Loyalty

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Blueberry

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Loyalty
« on: July 26, 2017, 10:04:11 PM »
I have friends, various of them in fact, who have got to know FOO, more particularly my parents. I know that 2 of my very good friends are loyal to me first and foremost. One I asked about this at the time a few months ago when I was considering going NC. Now I'm just doing a slow withdrawal and probably will remain VLC  or VVLC. Another friend, when I was talking to her about the nasty FOO happenings last summer and how I'm progressing and changing in the type and amount of contact I have with FOO, she came out and said how shocked she'd been at a reaction of my parents' towards her about me, along the lines of 'Crazy Blueberry' and without the slightest realisation that they themselves might have had some influence in the way I turned out and in fact in the development of CPTSD. She didn't tell me that until I showed that I'm withdrawing from FOO. She waited till I was ready, and that's great.

But I have another friend and her husband who have somewhat more contact with my FOO, even though FOO is in a different country. I finally broached the topic with this friend today, because I think it's possible FOO might send a Flying Monkey to them at some point and my request was: please ask FOO to contact me directly. (I haven't forbidden my FOO from sending emails, I've just made it clear I don't want phone calls and I do want everybody to deal with their own problems rather than F emailing me about 'hurting' M.) I don't want FOO fishing for information from others. This friend couldn't quite deal with that. She could imagine my parents might worry etc. so I got into a bit of justifying unfortunately. And now feel worse. As if I'm this dumb person who could sort everything out if only I could manage boundaries more like a normal person and wasn't so sensitive etc.

I know cognitively that's not the case. Well, live and learn I guess. Learn not to JADE especially the Justifying part. It hurts to think there are friends who will say: it's not our problem / dispute, we want to be loyal to both of you.
I spoke to one of the other friends who professed her loyalty to me a few months back and she suggested I might like to talk to the 'loyal to me and FOO friend' and say how difficult that position is for me atm. The very idea of doing that - I feel even worse. It feels like I would lose as usual, as I did the last times I tried to discuss anything in FOO. Another topic for therapy in a couple of weeks? The topic might evolve before then too, since I've started working on it here, just by writing it out.

Aaaargh. The rest of FOO (whole extended family) and FOO friends will stick to FOO. They don't seem to have conflicted loyalties. (I have been NC before so noticed what I noticed last time.) FOO first, me second. But some of my friends do because apparently they can understand my parents' "worry" about me.  :aaauuugh:

OK now I know what it's triggering: remarks from B1 and M in my childhood about how useless my friends were (losers like me). And those weird feelings of "I can only trust my family" whereas really I couldn't trust them at all!! Look what they did to me! Look how they didn't protect me! Look at what they all dumped on me! I've been loyal to them so long, and only now am I really pulling away, am I really seeing them for what they are.

Sorry for the long rant. It helps me. And I didn't do any bad coping skills while writing.  :thumbup: Which I might do however if just thinking this out.

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Three Roses

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Re: Loyalty
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2017, 01:47:50 AM »
 :cheer:

Way to go, Blueberry! That's progress  :applause:

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Candid

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Re: Loyalty
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2017, 07:33:32 AM »
It's a tough gig to go NC or lesser variants and have friends acting as flying monkeys. I really do sympathise. Unfortunately we can't lay down the law with other contacts, each of whom will act according to conscience. It's an offshoot of the Motherhood Myth, the belief that mother always has her offspring's best interests at heart and therefore is entitled to know everything that goes on, regardless of what her victim might want and need for recovery.

I don't want FOO fishing for information from others.

I understand that, and so will everyone else on the forum. People with good-enough parents don't understand it. They might love you to the max, but their own experience tells them everything would fall into place if only you would play ball with your parents.

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This friend couldn't quite deal with that. She could imagine my parents might worry etc.

Trouble is, abusive parents have a big investment in looking 'right'. They actually say how worried they are, the flipside typically being how messed-up you are and all they want to do is 'help'.

One of my sisters used to complain long and loud about being what she called "the meat in the sandwich", for which she clearly blamed me. I pointed out to her many times that I didn't ask her to pass messages to Them, and that I preferred not to hear from her about anything They said. It made no difference. She had her own boundary issues, couldn't just tell them "Candid's fine" and leave me out of it.

You're unlikely to be able to bolt all the doors, Blueberry, especially while making it explicit to your parents that they can still email you.

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It hurts to think there are friends who will say: it's not our problem / dispute, we want to be loyal to both of you.

I know. I can also see where they're coming from. They have in their heads that someday you'll get over this, and they don't want to be on the outer when you're back to playing Happy Families.

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I spoke to one of the other friends who professed her loyalty to me a few months back and she suggested I might like to talk to the 'loyal to me and FOO friend' and say how difficult that position is for me atm. The very idea of doing that - I feel even worse.

Of course you do! It's the tangled web thing, and to us it's going to feel and be dangerous. This friend sounds like a gem, though.  She loves you and wants to protect you.

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The rest of FOO (whole extended family) and FOO friends will stick to FOO. They don't seem to have conflicted loyalties. (I have been NC before so noticed what I noticed last time.) FOO first, me second.

I'm sorry this is the way it worked out, but the odds are not in our favour. We're the ones who make the no-choice choice to walk for our own sanity. Most will take no action at all, but we're no longer turning up to family get-togethers so they drift out of our lives. I don't think they make a conscious choice to blank us, but people do have a way of taking the easiest route and going with the numbers.

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I've been loyal to them so long, and only now am I really pulling away, am I really seeing them for what they are.

I know it might not feel like it right now, but this is good news. My biggest regret is that I let it all go on too long, believing in their best intentions because that's a cultural norm and I'd been brainwashed from birth. It took mother finally becoming overt in front of disinterested witnesses before I finally got a great clanging-alarm-lights-flashing-get-out-NOW! Friends and therapists had pointed stuff out long before that, but my loving heart made better excuses for mother than she ever bothered to make for herself.

This certainly is a topic for therapy but I'm glad you managed to do some processing here ahead of your holiday. I wonder whether you can put a STOP! on these ruminations while you're away? For that you need to pick a Happier Thought you'll flee to every time FOO come to mind. And please know while you're gone that we're on your team here, and we'll look out for you no matter what.

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Blueberry

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Re: Loyalty
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2017, 01:45:33 PM »
I came back on here today especially to look for any answers here.

So you'd say, Candid, I shouldn't speak to this friend again? Now rather than later? I do realise that I can't change this friend. But there are more people in the world than just us on here who know the Rule of: Ask the person directly. Don't go and ask others, they can't know exactly.

I had in mind to say to my friend that if she allows herself to be used as a flying monkey, then she's undermining the limits I'm setting my parents. My parents are allowed to contact me via email if they accept my new rules. If they don't, they get some sort of other limit. This goes along with some of what I read on OOTF on how to deal. If my parents then discover that they can waive my limits by contacting someone else to find out what they want (even if it sounds harmless information), then I'm setting limits for nothing.

I'm not going back to playing Happy Families.

Thanks for validating that it feels and is dangerous for me (to speak up to somebody who might not understand).

Seeing FOO for what they are and pulling away actually does feel like good news to me. I know it's a good step forward.  :cheer: It's all the other stuff that comes up with it that's difficult.

Probably after writing all this, it would be best to take this topic to T with me because it is triggering old memories of how FOO members react to me setting limits to other FOO members.

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Candid

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Re: Loyalty
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2017, 08:28:52 AM »
I had in mind to say to my friend that if she allows herself to be used as a flying monkey, then she's undermining the limits I'm setting my parents.

It's better to set boundaries with this friend, too. She has to be a friend and NOT mention your parents to you. You don't want to hear it. If the focus stays on whatever drew you and this friend together, she's got nothing but neutral subjects to go back with. You have other friends (including us) with whom you can talk over more personal subjects.  So you just keep cutting off any mention of Them.

Unfortunately you can't demand that she never mentions you to your parents. They're going to ask about you. She's going to answer out of politeness, because for some reason she wants to run with the hare and the hounds. It's a fine line between giving information and gossiping. I'm afraid for you that if this friendship continues, it's going to be an acting job. If you were to tell her you're having a bad day, or show up looking a bit dishevelled, is she likely to tell the hounds you're vulnerable so they can get their shotguns out, all the while saying how 'worried' they are about you?

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If my parents then discover that they can waive my limits by contacting someone else to find out what they want (even if it sounds harmless information), then I'm setting limits for nothing.

They can also get into Someone Else's ear to discredit you. I faced that decades ago when a workmate revealed the gist of one of mother's early smear campaigns. Typically, Someone Else had a good-enough upbringing, subscribes to the motherhood myth, is a bit thick and totally lacks empathy with your situation.

An aside here: Cutting off parents is the second most unnatural act a human can carry out. Suicide ranks #1, but in some cultures cutting off FOO or being cut off by FOO = a death sentence, so it's pretty much the same thing. All mammals are hard-wired through aeons of genetic programming to stick with the herd. It's safety, protection, comfort. This makes you and me deviants. It makes us The Problem. The best-intentioned people will always try to push us back.

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Seeing FOO for what they are and pulling away actually does feel like good news to me. I know it's a good step forward.  :cheer: It's all the other stuff that comes up with it that's difficult.

I know! If it's any comfort, pulling away from my family was the best move I ever made. After a while, and far away from Them, I had strong relationships with people who were never going to meet Them and who They couldn't possibly contact. As you know, that was compromised recently. That's why I said you're never going to be able to close all the doors, and I know you wouldn't want to. With enough breathing space and minimal interference, you can chart your own, brighter path.


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Blueberry

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Re: Loyalty
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2017, 09:17:05 PM »
I did actually decide to explain things to this particular friend before I went on holiday. She understood and was able to accept my wishes in this matter. In fact she wasn't used as a Flying Monkey in my absence. I got a letter instead with an enclosure.

The Loyalty theme is still in my head and in my emotions. More a FOO thing. I was loyal to them, they weren't to me. I feel betrayed when I think of my past. Some of it I said to my T this past week. About friends who know FOO members, he answered cognitively about them not having being mixed up in our dysfunctional families, so didn't see that side of our FOOs. So that's why they don't necessarily act the way we do towards FOO, i.e. allergic. A bit too rational for me. But if I get down into my emotions in T this coming week, my T will be able to help me with that, and I won't continue to feel misunderstood by him as well.

Being loyal to FOO: I lied to save my brothers from M's condemnation and partly probably because I was scared of B1. Yes, that's it. They refused for me. When I pointed this out to them, they said that the time I lied for them it had all come out in the wash so to speak. Yes, it did, so M knew I'd being covering for them, I said. They didn't care enough to not pass on info about me to my parents when I was not in touch with them.

I know you've given your ideas on this, Candid. I'm just venting. This was such a deal in FOO. As a child and teen, I was always accused of being a liar. And then in my 20's there I was, actually lying to save my brothers, but they wouldn't for me. My T said in dysfunctional families lying might actually be the best idea at the time. But other people decide differently, like my brothers, and maybe friends. Yeah, yeah, I know I can't change other people or force other people to react the way I'd like. Can only change myself.

But I think I need to re-explain to my T the big step of talking to my friend again after all before I went on holiday. It really was a big step for me. Because last year when I asked for help, for support, it was denied to me. That makes it harder to ask somebody else. But I did.  :cheer: And it worked.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 08:42:47 PM by Blueberry »

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Three Roses

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Re: Loyalty
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2017, 03:42:02 AM »
:cheer: :cheer:

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Candid

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Re: Loyalty
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2017, 10:30:10 AM »
I know you've given your ideas on this, Candid. I'm just venting.

Of course.  :hug:

I really do hear you on the loyalty thing. I too am loyal to all FOO, while two of them smear me to the max. Only NC with the lot of them makes this possible for me; I've been in psych wards twice for losing my equilibrium over them.

Blueberry, I'm cheering with you that asking for help got a good response. I know that doesn't come naturally to the relationally-impaired. Maybe it needs to be practised? Ask for small favours more often? At the very least, stop saying no when people actually offer to do things for us! I have a horror of incurring debts I doubt I can repay.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 04:38:19 AM by Candid »

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Blueberry

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Re: Loyalty
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2017, 06:37:48 PM »
Blueberry, I'm cheering with you that asking for help got a good response. I know that doesn't come naturally to the relationally-impaired. Maybe it needs to be practised? Ask for small favours more often? At the very least, stop saying no when people actually offer to do things for us! I have a horror of incurring debts I doubt I can repay.

Yes, that is something worth cheering!  :cheer:  :cheer: :cheer: As maybe you can tell, I like this emoticon  ;) And worth repeating.

I'm surprised that only the two of us on here seem to react to this loyalty topic. One of my problems is that I remained loyal so long and didn't realise till very late i.e. last year how little loyalty there is towards me. And how much dishonesty there was.

Also I read in Karyl McBride's book about the narcisstic mothers that a thing in dysfunctional families is using somebody else to impart knowledge. ie B2 passed on his opinion of me to B1, and B1 passed this on to me. B2 can look blameless because how would he know that B1 would pass it on except that this is what B1 does. And B1 has been doing it for years whether knowingly as a child or whether he was being used then, Idk. But he did. Passed all sorts of info on to me from M and F, sometimes with his own spin on it, so that when confronted by me F would say: "What I actually said was..." But B1 never seemed abashed about having been caught out. I would've been. But then I'm a totally different person.

Sometimes it's maybe better not to dwell on it?

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Candid

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Re: Loyalty
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2017, 05:38:58 AM »
One of my problems is that I remained loyal so long and didn't realise till very late i.e. last year how little loyalty there is towards me.

It's the so long and so late that gets to us, isn't it?  As small children we can't afford to see that our caregivers are harmful to us, so we develop a massive blind spot. I call it the Unthinkable Thought: I am not safe here. The blind spot becomes a major part of CPTSD: I can't trust myself, either. It's really too much if we then kick ourselves for not getting our eyes open decades ago.

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a thing in dysfunctional families is using somebody else to impart knowledge.

Yes, it's known as triangulation.

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A narcissistic person wants to ensure the other actors communicate through them but remain otherwise isolated. In some cases narcissists will use control of communication to drive a wedge between the other parties. This can be done by falsely making one of the actors or groups of actors into a scapegoat for problems that the narcissist is actually responsible for or that are otherwise unrelated. In addition the narcissist may falsely credit the other actor with saying or thinking something hurtful, or may put too much emphasis on an aspect of something that was said to them that ignores the wider context.

Sound familiar? Family-ar? It does to me.

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B1 never seemed abashed about having been caught out. I would've been. But then I'm a totally different person.

Sounds like some kind of PD to me, but as you say, it's better not to dwell on it. I've been having a lot of success with thought-stopping: I catch myself (faster and faster now) and switch to a chosen positive thought. How about: "I can ask for and accept help"?

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sanmagic7

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Re: Loyalty
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2017, 04:26:49 PM »
if i may weigh in here, this loyalty thing has bitten me in the butt several times in the past year, with both friends and family.  my parents are dead a long time, but i heard about loyalty and the family the whole time i was growing up.  family first, all that rot. 

i don't know if people understand what loyalty means.  not all people, of course, but certainly the majority of them in my life.  i have always been a loyal friend - it's something i've been proud of myself for as long as i can remember.  thru all the years that i've had friends, i can't count any who have been as loyal to me as i have been to them.

what's wrong with this picture?  i don't understand it.  betrayal has run rampant in my relationships, no matter what kind they've been.   are people just scared of that commitment to being loyal?

when my best friend went behind my back to talk to my hub about what i'd told her, i couldn't believe it.  (she, too, suffers from c-ptsd and is in therapy).  when i confronted her about it, she came raging back at me.  we'd been friends for 20 yrs., and i'd always put our friendship first, no matter what the problem. 

this wasn't the first time something like this had happened.  we managed to patch up what had gone on before, but this time she took me to the mat, so to speak, bringing up all kinds of ancient history and things that didn't even pertain to what had actually happened.  i ended up telling her that i was too sick to either get over this impasse or to explore it, and that i'd contact her when i was cured.  i doubt that'll happen.

i'm better off without her in my life - i can see that now.  but i don't think it's too much to ask a friend for loyalty, no matter who is involved.   loyalty is a magnificent trait to find in a person.  i haven't found much of it, tho.  my heart is with you on this, blueberry.  there are so many ways to go on this, and i respect and support any way you choose.   i never found it difficult to be loyal, so i really can't understand why others do.   best to you with this, and a big hug.