advertisement
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-17-2019, 10:35 AM   #21
silverblue1111
Junior Member
silverblue1111 has no updates.
 
Member Since: Aug 2019
Location: SoCal
Posts: 13
3 hugs
given
Default Re: Toxic Family Dynamics - When to go 'No Contact' and be selfish for a change

I'm so glad I found this forum. People in my life have been so judgmental when I went no contact with my family, even my therapist seems judgy about it. My brother has autism and my parents are 'special needs parents' so me being estranged makes me the ungrateful daughter.

I went no contact by accident. I live on the opposite coast from my family so we are only connected via my cell phone. I changed my number because my brother was constantly texting me inappropriate pictures. I'd had to change my number before to stop getting inappropriate texts from him but this time I didn't tell my parents the new number and I deleted my social media accounts and got a new email address. They had no way of reaching me.

Going no contact was such a relief. I kept saying that eventually, I would call my parents and let them know my new number but I could never bring myself to do it. Eventually my parents wrote me a nasty letter via snail mail, primarily pissed I had upset my brother. So I moved apartments. I went 5 years without talking to my parents. They tracked me down and are trying to maintain contact but it's only because they want me back in my dutiful daughter role. Sorry, not interested.
silverblue1111 is offline   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:

advertisement
Old 09-24-2019, 11:23 AM   #22
Thisguy2466
New Member
Thisguy2466 has no updates.
 
Member Since: Aug 2019
Location: Wilmington DE
Posts: 1
Default Re: Toxic Family Dynamics - When to go 'No Contact' and be selfish for a change

Im now in my 30ís and I gotta say that I wish I went and got professional help sooner. I have come to the realization that I must not only cut ties with my narcissistic stepmother but also my half sister also. I was emotionally and physically abused by my stepmom my whole life since I was about 3 years old but the physical stuff stopped during my teens at some point. I once was somewhat successful in life but have quickly lost everything and my will to fight for my happiness. I lack a support team in my life as well which makes it even more difficult. I am here to say that itís very admirable and brave what you did by getting rid of the toxic people of your family. You deserve to be happy just like everyone else and donít let anyone (including family members) take that away from you. I wish you the best and Iím so sorry you experienced this type of treatment.
Thisguy2466 is offline   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
Hugs from:
Old 09-28-2019, 07:52 PM   #23
HD7970GHZ
Grand Poohbah
 
HD7970GHZ's Avatar
HD7970GHZ has no updates.
 
Member Since: Sep 2013
Location: N/A
Posts: 1,580
5 yr Member
2,272 hugs
given
PC PoohBah!
Default Re: Toxic Family Dynamics - When to go 'No Contact' and be selfish for a change

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thisguy2466 View Post
Im now in my 30ís and I gotta say that I wish I went and got professional help sooner. I have come to the realization that I must not only cut ties with my narcissistic stepmother but also my half sister also. I was emotionally and physically abused by my stepmom my whole life since I was about 3 years old but the physical stuff stopped during my teens at some point. I once was somewhat successful in life but have quickly lost everything and my will to fight for my happiness. I lack a support team in my life as well which makes it even more difficult. I am here to say that itís very admirable and brave what you did by getting rid of the toxic people of your family. You deserve to be happy just like everyone else and donít let anyone (including family members) take that away from you. I wish you the best and Iím so sorry you experienced this type of treatment.
You are very wise and your hard earned insight certainly can help others! Nothing prepares us for these things; under normal 'healthy' circumstances, our family are the ones we should be able to trust and lean on for support. It is such a travesty when we should be abused by them. I am heartbroken to hear that you have endured so much at the hands of your family. You never deserved it. None of us did. And yet, we survived to share our insights and make the world a better place!

Thinking back to when you were a child and you were surrounded by all this abuse, what do you suppose you would tell your child self to convince you that staying in those relationships is unhealthy and abusive. In other words; how do you convince someone that their family is the source of so much of their suffering and that stepping away (even though it seems counter-intuitive) is quite possibly, the only thing standing in the way of living a healthy life?

Thanks,
HD7970ghz
__________________
"stand for those who are forgotten - sacrifice for those who forget"
"roller coasters not only go up and down - they also go in circles"
"the point of therapy - is to get out of therapy"
"don't put all your eggs - in one basket"
"promote pleasure - prevent pain"
"with change - comes loss"
HD7970GHZ is offline   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
Old 09-30-2019, 06:13 PM   #24
dlantern
Poohbah
dlantern has no updates.
 
Member Since: Feb 2017
Location: Logan
Posts: 1,155
2 yr Member
8 hugs
given
Default Re: Toxic Family Dynamics - When to go 'No Contact' and be selfish for a change

tell them to do what ever they want who cares especially ur children
dlantern is offline   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
Hugs from:
Old 09-30-2019, 09:18 PM   #25
MrsA
Member
MrsA has no updates.
 
Member Since: Apr 2019
Location: Nevada
Posts: 55
46 hugs
given
Default Re: Toxic Family Dynamics - When to go 'No Contact' and be selfish for a change

If you are able to go no contact it's not selfish. People who call you selfish are usually pathologically selfish themselves. I know what you mean by being a family scapegoat. That's the role I still have. My older adult sibling blames me for all her own choices and actions. She thinks she is a victim and has a right to punish me when she is not happy. I suspect it is similar to what you mean when you say they your family won't own their deeds and character traits. My sister always claims to be coerced even when she violently attacks someone in a loss of temper (the victim made her do it). She even claims she was manipulated into choosing her major in college when she did it to get attention. She blames the house for being messy and blames me for her choice to live here. I didn't go no contact because I thought she would outgrow this childish irresponsibility and temper tantrums. From experience I can tell you these conditions get worse with age if they do not admit to having a problem and get treatment. I didn't get out until she ruined my finances and my credit and I have nowhere to go. I always tell anyone who is able to leave to get out and don't feel guilty. You owe it to yourself to only be punished for your own choices and actions. If you have contact with them in the future make sure they cannot get access to your financial information or valuble assets. These people know you won't have the heart to turn them into the police for theft or abuse so it's better safe than sorry. I'm so glad you were able to go no contact. I wish I had known to do that when I was younger. Good luck!
MrsA is offline   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
Hugs from:
"Thanks for this!" says:
Old 10-08-2019, 02:18 AM   #26
lillib
Member
 
lillib's Avatar
lillib Engaged with life - the good, the bad, and the ugly, but mostly the good
 
Member Since: Sep 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 485 (SuperPoster!)
936 hugs
given
PC PoohBah!
Default Re: Toxic Family Dynamics - When to go 'No Contact' and be selfish for a change

I went no contact for a long while (nearly a decade) before I decided to try family again. I tried, and so I'm still no contact with most of my family, except my mom. I love my mom, even though she is one of those covert narcissists at times (the martyr complex, so not the overt narcissism you typically read about). I still love her, even though she rarely shows me affection. She is much older now, as am I, and I really don't want her last years to be without me. I'm 45; she's about 84 or 85. Most of my family are toxic; only few are healthy. I stick with only the healthy ones, but I would never live in the same state as they live. I've preferred living on my own in a different state for the past 15 or so years now.

If you're young, you have time. It's not selfish to go no contact when they are abusive or non-supportive. You've grown apart, you don't want to get retraumatized, you don't want to get hurt again; you deserve peace, a space for healing, and time away from toxic family.
__________________
👩🙋🤦🖤

Lillib
lillib is online now   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
Hugs from:
"Thanks for this!" says:
Old 10-10-2019, 06:03 AM   #27
nicoleflynn
Magnate
nicoleflynn has no updates.
 
Member Since: Jan 2012
Location: rochester, michigan
Posts: 2,930
5 yr Member
56 hugs
given
PC PoohBah!
Default Re: Toxic Family Dynamics - When to go 'No Contact' and be selfish for a change

It isn't selfish to take care of yourself....it is necessary.
nicoleflynn is online now   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
Hugs from:
"Thanks for this!" says:
Old 10-13-2019, 03:51 PM   #28
HD7970GHZ
Grand Poohbah
 
HD7970GHZ's Avatar
HD7970GHZ has no updates.
 
Member Since: Sep 2013
Location: N/A
Posts: 1,580
5 yr Member
2,272 hugs
given
PC PoohBah!
Default Re: Toxic Family Dynamics - When to go 'No Contact' and be selfish for a change

Quote:
Originally Posted by nicoleflynn View Post
It isn't selfish to take care of yourself....it is necessary.
I agree with you Nicoleflynn,

I recently chatted with women's shelters in Canada who said that they will never be out of work... Of course, they were not bragging...

Part of the problem is that abusers are so good at keeping victims attached and dependent - manipulating them into complete submission through trauma bonding, gas-lighting them into believing that they are the source of all problems, guaranteeing room and board in exchange for a vow of silence which also aids in the creation of a perfect environment for abuse... And years of additional trauma that will only be realized and overcome if ever victims should find safety outside of the relationship. It is so sad. Once domestic survivors find safety, they can then be given the tools needed to gain self-awareness, self-confidence, self-esteem and self-worth, as well as the ability to stand up for themselves and not be met with further abuse; all necessary ingredients in leaving abusive relationships and realizing their own potential to survive and thrive without their abusers. Realizing that they deserve better is such a shocking revelation - as most abuse survivors can relate to.

Of course, this abuse dynamic is not only applicable to women; abuse is indiscriminate. But we can all relate to these abuse dynamics because while they may be different in practicality, they are extremely similar in nature.

I am doing a bit of research into domestic violence in Canada lately - a topic I am passionate about in my journalistic endeavors...

I have yet to fact check this, but according to a woman's shelter in one Province in Canada, women experiencing domestic violence will stay in an abusive relationship long enough to seek safety from women's shelters [an average of 10 times] before leaving the relationship...

Think about that.

I was also informed that in this same Province, [women who have sought safety in shelters 4 times], will immediately have their children taken away by child social services as they will be forced to intervene...

Think about that.

I have also been informed that child social service programs, adoption homes and other affiliated programs are riddled with additional abuse... This, of course, is old news.

It is one big cycle of abuse - because those in power prey upon the most vulnerable and their systems are utterly broken. Makes me sick to know the extent of abuse out there and yet to see so much resistance to changing it... I wonder why? Perhaps it's an indication of how normalized abuse has become in society...?


Thanks,
HD7970ghz
__________________
"stand for those who are forgotten - sacrifice for those who forget"
"roller coasters not only go up and down - they also go in circles"
"the point of therapy - is to get out of therapy"
"don't put all your eggs - in one basket"
"promote pleasure - prevent pain"
"with change - comes loss"

Last edited by HD7970GHZ; 10-13-2019 at 04:14 PM..
HD7970GHZ is offline   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
Hugs from:
"Thanks for this!" says:
Old 10-13-2019, 04:22 PM   #29
lillib
Member
 
lillib's Avatar
lillib Engaged with life - the good, the bad, and the ugly, but mostly the good
 
Member Since: Sep 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 485 (SuperPoster!)
936 hugs
given
PC PoohBah!
Default Re: Toxic Family Dynamics - When to go 'No Contact' and be selfish for a change

I also agree with @HD7970GHZ and @nicoleflynn

I had to go NC with family for a few decades. It was painful for all of us, but necessary for my healing. When I returned recently, I continued to receive doubts and judgments from my family members who didn't believe me. That separation for decades showed me how to face them years later.

Going NC doesn't mean forever, unless you find it necessary to do so indefinitely.

I chose to return to family to gauge where I was in the healing process, and I was strong enough nearly 20 years later to do so. I learned who my semi-supportive family members were, and who my abusive family members were. I was able to see with clearer eyes.

I also worry about my mother. Although she is not emotionally supportive for me, as she has difficulty with believing me, acknowledging her own traumas, and expressing emotion, she is still somewhat kind. I didn't want her last years (from 70 to hopefully 100 and beyond) to be without any connection with me, and I'd feel guilty if I didn't at least try to build a relationship (albeit highly stoic, instrumental) with her before she passed, or before I passed (if my time is cut short). But that is just me. It may not be healthy or right for others whose abusive family members remain abusive. My mother's lack of engaging with me on an emotionally supportive level is her issue, not mine. Although she owed me that when I was a child, she doesn't owe me that as an adult. I will be forever pained by my remembrances of her emotional neglect toward me as a child, but I love her for all the things she was able to provide for me, such as instrumental monetary support at times, or such as a listening ear when I had no one else to discuss certain things with (my mom nearly always replies with, "Pick yourself up by your bootstraps."). I've succumbed to the fact that I cannot change my mother, or even influence her to be encouraged enough to change. I've learned to painfully accept my mother for who she is from a distance, and appreciate the qualities in her that are not abusive. I see her more as a stoic guide with boundaries - more boundaries than the fluid and less rigid relationships I have with my friends and even some of my therapists (who offered more emotional support than my mother was or is even capable of). It's sad to desire those things from parents who cannot, for whatever reason, provide what you have desired and needed since birth. It's a longing and a loss that I had to grieve over for many years. Still, I found strength within myself to maintain my own boundaries with her while also cherishing whatever relationship we do have together. It's an emotionally and physically distal relationship, but I can handle that.

What really hurt, however, was when she told me that she had expectations for me to be successful. She sees my disabilities, my military discharge, my emotional struggles, and my financial struggles (and homelessness in the past) as non-successes. She (as well as my sister) believe that you have to be strong enough to handle life at age 18 without depending on family, otherwise you're a "loser." I know this isn't true, but it took me years to understand that individual responsibility in many circumstances like homelessness is moot when there are structural violence attacks against a person for whatever reason. I can be responsible for myself for some things, but really, other things were out of my hands. I didn't ask to get victimized by my father, neglected by my mother, harmed by my uncle, assaulted by my military brothers, laid off for a company's reorganization, etc. I didn't make poor choices with my finances; my financial situations were largely from issues that were outside of my control. Family and non-filial social support (or social capital, conservation of resources, and capable guardianship) are important resources to help someone who has been victimized or has undergone great losses in life, as well as with preventing future victimization or losses. Our individualist culture emphasizes individual responsibility and therefore victim-blaming/shaming. Our collectivist culture embedded within individualism values continued family connections throughout adulthood, despite such harms that abusive family members continue to inflict - a systemic problem that contradicts the polar extremes between individualism and collectivism. For support to be supportive, abuse needs to be absent.

For many people I've known, going NC has helped them to heal from continuous traumatic stress, feel safe to process post-traumatic stress, and feel empowered to move on with a new life, albeit comprising many adjustment issues that come after the routine of being around abusive family members and others. It's a process, but it can be done. It may be the only way for some to heal.

Had I not done NC for those decades, I might not have fared as relatively well as I am today. Heck, I may not have even been here today had I gone NC. The choice to reconnect with only a small few was mine, but it doesn't mean that others who go NC need to reconnect; they don't. You can go NC indefinitely. Although there will be challenges when you do go NC, and even taboo from certain members of society, you have a right to your healing, your boundaries, your reinvention of self, your future, your happiness, your rebuilding of morality, your rebuilding of safety, and many other great things that life has to offer apart from being smothered with constant abuse. It's NOT your job to take care of family who has abused you; but as an adult, it is your responsibility to take care of yourself and ask for help from safe others when needed. In other words, don't feel pressured or obligated to stay with abusive family members; but do take the responsibility to go NC to better your life, and ask safe others to help you with that transition - however long that may take.

I hope this helps add to the support for you.

You're brave to even acknowledge this. Please know that you're not alone.
__________________
👩🙋🤦🖤

Lillib
lillib is online now   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
Hugs from:
"Thanks for this!" says:
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:37 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® — Copyright © 2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.



 

advertisement

Psych Central Forums

Psych Central is the leading mental health website, overseen by mental health professionals since 1995.

 

Helplines and Lifelines

The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider. .

Always consult your doctor or mental health professional before trying anything you read here.
Please read the full disclaimer.