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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 Thu 09-Mar-17 16:47:17

Here's a similar I haven't read through it all but so far what I can make out is that -

she's very angry with her parents, advises complete cut off, has cut them off for the last decade, is broke, still angry, an orphan, life sucks, it's her parents fault that she had to quit college, (no funds because she's not speaking to her parents)
So, if she's cut them off, why would they pay for college? It seems she's not any happier.

Starlady Thu 09-Mar-17 18:21:30

Rereading the op, I can actually see where some boundaries might seem like "dictating" to a gp but perfectly okay to an ac. For example, ac may feel they have the right to let the gp know what day and time is good for gp to come over and, frankly, they do. But it might appear to be dictatorial to a gp who expects to be able to come over whenever they want or who let their own parents and pils come over more often. Of course, if it's as rigid as in the example, then, yes, I think that's dictatorial. Iv never known anyone in real life who was that rigid, but maybe some people are.

I can also see why some ac might not want to explain a boundary to a gp if the gp tends to question a lot and argue. To use the visiting example again, maybe gp asks to come over and see the gc and ac says that Sunday is the only available day. The gp asks why and ac says they're booked up other days. Then gp asks "With what?" and ac mentions plans with friends (with kids)or whatever. Then gp argues that family should be more important than friends or that they would really rather come over on Saturday and are willing to come when the activity with the friends is over. And on and on. I'm not saying all gps do that, I certainly don't. But if a gp does, then it's clear why the might not want to even start that conversation.

I'm not accusing anyone here of ever having argues like that either. Just trying to think of why some ac might not feel comfortable about explaining.

Starlady Thu 09-Mar-17 18:26:18

As for Danu Morigan, I think some of her ideas are way out there. But she does admit that she's not a professional, etc. I just see her as someone sharing her own experience and what she did about it. Very similar to what people often do here when advising each other. It seems to me it's up to the person reading to know enough to take things with a grain or two of salt and understand that they're not getting professional advice.

Starlady Thu 09-Mar-17 18:34:05

My big problem with the second blog linked is that the writer needs to realize that if she tells her situation to strangers, they are going to ask questions. That's normal, imo. That's what people do on sites like this and irl. If she doesn't want to discuss it, then she shouldn't bring it up or she should just say she doesn't feel comfortable discussing it and change the subject.

If she feels that her parents were bad enough to need to be co and that she is a "stronger, better person" (I think those are the words, I'm not looking right at it) for it, that's her perspective and no one can change it. But she can't expect just to lay this on people and then have it magically go away.

Cindi Fri 10-Mar-17 02:32:23

Your premise regarding the estrangement sites is very interesting. Nina, espousing an EP's view and solution is informative. "How this all pans out for the future is a worrying scenario because when they cut us off, they also cut themselves off. Some of us pick ourselves up, realise the new freedom we've been given and ride off into the sunset spending the inheritance as we go."

Go forth joyfully! Spend on a bucket list without guilt. Accordingly, don't imagine that AC care; 99.99% of AC want their parents spending on a joyful retirement.

nina1959 Fri 10-Mar-17 07:09:13

I agree Cindi. We can't undo their choices and we shouldn't have to endure the results of those choices to the extent it's an ongoing burden of grief.

Thanks for the PM's by the way. The best way to find a support group is to type in 'parents estranged from adult children. You'll see there are several FB groups and pages.
The best are the closed groups and then some offer access to secret support groups. These are better because you can share your feelings with other parents in total privacy. But just having a read of what other parents are saying will show that you're not alone.
There is also a group primarily for estranged adult children called Standalone. This, I think, offers support and help for those EC that have had no option but to cut themselves off from abusive family.
I hope I've provided options for all sides here.

Norah Fri 10-Mar-17 08:05:35

A bit from your second link: "Being a parent is a choice, and so is being someone’s child. A child is not property. They do not owe you anything. Family should not be about obligation."

I agree, I don't want to be owed or be an obligation to my children.

NfkDumpling Fri 10-Mar-17 13:22:13

I just Googled Narcisstic Mother - and goodness - that was my mum! But, I loved her and although I was severely lacking in confidence in my early teens, because of her I became a stronger, independent person. I'm glad I never NC'ed her!

87RefinedBulbasir Sat 18-Nov-17 16:21:32

Message deleted by Gransnet.

annsixty Sat 18-Nov-17 16:26:14

Not much to say to that.
I pity you and your sad life.

Cherrytree59 Sat 18-Nov-17 17:34:25

Is counseling an option?

Madgran77 Sat 18-Nov-17 17:39:44

87refinedbulbasir dear me, you really do things seem to see things simplistically don't you - with a big dose of assumption built in!!

Violetfloss Sat 18-Nov-17 17:46:15


Well done hmm You have just tarnished everyone who has gone No Contact with the same brush.

Norah Sat 18-Nov-17 18:39:28

A little self reflection might help.

ninathenana Sat 18-Nov-17 18:53:17

Sad person

Christinefrance Sat 18-Nov-17 19:15:35

Think this thread is beyond any help the average GNetter can give. These people need professional help.
It's so sad that people get sucked into all this crap pseudo psych rubbish.

Luckylegs9 Sat 18-Nov-17 19:47:58

Why resurrect a 8 month old post 87,. You really do need professional help. Your mother must have been a saint.

Chewbacca Sat 18-Nov-17 19:57:53

Sad to think the someone like 87Refined is wandering around nursing such deep grievances and has no one to share them with, except here. I pity her.

M0nica Sat 18-Nov-17 20:04:39

Surely this the outcome of what can lazily be called the 'snowflake' upbringing.

We have a generation of young people coming to adult life now, a significant proportion of whom have been brought up in a bubble where they have never challenged but always protected from all life's little difficulties. They have been encouraged to believe that no one should ever argue with them, contradict them or suggest that they are not always right.

Teachers give them the impression that high exam marks are a reward for working hard, rather than having command of your subject or ability.

When they come out of this bubble into the real world of competition, effort and adversity. They cannot cope so look for someone to blame. And of course the best thing to do is blame your parents.

There was actually a letter in the DM this week from a young woman saying that 'if my generation are such 'snowflakes' it is our parents fault and it is their responsibility to sort our problems out'

Jalima1108 Sat 18-Nov-17 20:53:00

87 I do hope you are receiving the help that you so obviously need.

M0nica Sat 18-Nov-17 20:59:57

Sorry, didn't realise how old this thread was.

Bathsheba Sat 18-Nov-17 21:15:49

'if my generation are such 'snowflakes' it is our parents fault and it is their responsibility to sort our problems out'

If that wasn't so worrying, it would be downright hilarious. Actually it is downright hilarious - can this idiot really not see the irony of what she is saying?

Eloethan Sat 18-Nov-17 23:36:51

This is the first time I've heard that this "going no contact" idea has organised groups promoting it.

I'm sure there must be circumstances so extreme that sometimes it is the only way for a person to protect himself/herself from a toxic relationship.

However, in the way that many people who have quirky little ways now refer to themselves as "OCD" (when true obsessive-compulsive disorder is a terribly distressing and life-changing condition), it seems that labels like "narcissism" or "personality disorder" are being used too liberally.

I don't agree with an opinion expressed earlier in the thread that if a person has set a good example in treating their own parents properly this would not happen to them. I think that perhaps in some cases children have been so indulged that if parents suddenly put their foot down their children feel they have been ill-treated and thus entitled to threaten to break off contact. I think there have been several very sad examples of this on Gransnet.

That is not to deny that there are people who have been very damaged by emotional or physical abuse in their childhood. In such circumstances I think it is quite understandable, and probably advisable, that at least some distance is maintained.

Yogagirl Sun 19-Nov-17 18:54:25

Thanks for posting that Nina1959 Very interesting, and sad! No time to read other posts now, but I will ..

Jalima1108 Sun 19-Nov-17 19:48:13

'if my generation are such 'snowflakes' it is our parents fault and it is their responsibility to sort our problems out'

If that wasn't so worrying, it would be downright hilarious. Actually it is downright hilarious - can this idiot really not see the irony of what she is saying?

There is a word for this kind of stupidity Bathsheba and I can't think of it (I must be stupid grin)

It is abrogating one's own personal responsibility - part of the self-centred victim culture.

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