Thank you so much for the all the comments and thoughts of support regarding the visit of my SiL and BiL. Your comments helped me get through the aftermath of dealing with all of it that much easier. Hugs to you all.
The past few weeks have been difficult. I sat in shame immediately after the visit. I had to forget that emotion to get ready for my language exam and thereafter, a holiday break. When I came back I relived the events, played the tapes. After some distance it is amazing on what you pick up, what you now see so clearly. As I peeled the layers of shame I meet anger and grief (for not having a sister within SiL). I was alone at home (DH was traveling for work) and they were my companions this past week.
Although shame is a more recent emotion for me, I move through it a lot faster than grief and anger. I don’t know why? Maybe grief feels more raw to me because I think I have always had shame along side me – I think I have been able to ‘handle’ it because that was a common emotion my mother tried to instil in me. Grief and anger were not allowed to be expressed at home.
And for me, grief and anger seem to be a more outward emotion. Whereas shame, although a release, feels more internal and more of an exhale in the end. Grief, for me, I need to cry, let the tears out and anger, I need to vocalise it, yell a bit (not at anyone) just get the words out of my mouth.
And it was nice to be alone to deal with my shame and grief but anger didn’t erupt until DH came home. I needed a person in front of me to hear my story, hear my anger. It came out at once and I was surprised at what came out of me. Well, as one can imagine, it wasn’t pretty.
Among the name calling, I found myself saying things that really surprised me. This one, in particular, took me and DH by surprise:
She is so dangerous, she is the danger that you don’t see coming.
Not that danger has signs but there are some dangers that have some warning signs. And in my SiL’s case she is one that we don’t expect there to be a danger just from her presentation of herself.
DH asked me why I thought she was dangerous. It would be easy to say that she is dangerous to my emotional well-being but I don’t believe that to be the case, nor do I suspect others reading this do either. And the danger I meant had everything to do in the physical state of being.
I retold DH about our trip home for MiL’s funeral and when we were visiting with DH’s aunt and uncle and cousins. We were all in the living room of FiL’s apartment and SiL was sitting in MiL’s chair (ironically) and she found a small pill bottle tucked between the cushion and the arm rest. She read the medicine label (she’s an MD) and looked at it and said across the room to FiL – what are you taking this for?
I could already tell FiL did not want to get into this discussion in front of the family by his response – He said it was for high blood pressure. SiL said that this is not the medicine he should be taking and that this has the opposite effect. FiL asked for the capsule and she brought it over. He looked at it and put it in his pocket. SiL continues to tell him he should go talk to his doctor to make sure he is getting the right medication and that he should in no way be taking this medicine if he is having high blood pressure. FiL just shrugged and didn’t respond. There was silence and I looked straight at SiL and I saw her eyes look around the room.
I remember the only thing I could do was watch SiL because she was the one behaving in such a way that initially had scared me. There were many things I am now taking away from this and one of those things is danger.
Kara and CS and in the comments have started insightful discussions in their recent posts on the relationship between emotions and our physical health. And the emotional distress unhealthy people have on us is not spoken about often in terms of specific physical repercussions or root problems. I only wonder now, if Ns have more of a direct impact on our physical health when dealing with Dr. Narcissistic SiL.