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How hideous is going no contact?(252 Posts)
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.
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.
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 ). 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.
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.
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
It doesn't make you selfish at all, Numpty. It makes you sensible.
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.
And that would be respecting yourself...good role model, yes?
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.
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.
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.
Really sad for you Numpty 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
Good luck x
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 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?
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. .
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 before....so let's speak next week.'
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
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
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,
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.
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