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Fortress of survival

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Xmas tests us folk. Its a time every year that has the most stress, sadness due to family divide and the close of the year has us reviewing our relationships. Fear not for its actually a great opportunity.

Only you can take control in the new year to ensure that Xmas next year will be a better one as will 2017 overall.

We need to take control by making hard decisions. We are soft people that don't have the hardened mentality of others. We need to draw a line in the sand and build a wall to self preserve.

Im into my 7th year of doing thus. Each year I fine tune my relationships. People know now that my dealings with them are conditional. They know if they are disloyal, manipulative, uncaring, demanding or inconsiderate...their time with me is limited or even terminal. The way they've seen how I've removed some from my life...even my mother.

In fact my now 85yo mother is the best example. Likely with chronic BPD with heavy narcissistic and manipulative tendencies she ruined my first wedding, lied about her health and would not assist me with my mental health struggles as her issues were always more important and severe.

The line was drawn. The wall was erected. The cost has been loss of relatives that she was able to convince of my wickedness. So be it. As I say to some "my mother has some good points...its the bad points I cannot live with" and "only a child of my mother knows what that is like".

But most importantly, those that you keep around you also need care. Having a mental illness isn't a one way street, we need to, when able, reach out and show appreciation.

I have a dear friend a single grandmother. She told me quietly she was depressed a few weeks ago. Since then I subtlety sent her a beyondblue link about depression and asked how she has been. Last night she had recovered and thanked me for my input. She knows of my struggles. It was a good feeling helping someone that has been there for me.

Reach out to the right people but save up your bricks for that wall to hold back the intruders.

Forgive them for they not know what they do. But don't feel guilty when you mortar in that last brick.

Those types don't know how to treat you or help you. Let those birds of a feather flock together.

Then next year you can learn to fly around with your own, because you've created a "safe mode" of your own life. You would have in effect taken action as important as some medical treatments

You were decisive to ensure a happier survival...

Tony WK

23 Replies 23

Community Champion
Community Champion
Dear Tony
I agree and would like to tell a related tale – doesn’t have any particular Xmas significance, but does deal in new starts & I hope you feel does reinforce what you are saying. For the skeptical it is not a fairy tale, it a true recounting of a portion of my life

I was born into a family with what was called in 40's Britain as ‘having standing’. There was more than sufficient money, and there were strong ties to the establishment and the clergy

I grew up in what could be seen as a privileged environment, English Public Schools - with even a short stint overseas. When young my parents were in my eyes, as with just about all children, normal and authority figures. Naturally as a (by and large) obedient son I obeyed their wishes and just as importantly shared their very narrow world view

As I got older it became apparent even to me that I was not an entity in my own right, but my parents’ instrument. With any major departure from their wishes resulting in a family melt-down featuring emotional blackmail, threats and recriminations

This came to a head when I met my first wife. She was completely different in personality from my parents and came from a very different walk in life. Not surprisingly my mother deemed her quite ‘unsuitable’. At that point I rebelled, married and was formally disinherited

This was my saving. Not only did I for the first time really stand on my own two feet, I learned to give and receive love, and the responsibilities of earning a living without a financial pillow to fall back on. My world view broadened considerably and became a lot more realistic and tolerant

I was in short happy, loved and useful

This incident bears no relation to my mental injury that invalided me out of the police, that was years in the future and resulted from experiences there. Without the strength I gained when I set aside my parents I doubt I’d have survived later on

I’ve never bothered to sort out a diagnosis for my parents’ mental state, no doubt there is one. The moral of the tale is that one does indeed have to discard harmful relationships and build healthy ones. To comment on your quote Forgive them for they not know what they do, they did know, and in later years they had my pity rather than my forgiveness

For those that have a weakness for happy endings we were married for 25 years until she passed away. She was my tower when I was mentally injured, and I hope I was hers during her long final illness

My best wishes

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Croix,

A very appropriate post for this thread.

The further we go back in generations the greater the claim of ownership by parents over their children. Doing as you're told has its limits for many of us but some can't break free.

Emotiinsl blackmail is a classic narcissistic trait. My mother used it for years. "If you don't break off with that Catholic girl I'll pack my bags and go to the country for a few weeks". My answer " I'll help you pack". Unfortunately up until 1992 if I fell out with her I lost my father. She knew it. Her power was awesome until I took control...the theme of this thread. When he passed she lost her power.

You have survived Croix. You wonderful wife and you, a team effort prevailed. For some reason some parents find it impossible to apologize to their adult children. But you found love. Amazing.

There are other ex police here also, with anxiety, PTSD and the like. For me working in the RAAF, pentridge jail, dog ranger, security and investigations one feels like one was at the forefront of society's moral diving board. Forcably retired like you I've ploughed myself into building my own caravan and becoming grey nomads.

Thankyou for adding your story. You have every reason to be proud of your decision so many years ago.

It was the right one.

Such examples hopefully will give readers a sense of personal power. Such power is not to be misused. Be careful readers that you be certain of your decision. We are indeed talking survival with this topic. To give yourself every opportunity to lessen pressure from your life and smile more often.

Tony WK

My wife and I attending her mothers home for Xmas lunch today.

By 2pm we were full of food and informed my wife's auntie was arriving at 5pm for Xmas supper.

She has proven toxic to me for a few years so, a few minutes walk with my wife we decided that when her auntie arrived I would greet her but I'd be playing snooker with my FIL.

This worked a treat. 90 minutes after her arrival we departed. We exchanged pleasantries and little conversation.

No controversy, no guilt, no conflict and my wife spent time talking to HER auntie.

My "fortress of survival" worked well.

Tony WK

Your words have helped me greatly gentlemen.


Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear C~

Thanks for saying that, while Tony has excellent threads and views I'm always a little reluctant to put down anything that puts me in a good light - legacy of my British aversion to blowing my own trumpet I guess. So in this instance I know taking the plunge and letting others know was the right thing to do.

As you can see from my greeting I've seen some of what you have written and get the impression you are finding being here is good for you - I'm glad


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Dear Croix,

Let me encourage you to put things down that sees you in a good light.

Light eluminates the darkness.

If someone is going through a dark time & reads someone else's light/good story it just might be what they need to help them through.

Remember your good light is your and others guide while the darkness can put a cover on all that's good.

Be that light eluminating through the dark...

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Steph~

You are a lovely supportive person.

Twice I've typed out a post in:


but could not bring myself to hit the POST button, too painful and also for the reason I gave above.

Thanks to you I hit the button the third time now


Community Member

I totally relate & had to put boundaries in place with family for my own mental health !

Thank you for this post, it has indeed been helpful to me!


Community Champion
Community Champion
Read it White Knight and it scares me a little..