Removing toxicity from life & focusing on goals

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BefuddledClarity

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Removing toxicity from life & focusing on goals
« on: April 22, 2021, 02:04:23 PM »
Just been doing some thinking lately, especially after reading some responses on my previous threads and even other member's threads...

I'm going to stop allowing toxicity in my life. Currently, I've been "medium chill" with my partner, until I can sort out my feelings about him...He's mellow right now, which is nice. But can get riled up by work(which his NPDdad is the boss..)

Partner is normal when he's away from his family. I say this, because I noticed some of the things he complains about them, he sometimes does to me---which I don't like. It just sucks having to deal with this crap with my feelings all jumbled up...I used to be extremely reserved with my feelings, that people called me "mysterious" whereas the reality of it is just to protect myself...

Then, I'm planning on cutting out my in-laws from my life. I'm not going to go to every event they planned, they're toxic towards me AND even partner with the way they talk to us, and I don't want that for my little one. NPDFiL even tried to get into a physical altercation with my partner, so we left during that time...My PD/FlyingMonkeySiL, NPDMiL, and PDStepMiL all have issues too that I don't want to deal with.

I'm going to be no contact with my family here in this particular city. They're distant relatives anyways...they have a toxic relationship amongst each other and ALWAYS argue, I don't like being around that or being reminded of how my parents used to be...Plus, just got a bit bitter about my mom's cousin/my aunt saying to "figure it out" when I most needed support and help when I never asked anything of them before, so I don't care and cutting them off. I blocked her number after and planning on changing it anyways...Trying to get a cheaper phone bill, so it works out.

I'm currently in (unintentional) LC with my brothers, we get along well, they don't always keep in contact since they're busy, but it works. The eldest brother lives with my PDmother, so in a way, I'm stuck in LC with her too, when originally I was NC with both her and PDfather. PDfather hasn't really talked to me. I tried again with our relationship but it felt awkward. Both of my parents just feel like strangers to me..I don't feel love or hate, just indifference.

I know it may sound crazy like "BefuddledClarity, why are you going NC with so many people?! Isn't that a little extreme??". I just want to be in good company...I dearly miss the friendships I used to have both online and in real life during my college years, they were amazing people and always tried to be uplifting. I want to try again with making AND keeping friends. I get scared off once the friendship is going good and feel like a burden to them...so I ended up ghosting and feel terrible. :-( I reconciled with a few stating that I was going through some things and feeling depressed...then disappeared again.

Anyways...

Goals:

  • Spend more quality time with little one by taking him out to parks, playgrounds, or even just out for a walk.
  • Reach a certain quota at work to receive bonus!
  • Another thing is just drinking more water, which I am currently doing good at.
  • Make & keep new friends! Whether that be in person or online via hobby related stuff.
  • Budgeting so can finally buy a house and finish paying off debt
  • Travel to the places I wished I could always go to!
  • Work on projects to become OWN boss and become entrepreneur

Questions (to you)

1. What are your goals?
2. How to do you protect yourself from toxic people or toxic environments
3. Are you Low Contact(LC) or No Contact(NC) with your family, in-laws, or ex partner/spouse?
  • If you are, is it a domino affect to where you have to be LC/NC with people you weren't planning on being LC/NC with?
  • How has LC/NC been for you?
4. Any additional thoughts?

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DistanceNotDefense

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Re: Removing toxicity from life & focusing on goals
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2021, 05:09:18 PM »
1. Learn to find my own company adequate, supportive, and enriching enough by myself, even with some alone time within my marriage, and hopefully attract healthier people into my life (and focus on the relationships that are already healthy). Continue working on making marriage healthier and less emotionally one-sided.

Grow a FOC. Learn to meet them where they are at and feel nurtured by what they do offer. Even if I feel it is inadequate I must learn to meet the deficits myself before looking for them/being desperate to find them in others. If I can't find them, stay in therapy until I'm more stable.

Learn to stop falling into the caretaking role in order to have friendships. Find a more empowering and healthy balance between self-care and renewed excitement in my professional field, and stop caretaking business partner's stress. Draw boundaries in the business partnership, grow and nurture my own side and feel good about it instead of worn down.

Be myself. Stop trying to be a people pleaser so much when that behavior has always come from a feeling of being inadequate and unlikable. Take a chance and see if people like you just as you are even if you're not gregarious, smiling, and wagging your tail all the time.

Set a good emotional example in conflicts with DH or business partner. Focus on medium chill when I need to and stop throwing fuel on the fire. Be the mature one. Stop caring about their stuff and start caring about yours. Be a leader in your own life. Embrace your power. Stop giving them power to disrupt your peace.

2. Keep to myself most of the time, for now, knowing it's the best for me right now. Spend time only with those who fill my cup. Try not to worry if it feels infrequent.

In mixed company do the work to connect with those healthy fulfilling people, avoid the clingy and needy (they find me and latch onto me if I do nothing, I noticed!) Limit the time I spend with mildly toxic/controlling/dysfunctional/co-dependent/potentially PD friends I do have to once per month or less.

Nip all relations that try to elicit actions and responses from me via shame, guilt, obligation, fake urgency, and fear in the bud. Stop doing all the work in the friendship in order for it to exist. Sink that time and love into myself instead and open the door more to people who reciprocate.

3. NC with ALL family. Technically no response/VVVVVVLC, I see their texts. They're blocked on all social media (M, siblings, been NC with uNPD/uASPD F almost 20 years). Their Silent Treatment method is their go-to, so by being LC they're pretty much doing most of the NC work for me in probably what they think is a punishment.

Yes it was a domino effect. Long, long ago our family cut ties with F for his abuse of all of us. Mostly cut ties with F's extended FOO. Conflict with enabler/covert narcissistic M in teens, more or less distanced from her extended FOO also, moved out on my own.

Older sibling inherited some of that uNPD/uASPD from my dad. Had to cut her off two years ago from her abuse. Other siblings and M were adamant in defending her no matter the cost, even at the clearly spelled out cost of having no relationship with me or DH. They chose my uPD older sister. Had to be LC/NC with them also, even though I didn't want to. It happened fast. I saw it as a cancer and that it would just spread and spread.

NC has been rough. But very, very good, I've never experienced this much growth at any other period in my life and at such a fast pace - that said I deal with an incredible amount of grief, numbness, loneliness, depression, and anxiety from time to time, though it is noticeably improving the more I invest in self-care.

I do honestly feel like once the hardest parts are over I'll feel capable of practically anything. I've broken through an invisible wall. I've especially learned so much here!!!!!

The most grueling part is the guilt and thinking everything is your fault, the obligation feeling of getting back in touch. It might happen for me again but I don't know what that will look like - and some family members I know I will never talk to again, others I wonder now after so much time, what the heck would we talk about? Let alone will they ever drop their resentment over the space I asked for? (they will never completely forgive me for what I'm doing now, I sense, and will always hang it over my head that I distance myself and asked for space - but will never acknowledge how hurtful they can be).

But honestly, going NC is like stepping out of sweltering heat into an air conditioned room for the very first time. Once you're out of it, something in you really doesn't want to go back outside now that it understands how truly uncomfortable it all was, even if there are some things you miss out there.

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Cat of the Canals

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Re: Removing toxicity from life & focusing on goals
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2021, 09:21:16 PM »
I know it may sound crazy like "BefuddledClarity, why are you going NC with so many people?! Isn't that a little extreme??".

I just want to take a moment and say that I don't think it sounds extreme at all, given that everyone you mentioned is either a PD or some sort of enabler enmeshed in the PD's drama. Those of us from PD's know how far that toxicity tends to spread, so some amount of domino effect (to borrow Distance's term) is often inevitable.

1. My primary goal at the moment is to stop fixating on my family of origin and focus on my family of choice. My husband and I suffered a huge loss earlier this year, and it's really put things in perspective for me: mainly that I am tired of trying to please people who feel entitled to my time and energy and are simultaneously never satisfied with what I give. Mainly my uPD mother and uPD mil.

2. I protect myself from toxic people and environments by having very strict boundaries. A few that have become very important to me lately:
- My self care comes first, always. After all, how can I adequately care for anyone else if I'm not caring for myself?
- I'm done appeasing people and saying "yes" to things I don't want to do. If saying "no" makes me feel guilty, then I'll just have to learn to live with it. (Ironically, the less appeasing I do, the less guilt I seem to feel. I guess that's what happens when you start putting your own peace of mind ahead of pleasing others.)
- I don't give people a lot of "second chances" when it comes to toxic behavior. Anything overtly abusive is a one strike kind of deal. If it's something more covert, like I just get a lot of obligation/guilt vibes from someone, I might give them the benefit of the doubt for a while. But if it becomes a pattern - and ESPECIALLY if they start overtly testing my boundaries - I go grey rock and duck out asap. I should only have to say "no" or express a boundary once.

3. I am currently VLC with my mother - the lowest contact I've ever been. And VVVVVLC with mil. How does it feel? Wonderful. Empowering. I finally feel free. And the more distance I have, the clearer my head gets. I am finally realizing my own self-worth. (Took long enough.  ;D)

I believe NC with my mil is on the horizon. I have a sister-in-law who I love dearly, but she has already taken steps to "choose sides" so to speak, so it's quite possible we'll end up NC with her if things reach a head with my mil. We don't interact much with any other in-laws, so there's not much to lose.

I don't foresee going NC with my mother, but if I did, I suspect contact with my dad and my brother would suffer. Not much I can do about that. They've chosen enmeshment.