Saturday, August 6, 2016
The Peace of No Contact
Since I severed ties from the ENTIRE family, some months ago I have felt a lot better.
There's a few I'm ghosting on Facebook but I don't plan to talk to them again. The main no contact was three years ago but this was a step I had to make. I have felt more calm and with more peace. I went through some hell the last few years, I felt like the grief was going to rip me to shreds inside. Facing what life had become, realizing that all the relationships were nonexistent or irrevocably broken, it was not easy. In many ways I held on dreaming of relationships that should have been but really did not exist. I pictured myself going out to eat or shopping with my nieces, or having talks with my nephews. None of this ever happened EVER. I just lived too far away, and I know now I was kept away purposefully. Why did I cling on so long to people who did not want me? They did me no favors, keeping the lowest level of contact they could must with me just to keep track of me, and that's all it was. There was no love or relationship in it. There was a lot of years of wasted energy.
Many online ACONs helped me and kept me going telling me, it would get easier, the harsh emotions would FINALLY ebb away. I am finally entering a period now where there is peace. Whatever sacrifices I made being able to wake up and not have to worry about being "enough" for these people, is worth it. I almost want to tell people the first few years will be the hardest, but to WAIT. Don't give in and crawl back to your abusers. Emotions will tell you to do it. The early guilt, the shaming and derision of flying monkeys and enablers, there is a lot of pressure put upon an ACON going no contact. You must make the intellectual choice to hang on to it, no matter what.
One thing that happened for me via no contact, is I ended YEARS of severe anxiety and panic attacks. My disability is based on my physical problems but my anxiety was disabling in itself. If I can't breathe well, I still can get natural anxiety but I no longer have panic attacks like I had for DECADES. This was a serious problem for me, it helped to destroy my health. Multiple therapists diagnosed me with PTSD, and at least one with generalized anxiety disorder. Doing the final severing of narc enablers actually lowered the anxiety levels even more.
I remember even as an adult in my 30s driving up the drive-way, feeling the wave of inside terror and fear and grinding my teeth to put myself in "grey rock" mode. Sometimes on ACON message boards, I warn against low contact and grey-rocking for years. It can hurt you. it did me.
My vulnerability and pain in the last few years actually did destroy some friendships, but most of those were better let go of. People who go on the attack while you are hurting, you are better off being without. Cutting off your entire family can be a litmus test for who really loves you and well those who don't. Facing the facts one never had a family can be the same as someone who has a loving family go down in a jetliner.
A lot of hurt and pain was still coming in via her flying monkeys and family of enablers. Every time I talked even to one of the cousins or others, a new scab was being ripped open. In my case, I had to face the serious facts, that there was no one left uncontrolled or monitored or manipulated by my mother. I was in some denial about this but had to face facts. Just the most minute contact with even an extended cousin left me in tears. They lovingly spoke of my mother and other abusers who had no respect for me. They never answered questions. In some ways Aunt Scapegoat's death while I mourned her deeply, it freed me. It gave me the impetus to know the whole system was sick, and to sever my final ties. It allowed me to give up persuing people who cared nothing about me. It allowed me to climb up out of the pit of trying to one day "have a family" or finally "be accepted or loved".
I saw through how they treated her even in death, with no respect, and disdain. When I watched all that the worse sides of human nature were made known to me in this sick world where status is everything, and those who have it taken away are crushed under the boot heels of the "first" in line.
I knew that could not be me. People who treat you like nothing and make you feel like nothing need cut out of your life. This is why I did not send flowers or go to her funeral. My honor for her memory is walking, and thinking of what could of been. Maybe wherever she is at now, she knows the truth and understands what was done. Having that relationship destroyed and many others, was too much. I thought back to who she was and who I was. I wish I had done more for her. I wish I had gotten free sooner able to send a life line in to yank her out but she made her choices on her end too.
The family will be breaking apart after my departure. Being in contact with some of these extended people before I left, I could tell the division of the family was growing greater and greater. They were having less to do with one another. They still had their "reunions" and family "gatherings" but they were less frequent. On the day of Aunt Scapegoat's funeral, the family showed up, spent the hour or what not and then went their separate ways even after drives of hundreds of miles. I would decide to go NC with the entire family within that week. My brother has nothing to do with my sister and my sister never takes notes of his children or her nephews. The existence of a "family" at this point in the game is a mere mirage.
Well I no longer was interested in pretending. Going to family gatherings which were about as fun and personal as my job interviews of 25 years ago, was a waste of time. Narcissists create distance, and if everyone lives 100 miles or more for each other for decades, it amounts to people simply not knowing each other. Too many don't talk about anything real out of fear of rocking the boat. One thing I noted among the enablers was the severe fear. Even in private communications they felt unable to answer direct questions.
I have relief and far more peace, no longer doing the scared enabler dance with them.
I still remember that letter I wrote to the family in 2012, where I wrote "This family needs more open communication not less!" when my mother sent her strange email out of topics that were allowed in her house. So as I lit my matches and burned the decaying, aging and rotting bridge of "family" behind me, I am pretty sure it will fall apart of its own accord. Maybe one young member will be like me one day, breaking away from the herd.
One day I was talking to my husband. We were worried about some bill, and I found myself chirping into the bathroom and I said, "Whatever happens now, I don't have to worry about it anymore, I have no one to look at me and jeer!". And then it struck me. My life was my own. No more worrying about the judge and jury staring down with their hateful narc eyes. No more flying monkeys collecting dirt on me, or making me feel bad. I said to my husband, "Whatever happens, happens now, I am free of them! It doesn't matter anymore in that, it's only for us to worry about!".
I do feel more peace now. It did bring back some returned memories, I may write on them later but for today I'm letting it rest. It told me my decision was the best one. It is changing who I am as a person and how I relate to others. I am feeling the load of fear I have carried on my back for decades ebbing away. There is more peace now. It took me some serious time and there will probably be other hurdles to cross, but dealing with 40 decades worth of abusers is not an easy task. I have become a more calm person which is something new for me.