Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Things You Don't Realize Are Options When Raised by Abusive Parents!

I saw this elsewhere online on an ACON support board. I don't think they would mind me reposting it here. 

"Here are some things I've learned are actually, for real, okay to do, that most survivors of abusive households I know have trouble with:
  1. Hang up the phone when someone is disrespecting you. This is the lesson that has been the most useful in day to day encounters. My Nmom would scream at me for hours on end on the phone. Never once did it occur to me, until someone else said it, to hang up. It's not wrong, it's not selfish, it's not disrespectful, and they can't magically pop out of the phone and terrorize you. Respect yourself, and when others don't, walk away.
  2. You don't have to accept 'guilt gifts' My Nmom periodically sends a box full of dollar store junk and expired candy in the mail. You know what I do with it now? I throw it away without opening it. Narcs. can and will use any gifts you accept from them against you.
  3. Say no. Say it again. Enforce it. It's so, so hard. You're hard wired into thinking your parents deeply love you, and have your best interest at heart. You know who really has your best interest at heart? You do, dear reader. You. If you're uncomfortable, say it. Don't let them use you. I believe in you.
  4. When you have boundaries, there are no exceptions. No, she can't come over unexpected. She tries to, and guess what? Tell her to leave. Tell her to call and ask when you are available. No, he can't have $50. It doesn't matter what he chose to spend money on. It doesn't matter what his need is. He is a grown ass adult, as are you. No, they can't take the kids for the weekend. You have family plans, and you will not reschedule your life for someone else's whim.
  5. You don't have to accept responsibility for something another person blames you for. Nmom blames you for growing up poor, because you had the audacity to require more minerals? Guess what. All Zerg require minerals. You are normal, and you are not the cause of your childhood situation.
  6. You can be whoever the f*** you want to be. You can do whatever the f*** you want to do. You can make whatever decision (within the boundaries of the law) that you want to. You want to study ballet and work at a library? Do it. You want to start a loving family and have no ties to your natural kin? Do it. You decide what path you'll go down. No matter what 'warnings' or opinions others force on you, just know that in the end it is YOUR call.
  7. It's good to be happy. It's okay to not struggle. You are worth it. You deserve happiness. If you manage to get away from stress and make a life where the biggest struggle you have is 'What coffee should I buy today?', then good job. You did it. You fought, and you won. And you deserve some god damn peace and quiet.
You is kind. You is special. You is important."


I thought this was great, it actually has themes in it, I am telling myself to find a new happier life. "I can do what I want", within limits is one of those things. All of the above are to be applied.

That is something that has changed for me. I did a lot of things I thought I SHOULD DO.

Judging myself every minute with their shrill voices in my head had to be stopped. I don't have to hang out with people who ignore me because I "should" improve my social life. I can be in bed to deal with my pain and fatigue instead of suffering under the "should" that tells me "Oh it's lazy to stay in bed too long".

One nurse years ago actually told me to rest when tired and eat when hungry. She knew I was pushing myself. The realities of Lipedema IV mean living different from other people. The people who don't get this, don't matter. They aren't here feeling what I am or knowing what I am going through.

 I'm tired of the "should, should, should" lash on my back. I can choose who to talk to and what to do, and should not feel like I "have" to do things within reasons. My being an art teacher was a real goal they almost destroyed. Some of my happier memories are of art projects I taught, and glad I kept a hold of that.

 Ah the guilt gifts, until I figured out how guilt gifts worked, many toxics used those on me. I get real gifts from friends that are true but guilt gifts come when toxic treat you like garbage and throw some bait out. I love the last one. I get stress free days by plan now. Why should I beat myself up anymore?

 Realizing these things can be freeing!

Other options of my own include:

1. I can talk to whoever I want to talk to.

2. I don't have to say I am sorry to or people please.

3. I don't have to laugh at jokes that aren't funny. 

4. If someone is arguing with me or a store is giving me poor service, I can walk away and go elsewhere.

5. Staying alive for me means doing what I feel like doing or what I can handle and want to do and not what others tell me to do. 

6. I don't have to work for acceptance and love, those should come naturally and once you are working for it, it's not already there. 

7. I am allowed to have fun.


  1. I like that ...what I get out of it is they are adults and if they want to be treated like adults they can act like adults

    1. Agree. Also no more begging for affection or people pleasing the un-pleaseable and no more wasting our time.

  2. Great list. One of the memories I have involves 1-Hang up the phone.
    When I was 19 my CB "mother" reduced me to a sobbing, snotting puddle on my dorm room floor. I was on the phone with her-called as was my weekly duty, at the "right day and time"-and she started screaming at me about my father who had recently divorced her. I told her from the beginning of their divorce process, they were BOTH my parents and I would have relationships with BOTH of them. She took every opportunity to abuse the crap out of me because I would NOT compromise on seeing and having a relationship with my father despite her and I would not lie when she compelled me to testify against my father in Family Court over a patently BS fabricated story she invented. So that's the topic she was screaming about at me on the phone. (<"Negative attention is better than none" is obvious here as is attempting to corrupt and coerce your child to "punish" your current or former partner/spouse.)
    I still have a clear picture in my mind of me sitting on the floor, the phone clamped tightly in my hand and my ear and feeling exhausted, lost and hopeless, crying and nose running. "You're either WITH ME or AGAINST MEEEEEE!" She screamed/hissed this endlessly along with every imaginable slur she could heap on my father and by extension me, because "You're JUST LIKE your FFAATTHHEERR!" etc. (Black and White Thinking, All Good/All Bad Thinking, Classic CB behavior.)
    The most striking and saddest part of this memory is it never occurred to me to hang up the phone. She is absolutely abusing the crap out of me-and I'm no where near her physical proximity. Her rage had long ago terrorized me into compliance. If I could go back I'd tell my young self to run like hell and never look back. Instead I hung around for another decade or so.
    Who does that shit to their kids? Where's Solomon when ya need him?! Particularly at that age we're quite Idealistic anyway so her efforts to demand I lie to "get back at" Dad were really, really hurtful. If I had any respect for her by that point, I lost every last bit of it after this.
    Again, excellent list and thanks, Peep. I could give examples of every one of these from my own experience. It sounds like bit by bit you're finding a place of peace within yourself: Takes time as does any meaningful progress. It's good to "see" you reaping the benefits of NC :)

    1. Thanks TW, yes I wish I had hung up on many calls. So sorry your mother treated you that way.

      Yes I made the "duty" calls. Mine wouldn't call me but would complain if it had been "too long" since I had called. Well I wrote earlier they let me go a long time ago, I realize now only the most minimal contact was kept. Yes she was trying to turn you against your father and tag teaming things to death. This is how they always work. [yes you are just and so. I know I listened to the rage fests and still listened? Why? Yes the "get back" at Dad stuff sucks with that. Mine always trashed people on the phone, "your brother borrowed money, his wife [now ex wife sucks}, those cousins of yours are losers who will never get jobs--even though I find out she has major connections to get them decent jobs. I would have told my young self to get the hell out of Dodge very early rather then putting up with the garbage I put up with. It sucks that she tried to bring you in the middle like that. Well they do that crap with everyone not just a partner they are divorcing but divorces are when you see the full monsters in swing.

      Yes I'm working on finding the peace in myself. Repeating the benefits of NC. I will write today more how it was changed things.

    2. see story below too, where I did hang up on here. I think as I got older I thought "Why am I putting up with this crap?"

  3. Dear Peeps and Friends, oh the phone-drama is so cruel. There the person, who doesn't want to talk to narc-maggot, afraid to simply hang up. Meanwhile, the dishes need washed, the laundry needs put away, something else needs done, and it's after nine. Six a.m. comes quickly.

    1. Yeah the phone dramas sucked. Those forced phone calls, with the pit of dread in my stomach to see who was on that week's chopping block and shallow crap where she whined about problems that were nothing to me. Always angry while living one of the world's most spoiled lives. One time I did hang up on her. I was scared at the time I and my husband would have to even temporarily separate from economic problems, and we were under severe stress--he just had his job layoffs and I wanted to leave here and we didn't know what to do. [I never did adapt to this area and missed "home" for a long time] Our relationship has strengthened since then but we were under severe stress. She skewered the knife in hard and said, "You deserve to end up homeless behind a shopping cart". I said no thanks to you and slammed the phone down hard. Yeah there was something else to do. I even would put off the phone calls for days with a pit in my stomach.

  4. I particularly like "I am allowed to have fun". I watched a video called This is your Holiday and decided to do something fun for Christmas. I don't usually spend it with my mother because I don't want to risk months of depression afterwards, but unconsciously I didn't feel I should enjoy anything about Christmas on my own. Somehow not enjoying Christmas made not seeing my mother more OK. Weird. Anyhow I bought tickets for a couple of very popular Christmas music concerts. The ticket seller seemed unconcerned about my enjoying Christmas in a state of aloneness. I felt guilty for weeks, went to the concerts and had a good time. I do see my mother in the summer in order to study the situation and even now, she reacts badly to me being happy. If she goes to a movie without me though, she certainly doesn't worry about it.

    1. I hope you do have some fun and enjoy your concerts. Our narcs were against us being fun or happy. Mine would get angry when I even laughed as a child, and made sure that laughter would get be ended. Remember they do not want us to be happy. I hope you did have some fun and good times. :)