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going NC(22 Posts)
Any recommendations stations for how to make the switch in your head to decide to go NC?
I'm going through/doing EMDR for abuse as a child and it's working, but hell at times. I somehow STILL feel that by going NC is be upsetting my "D"M who is the reason I'm in therapy.
I did go NC once before for 2 months, but that was out of anger at something she'd specifically done then. It was great! Now we live in different countries, don't Skype much - and if we do I just put it on the kids so I don't see her - and rarely see each other. So we don't really have a relationship.
Yet, when I think about saying I don't ever want to see or hear from her again, well, I just can't. She's got NPD (or I present as the daughter of a mother with NPD, according to the psychologist) so definitely won't change.
Something is holding me back and I don't know how to get over it. Any ideas (I'm doing the EMDR and I have flashbacks, so it's not like I don't have a very live understanding of what she did to me, yet I still can't make that decision)?
It is hard. I talk about it often on here as though it was easy. It wasn't. Or at least it was, once I'd had the final push. I think it can be hard without that.
I spent 8 years trying to go nc, but the FOG lured me back in. Ultimately, she did something that caused our paths to cross with the local authority safeguarding process and, at that point, I had my validation that it wasn't me, I wasn't flawed or to blame or not a good enough daughter, etc. I had proof that she was a supremely selfish nasty piece of work.
I have not regretted going nc once. I have, however, regretted not doing it sooner on many occasions.
Are you sure allowing her contact with your children is wise?
I think if you want to do it, you have to just do it.
I'm not sure it's the same for others, but I never stuck a pole in the ground and said, right, that's it, going no contact. It was more a case of saying, Will having her in my life today - calling, Skyping, visiting, whatever - make me feel better or worse? The answer was always worse, so I'm not in contact.
It felt much more normal to me - this person is treating me very poorly, why would I seek out their company?
Thanks for replying!
ThisIs she only sees them (and they her) about once every two months, if that, on Skype and they mostly ignore her!
How do you get over the guilt of just doing it though? I know it's not logical (I spent about 40 mins in a flipping flashback today of something she did to me - which wasn't 40 mins at the time - and the stress alone has made my legs physically hurt still now, but I'm still feeling this guilt. How does it go?).
Essential that's kind of what's happened from my end, but it doesn't stop her from getting in touch with me. I don't reply to the majority of what she sends (all about her), but I feel it's not NC because I haven't actively said "I want to cut ties". I feel it's a foot in each camp.
... I feel it's not NC because I haven't actively said "I want to cut ties"
Do you feel the need to make a firm statement then, emmmder? If you do, then it's really a major event. Some people do need to make that announcement though; it's like they are planting their flag on the ground and it's something they -have- to do before they feel independent.
Others find it good enough to quietly slip away, to be unreachable. They gradually pick up the (skype or phone) call from them less and less. They don't acknowledge cards, presents etc unless the other person contacts them, and they initiate contact themselves less and less often.
Either way is difficult in that the person they want to NC with usually starts ramping up the pressure. But avoiding a direct confrontation can be a lot easier. You still need ways to avoid the guilt tripping.
There can be some good advice on the Stately Homes thread, specially the opening post (actually written by another lady some years ago and reposted) www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/2510368-But-we-took-you-to-Stately-Homes-Survivors-of-Dysfunctional-Families
Yeah, in a way I think I do, because otherwise there are no boundaries. It's like she can just keep on doing her thing (which given how little contact I have with her, at least from my end) and I have to accept it.
She sends emails intermittently. Sometimes a couple a week, sometimes once a week, other times less often. The frequency is in direct relation to what she's doing that she wants to brag about, essentially. Never, ever does she ask how I am, what I'm doing in my life, or how my children are. It's like a blanket update on her life and I just have to 'listen'. I have to read the emails because occasionally there is genuinely something I need to know in them.
I've been on the Stately Homes under different names in the past. I feel bad about dipping in and out though and I also find it difficult to follow because there are so many conversations happening at once! I have read everything in the opening statement though and it's been incredibly helpful over the years.
I don't know why I can't just set the bounadary with her though. I guess if I upset her I stand to lose her (I understand that's what I'm trying to do) and my sibling and I don't have any other family who remotely cares about me (which I just figured out this past year) and to be left with nobody is scary. I probably need to get over that though...
coming to terms with there being -no one- else is very, very hard. It's a lonely path. though ... sometimes it's really a lot better than being at the mercy of someone who only thinks of you as a resource to be drained. Also, with hard work and therapy you can find yoruself in a position where you can build up friends and maybe a relationship (if therapy works for you, and it sounds like it more or less does). Friends & relationship aren't guarenteed but they tend to turn up sometimes in the oddest of places. If the friends happen to have similar backgrounds, then in a way you can understand each other better too which can make it easier.
Are you on good terms with your sibling?
It's very hard making that final, fuck-off break. Specially when yeah, emotions can be so contradictory and confusing. Could it be that you're still hanging on and hanging on for the hope of a loving mother? coming to terms with the end of hope is near-unbearable sometimes; and it's not about the here and now, it's about what you wish had been.
OP don't feel guilty about dipping in and out of Stately Homes - I think we all do it! I'm not always strong enough to read the thread every day - too many memories. Sometimes it's too raw.
I went NCA this February and I did do the announcement. (By email.) We were in contact A LOT, in fact we were quite enmeshed. If I didn't email, text or call every day she would start sending me messages panicking that I'd fallen down and was trapped on the bathroom floor, slowly dying, with my cat meowing mournfully over my weakening body. (She'd outline this in some detail, lol.) But also, being honest and upfront is really important to me. Possibly because she isn't.
It doesn't sound like you are quite ready to put the plug yet. Your EMDR therapist - do you do any talking as well? Would it be possible to talk through and explore the fears, guilt and hopes which are preventing you from pulling the plug?
Meer - "Could it be that you're still hanging on and hanging on for the hope of a loving mother? coming to terms with the end of hope is near-unbearable sometimes.."
Yes. That's it. And it's unbearable, quite literally I think.^^
"and it's not about the here and now, it's about what you wish had been."
I thought it was. I really thought she was the perfect mother, apart from the physical abuse (haha - shows the problem right there!!). She was my only adult around apart from teachers. I'm starting to realise things like the feeling I had of safety (and still do these days), for example, wasn't actually a feeling of safety - my baselines were all skewed by her. I can hardly get to wishing because I can't quite believe it all (but know it's true).
My sibling lives on the other side of the world and I very much risk serious problems in that area if I upset my mother.
I'm working with two psychologists. A clinical one for EMDR and a counselling one for talking. I do also talk a bit to the EMDR one at the beginning of sessions.
Do you mind me asking how it's been since Feb?
From all I've read and observed, where there is physical abuse there is always emotional damage, or even active emotional abuse.
Give yourself time here, it takes time to absorb the lurching realisation that your childhood was not all you've believed it was and your parent wasn't all that you wanted her to be.
Yep, the emotional stuff is super crap too.
However, your responses have all helped me. A lot!
After about 10 years of different therapists (but not continuous therapy!!) asking me if I could write a letter to my mother and tell her any of how I felt - even not sending it - and me wanting to be sick at the prospect of either, I just wrote one! I am not going to send it, but I'm so proud of myself that I managed to get the words down.
Today was simply awful and at some point I just realised that it's never going to end unless I make some changes. "Just do it" is one. Who knows, one day I might just push 'send'!!!
I think the guilt stays with you at some level to be honest.
Ive been NC with my mum for about 7 months now and at times I do feel guilty. Especially now, coming up to xmas because she has nobody now. My brother is also NC, she divorced my dad who is dead now anyway. She has no siblingsp and barely any friends. She's in her 70s and must be miserable.
I never made a big statement. There was an incident which kind of tipped me over the edge. She came round my house and was unbelievably rude to me.......though she had done similar many times before. But this time I just thought I'd had enough.
I just never contacted her again. My brother told her Id gone NC with her because I was sick of her behaviour. She wrote me a couple of nasty letters which I ignored.
Every time I feel guilty enough to start worrying if ive done the right thing I remind myself of the nasty letters, slagging me off, insults, etc. A normal mother would have rung/come round and said they wanted to sort things out. She's never once said this, never made any attempt to rectify it, never said sorry. I think she's a total narc and incapable.
So I just remind myself how much better off i am without her in my life.
OP for me since February has been blissfully peaceful.
My mum is not the lashing out type, more the hopeless martyr and emotional manipulator. She has not made contact with me - and she has also not made contact with my sis, who was not involved in my decision at all and up to then had been in regular but infrequent contact with her. So we realised that my mum had deliberately cut off my sister - either to try to manipulate me and guilt me into getting back in contact, or maybe she thought my sister had talked me into going NC? We don't know.
My sister obviously found it hurtful, but equally has found it a relief. We now both know that she IS the kind of person that would use their own child as a pawn or weapon to punish someone else. I mean, we already knew this - but to have this confirmation made it crystal clear. She does not care about us or love us as human beings - only as we relate to her and can fulfil her emotional needs.
On a day to day basis, it's very freeing for me to not have to think constantly "Must NOT tell mum about this because [she will catastrophise it/she will use it as an opportunity to boast to the family/she will say it's all my own fault/she will rewrite it to be something totally different and tell everyone that's the truth]."
Not having to spend time on the phone with her every weekend is amazing. I can just do whatever I like and not have the call looming over me.
Also, this Xmas can just be me and my DS (who she hates, and makes no secret of that) and we can just chill out and not have to worry about her horrible remarks.
Not having to spend time on the phone with her every weekend is amazing. I can just do whatever I like and not have the call looming over me.
sounds like a really heavy burden has been lifted, pocket. Never mind the past years, the present ones must have been seriously oppressive with this weighing your days down.
You don't HAVE to make a statement of going NC to her. That is yet again another expectation off others that we put on ourself - we have the right to do what is best for us.
I went NC with my older sister about 5 years ago. I didn't tell her. Like your mum, she only initiated contact with me when she wanted something from me or she wanted to top up her narcissistic supply. I just stopped answering her calls and fb messages. When other members of the family/flying monkeys tried to 'intervene' i told them straight, "you put up with her rubbish and don't do anything about about it. that's your choice. but i won't let her treat me like that anymore. don't talk about me or my life to her".
I know they would still tell her about me because they're under her spell - so i just don't tell them anything i don't want her knowing.
To this day she hasn't directly asked me 'why?'...because she already knows but doesn't want to acknowledge her behaviour as being anything other than 'caring about you'.
Just stop accepting the skype calls, block her from all social media contact. whatever she feels about it is not your problem. The guilt will take time to disappear but so long as you have RL support from people who DO care about your welfare you'll get through it.
They say guilt is a useless emotion and after all i've been through i agree. Looking back now i can't believe i felt guilt over trying to stop people sucking the life out of me.
I've been nc with my parents for just over a year, since just before my dd was born.
For me, it was a gradual process of moving away and establishing boundaries. Then when I was heavily pregnant, my mother made it clear she would expect an open invitation once 'her grandchild' was born, and when I said no abuse escalated from her and my father, until I had to draw a line in the sand.
So, do whatever is least stressful for you. As pp have said, enmeshed parents need the line drawn probably, avoidant types more likely to drift away.
I would say, if it doesn't feel right don't force it. You are no more obligated to 'officially' go nc than you are to have contact. Glad you're limiting contact with dc though.
Take care xx
Thanks for your replies and experiences. Trauma and much of what goes with it is so lonely (at least for me) that it's comforting to hear from other people in similar circumstances - although obviously I wish nobody ever was.
I've had this wonderful feeling of empowerment since drafting the email. I don't even know what to do with it, it's so unusual! It makes me smile on the inside though and that's not happened for a very long time.
I feel like I now have the nuclear button and when the time comes (sometime in the new year) I can push it when I feel ready. There's nothing I need from her now - I fully understood that now - and that's a good realisation too.
I do feel the need to make a clear boundary though because I want/need her to stop emailing me. This gives the heads up that I'm not going to be reading them - because my not replying doesn't stop her sending them. She just changes the first line from "I hope you are all well" to "I haven't heard from you for a while, I hope you are all well." before launching into an essay about her recent adventures.
I'm rarely proud of things I've done, but this draft email is something that's a huge achievement for me.
NC with my dad for 9 years - the trigger for me was when he started involving the kids in his nasty games. I was never able to draw the line to protect myself, but was able to do it to protect my kids.
Yes, in a nutshell it was the same decision for me, morecheese.
I couldn't protect myself, but I absolutely could protect them.
I want/need her to stop emailing me
Label her email address as 'spam' so it goes directly into the spam box, that way you don't have to see them and they will automatically get deleted after x amount of time.
Or just block her email address. She will never know....and IF she ever mentioned the lack of response re her emails then you have the option of either fobbing her off or telling her the truth and making your boundaries clear
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