Got my first 'guilt trip' email while NC

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NCsinceJuly

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Got my first 'guilt trip' email while NC
« on: May 29, 2020, 06:05:02 PM »
I had an appointment with my therapist today and together we looked at the folder where my mom's emails automatically get filtered. There was one in there today. This is the first time she's emailed me since November. Normally her emails are long crazy rants about how everyone has wronged her. This one was more 'normal' which makes it that much harder to ignore.

Her email said she was very sad, and that she was hurt on her birthday and mother's day. It said she'd tried texting me. It said she was filled with guilt and sadness, and she hoped I'd reach out.

I am overwhelmed with guilt and sadness and fear. I can feel her pain and desperation and loneliness. I have her texts blocked, but I wish I knew what she said to me on my birthday. Did she say sorry? Have I been ignoring her while she's trying to apologize and make amends?

Probably not. She says 'I will never understand what you think or what you were told' even though I have told her, pretty explicitly, exactly what needs to happen for our relationship to work. This email is all about her and her feelings. Even when she talks about MY birthday, it's just to make me feel bad about how sad she was.

I don't know what to do now. The ball is in my court. I have two options that I discussed with my therapist:

1.) Don't respond. My therapist said that my mom still obviously needs 'a lot of work' before she's healthy. She didn't say she was sorry or accountable for anything.

2.) Respond by resending a version of my NC letter which restates my boundaries. My therapist said that this may alleviate some of the guilt I'm feeling without sacrificing my boundaries.

As our appointment ended, I started to panic and I told my therapist we needed to hurry up and make a decision together. Should I respond or not? My therapist said 'You need to make this choice for yourself.'

She said that I could get advice from her and from my online support groups (you guys), but that ultimately I needed to decide what to do on my own, without anyone telling me which choice to make or validating my decision for me. Yikes. What a foreign concept for me.

I don't know what to do. I'm so scared right now, and I'm completely spiraling. I feel sick to my stomach, but I think the right choice for me is to continue NC.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2020, 06:18:30 PM by Starboard Song »

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TwentyTwenty

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Re: Got my first 'guilt trip' email while NC
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2020, 12:47:45 AM »
In my situation, and I’m stating only my opinion; No form of contact whatsoever will be made until my Nparents take total responsibility for their hateful damaging actions, which they never will.

The risk for me is clear: until accountability is taken, there is ZERO to prevent their same bad behavior from damaging me even more.

The longer we stay apart, the more joyful, peaceful and happy I become! Why would I take a chance on detailing that??

I do not feel guilty at all for be happy and living my life free from abuse.

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moglow

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Re: Got my first 'guilt trip' email while NC
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2020, 01:22:12 AM »
Hello - I'm sorry you find yourself in that place, but glad you're here with us in *this* one. First, stop and breathe for a minute, and understand we're here with you. I completely understand the guilt and sadness, because I've been there too. Unfortunately I still visit both from time to time, but admittedly not as much as in years past and I recover more easily than I used to. It's all a process and it takes work on our part to set things down that just aren't ours to carry.

That fear though, take a hard look at that and figure out what your fear is. Are you afraid she'll show up? Undermine your life or harm you in some way? What is she actually capable of - or what might she just threaten? Think about the possibilities and plan accordingly. Don't panic but think through your very real options here. Write it all out if you need to but understand that if you're an adult you get to be in control of your own behavior, just as she is her own. The difference is, I'm guessing she won't own any responsibility. Your first responsibility is and will always be to yourself and your well being. You can send letters from now to doomsday explaining yourself and who you are, and she's still going to be the person she is. Sounds like she's grasping for a reaction/attention from you, and your job is to separate fact from fiction even if only in your own mind.

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My therapist said that my mom still obviously needs 'a lot of work' before she's healthy. She didn't say she was sorry or accountable for anything.

Understand something here - your mother [like mine] may never do the work. She may never apologize or accept accountability, or at best you get some sad lifeless fauxpology that means nothing more than something to get her by for a moment. You still get to decide if you're willing to go there with her on any level at any time. You can choose to remain no contact or you can accept very limited superficial contact if or when you're able. Or not. What you DON'T have to do is roll over and play dead to her demands, guilt trips or anything else.

We're here with you. :hug:

“Nothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.”  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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newjuncture

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Re: Got my first 'guilt trip' email while NC
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2020, 04:02:14 PM »
I can relate to this as well.  I am dealing a parent whom I have gone vlc with.  The emails have increased to 2-3 times a week, and they are up and down.  Sometimes, they are simple I miss you or call me messages to try to get my attention again, and other times they are messages that remind me exactly why I have gone nc for the time being. Like you, my parent has overstepped boundaries by acting like they didn't even know what was in place.  Like you, they were repeated or I gently reminded the parent in the past.  In your situation, I feel stuck also.  Sometimes, I want to write a letter to say given that my boundaries are not being respected, etc, I will be stepped away and taking a break from any form of communication for my own healthy, etc.....I'm convinced the emails will keep coming no matter what like others have referenced here.  It seems you are confident about not continuing contact. Therefore, you can 1) choose not to respond to the email 2) respond and either remind them of your boundaries and reason for no contact or anything that you feel is best for you.  If you choose to respond, consider the wording in the email and try to pause from any emotionally charged words that might fuel her fire again.  What do you think you would be comfortable with saying in the email?  What kind of wording would you use if you decide to respond?  Draft it out or you can run some ideas by here.  Sometimes the best advice is to write a letter for your own healing and don't send it.  Do what is best for you and what your spirit feels comfortable with.  Yes, it is hard and each email is a new trigger. I definitely understand.

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Psuedonym

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Re: Got my first 'guilt trip' email while NC
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2020, 04:24:21 PM »
Hello NCsinceJuly!

This helped me a lot and maybe it will help you. I believe it was Richard Grannon who pointed out that once you sever a relationship with a narcissist, whatever you are feeling is most likely what the narcissist wants you to feel. I read your mother's words as almost like a hypnotist's suggestion : guilt and sadness

And what are you feeling?

I think when you start to feel angry that you're being manipulated is when you can start to heal. You feel shitty because that was her intention; to make you feel shitty. As others like your therapist have pointed out, did she say:  I am really sorry for any pain that I've caused you, daughter, and want to know what I can do on my end to start to repair the relationship? Ha, no, of course she didn't say that. Her email consisted of 'me me me, i feel i feel, your fault.'

Try to begin to realize that your guilt is not real, it's not coming from you, its something that's been drilled into you. It's a manipulation tactic your mother is using like a weapon. Jerry Wise has a great video on this topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvxSddeM8Vw (I think that's the one, there's a bunch of great ones). What he talks about is that, as a child of a PD, you have to learn to sit with your guilt and not act on it, and begin to accept that it's not real or deserved.

Another one, I think this is from the great Pete Walker, is that sometimes when you feel guilt, its a sign that you're doing the right thing. You've established boundaries and are standing up for yourself, which are both healthy things, but you've been taught that they're 'selfish'.

I speak from experience here. My uPD M spent the last year and a half of her life telling everyone she could how sad and lonely she was, while in the next breath smearing me to anyone who would listen. She would trash me to my own husband and then ask when I was going to call her.  :stars:

I know it sucks but you aren't alone and you're doing fine!
 :bighug:


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freedom77

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Re: Got my first 'guilt trip' email while NC
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2020, 06:52:35 PM »
My take is that she used YOUR birthday to talk about herself, her feelings, her sadness, her confusion (despite you explicitly explaining), and last but not least...she trampled over your boundaries (since you did ask for them from her right? In a letter? So she once again ignored that). Ns, PDs make everything about them, always.

I think your therapist is right, you have to make the choice on your own, and your mother is no where closer to being healthy than she was last time you spoke. I agree because I recognize your mother's brand of email. My BPD/N mother has done the same. I advise you to not be fooled.

My mother's emails are usually long crazy rants about how the world has wronged her since conception, and especially how I'VE wronged her, and just how wrong I am thoroughly as a person.

Then there will be a pause of contact, then a ever so slightly contrite email about her sad feelings, and how she just doesn't understand what's going on, and why don't I contact her, and more recently she pointed out her perception of me that I "used to be a nice person".

These emails usually follow up a tirade of rageful ones about what an awful, evil monster I am, and how she regrets cancelling her abortion appointment. Yep true story.

It's my experience that Ns and PDs don't change. We as non-PDs have to decide what we're willing to put up with, as a wise person on here has a quote that says "every interaction with a PD results in trauma". So true for me. So basically, don't expect earnest change, just short-lived pretend change to hoover you back in, and then all the old true colors bleed out.

A sincere person would have wished you a happy birthday, inquired how YOU are, not talked only of themselves and their feelings with a hint of an accusatory undertone with the request of you reaching out to her since SHE is the one hurting so. She mentions feeling guilty, but about what exactly? A person willing to change, will admit wrong doings, and change the behavior, not just a vague statement of feeling guilty.

My mother would sometimes say she'd felt bad or guilty about something she did to me, or did wrong, but it was a hoover maneuver. Once she had me sucked in, she'd recant any bad feelings, and tell me I deserved whatever it was. Or gaslight, and deny any such statement or admittance.

If it were me, I'd leave it alone.

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NCsinceJuly

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Re: Got my first 'guilt trip' email while NC
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2020, 02:33:25 PM »
Thank you all so much for replying and taking the time to help and reassure me! I don't know how to respond to you each individually, but I just wanted to express my appreciation. <3 

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PeanutButter

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Re: Got my first 'guilt trip' email while NC
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2020, 02:57:49 PM »
IMO the fear that is coming up so strongly is something I would dig deeper into? What is the fear is of? What is the inner narrative that is causing it?
Good luck!
If there is a hidden seed of evil inside of children adults planted it there -LundyBancroft  Self-awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong good or bad -DebbieFord The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none -Thomas Carlyle