The Silent Treatment

The silent treatment is a well used emotional control tactic in my family.
Yep..  nothing hurts like ‘the big shut down’.
 And every time it seems to be me that re-opens the lines of communication. I also seem to be the one in the most pain from this tactic while everyone else continues to function..
No wonder I suffer from depression…
Right now my adult son and father are not speaking to me. There was no fight or argument. It’s that they wanted and expected me to do things they thought I should do and I didn’t … then I never heard from them..
My father I haven’t heard from for a few months now – my mother says he’s disappointed in me. Reason being that my business isn’t ready yet and he feels it should be, and my son only sees me on special occasions and doesn’t reply to my emails, I think he’s annoyed that I didn’t put my house on the market when he feels I should – but really who knows if he doesn’t talk?..
It’s painful and it makes me stressed and depressed. I withdraw out of the hopelessness of the situation.
Often the communication to heal things feels hopeless and difficult even when I try to be diplomatic and understanding. And then it happens again – there is always a next time..
In the past I use to apologize just to mend the rift. My family aren’t good on apologies..
I need to talk to them about how all this makes me feel, the emotional distress and dysfunction, control tactics (best not imply the word control – that will not impress them)..
They are people that if you accidentally say one word out of context you’re shut down again. I re-read my emails and think they are kind, open-hearted and beautiful but still it doesn’t work.. maybe I am too emotional for them (actually the real problem is that I’m emotional and they are not!) it ruffles their feathers and upsets their schedules and life they don’t like that – denial is their way of living – ha.. meantime I’m depressed for months..
Healthy communication and how to express your feelings without hurting people is vital … but really do I have to be the family teacher? Can they change and do they care?
Why is healthy communication and expression so hard to heal in narcissistic families.. and can I actually fix/ change/ expose things without shaming or blaming anyone .. and why should I???
 Really I just want to scream you pack of pathetic, weak losers you have tortured me for years with your control tactics and then pack my bags and leave for good. Maybe that will shake them up.. maybe the need the truth and they need to lose me.
I dream about finding people who understand the importance of healthy communication and are willing to work at it rather than shut down or run away.
 Getting angry about it just causes more problems.
I don’t think I can trust my family to ever stop or heal this dysfunctional behavior.
Expressing our feelings in a healthy manner is essential to be free of depression.
Should I keep trying  – I think not..
Ibeth in the comments section has given me the best advice… Ignore them, they won’t change and it’s not my place to heal them, it’s theirs.
Focus all your energy into something healthy… helping others, healthy living, create your life your way, mix with people that don’t cause stress and anxiety in you….’get out of the unhealthy system’.
Thank you ‘Ibeth’

6 thoughts on “The Silent Treatment

  1. The people who are holding out on you are not going to change and they don’t care about your feelings. They get off on your misery. Try to put your energy somewhere healthy.

    • Thanks Ibeth <3 – good point about stopping the dwelling and putting my energy to better use. It does seem to eat away at me. I should know better as I was with a narcissistic man for many years. I have to accept that I come from a narcissistic family and not expect them to care.

      • You’re right Ibeth :o) There is a woman in a very unhappy and controlled marriage who could use my support.. (I was there once myself..) I so could be using my energy in far better ways <3 Thank you so much for the suggestion.

  2. I really related to this post, SG. I go through this a lot in my family, in that when I need validation I never get it but get told I should be/feel/think differently and then the focus is on how upset my expression of emotion makes them which means the emotions aren’t soothed and I get angry and suffer more, when really I need to detach. I hope you have managed to detach. Sometimes I think it takes being hurt lots of times to detach.

    • Hi EftDN – families like these drive you crazy!!… At 48 I decided the lifelong stress, illness and depression had to end. It’s always hard when you love people to walk away but I did completely detach from my family – my parents, siblings, entire extended family and my two adult children. My depression has lifted completely, and the reduced stress is slowly healing my auto-immune conditions and c-ptsd (I knew I could never really manage or heal these conditions if I stayed in contact with my narcissistic family). I miss many things about my family .. but I am very slowly creating a brave new life and the pros by far outway the cons..

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