What happened that helped you finally get Out of the FOG?

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Blueberry Pancakes

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What happened that helped you finally get Out of the FOG?
« on: August 02, 2019, 03:57:28 PM »
I feel like singing that song "I can see clearly now the rain has gone". I can breathe without carrying around that heavy weight anymore, which I believe was the crap my family projected onto me and which I felt an obligation to carry for 48 years of my life. The fog has lifted. I feel lighter and brighter than ever. I feel lucky. I am so glad I got to this place.   
It was not easy for me and was a slow awakening, which got more and more obvious the last two years. After one final mobbing event headed by my GC sister last year, I went No Contact with my FOO. One year later, I have no regrets. I do not miss them. I feel so much better, and I believe that is telling me I did the right thing for myself.
I wonder if anyone wants to share a story about the one final thing that occurred that made you realize what you were dealing with? How has life been better for you now that you are Out of the FOG? 
Thanks.   

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jennsc85

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Re: What happened that helped you finally get Out of the FOG?
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2019, 07:06:52 PM »
I had been carting my mother around to appointments, subjecting myself to her threats, abuse of various kinds... all because I was terrified of this mythical “something” she would do to me.

In the fall of 2017 my mother had a non serious surgery. I took multiple days off work, stayed overnight with her and ran errands everyday for her. On the day of the surgery she verbally berated me in the waiting room then acted waify in front of the doctors (something she’s done all her life).

She kept me up for over 24 hours tending to her (really just letting her beat me up verbally after I told her I wasn’t a doctor and couldn’t do xyz for her). When I left she incessantly texted me and then threatened to call the police if I didn’t come over.

Then everyday for several weeks she had me running errands to pick up urgent things she needed. I was near my breaking point and told her to pick one day for errands. She accused me of elder abuse. I blocked her number for a week then resumed contact.

Things were okay for a little while then two months later she got the flu and told me that I HAD to check up on her multiple times a day. When I didn’t respond she called me mentally ill, cruel, etc.

Something in me was just done. I blocked her number and have had very little contact with her in over a year and a half. It’s been the best year and a half of my life. Honestly. I was talking to a friend last year about the best year of our lives. I told her mine was last year. It the first full year that I hadn’t lived with a cloud over my life worrying about my mother and her endless demands, abuse, etc. It sounds crazy but it’s true.

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Cat of the Canals

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Re: What happened that helped you finally get Out of the FOG?
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2019, 08:35:22 PM »
I feel like singing that song "I can see clearly now the rain has gone".

I will sing it with you!   :applause:

I'm only recently fully out, though I had inklings in the past. Someone sent me an article several years ago (completely unrelated to my own mother) from the site daughtersofnarcissisticmothers.com. I think it was on the topic of Flying Monkeys. My eyes just about bugged out of my head reading it. This is eerily familiar, I thought.

I kept reading. I found a description of the Engulfing Narcissist Mother and got goosebumps. That's my mom, alright.

But things didn't fully click until a few months ago. I've kind of wandered in and Out of the FOG since reading those first few articles, constantly doubting that she's "really that bad."

The ultimate moment came when I told her my husband and I were thinking about moving across the country. This is a dream come true for us. Something we've fantasized about for years. She gave not a single ounce of support. She did the classic borderline Queen-to-Witch "turn" in the blink of an eye. Crossed her arms. Pursed her lips into a sour little sneer. Then said, "You can't. It's too far." Her tone said that this was an order. A decree from Her Highness. Non-negotiable. When I grey rocked and said nothing, she started spouting off how trendy it is in that city and how expensive.  (The implication being that I am neither cool or rich enough to live there, I guess. If she really knew me, she'd know I've never cared about being trendy. And she has absolutely no idea of my financial situation because I specifically don't share it with her.)

That she could so quickly and easily stomp all over this thing I was so excited about (and still am, because SCREW HER) was the moment I realized she is "really that bad."

It wasn't a shock. I was fully prepared for her to reaction to be fully negative. So it ended up being the confirmation I needed to finally let go of hope and denial and guilt and all the other stuff that kept pulling me back into the fog all those years.

There have been painful moments since then, for sure. Times I almost wanted to fling myself back into the fog because that seemed easier than giving up on the hope of someday having a genuine relationship with her.

But overall, it's been totally worth it. I've struggled with anxiety most of my life, and I've felt more calm and at peace with myself these past few months than I have maybe ever before. You said, "I can breathe without carrying around that heavy weight anymore," and I think that pretty much sums it up perfectly.

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DaisyGirl77

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Re: What happened that helped you finally get Out of the FOG?
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2019, 10:13:54 PM »
I came here looking for answers while detoxing from my paternal grandmother’s abuse over four years. (Story in signature.) The more I read and the more I told my own story, the more I realized the problem wasn’t just with my father’s side of the family; my mother’s side is equally as toxic as his.

Then my mother gave me the silent treatment for a week after I demanded she apologize for another incident where she blamed me for misunderstanding her when she specifically used the word “appetizer” in our language, NOT the word for “meal”. It was my last straw moment.  She chose to disown me instead. We haven’t spoken in nearly 5 years. I was already here when all that happened so I was lucky to get support from all the OOTFers here. And I’ve come to the realization that my mother is uNPD as it utterly explains how she raised and treated me and my sisters.
I lived with my dad's uPD mom for 3.5 years.  This is my story:  http://www.outofthefog.net/forum/index.php?topic=59780.0  (TW for abuse descriptions.)

"You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep others warm." - Anonymous

NC with uNM since December 2016.  VLC with uPDF.

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WomanInterrupted

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Re: What happened that helped you finally get Out of the FOG?
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2019, 03:26:37 AM »
Back in 2004, unNPD Ray had a heart attack, which required a month-long stay in the hospital while he awaited CABG surgery.

In that time, unBPD Didi kept me out for 12+ mind-numbing hours a day, 7 days a week, that would go like this:  me waiting for Didi to get ready, eat, pee, eat, talk nonstop about celebrity gossip or the neighbors, pee again, smoke, eat, pee, MORE stuff about the neighbors or Kim freaking Kardashian, put on some makeup, smoke, get dressed, eat, pee again, finally get out the door, and go to the hospital.   :roll:

I'd then have to find a wheelchair  for her, push it to the car, push her to the hospital (in the SNOW), then it was eat lunch, pee, visit Ray for about 15 minutes, go out and have a cig, oh look, it's time for dinner - so we'd leave, and I'd drive her to a restaurant where she'd take *two freaking hours, minimum* farting around (and I'd try to tune her endless blather out), another couple of hours at the pharmacy, I'd drop her at home and  it would take me over an hour to be able to leave, because she needed me to do so much stuff *and would not shut up.  EVER!*  :stars:

A MONTH of that.  My hair started falling out in clumps, I was dropping unhealthy weight, tired and stressed out all the time, and just wanted it to STOP.  :'(

My car broke down and she accused me of LYING to get out of my "duties" - I was so angry, I told her it was in the shop several days longer than it really was.   :ninja:

Ray had his surgery, and as they were getting ready to send him home, I had a nipple abscess go Critical Mass *twice* in the past few weeks.  As soon as I finished the antibiotics, it came right back, so there was no putting it off - I consulted a surgeon, who scheduled me to have it removed the following week.

I told Didi I was having surgery and she FREAKED.  She started screaming that I couldn't do this to HER, she NEEDED me, WHY was I doing this to HER now, and I can't have the surgery.  I CAN NOT have the surgery.  I am NOT allowed to have the surgery!  She is my mother and she FORBIDS it.   :aaauuugh:

I told her the doctor had already scheduled it, so she slammed down the phone and gave me the Silent Treatment for two weeks -  I was confused, hurt, and angry.  This is my *mother.*  Doesn't she even *care* that I'm having a problem that if, left untreated, is going to become very serious, very quickly?  :( :'(

I had the surgery, and two weeks  later, she called, didn't ask how I was, swept it all under the rug, told me how WONDERFUL her friend C was in driving her and Ray around, but now it was time for me to stop shirking my responsibilities, and she needed me to take BOTH her and Ray to several appointments in the upcoming week - and BOTH of them would need wheel chairs.  :blink:

Um...left girlfriend  was full of itchy stitches that pulled on everything, I was wearing garment that kept her as flat as possible, and had been told I couldn't lift anything over 5 pounds.

I knew explaining that to Didi would be pointless - and I was still angry - so I told her I hadn't been cleared to drive.  :ninja:

BANG goes the phone and yup - two more weeks of Silent TREAT.   :yahoo:  I was *happy* I was being ignored - which is a HUGE red flag on the kind of "relationship" we had.  :yes:

I wasn't Out of the FOG - but the fog wasn't quite so thick.  I knew something was REALLY wrong, I was being used, and Didi was definitely behaving like I was her *servant.*

I was determined something like this would never happen again, but didn't know how to prevent it, until 2011, when a friend recommended this site, after Didi once again did something in public that made me feel humiliated - I had a stye, and she kept loudly calling attention to my face, and saying, "She didn't do anything that made me have to punch her!"  :roll:

I read for a *long* time before posting, and sure enough, in September of 2011 (I think), Ray was having chest pain, leg weakness, and trouble breathing.  Didi told me I HAD to take him to his doctor's that afternoon, in that tone of voice that let me know she thought he was lying.

I told her to call an ambulance, wouldn't budge, she got madder, I got LOUDER and finally said, "THIS IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.  CALL.  AN.  AMBULANCE." 

She roared, "Yes, MOTHER!" at me - and slammed the phone down.   :roll:

A few hours later, she calls to say Ray has been admitted - when am I coming to pick her up?   :dramaqueen:

I had a flashback to 2004 - and how I'd felt - used, treated like crap, like I was a THING  that served, did, fetched, carried, drove, and listened to Didi's rants or pathetic wailings that nobody cared about her, and RAY was getting all the attention when *she* was the one with all the health problems.  :violin:

It felt like I'd gone down a LONG, dark and scary tunnel, but really was only a few seconds - but if you've ever had a flashback, it feels like *forever.*   :spaceship:

I'd told myself that I was NEVER going to be in that position again - and thanks to this forum, I told her I wouldn't be picking her up.  I had responsibilities at home, and couldn't be away for 12+ hours.  She'd have to find another way to the hospital.   :ninja:

So logically, she threatened to drive off a bridge.   :roll:

Hey - why don't you do that AFTER you visit Ray?  And if you can drive, why are you bugging me?   :evil2:

I told her if she ever threatened suicide again, I'd call the paramedics, and she could explain it to them.

Then I told her that required an answer - did she understand?  :ninja:

"Yes, MOTHER!"   :dramaqueen: :mad:

She slammed the phone down again, and instead of taking a cab, calling a neighbor, calling the Senior Van, she chose to *bug the living shit out me* (PLEASE!?!? No.) until I started screening my calls.   :ninja:

She bugged the answering machine instead and I was getting *seriously pissed* - so I didn't call back until I felt like it, conceded to taking out her trash, and picking Ray up the following weekend.  :P

He'd had a pacemaker installed - and it acted up a month later.  Cue the same bullshit.  AMBULANCE.  Busy - no can do.  Ask a neighbor to take your trash out.  Ray will have to take a cab home - I can't do it.

I was *terrified* the first time I told Didi no - but the way she carried on *after* it only hammered home what I'd learned here:  her problems are her own, and not mine.  She can't make them mine if I don't *allow* her to do it.   :thumbup:

Once I got angry, the boundaries were REALLY  easy -and kept on coming, because that woman was *determined* to "win" who was in charge of my life.  :wacko:

She kept upping her game and I kept using strong boundaries and Medium Chill.  That's when the hospitalizations for her makeitupitis started, that morphed into never-ending caaaaaancer scares.

Yeah - still not budging.   :ninja:

And I never did budge.  8-)

One of Didi's biggest complaints about me (aside from *everything* about me!) was my *will.*

I'm strong-willed.  Surely, that can't be healthy!  Surely, there are drugs she can give me!?  Surely, she can break my will by drumming it into my head that *she is my mother, and I cannot refuse.*  :dramaqueen:

That worked for a long time - until  it didn't.  And never did again.  8-)

BTW - Hothouse Flowers have an *awesome* version of "I  Can See Clearly Now" on Youtube.

Here's a link:  https://youtu.be/Y1HRcoHGmi4

 :hug:

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Sidney37

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Re: What happened that helped you finally get Out of the FOG?
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2019, 01:22:07 PM »
The first time I had a clue was in college.  I was "required" to call at least once a day.  The preference was twice a day.  It was supposedly because she "loved" me "so much" and was worried that something might happen to me.  I literally went to and lived at college just miles from her house in a community that had basically no crime what so ever.  I wasn't allowed to go any further away to college, because she was so concerned and
loved me so much.  :stars: Yeah right. 

Well my friends convinced me that this was crazy that I was running back to my dorm room (before cell phones) to call her at the demanded times when we were out doing fun things.  Enough, they said.  I went a whole weekend without calling her.  I wasn't a drinker or partier.  Didn't do drugs.  Just hung out with my "theater nerd" type friends at Denny's, sporting events, plays, dinner, etc.  Had the occasional drink.  She flipped out.  She threatened to stop paying her portion of my tuition (less than 1/4 of the cost of college), threatened to have my car repossessed (she was the co-signer) and several other financial threats.  I was terrified and hysterical.  My friends were stunned and told me this wasn't normal.  Several weeks later she dropped the news on me that my dad's aunt passed away when I "wasn't speaking" to them, so they didn't tell me.  I'd know these things if I called twice a day like I was supposed to!!  I cried for days.  My friends dragged me off to the school counseling center.  The therapist was stunned after hearing this and finding out that she threatened to stop paying my tuition or have my car repossessed if I stopped working at the company where she was the bookkeeper so she could hold my check hostage if I didn't do what she wanted.  She threatened to stop paying tuition if I had my mail transferred to my school address (because then she couldn't open it and read all of my mail and question me about every item on my credit card and bank statement).  Threatened to stop paying my tuition if I took her name off of my bank account, because she couldn't then control me with money.  Threatened to  stop paying my tuition if I didn't spend all of Sunday at her house so I could wash my laundry there (and she could interrogate me about the bank statement) because if I was washing my laundry at school I was wasting money.  She wasn't going to pay my tuition if I was wasting "all" the money it took to wash laundry at school.  The therapist was stunned and told me about narcissistic personality disorder.  She worked with me to try to break all of these controlling demands.    I got away but a year or so later, I had a terrible injury and had to move into my parent's house to recover.  She handled my injury like a narcissist, made it all about her, was a terrible caretaker, etc.  It started all over again and I fell well back into the fog.

I came in and out for years.  Therapists every where I have lived have suggested limiting or cutting contact completely.  I felt too guilty.  Several years ago I found this site after my uNPDm and enD walked out on my family when my DH was in the hospital.  We thought he was having a heart attack.  He has a family history of heart issues at a young age.  My parents were in from out of town.  I have no other relatives or at the time even close friends where we live.  My dad took DH to the ER, but they didn't even make it all the way there before the ambulance had to pick him up on the side of the road he was in such pain and so sick.  My dad called and told me that he wasn't sure if my DH was going to make it through the day.  Obviously he did.  In the mean time, my kids were performing at an annual multi-day cultural festival.  I got this call that he likely wouldn't survive while at the festival.  It was the pinnacle performance/activity for the year for their cultural activity.  My DH was supposed to be there to help me get them ready and on stage and to watch them perform.  It was a huge deal.  He was in the ER.  UPDm made it all about her.  She didn't want to walk to the festival or even from the parking lot.  She didn't want to help get the kids ready.  Criticized all of the other parents and teachers to me.  Told me how the health issue was likely my fault.  Insisted that he probably shouldn't really be at the hospital.  Criticized every thing I did and said, while she did nothing and I mean nothing to help.  Then on the third day of the festival, DH was still in the hospital.  I was on the phone with him and the doctor, on the computer googling the info he and the doctor were giving to me to ask follow up questions, and on my cell texting DH's concerned brother with the info.  The kids were struggling to get ready and asking for help.  She was lounging on the sofa, feet up, tablet in hand, playing words with friends, drinking coffee while my kids cried that they needed help.  I was on the phone with the doctor and my DH.  I got off the phone and asked her why she wasn't helping.  She lit into me that she wasn't going to help me when all I was doing was wasting time talking on the phone, texting and playing on my computer! :stars: :aaauuugh:  I was on the phone with the doctor trying to help my husband who had yet to get a diagnosis for an unexplained, likely very serious health issue.  She condemned and mocked me, telling me what a bad parent I was for playing on the computer when my kids were going to be late for their performance, needed help and it was all my fault.  Finally after years, I yelled and swore at her about how she treated me.  She hid in the walk in closet because I was yelling, told me what an awful person I was for yelling at her and promptly packed her things, my father's things and left me with 2 kids not ready for a performance and my DH very sick in the hospital.  She didn't speak to me for months after and blamed it entirely on me to anyone who would listen because I yelled and swore at her.  Her flying monkeys believed it all. I was the bad guy and nothing she could have done would explain a need for me to swear at her. The therapist that time insisted that no one should ever no NC because it would cause my kids to go NC with me later in life, or I likely would have never spoken to her again. 

Since then she got on anxiety meds and convinced everyone that she was better.  Her true colors reappeared this spring and I'm back getting the silent treatment for something totally petty.  I learned here how to respond to her, so I no longer feel guilty for anything I say or do when it comes to her.  I no longer blow up.  I just walk away. 

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lotusblume

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Re: What happened that helped you finally get Out of the FOG?
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2019, 03:31:26 PM »
For me, coming Out of the FOG was triggered by a series of events last year. I found a video by Richard grannon about family mobbing, why your family hates you, and then it was like, yes! That's it!

I lived mostly in my parents basement until I was 30 years old. I had never been in a relationship and thought there was something wrong with me. I was using a multitude of unhealthy coping mechanisms. I was living a low level of depression and anxiety for most of my life.

I met my fiance and it turned my life around. I quit smoking, drinking to excess, smoking pot, and started to get my act together. Being in love and having someone who loved me was a catalyst for change. I wanted to be the person I was inside on the outside too. I shed a lot of self-sabotaging behaviours and was truly happy, for the first time in my life.

At first, my parents seemed happy for me, though now I look back and see some red flags. I was still highly enmeshed with my FOO. Instead of seeing the positive changes I was making in my life as a wonderful thing, my FOO started alluding to me being controlled by my fiance, questioning as to whether the decisions I was making were my own. I told them I had made so many positive changes, had broken a lot of bad habits, and was happier than ever, so why were they worried now, and not before? My enabling parent agreed.

In the meanwhile, my GC sibling was causing a lot of chaos in my life. Gossiping to my "friends" about me and my fiance. Everyone in my circle was "worried about me" and everyone questioned whether my choices were my own. If THEY were not controlling me, it must be HIM. I obviously was not capable of making my own healthy choices (eye roll).

When we got engaged, as the enmeshed dutiful daughter I called my parents the very next day to share my news with them, and their reaction was not what I expected. They seemed to not be brimming with happiness for me as I had hoped. They even said stupid comments that left me crying when I hung up the phone.

I still defended them to my fiance. Still in the fog.

A couple of months later, I quit my job, something I had been doing for almost ten years which I dreaded, to do something I love and am excellent at. I told my "friends", who reported to my sister, and she blew up at me, and ran to my parents to tattle tale on me, as if we were kids and I did something wrong.

My parents exploded at me, yelled at me, rejected me, and a whole bunch of other crazy. I couldn't believe what was happening. I stood up for myself. I wrote them a letter explaining how I felt and what was needing changing in our relationship. I told them we needed a cool down period and they should think about it. They never wrote back. They never addressed anything at the time.

I then told my other sibling that I had a falling out with my parents, just to give him a heads up and get some support. He immediately went flying monkey, shaming me, calling me stubborn and selfish, accusing my fiance of controlling me, telling me he would never be accepted in the family if he didn't force me back into line(!).

I blocked everyone in the next few weeks after trying to reason, and lived with hoovering, harassment, drop ins, flying monkeys and guilt tripping. I was devastated.

When I did more research I started to understand the family dynamics and actually make use of my NC time. Therapy, journalling, reading, videos, this site.

I realised it wasn't just one event but a lifetime of patterns.

As I write this, it is a good reminder. I am currently VLC and NC with some FOO. Part of me going back was abuse amnesia and wanting things to be different. Now I maintain those boundaries as a way to give the illusion of control. That I'm still "here", but really, I'm not.

Some days I have FOG but writing this post is an excellent way to own my reality.

Hope it can help someone out there who is struggling with FOG. We are not alone. This group has helped me enormously and I am very grateful for that.

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Sidney37

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Re: What happened that helped you finally get Out of the FOG?
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2019, 03:46:20 PM »
I realised it wasn't just one event but a lifetime of patterns.

As I write this, it is a good reminder. I am currently VLC and NC with some FOO. Part of me going back was abuse amnesia and wanting things to be different. Now I maintain those boundaries as a way to give the illusion of control. That I'm still "here", but really, I'm not.

Hope it can help someone out there who is struggling with FOG. We are not alone. This group has helped me enormously and I am very grateful for that.

 :yeahthat:

Yes.  It's a lifetime of patterns.  I just said this to someone today.  It's not the last rude, critical, awful thing that she said to me.  It's a lifetime of them.  A lifetime of things said to me without anyone else listening, so people think I'm crazy when I say she's been this way for as long as I can remember. 

Yes.  Abuse amnesia.  I compare it to having a baby.  Giving birth hurts.  It can be pretty awful for some people.   Being pregnant and very sick can be awful for others.  But in the months and years after, you forget how painful it really was or how terribly sick you were the further you get away from the actual pregnancy and birth.  You remember very clearly when you are back in that delivery room giving birth and in the days and weeks after when you are exhausted and possibly in pain.  It's similar.  You tell yourself the abuse wasn't that bad or that you are remembering it incorrectly.  Nope.  It was that bad and you don't really get it until you are right back in that place. 

This thread is a good reminder.  Writing and reflecting is a good reminder for me and many of us here.  Some here have written journals to go back to when they think they can dive back in and the words remind them of how bad it really was. 

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Andeza

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Re: What happened that helped you finally get Out of the FOG?
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2019, 05:18:12 PM »
Everybody in this thread needs a hug and high five... Holy guacamole.

Well here we go...

I was pregnant, several months along, having minor issues that were easily controlled. I never actually barfed, I never had the major swelling. It was a very uneventful pregnancy, to be honest, minus the thyroid problems that my wonderful midwife caught extremely early. Kudos to her, she did a great job. My job at the time involved a bit of driving, so whenever possible my wonderful boss would send me to a different location closer to home, especially as I got more and more pregnant. I was at this other, extremely slow, location when my uBPDM texted to check in on me. I think she was texting pretty much every week at that point, or telling me to call her instead.

She started saying she wanted to be there for the birth to "help" out afterward. I told her that wouldn't be necessary, we had it covered. And we did. Fast forward to the birth and we were honestly fine with the little bit of support we did need coming from DH's family whom I dearly love. DH and I had already discussed the fact that we knew my M would be pretty much useless and just moan for the entire length of any visit about her health problems and minimize my own ordeal. Neither of us though that was I good idea. But M just wasn't happy with that "nice no thank you." She started pushing, hard. She really wanted to help us and she didn't think I understood just exactly how hard it was going to be! Besides, she needed to be needed!

I went cold all over... in August... in a trailer on the edge of the desert with subpar AC. I had freaking goosebumps...

I deflected again, said thank you but we really do have it covered, don't need any help, generous offer, blah blah blah. And then I went over to the computer and desperately started googling that phrase "parent needs to be needed." Eventually, I landed here. At first, the things I read seemed outrageous. My life hand't been that bad, right? Well, hang on a minute... I started rewinding things in my head and piling up the years of her questionable behavior. BPD jumped off the page at me as I suddenly remembered seeing it on release paperwork from a mental health facility a few years prior. She landed there after a failed suicide attempt; and I, still in the FOG at the time, catered to her through the whole mess.

I started reading everything I could get my hands on about narcissists, which I first suspected, and then BPD, which felt more right.

I started grey rocking and medium chilling dear old mom. Given that I was pregnant, the push-back was fairly strong. "How's the baby? How are you feeling?" "Oh everything's just fine mom." "Are you sure you're not hiding something from me!?" "Nope, everything is fine." Zero mention of thyroid issues, and no she still doesn't know. When DS was born, she further solidified my resolve to hold her at arm's length. I had just dealt with precipitous labor. It was all said and done in three hours flat I felt like a loaded semi truck had run me over. All 80,000 pounds of one. Sheesh. And of course there's my uBPDM trying to call me as soon as she hears the news, less than two hours after I gave birth and was still recovering. I mean, come on, the midwife had just barely left! I had been told to sleep, eat, drink, nothing more. I gave DH my phone, he offered to handle things. I didn't look at my phone for a day or two afterward, just letting him handle everything.

I think it's telling that of all the people we informed fairly immediately after, she was the only one that tried to "barge in" on our moment.

If the comment had been an isolated event with no prior weird behavior I probably would have dismissed it. But as has been said, it's a lifetime of things that adds up slowly. I'll add that once the abuse and crazy meter gets full, the next over the top thing just kinda kicks you in the teeth.
Remember, that there are no real deadlines for life, just society's pressures.      - Anonymous
Lasting happiness is not something we find, but rather something we make for ourselves.

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artfox

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Re: What happened that helped you finally get Out of the FOG?
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2019, 04:00:01 AM »
It was a gradual thing for me. I knew, over the years, that things weren’t right. There were a lot of bad choices on her part, a lot of neediness and then shunning me when there was a man to meet those needs, rages, suicide threats, the works.

I think what helped me turn the corner was realizing that she’s BPD. I suspected for a while, but then a particularly bad period came along. It was during a time that sexual assault accusations were being discussed about a public figure-a difficult enough time given that I’ve been assaulted more than once. She wouldn’t let up—on FB, emailing, messaging, texting about all of it. And then she was raging at me in email about some of our family members who disagreed with her and how much she hated them. She ended the email by saying she was sorry for dumping on me, but it was better than giving them the satisfaction of seeing how pissed she was.

That broke me. She used to tell me she was sorry that she let my stepdad say horrible things to me, but it kept him from going after her. I couldn’t stop crying.

So after some talk with my T and a friend who also has a crazy mom, it gelled for me: it’s her, not me. The guilt isn’t my burden, it’s hers. It wasn’t sudden, but that was the shift i needed to start coming out of it.

Also, I owe thanks to some of you on this board. I don’t post here much, but I read a lot. Many of you have made really insightful comments that have hit me hard and helped shift my thinking. Here’s to finding our way Out of the FOG together.

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MamaDryad

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Re: What happened that helped you finally get Out of the FOG?
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2019, 01:13:36 PM »
It's been gradual for me. And if I'm fully honest, I'm still not Out of the FOG. The metaphorical fog, yes; I see her clearly now. But the fear, obligation and guilt? Those still linger, even though I know better.

It was just me and my mother growing up. She was my idea of a normal adult. So even though things were terrible sometimes, I assumed I was the problem. It might have continued indefinitely if I hadn't blundered into a relationship with a healthy person, realized how maladaptive my coping skills were, and started working to develop healthier ones. And I still felt that my obligations to my mother were non-negotiable until I got pregnant, when my priorities suddenly shifted. There's also the issue of her addiction masking the underlying PD; I thought for so long that if she could just get sober, she could have a good life (and that it was my responsibility to get her there). So it happened slowly and by stages.

But one thing comes to mind that planted a seed that wouldn't bear fruit until years later. In 2006, my wife (then my fiancee) and I moved into a new apartment and met our next door neighbor, whom I'll call Rosa, because that isn't her name. Rosa was a middle aged woman who lived with her elderly mother with dementia and her extremely elderly chihuahua. She had some real, legitimate health problems and a tragic back story. She would corner me to tell me her troubles several times a week. Everyone in her life had abandoned her or abused her.

I wanted to be a good neighbor, so sometimes I would help her with errands. And one night, she had a medical emergency and pounded on our door, and so we called paramedics for her. We were happy to help with practical things. But she wanted more and more inappropriate things from me-- things like intervening in her family disputes or helping her manipulate her on-and-off boyfriend-- and when I did manage to set boundaries, she would stand in her kitchen (which shared a wall with our bedroom) and sob-scream theatrically for hours.

I promise this all connects to my mother: the relevant thing is that my wife, who did not grow up in a big city and generally has a more sunny outlook about people than I do, was somehow able to set boundaries with Rosa. She took her at face value, didn't respond to her manipulations, and basically medium-chilled her whenever she saw her. And I, who considered myself tough and streetwise, found myself totally unable to avoid getting drawn in. And Rosa sensed it, too, and would mostly act out when I was home alone.

It was almost as if she was pushing buttons I'd already had installed. So I began wondering why I was especially vulnerable to this kind of manipulation. I also learned about BPD around this time, in the course of trying to figure out why this was happening and how to deal with it. It took me an embarrassingly long time to put it all together, but in a weird way, I'm really grateful that I met Rosa when I did, because she gave me a piece of the puzzle that I might never have found otherwise.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2019, 01:15:52 PM by MamaDryad »

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moglow

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Re: What happened that helped you finally get Out of the FOG?
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2019, 02:12:16 PM »
I've had several boosts forward over the years, but the big one for me has been/was mother [finally] turning on the golden child. All our lives, he could do no wrong, he was constantly thrown up to us an example. And he made excuses for her as well. I was told over and over again that I needed to do this or that for her, that I had to put up with and swallow whatever she dished out, that I owed her. Never mind that I'd told him many times how she talks to me and treats me no matter what I do - until he experienced it for himself, it was just words and old resentments on my part.

I hate admitting it, but there's a satisfaction of sorts seeing someone else go through it, hearing the way she talked about him behind his back and the way she talked to him [then bragged about it to me]. I'd seen and heard her do so many vile things over the years, but somehow seeing her turn on him cemented it all for me. It confirmed for me that it wasn't all in my head, I wasn't alone, and it honestly wasn't personal - AND that she did the same to me behind my back.
Being able to talk to my brother and him GET it, helps me tremendously. It's helped me let go.
"Expectations are disappointments under construction.”  ~ Cap'n Spanky

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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athene1399

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Re: What happened that helped you finally get Out of the FOG?
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2019, 02:31:29 PM »
It took me a while to make the connection. This site helped a lot. I started on here in the coparenting group. I stumbled upon it because my step-daughter was being alienated from us by her BPD mother. A little voice in my head told me to check out the PD parents group. For a while I didn't. I'm also in school to be a clinical social worker. When we learned about the effects of neglect on children,  the way I act made sense. I slowly started to realize there's nothing wrong with me as my parents would have me believe. I thought until last summer that I had early onset depression for no reason, because that's what M told me. Then I realized I had it for a good reason. I slowly stopped believing her narrative of my life and finally checked out the PD parent section. I knew M was abused as a child and her emotional reactivity was due to that. Everything started making sense. WHy I was always finding myself in abusive relationships started to make sense. I knew before this site I had to change that. I went for a guy who made me feel even-kilter instead of head-over-heals. I'm now in my first non-abusive relationship. The way he treats me helped me to get OOTF. I would tell him some stories about my childhood and he would say "I have no idea why they acted like that. That wasn't your fault. I am sorry." For the first time I was listened to and validated. He's helped me so much sort through a lot of it. You all have as well.  :)

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p123

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Re: What happened that helped you finally get Out of the FOG?
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2019, 11:24:26 AM »
I was beginning to work out that it was all a power thing with Dad.

One day he wanted his wheelchair back which he never used anyway and we'd left in my car accidentally. Apparently, he wanted to go out and his cousin was going to push him which was a first. So I "had to" visit to bring it back. So the only day I could get there I got called out in work and ended up in the office at 3am. Only time I could go was lunchtime but I was tired and really busy in work. So I call him, explain the deal,  "Do you REALLY need this wheelchair today?". YES I can't go out otherwise. So I spend 90 mins to deliver it to him and rush back to work.

I ask him a few days later how it went - "Oh I decided it wasn't fair to ask cousin to push me around so I didn't go out after all".  AAARRRGGGGHHHHH! Are you serious?

Since then, I've had MANY fake illnesses, fake hospital admissions to get me there, self-inflicted injuries etc. Xmas days dramas and threats to call an ambulance to get me to stay with him at his house. All sorts...

Then all confirmed one day, when he said "well you need to put me first, I know you've got your own family but they'll have to understand this". Nice.....


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p123

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Re: What happened that helped you finally get Out of the FOG?
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2019, 11:46:15 AM »
The first time I had a clue was in college.  I was "required" to call at least once a day.  The preference was twice a day.  It was supposedly because she "loved" me "so much" and was worried that something might happen to me.  I literally went to and lived at college just miles from her house in a community that had basically no crime what so ever.  I wasn't allowed to go any further away to college, because she was so concerned and
loved me so much.  :stars: Yeah right. 

Well my friends convinced me that this was crazy that I was running back to my dorm room (before cell phones) to call her at the demanded times when we were out doing fun things.  Enough, they said.  I went a whole weekend without calling her.  I wasn't a drinker or partier.  Didn't do drugs.  Just hung out with my "theater nerd" type friends at Denny's, sporting events, plays, dinner, etc.  Had the occasional drink.  She flipped out.  She threatened to stop paying her portion of my tuition (less than 1/4 of the cost of college), threatened to have my car repossessed (she was the co-signer) and several other financial threats.  I was terrified and hysterical.  My friends were stunned and told me this wasn't normal.  Several weeks later she dropped the news on me that my dad's aunt passed away when I "wasn't speaking" to them, so they didn't tell me.  I'd know these things if I called twice a day like I was supposed to!!  I cried for days.  My friends dragged me off to the school counseling center.  The therapist was stunned after hearing this and finding out that she threatened to stop paying my tuition or have my car repossessed if I stopped working at the company where she was the bookkeeper so she could hold my check hostage if I didn't do what she wanted.  She threatened to stop paying tuition if I had my mail transferred to my school address (because then she couldn't open it and read all of my mail and question me about every item on my credit card and bank statement).  Threatened to stop paying my tuition if I took her name off of my bank account, because she couldn't then control me with money.  Threatened to  stop paying my tuition if I didn't spend all of Sunday at her house so I could wash my laundry there (and she could interrogate me about the bank statement) because if I was washing my laundry at school I was wasting money.  She wasn't going to pay my tuition if I was wasting "all" the money it took to wash laundry at school.  The therapist was stunned and told me about narcissistic personality disorder.  She worked with me to try to break all of these controlling demands.    I got away but a year or so later, I had a terrible injury and had to move into my parent's house to recover.  She handled my injury like a narcissist, made it all about her, was a terrible caretaker, etc.  It started all over again and I fell well back into the fog.

I came in and out for years.  Therapists every where I have lived have suggested limiting or cutting contact completely.  I felt too guilty.  Several years ago I found this site after my uNPDm and enD walked out on my family when my DH was in the hospital.  We thought he was having a heart attack.  He has a family history of heart issues at a young age.  My parents were in from out of town.  I have no other relatives or at the time even close friends where we live.  My dad took DH to the ER, but they didn't even make it all the way there before the ambulance had to pick him up on the side of the road he was in such pain and so sick.  My dad called and told me that he wasn't sure if my DH was going to make it through the day.  Obviously he did.  In the mean time, my kids were performing at an annual multi-day cultural festival.  I got this call that he likely wouldn't survive while at the festival.  It was the pinnacle performance/activity for the year for their cultural activity.  My DH was supposed to be there to help me get them ready and on stage and to watch them perform.  It was a huge deal.  He was in the ER.  UPDm made it all about her.  She didn't want to walk to the festival or even from the parking lot.  She didn't want to help get the kids ready.  Criticized all of the other parents and teachers to me.  Told me how the health issue was likely my fault.  Insisted that he probably shouldn't really be at the hospital.  Criticized every thing I did and said, while she did nothing and I mean nothing to help.  Then on the third day of the festival, DH was still in the hospital.  I was on the phone with him and the doctor, on the computer googling the info he and the doctor were giving to me to ask follow up questions, and on my cell texting DH's concerned brother with the info.  The kids were struggling to get ready and asking for help.  She was lounging on the sofa, feet up, tablet in hand, playing words with friends, drinking coffee while my kids cried that they needed help.  I was on the phone with the doctor and my DH.  I got off the phone and asked her why she wasn't helping.  She lit into me that she wasn't going to help me when all I was doing was wasting time talking on the phone, texting and playing on my computer! :stars: :aaauuugh:  I was on the phone with the doctor trying to help my husband who had yet to get a diagnosis for an unexplained, likely very serious health issue.  She condemned and mocked me, telling me what a bad parent I was for playing on the computer when my kids were going to be late for their performance, needed help and it was all my fault.  Finally after years, I yelled and swore at her about how she treated me.  She hid in the walk in closet because I was yelling, told me what an awful person I was for yelling at her and promptly packed her things, my father's things and left me with 2 kids not ready for a performance and my DH very sick in the hospital.  She didn't speak to me for months after and blamed it entirely on me to anyone who would listen because I yelled and swore at her.  Her flying monkeys believed it all. I was the bad guy and nothing she could have done would explain a need for me to swear at her. The therapist that time insisted that no one should ever no NC because it would cause my kids to go NC with me later in life, or I likely would have never spoken to her again. 

Since then she got on anxiety meds and convinced everyone that she was better.  Her true colors reappeared this spring and I'm back getting the silent treatment for something totally petty.  I learned here how to respond to her, so I no longer feel guilty for anything I say or do when it comes to her.  I no longer blow up.  I just walk away.

Wow the college thing is nuts.....

I recognise that in my Dad. His excuse is always "I was worried", or "I've been worried sick", or "its making me ill with worry" for any little thing where basically he wanted control and information on things. And he wanted me to do what he wanted me to do. He'd get an idea in his head and I HAD to do it.

I had it a few months ago. I was ill - chest infection. He was CONSTANTLY phoning me - like 3/4 times a day. I'd lost my voice and couldn't speak and had enough of his stupid suggestions. So I said "dont call me I'll be asleep I'll call you tomorrow evening". Did he listen? NOPE. Started calling at 10am so I ignored it. 30 phone calls later. Then I get fbook messages from his Flying Monkey my brother. "Phone Dad now!", "Dad worried about you", "Stop being so selfish ignoring Dad", "You're making Dad ill with worry".

This was within 24 hours not 3 months! Are you kidding me? I had a right go at him and his excuse was "I thought you might be seriously ill in hospital". What? He still to this day does not think he did anything wrong. He was just being nice to me and "being concerned". Yeah right.

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lotusblume

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Re: What happened that helped you finally get Out of the FOG?
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2019, 01:10:53 PM »
"I had it a few months ago. I was ill - chest infection. He was CONSTANTLY phoning me - like 3/4 times a day. I'd lost my voice and couldn't speak and had enough of his stupid suggestions. So I said "dont call me I'll be asleep I'll call you tomorrow evening". Did he listen? NOPE. Started calling at 10am so I ignored it. 30 phone calls later. Then I get fbook messages from his Flying Monkey my brother. "Phone Dad now!", "Dad worried about you", "Stop being so selfish ignoring Dad", "You're making Dad ill with worry".

This was within 24 hours not 3 months! Are you kidding me? I had a right go at him and his excuse was "I thought you might be seriously ill in hospital". What? He still to this day does not think he did anything wrong. He was just being nice to me and "being concerned". Yeah right."

 :yeahthat:

Our brothers are reading from the same script. When my brother lashed out at me because how dare I not try to fix things immediately with my parents, it was all about poor Dad and how he was feeling sick and it was somehow my responsibility. He sang the "everyone is worried about you" song as well.

In fact, my whole FOO was "worried about me" while simultaneously blaming me for everything. The first conversation I had with my mother after NC (despite me jade-ing my NC to them and giving them explanations), she said she had been sooooooooo worried about me, thought it was because of my fiance, and was scared I was dead.

She also told me my father had been admitted to the hospital because of the "stress of everything" and was afraid of something happening to him while we weren't in contact. She said things that insinuated this somehow being my fault, and I called her out on it, which she denied.

Jerry wise talks about how enmeshed family systems are extremely high anxiety. Worry, worry, worry. My whole FOO uses worry as a way to mask the need for control.

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p123

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Re: What happened that helped you finally get Out of the FOG?
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2019, 01:17:24 PM »
"I had it a few months ago. I was ill - chest infection. He was CONSTANTLY phoning me - like 3/4 times a day. I'd lost my voice and couldn't speak and had enough of his stupid suggestions. So I said "dont call me I'll be asleep I'll call you tomorrow evening". Did he listen? NOPE. Started calling at 10am so I ignored it. 30 phone calls later. Then I get fbook messages from his Flying Monkey my brother. "Phone Dad now!", "Dad worried about you", "Stop being so selfish ignoring Dad", "You're making Dad ill with worry".

This was within 24 hours not 3 months! Are you kidding me? I had a right go at him and his excuse was "I thought you might be seriously ill in hospital". What? He still to this day does not think he did anything wrong. He was just being nice to me and "being concerned". Yeah right."

 :yeahthat:

Our brothers are reading from the same script. When my brother lashed out at me because how dare I not try to fix things immediately with my parents, it was all about poor Dad and how he was feeling sick and it was somehow my responsibility. He sang the "everyone is worried about you" song as well.

In fact, my whole FOO was "worried about me" while simultaneously blaming me for everything. The first conversation I had with my mother after NC (despite me jade-ing my NC to them and giving them explanations), she said she had been sooooooooo worried about me, thought it was because of my fiance, and was scared I was dead.

She also told me my father had been admitted to the hospital because of the "stress of everything" and was afraid of something happening to him while we weren't in contact. She said things that insinuated this somehow being my fault, and I called her out on it, which she denied.

Jerry wise talks about how enmeshed family systems are extremely high anxiety. Worry, worry, worry. My whole FOO uses worry as a way to mask the need for control.

Yep its the trump card. Its got two positives from their point of view.....

1. How can you be so mean to me I was only being concerned for you?
2. I've been so worried its made me ill (And its your fault).

Both of these mean other family members look at you and say "how could you?" and then its all your fault.

Suits my Dads ability to come across as a sweet harmless old man but he knows what hes doing....

When my Dad does this I feel like hes trying to suffocate the life out of me. I just feel like screaming LEAVE ME ALONE.

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lotusblume

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Re: What happened that helped you finally get Out of the FOG?
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2019, 01:30:40 PM »
P123, absolutely agree. It's the martyr position and also breeds a lot of sympathy and self-pity and righteousness which feeds their denial of bad behaviour.

I've also wanted to scream leave me alone, but I think that would just feed the narrative. Then again, could be good for assertiveness.

Instead, I just let tons of time pass and don't feed the anxiety.

Also, my mother blaming me for my father's feeling ill goes way back... When I was a kid and I was acting in a way that was undesirable to her, she would always say, "stop doing/being so X, you're going to give your father a heart attack!" This scared me into submission and also made me feel directly responsible for their feelings/health/well being.

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Tynsel

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Re: What happened that helped you finally get Out of the FOG?
« Reply #18 on: August 06, 2019, 09:14:42 PM »
13 years into sobriety I estranged from my sister. The rest of them came down hard on her "side " I'm now 21 years clean and just this Feb finally let go of the last of them.  One at a time I worked through them, journalling, meditating  and grieving the necessary loss of each of them . The last for me to let go of was father. In the middle of a screaming fight on the phone one day in February it was seriously like all the lights went on and I could finally see. See all of them - see all of it, and see through it all.  It was an epiphany moment. I stopped yellling, felt very calm, and silently and instantly let it all go.  It was one of the most amazing moments of my life. Now I know that the 21 years of working toward it was the heavy lifter but that one moment when it all got so crystal is forever etched in me.  What a blessing. The reason for the screaming match isn't important (me playing defense ) because there was always some reason to have one - so much drama in messy families .
Thanks for letting me share.

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candy

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Re: What happened that helped you finally get Out of the FOG?
« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2019, 10:36:01 PM »
My F is BP(2) which is kind of hard to miss. He has always been rapid-cycling, much more mania and less dysthymia, high-functioning with a career and stuff. He never took his meds. He threatened suicide on a regular basis but never once attempted it. The family narrative tells Dad is just a complicated guy, a genius in his job, but socially dysfunctional. M managed everything concerning the house and kids. She enabled him in every possible way.

I‘ve always had an idea about the bipolar disorder. The narcissistic traits, or as I believe today a comorbid NPD, I recognized years later:

When I was in college, I spent a year abroad, as part of my PhD. On the day I came back PDF fetched me up at the airport. It was a 3 hour drive back home. I remember he didn’t ask me one single question about my stay abroad, nothing about my practical training or academic work. He talked endlessly about a 3 week stay of his in the same area I had been to, a stay he took during his working life. He bragged about it, he was being grandiose.

It was the usual manic approach to life but there was more: I understood that he wasn’t interested in me as a person or as his child. I felt as if I only existed to be a listener. That day I decided to never expect genuine interest in me from PDF. I detached before I even knew about the tools this site and others offer.
It is important for me to add that the inability to empathy is cluster B related and NOT part of a mood disorder like bipolar disorder. I know that and I know people with BP(2) are not similar to NPD. There are bipolar people in my life, and on this forum, who know very well how to act, talk, write without hurting their loving ones.

Some years later, like athene1399 has written so well, I find myself in the first non-abusive relationship of my life after more than a decade of copying the up and down drama of what PDF and EnM call their marriage. With DH I first had difficulties believing that this could actually be love, I was wired head-over-heals and had to learn how to trust. Even today I sometimes dream DH could change his mind about me over night and leave.

My FOO is dysfunctional. I was my parents’ marriage counselor, parentified. I took care of my younger siblings. My GC-sib has gone silent towards me some years ago. I am pretty sure he is BPD, taking the dysfunction to the next generation. It all used to hurt like crazy.

I finally, finally came Out of the FOG with my own FOO when I found out I had a NPDMIL and uNPDFIL. My IL’s have been a new kind of toxic for me. My own BP(2)andPDF surely has moments of clarity. He is able to do some good in his job and society. The IL‘s on the other hand are self-absorbed and full blown NPD. They serve no higher purpose, they serve themselves and their lifestyle. They are abusive, rageful, cruel. And they have added me to their reservoir of scapegoats.

DH and I are alike in being our family‘s scapegoat. We are both the oldest sib in our FOOs, both caretakers. I am a truthteller. DH has been absorbing his family‘s pain. When our child was born, my NMIL‘s PD-related behavior became obviously harmful, a threat to my FOC. I came here to break the dysfunctional family cycles for both my and DH‘s FOO.

My aim in life is to protect my children, they are my constant reminder to stay Out of the FOG. I have altered my level of contact - NC with IL‘s, regular contact with my M, more limited with F. Since I find it perfectly normal to put my child first, I now allow myself to come first. Young children learn by imitation, so I am basically trying to be my best self. I want her to watch a happy mom. This way my life has become way better  :bigwink: