How do you get info re family illnesses and deaths?

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truthseeker4life

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How do you get info re family illnesses and deaths?
« on: January 14, 2019, 11:31:15 AM »
I have been no ELC with my mom for over 2 years. I only talk to her with "hi" at major holidays and family functions.
 
Being the controlling pd that she is -she of course is the means of all communication in my family. I believe she loves the role as it gives her power, control and people are forced to talk to her.

Well she used to leave a message on my phone when people died. But I didn't call her back the past 2 times (think she actually called me to go with her and drive her!!!)

Why should I when she doesn't call me otherwise and refuses to apologize for past behavior and smears my name to all who will listen? It is simply a dump of information and when I have called her back in the past she gets off the phone with me in 30 seconds - feels like a power play move on her part. And I get off the phone crushed that my mom just tells me who died - doesn't ask about me - totally punishing behavior.

Well in the past year I have found out (since I didn't call her back on those last 2 deaths) that there have been more deaths that she hasn't told me about.

My relationship is not good with my 3 sibs either. It wasn't great 2 years ago but is worse now since mom offloads on them about me and how horrible I am and how I am hurting her I'm sure. I am damaged goods and am forbidden to all now it seems unless I make good with my mom.

Should I bother texting one of my sibs and say "can you please text me when someone is ill or dying because mom no longer tells me?"

What to do?

I hate the power my mom has in my family. Everyone is afraid of her. If I called her directly she would relish in the pain she was causing me by knowing I am upset that she is withholding information.

So here are my questions:
1. Should I bother texting my sibs or calling my mom to have them inform me of family illnesses or deaths?
2. Is withholding information a PD trait?

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Adria

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Re: How do you get info re family illnesses and deaths?
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2019, 12:49:53 PM »
It seems people like this will call you when it suits them or to tell trivial information. When it comes to the big things, they won't let you know.  I have resorted to watching the obits from my home town and not depending on any of my family to tell me of deaths since they never even told me when my own mother died.  I simply wouldn't count on your family when it comes to things like that. :hug:

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Starboard Song

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Re: How do you get info re family illnesses and deaths?
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2019, 12:56:52 PM »
Withholding information is an estrangement trait.

We have famly who remain close, others we believe we lost as collateral damage to NC. Of those who remain in contact, we reached out to a couple and made exactly the request you describe. We candidly observed that our difficulties with my in-laws frustrated our ability to stay in touch but we still care deeply about family, so we'd appreciate them contacting us with important family news. News you'd expect us to get from parents.

And that has worked. We've been blessed by many family members who either want to stay neutral, or who politely, discreetly indicate that they "get it," and offer us their support.

Good luck to you.
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

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Summer Sun

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Re: How do you get info re family illnesses and deaths?
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2019, 01:27:58 PM »
Yes, withholding information, as well, affection and positive reinforcement is a PD trait.  Information is used as a weapon to hurt us.  It is a power play.   IME, withholding is also a PA way of invalidating me. 

Is there anyone in your family similar to Starboardís? 

In my FOO there is a central hub of power, like your M, and all others are spokes in this wheel.  Unless I conform to the hub or puppet master, I am SGíd by all.  All I can do is express condolences after the fact with an explanation that I was not earlier informed.

Sorry for all you are enduring!

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

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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: How do you get info re family illnesses and deaths?
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2019, 04:04:08 PM »
With my extended FOO, I guess I won't. Doesn't really make a whole lot of difference to me because almost all of the older generation are already gone. Should NM or NF kick the bucket, I have a "mole" in their church who knows my situation and would tell me.  Isn't that awful? I mean, my siblings probably would tell me that, but no guarantees. This person I knew in high school would be much more reliable.  :doh:

For the in-law side, I'm paying attention to this thread. NMIL has historically been the sole hub of information to us. I'm encouraging DH to establish his own relationships with extended family members. Starboard's advice makes a lot of sense.

Withholding information is definitely a PD thing IME. Loads of times I've gotten ticked off for not sending condolences, or congratulations, or gifts, I said I had no idea they were in order, only to be told I never listen, or how I ought to know how hurt so-and-so was. The family made sure I knew THAT, but not about the original event. Maddening. I seriously doubt so-and-so really cared all that much, but never let a scapegoating opportunity go to waste!   :evil2:

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betta fish

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Re: How do you get info re family illnesses and deaths?
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2019, 06:00:59 PM »
Hi,

I am sorry to say the short answer is you don't get the information.  It is a power struggle you are meant to loose.  Not allowing family members to be in contact with you and not letting you know how everyone is doing (directly or indirectly) is a way to pressure you back to your role in the dysfunctional family.  Unless you have a contact, within the family, who is willing to break the rules and let you know who is ill or has passed, getting no information is the heartbreaking reality of NC.  I lost many relatives who refused to ''pick a side'' and in essence did pick my uBPDmom's side.  Going NC is hard and it is even harder when the reality is many or most family members choose the abuser.  So sorry for the void and sadness you are going through. 
ďStepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman.Ē
― Maya Angelou

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JustKathy

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Re: How do you get info re family illnesses and deaths?
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2019, 07:30:34 PM »
Yeah, they won't tell you, especially if it benefits them.

About two weeks after my mother died, enFather sent me a letter informing me that a beloved uncle had passed away a month earlier. He had apparently been suffering for several years with a brain tumor, but that information was withheld from me because it would have taken attention away from NM's illness.

Truly despicable.

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truthseeker4life

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Re: How do you get info re family illnesses and deaths?
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2019, 12:21:52 AM »
Thanks for all the replies. Not sure what I will do yet.

I am still trying to figure out if I have any one left in my FoO who wants to hear from me (if I don't beg for my mom's unwarranted forgiveness).

I might gaze in my crystal ball and see if one of the flying monkeys might actually be ok with carrying a bucket of water. We shall see.

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UsedUp

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Re: How do you get info re family illnesses and deaths?
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2019, 01:02:40 AM »
Since I have no contact with any of my FOO, nor anyone to let me know things, I just check the obits daily.

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daughter

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Re: How do you get info re family illnesses and deaths?
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2019, 11:07:46 AM »
My oldest DS remains in limited contact with my estranged NBM and NF, chiefly initiated by NF, his grandfather.  He receives carefully-edited FOO Family news, which he (since he has Aspergers) reliably conveys back to me, whether hoover-messaging or "apple-polishing" bravado about nsis' "super-special" family.   

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elsbeth

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Re: How do you get info re family illnesses and deaths?
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2019, 11:19:44 AM »
I am almost completely NC with FOO (all) for a period of time (2-3 years now).  There have been a couple of contacts in the past few years. I always try to keep my end medium chill during those very limited contacts.

One of my siblings passed away and my phone lit up that day like  blinking christmas lights. I could see it was other siblings and parents. I sent all their attempts to voicemail.

When I finally found the space to call back, I was told "my sibling passed away". As I have more than one, and they did not offer a name to the sibling, I had to actually ask which one died.  :stars:

I only want to know so that my children can be told. They have their own relationships with their aunts/uncles/grandparents.

But the approach I take, as I am not quite sure that I will hear or not hear illness news, is this ... when I went NC with FOO, that is the day I mourned the passing of having a FOO. For me, hearing the actual death of a member of FOO is just a societal norm.  So I don't put much thought or energy or space to it; though I recognize that until the event actually happens my adrenal system is on subtle alert for this startle.

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Leonor

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Re: How do you get info re family illnesses and deaths?
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2019, 12:36:33 PM »
This was a stunt my dad's family used to pull: some ancient distant relative would pass, no one would tell me, and then someone would bring up the funeral (big Catholic neighborhood ... 2 day wakes and full day church blah blah blah) look at me and say with fake concern, "You remember great aunt twice removed Blahblah, of course. I don't remember seeing *you* at the funeral." It was so ridiculous  I used to laugh about it.

Then I went NC with my m. who is now the matriarch. When I was VLC with her she said "And Grandma gother sick. We almost lost her ..." She must have seen the amused look on my face because she switched from her tone from we're-all-so-worried to but-no-need-to-worry: "But she's all better now!"

After I went NC I used to check the obituaries for a while (we called them the Catholic sports pages). It was a way to check in or keep some sprt of connection, I guess. And one day I came across my grandma's obituary. My name was not listed among the grandchildren. I was the GC, so this was intended to be a Big Clap Back: "Well, since *you* no longer want to be a member of this family ...".

I can imagine a lot of difficult situations with my own kids. But there is nothing they could ever do or say that would make me decide to erase their existence.

But more than that, it was just so immature. It was ... boring.

So I stopped reading the obituaries. People grow old, they pass away. I'd rather cherish my time growing old with my h. and kids and leave a legacy of love to all rather than try to work up some internal drama over an inheritance of pettiness and pain.

Wellness to you.

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Fightsong

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Re: How do you get info re family illnesses and deaths?
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2019, 05:42:14 AM »
Somehow my mom managed to alienate me from my extended FOO on both sides.  I didnít think much of it for many years.  Some people have died, Iíd usually be informed like I should grieve for these people- who Iíd maybe heard of or met twice 2 decades ago.  Now I have one grand parent who will die soon.. whom Iíve not seen in years and was raised to dispise.  I know now that was part of moms PD. But it feels too late now.  I  do keep wondering if she will break her silence to tell me. Or make Dad do it. And then , funeral? Do I go?   Several years ago at a family function I met relatives Iíd not seen in  decades. They clearly all are in contact and some fbí d me.  Seeing some of their posts, comments, etc and visits to my home town without contacting me, I dunno, I didnít like it. It was normal family stuff.  Nothing extreme  just nice, they knew each other. And I felt more unknown than ever.

My mom was known to be odd before I was OOTF, I think the family just let her get on with it. I suppose I kind of feel they collectively threw me under the bus. Even though thatís not logical I know. I suppose one of inner children wistfully wishing for the rescue party to come.

Collateral damage is a phrase which maybe suits. Itís all so complex, I mean if we were in contact with the wider family they would let us know about deaths? Right? So maybe itís about where we put our energies? To whom we make efforts that are reciprocated?  And if we arenít, thereís a reason why. 
. Woah this is a ramble sorry I hope I havenít derailed your thread.