Is your PD hurtful with kindness?

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Menopause Barbie

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Re: Is your PD hurtful with kindness?
« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2016, 04:51:24 PM »
Midnight Owl and All4Peace, I'm so glad you got what I was trying to say--wasn't sure if I explained it in words the way it was in my head!  :)  And yes, All4Peace, that is a great example of what I mean. I actually was thinking how most everyone would consider my NC with the FOO as "not nice," but it is actually an act of kindness because it stops enabling and excusing the abuse.

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blacksheep7

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Re: Is your PD hurtful with kindness?
« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2016, 06:59:11 PM »
Well said Menopause  Barbie.  I liked the explanation.  I feel the same way.
I may be the black sheep of the family, but some of the white sheep are not as white as they try to appear.

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Geko

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Re: Is your PD hurtful with kindness?
« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2016, 08:07:02 PM »
Definitely a great topic. I know MLN that my family would not do it if it was anonymous. They only do things that make them look "nice". They do not know what kindness is andthey certainly don;t have any empathy for me and my husband.

My difficulty when I discovered narcissism was understanding narcissism and "niceness" because I struggled to put narcissism and "niceness" together.  :stars:

But still, like dust, I'll rise.  (Maya Angelou)

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Ladybug530

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Re: Is your PD hurtful with kindness?
« Reply #23 on: December 23, 2016, 01:33:25 AM »
I am working on a long response to all of your kind thoughts and ideas, but first I had to just say thanks to you guys I had SUCH a different experience today that I just have to share!!

I am VLC with uBPDm since her racist choice. VLC for the first time ever, actually, I've always been medium chill.  But get this - she sent us our presents today in the mail (I moved 13 hrs away  :evil2:) and my husbands gift was pretty mediocre, but mine was WELL over $150. They don't have money and literally just said they couldn't help us out financially with something we needed, but now that I've stepped back they sent me this over-the-top gift. It feels gross. But it's so totally a covert narcissistic move to get her/their power back, and for the first time ever I felt sadness instead of obligation (fOg). And then I got over it a little more when I realized this isn't about me or them being empathetic all, it's just about them managing their own shame, needs and emotions. What a bittersweet revelation.

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Geko

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Re: Is your PD hurtful with kindness?
« Reply #24 on: December 23, 2016, 02:06:00 PM »
Brilliant analogy Menopause Barbie (great name btw). Also for the NC being an act of kindness. I've actually asked my sisters not to do something in the past telling them that it would be kinder not to ask. But they continued to ask because they are passive aggressive and like to hurt and annoy. They'd say it's them being nice! You don't keep asking someone who's had Cancer of the oesophagus if they want tea, coffee, or cake every 10 minutes when they haven't eaten of drank for years. They proclaim they don't understand why we get so upset with them. NC is good for me as there's only one person I need to care for at the moment and he doesn't need their nasty passive aggressive behaviour. He's gone through enough we don't need their negativity in our lives.
But still, like dust, I'll rise.  (Maya Angelou)

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Artsy

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Re: Is your PD hurtful with kindness?
« Reply #25 on: December 23, 2016, 03:00:06 PM »
One of my mantras lately is: "When someone loves you, you should feel it."

I don't know if I have any insights, but I have had the same experience:

     Before my mom lost her memory, I used to literally feel my skin crawling when she tilted
     her head and tried to touch me kindly. It was so false it literally made me sick. I would
     tense up and just endure it. I realize now that my PD oldest sister's venom was so
     obvious, but I just couldn't look at it and chose to focus on the illusion instead. In the end
     I was just tricked into numbness so she could get me from behind with her fangs (like the
     snake in jungle book singing 'trust in me.')

     Just lately I refused a large check my sister sent to one of my sons in an attempt to 
     gaslight and triangulate him into our conflict. My other son is not easily deceived, and so 
     he received no money. It was inappropriate "kindness" and even my son who received
     the money understood why I sent it back. I wrote a kind but firm letter suggesting she
     split the money between my sons and she immediately spread the word that I sent
     her "hate mail." She opted not to give the money at all, so I split the amount and told my
     sons it was from her (a kindness she didn't deserve). But clearly it wasn't about giving
     something to my son at all as the discrepancy didn't move her a bit.


The fangs that emerge from under a cloak of syrup still gives me chills.  I love the saying from Sleepy Hallow: "Villany wears many masks, none so dangerous as the mask of virtue." Clearly this is wear we get old clichés like "wolves in sheep's clothing," etc...

I know I'm still healing because I continue to be shocked by it. I've long believed incredulousness is evidence of ongoing denial. When I coach other people, I always point this out: if we've experienced something a hundred times, should be continue to be shocked by it?

Deep down we all want so desperately to believe that we are loved and cherished. We try to believe what we see until it's so painfully obvious we have to look at it and still it's hard. The reason my skin crawled so openly was because my mother never backed it up with anything real. My PD sister did, which was more damaging in the end, cause I could never build defenses. Truly creepy and awful. I agree it's ultimately about power and control. I also think it can be a hoovering thing as well, a way of gaslighting you into questioning yourself and your instincts so you keep returning to the dark waltz (a great song BTW when thinking about PD's).

I'm sorry the racial thing is involved for you. That is especially heinous, and an easy way to hurt someone. It's so awful to be betrayed by the very ones we should be able to trust. Warm regards.


"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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Spring Butterfly

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Re: Is your PD hurtful with kindness?
« Reply #26 on: December 24, 2016, 11:44:00 AM »
Menopause Barbie, blown away by the disctinction and clarity of nice vs kind! Very well explained!
· Every interaction w/ PD persons results in damage-plan accordingly, make time to heal
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· It's foolish to expect of others what they have no capacity to give
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all4peace

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Re: Is your PD hurtful with kindness?
« Reply #27 on: December 24, 2016, 06:34:46 PM »
This may have already been said, but "niceness" is the ultimate mask. Even some of my family members, who love me and Dh and our kids, who KNOW how my ILs have behaved over the years, are STILL fooled by their "niceness." As long as a PD is being friendly, I think most people have a very hard time seeing past the mask of niceness. As long as they aren't always rotten, then those "nice" times can cause some people to put up with far too many "not nice" times. That certainly was my experience.

uNBPDmil used to have a warm and friendly face, and she giggled a lot while viciously speaking about other people. It weirdly took me a while to see past the smiles and giggles and focus on what she was actually saying about other people. At least for me, it was really good camouflage.

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blackraven

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Re: Is your PD hurtful with kindness?
« Reply #28 on: December 25, 2016, 03:16:08 AM »

Can anyone else relate??


Ladybug you are so NOT alone here. I can identify with pretty much everything you describe and to me this behaviour is so so harmful because its manipulative and extremely hurtful. I learned the term 'gaslighting' from a friend who told me that was what my Dad was doing to me every time he would portray himself as supportive but then do a complete 360 and spew hurtful things then making me feel like I was interpreting his actions 'wrong' or taking it the wrong way.  (all in my head, he's the good guy) 
Learning that term helped me so much and helped me put an identity to a behaviour that, for years, I though was normal but really it was controlling.   Please know you are not alone and I am sharing your grief.  Sending light and love your way tonight. 

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Adopted

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Re: Is your PD hurtful with kindness?
« Reply #29 on: December 25, 2016, 08:35:02 PM »
If stabbing you in the back right in front of your face with a smile is the new being kind

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GypsyArticulator

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Re: Is your PD hurtful with kindness?
« Reply #30 on: July 19, 2017, 02:39:07 AM »
 :aaauuugh:   :wave:  :thumbup:

This post has helped me so much! I kept telling my T how bad and horrible my mother's nice text made me feel. I knew it was dramatic but I felt like I was being emotionally raped. She didn't exactly confirm that to be true but helped me decide to say, "It makes me uncomfortable..."

But now I get it. These texts are what my gut instinct said they were. They are/were manipulation tactics to get me back under control.

I must say, "Thank you!" to all of you who contributed to this thread. (OP especially!) I almost broke down yesterday and started back texting her out of guilt but decided to sit back and wait out the urge to call. Then, I came to this forum and searched smothering and it was exactly what I needed.

I am due to give birth to my first next month so this post was amazingly useful for me as I navigate CO / EELC for the first time in my life.  I'm so happy to have found more confidence in my decision to focus on my new nuclear family and not her.

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: Is your PD hurtful with kindness?
« Reply #31 on: July 19, 2017, 08:12:39 AM »
Welcome GypsyArticulator and baby congrats!  :cloud9:

Guilt, the G in FOG. Stick around and soon you'll be FOG free. Births and other life events tend to escalate PD behaviors. If you haven't seen it already check out the Toolbox at the top of the Forum and also Traits under disorders. If you get a chance stop by the welcome mat to say hello and hopefully we'll see you on the boards. Wishing you healing and peace with your growing nuclear family.
· Every interaction w/ PD persons results in damage-plan accordingly, make time to heal
· Individuation is one key to emotional freedom
· It's foolish to expect of others what they have no capacity to give
my Empowered Growth blog

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Geko

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Re: Is your PD hurtful with kindness?
« Reply #32 on: July 19, 2017, 08:48:24 AM »
Welcome and Congratulations from me too. Ditto everything Spring Butterfly has said and you'll learn how to deal with it all a whole lot better soon. Baby especially will put you on your guard as you'll want to do it your way. You've got so much going on, so just remember to take your time -  If it feels wrong, it is wrong and you can say "No" at any time.

There's loads of good advice on here an I consider this forum the experts as they seem to know more than some therapists/cousellors unless or course those counselors have PD knowledge.

Take care and make sure you do it your way from now on.

Wishing you peace and strength in your journey ahead.  :cloud9:
But still, like dust, I'll rise.  (Maya Angelou)

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bohemian butterfly

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Re: Is your PD hurtful with kindness?
« Reply #33 on: July 20, 2017, 02:21:59 PM »
I've only discovered this in the last month so I am seeking others' insight into what is going on and if anyone else has experienced this.

My unBPD mom was *nice*. She was only unkind when crossed (which I learned quickly to never do), and her expressions of love and affection were syrupy thick and forceful. It was inauthentic and unpleasant, not withholding or cruel. So when she hurts me she is able to still paint herself as a kind and attentive parent and a "good Christian woman", and I think she honestly believes she is. I believed it too until recently when she and my (possibly N?) dad *deeply* betrayed me and my husband with a racist act (we're a mixed race couple). Afterwards my husband said it perfectly: "they seem so nice but they actually aren't loving at all."

She doesn't rage at me, she gives lots of gifts (rarely are they what I like), she is all hugs and smiles (that I am not allowed to not give back), she will pray over me (which feels like emotional rape). It looks good on the outside, but in the end, I have only felt a very confusing and forceful form of love from her.

Can anyone else relate??

Yes.  The past couple of years, both of my parents have been "trying" to make up for the past.  What does this mean?

They are constantly giving us gifts (even my boyfriend!) and wanting to visit numerous times during the year (wanting to spend the night/be together 24/7)

On the outskirts (to anyone looking at my family from the outside) our family "appears" lovely and loving.  To me, I feel icky and gross because it is totally fake.  I have a hard time explaining this, because again, it "seems" like they are trying to make-up for past hurts (father was an alcoholic, mother is uBPD (high functioning) and somedays I am indeed torn because I think that I am being unforgiving, but every once in awhile I get "glimpses."  Like the time my mother got my 3 year old nephew an expensive toy and during his birthday party (when the other kids were trying to reach for it) she grabbed it out of another child's hands and said "that was expensive toy and I don't want it broken in 10 minutes" and proceeded to tuck it under her chair.  Or the time that my parents decided to stay in town an extra day during their visit (while staying with me) and not even bothering to ask if it was convenient for me, they just told me they were staying.  When I balked, my mother gave me these dagger eyes that are still burning a hole in my soul to this day. 

Like fake news, the fake kindness isn't love.  It's meant to make them feel better but it's not genuine.  It is crazy making to say the least. 

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Kitties_say_meow

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Re: Is your PD hurtful with kindness?
« Reply #34 on: July 21, 2017, 10:38:53 PM »
Deep inside, she is only concerned with her own emotional survival. Part of that survival, for her, depended on others perceiving her as nice. Her nice actions came from a place of selfishness. What she did for others,including me, was actually for herself, to build herself up as a nice person and try to bolster her miserably insecure self image.

Wow, this really succinctly describes my mother to a T. I also felt the confusion and cognitive dissonance of the contrast between all the "nice" things she would do or buy for me, and the way she made me feel.

It's only more recently that I've begun to notice the pattern that shows how all her "nice" behaviour and gifts are really all about HER and her own self image. I know this several ways:

When she wants to give me random gifts of products I don't really want, and I try to politely decline, she loses it. Sulks and tantrums that she "can't even give her own daughter a gift", and tries to manipulate and force it onto me anyway. Clearly it is far more about displaying what a "kind mother" she is, than actually thinking about my needs and wants.

Another example: a few years ago I was injured, and she brought some food and other things for me (complaining the whole time about how difficult it was). My Dad, who lives overseas, dropped by for a surprise visit to see me. I posted about this pleasant surprise on Facebook. Mum got very upset and "hurt" that Dad got this public praise for just showing up, and she got nothing when she had supposedly done heaps more. And made me make a status thanking her for all she'd done. Clearly, publicly appearing to be "nice" was more important to her than you know, actually helping her injured daughter.

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greenbutterfly42

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Re: Is your PD hurtful with kindness?
« Reply #35 on: July 23, 2017, 02:37:53 PM »
My thought she was unselfish because she would give her friends rides everywhere. But she ruled over the house by whining and crying.

She would do my makeup for a job interview. ( because i would feel like shit for doing it myself and overdoing it then if i didnt get the job listening to her complain it was my makeup that was the problem.) she was always so nice in helping point out my neck was "dirty" all the time.(that dirt was a skin condition which comes when you are pre-diabetic.) She wanted to believe she was nice but she wasn't. Its kept me in a mental loop for a long time. How can i be so angry when she did so much for me. It wasn't for me though. It was all to make her feel better. So she could believe she was nice. I know better and work on remembering that.

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rosalieaprile

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Re: Is your PD hurtful with kindness?
« Reply #36 on: July 25, 2017, 06:16:11 PM »
This is familiar to me too.  It's hard to explain it, but it feels like my uBPDm goes through life kind of checking boxes -like, "if I do A,B and C, that makes me a good mother."  None of it comes from the heart - it's done in order to achieve good mother status & gain a sort of immunity from criticism and rejection.  And to provide a list she can recite whenever we withdraw from her. "I took you on all those cruises."  "I bought you so many Christmas presents as a child" etc etc.

I feel like I can't even describe her real personality.  I think I see flashes of it in times where she feels very safe and comfortable (and if that is her true personality, I like it very much and we could have been very close if not for all the other crap.) But these flashes are few and far between.  More common is a person who just swings wildly from mood to mood, from syrupy loving to bitter and critical, from telling us how wonderful we are, to telling us how cruel we are.  I never know which "moms" might show up that day & how long each will stay.

That's my mother in a nutshell. The sad thing is if she would allow people to get to know her authentic self she probably would be genuinely well liked instead of feared and hated.