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How hideous is going no contact?

(251 Posts)
NumptyNameChange Mon 28-Oct-13 15:08:07

not sure how much to write but after my sister had a hissy fit over nothing and threw me and my son out of her house in the rain without our coats (and with my keys in my coat pocket) in front of her own children (her daughter was really upset by it all) i have refused to go 'back to normal' re: forget anything ever happened yet again.

as a result i've ceased to be invited to family gatherings for over a month and no one wished me luck for an interview or asked how it went and basically i'm being punished for not playing the game/the role/etc that i am meant to.

another posters thread on here has really brought the dysfunctional dynamics of my family to life for me - they were anyway but you know how when you read it in someone else's life it's so much clearer?

anyway my role was always scapegoat and whipping boy (i'm female btw). no matter what successes i have it won't change a thing. things going well or that in any way disprove the role i've been assigned are just ignored.

i have never in my life been asked by my mother how i am or how things are going. i've never had an apology even when she has been absolutely monstrous. i'm pretty sure she is a narcissist - ticks all the boxes etc.

i have built pretty good boundaries over the years and laughingly refer to my teflon coating that lets the abuse slide off but i find myself wondering why on earth i put up with it at all or allow these people who are so keen to destroy me in my life.

could say lots more but not sure if i'll regret putting this out there. my parents are due to go away for a long spell soon, i haven't seen them for about a month despite living close by and i would actually rather not see them before they go away and rather not have my son go there as at the minute it feels really important to me for us to be together and not polluted by all the extended family madness. i suspect the pressure will come on soon or the 'you're such a bad person' trip.

i massively miss my sister's children but i no longer feel i can put up with all the shit i have to take to be in their lives. i'm tired of being painted as someone i genuinely don't even recognise and never did even as a child and having motives and intentions and actions attributed to me that bear no relation to reality. i'm sick of the crazy making of people behaving monstrously and then just lying or pretending it never happened or that i'm the crazy one and it was all my fault somehow. i'm also sick of allowing my son to be around people who don't have the most basic respect for me.

not sure what the point of this post is - maybe just to put it out there.

HellsBellsnBucketsofBlood Sat 02-Nov-13 11:40:55

Well done on getting the key back. Be careful to ensure you don't let them have/find/etc another one.

The reason they are suddenly paying attention is that you have rebelled against their pigeon-holing of you. Your place, so far as they are concerned, is to be weak and submissive so they can treat you poorly and walk all over you. So they will now try and put you back in your box.

Stay strong and don't let them.

Also - with the xmas presents from your sister - if you want to go fully NC you can always just send them back to her. No explanation needed (since if she hasn't worked it out by xmas, she never will).

DifferenceEngine Sat 02-Nov-13 11:52:15

I've been reading your thread and have nothing but admiration. I've only lurked up to now as I have nothing useful to add.

you are so right about what you say re social services involvement, they will check all sources and find you to be a fab mum. The only thing I will say is I have a close friend who is a social worker, and she is quite clear that a house that is too tidy, too clean with minimal sign of kids stuff is far far more worrying than 'normal' chaos associated with family life. She says as long as there are sheets on the bed, and there is no faeces on the floor or surfaces, anything else can be worked on. So don't worry about your housekeeping ( unless your house is full of cat shit smile in which case clean it up before they visit !!)

NumptyNameChange Sat 02-Nov-13 12:46:15

grin difference - thanks for that. all clear on the cat shit! my house is messy so there'll be no fear of the 'too tidy' effect. the really messy bit in this house is the landing which is where i keep the tumble dryer and ironing board so it is a messy holding station for laundry which i never keep on top of. bit of a fire hazard probably but not 'dirty'.

with mental illness, what my mother doesn't realise, is that it doesn't auto make you unfit/bad/etc and lets face it if you work in something as harrowing as social services you're pretty likely to have experienced struggles with your mental health yourself. if they looked into that they would be told that i am self aware, seek help when needed and manage my condition exceptionally well and have been absolutely fine for a few years now as it's so well managed.

i'm still chuckling at the clear up the cat shit bit - my cat messed in the bathroom just the other day and i have two dogs - this house has seen it's fair share of faeces but it always get cleared up grin

NumptyNameChange Sat 02-Nov-13 12:51:53

your post has reminded me what it was like to be a child in my mother's house and not allowed to leave any sign that i lived there. anything i dared to leave anywhere would be put in a pile on the stairs to be taken to my room. i'm not talking 'mess' here i'm talking things like thinking it might be ok to leave my phonebook on the windowsill by the phone where she kept her own, or a book i was reading on the coffee table.

when i moved out i had to leave some stuff there - some books, my exam certificates and other bits and bobs were left behind. she claims she put them in an outside shed but i never found them. i don't have exam certs and i had to reorder a copy of my birth certificate because that was gone.

i would rather my house was a bit messy than my son fear all hell breaking lose for leaving something downstairs as it used to with me. he lives here - he's allowed to exist in the space and so is his stuff. i never had that.

NumptyNameChange Sat 02-Nov-13 12:53:54

i've just remembered that several years back when my sister was launching a particularly vile campaign against me i stole some pictures of me as a child from my mothers house. at least i have those.

FunkyFucker Sat 02-Nov-13 13:34:14

I'm not going to call you numpty because you are far from it. You are going through the memories and realising of all the times when that happened it meant that...which is good to work through in your head.

Well done on the stonewalling. And no your son doesn't need a gazillion presents; they can leave any presents at yours before the big day so that he can open them christmad morning.

I lost pretty much all my childhood stuff for one reason or another, just have about 4 photos left. It's nice but it's not essential for life. Make new memories, happy ones, with you and the boy.

And stay strong. You are doing so well.

NumptyNameChange Sun 03-Nov-13 09:07:59

thank you funky.

in another daft but helpful strategy i've put a little band around my wrist and every time i catch myself thinking about them or letting the internalised shite do it's work i'm going to twang it and say 'no contact'.

i'm going to go back into therapy and i'm going to fully engage - i'm going to establish if i can be myself there by actually checking the therapist believes in narcissism, can support no contact (i don't need someone with but she's your mummy and deep down she must love you shite) and if i can swear! swearing is a part of me daft as it sounds and if i'm really expressing myself swearing comes in and if i am holding off swearing for fear of the listener's being offended or judging then i'm going into child mode. know that swearing bit sounds silly but the therapist is older than me and disabled and i'm probably being 'careful' around her in a way that i need to break past and know it's ok to break past.

then i'm going to go through it all once again (did therapy as a messed up late teen and again once in my 20's and had come to find it pointless dredging) and really, really work through it and keep going till i'm done. i've never really had the chance to do that because it was always nhs here's your ten sessions and if you're suicidal at the end of session ten well you better go tell your GP cos we're done here iyswim. i've negotiated a rate i can afford with this therapist - still not 'cheap' and i'm hardly rolling in money but i actually think paying for it makes me more comfortable and probably more committed too.

my parents leave at some point today so i'm home clear on that front for a month now. my sis is a risk still obviously. it's possible, and would be usual, that she'd start on a be 'nice' to get me to bend to her will over christmas and failing that a complete character assassination and guilt trip over my son. however maybe she really 'got' it as in saw that i meant it this time when i said i was done - in which case she like my mum will have become wary of me and would have to manipulate via others. forewarned is forearmed i guess.

NumptyNameChange Sun 03-Nov-13 11:07:48

i'm also having the realisation that it really hurt that no one defended me when i was a child - no one put a stop to it but that now, as an adult, if i continue being around them and don't put a stop to it it is ME betraying myself. i can stand up for myself and someone really will have finally come to my rescue - me.

NumptyNameChange Sun 03-Nov-13 16:18:42

crazy silly thing - ds is in the bath - he just announced to me ALL snakes can swim and i said hmmm, well some can, like sea snakes but i don't think ALL of them can. he insisted, named some children's tv presenter who was his authority on the matter and i googled.

he's right! all snakes can swim. so i told him, you're right, they can all swim, i never knew that - thanks for teaching me!

not a big deal eh? something that would never, never have happened in my family of origin though. i could have brought home a national geographic article and she'd still have argued.

not only do i have to notice how fucked up she/then/them was i also need to recognise how differently i'm doing it.

i am so, so, so far from a perfect mother but i am not her.

NumptyNameChange Sun 03-Nov-13 16:35:51

also random but comes to mind - i used to be a secondary school teacher. never had any real problems with classroom management unless we're talking a child that literally no one could control and was probably going to end up institutionalised or a class that had been put together so, so badly that it was like a box of fireworks.

anyway i was once observed by an older male, old school, colleague who had to give me a great grade (would've looked a bit odd if he hadn't seeing as ofsted had given me an outstanding just before), had to acknowledge the pupils all learned, progressed, met my expectations and achieved what he had thought was an overly ambitious lesson plan BUT i had performed a cardinal sin in his opinion - i had, in answer to a very left field, and very interesting question from a precarious (read intelligent) student said, 'hmm i don't know actually - that's interesting and we'll have to look it up'. this apparently was terrible! i had given away some imaginary veil of authority and power by admitting there were things i didn't know confused

to me - maybe the hypervigilance of an abusive childhood - i always knew when an adult was blagging or outright lying and i'd lose respect for them. 'i don't know - let's look it up' would have earned a tonne of respect for me - i'd have known i was dealing with a secure, honest adult who didn't have to hide behind bullshit power games. this same teacher thought i was crazy for occasionally, having set work that students were on task with, going and sitting on an empty desk halfway back up the classroom. how could i see what was behind me i wondered - how could i turn my back and give them the power to get away with stuff? he didn't get that it was a sign of my confidence and trust that i could do it, didn't get that treating with trust encouraged trust. does this make sense to anyone?

i was probably a good teacher because i was such an unhappy teenager and had such little trust in adults and authority. i was probably a good counselling student because my hypervigilance had yes made me good at reading the emotional baseline and intuiting but had also made me be able to identify with fear, weakness, shame and back footedness that allowed me to make the right signs and signals in an authentic way that said 'i don't want power over you - i'm not here to judge you - i honestly can just listen and hear it and empathise without needing to use it'.

i'm waffling but maybe this is my desperate attempt moment to see the strengths i got from my messed up start. and to maybe slightly pat myself on the back for using it for good and not for evil.

i really, really, really am NOT a great parent. i have a massive need for space and quiet that can be really incompatible with a small child's need for attention. as part of that i'm quite lazy - so more likely to issue verbal instructions for the child to solve the problem than for me to jump up and do it. i'm not conventional - he's not getting the 2 parent, never hear a swear word and spotless shining glass coffee table version of home life BUT i love him. i'm prepared to be wrong. i'm prepared to say sorry when i get it wrong. i'm prepared to be the grown up and say no and stand the tantrum. i'm very much committed to getting to know 'him' as the person he is and is growing into rather than what i've decided he should be/is. i'm willing to let him be a person. THAT.WILL.DO.

and again thank you for letting me spew all this on here.

NumptyNameChange Sun 03-Nov-13 16:38:55

oops think i meant precocious not precarious but it's an interesting freudian slip none the less wink as in being the clever/precocious one is a very precarious position to be in grin

FunkyFucker Sun 03-Nov-13 16:42:00

I'm sure he prefers to learn how to solve problems - I wouldn't be worried about that. You seem to have a good ongoing relationship and that's what's important. Does anyone really remember coffee tables?

Stepmooster Sun 03-Nov-13 16:42:13

Wow differenceengine is that true that an immaculate home is a red flag for SS? My mother took houseproud to another level.

OP what you say about the family photographs and your certificates is also reminding me of the crapness my mother was.

BTW my mother passed away 2 years ago, I don't regret going NC at all. Part of me worried she may die and I'd regret it. My only regret was not going NC sooner.

I also find myself upset on behalf of the little girl I once was when I realise my mother would never have shown the love I give my DCs in certain situations. That little girl I once was just wanting her mum to love her and she tried very hard to be good and better so that would happen.

Its an absolute blessing my DCs do not have that poison in their lives. You are doing the right thing honey.

I didn't know snakes could swim either smile

NumptyNameChange Sun 03-Nov-13 16:43:59

i remember a friend who sliced her tongue in half on one.

and my mother still has them and does the voice of doom, "he's going to fall on that and cut his head open" - the prophetic voice of doom is one of her specialties hence i never, never tell anyone of a decision i've made or something that's happening in my life until i'm rock solid sure of my own view on it.

i told people i was pregnant with my son AFTER my 6 month scan.

NumptyNameChange Sun 03-Nov-13 16:50:56

oh step - i'm sorry you had it too. really.

i've thought about my mother's death for a while now. i accepted a long, long time ago that there was no realisation or revelation moment for her. i accepted that even on her deathbed she would stand by her fantasy world.

the way i see it is that it's like a house of cards, not one can be challenged or acknowledged or the whole frigging thing would come tumbling down. not even death will shake her so i can't hold out for some deathbed change.

i recognise that little girl - i remember running away to my friend's ouse repeatedly and laying on her bedroom floor confessing, 'yeah but if my own mother can't love me....' re: god what i monster i must be.

that hope of a turnaround died a long time ago but i was still suckered in by my sister and her children and my son and the whole shebang.

funky - rational mind says that 'solve it himself with help' has served him well. we'll see though. i honestly don't need 'great mum' accolades - i've a zillion faults. but i love him, i don't project my shit onto him and i admit and say sorry when i get it wrong - those simple things would have meant the WORLD to me as a child.

RandomMess Sun 03-Nov-13 16:51:14

You are doing amazing, your ds will get older and a little quieter grin

Any chance that your parents will have copied your key...

NumptyNameChange Sun 03-Nov-13 17:26:36

i'm hoping not random. and dodgy thinking as this is i also have their keys and they know that.

and whilst i was worrying about the campaigns they could launch today i realised that i'm not some helpless victim and if it really came to fighting dirty i would have some weapons. not that i'd use them actually but that maybe the fear i'd use them would be enough.

so say for example my family hates truth, we were conditioned to never tell anyone about what was going on even to the point of when the shit was really hitting the fan not being allowed to answer the phone or knowing we had to answer it and say, 'oh mum's in the bath' or some such to get rid of the person (who might be an aunt or someone equally 'close'). guarding secrets of imperfection was key so i suddenly realised that actually the fear of being revealed might work in my favour here.

i realise how monstrous and messed up all that sounds but i'm honestly only thinking in terms of 'de'fensive not offensive and realising that given their issues and fears i'm probably not as helpless as i think.

not saying i'd do it but if the threats came to me i suppose i have threats of my own - like do you WANT your church to know you did x, y and z, do you want the world to know x, y and z. you know? i would never do it to hurt or spite or revenge but i suddenly realised that given they'd do anything it would seem natural to them to fear what i could do if i was on their level (because they presumably assume everyone is on that level) so maybe that buys me some protection.

laughable really - i sound like some gangsters mole rather than some nice middle class daughter of an upper working class, church going family yada yada. but i guess i'm just having to learn to see the world through their eyes. i can imagine my mother thinking haha ha i could get her this way and then maybe thinking it through furter and realising oh but she could then tell them x, y, z and people would think....

i'm hoping i'm safer than i thought. she would not want the world knowing her secrets.

spanky2 Sun 03-Nov-13 17:28:35

I have been nc for 3 months and it's a relief.

NumptyNameChange Sun 03-Nov-13 17:44:49

step on the house of cards business - my mother allegedly has sleep problems (hard to take seriously when i've had genuine problems in this area in the past and know the lengths you go to to try and solve them, not to mention my dad telling me that she's always fast asleep when she claims she spent the whole night awake) - it doesn't matter how well intentionally i try to tell her about ways to deal with it or solve it - she shuts it out.

the real issue, i suspect, for my mother, is that she CANNOT be alone with her head even for a minute. so the minute she turns over, half wakes, wakes too early, can't drop off etc she turns the light on, grabs her book and distracts herself as an emergency precaution because the alternative is the whole damn house of cards collapsing on her.

as a kid i used to think that what i saw on the outside, how she treated me 'out here', what she vocalised etc MUST be none the less challenged by an interior world imbued with logic, ethics, justice etc. it took me a painfully long time to really grasp that that interior world where those values reign supreme (whether i like it or not, whether i'd prefer to self justify and rationalise and blame away culpability and where even if i let myself win and stroke myself briefly sooner or later reality/the superego/my conscious/sanity/whatever you want to call it would stand up and be counted) does not exist for her. in theory it does but if it ever threatens to rise she turns the light on, grabs the book or the soap opera or scrubbing brush, or the marital argument or whatever other blocker she can find and shuts it the ell up.

and I, ME, i am like that wakeful moment. a reality rub, a 'whatever it is' that must, and always needed to be, shut up, stuffed down, silenced, discredited, maligned, scorned and just plain sacrificed any way possible. who knows if it WAS someting about me or just something she projected on my new born face but i was THAT and i needed stuffing down and discrediting, ignoring, undermining, destroying if possible...

it really is THAT random and THAT insane.

NumptyNameChange Sun 03-Nov-13 17:47:40

i really do know how mad all this sounds.

RandomMess Sun 03-Nov-13 17:50:10

TBH it doesn't really, she lives in her own fantasty of world but it's all a bit fragile and in risk of being flattened by someone who refuses to join in and help maintain the fantasy.

NumptyNameChange Sun 03-Nov-13 17:52:36

the mad magic of the narc being they get everyone buying in and upholding the fantasy for them.

crazy.

baytree Sun 03-Nov-13 17:56:52

It's not mad, but I can understand why you feel it is because that was me as I went through the process of recovering. It's the letting it all out and knowing that people on here really do understand. Big hug {{hug}}

Time to let them find another scapegoat.

baytree Sun 03-Nov-13 17:58:37

Sorry cross posted. I meant what you are telling us isnt mad, not that your DM doesnt have mad magic.

ellipsis Sun 03-Nov-13 19:51:37

Numpty, it doesn't sound mad. So much of what you are talking about is so familiar and you write so eloquently. I've been no contact with my parents and my sisters for 10 months now (since christmas -it's such a flashpoint isn't it? The performance of it all) and I knew the part that my DM would find the worst would be explaining what was going on to people who asked after me and my children. To her that was the most shameful thing.

With my DM there have been one or two flashes over the years that she had some awareness, but they were quickly buried and the self-delusion put back into place. I remember havig the sensation as a teenager that she had nothing going on inside and being baffled by it, you have described it perfectly.

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