I give thanks for help unknown already on the way.

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Dutch Uncle

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I give thanks for help unknown already on the way.
« on: August 07, 2016, 01:53:24 PM »
“I give thanks for help unknown already on the way.”

This morning I phoned my dad.
Yep. I busted my own boundary.
It may well have been a good choice.
It might as well bite me in the tail.

The last couple of days I have been irresistibly drawn to Sonia Connely’s STAND IN YOUR STORY
I found myself writing letter after letter to my father to tell him what I thought of my mom, and how her behavior has messed up the whole family-dynamic.
These letters where all too much.
Yet, I became more and more firmly standing in my story. The story fits me and the situation like a glove. I’m at a point I find a greatly reduced need/urge to JADE everybody about it.

My dad is in complete denial over his wife, and of course I cannot break her spell over him.
Somehow however it didn’t feel right to not at least once tell him my “truth”. Not the whole lot at once, but to say nothing at all, just like my parents did when they went through their divorce… that just didn’t sit well. Not in the least since my dad has faithfully kept the omerta, but my mother has been smearing my dad to me (and her other children no doubt) at any opportunity. Which basically means at every time we had contact.

I had to tell him at least that.

So I had a long conversation with him. Hours. It went pretty well. Suddenly I’m not so sure about his Aspergers anymore.

But here comes the (possible) beauty:
Not too long ago he voiced the idea of speaking with a friend of his, who is a retired psychologist. Since my father is a science-lover, this friend of his had to be a scientifically based psychologist, contrary to New Age TherapistMom. So I encouraged dad to do this, specifically mentioning the science-based approach this friend of his must have. (Manipulative much? LOL. But no, not manipulative: it’s honoring my dad’s love and appreciation of evidence based science and the scientific method.)
Today on the phone we also spoke about his talks with him. And since I at some point had to confess the dire straits I’m in at the moment, he proposed I would talk with this friend of his too. Now, that is a bridge too far (as I am convinced a prime source of my family’s dysfunction lies in the fact that TherapistMom a.k.a. DramaMama has made clients of those she had intimate relationships with. So no father and son in ‘therapy’ with his friend, thank you. Crossover of ‘treatment’ will be inevitable, IMHO. Dad gave me a link to this guys website.

So I just visited it. The first article I read triggered some resistance in me, but than I stumbled on one on “Narcissistic Parents”.
Bingo.
The usual OOTF stuff, so to say.
I fully endorsed that article. It’s the track I’m on at the moment.
So I was tempted to mail the link to dad immediately.
“No”, I thought, “I have already gave my dad enough to stomach for a day, making clear I will not see his wife (who divorced him) ever again, because she’s a boundary-buster who has been a therapist to all her FOC-members. (these where the two themes I spoke about, repetitively. To drive the point home. I tried to be gentle, while keeping driving down the dagger. Which sounds as a contradictio in terminis)

So I have now e-mailed this friend psychologist of his. With a big disclaimer in front, that if he does not find it fit to receive possible relevant information he is free to throw the mail out, and I then told some of my story (primarily that I’m no contact with my mother) and that I found a possible relevant article on his site, that I was not yet ready to disclose, unless he mails be back he does want to know more.

Perhaps this is “the help already on the way” I have been hoping for/counting on the past years.

Fingers crossed…

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Three Roses

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Re: I give thanks for help unknown already on the way.
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2016, 03:32:34 PM »
 :cheer: Fingers crossed with you!

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Kizzie

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Re: I give thanks for help unknown already on the way.
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2016, 05:25:05 PM »
 :yeahthat:  and   :hug:

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: I give thanks for help unknown already on the way.
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2016, 08:40:31 PM »
Thank you both.
I've reread my post, and I think I must add or clarify I did not speak with my dad on how DramaMama messed up the family-dynamic, but was very focussed on why I have cut contact with her, for two reasons: boundary-busting and her being my therapist.
The conversation (and we actually had a conversation today ! ) drifted off at times, and my dad actually acknowledged that he has taken up too much blame for the divorce, and for the first time in ages (if not ever) even said my mother had obnoxious behavior. Now that really was a novelty.
He went on to say he still loves her and will do to the end of his life etc., but still this was a sort of miracle.

I feel I was able to stand in my story, and let him have his as well.
Whatever may come of this, I have told him my story. A story I have a need to tell, and have a need to tell to him as well. Despite the fact he doesn't want to tell the story of his divorce. That he doesn't want to speak out on his experiences is his way, and does not mean I should have never told him my experiences that lead to my No Contact with TherapistMom.
That objective has been achieved.

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: I give thanks for help unknown already on the way.
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2016, 06:12:46 AM »
OK. I got an answer from my father's friend, the retired psychologist.

He had stopped reading my mail after the ALL CAPS disclaimer I had written: he might find information unsuitable to read/have knowledge on in the counseling he provides to my dad.
He considered the mail not written.

I feel enormously validated by this.
As I have said before (perhaps to the level of it becoming a broken record  ;) ) that one of my biggest grievances to TherapistMom is that she has counseled people with whom she had a relationship. And that this is unprofessional conduct, for the very reason that it's a known risk this will be detrimental to the 'client'.
In so much words the friend/psychologist has confirmed this, as he said that professionally speaking he would have had to reveal the content of my mail to him to my dad. !!!!
And thus he hasn't read beyond my disclaimer.

In the main body of my mail to him, I had elaborated on 'conflict of interests' in a therapeutic session, and thus it's even more validating he hadn't even read that part.

Now what to do with the "Narcissistic Parent" link on this friend/psychologists website?
I don't know yet, but I probably will not point it out to my dad. Ever.
In a sense I hope he dies before he finds out his wife is a narcissist. Considering the process I have to go through with my CPTSD, to inflict that on a 80+ year old... Perhaps I should extend him the grace to live his life's end with his own coping mechanisms he has developed, no matter how dysfunctional they are.
Caveat: I shouldn't let that 'grace' allow continuous harm being to me.

Perhaps I should start posting in the "When somebody in your life has CPTSD" section here as well.  :Idunno: Oops.

The website has quite a few articles on self-acceptance by the way with titles like "Change: self-improvement is a paradox" (main suggestion: don't. You are good as you are now.)
"Resistance: Often we are more bothered by our own resistance that by what we resist against."

So I think I'll write my dad in  a day, or week, or month or so that I have found the website he gave me to be very useful, that I have read a few articles, and that I intend to read all the articles there over time. Who knows if that might prompt my dad to also read the Narcissistic Parents link at some point, and some of the FOG may be lifted as to why I went No Contact, as in the article it is stated that:
"If not all contact is severed, one often sees the following reactions in Children of a Narcissistic Parent", followed by behavior and  experiences we know all to well,
and as an advice to Children of Narc's: "It's hard to accept that trying to make the parent see your way/perspective is doomed to fail",
and than some more tips, tools and tricks as available in the toolbox.

So most probably my dad is in good hands, has a good T with an excellent professional work-ethic, and I can go back to my own process of recovery. Accepting I am and was good enough, and so is my dad. And keep proper boundaries with him as well. But perhaps I can keep a bit more flexibility in my boundaries from now on. I'm still in the early stages of discovering what proper boundaries are anyway, so I think it's worthwhile to experiment once again a bit, and see how I feel about it over time.

edited to add: the article on Narcissistic Parents is a Dutch translation of this one Destructive Narcissism and was given the title "Destructive Narcissistic Parents".
« Last Edit: August 08, 2016, 06:46:58 AM by Dutch Uncle »

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: I give thanks for help unknown already on the way.
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2016, 10:29:52 AM »
Updates:

I avoided going to court, as my dad loaned me the money.
When I spoke to him sunday, with the solitary aim to 'speak my story' as to why I had cut off contact with sis and his wife, he in the end asked how things were and I spilled the beans, on how I might be evicted.
He offered the loan himself, and for once he followed through without getting angry and withdrawing hos offer the next day (as he has done about a year ago)

We spoke again on monday, and it was relatively calm and peaceful, we managed to keep it a civil conversation. He even asked me about the details of my No Contact with sis! This he had avoided to know for as long as I have told him a bit over 18 months ago.
He actually validated me. By saying: "My goodness, that I have to hear such a mess at the age of 80+."
He would talk to sis about it (  :spooked: ), and I was tempted to say he shouldn't, but instead to choose to reiterate I would NOT reestablish contact. I think that has hit home.
I wrote a draft mail to him saying he should be aware of not setting himself up for failure by thinking he could make it alright/all go away by talking to my sis, but decided not to send it.
I have been clear enough, and I suppose I should give him some time to let it 'sink in', or go into 'denial' mode again. Whatever happens, I can't control it, I can't cure it and I didn't cause it (if I remember the 3C's correctly)
But what's most important: I really do feel i can finally "own my story", for better or worse.
Better for me, for sure, even though external factors might be or get worse. But perhaps not worse... better too. At least I got out of hiding. Perhaps I'll stop being the invisible child with regard to dad...

Meanwhile, I more and more get the feeling I really have passed the stage of my own denial. The last year specifically (meaning: after my SCID-II told me I am not "the problem" it's been a long, painful, dissociation ridden, alcoholism fueling, sobering, FOG-clearing experience where I have been diligent in many things, least of al getting past the denial.
And I think I'm there.
I have hooked up my phone again, am answering the door, no matter what I know it is that will face me.
As I did today: another process-server/bailiff ringed, and as I was walking down the stairs he was already pushing the envelope through the letter box. I nevertheless opened the door, and we actually had a talk, where I spilled my beans! Told him I was a victim of childhood abuse. He was genuinely interested, validated me for getting this far without (professional) psychological help, gave me tips on how at least avoid some costs like: "show up at least, even if you can't pay, tell the story, for at least you will be spared court costs."

"Keep on keeping on" and "when you go through *, keep going" and all that.

I will survive, and eventually thrive.

 :wave:
Dutch Uncle.

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sanmagic7

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Re: I give thanks for help unknown already on the way.
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2016, 02:19:40 PM »
it sounds to me like you're making some wonderful progress.  experimenting with boundaries, yeah, i can relate.  it will come as you continue to move forward.  glad you didn't have to go to court.  and a big YAY! for setting your sights on thriving.  i do believe that if we don't have a goal, we can never reach it.  best to you, dutch uncle. 

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Three Roses

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Re: I give thanks for help unknown already on the way.
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2016, 02:20:32 PM »
Really uplifting! Thanks for sharing this, I'm really happy for you Dutch!

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meursault

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Re: I give thanks for help unknown already on the way.
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2016, 11:25:12 PM »
Good going Dutch Uncle!  You're really doing lots of work.  Wow.

Meursault

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Kizzie

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Re: I give thanks for help unknown already on the way.
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2016, 05:13:04 PM »
Wow Dutch, just wow.   :hug:  and   :applause:

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: I give thanks for help unknown already on the way.
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2016, 06:43:19 AM »
Well, the inevitable blowback from contacting my dad didn’t take that long to arrive.

For almost two years now I have had a policy of no e-mail and no phone-calls with him. He breached those boundaries several times, but I stood firm.
There has been a period prior to this new ‘boundary’, where he e-mailed me everyday (as he was sick: long story) and where at some point I said I didn’t want the daily e-mails anymore. He then basically shoved them through my throat anyway. I even had a period of two months where I had his mails go to my spam folder! Resulting in me saying at last I didn’t want any e-mail whatsoever anymore. phone-calls: a similar story.

So I loosened this boundary a bit over a week ago (I still think that was OK) after we had a good talk.
The day before yesterday I saw he had e-mailed me the day before and the day before that. 1st mail said: “contact me”, the second said: “come on! what are you waiting for!”
So I phoned him. To tell him that I don’t read my e-mail every single day (which is true). This call didn’t went so well. He insisted I would tell him why I didn’t read my e-mail everyday, and I made the right move by saying: I don’t have a reason for it, I just don’t. (Hurray for not JADEing!) After some disgruntled sounds on the other side of the line he had to resign on that one.
My father has health problems again. Not strange for an 80+, but the trouble is he has been having the same health problems for many years. Asthma, problems with keeping his balance (he has fallen on the streets at least three times in the last three years, resulting in injuries), bad memory, and he has quite some problems with the side-effects of the statins he taking for his cholesterol.
He argues endlessly with his doctors about all of this, and basically the rule of thumb is: he does something different than the doctors tell him. The statins for example are not necessary at all, his cholesterol is within the parameters for a healthy level. High, but not above the threshold. :stars: So he brings the nasty side-effects on himself by taking medicine he doesn’t need.

 His memory is a serious problem. He fears he has alzheimer, but when he is tested, it is always negative. Personally, I think it’s more like abuse amnesia (the abuse he has suffered from my narc/uHPD DramaMama, thus his narc/uHPD/DramaWife a.k.a. TherapistSpouse.) or a side effect of his denial he is divorced. The guy is so hooked on his denial, he (conveniently?) forgets everything that is unpleasant. (He might also be dissociating, who knows)

When I spoke with him on the phone 10 days ago, he had no recollection on how the no e-mail/no-phone had come about. He insists that he never wants or wanted to e-mail me (and my siblings) everyday. Facts are he did, and presented it at the time to me as his own plan, and he certainly executed it without any deliberation with me.
So I said I could send him how it came about, to which he answered: “that would be nice.”
And so I did. I dug through my and his old e-mails, and wrote the history. It’s all there, there is no denying.
When I spoke with him the day before yesterday he started accusing me of having a bad memory too, and not keeping my word. As I had promised him to send a piece on ‘his health’. So I said I did, and while on the phone I forwarded him the e-mail (from the week before) again.

Yesterday I got a reply from him that has infuriated me. Yesterday I have been so angry, I tried to smash things up. I yelled and screamed at him. The neighbors must have thought I’d gone mad. Well, mad I was, for sure. Raging!

First of he acknowledged he had received the original mail, but had not read it. Fine. But hen he did the trick I have now come to understand as gaslighting/word salad/invalidation/history revision etc etc etc, a.k.a. “crazy making”.
Instead of apologizing for his ‘faux pas’ he had a lengthy paragraph on how it had come about. I know this all to well of my DramaMama. Somehow it’s like if they have had a good reason to screw up and make false accusations, it’s not a screw up or a false accusation anymore.
I have had this kind of stuff thrown at me all my life. “Plausible deniability” I guess it is. These people have so many tricks from the PD-handbook up there sleeves it’s hard to make the distinction what trick it actually is. Probably they are so apt at it nowadays, they effortlessly mix three together in one sentence. Many more in a paragraph.

To add insult to injury, he completely ignored the original mail (with the history on how the no e-mail/no-phone came about), swept it all under the carpet yet again with the sentence: “I don’t want to mail everyday anyway, so I will leave the matter to rest.”

So in short he first accuses me of neglecting to send him the ‘history’ and then when it turns out I haven’t, he does not read and/or address the mail he was so angry about I had ‘neglected’ to send him!

Well, I may be seeing ghosts, but I have a pretty good idea why his memory is so bad: he doesn’t store anything in it!
What a perfect strategy to keep oneself in denial. Good grief.

The final straw that does drive me mad: He THANKS me for it all. This is also a classic trick of his, and I have no doubt he has learned to do this to placate DramaSpouse.
He makes a mistake, he gets called out, and instead of apologizing (which off course doesn’t work with a narc: any mistake will haunt you for ever. Apologizing is indeed futile with a narc) he takes all the blame and gives thanks for being ‘put in his place’. Total submission to the narc.
And thus he does this with me too: no apology, but a “thank you”. I’m infuriated by it!

So I yelled and screamed and threw things and banged on my desk , repetitively.

Then I wrote him an e-mail.
Short, to the point, where I have said he AGAIN sweeps his insistence on mailing me everyday under the rug, that I don’t want his thanks but his apologies for damage done to me and the final sentence being: “I don’t accept your thanks.”

This morning I feel much calmer. I possibly could even have a calm conversation with him now.
I’m owning my story, and standing by it. He can deny and forget as much as he wants, I’m not buying it. And I will not let him try to sell it to me. No more.

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Three Roses

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Re: I give thanks for help unknown already on the way.
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2016, 03:03:01 PM »
Quote
I’m owning my story, and standing by it. He can deny and forget as much as he wants, I’m not buying it. And I will not let him try to sell it to me. No more.

Go, Dutch! This is awesome!   :cheer:

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: I give thanks for help unknown already on the way.
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2016, 09:08:37 AM »
So, I was much calmer yesterday evening, realized the mail I had send my dad was rather cryptic and/or 'black and white', so I decided to phone him. Again.
We had a good conversation and effectively managed to find 'common ground'.
Which is to say we didn't compromise, we both had our own story to tell, and we could find the common ground in them, yet also acknowledge where our own experiences/viewpoints differ, without invalidating each others experiences.

So that's real progress.

He had send me a letter, he told me (which should arrive today) but as we have had this conversation with each other, and things are basically 'ironed out', I have said to him that I might not respond to the letter as it probably tells the same story we just had on the phone. I said "if I don't respond, it means all is good". He was very happy with me saying that upfront.

I'm quite amazed by the progress we are making together.
And personally I think me braking the 'taboo' on not saying anything bad about his wife has 'flipped the coin'. Somehow her 'spell' she has held over the entire family (but in this case specifically over her spouse, both within the marriage as well as after she has left him) has been broken, and me and dad now have an avenue (or rather a small alleyway  ;D ) to have contact with each other without her standing in the way/looking over our shoulder/guarding every move we make.

And I give credit for No Contact to have gotten me there.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2016, 09:13:16 AM by Dutch Uncle »

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movementforthebetter

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Re: I give thanks for help unknown already on the way.
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2016, 11:19:29 PM »
Wow, Dutch Uncle, congratulations on all of this progress.

In some ways it sounds so simple to just talk to someone, and yet I know how challenging it must have been and it really speaks to the work you have been doing. Setting and enforcing boundaries, using the toolbox tools, expressing yourself fully and as you showed me, standing in your own story.

I am in awe and I hope I can be so brave to openly advocate for myself like that one day.  :thumbup:  :thumbup:  :thumbup:  :thumbup:  :thumbup:

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: I give thanks for help unknown already on the way.
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2016, 10:48:30 AM »
This morning I had a bit of a shouting match with my dad. Well, match is not the right word, as it was only me doing the shouting.

I've entered a strange dualistic relationship with my dad since the call. Overall there has been a great improvement. So that's wonderful.
On the other side, and this was to be expected, he is trying to hoover me back into a relationship with my mother. The woman he considers his wife, despite the fact she divorced him 15 years ago. ("yeah,legally I'm divorced, yes", he said lately, in a manner that sounded like: "but what the heck does that have to do with anything." The guy is in full denial. I guess he is in an illegal marriage.  ;D ) He has given me the "you have to forgive her", "she's your mother", "Never say never" etc, but I have stood firm.
Today he tried again, and I'm so happy I have found my voice and shout if I need to. NO NO NO, I NEVER want to see her again.
I guess I am making progress, as he now has said the relationships can be over for "99,99 and a lot of more 9's" % but never a full 100%. Well, there's no point in arguing against something like that, and in a way it's a shot for open goal for me to say: "I agree, but I'm in the 99,99etc. % category so you do the math on the chances of me hooking up with mom again." Which off course doesn't shut him up, he'll see that tiny chance a a wide open door to "try to fix things", but I made clear it isn't and he shouldn't. There were way more attempts he made, and each and every time I started shouting NO NO NO. And then more calmly beat his argument. So he got nowhere. he'll speak with his T/friend on it this week. Good.

A fun part was when we discussed that we have improved our relationship. I said to dad: "Yeah, you can do what they can't." Which is true. That actually made him laugh. Which is great. And I think it may work in many ways, I think my dad is slowly beginning to see that all the gossip and smear campaigns DramaMama and DramaSis have poured over him (and everybody else) over me and their relationship with me doesn't quite cut it. He now sees it's perfectly possible to have a more pleasant relationship with me. And the beauty is, it's simply because I am now being me (without the fear of 'mom' looking over his shoulder) and he is just being him. Possibly as well because somehow 'mom' is not standing in his way either. I really have the idea my dad is now not acting a role he thinks he has to, but rather has dropped the role he thought he had to play. I have pretty strong indications from what he says and writes that "[he is] dropping the socially warranted replies" etc.

So it's really odd that on one hand things have improved remarkably, and on the other hand the horror of the expected Flying Monkey is in full swing as well. I guess only time will tell which side the coin will fall onto.
I did make a threat today, I said he was playing with fire if he would keep on pressuring me to go back to 'mom'. I have not set a time or amount on it, mostly because I don't know when time, effort or energy will run out for me. But I'm personally of firm resolve I will follow through when I feel I have to, and cut contact with him too. As it is, I do have the idea I really am getting somewhere with him. And lets face it: his worldview is upside down at the moment, so I should give him some time to process this. His saintly wife who dumped him and he since venerates even more, is now being "shoved aside" (his words) by his son. And his son violently (verbally that is) states and repeats time and again he does not want to have to do anything with her, ever again. He wants to go back to her, and does go back to her time and again (only to be given a narcissistic discard when it suits 'mom' of course, while undoubtedly feeding him some crumbs in between... keep the hope alive, keep the supply under reach... it's so sick...) and I am flat out refusing to even make amends. (well, 99,99etc % flat.  ;) )
Meanwhile I get the opportunity to throw more 'dirt' at mom and sis. I'm spilling the beans when he starts pushing me, and I have decided I will continue to do so. It's good for me to get it all out, and quite possibly it stirs a lightbulb with him too. Because of course all that has happened that has lead me to go No Contact has also happened to him. So he may resist, but he knows what I'm talking about.
Now, I have no illusions he will 'quit' with them, but there might just be a possibility he will give up hovering me. I'm seeing some signs. And that is all I want: He leaves me 'divorced' from the DramaQueens, and I will leave him married to them.

I'll do my best not to bring up 'mom' myself again, and also not to grab every opportunity to go 'mental' on the DramaQueens when he mentions them, but I have given myself a pass I may do so when he brings 'reunification' up.
I'm done being silent, and I'm done being the invisible child.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2016, 10:57:15 AM by Dutch Uncle »