Does the GC get to have boundaries?

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Some One

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Does the GC get to have boundaries?
« on: April 04, 2018, 02:43:18 PM »
Did you find that when you were the GC your NParent honored your boundaries?
If you aren't the GC did you notice that the NParent honored the GC's boundaries?

I was thinking about this the other day and I have no frame of reference.  Typically when GCBrother and I were together other people were present...family, relatives, significant others etc...people who weren't enforcers of NMom's inappropriate behavior.    Any of her evil boundary breaking behavior towards me, at least, was reserved for when we were alone or when EnStepDad was present.  I can only assume GCBrother's experience was the same.
I will not pretend. 
I will not put on a smile. 
I will not say I'm all right for you,  
~Martha Wainwright.

NC almost 9.5 years with Nmom.  Enjoy the Silence.

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Afterthefox

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Re: Does the GC get to have boundaries?
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2018, 03:10:34 PM »
I found BPDf was painfully unaware of the reason why I finally established boundaries. 

While I was the GC, he called incessantly, always grabbing at attention/seeking an overwhelming level of support, never remotely considering my needs as an individual.  And when I became a SG, he simply switched off all communication/affection. There has historically been no in between and he has fluctuated between these two extremes for my entire life.

I have observed other GC receiving his interest and unfortunately it has been a case of rinse and repeat.  He showered attention for as long as GC was useful to him, then cast GC aside and scapegoated.

Ultimately, BPDf has no concept of the needs of others and therefore no awareness of even the purpose of boundaries.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2018, 03:13:09 PM by Afterthefox »
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Malini

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Re: Does the GC get to have boundaries?
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2018, 03:24:51 PM »
It's an interesting question. NM had no boundaries with anyone. GC, SG, friend or foe. What did happen though is that enNF could rein it in a bit because in his culture, a daughter becomes the property of her husband and inlaws and he was much more demanding of SGB, expecting him to be at his beck and call night and day, and letting me have a minimum of private life.

I remember that my NParents stayed with a friend of mine whilst visiting her home country and she told me NM went through her wardrobe, under the pretense of 'helping her organise it' whilst she was out at work. This supports my feeling of her making no difference between anybody who had the misfortune to know her.

The GC is under the impression that things are better for them than the SG, until they realise how flimsy that construct is. I went from GC to SG in a heartbeat - painful.

"How do you do it?" said night
"How do you wake and shine?"
"I keep it simple." said light
"One day at a time" - Lemn Sissay

'I think it's important to realise that you can miss something, but not want it back' Paul Coelho

'We accept the love we think we deserve' Stephen Chbosky

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JustKathy

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Re: Does the GC get to have boundaries?
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2018, 03:40:20 PM »
Quote
Typically when GCBrother and I were together other people were present...family, relatives, significant others etc...people who weren't enforcers of NMom's inappropriate behavior.

That was typical with my family as well. I was only ever with my GC brother at family gatherings, but I did notice some violation of boundaries even then. Christmas was probably the worst. NM had a ritual of going through all of our Christmas gifts before we packed them up and left. She'd insist on seeing everything we got, even if it were personal items like underwear. Even though my brother was her GC, there was no exception made for him. She would rifle through all of his stuff, and ask who gave him what gifts. Of course, being the GC, he was a complete Momma's Boy and was totally compliant. I would often push back and tell her my things were private, but he was more than willing to allow his boundaries to be violated.

I don't know what may have happened between them in private, but NM always seemed to know a LOT about his personal life, so I have to assume she was being very intrusive. But like I said, he saw it as normal and didn't put up any resistance, which would have made it very easy for her. If he let her get away with it, then I'm certain she did it.


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Some One

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Re: Does the GC get to have boundaries?
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2018, 04:57:03 PM »
Quote
Typically when GCBrother and I were together other people were present...family, relatives, significant others etc...people who weren't enforcers of NMom's inappropriate behavior.

That was typical with my family as well. I was only ever with my GC brother at family gatherings, but I did notice some violation of boundaries even then.

I didn't realize how odd this was until I was in my early to mid 20's.  Two boyfriends would tell me how unusual it was that when I would spend time with my GCBrother how it would be as a family unit and that when they would spend time with their siblings it would be without their parents, because they had formed individual adult relationships with each other (like normal families).  They had said that the last time they spent time with their siblings like my family does was when they were younger.  Since they were adults they wanted to have separate relationships with their siblings. In fact, the one boyfriend, was so close to his brother he was one of the people we spent the most time with.  As a result of this it got me thinking and after these relationships ended I took it upon myself to change the way I interact with GCBrother and take the initiative to see him on my own instead of as a family unit, which had always been the case before.  I saw this as a win, because spending time as a family unit had always been a painful experience and back in those days I was still in contact with my family attempting to work on things.  At this time I mentioned to NMother that I had made plans with GCBrother to do this and NMother flips out, runs over to me and snaps, "What?!  YOU CAN'T DO THAT!!!"  I turn to her and ask (kind of laughing) why not and that I thought she wanted me to have a relationship with GCBrother.  She tries to compose herself and backpaddle her way out of it.  Mind you, I knew she wanted me to "have a relationship with GCBrother," but on "her terms" so she can control what's said and that's exactly what she had been doing.  I did go up to see GCBrother that year and all it took was ONE visit with him to find out NMother had been making up lies for years about things that weren't true, telling lies to GCBrother and telling lies to me.  I also found out something about PAFather that he didn't tell me at a time I was seeing him on a weekly basis.  It was ridiculous.   I was devastated and furious.  No contact came a year or so after with NMother...an easy decision.  I would have never found this out if I had continued to stick to script.
I will not pretend. 
I will not put on a smile. 
I will not say I'm all right for you,  
~Martha Wainwright.

NC almost 9.5 years with Nmom.  Enjoy the Silence.

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Mug

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Re: Does the GC get to have boundaries?
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2018, 06:12:50 PM »
My brother was the GC when we were kids. He did what he was told, and he was quiet. I, on the other hand, was constantly reminded that I was a "difficult child." I liked to be with people, and my mom was too busy for that. I eventually became the GC because as I grew older and needed to be around people (because I didn't get to be around people as a child, I was always told to play in my room by myself) I started listening to my mom's problems. I became her therapist, and I assumed that this is what close families did. My brother didn't want to be a part of my mom's drama so he steered clear of it as much as possible. My mom and I would talk about my dad, my brother, my grandmother, my grandfather, people on my swim team, people I rode horses with, my mom's crush on her riding instructor, etc. And these weren't nice comments, they were mean and gossipy. Once again, I thought we had an open and close relationship. It wasn't until I met my husband, I realized that was NOT the way a healthy family operated. And now that I'm in therapy, I've realized that everything my mom has told me about what healthy families do, is a lie. Anyways, now that my brother and I are both adults, neither of us is the GC, and we are both disappointing her in fantastic new ways!

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daughterofbpd

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Re: Does the GC get to have boundaries?
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2018, 08:04:02 PM »
I found BPDm doesn't like boundaries when it comes to SG me or GC Sis. She wailed and complained when my Sis asked her to please call first before coming over. I found that GC Sis had better boundaries than I did when it came to length and number of visits. Possibly, as SG, I was still trying to work at making my parents love me. IDK. I think there are lots of factors involved there.

As far as sibs only hanging out as a family unit, I can relate to that too. BPDm gets jealous and angry if Sis and I try to do anything without her. She claims we are purposely leaving her out, doing it so we can talk about her, etc. Once she found out we were hanging out and tried to make plans to crash our meeting.  :sadno:
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Gladiola23

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Re: Does the GC get to have boundaries?
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2018, 11:19:53 PM »
GC turned SG here. My father with NPD had to have ultimate control of everyone in his family, so none of us were allowed to have boundaries. It felt different for everyone involved, but no. Boundaries were something I discovered in my late 20s and now my 30s.

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all4peace

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Re: Does the GC get to have boundaries?
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2018, 12:06:12 AM »
This is the question on my mind lately also. Things are crumbling for uNBPDm in our family. In my relationship with her and enF, it started with the most basic of boundaries and started unraveling. One of those boundaries that I spoke, she has floated out the idea she should respect it in B's family (to sil and b directly) and then continues to not respect it whatsoever. I think she was testing them, they didn't firmly set the boundary, and so she does as she pleases.

I love my brother, so I don't wish for him to have to go toe to toe with her, but I also am a curious person and would love to know what would happen if he--the long-time GC--set a clear boundary with her and held it firm when she (instantly) violated it.

In DH's family, boundary violations are constant and flagrant, and the ILs are equal-opportunity boundary violators. In fact, in their world there is no such thing as boundaries. Not personal, not physical, not emotional/spiritual/mental. And when some of us (me first, then DH) stood up and tried to set them we were treated like incredibly hateful, family-destroying aliens.  :stars:

I think the GC might get more praise, less abuse and more enmeshment, but in my very limited experience I haven't seen them have better respect of their boundaries, probably actually worse.

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Malini

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Re: Does the GC get to have boundaries?
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2018, 04:46:40 AM »
Quote
I found that GC Sis had better boundaries than I did when it came to length and number of visits. Possibly, as SG, I was still trying to work at making my parents love me. IDK. I think there are lots of factors involved there.

This reminded me that whenever SG tried a boundary he was dragged through the mud, criticised, smeared to all and sundry. He was painted as the loser, difficult, stupid and lesser child.

I however, was treated much better, only a lot of eye rolling, a bit of huffing and puffing and in hindsight, almost begrudging pride that I would attempt to stand up to them and rein her in. I think, my illusion that they loved and cared for me (unlike my SGB), meant I felt safer in their love to express these boundaries.

DaughterofaBPD, I think you're correct that you were probably still hoping for love, I can see parallels with my SGB.

Like, yours my parents hated being excluded from anything SGB and I would do without them. Imagine how she felt when we went ahead and built a home together and shared it. It took NM 5 years to finally engineer an enormous blowup resulting in SGB selling his half and moving out without telling us and to an estrangement which lasted another 5.

"How do you do it?" said night
"How do you wake and shine?"
"I keep it simple." said light
"One day at a time" - Lemn Sissay

'I think it's important to realise that you can miss something, but not want it back' Paul Coelho

'We accept the love we think we deserve' Stephen Chbosky

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JustKathy

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Re: Does the GC get to have boundaries?
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2018, 03:45:00 PM »
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As a result of this it got me thinking and after these relationships ended I took it upon myself to change the way I interact with GCBrother and take the initiative to see him on my own instead of as a family unit, which had always been the case before.  I saw this as a win, because spending time as a family unit had always been a painful experience and back in those days I was still in contact with my family attempting to work on things.  At this time I mentioned to NMother that I had made plans with GCBrother to do this and NMother flips out, runs over to me and snaps, "What?!  YOU CAN'T DO THAT!!!" 

I'm glad you got the chance to talk to your brother outside of the confines of the family. I was never able to do that. I never even tried with GC brother, as he was so distant and private, except at the family Christmas. I honestly think he was afraid to have contact with me without the supervision of my mother, so I just dropped it.

I did try very hard to have an outside relationship with my sister, but that never went anywhere either. I tried repeatedly to call her, and always got her answering machine. I then sent emails, and she finally replied, "Mum says I'm not allowed to talk to you." She was about 50 at the time. 50! She was never able to detach from NM and have a life of her own. She was so under her thumb that she moved two doors down to take care of them, resulting in a three-hour work commute. She's never had a boyfriend, and I don't think she has any female friends. NM owned her. Subsequently, my brother was dumped as the GC with the honors going to sister. As GC, her boundaries were violated pretty badly, maybe even more than my brother when he was GC. My brother was married, which created a limit on boundary violation (maybe one of the reasons he was dropped as GC). My sister was so under NM's control, there were no boundaries at all. She even had the keys to her house.

My father is now elderly and completely under sister's control. Former-GC brother and I have both been disinherited. I have a feeling that, in a strange twist of events, we will somehow reconnect after enFather dies. Maybe it will be to contest their ridiculous will, which would be a rather petty reason, but whatever the reason, I'd welcome any chance to have contact with him and tell him what really happened to me, and hear his stories as well.

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Hazy111

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Re: Does the GC get to have boundaries?
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2018, 11:33:15 PM »
NO. The GC is likely to have the least boundaries respected as they are the most enmeshed child with the PD mother. You are me , i am you.

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practical

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Re: Does the GC get to have boundaries?
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2018, 11:39:02 PM »
I think it boils down to that the PD doesn't understand boundaries, doesn't understand the very existence of them. So it doesn't matter what role you are assigned in the family dysfunction, whether GC, SG, mascot or something else, if the PD doesn't have a concept of boundaries then that'll be the same whatever your role. It might seem like the GC gets to have boundaries sometimes, more likely they are things that the PD feels are okay in their world, so it has nothing to do with the GC. In my FOO roles kept switching for B and me, but whatever our role was, there were no boundaries.
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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Some One

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Re: Does the GC get to have boundaries?
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2018, 02:31:20 PM »
Quote
As a result of this it got me thinking and after these relationships ended I took it upon myself to change the way I interact with GCBrother and take the initiative to see him on my own instead of as a family unit, which had always been the case before.  I saw this as a win, because spending time as a family unit had always been a painful experience and back in those days I was still in contact with my family attempting to work on things.  At this time I mentioned to NMother that I had made plans with GCBrother to do this and NMother flips out, runs over to me and snaps, "What?!  YOU CAN'T DO THAT!!!" 

I'm glad you got the chance to talk to your brother outside of the confines of the family. I was never able to do that. I never even tried with GC brother, as he was so distant and private, except at the family Christmas. I honestly think he was afraid to have contact with me without the supervision of my mother, so I just dropped it.

I did try very hard to have an outside relationship with my sister, but that never went anywhere either. I tried repeatedly to call her, and always got her answering machine. I then sent emails, and she finally replied, "Mum says I'm not allowed to talk to you." She was about 50 at the time. 50! She was never able to detach from NM and have a life of her own. She was so under her thumb that she moved two doors down to take care of them, resulting in a three-hour work commute. She's never had a boyfriend, and I don't think she has any female friends. NM owned her. Subsequently, my brother was dumped as the GC with the honors going to sister. As GC, her boundaries were violated pretty badly, maybe even more than my brother when he was GC. My brother was married, which created a limit on boundary violation (maybe one of the reasons he was dropped as GC). My sister was so under NM's control, there were no boundaries at all. She even had the keys to her house.

My father is now elderly and completely under sister's control. Former-GC brother and I have both been disinherited. I have a feeling that, in a strange twist of events, we will somehow reconnect after enFather dies. Maybe it will be to contest their ridiculous will, which would be a rather petty reason, but whatever the reason, I'd welcome any chance to have contact with him and tell him what really happened to me, and hear his stories as well.

That was the only time my brother entertained a convo with me about our mother.  He gave me a small window before he shut the conversation down.  He did not want to talk about her.  He seemed exhausted at the thought of speaking about her and was clearly agitated.   "Let's keep it light!"  He said.  He did express a few realities of their relationship I was not aware of and how things were not as my mother made them out to be.  I would have liked to have heard more and perhaps take our experiences in the family and grow to support in each other in our dealings with her in the future, but this did not come to pass.  My brother is very "I'm perfect, my life is perfect, nothing bad happens to me, I feel nothing negative ever, perfect, perfect, perfect."

I'm sorry you couldn't have a relationship with either of your siblings.  It's very depressing that no one wants to be close and support each other when I see other families do it so readily and willingly. 

I will not pretend. 
I will not put on a smile. 
I will not say I'm all right for you,  
~Martha Wainwright.

NC almost 9.5 years with Nmom.  Enjoy the Silence.