Flying Monkeys or Walking on Hot Lava–Which do You Prefer?

Well friends, I wish every blog I write could be as beautiful and encouraging as the last one, but I guess we don’t get to live on the mountaintop very often since most of us are dealing with all the narcissistic smog in the valley below. As an Enneagram seven, I’m not fond of sad thoughts or living in the past at all, but it seems learning to deal with and writing about my pain has allowed me to help others. Someone commented on that last blog:

“I am so very thankful that a chance encounter at a Lowe’s store, commenced a friendship with a kindred spirit which lead me to your group and of course to healing!”

They went on to say that they believe angels walk among us and I absolutely agree and sometimes those angels are real people just like us. Whether you call it God or the Universe, I’ve been getting affirmation after affirmation that I’m on the right path for writing my memoir. As a matter of fact the only negative reactions I’ve had are my immediate family members most of whom have barely spoken to me for eight years and have not read any part of my memoir.

So what are they so afraid of? None of them live in the same town or go to the same church. We barely knew our relatives while growing up so there is very little to cross paths over. I am not in their face about my writing. I’ve kept to my corner of the world which does not include any of them. That alone is a sad statement, but it’s more a symptom of growing up in a dysfunctional family with controlling and narcissistic parents. The most obvious threat I can see is narcissistic people are afraid we might expose them so they will do all they can to keep the whole family in a mindset of “us against them” to keep the control.

In the past, others took turns being the scapegoat, I am the current notorious and at large scapegoat of which they have no control over. Ha! They think they have shunned me, but I am actually the one who got away. I don’t take my freedom lightly, I want others to escape the lies too, but they are so very afraid and some of their fear is based on the narcissistic propaganda that God is not on your side if you talk about the past so therefore anyone who does must be evil and liar. Bhhaahaa!

Last night a Flying Monkey hit my wall. I think it’s safe to say the only thing worse than a troll is a Flying Monkey. Trolls are usually strangers, while Flying Monkeys are often relatives. I don’t think there is a bigger liar and hypocrite than the person who claims to love you in the same post as they try to defame you.

There are only three practical reasons for a relative to publicly address us when they disagree as far as I can tell:

1. They’re in the middle of a disaster–say an ice storm or forest fire and have lost all ability to communicate through phone, email or private message. They have crawled to the local library where they can only access FB to make their last cry for help–wait a minute, rewind…if this is truly their last opportunity to get help, shouldn’t they be calling the utility company? Don’t they have better things to do with their time than call someone a liar on their own wall?

2. They’ve been hacked and whoever hacked them is now trolling everyone they know. This could be a possibility, but only if they seem to be spouting off to everyone. If it’s personal, then this is not likely a hacker.

3. If neither of the above, it’s more than likely a Flying Monkey–that scourge of humanity which seems to engage in scapegoating and group-think because they can’t think for themselves or they could be another narcissist. Is it revenge or hate? Hopefully it’s just a deranged Flying Monkey acting as a puppet. Unpleasant and annoying, but not life threatening. Like my friend Michelle says, if only they made bigger fly swatters… But I can’t discount the possibility of narcissism.

So let’s say this happened to you once and you called out the boundary and asked your family member to stay within the lines and since they didn’t, you unfriended them. Then pretend like two years go by and since you do care about your siblings, you call them on their birthday and they say they have been thinking about you too. You explain to them how you would love to be friends on social media, but you would need to establish some decorum of respect. You don’t go on their wall and tell them off and you would appreciate if when they disagree with you, they would call you, email you or text you. They agree. So now you are friends again on FB and you send them a birthday present because you have love in your heart for this person and birthday presents are one way of saying we are not living like we did as children, let’s celebrate our lives.

All of this happened to me. Then yesterday, I got a public message or er shaming on Little Red Survivor page that says, “You know I love you and I know you will probably unfriend me again like you did before, but I swear to God that never happened.”

So for starters we have a boundary violation. She blames my past unfriending on me instead of realizing it’s her lack of respect that is the problem. Dr. Henry Cloud says if you have someone who is angry with you for setting boundaries, then you know for sure where the problem lies. Isn’t that the truth!

I was honestly stunned that within a month after our conversation, she did this again.–and surprised–because that event absofuckinglutely happened! But here’s the thing. She doesn’t have to agree with me. in my opinion, it’s okay if we remember differently.

It was one of the most traumatic events of my childhood to lose a pet this way, so she might have blocked it out. I was eleven and she was younger, so I might remember more details because I was older. Who knows? The bottom line is she disrespected me again without honoring our agreement to discuss things in private in a civil manner. That is the issue for me. Haters are gonna hate, but they don’t get to do it on my wall.

To realize someone I thought was worthy of my trust and probably has not been for quite some time, was a harsh wake up call, but despite this happening, I was able to handle it without shedding a tear. Why? Because I have enough “chosen sisters” who walk with me now and talk with me on a weekly basis. Their support reminds me of my worth. These healthy girlfriends provide a sharp contrast to the shoddy treatment of my family.

The minute I saw the remark, I immediately realized her post was more about her than me. I deleted it and called my best friend who said:

“Allow me to be your informed witness. You told me this story years ago–long before you thought of writing a book. You cried when you told me back then and there was zero reason for you to make up that story up. Also remember the narcissist’s lies that you just go around making up stories about your childhood? If this were true, then why stop with one cat thrown against a brick wall? You could get super creative and come up with all kinds of stuff, but you aren’t doing that. You’re just telling the same stories I’ve heard you tell for years.”

My husband was listening in and seconded what my bestie said. It’s good to have real family who are honest and respectful. So I wrote my relative an email and told her in a few words that the truth will always set us free and that without respect and honesty we have nothing. And I guess we are now back to No Contact—because unless she cares to treat me like a friend, we can’t pretend to be relatives.

This all makes the narcissist happy. He doesn’t want us to be friends. He wants me to shut up and he hopes that pressure from my family will do that, but it won’t. Narcissistic people don’t live forever and someday they will have to give an accounting before God for all they have done to ruin the relationships of others with their gossip and triangulation. So I release her, I release the narcissist and the flying monkeys and anyone in the family who is talking about me. Life is too short to put up with this crap.

So where did I go wrong?

Remembering an event from my childhood?

No, that’s still my memory and my story so whatever memory deficits she might have, she doesn’t get to decide my story. Plus she hasn’t even read one page of my book, so she doesn’t even know what she is talking about. And this memoir is not a family memoir, it is mine. I get to write what I experienced, If she wants to write her own, she is free to do so.

Reaching out to her after not talking for two years?

Maybe. Maybe I was a fool to think she cared about our relationship–because I think if people really care about each other they won’t spout off at you in public or shun you for two years or write you an email that says you were the monster in the family and naming everything they can think of that you did to them in childhood. That’s not a memoir, that’s a just vindictive rant and I am not writing that type of book. I am seeking to find the beauty and the angels I met along the way. It’s my goal to show there is beauty even through the pain.

I don’t regret trying to build a bridge—it just turned out to be a bridge across a bed of hot, molten lava, but I am wiser now. She has shown her true colors and what do we call someone who is revengeful and does not have empathy? Yeah, I know you ACoNS know what I am thinking. Oh well the only thing worse than discovering your family member is a flying monkey is to find out they are narcissistic and the only thing worse than being related to these kind of people is spending one more day dealing with all their toxic sludge. People who don’t have narcs in their family won’t understand this, but it was time to say goodbye.

So why do we need Wake Up Wednesday?

Because we are NOT their kind of people. We are NOT looking to abuse and harm others. We are NOT trying to gaslight others. We are NOT vindictive. We are NOT trying to scapegoat others. We know this is true of the narcissist and their flying monkeys. We know some people will leave no stone unturned to try to ruin our reputation. They would rather talk about us, than to us–if that isn’t a wakeup call, I don’t know what is.

Don’t try to win over the haters;
you are not a jackass whisperer.
-Scott Stratten

By the way in case you haven’t listened to Nicole Nordeman’s new album I highly recommend it. Waking up, setting boundaries, saying no to verbal abuse even on social media, telling our stories–this, is the sound of surviving!

12 Replies to “Flying Monkeys or Walking on Hot Lava–Which do You Prefer?”

  1. Your remark from Cloud, “…if you have someone who is angry with you for setting boundaries, then you know for sure where the problem lies. Isn’t that the truth!” Cloud and Townsend put out some great works on the topic of boundaries. Sadly it seems like boundaries are decaying in this day and age.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow. I relate to everything you said here.

    I discovered Facebook in 2008. None of my relatives were on back then. FB was great fun, reconnecting with former coworkers and classmates from elementary and high school.

    Then, one by one, my siblings began to discover Facebook. I was so excited! I am the oldest by many years — seven years older than the next to oldest, a set of twins, and 18 years older than the youngest. I was forced out of the home by my abusive mother when I was fourteen and my siblings were seven and younger, with the youngest not yet born.

    Because of this, my sisters and brothers, and nieces and nephews, really do not know me, nor do I know them. Although I have driven back for an occasional visit now and then, in the fifty years since my mother threw me away, we are much more strangers than family.

    This is why I was so excited, when I began to find relatives on Facebook. Finally, we could get to know each other, without our triangulating mother being involved!

    So, yeah, I’m sure you guessed it. What happened to you, happened to me.

    I ended my Facebook account several years ago. It took at least another year after that, for the ubiquitous FB logo to stop giving me flashbacks.

    GOOD FOR YOU on setting your boundaries and sticking to them! It’s the only way to survive as a scapegoat from a narcissistic family, with any kind of stability in your life.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. USAThroughOurEyes, Yes! I love Cloud and Townsend! If everyone read their books and lived lives of such integrity and honor, it would be a different world! Blessings!

    Peace and Freedom to you!

    Cherilyn

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Lynda Lee,

    It makes me sad to hear of your story and treatment by your mother. Is she still alive? There is a deep truth in what you said about people not really knowing us because they’ve listened to the lies of the Narcissist and their flying monkeys. Triangulation, scapegoating and gaslighting take their toll. I hope you have some good friends to make up for this. I know my support system is no longer my family of origin. Like Maya Angelou says, “When people show you who they are believe them the first time.”

    Many hugs and good wishes for your writing! Let us help each other! Let me know if you need any resources for writing memoir. We ACoNs need to stick together!

    Peace and Freedom to you!

    Cherilyn

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for your very kind words, Cherlyn.

    Yes, as far as I know, my mother is stll alive. She would be 82, now. I kept waiting and hoping for her to change, but the older she got, the more like herself she became.

    I finally gave up and went no contact after she sent me a 62 page hate letter in 2011. It wasn’t the first time she sent me a crazy long letter, telling me off. Her previous record was 50 pages. But this last letter was the first time, to my knowledge, that she gave copies of her “here’s why I hate my scapegoat” letter to my siblings and my aunt.

    One of the things she said in that last long letter was that, although I have never apologized to her for being her daughter, she forgives me, anyway. Can you imagine? How magnanimous of her. Believe me, I am very sorry for being her daughter.

    I do have a few good friends and my own family now, including a very loving and supportive husband. That makes all the difference, doesn’t it?!

    God bless, and thank you again. I am really glad I found your great blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Lynda,

    Wow! A 62 page letter!!! I have never gotten one that long! You win the internet for today!!! 🙂

    On a serious note, you just gave me an idea so I will be publishing a blog on how to respond to hate mail from a narcissist.

    God does fill our lives with kind people. I am so grateful for the honest and kind people in my chosen family!

    Peace and freedom to you!

    Cherilyn

    Liked by 1 person

  7. First of all, Lynda Lee, OMG – good thing you’re no contact and I’m happy you have a decent family now and some real friends. I send you good vibes and wish you all the very best.

    Cherilyn, thanks for another instalment, I love the way you word things and the cool quotes you scatter into your posts. Best wishes for your memoir completion and let me know where I can get it when it’s out! Have a fabulous day.

    Liked by 1 person

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