PD Birthday

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Jsinjin

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PD Birthday
« on: October 20, 2019, 10:20:41 AM »
Does anyone else have a PD spouse who annually takes away the capability of others doing something nice for them on their birthday?   I gave up long ago but our kids want to do something for their mother whether this go out to eat or bake a cake or have a small birthday party with singing.   My uOCPDw regularly spends the day crying about how she has wasted her life, complaining about everything she has done wrong until now, saying she doesn't want anything and then at the last minute when the stress is highest and the kids have given up allowing one of us to run to the grocery store at night and grab a cake that usually results in some fighting and finally everyone goes their separate ways.   It's year over year a direct refusal and an anger when others try to do something nice.   

I've heard of the opposite where someone expects a massive amount of attention but this seems to be the opposite, refusal to allow the attention in order to make sure that others know about the grief and "poor me".
It is unwise to seek prominence in a field whose routine chores you do not enjoy.

-Wolfgang Pauli

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GentleSoul

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Re: PD Birthday
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2019, 10:48:42 AM »
I have experienced this but I wanted to say how dreadful it must be for you and your kids.  What an exhausting "pantomime" to go through.

My uPD husband worked hard to ruin Christmas last year. 

I think PD's lap up both positive and negative attention.  I don't think they mind as long as they get lots of ATTENTION!

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Whiteheron

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Re: PD Birthday
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2019, 11:58:22 AM »
My stbx is a mix. He doesn't fit into either category nicely. He secretly wants all the attention, yet demands that he doesn't. He would walk around saying "birthdays aren't a big deal," (meaning our birthdays). In the weeks leading up to his birthday, he would go on a spending spree - buying anything and everything he wanted. Then when it came time for us to get him gifts, we had absolutely zero ideas. He used to tell me "if you truly knew who I was, you wouldn't need to ask what to get me for my birthday, you would already know." I would tell him that he'd already bought all the things that were on my list for him and he would just shake his head and smirk. It was a huge game to him.

The kids and I would wrack our brains trying to come up with something he'd like that he hadn't already bought for himself. It was impossible. Nothing was good enough. But at work? Someone would get him something completely useless that he would never in a million years want, and he would go on and on about it for days "how did they know?!" "they must have put so much thought into this gift" "they saw it and thought of me and just had to get it for me for my birthday!" He was so puffed up with supply it was sickening. For the rest of us, he would open his gifts, then leave them in a pile on the floor for weeks (unless I picked them up and found a home for them). As I think about it - same goes for Christmas and Father's Day.

Holidays and his birthday are coming up and I'm searching around for gift ideas for the kids to get him. DD actually said "why bother, he doesn't like anything we get for him anyways and he just tosses it aside." To hear this breaks my heart. IMO we are finding some really cool stuff that has to do with one of his hobbies, or would be nice to put in his workspace. Last birthday I was living with him, he tried out the poor me routine (we ignored it). We had put a lot of thought into his gifts. I went and compiled a collection of things that would be extremely useful for him (and things he needed), packaged them up in a useful manner and gave it to him. He didn't even care. Sat there looking despondent. I mentioned that I had a hard time finding X and he said in his weird voice "oh, you made this yourself? then it has more meaning."  :blink: He's weird about gift giving holidays - he gets this far away despondent look on his face and stares at nothing - I assume he's locked away in his own head over analyzing every gift to see if there was some hidden meaning in the items we selected for him. He'd mentioned years ago that each gift had a secret meaning...Just weird.

My kids have given up on getting him anything. I'm the one who pushes for them to get him something nice.

What I eventually ended up doing was to make him a dinner of his request (kids could help) and bake him a cake/buy him one - his request again, so that he would have one less thing to complain and be despondent about. Just another hoop to jump through, another game for us to play.
You can't destroy me if I don't care.

Being able to survive it doesn't mean it was ever ok.

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Andeza

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Re: PD Birthday
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2019, 12:43:44 PM »
This is just so wrong... That they do this. Smh my pd mom usually complains that she's another year older, doesn't want a party, doesn't want any fuss. So, when I was growing up, we stopped throwing her parties, because that was what she wanted right?

Wrong. She wanted to complain and fuss at us for doing anything, but if we didn't and took her at her word for it she'd sulk. I'm down to sending her a birthday card and a Christmas card, nothing more. She's on this kick now about signing off every email and text message as "your old mom" looking for sympathy.

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clara

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Re: PD Birthday
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2019, 12:47:10 PM »
 :yeahthat:  Saw that pattern repeated over and over with my uNPDexh and NPD friend.  I, too, believe they do it as a form of attention getting.  It's like they don't want to enjoy themselves because they think that'll satisfy you in some way.  It might benefit you, not just them, and they can't have that.  They don't want to see you enjoying yourself for something that's supposed to be all about them.  Only they can have that enjoyment.  So, perversely, they turn the whole thing around in order to ensure it's all about them.  And if everyone else suffers from their behavior, so much the better.  It reassures them of the control they have not only over the situation but all of those involved in it.

What's really sad is if there are children involved, they'll start possibly dreading holidays and other special occasions because they'll make the association of it being something miserable and unhappy. 

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Jsinjin

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Re: PD Birthday
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2019, 01:36:59 PM »
:yeahthat:  Saw that pattern repeated over and over with my uNPDexh and NPD friend.  I, too, believe they do it as a form of attention getting.  It's like they don't want to enjoy themselves because they think that'll satisfy you in some way.  It might benefit you, not just them, and they can't have that.  They don't want to see you enjoying yourself for something that's supposed to be all about them.  Only they can have that enjoyment.  So, perversely, they turn the whole thing around in order to ensure it's all about them.  And if everyone else suffers from their behavior, so much the better.  It reassures them of the control they have not only over the situation but all of those involved in it.

Clara!   You absolutely nailed what I was trying to put my finger on.   I kept thinking it was some sort of "you won't get joy our of doing something nice for me" type of thing but couldn't get there in my head.    That's exactly how my spouse behaves.   The PD isn't  actually upset like someone made a mistake and treated them badly, they really don't want someone else to have a feeling of self worth and positive feelings from having planned for another person, so the PD intentionally makes a point to berate and dislike the while activity.
It is unwise to seek prominence in a field whose routine chores you do not enjoy.

-Wolfgang Pauli

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SparkStillLit

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Re: PD Birthday
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2019, 08:21:18 PM »
H hates birthdays, holidays, celebrations. Thinks they are just for small children. Doesn't want anyone "doing anything" for his birthday and adults are only to get "small gifts" for Christmas.
I love birthdays, holidays, and celebrations. I suddenly decided this year that HE doesn't get to decide how WE celebrate OUR birthdays and holidays. He can decide his own. And I'm sorry if kids past birthdays have been a poop. No more. I'm done with that, and I'm not raising any more Grinches. I mean, it might be too late, but maybe it's never too late. I hope.

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11JB68

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Re: PD Birthday
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2019, 09:37:00 PM »
I'm convinced that my uOCPDh essentially doesn't like to have fun and hates to see anyone else having fun.
Like Spark said, lots of stuff to him is stupid, or childish,etc.

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countrygirl

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Re: PD Birthday
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2019, 10:44:33 AM »
Hi,

I just read clara's response and was blown away.  I think this is what often goes on with PDs when you give them something:  They are afraid you will get something out of it.  They want to rob you of your pleasure in pleasing them!

I am reminded of a PD friend who once told me that she hated going to dinner at people's homes, because then she had to thank them!   And clara's post made me think about other ways she liked to put down anything which was done for her.  But not doing anything wasn't an option either.   

This proves, yet again, how far from normal interrelating PDs are. 

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11JB68

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Re: PD Birthday
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2019, 12:48:45 AM »
I think I'm seeing this type of thing at with with uPD stbxcoworker.
Boss and co workers planned a farewell lunch for her and she has quashed it saying she doesn't want it.

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Spygirl

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Re: PD Birthday
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2019, 02:44:52 AM »
I had a thought about this.

Imagine you are the PD. That means you were probanly raised in a dysfunctional family.

I bet if you showed joy at gifts you may have been put down in some way about it. So you learn to stuff your joy and go gray rock about  it to avoid pain.

The flip side to this would be to intentionally inflict pain on a gift giver, as revenge for a perceived slight.....like your mom who yells at you all the time and trys to be Betty Crocker on that day.

I am speaking as the victim of an abusive mother, and co dependant father. I became a codependent and essentially married a man like my martyr monster mom. I totally get how narcs can be created now.