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The Brainwashing Behind Going No Contact

(1000 Posts)
nina1959 Wed 08-Mar-17 08:31:00

I hope it's OK to post this here. I'm sure Gransnet will move it if it's not but in view of all those estranged, cut off parents unable to understand why their adult children treat them like they do, this very well written post sums it up perfectly.
It was sent to me this morning. Obviously some AC have no choice but to keep their distance from abusive parents, we understand this. But this NC approach being liberally recommended is a highly destructive trend ruining many lives.

' I am in the position that my estranged daughter is treating me like I'm toxic when I feel it's the other way around. We've been studying this for awhile now. Why are there so many adult children cutting off their families. These are things that we came up with. Something interesting: we've all noticed how our EC all do the same mean stuff and say the same mean things. It's like they're reading a script or like they all joined the same cult.
I have news for you. They are all reading a script. They did join the same cult.
What they are doing is called "Going No Contact". It's literally a scripted plan that they follow. It starts when they judge us as not just humans with whom they disagree, but "evil" because we don't see things their way. They complain online, and meet other complaining children who honestly believe, thanks to the self-esteem movement, that any time they were uncomfortable for a moment equals abuse. If their parents disagreed with them or made them do something that they didn't like or whacked their fresh asses when they talked back or refused to follow rules, they add this to their pile of justification. Lacking coping skills, they believe that anytime they are not happy, they have been wronged, and the person who dared to 'make' them feel bad is a Narcissist.
A Narcissist to them is what 'possessed' meant to our parents. The Narcissist is pure evil and a force to be feared and hated. They all bolster one another's justification of their interpretation of who we are. They swap war stories that are positively ridiculous, such as stories of the "evil narcissistic mother in law who wore a different dress than agreed upon to the wedding" or the "evil, narcissistic mother who took away all of their toys until their chores were done". I've seen both of those in these groups.
After justifying to themselves that they are RIGHT and their parents are EVIL NARCISSISTS, they begin plans to "Go No Contact". It is a systematic plan to discard the parents/grandparent, and turn the kids against grandparents. There are actual steps to this plan. They vary from group to group, but they are essentially all similar.
The groups talk a lot about setting boundaries, but what they call setting boundaries is just rude dictating, and setting their targets up to fail. Stuff like "I told my mother that she can come over between 12 and 1 on Sundays only. If she is one minute early or stays one minute late, that will be the end of her visits." Part of the plan is to NOT tell mother what she did wrong, just to enact the "consequence". They know that the targeted parent will try to rectify the situation. They react in a way that is illogical: refusing to answer questions, insisting that any apology is a manipulative lie and therefore is insincere, ordering parent out of their house, putting parents in that time out thing where they tell us not to contact them for a certain length of time, and then they will "review our request".
They post joyful stories of their parents reaction to losing grandkids or their parents pleas for an explanation. They cheer each other on and congratulate one another for cutting family off. Refusing to give any explanation is part of the plan. They call it Taking Your Power Back.
They claim that it's to protect themselves from the evil narcissists who are terrorizing them, but in reality, it's not about protection or healing. It's about power, control, and just being shitty. They don't know the difference between assertive and aggressive, and they think being arbitrary is the same as having boundaries.
Google "Going No Contact". You will find pages and pages of groups and instructions that will not surprisingly match exactly what our kids are doing.
I think this information can be very helpful. We can learn what they want us to do, so we can do the opposite.
I strongly urge every single person here to read up on "Going No Contact". It's like a map to navigate this territory. It even gets amusing sometimes, reading the steps and thinking "You're such a lemming". Who the hell would follow this crap.
They would, that's who'

MissAdventure Wed 08-Mar-17 08:53:57

Narcissism does seem to be a new buzz word.
A friend mentioned it to me when my fiance ended our relationship, so I looked online and found a whole new world, where 'grey rock technique' 'no contact', are recommended.
I found people online stating that now they knew what narcissistic personality disorder is, they have gone no contact with parents, siblings, and adult children.
Its a whole new phenomenon, (to me, anyway)

nina1959 Wed 08-Mar-17 09:05:18

The effects on families diagnosing each other and then the online 'armchair experts' all to happy to insist they go NC! It's really hurting a lot of people. Including those who make themselves orphans by cutting themselves off.

rosesarered Wed 08-Mar-17 09:14:23

This is awful! The internet can be wonderful at times, but you do wonder if it is actually woth all the bad stuff that comes with it.

MawBroon Wed 08-Mar-17 09:15:42

Terrifying. My blood ran cold just reading it.

MissAdventure Wed 08-Mar-17 09:26:16

Its also recommended to cut off 'flying monkeys' who are relatives that may pass messages between family members - either unknowingly, or with malice - thus breaking 'no contact' which must be maintained at all costs.
In short, people are cutting off contact with whole sections of family and friends.

Ankers Wed 08-Mar-17 09:26:41

I realised all this was going on a few weeks ago, when I was talking with posters on the relationship threads. I asked a poster if there were groups about it. She said yes and posted links.

There is a whole language about it. I did consider asking gransnet to add several acronyms to its list, but thought I didnt want to encourage the language[not that that would stop it really].

I have seen narcissist stuff talked about on mumsnet for several years now. The whole subject seems to have gone to a whole new level.

And I am sorry to say, that sites like mumsnet[not that it is mumsnet's fault at all] only help people to group together in this way.

MissAdventure Wed 08-Mar-17 09:32:48

I found that I'm a co-dependant, who is suffering from cognitive dissonance, probably caused by being bought up by a narcissist, and I need to heal my inner child confused

Alima Wed 08-Mar-17 09:34:50

I must live in a bubble. I had no idea this sort of thing went on, I had thought the thread was about contactless bank cards. Horrible.

Ankers Wed 08-Mar-17 09:35:27

I had some long conversations with some of them. I suggested that even if they were "toxic" that a few minutes for the "toxic" person in a neutral place like a park would be beneficial. And to make things more safe if necessary, for the parent to take along someone else with them.
But I am not sure I made much progress. Though the posters were polite and listened.
I think some parents genuinely fear the "toxic" person. And in a few cases, some of their concerns might be genuine.

But I still maintain that a few minutes a week or whatever can be beneficial. Very beneficial. For the child as much as anyone else. For the parent. And for the "toxic" person.

Luckygirl Wed 08-Mar-17 09:40:38

I take a ,look at Mumsnet sometimes and the whole "going no contact" is a repeated theme. It makes for gloomy reading. The "children" do in the main seem to have strong grounds for keeping their parents (usually the mother is cited) away from their children, but, as always with these things, we only hear one side. To be fair, there are posters there who take a more rational and measured view and advise accordingly.

At the same time I have the strong impression that grandparents are part of the grandchild care scene far more than they were in my day. That is certainly true in our family; so it is not all gloom and doom.

MissAdventure Wed 08-Mar-17 09:43:07

There are countless YouTube videos on the subject, explaining how one should start 'no contact' the moment one realises a person is a narcissist, without giving an explanation or further communication.
Troubled relationships with partners are explained by saying that empaths or co-dependents are addicted to narcissistic relationships, bought about my childhood issues. Even if for me, who doesn't have any childhood issues, I would be urged to accept that as an absolute fact.

nina1959 Wed 08-Mar-17 09:50:18

The main problem is, and I've spent a lot of time researching it, is that while narcissism in it's raw form has always been around, it's now become a terrifying weapon to use against any family member who is perceived as being 'a problem'. Part of it has emerged as a direct result on the 1989 Children's Act where rights and power were handed to children placing above them the control of not only their parents but teachers and authority in general. There is now research identifying the current generation of 30 something year olds as being prone to depression because of their idealized perception of what their rights actually mean. Notwithstanding this they,not all but some, also have a very unrealistic expectation of not only life but their parents too. Meanwhile the Children's Act hasn't solved the problem of child abuse which was it's original intention.
So now we have parents cut off, AC miserable but blaming the scapegoat,(their parents) and we also have an army of online nuisances ranting the words GO NO CONTACT! What does it solve? Nothing.
Funnily enough, in all my research I was unable to find any advice that advocated how to communicate effectively with your family. On top of this, we also have a lot of highly damaged individuals, bloggers and youtubers I think they're called, now grabbing their fame slot online with podcasts telling the world about their experience with a narcissist, how to identify them, what their habits are and how to go.....yes, you've guessed it........NC. All well and good if these individuals were experienced, qualified experts in psychology but they're not. More often than not they are unhappy, angry, biased and very motivated to 'save others' by going online to say .......'look this is what happened to me! Save yourself, go NC'.
And this is where the trend begins. Very sad for a lot of families who actually love each other but only have a problem of not being able to communicate. I do wish the mumsnetters would think twice before becoming self appointed experts on what is a diagnosis that only a medically qualified person can provide. The reason being that despite how many Youtube video's they watch and blogs they read, no one can diagnose another person from a third party view. The day will come, as it has already, when posters will be sued for recklessly causing undue harm to another person's credibility especially where there's no basis for it.

MissAdventure Wed 08-Mar-17 10:05:10

I've also seen the words psychopath and sociopath used in conjunction with narcissistic personality disorder, so its easy to see how people get sucked into the idea that no contact has to be initiated, and the idea that they must not respond at all to the narcissist.

nina1959 Wed 08-Mar-17 10:22:16

Having run a support group for parents, it's clear to see that the problem of estrangement is now an epidemic. It's also the lazy way out of learning how to manage and work at a relationship. In some cases, if it's not all about them, it's simply not important. There is little or no respect for the parents or the sacrifices they've made.
Where adult children have grown up in highly dysfunctional and abusive situations, then NC is their only option and as far as I can see, it's a last resort after many attempts at trying to fix things. These AC have no such thing as a happy ending. Life for them can be and often is very traumatic and difficult especially on birthdays and Christmas.

For those AC who have had loving, caring parents and the relationship was previously good, but you've taken the advice from people you hardly know and gone NC, you really need to take a good look at yourselves and the impact you are having on your parents. Estrangement is a killer make no mistake. Parents have ended their lives or become ill and died.
If you can sit and eat your Christmas dinner knowing your parents are facing the bleakest of days, the problem isn't them.
If you can ignore birthdays, Mothers and Father's Day knowing the pain it will cause, the problem is not them.
If you can tell your children that your parents are bad people or you simply deny they exist, or if you think you can talk your way through explaining the benefits of cutting your child off from knowing it's own gene pool and tribal roots, the problem is not your parents.
If you can snub, ignore, ostracise, dish out the silent treatment on an ongoing basis, sulk and then act as though you are the victim, it's you that's the narcissist, not your parents.
If your parents loved you and did their best yet you can deal with knowing all these things above and yet still continue to hurt your them in this way, the problem isn't them.

polyester57 Wed 08-Mar-17 10:31:25

There are always two sides to every argument. Various other issues have cropped up over the years and become new "buzz" words, things which previously were unheard or untalked of, dyslexia, autism, attention deficiency spring to mind. This does not mean they do not exist. Several years ago after my father died I was faced with the prospect of looking after my mother, we had had limited contact over the years (her choice, not mine). I couldn´t fathom why it was that she never liked me and Í didn´t like her, so I did what one does nowadays and went online. I almost immediately found myself up to my neck in these various "narcissistic parent" websites that you describe. I read and read and in fact found great comfort in realizing that I was not the only one with this problem. I never felt tempted to join any of the sites and I admit that I found most of these (mostly American) way over the top. I read about the concept of "no contact" and thought wistfully that that´s what I should have done years ago, it was not an option for me as my mother by then was a frail bedridden woman, though still as toxic and manipulative as ever. Surely, we are all adults and can take from reading anything, whether it be a book or a website, anything that we like and leave the rest.

nina1959 Wed 08-Mar-17 10:38:36

Polyester57, I too come from a background of rejection from my mother. She hasn't spoken to me in many, many years. If I saw her out on the street today with nothing and no one, there's no way I could leave her to die out there.
I have a strong faith which helps, I'm not bitter and I don't blame my mum for her behaviour.
I guess this is where the difference lies. I like to think that despite everything, I'm still human and that as long as I have a heart that beats, I would not sink to a level that would make me behave without any compassion.

annsixty Wed 08-Mar-17 10:42:48

I could writes book on "the things my mother said" and "the things my mother did" and it would all be true,but cutting her out would never had occurred to me. I kept very little contact between her and my children unless I was there which still meant she saw a lot of them.
They would never stay with her anyway and when she got older they both said if we had her to live with us they would leave home. H and I would have been divorced anyway.
I looked after her from a distance until she died. As Nina said, the thought of holidays without her being there would have been unthinkable even though she would spoil it if she could.

nina1959 Wed 08-Mar-17 11:07:13

If you're going to look for advice online, which can be very helpful and enlightening, you should have a criteria for your own safety. Hopefully when we're older, we're a lot more discriminating but many younger people just don't have the instinct to work out fact from fiction. What's happening is that they're watching unqualified youtube videos and then making damning assumptions thinking it must all be true. HELP, that's my mother! Then they get permission to go NC from an angry mob on an online forum each with their own issues usually. The one's giving the advice don't strike me as the healthiest, most sane people to be dishing out what actions others should be taking.

The best way to source correct, intelligent information is to always look at who's written it. If it's by a PhD academic or someone who has letters after their name qualified and who's well trained in all levels of psychology, then that's the information that's likely to be more reliable. Anything else is just a third party account based on their own experience.

After this, it's also a good idea to think about the person you have problems with. Are they really an awful person? Or are there reasons for them being like they are? My mum was beaten black and blue by my father. She didn't like me because being the first born meant it's how she ended up with my father. She had an awful life for a long time. I can forgive her not feeling any warmth towards me. It's nearly crippled me emotionally at times but I'm glad that I'm not so demented and angry that I would cut her off. Not that I had a choice, she cut me off. Long time ago now.
For anyone else though, the best solution with a difficult parent is to just be kind to them at arms length. Don't try and hurt them by cutting them off. Instead of diagnosing them, which you're not qualified to do, read up on how to manage difficult relationships instead and see where it goes. The NC route should only be a last resort and in cases of violence and abuse, then it should be taken, I absolutely agree.

KatyK Wed 08-Mar-17 11:32:38

It's strange isn't it? My father was a violent, self-centred, abusive alcoholic who made his childrens lives a misery and left us all with various forms of anxiety/depression. It never occurred to me to cut him out of my life or not to try to help him in his last days.

Starlady Wed 08-Mar-17 11:33:32

Ok, I spent some time looking at the "Going No Contact" articles - not all of them, I admit - I'm astounded by how much there is out there on this subject!

So far, I haven't come across the word "evil" though I did see "sinister" in one article. But I did see "narcissist" a lot. TBF, I think some of the professional articles were intended for people who are dealing with true narcissists, while other articles, blogs, forums, etc. just use the word for anyone they are having trouble with.

I also noticed that a lot of the articles are about cutting off anyone you're having difficulty with, particularly an ex. But if you google "going no contact with parents," you'll find a whole slew of articles just about that. I had no idea!

nina1959 Wed 08-Mar-17 11:45:57

The original narcissist articles were designed to help people identify and deal with their intimate partners and they are helpful in avoiding such people. Somehow, the lines have since blurred and we've now got AC diagnosing their parents and other parents with the same personality disorder.
However, from all my research it's often so they can come up with a credible reason or justification for cutting off a parent because they're either too lazy to invest in the relationship or they simply don't need it. All their emotional sustenance is met online.
To give you an example of a post I saw recently,
'Hate it when MIL comes round, I'VE never really liked her, she's always such a bitch. She tries to be nice but I know she's not genuine. I'LL let her come round one last time then I'LL have to decide if I want her to come again'.

I've typed references to the poster in capitals because this is what the post is about, the poster's lack of tolerance, inability to communicate with her MIL the posters irritability at her MIL even visiting and there's no reference to a husband so it doesn't even look as if he had an opinion.

The advice the poster was given was to cut MIL off. Not a lot of intelligence to be perfectly frank. Meanwhile it's devastating families and their communication.

Starlady Wed 08-Mar-17 11:59:22

But here's the good part. Now that see what's out there, we have more of an idea of what's going on. So if a parent has been co for the first time, and they read this stuff, they know it might just be a to (time out), a break their ac is taking to sort things out in their own head.

If a parent finds themselves blocked on fb, not receiving replies to voicemails, etc. then they would know, sadly, that their ac has gone nc. Ok, maybe they would sort of figure that out, anyway. But at least they would know it's part of a "script," as Nina says, and that trying to reestablish contact probably won't help.

They would also know that asking relatives or friends to intercede won't help, they'll just be seen as "flying monkeys." Also, now, it occurs to me that when ac/cil seem to be "cutting everyone out," it might be because of the flying monkey idea. Well, it might be if they're going nc one by one and only with people who try to intervene.

I don't know, but I think if someone went nc with me or I thought they might, this stuff would help me understand what was happening and know what to do or not do.

Also, about "narcissist" - Iv heard/seen that word applied to ac and cil, too, lately. Imo, it's really becoming overused.

Luckygirl Wed 08-Mar-17 12:07:08

I suspect that our inclination to just grin and bear it - to do the minimum for troublesome parents, but not to cut them off, is now old hat. And I do agree that sometimes the AC who are initiating these have unrealistic and idealistic expectations of what these relationships should be. I think our generation is more accepting of the fact that people are flawed and we have to take some of that on the chin.

I must admit it is a bit irritating to me when I hear tell of those GPs who are trying very hard to meet the unrealistic expectations of their AC as regards grandchild care. It contains such an inability to put themselves in another's position and seems very demanding and unimaginative.

eddiecat78 Wed 08-Mar-17 12:09:09

it`ll be interesting to see who looks after these "chidren" if they are in need in the future and have previously cut off so mny people at the slightest provocation

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