Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Escaping Flying Monkeys and Finding "Found Families"

My emotions towards those who have been on the side lines has changed. I still have contact with my brother, some cousins and their families but sometimes I ask myself, "Why didn't anyone ever stick up for me?" The cowardice bothers me. They allowed her to just take an eraser to me. Remember I went NC not just with the Queen Spider and her Mini-Me but 85% of the family, these are the 15% or so I kept some limited contact with. I have not seen any relatives save for one cousin I saw this year in 5-8 years and the visits to my narcissistic mother's house before I went no contact.

 I know people have their own lives, but I have realized even with these "nice" side relatives, I am not very close to them. My brother knows me the most but with the years that has ebbed away. With my brother I will give him this, he did defend me a few times when my mother and grandmother went after me viciously about my weight. However I know he is going to stay in contact with her and be visiting, and sending flowers on Mother's Day. Those are his choices, I am not going to tell anyone what to do or not do, and he isn't telling me what to do either, as the boundaries we established to be in contact ourselves but it makes me have certain emotions I am dealing with.

I also must not forget that just last year, she told him not to visit me, that it would "take too much time" even though he drove up to my state and was only 45 minutes away instead of 8 hours and he obeyed and at that point I had not seen him in 5 years.

 My narcissistic mother always had to be the center of attention. One niece is writing me emails, but I can tell she is afraid of them being read, so even there the relationship will be affected. With older family members, I am removing myself emotionally from seeking closer relationships with these "'nicer" members. For years I attempted it, and well it's time to focus life on more rewarding activities.

 Outside of one cousin who visits me every 10 years, none had ever made a move to visit me. I even thought to myself  some time ago "Maybe I should get on a bus to see some of them and travel, but 16 hours on a bus means a possible hospital visit to me, it's not going to happen." This many years disabled and sick, I did become forgotten about and my narcissist mother was able to use this to her advantage.

I was watching some Ollie Matthews videos, and in one,  he said, to avoid those who are still in contact with your narcissists. I can see why he warns about that. For me this is the entire family. Years ago in my early 20s, when I was around some of my aunts, uncles and cousins, and driving down to visit them, some would tell me, they knew something was wrong with my mother and that they agreed with me. I told a few about specific things she had done, and they reacted with outrage.

As a child, I told a few of the adults about my abuse and even asked to live with a couple and was ignored and pushed away. One aunt on my father's side, heard about some pretty serious abuses when I was in my teens and visiting her trailer. She was abused herself by my father. He trashed her even for leaving a physically abusive husband.

They would tell me, "Yes something is seriously wrong with your mother.", and then make some complaints of their own about her ripping them off, or lying and saying nasty things to them.

But what does this really mean if it's only voiced in backrooms? And as time went by that even disappeared as her smear campaigns and manipulations grew more cunning.

 Even these she won over to her side or fully conquered. Aunt Scapegoat was one of them by the way. She would tell me around the age of 20, that my mother was mean, and heartless. Today Aunt Scapegoat would sooner rip off her right arm then speak out against my mother. During my last visits to my mothers house when Aunt Scapegoat had come up for a visit, she would literally almost run from the room when she saw me coming to talk to her. I had memories too of Aunt Denial doing this too. This never occurred to me until recently. Some of you may be surprised like "why didn't you notice?" but remember these people actually smiled a few times at me in comparison to my mother's sour faces.

I realized while feeling my freedom and happiness in no contact, that I felt bad talking to even some of the "nice" relatives, there is this feeling of betrayal with the ones who are old enough that undergrids each and every one of the relationships. There was betrayal. They sat silently by for the most part. They made excuses for my mother. They told me she still cared due to her present giving. They told me that I was the trouble maker, should make peace and be more accepting. They all threw me under the bus in a group family email where I told her she could not censor our speech as adults. Even for the ones cared about, I found myself on edge with the very few I talk to. Inside I felt like crying every time I even talked to one who was not mean or anything on the phone. It was hard to explain, but those emotions have a reason to exist. In other words, my expectations are low because these people never had my back.

I found myself thinking, "Should I even put effort into these relationships?" and the answer is No. They feel so dead end to me. I suppose my feelings of betrayal lie underneath that feeling. No one ever stood up for me. They always obeyed my mother. They always defended my sister at her behest. They sat silent as my mother and the other narcissists insulted me.

 I do feel utter hopelessness and feel bad around people from my family even the one's who are not overtly against me and who are "nice". Maybe because I know they will be visiting my narcissistic mother, smiling at her, and trying to please her? Maybe because I know if push comes to shove, who will they choose? Maybe because I know my name will never be mentioned at any family gathering ever again and not one will dare to rock the boat?

My brother told me a couple months ago, my mother never mentioned me once, nor that I had left. The rest support my erasure then by complicity. I wish I had asked him, "Well why didn't you bring me up?" I am tired though of asking anything of them anymore. Just like the narcissists on a lower level, if one is disappointed enough, you walk away. Outside of him with some of them, there were far too many unanswered emails and phone calls. I knew I was rendered voiceless in the fact many did not want to get in the middle. If people always choose against you and do the bidding of your narcissists why would you want to be close to them? The trust is not there.

 I relate to what Gail Meyers wrote here:

"I spent years of my life trying to show various flying monkeys the truth. It virtually never worked, not once in the twenty or so years I kept trying to "clear the air" or to finally be understood. They do not understand because they do not want to understand. Many are willfully ignorant and blind to the situation.  There is not some magical phrase and method you have not yet discovered that is suddenly going to cause these people to stand up for the truth.

What I have realized is the flying monkeys generally have their own reasons for behaving the way they do. Some may truly do it out of ignorance, truly fooled for years by the narcissist. However, it is my experience that most flying monkeys have weak characters.

They may know the truth, but lack the backbone to stand up for what is right. They may themselves fear becoming a target of the narcissist. They may have been a target of the narcissist in the past. They may have been taught to get along with everyone regardless. They may also be a narcissist themselves or hiding their own troubling behavior"

With some I am okay being a facebook friend, an "acquaintance" from long ago. I don't need to be NC, but I am not investing myself anymore. It is what it is. Saying hello just like someone does with people they went to high school with, almost a reunion sort of thing but I know my expectations are gone with the flying monkeys and other family members. I do not expect close relationships. That boat has left the dock. I don't want to expend the energy anymore to put it simply.

I suppose I consider some of these folks the "nice", "don't know what is going on" bystanders. Them I can excuse to a point for a little bit of distance, or being more extended relatives. One cousin, told me he remembered all the screaming and yelling of my family and it freaked him out. With these relatives contact was only intermittent. However with some of the others, like my brother and closer ones right in there, there is no such excuse. They saw a lot of went on. I told them many things too.

                                           [picture source]

I am meeting nice people in various places, churches, groups etc,  I am developing a new church family right now which is brightening up my life. These folks treat me well and with kindness just like my old church family. I feel good around these folks not how I feel around my family. To survive my abuse, I always sought "found families" and close friends in my communities.  I am finally facing the fact there is a void there with my family of orgin, and coming to a place of acceptance. The biological family I wanted and desired is not to be. Unless I find the would be family that put me up for adoption and because I could not have a family of my own, the best path in life is to put my energies into mutual loving relationships such as my marriage, friendships and my "found families". This is the path I have taken since my first no contact. This is also why some losses were so hard. I told one good friend this the other day, this is why I took the loss of my last community so hard.

My found families have helped me, been there for me and been people I have been able to share myself with and who have loved and given me acceptance. People that were positive and loving. One thing about my life years ago was entering the world, I did not want to succumb to the despair inherited from the narcissists. Maybe they would mutter everyone was on the take or sucked or just like them but I did find people who did care, and who had empathy and love for other people. This ranged from my earlier church family to my close friend "Pam" now deceased who offered me a lifeline. We even used to joke that she was my "real Mom" and in my late 20s and 30s, it was good to have an older friend as a mentor.

The world does have nice people in it. I have seen people so brokenhearted by the abusive and cruel, they come to doubt this, and not believe it but I have been blessed in finding good people in life. I also was given an alternative to the life displayed to me by my family. People with good moral codes, faith, kindness. We want people around us who we see as a good influence. Even the Bible states "Bad company corrupts good morals" and with narcissists this is absolute truth. They can infect a whole group of people. Narc "cults" families are infected.

I am realizing I am even losing memories, no one to talk about memories with save for a few with my brother. However even with him, his denials and rosy-eyed view of my mother, grates beyond belief. I told him a few things he listened to but in the back of mind wondered if I was believed? One time he told me, "She has bought presents for my children, she cares about us". One thing to look at with people is actions. Who is he visiting? I realized that the fact of the matter was, my probability of seeing any of these relatives in person ever again, was probably pretty low. It can be painful to care about or love someone knowing that they have pushed you away to please narcissists. However they have made their choice, and you can't control it. One thing when a person gets hurt enough and you pay attention to your own needs finally, you learn to protect yourself.

ACONs need to protect themselves from the silent bystanders, and others, of the dysfunctional family system. One thing, if you feel upset when you talk to someone pay attention to the emotions behind it. Don't ignore what your gut is telling you. We do have reasons to be upset with those who never stood up to the narcissist for us or even just minimally. It is a betrayal of sorts. We need to seek positive people who will care about us and who will back us up. They are out there. Find new "families".


  1. I found that I couldn't trust anyone outside of my scapegoated sister. Friends or family. My mother died and handed the torch off to my ex wife. And so it goes.

  2. Sorry to hear that Q. I can't trust anyone either in my entire family. It is sad to me. Not one ally in an entire family. I am glad you had your sister but sorry she got scapegoated. I can talk to brother and one aunt about some things but they will never take a stand against the NM, it's all back room stuff. The aunt never insisted I was invited to her granddaughters wedding, my brother probably even keeps it secret from the NM that he even talks to me.

  3. "I realize I am even loosing memories, no one to talk about memories with save for a few with my brother." Are those memories along the theme of neutral topics re: your FOO? In other words, more superficial memories?

    There are so many, many losses, "collateral damage" as you move from contact to LC to NC. When I NC'd, there were no geographically close relatives and rather than place the distant relatives in a difficult position (all on my MN "Mother's" side, Dad's FOO had been completely erased long before I ever met them) I didn't reach out to them. My concern was they would be used by MN "Mother" as sources of information. As it was, she called everyone whose name she ever heard me mention-even though she never even met these people, lived at least a long day's drive away etc.-in an attempt to groom them and slime me. (Another way to isolate the victim.) Additionally, she had her PIs stalking me and my family/friends, phone taps etc. and I made no effort to "hide" aside from residing at a distance so she was able to procure information through other means.

    We can and do create new Families. I rarely if ever talk about my FOO; at this stage in my life it just isn't a common topic anyway as most of us have adult kids, grandkids etc. Yes, there are good people. Finding and maintaining friendships with the "good" never erases the past but does help mitigate the losses if not in quantity, certainly in quality. Eventually, it's these people who *do* become your Family in every and the best sense of the word.

    IMO, the "despair" evidenced by the Narcs is a reflection of their Envy and Greed towards others. Their relationships with friends (and other more distant family members) consistently remained either superficial or ended for some reason never stated or for some "reason" that was always the other's "fault."
    The Ns are *never* responsible for the outcomes of their own behavior. Evah! ;)

    1. Yes some superficial memories. We did talk about some of the past more intense stuff. I know I worry about him telling my NM things so I have to be cautious with the few I do talk to in general. I would say I am LC even with the few I am in contact with. They al live very far away. I see a few on a social website, and well I have not been in person with any of them in over 5-8 years save for one cousin and seeing my NM and husband at her house before going NC.

      I really don't have a family, everyone is long distant and spread out. I am sorry your NM called everyone to groom them and do a smear campaign. I have found out, and I hope I am being told the truth that my NM has hidden my departure and acting like nothing is wrong. One aunt said to me that my NM just told her "Oh I haven't heard from her" [like I have been busy instead of gone for a year]

      In my case the NM knows where I live. I wish she did not but I could not afford to move and want to stay in the same town for good anyhow. Maybe one weird thing about her knowing where I live is there will be no PIs called. LOL It sounds like yours went all out. Mine has not showed up on my doorstep. I expected that for a time, but I do not think my hoovering will be very bad. If anything at this conjecture, I think she has washed her hands of me for good, and I have been discarded and dumped. I suppose I will know on my birthday next month but obviously I ignored hers. I would think most give up after a time. How long was your harassment? the aunt above told me on the phone [and I haven't seen this aunt in person since 1997 so phone contact is even minimal] that she thinks my mother is glad I am gone. Maybe she said as much to her but I didn't pry.

      Yes if you have your own family you can focus on them as the old one fades into the distance. I suppose with me it is hard being 45 years old and never having had children. I dare say my own healing would have gone a bit better. I am glad you can avoid the topic. I hint at things rarely and my close friends know, but I am noticing with new people, I say basically almost nothing about them. I agree having the friends and others, they do become your family in every real sense. Yes my two top narcs are not happy people even for all their money and people around them. I always thought Aunt Denial and my NM were thick as thieves but even remember having a conversation with Aunt Denial where she told me she barely knew my mother even with all the visits. Hey who knows her, she doesn't talk about anything. Mine has ended friendships but seems to have a crowd of neighbors and ladies that do lunch that seem happy with the superficiality. The Mini-me doesn't have any friends and was actually well hated in all her groups, and has abandoned her old friends from high school and later. She never developed even the superficial social niceties to grease her way because she was always taken care of. Yes I am not surprised yours too shared the superficial friendships or dumped others saying it was their fault. They never take responsibility for anything that is for sure!

  4. You know the backstory of my mother. I don't see how people that know it to be true, still think she was this fine southern belle and the rest of us were defective.

  5. I don't know how narcs and sociopaths manage it, but it seems people buy their version of reality far more. I am not sure how that works, fear?

  6. I can talk to my brother too, but not about what our mother is. He is under the impression that the "smirk" that she gives is grieving, or upset. Everyone does things in their own way and that is how she is. I believe she smirks when feeding on supply, she enjoys pain and suffering. He has seen it and says that is how she processes others pain. Oh well.

    Mother doesn't have anything to do with him, he dissed her once and she won't have anything to do with him. Only my sister contacts her, and that I try to remain NC with sister as well.

    When my mother has narcissistic rage it is dangerous. I can't cope with it. She told me she likes it when I'm miserable. I did not absorb that till years later. That's when I knew she was a predator. I told my brother this and he said she was just in a bad mood that day. She won't talk to him and he keeps trying.

    I have my church and volunteer work which all have people I can talk to. I'm very careful with disclosing too much though. My husband does not understand these things, he's coping with it, but I'm still in shock. He knew I had problems and was anxiety prone from day 1, and now I have the answer as to why. But it is all so strange even to me and I'm afraid he thinks I'm nuts.

    I feel I have no one right now except for the ACON blogs. Well, at least there are no flying monkeys yet. God is intervening in that I honestly believe.

    1. Hi Joan, sorry you can't talk to your brother either about what your mother is. Mine tells me he still thinks she "cares" as I wrote. I think he has some deep denial and it is easier to look away even though he was treated pretty awful too and the relatives that ostracize me, did so with him too. My GC sister doesn't even talk to him and I don't think has been in the same room with him since 2009. She could care less of course. Sounds like your brother denies your mother's smirking and is in same type of denial too. I'm surprised your mother's overt rejection of your brother has not gotten him able to admit more going on. He needs to stop hoping she will come back with him, I am glad God is helping you with flying monkeys. Many outsiders do not understand these crazy ACON family dynamics.


    2. Thanks Peeps. I wish there was a way for our brothers to see the light. Its hard to believe the truth, I've been in shock for a month now, so I know how hard it is for them. It's easy to cave and believe our mothers still care when evidence proves otherwise.

      I'm sure the flying monkeys will come, but for now I have God's grace. We live one day at a time, and I'm coping the best that I can. I feel like I'm living in an upside down world. So I can see how the brothers can't accept it. I'm sorry to hear you and your brother were ostracized so coldly, but that is what our mothers do.

    3. I wish too. I am hoping he is waken up more. I think he wants to stay in the cave, it is easier to believe they "really care" and that is where he is at. I am glad you are coping the best you can. I think for me the combination of the Aspergers with all the family ostracization was a bad stew. I feel like I live in an upside world too.

    4. Update.

      My brother is abusive. I'm seeing things more clearly now, and during that phone conversation he was cruel and abusive, and even gaslighting. I seemed to have altered the conversation in my mind but yeah he was being an ass. Sorry I'm so new to this I just can't stand it at times. The truth is so unbearable.

      My husband does not understand this. We go to his parents, and we get together with his family for holidays, and its really wonderful.

    5. I am glad you are seeing the light with your brother Joan S. Mine is okay with some things, but I still have to contend with his narc training at times. I know he was influenced personality wise, though he means well and loves his children in his case so these are some things I have to contend with. If your brother was being terrible to you I hope you can stand up to him. I am realizing even with the NICE ones. I have to be careful. I am going to write about that more in an article today.

  7. “Only yesterday I was no different than them, yet I was saved. I am explaining to you the way of life of a people who say every sort of wicked thing about me because I sacrificed their friendship to gain my own soul. I left the dark paths of their duplicity and turned my eyes toward the light where there is salvation, truth, and justice. They have exiled me now from their society, yet I am content. Mankind only exiles the one whose large spirit rebels against injustice and tyranny. He who does not prefer exile to servility is not free in the true and necessary sense of freedom.”
    ― Khalil Gibran

    1. Like the quote. :) I had a friend tell me today, I am "dumping" too many people in reference to the NC, this time with sister. I told her, I am now in place where I'd rather be alone then be abused. It is often said that those who see through society, and whose minds become "free" are often hated by those who love their chains. I think of this in the sense of where the Bible says "The truth will set you free". It astonishes me how afraid they all are. They are afraid even of my "rebellion" which gives me a lot to ponder.

    2. Aw, Q I just love that. Its freedom for sure. I twirl my hair, and you know what, I'm not judged for it. Such a liberating thing. If my mother was here with me right now, and just for an hour say, she would cut me down till there is nothing left. Such a soul murderer, such evil, such envy.

  8. Well, I'm almost two-year's NC with my entire toxic family and I feel Grrrrrrrreat (as Tony the Tiger would say)! Life is good. For the very first time in my life, I am growing into myself. I just realized I like to sing - after joining the church choir in my new town. Believe it or not, guys, I used to have really bad acid-reflux disease and just assumed it was from stress at work. Well, guess what? It wasn't; it was actually from being around my toxic family. Now it makes sense to me why I seemed to have it the worse during family functions. I can't believe I didn't realize this until I went NC. Now, food tastes great, and I look forward to every meal without any digesive problems. But here's the good news: When I first went NC with the cult, I was filled with anxiety and dread - "On whom will I depend in times of trouble?" Well, those days DID come, and God always sent someone out to help me. But the good news is that I have finally changed my internal dialogue to, "What will tomorrow bring? I'm so excited, and I can't wait to find out!" And guess what? Tomorrow DOES bring something interesting - like a greeting card or CD in the mail from someone in my new circle, an invitation to a birthday party, a thank-you gift from a neighbor that I did a favor for, a quarter on the ground while walking my dogs - and the list goes on and on. In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., Free at last, free at last, free at last - thank God almighty, we are free at last!"