The Tangled Web of Codependency

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Healing Finally

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The Tangled Web of Codependency
« on: May 30, 2020, 06:57:46 PM »
HI all,  :wave:

I thought to share how I'm finally coming out "on the other side" of my family split that happened six years ago (which I am still at blame for causing.)

I am in my early 60's and have a sister 3 years younger than me, who has NPD and is a malignant narcissist.  My 88 year old mother has always been totally enmeshed with her, and completely supports her at all costs.  (My Mom was raised by a narcissist and she has C-PTSD due to this relationship.)

Six years ago I got triggered (thank you OOTF for leading me to OOTS to discover my C-PTSD) and I wrote an angry email to my then BIL about my sister's erratic and immature behavior at the time.  Up to then we were buds, and freely shared our feelings about my sister with each other (like a brother and sister would.) 

BUT, they were then separated over two years (as my sister moved to the beach to "find herself" and he was footing the bill.)  I didn't know that he did not want to do anything to jeopardize his position with her, so rather than answering me back, he showed the email to my Mom, and they both agreed to show it to my sister.

In the email I called her a narcissist and said the sooner he divorces her the better it will be for her, and the whole family.  Unfortunately the anger in the email overshadowed any sense of what I was trying to say.  And that was what I have always tried to say to my family; the more we support my sister in her selfish self-absorbed behavior, the more we enhance it; which isn't good for her!

After my BIL showed it to my sister, she basically disowned me; saying she will never speak to me again.  And since my mom was already influenced by my BIL and her codependency with my sister; she could not bring herself to see "my side".

Over the past six years, I have gone through major depression over this, as I realize I have been trained to be enmeshed with my family.  I have done so much work to get to a point of being comfortable with myself, even though my Mom would have Christmas eve dinner with all the family over, but she couldn't invite me, as she can't stand up to my sister.

I've gone through so much sorrow and feeling sad for myself, being the victim, the scapegoat; always the one that gets blamed.  It pained me greatly to see my Mom's sorrow as she struggles with justifying the situation of her "two estranged daughters".

But, now I know, any anger or hurt that I feel is no longer necessary; as I now understand, it's not personal!!  I continually fight to not "go there" when I feel distraught about the situation because it truly has been the best thing that's ever happened to me.  I am now free.  :applause:
Keep walking, though there's no place to get to.  Don't try to see through the distances.  That's not for human beings.
Move within, but don't move the way fear makes you move.
~ Jalaluddin Rumi

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blacksheep7

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Re: The Tangled Web of Codependency
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2020, 02:26:49 PM »
 :wave: Hi Healing Finally,

I am aware of your story, since 2016 when I first appeared on this site.   I can understand the hurt (depression) of losing our entire FOO.  I have been there too and I am in my early 60's.
 
I am doing a lot better, the Rage subsided but I am still struggling at times, the theory of dealing with it  is easy but the practice less.  It's been three yrs nc for me.

Now with the covid-19 I miss my sister.  I do know it's because of the solitude of the pandemic. I have few friends to call but I manage overall.  I keep busy.

I will not reconnect because of  my NDPm who is also 88 and has a great influence on her. This does not mean that she approves of M's behavior, no but just deals with her, in her own way.

The main reason for not reconnecting is  because I would be her dumping ground like before, so now way.

I DO NOT WANT TO HEAR ABOUT HER or family drama.

Nice to hear from you and know that you are doing Good.

take care :hug:

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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Healing Finally

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Re: The Tangled Web of Codependency
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2020, 05:39:41 PM »
Thank you blacksheep7  :yes: - when I first "got here" and was posting, you were very intricate to helping me get some sort of handle on my situation, and I have always appreciated your sharing and support.  It amazes me how much time it takes to unravel all the codependent behaviors, and I can see that some will never get unraveled (between my sister and my mom) but that's ok, that's THEM.  Being free from the situation is so much better than being in the middle and contributing to the dysfunction, along with being negatively effected by it.  I do the limited contact thing with my Mom, even though it's painful to be with her.  She knows not to talk about my sister around me, and when she does (as she is so enmeshed), I just ask her to keep those thoughts to herself.  So good that you know what's best for you and are taking care of YOU.  That is what we must do, take care of US...not THEM...HUGS! :hug:
Keep walking, though there's no place to get to.  Don't try to see through the distances.  That's not for human beings.
Move within, but don't move the way fear makes you move.
~ Jalaluddin Rumi

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notrightinthehead

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Re: The Tangled Web of Codependency
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2020, 04:05:15 AM »
I totally agree with you, the codependent behaviours are so difficult to change, I now have started to believe that they will be with me forever and I will just learn to not act on them.  I have also learned not to write and post anything in anger - I give myself time to calm down and edit what I let others read.  And I try to stick to facts and my own feelings. Babysteps to overcome the dysfunctional relationship programming.
Our march to freedom is irreversible. We must not allow fear to stand in our way.  Nelson Mandela

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Dakotagirl

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Re: The Tangled Web of Codependency
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2020, 08:40:55 AM »
HI all,  :wave:

I thought to share how I'm finally coming out "on the other side" of my family split that happened six years ago (which I am still at blame for causing.)

I am in my early 60's and have a sister 3 years younger than me, who has NPD and is a malignant narcissist.  My 88 year old mother has always been totally enmeshed with her, and completely supports her at all costs.  (My Mom was raised by a narcissist and she has C-PTSD due to this relationship.)

Six years ago I got triggered (thank you OOTF for leading me to OOTS to discover my C-PTSD) and I wrote an angry email to my then BIL about my sister's erratic and immature behavior at the time.  Up to then we were buds, and freely shared our feelings about my sister with each other (like a brother and sister would.) 

BUT, they were then separated over two years (as my sister moved to the beach to "find herself" and he was footing the bill.)  I didn't know that he did not want to do anything to jeopardize his position with her, so rather than answering me back, he showed the email to my Mom, and they both agreed to show it to my sister.

In the email I called her a narcissist and said the sooner he divorces her the better it will be for her, and the whole family.  Unfortunately the anger in the email overshadowed any sense of what I was trying to say.  And that was what I have always tried to say to my family; the more we support my sister in her selfish self-absorbed behavior, the more we enhance it; which isn't good for her!

After my BIL showed it to my sister, she basically disowned me; saying she will never speak to me again.  And since my mom was already influenced by my BIL and her codependency with my sister; she could not bring herself to see "my side".

Over the past six years, I have gone through major depression over this, as I realize I have been trained to be enmeshed with my family.  I have done so much work to get to a point of being comfortable with myself, even though my Mom would have Christmas eve dinner with all the family over, but she couldn't invite me, as she can't stand up to my sister.

I've gone through so much sorrow and feeling sad for myself, being the victim, the scapegoat; always the one that gets blamed.  It pained me greatly to see my Mom's sorrow as she struggles with justifying the situation of her "two estranged daughters".

But, now I know, any anger or hurt that I feel is no longer necessary; as I now understand, it's not personal!!  I continually fight to not "go there" when I feel distraught about the situation because it truly has been the best thing that's ever happened to me.  I am now free.  :applause:

Gosh, thank you for sharing this. I have just joined this forum and posted separately about my narc Mom and sis who are currently punishing me and I dont know what to do next. I feel so trapped and it seems any way I turn I cant be free.

I am looking at your post and wondering might that be me in the future, able to say I am happy and not so caught in this tangled web anymore. For years, for the benefit of the FOO I have also been trying to convey the difference between healthy support and enabling,  and that enabling my sis behaviour is not good for her , not an act of kindness. But the tangled web is so tangled I know there is no sense in repeating this message.

I am in an inbetween phase now and gee it is difficult. I am looking inwards and trying to focus on me but today the thought came to me " why are you spending so much of your life and energy on people who do so little for you". I am deserving of love and respect, like every human being. Some seem unable to give it.

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PeanutButter

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Re: The Tangled Web of Codependency
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2020, 10:10:45 AM »

Posted by: Dakotagirl
on: Today at 08:40:55 AM
Quote
For years, for the benefit of the FOO I have also been trying to convey the difference between healthy support and enabling,  and that enabling my sis behaviour is not good for her , not an act of kindness.
:yeahthat:

Yet ime was it a benefit to any of us to go on stuck in these dysfunctional patterns with noone ever changing what they each were doing? Imo no.

It was part of the system that supported the roles remaining exactly as they are. Yes we are part of the system!

 The point being the whole family is ill. Not just the person with pd or addiction or whatever symptom is presenting. It is just a symptom of a greater underlying issue based on 'family systems theory' it probably has passed down through several generations at the point we and our sibs are born into it. IMHE
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

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Healing Finally

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Re: The Tangled Web of Codependency
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2020, 09:04:11 PM »
Appreciate people's replies and am so happy I can communicate here with all of you.  :wave:

Yes the codependent behavior and need to be enmeshed is such a part of me, I agree notrightinthehead, I will probably always deal with this tendency.  I am actually starting to date again (after de-tangling myself from my BPD boyfriend a few years ago) and OMG I am soooo afraid of getting involved with anyone as I honestly don't know how to be "with" someone without co-mingling my needs with them.  UGH.  I feel that I'm getting stronger all the time, but I still know I can cave at a moment's notice!

And Dakotagirl, I certainly feel your anguish, I've spent so much time getting through this difficult stage, I was honestly surprised to think that I might be on the other side.  But, I do feel much stronger in my conviction to be a separate individual and feel empowered every time I am find myself behaving in a more healthy way.

HUGS to all :hug:
Keep walking, though there's no place to get to.  Don't try to see through the distances.  That's not for human beings.
Move within, but don't move the way fear makes you move.
~ Jalaluddin Rumi