I'm in Denial and it's wet in here

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I'm in Denial and it's wet in here
« on: July 07, 2021, 08:43:37 AM »
I realised this week that I've been badly in denial about my parents, and my FOO as a whole.
I started attending a support group two and a half years ago for Narcissistic Abuse, and it changed my life and outlook. It was elating to finally feel understood, and to be able to talk about my upbringing and the effect it's had on me. And yet, I haven't believed in it 100%. I've still been in the FOG.

I can see that a part of me hung back. It's been telling me:
"It wasn't so bad."
"It'll get better if I can do something differently."
"I don't have the right to walk away, because I haven't tried confronting them yet."
"My Mum tried to be a good parent but was overwhelmed because she was abused by her Mum and wasn't supported by Dad." Ignoring her harsh tone of voice and harsh words that she always deploys to control me if I'm saying things she doesn't like.
"My Dad has never really had a close relationship with me, so I can't call it abuse. And the times when he said awful, abusive things - they were few and far between, and if I just explain to him it's bad, then of course he'll see the light and want to change." Forgetting momentarily that I know that neglect is abuse and I had a right to be parented by my father.
"It's bad with my parents, but I could salvage something with my sisters - they're not abusive, and if when they were, it's because they're just like me - they've been abused too and don't know any better." Perhaps I feel I have to give them the chance in order to deserve the chance I'm giving myself - codependent indeed.
"Maybe everyone's families really are this bad, but they just make it work." Though when I see people who love and feel loved by family, I know it's not true. I'm just scared of mine.
"What if they're a loving family and I'm just looking for someone to blame about how crap my life is?" My life is a bit crap, and I do need to take more responsibility; no doubt about that. But it's crap because I've been abused, and moving forward requires healing.

"It wasn't abuse!" - I can look at every single part of my life - thoughts, beliefs, feelings, actions, posture, inability to speak up, self-loathing, lack of confidence & motivation, feelings of hopelessness & helplessness, poor focus, remaining in abusive relationships/workplaces later in life - acknowledge that those all look like a person suffering from abuse, then I look at the neglect and verbal abuse I endured as a child and young adult, and I can still tell myself: "It wasn't abuse!!! It wasn't abuse - because..... reasons. And I should totally try to figure out a way to make it better with them, so that I can have family."

At least I can see why I'm in denial/bargaining/codependence. It's hard to acknowledge that the best choice is to walk away from my FOO, and then I'll have no family background, I'll be different to the majority of people I know who take having a family for granted, and it will have been for the best but it will also have been my choice to do that. And I have to trust my assessment of the situation, and I'm not used to doing that. My Mum/older sisters tell me what to think, especially about family matters. What if I'm wrong? Can I convince them to admit it's bad? Then I don't need to trust myself. But they'll attack me or ignore me if I criticise them. I feel terrible when they do either. I need to grow up and do this. It's hard because I've been conditioned not to, and the inner critic, which I have managed to reduce a lot, still flares up with doubt in this flashpoint. Just like it was programmed to.

I've been looking at other people on this page and in my support group, acknowledging their neglect and abuse and supporting their decisions, but unable to apply that knowledge to my own life. It got distorted as soon as my feelings of guilt and unworthiness and lack of trust in my own perceptions flared up.

I think that's the importance of communities like these - eventually it's sunk in. It's not just seeing other people's abusive situations, but seeing their denial about it, has helped me see it in me.

What to do about it? I don't know quite yet, but NC with parents will continue, with no effort from me to review it. Atm, I think I'll phase out contact with my two older sisters too, which means right now, just not responding to their sporadic messages. They only contact me with emotional demands, and I don't have confidence in them to understand or even try to understand if I explain to them the specific things they're doing that bother me. Best case scenario, they'll take it on board, then do something else that I don't want in my life, because they're still in the FOG. Can't see oldest sister ever coming Out of the FOG. Second sister seems to be coming out (therapy, etc) yet simultaneously is going back in (solidifying relationship with M). I don't get it. But she was terribly abusive and treats me like a need-gratifying object, so... it's not that hard to see what I have to do. Hope and ingrained emotional dependence on her is clouding my judgment. NC for both.

My life's work thus far has been becoming a cycle-breaker. I still need to continue working on re-regulating myself and learning new life skills. I'm 100% responsible for my life, and though I'm a kind person, I make tough decisions when I need to, so NC with FOO. This is my new story.



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Re: I'm in Denial and it's wet in here
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2021, 09:25:52 AM »
Thank you for this thoughtful and honest post. I struggle with so many of the same ideas. I have internal arguments with myself all the time, going back and forth on whether it was abuse, am I overreacting, etc.

Kudos to you on making the decision to go NC. It truly sounds like it is what's best for you.