Cut off contact

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Cut off contact

Postby rxtravaganza » August 13th, 2013, 11:13 am

I just officially cut off contact with my family via an email reply to my mother. Now I'm sitting at work with a pit of fire in my stomach. She's been sending me increasing numbers of repetitive "quick update" emails since I cut off contact with my father nearly two months ago, and I cut off our weekly skype calls (we live in different countries). Now she was emailing to tell me that my grandmother - whom I never been close with, who was my father's abuser who then became my abuser - is in acute care in the hospital. I would have just ignored it like all her other emails, except she said my father would be contacting me and I got the cold shakes and immediately replied that I don't want any contact with the family for a while, and that I'll write when I'm ready.

I'm at the point of really wanting absolutely nothing to do with any of them - my parents, my sister, my cousins, my uncle - until I am further through all this processing. I just started going through serious counselling at the beginning of this year and I think I'm in this cloud of seeing neither where I started or where it's going to end. It's just a haze that gets blurrier every time I let my family in. The last time I did I ended up in the psych ward again and it was too scary.

I'm also scared of receiving "backlash" from them, particularly the ones who never even contact me anyway.

Anyway. I just needed to share and get this off my chest. Have any of you actually told your family you needed space from them? How did they react? How did you feel about doing it? Did it help your healing process?
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Re: Cut off contact

Postby manuel_moe_g » August 13th, 2013, 3:23 pm

Hello rxtravaganza :D

I am not in your painful and unfair situation but when I read this...

rxtravaganza wrote:I'm at the point of really wanting absolutely nothing to do with any of them - my parents, my sister, my cousins, my uncle - until I am further through all this processing. I just started going through serious counselling at the beginning of this year and I think I'm in this cloud of seeing neither where I started or where it's going to end.

I just wanted to say this is a very loving way to treat yourself. You deserve such loving treatment. Please take care, all the best.
~~~~~~
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Re: Cut off contact

Postby rxtravaganza » August 25th, 2013, 12:51 pm

Thank you for those kind words, manuel_moe_g. I really didn't think of it that way until you pointed that out but whoa... thank you.
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Re: Cut off contact

Postby Lish » August 29th, 2013, 4:41 pm

I have cut off contact with nearly everyone in my family, including one of my siblings, my cousins, etc. It was the best thing I ever did, aside from moving across country to get away from them. Sometimes we have to realize our families aren't good for us or our kids and spouse. In that case, stopping the trauma/ drama/ chaos is the best we can do for ourselves and those around us.

I don't know if I'll ever get back in contact with my family. I just know that there has to be something in it for me and my husband/ kids other than misery for me to even consider it.
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Re: Cut off contact

Postby Hellmich » August 30th, 2013, 1:04 am

I've been cut off from my family for several years, and am also overseas, which helps.

I think cutting off contact is probably the best, kindest thing you could do for yourself at the moment. It sort of sounds like your mum is trying to function as they on ramp that gets you back onto the family highway right now even though that's so not what you need from her.

I didn't officially cut off contact with my family, I just stopped making contact. Then I moved about a year later, so they couldn't have made contact anyway. Then my father's wife emailed me and threatened to call the police, in addition to continuing to email my ex and his family, though I'd asked them to stop.

At first I was angry and a bit panicky and terrified, that police would show up on my ex's door, accusing him kidnapping or killing me. Then I was terrified they'd look up my address via Whois and just show up on my doorstep. Then I decided I was officially done.

Funny thing was, she'd emailed me at an address I'd had for at least 10 years, and they had this the whole time, but instead of writing me to see how I was doing, they went nuclear from go. Just went to show that they were after control of me more than contact with me.

Cue Cyndi Lauper singing, “I see your true colours shining through"...
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Re: Cut off contact

Postby walklikeanegyptian » September 9th, 2013, 8:13 pm

Boy can I relate! I've had therapists for the last 30 years telling me to cut off contact. My situation is a little different than yours. My family was VERY neglectful of me, and I kept wanting something from them. Sometimes I would get it, most of the time I didn't and if I complained, I was told it was my fault or that I was being selfish. Example: my father and my brother used words like "titty" and "pussy" in my presence, thinking it was funny -- i found it creepy and disrespectful. When I told my step mother I wanted them to stop, she replied with enormous disdain: "Well, then we'll have to change our behavior for YOU!" Uhm, yeah.

About 3 years ago, I just stopped asking to be included in anything at all. I also declined most invitations -- especially if they were at the last minute, as if I were an after thought. The first time this happened, I thought my father and stepmother were going to have strokes. How DARE I decline an invitation from them -- despite the fact that my stepmother hadn't invited me to the house in over a decade. Told them I had already made plans, and no, I couldn't and didn't want to change them. Sorry!

You are having anxiety attacks -- take care of yourself, but don't give in. And don't expect them to change either. You can only protect yourself -- which in the end is a wonderful thing, because it gives you ENORMOUS control. You totally take your power -- e.g. block emails and phone numbers, filter messages to spam or trash, whatever it takes. :lol:
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Re: Cut off contact

Postby rxtravaganza » November 8th, 2013, 5:24 am

Since starting this thread a few months ago, I've gradually re-established contact with my mother. She's been in therapy and has been finding her own boundaries and recovering from a lifetime of abuse and victimhood, so we have been able to maintain clear, healthy and respectful communication. She was also able to not just listen, but really hear my hurt, anger and pain from the upbringing I had. She did not make excuses or beg my forgiveness, but took account for her part and fully accepted my feelings as valid. Our mother-daughter bond is the healthiest it's ever been.

I maintained silent distance from my father though, and I even decided to make the long-contemplated switch to my mother's last name. Last night, I wrote my father an email to let him know that I need to break contact with him while I process the memories from my childhood where he inflicted physical and psychological abuse, dominance, terror, narcissism and alcoholism. I told him to respect my wishes and not reply to the email.

Indeed, he did not respect anything I said and replied to me only to deny anything beyond "raising a hand" at me. He said his conscience was clear. I then replied in turn saying since he could not show me the respect I asked for, only to dismiss my valid feelings, that it would be the last time he would ever hear from me. I said goodbye, filtered and blocked him.

I had been giving him the benefit of the doubt that maybe, just maybe, the semblance of a "good" relationship we had in the years where I was repressing was actually a sign that he may have somewhere changed along the way, but I wasn't holding out much hope. I shared the exchange with my sister and my mother and they were both heartbroken but very supportive of the stance I took for self-healing. I cried until I went to bed, in the arms of my incredibly supportive, kind and loving spouse.

This morning I awoke to an extremely aggressive email from him (did he get a new address in order to continue to try engaging me in an argument?), where he said some ludicrous bullshit about me not getting to call all the shots and respect being a two-way street. I was raised never getting to call any shots for my own well-being and having my basic human rights flagrantly disrespected by him, but of course the irony of his statements were surely lost on him. It was just yet another example of his manipulative, narcissistic domination tactics and completely re-affirmed that his toxicity is very much alive and present.

I didn't engage. I'm officially done. I archived the email, blocked this new address, got myself a hot cup of coffee, sobbed a bit, and here I am. I'll probably spend the rest of the day having fun and being good to myself (funny movie, hot bath, husband's band playing, pizza!) and appreciating this wonderful life I decided to create for myself.
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Re: Cut off contact

Postby bigeekgirl » December 3rd, 2013, 7:05 pm

rxtravaganza - it is wonderful to hear you have created a better relationship with your mother. I can't help but find it a beautiful gift to find this thread after the last response I posted to you. I wonder if there is hope for me even while I morn the idea of having the mother I would have wanted.

I haven't talked to my mom since late August and they refuse to join the modern world and have the internet or cell phones to text, so anything she knows is second hand gossip. And I know from past experience there's gossip from someone who I'm in contact with online, but I really don't care if what I post on Facebook or my blog is relayed back, because I won't hide from anyone especially someone who won't talk to me themselves. I live on the other side of the US from them, so it's not an issue of her showing up. I've left her voicemail unlistened to in the last week or so and haven't returned calls. The last time I spoke with her, she'd pulled this passive-aggressive bull-shit of calling my phone and when I didn't answer calling my husband, my in-laws and my brother who lives near her but has a computer like a normal person within 15 minutes of the original call. I called and talked to her like it didn't upset me and accepted her disproportionate worry even though I'd spoken with her for a few minutes less than two weeks before. The incident really put me over the edge. It's so manipulative and I can't handle it going on as it's always been as I try to get better.

I think every day on my options: 1. Write a letter stating I need some space; 2. Call and do my best to establish boundaries without explicitly stating I'm establishing boundaries. All other options seem to be a variation on those two ideas. I mean, I could cut off all contact forever, but I don't think that's healthy. And I have tried option two for the last three and a half years since I moved away, so I don't think it'll suddenly work because I read a book on Emotional Incest. Plus, I think it's important to have my say in a setting where she can't a) get angry and deny my feelings or b) get all emotional like my feelings are more about her than me. Wither she accepts what I have to say isn't my choice, but it is my choice to say, "Mom, this is how I think our relationship is broken and these are the things I request from you going forward." I've even written some, but I'm not ready to send it anything. Plus, I rather resent the fact I'll have to by ink for the printer, a stamp and find a blasted envelope because my parent's have always denied themselves (and us kids along with) things the average American in the same income bracket considers a necessity. Not as much as I resent the time and effort have have to expend on all this "getting healthy" and "reparenting my inner child" stuff. Seriously, I could be reading a lovely novel, but I'm mentally ill. Grrr....

The silver lining in all this is I have established better communication with my brother because of all this. He was only 15 or 16 when I moved away the first time a dozen years ago and the only one I ever kept up close communication with was Mom. I wrote him an email apologizing for not being a better sister and told him I was seeking more therapy and that I'd backed off communication with our parents for the time being. I was so afraid he'd run right to her, but he didn't. We've texted back and forth since then and I need to make some time for phone calls because he's not the writer I am. When he mentioned that fact in his reply I cried because I was so caught up in my own memories I'd forgotten how they didn't bother following up on all the struggles he had learning to read and while he's a charismatic and intelligent guy, he's not the strong reader and writer I am because he could have used some intervention for what remained undiagnosed learning disabilities at a young age. I'd always hoped it was easier for him because I was the kid from Mom's first marriage and he didn't have the whole divorce and step-child thing, but families with issues don't seem to leave anyone without scares.
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Re: Cut off contact

Postby meh » December 23rd, 2013, 5:30 am

"I rather resent the fact I'll have to by ink for the printer, a stamp and find a blasted envelope"

I'm sorry but this is cracking me up because I knew exactly what you mean.
"Of course you have an active inner life, you're bipolar"
my therapist.
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Re: Cut off contact

Postby bigeekgirl » December 23rd, 2013, 4:49 pm

Still haven't sent anything either. I've written a bunch as homework from my therapist. I've got their Christmas card sitting unopened on my desk...
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