Lack of boundaries in PD families

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VividImagination

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Lack of boundaries in PD families
« on: March 29, 2016, 12:38:05 AM »
I've noticed more and more as I've come OOTF the dysfunction that still lingers in my FOO, even though our NPD mother is dead. Like most, we were raised with nearly zero boundaries...NM felt entitled to anything and everything, and nothing was private or personal. She had an opinion on everything that happened in our lives and made them loud and clear, and becoming adults changed nothing.

All of my siblings and I are relatively mentally healthy (as much as you can be after a lifetime of every kind of abuse) with varying degrees of fleas. One that I have noticed recently is the one I referenced above: lack of boundaries and respect for each other's personal lives in varying degrees, depending on the person.

One sister, due to being completely enmeshed as NM's caretaker until her death was never able to date, despite being in her mid-thirties (only the children of PDs will understand that concept!). She has now begun a relationship but is, in my estimation, being prudent and taking things slowly. Another sister and her H, however, have formed a very suspicious and unflattering opinion of this man after one meeting. Another sister (confused yet?  ;D) is suspicious as well based on Sister #1's opinion, despite having never met the man (nor have I).

Any time this relationship is brought up it is bashed and questioned to the point where the sister in question will no longer mention it to anyone but me. I've reminded my siblings that we are all adults and entitled to our own decisions, and that I respect and support whatever this sister chooses. One sister is smart/healthy enough to realize this, and our brother is too wrapped up in his own young family to care. But  the suspicious and very vocal one (who is in desperate need of a flea dip) seems to feel it is her personal mission in life to make sure this inexperienced sister doesn't make a huge mistake. I've pointed out that mistakes are simply how we grow and learn, and she doesn't hear it because in her mind she is entitled to an opinion on our personal lives (NM, anyone?)  Sigh. Generally the only way to get through to her is be blunt, to the point, and sometimes downright ugly, but since I don't have a dog in this race I will let them hash it out. I remember well what I put up with when I met my foreign DH online nearly fifteen years ago when that kind of thing just wasn't done.

It's just amazing what you recognize now. I don't agree with many of the decisions the suspicious sister makes, but they are between her and her H, not her and her siblings. Just because someone tells you about a situation doesn't mean that you get to beat them over the head with your opinion. It's invalidating and makes it seem that their judgement is inadequate.

Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries...I'd never even heard of the term until I discovered this board, and I've come to realize how vital they are to every relationship there is.
There are three solutions to every problem: accept it, change it, or leave it. If you cannot accept it, change it. I f you cannot change it, leave it.

Sometimes you're damned if you don't and damned if you do, so damn well do what's best for you.

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Reda

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Re: Lack of boundaries in PD families
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2016, 08:56:56 AM »
How sad.  It's like they don't want her to be happy.

Maybe you should express that same sentiment to your newly-dating sister that you did to flea-ridden sister.  Something like "You know how this family can get when it comes to being judgemental and butting in where they don't belong.  I just want to tell you that I think it's great you are dating, I'm trilled to see you so happy, and I'm here to support you.  If you ever need someone to talk to that isn't going to judge you or gossip about you to the rest of the family, I'm your girl."

... (who is in desperate need of a flea dip) ...

That line is Hilarious.
Don't feed the Narcissist

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practical

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Re: Lack of boundaries in PD families
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2016, 09:50:42 AM »
Both M and F often did a thing where they would say: "Could you talk to F/M about such and such, he/she will listen to you?" involving me in their problems, . My B has picked up some of this and I'm trying to stay away. He'll call me to talk to his wife, only if his wife does not want to do something, why should I have the magic charm to convince her otherwise just because I have been in a similar situation? If she reaches out to me and wants my advice I'm happy to provide it, but otherwise I try to steer clear of being drawn into other people's relationship as a fixer for problems they cannot resolve. I have done it enough with my parents and on sober reflection my record is ZERO, as I had no influence over my PD parents, still don't.
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VividImagination

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Re: Lack of boundaries in PD families
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2016, 10:48:30 AM »
Reda that is an excellent idea. I'm actually off to do that now.
There are three solutions to every problem: accept it, change it, or leave it. If you cannot accept it, change it. I f you cannot change it, leave it.

Sometimes you're damned if you don't and damned if you do, so damn well do what's best for you.

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daughter

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Re: Lack of boundaries in PD families
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2016, 11:02:52 AM »
I think the "caretaker" child of a npd-parent is often stuck in that role in regards to their npd-enmeshed siblings too, where the parentified child turns into the adult-child with principal eldercare responsibility, who's then expected to selflessly helpful and always be "available" for their adult siblings too, in some adjunct "servant" role.  I'm FOO SG and former "dutiful daughter"; I've a NBM and a NF and one sibling, GC "princess" nsis.  Not only was I parentified as a child, with adult household and family-business responsibilities, while also responsible for "keeping mom happy", but I was also expected to "mother" nsis, generously give to nsis whatever she sought of mine, "be helpful" to nsis, and never put my own needs and preferences first, in a non-reciprocated way:  I gave; NM, NF, and nsis "took".  And yes, none of them ever understood that I might disagree with their proffered agenda, with their demands of me, with their callous calculus that demeaned me into second-class member of my FOO Family.  And when I was no longer willing to be that "dutiful daughter/devoted sister", both NBM and nsis unceremoniously dumped me, tacitly shunned me, until I decided to "accept the truth" and go NC myself with entire family.  I suspect that your siblings suspicions concerning your "caretaker" sister's new boyfriend have a component of self-interest too. 

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all4peace

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Re: Lack of boundaries in PD families
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2016, 12:38:21 PM »
I see this as a lack of boundaries, but also just a negative outlook on life.

In H's family, it feels like there are always sharks circling, looking for blood. That's what your story makes me feel, like your sister is just looking for the first possible thing to criticize, unless you believe she's genuinely concerned for your other sister.

I just believe that in healthy families, there's a lot of tolerance for differences and other people's ability/intelligence to make good decisions. But that in unhealthy families, if it's not done as "I" would do it, then it's wrong/bad/stupid.

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VividImagination

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Re: Lack of boundaries in PD families
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2016, 12:56:21 PM »

I just believe that in healthy families, there's a lot of tolerance for differences and other people's ability/intelligence to make good decisions. But that in unhealthy families, if it's not done as "I" would do it, then it's wrong/bad/stupid.

This is it exactly, and it's a trait taken directly from NM...one that we detested, but seem doomed to repeat.
There are three solutions to every problem: accept it, change it, or leave it. If you cannot accept it, change it. I f you cannot change it, leave it.

Sometimes you're damned if you don't and damned if you do, so damn well do what's best for you.

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all4peace

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Re: Lack of boundaries in PD families
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2016, 02:14:11 PM »
Ugh--it's such a toxic one. It feels impossible to me to be happy and safe in a family where there's so much judgment and criticism.