The pain of cutting even abusers from your life
The other day, I was reading a post on Jonsi’s blog–a new post, which is rare on her blog because she has been moving on from her own experiences with narcs, and her blog (unlike mine) is dedicated to the subject. I came across this in the comments:
“…seems that most of you want to totally end the relationship with your parent.”
No, there’s not an AC on the face of this earth that WANTS to “totally end the relationship with (our) parent.” Permanent estrangement from a parent occurs after YEARS of attempting to remediate a relationship marked by an abusive, predatory, parasitic, demanding, manipulative “parent.”
After years of relentless exposure to an emotional and/or physical terrorist, the AC accepts REALITY. It is a long, painful process of letting go, moving on and recovering from the effects of growing up Cluster B Parented.
Estrangement does NOT come about because the parent “may” have made “a few mistakes.” We are born hard-wired to bond with our primary caretakers. –Tundra Woman, Blog Post Comment
A couple of things came to mind as I read this:
First, it explained why–even though I often witnessed or heard from Richard about Tracy’s abuse of her children–they still got so excited to see her after spending time at my house.
Here and in other places, I have read about children’s natural tendency to love their parents, even abusive ones. Tundra Woman demonstrates how hard it is for children to grow up, realize they’ve been in abused in some way, and break away from the Stockholm Syndrome and the abusive parents.
Maybe some who have been severely traumatized can easily let go, but as I’ve seen on these abuse blogs, for many, it is a long, difficult process, with many attempts to change things.
It also explains why Tracy did not cut her own parents out of her life, even though her own abuse was learned at their hands. When you do this, you’re left without a mother or a father. No Mother’s Day. No Father’s Day. No one to rely on.
This also tells me that when Tracy thought a gauge of whether she abused her kids, was if they loved her, that her gauge was totally faulty. Of COURSE they loved her.
That’s why they, too, will be in deep pain when they grow up, finally realize how she emotionally/psychologically/physically traumatized them, and break free.
And also when they remember how Richard could beat up small children and nearly choke the life out of one of them, and break free from him as well.
Second, it reminded me of my own friendship with Richard. It may not be family, but friendship is still your “chosen family.” I chose him as my brother. I trusted him, and had no idea he was a narcissist and an extremely abusive, dangerous father.
As late as spring/summer 2010, I still thought he was a good guy and father–but that fall, he strangled his daughter. I thought he was a beautiful person with a big heart–but no, he was reflecting myself back at me. His true character was evil.
I had no idea his wife was a narcissistic borderline, not the kind who hurts you and then regrets it, but the kind who hurts you without remorse. He was a special friend to me, my spiritual mentor, my best friend–but the reality of his character was hidden from me for years.
I never would’ve been so close to him if his character had been clear to me early on.
Even with a chosen family, it is a long, hard process to accept reality and let go.
I still, at times, wish that Richard were not a narcissist, that he would recognize what he’s done and repent at last.
I certainly did not WANT to totally cut him off from my life, but felt forced to because he was enabling Tracy’s abuses of me and others–and because she forbade any friendships with Richard which she did not approve. (Yes, she was not only abusive, but extremely controlling and isolating.)
Also, over time, I began to realize how he himself had been emotionally and psychologically abusing me.
I also am a shy introvert with NVLD (sort of like Asperger’s), who is far from the family and friends I grew up with, and has trouble making new friends, so I often feel isolated–making the loss of any friend a tragedy.
I have new friends now, but none at the level of trust and sharing I was with Richard. My old friends are like this, though, even if they are far away from me.
I thought I finally found that Best Friend right here in town with whom I could chat on the phone, see in person every week, watch movies with, rely on, help out.
Then he turned out to be a narcissist who never really cared about me, but only about what I could do for him, and discarded me because of his wife’s insane and irrational jealousy.
However, it is extremely frustrating to try to make new friends in this town, and then read on Facebook about parties they did not think to invite you to, or listen as they make plans right in front of you without asking you along. It’s like high school all over again, and it’s frickin’ rude.
It also explains why it’s hard to let go emotionally from a friend, when you’re not exactly surrounded by alternatives in a town which has a reputation for being closed to outsiders.
So I still end up relying for emotional support and social time on friends who live an hour or more away, and all our family is even further.
I never regretted the loss of Tracy. But as I review old posts to re-format them, check the links and stick the posts on the front page for new life, I remember how deeply I regretted losing Richard.
It is acute pain. It is not easy. Even when an abuser’s character becomes clear to you, whether biological or chosen family, you don’t WANT to give this person up.
This is why it’s so hard to break yourself of this person. If it were easy, if there were no pain, there would be far fewer abuse blogs on the Net.