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This is really chilling, I think

(957 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

404NotFound Wed 11-May-16 22:16:55

Namechanged for this, as potentially too identifiable to FOO stalkers.

I am NC with FOO, for a variety of reasons, none of which I particularly want to rehash here. Occasionally I lurk on a FB forum for parents of estranged adult children, because I find it morbidly fascinating and actually quite validating to observe just HOW bonkers the mindset is.

Today I found this post on there, which sent shivers down my back because it is SO similar to the kind of thing my NMother has sent to me:

The last time I wrote my daughter...a few years ago, I stated the following: "When a person is charged with a crime, the accused is presented with a list of grievances. As your mother, I feel I am entitled to no less a list of grievances in support of your claims of hatred towards me." I've never received a reply, because she has none. We as parents shouldn't accept responsibility for our adult children's short-sightedness and bad behavior.

As ever, it's much easier to see the crazy when it's not your own personal situation being hashed out, but OMG at the demand that the adult child justifies her emotions with a bullet-pointed list of grievances before there can be any question of her being permitted to feel her own feelings. And these people wonder why they are estranged. You'd think round about the time you wrote about your entitlement to a list of grievances to support your child's claims of hatred towards you, you might get a glimmer of realisation about why your adult dc didn't want to be around you. But apparently not.

shock angry

FetchezLaVache Wed 11-May-16 22:20:44

What's FOO?

404NotFound Wed 11-May-16 22:25:14

FOO = Family Of Origin, ie your parents (and poss siblings and extended family)

YokoUhOh Wed 11-May-16 22:25:24

Family Of Origin?

There's a long-running 'estranged GPs' thread on Gransnet which is similarly chilling. In one breath, they'll be slagging off their unreasonable children and, in the next, they're banging on about how wonderful their life is without their children. It's crackers.

FetchezLaVache Wed 11-May-16 22:28:15

Thanks, 404! Well, you're not wrong, that is bonkers. The kind of controlling mindset that no doubt led to the estrangement in the first place.

LizKeen Wed 11-May-16 22:38:24

If they got the list of grievances it would only be used as further proof that their child was "crazy" or "unreasonable" or "dramatic" or any number of other things. It would be turned right back on the child. The child cannot win.

Can you tell I have experience? grin

I don't think I could look at a facebook group or thread that these people wrote on tbh. I find it all very triggering.

TinklyLittleLaugh Wed 11-May-16 22:47:38

Must be awful though, to have your children go no contact with you. I'm not saying lots of people don't deserve it, but I can't think of many things worse.

GarlicShake Wed 11-May-16 22:50:10

... demand that the adult child justifies her emotions with a bullet-pointed list of grievances before there can be any question of her being permitted to feel her own feelings

Perfect analysis.

It might have been good for the estranged child to answer in that light. But, even if she did, the N parent wouldn't understand, would they? They sure as hell wouldn't post it on a forum for analysis.

The self-enclosed world of a narcissist is a weird place to see into.

Yoko, I'm so tempted to check out that Gransnet thread! I won't though, I want to get to bed tonight instead of working myself into a lather, deleting replies before posting wink

WriteforFun1 Wed 11-May-16 22:51:37

Tinkly, that sounds like sympathy for the criminal for what prison must be like for them.

GarlicShake Wed 11-May-16 22:53:49

I think it might be extra awful for a certain kind of Narc parent, Tinkly. Their children are extensions of their all-important, but fragile, self. This obviously drives the abusive parenting, but for part of your self-perception to walk off independently and start a new life must be intolerable.

Ricardian Wed 11-May-16 22:59:14

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

UnderTheGreenwoodTree Wed 11-May-16 23:00:00

Sounds chilling to me, and I'm in contact with all my family. Can't imagine what you'd have to go through to go no-contact with your parents, actually, but it must be bad. Very bad.

NeedsAsockamnesty Wed 11-May-16 23:00:48

Usually nice people don't tend to have those close to them go NC.

It's often safe to assume it's because they are arses, the thing about arses is they rarely actually know they are arses or if they do know on some level they would not take responsibility for it.

It's all part of being an arse.

I have a family member who does stuff like that, apologies are always "I'm sorry you feel that way" any referance to horrific behaviour on their behalf is met with "I do not remember that occasion in the same way you do"

There crowning glory is often a lecture on how people who behave dreadfully often rewrite history in order to protect themselves from them bad memories (said when talking about the conduct of a young child)

I have a feeling that little gem may be true but not quite the way round she percieved it to be!

LizKeen Wed 11-May-16 23:03:02

It probably is awful, especially when they haven't got the self awareness to understand or accept that they are the cause of it.

I still haven't worked out if my mum knows, on any level, that she is the problem. She is an intelligent person, and can be self aware in some ways. But it does seem that she is protecting a fragile self image, that she will defend at all costs.

strongandlong Wed 11-May-16 23:04:09

this blog has some interesting analysis of estranged parents. Scary stuff.

Sorry to anyone who's had to go NC for these kinds of reasons. It must be very tough flowers

glassgarden Wed 11-May-16 23:06:01

in my experience the parent with whom one has gone NC regards this as a temporary situation and at some point you will come to your senses and stop being so disobedient

or the parent regards your cutting them out as a punishment and you will let them back in when you feel they have 'served their time'

from my perspective it was a case of 'this parent is just too much of a liability, I cannot have them in my life'
furthermore it is evident that they do not feel they are at fault and if you did let them back in you would be punished for cutting them out

just too malignant

LizKeen Wed 11-May-16 23:07:23

Wow. That blog.

Ricardian Wed 11-May-16 23:11:09

strongandlong that's a fabulous blog. Thanks for the link.

Strawberryshortcake40 Wed 11-May-16 23:24:55

That blog is amazing, explains it all so well.

I'm NC with my M. It wasn't done on a whim or to punish her, but purely to keep her away from my DC. It's been nearly a year since she saw them, I doubt she would recognise them.

MrsLupo Wed 11-May-16 23:33:06

This is an interesting thread. Thanks for the links. I had no idea estranged parents gathered online, but I suppose it stands to reason that they would. Not sure how much of it I could stand to read tbh - as a pp said, too triggering, at the moment at least. I am NC with my mother. It's been weird and I'm still not sure how I feel about it, but overall it's a vast, liberating improvement from what went before (all 40+ years of it). She, in turn, is NC with four of her five children. You'd think she would consider, just for one teeny tiny second, that she might be the problem, but no. It's us. Each of us, one by one. confused The sad thing is that I'm hardly in touch with any of my siblings either. Even though each of us in turn has woken up to who is the trouble-monger in this picture, the damage has been done and now none of us can stand to have much, if anything, to do with the others. She trained us to behave towards each other like fighting dogs and all these years later we just can't stop ourselves. Tragic, really. flowers for you 404 for what you have undoubtedly been through, and for everyone here who is NC with family. We should all be very proud of ourselves for having survived the past and for working daily to develop insight, perspective and strength.

GarlicShake Wed 11-May-16 23:34:58

Whoa, strong, that's powerful! Thank you.

This resonated hugely - about XH2, really. I've had all this out with my mother and we have 'spoken'.
Anything tinged with negative emotion, anything that makes them feel bad about themselves, shocks them so deeply that they block it out. They really can't remember anything but screaming.

The entire short, stressful and confusing marriage consisted of me asking him not to behave so hurtfully and him not understanding. There was one night in a taxi, when I was definitely speaking at normal volume, with feeling but no anger, using "When this happens, I feel that" and "How would it be for you if we did this that way?" I'd started therapy by then.

He curled up into a ball on the seat, both whimpering and snarling. He said my words were like knives cutting into him. He told me to stop criticising & complaining; why couldn't I be constructive?

I didn't know what the fuck was going on. Now I think he probably was cut by my words, because any word that painted him in a less than beautiful light - or that illustrated I was a separate person with my own thoughts & feelings - was unbearable.

No wonder he's angry so much of the time.

Whatthefucknameisntalreadytake Wed 11-May-16 23:38:31

It does happen to nice, loving parents too. Sometimes adult children have mental health issues and think their parents have done things that they haven't done, and then cut them off for it. It's very sad, and very hard for everyone.

NeedsAsockamnesty Wed 11-May-16 23:43:07

It's bound to happen to nice ines as well.

But a fuck ton load of really crap parents do manage to convince themselves that they are wonderful loving ones when they are anything but

LizKeen Wed 11-May-16 23:58:33

There are bound to be loving parents out there who go through this.

But claiming your child has mental health issues is a common theme. So I am always suspicious when I hear that.

In any case, I know only too well that there are two sides to every story, and I never pass judgement until I have heard both. Although, coming from the perspective of the child, I can probably identify abusive parents more readily than abusive children.

I think, though, that it is OK for there to be a thread discussing this, without the need for disclaimers about the wronged parents, or the parents who aren't abusive.

To continually bring that up feels like a dilution of the pain that so many people go through when going NC with their parents.

Yes, there are loving parents, but mine were far from it, so I don't feel the need to continually hear about these loving parents, as some sort of doubt casting over the experiences on the thread.

As I said, I find it triggering so I will leave it there for tonight.

Whatthefucknameisntalreadytake Thu 12-May-16 00:17:09

Yeah likewise, it's a very painful subject close to my heart hence I felt the need to comment that we can't just assume the parents are abusers.
Some children don't grow up to be very nice people, some adults are not very nice people, and those people are probably equally as horrible to their parents as they are to the rest of the world. Devastating for the parents but it doesn't make them an abuser.

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