Mean Mommy + uBPD sibling bride = Wedding drama

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IAmReady

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Mean Mommy + uBPD sibling bride = Wedding drama
« on: May 28, 2016, 08:57:20 PM »
My only sibling, a younger sister, got married last week at a destination wedding. I've written here several times about her, how our relationship used to be very close. A traumatic event 7 years ago triggered a night and day shift in her attitude and treatment of me. I now believe that she shifted from idealizing/love bombing me to devaluation, and there I've been ever since.

My main issue, however, wasn't with the bride. I'll get to her in a bit. It was my mother who ended up causing me the most grief over the weekend. My mother is still married to my uNPD father, and is the daughter of an uNPD mother. She is the classic enabler/codependent, and IMO should probably never have had children. I literally have no memories of her being loving and affectionate with me when I was a kid - no caresses or anything. My sister says the same. I don't remember her being a loving refuge of warmth that I could turn to when life became overwhelming or scary.

My mother has always had a mean streak - it usually comes out when she's drinking. My father calls her "acid tongue." For some reason, my sister's wedding was triggering my mother's mean side, and I was totally caught by surprise when she bullied me in front of others on several occasions.

I should mention that I gained 40+ pounds over the course of my relationship with my ex uNPD/ASPD (I left him a month ago). I stopped sleeping, got depressed, lost the energy to exercise, started eating too much takeout food, and ballooned up at least 4 dress sizes. I showed up at my sister's wedding the heaviest I've been ever in my entire life. Great! It's comforting to know that this awful phase of my life will be forever immortalized by the wedding photographers.

One of the ways my uNPD father has exerted control over my mom, sister and me, is through our weight. We were always expected to stay very slim and trim. My mother, to this day, is borderline anorexic in order to maintain her tiny physique. I'm sure she was no doubt horrified to see me looking so bloated and dumpy. Perhaps my weight gain made me an easy target for her "acid tongue." A couple of examples:

1) The day before the wedding, everyone went in separate groups to explore the nearby tourist town. I went with some friends, and we ran into my mother, wandering the town with my uncle and aunt. While we all stood there chatting, my mother began commenting on how lovely all the women looked. Then she turned and gestured disdainfully at me, "And Jane. Well..." (Jane is the name I use on this forum). It felt like she slapped me out of nowhere. I suddenly felt humiliated, and it took hours before I could shake off the feeling.

2) At the rehearsal dinner, I was standing in a group with my mother and some other relatives. We were talking about pets, and how, when you have a baby, the poor dog ends up neglected and forgotten. My mother laughed that she never thought she would love Jane (me) as much as her dog. The way she said it (I wish I could remember her exact words) was so insulting. She was making me the butt of her jokes, and I didn't find it funny one bit.

3) The rehearsal dinner ended, and it was late, and I wanted to go back to the house where we were staying. My father had the key, and my mother made a big stink about me approaching him and asking for it (he was doing an informal last minute review with the bride and groom over the ceremony the next day, and his role in it). They were in a crowded room full of people, all of them were tipsy, and I knew wouldn't mind a bit if I grabbed the key from him. My mother began snapping her fingers at me from across the room, commanding me not to approach him. I just ignored her, but was still stung that she was acting like that.

The uPD sibling bride was (thankfully) fine for the most part. She was high on wedding euphoria, and didn't have time for drama. She only caused me pain once the entire long weekend, for which I am grateful. This is what happened:

She began referring to one of the long distance guests as her "best friend" right in front of me. This woman she has known since college. They live across the country from each other now but have kept in touch. They have definitely been close, but "best friend" was always the title she gave to me. Her behavior altered towards me a few years ago after the traumatic event, and she began exhibiting a lot of PD traits in her treatment of me. I often feel bad about myself after spending time with her.

While we were at the rehearsal dinner, this other friend was sitting on a couch with my sister and me, and one of the groom's family approached, wanting an introduction. My sister referred to me as "my sister" and then said, "and this is my best friend" in regards to the other woman. Very casual. I felt like I'd been punched in the stomach. She would go on to do it several more times over the course of the weekend. I realized I'd been officially demoted, in a hurtful and public way.

How do you manage hurt feelings when dealing with toxic, spiteful, dysfunctional family drama? How do you avoid ending up the unofficial family punching bag? Advice welcome.



« Last Edit: May 28, 2016, 09:05:26 PM by IAmReady »

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closure_with_clarity

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Re: Mean Mommy + uBPD sibling bride = Wedding drama
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2016, 10:31:06 PM »
How do you manage hurt feelings when dealing with toxic, spiteful, dysfunctional family drama? How do you avoid ending up the unofficial family punching bag? Advice welcome.

First and foremost I'd like to give you a hug and remind you that it isn't you, but them (your toxic FOO). I have avoided being the family punching bag and doormat by limiting contact with them. One of the hardest things to do was to stop attending FOO family gatherings where my presence wasn't so much wanted, but demanded as an extra to play the part of "see look at us what a whole, close, and loving family we are".  That public faked persona is one thing, for behind the scenes the FOO are like a pack of rats that eat their own  :upsidedown: I have always had social anxiety around my large extended FOO and even as a child dreaded those occassions I was forced or expected to be there. I'd walk on egg shells the whole time the target of passive aggressive verbal jabs, jokes, and put downs. I didn't have a good time, but only walked away feeling mentally wiped for days.

I don't have anxiety around a group of strangers or FOC I feel comfortable with. The social anxiety only popped up when I was forced to pretend and play a part around my FOO. So I have stopped going to these "staged public displays of affection" for it is nothing but pretending and enabling. Since coming OOTF about 6 years ago, I started passing on these invitations, and gradually the invites have just stopped in regards to my FOO. Of course they still expect gifts, but that's a whole other thing...LOL  :stars:

You are likely off the hook for awhile so sigh a huge breath of relief. The next big thing will be a baby shower if your sis gets PG. Put it on the back burner for now and just decompress from this wedding. I've found we are damned if we do or damned if we don't when it comes to a toxic FOO, so now I just don't even bother. My emotional health is much more valuable to me, which helps me to be able to say "no". 

:bighug:
« Last Edit: May 28, 2016, 10:33:18 PM by closure_with_clarity »
Let go of the people that dull your shine. Poison your spirit. And bring you drama. Cancel your subscription to their issues.  :)

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Brigid O.

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Re: Mean Mommy + uBPD sibling bride = Wedding drama
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2016, 10:43:35 PM »
Dear Iamready:
What a terrible month you've had !  I'm so sorry for the pain they caused you.

I'm going to give your FOO the benefit of the doubt here, which may be wrong, but I'll assume that they didn't MEAN to hurt you.  However, even with this concession, they have no empathy.  They can't put themselves in your shoes and see how their behavior might affect you.  They don't care if they hurt you.  They are the only ones capable of being hurt -- not you.  The best thing to take away is that YOU DO HAVE EMPATHY AND CARING; that's a great thing.

However, I would say about your sister not referring to you as her "best friend" -- that probably was meant to hurt or needle you.  I'm sorry; my PD sister saves up little digs and jabs at me and brings them out years later.  I think she studies how to hurt me.   I actually confront her on the mean comments and say, "Now, PD sister, be accurate, now."  I'm not quiet or accepting of it any  more.  I try to take comfort in the fact that I would never intentionally hurt someone else and and I believe the same of you, Iamready !