Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Making contact with parents today after 6yr(10 Posts)
To cut a long story short im 37 & married with 3 kids. Ive never had the best relationship with my mum, she has narcissistic tendencies & had a knack of stripping me of my confidence & putting me down. My dad & I were always close but my mother def wears the trousers so he just tried to keep the peace. My mother has never approved of my dh & undermined me constantly with my dc so six years ago I decided to break contact. Me being me has felt guilty ever since, life's too short and all that & have arranged for my dad to ring me this evening to try build bridges. Im suffering from anxiety & depression & now worried that what ive always longed for could now make me feel worse. My heads mashed
What is that you've "always longed for"? Is for your dad to call you this evening "to try build bridges" or a more rosy scenario wherein your parents are transformed into the loving, caring, and confidence-building beings they clearly are not, nor can they become in this lifetime?
Your dad has chosen to justify/excuse his kowtowing to your mother's dictatorial and judgemental ways by claiming that he's "tried to keep the peace", but as he hasn't done so in a proactive or meaningful manner I very much doubt that he's capable of building any structure that can withstand the weight of your mother's need to big herself up by criticising others. .
I suggest that when your dad calls you tell him that, after further consideration, this is not an opportune moment to embark on an exercise in reconciliation and that you make an appointment with your GP with a view to treating your anxiety and depression,
When your head is unmashed you can make further overtures, but I have a feeling that once the conflicting aspects of your personality have become fully integrated you'll have no desire to allow your parents to resume undermining you, nor will you be willing to allow them to blight the lives of your dh and your dc by their toxic presence.
Depends what you mean by "try to build bridges".
If you mean: the be heard and acknowledged and get different behaviour from them going forward, then you're on a hiding to nothing and will only feel crushed by this renewed contact.
If you mean: reinstate contact, on limited terms that you have already consciously chosen for yourself and are willing to enforce, then carry on. It may indeed relieve you to be back in touch with them, rather than the drama of NC.
Basically, the best way to have contact with narcissistic/enabler parents without going mad and getting sucked back into the dysfunction is to know ahead of time what your limits are, and stick to them.
- How often you want to see them, and for how long
- How often you want to phone them, and for how long
- How much they get to know about your personal life and your feelings (as little as possible)
- What behaviours you will not tolerate, and how you will respond when they occur (eg. your reaction from "I don't want to hear that", to walking out and driving home)
With these kinds of parents, it is essential to know your limits, and to be prepared to police these limits.
If you can do that, then it's actually ok. It will never be The Waltons, but it will be livable.
What goddess has written in its entirety.
Its also not possible to have a relationship with a narcissist (and her willing enabler of a H).
Fear, obligation and guilt are but three of many damaging legacies left by such people to their now adult offspring. I would suggest you contact a therapist and preferably one who has NO bias about keeping families together despite the presence of mistreatment. You need help in this area.
What do you want to achieve from a conversation with him?. Where will you go with this after this initial conversation, would you want to meet your dad in a public place. What are your own boundaries like with these people; it seems that they are still way too low.
Building bridges" is in itself not a good reason for at all restarting contact; after all he could have reached out to you long before now and chose not to do so. You could well go back to square one in terms of your own anxiety and depression which they are likely the root cause of. Contact was broken off anyway for very good reason. These people have not fundamentally altered. They were not good parents to you and have been unkind to your own DH. They will not be good grandparent figures to your children either; infact narcissists are deplorably bad grandparent figures.
I do not think this call from your dad will go at all well for you if he does happen to phone you. I would think he would still be on his wife's side; he after all has been her hatchet man throughout and has not acted in stopping his wife's ill treatment of you. He has been a bystander to his wife's ill treatment of you and has acted also out of self preservation and want of a quiet life. Also such weak men like your dad need someone to idolise and someone like your mother always needs a willing enabler to help them. This is what they have in each other.
Be extremely cautious in any dealings with your dad, the person who is likely going to get the most hurt here is you. He still cannot be relied upon.
Do look at and post on the "well we took you to Stately Homes" thread on these pages and read the resources. I would also suggest you read the website entitled "daughters of narcissistic mothers".
Thanks everyone. Funnily enough (or not!) Just before I parted company my mother threw a line at me "Well as a child we always gave you a holiday every year and you wanted for nothing". I will def do some more research into daughters or narcissistic mothers. My only sibling, a younger brother doesnt bother with me. Ive read about narcissistic people having their 'flying monkeys' onside. The truth is, im a kind hearted emotional soul who doesnt want to feel guilt at my parents graveside one day filled with regret. Hence my anxiety and depression. I have seen a doctor about it & on medication but I need some kind of peace in my head.
After talking with my dh and looking on the net about daughters of narcissistic mothers, ive decided that its for the best that I continue to break contact for myself and my family. Please does anybody know of any community sites online in the uk for other people who have narcissistic parents?. I would love to talk to others for support. Im not on facebook or similar sites.
Are you saying that you've decided to continue with a policy of no contact or that you intend to "break" your 6 year silence?
This is the long-running thread that Attila has referred to. The OP on p.1 gives a list of websites, but I have no doubt you'll find all the support you need if you join the thread: www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/2562518-But-we-took-you-to-Stately-Homes-survivors-of-dysfunctional-and-toxic-families
Im going to continue with having no contact. There has been no phone call to my parents this evening & im going to seek help. Thanks to everyone.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.