Help! Think my Nsis stepping up her smear campaign/shunning tactics

  • 13 Replies
  • 514 Views
*

Gaining Clarity

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 87
Hi fellow OOTFers!

Would love to get your opinions on this subject. Some of you are familiar with my FOO history.  For those that are not, a little background:

Nmom and Nsis (GC) has spent years SG'ing me (and on occasion, my older sis). Nmom and Nsis very, very enmeshed in their PD. About 15 years ago, they smeared/ostracized my older sis. About a year ago, I finally got fed up with years of abuse-being told that I was "at the root of all the family problems", that I "was sick/had issues/had problems", etc. I have been subjected to my Nmom's diatribes about what's wrong with me countless times, how I'm a bad parent, how my son (who was 2 at the time) was going to become a "sociopath" (who says that about their grandchild???).

I have received ZERO support from them EVER, even through some very traumatic losses. My Nsis, when I haven't fully agreed with her (on even the most mundane topics like vacation preferences and hobbies) has verbally assaulted me, even in front of my own child. She and Nmom has systematically bullied, gaslighted and shunned me for years.  About a year ago, after another verbal beat down from Nsis, I wrote her a letter that I had had enough. Called her out on her crap (I know, a dangerous thing to do but I didn't care anymore) and told her if she wanted a relationship with me than I had to see some real and sincere effort. She never responded to be but went to my adult son and tried to imply that she couldn't have a relationship with him because of me. Son didn't buy it and politely told her off. Have seen her twice since then and we are cordial but that's it. Older sis plays the flying monkey because she is scared to death to get in Nsis/Nmom's crosshairs again.

About two weeks ago, my Nmom casually asks if I see a long time friend of mine now that I live near her (my Nsis actually lives even closer to friend and knows her). I say no because said friend hasn't made any effort to keep in touch with me over the last 20 years and that I got tired of it being a one-sided relationship. I then ask Nmom why she was asking about this friend and she says that my Nsis "bumped" into this friend who just happened to "mention" that she hasn't seen me (this same friend has not reached out to me either, even though she knows that I'm in the area now).

My Nsis never mentioned this encounter with said friend to me (and I don't believe she just bumped into the friend. I believe she sought her out in an environment where it would have been easy to just 'bump" into her). She did, however, tell my mother who, as usual, brought it up with an air of judgment in her inquiry, always siding with my Nsis/her GC.

I also reached out to another friend (who also knows my sister) to get together-just her/her husband, me and my DH). She responded back, asking if we should include my Nsis in the get together even though I never mentioned Nsis when I reached out initially. I said no, let's keep it to the four of us. She pressed the issue. I said no again. She then went silent for awhile and called me, just letting me know that she hadn't forgotten about our trying to get together, and oh by the way, "your Nsis texted me today". I said "things are kind of busy for me right now, so let's get together at a later date." I set up a get together with this friend's older sister (whom I see often and have a good relationship with). Friend's older sister insisted friend/her younger sister would join us. Friend/younger sis showed up and was icy towards me and her older sister seemed on edge/busy placating younger sister. Weird.

There have been a few other similar instances involving friends that know my Nsis. It's pretty obvious to me that Nsis is trying to smear my name to get back at me for not taking her crap anymore. Right now, I'm being completely non-reactive-not talking about it, not talking to her, completely grey rocking. I know in the end the truth will always prevail but it is nonetheless maddening that they convince others to play along.

How have you all handled such situations? Any great advice you can impart? Thanks!
« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 08:46:48 PM by Latchkey »

*

turtle totem

  • New Member
  • *
  • 8
Re: Help! Think my Nsis stepping up her smear campaign/shunning tactics
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2017, 11:42:02 AM »
That's how I feel about my sister and younger brother, who Nsis manipulated to join her campaign of shunning me.  I am so sorry about what she's putting you through, especially appealing to your friends and likely badmouthing you to them.  That's just awful.  My sister used to be so jealous that I had a lot of friends.  Well, she was jealous of everything related to me.  She has never had a lot of female friends, just like my mother.  Before she shunned me I told her that her jealousy had always made me uncomfortable to which she replied that she had never been jealous of me.  Then why was she so competitive all of our lives?  I never felt comfortable around her.  Do you have that feeling about your Nsis?
« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 08:50:48 PM by Latchkey »

*

Gaining Clarity

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 87
Re: Help! Think my Nsis stepping up her smear campaign/shunning tactics
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2017, 02:11:41 PM »
Thanks, Turtle Totem!

I've never been comfortable around my sis either. I makes friends easily and am very independent. Something that's always bugged my Nmom and Nsis (they've told me so). My Nsis and Nmom are very competitive with me too. I could maybe understand sibling rivalry (which my Nmom TOTALLY perpetuated among me and my two sisters) but competition from Nmom is just weird. She is never happy for my successes and if I mention something I've done (accomplished an athletic or professional feat, traveled somewhere exotic) she sniffs, "Hmmm, I NEVER got the opportunity to do that!" Aren't you supposed to want more for your kids than you had???? At least that's what I want for and encourage in my son.

Did your mother encourage sibling rivalry in your family?

*

Summer Sun

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 433
Re: Help! Think my Nsis stepping up her smear campaign/shunning tactics
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2017, 09:58:01 AM »
GainingClarity, I have a tendency to keep my friends separate from FOO as much as possible.  It is like two separate drawers of a file cabinet, one for taxes, one for legal stuff, another for personal things. 

If we are only "extensions" of PD's, we are not seen by them as individuals with rights and needs.  We are in essence their property?  So, our friends are just another layer they are entitled to have access to.  And given their tendencies - for revenge, to compete, to undermine, to divide and conquer, unquenchable thirst for power and control, it only stands to reason that our friends would be a natural target, or fair game. 

I've had one sibling develop relationships with two of my friends, the other has attempted to manipulate and control situations to advance himself with another friend of mine.  I sometimes think they are so envious, they perhaps unconsciously (being kind here) desire to see us alone, isolated, deprived and elevate themselves as more attractive, appealing, superior, even to our friends, it's like they feel entitled to help themselves, dish up our friendships for themselves. 

Is there something wrong with me that I would not consider imposing myself in my siblings friendships?  During celebrations, sure, nice to meet them put a face to a name.  I've invited siblings friends to events I've hosted in honour of my sibling's special occasions - for them - not for me.  No further contact thereafter.

Separate drawers is my motto.

SS
"The opposite of Love is not Hate, it's Indifference" - Elie Wiesel

*

PDinStereo

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 734
Re: Help! Think my Nsis stepping up her smear campaign/shunning tactics
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2017, 07:28:47 PM »
I guess your Mom and sister must not feel so confident in their position deep down if they feel like they need to recruit negative advocates to make them feel more justified in their point of view. It feels kinda like "See! You're not contacting them either! You're shutting people out left and right!" Where are they going with this? Are they trying to imply that someone else is taking up too much of your time, or that you've "changed" in some alarming way? I mean, I'm guessing their point isn't "gee, she sure is making an effort to exercise freely chosen time boundaries and fill up the minutes of her life with positive people and experiences!" right? ;-)

*

Gaining Clarity

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 87
Re: Help! Think my Nsis stepping up her smear campaign/shunning tactics
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2017, 08:25:37 PM »
Thanks, Summer Sun and PD in Stereo!

Summer Sun: The friends mentioned have been in my FOO's and my life for years, very intertwined and long before I came OOTF. So it's hard to keep the two separate at this point in our lives. As for post-OOTF friends, I've made a point to keep them apart from my FOO and to not even discuss them.

PD in Stereo: I think you hit the nail on the head when you said, "I guess your Mom and sister must not feel so confident in their position deep down if they feel like they need to recruit negative advocates to make them feel more justified in their point of view. It feels kinda like "See! You're not contacting them either! You're shutting people out left and right!"

I think that's exactly what they're trying to do. I'm not giving them any fodder (due to VLC) and so they need to find other people who know me to try to validate their point that I have a problem. I don't even believe my friend (the one my sister just happened to "bump" into) even said anything. I think my sister asked her if she had seen me since I moved back to the area (which hasn't even been 5 months yet) and my friend said no. That was enough for my sister to run to my mother and say "She hasn't even seen XX.", knowing my mother would say, "Really? She does have problems. It's not us." Totally validating my sister's warped perception.

Appreciate everyone's perspective and support!

*

SpringLight

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 229
Re: Help! Think my Nsis stepping up her smear campaign/shunning tactics
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2017, 07:00:55 PM »
Hello, again, Gaining Clarity: :wave:

Given that you and I have such similar backgrounds ...I'm sure it will come as no surprise to you that I have tremendous empathy for this latest episode.  :-\

Sounds like a deliberate provocation to me--just to goad you /test your reaction/Hoover you.  I interpret the need for your M to tell you about "the friend" as a sign that your NC/VLC towards them is effective. You have rocked the boat, upset the status quo by not being there as their SG. . And they don't like that! Because if you're not there who else do they have to BSG?  (Bully, Scapegoat and Shun).

Gosh,  for a second, that BSG acronym suddenly reminded me of another acronym for that notorious serial murderer--who was know as the "BTK serial killer" (Because he was known to Bind, Torture and Kill his victims.) It was no surprise to anyone that he had done his BTK routine to small animals before moving on to BTK'ing human victims.

Please excuse the awful digression...

Back to your FOO: according to their warped way of thinking, YOU are the cause of all the family dysfunction. 

Any normal, rational observer would think IF you were REALLY that awful and toxic, your M and S would keep FAR, FAR away from you.  But, nooooo, they can't do that, can they?  They need you to be their FOO SG. Hence, the need to contact you about this supposed friend situation.  :wacko:

Good advice given from other members. And I love Summer Sun's wise tip: "Separate Drawers."  :applause: It could almost be a OOF proverb...i.e.,
"Separate Drawers  stop PD wars." ;D

It's upsetting and exasperating to be the target of a smear campaign. Best tip is probably to continue the VLC/NC. Put the episode down on paper somewhere as a reminder. And keep busy with YOUR fulfilling life-- far away from PD people.

This, too, shall pass. Remain strong and focused on what you know is true.

Unfortunately, I'm short on time at the moment and  in the midst of my own FOO drama at the moment. On TWO FRONTS. (Two different sibs, two different "dramas" !) More on all that later.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 07:03:22 PM by SpringLight »

*

Gaining Clarity

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 87
Re: Help! Think my Nsis stepping up her smear campaign/shunning tactics
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2017, 10:42:05 AM »
Thanks for your support, SpringLight!

First, how is your health? Aside from your sib drama, you have the overwhelming task of caring for your mother. I hope you are being kind to yourself and not letting all of them sap your strength  :bighug:

You've made many great points and are so perceptive about the situation, particularly the hoovering part. Also when you said: "Back to your FOO: according to their warped way of thinking, YOU are the cause of all the family dysfunction." You're SO right. In fact (and I think I may have told you this already), it is exactly what my mother said to me when I was heading off to university as an 18-year-old (Nmom: "I've been thinking about all of the family problems and have come to the realization, Gaining Clarity, that you are at the root of all of them." Me: "Seriously?" Nsis (said in a Nurse Wrachet tone): "We're not here to hurt you, we're only here to help you, Gaining Clarity." Yeah....rrrrriiiiggghhhttt  :stars:

And yes. Staying VLC/NC and focusing on the good in my life (of which there is much-DH, DS, new puppy (yay!), work, volunteering, great friends and neighbors).

Take care of yourself, SpringLight :)

*

SpringLight

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 229
Re: Help! Think my Nsis stepping up her smear campaign/shunning tactics
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2017, 05:24:11 PM »
Thanks for your support, SpringLight!

First, how is your health? Aside from your sib drama, you have the overwhelming task of caring for your mother. I hope you are being kind to yourself and not letting all of them sap your strength  :bighug:

You've made many great points and are so perceptive about the situation, particularly the hoovering part. Also when you said: "Back to your FOO: according to their warped way of thinking, YOU are the cause of all the family dysfunction." You're SO right. In fact (and I think I may have told you this already), it is exactly what my mother said to me when I was heading off to university as an 18-year-old (Nmom: "I've been thinking about all of the family problems and have come to the realization, Gaining Clarity, that you are at the root of all of them." Me: "Seriously?" Nsis (said in a Nurse Wrachet tone): "We're not here to hurt you, we're only here to help you, Gaining Clarity." Yeah....rrrrriiiiggghhhttt  :stars:

And yes. Staying VLC/NC and focusing on the good in my life (of which there is much-DH, DS, new puppy (yay!), work, volunteering, great friends and neighbors).

Take care of yourself, SpringLight :)

Hi, Gaining Clarity:

First things, first!  Did you say....you have a NEW PUPPY!!!!!!!?????? :fireworks: Now THAT's really something to celebrate!  :banana:

How I savor hearing news like this, during these dark days with so much bad news....Hearing these newsbits of joy, like this--even if....I know, I know... it's not MY own puppy.   ;D  But, but...as your soul sister  8-), don't you think I should be entitled to VISITATION RIGHTS?!!!!!!!!!!! :yes:

Trust me, I  am seriously really thrilled for you.

This is the first time in my life I am without pets.  If my life  were a little easier, I would adopt a 4-legged furry family member or two or six--in a heartbeat.  For the time being, I'm living pet-ownership...but in a less than perfect way.....vicariously.  :-\

Actually, I DO have related FOO pets (cats and dogs, which I adore equally) but they live with my human FOO.  So, my future is not totally Fur-less. My entire FOO has always been pet-obsessed.  Hey, I can't lie--my FOO do have some outstanding qualities.  ;)

As to my health, my everything!....I feel emotionally and physically depleted by A LOT of extreme stress recently--because I am in the midst of many ongoing PD-related crises--on many different fronts. ...Usually, these type of things happen one at a time, don't they? and I know "into each un-PD life some PD-rain must fall"...but in the past weeks, I had a DELUGE of different PD-related stressors. ....Let's see...There are....Two in the FOO (hahha--sounds like the name of a sit-com, doesn't it?!), one episode with a covert N friend, one with my SIL, and then there was a medical-legal one...and then trying to process all the many instances of malignant narcissism in the world. Just today....for instance, who could argue against terrorism being the most pathological worst manifestation of narcissism and PD?  :(

On a slightly less somber note...when I read the episode about your S and M...all I can think is....

Isn't that pre-college FOO scene in question-- with your M and S... like a script from...well,  a bad SOAP OPERA? I'm sure the incident was very painful to you at the time ... but like so many other types of PD behavior...let me just state the obvious....it's  also just so awful, bizarre, and...WACKO, for lack of a better description.

Gaining Clarity...try to imagine soap opera viewers watching THIS  SCENE acted out on TV:
(Only the names have been changed...)


SCENE I, ACT I:

MATRIARCH OF THE SOAP OPERA FOO: "I've been thinking about all of the family problems and have come to the realization, DOROTHY MARIE, , that YOU are at the root of all of them."

DOROTHY MARIE (THE FOO SG):"Seriously?"

JESSICA LOUISE (i.e., NSIS) (said in a Nurse Wrachet tone): "We're not here to hurt you, we're only here to help you, Gaining Clarity."
 :aaauuugh:

This dialogue wouldn't make the final cut, imo, and according to my reading of this script analysis site:

"One mark of a mediocre script is that the characters confide what's on their minds or in their hearts.

In the vernacular of the trade, this is called being “on the nose.” The subtext, or what a character leaves unsaid, is often more significant than what he or she says. If your characters keep their true thoughts and feelings hidden, your story will have greater tension and emotional resonance."  :bigwink:


One final question: Now that you are so far OOF...what do you wish you might have said to them, in response to this dreadful and bewildering personal attack. How would you write the "script" all these years later, as an empowered enlightened OOF'er? 

P.S.  :bighug: to you and  to your beloved "FOC" (i.e., Family Owned Canine! :P!) :yahoo:
« Last Edit: August 17, 2017, 05:26:35 PM by SpringLight »

*

Gaining Clarity

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 87
Re: Help! Think my Nsis stepping up her smear campaign/shunning tactics
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2017, 09:16:23 AM »
Thank you, SpringLight!

The puppy is a happy diversion.

If I could have my pup send you some virtual kisses and tail wags to make your stress go away, I most definitely would  :hug:

To answer your question, "One final question: Now that you are so far OOF...what do you wish you might have said to them, in response to this dreadful and bewildering personal attack. How would you write the "script" all these years later, as an empowered enlightened OOF'er?"

That's a good question but I'm not really sure how I'd answer it. Right now, I just want internal peace, so I might just take a beat for a minute or two, let what they said hang in the air, and then calmly say, "I wish you both peace." What more could I say ???

Wishing you less stress and more peace in your life too, SpringLight  :)

*

SpringLight

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 229
Re: Help! Think my Nsis stepping up her smear campaign/shunning tactics
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2017, 03:52:18 PM »
Thank you, SpringLight!

The puppy is a happy diversion.

If I could have my pup send you some virtual kisses and tail wags to make your stress go away, I most definitely would  :hug:

To answer your question, "One final question: Now that you are so far OOF...what do you wish you might have said to them, in response to this dreadful and bewildering personal attack. How would you write the "script" all these years later, as an empowered enlightened OOF'er?"

That's a good question but I'm not really sure how I'd answer it. Right now, I just want internal peace, so I might just take a beat for a minute or two, let what they said hang in the air, and then calmly say, "I wish you both peace." What more could I say ???

Wishing you less stress and more peace in your life too, SpringLight  :)

Thanks for your good wishes, Gaining Clarity! Today seems to be going a little bit better for me, and I'm grateful for the tiniest reprieve. 

By the way, I've found that just TALKING/THINKING about pets or even watching pets on TV is therapeutic! So just thinking about the puppy's kisses and tail wags put a huge smile on my face. Thanks!

I really like your idea--your proposed response (what a good thing to say after your M and S's appalling comments). And your proposed timing when delivering said response. 

You know, prior to asking you that, I gave the question some thought, and I couldn't come up with ANYTHING that isn't JADE-ing or responding in kind.   "I'm sorry that you feel that way" came to mind. But YOUR response is much better.

Your S and M are so much alike. It makes me wonder...is it possible that, in addition to their own insecurities,  you remind them of someone in the family (like your father, etc.) or someone in the extended family? And I'm not thinking necessarily of negative traits.    Maybe your positive attributes make THEM feel diminished???? With our FOOs, I always wonder WHEN/HOW it all began? And of course WHY it first began.

Have you ever gotten feedback/insights from extended family (cousins/aunts/uncles, grandparents) that would help you understand the reaction?  So much of this FOO behavior is so puzzling, but sometimes I find that little insights can provide big understanding and relief.

Ciao and Bow-wow for now,  :D
SpringLight

*

Gaining Clarity

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 87
Good morning, SpringLight!

Sorry for the delayed response. The pup is keeping me on my toes every day! He has lots of energy and is very smart, so he's always looking for something to entertain him. I feel like I have a toddler in the house again. But it's a good kind of busy.

"Your S and M are so much alike. It makes me wonder...is it possible that, in addition to their own insecurities,  you remind them of someone in the family (like your father, etc.) or someone in the extended family? And I'm not thinking necessarily of negative traits.    Maybe your positive attributes make THEM feel diminished???? With our FOOs, I always wonder WHEN/HOW it all began? And of course WHY it first began.

Have you ever gotten feedback/insights from extended family (cousins/aunts/uncles, grandparents) that would help you understand the reaction?  So much of this FOO behavior is so puzzling, but sometimes I find that little insights can provide big understanding and relief."


Good observation/question and yes, I've thought about it. I think that I probably do remind them of some extended family members (for better or worse) but also think that because I'm honest and call things as I see them/won't follow the "script" that it unnerves them. With regard to the second question about feedback from other family members, no. As with many dysfunctional families, there's a real reluctance in mine to openly talk about the problematic family dynamics (sigh).

Glad you got a little reprieve from the stresses of life  :bighug:

*

SpringLight

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 229
Hello, Gaining Clarity  :wave:

No apology needed!

You're a gal who has her priorities in order!!! I admire that!

Always remember this life rule:
"PUPPY comes before "PD"...
uhm...well maybe not in the dictionary, but in terms of VALUE ADDED to your life, MOST DEFINITELY!

Your situation is intriguing to me. Mainly, because it's caused me to rethink some of my long-held beliefs about SG's.

My experience as a last-born child in a PD FOO caused me to meet and become acquainted with many, many, many last-born SG's.
I know scores of "youngest" SGs. I know many of them well, because some are good friends.  I thought that was ALMOST a given in dysfunctional FOOs that SG are TYPICALLY the youngest.

I came to believe that SG's came to be because of birth order. That made sense, because obviously we last-borns start out most vulnerable in the FOO by virtue of smaller size and younger age.  And the fact that having after all those kids, the parents are TIRED!!! ;D

It's almost acceptable for older sibs to always be allowed to "control" their younger sibs. As was the case with my FOO. My BPDsis was always told she was "in charge" when parents went away! :aaauuugh: Did anyone ever question WHY??? It's not as though she was soooooo much older, and certainly wasn't the "most mature-behaving"... :-\

This is a BIG topic, and my one reply won't do this justice, it will just skim the surface...but...

Your responses have reminded me that....yes, we youngest are vulnerable. But, many other factors are at play. And yes, temperament/personality  is a big factor. Thanks for reminding me that it's not as simple as I had previously thought.  Because it's NOT only birth order, but:

As you pointed out, a FOO member who doesn't accept the  RELUCTANCE TO FACE the dysfunction in the FOO.  You and I share this quality: (because of native temperament?) who were "truth-tellers." We didn't like the FOG in the FOO. I am a text book Empath (obviously from birth). 

Additionally, I see how DIFFERENT I am from my M. You've pointed this out in your FOO.  I think my one NB who is the GC is most like my M in temperament. And hence, M bonded with him. Had he been a girl, instead of a boy....he and my M might have been like the Dysfunctional Duo--your M and your S.   :aaauuugh:

Typing this rushed while running late. Hope this makes sense. More later...!

*

Gaining Clarity

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 87

Always remember this life rule:
"PUPPY comes before "PD"...  LOVE this!

Your situation is intriguing to me. Mainly, because it's caused me to rethink some of my long-held beliefs about SG's. I'm actually the middle child



Tne NB who is the GC is most like my M in temperament. And hence, M bonded with him. Had he been a girl, instead of a boy....he and my M might have been like the Dysfunctional Duo--your M and your S.   :aaauuugh: Such a powerful observation on both ends. TA