Can I call myself no when I send birthday & Christmas cards?

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littlemisssunshine

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Can I call myself no when I send birthday & Christmas cards?
« on: March 23, 2016, 06:30:00 AM »
After a lot of misery with my foo,  a nm, enabler father and golden child sister I decided to go nc they never bother to contact me so nc is suprisingly easy logistically (the hurt never goes). I still send my mother and father birthday and Christmas cards no presents just cards they do the same with me, does anyone else have this sort of nc,  it's really weird it was something they requested back when the whole family dispute kicked off. I will never ever send a mothers or fathers day card as they simply don't deserve them.

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Totallytickedoff

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Re: Can I call myself no when I send birthday & Christmas cards?
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2016, 07:09:01 AM »
I struggle with this as well w/ ILs. I'd prefer to go NC and no acknowledgement of holidays or birthdays, but I keep up the rise for H and DD's sake. I'd be interested in learning from others on this board how to handle this, too.

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Malini

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Re: Can I call myself no when I send birthday & Christmas cards?
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2016, 04:18:10 PM »
Everybody is different. Some go from fully enmeshed to NC, some gradually work their way from enmeshed to MC, LC, VLC and NC. Some can manage to remain LC or VLC without ever going NC.

I don't think it matters what you call yourself or your situation, what's important is your own journey. 

I have seen NR (no response) used here as well. I don't think people get worked up about the terms we use to describe ourselves.

My parents stalk me, so I sometimes am forced into contact with them, but I still consider myself NC.
I tend to read the stuff that gets through to me because it helps me keep on track. I would never answer a phone call from them though or respond to any form of letter or card (unless it was of the apologetic, loving and non abusive kind).

I remember how difficult it was to not send a birthday card the first year I broke off contact and can understand why you would maintain this tradition. It might change, you might change, that is what the process is about, each one of us plodding along at our own speed and capabilities. 

"How do you do it?" said night
"How do you wake and shine?"
"I keep it simple." said light
"One day at a time" - Lemn Sissay

'I think it's important to realise that you can miss something, but not want it back' Paul Coelho

'We accept the love we think we deserve' Stephen Chbosky

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Reda

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Re: Can I call myself no when I send birthday & Christmas cards?
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2016, 04:33:19 PM »
We still exchange holiday cards with NMIL (VLC).  I hate it.  I always feel like I have to go out of my way to make sure the card doesn't say anything "heartfelt" -- I can't bring myself to send one of those "to a loving mother" type cards.  I look for sentiments along the lines of what you might give to an office coworker. 

It feels a bit silly.  But, I continue to do it because to stop would surely result in some altercation.  In a way, it's sort of a medium chill technique for me.
Don't feed the Narcissist

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bopper

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Re: Can I call myself no when I send birthday & Christmas cards?
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2016, 03:54:46 PM »
Forget about if sending /receiving cards is actually called no contact or not...

The thing to think about is "does sending or receiving cards cause you any pain/stress"?

If no, then why not continue? You are basically doing the lowest possible level of maintaining a relationship without total NC...that effort may help you to feel better about VVVVVVLC, and also may give them enough interaction to not ramp up the attempts to interact with you.000000000000000000000
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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biggerfish

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Re: Can I call myself no when I send birthday & Christmas cards?
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2016, 07:31:30 PM »
We still exchange holiday cards with NMIL (VLC).  I hate it.  I always feel like I have to go out of my way to make sure the card doesn't say anything "heartfelt" -- I can't bring myself to send one of those "to a loving mother" type cards.  I look for sentiments along the lines of what you might give to an office coworker. 

It feels a bit silly.  But, I continue to do it because to stop would surely result in some altercation.  In a way, it's sort of a medium chill technique for me.
This sounds like a low-cost, easy enough solution to me! If it's the price to pay to have peace in your life, seems pretty ingenious.

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all4peace

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Re: Can I call myself no when I send birthday & Christmas cards?
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2016, 11:38:53 PM »
I guess if you're asking a technical question, you can't call yourself "no contact" because you are, in fact, having some contact. It's certainly very, very, very low contact, though.

Count me in among those who do the obligatory gifts and cards for the ILs but struggle in finding (usually H gets them, but he gets such horribly obviously unemotional cards that I try to have a little input in this process) appropriate cards. It has to be honest, and honesty at this point is fairly awkward. Sometimes it's just easier to do the obligatory stuff than to deal with the fallout of stopping even that. Which is maybe exactly why ILs still gift us for our bdays. Ugh.

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Pepin

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Re: Can I call myself no when I send birthday & Christmas cards?
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2016, 12:00:11 AM »
I do not send Holiday cards to Ndad or anything else since we have been NC for 9 years.  He used to send me Birthday cards and then stopped.  At my last Birthday he sent an email and apologized for sending it late in the day due to his health -- yes, turning it around on him and ignoring my Birthday.  That being said, I did not get cards from my siblings either and all of us are NC with Ndad.  I am actually kind of hurt that my siblings did not send me a card.  Instead, they sent me a text.  I am not sure how I feel about this....but it does sting to a degree.  I feel that over the years, I mean less to my siblings.  Maybe I am an embarrassment to them?  I just do not know.
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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footprint

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Re: Can I call myself no when I send birthday & Christmas cards?
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2016, 01:34:03 AM »
I am in a similar dilemma.  I have considered myself NC for one year now because I broke email contact last April, and email was the last "real" form of communication we had.  I had broken phone contact about 6 years ago, and I haven't seen them physically in 2.5 years now (and even before then, I only saw them about once per year and for a very limited time).

However, I still send 5 cards per year: one each of their birthdays, one each on Mother's Day and Father's Day, and then one for Christmas. I never say anything emotional in the cards and buy pretty boring cards for the occasions, but the fact that I am still sending them seems weird.  As Mother's Day approaches, I've been thinking a lot about this because my original intent for 2016 was to cut all snail mail after this past year's Christmas card.  However, DH and I were just talking tonight and he said that I will probably cut the snail mail when I'm ready, and if I still feel some need to send a card on Mother's Day, then I shouldn't feel bad about doing it.

At this point, the main reason I send cards (that I know of, there could be Freudian, subconscious reasons) is that I know for a fact that both of my uNPD parents are playing the martyr role. I feel that by sending extremely bland cards on these occasions, I'm protecting my a*s from the extended FOO who will buy into uNPD parents' martyrdom and try to make me pay for it in some way. In other words, I see my sending of the cards as a way of protecting myself.  DH is very wise in these things and says that once I overcome my fear of extended FOO, and desire to appease them, I will probably just naturally stop sending cards.

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movingforward2

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Re: Can I call myself no when I send birthday & Christmas cards?
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2016, 03:42:30 PM »
We have been more or less NC with my in-laws for over 4 years now, but by NC, I really mean an attempt at NR (no response) when my NMIL contacts us via mail, because over the 4 years she has done that.  I'm not sure the terms mean the same for everyone, but the terms don't matter as much as what works for our own, individual families. 

We never really sent cards to begin with, so it wasn't odd to not send cards.  It would have been odd to send cards to my in-laws after we stopped seeing them.  In the last 4 years, I've only sent NMIL a Christmas card one time and it was last year, because my H was trying to work things out with her and I saw it as a peace offering (there were pictures of my DD's on it). 

If it doesn't bother you, then continue to send the cards.  Maybe that helps to keep some peace in your life...some sense of normalcy?  If so, there is nothing wrong with it.  My sister has some issues and around Christmas, I went VLC with her, but still allowed her to exchange gifts with my DD's because I felt it was the right thing to do, even though I couldn't be around her much (we've since worked things out).  I guess my point is, just do what works for your family.

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biggerfish

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Re: Can I call myself no when I send birthday & Christmas cards?
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2016, 04:21:51 PM »
There's something to be said for consistency. When we change our routine, we unwittingly dish out more N supply to our disordered person. Another way of saying it is that it gives them a new data point to know about you -- specifically a change in your behavior.

So sometimes it's best to stay in whatever routine we're in. Just my two cents, and it certainly depends upon the FOO and the situation. But who knows -- maybe they scrutinize every last bland word in that Hallmark card, and note subtle (ie non-existent) differences from one year to the next. Anything's possible. In which case, the only way to avoid feeding N supply is to send the exact same card every year! (How my imagination does run on...)
For myself, I did stop sending the cards because if I had to pick out one more vapid card that said "It's your birthday" I was gonna puke.   :barfy:

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footprint

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Re: Can I call myself no when I send birthday & Christmas cards?
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2016, 02:01:09 AM »
There's something to be said for consistency. When we change our routine, we unwittingly dish out more N supply to our disordered person. Another way of saying it is that it gives them a new data point to know about you -- specifically a change in your behavior.

So sometimes it's best to stay in whatever routine we're in. Just my two cents, and it certainly depends upon the FOO and the situation. But who knows -- maybe they scrutinize every last bland word in that Hallmark card, and note subtle (ie non-existent) differences from one year to the next. Anything's possible. In which case, the only way to avoid feeding N supply is to send the exact same card every year! (How my imagination does run on...)
For myself, I did stop sending the cards because if I had to pick out one more vapid card that said "It's your birthday" I was gonna puke.   :barfy:
This is just a perfect statement, biggerfish.  I'm really feeling in a dilemma right now about the mother's day card.  I feel that if I don't send the card, then they'll interpret it as my "sending a message"  ("take that NPD parents, take that!" no! I just don't want to send a card anymore! No real message, just please leave me alone!), but if I do send the card then maybe they'll interpret it as passive aggressive behavior since I have cut all other contact and don't reply to any of their emails and am otherwise NC (last thing they got from me was a christmas card that said, "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year" on it.

I know it's pointless to gauge what they'll think about our actions...better just to do what's best for us.  But unfortunately, I'm still at a point where I wonder if what's best for me is if they are not enraged in some way.  I've tried to fade off the radar but not sure it's working, as I know I've given them huge supply so that they can present themselves as martyrs to others.  If I don't send the mother's day and father's day cards this year, then that is no doubt "evidence" that I'm a horrible daughter, validating their role as martyrs.  A side of me just wants to send very boring cards to them on these days so that they can't live out their fantasies as martyrs.

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