I thought I’d return from Florida well rested and ready to tackle real life again. I did have a wonderful, relaxing time and got to spend a good bit of it with my son, unlike other trips there, when he had to work most of the time.
Since returning, my daughter and her husband seem to be coming after me for blood. I’m too emotionally distraught right now to even go into much detail about what happened, but in a nutshell, she is gaslighting me and lying about things I did/said, making me out to be a terrible, selfish person who doesn’t give a shit about anyone but myself and prefers my son over her.
This started well before I left for my trip. I pushed it on the back burner, but her behavior lately has been bothering me. It reminds me very much of her father’s abusive behavior before I finally had enough and made him leave the house five years ago. She has been calling me terrible names, saying I said things or did things I never said or did, and calling me narcissistic and “clinically insane.” She thinks I’m crazy because I sometimes am critical of her or tell her I don’t like the names she is calling me. In other words, reacting like a normal person does when attacked. She’s gaslighting me. I told her to stop, for whatever good that does. She insists it’s not gaslighting. Instead she flips it around and accuses me of gaslighting her.
It seems she is projecting onto me, and became a narcissist or some facsimile of one when I was not looking. Her husband, who seemed sweet to me at first, has become quite cold toward me. I think she has turned him against me.
We share a crowded house, and I don’t earn enough to pay all the bills on my own (and am too old to take a second job, nor should I have to take a second job!) but she angrily attacked me this morning for “being a bitch” to her, and said she would no longer pay any rent to me because of that.
She says she needs to save money to move out. That would be perfectly reasonable under other circumstances. It would be fine if I earned enough that I could afford to give them a break so they could save money, but I don’t and she knows it. I could be renting out her room instead and she knows that too. I also doubt she will actually save money and move, since she has never been able to save money before and can’t seem to hold onto a job.
Her brother wants to mediate (he’s good at mediating) but there’s no way for that to happen since then she would know I told him everything, and she is predisposed to not cooperate since she’s jealous of the more positive attention she thinks he gets from me. They have become distant from each other partly because of geographic distance, but also because she thinks he judges her harshly (he doesn’t, but is reasonably critical and she can’t seem to deal with criticism).
I’m not sure what to do. My daughter went out in a huff after flinging a litany of insults at me, and is currently (most likely) over at her father’s house (where I’m pretty sure they are all sitting around badmouthing me and talking about what a crazy, narcissistic person I am). And yes, I do realize how narcissistic and paranoid I sound, but I’m absolutely sure that’s what is going on. I feel like I’m reliving the nightmare I went through before I finally worked up the courage to go no contact with her father. He freeloaded off of me too and told everyone I was the crazy one when I objected to his crazymaking antics and exploitation of my good will.
Now she is accusing me of “playing the victim.” It appears that gaslighting comes naturally to her. She must have been paying attention when I talked to her all those times about narcissism and narcissistic abuse, because now she not only knows all the terms and phrases, she has weaponized them, using them against me.
When did my daughter become her father? I never thought she would become a gaslighting abuser or a narcissist because she always seemed like a high empathy person to me. It’s like I turned around and instead of seeing her standing there, it’s her father all over again.
Until recently, and since her father left the house (at my insistence) in 2014, my daughter and I have gotten along great. I’m not sure when things started to go downhill or even who changed. Was it her or was it me? I feel like it was her. But I just don’t really know. It seems like it started to happen around the time of her marriage in January. But her husband doesn’t seem like a narcissist to me, just a quiet guy. But since he doesn’t talk a lot, I have no idea what he is actually saying to her. All I know is that during the past few months, our relationship has been very tense and prone to lead to arguments. I always feel like I’m walking on eggshells with her, and I know that’s a huge red flag.
Maybe she needed to go out and just calm herself down and give herself some space. So I will see when she returns if she’s more reasonable. But if she still refuses to cooperate with my house rules, I may have no choice but to make plans to move out myself and leave the two of them to figure out how to pay for everything themselves. That’s not being spiteful, but I simply can’t live with someone (even my own daughter) who takes advantage of me the way her father did years ago. It’s a form of abuse and extremely triggering. I know she will be furious if that’s what I ultimately decide, but what else can I do? I feel trapped and helpless. I feel like I have no power or control over this situation at all and very few options open to me financially.
I guess I’ll see how things go after she calms down. She’s done this sort of thing before and then apologizes later. She always does say her father treated me like crap and I should have left sooner. I just don’t know what to think anymore. It’s times like this I just feel so backed into a corner and helpless.
I just had to vent. To get this off my chest. This post reminds me of my early articles, when I first started this blog and was realizing I had been abused throughout my life, and set about describing the mental and emotional abuse that was inflicted on me by my ex and by my family. It seems I still haven’t broken that pattern and it snuck in again when I least expected it.
I have no idea what to do, really.