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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'

Smileless2012 Sat 27-Apr-19 13:40:24

One life isn't more important than another *MotherofTwo", who said it was?

nannytracey Wed 01-May-19 14:27:15

im amazed , i have never heard of this before
i googled it after reading this post
wow is all i can say

nannytracey Wed 01-May-19 15:30:23

going no contact with instructions
thats quite scary
what are our children teaching their children by going no contact
and what worries me is our children could find themselves in the same situation once their children have grown up

Smileless2012 Wed 01-May-19 17:33:03

I suppose nannytracey that our children are teaching their children that no relationship is sacred, and can be discarded at any time even for the smallest of reasons in some cases.

There is probably a good chance that our GC will go down the NC route with their own parents as they may learn by example.

What are our estranging AC going to say to their own C when faced with the nightmare they've put us through? 'You can't do this, we've always done our best etc etc'. What will they say when the response they get is 'why not, you did?'.

Starlady Wed 01-May-19 21:57:05

That's another reason I think going nc is a very risky step to take and think lc (lowered contact) is preferable (not that many of us gps like that either). On another site, I saw where some dils were asked about that - you know, what if your kids do the same to you - and their response was that they won't make the same mistakes. But the next generation may have other issues that bother them and that they see as a reason for pushing their parents/pils away, reasons that today's young parents aren't anticipating. So, imo, setting the nc example is risky, no matter how the young parents plan to behave as ils, etc.

Yogagirl Thu 02-May-19 09:46:24

Excellent post Smileless & Starlady

March Thu 02-May-19 13:17:10

We are NC with my MIL so I thought I'd throw my 10ps worth in.

If we go down the same road as we did with MIL then I wouldn't blame my children for going NC with us. Infact I'd encourage it.

If my kids tell me that they want No contact, I'd think I've massively messed up somewhere down the line as a parent.
I'd think that for my children to want me, their Mum, out of their life I must cause a great deal of hurt from being a part of their life. That isn't their fault, that's mine.

I'd tell them how sorry I am, for everything and tell them how much I love them and that I'm always here if they need me.
I'd then leave them alone as I'd think that's the least I can do considering the amount of hurt I'd already caused them.

But that's just me and having seen first hand the absolute carnage created from this for the person who went 'No contact' I'd never in a million years put my children through that.

Jean8664 Thu 02-May-19 13:43:18

I cannot speak for all people who are no contact with their parents or families but I can tell you that the decision and process of doing so is extremely painful. It is often an extremely difficult decision to make.
If a person truly is in an NPD family system the only thing more painful than going no contact is staying in it.
Persons from an NPD family system are likely already orphans before they go no contact. Usually, in this system, the adult child has already communicated their feelings over toxic behavior and have made countless attempts to resolve it and reconcile but are not heard or responded to. Their feelings are discounted again and again and the same harmful behaviors continue. It comes to a point where the attempt to communicate the issues are futile and only bring more dismissal and harm.
Often, in this particular type of system, the grandparents attempt to manipulate the grandchildren against the parent which is harmful to a child.
People in the family are manipulated against one another, sibling relationships are lost, and the adult child is degraded, alienated, ostracized.
I am a professional trained and skilled to assess and diagnose. In a true NPD family system the children, adult children and particularly the scapegoat, are psychologically tortured.
The sad thing about true covert narcissism is it is incurable by the very nature of the disorder. They believe that nothing is of their doing, they are the victims, always.
There is no reconciliation possible. The behavior is so toxic that the adult child is forced to distance themselves in order to find health, strength, confidence and joy. Their kids need them to find this freedom. It is sad when an adult child needs to distance themselves from their parents and is often a last resort.

Jean8664 Thu 02-May-19 14:08:08

March, you are spot on! Your view is what a healthy view looks like!

Smileless2012 Thu 02-May-19 14:17:20

March's "view is what a healthy view looks like" when it stems from an abusive relationship with a parent Jean. It i far from a healthy view when parents find themselves estranged without justification.

What you say about narcissism is quite correct Jean and is just as applicable to adult children and/or their partners who decide to go no contact without justification.

I don't doubt that you are "a professional trained and skilled to assess and diagnose". However if that is indeed the case, you should know better than to assume that all cases of NC are to to the narcissism of the estranged parents.

I would have thought that your professional training would have enabled you to recognise where there are cases when it is the estranging AC who are at fault and not their parents.

Jean8664 Thu 02-May-19 14:55:45

Smiles, I would ask you to read the beginning of my post where I was careful to state that “I cannot speak for all who go no contact” and “if one truly is from NPD family system”.
What I felt was a healthy response from March is when she explained that if her child was that upset she would seek to understand why, assess her own behavior and be willing to compromise.
The reason I stated that I can’t speak for all who go no contact is for precisely the reasons you expressed.
The remainder of my post went on to explain the true NPD family system and what that is like.

Tired Thu 02-May-19 15:44:17

It has taken many rewrites of this post:
When your 6 year old goes out to the fence to tell gm bye bye, & comes back asking “why does gm always pump me for information?” When your spouse shares that gm encouraged spouses own sibling to physically abused the spouse’s disability until the spouse cried & they both laughed at the spouse, when you find out that the sibling sexually abused the younger one & gm pretended to ignore the signs & reports, & the only response given to family conference to try to keep the family together, was an expressiinless “get out of my house”, & gm controls the rest of the family to the point they were afraid to sit with the spouse & children during the funeral for fear retaliation from gm; then you know why the painful breaking up of the family is necessary for sanity. & why this is never an easy road to travel. We are not talking about “toxic” as in “gm took my toys away until chores were done”. We are talking about 4 year old children thrown out & locked outside in the middle of the night because they were scared & crying: & gm would watch them through the window & laugh as the child wept. We are talking about emotional invest where the gm tries to alienate their own child from any other person their child wants to have a relationship with.
We are talking about taking a grandchild to a “poker night” that is really a “rape the child” night. Yes it does happen too often, & too often regularly.
We are talking about gm who sold their own children into prostitution, without an addiction to explain it (true example from my own family).
We are talking about gm who would break out all the windows in the house, because they weren’t invited to dinner (another true example).
We are talking about trauma bonding & Stockholm Syndrome.
We are finally empowering our own children not to encourage or allow abuse to continue under our roofs in our own houses.
Then when gm thinks that not allowing her to continue to abuse those grandchildren is her right & privilege, we go no contact.
For the sake of our own children.
I will never allow anyone to abuse the vulnerable, especially not my own family abusing me or mine.

nannytracey Thu 02-May-19 15:57:47

i think going nc in some situations can help
all depends on the situation
when it comes to your own children i think its a bit harsh
if you had a healthy relationship
but just like everything else in this world
you get a new craze everyone does it
people and feelings dont really matter any more
im still shocked it comes with instructions

Smileless2012 Thu 02-May-19 17:27:30

I couldn't agree with you more Tired. No one is and has ever said that abusive GP's should have any contact whatsoever with their GC. But not all GP's are being denied contact because they are abusive. It's their GC's parents in some instances who are abusing their parents/p's.i.l. and using their children as weapons to do so by denying them contact.

I did read the beginning of your post Jean but IMO your post was bias and gave no consideration that some parents and GP's are estranged through no fault of their own.

Not all estranged P's and GP's are undeserving of such treatment and not all estranged P's and GP's deserve to be treated the way they are.

Smileless2012 Thu 02-May-19 17:35:10

Yes, you did say you couldn't speak for all, but you only spoke for those whose decision to go no contact is justified; you didn't speak for those when it isn't.

MrsBarbarian Thu 02-May-19 18:30:05

Extraordinary.I wondered where you all were.I couldn't imagine that you'd be quiet. After all,nothing is ever your fault is it? And you NEED somewhere to bad mouth your own children and trivialise their problems and deny your own abusive behaviour.In seven years of belonging to Adult Children Narcissistic Parent groups I've encountered maybe 2 or 3 cases which weren't genuine...That's out of thousands. The rest are sadly damaged people who struggle to do the most unnatural painful thing:cut contact with their own mother. They want to believe shell change. They blame themselves. They are the opposite of what you describe. These groups BTW are ALWAYS private or well done for snooping in a place you've no business being. If my child or grandchild went NC with me I would get myself to the nearest therapist with them and I would LISTEN. I CERTAINLY wouldn't just assume that they were wrong and that I wasnt. This post is such a perfect example of projection that I would like to put it in my book.(I won't...don't worry). You have no chance of getting your child back. You will never change. You'll never accept how abusive you've been and you'll never have empathy or a conscience. Call it a cult all you want. Claim we are brainwashed all you want. It won't help. The ship has sailed and your AC are healing themselves in a safe place,finally free of the evil which has all but ruined their lives. There is no hope for you. NPD worsens with age. Best hang on to those people who put up with you...It won't be easy....for them.

March Thu 02-May-19 18:34:41

I don't think it's a craze, people falling out and not speaking has been going on for 100s of years. Back in the day it was 'the black sheep of the family' and so on.

It's only so commonly spoke of now because of
1) The internet and
2) Mental health becoming alot talked about. Emotional and mental abuse is being spoke about more and people are becoming aware.
3) People are talking about it.

It's not a laugh. It's not enjoyable or fun. I very much doubt anyone with a sane mind wakes up one morning after having a great, happy and healthy relationship with somone for their entire life and thinks 'I'm going to cut my mom out of my life forever because it sounds like a right barrel of laughs'
Its 99% usually the last option.

There are tips to use to get through to said person, ways to word thing and things like that.
There's also a script that the person being 'cut off' from will do. This is almost always with Narc traits or at least very toxic.
We was warned about these and was told how to handle it and sure enough they was correct and in the same order.
First it's the verbal abuse.
Second, 'I have no idea what I've done'
Third, FIL laying the guilt on thick.
Forth, more verbal abuse
And lastly an illness, something fairly dramatic that will just go away on its own. My MIL chose to lie about having Cancer.

So there are instructions but it's in response to the batshit craziness you'll encounter trying to distance yourself. You can't just take a step back and have low contact because that isn't allowed either.

eddiecat78 Thu 02-May-19 19:40:07

My heart breaks for the regular posters here who are once again being told that it is their fault that they have been cut off by their children. I don`t believe any of them have resorted to verbal abuse - but they will have shed many tears because they are devastated by what has happened. Of course they are ready to LISTEN. But how can you LISTEN if your child won`t talk to you and won`t give you any explaination for their behaviour? How can you "get to the nearest therapist with them" if they refuse to go anywhere with you or communicate with you in any shape or form? The majority of estranged parents want to put things right but how can they do that if they are met with a brick wall? In my opinion the child -often for trivial reasons - just doesn`t want their parent in their life anymore and has absolutely no interest in working together to put things right

Smileless2012 Thu 02-May-19 20:15:50

What this thread has demonstrated time and time again eddiecat is that it's the contributions from those who have estranged themselves that are full of anger and bitterness.

For me it begs the question why? Why are those who have decided to go no contact so angry? They've got what they wanted, their parents/p's.i.l. are out of their lives and out of the lives of their children so what's the problem? Why do so many feel the need to come onto threads such as this to vent their anger and constantly seek to justify their actions? Why are those reading this thread expected to believe all their horror stories and simultaneously disregard those of us who with total honesty and heart ache say we did nothing to deserve this?

It is they who in the words of MrsBarbarian feel the need to "bad mouth" their parents or parents in law.

This has been an excellent thread and as it nears it's 1000th post I for one will be sad to see it end. Sad, because those of us who are estranged have responded to the heart breaking stories of abuse from AC who've had no choice but to cease contact with their abusive parents, and refuse GP contact with their children, have always been responded too with care, compassion and understanding.

Well I hate to shatter your illusion March but yes, some times "with a sane mind (does) ...... after having had a great relationship with someone their entire life" and decides "to cut my mom (and dad) out of my life for ever" and not because they think it will be "a barrel of laughs" but often because of the disturbed mind of their partner.

As for "batshit craziness" well you simply wouldn't believe what we've been subjected too by our ES and his wife. Of course you wouldn't, you only see estrangement from your own perspective and then have the audacity to accuse others of doing the same.

Jean8664 Thu 02-May-19 20:48:00

Smiles, I am very sorry for your pain. I haven’t seen any posts here that suggest other scenarios don’t occur.
The subject here had to do with narcissistic parents. Not all cases would involve this disorder but for the ones that do it has been a traumatic and painful process to disconnect.
I’ll try and read through the posts again but I haven’t seen any personal accounts yet.
In a true NPD family system the problem is that those who really have the disorder will never see, and don’t have the ability to see the reasons why.
This is a specific family system. There are thousands of other scenarios. Too many to even guess.
What I do know that in the majority of situations cutting off ties with one’s parents is the most unnatural, painful thing to have to do.
I have yet to see an AC break ties with a close and harmonious family. I’m sure it happens and for those situations I feel great compassion. The pain is as deep as those who are forced to cut ties for legitimate reasons.
For those who’s AC refuse to try and work things out, who refuse to communicate, did it begin in childhood? Adolescence? Maybe there was a moment or period of time when things began to change?
All feelings of loss and pain are valid. All should be respected.

Smileless2012 Thu 02-May-19 21:08:44

Yes Jean some AC do "break ties with a close and harmonious family" of that you can be sure.

There are 40 pages to this thread and it would take some time for you to read them all but if you do, you will see personal accounts, my own included.

In answer to your question, our ES refused to work things out after he'd married and once his first child had been born. We, like so many estranged p's and gp's can identify the moment or period of time when things began to change, but that's all we know.

We don't know why because we've never been told and the reason(s) given to others have no basis in truth.

"All feelings of loss and pain are valid. All should be respected" but they're not are they and some of the posts here are evident of that.

Jean8664 Thu 02-May-19 21:36:40

Smiles I will try and read through. I certainly respect your feelings.
I can actually relate. Once my estranged brother married his second wife I was cut out completely. What I’ve been subjected to is awful as well.
I could say there was no justifiable reason but there are reasons that took me many years to untangle. Sadly, it was never in my control which is why nothing could be rectified.
I lost my older niece and nephew whom I was very close with and never got to know my younger nieces. They manipulated the kids against me.
When dealing with true Npd abuse it is painful. That is what I see being expressed here. I saw one who is sadly still in the throes of the effects of horrific abuse. Other than that, it seems everyone is going through the same struggles with loss of family.

Smileless2012 Thu 02-May-19 22:37:30

That's the awful thing about estrangement, when children become pawns in the 'game'.

I'm sorry you've experienced the pain of estrangement and lost your niece and nephew Jean as well as your brotherflowers.

March Fri 03-May-19 09:30:41

I've literally typed out that my MIL sent verbal abuse to my husband and myself on 2 occasions (that I know about) plus other things.

You've then just said you don't believe me, diluted it down and go on to say * Of course they are ready to LISTEN. But how can you LISTEN if your child won`t talk to you and won`t give you any explaination for their behaviour?*

That's exactly how it goes.
You aren't believed, it's whittled down into a 'silly little argument' and it's pointless trying to communicate with someone who does that so they stop.

I'm not saying there aren't horrible AC out there who have some type of personality disorder.
But in our case there was warnings, there was cross words, there was arguments, there was awkwardness, there was 100 Red flags showing along with bright lights flashing.

He didn't wake up one morning after no alterations, no arguments and roses round the door and decides to cut his own flesh and blood off.
There are always reasons.

Im also not bitter and angry confused

March Fri 03-May-19 09:33:51

Why do so many feel the need to come onto threads such as this to vent their anger and constantly seek to justify their actions?

Because I was answering a question to those who asked what AC tell their children or expect from them when they are adults and if there's a fear of being 'cut off'

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