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"Yes. I’m talking to you EC." -- Well, I am an Estranged Child and I'm willing to listen...

(158 Posts)
HolyHannah Fri 31-Jan-20 07:03:12

Here's the message:

I went over and visited a few other sites that are dedicated to the children of estrangement. I noticed a whole lot of finger pointing and accusations of Narcissism especially among mothers. Some brought up this website as if a narcissistic parent would spend time looking to resolve their grief online. No kiddos. Let me tell you what a narcissistic parent looks like. A mother that neglects her children to go out to bars, feeds her kids the same meals day in and day out to buy cigarettes and beer for her man. A mother that tells you that you should have died instead of your sister. That’s just the very teeny tip of the iceberg of my relationship with my mother. I could post things here that would make most people’s heads explode. The point is that as screwed up as my mother was all my life, as immature as she still is, I stand by her and help her when she is sick today. I don’t turn my back on her because I came to realize as I got older that we all tend to reflect our own upbringing. My mother was raised by an undiagnosed paranoid bipolar parent. She was physically abused herself and emotionally terrorized. Perhaps that kept her in a perpetual state of adolescence. I don’t know for sure but what I do know is that there was nothing I did as a child to deserve maltreatment. I could walk away from my mother but I do the right thing by letting both of my parents off the hook. I don’t wish for them to die knowing that they were hated by me. Now if I can forgive my parents who I promise you were absolute monsters to me growing up, maybe you can stop feeling sorry for yourselves and do the same. When they are gone you will never have the chance to clear that up. Now I don’t recommend reconciliation in the case of sexual abuse but if you are keeping yourself away for things such as your mom was too nosy or she embarrassed you a few times, get over it. It happens to all children and guess what, if you have kids you’re bound to screw up without even intending to. Lord knows I had that first time my daughter told me I was stupid and that she hated me for being mean. It will happen to you! Furthermore, you say that you have gone no contact but what have you done in return that is actually quite dangerous. You’re putting the strangers online own personal biases as support for your complaints about parents. You’re relegating yourselves to impersonal support chats instead of trying to mend the relationships with the people that kept you alive and kept your tushies clean for the first few years of your existence. Children, adult children and parents will always have friction. Lower your expectations and see your parents as the people they are and not just as solely your parents. It is disappointing when you first realize your parents are not the idealized versions we see on television but you owe it to yourself to at least try to have compassion and understanding for them just as you would any other person on the internet.

Smileless2012 Fri 31-Jan-20 08:35:39

A good OP Holyhannahsmile

midnightschild Fri 31-Jan-20 11:02:51

Well written holyhannah and I think you make some important points. My mother is long gone, but the effects of a dysfunctional childhood have coloured my whole life. For a long time I felt such burning hatred and a great sense of injustice. When I read about narcissism I identified strongly with the idea that I was the child of a narcissist and that helped a little by allowing me to see myself as part of a group rather than the only one who had been subjected to this type of abuse.
However, as I have got older I have very much begun to see things from a different perspective, and realised how the circle of life repeats. I remember snippets of my mother’s life that she shared and realise that although that generation didn’t really use the term ‘abuse’, that is what she herself had been subjected to as a child. She had several nervous breakdowns and her mental problems went into overdrive at the menopause.
For a long time all I had concentrated on was how damaged I was, but was ignoring any implication of how damaged she might have been.
I was also in complete denial/ignorance of how this was affecting my relationships with my own children. And it was.
None of us are perfect. All of us are the products of our own upbringing and we are not all able to just shrug off the effects of any damage done.
I wish I had reached this understanding a long time ago, whilst my mother was still around. I wish that maybe we could have talked and had some healing.
Having said that, despite the fact that we had been estranged for some periods of my life, I did not abandon my mother when she was old and ill. I cared for her physical needs, did her shopping, visited her all the time when she was in a hospice near the end. But I didn’t do it with any understanding of why our relationship was as it was.

Galaxy Fri 31-Jan-20 11:06:07

I think asking people to remain in contact with people sho have abused them is wrong. I dont think you can ask that of people.

Starlady Fri 31-Jan-20 11:37:51

"...if you are keeping yourself away for things such as your mom was too nosy or she embarrassed you a few times, get over it."

Good luck telling anyone to just "get over it!" Besides, I don't get the impression that most people keep themselves away solely b/c of poor parenting in the past (unless they were truly abused/neglected). Often the problems are ongoing.

ananimous Fri 31-Jan-20 11:52:13

I think it's more than ok to walk away from unreasonable toxic people, related or not - being related can sometimes be used as an excuse to mistreat.

Trauma bonding is real, meaning that breaking away from the abuser will be very difficult, as your personality has been diluted with the care-giver's, and thus need to rebuild their own personality.

Emotional, physical, and sexual abuse is still ALWAYS a choice.

Abuse is abuse.
Minimising it to help yourself cope is understandable, but to extend this opinion to others, is to not understand the subtleties and complexities of abuse and inter-generational dysfunction.
Yes, each generation has been tainted, but some will step away from dysfunction whilst others will cling to it.

3nanny6 Fri 31-Jan-20 12:38:49

That's a good post HolyHannah and you explained really well how difficult a childhood you had I have done a lot of community based work and have seen many children that have had a less than happy childhood. Many people cannot involve themselves with the bad upbringing in families as it touches a chord that many find too close to heart to be able to deal with. I have been faced with seeing the children in their homes with mothers who are feeding their drug habits or drink habits and it is a sad sight but when a child has known nothing else then the mother is it's role model and even if that child is fostered for a period of time their is usually a wish that they can be reunited with the mother.

It's a fact of life that some families are dysfunctional and it is a difficult cycle to break.
I am the mother of a daughter who now is giving me no contact to her or the grand-children.
Unlike yourself my daughter had an upbringing where there was no abuse no history of myself leaving the children alone I did not smoke or drink and no string of men that came and went. I know there are parents like that and I am not judgemental but I did not have that lifestyle as it would not have been for me.

I will say you do have a valid point about posters coming on here and asking for advice etc, and you think it is a dangerous thing in asking strangers in impersonal chats how to mend a relationship that is dysfunctional. I look at what I do in my posts and I do make some posts in regard of my estrangement but not to ask for advice I just air my thoughts now and again.
If I could show my estranged daughter your post I know what she would say but I cannot print it on here and that is not being rude to you in fact it is the last thing she said to me when she pushed me out of her house for no reason whatsoever I tried to grab the food bags and nappies I had just delivered to her out of my own money but was unable to do that still a small price to pay for at least not having to put up with her constant belittling of me and criticisms of how a poor mother I was to her. In regard of my daughter I think she is a narcissist and the ones to lose out are my grand-children.

Smileless2012 Fri 31-Jan-20 12:59:42


3nanny6 Fri 31-Jan-20 13:22:17

Thank-you for the flowers Smileless2012 I guess it's one of those days when missing the grand-children.

One of those days when it's just time for one day at a time.

Smileless2012 Fri 31-Jan-20 14:00:18

Feeling like that myself 3nanny having spent 3 weeks with DS in Aus. and still feeling the pain of saying 'good bye' on Monday.

Best part of those 3 weeks was seeing him in arrivals and hearing someone call out 'mum'.

rosecarmel Fri 31-Jan-20 15:37:55

I don't understand the purpose of the post-

Bibbity Fri 31-Jan-20 15:48:01

My MIL isn’t in our lives because she brings us misery. I don’t think she has NPD. But she’s a bitch and I hate her for who she is and what she’s done.
We don’t need to justify ourselves. We don’t need to explain ourselves and we are perfectly entitled to keep our lives and our marriage intact and happy.

So you do you. But don’t you dare believe you have the right to tell other people how to behave.

You just come across as slightly unhinged.

Yennifer Fri 31-Jan-20 15:57:41

Interesting post, I think the OP has gone one of three ways. From all my reading, these 3 ways tend to everlap but one will be stronger. Either a child from an abusive home wakes up and makes a choice to move away from abusive behaviour and abusive people seeking help for themselves. They become lost and end up addicted and self medicating. Or they normalise and excuse their childhood so much they become abusive themselves. I think the OP chose the last option. Their lack of empathy for others pain is apparent in every line they wrote. I feel sorry for her but more for her kids. I feel sorry for the estranged children she is abusing with those words.

I do totally have empathy for my mother. However she didn't break the cycle, not even for her own children and I wasnt going to let that continue damaging me and my children. That's a valid choice, a healthy and productive one.

HolyHannah Fri 31-Jan-20 16:00:28

rosecarmel -- I found that written elsewhere and I was floored that an EP thinks talking to EAC that way is appropriate. I disagree, but the writer did ask EAC to "listen" so I did. I thought other EAC might find it interesting.

endlessstrife Fri 31-Jan-20 16:06:36

I’m afraid I don’t agree with your post. You can’t tell people how to behave around estrangement. Nothing worked for us with difficult family. I’m glad you have this positive attitude though, and hope it brings you peace.

3nanny6 Fri 31-Jan-20 16:54:02

Hoping you had a wonderful time Smileless2012 it is always painful saying goodbye but keep in mind there will always be a reunion even though it may not be for a while.

It's strange even when mine were in their teens and had not come shopping with me if I heard someone shout "mum" I automatically turned around looking for one of mine.

rosecarmel Fri 31-Jan-20 17:00:42

Ok- smile

I'm looking at it from one perspective, solely- Someone tending to the needs of a sick individual- The act of caring can trigger an avalanche of thoughts and feelings that arise from what they are dependant upon, which is in this case a dysfunctional history, one of harm and hurt-

She's groaning, letting off steam- As many things do when undergoing change and growth, especially when shifts in world views and perceptions reveal something new-

One time I had a shift that was seismic- I was driving!!! There was fork up ahead and I thought for sure I was going to take it straight up the middle- But I yielded right- My brain was in labor!

As I began to get used to the new view realized just how stuck I was- I wanted to share that view with everyone .. and did .. smile

Smileless2012 Fri 31-Jan-20 17:46:32

I've done that too 3nanny6 on more than one occasion; you never stop being a mum do you, even when they're middle aged.

Starlady Sat 01-Feb-20 05:15:13

Hugs, 3nanny6

HH - So you posted something you saw elsewhere and wanted to see our reaction? Do you realize most people thought it was YOU saying it? IMO, you should have told us you were posting something you read elsewhere.

But wait... did you actually copy & paste someone else' post from another site? Are we allowed to do that here?

Starlady Sat 01-Feb-20 05:18:03

Oh, I've done that, too, Smileless and nanny, even do it now sometimes, LOL!

HolyHannah Sat 01-Feb-20 07:52:04

Starlady -- Yes. On another site an EP titled their post "Yes. I’m talking to you EC." I read that and because I identify as an Estranged Child (EC) and the tone of their message was to "listen" and I DID and I re-posted what they said because why not? I have no issue with the truth.

"Do you realize most people thought it was YOU saying it?" Yes... Because I got agreement when some thought I/the person I quoted, was saying what EP's want to hear/agree with.

Pantglas2 Sat 01-Feb-20 08:21:18

Manipulative - IMO

Smileless2012 Sat 01-Feb-20 11:01:16

It maybe something that some EAC want to hear/agree with too.

Yennifer Sat 01-Feb-20 11:05:31

I think most people who read the OP didn't agree with it at all x

Yennifer Sat 01-Feb-20 11:06:47

I don't think the OP even is an EC x