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The 'Perception Filter'...

(410 Posts)
HolyHannah Sun 24-May-20 07:51:22

An Estranged Parent said -- "This is something I have always thought about and really haven’t a clue as to the answer. I know that we all love with a different depth of capacity. How can our EC turn their backs on the very people who raised them and not give a hoot if they are dead or alive? Can they really love their spouses, their children? Are they capable of feeling love for anyone. In my case, I know with certainty that my ES loves his children, but in my heart I know he married someone who is very damaged even more so than he is and I think in order for his own survival, he in his mind pretends that all is well."

The first question in that is, "How can our EC turn their backs on the very people who raised them and not give a hoot if they are dead or alive?" My reply, "I guess it depends on how YOU raised them."

Next question -- "Can they really love their spouses, their children?" My reply, "Yes. Just because I got healthier mentally and stopped providing supply/'love' to my mom doesn't make me incapable of finding healthy love with my husband or children." The mentality of "If you don't/can't 'love' ME, you can't truly love anyone." is FFS at best.

Last question -- "Are they capable of feeling love for anyone. In my case, I know with certainty that my ES loves his children..." This statement should speak for itself...

HolyHannah Thu 11-Jun-20 23:52:58

Madgran -- I guess he probably gets his numbers from the same place most do. Logically, since he hears from thousands of abused children and since most of us didn't come from families with 99 siblings there has to be a co-relation between the number of abused children to abusive parents.

I think it's well established that there are no definitive studies/numbers on who is what when abuse and Narcissism are concerned.

That said, regardless of numbers, what stands out is his breakdown of what was written. He showed where the projection and gas-lighting was occurring etc. There are very key ways to 'spot' dysfunctional/abusive behavior and as he said, it's not difficult to spot if you know what to look for. And I guess he's heard "the pony story" a few times as well as "the 'wrong colored' car" as parent's stated reason for estrangement.

One of the ways to know when someone is dysfunctional/abusive is, IF you substitute Adult Child with Spouse or Ex-Spouse and it no longer becomes an "okay thought", then the problem is the parent. PERIOD. Any issues the AC may have is of no consequence IF the parent is abusive. Children (adult or minor) have NO POWER to stop a parent from abusing. That's why Ollie says the only way to stop the abuse is cutting off/No Contact. That's his opinion and he's free to speak it. I am on the fence on that myself.

It's interesting that some are only focused on what he said wrong and not anything of what he said that was correct. And yes he's insulting, he's sick and tired of the abuse and the gas-lighting and the BS that these type of abusers throw around and victim blaming/shaming their children while crying they are the 'true victim'. On that he and I agree.

HolyHannah Fri 12-Jun-20 00:14:47

Spreading misinformation about family estrangement is not helpful. Validating dysfunctional ideology is what keeps the cycle of abuse going!

Good grief, that is the definition of being an enabler... Don't call out abusive behavior. As long as it makes someone 'feel good' and even if it comes at the expense of child abuse victims? Yeah, that's a hero.

People do not believe child abuse victims as is and having people like Sheri and Sharon writing stuff that validates dysfunctional thinking and puts all the blame of estrangement on AC is what keeps society from being educated...

See! See! This person agrees with Me and 'Our Side'. I guess the measure should be, does anyone else OUTSIDE of 'that group' also agree with what they are saying? Like a psychiatrist/psychologist/doctor? If the answer is no, then it's hurtful and should not be lauded.

rosecarmel Fri 12-Jun-20 00:44:49

I don't believe the world will be worse for wear due to manner in which he expresses himself- I've listened to George Carlin, Dave Chappelle, Bill Burr and others, all of which didn't sugar coat life's harsh realities- I don't think anyone can put themselves out there like that without wearing their heart on their sleeve-

Motherofdragons Fri 12-Jun-20 01:19:01

There is generally no "you are a perfect, innocent victim", it is more "this is the terrible thing that happened to you, its not your fault but it is your responsibility to move forward"

This is the difference. There really is a common theme: the inability to accept ANY responsibility. This past couple of pages on this thread prompted me to read The Brainwashing Behind Going No Contact again. Just page after page of I DID NOTHING WRONG. No major surprise there.

I have seen parents, devastated at their child’s addiction, taking responsibility for all manner of things, just to make things right, to make things better. Of course, until the addicted individual is able to take responsibility for themselves, there will not be any progress.

I have seen estranged parents, posting on here for the first time, devastated at their estrangement, indicating where they feel they have gone wrong, willing to take responsibility for their part in the relationship, only to be told “You did the best you could.” “You’ve got nothing to feel guilty about.” “You were a good and loving mother.” They are discouraged from examining where they went wrong, because that will challenge the status quo. Those posters usually don’t stick around too long on here.

Then there are those who refuse to accept ANY responsibility.

It is no coincidence that there is a correlation between the posters who have been estranged long term and their refusal to take any responsibility for their part in the relationship breakdown. No family is perfect. No parent is perfect. No person is perfect. To claim otherwise isn’t only not fooling anyone, it is a massive red flag.

rosecarmel Fri 12-Jun-20 02:10:29

Woe is me = denial

Woah, it's me- = accountability

HolyHannah Fri 12-Jun-20 04:12:59

"I guess I was wondering If I did something wrong expecting them to meet my emotional needs." -- an EP asked that in a post I read today.

I wonder, depending on what 'side'/perception filter is used, the answer is on that.

So, is it wrong to expect your children to meet your emotional needs? I know my answer.

HolyHannah Fri 12-Jun-20 06:01:10

One reply from another 'rejected parent' was very telling, "So maybe we were incorrect in wanting or needing our children to support or fill our emotional needs. I dislike the label “wrong” for the implication that you or I did this emotional neediness on purpose to harm them. We didn’t."

So Parent 1 admits she expected her child(ren) to "fulfill her emotional needs" and Parent 2 ADMITS -- paraphrased -- "Well maybe that was 'wrong'ish but since it wasn't "on purpose" We did 'nothing wrong' so what are they upset about/why do they estrange/go No Contact?"

Allow Me:

So You as the parent/adult expected your children to "fulfill your emotional needs"... News Flash -- It is the duty/responsibility of a 'parent' to look after their children and their needs and NOT the other way around.

Parent 2 starts with, "So maybe we were incorrect..." There is no maybe there. It is 100% incorrect to expect any other person to meet YOUR 'emotional needs' let alone Your child(ren).

P2 goes on, "I dislike the label “wrong” for the implication that you or I did this emotional neediness on purpose to harm them. We didn’t." And here's another perception difference. EP's seem to think/believe that if they didn't mean/didn't know they were hurting Us that there is no 'damage' done...

Here's another News Flash -- It doesn't matter if you hit an animal on the road 'on purpose' or it darts out and you hit it 'accidentally' if the animal dies in either case? It's dead. The animal really cares very little about the 'intent' of the driver/parent from its POV. It is still dead. Parents are the 'drivers' in the family dynamic.

Parent 2 also admits to "emotional neediness" and that it does harm children... So how about owning that behavior and apologizing sincerely?

P2 also goes on to admit, “Wrong” also implies that you could have been the perfect parent but screwed up. Nope. This was what we learned as children, the lessons we absorbed from our parents and siblings."

So P2 is also admitting that they learned their dysfunctional thinking from their family AND they passed it on.

So what IS NOT happening? P2 like most EP's who might 'secretly know' why they are estranged can't/won't OWN their abusive behavior because it is so long term and systematic that who would forgive them for 'that'? Their children probably would IF they could say the words, "You are right about Me that I was an abusive parent and I understand that while we both understand that it wasn't my 'intent' what I was taught resulted in You being abused/damaged by Me. What can I do now that I understand my behavior WAS abuse to make Our relationship better?"

Starblaze Fri 12-Jun-20 08:38:54

It doesn't matter. Estranged children have communicated their points in many different ways on this thread and others and they weren't listened to regardless of how they were made.

Nicely: ignored
Not nicely: See! EAC are so mean!

HolyHannah Fri 12-Jun-20 13:30:21

Starblaze -- I guess the truth has a way of silencing some.

Smileless2012 Fri 12-Jun-20 13:37:07

Yes truth can do that because it leaves the one not speaking the truth trying to find a suitable response, and not always succeeding.

Starblaze Fri 12-Jun-20 13:46:45

That must be very difficult Smileless

HolyHannah Fri 12-Jun-20 13:53:04

Smileless -- When confronted with the truth/reality an emotionally healthy/mature person doesn't try to find a "suitable response" they own the behavior and apologize.

Smileless2012 Fri 12-Jun-20 14:31:26

It can be difficult when you're confronted with it Starblaze.

Yes of course HolyHannah. You posted I guess the truth has a way of silencing some and I agreed with you and went on to give a reason why that can be the case, where someone is silenced by the truth because they're not speaking it.

rosecarmel Fri 12-Jun-20 14:34:37

"Secretly know"-

Only questions ..

To what benefit would keeping a secret be? And who stands to benefit by it?

HolyHannah Fri 12-Jun-20 14:42:13

How many times have I been accused of "not believing" Estranged Parents or "not listening" to what EP's 'are saying'?

Yet again, there is the difference in perceptions... EP's hear something contrary to their narrative and just cannot carry on... It's all that nastiness! I actually DO read what EP's have to say and I DO believe them -- when they are telling the truth.

BOTH of the parents in what I quoted just admitted to being emotional child abusers. The very admission of expecting their children to fulfill their emotional needs means they NEGLECTED their child(ren)s emotional needs.

They already know and admitted that as well. And yet what do those same 'rejected parents' still do? Act like they did nothing wrong and have NOTHING to apologize for and worse claim to be victims of their 'abusive' EAC.

And people wonder why Ollie sounds angry in his videos about Narcissistic parents? It's the constant gas-lighting.

rosecarmel Fri 12-Jun-20 15:54:02

Well, HolyHannah, your personal perception (a studied assessment of collective behaviors and templated, defensive narratives) provides insight-

However, that just simply might not be what some estranged parents are seeking, those that vehemently maintain their status as abandoned- I say "might" to leave room for benefit of doubt-

But I will say this, defensiveness varies- It can be rigid and "thick" and also soft and porous- So, the likelihood of you getting "through" is actually high- Enough to facilitate change, enough for reconciliation for some-

For others, those that think what you see and know as throwing stones, they'll collect them to reinforce their garrisons-

Madgran77 Fri 12-Jun-20 16:23:03

but there are also many who also give advice for setting boundaries, grey rock and all sorts of ways to maintain a relationship with an abusive parent.

Yes Starblaze I have to say I have been quite astounded by some advice I have seen/heard given to people estranging themselves from an abusive relationship. Good that you managed to find better, more relevant and helpful advice as you made your decision flowers

Motherofdragons Fri 12-Jun-20 16:31:44

rosecarmel’I always enjoy reading your posts, they have a certain eloquence to them.

I think this is very true:

For others, those that think what you see and know as throwing stones, they'll collect them to reinforce their garrisons

But also incredibly sad.

Smileless2012 Fri 12-Jun-20 16:44:27

I remember when my s.i.l. was married to an abusive man, she came to stay with her parents and they were advising her to go back to him Madgran.

She did bless her but a few years later built up the courage to divorce him. As you say, some of the 'advice' people are given beggars belief.

Madgran77 Fri 12-Jun-20 17:00:09

Quote: Mother of Dragons: *Madgran77 I doubt research sources in terms of statistics for statements such as "a large percentage of you are narcissistic toxic scumbags" exist! If any such studies existed, I would love to read them too! But I don’t know how a study into percentages of a population being narcissistic toxic scumbags could be set up, never mind carried out.
From reading your posts over the years though, I think that you are an incredibly intelligent woman and that you know “data” into such a claim doesn’t (and couldn’t) exist. And I understand the point you are making.*

There is a significant amount of research on generational characteristics and in fact Holy Hannah's comment about how Ollie might use the information he has on abused estranged ACs to inform his comments, might well be a starting point. However "percentage" is a dangerous/misleading word to use without statistical evidence, he might have been better saying "the number of abused, estranged ACs [or whatever group description he chooses to use] I am aware of suggest that a significant number of ...are …"

Regarding any point I might be making, in fact my question re research was genuine. There is a point about sweeping generalisations though.

Madgran77 Fri 12-Jun-20 17:00:48

Regarding people saying what others want to hear ...I think that is quite often the case with stuff on the internet..."experts" say what the "group" they are speaking to wants to hear

Quote Mother of Dragons: I absolutely agree with you. However the individual we are discussing doesn’t sell himself as an expert on anything. And his “group” is made up of abuse victims, not solely child abuse victims of abusive parents

My comment was not particularly referring to Ollie. I was agreeing with a comment made by another poster!

I understand that from his work he will have access to many many examples of toxic, abusive parents

Quote: Motherof Dragons And toxic, abusive spouses, in laws, adult children, employers, extended family, friends, religious communities etc. He may have had abusive parents, but that is not his focus. He doesn’t hesitate to bring to the writer’s attention their own dysfunction and if he percieves that individual to in fact be the abuser, then he will let them know

Absolutely, but my point/query was purely in relation to his comment about "Baby Boomer" parents; the only reason why I referred toxic abusive parents in this context. .

Madgran77 Fri 12-Jun-20 17:02:42

*Woe is me = denial

Woah, it's me- = accountability*

Nice one Rosecarmel Very eloquent wordplay!

Starblaze Fri 12-Jun-20 17:48:33

There are all sorts of situations where people might need to stay in contact with abusive people. Situations where abusive partners still have court awarded access to the children. Situations where abusive parents still have minor siblings iving with them. Situations where one parent refuses to leave an abusive parent etc. When it comes to emotional abuse especially, it's still not seen and recognised in all cases sadly.

Motherofdragons Fri 12-Jun-20 19:41:12

There is a significant amount of research on generational characteristics

but my point/query was purely in relation to his comment about "Baby Boomer" parents

Madgran my apologies, I clearly didn’t read your post properly. I have overlooked the part highlighted in bold and responded to you based on the first part of the statement:

I am wondering where his research sources are in terms of statistics for statements such as large percentage of you are narcissistic toxic scumbags" referring to "baby boomers" as a generation

I’m sorry for the confusion! The generational aspect completely escaped my attention. That will teach me to just go to sleep rather than staying up on my phone when I go to bed!

Madgran77 Fri 12-Jun-20 20:13:46

Motherofdragons no worries! Best to leave the phone off when going to bed I suppose ?