BPD sister trying to torpedo my new relationship

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thirstywork

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BPD sister trying to torpedo my new relationship
« on: April 17, 2018, 12:19:08 AM »
Hey, I’m new here, and it’s safe to say that I feel like I’m drowning. I feel so lost trying to navigate my older sister who has BPD, and my family who always seem to be on her side.
I’ve not been in a relationship for a few years, but I finally found a BF I felt to be perfect and everything has been going swimmingly for a good while. We’ve been living together for a bit, which means I’ve come back to my hometown and we are looking to get a mortgage.
The second I mentioned the mortgage to BPDsis she suddenly started making announcements that she was unhappy in her (previously happy) home. She now wants to buy a house with her BF. She also, for the first time, started talking non-stop about wanting a baby, which has sent everyone into a panic because her and her BF can’t afford one and her BPD is bad - she has had 2 serious suicide attempts.
A few weeks later, she announces to me, in front of other people, on her birthday night out that our other sister has said “your BF is controlling”. I cut the conversation off and told her it wasn’t the time, but she pleaded with me and said “we must talk soon”. We didn’t, thank goodness. My BF is not at all controlling, he’s bloomin’ lovely.
Eventually I met nonBPDsis for a drink and asked her about it. She denied ever saying it, and said how much she and her DH love my BF and think he’s great for me. She did tell me that BPDsis didn’t like my BF. We concluded it was jealousy, but I didn’t much care and considered the matter dealt with.
The next day I got a raging text from BPDsis accusing me of spreading the rumour that she didn’t like my BF, which, she said, was untrue. She and my other sister had obviously spoken since the drink. She said she was worried about his extreme OCD (which is total BS, he doesn’t have OCD, he just has a thing about washing his hands after touching animals) and she thought he was a bit off because they’d had a conversation where he’d told her she was manipulative after she treated me particularly badly, but he said it in an honest way rather than accusatory.
I admit, my next text to her was challenging and not very zen. I asked her to consider my mental health too, and not text me fighty messages just before bedtime as I’m having lots of trouble sleeping. She replied the next day saying it was the 2nd anniversary of her 2nd suicide attempt but I wouldn’t know anything about that because I never ask.
Her text to me was so angry I sought comfort from the Internet which I’ve never done before. It told me to outline some boundaries, so I told her I wouldn’t communicate with her when she was being nasty to me, but I would when she was ready to be nice.
She wrote back: ‘F off’.
I haven’t heard from her since and have received a full social media block, plus reports from my family that she’s ‘doesn’t want to speak to me’ and she’s ‘having a hard time’. This is what upsets me the most. They’re all ears for her side of the story but when I tell them mine and say I’m feeling very sad about it and I feel like my relationship with BF is being invaded, they say ‘you have to remember she has an illness’. I know!!!!! But I also have feelings?! Are those two things mutually exclusive?! NonBPDsis gives the same advice every time which is just to completely placate her. Something I’m very uncomfortable doing. I can’t say things I don’t mean. I can’t pretend not to be hurt when I’m crying on my own. I can tell myself that the cause of her behaviour is her illness but it doesn’t make my defensiveness go away. I feel like my mum should have better advice - she’s been going to carer’s meetings for a good while. But she just tells me ‘she’s sick’ and it makes me feel worse.

I’m here for advice, understanding. Anything. I already learned two new terms today: gray rock and medium chill (tho I don’t fully understand how to execute them). I am an open book and I’m begging you to write all your knowledge of how to cope in me.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2018, 12:49:23 AM by thirstywork »

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all4peace

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Re: BPD sister trying to torpedo my new relationship
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2018, 01:23:56 AM »
Welcome, thirstywork! I'm so glad that your desperate search for help led you here! Please take time to find the resources at the top of your screen, as there is so much information there about traits of PDs and how to cope with them.
http://www.outofthefog.website/overview/
http://www.outofthefog.net/CommonNonBehaviors/Toolbox.html
http://www.outofthefog.net/

I see you've found the PD Siblings section of the forum, so hopefully there will be members here who are able to give you guidance and support as you navigate your painful and challenging family situation. Whether siblings, spouses or children, many on this forum have suffered the pain of being blamed or shamed for the dynamics in a PD family system. Boundaries is a great "first book" for many coming OOTF, to learn kind ways to cope in relationships with healthy and unhealthy people.

Again, welcome, and we look forward to hearing more from you!

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Summer Sun

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Re: BPD sister trying to torpedo my new relationship
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2018, 12:52:12 PM »
Thirstywork, welcome to OOTF.  Feeling like you are drowning and navigationally lost in relationship with BPD’s is common.  We can desire healthy, respectful, caring interactions and kindness and sensitivity with our siblings, but unfortunately, we have no control over their behaviors.  Check out the three C’s, it was helpful to me to grasp that I did not create the problems, nor however, can I control or change others.  All I can do is change my behaviors in response, and establish boundaries. 

Your story has similarities to mine.  Some experiences we share although the nitty gritty may vary.  It is a challenge emotionally to function when in the thick of PD chaos and dysfunction.

You did well by saying to your BPD sis that the celebration was not the right time to discuss your BF.  Also, asserting your boundary of not communicating when she is nasty, yet would be open to civil connection.  Unfortunately, you cannot “control” her negative responses, but know you were being reasonable, it is about her. 

How is the relationship between your two sisters?  I ask because triangulation is particularly destructive IME.  BPD said NONsis thinks your BF is controlling?  This is common for PD’s to use others to as a shield for their own accusations.  Frankly, your BF is none of their business, unless he is abusing you, then an opinion might be warranted.  Otherwise, “I’m sorry she feels that way” is what I would have responded and changed the subject. 

Jealousy is common with PD’s.  So you are buying a house?  She’s gotta compete.  You gotta shiny new BF?  Put him down.  Envious behaviors can also come in a form of putting others down in order to elevate themselves to feel better about themselves.  It is hurtful when others cannot share our joy, successes; when we are invalidated.  But, it is about them.  We need to surround ourselves with others capable of reciprocity and validation, as well, validate ourselves.  Blood cannot be squeezed from a stone, your M is correct that she is sick.  At some point in your healing, you may possibly come to a point of having compassion for her, or discover ways to at minimum manage the relationship with Grey rock, or MC and protecting yourself.  It is when we expect them to be and do what they are not and cannot, is when we open ourselves to being vulnerable.

Your NONSis.  Why did she go back to your BPD sis?  What was her motivation from your perspective?  To set her straight?  To influence her?  In any event, the confrontation got turned on you.  I’ve experienced this.  It is vilifying the victim.  PD’s need to deflect and blameshift, there is no accountability.  It is all our fault, always.  In hindsight, had you simply said, “I’m sorry she feels that way”, end discussion and at some later point asked the other sis what she thinks of BF (if her opinion is important to you) without bringing in BPDsis accusations, the nonsis would have had no reason to go back to BPDsis?  Dunno, just thinking aloud of similar experiences I’ve had - I would have handled differently today. 

It is hurtful when our FOO rallys around the PD and justifies their abuses, and cannot see the impact on us, or invalidate our experiences.  It’s like we have to sacrifice ourselves to the lion.  Why?  Because they are sick? What favours do we do them by placating them?  What are they learning?  And what about our wounds and bruises?  Just because they are not visible does not mean they are not there.  What I hear or perceive is they matter more.  Is this right?  I think not.  I don’t matter more, but I do matter too.  The other experience I personally feel, being SG’d by FOO and extended family is, that I am judged as flawed or bad because I choose not to tolerate abuse (which they are unaware of my experiences).  So I am victimized twice.  And like, who cares?  It is not right, but unfortunately, we alone cannot fix our FOO’s.

I’m afraid all we can do is work on ourselves, try to heal, change our own behaviors.  Sometimes, we need to let go, or go NC for sanity’s sake.  This is a difficult road, not for everyone, an individual choice.

Hope some of this ramble is helpful.  Know you are not alone.  I encourage you to connect with a T, keep your BF close, surround yourself with healthy, caring people, read lots, knowledge is power.  Wishing your strength, wisdom, comfort, love and the peace you deserve.

Summer Sun
"The opposite of Love is not Hate, it's Indifference" - Elie Wiesel

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coyote

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Re: BPD sister trying to torpedo my new relationship
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2018, 04:14:51 PM »
Thirstywork,
Welcome to OOTF. I'm going to move this initial post to the Welcome Mat where it will get more visibility and more responses. Your story is a common one here with a BPD family member vying for control of everything. You will really enjoy the Toolbox. It is full of tools and strategies to help us with PDs in our lives. On the boards you will find a lot of support as well as learn what has worked for others. Once again welcome and I hope this site is as much of a resource for you as it has been for me.
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.
 Wayne Dyer

The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?
Capt. Jack Sparrow

Choose not to be harmed and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed and you haven’t been. -Marcus Aurelius

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thirstywork

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Re: BPD sister trying to torpedo my new relationship
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2018, 09:44:19 PM »
Thank you for your replies. I had a good read through some of the rest of the site last night and today and am already feeling fairly mind-blown about what I’ve been doing wrong, right, that other people go through this too...

Quote from: Summer Sun
How is the relationship between your two sisters?
There are 4 of us in total, I’m youngest. Oldest is GC and she’s the one I mentioned in my story. There in another slightly younger than her who is LC with pretty much everyone except GCsis. Then an age gap, then BPDsis, then me. Their relationship is strained because GCsis has a young family and lots of pressures, yet BPDsis often has crises, and GC is parentified and a fixer. When she fixes blowups between BPDsis and me, both her and my mum put a lot of pressure on me to apologise. BPDsis is jealous of the friendship I have with GCsis and even the attention GCsis gives her own children, GCsis despairs of the attention BPDsis needs and ultimately fears being left with the responsibility of taking care of her as my parents are ageing. Currently GCsis is dealing with BPDsis by sending ‘hugs and love’ texts which she admits are disingenuous.

You’re 100% right about the jealousy thing. She was always competing with me in competitions I didn’t know were taking place. She bullied me a lot at school because she was jealous of my talents, this continued with my university education, and she signed up to multiple courses she’d make my dad promise to pay for, but never actually went. But it’s been quiet for a while. A BF was all it took to make that come back.

Quote from: Summer Sun
Your NONSis.  Why did she go back to your BPD sis? What was her motivation from your perspective?
Nonsis/GCsis went back to her to ask why BPDsis had been putting words in her mouth. I’m not entirely sure the extent of that conversation because there seems to have been a little too much information shared. I think GCsis is externally annoyed at me for some reason at the moment and consequently let her guard down with what she should have said to BPDsis. I don’t think she did it maliciously, she’s not the type. So I imagine it was self preservation. Truthfully, BPDsis hasn’t outright lied like that in a long time (that we know of) so it seemed strange to all parties.

This feels silly saying this, but having stayed up til 4am last night trawling through this website, I woke up today with a feeling of resolve. I went over to GCsis’ house and she told me “BPDsis says you’ve cut her off”. Now, normally, here is the moment I’d crumble into a million pieces and get defensive and make myself seem like the villain BPDsis has already painted me out to be. But, armed with a few things I read on here, I stood my ground. “No, I told her I don’t want to communicate when she’s nasty and when she’s ready to be nice I’ll happily talk to her. She can respond whenever she likes, but it is her that has since blocked me.” At this point GCsis looked surprised, so I continued. “You know exactly what it feels like to have her make out like you’ve done that, you know that she is twisting the situation to make it seem like she is the victim. But she is the cause of it, I didn’t ask for this, and I cannot control it.” (Buzzword central amirite)
It was a very rare occasion where I feel like I got through to GCsis (as I mentioned, she’s parentified so I can’t help but idolise her, annoyingly). And she just said “oh yeah!” And finally remembered that I’m not some monster set out to undermine BPDsis’ mental health.

Stumbling upon this site makes me feel like I can figure out my way through all these messes, and protect myself and protect my relationship, and gradually unvilify myself to the FOO in these situations.
The next step is to have a healthier relationship with BPDsis. Less emotionally attached for me, but supportive of her needs.

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. It means so much to me that someone understands how I feel. Also, thank you for your positive reinforcement on how I responded to her. I’ve never responded like that before, so I feel like I’m finding my feet with it.

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thirstywork

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Re: BPD sister trying to torpedo my new relationship
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2018, 05:08:17 PM »
Is anyone still reading this thread?
I mentioned I just moved back to the area and I've been working really hard on establishing friendships since before I moved and also since I got here. I feel this is especially important because I don't want to become a recluse in my relationship and I'm a social butterfly - that part of me needs to fly. I have one particular friend, for now we'll call her Lisa.
Lisa came over today for a cup of tea having been out last night. She knows that I've been dealing with BPDsis for a while now although obviously it's all fairly new to her, but she has a brilliant understanding of mental health and disabilities. She told me that she saw BPDsis out in a bar (I've introduced them before at my birthday party etc) who immediately was all "Is my sister here? Cause I'll have to leave if she is."
She also asked if she could go to the gym with Lisa but said "my sister doesn't go with you does she?"
BPDsis told Lisa that "my sister isn't speaking to me because she doesn't understand me and my health."
That's so untrue!!! She's the one who has blocked me!!!!
Now, I'm grateful and I recognise that Lisa was honest enough to come back and tell me. I'm feeling very frustrated with BPDsis at the moment and I mentioned that to Lisa, who thought that BPDsis was just trying to find out if I had spoken to Lisa about the situation.
But I said "no, she's categorically trying to get you on her side." and Lisa said "yeah it did come across a bit like that."
Lisa also mentioned that BPDsis has been texting another guy from our group.

Trying to rally my family around her is one thing - at least they know her and what she's like and can take it all with a pinch of salt - but my friends?????
What do I do? I don't want to respond by trying to rally them back to my side, that's so childish and futile. But I've worked really hard to make these friends and they don't understand how manipulative my sister can be.

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Summer Sun

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Re: BPD sister trying to torpedo my new relationship
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2018, 12:56:24 PM »
Thirstwork, I’ve tried my best to keep friends and FOO separate.  For good reason.  I’ve learned the hard way.

IME PD sibs divide and conquer, in FOO and attempt this with friends as well.  The friends don’t know what is going on and are just nice people.  And the PD sibs are soooooo nice - unlike how I am treated.  And then they slowly smear. 

Your BPDs is quite obvious or overt with Lisa in drawing attention to her feelings.  You do know that PD’s are capable of lying?  Some are compulsive.  If your friend had not told you what your sis said, where you had an opportunity to set the record straight, and just accepted what was said, now what would she think of you?  This is how they operate.  Attempt to turn others against us.  Divide and conquer.  Isolating us. SCapegoating. 

Why do they do this?  I think, in part, it is jealousy.  They want what we have, inclusive of our friends.  But if we stand up to a PD, correct them, challenge them, put up a boundary, go NC, well, the revenge or wrath can be quite malicious IME.  They want us to suffer.  Is there anything worse than being ostracized by your whole FOO and extended family? When all you have is a significant other and friends?  Well, if they can get your friends on their side, that cuts deep.  Hurts us, delights them.  I’m sorry to say, but this type of behavior is sick IMO.

What can you do?  If you try to paint a picture of your BPD sis and they see something else, as in she is soooo nice, you, or we, are the ones looking bad.  Lucky for you, your friend is conversant with mental health issues and seems loyal as in awareness of BPDs’s intentions. 

IME, best to keep friends and family separate.  When asked, I say something like my FOO is very complicated.  I have a trusted friend who knows and has witnessed much of what I’ve been through, I am so blessed with this understanding and support.  I know I’ve been smeared as extended Family has SG me too.  What can I do?  I don’t know what they’ve been told, cannot defend myself against what I don’t know.  And to go to them and share my experiences will make me appear the problem.  So I think, well, believe what you want, you obviously don’t know me, and don’t care enough about me to even ask if stuff is true, well, do I really want or need a relationship with these people.  Most past connections were always when I could be used for something, or, if I initiated contact anyways.

Have a look at the traits, Divide and Conquer, and Isolation, SG, I think there may be suggestions of what not to do, what to do.

I am sorry for the frustration and likely anger you are experiencing.  It is hard stuff to take! 

Summer Sun
"The opposite of Love is not Hate, it's Indifference" - Elie Wiesel

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Adria

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Re: BPD sister trying to torpedo my new relationship
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2018, 02:53:46 PM »
Hi Thirstywork and welcome.

Your sister sounds very similar to mine.  My sister is very jealous as well.  So jealous, in fact, that when I was married and had a baby, she went and had one out of wedlock and named her baby the same name as mine, just to compete. And it just went on and on. 

I don't think there is much you can do with a personality like that except separate yourself as best you can from the drama.  They cannot stand to see us happy as you very well know.  I'm not sure where the line of sickness and ill intentions is crossed, but I'm also not sure it matters.  They seem to do a lot of damage to people that remain close to them. 

It sounds like you can see it for what it is.  So maybe going to the toolbox here as well as the board for  pd siblings will give you more insight and  some ideas on how to deal with her for your own sake. 

It sure is a heavy cross to bear. Even worse when your parents won't acknowledge her antics. Like you, I was always the one in the wrong for saying something, never her for the horrible tricks she played.  I think that is why they get so good at it. IMHO it is practiced and supported.

Be happy with your knew BF, and your new life together. Maybe don't look for a home in the same town. One town over might not be a bad idea.   :bigwink:

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thirstywork

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Re: BPD sister trying to torpedo my new relationship
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2018, 08:54:21 PM »
Quote from: Summer Sun
Have a look at the traits, Divide and Conquer, and Isolation, SG, I think there may be suggestions of what not to do, what to do.
Thanks! I took a look at these and I felt that Divide and Conquer was incredibly relevant. I also stumbled upon self-victimization while I was looking up SGing which felt relevant too.
I think I panic because I don't always know how well other people see through her lies and exaggerated stories. I've always known to take everything she says with a pinch of salt, but how would someone who doesn't know her figure that out? I think I need to try to relax here and remind myself that she has very few friends who are nonPD and there's a reason for that - neurotypical people probably sense trouble and back off. I think you're right in that I need to keep my friends and BPDsis separate. One of my close friends really likes her which will make it more difficult, but I'm certainly not going to enable any situations where she can join me and my friends again, no matter how well I feel we're getting on at the time. Because the reality is, when she starts spiralling again and decides I'm her rival, I have no doubt she would try to manipulate my friends again.

Quote from: Adria
So jealous, in fact, that when I was married and had a baby, she went and had one out of wedlock and named her baby the same name as mine, just to compete. And it just went on and on.
WHAT!!!! Wow! I'm shocked and saddened that she sabotaged your joy in that way, and so selfishly as well. Bringing a child into the world is not something to be taken lightly. I'm sorry you had to deal with that when you should have been concentrating on the joy of having your new family.
Quote from: Adria
I'm not sure where the line of sickness and ill intentions is crossed, but I'm also not sure it matters.
This plays on my mind a lot. What is them, and what is the illness? Is it one and the same? It's inconsequential but it's definitely something I've been pondering for at least 7 months. The last person I asked got very upset with me when I suggested that perhaps there might not be a distinction between the two. But I don't even know what I think!

New boyfriend is a godsend, sees through all BPDsis' manipulations, listens to all my ranting and venting and always offers his best advice (which is usually a little harsh for my liking but I appreciate his attention and effort all the same.... and also why I come here!). A home in a different town seems silly, both of our families and all of our friends are here. BPDsis has no friends here (probably part of the reason she's getting so close to mine), just family. She doesn't get to monopolise a whole town.  :smug:

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Spirit Girl

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Re: BPD sister trying to torpedo my new relationship
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2018, 05:24:37 PM »
"they (your family) say ‘you have to remember she has an illness’." I personally would not buy that explanation. They want you to accept her cruel behaviours?!

My gut reaction to your situation is to move to another city (I know it may be unreasonable).

Mostly I just want to say thirstywork that I'm amazed at how much and how fast you've taken it all the knowledge and techniques from this site - you deserve an award! Setting boundaries, speaking with conviction - you go girl!

My s is jealous too and will do anything to hide info among many other weird traits.

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Blodyn

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Re: BPD sister trying to torpedo my new relationship
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2018, 08:13:27 AM »
Hi Thirstywork.  I really feel for your situation.  I was raised in a family of uPD parents who then turned their children into either PD siblings or co-dependent  siblings.  I became co-dependent.  I noticed two things that stand out to me.  The first being that family members are using the PD as an excuse for your sister’s abusive behaviour towards you.  PD is a mental disorder that can be treated but the behaviour that arises from it must never be used as justification for the abusive actions.

The other thing that jumped out at me was your nonPD sister’s advice to “just placate her”.  Sorry, but no.  Placation is on the slippery slope to developing co-dependence issues, and I should know, it’s taken me decades to unravel and heal my co-dependency issues.  Placation is well intended but misguided advice and will not work.  If your PD sister did not have a PD and was just overwrought and had misunderstood a particular situation then placation is a perfect response to help her.  But this isn’t the case.  Your PD sister does have a PD which means that her thinking and feeling responses will be designed not to be placated, but to maintain a sense of power and control over you and your relationship with your BF.  This an important distinction to remember.

The key to managing your relationships both with your PD sister and non PD family members comes down to healthy boundaries.  There are loads of resources on this site that I continue to use to this day.  I have also found the following books helpful:

Boundaries: Where you end and I begin by Anne Katherine
Where to Draw the Line by Anne Katherine
Co-Dependent No More by Melody Beatty

Best of luck, and hang on to your BF, he sounds like you’ve found a gem 💎 there.