Telling my stories as her own

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Writingthepain

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Telling my stories as her own
« on: September 09, 2019, 12:08:49 PM »
In the past couple of years my npd mom has taken to telling other people things that happened to me but telling them as if they happened to her instead. When I challenge this she seems to genuinely believe that these things did actually happen to her.
What is going on??

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SunnyMeadow

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Re: Telling my stories as her own
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2019, 12:11:09 PM »
I've experienced similar things with my uNPDmom. I don't have an explanation but it's so  :wacko: when it happens!

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doingoveroroverdoing

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Re: Telling my stories as her own
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2019, 07:05:30 PM »
It’s something about their damage I assume. Fused, enmeshed...idk.  They feel in their bodies that it really was them who witnessed X. No matter how many times you prove that they’re wrong, they keep doing it. I have sort have trained uPDm around some things that keep coming up.  When I contradict her she backs down. She does not want to be embarrassed. It’s easier to manage lately bec she’s paranoid people will think she’s losing it in her old age. But I don’t doubt she retells my stuff when I’m not around. It doesn’t feel like a lie, so it isn’t a lie. Her inner certainty is way more real to her than reality.

IME interesting events they do accept they didn’t witness are fair game—they need to interrupt to give their version of someone else’s story.

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athene1399

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Re: Telling my stories as her own
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2019, 11:28:27 AM »
I agree with doingover that it may have to do with the enmeshment. Sometimes people with PDs (like NPD or BPD) have trouble seeing their children not as extensions of themselves. Like they assume your opinion aligns with theirs becasue you "share" a mind.

my uPDm also interrupts my stories to share her version of events even if she wasn't there as well. She's never passed off one of my experiences as her own though (that I know of). But I could see others doing this, like feeling it happened to them or maybe just wanting the attention from it? IDK for sure their reason for doing this.

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Thru the Rain

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Re: Telling my stories as her own
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2019, 12:04:48 PM »
My uPDM does this too.

She also "remembers" things that didn't happen. For example, she "remembers" her high school teacher telling her class that JFK had been killed. BUT by that time, M was a married housewife with kids at home.  :stars:

There's always something new that she's just now remembering. Just plain odd and improbable things. And even if someone points out proof that what she remembers couldn't have happened, her answer is always "Well that's how I remember it."

I've stopped arguing. Less stress for both me and M.

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Hazy111

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Re: Telling my stories as her own
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2019, 12:22:15 PM »
Yep definite enmeshment. You are me , i am you . Common in PDs. Merger with significant others. No boundaries .  You told her , but she doesnt remember you telling her , as she struggles at times to acknowledge you are two different people, but she remembers the incident so it must have happened to her.

I have had this with my uBPD sister but with objects. Things i have had as a child that she wanted, she has kept as her own. She swears blind they are hers and were given to her.

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bohemian butterfly

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Re: Telling my stories as her own
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2019, 02:59:13 PM »
I agree with other poster.....enmeshment and control.

Ironically I read a book (just last night) about control and pretending (the book is called, "Controlling People" by Patricia Evans)

Even though this passage isn't about them "taking your life as theirs" (and taking your life story like your mother has) I think the control aspect of this take-over is similar to the following:

"When people "make up" your reality - as if they were you - they are trying to control you, even when they don't realize it.  When people attempt to control you, they begin by pretending.  When they define you they are acting in a senseless way.  They are pretending.  When people act as if you do not exist or are not a real person with a reality of your own -as did the miller- they are pretending."

So not only has your mom made your story "hers" but she doesn't see you as a person on your own.  She is pretending that she is you?  Does this resonate?   

Although my mother doesn't do this specifically (tell stories and claim them as her own) she does think that she can fill in the pieces of my life (that she knows all about me).  Example:  After my break-up, I didn't give her any specifics, but that didn't stop her (and my family) from "figuring it out on their own." (meaning they wrote the story to fill in the blanks).  My mother even said, "yeah, we figured out why you broke up" and proceeded to tell me why.  I said nothing (because it isn't even worth it).  These sorts of things used to bother me......  (it actually used to infuriate me for days! ) but now I just let it roll.  Even if I explained the true story, she would still believe her version because she is stuck in her own head; I do not exist as a separate person to her.  Again, i used to fight this, but now I just keep things to myself, live my life as best as I can and ignore her. 

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artfox

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Re: Telling my stories as her own
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2019, 02:07:02 AM »
I've noticed versions of stories that amp up the sympathy for her. For example, she brought up my dad's death (he was hit by a drunk driver), and the way she phrased it made it sound as though she was his widow. In reality, they'd been divorced for six years and she was remarried. Of course, the people she was talking to piled on the condolences. She finally said, "Well, he was an ex at the time, but it was still awful." And never bothered to acknowledge my loss in the whole thing.

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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: Telling my stories as her own
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2019, 10:48:57 AM »
This is helpful. I had a similar experience with regard to an exbf. I tearfully told uNM on the phone I had broken things off with him. She predictably had no empathy, just, “Thank God! There were so many red flags there I prayed for this to happen! Finally He listened!” I told her I really didn’t want to talk about that and got off the phone. This was college, and I had thought he was The One. I didn’t know about boundaries with M but I just wasn’t up to hearing her gloating. And I was angry that never once did she give me any indication that she had concerns about me and this boyfriend. She was never anything but nice to him.

So I never discussed the breakup or my feelings about it beyond that brief conversation. But somehow the narrative among the entire family became that I would always be in love with him. Even after my marriage and having children, I was getting subtle digs about this guy, he’d be unnecessarily brought into conversations, his news would be passed on to someone else in my hearing but with not-so-subtle looks in my direction. UNF even went so far as to call my husband by my exbf’s name for years. (Unfortunately similar, so somewhat deniable. We both learned to ignore it.)

I started to act weird when I did run into this old boyfriend, because I was hyperaware of the narrative that “everybody knew” I was still in love with him. My acting weird only confirming it. Even though truly I was loyal to my husband.  :stars:

I don’t know what my parents got out of this whole thing. Maybe it was simply drama/supply. Maybe it was that xbf’s dad would sometimes give my parents “professional courtesy” services and his family were “above” mine socially and they missed that feeling of importance. Who knows. But I think this happening illustrates the principle discussed here. Thanks for helping me put that piece together.

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StayWithMe

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Re: Telling my stories as her own
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2019, 12:21:04 PM »
My parents have that "ownership" thing going on as well.  It quite comes in the form of their wanting me to say things about myself --where I went to school, where I've traveled to ...--  they are not happy with my work record so they never talk about my work.  If someone were to ask, they try to take control of the conversation.

Another thing they do, particularly my mother, she assumes that I have me and know as well as she does certain people.  If I tell her I don't know that person very well, or had never met that person, that contemptuous tone of voice comes right out.

They also have false memories of my having done something before I ever did actually do it or experience it; or more often than I actually did it or just at all; tell people I've been places I've never been.

This thread has explained a lot to me.

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tiger

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Re: Telling my stories as her own
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2019, 03:35:06 AM »
My NPD mum expects me to know people I've never met (I live in a different country from her), and she asks me to remember things that happened to her before I was born.   :stars:

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: Telling my stories as her own
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2019, 10:41:03 AM »
Yes I totally understand and this is something I asked about early in my journey as well.

Check the top 100 list for enmeshed / engulfed and it also has to do with a complete lack of boundaries, not knowing where she ends and you begin. You do not exist apart from her and she exists through you.

In my case uPDm would tell my stories in the first person as if they happen to her and she would also tell stories I had told her as if she was there with me when she wasn't and it drove me crazy.

In the end I wound up setting it straight in front of whoever she was telling the story to and make sure they understood she was neither there not had these things happened to her but that they were my events and my stories. In a very casual tone and with a chuckle of course super medium chill style. ;D I reclaimed my existence and separation. It sent her completely off the rails but that's not my problem.
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StayWithMe

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Re: Telling my stories as her own
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2019, 10:44:44 AM »
Quote
In the end I wound up setting it straight in front of whoever she was telling the story to and make sure they understood she was neither there not had these things happened to her but that they were my events and my stories. In a very casual tone and with a chuckle of course super medium chill style.

Yup, got to do it that way or else they'll take pleasure in the fact that they made you angry.

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Free2Bme

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Re: Telling my stories as her own
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2019, 10:01:10 PM »
Hmmmm...this is all sounding really familiar, has anyone experienced this one....

Over a period of years, there have been several times M has referred to me as her sibling.  Something like, "remember Free2Bme when we were growing up, when Mom/Dad (her parents) would take us to the ...whatever". 

Is this similar to what folks are describing in this thread?

So, I'm just now beginning to question if my M is PD.  Although she is a very "young" 70yo, she was diagnosed with early onset dementia +/- 7 years ago.  I saw definite signs of dementia when she was in her mid 50's.  She also has some other health conditions (real, not fabricated) that contribute to memory issues.  However, there are some of her maddening behaviors have been there since I was little and I cannot attribute to any of her diagnosis' in later life.

We are NC now, she exited my life during my divorce 2 1/2 years ago.  Now she's a flying monkey to my uxNPDh.

This is really painful because I don't know if I should be relieved to be NC and not have to deal with her inconsistencies, broken promises, etc. Or should I be worried about her mental/emotional, well-being. 



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doingoveroroverdoing

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Re: Telling my stories as her own
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2019, 06:02:54 PM »
Free2b

Your situation with dementia does sounds extra confusing.

I’m at the beginning of building up a self that’s my own. The rats are gone, but they’ve left a lot of damage.  I often feel like there’s a good reason to make an exception to the boundaries. I get tempted to reevaluate.

This is corny and hardly original but I try to think in metaphors.  Ways to think about logic of decisions without  emergency & sentiment confusing the process. 

I’m reclaiming depleted land, making it hospitable to native plants and wildlife. I can resist entreaties to *donate* it back to the tree farmers who wrecked in the first place. I’m not even letting them host events there!

I try to avoid risky investments—I don’t want to be tempted, let alone forced, to sell it to anyone. No matter the offer. I want to protect it, and stay in good enough shape to enjoy it for a long time.

I pay taxes, and make charitable donations to entities that help people in need. I am not responsible for the tree farmers whose unsustainable practices led them to lose their livelihood. If they qualify, they’ll receive help through the safety net I support.