New Term Needed for 5 Years NC Then Reconciliation

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SaltwareS

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New Term Needed for 5 Years NC Then Reconciliation
« on: May 02, 2020, 05:16:02 PM »
Hello I don't know which section of the forum to put this in.

I was talking last night with a fellow traveler. I went NC with my foo 10 years ago after a few years of struggle, an impasse, and receiving lots of suggestions from outsiders that I go totally NC. Mainly what I escaped when I went NC was the push-pull marry-go-round. But many other things were going on in my life that I attributed to foo but were not foo-related. For example, I was in a very sexist and ageist industry. Many different careers start slow and very steadily gain steam. Other lines of work start out with a bang then peter out when you're about 40, and require a leap on the worker's part to reach middle management or renewed relevance. I don't see that talked about here. Also I'm the only female of all my siblings. All the other women in my family were either teachers or women who raised kids then went to work in midlife for fulfillment. They didn't have to think about how to fund retirement, etc.

While I was away in NC, I read some books on NPD and covert aggressive, BPD, NPD, etc. I learned a few skills.

What crushes me is that the people who suggested I go totally NC never did so themselves. It took me about five years to realize this. I think in hindsight I could have set a two-year NC time frame, or constructed some sort of "in place" recovery. NC came at a terrible time, which I suppose it always does.

One of the books I read said NPDs never improve with age. Well, after being away for five years, and a rocky but steady reconnection that took about four years, the NPDparents did improve. Part of that improvement was me and how I talked to them. A few times with the NPDparent (one is NPD one is enabler) when the parent was getting relentless in a conversation loop I said "you have an unsubmitted will. You have an unsubmitted will." The NPD parent stared at me, paused and dropped the interrogation. People can change each other sometimes. And of course, some NPDs just will never change.

One thing I mentioned to my friend last night was that my NPDparents used to say "I love you" at the strangest times, and they would say it excessively. It was almost as if it bought them a free pass for future bad behavior. Since our relationship improved after reconnecting, my NPDparents no longer throw that "I love you" weapon around. There is a little more emotional sobriety now.

I should also say one parent is kind of hard-wired NPD, it's a temperament. The other parent is more the enabler. Somehow when I was away and when I reconnected, the enabler parent was able to grow their own spine. Before I left, the enabler parent had no opinions of their own, but would be a hollowed out vessel whose opinions were filled in for them by the other parent.

It is such a rough confusing journey. I am still struggling in my own life making enough money to live and save for retirement. But knowing I might have to be NC forever from this big foo was such a terror at the beginning. Also, it really is different for a single person who is not married with kids. I still question whether I made the right decision. In-place recovery might have worked. I will never know.

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SaltwareS

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Re: New Term Needed for 5 Years NC Then Reconciliation
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2020, 05:27:21 PM »
I should add: I was already on the right track just before NC. I was distancing myself from npsParents considerably after they had dropped me (discard and ... I forget the term.) I was seeing a personal therapist as all this was going on who was supportive of me distancing from the NPDparents.

The NPDparents did a U-turn when I finally accepted they'd discarded me, and I moved on, I was improving my life, my fitness improved. This was when the NPDparents tried to get me back. Then when the company I worked for had to cut 50% of their staff, my NPDparents swept in and said they'd be willing to talk to me in a family therapy setting with a therapist they chose. I paused and didn't give them an answer.

I told my personal therapist "obviously, I'm not going to family therapy with them" and my personal therapist, defeated that day I guess, said "I don't think you have any choice. You have to go to therapy with them" because my employer had cut staff.

The family therapy was a disaster. My personal therapist, in that instance, was completely wrong. You always have a choice. And the confusion in family therapy caused my ego to drop to the floor, then keep dropping for another 50 feet below ground, to the point I couldn't show up for a job interview I was qualified for. Ego can be excessive, but it can also be insufficient to the point you're harming the people around you.

So, sometimes therapists are wrong. I've said that in this forum over the years and I feel the need to repeat it here every few years.

Thanks for listening.

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Gaining Clarity

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Re: New Term Needed for 5 Years NC Then Reconciliation
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2020, 10:57:42 PM »
SaltwareS,

I'm sorry you're going through this turmoil.

One thing that I've recognized in my own experience is that foo can be shape shifters. They'll say and do whatever they think will draw you back into the dysfunction fold. Without overthinking or justifying their behavior to meet my own unfulfilled needs, I realized that their words were hollow.

FOO also wanted me to go to the therapist of their choice. Multiple people including therapist advised against it. I'm sorry your therapist didn't provide you with a more supportive perspective.

In my case, two years NC, my foo has shown absolutely no signs of self-reflection, remorse or sincere desire to understand me. They talk a good game but the energy and actions do not match the rhetoric.

Hope you're able to find some peace in this difficult situation.

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Starboard Song

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Re: New Term Needed for 5 Years NC Then Reconciliation
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2020, 10:27:45 AM »
This is the perfect section.

Thank you for sharing such a hard story. And thank you for having the courage to share it. We don't hear many reconnect stories here, but I suspect there are more than a few out there.

I am touched by how you wrote this: you clearly respect those who need to and must go NC, but also are very aware it isn't right for everyone. And you've gotten bad advice in both directions, and aren't afraid to say so. Please consider that your NC may have been the catalyst that grew that spine, that made it clear there are real boundaries in this world, and consequences. Your NC may have been a great, painful gift that has improved life for a few people. You just never know.

Being in touch with your FOO can be a great boon, so I am happy for you. We are 4 1/2 years NC. Being NC is at best the lesser of two evils: we'd all of us prefer to have well-adjusted families with whom we can thrive.

Continue to take care of yourself, and so many good wishes for continued strength, and good behavior on behalf of that family.

Starboard
« Last Edit: May 05, 2020, 10:32:36 AM by Starboard Song »
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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SaltwareS

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Re: New Term Needed for 5 Years NC Then Reconciliation
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2020, 04:17:39 PM »
That personal therapist just turned. After family therapy turned out to be a disaster, I was hoping a visit to my personal therapist could get my ego back above ground. Instead, suddenly the personal therapist was really emotionally distant, his face looked like that of a deer in the headlights. He looked at me like I was a pariah, which worsened my ego at the time. This went on for a few weeks before I quit him for good. I tried to get him to snap out of it. Months later, I found information on narcissistic parents in a book, and called and left him a message about my specific finding. He emailed me back saying "great, I'd be happy for you to come see me for counseling again." How arrogant of him! I had to do his job for him to find that information, plus he was incompetent and worse than no counselor at all telling me I had "no choice" but to go to family therapy.

He's still counseling. I left him a bad review on healthgrades.net but he was able to dilute it by adding a bunch of five-star reviews. I think he made up different email addresses and left reviews for himself all of a sudden. Maybe he had clients or friends leave him reviews, who knows.

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SaltwareS

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Re: New Term Needed for 5 Years NC Then Reconciliation
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2020, 05:16:41 PM »
Thank you for your kind replies. I had so much shame over this I could only tell this story in parts over the years until now, where I finally told a more complete version.

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Pepin

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Re: New Term Needed for 5 Years NC Then Reconciliation
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2020, 01:50:57 PM »
It is amazing how being able to apply the appropriate verbiage can shut down a PD.  But...as I have learned over many years, is that they will find another way to cut you down.  They just will NOT change.  EVER.

In my case, I was discarded for 4 years....and I completely changed myself.  Became a wife and mother.  Successful employment.  Therapy.

I allowed NF back into my life and he behaved himself because he literally couldn't touch me because I was so strong.  He tried a few times to revert back to his old patterns and I stopped him immediately.  Called him out and explained why what he was doing was inappropriate.  He stopped.  And then he went after my siblings and tried to use me as a pawn to get to them.

My siblings and I eventually had enough of the BS from NF and we all gave him the boot.  Over the decades, NF has tried to pull in any family member, MD, attorney, friend of his, etc. to get my siblings and I to break NC.  We have documented everything since going NC and even saved some disturbing correspondence of his from before NC. 

I have to admit that I was furious after going NC...furious with myself that I had somehow allowed NF to infect us all again with his behavior.  I really thought he could change.  But, we had to change and that meant removing him forever.  I true PD will never change. And like you, I have had many bad therapists....I refuse to see one now.  Just online work, podcasts, and reading.  The more I work on myself and the more attention I give to myself, the more I realize how irrelevant NF is in my life and any other PD that tried to knock on my door. 
Why work so hard to have a relationship with someone that does not care the same way as you?

No PD is going to tell me what to do.

Born into a dysfunctional family and married into a dysfunctional family.

People who don't bring joy, let them go.

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Yael924

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Re: New Term Needed for 5 Years NC Then Reconciliation
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2020, 08:42:54 AM »
According to Stand Alone, an organization in the UK, most estrangements are not permanent. So you do not stand alone, for sure.

I think Sabbatical is a suitable word for the situation you described. I'm happy that you've had a rapprochement.

You should be proud of yourself.
 :applause: