Out of the FOG

Coping with Personality Disorders => Friends, Neighbors, Acquaintances and Coworkers => Topic started by: myworldisgood on December 18, 2016, 04:44:25 PM

Title: Silent treatment after setting boundaries
Post by: myworldisgood on December 18, 2016, 04:44:25 PM
Hi all together,

I have started reading this website in 2015 and my journey is still going on. I went no contact to my parents and since then realising dysfunctional behaviour more easily. By others and also in my action.

A dear good friend for approx.  20 years now is giving me the silent treatment. I wrote to her that I need a break talking about a specific topic from her side. She fell in love with a man 10 years ago....and still hopes to be with him.
Her habit was to send or text me nearly every day about this man who is not even her partner. During some years it was less but since summer I am her daily soundboard.
I know that I enabled her. So, I wrote to her that I need a break and that I will listen to her again when he is going to be her partner.

The content she is writing about is hard to take as I think that this guy is playing with her. Communication via FB through a fake profile, having a girlfriend friend...
Furtherless, she still lives with her ex partner who is bi polare and drinking. So both men, to be more precise are heavily disturbed and she tells me every detail about both.

Sometimes I did not even read her to keep my peace. She was rarely interested in my life.
I started telling her that I am stressed up with kids and work and have no recources in reading her every day. She just kept going on...she has no kids and no partner and no friends.

She lives in another country and we met last year. Mainly we communicate via email.

Now I have set a healthy boundary and she does not react. Radio silent.  Somehow I feel relieved but on the other hand I can see her true colours via this action?!
It happend two years ago that when I set my boundary she gave me the cold shoulder and now I am fed up!

I am not sure if I should just let go? Please advise needed. Thanks.


Title: Re: Silent treatment after setting boundaries
Post by: clara on December 20, 2016, 02:05:36 PM
Seriously, ask yourself what you're getting out of the relationship to make it worth your while to deal with her drama.  Because from what you state, it sounds like she's seeking out drama to make her life more interesting or for whatever psychological reason she has, and when you don't respond in a way she considers appropriate, she reacts with the silent treatment.  She may be NPD or she just may have narc behaviors without full-blown NPD.  But in any case, she seems to have clearly signaled that she wants to control the relationship which is why setting boundaries upsets her to the point where she engages in the silent treatment.  And while you may want to help her, she doesn't seem receptive to that help (especially if she really is NPD--they generally resist true help since what they really want is attention).
Title: Re: Silent treatment after setting boundaries
Post by: randompanda on December 20, 2016, 02:30:50 PM
I had something similiar happen with a friend last year, and at the time, I was upset with myself because I thought I had hurt her feelings.  (This was before I came OOTF.)  Now I know her giving me the silent treatment was truly a blessing in disguise.

This friend had been texting me about her seemingly never-ending existential crises for about two years, every day, sometimes upwards of twenty to thirty VERY long and frantic texts a day.  At the time, I had a job where the pace was very slow, and I had a private office, so I had some free time during the day.  Because I was still in the FOG, I felt like it was my "duty" as her friend to listen to her problems, and offer her solutions and encouragement.  Time and time again, she would repeat the same drama over and over, ignore any advice I gave her, and continue her "Woe is me, somebody needs to help me with all my problems."  I got so tired of hearing her complain about the same things every single day.  It was exhausting, and always dragged my mood down.

When I got a new job, I no longer had the free time or the privacy to respond to her texts.  The first day at my new job, she sent her usual barrage of texts to me, and I had to ignore them.  Well, what do you know?  Just one day without me responding to her texts, and she stopped texting me altogether.  Total silent treatment.  I felt bad at first, and was going to text her and explain what was going on, and then I realized how much more relaxed and happy I was during the day.  By not having to caretake her and her problems, I felt so much lighter and was in a great mood at work. 

That was how our friendship ended.  I didn't respond to her ONE time, and as far as she was concerned, she no longer wanted to be my friend.  She showed her true colors that day.  Now that I'm OOTF, I realize that it's actually kind of nice when the bad apples in your life show themselves the door. 
Title: Re: Silent treatment after setting boundaries
Post by: myworldisgood on December 20, 2016, 07:55:00 PM
Hi randompanda,

thank you- as you depicted your story...Also mine  is one- sided! During her silence I felt more free not having her drama in my head.

Hi Clara,
thank you- I have to admit somehow that you might be right. I find her behaviour drama queen like....and it reminds me of narcissistic behaviour.

She wrote to me yesterday...After nearly 2 weeks of silence. She did not even mention my email in which I set a boundary. So first she wrote about something else and then in her last line: she highlighted one sentence: PS: you know what last Saturday HE did this and said this to me!
As if she ignored my email. I find it provocative.

I asked her straight if she has received my last email. Yes, she did. But she did not think that a slight mentioning would bother me so much and she feels sorry if she did.
And that she can see that we cannot share anymore.....!

I wrote to her that she can choose to ignore it and continue,  or to think about my writing. And that I observe  her depicting me as being "bothered". She does not believe that she overloaded me. Furthermore, giving me a  in the end.

I see that she wants to push that boundary away.  :sadno:


Title: Re: Silent treatment after setting boundaries
Post by: VividImagination on December 22, 2016, 10:51:25 PM
She is using you, and she is confused why you are no longer working. Her latest email is like when you kick a washing machine that has stopped working...she is testing you to see if she can get you to function as she needs you to again.

I'd ignore any communication that references subjects you've set boundaries on. To respond will reinforce that she can occasionally get supply and attention out of you on this subject.
Title: Re: Silent treatment after setting boundaries
Post by: MidnightOwl on December 23, 2016, 03:45:51 AM
myworld - I echo the sentiment of the other replies, it sounds like a very one sided friendship. You're clearly a very caring person and you might be being taken advantage of.

One of my former best friends from college had a similar issues, only her fixation was her job and her boss. Every time I called her she would rant for about an hour about the same thing over and over. It seemed like an obsession. And she'd passively ask about me out of courtesy, but within a minute the subject was back on her fixation. I realized that our friendship was problematic, brought it up and initially got the silent treatment. She was pissed I wasn't a source of validation and supply I suppose. When we started talking again I furthered my boundary causing her narc injury. She went on a tear through our friends and told me off. All because I pointed out that I needed to be in a two sided friendship.

I am now NC and have no interest in the friendship. I realized I'd attracted a friendship that mirrored my NPD mothers energy, which is why I'd accepted a one sided friendship into my life in the first place. I've been doing a great deal of self reflection and healing work since then, in an attempt to move on and consciously create the healthy friendships I desire.

Of course you may already have healthy friendships, and for whatever reason have this one particular problematic person....which is a bit easier to let go of, though still painful.
Title: Re: Silent treatment after setting boundaries
Post by: myworldisgood on December 23, 2016, 07:48:32 AM
Oh my God,

thank you to all of you! I reread all the posts. It is like a door has been open through your answers.

Something weird happend. She wrote again sorry IF I feel overloaded or IT overloaded me. And in the next email she talked again about this man by substituting his name and referring to him as "somebody". So she tried to trick me.
And she said that as a motha of 2 kids I have noto that time no more for her and she understands it.

I wrote her straight that I observe her doing this:
- Putting the blame or guilt on me
- testing my boundary with a trick by not calling out his name where as I did not want to hear about this drama anymore
- she acts like a victim

Finally, I wrote her that I find her behaviour toxic. That she behaves in my eyes like an emotional vampire and that I am not longer going to participate in it. That maybe a therapeutic could help.

Greetings to all of you

Title: Re: Silent treatment after setting boundaries
Post by: myworldisgood on December 23, 2016, 04:54:06 PM

I am angry now!

She wrote in another sentence that in my reality I perceive it as "overload".

Standard: she wrote to me approx. 3 long emails a day about ONE topic sometimes more....and if I did not react she texted me to ask if I am fine...continuing to refer to ONE topic.

One day I was very sick...and she asked me why I did not reply. I told her what I had...So some minutes later she told me that she has similar pains!!!
She said she feels sorry for my pains and gave me a break of one day as I was "useless" for her...My mistake then was to say I am doing better....some minutes later she was back to the ONE topic by texting and emailing...
After, I got her blocked on my phone...

I can see how I enabled her.
Title: Re: Silent treatment after setting boundaries
Post by: moglow on December 23, 2016, 05:53:02 PM
That doesn't sound like a friendship, that sounds like with my mother, you're her sounding board and that's your purpose.

My suggestion - IF you're willing to talk to her at all at this point. Introduce other positive topics of conversation. Only respond to anything other than her negative one track foolishness. Do it for a week (or perhaps back to when you set this boundary with her), see what happens. At the end of that week compare what happened - the dearth of other topic conversation vs. her continuation with the one. Compare with her to whatever degree you feel able. And cut it off. Block the emails if need be.

The thing with a boundary is, it's yours to protect, in whatever way works best for you. In this case you can show her how she completely disrespected your very specific wishes. She knows you don't like it, acknowledged you don't like it and kept on. She made a choice. Consequences she gets.
Title: Re: Silent treatment after setting boundaries
Post by: myworldisgood on January 04, 2017, 08:09:36 PM
After telling me that she understood the overload she confirmed to drop the topic. After one week without this topic she started again to refer to him. Not mentioning his name but calling him a secret lover or only "him".

As she is making fun of me I will not react for a while. Maybe she thinks I am stupid or she simply wants to push the boundary? It does not matter why she does it: it is really poor.
And some parts of her email sound crazy.

And I feel fooled and yes, this is not a friend.

Title: Re: Silent treatment after setting boundaries
Post by: Adrienne25 on January 31, 2017, 02:11:50 AM
People can't use you without your permission. I'd chalk it up as an experience and let the communication die.
Title: Re: Silent treatment after setting boundaries
Post by: Pantomeme on February 01, 2017, 05:42:45 PM

Have you read about the Medium Chill and "Gray Rock" method? It sounds like it might be helpful to you as you either go NC or taper off any communication with this person...

If she can't use you to obssess over her life problems, if you don't engage with her much at all she will just find a new person to sit and listen to her problems.

Best wishes and sorry you're going through this. You can be strong and teach people how to treat you... if she can't cut the mustard, your time is better spent with friends who can give back. <3
Title: Re: Silent treatment after setting boundaries
Post by: myworldisgood on February 02, 2017, 09:59:32 AM
thank you for suggesting the methods.
The Gray Rock Method resonates a lot with me. And yes, Adrienne25 you are absolutely write: people can only use me with my permission! BUT to see this and to reach a full awareness we need to be outfogged!

Some weeks ago I wrote her that I am going to take a time out. She wrote that she understands and that I am her friend for life and that I should free to come back when ever I feel like. And that her need to tell me about her life was maybe too big.

AFTER 7 days "my friend" wrote me two emails, showing pictures....acting like nothing happend. As usual she asked me how I am so that I feel addressed...
For me, this is a proof that she does not want to understand. It is a kind of hoovering....and she misses her soundboard.

Lately, I had flashbacks ....10 years ago she tried to heavily flirt with my partner (which is a no go!), who is now my husband. After that we had also a break in our friendship as I did invite her only for the second party and not for the ceremony only among family member. She wanted to be my best woman. I have to admit that we had talked about it, long before I had a partner...but after her acting I felt only ok for her to be the second best woman in the second ceremony at church. She was frustration.

I can see clearly that she has a covert narcissist tendency and I was acting codepending in a way.
Today, I am more aware and I am creating healthy boundaries.

Thankful for this forum!
Title: Re: Silent treatment after setting boundaries
Post by: myworldisgood on February 25, 2017, 06:47:55 AM
just an up date...since I explained to her that I take a time out she emailed me three times during 6 weeks, acting like nothing happend. The last email was yesterday in which she send me a you tube link in which she sings together with this singer, this man I was fed up to listen about as I did for the last 10 years. she refers again to HIM, the reason for my time out.
I find it a really aggressive and provocative action.

I will of course not react.

Title: Re: Silent treatment after setting boundaries
Post by: moglow on February 25, 2017, 10:15:42 AM
That time out may become a permanent thing, I guess? She's really not getting it.
Title: Re: Silent treatment after setting boundaries
Post by: VividImagination on February 25, 2017, 10:21:22 AM
Just delete the communication unread.
Title: Re: Silent treatment after setting boundaries
Post by: myworldisgood on February 25, 2017, 02:34:23 PM

"...the only people who take issue with you having boundaries are the ones who need your boundaries the most"...I found this phrase in the net....so true!

She will never get it, right.