Total inability to hear criticism or self-reflect

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all4peace

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Total inability to hear criticism or self-reflect
« on: April 02, 2018, 01:57:37 PM »
uNBPDm is getting a lot of feedback from her adult children--lying, slandering, triangulating, undermining our parenting. Three of the 4 of us have been giving her feedback. And she cannot hear any of it.

Has anyone had better luck with an "intervention" in which multiple people confront the person at once? I get the sense that she simply shoots it down, one of us at a time, with no sense of connection between each adult child's feedback.

To me it's inconceivable that if 3 people were telling me the same unwelcome thing about my behavior I would continue to fight back and resist any reflection whatsoever. I realize we're talking about a like PD here, so maybe that's the part that would explain it.

Does anyone ever get through? Does it make it far worse to keep trying? My christian counselor advises "speaking the truth with love," but I'm pretty sure she can't hear the truth and I'm not sure how much love I can speak it with at this point.


Here are her defenses:
1. Forget everything I've ever said in the past. "Tell me how I need to change!" I already have. "Tell me again!" I tell a few things like honesty, respect, kindness. She instantly fights all of them.
2. Deny everything. When S brings up specific examples to her, she denies it all. Every thing she has never done simply disappears because she said she didn't do it.
3. Lie about everything. (maybe this fits in with #2).
4. Distort everything. Our words become "angry, vindictive and painful" while her actions simply didn't happen, or she became the victim. For example, when calmly confronted with the fact that she withheld a family invitation from us, I was later characterized as "so angry!!" and she describes herself as "apologizing to death, but you were so angry!!" She didn't apologize. I showed no anger. I simply asked why she hadn't passed on the invite. She claimed innocence. I called her out on one detail that was a lie. She gasped and said if she had done that it would be-gasp-deceitful! And I simply raised my eyebrows and moved on. NOTHING is remembered in anything that resembles my reality.
5. Claim to "accept everything" I have said, while accepting nothing at all. In her world, she has "apologized" and she has "accepted blame" and so now our relationship can move forward. She has admitted nothing, she has apologized for nothing, in reality. So now she can tell others that she apologized and accepted blame, but I'm so angry and it's so bizarre and she just doesn't know what to do. There must be something seriously wrong with all4peace!? It is so mind-bending and crazy making that I really don't know what to do except step away. Really, who wins a battle in which each side is fighting for their own view of reality?

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zephyrblue

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Re: Total inability to hear criticism or self-reflect
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2018, 02:05:16 PM »
It sounds like there's little chance of getting through to her.  So frustrating and painful.  :hug:

The blogger Chumplady has said this about cheating spouses, who are often PD.  It's from the PD's point of view.  "The problem isn't what I did.  The problem is your reaction to it."  PDs expect us to go along with whatever they do, no matter who it harms.   :'(

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Fightsong

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Re: Total inability to hear criticism or self-reflect
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2018, 05:45:14 PM »
You ask who can win that battle? Well no one . No one can. You can’t.  I suspect the energy it takes to continue engaging and the frustration it engenders will simply and thoroughly exhaust you. Like a cheetah trying to exhaust its pray, she hopes and assumes you will give up. Or maybe just stop and walk away. And I do believe that sometimes they would rather walk or have us walk than engage in the self reflection needed to argue.  It’s too threatening.  Horrible as screaming rows are there is a special maddening quality to the argument with someone so unable or unwilling to see see or hear you that they behave this way. Walking out of a room, sticking fingers in ears singing “ lalalalalaal” . Pretending they can’t hear. Childish childishness.  And deeply hurtful. But actually impossible  to continue to engage with without essentially excusing ( and god knows we’ve all been there). 

Wishing you strength x

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daughter

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Re: Total inability to hear criticism or self-reflect
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2018, 11:13:58 AM »
It seems inconceivable, and yet it's true: our mothers are incapable of self-reflection and accountability, because their self-entitlement to "be me" extends to excusing their bad behavior, unreliability, innate malevolence, and general unkindness and lack of maternal emotion.  Our mothers are "mothers" in name only, but not in their demeanor and demonstrated actions towards their children.  Their SG-child may  bear brunt of that malice and neglect, but even the GC-child experiences the negative outcome of such dysfunctional mothering.

Interventions such as you describe, situations of telling our mothers what problems there are, what negative experiences have occurred, are unsuccessful, because our mothers are non-receptive to any criticism, and are deeply angered and offended to be addressed in that manner.  It's not a fixable dynamic.  What response you get is contrived rebuttal, to portray her as "victim", and her children as ungrateful, overly sensitive, and "crazy".   

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Spirit Girl

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Re: Total inability to hear criticism or self-reflect
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2018, 11:32:28 AM »
Allforpeace from what I've studied they are in a different headspace, realm, planet (Mars!) and although you've tried it doesn't seem likely that she will change. The best approach may be to accept this and stay away from it for your own protection and wellness. At least that's what I did and it's giving me confidence and clarity. Totalling loving all the benefits of distancing myself from unPDm. For me it has opened the door to wholeness, if that makes sense.


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Bloomie

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Re: Total inability to hear criticism or self-reflect
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2018, 11:41:57 AM »
all4peace - We can speak the truth in love and someone can not have ears to hear it. At a certain point it becomes casting our pearls before swine... NOT saying your mother is a swine, but rather you are offering words of love and truth to her at great cost to yourself - your precious pearls, and she is trampling them under her feet. Similar messages are coming at her from the majority of her children and in her folly she is disregarding the warning signs that she is fracturing relationships left and right.

What you describe is something I have also encountered with a uPD family member and I have learned that it is a character issue so deep and pervasive, an entitled, grandiose word view that is as total as I have ever seen in another human being and in my own case, the arrogance and pride is in control and it cannot be penetrated by the words of mere mortals.

Trying to find a place of agreement and truth with such a one is like trying to shadow box. Exhausting.

Quote from: daughter
our mothers are incapable of self-reflection and accountability, because their self-entitlement to "be me" extends to excusing their bad behavior, unreliability, innate malevolence, and general unkindness and lack of maternal emotion.
:yeahthat:

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Danden

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Re: Total inability to hear criticism or self-reflect
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2018, 12:36:08 PM »
"speaking the truth with love"

I agree with this in principle.  At the same time, some people have more love and patience to give while speaking the truth.  How much love do we have to give as children of PD parents?  Perhaps not the amount we would have if we had been raised by normal parents.  None of us are saints with infinite amounts of love to give.

You and your siblings have tried to speak to her.  You have approached her with love.  She has not ears to hear you nor can she recognize and accept the love you have approached her with.  You cannot make her hear something she doesn't want to hear or accept something she doesn't accept.  She can only do that when she is ready.  Maybe she will do that in time.....

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illogical

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Re: Total inability to hear criticism or self-reflect
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2018, 12:44:30 PM »
Here are her defenses:
1. Forget everything I've ever said in the past. "Tell me how I need to change!" I already have. "Tell me again!" I tell a few things like honesty, respect, kindness. She instantly fights all of them.

I do not believe your mother ever really wanted to know how she needed to change, because in her mind, her behavior was perfectly fine,  Rather, she wanted you to give her more information she could use to twist and spin and use against you. 

2. Deny everything. When S brings up specific examples to her, she denies it all. Every thing she has never done simply disappears because she said she didn't do it.

Very characteristic N behavior.  In her pretend world, she never makes a mistake.

3. Lie about everything. (maybe this fits in with #2).

Also very characteristic N behavior, sometimes extending into the pathological realm.  My N mother was a pathological liar.  I was so brainwashed as a child, I thought she was honest Abe.  Later I was to discover, to my horror, that my mother lied to me, her entire family and friends about having a terminal illness.  It was a total fabrication designed to garner the spotlight and attention.  I am so sorry you are being subjected to this behavior.

4. Distort everything. Our words become "angry, vindictive and painful" while her actions simply didn't happen, or she became the victim. For example, when calmly confronted with the fact that she withheld a family invitation from us, I was later characterized as "so angry!!" and she describes herself as "apologizing to death, but you were so angry!!" She didn't apologize. I showed no anger. I simply asked why she hadn't passed on the invite. She claimed innocence. I called her out on one detail that was a lie. She gasped and said if she had done that it would be-gasp-deceitful! And I simply raised my eyebrows and moved on. NOTHING is remembered in anything that resembles my reality.

Your mother was likely angry that you called her out on her behavior, so she is projecting and gaslighting you.

5. Claim to "accept everything" I have said, while accepting nothing at all. In her world, she has "apologized" and she has "accepted blame" and so now our relationship can move forward. She has admitted nothing, she has apologized for nothing, in reality. So now she can tell others that she apologized and accepted blame, but I'm so angry and it's so bizarre and she just doesn't know what to do. There must be something seriously wrong with all4peace!? It is so mind-bending and crazy making that I really don't know what to do except step away. Really, who wins a battle in which each side is fighting for their own view of reality?

In your mother's pretend world, feelings become facts.  She knows you think she was wrong, but she can't admit it, because to do so would mean she would have to admit making a mistake, which she cannot do.

Approaching your mother with the truth is a bit like trying to force a square peg into a round hole.  As you have discovered, your mother exists on a different geometric plane and she defines her own truth, which likely bears little resemblance to yours.
"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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StayWithMe

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Re: Total inability to hear criticism or self-reflect
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2018, 01:37:23 PM »
Here are her defenses:
1. Forget everything I've ever said in the past. "Tell me how I need to change!" I already have. "Tell me again!" I tell a few things like honesty, respect, kindness. She instantly fights all of them.

I do not believe your mother ever really wanted to know how she needed to change, because in her mind, her behavior was perfectly fine,  Rather, she wanted you to give her more information she could use to twist and spin and use against you. 

2. Deny everything. When S brings up specific examples to her, she denies it all. Every thing she has never done simply disappears because she said she didn't do it.

Very characteristic N behavior.  In her pretend world, she never makes a mistake.

3. Lie about everything. (maybe this fits in with #2).

Also very characteristic N behavior, sometimes extending into the pathological realm.  My N mother was a pathological liar.  I was so brainwashed as a child, I thought she was honest Abe.  Later I was to discover, to my horror, that my mother lied to me, her entire family and friends about having a terminal illness.  It was a total fabrication designed to garner the spotlight and attention.  I am so sorry you are being subjected to this behavior.

4. Distort everything. Our words become "angry, vindictive and painful" while her actions simply didn't happen, or she became the victim. For example, when calmly confronted with the fact that she withheld a family invitation from us, I was later characterized as "so angry!!" and she describes herself as "apologizing to death, but you were so angry!!" She didn't apologize. I showed no anger. I simply asked why she hadn't passed on the invite. She claimed innocence. I called her out on one detail that was a lie. She gasped and said if she had done that it would be-gasp-deceitful! And I simply raised my eyebrows and moved on. NOTHING is remembered in anything that resembles my reality.

Your mother was likely angry that you called her out on her behavior, so she is projecting and gaslighting you.

5. Claim to "accept everything" I have said, while accepting nothing at all. In her world, she has "apologized" and she has "accepted blame" and so now our relationship can move forward. She has admitted nothing, she has apologized for nothing, in reality. So now she can tell others that she apologized and accepted blame, but I'm so angry and it's so bizarre and she just doesn't know what to do. There must be something seriously wrong with all4peace!? It is so mind-bending and crazy making that I really don't know what to do except step away. Really, who wins a battle in which each side is fighting for their own view of reality?

In your mother's pretend world, feelings become facts.  She knows you think she was wrong, but she can't admit it, because to do so would mean she would have to admit making a mistake, which she cannot do.

Approaching your mother with the truth is a bit like trying to force a square peg into a round hole.  As you have discovered, your mother exists on a different geometric plane and she defines her own truth, which likely bears little resemblance to yours.

QFT

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Terichan

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Re: Total inability to hear criticism or self-reflect
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2018, 02:05:51 PM »
1. Forget everything I've ever said in the past. "Tell me how I need to change!" I already have. "Tell me again!" I tell a few things like honesty, respect, kindness. She instantly fights all of them.

This was my uNPDf. I attempted the same thing with him you're attempting with your mother, which was to try and repair our relationship, explain how he'd hurt me, how I wanted to make things better, what he and I could both do to fix things, all of that. And it never, ever worked. He would SAY he wanted to work on things, that he wanted to change, but nothing ever happened.

One of the things he did, after I said "It hurts me deeply when you do X. Can you please stop doing X?" he said "I don't do X." I said "Yes, you do." and he said "Ok, then, how about this solution? If I'm doing X, as you claim, then each time I do X in the future, you point out to me that I'm doing it, and then I'll stop." In other words, "Keep on allowing me to hurt you the same way over and over and over, and each time, after you get hurt, you can tell me you're hurt, and then I'll stop hurting you."

Sort of like if a woman asked her husband to stop beating her and he said: Well, I don't beat you, but since you claim I do, ok fine -- the next time I start beating you, please tell me that it's painful, and then I will stop. And then the next time I beat you, you do the same thing. Over and over and over. That'll fix the problem!"

Uh, no. They need to be able to hear us, understand how they are being hurtful to us, look at themselves, and stop the hurtful behavior BEFORE they do it the next time. But I think most PDs are totally incapable of this -- my father couldn't do it, and it sure seems like your mother can't do it either.

Does anyone ever get through? Does it make it far worse to keep trying?

I never managed to get through with either of my PD parents, and I doubt it will work in the case of your mother, either. And I do think it made it worse for me to keep trying with my father, even though in a way I'm glad I did -- I know I tried everything I could before giving up on ever having a decent relationship with him. But if I had a time machine, I think I'd go back and just go NC with him in my early 20s, it would have saved me decades of heartache and pain.

Hugs to you, I know you're trying your best with this, and trying to do it with love, but in my experience when we're trying to "teach" adults who are parents, grandparents even, how to behave with honesty, respect and kindness -- things people ordinarily learn when they are children -- it's just not gonna take.

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

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StayWithMe

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Re: Total inability to hear criticism or self-reflect
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2018, 02:17:35 PM »
I've stopped trying to have discussions / explain myself / have open honest dialogue with my parents , now my moher since my father is past away.

I realised a while back that sentences with conditional phrases just simply by my mother.  For example, if I were to say "I don't appreciate your singling me out to clean up the kitchen when my other siblings are here."  My mother would reply "Ok, if you don't want to clean up the kitchen, then I'l do it next time."

You can't ask my mother to stop doing anything, because when you do her response is "I'm not doing it now."

The one thing that I have noticed my mother is sensitive to is third party opinions.  At the moment I am writing a letter to my brother to explain to him why I don't call her because I know that she tells people that I don't call her.

I like this idea because I will be naming names along with her perverse behavior.  For example, as I head towards 60, my mother is still hassling to be friends with a woman I went to high school with.  I tried to follow the therapist's tool in their limited tool kit of being DIRECT and asking my mother FIRMLY to stop asking about this woman because it's a dead issue.  She has defended herself by saying she just thought it was nice that we should be friends. 

So I'm going to mention all the perverse twists and turns "she asks about you all the time " routine as she started going to the same church as my parents.  Ironically, I left hometown in '89 and have never returned full time.  You would think that a parent would be glad and think it's healthy that child has moved on.

I have come to terms that my brother is snitch.  I say nothing to him in confidence.  In fact, these days, I say things to him in the expectation that he will pass it around.  Hence, the letter being directed to him

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The New Me!

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Re: Total inability to hear criticism or self-reflect
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2018, 02:20:59 PM »
"It's never them" My Psycotherapist would use those words for people with a PD. I can completely relate and it's so frustrating.

My advice would be don't go into it. If a Therapist told them the therapist would be wrong. My UPDM referred to my therapy as Psycho clap trap...

You'veexplained several times and  I think you're wasting your time and it's not worth your energy. Short, to the point answers work better in my experience. Compact the conversation down and don't enter into it. They love it when everything's centred on them!

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zephyrblue

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Re: Total inability to hear criticism or self-reflect
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2018, 02:29:13 PM »
I realised a while back that sentences with conditional phrases just simply by my mother.  For example, if I were to say "I don't appreciate your singling me out to clean up the kitchen when my other siblings are here."  My mother would reply "Ok, if you don't want to clean up the kitchen, then I'l do it next time."

This!  My en(PD?)mother did this often.  So frustrating!  You'd try to explain why one of her actions bothered you, and she'd twist it around and make you look unreasonable and often her a martyr.  Gradually I gave up any attempt at meaningful conversation.  MC/LC turned to VLC and now NC. 

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StayWithMe

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Re: Total inability to hear criticism or self-reflect
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2018, 02:41:38 PM »
"It's never them" My Psycotherapist would use those words for people with a PD. I can completely relate and it's so frustrating.

My advice would be don't go into it. If a Therapist told them the therapist would be wrong. My UPDM referred to my therapy as Psycho clap trap...

You'veexplained several times and  I think you're wasting your time and it's not worth your energy. Short, to the point answers work better in my experience. Compact the conversation down and don't enter into it. They love it when everything's centred on them!

Think of other ways to get closure instead of hoping for the "yes, you're right" or whatever.

I sicker now when I see my mother scrambling, changing her behavior towards me because I've gone cold on her.  I have decided to not change because I've seen these false starts before.  It's too late believe that a change for good will happen or this late in the day, is even worth it.

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all4peace

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Re: Total inability to hear criticism or self-reflect
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2018, 03:16:13 PM »
Here's what I don't need:
to be right.
an apology.
a relationship.

She wants a relationship but they cannot admit her current behavior, and certainly doesn't even touch on her past abuse. The problem is kind of a technical one.

Person X wants a relationship.
Person Y doesn't because X has been displaying relationship-destroying behavior for decades.
Person X demands to know why the relationship isn't what X wants.
Person Y (due to all sorts of data, sibling, self, others) is reluctant to spell it out too clearly, knowing the fight that's coming, so simply expresses acceptance of the current relationship and no special needs except the usual honesty, respect, dignity.
Person X insists X is already all those things--honest, kind, etc. Plus, Y has been hostile, angry, unfair, etc. But X STILL wants a relationship with Y. Y has been hostile, X has not, and X wants to do fun things with Y.
Person Y doesn't want to be anywhere near X, who thinks it's actually ok to behave the way X has behaved, deny all of it, accuse Y instead of all the same, then demand a relationship.

And therein lies the problem.

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LightOrb

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Re: Total inability to hear criticism or self-reflect
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2018, 03:22:50 PM »
For example, as I head towards 60, my mother is still hassling to be friends with a woman I went to high school with.  I tried to follow the therapist's tool in their limited tool kit of being DIRECT and asking my mother FIRMLY to stop asking about this woman because it's a dead issue.  She has defended herself by saying she just thought it was nice that we should be friends. 

Sometimes I can't believe how similar PDs are. A few years ago my uB M tried to force a friendship with a friend I had in school, not even high school. She pushed very, very hard, and trying to be kind to everybody, I did not stop the situation as fast as I could. I did not want to be friends with her, she was cruel to me and laugh at me with other 'friends'. We were children and I do not hold a grudge, but I don't want to be her friend. Besides she participated actively in M's church, so I knew there would be spying even if this friend was a nice person. At the end I had to tell this woman I was not interested in being in contact with her. I had to hurt her because M did not stop. And to top things, when I reminded M she did this, she claimed she would never do such a thing.

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StayWithMe

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Re: Total inability to hear criticism or self-reflect
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2018, 03:50:39 PM »
When it comes to friends, I am convinced of a couple of things:

1. The one that my parents want me to have as friends are due to either
a. they are hoping that they can use this person to spy on me.  with one woman it was very obvious.
b. I think both of my parents would have loved to see me flail in trying to be friends with people who are not interested in being friends with me.  It would just strengthen the narrative that I am difficult person to deal with and as a result, I have very few friends.  certainly, not the ones that matter.....

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all4peace

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Re: Total inability to hear criticism or self-reflect
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2018, 09:16:24 PM »
zephyrblue, it is shocking, every time I come across it. For a while, we were so constantly in the presence of this in DH's family next door that when I started having encounters with people who were not like this (apologizing genuinely, accepting boundaries, acknowledging their own behavior) it was shocking. Now that we've had so little contact with PDs in the last 1-2 years it is shocking to be faced with it again.

fightsong, it is maddening. "Circular arguments" are often referenced on this forum. This is what I could do endlessly, with both parents. Argue endlessly. It doesn't matter how careful and logical I am, we are coming at this from completely different ways of seeing the world and relationships.

daughter, it's interesting that you use the phrase "be me" as uNBPDm has at least once referenced being allowed to be herself while simultaneously claiming she will change whatever needs to be changed, if I just tell her, but when I even reference the kind of behavior I expect in my relationships she fights the possibility that she isn't already all those things. Repeatedly I've been accused of telling her how to talk and behave, making her into a puppet. My 3 requests have been very basic--please respond to texts when you have my kids, please talk to me before making plans with my kids, please don't talk to my ILs about my relationship with them. She is not allowed to "be her" because I am so controlling of her in these requests. It actually makes me feel creepily disturbed, it is SO distorted. However, this IS the same woman who would strike her family members, and if we raised our arms to block her blows she would scream at us for hitting her. So, I guess she has always had pretty severe thought distortions.

spirit girl, it makes complete sense. I had posted here once about the benefits of having an ignoring mother of an enmeshed one. Now I'm getting un-ignored and I really preferred being ignored. Did you ever "wrap up" a conversation with your M or simply let it fade away? My S says they did this same thing, didn't reach any resolution, didn't talk for months, and then started talking again very infrequently... That might work.

bloomie, I agree. One thing I started thinking long ago is that some of these folks simply don't believe the rules of relationships apply to them. I didn't actually think too consciously about the rules of relationships until being in a few that were so distorted and imbalanced that it started being a physical struggle to be in close proximity. Then I started thinking words like you list "entitlement, arrogance, pride" in thinking that we would be in close intimate relationship despite lying, slander, some level of being shunned within the family, disrespect of our spoken boundaries, etc. Somehow, despite all that behavior, we're supposed to still have a great relationship with them. I guess they think a lot of us :D

danden, when I get a really triggering communication from my parents, my first "response" is a very angry one that I do not send. And in my not-to-be-sent angry response to M this time, I told her that we didn't have a good-enough 50/50 relationship. You refer to running out of love as the child of a PD. That's basically what I was saying in my not-sent letter--her behavior as a mother in childhood had already put our relationship on very precarious terms and she did not have much ground on which to make demands of me or behave as if I was equally responsible for the distance in our relationship.

illogical, your interpretations make every very, very clear to me. Thank you for doing that!

terichan, your F sounds like mine. Mine also wants a good relationship. He wants to think things over and figure out how to be a better F. But he cannot seem to do the one thing I've had to actually ask of him, which is speak to me at family functions after he settled into a new pattern of cold silence and ignoring. It sounds good, but the behavior doesn't match and that is heartbreaking after a while. So hopeful, but no substance. It's easy to get FOGged.

Your analogy is interesting to me. I've used this with DH, actually, when I'm trying to pinpoint my behavior that is upsetting to him. I DO want to be told in the moment. But we're talking about far more subtle things than actually abusive behavior, which one would hope one would be able to identify for one's self.

staywithme, that kind of communication is crazy making. It's hard to tell whether it's a deliberate misunderstanding, or truly an inability to hear and digest what is being said clearly and directly.

thenewme!, I think that's accurate, that it's never them, or if it is slightly them then only in vague, indirect ways that are not supposed to impact how we see them or interact with them. Interestingly, uNBPDm has more than once asked me to go to therapy with her. If it weren't so traumatic to even consider, I would be incredibly curious to know how it would go. The only way she would suggest that is if she thought it would be to her benefit. My T would be very happy to meet with her, but it's hard to even imagine what good could come from it. I don't want a relationship with her at this point, so it would just be an exercise in pain and frustration, for both of us.

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Afterthefox

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Re: Total inability to hear criticism or self-reflect
« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2018, 11:51:13 PM »
In an attempt to 'explain away' his latest break up with his partner, BPDf recently quoted a line to me from a book he was reading that he felt summed up his learnings.

"If a love is to be a true love, it has to involve letting go."  I asked him to explain what he derived from this quote and he continued, "Well, this is what I have done.  I have broken up with ____."

Such an exercise in quizzing my BPDf on subjects involving empathy, humanity, emotional attachment and, well, love, reveal a surprisingly shallow level of awareness for someone who is otherwise intelligent.  This kind of revelation is central to his condition, and to my response to his condition.  The feeling of trust that comes from the recognition of humanity in another person is simply is not there in my relationship with BPDf.  He pretends (and he pretends quite well) that he cares, but there is endless evidence that he never absorbs anything anyone ever tells him about themselves.  He can converse for hours about himself, and when it is your turn, the eyes glaze over, and he remembers nothing you have told him, nor asks anything about you to begin with.

Ultimately, it is very sad for people such as my BPDf, as they really only experience 50% of the joy of living.  And to those who look to them for trust, love, empathy, or respect, it is a very futile and disappointing venture.

« Last Edit: April 03, 2018, 11:55:17 PM by Afterthefox »
"Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone." - Alan Watts

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all4peace

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Re: Total inability to hear criticism or self-reflect
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2018, 12:31:37 AM »
I appreciate your point, afterthefox. The other person, our PD, really just sees life and love so very differently.

One of my tasks in therapy was to write up a list of core beliefs. I went and found that list recently. It was painful to read, as they were from a pretty broken place. What it did for me, however, is to start to see that many places I run into walls with Dh and our parents, for example, are often revolving around mis-matched core beliefs.

For example, if one of DH's core beliefs is that anything about "self" is selfish, including self care, and one of my newly evolving core beliefs is that I must take care of myself, work through the trauma, and hopefully come out on the other side much more able to also give back to others... you can see how those two would butt together. DH would be worried he is now married to a totally self-absorbed woman, and I in pain that I'm married to a totally insensitive man.

Anyway, you remind me of this with your BF's belief of what love looks like.

If I had to guess, enF and uNBPDm's core belief might look like this: "Our children will always be our children, wanting to spend time with us, taking care of us, making us feel loved and happy. Always. No matter what." And our emerging beliefs are starting to look more like: "We no longer want to spend time around people who disrespect us, dishonor our FOC, undermine our parenting, lie, etc. Even if they are our parents."

With opposing beliefs like these, you could get conversations like I have been having with my parents. It sounds so nice and orderly in these sentences, but the terrible pain and frustration lie in that gap that seems impossible to bridge.