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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.

PerpendicularVincentPrice Mon 28-Oct-13 15:24:18

Numpty, i'd imagine the point of the post was to vent? That's not a bad thing in the circumstances, you've been through a rough time.

I have no contact with some of my family and life is far better, you find your boundries and stick with them. Otherwise,you run the risk of being treated badly for the rest of your life.

Have you read/posted on the Stately Homes thread? It's in this section and is for people with dysfunctional families. You'll get brilliant support there.

AndTheBandPlayedForAnyFucker Mon 28-Oct-13 15:29:48

I think the point of your post is that you have finally reached the "enough is enough" point.

When you are disconnecting from all of that ^ then going no contact is not horrible at all. It is a relief. And it is irrelevant if you were the one to go no contact or if they have ostrasized you (saving you the trouble thlwink ). The relief is a feeling of pure truth, the validation that you matter in your own life.

I am NC with my sister too, btw.

NumptyNameChange Mon 28-Oct-13 15:36:26

the ostracism won't last. already yesterday i got the, 'we're having dinner at 2.30 if you'd like to join us. let us know' text out of nowhere as if nothing had happened. then you're wrong footed into being the one saying no and they can say, 'well you're the one who never....' blah blah.

i bumped into my sister and nephew in the shop yesterday and chatted to my nephew and did the attempt at smile and nod with my sister. at the minute i can't stand her, i feel like i've put up and put up and put up for so long that i have nothing left for her and objectively looking at her behaviour makes me feel sick.

maybe i'm at the 'enough is enough' point. i'm certainly feeling very protective of me and ds and our right not to be near dysfunctional madness. not that i can't generate my own dysfunction but hey, at least i own mine rather than live in smoke and mirrors projection world.

must confess i still get the, 'this is not fair' thinking and the 'well if your own mother couldn't love you...?' of my teens occasionally but i also trust the judgement of my saner self and that of close friends.

these people are seriously odd. i think the whole couldn't even say good luck or how did it go to such a major job chance has made things hit home. it really is our way or the highway you know? always has been and i was never much good at dancing to other people's tunes yet also lacked the confidence and self esteem to really break free and truly believe it was them not me iyswim.

NumptyNameChange Mon 28-Oct-13 15:37:56

i think the big thing maybe is that my son is 6 now and i don't want him there. they're ok with 'babies' and their nonsense would've gone over his head but now i feel quite sick at the idea of them cosying up to my child whilst treating me like dirt. not sure if that makes me really selfish

LookingThroughTheFog Mon 28-Oct-13 15:43:36

It doesn't make you selfish at all, Numpty. It makes you sensible.

AndTheBandPlayedForAnyFucker Mon 28-Oct-13 15:49:20

Not selfish at all. They know they can use him as a prop to get at you and hurt, frustrate you even more.
And kids are smart. They can figure out when behavior is not quite right even if they may not have the vocabulary to define it exactly. He may soon start asking, "Do I have to go?" When he does, please respect him, listen to him, and do something else instead.
If you do not want to go then don't go. You have a really full schedule. thlwink

AndTheBandPlayedForAnyFucker Mon 28-Oct-13 15:50:23

And that would be respecting yourself...good role model, yes?

PerpendicularVincentPrice Mon 28-Oct-13 15:52:02

It's right to want to protect your DC from the drama and upset, i'm doing exactly the same thing. Personally, I wouldn't respond to the invite; make a clean break and don't be embroiled in any rows. It's liberating.

TwoStepsBeyond Mon 28-Oct-13 15:59:22

Not at all selfish to protect your son and yourself from these people. Just because you happen to have been born into the same family doesn't mean you have to be friends with them. I'd definitely go nc with no regrets at all. People like that never change, or if they do it's only once they realise that you are no longer willing to take their shit.

Walk away, yes you will miss your DN but sadly his mum is making it impossible for you to spend time together, your own child's happiness must come first. He will pick up on their attitudes to you, or may even end up on the receiving end of it too at some point.

NumptyNameChange Tue 29-Oct-13 11:22:53

i ignored the invite till late in the day then texted and said my phone had been off (lie) and that i'd hurt my back and still had to get the chickens in and sort out garden furniture in prep for the storm (all true) so wouldn't be going anywhere.

no reply of course - i will be bad for saying no. i'm quite aware that normal people's response would've been to say sorry about your back or hope you're ok or even do you need any help but i knew that wouldn't come.

my son does see it - has even said to me 'granny hates you doesn't she?'. my nephews are a bit oblivious or play so but my niece sees it and feels she is experiencing from her own mother (my sister) the same kind of treatment in recent years and from what she's told me she confides in youth leaders at church and to her friends which would infuriate my sister if she knew much as it infuriated my mother if i ever dared to tell anyone how unhappy i was or how fucked up things were at home when i was a kid. sad to say that i'm going to have to accept that my sister is winging her way into fully fledged narcissism rather than just having bought into the game a bit as i used to try and hope.

my best bet with all of them now is just not to bite and to accept that i will be the bad one, the monster, the one who is depriving her child of their family ya da ya da.

christmas will be the next big nightmare as of course ds has been lured in by the ridiculously over the top amount of presents children receive in this family and the whole show of it. he wants his presents and the whole shiny day performance and would be gutted if i said we weren't going.

thanks for commenting people.

i texted my niece yesterday just to say hi and i love her and hope all is well. i try to comfort myself with the fact that they are getting older now and it won't be long till they're capable of independent relationships you know? as in hopefully i'll be able to see them and have relationships with them aside from the whole enmeshed, entangled bloody game.

FunnyRunner Tue 29-Oct-13 11:36:18

Really sad for you Numpty sad It's a horrible situation. But I think if your son is already observing how they treat you I would be withdrawing him from contact. Because if you don't you will find they can be quite good at manipulating him into 'Team Golden' while you stay in 'Team Scapegoat'. That would be horrible, especially as he starts to hit the confused, hormonal pre-pub / teen years.

It's lovely that you're maintaining relationships with your DNs and you may well find in time you become a much-loved and truly reliable relative / friend for them.

You may want to minimise contact rather than cut it altogether, just to allow yourself and DS a chance to adapt but I don't have experience of this so wiser peeps might say it's quicker and less painful to make a clean break. I'm the kind of person who would agonise afterwards and think, 'Maybe I didn't give them a chance to change!' but that's the voice of reason talking - and if they aren't reasonable you're wasting your time hoping for change sad

Good luck x

NumptyNameChange Tue 29-Oct-13 12:01:30

i think it will be minimise rather than zero contact for now as we all live close together. my sister and my parents are totally enmeshed and i am the one with boundaries who goes in or pulls out as needed itms. it's two weeks since ds went there (he usually stays on weds nights allowing me to do a long day at work once a week), last week i didn't send him as we had the day off school/work feeling a bit ill. this week is half term and by next week they'll have left the country for a month. that gives us a good long clear break.

after the throwing us out in the rain business my sister really expected it would just get swept under the carpet again and business as usual with the whipping boy coming back for more but for some reason that seems to have been my last straw.

i'm not religious but was raised in it (they all still are) and that story about forgiving your brother not 7 times but 70 times 7 times came to mind and i thought yep, i reckon even by biblical standards i've done enough grin silly i know. but i guess you go back for more over and over and over until you just give in and accept she is what she is and the crumbs of niceness between explosions and abuse don't make up for the abuse and i want my son to know it is really not ok to treat people so badly and then just gloss over it with a fancy dinner and with cut glass crystal and fois gras on the table you know?

NumptyNameChange Tue 29-Oct-13 12:50:19

it occurs to me that whilst i gave up hope on my narcissistic mother a long time ago and accepted, nope she doesn't love me, is incapable of real love and no way is she ever going to be my 'mother' i sort of transferred that hope to my sister. i hoped she could make it, could be a sister, could love despite all of the evidence that people were only things in her orbit that served her or were punished.

i guess this is the point of giving up hope over my sister ever being anything other than what she is too.

pretty odd to think i've wasted years repeating the same twatty trying to make a narc love and respect me game that i played first with my mother.

it's also sad to give up on my sister because the idea that we could maybe come out of it all with a proper relationship was kind of the happy ending i suppose. i've put up with so much from her because i really thought it was just elements of her that were like my mum, or that she couldn't help the superiority because she'd been raised on it you know? as in her 'goodness' was based on me being 'bad' and beneath her and that she'd grow out of it, see it for what it was and somehow overcome it.

i really didn't want to think that she was a narcissist too. even when she was using people before my eyes, even when it was abundantly clear that i was only any use to her if i gave her the food she needed and didn't expect anything in return except the odd pat.

god i'm an idiot.

NumptyNameChange Tue 29-Oct-13 15:04:43

sorry - i'm going to waffle on some more here.

my dad just showed up at my door and got in the house on the pretext of getting ds to sign a birthday card to me as my birthday will be whilst they're away. there was an accusation of, 'we haven't seen you for ages' (err that's right, i was being punished for falling out with my sister and having the audacity to apply for a job away from here then when you clicked your fingers ready to pretend nothing happened on sunday i didn't come running) to which i was just like mm yeah.

i busied myself tidying and he told a long story about something in his life that has absolutely nothing to do with me or ds and we clearly have no interest in but on and on he went. no 'how did the interview go?', no, 'how are you?' or anything at all. so i just kept tidying and putting the mmm's and yeah's in the right spaces. he made a few pointed remarks about how they'd be gone soon (extended holiday).

i just kept tidying and making non-committal remarks. then he left and i was left just baffled as usual. normal people do ask you how a major interview went don't they? normal people do ask how you are or what's going on in your life? normal people don't just like the sound of their voice so much that they talk and talk and talk about something that is clearly of no relevance or interest to you or your child?

ds was desperate to show him something on his tab and jumping round his heels saying, 'grandad - grandad - grandad' which he apparently couldn't hear as he was too busy with his own voice. just bizarre.

he will now feel presumably that they've gone out of their way and it's me whose got a problem etc but i just didn't know what to say!? there would have been no point whatsoever in saying you know i had an interview for a really important to me job last week and you never wished me luck or asked how it went - just no point.

the stupid thing is that part of my fictionary character i'm allotted in the family is that i was 'always a secretive child'. the fact they knew nothing about me or my life or my friends or my studies or work or whatever wasn't because i can never actually recall even being asked how i was let alone anything about my life it was because i was secretive confused

i went back to work after years out of work with illness and being a mum and not once have i been asked how it's going or anything. please tell me this isn't normal?

a part of me wants to feel like a cow for not performing whatever it was i was meant to perform for my dad when he turned up but another part is just like...?? what the hell was i meant to perform there? it wasn't about me or trying to fix anything it was simply about documenting evidence that they had been in contact or something? or that it was me who had a problem? i don't actually know.

also aware i sound like a whinging child. i have always known how abnormal it all is so i've no idea why it's so in my face ridiculous at the minute. like, i'm actually thinking what the fuck was that when reality is my dad has always been the same. he just wanted to hear his own voice telling some story. it never occurred to him to tune into me or ds and engage in any kind of communication or connection itms. that's not in his repertoire.

errrrr sorry. venting and bemused at the minute. my dad is the total enabler of my mother, i know that and i know he has his own peculiarities (possibly somewhere around autistic type traits given his communication style and utter blindness to social cues - though i sometimes suspect he just given a toss if the person he has caught is interested or not rather than not realising they're not).

my family are utterly bizarre! i guess i just need to be venting as i process the latest rounds of madness.

hevak Tue 29-Oct-13 15:45:45

Well, your family isn't normal but it sounds a bit like mine so although it's not normal, it's also not completely unheard of...!

You're definitely doing the right thing by keeping your son away from these people - they don't really care about you or him, they only care about themselves. It sounds like you'll have to do Christmas with them this year as your DS is looking forward to it, but maybe next year you can plan to be away so he has something else to look forward to?

Sorry I can't be much help other than to say you are not alone dealing with difficult family members.

hevak Tue 29-Oct-13 15:46:58

BTW - they are definitely not normal! I get the impression you have applied for a job that would require you to move away? Hopefully you'll get the job!

It would be a good excuse to stop the Wednesday night sleepovers too.

NumptyNameChange Tue 29-Oct-13 16:16:05

thanks hevak sorry to hear you have weird dynamics to deal with too.

yes i'll probably have to do christmas but just go with damage limitation re: don't go for the first round at my sister's in the morning and just go to my parents in the afternoon for presents and dinner but i hate that i have to do it at all and could kick myself for letting them get embroiled in my son's life.

i'm a fair bit paranoid at what might happen from me cutting away this distinctly. it sounds silly but there's not much i'd put past them to regain control.

NumptyNameChange Tue 29-Oct-13 16:16:52

oh and i didn't get the job. i suspect the huge relief and freedom i felt at the idea of actually moving away and on with my life is a big part of everything coming so sharply into focus and my realising just how much of a negative impact being near them has had since i moved back here.

DoYourKegels Tue 29-Oct-13 17:42:09

I think you did great with the 'mmmms' and 'yeahs'. That's what I do. I try to reduce drama whilst keeping boundaries fairly firm. I protect myself emotionally.

So if my dad is being particularly stupid and selfish I just let him get on with it. If he asks me, 'What's going on with you then?' (this is only because someone has taught him that you must take turns in a conversation) I am genuinely taken aback. I ought to prepare a few lines in advance really. He immediately tries to steer the conversation back to him in the most outrageous way, but I still need something to say. grin.

In your case, you don't always need to wait to be asked. 'I'm glad you had a good holiday. I didn't get the job I applied for but hopefully something will come up soon as I'm not enjoying where I am. I would offer you another cuppa but I have to get to the shops let's speak next week.'

NumptyNameChange Wed 30-Oct-13 14:59:04

at least he was capable of learning that rule. My dad just seems either oblivious or he just doesn't care because hearing his own voice takes priority. My mum being the narc in reigning situ means no audience there so whenever anyone is available they get the full weight of his self obsession.
I guess the guilt comes from awareness of his beaten dog position but he chose her you know? I had zero choice and his cowardice left me totally unprotected. He knew the abuse was wrong, admitted it out of earshot and stuffed cash in my pocket but never had the balls or integrity to stand up to me in her presence. He also handed out the, 'she loves you really' type platitudes. He also disappeared into affairs and left me to deal with the toxic manipulative meltdowns that ensued to force me to force him back.

My guilt isn't through owing him anything but through awareness of his utter weakness BUT he was a grown up and i was a child. I was forced to be the adult many times but i was a kid.

He chose to be with her, to stay with her, to allow her to abuse me, to be my ally when she wasn't looking and hand me money as if it made up for spinelessly standing by while she destroyed me. I might pity him but i really don't owe him anything.

In later years i've seen himslag each of us off to the other and realised he prob plays the same spineless yes man to whoever is the audience.

Pity doesn'tg equal respect or trust

Firsttimer7259 Wed 30-Oct-13 15:48:54

Going N.C. Is hard but freeing - you start to get some perspective and you don't waste endless time on these rollercoasters that these relationships put you thru. I have found over time that no putting emotional energy into the black pit that was my family has let me put it into other relationships that have blossomed. But there is the loss of the dream of a good family relationship with your original family which I have periods of grief for.
I'd advise not to go it alone - go for counseling while you do it, but some books

peachysnail Wed 30-Oct-13 16:03:02

I really feel for you op, sending you a hug. My parents Re a bit like yours so I can empathise. It's so hard for outsiders to understand how a narcissist parent affects your life. My advice for what it's worth, is stand your ground and be strong. You've done nothing wrong. Limit the contact or even cut contact (but not the neice who sounds like she's the next scapegoat of the family )and look after yourself. There's a website something along the lines of daughters of narcissist mothers,

peachysnail Wed 30-Oct-13 16:03:38

Are not Re!

NumptyNameChange Thu 31-Oct-13 09:25:39

trouble is peachy the niece is my mother's GC and her mother's scapegoat. i fear squeezed between those two roles she's got a good chance of turning out just like them as she's in the competition itms? she's witnessing both ends of the stick and getting some very mixed messages. she can see my sister for what she is somewhat because of the way she treats her and has witnessed her treat me but granny treats her golden so... muddledness.

thanks firsttimer - it is hard. what always put me off was the fear of losing my whole family as she is the centre of that universe and pulls all the strings (my mum). yet i read something yesterday that really hit home - someone pointing that the narc already has turned your whole family against you really and you already don't have a family. the reality is that no one has ever stood up for me when witnessing her treating me awfully. not only have they silently let it happen they've profited from it intentionally or not. realistically i already don't have a family. so i'd lose my dad - well i never had him did i? or my sister who as it turns out has become a narc that could seriously give my mum a run for her money.

and as for my niece and nephews realistically they will have watched my mother and theirs denigrate me and twist and whisper horribleness in their ears from the cradle up. i have no control on whether they turn out to be people who can see through that and grow into true individuals with their own minds or whether they'll get caught up in the game of trying to be the golden one or the one with the power or whatever prize the people who get caught up in this crap think is there for winning.

so shorthand is that if i think 'oh i'm losing my whole family' the reality is i never had a family. if there was one person in that family who had stood up and said, stop it, don't speak to her like that, don't treat her that way either when i was a child or as an adult then yes i'd have a family member worth keeping but realistically no one did.

i hope my niece will be ok and come out of it ok but tbh my mother's making her golden and my sister reacting the opposite way (essentially probably out of envy because she is the golden one and doesn't want to share that shine) has already created some quirks and she could really easily become queen bee no.3.

NumptyNameChange Thu 31-Oct-13 15:39:35

argghh - my dad showed up uninvited again on some other false pretext and barged his way in. i got on wit washing up and when he tried to invite himself and my mother who was just round the corner at the docs to stay for coffee i said, actually i'm just about to get in the bath so not a good time.

i then got the well we probably won't get to see ds before we go..... you should come round and see us business i'm afraid i had to say something. just said, 'you do know i had an important interview don't you?' and he was like yeah and i said well it really didn't occur to you to wish me luck? or ask me how it went? or... anything? out came first a denial that he knew anything about it - i pointed out i had a long conversation with him about it and told him how much i wanted it and he expressed disapproval and honed in on all the negatives of moving away so it shifted to well i didn't want to stick my nose in your business - what by wishing me luck? or showing any interest?

he came out with the 'well i'm sorry if you've taken it the wrong way' pa crap and i said i'm sorry but i just can't be doing with being around people who don't give a damn about my life and can't even feign interest or basic courtesy. he then left, then let himself back in to ask ds if he would come out to give granny a big cuddle goodbye which he did on the doorstep and just said, 'bye' to which she was all like oh, right, see you then, sulky child voice and ds shut the door to carry on doing the washing up he was enjoying doing.

i shall be painted as an utter monster no doubt but i actually don't have to have these people in my house, i don't have to talk to them and i don't have to do the stupid bloody game of pretend nothing has happened because we've decided it's time to go back to normal now. i wasn't invited for the usual sunday lunch for over a month in punishment for a) having fallen out with my sister and enforced my right not to pretend she'd done nothing wrong and sweep it under the carpet and b) for applying for, and actually getting an interview for a really good job that would not fit what i'm meant to be in their world and would mean moving away and taking narc supply from her.

i half feel like a complete bitch but actually sod it. i actually owe this people nothing and i do not have to make myself available to be the convenient whipping boy and take a beating and pretend it didn't happen when they want to act all normal for some occasion or performance. i have had to pretend and be silent about so many shitty things that have been done and said to me as a child and an adult and i just don't think i'm willing to do it anymore. i really don't know what has changed but i just don't care what they throw at me now - i'm not scared anymore - well i am but not paralysingly so. what might happen no longer seems worse than the status quo.

DoYourKegels Thu 31-Oct-13 16:03:33

Just checked in and wow! So proud of you. You are spot on with everything you say. As long as the things they consider 'punishment' don't matter to you, they have no power. grin Not being invited to Sunday lunch where you would be treated like shit? sounds good to me.

NumptyNameChange Thu 31-Oct-13 16:51:21

at my most alarmist end of thinking i can imagine my mother trying to get custody of my son by making up a load of rubbish.

baytree Thu 31-Oct-13 17:06:20

Dear Numpty, your not a numpty. There was never a mother there to mother you. You missed out on the support and nurturing that gives us self esteem as an adult. So now you need to mother yourself to give yourself this self esteem.

This new mother will be all the things that your old mother wasn't.
Try thinking in these terms and when ever you are unsure, ask yourself what your new mother would say to you. It sounds weird, but really, it helps.

DoYourKegels Thu 31-Oct-13 17:32:49

I do that. I ask what would a nice mum/dad/friend say. I am gradually learning how healthy people speak.

NumptyNameChange Thu 31-Oct-13 19:11:09

a family 'friend' (actually my sisters latest free ride) has texted to say christmas is at his. other side of town, would be trapped there all day with no way out and i've just said thanks but we're making our own plans this year.

so that's it. all hell will break lose. have been chatting with ds about what we'll do and what we want to eat (given we both hate christmas dinner anyway). he's panicking about not getting enough presents but it'll be fine - can make our own routines this year. maybe a bit tragic just the two of us but might also be nice.

the guilt trips, how dare i deprive ds of christmas etc will pile in and pressure will rocket no doubt as appearances have to be kept on special occasions. i'm just going to have to take it.

DoYourKegels Thu 31-Oct-13 19:18:50

Oh, dear me, Christmas. Such a tricky thing.

Of course it is perfectly fine to do whatever you like for Christmas. And if you want to appear ultra reasonable you can always say, 'we are making our own plans THIS YEAR'. No biggie. One year. Whatever.

You could plan a trip away if you have the money? Or get together with friends? Or you could just plan out a wonderful day just how DS wants it - pizza for Christmas lunch. grin

DysfunctionallyNormal Thu 31-Oct-13 20:28:02

ahhhhh Numpty! Reading your posts i find your situation very similar to mine grin

I went NC with my elder sister coming on about a year now. Before that i minimised contact with her but she didn't change her attitude towards me and now i've accepted that she probably never will. She is a classic narc and always has been, i just didn't know any different back then and allowed her to treat me badly and make me feel bad about myself.

In my humble opinion, it is highly unlikely your sister will ever admit what she did was atrocious and totally out of order let alone take steps to rectify it, and your family will never allow you to discuss this in their presence nor do anything to support you in either sorting it out or making sure that you are treated with respect (by them or others) when you're under their roof. They are all in denial, as far as they are concerned you are the "outsider" and therefore they will always close ranks against you.

i found that you need to feel confident in yourself that you have given all you have to give (emotionally,mentally and physically) before you can feel strong about going NC and not allowing yourself to feel guilty. This is where the "enough is enough" thinking comes in. I think you've reached this point and now you just need to teach yourself not to feel guilty when they try and use your child as emotional blackmail (because that's exactly what they are doing).

Congratulations on how you dealt with your father! grin One thing to be wary of is getting sucked in to either explaining why you're keeping your distance from them or trying to get them to understand their own behavior/attitude. As you've seen, when you try to get them to look at their own behavior or lack of interest in your life (re the interview etc) they go into denial mode. They turn it around and try to make you feel that it is you who is in the "wrong" yet again! They will never respond the way you'd like them to so you just need to accept that and not "want" or "expect" anything from them again. That way it makes it easier for you to find the strength to only accept positive behavior/attitude from them.

Your son may be upset at not getting lots of presents for now, but in time he will understand that you come as a family unit/package and they cannot divide and conquer via emotional blackmail and bribery. I know you feel bad about it but ask yourself how they can ever treat your child with the respect and love he deserves when they cannot give that to his mum- their own flesh and blood?! Standing your ground with strength and dignity will also show your niece that not only do you understand her situation but that also there is a way of putting a stop to it/refusing to let it affect your life in a negative way. Keep in contact with her because you may be her "safe" place and the only one who can really understand her and see her through this until she is old enough to break free of them.

baytree is spot on with her advice. i wish i'd had someone to give me that advice years ago because it was only once i realised it for myself a couple of years ago that i started nurturing the inner child in me and now i feel so much stronger in that my self esteem has improved a hell of a lot and i am more confident in trusting my own self and my instincts and refusing to accept negative behavior/attitude form others. It will also help you become aware of your own self worth and recognise just how much you have achieved in spite of not having access to the normal support networks most people have growing up. i mean, we could have easily turned into bitter/negative people or become addicted to alcohol/drugs etc as a way of coping with all the crap we've had to endure ....but we didn't, and you need to feel proud of the person you are today.

Stay strong and be happy!

NumptyNameChange Fri 01-Nov-13 07:44:28

thank you - that was a lovely post.

it sounds so trite but i did find myself yesterday saying out loud, 'well i'll stick up for you and i'll protect you' presumably to the child in me that never got that from anyone else blush

as to christmas well i'm going to try and create our own low key fun stuff to do that is about us and what we enjoy. i actually have a bit of a loathing of big 'occasions' finding them really stressful. obviously due to the stress and strain of having to plaster a smile on your face and play your part in the performance whilst you can feel all the tensions and horribleness bubbling under the surface threatening to come flying out from one or more parties present. i also find it deeply uncomfortable receiving gifts from people who can't give me the most basic things i ever needed yet can lavish gifts for a special ocassion if that makes sense and doesn't sound horribly ungrateful?

i guess that goes back to the pay offs my dad used to give me that somehow were meant to compensate for not standing up for me or sticking his neck out - that secretive telling me he's on my side really and stuffing a tenner in my teenage hand. my sister does massive overspend which makes me uncomfortable and used to make me embarrassed that i didn't have as much to spend till i decided actually that was fine and small thoughtful gifts mean more to me and most people than a show of money. i also hate the way she'll try and outshine my gifts to my son by buying him a ton of overpriced stuff - it just seems like really bad manners to me like wearing white at a wedding or something.

sure when old enough he might see these things for what they are but for a small child all those gifts are soooo enticing and god knows how they're going to be used as bait this year. i guess i'll have to pre-empt that by maybe allowing them an hour on christmas eve when they can bring his presents over and put them under the tree here. that would NEVER be allowed usually as he'd have to open them there, in their presence and have it decided which ones he was actually allowed to take home and what had to stay there - though he's started wising up to that nonsense already and being pretty forceful about wanting to take things HOME so he can play with them and voicing his confusion as to why they'd give him something then refuse to let him take it to his own home. very typical i know.

god this is a long waffle isn't it?

the memories that are springing to mind today are of hellish christmas' having to smile and be grateful to people who a day before were laying into you emotionally, after maybe months of a hellish period of drama and abuse, but knowing you have to smile and perform even when they start sniping and digging at each other and you or it's all going to come lashing out at you.

my mother was mostly the ignoring kind and my defense was mostly to be as invisible as humanly possible. think this is where in times of stress or upset or difficulty my instinct is to isolate and hibernate. whereas danger or hurt makes some people run to others and seek support i go underground as the safest bet. i've been working on that for a while though and started trusting the odd friend on more than a superficial level and practised asking for help with stuff. i started seeing a counsellor not long ago but it got interupted by life stuff - i will resume seeing her and use our sessions to focus on this stuff.

i had been reluctant to drag over the past again as i 'get it' already and dragging over it has never helped and i'd learnt to deal with it by having boundaries and limited contact etc. now though it feels like this is a closing a door and moving forward type moment and so revisiting it all will probably have a more significant value iyswim.

way too long a post - thanks to anyone who managed to read all this self indulgent waffle!

Hi Numpty (and you are most clearly not!). You are very perceptive.

Re this part of your comment:-

"that would NEVER be allowed usually as he'd have to open them there, in their presence and have it decided which ones he was actually allowed to take home and what had to stay there - though he's started wising up to that nonsense already and being pretty forceful about wanting to take things HOME so he can play with them and voicing his confusion as to why they'd give him something then refuse to let him take it to his own home".

I smiled wryly to myself on reading that particularly the part whereby they gave him something to play with then tell him to leave it behind when going home. My narcissistic MIL used to do the self same thing with my son when younger but I pulled her up on it the first time she tried it on with my son so she backed off.

Now that he is somewhat older she has scant interest in him and no interest me as his mother. I am very low contact with this woman and her enabler H (women like your mother always need a willing enabler to help them and your Dad fits that bill. Such bystander men as well act also out of self preservation and want of a quiet life).

Re Christmas make your own traditions.

It is not your fault your birth family are like this; you did not make them this way. Do not engage with them, engaging with them on any level feeds such people and they like the drama. A good rule of thumb here is that if they are too toxic for you to deal with, they are certainly too toxic for your child to have any form of contact with. Not all grandparents are kind and loving.

baytree Fri 01-Nov-13 09:33:02

It's normal for you to be worried about xmas in a dysfunctional family setting. The lavishing of gifts is for their benefit not for your sons. It's all part of the show.

So what would your new lovely mum say? She would say, plan a wonderful day for your son and yourself. Do things that make you both happy. She would say we all have moments when we need to do the family duty (even the queen). So lets take the good bits from it and ignore the bad. Expect that they are going to behave in their toxic way. Observe this in a detached way. Everytime they do this, it reaffirms how miserable and dysfunctional they are and how lucky you are to be enlightened. Plan something wonderful for you and your son post family event. (Panto visit, walk, ice skating, making a chocolate gingerbread house).

You are on the cusp of a new wonderful beginning.

baytree Fri 01-Nov-13 09:34:30

great post Attila. So right about rule of thumb comment

NumptyNameChange Fri 01-Nov-13 11:11:16


baytree what you describe is what i've done thus far and what i find i'm suddenly not willing to do anymore. i don't want to do the family event at all

i've done the teflon coating, automaton, present in the flesh but spirit tucked safely away type limited, careful contact. it does work to some degree and yet it suddenly feels like it was just a stepping stone, a survival mechanism when in reality i should just walk away entirely from the danger.

the cost could be HUGE but i think i'm willing to pay it. it's difficult - they live close by, they have my son as a pawn/guilt trip/threat/whatever and everyone is in on the game and determined to keep it going but.... dunno - there just suddenly IS a but. all of this meant i felt i had to keep going back for more and the defenses and boundaries were all i had but suddenly i don't feel like that.

i'm starting to think why should i have to defend myself? why should i have to 'cope' with crap? why limit myself to surviving? i want more than that.

don't know if i've got the 'stuff' to see it through but i want to try.

attila - firstly sorry you got landed with a mil like this! at this stage they genuinely are very 'good' to ds aside from me but i'm well aware actually it shouldn't be 'aside' from me because ds and me are a package actually. i don't want my son witnessing me being treated awfully, witnessing the shitty way my mother speaks to my father and the sulky child responses from him or the messed up pecking orders and nonsense or to learn that power is about being the scariest bully in the room. they love him and yes are good to him but that doesn't undo what being around that toxicity could do to him.

i actually just want them the fuck away from me and hang the cost - stuff the presents, ride out the tantrum from the 6yo who thinks shiny things and getting spoilt equate to love, sod the inheritance and the babysitting and the feeling of having people to fall back on if things get tough - actually none of it is worth continuing to value myself so little that i expose myself to people who a) treat me like shit even now and b) gave me an utterly miserable childhood that i've had to work like crazy to ensure didn't destroy me.

surely anything that can happen as a consequence of cutting them out has to be worth it?

NumptyNameChange Fri 01-Nov-13 11:31:37

either i'm becoming a heartless selfish bitch or i'm finally just sticking up for myself and putting myself first confused

it's so weird that the breaking point was my sister's awful behaviour being the final straw with her (ok that bit is not so odd) but then my parents not even having it in them to wish me luck for a job interview - that's such a small thing compared to things done to me over the years.

i think part of it was the contrast i was given by a close friend who despite really hating the idea of me moving away genuinely, genuinely wanted me to get the job because it would be good for me ! i could see she really didn't want me to move away but she also really wanted me to get it for my sake. normal people are capable of that! ones own parents should be capable of it. and somewhere in me some self respect has crept up that allows me to think actually i deserve that kind of care and consideration for me and my needs.

NumptyNameChange Fri 01-Nov-13 11:34:12

also wanted to say thank you so much for listening and talking this through with me. it is so hard to find people you can safely talk this kind of thing through with because they just can't comprehend that anyone can actually not love or respect or care for their own child. they find it hard to believe and unless you've experienced this kind of family it seems impossible for people to believe how complex and devious people's seemingly 'not that bad' actions can be and how they can accumulate. i'm not explaining that well but i think you'll all 'get it' which is great.

NumptyNameChange Fri 01-Nov-13 11:36:43

if i had a penny for all the times i've heard 'she must love you really', or 'she loves you deep down' i would be very rich indeed. people just don't want to face that actually a mother can not only NOT love her child she can actively hate it and want to sabotage it from it's earliest years of life.

my mother used to call me the devil's child and tell me i was unlovable and anyone who loved me just 'didn't know me like she did'. this was from as young as i can remember. people can't compute that a mother can be like that - especially one who goes to church and presents herself totally differently with outsiders.

NumptyNameChange Fri 01-Nov-13 11:39:31

sorry - more rant:

it seems difficult for people to believe that there are human beings who have never, never said sorry in their life to you or admitted they were wrong about ANYTHING (even down to arguing that a daddy long legs is a spider ffs and refusing to acknowledge you're wrong even when it's in black and white). she has never said sorry, admitted being wrong or told me she loves me EVER and she never will.

how do you explain someone like that to people who haven't dealt with such a person? they sound made up, too extreme but they are real.

VikingLady Fri 01-Nov-13 11:56:34

Well done! Also, tantrums about toys will fade quite quickly (kids are fickle) but you always remember long term stress from toxic family. Your DS might not seem to notice much of it yet but he'd notice more and more each year.

Keep applying for distant jobs! grin

DoYourKegels Fri 01-Nov-13 14:32:00

You are doing great. I don't blame you for wanting to go NC. They all sounds absolutely fucking hideous.

I often wonder if I'm just a chicken for not going NC, but actually it is mostly okay and just bubbles under - partly because my dad lives on another continent. But I do think that it won't take much to push me over into NC with my dad. And who knows, maybe it will just be a 'little' thing like you are experiencing.

Only you know what you are ready to bear. It sounds like you have a very good idea of the emotional fallout and pressure that will result. Getting a job far away sounds absolutely perfect.

NumptyNameChange Fri 01-Nov-13 14:37:38


have just chatted things through with a friend on the phone working out worst case scenarios of what they will do to me.

the one thing she has over me is my son. she can slate me to extended family members and that has no effect because i gave up on those relationships years ago knowing that she would have poisoned opinion and played them and there'd be nothing i could do to change it and also through knowing none of them had ever stuck up for me or seen through her or whatever. i've given up on keeping my dad in my life knowing that he would do anything for a quiet life and my sister is totally in it with her. so basically no cards to play there.

the worst case scenario i can think of is her trying to get my son taken away. i can sadly imagine her calling ss and trying to make out i was an incompetent mother and being arrogant enough to think that her saying i had mental health problems would be enough. i've thought it through and realistically ss would see through it - they'd check with my doc who would say i was honest, cooperative and proactive with my health issues, they'd check with schools and ds's health records and find zero cause for concern and they'd come look at my house and see yes, i am less than the perfect housekeeper but there are toys, food, bed, washing facilities, books etc and nothing to cause concern.

that's the 'biggest' she could go imo and i've rationally thought it through and realised it would get her nowhere.

HA! got interupted by my dad at the door with a cake that is ds's favourite that they've realised will go out of date whilst they're away hmm also my key that asked to have back saying that i'll need to leave it with someone who is around (no good it being at there's whilst htey're away) but obviously really about not wanting them to have a key to my house full stop. tried to engage me in conversation about what's going on despite me saying not in front of ds, not appropriate etc and got some 'don't know what you've got into your head' malarchy but just smiled and stonewalled and got rid.


NumptyNameChange Fri 01-Nov-13 14:42:20

this is actually the most attention i've had from them in YEARS just when i don't bloody want it.

Stepmooster Fri 01-Nov-13 15:35:24

Numpty - I went NC from my mother, and coming from a small village where everyone knows your business and you have relatives around every corner it was a whole lot easier to just move away. I moved to the south coast and started a new life. It was the best thing I ever did, it's hard to go NC when you can bump into the person you are supposed to be not speaking to at the shop etc and then there is all the explaining to 'do-gooders' trying to get you to change your mind.

If you move away, then you could limit contact to Christmas cards and the occasional phone call - thinking more for your nieces and nephews benefit. If your DS is in a completely different environment he is going to adapt and probably won't care come next xmas as you will be living a new life.

Although I know moving away is not always possible or desirable, but it does make going NC a lot easier and also remaining in contact with other family members in very occasional small doses. You won't be accused of going NC just that you moved away.

baytree Sat 02-Nov-13 09:38:04

Hi Numpty, some good advice from Step,DYK and VL.

What may help is to write a diary, so that in the future you can look back and it re-confirms to you weren't wrong. Being NC is stressful at first. It is easy to doubt and question yourself as when a family turn on you, you are the odd one out. By having a diary you can re-read what did happen. For example you could write how your sister threw you out of her house without coats or keys to your own house. Totally unacceptable in the cold light of re-reading as diary.

It is also something you can be proactive about. I am NC with my siblings and minimal contact with my dad. When I stood up for myself they all turned on me, stopped talking to me actually, but then claimed I had stopped contacting them! A diary has helped me to know what really did happen and it wasn't me being hidious it was them. I am soo much happier now. In fact I am having the best time of my life. It's taken me 5 decades to get there but it is worth it

baytree Sat 02-Nov-13 09:46:11

I've just re-read your post dysfunctionally normal and so much of it rings true with me. I could be you!

NumptyNameChange Sat 02-Nov-13 11:20:07

thanks all. really hoping the turning up unannounced business is over now but will kind of be holding my breath till they go away. at least i have my key back.

moving is currently not really an option but definitely something to work towards but whereas i thought i 'had' to move to be able to do this i now realise that i don't have to put it off till x, y or z but can just do it now. obviously would be easier if i lived far away but i don't so here we are.

with me gone i guess they will all have to start eating each other - the saf as scapegoat business will presumably run out of steam if saf never appears iyswim.

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.


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.

DysfunctionallyNormal Sun 03-Nov-13 19:53:38

baytree feels good to be able to say 'i got through that ... i survived!' [Grin]

I find that when i can now look back at things that happened i can do without feeling the way i did then,and it shows me just how far i've come-and i'm soooo glad i haven't allowed myself to repeat that sort od behaviour on anyone else.

I recall once when NC-sis came back from holiday,said she'd got me a present. I remember feeling happy that she'd done that-and then she literally threw-not handed-an ugly piece of clothing at me. It was a top,the ugliest brown and murky orange tye-dye that i've ever seen which (when i tried it on) didn't fit around the chest and the neckline almost strangled me. Bear in mind back then we were the SAME SIZE AND BODY TYPE! She then showed me what she'd bought for our younger sis-a beautifully carved wooden jewellery box! On another occasion,she bought younger sis some beautiful jewellery-she gave me one of those tiny 'ethnic look' jewellery tins and assumed i was stupid enough to believe she'd brought it all the way back from Sri Lanka! As it happened i already had one-used it to store the tiny safety pins-they were being sold in the Poundshop and she had one on her dresser-which strangely was no longer there! [Grin]

I knew i couldn't say anything other than 'thanks' or she would create a big drama about how 'ungrateful' i was! Thing is i never expected nor asked her to ever get me a present so she knew exactly what she was doing to me emotionally n mentally. Nasty behaviour!

Up until i went NC,if she ever saw me with or talk about anything 'nice' i had bought she would make sly passive aggressive digs about 'that must have cost quite a bit' or 'you must be rolling in it (money)'. She seemed to have forgotten about the email she sent me where she told me i was 'living in a shitty little flat in a shitty little town,working in a shitty little pub'!!!

I never rose to her provocations though-preferred to kill her with kindness (narcs HATE that cos it cuts off their supply) . A few years ago i ballooned to a size 16 due to the contraception i was using,she seized on that and everytime she spoke to me she'd say things like 'oh,i saw a beautiful trouser suit in the charity shop,it's a size 8 and i thought of getting it for you... '!! My response was 'thanks but my natural size is ten and i don't want to go lower than that once i've shifted the excess' lol! On her birthday i gave her a Debenhams gift card with £100 on it and told her to spoil herself-because she was always complaining about how the post baby weight was making her depressed. That stopped the nastiness about my weight! Hehe!

DysfunctionallyNormal Sun 03-Nov-13 20:10:01

Numpty you sound like a wonderful mum! Carry on giving your son all the love and positive attention you missed out on xxx

Praise and encouragement was something i never got and my siblings didn't get much of it either growing up. I always give tbem that. When my bro was struggling as a single parent to three under 5's,i would send him fb messages telling him how proud i was of him and not to give up during the tough times,pass on little pearls of wisdom i had been given by the good people in my life-and NC-sis would immediately try to 'hijack' my posts by either trying to point out 'flaws' in my message or turning them into 'this is how/what i would do' i blocked her from my fb so she couldn't see what i was writing! [Grin]

It bothers her that i have succeeded in not just having a relationship with my other siblings but a GOOD one and that they actually have love n respect for me. She did nothing to help me with that when my parents had stopped letting them have contact with me,i had to 'wait in the wings' until they were old enough to use social media and speak for themselves.

Some people eh!

NumptyNameChange Mon 04-Nov-13 09:38:14

i'm not a wonderful mum and that's ok. i'm a 'good enough' mum.

there's a lot of trimmings i'm not good at - but i love him and he knows that and i don't blame him for anything that's 'mine'. i don't project onto him - i've always been really wary of saying he IS x, y or z and have resisted when others try to pigeon hole him. i can admit to mistakes, i can sorry when i do something wrong or overreact or something. he's allowed to 'live' in this house - to have stuff, to make mess (but he does need to tidy it up mind - i'm not going the other way and creating a brat). he's allowed to have feelings and thoughts and i work hard not to negate them. i acknowledge he has an internal world of his own and show interest in it and when he shares things from it i listen and validate or explain or just mirror and acknowledge.

basically he's getting the 'basics' that i never got which are therefore the most important bits to me (my bias). there'll be plenty of other stuff i'm getting wrong or not doing well enough and probably he'll end up with plenty of his own baggage and resentments as most people do from their childhoods. BUT hopefully he'll have those fundamentals i missed out on - a sense that the world is basically a safe place, that he is fundamentally loveable and worthy without having to earn, prove, fight for that basic solid ground of self and other acceptance. he will not have to grow up alone inside his head with no one to talk to or share that internal world with and he won't have the confusion of being told he is something tat he fundamentally is NOT. he won't have the muddle of a lifetime of gaslighting to work through.

but yes i get plenty wrong and i'm allowed to! and he'll be allowed to tell me what i got wrong and i'll argue if i disagree and acknowledge and apologise if i agree. i will allow him to see me as a human being who is flawed and can acknowledge it and hold her hands up to being a mere human being who can be questioned and found wanting.

i guess that's all the stuff i think is important - funny how what you didn't get can be such a guide to what you need to give for some of us whereas others just feel the need to repeat the cycle.

honestly i'm not a 'wonderful mum' - i'm just a normal human being muddling through, sometimes very, very messily in more ways than one and having to make it up as i go along - entirely! a) because i know the template i got shown for family and parenting is totally fucked so i can't follow that one and b) i'm a single mum - right from the start and no dad on the scene so it's just me and him and how we do it - no templates out there in popular discourse/media etc and c) i have never been a very 'conventional' type of person and didn't have a child till i was 31 after travelling, mad assortment of lifestyles, mental health issues and all sorts and i have to try and work out where the lines between conformity to respectability and performance of what motherhood is meant to look like and being myself and authentic and letting us be the family we are are - itms??

it's all just wobbly balancing act and i reckon that is probably how it is for most of us who are open to the messy, uncertain, up and down, fallible, happy, sad, mad, reality of trying to be an adult and trying to raise a child and just trying to survive in what is really actually a pretty fucked up world full of lots of fairly fucked up people but all in all still well worth being in.

NumptyNameChange Mon 04-Nov-13 09:42:08

jesus - talk about carthesis! grin

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 04-Nov-13 09:50:55

Lol - you have life experience and a plethora of tales to tell. Much better than ironed napkins. That's what makes a wonderful mum. Silly.

neffi Mon 04-Nov-13 09:57:24

You may not think you're an amazing mum but I have to tell you you are coming across as quite an insightful and aware person with her head screwed on ok and that will be a great role model for your son as he grows older, whatever your other faults might be.

NumptyNameChange Mon 04-Nov-13 15:50:14

thanks - i suppose i'm the kind of mum that i would've liked but having doubt in my own likes/dislikes/wants/judgments means that that doesn't mean that much to me maybe?

i'm in the process of deciding my own standards and learning to judge myself by those. obviously not going to be an instant fix.

NumptyNameChange Tue 05-Nov-13 12:58:46

fair bit of weeping out of nowhere today. felt a bit like reconnecting with old hurt and pain that i had to stuff down and trying to just 'allow' myself to cry through it.

bit of a horrible panicked stage of a sort of... black spot - like something you can't remember or quite see but it looms at you itms. don't want to jump to conclusions and my research about this kind of stuff over the years when it's happened has led me to sort of avoid trying to 'see' what's there for fear of false memories or constructing something rather than just letting stuff be and if i need to remember i will organically. am i making any sense at all?

i had a counsellor when i was about 17 who went way too far with suggestions to account for some half memories and current responses to stuff i was having and that has made me very wary of the power of suggestion into those black spots.

sorry if i'm being cryptic or sound like i'm trying to be a drama lamma - kind of the whole point that i'm not. but fear myself when i feel like that that i might remember something that's not real.

kind of wish i'd never seen that counsellor.

NumptyNameChange Tue 05-Nov-13 13:01:14

oh and then i fear that that fear of myself is the product of a lifetime of gaslighting and round and round it can go.

i can learn can't i? to trust myself? to know what's up and what's down? does that TOLD what it is you think or feel or remember fucks that up for life?

DoYouEverFeelLikeAPlasticBag Tue 05-Nov-13 13:11:49

Numpty I've just found this thread - and I think I recognize myself in your OP?

Haven't read through it yet - but wanted to lend my support, we're going through similar situations, and you have been so supportive to me.

flowers for now

boschy Tue 05-Nov-13 13:28:47

Numpty - if ever a name was a wrong'un yours is! just wanted to say that you sound absolutely amazing in every way, and so emotionally insightful. I wish we were RL friends and I would be your back up against the toxic family.

NumptyNameChange Tue 05-Nov-13 18:16:17

could definitely do with more of those kind of friends boschy - and thank you but honestly i'm fairly fucked up. i have a really sorted self but never quite sure whether to believe in it itms.

plastic hi, worried i was a bit too blunt with you on your thread tbh. hope i haven't 'projected' too much. reading the ins and outs of your situation really helped me in how it's so easy to see from outside you know? and what i wanted to tell you was the medicine i needed to take - you know that saying about why can't we take our own medicine? anyway. rambling and being badgered by the boy to watch the second half of the simpsons.

been a really emotional roller coaster type day but it has been survived and i've tried not to beat myself up over stuff. as twee as it sounds there's a little girl in there with a lot of hurt and whilst i can't let her take over because i have to keep hold of the plot i also can't shut her up and stuff her down and collude in her abuse.

blah blah.

FaceDirectionOfTravel Tue 05-Nov-13 18:47:29

Hey Numpty. Sorry today has been hard, but I agree that sometimes we just need space to grieve about the fact that it wasn't okay.

I think I understand about the gaps in memory. Sometimes I wonder if something really sinister fills those gaps but I don't think it does in my case. I think to myself, 'If xyz happened, then it would have been likely that I'd have reacted in a totally different way to abc in later life. Since in fact I didn't react that way, xyz probably didn't happen.'

That might not be helpful, I don't know.

DoYouEverFeelLikeAPlasticBag Wed 06-Nov-13 08:59:26

Numpty Hi again - I still haven't sat down and read your whole thread, but I will, and will comment properly soon.

Just wanted to say that I didn't think you were too blunt at all, I found your advice really useful. Don't worry about projecting - I'm glad the thread helped you gain some insight into your own situation.

And I know what you mean about 'medicine' - I think when reading about someone else's problems, and coming up with really good sound advice, you realize that actually you are wise and sensible and able to apply the same advice to yourself. Sometimes it's just really hard to see it when it's happening to you.

Sorry you had a hard day yesterday - I hope today is better for you. Look after that little girl inside you, give her a hug and tell her it's ok flowers

AndTheBandPlayedOn Wed 06-Nov-13 14:27:16

Hello again, NNameChange,
I posted on the first page here and have read your posts. You do not sound waffling or whinging at all. What came to my mind, is that you are growing, maturing, and evolving. I do not think the narcs can evolve or mature, in an emotional sense anyway. Revisiting the events is important to process them, and to process them accurately; imho, only then can we recover from the damage done and heal, and leave it behind/move on.

Writing it down is a physical way to get it out in a real sense. I appreciate that you have shared your experience here. I continue to need/find validation about this twisted and distorted thinking dynamic and how damaging it really is for the people on the receiving end of it.

The "good enough" mom is the gold standard, imho.
Kids are welcome in every room of the house.
Corrections are given with appropriate explanations, and with options for what is ok to do.
Apologies, yes!
I can identify with so much of what you have written.

And gifts...I will try not to get triggered here wink...they are simply to purchase a license to abuse. They won't change and they seem to up the ante every time.

I know your little boy won't understand about the gifts. I have PM you.

If you can cry, that is a great thing. My feelings have been stuffed for so long I have found it difficult to do that. Cry and you cry alone is how I was brought up, so why bother with the feelings at all. I am slowly getting it back, cried twice in couselling about mother's emotional neglect. When I get flooded with frustration about whether or not to trust my own thinking will sometimes bring a few tears too. I find my brain likes to scatter in eight different directions in search of the most best answer that will not be misunderstood by anyone.

Thanks for the thread thanks, and the benefits far out weigh any hideousness in going NC.

NumptyNameChange Wed 06-Nov-13 14:34:31

i used to get shouted at when i cried as a kid, then later if i was ever upset on the phone with her, as in had hard stuff going on and made the mistake of expressing i was struggling or upset she'd literally hang up on me so i think i can identify with what you say there. it was hard to let myself keep crying yesterday rather than just stuff it down.

totally recognise the brain scattering to every option thing too. do you find it really hard to know genuinely what you want or need? i suspect at some point i decided it was safest NOT to need or want and stuffed that down too itms.

i'm so grateful for you sharing your thoughts here. off to check my pm.

NumptyNameChange Wed 06-Nov-13 14:37:20

incidentally i found out today that my job is 'at risk' and in all likelihood i'll be redundant before christmas.

in all honesty i mostly feel relieved and i'm wondering if it's because i'm so used to waiting for the other shoe to drop when things go well that it's a relief when it does.

spanky2 Thu 07-Nov-13 16:18:46

We were never allowed to be ill. I have just been really ill and it has brought a lot of old wounds to the surface. It is a process we have to go through . Accepting ourselves for who we actually are at this moment .

NumptyNameChange Thu 07-Nov-13 16:55:56

sorry to hear you've been ill spanky. my mother never believed i was ill - well really just didn't care and refused to engage with it i suppose. if i was sick as a small child it was as if i had done it on purpose just to inconvenience her. i was sent to school no matter what.

i starting bunking off school when i was about 15 and had really bad glandular fever and would just be exhausted and feel like death warmed up. a while before that i had a really bad bout of migraines that would nail me to the bathroom floor hugging the toilet because i'd be so violently sick with them and got vertigo if tried to be any higher than the floor or move around. she would be all, 'oh for god's sake' as if i was faking it or doing it to get attention.

god she sounds awful when i write things like this. no one would think it of her.

NumptyNameChange Thu 07-Nov-13 16:58:26

another couple of similar vein memories - i once fell downstairs and she sat in the living room watching her soaps and ignoring me. later after i started vomiting when my dad came home i had to go to hospital with concussion. another time i trod on a rusty nail - literally into my foot and she refused to even look at it and again had to wait for my dad to get home to get it seen to.

FaceDirectionOfTravel Thu 07-Nov-13 17:11:00

Wow, numpty. sad That is horrific neglect. I feel for you still having to live down the road and put up with it all so much. No wonder you want shot of it. flowers

NumptyNameChange Thu 07-Nov-13 18:31:15

is it? see part of me can just hear her saying oh you're such a drama queen, oh you always had such a persecution complex, you have such a vivid imagination etc.

spanky2 Thu 07-Nov-13 19:03:14

Thank you numpty . I am the drama queen of the family too. Sometimes I feel so tired of it. Why can't our parents be normal ?! Your mum sounds very neglecting . You deserve more .

spanky2 Thu 07-Nov-13 19:04:28

Forgot , classic narc responses to your complaints.

FaceDirectionOfTravel Thu 07-Nov-13 19:24:24

My therapist told me to ask myself if I would ever do that thing to my child.

Would you? Would you ever let your child tread on a rusty nail and tell her to get over it?

Would you ever ignore the fact that she fell down the stairs and was then vomiting?

As a real, 'good enough' parent, you can see how parents make mistakes and get cross and shout sometimes and get impatient and maybe overlook or brush aside things that are important to children. We all do it and that is normal.

But the things you are talking about need to be taken very seriously as something beyond that.

NumptyNameChange Fri 08-Nov-13 06:43:16

you're right - and i know rationally i would never do that to ds. but somehow the little human bad things i do as a parent (for example brush him aside when i'm busy/tired etc) end up feeling like evidence that i'm the same when really they're clearly totally different as you say face.

it's totally the crazymaking business that makes it so hard to feel confident and the fact of knowing that everything was done in such a deniable way and she has outright denied so many things and point blank lied with such utter conviction that you do end up doubting your own memories sometimes.

i think if you're sensitised to seeing yourself as bad then even the tiniest bits of being human seem like looming evidence of it. confirmation bias in a way i guess. i do have a rational head and a lot of insight so i can rationalise and see but god it is exhausting sometimes. would be nice to not have to work so hard at it itms.

my mum never hit me that much - i can remember a few hysterical slapping incidents but i think it stopped fairly young as it didn't really serve her and there was no way she'd have wanted to give me evidence. i remember comparing red hand marks on my thighs with a friends lump on her head once at primary - her mum was a thrower, mine a slapper.

but i'm realising there are different ways of physically abusing your children than just hitting them - so refusing to get them medical treatment or to attend to their injuries fits in there i think. these people are sneaky and she knew i'd use bruises or other physical signs to get away or 'show her up' so she had to find deniable ways to hurt me. like how the worst of the emotional abuse would be without witnesses - not all of it mind as she had the family under control enough to tolerate and even enjoy (in the case of my sister) me 'getting it'.

hmm. bloody families! i read something that made me laugh out loud yesterday because it was so resonant of my family - someone wrote something about how if their family was involved in a major car accident no one would call 999, pull people out of burning cars or take any essential action until they'd decided whose fault it was.

NumptyNameChange Fri 08-Nov-13 06:46:43

i see this in the next generation too - like someone is hurt and instead of addressing the hurt they're panickedly scrambling to deny it was their fault and establish who to blame.

i was always the one saying, it doesn't matter whose fault it was at this point, x is hurt, that's what matters right? or the milk is spilt let's clear it up rather than spend half an hour arguing over blame ffs.

FestiveEdition Fri 08-Nov-13 07:06:46

Personally - I would move while the parents are away on their trip.

That is not flippant. The story you tell is so familiar it is painful.
No contact works best when you are as far removed as possible from any chance of random meetings.
For me, it took away some of the fear.

If you are going to be made redundant, and have reached the point of knowing that NC is the only route to staying sane, then I would absolutely consider a massive life change.

Just the spin that worked for me.
{flowers] OP. Its hard.

FaceDirectionOfTravel Fri 08-Nov-13 07:26:47

Have you heard of gaslighting? Look it up it will explain a lot about the crazymaking.

I don't have any particular advice about actually going NC except that you sound very strong and you are learning to trust yourself. It is hard for you to know what is right for you even when they aren't around.

baytree Fri 08-Nov-13 13:26:53

The other thing is how Narcissistic people are like vampires. They suck all your confidence and any attempt you make to live a normal life. They push all the blame onto you, re-invent situations by gaslighting.

I was wrong in one of my earlier posts to say disengage. I think you are beyond this and telling us you want/need to move away. Stay strong, everyone here is supporting you.
So that is 1 narc versus all of us, a quick count I made it 25 posters plus you of course. Take that step if you can or start empowering yourself by making a plan.

One of the things that has amazed me, is how being released from the clutches of my narc family, how I see things and people so much more clearly; it's like I am seeing life in 3D colour IMAX, whereas before it was a blurred black and white portable. Does that make sense to anyone?

AndTheBandPlayedOn Fri 08-Nov-13 15:49:23

I agree with spammy, face directionoftravel, and bay tree.

It was abuse, NNameChange...the negligent kind. Sorry you went through that for so long.

I think my beginning point of healing was when I forgave myself for being me. Normally, I was always quiet. But when I did speak I was sarcastic, perfectionist, tactless... And all of the frustration of being someone like that (anger of frustration). I was tired of being me, if that makes sense. So I started to change and keep my opinions to myself and be happier for it. I guess you could call it an epithany of self awareness.

Then I started to notice social dynamics more objectively, instead of constantly being on guard to protect my inner child so to speak. I grew up perhaps. But it was more than that. It was looking at and understanding that first of all I really did not have a good childhood (which my toxic sister would probably contest to this day-but I am NC so can not say for sure wink)...and second, how that upbringing really did affect me, and not in good ways!

My mother died when I was 18, father passed on when I was 36, and I am now 51. I live 80 miles from toxic sister. So I am pretty safe from the injustices of face to face interaction.

Toxic a Sister is and always be in denial about her behavior. To that I say, denying it does not change the fact of it, or the effect of it.

Sorry for the long post, just some background so you can have an idea where I am coming from with this.
NNameChange, moving is the answer, as I think you have already figured out with that job interview. Don't stop-go get another interview!

AndTheBandPlayedOn Fri 08-Nov-13 15:51:11

Sparky, not spammy...
And I also agree with FestiveEdition, (I did not mean to leave you out).

AndTheBandPlayedOn Fri 08-Nov-13 15:52:39

Spanky, not sparky

AndTheBandPlayedOn Fri 08-Nov-13 15:54:48

And the slapping and hitting about the face was obviously physical abuse.

NumptyNameChange Fri 08-Nov-13 16:25:23

unfortunately i'm really not in a position to move right now. i live in rental accommodation with a secure tenancy now after being stuck with a property in the last recession and ending up with a mortgage shortfall i would not have a good credit rating for the first time in my life. so renting through letting agencies would be out - and it would be anyway if i'm about to be out of work. i also have pets.

it's one to work towards really.

for now i kind of need to keep things simple, focus on sorting my head out and staying away from them and working out what to do next. it would be easier obviously to just disappear but not really viable at the minute with finances and living arrangements as they are. so i'm going to have to find the strength to be no contact in close proximity which will mean riding out a bit of a storm i should imagine. christmas being the first huge battle but if i get through that without giving in then it should be plain sailing.

NumptyNameChange Fri 08-Nov-13 16:25:58

and thank you - i like the idea of it being 25 of us against them. two narcs unfortunately - mum and sister.

baytree Fri 08-Nov-13 16:27:34

Hi And the band

Your comment "and then I started to notice social dynamics more objectively". You are spot on and have said it better than me. That is exactly what I meant when I said I see everything now in 3D. You stop anticipating/adapting/waiting to respond and manage but instead step back and see real life and become more natural (the real you), relaxed,positive and sociable.
NNameChange, that is what you can be too. Natural, relaxed etc..

baytree Fri 08-Nov-13 16:30:46

Often the way Nnamechange that there is a parent and offspring narc combination. I have that too. You have more in common with us 25 than with those two.

Keep posting and growing


AndTheBandPlayedOn Fri 08-Nov-13 21:33:30

It was my experience as well, regarding mother/daughter narcissism. Mother was a bi-polar alcoholic...but she was also really big into social standing stuff (we were upper middle class). I was assigned the role of invisible child, and as such, was the go to target for any itch to redicule or diminish to satisfy mother's superiority needs (narc supply).

Toxic sister (you can guess: the golden child) was trained by observation from a very early age how to treat me...her brain was hard wired that way, so to speak. Perhaps her consistent denials that there is anything wrong with her behavior are genuine...but that does not mean that I have to sacrifice my mental health by some sort of f&¢ked up default. Her ignorance of the social dynamics is not my problem to solve.

Thanks, baytree smile

Salbertina Tue 12-Nov-13 19:00:22

Bloody hideous ime, especially without network of support - loyal dh and understanding friends...which i dont have. Feel c v lonely with it all and has ripped apart my foundations.

Be careful what you wish for and remember the books can only guide you so far..

baytree Thu 14-Nov-13 20:58:25

How long has it been for you Salbertina? Big hug from me

NumptyNameChange Fri 15-Nov-13 15:52:53

hi again.

text from my sister today pretending nothing had happened and inviting us to go for dinner on sunday. suckered me a bit on my way to see someone about a new job.

utterly bizarre given how things were left between us - though actually absolute standard practice for my family.

found myself wavering in the face of such 'normality', then wondered what to say, what to do etc. in the end i just replied 'no thanks'. am dreading the abusive message i feel is likely to come in return.

NumptyNameChange Fri 15-Nov-13 16:07:31

oh it's just come, " suit yourself. poor, poor (your)ds "

NumptyNameChange Fri 15-Nov-13 16:12:13

i'm meant to bite now of course - defend myself, say why this is really happening etc but i KNOW there is no point. it's just fuel on the fire. help!!! it is hard not to defend yourself and point out yes actually, poor ds that he has an aunt who thinks it's acceptable to throw him and his mother out in the dark and rain without their coats, poor ds that he has had to witness such ridiculousness and no, i won't expose him to it anymore.

utterly pointless isn't it? someone around to remind me not to feed?

Holdthepage Fri 15-Nov-13 16:36:32

Ignore, ignore, ignore. The one thing drama queens can't stand is having people take no notice of them, so just leave it at the "no thanks" you have already sent.

AndTheBandPlayedOn Fri 15-Nov-13 17:11:02

She had to get in the last word so let her have it. Engaging further is not going to resolve things any better at all. She is using your dc against you; it is bait: leave it.

Good luck for the new job!

RandomMess Fri 15-Nov-13 17:47:45

Ignore and if possible block her number grin

pollyglen Sat 16-Nov-13 08:47:46

Reading your posts i felt i needed to offer support as i am in exactly the same situation as you i am NC with my own 'DM' for almost four years and two years down the line NC from golden child 'DSIS'.
Word for word i could have written your post with regard to being the scapgoated could never do right bullied child.Even as an adult i was never good enough and every detail of my life was picked over critised and mocked.My achievements were never noted or commented on.
NC in the main for me is great as it feels as if a great weight has been lifted not having to deal with the dysfunction and nastiness however unfortunately i live in a small town and have to see my sister daily and the mother has a nasty habit of turning up on the doorstep on special occasions spouting her crap to anyone who will listen about how evil i am for denying her a relationship with her grandkidssad.

Anyway,just wanted to offer support OP,you are most definately not alone.

NumptyNameChange Sat 16-Nov-13 09:30:35

thanks polly - sorry you're going through the same and like me you live in close proximity.

my sister's text got to me, i found myself thinking well maybe it could all just go back to normal etc. her 'poor ds' comment to me saying no thank you to something she wanted us to do just confirmed the obvious though.

i need to steel myself to the whole 'poor ds' thing as no doubt there's more of it to come. behave atrociously and expect to get away with it. when you don't just wait a while then offer a carrot whilst pretending nothing has happened - if it's refused whack with a stick. then wait a while and repeat.... ad infinitum.

if she's have scrolled up on the conversation (text history) she'd have seen how ridiculous it was - that her last message was full of lies, manipulation and abuse and her next one was the pretend everything is fine and nothing has happened and issue an invitation, then in response to 'no thanks' more nastiness.

it's just.... farcical really.

it's hard to believe people are really like this even when you've grown up with them. i don't know 'normal' people who behave like this. i have never had friends or partners or associates who think this is normal behaviour and who'd treat you awfully, abuse you then act like nothing had happened and invite you to dinner.

it's just bizarre.

pollyglen Sat 16-Nov-13 10:19:46

NNC,you are quite right normal people don't behave like this and i don't know anyone else who behaves like this.Why would happy loving people mistreat one of their own family?This is why you are a better person for doing something about it.

The texts are just bait.They are trying to reel you in.They want you to doubt yourself so you get sucked back in and they get their whipping boy back.
My sister seems to be following the same script as yours is."ooh polly won't speak to me or the kids and i don't know why","polly is a cow who is stopping all the cousins from seeing eachother" blah blah etc.
The last straw for me was my mother and sister were obviously starting to target my DD as their next victim and the alarm bells started ringing.

keep strong and protect your child that's what a good parent does.

NumptyNameChange Sat 16-Nov-13 10:33:25

thanks polly. it is hard and you do need to be strong.

in the meantime i've ordered a sim card as i'm out of contract and can ditch the old number and not have to deal with texts or calls anymore. of course people can still turn up on my doorstep which is a nightmare but at least it lessens things.

it's the kids that make it hard - awful guilt potential and so easy to think oh well for their sake i should suck it up etc.

must keep strong.

i think i've got a new job starting january, i'm being made redundant from current post, which is pretty good money and gets me back into my old profession. will see how it goes, it's initially temporary till summer but could/should turn to permanent. if it does i can think about moving.

pollyglen Sat 16-Nov-13 10:49:32

yes its the doorstepping i received yesterday from the mother that prompted me to post.I really need to find out how to put a stop to it for good.My home is my sanctuary it isn't a public area for bullies to gather to disrespect me in front of my children.

Good luck and best wishes with the job and i hope better times away from this mess await you.

NumptyNameChange Sat 16-Nov-13 12:50:42

bless you and thank you.

that 'poor ds' comment is dragging at me.

thing is i only said, 'no thanks'. it's also so utterly typical of her that she expects i have zero life or plans and can just fall in with what she wants if she announces it the day before she wants it. it's also my birthday this weekend ffs but i'm supposed to just be free to her call despite how awfully she's behaved?

i so wish she hadn't gotten in touch - hate that it's had such an effect on me.

AndTheBandPlayedOn Sat 16-Nov-13 13:57:52

Happy Birthday, NNameChange! And congratulations on getting the job on the new year, too!

You are doing the right thing. Thinking you should go back for the sake of the dc is what they want you to think. When, in reality, you are staying away for the sake of your dc , as well as yourself.

Train yourself to tune her out. She is using words as tools to hurt you, so just do not listen. Easier said than done.

Holdthepage Sat 16-Nov-13 14:52:05

The thing is NumptyNC your "no thanks" has also had an effect on your sis which is why she followed it up with "poor, poor x". In an earlier post you described yourself as having developed a Teflon coat, use that now to let the insults bounce back to the sender. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that people like this like less than you being indifferent to them. I know this because it is a tactic I use successfully on my vile step brother. I can't cut him off completely because we have an elderly parent in common but my indifference to anything he says or does is driving him insane.

At first it takes a lot of self control to ignore the dramas but after a while it gets easier & then you have the upper hand as they go to ever more extremes to get your attention.

NumptyNameChange Sun 17-Nov-13 11:36:52

just dealing with texts and stuff today because it's my birthday. all very 'fake' nice and having to remind myself that it is fake and a sign of desperation as the usual abuse has failed.

pollyglen Sun 17-Nov-13 12:07:37

Happy birthday NNC!

The fake good wishes are stomach turning arn't they?Not a dash of actual genuine sentiment involved at all.

I take some comfort in the fact i know what they are up to and i will never fall for their nasty tricks and games again.I will always be one step ahead.

NumptyNameChange Sun 17-Nov-13 12:12:07

thanks polly.

yes, it's always been about performing for occasions in my family - even if people have treated you like utter shit you're supposed to suck it up and go with the fake for the day.

more insanity from my sister with a 'nice' text when she must see the one above it is a dig about my son and the one above that is pure abuse. crazy.

faux affection from my mother - telling ds to give me a hug from them - this from a woman that i can't recall hugging me though presumably she did when i was a baby at least.

well birthday down and christmas to go.

pollyglen Sun 17-Nov-13 12:35:41

How they love to perform for a special occasion!We live in relative peace until easter,the DC'S birthdays and christmas.Then it's time for the unannounced doorstep visits and false over the top gift giving.Always accompanied by the usual self pitying crap about not seeing the DC because their mummy is awful.

I hate how we have our special occasions overshadowed by these idiots.

NumptyNameChange Sun 17-Nov-13 12:41:16

is it common for these people to be really shit at present buying? i find there is an excessive spending of money on stuff that isn't needed or wanted as if the price tag matters more than the person somehow.

i've even been given a present by my sister once where she said, 'you won't like this now but don't get rid of it because you might like it when you're older' - cue handing me a piece of jewelry which was, as she acknowledged, so far from my taste it was untrue.

my sister also lacks the grace to know that you don't outshine parents by spending a ton on someone else's child much like you don't wear white to a wedding.

my mother feels the need to question you to death about what you want and refuses to take a risk on buying something for you because 'you never like what i buy you' (apparently). took me a while to realise that it's because she really doesn't know me at all or really 'see' or know people so of course she can't choose gifts for them. everyone has to give her lists and virtually go out and buy it for themselves and then she wraps it up. even if she does get you a surprise or something from your child she'll tell you what it is before which is just friggin' odd. it's like she doesn't get that the pleasure is kind of in the surprise and the recognition that someone has looked for something for you and thought of you and your tastes whilst selecting the gift.

right i sound like a right whiney brat now grin

NumptyNameChange Sun 17-Nov-13 12:43:38

it's odd to me because i'll often as i look around shops think ooh that's perfect for so and so, oh that would look lovely on x it's just her colour, oh y would love that! i realise 'that' ability, whatever you call it, is utterly lacking in them. presume it connects to empathy somehow and actually seeing people for who they are rather than what you project onto them.

pollyglen Sun 17-Nov-13 13:16:50

You have just described my mother and sister's gift buying habits to the letter.The mother just loves to outshine me on my DC'S birthdays by giving deliberately large sums of money to them to prove how crap me and DH are as we could never compete.

Luckily i can intercept these sums in advance and give a more normal amount to the child and donate the excess to charity.

I have also been given hugely frumpy clothing as gifts in the past from the sister and the mother which anyone who vaguely knows me would know i would never wear.Always at least two dress sizes too big also.

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

how charming polly.

i'm going to have hell over christmas. think i may need to stamp boundaries into place well before the actual event. re: not turning up on doorstep. god knows how i'm going to handle all this - will just have to take it as it comes i guess as there's no way to plan for people like this really. they're predictably unpredictable in the sense that you can fully expect them NOT to behave in the normal socially acceptable ways other people do iyswim.

i'm suspecting complete no contact is likely to prove impossible with me living here.

pollyglen Sun 17-Nov-13 15:58:39

Yes the last thing in the world i would do is turn up to another persons home uninvited and unwanted.How mortyfying.Yet these people think it's fine.

I dread Christmas.

NumptyNameChange Sun 17-Nov-13 16:40:07

let alone the doorstep of someone's house you've been massively abusive to last time you saw and have never even apologised to yet turn up and expect them to pretend nothing has happened.

it's utterly mad isn't it? or it would be if it was anyone else yet for my family it's normal fair.

i'm having to stay strong against the faux niceness because i know these are people who generally do not give a flying fuck about me whether i'm ill, going through stuff, losing a job or whatever. this faux interest is purely because i've withdrawn and i know full well if i stand my ground it will turn into nastiness, abuse and threats.

god it's like an abusive marriage isn't it?

i never understand people putting up with abusive relationships or friendships because i tend to think christ if i'm not related to them why the hell would i put up with it? grin as in i can take enough abuse from the people i had foisted on me without inviting more shit into my life.

about time i realised i don't have to have them in my life either.

thanks for keeping on replying - does help to talk it through.

pollyglen Sun 17-Nov-13 18:31:43

You definately don't have to have them in your life but it's so unfair that they will never be held to account for their horrible behaviour and it is the innocent victim who has their character questioned for distancing themselves from their families.

I don't regret actually going no contact though.Just wish i could find a way of making them stay no contact with me.

NumptyNameChange Tue 19-Nov-13 12:52:58

i'm going away for a few days before christmas. not the same as completely clearing off obviously but something to look forward to and to be recharged by will help i'm thinking. have booked flights and going to stay with a friend for a few days. will give ds something to be excited about and maybe distract him from the 'christmas is happening without you poor child' type saga.

FaceDirectionOfTravel Tue 19-Nov-13 13:55:53

Brilliant idea. So nice. And it will be lovely to come home and be allfestive in your house having had a break from it. Well done.

You are doing brilliantly.

Something I have always thought to myself about toxic people (inc friends and family) is that if they do really change, of course I'd be glad to welcome them back into my inner circle with open arms. This helps me reassure myself that I am not a terrible person for drawing strong boundaries. But they have a lot of work to do to convince me their change is real. So far, none of them really have. grin

RandomMess Tue 19-Nov-13 17:36:57

Although you're only clearing off for a few days I'd spread the rumour that you're away over Christmas, it may reduce the amount of doorstop visit attempts wink

NumptyNameChange Sun 01-Dec-13 16:31:48

hi - don't know if anyone will still read as it's been a while.

i had a text yesterday from my sister that was all we miss you both, i so wish we could make peace, how do you feel?

it wobbled me.

parents due back to england in the next couple of days so there will be them too.

is anyone still around?

RandomMess Sun 01-Dec-13 16:35:40

That is a difficult/painful one.

How have you felt whilst being no contact?

NumptyNameChange Sun 01-Dec-13 16:42:30

good mostly! as in it's bloody nice not to deal with drama or being around people who think of or treat you badly. me and my son have been getting on well and home has been really chilled. no childcare for well over a month now but it's been fine. less second guessing, less drama - all good really.

RandomMess Sun 01-Dec-13 16:48:50

Well I suppose that is your answer then, continue to ignore and do not resume contact.

LookingThroughTheFog Sun 01-Dec-13 17:43:58

Poor you, Numpty. I agree with Random. You've been good without them. Your sisters text was still not an apology for throwing you out. It was still hoping she could just go back to normal, without recognising her behaviour.

Basically, what it comes down to, is that they need you (for scapegoating activities) far more than you need them.

If you cut yourself free of the scapegoat role, your son will see what a fantastic, independent person you are, and that will mean far more to him than shiny fripperies.

NumptyNameChange Sun 01-Dec-13 17:56:35

thank you. i appreciate you replying and remembering the details. i really do.

i sent her a reply after posting here being honest and basically saying actually things have been better for us, peaceful, happy, without drama or negativity pouring in and i mostly feel relieved and like my little family is ok and it feels much healthier.

i said i hoped all was well with her and i did feel torn about the kids but actually life was going much better.

no reply thus far. don't know if it was a mistake to reply but it felt right at the time. if there's anything... 'ok' about her that really can grasp how fucked up this whole family dynamic is then she may respect it and recognise how it is for her when she disentangles from the whole mess and respect my position. if not... well??? what can you do.

i've been formally offered the new job and it starts in january and puts me back in my old profession but part time and at a point in my life where hopefully i'll deal much better with the stress and demands. i've signed off sick from the job i'm being made redundant from and spending time looking after myself and sorting out home stuff and generally just taking care of us. i don't want or need drama and can honestly say i haven't missed my parents or their help with ds, re: childcare, once. my only fretting has been for the kids - my ds and my sister's children. no loss or lack from the absence of the adults.

i feel like i've been gradually letting myself feel and relax into feeling stuff - not as in big drama or revelations just easing into myself and my life. if i think of them it stresses me, it burdens me with perspectives of 'who i am' that aren't real but have emotional power over me. i don't want it.

part of me feels i'll have to let them back into our lives to one degree or another for the children's sake and pragmatism. i don't know. time i guess.

pointyfangs Sun 01-Dec-13 18:12:24

Numpty I have just read your thread. Please don't waver and let them back in. You don't 'have to let them back into your lives for the children's sake'. How is it going to do your children any good to witness their mother being manipulated and emotionally abused? Stay no contact and build your new life without them. You have the job, you have a life that is peaceful and does not have the drama and negativity that has been your life so far. Why would you want to go back to that? Stay strong and do it alone, for your children just as much as for

"part of me feels i'll have to let them back into our lives to one degree or another for the children's sake and pragmatism"

No ,no and no again because that will be a decision you will certainly come to regret. Sod societal convention as well, not all families by any means are nice and kind.

Your children I daresay get nothing at all positive from such people; your job is to protect them from such malign influences.

If your relatives are too difficult or toxic for you to deal with they are certainly FAR too toxic for your vulnerable and defenceless children.

Many adult children of toxic parents feel torn between their parents’ (and society’s) expectation that grandparents will have access to their grandkids, and their own unfortunate first hand knowledge that their parents are emotionally/physically/sexually abusive, or just plain too difficult to have any kind of healthy relationship with.

The children’s parents may allow the grandparents to begin a relationship with their children, hoping that things will be different this time, that their parents have really changed, and that their children will be emotionally and physically safer than they themselves were.

Unfortunately, this is rarely the case, because most abusive people have mental disorders of one kind or another, and many of these disorders are lifelong and not highly treatable. (Others are lifelong and treatable; however, many people never seek the necessary help.)

The well-intentioned parent ends up feeling mortified for having done more harm than good by hoping things would somehow be different — instead of having a child who simply never knew their grandparents and who was never mistreated, they have an abused child who is now also being torn apart by the grief involved in having to sever a lifelong relationship with the unhealthy people they are very attached to.

(More Here:

RandomMess Sun 01-Dec-13 18:20:16

I honestly agree it is better for your dc to not see you treated that way than them having a relationship with their cousins especially when the cousins will have been fed unpleasant comments about you that are bound to slip out at some point.

pollyglen Sun 01-Dec-13 18:40:41

NNC,i am two years down the line from going no contact and even though i have had to accept some hard things such as losing nieces and nephews,and being alone in the world except for DH and DC,there is no way in hell i would ever go back to contact.

It takes a long time to feel at peace with the decision but the benefits for your own mental health and well being far outweigh any of the negative aspects.

I have really come out of my shell and become a stronger,more confident person who has actually started to make new friends and get more out of life without all that crap on my shoulders.

Go with your gut if it feels right and natural then that's the right path.Not what the rest of society thinks.

NumptyNameChange Sun 01-Dec-13 18:50:16

it's about what is best for my niece and nephews too though.

to be fair they've never been abusive to him directly and are much bette the way they treat him directly that could justify them not seeing him. it's way more about me and i know that in reality how they effect me effects him too. but to be honest and transparent they absolutely do not abuse him. i don't get to dress up my decisions and choices on this path as 'for the sake of ds'. it would be infinitely easier if i could as if they mistreated him i wouldn't give it a second thought.

it's possible i guess that my sister's latest overture is about the fact that the parents will be home in the next day or two and/or that they've been away and she's been a bit family starved. who knows.

i know my parents will have brought us things back that they'll have to deliver, plus the whole haven't seen ds for over a month business. that's soon to come. no clue as to how to handle it all currently.

my phone contract closes on the 15th because i cancelled it so as not to deal with the texts - i'm picking up a sim card tomorrow for a simple pay as you go service and am not planning to give my number to family. genuinely a bit lost as to what to do. must admit part of me is feeling like maybe i've overreacted or am being too harsh. obviously another part of me is very clear that that isn't the case and these people are seriously fucked up and i've every right to not want them around me.

random thought but i suspect it would be easier if they were sweary, drug taking, violence inclined monsters. society is more than happy to support you getting away from nasty 'common' stereotypically abusive roots but rather more standoffish if they pay their bills, wear clean clothes and don't smoke or go to pubs.

NumptyNameChange Sun 01-Dec-13 18:52:59

a chunk of my post got deleted and the second paragraph doesn't make sense sorry.

RandomMess Sun 01-Dec-13 18:53:22

Oh I agree when behaviour is subtle/invisible to others it is very difficult for others to understand.

Even though they are not directly abusive to your ds he will pick up that they are unkind about/to you. Those little comments that are made etc.

pointyfangs Sun 01-Dec-13 18:55:28

But Numpty your first responsibility is to your own children, not to your nieces and nephews. They have their own parents. It doesn't matter that they don't mistreat your DS, because they mistreat you. Your DS will notice, he will ask questions and he will be influenced. He deserves better.

You've said yourself you are the family scapegoat - is that really what you want your DS to see?

RandomMess Sun 01-Dec-13 19:00:00

There are some posters on MN whose dc have turned against them in their teen years enabled & encouraged by toxic family members.

pollyglen Sun 01-Dec-13 19:32:12

My toxic relatives most certainly made a sterling effort at turning my teenage son against me.Luckily he didn't get sucked in but it's awful watching your child being manipulated by these poisonous idiots.

Meerka Sun 01-Dec-13 19:33:05

Your immediate family, protecting them body and mind comes first. Direct abuse is one thing; indirect abuse can be and often is just as bad. You can't gloss over it.

LookingThroughTheFog Sun 01-Dec-13 20:12:20

Yep. My Grandmother sat me down to gently explain that my mother was an evil bitch who was incapable of love. That was a great moment in my life.

BabyMummy29 Sun 01-Dec-13 20:21:41

Numpty your post could have been written by me. I have been piggy in the middle for decades with my mother moaning to me about my sister and vice versa and me trying to keep some sort of peace between them.

Now the two of them are as thick as thieves and I am excluded.

I feel like telling them both to piss of and spend time with my lovely DCs and OH.

I'm sorry on your behalf that you are going through the same shit that I am, but glad to hear of someone else in a similar situation

NumptyNameChange Mon 02-Dec-13 08:18:07

lookingthrough that's awful! how old were you and what did you do? did she really think she was going to convince you?

i've had no reply from my sister to my text and i don't regret sending it as it was honest and healthy i think.

think i'm starting to feel stressed knowing the calm of parents being away for the month is about to end and christmas is approaching. storms ahead. don't know what to do for the best.

am thinking it may be best to facilitate them seeing ds and giving their presents on my terms - re: set a day where they can come over here for an hour or so with other plans to ensure it doesn't drag on. i don't know at the minute.

"it's about what is best for my niece and nephews too though".
No its not and it never has been actually.

Your mother and sister (also narcissistic in terms of personality) trained you well didn't they to put your own self last and that is evident still. It is also not possible to have any sort of relationship with narcissists if indeed that is what they are.

"am thinking it may be best to facilitate them seeing ds and giving their presents on my terms - re: set a day where they can come over here for an hour or so with other plans to ensure it doesn't drag on"

No numpty!. Why subject both him and you to them at all let alone 60 minutes of their rubbish. They see you as a right mug and treat you with contempt. Again this is putting them first over your interests. You do not have to facilitate bloody anything; doing that just keeps you in the scapegoat role that they have made for you to be in.

You can break away from them. You need to rid yourself of the fantasy that one day these two will come good as mother and sister and behave decently towards you. They will not change and you need to completely disengage from them.

NumptyNameChange Mon 02-Dec-13 08:40:10

i know they won't change and behave decently towards me. i don't have that fantasy anymore honestly.

but yes to the children seeming more important than me. it feels incredibly selfish and awful of me to tell ds he can't see his grandparents or his cousins. any attempt to say it's for his own sake or good reasons just feels hollow and like i'm dressing it up conveniently. it doesn't sit right. he'll want to see them, he'll want his christmas presents as awful and small as that seems to us - he's 6. part of me feels like i just have to do what it takes to get through the christmas thing without it all kicking off and being traumatic for him.

they'd still know things are not going back to normal. i'm arranging childcare so they won't be having him after school once a week as they used to, i'm changing my phone number and i won't be going to any family functions and if they're turning up here i'll have to deal with that head on.

i don't know. it sounds simple going no contact but with children in the picture and everyone living so close together it's really not that simple.

It is not selfish to protect your child/ren from such a malign influence on their lives. What do your children actually get from having any sort of relationship with such people?. It is NOT possible to have any sort of a relationship with a narcissist. Your mother has not fundamentally changed. You would not put up with any of this treatment from a friend, family I put it to you are no different.

You were and remained trained by these people to put everyone else ahead of you.

A percentage of the general population is dysfunctional and/or abusive. That percentage, like everyone else, has children. Then those children grow and have children of their own. The not-so-loving grandparents expect to have a relationship with their grandchildren. The only problem is, they’re not good grandparents.

Many adult children of toxic parents feel torn between their parents’ (and society’s) expectation that grandparents will have access to their grandkids, and their own unfortunate firsthand knowledge that their parents are emotionally/physically/sexually abusive, or just plain too difficult to have any kind of healthy relationship with.

The children’s parents may allow the grandparents to begin a relationship with their children, hoping that things will be different this time, that their parents have really changed, and that their children will be emotionally and physically safer than they themselves were.

Unfortunately, this is rarely the case, because most abusive people have mental disorders of one kind or another, and many of these disorders are lifelong and not highly treatable. (Others are lifelong and treatable; however, many people never seek the necessary help.)

The well-intentioned parent ends up feeling mortified for having done more harm than good by hoping things would somehow be different — instead of having a child who simply never knew their grandparents and who was never mistreated, they have an abused child who is now also being torn apart by the grief involved in having to sever a lifelong relationship with the unhealthy people they are very attached to.

(More Here:

LookingThroughTheFog Mon 02-Dec-13 09:52:04

how old were you and what did you do? did she really think she was going to convince you?

I was quite old, 14 or so, I think. I cried, at which time spineless grandfather told grandma to stop.

any attempt to say it's for his own sake or good reasons just feels hollow and like i'm dressing it up conveniently.

Have you read any of the books on narc parents? I really think you should. You need to see how the attitude permeates through the entire family, down to the children. It's awful, knowing how upset and manipulated your parents are. It's awful knowing how badly treated they are.

If you do choose to stay in contact, you need to be very clear to yourself about what sort of behaviour you will tolerate, for both you and your son. If you sister is nasty about you in front of your son, you need to take ownership of that action and resolve it clearly. You need him to see that you are capable of standing up for yourself, and it is not acceptable to behave towards you in that way.

I'm semi-NC with my father. He lives two streets away with his girlfriend. He does not visit, and I don't visit him, I don't call him ever. He only has my mobile number so that I can decide whether or not to answer to him. I will not do as he requests in relation to meals, visiting Evil Grandma and so on. Basically, if I see him in the street, I will respond to him as I might respond to a gardener, not as normal people respond to their fathers. I've disassociated him from that role, which gives him less opportunity to hurt me.

He knows no private information about me or the children. He will absolutely, point blank NEVER be alone with my children, ever. This is essential. You need to be there so that you can manage anything that they might say.

I'm quite fortunate because he's not interested really. He doesn't go out of his way to talk to me, so it's easy to keep him at arm's length, though there were a few weeks in the summer when he asked all my siblings and my husband to ask me to go to see Grandma. I did not, and he's temporarily taken that as an answer.

So I kind of wanted to say, it is possible to dial the relationship down without necessarily insisting on N/C. Just decline all invites without giving a reason, and choose not to share with them about job interviews or holidays or what DS is doing at school, and never let them have access to DS without being there to manage it. But you do have to be constantly alert to it, and if you don't have the energy, then N/C might be the answer.

Finally, at 6, he is old enough to understand on a child's level about what is happening. My children know we don't see Grandpa or Granny Fog because they were unkind to Mummy, and we don't tolerate unkindness, ever. They've never questioned it, because the never be unkind thing is emblazoned on their consciences. It's reasonable, in a situation where you have to remove DS from them, to simply say 'no, they were being unkind and hurting Mummy, and we won't let people do that.'

pmTea Mon 02-Dec-13 10:00:31

That's awful Numpty and lookingthrough...makes all my in-laws' crappy behaviour pale into insignificance somewhat.
I can't really add much to the brilliant advice so far, except to say this: it struck a chord with me when you mentioned that your sister threw you both out, then texted you the invitation as if nothing had happened.
This is so typical of people who are so due to behaving badly towards others, that they no longer see they are doing it.
Nastiness, jibes, outright rudeness become the norm and sadly the recipient of this abusive behaviour can often feel that they must have done something to deserve it.
My MIL is similar.
Evil bitch.

LookingThroughTheFog Mon 02-Dec-13 10:47:49

Sorry, this is not my thread, but your dad not asking how your interview went reminded me of the following.

When DD was 10 months old, she was hospitalised with sceptisemia. It was touch and go for a day, before the antibiotics started working and she was out of immediate danger. She was ill for a lot longer, months, in fact, culminating in mastoiditis, which ended up with an emergency op to remove her mastoid complex (that soft bit of skull behind your ear).

Dad was informed by Mum on the first day. He shrugged it off in a 'keep me updated' kind of way. She told him what was happening at each stage along the way. He never called me, he didn't visit her in hospital, he didn't contact me to find out how she was or how I was.

It was hard and hideous, and was a horrible end to an awful year.

About six months later, I was off work when he happened to come around doing to sort his bit of garden out (I'd given him a section of mine to grow his vegetables - I used to be a good daughter!). I explained I was off with depression and stress.

'What have you got to be depressed about?' he asked.

I explained about Claudia's illness. Oh, he hadn't realised it was that bad. His 10 month old granddaughter was in hospital twice, fighting for her life, having emergency ops, all of which he'd been told about. But it wasn't that bad in his eyes. It's the sort of thing that happens, and you just have to get over it.

Fast forward to two years ago. He had had a long term ear infection, which ended up with him needing to go into hospital to have some investigations done. He came around to explain to me how dangerous this all was. He might have something called mastoiditis, and he was very worried - it might end up with him having sceptisemia and dying. The doctors were hopeful in his case, but he wanted me to be prepared for the worst.

I remember it was at that exact moment that I realised I hated him. The self-centered, selfish, self-absorbed fuckwit of a man. All of the stuff from my youth - the beatings, the manipulation, the control, the feeling that I was owned wholesale by my father, all of this paled into insignificance when I realised he honestly thought he was more important to me than my child.

The areshole didn't even know her name for the first 12 weeks of her life. He kept calling her by something that was vaguely similar to a name on the shortlist that we hadn't even chosen.

And still, he wants the photos to show off to his friends and to put in his album. Even though he genuinely doesn't give a shit about either of them.

Anyhow - like I say, this isn't my thread, and I don't really have the right to put this here. I think, my question to you would be; knowing all that, do you think I should encourage a relationship with this man for the sake of my children? Or do you think I should protect them from the biggest bully in my life?

NumptyNameChange Mon 02-Dec-13 10:48:15

what i really need is to move away and it would be so much easier to just organically erase them from our lives.

medium to long term that is gonna be the plan and ideally far away - i'm thinking ireland maybe if i can find a vacancy next year. i have a good friend there who is also a single mum and we could help each other out and stuff.

sounds a bit fantasy-ish i know.

it's damage limitation and do the best i can for now what with being so close in proximity. i think realistically NO contact is going to be impossible but extremely low contact will not be. i shan't be accepting any invitations for example or sharing my private business with them in any way and they are not having ds anymore and will have zero contact with the school because they won't be picking him up once a week and so will cease to stick their noses into that anymore.

i need to think it through and think of short term, medium and long term plans itms.

Holdthepage Mon 02-Dec-13 13:04:50

I think OP only you know what is best for you & your child. In your situation it would be almost impossible to cut contact completely but what you can do is make sure it is done on your terms. Take control back from them. The first thing I would do is make sure your sister apologises to you for her appalling behaviour to you & your child when she threw you out. No negotiations, just an outright apology, nothing less is acceptable and then they will all start getting the message.

buildingmycorestrength Mon 02-Dec-13 13:36:10

Numpty it isn't a fantasy. I am very close to people who have done this - moved to be in villages with friends who can actually help them, away from family who are useless. It isn't a total solution but it can happen. It might take time to happen, but YOU are in charge of your life.

And Looking it all seems so clear when you say it like that - 'They were unkind and we don't allow people to be unkind to us.' My husband, children and I all have a tendency to be doormats, and that suddenly seems a really clear way to address it. <lightbulb> Thank you. flowers

buildingmycorestrength Mon 02-Dec-13 13:38:39

Oh, and Numpty it doesn't have to be explained to your son in a dramatic way. You can, if you want, just fudge it for a while til you can move. Just say things like, 'Oh, I'm sure we'll see them around.' or 'Yes, we haven't seen them in a while, have we? Do you want to go to the cinema at the weekend?' or whatever. At some point you will probably need to have a conversation but it doesn't have to be right while you are in the middle of it, I don't think.

NumptyNameChange Mon 02-Dec-13 15:14:53

thank you.

BabyMummy29 Mon 02-Dec-13 17:44:48

Numpty I have learned how friends are far more important than so-called family ie people you just happen to be related to through no fault of your own.

I am fed up of all the lies and broken promises and realised today that I will have minimal contact.

I have great friends and workmates, a lovely OH and 2 super DCs - as far as I'm concerned my mother and sister can sod off - I can then enjoy my life without the constant backstabbing and rubbish that went on before.

Good luck with your situation smile

NumptyNameChange Thu 05-Dec-13 18:07:27

hi all.

just a quick check in. my parents are back in the country - i had a text from them a couple of days ago saying they were back and had something for ds and when would they see us.

i've just ignored it so far.

had a productive counselling session today where she helped me acknowledge the drip effect of all the traumas and dramas throughout my childhood and teens and we talked about how i feel for not seeing them. mostly peaceful and more self accepting and relaxed - also feeling less need to justify myself or feel on guard for being tripped up or attacked.

anyway. doubt the peace will last much longer.

LookingThroughTheFog Thu 05-Dec-13 18:09:16

Here's hoping that the peace lasts a good long time.

NumptyNameChange Thu 05-Dec-13 21:20:10

thank you smile

have my phone switched off and don't want to turn it on and see what's on there - have had it off since that last text.

blumming christmas.

NumptyNameChange Fri 06-Dec-13 16:06:04

turned my phone on to find a guilt trip voicemail from my father. he can't think what they are supposed to have done to merit not having their texts answered.

i feel yuk.

AndTheBandPlayedOn Fri 06-Dec-13 16:34:49

I got that line from my sister. "Really scratching my head trying to figure this out." It is a tactic to make you seem unreasonable. And then, if you are unreasonable, shame on you, etc, another verbal spanking.

You need to BLOCK it out. You have made your boundary. Rightly so. Anything they say is just wiggles of sound waves in the air...they will just float away and dissipate. Pay no mind to is just background noise.

I found it to be a large hurdle...but eventually it is best to stop caring what they think. You are exercising your right to independent thought, and it is a healthy form of selfishness to put yourself first.

FaceDirectionOfTravel Fri 06-Dec-13 19:00:10

I like thinking to myself, 'And I'm wondering what I did to merit all the atrocious behaviour from you over the years. OH YEAH. NOTHING.' End.

Wait til they ask how you are. You might be waiting a while. sad

NumptyNameChange Fri 06-Dec-13 19:07:32

i'd be waiting till a cold day in hell facedirection.

it is immediately all about them - i don't answer one text so they call and it goes straight to voicemail and leave that poor them message. doesn't occur hmm maybe she's busy, maybe her phone's broken, etc. they've been back three days and have no idea if i'm well, ill, busy, away on holiday etc. their response is abnormal in itself.

how am i? ha! would have loved to have been asked that now and then as a kid or to have any interest in me shown whatsoever.

RandomMess Sat 07-Dec-13 11:03:33

Hugs Numpty, very glad my family are 275 miles away!

NumptyNameChange Sat 07-Dec-13 12:13:04

thanks random.

i'm determinedly keeping my phone switched off. strategy for now is just to ignore and block out and deal with whatever comes next when it comes. i genuinely cannot be arsed with it and there's no way anything i could say or do would make things 'ok' or turn them into sane normal people so for now i'm doing nothing, just ignoring.

for all they know my phone is broken anyway - well actually that's bollocks and me buying into my dad's, 'can't imagine what we've done to merit this', nonsense. he does know - i told him when he was here last trying to force contact that i was done with spending time with or being around people who were incapable of wishing me well or giving a damn about me. he's just playing to script and ignoring that ever happened. they sent texts from holiday as if it never happened and have assumed they'll come back and get to act as if nothing happened. i'm suppose to join in and pretend also, which i haven't, so now they're what? saying 'i don't know what could possibly have happened' when they do know full well in the assumption i'll what? pretend along? assume i'm mad/silly/pathetic and feel ashamed and slip back into role? or they genuinely disturbed enough that they really believe their own denial?

bloody nutty people!

FaceDirectionOfTravel Sat 07-Dec-13 13:19:14

Sadly I think they believe their own denial. Because fundamentally nothing you say matters (to them) so how could what you said earlier matter? Sorry - am not trying to be harsh, and of course what you say SHOULD matter to your own family, but to the truly self-absobed it simply doesn't matter and if it doesn't fit their version of events they sweep it aside. sad

LookingThroughTheFog Sat 07-Dec-13 13:22:52

Numpty, I just want to say how impressed I am with you. I'd have caved and done some pathetic apologising explanation. You've seen right through it. Kudos.

I think that refusing any contact apart from to respond to 'How are you?' is a brilliant strategy.

NumptyNameChange Sat 07-Dec-13 14:28:35

sadly i think you're right facedirectionoftravel. there is no chance of any self reflection or acknowledgment of their own part in anything - it just does not and will not happen. it is total self absorption isn't it? i matter so little, other than as something to be manipulated to get to what they really want, that they quite possibly don't acknowledge anything i say or from my point of view. it is baffling, even after years of it, but it's like they actually believe their own lies by sheer will power - as in that twisted will is more vital than reality or something.

looking - nothing impressive here i assure you. just hiding and ignoring at the minute.

LookingThroughTheFog Sat 07-Dec-13 15:02:59

But hiding and ignoring is exactly what you're meant to be doing! And the temptation to have it out with them is overwhelming (I know), so not doing that and hiding and ignoring is really brilliant!

Give yourself a big hug and a slap on the back.

Seriously; you need to start complimenting yourself and caring for yourself, because there's an aching void where those compliments and care are supposed to be. So love yourself, and say 'actually, I am bloody brilliant for preventing yet another row where I'd be in the wrong. I did that.'

springythatlldo Sat 07-Dec-13 16:52:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

springythatlldo Sat 07-Dec-13 17:07:29

To be fair, I missed my neices and nephews a lot and grieved for that loss. They are adults now so it's not so bad.

FaceDirectionOfTravel Sat 07-Dec-13 17:39:53

I am also concerned that they will enmesh your son in this dynamic, actually. Later, when it really counts, and when he starts to form his own judgements about people, they might just manage to say, 'But, why is she so horrible to us?' and convince him that they are right and you are wrong.

RabbitRabbit78 Sat 07-Dec-13 23:46:05

Went NC with toxic father and stepmother about 18 months ago. It was hard at first and I felt like a "bad daughter", but had some counselling for a while which allowed me to see that it was the right thing to do. There may come a time when I want to get back in contact but it seems very unlikely from where I am now. To be honest after the initial feelings of guilt I felt like a great weight had been lifted and I was finally free to be myself. Ian. I a. Much better place now than I have ever been and a lot of this is due to cutting those people out of my life. So in answer to your thread title, not hideous. Not easy, but sometimes the right thing to do.

NumptyNameChange Sun 08-Dec-13 08:11:04

thank you for sharing that springy and i'm sorry to hear the trouble it has caused in your relationship with your children.

face - yes me too and on that front it feels rock and a hard place because they can do that even if i cut contact completely and perhaps then even more effectively if when ds is older he chooses to start seeing him and they shower him with gifts or money or goldeness you know? and without having seen the reality of what they're really like or how they treat me with me there to help him see it for what it is.

rabbit - it's only been a few months since spending time with them and just over a month that i haven't seen them at all but i know what you mean about feeling better. i was trying to explain to my counsellor how much more.... ok with myself i feel already.

anyway if we can make it through today without any unexpected visitors that's another week dealt with.

NumptyNameChange Mon 09-Dec-13 16:53:19

went and signed the contract for the new job today. all set to start in january.

need to focus on me and ds and the future.

LookingThroughTheFog Mon 09-Dec-13 18:25:06

Huzzah for new job, Numpty! What a lovely new beginning!

FaceDirectionOfTravel Mon 09-Dec-13 19:07:28

Congratulations Numpty. grin Does it involve relocation? Or is this the one that involves staying put?

NumptyNameChange Tue 10-Dec-13 06:48:03


staying put face but may open doors to relocation if i want to because it gets me back in my old profession with up to date experience and i could look for posts elsewhere potentially.

NumptyNameChange Sat 14-Dec-13 20:49:34

nothing since that last voicemail and that was 8 days ago smile finding it really useful that i've started seeing a counsellor so i can talk it through with her.

on monday we're off to visit a friend overseas and get back e/o the 20th.

i've 'decided' actually i don't want middle ways or compromises or oh well at least it is on my terms - i just do not want to see them at all and i now all the 'prices' and i'm willing to pay them.

i'm happier, calmer, less self doubting, not brewing with resentment or anger or hurt or confusion over the latest drama or shitty treatment, i'm not dreading christmas for once and i feel in control of my life. all that is good stuff and i should hang on to it.

not sure of the point of this thread - i still need support and help and to feel that someone 'gets it' and believes me and can encourage me to do this rather than give me the usual social pressures of oh but they're your family and you should/could/must ya da ya da.

thank you again for all the help on here.

RandomMess Sun 15-Dec-13 08:27:10

grin great news, glad it's going well. Be prepared that at some point there may be a huge emotional guilt drip but remember how wonderful you feel now - it is worth it and it is in your ds best interests.

FaceDirectionOfTravel Sun 15-Dec-13 13:25:00

NNC it is great to hear you sounding so positive.

Family is just a concept. Dysfunction is dysfunction. As someone said upthread, we don't need to let people treat us badly.

Hope you have a great trip and lovely Christmas that you can enjoy your way. fgrin

NumptyNameChange Sun 15-Dec-13 15:04:31

thank you.

someone said upthread that they made it simple for their child/ren by saying something like, 'we don't put up with people who aren't kind'. might even have been on another thread. it has really stuck with me that it is that simple and can be explained to a child that simply and that not avoiding unkind people teaches a child to shut up and put up with kindness or to feel ok about being unkind. i've tended to put up with unkindness and my sister has tended to feel entitled to dole it out with impunity. i don't want ds to learn either pattern.

NumptyNameChange Sat 21-Dec-13 13:28:15

had a lovely time away but abuse and nonsense has predictably escalated.

what they don't seem to realise is that the more vile they are the more utterly convinced i am that i am doing the best thing in keeping my son the hell away from them.

i've called and managed to get my phone number changed today so i don't have to read it anymore or hear the ridiculous voicemails.

it is hard but i'm now 100% sure i'm doing the right thing.

RandomMess Sat 21-Dec-13 13:31:17

Glad you have coped with it by changing your number.

They really are truly vile in their behaviour towards you sad

Not long until you start the new job now?

NumptyNameChange Sat 21-Dec-13 14:10:34

start of next term random. it is actually so strange to watch all this unfold - they are so following their script and exactly how i expected them to behave and the more i don't 'be' what they determine i should be the more their anger and vileness escalates. i'm thinking it will have to burn itself out or at least reach a point where they don't try and bring it to me at some point because i'm just not feeding or giving in.

i do have the right NOT to speak to people. i do not have to respond to text messages or answer calls. i know this obviously, they don't. the outrage that i dare not to respond or take the bait or go down the guilt path laid out for me is unbelievable. they are totally utterly self absorbed and without any self awareness of their own outrageous behaviour.

my father even had the nerve to leave a message saying, 'whatever it is going on with you, which is entirely your issue and i don't want to know about it or talk about it please don't not let ds have christmas because of it. don't let him not have toys because of whatever it is you are thinking'. as if they're not there christmas won't happen or something confused they are fucking outrageous frankly.

doasyouwouldbedoneby Sat 21-Dec-13 14:27:49

WOW l have just sat and read this entire thread this afternoon.
Well done Numpty can l just say l certainly don't think your MN name does you justice. You have come across as an extremely intelligent young woman who has been given the booby prize when it comes to family.
Well done on going no contact, you and your DS do not need such obnoxious and toxic people in your lives.
Remember friends are the family we chose for ourselves
Good luck with your new job -l have the feeling that 2014 is going to be a very good year for you.

RandomMess Sat 21-Dec-13 16:04:16

Of course what they are really saying is that you are ruining their Christmas because they want ds there!

flippinada Sat 21-Dec-13 16:31:02

Numpty Just read through the entire thread today. I think you are amazing and bloody well done. Your DS is lucky to have you smile.

flippinada Sat 21-Dec-13 16:31:42

And you are definitely NOT a numpty!

NumptyNameChange Sat 21-Dec-13 16:37:51

thank you. this obviously isn't my usual mn nickname but have stuck with it as am useless at namechanging back and forth and also didn't want to be identifiable if my sister had already sussed out who i was under my usual name on mn (she knows i post here as i explained where something i'd won came from). with it under a different name she wouldn't see it if she was searching for me.

it definitely did me good to get away and spend a good few days with a truly decent friend who loves me and wants well for me. it all helps you know? having good people around me helps me see their behaviour and condemnation of me for what it is rather than take the blame and allow myself to wonder whether i really am the awful person they've always said i am.

toxic family is making more sense to me (as an expression - i always knew what it meant obviously) as i genuinely feel quite sick and repulsed when i hear from them now and like they are.... dirty or poisonous and listening to that poison literally makes me squirm and feel like taking a bath.

i cannot believe i have put up with them and their treatment for so long.

NumptyNameChange Sat 21-Dec-13 16:39:00

she wouldn't be a poster on mumsnet mind, she'd have lots of sneery awful stuff to say about anyone who felt the need to post on a forum.

flippinada Sat 21-Dec-13 17:36:09

I think it's very hard to get away from because you are conditioned to accept this treatment basically from birth. So making a stand (even if it's just a quiet one) takes a lot of strength.

ellipsis Sat 21-Dec-13 17:44:31

Hi NNC I've been following your thread, I see many similarities with my situation.

I went NC last christmas. After the initial decision I had a lot of doubt, but only when I hadn't heard from them for a while. Every time they tried to push themselves into my life I became more convinced I was doing the right thing.

Waiting for them to ask how you are struck a chord with me - it's been a year, and in all the ways they've tried to make contact, whether it's emails pretending nothing's happened, or explaining how awful I've made them feel and what a difficult child I was and how much they did for me, or angry voicemails demanding I had some compassion, they have not asked me a single question. Not a single question, let alone how I am feeling!

NumptyNameChange Sat 21-Dec-13 19:05:42

it's very telling isn't it ellipsis? other than a thing that isn't doing what it's meant to you kind of don't exist to these people itms. sorry you've had to go through this. how do you feel about it now a year on and do you have children - would like to know how they've coped if you do and how you've handled it with them.

ellipsis Sat 21-Dec-13 19:44:48

I still have trouble with seeing it as a final decision. But I'm happy that for now, not seeing them is the best for me. I think the main thing about the future is knowing there will always be times when they, or other relatives on their behalf, are going to push it. But I go about my day to day life much happier and calmer, and it feels great not seeing them. I tell myself if there ever comes a time I want to see them, I'll re-evaluate. It hasn't happened yet, and each time I have even minimal contact from them, it reaffirms my ongoing decision.

I have children - 5 and 3, so 4 and 2 when they last saw them. My 3-year-old doesn't mention them. My 5-year-old has asked a couple of times why we don't see them any more, and I've used very similar phrases as mentioned previously. I said they upset me and make me sad so we don't see them any more. I think I'll use statements about kindness if it comes up again. Each time my stomach has churned a bit, but as with other situations, I've answered the question they've asked, without going into full on justification with too much detail, and they've been satisfied and got distracted and gone off happy.

flippinada Sat 21-Dec-13 21:23:37

I can't think of anything especially helpful to say but my heart goes out to those of you making the NC decision.

I have a difficult relationship with my dad's's often something I've thought about.

It's very difficult at any time of year but particularly at Christmas, I think.

flippinada Sat 21-Dec-13 21:24:33

D'oh..something I've often thought about.

NumptyNameChange Sun 22-Dec-13 21:33:49

ack! note through door saying they will be dropping presents off for ds tomorrow evening and if i'm not going to answer my door i have to let them know so as not to waste their time.

flagrantly forcing me into contact either way and thinking they have the right to do so because what? they have the higher moral ground because of some plastic tat they've bought and a poor wee child can't be deprived of? also knowing damn well that ds will be here and how awful it would be to force the situation.

again totally predictable i guess.

RandomMess Sun 22-Dec-13 21:41:56

Urgh, could you go somewhere else for the evening or invite friends to yours? I bet they wouldn't dare play up in front of non-family members?

doasyouwouldbedoneby Sun 22-Dec-13 21:51:34

Ignore the note if you want. This is just another ploy to engage you in contact again

StrangeGlue Sun 22-Dec-13 21:59:41

Ack! can you unplug the doorbell and close the curtains/ be in the back of the house so no lights on? Not that I think you should have todo that but maybe better than being forced into contact!

They're knobbers!

NumptyNameChange Mon 23-Dec-13 07:20:37

hi. i discussed it with a friend and decided on sending one text from one of those online sites (re: not having to give them my number or an opportunity to send more) and simply said not to come to my house, that things put through the door would not be opened in future and that i wanted no contact.

i will be being slated so badly for all of this. there is absolutely nothing i can do about it though - i have surely learned by now that trying to explain myself or share my thoughts and feelings gets me absolutely nowhere and doesn't change a thing.

part of me can't actually believe i'm handling this and going through with it. maybe because there's been so many years of giving in and partly because i never really thought i'd have the courage and conviction to go it so alone like this.

LookingThroughTheFog Mon 23-Dec-13 08:19:42

Numpty, I'll say it again; you are doing so incredibly well!

As for being slated for all of this, wouldn't you be being slated anyway? This way at least you're being slated for something that you have chosen to do, and for something that will bring you peace.

ellipsis Mon 23-Dec-13 10:12:53

Well done NNC, you're doing really well. About going through with it - in my experience, once that switch has been flipped, the idea of letting them back into your life to carry on just as normal is so much worse than sticking with it.

We had very similar with dc2's birthday in August. They were getting nowhere with me so started contacting DP, they demanded he bring dc2 to them so they could give her her presents, but if he didn't they would turn up at the house. They said they knew this wouldn't be a 'happy occasion' but that they didn't want me to cause a scene. At my own house! This told me all I needed to know about how much they cared about dc2 - that they would threaten to turn up on her birthday, knowing how upset and angry I would be, and apparently it would be me causing a scene, not them.

Anyway, I seriously considered calling non-emergency police line to find out if there was any way I could have them removed if they came to the house. In the end I postponed dc2's party (it was only family (ILs) coming for tea, and she was poorly anyway) and was happier that if they did turn up they wouldn't be ruining her birthday.

They didn't turn up, and eventually sent DP another message saying that they would post dc2's presents and if I acknowledged receiving them they'd leave me alone. It is a way of forcing contact but so far they've stuck to the deal. I send a one line email - your presents have arrived - and let my dcs have the presents, on the basis that they have other relatives they don't know that send them presents, and in my head I have relegated my parents to that status. It is not how I would want it, because it does cause me stress (I'm still waiting to see if they send anything for christmas, and the wait to deal with it is horrible), but it was a deal I accepted when it looked the best option. Perhaps one day I'll decide it's more contact than I want and start sending them back.

Wishing you strength. Christmas is shit for this kind of thing.

NumptyNameChange Mon 23-Dec-13 10:51:42

thank you so much ellipsis - i really appreciate you sharing your experiences and totally 'getting it'. it IS so stressful and it totally does take clear thinking - as in seeing that they didn't really care, or at least not properly, about your dd's birthday just about doing what they wanted. same with ds and the christmas parents - if they really cared about him having something it would have been a card with a gift voucher in that had come through my letter box - not an ultimatum re: if you don't get in touch i will come banging on your door knowing you don't want me to and knowing that ds will be there and upset by it all.

all i can hope is that this is it - as in christmas is the biggest issue and it's getting dealt with upfront and i'm setting things as i mean them to go on. if they don't get their way now they haven't got anywhere near as much ammunition, guilt and pressure to use on me at any other point itms?

if i took the presents this time then next it would be his birthday and so on. and if i gave in to a letter through my door what would be the point of having changed my phone number as they'll just start intruding that way instead.

i have to not care if they think i'm the biggest bitch in the world and just hold my ground.

i'm almost afraid to say it out loud but the next logical step i can think of (in their mad logic rather than logic proper) if they don't get their own way is social services turning up. i wouldn't put it past them yet i really, really hope they wouldn't stoop that far.

NumptyNameChange Mon 23-Dec-13 10:52:38

ooh christmas parents when i meant presents - some kind of freudian slip there.

RandomMess Mon 23-Dec-13 20:41:58

Well done NNC flowers

NumptyNameChange Mon 23-Dec-13 23:20:32

thank you. there was knocking at expected time and i ignored. nothing left outside or pushed through door.

got a feeling i shall be very 'on guard' the next couple of days but will manage.

AdmiralData Mon 23-Dec-13 23:51:08

I hope you stick to your guns Numpty I think it will mean a massive change for the better for you and your son in the long run smile

flippinada Tue 24-Dec-13 17:02:07

Good for you Numpty. I hope you and your DS have a lovely, peaceful Christmas. You deserve it smile.

NumptyNameChange Tue 24-Dec-13 17:06:27

thank you.

my friend came over earlier and kindly brought ds a few bits so he has the pleasure of not just getting gifts from me. we opened our gifts together and he was delighted.

we've been out to the shops and gotten ridiculous last minute discount bargains on yummy foods and a good bottle of sancerre for me tomorrow and we're all set.

plan for tomorrow is pressies, playing games together, doing a jigsaw puzzle, watching doctor who and call the midwife and eating yummy stuff. boxing day we're going to spend with my friend and her kids and will indulge them in endless games of charades and who am i and the like. we WILL have a lovely christmas - i am determined!

we had a wonderful dancing session today to a new album i love played very loudly.

this is my family and i won't have it intruded upon by toxic people anymore.

happy christmas everyone and massive thanks for the support and encouragement. it really helps.

RandomMess Tue 24-Dec-13 17:56:15

NNC - that is just lovely lovely to read. Merry Christmas and a toxic family free 2014 x

flippinada Tue 24-Dec-13 18:31:05

That sounds brilliant smile. Enjoy!

FaceDirectionOfTravel Wed 25-Dec-13 07:41:44

Merry Christmas NNC and DS! xxx

baytree Fri 27-Dec-13 14:01:20

Dear NNC
I posted up thread and wanted to check in to say a very Happy Christmas to you. I can see with your last few posts you have come along way. Brilliant stuff.

And to a fabulous 2014 for you.

Shellywelly1973 Fri 27-Dec-13 19:13:59

Happy Christmas NNC.

I've followed this thread from the beginning. I totally get where your coming from. I've had NC with my sister since May but Christmas has been particularly difficult.

Your very strong & I really admire you. Hope 2014 is a good year for you and your ds. X x

NumptyNameChange Sat 28-Dec-13 07:02:38

thank you for the kind messages, i hope you all had a lovely christmas.

all good here really. no home invasions since the night of the knocking after the ultimatum so we made it through christmas.

changing my phone number was such a good move as they can't just vent their crap at me in the click of a button anymore. it has completely closed that line of attack. if anyone is putting up with people they don't want calling/texting them i'd really recommend a number change as it's such a relief not to have that knot in your stomach when your phone rings.

ds is happy with his presents and shows no signs of feeling hard done by. realistically he hasn't missed them or even brought them up over christmas. he hasn't been to their house now for months, he used to stay there one night a week. i've not seen my mother or sister since september and only seen my dad when he was turning up on my doorstep at the end of october. christmas is hopefully the big 'hot spot' and that's been gotten through.

i have to stay prepared for more of course, i still wouldn't put it past them to go the social services route but i'm reassuring myself that that wouldn't achieve anything if they do and i can hold my head up and get through that too if it happens safe in the knowledge that it's the last thing they can do iyswim. a social worker would see a happy, confident healthy little boy, a somewhat messy but lived in home with toys and books and food etc, school would tell them he's a bright happy boy, his doctor's would tell them there are no causes for concern and my doctor would tell them that yes i do have a mental health issue but that it is well managed and i am proactive and responsible at addressing my needs. they've got nothing on me really and i have to hope ss are capable of seeing through malicious reports as they must get plenty presumably?

sorry long post saying not much. i feel.... freer and more myself and free to be myself without external criticism and pressure and misinterpretation and like by removing the external sources i'm freeing up the space and energy to massively lessen the internal reflections of all that pressure and self doubt and second guessing itms. it's hard to get over the crap programmed into you in childhood if you are still getting it poured at you you know? i'm fairly bright and able and could see all the strings and where things came from yet it wasn't enough to shake it off - i now think that's because i was still taking it so as fast as i was challenging and undoing and healing things more was pouring in.

now i can detox without the hindrance of more poison being dripped in.

RandomMess Sat 28-Dec-13 07:38:57

Great news, yes social service are used to malicious reports they do get plenty unfortunately.

ellipsis Tue 31-Dec-13 15:40:25

Hi NNC, it's great to read your post.

I love this bit: i feel.... freer and more myself and free to be myself without external criticism and pressure and misinterpretation and like by removing the external sources i'm freeing up the space and energy to massively lessen the internal reflections of all that pressure and self doubt and second guessing

I feel exactly the same grin

My mum didn't send any presents for my dc in the end. I wasted a bit of time worrying when they were going to come and whether they'd been lost in the post, meaning according to the 'deal' they would be within their rights to hassle me again, but I haven't heard anything so I guess they're not going to bother any more. My mind wanders a little bit towards trying to work out if they're playing games, but after a year of not seeing them I simply don't know enough of what's going on with them to second guess it all, and I realise I don't care either way. It is very freeing smile

middleclassdystopia Tue 31-Dec-13 16:07:48

This seems such a lovely supportive thread. I posted a lot on the Stately Homes Thread a few years back. I went low contact with abusive, dysfunctional family but ended up getting hurt again so have been no contact since March.

Sadly the one remaining relative I have contact with is dying of terminal cancer and likely to pass away any time. Of course this has thrown up new drama, conflict and emotions.

I'm selfishly protecting myself as i'm pregnant so doubt i'll attend the funeral. My new year resolution is to enjoy the peace once they've gone and enjoy my new baby.

I wish you all peace and happiness in 2014, it's so hard dealing with it all x

NumptyNameChange Tue 31-Dec-13 22:05:34

i'm glad you feel the same ellipsis! on a selfish note it encourages me to lean into it and trust it a bit rather than see it as a delusional patch or me justifying myself or rationalising itms?? that is really how it feels for me.

my guess with the presents would be that that was their last little bit of 'power' to battle you with then they found it didn't actually achieve anything for them or get you to engage with them further or feel you 'owed' them anything so then it became pointless to send them. what do you think? kind of makes sense. as in it was never about wanting the children to have presents really but about still having a hold or a stick or some excuse to get in there but then when they realised that weapon had no teeth they didn't bother.

MCD - peace and happiness to you too. not selfish to protect yourself, i wish you a peaceful pregnancy and lots of peace and space.

it's a new moon and new year tomorrow smile oh and i start a new job next week. everything is very new chapter-ish.

NumptyNameChange Tue 31-Dec-13 22:07:37

ellipses - i find with mine there was no giving without strings attached. as you've cut the strings and don't let the gifts pull you as far as they can see then there's no point giving them. i don't think people like this know how to genuinely 'give' - it's only part of the crazy power game and scoreboard that live in.

ellipsis Tue 31-Dec-13 22:22:07

Yep, absolutely.

Happy New Year NNC - I think 2014's going to be a good one smile

NumptyNameChange Tue 31-Dec-13 22:55:49

make it so! grin

NumptyNameChange Wed 12-Feb-14 11:57:29

hello - checking in smile

saw a member of my family for the first time in months the other day due to my dog doing a runner out of the garden and disappearing and turning up at my parents house which of course gave them the reason to come knocking on my door and left me no choice.

it was my dad and he milked the opportunity for yet more of the, "i don't know what it is you think we've done to deserve this and i don't want to know but i wish you could just drop it for ds's sake". ds was stood right there at the time and i asked, "how is it for ds's sake?" and he said without a flinch, "because the poor lad needs a family" to which i replied, "he's got one thanks". he then went and got the dog and brought her back and i said thank you, won't happen again, goodbye and he said, 'we've no way of getting in touch with you you know?' and i said, 'yes i know!'.

no processing has gone on obviously. still that implicit, 'i refuse to examine our part in this or even identify the possibility that we might have ever done anything wrong at all and i do not want to hear you tell us what is wrong or why you are doing this, we just want you to stop it and go back to pretending so we can have our own way'. it's tragic really! what kind of sickness of mind or soul do you have to have to be that.... rigid and unreflective? mostly i just felt angry afterwards.

i had a long chat with ds to check he was ok and he absolutely was. he has no qualms about not seeing them now and seemed to see the whole, 'oh it's so good to see you little man, give your grandad a kiss' type act for what it was. one statement he came out with when we were chatting was, 'what do they know about being parents anyway? you shouldn't listen to anything they say.'.

he also made the leap on his own to figuring that maybe grannies mum had been just like her and maybe her mum and her mum and how aunty has 'got it too'. i was gobsmacked by how emotionally smart he is. from there we had a lovely conversation about how we were the end of all that and wouldn't pass it on or be around it.

him turning up has unsettled me but absolutely confirmed for me that i've done the right thing. the arrogance and willful blindness is so characteristic and this man has been playing ostrich my whole life. he was willfully blind to the misery inflicted on me as a child and he will remain willfully blind to the end because essentially he is selfish and weak. it's not a rolemodel my son needs.

sorry for outpour and sorry if i sound like a hard hearted bitch but i really, really never want to hear that poor me, poor me, i've done nothing wrong but i'm willing to pretend this never happened if you stop it crap ever again.

NumptyNameChange Wed 12-Feb-14 11:59:59

my son refused to kiss him btw. afterwards i kept saying it's ok to kiss grandad if you want to, it's ok to say if you miss them or you're sad and i was paranoid as hell i'd brainwashed him or was a terrible mother (internalised numpty-character-assassination courtesy of her family). he assured me he just didn't want to kiss him and he doesn't miss them and he thinks we're much happier now.

LoonvanBoon Wed 12-Feb-14 13:08:12

Hi Numpty, haven't read all your thread but it sounds like you have a lovely, open relationship with your son.

Very sad that your dad said he didn't WANT to know how you felt: & the idea that major relationship issues can be solved by one person "dropping it" is a bit bizarre!

My MIL says odd things like that when there have been difficulties in her relationship with me & DH, caused by things she's done & said (& recently, in particular, by her lame & unsuccessful attempts to use our kids to manipulate us).

It's all about "drawing a line under it" & "putting it behind us" & it sounds so meaningless to me - "it" is our relationship with her & the patterns it keeps falling into. Just deciding to drop the issues doesn't stop them being repeated - we've gone round in circles for years. DH thinks she - & I guess, lots of people - are just incapable of honest self-reflection & will never change.

You sound strong, not hard-hearted. Nobody should demand that you deny the truth / buy into their narrative just to keep them happy.

NumptyNameChange Wed 12-Feb-14 13:37:46

thanks for replying loonvan. yeah, there are strange people in the world. funnily enough i have finally done the only thing that does enable me to 'drop it' and that is to cut them out of our lives. living from bouts of abuse to bouts of pretense without any real authentic ground ever occurring in between was not healthy. it was never healthy. there isn't a single 'relationship' of meaning in my family.

LookingThroughTheFog Wed 12-Feb-14 19:08:48

Numpty, you don't sound like a hard-hearted bitch at all! I was literally cheering for you! I know you were shaken up afterwards, but during the conversation you were steady and calm, and you didn't get sucked in, so well done!

NumptyNameChange Wed 12-Feb-14 19:13:59

thank you LTTF. i appreciate that.

the more distance i have the more outrageous they seem.

haven't seen my mother or sister for about 5 months now. i really am doing this aren't i?

LookingThroughTheFog Wed 12-Feb-14 19:24:01

You are indeed!

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