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Are they manipulating me again?

Old 12-17-2006, 03:10 PM
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Angry Are they manipulating me again?

I cut ties with my family about 5 months ago. Dad is an alcoholic, mom an enabler and emotional abuser. I have been lonely, but I have also felt healthier than I have in years without them in my life.

Now out of the blue, I am receiving e-mails from them both saying how much they want a reconciliation with me. My Dad saying, "I would celebrate a relationship with my youngest daughter again." Yea well I feel like I would have celebrated having a sober father the last 31 years.

My mother has sent me greeting cards and roses. I would have loved for her to have done this so many times in my life and she picks now? I am both sad and angry about this. Mostly angry, I admit I need to deal with my anger.

All I have ever wanted was a relationship with both of them and they instead chose their addictions, a new family (my mom re-married and moved away). Her "new" family is hardly there for her now, so I feel like now she comes running to me who she abandoned at 16. Why now?

I know a lot of people's first response to me is, "They are trying, maybe you should open your heart and give it a chance." I just can't be sure that is the case. I know my Dad is still drinking and I feel like maybe my mom just misses having someone to kick around. I don't trust either one of them, and the thought of getting back into a situation where my mother is abusive to me is terrifying. I finally got away from that.

Does anyone have any advice? I don't want to be manipulated by them anymore, but it does hurt having no family as well. I have been having nightmares about them both all week.
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Old 12-17-2006, 03:25 PM
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I don't have a whole lot of advice since I am just learning about all of this but I would say that if you don't feel ready to accept all of it then you aren't. I have read a lot about boundaries on this board and perhaps that is something you need to review with both of them. Again I am probably not the best in the advice category since I don't know much myself but I hope that helps a little. Deep down I think you know that although you may be lonely you are healthier and happier overall.
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Old 12-17-2006, 05:17 PM
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Gemini,

Here's my 2 cents - if it matters... first, read my post "a functional alcoholic" below yours and see what GingerM had to say to me. i think it would apply to you as well since we are in the same "detachment" boat.

Second... I think for me it is the holidays that are making me feel like I have this duty to allow my dad back in. It is sad to see him hurting to see his grandkids (my kids) at Xmas, but like my friend said, it is one holiday, one day. is it worth my mental health for the rest of the year? I answered no. Everything I told my dad when separating from him remains true. Is this also true for you? Do you feel the same way you did 5 months ago? You said you were much happier now - so I suspect so...

Your main goal should be for you to be happy. We have but one chance on this earth (that is what i believe at least) so why might as well make it the happiest, best one we can and if that means cutting out negative infuences that make our lives anything less than better for being in them, then I say its your right.

Anyhoo, I just wanted to let you know that someone out there feels your pain and I know EXACTLY how you feel at this moment. Anytime you need to talk - I am here...
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Old 12-17-2006, 09:39 PM
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When I have to deal with toxic family who suddenly turn nicey-nice I remember how long they behaved in manners that were harmful to me. Just a few days being nice is not going to _earn_ back the trust they took so long to destroy. It's easy to be nice for a little while, but to be a _true_ family member takes lots more than a few days.

Mike
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Old 12-18-2006, 06:52 AM
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Mike beat me to it

I would add though - what is your gut telling you? Sounds like it's telling you to run and don't look back.

It's been my experience that my gut often chooses a better path than my head does. I'd listen to that gut.

Also, they have a long history, you say your dad is still drinking, and you don't know what the deal is with your mom. Unless he gets sober, and she gets counselling, I'm guessing absolutely nothing will be different. Will they be hurt? yes. Is that your problem? no. Not unless you get back into their lives, wait for the honeymoon period to wear off and then they'll use your 5 month period of detachment as yet more ammunition in their pool of toxicity.

Nothing changes if nothing changes, and it sounds to me like nothing's changed except for your absence.
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Old 12-18-2006, 01:54 PM
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Good advice everyone and thank you. I am listening to my gut and avoiding them.
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Old 12-24-2006, 04:39 AM
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I had to avoid my mother, once for 4 years another for 10 years. I had to do it for my sanity...to be honest it was the happiest years of my adult life.

We are now back together again, I have my bounderies in place, yet she still is a PIA, she is 81 and still drinking..no end in sight...

Do what's best for you, that is the key.

Merry Christmas,

Dolly
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Old 12-24-2006, 05:20 AM
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Thanks ... I needed to hear all this today as well...
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Old 01-14-2007, 04:04 PM
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Trust yourself. If you feel like family members are manipulating you then they are. Take care of you!
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Old 01-16-2007, 07:10 PM
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I really needed to read all of these posts today, too. Thank you!
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