To me, no contact is shunning and mean

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NoMore60619

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To me, no contact is shunning and mean
« on: December 09, 2015, 07:38:09 PM »
And it's hard for me to do it. Actually, my entire family seems damaged and personality disordered and I kind of fell through the cracks because I was the scapegoat for all of their problems and therefore not really a part of them. It saved me!!

I have my own awesome family of choice now, but I can't help but think that no contact is a form of mean shunning, at least to those who have to endure the no contact. My family did it to me and it didn't feel good. And now I decided never to let them back in again because they, especially my bpd sister, is always coming back only to leave again in an angry, mean tirade.

But I do feel guilty. If she comes back, I have to tell her no. And to me that's hurting her. And even though only my mother has hurt me more than her, I still don't want to do it to her. Does this make sense?

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kayjewel

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Re: To me, no contact is shunning and mean
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2015, 08:24:03 PM »
You're not the only person who's had those feelings. Maybe it could help for you to differentiate between "No Contact" and Silent Treatment, which is what it sounds like your family did to you.

In the Silent Treatment, the person giving ST still has their focus on the person they are not communicating with. The purpose of ST is to keep the bad feelings alive, to hurt the other person, and to create more drama. The intention behind ST is mentally unhealthy.

With No Contact, the person going NC takes their focus off the other person and puts it onto their own life. The purpose behind NC is to disengage from an abusive and unhealthy situation, to reclaim our own mental health, and to protect ourselves (and our spouses and children, if we have them.) The intention behind NC is mentally healthy.

But I do feel guilty. If she comes back, I have to tell her no. And to me that's hurting her. And even though only my mother has hurt me more than her, I still don't want to do it to her. Does this make sense?

Your mother's feelings are not your responsibility. The reason is that you have absolutely no control over what she feels. None whatsoever.

Your responsibility, as an adult human being with your own spouse and children, is to take care of your own mental health and that of your own family of choice. As an adult, your job is to live your own life, not to cater to your parents as if you were still a child. If your mother chooses to feel hurt by what you do, that is her decision. It is not your job to twist yourself into knots in order to avoid her feeling whatever she is going to feel. Sometimes, in the course of living our lives as mature adults, we have to say "no" to people. Sometimes they don't like that. It doesn't mean, because they don't like it, we can't say "no".

To the extent that we believe we have to always do what others want in order not to hurt them, to that extent we are imprisoned, not free to live our own lives. Worrying about not making other people feel bad makes it very easy for them to manipulate us. We can be emotionally blackmailed very easily.



There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.
-- C. G. Jung

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practical

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Re: To me, no contact is shunning and mean
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2015, 11:29:32 PM »
But I do feel guilty. If she comes back, I have to tell her no. And to me that's hurting her. And even though only my mother has hurt me more than her, I still don't want to do it to her. Does this make sense?

It makes a lot of sense. You are a thoughtful, empathetic person, who does not want to cause others pain, even when they have hurt her. You are not being mean, you are acting in self-defense. Imagine their emotional attacks on you were a gun, would you keep standing across from them or would you remove yourself? Would you feel bad about having removed yourself out of harms way?

It is in your M's and your S's power to end the pain they are experiencing as part of you being NC. You did not set out to cause them pain, they caused you such pain you had no choice than to go NC to protect yourself and FOC. Their pain might also be more like withdrawal as you are not giving them their drama supply anymore, you have removed yourself and disengaged.

I'm sorry you were subjected to extended ST, which as kayjewel points out is very different from NC. ST is an aggressive form of emotional abuse, it just happens to come without words. For me that has  always been particularly hard, as you cannot have a conversation/resolve an issue with a wall of silence, there is only accusation. Shunning also is a form of aggression to make somebody fall back in line, not something you are doing. NC is not aggressive, it is not accusatory, you are not trying to browbeat your M or S into anything, you have simply moved on to your own life, while they can continue to live theirs, just without you for drama supply.

 :bighug:
If Im not towards myself, who is towards myself? And when Im only towards myself, what am I? And if not now, when? (Rabbi Hillel)

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mdana

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Re: To me, no contact is shunning and mean
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2015, 02:22:01 AM »
NoMore....

I have felt as you do to... 'no contact is mean'... shunning.  Today I was feeling upset at how many PD's I know (in both my family or origin and my ex's family, now including my own daughter!).  Jeez... the mental family! 

Yet... I see many people that in spite of such complexities, seem to make it work.  But... for me... I choose to divorce my ex and his family of PD's and am ever so happy about it every minute of the day!  It has lightened my load tremendously and I feel so totally blessed because of it!! As far as my mom ---medium chill is the right thing (can't stand the roller coaster pain of rejection and abandonment that is always on her terms). There have been times when I went NC with my mom and it felt terrible, but it was necessary (for me).

With my daughter -- only time I can do NC is when she is spinning, off her meds, and/or using alcohol or drugs because during those times she is abusive and dangerous.  Otherwise, it's medium chill with lots of love and compassion (keeping it real skimpy on the rescuing). 

Unless you are being abused and harmed, I would say ... you have to do what feels right for you ...

M
Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. The Dalai Lama

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butterfly11

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Re: To me, no contact is shunning and mean
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2015, 03:32:26 AM »
This is a great topic and KayJewel, you really created some much needed clarity. Very well put.

NoMore60619, I read your post and once again thought I had written it.

I am constantly disturbed by the no contact thing but I know that to open the door a crack will be to start all over again. I too had a problem mother and a uBPD sister and I got the silent treatment for years while fantasy "facts" spun about. I'm quite sure my mother never told my sister to contact me, as she always had told me to do with my sister.

One thing I think I've discovered about my focus on this no contact is that it might be a way for me to avoid the pain of having been the scapegoat. Now that it's all over, it's not really over. For me, it feels like a new chapter starting and though part of it is good, it's also a chapter of fresh new realizations about the extent to which I was easily cast aside, something my mother would never have admitted.

No matter what anyone says, there's very little solace in walking away from family. There's always that part that feels just terrible even as you heal in your own ways.

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Haylie

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Re: To me, no contact is shunning and mean
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2015, 02:20:15 PM »
NC can be very hard. When you're a normal, sensitive, caring person you'll feel guilty and unhappy about doing this. The best I've managed with my PD sister is medium chill. Although I've kind of adapted it in some ways. I do meet up with her a couple of times a year. If she phones I choose whether to answer her call. I send her b'day card, Christmas gift and card - because otherwise she'd receive nothing from other family members (who won't have anything to do with her anymore). Do I feel guilty about letting her spend Christmas apart from her family? Yes and no. But, these days more no than yes!

I feel people with PD make their own adult decisions and situations - if they mistreat and abuse people they have no right to expect those same people to be there for them or to want a close relationship with them. One thing I've learnt is that just because we are siblings that does not mean they have any claim to any part of us or our lives and nor are we responsible for their feelings or what happens to them. Whenever a little bit of guilt creeps back (as it does at this time of year) I remind myself of the horrors she can inflict if I let her in.

Distance can keep you safe and sane - if you need it, don't give it up.

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Begrounded

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Re: To me, no contact is shunning and mean
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2015, 03:51:28 PM »
Kay, Thanks for explaining the difference between no contact and silent treatment. Clears up a lot of guilt I've been carrying surrounding that issue. My uBPD brother often uses the silent treatment on me. Keep asking myself am I not doing the same to him with no contact? Now it makes sense, INTENT is driving motive.

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pinklipstick

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Re: To me, no contact is shunning and mean
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2015, 07:08:35 PM »
I know NC is hurtful but sometimes one must go NC for their protection and well being.  My sister has BPD and never respected boundaries for anyone in our FOO.  I had to go NC to keep her from contacting my kids, making up lies, smear campaigns, etc.  It also hurts the person whom must initiate NC.  We are all taught family is family no matter what.  Unfortunately when a family member has BPD it can be impossible to have a relationship with that person.  I do know this.  I am doing great and do mourn the sister I never had...I really wish things could have been different.  Recently my sister was hurt in a car accident.  I was torn about reaching out to her as she had such awful and horrible mean things to say about me.  A lot were lies.  I made inquiries, found a florist near the hospital she was at, sent a beautiful arrangement, signed my name and a few other family members, paid for it and she trashed that gesture ...said I didn't send it but our father did.  She even said i "demanded" a thank you from her which is not only a lie but ridiculous.  I know I did the right thing for the right reasons.  She can think what she wants.  so yes it can hurt when one goes NC but when dealing with BPD sometimes we must for our own well being. 

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arianna

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Re: To me, no contact is shunning and mean
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2015, 07:56:08 PM »
I thought about it this way:  what if someone did that to me, cut contact. If they did I would be ok with it and respectful of them and know that for whatever reason it isn't good for them to be a part of my life right now. I don't need people to be in contact with me. I'm an adult.

However in the case of my siblings I feel like I did something wrong and they don't like me so I guess that's different. I tell myself that may not be the case.

If my kids stopped talking to me I will give them space depending on their age of course.  It would mean that I've done something wrong and they are trying to cope.

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daughter

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Re: To me, no contact is shunning and mean
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2015, 12:21:49 PM »
Some malevolent pd-disordered people are like "hot stoves" - there's no "control switch" for you to moderate their "temperature" (behavior), their always "on" (attack-mode), and if you have prolonged contact you're likely to "get burned" (hurt).  When it comes to our relatives, particularly our parents, there's often an expectation that "family" trumps our need to feel emotionally-safe, so we're expected, and we expect of ourselves, to maintain close contact with a hurtful pd-relative, even if that involves us being hurt, over and over again, "burnt" by them, without consequence to that person.  The usual excuses and justifications, such as "it is what it is; he/she won't change", that "family is most important", that we "owe them", that we're "too sensitive, too easy to find fault", that "we're your parents (or sibling) and we can say or due whatever we want", are all statements intended to FOG us into more appeasement, passive tolerance, and compliance.

If this same offensive person were a spouse or SO, we'd more likely be counseled to "leave relationship", to curtail the abuse, to avoid future situations where we are likely to be further victimized.  Why doesn't that sound advice not extend to situations with malevolent parents, with malevolent siblings?  Why is it "shunning and mean" to finally chose to protect oneself, and one's own FOC?  Why is further enablement, by still not removing ourselves from a truly hurtful relationship, or limiting further exposure opportunities, the appropriate decision?  You can still "love" a pd-disordered relative, without serving-up yourself (and your FOC) for more victimization.  For those who are designated as SG of their FOO Family, like me, there's a resolute expectation that we "just take it", no matter how nasty, cruel, or hurtful, because our feelings and needs are viewed as unimportant and irrelevant by our pd-disordered relatives and their Flying Monkeys and enablers-enforcers.  Respect and civility are the cornerstones of viable and healthy relationships.  There's no genuine obligation to endure continual disrespect and disdain, continual manipulation and control, continual meddling and bad-mouthing, in the name of "we're family".       

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all4peace

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Re: To me, no contact is shunning and mean
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2015, 04:53:27 PM »
I think that NC is so painful for so many because when dealing with the PDs in our lives we have come to the conclusion that they are unable to hear our boundaries, our concerns, or to self reflect and try to improve the relationship. Because of this, we may not have even spoken directly to the PD about their behavior that we find unbearable. If we'd had an open, honest conversation, and they'd had a chance to change but didn't want to, then maybe NC would feel more like a mutual choice. As it stands for many, it seems more unilateral. Just my thoughts. And I'm not NC, just VLC with ILs and somewhat LC with parents.

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pinklipstick

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Re: To me, no contact is shunning and mean
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2015, 03:51:00 PM »
all4peace I agree with you.  I have struggled with NC on and off.  Honestly I only tried to be VLC because it upsets my dad so.  I did talk with my BPD family member.  We can talk when she is regulated but as she has gotten older, she is in her mid 60's, she is more deregulated than not.  If she is set off, she tramples all boundaries, sends pages and pages of horrible emails, messages etc.  Then she ends by saying she won't read any responses because she is too upset and can not read responses for her own well being.  How does one deal with that?  I did tell her that is not playing fair, that everyone deserves to be heard.  She promised she wouldn't do that but you guessed it, she continued.  I last talked to her when she would constantly ask me about my personal life and the guy I was dating.  The short story is she told me I could never mention his name to her.  Well I said that his name may come up in a story and it would be hard but I would not talk about him and tell her anything personal.  She yelled and said to never mention his name.  She hung up on me.  She sent emails.  I just never called her after that nor did she call me.  The story is not exactly word for word as it was over a year ago but you can get the idea.  The guy was in my life almost four years and i knew his name would come up.  Honestly she was so darn mean and condescending about.  she made up crazy stuff about him too like she was worried he would "kill" me.  HUH?  He was not violent at all and had never lain a hand on me.  Anyways that was my last contact with her.  It is dumb and silly but she is a control freak and wants to control what others say, talk about etc.  She is so toxic and very disregulated these past ten years. There is so much more too...

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Pepin

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Re: To me, no contact is shunning and mean
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2015, 06:06:02 PM »
It's so true.  I feel bad anytime I cut someone out -- because I am putting myself in their shoes and understand that if it were me, it would hurt.  The difference is that they don't know how to feel bad.  They just get mad.  If they do manage to shed some tears, those are crocodile tears. 

So, don't feel bad.  You should feel good for yourself!  Because you are keeping yourself safe.  But, I know, we empaths shoulder the emotions from both sides.  *sigh*
NPD F (overt/covert) NC
DPD MIL (covert) VLC
FALLEN GC SIB
GC#2 SIB (covert) LC

No PD is going to tell me what to do.

People who don't bring joy, let them go.

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pinklipstick

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Re: To me, no contact is shunning and mean
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2015, 05:02:22 PM »
Some malevolent pd-disordered people are like "hot stoves" - there's no "control switch" for you to moderate their "temperature" (behavior), their always "on" (attack-mode), and if you have prolonged contact you're likely to "get burned" (hurt).  When it comes to our relatives, particularly our parents, there's often an expectation that "family" trumps our need to feel emotionally-safe, so we're expected, and we expect of ourselves, to maintain close contact with a hurtful pd-relative, even if that involves us being hurt, over and over again, "burnt" by them, without consequence to that person.  The usual excuses and justifications, such as "it is what it is; he/she won't change", that "family is most important", that we "owe them", that we're "too sensitive, too easy to find fault", that "we're your parents (or sibling) and we can say or due whatever we want", are all statements intended to FOG us into more appeasement, passive tolerance, and compliance.

If this same offensive person were a spouse or SO, we'd more likely be counseled to "leave relationship", to curtail the abuse, to avoid future situations where we are likely to be further victimized.  Why doesn't that sound advice not extend to situations with malevolent parents, with malevolent siblings?  Why is it "shunning and mean" to finally chose to protect oneself, and one's own FOC?  Why is further enablement, by still not removing ourselves from a truly hurtful relationship, or limiting further exposure opportunities, the appropriate decision?  You can still "love" a pd-disordered relative, without serving-up yourself (and your FOC) for more victimization.  For those who are designated as SG of their FOO Family, like me, there's a resolute expectation that we "just take it", no matter how nasty, cruel, or hurtful, because our feelings and needs are viewed as unimportant and irrelevant by our pd-disordered relatives and their Flying Monkeys and enablers-enforcers.  Respect and civility are the cornerstones of viable and healthy relationships.  There's no genuine obligation to endure continual disrespect and disdain, continual manipulation and control, continual meddling and bad-mouthing, in th

This is so spot on!!  Thank you for sharing!!

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bopper

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Re: To me, no contact is shunning and mean
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2016, 06:59:03 PM »
What is the purpose of shunning?  Humans are  tribal beings.  In general, we find it best to live in groups.  But groups have rules.

 If you were, say,  Amish and did not want to follow the rules, they would shun you.  They are trying to protect their way of life which they think is a good way for their tribe to behave.  Order breaks down if people dont' follow the rules.
We put people in jail because they don't follow the rules.  As a society we say that we think it best as a whole if we abide by these rules.

What you are doing by having no contact is not shunning, but leaving the group.  You are saying that you don't think that the way that your family acts is beneficial to the group.  You have found a new group (your Family of Choice) that you think is a better way to live.

Are you being mean to them by leaving the group?  No, they were being mean to you...which is why you left.
But if you are getting the "but we're family", they are saying "Hey wait a minute...that is not fair! Nobody is supposed to leave the group! We are supposed to be able to do what we want and you are supposed to take it!" 

If they really wanted you back in the group, they would make it beneficial for you.  However, they are unfortunately incapable of that.
Just because they are incapable of loving you, doesn't mean that you are unlovable.
Anything makes the false self appear real is supply.

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kayjewel

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Re: To me, no contact is shunning and mean
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2016, 12:09:05 AM »
What you are doing by having no contact is not shunning, but leaving the group.  You are saying that you don't think that the way that your family acts is beneficial to the group.  You have found a new group (your Family of Choice) that you think is a better way to live.

This is an excellent point, bopper. I hadn't thought of the No Contact/Silent Treatment (shunning) distinction in these terms, but it makes a lot of sense.
There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.
-- C. G. Jung

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guitarman

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Re: To me, no contact is shunning and mean
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2016, 10:12:58 AM »
I go no contact to protect my own physical and mental health. If my sister chooses to visit in a calm way I will let her in but I call ambulances and police if she threatens things.

She hasn't contacted me for a few weeks and it's strange not to have the constant stress of her demanding behaviour and hearing about all her problems. Everything is a drama or a crisis unless she is very happy.

I go no contact not to be mean or nasty but for my own survival. I've learnt to put myself first. I matter too.
"Do not let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace." - Dalai Lama

"You don't have to be a part of it, you can become apart from it." - guitarman

"Be gentle with yourself, you're doing the best you can." - Anon

"If it hurts it isn't love." - Kris Godinez, counsellor and author

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Stellarmemory

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Re: To me, no contact is shunning and mean
« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2016, 04:54:31 AM »
I struggled with this concept for a while as i like to take every component apart and examine it, what i noticed is that in a sense coming OOTF is essentially a mirror of PD behavior but with a self preservation component to it, when i started thinking about the term NC i noted that it was similar in the way that a PD person may give you the Silent Treatment noting the key difference lies in the reasoning, you could argue (removing the emotional attachment you have) that NC is itself the silent treatment, BUT when we delve deeper we see that for a PD'D person NC is primarily used to abuse someone or punish someone who is not feeding the PD's ego, where as coming OOTF's NC is used as a self preservation technique to protect oneself from abuse.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2016, 04:56:54 AM by Stellarmemory »

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arianna

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Re: To me, no contact is shunning and mean
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2016, 05:05:25 AM »
It annoys me that my parents really focus on that aspect of it that the nc is a sign of my issues. 

I know this is off topic a bit but last night (keep in mind I'm nc with recent huge drama so I'm in a bad mood) I was critical of my daughter and I accused her of being irresponsible and dishonest. Then I realized all day I was disorganized and didn't do my job as a parent in keeping track of things etc and I thought oh crap I am being just like my parents.  Yes she wasn't being responsible but on the other hand if I had been, our day would have been calmer and and maybe I would have helped her stay on task and anyway what's the point in being overly critical.

I cried and cried and thought what if she feels like I do about my parents.  I have problems and what if I'm the disordered one as well. I had to fix it so I said to her I love you and I'll be a better listener next time and maybe I'm wrong about some things.

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all4peace

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Re: To me, no contact is shunning and mean
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2016, 10:18:17 AM »
I think it helps to remember that NC is people's very, very last resort. If a person (you, Arianna) is willing to admit wrong, apologize, and show remorse for behavior, isn't that a workable relationship that nearly anyone would want to save?