I recently spent an afternoon visiting with my nephew and his wife. I don’t see them often because I worry it will cause them problems with my brother who has such obvious disdain for me. And I have to be honest — it seems like anything I tell my nephew that makes it’s way to my brother seems to come back at me as a hammer he can use to beat me over the head. Granted it’s only via email since we never speak, but it’s upsetting nonetheless.
My nephew and his wife are this wonderful couple who truly love each other and have so much love in their hearts that after having four children they are now taking in foster kids. They have a house full of happy kids. I admire these two more than I can describe here.
When my nephew was out of the room I was filled in on how things go with his parents. They live on the east coast when when they fly in to visit my brother says he’s too tired and stays at their hotel room while my sister-in-law comes to their home to visit. What???
I asked if his health is that bad. He’s had a lot of health issues that quite frankly I credit to internalized meanness and he’s very overweight. I’m informed his health isn’t great, but it’s more his attitude. He acts like he’s on death’s door all the time.
But apparently it’s a blessing he stays away since he feels the need to tell them they have ruined their oldest son’s life and stolen any chance of success from him. Why? Because they don’t have him playing baseball. Now he won’t be able to get a scholarship and go to college and end up in a high paying successful career… like his grandfather.
You want to hear the funny part? The son is not athletic, he is by no means a sports wiz. He goes out and plays with his friends and has a great time, but has no interest in getting on a baseball team that would require him to play at least five days a week. Poor kid doesn’t realize that he’s doomed to failure now.
Need I mention that my brother played baseball? But he didn’t get a scholarship for sports. He was good enough to play both basketball and football, but not good enough to qualify for a scholarship in either. So where does he get this stuff?
When my brother does come around she often has to smile, grab her keys, and say she has errands to run so she can escape the constant criticism of what they are doing with their lives. My brother still bitches at them that they should have only had two children. My niece-in-law finally asked him one day which of the four kids would he suggest they give back.
My nephew’s wife also confessed to me that she know’s her in-laws think their son “married down”. I have known this all along, but feigned ignorance. She doesn’t come from a wealthy family, but she’s intelligent, loving and knows she was lucky enough to find her soul mate. She has all the things that really matter, but that’s not good enough. It doesn’t make me happy that I’m not the only one to be treated this way.
She told me visiting their home on the east coast is torture. Everything is perfect and the kids are expected to stay in the basement where they can’t damage anything. When they come up for a meal they are not allowed to leave the table. She has vowed to never go again for an extended visit.
That last trip to the east coast was financially crippling to this struggling family to buy airfare to get all six of them out there. Then my nephew accidentally put a small scratch on his parents SUV when he was pulling it in the garage. They were informed that my brother and his wife simply could not drive it that way and my nephew had to give them a check for $1,000.00 before leaving to pay for the repair. Money my nephew clearly could not afford.
My take on the situation
I could go on with more stories, but I think these are enough. My brother has totally and completely turned into my malignant narcissist mother complete with hypochondria, dellusions of perfection, and cruelty.
As I made the hour drive back to my own home that afternoon I shook my head in wonder and said a big thank you to my mother.
While I don’t minimize the pain and difficulty of being the scapegoat to a narcissistic mother, I am now, while still damaged, a loving, caring, and accepting person. Meanwhile the golden child has morphed into a full blown copy of the monster who created him.
Thank you mom for choosing your oldest son to be the golden child and making your little girl the scapegoat.