Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)

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Dutch Uncle

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Journal of a Dutch Uncle: why I should stay NC with 'sis'.
« Reply #60 on: May 31, 2016, 10:21:36 AM »
Lest I forget, part II

I really need to write a same post with regard to my sister:
Sorry for the double post. I’m most afraid to post again as people might not read the post I just made. I guess I’m craving for attention and validation. NOT the validation my ‘mom’ wants to have! Arghhh…

My sister is just like my mother. The worst part? Even her kids have told her so. I was dumbstruck, mostly because I agree. I couldn’t tell her that. Probably I should have. Perhaps than she would have left my life, instead of me going NC with her.
Than again, probably me going NC is better: it gives me ‘agency’. Now I feel less need to ‘crawl back’. Though it’s hard to resist at times…

So, my sister also enjoys suffering in others…

- When I told her the girlfriend I broke up with had phoned me and said: “I feel so bad I can kill myself”, (and I only told sis a long time (years?) after,) she said: “Imagine how much you have hurt her!”
Taking the side of my girlfriend. Typical Narc behavior, I have now come to know.
But what’s more: I remember so well how hurt I felt. I had kept this ‘news’ from my parents (as I had expected something like that from them: they always take the side of the (emotional) abusers, so I thought I would encounter some sort of safety with my sis. But no. A stab in the back is what I got.
She should have said: “Good you got away from her. Imagine you would have had kids with her. If she’s capable of this, she’s capable of worse.”
That’s how I experienced that particular ordeal at least: I spoke softly to ex-GF on the phone she shouldn’t kill herself. And during the call, or shortly thereafter I did have this feeling, knowledge even, that I had gotten of ‘lightly’, that it had been the OK choice to break up with her. And that this had been blatant Emotional Blackmail.
But the guilt stayed, and I have had many years(?) visions of me getting a phonemail of her parents that she HAD killed herself, or that I should aid her in therapy…
I think I only opened up to sis when that particular horror scenario (catatrophizing anyone?) had passed. Only to get beaten up again by ‘sis’.

- later, when I and my sis talked about having kids (which I was open to) she brought up this girlfriend again. Arghhh… “She was the best option you have had (in your life).  :aaauuugh: I was stunned, literally. I knew this to be not true, on the contrary. She wanted me to hook up (proverbially) in hindsight with the Blackmailer.

- One time she was visiting me with one of her sons. I took them out to diner and somehow the conversation touched on the subject of my brother. Sis told us (or more in particular I think it was addressed at her 17 year old son) that my brother was spoiling his kids (then pre-teens (!)) and they would “pay the price” when they would be 18. There’s the “payback time” again!
Stunned I was, again. (I guess I really am a Freeze-type :yes: ) And so I kept quiet until son-dear immediately parroted his mom. I don’t blame him, but that was the moment I spoke out: “Well, let’s first see how YOU will turn out at 18!” A bit harsh, I guess, but I don’t really regret it. I hope it has learned HIM a lesson not to judge people BEFORE the fact. I guess what my sis said there is prejudice in optima forma. Prejudice squared.
My sis really wanted (and probably still wants) my brother’s kids to fail. Again a case of “getting the parent” through the misery of their kids. I can get so worked up over such injustice, such vengeance, such glee. Yuck!

- One of her sons had a relationship break-up. GF had left him. When sis told me, she said “It’s good for her, but not good for him.” Does anybody else sees this as a Red Flag? I did. WTF? She should have solely been focussed on her son’s misery, agony, heartbreak. Who cares if it’s good for ex-GF? How comes she knows it’s “good for her”? Why even mentioning it to me?
I guess she likes to take the side of “the winner”, in this case ex-gf. Having been won over why she dumped her son. Saw her point of view.
Then again: her son is a man. Not something she can relate to. She’s a bit narrow focussed on women, this sister of mine.
I wouldn’t be surprised if she has passed on all ex-gf grievances over son to him, and possibly even berated him for it. Told him how he should do ‘better’. Told him how he ‘wronged’ her. Like I had wronged the GF I wrote about above. The gf’s reaction was only good for her…
Probably a ‘learned behavior’ from the time my mother would berate her spouse to my 12-year old sister, and ever since…
Men can do no good… There is a sexist element here, there is no denying, alas…

- Again, a visit from her with a son. There is a crackdown on crime in the city I live in at that moment. Son is a bit upset about this, and I tell him he doesn’t fit the profile of a criminal. To calm him. Sis butts in that one of his friends (a colored guy) does fit the profile (BS off course, they are small kids) and son should feel bad if his friend is profiled and he not. Her son (naturally) does’t look happy… He’s not allowed to feel safe… Good grief.

- I move in a new apartment. She visits with a son. Tells me that men who live alone have a higher chance of dying early. WTF?

- My dad is in poor physical shape. She’s afraid he’ll end up in hospital while she’s on vacation. And that she will not be informed by him. She asks me to phone her, even if he doesn’t want that. So now I can take the fall: I have to suffer dad’s wrath by shoving aside his wants in favor of the wishes of sis. This was a classic Double Bind. Lose-Lose scenario. For me.

- edited to add: Gaslighting.
As said, my sister couldn’t marry earlier as it wasn’t a legal option. She fought hard with the gay community to get it legal. Kudos to her.
A few years ago there was a gay-parade in her own city, and part of the festivities were that gays could get married by the Mayor. She planned to do this with her girlfriend/partner of 30-odd years. I congratulated her with it, wholeheartedly.
Fast forward a year or two. I’m visiting my nephew, her son. He’s in his mid twenties. He asks me if his parents are married or not. I say: “Yes, they married at the gay-parade.” I’m a bit put off by the question, meaning: how come he doesn’t know? What’s the uncertainty about? Where did this question arise? If he didn’t know, then there wouldn’t be the question in the first place, right? I shrugged it off. Was happy I could give him clarity.
Fast forward another year. Sis is getting married. I ask her: “Huh? Didn’t you marry at the gay-parade a few years back?”
“No,” she says, “I never married before.” with a typical tone of voice of: “how can you be so stupid. How can you even think that?!”
Gaslighting. Plain and simple. I can picture her smirk when she told me on the phone.
She told me her wedding plans a week before my dad’s birthday, and was told to keep it a secret. Aunty who would be at dad’s birthday party was not to know. And thus I couldn’t congratulate her wife-to-be and her sons at dad’s birthday.
Divide and conquer. It’s all about control. Control of information so anybody can be manipulated into anything.
She even uses her own kids and wife for her own 'pleasure', to their detriment.
Here is a video that explains exactly what my sister did on that birthday of my dad: When Narcissists Invite You to a party/gathering  - Platforms for Discard and Degradation. I thought it was just me who was annoyed by this. But now I finally have the validation for my experiences: it isn't me... It's her. And she discards everyone in her surroundings, even those she SHOULD love, professes to love: her wife-to-be and her children. They were discarded as they could not be congratulated on the upcoming wedding of my SiL and the wedding of their parents. t's mindbogling. She is a narcissist, probably of the Histrionic variety. 
But a :witch: for sure.

Again, it’s all intentional. It’s all aimed to throw somebody of their feet. No comfort, no peace. Ever belligerent, always looking out for the confrontation. There’s no let down. To instill fear. In anybody.
Not just in me, but in her own kids as well. In the kids of my brother (by proxy), in my brother himself no doubt.

I should also never forget that my sister is instrumental in dragging me back into all the family-drama. For a long time I have successfully escaped the family drama by a lot of the techniques advocated: Medium Chill, Grey Rock, Do Not Engage etc.
Yet it's her who keeps dragging me in since she is not doing any of it.
She passes on her own dysfunctional relationships with my parents on me, much like my mother passed on her problems onto her.
And she HATES is when I don't bite. When I tell her: Oh yeah, I know all about it, you're nothing special, I suffer, SUFFER YEAH, from the same crap as you. It's horrid. walk away, dear sis.
THEN, I'm being selfish, only talk about myself, have no ear for her,  :blahblahblah: .
But the ugly truth is: she doesn't have an ear for me. I must listen again and again again about the ever continuing dysfunction. And If I don't want to, as I know from my own experience all too well how horrid it is, I'm inconsiderate.
Well, I just don't want to be triggered into EF's by your stories, sis.
Have you ever said to me: "Oh dear, how horrible, I know exactly what you are going through?" No, never.
You may think I'm devaluing you by saying" Oh dear, I know exactly what you went through, they do exactly the same to me." But I'm not.
It's that you have not witnessed me growing up there, while I have seen you growing up there, 6 year older sister. When you left, somebody else had to be given your role. You think it stayed with you. And it probably did, those few times you met them again. But in all that time in between your visits somebody else got to be their punchbag. Either me or our brother. And it probably alternated.
You think they stored it all for you: well, let me expose you an ugly truth: they didn't.

You want me to fix your broken upbringing. I can't. And most significantly because I received exactly the same as you. You just don't want to see hear it. As you've not seen it. I saw yours, dear sis.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2016, 08:22:32 AM by Dutch Uncle »

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arpy1

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Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
« Reply #61 on: May 31, 2016, 02:32:21 PM »
so much pain, and now so much anger, wonderful anger.  you are perfectly entitled to be this angry. to be hopping mad. beside yourself with the fury of it all.
and maybe ur friends  can't understand the reason for all the pain or the anger. but i guess they either haven't had such a crap deal or they can't find their own anger, i don't know.
but you are doing the exact right thing, D/U. you are angry about the vileness of it all.  and so you 'should' be. it was vile. and it damaged you  so much. and you didn't deserve any of it.  and you do deserve attention and validation, and it's definitely  not being histrionic. it's just being vulnerable. and honest.
i reckon that this is really good to get it all out here, where you're safe and with people who know what you're talking about. may you feel increasingly empowered and able to validate yourself inside too, where it's hardest to do.

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
« Reply #62 on: May 31, 2016, 03:04:18 PM »
Thanks so much for your kind and understanding words, as you give always.

I want highlight one thing particularly:
and maybe ur friends  can't understand the reason for all the pain or the anger. but i guess they either haven't had such a crap deal or they can't find their own anger, i don't know.
I've come to know that it's the ones who have a clue are the most invalidating. "Get over it, just like I did." Yet they still put up with all the crap, IMHO.
The ones who have no clue at all, they know it's Bad. Even though they don't know exactly how bad it is. But they know it's bad. And they validate.

Strange thing that.

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
« Reply #63 on: June 08, 2016, 04:24:18 AM »
I have hung a note on the wall saying:

I am not the problem.
I have a problem.

For me this is erasing a "tape" that has been running in the back of my mind for ages. An Inner Critic statement.
I'm happy I had this lightbulb moment a week ago.
Another step forward. It might even prove to be a leap.  :)

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
« Reply #64 on: June 30, 2016, 09:08:33 AM »
I've had a few bad weeks, and especially the last couple of days have been bad. I slipped back into all my addictions. Heavy smoking, drinking, playing mind-dumbing only games that are a huge time-sink. Oftentimes all three at the same time.
I received a letter by my 'dad' this Saturday. That was a trigger in itself.
I first wrote him a letter back (that I wouldn't send) even before opening the letter. That was triggering too I guess.
Then I opened the letter the day before yesterday evening, and I couldn't sleep afterwards. Wrote him one more letter. 5,6,7 A4-sheets long. Double sided. I let it all run out. Went for a night walk. Wrote another letter. Just as long. Probably said much the same.

Then it dawned on me. It's a Hoover  :hoovering: , he's making empty promises, and he will keep enabling DramaSis and DramaMama (who is his Drama-Ex, but which he doesn't want to acknowledge.) In my eyes he's enabling his own abuse by her as well. So how can I expect him to not enable abuse by others towards me? It's how he lives his own life, being a doormat. Of course he wants me to be a doormat too. He thinks he is setting the right example, and is either baffled or furious I'm cutting both  :dramaqueen:  :dramaqueen:  of them out. :witch: :witch:And thus I have to cut him out as well. This is going to be veryLC or even NC with him too.
He keeps busting my boundaries. And of course, busting boundaries is par of the course in my FOO. That will never change. Nobody in my FOO has any concept of respecting other peoples boundaries, and it sure is becoming increasingly clear I will not be the one who is going to 'teach' them. My 'leading by example' (primarily leading myself for myself by example/experimentation on how I actually do this: boundary setting and boundary guarding  ;) ) has not lead anywhere yet. The long years I started doing this with DramaSis and DramaMama has only worsened their abusive boundary-busting, and also 'dad' is not picking up any clues. In his letter he is again busting boundaries I now already have set three times or so.

I really do have to keep reinforcing my boundaries, as I have been doing ever better and better, and I really should not fall not the trap of "intermittent reinforcement" again.
I may well not answer to his letter at all.
Or I may. I don't know yet.
Somehow he is different as the enabler, and I think I can and probably should tell him he busted my boundaries again, and that from now on no calls at all and no e-mail at all is in effect. I already told him two years ago he couldn't call or e-mail me, except in the case of "urgency". I had to reinforce that a few times, and though annoying, it was sort of OK. I cannot expect him to follow through immediately. Not from where we come. But a few weeks back he again called me and e-maild me with something totally unimportant. He was trying to be nice and attentive. Which he is NOT, as he is busting my bloody boundaries!
I think it must be serious, and than it's not.

He has to learn, and I have to learn that busting boundaries requires proper action. From my side. Natural Consequences I heard somebody once say on what NC 'is'. That struck a chord with me.  :thumbup:  Still such a hard thing.
So I will have to tell him I will not answer any phonecall by him, and I will tel him that already at my provider his mails wil be filtered out, and they will not even reach my inbox. This is not true BTW. I do not know if it's even possible. But anyway, a white lie on my behalf is not going to hurt. What IS true is that I will not read any e-mail of him ever again. And he must know this.

I'm an inch from having gone NC with all my family members.
I feel sad.
What a downhill road this has been.  :fallingbricks:
« Last Edit: June 30, 2016, 09:19:20 AM by Dutch Uncle »

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arpy1

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Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
« Reply #65 on: June 30, 2016, 10:03:22 AM »
really feeling for your pain, D/U. this is so hard for you and you are doing such an amazing job of being honest with yourself and dealing with this c**p.

i hope you are managing not to beat yourself up too much about using old (and not so healthy) coping strategies as you try to get your head round what this all means for you and decide how you're going to deal with your father. sometimes if there's nothing in place yet to replace them, it's somehow impossible not to revert to old things. we've all got our fall back positions.  don't let the IC bully you on this one. you're doing your best.

but i guess i just want to say this is really big, and maybe dealing with one thing at a time is ok here. take your time, don't underestimate the impact this is having on you as you get wiser to what's happening in terms of the behaviours they are using to try to enmesh you. and at the same time deal with the huge amount of EFs that they trigger for you.

it really isn't a downhill road, though i know how much it must feel like it is and how desperate it feels to know you are waving goodbye to even the dreams and hopes of family you wish you had.  it is actually an uphill journey, that's why it's being so hard. downhill is easy, comparatively - you just slide.  and you're definitely not sliding downhill.  i take my hat off to you, Dutch. you are stronger than you know. it really has been a bloody difficult period for you and you're doing great, honest.  :hug: 

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
« Reply #66 on: June 30, 2016, 10:37:14 AM »
Thank you arpy1.

What I wrote about "the downhill road" got me thinking the past hour or so.
Perhaps it's not such a bad thing, going downhill.
Maybe I should 'get of my High Horse' of wanting to be part of family. This family in particular that is.
Perhaps going downhill is exactly what I need be doing, instead of the uphill battle.

I hope this comes not across as a rebuttal as what you just said. I know very well what you mean by it, and yes: from another perspective I am gaining higher ground, with wider vistas.
I also just  had memories of me and a friend walking up the Olympus in Greece. We were 18 or so. I might scan the pictures and post them here.
It's quite an easy walk up there. In that respect it's more a really huge hill than a mountain. You can drive up must of the 3 km height it is, and from there the slope is really gently upwards. A 'walk in the park' really. I mean really. Only the very last bit, towards the highest peak that is called "Zeus' Throne" is not that easy. Still a walk, but if you fall there... that didn't look too comfortable an experience to go through.  ;)
Still, we did it and made it.

We ran down. Well, not the part from Zeus' Throne to the 'hilly part', but from there. I think what took us four hours to get up to, took us just one hour to get down, LOL.
Perhaps I should start running downhill. That was as good an experience in itself as 'sitting' on Zeus' Throne.  ;D

Oh what the heck. Of course there are online photo's of it. The dip in the middle is where the 'seat' is, as far as I remember. With on both sides the 'arm-rests':

The low ridge on the left is the path towards the climb. That already was a bit scary. If I see this now I'm amazed I climbed the rest. It looks horribly dangerous now. Juvenile elation (?) I did that, I guess.
On the foreground you see the 'hill' and the 'walk in the park'. There's even grass, see?
« Last Edit: June 30, 2016, 10:54:28 AM by Dutch Uncle »

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arpy1

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Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
« Reply #67 on: June 30, 2016, 05:46:07 PM »
wow! beautiful image!

yes i get what you're saying, so maybe you're doing both, eh? both attaining slowly your real goal  which is healing, and letting go of the one that was unattainable - finding it with the FOO.  sounds like good sense to me.

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Dutch Uncle

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Personal thought-stoppers: a start.
« Reply #68 on: August 04, 2016, 05:21:42 AM »
After I snapped out of my major dissociative episode I have made progress. I think. I feel.

I don’t know how it works, but somehow I have processed something in that dissociative episode, or in the immediate aftermath.
Any way: I have the idea I have finally passed the stage of denial about the abuse that has been inflicted on me. A sort of new acceptance of where I am and how I got here is present. Still hesitant, there’s still an urge to revert back to “it wasn’t that bad” and “they are all victims too”, I at times feel compassion or things that sort of resemble forgiveness.
But I mostly forgive myself, am in the process of finding calm and peace with myself, and all of myself, including the abused boy and man I am.

I am in the process of formulating thought-stoppers. They still feel a bit awkward, like I’m playing word-games. Like I am self-deception myself. But I’m not. There is a deeper conviction it’s the right thing to do. The original phrases that my abusers put in my head with their gaslighting, those were the word-games. I am correcting the word-games by speaking the clear real phrases.

An example is related to what my TherapistMom has long told me, and of which I have always been resistant. That resistance was always broken, and I followed her under pressure, but never fully, and never with any enthusiasm.

TherapistMom has always groomed me to be the one “who could uncover that what is/was hidden”. I was groomed to be the whistleblower on the family’s dysfunction. No doubt to blow the whistle on the others and thus make her get off scot-free, but that’s not really important.
I stil have difficulty with my no contact and the way I went about doing that: without confrontation. Off course it’s agonizing for me, as I was groomed to always speak out, which was then only ammo for more shrewd gaslighting to follow. (that I’ve learned in the last year(s) ) She, and the rest of the enabling family-members, would then know what was in danger of being ‘uncovered’, so they had ample time to hide it better.

But now I have a thought-stopper to relief me of my agony:
I will never tell her why I am no contact, for then she can do her own dirty work of ‘uncovering’ what SHE is keeping hidden at all costs.
I am done with ‘uncovering’. I HAVE it uncovered: she’s a narcissist of the HPD variety, and she has been instrumental in making her family a very sick dysfunctional one.
Let her worry what I know and don’t know. Let her be in agony that I’m not telling her “what keeps us apart” as she wrote in her latest letter.
I’m done with the job I never signed up for, but was pressed into service for.

I had this thought yesterday, and in fact it made me laugh: “let her uncover herself what she keeps hidden.”

Another one of hers: she has often said to me “you’re not going for it (with full commitment)” I often found these remarks odd, and hurtful. They were always meant degrading when I was on my way to try and achieve something.
I have now a note hanging on my wall saying:
“No contact with TherapistMom.
I’m fully going for it.”

I know it will take time and effort to say these thought-stoppers to myself. It will take practice and courage. As I hardly dare to even type this.
And I have had to write it down several times for myself, in a sort of “breaking the spell” effort. It sounds like a good idea, it sounds fair, it sounds sensible, it feels good (since I laugh!) but at the same time there is still a lingering fear beneath the surface.

So, I thought it good to share and post this in my recovery journal.

I’m happy to be back from te dark place I was when dissociating, and to experience that being back is bringing progress almost immediately.

edited to add: Another one: My New Age smother has the believe that we pick our parents before we are born, as they will give us what we need to resolve our karma from the past life. (or something that effect: I'm not into it)
I never believed it, and have resisted it.
Now, I will counter the inner critic when she shows up again:
What I have to learn from having you as a mother is that it's OK to cut your mother out of your life, and to not feel bad about it.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2016, 07:28:53 AM by Dutch Uncle »

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Three Roses

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Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
« Reply #69 on: August 04, 2016, 02:59:24 PM »
 :applause:

It's Good to have you back! You've been missed :)

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
« Reply #70 on: August 08, 2016, 09:20:29 AM »
Had a conversation with my dad on the phone.
In which I stood in my story, and told him things we had never talked about before.

added 29 august 2016
Rather than continuing that thread, I want to write some follow up here. As this is not really succes/progress, but rather 'set backs'.

My father has memory issues. For quite some time now, many years.
My sister has been going on about it for even longer as he has, and fearing he was experiencing Alzheimers. Perhaps that's just her being DramaSis. But going into that possibility would be a digression.
I had always put a aside, as not being a big problem. But three years ago I changed my mind: "What if I'm not taking this serious enough?" and so I went to a few meetings for "relatives of people with Alzheimer" in centers that care for the elderly. I phoned a friend who works in a sort of hospital for the elderly, and found out he actually spends a good part of his time on the memory of the elderly, and I phoned a 'hotline' on Alzheimers. After a few weeks, maybe a month or so, it was pretty clear my dad does not have Alzheimers.
The subject has resurfaces a few times, his GP does check him up on his memory regularly: not a problem in sight.
Now he's at it again: he now thinks he might have a brain tumor (since he also has balance-issues. Which he also has had for many years.
Now, that might of course be a possibility, but I'm not buying it. In any case he has now been send to a specialist (geriatrician) where the first test again said "No Alzheimers" and further tests will be done.

However, I'm convinced there is nothing wrong with his memory or brain, the man is in denial. Abuse amnesia? During the original 'sunday call' where I spilled the beans on my no contact with his wife (of whom he is divorced ("but only legally" he says  :doh: They life in two houses...) he asked me on how it came about I hadn't want to receive e-mails or phone-calls from him for close to two years. So I wrote him on how it had come about, by quoting the mail-exchange we had prior to me cutting of e-mailing him.
He has brushed that 'document' aside. It's "too difficult" and he can't remember well anymore.
And so during the past week it has actually hit me even harder: it IS A PLOY from his side, he wants to keep his 'selective memory', he DOES NOT WANT his memory restored. If he would have studied on what I have written him (and at 80+ he is still studying Hebrew, which is another clue nothing is wrong with his memory...), seen and taken the facts for what they are, he can no longer do any history revision, and he can stay in his 'plausible denial' mode. And of course gaslight me and accuse me of being unreasonable.

Two years ago (almost to this day) I went to my GP because I had become an alcoholic (still not under control, but better) after I had caught myself saying to myself (while walking half-drunk on the streets) "Your Life Is One Big Lie!", which within seconds (or even less) switched to: "No, Dutch, it isn't." (I suppose I was dissociating at the time. Oh the blessings of learning cPTSD and it's symptoms!)
Now I realize a big part of my life is a lie: The lies in and of my FOO. And my father's *cough* memory loss *cough* is a major factor in keeping me trapped in the lies, the confusion, the manipulation and will guarantee there will never be any 'closure'.

My signature line by Desmond Tutu has been a true guide in my recovery.
It's so sad my dad has chosen to do exactly the opposite.
As is it sad that because of his choice, I will have no other option than to distance myself from his 'amnesia', and avoid him and his fantasy world.

To add some more:
There have been periods in my life where I would visit my parents (while still married) and where my father would sit with his eyes closed in a chair while I talked with my TherapistMom. No doubt, in hindsight, my DramaMama was monopolizing the conversation to begin with, and my father withdrew. Perhaps he was even dissociating himself at those times. He would then butt into the conversation with something that had been said an hour or so before (at least it seemed like an hour, but for sure the conversation had long drifted away from what had been said.)
I once mentioned this to a friend (a long time ago as well, perhaps this was when I had my first 'nervous breakdown'/therapy 15 years ago) and even he knew what I was talking about! Which is quite remarkable, as I hardly ever brought friends home, even when I was a kid. (none of us kids did, actually. We all went 'out' to the homes of our friends...)

So, it might even be that I 'learned' to dissociate by simply copying my dad. That was the way he coped with the harassment of his wife, and so did I. And possibly my sis and bro learned the same thing...
« Last Edit: August 29, 2016, 06:28:43 AM by Dutch Uncle »

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arpy1

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Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
« Reply #71 on: August 08, 2016, 01:31:02 PM »
sending a  :hug: to you, D/U. glad things are progressing for you.  :yes:

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
« Reply #72 on: August 25, 2016, 08:46:13 AM »
Via another forum for "children of autistic parents" I found this article, which struck a chord. The Core Self

Especially the end quote attributed to Steven Stosny is pretty well describing the stage of recovery I'm in at the moment:
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“A person with a strong core self cannot be verbally or emotionally abused. But the relationship with an abusive person most certainly will be damaged. This bears repeating: Your partner—or anyone else—cannot emotionally abuse you once your are in touch with your core self and your core values; only relationships can be emotionally abused.”
I'm still learning this: that even while I at times may not feel personally abused anymore by my abuser's insane accusations, gaslighting, history revision or whatever (which does take a conscious effort for the most part) it still harms the relationship, and just as I make a conscious decision to not take it personally, I make the conscious decision as well to keep my distance to those persons who do their very best to abuse my person(ality).

I think I used to put relationships above all else. Which meant selling out my own person/self.
It somehow feels as a 'natural' result that if I stop selling my-self out, then in some cases the relationship gets 'sold out'. That may be at a point my own doing (going Low or No Contact for example) but I should keep in mind that a relationship is always between two people/persons, and that if the 'other' is damaging the relationship by, for example, continuously trampling my expressed boundaries, they are as much responsible/accountable for keeping the relationship abusive/toxic, as I am for ending the abuse/toxicity by ending the relation as it is.

A new baby-step forward.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2016, 09:18:06 AM by Dutch Uncle »

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle : Projection
« Reply #73 on: August 26, 2016, 02:34:47 AM »
"Projection" was one of the favorite terms TherapistMom used when I was growing up. Everybody was always "projecting".
About a year (or two) ago when I started to realize I was not raised by a mom, but by a therapist, I had a phonemail with my dad, where he used the term (conditioned as he is) and I told him he should not use it. (Which threw him in a fit of rage, accusing me of saying to him he was projecting, and I had to tell him (inwardly laughing) "No dad, I said one should NOT say to others they were projecting!" But I digress...)

Recently I read an article (forgot where) that made an excellent point: there is a thing as "useful/helpful projection" a.k.a. empathy. If done 'right' of course, one of the hallmarks of empathy is knowing you might 'read' the other completely wrong. Which saves you from 'pushing your own agenda' while trying (pretending?) to be empathetic.

Today I found this article on projection that will probably be of aid to me in my No Contact with DramaSis and DramaMama, and other narcissistic behavior I might encounter.
Key paragraph for me:
Quote
Solution? Don’t “project” your own sense of compassion or empathy onto a toxic person and don’t own any of the toxic person’s projections either. As manipulation expert and author Dr. George Simon (2010) notes in his book In Sheep’s Clothing, projecting our own conscience and value system onto others has the potential consequence of being met with further exploitation.

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
« Reply #74 on: August 29, 2016, 12:45:58 PM »
Oh dear. I received a mail from my dad regarding the passing away of an old neighbor/friend of him.
The mail was addressed to me, sis, bro and wife.

I'm sure I have already talked about these friends of my parents, especially the funeral of the husband of the women who passed away now.
And that when my parents went to the husband's funeral, and I expressed interest, connection and compassion for their loss (in mails addressed to them individually since my parents are long divorce now, and I had also received separate e-mails from them regarding this matter) my DramaMama went into full DramaMode on how this (now passed) friend of her had had the audacity to question the divorce DramaMama initiated back then, and how she had learned at the funeral of said friend's husband that both her daughter's had been divorced as well, and said friend thus had had her 'comeuppance'.
I can't believe I'm even typing this, but it's true. Mind-blowing. I hereby forgive myself for having contracted cPTSD.

So, in response to dad I basically said all of the above (which I have done once before, which drew a blank) and I feel pretty good about it, though awkward.

Funerals are all about the Cluster B, aren't they. Kick their victims when they're down. Preferably behind their back.
I told dad I would not be writing mom. That I'm done with mom's friendship with these people.

Yuck.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2016, 12:47:32 PM by Dutch Uncle »