NC Npd's constantly trying to be in C

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pestopasta

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NC Npd's constantly trying to be in C
« on: January 18, 2019, 08:40:28 AM »
Newish member here, been lurking for awhile,  NC with NPd father and Npd mother for about eight months, just wanting to unload. It’s been really hard, especially the holidays. The guilt and anxiety have been non stop and is interfering with my sleep, the general feeling being that I am letting my elderly parents down at the very time I’m needed most, blah, blah, blah. It has never ended.

When I went NC with them I told my mother that I couldn’t be in contact with them because it was making me very unwell. Besides the general invalidation, gas lighting and narcissistic manipulations that have gone on throughout my life there were also some serious incidences of child abuse which have simply never been acknowledged and, if mentioned, would be denied. I have had PTSD for my whole life, but was never allowed to be anything but a model representative for the family. They have no insight of their behaviour whatsoever, present or historic, so it is me who is, for some “unknown” reason, the mentally ill member of the family who is currently causing all the problems. In the past it has been my siblings. We have all had our turns.

I tried everything I could for years to avoid this outcome. I didn’t even know that going NC was a thing until fairly recently, but every time that I would make progress in therapy I would get dragged back into their sickness and practically need to start all over again which was not only very hard on me but my family as well. They have never had therapy because there is nothing wrong with them. The last straw has been witnessing them with my kids in recent years - it has brought back everything from my childhood, and combined with my need to protect my own family I was finally forced into making the decision to go NC last summer.

Since then, they have never stopped trying to contact me. When I told them that I was going NC and could not see them for a planned visit they sent me an email asking for me to send my kids to stay with them on on their own. They then tried to enlist a sibling to do an end run so they could talk to my kids on video. My home phone rang everyday at 5 o’clock for over a month before Christmas with their number on the caller ID; no messages were left. I can only assume that they were hoping that one of my kids would pick up.  On Christmas Day the same sibling sent me an expletive laden text calling me selfish for depriving our parents of their grandchildren.

They are still sending my kids gifts via my eldest so I can’t intercept them, and even though I have blocked her on every platform that I am on, recently my mother somehow managed to call me twice on WhatsApp and then texted me asking for a “dialogue” and to let me know that she will always love me because as my mother it is her job to do so. I have had drastically increased PTSD symptoms since this contact.

I have blocked her again which in itself was distressing, have been screening all of my home phone calls, don’t open their mail, and have sadly also now had to block the sibling who sent me the abusive text. I have briefly explained to my kids what is happening and that their grandparents are not safe people for them to be with.

It all really, really sucks, and the worst part of it is that it’s not even working! They’re still getting to me.

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biggerfish

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Re: NC Npd's constantly trying to be in C
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2019, 10:24:47 AM »
Did you specifically ask them not to contact you? If you haven't, then maybe say one more thing to them now:

"From today forward, I request that you not contact me or my kids. If you respect me, you will comply with my request. But if you do contact me again, I'll know you don't respect me. I will not allow myself or my kids to be in any relationship in which I'm not respected."

Background: This happened to me too. But in my case, I had immediately, upon going NC, asked my uPDm to stop contacting me. But alas, she continued to contact me for three years! I'm now in my fourth year, and she has finally stopped. This is all permanent now because she clearly does not respect me.

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Liz1018

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Re: NC Npd's constantly trying to be in C
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2019, 11:17:33 AM »
I am so, so sorry you are going through this nonsense. My heart goes out to you. You are not going to like hearing this, but it likely won’t stop. In fact, I am 3 whole years into NC with my family, including my aunt and dear nephew. I didn’t want to cut them out, but I knew whose side they were on. They were flying monkeys, so it had to be.

So, it’s 3 years now, and I just got another package yesterday. After a Christmas card last month from my aunt. And a FB message attempt by my sister to my sister-in-law (DH’s brother’s wife) on Thanksgiving.

The first year of NC is really difficult. We have all been there and know how  painful it can be. I promise it gets easier.

I am so sorry about your kids. That really complicates things. But know you are doing the healthy thing for them - trust your gut. The nasty letters and emails hurt. Their intention is to gaslight you into thinking you are a horrible person. You are nothing they say you are. Even if you know they are lashing out and their words about you aren’t true, they still sting. Your family knows how to push your buttons. They have decades of controlling you through FOG and suddenly it doesn’t work anymore. They can’t handle it.
They don’t know how. So they will show their true selves in this moment, with no regard for your feelings or boundaries. Although it hurts, this should reinforce what you already know about them- that they don’t care how you feel- it’s all about them and clearly they have never done anything to contribute to your pain. They will never come around to understanding.

First year of NC will test you in ways you never thought possible. As you were forced to choose between them and your sanity, after years of banging your head into a wall  with them,it is an extreme, but necessary split. Therefore it will bring out extreme emotions all around. But you will come through it, and continue to grow and be amazed you came out the other side.

Yesterday, when the annual “Happy New Year” fruit basket showed up, I knew immediately who it was from without even seeing the label. What I mean here is that it has become predictable. 3 years ago a package like this arriving would have sent me into a tailspin for days. My heart would have beaten out of my chest, my stomach tied in knots, and it would have made me feel like any progress I had made for nothing.
But yesterday was more of an eye roll moment. No heart-pounding, no stomach churning. To be honest, I had forgotten about it within a few hours. You, too will get there.
The intensity and frequency of contact will inevitably wane, and become more of a pattern. I now can anticipate contact near holidays and birthdays. Mothers Day  is always a guarantee. The predictability takes a little of the sting out of it. And gives you the power you can’t quite find yet.

When I first came to this forum, I had the same thoughts about my elderly parents and a wise person wrote to me something like “that they are old matters not at all.” That was huge for me to hear. It was true beyond measure. Just because people are old doesn’t take away the way they treated you and are still treating you.

After DH and I sent the package back with the FedEx guy, I mentioned how whenever I tell my psychiatrist that they’re still attempting contact (mail is their last way in) he always shakes his head and says “they just don’t get it, do they?” The Dr. always reinforces that my choice was the right one and the only way to get healthy.

DH responded “I totally get it - your family has created their own narrative.” Boom! He was right! Their narrative is that my DH is making me do this, like I am being held hostage and incapable of making my own decisions (insulting, right?). When you think about how preposterous their narrative is, it really puts things in focus - they’re nuts!

All I can say is just take it day by day and have faith in yourself. If a romantic partner was acting this way after a breakup how would you view the contact? Stalking, right? Disrespectful, menacing, not sane or healthy. Just because they’re your blood doesn’t mean their behavior isn’t totally bonkers. As far as your eldest is concerned, that really stinks. How old is he/she? Does your eldest understand what they have put you through? The fact that they are trying to contact your kids is really evil. Master manipulators will prey on the youngest, who may not be able to process where their motivations come from. Truly evil if you ask me.

So I hope I haven’t hijacked your thread . I can only speak from my experiences, but there is something almost comforting about letting go of the notion that they will ever stop trying. The gifts and card arrivals are so predictable at this point they’re almost comical. Your viewpoint will change over time and your family will become less menacing over time as you gain perspective and you see them for whom they are.

Glad to hear you are in therapy. PTSD is its own unique form of hell. The know medication has been a lifesaver for mine.
Sending hugs your way. You are doing the right thing for yourself and your family. Don’t let their bullying make you doubt yourself. They are tying to throw you off of your hard-earned balance. It is working, your NC. As long as you stay NC and do not give in, it is working. You may not feel that way yet, but you will in time. Better things are on the way - a stronger, more resilient you. You are bleeding out the toxicity at this point. Soon it will leave you and you will feel a giant weight lifting you out of the darkness into a bright, life-affirming light.

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Juniperberry

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Re: NC Npd's constantly trying to be in C
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2019, 01:37:54 PM »
So sorry that you're dealing with this...

One thing that has helped my peace is that I turned off the ringer on my home phone.  I was also worried that my mom would call and my kids would pick up.  Taking away this chance has been very helpful to my mental health.  We do not use our land line anyway, we just keep it for emergencies and to use to call out, so there is no risk of me missing an important call on it.  And my kids know better than to answer my cell phone, which they don't have access to when I'm not there. 

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pestopasta

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Re: NC Npd's constantly trying to be in C
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2019, 04:11:02 PM »
Thank you all for responding, I really needed the support. I'm sorry the you are all dealing with this too and appreciate your heartfelt thoughts and suggestions. NC with family is such a painful experience, and as Liz says, it comes down to choosing them or my sanity. My sanity can't wait anymore.

Overall, they are not respecting my need for space and are trying to override my parental authority because they are convinced that I am the one with the problem. If it wasn't so infuriating and triggering it would be funny. They are not terrible people, but they are blind, and that blindness has caused me too much pain. I just can't do it anymore. I have not explicitly told them not to contact me, but do not want to break the NC to do it. They really shouldn't be trying anyway and deep down they must know that.

Good idea to turn off the ringer on my home phone. We also don't use it anymore and it would be one less reminder.

One day at a time. My best wishes to you all.


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biggerfish

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Re: NC Npd's constantly trying to be in C
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2019, 04:15:43 PM »

Overall, they are not respecting my need for space and are trying to override my parental authority because they are convinced that I am the one with the problem. If it wasn't so infuriating and triggering it would be funny. They are not terrible people, but they are blind, and that blindness has caused me too much pain. I just can't do it anymore. I have not explicitly told them not to contact me, but do not want to break the NC to do it. They really shouldn't be trying anyway and deep down they must know that.
 

This is good, clear, thinking. You will be all right, and your kids will be all right. We're all cheering you on!
 :thewave:

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pestopasta

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Re: NC Npd's constantly trying to be in C
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2019, 04:17:57 PM »
I also want to say thank you to those who said that NC gets better and that anticipating contact around certain holidays and events helps. That's good to know.


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pestopasta

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Re: NC Npd's constantly trying to be in C
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2019, 04:18:49 PM »

"This is good, clear, thinking. You will be all right, and your kids will be all right. We're all cheering you on!
 :the wave:"

Thank you!

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all4peace

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Re: NC Npd's constantly trying to be in C
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2019, 04:22:15 PM »
Welcome, pestopasta! Your screen name is making me drool :)

I've got likely PDs on both sides of DH's and my families, ignoring on mine, stalking on DH's. We live next-door to the stalking (previously) ILs, so I've had some unfortunate experience in this dept. For me, I found it necessary to get very, very grounded in WHY I was choosing VVVVVLC and blocking family members on my media and phone. It wasn't to hurt them. It was to create a safe and quiet place for me to recover from the likely C-PTSD symptoms I was experiencing by the time it got that bad. And it was also to keep them from reaching our then young-teen DD, who was the main focus of their unwelcome and uncomfortable attention.

It can feel really mean and cruel to cut ourselves off from a family member, or to severely limit their ability to reach us. In my case, I reminded myself over and over and over again of what we DID offer them (healthy parameters for a healthy relationship, which they repeatedly rejected) and why there things I did NOT offer them (unlimited access to our home, our DD and me). I also reminded myself that most of the world didn't have access to my kids, my home or my DD. It may sound ridiculous, but for me it helped to remember that most of the world didn't have access because those were sovereign places or relationships, and I was careful with who accessed them. In this case it was family members we were holding back, but we reasonably and consistently do the same for most other people in the world.

I'm not sure if I'm making sense. Maybe it can be boiled down to a few principles that I needed to navigate this:
1. My home is sacred.
2. My children are sacred and part of a FOO FIRST, extended family down the line of priority.
3. My mental health matters, and I matter. If I'm not sleeping, in physical pain, hypervigilant and extremely anxious, I am not able to be who I am meant to be.
4. I have, do and will continue to offer relationship to those who are able to do so in a healthy way. My refusal to have relationship with some people isn't because I'm cruel, untrusting or mean. It's because they refuse to be healthy, no matter how carefully I have explained to them what are the bare minimum standards for a relationship with me or my family.

Good luck. This stuff is hard and painful.

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pestopasta

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Re: NC Npd's constantly trying to be in C
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2019, 01:22:26 PM »
1. My home is sacred.
2. My children are sacred and part of a FOO FIRST, extended family down the line of priority.
3. My mental health matters, and I matter. If I'm not sleeping, in physical pain, hypervigilant and extremely anxious, I am not able to be who I am meant to be.
4. I have, do and will continue to offer relationship to those who are able to do so in a healthy way. My refusal to have relationship with some people isn't because I'm cruel, untrusting or mean. It's because they refuse to be healthy, no matter how carefully I have explained to them what are the bare minimum standards for a relationship with me or my family.

This really says it all. As you and others have said, it is a huge struggle not to give in to the belief that I am being selfish in going NC, particularly when  NC involves more than just myself.  Thank you for sharing this list; it helps to remind me of the real reasons I'm doing this.