I finally responded after 5 years NC... Mixed feelings of relief and resentment

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Kovera

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I knew this day was coming because I decided it long ago. After a couple of years of self awareness, healing and reflection, I decided one day I would confront my mother about all her abuse and be very clear as to why I cut her off (as I recall in one of my much earlier posts about confronting my abuser here https://www.outofthefog.net/forum/index.php?topic=51366.msg458133#msg458133 ) When I made the decision to go NC with my covert narc/enabler mother, I was still in the FOG and didn't make it clear to her as why I did so, because I was still figuring out my own feelings and struggling with major PTSD. After much therapy and finally realizing / addressing what had happened to me, I decided one day I would confront my mother about all her abuse and be very clear as to why I cut her off. I decided this for my own healing, not to get an apology or expect unrealistic change from her. I felt it is necessary to remove the burden from my life and place it where it rightfully belongs - all the trauma was her responsibility,  she chose to expose me to it all growing up, it's her burden to carry, not mine. My intent to confront her was for my voice to be heard and for my own healing. I didn't/won't ever expect a true change from her.

Fast forward a few years later, and my covert narcissist mother goes from sending 2-3 texts a year to about 20 these past few months. Cliche messages about "missing me" "waiting for me to come back" and "your my child I need to know how your doing" along with stupid guilt inducing emojis of sad faces and hearts. Lately these annoying texts really started to give me anxiety and worsened stress. I decided I've been procrastinating long enough, and wanted to put a stop to her annoying messages. I'm ready to move on.

Originally I wanted to meet in person, but after careful consideration and therapy I realized this may not be a good idea because I can't think clearly or effectively if my emotions & anxiety levels are prone to being at an all time high around her. I can remember just seeing her in public some time ago gave me so much PTSD and resentment, imagine having to sit and talk with her over all the trauma I know she won't realistically admit to. I know my mouth can be capable of firing some pretty messed up words when dealing with people linked to the abuse from my past, especially her being one of the perpetrators. I decided a text response was likely best: I could plan ahead and not have to reply to her at all if she started pushing buttons or manipulating, whereas in public she might get the best of me.

I knew with her pattern of repeated texts she would be sending another one soon... and just as I suspected, only 2 days after this recent dreaded "mothers day" weekend she texts me again with some stupid phrase of "I'm waiting every day for you, please contact me." I knew this was soon coming and planned ahead. In order to think clearly what I wanted to say and communicate effectively without becoming emotionally reactive through impulse or saying something I'd regret, I prepared what I would say to her by typing it out and chewing on it for about two weeks prior. I crafted a final message to send to her for my own voice to be heard and rid of the burden once and for all to free myself.

I started by explaining to her I want absolutely no relationship with her, why I decided this and that I was fully aware of her enabling and abusive behaviors that were continuing long after my efforts to reinforce boundaries again and again throughout years of familial dysfunction. I explained that her abuse was not my responsibility, and that I would not be allowing her cowardly and enabling lifestyle choices distress my life anymore. I also made it clear I wouldn't be visiting her on her deathbed (she loves to play the old age card, feeling entitled to her children's care of her just for being an aging parent... I threw this out there to avoid any reoccurring FOG I know she will likely attempt in the future when she gets to that point.) I said that I wanted nothing to do with her, and with one last sentence I restated that I wouldn't be responding to her anymore and to leave me alone. I kept it clear, rational and straight to the point (although I admit, being a bit reactive in my first sentence I told her I was tired of her BS. She was texting me at 7AM for God's sake!)

So then - wait for it - comes the crappy faux apology and soap opera self pity response from her:
 "I'm sorry for all the pain I caused and for all the hatred you carry for me. All I can say is I can't change the past and won't bother you anymore. Remember I still love you and I will be waiting until my last day for you even if you think I don't deserve it. Sorry again and I won't text you again."

I honestly feel a bit creeped out by this response. Apparently I'm "full of hate" because I called her out on all of the patterns of emotional abuse in my life and refuse to keep looking the other way. She's sorry for the past? she wasn't sorry when she was fully enabling and engaging in all of it with my malignant narc father, despite knowing very well what she was doing. Reading this felt oddly manipulative and guilt inducing. I always try to dissect things from an "observe don't absorb" point of view. It's almost like she expects me to eventually come back, all whilst continuing to minimize and invalidate everything she's put me through. I intend to observe her behavior for the next few weeks, to see if she actually keeps her word and stops messaging me. If she continues, I'll be changing my phone number. I don't plan on ever responding or connecting with her whatsoever, I'm done with all of it. I've decided that long time ago with no regrets... I'm finally free.

I'm experiencing ALOT of mixed feelings right now... It all just happened this morning, and while I feel relief at finally having voiced myself and am at peace for the most part with my decisions to remove her from my life for good and fully enforce NC, I'm starting to feel a bit of FOG. The rational part of me knows choosing NC is best for my health and future, which is why I'm able to stay sane through this occurrence I knew was going to happen eventually. Then there's the inner child that was still longing for some form of true admittance to everything she's done. Nope, instead she made it all about herself it seems like. I'm a little shaken right now, because the situation is still fresh, I'm hoping to feel normal again after some time to reflect upon everything.

Has anyone ever experienced breaking NC for the sake of self affirmation and healing? not for the abuser, but for yourself? This all just feels so weird right now... I'm relieved but also feeling a bit of lingering resentment and anxiety.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2020, 04:22:13 AM by Kovera »

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blacksheep7

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Hi Kovera,

I read you post of 2016 and sending her a text is ok by me, you don't have a confrontation.  It brings up mixed feelings but good for you since you thought it over thoroughly before acting.
At your doorstep, she played the victim trying to make you feel guilt. It's such a narc trait, put the blame on someone else.  It still amazes me how pds are all the same. 

I can relate having had a Raging NF whom NM (covert narc) enabled.  Would never interfere with his exploding for a spilled glass at meal time or whatever.  And his verbal & physical abuse, threating to kick us out every week when we were teens.  It messed up us good.

I went nc twice with NM.  The first time got me physically sick because of her narc rage which brought on ptsd.  NM starting acting like NF when she became a widow.  I gave her a blind second chance but it only lasted three years and landed on this site where I learned a lot.  When we reconnected she told me that she wouldn't call me because I didn't want to speak with her which is childish, holding a grudge instead of trying to repair the relationship.  Plus she told me the revenge she pulled, gave my niece a sentimental piece of jewelry she promised me and said « I hope you don't mind, you weren't talking to me anyway» Wt….. I didn't give her the satisfaction, I said «no».   That little mean streak in her plus her 10000 paper cuts helped me go nc

I understand that you had to tell her for your sake.   I did the same, releasing my anger, not literally.   It felt good, not in the way of revenge but just telling the truth. She didn't deny it but turned it around on me saying that I hurt my children when I divorced their father.

 Nc now for three years with no intention of reconnecting. My M never tried to contact me.

 :bighug:

Take care
All things must pass

I may be the black sheep of the family, but some of the white sheep are not as white as they try to appear.

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Thru the Rain

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So then - wait for it - comes the crappy faux apology and soap opera self pity response from her:
 "I'm sorry for all the pain I caused and for all the hatred you carry for me. All I can say is I can't change the past and won't bother you anymore. Remember I still love you and I will be waiting until my last day for you even if you think I don't deserve it. Sorry again and I won't text you again."


Her response is so close to what DH and I heard from uNFiL. Including the conclusion that we're the one's full of Hatred. That exact word. Like the only reason we could possibly object to their behavior is hatred.  :stars:

It's like they have a playbook!

At least you have confirmation that she's not going to change.

You asked if anyone else had broken NC for the sake of self-affirmation and healing. Prior to coming Out of the FOG I made an attempt to reconnect with uNFIL. I offered to be a point of communication between uNFIL and his son (my husband).

In a written letter I offered my cell number and my email and let him know that if I heard from him I would respond. No response at all. Flat silence.  He never acknowledged the offer.

A couple years later he sent a letter to DH with essentially the same message you received from your M.

I think you did what felt right FOR YOU. And that's an important part of a journey in healing from PD abuse - taking action that is 100% for your own benefit. It's so hard to do, and it's so uncomfortable when it's not received. Save her response to you so you can take it out and re-read it next time you feel like reconnecting. It will help.


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Just Jay

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It's great how you approached this methodically and on your own time. That in itself shows a lot of healing and strength.

I see what the others are saying about her "hateful" comment.  Once in a while, if I let the texts come in, the words "hateful" and "angry" and used to describe me. The last few years, I've come to realize that hatred and anger aren't necessarily bad things. I do, sort of, hate her (but don't wish ill on her), and damn right I'm angry about the way I was abused! Because I'm a human being and it's perfectly normal to have these feelings when the reasons are legit.

When she throws those words out, she thinks that I'll feel bad and cower. But it actually makes me feel better about not responding to her. If she cannot even see me as a human being who has a range of valid emotions about different situations, then she doesn't know I'm a human being at all.


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Kovera

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I see what the others are saying about her "hateful" comment.  Once in a while, if I let the texts come in, the words "hateful" and "angry" and used to describe me. The last few years, I've come to realize that hatred and anger aren't necessarily bad things. I do, sort of, hate her (but don't wish ill on her), and damn right I'm angry about the way I was abused! Because I'm a human being and it's perfectly normal to have these feelings when the reasons are legit.

When she throws those words out, she thinks that I'll feel bad and cower. But it actually makes me feel better about not responding to her. If she cannot even see me as a human being who has a range of valid emotions about different situations, then she doesn't know I'm a human being at all.

I'm sorry for your struggle Just Jay! I totally understand and agree. It's a really tough situation to be in when they attempt to manipulate like that. Wishing you the best of healing, you deserve happiness and and freedom from their chaos after what they've put you through I imagine. From my observations PD's often use the words "anger" and "hate" as a way of piling on the shame and guilt. Anger is a normal, human reaction as you said. There's nothing wrong with feeling angry, especially when it is stemming from something that clearly isn't acceptable behavior, such as being abused. It's what we do with our anger that makes a difference. Being angry doesn't necessarily mean were out to hurt others. In fact, being in tune with our emotional responses and knowing why we feel this way helps us to identify the problem at hand and what we can do to fix it... in our cases, protect ourselves. It took me a long time to learn that my anger was a normal response to their abnormal behavior, it didn't automatically mean I was this terrible person who wants to hurt people & seek vengeance... it means I was having a human response, just like every other human being out there.

My mother taught me to be an extremely submissive child. If I in any way shape or form showed anger or the slightest bit of resentment in response to their abuse I was a "bad" "bitter" or "shameful" child. This led me to becoming a doormat for over 20 years. I had no boundaries, no sense of self, I was trained that my only purpose of existence was to serve my parents delusional needs and keep up the facade of happy family my mother to this day tries to keep pretending to live in. Instead of acknowledging my anger and realistically expressing it in healthy and self developing ways, I stuffed it down and let it eat away at me, always blaming myself for others hurtful actions.  I was a really messed up kid as a result.

Thanks everyone for your replies. Took a couple days but I'm feeling better, slowly but surely. I know these life experiences take time to heal... I was feeling heavily guilty and questioning myself for awhile, but now that I reassess things with a clearer head I've refused to fall back into the FOG again. Feels like a massive weight has been lifted off my shoulders.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2020, 09:23:01 PM by Kovera »

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blues_cruise

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I knew this day was coming because I decided it long ago. After a couple of years of self awareness, healing and reflection, I decided one day I would confront my mother about all her abuse and be very clear as to why I cut her off (as I recall in one of my much earlier posts about confronting my abuser here https://www.outofthefog.net/forum/index.php?topic=51366.msg458133#msg458133 ) When I made the decision to go NC with my covert narc/enabler mother, I was still in the FOG and didn't make it clear to her as why I did so, because I was still figuring out my own feelings and struggling with major PTSD. After much therapy and finally realizing / addressing what had happened to me, I decided one day I would confront my mother about all her abuse and be very clear as to why I cut her off. I decided this for my own healing, not to get an apology or expect unrealistic change from her. I felt it is necessary to remove the burden from my life and place it where it rightfully belongs - all the trauma was her responsibility,  she chose to expose me to it all growing up, it's her burden to carry, not mine. My intent to confront her was for my voice to be heard and for my own healing. I didn't/won't ever expect a true change from her.


I really relate to this and I'm glad that you reached the point of feeling healthy enough to make your decision to choose no contact absolutely clear to your mother. Like you, I was very much lost and trying to figure out my own feelings when I decided upon no contact with NF. His behaviour had got me so down that I was struggling to function with even the most basic of daily self care and I was in no state to be confronting or entering into any prolonged discussion with him. I didn't even know what boundaries were or that I was entitled to them because he had always been an authoritarian parent who expected unconditional submissiveness.

Regardless of this, I've felt shame over not communicating no contact to him and often continue to do so. I think I will need to flat out tell him eventually to lay it all out straight and to feel like I've done the right thing. I've also gained self-respect through self-care and inner work and when I hear of him playing the victim I start to feel angry and feel like my truth deserves to be heard. He's always maintained that he doesn't know what he's done wrong, however I think in all likelihood he's just claiming this to protect his false ego and gain sympathy from other people. Once he has actively been flat out told why a relationship is impossible he can change the narrative from waify confusion to me just being plain unhinged and disrespectful, which frankly I think I would prefer nowadays. Particularly if it would prevent love bombing and transparent attempts at pulling me back into the abuse cycle.

My mother taught me to be an extremely submissive child. If I in any way shape or form showed anger or the slightest bit of resentment in response to their abuse I was a "bad" "bitter" or "shameful" child. This led me to becoming a doormat for over 20 years. I had no boundaries, no sense of self, I was trained that my only purpose of existence was to serve my parents delusional needs and keep up the facade of happy family my mother to this day tries to keep pretending to live in. Instead of acknowledging my anger and realistically expressing it in healthy and self developing ways, I stuffed it down and let it eat away at me, always blaming myself for others hurtful actions.  I was a really messed up kid as a result.

Thanks everyone for your replies. Took a couple days but I'm feeling better, slowly but surely. I know these life experiences take time to heal... I was feeling heavily guilty and questioning myself for awhile, but now that I reassess things with a clearer head I've refused to fall back into the FOG again. Feels like a massive weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

Yep, I was also brought up to be submissive. It was actively taught by my N father and passively taught by enabling mother via her inability to stand up for herself or her children during his frequent rages. As an adult I became a doormat and he wanted me to remain that way. When I think of all this, y'know actively being discouraged to ever voice any kind of assertiveness or have boundaries, it's entirely understandable that we would slip out of contact quietly and work on these skills before attempting to use them. I never experienced what healthy anger looked like either. It was like a switch would flip in NF's head: one minute he would be fine and the next he would be losing it, roaring around the house and swearing. When I found out that it was OK and natural to feel anger it was an epiphany of sorts, because I'd only ever seen out of control rages and hadn't realised that anger could be worked through calmly and with grace.

I'm so glad that the weight has been lifted off your shoulders and as time goes by I'm sure things will settle down and feel easier again. I always find that any communication from NF is a shock to my system, even when I choose not to engage with it. I received what I thought might have been contact from him the other day (it wasn't thankfully) and my first reaction was overwhelming anxiety and stress to the point I felt like I was hyperventilating. It's not healthy and no-one should have access to you if they trigger your amygdala so easily like that. I think finding your voice with your mother was a very loving thing to do for yourself and I completely understand where you were coming from with wanting to do it. It also gives your mother the opportunity for closure, should she choose to take it (not that that's your responsiblity, that path was always an option for her). Thank you for creating this thread and sharing your experiences, I see myself probably landing in a similar scenario in the not too distant future with NF and it's been very useful to see how someone else has coped with doing it.  :hug:
« Last Edit: May 20, 2020, 02:57:53 PM by blues_cruise »
"You are not what has happened to you. You are what you choose to become." - Carl Gustav Jung

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AD

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blues crues, thanks for sharing. I can relate to a lot of your response.

The PD F with the erratic angry outbursts; the passive M who never stood up to him, or for us. I'm fairly certain that there is a gender component to it in my case too. I would notice on the rare occasion if my brother stood up to F he would back down. If I stood up for myself, he would just yell louder. And as a young child in particular, I think both parents both expected me, as a girl, to me quiet and passive and stay out of the way.

I used to think this was more F, but I've seen EN M now treating granddaughters/sons differently (e.g. the girls will get scolded in a harsh tone for....I'm not sure what? But I've never seen this with the boys).

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newjuncture

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First, hats off and kudos to you for taking the big step.  Either way, you would have received a reaction and there is no way of knowing which direction the response would have gone.  I admire you for being bold.  I have also considered the same actions but concerned that the nc would lead my parent to taking extra steps to get more attention - either taking on the victim role, getting authorities or police involved through well-being visits, or interfering with other friends or work environments.  Sometimes more distance and lack of response fuels their fire even if we have reinforced boundaries over and over again.  Were you concerned about any of these areas that they would happen once you went NC or sent the final voice message?  Another thing that I consider is females or mothers might not take the same overt steps that males or a father might do to show their control and power when you decide to go NC.

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Kovera

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I have also considered the same actions but concerned that the nc would lead my parent to taking extra steps to get more attention - either taking on the victim role, getting authorities or police involved through well-being visits, or interfering with other friends or work environments.  Sometimes more distance and lack of response fuels their fire even if we have reinforced boundaries over and over again.  Were you concerned about any of these areas that they would happen once you went NC or sent the final voice message?  Another thing that I consider is females or mothers might not take the same overt steps that males or a father might do to show their control and power when you decide to go NC.

newjuncture I've been out of posting in forum awhile & I meant to answer your question sooner! if it helps this is what I've experienced in regards to your questions:

My covert narc mother did push boundaries early on, coming to my door when I first went NC and stopped visiting her and ignored her calls. When I asked her to stop coming to my home, she then started sending the GC brother to do it for her, then sending him to her bidding for her having him come to my door unannounced and texting with hoovers to join them for holidays. Eventually I told him to stop messaging me and visiting unexpectedly too, because I don't want a relationship with him either (he has always been her flying monkey, even as kids was usually addressed to "keep me in my place." Yet when he would beat me up or abuse me emotionally he would get away with, my mother always looking the other way.) My narc mother has no idea where I Iive now, I'm not too worried about her showing up unexpectedly at my doorstep anymore (which I try to keep my address confidential. I ensured this by setting my mailing address through a PO box rental should she ever try to obtain that information.) She did at one point interfere with a past employer, trying to seek information about me from what I was told by my past boss. That was when I was starting to realize she had been playing victim (and likely gossiping about me covertly) by reaching out to some past friends (which I also had to cut contact with because they supply her victim mentality. She knows they're religious, which a big tactic for my mother to use in abuse by proxy. They're the ones who redirected her to my employer, unfortunately, because they knew the woman I worked for.) My covert NM never called cops with requesting well being visits or anything, but she did always use the "my daughter is mentally ill" excuse to keep trying to "check up on me" as a concerned mother, her excessive texts at first implied she was worried about me and needed to know I was okay. Hell yeah I was okay, better than ever without her around btw  ;D

As for the male/female tactics, personally in my family the males are far more overt. My father, who was a malignant narc, certainly was far more aggressive and abusive whenever I avoided contact with him. At first he tried to "lovebomb" me into keeping a relationship with him, pretending that his narc rage episodes never happened and smothering me, buying me things and telling me he loved me so much as his daughter. When I ignored him for some time or didn't comply with his expectations to visit him on a daily basis, he would go as far as to come to my apartment and harass my roommates when I wasn't home, demanding to know where I was. When I lived in my mom's home (they were separated at the time) he did the same all throughout my teen years, barging in and screaming at everyone & abusing all my siblings if any of us refused to put up with him. The males in my family are more overt in their abuse, while the females (mom and sister) were much more covert, using tactics like gossip, triangulation & passive aggression, not too mention much more prone to emotional abuse. I imagine things can be different for every family though... the best way to predict future behavior from a narc? look at their consistent past behavior. Their patterns usually tells what they'll do next, for the most part. I would suggest if anyone is ever concerned about NC and boundary breaking from a severely overt abuser after cutting them off or taking things too far, please plan ahead and protect yourself! if they've shown violent and dangerous behavior before it is likely they will resort to such once you go NC. If they try to show up at your door be certain you let them know you won't tolerate abuse and have the phone number to the authorities ready if necessary. This is something I wish I knew better when I was younger, when my father's behavior was clearly out of line.

Overall, I guess what I'm feeling at this point after the final message is that I don't worry much about her or my family going any further than abuse by proxy ( i.e., trying to convince my friends and extended family of her gossip and victim mentality, or having siblings hoover me.) I believe a lot of this is helped by maintaining my privacy (such as things like in my residence & personal life, keeping it entirely separate from anyone whom may know her and/or the FOO.) I keep my boundaries firm, and at this point I don't think her trying to break in contact other than through phone hoovers is a concern... If it was my father, I would certainly be far more cautious, as his responses to NC were far more overt and abusive. He's deceased, so that chaos has been long over, thank God.

It's been about 3 weeks so far and my mother has been silent. If I were to accurately guess, she is still putting on victim face to everyone who will listen... probably showing my final message to siblings and gossiping to extended family how about what a bad and hateful daughter I've become. While she seems quiet for now in regards to contacting me directly, I wouldn't put it past her to try again a few months, or even a years from now. It's common from what I've come to understand that narcs can return in hoovering even decades after you go NC with them.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2020, 07:05:31 PM by Kovera »