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Why do toxic parents push you out then try to reel you back in again?

(18 Posts)
belfastbigmillie Fri 03-May-13 22:28:44

Mine hate me and think I am shit but when I genuinely try to walk away, they (particularly my dad who is a violent narcissist) do nice stuff so that you start to think you've been unreasonable. I am 42 and walking away for good this time but (despite living in another country) my family never quite seem to allow me to go. I am determined to make a clean break this time but it's hard.

RubyOnRails Fri 03-May-13 22:36:19

I don't know. I've just realised how manipulative my own parents are....they both think I'm some nasty bastard for some reason....I've decided to walk away, not with a big fanfare, just...quietly sloping out of their lives. Real trigger is the favouritism which has wrecked the relationships between their kids is now trickling down to their grand kids. My mums a queen bee and my dads a violent lying arse.

Whats a clean break? i think that alking away completely is too mich for me, i couldnt cope withh the emotional fallout. Think you need to find the level at which you can be happy. For one of my sisters, it's a birthday and Xmas sort of contact. Fr my other, she is firmly enmeshed in a bid to control propaganda and shit stir....For me....I'm moving to another country, hopefully continent. Remain pleasant but utterly uncommitted. E can only be as powerful as you let em...for me, I feel content in finally realising what is wrong and how I can fix it.

Do you have siblings and what are their positions?

RubyOnRails Fri 03-May-13 22:37:52

If you want a clean break, though, you can have one. Just be resolute..Although it's hard, I know, as what you need might be acceptance....and to get any feels like progress....it's easy to be sucked in again.

belfastbigmillie Fri 03-May-13 22:49:24

I have 3 siblings. One is 'bad' like me so we tend to be supportive of each other. The other 2 are the 'good' children. I used to have a great relationship with both of them but over the years this has been eroded mainly by them defending my parents more and more. They are both on the payroll of my dad's company and also they genuinely don't see the problems because my parents tend to be nice to them. I am now not in contact with either of those 2 siblings or my parents. It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago and I didn't get a card from any of them and it made me feel sad sad I still know that breaking contact is the right thing to do for my mental health. I had a year's worth of psychotherapy recently and it has really shown me how nasty and fucked up the whole thing is.

RubyOnRails Fri 03-May-13 23:11:52

I was my mums favourite (to the point of total obsession) for years...34 years. I could see though, a bit, because my dad hates me (jealousy) and so does one of my sisters. If they don't understand, it's frustrating.

Break contact but keep with the supportive siblings h..if you have your own family, kids n I laws try to shift focus mored to them perhaps! That's what I'm trying to do.

What are they doing to try and get you back! I don't know about you but I feel much better knowing g there's other people in the same situation as in real life, nobody is as dysfunctional.

RubyOnRails Fri 03-May-13 23:12:29

Excuse typos, feeding baby

RubyOnRails Fri 03-May-13 23:20:53

If you want to keep relationship with siblings, it depends on whether they are: oblivious, aware and guarding position or out and out manipulative. I was oblivious, one of my sisters is incredibly manipulative and a few events recently have proven that i never meant anything to her. It's been hard to come to terms with but I'm walking away from her. Sometimes it just smacks you in the face, doesn't it

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 04-May-13 07:46:13

To answer your question directly... because all emotional abusers work the same way. Whether it's a partner or a parent, it's a very common tactic to alternate good behaviour and bad behaviour in order to manipulate the feelings of the victim. Breaking contact is one way of dealing with it or, now that you're aware that it's all a big game, you can simply choose to ignore the extremes and treat them as nutters you happen to share DNA with.

RubyOnRails Sat 04-May-13 09:01:04

Cogito. Are they conscious of it? The most manipulative person in my family is a clinical psychologist which is really depressing

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 04-May-13 09:31:09

In some cases, yes it's conscious. Others I'm not so sure. I think they just go with the way they feel at the time. If they're in a good mood and they're getting what they want, they lavish on the charm. If they're in a bad mood or think others aren't kow-towing enough & need bringing down a peg, they turn on the crap.

I used to work with a man who is now CEO of a very well-known retailer. Very fickle character - up one minute and down the next - and total bully. I remember him striding in one morning and saying to me 'everyone's looking far too pleased with themselves, time I dished out some bollockings'. I think that's the kind of mentality behind EA

Helltotheno Sat 04-May-13 16:59:21

'everyone's looking far too pleased with themselves, time I dished out some bollockings'

But didn't everyone just go bwwwaaah haaa haaa in his face?! I would've but then again, I've never liked authority

But parents and family? Yes a different matter. Looked at in the cold harsh light of day, the whole blood is thicker than water thing is absolute nonsense. There's absolutely nothing set in stone to say that you need to be close to the other products of the same two randoms who had you.

But to answer your question, it's down to you really, it's you who has to do the no contact, and that effectively means going underground and resisting all attempts at contact (change number if necessary, filter mail to junk, return letters unread). That's totally in your control and totally doable. The fact is he can't make attempts to be nice to you if he can't contact you can he?

Oh and if showing up at your house is an issue, two words: restraining order.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 04-May-13 17:20:15

"But didn't everyone just go bwwwaaah haaa haaa in his face?"

No because he was an emotional bully. Patting people on the back and jovial one minute, yelling in their faces the next.

Helltotheno Sat 04-May-13 18:02:25

I know the type. They need to be called on their behaviour. The really annoying thing about that type is that they rarely are called on their behaviour, allowing them to continue being twunts.

But I've noticed with dysfunctional families, the perpetrators are never wrong... in their own minds. That's why you can't win with them, and need to just control what you can control. Plus they put on an act for the outside world so nobody else ever sees how bad they are, which puts you in the position of being the weirdo with the problem....

Ah families, doncha just love them smile

belfastbigmillie Sat 04-May-13 20:47:49

Just realised that my brother has blocked me on face book sad I haven't done/said ANYTHING. In fact My sister told me a few days ago that she'd been sworn to secrecy that they were expecting a baby. I thought he'd ring me to tell me (despite him being a 'good' child and me being a 'bad' child) only for me to discover he's blocked me on face book instead. I genuinely haven't done anything. He didn't even send me an xmas card at xmas. I have always been really kind to my brother but he works for my parents and I've cut them out of my life sad Just feeling sad right nowsad

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 05-May-13 07:31:15

So your brother is a very childish and petty man.... Blocking facebook, swearing a sister to secrecy... what is he 16? hmm It's attention-seeking behaviour. By being difficult he gets a rise out of you. He wants to be top of your mind by being awkward and - let's be honest - it's working. Your answer therefore is to withdraw the attention. Get on with your own life, don't be at all interested in his. If this baby arrives and you're deliberately excluded from the big news... ho-hum.

Don't be where you're not wanted. Don't try to work out what makes neurotic narcissists tick. Make your own life, be happy, be with people that like you and let them stew in their private little emotional soap-opera.

belfastbigmillie Sun 05-May-13 12:48:35

Cheers, Cogito. Am feeling pretty low today. I do know it's them not me but I come from a family of 6 and right now I am only speaking to one f them. It's really hard not to feel that it must be me.

Salbertina Sun 05-May-13 14:14:52

Feel for you, Millie hmm

If it helps, am speaking to 0/3 of mine grin

But actually mainly hmm, like you its easy to think that as the common denominator is me, all is my fault, i am indeed bad/unhinged whatever.. In my more lucid moments (and when speaking to close friends who "get" such dynamics or my counsellor) i can appreciate that i am responsible for my part in the dance but not for the original family dysfunction or others' need to continue it and cast me as the malfunctioning one. Hard and lonely to battle out of this role but am making some progress. Good luck to everyone else. These threads are v supportive.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 05-May-13 16:26:15

"it must be me"

I think I've mentioned before on here that there are great swathes of my extended family that would make the Borgias look soft and cuddly by comparison.. smile My DM is 'you' in their case. They call her all kinds of names because she's spent her life doing very normal things like holding down a full-time job and having high standards. Reality is that the rest of them are terrible layabouts just one false move from getting arrested...hmm .. she makes them look bad through no fault of her own.

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