New here...trying to figure it all out?

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40andfab

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New here...trying to figure it all out?
« on: October 26, 2017, 01:54:54 AM »
Hi everyone, so I've been lurking here for a week or so reading as much as I can on PD's. As far as I can tell, I have always suspected my mom and sis have a PD, not sure if it is BPD or what - yet much of what they have done fits the criteria.
I've been ST'd for about three weeks now by both of them. Actually, it may very well be my mom's form of "disowning" me. My pictures have been taken off of her wall, she has blocked my number (even though I PAY for her cell service) and only texts my adult kids if she needs to "send a message" to me about something.

My dad died last month very suddenly and s*** really hit the fan in my FOO after his passing. My mom and dad have been divorced for over 24 years, and had separate relationships and finances since then; yet my mom and sis really turned up the heat upon his passing (of course it has to be about them!). It all happened over the course of three days when my 2 brothers and sister came to town for our dad's funeral. Now my mom and sis aren't talking to me, and I'm not sure if I'm to blame. I feel very guilty and wrong in the whole thing and am struggling to deal with my actions.

A little backstory:

My younger sis who has always made up weird stories and lies about people our whole lives spread a very damaging rumor about a brother who lives overseas. Honestly, whenever she tells a story or piece of gossip, anyone really close to her has learned to not really believe it. It is some weird unspoken rule in our family to take her stories with a grain of salt. She is so entertaining about it, and my mom has been known to state on more than one occasion "oh, you know how ____ is." The problem is that last year, she spread a nasty rumor about one of our two brothers. It happened in defense of her own adult son, who owed this particular brother money and enlisted a smear campaign to clear his own name by incriminating his uncle- my brother-(this kind of stuff has happened over the years in our family, no one really deals with things straight up, always behind someones back, with rumors and gossip and triangulation) so nothing new, right? Except THIS time I called her bluff, told her she was a liar and called my brother about it, asking him straight up because the rumor concerned my family and children. Of course my brother was furious and he and I discussed not allowing anymore bs to come between us. My brother very correctly noticed this was a family "disease" that was passed down from my maternal grandma (a classic Narcissist) who had divided her children from each other, systematically destroying any goodwill by triangulation and gossip. Because he is in a different country, he just blocked my sis on social media and went on with his life. Then our dad died.

Fast forward to this month:

All of this came out during one crazy grief induced fight where my mom and sister ganged up on me and called me every name in the book. Because my dad left me as the executor of his estate, when my sis illegally tried to get into his bank account, safe deposit box and other property with no one else's knowledge - I asked her to keep records and if she sold anything or found anything to take a picture (not unreasonable) and my mom and sis attacked me for it saying I was controlling and on a power trip (WTF?!). My DH watched all of this in horror. He told me I should change the locks on the house and call the cops. Maybe I should have. To be honest, it alarmed me that she was so persistent about getting a hold of his assets, and heck yes I "questioned" her. After this argument, where my mother literally screamed at me with her fingers pointed yelling "this is all your fault!!" and cursed me out, telling me I needed to thank my sis for doing so much, and coming to town and "helping" me (!!!!). No amount of explanation, expressions of gratitude or even attempted hugs on my part could break through this. I have learned over the years to apologize, take responsibility and try and move on from the accusations, but at this point, I just left the argument, knowing full well more would be said without me there to defend myself.

At this point, the next day my brother told me I was too nice and that I shouldn't be so forgiving. He was very angry, wondering why our mom had pegged me as some kind of demon. He decided to call out my sis on what she said about him last year. It was a big show. She denied saying anything, telling both brothers that I was a liar and made it all up. She cried, called me all the names in the book, pleaded with them to believe her, and told me "mom was right, she has you pegged" - which means...? And now - I am the bad guy in all of this. Every single thing that has happened - from my dad dying to how his funeral went, to EVERYTHING, is somehow my fault. Seriously. My mom told me it is my fault that my brother is so angry with my sis, and I guess you could look at it this way.

Am I deluded? Please tell me because I can't sleep and am having such a hard time with all of this. Am I at fault here? Maybe I am the one with the disorder? I can't help but feel bad for telling my brother what he was accused of. My DH says this was bound to happen, that she needs to be accountable, but that isn't how I have been feeling. For some reason I feel like I was wrong.
"The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance" Nathaniel Branden

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practical

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Re: New here...trying to figure it all out?
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2017, 09:57:40 AM »
Welcome to OOTF!

Sorry for your loss.

You aren't in the wrong. Your M's and Sis's behavior is outrageous and abusive. As the executor you have a responsibility to all parties involved, so asking your Sis to keep track of what she is taking out is simple bookkeeping and the responsible thing to do. As a matter of fact I would put my foot down and not let her access anything. Yes, it might cause another fight, then again they are already punishing you with ST, but you can then work through your duties as executor without interference. There is most likely a reason why your F made you and not her the executor, her trying to illegally access things is proving this.

Telling your B about the slander they were spreading was totally appropriate, it affected him and this way he had a chance to take care of it. Hushing it up is enabling your M's and Sis's behavior. "Sunlight is the best disinfectant" so bringing it out in the open is necessary or it will continue. That your M and Sis blamed it on you when your B called them out after the funeral is sad, petrifying given the circumstances, at the same time not astounding. PD's often lack the ability for self-reflection, taking responsibility, so they shift blame and you seem to be the Scapegoat now. You are painted black, and there is little you can do about it. It has nothing to do with you, it is something in their mind.
http://outofthefog.website/top-100-trait-blog/2015/10/30/blaming
http://outofthefog.website/top-100-trait-blog/2015/11/4/splitting-idealization-and-devaluation
http://outofthefog.website/top-100-trait-blog/2015/11/4/scapegoating
The above are some information from our Glossary   , which is another treasure trove to understand some of the behaviors you are exposed to along with the Top 100 Traits      .

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I have learned over the years to apologize, take responsibility and try and move on from the accusations, but at this point, I just left the argument, knowing full well more would be said without me there to defend myself.
Sadly, you are enabling their behavior, this strategy might have served you well at some point, it doesn't sound it is still. I agree with your B and DH you are too nice. I also understand what you are trying to do, ending an "argument" that will go nowhere other than heap more abuse on you. There are other ways to avoid these Circular Conversations which are explained here http://outofthefog.website/top-100-trait-blog/2015/10/30/circular-conversations . Also, when you go to our Toolbox     , there is a chapter on Boundaries in there which might help you, make sure to read the entry on Intermittent Reinforcement too. (There is lots of other really helpful stuff in there too.)

It sounds like there is a long tradition of dysfunctionality in your FOO, and breaking out of it isn't easy but you can do it. It is great that your B has similar insights to you as this provides validation.

You aren't doing anything wrong, except maybe being to nice, this isn't your fault, it has to do with the unhealthy and toxic dynamic your M and Sis have created.

I hope you keep coming back here, this is a great resource.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 10:25:53 AM 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)

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

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daughterofbpd

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Re: New here...trying to figure it all out?
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2017, 08:28:09 PM »
Hello 40andfab,
I am so sorry for your loss. Your post makes me sad that you are willing to take the blame for all of this when it seems like you didn't do anything wrong. Have you ever noticed that sometimes people (especially those with personality disorders) get overly defensive when they are actually doing something devious? Your dad made YOU executor of his estate for a reason - because he trusted that YOU would handle his estate fairly and in the way that he wished for it to be handled. Your sister can't just take whatever she wants without telling you, that isn't how this works. Asking her to keep a record shouldn't be a problem unless she has something to hide.

My pictures have been taken off of her wall, she has blocked my number (even though I PAY for her cell service) and only texts my adult kids if she needs to "send a message" to me about something.
This is extremely hurtful and emotionally abusive. This is not the way you treat your own child. It also isn't right that she is using your kids as messengers.

Practical has included some great links for you. You may want to consider limiting your time around your mom and sister to protect yourself from their toxic and hurtful behaviors.

My mom used to corner me and scream at me for hours and I had no idea that I was allowed to leave. That might sound silly, but I really didn't feel like I could walk away from that abuse without the world imploding. Check out Practical's link on "circular conversations" and how to end them. It is okay to say that you don't want to continue discussing a topic and it is definitely okay to leave a situation when it becomes verbally abusive (or ask them to leave). You don't deserve to be called names.

Good luck and take care.
 :bighug:
How starved you must have been that my heart became a meal for your ego
~ Amanda Torroni

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daughter

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Re: New here...trying to figure it all out?
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2017, 10:35:39 PM »
Sometimes the unbridled greed and overt manipulation of our pd-disordered mothers (and siblings) becomes too obvious to ignore, or tolerate.  Their accusations of "theft" and "dishonesty" can be unmasked as misrepresentations, "gas-lighting", manipulation of circumstances to other's disadvantage, where goal is to project their own nefarious intentions on their intended victims to justify their manifested greed and even theft.  My NBM was known to do this.  And did so in a very aggressive manner after my last maternal grandparent died, in effort to cheat her only sibling out of as much inheritance as possible, even though the estate's value was small and my parents are quite wealthy.  Fact was my NBM was upset by any circumstance where her only sibling might conceivably receive "more" than NBM, a constant contest of one-upmanship monitored by NBM alone.  As an adult, as the SG disfavored daughter, I soon realized that NBM had established a similar dynamic between myself and my only sibling, GC "princess" nsis, where likewise, nsis was deliberately groomed and subsidized to always "top" me. 


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40andfab

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Re: New here...trying to figure it all out?
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2017, 12:27:12 PM »
Everyone, thank you for replying, I've been soaking up the knowledge on this website like crazy the last few weeks. Thank you to Practical's recommended links and other posts here, I have been able to make it through so far without breaking down and calling my UPDm out of obligation or guilt that I am abandoning her. Anyway, thank you again and I am starting to really feel like the FOG is lifting.
"The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance" Nathaniel Branden

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VeryUncertain

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Re: New here...trying to figure it all out?
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2017, 02:04:36 PM »
A thought:  As Executor, hire a lawyer, appoint him as your agent in dealing with the estate and tell everyone to go talk to the lawyer...? Lawyer can be paid out of the estate, so the more they bother the lawyer the more it costs them...

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40andfab

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Re: New here...trying to figure it all out?
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2017, 03:16:31 PM »
VeryUncertain,

Thank you for the tip, I did hire an attorney so that is very helpful.
"The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance" Nathaniel Branden

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Peace Lily

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Re: New here...trying to figure it all out?
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2017, 03:32:44 PM »
Hi 40and fab (love your handle!!),

I felt compelled to write as I have been in such a similar situation as you find yourself and it is so awful. I am not surprised that you are not sleeping. I thought I was alone in having this happen to mo me and I see that I am not and neither are you! Here is my story and I hope that you find some comfort knowing that someone else understands the pain you must be feeling.

Growing up I had no idea that my family was not normal.  My parents and sister fell out when she was late teenage years (she was the scapegoat - I see that now). She met an NPD partner and had 2 children with him. When my grandfather died the s**** hit the fan and all hell broke loose in my family.  My uBPDmother thought she was executor of his will. My sister was his favourite and he had told her that he had made her executor of his will -but it transpired I was executor of the will.  As "the good girl" my mother expected me to allow her to get whatever she wanted. I had always given in to demands when it only affected myself. I hate confrontation, so as long as it wasn't harming anyone I went along with everything.  However, I could not let my mother take the things from the house my sister wanted. On a visit there with Mum and Dad my mother began removing items, whatever she could fit in the car including the pendulum from the Grandfather clock my sister wanted. I still did not say anything, but I panicked. In a truly dysfunctional way I hired a van behind her back and went to clear the house with my partner. My sister didn't trust me and urned up with NPDBIL to take stuff too. When my mother heard about this, she cut me off for a month after which I was summoned to their house. It was the most awful night of my life so far. I was screamed at as I sat in a chair crying. BPD Mum demanded I give her 20 000 (she did not agree with the 3 valuations we'd had done on the house which had been left to her )-including the independent valuation she had had done herself!!!). I, like the doormat that I was back then, just keeled over and offered to pay the whole amount from my inheritance to her -but no!! that was not good enough -she wanted half from me and the other 10 000 from my SGsister. Apart from anything else, I could not legally do that!  She was so furious, she ripped up her own will on the spot in front of me. I then had to travel 2 and a half hours back home. From that moment, I was given 7 years of Silent treatment. I was really completely baffled by the whole thing! I was in shock. I id not know my mother could behave like that. I withdrew from my family because I blamed myself for making a mess of things and I did not want to add to my  parents' hurt as I saw it by taking their family away from them.  I never explained myself to my relatives or family friends. Although my SG sister knows of course)

Over the years ( as this happened about 25 years ago), my extended family have seen my mother for what she is, and I have rebuilt my relationships with them. I have only recently told them my side of the story. I have also rebuilt my relationship with my parents and it has taken a very long time until I felt I was in a position where I trusted them again. However, my trust was misplaced and I have sadly joined this Forum after being betrayed big time.

I cannot imagine exactly how you must be feeling right now -we are all different- but I can tell you that I had many sleeplesss nights, I had horrible nightmares involving fire, I could barely function in my job. I had always thought I had a kind of inner strength, but discovered I was not as strong as I thought I was. I think now looking back that I went through the stages of grief (there are lots of people talking about that on this forum). It was really tough and when I did meet my mother again 7 years later, I was truly terrified at first -my knees were literally shaking.  I made mistakes, as I was young and had no idea about PDs or any of the excellent tools on this website.  If I could go back, I would definitely do things differently. I would not have offered my mother any money, but most importantly I would not have tried to protect her (how weird was that) by not telling family and friends the TRUTH! They were my family too. I think I would also reconsider rebuilding the relationship with a mother who I am now thinking may not have ever loved me the way a mother should.  I let her back in and I have been well and truly hurt again.

This forum is great and there is lots of great advice on the actual website too.  I hope it helps you on your journey Out of the FOG! Good luck
"It is not the the bruises on the body that hurt. It is the wounds of the heart and the scars on the mind". Aisha Mirza

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40andfab

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Re: New here...trying to figure it all out?
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2017, 06:32:52 PM »
Hi Peace Lily,

Wow, our stories are very similar. Like you, I am the person in the family who tries to keep the peace. I can see now that it doesn't matter because whatever I do it will be twisted and someone will make themselves a victim of it. A few weeks ago I hired an estate attorney and then got a phone call from my little brother saying that my uPDm and uNsis were discussing the fact that if I "couldn't handle" the Estate, then I shouldn't have hired an attorney and instead let my uNsis be the executor (like, what????). It is ridiculous.

The next day the attorney called to let me know he received a call from my uNsis asking him how I was paying for his services. He told her his fees will come out of the estate assets and then said she became very confrontational, and wanted to "let him know" that I had stolen gold coins from a bank held safe deposit box (that does not exist) and that our dad had a life insurance policy that I am the beneficiary, and that I'm not reporting these things to the court. He did have an insurance policy where I am named as beneficiary, but it was an accidental policy and he died of natural causes. My dad did have coins that all four of us kids found in his safe when we opened it together for the first time, we used it to pay for part of his funeral, again these two things were found in his personal safe that we opened together, and all the documents have been seen by the family, so she is making up completely false accusations (which is what she has always done) and reporting this to the estate attorney.  :stars: The thing is, hearing that she is "confrontational" from the attorney and also hearing the lies cleared up a lot for me. She is a liar who will hurt anyone to get her way. The fact that my uPDm and little brother have taken her side in this just baffles me.

The attorney's answer was to just upload everything I was doing as far as bank statements, insurance policies, etc. to a google doc and share it with my siblings, which I did. His advice was to just be as transparent as possible, but I'm not sure if that is the safest way to go because this isn't just a misunderstanding that can be cleared up with good communication. I can't help but feel vulnerable to another attack or questioned about things or accused of some other who-knows-what bullshit story. I can't wait to just write them off, honestly.

The more I think about it, my uPDm hasn't really ever been able to see me, the real me, my whole life. This is something I have been thinking of for the last few months and is what really brought me here for the first time. In many ways, her children are just a projection of either her (good) or my dad (bad) and if we say something she doesn't agree with or tell her that she did something that was hurtful, we are abusing her - just like he did. Growing up we had to take her side in their divorce, even to the point of her taking my uNsis with her to egg the other woman's car when my dad was having an affair. She encouraged us to hate him and feel sorry for her, she is always a victim of someone's abuse. Now that I am on the receiving end of this, I realize that any contact I have with her or uNsis will just be fodder for years of nastiness. No matter what it is, even good things. Have well adjusted kids? You are just lucky, you were a nightmare. Have a nice home? It isn't decorated the way I would like, and I could never live in that part of town. Have a good career? I would never be able to work in that system, besides what kind of person really could? Have a good marriage? Let's make up lies about your DH and tell distant family members. When DH's family actually likes me and treats me like a sister, They are using you and they are fake bitches anyway, I can't stand how low class they are because when I walk into a room they don't acknowledge me properly - this is something that really bothers my mom (along with a laundry list of other "bad behaviors") and she constantly is upset if someone doesn't give her recognition or acknowledgement for just normal things that everyone does.

I am SO sorry my posts are so long! Now that the FOG is clearing, I am seeing so many things that have been so extremely hurtful over the years. Although I am currently stressed out beyond belief, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and wherever that leads doesn't include them.





"The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance" Nathaniel Branden

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Peace Lily

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Re: New here...trying to figure it all out?
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2017, 06:10:46 PM »
Hi 40andfab,

I am glad you have an attorney. This is definitely a good decision - luckily for me my grandfather had appointed one and it made my life a whole lot easier than it would have been. It did not stop my mother questioning everything, but it helped. 
I think you may be able to take comfort from the fact that, in appointing you as executor of his will, your Dad was saying something about your character and the high esteem in which he held you.
You say "The more I think about it, my uPDm hasn't really ever been able to see me, the real me, my whole life. This is something I have been thinking of for the last few months and is what really brought me here for the first time. " and I can definitely say I have felt like this too recently.  I thought my parents knew me and yet they have accused me of all sorts recently, things that I think would be out of character for me.  I should not be surprised as I have spent my whole life listening and not being heard.
I am sorry that so many lies are being told about you and I am glad that you can see a future without your Nsis and mother in it.  It is probably a healthy stance, but nonetheless difficult. I wish you well in your continuing journey Out of the FOG!
"It is not the the bruises on the body that hurt. It is the wounds of the heart and the scars on the mind". Aisha Mirza