Hoovering?

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Candywarhol

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Hoovering?
« on: May 18, 2016, 01:57:30 PM »
I think I might need some sort of "sponsor" to coach me on this one:

I had to have my cat put to sleep on Sunday. He was 15 years old and became very ill. The vet
said it would be selfish to try and keep him alive.

My older uNPD sister sent me a message saying how sorry she was to hear about him. We hadn't had contact since January
before that stage the contact had been scant, to say the least and I haven't seen her since July last year.
I was the one who finally stopped making contact because she had completely changed the fabric of our relationship and basically "dropped" me as her best friend so I stopped running to her.

After I thanked her for her message, she began sending me photos of my nieces (with whom I was very close till their mother dropped me) and there was a fair volley of text messaging, albeit very superficial.
I've now switched off my phone. I'm really upset and confused. Is she genuinely trying to regain contact, hoovering or just trying to look like a good person, as in doing the right thing and as soon as I engage properly she'll drop me again?
I know none of you can answer this question but I can't ask anyone else for advice because nobody I know has been manipulated by a possible narc. It feels like a (not too)  old wound is being picked at.

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guitarman

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Re: Hoovering?
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2016, 09:17:38 PM »
Hello Candywarhol. I have a uBPD/uNPD sister.

I am so sorry to hear about your cat. That must have been all so upsetting for you. How very sad.

Maybe this is a genuine excuse that your sister needed to contact you. It was not about you or her but the sad loss of your cat. Something neutral between you both, that you both feel sad about. It is nice that she has sent you pictures of your nieces, which is a positive sign.

Maybe things have changed for you both since you went NC. However I know from my experience how behaviours can go in cycles and my sister can be so nice one moment and then very abusive soon afterwards. Sometimes the the calm times can be for a long time, sometimes they last a short time it depends what is going on in her life and how she reacts to stress.

I try and have very little to do with my sister. I very rarely call her but she visits me quite frequently. I try and be Medium Chill with her or Grey Rock. I try and detatch myself from her so that she will get support from other people. I care but can't cope.

Whatever happens I try and stay calm.

Hopefully you have changed since you've been posting on the boards and learnt more about how to behave differently towards your sister. Maybe your sister has changed too.

This is about what YOU want and how YOU want the relationship to continue and YOUR boundaries.

I wish you well for whatever happens in the future.

Best wishes.





« Last Edit: May 18, 2016, 09:20:42 PM by guitarman »
"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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Candywarhol

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Re: Hoovering?
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2016, 03:15:04 AM »
Thanks Guitarman (great name).
I suppose part of the problem is that I want what I can't have.
I'd like a stable, respectful, relatively predictable relationship with her.
My trust in her has been so dented that I don't think that relationship
is possible.
I'm grieving for the relationship that was, the inclusion, the sense of belonging - even though I now know that that
was all built on pretty shaky ground. With this most recent contact it's like a part of me is saying, "now carry on with
the relationship, you don't have to grieve anymore." Who wouldn't rather not grieve? But I can't open myself up for more
of her power-over crap. As you said, these behaviours have a cyclical nature. It feels right to stand my ground and protect myself but it's also very lonely.

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guitarman

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Re: Hoovering?
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2016, 06:23:38 AM »
Hello Candywarhol.

Like you I realise that things can never be the same as they once were with my sister as she has a serious long term mental health condition and I accept now that she won't probably ever change. I'm so sad about that but I can't change her, I can't fix her. Sometimes I see glimpses of the person she used to be but then she reverts. I don't get on her emotional roller coaster with her any more. I observe and don't absorb. That's my new mantra.

I have to protect myself first, at all times. There are so many things I would like to do and share with her but that can never be any more because I can leave myself open to be abused by her and I can't do that to myself any more. My sister needs long term specialist mental health support but won't get it because she doesn't believe that she has any mental health issues.

The patterns of disordered thinking and abusive behaviour will continue probably for the rest of her life as she has no insight into her own condition. She'll probably be a sad old lady as she alienates those very people who love and care about her the most, her family.

It's all so sad. I'm fed up being sad about it all, about her. It's OK to be happy when other people you care about are sad, upset or in a crisis.

Wishing you peace and happiness.

Best wishes.




« Last Edit: May 19, 2016, 06:26:00 AM by guitarman »
"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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Sunshine days

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Re: Hoovering?
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2016, 06:27:18 AM »
Well candywarhol, Dont fix her problem , you are not her fixer . I'm no contact and I have grown in that time out of a dysfunctional family system. I want what you want normality but now I am coming to terms it is never going to be normal and I am not opening myself up to them, they use and abuse you and I will get drained. All of a sudden I am a target , it's not fair I go through the sg role to being a outsider because they won't give in and show some compassion. My advise would be don't be tricked back in , they are only out for their own needs.

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alonenow

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Re: Hoovering?
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2016, 02:23:41 PM »
I think it could go both was one is using this moment to reach out to reestablish something ............you probably will never have the relationship you once had.  Or perhaps it is a point where she is in a normal cycle I have a sibling like this, I gave her many chances based on her normal cycle then only to be hit by her crazy cycle when I let my guard down.    It is so hard to tell........... I feel it is like gambling I only put in what I am willing to lose and do not let each win no matter the size cloud my judgement to put more in the game then I am comfortable to see wiped away. At the same time I can not win if I do not play either.

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Artsy

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Re: Hoovering?
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2016, 03:30:13 PM »
Hi. I can very much relate to your post.

Your quote: "I know none of you can answer this question but I can't ask anyone else for advice because nobody I know has been manipulated by a possible narc. It feels like a (not too)  old wound is being picked at."

I really think it might help to listen to your body on this one. That old-wound-being-picked-at feeling is evidence of how much that relationship hurts you. I also experience that picked-at feeling whenever I'm exposed to my older siblings. It's pretty awful, and I always feel like I experience a regression, every time I have to interact with them.

It's a trigger and a reminder of what I've been through and what I've lost. My brother sent me a "happy mother's day" post in a group text, and it threw me into confusion for days. I just deleted it, which feeds into the narrative that I'm the one whose being unreasonable, but, so be it. Whatever they say behind my back, is none of my business, right? I'm NC to get healthy.

I really liked how your post demonstrated how we are on a roller coaster. PD's are nice one moment and abusive the next. So what are we to do when they are being nice? Just get sucked back into the carnival, right?

Anyway, thanks for sharing. I really think it would help to just listen to your body. Anxiety symptoms? Loss of sleep? At best it has been distressing and sucked you into some confusion. Just know those feelings are primitive and protective. If your gut is saying, this is a Mad Hatter's Tea Party, then it probably is. That's my opinion anyway. I'm always told I'm paranoid by my PD family, and sometimes I am, but I sure wasn't born that way.

I think you articulated it perfectly. That feeling of inclusion... One of the things I've realized is that the hole that is left in my heart from going NC, must be filled. I've technically lost a family by going NC with all the flying monkeys lining up to turn everyone against me. I honestly think that that feeling of family can cause us to be sitting ducks, easily hoovered back in. But that need can be met by loving, non-biologically-related-to-me people. It just takes work and time to find people who can meet your mother-father-brother-sister needs.

I think that effort might take the sting out of the NC and is another way to bolster health which is the point of NC. If NC leads us to realize ongoing NC is needed, than we really need to access a loving, healthy community (wherever we can find it) to help with times like the one your describing, don't you think?

So sorry about your kitty, too :(
"I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone." Robin Williams.

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StressedStep

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Re: Hoovering?
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2016, 03:04:32 PM »
Candy, you must have had good reasons to break off contact with your sister in the first place.  Please remind yourself of those reasons.  Unless your PD sister has recently completed years of intensive therapy, I can pretty much guarantee that no matter how nice she is being right now, once you allow yourself to be sucked back into an active relationship with her things will go back the way they were.

What you have to weigh is whether a few happy reasonable moments with your sister are worth the emotional abuse you will suffer as a result.

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Candywarhol

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Re: Hoovering?
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2016, 09:06:47 AM »
Thank you all for your helpful answers and support!
Sunshine days, It's exactly that feeling of being an outsider that is so unfair!
      There is a family event this weekend that I'm not going to because they will be there. The excuse I used is
      that it's a Sunday and I live so far away, I'd have to take Monday and possibly Tuesday off work. I can't stand
      the thought of them acting all lovey-dovey with the other members of the extended family and behaving
      like nothing is wrong, nobody is missing. I don't deserve to be on the outside but to protect myself, I have to be!
      That's effed up. "they use and abuse you and I will get drained" - very true.

 Thanks, Artsy for mentioning the trigger element. That is how I feel, triggered. That can't be a healthy sign. I've recently learned that
      my sister has deepened her relationship with some other family members since I've been off the scene and I now feel she might want me back in
      momentarily in order to show me how many people she can collect - "roller coaster"!
I called her for her birthday last week and she was all sweet, saying things like, "It's good to hear your voice". My inner voice said "step away carefully, you're being sucked in". The next moment I'm thinking maybe I'm paranoid and maybe (as guitar man said) she's genuinely trying to make up. Confused anyone??!
You're also dead right about creating family of choice or letting one
      develop. I've been amazed at how many old friends have come back into my life and how many new ones I've made since being v.low to no contact.
      These relationships are all new but maybe they'll develop into the type of support system and groups to share good times with that I want.
      Right now, though, I'm very grateful that you mentioned triggering because I realise that I'm in an emotional flash back as I write.

"What you have to weigh is whether a few happy reasonable moments with your sister are worth the emotional abuse you will suffer as a result", also true StressedStep
thanks. I just need to find a way of being at family gatherings without feeling sick at the thought of being in the same room with her and my other flying monkey sister.

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Sunshine days

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Re: Hoovering?
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2016, 05:36:15 PM »
Candywarhol, you need to not think you are the problem and thinking of ways of how to handle it. You need to just be you and accept yourself the way you are. They want us being needy, fixing stuff but they will never look at themselves and think there is anything wrong with them. So maybe you need to let go of ever wanting what is normal , you are normal they aren't normal. I look back with my sister on how easy going I was she dipped in and out when it suited her, she was playing with me, now I don't want anything to do with her. She isn't a nice sister and I accept that now, I was forgiving but when I let out all my hurt I was amazed at how I stuffed all my real feelings down. No one can play me again because I am normal and kind . They don't want a relationship deep down because that means give and take . They act as though nothing is wrong because they don't care. It's a head pill to swallow , good luck

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Candywarhol

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Re: Hoovering?
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2016, 04:19:41 AM »
Thanks Sunshine days. I didn't see the extent to my sister's abuse for years because it wasn't
directed at me. The expression "Out of the FOG" is really on the money cos it really did feel like
normality being in that family.
Mine wasn't the way some people describe their siblings here, as in being very obviously off-kilter.
It's all more intangible and subsumed so that gas lighting and crazy-making are very effective
now that she's turned.
I feel all you've written is correct but I'm still adjusting, processing and accepting.
That's why this site os so helpful.
Thank you again  :wave:

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Sunshine days

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Re: Hoovering?
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2016, 08:10:37 PM »
Omg ! Processing can't come enough for me . I am so glad I ain't doubled over in pain , that was a real hard road, still is but letting out all my unhealed hurts was the making of me . Now I want a front row seat , make sure you bring your sunglasses with you. Well done and keep going , it's funny isn't it as we get stronger it must of all happened as my mind knows it and knows what I went through. Every thing we need is inside of ourselves , be vigilant and keep believing in yourself , it's the journey ( experience)  that makes us have faith that we are so much better then them. I know the gas lightening you speak of it makes me feel fuzzy in the head , I was telling some stranger about it all today and she says they are selfish when I used the word evil. I am not sure how intangible they are but my friend uses the word untouchable , they just don't take responsibility for themselves as its mind numbing when you wake up to them . So glad I am stronger then I was, are you getting strong to? I would like to see more into their realm to know more truths. We don't know how they operate until we get healed? I use to think I was ahead of the game but apparently pd are because it is their own game. I believe no contact is the best way x

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Candywarhol

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Re: Hoovering?
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2016, 09:13:05 PM »
My processing seems to be one step forward two steps back. I thought I was getting stronger. In fact I thought I was almost over it. I was talking to a fried with a similar background two days ago, filling her in on how I was feeling, which was good and detached.
Then yesterday I spoke to a family member who told me that my uNPD sister was definitely going to a family event this weekend, which I'm avoiding because of the risk of seeing her and my flying monkey sister. The family member also told me how my sister had apparently become so close to certain other relatives in the time that I've been LC - NC.
Cue massive emotional flashback sending me reeling right back to my therapists office today.
My therapist asked me if I was jealous of my sister being close to others. Good question but it didn't resonate.
I'm also conflicted in the sense that this event involves at least 20 other people that I'd love to spend time with.
I asked myself why I should further punish myself by staying away. It feels so unfair but the truth is, no matter how many other loving people are i the room, I just don't feel comfortable with uNPD sis and flying monkey!
It's a head-f... and no mistake.
It's great that you can take an analytical observational standpoint, Sunshine days. Hope I get there soon because I'm utterly sick of feeling like this. I feel moony and whingy and pathetic, which is not my natural state at all.

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Sunshine days

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Re: Hoovering?
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2016, 08:27:21 PM »
Candywarhol, you are allowed to feel like that , claim it and accept it. I am not the same person I use to be bouncy ,bubbly , lively exuberant but now I am cautious and getting over my hurt still. Of course I am better but realistically I am damaged. I was thinking today is this my damaged state forever and then I thought maybe it is, I am damaged . I am middle aged and I keep thinking have I got time on my side to at least live my own life. Then I forget I am doing ok and i have to recall I have no identity as it was enmeshed in my narc mother, the thing I want to see is me as a person so I work hard on myself , I ordered new clothes so this week I feel good . I use to not treat myself as my narc never treated herself well but I try so hard to feel better then I use to do and I know time love and patience will cure me and so it is with you. I think you should go you need a growth spurt out of your present state, you have courage and strength they don't have , I believe you can do this and it will work for your own good. Message me all day and we can support you here at Out of the FOG. You have to show them you are stronger , they know you are and are cowards but you have to believe you can handle this. I have your back x

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Sunshine days

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Re: Hoovering?
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2016, 08:35:00 PM »
Sometimes you have to go to the place you will hurt to be healed the most x

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Candywarhol

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Re: Hoovering?
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2016, 06:54:50 PM »
Thank you Sunshine days!!
Your caution is something that resonates with me.
Since going LC-NC a lot of new people have come into my life.
One or two of them are very exuberant and readily compliment me, which makes me back off in case I'm being love-bombed.
It's crap not knowing what kind of judgement is solid individuated judgement and what comes from trauma :(

Thanks again ;) ;)

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Sunshine days

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Re: Hoovering?
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2016, 10:10:24 AM »
Anytime, I am enjoying talking to you candywarhol, yes it's difficult but we will suss it out. My close friend came through the trauma as she was connected via family , I believe we where meant to connect and I poured out my heart ache out to her, I never knew I was about to crack but I did and now I am better and healed for it. She is a nice calm person but I get bored with her as she isn't exuberant , her illness play apart and sometimes she reminds me of my mother ( pity party). What's real and what is not real, but I just remind myself it doesn't matter it is more about me then what she does. Putting myself first is really working for me but it takes me a bit to see myself to do it. When I use to be love bombed it felt fuzzy and I fell in but when I was once love bombed online in a group I recognised it and I was proud of myself. The more I get secure in myself the better my outlook, we are working through stuff and need to process it .

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Mimi37

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Re: Hoovering?
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2016, 10:54:32 AM »
Hi,

I can really relate to your post and lots of comments on here. I totally understand the feeling you get of an old scab/wound being re-opened...I've lost count of the amount of times my sister has been in contact with me with seemingly good intentions and shortly after she has crept her way back into my life she is back to manipulating me and slagging me off to others and basically being a toxic poison in my life...but the fact is they never really change unless they can admit they've a problem and as my sister has informed me she "has no flaws" and claims equally if she did she would "admit" to them.  My sister also has the common and regular habit/hobby of "cutting me and my children out of her life" making it really awkward for the rest of our family.
I've also lost count of the times where I've been made feel unwelcome at family events because the family have to accommodate her as they're too frightened of the outcome if they were to point out how badly behaved she can be and openly patronising to me.
Every time my sister gets back in touch I want to trust her but I can't and I am now completely guarded and my sister claims I "hold a grudge" but when you've been hurt so many times by someone, you need to protect yourself. I am a great believer that eventually everyone will see her true colours...you can't hide a destructive personality/PD for years...no matter how deceitful...it's taken my parents 34 years to see my sister for what she really is...but even now they still allow her to "put on them" constantly. I can't tell them what to do but I won't let her drag my heart through the mud anymore and I really feel for you...
It's also very easy to get stuck in a rut of not trusting others because of how your sibling has treated you...I can really relate to that.
My sister has often woven a web of lies about me and the "people" including some family members..who've listened to my sister have felt it their duty to also let me know they feel I've been a "bad sister" to her or they've gone out of their way to be nasty to me in an effort to fight her battles for her...which is totally typical, I believe of someone with a PD...getting others to fight their battles or add to the abuse others suffer at their hands.

What you need to do is like guitarman said earlier (I think it was him anyway) become a spectator as such. I had a family support worker who once gave me the best advice which was be like "Alice through the looking glass" just observe don't get sucked in...look after yourself...it shows that you are a kind person for thinking/hoping for change/good from your sister. I often wonder if I'm messed up because as much as I want to hope my sister will change of that she might be doing or might do something without an ulterior motive...my sister has offered to organise my 40th...which is 3 years away yet, but all of my friends have already said if she organises it they won't come because she has upset so many of them!

Fondest wishes Hun, look after yourself.x

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Mimi37

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Re: Hoovering?
« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2016, 10:57:39 AM »
P.s I really feel for you, my 3 and a half year old Labrador developed a rapid aggressive tumour less than two weeks ago and I had to have her put to sleep...I've cried every day since...its devestating losing a pet as they are so much more than "just a pet" so I can fully understand how fragile you will feel too.x

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Sunshine days

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Re: Hoovering?
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2016, 06:45:23 PM »
Mimi37 , great post , I love your wisdom x