Out of the FOG

Coping with Personality Disorders => Dealing with PD Siblings and other Family Members => Topic started by: Miss Mermaid on June 16, 2016, 07:38:49 PM

Title: Fight with my brother :(
Post by: Miss Mermaid on June 16, 2016, 07:38:49 PM
Hi, I posted in this forum a few of weeks ago about my brother potentially having BPD, and didn't get much feedback but for now I am going under the assumption that he does. The possibility just occurred to me a few weeks ago and my brother has been in my life for 29 years, so I'm still kind of adjusting to the idea.

In the meantime, I'm kind of in a fight with him and I'm trying to figure out if I am responding appropriately or not. The details are fairly petty, but in a nutshell, we were recently having what started as a casual conversation until he got really verbally aggressive, and shut me down to the point where I just left the room. It was not the first time he has done this in a conversation with me. And the topic was (I thought) pretty innocent; there were some very mildly questionable ethics involved (it was a news story about a troupe of improv comics who had pranked some people), but the ethics were something else I thought it would be interesting to discuss. He did not agree; as soon as he understood what the story was about he cut me off, saying that the people involved were "human garbage" and that he hated the news show I was talking about, and started listing all the reasons why. At this point I just said "ok then" and got up and walked away. The following day I texted him to explain why I had left, and when he replied it was basically an extension of everything he had already said in the conversation. He didn't apologize for shutting me down or offer anything in response to what I told him I was feeling, but instead told me that if I was going to tell him about a story like that, I would have to say it in a very specific way that demonstrated that I, too, thought those people were "garbage." And he said "Sorry but this is just the way I am," which to me is not an apology for anything.

I hope this is easy enough to follow... In my reply to his text I just said that it seemed like we view conversations very differently, and that I wasn't sure we could resolve the topic. I feel crappy about it. I wanted to set some boundaries with him, because I feel so frustrated when he talks to me like that, but now I also feel like I can't just go back to being normal and casual with him. Have I overreacted? Should I just give it some time? I know he's not going to apologize for derailing our conversation, and even if he did I know he'd just do it again in the future. Does this sound like a typical PD behavior?
Title: Re: Fight with my brother :(
Post by: Deb2 on June 17, 2016, 04:39:42 PM
One thing that I thought of is that he is like many people with PDs in that they get upset if someone disagrees with them. It's like they view it as a personal attack. I ended a long time friendship because of that. I had some minor disagreements on something she believed and she went ballistic on me! Started a smear campaign. I was floored. I finally started understanding some of it when I read a book called "Controlling People". It was a real eye-opener! The author doesn't label people as having PDs, but she calls them "Controllers" or something similar. Basically, they don't see you as a real person having beliefs and thoughts that differ from their own. So when you express a differing opinion, they get very upset. You are supposed to be like their favorite teddy bear or doll who thinks/feels/believes everything THEY do! The author also, if I remember correctly, gives some strategies.
Title: Re: Fight with my brother :(
Post by: Miss Mermaid on June 21, 2016, 10:15:27 PM
Thank you for your reply, Deb. It makes sense what you said about them viewing disagreements as a personal attack, and the teddy bear comparison was really insightful. I have a ton of experience going through stuff like this with my brother, but since I only recently became aware that he might have a PD, I'm slowly revising the way I've seen him for so long, and things he does and says are looking different to me. It really sucks if it leads to the end of a relationship - I'm sorry to hear your friend kind of went crazy on you. :/ Their behavior can really be so hurtful. I'm hoping that things will get better between me and my brother... Still no word from him, but in the meantime I will look up the book you recommended. Thank you!!!  :star:
Title: Re: Fight with my brother :(
Post by: Deb2 on June 21, 2016, 11:04:03 PM
If you want to have a better relationship with your brother, there are techniques in the Toolbox that should help. And learn as much as you can about PDs and how they effect people. Alsoi, make sure you have good boundaries with your brother.
Title: Re: Fight with my brother :(
Post by: bopper on June 23, 2016, 05:54:01 PM
It doesn't matter if your brother has BPD or not...all that matters is that you are miserable in dealing with him.

I am not sure if you are living at home or not...but you need to stop engaging with him.
You cannot change him. You cannot get him to agree with you...all you can do is change what You do.

So I would not seek out spending time with him.
I would not start conversations with him...and if you have to, use the "Medium Chill" technique from the toolbox.

If he starts asking why you aren't talking to him...just say "I don't like getting into a big fight every time we converse. I am not going to speak the way you want me to. It's just the way I am. "