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Disengaging...

Old 06-29-2010, 09:13 AM
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Climbing hills, flying down...
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Disengaging...

So...as all of you probably know by now, my mother has made it her obsession to try to get me to see and abide by her "rules" with AS. Another very long email came in to me yesterday, essentially berating me for my boundaries, calling me a terrible person, blah blah blah! I quickly hit the delete button and did not respond. I also set up my email account to filter her emails directly into the trash. I've come to the realization that there is NO POINT in trying with her; she will never respect my POV, so I just have to disengage.

I started doing reading on narcissistic parents (a topic that is frequently discussed in therapy) and came across this list. I thought I'd post it here because I found it relateable and useful.

When dealing with narcissistic parents:

Do not allow your parents to manage your life any longer

Do not allow them to interfere with your new family: your spouse and children

Do not allow them to turn you into a servant, instantaneously and obsequiously at their beck ad call

Do not become their source of funding

Do not become their exclusive or most important source of narcissistic supply (attention, adulation, admiration)

Do not show them that they can hurt you or that you are afraid of them or that they have any kind of power over you

Be ostentatiously autonomous and independent-minded in their presence

Do not succumb to emotional blackmail or emotional incest

Punish them by disengaging every time they transgress. Condition them not to misbehave, not to abuse you.

Identify the most common strategies of fostering unhealthy (trauma) bonding and the most prevalent control mechanisms:

Guilt-driven ("I sacrificed my life for you.")

Codependent ("I need you, I cannot cope without you.")

Goal-driven ("We have a common goal which we can and must achieve")

Shared psychosis or emotional incest ("You and I are united against the whole world, or at least against your monstrous, no-good father ...", "You are my one and only true love and passion")

Explicit ("If you do not adhere to my principles, beliefs, ideology, religion, values, if you do not obey my instructions - I will punish you").
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Old 06-29-2010, 09:18 AM
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Wow, FarAway -- you have an AS AND a narcissistic mother?? Bless your heart! It must have been a difficult path getting to this point but I am so proud that you have figured out how to maintain your own sanity. Thank goodness!!

We'll support you -- you know we will. (((Hugs)))
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Old 06-29-2010, 09:25 AM
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Faraway- I'm sorry you are dealing with this.

My father was/is a diagnosable narcissist. He actually disowned me 2 years ago.

Hmmmm, kinda makes sense why I always seem to be searching for love from emotionally unavailable men

Anyhoo, it's a difficult thing for a daughter (anyone) have a parent who just absolutely can cut them off emotionally....really seem to not care.
Actually, my mother is very distant from me emotionally too, so I got lucky twice!

Right before my father disowned me I finally came out to him that I had been sexually abused by my stepfather when I was a child... do you know what his response was?
"I can't believe you didn't trust ME enough to tell me this before! Now I have to live with knowing this too".

YUP! How can a father make the sexual abuse of his daughter about him? That's how.

I am 34 now and he would still yell at me and tell me "You WILL do this...."

I don't really have any close family. Something that sometimes saddens me... but I will say that not having a relationship with my father is the healthiest thing for me. It's not natural to not have a relationship with your own parents, but when that relationship is unhealthy or detrimental, then no relationship is what is best. And that is with ANY relationship.

I commend you for doing what is best for YOU.
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Old 06-29-2010, 09:27 AM
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Wow Kitty...how I relate. I was molested by a family member as a child; when I recently told my mother this, she came out with essentially the same thing--"well don't talk about it, because it's too difficult for ME to deal with." Nice, eh?

It's a sad, sad thing to come to the realization that you didn't get the emotional support that you should have (unconditional support, I mean) from a parent, but I guess coming to this realization means that there's nowhere to go but up from here....

sending you hugs and thanks for your post.
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Old 06-29-2010, 09:34 AM
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to both Kittyboo and Farawayfromcars for having to deal with such a horrid response to a brave act.
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Old 06-29-2010, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Kittyboo View Post

Anyhoo, it's a difficult thing for a daughter (anyone) have a parent who just absolutely can cut them off emotionally....really seem to not care.
Actually, my mother is very distant from me emotionally too, so I got lucky twice!
This is why I am so uncomfortable by going no contact with my AS. I'm so afraid he thinks I don't love him or care about his well-being.

Sorry - didn't mean to hijack the thread.
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Old 06-29-2010, 09:51 AM
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Big time hugs to FFC and kitty. Wow...Survivors, and inspirations to me.
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Old 06-29-2010, 11:49 AM
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Thanks everyone...it's places like these in your offering of unconditional support that have helped me come to terms with what happened and have helped me begin to process / let go.

tjp...I know how you feel. Detaching is hard because it seems so "cold", but we can do it in a way that is firm but loving. An "I love you, but I will not accept your treatment of me because I need to love myself FIRST" kind of thing. And with an A, we know that we cannot truly help them if they are not ready to get help. By continuing to accept and enable the behavior, we are essentially helping prolong the disease.

I know it's difficult...hang in there!
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Old 06-29-2010, 11:55 AM
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Tjp- I can understand how you feel, most definitely.

But, and though I don't know the relationship you have had with your AS throughout the years, but I imagine it's different than the relationship I have had with my parents.

When I think of my mother and father, the words "mother and father" have no meaning. There is no emotion attached to those two words because I have NEVER really gotten emotional support from either of them, at least not the kind I needed from childhood to adulthood.
It is one thing if you have done all you can for your AS and you just have gotten to the point when you have to dettach for your own survival and well being. My parents never did all they could for me....I have 2 half sisters who my mother currently has a very strong relationship, I really almost feel like I don't exist as a daughter.

So you see, if you know in your heart that you did ALL you could, you were there as much as you could be, there is a big difference between that and two people who were never really there.

And yes, it feels like you're doing something wrong by letting someone you love so much go, it's not what we are brought up to feel is the right thing to do. But sometimes it is, it just really is.
You know you love him.

I hope that this response isn't hijacking either!
Actually, I find that though we may post something about out situation, reading the posts and responses to others and about others is healing in itself. We all feel much of the same way, so I think we all get something out of the responses to others. At least I do.
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Old 06-29-2010, 12:48 PM
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You are certainly on the right track!

My mother is a alcoholic, she was a hand full. However, when I had enough, I engaged the "No Contact" rule, I did not talk to or see her for 10 years. The below applies to what I did:

"Punish them by disengaging every time they transgress. Condition them not to misbehave, not to abuse you".

We have been back together for 6 years, she knows my bounderies, and, abides by them.

I can relate to most of what you posted.

Thanks
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