Should I also disown my family of origin? They disowned me first The worst enemies to have are actually family members. They know how to push your buttons because they used to live with you or grew up with you. And what suggestions do you have to get rid of my new feelings of extreme homicidal-anger towards them? 1st time this yr: image of shooting parents on couch
After you get over your alarm, I hope you don't get judgemental too. I don't think those who actually commit murders would confess beforehand and so clearly about intentions. It's my description of how I feel because I never knew my great anger would get even deeper. It wasn't easy to actually use that word in such a public place. But I have not had anyone to talk to for months. (I can't tell a church-going psychiatrist associate I know because I don't think his jealous psychologist-atheist wife would allow him to help; she's suspicious of all his friends and yelled at me). I can't afford a non-friend psychologist either; besides, about 80% of the psychologists I've met either casually or professionally turned out to be hard to get along with, rude & judgemental or more emotional than I am, or less knowledgeable with boxed-in rigid thinking
By anger, I don't mean repressed anger that some counselling clients might not be aware of. I am much more self-aware than most people. By "anger" I do mean the times when blood pressure & heart rate go up while you just so hate a person that you want to leave, or tell them to get out, or you want to slam a door. The kind that cannot physiologically be maintained 24/7 but can flare up when the trigger occurs or when thinking about the person or the unjust event. At night though, it is hard to control it. Watching TV or playing computer chess doesn't always help. I can't go out jogging even though I think exercise is good for calming down. (I could jog on-the-spot indoors).
I don't have anger mismanagement issues or a short fuse. Anyone can tell you I'm a patient and very quiet person but who can be assertive on occasions. Problem is when I eventually calm down, the thoughts & issues that caused the great anger are unresolved.
I don't think there will be any peaceful resolution simply because the family members involved don't think they have a problem. They have made me the black sheep since I was a teen. My parents in particular believe they are never at fault and that it is weak to apologise to anyone. He was a violent alcoholic who punched at whim, and she was a manipulative & sometimes slapping bitch, out of frustration. He disowned me when I was 17, just before he kicked me out of their home. She simply said, while carelessly crossing the road ahead of me, "don't call me 'mum' when we get there' in 2002 (We were going to a restaurant in the casino where she had been expelled for stealing someone's chips. She was planning to go to the actual gaming rooms afterward. That was a Freudian slip because I don't see how identifying her real name in public would stop the bouncers from telling her to leave). Are they sociopathic?
I've actually had very little to do with them over the years because they have all shunned and ex-communicated me. It's sometimes been lonely. They don't really know me. Why do they continue to despise and exclude me, and gossip lies about me even when some have not seen me for 12 years? Helen is behind it all. There's no room to give enough examples but all of them were exasperatingly petty or imagined offenses that they perceived based on their twisted prejudice of me. Helen blames me for some of her own choices. She started all the maligning and lies about me since I was 14 or 15 when we argued about why she would favor the younger siblings. (I have an older sister whom she also abused emotionally and verbally; Helen hates me more because she knows I'm smarter and would occasionally stand up to her disrespectful or hurtful behaviors and criticisms) It's like we've all been on a yacht & the parents threw me and my older sister over without lifejackets while jeering us to try and swim back. Meanwhile the favoured sisters are in denial & have been lucky in love and careers
I just want to make a decision. But I feel guilty about cutting them off. In the past I was forgiving. But the events in Feb were new: my older sis, who was jealous of me for all her life since I was 4 & she was 10, suddenly made contact after 9yrs, all apologetic (I'm still sympathetic but angry towards her); then 2mths later she got abusive & insulting again because she blames me for how the parents treated her.
That all coincided with the parents insulting my 18y.o niece with gossip that she's a lesbian just because she has a bff but no boyfriend AND they fear she might be a loser like me just for staying up late - that all really reminded me of when I was 17 when dad made me homeless. Years of counselling won't help; I've tried. I just want to settle it in my mind without guilt or hate but worry what to do if any should ever contact me again in the future for any reason
I would like to help you with your question. It is true that your statement about homicide could be alarming, but I'm not bothered by it nor am I going to get judgmental. What would be the point? I'd much rather support you and help you look at your options regarding your parents and siblings.
I'm with you in seeing that family members can hurt you like no one else can...for just the reasons you gave. In addition, our society places great emphasis on "loving", "cohesive", "healthy" families as the ideal and so it can be a battle trying to tell the truth when your family does not meet this artificial description.
You asked if you should disown your family. Tell me what would be gained if you did so?
If you are not in relationship with them...does it matter?
If it would allow you to feel more in control...then that is something to consider. If it would allow you to "take back your life"...then that's another reason.
Help me to see what benefit this would have on your life.
It seems to me that you are engaging in some very positive behaviors to get rid of your extreme homicidal-anger...exercise, distraction, calming yourself. I'm sorry that therapy has not been all that beneficial. That's very unfortunate.
Getting the feelings out...is the key so that they don't continue to rattle around in your body and mind. Talk therapy ought to be an aide in this regard...but so far you haven't been able to find a good therapy match.
Would you consider group therapy? Perhaps that might be better as there would be a group of people to support you and to help you see that you are not alone in this situation.
Have you considered yoga? relaxation therapy? Or other mind/body modalities?
Hello Just sharing a side thing: I was wondering an hour ago if any family therapist could handle such a question because my family's problems are the mature result of little to no help from outsiders. Some of us did hint for help; I even talked to school teachers)
A family therapist might have been able to provide insight to the family...particularly your parents. But...your parents would have wanted this type of help and been willing to commit to change. Do you see them having gotten on board with this idea?
So often outsiders turn a blind eye to helping because they don't want to get involved...don't feel skilled enough...are worried about the consequences to themselves.
No family is perfect...and so pointing the finger at someone else can backfire.
Yes, I have done yoga a long time ago but no I never actually considered it for angry images and thoughts. I once had a good relaxation cassette from the only psychologist who understood me (but that was for exam anxiety) I might do yoga again, thanks for the suggestion
I'm sorry that you were not listened to. That had to have been painful.
You are welcome! Try to find that tape again or get another one. Whatever you can do to stay calm and in control would be beneficial.
The yoga would be good as it not only relaxes your mind and body...but gives you a sense of empowerment.
Much of what you seemed to have experienced in the past had to deal with a lack of power over your own life.
Thanks by acknowledging what I said about 'homicide'. I did mean it but it put me a little at ease when you also said "what would be the point" - exactly, because others would judge my "tone" as "dramatic" or whatever but you sound OK
Thanks for recognising that family members, in laws and related, do hurt each other like no one else can; they so can get in your head. Anyway, I am actually impressed at your unexpected statement about society: so true! I found in the past everyone in the family would downplay or totally ignore x or y depending on who you talked to
I understand what you meant by homicide. That imagery is important for you as it allows you to "see" in a concrete fashion what your emotions are telling you. That is....that your are rageful at your parents for how they have treated you and that you have been powerless to change their mind about you.
So much of society is based on this rosy picture of the family, but in reality...there are very few healthy, loving, compassionate families. So often families look good on the outside, but inside it's a mess.
Bear with me, because the split windows are hard to use and the complete chat quite small
There is a lot of cruelty going on behind closed doors!
I'll see if I can enlarge the font..
Is this better?
OK, I still can't find where we are in the chat but last I saw you asked about whether my parents would consider counselling? First, when I was 13 they took me to see a psychiatrist. He was just with me; he was nice but on the phone to someone from Saudi Arabia and at the end of the "session" told my parents there's nothing wrong with me. They refused to make another appointment because the concept of a counselling relationship is foreign as a psychiatrist was more like a specialist to them
Second, I might suggest it to them now in their old age but I can already hear my mother chuckling at that; asking what is the point? She would also ask who would pay; we could share but she is thrifty yet is a bit of a gambler
What would I gain from disowning my family? My automatic response was: peace of mind and an end to feeling so very, very angry several times a week. (That is intruding on my regular life) Anyway, then being a deep thinker I thought about your question again. It dawned on me that I am assuming I would achieve said benefits immediately like those who have suggested; they also assumed life would be rosy afterwards. Hmm, I now don't know
This is what I am trying to get you to think about...would you really gain anything? What would be the cost to you to even do this..particularly if they would not respond or would ignore you altogether?
If this would purge the intrusive thoughts...then that is one thing to be gained.
"If you are not in a r'ship with them...does it matter?" that I disown or not disown them? Umm, good point about the irrelevance of such a question. In that regard, it doesn't matter whether or not I make a decision for or against. But Helen has a habit of contacting me, stubbornly by mail as her first preference but sometimes she would phone, out of the blue, after an average of 8 months of silence (sometimes longer) = I guess I am asking you, me, and the universe do I repeat the whole cycle? Do I forgive but this time find a different way to react?
That certainly is strange that Helen attempts to contact you...what is it that she wants?
You do have a choice here as to how to proceed with her:
1) You can ignore her mailings and phone calls. Throw the letters away. Don't return her phone calls.
2) You can put her letter in an envelope with a note: Please do not contact me again. If you do, I will only throw your letter away.
3) You can send her a letter and say you will not return phone calls, so please stop calling.
4) You can attempt to forgive her (see that I wrote ATTEMPT) and be honest to yourself in saying that you will never have a close relationship with her (& your family) but that you can have a "civil" relationship. Then you can respond to them like you respond to someone you meet in the grocery store: Hello. How are you? Nice weather we are having.
I know I can't control their behaviours or words to me. But it MIGHT help me control my anger - but I don't know if it is a guarantee because memories and thoughts come and go, and are sometimes uncontrollable. It is only in those times of repeating incidents in my mind that I get angry again; I see I will need to do something about it BUT I will be re-enrolling, hopefully, back into my Master of Commerce. Studies take alot out of me energy wise and there is also not enough time to deal with the past. My anger is related to my whole life in general; my dissatisfaction and anger at some people outside of the family regarding my past jobs (anyway, that is just a detail for you to get a bigger perspective). See, my parents held all of us to an impossible societal standard which they never fully achieved themselves
And only keep the relationship on a surface level....never going deep. After all...you have been disowned...so what more do they want from you? They ought to be the ones asking for your forgiveness!
Yes....the parents who wanted everything to look good on the outside! And who wanted to "live" through the accomplishments of their children!! Alas...a recipe for failure!
Thanks for expressing sympathy regarding the lousy and inconsistent therapy I've tried to obtain (some were free some were paid, some were subsidized by employers or another organisation because of my minor disability). A lot of the random counsellors (psychologists or social workers or other qual) I was assigned to did not express sympathy. That is a textbook mistake. By expressing some empathy or even sympathy you are showing me you are human and you understand
What I hear from you is a need to purge the anger so that you can get on with living your own life and stop dragging along this old, sad story about your childhood and early adulthood. Your parents are now old and unlikely to even have a clue as to how they parented you.
I am shaking my head in frustration at the poor care you received. You deserved much, much better. I apologize for their inability to join with you and acknowledge your pain.
You are absolutely right...textbook mistake!
I would like to suggest a good book that ought to shed some light on what you have experienced.
Secrets, Lies and Betrayals by Maggie Scarf
I think you will find this refreshing.
You might also look into the literature on narcissism. Sounds like there was some of that going on too.
Yes, I have NOT found a good match. I was so desperate I turned to numerology, particularly the Kabalarian variety. (I think that is a Jewish sect) Anyway it told me my first name causes people to misunderstand me; to belittle my remarks or feelings; it said I am a sensitive person that no one has bothered to understand. Actually the stuff on their analysis were 70% accurate (I did a qualitiative analysis on statements) The WHOLE lack of care and positive regard from various counsellors somewhat added to my depression in terms of despair. Just because I did not fit neatly into textbook cases; not everyone does
I considered finding a self-help group for depressed people or abused adult children; there might be one group suitable but I never explored further. In Australia self-help groups are actually few and far between in cities - our culture is different to America. I will look into it but again semester 2 starts at the end of July
I'm reading and scrolling
Thanks for stating that some people feel they don't want to get involved, or don
or they don't feel confident, or fear consequences - I agree and see it but as a teen and in my early twenties that was a perplexity to me that some seemed to care enough to ask whats wrong but then back off from further discussion
Yes...I can certainly understand how distressing the counseling situation was and how that compounded your feelings of depression.
I know myself well enough to know that NEITHER disowning nor keeping a form of relationship with any family member would purge intrusive thoughts
So if you know this part...then what would be gained by disowning them?
I've never asked my mother Helen "Why do you even bother to contact me?" I just ASSUMED that she's forgotten the last incident and maybe somewhere in her shallowness she actually might care a bit for me. That last part has always been what I assumed all these years. Then in March this year I questioned it. Maybe because she ran out of people to bother at that time so she would turn to bother me?? I've never asked her but I might next time (yet I don't expect a straight answer; questions like that cause her to express embarassment yet she's a master at changing the subject)
It would seem to me that why she calls is because you are her child and she has real feelings for you.
The thing to remember is that her memory and your memory are two entirely different things.
I only recently, for the 1st time thought about the cost of the finality of not ever speaking to them again: if something were to happen to my health, say, I guess doctors would be asking who do they contact? BUT I get angry thinking that if it did happen, she would rarely visit me as she's never been motherly whenever I was sick. She once, thoughtlessly perhaps, did say "You're always sick" when I had pneumonia (I'm not always sick; the few times I was, were very severe) So it hurts to know she might not really care enough. The other thing is they never got to see my first graduation. I've finished a second degree; that graduation is in August. I no longer expect them to say "We're proud of you". I guess I would have no one to invite but paid actors pretending to be my parents would do a darn good job : D
What stands out in your mind as horrible, neglectful treatment may not even register with her.
You're so right about them asking for my pardon. I don't expect it anymore like I used to because I know their characters. Yes, if I do keep in contact I should only keep it to surface, shallow, light interactions like polite but brief calls
Exactly...these are not people you WANT to have an intimate relationship with...staying on the surface is about all you can handle...
OK, let me explain why she would contact me once a year or once every 1.5 years (by the way, it really throws me mentally to suddenly have her contact me - she's always been like that ever since I was chucked out of home. She found me by writing to a university out of town that she remembered I had mentioned) Anyway, the reason or pretext is "We're passing by; we want to drop off some food" (My older sister explained that she often cooks alot and needs to offload onto neighbours and relatives because my father refuses to eat left overs) That's the reason. But somehow she would also include one or two of my childhood favourites
The key here is for you to stay in control! You don't need these people in their life...correct? You might WANT some superficial relationship ...but that's all.
That's the sicko dysfunctional emotional ups and downs she generates (mostly downs)
Here's the thing...if you KNOW how she operates...then you can stay in control.
Yes, I feel the first half of my life was everyone else's non-business interference. That added to what is called Learned Helplessness (the cause of depression according to a theorist I agree with)
Yes. I understand learned helplessness very well.
Ahh, yes a "civil" relationship is acceptable to me. On a few rare occasions, it was civil (mostly effort on my part) I am like a stimulus to them in which they only usually have one response. So it is an effort on my part to pretend to ignore the past and be light hearted (I'm too serious) BTW, the last time mum was chatting to me because our last 3 ph calls were civil. BUT that was when she wanted to gossip about my other sister and her daughter, my 18year old niece. (I lost composure and scolded my mother for calling her, to her face, the L word; I told her that Vanessa, her granddaughter is a shy, quiet person. Her thoughtless question would have mortified the poor girl. Then mother dear gossiped to that sister, who scolded me for getting involved. None of them would bother to set the record straight. I do confess to you that I was forthright in scolding back my sister and my mother. The whole thing escalated to the point where Dad disowned that sister. They are so melodramatic. I can see the funny side oddly, but in reality my sensitivities find it all appallingly sad)
So...mum calls so she can fill you in on the family gossip! I think you can probably do without that kind of interaction.
Oh, what idea do might you have for me to stay in control since I can predict her reactions and behaviours?
I like the fact that you can see the funny side...as truly a different way to view all of this is to move from finding it sad to finding it more like a soap opera. When you mum gossips...unfortunately, you are drawn into the family nonsense...and then you are prone to be hurt.
It is much better to create a boundary between you and them...and to keep on your side of the fence.
Your father must enjoy disowning people...I wonder what he thinks that proves?
Well...our time has run way past. Is there more I can help you with today?
Yes, I ought to learn to create invisible boundaries. It was hard before because she likes people to take her side, criticises the youngest sibling for "sitting on the fence". In the past, it was my mistake to try to please her in hopes she would continue to be civil. She is quite manipulative and can punish (nowadays simply by silence for months) if she doesn't like what she hears
It was his cultural Malaysian Chinese background. He came from a hot headed family. Yet the parents are like twins. He does get a sense of power or pride out of disowning people but maybe one day he'll see it's ineffective. I understand we've used up time, some wasted on me trying to read the chat in order
If you could recommend that book before you go?
The name of the book is
Are you still there? Would that book have ideas on how to stay in control of a civil conversation if she ever decides to contact me? (Alot of things were said the last time by phone such as mother saying "You'll regret it when I'm 6 feet under")
I don't mean to keep you but need those 3 questions answered please. (I regret telling her that I won't be at your funeral so what is there to regret? Besides the siblings wouldn't tell me you're dead until 5 years later)
Also look for material on narcissism...
It seems to me that both your parents have a fair amount of this going on...
OK, I'll google narcissism (I know what it is but hopefully someone has written how to deal with such folks)
Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX good week
Please try to ignore your mother's attempts to guilt you. That's what she's doing with that comment about 6 feet under.
I see it now, thanks. Are there any real differences between sociopaths and narcissists?