So you ever feel completely stupid about how you have to avoid these people?

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Artsy

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Okay,

So backstory: I'm a PD magnet.  Realizing that about myself and trying to learn how to protect myself.  Grew up with PD, worked under an abusive PD boss for over a decade, PD at church, PD in a couple old friendships that I'm trying to go LC with.

Current story:  new PD at work (a coworker who has nothing to do with my job) put their nose in the air and picked up my scent, has me in crosshairs, been there done that, taking steps to get the hell out, I look over-reactive to the bosses over my head who have tried to go to bat for me, but just made things worse.  Even though they are aware of this person, who has a history of this, they really need to try to size this up as a "stylistic difference" (basically ignoring this person is operating way outside their job description to make me miserable and win some kind of contest - abbreviated version.)

Other current story:  Old PD friend storming my house.  Wants to camp on my property.  My way of dealing with it (sounds pathetic) - get a hotel and check myself into a spa, say I'm out of town.

I just don't want the drama of telling this person she can't bring her 70,000 camper onto my property to save 14 dollars and I need a break anyway (due to work.)  I basically lied about being out of town.  I'm going to be down the road at a luxury hotel getting hot stone messages. 

I've asked my husband who has a weird weekend where he's in and out of the house using it as a temporary launch pad over the weekend to stay somewhere else so it looks like we're on vacation.  Husband is not happy, understandably, but my attitude - your not even really here that weekend, your just jumping in the shower and sleeping, so indulge me.

Sound extreme?  I know!  And I sound pathetic, but this is what I feel I have to do.  My boss was telling me to give my coworker "feedback", but I already have - completely turned the tables, owned nothing, and got me no where but tired and belittled.  Plus, I don't think I should patiently explain to people what our job descriptions are.  I made it clear that I'm not doing that again and I want to move.  They value me, so they're moving me, but I look ridiculous and intolerant (which I kind of am, with PDs). 

The "friend" coming in to town, just happens to be crashing, right when I needed the break. I wanted to turn it into a romantic get away with hubby, but his weekend is blown.  So mini sabbatical it is. 

Here's how it goes when I set boundaries:

DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA.  I see this person from out of town once or twice a year and it's still too much.  I can't deal with the bragging the belittling and the interfering with my other friendships.  EVERYTHING is a me-me-me show when she comes, where she invites everyone to surround her and listen to her brag and show off.  I have no good excuse to avoid her or our other friends, or to ask her to pay to set up at a trailer park half a mile down the road from our property. 

My solution - clear cut - avoid, avoid, avoid, pay money if I have to.  I feel completely stupid, even though everything in me tells me this is the right thing for me.  Usually I confront everybody and get totally burned.  It's just belittling to HAVE to do all this, but the world just doesn't recognize PDs!!

At work, having to ask for another placement and having them understand I'm getting bullied is another humiliation.  A narcissist with a hero-complex who is up in my grill and questioning my motivations constantly is enough for me to move on, but frankly, it looks bad.

I've been through so much of this, I'm just not even playing.  I'm just like - bye, bye.  It makes me looked thin skinned, but I'm just really highly attuned to PD and I know it when I see it and I'm not dancing with it if I don't have to.

I just HATE HATE HATE how weak and pathetic it makes me look.

Welcoming any good vibes or support.
"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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Chiara

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((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))))

 :hug:

I hope that helps with some good vibes. :)

I do not have any solutions, but I do not think you need to feel weak and pathetic.

We are all human. We all have trials and bad things happen. Life is not easy. People can make it hard, and you are not alone by far. I would imagine there are many, many people out there who feel like you, if not worse.

So my point is, given that, there is no reason to feel so harsh on yourself. :)

I am sure you have your flaws like we all do, but therein lays the crux of the matter - we all do. So if you can think that the other people around you are probably going through many things that they do not share, you may feel a little better in regards to the "pathetic" factor. Or, I hope. :)

In regards to the RV friend, could you just end the friendship?

It sounds as though it is more hassle than it is worse. I mean, once or twice a year is all you get, and even that brings you down.

Maybe you could just politely explain that the friendship has grown apart, or something like truthful, and then just block your emails and phone if possible, and let her know you will not respond to anything.

I am not sure if that is good advice, but it sounds like such a terrible situation to have to keep dealing with.

Please hang in there though. You are not pathetic - you are human. :) Welcome to the messed up family. :-D

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moglow

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You're not weak or pathetic. Repeat that as often as necessary.  :bigwink:


We're all works in progress and work with what we have at any moment in time. And what we have available varies. Remember always that No is a complete sentence. You don't have to explain, defend or argue your choices with anyone.


But also know,  I'd wrestle you for that hot stone massage!! I'm so overdue for one that it's just not funny.

"Expectations are disappointments under construction.Ē  ~ Cap'n Spanky

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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Artsy

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Thank you so much both of you!  I just needed to hear a validating voice :)

So here's what I've decided to do.  I went ahead and called my friend and said that my husband needs his space that weekend and it's just going to be better if she stay at an RV park or something.  I also just told her that I'm not doing the "group thing." 

In our particular group I have a couple friends (her included) who fight over me like a piece of meat while they belittle and compete with me.  I've told his friend before that I'm not comfortable in this particular group any more (not pointing out that she is contributing to the problem).  She has, in the past, simply ignored this and pulled together "the group" (please keep in mind this is like a group of strangers reunion kind of people), with more force and with more people and with more pressure on  me to come.

I told her, I'm happy to have some one-on-one time, something that historically has gone okay. 

Anyway, that gets my husband off the hook and I'm still checking myself into a hotel.

What do you think?
"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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coyote

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I think it's a great start at standing up for what you really want. And yes, be sure the hotel has a nice pool and hot tub. Like moglow said, we are all doing the best we can with what we have to work with at the moment. Keep on keepin on.
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.
 Wayne Dyer

The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?
Capt. Jack Sparrow

Choose not to be harmed and you wonít feel harmed. Donít feel harmed and you havenít been. -Marcus Aurelius

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Chiara

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Thank you so much both of you!  I just needed to hear a validating voice :)

So here's what I've decided to do.  I went ahead and called my friend and said that my husband needs his space that weekend and it's just going to be better if she stay at an RV park or something.  I also just told her that I'm not doing the "group thing." 

In our particular group I have a couple friends (her included) who fight over me like a piece of meat while they belittle and compete with me.  I've told his friend before that I'm not comfortable in this particular group any more (not pointing out that she is contributing to the problem).  She has, in the past, simply ignored this and pulled together "the group" (please keep in mind this is like a group of strangers reunion kind of people), with more force and with more people and with more pressure on  me to come.

I told her, I'm happy to have some one-on-one time, something that historically has gone okay. 

Anyway, that gets my husband off the hook and I'm still checking myself into a hotel.

What do you think?

Oh, I think that is so good! :-D

Very well done and well handled, and absolutely within your boundaries and rights to do. I am glad you did it!

So what did your friend say? Now I am curious. :)

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biggerfish

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So here's what I've decided to do.  I went ahead and called my friend and said that my husband needs his space that weekend and it's just going to be better if she stay at an RV park or something.  I also just told her that I'm not doing the "group thing." 

 
Whew! I'm relieved. Artsy, you remind me of myself.  Sometimes when people tell me what to do, I have to remind them I'm capable of making decisions, but I really need my feelings validated!  You wanted validation, you got it, and then you made a good decision and put up boundaries.

I was concerned about that person being on your property. It's your property. You don't have to let anybody camp out on it, especially someone you don't even like. You made a good decision.

I'm proud of you.

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Foreignwoman

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Artsy, don't you just hate it when you hide from people who tend to walk all over you? Grrr, it's like: 'Say what?  :aaauuugh: and here we go, hiding again because somehow that sounds a lot easier than putting boundaries. Sigh. I know. You did great girl, use your Artsy nature to keep finding solutions that suit you.

FW
Freedom is never voluntary given by the oppressor, it is demanded by the oppressed.

Martin Luther King, Jr

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Artsy

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So by way of update - thanks again for all the replies - I feel really good that I set the boundaries.

I confronted this friend in the past and all she did was turn the tables, bring up bratty things I did when I was 10, and victimized herself.

She called me back last week and just asked point blank, if I'm avoiding her, and I denied it - I won't lie.  But she kind of amazed me and said, "I just want you to know that I heard what you said before, (referencing our last conflict), and even though it didn't seem like it, I heard you, and you are safe with me in groups.  I won't tease you any more."  (In her mind it's all joking.)

I told her I appreciated her saying that, I almost got goose bumps and that while I'm in town, I wouldn't mind spending one on one time with her and avoiding the larger group.  I went heavy on reasons (other than her) that I don't want to hang out with people I hardly know.  I was reminded of how much she knows about my NPD family and was a little blown away by how well she knows me.

With that said, I know this friend to be desperately in need of attention and willing to bowl over others.  She did share with me something she's said before (many times) that I'm so popular and people always want to be around me.  I tend to think I'm a nerd, but yes, I make friends easily.  I think part of it is that she plays so rough with humor and is so competitive, because otherwise she's perfectly charming.

Anyway, I'm going to be careful, she has a ridiculously high IQ and is a hilarious person, but I'm going to give her a chance.  She said she understood my husbands need for space, so I was wondering if someone was possessing her body.  I have to be open to how PTSD from my family of origin has made me reactive and try not to balance my seeing every situation as unworkable (though they often are.)  On the other hand, I need to have boundaries with this one, so I'm going to keep them up.  I have enjoyed one on one time with her and we do share some friends who I do enjoy, so it would be great if we can work this out.

We shall see.

In other news, my director came down hard on the coworker for bullying me (and others in the past) and she has avoided me like the plague.  My supervisor, I can tell, feels sorry for her, and wants to sort of boil the whole thing down to a personality or stylistic difference, and I sound like a jerk arguing that.  I think the woman is overzealous, has a hero-complex, and certainly has no respect for me.  Again, my issues play into this.  I would like to think I can one day develop that super duper thick skin that makes me immune to panic and flashbacks and better deal with this crap, but I feel too old for it, and I do have professional options. 

Another thing that happened was that my ability to do my job really came through and everything she was bullying me to do "better" ended up being dead wrong and that played out without my having to defend myself.  She was left with egg on her face and I didn't even have to throw an egg at her.  (Trying to control my spitefulness over here, but damn that's hard not to take pleasure in.)

I hope that whole thing pans out, but I'm still taking steps to get away from the woman.  With all her boundary busting and undermining me, now she has the added fuel of thinking I got her in trouble, which I kind of sort of did (I didn't expect the director to hit her so hard and my goal was really to get away from a major trigger for me).  I just know she hit another beloved worker in the past, the agency doesn't want to lose me, and things lined up the way they did. 

That's the update fellow out-of-the-foggers.  Thank you for your ever understanding support!!
« Last Edit: May 13, 2017, 06:35:31 PM by Artsy »
"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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biggerfish

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Artsy--you seem to have a high EQ. You're handling this well. It's helpful to me to hear you explain it. So thanks!

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Artsy

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Thank you Bigger Fish.  It helps to just lay it out and know people are reading and helping me think it through.  Hope I can repay the favor :)
"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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SpringLight

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I've been through so much of this, I'm just not even playing.  I'm just like - bye, bye.  It makes me looked thin skinned, but I'm just really highly attuned to PD and I know it when I see it and I'm not dancing with it if I don't have to.

I just HATE HATE HATE how weak and pathetic it makes me look.

Welcoming any good vibes or support.

Artsy:

Weak and pathetic?????!! On the contrary!
As a fellow PD magnet...your story gives me STRENGTH and INSPIRATION! :applause:

But...just to play devil's advocate here...if you consider what you did "weak and pathetic," what would be the opposite of that? And WHY would that be better to do?  (That's not a rhetorical question! ;D)

What other ALTERNATIVES can you think of that would be better, and less "pathetic"?

P.S. I have been away from this Board for a while, but I  wanted to add that I've enjoyed reading your posts.

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Artsy

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Springlight,

It's a good question.  I suppose (in my mind) I'm not supposed to react or feel, certainly not run and hide.  I guess what I finally did do, set boundaries, felt better than my original plan.  But I've always been told I'm so sensitive and thinned skinned and paranoid.  The gaslighting went on from my earliest memories and it's really deep set. 

If I were talking to someone else, I probably would have had more grace.  If you're running from your own home, you might not want to make that a habit, but it isn't weak, it's survival.

I guess I know the messaging about my reactions my whole life are not true, but I'd like to think I can be this paragon of strength and face the most ardent critics (and PD's) with my head held high, not even flinching as they kick me repeatedly in the shin.

It sounds funny now that I'm saying it out loud :)
"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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SpringLight

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Springlight,

It's a good question.  I suppose (in my mind) I'm not supposed to react or feel, certainly not run and hide.  I guess what I finally did do, set boundaries, felt better than my original plan.  But I've always been told I'm so sensitive and thinned skinned and paranoid.  The gaslighting went on from my earliest memories and it's really deep set. 

If I were talking to someone else, I probably would have had more grace.  If you're running from your own home, you might not want to make that a habit, but it isn't weak, it's survival.

I guess I know the messaging about my reactions my whole life are not true, but I'd like to think I can be this paragon of strength and face the most ardent critics (and PD's) with my head held high, not even flinching as they kick me repeatedly in the shin.

It sounds funny now that I'm saying it out loud :)

Artsy:

Yes, the outrageously high self-expectations do sound...silly--written down.  ;D

Yet it's the same sort of thinking I have about the need to be a paragon of strength, so I really understand you!

I would add that for me (and maybe for you, too?) there is the expectation of turning the other cheek, giving until it hurts and then keep giving. To everyone...even your enemies and detractors. Even the to insufferable N's and pretentious bores....who drive you batty!  :stars:

I've just reread your post to make sure I wasn't missing anything.

And, nope, I wasn't.  And I agree with all the previous commenters.  :yes:

You don't seem thin-skinned or paranoid to me.

Your backstory is a lot of my backstory.

"I'm a PD magnet.  Realizing that about myself and trying to learn how to protect myself.  Grew up with PD, worked under an abusive PD boss for over a decade, PD at church, PD in a couple old friendships that I'm trying to go LC with."

All of the above I could have written about myself. Except I'd have to change the number of years I worked for an abusive (alcoholic) boss. I only lasted TEN years (I was able to survive that long because my colleagues were WONDERFUL.)  So, you've managed to survive longer than I have!!!!  I have to tell you...I'm still not "free."  I have recurring dreams and nightmares about said boss.  I hope, as I try to  emerge from the FOG, those dreams and nightmares about that boss...will cease!

The description of your friend made my skin crawl...and my stomach churn. (A particularly intense reaction because it is reminiscent of certain people in my life, past and even present. So, I'm still working on these issues. )

At the top of my list, your list and everybody's list...should be SELF-PRESERVATION. You've listened to your VERY VALID feelings about this person and have taken an action that supports SELF-PRESERVATION. End of story. If you're like me, you may doubt yourself about this, but DON'T BE LIKE ME. :D  Just do what you need to do and move on with your life!

Where is it written that "running and hiding" is not a valid option, when faced with PDs...especially when they want to invade your property! :aaauuugh:

How will this whole incident affect you a year from now? Five years from now? 

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Artsy

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 Springlight,

I'm glad your back on the site.  I've enjoyed reading your posts as well..

To your comments:  "I only lasted TEN years (I was able to survive that long because my colleagues were WONDERFUL" - same here!!  Colleagues were my buffer till the perfect storm.  10 years is still a lot!  We both deserve a medal. 

"At the top of my list, your list and everybody's list...should be SELF-PRESERVATION. You've listened to your VERY VALID feelings about this person and have taken an action...If you're like me, you may doubt yourself about this" - Quieting my own inner voice has been the hardest part of this journey.  I am like you, for sure.  Self doubt just comes with the territory.  I try to talk back to it though, and my big-girl voice is getting bigger.  But then come those times when you need someone else to remind you.  The beauty of Out of the FOG and fellow members who respond.  What a blessing.

"Where is it written that "running and hiding" is not a valid option, when faced with PDs...especially when they want to invade your property!" - I'm just glad I've grown from being the turn the other cheek, giving tree, to someone running for the hills.  I'm hoping that's progress!    :D

"How will this whole incident affect you a year from now?" - This is the best question, because I can honestly say - not at all.  I think if she stayed here and I ran, it would have left me with more pieces to pick up.  I read once that when you leave a job where your being humiliated, you absolutely need to find a way to leave with both barrels blazing, defending yourself to the hilt, so at least you can walk out with your head held high.  This, I read, makes your mental healing happen much faster, and that was certainly true when I left the 13 job. 

Thanks so much for your thoughtful questions, Spring.  They really have helped me think things through. :)
"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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SE7

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Hi Artsy, I can relate to this topic a lot, feeling silly about the lengths I will go to in order to avoid the narcs. in my life.

I am currently living under their roof (parents) and I go to extremes to hide from them -- staying in my room, but as far as planning little things I need to grab from the kitchen, or prepping cooking in advance ... anything at all to not have to engage with them in any room of the house!! When they leave, I run out and do all my household prepping & errands, like grab utensils from the kitchen LOL just so I can spare myself any interaction with them later on!!!

Come to think of it, I think I learned this avoidance behavior at a young age as a means of coping, not even conscious I was doing it, because I remember how in college I had a few roommates in a dorm, and I was once alone in our little apt. dorm and some of them came by and rang the doorbell or knocked -- and I avoided answering the door. I think one of them could see me through the window curtain and I remember one of them making fun of me for it at some point later (or maybe I overheard them talking about me? so long ago can't remember).

The point is: I have felt stupid and silly too and always thought maybe there really is something wrong with me that I behave this way to avoid people? But now I finally know & realize that this was just a COPING MECHANISM to deal with what felt  like real danger to my core self -- narcissist parents!

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SpringLight

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Artsy:

Bear in mind--I should let you know... my mind is mush at the moment for a variety of PD reasons.  The spirit is so willing to respond, but the emotions and physical body are a bit of a wreck.

But, before I forget...yes, I wanna give you a medal for ENDURING your toxic work situation.  And even provide you with the kind of grandiose ceremony that the Saudi government provided for the US President today. I promise, as one non-narc to another----you won't have to bow and curtsy when I bestow this honor--a gold OOF Perseverance medal-- around your neck. ;D

Earlier in the day, I wrote a post here and then thought: "Self, you REALLY need to go outside and decompress."

I went outside and then suddenly, while trying to literally  free my mind of the current anguish...I suddenly thought of something that resonated with me. It felt so important. Something simple, but a big "eureka" insight that I wanted to share with YOU about this!

Regrettably, as often happens....it's COMPLETELY slipped my mind.  ;D LOL! So tired...I can't even remember what it remotely had to do with! :stars:

But, just some quick thoughts while I'm waiting for that HUGE life-changing insight to reappear.  ;D

I'm delighted that I was able to help you in any way. Especially at this particular moment....since I've been feeling helpless, overwhelmed and mentally impaired from PD stress.  You (and countless other OOF'ers) have helped so much.....even by expressing things in a way that I have incorporated into my slowly maturing Big Girl Voice!

One of the many things that popped out in your posts is that the PD "friend" in question is "ridiculously high IQ...hilarious person." Uh-oh...my heart kinds\a skipped a beat....because that's the allure of so many PD people in my life. I am easy prey and  frequently allow myself to be "seduced" by them. They are often so damn interesting, charming, articulate, entertaining...and the real catch for me...HILARIOUS people." Good looks may fade, but I can't live without people who can make me laugh.

And if these type people are ALSO highly accomplished in my field, or a related field, then forget it. In my fogged mind...These SUPERIOR people become IDEALIZED to the point that....well,  I have to acquiesce to anything and everything they want.
The "voices" in my head remind me CONSTANTLY that I'm just damn lucky that X wants to be friends with me.  So, let them do what they want is the least I can do. And if they want to camp out on your property, OF COURSE SAY YOU SAY "YES" AND FEEL HONORED...... NOT!!!!!  :stars: :stars: :stars:

How dare I think that I can have rights or preferences that are not theirs.... when these FIRST RATE (N) human beings want to spend time with little ole me.  :stars:

Then Semi-Rational Springlight returns to say: "Um, Spring...you're not everybody's cup of tea, and that's just fine--that's just life ...but remember there are quite a few people who do and did truly enjoy do you. Even some of your extended family. " And then my...uh, erhm...inner child says..."oh......yeah..."  :doh: