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"But We Took You To Stately Homes!" - Survivors of Dysfunctional Families

(1000 Posts)
DontstepontheMomeRaths Fri 23-Aug-13 16:00:41

Thread opener here:
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It's August 2013, and the Stately Home is still open to visitors.

Forerunning threads:
December 2007
March 2008
August 2008
February 2009
May 2009
January 2010
April 2010
August 2010
March 2011
November 2011
January 2012
November 2012
January 2013
March 2013

Please check later posts in this thread for links & quotes. The main thing is: "they did do it to you" - and you can recover.


Welcome to the Stately Homes Thread.

This is a long running thread which was originally started up by 'pages' see original thread here (December 2007)

So this thread originates from that thread and has become a safe haven for Adult children of abusive families.

One thing you will never hear on this thread is that your abuse or experience was not that bad. You will never have your feelings minimised the way they were when you were a child, or now that you are an adult. To coin the phrase of a much respected past poster Ally90;

'Nobody can judge how sad your childhood made you, even if you wrote a novel on it, only you know that. I can well imagine any of us saying some of the seemingly trivial things our parents/ siblings did to us to many of our real life acquaintances and them not understanding why we were upset/ angry/ hurt etc. And that is why this thread is here. It's a safe place to vent our true feelings, validate our childhood/ lifetime experiences of being hurt/ angry etc by our parents behaviour and to get support for dealing with family in the here and now.'

Most new posters generally start off their posts by saying; but it wasn't that bad for me or my experience wasn't as awful as x,y or z's.

Some on here have been emotionally abused and/ or physically abused. Some are not sure what category (there doesn't have to be any) they fall into.

NONE of that matters. What matters is how 'YOU' felt growing up, how 'YOU' feel now and a chance to talk about how and why those childhood experiences and/ or current parental contact, has left you feeling damaged, falling apart from the inside out and stumbling around trying to find your sense of self-worth.

You might also find the following links and information useful, if you have come this far and are still not sure whether you belong here or not.

'Toxic Parents' by Susan Forward.

I started with this book and found it really useful.

Here are some excerpts:

"Once you get going, most toxic parents will counterattack. After all, if they had the capacity to listen, to hear, to be reasonable, to respect your feelings, and to promote your independence, they wouldn't be toxic parents. They will probably perceive your words as treacherous personal assaults. They will tend to fall back on the same tactics and defences that they have always used, only more so.

Remember, the important thing is not their reaction but your response. If you can stand fast in the face of your parents' fury, accusations, threats and guilt-peddling, you will experience your finest hour.

Here are some typical parental reactions to confrontation:

"It never happened". Parents who have used denial to avoid their own feelings of inadequacy or anxiety, will undoubtedly use it during confrontation, to promote their version of reality. They'll insist that your allegations never happened, or that you're exaggerating. They won't remember, or they will accuse you of lying.

YOUR RESPONSE: Just because you don't remember, doesn't mean it didn't happen".

"It was your fault." Toxic parents are almost never willing to accept responsibility for their destructive behaviour. Instead, they will blame you. They will say that you were bad, or that you were difficult. They will claim that they did the best that they could but that you always created problems for them. They will say that you drove them crazy. They will offer as proof, the fact that everybody in the family knew what a problem you were. They will offer up a laundry list of your alleged offences against them.

YOUR RESPONSE: "You can keep trying to make this my fault, but I'm not going to accept the responsibility for what you did to me, when I was a child".

"I said I was sorry what more do you want?" Some parents may acknowledge a few of the things that you say but be unwilling to do anything about it.

YOUR RESPONSE: "I appreciate your apology, but that is just a beginning. If you're truly sorry, you'll work through this with me, to make a better relationship."

"We did the best we could." Some parents will remind you of how tough they had it while you were growing up and how hard they struggled. They will say such things as "You'll never understand what I was going through," or "I did the best I could". This particular style of response will often stir up a lot of sympathy and compassion for your parents. This is understandable, but it makes it difficult for you to remain focused on what you need to say in your confrontation. The temptation is for you once again to put their needs ahead of your own. It is important that you be able to acknowledge their difficulties, without invalidating your own.

YOUR RESPONSE: "I understand that you had a hard time, and I'm sure that you didn't hurt me on purpose, but I need you to understand that the way you dealt with your problems really did hurt me"

"Look what we did for you." Many parents will attempt to counter your assertions by recalling the wonderful times you had as a child and the loving moments you and they shared. By focusing on the good things, they can avoid looking at the darker side of their behaviour. Parents will typically remind you of gifts they gave you, places they took you, sacrifices they made for you, and thoughtful things they did. They will say things like, "this is the thanks we get" or "nothing was ever enough for you."

YOUR RESPONSE: "I appreciate those things very much, but they didn't make up for ...."

"How can you do this to me?" Some parents act like martyrs. They'll collapse into tears, wring their hands, and express shock and disbelief at your "cruelty". They will act as if your confrontation has victimized them. They will accuse you of hurting them, or disappointing them. They will complain that they don't need this, they have enough problems. They will tell you that they are not strong enough or healthy enough to take this, that the heartache will kill them. Some of their sadness will, of course, be genuine. It is sad for parents to face their own shortcomings, to realise that they have caused their children significant pain. But their sadness can also be manipulative and controlling. It is their way of using guilt to try to make you back down from the confrontation.

YOUR RESPONSE: "I'm sorry you're upset. I'm sorry you're hurt. But I'm not willing to give up on this. I've been hurting for a long time, too."

Helpful Websites

Alice Miller

Personality Disorders definition

More helpful links:

Daughters of narcissistic mothers
Out of the FOG
You carry the cure in your own heart
Help for adult children of child abuse
Pete Walker

Some books:

Will I ever be good enough?
If you had controlling parents
When you and your mother can't be friends
Children of the self-absorbed
Recovery of your inner child

This final quote is from smithfield posting as therealsmithfield:

"I'm sure the other posters will be along shortly to add anything they feel I have left out. I personally don't claim to be sorted but I will say my head has become a helluva lot straighter since I started posting here. You will receive a lot of wisdom but above all else the insights and advice given will 'always' be delivered with warmth and support."

Happy Posting

PurpleRayne Thu 19-Dec-13 10:15:10

Injunction, asap.

DontstepontheBaubles Thu 19-Dec-13 08:05:35

Hissy I read it with my mouth open. Their audacity. It must have been so stressful. I'd have been shaking.

I think a session of counselling is a good move. How horrible for you.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 19-Dec-13 06:51:10

Hope you're feeling a bit better this morning.

Certainly try and get another therapy session in.

I would also now seriously consider seeking legal advice re their harassment.

Hissy Thu 19-Dec-13 06:11:01

Angry, hurt and confused. again.

How dare they do this to me, to my son, out of nowhere.

I'm going to have to try and get another session of therapy in. Who has to do that? Stump up £45 the day before christmas eve?

Meerka Thu 19-Dec-13 01:19:13

HIssy that's awful. I really hope they have learned that you do not want contact ever now.

Hope you're ok

Mellowandfruitful Thu 19-Dec-13 00:51:15

That's awful, Hissy. Is it possible now to get an injunction to keep them away from you?

Hissy Thu 19-Dec-13 00:09:06

Phone went doolally.

I thought SF was going to hit me. Very frightening, my poor boy.

They were told to leave eventually, but only after they tried to railroad me into talking with them with police as mediators!

Told my friend (chief exec of DV charity, i'm chair) she was annoyed that the police didn't tell them to go, and got involved in the mêlée!

I told them they'd been hoodwinked, that just because their families are normal doesn't mean mine are and not to fall for it.

The police did, in the end, tell them to go, and told my mum not to contact me.

Ffs, did it really have to go there?

Hissy Wed 18-Dec-13 23:51:15

I'm so tired. Having a hot sweet tea, well maybe hold the sugar due to the flaming reflux I suffer from...

So many feelings, so much going around my head. It's surreal

Hissy Wed 18-Dec-13 23:46:08

RadioSilenceGirl: you therapist is not a stranger. They are there to hear you. They don't judge or advise, they help you work it out. Research on thet you feel is qualified to help you and go and have a chat about the things you'd like to try to achieve.

RadioSilenceGirl Wed 18-Dec-13 23:16:06

I was reading about counselling on the 'narcissists & their rages' thread. Its a brilliant thread.

I'm now not sure if I could actually talk face to face with a stranger about the relationship I have with dm. One reason being is the facade that I have built, I tell people what a great mum she is & another being that I think I'm not worth listening to.

RadioSilenceGirl Wed 18-Dec-13 22:44:10

What a nasty experience hissy. I hope you & your ds are as ok as can be. You sound very brave.

pumpkinsweetie Wed 18-Dec-13 21:02:58

Well done hissy you have took the right steps in calling the police, power to you. Glad they have now gone!

DontstepontheBaubles Wed 18-Dec-13 20:29:45

Bloomin heck Hissy. Glad they've gone.

I've created a new thread for when this one is full now. I'll be back later for an update. What a nasty shock for you tonight. Unbelievable.

New thread:

MillyMollyMandy78 Wed 18-Dec-13 20:26:28

Hissy - i can't believe that happened to you! Well done on calling the police - it shows them you are serious and won't be bullied. Just shows how nuts they are to sit on your sofa and wait! Like you said what sort of person does that after terrifying your son. Just try to take things easy, have something to eat and have a quiet evening. Hope you and your son are ok

farrowandbawlbauls Wed 18-Dec-13 20:16:23

Well done Hissy.

You should be proud of yourself.

Hissy Wed 18-Dec-13 20:14:49

Theykve gone, police gone. Feeding ds. Back later to update.

farrowandbawlbauls Wed 18-Dec-13 19:42:12

Hissy, it's not going to mean much now, you have done yourself a favour by posting it as it happens. The next time you feel trapped, or the FOG has got too much you can refer back to this day - I'm sure one of us will remind you if you need it (not that I think you will).

Don't kick yourself - you had a weak moment as you were put on the spot. That's not fair, and wasn't fair of them to put you in that position.

Glad the police are there now.

Hissy Wed 18-Dec-13 19:39:32

I fecking let them in!


Hissy Wed 18-Dec-13 19:38:03

Police here, the 2 officers downstairs have been hearing the BS.

Now the officer I was talking to is talking to PCSO

pumpkinsweetie Wed 18-Dec-13 19:36:37

Oh hissyconfused

Hope the police get rid of them soon!
Jeez this has made me realise i musn't let my eldest child answer the door or it could be me.

How did they get into your home?
So sorry this is happening to you, hope you get your dinner soon xxx

farrowandbawlbauls Wed 18-Dec-13 19:28:34

Theya re taking their time for a 999 call...hang in there, we're here if you want to talk.

Where's your son?

Hissy Wed 18-Dec-13 19:27:50

Nope. Still waiting! sad

farrowandbawlbauls Wed 18-Dec-13 19:25:53

I hope the police are there and you are busy with them.

Hissy Wed 18-Dec-13 19:25:39

Yes, I hope so.

20m seems like forever.

They are sat on my fecking sofa. Waiting for me to talk to them.

He says, do as you're told.

I'm 45, and a half! He's not my father and wasn't even one to his own kids.

Argh! Wished i'd have seen their car parked, i'd have kept going!

farrowandbawlbauls Wed 18-Dec-13 19:20:03

You can have something to eat when they are gone - eat in peace although you may be too angry for a short while.

On the other hand, you've still got your appetite which is a really good sign.

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