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Disowning a family member
This is by far the most difficult thread I've ever written. Finally after using my heart as my guide all my life, my head is taking over in order to save myself from serious longer term harm.
And that's the reason for this thread- limiting grief and moving forward.
Blood is an attachment that cant be described. As children our parents are our life, our security, our nurturing. We never expect to disown them. Our own children is what we created, we protect, we feed, we devote...we never expect to disown them.
How far do you proceed with a family member when the relationship is unworkable? If it is unworkable how long do you endure any toxicity before you enter a self protection/preservation mode? Forever? Some of us presume so. Or we live in hope that it will work out one day.
My first wife used silence as a very effective hurtful weapon. It isn't easy describing the feeling of being ineffective with combatting it. I divorced her in 1996. Only recently did I stumble on the reason why it is used as a weapon and what you can do about it.
Silent Treatment: Preferred Weapon of People with Narcissism
So, one of my daughters is 26yo and since she was 14yo she has showed strong traits of this. She lived with her mother and I had her for visitations every second weekend and holidays. Obviously her mother had a strong influence on her and that has been on display every time her and I have communication. Every two years or so my daughter re-enters my life to create havoc. At first its fine, we talk (only on Facebook messenger as that gives her control to block me if she so desires) then after a couple of weeks of great communication - she is gone! no contact. Why?
Control. My daughter is in control of when she communicates. She is well aware of the hurt she inflicts.
Recently I developed that attitude, now for the hard bit- getting on with my life with people that love and adore me.
PS I recently read the following phrases-
- Not every time losing a person in your life - is a loss
- I believe that Narcissists deserve our compassion, but compassion does not involve giving them permission to hurt other people or overlooking any damage that they do.” “I am a recovering narcissist. I thought narcissism was about self-love till someone told me there is a flip side to it.
- I'm not weak, I was trusting.
- I'm not giving up, I'm healing.
- There is life after narcissistic abuse, Hold On!
That was very brave of you to write this and share so much of your experience with others, so that it may benefit them. As well as yourself, I just wanted to compliment you on your courage.
So many things you have written have hit home hard for me, such as
"how long do you endure any toxicity before you enter a self protection/preservation mode? Forever? Some of us presume so. Or we live in hope that it will work out one day." and " then after a couple of weeks of great communication - she is gone! no contact. Why? Control. My daughter is in control of when she communicates. She is well aware of the hurt she inflicts." I am going through this, except ofcourse it is not my daughter.
The more I read about narcassists the more I realise what a trap i have sunk into. I had no idea what a narcassist was until further research on the net and then suddenly realising that it is indeed abuse I am enduring. How I feel so weak, but like the phrases you have shared, I was just trusting.
On the flip side, can I ask your thoughts on this. I am a quiet person by nature. The lady I was seeing for a year was in a long marriage where her exhusband was a evil narc, often using silence as a weapon. I have tried to convince her for over a year i was not ignoring her, forcing myself to speak more then i normally would to reassure her that my nature is quiet. even though I tried to endlessly assure her I was not ignoring her, being silent towards her etc, to this day she associates my quiet nature to her exhusbands narc/silent treatment. I had to talk more, be more social then I am comfortable with. I guess you could say she is used to her friends talking non stop. Thats just not me.
Now I am holding onto hope that I never place myself in this position again. I dont want to be alone, it means trusting someone all over again.
I truly hope you do have people who love and adore you, to carry you through this, it cannot be easy. I note you mentioned it was the most difficult thread you have written.
I have unfortunately been the child where I ceased communication, with my mum several times, with my dad once.
My dad also suffers mental health issues and I now am more understanding of what happened the day we stopped talking. We had an altercation relating to my children where we ended up physically and mentally harming each other. I chose at that point, to walk away and have no more communication with him. Over about 2-3 years, I would get an email, asking how myself and my family were, but i chose not to reply, I got an invitation to his wedding, but chose to ignore it. At the time, I was protecting my family from what I saw as "a monster" although the events of the day were wrong, I see how i reacted was hurtful towards him also. We have been speaking for almost a year again now and things are better than ever, supporting each other through our problems.
My mum is a different story, she plays innocent to the family, convinces herself and others around her that I need to "get over it". I can't count the number of times I have been told by members of that side of the family to "just forgive her" however I have, many times, to have it happen again and again.
I guess it is hard as you want those lines of communication, there are your blood, your family. However hard it is, sometimes it is easier to just let go rather than repeat the pain. But again, I can understand the fatherly side wants to help your children all you can.
Would she be open to a mediation session with a therapist to maybe get some insight into your feelings and maybe help you understand if something has happened to put her in this position other than your ex's guidance?
Thankyou for your response.
Re: On the flip side, can I ask your thoughts on this. I am a quiet person by nature. The lady I was seeing for a year was in a long marriage where her exhusband was a evil narc, often using silence as a weapon. I have tried to convince her for over a year i was not ignoring her, forcing myself to speak more then i normally would to reassure her that my nature is quiet. even though I tried to endlessly assure her I was not ignoring her, being silent towards her etc, to this day she associates my quiet nature to her exhusbands narc/silent treatment. I had to talk more, be more social then I am comfortable with. I guess you could say she is used to her friends talking non stop. Thats just not me"
It is very common for a partner that has been abused to continue with that fear with a new partner or friend, even work colleagues.
This scarring deserves counseling really but it is so eide spread. The answer imo comes from meeting each other half way. Eg if she thinks you are quiet because you are upset with her, a code word can be asked like "how's teddy" to which you reply "great dolly". That is her asking if you are upset and its you telling her you are not and you are just quiet.
Her insecurities are met and you havent gone too far out of your quiet comfort zone.
You can come up with your own words and after a while it will come natural. But insecure people that are scarred need extra reassurance.
Hi again CA
Guilt is bad. Ive had it all my life from my mother over criticising me and manipulation
I wrote this thread from that. Use google
Beyondblue Topic guilt the tormentor
Also, as a human your best should always be good enough. If it isnt then others expectations are too high and often there is alternative reasons.
Separation times between children and parents are tough. We can never feel we can fill that hole in our hearts. So we have to accept that the hole will remain and sometimes they change for the better. With my daughter it is highly unlikely she will change. Narcissists rarely if ever change along with sufferers if extreme BPD. But if they seek help we dhould always support them.
my ex wife never said sorry for anything in 11 years. My daughter the same. They know what they do is cruel but their lust for control is paramount.
Fill the rest of your heart with love and care. Fill it with an active life. I mean, my little dog ditting on my lap right now provides me with more love than my daughter has in 15 years.
Perspective is a good thing to exercise.
No, she wont go to counseling. The problem with narcissists and some BPD people they eont get help and if they do they only last a few weeks before leaving on the basis the counselor nereds the help not them.
It's good you got back with your dad. That action of yours to stay away and ignore contact might be an act of narcissism but unlikely. We can all feel we need to break away. With a narcissist its a natural game for them. Quite different
Family members of your mother putting pressure on you to forgive- I had that also. I have a saying "only the child of my mother knows what its like to be her child " and "I dont interfere with your relationship with your mother, so let it be".
Your relationship with other people is your choices and decisions.
Sometimes we have let people into our lives without the boundaries needed to protect ourselves.
Beyondblue Topic fortress of survival
Beyondblue Topic fortress of survival part 2
Queen witch hermit waif
Thanks for responding
The more I read about narcissism the more I realise how common it is.
Of course it could be confused with arrogance to, even bad attitude.
A narc likes to elevate themselves over you- so you remain below them. Saying sorry, any concession, in their eyes raises you to be equal which is not their objective, robbing them of power.
Self preservation is our responsibility. We are not responsible for how our children turn out if all the basics of upbringing have been introduced but a narcissist child will remind you of what you did wrong rather than love you for the good things you did.
With that ongoing it wears you down. The parental dedication tells you to hang in there. "It not matter if she was in jail for a heinous crime she is still my daughter"...but, that dedication level will harm you. That dedication is what they play with....they know you are hurting, empathy is non existent. The phone wont ever ring, they wait for us to contact because their narcissism is stronger than our heart. Ringing you means they need you
Well I have a choice, I choose sanity and the company of people that will enhance my life.