Out of the FOG

Getting Started => The Welcome Mat => Topic started by: Letterness on May 31, 2021, 12:04:57 AM

Title: New: Need to Try Boundaries with Adult Child of Friend
Post by: Letterness on May 31, 2021, 12:04:57 AM
Hi, I (she/her) have looked at the OOTF website for years and am finally taking the plunge and posting here. (I just reupped posting in the OOTS forum).

I was raised by a rage-oholic NPD mother (hence the C-PTSD). She passed away last year after over 10 years of no contact from me. I processed a lot of grief when I went NC but am in a state of numbness mostly about it right now.

I have worked on myself for years and have learned to not be drawn in by PD people. One BF was probably ASPD (compulsive liar and thief, but kind, sort of, in his self-absorbed way), one was HPD or DPD maybe? (stalked me and accused me of cheating, I ended up in a pretty classic DV situation with the emotional manipulation).

Anyway, fast forward to years of reading and therapy and working on myself and slowly getting rid of PD and PD-adjacent people. (And being sort of friendless atm as a result, but working on it, then COVID happened...)

My good friend's kid (G) who is like family to me (they're brilliant and sensitive and also a lot to deal with) has several diagnoses (unknown trauma, also Mom recently got diagnosed with ASD), but I made a list of the behaviors that bug me (most of which are directed at their mother but I get caught in the crossfire), and BPD seems like a decent fit as far as tools for me to get Out of the FOG. (They are also bipolar but I don't see a lot of difference as far as what I have to deal with).

They generally behave very well around me, so it is shocking how much drama they are capable of creating when around their family. Their partner (H) is also PD (abusive upbringing), and the one constellation of traits is extreme people-pleasing behavior and attempting to fix problems for me when I did not ask them to. The former saddens and alarms me, and the other kind of creeps me out. They are in some ways more stable than G, but constantly worried that I will "get mad" (I am pretty marshmallowy in reality, due to my parents being so harsh on me) or that they will "get in trouble". They are pushing 30 (going on 16) and by the time I was their age I had figured out a lot of stuff on my own, so I can't really put myself in their shoes, and unfairly, I sure wish they would starting becoming functional adults.

I need in turn to just let them have their feelings and not try to fix things for them. One of the main issues, beside getting drawn in to family arguments (favorite tactics of G's include baiting, blaming, catastrophizing, chaos creation, and what I perceive as manipulation), is that G's actions affect me in ways where I find myself kind of cleaning up after them and trying to get them to focus in order to not inconvenience other people. We have a project we work on together, but if we have someplace to be, they absolutely and remorselessly with prioritize the project over H's needing to get to work, or something G's mother would prefer (it is never enforced) we be on time to.

G's mom is on her own. She gets a bit prickly when I suggest she stop enabling (I *do not* use that word!) G so much. I plan to mention how I have noticed that she still lets G walk all over her. (G once said to me that they wished their mother would hold them accountable!)

The kid seems rather desperate for boundaries tbh.

So I plan to start doing what I have done with a couple of exes, my brother (poor coping skills and uASD) and my late father (who was a mean perfectionist who I can't quite armchair diagnose). If we're not at my house and you're mean, I go home. Or if I think you need to eat something because you are hangry, I send you home. And most importantly, if you don't show up on time, I won't be there. (Either I go to wherever we're going alone, or I go do something else). If you're not ready to leave, I won't pick after you and just leave.

I once asked them to housesit and spent a couple hours cleaning up after the mess they left after I got home. I gathered the courage to talk to G about it (H was too freaked out and opted out) and heard a lot of "oh I assumed this and thought you said that, and in the past this was OK, and I thought you were unable to be reached so I didn't ask permission to do that". Plus the most important chores weren't done. The kid is glib and he acted remorseful, but he's always ready with an excuse and they likely won't be called on to housesit again.

Geesh, this turned into a novel. Anyway I'm curious if there are any great books out there on setting boundaries specifically with moderately PD people. I'm sick of my own marshmallowness and people-pleasing behavior.

Possibly no longer the "cool" relative.
Title: Re: New: Need to Try Boundaries with Adult Child of Friend
Post by: Starboard Song on June 03, 2021, 10:20:11 AM
There are many. I like this one (https://www.amazon.com/Boundaries-Updated-Expanded-When-Control-ebook/dp/B06XFKNB2Y) by Henry Cloud and John Townsend.

An important and wonderful thing about boundaries is that they are self-improvement. At their best, boundaries do not control others. They are an expression of what we will or will not do, or engage with. Ever aware of the 50% Rule (https://outofthefog.website/what-to-do-2/2015/12/3/the-50-rule), boundaries are us controlling our half of the relationship.

You describe an enormous number of people in your life that you find to be toxic and possibly PD. No doubt, boundaries will be a great place to start. And I think you are correct: many of these people will be improved by their interaction with your boundaries, but a few will get more toxic.

So much good strength to you.
Title: Re: New: Need to Try Boundaries with Adult Child of Friend
Post by: Letterness on June 05, 2021, 02:01:31 PM
Thank you Starboard Song.

I have the Cloud Boundaries book around here somewhere. I am currently reading "Stop Walking on Eggshells" and that is going to be really  helpful.

I guess it doesn't matter if a book is specific to relationships with people with PDs. I have always tried to "figure out" what is happening with people. With my FOO, I was looking for the key to stop them abusing me. I'm slowly learning that there is no need to figure out anything other than I don't like their behavior, whatever the cause, and that I am allowed to walk away, even if they are sometimes wonderful people.