Advice for responding to toxic people?

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Mara
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Advice for responding to toxic people?

Post by Mara » Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:25 pm

I have read books such as Toxic In-Laws and Gift of Fear. I’ve gone NC with the toxic in-laws and low contact with EH (estranged husband). I’ve told EH not to contact me except when necessary related to the children. He continues to bait me. Threatening me, falsely accusing me, criticizing me, etc. EH has “warned” me that I’ve “definitely pissed off his mom.” The evil PILs have contacted EH’s attorney (we are in the middle of divorce) to tell him that *I* am responsible for all of EH’s problems. On a email between a Mediator, EH, myself, and both of our attorneys, EH went on a multiple email rant criticizing me and my family and making false accusations against us.

I’ve been dealing with anxiety especially concerning the children’s safety and fighting EH and the PILs in court concerning parenting time. I even went to the ER last week due to continuous heart palpitations. No heart attack or emergent issues, but I’m still waiting to follow up with a cardiologist (still having palpitations).

Any advice for how to respond to these abhorrent, vindictive people? Or how to cope with their threats, intimidations, false accusations? My usual response is to ignore it. When I feel it is necessary, I call out the lie/abuse and declare the truth. But their current behavior is causing me much anxiety as it triggers past experiences of trauma (being unsafe, etc). FIL especially has told multiple people that he hates me, that he will do whatever he can to destroy me, he even told EH that he would kill me if I “messed with” EH (whatever that means, scary since FIL already blames all of EH’s issues and dangerous behavior on me). I did speak to someone about getting an order of protection against FIL and they said I couldn’t because his threats were third party.

PutMILinherplace
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Re: Advice for responding to toxic people?

Post by PutMILinherplace » Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:03 pm

What you are doing now is the best course of defense. The more they carry on, the more rope you are letting them have to hang themselves. Yes, I know you WANT to shout the truth from the roof tops but it wont help. Keep notes, a paper trail and keep turning everything over to your lawyer.
On a email between a Mediator, EH, myself, and both of our attorneys, EH went on a multiple email rant criticizing me and my family and making false accusations against us.
This is a good thing. Hopefully he will keep doing this. You see he, nor his family, gets that this just makes him look worse and worse and worse. The mediator reports to the judge. This can only help you .

As for your anxiety, I wish I had some magic formula for you. Talk to your doc. I dont know if this helps, it helped me but I kept telling myself this truth: I am a mother. I dont have the luxury of allowing my emotions or anxiety rule me. I have children that count on me. If I fall , who will protect them?

Keep strong

WhyOhWhy
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Re: Advice for responding to toxic people?

Post by WhyOhWhy » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:57 pm

Leave the heavy lifting to your attorney, Hun. Stay no-contact. It's the only way you will ever have any peace. Anything that comes up, they are welcomed to contact your attorney and/or mediator.
I will not let them drag me down to their level again

KeeperOfPrecious
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Re: Advice for responding to toxic people?

Post by KeeperOfPrecious » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:33 am

If you can avoid any communication, I would do what the others suggest and leave all communication between lawyers.

If you need to have conversations, I have found this helpful. Someone once sent me this advice. It’s called the BIFF response. Brief Informative Friendly Firm

Take a minute to read it, it gives scenarios and examples with how to avoid or diffuse a heavy argument.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog ... e-comments

The devil himself is impressed with her handiwork.

Melody
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Re: Advice for responding to toxic people?

Post by Melody » Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:49 am

So sorry Mara! If you can swing it DO go for counseling! I was a single parent dealing with not quite as bad as you but a total @hole. I went for over a year and still laugh at a 65+ year old woman telling me about "AFGO"s As in "Another F*cking grown Opportunity".

I really like what Keeper told you. Lawyers get expensive fast, so stating something so sanely will only help you. And YES keep detailed records! P.S. I hate your inlaws too! They f'd up your DH, threaten to mess with the grandkids and have taken NO responsibility for their actions. And as a bonus they have the audacity to blame you! UGHHHHHH!!!! HUGS!!!!!!!!

Mara
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Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:03 pm

Re: Advice for responding to toxic people?

Post by Mara » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:05 am

Melody - I have been seeing a counselor, which has been a huge help since I don’t have much of a support system.

I want to compile a document of the periods of time EH visited the kids and the times he was a no show or cancelled at the last minute. I’ve tried to document everything, but it hasn’t always been organized. Most of it is probably in tons of emails that I wrote myself. The issue is searching for them. I don’t know if I always kept track of when he did and did not visit though (because he would skip and then not visit for weeks or months at a time).

The most frustrating thing about the in-laws is how their version of reality is so skewed. They falsly accuse me so confidently and stubbornly. I used to have a hard time not believing their lies because they were so insistent and EH had isolated me from anyone who could help me stay tied to the truth.

KeeperOfPrecious wrote:https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/5-types-people-who-can-ruin-your-life/201809/biff-4-ways-respond-hostile-comments
KeeperOfPrecious - thank you for the advice. I will definitely have to read the article that you linked!
It gives me satisfaction to think of the money the PILs are spending on EH’s lawyer because they are so obsessed with money. EVERYTHING is about money to them.

WhyOhWhy wrote:Leave the heavy lifting to your attorney, Hun. Stay no-contact. It's the only way you will ever have any peace. Anything that comes up, they are welcomed to contact your attorney and/or mediator.
Thank you WhyOhWhy. I agree. But it gives me anxiety when the PILs and EH accuse me of keeping the kids from him. I have not done that, but I worry about what it will look like in court. They say I have “treated EH badly” when I’ve enforced healthy boundaries (such as telling him to leave if he is going to get aggressive and verbally abusive).


PutMILinherplace - I hope the mediator does make them look bad to the judge. Her email to us and our lawyers was very vague: “mediation has been cancelled because the guidelines weren’t being followed.” Neither my lawyer nor I had any clue why mediation was canceled. I had to ask EH directly to find out. But he said that the mediator didn’t feel comfortable due to his dad, so I hope his dad showed her his vile true colors, probably even intimidated her (I believe EH’s parents were pressuring the mediator to allow them to be present at mediation).

JustPlainHateHer
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Re: Advice for responding to toxic people?

Post by JustPlainHateHer » Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:21 pm

" Feel free to talk to my lawyer!" would be a good response. And, be sure he/she sends her a big, fat bill.
You have to find a way to temper the anxiety so it doesn't have an effect on the kids.
I used to take the kids to the park or a movie or some kind of entertainment and watch them laugh and have fun. The worst part is when you are sitting thinking about the big mess and hassle and trouble. This, too, shall pass. You will survive. If you can't do it for you, do it for you kids, you can!!

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