Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Sounds like a soap opera, and it’s really upsetting me.

Home Forums Advice & Chat Sounds like a soap opera, and it’s really upsetting me.

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  • #1109915 Reply

    When I was 8, my mom broke off contact with her mother, my grandmother, after a court-ordered psychiatrist determined that my grandmother was a borderline psychopath with a narcissistic personality disorder. I have not had any contact with her since. With the expectation of a letter I sent her when I was 22 after some repressed memories of her molestation resurfaced after going on a mental health retreat.

    Knowing her diagnosis, I sent a copy of the letter to all my mom’s family members for whom I have contact details to prevent my grandmother from twisting my word to make herself the victim, which is what narcissists do.

    I know it isn’t in my head has in the years since two of my aunts, my mother, and one other cousin have also come forward with stories of her sexually abusing them as children. I am. However, the only man in the family to have come forward with a novel thus far, though I guess it is perhaps something men may be less comfortable admitting? I was also ill a lot as a child, so that I might have been an easier target than the other boys.

    I have processed what happened to me, and I no longer harbour hatred for what happened to me. I know my grandmother is messed up because her father was the same way – it has come to light through some research. There are accusations of him abusing children throughout his life, although he never faced charges. He grew up in a concentration camp and was the only member of his family to survive, except for his father, who never went to the camps. I guess that as a result of the abuse he suffered, he also had some personality disorder, much like my grandmother.

    Over the past few weeks, my uncle called me multiple times to talk about his dreams where my grandfather has supposedly been appearing to him, asking him to look after my grandmother and help her find forgiveness. He thinks it’s a message from God, which makes no sense as despite the fact my grandfather was a decent man (or so I’m told he died before I was born), he was a devout atheist.

    Today my uncle rang again—this time to tell me that there had been a discovery regarding my grandmother’s finances. One of my aunts has supposedly kept an investment my grandfather had upon his death secret.

    Now this story doesn’t make sense for two reasons. Firstly, the aunt in question was not the aunt that was executor of my grandfather’s estate, so it is unlikely that she would have had the ability to hide any money. Secondly, my grandfather passed away in the late 80s so I doubt any money could have been kept secret this long.

    The thing is there is a family wedding coming up this year and the cousin who’s a wedding it is has, because he chooses to be financially dependent on her, decided to invite my grandmother.

    In addition to not inviting me (which I don’t care about – would not have gone), he also didn’t invite my other cousin who has come out about my grandmother abusing her. He and his sister also sent her a nasty letter telling her how terrible a person she is and why she can’t come, which has upset everyone in the family because she has really been struggling mentally over the last few years. Now no one wants to go.

    My uncle is a very damaged person who likes to pretend that we are all one big happy family, despite the fact that we are all deeply broken people. He was very unloved growing up due to the manipulations of my grandmother. I think he has made up the story about the money because he is trying to get me and my mom to talk to my grandmother again. I think in his head everything was fine up until my mom broke off contact, which it wasn’t. Everyone was just suffering in silence. I don’t care about an inheritance, and neither does my mother. We don’t want my grandmother in our lives.

    Why is my uncle lying to me? Does he really think the promise of money will make us talk to her again? I have forgiven her, but letting her in would be toxic. I know it would be. How do I get him to stop trying to play stupid mind games? or am I going to have to cut him out of my life as well? He is the only member of my extended family I have any sort of regular contact with, but it’s upsetting hearing obvious manipulations. He literally told me the investment was worth 100 million USD. I mean it’s an obvious lie.

    #1109918 Reply

    Yes, that’s an obvious lie. When the manipulative stories about his dreams didn’t work, he switched tactics and tried to tempt you with a ridiculously laughable amount of money that doesn’t exist.

    You may have to cut him out of your life to get him to stop the mind games. Have you tried telling him calmly that you don’t want to hear this stuff and either hanging up or changing the subject? Like, engage him when he’s talking about normal uncle stuff but disengage when he starts with this shit about your grandmother. If that doesn’t work then yes, you may have to stop taking his calls.

    What’s your therapy situation?

    #1109919 Reply

    I have thought about hanging up a few times, but haven’t yet developed the stones to do it. I worry that things will escalate with my mother’s family if I do. The last thing I need is that. One of them broke into my parent’s place when I was a teenager, they are nuts. The last thing I need is one of them flying out to where I am and refusing to leave. I don’t have the energy to deal with them in person.

    My therapy situation at present is none existent. I stopped seeing my psychologist in Nov 2020 as it wasn’t improving my quality of life anymore. My mental health has been stable up until this year as well but with everything starting to open back up again I am starting to find things difficult.

    I did go see my doctor for a referral back to psychiatric services this week though and he has also arranged a CT scan as I have been having really bad headaches for the last three months so he wants to be sure that the change in mood isn’t because of something physical.

    Thank you for responding.

    #1109920 Reply

    I think you need to put great distance between yourself and a lot of your family, but definitely your uncle. You can not answer his calls. You can block his number. If anyone shows up where you live and you’re unhappy they are there and they won’t leave, call the police. You don’t owe your abusive, sick family anything. You can remove yourself from them as much as possible and feel happier. It is possible.

    I would encourage therapy again. Glad you’re seeing a Dr soon.

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