Tit for Tat vs. Acceptance

I’ve made a big decision after The Wretched Day. It’s become clear to me my brother and SIL want nothing to do with me, to the point where I am dead to them. They have chosen to completely ignore me, to blank me as though I don’t exist. To catch readers up who may not know, I dared to stick up for myself to my SIL, first asking and then telling her to stop calling me boring, anti social, and no fun after I stopped drinking alcohol.

And you know what? Life is quieter without her in it. Calmer, no drama. I feel more me, without her narcissistic influence manipulating me. But on the flip side, I am incredibly hurt. It’s incomprehensible that two people I was so close to, can just cut me off like this. 

For the past eight months I have chosen civility. I’ve said hello when running into them, I’ve text to check they’re ok after our city experienced flooding, I’ve sent happy birthday wishes via Facebook for my nephew’s 5th birthday – it’s all been met with nothing, not an iota of acknowledgement.

So my big decision, after much soul searching, is to stop. My parents are putting pressure on me to continue trying but I have told them The Wretched Day was the final straw. I know they are disappointed in my decision, my Mum made that clear, and it irks me they aren’t putting the same pressure on my brother. But I’m standing my ground. The responsibility to “fix” this, isn’t mine alone. And this is my life and it is not serving me to keep up the effort, only to be blanked every time. It’s hurting me, it’s exhausting and it’s not congruent with the massive effort I am putting in, to get through my depression. It’s causing me deep pain.

It’s not about tit for tat behaviour, which it may appear as on the surface. It’s so much more than that. It’s about acceptance. Acceptance I cannot change them. Acceptance I cannot change the situation. Acceptance I cannot control anything, except myself and my thoughts. 

There is something quite freeing about my decision to accept all of this. My default setting as a people pleaser is short circuiting right now! But I am not responsible for making them happy so I can fulfil my people pleasing function. I don’t need to turn myself inside out over this any longer.

Sometimes the best action to take, is no action. Be still. Accept. This is where I am at, for now.

  
WG

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8 thoughts on “Tit for Tat vs. Acceptance

  1. GeeA says:

    I’ve had a dreadful family situation with SIL (my OH’s sister) and her husband too. SIL also has narcissistic tendencies – but she does it so sweetly. Anyway, long story short – I am the one that has cut them out of my life. Bare minimum of contact to nil now. The toxicity just got me down. I made some big life changes. Including counselling/therapy to help me deal with the toxic relationship. I felt so much better after that. Things were put into perspective by the therapist – my SIL is a clever manipulator and I now see her as she really is – finally. SIL has told lies about me to friends and family (I know this to be true) in an effort to garner their support against me and I don’t wish to have a relationship with someone that does that to me. It’s not honest. I accept that this relationship (35 years) has run its course. I won’t bow down either. Things are not going back to the way they were for me either. I like my new calm. I like not being part of their drama filled lives. I like not drinking with them. I like not drinking – full-stop. And I won’t ever start again either. Sadly, the extended family/friends that only know her version of events have made their choices too. And that includes ignoring me. Collateral damage. You are perfectly free to choose your friends and family. Your parents want peace and a happy family. They want you to back off and be the people pleaser again – that was me too. Never again for me. Finding acceptance is wonderful and so freeing. You are free to choose. This is your life. Not anyone else’s. If you haven’t had any counselling I would suggest you do. I had free sessions offered to me under our mental health system. Ask your GP about it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Water Girl NZ says:

      Hi GeeA, thanks for reading and your comment.

      Yes, my SIL also has rallied support from mutual “friends”, none of which have approached me to hear my side of the story. Wow, that hurt too. But I’m moving on. Albeit shakily.

      Our SIL’s have much in common. The subtle, sweet manipulation. You don’t even know it’s happening until afterwards.
      I’ve only ever acted and spoken with integrity. And I will continue my journey, without their weight on my shoulders.
      WG

      Liked by 1 person

      • GeeA says:

        Yep – I too have had the same with long time friends who did not ask what was what. Which I have come to accept too. I think keeping our own quiet counsel is for the best now. I also think that in due time ‘the sweet manipulators’ become obvious to others. Karma comes around too.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. ainsobriety says:

    I think you are choosing what’s best for you today. Putting your boundaries up to protect yourself is not wrong. It’s very smart.
    Hopefully a resolution will arise done day that works for all of you.
    And I only say that because I am a sucker for a happy ending. And I really believe love finds a way.
    But for now you deserve your own peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. examinedlife619 says:

    What’s going on with SILs!!!!??? 😊 When you said things are calmer now without her around but at the same time, it hurts… That’s me right now. I feel healthier now that I don’t talk to her but also sad that the relationship is gone. I somehow thought, if I speak my truth in a respectful and clear way, she will hear me and respect it and our relationship will be so much better!!!!! Haha. Errrr… Wrong!!!! Sadly, even if I communicate in a clear, assertive, yet loving way… It does not mean others will in turn do the same. Nope. When I told her I love you but you gotta stop talking bad about the family… End of relationship. That was it. My sister in law is toxic as well but looks like a sheep in wolfs clothing. She plays the victim so well.
    Every time I see her now, I get down and question myself. Because I’m such the peace keeping, over analyzer, I think it will be best for me to say hello and smile. At least do my part to acknowledge her. I get tripped up when I ignore her. I don’t like feeling that I did something wrong. I will say hello but keep my distance. I think it bothers me the most when I feel guilty. Two weekends ago, I had to see her. She didn’t say hello to me, so I didn’t say hello either!!! I ruminated on that for 2 days. I need to do my part and be nice or I’ll ruminate.

    I will be kind but also have courage.

    Like

    • Water Girl NZ says:

      Wow, a lot of similarity in our situations!!

      When I said hello, it was met with a blank stare. Eight months is a long time. I’ve done enough, I’ve done more than I’m happy with. Time to put those boundaries in place and protect myself.

      I look forward to the day I don’t wake up and fall asleep thinking about it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. kateh58 says:

    That sounds so clear, wise and decisive. The time has come. Often as we step back, it leaves a space for others to experience their own actions. I hope you can turn back to peace within every time you see them, or think about them. How do the children fit into this? Can you tell you parents it is time for them to leave you, & only approach your brother if they must do anything?
    Go well. Brave move XXXX

    Like

    • Water Girl NZ says:

      Thanks Kate. You’re right, the time has come. Enough. I’ve tried. Nothing I will do will EVER be enough in her eyes, since I dared to stand up for myself.

      That’s exactly what I will tell my parents to do. My heart goes out to them. They don’t need this in their last years. 😦

      Like

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