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The Brainwashing Behind Going No Contact

(1001 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'

nina1959 Wed 08-Mar-17 12:26:07

Starlady, what usually happens is that a parent will only be 'allowed back' if they can meet a long list of impossible criteria laid down by the AC. If they are allowed back, but then fail to jump high enough, they are soon cut off again.
Who knew eh? In my generation and I'm in my 50's, we would never even of dreamed of laying down such laws to our parents. Respect was key to the survival of the relationship. The introduction of the 1989 Children Act changed the power balance turning the parent/child relationship into a slave/master relationship, ie 'do as I tell you or I'll report you for child abuse'.
In our AC's case, it's now 'do as I tell you or I'll banish you forever. Oh and by the way, if I tell everyone you're an evil narcissist, it gives me a way out so that I appear squeaky clean while you look an absolute bastard'.
There are plenty of stories where cut off parents have gone back, not measured up then been cut off agan and when they've protested, the AC have warned then that if they say anything, they will accuse then of being a 'threat' to the grandchildren.
There is now a recommendation out by the British Institute of Psychiatry advising parents, (for a change parents are not being blamed) on how to deal with bullying AC.

What does that say????

A lot of parents will not go back, the bridges have been burned so in answer to the question...'what happens when our AC are older and have no one'? Well, all I can think of is that it won't be a fortunate situation.

nina1959 Wed 08-Mar-17 12:29:21

This NC issue appears to only be prevalent in the West. It doesn't seem to happen so much in Europe where family ties and traditions are uphelp. Nor in the Eastern countries however we know in some cultures this is due to oppression. But in countries like Italy, Greece and France, it seems to be rare.

annsixty Wed 08-Mar-17 12:46:45

Also if they ever regret their actions later in life or are they so devoid of normal human feelings that they can only be right.

NanaandGrampy Wed 08-Mar-17 13:02:40


That's the only word I could use after I read the opening post.

And thankful that I have 'sane' children .

eddiecat78 Wed 08-Mar-17 13:16:17

In a few years time are these adult children going to be encouraged to cut off their own children when they start being a bit annoying? (We all know how challenging teenagers can be)

nina1959 Wed 08-Mar-17 14:36:08

Eddiecat, the pattern seems to repeat itself with estrangement following on into the next generation. One clinical theory for NC comes from an idea that to cease all contact with a family means that the next generation will be able to escape generational patterns of learned behaviour.
Sounds good in theory. They didn't mention that we can't escape our genes though so if an offspring is characteristically matched to one of his/her parents, the patterns could be reproduced regardless. It's like running away to a desert island to escape all the madness. The madness goes with you because our thoughts are the madness.
However, new thinking does suggest that changing our environment can produce change at cellular level so there may be some truth in the idea but only on an evolutionary scale, not overnight.

In my interviews with cut off parents, many said they would not have their AC back. This was often after several years of the devastated parents begging and pleading for a reconciliation only to be repeatedly ignored. Meanwhile these same AC appeared to enjoy rubbing salt in the wounds by demonstrating immature behaviour designed to hurt their parents even further. Such as posting photos at times like Christmas of family getogethers knowing the parents would see them.
After years of being cut off and being deprived of knowing their grandchildren, most parents were unable to see a way back after such hurt. Wills had been changed and other decsions taken to sever the bond completely. mostly it would seem because they felt they needed to protect and preserve themselves and that what had been done could not be undone.

Norah Wed 08-Mar-17 15:10:53

There do seem to be a lot of articles. Some valid points and some drivel. What is a flying monkey?

nina1959 Wed 08-Mar-17 15:22:26

Norah, a flying monkey is someone who takes the side of the narcissist and will carry out instructions or act on their behalf, to further undermine and hurt the victim. It's another term for jumping on the bandwagon and joining in the fight.
Basically the narcissist will probably have got in first with a believable story to gain the flying monkey's sympathy. Not being that bright (usually), they will believe every word then do the narcissists bidding.

Minty Wed 08-Mar-17 15:24:13

I know that we all question relentlessly as to how this can possibly have happened, and yes in the early days you do spend hours googling and researching, maybe it helps some people to read all of this stuff, but I suspect many grandparents find this sort of read unhelpful.
For me, I know that I can't change the situation, I have to protect myself and my family, and to surround myself with those that do love and care about me.
For grandparents who are struggling everyday with this grief, find reading this sort of poison the very last straw.
We need to think very carefully, grandparents are feeling despair and terrible sadness, seeing this in the written word is in my view very damaging, to those who are not knowing how to face life without their EC and EGC in their lives.

nina1959 Wed 08-Mar-17 15:40:27

Minty, it's my experience that posts like the one above helps a lot of grandparents because it let's them see that they're not alone. There are others going through the same experience. It sums up the whole thing so that others can say 'yeeessss! that's exactly how it is for me'. In doing so it validates them and helps to feel less isolated. I know this from running groups and talking to many estranged parents.
I do agree with you that it's important to just count your blessings and enjoy those people you have around you.

The link below is one of the most destructive and guilty culprits of why we are experiencing so much damage and impact in our families. I had to hunt around for any kind of authority or qualified, expert input. In the end I found the About Us page right at the bottom. The person responsible for all the content admits she has no qualifications to be offering such information. Yet it's one of the first links that comes up when googling narcissiscm.

KatyK Wed 08-Mar-17 16:20:00

Presumably they are cutting their families out of their lives when they no longer need them for childcare or financial assistance?

Ana Wed 08-Mar-17 16:25:00

No, that's not the case KatyK. Quite often the parents have fallen short in the eyes of their children with regard to those things.

KatyK Wed 08-Mar-17 16:35:44

Oh I see Ana What a shame. I'm sure most parents do their best, it's all we can do really.

polyester57 Wed 08-Mar-17 16:43:44

Nina1959, I can´t help but think that you yourself have been taken in by this woman, Danu Morrigan (whose real name apparently is Tracy Culleton), which is why you feel the need to expose her on GN. Fair enough. When I first started my internet search, her site was the first that came up and I found a lot of the stuff helpful, she does say she is not a professional. When it came to her urging to subscribe to her website I withdrew immediately, I just never, ever, do that, end of story.

NfkDumpling Wed 08-Mar-17 16:49:25

I suspose I was guilty of NC when I had my first DD. MiL tried to take over, tell us what to do and wouldn't back off. Blazing row with DH and neither would apologise or back down. Three years later and the birth or our DS (DD2 was born inbetween but failed to heal the rift) and they made up.

BUT contact had indirectly been maintained through my DM so the door was there to be opened. If anything it had always been ajar but DH and his DM were stubborn people. After the rift was healed life went on as normal. We didn't set any boundaries or make lists of rules - but MiL was a tiny bit more careful about giving advise! (But not a lot!)

I fear these days the door is often bricked up.

Luckylegs9 Wed 08-Mar-17 16:54:48

I never realised that this went on, my own daughter has gone no contact. There is no excuse. I miss the girl she was, not this selfish person. What kind of message do they send out to our grandchildren, if something doesn't go exactly the way you want it, don't talk about it sensibly just cut of contact, with everyone that doesn't think the way you do. I am sure friends and employers etc, will make short shift of that attitude. Let them get on with it. It's the children I feel so sorry for,maybe one day they will wonder why mom has this list of people that doesn't come up to scratch, they may well find themselves ostracised.

nina1959 Wed 08-Mar-17 17:13:43

Polyester57, not at all. She showed up as part of my research as one of the main influences out there online. Further inspection reveals that she's offers herself as a coach and there are other fee hiking services she's offers.
My concern is that she's set herself up as a self appointed expert giving a lot of personally experienced information as her own definition of what makes up the character of a narcissist. People looking for guidance are then using her as a reference point to diagnose their own family situation which I believe is contributing to the huge problem of family estrangement.
Many AC have said it in their own posts, 'I'm almost there, I just want the permission to cut my parents off completely. Then I'm freeeeeee!
What a wake up call they're going to get in their mid years.
Meanwhile people like Danu are able to lure in the sheep and the fees.

Fairydoll2030 Wed 08-Mar-17 17:57:51

Well, I hope 'Danu Morrigan' shares the royalties from her book(s) with her mother - if she's still alive. After all, no narcissistic mother - no books.

She points out that her mother doesn't have all the narcissistic traits but has some, such as lack of empathy and 'all about her'. These traits aren't that uncommon. It used to be called 'selfish'. But hey, give it a modern label and you can make mega bucks.

moonbeames Wed 08-Mar-17 18:44:58

This post has been very informative, I had no idea that there were "going no contact" sites. I will have a look shortly at what they are. Our family have a son who is very difficult and has been for some years. We have bent over backwards for him on many, many occasions but he has brought us nothing but grief and anxiety. A recent situation occurred over the holidays where we called him out on his behavior so he has adopted the "going no contact." We have put out the olive branch a number of times but to no avail.
But a backlash has occurred that he might not have factored in with his plan. Initially it was very distressing but now as time has gone on it has been very peaceful without all the drama's and life is now really happy and peaceful. We are enjoying each day now together, a bonus really.

nina1959 Wed 08-Mar-17 19:00:36

Moonnbeames, it does backfire. Parents are very sad and wounded for a while but much like a bereavement, many of them grieve for a while then eventually rebuild their lives and actually arrive at a point where you're at. They find that they no longer feel like they're walking on eggshells or having to jump through hoops trying to reach the ever higher expectations.
I've read a lot of emails from parents who have said there's no going back because they've had enough of the blame game, being made to feel guilty for imagined slights, frightened to read their emails and being held to ransom over grandchildren. Eventually some of them do adapt and yes, they choose to live without all the drama. It's not what they hoped for or expected but they've overcome it and just cut the umbilical cord.
Things can reach the point of no return but for the parents it can be a liberating time if they have other people and things to enjoy.
I'm glad you've found a peaceful option.

MrsPeel Wed 08-Mar-17 19:39:34

I have read the posts and must admit I'm not understanding a lot of it (sorry). But adult children cutting parents (one or both) out of their lives is nothing new. It's just got a new name and is more 'out there' because if the Internet.

For instance I cut my father out if my life aged 12 when he went to prisoin. My siblings still saw him secretly - meaning I knew but they respected my wishes. My brother rang me the morning my father died. I have no regrets.

My sister no contacted my mum when she left home at 16. She saw her at my instigation when mum was 70. There were a few phone calls until mum died aged 82. I persuaded mum to change her will to include my sister.

My elder brother is no cintact with me blanking me to my face at my nieces birthday party. Suits me fine.

Am I hard probably I like to think I'm stoic. I'm probably controlling. As I said earlier I have no regrets.

westerlywind Wed 08-Mar-17 20:51:34

I have read this and other threads with great interest because I am in the no contact club too. One DC would come and go with contact depending on what she needed at that particular time. This has gone on for over 16 years. Another DC knows what happened and yet is doing the same thing.
I do not want to take part in DGC being used as a stick to beat the grandparent. I think it is a form of abuse of the young children as well as the older folks.
I am constantly put down and generally criticised at great length. I also see the DGC being verbally abused along similar lines to me. I saw the face of a DGC fall as they were berated. I have seen other things which I am unhappy about such as a child being told off for apparently saying something to or about a DP (not the true parent). The child had not said anything but the parent had a good scream at the child. Another time a DGC announced a need for a toilet and was told to wait. I would have taken the DGC out of sight but the parent refused to do this.
If these young parents are being nasty and abusive to us the Grandparents, who are adults with their own resources and can escape, can we really trust that they are not being as horrible to the DGC?
I know DGC were in trouble told SS was not believed, it all came out eventually. I don't have faith in SS. I was physically abused and went to hospital who sent out SS. I said that I need effective help that is instantly available and would not cause at further harm to me.
It is not an easy road. NO matter what we do or how much money we through at the young mums (and dads) we are still not going to be good enough.
I have seen posts elsewhere about the expectations of inheritance. I have seen posts in both places about unpaid childminding. We are expected to do and give and just accept that. I fully intend to SKI, Spend Kids Inheritance. I need to do it so that I can have a peaceful life. Loneliness is nothing in comparison to being afraid of what the DCs will do next, or being ashamed of their conduct.
To today's young people my parents being strict and wanting me to be my best would probably come under Child Abuse in their world but to me it was security.
I don't know what the answer it but I will read all I can.

polyester57 Wed 08-Mar-17 21:54:19

Goodness, this is all getting a bit out of hand. Children learn by example. If you were kind to your parents, your children will most likely be kind to you.

westerlywind Wed 08-Mar-17 22:05:07

I can not agree with your view polyester57.
I was always kind to my parents and did all I could for both of them to the last moment of their lives. I was totally involved with my parents and their care when they got old and ill. I was the official government paid unqualified carer as I was paid Carer's Allowance. I was Power of Attorney and Executrix for both. I certainly don't think my DCs have followed my example. I also defended my DCs to the hilt, did crazy dangerous things to help them.
The only thing that they claim to have learned from me and my parents was the work ethic. I worked part time as well as being parent to my DCs and Carer to parents.
They had fee paying education etc same as I had. I certainly never raised my voice to my parents and definitely never laid a hand on them violently.
My children may have followed some genetic code but their conduct is not mine.

polyester57 Wed 08-Mar-17 22:29:27

I have never applied for Carer´s Allowancem nor been Power of Attorney or anything of the kind. My idea was that I did not want to be anything like my mother. I have never offered advice to my daughter unless asked for it, I have never gone into a huff if she did not take my advice, I have offered help in as far as I was able to give it, I have never had keys to her house and have never gone into it without her knowledge, I have never tried to undermine her upbringing of her children, I have never lied about my state of health to get attention, I have never gauged the love of my children by the number of mother´s day cards I have received, etc., etc.

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