Very few positive memories

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blues_cruise

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Very few positive memories
« on: February 10, 2018, 06:58:08 PM »
I know a lot of people struggle with enforcing boundaries with their parents as the good memories they have of them make it difficult to overcome obligation and guilt. I don't feel like I have any particularly warm memories of my NF though. He never read me stories when I was little, played with me or soothed me. Any days out together as a family he would just ruin by purposely making us arrive late or wandering off on his own when we got there and making us look for him for hours on end so we couldn't enjoy the day. If I ever dared raise my voice in play or skip about the way little girls do them he would shout at me. He did buy me things on several occasions and I'm grateful for that, but I feel like this came from a place of compulsion and manipulation. There was never any genuine bonding. Keeping in contact way into adulthood was a result of ingrained fear and societal obligation rather than any recollection of the 'good times'.

In a way it's made it easier to distance myself from him but at the same time it feels quite sad that I struggle to name one good memory. Maybe the time he bought me a doll and he said he got it because it had long hair and all my others had short hair. Even then it's not a jubilant memory, just a "wow, he showed some thought" reaction. On the whole I just remember a lot of loneliness and feeling scared. Anyone else never really had a connection with their parent?
"You are not what has happened to you. You are what you choose to become." - Carl Gustav Jung

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Hazy111

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Re: Very few positive memories
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2018, 08:25:41 PM »
Practically everyone who visits this section of the forum.

 :bighug:

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Frances29

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Re: Very few positive memories
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2018, 09:30:17 PM »
Practically everyone who visits this section of the forum.

 :bighug:

 :yeahthat:

This. 

There just isnít anything there for the PD parent at the end BUT the FOG; Fear, Obligation and Guilt.  Might be why itís easier to fade into VVLC or NC.

Itís not like we have memory banks filled with happy Christmases, happy birthdays, fun family vacations and good times, and if there were any good times they were very few and very far between. Hence, why we are here.   My childhood was filled with scapegoating, gaslighting, abusive  tantrums from both parents, severe neglect as in medical and dental neglect, we were left for extended periods of time with no adults in the house and I was left at 8-9-10 years old making my younger siblings food from anything we had in the cupboard, like SpaghettiOs and such. 

 A few happy memories can never erase the thousands of bad ones.

When I let go of the FOG and dropped all the ropes, cut out all the flying monkeys, I was left with no FOO, no nieces and nephews, no parents.  But then when I look back I never had any ďfamilyĒ anyway so it doesnít really matter that Iím NC with Nsister and Nmother and VVVVVVVVVLC with en-father (parents divorced).

I have a lovely FOC and 3 children and my In-Laws; so my focus is them, not people that continue now well into my 40ís to stalk and harass me and my FOC. 

« Last Edit: February 10, 2018, 09:32:34 PM by Frances29 »

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daughterofbpd

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Re: Very few positive memories
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2018, 11:22:39 PM »
Iíve tried to come up with happy memories with my BPDm and I also canít think of any. The best I could do was vaguely remember a few vacations that I recall being fun but I donít actually remember spending time with her. I know there were times when she was pleasant but I donít actually remember those times, I canít envision them in my mind. Then I feel like thereís something wrong with me for not being able to come up with one nice thing. On the other hand, it makes me wonder how good the good times could have been if I canít remember them. Sometimes the lack of memory makes the FOG thicker because it makes me second guess myself.
ďHow starved you must have been that my heart became a meal for your egoĒ
~ Amanda Torroni

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Hazy111

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Re: Very few positive memories
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2018, 07:15:17 AM »
It got me thinking even if i had good times without my parents  these were thwarted at the time.

I remember being at school once and was thinking to myself im really enjoying life . It was bizarre i was afraid of this strange feeling of happiness, as this  instant fear that it wont last came over me. I was conditioned to accept and embrace disappointment and fear.

Having PD parents i dont think you could ever really relax  and so even momentarily good times are tarnished.

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daughter

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Re: Very few positive memories
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2018, 08:52:47 AM »
15 years ago, five years before NC decision, there was a major Big Bad Behavior episode, NBM and enNF behaving in such a traumatic and horrible manner towards me that I finally (FINALLY!!) took a measurable "time-out" break from all FOO Family contact.  I took myself to a therapist.  Heard same advice as given by two prior therapists: disengage; unacceptable behavior has occurred.  Me, I was so used to this that I kept doubting myself, the therapists, my "right to issues" (as nNF puts it).  So I made a list, writing-down every BBB episode, that I could remember, that I believed was traumatic to me.  It was a long list.   But by documenting this history, the exercise of doing so compelled me to acknowledge my NBM's and NF's emotional abuse as unacceptable, that their ready hostility and blatant disregard towards me was also unacceptable.

By documenting these experiences, I also realized that I had few positive memories as well, a fact important to flag to myself during this therapy-process.  I  tried to be fair in this evaluation.  Therapist reminded me that parents have a non-negotiable duty to "provide" for their children, in tangible goods like food, clothing, shelter, and some niceties, but also to provide a safe environment, to nurture their children, be supportive and empathetic.  My otherwise seemingly high-functioning parents failed both "provide" standards, despite their significant wealth and need to "maintain face".  NC for past 5+ years, I'm confident that NC was most prudent choice, given situation, and have had no regrets whatsoever in having done so.  Add me to the list of folks who found NC to be emotionally-speaking easy. 

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broken

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Re: Very few positive memories
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2018, 02:21:15 AM »
I thought, sure... I have good memories.  How upsetting to realize, one by one, that every single *good* thing NM ever said or did had some ulterior motive.

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Amadahy

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Re: Very few positive memories
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2018, 07:08:22 AM »
The memory that stands out as good is pathetic, really.  When I was about 35 years old, Nmom, Baby son and I were eating out.  Nmom stared at DS for a long time and said, "Amadahy, he's the most beautiful baby, just like you were." 

The tears came hot and fast and I had to excuse myself to go to the bathroom.  Never in a million years would I have ever dreamed my mother thought I was anything but a bother.  That, sadly, is the best memory - that for one split second my mother adored me.
Ring the bells that still can ring;
Forget your perfect offering.
There's a crack in everything ~~
That's how the Light gets in!

~~ Leonard Cohen

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zephyrblue

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Re: Very few positive memories
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2018, 07:50:31 AM »
 :bighug: to everyone here.

I have some happy memories with uPDfather up to about age 7.  I think he was a "good enough" parent until then.  The thing that changed was getting laid off from a job he loved.  He tried to find another in the field, but was unable to.  He spiraled into depression, drank more, and started emotionally and verbally abusing enMom.  He never recovered from that life event. uPDfather was a miserable SOB for the rest of his life, and enMom didn't remove herself, enSis, and me from his malevolence. 

When uPDfather died, I barely mourned. I'd long since emotionally detached from him, and had moved hundreds of miles away after high school.  I mourned what could have been and how, with his death, it was now impossible.

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Nominuke

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Re: Very few positive memories
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2018, 10:45:06 AM »
Yeah, for the life of me I can't remember one positive memory of my relationship with my Ndad.

I have loads of memories of the times when my Dad's actions hurt or ruined a day out or special occassion. Or just times when he was being nasty and controlling. But none of a time when I laughed and enjoyed myself around him. I don't know if that is because they truely don't exist or because so many bad things happened over the years that I can't remember the good ones. I suspect that there must have been a few.

I talked to my Mum about not having any positive memories of my Dad and she said that she hadn't realised (yeah, right), so I asked her to remember something involving both me and my Dad that would count as a positive memory. We remembered some things and the most positive memory we could find was when on a day out as a kid to a maze. My Dad left us because he wanted to go back and everyone else didn't. He got lost and was still wandering about getting more and more angry as my mum, my brother and I found our way out.

As you say the silver lining is that it makes it "easier" to go NC.

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blues_cruise

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Re: Very few positive memories
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2018, 01:00:27 PM »
15 years ago, five years before NC decision, there was a major Big Bad Behavior episode, NBM and enNF behaving in such a traumatic and horrible manner towards me that I finally (FINALLY!!) took a measurable "time-out" break from all FOO Family contact.  I took myself to a therapist.  Heard same advice as given by two prior therapists: disengage; unacceptable behavior has occurred.  Me, I was so used to this that I kept doubting myself, the therapists, my "right to issues" (as nNF puts it).  So I made a list, writing-down every BBB episode, that I could remember, that I believed was traumatic to me.  It was a long list.   But by documenting this history, the exercise of doing so compelled me to acknowledge my NBM's and NF's emotional abuse as unacceptable, that their ready hostility and blatant disregard towards me was also unacceptable.

By documenting these experiences, I also realized that I had few positive memories as well, a fact important to flag to myself during this therapy-process.  I  tried to be fair in this evaluation.  Therapist reminded me that parents have a non-negotiable duty to "provide" for their children, in tangible goods like food, clothing, shelter, and some niceties, but also to provide a safe environment, to nurture their children, be supportive and empathetic.  My otherwise seemingly high-functioning parents failed both "provide" standards, despite their significant wealth and need to "maintain face".  NC for past 5+ years, I'm confident that NC was most prudent choice, given situation, and have had no regrets whatsoever in having done so.  Add me to the list of folks who found NC to be emotionally-speaking easy.

This is what I've done, written a list of all the negative memories and added to the list as and when things come to me. It has made the whole process so much easier as it's something I can reflect on whenever I doubt myself. It's really helped me identify patterns and compare them to other people's experiences, for instance my birthdays being used by NF for supply. From that I've been able to establish that it's all unacceptable and very damaging (no way is it right that your daughter is anxious about every single birthday and no way is it right for a parent to enjoy the opportunity to humiliate...that's not love.) When you see that it's happened time and time again with no remorse shown then you see that it is emotional abuse and not just the 'one off' that you naturally try to trick yourself into believing.

There's a quote I keep thinking back to from the blue guy in the latest Guardians of the Galaxy, something like: "He may have been your father boy, but he wasn't your daddy." It just says it all really.
"You are not what has happened to you. You are what you choose to become." - Carl Gustav Jung