The culprit: Uncle
Example: An Uncle is a flying monkey. Flying monkey is the role, Triangulation is the action. Mental/Emotional warfare is the game. In healthy family dynamics, people speak directly to one another. In dysfunctional family dynamics, people speak indirectly. (remember this is a game – think of an adult version of the game of telephone). An Uncle contacted a 3rd party seeking information about me. He could be testing boundaries. He could be attempting to isolate me. He could be trying to cause disharmony between me and the 3rd party. He could simply be spying on behalf of the main abuser. He could be testing my emotional attachment. Or trying to bait me into an argument. If the Uncle contacted me, about me, is healthy. The Uncle contacting a 3rd party, about me, is dysfunctional. His behaviour is dysfunctional. I’m not sure why, nor do I care. It’s just a game.
Since emotional and mental abuse is based on patterns, it’s worth mentioning that his behaviour towards me changed when Grandpa died. This Uncle used to be an extension of Grandpa (health/safety/love) and now he’s an extension of an abuser (dysfunction/fear/aggression). It’s clear that this Uncle is easily manipulated. I understand his weakness. I wish him increased awareness and health on his journey.
Boundary: Direct conversations.
Consequence: Abusers reaching out to 3rd parties reveal who is strong and who is weak. A weak person will allow themselves to be manipulated and share information. A strong person will identify the dysfunctional behaviour and simply ask, ‘why don’t you ask her yourself?’ Asking this question is a disarming way to acknowledge triangulation as being a dysfunctional behaviour.
Result: The Uncle was shut down. The 3rd party did not take the bait. Games were not entertained. Abuse was non-confrontationally addressed. I’m left alone so I can heal in peace.
The Challenge: It’s VERY difficult to know who to trust when it comes to family abuse. Family abuse is difficult because it’s people telling you they care whilst stabbing you in the chest (yes, the chest. family abuse is savage like that). It’s emotional AND mental. It’s the worst kind of warfare out there. Words are useless. Actions are where loyalty and trust should be placed. There is NO NEUTRAL with family, it’s either people helping you or people hurting you. At first, I started asking cousins if they would agree to keep our conversations private to help me cope with my abuser’s angry outbursts. Not a single cousin agreed to my request so they were removed. I realised that I seemed paranoid because I was addressing something that they were happy to deny. Family abuse. Our Family Abuse. I was expecting people to understand the difference between healthy and dysfunction. I realised that IF I had to ask people to conduct themselves in a healthy manner then it was time to remove myself. All family was removed. Now I’m slowly allowing certain people back in. I’m VERY clear that my intention is to build a relationship. I’m VERY clear that the moment my wellness is compromised, the relationship ends. No apology. No explanation. No second chances. Black & White. In or Out. Team Health or Team Dysfunction. Zero tolerance for anything less than love and kindness. Some people are clouded by obligation. They think just because I share DNA that I have to do this or that. The biggest challenge is to accept that it’s OK to redefine family. Family should be people that help me be my best version. Anyone causing harm or helping others cause you harm, is not family. DNA means NOTHING.
#WhyIWrite #ToLetGo #Triangulation #Forgiveness #MentalWellness #BreakTheSilence #DomesticAbuse #FamilyAbuse #MentalAbuse #EmotionalAbuse #Accountability #Family #JourneyToPeace