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is there somekind of cycle/ emotional rollercoaster felt when you go nc?

(103 Posts)
wizzywig Sun 01-Jan-17 14:24:12

me and my husband have gone nc with his parents and siblings. long story but they are narcissists and are very happy in their emeshed family set up. we broke away from it.
Whenever there are big occasions, eg, christmas, wedding anniversarys, birthdays, we tend to both feel very tense, and it feels like we are back on that horrible rollercoaster where you dissect everything they ever did and we have to go through the "we did the right thing didnt we?" process.

Is this normal? I just want to feel nothing towards them forever more. it
just seems that if we are in a situation, eg, we go away for a break, i get this instant, subconscious thought of "oh no, we havent told them we are going away. they wont know where we are, they wont like that". how long does it take for them to be out of our heads? thanks

jeaux90 Sun 01-Jan-17 14:40:18

Feeling nothing takes time. I found that after I went nc with my ex who was an abusive narc that it went in a cycle. First I was elated (still am 6 years later at the sense of freedom) and I hold onto that.

Then I was angry and still anxious but it stopped after I forgave him. In my head it was a turning point. Acknowledging that he was mentally ill, can't and won't change and that what he was said everything about him and nothing about me.

I think it was about 6 months after, and a move back home to the uk when I finally eased into feeling nothing. Forgiving was a major step for me.

wizzywig Sun 01-Jan-17 15:05:12

do you think forgiving is a necessary step? i just want to erase them out of my life.

FaFoutis Sun 01-Jan-17 15:13:26

We are nc with dh's family. It has been 10 years now and dh rarely thinks about them, but it did take a long time.
What you said here: "it feels like we are back on that horrible rollercoaster where you dissect everything they ever did and we have to go through the "we did the right thing didnt we?" process." I recognise this as we did it a lot at first. I found the thing to do was talk it through once in terms of why it is the right thing. Then talk about it as little as possible. If you keep talking about them the situation won't recede into the distance.

jeaux90 Sun 01-Jan-17 15:14:39

For me forgiving was necessary to deal with the anger. Once I did that I felt very neutral and over time it turned into not ever thinking about it/couldn't give a monkeys grin

FaFoutis Sun 01-Jan-17 15:16:27

Parents are a different thing, it is very complicated in terms of the mixture of adult / child emotions. I don't think forgiveness helps there because that would lead to questioning the whole point of nc.

jeaux90 Sun 01-Jan-17 15:19:24

The whole point of nc is removing yourself from their behaviour. Forgiveness isn't for everyone but ime it has really helped me move very quickly into heal mode through to now which is feeling nothing

wizzywig Sun 01-Jan-17 15:26:55

i read the line on mn a lot that basically you can't rationalise/ work with/ negotiate with narcissists.
we seem to spend so much time going over they said this and why did they do that.
my husband seems to think that if he could just say how he feels then his family would just say "oh, im so sorry, you are right, we have been awful. now lets fix things". in reality he is terrified of doing that.
Also the truth of the matter is that they have all gotten on with their lives and no they longer really need him/ us. his siblings (who were once the black sheeps) have fallen into line and are doing as they are told so we are on the outside now. i wish i could have buy an emotional tippex from amazon and just blot them out. its a psychologists dream come true.

rhuhbarb4 Sun 01-Jan-17 15:35:14

Hope no one minds i am just marking my place here as we desperately want and need nc with dhs family and some of these posts arw brilliant. I will read them out to dh tonight once kiddies are asleep.

jeaux90 Sun 01-Jan-17 15:40:30

It true OP you can't with narcs. Only route is no contact.

mistermagpie Sun 01-Jan-17 15:50:13

In my vast experience (unfortunately) it takes a very very long time to be ok with being NC. I have had several periods of a couple of years NC with my parents and brother and then something happens (a death, divorce etc) and contact resumes. This time it's for good though and it has been over three years since I saw or spoke to any of them. In that time I have got moved house twice, got married, had a baby and am now pregnant with DC#2 - they know nothing of any of this (we don't live near each other and have nobody in common).

I'd say the 'rollercoaster' lasted at least the first year or so and I often nearly wavered, especially in response to the big life-changing events above, but ultimately we are NC for a reason and those reasons still exist. I also realised that those events were about changing MY life and my parents would still be the same people they were.

I can't say I feel nothing, even now. I feel sad for them really, that they are missing out on my son and the joy he brings and that they will never be a part of our lives. I also feel sad for me at times, I would love to have a mum and dad but I always remember that the ones I have are not the ones I picture in my head when I think about that.

I genuinely feel nothing towards my brother at all though, but we were never close and barely saw each other at all anyway. My parents it's different because everyone goes on about 'unconditional' love between parent and child but the fact is, they don't love me and I don't love them. It has taken time to accept that and to face the fact that they could never have felt for me what I feel for my son.

Sorry for the ramble! The upshot is that it takes time and work to be ok with being NC. In lots of ways it is a solution, but don't be fooled that it is a problem-free choice.

wizzywig Sun 01-Jan-17 15:53:23

hi rhubarb post away, its good to share! mistermagpie i think if i didnt have kids it would be easier to handle. instead i have this constant reminder in the form of my own kids. all i think is how could i live with myself knowing that ive made my children so unhappy that they no longer want to see/ speak to me. i just cant imagine it.

jeaux90 Sun 01-Jan-17 16:02:48

I think you have to remind yourself that narcs (assuming that this is why you need to go nc) are not normal like you.

They are hollow shells of beings with no sense of empathy, consequence or normal emotions.

Going nc with my dd's father was protecting me and her.

FaFoutis Sun 01-Jan-17 16:09:14

wizzy, if your dh thinks this:
my husband seems to think that if he could just say how he feels then his family would just say "oh, im so sorry, you are right, we have been awful. now lets fix things"
That's probably what he needs to do in order to be 'happy' with his decision to go nc. My dh wrote his parents a letter telling them how their behaviour affected him, they responded (predictably) by behaving even worse. It reduces the guilt if you have tried, even though at the time the process is painful.

Life is much nicer without the fuckers in our lives but it is a sad thing and I worry about my dh's reaction when they die. It's very difficult to stop hoping that one day your parents will love you, and to break free from childhood conditioning that tells you it is all your fault.

wizzywig Sun 01-Jan-17 16:13:26

humans are so complicated!! we know what makes us feel better, yet we are somehow compelled to go back for more abuse.

FaFoutis Sun 01-Jan-17 16:20:06

MN is really good for this. I read lots of threads on here to help my dh, and my dc who don't have grandparents because of it.
Best of luck to you wizzy.

wizzywig Sun 01-Jan-17 17:06:51

the thing i hate is that they all seem so happy. how dare they?! why cant their world fall apart like ours has

mistermagpie Sun 01-Jan-17 19:32:26

But you don't know that they are so happy really do you? Narcs are never truly happy because they don't know what it means.

I did the thing of telling them how much they had hurt me and what the impact of their behaviour has been years ago and it doesn't help. Narcs will never say 'oh god I feel terrible let's fix this' because they cannot see themselves as the problem, or even part of the problem.

Having kids makes it harder because it makes you realise that your parents/in laws cannot feel the same way about you as you do about your kids. They couldn't and still hurt you so much. But it also makes it easier too - my job is to protect DS from being hurt and I can do that by keeping him away from them.

665TheNeighbourOfTheBeast Sun 01-Jan-17 19:47:28

the thing i hate is that they all seem so happy. how dare they?! why cant their world fall apart like ours has
Because they don't care about you as individuals, they never did.
You are not real to them, just an inconvenient part of them that has now been amputated. And you kind of don't exist anymore for them.

Birdandsparrow Sun 01-Jan-17 20:28:26

Agree with 665 and would also say that often they revel in the whole drama. My mother would claim that me being NC with her has "destroyed" her, but at the same time refuses to make any moves to make amends, because it suits her to be able to be the "victim" of my awful behaviour. My saying I'm so hurt by her that I don't want contact is just turned around to how I am so awful and won't talk to her. It's like talking to a brick wall. She has no interest in solving it as then she'd have nothing to be the victim of.

cafenoirbiscuit Sun 01-Jan-17 21:14:38

I went through relief at first at the silence, then the noise started up in my head - why can't they see how badly they'be behaved etc until I was really bloody angry with them. It's definitely a pattern. Silence will come. You can forgive yourselves - you did the best you could and can do no more. OT will get easier

cafenoirbiscuit Sun 01-Jan-17 21:15:06

it will get easier

Birdandsparrow Sun 01-Jan-17 21:30:11

I think there are cycles (plural) and they go round and round but they gradually lessen in intensity with time.

Imbroglio Sun 01-Jan-17 21:45:37

It's never going to be straightforward. There is a huge sense of loss, even if these people have hurt you. There is frustration (why can't these people just be normal?)? There is anger. And yes, there will be times when you doubt your decision and experience a hankering to give it one more chance.

You know your reasons. Perhaps it would help if you wrote it down? Then it's there and you can remember the envelope rather than having to relive each horrible episode.

I'm not sure about forgiveness. Maybe that comes with time. I don't feel much about the people I'm nc with, except a knot in my stomach at the thought of seeing them.

mistermagpie Sun 01-Jan-17 22:31:25

Birdandsparrow I think we may have the same mother. Mine absolutely loves that I have 'cut her off' (her words) a number of times, it gives her a valuable tool in her narrative as 'victim'.

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