to deal with my sister again. Having officially exiled her from my life is cause for joy and celebration. She has never added to the quality and happiness of my life. She is a boat anchor to my parents. A pox on my existence. So, I hope you can find some happiness in there for me. I appreciate that you have a kind heart. Objectively, I do agree, it is a sad outcome. On the other hand, when people who persist in being evil won't change then it is a good and happy outcome when we can pry them out of our lives.

Thank you for your comment. I can sense your empathetic heart which makes you a thoroughly likable person. I appreciate knowing people like you read my blog and benefit from it.

P.S. Judge Judy is in Sweden?! Well, cool. The world needs to see the practical, no nonsense side of many Americans. The title of her book really sums up her attitude, "Don't Pee on My Shoes and Tell Me It's Raining".

toni said...

Excellent. I will bet she thought by pulling out the stops that she had it in the bag. I think n-sibs feel particulaly entitled to use their normal sibs for supply source. I think her head must still be spinning wildly in reaction to your comment about you not thinking about her. I believe my own sister's reaction to that would be that I'm mean/crazy. Yes, if people don't obsess over them, they find that quite incomprehensible.

Good work, Anna, and congratulations!

Anonymous said...

This is another post I will save (among many!). This would be exactly what I would like to say to my N MIL but I could never say it as good as you.

I will keep this as a reminder of how to put a lying N in their place. I especially loved how you called her out with wanting a list just so can say sorry for that. If she needs to be told what she should be sorry for , she isn't sorry!

These N's will never change.

Anonymous said...

Good for you, Anna, good for you! It blows my mind the way you are able to see through all the garbage without it making you feel guilty and going back for more of their torture. And TORTURE it is. I applaud you for not taking the bait.

I can't thank you enough for sharing with us. You have given me and so many others so much strength and knowledge in dealing with malignantly narcissistic family members. It's so easy to get caught up again and again and be reeled in like a fish on a hook. Sometimes the guilt is awful. But you keep me on track. You make me see how they connive to get us back in and how they only care about themselves. Bio mom can't and won't admit to any wrong doing and/or abuse and only brings up some of the good times we had together and there were not very many. They love to throw that in as if it takes away from their awful abuse. Frightening!

I can't explain it the way you can. You sure have a gift for writing and expressing yourself and all the wretched garbage that malignant narcissists put onto us innocent people who just want to love, please and do the right thing.

Again, Anna, thanks so so much. Do take care of yourself...rest up. You are so important to us all and to your family, of course. You have helped and continue to help with a devasting problem that a lot of us are dealing with. We are not alone and that is so healing in itself. We may have thought we were alone at one time before your blog.

I have a healing and empowering song that I listen to when I feel that awful guilt and sadness whelming up inside of me due to other well-meaning, dear and much-loved family members (my children) trying to patch things up with me and bio mother. They just don't get it, but I can't blame them. It's hurtful to them as well.

It's called "Just Walk Away, Renee." You can find different versions of it on YouTube. I particulary like the version sung by Alan Merrill. I find it healing and empowering. Try it...you may like it!

Thanks so much, Anna. Take good care of yourself. I am so happy that you have resolved this very tragic relationship with your sister and parents and that you are so open with us. Your experiences are invaluable to all of us who have suffered and continue to suffer from the abuse these twisted people inflict on our lives and on the lives of those they profess to love.

We are survivors! Let us never forget that! It's a big part of who we are.

Be well and take good care.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I love Judge Judy, too. She can be harsh, but she's right on the money.

I watch her all the time. I'd love her to get at my delightful mother and let her have her way with her! Wow, that would be something.

Just had to add that!

Way to go, Anna! You rule!

Anna Valerious said...

It's so easy to get caught up again and again and be reeled in like a fish on a hook. Sometimes the guilt is awful. But you keep me on track. You make me see how they connive to get us back in and how they only care about themselves.

I really appreciate you telling me how this blog helps keep you on track, helps you deal with the inappropriate guilt, helps keep you from getting reeled in time and again. It is testimonials like yours that have kept me motivated to keep writing.

You are so right about the way decent people often find themselves dragged back into relationships with Ns. The Ns have the home field advantage. They make the rules, they own the turf, they feel comfortable once they have you feeling at a disadvantage. And we too often are at a complete disadvantage. We don't know we are up against a con artist, a criminal mind that is unrestricted by rules of decency and morality. A mind that works so differently from our minds that they may as well be aliens from another planet. We have buttons that the N pushes to cause our feelings of empathy to well up and over ride our good sense. Once these lower life forms are exposed to a person's mind it really takes much of the mystery out of trying to deal with these predators. I am glad if I have contributed to the body of knowledge of how Ns work their prey. I am all about freeing people from the tyranny of evil.

I suspect that I derive as much satisfaction at depriving Ns of victims as the N must get from creating them. The difference is my pleasure is based on doing something good and right...theirs is based on evil, illicit and immoral gain. After having been in bondage to two Ns for so much of my life, it feels like a bit of revenge to help others escape their tormentors. A healthy revenge that doesn't corrupt my soul.

You are right. They do torture their victims. It is so irrational that we can feel like we are wrong, guilty, if we don't willingly submit to more torture. The N not only twists his/her mind in order to believe black is white, they are too often successful at doing that to our minds. I am anxious for people to untwist their brains so they can see all the lies that have kept them enslaved to the N and then escape.

I will check out the song you recommended, thank you. I appreciate your kind words. Going off to take a walk now in the lovely spring morning. R & R.

Anonymous said...

Vonda Shepard's version of the song for "Allie McBeal" was also fine.

Anonymous said...

Good for you. My situation with my father is similar to yours. In our last conversation (3 months ago) I told him that I feel like I have to walk on eggshells around him and that I'm afraid of his temper. He responded by flipping out on me (luckily my parter witnessed the whole thing and can attest to the fact that I'm not in fact crazy) and said "I'm just going to stay away and you can call me if you ever want to talk" and then he hung up the phone. He called later that night and left a message asking me if I still wanted to be in his life insurance plan (if it's anything like my 'college fund' or his 'savings' it doesn't exist and is his version of a bargaining tool). I haven't called him since, but he's called me weekly and left messages (which I erase without listening to) and was sending fake-apology emails until I blocked him. Narcissists are sick. Good for you for having the courage to deal with the ones in your life.

Barbara C. said...

You then indicate you're willing to apologize for more if I'm willing to give you the list. You're only going to fess up to whatever it is I "have" on you.

This is a criminal mindset.


Brilliant insight on your part Anna. Storing that one in my "anti-N toolbox"

Anonymous said...

I like your site. Usually visit several times a day as I have my mother now living with me due to a heart attack. So far this has resulted in sleepless nights, incessant catering to, and family upsets. This only in a span of 2 months. She sounds a lot like a N with a borderline lurking somewhere in there but folks, I am tired. Very tired. This same woman once told me after I had an accident and broke my wrist while a couple months pregnant that she could take more pain than I could. I had my wrist set back with no pain meds due to the pregnancy and had been in a wreck and never shed a tear. I figured I was in shock since I was shaking on the way to the hospital and my first thoughts were "is my baby all right?". Anyhoo, she said this to me when my husband and I came by on the way home from the ER to let her know how I was. She built herself up all during my early life and right up till now with the "I am strong" mantra. Funny thing is, for quite a while I've figured out some things from WAY back that I'd never thought about until my life has been steadily demanding that I re-examine the words and actions she "told" me as opposed to what REALLY happened. Always the victim. Always the strong one. Always felt different. The martyr. The sacrificial mother. etc etc. You get the picture. All I can say is Thank you for this site. It's helped me know that I am not the mean, selfish, hateful daughter that I was led to believe I was so much, as a child who was a blank slate and was given a script to follow until I became a late bloomer. A very late bloomer.

Anna Valerious said...

Isn't it interesting how the narcissist will accuse us, their slaves, of being "mean", "ungrateful", "selfish", "hateful", "cruel", etc., yet they insist on keeping us in their lives?

If we really were as they describe us then they wouldn't have anything to do with us.

This is because if we were as they describe us we wouldn't be good sources of supply for their blood-sucking lifestyle. This proves to me that they throw those pejoratives at us in order to convince us we are those things so we will keep offering ourselves up to them. The name-calling beats us down. Damages our self respect. Makes us more vulnerable to their predations because we want to prove to them (and ourselves) that we aren't really those things. We get on that old hamster wheel and run for our lives yet make no headway whatsoever. No progress in our own lives. No forthcoming praise, thanks, happiness or positive changes from the narcissist. There is nothing more pointless, or detrimental, than staying in the life of a narcissist.

As to being a late-bloomer. Most of us take at least four decades to really figure out what we've been dealing with. You've joined the "Late Bloomer Club". Welcome! I hope you'll eventually find a way to oust the vampire from your home. There is nothing more toxic than a narcissist planted right in the middle of your very own home. The potential to blow up many other relationships is ever-present as long as the narcissist has free access to multiple family members. Save yourself. Save your family. Put the old biddy in a nursing home if necessary. Assisted living. Whatever. But I hope you'll get her out of your home.

I wish you the very best. Which includes getting your own life back.

Anonymous said...

Anna, I have never written to anyone on the internet other than emails and I am 50 years old. I had to let you know what your story about your sister has done to me.
I, too, have a sister with all the redeeming qualities :) of a narcissist. I have been subjected to so much abuse from my mother, father and sister. I've been in therapy for 5 years, but reading your blog has left me breathless with relief. YOU UNDERSTAND and your kick-ass is what I need. I don't feel so alone. Thank you more than you'll ever know.

Anna Valerious said...

Thank you for making me the first person you've written to on the Internet, Anonymous. Your comment makes me feel good all over again for making the decision to talk about my sister on this blog. I almost didn't do it.

I'm always happy when I hear someone like yourself suddenly feeling like someone understands. Words like "breathless with relief" make me positively giddy with happiness for you. I well know the feeling. I hope you will forever free yourself from the bondage of your mother and sister and father. You deserve a life of freedom from their tyranny. All the best.

Joanna said...

Did you notice the twisted bit about rejection/abandonment? In the first place, fear of rejection/abandonment does not justify or cause her behaviors. Poppycock. She says this so that you, Anna, will see that it is in your power to assuage/dispel her fears and feel compelled heal her of her bad behaviors. Anna, she wants you see that you are the one who is rejecting and abandoning her at this moment? This is a sneaky way she hopes that you rescue her from the peril that you have put her into. This is a twist on blame shifting and a manipulative ploy at the same time. Until I saw this, I was not sure about your sister. I'm dead sure now.

Joanna said...

I'm still thinking about her sneaky manipulative 5/17 email.

I learned by observing my evil-X, that with narcissists it is this: Everything. Everything. Everything they say is designed to manipulate. Even when they tell the truth, they are using the truth to manipulate. This is how the narcissists can even turn the truth into a lie.

Her 1st email did not contain the apologies, because she hoped that would not be necessary. Despite what she had hoped, she then saw that even after 2 years you are not going to be placated with pseudo-apologies. She was quick to see that the only "bait" you were going to nibble had to look like truth. As distasteful as that is to her to be honest/sincere/intimate, she had no choice but to fabricate some "truth" to offer to you. So, she used the truth, copied it, and gave you an imitation-truth.

She made it look good, too. It shows that she knows exactly what is expected of a real human.

At first in her 2nd email it appears that she might be making some progress. But that red flag: WHY is this coming now, when just days ago, after months of therapy, her prior letter showed no hint of any depth of repentance?

But then, in the end of her pseudo-confession email, we see the not that well-hidden signature of malice:
"... you talked about my "lies" and whoppers. I don't know what you are referring to. But if you want to tell me, I want to know. In fact, if there are any other specific actions that I have done which are an offense to you, I want to know ... I want to acknowledge your hurts and resentments and anything I have done to you that is still a clear memory you have ... "

My guess is that after she slathered on the pseudo-truth, she was so certain you'd be taking the bait, that she went right into the next step of her agenda, without waiting for confirmation that you'd been hooked. In her greedy haste to pull up the line, the synthetic bait fell off the hook and revealed the hook.

It is taking time for this to sink in for me. She really was hoping to feed off the past hurts she has caused...

I don't know where the 'point of no return' is in the development of human malice, but she has crossed the line.

I'm grateful you saw through her and I'm grateful you published this Sister series of posts. Thank you.

Anna Valerious said...

Thanks for sharing your analysis of this last in the sister saga letter series. Most of all I'm happy to know that you've been aided by the sister series of posts. The update on the whole sister deal is this: I've yet to hear from her again. This fact, of course, makes me extremely happy. Life is good without the effing narcissists.

Anna Valerious said...

Hey, Joanna, I just noticed you hail from Monmouth, OR. I drove through there about four times in the last week. Lovely place.