How to help a victim of F.O.G.y parents, relatives or others.

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i.e., people who use Fear, Obligation and Guilt to manipulate and control.?
We have threads and articles that cover detaching with love, setting boundaries, the power of the emotional blackmailer and how to overcome it.

Those are good resources, but when we see someone in our virtual online life here or in our face to face world, how can we best help them to see what is going on in their lives and begin helping them to deal with it, if they want to deal with the emotional abuse going on in their lives, beyond just getting them something to read her online or printing something for them to read.

I had a good but inexperienced therapist 12 years ago whose approach to anything was another handout of me to read, but I got the most out of us actually talking about how what was in the article would help me in the present and in the future. Knowledge by itself was not enough. The therapist that I've seen since about 10 years ago does not use handouts and we have covered much more in my life and at much deeper levels than was even stated with the handout therapist.
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So, I've created a list of questions for caregivers who seek to help other caregivers here online or in their face to face world with the emotional blackmail and abuse that comes from either a F.O.G.y parent, spouse, relative, friend or others.

1. What has worked and not worked for you in seeking to help someone see that they are victims of emotional abuse that is coming from what I've labeled as a F.O.G.y parent, spouse, relative or friend?

2. What has worked and not worked for you in seeking to help someone stop being a victim to taking steps toward them taking back control of their own life?

3. What have you found to be the most frustrating aspect of seeking to help a victim of F.O.G.y parents, spouses, relatives or others? What have you learned about yourself, about others, and about trying to help other from those frustrating aspects of trying to help?

4. What have you found to be the most joyful aspect of seeking to help a victim of F.O.G.y parents, spouses, relatives or others? What have you learned about the dynamics of seeking to help a victim of F.O.G.y parents, spouses, relatives, or others?

5. What do you do with the feelings that surround those times when you gave it your best shot and you were very hopeful for them and supportive of them, but things did not work out well at all and they are still being emotionally abused or they have let their boundaries down and are back to being emotionally abused?

6. Which of the following seven are the most important and helpful to you in seeking to help others? 1. A passionate zeal to "save" people out of the abuse they are in. 2. Knowledge about emotional abuse, boundaries, etc. 3. A compassionate detachment that does not get lost in the victim's emotions and confusion. 4. Wise patience with the person making progress at his or her own rate which probably will involve making some mistakes and backsliding some along the way instead of just being a straight line of continual progress from point A to point B. 5. The ability to respect how hard it is to make choices contrary to being a victim, no matter how small us us they may appear, are for the person who is the victim. 6. The humility to recognize that this is about them and their choices whatever they may be and not about us being successful as bad as we would love to be. 7. Deep unconditional love that gives one the ability to continue to care for this person and to let them know they are cared for even if they choose to not to get free from emotional abuse.
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I think that raising this main question and the related questions can help us all be better equipped in seeking to help people here online who are victims and people who we see in our face to face lives who are victims as well.

55 Comments

cmagnum, I'm glad you posted this and hope people respond with some of their experiences. Since I'm in a quest to help a dear friend get out of F.O.G. I need some input as to what has worked for others.
Regarding "6. Which of the following seven are the most important and helpful to you in seeking to help others?" : 1. Yes, 2. Yes, 3. not doing so good on this, 4.My zeal impends me on this one. 5. Yes, 6. difficult for me, 7. A great Big Yes on this one.- I have a "Don Quixote" personality, so some of these thing are difficult for me.
5. - respecting how hard it is for her to take the smallest step, such as not telephoning her mother to check that everything is all right even when there is absolutely no need to, and her only reason for calling is that she feels guilt about having a nice time without her mother.

That's the impossible bit for me. It's as though SIL is superglued to her mother - if you try to detach her, it's SIL who loses the skin.

I can see myself still here in ten years' time trying to find a way round this.
I hope you don't feel like your efforts to help your SIL to unglue not working is a reflection on you, but the reality of how hard it is for a person to take even the smallest step and their choice to stay stuck. All you can do is remain her friend and be available in case she decides to make a step one day. The really sad thing about this is that the more years this has gone on and the more intense the F.O.G. has been the more unlikely it becomes that the person will make a small step. I am very sorry to hear how superglued your SIL is to her mother out of guilt the SIL feels for having a nice time without her mother.

How do you see yourself dealing with your mother around this in the future?
brinoz,

Thanks for reading this, going over the questions in light of trying to help someone in the face to face world. Keep your answers in mind. I wish you good luck.
Sorry to ask, but does SIL mean.
I meant to say "what does SIL mean"
It is shorthand for Sister in law

BIL is brother in law

MIL is mother in law

FIL is father in law

Thanks cmagnum. I'll get the lingo in time.
My SIL is 54. Her mother is 79, and physically as fit as a fiddle. I don't want the terrible karma of wishing ill on my MIL, but I honestly don't see any freedom for my SIL until she's gone.

I do, as you suggest, just stick around and offer moral support: SIL is wilfully blind to her mother's nature - funny, given that she's a psychiatrist - and won't hear anything that sounds like criticism of her. Apparently she's a wonderful mother (who I personally saw slap her adult daughter in the face, but that's all forgotten now). My big dread is that MIL will succeed in driving away SIL's husband, or causing her to leave him. MIL is already making headway in getting her to take early retirement. My heart sinks.

And there was one of those terrible, awful, ought-to-be-a-law-against-them, deathbed promises made to her late father, that she would "always look after Mum." Where were the other two siblings while this was going on, eh? Nodding vigorously in the background, that's where - and not to be seen for dust since.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

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