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Toxic Family - sudden contact(15 Posts)
This may be long. I will try and explain as much as possible to avoid drip feeding.
I went NC with my family at the start of last year. It took a lot for me to do that and I had low contact from mid 2015. My DM committed suicide when I was 17 and DD died of cancer in 2014. I have 1 brother, a SM who was married to my dad for about 16 years when he died and a few aunts and uncles and GP's as well as a SIL that I do not have contact with.
In my view - and the view of my psychologist - it is best for me to go NC because my family is very toxic, I was never good enough, I always did something wrong etc etc.
I got on really well with both my parents and they were never an issue, My mum had a mental illness and I believe my dad didn't see the toxicity of my family because he had been used to it since a child. It all really went downhill after my dad died.
It started off, when my dad found out his cancer was terminal that my SM would not let me come over and see him, if I called (even his mobile) she would answer and make excuses as to why I could not talk to my dad, because of that I hadn't seen him for about a month before he died, something that still hurts a lot now. I also wanted a say in his funeral and I told my SM this, she was very resistant and told me I couldn't have a say. The rest of my family backed her up, saying she was grieving, her husband just died etc. I understand that but I also lost my dad and I didn't want to take over just have a say like pick a favourite photo or a song he really liked or a funny memory mentioned etc. All attempts were blocked by my stepmother.
After my dad's funeral my family only called me when they wanted something. I was a single mum at the time, worked part time and studied. They told me I was neglecting my DC because I was working but after I was made redundant they told me I was being a bad mum for not working. At this point it was mid 2015 and I limited what they could see on my facebook and only spoke to them on special occasions.
End of 2015 I was out with friends one night and I made the stupid decision to take some drugs, yes I know I was stupid and it was the only time I had taken them and I know there is no excuse for it, anyway my friend was driving (completely sober) and we were in a car accident. We were taken to hospital and I did tell staff I had taken drugs, they were very understanding and did a blood test. I had forgotten to change my next of kin at the hospital and they called my SM and she came into the hospital, the nurse let her into the cubicle as the doctor was discussing the drugs I had taken so she found out I had taken drugs, she promptly told the rest of my family and constantly went on about how I was scum, I was just some junkie slut etc.
Around this time a relative came out of prison, he is a registered child sex offender and for obvious reasons I have no contact with him. My family were going on about how concerned they were about him because he might commit suicide, he had an illness and needed help, he paid his debt to society etc etc. I became very annoyed because they were telling me how horrible I am and I am scum etc yet were supporting this relative unconditionally.
I sent a group text to SM , DB, SIL, GPS and aunts and uncles explaining that I knew taking drugs was wrong, but was it really worth them abusing me all the time about it when they could easily forgive my relative when he had done something much worse?
All I got back was abuse, about how ungrateful I was because they provided me with money when I needed it and my SM could have turned her back on me but didn't and that they are 'upper class' so I must have had a wonderful childhood when I mentioned that I always felt like nothing I did was good enough.
Anyway long story short I cut contact with them in January last year. I had not heard from them until I got a phone call a few days ago. My grandmother called and said she got my phone number from my abusive ex (we have to have each others numbers because of child contact) and said that I had to be at her place on christmas day at this time. I explained to her that the kids and I were going to my boyfriends mums house and it had already been organised weeks ago and to please respect my wish of no contact and to not contact me again. She started saying how ungrateful I was and selfish etc so I hung up. The next day I received a call from my brother saying the same thing and again I hung up. I know it was only 2 calls but every time my phone rings now I jump and get anxious thinking it is them. I am also feeling very guilty because my grandmother said my grandfather is very sick and his dying wish is to see me. I have mentioned this to my boyfriend who told me it was my decision but reminded me how depressed and anxious they used to make me (he has known me since school and has seen their behaviour through the years). I guess I am asking how to deal with the guilt? I have no idea if my grandfather is as sick as my grandmother made out but in the past my family have said similar to get me to talk to them again.
Also for context, here is some of the stuff they have done throughout the years:
- I stupidly let my kids stay with my grandparents for a week in early 2015 and they had my kids baptised without my knowledge or consent and told my kids not to tell me.
- My SM a few years before I went NC hacked into my Facebook account and told everyone I was an alcoholic even though I only drunk at social gatherings and she kept bringing alcohol over
- My SIL and brother (both devout christians where as I am not) told me and my kids we were going to hell because we didn't go to church
- If I didn't want to attend a dinner or something I would be inundated with texts until I agreed
- when my ex was violent towards my DD (not his child) and I kicked him out, my grandmother said she had spoken to him, he admitted it and said he was having a 'bad parenting day'
- All of them would constantly badmouth my mum
- My boyfriend had to step between my SM and myself when we saw her at a park once when I was there with my kids. She was being verbally abusive and she was coming toward me and looked like she was going to punch me so boyfriend stepped in front of me and told her to leave or he would call the police (this was not a planned meeting)
- they told me I was unfair to my ex for getting an order against him because of the violence and he was 'very upset'. Police advised me to get it because they were worried about my safety.
- When my SM witnessed my ex choking me she told me I provoked him and if I just agree with him it wouldn't happen
also I only ever took the drugs that once, never again
block their numbers and carry on NC. You know this is all a ploy to drag you back in, don't engage. Good luck OP x
You don't need to re-engage with them.
Them asking you to be somewhere at a particular time and place without explanation is making me anxious on your behalf.
Could you ask them to communicate via a third party? I was going to suggest a solicitor but I have no idea if that is workable.
Don't beat yourself up about the drugs. You've clearly owned it and moved on. Forget it.
Thank you. With regards to my ex, normally we do speak through solicitors but for emergencies court order says we have to have each others numbers. He has given it out to them which has made me very uncomfortable. My brother tried calling again and I asked my boyfriend to answer because I just can't deal with it at the moment. My boyfriend told my brother that he needs to respect my request to stop calling and this is now harrassment.
You've had to deal with so so much Op. I wish I could give you a hug.
You owe these horrible people nothing and you get nothing positive out of being in contact with them, only misery. Cut all lines of contact and live free. They're vile.
Am sending you and best wishes for the future.
And forget the drug incident- we all make mistakes. Your family however are just horrid people.
Please listen to your psychologist here. Do not engage at all with such people; doing so just gives them an "in" to bother you even more. Block and ignore is my counsel here, you must not give any of them any headspace. Some toxic families as well do use flying monkeys (your brother) and previously unknown health problems to try and bring what they see as recalcitrant relatives (in this case you) back into their dysfunctional fold. Do not fall for it.
Fear, obligation and guilt are but three of many legacies such dysfunctional people leave their relatives; deal with that properly via counselling with your psychologist.
Do you have an iPhone? If so you can block people.
Ignore ignore ignore. I've had the "dying wish of the grandparents" card played. Fell for it. Turns out it was bullshit and I'd just opened myself up to more abuse. I should have ignored it. People are strange...
I just kept thinking how disappointed my dad would be if he could see us now. He did stick up for me a lot. I don't know I am second guessing myself again.
Your Dad may be disappointed about the situation, but I doubt he would be disappointed with you. It sounds like you've got a very good insight into how toxic your 'family' are and whilst taking drugs isn't necessarily the most sensible thing to do - You're owning your mistake and have learnt from it.
This time of year always makes things harder, I find - I also find that Christmas time makes you question rational decisions you made earlier as we're sold the 'Everyone has to be with family at Christmas'.
Are you able to block numbers on your phone? Could you possibly have 2 mobile numbers? 1 for your ex and 1 for everyone else? (even if one is a PAYG SIM card) I can appreciate being jumpy as I felt like that when I had some weirdo work colleague who wouldn't leave me alone.
Let your boyfriend support you - I'd ignore and block any call from your family members, but if there's an unusual number, then let your boyfriend answer it. Don't see them on Christmas day - they don't want to be kind and supportive to you, they're probably missing their scapegoat and want you back in the fold so they can continue the abuse.
I understand. I can't imagine what my dad would say if he could see what happened to his lovely family after he died. He'd be heartbroken. But I think he would also be very glad I have stepped away and am protecting my children, his grandchildren. And I bet your dad would feel the same.
Are they calling your mobile or your landline? If you are with BT, you can add a call barring service to your package. Then if someone phones, even if it's withheld you put a pin into the phone and that number is blocked. You can also add any phone numbers that you have knowledge of and want to block to your service. I have been there, I had my phone go straight onto answer machine so that I knew who was calling and then blocked the number straight away. It was perfect, no having to talk to them or worrying about them phoning!
If it is a mobile they are calling, then surely there must be a way to block their number? I would contact your mobile phone provider and ask for advice. Or look for information on youtube/ online.
Stay strong, avoid the narcissists and the flying monkeys! You are nc for a reason, one phone call and they have caused you grief and anxiety!
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