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V defended/narcissistic parents- how to "grieve"

(74 Posts)
Salbertina Fri 23-Nov-12 17:33:41

Gosh weary myself of my own story but really struggling...
Rather shocked at how v much my parents- df as enabler, as well as dm- let me down as a teen and have done ever aince. More so at how very disloyal they've been even to the extent of trying to get dh/MIL on side against me, quite a revelation, thank God these 2 love and are loyal to me..

Head so full of toxic rubbish which is eating me all up with bitterness that am sorely tempted to just give in and allow contact to resume, as before -on their terms, with me the scapegoat sad

Am seeing counsellor and he's adamant i
should stay firm for my own psychological health and keep contact cut, even mourning
their loss ie tge loss of a vaguely nornal, empathic, accepting, loving, respectful

Not sleeping so this probably doesn't
Make sense but any thoughts/support appreciated.

ThistlePetal Sat 24-Nov-12 11:03:35

Yeah, I've been telling friends how little support my parents have offered me since the split, and that I wasn't really expecting anything more. I think folk just don't understand though, and why would they? It must be impossible to imagine that someone's own parents don't even like them! (Was that bad grammar?? Sorry!) So it's very isolating, isn't it?

I haven't read those books. It's been about 5 years since I first started to realise that I wasn't such a bad and shameful person, and I have done some therapy during that time, but I do think it's all coming to a head and I have to do some serious reading and work. Did you find the books useful? Just wondering if I already know enough about my mother's personality!

Think I might need to re-start taking fish oils too, brain is so fuzzy with it all! And re drinking wine, I've used alcohol as a crutch for most of my adult life, and am trying to really cut down now. Drank wine last night and I'm sure it's one of the reasons I feel so down this morning. It's only helpful during the actual drinking process, I think!

Salbertina Sat 24-Nov-12 11:12:58

Well done for cutting down, intention is all.
Yes, people only seem to get it if they have similar parents, in my experience. One friend said she didn't take " to the kind of people who don't get on with their parents", she was talking about a mutual friend but found v off-putting and blaming. Still mates as she's good fun but i hold her at arms' length, rather.

Abitwobblynow Sat 24-Nov-12 11:18:52

Stay well away from them.

To grieve means that you are mourning for something that has died - your hope for parents who really loved you, heard you and accepted you for who you really are.

And in order to do that you have to accept that they are really who they are.

That is a real struggle, to accept the truth and allow those real feelings of pain.

Salbertina Sat 24-Nov-12 11:51:43

Abit, yes am thinking proper nc for next 3 months so dh under orders not to tell me if df contacts him sad

forgetmenots Sat 24-Nov-12 12:00:32

I'm not sure if anyone else has a different slant but from what I've seen, NC only works when it's proper NC, and it's not going to be revoked (to the best of their knowledge). Reduced contact in our case didn't help one but, we were just subjected to harassment and bullying. That still happens from time to time with the full NC but we do not respond and so they don't get to have the satisfaction of upsetting DH... Salbertina are you planning on trialling full NC, or just having a break? How does your DH feel about this? (Good luck)

Salbertina Sat 24-Nov-12 12:09:02

FMN, yes have had similar reaction, horrible, isn't it?
I told them i wouldn't be in touch unless or intil they acknowledged and agreed to my 3 boundaries:
Not speaking of me in front of my kids
Treating me ad a fellow adult regardless of actual view
Not repeating regular - and unfounded- allegations of my supposed mental instability esp in front of my kids
Their reaction?? The 3 points above not even acknowledged by df. In 4 mobths dm has yet to all angryangryangryangrysadsadsad biscuithmm

forgetmenots Sat 24-Nov-12 12:19:41

That's very sad, your requests are very reasonable and anyone who was remotely interested in working on the relationship would immediately agree. I didn't catch that they had just failed to respond, that is strange to say the least.

You've done the right thing though in putting your boundaries very clearly and not altering, well done. (I know how hard that can be!)

I never knew parents like this existed before I met PILs. Now on here I see how common they are and it makes me really sad that lovely people like you and my DH are let down by the very people who are meant to give them unconditional love angry - although my MIL thinks she is the best, most self-sacrificing mother in the world hmm

Salbertina Sat 24-Nov-12 12:37:50

Thanks, good to hear that, it seemed reasonable to me. And yes, if they were properly bothered they would have done some bridge-building by now. Properly floored at how little they really care, assumed they did.

Df says i have said the "cruellest thing imaginable" to my mum (alleging emotional and some physical abuse) and that "she was/is always there for me" . I can understand it is v v hard for them to hear but they've yet to check am i ok/was i ok then and do I as the recipient of dm's supposed support actually agree? Flat-out no, rarely did and rarely has heard me , validated me, allowed my feelings to be.

forgetmenots Sat 24-Nov-12 12:49:30

It's mixed messages isn't it? They make out that you are destroying them through cutting them off, but in reality aren't fussed. This has been a total pattern of my relationship with MIL. She wants control over everything but isn't actually interested in it or us.

Your DF is a classic enabler, and sounds exactly like my FIL (nice enough but completely in support and denial of his wife's behaviour and the damage it causes). Don't allow him to rewrite your history - only you know if your DM was the mother you needed and you seem to have been very sensible and measured in how you have dealt with her. The real threat, this 'cruel behaviour' is that you are allowing your own feelings, of course, something she has spent years trying to stamp out. You are really an incredibly strong person that her conditioning has not been enough to quash your identity completely, remember that.

Salbertina Sat 24-Nov-12 13:07:47

Thanks again, feeling saner by the minute smile
You are incredibly insightful and supportive, FMN, hope yr dh realises and appreciates this..
Yes, they're not up to acknowledging let alone validating my feelings,
Like your FIL, I imagine, my df is rather feeble and possibly guilt-ridden though at a subconscious level, Im sure.

Salbertina Sat 24-Nov-12 13:10:30

And yy, dm was absolutely not the mother i needed as a teen tho happy memories of when i was a little girl. Apparently am wrong in this though, not a "real" issue and i should "be aware how many people envy my life" hmm

forgetmenots Sat 24-Nov-12 13:26:30

No, of course that's unfair and invalidating. You've genuinely done well though to recognise all of this as toxic behaviour, i think sadly that is the bit that is most difficult for a lot of people and they blame themselves forever.
You are very sane! No one reading this thread would think otherwise. You've made some very complex feelings and issues very clear. Your DF may definitely be processing his own guilt (and no doubt subordinate status in his own marriage), and maybe there will be a point where he is strong enough to acknowledge this. (I suspect your DM was ok with you until you got past the age of just agreeing with her and developed views of your won - this is why your boundary requests have threatened her).

You gave some good advice on the other toxic mum thread, too - you're well on your way smile

Salbertina Sat 24-Nov-12 13:32:29

Well, still holed up in bed nesting and feeling sorry for self due to horrendous night's sleep- nightmares, insomnia etc Kind dh picking up the slack. Torn between feeling should pull self together and seize the day and...not. Looks like I've opted for latter option blush.

Salbertina Sat 24-Nov-12 13:35:53

And am on the way due to counsellor's support, doubt would have had strength or insight otherwise (had been tempted to chuck it all in and contact them regardiess the other day til he talked me out of it "for my own psychological health") That and dh being here.

forgetmenots Sat 24-Nov-12 13:40:35

Don't be too hard on yourself, it is not easy and you've taken help from available sources which is the only way any of us can survive at times. A day in bed being looked after will do you no harm, it sounds like you deserve a bit of peaceful time (And your DH sounds lovely, good to know he is the support you need).

Salbertina Sat 24-Nov-12 14:04:02

Now that's validating grin

forgetmenots Sat 24-Nov-12 14:15:29

Enjoy! grin

crescentmoon Sat 24-Nov-12 14:18:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Salbertina Sat 24-Nov-12 14:53:01

Thanks Crescent- the gratitude thread certainly a big help and a good focus of the blessings in my life.

Walkacrossthesand Sun 25-Nov-12 07:33:04

Can I ask a question of the assembled crew? Several times on this thread, the narcissistic DM/DF has been reported as saying/feeling that they've 'done all they can' or feel that they are good parents. Is this a characteristic of NPD? I ask because my eldest daughter (22) who has difficulty making/keeping relationships (including with her sisters sad and I increasingly suspect has NPD tendencies, is very fond of stating that 'she has tried really hard to be nice' in any situation where a relationship isn't working. I can't see it, (her being nice, that is) but she genuinely seems to believe it, and it leaves me at a loss to know how to respond! Sorry for sideways move.

OpheliaPayneAgain Sun 25-Nov-12 07:51:55

I sometimes wonder if parents are typical of their time rather than abusive? People then people try and apply todays values to yester-year.

I'm sure if I tried really hard I could think of something really ""abusive"" my parents did - like make me focus on education - by todays standards someone would psychoanalyse me as 'seeking parental approval' - well we all want to achieve and be liked, so that kind of blows that theory out of the water. FWIW I'm not a people pleaser.

When a child feels scapegoated or isolated I do wonder if sometimes the child is just very difficult and I would love to hear the rest of the family views.

Walkacrossthesand Sun 25-Nov-12 08:15:01

PS also, any tips for how I can help my eldest daughter - she seems to have so little insight into how her interactions with other people seem to them.

crescentmoon Sun 25-Nov-12 08:20:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

forgetmenots Sun 25-Nov-12 09:29:54

No Ophelia, this goes far beyond this and to blame the child (who already has endured years of blame, for no reason other than they have been singled out) just reinforces that.

Believe me when I say I did not know any of this kind of thing existed until I met my PILs. My own parents are lovely, but yes 'of their time' and like you I'm sure if I was being twisted I could conjure up things about their behaviour - but why would I? confused hmm. This bears no relation to the relationships on display in my DH's family. I have been shocked by this and when I came on here for help I was shocked to find there were others! Did you not read the part where scarlet woman detailed how her DM makes suicide threats in front of children? (My MIL threatens suicide in very graphic detail when she doesn't get her own way over anything and expects us to take her seriously. When I started phoning NHS for advice she was somewhat less amused and flew into a rage). Surely you see that whether we agree on the labelling or not, this is completely out of order and destructive to say the very least.

I'm interested to know why you're unsure of this - have you never come across it (a lucky one like I was) or do you identify with it but from another angle?

forgetmenots Sun 25-Nov-12 09:31:44

She could be, walk - sorry I've no experience of dealing with young people possibly with npd but I'm sure someone fab and helpful will be along soon!

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