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Has anyone gone NC with parent and regretted it?(29 Posts)
For a bit of background, my DF once again showed himself to be the narcissistic, selfish idiot I've known he is for a while. He has a history of stealing money (from me and my brother's savings as children, from my DM - now divorced from him), cheating (which he justifies as retribution for my mums affair before they were married many years ago), twisting words, imagining himself to be a successful businessman which he isn't (a string of failed businesses including his latest one which is currently falling to pieces).
I went low contact with him about 5 years ago to protect myself as each time something else came out, it hurt like hell.
Things have been good in this time, and I guess I've been letting my guard down gradually and this weekend we went to stay with him and see his new extension and also meet my brothers new 3 week old baby. As soon as we got there it was obvious something was up - it turns out my DF has been siphoning off money into a secret savings account from the joint business he and my brother own 50/50 to the tune of £20,000. Which has paid for his new extension.
My brother always idolised him and never wanted to see his dad in the way I do - and now he has. His heart is breaking, as is mine all over again. They have a 3 week old baby - and now he is looking at finding employment or starting from scratch. He's lost everything.
I'm gutted. Currently considering options - do I go NC? Can I do it? Looking into the future it seems so final and painful. My brother wants nothing more to do with him.
He - typically, as I read more about narcissistic personality types - thinks he's done nothing wrong (he was, after all, just borrowing the money!!!) and said my outpouring of anger and disappointment is making him feel suicidal, which is making me falter to make the final cut. I'm fairly sure that's bull, but it's had the desired effect.
Any help or advice appreciated - did going totally NC help you? I'm worried the guilt will cripple me
NC with my dad for nearly a decade.
It isn't easy - at the start it is like a bereavement as you come to terms with the fact you will never see them again. But time does heal.
I am NC with my bio dad and have been for just over two years. He let me down time and time again throughout my life but was very good at emotionally manipulating me. The last straw was a comment that he made after I had a miscarriage and that was it for me. He has made no efforts to contact me since. I occasionally think of him and I wonder what is going on with him, but I don't regret it. Having my own children has made me realise how much of his behaviour was completely unacceptable, and I didn't want his terrible behaviours and attitude to be normalised for them.
You can go NC without actually making that final cut. No need to tell him. Just ignore his calls if he calls. That way it also leaves the door open for you if you did change your mind.
He sounds really nasty.
Nobody EVER takes the decision to go NC lightly
Ok so you have weirdo manipulative people who ghost innocent family members on purpose as punishment or a means to an end, but not a quiet, considered no contact.
I've not heard of anyone who's regretted that decision, no.
And I've been on stately homes threads for a few years now.
You have to be ready for full on NC in my experience. The first time I tried I was destroyed by the guilt and the worry about what was being said behind my back etc and went back on it after about 9 months (it was precipitated by a final nasty email from my parents and possibly a knee jerk reaction).
This time it's easier. I don't care anymore, I'm just not engaged with them. I did tell them that I was no longer going to tolerate their behaviour around my illness (anorexia) in a letter and have ignored everything since. It feels peaceful and calm this time, rather than anxious and frantic.
You know you don't have to "go NC" don't you? Just cut him out for a bit and see how you feel. Be too busy for calls or texts and just ignore. If you find that you are happy with it then extend the status to permanent. If you're not find a new course.
Being made to feel guilty by a parent isn't normal or functional though, so the guilt you might feel is because he is unpleasant. Can you maybe spend some time with a counsellor working through the guilt stuff (took me about 4 years to understand that).
Been NC with my mother for 2 years now, never regretted it once. But as another poster said, it is like a bereavement. It can be confusing emotionally when society dictates how we should always love our parents. To me, blood isn't necessarily thicker than water. You can do it.
I don't know if you have kids, but I decided to go nc when my first was tiny, it was the catalyst because i wanted to protect her.
Good luck! X
It is a bereavement and when it's the only option you can take to protect yourself mentally etc it hurts. Like nothing else on earth.
It keeps hitting you day in and day out for a while
You sort of forget you're nc, then you remember, then go through the memory trigger process and remember the hurt that made you go nc in the first place
It's like peeling off layers and layers of already very sore skin.
Eventually it gets easier to bear.
I'm non contact with my mother - will be three years this summer
I don't regret it at all.
My life is so much easier without waiting for the inevitable text or phone call to give you a good old verbal kicking topped off with a large dose of guilt and martyrdom
I wobble sometimes, mainly when I hear about the things other grandparents do for their grandchildren and I hurt that mine don't have that, but I remind myself that even if we were in contact, she wouldn't be that grandparent anyway and I don't want my own children poisoned against me, like I'd know she'd try to do
This is not an easy decision and like a op said, no one goes nc lightly but you have to get to a point where you save yourself or get dragged under by them
Looking into the future it seems so final and painful.
Because it is and regret is not something you can wipe away so I'd think long and hard about NC and tbh this is between him and your brother, and he is saying it's a loan? Have you and your brother actually sat down with him and discussed this properly and fully?
I could never go NC with any of my family, not unless they were actually putting me or my family in danger; yes they get on my tits at times and yes they infuriate me but you only get one mum and one dad, nobody is perfect although I get when things are so bad it's affecting your health then yes NC might be your only option.
I've been NC with my father for about 9 or 10 years - I don't know exactly how long as I never think about it. I was in my mid 20s anyway. Honestly, I didn't find it that difficult as by the time I decided I just didn't want to engage with him any more he'd pushed me over a period of years to a point where I genuinely had no fucks left to give. He wasn't abusive, just hard work in many ways, told lies, let me down time and again and made it abundantly clear that I wasn't really an important factor in his life and I just got to a point where I didn't want to deal with it any more. He was bringing nothing good to my life, just guilt tripping and angst and stress. Fuck that.
It does help that I have a fantastic relationship with my DM and DStepdad, no siblings to take into account and I don't live in the same country so never going to bump into him or anything. Anyway, I've never regretted it, like I said I never even think about it, haven't done for years. Obviously it's sad in the sense that it's one of those things that in an ideal world you wouldn't have to do, but sometimes you just have to walk away for your own sanity. I wish you all the best whatever decision you make
Tell your brother to take him to court and put a charge on his house and force a sale. And yes NC is the way forward.
^ thinks he's done nothing wrong (he was, after all, just borrowing the money!!!) and said my outpouring of anger and disappointment is making him feel suicidal, which is making me falter to make the final cut^
Tell him that you will talk to him again after he's paid back the money, and only then.
Keep to it.
That's not meant to be glib. But it puts the responsibility right back in his court.
you will need time to grieve. Discovering your father is a shit of the first order is a real shock and it takes time to grieve both the father you have, and the father that you want him to be but he never will.
It's hard, even harder when people don't usually talk about dysfunctional parents and so you feel lonely.
But your father really is a callous man.
adora the thing is, he is putting people in danger. My brother has to find money to pay his mortgage and feed and clothe his newborn and financially support his partner. In the past he's borrowed money from me when I barely had any myself (student at the time), for me to find a picture post on Facebook of him on holiday with his latest girlfriend abroad 2 weeks later. I kid you not. It is so much more than him 'getting on my tits', it's mine and my brother's mental health, it's our lives, the lives he created himself and seems to be happy to ruin! We have spoken about it yes (a 5 hour exhausting and frustrating conversation), and was met with complete denial that he'd done anything wrong both in this instance and those before it and a "but don't I deserve some happiness? What about my feelings? Why is everyone ganging up on me?". I only have one father, certainly, but what good is one like this?
seaeagle that's a sensible option, he does usually pay back what he's taken of enough fuss is made so at least that would provide my brother with something. I'm not sure he wants it though, he feels it would be tainted.
fish my brother had threatened court action when he first found out - DF was horrified and outraged that his only son would consider doing such a thing to his father! Funny though, that he doesn't have a problem stealing from his son, eh?
One thing I know for sure is I can never trust him again, and therefore my forgiveness is limited.
Thank you for every reply, I appreciate it. It was cathartic writing it out. I have some thinking to do.
It's nearly 20 years since I went mostly NC with parents - frigid politeness on my part at family events, which is greeted with head turning away and blanking that would make a five year old proud. No regrets.
But what I do have is sadness and grief for the parents I should have had, that many people do have; parents who love unconditionally, who put their children first, who create stable warm and loving homes, and who give good enough emotional support. What I realised in the process of going NC was not that I was losing my parents, but that I had actually never had them, and so my grief was for something that had never existed but should have. When they die, I think I will grieve again - not because I didn't make it up with them - I've tried and they won't, but because that will be the final end of even the faintest hope that they might want to change.
Have been NC from my father since I was 14 (divorced parents, half my siblings continued to see him)
NC from my mother since I was 21. (other half of siblings continue to see her)
Sometimes I do feel a little sad about it, however I never feel as angry and distraught as when I have my siblings on the phone and hear about the shit (émotionnel & financial) my parents continue to pull on them, and how it affects my siblings.
Had a very long discussion with my sisters husband this weekend (he made a 5 hour train trip to come and see me - my sister is away on fieldwork) about how sad he that my parents inflict such shit on her. We cannot tell her to go NC too, that is her choice, but how we wish she would, she is such a beautiful articulate succesful woman, who takes no crap in any other domaine in her life, yet puts up with so much from my parents, they often reduce her to tears from 100s of Km away.
I am surrounded by other people who love me. It does sound very cliché, but I do feel very loved.
They used to pick me up "with a teaspoon" as we say in french whenever I returned from seeing my mother. And I came to the conclusion that it wasn't fair, wasn't fair on the people who love me, the people who care for me, to put them situations of having to console me about my crap parents. And it wasn't fair on me.
All that to say, you are an adult now, you can make the choice, of who does you good and wishes you well.
Well wishes should be welcome in your life.
Of course it is painful to go NC, but you have to ask yourself if you are willing to put up the pain that staying in contact brings. You can choose your pain. And own it.
I wish you the best of luck.
Adora - I don't men to be rude, but that "you only have one dad, they can get in your nerves but ...." Is soooo painful for the child of a true marc to hear.
A truly narcissistic parent makes your life an absolute misery. They make you question your own sanity, and damage every other relationship you have because your head is so screwed.
For various reasons, I could not go NC with my dad while he was alive. Since he died, it has taken me 3 years to get my head straight and recover from his abuse. Going NC via his death was the best thing that ever happened to me.
Your father sounds bloody toxic OP - cut him out. It will hurt so much for a long time, but it will save you in the end.
I think what is hard when thinking about this is that there is a 'normal range' about family relationships that says that nobody is perfect, we all have our quirks and because we're blood we rub along, and when we really need each other we are there for each other etc etc. And I think Adora's comments come from this place - s/he has a dad who is in that normal range, and for most people what she says is right, and I'm glad for her/him. But then there are some of us whose parents are not in that normal range and for whom none of that normal stuff applies and then the only way to find emotional safety is to minimise or cut out all contact and begin to heal away from the source of the damage.
I dunno, when your 'only one dad' leaves you without food in order to go on holiday and takes 20K out of your brother's account, betraying his trust, I think that love needs to take a long hard look at what's going on.
broken hearts - and a betrayal of trust on this scale leads to broken hearts - don't heal easy
would you suggest that someone stay with their husband if they stole, lied, left their wife hungry?
You don't have to do the full whammy all at once. It's a HUGE decision and you can take your time, see how it goes.
I struggled with contact for many years with my parents, getting the right 'dosage'. I'm glad I didn't go entirely nc bcs now they are ancient and very much need my help: I have a good relationship with them
bordering on very good now. They are damaged, therefore damaging, people. I can see now they did the best they could with a shocking heritage.
I think accepting a parent for who they are is a process, it takes time as you let go the hopes and work through the grief. A narc is a different thing altogether, there is only one option with a narc. Thankfully, true Narcs are rare.
Why is it that pretty much every thread where the agonising NC issue is being considered, some monumental idiot pops up to trot out the clueless "you only have one..."
Don't you think we know that already? The only mum/dad/whatever we have is vile/hateful/hurts us/our children, leaves us with mental hang ups and irrational fears/wipes us out/whatever...
I don't want this comment deleted, so I'll leave out what I want to say next, but Adora... and any other who thinks the same You have no clue of the damage being caused in dynamics such as these, and good for you that you do.
We wish more than anything that things for us were different to how they are.
I rarely post these days.
Very, honest & heartening post Hissy Thankyou.
Often if you grow up with parents who place a greater value on their 'thoughts, feelings & opinions' it does hurt & causes harm. Not being treated equally does. To undo this damage, it takes alot of work & is not easy. To let go of a sense of self blame/guilt & acknowledging how your parents behave is not your fault, your are not responsible for & beyond your control is very painful. However with that pain comes acceptance. And acceptance is the greatest gift you can give yourself xxx
Adora with the greatest respect, your comment, although meaning well, is hugely damaging & could feel quite re-victimising.
LittleShoutyMouse I'm sorry about what you are going through
Whether you choose to go NC or not, you have nothing to regret. Your Dad should feel regret for how he has treated you & your brother & acted before he lost you both but didn't.
You have done the right thing, standing by you brother, who has been hurt by your dad's behaviour, your brother is lucky to have you.
Sending thoughts of strength to you xxx
Thank you for the support and hand holding all, it's really lovely to read and makes me see that I am not alone to have been through these feelings. It's strangely comforting, so thank you.
I asked my mum for clarification on what he took when we were younger last night. I knew it involved their joint pension/savings but no more than that. She reluctantly told me: £6,000 in savings in 1990 and in 2003 my dgm (mum's mum) died and left her £60,000 in her will, which was put into an offset mortgage. DF accessed this pot of money somehow and took £30,000 of it to pay off business debt that she didn't know about (and presumably was never meant to find out). Thankfully it got recovered when she divorced him and they sold the house.
I'm utterly disgusted. Feeling strangely calm today but I have a feeling the rage will be along shortly.
Also slightly cross that DM wasn't more forceful in stopping my DB going to business with him when he did, but I am trying to remind myself it's DF I need to be angry at.
Adora, it's very clear that you haven't experienced the depth of mental and emotional damage a narc parent can do to their son/daughter. I have a narc mother and am currently going through some bad times, after waves of realising that the mother I should have got, never existed. The mother I did get, unfortunately, did a monumental amount of emotional damage to my self-esteem/confidence and she ground my MH into the pavement.
I became antisocial (not going out unless absolutely necessary), kept to myself, and out of a false sense of duty, went round to her house to help out, only to be met with a barrage of verbal abuse about how much of a shit daughter I was when my dad died. I lost my shit with her and walked out, but not before telling her that I'd only make the same effort in our relationship that she was prepared to make, and that I wouldn't stop the kids from seeing her, but I was leaving it to them to call round when THEY want to.
Funny enough, DS and DD have seen how mum treats me and want nothing to do with mum. The one saying I will always go by is this: ^If a person wants to be in your life, they'll be happy to make the effort. If they don't make any effort at all, then that tells you all you need to know about them (that they don't think you're worth it)^.
My mum has not made one single phone call to ask how the DC are in *over 7 years*. Nor has she called round to see them, despite passing in front of our previous house, to go to the shop. She has rung once to tell me that my dad was in hospital, but that was over 5yrs ago. Narcs can make you feel unloved, unwanted, worthless etc. They can grind your sense of self down until you literally feel like the only way out of that dark hole, is to end it all. Luckily I have a wonderfully supportive husband, who has seen mum for the person she really is, and if it wasn't for DH, my dad, my lovely friends and DC, I wouldn't be here telling you this. I got through it, and it made me see that I didn't have to have any contact with her.
So Adora, I might only have one mum, but I would rather not have had one, than the one I got. You see, just because you give birth to DC, it doesn't give you the right to destroy them mentally and emotionally.
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