Estrangement: Life after going No Contact with your Family

When you first go No Contact it can be very hard. From my own experience I went weeks initially, then months and it got better. I got over ‘big family event’ days too.

I realised that the family was never there for you when you needed them and they were the last people I could trust. They assume that you will always be there, as ‘you’re family’. Even smaller things like supporting you when you do a charity ride by turning up at the end is something,but they don’t turn up or even ask when it is. I remember I created a huge community project, and they didn’t turn up on the Opening Day and they live two miles from the area. I really have the sense of ‘I can’t be bothered’ in my family. No Contact will give The Family one hell of a shake up.

They did some good things for me, but there are certain boundaries that I have of my own when they do things wrong. For me, their behaviour badly affected my mental health and wellbeing.

We are bombarded with the media saying that being in a family is a good thing which doesn’t help. Being in dysfunctional or toxic family, we have a different concept of what family is. Sometimes the best thing is to ‘get out’.

I have now created a whole new family, and a ‘proper’ one, by going to different clubs, meeting new people, catching up with people from my past, doing voluntary work, having more hobbies and focusing on creating a new life.

When I do have personal difficulties I can contact therapists, online support, the Samaritans, friends who understand and so on. Estrangalistas can even cuddle our dog or horse! We have to be creative. Is an ‘original family’ really necessary these days? We can create our own reality. The whole experience of being ‘family free’ is a new journey of discovery for me.

When you realise you only have family for birthdays and Christmas, particularly in a middle class and upper class family, you realise this is not a family at all. it is just a ‘facade’. Famillies shouldn’t take their clse family for granted, they can go at any time and leave a life completely away from them. Even so-called religious families can have members who are estranged, and sometimes even more so.

If ‘they’ do try to ‘hoover’ me back, there will have to be some changes, and it may mean family mediation, although I really can’t see that happening.

Things do get better and your mental health gets a lot better too, and even better when you change your will!

Famillies are being ripped apart by members with symptoms of Narcissist Personality Disorder (NPD)

Numerous people, both men and women, are having to leave members of family who have symptoms of Narcissist Personality Disorder as they are unable to cope with domestic abuse, betrayal,lack of empathy and deceitful behavior anymore.

Many have tried to work out why they are their partners and sometimes siblings are the way they are but are coming to terms that there is nothing they can do as the condition is not curable, and that have to leave.Sometimes people with NCD ‘just get worse’ over time. Some family members just do not feel they are heard or loved. They are experiencing a lot of confusing mind games. One moment the Narcissist can be normal, but other times, they have a Narcissist rage out of nowwhere. People are constantly walking on eggshells with these people.

People with children, however, are ‘forced’ to have limited contact with their abusers. Many with no children are leaving their famillies entirely and going ‘No Contact’ whatsoever and building new and better lives without their family and ‘going it alone’.

Those who have been abused have felt depressed and suicidal. Some have committed suicide. The Narcissist wants ‘power and control’ over them.

Some desperate famillies have tried therapy but often it has been a disaster as the Narcissist generally says ‘it is all their fault’ and/or leaves therapy early.Most Narcissists do not accept they have a problem and won’t even go to therapy in the first place.

This isn’t just in family situations but it is happening also in the workplace too, where some Narcissists particularly target occupations where they can ‘control’ and have status, the police, military, security, management, community and religious leaders particularly popular occupations for Narcissists from seeing comments on various Narcissist Survivor forums. Some Pastors’ wives are having to leave their husband because of their behaviour, and this is often frowned upon in the church. Some Narcissists do not want their wives to work and keep them holed up with lots of children at home. If they work, this means the Narcissist has less control over them and the Narcissist will think they will meet other men at work.

Narcissist Personality is a Disorder of the Personality and is not a Mental Illness. There is no known cure.

Some symptoms of Narcissist Personality Disorder are:

1) They have a grandiose sense of self-importance.

2) They requires excessive admiration

3)Have a very strong sense of entitlement

4)Is exploitative of others

5)Lacks empathy

6)Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
Regularly shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

Frequently they also have these too:

7) Lying and making things up to manipulate you

8) Being Emotionally abusive

9) Physically Abusive

10) Financially Abusive

11) Spiritually abusive

12) Notorious for having a ‘Honeymoon Period’ in a Relationship where things are ‘perfect’ to start with. Things change once the relationship gets more serious, they marry and start to have children. There is an element of ‘control’. Many Narcissists have a poor relationship history, with many divorces and abandoned children. They will provide ‘plausible excuses’ or perhaps withhold background information, and that goes for convictions. The Police in the UK can help people who want to find out more about their future partner if they have domestic violence convictions.

13) Betraying Trust

14) Smear Campaigns

16) Stalking

17) Manipulation

18) Reproductive Coercion

19) Birth Control Sabotage

20) Treating children and partners as extensions of themselves. (Some say they are ‘treated like property’)

21) Trusting strangers rather than their own family

22) Addictions

2) Being friendly with strangers and hostile to close relatives, and sometimes close neighbours. They appear to ‘act’ with others, who think they are very nice people and would not believe that they can even be abusive.

Words Associated with Narcissists are (though these are not used in Counselling)

1) Love Bombing (attempting to influence a person by lavish demonstrations of attention and affection) in particular to get what they want

2) Gas Lighting (Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or members of a group, hoping to make targets question their own sanity)

3) Projecting (blaming something on you, when he or she caused the problem. This is another tactic to bring confusion to the Target. They will not admit to doing anything wrong.

4)The Supply – the Target of the Narcissist. The Narcissist gets his or her ‘fuel’ from an empathic person who they will try and manipulate and control.

5) Flying Monkey – their friends or those who support the Narc

Get Help:

IAPT Counselling: http://www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/Psychological%20therapies%20(IAPT)/LocationSearch/10008. Ideally, try and find someone who specializes in NPD. Narcissists are notorious for not seeking any help, and if they do, they will blame it on others. It is helpful for the Target to get counseling for themselves and undertake plenty of self care and ask their doctor for help.

Relate: https://www.relate.org.uk/ (They provide counselling, and they have free online counselling but it can be busy

Police: Dial 999 in an Emergency /Dial 111 if not. (You maybe able to get a restraining order

There are also a number of Narcissist Abuse sites on Facebook (though it is safer to use a different name) as they can be stalked by members of the family and the Narcissist themselves.

Women’s Aid: http://www.womensaid.org.uk

A tip:

If you call someone a Narcissist, it is most likely that they will deny it and start further anti-social behavior targeted on you.  The best advice is to recognize what a Narcissist is to Leave, some say to ‘Run!’ though this may not always be easy to do.

Coping Ideas

1) Leave if you can!
2) Join a Mental Health/Wellbeing Support Group
3) Do something creative – art, singing, music of various sorts
4)Go and so some Voluntary Work and meet positive people
5) Walk in nature
6) Do something for animals
7) Raise awareness. Many people have never heard of Narcissist Personality Disorder
8) Ignore Narcissists – they hate to be ignored. Go ‘Grayrock’ – just speak in a general vague way that does not upset ‘the Narc’ on some way
9) Make your kids have love and praise
10) Leave and get a pet if you can. Learn to cope on your own. It is not necessary to have a partner. Learning to cope on your own is real empowerment
11) Do some Self-Care
12) Go on Self-Esteem and/or Self Defence Classes
13) Learn to be Yourself Again
14) Get a job
15) Learn new skills
16) Get new qualifications
17) Have Me-Time
18) Reward yourself when you have done something difficult

Beaulieu has experience of Narcissist Personality Disorder being in the family, and is currently estranged (No Contact)

UK: Being newly estranged from the Family

I have been estranged from my family for a few weeks. This has been my own choice.

I have had periods of 6 months previously, but this looks like it’s going to be ‘a long one’.

There are times when we have to do the best thing for ourselves and our well being. When you belong in a dysfunctional famlly, it is hard to try and keep out of the dramas,the lies and the mind games.

My own case occurred with a family member who has Narcissist Personality Order, She is extremely abusive and untrustworthy. The other family member betrayed his family with family secrets and it is a job dealing with that type of person, without suffering yourself. There are times we can only take so much.

Some people run away from their families, but others like myself,  will try to keep a distance from them as much as possible and blocking them off social media and trying to develop a new life, it could take weeks, months or years. Sometimes it will be permanent.

 

When you are a Newbie Estrangelista, it is challenge to find where to get help and information from and you can feel alone.

In the UK, 1 in 5 families in the UK will be affected by estrangement and over 5 million people have decided to cut contact with at least one family member.

These are things  that helped me deal with estrangement from my own family. I don’t  have much family so it was a big thing for me.

  1. Talking to close friends (however, they can only take so much)
  2. Contacting the Samaritans just to off load
  3. Contacting Relate.org.uk – they have a Free Live Messenger Service
  4. Going for a Walk or sightseeing
  5. Having time on my own to process things
  6. Going to a local City Farm and stroking the animals. Animals are brilliant for therapy
  7. Doing some practical work to keep my mind occupied
  8. Thinking it through and yes, I did try, and get angry.  It needs to be processed.
  9. I set a Countdown dates on Apps so I would target family events ie Easter that I would try and avoid. It was really important to miss these family events. Your absence will be noticed and there will be no photographs of you on that day for posterity.  The more events you miss, the more of an impact your absence will be.
  10. Sign up to Standalone.org.uk the First UK Charity to help adults to have been estranged or cut off

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Domestic Abuse against Men -My thoughts, & Helplines

Caroline Aherne’s ex-husband  Peter Hook claims that the Late Mrs Merton star abused him physically and mentally.

(see the article on: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/oct/03/peter-hook-caroline-aherne-physically-abusive-during-marriage?CMP=share_btn_tw)

If this is the case, (after all I don’t have all the details),  I applaud Peter Hook for talking about this important issue.

Domestic violence is everywhere, men v women, women v men, and in the LGBTQIA community too, which hardly EVER gets talked about.  It is rife.

Most of the media goes on about male v female abuse, and yes, there is tons of that unfortunately.   A lot of the time, families  or friends do not know about this, after all, who wants to tell them about that, they may think it is ’embarrassing’, or may ‘get all the ‘lectures’ or worse, the disbelief that their ‘angel’ sister, sister-in-law , colleague would do this? I know from own experience of having been abused, I kept it quiet apart from a very few close friends, who kept an eye on me). It was only if it got bad that some senior bosses and the police knew the situation. A lot of people do not know about the years of abuse history. It is not something you talk to aquaintances or fairweather friends about.  Only the people that matter know about it, if you are lucky to even have that at all.However, talking about it is still the best thing really.

When bullies, either at work or at home  get ‘targets’ on their own, this gives them full rein to abuse.  They want everything their way. If someone brings up the subject that they are being abused, accept it , why would they lie about being abused? Bullies thrive on secrecy and double lives.

From my own experience of women v male abuse, one of my male friends (yes, ex military) in Sussex  was both physically and mentally abused.  I have even heard her frenzied abuse on the phone. I would love to have done something about it, but it was quite difficult as the male friend ‘didn’t want help’.  He had divorced her so was well out of the situation, well, kind of. She had a young son too, and I was worried about the child who was often caught in family conflict. The woman belonged to some Youth Panel too, so she had some respect in the community. But she led a double life as a controlling, negative abuser. I didn’t know where she lived so it was difficult for me to act. However, what I can do is highlight this problem and provide helplines and listen to someone experiencing this. Friends can help by oftering a place to stay for a short while too. There was one other  woman v male abuser I was aware of, that my colleague’s son, who was in the army, had his whole joint account drained by his wife and there was nothing he could do. So women abusers cannot only be emotional or violent, they can be financial abusers too. Colleagues talk to colleagues these issues…

You  can frequently  see clues of abusive behaviour this  in the workplace.  You get a tyrant woman boss or colleague and they make your life hell, sometimes just as much as ‘they can get away with’.

Once a bullying female colleague  I knew was seen at a train station in Kent having an abusive shouting match to her partner  in front of other passengers, humiliating the man even more. And one of these passengers was another colleague who told staff what her colleague had done. So, yes, colleagues can witness this behaviour too. I would add, which is very important, is that when the news of the fight reached staff in the office it was considered ‘funny’ (because the wife was targeting the man, but this would not be funny if it was the other way round).

We have to make change, a lot of women are not really ‘angels’ and some of them can give quite a thump.  The  middle-aged woman who had the shouting match at the train station once threatened to thump me  at work so you can just  imagine what she was like to her partner when she didn’t get her own way.It is not always as hidden as you think.  If I saw a women doing that to someone I would say something  or, ideally call the police.   It is unacceptable for any person to treat someone like shit in this way.

There is some good news to the story, the man left the woman, and eventually the tyrant was made given a warning at work for bullying me, and then she was made redundant.  All of us went our separate ways which was a blessed belief. I do wonder what where she is now and what havoc she is causing. Maybe she is in jail, after the new emotional abuse laws have  come in!

Get help:

http://www.nhs.uk/…/Pages/domestic-violence-against-men.aspx
Domestic Violence Information (for Men) http://www.dvmen.co.uk/
LGBTQ+  http://www.galop.org.uk/
Find a Peer Support Group / Set up a Group about this issue
Oh and write about it… women v men domestic abuse exists! Domestic abuse is not a laughing matter.
 PS This has been a popular blog online, so I will Retweet it every so often.