Did I do the right thing going no contact?


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I dont really know what was up with her or my entire family of origin. I believe my therapists have nailed it well. Dysfunction from the top that trickled down. Nothing else makes sense. I was the one who recognized it and got help early and my life turned out great. Everyone else seemed to not see the crazinness we lived (shrug).

I think Sis is just very disturbed and hides it well and can be very charming when it suits her to those she wants to.hide her darkness from. Nobody knows the real Sis. I didnt know the stuff she does until she divorced her hub and got into her troubling dating life which was full of *yuk* such as dating a YOUNG married man with a toddler. And it went downhill from there. Drugs were not involved. She likes to drink and it seems most of her man friends drank a lot. How much...no clue.

My mother never could find intimacy either. Nor my brother.

Im just glad after seeing it all in writing again that for whatever reason, I was pushed out. I had issues but not intimacy/relationship problems with those who really matter, like my hub and kids. Nobody else seemed to pick on me either, at least not as an adult. And I have what Mother and Sis lack....compassion. i value this trait.

Thanks for checking in. I think sis had/has issues far deeper than jealousy. But....not my circus/not my monkey.

Take care :)
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Scapegoat was me. Lost child was Sis. Golden Child was brother.

Why do so many parents do this? My ex did this with the kids. C was scapegoat. N golden child. S lost child. E was the peacemaker/responsible child. C and N could do the exact same things and be treated entirely differently by their dad. I never understood it and was never able to change it. I’m so sorry you were treated that way and put in that role. After I got out of my marriage, I talked with all of the kids about patterns of abuse, dysfunctional families, and the roles they each held in ours. I let them read about it and decide for themselves where each sibling fit. It wasn’t hard, and they all agreed on everyone’s roles. I think bringing it into the light and talking about it saved their relationships with each other. It broke through the resentments left over from childhood and helped them each break out of their roles.

I’ve let them each decide for themselves how much contact to have with their dad. N maintains occasional contact by phone from 2000 miles away. C and S have both had a push - pull relationship, attempting to reconnect periodically and getting burned. C hasn’t had contact since the drama a couple months ago and as of now says never again. We’ll see. S went no contact at that time too but I think is conflicted. E has had little contact with him since I left him when she was in high school - we went through shelters and safe houses together and he never pushed for visitation after that as she made it clear she didn’t want to see him. She has been totally no contact as an adult. She agonized over the wedding but once she realized she didn’t have to invite him she never looked back. I truly believe she’s done.

I am just grateful my kids have relationships with each other, even though They are living very different lives. I think having those conversations about roles and bringing it all out into the light really helped. I wish you had been able to do that with your siblings, and that each of them was able to see the past and the family dynamics with the clear eyes you seem to be bringing here.


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I have been in therapy for a mood disorder since 23 but the mood disorder was controlled by an antidepressant. I talked more about family and about my place in ours.

Lots of my years of therapy and variety of professionals, from psychiatrists of very high caliber to plain therapists, all told me about the roles that extremely dysfunctional parents, and we had two, place on their kids. It has to do with themselves, not the children because children are little people who need direction. They are not responsible for sick adults giving them.roles.

My mother had been the least favored child of the grandmother who favored me! Her son was her golden child. I dont think my mother liked how close me and my grandmother were. Plus I looked just like her as a child (and I strongly feel shesdidnt like herself) and also
I had a childhood mood and anxiety disorder so I had rages. Not daily but I had them. To my mother this meant I was a bad girl.

I asked for help often as a severely depressed teen but she wouldnt take me to a psychiatrist because one of her friends had taken HER daughter to one and the psychiatrist had blamed the mother. "i am not going to pay money for some doctor to blame me." This is not verbatim but it is the gist of what she told me. So I was not taken for help.

Also I called my mother out on her stuff. She didnt like that I had early insight into what she did and how it was wrong. We are talking before age 13. I already knew. And I challenged her. If she called me a name I said "Thats not true!"

My sister was a child who hid her pain and was quiet so she was ignored. I am ashamed to say I teased her as s child and she was much younger than me. My mother, the only parent ever home, never did one thing to try to stop me. My sister didn't matter. And I was an angry pain in her butt. And it was hard to discipline me.

And Mother was the laziest parent on the planet. So she didnt do anything or even try. I dont believe any of us ever received a lick of discipline and our chaotic house had no structure, no teaching of manners or social rules, nothing. The house itself was a mess ,(she didnt clean or cook much) and we did whatever we wanted to do. She was lucky we werent destructive.

My brother had a severe stomach illness and was extremely passive as a person. He treated my mother like the prima donna she needed to be treated as. He was doted on and loved on. Part of it was his illness, which I understand, but most of it was favortism and nothing else. His mother was about his only friend as a child except for me and he adored her all his life, never finding a woman peer to have a relationship with. Now he DOES have a nasty stomach disorder which could make him loathe to find a partner .But people who have his illness do marry and have families. He just did not. No partner ever lived with him. He has always lived alone.

We had no strong second parent to blunt the affects of my mother. My father did not even see what she was doing. Although he was also a scapegoat. He was very self centered and didnt really care about family dynamics. He didnt understand a normal loving family either. He was not affectioonate or ever proud of us. When home he watched TV a lot. Period.

My dad was no prince but to me my mother was scarier and meaner than him and she used to bait him (much like my sister baits her abuser) and he would go nuts. WTH, Mother. She didnt have to rev him up but that was her. She wasnt thinking about her three kids scared and huddling on the staircase. Obviously Dad couldnt control his temper either. So they went at it without caring if we were afraid. They eventually divorced and my mother blamed it all on him. I am pretty sure my sibs bought that story.

But from my place as oldest in the family I saw her belittling him and trashing him like she trashed me and I always had a different more balanced perspective. My mom was NOT scared of him. She used to bait him and get in his face and call him horrible names. Not that he was blameless. He most certainly was part of two not nice people in a marriage.

My mother definitely paved the way for our problems both with one another and with intimacy. My dad just wasnt around enough to make the same impact. And Mother wore the combat boots in the family.

I was smart enough to make sure I did Mothering opposite of my own mother. She was a great role model on how not to treat your kids.

Of course, she was sick but being sick doesnt have to mean vile. She could have gotten help too but, of course, to her there was nothing wrong with her. That was part of her illness.

Glad I never bought what she was selling. I really had no feelings for her by the time she died. I had mourned her way before that time. And she disinherited me as her last kiss off from the grave. I didnt care about any small change she had...it was the rejection that hurt. Yet it wasnt unexpected. The verification that my mother hadnt loved me did sting.

But I recovered and things are really good now!!!
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Elsi, your kids were SO LUCKY to have you!

You are a hero!!

Thanks, though if I’d truly been a hero I would have figured out how to make it stop or get them all out. I went through a lot of therapy also and I found learning to name and call out abuse and dysfunction for what it is was the most powerful thing for me. It was important to me to name things for my kids and say ‘this is not normal. This is not alright. This should not be repeated In your own lives.’
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Elsi, again, they were so lucky to have you.

I knew how to point it out too. I knew what is normal and not. I have been hearing about it since 23 and I am 65 :) i have more than a laypersns understanding of this and can see it as clear as day in my FOO. Its classic. And I made sure not to do it with my kids. I have been taught about this for as many years as many go to school for psychology.

It has been an interesting life, full of learning!


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I think some people are too vain to get help. My sister told me flat out she had anorexia and to see her, it is obvious she is still not well (and one of her kids is food and exercise obsessed too...its sad). But Sis just wont get help for this. She did not get help until her narc boyfriend became a problem. That way she could say HE is sick and she needs aid from him rather thsn admitting SHE has mental illness and is not always nice. Its hard to admit this to yourself or a therapist, but I did and you must to get a change. You must disclose all.

Then there are the many, usually with personality disorders, who think they are okay. This was my mother. This was a woman who did not love her own baby...forget about young adult years. And she abused both daughters as children. Her whole life, for as long as I knew her, she was mean, argumentative and erratic. My therapist thinks borderline personality disorder. Actually a few said so. She needed help. She also had anxiety and depression. I think she was terrified of therapy.

But there are many people who know they need help and get much better. :)
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If anyone is hurting from a lover or family member, I have a new thread on how in my opinion it is best to go no contact completely.

I hate that this is ever necesssary but if it is for you I set down what I did to keep myself safe.

Good luck!