How do you deal with DARVO?

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Spring Butterfly

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How do you deal with DARVO?
« on: July 30, 2019, 06:41:47 AM »
So angry and sad at the same time. Angry with myself, angry with my sibling, sad at the whole idiocracy of it all.

I'm beating myself up. I know, inner critic, etc. Mentally I know I'm entitled to my feelings and I know how to deal with gaslighting and circular conversation. But when it reached DARVO Level I don't know, I got lost and just wanted to make it stop.

Here's what happened --

It all started with my own personal problem and sibling knows I tell uPDm and enF *nothing* ever of my personal issues. Ever.

First my sibling avoids me, withdraws, the drama was of a magnitude comparable to uPDm herself. It hurt. It hurt to be treated this way, isolated and spurned. So there's that.

Then if that's not bad enough sibling goes ahead and tells uPDm and enF who then overreact with the same drama *on top of* now having to deal with uPDm usual MO of enmeshing. Crazy. So drama *and* enmeshing. Crazy. So there was that layer.

Soooo I shared with sibling how I felt about the dramatic behavior towards me, how I felt being avoided. Sibling also admitted that the information was shared with uPDm and enF.

Wow, was totally not expecting what happened next especially after sibling admitted sharing with uPDm and enF.

First sharing with uPDm and enF met with total justification. Since my friends knew she was free to share. What?

Second sibling never treated me unkind or unfair. What?

Circular conversation and gaslighting, total lack of understanding, and unapology "sorry if I did anything to hurt you but I didn't do the things you're saying I did" and around and around.

Been around long enough to know how to end circular conversation but sibling still acting oddly distant.

Then

SLAM me with a DARVO attack to complete the gaslighting grand finale.

"Everyone picks on sibling and poor sibling never gets a break, everyone always picking on sibling, blah blah blah." Really?

Sibling kept it up and kept it up. Relentless. So I just said "I'm sorry" just to be done with it.

So . . .

I'm beating myself up. I know, inner critic, etc. Mentally I know I'm entitled to my feelings and I know how to deal with gaslighting and circular conversation. But when it reached DARVO Level I don't know, I got lost and just wanted to make it stop. So I apologized when I didn't need to and feel I shouldn't have but rather than just walk away from it as if it was a regular circular conversation I apologized.

What do you do with DARVO? It feels like a whole new level of crazy beyond the average circular conversation and gaslighting.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2019, 07:50:11 AM by Spring Butterfly »
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athene1399

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Re: How do you deal with DARVO?
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2019, 10:55:15 AM »
Sometimes the apology just ends it. "sorry you feel that way." Doesn't mean you were accepting the blame or accepting what your sibling said. It sounds to me like you wanted to get away and the only way to end it was with "I'm sorry". It sounds like your sibling would never see your point of view. I can't think of how you could explain it to her without JADEing. It sounds to me like you accepted you had no good options so took the best one. You could have blown up on sibling and didn't. Sounds to me like you kept your cool and left the conversation when you had enough.

I don't have too much advice on DARVO. My BPDx finance would so that to me. When I felt he was treating me badly, he would spin it around so that it was all my fault. I was acting like the jerk, not him. I really don't know how to get around it. You feel so invalidated though. Or you feel like the crazy one. It makes you unsure of everything.

I am very sorry this happened.

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: How do you deal with DARVO?
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2019, 01:05:35 PM »
Thank you for your care and support! Yes I just wanted it to stop, no sense trying to be understood, wasn't going to happen, learned my lesson, can't trust sibling, done and will keep my distance.

I also felt like I would feel good modeling what s good apology is like even though I got a non apology. Instead I'm beating myself up even though mentally I understand there were no real good options.
Every interaction w/ PD persons results in damage-plan accordingly, make time to heal
Individuation is one key to emotional freedom
It's foolish to expect of others what they have no capacity to give
my Empowered Growth,Gentle Boundaries,Emotional Healing blog

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moglow

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Re: How do you deal with DARVO?
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2019, 01:39:33 PM »
Admission:  I had to go back and look up def of DARVO [Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender] in our Glossary!
First off, I'm sorry your sib did this to you - for me that's eerily reminiscent of so many conversations with mommie dearest. So many of our former conversations went that way, when I dared confront her about pretty much anything. My role was to soak it all in, roll over and be a doormat - stepping outside that role was akin to a declaration of war.

I'd have been really steamed at the ""Everyone picks on sibling and poor sibling never gets a break, everyone always picking on sibling, blah blah blah." Really? Sibling kept it up and kept it up. Relentless" ... because sib thought it was somehow okay?? Was this a repeat of instances from the past, perhaps, where other things were turned around on you in such a nasty manner? I grew up in that and still don't respond to it well.

I get it - sib was likely ashamed of themselves when called on it, that they shared something you'd been abundantly clear was not to be shared with parents. Then you had the audacity to point out how wrong that was. Sib got defensive and lashed out. I see HOW it happened, but that doesn't excuse it. For you to have made it so clear you don't discuss certain things with parents and sib to decide it's okay to share anyway??  Um no. That's YOURs to share or not. Sometimes that really is all that's left, apologizing that they feel that way. You know, agree to disagree and put that one down.

I'm admittedly much more apt to shut it down than I used to be. I may not state my full mind on the subject, but I'm much better about cutting it off, calling them on how unreasonable their words are and ending the conversation entirely. "I have other things to do" is my internal response. Apologize for how they feel and what they're saying, admitting how hurtful it really is for me? Not likely. I am much more likely to take a LARGE step back and away and see them for who they have chosen to be. Not silent treatment, but the admission that nothing I can say or do will improve this situation so it's best to remove myself from it. Honestly, the offender may take it as they will - I'm not likely to try and explain my response to their ugliness.


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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: How do you deal with DARVO?
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2019, 03:20:22 PM »
Here is an in-depth and a little frightening article on DARVO.

https://narcissistschild.blogspot.com/2019/04/darvo-what-you-need-to-know.html?m=0

DARVO is simply a combination of tactics that we have the tools to deal with. It can only be successful if the denial/gaslighting part of it works, Im thinking. Hold on to reality and stay strong.

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: How do you deal with DARVO?
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2019, 04:48:09 PM »
The pattern in this family system is any explaining how the other person had offended gets turned around. It just suddenly clicked while I'm kicking myself over here and I realized it's DARVO. It's a type of gaslighting but in my mind to the next level where now not only is the other person crazy or the one with the problem but the victim and the offender is actually switched and the victim is now the one apologizing. It goes to that level where the victim has to apologize and is crazy making.

It suddenly dawned on me why in general I just don't bother and keep my mouth shut. Why I don't explain or try to "talk things out" and instead just quietly withdraw. At least I realize the pattern behind my behavior and why I stuff my emotions down. Not only does it get me nowhere but I wind up apologizing when I'm the one that's hurt and approached the other person.

But no generally with the sibs it's not the case and I've talked to this particular sibling before. This is dragged on over a month now. It's really ridiculous.

Mo, typically it's how uPDm and enF turned things around all the time when I tried to explain how I wanted my own life with my husband, any boundaries or privacy - I wind up wrong and apologizing for being a terrible and selfish daughter and person - except I didn't have the vocabulary back then to know about enmeshment or DARVO.

Cordelia, thank you so very much for the reference and yes I know what reality was and I know the facts. For now all I can do is hold on to that in my own head and heart and let sibling take my apology while I slowly back away never to trust this particular sib again.
Every interaction w/ PD persons results in damage-plan accordingly, make time to heal
Individuation is one key to emotional freedom
It's foolish to expect of others what they have no capacity to give
my Empowered Growth,Gentle Boundaries,Emotional Healing blog

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moglow

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Re: How do you deal with DARVO?
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2019, 07:39:15 PM »
I guess in many ways it brings home the reality that we really do learn what we see so much of. It becomes "normal" and even acceptable because that's how mom and dad always did/do things. Fleas, but really much more pervasive than that - like a massive flea infestation, if you know what i mean.

"Expectations are disappointments under construction.  ~ Cap'n Spanky

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athene1399

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Re: How do you deal with DARVO?
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2019, 12:52:38 PM »
Quote
The pattern in this family system is any explaining how the other person had offended gets turned around.
Maybe it's something like they have to always be the "victim" in the interaction. Some people are comfortable in a certain role only, so if someone is calling them out on something (like telling them they were the perpetrator of a situation) they can't handle it and have to spin it back around so they are the victim again. I can't remember what all the modes are. I think it's: victim, perpetrator, helpless witness, rescuer. It's called the drama triangle or something. I tried googleing it and it said you have to remove your self from the triangle by using a non-defensive response. Which basically means you will never get the validation you want which really sucks.  :( I guess you can try out "I'm sorry you feel that way", "I see"... something where you aren't agreeing but you aren't arguing either. And with these types of responses you aren't apologizing for what they think you did wrong, you're just saying that you hear what they are saying and not necessarily agreeing (but if you come out and say you don't agree that will just be an argument).

No wonder you don't want to talk things out. This sounds so frustrating. You should enforce your boundaries without giving an excuse. "I'm spending time with H" end of story. You don't have to give a reason why. And if they complain: "Sorry you feel that way". 

I hope some of this helps for next time.

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: How do you deal with DARVO?
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2019, 06:29:44 PM »
Thanks Athens, yes the drama triangle even though it's the two of us in this scenario. Helpful reminder. Yup quietly back a bit away and honestly am so busy these days I don't have time or energy for this drama.
Every interaction w/ PD persons results in damage-plan accordingly, make time to heal
Individuation is one key to emotional freedom
It's foolish to expect of others what they have no capacity to give
my Empowered Growth,Gentle Boundaries,Emotional Healing blog

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Gaining Clarity

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Re: How do you deal with DARVO?
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2019, 08:32:49 PM »
Spring Butterfly,

I've been in this same circus too. Did the same thing you did - apologized to make it stop and then beat myself up.

Finally, I just flat out told uNPDmom and uNGCsib that I had no interest in speaking to them anymore because they made it clear they had no interest in hearing me, let alone considering my point of view. In true fashion, my uNPDmom and uNGCsib DARVOed.

Unfortunately, these scenarios are a lose-lose for you. Comply with them and you're miserable. Defend yourself and they'll make your life hell  :doh:

To me, DARVO just confirms what I've known (deep down but wanted to deny) all along, that they truly have no interest/ability to be introspective, empathetic and accountable.

I wish you well  :bighug:


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Spring Butterfly

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Re: How do you deal with DARVO?
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2019, 11:56:18 PM »
Oh yes the infamous no win situation. There really was no good solution or resolution, so true. I suppose at least I took the best option that made me feel like I did the right thing true to my morals and my personal compass.
Every interaction w/ PD persons results in damage-plan accordingly, make time to heal
Individuation is one key to emotional freedom
It's foolish to expect of others what they have no capacity to give
my Empowered Growth,Gentle Boundaries,Emotional Healing blog