The other side

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Adrianna

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The other side
« on: August 16, 2017, 11:46:56 AM »
I haven't posted in a while so I have a lot of catching up to do. I took a break from the forum because I have been trying to take a break from nana. Those of you who remember me know I have an unpd nana and unpd father. I'm an only child and my mother died in December.

Well, when I started this forum, I was talking to nana probably every day or so. I was spending 4-5 hours every Saturday with her, taking her out to lunch, often doing her grocery shopping, running misc. errands for her during the week (only when absolutely necessary), but most importantly being her dumping ground for every awful feeling she had. It took it's toll. I often thought I'd be better off dead than living this way. I know that's more my issue than hers but honestly this woman was sucking the life out of me and that's not an exaggeration. I am not saying it was intentional but the effect was all the same.

After my mother died and nana called senior services to whine that her granddaughter was never going to do anything again,  :dramaqueen:, she secured an extra day of housekeeping. I was off the hook for the groceries. I also discovered she would lie to me without remorse or apology. This is a big problem for me, and made me question how many times in the past I have been lied to. Also, she hunted down a new nephew's wife (last one moved to the other side of the continent) and that woman still seems more than happy to do things for her. In fact, she sent me a text the other day saying what a special lady nana is and how much they love her. I have no idea what is going on and how someone can sign up for guilt, manipulation and lies, but so be it. It works to my benefit because my contact with nana has been reduced drastically.

I called her last night and she went on to whine how the senior center director is a bitch because she refused to arrange a driver to take her to a dr. appointment on like 2 hours notice. They need more time to schedule it. She does not care. The world is here to serve her. Selfishness abounds with her. It's just the same old story, different day.

I now see nana on the weekend for maybe an hour and only talk to her once or twice during the week. I occasionaly get phone calls from her social worker at senior services ("your grandmother isn't feeling well. She told the housekeeper so she reported it to us. I thought you'd want to know so you can go check on her.") I do of course check on her but it's a quick visit, not the usual sit down and listen to me whine for an hour Adrianna visits that I used to do. These calls from the social worker though go unanswered and I do not return them. I am tired of the drama, the whining and the constant need for attention. She will complain to anyone who will listen.

It took my mother dying for me to realize that life is too short to put up with this. I am realizing now what a negative effect this woman had on me. It's an awful thought to remember the torment I went through with her. She went so far as to whine about my mother dying and how she thinks I blame her for it  :stars:. WTF is that? Oh right, it's her turning the situation into something about herself. She had nothing to do with my mother dying but had to put herself into the equation.

No one deserves this treatment, least of all those of us who are compassionate and empathetic, since we seem to be good targets. Maybe one day I will understand why some people are emotional vampires and suck the energy out of others to survive, but for now, I am keeping my distance. I see her as toxic to my wellbeing and can barely handle an hour with her much less the 4 or 5 I used to spend on Saturdays. I want to let others know that there is life on the other side. I spend time on weekends now with people I want to spend time with and it feels good, the way it's supposed to be. I don't live out of guilt and fear anymore for how she will react if I don't perform whatever duty she wants done. None of us deserve to be slaves to someone with pd. We can have compassion from a distance.

This process has allowed me to also end a long friendship with someone who may have pd also. I see the world with fresh eyes now and refuse to be anyone's dumping ground. I also started a new job with a coworker who is brilliant and feisty. She does not put up with crap from anyone. She is a good role model for me! I am learning from her.



« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 11:58:53 AM by Adrianna »
Practice an attitude of gratitude.

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illogical

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Re: The other side
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2017, 03:53:32 PM »
That's an amazing story, Adrianna.  So glad you are doing well!  :hug:
"Applying logic to potentially illogical behaviour is to construct a house on shifting foundations.  The structure will inevitably collapse."

__Stewart Stafford

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practical

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Re: The other side
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2017, 07:18:10 PM »
I'm so happy for you that you have exchanged the exhausting weekends for hanging out with people you like  :) and it is wonderful you like your new job. You have set and maintained amazing boundaries. :cheer:
If Im not towards myself, who is towards myself? And when Im only towards myself, what am I? And if not now, when? (Rabbi Hillel)

"I can forgive, but I cannot afford to forget." (Moglow)

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stasia

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Re: The other side
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2017, 08:42:16 PM »
Hey Adrianna, it's great to hear from you! I am glad that you've been successful at setting some boundaries and living your life for YOU. It is very inspiring to me!

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lkdrymom

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Re: The other side
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2017, 05:24:18 AM »
I am so glad to hear about the new job. Hope all is well.

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lightworld

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Re: The other side
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2017, 06:32:45 AM »
Hi Adrianna what an inspiring story! I'm so happy for you. It's great that you have managed to be so brave and find your way out from under the huge burden you carried. Despite all you've been through, your kind and compassionate nature shines through. I wish you well    :bighug:  LW
"Hope springs eternal..."Alexander Pope

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Adrianna

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Re: The other side
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2017, 09:22:40 AM »
Thanks everyone. Believe me, I still struggle plenty and an not completely Out of the FOG yet. However, I am a far different person today than I was when I started on this forum. I think this website is a gift to those of us who struggle because honestly, who in our actual lives can understand any of this, unless they have been through it? It all sounds so outrageous and dramatic, the stuff we go through with the pd people in our lives.

Practice an attitude of gratitude.

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bopper

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Re: The other side
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2017, 04:00:41 PM »
So glad to hear you have strengthened your boundaries and learned you can make your own choices!
Just because they are incapable of loving you, doesn't mean that you are unlovable.
Anything makes the false self appear real is supply.

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Adrianna

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Re: The other side
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2017, 09:47:03 AM »
So just to let you know this is still a work in progress and I am continually having to set boundaries....

Nana's niece died last week. Not the one who does things for her, another one who she rarely even speaks to. Of course this was upsetting but the drama started around the funeral.

I get a phone call at work on my cell Friday.

"Adrianna, call me when you have a minute. I need to know if I should go to the funeral or not. I need you to tell me what you think I should do."

Did I call her? No. I get home and there are two messages from her.

"Adrianna, I'm having a rough day. Call me when you can to encourage me."

Well guess what? I had a rough day too. I am not here to fix her emotions. I eventually did call to get her off my back.

"Hello nana. I got your three messages. I am not going to tell you what to do. If you want to go to the funeral for her, then go. If you don't, then don't. Also, I had a rough week so I'm not able to encourage you right now."

"Oh well I'm sorry (sarcastic tone) Adrianna."

"Ok, great. Talk to you later."

End. Next day, Saturday, she leaves me a message. "I'm home. I just thought you should know."  Did I call her back? No. Would the old me have called her? Probably.

I do have to go see her today but it will be a short visit. I am honestly all done with this and although I am on my way Out of the FOG, I do still have to fight her trying to pull me in. I really do think that for a lot of situations no contact is really the only option for a sane, happy life.
Practice an attitude of gratitude.

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lkdrymom

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Re: The other side
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2017, 10:27:14 AM »
WOW. You have come such a long way. Very proud of you.

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stasia

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Re: The other side
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2017, 11:07:59 AM »
Good job! This sounds a lot like something my M would say, always expecting me to fix her emotions. "Call to encourage me." Wow. They really have no shame, do they? Everything is always about them.

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: The other side
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2017, 12:59:38 PM »
You. Nailed. It! Slam dunk!
Each and every contact with a PD person results in damage. Plan accordingly and make time to heal. See Toolbox for tips. "The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause." Mark Twain

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Amadahy

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Re: The other side
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2017, 06:46:49 PM »
So encouraging, Adrianna!  Bravo!

My N mom tries to get me to make decisions, too. This used to play into my desire to be helpful, but I am (usually) able to say, "just do whatever you think" now because, by golly, that decision I made for her  -- it was wrong!  LOL.  Good job seeing this!  And good job not jumping to commands!  (That's still a hard one for me sometimes.)

:hug:
Ring the bells that still can ring;
Forget your perfect offering.
There's a crack in everything ~~
That's how the Light gets in!

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WomanInterrupted

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Re: The other side
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2017, 12:03:48 AM »
Adrianna,

That was AWESOME!   :chestbump: :righton: :udawoman:

You really have come so far!    8-)

You're right - a lot of these situations don't warrant calling back, especially lonely/bored/old or wanting you to make the decision for them.

I think they only do that so they have somebody to blame when the decision somehow always, for some reason, turns out to be wrong.   :blink:

Or my other personal pet peeve:  "Call me back.  I have to ask/tell you something."   :roll:

I'd always ignore those because if it wasn't important enough to at least leave a snippet of info on the machine about what I'm about to step in and how bad it's going to smell, it probably wasn't very important.  (And even if it was, Ray would probably change his mind in a day or two.)

When Nana tries to suck you back in, please always remember LESS is MORE when it comes to contact with her.

And if you just don't want to do it anymore and the sound of her voice is starting to feel like walking on broken glass, you can always block her number.   :yes:

It's *always* going to be a constant battle of setting boundaries.  They just don't give up. 

But we get *tired* and sick of it.  That's why I was VLC with unBPD Didi and VVVVVVVVVVVVLC with unNPD Ray - because they were *exhausting.*

If you get to that point, you can either go dark or call her doctor and not ask for any information, but leave a message stating you're unavailable to do anything for her, for the foreseeable future, and they might want to look into getting her more help.  Don't JADE.   Keep it that simple.  (And then block their number, too!)

Or you can say, "No matter what, I call her once a month only, Medium Chill  her, and stop in-person visits."

Or whatever level of lower/no contact is appropriate for you.

I just wanted to throw it out there as an option.  You can do with it what you wish - but I'm hoping you'll at least  think about it.    :)

 :hug:

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Seven

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Re: The other side
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2017, 08:31:24 AM »
I answer those "i dont know what to do" questions with "if you have to ask, then you already know the answer", and it's not just with PDs.  I answer that way to everyone.

Normally it comes down to "i really dont want to go, but i want you to make me feel less guilty (or not guilty at all) by telling me its ok not to go".  They dont want to be responsible for the decision-making so they pawn it off to someone else.  And if there is a positive reaction to the behavior then it was all their doing, and if it was a negative reaction to the behavior then they have someone else to blame.  Thats how i have seen it work.

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Adrianna

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Re: The other side
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2017, 12:28:02 PM »
You guys are all so encouraging to me! I want to reduce my contact even more but now I'm down to like 2 phone calls a week and a weekly short visit which is only about an hour (down from my original 4-5 hour visits). The less contact I have with her the better I feel.

Yesterday I went over there. I used to bring her out to lunch every weekend. Not anymore. Then I'd start bringing lunch down to eat with her (to avoid me having to yell in the restaurant because she won't get a hearing aid). Now I bring food down if I feel like it, and if I feel like eating at home, I don't bring any food down.

Yesterday I went down and it was the usual garbage. She can't see, she can't do anything, she hasn't seen anyone in a week (lie), blah blah blah. I told her to mention to her eye doctor her problems on Thursday. I asked her who is taking her to the appointment. Her response?

"What's her name."

Yes, that's what she calls this wonderful niece who does so much for her. What's her name. Can't even remember her name or doesn't bother trying likely. Yet this niece thinks nana is so wonderful. If she only knew how she is being used.

I had to yell because her hearing seems to be worse and she can't hear me in normal tones of conversation. So that leads to "Adrianna, don't get angry with me." I was calm as I could be but I have to raise my voice so she can hear me. It's like I'd rather not talk to her at all than deal with this. Then I went to leave and she says:

"Are you angry with me?"
"No, I asked if you wanted to go to the park and you said you can't because you don't feel well, so I'm going alone."
"Don't be upset with me Adrianna."
"I'm not upset with you (although by this point I was becoming upset)."

I had 3 phone calls later with messages on the machine. The italics are my feelings. These were the voicemails:

1.  "Adrianna, as you left today, I watched you drive away through the window (cue dramatic music here) and realized that your love to me has turned to hatred. I am sorry because (are you ready for this?) you're the only one I've had (to do things for her probably).  I hope you enjoy your walk." Can you say MASSIVE GUILT TRIP EFFORT?

2. "I had a rough day today Adrianna. Call me when you can."

3. "I forgot what I was going to say to you. I'll remember tomorrow."

Did I return any of these calls? NO. Do I see her antics now for what they are? YES.

I really want to tell her that I don't hate her, but I do hate her personality and behavior towards others.









« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 12:29:40 PM by Adrianna »
Practice an attitude of gratitude.

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lkdrymom

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Re: The other side
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2017, 05:24:30 PM »
OMG!  You have finally seen the light.  I remember when you first started posting and thought you could never back away.  And now you can see clearly.   The crazy part is these people do not understand that all the guilt trips and complaints just drive us away.  I called my father today to arrange the monthly shopping trip. I was totally dreading it as he always hits me with all his 'problems" which makes me not want to call. Today he was pleasant and just happy that I would be up on Saturday. If more calls were like this I would call and visit more often.  I know it wont last but it was a nice change for me.

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WomanInterrupted

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Re: The other side
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2017, 12:44:30 AM »
You really HAVE seen the light!   :yahoo:

It's an amazing feeling, isn't it - knowing their stuff is their stuff and they can do or not do without us?   :)

Oh yes...what's her name.  Ray had the charming habit of interchanging my name with Didi's  - he'd call her WI half the time and me Didi half the time, and RARELY got it right, even when I was a kid.

Yes...we're just interchangeable parts for him, designed to do his bidding.  Swap out one, replace it with another, as long as it *works* - all was well in his world.   :roll:

Until the day I stopped answering to Didi.  I really think that might have been the beginning of the end.  Somebody close to him wasn't indulging him and making him use names for the people he was speaking to, for a change - and he just couldn't handle that, because it would mean he was WRONG.   :wacko:

I'm pretty sure she's called you "what's her name" to the Niece Who Does.

And then Guilt Trip we all love SO much, she wrote with heavy sarcasm.    ;)

Yes, the woman who claims to be going blind can tell by you walking to your car, opening the door, getting in, shutting the door, starting the car, putting it in gear and driving away can certainly tell how much your love has changed to hate.  Of COURSE she can.   :bigwink:

I think her hearing loss *might* be another game - to get you to raise your voice.

Next time, *write it down on a pad, in large letters, if she doesn't hear you the first time.*

Or if you have something larger than a phone that you carry with - a Kindle or laptop, type it and change the font to humongous and watch her reaction.

She may try to argue she isn't going deaf - you were angry.

Write, "I was not angry.  And I don't feel like straining my voice."

Or you could write, "If you think I'm angry with you, I will come back another time." - and leave.

*When* that another time is, is up to you.  My feeling is, when they start accusing us of being angry or mean - it's time to take a powder.   Nobody needs to be falsely accused of elder abuse.

If she goes back to her poor eyesight - the woman who could tell your mood just by watching you walk away and leave - it might be time to start lowering those calls to once a week and the visits to once every other week.

It sounds to me like she's still playing games - and going to be playing them until the day she dies, which could be a long way off, even given her age.

That doesn't mean you have to keep indulging her and trying to figure out the rules.

What I think might be going on with her "deafness" is you're not performing like you used to, so she's giving you something of the ST - then blaming you for being mad.

And...in your #3 - she's setting herself up for CONFUSION, thinking you'll swoop in and SAVE her.

That's not a game I'd want to play.  I have a feeling you don't like it, either.

So...the ball is in your court.  You can do with it what you wish.

I'd look at it on the ground and just walk away - it's NOT worth the effort.

 :hug:

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AmericanWoman

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Re: The other side
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2017, 12:44:59 AM »
I remember you, and WOW you ROCK! 

Thank you so much for your positive messages, it's refreshing and helps everybody!  :cheers:

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blacksheep7

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Re: The other side
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2017, 11:40:03 AM »
Good for you Adrianna!  :cheer:




 
I may be the black sheep of the family, but some of the white sheep are not as white as they try to appear.