Opinions welcomed - do I tell uBPDM when she hurts my feelings?

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workinprogress2018

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Opinions welcomed - do I tell uBPDM when she hurts my feelings?
« on: February 29, 2020, 04:07:30 PM »
Hi all, I was recently reminded of the importance of speaking up when someone hurts us in some way, rather than storing negative emotions. I haven't always been very good at this because feedback to my uBPDM is met with denial, rage, anger, abuse... She perceives such feedback as criticism, no matter how carefully it is worded. I therefore learned early in life that there was no point in doing so and didn't do it with others outside the family either, my child's brain thinking that this is how the world is, that feedback will result in being raged at by the other person.

I have recently been telling others in my life when they hurt me (I had learnt to do so in my twenties but somehow fell out of the habit again) and it's absolutely fine (partner, work colleagues, etc) and I am confident that I express myself in an emotionally intelligent way.

Problem is, I raised an issue and told my uBPDM that I felt let down that she offered to pay for my counselling, which I gladly accepted (although I was also in shock because she never, ever gives me money as a gift or 'just because ', only ever to pay me back if she owes me for something, she has irrational money fears that she is destitute), yet just over two years later I have yet to receive a penny from her.

I don't care about the money, but thought I should tell her of feeling let down (as it's been a lifelong theme for me with her), rather than hold on to a festering resentment as this is the healthy thing to do, but as you may guess, it didn't go down well AT ALL. All the usual tactics of 'forgetting' that she had offered, saying that I was wrong because she 'would never do something like that', plus handing out a big dose of snarling abuse including digs at my partner, whom I defended. In all, it was disgraceful behaviour and I felt so wounded afterwards. She later posted me a small amount of money with a brief and dismissive note from which I could feel the resentment glaring at me off the page.

My question is this - it seems to me that this is a no win situation. I have no hopes or expectations that she will ever change, but is it best to let her treat me like dirt, saying nothing to avoid more abuse and hurt (which will drain me emotionally), or speak up each and every time until she learns to pick on someone else? Which may or may not happen and which will incur more hurtful abuse (and drain me emotionally). Which I then have to tell her has hurt me... and off we will go again and again to infinity...

I feel really torn between two unsatisfactory options. Can anyone share their experiences or how they made that choice themselves? I am struggling to find clarity.

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Peanut1126

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Re: Opinions welcomed - do I tell uBPDM when she hurts my feelings?
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2020, 05:55:24 PM »
I have the same issue with my parents but them promising my kids stuff and not following through. I have no advice because my conversations always ended in my mom guilting me, but I completely understand how you feel!

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GettingOOTF

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Re: Opinions welcomed - do I tell uBPDM when she hurts my feelings?
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2020, 07:14:49 PM »
My experience with this is that every time I told my family something hurt me they ramped up that specific behavior.

My father also made lots of promises he never followed through on. My ex was diagnosed with BPD and he also made lots of promises he didn’t keep. When I brought it up he freaked out and turned it around on me.

If you think telling her will make you feel better then do it, but do it knowing that she’s not going to turn around and say “wow sorry, you are right. Here’s the money” and then change her behavior.

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: Opinions welcomed - do I tell uBPDM when she hurts my feelings?
« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2020, 10:05:38 PM »
With nonPD it's simple, communication, agreement, peace. With PD not so simple.

I've asked myself what is my goal? When it comes to "clearing the air" not only is it unlikely to happen, if it did then I play it out: there would be the expectations of increased contact in my case. That being so, it's better I leave things as they are.
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WinterStar

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Re: Opinions welcomed - do I tell uBPDM when she hurts my feelings?
« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2020, 11:43:13 PM »
My mother, probably BPD, is impossible to work anything out with. I've never been "allowed" to speak about the things she does and says that hurt me deeply. When I have tried to address an issue, she cries and seeks comfort from me. My brother and I tried to address a serious issue when we were both in college, and she ran out of the room crying. Since trying to speak with her directly was always impossible, I tried writing her a letter now and again when a serious issue arose. She would call me, still crying, and tell me how many hours the letter caused her to cry. I ended up comforting her, and the communication never led to change on her part. She doesn't absorb information or have the ability to understand what is going wrong and how to fix it.

Then, I found boundaries and implemented them over time. I shortened the length of her visits so that they were more manageable for me. I stopped accommodating her unreasonable expectations, responding to her hints about what she wanted, and offering her constant reassurance.  I stopped talking with her over the phone and communicate with her via email. I never felt better. I was able to handle my mom without as much distress and sometimes even enjoy her company.

Cue the tears. Last year, she called and left a voicemail, crying, telling me that she's "afraid we're in a bad place" in our relationship. For me, the relationship was the best it had ever been. I agreed to speak with her over the phone about it. It seemed like the conversation went pretty well; she had calmed down and it was mostly pleasant. I had the chance to say that I have a lot going on and don't really spend any time speaking on the phone anymore.

Once I hung up the phone and reviewed what was said, I was angry. She basically told me that I need to accommodate her more, particularly at my daughters' birthday parties. Um, those aren't about her... She didn't say it this way, but she wants more time, more attention and more emotional support. I have three kids, another on the way, a husband, a job, a house, etc. Did she show any understanding of the fact that my FOC needs all the time, energy and attention I have? No. Did she want to know what I need/want from our relationship? No.

Since then, I've continued with boundaries, and she has responded by becoming increasingly aloof and cold. She's overly formal when she responds to emails.  She's clearly upset but isn't saying anything. I'm waiting for the next episode of crying and dreading spending any time with her at all.

When we do see each other, she still does and says things that bother me; I don't know how to respond and end up doing nothing and then getting upset about it after she leaves. I have no idea how to proceed from here. Like you, swallowing the negative emotions is poisoning me. I know I need to be able to express some of them in the moment, but I can't deal with everything, so how do I choose which things to deal with and how to I react at the time? I often end up getting shell shocked. I've been working on rehearsing phrases that would respond to some of the recurring issues. Like, when she says something inappropriate in front of the children, I could say, "Little ears are listening." If she starts up triangulation with my brother, "Huh, that sounds like an issue you should discuss with brother." If she starts gossiping, "I don't feel comfortable talking about this since they haven't approached me about it."

I don't know if my experience is helpful to you at all. I hope it is. It's a tough place to be in, and I don't really have the answers. Sorry you're dealing with it.
I am only resolved to act in that manner, which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness, without reference to you, or to any person so wholly unconnected with me. -Elizabeth Bennet

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moglow

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Re: Opinions welcomed - do I tell uBPDM when she hurts my feelings?
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2020, 11:42:23 AM »
For what it's worth, no one else is responsible for our feelings and choices but us. We choose how we feel based on the expectations we have of others. As an old board-friend used for his tagline: Expectations are disappointments under construction. Read that again - when we have a expectations of others (*any* others), we've laid the groundwork for disappointment if they don't perform as expected. We expect others to at least pretend to think and treat us as we do them.

All that said, we ALL have expectations in our interaction with others, even as simple as reciprocation or at the very least acknowledgment of our feelings. All evidence to the contrary, when those who have consistently let us down make a promise, we still have expectation that they'll be true to their word. Until they aren't - and we're again disappointed in them. And in ourselves on some level because we chose to believe them, to try yet again.

I've tried telling mother when she's hurt my feelings or let me down. It's immediately and consistently turned around to one of two things - either a recitation of any number of random incidents where I've let her down or literally "poor you got your feelings hurt again!!" spat at me with unbelievable venom. Either/or, and occasionally both interchangeably. THEN it's pronounced an attack on her - All because I dared speak up that she had deliberately hurt me again.

But do I do it anyway? Ya damn skippy, I do! To say nothing implies that I'm okay with it, that I've somehow not noticed. Mother's been known to amp it up if I don't engage, fruitless as any engagement may be. 

What's "worked" for me is to acknowledge what she's said and done, make sure she knows that I see it for what it is - and shut the conversation down. Don't hang around for the inevitable excuses or worse, amplification of the abuse. Shut it down and end the conversation until you're ready to talk to her again. Don't accept her calls and don't respond until you have something to say. Talking about it only allows more of the same, in my situation, so no. That's me protecting myself from a known and established abuser.

Just my thoughts from the edge this morning. Do with them what you will - and remember your responsibility to yourself first.
"Expectations are disappointments under construction.”  ~ Cap'n Spanky

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Maxtrem

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Re: Opinions welcomed - do I tell uBPDM when she hurts my feelings?
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2020, 12:30:49 PM »
People with personality disorder often don't feel remorse because they can't see that they are doing something wrong. My mother always says that this is the truth she says when she criticizes me, puts me down, manipulates me, makes me feel guilty! Talking about our feelings with this kind of person is often not productive.

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GettingOOTF

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Re: Opinions welcomed - do I tell uBPDM when she hurts my feelings?
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2020, 01:20:14 PM »
People with personality disorder often don't feel remorse because they can't see that they are doing something wrong. My mother always says that this is the truth she says when she criticizes me, puts me down, manipulates me, makes me feel guilty! Talking about our feelings with this kind of person is often not productive.

My sister says “I’m just being honest”. No, you’re not being honest you are being a disrespectful, abusive bully. She got that from our father.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2020, 01:39:26 PM by GettingOOTF »

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moglow

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Re: Opinions welcomed - do I tell uBPDM when she hurts my feelings?
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2020, 01:33:32 PM »
Workinprogress, one other thing that may speak to you - my mother seems to truly spin over matter of fact repeating back what she has said/done to me. It really seems to steam her beans when I put it to her point blank what was said or done (or not, as the case may be), and wait for a similarly dispassionate explanation. It's like the emotion of it all is what's important to her, at any cost, not what She actually did/didn't do. She'll blow sky high over the delivery, knowing she has no reasonable response. Mother can and will then pick fights based on the "you dont care about ..." in her mind to deflect from and thereby justify her own actions.

For you in this situation, would I bring up *anything* regarding my therapy, progress or discussions therein? Nope. Simply because she doesn't have to know about it and has no right to that information whether she paid for it or not. She offered to pay then did not, pure and simple. She proved yet again that she can and will go back on her word in any given situation. THAT is really the crux of this in my mind. But I guarantee should you bring it up, she'll have innumerable justifications as to why she didn't and shouldnt give you the money.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2020, 01:58:55 PM by moglow »
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workinprogress2018

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Re: Opinions welcomed - do I tell uBPDM when she hurts my feelings?
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2020, 10:32:55 AM »
Peanut1126 thank you for sharing, it's frustrating as hell to be let down over and over.

GettingOOTF, you're absolutely right, nothing will change in terms of her behaviour and it does fan the flames of abuse. By not acting though I feel that I am being a doormat, a wimp, weak and an enabler and have to consider how *that* makes me feel too...

Spring Butterfly, you're right that there is a dilemma here, on the one hand I wish to minimise contact, on the other I wish to be heard and to stand up for myself like I can with anyone else but her. She still scares me.

WinterStar, YES! I have this too where things become about her and I find myself comforting her! My partner does this too unfortunately (not PD but shares this trait). I realised this recently and it shows how incapable they both are at having open, honest conversations about feelings and the relationship. I used to dive right in to reassuring them but now recognise it happening and don't go there. I have more energy for it. Things sound very similar for you and I. I struggle to say something in the moment because she still scares me (a programmed response I suppose) and I find I freeze. I have considered rehearsing some lines to have at hand too. They will only make her worse though, I have been this way before. It's such a pickle. I will continue to minimise contact as you have, it's really the only way in my situation.

Moglow, you are right about reviewing expectations. I would like to think that I am starting to really let go of hopes and expectations that my uBPDM can ever love me. My Dad didn't either but I realised that long ago, it's perhaps harder to accept that my uBPDM doesn't/can't either because then it means that I received no love at all as a child. Psychologically, this is tough to face - having been totally alone and unsupported.

I really like your approach, to call her out on it and then shut it down. I will definitely think on how that would look.

You're right about many reasons for not giving me money. I don't care about the money, just the lack of integrity she shows as it is one of my core values (unsurprisingly!). She loves to ask about my therapy because she thinks it's all about *her*, plus she's threatened by me having relationships with anyone other than her. When I raise issues she will say that I am being controlled by the therapist, or "don't you start at me with your therapy talk", etc etc.I just tell her it's going fine, thanks as otherwise she latches on to anything she can use to demean me in the future.

Maxtrem you are right, I don't think she feels remorse, she feels justified in all her actions. She called me once for advice, "I've just said the most awful, disgusting things to [her partner], about his children and everything. What shall I do?" . I could hear that she was smiling as she spoke and almost a sense of thrill at what she had done. I suggested an apology. She flatly said "No. I don't want to. What else can I do?" . She explained that she "had to " be so horribly abusive to her partner because "I just wasn't getting a reaction from him - you know when you have to?" . Errr, no, I don't. This is what separates us from them.

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_apparentlywicked

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Re: Opinions welcomed - do I tell uBPDM when she hurts my feelings?
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2020, 10:42:31 AM »
Hi workin

Yeah it's the quandary you're in that has led to NC for me. I know I can't challenge him because he then abuses me more. I then thought about only visiting with someone else so he behaves but that just makes me feel s##t to be honest. That I'm acknowledging that my dad has the desire to injure me and I'm forced into trying to protect myself from my own dad. And I'm thinking what is the actual point of me going?  He doesn't love me, he's not interested in my life, visits are about listening to how amazing he is and how s##t everyone else is. There's nothing productive that he'll miss out on if I drop out of his life. Whereas I just get to avoid all his c##p

I haven't told him I'm done with him. There's no point. Also he won't ask me or anyone why I'm not returning his calls or visiting because he knows the answer and doesn't want to hear it so he's in this comical situation of pretending to sib that I'm in contact with him. I cannot imagine how long this will go on for.

Make sure you're aware that you always have the option of just removing the source of pain from your life.

❤️
« Last Edit: March 02, 2020, 10:50:12 AM by _apparentlywicked »

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_apparentlywicked

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Re: Opinions welcomed - do I tell uBPDM when she hurts my feelings?
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2020, 10:47:31 AM »
Basically telling a pd that they've hurt your feelings is shouting into the abyss. And that's the heart of the problem: You're trying to communicate with someone who can't hear or see you. You're better off communicating with people that do see you. Yourself primarily. No healing can come from her.

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: Opinions welcomed - do I tell uBPDM when she hurts my feelings?
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2020, 11:06:16 AM »
Please note these are two different things. Being heard depends on others. Standing up for yourself depends only on you.

Sometimes you can't have both. With nonPD people it's more likely. With PD people most often you can't stand up *and* be heard / understood / acknowledged / have normal boundaries respected / etc.

Quote
Spring Butterfly, you're right that there is a dilemma here, on the one hand I wish to minimise contact, on the other I wish to be heard and to stand up for myself like I can with anyone else but her. She still scares me.

So I spun it into a win for myself - because I wished to unenmesh so when I called behavior out, then and there, in the moment it got ugly and uPDm couldn't stand being around the me that challenged bad behavior or expressed even the tiniest wish. I've been rejected but I've achieved being unenmeshed and individuated.

My veeery tiny voice (since I was so afraid) squeeked out phrases such as "that's really not nice" or "I won't be able to meet for lunch" and yelling ensued. It was scary but I stood up. It took time to get past and accept that I am not loved unless I'm compliant. It's sad that they view me being an individual with my own thoughts and feelings and wishes as total rejection of them. It doesn't need to be this way. But it is.
· 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 blog

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workinprogress2018

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Re: Opinions welcomed - do I tell uBPDM when she hurts my feelings?
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2020, 12:51:09 PM »
Basically telling a pd that they've hurt your feelings is shouting into the abyss. And that's the heart of the problem: You're trying to communicate with someone who can't hear or see you. You're better off communicating with people that do see you. Yourself primarily. No healing can come from her.

You are absolutely right, I expect no healing at all. Nothing will ever change in her part.

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workinprogress2018

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Re: Opinions welcomed - do I tell uBPDM when she hurts my feelings?
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2020, 12:57:23 PM »
Please note these are two different things. Being heard depends on others. Standing up for yourself depends only on you.

Sometimes you can't have both. With nonPD people it's more likely. With PD people most often you can't stand up *and* be heard / understood / acknowledged / have normal boundaries respected / etc.

Quote
Spring Butterfly, you're right that there is a dilemma here, on the one hand I wish to minimise contact, on the other I wish to be heard and to stand up for myself like I can with anyone else but her. She still scares me.

So I spun it into a win for myself - because I wished to unenmesh so when I called behavior out, then and there, in the moment it got ugly and uPDm couldn't stand being around the me that challenged bad behavior or expressed even the tiniest wish. I've been rejected but I've achieved being unenmeshed and individuated.

My veeery tiny voice (since I was so afraid) squeeked out phrases such as "that's really not nice" or "I won't be able to meet for lunch" and yelling ensued. It was scary but I stood up. It took time to get past and accept that I am not loved unless I'm compliant. It's sad that they view me being an individual with my own thoughts and feelings and wishes as total rejection of them. It doesn't need to be this way. But it is.

This is so enlightening, thank you, I feel the need to assert myself like I used to but perhaps shut her down before it turns into a row, because it absolutely will grate on her, she hates her bad behaviour being pointed out and she will definitely reject me again, which is fine by me. I already have been in so many ways, she cannot accept and love me for who I am.

 It certainly sounds like an important part of individuating and something to help me along the way, at the same time as minimal contact. I would love NC but am still not Out of the FOG and have a niece and nephew whom I wish to still see, if I went NC with Mother and sibling then I would be heartbroken not to see the little ones so am sitting with it all for now.

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workinprogress2018

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Re: Opinions welcomed - do I tell uBPDM when she hurts my feelings?
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2020, 01:01:21 PM »
Hi workin

Yeah it's the quandary you're in that has led to NC for me. I know I can't challenge him because he then abuses me more. I then thought about only visiting with someone else so he behaves but that just makes me feel s##t to be honest. That I'm acknowledging that my dad has the desire to injure me and I'm forced into trying to protect myself from my own dad. And I'm thinking what is the actual point of me going?  He doesn't love me, he's not interested in my life, visits are about listening to how amazing he is and how s##t everyone else is. There's nothing productive that he'll miss out on if I drop out of his life. Whereas I just get to avoid all his c##p

I haven't told him I'm done with him. There's no point. Also he won't ask me or anyone why I'm not returning his calls or visiting because he knows the answer and doesn't want to hear it so he's in this comical situation of pretending to sib that I'm in contact with him. I cannot imagine how long this will go on for.

Make sure you're aware that you always have the option of just removing the source of pain from your life.

❤️

You are right that we shouldn't have to protect ourselves from our own parents, it's so sad. I too feel that seeing my Mother is a pointless exercise, it's purely for her benefit and not mine, it just depletes and drains me and she is just as miserable whether I see her or not!

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capybara

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Re: Opinions welcomed - do I tell uBPDM when she hurts my feelings?
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2020, 11:28:49 PM »
So much food for thought here! Thank you all for posting. I have been struggling with this question too. But I truly believe that showing vulnerability (saying I was hurt) is a mistake. I don't trust uPD-ish mom that much. And of course criticism is met with rage.

What I am steeling myself to do is that the next time she asks my kids to do something without clearing it with me first, I will ask her to speak privately and calmly point out that she is setting up conflict between me and my kids. I am terrified at the thought! But I will try.

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workinprogress2018

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Re: Opinions welcomed - do I tell uBPDM when she hurts my feelings?
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2020, 07:12:46 AM »
So much food for thought here! Thank you all for posting. I have been struggling with this question too. But I truly believe that showing vulnerability (saying I was hurt) is a mistake. I don't trust uPD-ish mom that much. And of course criticism is met with rage.

What I am steeling myself to do is that the next time she asks my kids to do something without clearing it with me first, I will ask her to speak privately and calmly point out that she is setting up conflict between me and my kids. I am terrified at the thought! But I will try.

Indeed there is so much here and so many issues wrapped up in the situation, calling their behaviour or not, sharing feelings or not, contact or not, showing vulnerability or not, shutting them down or not, having expectations or not...

You raise the issue of trust, which is another important factor, I cannot trust my uBPDM not to tell anyone and everyone what I tell her, so I recently realised fully why I need to tell her nothing of my life. Vulnerability is used later as a weapon (but don't we just want to believe that she IS kind after all when she is sometimes kind when we have a problem?).  She also loves things being less than perfect because it feeds her "ain't it awful" view of the world and she loves to obsess over other people's problems, however small and insignificant. If things are going well, it threatens her, so again I now do my best to keep quiet about my life.

Also, in the subject of trust, as a child she'd say softly, 'it's OK, you can talk to me, I won't be cross', so I would tell her whatever was bothering me, and then get raged at and told off! Not safe.

She also tells me things my sib has confided in her, and constantly criticises my sib and her husband and children to me. Disgraceful and I must find a way to speak up on this too, rather than freezing.

Speaking up is indeed terrifying but I imagine it gets easier the more we do it? I think it's a part of getting personal power back from abusers.

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lemondifficult

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Re: Opinions welcomed - do I tell uBPDM when she hurts my feelings?
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2020, 06:04:16 PM »
My mother, probably BPD, is impossible to work anything out with. I've never been "allowed" to speak about the things she does and says that hurt me deeply. When I have tried to address an issue, she cries and seeks comfort from me. My brother and I tried to address a serious issue when we were both in college, and she ran out of the room crying. Since trying to speak with her directly was always impossible, I tried writing her a letter now and again when a serious issue arose. She would call me, still crying, and tell me how many hours the letter caused her to cry. I ended up comforting her, and the communication never led to change on her part. She doesn't absorb information or have the ability to understand what is going wrong and how to fix it.

Then, I found boundaries and implemented them over time. I shortened the length of her visits so that they were more manageable for me. I stopped accommodating her unreasonable expectations, responding to her hints about what she wanted, and offering her constant reassurance.  I stopped talking with her over the phone and communicate with her via email. I never felt better. I was able to handle my mom without as much distress and sometimes even enjoy her company.

Cue the tears. Last year, she called and left a voicemail, crying, telling me that she's "afraid we're in a bad place" in our relationship. For me, the relationship was the best it had ever been. I agreed to speak with her over the phone about it. It seemed like the conversation went pretty well; she had calmed down and it was mostly pleasant. I had the chance to say that I have a lot going on and don't really spend any time speaking on the phone anymore.

Once I hung up the phone and reviewed what was said, I was angry. She basically told me that I need to accommodate her more, particularly at my daughters' birthday parties. Um, those aren't about her... She didn't say it this way, but she wants more time, more attention and more emotional support. I have three kids, another on the way, a husband, a job, a house, etc. Did she show any understanding of the fact that my FOC needs all the time, energy and attention I have? No. Did she want to know what I need/want from our relationship? No.

Since then, I've continued with boundaries, and she has responded by becoming increasingly aloof and cold. She's overly formal when she responds to emails.  She's clearly upset but isn't saying anything. I'm waiting for the next episode of crying and dreading spending any time with her at all.

I realise that I've quoted a huge portion of your post but it was all so screamingly familiar to me! I've found that the distance has helped but also not trying to put myself in her head and worry too much about how she's interpreting things anymore. That might sound harsh of me but I've realised that her view point is rarely rationale so it's a waste of time and energy to allow her reaction to determine how I behave. It's taking me practice but I've only been OOTF over the last year or so and there's 30 years worth of our old interactions to undo!

I hope you manage to look after yourself and that maintaining your boundaries gets easier!

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workinprogress2018

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Re: Opinions welcomed - do I tell uBPDM when she hurts my feelings?
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2020, 02:54:08 PM »

 I've found that the distance has helped but also not trying to put myself in her head and worry too much about how she's interpreting things anymore. That might sound harsh of me but I've realised that her view point is rarely rationale so it's a waste of time and energy to allow her reaction to determine how I behave. It's taking me practice but I've only been OOTF over the last year or so and there's 30 years worth of our old interactions to undo!


This is really helpful as I spend a lot of time anticipating my Mother's responses to things and wondering how angry she is with my reduced contact and how long it will be before she attacks again. I am still in the FOG! I'm no longer feeling obligation so much despite her advanced years and guilt is receding slowly as I consider that people who abuse me do not deserve my card and attention, but fear, yes. Still there.

I will try to stop second guessing and wondering where her head is at, it sounds like a really good idea. Obvious too! I learned to stop mind reading years ago but this has made me realise that I still do it with her, to try and protect myself. It's never worked so I will try and save my energy!