Seriously considering going NC for the first time

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GarlicMaster

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Seriously considering going NC for the first time
« on: June 30, 2018, 05:46:37 PM »
I have been very LC with my family for over a year now. I moved to the other side of the world 3 years and this distance helped massively with the process. At first I still kept in regular contact with my younger sister and even Skyped with my parents a few times a year. I never spoke alone with them, I always had my partner by my side for support (and my parents were fairly well behaved for the most part). After finding a therapist and taking time to seriously focus on myself and healing, I began to put some firmer boundaries in place with my FOO. I sent them an email explaining this to them, and to my surprise the response was respectful and they thanked me for informing them of what was going on. However, in the past month the emails from family members have started again and I am starting to feel myself crumble a little under the pressure and guilt of it all. Another major thing has happened in my life during this period that is contributing to this stress  is that my spouse recently came out as trans and has decided to transition (a decision I am fully in support of). I know that this is most likely not going to go down well with my family (my mother has in the past expressed trans-phobic views). I know that if I tell my FOO this will most likely be used as something they will try and manipulate me with by planting seeds of doubt in my mind about my marriage. Honestly, the thought of telling them is terrifying. To make matters worse, I suspect that when my partner comes out to their family there is a large chance that they might disown us - which would leave us with no family support on either side. It's a very complex situation.

I always thought that if I worked hard enough on my healing, that maybe one day I would be strong enough to deal with my family, and not let their dysfunction affect me like it does now. To make matters more confusing, since going LC my parents have been pretty well behaved and have even respected my boundaries. I know that I manage my relationship with them very carefully , giving them practically no "ammunition" that can be used against me. I tell them very little about my life, but the constant requests for information such as photographs from them stresses me out. I know that in their minds my behaviour will probably be interpreted as my "issues" (I've always been the identified patient in my family). They are not interested in talking about the past and have always demanded that I "Shut up and move on" (my mother even gave my self-help book with this title to read once, and when I refused, she screamed at me until I caved in!) I've always tried to hold on to the relationship with my younger sister but she is back living with my parents, very much under the control of my mother. It pains me to say, but I find it very difficult to even trust her anymore.

I feel guilty about considering NC when my family aren't doing anything that bad right now. I mean, they are so far away from me (physically), it should be easy to just manage my relationship with them like this at this distance? I can't help but think that until I cut off from them completely, their influence is always going to be in my life somehow. I have such a great desire to just walk way from it all so that I can start living the life that I want - but I question if I am just running away again?

Does anyone relate?







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Libby183

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Re: Seriously considering going NC for the first time
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2018, 12:19:13 AM »
Hi Garlicmaster.

I have been absolutely NC with my entire FOO for over six years now. It was sort of me that initiated it, as a cry for help, but they embraced it fully.

I understand fully your sense of guilt - I felt that for so long. But, as I heal a little,  I  am seeing that I have no reason to feel guilty.  I can see now that it was the only healthy thing to do, for all of us. Every interaction was so distressing for me and my family. Possibly this was the case for my parents as well, but it's hard to say for sure, because their psychological defences are so strong,  namely,  they are perfect and I am awful!

The relationship had nowhere to go, especially as I set about trying to heal a little.

In terms of life events,  your partner's transition is much bigger than my daughter's decision to co-habit,  but I remember feeling so relieved that we were NC because they would have been so difficult and unpleasant and would,  I am sure, have tried to stir up difficulties between me and my daughter.  They are very definite in their views, to say the least!  She has just split with her boyfriend after several years, and I can imagine what they would be saying,  all along the lines of "we told you so" and a lot more besides.

These "toxic"  or "difficult"  parents can't change. They have no will or reason to change. Only you know what is right for you but whatever decision you make, it is the right decision for you, so don't feel guilty. 

Best wishes to you and take care.

Libby.

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Blueberry

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Re: Seriously considering going NC for the first time
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2018, 07:37:37 AM »
I always thought that if I worked hard enough on my healing, that maybe one day I would be strong enough to deal with my family, and not let their dysfunction affect me like it does now. To make matters more confusing, since going LC my parents have been pretty well behaved and have even respected my boundaries. .... I know that in their minds my behaviour will probably be interpreted as my "issues" (I've always been the identified patient in my family). They are not interested in talking about the past ... I've always tried to hold on to the relationship with my younger sister... It pains me to say, but I find it very difficult to even trust her anymore.

I feel guilty about considering NC when my family aren't doing anything that bad right now. I mean, they are so far away from me (physically), it should be easy to just manage my relationship with them like this at this distance?

I can very much relate! About 2 years ago I was in a very difficult FOO situation which showed me how wrong I'd been. Yes, my parents aren't as overtly abusive to me as an adult as you read about on OutOfTheFog or as you sometimes read on here. But the situation 2 years showed me how destructive contact with them is for me. Also the older sib who hit me no longer does, but that's not enough of a change to count. He apologised a long tme ago so I forgave him, I thought. But my Inner Children didn't and they are a part of me. My younger brother who is Golden Child had never told me the truth to my face, he pretended life was fine. I found out via the other sib what younger brother's attitude to me is. Very hurtful. My trust is gone. 

My FOO is also very far away geographically but distancing myself from them emotionally has been / continues to be fraught with difficulties. It sounds as if you might have had better boundaries in place earlier than I did.

I understand the feeling and wishes behind "strong enough to deal with FOO" but I realised that can never be (in my FOO) because FOO needs me as scapegoat, they need to keep me in the position they see me in so that they don't have to look at any of their own problems or the whole family dysfunction. There has been minute change, but it's far too little, far too late. My sibs are both permitted to say "No." to our M, so are their spouses. If I so much as show a tiny little limit, somebody rounds on me. One of the sibs, or F, or even the spouse of one sib.  Also I am of course not 'allowed' to set a limit to F, the spouse of one sib (I don't have a problem with the other spouse), or the sibs. When in face-to-face contact, it's almost impossible for me anyway. I freeze and forget everything I've ever learnt on setting boundaries. The dysfunctionof whole FOO is overpowering.

I can't win their game and I lose so much when I'm in any form of contact (including energy and the little self-esteem I do have, stability, and even ability to form new memories) that I've finally realised that I've spent too long trying to become 'healed enough', 'strong enough' to be in regular contact. So I'm really really VLC. Getting more that way rather than less.

I think it's natural to run away from something that harms you. Would you stick your finger in a hornet's nest? Or if someone else did, would you stand idly by waiting for an angry horde of hornets to come out and sting you? Probably not.

Good luck with this! Keep coming back if it helps you to write about it.
Should is
never good,
for me.

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GarlicMaster

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Re: Seriously considering going NC for the first time
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2018, 08:17:15 PM »
Thank you for your thoughts and replies. It's definitely helping hearing the perspectives of others who have/are going through similar things.  :)

Libby - My feelings are similar to what you described. I feel like our interactions only cause more harm than good, and I worry about the effect this might have on my younger siblings. I know that in the past my sister felt like she was trapped between my mother and I, and I really do not wish to add further pain and complication to her life (especially being part of the family we are from). I'm tired of hearing that I am being accused of "poisoning" her mind against my mother, so in the past year I have kept interaction low and minimal. It's sad, because I cannot have the close loving relationship with my sister that I long for, but as long as she remains under the control and manipulation of my parents, I simply cannot trust her. I gave up on trying to reason or confront the "elephant in the room" with my parents years a go. Sometimes I wonder if in the time since I moved abroad, if anything has changed. Unfortunately my gut tells me it has not. For the most part they are well behaved and friendly, but past experience tells me that as soon as I let down my guard and soften my boundaries, the old toxic patterns will reappear.

Blueberry - I am also the family scapegoat and fear that no matter how well I manage my relationship with my FOO, that they will always try and find a way to blame me as my "wrongness" is vital for them to remain stuck in denial. Currently, I only interact with them through email where I give as little information ("ammunition") as possible. The big problem is, though, is that I am running out of things to say. There is only so many times you can say "the weather is good here" or "work/study is going well" before they will get frustrated and possibly say something (I also hate have to be dishonest, it really wears me down).  I am so sick and tired of having to pretend to play "happy families". I feel like this is seriously starting to take its toll on my emotional health, and is interfering with my healing process. At times I have this urge to just write them a brutally honest email, stating exactly what I think, and not hold back anything. I am absolutely in no way looking for recognition or for them to change (no way, I played that losing game for just under 30 years). I guess....I just want to be honest. Ugh.  :fallingbricks:

I still haven't emailed my mother back since she sent me her update. I have no idea what to do - do I respond with one of my short and sweet "civil" emails.....do I ignore it (I did ask for space after all).....or shall I just be honest? *sigh*

I guess, my partners transition is forcing me to confront this issue perhaps a little sooner that I would have liked (not that there is ever a good time for this stuff).



« Last Edit: July 03, 2018, 08:26:41 PM by GarlicMaster »

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Blueberry

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Re: Seriously considering going NC for the first time
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2018, 02:14:29 AM »
The big problem is, though, is that I am running out of things to say. There is only so many times you can say "the weather is good here" or "work/study is going well" before they will get frustrated and possibly say something (I also hate have to be dishonest, it really wears me down).  I am so sick and tired of having to pretend to play "happy families". I feel like this is seriously starting to take its toll on my emotional health, and is interfering with my healing process.

If there's nothing more to say, there's nothing more to say. Can you reduce the frequency of emails you're sending them? Our emotional health and healing processes are more important than FOO members' feel-good factor! It's taken me a long time to realise that and even longer to act accordingly. FOO isn't too happy but they have to deal with it and I'm more at peace and there is less interference with my healing process.

One of the things I learned over at Out of The Fog (our sister website) is: don't 'ask for' boundaries. You may state them once and then do them. It sounds to me as if it would be good to ignore the latest email from your M. You asked for space, your M didn't comply. So instead of reiterating that (which is staying engaged, which she probably wants), you take your own space by simply not responding.

  At times I have this urge to just write them a brutally honest email, stating exactly what I think, and not hold back anything. I am absolutely in no way looking for recognition or for them to change (no way, I played that losing game for just under 30 years). I guess....I just want to be honest.

How about you write a brutally honest letter to them on here http://cptsd.org/forum/index.php?board=43.0 which you do not send? It helps to get some of the anger and pain out and to state to someone who will read and understand (some of us will, guaranteed) what all happened. That's what others suggested to me when I posted on here that I wanted to try one last time with FOO - just to be able to say my piece finally. Others here asked gently "And then what?" i.e. FOO might then destroy me even more.

Reading here http://outofthefog.website/what-to-do-2/2015/12/3/boundaries might help you further.


Should is
never good,
for me.

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GarlicMaster

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Re: Seriously considering going NC for the first time
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2018, 06:25:00 PM »

How about you write a brutally honest letter to them on here http://cptsd.org/forum/index.php?board=43.0 which you do not send? It helps to get some of the anger and pain out and to state to someone who will read and understand (some of us will, guaranteed) what all happened. That's what others suggested to me when I posted on here that I wanted to try one last time with FOO - just to be able to say my piece finally. Others here asked gently "And then what?" i.e. FOO might then destroy me even more.

Reading here http://outofthefog.website/what-to-do-2/2015/12/3/boundaries might help you further.

I've been wanting to write a letter like this for some time, but whenever I think about it I feel overcome with exhaustion. I think there is also a lot of internal conflict inside of me with regards to what I want to say (my personality is very fragmented and I experience a lot of internal confusion sometimes). when I go to write my head is so noisy and I can't focus on anything - I just end up wanting to smash things and scream. It's very frustrating.


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Blueberry

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Re: Seriously considering going NC for the first time
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2018, 04:42:11 AM »
When I first started trying to write Recovery Letters on here, similar happened to me. Beforehand I knew exactly what I wanted to write, then I just blanked totally. It was too early.  It sounds as if that's the case for you still.

How about beating pillows? or screaming somewhere nobody can hear you? In your car if you have one or way out in the countryside somewhere? I can't remember off-hand but do you have a therapist? If you do, they should be able to help you scream out some of that anger and pain in their office.

I've never been good at screaming somewhere other than where allowed e.g. in therapy so for a long time I painted my pain with water colours. Tons and tons of red. It's not about being artistic, it's just getting the feelings out of you and onto paper.

Lots of people seem to go through throw-out phases, clearing things out of their lives that they're keeping for those FOO mbrs. My parents gave me this for my 18th birthday (decades ago) so I'm not allowed to get rid of it kind of thing. When you can, or are able to tear up letters or cards from FOO members that can be a good release of that pent-up anger.

On here you could maybe write a Recovery Letter using a few emoticons like  :pissed: I did that once. Very cathartic.

Please note: the idea of Recovery Letters is that we don't send them to the person they're addressed to. We write them on here to help ourselves recover and for validation from other mbrs.

I used to be pretty fragmented too. Please go slowly and include self-care.  :hug:
« Last Edit: July 10, 2018, 08:47:31 AM by Blueberry »
Should is
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sj

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Re: Seriously considering going NC for the first time
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2018, 06:06:37 AM »

I feel guilty about considering NC when my family aren't doing anything that bad right now. I mean, they are so far away from me (physically), it should be easy to just manage my relationship with them like this at this distance? I can't help but think that until I cut off from them completely, their influence is always going to be in my life somehow. I have such a great desire to just walk way from it all so that I can start living the life that I want - but I question if I am just running away again?

Does anyone relate?


I SO relate to this.

I'm really glad other people have responded so well to this.

Also, wishing you and your partner well through all the challenging stuff you are both navigating.