'Helpful' Suggestions

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AMC

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'Helpful' Suggestions
« on: May 17, 2019, 07:21:25 AM »
I had a long phone conversation with a old family friend that I haven't spoken to in some years. I arranged a call with her because I heard that my mother, with whom I am NC with, was spreading lies about me and victimising herself.
When we spoke, she was entirely non-judgmental, which was wonderful and ultimately, she just wanted to understand what was going on, and she was VERY concerned about my mother - who has a diagnosis of PTSD, but, from conversations with specialists and health professionals, has uBPD.
Apparently she is obsessing over never seeing me again - making herself the victim in all of this, rather than reflecting about how this situation came about.  The nature of mental illness often clouds a persons capacity to think about things universally, with perspective and clarity. However, what is interesting, and can be very frustrating, is when friends/family members do the same.

They know the situation at hand is out of control, that things are at boiling point and we can't go on like this, but then something stops them from equating all of that with going NC and stepping out into a new world free of that person and their toxic behaviours.
I can understand their desire for there to be resolution, but what I can't understand is their rigid view of what resolution looks like.
If my efforts to bring calm and reason into the relationship I had with my uBPD mother went sour and the empathy, understanding and kindness I showed her was punished and scrutinised, if the patience I held steady was attacked - the only way forward is to remove myself and therefore, resolve the toxic soup that was every interaction between us.

The resolution allows for me to grieve, recuperate and recover AND for her to (hopefully) turn her focus onto herself and figure out the source of her issues, instead of projecting them on to me.

My mother's efforts to convince friends/family that the biggest issue in her life is not being able to see me again - is twisted in so many ways - mainly because the nature of the relationship was so toxic and unhealthy, which means my mother's biggest issue is not being able to emotionally bully her child. I think people really want to believe the her suffering has a simple solution that lies in other people's reactions, responses and behaviours, rather than her capacity to look inward and reflect on why she is so dependent on me and why her reactions and behaviours are so disproportionate to the world around her.

She has been on high doses (50mg) of mertazapine, as well as beta blockers and other medication for most of my life. Now being off these and in a very vulnerable position, without an emotional boxing bag to turn to, she is freaking out and really breaking down. I think this might be the first time a lot of friends have seen this - whereas, I always knew, and that's why I kept placating her, for fear of her taking her own life, punishing me, or spending months obsessing about the next thing that had upset her.

'Helpful' suggestions come from a place of genuine love and a desire for there to be peace, calm and reunion - but without the contextual information, they taste sour. It must be difficult for people to have to realign their assumptions about my relationship with my mother with reality - but I really struggle with bringing them on that journey.

I want them to know the truth, but I don't know if I have the strength to tell the story of my life as my mother's daughter every time I am faced with a 'helpful suggestion'.  :Idunno:

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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: 'Helpful' Suggestions
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2019, 09:01:55 AM »
Did this friend discourage you in your NC? It sounds that way but I’m not sure. You say she was non-judgmental but then it sounds like she expected that you would work toward “resolution” with your mother.

I had similar conversations with a family friend early in my NC as well. I reached out to ask her to be a support specifically for my youngest sister (her goddaughter) because I was bowing out. She never told me I was wrong, and I told her a lot of ugly truths about my childhood which she didn’t know at the time but “didn’t entirely surprise her.”

And yet, she still maintains that my uNF will have a healing when his uNM dies! Hope springs eternal, I guess. But not for me. I think I said something like, “That would be wonderful, but I’m not holding my breath.” I don’t talk with her anymore, since there’s really no reason for me to do so and I never really did before this “family crisis” anyway except when I was visiting my parents.

We didn’t see the situation the same way. And that’s ok. It’s not my job to defend myself to the general public. Tell your story when you wish, refuse to JADE when you don’t. I think we learn pretty quick who is really listening.

Although, I have thought it might be nice to write my story all in a book one day. Then when I meet people who are like, “What about your family? You must miss them.” “Not at all. If you wish to understand, please refer to my published works.” :cheeky: If they do, they might get an education. If not, I don’t have to deal with it!  8-)

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moglow

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Re: 'Helpful' Suggestions
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2019, 11:30:22 AM »
AMC, I used to try to explain - very vaguely - about my nonrelationship with mother, but I finally stopped. If I reach out to someone about mother's antics that's one thing and I'm absolutely willing to go there with that person.  Otherwise it's an intrusion I don't want and often flat out resent. I don't openly or willingly discuss mother with many people, she's removed quite enough of my time and energies over the years!


Quote from: AMC
'Helpful' suggestions come from a place of genuine love and a desire for there to be peace, calm and reunion - but without the contextual information, they taste sour. It must be difficult for people to have to realign their assumptions about my relationship with my mother with reality - but I really struggle with bringing them on that journey.
Quote


Very well said! I honestly think most who say something to us, mean well.  Not all because we know some just like to stir the pot or are flying monkeys from the battlements, but most of them. I think many come from the place of their own parental relationships and very simply have a whole other experience. They're all tamped down with the shoulds and oughts, and don't see reality.

Side note:  I had an interesting encounter just a few days ago - had stopped in a local restaurant for dinner and struck up a conversation with two lifetime friends at the table next to me. One was getting a much needed time away from caregiving her mother, and she put it right out there how nasty and hateful her mother treated her, for no apparent reason. She said she was guilted by family and her community, but is "finally" actively looking to make other arrangements starting with this vacation. Her friend piped up and said that "Her mother has always been this way, but all anyone who doesn't know her sees is this poor old woman all alone whose only daughter wants to put her away somewhere. Thanks to her I understand why there are always those people in nursing homes who no one ever visits ..." I knew exactly what she meant and hope the caregiver finds the strength to do what's needed, for herself.
“Nothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.”  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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moglow

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Re: 'Helpful' Suggestions
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2019, 11:32:52 AM »
AMC, I used to try to explain - very vaguely - about my nonrelationship with mother, but I finally stopped. If I reach out to someone about mother's antics that's one thing and I'm absolutely willing to go there with that person.  Otherwise it's an intrusion I don't want and often flat out resent. I don't openly or willingly discuss mother with many people, she's removed quite enough of my time and energies over the years!


Quote from: AMC
'Helpful' suggestions come from a place of genuine love and a desire for there to be peace, calm and reunion - but without the contextual information, they taste sour. It must be difficult for people to have to realign their assumptions about my relationship with my mother with reality - but I really struggle with bringing them on that journey.

Very well said! I honestly think most who say something to us, mean well.  Not all because we know some just like to stir the pot or are flying monkeys from the battlements, but most of them. I think many come from the place of their own parental relationships and very simply have a whole other experience. They're all tamped down with the shoulds and oughts, and don't see reality.

Side note:  I had an interesting encounter just a few days ago - had stopped in a local restaurant for dinner and struck up a conversation with two lifetime friends at the table next to me. One was getting a much needed time away from caregiving her mother, and she put it right out there how nasty and hateful her mother treated her, for no apparent reason. She said she was guilted by family and her community, but is "finally" actively looking to make other arrangements starting with this vacation. Her friend piped up and said that "Her mother has always been this way, but all anyone who doesn't know her sees is this poor old woman all alone whose only daughter wants to put her away somewhere. Thanks to her I understand why there are always those people in nursing homes who no one ever visits ..." I knew exactly what she meant and hope the caregiver finds the strength to do what's needed, for herself.

Hang in there, I think you've got this!


“Nothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.”  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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AMC

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Re: 'Helpful' Suggestions
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2019, 12:11:07 PM »
Thank you for your feedback on this - it was hard to know if this family friend was trying to discourage the NC - more like she was trying to find some way of easing my mother's pain caused by her obsession with not being able to get any contact with me. It is nice for other people to feel hopeful, but I also need to remain strong in my decision. My lovely dad has mentioned a book-writing success for me at some point in the future, which makes me laugh, but I can totally see why he is suggesting it -

Although, I have thought it might be nice to write my story all in a book one day. Then when I meet people who are like, “What about your family? You must miss them.” “Not at all. If you wish to understand, please refer to my published works.” :cheeky: If they do, they might get an education. If not, I don’t have to deal with it!  8-)

I think many come from the place of their own parental relationships and very simply have a whole other experience. They're all tamped down with the shoulds and oughts, and don't see reality.

I agree that the 'shoulds' and 'oughts' cloud people in their otherwise objective and rational assessment of the situation as it actually IS, rather than how they think it should be.


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moglow

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Re: 'Helpful' Suggestions
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2019, 01:28:35 PM »
 :yeahthat: That, and let's be honest here - how many outside the family circle have actually seen her in action? Mine is a master at cloaking the ugliness and playing the good fairy when others are around. She can very much flip that on and off at will.
“Nothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.”  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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Psuedonym

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Re: 'Helpful' Suggestions
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2019, 03:37:36 PM »
100% moglow. That, and the people still in contact with the PD are probably looking for some relief from the endless recitations of how they have been wronged by their horrible, selfish offspring. I can only imagine listening to that on an endless loop. At this point they're probably all secretly thinking they should do the same thing.

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overitall

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Re: 'Helpful' Suggestions
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2019, 06:23:06 PM »
I just to try to justify my NC, but most people just do not get it...my uBPDm plays the waif when she is around people outside of the family.  Inside of the family, she is definitely the witch.

She is 80 years old now, and as miserable as ever...I quit caring about 10 years ago....I had even had to encounter her recently at a family event and I am not rude, I just say "hi" and keep on walking...I'm pretty sure it infuriates her that she can no longer get to me....

Growing up with a uBPDm is probably one of the hardest things to deal with...I feel for you...I get it