Adult children blaming you.

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AngelInTheMarble

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Adult children blaming you.
« on: April 10, 2016, 01:45:38 PM »
So I've been out 3 weeks with no contact with my ex.  It has been amazing!  I met with my 25 year old son yesterday and he still thinks we can fix things.
I have told him repeatedly that it is over and I am never going back.  He has spent hours talking to his dad and is trying to convince me that his dad is trying to change. (In 3 weeks after 28 years of abuse.  Right!)
My son started asking, no grilling me on what part of this mess was my fault.  How do I get him to understand that nothing I did caused this and nothing I can do will fix this?
I finally had to call our visit to a close.  I left feeling like a rape victim who is told that if their skirt wasn't so short maybe they wouldn't have been attacked!
Do children ever stop blaming you for getting out?  I need a little TLC today...

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hhaw

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Re: Adult children blaming you.
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2016, 03:20:21 PM »
AITM:

I think these conversations are maddening, and make us defensive, IME.

When we extend compassion for the pd in these discussions, it makes it easier for our listener to hear us, IME.

The listener softens, drops their defensive position of parroting the pd's position, and opens up about their own experience with the pd experience/abuse/irrational behaviors, etc. 

Sometimes they end up on our side, giving our argument while we extend a version of the pd's argument gently, and without vigor.

 We do this so the third party listening has space to come to their own logical conclusions, and see what their experience and intuition has to say.

At the very least.... resisting the urge to argue, stepping back emotionally, and asking the third party listener "What do you think?" about what you just said......

it's a pretty good tool, and cuts the circular arguments off very often, IME.

When my children were very small ,and parroting their pd Grandmother's insane accusations, I didn't defend myself, but stated a few facts, then asked the children what they thought.  My youngest would think for a minute, then come back with.... "I BELIEVE YOU MOMMY!"  At that time the children were about 5 and 7yo. 

And that was the end of Grandma's insane accusations coming from my children, outside one incident later on.

I know your children are adults, but they were still in the house all those years, and they likely know they truth, even if they don't want to admit it.

Resist the urge to make them feel defensive about their father, and very often they'll admit the truth without fighting you, IME.

The pd will likely never stop posturing as a victim...... he'll depend on guilting them to do his dirty work.  That's what pd's ARE, it's not what they do, IME.   

Good luck,
hhaw

hhaw



What you are speaks so loudly in my ears.... I can't hear a word you're saying.

When someone tells you who they are... believe them.

"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
Nietchzsche

"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
Eleanor Roosevelt

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unicorn

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Re: Adult children blaming you.
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2016, 06:47:40 PM »
I am having the same problem with my children who are not adults.  My older two are 9 and 10 and seem to just be absolutely angry at me.  I can't catch a break, no matter what I do, or get for them or help them with....eventually the attitude and the anger come out. Today was another one of those days.  I hope that this will eventually get better.

I guess at the end of the day, it's their father and they want to believe the best and they do remember the nice times. Just like I do and have problems with putting the nice times alongside the bad times.  But I know that I have to teach these kids that his behavior is not normal and it is unacceptable.

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AngelInTheMarble

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Re: Adult children blaming you.
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2016, 07:39:07 PM »
My son wanted me to list some of the things that I fell in love with back when we were dating.  I told him that the person I fell in love with never actually existed.  He couldn't comprehend how devious a narcissist can be. 

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Sunny

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Re: Adult children blaming you.
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2016, 05:12:07 AM »
This is a hard one. My stock explanation to ANY family member is that marriage is an arrangement between 2 people and no one can "tell" someone they "should" be/stay married to another human being.

That way there's nothing about blame or who did what to whom, but that marriage is a choice and you have the right to choose your own path.

Also it has helped me that my DD16 is finally noticing some unsavory behaviors on my stbex's part that I didn't have to point out, and I can lend a sympathetic ear and no longer feel the need to stick up for him. She seems supported by this and vice versa...

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kiwihelen

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Re: Adult children blaming you.
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2016, 06:32:12 AM »
Angel (BTW I love your full atavar name!)

I think this is one of those times when it is critical to not JADE your decision with your kids. It is useful to practice some very firm boundary lines that you deploy. 

"I am not prepared to discuss the relationship I had with your father or the reasons I have chosen to leave him. This does not change our relationship you are still my son/daughter and I still love you, but I have chosen to no longer have a relationship with your father."

Rinse and repeat.

There is possibilities your STBX has sent the son as a flying monkey, so that whatever story he comes back with can be used against you. This one has the least risk of collateral damage in the long run.

It IS distressing when your parents split when you are an adult. I was 26 when my "good enough" parents split after 45 years together. However, it was and remains none of my business the mechanics of their marriage and the reasons for their divorce. The fact that I have heard the story from both sides in the process of caring for each of them over the last 15 years means I probably know more than my 3 older sibs, but because I have done a LOT of boundary work thanks to my experiences with PDs (both first hand and via my SO) I can separate out my feelings and that information when I am relating to them both.

Children growing up in households with PDs generally lack the skill of separating feelings and thoughts - this has been my experience with both my SOs children, sometimes with my SO (although he has done some fine work on his own issues), and is certainly the root cause of the problems we have with his uPD ex. If your son persists in asking, you may need to say to him he needs to seek assistance from a therapist to work through the meaning of his parents separation because you are not able to help him in the way he wishes.