Some people are having difficulty with finding themselves alone and are tempted to return to someone who they are much better off without. What advice would you give?
Unfortunately some people tend to feel pangs of guilt when they go ‘no contact’ with a family member. However, sometimes this is the only option in order to protect yourself from abuse. Did you feel guilty?
Hello needing advice please, I left my husband 2 months ago and I’m receiving suicide threats on top on all other abuse what should I do?
My dad passed away in 2011. It was a shock. At that time my mom was getting ill with Alzheimer’s. My older sister burst through the front door with tons of papers. Long story short, my parents left her in charge when they passed. For 5 long miserable years, my sister moved in with my mom and me. Took over completely, made my life a living hell. I always knew she was mean but I didn’t know it was this vicious. Over the 5 years I basically took care of my mom while my sister badly dressed her up. Only reason I didn’t leave then was due to my mom. In my teens my parents got a check for me each month but it was in my mom’s name. I never saw any of it. My sister refused to put it in my name at the time. My mom passed away a year ago and I’m still stuck with my sister. She refuses to let me leave and has terrorized me for years by saying I was going to be put in an institution. Just recently I started to realize she couldn’t do that. I’ve noticed how incredibly mean and hateful she is! I saw a pattern and started looking it up and found out she’s a covert narcissist. I’m scared daily of her, never know what attitude she will be in. One minute she’s screaming and yelling at me and then next she will hug me. I’m not saying I’m perfect but goodness gracious! This isn’t normal. Can someone advise me on what to do please?!
Your Life, Your Rules
Boundaries have been described as a set of limits or rules which a person decides are reasonable with regard to how other people should behave towards them. These conclusions are made upon personal opinions, beliefs, likes, dislikes, upbringing, experiences and social learning. They work in two ways, both inward and outward; how you expect others to interact with you and how you interact with others. It may take time to find the right balance, so they are neither too weak nor too strong.
Boundaries are an important component in any relationship and may differ from person to person. We’ve all met the person who just has to invade your personal space and gets a little too close for comfort. Whilst close proximity is acceptable with some people, with others, it’s uncomfortable to say the least.
We need to decide what is acceptable in our lives and what is not. Normal, healthy people know not to cross the line. They’ve got a reasonable idea when not to intrude. Narcissists, on the other hand, don’t possess healthy boundaries and have no respect for yours. They don’t like you setting boundaries and putting limits on their behaviour. However, they have an uncanny way of pushing you to your limits for their own amusement, to create friction or maybe just to relieve their boredom. Boundaries are all about cooperation, a word which appears to have been omitted from the narcissist’s dictionary. Setting boundaries with a narcissistic personality is not a one off thing. Expect it to be something you will need to address over and over again. It is possible to set boundaries with a narcissist but you will need to stand strong and show a little fighting spirit. Communicate your wishes firmly and directly and don’t let them push your buttons. Say your piece and walk away or end the conversation if you have to, but leave them in no doubt that you mean what you say. Learn to say, “No,” or “That doesn’t suit,” and mean it.
Setting parameters is something we should all be doing. First and foremost, it is taking care of yourself which is an important part of your wellbeing. Never let anyone make you feel guilty for setting your standards. In close relationships, communicating your needs to your partner should not make you feel uncomfortable. If they get angry with you or go against your wishes, they’re not giving you the respect that you deserve. They are the one with the problem, not you.
Healthy boundaries include ‘alone time’ and time to spend as we see fit, with friends and / or family and we should feel free to keep those relationships alive.
A dysfunctional family background often leads to a child believing that their opinions, needs and desires are meaningless. As they grow up, these children need support to make them understand that they are not insignificant, to help them develop a healthy sense of self and form healthy relationships in adult life unafraid to set boundaries as to how they should be treated.
Boundaries can be likened to a fence around your home which clearly defines your property. Without those fences confusion will arise. Some people may cross your boundaries from time to time with your consent. However, there shall be those who disregard them and enter uninvited with harmful intentions. That’s when you need to reinforce your boundaries, build a wall and close the gates.
Written by Anne McCrea
A question/situation I would like the group’s thoughts on…
Long story short, I fell into addiction a couple times and voluntarily gave my two children to live with their father to attend a treatment facility over 5 years ago. I am still clean and sober.
In my treatment program is where I learned of the dysfunction in my family. I was/am looked down upon for my decisions in life and am not acknowledged by most of my siblings as a part of the family or even a person. (I am the scapegoat.)
Of course our mother is the root of it all and my siblings are still immersed in her damaging behaviour, while still maintaining their own dysfunction. I, on the other hand have maintained a physical distance from them and am always striving to stay emotionally detached from them for my own well being.
Our youngest brother died suddenly 5 years ago and I was shunned by my surviving siblings at the funeral, and from then on we haven’t spoken. I learned that they still feel anger towards me and haven’t changed their mentality.
Every year there is a memorial where the remaining siblings, and our mother get together for a weekend in the mountains. As well as an annual family get together at my deceased brother’s favourite restaurant on his birthday. I have not once been invited, nor informed of these get togethers. I find out about them through Facebook ‘family’ photos of everyone together pretending to be happy.
I had recently gotten the courage to tell my mother that I want nothing to do with her beyond my children (her grandchildren). And have stuck to my decision for the first time in my life.
Suddenly I received a text message from her asking if I want to come to the mountain get together. I was shocked. I was pleased to finally be considered and acknowledged but don’t want to go. I cannot be a part of their toxic dynamic. I can’t sit and pretend it’s okay, and smile for the photos when literally nothing has changed except me.
I find it intriguing that this sudden invitation has come after I put my foot down.
We all know narcissists will try and usually succeed in coaxing us back over and over again (such was my life for over 30 years).
What are your thoughts?
Many people who have been the target of abuse find it hard to forgive someone who is not sorry for the hurt that they cause. They feel guilty because they hold on to thoughts of revenge. How did you deal with these feelings?
Narcissists are renowned for provoking a target until they react. When you finally snap, they sit back calm and composed making you look like the crazy one! Have you experienced this behaviour?
I need some advice. I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for at least 20 years. We have been married before and we talk about marriage with each other but haven’t done it up because of a situation that came up 3 1/2 years ago. I found out that he was talking to my best friend behind my back and was told from another person that there was more going on. I left him for 2 months after that and then decided to take him back because I felt sorry for him and thought I still loved him. I let her in my home and we did everything together with not knowing what was going on behind my back. He knew she wasn’t my friend and pretend that she was. I know it’s been years since this happened but it is still haunts me. I can’t get over the fact that he let it happen and now I am living with him and so hurt that he could do this with no conscience. He acts like he didn’t do nothing wrong but talk to her behind my back and she would call him to talk about me. All I want is the truth and how he be so innocent that he did this. I guess what I am saying is how do I stay with this man after he did this? When he was married before he did it to his wife as well and now he’s saying he’s changed and he loves me and doesn’t want to lose me but I just can’t go on but not sure if I can just let everything go that we built together. My ex-husband abused me too and I feel so unworthy. Any advice that you could give me would be great. Thanks for your time.