wondering if reconnecting is a good idea

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butterfly11

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wondering if reconnecting is a good idea
« on: June 29, 2016, 06:05:30 PM »
I don't know if my sister has BPD or not. After years of observation and too much research for my own well-being, that's what I've concluded.

The problem I've been having is that the more distance I've had, the more I'm aware of her suffering. How? Because she's been more open on her blog (which could be a sign of her own healing). There was no way for me to ever know what goes inside her except for what I read about how people with the disorder feel inside.

It's interesting to read her blog because it's not directed at me (the normal hostility and bitchiness and blame). It's most likely coming straight from her heart because it's not directed at anyone in particular. And this is what's causing me distress. I have long known she suffered but couldn't deal with the fallout from it. I'd just decided I'd had enough. But I can't help reading her posts and pretending I don't see the pain.

I can't say who has "estranged" whom. It wasn't a deliberate no contact. She's cut herself off from me as much as I have her, and after the death of our mother and the insanity that followed with her as executor of the estate, I was wiped out once and for all.

I think her pain is something I have avoided thinking about because I was too hurt from years of being on the receiving end of her issues. And I could clearly see that she wasn't going to change so I would always be targeted even if she didn't realize she was doing it. I simply didn't know how, and not sure I still do, to stay connected, especially because she isn't officially diagnosed with BPD so we can't even add it to our discussion. I have to just pretend I cause her all sorts of pain and deserve to be punished for it.

Have any people here had siblings get diagnosed where it started to change the dynamic? Would that be different for you?

It really is just killing me. It makes me so distraught even as I recall all the terrible times. Most people on this forum just recount episodes and analyze their PD's behavior. It's a pretty handy tool for avoiding what's really going on inside the PD. How do most of you cope with this?

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Muggins

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Re: wondering if reconnecting is a good idea
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2016, 12:39:54 AM »
I keep asking myself what would need to happen for me to reconnect with my sister. I come here and read posts hoping that a comment will trigger a light bulb moment for me.

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Lillith65

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Re: wondering if reconnecting is a good idea
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2016, 01:53:09 PM »
Someone with a PD who does not have insight - whether they are capable or not of achieving it - is still harmful to those around them.
Yes, those with BPD do suffer - that is part of the disorder - but that does not mean that you have to accept the abuse.
It's like any other animal in pain and lashing out. The humane thing to do is to offer help but you also need to avoid getting bitten. Only you can decide whether you are prepared to risk being hurt as a consequence of offering support.
You also have to decide whether getting involved would lead to co-dependency/enabling/enmeshment and how you can prevent this.
You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep someone else warm - anonymous.

Part of my story: https://www.outofthefog.net/forum/index.php?topic=54885.msg488293#msg488293
https://www.outofthefog.net/forum/index.php?topic=54892.msg488385#msg488385

NC uPDM; NC uBPDSis

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SquarePegs80

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Re: wondering if reconnecting is a good idea
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2016, 03:06:49 PM »
It's hard enough being married 28 years to a PD let alone have a sibling that could possibly be one. Yes, they have pain as I know my husband suffers daily and has gone through DBT and works everyday to use the skills he has learned. Does your sister's blog talk at all about therapy or getting help for her personality and issues with those she has harmed? My husband is like a snake I've been dealing with thinking that I couldn't get bit but I have been bit way too many times and have caught on to his behavior even though he was in Dialectical Behavior Therapy for 3 years! Caution always proceed with caution when it comes to PD's whether professionally diagnosed or not.
Discover yourself like a Lotus flower in full bloom even in a muddy pond. Beautiful and Strong!

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butterfly11

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Re: wondering if reconnecting is a good idea
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2016, 03:53:18 PM »
Thanks for the replies folks. SquarePegs80, my sister only mentions her loneliness and how she makes life hard for herself by pursuing activities that are challenging and don't bring many rewards, such as her struggle with writing. Don't I know it! Any creative activity is fraught with self doubt and very little reward (except the doing of it).

My sister did post a very public piece about releasing my mom's ashes and referred to being estranged from her brother and sister. In it she says "I hope you told them I'm not that bad." It was like a knife to my heart, or a cry for pity. Who knows which. The hard thing about being able to read these things is that when her anger and criticism is removed from it, I feel like I'm seeing the real her and I feel terrible that I've never been able to just ignore the anger and instead say, "You seem like you're in pain. Tell me about it." I was too busy fending off disparaging comments and blame, and, frankly I was intimidated and hurt.

It's as if now I have to revise my whole story and perception of her. And that is my own struggle. I self-identified as the person bullied by someone I thought was more powerful and right. And now I have to see her as a sad, lonely person that just can't get life right.

It's so hard to tell whether this is leftover thinking from all the chaos and I can't let go, or if I'm truly worried about her. I think it's the latter. I wish I knew whether I could handle what would come if I reconnected, now that I have better insight into her true feelings about herself. Or if would be more of the same. What I'm afraid of is making things worse for her if I reconnect and then discover I just can't handle it anymore.

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all4peace

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Re: wondering if reconnecting is a good idea
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2016, 04:13:31 PM »
I find it very hard to maintain distance and think of the pain inside the other person. I have had to learn how to do this better or have a breakdown myself. I didn't really have a choice. My uNBPDmil has been so toxic that I cannot see a circumstance in which I would ever be willing to get close to her again. My NM has been so harmful that I cannot see a circumstance in which I would ever be fully vulnerable with her again, although I do want to maintain shallow contact. I do think a sister relationship has a bit of a different power dynamic, so I'm not sure how to relate to that, but I do believe you have the right to protect yourself first--the whole "put on your own oxygen mask first..." advice. Hugs to you! This stuff is so painful.

When my siblings behave in ways that indicate fleas, I try to maintain appropriate boundaries and ride it out. I have seen so many of my own fleas and am working on them.

Even if your sister is in pain and cannot seem to help her behavior, it does not mean you need to keep getting close enough to get emotionally punched in the face again.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2016, 04:15:25 PM by all4peace »

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Axis

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Re: wondering if reconnecting is a good idea
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2016, 05:23:35 PM »
So sorry for the internal conflict you're going through

As for the BPD, from what I understand (I live with a NPD with a history of BPD traits) their emotions are like out of control all the time, and they come off as irascible and unstable. They may have empathy, but that doesn't stop them from harming everyone around them. The decision is up to you, but keep in mind you cannot put your own mental health in jeopardy trying to help someone who might not necessarily want your help

And if she really is BPD (depending on the severity of it), I think she will vehemently try to deny that she has any problem or that she needs therapy and will probably blame others for her problems

Hope you resolve this! Peace  :)
« Last Edit: July 08, 2016, 09:38:41 AM by xredshoesx »

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Joan

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Re: wondering if reconnecting is a good idea
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2016, 12:58:04 AM »
Butterfly, I understand its hard for you. But I really dont see much in her words, I see a pity party.

She claims to be lonely and having a difficult time. Still, she doesnt claim responsability for any of it, does she? She claims to be stranged from her siblings. Did she do anything about it? Did she apologize and change her behaviour? Im guessing not.

To me, posting all that on a blog is just playing a game for an audience that doesnt know any better. I have uBPDs in my family and a particular one has sadistic traits so I may be biased. But in my experience, they never learn. Or, to be more acurate, they may learn new ways to manipulate people (mine rage and yell... when it doesnt work, play victim).

My sadistic uBPD (elderly aunt) yelled at me when we were alone and the moment a witness appeared, she began crying out of the blue, as if I was abusing her. Well, she wont have the opportunity to do it again! Im NC. They are very skilled at manipulating people and taking advantage of peopleīs empathy.

Your sister claims she suffers. Well, who doesnt?!?!?! The difference is she brought it to herself, while we suffer cause they inflict pain on us.

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bopper

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Re: wondering if reconnecting is a good idea
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2016, 01:17:35 PM »
Be careful...you might assume that your sister's motivation for blogging would be the same as yours...Like here...you post to get genuine input and to help others.   If you get input from others re:a problem, you consider it, and perhaps change your behavior.
Your sister's motivation might just to get pity/support and then use that to manipulate people.
Have you ever read stories about people who blog about having cancer to get all the emotional support/money but don't actually have cancer?
Just because they are incapable of loving you, doesn't mean that you are unlovable.
Anything makes the false self appear real is supply.

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Salsera

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Re: wondering if reconnecting is a good idea
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2016, 01:45:04 AM »
I do not understand why someone who has been abused would want to have contact with their abuser. Whoever they are.
"Faith is taking the first step even when you donít see the whole staircase." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." - Martin Luther King, Jr.