Am posting this old email exchange so that you all can see what it was like for me trying to talk and have a relationship with my NHS. Crazy making? Do bears you-know-what in the woods?
(To try and keep everything separate, I will put little lines between each email and post NHS' emails in blue.)
Thank you so much for your email. It meant a lot to me.
I think a lot of my reactions lately have been because I'm so raw emotionally. After so many years of putting up with my dad and SM's crap (and mom's and SJ's) its gotten to be that my nerves are so raw that I sometimes react defensively and take things out of proportion. I've always been very sensitive but it's gotten to be even more so lately. My greatest regret is that, somewhere along the line, you began to feel that you couldn't count on me to be there for you when you need me. Strange when I think about it how, to me, I've always thought I was doing the right thing and yet, it got so messed up somehow, usually by my going overboard and not knowing when to stop.
I was thinking of not coming to the hospital but only because I didn't want to cause you any extra stress when I figured you'd already be under plenty of stress having just given birth and all. I was planning to come see the baby though. I figured I'd sneak in and see her and maybe have the nurse deliver some flowers or something to you. However, I would very much like to be there so long as it's okay with you. I just want to do what's best for you so, even though it would hurt my feelings to not be there, if it would be better for you not to have me there I truly would understand. I know I'd feel tense if the situation were reversed. If you're sure you don't mind, I'll do my best to be there. It just depends on mom and whether or not you guys want us to watch dn (dear nephew).
Speaking of dn, I completely understand your not feeling comfortable leaving him overnight with anyone. I think I'd feel the same way if I were in your shoes. It's completely up to you - if you want us to keep him, that is fine by us, we'd love to have him. Now that I know your true feelings, there's no cause for me to feel hurt or slighted anymore, so it's entirely up to you and I will understand and respect anything you choose.
As for why I haven't come over to see dn, like you, I've been under a ton of stress lately and didn't need to add anymore to my already full plate. Also, I didn't want to fight with you anymore. 1) You don't need that, 2) I don't need that and 3) dn doesn't need to be around that tension and all. I've thought so many times about coming over there anyways, but I always stopped because I just couldn't take anymore crap. Not necessarily from you either. The majority of my stress lately has been from my dad and SM and there have been a few days when I honestly felt like one more thing and I was going to go over the edge and have a breakdown.
I love you, NHS. I truly do and I've missed having you in my life. I miss the talks and the email conversations (the good ones, LOL!) My hope is that some day, when we both have children (and before then too) that we will be able to spend time together as one family. These past few years I've begun to realize just how important family is to a person and I want my future children to know you and BIL and your children. There are sure to be times when they won't feel they can come to dh and I and it would mean so much to me if you were there for them to go to.
One thing I want to be sure you know...I think you are a great mom and wife and that your children and husband are so very lucky to have you in their lives. I also think you're a wonderful sister, despite the recent upset between us. I hope that someday soon, you will feel the same way about me. I'm truly, truly sorry for any pain or stress or upset I may have caused you. Particularly with regard to dn's baptism - I'm sorry. I'm sorry I hurt you, I'm sorry you felt disrespected by me and, above all, I'm sorry that I've caused you to feel unloved by me. I hope you can forgive me.
Love you much,
Yes, I do feel I have been let down by you several times. I finally realized it wasn’t ever going to change so why bother being in a relationship with you? Whenever I asked for help or expected you to stand behind me, you weren’t there. Yes, the baptism is part of it, but only a part. I do know the details I gave you, and was very hurt that you didn’t show up. Whether or not it was because of hurt feelings, you should have been there for dn’s special day. I know you had back pain, and I understand that. I do know that you could have at least attempted to come and not call seconds before we were to walk out the door. That was very inconsiderate and put me in a stressed out mode because I had to get someone to fill your shoes at the last minute. Your name is on the baptism records. I haven’t talked the church about changing it because I didn’t know that I was able to. I was very hurt by practically being “dumped” by you. It hurt, but mostly I felt hurt for dn. I am very protective over him. You didn’t really do this to me, you did that to him. I hope that now you understand why I was so upset. You can understand why I can’t “get over it already” now…maybe?
I wasn’t able to take your attempts at an apology seriously, because I heard from family members that you were telling them I was forbidding you from seeing dn. That wasn’t true, and I couldn’t understand why you would say something like that about me when you knew it wasn’t true. You may have felt it was true…but really I didn’t forbid you from seeing him and you could have called and asked. So I couldn’t forgive you knowing this. It is like, you wouldn’t accept an apology from someone for stealing from you, if they will still stealing from you behind your back…you know?
I know your dad and SM give you stress. Knowing how they are though, you should not let it get to you so much that it effects how you treat other people. Especially people that don’t deserve to be treated in a bad way. I feel people don’t ruin your life, you allow people to ruin your life.
Like I have been saying since last year, I don’t hate you. I feel no need to hurt you or cause you pain. I just simply don’t trust you and am afraid to have a relationship with you. I don’t feel weird around you at all. I lived with you growing up for goodness sakes. So you shouldn’t feel weird around me. We just simply don’t have that sisterly relationship. We had something before all this started, but it was always full of hurt feelings. I never tell people when I am hurt and this was the first time, because it wasn’t just me you hurt it was dn. Things you would say or do or not do, hurt me. Yes I know it’s hard for you to know that if I don’t voice my opinion….but sometimes I just feel people should know what hurts others, I mean some of it is just pure common sense.
You are welcome to come to the hospital, I told mom the other day..if you were there, I know you’de kick out people that bugged me.
This is the first real apology that I have gotten and I appreciate it. That is all I wanted. A true heart felt apology, not a “well sorry if you were hurt but it is your fault” type apology that I got that last time.
I just want you to prove to me that I can count on you more. You have said some nasty things to me over the years, I really don’t think I have done that to you. When I asked you what was the worst thing I have ever done to you or said…you said years ago I called you a slut…I mean before the nasty letter I wrote you…if that was the meanest thing I have ever done to you, than consider yourself lucky. I always kept my feelings inside when you hurt me because I would rather stay hurt inside than hurt someone else.
None of what I just wrote is meant to be mean or cocky. It is hard to know how someone means something when it is written, but this isn’t written to be mean honest. I am not mad or anything at all. Since you probably fell a sleep by now, here are the cliff notes:
Don’t think every decision I make is only to hurt you, Don’t assume I am mad at you, and last I just ruined my dinner.
Firstly, I'm sorry you ruined your dinner. LOL
Secondly, I guess I understand your feelings. I just hope that someday soon, you will be able to let the past go and move on with me. I know it will take time and you will have to begin to feel you can trust me again, but I hope it does happen sometime soon.
With regards to the baptism, I just want to say one thing and then I promise I'll shut up - I don't expect you to ever forget your hurt/anger at me but I do hope that you can forgive me for it now, for yourself as well as for me. That is what I meant when I said to "get over it", though I'll admit I could have said it better.
I also want to be sure you know that I still have a lot of pain with my back. Sure, I'm having more good days than bad nowadays, but it can change in an instant. One day I can be running out in the yard with the dog and helping dh with yard work and the next day (or ten, LOL) I can be bedridden and in considerable pain. I'm telling you this so that you will know, the next time I tell you I can't do something or be there to help you because my back is in terrible pain that I am being sincere and not lying and saying it to get out of helping you or to push you aside.
That said, if you need any help the next few days or once the baby is born - if you need groceries, need help with dn or the baby, etc. - please don't hesitate to call and ask me. If I am able to get over there and help you then I will. (Had I read your response earlier, I'd have brought you some dinner to replace the one that burnt. *winking smiley*)
As for the delivery, I don't need to be there for that and I can understand why you'd want your privacy at that time. (Between you and me, I'll probably do the same thing when I have a baby some day. Who wants your mother in law looking at yer privates?) Just have BIL give us a call when you are ready to have visitors and we will come up to see you. Also, if you need us to watch dn or if you need me to sit with you for a couple hours so that BIL can go home with dn and take a nap/shower/whatever I can do that too.
I won't ask you to go back to the way things were before and I won't ask you to forgive me right now and to act like everything is a-ok. That's not realistic and I know this. But please, at least give me the opportunity of a second chance. Allow yourself to be open-minded enough to realize that a) people can change and that b) they will still sometimes make mistakes despite their good intentions. As God is my witness, I swear to you that I have never set out to hurt you or cause you any pain. I know that I'm not perfect, but then, who among us is, right? I'll tell you right now that I will still probably say/do the wrong thing from time to time and I need to know that you get that and understand it.
Take care and good luck with the labor! I'll pray that it happens tonight or tomorrow because I'm sure you're past ready for it to happen already!
P.S. Is there anything I can say or do that might help get things going in the right direction for us besides the obvious? If so, please let me know!
The only thing I don’t agree with you saying is the part where you are basically promising me you’ll hurt me again, due to the fact you’re not perfect. Well I don’t expect anyone to be perfect. Just because you’re warning me of this though, doesn’t and won’t excuse any bad behavior. I do remember in the past you used that as an excuse and it made me a little angry. It is like you say, I am not perfect I know I will hurt you again, just to have room for error.
A guy and girl start dating, the girl says…you know dude I am not perfect and I can promise you I will hurt you. So I am just warning you, so when it happens don’t get mad. Doesn’t make for a good relationship does it? That is how I feel when you say that. It is like…..you don’t start off a relationship thinking or saying you’ll end up hurting that person. If you think that strongly about it, than why bother entering into one? I know I am not perfect, and there may be something I do that pisses you off…but I don’t set out with that frame of mind. It is like you’re setting yourself up for failure. It makes me feel that you’re thinking..hey if I warn her that gives me room to do whatever I want and she can’t be mad..b/c hey I warned her. You know what I mean? I have heard you say that to others to, and then when you do end up hurting them, you have acted like it wasn’t your fault…b/c you’re like I am not perfect and they knew this. (**Note from me - THIS NEVER HAPPENED. NHS has often claimed she "remembers" me saying or doing so and so and I have NO idea what she's talking about because it never happened.) Do you think you’re that bad or do you think you have such a problem w/ hurting people you have to say this? Not trying to hurt your feelings, I just want to know what is in your head. Like what is behind this comment, ya know?
I ate my dinner anyway, wasn’t that great.
I know you have back pain that limits you from doing things. Before I fixed mine w/ stretches and atkins, I was miserable at times with pain. I still did things for people though. I was referring to a time when you said you couldn’t do something for someone, either it was me or mom, and then in the same conversation with you…you were like..ok I am going to go shower and go up to wal mart…I was like…..huh? You’ve said stuff like that before, and that is why I said the stuff about giving excuses using your back or something else. Then you turn around and go shopping. (**Note from me - another thing NHS claims to know or "remember me saying/doing" that NEVER happened.) It made me feel, ok you don’t want to help us out, but you are fine to go out shopping. Not trying to start anything here, just giving you the reason why I made that comment.
Well the doctor said I am not dilated and my cervix isn’t even ripe…..I will have to start having tests done next week to make sure her fluid and placenta are still working. Guess the further along you get, the less the stuff inside the uterus works. Scary. She just seems to be taking her good old time.
Again, this isn’t meant to hurt your feelings. I wanted to be honest and give you the reasons behind my thinking. This is just how I interpret your actions, and am giving you the chance to explain. I don’t think you’ll remember any of this, so from now on I can be direct and let you know as they happen if you want me to.
You misunderstand. I'm not saying that I'm definitely going to hurt you, as in, I'm going to set out to mess up and/or cause you pain. What I meant was that I am only human and, being that I am not perfect, I will likely mess up from time to time. In my personal experience with people, particularly with family, it's as if they expect me to be perfect and accomodating at all times. That isn't realistic. We all have times where we say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing - sometimes intentionally, most times not - and I'm just stating the obvious, that I will likely make mistakes.
To say it better, it's like this - I don't want you to enter into a relationship with me having unrealistic expectations. There are still going to be times when I disagree with you and I will say to you, "I don't agree with that." I won't just lie to you and say, "Yeah I agree" just so you won't feel hurt or stressed. Not because I don't care whether or not you get hurt but because I have to be true to myself and not sell myself out just to please everyone else. (**Note from me - How ironic that all the while I'm saying I won't sell myself out, that is EXACTLY what I'm doing at this time in my life by bending over backward just so NHS will accept me as her sister.)
There are also likely to be times when I'll be trying my best to do the right thing and will fumble, it happens to all of us. Surely there are times in your life, looking back, where you've said to yourself, "That was silly/wrong/stupid/etc. of me. I should have done ____ instead." If and when that happens with me, I don't want you to turn around and use it against me and say, "See? I knew you'd just hurt me again! Didn't I tell everyone!!! Why did I bother?" all because I made one innocent mistake. If you love me and care about me and truly want a relationship with me, then you'll make allowances for the small stuff. Does that make sense?
Anyhow, that's what's in my head. To sum up, I'm not saying that I'm definitely going to hurt you on purpose at some point, I'm just saying that in all relationships, people sometimes say or do the wrong thing. It's a normal part of life, and unavoidable, seeing as none of us are perfect.
On a side note, something that I find really strange is the fact that we are both feeling a lot of the same things and yet are somehow on two completely different pages. Weird.
As per your last paragraph, yes, it would be good if you would call me on stuff as it happens. I can't change what I don't know about. But, just because someone tells me about something doesn't always mean that I will change myself to accomodate that person. To be sure, if I hurt your feelings, I will always be sorry about it. I love you and would never set out to intentionally hurt someone I care about. In fact, in the past, my usual behavior is to sacrifice my own well being to ensure the other person's happiness.
My therapist has been working with me to get me to stand up for myself and start doing what is best for me. For example, if someone comes to me and says, "You did ______ and it really hurt my feelings." I'm supposed to take some time to think about the behavior and decide whether or not I felt that I was wrong in doing/saying what I did and then decide whether or not it's change-worthy behavior. If I feel I was wrong and what I did is change-worthy, then I would take steps to ensure that I don't repeat that negative behavior again.
On the other hand, if I still feel I didn't do anything wrong, then I would go about my business. I might still apologize for hurting the other person's feelings though because, even though it was unintentional, it's not nice to hurt someone's feelings.
I hope all this makes sense to you.
Talk to you later,
UGH! I look back over these emails and my behavior makes me SICK to my stomach! I cannot believe how, even as I knew it was crazy to try and have a relationship with NHS, I continued to just smile and eat shit, say thanks and ask for another helping. If only I'd known then what I know now about NPD and all the manipulating and gaslighting that goes along with it, I could have saved myself a lot of trouble.
Oh well. At least it's all over and done with now. No more putting up with crazy-making shit from NHS anymore!