Conflict with in-law

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a_bunny

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Conflict with in-law
« on: July 03, 2019, 08:21:44 PM »
The short(er) version:

My BIL (my husband's sister's husband) was verbally abusive to me via email. This happened about two months ago. It was the meanest, most intentionally hurtful email I'd ever received in my life. I went into a schema attack/EF that lasted for over a week.

Since then, I'm mostly fine, but when I think of him or the incident, it still triggers me. I feel the rage, the flight-or-flight body reaction, tense muscles and heart pounding. Mostly I guess I just try not to think about it because it's too triggering.

Because of his terrible behavior, I would easily cut him out of my life if I had the choice. The problem is that he is a family member. He (and his wife, my H's sister, and their child) and H's parents all live within the area, so the family gets together not infrequently. I got out of joining them for Father's Day -- H explained to his parents about what happened and they were understanding -- but I can't keep avoiding them forever. Not only that, but BIL is also connected to a couple of my friend groups, and I don't want to avoid them forever, too. I feel like it is unfair that because of somebody else's behavior, I now have to avoid connections to my family (technically my in-laws, but yes, they are my family), friends, and also friends in my professional circle (will explain in long version of story).

I don't want to hold on to the rage and the hate I feel, but I also know that recovery is a long process, and I'm just not there yet. I'm not ready to forgive, and I know enough not to try to push myself to something I'm not ready for.

I will have to face him again someday and I feel afraid that when I do, it will just be super triggering, I'll sit there frozen in fight-or-flight response, heart pounding, feeling enraged, and not able to interact socially.

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a_bunny

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Re: Conflict with in-law
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2019, 08:48:34 PM »
*EDITED*

I had the long version of the story here. But I removed it because it gave me too much anxiety to have that much detail here. Sorry. Thank you everyone who read the original post and gave your support.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2019, 05:25:44 PM by a_bunny »

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Blueberry

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Re: Conflict with in-law
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2019, 09:58:57 PM »
a_bunny, that sounds a really conflicted situation and I really get your feelings of rage and physical flight-fight impulses. I read both your posts btw.

My experience has been that family mbrs who treat you like this don't or can't understand, can't change, don't want to anyway and the best thing is to reduce contact and learn something called Medium Chill and Grey Rock. That way you unfortunately may end up losing your family of origin (FOO), in-laws and friends. It's tough, it's unfair, but we can't change others, we can't push them into healing themselves or their relationships. It can be really tough, it has been for me.

You can read more about Medium Chill and Grey Rock on our sister website OutOfTheFog here: https://outofthefog.website/what-to-do-1/      I've learned a lot reading and sometimes posting on OOTF. 

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Three Roses

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Re: Conflict with in-law
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2019, 10:41:08 PM »
Ah, mansplaining! The bane of intelligent females everywhere.

I thought this was interesting:
Quote
(he) said he always felt uncomfortable around me because he has to worry about hurting my feelings.

We all, as humans, ought to behave in ways that are respectful of others. He seems to have a problem with that - so because he's socially inept, now you have to apologize? I'm sorry you have to have dealings with him.

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a_bunny

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Re: Conflict with in-law
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2019, 12:35:21 AM »
Thank you for the replies Blueberry and Three Roses. Also Blueberry, thanks for the link and letting me know about Medium Chill and Grey Rock. I read them and they seem like they can help. I still will have to figure out how to deal with my inner reaction (body and emotion) when I have to face the person who is so triggering to me.

This is a separate issue entirely, but posting this gave me a lot of anxiety. I have extreme anxiety interacting with people on the internet, and I fear that this in some way makes me look bad, like people are reading this and thinking everything I did wrong, that the situation is completely my fault. Anyway, I find that this community is supportive, so I thought I could try opening up here and it should be okay. Thank you everyone for being supportive.

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Tee

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Re: Conflict with in-law
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2019, 01:59:28 AM »
Not your fault a_bunny just had time to read it.  Read both.  Proud of you for writing it and for sticking up for yourself.  Time doesn't heal all wounds and the triggers may never completely go away but hopefully you will find away to live your best life inspite of  your BIL.   :grouphug:

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Three Roses

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Re: Conflict with in-law
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2019, 02:34:24 AM »
I relate to the feelings of anxiety about posting! Happens to me, too. Idk how long I've actually been a member here because I actually deleted my first profile, posts and all, from the anxiety I felt about having opened up to people here. And I hadn't even really been that open. Everyone here understands that feeling, I think. I've seen many, many people say they feel the same about opening up. We've been silenced for so long and by so many that we just have come to expect it every time we try to express our pain.

Maya Angelou said, "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." You're brave to start redefining the rules you have for your life.

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a_bunny

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Re: Conflict with in-law
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2019, 05:28:39 PM »
Thanks again, Tee and Three Roses, for your support, and understanding how writing about it gave me anxiety. Three Roses, I'm glad that even after deleting your posts and account you stuck around and continued to be active here. That is a great quote from Maya Angelou. Even though I removed my original post, I still feel like some people saw it and could understand, so I think it helped to write it. I'm trying to connect to others more because I think it's part of the healing I need to do. Thanks for being a part of it.  :grouphug:

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Blueberry

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Re: Conflict with in-law
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2019, 05:57:25 PM »
I understand the feelings of anxiety about posting too. Though I do now post a lot of details about my life on the forum, it wasn't always the case. There are some more identifying details I still keep quiet on. Then of course there is the anxiety about what I write needing to be perfect, logic, rational. I know that's my Inner Critic.  :thumbdown:

You overcame your anxiety long enough to write and leave your post up for a few days :applause: :applause:

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notalone

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Re: Conflict with in-law
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2019, 09:39:28 PM »
I understand the feelings of anxiety about posting too.
:yeahthat: Me too. I have posted and removed the post after a few seconds. I've written, then before sending, delete, delete, delete.

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a_bunny

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Re: Conflict with in-law
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2019, 04:57:14 PM »
It is comforting to know I'm not alone in the anxiety about posting, that leads to deleting posts. I guess we all feel the desire to open up and express because we want to be heard and understood, but we are also afraid that others will not respond with the understanding we seek. At least, that's how it feels to me. Thanks everyone for understanding.

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Tee

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Re: Conflict with in-law
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2019, 04:57:54 PM »
 :grouphug:

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Three Roses

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Re: Conflict with in-law
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2019, 10:50:59 PM »
 :grouphug: