Why you shouldn’t tell someone to just move on

I had never had narcissistic abuse until I moved into cohousing. There was a big one who controlled the whole narrative and changed the focus from her family’s appalling behavior to my attempt of helping them and the community.

So, to heal, I blogged some about it. I have not shared all the details but may some day. I wonder how to respond when someone tells me to just move on. It seems so insensitive. I feel guilty that this has been one of the big traumas in my life (I really had a lucky childhood and life until this). But it is what it is and I reacted how I reacted.

I wish I could say I was the only one but I have met a few others that felt cohousing wasn’t for them either for being the target of bullying and the other cohousers not speaking up, or just creeped out by the group think vibe in general.

I googled it and this is a wonderful article I found. My question is why would anyone tell you to just get over it? Of course we would all love to whip off our band aids and go on but sometimes the infection has gotten into our blood.

About CJ

I was a Spanish teacher for 5 years in the Public School system in 3 different states. I homeschooled and taught at a democratic free school. I heard about cohousing in 2010 and wanted to move in right away. I met a group building one in 2018 and got to move in the summer of 2019. It only took a year to want out.
This entry was posted in bad behavior and bullies of any age, grief and grieving, group think and cults, other blogs and websites, psychopathy, narcissicism, and personality disorders in cohousing, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Why you shouldn’t tell someone to just move on

  1. Maggie says:

    Yes yes yes. I’ve been studying this since I got into cohousing hell myself with narcissistic abuse and enablers abounding. I guess it’s pretty common. These communities aren’t always prepared with consequences because there’s an unrealistic belief that all have the same intent and mental capacity. Specifically that all can or will do mediations and be able to have compassion and that that’s all that’s needed. And some just don’t have that intent or ability (like a narcissist). So in my case when one person was a bully (I’m not throwing that word around, I mean a real bully who was harassing me) and he wouldn’t follow our guidelines of doing a mediation of any sort no one knew what to do. Our coho didn’t even have the HOA rules and regs done. So there was no protection for someone who was violated. I’ve learned this is unfortunately quite common in cohousing and intentional communities. Many who chose such communities are more skilled at communication and mediation but not at boundaries and appropriate protective measures. When certain harms occur we need protection and action. And I was not protected nor were the children around me protected. It also wasn’t this man’s first time harassing women. So it won’t be his last. Just moving on means another woman and/or child will be abused. I think it’s a community’s responsibility to work on our weaknesses and the biggest weakness I saw in community was weak bystanders/witnesses. People who wouldn’t stand up for what’s right. And they thought they could be silent or neutral. They then are part of the harm. Everyone who witnesses a harm and does nothing or minimizes it and promotes actions that aren’t protective (“jusy try to talk to him” after 2 years of abuse) is enabling and part of the abuse. Like a dysfunctional family ignoring a child being abused or telling them it’s not happening and does nothing about it. It is similar except we have the power to get out which is huge. And so I did get out. And I will never be part of cohousing again unless this huge issue is addressed. Some cohousing people don’t seem to take on the responsibility they have signed up for to be a community. It’s not all roses and shared meals. People must be uncomfortable and stand up for the vulnerable and those who are harmed. But they didn’t where I was and they don’t in many places. Spreading dysfunction and harm. It hurts, it causes lasting injury and was a big waste of my precious time and energy. Cohousing showed my kids how men can abuse women and no one does anything. Not lessons I want my two sons to have.

  2. CJ says:

    So sad that your community was older than 10 years and still hasn’t figured out how to call out bad behavior and make a safe place for all. Not everyone has the means to move out like we did which is one reason I want a space like this blog – so others think before uplifting their whole lives – selling a house, even renting isn’t easy!

    • Maggie says:

      Yes for sure. Expecting people to just move out and on is a privileged perspective, let them eat cake. And so common amongst the entitled cohousers I’ve experienced, which is the majority.

  3. Flower says:

    “I wonder how to respond when someone tells me to just move on. It seems so insensitive.”

    I used to wonder that too as I would hear it a lot as well as judgments about my being “too sensitive”. Their response says more about them than what it does about you and I question their reactivity. The remark is insensitive, dismissive, intolerant and unsupportive.

    The bigger issue is why they react as they do. I’ve often heard the expression, “If it’s hysterical, it’s historical.” Their reactions are about them and not about you.

    “I had never had narcissistic abuse until I moved into cohousing.”

    You are indeed lucky and there’s no need to feel guilty. You may have experienced it on a different level, but were unaware as it didn’t have quite the same direct impact.

    I’m a survivor and I’ve endured a lot of it. It’s a huge contributing factor as to why I have an aversion to groups. It takes time to cut through the fog, evaluate and examine old feelings and learn new responses. And remember you are in the driver’s seat. You are the one that decides for you, so keep writing.

    • CJ says:

      You are right – looking back I see lots of narcissistic behavior (and problems) that was hard to deal with. Especially when I worked in Hollywood!

      • Flower says:

        I’m not surprised to hear that you experienced a lot of it in Hollywood and likewise musicians I knew an actor and he was quite self-absorbed. He wasn’t famous, but still could behave like a thoughtless, insensitive jerk. Another person I was acquainted with through someone else was the kept “boy toy” of a producer. He died from AIDS. In fact they all did. He was a shallow person focused on looks and material possessions. He enjoyed the monetary benefits of that association and willingly overlooked high risk behaviors.. That is a long, unhappy and tragic story. Ultimately they paid a high price for the illusion of connection. I think a lot of Hollywood types attract trophy hunters and those relationships are parasitic. Narcissists and manipulators create a thick fog that obscures their actions, so it’s often hard to recognize it, let alone cut through it when you’re in the midst of it. It is often even hard to recognize it in retrospect.

  4. This is so sad, people really need to be educated to treat people better.

  5. CJ says:

    Hollywood is so superficial and most were into only looks. I was in my 20s and some were saying I should get a breast lift. No baby had touched them yet! Craziness. But some of the most creative people are kind and generous and not Narcisitic at all – because they have real talent and get the power of creativity!
    Billy Joel said that if the devil had a career it would be in the music industry. I feel the same for the film/tv industry.

    • Flower says:

      I wasn’t in Hollywood, although exposed to it through acquaintances and friends, etc. Modeling was suggested at times, but I was told that I wasn’t skinny enough, etc., and that was when I was thin and almost underweight. My parent’s were not enthused or supportive of that profession. One is always told that they are “too much” of something and “not enough” of something else. People hear about the one’s who make it, but not about the one’s who do not and most don’t make it overnight.

      I haven’t met the kind and generous career people–just the other kinds of people and that’s a great quote from Billy Joel.

      Have you ever heard of Father Yod? He, like many others, founded a “spiritual commune” in the Hollywood Hills. I’ll put a link in your cult post.

  6. CJ says:

    I’ve heard that so much – people telling a woman that they just need to lose a little more to model. Disgusting! And how many models have had eating and drug problems! When I worked with actresses on my first directorial debut I was so sad at how they said they would be ashamed in a bathing suit. They are supposed to be our role models and they couldn’t do it? I guess I should have never looked at a pool!
    Never heard of that guy but will look him up. So many cults have Hollywood ties because cults legitimize themselves when they get famous “endorsements”. Please, add him to the post! Thanks!

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