Not Who I Thought She Was

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arynne

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Not Who I Thought She Was
« on: June 15, 2016, 12:16:44 PM »
Things seemed OK... Until my roommate - one of my best friends for over ten years - gave me the Silent Treatment for three days. And on day 3, I Googled "silent treatment," which brought me to Out of the FOG, and then...

In two months of living together, my roommate/former trusted friend has abused me using:
  • Imposed Isolation
  • Lying
  • Moments of Clarity / Hoovering
  • Munchausen's Syndrome
  • Not-My-Fault Syndrome
  • Normalizing
  • Objectification
  • Passive-Aggressive Behavior
  • Relationship Hyper Vigilance
  • Sabotage
  • Selective Competence
  • Self Victimization
  • Sense of Entitlement
  • Silent Treatment
  • Situational Ethics
  • Sleep Deprivation
  • Testing
  • Triggering & Over Reacting
...and those are just the tactics I'm consciously aware of and have been able to identify.

It's taken me days to identify her negative behaviors.

And I am angry and anxious, all the time now.

I avoid her - I stay away from home until I'm sure she's in bed. I am full up on abuse, and I'm unwilling to accept any additional interactions with her until I've finished processing the old ones (which is a considerably big batch, and I am not fast at this, due to lack of practice). In the meantime I feel myself detaching from my idea of who I thought she was, and accepting of who she actually is.

So I'm mourning.

And I'm feeling like I'm too trusting, and a poor judge of character. Which bodes ill for the rest of my life unless I can figure out how to be less gullible without losing my empathy or ability to form relationships with genuinely good people.

Meh.

I'm here for support and advice, and so I can feel like I'm not alone. I welcome anything you have to say.

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Aardvark

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Re: Not Who I Thought She Was
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2016, 12:34:17 PM »
arynne,
You aren't alone. That's why this site exists. Since you're familiar with the site you have probably seen the toolbox tab, resources, etc. And this forum. Know that there are many others here who have experienced similar things and we're here to help. Don't feel bad about taking so long to ID bad behaviors and abuse. I found this site in March after over 40 years of marriage to a woman, who sounds similar to your roommate. You know something is wrong and now you know where to get help. Please keep in touch and let us help you as we're able to.
"It is better to be careful 100 times than to get killed once."
Mark Twain

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Malini

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Re: Not Who I Thought She Was
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2016, 01:31:48 PM »
Arynne,
If you read some of the posts on this particular board, you will see that you are not alone.

In my case, it took me 40 years to see the PD behaviour in two of my oldest friends. My eyes were opened far too late and only because I began working in my relationship with my PD parents and then started joining up the dots with respect to my 'friends'.

On the contrary, I think it does 'bode well' for the future, because you have become aware of disordered behaviours and you will learn to be more wary, how  to set boundaries, how to recognise these people from afar and take a long detour around them.

Don't be too hard on yourself, I still prefer to believe people are 'good' rather than bad, but am less generous with giving bad behaviour the benefit of the doubt. I hope people don't think I've lost my empathy just because I'm making healthy choices about who I want to spend my time with. You too can do that. I was a 'saviour-fixer', it's who I was trained to be by my parents. I can still be empathetic and supportive without losing myself in the process and allowing abusive behaviour to continue. The two things are not mutually exclusive.

Take the time to mourn and don't lose confidence in your capacity to grow as a person and make and sustain healthy and mutually satisfying relationships in the future.
"How do you do it?" said night
"How do you wake and shine?"
"I keep it simple." said light
"One day at a time" - Lemn Sissay

'I think it's important to realise that you can miss something, but not want it back' Paul Coelho

'We accept the love we think we deserve' Stephen Chbosky

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arynne

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Re: Not Who I Thought She Was
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2016, 11:03:24 PM »
Thanks for your kind words.

I've taken time to research and reflect, and I've decided my next step is to write down and get very clear on my Boundaries. (Once that's done, I feel like I'll be better equipped to communicate those Boundaries clearly to my roommate.) I'm using outofthefog.website/what-to-do-2/2015/12/3/boundaries as a guideline.

I made a spreadsheet with these columns:

Boundary Description - What my boundary is. For example: "I do not accept subject changes when I am telling a person how one of their abusive behaviors is affecting me."

Out of Bounds - What qualifies as a boundary violation. For example: "I reject the idea that 'we need' to discuss all their concerns before we discuss the one topic that I just raised."

How I Will Respond to Boundary Violations - This is me rehearsing my response. For example: "I am hearing that you have a similar complaint. I am willing to discuss that complaint after I finish explaining my complaint, and you have had a chance to respond to my complaint."

Evaluation - This is me doublechecking my planned responses to see whether I will be causing the other person pain that causes injury, or pain that causes growth. I can't control her behavior, but I can control mine.

My list of Boundaries, Violations, and Responses is a work in progress, but, it's giving me hope that I can make my boundaries clear to myself. Then I can rehearse in the mirror, and ultimately, I can take action and try to improve my situation (instead of continuing to avoid all interactions with my roommate).

This is proving to be a pretty hopeful exercise for me! It's a step I wish I'd thought to take before now. Better late than never!