I Revealed My Parents' Abuse of Me and My Late Sister

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I Revealed My Parents' Abuse of Me and My Late Sister
« on: July 12, 2018, 02:41:42 PM »
I have been going to the most wonderful therapist since my sister died in April of this year.  I realized that I needed to find yet another new one who understood narcissism and found one who specializes in it as she herself has narc parents.  It was the best decision I ever made and I'm so happy to be with her.  She has helped me more in that short time than all my therapist visits with others put together. 

My sister and I really wanted to out our narc parents but she felt she couldn't since they had her daughter who was loyal to them.  I understood that and so I never spoke out publicly about them.  It has been the hugest blow to lose her because we were triangulated for many, many years and didn't even speak to each other.  Of course this was done on purpose by our parents.  When we reunited and I felt she was trustworthy we discussed everything including what they had done to me (shunning me and not allowing me access to my NF when he was in the hospital), etc.  We were so angry at our parents for what they had done to us as children, adults, and how they had separated us as well and told lies about both of us to the other.

I will never get over losing her as I feel like I have lost her for a second time and this time is worse as there is no chance of us ever talking again.  She and I were so happy to be reunited and didn't have long together to reconnect but we spent countless hours communicating with each other.

Now that my sister is no longer here, I have felt the overbearing need to out our parents abuse of us.  I decided to post about my love of my sister on Facebook as well as my grief and mentioned that I had lost not only a sister, but the one person in the world who knew and lived the abuse that we endured.  I felt fear after I posted this and almost deleted it but it was too late as people saw it, so I left it.

I talked with my therapist and told her I did a very stupid thing by doing that but she was thrilled that I had and encouraged me to post more of my and my sister's truth.  I did that and honestly know that I will lose whatever small amount of family I have due to my honesty about our lives, but I have to speak the truth for her and for me.  I had to keep these secrets to myself for decades and pretend all was well.  I am tired of pretending and I'm tired of not being to be heard whether any one believes me or not.

We didn't both go no contact for no reason.  I hope my sister is happy with me standing up for us.  I was the scapegoat so it predictable that we are the truth talkers and the ones who know something isn't right long before any one else does.  I told my therapist I was scared of what would happen and she asked me what I was afraid of.  That was a great question but I told her I wasn't sure; I just know I was scared of them getting revenge.

I know my name has always been smeared so what more can they say about me?  Has any one else outed their narc parents and what was the outcome?


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Starboard Song

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Re: I Revealed My Parents' Abuse of Me and My Late Sister
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2018, 03:29:09 PM »
Congratulations on your courage, and thank you for sharing such a difficult story.

I am sorry for your loss.

I think we all must remember that we have the right to be honest with confidants and loved ones, we have the right to a supportive community, and we have the right to feel safe in our decisions.

So good for you! You should never need to hide the truth -- actually hide it -- like it is something to be ashamed of. Because you have nothing to be ashamed of.

Our circumstance did not involve abuse of children or anything verging on criminal, so we have only shared as necessary with a small number of confidants. We've been circumspect, not wanting to put healthy FOO in a difficult position.

I encourage people, generally, to distinguish between sharing and publishing. The latter can jeopardize collateral relationships, create backlash, and expose us to attack if the PDs in our lives discover it. That said, sometimes the truth will out and just needs to. We must all balance many hard interests to decide the right course for us.

I am sure your sister is proud of you, and I hope you get a great amount of love and support from your family and community.

Self-Compassion: the Proven Power... by Kristen Neff
Healing From Family Rifts, by Mark Sichel
Stop Walking on Egshells, by Paul Mason
Mindful Self-Compassion classes
Mindfulness, by Mark Williams
The Book of Joy, with the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu
Life on the Mississippi, by Mark Twain

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Free Rebel

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Re: I Revealed My Parents' Abuse of Me and My Late Sister
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2018, 03:50:26 PM »
I don't expect to get support honestly.  My sister and I had only a few people in our lives that we trusted and were close to.  Our parents have gone to one particular sibling of his (his only surviving sibling) shortly before my sister passed and said that they wanted her to please know what they had done to cause us to reject them.  They were willing to rectify the situation if only we would let them know that reason.   >:( 

They know the reason and are using our aunt to show themselves as "victims" instead of us.  Her children are on my FB friend list so they will see it and will most probably blame me for "hurting" their aunt and uncle who were so loving to them in their minds in their grief.  I have posted how much grief (I'm being sarcastic, LOL) they had for my sister at her funeral.  It was all about them once again and they put her down even in death just like they did when she was alive.

I don't really have any family other than my husband and kids and close friends and my sister's common law husband.  My sister wanted to out them but she couldn't due to her daughter being loyal to the grandparents and she didn't want to jeopardize the limited contact that she had with her.  She (her daughter) has turned out to be exactly like them and it is heart breaking.

Thanks for your comments; I really appreciate it.

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Starboard Song

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Re: I Revealed My Parents' Abuse of Me and My Late Sister
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2018, 04:06:34 PM »
Oh dear.

I am so sorry for all that. We shouldn't lose so many this way.

I am glad you have a strong FOC, and that you know it is OK to treasure them, for a FOC is a family like any other -- even better because of your choice, and your investment in them.

Families, like museums, are best when carefully curated.
Self-Compassion: the Proven Power... by Kristen Neff
Healing From Family Rifts, by Mark Sichel
Stop Walking on Egshells, by Paul Mason
Mindful Self-Compassion classes
Mindfulness, by Mark Williams
The Book of Joy, with the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu
Life on the Mississippi, by Mark Twain

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BentNotBroken

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Re: I Revealed My Parents' Abuse of Me and My Late Sister
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2018, 11:17:54 PM »
I'm so sorry for your loss. It's hard when the only family member you respect is gone. I also understand the mentality of not caring so much anymore who knows what although I haven't had the courage to do what you've done...yet. I imagine its nice to have the shoe on the other foot now, in charge of your own history of events and unabashedly sharing them. Even when there's a little fear, it must be extremely cathartic to just not care.

I've imagined doing that on my sons bday in a few months when no one calls yet again. Just posting some one-liner like "treasure good grandparents for your children, some kids like my own dont even get a birthday wish"...a work in progress but something I want to do.

Your fb post may encourage others to challenge their views of your parents. Maybe of their own relationships. It might empower someone to reach out and not feel so alone. Your post here has inspired me as well so thank you.

Again I'm so sorry for your sister passing. Hugs

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moglow

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Re: I Revealed My Parents' Abuse of Me and My Late Sister
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2018, 11:23:55 PM »
Quote
We didn't both go no contact for no reason. 
This.  Whether you're believed or someone attempts retaliation, this truth - YOUR truth - doesn't change.  Think about this, really, what possible revenge is any worse than what you've already survived?  You hold on to that.  Know you're doing what's right for you and your sister.  What others do with that information isn't your stuff.
“Nothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.”  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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daughter

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Re: I Revealed My Parents' Abuse of Me and My Late Sister
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2018, 11:03:43 AM »
I've the urge to disclose too, resorted to often posting here, over and over again, because otherwise I was too often veering into this topic with friends.  Pre-NC, I was protecting my parents, despite their obvious emotional abuse towards me.  Post-NC, I'm an advocate of full disclosure as relevant.  But I'm posting here with a pseudonym, so I'm still protecting them (residual FOG) by remaining anonymous. 

My parents insisted that "family business remain private", meaning no discussion, no disclosure, of their bad behavior towards me, their malevolence and expressed malice directed at me.  Not to be disclosed to relatives.  Not to friends.  My parents were able to behave as outrageously and as cruelly as they saw fit.  And they did, with no fear of my disclosure nor perceived shaming from extended family and their social-circle of friends.  So my parents were OUTRAGED when adult-me confirmed their suspicions that I was seeing a therapist; both grossly indignant parents DEMANDED that I stop immediately, angry that I was 1) "sharing private family stuff w/a stranger", 2) "getting bad advice", 3) "causing my mother such unhappiness", etc.  Disclosure is feared, to be prevented at all cost.  The Truth is embarrassing to a pd-parent, even if done 3rd-hand, even if done in a professional-setting w/o their involvement.  Both my parents also repeatedly accused me of "ruining their relationship w/DH", believing I had disclosed on-going issues to DH, causing him to "side with me", upset that DH's 1st loyalty wasn't to them, his badly-behaved npd-enmeshed inlaws.  Outrageous stuff, but as primary SG, that's what defined my FOO Family dynamic for years and years.

Me, I believe that adults shouldn't do ANYTHING, whether to their children or to a stranger, that they wouldn't want to disclose to world-at-large.  If such probable negative action implies possibility of personal shame or embarrassment at potential disclosure, then it shouldn't be done in assumed privacy of family-home.  Our pd-disordered parents rely on our discretion and complicity to "keep secrets".

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Bloomie

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Re: I Revealed My Parents' Abuse of Me and My Late Sister
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2018, 12:01:32 PM »
Free Rebel - I am so sorry for the loss of your sister. Finding each other again and being a source of comfort and validation about your experiences growing up in your parents home has to bring you comfort as you grieve her loss. I am so thankful to hear you had that time of reconciliation before she died.

Part of the work of normalizing my feelings and being able to come to terms with my wounds of having grown up in a narcissistic family system with uPD parents, has been to be finally be able to express my feelings and talk about my experiences.

This was one of the biggest hurdles to overcome (and something I still instinctively struggle with) - learning to trust my own perceptions and speak my truth - because I had been subjected to what I consider an unnatural form of parenting where the needs and feelings of my parents were priority one and the needs and feelings of myself and my sibs were either unrecognized or invalidated.

An absolute mandate in my parent's home was that we uphold their righteous public persona. Period. There was little to no ability to empathize with us or recognize us as individuals. When a traumatic type of scene played out either between my parents or involving one of my siblings (and there were many, too triggering to describe here) the deep imprint of that wound stayed on my heart and I had no safe person to go to with those wounds. The risk of speaking up and telling someone what was really going on in my parent's home would've been to risk total discard and for me, that felt like a risk of any scrap of safety I had. 

Part of tearing down the barriers that I built to survive in a dangerous and dysfunctional family system, that only worked to disconnect me from my own ability to feel and trust myself, has been to speak up in the place, time, and way that is appropriate and healing for me. That has been here on the forum, in therapy, with a trusted mentor, and a small trusted circle of safe and empathetic people.

I am really proud of you for speaking yours and your sister's truth. It takes courage to do what you did and you may lose a few people who do not want to hear, but my guess is you will gain support and even inspire others who have suffered silently - who are also cut off from expressing their own feelings and experiences because of family mandates and cultural norms that insist we stay silent.  :applause:
Bloomie 🌸
"Manipulation is deception at its highest art form. It is my attempt to make you believe that what is best for me is best for you." Beth Moore

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daughter

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Re: I Revealed My Parents' Abuse of Me and My Late Sister
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2018, 09:56:44 AM »
You've noted that your cousins may be upset "for hurting aunt and uncle who were so loving towards them".  If your parents were truly so "loving" to these cousins, don't you think that much of that supposed "love" was Big Show of seeming affection at the occasional interaction?  Maybe your cousins realize that something was "off", even when your parents were on best behavior, but have never remarked upon it to you.  Maybe your cousins have their own undisclosed issues with their mother/parents, and privately commiserate with you.  Maybe your cousins are just FB Friends, without any opinions.  But I noted your concern about your cousins' potential reaction, I find that revealing. 

I'm the SG in my FOO Family.  Being the designated SG often means being hyper-conscious of other people's feelings and perceptions, worrying how people will respond or react to something that we do/say that is important to us and unimportant to them.  We SGs often self-censor ourselves, invalidate our feelings and ignore our needs, for fear that our Truth will be deemed offensive to others.  We often box-up our feelings, fear expressing our displeasure and disappointment, and greatly worry about other people's reactions to what we say/do.  We feel judged.  We feel reprimanded.  We feel invalidated, and compelled to remain silent about what we've endured.  To a certain degree, even while self-identifying as near-100% OOTF, I still feel that seeming judgment (and implied damnation) from other people who might not like me "speaking the truth" - but of course, since I'm not privy to their private thoughts, I've no real idea what people are thinking, and I need to remind myself of that, over and over again, as I try to "speak the truth", large and small, as I find it now in my life-circumstances.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2018, 09:58:19 AM by daughter »

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Free Rebel

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Re: I Revealed My Parents' Abuse of Me and My Late Sister
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2018, 10:06:33 AM »
I'm so sorry for your loss. It's hard when the only family member you respect is gone. I also understand the mentality of not caring so much anymore who knows what although I haven't had the courage to do what you've done...yet. I imagine its nice to have the shoe on the other foot now, in charge of your own history of events and unabashedly sharing them. Even when there's a little fear, it must be extremely cathartic to just not care.

Your fb post may encourage others to challenge their views of your parents. Maybe of their own relationships. It might empower someone to reach out and not feel so alone. Your post here has inspired me as well so thank you.

There will always be a part of me (little girl) who is scared to death to speak my truth.  No family members have even come to me privately to express their concern for what my sister and I went through.  I have been in agony worrying about the smear campaign that I know has been going on since I was a little girl to turn them against me and not believe me.  I have found that campaign was successful due to no one even privately reaching out to me.  I feel alone just like I did as the scapegoat in my family, shunned and not cared or loved. 

The last straw was hearing my sister's common law husband tell me what they said about my sister the day they came to her home after being notified of her death and our NM put her down.  I can't begin to tell you how much that inflamed my anger.  I broke no contact and attended her funeral only to be there for my sister and her common law husband who was left out completely and never approached by any one but one person.  Evil to the fullest even at my sister's funeral!   :mad:

My NF put her down in his eulogy.  Again, I am so done with this abuse even after death.

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Re: I Revealed My Parents' Abuse of Me and My Late Sister
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2018, 11:40:45 AM »
Quote
We didn't both go no contact for no reason. 
This.  Whether you're believed or someone attempts retaliation, this truth - YOUR truth - doesn't change.  Think about this, really, what possible revenge is any worse than what you've already survived?  You hold on to that.  Know you're doing what's right for you and your sister.  What others do with that information isn't your stuff.

You are so right about that.  They have done so much damage to me and my late sister that almost anything they did would not surprise me at this point or hurt me any more.  I haven't received any support for those who claim to love me (family of my NF) even privately and really am not shocked that they have taken the side of the narcs.  They are lovely people and I have no anger towards them but am disappointed that they didn't at least show some type of support privately regarding what happened to my sister and I. 

I won't be silenced now because what do I have to lose?  Their love, their support, their wishing me well, them talking loving about me?  None of that ever happened so I've lost nothing new that I didn't already lose.  I lost many, many years of contact with my sister because of our evil parents who enjoyed triangulating us and telling lies about the other one to each other.  They shamed us for not talking to each other but yet they were the reason why we didn't.   :mad: :barfy: 

It's no shock that once we did begin to reunite and heal together then they reverted back to the accusation of us abusing them and told each of us that ONE of us would inherit everything but that we needed to make a choice and soon.  Typical narc behavior.  No one in my family (other than my husband/BIL, children, friends) would believe what they did to us.  Then once my sister passes, they demand to know what my BIL intentions are regarding my sister's possessions.  No grief for losing their daughter, no remorse for causing us pain/trauma, just more ridicule of her and me.  Again, I will not be silenced.  My sister can't speak up and couldn't while she was alive as they had her daughter and she didn't want to lose connection (which was very limited and really she didn't have her daughter's support at all) but I can stand up for both of us now without worrying about that relationship (that never really existed).

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moglow

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Re: I Revealed My Parents' Abuse of Me and My Late Sister
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2018, 11:44:57 AM »
FR, when and as you are able, it might help to understand and accept that your extended family very simply didn't / don't have that relationship with your parents. They may honestly have never seen or been exposed to that kind of treatment or the hidden selves your parents don't reveal in public. BUT They also don't get a vote on how you feel or recover, nor do they get a vote in your grief.

One of my cousins has always spoken of my mother as if she's the fairy princess she's been portrayed. He laughed off her rants as nothing, basically patted me on the head as if I'd imagined things or blowing all out of proportion. He truly has (had!) no clue what it was like otherwise, other than "she does have an edge about her."

Well a few years ago she went on another rampage with/about me, and for whatever reason she shared with this particular cousin. He was flabbergasted! Shared his stunned amazement at the viciousness in her tone, the sheer nastiness of what she said - so I shared a couple of her recent texts. He apologized to me for downplaying all those years and admitted he had no clue.

But the gist of it was, he had to SEE it, have it presented to him *by her* in the heat of battle, so to speak. He'd never imagined that other side or that a parent could behave that way. His dad was mother's brother - and two more different people I've never known!
It may be that your cousins never see your parents for who and what they are - and would that we had that the blessing of that same experience. They just need to understand no one has to pick sides here, we *all* have different experiences and no one should be shut down for daring to speak the truth.

“Nothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.”  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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Free Rebel

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Re: I Revealed My Parents' Abuse of Me and My Late Sister
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2018, 11:59:30 AM »
You've noted that your cousins may be upset "for hurting aunt and uncle who were so loving towards them".  If your parents were truly so "loving" to these cousins, don't you think that much of that supposed "love" was Big Show of seeming affection at the occasional interaction?  Maybe your cousins realize that something was "off", even when your parents were on best behavior, but have never remarked upon it to you.  Maybe your cousins have their own undisclosed issues with their mother/parents, and privately commiserate with you.  Maybe your cousins are just FB Friends, without any opinions.  But I noted your concern about your cousins' potential reaction, I find that revealing. 

I'm the SG in my FOO Family.  Being the designated SG often means being hyper-conscious of other people's feelings and perceptions, worrying how people will respond or react to something that we do/say that is important to us and unimportant to them.  We SGs often self-censor ourselves, invalidate our feelings and ignore our needs, for fear that our Truth will be deemed offensive to others.  We often box-up our feelings, fear expressing our displeasure and disappointment, and greatly worry about other people's reactions to what we say/do.  We feel judged.  We feel reprimanded.  We feel invalidated, and compelled to remain silent about what we've endured.  To a certain degree, even while self-identifying as near-100% OOTF, I still feel that seeming judgment (and implied damnation) from other people who might not like me "speaking the truth" - but of course, since I'm not privy to their private thoughts, I've no real idea what people are thinking, and I need to remind myself of that, over and over again, as I try to "speak the truth", large and small, as I find it now in my life-circumstances.

I didn't speak out about my sister's and my parents' abuse of us publicly due to her being afraid that it would make any chance she had with reconciliation with her daughter (she is loyal to our parents and only saw my sister when it was her birthday or Christmas and wanted to pick up presents/money from my sister).  I knew that there was pretty much no chance of that happening but I could not tell her that. 

Another reason was fear of rejection and that no one would believe me or care.  It's very true what you said about scapegoat's worrying about every one else's feelings besides our own.  I have seen my niece not care one bit about losing her mother and I knew that she was a lost cause.  The only people I was really concerned about turning against me was a handful of cousins (all siblings) and their mother (on my NF's side of the family) who were always lovely people and never harmed us.  Our narc parents never showed their true evil nature towards them so they think that they are wonderful people.

My aunt did call me shortly before my sister died (we were both no contact with our parents) and said that my parents went to see her and were in agony because they needed to know why my sister and I were not talking or communicating with them anymore.  My aunt told me over and over again, "Please don't tell me, please don't tell me, etc.".  She started crying, "He's my brother". 

I told her I wasn't telling her anything except that there were two sides to the story.  She told me that she would be devastated if my sister and I didn't inherit our parents' money/property and I knew that they had once again thrown the "I'm going to disinherit you and disown you if you don't talk to your mother and me" into the mix.  They are the victims in their minds and we, the true victims, are their abusers in their minds.

My aunt was going to call my sister and tell her the same thing she had told me but asked me if she felt the same way as I did and I told her that she did, so she didn't call her this time. 

My NF has gone to his sister, my aunt, many times in the past to complain about me.  I didn't go to a splinter cult he was in so he bullied me with his cult men friends for over a year right in front of me and went to his sister and told her that I was in a terrible church and was lost.  I told her a thing or two about the cult he was going in (I was actually in a cult too but he brought my sister and I into it as young children, so at the time I still believed what had been beaten into me since I was a little girl) and turned the tables on him.  What father does that?  A narc one.  >:(

I have cared about what those particular cousins think of me and my NM made sure that she did things for them when they lost their father so that they would be loyal to her.  They are very good people and have never hurt me or done anything to hurt any one on purpose, but their lack of even privately asking me if I was okay after revealing (without describing it) the abuse my late sister and I endured, really hurts.  It goes to show that you really lose all of your family or maybe I never had them to begin with?