I quote, "I think you will regret it yourself if you don't see your Mum."

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The New Me!

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Visited my step-sister today and it was lovely to see her; I've been re-connecting a lot with people lately, basically because I now have more time to see other people; because before going OFG my time was controlled and taken over by my Mum and step-dad.

She said something interesting and I honestly don't know which way to take it.  I quote: 'I think you should leave the door ajar for your Mum because if anything was to happen to her and you hadn't seen her then you would be beside yourself and be upset and guilty.'

I said to her well I don't live my days feeling guilty any more because I don't see them and I've turned a corner.  Also, it's very difficult to explain to people and feel that they'll understand because they haven't lived through it.  Now at one time I would of felt extreme guilt and in turn that would have made me resentful and thus feel down.  It was a vicious circle.  That was the pattern.  Now I don't feel like that.  However, it did make me think; I probably would feel so very sad and upset I hadn't seen my Mum, but I've tried on several occasions and nothing has changed.  I recently posted about an apology, but it's not genuine.

I suppose I will get this from other people because I'm always going to get a different opinion and my husband says it too.  I used to get so angry at him for saying it - guilt I suppose.  I don't anymore; that's his opinion.  What are other peoples' thoughts?

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notrightinthehead

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She might be talking about herself. She would feel that way. And she would do that. She has not walked in your shoes. She does nor know how you feel but she might try to empathise. Is it important to you that she understands exactly how you feel? Can you just accept that this is how she would feel in your situation as she understands it? Then You could just say "you might have a point there..." and leave it at that.

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The New Me!

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Yes, I think she does have a point and I may feel like that, who knows?  She does agree that my Mum and step-dad are strange characters and that they're very insular; don't integrate with other people and because of that don't have a take on reality and living in the real world.  The way they are isn't my responsibility and they'll never change.  I have put up with a massive load of rubbish and no one really knows what it's like unless they've lived through it.

I do miss my Mum, but I think I miss the idea of a relationship with her that simply is not there and never really has been.

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Danden

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I have thought about this before but I just had a new insight while reading your post.  Perhaps we are bothered when other people say this because, besides the guilt they are trying to impose, and the fact that they don't "get it", there is something else going on.  Many of us have had parents telling us how we are supposed to feel about things, so that we don't feel we are empowered to have our own feelings about things.  So we defer to the feelings and opinions of others.  So when they tell us "I think  you will regret it" we are doubting our own feelings. But you know how you feel and she does not.  Be true to yourself.  If this means seeing your mom, so be it.  If this means keeping to yourself, do that.  Take care.

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The New Me!

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Thanks, Danden.  I just find the whole situation exhausting to be honest.  It's very easy for them, because they don't have a PD parent and it's also very difficult to explain to other people, unless they've experienced it themselves.  They've never really considered me at all and I think to myself why should I consider them all because they're getting older?  They've always been like it and it has nothing really to do with age.

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blues_cruise

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She said something interesting and I honestly don't know which way to take it.  I quote: 'I think you should leave the door ajar for your Mum because if anything was to happen to her and you hadn't seen her then you would be beside yourself and be upset and guilty.'

What does leaving "the door ajar" entail though? Giving her a path back in to hurt you again? Sacrificing your peace and healing so that you can supposedly feel less guilty when the inevitable happens and she passes? I think it's one of those things where you just have to cross that bridge when it comes to it and base your actions upon what's best for you, not other people's idealised versions of reality. Other people's guilt trips and prejudices, however well-meaning, are exactly why I hope NF goes unexpectedly and quickly when his time comes.
"You are not what has happened to you. You are what you choose to become." - Carl Gustav Jung

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The New Me!

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Thanks blues_cruise

Your comments have helped a lot. :)

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SaltwareS

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This is just something we adult children of NPDs have to deal with - unsolicited advice. I disagree with your step-sister. I think you are an adult. You are allowed to have a closed door. If "something happens" it will not be your fault. The only way it would be your fault would be if you kept your door open, your m entered slipped and fell. Better for yourself and your mother to keep that door shut.

It is signature NPD behavior to want you to have no boundaries.

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The New Me!

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Thanks SaltwareS

I think you're right.  If I leave that door ajar, if I meet up with her she'll behave for a while and then she'll revert back and I'll have a constant battle on my hands yet again.  It's very difficult.  I have my final therapy session tomorrow and will mention this to her.  When people come out with comments like this I think it's a learning curve.

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Kiki81

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Hi TNM:

i've heard this before from "relationship bystanders"/triangulators and here is my reaction to this: By your logic, I can prevent my mom's death by never leaving her side? And If I take a potty break and she diiiieees, that is thus my fault?

There's no logic to telling an adult child this.

The only 'regret' I'm going to have when my uB/NM passes away is that I didn't come Out of the FOG sooner. 

You may think that receiving the input of bystanders stops when you get older. I was at the dentist recently (I'm 58 and so is my dentist) and I had a MOUTHFUL of dental instruments, I'm whiteknuckling my way through the procedure, and out of NO WHERE the dentist says:

"Have you reconciled with your parents?"

I'm stunned because I NEVER discuss my parents with anyone, much less my DENTIST. Turns out my 88-year-old Narents had been in for dental checkups and proceeded to enlist Dr. Dentist as their flying monkey!

He then says:

"Well you better."

This bothered me for MONTHS: Why did he feel comfortable enough to say those things to me? Clearly he believed whatever BS my Narents told him and reserved no doubt in my favor after being me/my DHs dentist for 19 profitable years.

Flying monkeys: They all have OPINIONS, don't they?

I won't trouble you with the mayhem my mom made for me at my dermatologist's office  :sadno:

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Fuzzydog

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I hear that a LOT from people.  And you know what?  I might feel bad, but probably not.  And hey, I'm a grown-ass adult who has had to deal with regrets and disappointments and mistakes I've made and I adjusted just fine.
I have no reason to believe that things would be any better "if I left a door open" and every reason to believe that they would be worse.  That is a well thought out, educated assessment by an intelligent woman who knew the mother-in-question much better than anyone asking about that did.
Whatever choices you are going to make about this issue, they need to be your choices, based solely on your knowledge of the situation and your intuition.
Don't let the bastards grind you down!  :bighug:

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Sooz

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Re: I quote, "I think you will regret it yourself if you don't see your Mum."
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2018, 06:07:22 PM »
Going to be blunt here. I think she’s wrong.

Guilt/regret are emotions we might feel on the death of a predominantly good parent, who’d raised us with love and selflessness (prior to estrangement).

Given the lack of maternal/paternal love from our PD parents, so many wasted years chasing non-relationships, the confusion, manipulation, lies, deceit and outright abuses...

Numbness and/or relief might be closer to our actual feelings on their passing.


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The New Me!

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Re: I quote, "I think you will regret it yourself if you don't see your Mum."
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2018, 07:25:31 PM »
Hi, my therapist said that you can't pre-empt what's going to happen, so better to get on with my life and cross that bridge when I come to it.  I suppose if my Mum were to pass away and my step-dad was left then that would fill me with deep sadness and loss.  If my step-dad were to pass away first; then I would stand a chance of being able to reconcile with my Mum.  Basically, my step-dad's the manipulator; memories of my childhood are happy before my Mum met HIM!  Therefore, he's the problem and would feel no sadness whatsoever, but my Mum that's another thing.  I do know though if I see my Mum whilst he's in the background it will be made impossible and I will have a battle on my hands.  I blame him always for all this upset and estrangement.  I realise though that the way they choose to live their lives is their responsibility and there isn't anything I can do about that.  My therapist also said that your step-sister is used to the old me and that comment would have had the desired effect to the old me, but it doesn't to the new me.  I've now been discharged from therapy, so here's to onwards and upwards.  Thanks for the kind comments.  Basically, I haven't really left the door completely shut to my Mum, but I have to my step-dad.

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Lillith65

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Re: I quote, "I think you will regret it yourself if you don't see your Mum."
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2018, 11:29:46 AM »
"Have you reconciled with your parents?" I'm stunned because I NEVER discuss my parents with anyone, much less my DENTIST. Turns out my 88-year-old Narents had been in for dental checkups and proceeded to enlist Dr. Dentist as their flying monkey!

I hope you have decided whether to continue seeing that dentist or whether to say it is none of their business.

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Laurel90

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Re: I quote, "I think you will regret it yourself if you don't see your Mum."
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2018, 06:04:23 PM »
I think it's so easy for people who haven't walked in your shoes to pass judgement on the decisions you make in your life. But that's the thing, it's YOUR life. I've had mixed reactions when I tell people I've chosen NC with my PD parent but I always think you can tell people what you feel comfortable telling them about your experience but until someone has lived it they won't fully understand your decision.

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The New Me!

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Re: I quote, "I think you will regret it yourself if you don't see your Mum."
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2018, 03:45:44 PM »
Thanks Laurel90

I do think that people - such as ourselves on this forum - are less likely to judge.  The ones who judge are usually those who haven't experienced such an awful upbringing and grown up feeling full of guilt and shame.  How lucky are they, hey!?

I often think how I've missed out on having a relationship with my Mum and I find that so very sad.  However, I feel so much happier and if I see her then I know that before long all the unhealthy feelings would come flooding back.  I'm putting myself first for a change, because they never did even when I was a child; it was always about them.

When my son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes over 12 years ago it was about my Mum; she'd said I get up in the morning and I have a little cry!  It was all about her.  Comments about how hard it was for the grandparents in this situation.  How on earth did I ever put up with all the awful behaviour?  I suppose I did because I was still in the FOG and didn't properly realise that it just wasn't right.

Thank goodness I got out of it when I did. :)

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Laurel90

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Re: I quote, "I think you will regret it yourself if you don't see your Mum."
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2018, 06:07:56 PM »
I completely get where you're coming from with feeling like you are missing out, I'm planning my wedding and it feels strange to not have my mother involved but I take a step back and think of how miserable I would be because it would be all about her tearing me down.

Keep going, you've got this! This site is a godsend!

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Starboard Song

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Re: I quote, "I think you will regret it yourself if you don't see your Mum."
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2018, 09:39:21 PM »
'I think you should leave the door ajar for your Mum because if anything was to happen to her and you hadn't seen her then you would be beside yourself and be upset and guilty.'

Well, there is leaving the door ajar, which is drafty, noisy, and really unsafe. And then there is leaving a key under the mat.

We are three years NC from my wife's parents. We went NC by saying that their lack of interest in a relationship with us was the cause, and they we hoped they would one day seek a relationship with our entire family. We also repeatedly said they could call me on my mobile phone: our one safe outlet.

That was leaving a key under the door. If they had cared enough to bend over to get it, and use it properly (like, in the key hole: not to break a window), they had a real chance to establish a renewed relationship with us and our son. Getting past me as a gatekeeper meant they would certainly have to mean it. They don't like verbal communications, and they couldn't bear accommodating our constraint. So in three years they've called only one time. And when they did I honored my promise and spent 3 fruitless hours with my FIL.

If there were some safe way to leave a key under the mat, and -- and this is important -- if you weren't plainly at ease with your decision, I too would suggest leaving open a very narrow and safe pathway to communications.

But leaving the door 'ajar' is not an apt metaphor for what is required: it is sloppy. And if you are now content then nothing is required.

This forum is filled with people not ready to go NC, or who only just recently went NC, in spite of fully understanding the struggle. It is no wonder to me that many more people don't understand at all. So don't let it bother you. Don't try to defend or explain yourself. Don't let it hurt your relationships. And don't go leaving doors ajar when there are crazy winds blowing.

"I know. This is very hard, and I neither take this lightly nor do I think it won't be hard in the future. I am glad I have your love and support in spite of it all. Thank you for sharing your concern and for understanding how hard this all is."

You've turned a corner. Don't go back any place you don't want to go. I think you are doing great.
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason

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Orthocone

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Re: I quote, "I think you will regret it yourself if you don't see your Mum."
« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2018, 09:49:39 PM »
It's always tempting to ask people who say that how their relationship is with their mom (or mine for that matter). 
"You know makes the night so beautiful?  That the galaxy had a chance to sit in darkness, but it decided to let stars shine bright."-S D-B

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Starboard Song

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Re: I quote, "I think you will regret it yourself if you don't see your Mum."
« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2018, 10:32:04 PM »
It's always tempting to ask people who say that how their relationship is with their mom (or mine for that matter).

That is a great point!
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason