The perks of having an ignoring N parent

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Malini

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Re: The perks of having an ignoring N parent
« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2017, 03:59:42 PM »
I agree with you Spring butterfly, this is an amazing place which offers such possibility for growth for each and every one of us.

Aargh, I totally understand where you were coming from and why you reacted why you did, as many of us have experienced that which you have, I have friends who sometimes slip up and treat my family situation as if it were a circus freak show, while completely ignoring the dysfunction going on in their own families, and I struggle with that, all very holier than thou and sanctimonious, and can be triggered quite easily. 

All4P, humour is such an integral part of how I deal with this and I can relate to the dark, dark, humour that kept you sane as a child and later on too.  I think 'perks' are all relative, and I recently read one of those life quotes which did make me laugh 'if the grass looks greener on the other side, it's because there's more sh$t there' . I really appreciated your last post, I wish you strength and resolve for your upcoming visit with your mom. Thank goodness that in the midst of all the toxicity and dysfunction this place remains a safe, supportive and loving haven for all of us.

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all4peace

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Re: The perks of having an ignoring N parent
« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2017, 04:20:13 PM »
Oh god I'm SO SORRY - seriously it was a total overreaction on my part - entirely about my own issues. A real sign for me that I'm back in The Pit Of Despair and need to do something about digging myself out of it again. I never realise until I start having hissy fits like that. Not a thing to do with you.

The hospitalisation non visit is really horrible isn't it. When I was suicidal a couple of years ago my mother - so "desperately worried about me" - wouldn't come and help me (well, said that she would, but then long and convoluted story that the government wouldn't let her to that I won't go into now), but in every phone call she made a point of how important it was that I write a will. So in fact (after my hissy fit), I do think that you are right that there can be "positives" to an ignoring parent.

As for your children - I worry terribly about my nieces and nephew and found a great article the other day which unfortunately I can't find again but will try and dig up - it was research that said that as long as there was one person who showed "unconditional love" or whatever you call it a child was much less likely to have any impact of disordered family members - and they didn't even need to live with that person. So, yeah, its a shame that your kids don't have that other "family" stuff - but its not at all crucial for the longer term functionality and with nice parents they're way ahead of the game.

So sorry again!
Oh my goodness, please don't apologize any more. You have every right to speak your view! It is good for me to remember that we are all in different places and that my calloused humor or approach may sometimes be very painful for another person. I very much appreciate how easy you made it for me to apologize because of your forgiving and empathetic spirit.

Argh, I'm sick at how your mother behaved when you were in such a terrible place. It's so hard when others expect their words to speak louder than their actions, and when their actions are obviously not coming from a place of love. I'm also sorry that you seem to be disconnected from your nieces and nephew who you obviously really care about. That's encouraging to hear, that our kids can thrive despite a lot of family dysfunction. I know I found a way through, and every single person in my childhood who showed love and affection became a bright pinprick of light. I truly hope your nieces and nephew have loving people who are able to touch them in that way also, if you're not allowed in their lives right now.

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all4peace

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Re: The perks of having an ignoring N parent
« Reply #22 on: July 11, 2017, 04:49:34 PM »
As the daughter of an enmeshed uBPDM, I think that if my mother suddenly ignored me from today until the end of time I would be.....at first very confused (insecure) but probably mostly ecstatic.   

I do not like the feeling of being controlled AT ALL.  I do not like using my precious life energy on trying to deal with the FOG on a daily basis.  I do not like feeling like I am literally fighting for my life, for individuation all the time.

It is interesting though, looking at both types (ignoring and enmeshing) and how each of us have different issues depending on which one we have experienced, but yet also having lots in common.

Enmeshment -  drowning, gagging, stifled, trapped in a box
Ignored - hollering across the cosmos, but only hearing your own voice echoing back into your desperate, pleading, searching ears.  Hollowness.

Both types are horrid.  I wouldn't wish either on my worst enemy.
You paint such a vivid picture of what each is like. And you're so correct in saying that both are terrible. I just think that with an ignoring parent, the "beast" to contend with is pretty simple. With an engulfing, you just have no idea how they're going to try to get to you next and it just seems so overwhelming and panic inducing, making a person feel hypervigilant and fearful.

Vivid, I think my uNM does both. Right now I believe it is deliberate, an anxious-attachment style, letting me know that since I don't love or need her (her probable interpretation of me expecting her to initiate some of the contact) then she will let me know how much she doesn't love or need me. But she's also like this with everyone. My sister thinks she knows that relationships are meant to be 2-sided but that she just can't bother to do the work on her end.

Stasia, your story has been one of those that made me feel grateful for having an ignoring M. It will be interesting to see how long your M goes without contact.

spring butterfly, I can hear the pain in your post, in that you just wanted to be allowed to have a life of your own AND love/be loved by your parents. I believe this is how both DH and my parents reacted also--with mine, if I stopped initiating all contact then we weren't apparently going to have a relationship at all. With DH's parents, if we set any boundaries, then we absolutely hated them and didn't want them in our lives at all (ie: Please don't walk into our house unannounced=we don't want to have a relationship with you). It is sad that their reactions to our individuation creates its own much bigger, much deadlier problem in the relationship. And no matter how much we tried to SHOW both sets of parents that we still wanted a relationship, it's like we had dealt death wounds.

As to your 2nd post, I love this forum for that reason also. We're all a bit (or terribly) wounded here, and I love how it's a pretty safe place to share both sides of the coin.

Rockmonkey, what a painful mess. It's so hard to think we're finally healing from one parent, just to find out the other one is just as bad, if not worse. I've read that in childhood our brains NEED us to have one person to rely on so we often cannot actually process the dysfunction of both parents at once. I'm so sorry for all the garbage you are facing with your F right now :(

Terichan, my DH has always said it would be a relief for him when his parents die. I didn't used to believe him, but after reading for years on this forum I do now. I'm glad you've found this place also to know that you have good company. Not grieving a parent's death is surely not understandable by those who have had good-enough parents. I totally hear you on the self-sufficiency. DH and I are really capable also. It was one reason it was so infuriating to have enFIL upset with US for not asking for help as we kept having health issues this year. Say what?! Both sets of parents absolutely guaranteed we'd be self sufficient, but now that was upsetting to them? I've tried to find a balance for the sake of our kids--very capable and self sufficient, but also embracing some interdependence in a healthy sense--helping friends, and allowing them to help us. Building a self reliant life with flexibility to ask for and receive help when life deals an unexpected blow.

lastof7, what a positive thing to remember! Somehow some PD's children do turn out to be great people!

Fightsong, I love your word "ignorey" :D And I hear you on the inability to go back. I was my mom's soother through childhood. If she slapped me hard enough to bloody my nose, then went into ST mode for days, I would try to apologize, try to hug her, try to end the icy chill. She.never.once.said.sorry. I think she thought I was giving her the ST, only I wasn't and it's not ending. It's hard to go back from that, once you realize your own parent is willing to let 6 months pass without talking. It's painful to accept, but at least we know in the end. And can move forward with kinder relationships and a better life.

malini, you make a great point about it being 2 sides of the same coin--in which we have no voice and it's all about their needs. It's good for me to remember that. And I'm very sorry with how regularly you are/were forced to confront their ignoring of you. I can start a thread like this because I live more than 1.5 hrs from mine. If I had to confront this more than a few times per year, it would be so much more painful. It is painful the times I have to deal with it. And I love your 2nd post about black humor. Sarcasm has become my 2nd language and it was a super useful tool for navigating childhood, but i need to be careful with it now as a trying-to-be-kind-and-healthy adult!

practical, you make a really interesting point in how enmeshment can lead to ignoring if it isn't satisfied, and how either way it is objectification rather than unconditional love.

daughter, we live next to GC sil, and my dear B is the GC in our family. I wouldn't trade places with them for anything. There were times when I envied the amt of help SIL got from her parents while we struggled alone, but I've come to see that there is a heavy price to pay. Of course it's painful for me to be ignored while uNM focuses way too intently on B's life, but then I also don't have to spend many hrs per week with her, have her straining my marriage, way too engaged with my kids behind my back, etc. I've told you more than once how angry I get with your M on your behalf, but I do think your F has a point this time around :).


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JonesMalone

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Re: The perks of having an ignoring N parent
« Reply #23 on: July 11, 2017, 05:58:48 PM »
I think in the beginning it hurt a lot. I just couldn't understand why my M didn't want contact. But you're right it is easier. The only things you have to deal with is lack of support. Occasionally I'll contact her about something importantish and then getting ignored is frustrating.
She wants contact on her terms and I find that stifling so I don't know how I'd cope with an engulfer

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moglow

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Re: The perks of having an ignoring N parent
« Reply #24 on: July 11, 2017, 06:35:19 PM »
Quote from: all4peace
Any kind of parenting besides functional, loving and supportive is terribly painful.


Yes. I too "prefer" the ignoring parent, since it's what I have. It's all I really know. But it's no less deeply painful, knowing she hasn't any interest in me as a human being. My own mother hasn't one care in the world where I'm concerned, other than how it benefits her or presents me as "her daughter".

It's not that different from an engulfing suffocating mother, when you really think about it - its still all about her and her needs. She's deeply selfish and draining, yet here I am my whole life trying to find a way to matter to her.

I can't find funny or humor in it, other than the gallows humor with which we're all, too familiar. Yes, I'd hate like hell to have mother on my doorstep and up in my grill all day every day again. There have been periods of time where she did that for as long as it benefit her in some way. Honestly I was glad to see the back end of her when she inevitably blew up over some random something - I could take a deep breath without it somehow being all about her!

The sheer inconsistency with mother is the one consistency throughout my life. All or nothing. Black or white. Good or bad. Deliriously happy or raging bull mad. No middle ground to be found anywhere, no leeway or shoulder of the road on which to take a breath from the demands of this.moment.right.here. No soft place to land from the explosions.

These are the parents we were given, deficient as they may be. There's no way to minimize that or the damage it does over a lifetime. I'm 55 years old, trying to grasp that I will never be able to truly grieve her - I've never known her. How can I, when in all the ways that matter she's completely oblivious who she is or what she does.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2017, 06:39:00 PM by moglow »
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illogical

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Re: The perks of having an ignoring N parent
« Reply #25 on: July 11, 2017, 11:46:54 PM »
These are the parents we were given, deficient as they may be. There's no way to minimize that or the damage it does over a lifetime.

Absolutely!

These were the parents we were given.    We didn't ask for them.  We didn't pick them.  They were given to us. 

And just like those who were born poor or disadvantaged, we have to make the best with the hand we've been dealt.  There are no "perks" to being born into a dysfunctional family with a PD mother-- regardless if she's ignoring or engulfing.  It sucks, period.

The only advantages or "perks" we have are those we create-- by becoming educated regarding our situation, so that we can dig our way out of the hole or prison we were thrust into through no fault of our own.
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all4peace

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Re: The perks of having an ignoring N parent
« Reply #26 on: July 12, 2017, 12:59:07 AM »
I wonder if our unique personalities contribute to which type of parent is harder for us to cope with. I love solitude and alone time and being in my own thoughts and head. An ignoring parent allows for all of that. The reason I needed to ask for 6 months of NC with next-door enmeshed/engulfing (while also shunning) PD ILs is their frequent intrusions into our life really, really messed with my head, my sleep, my mental health. I could not be healthy with what felt like constant contact from DH's parents (although the contact isn't that frequent, it sure seems frequent compared to phone calls possibly twice per year from my parents).

So, for me at least:
engulfing>>panic, hypervigilance, insomnia, chest pain, anxiety, depression, literally nonstop rumination, distraction (from my kids and real life), waiting for the shoe to drop and sense of impending doom. Even hearing about them upsets my equilibrium for days. A drop-in visit makes me feel hysterical and panicky.

ignoring>>quiet. Time and ability to build relationships with healthier people, no expectations from me or for me, calm.
And the downside: Sense of grief, unlovability by parents, sorrow for parents missing out on close relationships, sorrow for my children starting to lose what has been a good grandparent relationship until now. Sorrow for my siblings trying to find their own coping methods. But mainly calm and quiet.

We don't need to agree on what's preferable, or if anything even is preferable. I just feel anxious FOR those of you who have engulfing parents, as I cannot even fathom coping with what you have to cope with. No PD parental situation is desirable. But, for me, in my life, with my family, I'm thankful that at least one set of parents is ignoring.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2017, 01:07:20 AM by all4peace »

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Bloomie

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Re: The perks of having an ignoring N parent
« Reply #27 on: July 12, 2017, 02:40:14 AM »
all4peace - this is a really important thread and I so appreciate how raw and honest this discussion is. I was thinking as I read through this... ignoring or enmeshed N parent... either way... we are all living with the reality that we are not seen, known, nurtured, accepted, and loved and the reminders of that are always around either way on an emotional level.

In my own case I was told frequently not only was I a constant problem, but I was never wanted and had there been a way to prevent me I would never have been born. From that mindset a great river of indifference and resentment flowed with terrible acting out on those feelings toward me and I learned very early and very well how to never be a problem to anybody and how to meet needs and be pleasing in order to survive.

I have a precious grand baby and I watch her parents care for her with such tenderness and sacrifice, with such passion and diligence and it reminds me of how broken and far from normal my own mother's and mil's attitudes and actions are. It is a healing thing to bear witness to this sweet love surrounding this longed for and very much wanted child. The cycle has been effectively broken. It seems my mother was wrong, I was meant to be born and in the end I win by our overcoming and making a better life for myself and those I have the privilege to love.

Quote from: Moglow
It's not that different from an engulfing suffocating mother, when you really think about it - its still all about her and her needs. She's deeply selfish and draining, yet here I am my whole life trying to find a way to matter to her.

This is the cruel heart of the matter that we all are dealing with. Inexplicable and terribly painful truth. We are all here to break the cycle and heal and I am so thankful we have this place and each other.  :grouphug:

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lightworld

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Re: The perks of having an ignoring N parent
« Reply #28 on: July 12, 2017, 08:46:51 AM »
My parents are the ignoring, indifferent type and it hurt me a lot when I realised it. They can become clingy when they need something like when they got old and  needed care, suddenly they turned their focus back onto me and a few years ago I got enmeshed again in their dramas. That was the  point where I made myself ill trying  to please  them and fix them.

Since coming OOTF I have been shocked and newly hurt by their lack of interest in contacting me. Once I set up my boundaries and they'd raged, hoovered and gaslighted, they basically found someone else to provide for their needs and dropped me like a hot potato, which was  truly shocking and made me very upset at the time.  Now I'm in a sort of permanent ST with a barely disguised hostility from F, and M has dementia. They need me because I still have POA but F doesn't contact me unless it's to shout and rage to get me to sort out the latest drama which needs fixing RIGHT NOW.

On the one  hand I'm grateful they don't harass me all the time and (seriously) do not even know where I live because they have never asked. On the other I am so hurt by their behaviour to me and  it took years of grieving for the parents I thought I had to get to this stage.

So I agree with you all4peace I am grateful my parents do not know or care where I am or what I'm doing but strangely I am still programmed to respond with anxiety to do my best to help them even after all the revelations I've had about them over the years. It still hurts me to think they don't care and I'm still anxious to please them sometimes. In other words in the face of all this indifference I can still jump to attention at he ring of the phone.  :stars: LW
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raindrop

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Re: The perks of having an ignoring N parent
« Reply #29 on: July 12, 2017, 11:03:31 AM »
I agree with Bloomie - its great to hear respectful discussion where people disagree and even engage in conflict in a healthy way where relationship is repaired/maintained. I am also reflecting on how, as many of you have said, it is really all facets of the reality that the parent sees us as merely an object: Perhaps you carry your favourite blanky with you everywhere, perhaps you might leave it behind... Doesn't really matter. It's just a thing.
 
all4peace - this is a really important thread and I so appreciate how raw and honest this discussion is. I was thinking as I read through this... ignoring or enmeshed N parent... either way... we are all living with the reality that we are not seen, known, nurtured, accepted, and loved and the reminders of that are always around either way on an emotional level.

In my own case I was told frequently not only was I a constant problem, but I was never wanted and had there been a way to prevent me I would never have been born. From that mindset a great river of indifference and resentment flowed with terrible acting out on those feelings toward me and I learned very early and very well how to never be a problem to anybody and how to meet needs and be pleasing in order to survive.

I have a precious grand baby and I watch her parents care for her with such tenderness and sacrifice, with such passion and diligence and it reminds me of how broken and far from normal my own mother's and mil's attitudes and actions are. It is a healing thing to bear witness to this sweet love surrounding this longed for and very much wanted child. The cycle has been effectively broken. It seems my mother was wrong, I was meant to be born and in the end I win by our overcoming and making a better life for myself and those I have the privilege to love.

Quote from: Moglow
It's not that different from an engulfing suffocating mother, when you really think about it - its still all about her and her needs. She's deeply selfish and draining, yet here I am my whole life trying to find a way to matter to her.

This is the cruel heart of the matter that we all are dealing with. Inexplicable and terribly painful truth. We are all here to break the cycle and heal and I am so thankful we have this place and each other.  :grouphug:
"Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
"Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
Piglet was comforted by this.
- A.A. Milne.

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practical

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Re: The perks of having an ignoring N parent
« Reply #30 on: July 12, 2017, 11:14:11 PM »
It's not that different from an engulfing suffocating mother, when you really think about it - its still all about her and her needs. She's deeply selfish and draining, yet here I am my whole life trying to find a way to matter to her.
This is what had me so confused, because of the closeness (=enmeshment) I thought I mattered to M and F and it was really hard to comprehend that I mattered as an object not as a person. The surface looks so perfect except underneath it is all hollow. At the same time I constantly struggled to prove my worthiness of love, because despite thinking I was loved I must have felt it wasn't unconditional, that I had to earn it again and again as the dutiful daughter, who stuffed all her own needs to the bottom of her being. It sometimes still confuses me, because the outside trappings of a happy family are all there, so was it really that bad?

In my FOO F is actually both: ignoring and enmeshed. He has ignored B for a long time as B wasn't filling his needs, while he and I were enmeshed, as I did fill them to the extent possible. So I wonder whether part of what kind of parent you get has partially to do with how you react to being made an object, whether you rebel like B did or develop into a fixer/rescuer like me. B was discarded like an old, beat up umbrella, called upon only under dire circumstances to perform some function, while I was on call 24/7 and confused it with love. B has had no illusions about F's love for a long time, while I still struggle with accepting that there is and was little if any.

Mo, all4peace and others who have ignoring parents, does this apply to your siblings too, were they equally ignored, or is this your specific role in the family dysfunction?
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Malini

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Re: The perks of having an ignoring N parent
« Reply #31 on: July 13, 2017, 05:05:30 AM »
Quote
This is what had me so confused, because of the closeness (=enmeshment) I thought I mattered to M and F and it was really hard to comprehend that I mattered as an object not as a person. The surface looks so perfect except underneath it is all hollow. At the same time I constantly struggled to prove my worthiness of love, because despite thinking I was loved I must have felt it wasn't unconditional, that I had to earn it again and again as the dutiful daughter, who stuffed all her own needs to the bottom of her being. It sometimes still confuses me, because the outside trappings of a happy family are all there, so was it really that bad?
I really get this. I knew enND had little time for me and would throw me under the bus whenever he could, so I clung even more to NM. Years of hiding his alcoholism to the outside world made us masters in playing happy families and but there was a real sense of me and NM banded against enND and SGB. I can see now, how important it was for them to triangulate between SGB and me in order to lock down the feelings of loyalty and SGB says he always knew NM hated him  :no:, I just thought enND hated women in general.

It's difficult to say if we were ignored/engulfed because of our family role. On the one hand, we've both been majorly stalked, physically and in cyberspace so it might seem as if she's engulfing s equally,  but when we come face to face with NM, I get the evil, cold stare, wordless turning away or walking past, and when he comes face to face with NM he gets the angry, raging, stabby fingered, harpy.

In the light of the most recent events, the fact that SGB went to visit 'dying' enND sparked off a new attempt at triangulation by both parents. NM upped the stalking on SGB, praised him and exploited what she saw as his compliance, only to publicly shame him a couple of days later.

My SGB was reduced to equating the amount of stalking as a proof of love, so twisted is the dynamic.

I truly loved them both, even enND, and when people said that I did the things I did to get their love, recognition and approval, I agreed.

Since coming  OOTF, I feel more and more that I was living and showing my love to them, my unconditional love. And I now wonder if that feeling comes from the fact that I was parentified so early and tending to their and SGB's needs from about age 11, made me feel more like a parent to all than their child/sister.

Big fail for those 'parenting' skills, luckily I had more success with my own lovely, well adjusted  children.  :bigwink:

« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 05:25:06 AM by Malini »
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Spring Butterfly

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Re: The perks of having an ignoring N parent
« Reply #32 on: July 13, 2017, 09:39:43 AM »
Last night I was thinking of this topic and I remember saying a few times since uPDm and enF are either engulfing or ignoring it's easier on a day in day out basis to deal with being left alone rather than being stalked and harassed and followed. Apart from the emotional aspect of all this and the challenges to overcome pain, there's the functioning on a daily basis physically. Ideally yes there would be a middle ground between ignoring and engulfing but we all know most PD persons are inclined towards a black and white splitting way of thinking. Given that's the case my day is honestly easier without the constant harassment.
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daughterofbpd

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Re: The perks of having an ignoring N parent
« Reply #33 on: July 13, 2017, 08:39:24 PM »
It's not that different from an engulfing suffocating mother, when you really think about it - its still all about her and her needs. She's deeply selfish and draining, yet here I am my whole life trying to find a way to matter to her.
This is what had me so confused, because of the closeness (=enmeshment) I thought I mattered to M and F and it was really hard to comprehend that I mattered as an object not as a person. The surface looks so perfect except underneath it is all hollow. At the same time I constantly struggled to prove my worthiness of love, because despite thinking I was loved I must have felt it wasn't unconditional, that I had to earn it again and again as the dutiful daughter, who stuffed all her own needs to the bottom of her being. It sometimes still confuses me, because the outside trappings of a happy family are all there, so was it really that bad?
:yeahthat:

I am guilty of wondering if the grass is greener on the other side. In my mind, if I were ignored, limiting contact would go unnoticed and I wouldn't feel guilty. Reading the stories here of enmeshed parents (far more enmeshed than mine) makes me feel claustrophobic. Those stories make me want to run away and change my identity. BUT I also know having an ignoring parent must be extremely painful, especially for a child, growing up feeling like you aren't important or loved by your own parent. That sounds like it would be very damaging. I can think of instances of BPDm doing both (ignoring and enmeshing) throughout my life. Actually, I feel quite frustrated that she expects me to need her and ask for help as an adult when she basically trained me to never need her.

I've been more a victim of ignoring the past year except that BPDm wants to see my LO so I never get the peace and quiet of ignoring. Instead, she asks how LO is, what is LO up to... I don't think my mom has asked me a single thing about what is going on in my life for the past year. I should be happy, seeing as I'm mostly MC and don't want to open up my life to criticisms. She is doing exactly what I want her to do. Surprisingly, the rejection is still hurtful.
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