Flipping the script

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all4peace

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Flipping the script
« on: May 09, 2017, 08:25:12 PM »
It seems like a fair number of new members recently, or maybe I'm just noticing the welcome posts more. Regardless, welcome!!

As I came Out of the FOG (probably still working on it), one thing that often helped me to see how abnormal my parents (and IL's) behavior was, was to flip the script. I'm a parent myself, and have been for 17 years, so I've experienced most of parenting before my kids are adults. When I wonder if something was "really that bad," I turn it around and see if I would have done the same as a parent. Almost always, the answer is NO!! and it helps me understand how abnormal the behavior was, even if I got used to it as a child myself.

I read threads in which people struggle with guilt for not caring more about their older parent's feelings or needs, and I feel for you nons. So often, if you turn the question around, it helps you understand how abnormal that dynamic is. For example, I would never, ever expect my kids to care for my emotional or physical needs. Perhaps some day when I am very elderly they will want to be part of my care, but until that absolutely necessary day (and possibly not even then), my struggles/pain/emotions/wounds are simply not their responsibility. In fact, it is totally my responsibility to deal with my own crud and be the most engaged, present, loving, enjoying, guiding mother I can possibly be.

I hope this helps someone. What tricks do you have for clearing the FOG?

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notrightinthehead

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Re: Flipping the script
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2017, 04:17:44 AM »
I am sure, I made my own mistakes with my kids, but like you, I know I avoided a lot of mistakes my mother made. And I agree, it helps to clear the mind when I ask myself: would I behave like that? If the answer is no, then it is not ok to be treated like that.
I can't hate my way into loving myself.

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Zebrastriped

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Re: Flipping the script
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2017, 09:38:41 AM »
All4peace, for me its a question of common sense behaviors.  uBPDmom has always engaged in behaviors that are dangerous to her health, not pills, but just plain bad judgement about what she is capable of lifting for example, without hurting herself.  Its very worrisome to know she could be tumbling down the stairs, trying to prove a martyrdom point.   I'm very determined my children will not have to worry about me this way, and when the youngest went off to college, we rearranged storage of some items so I was able to easily reach.

To stay Out of the FOG, even while I visit them once a week in their declining health, I repeat the phrases here, like the three C's.  This month though, its going to be all about remembering that I am not obligated to set myself on fire to keep someone else warm, especially when they refuse to bring a blanket.

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: Flipping the script
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2017, 10:02:54 AM »
One of the questions I've often heard in real life actually is "who does that?" Because the behavior that prompted that question means the answer likely is "no one in their right mind would do that"

Love your idea of flipping the script.
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daughter

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Re: Flipping the script
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2017, 11:02:18 AM »
I agree; my personal experiences and thought-processes as a parent resolved whatever FOG remained concerning my own malevolent NBM and enabler-enforcer NF.  Unfortunately, I didn't become a parent until my late 30s.  I think if I'd been a parent in my late 20s, I'd have been NC by my late-30s or mid-40s, rather than a decade later in my mid-50s.  For me, parenthood eventually "cut thru the FOG", because I was able to finally comprehend that there was no "parental love" given by my NBM and NF, that our relationship was entirely based upon my fear of my parents' rage and rancor, my sense of obligation and duty to "serve" my parents, my apprehension and potential "guilt" of not abiding by my parents' demands and expectations.  Becoming a parent myself made me realize that my parents were as emotionally-abusive as therapists had advised me, and that this abuse was not beneficial to me or my parents, and its continuation was not beneficial to my own children.  Unfortunately, I wasn't emotionally strong enough to "break-out" until our oldest was in his mid-teens.