No contact vs Low contact

  • 6 Replies
  • 2787 Views
*

sweetsixty

  • Member
  • 91
    • View Profile
No contact vs Low contact
« on: October 31, 2014, 08:13:02 AM »
As I'm new here. I don't know if I'm posting this in the right place but  I could really do with some advice on this one.

Background for those who don't know - there's a history where I was forced into marriage at 16 years old with a guy who turned out to be a psycopath, then last year my parents told me (and only me not my siblings in case it upset them) that they also had been pregnant when they married and that all the anniversary celebrations we had shared to that point had been a lie!

So a few weeks ago I told my enablingF that I would not go to their 60th anniversary celebrations as I was not young to take part in the lie that they had hurt me so much with. Especially as they had told me my uNPDM had got pregannant on purpose and was 23!!

 There was a huge fall out from this but my SIL was my biggest advocate and explained to 2 of my brothers how painful this revelation had been for me and they then all recognised the lie and I had lovely validating phone calls of support from them all. Then they persuaded my Father to drop the idea of a party at all.

That may seem like the end of the story but since then I have not spoken to or seen my parents as in my mind I feel that I really need to go no contact with them.  In fact my brother told me it was best to stay awy for now as my Father still hadn't dropped the subject.. But I live in a very small town and yesterday I ended up asking my hubbie to go to the chemist for me as I was scared to go on my own in case I bumped into my father. Bear in mind he is now a little 82 year old man. But he festers and won't drop things and move on and I know they will be blaming me and making sure the whole family know I have done something terrible again.

Well my dilemma is that my SIL said to me on the phone last night to be very careful if I never see them again that when something happens to one of them I may end up feeling very guilty and that would be worse for me! Worse - how can it be worse than the shame and fear they left me with?

On top of that my T has pointed out to me that as control is a major issue for me if I leave things hanging and I live in the same town the there is an unpredictability about it that may see me end up with unexpected contact that I can't deal with.  Although she has also said if you do then don't look on no contact as punishing them but as taking care of you. But she has left me to make the decision.

So guys I could really do with some help on this one. I am really fearful still  of any contact as the last twice I have ended up shaking and crying for ages afterwards. But at the same time living with the possibility of a chance meeting or phone call also fills me with dread. Can anyone offer their thoughts or share experiences on this. I have read loads on no contact vs low contact but we actually live less than half a mile away from them.

Thanks for listening x

*

keepfighting

  • Member
  • 409
  • I'm not broken just bent
    • View Profile
Re: No contact vs Low contact
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2014, 10:06:02 AM »
But I live in a very small town and yesterday I ended up asking my hubbie to go to the chemist for me as I was scared to go on my own in case I bumped into my father.

 :hug: Poor you!

I know that feeling well (my FOO is crazy making to say the least). Makes you feel like a coward and a nutter to boot. It's okay as an exception before you make up your mind how you want to procede, but it's no way to live.  :sharkbait:

Well my dilemma is that my SIL said to me on the phone last night to be very careful if I never see them again that when something happens to one of them I may end up feeling very guilty and that would be worse for me! Worse - how can it be worse than the shame and fear they left me with?

On top of that my T has pointed out to me that as control is a major issue for me if I leave things hanging and I live in the same town the there is an unpredictability about it that may see me end up with unexpected contact that I can't deal with.  Although she has also said if you do then don't look on no contact as punishing them but as taking care of you. But she has left me to make the decision.

Your SIL's remarks are nothing short of Emotional Blackmail, but there is also a valid point to consider before you definitely go NC:

*What issues (if any) do you want to settle with your mother, your father and both together before you go NC?

Think about it carefully and settle them before the NC so they don't keep nagging on you in your mind and leave openings for your parents or any flying monkeys to rekindle contact against your wish. Do it with consideration only for your peace of mind and not to please or appease anyone else. Make this decision about you and your needs.

Your t's advice sounds very good. You've got a good one there  :thumbup:.

Here's a good link about how to prepare for and then enforce NC: http://thenarcissisticlife.com/the-no-contact-rule-the-narcissist-and-no-contact/

NC is never easy and in a small town it will be harder still. But it might be necessary for your own peace of mind and your emotional and physical wellbeing.

I went NC with both my parents about 14 years ago (they are divorced and both are Ns).  I did it not to punish them or give them the ST or anything - but because I needed to do it for my own safety and wellbeing and that of my kids. That knowledge has given me strength to refute the verbal attacks that I've gotten over the years (sometimes by complete strangers who didn't know they were being used): I didn't go NC out of spite for my parents but out of love for myself. It was a positive action and a necessary one.

Good luck to you! Take your time before you definitely decide on NC (it will affect many more relationships in your life, inside and outside the family circle) and should you decide on NC: Prepare it well before you initiate it or else stay very LC. Whichever option feels better for you.

Kudos!
« Last Edit: October 31, 2014, 10:12:50 AM by keepfighting »

*

sweetsixty

  • Member
  • 91
    • View Profile
Re: No contact vs Low contact
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2014, 10:16:47 AM »
Hi keepfighting, that is amazing advice and very sensible too. Can I just ask how you knew you were ready to go NC? And how you knew you were in a place of love for you? A bit personal I know so feel free to ignore. X

Re: No contact vs Low contact
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2014, 10:24:52 AM »
Oh dear. No, I'm all out of advice.  :sadno:  Sorry to hear that you're going through all this.

Quote
Well my dilemma is that my SIL said to me on the phone last night to be very careful if I never see them again that when something happens to one of them I may end up feeling very guilty and that would be worse for me! Worse - how can it be worse than the shame and fear they left me with?

I'd agree. Your SIL seems to assume (maybe unconsciously) that your relationship with your parents is normal. And normal people - well, if you're too busy to keep in touch with your folks and then someone dies, of course that makes you feel guilty. It's like, you could have made their lives better and warmer by showing affection, and you forgot, and now you can never make up for it. But in your case? That relationship died long ago, or am I misreading this? If you keep in touch, all this creates is more abuse. If your parents died, there's a chance you'd only continue to grieve what you've already been grieving for years and years - this absence of care and attention and love. 

I'm LC with my mother. It's a bit of a balancing act, to be honest. My daughters love her to bits, and she's reasonably good with them, so I'm keeping up LC for their sakes. If I'm honest, it's also the path of least resistance. The text about Medium Chill on the website of "Out of the Fog" has been a huge help.

Disadvantages of LC:
-- it might be nice to simply be done with my FOO once and for all, clean slate, move on, don't even think about the past
-- it takes up time and energy: I have to unlearn my old habits and teach myself how to keep the sh+ttiness at a safe distance
-- sometimes even LC is unpleasant

Advantages of LC:
-- I don't have to explain to my extended family or to our acquaintances why I'm not in touch with my mother. I'm not ready to talk to them about my CPTSD, so I wouldn't have a good enough explanation. This way, it's "oh yes, we talk on the phone every week" (about chitty-chatty topics alone)
-- my kids get to keep their grandmother (she has no PD, and isn't abusive to them)
-- it gives me more control over my interactions with my FOO - I can lower our contact until it's almost-but-not-quite NC (for a short while), or I can get a bit more in touch again when I'm feeling better

Again, my mother hasn't got a PD. It's possible to steer our interactions a bit - to avoid too-personal topics for example, or to avoid long conversations altogether (during her last visit, we just played a board game with the kids, and it worked out really well). That might be one thing to consider. Would LC even be possible with your parents? I could imagine that some people just don't know when to leave well enough alone, and would be insistent and critical to a point where it's either full contact or no contact.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2014, 10:38:04 AM by schrödinger's cat »

*

sweetsixty

  • Member
  • 91
    • View Profile
Re: No contact vs Low contact
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2014, 01:17:40 PM »
Thanks Cat, your not all out of advice that's great advice. This is my problem there is no 'normal' with them. Mum has never been an even half decent Grandmother. When my eldest 2 were little she gave birth to my baby sister keeping all the focus on her again she was 42 at the time. She then told me I can't be a gran I'm too busy being a Mum! Besides they are 'his' children and his behaviour upsets me. Never mind what he was doing to me!!

Then when my younger 2 from my 2nd marriage were born she was never around. 3 of my kids never see them and don't really intend too. As one of them put it 'I don't know why but I don't really feel like I want to see them even though I feel like I should'. One of my elder girls still sees them about once a month but she is so soft and so easily hoovered bless her. But she has said if ever say anything to her about me she will walk out as she's very protective of me and her step-dad.

The last phone call I had was about 6 weeks ago when I told my Dad that I did not want him to come around and see me if all he was going to do was talk about the past. I ended saying please leave this whilst we are still speaking and I have visitors at the moment, and I just put the phone down. I've heard nothing from them since but his birthday us coming up which is why my SIL mentioned them as she asked me what I would do about his birthday and I said nothing.

I used to go and see them about once a fortnight or else they would come and see me, it was always a strained visit. So my dilemma is should I just let it lie now as my brothers suggested, ignore his birthday?. They believe he will bring up the subject again as he really can't let it go. This leaves me just not knowing if I may bump into them unexpectedly.  Or should I buy a card and token present and keep the falseness we have had for years leaving me open again?

OMGoodness this is sooooo hard :-(((

*

keepfighting

  • Member
  • 409
  • I'm not broken just bent
    • View Profile
Re: No contact vs Low contact
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2014, 02:48:46 PM »
Hi keepfighting, that is amazing advice and very sensible too. Can I just ask how you knew you were ready to go NC? And how you knew you were in a place of love for you? A bit personal I know so feel free to ignore. X

For 5 years before going NC, I tried boundary setting, then lower and lower LC, then NC.

I was drained and exhausted from trying to make our relationship a healthier one for me. I also knew I had to protect myself and my kid (only one at the time) from these toxic influences. Also, I felt strong enough emotionally to face even the 'darker' consequences of NC with a narc: The fact that they will not let it go 'unpunished' but try and interfere with as many of your other relationships as they possibly can and smear campaign me (only my covert N mom did that - my overt N dad is too up his own **** to think of such an elaborate scheme...).

So, initially I went NC mainly to protect myself. I just needed a breather. My T helped me maintain NC - not out of spite or feelings of revenge, but out of love for myself. It was the first time in my life that I felt I was worth it, that I deserved the peace I felt without their dramas, without the insanity and the eggshells. That I truly felt that I didn't have to earn the right to live but that I even had the right to enjoy my just 'existing' (...this probably makes no sense at all, it's hard to put those feelings into words...).

So, I probably went NC to protect myself, but stayed NC because I learned to love myself --- something like that ???.

Whether you go NC or very low LC is a decision only you can make. Thankfully, you've got people IRL who are fighting your corner (h, kids, T...). That is sooooo important! Don't feel pressured into a decision because of the upcoming birthday: I think by now your whole FOO knows you've changed. Take the time to decide - it's an important decision to make but not an urgent one. Listen carefully to your own feelings and let them guide you -  you won't feel happier if you give a token card and gift and feel that by doing so you've betrayed yourself.  :hug:

I hope you'll soon find a way to deal with this situation so you no longer fear a chance meeting with your parents. I hope that more peace will come to you once you've made up your mind what to do and why you want to do it.

Kudos to you!

*

sweetsixty

  • Member
  • 91
    • View Profile
Re: No contact vs Low contact
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2014, 03:54:44 PM »
Thank you Rain and keepfighting there are some real gems in what you both say. It brought me to tears but then so much does at the moment and so much of what you said is sensible.

I really appreciate you all being so open and sharing this, just knowing your not alone is humbling in itself. I am going to take your advice and think about it some more and let the solution just come and will keep you posted on what I decide. For now I'm just going to let things lie but you are so right buying a token present would be being false to myself and I know I would feel worse than not buying.

Thank you so much again and peace on your journey. xx