The Sister This Time
On April 20, 2006, I told my sister that I was gone. In my final letter to her I said "...the only sister you get to keep is the sister you don't abuse." *SLAM* The door was shut very firmly in her face. In the course of one letter, I told her eight times that I was out of her life. Since then my husband, daughter and I moved to a whole new state. Neither my parents nor my sister were told we were moving. I have kept the email account of mine that they have. What they still don't know is that the email account is the only way they have to contact me. They have no mailing address or phone numbers. We put in a temporary postal forwarding for six months which means the post office doesn't do address correction. At this point, they don't yet know how out of contact with me they are. The only mutual relatives that know where we live moved with us to our new location...and they are also out of contact with my parents and sister. So, no news of myself ever reaches them anymore. It's a nice feeling.
Last April, my sister had pulled one of her manipulative, lying, and nasty stunts on me. I called her on it. She eventually responded with a non-apology. It was a masterpiece of con artistry. I didn't fall for it. Told her she had pulled this kind of stunt for the last time with me. So, that means we parted ways with my sister needing to apologize for real for something she did.
So, the day after Christmas I check my email to find two separate notifications from Amazon that I had received an e-card and gift certificate from my sister. One for me, one for my daughter. My sister hasn't had my daughter's email address for years since she never made any real attempt to cultivate a relationship with her niece long before I cut off communication between myself and my sister. It was rather a shocker that D.... would send Christmas gifts in light of the above mentioned history. It was also inappropriate.
I recognize the "gifts" as a Trojan horse. She is trying to ride those gifts right back into my life. She sent an e-card with the gift certificate to me that was a picture of a snowy mountain scene personalized to say, "I hope you have snow. Merry Christmas. Love, D....." Um, yeah. Okay, forty dollars and that insipid note are supposed to buy her some goodwill? Sorry, I can't be bought that easily. I told her the price for admission, but apparently she is unwilling to pay the price I demand, which was a complete apology where she acknowledges what she did. She would try to stipulate the terms of her release with this post-Christmas Christmas gift.
So what to do with this overture by my narcissistic sister? Ignore it. It is the only safe thing to do when one has gone into "no contact" with family narcissists. They are famous for using the holidays to try to worm their way back into contact. I read the stories over and over at the ACON e-group. My terms of reconciliation were made clear. I was unambiguous. Narcissists don't want to play by any rules other than the ones they make up. For me to acknowledge sister's gifts in any way would open a door that I firmly shut. I know how the Amazon gift certificate thing works...as soon as I opened the notification they sent me, Amazon sent sister a notification that I received her gift. That is all the acknowledgement she will get. Hopefully, the lack of reward for her $80 will be a disincentive for her to send gifts next year.
This was the Christmas season for bringing out the narcissistic relates. I'm getting the distinct impression that they are having a hard time dealing with the fact that I'm no longer around for them. I am glad that my absence has created their unrest. That was part of the purpose of it. I knew that they would be more forced to deal with who they are and how they treat people with me out of the picture than with me in it. You force narcissists to have to deal more with reality by being out of their lives. Which works out nicely for you. You can go on to live happily and peacefully without the narcissist while they stew in their juices out of sight and mind. Remember, you can't change the narcissist, but if there is any hope for change it will happen in your absence, not in your presence. You may never know about the change, if any should miraculously occur. That is called a consequence. There are consequences for bad behavior. Sometimes that means the people you've abused leave your life, or don't believe you've changed when you really have. Sorry. We're not required to hang around to see if our abusers have stopped being abusive. We have the right to self-defense and the right to not have a relationship with bad people. Even if those bad people call themselves Mom, Dad and Sister.
Saturday, December 30, 2006
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This post has much wisdom in it. Have decided to go back and read these and get better understanding of where you, Anna, come from. In, "The Sister This Time - More Contact" post, I can get deeper insight as to the why a sister becomes like the mother. I too have an older sister; she is the aggressive one. I am the passive. It wasn't until our 30's that we both started to confort one another on our mother's sick abusive treatment. It was therapeutic to know we both understood we weren't crazy. Unfortunately, our relationship is based solely on the commonality of "mother".
So, the sister issue in my life is an on-going drama (she has always shown N traits) and all I can say is I feel for you, Anna, as you've had to cope with 2 for the price of 1. You've been to "boot camp" of the mind. But, I believe you'll see now or in the future how this "training" gave you the insight to help others. If you ever talk to your S and M again, you may tell them that one good consequence came out of their perverted actions toward you; it enabled you to, with your great writing skills, help ohers diffuse the guilt and face reality.
Good quote that you wrote, "you force N's to have to deal more with reality by being out of their lives.
Again, to the commentator about "turn the other cheek", I wonder if she read "The Sister This Time" article? She may want to know that Anna gave a very wise comment - "Remember, you can't change the N, but if there is any hope for change, it will happen in your absence, not in your presence." All we can do at this point is to Pray to God that the Ns have a change of heart, pray that the right individual can challenge them. It's a sad fact that an outsider, who has no emotional tie to the narcissist, (might) have an impact on changing them. For us, it's down to telling them "get over your addiction to hurt me, or lose me". Just writing about this frays my nerves!!
"You force narcissists to have to deal more with reality by being out of their lives. Which works out nicely for you. You can go on to live happily and peacefully without the narcissist while they stew in their juices out of sight and mind. Remember, you can't change the narcissist, but if there is any hope for change it will happen in your absence, not in your presence. You may never know about the change, if any should miraculously occur. That is called a consequence. There are consequences for bad behavior. Sometimes that means the people you've abused leave your life, or don't believe you've changed when you really have. Sorry. We're not required to hang around to see if our abusers have stopped being abusive. We have the right to self-defense and the right to not have a relationship with bad people. Even if those bad people call themselves Mom, Dad and Sister."
I am taking this and hanging it on my wall or turning it into some sort of document where I can refer to it as often as I need to. My father is dying, slowly, but will probably be gone in the next 18 months. All though he is the "enabler" of Nmother, I still regret that there is so much distance between us. It can't be helped. He fits the "Mom's Evil Henchman" description that you gave. I limited contact with my Nsister years ago. I don't talk to her if I don't have to, and I certainly make no effort to see her. I am distancing myself as much as possible from the three of them. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, my oldest daughter and her 2 children are living with the Nparentals. Contact is necessary, but I keep it minimal and superficial. I have only been reading and researching this pathology for a few weeks. Your blog is really helping me stay strong, centered and sane.
My final thought and feeling not to mention YEARS of experience with my MN "Mother" prior to writing a short 4 line letter terminating the relationship was simply this: "If my presence isn't helping, my absence won't hurt."
Despite her 18 yr. scorched earth war directed toward me post NC until her death to this world, all these years later it was the best and most life-affirming decision of my life. I have never experienced guilt or wavered in that decision despite her years of retribution and attempts at total annihilation of her "daughter." Hell hath no fury like a thwarted NP. Life was not meant to be a Life Sentence. I'm now an old widow with an old cat (a true cliche) who has made every blunder and screw up imaginable and some several times over but if there is one regret I've NEVER experienced it was that decision.
You're the expert on your life and your experiences. Believe yourself. Free yourself. You don't need anyone's "Permission" or "Consent" to claim your own life. And gawd knows, the Ns and their "colleagues in crime" are the last ones who'll EVER give up their source of Supply or convenient Scapegoat. NO, they DON'T get better with age, they don't mellow: They simply trade in their Pampers for Depends.
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