After a few years of NC I am wondering if I will regret it

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holly_c

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After a few years of NC I am wondering if I will regret it
« on: March 06, 2016, 07:24:05 PM »
Hi all,

I am new here and have posted my intro over on the new member board (landing pad?). Anyway, I'm a female living on the West Coast. I have gone NC with my entire birth family after a pivotal event which resulted in lifelong stay-away orders here in my home state. The event (a home invasion) was the final in a lifetime of events that included physical, emotional and psychological violence as well as various addictions.

My family was lead by a mother who went with me, once, to a therapy session with a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist suggested this AFTER I'd gone to see her about job stress. The doctor felt the stress wasn't solely from work and that I might have some family issues as well. Since my mom lived with me (and had for more than a decade at that point), the doctor felt she could get a more complete picture if she could start with talking to mom. The psychiatrist (though she did not officially diagnose mom via testing, etc.), told me she felt I was in danger, that mom was a criminal and that she strongly suspected mom was a co-morbid BPD/NPD. So, I feel mom was pseudo diagnosed given that the psychiatrist was correct in telling me I was in danger and that mom would commit criminal acts.

Not only did mom commit criminal acts, she involved my father and all of my living siblings and their spouses in the final act of home invasion. Mom is super great at triangulating and manipulating. And, to be honest, mom had lived with me for a long time. No one else in the family wanted mom living with them.  So when she left my house, they were all highly invested in getting her placed back in my home. That's what the home invasion was about. The idea, so far as I can tell, was to break in and -- with her sitting in the home again, as though she'd not been gone of her own volition for many months -- call the police and say that I was trying to force her from the home. They assumed, I guess, that I would be seen as the wicked daughter who was going to thoughtlessly throw mom out of my home. They didn't count on the security of my home though and breaking in required more damage to my home than they hoped the police could legitimately ignore. Also, I was on the phone with the police as they were breaking in and I was screaming that I thought they were there to kill me (and I thought that). Windows were smashed, doors were splintered. Door knobs were broken off at their posts, walls were scarred. Thousands of dollars of damage was done to my home. Weapons were used including tire irons, crow bars, mace and a police baton.

Police fairly quickly saw through all that was happening when they arrived. However, one sibling who was a police officer (he was diagnosed with BiPolar and left the force) made it clear that if I had them all hauled away, he would ask they take me away too, as well as someone else who was at my house at the time (my sibling was going to claim we fought them even though he knew it wouldn't stand up in court - we'd still be arrested). Since it was a work day for me and I was in charge of an event where there would be thousands in attendance, that would have likely meant losing my job. So I was put in a position where I felt I couldn't have them arrested. After the police made them all leave, I covered my wounds and bruises as best I could. Friends helped me get to my event where my boss was super pissed that I was wearing sunglasses and didn't get why I was wearing them. I didn't know, at the time, that I actually had a serious injury from the beating that took place. I grew super weak following the event and eventually ended up in the hospital where I nearly died.

While there at the end of the home invasion, the police suggested I go immediately for orders of protection. Because I was in the hospital, my BF was super helpful and did all the paper work for the orders. I got the orders and they're not temporary - they're for life.

So, it's been a few years with court-ordered NC with my family. Like others here have reported, these have been the best years of my life... and I say that even given that my injuries lead to about a year of remaining near death. The injuries had lead to an illness that caused about 50 pounds of weight loss in a couple months, inability to keep down food, eventual wasting of my muscles, inability to walk or lift my head, nerve damage, extreme brain fog, a feeding tube, home nursing... you name it. I literally would not have survive without my BF's support. He eventually had to move into my home to care for me when my doctor said he didn't think they could save me. And STILL, these are best years of my life.

My issue is this: though I know I have a sick family that did some bad things, I am now starting to think of how old my mother and father are. I am starting to realize that if it hasn't happened already, they will die within the years to come. I know, for example, that my father was largely manipulated by my mother. He isn't a cluster B person at all (though I suspect my remaining siblings are). I'm sure there are parts of my dad that regret deeply what he did (or I hope so). There are times when I think I should reach out to him with a letter or something. Even mom wasn't always bad to me. I am healthy enough now that I am able to start putting my life back together and I find cards she gave me, or gifts. I don't know whether to throw them away or keep them. I look at pictures of my college graduation with family members around me and I I don't really want them there... but I haven't removed them either.

I think all I'd really like to do is communicate to my parents that I appreciate what was good about them and mourn the loss of what might have been. I don't really expect any of them have gone for help or tried to heal themselves. So, I don't believe I could have a true relationship with any of them. So, I suppose, even reaching out via a letter to either mom or dad would really just be for me... so I don't regret the things I will never be able to say before they die. It's really more about me than them. As to my siblings... they were much older than me. The only one even a little close in age to me was murdered much earlier in my life. So, I'm not as concerned about reaching out to my remaining siblings (especially as one of them said I had better hope he never finds me or my BF alone so that both of us live in fear). Regardless... since my desire to let my parents know how I feel is really just about a final message to them and since I don't really want to seek a relationship with them, I assume it would be selfish and stupid of me to follow my desire (selfish because it's only to ease my pain and stupid because I don't believe I am allowed to break the orders of protection and still have them remain in place). But, if I don't write that letter, I have to accept that they will die never knowing that I appreciate what was good in them and mourn what will never be.

So short story now way too long... how do I deal with this? Any advice from others who have been in this position?

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Miss Kay

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Re: After a few years of NC I am wondering if I will regret it
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2016, 07:35:52 PM »
Well obviously this is your decision and no one can tell you what to do.  But, based on what you said you have an extreme family, even dangerous and I just don't see how any good could come from having them back in your life.  If you reach out to them, you know they will take that as a sign all is forgiven and we can go back to the way we used to be.  It doesn't matter what you actually say, they will hear whatever it is they want to hear.  I would suggest you speak to your therapist before you take such a huge step.  You've found peace in your life now so do you really want the crazy to start all over again?  Maybe you do without realizing it because that is all you knew, it is what seems normal.  Those are the sort of things a therapist can help you sort out.   

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holly_c

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Re: After a few years of NC I am wondering if I will regret it
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2016, 07:47:26 PM »
Well obviously this is your decision and no one can tell you what to do.  But, based on what you said you have an extreme family, even dangerous and I just don't see how any good could come from having them back in your life.  If you reach out to them, you know they will take that as a sign all is forgiven and we can go back to the way we used to be. It doesn't matter what you actually say, they will hear whatever it is they want to hear.  I would suggest you speak to your therapist before you take such a huge step.  You've found peace in your life now so do you really want the crazy to start all over again?  Maybe you do without realizing it because that is all you knew, it is what seems normal.  Those are the sort of things a therapist can help you sort out.   

Wow, you mentioned something I hadn't thought of... they will hear what they want to hear. You're right. Why do I assume they would interpret my words in the manner they're meant? Mom certainly didn't before. Why would she now? And you're right too... they would see any contact as an olive branch and use it as an excuse to invade my life again. I know that. And it's a reason I feel I shouldn't write a letter, even though I want to in order to avoid losing them and never having them know my feelings.

I don't consciously want them back in my life. Lord no. Who knows what haunts those parts of our mind that we don't or cannot acknowledge or bring to the light of day. I do know that I have steered clear of drama or abuse in other parts of my life... so I don't believe I invite bad people in and I don't believe I want to invite their drama back into my life - even subconsciously. But I will certainly take that advice into consideration. The fact is that like many I've read here I have frightening dreams on a regular basis that I have somehow let down my guard and my mom is back in my house or back in my life (as is the rest of my family, by extension). I literally wake up in a cold sweat when I have those. I have been just been trained to forgive the craziness and violence for so long that doing so again is my worst nightmare -- even though I am trying to guard against it.

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closure_with_clarity

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Re: After a few years of NC I am wondering if I will regret it
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2016, 08:33:52 PM »
Hi Holly_c and welcome to OOTF :wave:

I think we all have moments that we question ourselves. Wondering if we are being too harsh and should give things another try. Conflict resolution just doesn't work in a toxic family dynamic because there is an immense lack of respect of autonomy, individuality, and even healthy boundaries. They are oblivious to these terms even if they jumped up and bit them in the @ss. It is a put up and shut up, I'm right and you're wrong. I'm going to control and dominate you type of mindset with toxic family members.

IMHO, it is in your best interest to just remain NC. It'll spare you a great deal of anguish and pain in the long run. I went NC with my FOO for an extended period of time and about 9 months ago went VLC with my elderly frail toxic parents. Truly nothing changed in my dysfunctional family dynamic, except me; my ability to emotionally detach, and assert boundaries. Toxic enabling, enmeshed family members soon started contacting with pokes, jabs, and criticism. They picked up exactly where the relationship left off 4 years ago. Them trying to guilt, coerce, and force me back into the SG and emotional doormat role.

I pretty much knew this would happen when I put the proverbial toe back into the water with them, so at least I wasn't blind sided or deflated that they hadn't changed. I remain extremely VLC with my parents and quickly cut off contact with the FOO that thought I'd simply go back into SG role.

For me personally, during those moments I "ponder" if contact is possible again. I remind myself that toxic comes in many forms. If I had diabetes I certainly wouldn't gorge myself on a pound of chocolates. Or drink a gallon of milk knowing I was lactose intolerant, for it would compromise my physical health. The same thing applies to our emotional health and psyche. We avoid and eliminate those toxins from our life, for it negatively compromises every fiber of our emotional being.


                                               
« Last Edit: March 06, 2016, 08:37:35 PM by closure_with_clarity »
Let go of the people that dull your shine. Poison your spirit. And bring you drama. Cancel your subscription to their issues.  :)

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moglow

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Re: After a few years of NC I am wondering if I will regret it
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2016, 08:47:49 PM »
Personally, I would advise against it. From a legal standpoint, you have a permanent order of protection - to breach that by contacting them could open the door to a host of other problems. They could -understandably- assume you want to ignore the order and insert themselves into your life again. They could potentially even pursue having the order rescinded. By you making contact, it might appear just exactly that way.

More importantly, consider the personal consequences here. Consider how long it took you to find stable ground and feel safe after the attack. Think of the damage to your home, your safe place, to you personally. Your family did this. Deliberately.

By all means, forgive their cruelty and the idiocy that led them to such extreme behavior. But open that door to those who would treat you so badly? No. Forgiveness does not mean you have to communicate with or allow them back into your life. It doesn't mean you should forget what they are capable of. Forgiveness is for you, so you stop blaming yourself in any way for their atrocious behavior. For me, writing a letter as you suggest is a form of forgiveness - but I never mail or share it with them. My heart is my business, not those who would do me such harm.

Everyone has good and bad qualities. Everyone. Nobody is all good or all bad. We are all many shades of gray. You don't have to see them as all bad, but you do need to first and always protect yourself from those who would hurt you. They have already proven the lengths to which they will go. Pay attention to those actions, the outcome, how you feel at the mere thought of being around them again.
"Expectations are disappointments under construction.  ~ Cap'n Spanky

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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practical

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Re: After a few years of NC I am wondering if I will regret it
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2016, 09:07:40 PM »
You went through a lot! I'm really sorry you had to experience any of it.

I totally understand you wanting to reach out, it is the longing to have this one moment where you could actually connect. You want to be nice to them, to do what would be no problem with a non-PD person, and it is really painful to realize you cannot. You cannot even have that tinny bit of normalcy of saying "Thank you!" because your FOO is dysfunctional and toxic.

I totally agree with what Miss Kay and Closure_with_Clarity have said. I went NC three times with my uNPDM, I had changed, she had not! so it never worked longterm, I just ended up with more mental bruises. This is really important to remember, you are able to change and have worked on healing, physically and mentally, your FOO doesn't sound like they are able to change.

I'm MC with my uPDf who like your parents is elderly and has certain frailties. For years I tried to help him with his health issues. They somehow never got resolved, when he had an answer for one, it was suddenly no longer a problem instead there was a new one. Finally I realized it was about the drama, about drawing me into it and not any acute health issue, so I now refer him to his doctors. In the beginning it was really hard for me that I cannot do what kids do for their elderly parents, help them with their health issues, because he is PD. To protect myself I cannot get involved beyond telling him to see his GP. It is still sometimes hard to do, because I worry "What if this time it is really an issue?" - I guess that is the story of the boy who cried wolf.

One last thing, my M died last year. I had been NC at the time. I'm fine, never felt regrets, I know I had to protect myself rather then to go for some gooey moment of happy-family from Hallmark by contacting her, which would never have happened anyway, as the tension between us would have been there, even if we both had smiled our biggest smiles. I wouldn't have been able to forget what had happened, and neither would she have. According to B and  a social worker she was fine with the situation too. She had arranged herself with the situation and created her own story around it, just like she had done the times before when I was NC. I'm sure she would have liked to have a daughter back in her life, only that daughter wouldn't have been me, it was a fantasy daughter, a role I used to play and I couldn't have gone back to it.

I think your first priority should be you, your mental and physical health, the life you have built for yourself, and imho that excludes contacting your FOO.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2016, 09:09:21 PM by practical »
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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argh

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Re: After a few years of NC I am wondering if I will regret it
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2016, 07:18:04 AM »
Whatever you do you will survive - but it does sound to me that it is extremely unlikely that anything positive will come out of this and very likely you could have more pain inflicted on you.

Sounds to me like what you want to deal with is the sadness of not having good parents - and your PD parents aren't going to be able to help you with that one. I totally get this - I still really REALLY want to believe it's all just because my mother doesn't understand the impact of what she's done and if I could just explain it right it would all be okay. But that's just not reality - as my therapist has pointed out to me about a million times - she has given no indication that she wants to change or address the issues and I can't make her.

What about writing a letter but not posting it and talking about it with your therapist? Or doing something cheesy like burying it under a tree (sometimes these cheesy things work)?

On the basis of what you've written I think yours is one of the most clear cut examples of justified NC I've read about. Horrific. You may well underestimate how horrific it was because you went through it - my father was violent as well but not to this extent. I am just starting to properly realise how abnormal and unacceptable those things are.

Oh and BTW - doing something just for you is NOT stupid and selfish. AT ALL. That's another one of my big learning curves - it is actually okay for me to look after myself - so long as it does not harm someone else. The problem is I was raised to think that ANYTHING I did to look after myself harmed someone else because my mother so couldn't bear it when I was happy or looked after myself (to this day she freaks out when I get a nice haircut, buy a dress, have a nap etc etc etc). I suspect you might have had some of the same messages.

So - in conclusion - look after yourself and your entirely understandable and justified grief at having crap parents - but I suspect the way to do this is not by engaging with the dud parents.

Sounds like you have done an EXTRAORDINARY job in making it out. Respect.

x

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JG65

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Re: After a few years of NC I am wondering if I will regret it
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2016, 11:07:43 AM »
Dear holly_c,

What a terrible thing your family did to you.  I agree with everything that has been said. 

My dad has NPD and over the past year, it became apparent that his NPD was causing him to have toxic behavior.  Since then, I've been working my way through coming out of denial and working on myself. 

As I reflect back I realize our family tolerated a lot of behavior we shouldn't have because "that's how dad is."  That is not fair or healthy.  I thought about if my father was a neighbor or friend what we would have done.  The answer is we would have cut ties long ago, and if he was a neighbor, I think I would have moved. 

Perhaps that would be a helpful way for you to think about the group of people who committed a violent crime against you and who almost killed you.  If these were strangers, what would you do?  If these were strangers and you knew one had been diagnosed by a therapist as being criminally dangerous, what would you do?

Also, another perspective to consider is that showing caring behaviors does not negate abusive behavior.  As a parent, I know it is my job, having brought my children into the world, to love them, feed them, clothe them, and do my best to raise them into happy, well-adjusted, self-sufficient adults.  It is an obligation I took on when I chose to have them.  They don't owe me anything for doing that.  Those are the basics.   And, covering those basics certainly doesn't give me any right to abuse my children. 

If there is nothing wrong with your father, then he is the one who should be most ashamed. 

Hopefully, you will continue to recover physically and spiritually and you have even better years ahead.   It is very good that you are finding some level of forgiveness and that you are able to see the positive parts of your relationship with them. 

However, it sounds like contact with them in any way could be poking a hornet's nest. 
Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences - Robert Louis Stevenson

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biggerfish

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Re: After a few years of NC I am wondering if I will regret it
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2016, 09:35:27 PM »
The most loving thing you could do for them is to remain consistent. To resume contact would only confuse them. After all, they need a little saving from themselves. If it were me, I would keep NC

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Dolphin

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Re: After a few years of NC I am wondering if I will regret it
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2016, 08:46:25 AM »
Thought it would be good for you to hear from another person who believes you have a clear case for NC.

I spent hours and hours with a good therapist debating about whether or not I should go NC, stay LC, or cut down to VLC.  Because of my situation, this therapist supported me in whichever decision I made, but wouldn't make the decision for me.  She described some extreme situations where she would recommend NC, and I believe yours is one of them.

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all4peace

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Re: After a few years of NC I am wondering if I will regret it
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2016, 10:54:53 AM »
I really hope you don't contact them. If it would break the protective orders put in place by the court, that's a huge deal! They nearly killed you as a consequence of their actions. They are disordered, insane, violent people! There are lots of predatory animals that are beautiful, but would you get up close to their claws and teeth to tell them that you appreciate their beauty?

I think the healthy and sane in you is thinking both logically and illogically (please don't read this as a harsh comment). In healthy relationships, we want to let others know what we appreciate about them, even if there are things that we don't appreciate. With a PD, and a family THIS dangerous, I would hope you would stay off their radar, period. Your brother has threatened you specifically, and obviously your family is not afraid of doing outrageous things, so I would take that threat seriously.

Could you consider writing the letter and simply keeping it? Sharing it with a friend? Putting it on the Unsent Letters section here? PDs will NOT interpret your letter how you intend it. I have sat across the table from an uN/BPD and heard my words completely misunderstood, disregarded, twisted, denied. The one thing the PD did NOT do is understand what was being said, very clearly, very calmly, and repeatedly.

I wish you the best. You have had to deal with way too much already.

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biggerfish

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Re: After a few years of NC I am wondering if I will regret it
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2016, 11:09:52 AM »
holly_c,

Correct me if I am wrong, but are you a people pleaser? Many of us here are recovering people pleasers, so you're in good company if so! It's not healthy to be a people pleaser. In this case, it's leading you to consider doing something dangerous to your own well being and mental health.

You might want to do some research on approval seeking and people pleasing. You deserve better than to be sucked back into this role. Remember that you are so much more than someone who lives to please others.

Cyberhugs for you!  :bighug:

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argh

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Re: After a few years of NC I am wondering if I will regret it
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2016, 09:07:26 AM »
This is a very good point. My mother would snort and roll her eyes if I said that I was a people pleaser but it turns out that I am DESPERATE to make other people happy - even if I don't like them. I'm having some real breakthroughs with therapy at the moment and this has been one of my real insights. I had this really dysfunctional friendship with this guy last year - I kept on saying to my therapist I don't even like him, I don't enjoy spending time with him, I think that he's sexist etc etc - but I simply couldn't stop my friendship with him and I couldn't for the life of me figure out why. Now I get that it's because it just feels "right" to me when I'm in a relationship where it is all about making the other person happy and they make me feel crappy. That's a little bit off topic - but does go the point of why are you feeling that you should get back in touch etc.

As for them not being so bad - they may indeed have done some good things - and it is absolutely fine to acknowledge and cherish those good things that they did. Very few people are all bad (or indeed all good). But just because they did some good things that does not make the HORRIFIC things that they did okay. At all. I know it is all about what you want to do and feel comfortable - but if it helps to have an outsider point of view - my own view is that you should not go anywhere near these people. Ever again.

 

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bopper

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Re: After a few years of NC I am wondering if I will regret it
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2016, 04:02:18 PM »
Write a letter, with all your thoughts about them and all your dreams for what could have been.
Then burn it.

They won't change, they won't act differently, they won't be sorry, they won't be the family you need them to be...if you contact them all they will do is try to get you under their spell. It's not you, it's them. Something in their brain doesn't do empathy. They are not capable.

So get everything off your chest in that letter.

« Last Edit: March 24, 2016, 04:05:13 PM by bopper »
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