tragic

Post your own question to Dear Gabby
tigerlil
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 4:36 am

tragic

Postby tigerlil » Wed May 27, 2009 5:11 am

A long time ago, I decided to adopt my daughter. I spent a year visiting her in the hospital, training to take care of her. It was a great day when I was approved by the hospital to take her home. When the social worker came over to my house to do a home study she said she had a bit of bad news. She said someone had called her and told her that my husband was an animal killer, an animal abuser, a child abuser, and a racist. I thought that my emotionally abused/abusive older sister had made the call but she denied it. Instead, my baby sister admitted that it was her boyfriend/husband-to be who had made the call. Apparently, my brilliant family had put their heads together and filled his head with such enlightenment that he, a very rich lawyer from a very famous family, felt it was imperative that he make such a call. Well, the adoption went through ok. But I never heard from my mother, my father, or my sisters again. No one wanted to talk to me, apologize to me, or make me feel better. They just stabbed me and left me to bleed. I felt I lost my "wonderful" family in a swift, sudden plane crash. I suffered post traumatic stress symptoms for a long, long time. Its been 20 years and my daughter has grown into a wonderful girl. No one thought she would survive outside of the hospital. She has one lung and a manmade airway. But she has missed having relatives and so have I. Its been hard and lonely and my family really humiliated me to the point where I don't feel comfortable socializing with anyone. Lately, my father has been stirring up waves saying that I estranged myself from the family. He's been telling my former friends that he "cherished me" blah blah blah. He is an old old man and I don't want to upset him. I visited him once because some friends of his coaxed me to do so. He was very disapproving of me and never called or emailed after the visit. He started up again with the lies. I wrote him and told him I don't want to fight with him but its been 40 years of no calls and no letters from him and he was the one who told my sister's boyfriend about the adoption in the first place. He was also the one who supported the boyfriend's actions because he was hoping to get some of the boyfriends money.... but that's another story. I'm sure that in his head he is doing nothing wrong and that I should be doing something for him or something. His friends tell me he is very screwed up mentally and he needs me. I don't know how to approach him. He was the black sheep artist in a very successful family. I was his "pet" until all this crap went down. I had warned my little sister not to try little attention stunts by undermining me like my older sister did. But, she was trying to get attention so she was sucking up to my older sister. Now, I'm sure she regrets getting in bed with such an emotional nutcase. But, neither of my sisters are supporting my crazy old artist parents. They are both angry with them. Well, I knew that was going to happen. Should I be doing anything for my father?

Gabby
Site Admin
Posts: 382
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2005 11:24 am

Re: tragic

Postby Gabby » Wed May 27, 2009 1:01 pm

Hi tragic,

In case the computer breaks before you get to read my entire response, here’s the bottom line first. I’d recommend that you continue to stay away from everyone, but even more so, as in completely.*

Clearly there’s too much going on in your family. It's beyond our abilities to fix anything but you and your daughter within a single conversation. What we can do is determine if you're now ready and committed to living an abuse-free life.

Apparently you’re in communication with someone who relays your father’s trash talk. This person is not your ally. They are in fact an unconscious covert saboteur. A person of integrity would say to your father, "Your blaming trash talk doesn’t feel good. It is divisive and abusive. I’m not going to talk with you ever again until you can tell me you’ve completed 25 hours of therapy.”

Re: “Lately, my father has been stirring up waves saying that I estranged myself from the family.” This reveals that you are not clear about the definition of the word responsibility. It’s true. You did estrange yourself, and rightly so; and, if he were to tell the truth, he drove you away and is now lying about his cause in the matter. I've learned to extract myself from any abusive conversation in which another is blaming me. It is irresponsible to interact with anyone (on a social/personal level) addicted to blaming. Whomever is listening to those "waves" is also an enabler pretending to be an ally.

Re: “I visited him once because some friends of his coaxed me to do so.” Not so. Even unconscious lies have an effect. Underneath your reason is the truth.

Re: “I wrote him and told him I don't want to fight with him…” Another lie. Here you are 40 years later, and you’re still fighting with him and the rest. A person who means what they say would not be engaging in any type of communication or interaction with any of them. Unfortunately it reveals your addiction to abuse and drama. What this also reveals is that you dumped him and the rest irresponsibly. Shunning turns from abuse to service, to serving another, when you include an ultimatum as to how each can interact with you again. “I won’t interact with you again until you can tell me…. (insert what you feel would satisfy you/heal him/them).

Re: “His friends tell me…” This reveals your addiction to the drama. A conscious person would stop the person mid-sentence, and say, “Please no stories about him.” This is very difficult advice to take because it’s natural to want to hear about what’s happening. Letting such crap in your mind causes the drama to persist.

You need to get back into choice. Each day you have a choice, no family drama or…. You’ll know you’ve healed you when you have no need to interact with people addicted to abuse. This is important because you’ll now have to watch for your daughter creating similar dramas in her life. She wants nothing more than to grow up to be and behave just like you.

Re: “But, neither of my sisters are supporting my crazy old artist parents.” Another lie. They are in fact using their leadership-communication support skills to foment this drama, mostly unconsciously, mostly using their nonverbal skills. Everyone has the exact same amount of support skills. One uses his/her support skills to either forward or to sabotage (to thwart). Unless each has estranged themselves (completely and absolutely) from your parents they reward with their presence, their occasional interactions, the abuse your father still inflicts upon you.

No one seems to be aware that your father's condition mirrors his integrity. He can't know the source of his illness until he starts to tell the truth to include cleaning up life's perpetrations (read The Clearing House and Communications in Support of Health).

If I were your mother I’d have to be willing to acknowledge that I made something more important than marrying an actualized man. What have I made more important than having my husband treat my daughter with love and respect? What is it about my leadership-communication skills that trained my husband to treat my daughter like he does? What is it about me that trained “baby sister” to attract such a man, and, to reward such sick (the call to the adoption people) behavior.

You imply that your baby sister married the rich lawyer. This was a big mistake on everyone’s part. I applaud you for not pressing slander charges. He could have/should have lost his license. However, for your parents to not insist upon a written formal apology from him is unconscionable; it accounts for all these consequences. Anyone who relates with him now, rewards such abuse.

You ask, "should I be doing anything with my father?" Yes, print out our posts and send them to him (certified mail) and a copy to everyone else. Include in it your ultimatums, “x hrs of therapy or no interactions for life.” Interactions means none. No cards, letters, telephone messages, email, presents, hospital visits (except for death bed last visit). If you don’t think you can do this then don’t show this to anyone, not even your daughter. Issuing an ultimatum and then not following through with it will reveal, as your father well knew, that you didn’t mean “No” 40 years ago. That lie had serious consequences for you and everyone else. I say not your daughter because she would know that you had a choice to complete your addiction to drama and chose not to. On the other hand, she could be your most powerful ally. She can let you know when she hears you starting to drag junk into the now.

This is an potential turning point in your life and the life of your daughter. Unfortunately you’re programmed for more of the same kinds of drama. You need to model for her how to extract herself from abuse. So far you’ve taught her to put up with it.

If I were you I’d communicate verbally your expectations with your daughter. I say verbally because we don’t know what you have communicated about your expectations non verbally; we’ll only know when we look at the quality of her relationships later in life. I say this because I’m concerned that she may already be programmed to hang out with abusive people. For example, to your daughter: “Your job is to find a partner that I like and who likes me. To attract and marry someone like my relatives would be abusive to me. It would mean that I failed you. It would invalidate me. If you marry some abusive jerk I’ll not play that game. Also, explain to any potential partner that my side of the family is addicted to abuse and that we are completely estranged from them. They need to know this up front else they might try to talk you into interacting with them. Are you clear about this?”

What we haven’t addressed is your cause in the mess. What did you do or not do that brought this on? Karma, a consequence for an earlier perpetration of yours? Most likely your mind will hide the incident from you; it’s got a lot invested in protecting you as the victim. Somewhere here, lurking underneath, is a powerful person that has been unconsciously intending all this for some brilliant reason—en route to enlightenment

Thanks so much for reaching out.

Keep checking back here. I may edit or have more.

With aloha,

Gabby

* How to estrange responsibly.

last edited 4/19/16

tigerlil
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 4:36 am

Re: tragic

Postby tigerlil » Thu May 28, 2009 12:56 pm

Dear Gabby,
Thank you so much for writing. I have a lot to sort out from your writing because I have no background in psychology, etc. but I promise you I will look into this. Your words sound tough and that’s what I need to hear. I’m going to have to pay you for this one.
In general, it sounds to me like I possibly could try to sort things out with the positive intention of eliminating the drama so that I can help my father in his old senile persona without bringing up the baggage, or else use the simpler solution of eliminating my family completely from my life/mind in order not to suffer from the guilt of knowing my father is old and dying alone. Or something like that. A few other notes:

Re: “Apparently you’re in communication with someone who relays your father’s trash talk” – Yes, I did talk to them last year at length. I made the one visit. Then, I stopped talking to them. Then, someone else popped up a few weeks ago. I haven’t continued the discussion with her. So maybe those conversations will stop. I’m sad because I would like to be able to talk to my childhood friends without having my father interject his pathetic stories.
Re: ““I visited him once because some friends of his coaxed me to do so.” Not so. Even unconscious lies have an effect. Underneath your reason is the truth.” – Well, I was hoping to get my dad back in a loving way, but I should have known that wasn’t possible.
Re: “Here you are 40 years later, and you’re still fighting with him and the rest. A person who means what they say would not be engaging in any type of communication or interaction with any of them.”— I never wanted to shun any of them. I just didn’t know how to take what they did and I felt they didn’t want me around. I figured they would apologize and approach me when they were ready. Which obviously they will never be. Until now, with my old father.
Re: “What we haven’t addressed is your cause in the mess.” – I know my cause in the mess. My parents got divorced when I was 11. My older, crazy sister was forced to raise me and I was supposed to raise my baby sister. I had better things to do. I didn’t want that responsibility, so I hung out with my friends. And my mother was forced to raise my baby sister. Too bad. My mother and sisters grew nastier and nastier toward me, uniting in their antipathy toward me and my father. Thus, the royal dysfunctional family. I was completely accustomed to being betrayed by my mother and sisters by the time this last incident occurred. It was only after my father’s betrayal that I completely broke down.
Re: “I say this because I’m concerned that she may already be programmed to hang out with abusive people.” – My daughter has suffered so much rejection because of her tracheostomy and mild brain damage that she hardly reaches out to people at all any more. She completely falls apart around drama and dumps any man that even slightly abuses her. She grew up with me going thru the mental anguish and, although she had attachment disorder from her initial years growing up in an institution, (which was the last thing I needed – her hatred on top of my family’s), she is now very much in love with me, although she is very clingy. But, on a positive note, we have consistently gotten her therapy for dealing with me, life and the universe, and she miraculously is one of the most well rounded, sociable persons I have ever met. I’m just concerned about keeping her this way.

Gabby
Site Admin
Posts: 382
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2005 11:24 am

Re: tragic

Postby Gabby » Thu May 28, 2009 11:37 pm

Hi Tragic,

You're most welcome.

I know it was uncomfortable (“tough”) to read.

Re: “…but I promise you I will look into this” There’s nothing to look into. It’s simply a communication. Let go of or be with what you can, the rest will disappear. All you have is a choice each moment, to interact or not interact with people addicted to abuse. Even one more interaction, no matter the reason or how brief, proves conclusively that you are the leader of the abuse in your family. I suspect that they will never ever choose to heal until you learn the simple lesson, to not interact with people addicted to abuse. Your daughter seems to have learned this. Good for her. Soon she'll have no choice but to get away from you if you keep dumping this stuff in her space.

Re: “Or something like that.” No. Estrange yourself from your family. Period. Else you reveal that you have no intention of living an abuse-free life.

Re: “So maybe those conversations will stop.” No, they won’t. You have to intend that they stop. “Immediately hang up” is the advice abuse shelter staff insist upon.

Re: “I’m sad because I would like to be able to talk to my childhood friends without having my father interject his pathetic stories.” I get “sad.” Keep in mind everyone you’ve ever interacted with is an enabler. None had the skills or the integrity to say, “Clean up the mess. Don’t dump this stuff in my space anymore, or I won’t talk to you until you’ve complete 50 hours of therapy.”

Re: “I figured they would apologize and approach me when they were ready.” They simply have no choice but to continue to react to your emanations.” They can’t heal until you do which includes your willingness to not have them, ever again. If they value you they will do their required therapy knowing that they drove you out of their life.

Re: “I know my cause in the mess. My parents got divorced when I was 11. My older, crazy sister was forced to raise me and I was supposed to raise my baby sister. I had better things to do. I didn’t want that responsibility, so I hung out with my friends. And my mother was forced to raise my baby sister.” No. This is the story your mind holds onto. We’re looking for a specific incident (time, date, location), THE turning point.

Re: “My mother and sisters grew nastier and nastier toward me,” This is a blame statement. What specifically did you do (time, place, date) that was the turning point in which YOU turned them against you? What would each of them, say was the incident? (it might be different for each).

Re: “I’m just concerned about keeping her this way.” In support of this outcome, please do not reply until you can tell me you haven’t interacted with any family members for six months in a row, and, that your parents and sisters have completed 25 hours each of therapy. Else you will still be dramatizing this problem six months from now. Do show our posts to your daughter and your husband.

I recommend that you do The Clearing Process —five days in a row—it will help you recall the specific incident that was the turning point.

With aloha,

Kerry

BTW: Dear Gabby is an educational process. It has nothing to do with psychology.


Return to “Ask Gabby your own question”

cron