Friday, April 25, 2014

Nicely Ironic

I just got the following comment on my ever-popular form letter post which sparked my interest enough to respond:

My son and I have had an on and off thing for years. I found your blog and read through most of your posts and it has really opened my eyes to the other side of the issue. Seems that most of you really want to totally end your relationships with your parents...and most of us want to figure out how to keep you in our lives. So I am asking for help....I love my son and truly miss having him in my life...but should I stop trying to make amends and just try to live my life without him... Is trying the wrong thing to be doing? - Bern

Bern, chances are really good that if you've had an "on and off thing" with your son "for years," then it's very likely that there is no one-step approach to fixing the core issues in your relationship with him that have likely caused his (permanent) absence from your life. Having said that, I think you have grossly misinterpreted the point of my blog if your key assessment of it leads you to believe that ACoNs "want to totally end [their] relationships with [their] parents." I have never, in my several years of blogging, come across a blog written by an ACoN who fits your description. And precisely what that assessment leads me to believe is that you have spent little to no time trying to figure out your part in what is most likely a very unhealthy relationship.

It's funny that you paint yourself as the good guy and, in one sweeping judgment, shove an entire group of people into the opposite category. It's almost as though you think that children owe their parents for something. Or that adults who choose to end relationships with their parents are evil. Or that the party in the estrangement who is most invested in keeping the relationship is somehow better. Or that "keeping a son or daughter" in your life forever makes you the morally responsible party.

When you say "most of you" I have to assume that either you haven't read all of my blog as you claimed (and which my most recent stats do not back up) thus leading you to group myself in with the ACoNs with whom I converse, OR you read it and saw only what you wanted to see: the validation of your own anger and accusations. FYI, the fact that I question whether you've actually read through my entire blog or the blogs of the people on which you place your value judgements is pretty much enough for me to assume the exact opposite of your claim.

Is trying the wrong thing to do? That all depends on what it is you're attempting to accomplish. For example, what in the hell does it mean to "try to make amends" to a person you've described as having been partially absent from your life for years? In all likelihood, you've never had a decent relationship with your son, and therefore "making amends" could only result in the return to the status quo, which sounded pretty shitty to begin with and I don't even have the details. And do you even know what "making amends" means? Because when I use that phrase, it's usually in regards to problems that I feel responsible for - and in your little bitty paragraph above, I don't see too much of that going on.

I'm also wondering if you're actually, like literally, going to die now that your son is (permanently?) gone from your life. Because if you have to "try" to live your life without him in it, then that sort of means that, if you don't succeed in that endeavor, then you might die. But you know, I'mma go ahead and call bullshit on that. Maybe it feels like you're going to die, but that's just the co-dependence talking.

Also, your use of my blog's title in your mini-expo is so nicely ironic. It about sums up exactly what you don't see. Which is, I don't know...reality? The truth? Your son?

You asked for my help - this is what I've got for you: Leave your son the hell alone until or unless you've figured your own shit out. Fix yourself and your own damn problems and then maybe you'll have a shot in hell of having a relationship with him.

18 comments:

  1. It's that time of year when termites and martyrs are swarming and looking for new places to build nests.

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  2. Sounds like Bern wants to 'try' something. I would recommend he try to be very observant of his own actions and make sure he is not...

    attacking personal character, blaming and accusing, shaming and judging, sarcasm and twisting words, rewriting history, playing the victim, manipulation, control, and coercion, unpredictable explosions, harsh criticism, intimidation, and escalating situations.

    These are the behaviors of Nparents and the Acons just get fried from having to deal with it for years, so of course they take a break. Who wouldn't?

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  3. As a member of AA I can tell you how "making amends" is interpreted in that program. It is about YOU taking RESPONSIBILITY for the harm YOU'VE done.
    The amends process consists of three parts:
    1. Apologize and mean it.
    2. Change your behaviour.
    3. Don't ever repeat the harmful actions.
    The party you have harmed is under no obligation to accept the apology or take any part in this process.
    This writer is clearly incapable of genuine amends because it requires taking a good long look at yourself and your defects of character. Since a measure of humility is required to OWN UP he/she should stop "trying" to make amends.
    BTW If I wanted to "totally end" the relationship with my parents, I wouldn't have hung around trying to do or say the right thing for over 60 years! Excuse me for wanting MY golden years to be serene and drama-free.
    Fuck 'em

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  4. Yeah MF I hung on to a relationship with my mother for 50 years until it became obvious it was me or her...so I picked me. She then spent the rest of her miserable life aligning herself with every person who ever screwed me over and burnt every bridge to a possible reconciliation.

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  5. "...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. The CB, however, lack the ability to bond with their children or form truly genuine, intimate bonds with anyone. The CB Parent consistently cloaks themselves in the label "Parent," carefully cultivating their public image in direct opposition to their behavior behind closed doors. Clearly, their ability to pick and choose the time and place of their abuse, neglect and cruelty indicates an intellectual knowledge of their perversity. However, any and all difficulties within the relationship are heaped upon the AC, the lil' ingrate to whom they "gave EVERYTHING!" Nothing is given by the CB parent freely. It's a thinly veiled game of extortion by the CB parent: "You OWE ME." The CB Parent NEVER accepts responsibility for their consistent pattern of selfish, exploitative behavior towards their off-spring. When a "Parent" expropriates a childhood from a child for what ever reason through the process of Parentification etc. they have stolen that which can NEVER be restored. They do not have children: At best, they take Hostages.
    At the time I permanently terminated the relationship with my Walking Cluster B "Mother" there was no internet, no self-help industry, no support what so ever for my decision. I shudder to think of what my life would have been if I continued to allow her access to me. She spent the rest of her life attempting to destroy me in every way, personally and professionally. She was not successful. By the time she died-finally-she failed at EVERY major role obligation in her adult life.
    Bern, you are ENTITLED to exactly nothing from your Adult Child. "Respect" is earned. "Love" is not conditional. No Adult Child "wants" to "totally end the relationship." The only real "relationship" that existed was by bonds of DNA. The rest was a FOG-induced illusion. The process of NC commences long before the actual implementation but as usual, you didn't notice. Didn't care enough to address the very real concerns your AC made clear to you. Your endless self-absorbtion and lack of character or integrity, your smug belief in the supremacy of your "position" ABOVE another adult who happened to be your off-spring in typical fashion would never allow you to engage in genuine introspection.
    The painful decision to terminate the relationship is made out of our most primal RIGHT: That of Self Defense and Self-Preservation. It is the ONLY option we have left. It is the kindest, most non-confrontational means of achieving both at our disposal and stands in sharp contrast to the Slime and Malign Campaign, the threats of disinheriting the AC etc. conducted by the CB "Parent." The "Parent" should be greatly relieved to be shed of their endlessly maligned off-spring-at least according to your characterizations inherent in the Campaign of Denigration heaped on your AC. Ridding oneself of such a PITA child should be viewed as a gift. We are well aware you will never forgive us for not becoming your "mini-me" or endlessly worshipping at the altar of your self-deluded Parental Perfection.
    TW

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    1. "The process of NC commences long before the actual implementation but as usual, you didn't notice. Didn't care enough to address the very real concerns your AC made clear to you."

      TW, I'm guessing you can hear me cheering!

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  6. And Bern? A relationship is not a "thing." Indeed, it is quite telling you refer to what ever it is that exists-or doesn't-between you and your adult son as something inanimate. CBs view others including their children as objects, dolls, props, insentient "things" to be manipulated at their onus. The concept of your child as an autonomous, unique human being in their own right is viewed by the CB "Parent" as a direct affront to their unshakable belief in their omnipotence. It is this lack of genuine humility and empathy that destroys any hope of a relationship beyond that one would have with their coffee table or their television. As long as the object/AC functions in accordance with the CB Parent's utility, they have some transient value and worth. When the object asserts any degree of autonomy, of humanity, the CB Parent embarks on a scorched earth war towards the AC. In doing so, they reveal their true agenda: Revenge, not reconciliation. It is this behavior that confirms the AC's decision and the CB's intractable pathology in spectacular fashion. Stalking, harassing, shaming, blaming and denigrating are the antithesis of love, mutuality or self-reflection. These are the consistent predictable actions of an abuser, a Perpetrator, not a powerless "Victim."
    TW

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    1. Ah yes, excellent observation, T-Dub. I will also add to that observation one of my own: the notion of one having an "on again off again" relationship is generally reserved for romantic relationships. Not parent/child relationships.

      Eeew. Gross.

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  7. I thought of this reference as the "CB Parental Hook-Up." These events are contrived by the CB Parent to coerce/manipulate their AC into a faux typically public demonstration of "Family" the CB can use to bolster their status as Adored Parent and reinforce their power and control over their AC at indescribable pain and cost to the AC.
    Shortly in the US we will have a mandated orgy of CB delight and heightened AC anxiety and despair, Worshipful Mother's Day. On this Hallmark Holiday, we are required to honor the dishonorable, to pay homage to women who gave birth and then demonstrated their role as a "Mother"/"Parent" was completed vis a vie their Golden Uterus. AC's stand in card aisles frantically searching for the "right" card least they not conform to CB "Mother's" expectations and are then subject to the ensuing jihad of rancor and unbridled denigration. Of course, there is also the requisite gift which must reflect how much $$ the AC spent thereby demonstrating how much the AC "loves" Mummy-and it will never be enough. Knowing this, the AC still engages in this futile ritual even at the expense of their own mental health, self-respect and reality. Society and the CB Mummy enthusiastically embrace the opportunity for the AC to Bend Over For It once again in the classic double bind to which we have all been subject since our earliest memories and experiences.
    If you are a Mother, you are expected to sacrifice at least part if not all of the day to your CB Mummy. You and YOUR children are competition to her rightful position, as SHE is the Supreme Matriarch of all in her Kingdom. Her loyal subjects must never challenge in any way her status as "Queen Mother." While her uterus is Golden, your's is merely pedestrian.
    In these weeks of the run-up to Worshipful Mother's Day, the CB Parental Hook Up Culture is on full display: Not-so-subtle "hints" are dropped like bombs through phone calls and social media. Exhortations of transparent humility, "Oh you don't HAVE to get me ANYTHING!" or, "Where ever you want to go to lunch/dinner will be FINE, dear!" are tactics of manipulation as subtle and electrifying as a cattle prod. Her subjects are terrorized into compliance with the latent, not manifest message, "HONOR ME-OR ELSE!"
    In the world of CB Mummys, EVERY day is another day in which she demands the position as the AC's first and only priority. CB Parental Extortion tactics are endless and endlessly contrived. Thus, we have a dedicated day that places her CB Entitlement on full display, that unquestionably supports the CB Parental Hook Up Culture as maximized and leveraged by the CB Golden Uterus Mummy to remind their beleaguered AC, "You will forever OWE ME because I gave you life."
    And then shamelessly exploited, abused, confused and denigrated you at every opportunity for a photo op and an ego stroke to support her Public Persona and predatory pathology.
    TW

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    1. The Mothers Day you describe here is so drastically different from those I experienced (both growing up and now). Growing up, the most we ever did for my mom on Mother's Day was to A) wish her a happy mother's day (because my dad reminded us so we could say it to her) and B) My mom gave us each a little bit of money so we could buy her some flowers for her garden when our elementary school sold flowers in the spring. (I remember having so much fun picking out flowers for her. I think my brothers did too). That was it. And when I was a teenager, my dad started getting me a flower on mother's day too. If he got my mom a dozen roses, he always got one for me too. He said it was because someday I might be a mother too.

      On my first mother's day, my mom got me a happy mother's day card. And my husband usually gets me something small - sometimes just a card, sometimes one of the little figurines that I collect, or something else that's small. And I'm perfectly happy with that.

      What you describe is so, so drastically different.

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  8. Hiya Jonsi! I've missed your regular posting, but I'm so glad you guys have been able to move on. I saw that you had a newish post when I was on Q's blog.

    Anyway, not much to add here to the great responses, but y'all did remind me how much better my life is since I finally went NC a couple years ago. Like everyone has said, it was an absolute last resort on my part. Choosi my mother would've meant destroying myself. I'd been on that path for most of my life and it was ENOUGH.

    Make amends. That makes me ugly laugh. Methinks Bern believes amends means saying an insincere I'm sorry, can't we get back to how great things were before?

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    1. Hey, it's always good to see you here!

      We have found peace in NC as well. IMO, it wins every time.

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  9. Ha ha love the last bit of the post here!

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  10. Jonsi- Thank you for not posting for awhile. The world of parents and children who seek help with their estrangement is safer now.

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  11. Yes, I have avoided posting on my blog specifically for you Anon. Though I'm not sure how the world of parents is safer, since my entire blog is still available to the public.

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  12. Looks like somebody left the bag of idiots open again!

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    1. Every once in a while one of them stops in for a looksie. ;)

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