Really need some advice

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Blueskies

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Really need some advice
« on: March 11, 2017, 07:54:04 AM »
I am new to this site and finally feel like I've found some information to make sense of my situation.

My relationship with my mother has been deteriorating for years. I think she's got BPD. It's just been a continuous stream of blame, criticism, judgement, lying, grandiosity, manipulation, and trying to take control and occasionally what I would classify as physical abuse. I've been terrified of her for years. Last year we nearly moved home and didn't give her the address to get away from her as the abuse was getting too much and we didn't want knowing where I was. I ended up cutting contact for the 4th time.

This month she phoned out of the blue to say her partner has terminal cancer and basically to emotionally blackmail and guilt trip me into making it up with him before he dies - because it's all my fault (which I already tried to do, and they just got more insulting and rude). (They've both told friends and family that I was mentally ill but refuse to apologise for it.) Having read some stuff on this website I feel like this is a 'no win' situation. Either I stay in contact and every time I speak to her she treats me like an object and lays massive manipulations and guilt trips on me and I end up devastated, or I cut contact and she gets to tell everyone what a terrible person I am and I have to live with being someone who abandoned someone with cancer. But I don't see how I can support them through this, if I am going to get constant abuse throughout it. My boyfriend doesn't want me to talk to her again.

Plus I think I have PTSD  - I have flashbacks, nightmares, insomnia and panic attacks for days after speaking to her.

I would be really grateful for any advice on this. Thank you!

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: Really need some advice
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2017, 08:46:31 AM »
Warm welcome and good for you for talking steps to protect yourself. Others in your life may not agree and can make whatever stories up they choose. This does not make those stores true.

You have not abandoned anyone. It sounds like your mother is taking care of this person and they likely have a medical team. They do not need you in addition.

Reconciliation takes two people and a meeting of the minds. This is often not what a PD wants or demands. What they often want is a free pass to act and do what they please. No. You have basic human rights to be treated with respect and common decency.

Please check this link from the toolbox
http://outofthefog.website/toolbox-1/2015/11/17/complex-post-traumatic-stress-disorder-c-ptsd

Also take as long a time out from contact as you need to heal. Then you can decide if this person is a relationship you wish in your life. Being part of your life is a privilege not a right. It doesn't matter if they are related or not, who you have in your life is your choice.
Every interaction w/ PD persons results in damage-plan accordingly, make time to heal
Individuation is one key to emotional freedom
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blues_cruise

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Re: Really need some advice
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2017, 11:57:59 AM »
You've already tried making it up with her partner and it didn't work because all you got was abuse in return, so I would say that your conscience is clear on this one. I think your mother knows this and is using the illness to shame you into submission. C-PTSD is difficult to live with and regular abuse, manipulation and shaming from your mother sounds like it is too much of a trigger for you. It does wear you down when you have an inner critic which is already telling you these horrible things about yourself. I think the only way to truly start to heal is to look at mental illness in the same way you would a physical one. If you broke your leg you would rest it until it started to feel better and cut out anything which would delay healing. With C-PTSD the constant fear of being attacked by a toxic person damages your mental wellbeing and delays progress.

It seems that PDs have a hold over us because we fear them telling everyone else how awful we are, but when you think about it does it really matter what other people think? Anyone who judges someone with only half the story is narrow minded and not worth your time anyway. It sounds to me like you've tried your best with toxic people who just take take take from you all the time and now you would be best to take some time out for yourself and work out how to feel calmer and safer.  :hug:
"You are not what has happened to you. You are what you choose to become." - Carl Gustav Jung

"When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time." - Maya Angelou

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daughter

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Re: Really need some advice
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2017, 07:18:12 PM »
This is your estranged mother's partner, not a "near & dear" relative of yours.  Your mother has a history of bad behavior, inappropriate demands, and malevolence directed towards you, which rightfully caused you to withdraw contact from her.  Her partner was not, is not, a positive presence in your life.  You've no obligations here, whether to "help", or to "reconcile", and it would be kinder not to engage with your mother or her partner during his terminal illness, than to present yourself (again) as willing victim-target for your mother's nefarious emotional need to be emotionally-abusive towards you.

If you'd like to extend a gesture of kindness to her partner, I'd mail a "thinking of you" or "in your time of illness" greeting card, or several over the ensuing months, and if you're religious, add a "praying for you" instead of "kindest regards".  But no, under no circumstances, would I re-engage, or even "go visit", given the back history here.  You're not "abandoning someone with cancer".  You're treating your mother with kindness by absenting yourself so that she can't continue her established pattern of bad behavior towards you.  And you're avoiding further mama-drama in the presence of her terminally-ill partner.   

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Blueskies

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Re: Really need some advice
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2017, 09:49:48 AM »
Thank you all so much. It's really affirming to hear your responses. 'Daughter', my mum's partner is a relative as he's been there since I was little but he has participated in most of her bad behaviour and has refused to apologise. She's claiming that it is his wish to make up - but it always paints them as the victims and me as the difficult person and it's just intolerable, and they are not prepared to do anything to make up, just dismiss our feelings and continue to blame and attack. I intend to keep sending cards and support but think that's really all I can do. You are so right, I can't be a victim target. If only wish she would behave like a normal person and just appreciate the support, but it's never enough.

So glad I found this site.

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Blueskies

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Re: Really need some advice
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2017, 11:59:13 AM »
UPDATE: It turns out that there is no diagnosis and no oncologist yet and this has been going on for 2 months. The last phonecall I had with her was awful, and the last thing I did was ask her to keep me up to date. I have not heard from her for 4 weeks. Shoud I go chasing for information? I really don't want to as she'll likely be guilt trippy again. But I am getting anxious not knowing whether or not there is a diagnosis at all. I have already made a decision not to speak on the phone, but she doesn't know so it could turn into a huge fight.

As she agreed to keep me up to date shall I just leave it until she gets in touch? I feel so guilty not being attentive.

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daughter

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Re: Really need some advice
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2017, 12:25:51 PM »
I'd "leave it", and not re-initiate contact, not seek more information from your mother or her partner.  Your mother grossly exaggerated situation: first she said "terminal cancer", but there's still no diagnosis - that's a BIG "untruth" symptomatic of pd-disordered irresponsible attention-seeking misbehavior intended to "draw you in" again.

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Adria

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Re: Really need some advice
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2017, 12:45:32 PM »
Blueskies,

Quote
and she gets to tell everyone what a terrible person I am and I have to live with being someone who abandoned someone with cancer.

You are right! No matter what you do, she will always paint you as the terrible person. It's a no win.  You can jump through hoops for them and their cancer diagnosis, and it will never be enough.  Point being, they can and most likely will say anything they want about you to get the pity "they so rightly deserve."   ::)

I wouldn't call to get more info. Wait until she calls you.  Simply send a thinking of you card, and try not to get guilted into their unfounded drama. I am so sorry, they have put you in such a stressful situation. It's just what these people do.  Hang in there and take care. :kisscheek:

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SunnyMeadow

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Re: Really need some advice
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2017, 01:16:38 PM »
I agree, I wouldn't contact her for more information. You asked her to keep you up to date and she hasn't, I take that as no further information is known.

I do like the Thinking of You card idea. It's a nice thing to do and you don't have to speak to her!

As for telling everyone what a terrible person you are, that will happen anyway no matter if you contact her or not. I have always gone out of my way to have a close relationship with my mother, help her, take her out to lunch and more and I heard from someone that she was talking bad about ME!! I was livid.  :blowup:

That's when this forum was really helpful for me. I was reading here constantly around that time. It helped me to see what was going on and back away from her even more.

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: Really need some advice
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2017, 01:31:29 PM »
Similar situation here, updm doesn't get any diagnosis but is near death often for over 10 years now. I've taken to "respecting her privacy and right to choose" (or in this case neglect) her medical care.

No need to chase information or hound your mom, just respect her privacy and right to let you know when / if she has any needs and then refer her back to her doctor.

In my case an occasional 'wellness check' email is sufficient. Sort of like the thinking of you card mentioned. Depends on what you can or wish to handle. Not out of FOG but only if it's what you wish.

Guilty for not being Attentive = fawning over? Which is what these health crisis expeditions are trying to force out of you.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2017, 01:37:36 PM by Spring Butterfly »
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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VividImagination

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Re: Really need some advice
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2017, 05:44:48 PM »
UPDATE: It turns out that there is no diagnosis and no oncologist yet and this has been going on for 2 months.

Sounds to me like there is no cancer either. A person with terminal cancer doesn't wait two months for a diagnosis. Making up cancer scares based on Dr. Google is a typical PD move.
There are three solutions to every problem: accept it, change it, or leave it. If you cannot accept it, change it. I f you cannot change it, leave it.

Sometimes you're damned if you don't and damned if you do, so damn well do what's best for you.

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Blueskies

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Re: Really need some advice
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2017, 03:50:04 PM »
Thank you all. I feel better about not contacting her. I like the idea of respecting her privacy. After all, she agreed to keep me updated and if she isn't then that's her choice.

I already sent a thinking of you card at the start, various followup, checking in msgs, and a M's day card, so feel I've done a fair share of being attentive.

I feel like all your posts are a great reality check. Thank you.

For now I am concentrating on strengthening myself emotionally, meditating and calming myself down.

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Blueskies

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Re: Really need some advice
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2017, 04:57:27 PM »
Update: just found out that instead of contacting me with updates about the medical situation, she has contacted other family members close to me, who are now passing on the information and feeling responsible for sorting the situation out - effectively turning them into flying monkeys, after she promised to keep me up to date. Not happy. Feel like she is playing games. Starting to feel really depressed.

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moglow

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Re: Really need some advice
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2017, 05:32:36 PM »
That just stinks. Lord knows what she's feeding them, but I hope that's not the case. I think I'd hold to my position, send cards and check in all along, but not involve others regardless of what is said. Just because they ask / try to mediate doesn't mean you have to play along. You may need a nicely stated "I'd rather not talk about that" (or two), let them know you appreciate the thought but that's between you and mother.
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Spring Butterfly

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Re: Really need some advice
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2017, 07:33:26 PM »
So sad these games. Stuff like this makes me pull out phrases like 'I'm so sorry she's running you as a go between, that's not what I thought she meant when she said she'd keep me updated' and phrases to throw the responsibility for such behavior back where it belongs. Not sure stuff like that would work in this case. It stinks you're going through such silliness.
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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VividImagination

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Re: Really need some advice
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2017, 08:37:51 PM »
Love that response, SB!
There are three solutions to every problem: accept it, change it, or leave it. If you cannot accept it, change it. I f you cannot change it, leave it.

Sometimes you're damned if you don't and damned if you do, so damn well do what's best for you.

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Blueskies

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Re: Really need some advice
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2017, 05:12:42 AM »
Thank you! I don't know what I'd do without this forum. I forgot to mention the letter to the other relatives was packed full of alarming phrases and too much medical detail, and several things I know to be lies or exaggerations. I am still thinking of walking away from this whole situation...I can't bear it when she interferes with my relationships with other family members. I haven't checked in at all with her since she started to try to use the apparent diagnosis as some kind of emotional leverage and blackmail. Any communication from me feels like it would be opening the door to more abuse. And I'm definitely going to put a stop to other people being given the responsibility of being a go-between!

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bopper

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Re: Really need some advice
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2017, 12:33:45 PM »
The "health crisis"  is a common tactic.
Sometimes there is an actual diagnosis.
Sometimes it is really the doctor is checking for cancer..and cancer can be terminal, so TERMINAL CANCER

Her translation:
"I cut contact and she gets to tell everyone what a terrible person I am and I have to live with being someone who abandoned someone with cancer."

Your translation:
"I cut contact...she doesn't realize that you don't use abuse as a basis of relationships so she turns to another tactic of bringing in third parties...and she tells them that you "abandoned someone with cancer" when it is really you are keeping yourself away from an abusive person who may or may not have cancer.   And if the partner really wanted to make up with you, why are not they reaching out in a nice way and apologizing for all the abuse?"
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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Blueskies

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Re: Really need some advice
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2017, 12:55:13 PM »
Exactly Bopper! They are not reaching out in a nice way, but are sending abusive messages through uBPM which feel incredibly manipulative, demanding, and blaming. And since I have not responded she has decided not to update me but to send alarming stuff through third parties. A form of punishment probably. As far as I understand there is not yet a diagnosis...so am trying to hold my nerve until there is and then decide what to do. Also confused as to why it would take 10 weeks to get a diagnosis.