Advice needed: mediation with uNPD Mum and En-Dad

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free_thoughts

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Advice needed: mediation with uNPD Mum and En-Dad
« on: March 12, 2018, 12:31:40 PM »
Hi All,

I am looking for some advice regarding mediation/therapy with MY uNPDm and En-Dad. After 10 months of me asking, my parents have agreed to a meeting with me and a mediator. I am shocked to say the least, I didn't think this day would come and now it has I am filled with anxiety.

The reason I have asked for this is to have a controlled environment where we can discuss how we want our future relationship to look like and how we can work towards achieving it.

Has anyone had a successful mediation/therapy session with their PD and can shine a light on what I might expect? I am very interested on if what was agreed during mediation was kept up after.

Thanks so much for your help!

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daughterofbpd

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Re: Advice needed: mediation with uNPD Mum and En-Dad
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2018, 08:01:49 PM »
Hi free_thoughts,

I can't say I've had experience with this but I have thought about what might happen if my parents suggested therapy or mediation. The conclusion that I came to was this: no amount of therapy or mediation is going to change their toxic behaviors. Limiting contact and sharing of personal information is just something that I need to do to protect myself. Therefore, in my mind, nothing needs repairing, this is just the way things are now. My parents are the ones unhappy with the level of contact but I am just fine with it - so what's there to mediate?

On the flip side, I can understand needing a third party to try to explain to your parents that certain changes in their behavior are needed if they'd like to continue having a relationship with you. From what I've read on this forum, I wouldn't give your hopes up (sorry to be a downer) but I still think it is good to try. Lets say you end up having to go NC or VLC, at least you know that you did all you could before going that route.

Take care and good luck with everything. I would be interested in hearing how it goes.
“How starved you must have been that my heart became a meal for your ego”
~ Amanda Torroni

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BreakAway

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Re: Advice needed: mediation with uNPD Mum and En-Dad
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2018, 09:12:50 PM »
I haven't done this, and I'm not sure it would ever be worth it. My NPDs cannot even see their own behavior when it is clearly pointed out. I can't imagine a scenario that would turn out well in my case.

However, your may be very different. I am thinking that the most important thing is to know what you need that relationship to be. I know I would never resume things on their terms, so a mediator would have to get them to agree to my "must haves" and spell out some kind of consequence if they cannot stick to that. Of course, it is not one-sided and they might have some demands of their own. But it is your option to agree to those on not. If what you need they cannot give or what they want you cannot give, then hopefully the mediator will be able to let you go your separate ways in peace.

Good luck and I hope it ends up being something that is the best option for you.

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JustKathy

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Re: Advice needed: mediation with uNPD Mum and En-Dad
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2018, 09:21:17 PM »
Hi free_thoughts,

The only time I stepped into a therapist's office with my parents was when I was a teen. They set up the appointment. This was in the 70s, when no one really knew what NPD was. I had gone to some of my teachers and guidance counselors for help, but no one believed me. I was excited for this therapy appointment because I thought it was my one chance to be heard by a professional who could help me. Ummmm .... didn't work out that way.

As soon as we sat down in the office NM started to spout lies about me being a problem child who was using drugs, smoking, having sex, you name it. I started to cry and told the therapist she was lying. I tried to tell her about the horrible things NM was doing to me, and how she was sabotaging me to make me look like a troubled kid, when in reality, I was a straight-A student who had never misbehaved. The whole time enFather sat there saying nothing, doing nothing. Long story short, the therapist believed my Nmother. I thought this one was my one chance to finally be believed and saved from my situation. I began to plead with the therapist for help. NM grabbed me by the arm and apologized for wasting her time. As I was leaving, the T said something like, "I can't help you if you won't admit to your problems." I never stood a chance.

Now, that was a long time ago, before NPD was recognized in the DSM. Even still, some things never change. Nmothers are the world's most convincing liars. I, too, hate to be a downer, but I wouldn't expect your NM to admit to any wrongdoing. Everything is going to be your fault. She WILL lie. Having said that, if the therapist you're seeing knows a lot about NPD, she may see through it, but bottom line, Nmothers can't/won't/don't change. If I had managed to get my parents into a therapist's office as an adult, I know how it would have ended. If the therapist had caught on to her, or called her out, NM would have stormed out of the office and enFather would have dutifully followed her.

Please do let us know how it goes. It's very rare to get them to agree to any kind of counseling, so I'm also interested in the outcome. Good luck! I really do hope this goes well for you.

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MIB

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Re: Advice needed: mediation with uNPD Mum and En-Dad
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2018, 12:07:13 AM »
Hi free_thoughts,

I have tried counselling/mediation with my parents and a therapist, with mixed results. The first time we went (~3.5-4 years ago, around the birth of my first child), it actually had some impact. Essentially the T's message to them was, "your daughter is married now and her husband is the first priority, not you". After 4 or 5 sessions, we came to some mutual agreements/boundaries, and things were okay for 2ish years. Then my daughter came along, and it all fell apart again (they basically said screw the boundaries), and after they became REALLY mean spirited/harassing towards me, including threatening to disown me, we have been essentially NC/VVVLC.

I have more or less come to terms with and am at peace with the situation, and my T has been very helpful with this as well (I saw him independently as well, and the last individual appointment with him, he concluded by saying, "I am amazed you have tried as much and as long as you have"). So it helped the relationship for a while, then when it was unable to help the relationship per se, it helped me feel okay with myself and my choices, which has made being in the present situation much, much easier. For what it's worth, I'm glad I did it - for me :)

Best of luck to  you - hugs,
MIB 

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F60.9-dodger

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Re: Advice needed: mediation with uNPD Mum and En-Dad
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2018, 12:42:34 AM »
I personally have never had any luck using a mediator or counselor to discuss issues with a cluster B. They are just so committed to who they are and what they do that they can't see things any other way. It has majorly backfired for me in the past. My BPD Mom has managed to turn the counselor against me ( abuse by proxy) and NPD ex just would not hear any concerns from me or the professional. Anymore, the only way I'd think of going to a mediator/counselor is to document the PD's behavior. I rarely will do this, but there is a time and place for it. For example-I have been concerned about NPD ex and using my kids as emotional support/emotional incest. If I can get NPD to meet and talk with me with a licensed counselor, I will approach the issue with the counselor this way, "I have noticed NPD  crying and relying on the kids inappropriately in this way (fill in the blank), what would you suggest we do about this?" It puts the counselor in a position where they have to acknowledge the situation and deal with it. If the PD and I can make progress, that's great! I just haven't seen that happen. I have learned the hard way that my hope is lost if I expect to resolve anything with them. That's the whole problem with the disorder.   But it helped once I realized they will not be open to seeing things in a different way. If they did, they'd have to admit they are wrong...and they usually won't do that.
I do hope you find some peace in whatever you choose to do! Just go into it knowing who you are and knowing your truth. Don't let them get under your skin. It's ok to try. It's normal to want to try! Just make yourself priority and don't be attached to an outcome :) You are enough and if they can't see that...keep moving forward. That's my motto. Keep doing good for you and the rest will fall into place. Keep us posted!

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louisebt

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Re: Advice needed: mediation with uNPD Mum and En-Dad
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2018, 04:15:52 PM »
I haven't been in mediation but both myself and uBPD mother have been having some therapy and I've been doing my own 'mediation' in the last few weeks.

I'd say try and keep it at the level of behavioural management rather than trying to understand each other or emotional engagement. use the opportunity to set boundaries and explain clearly to the T why you feel the need to ask your parents to respect these boundaries. Keep the conversation in the present and near future 'right now what I need to feel respected and more open to communicate with you is...' - Perhaps the T can provide a different angle or way of getting it through to them. If not and they start kicking off, just like without a T, I'd simply end the session saying 'this isn't going anywhere productive' and leave.

If they start coming out with lies/gaslighting just straightforwardly say to the T- that's not how I recall that incident/ situation. Then if given space you can say your side of it. If it involves being honest about your parents abuse, fully expect them to deny and kick off.

I'm really interested what you are hoping to gain from this process? If it's getting in a third party to witness, or to try and get them to accept boundaries to protect you, then it might be helpful if the T 'takes your side'. But if you are hoping for reconciliation on an emotional level that may require a level of honesty and insight your parents are likely not capable of.

I sometimes think I'd be better with a close friend who can advocate for me present than a therapist who is paid to be neutral!

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free_thoughts

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Re: Advice needed: mediation with uNPD Mum and En-Dad
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2018, 03:38:16 PM »
Thank you all so much for taking the time to tell me about your experiences. I was under no impression that this was going to be easy or successful really, but now even more so I realise I need to keep a hold of my expectations and not get my hopes up.

I should have said that this mediation meeting will be after almost a year of VLC and bouts of NC. My reason for requesting it is down to wanting to set some rather strict boundaries about how often we see each other and communicate as well as getting them to acknowledge that seeing them is increasingly difficult due to their dislike and refusal to talk to or see my boyfriend (who I live with).

I have no intention of bringing up the past or calling them out on their behaviour in the meeting as I realise that wont get me anywhere. I just want a controlled environment with an impartial person to help and guide the conversation. I tried to do exactly this (without the impartial person) back in May and that is what lead to NC/VLC as the conversation completely broke down and ended up in a screaming match of blaming and shaming.

My T is helping me find someone appropriate and I plan on meeting/talking on the phone with them prior to the actual meeting just so I can give a little background and explain what I want from this.

MIB its is interesting to see that it worked for you but only temporary, this is something that I have been thinking about. I have no idea how my parents are going to react to this scenario, I doubt my mother has ever spoken about anything so personal to someone outside of the family so it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Good points about not agreeing to things that I am not comfortable with, it sounds obvious but I am sure we are all aware of how we can get sucked in and end up agreeing to all sorts in the moment.

This has been beyond helpful! I will be sure to let you know how it goes... I can't even guess at the moment, i am still in shock from their agreement!!

Take care everyone!

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sandpiper

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Re: Advice needed: mediation with uNPD Mum and En-Dad
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2018, 07:37:09 AM »
DH & I both have PD family members but as he once put it 'your family make mine look like amateur hour'  8-)
Bless him that has to be one of the most validating things anyone has ever said to me.
His parents hated me on sight and have done everything possible to poison our relationship over the last 25+ years.
I dragged DH to counselling about it. The counsellor decided that I was the problem, because of DH's gaslighting and because after 7 years of dealing with it, I was completely at the end of my tether.
So I decided to leave her & DH to it & just give them enough rope.
She made a lot of suggestions to DH about how to deal with his parents which were the absolute last thing you want to do with PD parents.
I let him run with it and after two weeks of following her suggestions he was seething with fury at his parents and the counsellor and I got to sit back smugly and say 'Serves you right for gaslighting the counsellor.'
Since then he takes my advice (much of it taken from these boards) about how to deal with his parents.
It hasn't been easy but we've managed to set boundaries with them.
Just don't expect that a counsellor or a mediator will be able to get a Cluster B parent to display insight, empathy, compassion, honesty, integrity, or consideration for the needs of others.
They aren't wired for it and it isn't going to happen.
have a think about what you want to get out of this experience and be aware that if you're going into it with the hope that they will see the light and become better people - well, that isn't going to happen.
I'm with those who've said use it as an opportunity to establish boundaries with clear consequences for violations.
That's about the best you can hope for, sadly.
And whatever you do, don't give them any ammunition they can use about your partner.
My guess is that they view this as their chance to get someone on side and persuade you that you've made a terrible life choice in your romantic partner & it's time you saw the error of your ways and allow them to choose your partner.
DH's parents still believe that one day he'll see the light and go with one of their choices.
Good luck, and let us know how you go.

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free_thoughts

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Re: Advice needed: mediation with uNPD Mum and En-Dad
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2018, 02:15:46 PM »
Sorry to bring this old thread back to the top but I promised to let you know how the mediation went and so here I am...

It ended up being a family therapy session and it was hideous, but not as hideous as I thought it would be. After a year and half of no contact, it was strange to see my parents again. I was disappointed that many familiar arguments and statements came up however there were good points...
1. the T picked my uNPD M up on some of her behaviours including claiming that the 'red mist' is something she can't control
2. uNPD M agreed to more family therapy without En D!!!
3. I stayed true to myself the whole way through and didn't let any reactions change what I had to say

There has been a second meeting which was a lot calmer than the first but potentially not a effective. I felt the T was unfair at times... calling me 'sensitive' and also claiming that my anxiety around phone-calls was a 'millenials' issue.

I am going back for a 3rd session this week.

Overall there have been some huge gains when I really think about it...
1. I finally got my way! Therapy was my idea!!!!
2. uNPD M likes the T and said it was a useful way forward, not at all what she was thinking it would be
3. uNPD M agreed that all future sessions will be paid for 50/50 (she has agreed to T only if it was close to her home and I paid for it)
4. She has agreed that this is not going to be sorted out straight away and it is something that will need to be worked on over time, potentially years...!


So I hope this can be of use to some people, and if anyone has any words of wisdom as to how this could be made useful longer term, please do chip in!!

I am positive, but hopefully not in a blind way.