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

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all4peace

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Re: Catch-22, morality vs. deceit, how the FOG works
« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2017, 11:47:42 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.
I think this may be simply about letting M and D know that the rules of engagement have changed. My siblings first confronted my parents, so I would like to add my voice to theirs, and my boundary to theirs. They spoke about dishonesty and other issues, and I talked about boundaries with my kids and mom's lying. But if they insist on this "talk after the other talk" I would have liked to draw the line at the underhanded behind-the-scenes stuff mom is pulling with each of us.

illogical, I know that's how it would go. Sigh. I don't need to get mom to believe me or agree with me. I know she knows she's lying. I just need her to know I know all the sneaky crap. I don't need her to agree. I just need her to hear that we know it.

daughter, I agree. I would never have asked for a talk with my parents, knowing it would be totally pointless and possibly harmful to all of us. But if they insist on one, then I'm tempted to "go there" with them. Although as an adult I fully realize I have the right to refuse this "talk" or to simply hear them out and not participate in a way that would stir the pot or give them a lot of words to use for future ammunition.

daughterofbpd, one SIL has already said that she will shut mom down if she keeps on with the bashing. Mom is getting cagier. Now mom is complaining very covertly about this SIL's husband (my B) to my SIL! SIL is working hard to get to almost NC with mom without my B by her side. My S would definitely not sit and listen to mom bash anyone, nor would I, which is probably why M never does it with us. She still cries to B about her woes, and he's not really out of the OG yet. She made him her "spouse" during the years she and D were separated, and I don't think he really understands how inappropriate it is or that he has the right to refuse that role. But, even he is pushing back against her when she cries to him. Maybe it's time to respect the boundaries of all my sibs and let them work their own way Out of the FOG, at their own pace.

carrots, we could definitely have a sit-down with most of the siblings and M and D. I can't imagine it going well, though. It's possibly even better that we are all speaking our own separate truths to mom on our own, so it doesn't feel to her like we're ganging up on her. I would think it would be hard to ignore if people kept coming to you separately with serious relationship issues stemming from your behavior. But of course a PD has an amazing ability to block out what they don't want to hear.

I have been speaking a lot of my truths in therapy and it has been incredibly helpful. I understand that the PDs in my life cannot hear them, or acknowledge them, but it has been so healing to have someone I respect and trust hear those truths and validate them, and then help me find the tools for coping and living a better life. I'm so glad that you've been having a good experience in T also, carrots!
« Last Edit: October 17, 2017, 11:49:40 AM by all4peace »

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illogical

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Re: Catch-22, morality vs. deceit, how the FOG works
« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2017, 08:13:48 PM »
illogical, I know that's how it would go. Sigh. I don't need to get mom to believe me or agree with me. I know she knows she's lying.  I just need her to know I know all the sneaky crap.  I don't need her to agree.  I just need her to hear that we know it.

You are in a very difficult situation.  There is a potential problem with "I know she know she's lying. I just need her to know I know all the sneaky crap.  I don't need her to agree. I just need her to hear that we know it."

I do not believe your mother will acknowledge that she has been "caught".  She won't acknowledge that you and your siblings have evidence she misbehaved.  She will likely spin out of it.  Rather than acknowledging she has been caught in the lies, she will deny, obstruct, project, gaslight, blame-shift, divert through chaos-manufacture, or use other PD justifications for her behavior.

I saw that my NM had "glimmers" of self-realization.  But those glimmers were quickly repressed, as she spun out of the reality that confronted her and retreated back into her own reality.

Wishing you well here.  Please don't take it personally if your mother completely ignores your confrontation and remains embedded in her own cocoon, looking at you with blank eyes and cold determination.
"Applying logic to potentially illogical behaviour is to construct a house on shifting foundations.  The structure will inevitably collapse."

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daughterofbpd

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Re: Catch-22, morality vs. deceit, how the FOG works
« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2017, 08:30:39 PM »
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

My enDad and Sis also definitely knew and admitted that there was something wrong with my M. A trusted teacher suggested doing an intervention with my M but I couldn't get anyone on board to do it with me.

I didn't even think about the intervention reversed. I'm sorry you experienced that mass gaslighting, Carrots. How horrible and crazy-making.
“How starved you must have been that my heart became a meal for your ego”
~ Amanda Torroni

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all4peace

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Re: Catch-22, morality vs. deceit, how the FOG works
« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2017, 10:55:06 PM »
Please don't take it personally if your mother completely ignores your confrontation and remains embedded in her own cocoon, looking at you with blank eyes and cold determination.
Here's my prediction: Full-on waif, teary, bewildered, so, so, so sad that her child would say such a thing. Then dad going for the cold-rage protective mode.  :barfy:

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Rose1

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Re: Catch-22, morality vs. deceit, how the FOG works
« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2017, 01:03:10 AM »
My mother's standard responses if called on being nasty
1 but it's TRUEEEEE
2 you tell such stories
3 anger and tight lipped I can barely stand being in the room with you
4 passive aggressive behaviour, making sure I don't get anything I'd like, for example even a pot plant or cutting (shame I trimmed it last week and threw it all out)
5 smear campaigns
6 waifing and crying for days till my sister can't stand it and tries to fix it.

Sometimes one after another. Just be prepared for backlash sadly

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: Catch-22, morality vs. deceit, how the FOG works
« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2017, 10:31:39 AM »
So what I think I understand from what you shared is that you don't care if she sees or understands or agrees but that you let her know the game is up, that you see even if she won't admit openly to anything. Hopefully I have that right.

Part of my journey was finding my voice even in the face of denial and rewritten history in the moment. It was important to me to stand up and say "no, no more" regardless. They (could) know what happened even if they say they don't because I exposed it each and every time, I spoke my truth and stood firm. Even if they don't acknowledge it to me or even if they don't acknowledge it to themselves I stand morally clear for having spoken even if they choose not to hear.

You had said something about letting them know the Rules of Engagement have changed. Is this something you can just do rather than sit down and discuss? Just embrace the new rules of engagement, The New Normal, and go with it? Can you just continue to expose it, to pull the covers back every single time something happens, to shine a light on it in the moment, to say the game is up then in there?

Some useful medium chill phrases that helped me were things like: oh yeah? Is that really so? You think so? Gossip or any sideways word about anyone was shut down in the moment and called out as gossip. Of course it was denied as gossip to which I replied you could call it what you will I don't want to participate. Passive Aggressive Snipes, I asked uPDm to repeat herself, what did you say?

All stuff along those lines, exposing the behavior as it happened, of course it ramped up the behavior big time with either more denial or more aggression or silent treatment or whatever but that too was exposed. I think it was Woman Interrupted who said it's like a game of PD whack-a-mole.

What it accomplished in the end in my case was uPDm and enF have no desire to be exposed in that way, likely I'm viewed as an attacking them, it might feel that way from their perspective because for over 50 years uPDm ran the show and I no longer care what she thinks or how she feels. I stood up with mild words never raising my voice so I feel good about how I handled things. The result is ST and when there is contact it is nothing more than talk about the weather they tell me nothing about themselves or Community News I should be aware of and take the light and keeping me in the dark as some sort of punishment. Little do they know I enjoy very much the distance and the lack of intimate details.

I hope you can find a solution that works for you, that helps you feel morally steady and strong.

The website Luke something ministires talks about exposing the behavior and the morals around it from a scriptures perspective and not sure if that might help. Let me see if I can find the link. . .
http://www.luke173ministries.org/466798
« Last Edit: October 18, 2017, 10:52:15 AM by Spring Butterfly »
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all4peace

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Re: Catch-22, morality vs. deceit, how the FOG works
« Reply #26 on: October 18, 2017, 10:37:50 AM »
So what I think I understand from what you shared is that you don't care if she sees or understands or agrees but that you let her know the game is up, that you see even if she won't admit openly to anything. Hopefully I have that right.

Part of my journey was finding my voice even in the face of denial and rewritten history in the moment. It was important to me to stand up and say "no, no more" regardless. They know what happened even if they say they don't because I exposed it each and every time, I spoke my truth and stood firm.

You had said something about letting them know the Rules of Engagement have changed. Is this something you can just do rather than sit down and discuss? Just embrace the new rules of engagement, The New Normal, and go with it? Can you just continue to expose it, to pull the covers back every single time something happens, to shine a light on it in the moment, to say the game is up then in there?
Yes, that is exactly what I mean. Regarding your advice, I think this is what I will end up doing. Simply LIVE the new rules. My T talks about a drawbridge, lowering it slightly, seeing how the interactions go, then deciding on whether to keep the drawbridge at the same level, bring it back up or lower it even more. I think that is what I will do. And if my parents continue to push the boundaries I have stated, I will call them out when it happens.

As for our overall relationship, I'm simply not putting in 300% of the effort anymore. When they make an effort, I respond somewhat. And I offer texts every 1-2 weeks as my "effort." They continue to not speak to us in public, and that's something they're going to have to change if they want a better relationship with us. You'd think that after 2+ years they'd understand the dynamics have changed, but they are incredibly stubborn, stubborn, stubborn people. It was possibly projection when my D called me "strong willed and stubborn and trying to get him to toe the line" when I once asked him to not talk with my ILs about my relationship with my ILs. Although I guess I'm stubborn, too, but hopefully for holding necessary boundaries and not just pigheadedness.

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daughter

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Re: Catch-22, morality vs. deceit, how the FOG works
« Reply #27 on: October 18, 2017, 12:15:20 PM »
Your parents don't speak to you in public?  Is this because they're innately super-shy, or more punishment?

A4P, what are your personal goals here in regards to having a relationship with your parents?  It seems they're both very very difficult people who don't exhibit kindness and empathy towards you, who seem controlling and manipulative, and generally harsh in their demeanor towards you.  Though I can understand normal impulse to "talk through issues", that discussion requires motivated emotionally-mature people who are receptive to other people's perspectives and needs - characteristics which your parents don't demonstrate, nor have interest in achieving. 

I recognize that this "talk" can be your "declaration of independence", met with mom's waify howling and dad's despotic raging, but such discussion is always fraught with potential of more emotional harm.  You can equally achieve "independence" by simply disconnecting, no longer complying to expectation that their bad behavior is somehow tolerable, and disengaging from this dysfunctional relationship, because intellectually you're already in that OOTF safe-place. To endure another Big Bad Behavior episode, where our npd-enmeshed parents once again tell us exactly how little regard they have for us, doesn't serve our emotional needs, unless it's that last "push" towards No Contact altogether.

Your proposed statement, that your parents have been "really great grandparents", is troublesome, because their  behavior towards you is fraught with malevolence and malice (like mine), and so by example, your parents are "bad-character examples" for your two children.  Statements that imply we still admire (and appreciate) our quite malevolent parents are only heard as "you're the greatest; I'm just a difficult child", rather than as your cordial opening statement, towards flagging obvious keen problems in their dysfunctional relationships with you, their adult-child, and consequently, their grandchildren too.

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all4peace

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Re: Catch-22, morality vs. deceit, how the FOG works
« Reply #28 on: October 18, 2017, 01:34:14 PM »
daughter, I understand your confusion. I struggle to be coherent in my story, and it's my own story. No wonder it's confusing to you.

For the first 15ish years of being grandparents, my parents were helpful, interested (in a limited way) and great playmates for our children. They respected our wishes in our presence and did not intrude on our parenting. They spent days at a time with our kids, doing fun and appropriate things. I consider that very good grandparenting. Our adult-to-adult relationship was enjoyable and respectful. The violence of childhood was drifting into the distant past. We didn't have any boundaries for them, and we accepted their relative indifference to much of our lives. We asked very little of them, but when we did ask they were willing (if reluctant on M's part). I consider that a good adult child-parent relationship.

Yes, there were some of the same old-same old. Mom treating everyone like her personal servant to fetch and help. Mom treating dad like her personal slave to be bossed around. Mom needing her own way on almost everything, cheating at games, needing to win even against her grandchildren. I guess we were used to it. It was eye-rolling "that's just mom" kind of stuff that didn't seem important.

Time changed things. My SIL began pointing out things about M that were less benign, things like law-breaking, lying, manipulation. And I think that aging has really taken a toll on mom's psyche and her ability to be appropriate. We kids used to say she had really big issues but mainly "fought her demons." I think she stopped fighting her demons and started feeding them.

So, when I spoke to my D, I could honestly tell him that we had appreciated their place as grandparents in our kids' lives, but that it was unsettling and unhealthy for my kids to witness their grandparents refusing to speak to their parents at family functions (they are not shy, they are often hyper-social, this is a very new (1-2 yrs) behavior for them). I know it's dangerous for my kids, and that's why I set the boundary. The line was basically "Before you start trying to interact with my kids privately via text, let's work on our adult-adult relationships first." When my dad started fighting for his right to not do so, I basically told him that I found it very strange that he would resist and opportunity to improve a relationship with his child (me) and it was kind of hard for him to fight against that.

Until I see consistent improvement in the basics, I will not be opening our familial arms to welcome them back in. I described that to my dad as "consistent friendliness at public functions and keeping in touch via text every couple weeks."

They HAD been good grandparents.
They are no longer good grandparents.
They are being offered the chance to reach a very basic level of decency before trying to access my kids again.

What I'm doing in the meantime is living out my disconnection from them. We do not share out lives with them. We do not call them. I do occasionally text to touch base. I will not be making sure they know our kids' sports schedule. DH will not be sharing trip photos with my D (despite D's recently ballsy request for him to do so). Etc. Whenever my parents do something "good" like basic civility in a text, I respond in kind so they are aware that is the kind of behavior I am looking for.

Wow, I don't mean this to sound disrespectfully like dog training, but that is essentially what I'm doing. I have a feeling they won't be asking any more for a talk. But who knows?