Grief and pretend support

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Candywarhol

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Grief and pretend support
« on: July 22, 2016, 12:34:33 AM »
I live in a different country to my FOO.

Two years ago I bought a house in my home country with a view to moving back there eventually.
Since the purchase, my husband and I have taken every opportunity to spend as much holiday time
as possible in our new house. It's 150 km from most of my family but near the sea, so I had visions of bar.b-ques
and family parties at the beach.
In the meantime I've had to go L-NC with my two sisters (see other posts) and found it a bit of a struggle but was getting used to it.
At the end of June I arrived home to the news that my closest and oldest friend of 34 years had just taken her own life!
I can't describe how devastated I am!
On hearing the news from my mother, my older sister, with whom I hadn't spoken since May, and that was only a cursory birthday
call, before that it was July 2015, calledd me crying and snivelling down the phone about how her heart was
breaking for me, she knew how much I loved my friend, the news was gut-wrenching etc.etc.
A few text messages the next day (how am I holding up and so on) and then ...................................... nothing until two days ago- She hoped I was enjoying the sunshine cos it's good for the soul etc.
I'm still in the country she lives in! If her heart was breaking, it healed pretty fast and well!!!
Sister number two got my dad to drive her to the funeral. My mom asked me as I was setting off to the funeral not to leave Sis 2
like a bump on a log at the funeral cos she wouldn't know anybody (she had a friendship of sorts with my deceased friend).
Words failed me. I wanted to say, "let me say goodbye to my friend in peace! I don't need to be taking care of anybody but especially someone who is barely speaking to me!!!!"
At the funeral I asked my sister if she wanted to come to the get-together after (stupid codependent crap, I know!!)
She came in our car and said almost nothing the whole 30 min drive  -I was trying to make conversation with her!
At the restaurant the table we sat at filled up pretty quickly. My husband - a good friend of the deceased- had to run an errand and the table was full when he got back. My sister had said she'd leave when he got there and make room for him.
He got back, she stayed sitting so that my friend's boss had to get up and fetch a chair form the other side of the room!
She eventually left saying she'd call me the next day, which she did.
I gave a short run-down of the rest of the evening, that was it.
She texted me two days later to say I should let her know when I was coming up to town.
I did. She wrote back that she had a date on the night I arrived and she'd be spending the next two days after that at my other sister's
home 300 km away.
I travelled 1000km to be in this country for a whole month!
I have been gutted by a terrible tragedy.
My two sisters, with whom I was very close up until one and two years ago couldn't rally and offer support??????
One of them was heartbroken for me, to use her own words!!
WTF?????
I thought NC for a while and then a cleansing conversation with new boundaries at some stage would enable us to start new
relationships but it seems these people are COLD beyond belief.
I always held out hope that we'd find a way to establish new, more adult, boundaried relationships but now I think i'm done.
I'm done but I'm SO EFFIN ANGRY and hurt!

It seems like we were in much bigger game of pretend than I'd ever imagined.


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nanotech

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Re: Grief and pretend support
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2016, 08:38:01 PM »
  :stars:  It looks to me like they are trying to punish you for the recent lack of contact.  They've been awful, because they seem to have used the death of your lovely friend, to score narc points against you.

I know you felt hopeful that the low or no contact might snap them out of it - to the extent that they would begin to respect your new boundaries. But the tragic news made you vulnerable, and it seems they couldn't wait to slap you in the face with a big wet fish.
It's happened to me too.
They kick you when you are down.  :stars: :no: :yeahthat:
They've made you face two lots of grief at once- the raw grief for your friend, and the chronic, gnawing grief when you realise how distant and cold they are, and that it is unlikely to change.
But I'm also here to tell you that there is life after nc/lc.
You grieve and you do get over it. I did. Nowadays I have only healthy relationships in my life.
So keep walking toward the light! 8-) ;D
« Last Edit: July 22, 2016, 08:40:26 PM by nanotech »

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Candywarhol

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Re: Grief and pretend support
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2016, 07:59:31 AM »
Thanks for your insight, nanotech.
They've made you face two lots of grief at once- the raw grief for your friend, and the chronic, gnawing grief when you realise how distant and cold they are
My, my that is some sick schizzle! You're probably right, though   :sadno:
Words fail :stars:

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nanotech

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Re: Grief and pretend support
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2016, 12:18:25 PM »
Words do fail  to describe it. They really do. I went through this. I was scapegoated by the family at a time when my mum was terminally ill.  None of the others could cope with the terrible news- and a whipping boy was required so the pain could all be dumped there. And dumped it was!  Unfortunately I was so enmeshed at the time that I accepted it and consequently wore a hair shirt for well over a year- until I chanced to read about NPD. Everything fell into place, and I began to put up healthy boundaries.

 Family didn't like the changes, and are frankly puzzled and at times, upset. But the good thing about narcissism is that if you stop dancing to the old tunes as in responding to the dysfunctional(but unspoken) expectations on behaviour, 'loyalty' and blame acceptance, there's really not much they can do. Apart from some temporary fire breathing, their hold on you begins to shrivel and die as soon as you withdraw the co-dependency. They can't say much, because the rules were never explicit in any case. 

I'm so sorry for the loss of your dear friend.xxxxx

Keep strong and be your own best friend. There are friends on here too for you. xx

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IAmReady

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Re: Grief and pretend support
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2016, 02:48:57 PM »
Boy do I relate to this post. I have written about my fractured relationship with my uPD sister on this forum several times. Like you, we used to be close, and about 6 years ago there was a major shift following a traumatic event in her life (my family hired a deprogrammer to get her out of a cult she'd been recruited by, and moved overseas to work for).

The intervention was successful, but her behavior towards me was forever altered after this - where before she had been warm, loving, nonjudgmental, available and inclusive, after the intervention she became cold, petty, difficult, selfish, judgmental  and very guarded (clearly not wanting me to be a part of her inner circle anymore). This hurt like h*ll.

I considered her my best friend, and she often referred to me as her "soul mate." To give an illustration of exactly how far apart we've become, at her wedding two months ago, she introduced one of her inner circle friends as her "best friend." She did this repeatedly and always when I was standing right there.

Three years ago, I went through a medical crisis - I stopped sleeping for about six months (and I mean literally I would go days at a time without falling asleep), and began experiencing crushing depression and mood swings. This was, without a doubt, the worst time of my life. At the worst of it, I didn't fall asleep for an entire week, and by the end of that week, I was barely functioning. I couldn't work, and could barely speak I was so deeply exhausted. It was really, really bad.

My sister lives only two miles from me. She is my only family member living in my city. The rest of my family lives a plane ride away. So she, naturally, was the person I called on for help. My fiance was at work, and my sister was not (she was in grad school at the time and didn't have classes that day). I asked her if she would accompany me to a doctor's appt that morning - I couldn't speak above a whisper, and knew that it was urgent I communicate with the doctor about what was going on. I needed help, bad. My sister refused to come with me, citing some minor obligation she could have easily gotten out of. My fiance ended up having to leave work and go with me to the appt.

My sister's refusal came after I begged her (over text message) and told her that it was an emergency. She couldn't be persuaded to rearrange her schedule. She did end up coming later that day, after the appt, and was with me when I decided to just check myself into the hospital (I was in a downward spiral, and couldn't see out. Imagine how you would feel after not falling asleep for a week!).

While she was with me that day, her attitude was largely detached and cold, like she was holding me and my problems at arm's length. Not at all the sort of warm, supportive, loving presence you would hope for from family if you were in a crisis. She even spoke, while we were driving to the hospital, of "needing to take some space for a while." She was feeling "overwhelmed by the whole situation." This, of course, just made me feel worse. The last thing you say to someone you love whose having a breakdown and literally on their way to the hospital, is that you need to get away from them "for a while."

This was 3 1/2 years ago. Since that day, things haven't improved much. My sister is still the same cold, distant, petty, selfish, difficult person she was before, and I'm still being excluded from her life in any real way. Even though we only live two miles from each other, I could pass a couple of months without laying eyes on her, or weeks without even a text message. She has a full-time job (irony of all ironies: she's going to be a therapist!), but apart from that has no obligations. She and her new husband have no children, only a very boisterous, sweet dog. But, I've learned over time that trying to schedule face time with her is a pain in the a** - you would think she was Michelle Obama, the way her schedule appears so jam packed with sudden commitments. Her wedding was over two months ago now, and I've seen her one afternoon since, and only for a couple of hours, when we took her dog to the park.

Look out if I ever have to ask her for ANYTHING - doesn't matter how trivial or reasonable it is. The answer will most assuredly be NO. This is when her selfish, difficult side is most on display (like her refusal to come to the doctor's appt with me when I was so sick 3 years ago). She once refused to let me stay at her place with her and her husband for a night or two - this was last summer. My neighborhood was a construction zone for years because of a huge infrastructure project - they'd been parked literally outside my building for 8 months - imagine jackhammers and bulldozers and all manner of heavy machinery waking you up every morning and causing nonstop racket all day long. I was going out of my mind - the constant noise pollution was interfering with my sleep and really impacting my life and health.

My sister has a guest room, and I asked her once if I could possibly crash there for a night or two, just to get some relief. She refused. Mind you, when she left the cult and moved back to America, I persuaded my ex-fiance to move out of our one bedroom apartment and into a two bedroom so that my sister would have somewhere to live. We didn't charge her rent until she found a full time job. She ended up living there for over two years. But she can't be bothered to host me for only a night or two, because, according to her, "we'd just end up fighting." Really? She also said that her husband "wouldn't like it." No doubt because she'd been priming him to dislike me and see me in a negative light for years! I could tell story after story just like this.

So yeah, I can relate very much to the grief of realizing that you have family members who don't really give a sh*t. What I realized about my sister is that this cold, selfish side of her resembles my parents very much. My father is uNPD and my mother has a raging case of fleas and is his enabler. During that awful medical crisis, when I stopped sleeping, I hadn't said very much at all to my parents about what was going on - their lack of empathy and real concern just makes it easier to keep them out of the loop unless really necessary. But finally, one day I broke down and told my mother, over text message, what was going on. This was in the dead of winter, and my parents were talking about coming to my city for the Super Bowl. They expected to be hosted and entertained and I was in NO condition to do this. So I sent my mother a long text, letting her know what was going on, and I really wasn't doing well, etc. Her response? "Keep us posted!"

 :doh:

So, yeah, it's kind of obvious where my sister gets this ugly side of her character from. You have my sympathy.

« Last Edit: July 24, 2016, 02:59:05 PM by IAmReady »

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Candywarhol

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Re: Grief and pretend support
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2016, 07:01:41 AM »
Wow! IAmReady that's an appalling story!
How can anyone be so cold and so forgetful of how someone has helped them in the past???
I never asked my sisters for anything, material or otherwise, yet have always been there for them
in material and non-material terms.
I've also never made an issue of this because that's simply what you do - you help those you love when they
need it. I didn't expect anything from them when my friend died. It was a few days ago, nearly four weeks after
the event that a thunder-bolt hit me; the realisation that they didn't show up for me and that they never really were
there for me. In word yes, in deed no!
I don't believe in doing good based on expectations of appreciation or being repaid in kind but this situation just made me
 realise just how absent my siblings are!
I'm really sorry you've been treated like this! You know what! My dog helps - a lot! Having a being around who is
honest and loving without an agenda has saved my sanity, I think :)


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Candywarhol

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Re: Grief and pretend support
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2016, 07:03:09 AM »
Thank you nanotech!

I'm looking forward to them withdrawing so that I can heal properly :)

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Lillith65

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Re: Grief and pretend support
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2016, 02:46:13 PM »
I've reached a point where I know that there is absolutely no chance of any change from my uPDS. I do not ask her for anything - ever. Even when I have been very, very ill she has never, ever offered anything. When I did visit I often had to make myself a cup of coffee and ask for a biscuit - this is exactly how my uAM behaves. Although my Mother will offer but if you actually want anything then you have to make it yourself. They are completely incapable of caring for anyone else - or perhaps it's just caring for me they don't do?
As for hijacking your grief, I am so sorry but this is, as you've found, very common behaviour. Everything is manipulated for their benefit.
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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Candywarhol

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Re: Grief and pretend support
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2016, 03:20:20 PM »
Actually Lilith, your post also made me realise that whenever I was at my sister's house, I cooked (partially because I love cooking) and made pots of tea and generally always made myself useful.
My sister, on the other hand, always put in her order for what she's like for dinner at my house and seldom made
any moves to help out in the kitchen, clearing the table or anything!
This relationship has always been very unbalanced!
I've never heard of, though of anyone hijacking anyone's grief before - it's too weird, but it is starting to make sense now.
The mind boggles!
I juts wish that what I know in my head would quickly transfer to my emotions so that I don't get caught up time and again in their
dark games!

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Lamplite

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Re: Grief and pretend support
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2016, 04:51:38 PM »
Hi Candywarhol

I am so sorry about the death of your friend, who you need time to mourn in a healthy and genuine way, without all the distracting and self-centred weird bs of your sisters. I can so relate, although my sis is H/BPD not narc. She hijacked the funeral of my first baby, turning up uninvited, fresh from work in uniform and made an absolute scene of drama at the graveside. Only our parents were invited, but my Sis arranged that her own duaghter had flu that day and got my mother to babysit, so missing the funeral of my only (at the time) child. Of course she wouldnt take the day off work - too much fun to be had. A friend who works in her same office building told me she left in floods of tears for the funeral, and returned after the event sobbing profusely for the loss of her 'adored little niece'. She treated me and my expartner like shit throughout, and was making jokes with the (embarrassed) grave-diggers as they started throwing dirt on her little coffin. Something about shame baby coffins only come in white - not a very practical colour.

The death of my child, and her funeral, were a MASSIVE source of supply for her. I was barely able to survive the trauma at the time, let alone take on her crap, but I remember every detail as if it were in slow motion. She then hijacked my parents who were trying (albeit in their fu'd way) to support me - they visited her (and her 3 children) every day for a couple of hours, then phoned me for 10 minutes or so to tell me how she was bearing up. effin unbelievable. (you can probably find my posts on the subject in the history section if you're interested).

suffice it to say Candy, I know you must be suffering, and how much. Because I have been there. You need to be kind to yourself, give yourself time to mourn and try to tune out your sisters' abuse. Truly, all they want from this is supply. Your job is to keep your own head above water emotionally though as has been said already, you will be grieving two losses now - one of your dear friend, and the realisation of just how sick your sisters are.

I am wishing you all kindness and strength.

Love Lx

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Candywarhol

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Re: Grief and pretend support
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2016, 05:16:47 PM »
Lamplite, I just don't know what to say ....
I'm so sorry for what you've been through. I can't even begin to fathom what it must be like to bury a child!!!
Thanks so much for your input!

One of my other friends said at the time of my friends funeral that in such circumstances, people are generally
in their heart-space and that is often what helps us to get through. That resonated profoundly with me at the
time because I did feel that all we mutual friends and my friend's family supported each other very lovingly, as we are still doing.
This "heart-space" phenomenon obviously doesn't apply to people like your sister or mine, which makes it appear
like part of their humanity is missing.

I'm heading home again soon. My mom just told me that my brother is having a bar-b-que the day after I arrive.
I told her I wouldn't be going because I have to protect myself and I'd be a fool to walk into a room among them.
Of course there'd be a heap of pretend friendliness and hugs but I can't take that passive aggressive, phoney BS!
Having hung up the phone from my mother, I had the acute sense that the longer I stay LC-NC, the more the shitty situation will
be put down to my having withdrawn. God forbid they should take responsibility for their crap!
Isolation in Siberia for me for the foreseeable ...

I hope you're okay. Sending heaps o' kindness and strength wishes back at you as well as the hope
that you have genuine, authentic, loving and supportive people behind you!

 :bighug:

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nanotech

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Re: Grief and pretend support
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2016, 07:26:27 PM »
Lamplite,

I just can't comprehend how you survived, suffering such a dreadful tragedy, not only unsupported by family members,
but also emotionally attacked and discarded  by them.

I am sending you hugs and sympathy
 and lots of love xxxxx <3

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Lamplite

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Re: Grief and pretend support
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2016, 07:16:01 PM »
Thanks Nanotech

What I went through a few years ago is similar to what Candywarhol is going through now. Many people will relate to the difficulties she is experiencing - bereavement is just another opportunity for PDs and your grief is just something that conveniently brings you down, so they can aim better kicks at you. These are the types of people we are dealing with.


 



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Candywarhol

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Re: Grief and pretend support
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2016, 12:40:12 PM »
Update: (though I'm not sure if I should have put this in the "hoovering" thread...

My uNPD older sis messaged me a cartoon YouTube clip and a "hope you're well" on Monday late afternoon out of the blue.

At the time, Ignored it but remember thinking, "who's dead now?" seeing as the only real times she's
contacted me in the last 12 month have been to tell me someone is dead, touch base about a dead celebrity or react to
my cat having to be euthanised or the death of my friend.

Anyway, I responded on Tuesday with a smiley and a "hope you're well too" - I'm not about to go into detail
about how I am when the question hasn't been asked directly.
Soon after she messaged back saying that the cartoon had been sent on Monday morning but she could see
it hadn't gone through till the afternoon and the reason she was referring to this was because Monday afternoon was so horrible.
They got news from my niece's school that a classmate had taken his own life on Sunday.

Still dealing with my friend's suicide from the end of June, I was triggered and burst into tears.
I feel so bad for that kid any everyone associated with him.
I do also wonder, however, why my sister, with whom I am extremely LC, felt the need to inform me of this??!
We don't text on a regular basis anymore. She phoned me the day the news came through about my friend and
asked the following day how I was doing, after that ...silch! Now it seems somehow logical to her that of course I'd want to know about the tragic death of my niece's classmate!!??

All I could write back was JC!! That for me covered everything from , JC, that is awful! to JC what is your problem??!

This morning I receive a mail from my younger sister with whom I'm also vvLC, with a link to a concert we went to together 7 years ago.
There were a few lines about how she's been v busy at work and is now just listening to music (at 2 am and bombed no doubt!)
.. and look at the concert she found on YouTube.
That mail also contained the oh so non committal and not really interested, "Hope you're well".

WTF!!?? the mind boggles!

I was back home last week and didn't contact either of them. I hosted some family who are also in my country of origin visiting and I'm wondering are they hearing how well I'm doing without them, what fun the family and I had while I was there etc.
Either way, it doesn't really matter. I'm just bamboozled again at how obtuse these people can be.
Do they really expect me to just answer txts and mails all sweetness and light and pretend that they haven't treated me like garbage!!?