I don't understand

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Fantoche

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I don't understand
« on: April 18, 2017, 11:31:49 PM »
I asked my sister to do me a favor, which was when she sent me a text, that she wait a few moments to see if I responded instead of immediately leaving, in case I happened to be available to chat.

She responded that she didn't understand, and it took 10 emails, where I basically kept repeating myself (because how does one make this simpler?) before this was resolved.

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kayjewel

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Re: I don't understand
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2017, 01:22:51 AM »
Welcome to OOTF, Fantoche.

I'm trying to understand the problems you're having with your sister, so I went back and read your previous posts. You wrote that "there's something wrong" with your sister and referred to her as NPD, but haven't described any of her behavior that would show something being wrong. Would you be comfortable giving us more information?

(You're not required to do that, and you certainly don't need to post anything that would personally identify you, but it's hard to give you feedback without understanding the context.)
There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.
-- C. G. Jung

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Fantoche

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Re: I don't understand
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2017, 10:28:59 PM »
Sure.  Thx for asking.

My Mom had a stroke and needed to be looked after.  I wanted to take care of Mom, and invited my sister to help.  I'm married, so there would be four total.  She accepted the invitation, and we decided to live together.

I knew my sister had had problems with severe depression, but didn't know any details.

From the time we went to get mom, I noticed weird things.

First of all, I noticed she didn't cry for Mom.  She cried for herself, that her life was being negativity impacted.  She expressed jealousy towards me and my wife.  This was on the first day when we went to get mom.  I never have seen her express grief for Mom (or anyone, for that matter).  I was a wreck for weeks.

For the first few months, my wife and I took care of mom, because there were two of us, and we had room.  My sister would come sometimes on weekends to help.  She thought none of our stuff should bein mom's room, so she removed our things from the bedroom in our apartment and removed them to outside where they were exposed to the elements.

She bragged that Mom liked her cooking better than my wife's in a way that made it clear that what she was saying was a pure fabrication.

When we started living together, I noticed we would be having a conversation, and she would disappear, like up and leave the room, or look at her computer.  I had to train myself to be ready when talking to her that the conversation could end unexpectedly at any moment.

I noticed she bragged a lot about herself.  I noticed her friends on FCebook said unnaturally flattering things about her that was creepy.

I noticed she had 300 photos on Facebook, and 270 or more are her, and none of me.

My wife and I both noticed something was very wrong with her, but didn't know what.  She would have fits, temper tantrums, when she didn't get her way.  She took over the whole kitchen.  She would give us assignments to due, as if we were her servants, and throw fits if she didn't get what she wanted.

She told me on several occasions, "I want what I want when I want it."

She can remember things from 6 months ago when it serves her, but will forget a conversation that's an hour old.

She absolutely cannot bear being wrong about anything or being criticized.  She responds, "you're always right" or denies that the incident happened, or we misunderstood her, or it was our fault, or we do the thing we are pointing out, and it doesn't have to be a real criticism, just something she perceives as one.

The "I don't understand " post is a typical example.  The simplest of requests or conversation gets drawn out ad nauseum.  One time it took entire month to resolve an issue I naively thought would take 5 minutes (and should have taken 5 minutes).

This is just the tip of the iceberg, but to cut to the chase, my wife and I were going nuts trying to figure out what was going on, as we were walking on eggshells, trying to do whatever she wanted, and it was never enough, and a nurse friend said it sounded like a pd, which was new territory for me, so I started looking into it, and everything fit.

It's still difficult living with her, of course, but much, much better than it was being able to make sense of her behavior.

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: I don't understand
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2017, 07:07:42 AM »
Well the things you describe are spot on as far as the traits go and I look back on your posts as well to get a feel for where you are and I'm glad someone pointed you in the direction of PD. Caregiving is challenging enough and living in the same house as a PD person well caregiving is such an extra challenge. For sometime temporarily on and off I was actually in a similar situation. What you describe experiencing is very similar to some of the things I experienced and that the time I had no idea about PD.

If you have not checked already, please check the toolboxbox at the top of the forum. I wish I had known such survival skills at the time I was in that situation. The tools there though did help me very much over the past few years to bring balance to my life.

Regarding your initial question, it seems like a very passive aggressive way she is a circular conversation. Check for passive aggressive and circular conversation and see if that sheds any light. No simple to understand without having to go into the details.Thanks for providing the extra details because understanding you're in a caregiving situation in the same house really does help .
PD have no power, only words. We choose to give those words power, influence or keep them as they are, empty words. (thx WI) Accepting others are incapable of being anything other than what they are is step one. OOTF affiliate program http://www.outofthefog.net/Books.html

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Fantoche

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Re: I don't understand
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2017, 11:11:52 PM »
Thx for the response.  Too tired to respond now, but will do so soon.

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Fantoche

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Re: I don't understand
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2017, 11:14:43 PM »
By the way, I just realized my title may be confusing.  I wasn't saying I don't understand, but that *she* doesn't understand, or rather, is pretending not to.  I understand exactly what she's doing.

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: I don't understand
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2017, 07:20:37 AM »
By the way, I just realized my title may be confusing.  I wasn't saying I don't understand, but that *she* doesn't understand, or rather, is pretending not to.  I understand exactly what she's doing.
yes, that's how I understood your question. See you're not so difficult to understand! :)
PD have no power, only words. We choose to give those words power, influence or keep them as they are, empty words. (thx WI) Accepting others are incapable of being anything other than what they are is step one. OOTF affiliate program http://www.outofthefog.net/Books.html

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Fantoche

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Re: I don't understand
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2017, 08:47:13 AM »
On the positive side, she is aware at some level that she has issues, as she has been going to therapy for years.  She has also been cooperative in going to therapy with me, as I refused to speak to her in person (about anything substantive) because it was so dysfunctional (which she sees as I difficulty I have).

Our therapist is into teaching us communication techniques and has also worked with me on techniques for myself which have been very helpful.  However, the sessions proceed as if my sister were a normal person, and the dynamics normal ones, whereas I see everything as a game for my sister where she uses the expected narcissistic/abussive techniques to obtain NS, manipulate, assume control, deflect responsibility, etc.

It seems putting a bandaid on a broken arm.  We never get to the real issues.

Here's an example I find humorous.  There was an incident, the last time we discussed a substantive issue in private (where she had flown into a fit of range against me without cause; we were trying to discuss this after she had calmed down the next day).  She told me one of the reasons she was angry was because I had asked her to do something on our day (we split up days for taking care of mom).

I had made a practice of not asking my sister for favors (because she likes to take, not give), but made an exception this one time, with trepidation.  When she said this, I responded half incredulously, half with resignation, "We've been here together for like 6 months, and I've asked you one favor (whereas we do dozens of things for you) and you get upset at this one thing.  I was worried at the time about asking you for a favor for this very reason, that it would upset you.

She responded, "I hear you say you have difficulty asking me for favors."

I just had to laugh.

My sister has taken courses on communication, using theses techniques like "I hear you say ..." etc., not realizing that people who have empathy and care for one another can have conversations where they hear each other without these techniques.  The techniques are necessary because there is un underlying problem, but that problem never gets dealt with.