There seriously must be a playbook!

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all4peace

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There seriously must be a playbook!
« on: December 16, 2017, 04:14:26 PM »
Backstory:
My mom is likely a NBPD, was violent to us kids and to dad, ultra controlling of all aspects of our life, nearly totally without maternal nurturing or warmth (unless feeding and clothing us counts)

Dad was enabling, passive, not only didn't protect us but did a lot of the beatings on her behalf.

Their marriage reached a level of aggression and nonstop conflict that was intolerable even for them, and dad left. Repeatedly. Over and over. Until he really left when I was almost 16. Then they had 7 years of off-and-on attempts to fix their marriage. Finally they got back together and still are.

After a shouting conversation with me nearly 2 years ago, dad came very close to NC with me. I kept texting every 1-2 weeks to keep that bridge intact, but then it deteriorated to him and mom even ignoring/avoiding me at family functions.

When he tried to start texting my DD again, I asked him to work on the adult relationships in our family before focusing on my kids. That led to a "conversation" about how things got so bad in adult life. When he told me that our conversation a couple years ago is something that someone should "get over in 1-2 hrs," I was angry enough and actually willing to let him in on what had been going on. I shared my flashback experience and repeated my basic request for our current relationship: Polite/friendly behavior when we're at family functions.

He spent 2 days at Thanksgiving socializing with the massive extended family but not speaking to me at all. When I couldn't hold back the tears much longer, I left.

And now I finally have his response to this conversation he started a while back (paraphrased, but seriously there's not enough to really paraphrase)

"Hi all4peace, after a lot of thought can we just forgive and forget, put the past in the past? Dad"

First I  :rofl:
Then I   :aaauuugh: and :no_shake:
And after that:  :blowup: and  :barfy:

It is un-freaking-believable.

I didn't start this conversation. I didn't want this conversation. I just wanted my dad to talk to me when we were in the same place for an extended period of time. I didn't want him trampling over me to get to my kids. I want my kids to have ONE set of adults who treat their parents with dignity and respect before trying to have a relationship with my kids. But, hey dad, if you want to bring up this conversation I can have an honest discussion with you. Oh, wait, no? I'm sorry, did I say something a little too honest? Did I say something that sounded like YOU MIGHT HAVE SOME RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR RELATIONSHIP?!

So, so, so sorry, dad. I know I changed the rules. You were waiting for me to beg, plead and grovel. That's what I did my whole childhood. But guess what, dad? I was a child. I needed parents to survive. I needed one person who seemed to love me, and since you were the lesser of 2 evils I idolized you. But I'm not a little girl any longer. And I don't need to beg for love any longer.

Bet you wish you hadn't opened Pandora's box. Maybe you should have just figured out the basics of human decency and you would never, ever have had to know even a tiny bit of how badly you have hurt your children.

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practical

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Re: There seriously must be a playbook!
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2017, 05:34:09 PM »
And now I finally have his response to this conversation he started a while back (paraphrased, but seriously there's not enough to really paraphrase)

"Hi all4peace, after a lot of thought can we just forgive and forget, put the past in the past? Dad"

:o  :???: :blink:

:fallingbricks:

Well, at least he told you the truth finally, this is most likely what he wanted all along but felt he couldn't just come out and say "You have to forgive and forget" followed by "the brain bleach is under the kitchen sink if you need it to do so".

It would be funny if it wasn't so sad. If he is anything like my F, this is just a repetition of what it was like since you were a child, only now you can see it for what it is, you know it isn't okay to ask you to do so, as a matter of fact it is more abuse by devaluing your experience and ignoring what you had to say to him.

Unfortunately this might be a dead end. When I wrote a letter to F asking him to follow the Golden Rule, and making it clear this was all I was asking for, I was told never to talk to him this way again. After I took a Time Out we are "talking" again, if you count me calling once a week and saying "mhm" a lot. There is no connection left on my side, it is in one ear and out the other, right now this kind of LC is less stressful for me than NC, so that is what I'm doing. My big advantage is I don't have to see him, and B and I visit separately. Your situation is much more complex because of the family function, your kids, your siblings. I wish I could give you some advice, I don't have any really.

Do you think his answer will enable you to detach more or less completely? Give up that last shred of hope of having a father, one semi-normal parent? So you can be emotionally absent while physically present when you see him the next time? Yes, in a way this is giving him what he wanted or at least he might read it that way, but in the end it is because you detached and not because you are returning to complaint daughter. It would be more like being an observer, a visitor from a different galaxy. This is kind of where I am, those phone calls are my visits to PDworld, I observe, comment in my mind as I hear things, stay polite and nice but don't engage. I'm only able to do so since F ground the last bit of hope I had left to dust in response to my letter.

:hug:
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)

"I can forgive, but I cannot afford to forget." (Moglow)

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VividImagination

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Re: There seriously must be a playbook!
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2017, 12:53:54 AM »
My response would be "You began the topic so I assumed that you wanted to discuss it. Relationships require two people that take responsibility for their actions and inaction. Let me know if you would like to have one of those. "
There are three solutions to every problem: accept it, change it, or leave it. If you cannot accept it, change it. I f you cannot change it, leave it.

Sometimes you're damned if you don't and damned if you do, so damn well do what's best for you.

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all4peace

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Re: There seriously must be a playbook!
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2017, 02:31:52 AM »
Well, at least he told you the truth finally, this is most likely what he wanted all along but felt he couldn't just come out and say "You have to forgive and forget" followed by "the brain bleach is under the kitchen sink if you need it to do so".
"Brain bleach" :D I think I was supposed to say that I'd do ANYthing to restore our relationship again  :yes:

Quote
It would be funny if it wasn't so sad. If he is anything like my F, this is just a repetition of what it was like since you were a child, only now you can see it for what it is, you know it isn't okay to ask you to do so, as a matter of fact it is more abuse by devaluing your experience and ignoring what you had to say to him.
Having read here for 2 years, I burst out laughing, truly. It was so predictable yet I was still startled to see those few words that we read about on here alllllll the time. When I was a child and tried to express my distress or resentment of family life, I was treated quite differently than this. He can't use those methods anymore, so I guess this is the adult version of shutting me down.

I gave him one really big opportunity to see how much hurt he had caused, and the link to my adult life and the conversation he thought I should have gotten over in 1-2 hrs, and this is his (non)response.

Quote
Unfortunately this might be a dead end. When I wrote a letter to F asking him to follow the Golden Rule, and making it clear this was all I was asking for, I was told never to talk to him this way again. After I took a Time Out we are "talking" again, if you count me calling once a week and saying "mhm" a lot. There is no connection left on my side, it is in one ear and out the other, right now this kind of LC is less stressful for me than NC, so that is what I'm doing. My big advantage is I don't have to see him, and B and I visit separately. Your situation is much more complex because of the family function, your kids, your siblings. I wish I could give you some advice, I don't have any really.

Do you think his answer will enable you to detach more or less completely? Give up that last shred of hope of having a father, one semi-normal parent? So you can be emotionally absent while physically present when you see him the next time? Yes, in a way this is giving him what he wanted or at least he might read it that way, but in the end it is because you detached and not because you are returning to complaint daughter. It would be more like being an observer, a visitor from a different galaxy. This is kind of where I am, those phone calls are my visits to PDworld, I observe, comment in my mind as I hear things, stay polite and nice but don't engage. I'm only able to do so since F ground the last bit of hope I had left to dust in response to my letter.

:hug:
I'm so sorry for the way your father responded to you. So bizarre that they can't see us as adults who should be able to make adult requests of them.

I feel pretty detached. I don't care if I hear from my parents. I have a hard time initiating contact with them because it feels so insincere and hollow. I'm not sure how to not care when my parent isn't speaking to me at a gathering. I'm not sure if it's even healthy for me to allow this in front of my kids. Do you have suggestions on either?

My response would be "You began the topic so I assumed that you wanted to discuss it. Relationships require two people that take responsibility for their actions and inaction. Let me know if you would like to have one of those. "
That's brilliant. I could certainly do a variation on that. It has the benefit of stating the obvious, staying very calm and short, and putting it back in his court where it belongs. Thank you!

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daughterofbpd

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Re: There seriously must be a playbook!
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2017, 07:51:38 AM »
I'm so sorry, all4peace. You deserve better.
 :bighug:
How starved you must have been that my heart became a meal for your ego
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practical

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Re: There seriously must be a playbook!
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2017, 09:02:09 AM »
I feel pretty detached. I don't care if I hear from my parents. I have a hard time initiating contact with them because it feels so insincere and hollow. I'm not sure how to not care when my parent isn't speaking to me at a gathering. I'm not sure if it's even healthy for me to allow this in front of my kids. Do you have suggestions on either?
I think your kids are teenagers, do they have any awareness of the situation, of how you grew up? Could you explain to your kids that you are going to family gatherings to see the rest of your family but your parents behavior is unacceptable, which is why you don't see them on your own? We did this with our kids in regard to MIL, who when we visited her just with the kids would provoke DH till he couldn't take it anymore and snapped or would even lash out or try to manipulate one of the kids. So we started to see her only at family functions where she was neutralized by all the other people being around, where DH could avoid her and the kids hung out with their cousins.
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)

"I can forgive, but I cannot afford to forget." (Moglow)

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all4peace

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Re: There seriously must be a playbook!
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2017, 11:09:08 AM »
I feel pretty detached. I don't care if I hear from my parents. I have a hard time initiating contact with them because it feels so insincere and hollow. I'm not sure how to not care when my parent isn't speaking to me at a gathering. I'm not sure if it's even healthy for me to allow this in front of my kids. Do you have suggestions on either?
I think your kids are teenagers, do they have any awareness of the situation, of how you grew up? Could you explain to your kids that you are going to family gatherings to see the rest of your family but your parents behavior is unacceptable, which is why you don't see them on your own? We did this with our kids in regard to MIL, who when we visited her just with the kids would provoke DH till he couldn't take it anymore and snapped or would even lash out or try to manipulate one of the kids. So we started to see her only at family functions where she was neutralized by all the other people being around, where DH could avoid her and the kids hung out with their cousins.
I think that's going to be the answer for now. Maybe a very short, frank conversation and then I develop a tough skin and Kevlar vest for the bigger family functions that actually do still have a lot of value for me and our kids.

Our kids are developing an irritability about this topic, and I can't blame them. Who can respect parents who have problems with both sets of grandparents? Even though they may someday understand how challenging our situation is, I don't think that's their developmental task at this point in their lives--to see the complexities and understand...

And my uNBPDm is really pushing this tender spot in my brother's family with his teen kids, manipulating, back-channel planning and conversations, etc. The only thing that might get easier is that some of my kids' favorite cousins' parents (my b and his wife) are having very, very similar problems with my uNBPDm.

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Malini

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Re: There seriously must be a playbook!
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2017, 07:48:25 AM »
Oh my goodness all4peace, talk about having the rug pulled out from under your feet. These moments do really show how emotionally limited our parents are and how much they truly value us. It's terribly sad and painful but also an unwitting gift on their part. They show exactly what you're dealing with and what you can expect, no sugar coating, no smoke and mirrors - just the harsh reality of who they are.

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Our kids are developing an irritability about this topic, and I can't blame them. Who can respect parents who have problems with both sets of grandparents?

I'm not sure that it is them not being able to respect you. Mine were teenagers too at the height of coming OOTFogness and I think they resented that so much of my time and energy was taken up by these shenanigans instead of focussed on them - teenagers   :roll: . They were also deeply affected and worried by my depressive state and although they were empathetic they couldn't grasp why I couldn't 'get over it' already and resented the effect it was having on our whole family life.

In the end, these factors also contributed to my finally going NC because as long as I remained in contact with my Ns,  I couldn't be the mom I wanted to be and my choices were making everybody I loved unhappy.

 :bighug:


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practical

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Re: There seriously must be a playbook!
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2017, 10:18:47 AM »
Side note "brain bleach" isn't my creation and I don't want to take credit for it, it is a term WomanInterrupted came up with.
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)

"I can forgive, but I cannot afford to forget." (Moglow)