In perfect BPD fashion...this before father's Day. What would your reaction be?

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I have been LC and MC with my UBPDm and UemNf for 10 glorious months now.  I have healed a lot since I found this website and all the related support.  I have acceptance of my parent's PDs and feel I've made good progress un-enmeshing and healing.  I received an email from UBPDm today that was two sentences basically saying click this link and listen to the lyrics of this song "In the Living years" it says a lot (lyrics below) and that she wasn't there the morning her father died.

For the record, My father is not ill.  I know I should not respond in anyway to this FOG, anxiety evoking email.  But it makes me so mad and I would love to call her out on it.  Maybe just a reply with the definition of FOG (I know this would cause rage).  Would love your thoughts on this email, it's intent and what your reaction and response would be.

Every generation
Blames the one before
And all of their frustrations
Come beating on your door
I know that I'm a prisoner
To all my Father held so dear
I know that I'm a hostage
To all his hopes and fears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years
Oh, crumpled bits of paper
Filled with imperfect thought
Stilted conversations
I'm afraid that's all we've got
You say you just don't see it
He says it's perfect sense
You just can't get agreement
In this present tense
We all talk a different language
Talking in defense

Say it loud (say it loud), say it clear (oh say it clear)
You can listen as well as you hear
It's too late (it's too late) when we die (oh when we die)
To admit we don't see eye to eye

So we open up a quarrel
Between the present and the past
We only sacrifice the future
It's the bitterness that lasts
So don't yield to the fortunes
You sometimes see as fate
It may have a new perspective
On a different day
And if you don't give up, and don't give in
You may just be okay
So say it loud, say it clear (oh say it clear)
You can listen as well as you hear
Because it's too late, it's too late (it's too late) when we die (oh when we die)
To admit we don't see eye to eye
I wasn't there that morning
When my Father passed away
I didn't get to tell him
All the things I had to say
I think I caught his spirit
Later that same year
I'm sure I heard his echo
In my baby's new born tears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years

Say it loud (say it loud), say it clear (oh say it clear)
You can listen as well as you hear
It's too late (it's too late) when we die (oh when we die)
To admit we don't see eye to eye



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Mike and the Mechanics.  Know the song well.  And she's trying to guilt trip you.  If you dont feel guilty abut the LC and MC then awesome.  If you feel no regret in your actions (or lack thereof) then awesome.    That's how i always have to think about everything...will i regret this?  I like to live with no regrets.

This makes me curious as to how old your parents are.  This was an 80s song.  I would've been 10 to tween when this came out.  Not something my parents would have ever listened to at the time and they would have been in their 50s.  Did your M "dig" for this song on purpose just to send it to you?  To me that would mean they are obsessed with your lack of communication, and it's just eating them up inside.   Or did she just happen to hear it on the radio and thought it applied to your situation?

My reply would be..."nice try", but that's just me and i have to apply it to my own situation which is not with my FOO, but the ILs.


Libby 12

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Hi AdultChild...

What a downright nasty thing to do.  To me, it is so obviously done to guilt and upset you just before father's day.

I think that I was a teenager when this song was a hit originally.   I was well and truly in the FOG then, but thinking back,  I always really disliked this record and I see why now.

It was so cleverly chosen,  I believe,  because just the first two lines sum up exactly what she wants to say to you. She is saying that all children blame their parents, it's not right and they will come to regret it when their parents die. So pull yourself together and be the daughter they want you to be.

My advice would be to ignore completely.   I don't believe that every generation blames their parents.   My nm blamed her mother for being depressed and not wanting the children she had, and I don't deny for one minute that my mother suffered.  I blame my mother for her physical violence and 40+ years of emotional abuse of me.  I broke the cycle,  however,  and even though I have been a far from perfect parent, especially when depressed,  I did not blame my children so they did not blame me, in that "universal"  way that the previous generations did. The difference is that emotionally healthier people can accept some blame and discuss things and find a mutually respectful way to move on. I hope I am making sense.

I think your parents want you to shoulder all the blame for the broken relationships and they found a sentimental song to do the job for them. People with a genuine, loving, respectful relationship with parents probably think this is a lovely song as it encourages parents and offspring who have had a bit of a falling out to deal with it and move on.   I don't think the lyrics apply to relationships that are so broken and for good reason.

I don't think I will have really helped you as I come from the perspective of NC of several years,  but your post about this song really set me thinking.

BTW, my FOC ignore mothers and fathers days.   It works for us.

Good luck,  Libby.



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This was mean spirited, but typical PD manipulation. It is clear that your lack of communication is getting to them and my advice would also be to ignore this completely. If your mother is like my uBPDm when I ignore her, she will follow up again with "Did you get my message?" and try to "poke" you until you respond. Be strong and don't do it! They are using guilt and shame to whip you back in shape because in the PD's mind, the responsibility for the relationship is always yours and you are always the cause of the brokenness.
Both my mother and most of my FOO on her side of the family have used this same tactic of telling me all my life to take/ignore the abuse because they don't want me to be sorry/feel guilty/be held accountable to God when she dies. Acceptance of a BPD mother's abuse to her daughter has been going on in my family for several generations. I came OOTF  10 years ago and decided that I would end the cycle, as I never want my children to feel about me the way I feel about my mother.  I have tried MC and LC, then went to VLC-- she has gotten the message, but it has only made her more angry and mean toward me. In my case, NC is probably the only healthy answer.
I feel that my obligation is to protect myself first and to try to be respectful in any dealings I must have with her.  I have no regrets about this approach and now feel comfortable telling that to any FOO member who suggests I should overlook her behavior.
I also detest Mother's Day and Father's Day. It's just a sad reminder of what I haven't had.



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Ouch, what a horrid email. Maybe you could simply respond with: "Never was a fan of this song, thanks for sharing though." It might diffuse the situation and show her that you won't buckle to manipulation and guilt trips.
"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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I vote for no response. She's basically shrugging off any responsibility for the state of your relationship, then expects you to come running back based on some empty threat. What right does she have worrying about what you might regret? I think no response says more than you think.
“How starved you must have been that my heart became a meal for your ego”
~ Amanda Torroni



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It reminds me of when Ronald Reagan took Bruce Springsteen's song "Born in the USA" as his new theme song, not realizing how politically incompatible both song and singer were to his own politics.  Your mother's picked a song that misses her intended point too.  Yes, you "don't see eye to eye", and that's frankly the point.