Are You Ostracized By EC?Posted on 10/12/13, 09:18 am
Being ostracized affects the same parts of the brain that are activated when we are in physical pain and coping with physical pain, so if you have felt the effects of estrangement with physical pain as well as excruciating emotional distress, well you’re right, the pain is real. The estrangement we are experiencing, being ostracized by those we love the most, can quite rationally, feel like a sort of psychological death.
If your AC and/or anyone else are shunning or ostracizing you, then you are being abused and bullied in the most cruel and vicious of ways, even though there are no bruises on your body.
Your most fundamental human needs for belonging, for self-esteem for control over your life…for recognition, for…hope… are taken from you.
Even though people’s personalities and abilities to cope with problems are different, the effects of being ostracized are horrible for everyone; even people who are ostracized briefly by people they do not know and will never see again suffer problems, so how much worse is the experience when the people who have done this to you are the most cherished and trusted people in your life: your children.
We estranged parents are excluded from our AC’s lives, grandchildren’s lives, and maybe even the lives of other family and friends, and the pain of this exclusion runs deep and, as we well know, lasts long.
Researchers say there are three stages to the horror of being ostracized: the initial exclusion, coping and resignation. We can find ways to cope with being ostracized so that the pain doesn’t destroy the rest of our lives. Cognitive therapy can help, so can bringing others into our lives—I really think that this site is an important part of healing for so many of us.
I found this site about ostracism, and I think it is comprehensive and very helpful.
Reply #1 10/12/13 2:40pm
hello 6infamily, thank you for the link, It is reassuring to be reminded that the pain of the loss of an EC, can not be underestimated , I will certainly practice the breathing techniques, once again a big hug and thanks missphibs.x
Reply #2 10/12/13 6:02pm
I think sometimes we do not realize what our EC have actually done to us, and we feel responsible to get over it or move on. Our responses to this are rational, the behavior of our EC is not.
Reply #3 10/12/13 6:31pm
Yes, it is hard to believe, especially when now and then we are thrown "crumbs" of contact, which probably arise from guilt on holidays or special family days. Best to realize what is happening; either accept the crumbs or decline and move on. More difficult than it sounds, but for our health and well-being,must be done. Embracing others who care for us helps, as does losing oneself in hobbies or projects.
Also, work is a saving grace, especially if we enjoy it...
I am working on just these things: my daughter is carving me out of her life, and I don't think she can make the final cut. I go with the flow, but I will soon have to tell her I cannot do this anymore. I have hoped things will get better:;but I cannot live with her vacillation and dismissive behaviour
Lots of work getting to this point, and it is not over ..
Reply #4 10/12/13 8:10pm
Thanks for sharing this.
Reply #5 10/12/13 10:03pm
Thanks for sharing but no most people have forgotten I have a daughter....
Reply #6 10/13/13 12:44am
Thank you 6...the pain of being ostracized is real, and its good to be reminded that I'm not crazy...this is real and it hurts like hell.
Thanks for the link and all the time you spend helping us on this forum!
Reply #7 10/13/13 11:35am
Thank you so much 6. Its been two years for me and I dont get why I dont get over it. The only progrress I have made is that Im not looking for emails anymore and I have stopped calling and sending and begging.
I keep up the self-blaming and rooting for causes when I know in my heart that I have made mistakes (o course), but that nothing I have done is so horrible as to warrant this kind of treatment.
Anyone taking as long as me? Or am I just not strong enough?
Reply #8 10/13/13 12:03pm
Jadenot, you have articulated the situation for all of us. Nothing warrants this kind of treatment, and coping with this is a life-long endeavor...we just get better and better at it, and time helps. It does get better, but that is partly, I think, because we get better at coping, just as you are. And we have to expect and forgive those days or weeks when we feel like we are right back where we started....there is no closure here, except what we are able to bring for ourselves.
Here is one thing: you have probably made mistakes, like we all have---everyone on the planet---but because of our situation in estrangement, we focus on those--we try to find something we have done that we can fix,maybe, or that explains why we and not some other parent deserve this treatment. We have to forgive ourselves for anything we feel we have done wrong; it is all right to forgive ourselves; everyone needs forgiveness and we can only let go of those feelings of self-blame when we do something with them--and forgiving them is the best thing, I think, and then we let go of the incidents or the situations we play and replay looking for causes and finding self-blame and incrimination.
You are strong enough. You are good enough. You do not and never have deserved what is happening to you. And posting on this site...heck, getting up in the morning and doing what you need to get through the day demonstrate tremendous strength...and you will get stronger, and you will feel better. You should be a friend to yourself, because you deserve the best.
Reply #9 10/13/13 2:50pm
Jadenot, my path is similar to yours. I struggle with thoughts of what have I done? It's been two years of no contact for me, and while I don't expect emails...I hope for them.
I agree with 6, that we are strong...otherwise we would just give up, and like 6 says it takes a tremendous amount of strength to get going each day.
I'm with you on this journey, and wish I could wave a magic wand and speed our healing. WE have to have faith that it will come, and one day we'll find peace in this world of estrangement. Hugs
Reply #10 10/13/13 6:11pm
I am still at the unpacking---and getting into the old photos, etc. to re--well, I was going to say organize, but that isn't what's happening; I'm putting them all together in one trunk storage thing. So, when I first began to look at photos and other objects, I cried and then cried and finally cried. Today, it was a little different. I cried, but then said, "Damn, we might have been the worst parents in the world, but we did A LOT right. Those kids had some good childhood experiences and parents who were absolutely devoted and attentive." My younger daughter called a few minutes after I'd stopped my photo project for the day, and I told her my epiphany and that if these boys wanted to create a history of negative things and report that to people who know nothing, then they can just go ahead. She had heard a link from this site earlier today and replied, "Let them Walk." To which I responded: "if they were OF us, they'd be WITH us. Old photos: they can break your heart or remind you of the good stuff EC would deny---and I was really pretty when I was younger: how come I didn't know that?
Estrangement and empty nesting for a parent is heartbreaking; This support group will help you overcome your fears and depression and show you that you can have a life after your Adult Children leave home. Family and friends don't understand our pain. These are difficult times. We offer friendship and provide knowledge of surviving our darkest emotional state. If you are an estrangement victim, we invite you to heal with us. Off-Topics permitted. Be kind to each other.