I love this. It could have been many of us talking.

Discussion in 'Family of Origin' started by SomewhereOutThere, Apr 25, 2015.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    "I am 65 years old and have been no contact with my Foo for15 years or so. They choose to blame me for this with all kinds of nonsense and excuses; at my mother’s funeral three years ago, which they clearly hoped I would not attend, they did not book a car for me and my family to follow the hearse. This was but one of their major attempts to make me feel non-existent which they have been pulling all my life, even when I was tiny child. I wonder why I was selected, but I guess someone had to be and somehow I drew the short straw without realising it. I have a happy and exciting life, and am very loved. I know the difference between being loved and unloved and this is an important lesson. Two years ago my two daughters, whom I brought up alone and virtually unsupported, decided that their loyalties lay elsewhere and we have not spoken since, neither have I seen my two adorable grandchildren. My life with my Family of Origin has taught me that I don’t need to compromise to anyone. I love my children and my grandchildren, but I don’t NEED them. I have a meaningful and satisfying life of my own. None of this is wrong! It is how it is and I am content."

    When did we ever learn that we can't be happy if we aren't in contact with our FOO? When did we learn that we need certain others, even if they aren't nice to us, to live a good existence? This is part of an e-mail I received and I feel it is filled with simple wisdom. It mirrors how I have felt for a long time. I used to feel guilty too, but that guilt is now just more of my peaceful, serene life in the world of Quiet and Calm. Amazing how even senior citizens can keep the bullying. What a cruel thing to do to this woman at the funeral. There is no excuse for being so ugly other than meanness. But it is one more thing I will be aware may happen and I will not speak of it unless somebody asks and then I'll just say, "I don't know. I didn't plan anything." JEEZ!!!!!
  2. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    It is. I have not seen it in this way, before. That is a very important lesson. Here is my question: Aren't we supposed, for the good of everyone and all the generations and etc, to love and to forgive and to stay steady state and do the best we know if we are the ones who can see the patterns and where they are going?

    Maybe that is where I am going with sifting through all this, again. When I did it the first thousand times ((( :O) ))) I wrapped it all up very differently.

    See above.

    That is a stumbling point for me: Shouldn't I be more open, more loving, more kind. How are we all ever going to make our ways out of this if everyone is rigidly encased in roles that were toxic to begin with?!?

    But that way didn't work, either.

    It is all confusing to me, still.

    But I like that she said, "None of this is wrong."

    I do feel like thinking the way I have been lately is wrong. But I also feel the way I was thinking before was wrong. I feel so differently toward them since the way they responded to what happened to my daughter.

    And to my son too, now that I think about it.

    They seem not to be remotely who I believed them to be.

    I think this lady who emailed you was on the right path. None of this is wrong. Surely the other adults in this toxic mix have a responsibility, too, if they want to see this changed.

    Maybe that is the key.

    Well, that's kind of what I think I mean. If we don't change things, who will?

    Except that things only seem to be getting worse.

    So, there's that.

    I do, too. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  3. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    On the fridge it goes.

  4. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Oh for heaven's sake. Here I am again not able to let a thing go.

    But I do have the coolest life.

    And I am very loved, indeed.

    Funny how we can emphasize the things that trouble us to the point that we begin taking all that we have for granted.

    I will begin making an effort to appreciate all that I have. I did see the sun rise, this morning. It was very beautiful. So maybe, I am appreciating what I have, but trying to work through the knots in FOO out of habit or something.

    I need to remember I am not doing this for them, but for me to be free of them.

  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Haha. I posted it because I got the writer's permission to share her experience. I really think she has the right idea too.
  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    These are what M would call "questions of a million pesos." I may have described somewhere M's mother who taught each of her 13 children to hug, kiss and ask their sibling to be forgiven after each childhood squabble. Now that those children are in middle age or older...she responds the same, "pardon her...pardon him" she requests. To her the necessary thing is the relationship, the unity of the family, and the unity of a life. In the face of what I consider unforgivable betrayals...M like his Mother seeks a way to find compassion and forgiveness. I that this difficult...and challenging....My default is to blame and to hold onto my sense of being harmed.

    Who is hurt by this? Certainly, I have been. My Mother. My sister. But Cedar asks another million peso question:
    do they not?

    So, where are we with this? Me, I am going dancing. I will put my energy into my own joy...and hope...and see what comes...so that my heart is open for possibility...not fear and blame.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2015
  7. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member


    That is the key term.

    When I am the one understanding that, though I have been mistreated, "That is just how so and so is." (Which should be: That is JUST how a so and so is.) I am compromising my self for a fantasy of family that has not budged an inch from its initial toxicity in over 60 years.

    It would appear this is not working as well as I'd hoped.



    Compromised integrity. If they don't have it by now, they are doing it on purpose.

    I love the way she described the situation, SWOT.


    "Given a choice, most people would rather preserve their relationships than stop suffering. One sees this in abusive families where the victims don't speak up or walk out."

    Later in that paragraph:

    "A healing relationship is based on awareness; in it both partners work to break old habits that promote suffering. They have to walk a fine line...because compassion means that you appreciate the suffering someone else is experiencing as well as your own. Yet at the same time there has to be detachment, making sure that suffering, no matter how real, isn't the dominant reality. The attitudes that make for a healing relationship become part of a vision you hold for yourself and the other person."

    The Book of Secrets
    Deepak Chopra

    The first set of italics are mine.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Love Deepak Chopra
  9. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    And when will we ever finally, once and for all get it that we will never be happy if we are in contact with them. Those toxic origins will get us all, every time. It could even be that each of us wishes the same thing ~ that we could see one another without that old poison bubbling up and obscuring everything and making it hard to see what matters.

    Toxic is toxic for them, too.

    Great post.

    Thanks, SWOT.

    Perfect timing, for me.

  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Cedar, that one I finally nailed. I am baffled at myself that I kept putting up with the on/off of the sister for as long as I did. But no more. Done. Period.

    Interesting that she even tried to control what I post here. What a control freak. Going no contact for every little thing is passive-aggressive control. Coming back when SHE wanted...control. Calling the cops over small nothings...control. Telling me which topics we can not talk about, but not letting me stop enabling her over her boyfriend...control. She is all about passive-aggressive control and I cheerfully let her back into my life after each bit of abuse. She has a large personality in her own way and probably used it on Brother.

    Oh, well. Live and learn.

    Scapegoat.No.More!!!!! Yay, that's me!
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    That is a stumbling point for me: Shouldn't I be more open, more loving, more kind. How are we all ever going to make oways out of this if everyone is rigidly encased in roles that were toxic to begin with?!? Sure, as we both found out, if we want to encourage them to scapegoat us more.

    But that way didn't work, either.

    It is all confusing to me, still.

    But I like that she said, "None of this is wrong."

    I do feel like thinking the way I have been lately is wrong. But I also feel the way I was thinking before was wrong. I feel so differently toward them since the way they responded to what happened to my daughter. There comes a day that even people like us who were so abused that we believe "you are treated the way you deserve to be, you evil biotch"....yes, even the day WE figure out that our reality (that it was all our faults) suddenly becomes clear and we see that our FOO was a living lie. And there is no going back. The actual last straw for me just happened. I found out that Sister, who refused to be in contact with me, was still obsessing over me and my "badness" by reading what I wrote here. I'm still in her head, whether she is talking to me or not! I had always though out of sight, out of mind. She blew her cover and there is only her and my brother left to scapegoat me. She lost a lot of her credibility with me. She hadn't dumped me. She was punishing me. It's a bit confusing, but *I* know what I mean. Does that make me a liar?

    And to my son too, now that I think about it.

    They seem not to be remotely who I believed them to be. This one I figured out over a decade ago. It's a shock at first.

    I think this lady who emailed you was on the right path. None of this is wrong. Surely the other adults in this toxic mix have a responsibility, too, if they want to see this changed.

    Maybe that is the key. Sure they do. Going along with it is not okay.
  12. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Phone posting, so still can't quote.

    Re your question about your sister having blown her cover. That is the way all this new way of seeing feels for me, too. Like they had to know what they were doing all along ~ all of my life with them ~ down to the smallest detail.

    I am...as I see in this new way, as I see us all not as people trying to relate to one another from a place of healthy choice about how to see and interact...I have trouble believing what I knew but refused to.believe could not be overcome.

    It feels like it could not be true that someone would choose that ugliness, would nurture and harbor hatred for me.

    It is what it is.

    In a way, that is the crux of the issue. My mother...I don't know how to explain those things. I don't know what happened to her. But my sister was raised the same way I was. So it is a choice for her, as it is for me, to see me as she does.

    Why doesn't matter.

    But I still have trouble believing a person would choose that. But when you pan the camera out into the nature of the other relationships in our sibs' lives, you see those same patterns reflected, again and again.

  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think a lot of people are in denial. Everyone wants to think their parents were nice to all of them, unless they were the one who was the scapegoat.

    I'm starting to understand, more and more. Forgive? I don't know. Understand? Yes. It's not like anything much happened in front of the other sibs. It was between me and Mother and they just took her word for it. Second hand rot.
  14. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    It's amazing that we have been able to work through so much of this with you.

    Thank you.

    I think the best way to describe it is that I don't believe in her, anymore.

    Not my mother, and not my sister.

    Denial is one way to describe believing in someone despite themselves. Maybe denial is where we create a space for the best thing to happen. We believe in the imminent coming of that best thing for so long that we trick ourselves into believing that space we held for them, and for all of us, is still a viable thing.
    But it is a dangerous thing, that open intention, because it creates a vulnerability their past behaviors indicate they will habitually exploit.

    So, that's that, then.

    To which I would add, for all of us, the following quotes.

    Wishing a good day, everyone.


    "It occurred to her suddenly that she wasn't very good at bitterness or regret, that she didn't have the stamina for them, and if she were to recover her dignity, she had better shape up fast."

    Anne Rice


    "Be old enough and patient enough for kinds of love, seasons of it; be quiet in your soul so that when happiness comes again, if it ever does, you will know."

    Anne Rice


    "My dearest Lucy, you have never seen them above you, looking down, con amore, the ancient, all-permitting stars."



    "Make an effort to live in cheerful kindness."

  15. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    It must have been very hard for you to believe you saw what you saw, to believe you heard what you heard, without someone to witness for you. When I get into the crazier parts, is very hard for me to feel I am interpreting what happened accurately. My sister and I do (did) talk about those times, though. That is how I knew for sure that it was true after all, what I remembered.

    I am glad you did not give up on yourself.

  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Cedar, it went like this, and I suspect it went similarly for you and others who were scapegoated. Sadly, some people still elieve they are bad because Dad and Mom and Sis and Bro say so. My therapist was great and told me to tell her how I am bad and evil. I told her my worst and she laughed and said, "Everyone loses it. Everyone is obnoxious sometimes. You gave me five examples and many more of the good you do. That does not make one bad. Your mother should have realized (Dad too) that you were neurologically different or, at least, not doing well and instead of blaming you or yelling at you or calling you names or saying you were selfish or portraying you as somebody practically in The Mobd, they should have shown concern and sensitivity and love and support as it is in normal families. Maybe they didn't know about "a lot like autism" back in the day, but they knew their child was different and sad and they did little to nothing to try to offer comfort and refused to let me see a psychiatrist, even if the best they had was not that good. Why wouldn't she let me go? "Mrs. Rosen took D. and the doctor said it was her fault partly so now D. hates her." It was about her, not making me feel better. And bravo for Mrs. Rosen. She tried to help her kid. She didn't call her bad or selfish or lazy or no good, which I was called.

    The first step in realizing this is bogus, for all of your scapegoats, is when you realize that this started early in childhood usually and that YOU were the child. Sometimes it starts in fancy. A baby and infant and even young child can not abuse an adult. That thought hit me long ago and seemed cockeyed, but I had the voices in my head. "You're bad...you're bad...you're bad."

    The second step is when you open up and talk to others who are in similar situations and you start to detach. I did this in my early 40's and I beg younger readers not to wait that long. I did try with my mother, but as detached as she was when she spoke, I was rather detached too. She no longer could say or do anything to rule my life, although her words and actions were still playing head games with me, some from far back, but still the way she felt about me.

    The third was the total disown. Parents that are normal don't do that unless their kid almost killed them or stole alll their money. I've read on this extensively. And she did it in such a connivving way...talking to me yet not considering me more than a stranger to her. That's one big problem I have with my ENTIRE family of origin. They are very secretive. You don't SPEAK the truth. She would have done me a big favor saying, "You are NOT my daughter anymore. For reasons best known to me, and not to be told to you, I never want to hear from you again Stop calling me. Leave me alone." She was not a nice woman so she didn't talk to me because I am her daughter. She never called me in over ten years. She did it to further the mind games. She did not want to see me when I offered to drive in. She held grudges longer than anyone I ever met. She never lets go of even slights that others recover from, such as the $5000 mess, which was not wrong of me anyway in my opinion. You don't divide and conquer your children.

    I actually finally had my moment when I talked to my sister the last timea nd she was dating a married man and I realized that this woman, whom I looked up to for being so stable, was a mess and morally dead. If it helped her, she was ok with doing it. Nobody else mattered. This forced me to face the real her and not my distorted view of her that she made smarter decisions than me and that she was more insightful and socially astute than me and that she had some sort of moral code and cared for other people. I was able to see how distorted I saw my entire family and I probably would be shocked if I knew my real brother too and the slights he's come up with through the years considering we barely spoke and he lived in another state. They listened to Mother, but it is beyond that. Nobody in my famiily of origin is stable AT ALL, but at least I had the baseballs to get help early and improve often. I went from a frozen girl who couldn't accept a hug to one who can love with all my heart and who can make good choices about my life...and did.

    I almost have to thank my sister for busting my illusion of her stability. I didn't know her until that time, although there were so many in-your-face hints all my life.

    After my new therapy group and brand new psychologist who does DBT and focuses on abuse, I feel empowered and my eyes are open. I wasn't bad. I was abused. The abusers make the abusee feel bad. They feel like they are right. I was not borderline...she had all my records and said nowhere. The only two constants in twenty years of meidal records were the agreement I have a serious mood disorder that is helped by medication and therapy and that I definitely have neurological differences that mimic signs of autism, but I don't have enough to actually give me the label. But I consistenly received a second diagnoses of cognitive disorder not otherwise specified, which is the neurological differences that nobody has been able to name, but all the testing I've had has consistently shown.

    Basically I was told I was scapegoated because I was wired differently and my mother couldn't handle it and my siblings don't understand it...and they don't sound that stable even without the neurological differences.

    I laugh at how long we tell ourselves fairytales about our family of origin. Usually I'm fine with just rolling my eyes at them and moving on. I was surprised my sister and especially brother would be interested enough in what I have to say to read it over and over again, even if they made fun of it. It made me see I didn't know either of them. The sister of my fantasy was way too stable to literally stalk my every thought and I'm not sure if my brother did it as much as her or not, but...wjhatever. She could write a memoir right now or he could and I wouldn't read it. I am not interested in their deep thoughts/

    Like my hubby said, "They must have nothing to do." He laughs at them and it helps.
  17. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    It's not even the stalking, or the sense of disrespect that demonstrates. It's the hatred, the sense of celebration when something bad happens to us, and the ~ I don't know. That sense that someone is zipping in for a snatch of flesh when we have been hurt, and we vulnerable. It's stepping back far enough to see it, and to realize that is how they feel about us.

    I still don't exactly get the win in it.

    It must be that none of us means for it to be the way it is. My sister said something like that to me once. She said: "I know. I can't help it." Maybe having my mom at her house for so many months at a time tipped everything into the danger zone for her.

    I KNEW IT!!!

    I have worked with people with that diagnosis. You did not seem that way to me.


    Ha! I love this.


    I will use it often. I think I got "biatch" from you, too.

    Terminal cool.


    This is a good phrase for all of us to focus on. I think we cannot heal to the core until we realize the casual, everyday nature of the abusive stances our FOO consisted of. We need to know what did happen, but we also need to really comprehend, on a gut deep level, all the good things that did not happen, for us. I am not even blaming or naming names, here. I am saying there are children "shown concern and sensitivity and love and support" as a matter of course. To them, to those of us so fortunate as to have had that in their lives...I can imagine how well nurtured and secure that would feel.

    And that is what I am concentrating on, now. I think that is why the simple effort of being kinder to myself was so valuable to me. Listening to my favorite blast from the past radio station KFCD was disturbing, and so sad. I wish I'd known how unrelenting those old negative tapes can be, sooner.

    And how continually they play.

    I ride in on my Conduct Disorders motorcycle now, and insert commercials from Deepak.


    But even now, I might do the same things, take the same positions with my FOO. I am glad I tried, without really knowing I was trying anything in particular but to be a decent person. And we never do know where all this is going to turn out going. (Oh brother. Here it comes. I have been a fool for lesser things.)

    I like to think about how it must have felt, to grow up in a family where not being perfect was okay. Just think what it must mean to follow a thing through until you got it without being ashamed that you hadn't gotten the concept, immediately. Remember long division? It was like I'd been struck dumb or something. I did not understand then that intuitives have a tougher time with math because it does not make intuitive sense. Even now, I still cannot believe that all you do in math, at any level, is follow the rules. Do what they tell you, whether it makes intuitive sense or not, and you will be fine.

    I wish I'd known those kinds of things, growing up.

    That it was okay not to get it, that everyone is different, that it takes all of us to make this work.

    All in all, I have lived a fortunate life filled with all kinds of blessing. My kids and grands (and D H) are fine. who ever thought that would happen. We're coming through it all so well ~ all of us, even here on the site.

    Special appreciation to Runaway Bunny. This site is an incredible thing, and we are all so fortunate it exists. I see too, the way we get in little spats and disagreements and then, rise above them.

    So we are pretty special kinds of people, too.

  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    When I was angry at her once, I friended all her FB friends. That was me at my worst. I also sent a note to her boyfriend, I forgot what it was. It wasn't a strongly worded note. And I shouldn't have done it. Yes, I was hurt by her but I shouldn't have done it. However, nobody, nobody, nobody was h armed by this. Sister was ticked off because she is weird about her FB and didn't want me to be friends with her friends (which eventually I undid).

    To her, reading my innermost thoughts and invalidating them and calling them lies is th e very same thing as my friending her FB friends. Do you see how different we are? Yes, I violated her boundaries a bit after she went off on me about wishing her a happy birthday on her FB in a way that she didn't approve of. To this day, I am not even sure what I said that was wrong. I made a joke rather than just saying Happy Birthday. At any rate, I was ticked, but not malicious nor really all that interested in her friends and I never read my FB. A few did friend me.

    I did not tell anybody I friended that she was a bad person. I didn't talk to htem at all. For a while I forgot I had friended them because, as stated before, I'm not into my FB.

    She would compare this kind of spying on my personal pain of child abuse exactly the same as my wrongfulness in friendintg her Facebook friends. I think it was wrong and childish of me to do it, but I did not keep dibs on her life while we were not speaking that time. In fact, I never kept dibs on her life. I only knew what she told me. I didn't CARE about her life when we weren't talking. Each time we weren't talking, I figured I'd never speak to her again and it was ok with me, but she would not be able to stay away from ME.

    I don't get her. And I don't have to get her. And she doesn't have to believe me because we will never talk about it. And I'm not reading the one site I know she posts on. And I never ask my father what she's up to and if he brings up her name, I tell him I don't want to know.

    She has shown her true colors. I actually try to hang around with people who have a sense of morals. I knew she did not long ago, but thought she had changed. Dating married men. Allowing abusive man (her description) to abuse her for five years yet she never cuts HIM off once. Which makes me see how persona; it is between me and her. When her FB group defriended her and started scapegoating her (how does it feel?) she was upset, but accepted their apologies and friended them again and I imagine went back out to the bars with the gang again. She didn't cut THEM out either. It is her anger at ME and konly ME. It is personal. Anyone else who hurts her gets a very wimpy response and shej goes right back to them. This is profound to me. I'm so glad I learned how deep it goes between her and me.

    And now reading my private thoughts and sharing it with my brother as a joke. Let them laugh, although I have a strong feeling that my brother is less interested than she is. Although he lives alone and always has, I suspect his life is not miserable as hers is. Misery loves company.

    Nothing else to say. We will not speak again. I don't know this woman who I always thought was stable, level-headed, a good socializer, and mature. I don't want to know who she really is any more than I already do.

    The win, in her brain, is that she got our brother to agree that I'm narcicistic, borderline, bipolar, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), ABC, XYZ, far out just plain crazy and even worst...a liar. My mother never abused me. They both agree with that. That's her win.

    Now maybe she'll stop trying to win and get her own life together. I hope, as I hope for everyone on earth, that sh e lives a good life from now on and makes better choices than she has been doing.
    Last edited: May 2, 2015
  19. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Remember when my daughter posted to my Facebook about narcissistic moms? And then told me she had done it, so I would be sure to know?



    I was like...huh. ?!?

    And then, I posted back that I loved her.

    And I do.

    A thousand times more than the people on my Facebook. Every one of them can believe whatever they like.

    We all do things we regret, sometimes. It has to do with re-establishing our power bases, I think. It is when the hurting is consistent, or when, having come through the worst of a thing, we look back and really get it that these people, this family ~ that we had to go through it, alone. There was no one to help us understand; there was no one to hold us up as we went through it.

    Condemnation from my own mother over what happened to my children; a kind of sly, discriminatory ~ I don't know. Something like rabid racism feels, from my own sister, toward my children, and to me. And then, one day, we see that in fact our vulnerabilities were and have always been...celebrated is the word, I suppose. Celebrated, the way a pack of sharks churns the bloodied water, the expressionless eyes rolling up beneath that third, transparent lid.

    And so, we come away clean. We see who they are.

    And that hurts.

    But then, they attempt to do the same things regarding our children.

    And that is a mistake, of course.


    And all I can conclude is that the badness won out. We weren't able to pull it together. There is no loyalty there, and there is no good will.

    And seeing in this new way I am seeing explains all of it, except for the apparent hatred from my own mother, from my children's own grandmother.


    I don't need to know why and I don't need to "get" the win. It isn't about me. In the same way that the initial abuse had nothing to do with me and so, could not be changed or controlled or stopped by anything I did, so these true things about FOO are not about me, either.

    We all were starving.


    But I have seen women who love their sisters, and who are loved by them. I have seen moms and daughters connected in that incredibly intimate way mothers are connected to their daughters and their sons.

    So I know it exists, that kind of relating, that kind of loving.


    SWOT...how do you feel about the Facebook incident?
  20. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    This is so true but so hard for many to understand. Loving someone does not mean you have to have them in your everyday life.

    I for the most part get along fine with my family. We have had our issues over the years. My one sister and I used to be so very close, we spoke every day even though we lived in different states. It wasn't until the passing of our dad that things changed. While my dad had will that was updated 6 months before his passing (putting everything in a trust to avoid dealing with probate) everything was to be divided equally between all the sisters. The one sister felt she should get his house and when I and the other sisters said no, that was not our dads wishes she became cold and distant. While I love my sister I do not need her. We speak maybe once a year now and share stuff on FB. I had to mourn the relationship we used to have and move on with my life.

    I so appreciate you sharing your journey with us.

    I hope you are having a most fantastic day.