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You helped me before and I would like your advice again. I

This is for Therapist Mary...
This is for Therapist Mary Ann
Hi Mary Ann, You helped me before and I would like your advice again. I will give you a lot of history in a nut shell for you to understand.Me: raised by my mother she had bipolar, never knew my father. Just found person who could be 4 yrs ago. He didn't want to do DNA. Finally did it and he is my father, but can't have a relationship cause of his wife. His cousin is trying to help me. She said he feels bad. I suffer OCD, depression, eating disorder, was molested few times growing up. Have bachelor's in psychology. Got married. My hubsnad taught me a lot. Been married 13 years. We have 3 boys ages 8,12,14.
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Customer reply replied 23 days ago
Here is the rest that didn't fit....My mother's sister has child is 34. She is separated with a 7 year old autistic child. She lives with my grandfather whom I disowned for many reasons. Some include not knowing who he really is, can't trust him around my kids, talked and said he loved my uncle who was my molester. This person is also my cousins father. He is now in mental hospital.
My cousin and I were close growing up. We 4 years apart. I was so close to her , so much that when she went out of the country I cried so bad. She got married and was attached to her husband. And I realized I needed to build my own life with my family and not depend on her emotionally. So that is what I did. Then I moved away out of state for years and came back and now live minutes away from her.
She has been wanting to see me and I have been putting it off. I have been very busy trying to get settled since we just moved, also my husband is at the point he doesn't want to be bothered with her. Not that he hates her he just doesn't want to waste his time. To be honest I don't know how I feel about her, but everything my husband predicted in the past with her came true.
When she met her husband she treated me different. I would let her do anything with my kids . She would get them hyper when I would put them to bed and I didn't say anything cause we were close. Then when she had her son my son that is just a year older couldn't touch his toys cause she would need to disinfect it. Weare very clean people and they are not so much. They live in a dirty house as well and we do not. We always wash our hands. She question me if washed my hands and many other little similar things that I forgot. Also, when she visyed me out of state I gave her a used electronic device for her son and she rejected it because she wanted to get him a new one. When we are with her in the car or home she asks for us to raise or lower the temperture. She is nice and sweet and would seem like she doesn't have a bad bone in her body. However, it is the little things. If I would ask her for a favor she questions me
Like to watch the kids in the past. Oh why don't your husband do this or that or is your business good. Maybe you should change your work or schedule. Meanwhile if she asked me I wouldn't question her.Made me feel always not good enough. Everything ends up their way. They had a family friend that was not ours that had a son. Found out her son sold drugs form their house when he stood there. His Mom was watching my son and getting paid for about 2 weeks. We had a family bbq and didn't invite her son and she got upset and said she can't watch my kids because they are not good enough if her son is not good enough to come to our house. Then rather than my cousin be on my side she stays more neutral and questions me.She comes to my house and wants to change everyone and everything to accommodate her son.Telling my husband to lower the tv, my kids to shhh. She doesn't work, has anxiety issues, didn't finish high school, and I don't think she is best Influe nce for my kids. She is 34 and looks for guys like she is a 20 yr old and sometimes even goes against our principals with our kids. Also, everyone we would see her we would need to pick her up and drop her off cause she doesn't drive and do bunch of favors. My grandfather wanted me to take care of her and her brother when he passes.
When my mother passed at 57 years old of pancreatic cancer when I was with her my cousin kept calling me to help her with a taxi meanwhile my mom could have passed any minute. She was downstairs of the nursing home with my grandfather and her son with money and cell phones.
Just wanted to give you the jist of it to get an accurate answer.
Now I only seen her once and I have been back for 5 months. She is dying to see us and now is willing to take a bus to come over. She texts me saying how lonely and depressed she is and why don't I miss her son and etc. See she is l lonely and all has no one , has my grandfather who she lives with, but not a true relationship to count on. She is crazy after us because we always treated them excellent and accommodating. Oh and another thing when we visited her in my grandfather's house from out of state years ago she was crazy to see us, but made excuses how it would be difficult for us to sleep in the living room cause of her son's toys. Also, in the past they would pick to have strangers in the house rather than us, but say they love us to much..Now she wants to see us and since she has no one now and is separated she realizes we are all she has and now we are close. She says she is lonely and her son is sad because has no one. She was lonely before , but I think worse now because she is not seeing us and we are close by not out of state anymore. I don't even know what to say or do. It's like I love her, but I don't get motivated to see her. I may want to see her once in a blue and we can have a good time, but not something I want
Customer reply replied 23 days ago
The rest that didn't fit . I may want to see her once in a blue and we can have a good time, but not something I want to do often with my little time. Sometimes I don't even know how I feel. My family on my mother's side, which is where she is from have all mental problems and even the ones who don't act like they do and the rest of them including my mother waa ungrateful and selfish. My cousin talks like she isn't and is so sweet, but some actions shows she is. I tried talking with her about all thus and more and her response was that she felt like she lost me. She tried to defend everything and I tried to explain to her it is not about defending. I was just trying to get passed it, so I don't hold a grudge and we can move on and have a good relationship without that stuff bothering. However, we were texting and it seemed as if she couldn't handle it and I was worried about her cause she was having panic attacks. And about my husband and her demanding in his house she said it's not normal to have the tv that loud. So I didn't feel llike she was trying to resolve and work things out, but rather defend.
What do I Do?
Sorry was so long
Answered in 52 minutes by:
11/21/2017
TherapistMaryAnn
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5,876
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
Verified

Hello, and thank you for requesting my help.

It sounds like your cousin has some selfish tendencies and wants to have things go her way. You mentioned many examples of how she has rules about her son's toys, how loud the TV is and how she doesn't listen to you when you try to express your concerns. While being sweet is a nice quality, being demanding and critical is not.

It may be that your cousin feels she can say whatever she feels because there are few boundaries with her. You are trying to be kind and look at her good qualities, but ignore her bad ones. It is perfectly fine to tell her that her demands are not okay and that you are leaving or not willing to stay if she is going to make demands. For example, if you do decide to see her and she starts to criticize or she talks about rules that are unreasonable, it is okay to tell her that you have to go. Then leave.

Sometimes people will treat us the way we allow them to. That does not mean we can control someone's behavior, but when a person is unreasonable or even mean, it is fine to leave the situation. You don't have to do anything but say I'm sorry but this is not working for me (my kids, my family etc) and I (we) need to leave.

If you decide you want to see your cousin, then be prepared to set limits. She seems to want everything to be her way and in her control. So you might want to consider meeting her somewhere neutral, like a diner or a park. See how things go. Don't agree to do anything but meet with her. If she is kind to you, then stay and have a conversation. But if she starts making demands, saying anything critical or otherwise being unreasonable, stop the conversation, get up and say it was good to see you but I need to go. Then leave. If you are willing to set boundaries, then she will find out that she cannot continue to treat you or anyone else poorly.

I hope this has helped you,

MaryAnn

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Customer reply replied 23 days ago
Thank you very much
She doesn't see what she does. She makes herself the victim then I seem to be the one that is not being nice if I don't allow it. You know when people make demands beyond the boundary and if you stop them they make it like you are unreasonable. Something like that. I don't know why it is, but it was always difficult for me to stand up to my family. It is true what you say because I feel like I am my old young self when around them and can't be the person I am today. I guess I need to work on that.

You're welcome!

It sounds like she might have some narcissistic traits if not narcissistic personality disorder itself. Narcissism symptoms can include when someone makes everything about them, makes demands of others and they do not respect you and your feelings. Here are some resources to help you:

http://psychology.about.com/od/personalitydisorders/a/personalitydis.htm

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stop-walking-eggshells/201209/can-people-personality-disorders-have-healthy-relationships

https://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/narcissistic-personality-disorder

https://psychcentral.com/lib/10-way-to-build-and-preserve-better-boundaries/

Even if your cousin does not fit narcissistic personality disorder, she may be selfish in her behavior. Learning to set boundaries will help you feel better about yourself. It may take some time to learn how, but you will get better at it as you practice.

MaryAnn

TherapistMaryAnn
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5,876
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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