First time you ignored their birthday

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Sidney37

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First time you ignored their birthday
« on: July 18, 2019, 12:25:11 PM »
So my uPDMís birthday is coming up.  Sheís been giving me the silent treatment for months.  Iím OOTF when it comes to her and remembering verbal abuse that goes back years.  Iím really not interested in ever talking to her again.  The sticking point is that I would like to be VLC with my enD, but the further out I get, the more I realize it just might not be possible.

So her birthday is this summer.  I plan to do nothing to recognize it.  Iím wondering what will happen?  A tantrum? Rage? Nothing? Flying monkeys?  Why should I recognize a birthday of someone who is verbally abusive and hasnít spoken to me in months?  I just want to prepare myself if something typically happens the first time a birthday is ignored.  My DH thinks I should send a card to keep my enD from getting mad.  I disagree.  Iím guessing few people here would send a card.

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appaloosa

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Re: First time you ignored their birthday
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2019, 12:44:50 PM »
That's a tough one. I'm in a similar situation, except I've been NC with my NF for 5 years, and during that time have exchanged letters and occasional phone calls with my enM. I haven't seen either of them because when I asked my M if I could meet her somewhere other than her house, she hemmed and hawed. Not the 'of course' I was hoping for.  I moved to another country and she has not asked one question--not even if I arrived safely (8 months ago now). Zero contact from her. She didn't even acknowledge my kids birthdays this year! (One of whom is named after her)
I don't think it would have helped matters much if I'd tried to keep the peace by sending NF birthday cards. He'd still be angry that I was VVVLC, and would make enM feel guilty for contact with me. Or maybe she's angry, too. I don't know. I'm tired, and I'm sure you are too, of trying to figure out the right thing to do. I'm leaning toward just no more cards for en M either. I don't see the point, since we have no relationship to speak of. Good luck, I hope you figure out what brings you the most peace.

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illogical

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Re: First time you ignored their birthday
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2019, 08:32:11 PM »
Hi Sidney37,

I wouldn't plan that far ahead.  A lot can happen between now and when your mother's birthday happens.

My advice to you is to focus on the here and now.  Go over in your mind your boundaries and review the consequences for your parents not respecting them.   Sorta take it one day at a time.  Make your decisions based on what they DO, not what they say. 

If you want to remain VLC with your father, consider what you are willing to put up with in order to have a relationship with him.  Set boundaries for your mother and your father-- outline specifics for each person.   And consequences for both your mother and your father if they violate them.  Then see where that takes you.   :yes:
"Applying logic to potentially illogical behaviour is to construct a house on shifting foundations.  The structure will inevitably collapse."

__Stewart Stafford

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SerenityCat

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Re: First time you ignored their birthday
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2019, 08:58:25 PM »
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My DH thinks I should send a card to keep my enD from getting mad.  I disagree.

You know that you can't keep your enD from getting mad.

Your own health needs to come first. You can't make your parents happy.

When I went NC with my father, I felt weird the first time that I did not send a birthday card. The next holiday also felt strange. He did not try to contact me directly. He did try to work up drama when my adult son visited him. But my son knows what is going on and did not take the bait.

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Why should I recognize a birthday of someone who is verbally abusive and hasnít spoken to me in months?


 :yeahthat:

Planning out responses to various scenarios has helped me personally. This might not work for everyone. For me, it helped to even imagine the worst, including ridiculous scenarios that make me laugh.

The boundaries you set will apply likely to all possibilities. Doesn't matter if she wears a lamp shade on her head or is running around naked and screaming - boundaries are the same.

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WomanInterrupted

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Re: First time you ignored their birthday
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2019, 02:19:52 AM »
UnBPD Didi's birthday is in March, like mine.  She was doing her whole circling-the-drain thing in November-January, and eventually did go down the drain in mid-January.    :violin: :roll: :phoot:

BUT, I'd already told myself if her latest "death hoover" was, in fact, more Who Shot John?, that was IT.  I was going NC, and blocking her number at the provider level.   :ninja:  (We had a land line, at that time.)

For me, NC would have meant just that:  NO contact, and that includes cards, flowers, or having things delivered from Amazon.   :yes:

You have to know your own particular PD mom best - as you do - and I knew Didi, which meant those small tokens would only be like waving a red  cape at a bull, reminding her I'm OUT there and DEFYING her and NOT being her slave, or setting up a hospital bed in our living room.

It would have only made her angrier - and I suspect it might do the same for your mom, but as I said, you know her best.

Do you think she'll break her ST if she doesn't get a card, to ream you a new one?  Do you think  your father will call, because he's bearing the brunt of the abuse?

You can stop all that by blocking their number for a period of time of YOUR choosing - then you won't have to hear doodly.   :ninja: :thumbup:

Besides - your mom IS giving you the Silent Treat, which is *immature*, at best, and *we're better off not rewarding people for bad behavior.*  It only reinforces it.   :P

So...she's giving you the ST, and you send a card, that's telling her it's OKAY.  Behave like that all you want, and I'll just work around it and put up with it.   :sharkbait:

I wouldn't send her a card, and at the time you unblock your phone (IF you unblock it!   8-) ), your dad calls and tells you how *upset* your mother is, and he gets to hear all about it, please feel free to remind him, "Dad.  She is YOUR wife.  You picked her.  You get to deal with the fallout, and it's really not my concern."  :ninja:

I'm also of the thought that if you're trying to go NC, sending birthday or holiday *anything* is intermittent reinforcement - I want you to go away, but here's a card, which might make you want to contact me, hoping things will be like they were and I'll once again be the perfect little subhuman, in your eyes, where I fawn and grovel and can't do a thing right, and you get to scream at me like a lunatic for *absolutely no reason other than I exist.*   :aaauuugh:

Do *any* of these sound like messages you want to send?   :spooked:

I wouldn't - I liked when the Eye of Sauron was focused on other things, like figuring out how to *replace* me as a supply.   :yahoo:

 :hug:

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sunshine702

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Re: First time you ignored their birthday
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2019, 02:47:37 AM »
I have been thinking about "birthdays" for a bit because it is a HUGE trigger for me with FOG - Fear Obligation and Guilt.  I have a huge complex however on my own with my friends I am thoughtful and a good authentic gift giver. 

I would do a card.  That's what I do with my mom when 1 - nothing is ever good enough and 2- I often forget - I try to block it out in reality.  A card you remembered. It's easy peasy. You can buy it now and quit worrying.  Some nice moment note.  Your terms.  A therapist told me that once when I wanted to cut them off NO CONTACT but was racked with guilt and logistics of that.  He told me to "do my duty and nothing more".   That is my suggestion.


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Sidney37

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Re: First time you ignored their birthday
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2019, 12:36:57 PM »
Intermittent Reinforcement!  Thatís it.  I hadnít thought about it that way.  Iíd be reinforcing bad behavior.  My decision is made.  Thank you!