Lost my cool. Oops.

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BroughtMyUmbrella

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Lost my cool. Oops.
« on: August 19, 2015, 02:52:54 PM »
Things with uPD sis have been fairly placid since I told her she has 3 months to get out of my house. I expected it to be worse, actually. She and her husband took their annual vacation (after lying to my face and insisting that they were going somewhere local and much less expensive), and she was in a great mood. We've mostly been avoiding each other. But this morning, she went into a full-blown rage and I lost control and yelled back at her.

It was over something stupid, as one would expect. I needed to shower and go to work. She was doing laundry. The water pressure in my house is so bad that using any water downstairs will rob the upstairs of water. Turn on the tap and nothing will come out. So my husband paused the washing machine and went to work. I took a quick shower, in and out in 15 minutes, but sis went ballistic and started raging about how her husband needed the clothes she was washing to go to work himself.

Five minutes of intense screaming later, I was in the car and out of the driveway, but I had to pull over and wait a while for the panic attack to pass.

I know I have no one to blame but myself. I know what she is. I know that she is selfish and manipulative and completely incapable of reason. I know that yelling accomplished nothing, that all I did was raise my own blood pressure. But I couldn't seem to stop myself.

At this point, the only thing I can do is forgive myself, mentally rehearse Medium Chill some more, and take comfort in the knowledge that while my outburst accomplished nothing, it damaged nothing, either. There is no relationship to save.

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Deb2

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Re: Lost my cool. Oops.
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2015, 04:10:10 PM »
At the beginning of my NC, I lost it with my dBPD sister. I felt really awful afterwards, but friends told me to let it go. I am human and have moments, just like anyone else. So forgive yourself and move on. It's not the worst thing in the world, and things happen. We are human and have breaking points.

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solospaghetti

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Re: Lost my cool. Oops.
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2015, 05:53:50 PM »
(When) your sister realises that you weren't kidding about the eviction notice and that she really has to get out, remember what happened today if she tries the hoover on you (tho frankly I think it'll be a repeat of today x100 because she won't have lined anything up to move into and she will rage like you won't believe when she realises reality is biting - hope you have the police on speed dial on the day).

She still clearly believes that it is HER house and you are inconveniencing HER. No wonder you are so frustrated! Don't beat yourself up about the shouting match. Hey, maybe it'll indicate that you mean it this time:

You're done.
"Sometimes, there just aren't enough rocks." - Forrest Gump

"Every day is a new life to a wise man" - Anonymous.

Don't forget - they aren't defined by their PD. They are adults,  able to make choices. They can be held responsible for them.

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BroughtMyUmbrella

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Re: Lost my cool. Oops.
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2015, 06:13:15 PM »
Oh, there's no doubt in my mind that she'll try to hoover me, and I'm prepared for it. At this point, I really don't care if she winds up sleeping under bridges. And this will not be the last explosion, I'm sure. We installed surveillance cameras specifically because I anticipate her rage will be extreme. Luckily, the police station is right across the street.

I'm not sure which flavor of Cluster B sis is, as she cycles through violent stages of all of them, but the one constant ever since she was a small child is that she is the only person who matters. She has a massive sense of entitlement and zero respect for the boundaries, health, or livelihood of others. She also seems to be going through alcohol withdrawal again, which is probably making her short-tempered and irritable. And while I appreciate that she's hurting and that she feels as if her life is spiraling out of control, there is nothing I can do for her. When she moved in, I thought I was helping her get back on her feet, but all I'm doing is letting her circle the drain a little longer.

The worst part of today isn't the guilt. I'm past that. The worst part was the adrenaline rush and the post-confrontation crash afterward. Like many who are triggered by loud noises, screaming matches always make me feel sick and fatigued.

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solospaghetti

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Re: Lost my cool. Oops.
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2015, 09:53:13 PM »
Hi Umbrella
I'm sorry, you obviously are pretty squared away for the roller coaster to come! And good choice in neighbours!

Adrenaline has a powerful effect. But - the last time you have to have it is only a few weeks away...

"Sometimes, there just aren't enough rocks." - Forrest Gump

"Every day is a new life to a wise man" - Anonymous.

Don't forget - they aren't defined by their PD. They are adults,  able to make choices. They can be held responsible for them.

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bunnie

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Re: Lost my cool. Oops.
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2015, 10:00:08 PM »
Don't feel bad one bit about yelling back at her.
You are a human being.  Not a machine. 
To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize - Voltaire

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BroughtMyUmbrella

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Re: Lost my cool. Oops.
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2015, 04:26:12 AM »
It's more that I'm ashamed of myself for stooping to her level. I did learn something interesting, though: if I tell her to go to her room, she'll go. She'll be screaming obscenities the whole time, but she will retreat. I didn't expect that. The same thing happened when I got home from work. She was waiting for me in the dining room, sitting there at the dining room table with the lights out as if she'd been waiting there all day. She started out quietly, all sweetness and light, asking me if I knew how to turn the water back on and accusing me of knowing squat about plumbing when I told her that nobody ever turned it off, that DH only hit the pause button on the washing machine itself. It escalated quickly and she was back to yelling within moments, but when I (calmly) told her that we'd sort it out when DH got home and said "Go to your room" like I was talking to a 2 year old, she went. When her husband got home from work, she came out to harass me again, but all he had to do was point at her bedroom door and say "Go" and she went. Cut her off mid-rant, as if he flipped a switch. I'm not complaining, but I did find it baffling.

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bunnie

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Re: Lost my cool. Oops.
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2015, 10:39:48 AM »
That she followed the order to go to her room amidst her rant is very strange.  I don't get that.
Has she always been that easy to control?
To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize - Voltaire

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BroughtMyUmbrella

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Re: Lost my cool. Oops.
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2015, 01:03:32 PM »
I don't know. Maybe?

She's always "talked" defiance, how she alone stood up to our mother's bullying and how she rejected traditional values and oppressive demands of society... but talk was all it was. The reality is that she adopted our mother's religion and values whole cloth, unquestioned and complete, and if she has ever done anything unconventional, it's been at a boyfriend or husband's bequest. At one point, she even joined a really strict, cultlike church that demanded that women always wear long skirts, full-coverage blouses, and defer publicly and privately to their husbands.

So, yeah, I guess she has always been like that and I never really noticed. Even after everything she's put me through over the last three years, that was the first (and only) time I've ever truly run out of patience with her. Ordinarily, I wouldn't have used that tone with actual children, let alone a grown woman, but my attitude at the time was "I'm done. Go away." I did not care where she went or what she did as long as it was somewhere else.

I don't like having to use the "I'm the grownup and I said so" voice, but it's something to keep in mind.

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migrator

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Re: Lost my cool. Oops.
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2015, 02:40:52 PM »
BroughtMyUmbrella, sounds like you found a new tool for dealing with your sister. The adult talking to a child stance reminded me about my late NPD father's fourth wife, the only person who ever was able to control/deal with him.

She would tell him what clothes to wear, when to eat/sleep, etc. exactly as if she was talking to a small child. It worked, and he had a pretty standard lifestyle for a few years while she played 'mommy'. She was not an N, she just figured out how to deal with him so their life was more peaceful than chaotic. He fancied himself a rebel and non-conformist like your sister, but when 'mommy' took over he seemed more calm and collected than when he ran his own show.

I wonder if this relates to their emotional age? Maybe they really want a mommy since they can't take care of themselves in the real world - although they would never admit it and would flip out if you pointed this out to them.
Heading toward peace of mind

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BroughtMyUmbrella

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Re: Lost my cool. Oops.
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2015, 04:19:20 PM »
It's a tough call. On the one hand, I'm not above using any tool at my disposal, but on the other, I don't want the responsibility that comes with that role and I never did. My husband was talking to her husband about reducing the electric bill by not running competing appliances (air conditioner and space heater) at the same time. Sis overheard part of the conversation, jumped to conclusions, and said something along the lines of "Don't you know that it's illegal to shut off your dependents' electricity?" DH and BIL ignored her since they were talking about conservation of electricity, not shutting it off, but he later told me how strange it was to hear her describe herself as anyone's dependent.

If all of this is some secret longing on her part for a parent figure, it would make sense, in a way. We were adopted at birth and our adoptive mother was always emotionally unavailable. If sis felt deprived, it wouldn't surprise me. But I don't want a 50 year old daughter. Especially not one who is forever stuck in the Terrible Twos.

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solospaghetti

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Re: Lost my cool. Oops.
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2015, 04:32:06 PM »
Hi BMU
I just wanted to say that nothing has changed. Yep, it's a weird thing to find out at this stage of the game, but the eviction still stands, and you still want her out.

Maybe a man-to-man between the two DH's to remind sisDH that the eviction still stands and they need to start planning. I wouldn't try to get involved in the conversation - no doubt your sister will kick off if you get involved because she WILL blame you.
"Sometimes, there just aren't enough rocks." - Forrest Gump

"Every day is a new life to a wise man" - Anonymous.

Don't forget - they aren't defined by their PD. They are adults,  able to make choices. They can be held responsible for them.

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irene

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Re: Lost my cool. Oops.
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2015, 05:44:32 PM »
I found it one of the most strange aspects of npd behaviour - that you can cut them off mid-rant like a parent telling off a toddler, and it works, it's the only thing that gets them to back down. it's so counter-intuitive that people, even if they read psychologists advising to do just that, have a hard time trying it out on their PD. maybe it IS that the emotional age is more like a toddler that the same techniques work on them, or it just shows they're used to their rage scaring people into submission, and it only takes someone standing up to them firmly to disarm them.  whatever, it can be surreal to witness.

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BroughtMyUmbrella

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Re: Lost my cool. Oops.
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2015, 06:22:27 PM »
"Surreal" is exactly the word I would use to describe it. And it changes nothing. The eviction is still going to happen. If nothing else, she needs help, and it's the kind of help I cannot provide. Living with us, she's never going to seek that help, but she will have to once the alternative is sleeping under bridges. She'll have to undergo psychiatric evaluation if she applies for housing assistance or if she wishes to contest the eviction, so there's a chance she'll get the help she needs.

Your post is interesting, Irene. I thought it was just her, but maybe it's an NPD thing, after all. Back in the '80s, she was treated for depression and possible high-functioning schizophrenia and her psychiatrist described her emotional maturity as "delayed." Maybe she never outgrew that narcissistic phase all kids go through. (Not that it changes anything. I still need her gone.)

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bunnie

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Re: Lost my cool. Oops.
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2015, 01:44:44 AM »
This has been such an interesting thread.  BMU, I'm glad you found something that works until she's gone.  Please keep us posted if you use "the tone" again.  I'm curious if it will continue to be effective.
To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize - Voltaire