The way things are

Lately I've been pulling at random thoughts and trails in my mind, hoping to get at something I have yet to cover on this blog. I want to keep writing but may be turning more internally in the future- how my husband and I have gotten through this- how it's affected us each in our own way- helpful tips on being married to an ACoN or for the person with the family of origin that has the problem- to better understand their spouse and how they fit into the mix.

DH and I have some big questions still unanswered. I'm not sure they ever will be answered. I thought to write them out here just the same. If you have insight or wish to say something, please feel free to comment as usual. It may just help me process everything a little better.

Lately I've been stuck in the land of WTF- I know why sociopaths do what they do- I know they mean to do it- and yet I cannot fathom in my inlaw's response to this whole thing or their blind stupidity to see the truth. After all- how many idiots does it really take to totally miss the mark and keep playing like a broken record at us??

DH and I have not hidden anything in the past year, often letting the truth out when necessary to the flying monkeys. We're both sick of hiding. And yet something about the lack of closure has me going in circles in my head.

Will they try to show up at our home someday? Have we really heard the last of them? Doubtful. I have yet to check our PO box but the lack of anything at all related to Christmas and our first anniversary was pretty telling.

I don't understand how his parents keep lying outright. We want you in our lives- we don't know why you're doing this- we love you- etc. etc. Same old song. We don't know what we've done.

UM- excuse me? DH told you all EXACTLY what you did and how that was not right or appropriate. That was over a YEAR ago. At that time he also demanded an apology for me and told them he didn't want a relationship with them while they remain in that mindset of stubborn non-acknowledgement. Why do they keep saying they have no idea why we're doing it? Also over the past year and a half DH has explicitly written out the details- what he expects from them if they ever want a relationship. He has told them clearly that he is keeping me and him and our baby away from them for this reason. He cannot risk them treating us the same again and is keeping his family safe from his parents.

And yet still- silence- we miss you- we want you back- why aren't you talking to us? I don't get it. They understand. They KNOW- they have been told outright a number of times how they could make it better and yet they don't.


DH is sad and angry and doesn't want to see them again, in his words he can't think of them without feeling sick so seeing them again is not possible for him, much less desirable. He cannot fathom why 'the good son' was shunned and accused of everything. How they could be so cruel to him/us.

I don't know how to help him sometimes. I think it's clear they do not miss him or love him- they do not want a relationship with him because they have forfeit any chance of that in the past. They want him back as a pawn. To use him. To have the 'brag rights' to their first grandchild, to have a space on the mantle for another trophy made out of human bones of their children. To control. They miss control. They do not miss him.

They are now reaping what they've sown. Adult children simply don't cut off loving, respectful parents. They just don't. No one was brainwashed. No one suddenly changed and went rogue on them. They have planted the seeds of bitterness, hatred, abuse- little wonder why we exterminated them out of the garden of marriage and new life together we are trying to create.

As long as they're breathing, they are lying.  I simply don't understand how people can act so goddamn stupid after having everything spelled out for them more clearly than if they were unable to read, write or think for themselves. The truth doesn't get much clearer than that. Do they really think we're that stupid to ever accept their remarks as truth? To ever for a moment believe they really love DH and want what's best for him? What the heck are they holding onto? We're gone- long gone- there's no redeeming that relationship. It simply can never be.


  1. [Sigh] In my experience, they wait and lurk and hang out until they think it will hurt you the most, or you'll be the most unaware of their presence, and then they come running out of the shadows to perform a quick judo chop to your throat before running away again and hiding behind a rock. That's just their way. Your in-laws aren't done. They're just waiting for something.

  2. You know, you do have the answers here. But I go through the same process. I ask why, then I sort of answer myself or find the answers. And then I ask why again. I don't think we'll ever really understand. Narcs think in a completely different way - I mean, I relate it kind of to the way a person who is really good at math views the world. I swear, they see the world in terms of numbers and equations and no matter how hard I try...hell, even if I learned all the same stuff they know about numbers, I STILL wouldn't be able to see things their way. My brain just doesn't work that way.

    This --> "They miss control. They do not miss him." is right on the money. I have come to that same conclusion many times, and it's always strengthened whenever DH's parents come out of the wood work to test the boundaries of NC.

  3. ^^ thanks for commenting, Jonsi! I totally understand where you're coming from. I ask myself 'why' and then go in circles again and again. I find the answer but then I think- that can't be it- that doesn't make sense for anyone to think that way- then I realize they're simply 'out there' enough to believe it. My mind can't wrap around them or their thought process. I wish I could put a permanent 'stop' sign in my brain to end the cycle of thinking when it starts.
    I have a feeling they're all going to pop out like nightmarish ghouls when the baby is born in just three more months. I have no idea how though. They don't know where we live or even have our phone numbers. It has me on edge that I know they're going to attack again but I don't know how to prepare for it. Besides frosting my windows and putting up thick blinds in all ground-level windows just in case they show up.

  4. Popping out like nightmarish ghouls - sounds like a horrible version of whack-a-mole! I've been having the same feeling lately. It's like waiting for the other shoe to drop. I know it's not a matter of if, but when... It's such a hard feeling to deal with! It's like watching a scary movie, and you're not even at the scary part yet, but you know it's coming at some point so you're already on edge.

    I wish I could tell you "Oh hon' don't worry about all that." But sorry I'm a realist - somehow,somewhere they'll find a way to get a message to you. Don't be afraid of it (easier said than done), just keep your guard up. I've had to work really hard over the past year to learn how to stay guarded and prepared, yet a little less on edge/panicky.

    After getting a message passed to me from my parents through someone I barely knew (I had only met them 2 or 3 times), I did a little digging and found that they shared mutual friend with my parents. A little more digging revealed that said mutual friend was a cop in my area, and I. Freaked. Out. NF is such a smooth talker - I got this image in my head of him pouring out his sob story and finagling my address from the cop, then showing up at my house... I know, highly unlikely, but at this point I've realized that there is no rulebook with them. Any and all gameplans have gone out the window and I'm flying by the seat of my pants. I actually did put up curtains in all my ground level windows. I felt completely crazy for doing it, but they won't stay up forever. I needed the peace of mind at the time - we had just moved into our new house and I was so sick of checking the driveway every time I heard an unfamiliar noise.

    "We want you in our lives- we don't know why you're doing this- we love you- etc. etc. Same old song. We don't know what we've done." My parents have said the exact same things, verbatim. (it's like there's a secret textbook on all of this we don't know about?)

    The hardest part is accepting that things aren't going to change. I was just thinking this morning about how hard it is to sit on my hands and hold my tongue and not reply to NF's most recent "We hope you will forgive us for whatever it is you think that we did". But it's like talking to a brick wall. No how matter how long you talk, or how loud you scream your side of the story, they'll never hear you. You're absolutely right - they just want their little trophy back.

    1. Hey Grey,

      Just wanted to give a word of warning to you and everyone else with scary
      N parents or N in-laws.

      From personal experience, I have learned that my own narcissistic in-laws love to
      hire private detectives. They hired one to follow my brother in law when he was in college and they have binoculars and other items so that they can spy on their
      neighbors at night 'for fun'. My MIL has broken into my husband's email account
      on more than one occasion. My FIL has snidely said that the private detectives
      they hire are so good no one even knows they are being followed.

      Now, does this make me live in paranoia?


      I literally live a life that follows the 10 commandments to a 'T' and so
      I have nothing to worry about.

      Does this irritate and anger me?

      YES!!! and to no end...

      Another word of warning. I have recently discovered there are companies
      online who allow people to remotely download spy software to another
      person's cellphone. This spy software allows the person who downloaded
      it to hear and see everything that person does. Some of the vendors of
      the spy software also say it is undetectable.

      Now, this worries me because I do not want my in-laws to hear every
      single detail of my private and intimate conversations with my husband.
      That seems like an incredible violation on many levels. But, the other
      reason it worries me is because we know narcissists are famous for
      gathering knowledge on people so they can play with them emotionally.

      Just wanted to warn everyone out there to change their email passwords
      and to also check their cellphones for any suspicious activity.

    2. I agree with this! ^^^ The N's have frequently pumped us through direct contact or through flying monkeys for contact information since our move. DH doesn't even call extended fam without using the *67 trick that blocks his new number from being shown. Also, no one in his home state, even friends from college or people who live hours closer to them than we do- have our actual home address. We've started to use our PO box for everything except important bills and the like.

    3. Yikes! I'd read something about the spyware for cell phones, but I thought someone had to physically take your phone to install it. I guess more research is in order. One thing my DH and I learned the hard way: use your PO box for everything. Never give out your home address. Do everything you possible can to keep it private. Once it's out there it's hard to control where it goes. My NMIL and NFIL hired private detectives and eventually found DH and I and we had been pretty careful with our information. The only thing we gave our home address out for was the service address for cable/internet since we pay utilities through our landlord. Maybe one could explain the situation to the cable company and request the service address be withheld from their database. Don't know if that would work, but it's worth the time to make a phone call and write a letter. Also, our cell phone numbers were private and one of the private investigators called me and left a message to call him back. I looked up his # and figured out he was a PI. I decided to return his call anyway. He pretended he didn't remember calling me, addressing me by name and leaving his name and # asking me to call him back. Oh brother.... My attitude is that the N's finding us (next time we move) is probably inescapable....but if they are going to stalk and harass us, we're going to do our best to make it difficult and to make them pay through the nose for the information. That's really all that we can do. Just be smart and think things through to protect ourselves from the unreasonable, invasive jerks. -J

  5. Whack a mole indeed! I'd pay to play that game with the in laws :)
    "The hardest part is accepting that things aren't going to change. I was just thinking this morning about how hard it is to sit on my hands and hold my tongue and not reply to NF's most recent "We hope you will forgive us for whatever it is you think that we did". But it's like talking to a brick wall. No how matter how long you talk, or how loud you scream your side of the story, they'll never hear you. You're absolutely right - they just want their little trophy back."
    Amen ^^ I completely understand. I will nut-proof the ground windows just in case! It's so hard to relax when you know something is about to happen. I hope in time that gets easier. thanks for sharing and great insight! Amazing how it's all textbook answers from them, isn't it? If anything it just solidifies my resolve that they really can be predicted never to change. :/

  6. The "Why?" stuff they're putting out there is a smoke-'n-mirrors "cover." It functions as a "CYA" denial of reality and places *them* in the "Victim" position in the Karpman Triangle, and you particularly as the "Persecutor." (Another way to think of it is the DARVO paradigm.) And as a patently disingenuous way of attempting to provoke a response/engage you and DH: Any "response" is better than none in their screwed up world.
    Psychob was an affluent woman and was able to employ PIs to find me no matter how carefully I attempted to keep my residence/employment "unavailable." Among other perverse tactics, she contacted the Social Security Administration who then sent a letter to my place of EMPLOYMENT. Which was "accidentally" opened by one of the support staff. She also used private non-profits to "locate" me. The reality is, Gracie, sad to say but anyone who is intent on finding you will. I'm sorry, Little One. One of the responses that was helpful for me for ex: when the cops came banging down my door in the middle of the night doing a "Wellness Check" at Psychob's onus many years post NC was to refer to her as my "biological mother" and the same term at my place of Employment. Believe me, verbage *counts* and referring to them as "Biological Parents" is absolutely useful in dealing with others.
    I'm aware of other (very smart) ACoNs/Spouses who pre-birth, met with the folks on the Maternity Floor/Labor and Delivery with pix of potential Perps. When they arrived at the Hospital, they checked in under an assumed name. They did NOT allow a birth announcement to appear in any "newspaper" or to be printed anywhere. I would strongly suggest you and DH consider these steps and please do not think for a second there haven't been other parents who haven't taken the same steps. Giving these folks a "Heads-Up" ensures the birth of your little one and your home-coming will be peaceful, quiet and a true bonding period for all of you. The staff at the Hospitals are very protective of their new Mommies and Daddies as well as their babies. They want you to have the best possible birthing experience, a time of true joy, peace and wonder as you, DH and baby share your love and new life together.
    Gracie, I'm just so excited for you and DH: Please don't allow anything to interfere with your joy! With a lil' pre-birth "prep" it surely will be a joyous time.
    And yes, FWIW in my experience, it DOES get better. Really. The end of this story has not been written by any means.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement :) I've already covered our hospital stay- no one will be able to even know we're checked in during our stay. I also want a strict no-guest or visitor rule unless hubby or I state otherwise. I thought about sending the N's a stock photo of some random kid and making up a name to go with it. I'm not sure what we're going to do post-birth. :/ There are those in the fam who I believe are flying monkeys but also may be happy for us as I don't know where their loyalty lies. Hubby wants to send a birth announcement with name/newborn picture to these people but NOT his close family. I'm debating whether to tell them anything at all. I'm not sure if we'll see any of them again. I'm not sure how far to go in keeping our son's face/name private from even the extended family. Part of me doesn't want any of them to know what he looks like or his name lest they track him down at school one day. :( I'm certainly putting privacy blinds in the baby's room- unfortunately this overlooks the front of our house. I've thought about switching rooms so our baby will have the one at the back of the house and therefore not have the room easiest to spy into. Gosh. So many details. I'm trying to find the ballance between being paranoid and living our lives normally.
      I don't want to live in fear but I'm fearful of what they may try. I wouldn't put them above trying to abduct our kid from school, other outtings in the future although they are 6 hours away. I don't want to be overprotective of him either. :/

  7. Gracie,
    Something I have noticed about family dynamics when there is at least one narcissist in a family. (But this dynamic seems to be even more common when there is more than one
    narcissist in a family). These types of families have developed very unhealthy ways
    of inter-relating. In order to keep the family machine running relatively smoothly (since
    Ns cause chaos) these types of families use 'scape-goating' to keep a kind of equilibrium
    within the sick family dynamic. The scapegoat they usually appoint is the person within the
    family who is the most emotionally healthy and who therefore rebels against the sick
    family dynamic. So, when you have two narcissistic parents, they will usually have an
    N child who wholeheartedly supports them and a sane child who attempts to leave the
    family of origin through rebellion, or setting boundaries, or moving 3,000 miles away.
    The family usually rallies together and attack the sane but rebellious family member.
    They can be heard analyzing the sane person's behavior among themselves all day long
    and their mantra usually goes something like: "I don't know why (fill in the blank) wants
    to hurt us so!" When the sane person gets a clue and finally goes NO CONTACT, the
    Ns feel very lost for several reasons: 1) They have lost control of a person 2) The
    scapegoat has left and this shakes up the family equilibrium at the core, and
    3) The scapegoat has taken back their own power (which relates to loss of control
    but is slightly different).

    So, when the sane family member goes no contact, these are the reasons Ns
    want that person back and make grandiose attempts. They want the sick family
    dynamic back to the way it was since the absence of this person rocks the very
    family system to the core. If the scapegoat doesn't return, the Ns start turning
    on each other OR they are literally forced to come face to face with Truth.
    Now, they will attempt to deny Truth and will come up with some pretty insane
    reasoning to do so, but deny Truth now becomes more difficult. This makes the
    Ns life very hard.

    So, in addition to needing to control, they also need the family scapegoat to be
    actively engaged in the family drama in order to keep the family dynamic
    comfortable for them. They get to act out their worst qualities...

    1. This makes a lot of sense, Leah- thanks for commenting! It's really helpful for me to read other's opinions, too. I agree with you and don't think it's possible for them to change in the future. Especially, like you said, if there is more than one N in the family. (there are many- 6 if you count direct family- maybe more on the outskirts)
      I've seen this behavior first-hand myself. DH's momster saying over the phone (yellling to DH so I overheard it quite easily)- that I was controlling everything, controlling him, etc, etc. That time they came down to 'meet' us and I did not want to meet in private. Later that same night she told me to my FACE that she would never 'dream I'd tell DH what to do, etc'. two faced lying bitch. It really makes me feel sick and I know perfectly well our names have been dragged through the mud over the past few years.
      I really think your comment will help my husband to read ( he reads all the posts/comments, too). I've often wondered if he will be the only scapegoat or if his younger siblings will ever shame the family the same way he has- by getting out of it. Dh has tried so hard to better his last name in an area where it's well-known. Everyone always knew he was the good kid of the family and the others were people to 'watch out for' according to DH. I really see the entire N-empire up north falling down in shambles after NFIL dies. His health is not great. He is the glue keeping the family company together though and I feel the rest of the family will be bankrupt after his death. They're too stupid to pick up the peices and make something of themselves without it. I honestly see most of them turning into sour, bitter, dirt-poor elderly people who have raised kids who hate them or are just like them. In some ways DH and I both want to be successful- to rub their faces in it if you will. Probably not the best motivation but I really feel that someday this will happen. Maybe then I will change my name to Dh's last name. I know he's thankful no one knows him by his last name here in this town. He's making a good name for us/our son and I'm so proud of that!

  8. Well, your prediction of the family's suture seems 100% correct. Just be sure
    you guys are far away when the family empire falls apart or you may have a few
    newly bankrupt family members moving in with you. (Or calling constantly
    for financial bail-outs).

    The other thing you might want to look in to would be books that are written for
    the adult children of alcoholics. Though it seems you are primarily dealing with
    a family of narcissists, the dynamic created within the narcissistic family
    is pretty much identical to the dynamic created in alcoholic homes. Adult children
    of alcoholics (who are not chemically dependent) also suffer in the same way as
    the adult children of narcissists who did not follow in a parent's narcissistic
    footsteps. But, the main reason I mention the ACOA books is because they
    draw upon a more thoroughly researched area. The field of psychology has only
    caught on (within the last 10 years) to the extreme problems that adult children
    of narcissists have later in life. Therefore, this specific subject does not have
    the years upon years of research behind it as of yet. Then, there is also the fact
    that many narcissists also have diagnosable chemical dependency issues, with
    alcohol seeming to be the most prevalent.

    Finally, came across an interesting article on psychology today about the
    dynamics of families where strong narcissism is present. The author
    provides a very succinct overview of what goes terribly wrong in narcissistic
    "In narcissistic families, this basic goal becomes skewed and the meeting of
    parental needs becomes of primary importance for the family. This twist generally
    takes place some time after infancy... In fact, it is mostly likely to occur some time
    after the child begins to differentiate him or her self from the parents and begins
    to assert their own needs. This normal developmental process is difficult for parents
    who are most concerned with fulfilling their own needs as a result of job stress, physical
    or mental disability, or lack of parenting skills, to name a few reasons. To compensate,
    the parents fight back, ignoring the child's needs and at the same time forcing the child
    to respond to their own by withholding attention and affection until they do so. In this
    way, the children's emotional needs go unattended and they are deprived of the
    opportunity to experience gradual independence and learn about themselves. Instead,
    they learn to wait to see what their parents expect and then react, negatively or positively,
    to those expectations."


  9. They will be moving in over my dead body! lol Oh my lord I don't see that ending well. ugh that IS sick. Mind if I use that bit from the article? I think I'm going to start a new post with more specifics. This post here has been very helpful for both hubby and I and I'd hate to loose great comments if people don't scroll through all this we've written. I'm learning a lot here.


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