I read a wonderful blog entry from someone I consider a good friend & soul sister this morning. Here's the link to that wonderful blog. And as I read it I realized that it was okay I feel the apprehension and angst I feel every time my MIL comes to visit. Because I really did try to be understanding and supportive of her feelings when I was at an earlier stage of my marriage. And I received nothing positive from her in return. I received more demands and no empathy from her, which is pretty standard for those with NPD.
Another thing I've realized is that I have emotional memories attached to the experiences I've had with my MIL that make it very difficult for me to relax when I'm in her presence. The closest I've come to having anything like PTSD have been experiences associated with this woman. And so, even though I go through all my breathing exercises, and coping methods when the MIL comes for a visit....I can never fully relax. And it's okay that I don't like that.
And then I got to read another wonderful blog entry later today entitled You are not accidental that clued me in to this idea that maybe I NEED to understand that I can't really change my body's reaction to this particular person. And I CAN accept that it may not change. And I DON'T have to like it. But even though I don't like this particular aspect of myself, I really and truly can say I love the complete package that I have become. And since I'm still learning and growing, perhaps in time I'll be able to handle time with my MIL in a way I like. But for now I just need to breathe and cope through it.