Author Topic: Be Confident and Strong  (Read 996 times)

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Offline Marina

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Be Confident and Strong
« on: April 13, 2017, 02:20:25 PM »
A quote from Pen in a previous thread:
I'm finding that my DIL treats  me with more respect when I approach her from a position of "power" meaning I'm not groveling or weak ("Why don't you like me? Here's a gift, please like me!") but confident and strong ("I'm fabulous! If you don't like me it's your loss. I'm off to my next adventure!") My husband still grovels a bit but I'm over it.

If I had to do things over, I would be sure to take on a confident and strong demeanor 

Offline Marina

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Re: Be Confident and Strong
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2017, 02:53:48 PM »
A quote from Pen in a previous thread:
I'm finding that my DIL treats  me with more respect when I approach her from a position of "power" meaning I'm not groveling or weak ("Why don't you like me? Here's a gift, please like me!") but confident and strong ("I'm fabulous! If you don't like me it's your loss. I'm off to my next adventure!") My husband still grovels a bit but I'm over it.


If I had to do things over, I would be sure to take on a more confident and strong demeanor at gatherings which also included my DS/DIL.  There were times in the past I felt so rejected, depressed and confused by DS/DIL's behavior towards me that I would show up in a very dejected state.  I think it is likely that DIL had maliciously spread lies about me to other people and my dejected appearance would have probably reinforced her story.  In hindsight, I would have come across as a much healthier and confident person if I had forced myself to be more outgoing and friendly with the people present.  I think I would have liked me better, too, if I had done that.  It certainly would not have given DIL the satisfaction of knowing she had hurt me.  I don't know if I will have another opportunity in the future with DS/DIL, but I hope someone reading this will benefit from my insight.     

Offline Marina

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Re: Be Confident and Strong
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2017, 02:55:50 PM »
Sorry, I somehow got kicked out of the first posting before I was finished. 

Offline Bamboo2

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Re: Be Confident and Strong
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2017, 07:51:12 PM »
I wouldn't be so hard on yourself about how you acted in the past, Marina.  I think there is a natural period of mourning, disequilibrium and adjustment before we can free ourselves and detach.  A natural inclination of many of us is doing or saying things to be liked, and when it doesn't work we just try harder.  What you would have liked to have done in retrospect is ideal, but human emotions can complicate even the best of intentions.  For me it took time, a broader perspective, and lessons I've picked up here at WWU to gain my sense of equilibrium and stop trying so hard to be liked, even by my own DD. Going forward (the only direction I have) I believe things will get easier for me.  For example, since my DD has chosen to spend Easter Day with another family, I'm going to travel to see a "heart daughter" who needs some mothering.  Since I want some "daughtering," it's a win-win  :)

Offline Marina

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Re: Be Confident and Strong
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2017, 09:15:51 PM »
Bamboo, I do feel that I'm going forward too.  It was a hellish few years not understanding why I was treated so unkindly by DS/DIL, but I have learned a lot in the past year and have regained my self-respect.  I have many more days now when I am genuinely "confident and strong." 

Offline Bamboo2

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Re: Be Confident and Strong
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2017, 09:46:04 PM »
So happy to hear that!  You definitely sound strong to me - wise, too.  Good for you!

Offline Marina

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Re: Be Confident and Strong
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2017, 04:33:39 PM »
I think the motivation for my post was a need to declare that I won't ever allow anyone else to treat me poorly, to make me feel like I am somehow "less than."  I had thought the problem was I somehow didn't measure up, but that was far from the truth!  I was a loving mother/MIL and grandmother, and my DIL wanted to make sure I was out of the picture or at least groveling.  In her world, love is a finite commodity and none can be spared for me.  DIL is a toxic person; I just didn't realize it at the time. 

Offline Pooh

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Re: Be Confident and Strong
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2017, 11:27:44 AM »
Here's one of my favorites Marina.  "Don't let someone rent space in your head that's not paying rent."  :)
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline Pen

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Re: Be Confident and Strong
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2017, 10:36:58 AM »
It's easy to slip into the role of "less than" if we're carrying baggage from childhood or past relationships or whatever. I have to be sure to check how I'm doing before contacting DS/DIL or my dad & SM. If I feel weak or lacking confidence I wait until I'm stronger. Sometimes they try to contact me when I'm not at my best, so I'll give an excuse (at work, heading out the door, busy w/a project, etc) and tell them I'll call back. We can be in control! Just as I wouldn't get in my car in an inebriated state, I try not to deal with difficult people when I'm lacking confidence or feeling off-center.

Meanwhile, I keep working on my lack of confidence. It gets better, as they say.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline Marina

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Re: Be Confident and Strong
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2017, 11:03:07 AM »
Pen, good point.  So as not to get caught off guard or vulnerable, I've learned to take my time before I respond to any communication from DS/DIL.  I need to sit with it and usually I get clarity.  Landmines are everywhere with them, so there really is no "perfect" response, just ways to protect myself and retain a position of strength and self-respect.    :(

Offline Marina

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Re: Be Confident and Strong
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2017, 11:07:16 AM »
Actually, happy  :) that I'm taking care of myself, but sad  :( that I've had to let go of DS/GC in order to do that. 

Offline Justbreathe

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Re: Be Confident and Strong
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2017, 11:04:24 AM »
I hear you, loud and clear. I feel so much the same, Marina. Thanks so much for this thread. It helps me. I hope we all find peace with this and have the confidence we need to help us get through this.

Some days I feel so strongly..others, not so much. I too have to give myself time before I respond to them.

Last weekend I took my 83 year old neighbor to the casino to celebrate her birthday. It was what she wanted. We had a blast. Got home around 9 Saturday night. I went on FB and got a notification that I was invited 5 hours before to a BBQ for my son's birthday the next day

I didn't go. I should of stopped by here before I declined and read this thread. I might of gone had I don't that. Emotionally, I didn't want to go and spend the day with her family. Wasn't strong enough for that. I beat myself up for that...but I know, it was for the best. For me.

Baby steps...baby steps...

I did call him that night to tell him I couldn't come...that I had just got the message from FB about it and I had other plans that day.

I did get the new address from the event tho, so I sent him a card...and his wife too, for mother's day.

Her bday is next week...I'll send a card but don't want to put money in it this year. I hate feeling that way.

Offline Marina

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Re: Be Confident and Strong
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2017, 02:45:22 PM »
JB, as moms we have learned to go the extra mile for our kids, so it's hard to know where to draw the line sometimes.  I was willing to err on the side of being giving and tolerant while getting a mixed message from DS/DIL, hoping that things would improve.  In fact, I had made an uneasy peace with the status quo.  That changed when DIL became overtly mean spirited.

I think your gesture of calling and sending cards is nice and leaves the door open.  After all the ugly behavior I received, I made the decision to no longer acknowledge DS/DIL this way.  (Interestingly, this made them angry; I guess a case is being built about how "mean" I am!)  After a fair amount of grieving, I have been able to be more optimistic about my life. 

JB, you may want to check out the terms "borderline or narcissistic personality disorder," "trauma bonding" (aka "Stockholm syndrome"), if you haven't already done so, to see if it possibly applies to your DIL/DS.