How do you forgive the enabling parent?

Post Reply
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:18 pm
Spam Check: No
Spam Sum: 15

How do you forgive the enabling parent?

Post by Beck » Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:25 pm

I am the daugther of a NM. I have chosen NC due to the unbearable terms of having a relationship with her. She has behaved outrageously with things I cannot forgive her for and which are too personal to mention in my history below. I tried many times but failed to reconcile with her. I don't love her anymore and only care about contact with the rest of my family. Especially my father. I love my father. He was an intelligent, caring man who slowly lost his courage and his identity over the years. Now he is a reflection of my NM. He used to discretely support me without NM knowing with kindly gestures and supportive quiet talks. That was a long time ago. Now, has this wilful blindness to her faults and will support her lies unconditionally. When challenged about her cruelty he says, "I have to support my wife". I said, "What about supporting your kids?" No answer. He rang me today and said quietly, "This contact thing is too stressful." I know I will never hear from him again. I feel conflicted. I am angry at him for treating me like I'm expendable. I have given him unconditional love all my life. I even saved his life in an accident once. I don't believe the PTSD can fully excuse him for being so weak willed. Should I be worried about his care?

I am a 36yr old adult child of a NM. I have two brothers and I am the middle child. My enabling father is a war veteran who is TPI with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Ironically, my NM is his official carer. My brothers and I were abused by both our parents with sessions of bullying. If we did something wrong (like forgetting a chore), we could get a 1 to 2 hr long sesion where we would be reminded of all our past wrong doings and belittled for them. We were reminded of all our parents have done for us and blamed for causing stress with our father's illness. These sessions were orchestrated by my NM but delivered with equal enthusiasm by both parents. The sessions stopped only when one or all three of us were crying and apologising and our feet were numb from standing still for so long. Afterwards we would be sent to our separate rooms to "think about what we've done". This was hard to do since by then we were emotionally drained and had forgotten the sin that started the session. Sometimes my father would later seek me out and apologise for going overboard, always blaming his illness. Yet, his love, his hugs and sincerity were genuine. At odd moments, he would try to make it up to us kids by having fun days with us with go carts, games at the park, or just spending time with us. My NM came to my room once after one of these sessions. It was only time I had ever seen her cry. She said, "I should never have had children. It's been so hard on me with your father's illness." I actually felt sad for her that I was born.

I was about 15yr old when I started challenging my parents logic. I wasn't trying to be obstinate. My pathetic whimpers were labelled backchat and earned me their focussed wrath. I was despised by my brothers for making the sessions longer. I was a nerdy straight A student who had become the family scapegoat. By the time I was 17, I confronted my mother and told her I wanted to behave like an adult and that I wasn't going to cry everytime there was an argument. I thought she would respect this statement. Instead, I got 3 days of silent treatent. The rest of the family were not to speak to me either. My brother whispered to me "Just apologise to her". I said, "I don't know what for." He said, "So what. Just apologise." My brother and I are made of different stuff. One the third day she kicked me out. I wasn't permitted to take more than a few clothes in a bag becuase I never paid for anything, so nothing was mine.

With 50 cents in my pocket and nowhere to go, I lived in various refuges for a year. I lied about my skills and got whatever work I could get bluffing my way through hospitality jobs. I got myself into uni and in lived in crappy share accomodation until I could afford a rental unit on my own. I was in contact with my older brother who also went to uni. I receved a 4 page letter from NM detailing how i was the cause of all the problems in the family, how everything has been much better since I was gone, that everyone agreed i was a b@#$h and that maybe one day she would forgive me. She never said what for. My father sought me out after a couple of years without NM knowing. He asked me to go and apologise to NM because he missed me and he wanted the family together. I told him I didn't know what to be sorry for. He said, "Make something up. Do it for me?" I smiled and said "sure".

I did what he asked. NM was pleased. Eveyone was pleased for a while. It didn't last long before she started heckling me. I tried to reason with her. I wasn't allowed to talk about the past with her because she had told people (including my brothers) I was a problem child and had runaway from home. I was expected to support her lies.Three times I had to cease contact with her and then tried again later to get along. The next couple of times was because of her outrageous behaviour that I don't won't to mention here.

I am now happily married with one child and another on the way. My husband is a good man and wonderfully supportive. I just wish I could get over this hang up about my father.

Beth McHugh
Posts: 205
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 9:47 am

Re: How do you forgive the enabling parent?

Post by Beth McHugh » Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:38 pm

Hi Beck,
Sorry to take so long to post but my books have been closed due to client overload.
In the NPD articles, I have a article on Forgiving Your Narcisstic Parent. I also have an article on the role that the non-NPD parent has in maintianing the family dynamics. These might help you if you haven't already read them. In terms of forgiving your father, it is not necessary to do this to get on with living your own life without dragging the anchor of narcissism as well. But it is essential you work to understand the mechanics of narcissism forst, so that you can then understand how your father (and you) became roped into the games that narcissists play to retain their power. If you need help in doing this, my books are currently open and, as it is possible to escape the trap of the NPD parent , it is certainly possible to change your own belief systems about yourself and your father that will allow you to step out of the family pattern.
Contact me at Services on the main webpage for a clinical diagnosis of your mother if she is undiagnosed, and a template to better deal with your father.
Best wishes,
ImageBeth McHugh
B.Sc (Hons). B.Psych. Dip.Sc.
Principal, Your Online Counselor

Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2013 8:53 am
Spam Check: No
Spam Sum: 15

Re: How do you forgive the enabling parent?

Post by meldav » Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:23 am

Hi there ...

I have only just, this evening,found this site,
your post was the 3rd i had read,
and i felt so strongly, i 'joined' so i could reply to you, so here goes ...

Basically , like you , i'm the daughter of an aggressive NM, and i too have an Father whom enabled ( please note past tense used, i will explain later )

In my opinion - no - i dont think for one minute , you should be worried about your fathers care, now , nor , in the future, because lets face it , in another 30yrs time, both your NM and enabling father, WILL BE old and frail, and at some point in both their lives , are going to NEED help, from family/children ...
and i really hope your NOT the person who gives it , because in my opinion, just from what i've read, they BOTH have put you through ''hell and back''

I really , really dont think you should waist anymore of your time/energy giving them BOTH another 'thought'

You have successfully started the NC, albeit, gone back on the NC, but take 'that' and LEARN from it ....

EVERY time you go back to them - it ends in tears !!

Honestly, your story, is so similar to mine ... i DID the NC for almost 10 years, things 'happened', i got back in touch with both my NM and my EF , and after years apart, my NM just couldnt 'help herself' her VILE mouth and LIES started again...

and now i'm back to no contact permanently with NM ( my dad is different story - i'll tell you again)

But I really really really do think that in your case, ''they'' are better left alone - no more contact - think about you, and your family now, look forward to , and build a new life with them - the people who TRULY LOVE YOU mel xxx

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest