Clash of the boundaries

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moglow

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Clash of the boundaries
« on: June 06, 2018, 04:02:10 PM »
Yeah, it's me again. Mother has thrown down a gauntlet and guilt is creeping in all around the edges over a cell phone of all things. I have very limited patience with or time for self inflicted drama these days, and that's mother's whole world. Worse, that manufactured chaos inevitably cranks up when I'm working.  I can't tell you the last time mother actually wanted to talk to me after hours or on weekends. Nope, she leaves one after another voicemails during working hours on my phone or most recently *at* work. HUGE no-no that, both for me and boss/brother.

This isn't new for her - my hours have had very little variation for several years now and we've had that conversation more than once. She knows exactly what she's doing. She just wants to call the office to force herself on my brother/his office, as he's firmly and happily nc with the woman.

So after a barrage of texts and voicemails, voicemails and text a few years ago, I told her I neither want nor need the disruption or distraction at work. Pick one, home or cell phone. As it happened we had only recently exchanged texts at all and that quickly became the most invasive. I can't mute or ignore them as I use my cell at work. I asked her more than once to stop, I'd have to talk to her after work, but no. I finally blocked her cell. BLISS!

Well, now mother has decided she's not going to use her home phone. It's inconvenient. She only has her cell with her and if I want to talk to her that's what she has. Rock = hard place. Basically she's forcing control where there's no need, demanding that I unblock her cell.

My gut says, give her a chance to prove my point. Throw down my own gauntlet with the caveat that if it becomes invasive and distracting while I'm at work, I'm cutting it back off. I'm the front desk manager of a very busy office: three bosses and support staff I'm coordinating, incoming phone and fax lines, email, AND texts and phone calls from our other office, plus the multitude of customer calls in and out every day. I'm BUSY.

Mother knows and respects no boundaries, much less when she inevitably melts down and goes sideways. And that will happen, sooner rather than later, just a matter of time. But at least then I can tell her - we HAD this conversation already and I tried to "cooperate" with you. I was very clear where I stood and asked the same cooperation from you. Now at least she knows I can and will shut it down.
Bad idea? Big guilt here.
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Starboard Song

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Re: Clash of the boundaries
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2018, 04:59:27 PM »
My gut says, give her a chance to prove my point. Throw down my own gauntlet with the caveat that if it becomes invasive and distracting while I'm at work, I'm cutting it back off.

Mother knows and respects no boundaries, much less when she inevitably melts down and goes sideways. And that will happen, sooner rather than later, just a matter of time.

Bad idea? Big guilt here.

I say, tell your gut to take a hike.

I think you've answered your own question, have done so with a high degree of confidence, but feel that you need to let her prove you right. I'd modify that: you feel that you need to let her prove you right YET AGAIN.

How many agains are there?

I would inform her that she is welcome to call using her landline, but you are unable to accept calls from her mobile phone, because she insists on texting you inappropriately. Full stop.

You could, as a backup, block her mobile each evening at bed time, and unblock her every day after work. I can block or unblock a number in 5 seconds. She will stay out of your workday, and only be able to call (or text) you at reasonable hours.

As all4peace says, "just do your boundaries."

If your guilt cannot be assuaged, then plan and plan and plan exactly how you will communicate your rules, and tell her exactly what you will do if she is unable to follow her rules. They should include NO TEXTING AT ALL EVER. If you receive any text at all, ever, she will need to change phones because you will block her number. Say it kindly. And then get all of us to hold you to it.

You deserve peace and respect. You deserve it right now.

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practical

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Re: Clash of the boundaries
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2018, 05:05:05 PM »
I totally understand the temptation to give her a chance to do the right thing - despite knowing it won't happen - or to hang herself so you can point to the current instance of boundary violation rather than having to point back to the past. Thing is, she has so consistently violated those boundaries, still does, why give her another in? It is her choice to use her cell only, so she chooses to be excluded. Also, this isn't about talking to you as you say yourself, it is about forcing herself on your B and violating your boundaries - disrespecting a very simple wish by you - it is about her drama and nothing else. If she actually wanted to talk to you, she would call when you are off from work at night or on weekends and none of this would be an issue.

Here is maybe an intermediate, a kind of Salomonic approach to the problem: block her during the week or during office hours on your cell - not sure how complicated this is, might be too tedious to go back and forth between block and unblock - and then when you are off from work she can call you or not, the way normal people would call a friend or a relative when you know, they actually have time to talk. You can tell her or not, you can tell her a half-truth like all private calls are blocked during office hours, and see what happens, if it is another drama and/or no calls when she is unblocked, you have your answer.

Also, is she actually cancelling her landline? If not, what does this mean "Well, now mother has decided she's not going to use her home phone. It's inconvenient. She only has her cell with her"? Is she constantly traveling, out and about town?  That is not what I remember about her. Is the landline phone still attached with a cord to a wall and that wall is in the attic so she'll have to climb several flights of stairs to get to it? What exactly is inconvenient about picking up the landline if you happen to call? She cannot be particularly desperate to talk to you if she refuses to do so.

I personally wouldn't unblock her number, you have been through this drama so many times, why take an encore? It sounds from the get-go it is all about the drama, so little chance it will end well, and even if you catch her "red-handed" there is little chance she'll understand or change, rather you'll get screaming and "buts..." and accusations thrown at you for being mean, unreasonable, unloving or whatever her preference in such situations. So, why do this to yourself? As past behavior is a predictor of future behavior, tell your guilt take a personal history lesson and in return you will treat it to a nice cocktail or an ice-cream sundae.

I understand the guilt feelings, but really there is no need, you have enough evidence from years of dealing with her. Furthermore this is such a simple request by you and she refuses to respect it, which shows such a lack of love for you.

Also, is it really your gut telling you to give her another chance even if it is to prove your point or the knot in your stomach that promises to go away if you do give in? A feeling I know and goes back to childhood in my case, when I was still dependent on M or F and the knot in my stomach was a primal fear of abandonment. It still comes back when I get triggered and I have to breathe through it, reassure myself I'll be okay, I'm an adult now and no longer dependent on those who abuse me.

Hang in there :bighug:
« Last Edit: June 06, 2018, 05:15:54 PM by practical »
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Medowynd

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Re: Clash of the boundaries
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2018, 05:23:13 PM »
The description of your job responsibilities doesn't really give you the luxury of giving her another chance.  From what I am reading, there is no lose to you and only feelings of guilt.  She has thrown down a gauntlet that I would not pick up.  You deserve the time an energy to focus on your job, that pays your way through life.  Would you allow a friend or another relative to pull a stunt like this?

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Starboard Song

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Re: Clash of the boundaries
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2018, 06:25:36 PM »
She only has her cell with her and if I want to talk to her that's what she has.

If you want to talk to her..... So? Do you?

You describe the time without texts as "bliss." That's telling, moglow.

I'd want to know this: is she really out and about, away from the house, in the evenings? You probably can validate this claim. If she has plenty of time at home in the evenings, then limiting her to her landline is a trivial limit.

In that case, I really do hope you will say, in your kindest voice, "Mom, I understand. I guess we all get dependent on our mobiles, don't we? When we are both at home, in the evenings, after work and after all the errands that take away our attention, that is the best time for us to speak and catch up. It might be a little limiting, and I regret the imposition. But I am sure we will still find planty of time to speak. I appreciate you understanding how much I have to limit access to my mobile phone, for work."

Try saying it out loud in the room right now. Doesn't it sound nice? And reasonable?

PD people may see any denial of their requests as screeching rejection. But it isn't: you can kindly explain to her a limit that is hardly a limit at all. This is you doing your boundary. She may go and react as she sees fit.

Again, good luck. Go be strong.
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daughterofbpd

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Re: Clash of the boundaries
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2018, 07:49:48 PM »
Is the landline phone still attached with a cord to a wall and that wall is in the attic so she'll have to climb several flights of stairs to get to it?
:rofl:

The fact that she has been calling you at work shows that she hasn't learned to follow directions since the last time you checked. If she is really getting rid of her home phone then maybe check into temporarily blocking or muting her during work.

Good luck!
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moglow

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Re: Clash of the boundaries
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2018, 07:50:54 PM »
And THAT my friends, is why I came here. All of that. I needed to refresh my brain with your collective brains.

Quote from: Practical
Also, is she actually cancelling her landline? If not, what does this mean "Well, now mother has decided she's not going to use her home phone. It's inconvenient. She only has her cell with her"? Is she constantly traveling, out and about town?  That is not what I remember about her. Is the landline phone still attached with a cord to a wall and that wall is in the attic so she'll have to climb several flights of stairs to get to it? What exactly is inconvenient about picking up the landline if you happen to call? She cannot be particularly desperate to talk to you if she refuses to do so.

Ahem. Nicely put and thank you. She has a pair of cordless phones - I know this because I gave them to her. The charger is in the other room(s) and she refuses to move them. Even still, cordless. They hold a charge at least a full day, more if there aren't many calls and I guarantee there aren't that many.

It's the one thing she can gnaw away at and return into drama/victimhood, that I won't unblock her. She's being mistreared, just ask her. She wants what she wants when she wants it and "you" must provide. No. Boundaries.   :blink:
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xredshoesx

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Re: Clash of the boundaries
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2018, 08:52:34 PM »
when your cell lets her through straight to voicemail and return call on the landline.

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Victoria

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Re: Clash of the boundaries
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2018, 10:42:56 PM »
My home phone can be forwarded to my cell phone if Im going to be away from home or its inconvenient for me to carry both phones.

This seems to be about  her putting you in a position of rock= hard place so she can exert control and bulldoze your boundary.

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moglow

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Re: Clash of the boundaries
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2018, 11:03:50 PM »
Calls going straight to voicemail works just fine as it is, that's been in place for a while now.  The problem is I use my cell at work texting between the two offices and the bosses. I can't turn off the text notifier and don't need that added distraction from her. There's just too much going on there and *I'm at work* - she thinks as "the mother" she gets a free pass over that bridge.  No.  Just no.  With her two hours away, there's not one thing on an emergency level I can help her with during the work day.

And Victoria, yes.  She's demanding control and digging up unnecessary drama. From my perspective, this is all about her being told no and my brother not communicating with her anymore.  She's trying to find a workaround where she's in his face, and thereby in mine or vice versa.
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moglow

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Re: Clash of the boundaries
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2018, 12:42:09 AM »
Well that wasn't fun.  One of her less approachable personalities just called - She lit into me with both feet, with all the snarling, sneering, insulting and mocking at her command.  She demanded yet again to know why I blocked her cell phone and insist on calling her landline, then talked all over me while I tried to be reasonable. She wasn't interested in anything that wasn't complete acquiescence and subordination. She just wants to be mad and pick a fight.

She's struggling to walk [years of knee issues and a host of reasons she can't/wont have the suggested replacement surgery], can't carry two phones and handle two leashes and walk the dogs at the same time.  Never mind that I've never seen a leash on either of her dogs, much less her actually out walking them. Pockets for the phone are not an option?  Simply returning a phone call later if she misses a call? Nope - simply demands that I call her on her cell phone, which would only open a whole new avenue of abuse.  Been there, done that, just copied a bunch of old screenshot text conversations into my email as reminders.

So now I'm told that I might as well not call at all going forward [I guess because her friendly and inviting tone was so much encouragement???], and as far as she's concerned that's just fine by her.  And she hung up on me. Yeah, another of her favorite enders. But we have progress - old mo would have already repeatedly called her back, only to be either ignored or hung up on.  Baby steps.

Currently taking bets on how long before she calls and leaves another snarly - during work hours of course when she knows I won't answer - instead of simply treating me the way she'd like to be treated.  That's just so sad, that she chooses to live this way.  Such an incredibly sad waste of a life.

You can't make this shit up.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2018, 12:46:25 AM by moglow »
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WomanInterrupted

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Re: Clash of the boundaries
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2018, 01:43:34 AM »
UnBPD Didi was starting to do the 'multiple personality' thing with me, too - either snarling, demanding Queen or poor, sad widdle waif who is oh so siiiiiiiiiiiiick - and I never knew which one I was going to get, which is just ONE of the many reasons I was considering blocking her number, at the provider level.

Now I have an Iphone and blocking people is *super* easy!   ;D

If you don't have one and have been thinking about an upgrade for a while, it might be time.  I got an Iphone 6, and it wasn't too dear - "only" $100 or so. 

You could block her during the day, and unblock her at night, if you really *want* to - personally, I wouldn't want to, if you know you're only going to get more "charm" from her.

Yes, she's already proven she can't follow directions, because *nobody tells HER what to do!  SHE is the mother!*   :roll:

And, I suspect she's got an ulterior motive - they usually do, and it only benefits *her.*

She'll keep pestering you until your brother fires you, then insist you have all the time in the world to be her *caregiver* - since you can't even hold down a job.  Even *your own brother* thinks you're a screw-up, so she's been right about you all along!  You have no better use in life than to feed her, wipe her bum and see to her every whim, while she complains that you're doing it wrong.   :aaauuugh:

I think that's the *real* reason she keeps calling you at work.  She either genuinely needs help and is too damned cheap to hire a maid and a care aide, or she thinks she's owed a SLAVE, and that slave is YOU.   :thumbdown:

If that didn't just scare the hell out of you, I don't know what would.

If I had a conventional job-job, with regular hours, I *know* Didi would have pulled that crap on me - that's just  how she rolled.

But I'm a writer, I work out of this room, and make my own hours - which, to Didi, meant I was doing NOTHING all day, and had nothing better to do than bring her here, install a hospital bed in the middle of our living room, and wait on her all day and night as she imperiously rang a damned bell to summon me.   :stars:

Once I figured out her game plan, I could figure out ways to *avoid playing.*   8-)

If you think your mom is trying to get you fired, you're really going to have to consider much stronger measures - blocking her, changing your number, getting a new "work" phone and leaving your "mom phone" at home in a drawer - or even going No Contact, if that's what you *want.*

It's okay to want that - she's alienated everybody else by being herself.  You can be one of the smart people who walked away - she WILL figure it out.   :yes:

They always do.

She's survived this long - and she'll continue to do so, without you to kick around.

 :hug:

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practical

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Re: Clash of the boundaries
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2018, 01:53:46 AM »
Wow, that happened fast :sharkbait: . At least having a fight was important enough for her to call you at a time you could be reached :fallingbricks: , something she usually cannot seem to wrap her head around. So she has just proven she is able to call you outside of your work day, unfortunately she only seems to be able to do this when she has the need to abuse you  :sadno: . And yes, like a tantruming child, she is throwing her toy away - you - as you refuse to function at her will and bidding. To her your existence seems to have no point if it isn't in accordance with her needs and so you might as well not call/not exist.

Really sorry you had to deal with this :hug: . Now you seem to be in for the silent treatment or as Amadahy called it recently "Silent Treat"  ;) , and snarly messages left on your phone like a coward.

Great that you haven't called her back  :thumbup: . Continue to be good to yourself, treat yourself as you want to be treated and don't call her.
:bighug:
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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moglow

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Re: Clash of the boundaries
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2018, 02:19:00 AM »
I need to remember the Silent Treat.

Let's be honest here, people, I know and you know that if it weren't the cell phone it would be something else. I've never known mother to not search out a mad when she wanted one. I don't understand the motives or mindset, but this ain't new for her. She's always been that mean little kid who kicks the door for attention. Screaming for attention, that even bad attention is better than none at all. Forget treating others the way you want to be treated, finding kindness and compassion and funny. Nope, she'd rather be mad. So she's meltdown livid because I dare call her home phone. O.M.G.

Right now I'd just rather my stomach would settle down and the knots in my neck would relax. Maybe that is, after all, the true gift of the Silent Treat. I need to hold that around me like a hug, don't I?

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sandpiper

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Re: Clash of the boundaries
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2018, 05:09:25 AM »
Hugs to you, Mo.
I read through this thinking, wow, this is both my sisters combined. I hate to think what their kids must deal with, given the utter refusal to acknowledge my boundaries.
12 years of NC with both sisters and it's posts like these that remind me why I don't want the random acts of crazy back in my life.
 :bighug: :bighug: :bighug: :bighug:
Like you said - the issue was never about the phone. It was about control, and about her need to start a fight and create one of those hideous No Win situations where she gets to pit you and your brother against each other.
The tantrum is happening because you refused to play the game.
Well done you.
My dog trainer says that you need to set yourself up for an 80% success rate when you're trying to break a bad behaviour in a dog & FWIW I think the same rule applies here, too.
You've set a boundary: work is work, no personal calls at work - this is not negotiable.
She doesn't like it - tough bikkies.
The reality of the matter is, as you well know, her need to create drama.
I know all too well how this must be eating at you because we are trained to respond with fear and tension and adrenalin.
It must be so aggravating to our captors when they see us breaking free of the chains of our Stockholm Syndrome & getting on with our lives with no interest in their drama or shenanigans or attempts to undermine our happiness.
Go out & do something nice for yourself & try to enjoy the Silent Treat, while it lasts.
xxx

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practical

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Re: Clash of the boundaries
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2018, 09:45:31 AM »
Right now I'd just rather my stomach would settle down and the knots in my neck would relax. Maybe that is, after all, the true gift of the Silent Treat. I need to hold that around me like a hug, don't I?
Interesting way of looking at it, I like it. A period for us to recover and heal in peace, even if that wasn't your M's intention but she rather wants to make you feel worth. Well, it is all in the eye of the beholder, so I hope you can sea it as a Spa Silent Treat-ment. Maybe get yourself a massage, a manicure as part of the Spa treatment? Hope everything is settling down :hug:
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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moglow

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Re: Clash of the boundaries
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2018, 09:57:04 AM »
In talking with brother who does still talk to mother, he actually asked: why not just unblock the phone and stop her argument? She's an old woman and this is just giving her another fight. His point is, everything is just another fight for her. If I shut it down she moves on to the next one.

I tried to explain, I tried that before - as soon as she got comfortable (or bored or mad or lonely) the calls and texts went overboard. She had text rants AND voicemail rants, yet wouldn't answer the phone when I actually called, hung up on me whenever I answered. She didn't want to talk to ME, she just wanted to spew. I don't want or need more of that in my life.

Someone mentioned a throwaway phone, to be used only for her. I could give her my "new number" and literally throw it in the desk to live until I called. There's probably even an old phone around here somewhere. But same facts apply - we don't talk that much and haven't for years. Honestly, I think she's just looking for excuses to shut me down - she's not and never has been that interested, just wants to appear the victim.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2018, 10:13:52 AM by moglow »
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all4peace

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Re: Clash of the boundaries
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2018, 10:12:58 AM »
Is this a control issue? You've told her not to call you at work, and dangit she's going to have her own rules with you, too?!

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moglow

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Re: Clash of the boundaries
« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2018, 10:23:45 AM »
Yes, ApR, another control issue - she's gone as far as to say I'm trying to control her and she's not having it. She's tippy toeing around the perimeter poking and digging for an in, but she doesn't actually *want* in. She just wants it to look like she's locked out and its all my fault. I'm the horrible terrible who blocked her own mother for no reason.

The work calls is just another invented drama - when I didn't work there, she didn't call me at work. Why? Because she didn't have that number, she didn't even know where I worked other than for "a law firm." Why? She wasn't that interested. I've lived here for 12 years now - she has not set foot anywhere I've lived since I moved here, has shown no interest whatsoever. So really, this drama isn't not about me at all.

I'm guessing my brother didn't text her on either her birthday or mothers day and she's still stewing over it. And the blocked cell phone is the one legitimate gripe she has, because it is actually blocked and I'm completely unapologetic about it.
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Associate of Daniel

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Re: Clash of the boundaries
« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2018, 10:33:31 AM »
Moglow, to stop the intrusion at work,  I suggest you dig up the old phone and give the number to your mum.  Then block her everywhere else.

If she agrees to use the new number she'll probably still try ringing and texting you at work. But you can have it on silent. You could even leave it at home.

She may refuse to use the new number but that's her choice and she can deal with the consequences.  (Not being able to get through to you.)

I'd take her at her word and only contact her on her cell phone - with your new (old) phone. Don't use your current one for communicating with her at all.

I know it won't solve all the drama. I understand what you say anout her moving on to anothr drama. But at least you won't be having to deal with her at work.

Just my 2c

AOD