Out of the FOG

Coping with Personality Disorders => Dealing with PD Siblings and other Family Members => Topic started by: Duality on August 09, 2015, 08:24:16 PM

Title: Pretending? Ignoring? Doesn't she remember?!!!
Post by: Duality on August 09, 2015, 08:24:16 PM
For the first time ever! I have two witnesses of my bipolar/unBPD twin sister's unwarranted (to put it mildly) rage over the phone at me.  My witnesses are my middle sister and brother-in-law. They have 3 boys ages 12, 10, and 8 years old; they live 3000 miles away and they're visiting for the next two weeks.  My relationship with my middle sister has been "shaky" for the past 14 years for a myriad of reasons but out of respect for my father and our living situation, for the most part, I've "held my tongue."  Just as with my twin, I don't trust her as far as I can throw her . . . it will remain so.

As of this past Thursday, after she and her husband heard the one-way "conversation" between my twin and I (their dumbfounded expressions were priceless) she has "talked my ear off about everything under the sun", smiling, "sharing", etc., etc., etc., which has not happened since I can't remember when.  She was digging for details without directly asking about my PD twin.   She'll have to go elsewhere.

Anyway  . . . the reason I preface the following with the above is . . . well. . . it's such a relief . . . I've been "the bad guy" for soooooo long . . . too, my PD twin had my middle sister convinced of the same about me and my father's "horrible treatment" of my PD twin.  I'm not so naïve to believe I've been vindicated and absolved of all my "sins" but it's something.

So . . . concerning the phone "rage" . . . my PD twin chewed my re-end off and handed it to me for something I had entirely nothing to do with on her way to work (shift 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.).
I was "chilled" enough to say "Why are you telling me these things?  I'm not the one who gave permission for her (my niece) to join her cousins at the park. You did. I heard her ask you. You are her mother, not me."  EXPLOSION ensued of utter non sense and then she hung-up on me.

Friday morning, my PD twin was "gaily laughing" and light-heartedly telling me about a fb post . . . as if NOTHING had happened over the phone the afternoon before.  This is something she has done her entire life AND it's something I've gone along with out of the belief "the more you stir it, the more it stinks", so I didn't.     I stood, looking her in the eye, listening and had a powerful thought which I kept to myself . . . "The "buck stops here.  No more." . . . so I did not respond in any way . . . I just turned and walked away.
My PD twin had to work but the rest of us, 8 people in all, spent the weekend at my father's cabin . . . and I contemplated "boundaries", mine specifically and what my future action will be concerning this incident.  No longer will I keep silent to keep the peace.

I need your in-put . . .
Is she pretending/ignoring what she said in the phone call?
Could she ACTUALLY believe she spoke the truth and her accusations are true?
Does she even remember???

I re-read the meaning of boundaries in the glossary and understand they are for determining my limits and not giving dictates.
I just have no idea how to hold her accountable for her wildly inaccurate assumptions and accusations of me.  N/C is not an option.

Title: Re: Pretending? Ignoring? Doesn't she remember?!!!
Post by: kayjewel on August 09, 2015, 11:22:28 PM
What you're describing is so familiar to me, and I'm sure to many people here at OOTF.  I'm primarily thinking of my uNPD sister, as well as my PDd schizophrenic M, but I've also seen the same thing in other people I've known over the years.
I just have no idea how to hold her accountable for her wildly inaccurate assumptions and accusations of me.

If by "holding her accountable" you mean get her to acknowledge what she's doing and accept the consequences, the answer is, you can't.

Is she pretending/ignoring what she said in the phone call?
Could she ACTUALLY believe she spoke the truth and her accusations are true?
Does she even remember???

I've had these same questions about my sister, too. The "behave horribly and later act as if nothing happened" seems to be standard PD modus operandi. Re-writing history and then crazy-making us when we insist that what happened did actually happen; and then doing the same thing, again and again.

Do they actually believe their own version of history? Or do they realize what they're doing? Who knows? Probably it's some of both, depending on the person.

From what I've observed of the Ns in my life, they run a really good con game, and the person they often con the best is themselves. I really think my sister believes the stories she makes up (in which she stars as the "good" person, the hero, the one who knows best, while other people -- especially me -- are the villains.) What's more, her version of history is constantly changing. That's got to be a darned scary way to live, plus it makes it hard to have any real, solid relationship with someone who operates like that. How can you have a meaningful relationship with someone who constantly forgets and re-writes everything that happens?

To some extent, too, I think that there is some "grooming" behavior going on with this. Act nasty toward us, then the next day pretend as if it never happened, and see if we will go along with the fairytale.

Title: Re: Pretending? Ignoring? Doesn't she remember?!!!
Post by: Duality on August 10, 2015, 02:31:22 AM

I'm sick and tired of being the piñata.

What is "grooming"?

I don't want to go along with the fairytale anymore.  I know it will be twice as hard to stop going along . . . but how do I stop "going along"?  She has a favorite AA saying she uses whenever she can "I jerked his blanket"!  Well . . . THAT'S what I want to do to her.

Title: Re: Pretending? Ignoring? Doesn't she remember?!!!
Post by: VividImagination on August 10, 2015, 06:03:11 PM
What is "grooming"?

From the Toolbox: Grooming is the predatory act of maneuvering another individual into a position that makes them more isolated, dependent, likely to trust, and more vulnerable to abusive behavior.

Another term for this behavior is conditioning, as in conditioning someone to accept your behavior. My NM repeatedly gaslit (gaslighting is trying to convince someone that something they experienced never occurred and that they are therefore crazy for believing it did) and rewrote history regarding her behavior and abuse. She slowly convinced me that her behavior was normal and deserved by me, which conditioned me to accept more and more abusive behavior over the years. The more I accepted the more she escalated, until I simply couldn't take any more. For her, the amount of abuse I would accept was directly proportionate to how much I loved her. The more she got away with, the more she felt loved - it was like a really sick math equation.

My sister and I were discussing this behavior yesterday, actually. My NM seemed to believe the false reality/persona that she built for herself over the years. I explained it to my sister this way: our mother utterly loathed herself. She was unloved and unwanted as an illegitimate only child born of an already dysfunctional and disordered family. NM had a deep sense of shame, self-hatred, and zero self-confidence. After bearing an illegitimate child herself as an unmarried teen mother, she began weaving a fairy tale world of great almost-accomplishments that could not be verified or were overly-inflated versions of a normal circumstance. For instance, she took a junior accounting class in high school but later told anyone and everyone that earned an MBA in accounting and was a CPA. This is only one of dozens of examples, but she had such a core of self-loathing that she had to create a new self to hide her real, unacceptable self from the world. She couldn't bear the thought of being wrong or making a mistake (this would mean to her that she really was that horrible person she was trying to hide) and so she fervently denied reality, telling blatant lies to people who witnessed her behavior - "I didn't beat you with a belt. I've never laid a finger on you in my life" was told to me numerous times while I was still covered in welts in front of the siblings who watched the beating. She was so desperate to believe that she didn't do the things that would make her that horrible human being that she simply denied her own behavior and made up an alternate reality where she was a perfect person.

Is it possible that something similar is driving your twin? It's a typical BPD/NPD trait. As for not "going along", simply MC the heck out of her. Google "grey rock behavior". Give her absolutely nothing to manipulate you with - it's hard to engage with someone who doesn't give you an answer beyond "Fine" and "I don't know". Walk away or hang up when she starts raging...you can't abuse someone who isn't there to accept it.

What does "I jerked his blanket" mean?
Title: Re: Pretending? Ignoring? Doesn't she remember?!!!
Post by: Sarah6 on August 11, 2015, 01:55:14 AM
Duelity,  I think I got your name wrong. sorry if I did.

                            My mother does the same sort of thing, about what you mentioned being really abusive and then the next day acts like nothing happened at all. And the thing in her case if you dont go along with her then she gets abusive all over again and treats me like Im the one with some sort of problem.   
                      Here's an example:  One morning she called the police on my brother over an irrational reason and caused all this ruckess with myself and him, then later on that day, calls me up and wants to know if I want to go out with her and my sister to Burger King or some fast food place for hogies. I was speechless.  I was so in shock over what she and my sister did to my brother and me as a witness to it all. You dont get over something like that in a day?  if ever!!!   I honestly dont think she has ever been held responsible anything wrong she has done my whole life. And I had to wonder how she got that way? And the only answer I can come up with is by allowance, but this behavior has gone on so dysfunctional for so long with members in the family playing along with it because if we didnt there was hell to pay.   And now that Im older and have come home to this, trying to confront her now has been worse then ever before. Its like she is beyond repair,  but still I think she knows darn well what she is doing and it makes me so angry because it makes us feel non human. Our feelings dont count. We are bad for having our feelings hurt.  I remember my brother kept on saying this over and over again because he is still healing from her as well.  We are not bad. we are not bad.  Talk about a sad affair.       

Title: Re: Pretending? Ignoring? Doesn't she remember?!!!
Post by: Duality on August 11, 2015, 10:38:39 AM
VividImagination . . . Thank you for defining "grooming" and conditioning for me.  Thank goodness my twin hasn't ever exhibited that behavior with me or within the rest of the family.  Concerning "false reality" with grandiose beliefs of herself and her accomplishments, she used too when we were much younger, decades ago, but not now.  Currently, her false realities are based in what she verbally claims about incidences that happened or did not happen when we were children and all incidences as an adult that ended "badly". . . she consistently portrays herself as the victim . . . that "they" were/are "out to get her" . . . the majority of her interpretations of how the world has treated her is based in fear and anger, thus, she strikes out defensively . . . she reacts to her perceived threats with false interpretations and understanding from fear.   She has a very low esteem for herself, if any.  Your description and explanation of your mother to your sister . . . her self-hatred . . . very much describes my twin, although she has not been vindictive nor tells blatant lies.

Shawn . . . Thank you for sharing your example.  It seems to be much more difficult, sad, and "heart wrenching" under these circumstances when it involves a parent.  You and your brother seem to be "on the same page" and I pray it stays that way.  You two can help each other "heal" with mutual understanding and agreement of what the real truth is.

Concerning "I jerked his blanket" . . . and what does it mean?  Good question!  I never asked her directly what it meant when she "glommed on" to saying this soooooo many years ago and your question made me wonder, too.  So, I began searching for an "official" reference and definition through some AA websites and found nothing.  Then I emailed my youngest sister and asked her if she remembered my twin saying this and if she knew it's meaning.  We've agreed that the meaning of it is something to the affect that their false reality (security blanket) was removed (jerked away).

Due to the fact that our house is filled with my visiting middle sister and her family as well as the presence of my niece (my twin's daughter) thus, no opportunity for privacy between my twin and I, once again, I am forced to "go along with the fairytale".  For everyone's sake, especially the children, I will not "jerk her blanket" of false reality and her phone call.  Which . . . brings up another issue . . . Emotional Blackmail.  But that's for another time and day.

Thank you, all, for your sharing and input.  Since the "phone call" a grey rock I've become with my twin.
Title: Re: Pretending? Ignoring? Doesn't she remember?!!!
Post by: Duality on August 11, 2015, 12:59:21 PM
Lol! snort! . . . vindictive she is . . . grey rock must be irritating her.  Here we go . . . again . . .
Title: Re: Pretending? Ignoring? Doesn't she remember?!!!
Post by: LivingWithAlligators on August 11, 2015, 04:09:41 PM
Hi Duality,
My heart goes out to you.  I have 2 sisters who behave the same way.  Sister #1 is by far the worst.  I strongly suspect she is BPD or worse.  Very paranoid, malicious, and vindictive.  From observing her over the years i can see a definite pattern.  She allows her imagination to run wild with "everyone's out to get me" scenarios & she becomes so convinced that what she thinks is real & then she will ATTACK whoever she perceives to be the villain.  As an example - she wanted to try my hair stylist. So i went with her. She & the stylist discussed how she wanted her hair cut. The cut was exactly what she agreed to.  Then when we get out to the car she explodes into a scary rage accusing me of secretly telling the stylist to mess up her hair! CRAZY! There was nothing i could do to convince her that she was wrong.  It seems like there is a cycle of calm & then rage & you never know when she may explode.  I also think there are issues that "trigger" these rages.  I've also noticed she usually will rage when she's one on one - i.e.: in the car, when we're alone somewhere - although she has on occasion done this with more than one person present.  The best solution i've found is to keep a good deal of distance & set firm boundaries.  Like now - i NEVER allow myself to be alone with her & if she calls i let her know she's on speaker & others can hear the conversation.  I NEVER share anything personal with her.  I also try to determine what her "reward" is when she blows up & deny her the "reward" (usually i think she just wants the satisfaction that she's hurt my feelings).  The other thing that is really disturbing is that she relishes the misfortune of others &/or the pain she's causing you.  She is scary malicious & vindictive.  Look out if she imagines you've done something to wrong her.  She has done some absolutely horrible things that can never be made right.  She has hurt me so terribly i've considered going NC with her.
Title: Re: Pretending? Ignoring? Doesn't she remember?!!!
Post by: LivingWithAlligators on August 11, 2015, 04:25:17 PM
I forgot to mention - just like your sister - the next time you see/speak to them after they explode they act like nothing ever happened.  Certainly no acknowledgement of their abusive behavior.  It's like your talking to a completely different person. If you try to have a calm & honest conversation about "the issue" - they act like they don't know what your talking about…they deny everything.
Title: Re: Pretending? Ignoring? Doesn't she remember?!!!
Post by: weeblewobbled on August 11, 2015, 06:56:34 PM
Yes, because if she pretends it never happened and you say, "Excuse me? What the heck? You just yelled at me yesterday, why would I want to talk to you right now?" then she can act surprised/hurt and take the high road because YOU are holding onto the past. And YOU are causing problems when SHE just wants to move on and have a good relationship. So she can vent and treat you badly and do whatever she wants without consequences. And she can make you look like the problem in the process.
Title: Re: Pretending? Ignoring? Doesn't she remember?!!!
Post by: Isadore on August 11, 2015, 07:34:47 PM
This behavior also gives them a measurement of how much you will take from them, how much they can abuse you and get away with it.
Title: Re: Pretending? Ignoring? Doesn't she remember?!!!
Post by: LivingWithAlligators on August 11, 2015, 08:54:09 PM
Totally agree with you Weeblewobbled.  That's why it's futile to reason with or talk to them.  Enforcing strong boundaries & having minimal contact has helped to deny or reduce their opportunity to attack me.  I love what VividImagination said - "you can't abuse someone who isn't there to accept it".  I haven't gone NC but i'm definitely less available & it has reduced their opportunity.  Though they may not care, the consequence is that they have lost the blessing of having a friendship with a sister who really loves them.  My challenge will be to avoid getting sucked back in by either of them (as has happened sooo many times) & letting the hurtful cycle play out again.  They have finally lost my trust.  This has gone on for so many years & it's time for me to accept the fact that this is how they are and they probably will never change.
Title: Re: Pretending? Ignoring? Doesn't she remember?!!!
Post by: Duality on August 12, 2015, 04:16:32 PM
You, all, have described my PD twin perfectly.  You have also sharpened my understanding of the past and present.

My father told me recently that "You might as well get used to it.  You're going to have to live with it the rest of your life."  This is a reflection of his thoughts and feelings projected onto me . . . which makes me indescribably sad, not only for him but for me and my niece . . . because there is a grain of Truth in what he says.

I chose never to have children in my early twenty's before I met my ex-husband, of which he was aware of when we married.  Later, due to health issues, I ended up with a hysterectomy. I believe this occurred due to my thoughts of fear that if I had children I would damage them in the same way my sisters and I were damaged as children.  Unlike most of you, there was no intentional cruelty and selfishness involved when we were raised . . . my Mother spent our lives extremely ill with Multiple Sclerosis, in and out of the hospital, barricaded in her bedroom . . . at that time, in 73', the doctor's told my father that all stress should be avoided at all times.  That is when our childhood's ended.  My twin and I were 10 yrs old, my middle sister was 4, and my youngest sister was nearly 2 yrs old.

I cannot go N/C.  I will not abandon my niece who is 15 and begins High School on the 19th.

Recently, for the past two months, since her mother began working again, she turns to me.  "Aunt Duality, Mom is working so hard and is so tired, I don't want to bother her. (We, too, were taught to think the same, as children but we had no one to turn to for help. And so . . . another generation perpetuates the damage). Could you (fill in the blank)."  Of course I will!  I am not doing this to "tweek" my twin for her lack of parental care.   I do it so my niece will have something to draw upon when/if she becomes a parent.  My twin and I are 54 years old. My niece's father has never ever been part of the picture.  She needs all the strength possible to live a healthy adult life and I pray to God I set a healthy example.

Last night she asked me if I would help completely reorganize her part of their bedroom as well as her part of the study area I set up in my bedroom (I did this because we both are in school and I wanted her to have a safe, specific spot and I wanted to set an example); she wants to be ready for school. (They share a bedroom even though there is another empty bedroom.  My twin is a hoarder and a slob. Between my father and I, we keep her as contained as possible.  Too, we do not want her to become too comfortable.) My niece is so excited, happy and nervous, *s*; me too! Lol!!!
I know I can do this. I was a Preschool Teacher, Owner, Director, and Professional Nanny for 16 years, and have taught young adults in a Post Secondary/Vocational college for a few years.
But . . . not by myself. . . which, actually, is happening again.  I am by myself.  You all are my only support system.  The rest of my family will have nothing to do with my twin, as I would if it weren't for my niece.
Meanwhile . . . I avoid being alone with my PD twin and stopped sharing anything personal of myself years ago.  I will begin telling her that the phone is on speaker.
Now  :)  my niece and I are going to make cup cakes for her Church Pool Party while we do her room.
I can't Thank you all enough for your wise support.