My Community

CPTSD and Others => Our Relationships with Others => Family of Origin (FOO) => Topic started by: LittleBoat on September 06, 2019, 11:36:41 AM

Title: Is Anger and Estrangement within FOO Common? Resources, please.
Post by: LittleBoat on September 06, 2019, 11:36:41 AM
That must sound like a very basic and perhaps naive question.  I know there's estrangement.  I just didn't expect to go through it so quickly and so nastily.

I was the Scapegoat child.  I was NC with my sociopath/violent father for several years, until he died.  Now I'm NC with my elderly NPD mother.  I am very LC with my older brother.  And now I've just gotten into a fight with my older sister, who has tried to stay in touch with me, more or less.  But I never liked it.  It felt fake.  My mother was the white elephant in the room. 

My sister has cancer and is now showing more curiosity, I guess, about our family, my mental health problems.  But how can you suddenly just talk?  Be honest?  Our last communication turned into a big fight.  Quickly.  There were misunderstandings.  I was quite frank in my observations about our family dynamics.  Too frank, I guess.  She finally just wrote, "I'm done."

And I really don't expect to hear from her again. 

I'm blaming myself for this.  She's blaming me, too.  Am I supposed to love her, now?  Protect her?  Expect her to finally protect me, at this stage of the game, when she never protected me before?  And my mother, I'm sure, would be glad to stoke some flames. 

So, yes.  It seems that I'm embarking, at the age of 58, on a new chapter in my life.  One where there is essentially little to no family.  But there's, at least, some truth floating around in the air.  Truth ain't so great.  At least it doesn't feel that way, right now.  My sister will die soon, without the magical family reconciliation she seems to want before she goes.  And unfortunately, now we can't eke out a little bit more time to figure out a way to stay in touch, even if it were to mean more lies and eggshells everywhere. 

If you've been there before.  Or if you know of any resources, articles, other posts in this thread, that would be very useful, right now.

Thank you,
Title: Re: Is Anger and Estrangement within FOO Common? Resources, please.
Post by: Three Roses on September 06, 2019, 01:28:14 PM
I have been in similar situations. Both my parents are gone now, and I chose to be there for them at the end of their lives. I made that decision because, looking forward, I decided I would regret the missed opportunity for closure. So I acted in ways that I thought were best for me and my emotional & mental health.

I tried to put myself in their shoes. How would I feel if I were dying, and wanted to mend a relationship and take responsibility for any of my actions that were hurtful? Each of them expressed in their own way their regret and remorse about their actions or failure to act. I didn't have much response and they didn't seem to need one from me.

I have peace now, and no guilt. I gave to them the things I would want if I were dying. And now, it feels good that I did.
Title: Re: Is Anger and Estrangement within FOO Common? Resources, please.
Post by: Gromit on September 06, 2019, 01:57:54 PM
Hi Little Boat,

Yes is the short answer, if anyone is aware at all and you are.
I have also had that kind of response from my older sister, too frank,, too much.  Apparently, I have 'burnt my bridges' there, but she just called me so perhaps not.
I see it a bit like therapy. Some T's hit you with stuff you do not want to hear too soon. Some let you work it out yourself. Unfortunately, I guess your sister does not have a lot of time.

In the mean time look after your recovery.

Title: Re: Is Anger and Estrangement within FOO Common? Resources, please.
Post by: LittleBoat on September 06, 2019, 10:00:37 PM
Achieving closure and choosing compassion for abusers and even hearing remorse from them, something akin to apologies, and having a sense of peace sounds wonderful.  But closure, compassion, and the apology many survivors long for but never get doesnít seem to be an option for all of us.  Sadly.  Tragically. 

I do not miss my father.  I only felt relief when he passed.  Because I knew he couldnít physically hurt anyone again.  I do not miss the mother I still have.  She is a dangerous narcissist and gets worse not better.  I feel guilt that I am NC with her, but when Iíve tried to reach out, she proved dangerous.  And things would get bad for me.  And I canít shake off the horrors she inflicted when I was little.  It was really sick stuff. 

I donít really miss my brother.  He is so much older than me that I barely know him.  I have heard from an aunt that my father molested him.  My brother is in deep denial.  Hard to reach.

But now my sister is sick.  And I feel guilt that I let the genie out of the bottle and said what Iíve  needed to say for a very long time.   So I could finally stop holding my breath.  But I upset her.  At least she tried.  And she was the last line of communication between me and the others.  And Iím thinking how hard it must have been for her to juggle all this, to cling to the notion that we were a family of good people, despite all the pathology.  To be in touch with all of her far flung family.

I donít know.  Maybe sheíll reach out again.  Maybe Iíll tread more lightly.  Maybe Iím getting this whole ďCut the denial and just be realĒ thing all wrong. 

I donít know.  I donít know.  This might just be one of those situations where it is what it is.   
Title: Re: Is Anger and Estrangement within FOO Common? Resources, please.
Post by: Three Roses on September 07, 2019, 02:09:12 AM
I guess what I was trying to say was - do what you need to do for you. It's different for everyone.

Your sister may still be willing to spend time with you. If that's what you need, then I'd say to keep the door open, if that's what you want. It's been a long time bottled up, sometimes it's tough when you start to let it out.

My sibling is still alive. But, I won't ever spend any time with him again, nor ever speak to him again. He will die without ever hearing from me, so I understand that approach, too. Different people, different approaches.

I only wanted to be supportive with my comments, not bossy or judgmental and I do so hope it came across that way.