What did you think would happen?!

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all4peace

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What did you think would happen?!
« on: April 26, 2018, 10:32:14 AM »
I've been thinking about consequences. As a mother, it was one of the harder things for me, to allow my kids to face the natural consequences of their actions. I wanted to protect them from that, but that wouldn't have been good for them and it wouldn't have often been good for me, either.

Several years ago, as our parents almost disappeared from all their kids' lives while focusing on much more interesting and entertaining things, I wanted to ask "What are you doing?!" because some part of me knew that at some point they'd want it all back again, these relationships they weren't treating with respect or care.

I understand that someone with a PD doesn't really "get" how relationships work, so maybe it's like whispering into the wind to sit here and wonder how they could let it all fall apart: Pointless. Still, as my parents are about to really start facing the reality of what they've created, some part of me is still wanting to ask them, "What did you think would happen?!"

I guess in their world they could do whatever they wanted (or not do), and we'd still be happy to be with them.
They (M) could lie, disrespect, pry, smear, ignore and enable, excuse, defend, deflect, deny (F), and somehow we'd still have our arms open to them.
That they could fail to protect our kids to the point of bodily harm, lie about our kids to us as parents, ignore our kids for many months at a time, disregard our spoken boundaries regarding our kids and still have full access to them.

My feeling is the same one I used to have as a mother, sadness and grief that bad choices are leading to painful consequences. It is hard to watch people struggle and feel pain, even when you cognitively understand why it's happening. I have often been the variable that protected them from their consequences, and my siblings still somewhat are, but then that's taking the consequences onto ourselves when they belong elsewhere, and we all know how that works.

I'm in this stage of wanting to explain it all to them just one more time. I remember being in this stage with Dh's parents, where stopping talking is almost the hardest part of all. When I think about one more way to explain it all, DH and my friends tell me I've already done that. My siblings have already done that. It.has.already.been.done.

Thank you for letting me share it here, with those of you who have been through this painful process.

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Spirit Girl

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Re: What did you think would happen?!
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2018, 11:16:21 AM »
Allforpeace thank you for sharing this with us.

It feels like by putting your thoughts on paper here with us you 'get' that trying to explain one more time is fruitless. It would be like talking to a wall.  I finally came to the realization that there was no point in trying when I learned that they live in a different negative space. There's no intersection between their world and ours. So I let it be.

Still.... it's so bizarre that they don't know what consequences are!

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carrots

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Re: What did you think would happen?!
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2018, 05:30:49 PM »
In my FOO there still isn't much consequence of these types of things. The only real one is that I've gone VVVLC but the other sibs stay in some form of contact with each other and M and F, and everybody still blaming me and protecting M and/or F.

Idk if this is the case, all4peace, but if there was a time when you or your sibs weren't all Out of the FOG, your parents might not have learned and moved on from that, so they might still be expecting old mechanisms to leap into place. Does that sound plausible? Or have you all been Out of the FOG for too long?

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broken

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Re: What did you think would happen?!
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2018, 07:14:05 AM »
A4P, this is the exact question I often want to scream at my NM (and one day it might happen).  I'll scream it here in writing, maybe I'll feel better:

"Exactly what is it that made you think you could shit all over me my entire life, and then expect me to skip along behind you like I f'ing adore you?"

Her consequences are with me alone, since I am younger than my 3 siblings.  They had each other, and I, as the only biological daughter, got the brunt of her narcissistic wrath when they were not around.  When she scapegoats me they side with her.  This doesn't affect me so much, as I can live without them (again, being so much younger, there isn't much of a relationship to lose).  She was unhappy ending up with another child, and I really think that in her PD mind she thought God sent me to be the subservient one, to tend to her needs and whims and supply her narcissistic ego.  Other than that I'm not a real person to her. 

So to answer your question, in my opinion, these narcissists don't accept that they have mistreated us in any way.  If they refuse to remember their behavior, then that should be adequate to erase it from our minds, because we are not real people, with real feelings.  If I actually did yell thatquestion above at my NM, I might get a blank stare, and then anger for having the nerve to remember these things. She refuses to accept my behavior toward her as a consequence, as reaping what she sowed, and insists that this is mistreatment by me. 




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moglow

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Re: What did you think would happen?!
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2018, 10:21:47 AM »
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Still, as my parents are about to really start facing the reality of what they've created, some part of me is still wanting to ask them, "What did you think would happen?!"

If you/I were to dare go there, dare to imply that we *all* have personal responsibility for our relationships (gasp!!), I guarandamntee you'd get a blank stare, followed by all and sundry "explanations" excuses and justification of how someone/anyone else is to blame. The mother of all meltdowns would likely ensue.

Mine would use something along the line of "children don't treat their mother this way, after all she's done for them ..." Yes. We survived to adulthood. She did what a parent is supposed to do - provided food, clothing and a roof over our heads. She taught us right from wrong, saw to it that we know how to behave properly in any given situation - the superficial parenting. The subtleties of providing love, trust, emotional support and true caring escaped her (and thereby, us). She didn't have it to give, has no idea even now how badly "more" was needed.

But we can't exactly say all that, can we? To what possible purpose, even were we to reach down inside for the courage to just speak the obvious??
"Expectations are disappointments under construction.”  ~ Cap'n Spanky

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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all4peace

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Re: What did you think would happen?!
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2018, 10:59:18 AM »
But we can't exactly say all that, can we? To what possible purpose, even were we to reach down inside for the courage to just speak the obvious??
This is where I get stuck. Why can't we say that? Is it out of kindness? But then isn't it unkind to not speak the truth? Is it out of futility? But do we get to decide that for another? Ugh, this is where I get so stuck.

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EnglishLady

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Re: What did you think would happen?!
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2018, 11:46:39 AM »
But we can't exactly say all that, can we? To what possible purpose, even were we to reach down inside for the courage to just speak the obvious??

And that, for me,  is THE most frustrating part of being NC with a PD Parent/s !!   :sadno:

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LightOrb

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Re: What did you think would happen?!
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2018, 11:47:03 AM »
But we can't exactly say all that, can we? To what possible purpose, even were we to reach down inside for the courage to just speak the obvious??
This is where I get stuck. Why can't we say that? Is it out of kindness? But then isn't it unkind to not speak the truth? Is it out of futility? But do we get to decide that for another? Ugh, this is where I get so stuck.

There is a book, all4peace, that recommends to tell them everything. Toxic Parents by Susan Forward. She recommends to do it, but it's not for them. It's part of the process of telling our story. She asks us to answer 3 questions: what they did to us, how this made us feel, and what we want now, which can be another try after everything is in the open, or a no contact request.

I will write that letter sooner or later. I am now afraid of the answer to what they did to me. I am afraid it's going to be a devastating experience to have everything together in one letter, and I don't even remember as much. But I will write that letter, because I want them to know that I want never want to see them again because of how they treated me.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 11:48:59 AM by LightOrb »

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EnglishLady

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Re: What did you think would happen?!
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2018, 12:30:05 PM »

I will write that letter sooner or later. I am now afraid of the answer to what they did to me. I am afraid it's going to be a devastating experience to have everything together in one letter, and I don't even remember as much. But I will write that letter, because I want them to know that I want never want to see them again because of how they treated me.
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To my mind LightOrb, I always think why should I let them know how much they hurt me even though I want to scream it at them.  My Narc Mother & En Father would never apologise for the years of neglect and abuse so personally I stay NC.  I just hope you aren't playing into their hands by showing how hurt you are.  Deep down I know NC angers my so called parents as they can't get to me as I don't give them chance to - I hope it works out for you but please think it through as I would hate them to revel in your pain. x

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LightOrb

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Re: What did you think would happen?!
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2018, 01:01:41 PM »
To my mind LightOrb, I always think why should I let them know how much they hurt me even though I want to scream it at them.  My Narc Mother & En Father would never apologise for the years of neglect and abuse so personally I stay NC.  I just hope you aren't playing into their hands by showing how hurt you are.  Deep down I know NC angers my so called parents as they can't get to me as I don't give them chance to - I hope it works out for you but please think it through as I would hate them to revel in your pain. x

Thank you for caring, EnglishLady! I am, however, in a great spot to do what I want. I live in another continent and hemisphere from them. If I change my phone number, they will not have any way to find me. I took measures to remove my contact information from the internet, and I don't own a home (and I don't plan to). They are poor and mostly afraid of the world, and being ignoring parents, they are never going to do what's required to hunt me down. Even more, as soon as my divorce is final, I will change my name as well. I will be dead for them if I want to.

I agree, they are never going to apologize. Actually, my M gave me a fauxpology a long time ago, something to the effect that she did what she believed  was better. I knew then that was the most I was going to get. But now I am angry, EnglishLady. Before, I accepted they were broken people. I accepted they had traumas that broke them a long time ago, some of them related to me (I got badly burned with hot water when I was a toddler). However, last year they blamed me for my xH cheating on me. All I knew about relationships came from them: they did their best to stop me from having boyfriends. My xH blamed me and my endometriosis plays a big part on this too. My parents did not want to believe me when I claimed to be in physical pain, they never took me to the doctor. I couldn't perform any better because of them and yet they dared to blame me?! They can go to hell.

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Bloomie

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Re: What did you think would happen?!
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2018, 02:27:40 PM »
all4peace - I can sense the pain and struggle and must be on a very deep emotional and spiritual level. I am so sorry that you are a painful observer of the law of sowing and reaping as it plays out in your parent's relationships with you and all of your family/siblings.

With my own uPD parents and the aftermath of their neglectful, abusive behaviors toward myself my sibs - I always got the very distinct impression that nothing that happened to us, their children - even when from their hands - made enough of an impression that they would even remember it, much less treat it as significant enough to have any impact on their lives. Ever.

Not much really existed for them outside of themselves and each other in their inner worlds that was reflected outwardly. The mood and moment of the day ruled. What was happening to them and between them ruled. The only structure they seemed to live within was to do with them and was in the here and now. We were objectified nearly as completely as I can imagine is possible. We didn't seem to exist in any real life kind of way. There did not seem to be any kind of time contingency with them. Only now as it pertained to them - their needs, wants, struggles. That is all that was valid or significant.

Physical abuse... well, you deserved it for back talking me. Physical neglect while lavishing themselves with physical care... well, you've always been ungrateful and selfish Bloomie.... that kind of thing. All without a single solitary shred of demonstrated remorse or compassion for the pain of their abuse and long standing health issues their physical neglect of each of us have caused.

Even if they remembered a time of harm... and most often they didn't,  it simply did not matter and was not meaningful to them and held no sway over their entitlement to the fullness of the blessings healthy, loving parents come to enjoy (though not something we are entitled to) as their family grows into adulthood.

So, where does that leave us when they want that fullness and love of a family surrounding them when they begin to age or have serious health issues, or just want a friend because they have trashed every relationship they once had?

I think it is a very personal decision whether to speak the obvious and be direct about where we stand and what we have to offer them at a point like you seem to be at.

If you have told them, and they have not had ears to hear and a heart posture to respond appropriately to having harmed you, I guess the question becomes why would you repeat yourself? If it is something you need to do for you... then do it. If you are thinking that maybe this time they will hear you and change... not sure that is realistic.

I came to a place where I had to accept the real emotional and spiritual limitations of my parents and from that painful and honest place - that kind of relational nadir - seeing them living the consequences of their choices as painful as it is, and find a level of contact and authentic engagement that was healthy for me. I had to lay down my sword and stop fighting for something for other people that they didn't seem to really care about or for. I had to accept what I could not change. :hug:

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moglow

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Re: What did you think would happen?!
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2018, 02:33:35 PM »
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This is where I get stuck. Why can't we say that? Is it out of kindness? But then isn't it unkind to not speak the truth? Is it out of futility? But do we get to decide that for another? Ugh, this is where I get so stuck.

You *can*, absolutely. Just be clear for yourself on the "why", what you need from it. If you go into it with an open mind, needing to voice it, by all means do it - but know and accept that you may not be heard.

From my personal for what it's worth files:
Know they may shut you down at the first indication of opposition or deviation from their script. I could just as easily get hysterical tears as a volcanic level rage. I've gotten both at various times when I dared step outside that  shiny bubble mother has built in her mind. As my brother puts it, trap a wild animal in a corner where it can't escape and one of two things will happen. It will either roll over and pee on itself or it will launch a full on attack.

If you have any expectations of her/them, for your own sake set them aside before saying what's on your mind. Going into it needing something from them may leave you more hurt, frustrated and disappointed than you are now. If it helps you to confront it, do that. I'm just saying don't expect anything, accept the outcome with as much grace as you can muster and see it as a learning opportunity.
"Expectations are disappointments under construction.”  ~ Cap'n Spanky

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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FindingMe

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Re: What did you think would happen?!
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2018, 04:41:25 PM »
My NM had dementia by the time I started coming Out of the FOG 3 years ago. All4peace, please protect yourself if you do decide to do this, and be realistic with your expectations. One of the hardest things to let go of, for me, is the HOPE that they will one day "get it". It's a grieving process for me. "Maybe...but now...they did do.." are all warning signs for me that I've let that hope creep back in. How many decades of evidence do I need? Talking to them is as productive as talking to a wall. That wall around their hearts are too thick, too high and too damaged to penetrate, in my belief.   

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carrots

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Re: What did you think would happen?!
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2018, 08:25:13 PM »
I'm in this stage of wanting to explain it all to them just one more time. I remember being in this stage with Dh's parents, where stopping talking is almost the hardest part of all. When I think about one more way to explain it all, DH and my friends tell me I've already done that. My siblings have already done that. It.has.already.been.done.

I was at the stage of wanting to attempt to explain one more time a few months ago. My good friends over on OutOfTheStorm convinced me otherwise, and they were right. My parents simply do not want to understand. Nor in my case do my siblings.

 Maybe if you're further Out of the FOG and further along in your healing in general and with a FOC, as you are all4peace compared to me, maybe then it's a little easier to confront FOO with the truth. But I just want to say: Please be careful, please take care of you! I often have the impression on here that my FOO isn't quite as deranged as other members' FOOs, but OMG when I confronted uBPDM and enF with some ugly truths a number of years ago, the reaction - particularly enF's  :sadno:  :wacko: :stars: I ended up completely and utterly retraumatized. I know about being triggered, I know basic EFs, I know long-drawn out EFs with multiple symptoms that drag on for weeks. This was something else - way worse! I don't even want to describe it. It was caused by gaslighting of me and my words, denial from both parents and my sudden realization of a few FOO truths. 

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LightOrb

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Re: What did you think would happen?!
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2018, 08:41:26 PM »
But I just want to say: Please be careful, please take care of you!

Absolutely. As a matter of fact, the book I recommended, actually recommends a hand written letter, not in person or email or any other type of confrontation, precisely because it can be so very dangerous. Indeed, I expect something like this from uN F. When in the past he has made a mistake or hurt me and I "confronted" him, he became a beast, a monster, and the damage he has caused me is enormous. He spits venom, and he doesn't aim to hurt or maim: he aims to kill, because he is perfect and does not make mistakes, so how dare you! So in my case, the letter will be the last communication, and in between I send it, and they get it, they will be blocked in all ways.

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carrots

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Re: What did you think would happen?!
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2018, 11:10:04 PM »
the damage he has caused me is enormous.

 :yeahthat:   Among other things, I lost memories and my capacity for forming new memories is somewhat damaged. Not to mention that the whole of FOO thinks I'm even more crazy than they already thought. They don't seem to realize that the way I reacted had anything whatsoever to do with FOO dynamics.

I'm not even confronting with letters, in my case it's pointless. It's better for me to write Recovery Letters over on OOTS where at least I get validation from fellow forum members and at the same time can process some of the anger and grief.

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sandpiper

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Re: What did you think would happen?!
« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2018, 03:47:19 AM »
It's interesting being over 50 now and in social situations where I see PD mothers interacting with their children.
All4peace - there's something that you said which resonates with me because my sister said it to me during the last great shouting match before NC. That's nearly13 years ago, now.
When I was shouting at her because she'd once again violated my boundary of 'Please call before you visit - don't just turn up unannounced and expect me to offer you food and sustenance because that's what you want, in the whim of the moment' - she looked at me pitifully and said 'But I thought you'd ENJOY it if I called by.'
When I asked her how she could possibly think that given the number of times I'd begged her not to do it, she gave me another pitiful look from beneath her lashes and said 'I don't really know how to have relationships.'
To which I raged back 'Then perhaps you should make the effort to learn.'
Her response did not go down well with me, thanks to 20 years of disparaging passive aggressive remarks from her and uBPDsis about me having therapy or doing workshops on how to communicate or trying to find new skills to replace the unhealthy set that we learned from our family.
To my mind that was just her trying another strategy to manipulate me.
If she really didn't know how to have relationships, then why use that as an excuse?
It's like saying 'But I don't know how to drive a car' after you've been caught crashing one at 2am by hooning down the highway, drunk.
Yeah - not acceptable.
I think you nailed it completely by your comment that they don't know how to have relationships.
The second part of that is that it's never been a priority for them to make the effort involved to learn.
Why?
Because they are already getting all of their needs met & it simply wouldn't occur to them that part of being in a relationship is that it's reciprocal, and if they want those relationships to work, then they will take an interest in learning what your needs are, and they will make an effort to see that those needs are fulfilled.
Things I have learned in my time at these boards - a relationship with a PD is a one way street.
If you try to go against the flow, they will simply mow you down.
I'm really sorry you are going through this.
Periodically I cycle back through this too. I think that when you're functioning so much better, yourself, and you have protected yourself from the behaviour by bringing healthier people into your life, it's easy to forget how bad the relatives with the PD actually are.
I hope that helps.
Hugs to you.
And re: the Letter idea - I've read Susan Forward, too.
I like the idea of writing the letter, or doing the Gestalt technique of talking to their photo, on a cushion or a chair.
But I don't agree with giving it to them.
It's inviting a response, and it's unlikely you'll get a good one.
My sister once wrote to our aunt to say that she understood our aunt's foul behaviour and she forgave her.
All seemed well for a while but it was just entrapment.
Aunt continued to smear, undermine, white-ant and basically continue just as she had when she was a young woman.
It's who she is.
I'm with Oprah & Maya Angelou on this one.
I believe in compassion & giving people space to grow and change, but sometimes you've really just got to accept this truth - When people show you who they are, Believe Them.

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Iguanagos

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Re: What did you think would happen?!
« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2018, 12:16:18 PM »
I struggle with this question too, how or whether to confront N/BM and EF on their behavior and its ramifications.  They are elderly now and looking for that support, and as Bloomie said, “they want that fullness and love of a family surrounding them when they begin to age or have serious health issues, or just want a friend because they have trashed every relationship they once had”. 

I did a little “speaking my truth” several years ago, in a letter, speaking VERY obliquely and gently so as to not in any way be construed as mean or vengeful or directly confronting.  They never acknowledged the letter.  I decided that’s okay, I have spoken my truth, and I spoke it kindly.  I can sleep knowing I did what I thought was right.

But it’s hard, because they don’t give up.  They still act confused, they "just don’t understand" why us siblings don’t talk (triangulation), why one has gone NC (was the SG), etc.  I know any further discussion would be pointless and would go round and round with them still not facing reality and accepting responsibility.  Their only goal is to wear me down and get me back in my box as family “fixer”.

So I’m in an uncomfortable “mushy middle ground”, where I maintain LC/MC, step carefully (i.e, weigh every single thing that comes out of my mouth beforehand) and always hold on to my own railing (i.e., my own completely separate life) so as to not get sucked back into the crazy.  Honestly, NC would be much easier to maintain.  I see this situation only escalating as they continue to age and get more desperate.

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LightOrb

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Re: What did you think would happen?!
« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2018, 12:54:37 PM »
But it’s hard, because they don’t give up.  They still act confused, they "just don’t understand" why us siblings don’t talk (triangulation), why one has gone NC (was the SG), etc.  I know any further discussion would be pointless and would go round and round with them still not facing reality and accepting responsibility. 

This is truly the most difficult part for me. No matter what happened or what was said, M "does not understand". She is confused as why I don't want a relationship with her, if she loves me so, so much!! They will never accept they hurt me. I am supposed to accept everything because they did it wishing the best for me, from their perturbed world view (both of my parents had serious trauma in their childhood), and never talk about the consequences that has on me.  :sadno:

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all4peace

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Re: What did you think would happen?!
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2018, 10:05:30 AM »
**first, I want to correct my generalization in my first post in this thread that "PD people don't really "get" how relationships work". My uPD parents certainly don't seem to, anyway, nor the PD ILs.

spiritgirl, it sounds like you've reached a good place of acceptance. Did you attempt a few times before reaching that place?

carrots, I'm so sorry that you are isolated within your family. What a terrible situation.  :-\  We're all coming OOTF at the moment, my sibs at different places than I am. They are much more moved by guilt, duty and obligation than I am. They think my parents are very emotionally dysfunctional, and that M is narcissistic, but they can't  bear to see them lose relationships. I can't, either, but my anxiety was way out of control and it really wasn't even an option for me to stick as close anymore. Plus, my parents were being cold and shunning of me, which my sibs haven't faced. I'm pretty sure my parents are waiting this one out, as you say.

Regarding your 2nd post, I am so sorry. It sounds horribly traumatic, what you went through after confronting your parents. I am so very sorry that you weren't heard and instead re-traumatized. :hug:

broken, it is unfathomable. It really messes with a mind to be treated really badly and then have the story switched around. I'm sorry that you are isolated in your family. There's a special place for daughters of Ns. I used to see "reap what you sow" as rather harsh, but I'm starting to see it as a natural law of the universe and one I tried to prevent in both our families.

moglow, actually, uNBPDm is trying to impose the 50/50 rule here. (is she on this site?!) While that's generally true, in her case all lying, smearing, disrespect, neglect, abuse and everything else simply disappeared, so I'm 50% responsible for the state of our relationship at this point, and she has a blank slate. Even worse, she probably sees me as FAR more responsible since I have dared to suggest that she have some things to work on. So I've in her mind actively harmed her, and I will have to work FAR harder to restore our relationship. By this point she might be actually getting the point that I don't intend to "restore" our relationship.

Blech, "after all your mother has done for you."

lightorb, I think I read the Toxic ILs book, but not sure about that one. Are you saying you intend to send them that letter? I'm so sorry for all you suffered and still suffer because of their neglect.

bloomie, it's a special kind of abuse, imo, to erase someone's history by simply refusing to acknowledge it happened, or to care so little for the feelings of another that it didn't make enough impact on your parents' minds to remember it. As if neglecting and abusing another human, much less a child, is of little consequence. I'm so sorry this was your beginning.

I've told a little to enF and he seems able to acknowledge the unhealth of our childhood, but not so far to connect it with our current relationships and his current lack of appropriate behavior. uNBPDm is silent on the issue. I've not yet seen her even able to acknowledge a lie that happened 3 seconds ago, so I find it unlikely she could admit to the sheer mass of abuse that went on behind our closed doors, per her directly or at her insistence to enF. I actually don't want her to acknowledge it. I don't want her near anything that matters to me, including memories of childhood.

Where i get stuck is HOW many times and ways do we try to explain? DH and I are in therapy. Not everyone "gets" something the first time. It can take time, repetition, new ways of explaining, time to process and digest. Otoh, what's that tough to understand about physical violence to a child? It's not really a super complex thing to admit. And what's that challenging to understand that lying, smearing, etc. will lead to damaged relationships and lack of trust in adulthood?

I think the bottom line for me might be that rejecting someone is the most painful thing I can imagine doing to another person. I am rejecting uNBPDm at this point. It feels horrible to do it to someone who "cannot understand" why you are doing it.

moglow, those are all good points to remember. It's something my T often brings up also---knowing the motivation and expectation behind all contact.

findingme, I'm so sorry that your coming OOTF was happening at a time when your M couldn't even cognitively process properly at all, much less the trauma. Those are such good points. Thank you for sharing words that are red flags for hope sneaking back in. Really, there is a true kindness in acceptance. And you're right--most of us have had decades of attempting to be heard by this point.

sandpiper, your "not knowing how to have relationships" resonates with me. I think that's why my siblings have more contact with our parents than I do, as to them our parents are never, ever, ever going to change and my sibs can't imagine not being in contact. Rather than forcing consequences that could force our parents to even attempt to change, my sibs accept they won't change and give in instead.

iguanagos, your description makes me shudder. This is how I see it playing out in my family also--the "holding the handrail" contact, with it getting worse and worse as they age.