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Family Member Driving me Nuts!

Jambalaya

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Long one, but I'm being driven insane. This one extended family member drives me absolutely effing nuts on occasion, like just now! He has certain speeches that he likes to make, and they're very personal and quite insulting, and he'll say them over and over, clinging to his broken record despite all evidence to the contrary. When I say over and over, he first made this speech to me five years ago!

I've put on weight over the years as I used to have a very stressful job in marketing, working all hours - full office days, evening work, weekend work, it was a nightmare. I had to move to another part of the country at one point and I didn't cope that well with being away from home. During this job, which lasted about ten years, I wasn't always happy due to work stress and I did put on weight. Life has been full of challenges since then too - a very sick partner who I looked after for a number of years, then suddenly I was older and the family started dying. Family and friend death during the last three years - I think we're at 16 deaths, with two pending. At one point I did lose about 40 pounds but put it back on and more during the stress of bereavement and caregiving.

I see these periods as just one of life's many challenges, and I don't worry about it because everyone has challenges. I met great people, had some fun, and learned a lot. So far it's been a wild ride. Also, I don't believe it's a crime to put on weight. It's your own business. Lots of people cope with life stress by doing things far more destructive than comfort-eating and putting on weight - drugs, gambling, promiscuity, and taking out stress on those around you.

I made the mistake of mentioning to this person that I was getting back to healthier living and had lost a couple of pounds this week. Oh god. When will I learn? He starts on his Speech of Doom, referring to my "problems" and how I got depressed and "all your problems" started when I moved away when I was young, etc etc etc. I really resent this because I was not depressed I was just very busy, getting home too late to cook or go to the gym etc, and I am a very happy-go-lucky person. And how insulting to refer to "my problems"! Thanks to my wonderful deceased family, I am very stable and secure. I do not lash out at others, I have never felt jealousy but am happy for others when things go well for them. I treat people well, have never hurt anyone, and do my best to be agreeable and look on the bright side, as most of the time I feel quite happy anyway. Sometimes I have felt down due to external circumstances like - oh, I don't know - my immediate family dying, say!

This person just loves to talk about "my problems." Wow, I wasn't aware that I had any, except being exposed to life stressors and coping the best I can, which describes most of us. But this person just loves to insist on my unhappiness and my problems. I'm not even unhappy! For some reason, I find this deeply dismaying - portraying me as some broken person or something, when in fact he's the one who is broken, having behaved despicably to his immediate family for decades. He used to beat his wife, and his kids tell me that although he didn't abuse them, he made their family life hell for years.

And the effing cherry on the top - another extended family member is very overweight, but she gets a free pass because she has twins. She is revered and exalted because she's a mother, and he treats her with great care. I pointed out that the "babies" are now ten years old, but no, no, according to the Relative of Doom it's not possible to lose baby weight. In his beautiful words to me today, "She has put on weight for quite different reasons than you have done." So again, I'm the problem, and she is above reproach because she's a mom.

What this all comes down to is that this relative bullies me for my weight and my childless status. He has always been a bully and he just loves to take his unhappiness out on me (he's a widower).

Anyone else got a horrid family member like this? Please tell me that I shouldn't take any notice of someone like this. I know I shouldn't - how can I get upset about insults from someone who used to abuse his family? I mean, I can't take seriously anything he says as I have zero respect for him, but for some reason the stuff he says really gets to me. Even though I know I shouldn't let it.

He's coming for Christmas. Flight all booked and no one else will have him - we all take turns, and this year it's our turn. I wouldn't mind having him if it were not for the Speech of Doom. I consider his misdeeds to be long in the past and my side of the family all agreed to help him in his widowhood, as we loved his wife so much. He has mellowed a lot in his old age but this Speech of Doom thing is a problem. Anyone else got a family member with a weird tic like this? It's like, sometimes he just has to bully me and can't help himself, and I guess if someone is overweight like me, then bingo! Something to get at!
 

monarch64

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Sometimes people get under our skin because there is a grain of truth to what they're saying. No one enjoys having their flaws pointed out to them, and certainly not over and over again, but when we are forced to look into that mirror it is often hard to face the reality of how someone else perceives us.

You talk a lot about being a caregiver here. I hope that you have someone to talk to in real life who can help you through issues like these. A close relative of mine has been a caregiver throughout their life, and they are frankly pretty messed up but refuse to seek professional help. To people like me, or your family member, it's like this: :wall:

I wish you the best in dealing with your family member over the holidays and hope you are able to have some peace.
 

TooPatient

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Too many to count.

Sorry you have one to deal with too. Just ignore the comments and stick to meaningless small talk when you have to deal with them.
 

Jambalaya

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^ Monarch: But you know, I perceive a lot of flaws in others. A lot. I've seen a lot of selfishness and seen people I know do hurtful things to others in their lives, many times things I would never do to others. I wouldn't dream of pointing these things out to them. "Hey, don't you think you're a selfish so-and-so?" I keep my negative opinions about others to myself. And I don't think that being busy and putting on weight counts as flaws, anyway. This family member just wants to bully others, and now that his wife's gone, he needs other targets. He's never been able to help himself.

But thanks for your reply and your insightful advice. :)

ETA: I mention being a caregiver when context demands it, and I mention it because that's what I do. Like others might mention their pets or their kids or their work.
 

kenny

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Jambalaya, you have lots of these threads.

Nobody can drive you nuts unless you let them.

Clearly you've been taught lots of stuff that doesn't work for you.
I recommend adjusting yourself so people can't drive you nuts so often.
 

Jambalaya

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monarch64|1447282349|3948398 said:
Sometimes people get under our skin because there is a grain of truth to what they're saying. No one enjoys having their flaws pointed out to them, and certainly not over and over again, but when we are forced to look into that mirror it is often hard to face the reality of how someone else perceives us.

You talk a lot about being a caregiver here. I hope that you have someone to talk to in real life who can help you through issues like these. A close relative of mine has been a caregiver throughout their life, and they are frankly pretty messed up but refuse to seek professional help. To people like me, or your family member, it's like this: :wall:

I wish you the best in dealing with your family member over the holidays and hope you are able to have some peace.

I've only been a caregiver for three years, and the Relative of Doom is always talking about the period of my life before that, when I had a really busy career and put on weight having client dinners, etc. He seems to see this as some massive character flaw. Of course, he doesn't - he just wants to get at me. Like I said, I am generally a happy-go-lucky person and this speech comes at me from someone who does have real problems - he has an uncontrollable temper and used to beat up his wife. And I'm the one with problems? Okaay. Can you say "projection"?
 

Jambalaya

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kenny|1447282869|3948402 said:
Jambalaya, you have lots of these threads.

Nobody can drive you nuts unless you let them.

Clearly you've been taught lots of stuff that doesn't work for you.
I recommend adjusting yourself so people can't drive you nuts so often.

Excellent advice. Any tips?
 

Jambalaya

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TooPatient|1447282537|3948400 said:
Too many to count.

Sorry you have one to deal with too. Just ignore the comments and stick to meaningless small talk when you have to deal with them.

Thank, TooPatient. I know you've had your family challenges too.
 

monarch64

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Jambalaya|1447282692|3948401 said:
^ Monarch: But you know, I perceive a lot of flaws in others. A lot. I've seen a lot of selfishness and seen people I know do hurtful things to others in their lives, many times things I would never do to others. I wouldn't dream of pointing these things out to them. "Hey, don't you think you're a selfish so-and-so?" I keep my negative opinions about others to myself. And I don't think that being busy and putting on weight counts as flaws, anyway. This family member just wants to bully others, and now that his wife's gone, he needs other targets. He's never been able to help himself.

But thanks for your reply and your insightful advice. :)

ETA: I mention being a caregiver when context demands it, and I mention it because that's what I do. Like others might mention their pets or their kids or their work.

I'm like you, I would never dream of straight up telling someone anything that could come across as mean or unnecessary. But there are lots of people who feel it's totally in everyone's best interest to be brutally honest, or they just don't have the same social boundaries.

There's nothing wrong with you mentioning your career! I didn't mean to imply that you talk about it too much. Sorry!

ETA: after reading your 2nd reply to me, I realize you are looking for posts in support of your position and I did not provide that. I will see myself out of your thread. Sincerly wishing you the best.
 

kenny

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Jambalaya|1447283033|3948405 said:
kenny|1447282869|3948402 said:
Jambalaya, you have lots of these threads.

Nobody can drive you nuts unless you let them.

Clearly you've been taught lots of stuff that doesn't work for you.
I recommend adjusting yourself so people can't drive you nuts so often.

Excellent advice. Any tips?

YOU are #1.
Establish boundaries, but never explain them because since YOU own your life you don't have to.
Enforce them.

I hear people respond to advice with, "Oh, but I wasn't raised that way."
To which I respond, "I'm not finished being raised till the day I die."
When something doesn't work, change it.
Screw what mommy, daddy, church, Emily Post has taught you.
 

azstonie

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Jambie, you described my father.

I've been NC (no contact) with my parents for a good while. Every physician and psychologist I've seen has, unasked, told me to run away from them and never look back.

No one can take advantage of you unless you allow them.

Call this man and tell him you cannot host him. Do not JADE (justify, defend, argue or explain). Give him the facts---you will not host him---and end the call.

You can do this.

Outofthefog.net
 

iLander

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Print out your original post (in really big type if you have to, you can copy and paste it into a word program) and mail it to him. Sign your name.

If he calls and yells, hang up. If he cancels Christmas, good! :appl:

Maybe he can go spend Christmas with twin mommy instead. :rolleyes:

Just because you're related doesn't mean you have to put up with him. Everyone else in the family seems to have figured this out, you should too.

He's an abuser, that's his personality, even if he isn't hitting you, he's still an abusive person. Drop him out of your life.

And stop ruminating about it. Don't feel guilty. Losing him is no big loss.
 

Jambalaya

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Kenny, I admit I have a lot of trouble with that line of thought - "I am No 1." But I think it's a nature thing, not a nurture thing. I feel a huge amount of empathy with others, and my darling mom was the same. We are/were very similar in personality. So for example, maybe this family member was an a$$hole, but he also did some nice things for me when I was growing up, and he and his wife worked out their problems, and he took good care of her when she was sick. I know he's an elderly widower with no relatives close by, and when I picture him all alone in his little house feeling bad, my heart goes out to him. I know he lashes out because he actually does have problems. I started this thread because I just got off the phone to him and I was so mad! So with the "I'm No 1 thing" I find it hard because I'm very aware of a given adversary's problems, and the backstory of why they might behave that way. Maybe they're being horrible, but I know that they've gone through XYZ, and I feel sorry for them. I put myself in their shoes, and I know that behind the nastiness is often a lot of hurt. When you are aware of others' feelings and of their story, it's hard to ignore them and barrel on with putting yourself first, you know? I just think of how bad they must feel, and how much I have had in my life compared to them, and it makes it hard to turn my back on them or do things that would hurt them back.

It's very hard to explain.
 

kenny

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Jambalaya|1447283912|3948415 said:
Kenny, I admit I have a lot of trouble with that line of thought - "I am No 1."

Then I expect many more threads like this, as people around you recognize you to be one of those doormats.

Other people's problems are THEIR problems.
 

Jambalaya

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iLander|1447283703|3948412 said:
Print out your original post (in really big type if you have to, you can copy and paste it into a word program) and mail it to him. Sign your name.

If he calls and yells, hang up. If he cancels Christmas, good! :appl:

Maybe he can go spend Christmas with twin mommy instead. :rolleyes:

Just because you're related doesn't mean you have to put up with him. Everyone else in the family seems to have figured this out, you should too.

He's an abuser, that's his personality, even if he isn't hitting you, he's still an abusive person. Drop him out of your life.

And stop ruminating about it. Don't feel guilty. Losing him is no big loss.


Thank you Ilander. Twin Mommy had him last year and won't have him this year! We pass him around. We take care of him and keep our promise to his wife, and we don't have to see him that often. He's not always so bad, but sometimes he just erupts.
 

Jambalaya

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kenny|1447284092|3948418 said:
Jambalaya|1447283912|3948415 said:
Kenny, I admit I have a lot of trouble with that line of thought - "I am No 1."

Then I expect many more threads like this, as people around you recognize you to be one of those doormats.

Other people's problems are THEIR problems.


I do find it difficult to cause waves where family is concerned. No problem calling out friends though. Just family.
 

iLander

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Jambalaya|1447284192|3948421 said:
iLander|1447283703|3948412 said:
Print out your original post (in really big type if you have to, you can copy and paste it into a word program) and mail it to him. Sign your name.

If he calls and yells, hang up. If he cancels Christmas, good! :appl:

Maybe he can go spend Christmas with twin mommy instead. :rolleyes:

Just because you're related doesn't mean you have to put up with him. Everyone else in the family seems to have figured this out, you should too.

He's an abuser, that's his personality, even if he isn't hitting you, he's still an abusive person. Drop him out of your life.

And stop ruminating about it. Don't feel guilty. Losing him is no big loss.


Thank you Ilander. Twin Mommy had him last year and won't have him this year! We pass him around. We take care of him and keep our promise to his wife, and we don't have to see him that often. He's not always so bad, but sometimes he just erupts.

Mail it to him anyway. You'd be doing him a service by letting him know how nasty he appears to others.
 

Jambalaya

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azstonie|1447283469|3948411 said:
Jambie, you described my father.

I've been NC (no contact) with my parents for a good while. Every physician and psychologist I've seen has, unasked, told me to run away from them and never look back.

No one can take advantage of you unless you allow them.

Call this man and tell him you cannot host him. Do not JADE (justify, defend, argue or explain). Give him the facts---you will not host him---and end the call.

You can do this.

Outofthefog.net

I'm sorry, Azstonie. It must be hard to have parents like that. I'm sorry.

With this relative, mostly I feel like being the bigger person for a variety of reasons - like, we loved his wife and promised to help him in his lonely old age. I wouldn't mind him if it weren't for the Speech of Doom, which for some reason does get to me. He said it five years ago and just now! And a few months ago! It's like, really? You can't change that record? But mostly he's quite compliant. But I feel like if I have to listen to the Speech of Doom one more time, I'll take him to the nearest mafia hangout and leave him there!
 

kenny

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Jambalaya|1447284259|3948422 said:
kenny|1447284092|3948418 said:
Jambalaya|1447283912|3948415 said:
Kenny, I admit I have a lot of trouble with that line of thought - "I am No 1."

Then I expect many more threads like this, as people around you recognize you to be one of those doormats.

Other people's problems are THEIR problems.
NOT! :angryfire:

I do find it difficult to cause waves where family is concerned. No problem calling out friends though. Just family.

Oh! Well! if it's family then it's okay to be their doormat. :roll:

Waves?
Claiming your sovereignty as a person is waves?
Sounds like a family that's really got you under their thumb.

There's help and there's hope.
I found it in therapy.
 

Jambalaya

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monarch64|1447283141|3948407 said:
Jambalaya|1447282692|3948401 said:
^ Monarch: But you know, I perceive a lot of flaws in others. A lot. I've seen a lot of selfishness and seen people I know do hurtful things to others in their lives, many times things I would never do to others. I wouldn't dream of pointing these things out to them. "Hey, don't you think you're a selfish so-and-so?" I keep my negative opinions about others to myself. And I don't think that being busy and putting on weight counts as flaws, anyway. This family member just wants to bully others, and now that his wife's gone, he needs other targets. He's never been able to help himself.

But thanks for your reply and your insightful advice. :)

ETA: I mention being a caregiver when context demands it, and I mention it because that's what I do. Like others might mention their pets or their kids or their work.

I'm like you, I would never dream of straight up telling someone anything that could come across as mean or unnecessary. But there are lots of people who feel it's totally in everyone's best interest to be brutally honest, or they just don't have the same social boundaries.

There's nothing wrong with you mentioning your career! I didn't mean to imply that you talk about it too much. Sorry!

ETA: after reading your 2nd reply to me, I realize you are looking for posts in support of your position and I did not provide that. I will see myself out of your thread. Sincerly wishing you the best.

Don't go! I just want to make sure you know that the following was a rhetorical question directed at my relative, not you: "And I'm the one with problems? Okaay. Can you say "projection"?" Because I think it's ironic that someone with personality problems like being an abuser seems to think that a perfectly rational person like me has problems, and I wouldn't be surprised if some projection is going on, on his part. Just wanted to ensure you knew the sarcasm wasn't at you!
 

Jambalaya

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kenny|1447284624|3948429 said:
Jambalaya|1447284259|3948422 said:
kenny|1447284092|3948418 said:
Jambalaya|1447283912|3948415 said:
Kenny, I admit I have a lot of trouble with that line of thought - "I am No 1."

Then I expect many more threads like this, as people around you recognize you to be one of those doormats.

Other people's problems are THEIR problems.
NOT! :angryfire:

I do find it difficult to cause waves where family is concerned. No problem calling out friends though. Just family.

Well, if it's family then it's okay to be a doormat. :roll:

Waves?
Claiming your sovereignty as a person is waves?
Sounds like a family that's really got you under their thumb.

There's help and there's hope.
I found it in therapy.

You know I didn't insert that fiery icon, right?? I'm not sure how it got there.

I had a good original family, now dead, who brought me up to do unto others as you would to them etc etc and to be as good a person as you could manage to be. Therefore I don't go around being mean and causing trouble for others, and am usually very considerate of others' feelings. There have been times in my when I was unhappy, like everyone, but I have never taken it out on others. So this family member is a surprise to me.
 

Jambalaya

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iLander|1447284295|3948423 said:
Jambalaya|1447284192|3948421 said:
iLander|1447283703|3948412 said:
Print out your original post (in really big type if you have to, you can copy and paste it into a word program) and mail it to him. Sign your name.

If he calls and yells, hang up. If he cancels Christmas, good! :appl:

Maybe he can go spend Christmas with twin mommy instead. :rolleyes:

Just because you're related doesn't mean you have to put up with him. Everyone else in the family seems to have figured this out, you should too.

He's an abuser, that's his personality, even if he isn't hitting you, he's still an abusive person. Drop him out of your life.

And stop ruminating about it. Don't feel guilty. Losing him is no big loss.


Thank you Ilander. Twin Mommy had him last year and won't have him this year! We pass him around. We take care of him and keep our promise to his wife, and we don't have to see him that often. He's not always so bad, but sometimes he just erupts.

Mail it to him anyway. You'd be doing him a service by letting him know how nasty he appears to others.

Yeah, I can't see myself doing that with him - I don't have to see him very often and I had just got off the phone with him and was mad when I started the thread - but interestingly I confronted someone this way recently, except the email was written directly to her. She really had it coming and it did feel good.
 

kenny

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Jambalaya|1447285074|3948433 said:
I had a good original family, now dead, who brought me up to do unto others as you would to them etc etc and to be as good a person as you could manage to be. Therefore I don't go around being mean and causing trouble for others, and am usually very considerate of others' feelings. There have been times in my when I was unhappy, like everyone, but I have never taken it out on others. So this family member is a surprise to me.

Whatev.
If who you are doesn't work for you, change.

When your life works these threads asking for advice because people are 'doormatting' you will stop.
 
Q

Queenie60

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The Holiday Season isn't supposed to be stressful. I would simply tell this person that I do not wish to host them. How awful to have a person staying in your house just to turn everything and everyone upside down. The Holiday season is to be a time of joy, sharing food and spirituality with family and friends. To be glad and feel joy to see and spend time with a person. I steer clear of those who bring me grief. I wish you well and hope that you can find peace and happiness despite this person barging into your home. :saint:
 

monarch64

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Jambalaya|1447284755|3948430 said:
monarch64|1447283141|3948407 said:
Jambalaya|1447282692|3948401 said:
^ Monarch: But you know, I perceive a lot of flaws in others. A lot. I've seen a lot of selfishness and seen people I know do hurtful things to others in their lives, many times things I would never do to others. I wouldn't dream of pointing these things out to them. "Hey, don't you think you're a selfish so-and-so?" I keep my negative opinions about others to myself. And I don't think that being busy and putting on weight counts as flaws, anyway. This family member just wants to bully others, and now that his wife's gone, he needs other targets. He's never been able to help himself.

But thanks for your reply and your insightful advice. :)

ETA: I mention being a caregiver when context demands it, and I mention it because that's what I do. Like others might mention their pets or their kids or their work.

I'm like you, I would never dream of straight up telling someone anything that could come across as mean or unnecessary. But there are lots of people who feel it's totally in everyone's best interest to be brutally honest, or they just don't have the same social boundaries.

There's nothing wrong with you mentioning your career! I didn't mean to imply that you talk about it too much. Sorry!

ETA: after reading your 2nd reply to me, I realize you are looking for posts in support of your position and I did not provide that. I will see myself out of your thread. Sincerly wishing you the best.

Don't go! I just want to make sure you know that the following was a rhetorical question directed at my relative, not you: "And I'm the one with problems? Okaay. Can you say "projection"?" Because I think it's ironic that someone with personality problems like being an abuser seems to think that a perfectly rational person like me has problems, and I wouldn't be surprised if some projection is going on. Just wanted to ensure you knew the sarcasm wasn't at you!

Thank you for clarifying. I'm just trying to say (not concisely enough, apparently) that all we can control is our own reaction. By doing some self-examination of WHY the person's words get under our skin so much, it can be possible to take that power away from them and then maybe you WILL be able to talk to him and say, hey! I'm not gonna take your negativity anymore. I'll probably butcher this quote but I think it goes "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." (Eleanor Roosevelt) I really like that one.
 

Jambalaya

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[quote="monarch64|Thank you for clarifying. I'm just trying to say (not concisely enough, apparently) that all we can control is our own reaction. By doing some self-examination of WHY the person's words get under our skin so much, it can be possible to take that power away from them and then maybe you WILL be able to talk to him and say, hey! I'm not gonna take your negativity anymore. I'll probably butcher this quote but I think it goes "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." (Eleanor Roosevelt) I really like that one.[/quote]

Yeah, normally this person is quiet and doesn't cause problems, but that Speech of Doom is seriously annoying. I'll have to take your advice and think about why. I think because it's so unfair and untrue, and really rich coming from him! I tend to be straightforward in my communication, I don't get at others verbally because of my own issues and I don't say mean things for no reason, so I can't relate to it. But I know that you can't take this person seriously, and I just have to remind myself of that.
 

Jambalaya

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Queenie60|1447285367|3948438 said:
The Holiday Season isn't supposed to be stressful. I would simply tell this person that I do not wish to host them. How awful to have a person staying in your house just to turn everything and everyone upside down. The Holiday season is to be a time of joy, sharing food and spirituality with family and friends. To be glad and feel joy to see and spend time with a person. I steer clear of those who bring me grief. I wish you well and hope that you can find peace and happiness despite this person barging into your home. :saint:

He behaves himself for the most part; it's the Speech of Doom that bothers me. It's the sheer stupidity of it that annoys me so much.
 

Jambalaya

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I appreciate all the replies. I just wanted to vent and had just got off the phone with him. Like most people, he also has his positive points although they are hard to remember when the Speech of Doom gets put on the turntable. Sometimes I wonder if he has it recorded, and puts it on Play while he goes off to make a cup of coffee!
 

House Cat

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Feb 22, 2009
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4,557
Hmm...

so you could be assertive with this person, but he will most likely bulldoze over you. He knows everything.

You could be aggressive with this person and tell him to go F himself...but only if that will give you some satisfaction. He will chalk that up to his armchair-psychological profile that he has created for you. He may even give you the title of "psychopath!" :lol:

If it were me, I would uninvite him and tell everyone in the family AND him why. There is no way I would spend my holidays or another second of my life with a person like him. My time is precious and I will be damned if I am gonna be psychologically profiled (and insulted) by some arrogant pig wife beater who most likely has some serious psychological issues himself!


Then I would have the best holidays ever while eating Martha Stewart's Chocolate Pumpkin Pie allllllll to myself!
 

Jambalaya

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 2, 2014
Messages
4,658
House Cat, you do make me laugh! You get it - about the real weirdo telling me I'm the weirdo! That's what I meant about projection. Yes, there's no doubt in my mind that he has some very serious issues. Oddly, his mother was exactly the same, although his other family members were lovely.

In his old age he generally doesn't cause a lot of problems but the Speech of Doom gets to me because it's so ridiculous. I hardly have to see him and we as a family pass him around so the burden to each is not great. I was mad when I started this thread bc I'd just got off the phone with him.

He's always been an oddball and I know I have to take whatever he says with a pinch of salt.
 
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