Out of the FOG

Coping with Personality Disorders => Dealing with PD Elderly Family Members => Topic started by: sarandro on May 17, 2019, 11:29:58 AM

Title: Reactions of siblings re my MC and VVVLC
Post by: sarandro on May 17, 2019, 11:29:58 AM
I told my siblings of my intention to go VVVVlow contact with NM after Dad's death...
I told them I was in a very bad place mentally, physically and emotionally and couldn't help clear out all Dad's stuff at the moment.
I said I would be in contact when I was able to.

I would love to know what you all think

This was after I explained how much hurt I am still holding on to and I reached out to them, hoping for their understanding!

As the oldest, I think I was the only one who got the nasty parts of NM, I don't know about them and their relationship with her as usual, all info about each of us had to go through NM.
They treat me with disdain and call me crazy and selfish....they stop talking when I enter the room etc

Bro is a classic enabler and can't see the damage this is doing to both him AND NM, she will never do things herself when she has him to do for her all the time.
Sis is very submissive and says sorry all the time, just to avoid confrontation

And they think I am the only one who has been damaged by NM and her behaviours.

I can't make them see, can I??
If I try, I am being selfish and uncaring about her.

Should I try to explain to them again how I need not to have contact with her as it causes me actual physical pain and anxiety??

Thoughts from you wise folk will help me decide...thanks!!XXX
Title: Re: Reactions of siblings re my MC and VVVLC
Post by: Psuedonym on May 17, 2019, 12:10:16 PM

I nearly spit coffee all over my keyboard reading that text from your bro. Holy shit, that's some hall of fame passive aggressive nastiness right there. I was angry for you reading it, and yet it's quite masterful in that it manages to portray him as a victim and a martyr, lay a huge guilt trip on you, and invalidate anything you are feeling, all with an airy tone of 'ha ha no big deal'. Yeesh.

Your sister's is at least straight forward: guilt, guilt, guilt. Oh, and PS, guilt.

You are not crazy or exaggerating, you can tell by reading these texts how dysfunction things are with your family. And you are right that you cannot explain it to them. They have absorbed all of your M's PD tactics and are only going to heap more of this on you. You know the truth, that you need to take care of yourself. You don't need their permission or validation. If you did try to tough it out, your body will most likely make the decision for you through escalating physical symptoms. I started having panic attacks before I wised up; don't be me!

I know this is very tough for you. I have no siblings but my dad last year and I had to deal with my PDM alone, so I know how isolating it can feel. We get it though and are here to listen.

Title: Re: Reactions of siblings re my MC and VVVLC
Post by: sarandro on May 17, 2019, 02:46:47 PM
Hey Pseudonym!!!
Thanks so much for your reply...your opinion is important to me as I know you have had to put up with a lot of your NM's shenanigans

I thought the same after reading bros email, but I thought I was overreacting!!
He is just like NM isn't he? Martyrish and passive aggressive whilst being a victim AND invalidating my fragile being.

I haven't answered either of them as I have now decided to have NC at all with any of my FOO

Bro has POA on her finances and health, so I will leave them to each other and stay in the safety of my shark cage!
I certainly don't want to be involved with any of them anymore...even though they are dangling/withholding inheritances etc.
I can't sell my soul for money, that is the way madness lies, I would rather be dirt poor (I am!) than go belly up to these people.

You have made me feel a little better about myself today and for that I thank youXXXXX
Title: Re: Reactions of siblings re my MC and VVVLC
Post by: Psuedonym on May 17, 2019, 03:25:56 PM
You have made my day better knowing that I could help a little bit! I'm not sure where I'd be right now without the help of everybody on this site but I know it wouldn't be good. :) I think you are wise to back out of this situation entirely. With your siblings being the way they are, they might have just suckered you in and then denied you your inheritance anyway. Now they can focus on more important things like who amongst them is the saddest and waifiest. I hope you get to relax this weekend!

Title: Re: Reactions of siblings re my MC and VVVLC
Post by: spring13 on May 17, 2019, 08:53:27 PM
Ugh. I'm sorry. Your brother sounds ridiculously passive-aggressive. And I guess it's easy for the far-away GC to tell you you need to help out more, eh? It's hurtful and disappointing when our siblings act this way, and sometimes they seem so blind to their roles that it's amazing they lack any sort of insight to how they are behaving. They are not behaving like grownups.

Continue sticking up for yourself. I know it's hard, but you're doing the right thing.
Title: Re: Reactions of siblings re my MC and VVVLC
Post by: WomanInterrupted on May 18, 2019, 02:00:58 AM
I read your post before it was modified and OMG, does your brother have a MASSIVE passive-aggressive victim/martyr thing going on!   :aaauuugh:

And your sister is just outright using guilt as a bludgeon.    :fallingbricks:

I think any reaction you had to those emails was perfectly justified.  Hell, I was angry FOR you!  >:(

Personally, I wouldn't reply to either of them.  They don't deserve it and besides - they really didn't ask any questions, did they?  :bigwink:

If they email you again with more of the same old, same old, I'd fire back ONE email to both:  If you're that damned concerned about mom, YOU step in and do more for her and leave me out of it.  In the future, before emailing me, please feel free to think things through thoroughly.

Hit send, step back and drop the mic.   You've just ended the entire discussion.   :ninja:

I think Pseudonym is absolutely right:  if you were to get suckered back in, you wouldn't see a dime of the inheritance that you won't see, anyway.  It would be used as a carrot  but  it would be an empty promise, your brother and sister would probably be gone, like the wind, leaving you with ALL your mom's care, and if you needed money for medical supplies, food, toiletries or clothing for your mom, it would fall on deaf ears - or come out of the inheritance, while your sister and brother pat themselves on the back for swindling and tricking you.

Or they'd just tell you to use your own money and you'll be reimbursed one day - in the year Never.   :stars:

When the time comes to disburse said inheritance - while you did all the work and they did none - they'd claim you forfeited it, for not taking good enough care of your mom.  Nothing you did was ever good enough   or done with enough love, so no soup for you.  :roll:

If you think families are nasty in life, just wait until death and money become involved - baby, you ain't seen *nothin'* yet.  :blink:

Stick to being YOU - and stick to your boundaries.  Never mind them - if they need more help, they can hire aides, or look into Assisted Living.

You ARE doing the right thing!   :yes:

Title: Re: Reactions of siblings re my MC and VVVLC
Post by: sarandro on May 18, 2019, 07:45:12 AM
Hi everyone...
I made an error in my first post....sorry about that, I was a bit riled up and didn't think it through, anyway...

Thanks to you all for your understanding!

Feeling a bit better today and I suppose it will take some time before I stop feeling weird about all this.
It's the blooming guilt.

My bro and sis certainly don't have any compassion for me at all....even when I reached out to them asking for help.
Bro seems to have morphed into NM and sis is on her high horse...both wanting to please Mother and perpetuate this scapegoating.

I know I can't change them or help them see what's going on, but I still have that 'if only' feeling.

Best off keeping out of it now...so that's what I'll do.

Hope y'all have a good weekend with no dramasXXX
Title: Re: Reactions of siblings re my MC and VVVLC
Post by: moglow on May 19, 2019, 11:13:42 AM
Just an observation - they may both be concerned about this shift you're making, and using old tricks to get you back in line. If you've been the scapegoat, what happens when you're no longer around ...? She needs / invents a new one.

When Dad passed I somehow became mother's caretaker. My brothers didn't live nearby and I was stuck with her. I played nice, bit back what I really wanted to say, catered to her, etc. Her husband had just passed, she was grieving and in pain... But so was I. No acknowledgment on any level for what I was going through and her dumping on me every day. Eventually I got a new job in the big city, moved away and broke that cycle, but it about broke me in the process.

When I was finally able to step back momentarily and see mother's stuff for what it really was, it was painful - and not. I did realize it wasn't personal/about *me* BUT I also saw that she'd been doing those same things to others for years. She was always angry at someone over something. Visits and phone calls almost always devolved into her raising hell, and it wasn't always directed at me. She was LIVID when anyone pushed back, didn't kowtow to her demands or dared call her on her behavior.

There was always a target, and she'd flip from one to the next with little or no warning. If mother is mad at one, woe be unto you if you (gasp!) defended or agreed with that person.

I'm just saying your siblings may see some of this and don't want to be targets themselves. You've upset the status quo and that's uncomfortable for everyone. There's a price to be paid, even for the golden child. Once she turns on them really hard - and odds are she will eventually - they'll see it up close and personal. If they're like mine, you'll get some form of apology or at least an acknowledgment of what she's put you through.
Title: Re: Reactions of siblings re my MC and VVVLC
Post by: sarandro on May 19, 2019, 04:19:53 PM
Moglow...you are absolutely right.
They are probably dreading the fact that if I'm not the SG, then somebody else will have to be IT!
Looking back, there was always someone she would target, but because of my proximity, it would invariably be me.

EnBro I know has had a taste of NM and knows how to 'handle her' or so he says, but little Sis (GC?) doesn't know the half of it.
Sooner or later NM will behave towards one of them as she has done to me and so I still have hope that they might see her for who she really is.

I'm still finding it really hard to accept that neither of them are concerned that I have been very very hurt all these years.
As you say, maybe they have known all along and just don't want to 'rock the boat'/'be dramatic' etc

Before all this, I never had a proper relationship with either of them anyway...so nothing lost there
Also much to gain if I am not in the firing line!

Yes, I am refusing to go along with this damaging dance anymore...they are welcome to each other.
I have had NC for 3 weeks now and it feels a bit wrong still, but that's just the guilt they are piling on.
I can't and won't be IT right now as I'm not strong enough in my mind yet to be in touch with them.
Once again, thanks for your understandingXX
Title: Re: Reactions of siblings re my MC and VVVLC
Post by: Spring Butterfly on May 24, 2019, 08:43:35 AM
Here's my experience for what it's worth. When I started using medium chill to speak up for myself and stand up to the abuse in the moment it sent uPDm off the rails. Massive Hoover's bouncing between saccharine sweet niceness and rages and anything in between sprinkled with on again off again ST so I started slipping into less and less contact.

Siblings were not pleased with the adjusted dynamic and neither was enF because me as the coddling soother was no longer present to step in and rescue them trying to smooth over her moods. They were on their own. Not good. For them. But really good for me.

A few times sibs came to me "wishing everyone could just get along" and my response was along the lines of I wish for the same thing but I can't change uPDm and really wish everyone could just get along as well. Sort of like a frustrated sympathizer to a friend in tone.

And it's honest, yes I do wish uPDm wasn't abusive but I can't make that happen so have to maintain cordial distance.

Anytime you change the toxic dynamic and go off script others in the PD dramatic play want you back in your role especially if your role made theirs easier.
Title: Re: Reactions of siblings re my MC and VVVLC
Post by: sarandro on May 24, 2019, 10:00:23 AM
Thanks, Spring Butterfly!

The situation now is that I have been NC since my Dad's funeral...
Something in me just snapped.

The morning of the funeral, I had put on my best (only) dress, I am not a dressy person and felt awkward, but I wanted to honour my Dad by looking as  nice as I could.
I went upstairs to comfort my NM and do her hair etc...I reached out to hug her (and be hugged back)...she literally turned away from me and picked up bits off the carpet and said...
''That dress is inappropriate for a funeral/not something I would wear/what were you thinking/the neckline is too low etc.
Well, I stood up for myself and said I was wearing my very best dress to honour my Dad.
I was drying her hair and being very very gentle and all she could do was flinch every time I touched her...she never spoke to me again that day

I realised then that I could not have a relationship with this woman any more...she had shamed and belittled me, turned away yet again when I tried to comfort and be comforted.
It might seem to others that I have read too much into this, but this has always been the way she has treated/talked to me when we are alone together.
I can't take any more.
This last 3 weeks have been good for me (mentally and physically) since I made the decision not to contact her.
Anyway, my en Bro keeps emailing me to phone her as she is worried she can't get hold of me.
All my family have instructions not to answer the phone/not to explain etc
I am poorly right now, dealing with my own health problems (I have a brain tumour/a neurological disorder and arthritis) I am in a great deal of pain,I cannot do stuff for myself or my own family at the moment.

She has contacted my eldest son to ask why/was it something she said/she needs help and enBro is having to do everything for her and can't manage/why an I being so selfish etc. En Bro has also emailed me to make me contact her as she is 'worried'

Bless my eldest, he told her I was struggling with my health, hadn't contacted anyone else either and needed space away from the stress.
He said that there was obviously something that needed sorting out and it was not his business to do this.

I am now in a really bad place...do I explain why I don't want to contact her once and for all or do I just continue NC without explaining.?
This all feels so very wrong, contacting my mother again will go like this....

'Why haven't you answered my calls'
'I need you to do....'
'En Bro is having to do all the work, he is exhausted'
'What have I done for you to treat me this way?'
etc etc
A whole heap of guilt inducing, selfish ramblings.
I DO have compassion for her situation, don't get me wrong, but in order to do what she wants me to I would have to go back to being compliant.

I do not and have not ever wanted to hurt her or my en Bro, but in order to save myself I can't go on like I used to (apologising/making everything OK again/being who she wants)

Any thoughts on this would help me a great deal now as I feel I am losing my mind.

Title: Re: Reactions of siblings re my MC and VVVLC
Post by: SunnyMeadow on May 24, 2019, 01:00:09 PM
Reading how your mother couldn't accept or offer a hug or comfort made me sad for you. I'm so sorry sarandro. You deserve so much better than that.

NC with her sounds like a relief for you. I'd continue it indefinitely. If I was going through this I'd tell my brother in no uncertain terms NOT to contact me about her again. He can deal with her or heaven forbid...she can deal with her own stuff! She's a fully grown woman, deal with life and stop riling everyone up.  >:(

I'm conflicted on telling her your reasons for NC vs just fading into silence. Whenever I've tried to let my uNPDmom know how I feel, she blows up into how SHE FEELS. So perhaps letting her know in an email, then blocking her would work.

Here is my advice, I give it as a daughter sick and tired of my mom getting away with crappy behavior for decades though. I think I would let her know the things bothering you, and let her know you can't deal with her right now and not to fish around your son for info. Then block her and if enBro can't behave, he gets blocked too. But I'd let them know it's their actions that caused this NC. You have every right to drop the rope with them. In my opinion, the only things you need to worry about right now are your health issues and your immediate FOC.

I've been dealing with a uNPDmom's guilt inducing and selfish ramblings too. It's so wrong of them. I feel your pain, take care of you, enBro can take care of her.

Title: Re: Reactions of siblings re my MC and VVVLC
Post by: Spring Butterfly on May 24, 2019, 03:45:27 PM
Wow so so much of your own stuff!

So here's the thing. Anyone anytime is entitled to take a break from everyone / life / have space / etc. To avoid drama medium chill is the perfect type response. The phrases are neutral and always from your own point of view often having nothing to do with the PD or anyone. I read that topic all the time to keep those phrases ready on my tongue and even practice out loud.

Simple, very simple. If and when there is contact "nothing to discuss, busy, health issues, need time, needed space, etc.

Option 2 - confront it head on, expect a blow up, PD to go off the rails massive various Hoover's, etc. This is a nuclear option, it will destroy the relationship if the other person isn't open to receive and willing to pour into the relationship, to give in heartfelt reconciliation and PD persons often can't handle honesty no matter how gently delivered. Did that years ago with uPDm and enF and it's never been the same, I'm difficult, they try, I'm so unforgiving, blah blah blah. So now I took the medium chill route, established my own life, focus on my family of choice, don't care if they like it or not, minimal contact.

Here's a reference and in this thread I have some notes. I found this book when I had nearly traveled the path outlined in the book but it just sort of brought everything together for me, gave me strength and conviction.

Please do focus on your own stuff, that's what we're supposed to do, grow up and live our own life. You have so much you need to do to keep your own peace and wellness. Often a PD person expects to stay the center of our universe and that's just not realistic.
Title: Re: Reactions of siblings re my MC and VVVLC
Post by: sarandro on May 24, 2019, 03:50:55 PM
Sunny Meadow, Spring Butterfly....what kind words.

I thought that I would feel better if I sent enBro a reply (he's so enmeshed and doesn't know), so I have sent my enBro a very short email stating

~ that I am working on taking care of myself and working through all the years of dysfunction. and in order to do this I need to go NC..
~ that NC is not about punishing him or NM it is about protecting myself from the anxiety and stress I feel about being in touch with all of them
~ that I would contact NM when I was able to (probably never)
~ that for me to be in NM's company in any way would not do either of us any good
~ that I hope they would respect my wishes and not continue to try and get a response/apology/further explanations

Anyway I having sent this email to enBro this afternoon, I have started to feel a little better...no reply from him as yet, but don't really care now I have reinforced my fragile boundaries...a bit stronger now,

Thanks to this forum..I am so very grateful to you for your understanding
Title: Re: Reactions of siblings re my MC and VVVLC
Post by: Spring Butterfly on May 24, 2019, 03:59:10 PM
Excellent medium chill notification of a needed break. Enjoy the quiet.
Title: Re: Reactions of siblings re my MC and VVVLC
Post by: WomanInterrupted on May 25, 2019, 02:15:02 AM
That was *excellent*!   :worship:

You were clear - there's nothing open to interpretation, and no, they don't need to know that you consider "never" as a viable date for future contact.  :ninja:

I'm *so* glad you didn't cite your health issues - IME, it goes over like a fart at a wedding and they really don't *care* that you're standing there with your arm in a plastic bag, desperate to get to a hospital - to them you're FAKING and lots of people lose their arms and you don't hear them bellyaching about it!   :???:

If they ignore your very clear instructions *not to contact you* - if you haven't blocked them, I would, and filter all their emails to go to SPAM, where you can occasionally check them and save anything pertinent - especially if  it's threatening, abusive, nasty,  etc.

I say to save them in case you need a *reminder* of how bad it is  (abuse amnesia, aka, "Was  it really THAT bad?" can be a bugger, if it sets in) - and they'll also start the basis of a paper trail, if you have to take legal measures.  :yes:

If your brother and sister need more help in caring for your mom, they  can't just rely on you as a default, because you're the SG.  They'll have to look a *options* and consider paying aides, hiring a geriatric manager to look for options for your mom, or convincing your mom to move to AL.

NONE of that is your responsibility - especially when you've got your own health to consider and *must* take care of yourself.    :yes:

You matter!  Your health matters!  Your *sanity* matters!   8-)

And *you* are the top priority in your own life.   :sunny: