No turning back

Today my husband deleted an email from his parents without reading it. He doesn't tell me everything about what they say when he chooses to read an email from them as it would upset me. We're turning over another area of no contact and blocking emails from this point onward. I'm actually a little sad about that. I know they found out now we are expecting their first grandchild. That seems like a close word to a child they will never know. I sometimes am saddened by the fact they will be related to my baby, that my kid will grow up with only one set of grandparents in their lives. That my husband no longer feels like he is a part of his FOO. As sad as that may be, I feel strangely at peace about it. I feel satisfied our child will never grow up thinking their behavior is normal or acceptable. Before the sadness hits, I feel I should get out the rest of the story. As a reminder of why I'm never going back. As a reminder of why I'm glad we're no longer a part of it. After all, the past is important, too.

Just before our engagement, NABIL and NBSIL got engaged as well. Thus started wedding plans up near the N's hometown to rival that of the royal wedding. It's odd that a wedding should have so much grief for others, but this one did. A wedding is a celebration of two people joining together to be partners for life. This wedding and the events leading up to it and after it caused a permanent rift between us and my husband's family.

I was in university at the time completing my senior year close to my own home, 6 hours away. The wedding was planned for fall during the week. To go would mean to miss several classes and I knew this from months before when the date was set. I politely told the couple that as much as I wanted to, I would most likely be unable to go due to school. At the time everyone accepted it and saw it as no problem. Fast forward  to months later, the month before the big date.

I was at my parents home with my then-fiance, our engagement had been all but ignored exacting such remarks pre-engagement from NABIL like 'I didn't know you were that serious about her', etc. I tried to share my excitement with my future NSIL and NMIL but whenever I brought up wedding plans for our big day later that year, I only heard what NABIL and NBSIL were doing. What they were planning. I sent my future SIL a text sharing the news I bought my wedding dress and what kind it was an how excited I was in an attempt to reach out... no response. In fact, I don't think any of them talked to me our entire engagement... aside from this day of horrors when it all went down.

MIL sent my then-fiance a text to ask how I was 'getting up for the wedding'. My fiance was already the best man, going up and missing his first week of starting a new job by going to the rehearsal on Wednesday, to leave room for ANOTHER on Thursday in case things weren't perfect. He was sacrificing time away from a new job as well as time he could have taken off for our own wedding. Point blank, he was going he was already doing so much even from a great distance. He was hounded on my NMIL and NBSIL to plan every detail as if it were his full time job.

To this text, however, I responded saying I couldn't leave university during the week and had already told NBSIL and NABIL that very thing months prior. Surprise surprise, turns out no one listened to me or took this seriously.

I remember going back and forth via text for a while and then she said she'd call me on DH's phone and did so. To anyone with experience with the wrath of a narcissist, one would know they blow up first and ask questions later. I got the full front of her sudden anger and upset at me missing the wedding due to classes. I told her if I skipped more than one it could result in a lower grade since I was a senior and I wasn't willing to do that. Others were relying on me and I couldn't up and leave some classes that week, pretty close to mid-terms. Excuse after excuse flew my way. I was accused of being a terrible future wife and mother to their son and a liar for even saying my grades depended on attendance. If I put my school before 'family' in their eyes, I was worse than dead. I remember her saying she was going to talk to me again when she 'found out if I was lying or not' and that I 'had a lot of making up to do' with the family.

Now keep in mind at this point I had only MET NABIL and NBSIL once or twice. I was engaged, not part of the family and not meant to feel so. I had been open and honest the entire time with all of them. And yet my character and very person were being ripped apart by reasons outside of logic. I was crushed. I had never been spoken to in such a rude, disrespectful way. I felt helpless. 'Well, I'll call you back when I figure out if you're lying or not.' ... those are the last words I have ever heard from my NMIL over a year ago. Talk about hurt. She ended the call with saying 'I love you' as if she were disappointed in ME. In ME for telling the truth. For doing nothing wrong. At that moment, love never meant so little. I knew it was not love.

But the drama didn't stop there. In fact, it only escalated. Soon my parents knew what was going on because I was shaking and crying and upset and my fiance was being yelled at over the phone by his parents in a joint-effort of abuse and attempts to manipulate him to leave me. Even thinking of it now makes me feel sick to my stomach. My heart is racing as I type.

My NIL's actually contacted my university, wheedled their way through the chain of control and 'found out' class skips are acceptable for my classes. They were borderline illegally doing this as they are of no relation to me, it was a fault on the part of the faculty for divulging any information to them at all. Of course I could skip a class, doesn't mean I should. Also this did not mean I was lying, if I skipped more than one (which I would have had to do ) I would have gone down a letter grade.

I remember multiple phone calls from that weekend from them to my fiance. They told him I was a liar, his NF told him to 'see the light' and insinuated he should break up with me.

I do not remember the details of the wedding itself. I stood my ground, I stayed at university. My fiance went and did his duties as best man for my NABIL. I do remember they were controlling and took his cell phone away so he could not contact me the day of the wedding, in an attempt to 'show respect' for those getting married. Adults taking away cell phones from other adults, mature, right? My fiance was accused of bringing grief on his parents by his uncle. All in all, it was a wedding week (actual week) I don't want to remember so I've blocked out a lot of it.

My fiance decided to forego the celebration weekend AFTER the week-long plans and returned home to me and my parent's home as soon as he could. We were both broken and confused. But it was over.

A month or so after, his parents wanted to come down and talk things over with us. Every bone in my body screamed NO and I should have listened. Even AFTER going through premarital counseling ourselves, we were misguided by our pastor to smooth things over. That reconcilliation was important and all on us, that they would listen if we told them we heard what they were saying. That is by far the WORST advice we've ever received. Narcissists don't listen. They don't care what you have to say.

Their visit was disasterous. I agreed to meet in a public place to avoid their yelling and finger pointing. To this, they were upset. Turning their car around on the drive down to meet us they yelled at my fiance over the phone claiming I was 'controlling everything' and asking him why he was letting me. They didn't consider or even care that I was uncomfortable. We met in their hotel room.

I remember the night vividly as with heavy hearts we both met up with his parents. I was afraid. I was shaking. I did not want to see them or even look them in the eyes. They greeted their son but not me. I remember my fiance's face looked broken. Their faces were hard. Their eyes steel.

They cut right into us in much the same way they did over the phone. But in person and raising voices and pointing fingers in my face. I lasted all of five minutes. If that. I remember as soon as I knew they didn't want to hear my side of anything and NFIL started yelling and pointing fingers in my face, that I had to leave. So I did. I remember saying as politely as I could, "I'm sorry, I can't stay here any longer if you're going to treat me in this way." and I left. My heart raced as they both jumped up and nearly went for the door as if they would have stopped me. I didn't look back. I remember they were incredulous as to why I would leave the abuse they were dishing out in my face. I thought they were following me. I ran to the elevator and closed the door. My heart was in my throat.

Getting down to the lobby I prayed and hoped my fiance would follow, but knew he'd probably hear them out to no avail. I called my father to come pick me up as I drove with my fiance and he wasn't out yet. I didn't want to be alone. I called one of my best friends. She had some choice words for them.

When my father got there, NFIL came down and said he was sorry for pointing his finger in my face as my fiance told him it was unecessary. No apology for the other things and would I come back upstairs?? I said no. I didn't look at them as we left.

My fiance told me later that night that 'it went well'. To which I broke up with him. I knew in my heart I couldn't marry a man who would let his fiance go through hell with his family. I wanted someone to stand up for me, someone to say something. No one did. My parents sided with my fiance hoping his parents would change. Later that night I got back with my fiance at my parent's tearful urgings. They told me they didn't want me to throw away my relationship over his family. So I didn't. But my heart was dead inside me and I knew we had a lot to work through.

And so they became my in laws. They came to our wedding. They looked sour the entire time. They were not happy for us. They did not sign the guest card or give us anything, even NABIL whom DH did so much for and paid so much for his own wedding, gave us nothing. Instead he complained of posing for a picture with us, saying he'd do it for DH as if I wasn't there at all. As if it weren't my wedding, too. This was the last time I have seen them since.

My wedding day was one of the saddest days of my life, I felt hurt broken and abused and yet I had to plaster on a smile while my abusers sat in the front row putting on a show.

I have not changed my last name to be the same as my husband's. To me, it hurts too much for anyone to call me by the same name as my abusive NMIL. It's a personal decision.

Since our wedding we have had no contact with his parents. Since our wedding I have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and now take medication so as not to have panic attacks daily that may affect our unborn baby. I cannot think of a scarier picture than imagining my NIL's around my child. I cannot be in the same room with them. I cannot talk to them. They don't know where we live now and I want to keep it that way.

My husband and I have come a long way from that year. He has changed, he now protects me and kicks himself over not seeing it before all this happened. I know he blames himself. I used to blame life itself until I realized, no... the blame is all on the NIL's.

To this day there has been no apology. DH has stood up for us both saying the way they've treated us is unacceptable. I don't think they will ever admit they did us wrong. As long as that is okay in their minds, they will never see us again. DH has made that clear to me.

And now, they know I am pregnant. I have no remorse. The only regret I have is in not standing up for myself sooner. Day by day I built up my strength and self-esteem. I confront all the lies told to me and about me in my mind. I try my best to built up my husband my assuring him he is doing the right thing and I love him and my family does as well. I try to bury the past as best as I can. I know someday this whole story will probably be behind a cement wall in my memory, sealed off forever so I can't go back there in my head.

I have since found truth and comfort in knowing they realize exactly what they did, that it was not right and that they will probably never change their ways. My husband and I have power together to stop the abuse. So long as I live our child will never be treated that way. If by some miracle they are able to find out where we live I will not hesitate to get a restraining order and inform the police of their past actions. I pray daily that my heart is healed and my family and I are able to move forward together to a life without regrets. That really is the power of no contact.

Comments

  1. Okay, first of all who plans a wedding for the middle of the week and expects people to drop everything and be there come hell or high water? It's especially disturbing they would EXPECT you to be there when you weren't technically family yet and they obviously didn't particularly like you in the first place. Did they threaten and interrogate others who weren't in attendance that day? One would think they'd be glad you weren't in attendance so they could have their "pwecious" son to themselves. Seems to me they were looking for any reason to make a scene and make you look bad by blowing the situation of you not attending completely out of proportion. In essence, creating a situation where they could pull their son aside and say "see, see how awful she is and you shouldn't marry her!" Unbelievable they would go so far as to contact your university to try to catch you in a lie.

    They sound like dangerous people to me. If I were you, I wouldn't want my future children around them either. Good for you for standing your ground.
    ~DD

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  2. Thanks, DD. I agree and am glad to say they will never be around our baby! I left out minor details but forgot to say that in NIL's asked during this whole ordeal, how we'd feel if NBSIL didn't make it to our wedding. We replied we'd understand. She didn't show. I hardly think that's coincidence.
    the family dynamic seems weirdly skewed to put DH and me at a disadvantage. I don't think that will ever change. You can bet your last dollar no one else was interrogated on that occasion!
    -Gracie

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, your NIL's are EXTREME, Gracie! Jaw-droppingly malignant!

    I've learned a few tricks from the ACoN Blogosphere - turning around 'projection' is one of them. YOU'RE controlling everything? Why was your husband allowing YOU to control him?

    Just substitute "you" for "NMIL/NFIL" from all the accusations of your doings and see what's actually going on! I'm always surprised by how accurate this is!

    Same with the 'liar' thing. I had an N-Boss who ROUTINELY called me a liar! I never lied at all! I didn't even have anything to lie ABOUT, frankly! It hurt SO MUCH to be accused like that (Satan the Accuser always springs to mind!).

    But when I turn the projection around, I see that SHE'S the liar. She really was dishonest, so I'm sure it fit her better than me! That's the trick I've learned - anything a Narc goes crazy over, any grand accusation they make while in a 'state' is VERY telling as to what's actually going on INSIDE THEM!

    There's that old saying that what you most object to in others is what you object to in yourself. Narcs take it to an extreme and project their issues right onto whatever target they feel like. This thought brings me comfort - it's less to do with me and everything to do with their illness!

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  4. Wow, I had never thought of that before. Thanks for the epiphany! I'm learning something new every day and it's awesome. ;)
    Isn't it dreadful??? Being called a liar and called out on so-called 'lies' is now my biggest fear! It's what gets me anxious more than anything else and now, since my dealings with the N's, I feel I read into things so much easier. It sucks so much when you're blamed for something and every lie the N's ever said comes back to haunt you! I'm constantly second-guessing myself and my intentions although before the N's I knew I was a good person, never lied intentionally and wanted the best for everyone. Crazy how these people can send you on mind trips about yourself!
    Next time I hear those voices nagging me, I'll remember what you said about projection. It's really so true!

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