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Thoughts on Long Term No Contact

Old 03-29-2016, 11:27 AM
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Thoughts on Long Term No Contact

It's weird being NC for so long (a year and a half now) and hearing nothing at all from anyone. Although I did hear from my step brother a couple months ago, and he is supportive. He did NC with his dad the last few years of his dad's life, but regretted it as his dad died alone in a nursing home. It was a good talk as I think he has a better understanding of his NC choice as well now. He hasn't had any contact with my mom (his ex-step mom) in quite a while so there's no conflicting emotions - makes for cathartic conversation as we both understand each other.
But, even with all the understanding in the world I can't help but wonder why she doesn't even try. If one of my kids wasn't talking to me I would send a letter, a message, ask what I could do and make every effort to be a better person for them.
How is it I can understand addiction, but not understand the person?
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Old 03-29-2016, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by ajarlson View Post
How is it I can understand addiction, but not understand the person?
Maybe because there isn't this separation between the 2 ^^, except in our minds?

In someone active in their addiction, the person & the addiction are the exact same thing, aren't they?

My only experience going long-term NC with family is with toxic codependents on my RAF's side of the family after he passed away. It has been over 20 years since I have spoken to a single member of that side of the family because their dysfunction/enmeshment was beyond overwhelming. I was 19.

With a family as huge as they are & all of them seriously invested in their ways, I opted to just go NC vs. trying to salvage individual relationships with those I was closest to. Actually - I tried to stay in contact with my Godfather since he was like a brother to my dad. He told me it was too difficult for him to be put in that position & he'd prefer NC over the discomfort of feeling like he was "in the middle". His discomfort was literally visible, he was sweating & anxious & shaky while we talked. People in that family do NOT go against the grain!
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Old 04-11-2016, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by ajarlson View Post
How is it I can understand addiction, but not understand the person?
I don't even try. I agree with you, if my child just quit speaking to me, I'd be trying to find out why.

I went to visit my mother on her birthday years ago, brought her a present, trying to do anything on my part to build as a good a relationship as she appears to have with my sister...thinking to myself, let's be fair, let's do my part.

She spent the visit grousing, complaining, being negative...including critical comments about me and how I'm to blame in situations in which she doesn't even know the other person...but will still assume I'm at fault.

Last straw. I said goodbye, wished her a happy birthday and simply never called her again. She's never called me since that day, either. Not once. It's not like she's been begging me to visit her.

What is there to think? She's not even the alcoholic. She's only married to him. I don't try to understand. I go on with my life.

I guess the best advice I ever got was from a counselor who kept saying I have to simply regard them as if they're from another planet with foreign ways....oh....that's interesting. ....And back to my own life.

My main thought on not having spoken to my FOO in years...what's sad is that I realized I don't actually miss them. I have never once missed them, and it made me realize there really wasn't that much good there in the first place.
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Old 04-12-2016, 12:13 PM
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Thanks for that story. Reminds me of my interactions with her even though she is the alcoholic. She left a couple voice mails after I stopped talking to her, but they were accusatory and it was obvious she wasn't looking to fix the situation. Nothing in almost a year now. I like the oh....that's interesting. ....And back to my own life. I do not miss her and life is so much better without the drama.
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Old 04-14-2016, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by ajarlson View Post
She left a couple voice mails after I stopped talking to her, but they were accusatory and it was obvious she wasn't looking to fix the situation. Nothing in almost a year now. I like the oh....that's interesting. ....And back to my own life. I do not miss her and life is so much better without the drama.
This is my experience with my 'father,' the alcoholic: in the years after going NC, I had two or three phone calls, a spate of angry voice mails, and a snail mail letter that were ugly and accusatory. Clearly no interest in fixing the situation, but only fixing ME.

I guess it's been about 30 months since the last attempt from AF.

That was one of the first things I noticed...I didn't miss a single one of my family members. There weren't really any 'good times' to miss. Yes, we had some holidays that were fun together, but a deep, caring personal relationship? No, I realized I had no such thing with any of them. I didn't MISS a single one of them. That, to me, was telling.
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Old 04-19-2016, 11:50 PM
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I grew up with an unrecovered Alanon with abandonment and anger issues, and a manipulative controling abuser. There was no active alcoholism in my immediate family, but the more I recover, the more I realize that our family was just as sick and crazy. I have been able, through working the 12 steps, to let go of the anger I had for my mom. She suffered terribly as a child when her alcoholic father abandoned them to start another family. I understand now that the pain is so intolerable, that she can't face dealing with it.

My father was raised by a controling, manipulative woman, and a man who had very conservative values. I have suspected for a long time that my father, raised Catholic, has secrets that he feels he can't reveal. I won't go into detail, because it's not my place. Suffice it to say, my brother and I inherited our crazy from generations of crazy.

I am the family scapegoat. It took me years to understand that no matter what I achieved, no matter how successful I became, no matter how much I tried to make them respect and appreciate me, they can't. I started no contact about a year and a half ago. The simple fact is, they can push my buttons and I become a tormented child who can't function.

For the good of myself, my husband, and themI stopped trying. I have been punishing them for years for not being who I need them to be.

The crazy thing is, when I no longer focused on my father abusing and manipulating me, the rage and shame manifested toward my husband. He is a recovered alcoholic, a staunch advocate for Alanon, and a great husband. Though not perfect by any means, he does not deserve any abuse from me or anyone else (my family has treated him with much disrespect). Before things got out of hand, I decided to get counseling for my rage.

It is really strange to tell anyone, or even admit to myself, that I have rage. Anger was not tolerated in our home when I was a child. My mother repressed her anger and rage, and taught us to do the same. I never saw my parents fight. They never said a word in anger to each other. But there was an undercurrent that was always present and fighting became the art of killing with kindness, gossip, false niceness and so on. From the outside, we looked like the perfect family. My friends would tell me they loved my parents, and wished theirs were the same. I never openly disagreed, but they didn't know the truth. Emotional abuse, neglect, rejection, unattainable standards, disdain, punishment, and physical and psychological abuse.

I still love my parents. I have come a long way to forgiving them and even empathizing with them. But I still can't be around them. They have my brother (hostage, haha). He is the "favorite". The one who isn't a problem. The one who "needs their help". I doubt he will ever be able to be free from his dependency on them. I used to be jealous of him because I thought they loved him more. Now I know that he is what holds them together. Without me, and without him, they would have only themselves to focus on. I feel sorry for my sister-in-law and my niece, who I hardly know because of all this. Someone had to replace my role in the family as the scapegoat. They have to have one. It's part of the deal.

I am open to the idea that possibly this counseling and more step work might bring me to a place where I can be around them, and not fall apart. Until then, I am really ok with NC. To surrender, to quit fighting that losing battle, has been one of the best things I could ever do. It has taken me 48 years to figure that out.

I know this post is long. I hope I didn't ramble. I just wanted to tell someone my experience with NC and my family. Thanks for starting this thread, and thanks for letting me share. Magic

Last edited by Magichappens; 04-19-2016 at 11:51 PM. Reason: italics
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Old 04-20-2016, 11:09 AM
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Thanks Magic! It is so strange to me that we can go no contact with a spouse or a friend because of any abuse at all and people will congratulate us and tell us how strong we are etc. But if we do the same to a relative, especially a parent, we get the "but they're your relatives" or "but that's your mother". As if we should tolerate abuse from someone just because we happen to be related to them. It sounds like you're handling it well, better than me LOL
Every time someone contacts me and calls me on my NC with my mom the guilt and anxiety starts up again. Takes a couple weeks to get it back under control. But even with that, my life is sooooo much better than having contact with her.
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Old 04-20-2016, 11:24 AM
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I too have gone extremely limited contact with several FOO members in my life. I have six bros and a sister. My sister was the scapegoat, but the role may have changes to me - or maybe I was scapegoated as well.

I maintain some relationships separately with a few of my siblings when they respect my boundaries. I feel like I'm crawling through barbed wire being around other individuals who boundary stomp everything I've requested. I have a 6 month old daughter that my mother and father have yet to meet - they've had offers galore to meet her, with reasonable boundaries - I even asked if we could go to their home and have "personal" time with just the two of them. My mother said that would work and then I never heard back. The only communication was a mass e-mail to all of my siblings about her 50th anniversary. I did not want my 1st introduction of daughter to grandma and grandpa to be in a large gathering where I'm around people that have been emotionally abusive to my wife and myself. Also, I didn't feel I was actually invited -- If I was, my mother would have met my daughter many months before that.

I only have contact with my sister, 3 of my brothers, and my sister's adult daughter (early 20s and married). A few of these individuals seem quite uncomfortable with my boundaries, but I've grown sick and tired of the abuse. Unfortunately, I can't think of any other way to protect me, my wife, and ESPECIALLY my child from abuse. If I don't hear people acknowledging the behaviors that are abusive and convincing my wife and I that they won't repeat those behaviors with our daughter, I have no interest in her being around them. I want my daughter to have a better childhood than I did.

My childhood wasn't all bad necessarily, but I'm getting really strange resistance to me simply wanting to weed out the nasty toxic stuff and keep the good, loving, and caring stuff. Like weeding out a garden.

Calling me lazy and stubborn for example -- those are weeds to destroy.
Calling my wife names -- destroy.
Having a hierarchy (my mother actually stated this)-- destroy.
Treating my niece like "less than" because of their issues with my sister (child of scapegoat is also scapegoat, right?) - until this is acknowledged, since when would my child be treated differently? IE, they need to make peace with my wife and I before we would ever trust that our child would be treated with love, respect, etc.

Mine is long too. Some family dynamics are extremely confusing. Right now, I'm stepping away to clean up my life the way I want it for me without their judgment looming over; I may let people in if I figure out some way to protect my family in the presence of these individuals -- but, I have yet to find something I think would work - I really can't stop them from mistreating my wife and I. My child is extremely young, and I'd rather she grows up not having to struggle with her sense of self-worth due to how mommy and daddy are treated.

I got sober myself, and my father still drinks. At their 50th there was tons of drinking going on -- a bro got mad at me and tried to get me to go, saying that he and his wife wouldn't drink and we could hang with them. That we could spend time with the people who loved and supported us. He wasn't aware that my parents had refused to meet our daughter (in a covert, passive aggressive way by not responding to emails, etc). I didn't get into it with him, just said that we had strained relationships and would not be going.

I'm not sure if my decisions are "right", cause I have a lot of nagging guilt, but I'm working on it. I'm open to negotiation, but there has been zero communication with several individuals, so I just work to drop the rope and focus on my own family.

My two cents. Thanks for reading.
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Old 04-21-2016, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by ajarlson View Post
It sounds like you're handling it well, better than me LOL
Every time someone contacts me and calls me on my NC with my mom the guilt and anxiety starts up again. Takes a couple weeks to get it back under control. But even with that, my life is sooooo much better than having contact with her.
For years, I had limited contact. I felt terrible guilt. People would ask, "How are your parents?" I couldn't bare to tell them I hadn't seen them in forever. I was embarrassed. I didn't see what my family had done as abuse. I thought I was somehow at fault. When I finally realized how badly I had been damaged, it was a no-brainer. No one is going to make me feel bad about a decision to stay out of an abusive situation. It is real.

No one would tell me to go see someone who beat me, held a gun to my head, or raped me. Why is this any different? It is worse. Physical wounds are seen and can heal. What this is is invisible and messes you up for the rest of your life. I am the only one who has the right to an opinion about this. Everyone else can take a flying leap.

I don't discuss my family. If it comes up, I either tell people I was abused, or if they are a friend of the family, I tell them I don't discuss my family anymore. They don't understand, but they wouldn't if I spent days explaining it either. I doubt they would believe me, because of the narcissistic nature of my father. He is the most charming person you will ever meet, until you don't idolize him anymore. Then he will just move on.

The only reason I can stick to it is that I was horrified to realize I was abused, I have abused myself, I have abused others, and I have allowed others to abuse me. As long as I continue to have contact with them, that all continues.

None of us deserve what has been done to us. We are God's children. We deserve love, peace and happiness. If this is what it takes to get that, I am willing to do it. Again, sorry if it sounds like a rant. A year is not a long time to understand a lifetime of abuse, so I am still very emotional about it. Hugs, Magic
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Old 04-21-2016, 11:36 AM
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I never considered what she did 'abuse'. She left me with my grandparents to live her party life. She ripped me away from them at 14 when she felt like she got her life back together and made me her live in babysitter for my step brother and half brother. There was no real abuse but when my grandfather died, I was the one that helped my grandmother through the burial. When my grandmother died I handled everything because my mother was too stoned to deal with it. Through all of this I was married to an alcoholic. When I left him I realized that she brought out the same triggers as he did. I would get anxious when she called, when she didn't. Rush to her house if someone said they hadn't talked to her in a while. Let her stay with me after a month stay in the hospital for Pancreatitus (which I talked myself into believing was caused by a drug study she was in). I would go over there to pick her up when she fell, clean up her house because she was too out of it, she wanted me to be her care taker and I told her I could not be that (she was only 65 at that time). When I would try to talk with her about how distressing this was (she was totally supportive of me leaving the XAH) she would laugh and say she didn't remember any of it. It was 5 years after she got a DUI with my 14 year old daughter in the car before I finally realized that for my own sanity I needed to not have any contact, including people calling and telling me how she was doing (it was always 'not well'). My half brother calls me names and I feel guilty but the difference in my life is like night and day. And being on this site is so helpful. Thanks to all of you for providing a place to talk, and to listen.
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Old 04-21-2016, 12:58 PM
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AJ,
I read a book called "Bradshaw on: The Family. A New Way of Creating Solid Self Esteem". It was part of the footwork to begin my counseling. If you get a chance to read it, do. It was a real eye opener for me.
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