Catch-22, morality vs. deceit, how the FOG works

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all4peace

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Catch-22, morality vs. deceit, how the FOG works
« on: October 10, 2017, 05:39:48 PM »
My mom does her behind-the-scenes manipulation, badmouthing to SIL, crying to gcB, who knows what with enF. Lots of manipulation and deceit.

In the last couple years, we siblings finally started talking, comparing notes, discovering FAR more lying and manipulation than we had imagined. When we pooled our experiences, it became obvious that uNBPD?m was far more devious than any one of us had realized.

Here's the dilemma: My siblings are moral and conscientious people. And they have lots of OG. They think it's rotten to be talking about mom behind her back. They don't want to be that kind of person. gcB feels a lot of loyalty to uNBPD?m despite feeling "no connection" to her and admitting that "I'd like to think she doesn't intend all these behaviors, but it's hard to come to another conclusion." They know at least somewhat who she is, but they also feel duty and loyalty to being "good kids" and don't want to keep talking about her. Now that they've come to an understanding of her character, they want to move onto other topics, understandably.

Here's my dilemma: Deceit and manipulation thrive in the dark. Lots of ugly things grow and thrive in the dark. I've been setting rare boundaries with our mom in regards to my kids, and she has crossed them every time and freaked out when I called her on it. Now when I continue to hold my boundary, my parents "want to talk." My dilemma is that I don't have any tools. My hands are tied. I'm hobbled, muffled, helpless. There is zero point in bringing up the problems from childhood. Plus, THE problem is her behavior at this present time. If I cannot even admit all that I know she is doing behind the scenes, I have almost nothing left. But I won't expose my siblings' confidences, either, unless they give me permission.

I'd appreciate any insight on this dilemma.

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practical

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Re: Catch-22, morality vs. deceit, how the FOG works
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2017, 06:07:41 PM »
Here's my dilemma: Deceit and manipulation thrive in the dark. Lots of ugly things grow and thrive in the dark. I've been setting rare boundaries with our mom in regards to my kids, and she has crossed them every time and freaked out when I called her on it. Now when I continue to hold my boundary, my parents "want to talk." My dilemma is that I don't have any tools. My hands are tied. I'm hobbled, muffled, helpless. There is zero point in bringing up the problems from childhood. Plus, THE problem is her behavior at this present time. If I cannot even admit all that I know she is doing behind the scenes, I have almost nothing left. But I won't expose my siblings' confidences, either, unless they give me permission.

I'd appreciate any insight on this dilemma.

Even if you expose her deceit and manipulation to bright sunlight or UV light, she will continue to do what she does - at least that was true of M, and F when challenged why he told version A to Bro, B to me, C to another person will explain it away or start accusing us of trying to make him look like an idiot, that he is fully competent and give us ST. It seems you are expecting some kind of change if you would expose what she is doing, and you know that want happen.

You don't need their confidences or anything to support your position. Your boundaries are yours, they are not there to be argued about with your M. "These are my boundaries and it is up to you to respect them" is all you need. This is similar to "No" is a full sentence. Don't get involved in any "We need to talk/you need to explain." kind of circular conversations with your M or F. You don't owe them any JADEing.

B and I have shared notes a lot, I don't think I have ever used any of what he has told me as part of setting a boundary. When I have set boundaries it was because of something they did towards me. The times when we have used these shared notes was when working with the clinicians that were evaluating M for competency for example, so it was actually to give them background so she could receive the proper care. Similar with F, and also to reassure us that we aren't loosing our grip on reality, that it is F who is telling lies.

Using your shared notes would only get you into a never-ending circular argument of the nth dimension, it wouldn't solve anything, as your M would still not understand, would still not change and would have ways to explain it away or blame you and your siblings. Yes, she doesn't like you setting boundaries, that doesn't mean you owe her an explanation or a conversation of any kind.

Could it be that what is really upsetting you is that you are drawing consequences, setting boundaries due to your M's behavior, while your siblings are standing by, letting her behavior pass? So, you are the one in trouble with M, the one she demands an explanation from, while they stay safe, instead of this being some kind of concerted family effort? Everybody setting boundaries so she might get the message to some extend, certainly wouldn't be able to single you out, make you the boogieman? Are you feeling you have to fight this out alone? (I would totally get it.) While you did get validation of your M's behavior from your siblings, which is helpful, what they all do with this information might very much depend on the role they played/are playing in the family dysfunction, how much involvement they have with your parents. You are fairly close by if I remember correctly, so boundaries are much more important to you and your FOC than for a sibling who lives further away and only sees her a couple of times a year.

Sorry you are faced with push back to your boundaries and dealing with family dysfunction.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 06:50:28 PM by practical »
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all4peace

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Re: Catch-22, morality vs. deceit, how the FOG works
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2017, 06:44:18 PM »
I wasn't clear enough. I stand by my boundaries and don't need my siblings' support on that, I agree.

The relationship with my parents has completely deteriorated because of all the behind-the-scenes lying and backstabbing by my mom about the others. I cannot explain the deterioration by 2 boundary violations alone, or their overall neglect and disinterest. The lying and backstabbing are the biggest problems, the biggest and final straw.

Basically, I would like to let mom know that her game is up. That if she wants ANY kind of decent adult-adult relationship with us, then she needs to stop the sneaky crap. That we know what she is doing and she will not get away with it because we will let each other know what is going on. But I cannot do that without their consent. And if everyone is too decent to continue to report her sneaky behavior, she will continue to get away with it.

Things cannot hide in the dark if someone is willing to shine a light on them.

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practical

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Re: Catch-22, morality vs. deceit, how the FOG works
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2017, 06:56:02 PM »
Additional thought, for me badmouthing is what your M is doing, creating lies about people, manipulation in all its forms, when your siblings and you exchange information about what she has done, that is stating facts not badmouthing and it is done as a reality check not because it amuses you (I'm pretty sure you rather talk about something else, rather have a mother where this wasn't necessary).

Since you and your siblings have realized this, have you all instituted a policy of "No, mom, you cannot say anything negative about any of my siblings, heir spouses or children. If you have an issue with them, you have to talk to them."? This is what B and I have. This would most likely be the most effective way to stop her badmouthing at least within the family, F found a new confidante  :roll: and M had a whole bunch of friends/FMs for this purpose.

At the risk of sounding totally stupid, have you asked them whether you could tell your M what you want to tell her? This wouldn't involve you and your siblings continuing to share your M's latest behavior (what she has done so far is enough, you don't need to know the latest). It would be a one time question by you and their answer and then you can all move on to your relationship with each other. - B and I have in the past run things by each other when there was a risk of a major clash due to something we were about to do, making sure the other one was okay, and that has worked for us.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 07:19:56 PM by practical »
If Im not towards myself, who is towards myself? And when Im only towards myself, what am I? And if not now, when? (Rabbi Hillel)

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Zebrastriped

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Re: Catch-22, morality vs. deceit, how the FOG works
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2017, 07:43:11 PM »
all4peace, my uBPDm does lots of lying and manipulation too.  Now and in the past.  my sister and I had many long reality check conversations when I still lived at home and for some time afterwards.  Once I moved out and we both learned not to confide in her, there was less to converse about.  Who cares, really if it was a bluebird or a cardinal at the birdfeeder and she told one of us the bird was blue and the other red.

I kept, and continue, to keep my kids out of the equation by only having visits on major holidays.

My experience with uBPDmom is that she cannot respect others' boundaries.  Dad had food restrictions for some time to recover from an illness.  She encouraged him to eat the worst possible food on the list, prolonging his recovery.  She has no respect for her own food restrictions either, making herself miserable often.

Your boundary for your children is probably tailored to them.  I was very definately a helicopter parent for my oldest DS, and he needed it.  For my younger DS, I was less involved with the minutia of his activities because he didn't need that.  You know your children best and are their best advocate.  If the boundary is not respected and can't be enforced its time not to be there.

I think its really important to respect your siblings' confidences.  I agree with Practical that any discussion with M about the lies will just lead to alot of circular conversations full of heartache and accusations.  Your siblings may need  time to mull over and adjust to recent painful  conclusions.

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Re: Catch-22, morality vs. deceit, how the FOG works
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2017, 07:47:40 PM »
All4Peace I think I get where you're coming from because uPDm and enF asked several times about the distance and clearly deteriorating relationship. In my case there was no point to going into childhood issues because the real problem was in the present.

For me what it came down to was first broken trust and second failure to be recognized as an individual and an adult.

Once things were that clear in my head I just started to embrace my truth, the new me, the individual adult. I did communicate along the way, clearly confronting several times in the moment certain behaviors that I considered abusive (yelling, snickering sarcasm to make me feel small about my decisions, etc) and let them know how this behavior affected me. Although I didn't use the word abuse I did communicate how much it hurt. The pouring out of my heart fell on deaf ears. The behavior continued. I dug my heels in, continued to set boundaries, and drifted further into being busy.

There was nothing to sit down and discuss. Basically I grew up quite suddenly, I was no longer a child hungry and seeking for their approval, I no longer cared what they thought of me or the decisions DH and I made as a couple.

If I remember correctly your situation is similar. What would happen if you approached the matter suggesting any sort of sit down from that POV, from a detached perspective? Simply that you and DH have decided to raise your children and make decisions as a couple and they don't need to agree. Your boundary is your boundary and what is there to discuss? Why the need to sit and talk?

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I've been setting rare boundaries with our mom in regards to my kids, and she has crossed them every time and freaked out when I called her on it. Now when I continue to hold my boundary, my parents "want to talk." My dilemma is that I don't have any tools. My hands are tied. I'm hobbled, muffled, helpless.
what exactly would they want to talk about? You set a boundary which is absolutely your right as a parent, there's nothing to explain, there's nothing to talk about. My T assured me I don't even need a reason for my boundary or a reason for my feeling. It's quite alright to even say I don't know why I feel that way I just do.

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There is zero point in bringing up the problems from childhood. Plus, THE problem is her behavior at this present time. If I cannot even admit all that I know she is doing behind the scenes, I have almost nothing left. But I won't expose my siblings' confidences, either, unless they give me permission.
problems from your childhood or confidences of your siblings and children may not even be relevant. If those things you have found out or the basis for your boundary that is private and it's still your prerogative to set any boundary you and your husband so please without any JADE whatsoever.
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all4peace

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Re: Catch-22, morality vs. deceit, how the FOG works
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2017, 07:53:58 PM »
At the risk of sounding totally stupid, have you asked them whether you could tell your M what you want to tell her? This wouldn't involve you and your siblings continuing to share your M's latest behavior (what she has done so far is enough, you don't need to know the latest). It would be a one time question by you and their answer and then you can all move on to your relationship with each other. - B and I have in the past run things by each other when there was a risk of a major clash due to something we were about to do, making sure the other one was okay, and that has worked for us.
Not stupid at all. I have 3 siblings, 3 sibling ILs. Mom does this crap with my 2 SILs (both lovely women) and tries to use my B as a confidante. She does this because these 3 are absolute perfect targets, too nice to shut her down, too in the FOG to understand (B) that it's totally inappropriate for her to go crying to them with her stories. Sister and I would shut her down in a heartbeat, so of course she does not ever attempt to do this with us.

One SIL is too far away to be frequently involved, and we don't burden her or B with the unfolding issues.
One SIL is finally learning, after years of anxiety in coping with my mom, how to think up ways to shut her down ("I'm not comfortable talking about your kids with you", for example)

What I think I really want is 2 things for very different reasons:
1. Actually give M and D a chance to get their act together. I know they won't see the morality issue. I know they will JADE. I know I will have a big fat target on my back if I actually tell them to stop messing around in our lives behind the scenes, or lose all of us. (which may not even be my place to say)
2. Look my uNBPD?m straight in her beady eyes (yes, I'm struggling with some anger right now) and let her know that her game is up, the manipulations have been seen through, and that we all know exactly what is going on. Perhaps I'm in too vindictive of a state of mind right now, but I would absolutely love to do this.

People get away with this because they don't have an internal compass AND because we keep letting them. My mom has no problem cutting off me and my sister, and focusing on her GC son. I would like to make it impossible for her to (honestly) say she has no idea why I don't have a relationship with her anymore. I would like the truth to be spoken right into her ears, regardless of what she does with that.

But, my sister in law and brother are tied to the family business and finances at this point and very afraid to rock the boat. Since all the bashing has been happening TO them (and not me), I would have to betray their confidence (even if I didn't give names or examples) to let mom know that we know what she's doing.

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all4peace

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Re: Catch-22, morality vs. deceit, how the FOG works
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2017, 08:07:24 PM »
If I remember correctly your situation is similar. What would happen if you approached the matter suggesting any sort of sit down from that POV, from a detached perspective? Simply that you and DH have decided to raise your children and make decisions as a couple and they don't need to agree. Your boundary is your boundary and what is there to discuss? Why the need to sit and talk? what exactly would they want to talk about? You set a boundary which is absolutely your right as a parent, there's nothing to explain, there's nothing to talk about. My T assured me I don't even need a reason for my boundary or a reason for my feeling. It's quite alright to even say I don't know why I feel that way I just do.

My parents, imo, need to talk because they need me to see them as they see themselves, which is good, good parents. I will need to be told a great long list of all I have been doing wrong as an adult daughter so that we can all agree that it is entirely my fault. My boundaries are simply the vehicle by which we started having conflict in adulthood. My boundaries simply exposed my parents' persistent need to dominate, no matter what stage of life we are all in. My boundaries, and their reaction to them, simply exposed the fault lines that I didn't realize (foolishly) still existed in my adult relationship with them. I don't need their or my siblings' agreement to set boundaries regarding my children, although I did tell my siblings about it since I knew mom would badmouth me once it happened (and she did).

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problems from your childhood or confidences of your siblings and children may not even be relevant. If those things you have found out or the basis for your boundary that is private and it's still your prerogative to set any boundary you and your husband so please without any JADE whatsoever.
My boundaries are unrelated to my wish to let my M know that enough is enough. I think I didn't explain this clearly enough in my first post :)

And definitely I'm being triggered by finding out that while M and F continue to refuse to meaningfully engage in any way, they are hyperfocusing on my brother's family. It is oh-so-familiar from childhood, left on the outside looking in. So for sure some of this is just really painful stuff from childhood being triggered. And I would just like for once to speak from the power of adulthood and call them out on their behavior.

My B and I are the only ones who are physically close to M and D. It is also triggering me to consider that I might be totally cut off by my parents, rather than them try to mend our relationship, and they will hyperfocus on B and his family and yet I will be in a position in which I still feel an obligation to help my B care for them when they are elderly. I hate the icky grossness of being in an N family, the divided loyalties, the blurring of boundaries. I don't even really know how I feel about my B at this point. He actually has stuck up for me recently when mom tried to badmouth me, and he's in a really tough position right now with them also. It's just gross and confusing and upsetting and I'm so weary of it from both sides. I would like to have SOME family left for my kids. And my parents host all the extended family events, so if they cut me off I'm cut off from all of it.

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all4peace

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Re: Catch-22, morality vs. deceit, how the FOG works
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2017, 08:14:09 PM »
Could it be that what is really upsetting you is that you are drawing consequences, setting boundaries due to your M's behavior, while your siblings are standing by, letting her behavior pass? So, you are the one in trouble with M, the one she demands an explanation from, while they stay safe, instead of this being some kind of concerted family effort? Everybody setting boundaries so she might get the message to some extend, certainly wouldn't be able to single you out, make you the boogieman? Are you feeling you have to fight this out alone? (I would totally get it.) While you did get validation of your M's behavior from your siblings, which is helpful, what they all do with this information might very much depend on the role they played/are playing in the family dysfunction, how much involvement they have with your parents. You are fairly close by if I remember correctly, so boundaries are much more important to you and your FOC than for a sibling who lives further away and only sees her a couple of times a year.

Sorry you are faced with push back to your boundaries and dealing with family dysfunction.
Absolutely, you nailed it. I don't want to give uNBPD?m more power than she has, but I definitely feel the need for us all to face her head on. She really couldn't fight us all at once. My S actually confronted her and D first this year, about the lying and splitting (dad not allowed a relationship with us if things aren't good with us and mom). Outright denial. I wanted to lend my voice to my sister's, and I let my brother know also in case he wanted to add his to ours. He did defend me when mom tried to throw me under the bus, but he's also in a tough place. He was the one who experienced emotional incest. He became her "spouse" when she and dad were separated. She installed all his buttons and now she is pushing them. He is getting therapy to help cope, but I don't know how that's going. At times he will confide and talk for hours, and other times he is totally withdrawn. I haven't had a good conversation with him in months. And I certainly don't want to be another manipulative female trying to get him to do what I want.

I have just asked him to consider how mom behaves to him, to turn the roles around as he thinks about his relationship with his own kids (for example if he can't decide if it's appropriate for M to use him as a therapist, would he do the same to his kids?), and to not let her push his guilt buttons. I don't know that there is much else that is healthy or fair for me to do except support him and model a healthy relationship.

I will continue to give my siblings "a heads up" when there is big stuff happening with mom and dad.

Yes, 2 siblings live far away and only engage with M and D 1 week every 1-2 years. No matter what my S has said to them, M and D can manage to play nice for 1 week per year.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 08:56:12 PM by all4peace »

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all4peace

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Re: Catch-22, morality vs. deceit, how the FOG works
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2017, 08:16:06 PM »
Your siblings may need  time to mull over and adjust to recent painful  conclusions.
I think this is a wise observation. I also have had to learn my own boundaries in the last few years, and one of them would be respecting the conclusions my siblings come to, even if I don't agree with them. And the sad truth is that what is best for my B's life and marriage and work life may be not good at all for my family. (our level of contact with M and D)

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practical

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Re: Catch-22, morality vs. deceit, how the FOG works
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2017, 10:38:46 PM »
That is a tough needle you are trying to thread  :-[  - protecting your FOC and yourself, being true to your values, which also includes respecting your siblings.

What I think I really want is 2 things for very different reasons:
1. Actually give M and D a chance to get their act together. I know they won't see the morality issue. I know they will JADE. I know I will have a big fat target on my back if I actually tell them to stop messing around in our lives behind the scenes, or lose all of us. (which may not even be my place to say)
2. Look my uNBPD?m straight in her beady eyes (yes, I'm struggling with some anger right now) and let her know that her game is up, the manipulations have been seen through, and that we all know exactly what is going on. Perhaps I'm in too vindictive of a state of mind right now, but I would absolutely love to do this.
I do fear you would be utterly disappointed and left feeling empty, hurt. Before you would have finished saying your piece, it would have been rewritten to fit her view, her world, and you would be left feeling even more unseen most likely, just possibly with a target on your back. My parents have both done this again and again, and I ended up with a feeling of whiplash and not quite knowing what happened, except for that no resolution was found, there wasn't going to be any change. The ability to adapt their reality in real time leaves me  :stars: every time, it is simply mind boggling to me. A chameleon doesn't adapt this fast. (I envy you for your anger, I'm just tired from all the nonsense.)

I sent a Time Out letter to F this summer. I didn't do it for him or in any hopes of change, I did for myself, to say my piece and hear my own voice saying it (really writing it). So he had it in black and white, didn't matter, he came up with some bizarre story why I wasn't talking to him which involved blaming B  :wacko: . M did the same in response to my NC letter except her story was even more bizarre blaming people unknown to her and me  :wacko: .

If you want to see if they are able to get their act together, use a small issue (I'm sure there are other issues besides this one you have with them), something easily verifiable. This would be to convince yourself that they won't, and if they don't do it for a smaller issue, how would they do it for a big issue such as habitual lying and manipulation? If they do get their act together, then you can figure out how to approach this issue.
If Im not towards myself, who is towards myself? And when Im only towards myself, what am I? And if not now, when? (Rabbi Hillel)

"I can forgive, but I cannot afford to forget." (Moglow)

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: Catch-22, morality vs. deceit, how the FOG works
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2017, 10:16:39 AM »
All4Peace, I apologize and am not sure my words came across as intended now that I read them back.

If I remember correctly your situation is similar. What would happen if you approached the matter suggesting any sort of sit down from that POV, from a detached perspective? Simply that you and DH have decided to raise your children and make decisions as a couple and they don't need to agree. Your boundary is your boundary and what is there to discuss? Why the need to sit and talk? what exactly would they want to talk about? You set a boundary which is absolutely your right as a parent, there's nothing to explain, there's nothing to talk about. My T assured me I don't even need a reason for my boundary or a reason for my feeling. It's quite alright to even say I don't know why I feel that way I just do.

My parents, imo, need to talk because they need me to see them as they see themselves, which is good, good parents. I will need to be told a great long list of all I have been doing wrong as an adult daughter so that we can all agree that it is entirely my fault. My boundaries are simply the vehicle by which we started having conflict in adulthood. My boundaries simply exposed my parents' persistent need to dominate, no matter what stage of life we are all in. My boundaries, and their reaction to them, simply exposed the fault lines that I didn't realize (foolishly) still existed in my adult relationship with them. I don't need their or my siblings' agreement to set boundaries regarding my children, although I did tell my siblings about it since I knew mom would badmouth me once it happened (and she did).
when I originally posted the questions this was exactly what I was thinking. The question as to why the need to sit down and discuss anything wasn't so much a question from me to you but I guess more so a question from you to them. More of a challenge, sort of like what's the point anyway since you and everyone else here knows where any sort of discussion is likely to lead. It's one of the reasons I decided never to have a sit down and to maintain the stand that I'm grown up and that's the end of that there's nothing to discuss.

They don't need to like it and yes it's a huge Cosmic Shift from how those raised in a PD household where groomed, how we lived our entire life from infancy well into adulthood and perhaps for some of us into midlife and beyond. Of course from anyone's perspective - PD or not - this begs the question 'why?' and 'what happened?' when there is such a significant change to the flow of a relationship, to which in this case the answer simply is 'I grew up and individuated into an adult'.

To a PD person that concept is beyond their ability to comprehend most times. To me it's sort of like trying to explain the color purple to someone born blind as someone once said to me. If anyone ever finds a way I'd love to hear about it. In the meantime my personal approach is to just maintain The New Normal of an individuated adult and communicate that as best as possible using medium chill.

For example when DH and I make a decision that needs to be communicated out it is done so as a decision not requiring approval but more as an FYI courtesy. That's the tone of the communication from start to finish because we own the right to make the decisions and so far it's been several years since any questions have been asked as to what's wrong. Probing questions are deflected or shut down because we don't need to explain the decision process rather to advise of the decision made if it needs to be communicated at all.

Past sit-downs have very much lead to the outcome you mention, that they need to be seen as good good parents. Even if they were good enough parents in the past and the present that has nothing to do with boundaries. It's just that boundaries and normal adult individuation is unfamiliar and uncomfortable. PD persons often take this personally, as an attack. Is there a way to depersonalize it in your communication? My T suggested to communicate using reassuring words of love and care while still owning my adulthood and right to boundaries. Several of the books on dealing with PD persons also recommended similar ways of communicating.


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And definitely I'm being triggered by finding out that while M and F continue to refuse to meaningfully engage in any way, they are hyperfocusing on my brother's family. It is oh-so-familiar from childhood, left on the outside looking in. So for sure some of this is just really painful stuff from childhood being triggered. And I would just like for once to speak from the power of adulthood and call them out on their behavior.
is there any possible way you can do that in the moment without pulling from the information your siblings and children have revealed to you?

The anger and triggering that you feel is so very understandable. It's Justified anger at the thought of boundaries being trampled for a lifetime. The way you described it sounds like a huge gaping wound has been ripped open and your feelings bottled up for a lifetime are spilling out all over the place. Offering a gentle hug and a warm reminder to take some time for self-care. I apologize this got so long but I really feel for the pain of your heart and recognize it all too well.
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illogical

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Re: Catch-22, morality vs. deceit, how the FOG works
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2017, 10:58:48 AM »
...What I think I really want is 2 things for very different reasons:
1. Actually give M and D a chance to get their act together. I know they won't see the morality issue. I know they will JADE. I know I will have a big fat target on my back if I actually tell them to stop messing around in our lives behind the scenes, or lose all of us. (which may not even be my place to say)
2. Look my uNBPD?m straight in her beady eyes (yes, I'm struggling with some anger right now) and let her know that her game is up, the manipulations have been seen through, and that we all know exactly what is going on. Perhaps I'm in too vindictive of a state of mind right now, but I would absolutely love to do this.

People get away with this because they don't have an internal compass AND because we keep letting them. My mom has no problem cutting off me and my sister, and focusing on her GC son. I would like to make it impossible for her to (honestly) say she has no idea why I don't have a relationship with her anymore. I would like the truth to be spoken right into her ears, regardless of what she does with that.

I understand the feeling of wanting to confront your parents with the truth. 

It has been my experience that "my truth" and "their truth" are two different animals.  And there's the rub.  My truth is based on reality.  Their truth is of their own making-- whatever suits them.  And so I experienced that "my truth" was worlds apart from theirs.  As though they existed in an alternate reality.  As though we were living on different planets.

If only I could somehow have found the words to make them see "my truth" and to see me for me.  But it never happened.  After years of trying to reconcile the two truths, I accepted that it would never happen, no matter my words, my understanding, my adroit communication-- didn't make a hill of beans.  They were living on their own planet, in their own reality. 

Before I went NC with my NM and GC brother (my father was deceased), I went LC and VLC.  I did not confront them with my truth.  Because I accepted that it would fall on deaf ears-- not maybe it might, but IT WOULD and so I gave up trying to explain, trying to be understood by them.  There was no point in thinking they "would get their act together" because their "act" was their identity.  They wore whatever mask was needed to portray whatever character suited them on any given day.
"Applying logic to potentially illogical behaviour is to construct a house on shifting foundations.  The structure will inevitably collapse."

__Stewart Stafford

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carrots

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Re: Catch-22, morality vs. deceit, how the FOG works
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2017, 03:34:47 PM »
all4peace, it sounds to me as if you are trying partially to help sibs and sib ILs. As far as I know from your posts, you have your own boundaries pretty well set. Sometimes you adjust, especially concerning your children and ILs next door, but basically they're set. Your sibs and sib ILs are not as far Out of the FOG as you. I know myself that that causes problems in the whole of FOO, but going back to the 3 Cs, you alone didn't cause these problems and can't control or cure them.

What I think I really want is 2 things for very different reasons:
1. Actually give M and D a chance to get their act together. I know they won't see the morality issue. I know they will JADE. I know I will have a big fat target on my back if I actually tell them to stop messing around in our lives behind the scenes, or lose all of us. (which may not even be my place to say)

I'm worried that you will get hurt here. You know that M and D are going to JADE and you know about the big fat target on your back. I've confronted M and enF a number of times over the years and I've been hurt again and again and again. For years I thought I could cure the family problem. Are you SG by any chance, and used to getting the blame? That is/was my case. I was used to being hurt and victimized so didn't even think about protecting myself from that and letting F and sibs and their children, and even M herself, fend for themselves.

I think you are right in thinking that it might not be your place to tell M and D that they may lose all of you. Because I don't believe you can absolutely 100% know that your sibs and spouses will cut contact with M and D. This goes back to them not being as far Out of the FOG as you and your FOC.

Are you trying to give M and D a 'last' chance? How likely is it that they will use this chance to change? My FOO won't, it's been particularly painful for me to realize that enF won't. If you think speaking up will help, then maybe risk it, but be careful of you.

2. Look my uNBPD?m straight in her beady eyes (yes, I'm struggling with some anger right now) and let her know that her game is up, the manipulations have been seen through, and that we all know exactly what is going on. Perhaps I'm in too vindictive of a state of mind right now, but I would absolutely love to do this.

I can totally understand wanting to do this, but IME it didn't ever change things. JADEing ensued instead. My anger is better used if I take the energy that comes with it and do something completely different for me (I often lack energy) or if I use it to set more boundaries (but you have yours set). 

It also sounds to me as if you could be going through a period of deeper realization of the FOO dysfunction. I mean this stuff comes in cycles IME and we go deeper and deeper down (or further and further in). For me in such phases it's helpful to practise self-care. Not that I always do or anything. But re-ground myself and try and concentrate more on me and less on FOO.
If I may, here's a safe hug.


« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 03:40:09 PM by carrots »

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all4peace

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Re: Catch-22, morality vs. deceit, how the FOG works
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2017, 05:02:25 PM »
If you want to see if they are able to get their act together, use a small issue (I'm sure there are other issues besides this one you have with them), something easily verifiable. This would be to convince yourself that they won't, and if they don't do it for a smaller issue, how would they do it for a big issue such as habitual lying and manipulation? If they do get their act together, then you can figure out how to approach this issue.
In a sense, i have done that with setting boundaries, which were immediately violated by uNBPD?m. I do think it is possible, though, that the VVLC and MC from ALL their adult kids may have done something. Who knows? Time will tell if the badmouthing continues. I don't think it's possible for M to be honest, but i do think she has the ability to be much more careful about the bashing of her kids to one another. She didn't used to do this, she possibly she can stop.

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spring butterfly:Past sit-downs have very much lead to the outcome you mention, that they need to be seen as good good parents. Even if they were good enough parents in the past and the present that has nothing to do with boundaries. It's just that boundaries and normal adult individuation is unfamiliar and uncomfortable. PD persons often take this personally, as an attack. Is there a way to depersonalize it in your communication? My T suggested to communicate using reassuring words of love and care while still owning my adulthood and right to boundaries. Several of the books on dealing with PD persons also recommended similar ways of communicating.
That is what I did with dad: "You've been really great grandparents, and we have appreciated that and want you in our lives, but it's confusing and upsetting for our kids when they see their mother being totally ignored by grandparents who then reach out to them privately, without being in contact with the parents".  Etc. I will continue to try to reassure while setting very firm boundaries.

I understand the feeling of wanting to confront your parents with the truth. 

It has been my experience that "my truth" and "their truth" are two different animals.  And there's the rub.  My truth is based on reality.  Their truth is of their own making-- whatever suits them.  And so I experienced that "my truth" was worlds apart from theirs.  As though they existed in an alternate reality.  As though we were living on different planets.
This is a good reminder. I think I'm going to start using the word "nevertheless" a lot :D As in, "I hear what you are saying, nevertheless I still need you to be honest if we are to have any kind of relationship" etc. My nevertheless can be a bridge of sorts between my reality and theirs, or perhaps more like an eraser.

all4peace, it sounds to me as if you are trying partially to help sibs and sib ILs. As far as I know from your posts, you have your own boundaries pretty well set. Sometimes you adjust, especially concerning your children and ILs next door, but basically they're set. Your sibs and sib ILs are not as far Out of the FOG as you. I know myself that that causes problems in the whole of FOO, but going back to the 3 Cs, you alone didn't cause these problems and can't control or cure them.
This is exactly what I was hoping for. Each single voice is easily ignored and shot down by them. But if we put all our voices together? It would be harder to ignore.

Thanks so much for the support, all of you. I appreciate it! I feel a little tired right now so hope that my responses haven't felt ungrateful, or unappreciative. You are all the best!

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Fightsong

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Re: Catch-22, morality vs. deceit, how the FOG works
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2017, 06:08:02 AM »
Hello A4P,

I may have missed the main point so apologies, but  I thought a couple of things. I know that feeling - wanting to challenge / stand up for  what is real and right, with an awareness that it probably wont change anything, but a hope that neverthless (see what I did there...) it might.  Isn't this  usually about US changing, not them? I think its about using the voice we have (now) got. Being seen.  i.e It might actually be necessary for us to do that for ourselves, regardless of 'outcome'. And there is something about your anger now that might drive out the fear of doing that, at least for a bit, and allow you to do it.  I am on the SB side of the fence. I have not  had a 'sitdown' , essentially my fear is still too great. I suppose the New Adult Reality is one I buy into, and in seeing no change from them I have the information I need without putting myself through the fear.  For me a big part of it is actually about knowing whether or not they can see it / see me / 'do it' - without me telling them how.  I don't think this is asking for them to be psychic  -  more a desire for normal, intuitive emotional  responsiveness.  Remember in relationships with non PDs, people don't tend to have to have these thought processes / great dilemmas - because  people relate to one another normally. You are dealing with PD. Rather like the seeing purple thing.

Also, why does it have to be YOU who does the helping of all your sibs?  Maybe it does, but why are YOU in that role just now? Why is this on YOU?

Again, sorry if I missed the point. And remember, if it hurts, we are here.


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illogical

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Re: Catch-22, morality vs. deceit, how the FOG works
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2017, 09:52:26 AM »
... I think I'm going to start using the word "nevertheless" a lot :D As in, "I hear what you are saying, nevertheless I still need you to be honest if we are to have any kind of relationship" etc. My nevertheless can be a bridge of sorts between my reality and theirs, or perhaps more like an eraser.

I would be prepared for them to see your sincere effort as an attack on their integrity.  Some possible responses on their part would be--

Denial-- "What do you mean?  I've always been honest with you."
Projection-- "You always did have a problem with the truth.  You always twist everything I say around."
Blame-shifting-- "Is that what brother told you?  I wouldn't believe anything he said."

I am a "cards on the table" person, but with my NM and GC brother (who is probably a N also), it would have been futile to tell them "I need you to be honest with me."  In their minds, they were being perfectly honest.  As I said previously, they existed in a world/reality of their own making.  And in that world, they were perfect, incapable of making mistakes.  Calling them out on anything-- even the slightest infraction, and even done with the utmost respect and care by me-- was seen by them as all out war. 


"Applying logic to potentially illogical behaviour is to construct a house on shifting foundations.  The structure will inevitably collapse."

__Stewart Stafford

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daughter

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Re: Catch-22, morality vs. deceit, how the FOG works
« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2017, 11:26:32 AM »
A4P, this is an important topic to me too.  I've experienced a similar situation in my FOO Family, where NBM and NF want to be acknowledged as "best people ever", as flawless paradigms, despite their obvious character flaws, despite their many inexcusably Big Bad Behavior episodes directed towards me, despite their resolute determination to reinforce my SG role within context of family dynamic.  So, ultimately, my parents wanted to be not only excused but also rewarded for their bad behavior, for their expressed malevolence and blatant disdain towards me, and their invalidation of me, which is inherently deceitful and obviously text-book narcissism made manifest.

And so, given make own life-story, I'd suggest simply disconnecting from this family dysfunction, encourage you to just disengage altogether rather than still seeking some viable solution to fundamental problems which exceed our ability to ever remedy in a meaningful manner.  It comes down to a simple issue: can you accept them "as they are", despite the emotional harm that they cause to you and to your own family (by proxy example), or is their demonstrated conceit and disdain for "goodness" in our relationship sufficient grounds to curtail that relationship.  As you know, I finally decided, in my mid-50s, that no relationship whatsoever with my parents was the only viable solution for me and my own family, recognizing the significant emotional damage already caused to me, to my own family.  You can reduce the relationship into a "greeting cards and major holidays" polite semi-disconnection, where you recognize their flaws, recognize the fundamental problems, and try to "surf above the waves" of the dysfunctional FOO Family dynamic.  (I tried, and ultimately failed at it.)  Your siblings apparently are already doing this, it seems appropriate that you now adopt that same approach. 

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daughterofbpd

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Re: Catch-22, morality vs. deceit, how the FOG works
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2017, 02:05:57 AM »
I was thinking the same thing Illogical wrote. I think "I need you to be honest" is a clear cut statement to you and me but maybe not so much to a PD. But you are a truth teller and I do like that about you. Sometimes we do need to speak the truth, if only for ourselves.

Although you cannot control what your siblings do, I think the best option would be if all of you could work on shutting your M down when she gossips about other siblings. If you ALL could tell her that you don't want to be in the middle and/or you don't want to hear anything negative about siblings, that would shut her down in that respect. Hopefully, everyone involved knows by now not to take your M for her word. My M did something similar between my immediate family and her siblings and it has torn the family completely apart. I have almost zero family on her side now because the damage was irreparable. It sounds like your sibs are sharing info with you and you are given a chance to share your side, so that's a good thing.

In an ideal world, the entire family could sit down intervention style and convince the PD person to get some help, or at least to stop some of these bad behaviors. I'm not sure if it would do any good or not. I haven't been able to get that kind of support from my family either, plus my M still thinks that "everyone" having an issue with her just makes her more of a victim (instead of assuming 6 people think this about me, maybe I should consider if this is true).

Wishing you luck with everything. Take care.
How starved you must have been that my heart became a meal for your ego
~ Amanda Torroni

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carrots

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Re: Catch-22, morality vs. deceit, how the FOG works
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2017, 09:59:13 AM »
In an ideal world, the entire family could sit down intervention style and convince the PD person to get some help, or at least to stop some of these bad behaviors.

Some of you are obviously in a somewhat more ideal world than me! Because in my FOO, the entire family would undoubtedly gladly sit down to try and convince me to get some help (from them I guess or maybe some NPD therapist) and stop my bad behaviours, e.g. rocking the family boat and being VLC etc.  :P

all4peace, I've just been speaking another and much deeper round of truth in therapy, and that really felt good! I can't imagine I'll ever be able to say it in FOO though. Idk if speaking your truth elsewhere could help you, Idk you and your story well enough.