I get it Jacob. Like your approach, before and after. Now you know how much you can share without fucking up your recovery...and you listened to yourself. Good stuff!
Have had similar experiences the past month. Mixed. A few cousins on Dad's side, one in recovery like Dad was, have been pretty receptive and responsive.
The Dreaded Mommybitch (as I call her...a narcissist in psych terms) and her third husband were the ones responsible for creating the abusive environment which made me prime pickin's for my high school guidance counselor perp.
Just had a call with a very drunk cousin on her side. Short version is TDM has continued - surprise! - to badmouth me. He despises his father for being a wimp (not unlike TDM's deceased husband). And his two sisters are similarly bitchy "princesses" - mygawd, at THEIR age? - who twist everything to have it their way. (Don't mean to go Burger King on you). At first I felt as though the call may have been a mistake, but after digesting it I'm thinking it's just good information to have and a clear indication these are people for me to avoid. The women on that side of the family - three generations of 'em now - like their men without backbones.
Best experience so far is my step-sister, a survivor of spousal abuse. A frank, detailed two-hour chat...imo, this is one woman who really has her shit together. In short, she and her brother are fed up with the selfish, petty demands of The Dreaded Mommybitch. Since their father, TDM's enabler, died six years ago they've put up with her manipulation to a point. Now they've all but cut her off. My contribution to them, lest there was any doubt in their minds, was that it's not like they're beholden to their evil step-mother. TDM has the resources to care for herself.
To get back to your question, why did I do it? As I've explored I haven't had any doubts about what happened. Yeah, there have been times I've wondered, "Is it me?" That almost never comes up now. I felt it would be helpful to my recovery if I could confirm my impressions with other family who've had interactions with TDM. Though, in the process of my recovery, I haven't necessarily "needed" their validation, it's gone a long way towards my healing.
What I didn't expect was that it would be palpable. My shoulders and neck are considerably less tight than they've been in years.
The other confirmation is that there's a clear delineation between the two groups. The ones in denial are angry, controlling...or even drunk. The healthier ones have worked their asses off - yeah, including me - to deal with their shit, completely open and frank about themselves.
So Jacob, a round of applause to you.