Fear Guilt and Anxiety

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Holly1234

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Fear Guilt and Anxiety
« on: May 14, 2021, 01:38:46 AM »
I officially went NC with my Nmum 6 months ago. It has been a year since I've seen her and the only phone conversation I've had in that time is a call 6 months ago to tell her I was no longer speaking to her.

I had an outwardly 'charmed' childhood. My father (who is now deceased) was a surgeon and he made more than enough money to pay for me and my older brother (who was 5 years older than me) to go to private school and live in a nice house etc. My parent’s marriage was both their second marriages and my father had three children by previous marriage. We had intermittent contact with them while growing up (they lived in different parts of the country).

Growing up my Nmum was obsessed with appearances. She wore only designer clothes, jewellery etc and drove only expensive cars. In retrospect this was all a part of her narcissism. When it came to a roof over my head and a good education: there was nothing lacking. However, there was zero emotional engagement and after many sessions in therapy I realise my NMum was emotionally abusive and neglectful. She would intermittently ‘love bomb’ with expensive gifts to keep me feeling indebted to her.

My brother was a bully. He focused on my every weakness and ridiculed everything I was interested in, he bullied my friends and recruited his friends to bully me as well. He was aggressive, intimidating and at times violent (there was an incident when he was 19 and I was 14 that he held a knife to my neck).

My father attempted to intervene at times. My Nmum was always passive, often justifying and condoning my brother behaviours. It was clear that my role was to ‘go along’ with things and never raise an issue. My Nmum turned a blind eye to my brothers behaviour and she would join in on belittling me in a passive aggressive way (I was constantly told I was ‘too sensitive’ and ‘easily offended’).

My parents marriage started to fall apart when I was 14. My brother had been moved in to an apartment that my parents had bought for him so I was the only one at home during this time. My mother enjoyed going clubbing and would be out 4 night a week, returning at 11pm drunk. Her and my father would argue until 2am in the morning. My Nmum set up the narrative that my father was an angry controlling man (which in retrospect was unlikely to be the case) to justify her ‘need’ to avoid the house and drink 4 nights a week. They separated when I was 16. They did not discuss with me that they would be divorcing, my mother’s only statement was ‘some relationships have an expiry date.’

The aftermath involved both of my parents coming to me with their problems. Including lengthy discussions about how horrible the other one was. My nmum moved her boyfriend in to the house within a year of the divorce. My father remarried and moved overseas soon after. My Nmum refused to catch up or have interactions with me without her boyfriend there. He was aggressive and entitled (likely emotionally immature and now someone with a PD).

The abuse from my brother and what I now realise was covert/vulnerable narcissistic behaviour from my Nmum continued in my early adulthood. I eventually went NC with my brother after continued bullying.

It took me a lot longer to go NC with my Nmum, the catalyst being a death threat from her boyfriend and her starting to belittle and degrade my son.

After a lot of therapy, I realise now that my family had set me up as the scapegoat many years ago. The narrative was that I was ‘spoilt’, had two loving parents, and all of my success was as a result of their financial investment in me. This view is also shared by all of my siblings. Any time I ever raised any issue, I was gaslit, dismissed and bullied.

I am incredibly grateful for all the opportunities I have been given. I have made sure to work incredibly hard and built a successful life and I have a happy marriage and a beautiful son. Going NC was the right decision, I could not watch my son be subjected to the same treatment as I was. I also don’t think my wife could continue to be around my Nmum who makes constant cruel and belittling remarks all while maintaining a façade of being the ‘perfect’ mil. My Nmums entitled behaviour was taking a toll on our marriage. Her boyfriend was obsessed with our son and also expected to be treated as a grandparent. They demanded ideal relationships.

I’m not sure what my reasons are for writing in the forum. I can’t seem to let go of all the guilt. I felt like I was left with no choice but to go NC. I had tried everything else, low contact, grey rock etc. There was no way to maintain a relationship with my Nmum. In my last conversation with her she continued to use the same narrative of ‘I didn’t realise you were so sensitive’, ‘but you were such a happy child’, ‘you are so easily offended’, ‘you’re taking that out of context.’ Anytime she acknowledged anything, it was lip service in the hope that I would yet again go along with things and maintain the family image.

I know there is no chance she will change and my priority has to be protecting my family. She actively triangulates and demeans. However, it still hurts to think of all of the smear campaigns that are going on. I was my Nmum’s emotional support animal throughout my childhood. I stood up for her, I stayed the ‘perfect child’ to counteract the behaviours of my brother. I have sacrificed enough. The financial help they gave feels more like blackmail than anything else. I look at my son and remind myself that there is no way that I would ever feel that he ‘owed’ me for things I did for him as a child or a young adult.

I want to be able to break the cycle with my family. Maybe I need support in having the fortitude to continue to stay ‘no contact’? A community that won’t judge me for ‘being spoilt’ and being the fly in the ointment to their image of a perfect family.

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Boat Babe

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Re: Fear Guilt and Anxiety
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2021, 07:23:00 AM »
Hey Holly, we hear you, loud and clear. It all sounds horrible and, unfortunately, par for the course. Well done you for getting away, making your own life and going NC to protect yourself, your marriage and your child. Really well done.

Now you are out of the direct line of fire, lots of feelings are emerging and, imo, you will really benefit from therapy to work through them. The goal is to have a healthy and peaceful inner life, which is very difficult to achieve after a  childhood such as yours. This will take time, but is oh so worth it. Being an active member of the forum is also very therapeutic as you learn from others with similar experiences. Wishing you so much wellbeing and healing
It gets better. It has to.

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DistanceNotDefense

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Re: Fear Guilt and Anxiety
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2021, 01:07:36 PM »
Hey Holly - welcome, and I'm sorry to hear about your story. I wanted to write because it's very, very similar to mine: narc mom, abusive brother, planted as the family scapegoat, being smeared and triangulated, etc. - but married and moving on with a beautiful life, trying to build a FOC.

I'm NC ten months. Almost a year. Wow.

When we go through something like this, it is a grieving process. It helps to looks at it that way and understand you're going through it's stages: denial, anger, guilt, depression, acceptance.

Thus far, some of the guilt has left and it does get better, but there is still some other stuff to work through, denial and danger on my count. It's easy to think it's somehow your fault, but remember that you were taught and conditioned to think that.

Work through the grief, and vent here when things feel tough and you have no one to talk to. This is where you can find support. Besides therapy it can be really hard to find people who do get it.

We really get it here.

And you are right, if you tried every else and still had to go NC, it was really your only choice. You had no choice.