To be shocked at how many people think having no contact with family is normal?

(368 Posts)
dogscatsandbabies Tue 12-Aug-14 06:14:22

I'm a lurker. Can't help it, I find AIBU gets me through many a night feed. I'm always totally shocked at how blasé some posters can be when giving advice "she sounds unbearable to me, I'd go NC" and similar phrases.

Really? Just like that you'd advise someone you don't know to break all ties with a relative over a situation you've only heard one side of, creating a family situation that can become unbearable for husbands / wives / siblings who are very literally stuck in the middle?

I know there are some situations when decisions are taken not to see family anymore for various good reasons but I'd seriously hope these were carefully considered and thought through in time given the wider impact it can have. NC just seems so normal to so many. Is it just me that thinks (safety of children etc aside) most problems are at least worth working on?

sandgrown Tue 12-Aug-14 07:25:40

Combust as a child I had friends with two sets of grandparents who helped look after them in holidays etc and took them for days out and holidays. They had time to spend with them and teach them things and I was envious. A child can never have too many loving family members

Delphiniumsblue Tue 12-Aug-14 07:30:52

I think that you need to have a very good reason. Your children will judge you on it when older.

diggerdigsdogs Tue 12-Aug-14 07:32:11

I went NC with my dad for about 8 years due to my stepmothers trea

It was the best thing EVER for our relationship which is now based in mutual respect and I no longer living in FOG.

There have been apologies all round and some tears. If I hadn't gone NC I would still be resentful and unhappy.

I wouldn't judge someone for going NC, I don't think anyone does it lightly. I agree that people put up with an awful lot of shit in te name of family.

diggerdigsdogs Tue 12-Aug-14 07:33:19

God sorry for typos.

combust22 Tue 12-Aug-14 07:38:17

Sorry- I don't get the bit about grandparents. I grew up without them and there was certainly no "hole". I did see other kids grandparents and most of them were not the rosy cheeked kindly old folk from story books. I didn't feel any sense of loss.

MardyBra Tue 12-Aug-14 07:39:14
combust22 Tue 12-Aug-14 07:51:07

THe "hole" that some talk of may be a very idealistic view of what grandparents may actually have been like in reality. All my grandparents wre dead before I was born.

I have been told that my grandmother was an alcoholic and my granfather used to regularly beat his own children with the buckle of a belt. Not sure I have missed much.

Floccinaucinihilipilificate Tue 12-Aug-14 07:59:36

FGS, do you really think someone would post with a trivial problem, be told by a poster to go NC, and they'd think, "oh what a good idea, never thought of that, that's just what I'll do"?

Just like LTB, noone is every going to decide on a course of action like that on the say so of anonymous posters on the internet, unless they desperately wanted to do it and needed to know it was ok and they were 'allowed' to remove the awful people from their lives.

MardyBra - why have you linked to that thread?

LookingThroughTheFog Tue 12-Aug-14 08:02:23

All I can say is 'lucky you!'

I am NC with my dad because he is and always has been harmful to me, and I cannot risk him being equally harmful to my children.

There are loads of people in my life I find a bit irritating, difficult to deal with and so forth. I am not NC with them. The difference is between 'a bit irritating' and constant, continual harm.

It's a painful but necessary decision. You need to look up something termed FOG. The Fear, Obligation and Guilt that keeps us going back to our toxic parents. I still do it. I know how harmful he is, and I still think 'I know, I'll reach out to him...' every now and again. It always blows up in my face.

So well done on having lots of loving people around you.

For what it's worth, I've never advised someone to go NC with someone. If their story is raising those red flags of 'I am in a relationship with a toxic person' I'll generally sound them out on what positives they're experiencing in that relationship, and how badly they think they are being harmed.

I do this largely because it's a hard, gut-wrenching decision, and nobody else can make it for you. It's hard to do, and it's unlikely to stick unless you've made it for yourself.

WeirdCatLady Tue 12-Aug-14 08:06:09

IMHO life is too short to be surrounded by toxic people. I would recommend going NC with anyone who doesn't positively contribute to your life.

As a pp said, the proportion of people on MN who go NC is actually very small compared to the total number of people.

If people chose to go NC then it is for very good reasons and I don't think anyone does it in a 'blasé' manner.

Oh, and the rosy tinted view of grandparents is never the same as reality.

MardyBra Tue 12-Aug-14 08:06:34

To show that there are often two sides to the story and that NC can cause heartbreak to GPs. I'm not saying it's not justified in many cases. But I do think MN is often to quick to advocate it based on one side of he story.

Incidentally I don't think MN advocates LTB too much. Often, the OP in those cases will be in denial/ not realising they are being abused/ too afraid to leave.

NC with GPs can be an easier option than LTB, because the poster is not on their own.

Once again, I reiterate that it is wholly justified in some cases.

MardyBra Tue 12-Aug-14 08:06:58

Sorry my answer was to Flocc

LookingThroughTheFog Tue 12-Aug-14 08:07:03

Incidentally, I don't think being NC is 'normal'. It's obviously not the usual way, and thankfully not necessary in most 'normal' relationships. 'Toxic' people are not 'normal'.

It is, however, possible and an option, and it's important that people start to recognise this. To me it's the same as it being possible and an option to leave an arse of a partner. We no longer judge people who have escaped their partner the way people did 60 or 70 years ago, and hopefully we'll get to a point where we no longer judge a person for not having a beautiful, dutiful relationship with an abusive parent/sibling.

Walk a mile in my shoes.....

TheWordFactory Tue 12-Aug-14 08:14:52

In real life, people put up with lots and lots of shit.

And they allow that shit to keep rolling down the generations. They continually expose themselves, their partners and the DC to it out of some misguided idea that going NC is simply undoable.

saltnpepa Tue 12-Aug-14 08:19:14

I think the people you are referring to have often had a lifetime of abuse and nc is the only way to survive emotionally and bring their children up in a healthy way. I wouldn't imagine people in 'normal' functioning families would choose to go nc, rather of course matters would be worked through as is 'normal'. Nc is for people from dysfunctional families where working things through has proved futile. From your post I presume you enjoy a fairly functioning family which is why you can't understand it. Lucky you.

ithoughtofitfirst Tue 12-Aug-14 08:20:39

What hobnobs said

saltnpepa Tue 12-Aug-14 08:21:08

Oh and Delphiniumsblue I think you have to have a very good reason to stay in contact with an abuser - Your children will judge you on that later in life

Not my words.

noddyholder Tue 12-Aug-14 08:21:18

Good lord only someone with no clue could think like this. It is like saying to an alcoholic just have one

combust22 Tue 12-Aug-14 08:26:29

I don't waste my time with people who have a negative influence on my life.
I don't care if we are related or hot.

A genetic accident does not make me responsible. I take all people as I find them- related or not.

combust22 Tue 12-Aug-14 08:28:20

"Not- rather than "hot"!!

Floccinaucinihilipilificate Tue 12-Aug-14 08:28:23

I've had a look at those threads before Mardy and find them tough reading. I know my mother is 'heartbroken' and will have been telling everyone she's 'tried everything' and that I'm irrational and she's done nothing wrong. But her version of 'trying everything' is alternately ignoring me and threatening me. She could have stopped this months ago but she hasn't got it in her.

But of course, some of the GP have been treated very badly, but they are not the other side of the stories you hear on here, iyswim. Different situations.

TribbleWithoutATardis Tue 12-Aug-14 08:36:19

I wish my Mum had gone non contact with her parents, the way they treated her was beyond toxic and boardering on abusive. Whenever I hear of people saying they don't have contact, I think of my Mum and her parents and get why people do it.

MrsWinnibago Tue 12-Aug-14 08:38:09

OP I know what you mean but as someone who has a decent family and a DH who also has a decent family, I think it is hard to understand the awfulness of other people's families.

There are some very odd people in the world and not all parents are nice to be around.

noddyholder Tue 12-Aug-14 08:38:47

No one should ever tolerate an abusive relationship no matter who the a abuser is.

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