I dared to say no

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guitarman

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I dared to say no
« on: February 04, 2016, 10:26:04 PM »
 :wave:

Hi everyone

I'm new here but I've been following for a couple of weeks.

I had an incident tonight, a phone call. I dared to say no to my sister. She wants yet more money. She's had thousands in the past. She'd been with me for hours during the day. I'd been listening calmly to all her nonsense.

When she got home she called. She hasn't got money to pay her phone bill and yet she's going to have acupuncture tomorrow for her lungs and heart condition which she has to pay for. What I've said may trigger her to have to go to A&E. It has in the past.

It's a very long story. I just flipped and I've undone the last few months of being calm with her. She just pushed my buttons and I'm trying to say no to her and set boundaries and sticking to them. I just can't go through all the past terrible experiences with her yet again. For a quiet life I gave her money. Here we go again. It never ends.

I was going to call The Samaritans just for a chat. They are very good but I'm tired. I call them when I need to. I've got other people I can call tomorrow if they are available, other mental health carers and a carers organisation who know me.

It's just good to be somewhere right now with people who really understand and able to vent.

My one rule is to always stay calm no matter what. So I'm a bit annoyed with myself that I didn't but all I said was no. It was a short conversation. I didn't take her two calls after I put the phone down.

I could go on and on. I've not been able to get to any carers groups recently and I realize that I need to go. There are a couple next week. I'm sure I'll be better tomorrow but I'm dreading hearing or seeing her if she's in contact tomorrow.

I'm experiencing PTSD Post Traumatic Sister Disorder! I expect you all know about that.

Over thirty years of the emotional rollercoaster. The extremes are unbelievable to others who have never experienced it themselves.

I feel calmer now having written this. All I said was no.

Now the pleading, crying, verbal attacks, emotional blackmail, anger and suicide threats will start. She'll blame me. It will be all my fault all because I said no.

She wonders why many in the family don't want much to do with her. She alienates them with her behaviour towards them.

She might be quiet for days. That's another tactic. Then she'll visit and be calm then will start over.

I'd better stop I could go on and on.

Best wishes to you all.

 :wave:


"Do not let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace." - Dalai Lama

"You don't have to be a part of it, you can become apart from it." - guitarman

"Be gentle with yourself, you're doing the best you can." - Anon

"If it hurts it isn't love." - Kris Godinez, counsellor and author

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alonenow

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Re: I dared to say no
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2016, 10:58:14 PM »
  It is ok to say no.    We are not our brothers or sisters keeper.  If it is important most people will find a way to come up with the cash to do what they want. My siblings could in a heartbeat unless it was paying back a loan from my mom ( I do not lend). I appreciate staying calm and not wanting things to get out of hand but most of these types need a firm grasp to take their crazy somewhere else.

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guitarman

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Re: I dared to say no
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2016, 11:38:28 PM »
Thanks. It's 2.30am here, still awake.

Yes she'll probably take more money from her pension fund. She hasn't got much left. That was a bombshell she dropped. Her benefits were stopped because she has her pension. Another bombshell.

I don't quiz her any more about money. It's all too stressful for me. I just wait for her to tell me by which time it's a major crisis.

She's divorced and lives on her own which she hates. She gets so lonely.

I expect I'll be up all night now. There's so much adrenaline in my system still. The fight or flight response is so familiar to me.

I have two brothers but I won't bother them. They are so fed up with her too. It's good to come here instead.

Best wishes


"Do not let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace." - Dalai Lama

"You don't have to be a part of it, you can become apart from it." - guitarman

"Be gentle with yourself, you're doing the best you can." - Anon

"If it hurts it isn't love." - Kris Godinez, counsellor and author

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kayjewel

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Re: I dared to say no
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2016, 11:50:22 PM »
Welcome to OOTF, guitarman.

From what you've posted, your sister does not live with you, but you feel responsible for her problems and for taking care of her. It sounds like you're over-involved with her life, to the detriment of your own mental (and maybe physical) health. Have you done any reading about co-dependency?

http://outofthefog.website/what-not-to-do-1/2015/12/3/codependency

There are self-help groups around the world that exist specifically to help people with co-dependency. It can be a tough thing to work your way out of, all by yourself. Having the support of other people who understand where you are could be really helpful to you.

Co-Dependents Anonymous (CODA)


I'm experiencing PTSD Post Traumatic Sister Disorder! I expect you all know about that.

:laugh: I love this. Yes, been there and done that and know all about it.

There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.
-- C. G. Jung

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guitarman

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Re: I dared to say no
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2016, 12:58:58 AM »
Thanks. I'll check it out.

"Do not let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace." - Dalai Lama

"You don't have to be a part of it, you can become apart from it." - guitarman

"Be gentle with yourself, you're doing the best you can." - Anon

"If it hurts it isn't love." - Kris Godinez, counsellor and author

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guitarman

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Re: I dared to say no
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2016, 06:16:23 PM »
No news from my sister today, but it's not over yet. I'm surprised how relaxed and calm I've been today. It must have been because I said something to her that I meant to say for ages. Now I have to follow through and not give in. She's lovely when she's stable and we had quite a laugh together yesterday before she asked for money.

My brother and his family are visiting tomorrow so that will be so good to see them all. If my sister turns up she'll behave herself in front of my sister-in-law, hopefully.

When things are bad I usually think the worse because of all the history over many, many years. Usually it doesn't turn out the way I fear but it frequently has in the past.

"Do not let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace." - Dalai Lama

"You don't have to be a part of it, you can become apart from it." - guitarman

"Be gentle with yourself, you're doing the best you can." - Anon

"If it hurts it isn't love." - Kris Godinez, counsellor and author

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kayjewel

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Re: I dared to say no
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2016, 07:54:01 PM »
Guitarman, how do you usually handle it when you're in Sis's presence and she starts to behave badly?

There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.
-- C. G. Jung

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biggerfish

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Re: I dared to say no
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2016, 08:04:16 PM »
guitarman -- This is a big step in the right direction. There's more work for you to do so you don't get hoovered back in. Keep posting here, and do some reading. Here's an interesting article called "No is a complete sentence" http://www.cloudtownsend.com/no-is-a-complete-sentence-how-to-use-stick-to-it-by-dr-henry-cloud/

Here's a cyberhug for you: :bighug:

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guitarman

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Re: I dared to say no
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2016, 09:54:00 PM »
Guitarman, how do you usually handle it when you're in Sis's presence and she starts to behave badly?

I stay calm. I listen and validate her feelings. I don't argue or criticize. That only fuels the flame. She's often said that I'm the only person that understands. That's because I've done years of going to mental health support groups, reading, going to lectures etc. Some of the best help has come from ex-service users with a lived experience of BPD that help facilitate a BPD carers group I've been going to.

If things get too bad I lock myself in the bathroom, call the police or ambulance or run away. I've collapsed in her presence in the past from all the stress. I always make sure my mobile phone is fully charged and
I have it with me when she visits.

She behaves like an out of control wild animal when things are really bad. I've learnt that you can't be rational with someone who is irrational so I don't even try. So I play it cool. I don't get on her emotional roller coaster with her.

Usually the rages burn themselves out eventually.

If I know that she's going to be bad I don't let her in the house. However she's very deceptive because she can appear calm but then an emotional landslide suddenly happens.

The only thing predictable about her is that she is unpredictable.

This is a long journey we're on probably for the rest of my life. I've accepted that. No matter how things are for me they are a hundred times worse for her. I've witnessed the most extreme behaviour any human being could ever exhibit. Nothing could shock me now.





"Do not let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace." - Dalai Lama

"You don't have to be a part of it, you can become apart from it." - guitarman

"Be gentle with yourself, you're doing the best you can." - Anon

"If it hurts it isn't love." - Kris Godinez, counsellor and author

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guitarman

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Re: I dared to say no
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2016, 10:00:59 PM »
guitarman -- This is a big step in the right direction. There's more work for you to do so you don't get hoovered back in. Keep posting here, and do some reading. Here's an interesting article called "No is a complete sentence" http://www.cloudtownsend.com/no-is-a-complete-sentence-how-to-use-stick-to-it-by-dr-henry-cloud/

Here's a cyberhug for you: :bighug:

Thanks for this. I'm OK I'm calm. It usually takes me three days to get over an incident. It must be all the adrenaline.

"Do not let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace." - Dalai Lama

"You don't have to be a part of it, you can become apart from it." - guitarman

"Be gentle with yourself, you're doing the best you can." - Anon

"If it hurts it isn't love." - Kris Godinez, counsellor and author

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Muggins

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Re: I dared to say no
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2016, 12:32:05 AM »
I said no to my sister for the first time 20 years ago. We became estranged afterwards and our relationship has never been the same since. However, I'm glad I said no.

It sounds like you have things under control most of the time (but at a great cost to your peace of mind) but when things go bad those adrenaline jolts can take a while to wear off. Wouldn't it be nice if this sparked a turning point in your relationship. As you say, she controls herself around your sister in law.

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guitarman

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Re: I dared to say no
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2016, 08:24:52 AM »
Thanks Muggins.

We've had many turning points in our relationship. I really don't want much more to do with her. I tolerate her that's about as far as it goes.

I feel better today. I had a lovely time yesterday with my brother, his wife and toddler son. Just what I needed.

Over recent years I've purposefully distanced myself from my sister so that she would find others to help her. She has. I don't go running to be with her any more even though she's not too far away. She's a bit further from me now so I can't get there quickly any more thankfully. I've only visited her new place twice in the two years she's been there. She however visits and phones me.

I like to consider myself a caring, kind and loving person so not to be for her goes against everything that I am. I've learnt that I have to be caring, kind and loving to myself first otherwise I shall crumble and fall apart.

She's a very capable, clever, high functioning person at times. At other times she behaves like a little lost child with tantrums, rages and fears. I have to behave as a calm adult and stay resolute.

I'm healing every day from the traumas I've witnessed over many years.

It's as if she is on the edge of a cliff wanting to jump. Sometimes I have to just turn away and not look back hoping that someone else has seen her and rescued her. She eventually walks away from the cliff edge.

It hurts so much when she says I don't care but she says that about everyone in the family. That really pushes all my buttons especially when I'm sitting right next to her having been listening to her for hours consoling her and saying nice positive things.

Thanks for your concern Muggins.
"Do not let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace." - Dalai Lama

"You don't have to be a part of it, you can become apart from it." - guitarman

"Be gentle with yourself, you're doing the best you can." - Anon

"If it hurts it isn't love." - Kris Godinez, counsellor and author

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guitarman

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Re: I dared to say no
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2016, 02:34:51 PM »
I've had two phone calls from my sister today. I've briefly listened to the messages. One I think said that she didn't have any cash but has money in her account to pay her phone bill after all. She's said this before so I should know by now. When she says she has no money she sometimes means she has no money in her purse. She says things that are on her mind without filtering it.

The second call was about a family funeral she wants to attend. She doesn't know the date yet. I've only just found out but it's not for over a week yet. Perhaps I'll text her later or tomorrow. That will be another saga. She's already guilted me for not taking her to see the person when they were alive but she had all the information to visit them on her own if she really wanted to. I visited them regularly when I could so I've got nothing to feel guilty about. We didn't include her in the visits because of the way she's been to their family. If she wanted to visit she could have done on her own. She's quite capable.

I'm enjoying a quiet Sunday.

"Do not let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace." - Dalai Lama

"You don't have to be a part of it, you can become apart from it." - guitarman

"Be gentle with yourself, you're doing the best you can." - Anon

"If it hurts it isn't love." - Kris Godinez, counsellor and author

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daisy.m.d

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Re: I dared to say no
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2016, 09:18:21 AM »
Hello, Guitarman. Thanks for your note to me on the welcome page. I do see from this post that our sisters are very similar. Ouch. I have reached a point where I have decided to have no contact with mine in order to protect my health and peace of mind.

Her lack of empathy was highlighted when I was going through round  5, 6, 7 of chemo yet she decided it was a good time to call or stop by and yell about her lack of money, having depleted her retirement fund traveling around the world, chasing/ stalking some man she thought should love her (though he was married and wanted nothing to do with her.) She was mad because I would not let her stay with me. I was "selfish" and awful.

She would offer to help when she came by, vacuum or make some food but she never did. Charming and warm at first then the next minute ranting about her problems. It sounds so ridiculous when I write it out. One day she came over, started accusing me of "talking" to people she knows and ruining her life and I snapped. I told her to get out of my house. Get out!

We had a couple of phone conversations in early Dec. but I decided I could not see her at Christmas and that morphed into no contact since. It is a difficult choice but I feel like I cannot make another an take care of myself. I have been on tenterhooks since the age of 16, it was my job to "take care of sis" after my mother died. Didn't matter much what I felt or if I was OK, she was the priority.  Years of suicide threats, depression, crying, screaming, sometimes she was more highly functioning, funny, smart, creative and employed. It never lasted.

I understand the cycle of contact and recovery. My father drove by my sister waiting at the bus stop the other week and did not stop. It broke my heart though he is in counseling to learn boundaries with her (around giving her money). It takes everything I have got some days not to reach out to her.  She may become homeless at some point.

All of this to say what you said to me, you are not alone. Today, I hope you find your peaceful center. I will be doing some yoga stretches and meditation, seeking to find mine.
 

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guitarman

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Re: I dared to say no
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2016, 08:59:13 PM »
Hi daisy.m.d

I've been so tired the last few days so not been able to reply.

So many things that you've written about I've experienced too.

Empathy - I now don't expect any empathy from my sister. She's emotionally blind to other people's feelings at times. When someone else is ill she turns the conversation around to how that will affect her and her many health problems. Health problems that she gets investigated but sometimes doesn't turn up for the tests.

My sister maybe homeless again soon as well. That's what she's so worried about. She pleaded with me recently that I wouldn't let her be homeless. That's what I dread, her ending up staying with me.

"Do not let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace." - Dalai Lama

"You don't have to be a part of it, you can become apart from it." - guitarman

"Be gentle with yourself, you're doing the best you can." - Anon

"If it hurts it isn't love." - Kris Godinez, counsellor and author

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guitarman

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Re: I dared to say no
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2016, 01:11:57 PM »
I've heard no news from my sister since she left some messages on the phone and texted me. We have a family funeral to attend soon which she wanted details about. I asked my younger brother to text her the details. If he doesn't she will accuse us of all excluding her from family events again.

I'm enjoying the peace of no contact but that could all change in a moment.




"Do not let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace." - Dalai Lama

"You don't have to be a part of it, you can become apart from it." - guitarman

"Be gentle with yourself, you're doing the best you can." - Anon

"If it hurts it isn't love." - Kris Godinez, counsellor and author

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B.A. Mirror

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Re: I dared to say no
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2016, 03:40:28 AM »

I'm experiencing PTSD Post Traumatic Sister Disorder!

Yup - I know how that works!

Hang in there! She won't set her own boundaries show you love so you HAVE TO set them for yourself! If you didn't you'd be drained.

To paraphrase Anna Taylor: "Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious and limited.  You get to choose how you use them." 

Stay strong!
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

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guitarman

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Re: I dared to say no
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2016, 10:21:55 AM »
Thanks B.A. Mirror. I had a wobble this morning, typical PTSD Post Traumatic Sister Disorder symptoms - flash backs, adrenaline rush, panic, shaky etc. Think it was triggered by mental health website I'd been viewing, not this one.

I'm so familiar with anticipatory dread and hypervigilence. My body goes into panic mode and my sister has not even been in touch for a week.

I've just understood your name - be a mirror don't be a sponge - good advice.

I've spoken to another carer this morning so am feeling better now. I've got a carers meeting to go to this evening if I can get to it so that will be good.

"What if, what if, what if?" is going around my mind. I try and turn it into "so what" instead which helps.

Wishing you peace and quiet.

"Do not let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace." - Dalai Lama

"You don't have to be a part of it, you can become apart from it." - guitarman

"Be gentle with yourself, you're doing the best you can." - Anon

"If it hurts it isn't love." - Kris Godinez, counsellor and author

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biggerfish

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Re: I dared to say no
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2016, 10:25:45 AM »

"What if, what if, what if?" is going around my mind. I try and turn it into "so what" instead which helps.



LOL! You've just given me a gift. Thank you! I'm gonna do a whole lotta "so what" today.

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guitarman

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Re: I dared to say no
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2016, 10:27:35 AM »
Glad to have helped.
"Do not let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace." - Dalai Lama

"You don't have to be a part of it, you can become apart from it." - guitarman

"Be gentle with yourself, you're doing the best you can." - Anon

"If it hurts it isn't love." - Kris Godinez, counsellor and author