What Was Your NC "Moment?"

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dreamriver

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What Was Your NC "Moment?"
« on: September 01, 2020, 01:55:56 AM »
Hi all - I've recently gone NC with ALL family. Every once in a while (like now) I get filled with doubt and think about scootching back to VLC, that I've been unfair and haven't given FOO a chance to explain themselves, that it's all happening too quickly for them, I'm being too hasty. (I mean, all of this snowballed in under 1-2 years). But then I think about what responses I might get if I open that door again. Gaslighting, minimizing, projecting, more emotional abuse piled on.

It's like it takes everything in my power to keep the door closed. A close friend of mine said it's like being an alcoholic, it's a cold, hard choice you just have to make everyday, there's no reward or even satisfaction sometimes, you just know you got to do it to stay healthy. There's no closure, the itch never goes away. But that's what I'm wondering about.

Has anyone here felt closure, or they could pinpoint the moment where they knew that NC was needed, potentially for a long time, potentially for good? Like it was the "sign" they were waiting for and it was an overwhelming message. And it just felt....right. And you go back to that moment, again and again, to draw the strength you need to keep NC? Or is there just always doubt, always guilt?

My moments have been so intense but even then I still doubt them. Someone with strong, healthy boundaries would find the behavior absolutely unacceptable and get the **** outta there, and I would find it completely reasonable when I put myself in the shoes of an outsider looking in. But even after the PD in my FOO completely smeared me, isolated me from the rest of my family, triangulated them against me and turned them into flying monkeys....and then spread ideas around that my spouse is physically abusive to myself and others (though he definitely isnt, and PD was even willing to attempt to contact his ex to dig up dirt on him, even though PD would find nothing....) all these things that are grossly untrue to still get at me, why do I still feel like I'm being the "unfair" one?

Was there a strong moment if clarity for any of you? Things are so ridiculous and I still feel so foggy ( FOGgy). Will it ever end. Thank you in advance.  :)

Re: What Was Your NC "Moment?"
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2020, 03:25:19 PM »
Hey dreamriver, I have to say I am struggling with some of the same things you are right now.  I have been NC with my family for awhile  but still close with my brother.  He and I (as you know from reading my posts) had another huge blow out and havent spoken in almost 4 weeks.  Here is what I can share....

My mother was the most toxic, narcissistic, and emotionally abusive person in my life.  I went NC after a huge fight with her where I basically couldnt bury my head in the sand re: her cruelty and severe mental illness any longer.  I have stayed strong for almost 3 years now.  It was VERY hard in the beginning.  Self doubt, self blame, anxiety, panic, fear, you name it.  However, my gut would not let me go back.  As each day passed, it got a bit easier,  but I didnt notice that until I was about a few months in.  Now I can see how much more calm and peaceful my life is without her in it.  I consider that my reward.  Not that it doesnt suck, I wish more than anything I had a mom, just not the one I was born to.

As far as the situation with my brother, that I am struggling more with.  Right now, Im trying to choose space for us by not contacting him (he upset me by being disrespectful,  and I LOST IT, so I am to blame here too).  I think this one is harder because although he is severely affected by our upbringing, there has been love and some support there too.   For right now, Im focusing on me, self care, and healing some hurt.  Im also sending love and prayers his way.

Sorry so long,  my point is in my experience, NC has happened for different reasons.  I feel some people need to be removed permanently from my life so I can get healthy, and some may just need to be put on hold for a bit.  It sounds like this is really wearing on you right now (as it did/does for me, and probably everyone else in the same spot).  My advice would be, when it feels "too permanent" or it feels like it is overwhelming you, maybe tell yourself "this doesnt have to be forever, it just has to be for right now".  For me, that takes some pressure off. 

I hope some of this helps or at least makes you feel less alone. 

Feel free to message me personally if you ever want to.  If not, absolutely no worries!  Sending support and a hug if thats ok  :hug:

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Three Roses

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Re: What Was Your NC "Moment?"
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2020, 04:33:12 AM »
For me, there wasn't a specific moment, and in fact I didn't "formally" go NC w/sibling until he contacted me after a 13 year period with no word from him (how he found me is another story). After I had a meltdown and hyperventilated for a while, I decided to give him a chance to show some awareness, growth, etc. But after a few phone calls it was plain I'd have to tell him to not contact me again. He didn't take it well.

It's been one of the best self-care decisions I've ever made and, though I do recognize it's sad, I don't regret it for one minute.

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BJeanGrey

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Re: What Was Your NC "Moment?"
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2020, 06:26:36 AM »
POSSIBLE TW: Hi dreamriver. I'm sorry you're experiencing this - this is one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make, and I still don't know if it was really for the best. For many years, I had oscillated between times of very low contact to no contact at all with my mom, dad, and sister. They were/are all extremely abusive in various ways, so I decided I needed to separate myself from them. Also, I had a child when I was a teenager, and decided that I needed to protect my child from them - so, my child is an adult now, but they have had very little contact with anyone in my family - they don't consider anyone in my family as their "family."

I would go years without seeing either of my parents - they divorced when I was a kid - and years without seeing my sister. I would go months without talking with any of them. My mom chose to die several years ago - she literally just gave up on life, stopped eating, got sick, refused to go to the hospital and died alone in a trailer home with walls covered in mold, dog waste stained carpeting, trash bags full of beer cans in the closets, and holes in the floor. For me, I feel a lot of guilt surrounding her death. She was at one time a strong, beautiful, capable and intelligent woman, but the world tore her apart and threw her away. She was suffering. Her death threw me into a relentless major depression for over a year - and I'm still trying to work through the complex grief I feel over her life and death.

I have not seen or spoken to my sister for years - and I do not ever plan to. My father and step-mother, however, I still occasionally speak to them on the phone. I haven't seen them in years - the last time we saw each other we got into several angry arguments. They are still abusive - misogynistic, both of them - and they have no idea that they are. They're old, my dad is really sick - there's just no talking it through and working it out with them. But, I feel for my dad and step-mom. I know they were abused as children as well. 

I also feel lonely. I very much want to feel loved. I very much want to matter to somebody. My marriage ended in part because of my depression, in part because my partner was also abusive. My adult child and I talk almost every day, but I'm pretty sure I could disappear and they won't care - in fact, we live a thousand miles away from each other and they've said they don't miss me and really don't care if I move closer to be with them. I just don't matter in their life.

Other than my abusive father, step mother, and sister, I have no one else. No friends or family. I'm lonely and scared all of the time with no one to talk to. I haven't been hugged by another person since the last time I saw my child, over 9 months ago. I spend nearly every holiday and birthday alone - no one even says "happy birthday" to me. No one congratulates me on my accomplishments - I moved away from my child to go to grad school. Literally, no one cares about my life - I'm not being hyperbolic or self-pitying - it's just a fact.

What I'm trying to say, is this:

The biggest obstacles, I've found, for separating oneself from one's abusers are the guilt and loneliness. Consider if these obstacles could apply to your case - and if they do, then consider how they might apply and plan for them. Like knowing your physical and emotional cues for guilt or loneliness. And, making a plan for how to cope. Like if you start feeling guilty or lonely, have a go to person who loves and respects you to talk with, go to a movie with, or something else to take your mind off of it.

I've found there are no good choices in life - only lesser of two evils choices. Separating myself from my abusers is not and was never a good choice - at best it was the lesser of two evils choice. It could have been less painful for me if I'd considered and planned for, prepared myself for, the consequences of choosing separation.

Best wishes to you in working through this.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2020, 06:32:40 AM by BJeanGrey »

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blues_cruise

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Re: What Was Your NC "Moment?"
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2020, 11:26:59 AM »
Hi all - I've recently gone NC with ALL family. Every once in a while (like now) I get filled with doubt and think about scootching back to VLC, that I've been unfair and haven't given FOO a chance to explain themselves, that it's all happening too quickly for them, I'm being too hasty. (I mean, all of this snowballed in under 1-2 years). But then I think about what responses I might get if I open that door again. Gaslighting, minimizing, projecting, more emotional abuse piled on.

Hi dreamriver. I'm just going to start off by saying that I think it's very human to question whether we're being "too harsh" about no contact. It's not a pleasant situation to find ourselves in at all and honestly, if any of us felt there was a better option I'm sure we would take it. I think it helps to try to keep the reality of your FOO's abusive mentality and behaviour in check. Unless they self-reflect and demonstrate any positive change then reopening the door will just leave you open to the dysfunction you describe: "Gaslighting, minimizing, projecting, more emotional abuse piled on"...this is what no contact protects you from while you work on healing.

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It's like it takes everything in my power to keep the door closed. A close friend of mine said it's like being an alcoholic, it's a cold, hard choice you just have to make everyday, there's no reward or even satisfaction sometimes, you just know you got to do it to stay healthy. There's no closure, the itch never goes away. But that's what I'm wondering about.

Has anyone here felt closure, or they could pinpoint the moment where they knew that NC was needed, potentially for a long time, potentially for good? Like it was the "sign" they were waiting for and it was an overwhelming message. And it just felt....right. And you go back to that moment, again and again, to draw the strength you need to keep NC? Or is there just always doubt, always guilt?

For me, uNF pushed me to the point where I felt I had no choice but to go no contact for my own health and for a shot at a less stressful life. Most of my twenties were spent fawning towards him, ignoring obvious emotional abuse and minimising it all. I began to question how healthy this was though when I realised that the survival techniques I was still using with uNF didn't help me in my relationships with healthy adults. In the workplace my people pleasing and perfectionism just led to burnout and me being taken advantage of, plus the older I got the more I seemed to be actively disrespected for this fawning behaviour. It had once been a valuable survival skill in childhood but just no longer applied. I had no idea of what boundaries were and how to use them but I was fast realising that I really needed to start learning life skills like this if I wanted to "adult" better. I started to read about assertiveness and boundaries and could see how these skills would help me in my work and daily life interactions with generally healthy minded people. My own father blatantly did not want this for me because this was of no benefit to him. I came to the conclusion that if I really wanted to live life it couldn't be one rule for him and another for everyone else.   

The first boundary I ever really put in place with uNF was when I said "No, I'm sorry but it's going to be inconvenient" to looking after his dog while he went away on another holiday. Up to that point I had been saying yes regularly even though it had been becoming increasingly difficult (due to behavioural issues with my own dog), because I was so desperate for approval and to keep the peace. His reaction was silent treatment for about 3 months and oh my word, it opened the floodgates to feeling so much raw emotion and recalling memory after memory of past abuse, which when hitting me all at once felt unbearable. It was like a dam suddenly burst open. My feelings of shame, anxiety and depression hit me full force and that's when I really started to come out of the fog and learn about C-PTSD. 

I sat with it for the 3 months, didn't contact him either, and when I did phone him he was absolutely cold and awful towards me. That's when my first feelings of anger started to appear; an entirely new, unexplored emotion that I had never been allowed to experience as a child/teen and had assumed was a negative thing into adulthood, so had entirely suppressed. I tried VLC for months but every single phone call was pretty much him punishing me for daring to say "no" to him by dominating the calls with passive-aggressiveness and nasty digs. It reached the point where I was feeling anxious a week beforehand and a week after each and every phone call and I started getting horrible abdomen pains from the stress. It was when he gave me another 3 months of silent treatment pretty much a year on from when it last happened that I truly realised how toxic and disinterested in being a father he really was. I mean, he always had been but I'd deluded myself that he could love me if I just stayed in line. As soon as I stepped over his line his mask came off and I saw the reality of who he really was. In addition to narcissism my father also exhibits traits of psychopathy and machiavellanism (the dark triad) and it was almost like he was treating our interactions like a massive game. I hadn't realised just how mentally disturbed and actively emotionally abusive he was until this point. This time I enjoyed the peace from the silent treatment and saw how healing it could be. I started to feel safer, less stressed and felt less physical pain.

When he did resurface I had very little left to give and actively felt like I'd be better off without all this toxicity in my life. My last ditch attempt at a relationship with him was to ask that he respect a new boundary of communicating only via text message or emails; no phones calls. He was using them as a tool to emotionally abuse me and I wasn't willing to put myself through it any longer. Needless to say that went down like a lead balloon. Initially he reluctantly agreed to it, then came 2 more months of silence from him followed by a message saying that he wanted to ring me. When I stood my ground he had a tantrum and at that point I was just so done with it and decided I didn't want him in my life anymore. If there had been any real relationship there I would have tried to salvage it but I finally realised that the reality was that I was his emotional punchbag and that's all he wanted me around for.

Sorry, that was a longer retelling than I'd planned. :blahblahblah: ;) I guess ultimately there wasn't one event that led to no contact, rather it was constant poor behaviour and boundary violations with little prospect of improvement. When someone is blatantly setting out to disrespect and bully you, how much should you realistically be expected to accept? I think that's what you have to ask yourself. Your FOO has been making the choice to smear you and spread rumours about your husband and from an outsider's perspective I can see entirely why you would distance yourself from them.

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My moments have been so intense but even then I still doubt them. Someone with strong, healthy boundaries would find the behavior absolutely unacceptable and get the **** outta there, and I would find it completely reasonable when I put myself in the shoes of an outsider looking in. But even after the PD in my FOO completely smeared me, isolated me from the rest of my family, triangulated them against me and turned them into flying monkeys....and then spread ideas around that my spouse is physically abusive to myself and others (though he definitely isnt, and PD was even willing to attempt to contact his ex to dig up dirt on him, even though PD would find nothing....) all these things that are grossly untrue to still get at me, why do I still feel like I'm being the "unfair" one?

Was there a strong moment if clarity for any of you? Things are so ridiculous and I still feel so foggy ( FOGgy). Will it ever end. Thank you in advance.  :)

In dysfunctional families I think we're essentially groomed to accept abuse and to keep quiet about it. This gets hardwired from a young age and takes a long time to unravel. Taking responsibility for their abusive behaviour would have been a lifeline when you were a vulnerable child and was a way of survival. I still get foggy from time to time but the more I read about personality disorders and work on improving myself the less responsiblity I feel for the misplaced shame that should never have been on my shoulders in the first place. I wasn't born to be a plaything for my father to use to cope with the shame of his own childhood abuse; it's not my responsiblity. I've found it helps to keep a list of all the abusive behaviour from uNF so that when I'm having an emotional flashback and feeling shame I can read it and gently remind myself of why no contact remains necessary. From what you've written your FOO's behaviour sounds awful and no-one should be smeared and bullied like that. Being family doesn't give them a free pass to abuse you. I know how hard it is to update the tapes in your head though.

Sending you  :hug: :hug: :hug: if they feel safe.

Edit: That turned into a really long post, don't feel obliged to respond because I know the long ones can sometimes be a bit overwhelming!
« Last Edit: September 23, 2020, 11:31:49 AM by blues_cruise »