How is NC different from "silent treatment"

  • 41 Replies
  • 3387 Views
*

VeryUncertain

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 230
Re: How is NC different from "silent treatment"
« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2017, 08:31:17 PM »
No Contact is protecting yourself.
Silent Treatment is punishing someone else.
NC is a boundary, ST is abuse.

Well, NPDm SAID CLEARLY she's not willing to discuss the issue of my feeling unappreciated anymore because she finds the discussion too hurtful.  So she's gone NC with me?  She set a boundary to protect herself from what she sees as an attack.  In this case the attack is me wanting recognition and appreciation from my mother.  So, NC or ST?

*

raindrop

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 630
Re: How is NC different from "silent treatment"
« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2017, 09:14:53 PM »
I think your earlier summation sounded right.
But I would say it's not the names that matter it's the intention. Here's the thing: You don't know what her intention is and you CAN'T know because despite any enmeshment you may be in, you are two completely separate people :D you just have to focus on getting YOUR intention right.

Are you feeling like she is right to ignore your desire for a discussion? I find that I get confused about what is normal and what isn't and I need external input. Which is why you've come here, but we don't know all the ins and outs. To me it sounds like your M is doing the wrong thing by not allowing this conversation, but again, it's hard to know.
Maybe a therapist's input would help as well - they might be able to give some more perspective.
Sounds like you are feeling confused, so I wish you clarity and peace in your journey and that you would make the decisions that would help you become the best you possible  :bighug:
"Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
"Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
Piglet was comforted by this.
- A.A. Milne.

*

kazzak

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1989
Re: How is NC different from "silent treatment"
« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2017, 09:18:10 PM »
the attack is me wanting recognition and appreciation from my mother.

I've never heard of anyone attacking anyone that way before? Are you sure it is an attack?

Just because someone says it, doesn't mean it is true.

*

raindrop

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 630
Re: How is NC different from "silent treatment"
« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2017, 10:04:21 PM »
the attack is me wanting recognition and appreciation from my mother.

I've never heard of anyone attacking anyone that way before? Are you sure it is an attack?

Just because someone says it, doesn't mean it is true.


Yep what kazzak said is right... I feel like I didn't get across what I was trying to say in my last post, it reads as a bit blamey. Sorry about that! What I want to get across is, don't worry about what your M is thinking. What is right for you? What feels healthy for you? You're the only person you can, and should, control.
"Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
"Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
Piglet was comforted by this.
- A.A. Milne.

*

VeryUncertain

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 230
Re: How is NC different from "silent treatment"
« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2017, 01:06:45 PM »
First, thank you all very much for your affirmation and feedback!  It's really helpful, and I appreciate the help as I try and work my way through this.

Here's the thing: You don't know what her intention is and you CAN'T know because despite any enmeshment you may be in, you are two completely separate people :D you just have to focus on getting YOUR intention right.

Yes you're correct.  That said, my point is really that in NPDm's mind her intention really may be to protect herself.  Though as you say, that's impossible to know.

Are you feeling like she is right to ignore your desire for a discussion?

Absolutely not.

Maybe a therapist's input would help as well - they might be able to give some more perspective.
Sounds like you are feeling confused, so I wish you clarity and peace in your journey and that you would make the decisions that would help you become the best you possible

Thanks! I've had lots of input from my own therapist and from another who acted as a Family Therapist for joint sessions.  Both told me I'm OK, and she has issues with which she's refusing to deal.

I don't think I'm confused about ST=NC.  I think the PDs who use ST like described by notrightinthehead at the top of this thread are clearly doing it to control and hurt. 

I guess what I would say is that you all are right in saying it is the intent that matters, I just think that sometimes the intent can be mixed or confused.  In my case I think NPDm has convinced herself that she's protecting herself.

I've never heard of anyone attacking anyone that way before? Are you sure it is an attack?

Just because someone says it, doesn't mean it is true.

Oh, I'm sure it's NOT an attack, but the response is:
"How dare you insinuate that I'm selfish and inconsiderate! That is the most hurtful thing anyone has ever said to me..."

And I think she TRULY BELIEVES that when she says it...

So, if I send a "happy mother's day" (HMD) e-mail...  Am I hoovering?
Should I "respect her wish for NC?"  As such?

If it's ST, not NC, what is the correct response to ST?

i.e. given that I wish to continue the conversation, (perhaps because at some level I haven't fully internalized that it will NEVER go anywhere?) would sending HMD be wrong?

Or the reverse: If she decides to break the silence, sending an innocuous message.  What is the best way to respond, given that I want something which we (you and me and my therapists) agree is reasonable, but which she won't or can't give.  What is the next step?  Do I say "Happy mother's day.  Are you ready to continue our discussion?"

Conversely if she sends a "Happy Birthday" to me, do I respond with "Thanks, ready to continue?" or do I do what she wants and pretend we're back to the same-old same-old?

*

Beverlee

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 45
Re: How is NC different from "silent treatment"
« Reply #25 on: May 13, 2017, 02:31:31 PM »
In my experience, the PDs I know are always tossing people aside.  Whenever someone catches on to them, they decide that person is evil and intolerable and cut the person out of their life, so they're constantly "going NC" with lots of people who they (the PDs) find hurtful.

However, I don't think that settles the NC=ST issue.  I'm sure she claims to be NC with me now.

Hello Uncertain,
I like your replies to others' inquiries. Especially the part about PD tendencies around NC.

I imagine, as long as we know the difference between NC & ST, that's the most important. For me, it's hard to accept even then.

Realize I want to think of myself as a fair person, and it creates doubts for me. I want to defend myself.
Not sure what it's like for you, but this bit of work I need to do with myself seems just as important as anything else.
Maybe it's the main reason why the PD behavior gets to me.
Possibly, the most important reason ...

*

kazzak

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1989
Re: How is NC different from "silent treatment"
« Reply #26 on: May 13, 2017, 02:51:53 PM »
It's unhealthy to JADE with others (or ourselves) when it comes to a decision like NC.

I think you have to make decisions for yourself, putting your own needs first. Even on Mothers Day.

Welcome back Beverlee, it is good to see you back and jumping in with us!!!

*

Spring Butterfly

  • Spring Butterfly
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 17177
  • You can be free and heal ❤️‍🩹
    • One Key to Better Boundaries
Re: How is NC different from "silent treatment"
« Reply #27 on: May 13, 2017, 03:49:38 PM »
Here's a couple of random thoughts from my perspective.

In my case uPDm often waifs out, which is I think similar to what you're describing. She acts like my boundaries are some sort of abuse, so when I told her, for example, I have no time for lunch or a phone call I'm being mean. Because I'm expected to sacrifice my life, my health, my time with DH, my needs for her wants and my universe is to revolve around her and when that doesn't happen I'm just plain mean.

On top of that she acts tentative and is "afraid to say anything" because she's going to get "in trouble" which when ran through the PD translator means that if she behaves passive-aggressively or says something unkind I will challenge her rather than lay down and let her verbally beat me to a pulp. What a terrible person I am!

So yes, absolutely, she needs to stay away from me to protect herself. That is her perspective, that is her story in her head, and that is not my business if that's the story she creates in her head. I'm not responsible for her emotions nor am I responsible to figure out the motives behind her staying away from me. She can call it whatever she wants it doesn't matter to me.

That's another thought, does it really matter from their perspective what they think our NC is if we're not responsible for other person's emotions? I think there's some desire sometimes on our part to morally justify our choice for limiting or going no contact. We don't want to feel like the disordered person. But for me personally as long as I understand I'm protecting myself I really don't care what uPDm makes of it because there is the whole narcissistic injury when they are not getting N Supply, plus there's the whole triggered fear of abandonment. Again though I'm not responsible or all of that and it's a bunch of DARVO and Hoover and gaslighting.

On the flip side there is the other questions you raised.
Quote
So, if I send a "happy mother's day" (HMD) e-mail...  Am I hoovering?
Should I "respect her wish for NC?"  As such?
If it's ST, not NC, what is the correct response to ST?
If the person has specifically requested no contact then I would respect that request the same as I would wish that respected if it were my request. If NC has not been specifically requested then I assume it is silent treatment and I ignore it as I would any other tantrum. However I will say in my case there is generally not any contact unless I initiate and I am less and less inclined to initiate because all that means is stepping in the firing line so I can speak to enF.

Quote
Isn't the mature response to continue distasteful conversations with people you value? NC is a focus on yourself and your own needs. 
lately I have started to view the verbal abuse and beatings the same as a good physical abuse. No I don't think the mature response is to stand there getting physically beat up so there's no reason I would stand there and getting verbally beaten up. In the case of a physical confrontation I would push back telling the person to stop and if they didn't I would leave. That's the same thing I do with a verbal confrontation, I push back and if they don't stop I'll leave.

Yes NC is about focusing on yourself and your own needs and I see nothing wrong with that because we can't control or fix anyone else.
· 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

*

Fightsong

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 703
Re: How is NC different from "silent treatment"
« Reply #28 on: May 14, 2017, 11:59:46 AM »

On top of that she acts tentative and is "afraid to say anything" because she's going to get "in trouble" which when ran through the PD translator means that if she behaves passive-aggressively or says something unkind I will challenge her rather than lay down and let her verbally beat me to a pulp. What a terrible person I am!

So yes, absolutely, she needs to stay away from me to protect herself. That is her perspective, that is her story in her head, and that is not my business if that's the story she creates in her head. I'm not responsible for her emotions nor am I responsible to figure out the motives behind her staying away from me. She can call it whatever she wants it doesn't matter to me.

That's another thought, does it really matter from their perspective what they think our NC is if we're not responsible for other person's emotions? I think there's some desire sometimes on our part to morally justify our choice for limiting or going no contact. We don't want to feel like the disordered person. But for me personally as long as I understand I'm protecting myself I really don't care what uPDm makes of it because there is the whole narcissistic injury when they are not getting N Supply, plus there's the whole triggered fear of abandonment. Again though I'm not responsible or all of that and it's a bunch of DARVO and Hoover and gaslighting

Yes, mine does that too. It's exasperating. All that . All that. Love the clarity of thought here

*

VeryUncertain

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 230
Re: How is NC different from "silent treatment"
« Reply #29 on: May 14, 2017, 12:05:46 PM »
It's unhealthy to JADE with others (or ourselves) when it comes to a decision like NC.

I'm not clear on what you mean.

it's a bunch of DARVO and Hoover and gaslighting.

That sums up my entire interaction with FOO. :(

If the person has specifically requested no contact then I would respect that request the same as I would wish that respected if it were my request. If NC has not been specifically requested then I assume it is silent treatment and I ignore it as I would any other tantrum.

I think that's good advice. Thank you.

In this case, she has not requested NC.  She said the conversation we were having with the therapist was hurtful and she wouldn't have it anymore, and hasn't contacted me since. So I think ST.  I went to several therapy sessions myself, and then asked for a recommendation of a family therapist, and set up the family therapy session which she agreed to try.  If she backs out, clearly the next move is up to her. If she doesn't make one it's ST.  (kazzak is this JADE?)

lately I have started to view the verbal abuse and beatings the same as a good physical abuse. ... I push back and if they don't stop I'll leave.

Fair.  Though to any uninformed third party this might look lopsided because the verbal assaults are often subtle and hidden in language that seems neutral.

I'm full of conflicting emotions.  I don't want to give up on what are (I'm told by people who should know) normal and reasonable requests.  But at an intellectual level I know that there's nothing I can say or do which will produce this result.  Yet I don't want to give up on family which I consider important, and at another level I'm tired of always losing these battles.  So round and round I go. 

This makes me sangry (sad+angry).  I want to spell things out gently, but I know this would be ridiculed.  Which makes me want to lash out and tell it like it is, which would cement the current situation.

I know I've been raised to try to fix the unfixable, but outside of my FOO, this trait has served me really well.  It seems herculean to give up and NOT try to fix, but the closest I can come is to just give up on what I want.

The problem with giving up what I want is that I know that just having said what I have, I will now be punished (abused) forever, in one way or another.  NPDm has literally told me she has written a letter belittling me which is to be read publicly as part of her will's probate.  This makes me just ANGRY. 

Anyway, thanks for being here! OOTF has been a really great help! 

*

kazzak

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1989
Re: How is NC different from "silent treatment"
« Reply #30 on: May 14, 2017, 01:25:00 PM »
It's unhealthy to JADE with others (or ourselves) when it comes to a decision like NC.

I'm not clear on what you mean.

More on JADE here: http://outofthefog.website/what-not-to-do-1/2015/12/3/jade-dont-justify-argue-defend-explain

Don't Justify, Argue, Defend, Explain

While I understand it is important that you understand and feel comfortable with the decisions you are making, it can make us feel uneasy to Don't Justify, Argue, Defend, Explain why we go NC. I'm just being clear that you don't need to, imo, and trying to do so may be unhealthy.

*

Blueskies

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 375
Re: How is NC different from "silent treatment"
« Reply #31 on: May 14, 2017, 03:24:14 PM »
VeryUncertain, to this "Fair.  Though to any uninformed third party this might look lopsided because the verbal assaults are often subtle and hidden in language that seems neutral." I would say, who cares what a third party would think. It is hard when the emotional abuse is subtle...I have that issue too. So much is conveyed in attitude and tone of voice. Often, it is only us who know what is being done with certain phrases...don't doubt yourself and your emotional reaction. If it feels like abuse...it probably is abuse.

I am also very familiar with the feeling of wanting to fix the relationship. The thought "If I could just find the right way to say this, it would be fine" went round my head for ages. Problem is you can't fix their mental illness - only they can help that through treatment and medication. If they won't do that you have to decide whether you are willing to be abused, and if so how much.

The letter belittling you to be read out with the will is horrific abuse. You should be angry...anger is a normal reaction. It's possible though that if a solicitor were to read this out you may be able to sue them for defamation of character and emotional trauma...you might want to look into that to protect yourself. It's almost as though she's saying that she will abuse you as much as she likes while she is alive and when she has died, even then she will continue to do it. You can't fix her...you just have to decide if you are going to stand there and let her beat you. Would you let a wild animal attack you, even one you cared about...or would you walk away or keep it caged up and handle with extreme caution?

*

VeryUncertain

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 230
Re: How is NC different from "silent treatment"
« Reply #32 on: May 14, 2017, 05:38:50 PM »
Would you let a wild animal attack you, even one you cared about...or would you walk away or keep it caged up and handle with extreme caution?

Thanks, that's a great metaphor!

*

DM178

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 80
Re: How is NC different from "silent treatment"
« Reply #33 on: May 14, 2017, 05:57:05 PM »
I have repeatedly shared with my UBPDM that when there is no communication happening between us, that she is also choosing to "go silent". She ignores this type of feedback,  by replying "I am the mother ", and basically insinuating that it is 100% my responsibility when we have no communication occurring.

I share this, as it is yet another example of the BPD personality totally incapable of truly hearing feedback, and then using it change behavior.

I also know in my heart that when I am not communicating, it is because I am "protective mode" and not wanting the interaction because I know it will be hurtful. When UPBDM is not communicating, she does it to control...

It's an awful cycle, but at least I have clarity on it, and my expectations are in alignment with my own actions...

a. if I want communication to happen, I will have to be the one initiating it.
b. The communication will probably involve her trying to make me feel bad b/c she has "not heard from me"
c. She will never understand what she does by going silent. And I must continue to develop my own strength in this area, but not having any expectations attached to her ever developing any healthy communication habits.

Thank you for this post. I only deal with "NC" and "ST" when dealing with others who have mental illness..these two types of dysfunctional behaviors are very rare when communication is happening between two emotionally healthy people!


“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor Frankl

*

Beverlee

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 45
Re: How is NC different from "silent treatment"
« Reply #34 on: May 15, 2017, 04:55:09 AM »
It's unhealthy to JADE with others (or ourselves) when it comes to a decision like NC.
Justify, Argue, Defend, Explain
Was going to ask what this means, then saw it at the top of the page.
Been grieving off and on today, so obviously quite tired!
Time to go rest.
Rough trigger day ....

Quote
I think you have to make decisions for yourself, putting your own needs first. Even on Mothers Day.

Welcome back Beverlee, it is good to see you back and jumping in with us!!!
Thanks Kazzak,
It's so good to be back.

I've been looking after myself and my partner even though I suspect the Hidden PD would expect a Mother's Day call.
Hurting because a sibling contacted me shortly after I contacted my mother last year. It was bizarre all around.
Felt like I'd made progress, until just recently, when mPD disregarded a stated boundary. Tired of needing to create cast iron boundaries!
In addition, dealing with health stuff. So, feeling effects of no family to share the journey - or help figure things out. When I attempted to reach out to sibling, for support. No response. I'm thinking, would they rather wait until I die?!

From my understanding of family dynamics, I think that's what they're waiting for. When my Obvious PD parent died a lot of the tension fell away. Without a scapegoat, they were lost. Guess who got the job?

With reassurances to my sibling that nothing would have worked for the Obvious PD parent, there's probably a deja vu going on.
Seems like family enmeshment, on both sides of family are trading notes. No one is saying anything, but NC behavior and oblique hints and revisiting Obvious PDs behavior, though deceased for many years.

Too bad no statute of limitations on relentless dysfunctional behavior.
The enmeshment has managed to spread throughout two families, who have little direct contact with each other.

This topic is helpful because the primary way of dealing is with NC ... also seem to be a heck of a lot of flying monkeys I had nightmares about as a child. More recently, it's gaslighting.

Now I know why I had severe nightmares! Family dynamics were toxic and crazymaking, even then.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2017, 04:56:43 AM by Beverlee »

*

Blueskies

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 375
Re: How is NC different from "silent treatment"
« Reply #35 on: May 15, 2017, 05:43:52 AM »
VeryUncertain, sometimes I find metaphors cut through all the circular thinking and confusion, and through all the guilt. Particularly BPD is the 'I hate you don't leave me' disorder. It has always felt to me that my uBPM catches me in a net of guilt, obligation and fear (the 'don't leave me' bit) where she then viciously attacks me (the 'I hate you' bit). It feels like to leave and protect myself is to hurt her. It's the most horrific psychological abuse. The wild animal metaphor for me cuts through that. I use it when I am stuck in the FOG. Like a wild animal, she can't help lashing out and attacking - it's in her nature.

I also find it helpful to think of myself as an injured animal. Injured animals DO NOT expose themselves more to the attacker. They either fight to protect themselves or get the hell out of dodge, lick their wounds and heal. It's like BPD people interupt our natural animal instincts to protect ourselves with all the FOG.

*

raindrop

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 630
Re: How is NC different from "silent treatment"
« Reply #36 on: May 15, 2017, 06:55:35 AM »
That is great that tiger metaphor. That really is how it feels.
"Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
"Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
Piglet was comforted by this.
- A.A. Milne.

*

Spring Butterfly

  • Spring Butterfly
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 17177
  • You can be free and heal ❤️‍🩹
    • One Key to Better Boundaries
Re: How is NC different from "silent treatment"
« Reply #37 on: May 15, 2017, 08:16:47 AM »
Quote from: Beverlee
mPD disregarded a stated boundary. Tired of needing to create cast iron boundaries!  . . .

This topic is helpful because the primary way of dealing is with NC
It's exactly these two thoughts from your post Beverlee that are very much connected to the idea of the difference between silent treatment and NC. If a boundary or preference or stated wish is ignoring time and time again it becomes quite clear that our thoughts and feelings as an individual mean zero to the other party. The point we are left with no choice but to reduce contact to the minimum we can handle or to go NC.
· 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

*

Beverlee

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 45
Re: How is NC different from "silent treatment"
« Reply #38 on: May 15, 2017, 01:03:35 PM »
Quote from: Beverlee
mPD disregarded a stated boundary. Tired of needing to create cast iron boundaries!  . . .

This topic is helpful because the primary way of dealing is with NC

 it becomes quite clear that our thoughts and feelings as an individual mean zero to the other party. The point we are left with no choice but to reduce contact to the minimum we can handle or to go NC.

Oh my gosh, such sanity in these words!

*

Afterthefox

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 156
Re: How is NC different from "silent treatment"
« Reply #39 on: May 15, 2017, 01:18:31 PM »
I appreciate the animal metaphors.

I have often thought of the similarities between my BPDf and a feral animal.

Unsocialized, aggressive, unapproachable, anti-social, defensive, self-serving, avoidant, individualistic.
"Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone." - Alan Watts