Finding it hard to cope with the ups and downs

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861991

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Finding it hard to cope with the ups and downs
« on: March 03, 2017, 09:37:11 AM »
Hi,

Towards the end of last year my uBPD mother and I were mainly NC. However over the past few months things have slipped, it was my birthday last month and she sent me a range of gifts and a lovely birthday card. She wrote beautiful words and it really hit me. Things were not always as bad as they have been over the past few years, I do have good memories. I wrote her a letter suggesting a few things we could do to try and get back in contact. Whilst she did thank me for the letter she commented on how I never mentioned what actually happened between us....she is furious that I have spent the past few festive times with my partner & family. She also is very annoyed that we do not visit her - mainly because the visits have been so difficult. There is no responsibility for the things that happened which encouraged me to break away - the things she has said/done. She always returns back to my crime of not spending the festive time with her. We keep going round in circles, there are times of NC and then it goes back to anger and then sadness. I really do not want to have a life without her (I have no other family) but I do not know how to move things forward. We are stuck.

Thanks for any thoughts!

x

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daughter

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Re: Finding it hard to cope with the ups and downs
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2017, 10:31:45 AM »
I think you've just experienced what I refer to as "nice-bombing", where there's a bit of estrangement, our pd-parent(s) have "taken it too far",  we're in "time-out" mode, rather than a committed VLC or NC decision, and then our parent does "something nice", often "a really nice gift", and we're receptive to forgiving, re-engaging, and resuming contact.  We're happy that our parent is "nicer".  That things seem "calm".  But the "nice-bombing" is only confusing gesture, and not sincere reconciliation, and we soon discover that our relationship with our pd-disordered parent(s) is "back to normal", and that nothing has really changed.

My NBM would "nice-bomb" me sometimes.  I'm her SG "dutiful daughter".  NBM could be openly hostile towards me, intentionally mean, blatantly disfavoring me and likewise favoring my one sibling, GC "princess" nsis, and often unleashed her bad behavior upon me, expecting me to stoically "accept it" in the parentified "whatever mom wants" manner that I was taught to abide by.  Sometimes NBM would do "something nice", something "out-of-character", and I'd be suitably grateful and appreciative.  Since I was so appeasing and tolerant, NBM didn't need to do this to get my attention.  In my situation, I realized that "something nice" was actually masking something else, where NBM had done, or implemented, something overtly "not nice", and her "something nice" gesture was actually assuading whatever unsettled feelings that lurked beneath her malevolent personality that I mostly  faced.  I can list those "something nice" gestures now, and flag what those gestures were actually compensating, in regards to NBM's venal actions.

As you now realize, you were "nice-bombed".  You re-engaged, only to discover "nothing's changed".  Nothing has changed.   

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: Finding it hard to cope with the ups and downs
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2017, 10:45:12 AM »
That's sort of what happened with uPDm and enF, no one thing actually happened except I wanted to live my life and make my own choices. This sent uPDm into a raging episodes and  extreme passive aggressiveness. There were some good times, no one is all good or all bad, but eventually the bad was more frequent than the good.

The fact is you get to spend what time you want with who you want and your mother can decide how she feels about that for herself. It's all about boundaries at this point when reestablishing contact. She has not changed but you have and it's time for some strong boundaries. Let her choose how to feel about them and know her feelings are not yours, do not absorb them. Know where she ends and you begin.
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moglow

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Re: Finding it hard to cope with the ups and downs
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2017, 10:51:41 AM »
Hi there - and welcome! My heart hurts for you, as I've experienced much the same from my mother. Nasty mindbending meltdowns followed by "all is right with the world, what's wrong with you???" have been my life's script. No accountability for the awful things she says when she gets wound up, and we're supposed to step to without a word when she's ready to let it go. And never again talk about (or God forbid, apologize for!) what *shr* did or said - while she continually brings up imagined slights and wrongs from 30-40 years ago.

I try to see it as a complete lack of object constancy, if not a form of selective amnesia. Mother doesn't get that it's not one instance or *this situation*, but the cumulative effect and sheer predictability of the next rampage. She always has a reason or perfectly justifiable (in her mind) explanation for how abysmally she treats people - and it's always somebody else's fault. Mother is never the villain, never responsible, never sees or understands the effect she has on others.

And yet she asks over and over again, what can we do to build a relationship, says we need to fix this. How??? She really doesn't get that there's no foundation, no trust, nothing but ever shifting sand that will shift back the instant some random something hits her wrong. And then, somebody will have to pay.

As a counselor asked me - if this were not your mother, what would you do? My reaction was an immediate gut punch of "I'd have nothing to do with her! I wouldn't have all that in my life!" Then I realized what I'd said. And she asked why my mother got an all access pass, when I *knew* how awful it was to be around her. Because she's my mother. Because I can't say no. Because everything and everybody around me says how horrible I'd be to do that. And yet my gut knows the truth.

Something changed that day. I realized how bad that "relationship" really is for me, how much calmer and more peaceful I am without her around, how rarely I get sick. I'm in very limited contact now, strictly on my terms and when I feel up to talking to her. I don't try to explain any of the whys anymore - it just IS. Truth be told, mother's not interested in ME at all - it's the appearance of it, what looks okay to others, and what information she can carry to others.

Having good memories doesn't outweigh the overall bad behavior and underlying fear of the next performance/meltdown. If we had no good to look back at, we'd have shut it down decades ago. So yeah, I do get what you're saying - and finding detachment from that sense of obligation takes time and work. The fear and guilt was a lot easier for me to overcome.


Keep sharing - we understand, unfortunately.
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Adria

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Re: Finding it hard to cope with the ups and downs
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2017, 06:41:37 PM »
I agree with the others.  "Nice-bombing," that's a great way to say it.  I had a horrifying experience with my dad. He stole my house and 13 years of equity (long story), but after years of no contact, he contacted me. It didn't go so great, so tried again.  He payed me a fraction of what he stole, and I was glad for the olive branch and left it at that. My heart knew there would be a price to pay down the road for his backward generosity. I was right.  He acted like all was well, and then went after my children offering them a very substantial amount of money to walk away from me and go to his side. Lucky for me, my kids told me they had walked away from him. It didn't end there, but my point is that usually there is backlash after they get you to accept them back into your life.  Be wary.  If you are good with knowing short term you can maybe enjoy eachother that is okay, but just know that they will usually blindside you again. Very rarely does a leopard change it's spots. :upsidedown:

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861991

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Re: Finding it hard to cope with the ups and downs
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2017, 08:29:45 AM »
Thanks to everyone who has replied - it really helps to feel understood and be supported. I can now see how I have been 'nice bombed' and it is interesting to think about what I would do if she wasn't my mother but a friend...I do not think I would stick around. I think I often excuse her behaviour and hold on so tightly to those good memories and the nice things she has said/done. I find it so difficult to let go and maybe more so 'let go' of the hope that things will change!

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Fightsong

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Re: Finding it hard to cope with the ups and downs
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2017, 08:39:36 AM »
Hiya 861991,  I have found 'letting go'. To be something of a circular or  cyclical  process. A bit of letting go, some deep realization or shift and then a settling and then round we go again , maybe to let go a little deeper. I don't know when or if  I'll have 'let go' fully. And yes I'm sure some of that is about holding onto hope somewhere. Many times I come here and  people patiently remind me, she wont change, she cant change. And bit by bit I am getting it. up and down. up and down.  You are in good company here.

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stasia

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Re: Finding it hard to cope with the ups and downs
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2017, 01:06:04 PM »
Yes - nicebombing is a good word for it! I'm currently getting the silent treatment from unPDM - going on a month now. When she finally decides to grant me the honor of a phone call  :roll: I will get one of two things: rage, or a nicebomb. I've no idea how to handle the latter. We're socialized to be happy and grateful when someone is nice to us, and I don't want to be nasty in return for her being nice, but I don't want to reward her behavior either or get sucked back in.

I feel exactly like this right now:

As a counselor asked me - if this were not your mother, what would you do? My reaction was an immediate gut punch of "I'd have nothing to do with her! I wouldn't have all that in my life!" Then I realized what I'd said. And she asked why my mother got an all access pass, when I *knew* how awful it was to be around her. Because she's my mother. Because I can't say no. Because everything and everybody around me says how horrible I'd be to do that. And yet my gut knows the truth.

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daughterofbpd

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Re: Finding it hard to cope with the ups and downs
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2017, 09:01:15 PM »
Hello 861991,
I can relate & agree to everyone's comments on your posts. It doesn't seem like anyone addressed you concern about going round in circles? You didn't spend festive times with your mother because of HER behavior, you don't deserve to be punished for that. Plus, it isn't something you can go back and change if you wanted to. AND, you aren't required to spend every holiday with her anyway, you have your own life now. She is using that to take the attention off of her behavior and put the blame back on you. You don't have to take that. Try not to JADE (Justify Argue Defend or Explain) your actions in that case. You can say something like "I missed that time with you too" - a truthful and empathetic statement that does not accept blame. Your mother simply has a choice to let it go and enjoy time with you now or she can keep putting a damper on your time by blaming you and further pushing you away. You can tell her to make that choice and drop the subject, or you will have to speak with her at another time, when she can be more positive. I know those "circular conversations" all too well. Hope that helps.
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