What is New?


February 1: New groundbreaking children's book by Australian author Ava Keyes called "Scapegoat". Story here
January 21: Added a new video by Med Circle interviewing Dr. Ramani Durvasula on the How to Tell If You Have Abusive Parents post
December 22: Newest post: Black Sheep at Christmas? Making Christmas Better... , or go here for the whole list of topics having to do with the holidays
December 14: Gaslighting: How a Parent Can Drive a Kid Crazy: Therapist Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC, takes on the subject of children who are being gaslighted by parents and why she thinks it is the most egregious form of child abuse. Story here
PETITION: the first petition I have seen of its kind: Protection for Victims of Narcissistic Sociopath Abuse (such as the laws the UK has, and is being proposed for the USA): story here and here or sign the actual petition here
Note: After seeing my images on social media unattributed, I find it necessary to post some rules about sharing my images

Does the gray rock method work for family scapegoats? Scapegoat survivors weigh in.

The gray rock method is often suggested by psychologists and counselors if going "no contact" is not an option, or if you still want to try to have contact with, or around, your abusers. Follow the link at the beginning of the paragraph if you want to find out more about the gray rock method.

First of all, if you want to know what a scapegoat is in an abusive family, go here.

The question was put to a "scapegoat group" of survivors to see if the method was worth using. Did it help in terms of the common issues family scapegoats have:
1. to stop the scapegoating
2. to stop the abuse
3. to stop the gossip and triangulation
4. to stop information-seeking abusive parents (who scapegoat) who use the information you tell them to blackmail, control you, embarrass you, hurt you or to use for smear campaigns (taking only part of the truth and vilifying you)
5. to work on escaping (and as a panacea to keep abusive parents from suspecting an escape)
6. to stop the goading and attacks because you aren't feeding them information

The answers came from the following 60 survivors. There were others who wrote something too, but I wanted to eliminate the redundant ones, and ones not fleshed out. No names have been used. Each asterisk (*) is another survivor story. I also cleaned up some of the grammar and obvious auto-words.

The answers follow:

* Gray rock doesn't solve much. They treat you dismissively instead of like a pin cushion. It still feels exceptionally bad. When therapists say that the only real solution that will make your life better is no contact, believe them.

* It doesn't work if they don't care.

*I don't think this method could have worked if I hadn't had 13 years of no contact. I now use it because my mother is 87 and she lost her husband, and all of her children except for me. I'm the only one left. The grand kids are around, but they are too busy with their own kids and their jobs, and she is lucky if she sees them every two years. It doesn't help that she alienated the grandkids' mother by being a horrific mother in law. But I have learned so much about narcissism and scapegoating in those 13 years that I was no contact. I stayed in therapy all of those years too, just to get a good handle on what happened to me. When you are in it, all you feel are terrible symptoms and you don't know why. When you're out of it and with a good therapist, all of the symptoms start making sense!
    Her barbs don't hurt me any more. You know how a toddler will say he hates you because you didn't buy him that balloon in a grocery store? That's how it is, and how I look at it. It's a temper tantrum. And I respond to her the way I would to a three year old. I don't take it personally any more because I know it is part of her condition, trying to let me know she isn't pleased, and the manipulating that goes with it. I'm like "Here comes the gaslighting! Now here comes the triangulation! Next stop is splitting!" Like a train that has to make stops at each of the dysfunctions of narcissism. I don't regret my 13 years of no contact. I think every scapegoat should break totally free for at least that many years, more if they can, just to get healed and grounded. At least. I think it takes that many years not to be effected by your parent's barbs too. Then try the gray rock method afterwards if you want. 

* The whole premise of scapegoating us is that our parents have determined that we are to blame 100 percent. And to push us away to live without our tribe of people. Am I right? So why would gray rock work in a situation like ours? If they are determined to hurt us and send us away, nothing we say is going to matter. Not even boring subjects. They don't want to hear what we have to say about ANYTHING. We are alone. We have to face what they have done to us and deal with it.

*It failed for me because I didn't do it the right way. Once they picked up that I wasn't engaging and kept pressing me, I opened up and said I didn't feel safe (I had gotten verbally and almost physically attacked). So they noticed they weren't getting their narcissistic supply from me. Once they knew I had figured things out and was staying away (while still having to live in the same house) they upped their soulless unconscionable acts.

*Never let a narc know that you know they are a narc - unless you can get far away and can go completely NC.

* When you do gray rock never ever let them know why you're doing it! In fact, you should say, "I had no idea I was even using it!"

* Never let a narc know you are on to them.

* Worked great with my ex best friend that I had to live with for a year. Mask dropped about 2 weeks. Not so great with the parents ...

* It really doesn't work. I can feel their evil through whatsapp. I get chicken skin. But at least now I am aware of what it is.

* When the scapegoating gets bad and there are no other distractions, grey rocking won’t work because you don't have to do anything—they’ll make it up.

*I told my mother in plain terms her mail/money/gifts were not welcome here. She tried several times to send things to my kids and I sent them back "return to sender". I don't want any part of her manipulations. The money and gifts are seen as something I should re-pay in some way. She finally got the hint but it took me being shitty to her, and she has probably shown people that I send things back to her in order to continue to be a victim.

* I couldn't take the disrespect any longer and went NC.

*I actually tried this method years ago without knowing what it was. It was over the grief of my sister and NM was making my life a living Hell, trying to provoke me and pick on me endlessly. I didn't know it, but my sister who died was the scapegoat. When I was in therapy I learned that I was the mascot of the family and that I turned into the scapegoat when my sister died because all narcissistic moms need a scapegoat. I also realized what it was like to be my sister and I started to have tremendous guilt over not sticking up for her when she was alive. I also started wondering if she would still be alive if she hadn't been picked on and bullied so much. I thought somehow she deserved all of the abuse at the time. Maybe I was brainwashed, but I was still so wrong! And it was awful to live in my own skin. And then I got mad at NM for what she did, and repeating the pattern with me. And here I was, being treated by my siblings like I was dirt too, in the way my sister had been treated.
     Eventually, I couldn't stand to hear another word any of them had to say. So I went no contact for seven years just to grieve over our sister and deal with the emotions I had around her. I thought I'd be separated from NM for a life time in the early days of no contact, because I was that angry, hurt and disgusted. Now I see her on Christmas every year with the extended family, but that's it. I stay at a hotel because I just don't want to be in a potentially toxic atmosphere. She's done a lot of damage to a lot of people, and she doesn't have any empathy, so reigning in her power and control means not giving her much time, or drama, not giving her my emotions or trust in her, not giving her my thoughts on anything except the food and dishes, and not giving her my soul for her to devour and turn into heartless acts. So I think that it is more effective if you stay away for a number of years. 

*I used it. But it was a means to an end. It just prolonged the major narc rage that was inevitably coming. It bought me enough time to come up with a plan. (I was living with her at the time).

* Not good. Turned me into something I’m not.

* Basically nothing works long term with narcs, except complete NC, if you ever want to recover or heal. If that's not an option, all other options are not great...

* Grey rock did not work for me. NM accused me of ignoring her. It only escalated the abuse. It’s all or nothing with her. It led to our NC.

* Don't use this if you are in a dangerous situation like if your parent likes to use false imprisonment on you, or hit you because you aren't talking. Gray rocking my mother and her husband made them worse in the violence department. They demanded that I talk. They took my money and threatened me constantly to tell them everything they wanted to know. The only thing that stopped all of this was an aunt who helped me to get out of the country and gave me some money to set myself up while I searched for a job. To her credit, she does not tell anyone where I am. Even if your parents aren't violent, what is to stop them from hurting you just because you are talking about boring subjects?

* NM was only frustrated by the lack of a reaction which caused more drama. It did not work.

* Yes, going low contact has worked for me the last few years. I have peace. The less contact, the better.

* I learned about gray rock in a therapist's office. I was already very low contact, a holiday or two a year and not excited about going back home. Dreading it in fact. I was only comfortable for a day at most, and definitely not the two or three days I was often guilt-ed to stay. And things would come up that would screw with my head on the drive home. It was always like I had near-accidents because of the stress it was causing me. It was like I was possessed with hearing all of their negative words over and over again in my head. I learned eventually that was PTSD.
     While the negativity wasn't always directed at me, I was always thinking, "Why do we gather for this? For this insanity?"
     The times I got the negative attention I was, of course, reacting to it. I was angry, and hurt, and never able to get a word in edge-wise. Being a guy, I tried to be a good sport about it most of the time, but the way it was effecting me got worse.
     Then I got into therapy and was taught the gray rock method. I use it now, and try to minimize my stay and the amount of contact with my folks.
     It works as long as I shut off the conversation when things get heated.

* I’m not sure grey rock works very well if you are still living with a narc. You can’t enforce boundaries if you still live with them. They can still mess with your stuff, and your head, and glare right at you, etc. It would probably help if you were distant with your narc parents.

* I'm still using it because it was recommended to me by a counselor to keep them from attacking me until I can find another situation. I'm feeling more and more destroyed emotionally and psychologically. At its best it is really just a walking on eggshells strategy. Still being bullied, still being accused, still being harassed, still being threatened, still being coerce-touched, can't sleep, always upset, while I keep hoping that it will work. When does it start working?  

* I guess it works best when u don't live w em!

* I think gray rock is dangerously bad advice depending on the narcissist you’re dealing with. Be careful.

* Grey rock did not work for me. Things escalated. I got accused of not talking to NM, and she went on a victim smear campaign and blamed my husband for it. It got so bad I finally cut contact and told my sister a few truths. My sister told NM and that stopped everything. NC for me.

* Grey rocking helped me place boundaries. I became so boring to my narc sisters that we actually have a better relationship. They still throw their digs in, but not as much. I no longer react and when they don't have info about me they have no ammunition. It frustrates them but brings me peace.

* From my experience it can only be a temporary measure as one plans a real exit. They get veeerry frustrated if & when they do not or cannot get a reaction. They become increasingly petty, and I think it is an effort to get that reaction however they can and however minute ... They even pretend to be sorry for xyz but shame on you if you agree with them that they did something wrong (what they are 'apologizing' for)!

* It’s a temporary fix. I did it wayyyy too long for 12-ish years. It ended up effecting my health in a negative way. Literally it’s like living 2 lives because you can’t be yourself.

* I have to be LC at the moment. So yes, I am utilizing the grey rock method a lot. I only recently came across it as an actual method, but growing up I instinctively started to behave like that around my NM. Unfortunately back then it became my default method of social interaction with everyone. That's a lot better now, but I am still a grey rock with my NM. On a good day she says that I'm 'difficult', on a bad day she says that I am 'getting at' her. So be it. I learned very early on that if I told her anything good that had happened to me, she would sneer at it. On the other hand, if anything bad or upsetting happened, she got visibly excited and obsessed with it, making a mountain out of a molehill, like an oyster working a grain of sand. So now I just say as little as possible.

* Gray rock works very well if you don´t show any frustration or emit passive aggressive remarks alongside. It is not easy, but if it is done without any feeling and all interaction is neutral, it really works. So it is all about understanding this.

* Trust me, I've tried this! I don't argue with them ever! It never worked. After years of trying it!

* What you don’t tell them, they make up anyway as they are gossips.

* I think gray rock literally made me sick. It only half-worked. I was still goaded, bullied, criticized on steroids and hounded! My experience with this is that they still want you to feel bad even if you are talking the gray rock boring subjects. It makes you feel like half a person because your siblings can still talk about anything they want to and not get attacked. You are still not a part of your family whether you are fully scapegoated or on the boring sidelines. The point of gray rocking is to bore. Does it keep the more egregious abuse at bay? Sure it does. But in terms of your own mental health, it sucks and really screwed me up. When I was brave enough to go full no contact and move away from them to start a new life, then I started to feel better, but it was little by little. I think we scapegoats have to accept that our families will never be sensitive enough to us not to bully us. We have to live away from them to be able to live a full life that is not about feeling sad and destroyed.

* I recently went NC with them all. I work on the same campus as one of my sisters, so I am cordial/professional with her.

* I like it. I never trusted my mother and when this method came up I thought "This is for me!"

* I get a text from NM about once a week asking some inane question, trying to get me to engage. I give one word answers when possible.

* When I got to feeling I might be getting scapegoated at work, I used it and it worked wonders. It kept me from being triggered by the scapegoating I use to endure as a child. But using it on toxic family members? It was so triggering the times it wasn't working. I ended up going home severely depressed and on edge for weeks at a time or I just ended up in a ball on the floor sobbing. It took a serious toll on my life. I couldn't seem to dampen the emotional responses. Part of it is that I knew they wanted to hurt me, and since the people-pleasing was so ingrained in me at that time, falling apart emotionally is the seed planted in my brain since I was a child to respond to attacks.
     No therapist should suggest this to a family scapegoat unless they know what they are really doing. A scapegoat at work? That's a different story!

* It is working in my situation because she has a victim MO. She’s getting to play the martyr and I’m getting to heal.

* I stopped caring completely about 4 years ago... since then, nothing they say or do has any impact. I did this by fully understanding who they are and employing critical thinking which dissolved all of the guilt, anger, and all desire to fight it. I now look at them like they are crazy characters on a stage. They are entertaining.

* Nothing seems to work.

* It works. They aren’t bothered. But the minute they find out something is good in your life they are going to "up the game". Usually they get the mind games going around special occasions too. Whatever.

* EMDR helped so much more than gray rock.

* Yes, it failed miserably. I did get to leave, however, so I can't comment on that part.

* I have used it, but I try to avoid it. I read an article that using it can actually change us into being like a grey rock all of the time, as it can become our reality. I was seeing that with myself. I am trying to repair.

* I did it with my in-laws. They became very angry. I guess I was supposed to be so thrilled to be around them on the rare occasions that I was. I finally went NC after 16 years.

* I used it on my ex and he became more violent, but he did hit me and I left, so it was a catalyst for the change I needed.

* I grey rocked my mother and it was working, but my brother maybe got insecure because she wasn't treating me like dirt any more. He beat me up, seriously injuring my right shoulder. I knew she would stick up for him and expect me to apologize. That's what exactly happened. Another time I ran into him, he told me to stay away from Mum, that I hurt her too much and that I should stay away from her if I knew what was good for me. He was right up against my face with his fist clenched, so I knew he meant it. I knew it was because he wanted her to himself. He likes his exclusive relationship with her. He glared at me as though he would kill me if I didn't follow his orders. I was disabled and knew that there was no other choice. She would stick up for him no matter what happened to me. I had seen how she reacted to other people who had died in the family. No emotion. Then in therapy I realized I had no value to her. I also realized that even siblings want you to stay in your family role. My experience with grey rock is that my sibling didn't like it. 

* I don't think it can work. They have proven over and over to us that we aren't loved or wanted. Like the poster above, look at how his mother didn't value him, just let him go. Gray rock isn't going to solve any dysfunctions like "not being wanted." 

*  It wouldn't work for me. My anger at her is, was and always will be, too raw!!!

* It doesn't work with my mom! No matter how hard I try I would react. HOWEVER it worked brilliantly on my ex!

* First you need to know if he is a narc. If he is a narc you can learn to manipulate him. It will give you time, to begin your healing process and to plan your escape. You will need two years, more or less.
     But if he is a psychopath or a sociopath you need to get out NOW!
     First rule: don’t tell him what you’re planning to do.
     Second rule: you need to learn everything about these guys. Most of them are really stupid but pathologically suspicious. Be careful.

* It never worked with my family of origin. There were too many of them and they were too persistent. I was able to cut contact with the whole circus after the death of my father, leaving no parents. Gray rocking HAS worked in other situations. I have encountered plenty of narcs and other disordered people in my business, and it works very well.

* No, it doesn't work for scapegoats. They don't want you out of role. You're supposed to be accepting that you are a scapegoat, meaning: all at fault, or arguing "no-win" arguments with them, so that when you lose the argument, the narc can say your reactions prove that you are at 100 percent at fault. Horrible game.
     And the game persists while they nit-pick at this and that to get a reaction.
     Scapegoats are their pin cushion. That's all they want from us.
     However, I used "gray rock" in business settings. Works like a dream when used there.

* My father is a narcissist and they excel in their bullshit. They have a mental condition and they want to be seen, be heard and are self important. They continue to suck on everybody and you have to go around them. They are actors and they will destroy who ever the target is whether you use the gray rock method or not.

* So in your personal opinion, do you think the diminished or cross-wired empathy ability in the brain is the reason some develop NPD?
     I have noticed that there is often lowered empathy ability in several members of families in which one or two individuals have NPD, with the effect that the whole family can become very dysfunctional, many having narcissistic traits if not the NPD disorder. So they don’t try to heal or keep it together, it all ends up in cold cliques, distance, or enmity. There’s often one or two who have functional empathy, but they often get bullied, or shunned, or “forgotten “ by the rest of them.
And it seems to be pervasive in specific communities as well, in the same way.

* Empathy Deficits in Siblings of Severely Scapegoated Children: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J135v07n04_04 The scapegoating desensitized and lowered the rest of the group, in other words.

* I wish it did work. If I could have made it work, I would have. So much better than not having a family. But I gave it a try while creating some distance and saying no to invitations where I would be alone with them. They hated it that I wasn't responding to the digs and insults and fault finding. They hated me changing the subject. They didn't know what to do with me so they threw me away and told me I was no longer part of the family. So much for gray rock.

* I thought my father was just a vanilla NPD. It turns out he has a lot more Antisocial Personality Disorder traits which I didn't know when I started gray rock. The more I tried to retreat the more he would say that my facial expressions and tone of voice were proof of what I was really thinking, but not saying. So be forewarned, they can make stuff up about you whether you talk about boring subjects or whether you are defending yourself with all of their accusations. I know this is a popular method with therapists, but know which kind of narcissist you are dealing with before using it. The abuse got so much worse when I tried gray rock. It infuriated him! And his glares were frightening!

* Sometimes. Lately, I just assist my NM with her verbal insults to me. All of the negative stuff she says to me, I just smart ass-agree with her. Lol

* I tried it, but in the end, I wasn't happy using it. It seemed to be as phony as how narcissists act. It felt lonely too. It's playing head games. It's just one head game trying to counteract the NPD head game. And I began to wonder why I was using it at all, like what good was it doing anyone? While it does calm down the attacks to some degree, it never calmed them down completely. Since it wasn't working for me in terms of NOT being their scapegoat, I just quietly and unobtrusively set out to live life on my own terms. If they called, I just made excuses as to why I couldn't see them until I was gone completely. 

* It's kind of like I couldn't go against the grain of people-pleasing when it came to my parents, so my grey rock attempts always failed. I'd get frightened out of my mind to the point where I couldn't swallow if my thoughts were going towards defying them. I knew they would just send me out into the world without a shred of help, or money, and not even let me take the things I purchased with my own money. Even so, they would have made me feel indebted forever and always be calling me to tell me I owed them. When I met my future husband, that was my escape. I knew enough not to tell my parents I met him which I suppose is grey rocking, but it was the only time it worked for me. And just like I thought would happen, they cut contact with me when my husband and I eloped. I am okay with that now, but we couldn't exactly celebrate our wedding in the way that most people do. I have no desire to be out in the world wondering if I have to use grey rock or not. I am happy to be with my husband and our little babies and his family coming around and I don't want to be in situations where I have to decide on grey rock again. It is also incredibly nerve wracking deciding what I can and can't talk about.

* I used it naturally as a child until my eldest brother died. He always fought with NM instead of being quiet like the rest of us. He didn't seem that bad. But NM thought he was the devil incarnate, so she kicked him out. He killed himself shortly after that. It was amazing to me how quickly she got over his death. Maybe a day. And then she went shopping for a new wardrobe, new furniture and a car. I knew something was wrong with her then. Then I started getting picked on in the same way, except I didn't fight back. I was constantly asking to be excused and that my school projects were waiting for me. Then I started feeling suicidal myself and I knew I had to get out as soon as possible. I really didn't like people or trust people. I liked being in nature away from people. I moved from Florida to Alaska with a friend and we lived in this remote cabin miles from everyone. Just drove into town to use the computer once in awhile. Even though I was much happier, I was still very depressed, and once in awhile I would feel really morose and suicidal again. I felt like I couldn't move in those situations, like I was paralyzed. I was also frightened that NM would track me down or try to live with me. It was an irrational thought, but what you don't want can weird you out and frighten the hell out of you I think. Anyway, my partner got concerned and thought I should get some therapy. I'm really glad I did. Like a lot of kids, I had no idea that I was abused or that my mother had all of the traits of Narcissistic Personality Disorder or even that my situation was not how most kids grow up. I knew my mother getting over my brother so easily wasn't quite right, but that's it. I learned about bottling up emotions, that I was a scapegoat after my brother died, that I kept quiet and to myself for so long to be safe. It all made sense. So for all intents and purposes I did gray rock until I was 19 years old. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone unless you absolutely have to use it. It has taken me years to be only partially healed from it. I still suffer from major depressions every few months, even though I'm not suicidal any more and even though I know the root causes of the depression. I read "Into the Wild" and I can relate to that story and the extreme desires to isolate myself from other human beings.

* What we need to understand is that it is only a half-measure at best. Their desire to scapegoat has been ingrained in them and unmoved by anything for our whole lives. Even by what we say and do. We are viewed as crap. Who here has changed that? How is gray rocking going to stop the trajectory of devaluing us more and more? It won't. I say that scapegoating wins out over any kind of method, including gray rock. The sooner we realize this, the sooner we make plans to heal in a way that is not a just a half measure. All of us have to be willing to leave our abusers, otherwise we stay in this state of being toyed with and destroyed forever. Even under gray rock.

* Grey rock is horrible. No contact is still horrible, but a little less horrible. Neither one will make you feel good.

* The fact of the matter is, it is how abusive people see you, not whether you see yourself as a grey rock. If you think you are becoming more rock-like, and they are a pack of wolves who want to rip you apart, the question becomes: will they see you as a gray rock they can't chew on or the same kind of meat they have always been accustomed to gnawing on? I say that it depends on too many circumstances beyond our control. It depends on what mood they are in, or how hungry they are for narcissistic supply, for instance. Pretending to be a rock in a den of real wolves doesn't work for most real prey animals. Why should it work for us then?
     I think the only way it works is on the least disordered narcissists, the ones who don't require a one-up, I win, you lose, game at all times of the day.
     If they can't see the need to ever apologize for hurting their scapegoats, they aren't ever going to see you as a gray rock.
     If they see the need to apologize to you for hurting you, but then do it again the next time they need narcissistic supply, it's a cat and mouse game, toying with your life. So they might see you as a gray rock sometimes, but more than that, if they see movement somewhere else that excites them more, they chase after that instead.
     But if you are the only game in town for them in terms of getting their hits of narcissistic supply, I don't think going gray rock can do anything for you.
     It is also getting more well known by parents. 


  1. Thanks for this one Lise. I grey rocked for years during the low contact but it wasn't worth it, they just made stuff up or stabbed me in the back. The repression is destructive to the health too and all the shut down emotions. I'd go on the family visits, and act like a freaking robot. I still say to husband, almost 7 years later, thank goodness no more visits and not having to go through that charade anymore. I think if the me of today was in the room, they'd probably jump me, just from my mouth but the me of today wants nothing to do with any of them.

    1. I am so glad things are better for you!
      Thank you for writing in too!
      I am hoping that psychologists and therapists read this (and the sources from where they came: and they know where to look for the sources!) because I am seeing a lot of damage to scapegoats with this method. A lot of damage.
      It is fine in a workplace zone (up to a point), but in abusive families? No.
      The children are put into roles so early, the scapegoat role being just one of them. The damage that the parent does to the scapegoat is invalidation: it goes from invalidating the emotions of the scapegoat, plus their feelings, thoughts, perspectives, experiences, until they invalidate the scapegoat in whole as a person (most of them do eventually, anyway). When you gray-rock yourself, the scapegoat is invalidating themselves. They are already invalidated enough. Thus many of them feel very sick, emotionally as well as physically in an environment where they are being coached to use it.
      As a short term measure of escape? Probably. But as a means to stay in their families? No! So unhealthy!
      When the toxic family "practices making something up or backstabs" you (as you say you experienced), that's all part of being a scapegoat, the whole toxic brew of invalidation at work: the gaslighting, the perspecticide, the pressure to adhere to their narratives.
      Good points!

    2. Thanks Lise,

      Wow you state that well, yes the scapegoat is invalidating themselves. You bite your tongue, you are quiet, I hated grey rocking because it meant they had the power to SILENCE me, and there were repercussions for my grey rocking. I was already low contact and it did damage to me over the long haul, where it got harder and harder to talk openly to people or show any negative emotions. I hope psychologists and therapists read this and understand it does damage to people. Short term of escape, yeah it's good or maybe even to survive at a job until you get out and get an other one, but it is advice that serves to suppress the scapegoat and tell us always that the solution is to COMPLY. Forget that!

    3. Yes, and in this case, it is complying to a method that is about suppression.
      What you said about taking gray rock into other relationships as a habit, that is where a lot of the complaints have been.
      I can see how it happens. You don't feel safe in your family, so you use it there. Then if you feel anxious in another setting, you might use it there too, and on and on into other transactions with human beings. Some survivors were saying they got to using it most of the time. After years of it they got sick.
      It's definitely a "lost child" method (family systems theory). The lost child tends to have the highest suicide rates. It is from all of the stuffing, suppressing and talking about anything other than the upsetting situations in the family.

    4. I posted this today Lise:


      Yes it is suppression.

      Because I used it so long in the low contact, I still struggle with using it, out in the world. I became afraid to show people what I am really thinking or feeling, thinking it will be used against me even with nice and good people.

    5. You wrote a really good blog post from that link.

      I attended a seminar on childhood sexual abuse a few times, and many, many survivors got up to speak about how they tried to suppress the emotions, suppress the experiences and thoughts, and tried to forget the incidence(s) too. And by the time they reached mid-adulthood some were severely disabled to the point where they couldn't keep down a job. This was especially true for men in the group. I think the reason for this is that girls (and women) talk about intimate subjects with their close girlfriends more, so the experiences and feelings weren't totally stuffed as they were with the men. And all of the women except for one had jobs.

      Many made the assumption that once they were away from their abusers, the whole nightmare of what had happened to them would stop. There were many, many reasons why it did not stop, and that would take a long time to explain.

      But the take-away is that no one would suggest the gray rock method for an adult to use to relate to their childhood sexual abuser. And neither should they suggest it with an abusive parent unless it is to escape. All abuse effects the mind and body the same way. It is all egregious and reptilian.

  2. I wouldn't give them any thought in my day and I would NEVER give them another breath there is no cure except NO CONTACT.

  3. I can relate to all of this. I tried so many methods and even made up my own to get along with my parents. They are so pathologically self centered and lie to themselves when it concerns any uncomfortable topic, abuse or anything really, I had to make the heartbreaking decision to separate. They only listen to what they want to believe. Since when did the truth turn into "What I want to believe?"

    1. "Since when did the truth turn into 'What I want to believe?'"
      - Exactly, but it seems to be a part of our times. In politics, very few people watch any kind of investigative reporting, and interviews from both sides. Frontline is about the only show, and I doubt many people watch it. They form opinions and watch shows that espouse the same opinions. On the right we have Sean Hannity, Fox news, and the like. On the liberal side we have Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews and the like. It would seem to me that desires, opinions and beliefs have created a divided country. "The belief system" rules, rather than investigations to find the truth.
      It is also the era of economic division, ideological division, community division, and family division. It is "all or nothing": you belong or you don't belong based on opinions and beliefs.
      In abusive families, you can get punished quite severely for telling the truth, and rewarded for upholding a false narrative (like for instance, there is alcoholism, incest, lots of infidelity, and when you tell the truth about it, you get punished and when you lie to protect reputations, you are rewarded).
      In America it is the "age of division" - that is what I am seeing.


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