Contacting to tell me about people dying

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Sojourner17

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Contacting to tell me about people dying
« on: February 07, 2020, 09:37:54 PM »
I havenít been posting lately as Iíve been handling things fairly well lately but Iíve been noticing a peculiar behaviour pattern lately and wanted to run it past you all. 

In the past two months or so Iíve had more contact with unpdm and dad by text/ phone/FaceTime.  Itís not always easy but Iíve been working on my mc skills and changing the subject if conversation starts to go south. 

Anyways,  mom has been texting me about people she knows ( or people of people she knows) dying.  She words it as if I should know who they are.  She has done this in the past with a distant family member (she mixed up the name  :doh:).  I have no clue who they are or have a vague recollection of the person that, in this case, lost a family member. 

Iím at a loss as to how to respond.  This most recent one is a fairly tragic one.  It feels fairly drama inducing and like itís to provoke an emotional response from me. 

This last one was preceded by texts about missing me and how their house holds so many memories.  Sheís been doing a lot of reminiscing in her contact lately as well. 

Iím trying to distance/keep distance emotionally.  Perhaps this behaviour is a good example of hoovering? 

Anyone else experience this?  It feels like a drive by ďshootingĒ in a way.  Totally random and not about anyone connected to me.  the most recent one was fairly far removed from her as well but the one before was about her high school sweetheart.   
"Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it..." - Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

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eyesopen

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Re: Contacting to tell me about people dying
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2020, 12:22:31 AM »
Could it be that sheís telling you because sheís worried about her own mortality and how youíll feel about it?  If she knows people who are dying, it seems reasonable that sheís worried about her own death, but rather than saying so, sheís telling you about these people to gauge your reaction to the subject.

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Sojourner17

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Re: Contacting to tell me about people dying
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2020, 12:57:07 AM »
Eyes open,  I actually had a fleeting thought along the same lines earlier today.  The thing is,  I put that out of my mind because it muddies the waters even more for me.  Emotionally charged subjects are a no go for discussions with my mom.  They are too difficult to navigate. 

Maybe she thinks I DO know the people she told me about and that this is information I should know.   Who knows! 

I think sheís trying to connect with me but this is not the connection I want to make. 

 
"Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it..." - Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

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Andeza

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Re: Contacting to tell me about people dying
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2020, 01:24:50 AM »
My uBPDm started doing this to me too, although she doesn't know many people so it was fairly limited. If I didn't know them, I'd just Hmm, or "Oh that's too bad" No real emotion attached and change the subject. If it was someone I knew and she started playing up I'd tell her I had to go. I could master my emotions long enough to get off the phone and then grieve in my own way, alone. Which I prefer to be honest.

In my M's case it was about getting a reaction from me, any reaction at all, because I was medium chilling and gray rocking as hard as I could at that point. Plus she's had a longstanding habit of upsetting me so she can step in and do the whole "poor baby" act to feel good about herself.

You know your mom best, so you can probably assign a motive with more clarity.

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Sweetbriar

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Re: Contacting to tell me about people dying
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2020, 04:48:01 PM »
First of all, I don't know the context of your relationship and whether you are limited contact or no contact but this seems to me that she is seeking pity. It does seem like hoovering to me and trying to draw you back in by using a sad situation so you will feel sorry for her. If you don't know the newly deceased people, or even distantly, there is no need for you to know. She is seeking contact and I think it is up to you whether you have the energy to bolster her up. But if she has the qualities of a PD it seems to me she could succeed in drawing you back into cyclical drama that I imagine you are trying to cleanse from your life. I'd just offer a non-emotional response, or no response at all.  I honestly cannot imagine phoning up my adult child and telling him this kind of thing. I'd rather talk about it with a friend who knew the person who had died.

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StayWithMe

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Re: Contacting to tell me about people dying
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2020, 06:02:27 PM »
Quote
Anyone else experience this?  It feels like a drive by ďshootingĒ in a way.  Totally random and not about anyone connected to me.

Just talking about anybody my mother tries to make out like I should know this person really well.  If I ask follow up questions about the person --see how I used to dignify anything she would talk about me --, she would cruel tone of voice and talk as I was a fool because I had to think about the new member at the alumni club who also happens to live in the same apartment building as my brother.  I met her once.  So either inserts the names of bit players in my life or people I no longer have a relationship with.

People use death; others use births; wedding whatever to insert some person into the conversation who's played only a marginal role.

Sojourner, I don't doubt that your mother trying to get her supply.  You could change the subject. Talk over her.


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Sojourner17

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Re: Contacting to tell me about people dying
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2020, 12:07:12 AM »
Thank you all.  I shut my phone off on Saturdays and hadnít responded,  by the time Sunday came around I figured it was best to just not respond to the texts.  I got a call/vm today saying she missed me and just wanted to hear my voice.  Today was a crazy busy/full day so I texted that we are doing well and it was a busy day/hope she is doing well. 

She texted that she wanted to hear my voice as the family losing their son was emotional for her and she talked to my other sisters but wanted to hear my voice too.  I didnít respond as really havenít had the time until now.

She is wanting contact to ease her emotions.  I think. 
We are vlc but have been in more contact this past month than we have been in a while. 

I want to think this through in regards to how Iíd handle it if it were me and adult children.    I think I would talk to a friend or hubby about it and how I feel.  I donít like how Iím feeling right now.  I wouldnít want my children feeling this way.  I want my children to WANT to call me.... not just call because they feel they have to to make me feel better. 
"Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it..." - Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: Contacting to tell me about people dying
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2020, 08:08:21 AM »
Maybe text back, ďIím sorry to hear that mom. Iíll call when I can.Ē And then call when itís good for you.

My dad used to use that ďhearing your voiceĒ line. Itís waify and guilt-trippy.  :thumbdown: This doesnít seem far off from the ďI wonít be around foreverĒ guilt trip. And throw in some sibling comparison for good measure.  :roll:

Mom doesnít miss you. Missing YOU would be she was thinking about how you are doing, how did that event go, blah blah blah. Nope, all about her. Your instinct seems right on to me. You arenít responsible for her emotional regulation.

I can see a family losing a child as being a wake up call to nurture her own relationships with her family. I can also see calling an adult child and saying. ďHey, Iím feeling sad about this. It would help to talk to you.Ē Like one would a friend, which I think is ideal. To approach your adult child as an equal. As we all say to each other, seeking validation isnít a terrible thing. But I agree sheís approaching it through her Pd. It sounds like the takeaway for her is that she could possibly lose you, too... so better tighten those apron strings. It looks to me to be more fear of abandonment. Up to you whether you want to give her some of the assurance she wants. Knowing it wonít be enough.

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Sojourner17

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Re: Contacting to tell me about people dying
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2020, 12:49:13 PM »
CMC,  you are right.  I just looked over the text I sent after she called.  I gave her a few points of interest that she could have asked me about (sledding with friends and a class our child is in).  She didnít say anything about those when she responded back.  Just that the tragedy of the death made her want to connect with her children and how one sister was over to visit and the other FaceTimed.  She wanted to hear my voice and was missing me. 

Sheís just wanting me to validate her feelings and make her feel better.  Yes the death is tragic but like I said earlier,  I donít know the person and Iím almost positive that she doesnít either. Yes,  itís sad and tragic but the response to it is out of proportion.  Iím sure her feelings and response is very real to her though.   

I think this post may be sliding into the dealing with parents category... sorry about that! 

It feels drama inducing /stirring up drama in me as well.  I hate the emotions itís stirring up.  The expectations externally and internally.  Iím going to take your advice and just text your suggestion... if it gets nasty I will go radio silent. 

Itís interesting... we are moving the end of the month plus I have a quarterly meeting with my childís school contact next week.  so itís a super busy time.  She doesnít know this info yet but itís uncanny how this is all happening and itís also the time that things are heating up with mom.  Coincidence?!? 

"Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it..." - Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

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athene1399

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Re: Contacting to tell me about people dying
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2020, 12:10:18 PM »
This is a slightly different dynamic, but SO's BPDxw does this to him. She'll text him about people they used to know passing away. it could be someone he met once and she'll text him, or someone who worked somewhere they used to hang out when they were married, she'll text him to let him know they passed away. He stopped responding. BPDxw I think did it more for attention and wanted a reaction from him. Maybe it was just a way she could talk to him. IDK. I would think it's some form of trying to get supply. SO was always baffled by it. He used to say "sorry to hear that", but now doesn't respond. Maybe practice MC and respond that way. An uPD coworker does something similar and I respond with a one-word MC response. It sounds really harsh, but I don't know the person so therefore really don't care (at the risk of sounding insensitive. If I felt bad over everything terrible in the world, I'd be an emotional mess). And the coworker doesn't know them either. She says as much. Yet makes a big deal over someone she's never met. I personally find it insensitive to the deceased person's real family and friends. But now I'm getting off topic.

I agree that it is drama stirring. I think that's how they use it for supply.


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Andeza

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Re: Contacting to tell me about people dying
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2020, 02:11:38 PM »
Now that I think about it... uBPDm did this with celebrity deaths too. She'd always lead with "so-and-so died! I know you liked them, they had a heart attack/OD/old age etc" Whether I liked them or not really. But remember I'm just an extension of her, so that means we like the same celebrities.

I guess she didn't know enough people in person that were dying.  :doh:

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moglow

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Re: Contacting to tell me about people dying
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2020, 04:36:15 PM »
Yep, been there too! I called it the dead and dying report - is get random messages about this or that person from the far distant past, distand family members of not seen or heard of in years, or the inevitable sad efforts to connect me in some way to whoever's name was on the local funeral home sign. Far more often than not, I knew about it long before she told me. And then there are the ones I didnt know anything about whatsoever - and she's go on and on about "SURE you do! S/he is ..." Still no clue. She forgets I moved away 20b years ago, a lot of people have come and gone in that time. I even GASP! know and have mourned many I never mentioned to her at all.

I also got the who's been diagnosed or in the hospital with what dread illness, who broke up or is divorcing, accidents, house burned, mayhem and madness ... Yes, there's a pattern. It's not happy joyful things - it's a big pile of woe is me and it's so sad. Or there's a slight gleeful "wait'll I tell you ... But don't tell anyone it came from me. I'll tell them you're lying if you do!!" Gossip. Buries herself down into negativity and gossip, thinking I'll go there too. NOPE!

I'm sorry to hear about anyone's misfortune and want to offer hope or comfort where I can, IF it's any of my place to do. I have no need for her verbal spewing of death and destruction.

All that said - I've no doubt there are thoughts of mortality, regret, lack of understanding etc at play, but really. You tell her what your family is up to and she doesn't bite? No questions, no interest? Sadly familiar. You know how you have actual relationship, mom - you care. You ask about them. You show some interest. You *don't* bypass all attempts to be included. You don't brush aside THIS in favor of the dead and dying report. You continue to live this life you're given WITH your family!
Sigh. I know. Like talking to the wind ...
« Last Edit: February 12, 2020, 04:48:45 PM by moglow »
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Fortuna

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Re: Contacting to tell me about people dying
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2020, 06:18:32 PM »
My mom did this once as a way to prove that I was wrong. I was supposed to know who all these people were, because once upon a time I must have met them sometime before I was ten. When I didn't, I got a lecture about how I should know who my family was. It still amazed me she wasn't ready for the follow up question. "Hmm, I don't remember anything about her, tell me something." She of course couldn't because the point of the exercise was in berating me. (She then looked up the obit online and parroted a few quotes to me the next time I saw her like it wasn't obvious that she had to research it.) She never pulled that again for anyone I hadn't met as an adult.

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Sojourner17

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Re: Contacting to tell me about people dying
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2020, 01:13:34 AM »
It continued today... this time someone charged with a crime and the name is vaguely familiar to her and maybe I know the person as they are around my age (6 years younger).  Wanting me to call to verify. 
 
Iím tired, I was out playing in the snow with the kiddos when the call/vm and text came in.  Iíve chosen not to respond at this time.  I used to get wrapped up in this stuff even had glimpses of stuff like this in my line of work before having children/grew up with this type of drama.  There is enough drama in my own community and even that I donít want to be a part of it. 

 :sadno: just  no.  Guys,  Iím so tired!  This can be exhausting. 
"Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it..." - Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery