Why do we need to choose?

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Why do we need to choose?
« on: April 12, 2016, 12:18:55 AM »
Hello Everyone,
I am so sad that my very uPD sister has split our family apart.  Most of all, I feel like I need to pick a "side" and this really upsets me.  I care about all of my family, including the people my sister is mad at.  Her illness has gotten so bad that I don't see her returning anywhere close to normal.  She is in denial and surrounds herself with people who agree with her very unhealthy view of the world and her family.

So how do I handle an upcoming family wedding to which all family members have been invited?  Any coping strategies or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you very much.



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Re: Why do we need to choose?
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2016, 08:42:46 AM »
Welcome iwin. You are not alone.

I have a uBPD/uNPD sister. There is lots of information on this website about how to cope. If you see the Toolbox section there is information about how to and how not to respond. The willingness to change and to do things differently as carers I think is key in how we learn to behave around the people in our lives either undiagnosed or diagnosed with a personality disorder.

I've learnt that I can't change my sister's behaviour I can only change mine.

Weddings and family occasions can be stressful events. I know. Many have been posting here about weddings recently. We had a terrible time with my sister on my brother's wedding day. I had to call for ambulance and police for her on that morning! So I know how bad things can get.

I know what you mean when it feels that you have to choose what side you have to be on. That's happened to me as well. Of course you can't. It's all about the black and white thinking of the PD person. You are either their friend or their enemy and nothing in between.

If you talk about your feelings and learn to validate theirs that can help. My rule is to always stay calm no matter what. I've learnt not to get on the emotional roller coaster with them.

I have two brothers and my sister wants me to pick sides. I can't and I don't. I say to her that I'm not responsible for what my brothers say or do. It's really hard to be stuck in the middle and to be the peacemaker.

Your sister sounds very much like mine. There may come a time when you have to actually choose a side for your own sanity and wellbeing and have no communication with her. She's put you in a very difficult position where she knows you can't decide.

My sister alienates everyone who cares about her and loves her the most, her own family, because of her own behaviour towards them but she doesn't see that. She is emotionally blind to other people's feelings. It's her condition. She just can't do it.

I've accepted that my sister is probably never going to change. She has no insight into her own behaviour and mental health condition, even though she is high functioning. Like you she has some strange views of the world and surrounds herself with people who share the same views. She tells them about our family and of course they agree with her because they've never met us and heard our side of the situation.

I hope the wedding goes well and you all have a lovely time. Stay calm and strong.

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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Re: Why do we need to choose?
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2016, 09:50:07 PM »
Hi iwin -  welcome to OOTF. My heart goes out to you as I know first hand the deep damage a PDsibling can do to an entire family system. I am so sorry you are dealing with this. One thing that I determine in my heart to do was to continue to attend and support family members and attend large functions like weddings. I wasn't willing to miss out on one single thing and have learned some great tools since coming here.

A couple of things come to mind immediately and they are: Medium Chill Technique and The Gray Rock Method found here: http://180rule.com/the-gray-rock-method-of-dealing-with-psychopaths/

One wise member here says that Gray Rock is a way to not draw attention to yourself and Medium Chill is a way to assert your boundaries and not engage when pressed to do so.

I find that larger gatherings like weddings make it easy to get lost in a crowd or excuse myself to go and talk with someone else when "caught" in a difficult spot.

The toolbox that guitarman mentioned is also a great place to find more techniques and ideas. It is really sad when things get this bad and it is stressful thinking about how to stay out of the middle. Some topics that may also be interesting and helpful to you are: Triangulation, Splitting, and Boundaries.

Another suggestion would be to post a question on the common behaviors board asking the community for ideas and how they have used medium chill (MC) and Gray Rock in dealing with their PD loved ones.

We are glad you are here. Settle in and look around and make full use of the resources at the drop down menus above. We welcome your participation.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2016, 09:57:05 PM by Bloomie »



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Re: Why do we need to choose?
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2016, 12:47:17 AM »
Guitarman and Bloomie,
Thank you so much for your kindness and supportive words and ideas.  I will check the resources you have suggested. 
Thank you again.



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Re: Why do we need to choose?
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2016, 10:04:02 AM »

My MIL is very much that type of a person...you have to pick sides or else and it is very frustrating.  I am currently not in contact with my MIL, but when I was, I found medium chill to be helpful.  My sister also has some issues herself and I use medium chill on her quite a bit.  My sister is not as disordered as my MIL and I find that by making boundaries and sticking to them, while employing medium chill, that I can still have a r/s with my sister.

I wish you best of luck at the wedding!