birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Emotional Abuse

How could they stop talking to me. I was their son's wife, their daughter-in-law, the, mother of their grandchildren. My mind raced trying to find the offense that caused my in-laws to literally shun me. I've watched documentaries about particular religions or cultures that practiced shunning an individual, but it was surreal experience to receive this from my in-laws. They withdrew all natural affection toward me.

They no longer contacted me on the phone, they spoke to my husband to meet their needs and wants with the grand kids. As well as contacted the children on their cell phones. They no longer recognized my birthday, Mother's day, or Christmas normally lavished with gifts. When they did see me their greetings were forced and insincere, more of courtesy to the children to show that they acknowledged me but clearly did not approve of me.

My husband's behavior began to spiral as well, and the way he treated me at home mimicked his parents treatment toward me. The pressure was overwhelming and I felt like I was losing my mind, but thank goodness for other family members and my best friend outside of the circle. They kept me grounded, connected and sane. They assured me that I did nothing that warranted this response. I decided to seek professional help.

I shared stories with the therapist that brought me to him. He seemed to understand my situation and surprisingly he knew how the story would end before I complete it. He gave me a homework assignment to research the words "Narcissist", "Passive Aggressive", and "Emotional Abuse". I was to return to him, but after I completed the assignment. I have used all three terms lightly but never researched the definition. Their behavior began to look clearer. I returned back to the therapist after my homework was complete and he gave more detail about the family dynamic. He told me the behavior was dysfunctional and I would not be able to change any of them, but now that I know this information what would I like to do to move forward because the only person I could change was myself..

Clean It Up

The Manyata