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Old 12-28-2018, 10:40 PM   #21
HopefullyLost1211
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If anyone has tried the no-contact route for an extended period, could you give me any tips for dealing with the guilt? Perhaps you didn't feel any guilt and that's great! But I do. In addition to allegedly owing them my time, I also supposedly owe them tangible gifts and money.
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Old 12-28-2018, 10:41 PM   #22
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I'm not sure if I can help with it. I feel guilty too that I don't visit more often. Luckily, they don't expect money or gifts.
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Old 12-28-2018, 10:45 PM   #23
HopefullyLost1211
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I'm not sure if I can help with it. I feel guilty too that I don't visit more often. Luckily, they don't expect money or gifts.
Do what works for you...what you can tolerate. No easy answers here.
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Old 12-29-2018, 11:06 AM   #24
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I went no-contact with my mother. Felt tons of guilt (and still feel some), especially since she likes to play the victim. Her whole side of the family basically sides with her, since it's all one big messed up system. I've tried to explain myself to other family many many times, but at a certain point I had to cut them out too. I was tired of having people make me feel like I was the bad person. My guilt hasn't gone away, but it's definitely lessened over time, especially the less involved I am in all the familial "drama."
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Old 12-29-2018, 11:44 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by HopefullyLost1211 View Post
If anyone has tried the no-contact route for an extended period, could you give me any tips for dealing with the guilt? Perhaps you didn't feel any guilt and that's great! But I do. In addition to allegedly owing them my time, I also supposedly owe them tangible gifts and money.
Thanks for the more historic view. I understand better now and see what you mean. Unfortunately.

Most of my issue is with my mother. Much of the extended family I grew up with are dead or I simply haven't seen them in a couple of decades, and they were never the biggest problem anyway. She was.

When my son was growing up, I couldn't quite deal with going no-contact (as appealing as it was), as I didn't want to be guilty of controlling/denying access, as that was a MAJOR preoccupation with her (keeping my sister and I from our dad with a bunch of outrageous lies -- her ability to control information rivalled any totalitarian country), and I had vowed not to follow in her footsteps.

But it became harder and harder, especially as I learned more about no-contact and having enough therapy to realize I deserved some self-respect. It had gotten to the point where whenever she'd call, I'd open a bottle of wine (not in a good way). I just could not deal with listening to her be nasty about everyone and everything for 2 or more hours (in which, NOTHING worthwhile was said). (This was before caller id, so it was always an unpleasant surprise).

My first guard against guilt was setting a boundary. I'd give her a chance to play nice in order to be fair. I was also direct. After listening to her yet again run down perfectly fine people, I said, "Is there something I can do about this?" Wow, that threw her! She stammered and said, "uhh uhh uhh, well, no". I replied, "then STFU". If she started in, I'd hang up. It was NOT going to be business as usual. Basically, turning the tables. It's not something you're doing to them, it's something they're doing to themselves by not acting like decent human beings.

Oh, did I mention I lived thousands of miles away? That helped.

My situation was simpler, in that it was her specifically that I had to go no-contact with. I fortunately did not have to deal with anyone saying I had to, except of course in a general cultural sense. My sister, who does still have contact, understands the situation, so there's no flack from her. She gets it. (I don't know how she manages!)

Talking here on PC helps with any misplaced guilt too. There are a LOT who understand! Realizing too that it's not that you're not "punishing" them, but protecting yourself. You simply don't "owe them" someone to abuse. Reminding yourself as often as necessary what this is and isn't. Not letting people twist it to their own ends.

I know it's a simpler situation for me, but I hope there is still something of use in these ramblings for you. Best of luck. You deserve it.
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