"You're so lucky to have such cool parents"

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newme_whodis

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"You're so lucky to have such cool parents"
« on: April 28, 2018, 07:51:17 PM »
Right now, I'm VLC with one cousin, and otherwise not in contact with both extended sides of my FOO. After going NC with both parents last year, my only contact with extended family has been unwelcome flying monkey packages and social media friend requests.

When it comes to FOO, I'm not sure I could disclose my past abuse in a way that makes me feel safe and heard. I'm an only child, and I never really felt close to/accepted by my extended family (probably not an accident), so I've never opened up about the abuse. Honestly, I'm too afraid of telling my truth and having it dismissed. There are a couple cousins that might hear me out, but I mostly don't trust them, because my parents' reputation is that of a cool aunt and uncle that can do no wrong. Growing up, I've heard "you're so lucky to have parents like that" more times than I cared to, given the reality of what I've experienced.  :upsidedown: The propaganda machine is exhausting!

I overall feel confident in my ability to safely disclose and maintain healthy boundaries, but FOO seems to be a hang-up. Has anyone here found it worth the risk to disclose to certain extended family members? Or is extended family pretty predictable about it (FOG, gossip, unsolicited advice, etc)? As I write I'm thinking it might be worth maintaining NC "at scale" for the foreseeable future until I cultivate an even stronger sense of safety around this...

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NoVoice357

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Re: "You're so lucky to have such cool parents"
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2018, 06:15:00 AM »
My PDm was very sweet and nice to others. My PDf was charming and a lot of fun to be with. People only saw this fake side of them. They never knew what my PD parents actually thought about them when they spoke behind their back or what they did to me as the family SG. My friends used to love my PDm. One of them lost her mother when she was a kid and was raised by a PD aunt. She expected me to agree with her when she told me about her PD aunt but if I told her about cruel things my vindictive PDm had done to me, she would get angry and tell me how grateful I should be that my mother was still alive.:stars: Other friends told me how lucky I was to have such great parents so it was a waste of time to tell them what was going on behind closed doors.

When I went NC with my FOO, I had to distance myself from the rest of the extended family except for an elderly relative of mine who passed away a few years later. I did not want to be on social media because it is not possible to go NC with some people and be in contact with flying monkeys feeding PDs with information about my life, gossiping and giving me unsolicited advice. Yes, PDs and people who behave like sheep are predictable.
As a general rule, I do not disclose anything to anyone who is still in contact with those I went NC.

There is no such a thing as safely disclosing your past and maintaining healthy boundaries when doing it with the wrong people. You said you do not trust your cousins. That means they are not safe.

I have learnt to stop looking for validation, understanding or support from people I cannot fully trust and that I can sense they will not (want to) know and understand or will invalidate me. They will only reinforce false beliefs.

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all4peace

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Re: "You're so lucky to have such cool parents"
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2018, 09:35:24 AM »
My parents are now also "cool grandparents." It's uNBPDm's sole purpose in life at this point, hosting parties for the grandkids and their friends. I find it very disturbing, as it's not a love of teens and wanting to support them that I see as her motive, but to literally still have playmates. One of my kids told DH recently "Gma thinks she's a teenager." I see it as uNBPDm being very stuck developmentally. When we were teens it wasn't as obvious, but now that it just keeps extending another generation it's getting very uncomfortable to watch.

When I was a teen, I couldn't fully participate in some of those parties since I had bruises up and down and my legs.
As a mother of teens now, I'm completely not ok with my parents partying with my kids and their friends. They couldn't care less.

It has never been about the kids and always about them (M).

I had cousins telling me about their father's abuse of them, including pretty severe violence, and they were laughing about it like it was a joke. I wouldn't feel safe confiding in cousins at this point. Besides, I have always felt (perhaps wrongly) that M's family is her family more than mine, and I haven't "poisoned the well" by telling about what went on behind closed doors.

I'm sorry for your isolation in your family. It is a really strange feeling to know that other's perceptions are SO different from reality.

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newme_whodis

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Re: "You're so lucky to have such cool parents"
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2018, 04:48:25 PM »
Quote from: NoVoice357
As a general rule, I do not disclose anything to anyone who is still in contact with those I went NC. There is no such a thing as safely disclosing your past and maintaining healthy boundaries when doing it with the wrong people. You said you do not trust your cousins. That means they are not safe.

 :yes: This seems even clearer now! The drive to belong is strong, but yeah, perhaps I should keep placing the trust with non-extended family.

Quote from: all4peace
Besides, I have always felt (perhaps wrongly) that M's family is her family more than mine, and I haven't "poisoned the well" by telling about what went on behind closed doors.

I'm sorry for your isolation in your family. It is a really strange feeling to know that other's perceptions are SO different from reality.

I've also always felt my M's side of family isn't really my own. And it's very much exacerbated by the "cool aunt/uncle" perception in the family. "Grandma thinks she's a teenager" really sums it up nicely, if unsettlingly.

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Starboard Song

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Re: "You're so lucky to have such cool parents"
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2018, 01:52:08 PM »
As a general rule, I do not disclose anything to anyone who is still in contact with those I went NC.

There is no such a thing as safely disclosing your past and maintaining healthy boundaries when doing it with the wrong people. You said you do not trust your cousins. That means they are not safe.

Spot on.

It is hard for anyone to believe, understand, and respond to reports of abuse. Especially so for people who are related to or friendly with the alleged abuser. Such people are generally not the best port for our storms.
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

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Salsera

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Re: "You're so lucky to have such cool parents"
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2018, 08:37:29 PM »
Has anyone here found it worth the risk to disclose to certain extended family members?

I'm wondering why you would want to disclose the abuse to FOO. Maybe they already know, maybe they knew all along, but did nothing to help you and kept quiet instead. I believe some people had to know about how I was treated but preferred to keep quiet so as not to disrupt the status quo. Some on the bandwagon receive "goodies" for their behavior.

IME, no good would come of disclosing. None.
"Faith is taking the first step even when you donít see the whole staircase." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Just Jay

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Re: "You're so lucky to have such cool parents"
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2018, 01:43:31 PM »
As time goes on (almost 6 years NC now), I feel less and less vulnerable to other people's opinions and reactions about my lack of contact with PDm.  This morning, I went through a flying monkey attack from an unexpected source.  A few years ago, I would have been distraught by that, particularly from the person who did it. Now, I shrugged my shoulders, blocked the contact, and moved on with the day.

The attack actually confirmed what I thought was true - certain rumors and opinions going on about me. Unfortunately, it also brought to light that this person has likely been baiting me for some time, and probably spreading any information I gave him with his own filter attached. That bothers me a little bit -- but also makes me feel stronger. I had absolutely no urge to justify myself, because I'm above that now. I know what the truth is.