game playing, but the game is rigged

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all4peace

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game playing, but the game is rigged
« on: June 07, 2018, 10:34:34 AM »
Sooooo much game playing in DH's family.

Gifts promised "but only if you want them, so you have to come and get them" (paraphrased) even though card is delivered personally.
Questions asked and answered, then repeated to 2nd family member (in our FOC), then 3rd family member.
Requests made, responses given clearly and concisely (by us), but because the TRUE thing they're seeking still hasn't materialized the request is made over and over, to new family members (in our FOC). When we ask a clarifying question, no response is made at all, and we are set up to fail on the request they made, that we complied with, but they've withheld just enough information that we will not be able to honor their request unless we beg them to give us the final clue.

I'm deliberately withholding identifying details. The gist of it is there is so much game playing. Nothing is simple. Nothing is straight-forward. This family can take a 2-sentence topic and turn it into weeks of drama. When I make a clear observation, it unleashes a storm of even more drama, and STILL not the one clarifying detail we need to fulfill their request.

So, we will be unable to fulfill their request, and I'm pretty sure we'll be blamed for being unkind/unhelpful/mean, etc. I don't actually care.

Another interesting thing is how much URGENCY they introduce into everything. Now that I'm pretty fully OOTF, I can see how they're doing it, and I can see how it starts to suck DH in and cause him to panic just a little bit and get really agitated. I'm so thankful I can now look at their interactions, pluck out the handful of manipulative techniques they're using, calmly show them to DH, and he can step back OOTF again.

Here's the problem with game playing--they don't get what they want. If they just stopped desperately trying to get what we have clearly marked off limits, if they would just be honest, if they would just stop with the games we could actually start rebuilding this relationship.

But this isn't about a relationship. It's about power, control, compliance, fitting into their unhealthy family system, claiming our children, creating chaos and drama, having something to smear about. When we are at peace, calm and happy in our home and family, they create chaos and drama from thin air. And they're ingenious about it--if we ignore it, we give them something to freak out about. If we respond politely/calmly, we still give them something to freak out about because what they want is marked off limits.

It gets tiring. How incredibly sad when people don't have better places to focus their energy and life. There have been a lot of milestones lately in the family, and I know that's really challenging for a BPDmil, so I do hope it calms down again now.

How do you cope? How do you ground yourself and find your center again? I was not happy to feel how tense, upset, with a high heartrate I have felt lately. And yet so thankful that I don't feel that way all the time as I used to. I bought a few new songs on iTunes, buried my face in some flowers to calmly and slowly breathe in their scent, and got some extra hugs from DH. Still working to calm everything down again. And I did take the chance to tell the family a few truths I had never spoken that needed to come out of me. And now I don't need to say them again, but I did need to say them once.

How about you?

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mayaberry

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Re: game playing, but the game is rigged
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2018, 12:20:46 PM »
Completely understand this. The game being rigged is spot on. We had this incident recently. One of nsils children was due to be christened. This was the fifth christening of a niece/nephew there has been in the past five years. We have never been invited to any of them. Initially it hurt, but we got over it and accepted it.
This time, for some reason I cannot work out, they played it differently. Usually we found out the christenings had happened after the event when pictures were posted on fb. This time we knew it was happening but we were never given a date. Then with very little time to spare, nmil appeared for her annual visit with a christening invitation. Nsil had no communication with us.
By the time we got the invitation it was too late for us to arrange to go and we had other things planned that we had paid for and couldn't cancel. We are also pretty much no contact with Nsil so I'm not sure why we were even given the invite.
Anyway instead of any of them recognising this it appears that us not dropping everything to attend this was seen as a massive slight and we have been even more ostracised than usual. Even bil, who is distant but was bearable, appears to now be keeping us at a distance (see my recent post) and I'm pretty sure it's connected to this.
You just cannot win. A bit of me wonders if we only received the invite because nmil had realised we couldn't go - h had told her previously about our plans for that day, before we knew when the christening was.
Ive spoken with you about this before I think but I genuinely find I need time to recharge completely after contact with them. Space to myself just to relax and calm down. I totally recognise the increased heart rate. I had an ecg due to heart palpitations and I'm convinced they were due to the on going stress of his family at that time. Sending hugs.

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all4peace

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Re: game playing, but the game is rigged
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2018, 05:42:05 PM »
Yes, it feels like getting set up to take a fall.

I used to think I could just step away, and the game would be over. I didn't realize all the ways they would try to force us back into the game. And every single game is set up so that any action will make us lose. No action gives them something to talk about. Honest, appropriate action gives them sometimes to talk about. Or occasionally we give them exactly what they say they want, and the game changes, or they express hostility while we're in the middle of giving them what they want (ie: mil silent treatmenting my kids at a meal out with them, DH and fil).  :stars:

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daughterofbpd

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Re: game playing, but the game is rigged
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2018, 05:51:24 PM »
I agree, it is like playing a game that you don't know the rules to and once you finally think you are catching on, the PD parent decides to change the rules.

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Another interesting thing is how much URGENCY they introduce into everything. Now that I'm pretty fully OOTF, I can see how they're doing it, and I can see how it starts to suck DH in and cause him to panic just a little bit and get really agitated. I'm so thankful I can now look at their interactions, pluck out the handful of manipulative techniques they're using, calmly show them to DH, and he can step back OOTF again.

I can relate to the panic that ensues this sense of urgency. Do you ever notice telemarketers/scammers do it? I got tricked by one when I was 18. She was really pushy, demanding an answer when I was trying to contemplate what she was saying. She basically bullied me into saying yes, I understood there would be changes to my credit card account but she never mentioned I would be charged for credit "insurance." Luckily I got the charges reversed later and learned that anyone with that sense of urgency should not be trusted.

I try to take a deep breath and remind myself that I wait on FOO for answers ALL THE TIME. They can wait for me to think on it, discuss with DH in person (instead of hurried texts during work), etc.
“How starved you must have been that my heart became a meal for your ego”
~ Amanda Torroni

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all4peace

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Re: game playing, but the game is rigged
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2018, 05:59:28 PM »
ps. mayaberry, I'm so sorry for all you've faced. So often your stories resonate with me because the petty, vindictive meanness is just so familiar. It really stinks. And I'm also sorry it's actually physically affecting you. Have you and DH had a reprieve from your mil?

daughterofbpd, I am so thankful I read George Simon's writings. When I finally learned about manipulation techniques, SO much made sense. And now I can easily spot a lot of them rather than get sucked into the chaos.

Interestingly, one of the family members creating urgency is such an anxious person that they typically plan things at least 1 month in advance. So for this person to instead start demanding from DH 1 DAY in advance, with urgent request for DD's phone number attached (see other thread, they never, ever stop) reallllllly smells of manipulation since it is so out of the range of their normal, far-in-advance planning behavior.

Excitingly, DH is starting to get the stirrings in his gut that something is "off" and was SO excited to realize afterwards that he can learn to trust his gut :)

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Love

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Re: game playing, but the game is rigged
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2018, 03:21:13 PM »
You nailed life with pd family members.  Like you I thought since I saw it I could avoid it or not get caught up in it.

You helped me with another situation earlier that I believe has been a bit of an life changer.   I learned how well pd individuals I have come across in my life “work me up”. There is always some sense of urgency, chaos, emotional sabatoge to “shake me up or out of the bushes”.  Not just me but dh like you mentioned if they can get us feeling desperate rushed and panicked I react. 

The catch is Dh and I know they’re doing it and it still rattled us.  I’ve talked a lot lately about being vvvlc - I would say for the most part we are no contact.  I say this because we are “receiving” communications from pd inlaws but deciding after listening to the message or after engaging in a “subject” with them and quickly realizing the anxiousness, anger and bitterness are creeping in we withdraw.

We withdraw how ever we can - if it’s a conversation we don’t want and set boundaries we just cut it off -literally said - “I don’t feel like talking anymore I’m going to let you go- talk to you later, have a good one”. I think you are right some truth only needs to be said once and then maybe the other truths just need to be lived out load with out excuses.

Dh and I have at the moment found that we can’t play games and allow our selves not to feel bad about living that out if we are honest and as kind as we can be.  We know the line above may be harsh but it feels better to be able to keep our boundaries and stop the pd inlaws in their tracks. 

I know and you know this shocks the inlaws the whole blunt and assertive thing but it works at least at the moment.  On top of that I think we both feel better.  It’s really hard for me to allow the inlaws to play out their fake “fantasy” relationship with us while willfully ignoring our boundaries we just stop them.  Maybe their are some blunt but kind ways you could stop the behavior during the behavior.  It makes me feel more authentic and less enabling. 

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all4peace

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Re: game playing, but the game is rigged
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2018, 12:40:49 AM »
I don't know what else to do except drag all this into the light and state my mind, once. And then stop, forever. People who are playing games are NOT trying to heal a relationship, find common ground, understand the other person's perspective.

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DJR

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Re: game playing, but the game is rigged
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2018, 09:44:34 PM »
Oh the gifts that you have to work for and go collect! I've had this too. Makes them look generous and makes you look ungrateful when you don't want to (or can't)  collect as you feel suspicous that it is a trap. My NSIL has done this, she knows I won't go to her house, and she sure isn't getting an invitation to come to my house either! This means the "gift" is never actually given and it gives her something to complain to our MIL about that makes her look good and me look bad.  Game-playing alright.

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LeeJane

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Re: game playing, but the game is rigged
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2018, 04:47:54 AM »
I relate to all shared. Thank you everyone.  Game playing is right. A game we cannot win.