So why do we (or in this case I) miss abusive people? I don't get it.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by MidwestMom, May 23, 2014.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I get missing our children because we often are not thinking of them as they are now. We are thinking of that sweet little baby/tolddler/child who hugged us and gave us dandelions and whom we had such big dreams for. I do not think we miss the adult child they are today. I think we miss the adult child we WISH they would be. So when we see them it is often a big let down because they are the unloving adults we are so shocked about and often we wish we hadn't even seen them. But, still, our kids...I get it.

    Does anyone else miss a toxic sibling or parent or ex-friend although the person and you do not work out in a relationship? Can anyone shine light on why I always miss my sister when he puts me on emotional shut down. That, by the way, is what it's called. Emotional shut down. Even if we can manage six good months, I KNOW it will end up in a hurtful emotional shutdown. Why do I even want to talk to her? I do not understand myself.

    All of you are so good with explanations, figuring things out and putting things into perspective. What can I do when I feel a rush of anger and want to text her, although she won't read it. She does not read my texts when she is on emotional shut down. But why do I even care? Why do I want to talk to her about ANYTHING? Because we have fun at times? Is it worth this? She will probably call again one day and say she is trying hard to work it out this time for sure. She says she misses talking to me too when she doesn't, but it is her 100% of the time who does this emotional shutting down, at least for long periods of time.

    If I called her today just to ask her if she is feeling well and had a nice day, she wouldn't pick up the phone. And somehow it will be all my fault. I rue the day I told her I thought I acted borderline when I was younger because it was never diagnosed and now she uses it. Yet something is not right with her. But, of course, it isn't the same. I am worse. The last time she cut me off she spent HOURS reading about borderline to find out how to get along with me and guess what? She decided I wasn't borderline. I had traits, but not borderline. Her BOYFRINED had borderline...her words, not mine. (He probably does and much more). But when she is nasty mode nothing we shared is sacred. And it's always my fault.

    So what can I do to just forget about her until/unless she calls me again? What can I say to myself? What can I do for myself?

    This is not the same as when Scott cut off me and his siblings. He totally went no contact and never came back so it was possible to grieve and get over him and we have. My sister is like a boomerang. Like a bad recurring dream she keeps coming back so that just when I've worked it out, there she is again to repeat the vicious cycle which has gone on since my thirties.

    I am trying so hard to have a peaceful life now and have mostly succeeded.

    I welcome any thoughts. I am really puzzled at myself and clueless as to what to do because the anger at her emotional cut off is simmering inside of me and I want to strike back, although I won't. Why am I even so ready to take off her head in an argument? I didn't do it when I had the chance.

    How do I just let her go when I know the day will come when she does something like sends me a Christmas card saying, "Life is too short not to talk. If you call me, I'll be nice." Forget about "I'm sorry." LIke most difficult children it never happens.

  2. 4PawsSake

    4PawsSake Member

    It's called "Battered Women's Syndrome". It doesn't have to be a boyfriend/husband/girlfriend/ can be our siblings, children, parents, it's works the same.
    It's also called "unconditional love" and when we have it, we're willing to let go all the hurt they caused if they'll just give us what we expect from them and rarely do but in the meantime, we're abused by them, emotionally, mentally, physically, financially and spiritually. This abuse breaks away little pieces of us. I know it has me, yet, I continue to take it from my son in hopes he'll change.
    That's my take..I don't know..maybe I'm wrong.
  3. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    It's called love. None of us are perfect, with some imperfections are just more pronounced. That still doesn't mean there isn't any good in them or that there aren't fond memories and loving feelings towards them. Even very dysfunctional relationships can have lots of love and lots of positive sides in them.

    I have very difficult relationship with my dad who is your typical person with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). He is of course very difficult, can be very hurtful, and yes abusive, and has been both when I was a child and when I have been an adult and I have even cut him off for long periods of time to protect myself when I haven't been able to deal. That doesn't mean I don't love him or that he doesn't love me (as much as any person with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) can actually love other human being) or that he doesn't have some awesome characteristics.

    When I have become older, more self-assured and less youthfully black and white thinker I have grown to appreciate more and more also very dysfunctional loved ones in my family tree. Not seeing them as problems but valuable part of my family history. Of course most of them, aside my dad, are already dead so it is easier to make peace with them and think of them with affection.

    And yes, blood is thicker than water. Not because of the DNA but because of shared memories there is no one else to share. That is not a small thing and is also somewhat true with old friends. My husband's granny died this winter after living well into her nineties and that was one of her main complaints in old age. You lose your siblings and childhood and young adult friends and there is no one else who remembers who you were anymore. No one with whom to reminisce.
    Last edited: May 23, 2014
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    For me MWM, with so many wounded people in my family, so much mental illness, I have had to make choices to keep myself away in many cases because I have no defenses for the skewered thinking and unnecessary cruelties. But they are my siblings, I recall our childhoods together and I miss that. I wish it were different, but my wishes don't make it reality.

    With other people whom I'm not related to, I think there are parts of people I really care about, but in some cases there were other parts which were harmful to me so I had to gauge which side was weightier, the harmful side or the beneficial one. We all have personality traits that are less then stellar, however......some connections are just not healthy for me. It doesn't mean I don't miss those folks, because I do. I just had to make a choice for my own well being. It's one of those paradoxes that we have to learn to live within, life just isn't black and white, we mostly live in the grey area. In the grey area, relationships are often vehicles for our growth, where we learn how to love ourselves and love another and that forces choices like the one you're engaged in now.

    I also believe we stay in some relationships to learn lessons. Perhaps sometimes to learn that we need to say no, or we need to set boundaries or we need to remove ourselves completely. I once read that when you are on a spiritual path, you keep on changing and growing and because of that you must continually "weed your spiritual garden." Some relationships are casualties of our own growth, and it becomes apparent that we need to bless that connection and move away. I've made that choice often over many years.

    It's not easy to remove ourselves from dysfunctional relationships. When we love someone all of those boundaries get messy and unclear. If your commitment is to have a peaceful life and your sister continually disrupts that, for me, it would force me to address that

    Everything you have told us about her points to someone who has very little regard for your well being and in fact she has acted in cruel ways. You don't deserve that, that seems unacceptable. And since she doesn't sound like someone who can listen and hear you, she has made it almost impossible for you to work through this and come to some solution that works for you as well as her. She has you backed into a corner with her controlling issues and offers no options for resolutions. You're in a catch 22.

    Recently I went through ending 2 very old relationships I had for decades. My short take on it is that I had grown to a point where some of the ways in which we were connected were not good for me, in fact it was hurtful. I hadn't been able to see it before but once I popped out of my inability to see it, it became obvious and then I was in a position of choice. Do I stay and try to suck it up? Do I communicate what I see and try to work it out? If I can't change it, what do I do? I couldn't change it and the behavior was mostly out of the awareness of the parties involved which meant it would continue, and continue hurting me. I felt I had to exit. It was very, very hard. I love these people. I made a very difficult choice. Once I became aware of certain truths, I couldn't not know them, once I knew them, I had to make a choice.

    Hard as those choices can be, I look at it like that person is a teacher for me. They taught me to love myself enough to not allow bad behavior, to not allow disrespect, to remove myself from toxic connections and place myself in ones where I am loved in the way I deserve and desire to be loved. I read once that our greatest teachers are often our greatest adversaries. That makes sense to me.

    I'm sorry MWM, you appear to be in a place where you can't make this into what you would like it to be. That puts you in a challenging place. Sending you lots of good thoughts and hugs.
  5. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    My mother is an extremely unpleasant person. My brother hasn't seen or spoken to her for years. I still visit regularly, even though it causes me grief, because I think I still hold some strange hope that she could be the mother she's never been, that she could become a mother that I care about, that she might one day ask me how I am and have some genuine interest in my children, rather than the self-obsessed, selfish, jealous, one-sided conversations that I always have with her. She's not a nice person, but she's the only mother I've got. Is that why MWM?
  6. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    I think also when we start to change a lot the old ways become much less tolerable. The old patterns with longstanding relationships are much more noticeable. At first we try to tell ourselves we are being too judgmental and critical but over time if the dysfunction is pronounced enough the relationship changes irrevocably.

    This has happened to me with multiple people over the past five years. First it happened with my dear friend and neighbor. Her boys grew up with my boys but as difficult child ramped up everything got crossways. I confided in her a lot and as time went on she would slip in comments from information from her sons about difficult child. Rumors and gossip. It was so painful. I was super sensitive too. Then difficult child stole from them. He refused to take the things back after I found them in my garage so I took it all back. That was very hard ---the whole thing---but they handled it very graciously. A lot of it was me but I had to distance myself and that was painful for her and for me too. Then they moved away. Very sad all around. We used to laugh a lot together. She was my crazy friend.

    My sister and I love each other but we are very different. We do better from a distance. She is a big enabler of her kids----both still live at home at age 24 and 28. It is hard to watch and listen to now. She is very controlling and I have learned to let go a lot so I really notice that now. Of course I used to be the same way.

    It is hard to love people but not be able to be around them much. One thing I am trying to do is to cultivate more friends in the recovery community of alanon because they get boundaries and respect already.

    I think it is good to talk about this because airing it in the light of day heals us. Your sister's lashing back is clearly out of bounds. Can you plan your responses with her like you do with difficult child? That way your side of the street can stay much cleaner. Thanks MWM.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks to all three of you. Very very helpful to me. I have to take my power back in this relationship. I actually feel, from having experienced both, that it is more cruel to come back, state good intentions, then repeat a cycle of abuse and emotional cut off (which is why nothing can be resolved. As soon as I try, there's a long painful cut off in which she will not even read a letter I write or a text)....I think it is kinder to just cut somebody off for good. Believe it or not, you can heal from that. You can not heal while still engaged.

    Paws, great analogy. Every time she comes back, like the abusive husband does, I have hope that this time it will be different and this time she will not do the emotional cut off. And every time it's good for a while. And then every time she does it again. Like the battered wife who loves the husband anyway, I keep telling myself "It will be different this time."

    RE, everything you said resonated. I too come from a world of mental illness, mostly personality disorders, which I have learned so much about because I didn't want to turn into the others. I saw it at a very young age. I saw it to the extent that during my pregnancy, in a psychiatric hospital for depression, I swore I'd never give birth again and worried that my child would suffer from the DNA disease in my DNA collection. He does. But as hard as he is to handle at times, it is harder to deal with my sister. My son doesn't do emotional cutoffs and is capable of forgetting something that made him angry by the next day. He acts like it didn't happen, which is easier for me to handle than my sister's forever grudges.

    LucyJ, I sooooooooooooooooo relate to you and your mom. My mom cut me off (a family trait) because my grandma, who was another trouble maker, said she was going to leave my biological son money and not her too adopted grandchildren and she wanted ME to be sure he got the money. I told her Iwould divide the money three ways between him, Scott and Julie. Or I told her to get somebody else to do it. She picked my mother who was resentful of having to pay taxes on this money. Oh, well. I told my grandmother while she was alive that I was not going to participate in that form of favoritism and hurt my other kids. It wasn't even a lot of money...,$5000. I just wasn't going to play that game.

    In the end my mother got sick of paying a small tax on the money, gave it to me, and I split it three ways. She was so livid that I didn't "Do what your grandmother wanted" that she never called me again. She never spoke to me again unless I called her and then she was cold and b****chy. I kept trying because I believe in karma and that you try to make up in this life so you don't have to do it in the next. She got loving cards frome me. I even took the blame for what was wrong in our relationship just to hope for a resolution. She died and had disinherited me. I look back and think that I should have let her do the cut off and, in accordance with my beliefs, waited until the next life to make amends because I believe people "see" more once they have crossed over. It never happened that she ever saw my point of view. Like my sister, she would say, "I'm not going to talk about it. I'll hang up."

    I wasted times of my life I can't get back.

    My sister's only difference is that she claims to want to have a relationship with me, but it never works out. There is nothing I can do if she won't talk about it with an open mind or ever believe she has maybe taken a wrong stand. She is like my mother in many ways. One thing that really hurts, although I have put it in the past, is that she never once, nor did my brother, ever stop my mother from her mean cut off and say, "Pam is pretty nice. I don't agree with how you are treating her." Both claim it was none of their business. Well, that's true. But I would have done that (shrug). I mean, if she was hating on my sister or brother she would not have been able to do that in my hearing. The few times I tried to talk about that she evades by saying, "We have different memories of what happened. I won't talk about it."

    And that's the bottom line. In my family you don't talk about it. You can't. They will not listen. They will disregard and toss heartfelt letters in the trash. They will delete texts and not read them. Until they want to come back, IF they want to come back, you are a nobody and you can't do the normal stuff people do to try to fix relationships because you get an emotional cutoff. You can't make it better if you won't discuss it.

    Here is an article on emotional cutting off. I didn't know it had a name. And thanks to all of you for the help. Any others can chime in. I can use all the input I can get. After reading about emotional cutting off, I realize that this is how my DNA connections deal with one another. Every single one of them, except me. And I had no choice when I was cut off. I wasn't an angel, but I always wanted to try to solve things....
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    COM,thanks for chiming in. I was hoping you would; you are always so helpful to me.

    What I need is a few Al-Anon meetings and to get back into the community. THANK YOU. The fact is, I am surrounded by dysfunction, even if they are not alcoholics (and I am NOT sure if 36 is one or not...he sure drinks a lot) and the rest of them...sister, who also drinks a lot, and Dad, who never drank much at all, ACT exactly like addicts.

    The fact is, the Twelve Steps work really well for me dealing with the dysfunctional people in my life and I need to get back to a program and the fellowship involved. Thanks for reminding me.
  9. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    MWM, I think your sister is in punish MWM mode, not emotional shutdown. The truth is that you don't know whether she reads them or not. What you know is that she does not respond.

    She is playing a game, MWM.

    A hurtful game.

    I think that, pretty shortly here, you are going to find (just like I did, after you posted about abusive adult children) that you are seeing your sister and her shenanigans in a whole different light. Just as you were suddenly able to see the abuse in 36's behavior and set boundaries around that, you have become healthy enough now to see the patterns of abuse in your other relationships. I see that in that you are switching from regret to love to anger and back, as you rethink this relationship with your sister.

    The fascination you feel, I think, has to do with your own impending growth. Just like I couldn't let go of that idea about adult kids verbally abusing their parents because, though I would not let myself see it, my own son was doing that to are thinking and thinking, re-evaluating what is really going on in this relationship to your sister.

    Any minute now...BOOM.

    There was a time when I was so committed to making relationship, to making family with my adult sister and brother. My sister and I talked about it all the time. How important family was, how triumphant a success we were, because we had created family in spite of all the bad things that happened to us.

    It took me until now to let myself stop believing that pretty fantasy.

    It's like stubbing your toe repeatedly on the same, familiar rock. Finally, you pick up the rock. And when you see what's under there, you just can't believe it.

    As I have done routinely with pretty much every relationship in my life, I brushed over the rude, hurtful, or shaming/inappropriate things so often that there came a time when, just like it was with my son, I never let myself acknowledge the abuse, at all.

    You know where I think we got those behaviors, MWM?


    I believed enough love and enough perfectly brewed Maxwell House coffee would grow us into that television family where Father Knew Best. (Now, I believe that respect for the other person demands truth telling. We need to respect them enough to tell them the truth, instead of pretending they are perfect and we are perfectly understanding, perfectly kind, perfectly loving. I have lived my life as a caricature of myself, MWM. I have been so afraid I would turn into my abuser that I forced myself to go to the other pole. Now, I am learning the center. I love it, here.)

    Those images I had seen growing up, MWM, were how I thought other families, families without abusive mothers, really lived. If my family ~ whether it was my family of origin or the family I created with husband ~ did not look like that, then as the mother, I was the one responsible. Recovering posted to me once about something called "parentification".

    That's us, MWM.

    Just like with our difficult child kids, as you act to change these patterns with your sister, the abuse will escalate.

    She is already calling you hurtful names, putting you on the defensive.

    She does not know you have us, now.

    Address the anger, MWM. It is there to teach you what you need to know. Journal through it, meditate on it, acknowledge and claim it every way you can. Give yourself time and the gift of presence. Be so good to yourself now, MWM, as you go through this. Remember that when you do respond, simple is best. An angry response is not usually going to be the best response. Your anger is your own. It is for you. It is a gift, an energy you can use, if you choose to, to learn something true about yourself.

    Your sister is the lesson you are both working through.

    This is what my husband told me to say, when I wondered how to stand up to my family of origin: "I told you what I expected."

    That is all you need to, or should, say.

    Let your sister figure out what that means. But here is the thing, MWM. The saddest, most hurtful thing is that your sister, like mine, knows full well what she is doing, and why she is doing it.

    You no longer need her, MWM. You were actually free of this sister, and of other toxic relationships in your life, when you had the breakthrough about 36's verbally abusive behaviors. That is what is happening for me, too. I am seeing the painful wrongness in every abusive relationship. I am learning that I now become too angry to back down. (Just like you are now, with your sister, MWM.) I cannot unsee what I know. I want what I want. If the people who have spent my life victimizing me see no other value in me and choose to separate themselves?


    But they are learning that when they come sniffing around again, expecting forgiveness and looking to victimize, I am even worse, am even stronger and more outspoken, than I was at the timid beginning of my awakening.

    As I posted once to Recovering regarding family of origin issues: I am woman, here me roar."

    That is what everyone around me is being confronted with, lately.

    Know what my husband (we have been circling this stuff, too) said to me this morning? Something about my being his feisty little whatever! I think the people who love us will love us more, will respect us more, as we complete this process of waking up, MWM.

    The others, too sick themselves to awaken, will be left behind.


  10. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    MWM, you are courageous and kind and brilliant, to have seen through and stood up to those toxic family patterns. Very few of us have the courage to speak out.

    You are a strong, good hearted woman, MWM. Never let them tell you differently. In their secret hearts, they are afraid of you ~ and even more afraid of what you know.

    And as Recovering posted to me once about my family of origin, they are afraid of who you are.

    Me, too. A million times. I have no problem at all with saying I am sorry, I misunderstood, whatever.

    My mom hung up on me too just recently, MWM. Because, at long last, I stood up.

    I posted about it, here.

    You all pointed out to me that, bad as I might feel...I had confronted the bully and she ran away.

    She ran away, MWM.

    This is my family of origin.

    As I have been going through this same process with my own sister, and with my mother and brother...that is the thing I am most angry about, MWM. All those times we did not have because my sister would do the strangest, suck-all-the-air-from-the-room things. If we drove the hundreds of miles to see her...her behavior would become that much more blatant when we were on her territory. Looking back on it now, I can see it. When it was happening? It was so out of left field that we just kept being polite, kept trying to go along with it, kept saying thank you.

    Now, I feel as devalued by my sister as I actually am.

    But in that place where I used to try to understand, where I required myself to forgive? My value to myself is bubbling and roaring up out of the heart of me, now.

    I will never go back to the way things were.

    I cannot. My family of origin will do all the same things they have always done. But I am not who I have always been.

    I am here, I am present, now.

    That is the nature of the game in every dysfunctional family, MWM. MY FAMILY IS THE EXACT SAME WAY. This opportunity for me to see and heal that kind of thinking is what opened the whole Pandora's Box with my sister. I was defending my brother. Now? My sister and brother are playing the same old game around my mother.

    But I can see it, now.

    Just like the story of the frog and the poisoned pond, MWM. We are the princesses, the ones who got out of the toxicity.

    I never want to go back there again.

    In fact, I am thinking of ways to drain that toxic, polluted swamp.

    Yes. You would have, MWM. Because you are strong and good and decent. They are not.

    Sickness thrives in the dark, polluted places without sunlight, MWM.

    They don't want to talk about it. They will live out their lives, familiar with the toxicity, with the skewed values toxic families espouse.

    Our job is to break free and then, to forgive our families, MWM.

    Like we were once, they don't know any better.

    The difference is that they have not had the courage to stand up to your mother or to the toxic rules she laid down.

    You did.


    I applaud you.

  11. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    I can really relate to your postings MWM. I was the black sheep of the family and my mom disowned me 17 years ago and hasn't spoken to me since. At first, I tried everything in my power to "make her like me" but it took time and separation to realize that there was nothing I could do. My mom has mental issues and also cut off her mother, her father and her brother because they were speaking to me. My life is so much better without the drama.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Scent...the truth of your incredibly powerful post hit me hard and I started to cry. It is 100% true. You're right. I can never go back to the way it used to be either. I used to think I was the "crazy" one and my sister was the sane one. This particular episode, where she did not instantly cut me out the way she usually does, but engaged me, let me see her mean-spirited thought process, let me learn that she will twist any knife she can when angry, let me know that she is the crazy one. It was never me. I "saw" it ... all of it, but they all blamed me so I took the blame. And, no, since I can see it now I can't go back.

    I *am* learning, Scent. She is the last link.

    Years ago, or so it seems, my father used emotional cut off too plus a bonus....his inheritance or what he could give me. It was his 85th birthday. We had planned a surprise party for him, but we unexpectedly could not go to the party. Well, it turned out that he new about the party and was livid that *I* stopped this milestone from happening.

    But did I? I had talked to my sister and told her to have it anyways. My kids would be there. We'd call. My brother was flying in from NJ. He would be there. My ex-husband whom Dad likes very much would be there. His woman friend would be there. It could go on without me. But Sissy wrote to me and said "Brother already canceled the plane tickets. It's off." He hand't canceled his plane tickets and was there, and I don't really know what happened, but my father told me he would never speak to me again and that he was going to disinherate me for ruining his "surprise" party. Kind of funny in retrospect. I didn't hear from him for a long time. I never thought I'd hear from him again. I felt shamed and angry and sad and nobody would talk to me....then something happened. A lilght bulb went on and I thought...SO WHAT???? I had NOT really ruined the party. Everyone else chose not to go when I couldn't...that was on THEM. As for the inheritance, I no longer give a flip if he gives me any of it or not and THAT took his power away. He can't control me anymore. My sister can not try to control me by angering him against me either because I don't care.

    My father didn't want an 85th "surprise" party because he loved his family so much and wanted us together. He is very distant. He wanted one because then he could brag about it to the ladies that he dances with at the senior dances that he attends. I kid you not, THAT is why. He didn't say so, but I know him. He is a narcissistic.

    I don't know why it took me years to see my sister straight after that silly incident about the party. My father is now 90 and, trust me, after that, no party was planned. And he does talk to me with more respect because I have told him firmly that if he is not respectful, I will not stay on the phone. If my sister ever calls me again, and I'm not going to encourage it, that is the way I need to handle her, although she is a bit different. She will say "It's not me, it's you."

    I will muse over it. I will have a lot of time. I hope I will stop caring about what she does, like I did with my father.

    All of you are tremendous help. Scent, with your permission, I will print out your response and keep in somewhere I can find it when I need it.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I forgot to mention one huge manipulation weapon my sister often used to cut me off from trying to resolve a conflict.

    She would call the police and they'd come over and say she said I was harassing her. She did this OFTEN. The first time she did it, I was in my middle 30s and this was her first cut off. Apparently, although she would not tell me why at the time, she was angry because I had told my mother some things about her that she felt put her in a bad light and she would not hear me out as to why I told's not important. I shouldn't have told my mother ANYTHING, but I was not as far along on this journey at the time. I actually had told her these things when I was in my 20's so my sister was furious about something I had told my mother when I was in my 20's, some ten years earlier than when she first cut me off. I called and called to find out why she wouldn't talk to me. I loved her dearly then, I was hysterical, but she kept hanging up on me. Finally, I drove to her house and rang the doorbell calling for her to at least let me in and explain what I did. When she wouldn't, I got so mad that I took off my tennis shoe, which was like a canvas shoe, and wrote on it "FU" and threw it at her door.

    She called the cops. Some of you or all of you may have thought she was justified. I think she may have been justified. After all, it was HER house, she didn't want me there, I wouldn't go away and I threw my shoe at her door. Then to make it worse (this turns into a bad comedy) my car wouldn't start. I had to call husband, who was boyfriend at the time and did not like my sister or the drama, and he had to start the car. The police came in the meantime.

    She apparently liked the police idea because she started to use it every time she cut me off if I called her. One time we bought a new car and had moved so she didn't know what to tell the cops about where we lived. Maybe back then they couldn't figure it out on name alone. Maybe they didn't want to waste the time. Eventually, I saw her at a mall and then saw her copying down our new car's license plate number. It had been some three to five months since I had called her without her permission, but she called the cops anyway to say I was harassing her. And I hadn't called her except for that one day when I probably tried to call her three or so times to find out what she was angry about THIS time.

    She even called the cops in Wisconsin in my small town. The cops she got was the father of one of Jumper's good friends and he knows us and asked if Sis is mentally ill. Then he told me with the honesty of a friend that she told him I had borderline. And she is always accusing ME of stepping over her boundaries. She knew this was a small time and that I knew the cops. Of course, this time I denied it and just said, yes, she was mentally ill. He shook his head and said, "She was really carrying on. Well, I'll tell her I warned you. I have to." I said I understood.

    She only stopped calling the cops when I emphasized that we were friends with all the cops (all and that they knew me well and were unlikely to believe I have any disorder, which is true.

    We are moving to a bigger town now. I'm sure she'll be able to find it on the address. But I will not call her or text her anymore to give her fodder for the cops. We don't know the cops in the new city and it is bigger.

    Sis, I see you for what you now.

    Sis, why did it take me so long and why does it still hurt?

    Sis, even though it hurts, I am much stronger now. You can't break me. Not like you did, and liked doing, the first time you cut me off.
  14. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member


    I love the part about the car not starting!



    You go ahead and print out anything you need to, MWM. I have needed to go over and over and over again, the same, abusive stuff with my family, until I could see it for what it was. We are reteaching ourselves who we are, MWM. As we become more and more present, we begin to know how real, how precious, not only we are, but how truly unique and precious every living thing is. No one has the right to twist that gift, that life we were given and are living, into some stupid, ugly tool to help them feel better about who they are. If you can see it, MWM? What our abusive families are doing to us and to each other is the same kind of thinking that leads to racial prejudice, to criminal behavior on every level, and to war.

    It sounds goofy, I know. But it is true. When we choose to dehumanize, when we choose to victimize...there is a small place in our hearts that knows what is happening is wrong. If we are weak? We follow the crowd. We do not stand up. We do not confront the powers at the top.

    In a family, it is the parents who are the power at the top. Children only know the truths, only know how to make sense of the world, based on what they've been taught. We were taught by people who used their own innocent babies to prop themselves up. They wanted to be kings in the world, MWM. And so, they did whatever they needed to to shatter our senses of self and integrity and safety and hope. If one of us stands up in a family, we will be targeted and shot down. Just like if someone in an evil regime stands up to what is happening. They are targeted, lied about, presented as evil, and shot down to shut them up. If they were allowed to speak, freedom from the tyranny of the powerful dictator at the top might get to be a pretty popular idea.

    And no tyrant can have that.

    So...all the pain? All the days and years spent trying to love them enough, or trying to understand where we went wrong and how we might avoid hurting them again?

    That was us, being decent people.

    That is what normal people do.

    But our families of origin are twisted. (Well, mine is.)

    I am reading through my Patricia Evans on verbally abusive relationship with my family of origin in mind. It's been a real eye opener for me.

    The book is: Verbally Abusive Relationship

    It's written about marital relationship. But abuse is abuse is abuse.

    I like it alot that you are healing and so strong now, MWM.


  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much, Scent.

    My family of origin (or, as I all them, my DNA collection) does not even know how sick it is. But I always did. I had problems of my own, but they were not of my doing...they were neurological and I was treated like an idiot for being different. Yet that difference gave me a strong insight. Yes, I spent my time trying to make them see that I was a valid, nice person, but it didn't work and it will never work out with my sister. I give up. I enabled her to abuse me. I enabled the entire family to abuse me by making myself available for their abuse, knowing they would do it. And at times I got so angry I abused back too and that is also my fault.

    Thank you for allowing me to use your post to gain strength. Sometimes something resonates so strongly with me that I don't want to lose it and your post did that for me.

    I'm sorry it took both of us so long to see the sickness and to reject it.

    But we are both doing it! Thanks, everyone, for helping me down a difficult path.
  16. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    My mother has done this. It's about control, nothing else. She wants to destroy the relationship between me and my brother and she thinks that by leaving an unfair will she will cause strife between us and so get her wish to break our bond. My brother will not tolerate her nastiness, will not speak to her or have anything to do with her. But my brother and I have a good relationship and she is jealous of this. I know that she has left everything to him and written me out of her will, in her twisted sadistic manner, even though I have maintained contact and he has cut her out of his life. It's about control, nothing else, she aims to destroy our relationship from beyond the grave. She'll be disappointed. Have you considered that this may have been behind your mother's and grandmother's actions? Did they want to destroy the bond between you and your siblings for some reason? My mother used to phone me up and slag off my brother and then phone him up and slag me off to him. She played games that backfired because she seemed to think that he and I didn't talk to each other and compare notes. Did your mother want to drive a wedge between you and your sister? Has she acted in a similar way to my mother? Digging the knife in? Telling tales? Trying to cause trouble between you? I may be way off the mark here, but it sounds so similar to what has happened in our family. How/when did all this trouble between you and your sister begin? Was your mother involved?
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Lucy, I'm so sorry your mother tried to do something so evil as to break you from a sibling who loved you and I Thankj God, or whomever or whatever you value, that your brother stood up for you. It would have made all the difference in the world if my sister or brother had stood up for me...the money didn't mean much to me. It was that she was so constantly horrible to me...and, yes, that my brother and sister never called her in on it although both claimed to have a relationship with me at the time.

    As for my grandma, that's another twisted story. My grandma was my favorite family member and I didn't realize what a troublemaker she was until she pulled this stunt.

    She used me against my mother and took my side all the time and made everything worse. My grandmother had definite, vocal favorites and first came her son and then me. She abused my mother over it, yet she DID leave half her money to my mother. She was not as mean as my mother, but she was a control freak.

    She was telling me that she did not feel the same way about Scott and Julie because they were not her DNA collection (as if our DNA was anything to brag about...haha). She didn't want to give them any money because they were not, as she put it, "my blood." She wanted me to go along with it because she deemed it her wish and her kids (Mother and Unc), both of them, NEVER defied her wishes. I guess she figured I wouldn't either.

    Although my grandmother had passed on when her mean-spirited will went into affect, my mother acted as if she were still there, watching over her, and maybe she does. In my belief system, you learn once you cross, but that's neither here nor there. My mother never forgave me for not wanting to hurt my other two children who I loved like I gave birth to them. I wouldn't do it so I was forever banished in her mind. Even 36 thinks it was wacky and stuck up for me in this. It wasn't like she left ANY of them $50K. It was $5K and she left it just to let 36 know he was special because of DNA and, at the same time, to let the other two know they were not important to her. I don't believe she knew the mayhem it would cause, but I had warned her many times that I would not participate in that. I knew how it felt to feel like the lesser person in a family. She did it anyway. It was for control, but not the kind you said. In the end, it caused family mayhem, but if she had not done this, something else would have caused the mayhem...another incident. It was going to happen. Mother wanted it to happen. She would have found a different excuse.
  18. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your input, SS. I have to sadly laugh. My father was so absent in my life, although he lived in my house, that it was like I had no father at all. He is still that way...disinterested in anything that is not centered around him. Would I rather have lived with an uncle? Haha. I only had one uncle, Mom's brother, and he was as bad as my father, if not worse. I think many people had it worse than me, but on a scale of 1-10 as far as family dysfunction, I give my own DNA collection a big ole 3. I give them the three because at least they didn't break the law! But they were abusive, scary, demeaning and non-supportive of us all and they loved to cause fights/divisions/heck, wars.

    There will be no more continued effort on my part with Sis. I am not going to have that in my life. I mean, if she calls me, and I do mean if SHE calls ME, I will talk shortly with her about the weather and our health, but nothing more and hopefully not often. I realize now, from a lot of research I'm doing, that any more substantial a relationship with her is not possible. I don't want to risk the cops at my door over my calling her and I don't want to go through this heartache each time she does a cut off. It is too hurtful. My sister is 54. If she can't figure out how to have a functional relationship with me by now, I doubt it will ever happen.

    She will never accept a relationship where we just talk about the weather so I guess we are pretty much done.

    I do not consider what I grew up with and have now as family. My family to me are my children and my dear husband. I guess I can include my father, since he is agreeing to my boundaries whereas he can't say, "You're a loser and a &*%^." But, trust me, all I talk to Dad about is the weather. Like Sis, he twists the knife with knowledge. There are some who you trust with your secrets and they use it against you in a hurtful way. This is no longer something I want in my life. I am good having very superficial relationships with Dad and Sis.

    Sis will never have the power to do another emotional cut off. She has already done about twenty and they tend to last a good three to six months to her longest...three years. And she won't communicate at all with me during those cut offs. I think I've lived through enough of them.

    I can't even say 36 uses things against me. Talking about Sis is making 36 seem like a dream child to

    Bottom line: I don't do cut offs. You can always call me. You just have to speak respectfully and be nice. I don't think that's asking too much. Even Scott, after all these years, can call me if he likes. Cut offs are cruel, in my opinion.

    I am done with my sister's way of running away from uncomfortable topics and punishing me in ways that really hurt.

    I want peace. I have almost attained 90% peace. Every time she does a cut off, the peace is replaced by angst, sadness and a little guilt, even though I don't know what I did.

    To me, family is who loves you, not who shares your DNA. If I felt that way about DNA, I could not love my adopted children so much that I'd easily walk through fire or a barrage of bullets to save their lives. But, I admit, I would not do that for my sister. I'd be sad if anything bad happened to her, but I wouldn't risk my life for her because she is not as precious to me as those I consider family...and DNA does not equal family to me.

    Thanks for your kind thoughts. As always, much appreciated.
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  20. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Well, darn...tried to edit the italics out, but waited too long.

    Your sister may be mostly mad at the boyfriend and taking it out on you. Not a healthy reaction, and totally unfair to you. just a thought...

    I have been thinking about this a lot...and have no answers. Hope you feel peace about all this sooner than later. You are such a dear soul and are so kind and wise...these struggles are real and hurtful.