Continue Gray Rock, Or Confront?

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GentleSoul

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Re: Continue Gray Rock, Or Confront?
« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2019, 03:39:32 PM »

My real luck came when she finally dropped dead.  :evil2:


Thank you so much for this.  Made me laugh out loud!   :)

Dear Thru the Rain,

I would like to share my experience of confronting my uPD waif mum with the truth.  I spoke to her in person, spoke gently and politely.  It was a disaster.  She went utterly insane.  Raging and ranting.  It was horrible.  With hindsight, it made the whole situation worse.  She then told anyone who would listen what an uncaring so and so her daughter is.  I think she was kind of thrilled and got quite a high from it all.  The very exciting (to her) high drama. 

My brother dealt with her by just carefully detaching and not getting involved.  Being pleasant but never getting involved.  It was a much better way of doing it.

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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: Continue Gray Rock, Or Confront?
« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2019, 04:13:50 PM »
Oh no, it was, “This is why we won’t be coming for Christmas this year.” Before they were even invited. Self-righteous indignation all the way. I could hear the smirk over the phone. And then I said that didn’t make sense because I had made lots of food... a refusal to discuss further. They saved up that resentment until the holidays when they thought it would hurt me the most. I was being punished. No chance at “redemption.” Screw spending Christmas with our only grandchildren if we aren’t going to be guaranteed the king’s own feast.

They didn’t expect that I would be angry, not contrite. That they had finally gone too far. I had gone NC by Christmas. Best gift ever. I wouldn’t be surprised if you “relationship” with your NM unraveled quickly as well, now that you’re no longer swallowing her BS and accepting her guilt trips. One of the traits of PD is black and white or all or nothing thinking. You are either for them or against them, and only 100% compliance will earn you their “trust,” until the next time they feel a little insecure and decide to test you again. It seems to be a pattern on here for where you are to be the start of some major escalation in bad behavior, or else a discard. Whatever happens we’re here!

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Thru the Rain

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Re: Continue Gray Rock, Or Confront?
« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2019, 03:56:51 PM »
Not sure whether to start a new thread, but decided to update here for now.

I knew I would be talking to uPDM on Mother's Day. I made a list of statements I wanted to make - just in case I got either "you're my BFF" or "when can I visit" topics came up.

I literally wrote out the non emotional, non JADE responses I wanted to make.

uPDM called me on Saturday the day before Mother's Day to let me know she got the card I sent.

(Just an aside: M loves cards that look like *crafts* or are *different* - and lucky me those cards usually have the exact wording I want, just simple "happy Mother's Day" with no long, syrupy verses about how much she means to me. Perfect fit for my needs here.)

So I got my list, but was totally shocked when she just said how much she loved the card - in an actual warm, normal voice. And then she said she had to go. I have never had a such a short call with M unless I cut it short.

So OK. This is the M I wished I had all the time. But you know and I know this isn't really her. I'm not entirely sure what's up, but my radar is going off like crazy.

I didn't call her at all on Mother's Day itself. I figured we talked on Saturday and we're good.

Then this morning I get a call that she's at the store and has just bought some dining room chairs. Um....OK. My parents dining room set is over 50 years old. The table is still in good shape, but the chairs have dried out over the years and fall apart if you look at them too hard. They are held together with duct tape, look awful and are totally unsafe.

I gave up suggesting new chairs about 10 years ago now, since I was wasting my breath. On the rare occasions I'm there in person, I just don't sit in those chairs.

So back to the call this morning. M is all giggly and wants my advice on how to tell my Dad that she went ahead and **gasp!** spent money to buy new dining room chairs.

I just rolled my eyes and said, how about you call him now and tell him you bought new chairs?

More giggling from her, and she decides that Yes, that's what she'll do.  :roll:

My parents are in their late 70's and have been married over 50 years. I'm not sure what to make of this weird dynamic, but M often seems like a 12 year old to me. And now that she thinks I'm her BFF, she's calling me to figure out how to tell **OUR* Dad about her "misbehavior".

I feel icky and gross about this.

On the one hand, this is much better than what I usually get from M, but on the other hand, its so inappropriate and weird.

Not sure what to do, if I should do anything at all (probably not) or if I should just get some popcorn and sit back to watch the Mom show.


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Iguanagos

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Re: Continue Gray Rock, Or Confront?
« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2019, 03:23:24 PM »
Not sure what to do, if I should do anything at all (probably not) or if I should just get some popcorn and sit back to watch the Mom show.

This.    :bigwink:

IMO, she hasn't given up on the BFF fantasy, she's just trying different incarnations of it to see which one works best.  Telling you outright sent you recoiling, so she backed off of that (with the simple no-drama phone call before Mother's Day) and is trying Plan B - instead of telling you, just acting like a BFF, with her giggly phone call, to see how that works.  You're right, it IS weird.  Your mom-radar was absolutely right.  Something was up.  Plus, she's called you twice recently, a big change from her normal.  So, definitely, she's got some sort of a plan.

I think you're handling this tricky issue spectacularly.  I imagine if she keeps up the BFF act, you'll want to pull back even more, not responding right away, etc.  One of illogical's posts earlier outlined your options clearly, and you can see which of these (or which combination of these) work for you. 

I'm glad you're updating this thread.  FWIW, I can totally see my N/B M doing something similar if anything happens to EF (both in their mid-80s).  So I really appreciate the whole discussion!

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WomanInterrupted

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Re: Continue Gray Rock, Or Confront?
« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2019, 02:44:43 AM »
I agree - she stopped saying it, so now she's just going to act like you're both giggling teenage BFFs, which is Olympic-sized WEIRD.   :blink:

I'd also back off, further - clearly, she's got some sort of agenda she's working, that you're not privy to. 

I think it's besties tell each other *everything* - so don't.  Play your cards *very* close to the vest, and disclose *nothing.*  Stick to Medium Chill/Grey Rock, and she'll probably give up her ruse, sooner than later, and come up with yet *another* ridiculous plan to try to get what she wants, which sounds like it could be an invitation to your home.  :no:

Or she might be buttering you up so that if she just *shows up* - you're her BFF!  You'll WELCOME her with open arms, no questions asked, because BFF's have sleep-overs all the time!   :aaauuugh:

NO!  You just won't open the door  - and if you mistakenly do, you'll step outside, tell her it's not a good time, she'll have to phone a taxi to take her to a hotel, and *if you have time, you might be able to call her in a few days.*    :ninja:

Or  you could call the cops and have her removed - your call.  :police:

It may not get to that point, due to her age - but I think she's angling for a way into your home, possibly hoping to never have to go home again, which means you'll be her full-time CAREGIVER!!!!

If that didn't scare you half to death, nothing will!   :aaauuugh: :aaauuugh: :aaauuugh: :aaauuugh: :aaauuugh:

Keep up your boundaries and enjoy the popcorn.   8-)

 :hug:

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Thru the Rain

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Re: Continue Gray Rock, Or Confront?
« Reply #25 on: May 16, 2019, 01:50:43 PM »
I can't believe I'm back already with another update.

I missed a call from uPDM yesterday. She called again. That's three calls in five days!

I realize that many people here deal with multiple calls every single day from the PDs in their lives. But in my case, my uPDM almost NEVER calls, so this is really new and different.

The voice message she left was an update to the chair thing. I hesitate to call it a crisis, its more making a mountain out of a molehill. I don't even think M believes its really that big of a thing.

So the update is that "our" Dad is mad about her impulse purchase. No surprise.

Thanks to the wonderful people here on this board, I feel no need to call her back to discuss this development in her drama.

And in fact, at this point I'm just laughing about the whole thing. But hoping I'm not on track for her to call every other day now.

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: Continue Gray Rock, Or Confront?
« Reply #26 on: May 16, 2019, 02:17:57 PM »
🙄 manufactured chaos. Good for you for humming right along, no need to insert self, nothing to see here move along!
Each and every contact with a PD person results in damage. Plan accordingly and make time to heal. See Toolbox for tips. Individuation is the key to emotional freedom.

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Starboard Song

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Re: Continue Gray Rock, Or Confront?
« Reply #27 on: May 16, 2019, 02:56:21 PM »
Here's my dilemma. I absolutely WON'T, EVER take my limited vacation time off from work to babysit her. I don't like spending time with her, she's certainly NOT my friend and never has been a friend - more like a "mean girl" bully alternating with helpless waif.

DH thinks I should state these things very directly. As in "no we're not friends and no you're not welcome to come and visit". DH sees how much my interactions with M trigger me, and he thinks giving some honest feedback would be helpful to me. I would **LOVE** to say these things to M, but I just can't get them out of my mouth. It's like I freeze up.

"Actually, honey, that dress does make you look fat."

"To tell you the truth, Roger, none of those jokes were funny: you're not fun at parties."

"You're right to feel that way: you do dance badly."


I just don't see it. I don't see the value of unvarnished truth. Gray Rock is an act of kindness. Polite fiction is decent and loving. Our goal, with ordinary humans as with PDs, is to get through the day and back to sleep with as little distress and pain as possible, while being as true as possible to our own ideals. I can't imagine that confronting your M would make this better instead of worse.

Gray Rock can be very hard. When someone tells me (awkwardly) that I am their good friend, of course I give a "That's so nice. Thank you." It is free. Unvarnished truth will be received poorly and yield a bad crop, I fear.

I think you'll sleep better and have fewer triggering conversatons if you can maintain Gray Rock, always protecting and respecting your boundaries.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 02:58:25 PM by Starboard Song »
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
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illogical

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Re: Continue Gray Rock, Or Confront?
« Reply #28 on: May 16, 2019, 05:23:27 PM »
I don't think you have to be rude in telling your mother that you aren't BFF.  Shrugging it off with a normal person, or not making a big deal and saying "That's nice" might work, but I think if you said that to your PD mother it would encourage her BFF tactic.  I'm basing that on my personal experience with my NM-- if you gave her an inch, she would take a mile.  So trying to get her to back off sometimes required more than just grey rocking.  I did confront her a few times, and sometimes it worked (even if she initially got upset) and sometimes it did not.

I do think you have to "pick your battles" with a PD.  They generally don't like anything that even smacks of truth because they live in their own world that is quite different from what most would consider "reality".  Also I think you have to ask yourself if you are giving her "mixed messages" or intermittent reinforcement.  You don't want to do that.

If you stick to Grey Rock, she may (eventually) get the message and bug off.  If she doesn't, and keeps finding ways to insinuate herself into your life, you may have to get more assertive with your boundaries.  It's a difficult balancing act, this hoping she will get the message that you don't want to be best friends by grey rocking her, and having to (politely) tell her you don't want her to visit, much less in your life as your BFF.  Just my two cents. 
"Applying logic to potentially illogical behaviour is to construct a house on shifting foundations.  The structure will inevitably collapse."

__Stewart Stafford