Bumping into NC parent

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Hellsbells

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Bumping into NC parent
« on: September 09, 2019, 02:04:56 PM »
So, I’m not actually NC but am over a month into ‘silent treatment’ from parents (initiated and continued by them). Whilst I’m feeling pretty content with where I now stand in terms of our ongoing relationship (if there is going to be one at all) I am still crapping myself about bumping into one or both of them. I could deal with anger ok (prob from narc stepfather) I think but if they (enabler mother) start with hand wringing self pity I don’t know how to react! Any advice? Could I just say ‘I’m not discussing this here’ and walk away or what?! X
« Last Edit: September 09, 2019, 02:06:40 PM by Hellsbells »

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SerenityCat

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Re: Bumping into NC parent
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2019, 03:13:38 PM »
You definitely can say something brief and then walk away. You can be busy. You can say something calmly about the weather, a sports team, whatever and then wander away.

You are no longer a captive. You can keep moving.

You can apply Medium Chill: https://outofthefog.website/what-to-do-2/2015/12/3/medium-chill

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If the drama ramps up in an attempt to get you involved:

    Exit the conversation. say "Sorry I have to go now. Maybe we can continue later."

You can be boring, distracted, busy, and walking away from them.

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Medium Chill can be extremely liberating. You are in control of you, you are directing your life, you are in charge of you, you steer the conversation and you are protected. You are free to exercise your boundaries and communicate them effectively.

You now have the power.

Maybe some humor can help you diminish your anticipatory anxiety. You can dream up amusing imaginary plans. Maybe you look at the time and exclaim "Oh I'm late for my appointment with a clown! Gotta run!" "I'm on an exercise plan right now and can't stop to visit, must count my steps, bye!" "Unfortunately I have to run. To the bathroom."  :)

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TwentyTwenty

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Re: Bumping into NC parent
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2019, 04:15:13 PM »
I agree with S Cat, and I would find the quickest exit with no response.

You don’t owe anyone an explanation of why you are abruptly leaving. We are adults and have our own priorities and responsibilities.. none of which I would share with my FOO, since any contact between us would likely escalate into an argument.

In my personal case, my other priority would simply be ‘getting as much distance between us as possible’.

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Gaining Clarity

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Re: Bumping into NC parent
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2019, 01:23:06 PM »
Welcome, Hellsbells.

Another perspective: Since they initiated the silent treatment, if you did bump into them, they might just continue to ignore you.

I had a sib do that to me before I officially went NC. I was in a restaurant and sib walked in and past me to be seated right next to my table of all places. No one else was in this dining section except us. Sib completely ignored me even tho I called their name out several times. So it might not even be an issue.

Stand strong in support of yourself. As others have said, you don't owe them any explanation, especially since they initiated the ST.

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Hellsbells

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Re: Bumping into NC parent
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2019, 01:48:23 PM »
Thanks for the replies, got a few options there to consider. I think medium chill will be a good strategy. I had already decided I don’t want to communicate verbally with them if it can be avoided as they have a habit of twisting what is said, so it’s best to have a written record of our communications. This will hopefully avoid Going  into the self doubt rabbit hole that they like direct me towards!

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Gaining Clarity

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Re: Bumping into NC parent
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2019, 07:20:24 PM »
Ah yes. The word twisting, gaslighting and moving the goal posts. You're smart to keep a written record of your communications with them. I have done the same-saving texts, voicemails, etc. to corroborate my recollection of events. My FOO are usually pretty careful about not incriminating themselves through these things but every now and then slip.

Take care.

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Free Rebel

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Re: Bumping into NC parent
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2019, 12:09:28 PM »
My late sister and I talked about this possibility a lot.  She lived in the same town that our parents had/have an apartment so the possibility of her running into them was greater than it was for me since I lived in another state.  She, my sister, also had a daughter that was loyal to our narc parents so occasionally she would visit my sister but only for birthday or Christmas presents.   :( 

I told my sister that I had decided and planned that if I ran into them to pretend they were not some one I knew.  They are strangers to me anyway despite being my biological parents as they were never true parents to me or us.  I've even dreamed about situations like that and I think that if they didn't ignore me, which I would expect for them to do, I would ignore them if they confronted me and walk away.  No explanation will ever make a difference and no matter what I said they would play the victim and blame me for everything. I don't emotionally want to deal with that anymore and so it's best for me if that happened to pretend that they were like other strangers that I didn't know in the environment I was in.  If they confronted me, I would walk away with no explanation as they don't deserve one.  That's my take on it anyway, but who knows how I would respond if that happened.

I did experience being in the same room/place as them when I attended my dear sister's funeral that they controlled.  I didn't sit with them although my narc mother asked me and I didn't go back to their house with every one else as she asked.  I told her, "No" although I will admit that I gave an explanation out of habit.  To be fair, my emotional state was not good considering I was at my sister's funeral and I was devastated and also angry at their horrible circus of a funeral for her.  I did approach my niece out of concern that she may want to know about her mother's happiness before she died.  Of course my narc mother circled her like a hawk, deathly afraid I would try to tell the truth, but that was not where I was attempting to go.  I talked with my narc mother only due to having to not look bad in front of my niece and her friends but I didn't give in to my narc mother's commands.   :applause:

If I was in a different environment that was not emotionally heartbreaking like my sister's funeral, I would not talk to them at all if I ran into them.  By the way, I didn't say one word to my narc father and he didn't dare say a thing to me either at my sister's funeral.   :sly:  I wanted to clear my conscience with my niece and knew I'd probably never see her again.  I got my answer as she was not interested in what her mother's life was like (we had gone no contact with our narc parents and were reunited as sisters finally) so I not contacted her since and won't.

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Starboard Song

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Re: Bumping into NC parent
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2019, 04:05:14 PM »
Ahhhhhh..... the Silent Treat.
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