Luke 17:3 Ministries Inc
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
For Adult Daughters of Controlling or Abusive Birth-Families

The Devil's Advocate : Handling The Family Meddler / "Peacemaker"

THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE :

HANDLING THE FAMILY MEDDLER

.…OOPS, I MEAN “PEACEMAKER”

 

By Rev. Renee Pittelli

 

 

BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS:  FOR THEY SHALL BE CALLED THE CHILDREN OF GOD….Matthew 5:9 KJV

 

            For many of us, there will come a time when we end the relationship with our abuser, or when he ends it because we have finally begun to set limits on his behavior.  However, abusers are not known for going off quietly into the night.  Having us grow strong enough to challenge them, or even to walk away from them, is an affront most abusers simply refuse to accept.  It may be over for us, but it’s never over for them.  They always have one more thing to say. 

 

            When we limit our contact with them, they will feel deprived of the opportunity to vent, to unburden themselves all over us, and to tell us a thing or two.  But, not to worry.  As the old saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention.  If we are no longer speaking to them, rest assured that our abusers will still find a way to harass us by proxy.  They will simply be forced to become creative in order to get their message through to us.

            Many abusers either can’t handle a direct confrontation with you, or realize that you will probably refuse to speak to them if they contact you directly.  So they will enlist someone else to do their dirty work for them.  I like to call this friend or relative the  "Devil’s Advocate", since, despite any claims of neutrality, what she is truly doing is advocating for an evil, demonic abuser.

            Your abuser may point-blank ask another relative to contact you on his behalf.  Or, he might go on and on, crying a river to anyone who will listen, pretending that he loves and misses you so much and has no idea why you won’t have anything to do with him, and in general acting as pathetic as possible.  He will keep this performance up until some meddling busybody takes pity on him and decides to “intervene” (translate:  butt in) by calling you and either volunteering to “help” you patch things up, or criticizing YOU for hurting your abuser.  (see the articles  “The Silent Partner” and “They Can’t All Be Wrong And You Right…Or Can They?” on our site).

 

 

WHAT REALLY MAKES A BUSYBODY TICK

 

 

 

A WICKED MAN LISTENS TO EVIL LIPS;  A LIAR PAYS ATTENTION TO A MALICIOUS TONGUE….Proverbs 17:4 NIV

A LYING TONGUE HATES THOSE IT HURTS, AND A FLATTERING MOUTH WORKS RUIN….Proverbs 26: 28 NIV

            When this happens, the family budinski may pretend that she just can’t stand to see the family having problems, and took it upon herself to call you without your abuser’s knowledge.  This is a LIE, told to make you think the “well-intentioned” budinski really is neutral and is not taking sides,  and that you can trust her not to repeat whatever you might say.  But you can be sure that she will report every detail back to your abuser, who knows perfectly well that she is calling you because he either put her up to it, or indirectly manipulated her into doing it.

            Almost every abusive family has at least one attention-grabbing narcissist who will be more than happy to exploit your heartache, suffering, and distress so that she can take the credit for trying to “make peace” between you and your estranged relative.  She will just soak it up as others praise her for having the courage to get involved and trying to “help”.  

            It makes her feel important to have everyone know about the noble and selfless thing she did.  She will pry and ask you all kinds of nosy questions that are none of her business in a sham attempt at "finding a compromise".  She wants to be the big-shot with the inside information that everyone else wants to hear.  So she will be sure to announce whatever you confide in her at every family gathering, discussing your conversation, in appropriately hushed tones and with a phony look of somber concern,  with anyone who seems interested.

           She will repeat everything you said, whether in confidence or not, and then some, embellishing as necessary to keep her audience enraptured.  She will use your pain to get attention and make herself look like the hero.   A meddler is not the family “peace-maker”.  She is the family GOSSIP.  Of course she has to broadcast her “selfless” act, because, after all, if no one knows about it, what’s the point?

            Although she might make a phony, half-hearted attempt to get your side of the story, the family meddler doesn’t really want to hear what you have to say.  She knows if she gets you started, you’ll probably unload 20 years of garbage on her.  In fact, I know of several victims, or should I say “escapees”, who did indeed start unloading on their budinskis, telling the truth about years of abuse, only to have the budinski start squirming uncomfortably and mumble something about how it’s really none of her business anyway and she really doesn’t want to get involved, and maybe throw in,  “Oh, look at the time, I’m running late- Gotta go!”  As soon as they hear what’s REALLY been going on all those years, many meddlers suddenly decide to Stay Out Of It, which is what they should have done in the first place. 

            Meddling gossips are not the least bit interested in the truth.  They just pretend that they are, long enough to get around to whatever points THEY want to make.  And Lord knows, after they’ve been enlightened, they’re sure not going to be courageous enough or righteous enough to go back to the abuser and the rest of the family and defend you.  Because, although they pretend to be, they don't really want to help you, and they don't really want to "do the right thing".  That is simply not how they operate, and it's not their real motivation for trying to "get your side of  the story."

 

           

BUDINSKIS GONE WILD- MY OWN TESTIMONY

 

 

LIKE ONE WHO SEIZES A DOG BY THE EARS IS A PASSER-BY WHO MEDDLES IN A QUARREL NOT HIS OWN….Proverbs 26:17 NIV

 

 

            A year after my birth-mother stopped speaking to me, she was admitted to the hospital with a sudden and mysterious head-injury.  She spent a month in a coma before her relatives disconnected her life support and knew that she would be dying soon (see the article “A Portrait of Evil” on our site for the story of what my scheming birth-father was up to behind the scenes during this time.)

            One of my meddling ex-cousins, Agnes, (see “They Can’t All Be Wrong And You Right…Or Can They?”  , 'Why Don't They Just Apologize?' and “My Holiday Deliverance” on our site) called to pressure me to visit my mother’s bedside .  When I hesitated, she brought out the big guns.  “Don’t you LOVE your mother?” she asked.  To which I simply answered, “Don’t judge me, Agnes.”  How do you even get someone like this to understand the process of healing from the pain of loving someone who walked away from you after a lifetime of exploiting and abusing you? 

            I had spent my entire life being a devoted daughter,  loving and caring for my mother, and my reward was being disowned by her for setting limits on the amount of time I would allow myself and my family to be exposed to my parents’ abuse.   I had already mourned losing my mother the year before, and not one of my judgmental relatives was there for me.  I had begun healing from profound grief.  And now I needed some time to think about whether I really wanted to open those old wounds again, or not. 

            Agnes’ attempt to lay on a guilt trip by asking me whether I still loved my mother gave me pause.   I had never really thought about it before.  And if I could not honestly answer that I still felt love for someone who had hurt me so badly, why was that something I should feel guilty about?  It was my mother, not me, who had ended our relationship.  The guilt belonged to her.  How long was I still expected to “love” someone who was no longer in my life, and who had dumped me a year ago?  Feelings are not something we can control, they just are what they are.  If, after taking my own emotional inventory, I could not honestly say that my feelings for my mother still qualified as “love”, it was not by my choice.  It would only be because SHE had destroyed the deep, lifelong love I had had for her.

            Being a narcissist herself, Agnes had trouble comprehending that there might come a time when I would “get over”  someone who had betrayed me, treated me like dirt, and was no longer a part of my life.  This is because she cannot comprehend anyone ever moving on and getting over HER, because she cannot get over HERSELF.  And there was more than just a little bit of malice behind her question, a little hope of getting me to crack, and of upsetting me in some way.

            I did not feel comfortable caving in to Agnes’ pressure without taking the time I needed to think over all of this.  So I was non-committal.  After all, it was none of her business whether I chose to visit my mother or not.  I told her that I would think it over and ended the conversation.

            I did think about it and visited my mother a few days later.  She was in a coma and did not even seem to know I was there.  I had no desire to run into Agnes and her side of the family, or my birth-father, so I visited after hours.  My time with my mother before she died was personal and private, and I did not feel the need to share it with them.

 

 

THE PLOT THICKENS

 

 

 

IT IS AN HONOUR FOR A MAN TO CEASE FROM STRIFE:  BUT EVERY FOOL WILL BE MEDDLING….Proverbs 20:3 KJV

 

            And this is where the story starts to get interesting.  Because I never told Agnes that I had indeed visited my mother, she and her side of the family made the gigantic incorrect assumption that I had not.  Well, you know what happens when you assume!  Agnes’ busybody sister (apparently meddling runs in their family) proceeded to go to my mother’s hospital bedside and inform her that I would not be coming to see her, and that it was okay for her to “let go” and die! 

            Inexplicably proud of herself, this demented budinski then self-righteously reported to my birth-sister that a “tear rolled down my mother’s cheek” when she told her that I wouldn’t be coming to say good-bye.   I can’t imagine the confusion and upset that this crazy, big-mouth gossip must have caused my mother, if she did indeed comprehend what was being said to her.  I’m sure she didn’t even know she was dying until Miss Budinski opened her big mouth.  Maybe my mother was frightened of dying, and maybe THAT’S why a tear rolled down her cheek!  I will be telling the rest of this story in a future article, but for now you get the picture.

            There is apparently no limit as to how low a drama queen family meddler will go to take the credit for doing “the right thing”, and to make you look bad.  I never gave my idiotic cousin permission to speak for me.  She never consulted me to see if what she intended to tell my mother was the truth or not.  I had no idea that while I was visiting at night, she was visiting during the day and upsetting my mother with her gossip and lies. 

            Wanting to make sure she got the proper credit for her “courageous” actions, Miss Budinski made sure to tell my birth-sister, as well as the rest of her family, what she had done, because she was actually PROUD of herself for telling poor aunt Isabel that it was ok to die now and making her cry.  And my birth-sister then proceeded to write me a letter telling me the whole revolting story.

            In her self-righteous attempt to butt in where she didn’t belong and make ME look bad, this lowlife cousin caused her elderly aunt, whom she claimed to love so much, to cry on her deathbed, and to have fear in her heart about dying.   Imagine going to the bedside of a sick,  frightened, dying relative and upsetting her so much that she cried.  Just disgusting.

            How this disgraceful, despicable, and disturbing story is supposed to make ME look bad is beyond me.  But don’t think Ms. Budinski didn’t attempt to twist this episode into being my fault, rather than admit the appalling thing that SHE did.  However, I wouldn’t dream of stealing her thunder- she deserves all the credit for this fiasco.  I had nothing to do with it. 

            Whenever I tell this story to others, their jaws usually drop. After regaining their composure, some ask incredulously, "Who on earth does she think she is to do something like that?"  The only answer I can think of is that she's a narcissist who thinks she has the RIGHT to butt in and instigate trouble with SOMEONE ELSE'S mother.

            When Ms. Budinski's father's health declined, I didn't jump on the opportunity to visit him and complain or make up lies about his children that would upset him.  In my wildest dreams I cannot imagine showing up at Ms. Budinski's mother's hospital bedside and telling her whatever my crazed, delusional mind thought her daughters might or might not do.  Even if they actually told me what they were going to do and I knew it for sure, it still would not be MY place to tell THEIR mother anything about them. Because she is not MY mother and it would be NONE OF MY BUSINESS.

            But to Ms. Budinski, respecting other people's boundaries, minding her own business, and not being the one to upset her dying aunt so much that she cried on her deathbed was not as important as getting the attention and admiration of her own nut-job family.  So she USED my mother's suffering and death to gain their approval.  The big dramatic deathbed scene she orchestrated, under the false pretense of "doing a good deed", was in reality the ultimate in selfishness and cruelty.

            Of course, if anyone was going to pass on false gossip to my dying mother, the one who SHOULD have been doing it was mom's other daughter, my birth-sister.  But that’s a whole other story.  Knowing that mom’s life-support had been disconnected and that she only had a few days to live, sis, who had left our dying mother three weeks earlier to go home and “get a prescription filled” (a 45 minute plane ride), still never returned until after mom had died.  Yes, you read it right.  My birth-sister was the one who WASN’T THERE to say good-bye to mom!  Apparently mom was hanging on a little too long, and, well, it was time to get back to her life.  We can't expect her to wait around forever!  Mom had already been enough of an inconvenience. And yet,  these certifiable crazies thought they had the right to judge ME! 

            It is mind-boggling that my wacky ex-relatives disowned me, even though I did what mom's OTHER daughter DIDN'T do, and yet they did not disown her.  Since I was the daughter who really WAS visiting mom in her last days, the only reason she could have had for "hanging on" was that she was waiting for her OTHER DAUGHTER to show up!  In her confused state, maybe a tear rolled down her cheek when Ms. Budinski told her to stop waiting and let go, because she realized that she would never see her OTHER daughter again!  The one who never came to say goodbye was my birth-sister, but nobody stopped speaking to her. This is yet another perfect illustration of how there’s no sense expecting anything rational from psychopaths who belong in a mental institution.

 

 

BECAUSE IT’S PERSONAL, PRIVATE, AND NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS

           

            Family budinskis think they know everything about everyone in the family, and furthermore, they think they have the RIGHT to know everything, whether it has anything to do with them or not.  They believe that nobody does anything without advising them or consulting them, and they think that it is their RIGHT to know what’s going on between you and your mother, father, sister, or brother.  I don’t happen to agree.  So when I visited my mother, I did not feel the need to report back to my nosy ex-cousins.  Simply because it was NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS.  

            If it wasn’t for me not letting her know my every move, my meddling ex-cousin would never have had the opportunity to try and make herself look noble at my expense.  But nosy busybodies, control-freaks, and narcissists have no understanding of another adult not having to answer to them.  Because of their gigantic egos, my ego-maniacal ex-relatives have always assumed that their approval was important to me, and to everyone else who knew them.  Because they are legends in their own minds, they think that everyone HAS TO CARE about their opinions.  

            So of course, to their way of thinking, if I had done what they wanted me to do and visited my mother, they were positive that I would be sure to let them know it, so that they could stamp me with their “seal of approval” instead of disapproval.  They believed they had the right to judge me, and that I should aspire to their approval.  This is beyond patronizing and insulting.  The fact that I was not their child trying to please them so that they could reward me with a pat on the head did not compute in their brains.

             

 

THE SHOW MUST GO ON

 

 

 

A MALICIOUS MAN DISGUISES HIMSELF WITH HIS LIPS, BUT IN HIS HEART HE HARBORS DECEIT.  THOUGH HIS SPEECH IS CHARMING, DO NOT BELIEVE HIM, FOR SEVEN ABOMINATIONS FILL HIS HEART.  HIS MALICE MAY BE CONCEALED BY DECEPTION, BUT HIS WICKEDNESS WILL BE EXPOSED IN THE ASSEMBLY….Proverbs 26:  24-26 NIV

 

            Many budinskis choose their moments for maximum embarrassment impact.  Nothing plays into a busybody’s hands better than having an audience when she confronts you.  The audience could be other relatives or perfect strangers.  The best audience of all are friends or acquaintances of yours who don’t know her, because then she can make you look bad to people who know you, and who have the added plus of being people SHE will never see again.  In her zeal to put you on the spot, the self-righteous family meddler will be completely oblivious to the discomfort she is causing the unfortunate innocent bystanders.  Budinskis aren’t exactly known for their charm and good manners.  They don’t spend a lot of time reading etiquette books.  Clumsily blundering through other people's affairs like the proverbial bull in the china shop, they are oblivious to the vulgarity of causing scenes in public.

 


 

MISS BUDINSKI STRIKES AGAIN

 

 

 

AS A DOG RETURNS TO HIS VOMIT, SO A FOOL REPEATS HIS FOLLY….Proverbs 26:11  NIV

A PERVERSE MAN STIRS UP DISSENSION, AND A GOSSIP SEPARATES CLOSE FRIENDS….Proverbs 16:28 NIV

WITHOUT WOOD A FIRE GOES OUT, WITHOUT GOSSIP A QUARREL DIES DOWN….Proverbs 26: 20 NIV

           

             The perfect example of this is again my ex-cousin Miss Budinski, who obviously puts the “busy” in the word "busybody",  and whom you will remember as the drama queen who went to my mother’s deathbed to inform her, incorrectly, that I wasn’t coming and she should “go to the light”.  The year before my mother’s illness and death,  Miss Budinski had been the one responsible for a real eye-opener for me. 

            It was the week after my mother had disowned me, and Miss Budinski decided to confront me at my son’s football game.  In front of my neighbors and my son’s friends’ parents, she demanded to know what had happened between me and my mother.  I quietly told her that my mother had stopped speaking to me, to which she snorted, in a loud voice, “ That’s not what WE heard!”. 

            I said, “I don’t care what you heard.  That’s the truth.  And I’m not going to discuss it with you.”  She walked away, leaving her audience of my friends and neighbors to roll their eyes and give me sympathetic looks.  Although her intent was to put me on the spot, in her self-righteous eagerness to butt in to my business with her nosy questions and accusations, she only succeeded in making herself look like a fool. 

            Some of the audience already knew the situation, and later on, I brought the others up to speed.  My big-mouth cousin made it necessary for me to reluctantly relate stories, albeit true stories, about my mother and her abuse, which some of these people would never have heard otherwise.  I had done nothing wrong, and I had no problem telling the truth.  My friends and neighbors were very supportive, and the ones who wound up looking like total lowlifes were Miss Budinski and my mother.

            But that wasn't the most damaging effect of Ms. Budinski's blabbermouth.  Because, thanks to my big-mouth cousin, this episode marked the first time that I realized my mother was running around behind my back lying about me.  In less than a week since she had disowned me, she began her smear campaign of gossip and telling the most gullible relatives her “version” of our break-up.  Stunned at my mother's deceitfulness, dishonesty, and treachery, for the first time, I knew that there would be no going back.  I realized  that my mother was doing her best to make sure my family turned against me, that because of her, I would never see some of my relatives again, and that, even if I did, their opinions of me would be forever altered. 

            I knew then that there would never be a mending of fences with my mother, because she would never be able to undo the damage she had done.  I understood for the first time what a liar my mother was, how determined to hurt me she was, and that I would never be able to trust her again. 

           Except for Ms. Budinski, all the rest of the family had the brains to stay out of it, keep their mouths shut, and not add fuel to the fire.  If Ms. Budinski had not opened her big mouth, I probably never would have found out that my mother was trashing me behind my back.  My trust in her would not have been destroyed.  Our disagreement would have eventually blown over, like our past disagreements always had, and we would have been able to reconcile our relationship.  But with that one little malicious comment, Ms. Budinski managed to destroy any possibility of that happening.  So in that sense, Ms. Budinski inadvertently did me a big favor, by preventing me from naively trusting and reconciling with my treacherous mother again.

            But it was not Ms. Budinski's intention to do ME any favors.  The person she was supposedly trying to "help" was my mother, and that backfired completely.  My mother had burned her bridges, and she had my cousin to thank for letting me know about it.  If there had ever been any hope of a reconciliation between me and my mother, Miss Budinski, under the pretext of “peacemaking”, was  responsible for throwing the last shovelful of dirt onto the coffin.  Nice going.  One has to wonder just how much trouble a true, dyed-in-the-wool, foot-in-mouth diseased budinski has to cause in other people's families before she learns to keep her big mouth shut and mind her own business.


 

 

NO BETTER PLACE FOR CAUSING A SCENE THAN AT A WEDDING

 

 

 

            Another encounter with a limelight-loving meddler happened at my own wedding.  When I got married, I chose to not invite a particular cousin.  This woman had been the family troublemaker since we were all children, and was known for causing scenes.  She was extremely jealous and had refused to attend all the previous cousins’ weddings.  At the time, she was not on speaking terms with several people who were on my guest list, including myself.  I did not see the point in inviting her and giving her the opportunity to cause problems.

            Well don’t you know,  my aunt approached me while I was on the receiving line at the dais, and demanded to know why I had not invited this particular cousin.  Now mind you, this aunt had my phone number, and if she had any questions, she could have easily called me at home at any time.  But she was intentionally trying to embarrass me in front of my other guests.

            I refused to let her rattle me.  I simply fixed her with an even look and said, “This is not the time or place to discuss that.  If you really want to know my list of reasons, then you can call me at home when I get back from my honeymoon.”  Then I turned to greet the next person, who rolled her eyes knowingly, while my aunt’s husband led her away by the elbow.  Needless to say, I never heard another word about it.  No future discussion, and no phone calls at home, even though I had invited her to do so.  If you call their bluff, you will often find that certain big brave budinskis only have the guts to confront you in front of others, but when it comes to a one-on-one private conversation, all their bravado goes right out the window. 

           

BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS

 

 

            Nosy busybodies like my ex-cousins like to call themselves “peacemakers” instead of what they really are, which is “nosy busybodies.”  They justify their prying into other people’s affairs by pointing out that Jesus said “Blessed are the peacemakers” in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:9).  My birth-mother was the biggest “peacemaker” of them all, using everything from tears to threats to get others to continue tolerating her husband’s abuse.  However, that is not at all what “peacemaking” means.

 

            PEACEMAKER:  (n) somebody who establishes peace; a person who brings about peace.

 

            PEACE:  (n) a state of harmony between people, absence of strife; mental calm, serenity; freedom from anxiety

 

            Hmmm, now let’s see.  I don’t remember feeling calm and serene after my birth-mother’s or ex-cousins’ “peacemaking” efforts.  I remember feeling frustrated and hopeless, that these people didn't care about me at all and were never going to understand that the abuse would never end, and that as long as I wanted these other family members in my life, there would never be any escape from my birth-father’s cruelty.   What I did feel was pressured, cornered, stressed, and blackmailed by the threat of them withdrawing their love and approval if I refused to continue suffering in silence (see “

Why Do I Put Up With This Garbage” on our site).   The first time in 47 years that I ever remember having “freedom from anxiety” was when these people were finally out of my life for good. 

            I don’t remember my mother’s conniving, whining, and tantrums ever bringing about a “state of harmony” between her husband and me and my family.  I don’t remember there ever being an “absence of strife”, and certainly never a “state of harmony” by any stretch of the imagination.  This is because all the strife originated with my father, and she never confronted him about it, or expected him to change at all.  She only confronted me, and expected me to continue tolerating his abuse with no end in sight.

            Peacemaking is not one-sided.  It is not just a matter of convincing the victim to continue allowing herself to be victimized,  so the “peacemaker” can continue having family get-togethers with everyone there.  Peacemaking entails expecting compromise and concessions from BOTH parties, not just one. 

            A peacemaker who was truly willing to put herself on the line to achieve peace and harmony would know that she had to start by confronting the abuser about his behavior.  First, she would need to insist that the abuser apologize and stop his abuse.  And THEN, she could approach the victim about be willing to hear the abuser’s apology and possibly forgive him if he is truly remorseful.

            The problem is, most family “peacemakers” have no problem judging us and “speaking to us” about our “behavior”, which is merely a reaction to the abuser’s behavior anyway.  But they are completely spineless when it comes to speaking to the abuser about HIS behavior.  Gosh, THEY don’t want to become a target of his hostility, they just want US to be the target.  Thus, many “peacemakers” like my mother, protect themselves from the abuser’s wrath by offering up someone else for him to abuse.  If the “peacemaker” thinks you might be getting away, she will want to drag you back in before the abuser turns his focus on her.

            If the definition of “peacemaking” is “establishing a state of harmony between people”, then the place to start is with the one who causes all the disharmony.  AFTER the family “peacemaker” has approached the abuser, confronted him about his behavior, and gotten him to agree to stop creating strife in the family, THEN she can approach the victim and soothe her anxieties with assurances of serenity and calm from then on.

            Most phony “peacemakers” won’t do this because:

            1.  They are too intimidated by the abuser to confront him, but have no problem confronting the victim, whom they perceive as the “weaker” of the two parties, or at least too rational and too nice to let them have it. 

            2.  Despite their phony claim of wanting family harmony, what they really want is the status quo. Some thrive on a constant state of crisis and chaos, and torturous family gatherings suit them just fine.  Others LIKE seeing the victim stuck in a hopeless situation, because THEY’RE just a little bit sadistic and cruel, too.  Or maybe more than a little bit.  Others feel better about themselves if they can see the victim as helpless and weak.  And because misery loves company, they feel better about their own miserable lives if you are miserable too!

            3.  Some budinskis have had issues with you all along that you have been unaware of- such as envy, jealousy, or resentment.  They do not really have your best interests at heart when pressuring you accept being abused.  They are being holier-than-thou and trying to make themselves look good at your expense.  They are trying to prove to you, and to everyone else, that they are a better person than you are.  Because if they were in your position, they would  just overlook it.  But the thing is, they are NOT in your position.  They are not the one being abused, and they have no right to judge you.  (See the article “Family Jealousy- The Shameful Secret Behind Abuse And Betrayal” on our site).

            4.  Many “peacemakers” are looking for attention for themselves and gratitude for their efforts.  If they can succeed in smoothing things over or getting information out of you, then the abuser will be beholden to them.  There’s nothing like having the Alpha Dog owe you one; hence, their bizarre interest in reeling you back in to a situation that in reality, has nothing to do with them.  It’s also an ego-boost for them to be privy to others’ conflicts and dilemmas.  They like having “inside information”.  They love knowing that their approval or disapproval means so much to the victim that she is willing to allow herself to be abused rather than lose their love.   If they can convince the victim to stay in the abusive situation, they get to look like the family hero.  Never mind that a REAL hero would have the guts to take a stand against evil, confront the perpetrator, and stick up for the victims.  Anyone who stands by and allows someone who loves them to be mistreated is no hero in my book.

 

 

HANDLING THE FAMILY MEDDLERS

 

 

 

A GOSSIP BETRAYS A CONFIDENCE, SO AVOID A MAN WHO TALKS TOO MUCH….Proverbs

20:19 NIV

AND IF ANY PLACE WILL NOT WELCOME YOU OR LISTEN TO YOU, SHAKE THE DUST OFF YOUR FEET WHEN YOU LEAVE, AS A TESTIMONY AGAINST THEM….Mark 6:11 NIV

 

 

            Let’s face it.  Once you have made your escape from your Lord-Of-The-Flies dysfunctional family, you are bound to be a topic of conversation at family gatherings for quite some time.  There’s just no avoiding it.  The upside to this is that you can use the meddler’s blabbermouth to your advantage here, just by telling her anything that you DO want your ex-relatives to find out about- like how well you’re doing and how happy you are without them.

            You and your “escape” will be a matter for discussion simply because your ex-relatives will be in a state of disbelief that you actually got away from them, and that they can’t control you any longer.  They will claim not to know what on earth came over you.  They will have trouble coming to terms with your newfound freedom, and you will be the subject of much speculation.  The good part is that it will STAY mere speculation unless you give them any concrete information through the family budinski.

            The other good part is that eventually, it will die down.  If they have no real information about you or what you’re thinking, and if no one has any tales to carry back to them, sooner or later they’re going to run out of things to discuss about you.  Although they will be left with no closure, forever wondering about you and often reminded of you, it will become awkward to keep bringing you up.  Folks will start to think they’re obsessed with you.  It will finally be YOUR turn to be the “elephant in the livingroom”, the one on everybody’s minds but whom nobody dares to be the first to bring up.  It might take a year or two, but after a while, there will just be nothing more to say. 

            That is, unless you allow the family meddler to drag any relevant information out of you.  Trust me on this.  I guarantee that if you confide in the meddling budinski, you will be a topic of conversation at every family gathering for at least the next five years, and probably much longer.  The best defense against this abuse by proxy is to REFUSE TO DISCUSS the relationship between you and your abuser with any third parties.  Period.  Remember that just because the donkey brays, doesn’t mean you have to answer him. 

            If your meddler is persistent, you might eventually have to tell her point blank to mind her own business.  Meanwhile, here are some other responses you can try.  Just customize them to you own personal situation, and then speak up:

             “Thanks for your concern, but my situation with my mother is between her and me, and I’m not going to discuss it with you.  It’s private.” 

             “Despite what he’s told you, my father knows exactly what he did, and when he’s ready to make amends, he’ll have to call me himself.  My advice to you is don’t get involved and don’t believe everything you hear.”

            “You know, I’m just not in the mood to think about my sister right now.  Let’s talk about something more pleasant.”

            “No thanks, I don’t need you to speak for me.”

            “Sorry, if my brother has something to say to me, he’ll have to say it himself.”

            “I’m not going to have you carrying messages back and forth between me and my sister.  She knows my number, and if she has anything to say to me, she can call me herself.  She needs to grow up and fight her own battles.”

            “I’m not too clear on how exactly you’re involved in my issues with my mother.” (followed by a steady gaze and a long silence.)

            “Stay out of it.  It has nothing to do with you.”

 

            And here are two of my personal favorites, because they turn the tables on the meddler and make HER squirm for a change:

            “Since you seem to feel free to tell me to overlook my father’s abuse, did you also tell him to stop it?”

            “Before I respond to you, I’d like to hear what my mother said when you told her she needs to change the way she acts.”

            I have used these two a few times myself and I just love the blank look on the meddlers’ faces when I do.  Their stunned expressions practically scream, “What? You mean, you think I should approach an abuser about changing his ways?  I don’t want to get in the middle of that mess!”

            They usually get quite flustered, because they didn’t think you’d have the same nerve to put them on the spot that they have to put you on the spot.  They figured they’d be the one asking YOU the questions, not the other way around.  They may babble something about “Your mother really wants to make up with you” or “Your sister didn’t mean it and misses you”, at which point you need to pursue it further- “But what did she SAY when you told her she shouldn’t have done that?”

            The key here is to turn the tables on the budinski and keep questioning her until she finally admits that she never told the abuser that he needs to change anything at all.  Get whatever information you can out of her, without giving her any information in return.  Even if the meddler admits to having talked to the abuser, it’s highly doubtful that they discussed anything at all about HIS behavior, only your refusal to continue tolerating it.  When you finally corner your budinski and she admits this, then you can tell her that she has no business approaching you to “make peace” if she hasn’t already approached the perpetrator about his abuse.  Because if he would just knock it off, there would be no problem maintaining the peace. And there will NEVER be peace until he STOPS IT! 

 

 

 

BLESSED ARE THE REAL PEACEMAKERS

 

 

AND MY PEOPLE SHALL DWELL IN A PEACEABLE HABITATION, AND IN SURE DWELLINGS, AND IN QUIET RESTING PLACES…..Isaiah 32:18  KJV

 

 

            In Isaiah 32:18, the Lord promises us, his people, the right to live in peace. 

            To a meddler, “peace” just means everything going back to “normal”.  Just like it always was, with the abuser’s behavior just as bad as ever, everyone else overlooking it and pretending it’s not really a problem, and you and the other victims suffering in silence and not rocking the boat.  In this situation, it could be said that everyone does have peace- except the victims, who don't count.  They just need to be kept in line.  If only you would just suck it up, stop complaining, plaster a smile on your face, and start speaking to your abuser again, then we could all get back to business as usual.  And the meddler can take the credit for it. 

            But the solution to achieving peace lies not in convincing you to accept abuse, it lies in getting the abuse to stop.  Then there can be peace for EVERYONE in the family.   A true peacemaker has to be willing to defend and protect the innocent victims,  to have the courage to take a stand against evil and CHANGE things for the better.  Then, and only then, will the family meddler deserve to take the credit for bringing about peace in the family.

           Until that happens, there will only be the false appearance of peace.  What an abusive family calls “peace” is just an illusion, a figment of their imaginations, a fantasy of their delusional minds.   This is not God’s definition of peace, and it is not a Godly person’s definition of peace.  True peace must include freedom from anxiety, absence of strife, calm, serenity and harmony for everyone.

 

       DOES A FOUNTAIN SEND FORTH AT THE SAME PLACE SWEET WATER AND BITTER?  CAN THE FIG TREE, MY BRETHREN, BEAR OLIVE BERRIES?  EITHER A VINE, FIGS?  SO CAN NO FOUNTAIN BOTH YIELD SALT WATER AND FRESH.

       WHO IS A WISE MAN AND ENDUED WITH KNOWLEDGE AMONGST YOU?  LET HIM SHEW OUT OF A GOOD CONVERSATION HIS WORKS WITH MEEKNESS OF WISDOM.

       BUT IF YE HAVE BITTER ENVYING AND STRIFE IN YOUR HEARTS, GLORY NOT, AND LIE NOT AGAINST THE TRUTH.  THIS WISDOM DESCENDETH NOT FROM ABOVE, BUT IS EARTHLY, SENSUAL, DEVILISH.  FOR WHERE ENVYING AND STRIFE IS, THERE IS CONFUSION AND EVERY EVIL WORK.

       BUT THE WISDOM THAT IS FROM ABOVE IS FIRST PURE, THEN PEACEABLE, GENTLE, AND EASY TO BE INTREATED, FULL OF MERCY AND GOOD FRUITS, WITHOUT PARTIALITY, AND WITHOUT HYPOCRISY.  AND THE FRUIT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS IS SOWN IN PEACE OF THEM THAT MAKE PEACE….James 3: 11-18 KJV

 

 

 

Copyright 2002-2017.-All articles on this site are copyrighted. Permission to copy is granted for non-profit use only.Please help yourself to anything we write if you can use it to help others. A link back to this site is our only requirement. Please contact us for any commercial or other use. All e-mails, letters, and other correspondence become the property of Luke 17:3 Ministries, Inc. Due to the large volume of e-mails, we're sorry that we are unable to personally answer every one, but we do lift everyone who writes to us in prayer to the Lord.
The Lord specifically called Sister Renee to minister to Adult Children, not their parents, estranged siblings or friends, abusive or abused spouses, or victims of other types of abuse, although what we write here can often be meaningful for those folks as well. Because of this, our ministry and website have a narrow focus which we will not be changing. We simply can't cover everything. In addition, it is not our purpose to help you re-establish contact with someone who felt it was necessary to cut you off for the sake of their own well-being. We do not keep a list of resources for estranged parents or any other type of abuse and suggest if you are sincerely interested in making amends with an estranged relative, you do an internet search for a website or group that will be more relevant to you. If you cannot find a group or site that you can relate to, we suggest you start your own, and bless other people in your position as well as find support for your personal issues. 
For Adult Children and others as well, please understand that we cannot give you personal advice concerning your particular family relationships.  We are not therapists or lawyers, we usually do not have enough information to form an opinion, and time does not permit us to give enough thought to each person's individual situation to do it justice. If you need personal advice, we urge you to contact the appropriate professional, depending on the problem you have- your minister, therapist, attorney, police department, local domestic violence hotline, etc. In reading this site, you acknowledge that nothing you might read here qualifies as or substitutes for professional advice. Please note we cannot recommend or refer you to a counselor and we do not have a list of therapists or recovery groups in your area. The only Counselor we recommend is the Holy Ghost, and we encourage you to read the Bible and learn for yourself what the Lord says about the issues we write about.
Our articles are strictly our personal opinions and testimonies and are not intended to give or offer any advice. All who access this site do so with the understanding that we are NOT professional counselors and we strongly recommend that you discuss your individual situation with your pastor or therapist and pray for the Lord's guidance before acting on anything we write on this site. Unfortunately, the abuse we discuss is all too common, inflicted on countless victims by countless perpetrators. All names and identifying details in our articles have been changed to protect the innocent as well as the guilty. Any resemblance to a real person or persons whom you might know is strictly coincidental.