Excessive emails and calls even after setting boundaries, what's next?

  • 5 Replies
  • 625 Views
*

newjuncture

  • New Member
  • *
  • 15
Have any of you felt an interruption in your day to day productivity due to excessive contact from your parent even when you have set clear boundaries? Several months ago, I set clear boundaries asking for contact via email only.  The messages seemed to increase once those boundaries were set. The parent uses this as a way to say they are concerned and worried about me and also sends frequent messages asking me to call them even when I was clear about email.  They are not really concerned and are using this as a form of manipulation. I have been very consistent and strong with this boundary, but they seem to ignore it completely. Today while I was working, I received a phone call. I didn't answer as usual.  I  also receive 2-3 emails a week disregarding any boundaries still asking to call and reach out.  I am not blocking email or phone calls in order to have a record of all contact for future use. 
This is where I feel conflicted:  Some people take a more direct approach with parents asking them to stop contact because it feels like harassment.  Others ignore all messages as a way not to invite further contact.  While I have been very disciplined with my boundaries and not picking up phone calls or responding to those types of messages, remaining quiet is also fueling the fire.  Sometimes they like to play the victim and turn things around, and I am trying to keep things at bay so that I can focus on my work and stay strong.  Sticking to my boundaries was working for a while, and I would like to keep to that.  I am feeling conflicted about the next step.  For those of you who have experienced this, do you state directly in another email asking for them to stop since boundaries are being crossed, or did you simply continue to ignore all messages?  There are chances that things can escalate with a well-being check from the police or parents turning things around to make things even harder on you.  Any concrete ideas or experiences would be great. Thanks!

*

Honey_B

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 51
I would set one day aside each week for replying to them in one mail. Ignore all the mails as they arrive during the week and then sit down once a week (or every two weeks, thats up to you). Write back something neutral (the weather, what you had for lunch, everything is fine here (no specifics) .. bla bla bla), not going into any drama they raised in the previous mails. That way they hear from you once a week, on  the same day and know that you are not dead.. or something.

After a while, hopefully they will stop the mail bombing during the week.

*

freedom77

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 188
Hello Newjuncture...
Boy I can relate! And you're right, it's manipulation and control, not care and concern.
I guess it depends on first and foremost what YOU are comfortable with. Also to be considered is how abusive are they? For me, my BPD/N mother is a malignant source of abuse, and hurts me and DD and therefore NC is the only contact that can be maintained.

If you want to keep in contact, Honey B's idea of a once weekly MC "newsletter" if you will, is a good one.

I understand what you mean about being distracted on more than one level by the constant, unrelenting attempts of contact. Stick to your boundaries. This is YOUR life.

I blocked my mother's phone number. On my carrier I can still view her texts if I want to, they funnel into a blocked box that I have to click a few extra times to get to...or not.

She just started in with the emails, today as a matter of fact. We've been NC for 3 months now, not the first time, but definitely the last time. I marked her emails as spam, and they too get funneled to a non-visible section of contact, that I can click extra to see...or not. I still have ALL of her contact attempts for record. Blocking and spamming has not changed that. It just helps me avoid triggers and further abuse by my being allowed to CHOOSE if I want to read her messages or not, instead of just having them pop up every 5 seconds.

Maybe you should do the same.

PDs cannot not stand boundaries. They despise them. Push back from them is par for the course. They don't listen, they don't respect, when have they ever anyways? And like an impudent toddler they will attempt contact 10x harder just because you had the gall to say no more.

Depending how your pwPD operates, revenge is likely. I know with mine it is.

I've gotten the so-called "welfare" check ups from police when my mother would call them to come out to my home. I politely thanked them and explained that my mother is mentally disordered and for my own health I've limited contact with her, and she is none too pleased. Clearly I was an adult, allowed to make my own choices and they'd merely nod and leave.

One time she reported me missing!! I informed her I needed a break, and refused to answer her incessant calls. This was pre-cell phones. She actually filed a missing persons report and wasted the police's time looking for a perfectly safe person enjoying some peace.

I've gotten calls to my job where the poor young secretary was grilled so intensely by mother that she had to throw her on hold and ask me what to do. I took the phone and hung it up. I told the young lady to feel free to do the same.

Then there are the feigned illnesses. An ER nurse will call to let me know mother is ready to be picked up. If not for COVID, she would surely have done this trick a time or two again.

Then there are the threats...I'll report you to DCF, I'll tell the police you hit me, I'll get you fired (one time many years ago, she actually did). These threats, of course are made in person, so no evidence; paper, electronic or otherwise.

You ask about do we state in another communication, again asking them to stop. I have never once found this to be helpful. If anything, it feeds the attention they are craving, and only makes them push back more.

I would stay strong, consider blocking, and evaluate just what you want, what you're comfortable with, and how destructive is the force known as them, to your life.


*

Spring Butterfly

  • Spring Butterfly
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 16675
  • Individuation = our key to emotional freedom
    • I Am Enough
it helps me to remember boundaries aren't about telling other people what they can and cannot do but about self-protection and what I personally have control over which is only myself.

My communication boundary is to advise others not to expect an instant answer. On my end their notification is set to silent. When I see it I see it and even then may or may not respond depending on how I need to settle my mind and heart before I do.

Some people set emails to go to a specific folder to check as they wish. It helps to focus only on what you can control.
Every interaction w/ PD persons results in damage. Plan accordingly, make time to heal
Individuation is the key to emotional freedom
It's foolish to expect of others what they have no capacity to give
If others were self observant, introspective, this forum would not exist

*

newjuncture

  • New Member
  • *
  • 15
Thanks for all your valued comments.  I agree with the sentiment that replying to ask directly can also encourage people and fuel their desire to contact you even more.  I have read from some people that it is necessary to sometimes be direct because the slow and silent approach can sometimes be drawn out too far and over a long period of time where they turn   things around and makes themselves into the victim. 
As a few of you mentioned, several people have also found that the once a week pattern of staying in touch can be helpful.  My concern is that this sets up the expectation that they will still have consistent contact which, and it can bring on pressure if you end up breaking that consistency.
I am leaning towards stepping away from contact for a few months, and it seems that it might need to be done after my boundaries have been stepped on. I am only not sure how to go about that but in a very simple way to say I need some space -- period.

*

Spring Butterfly

  • Spring Butterfly
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 16675
  • Individuation = our key to emotional freedom
    • I Am Enough
Quote
My concern is that this sets up the expectation that they will still have consistent contact
it helps to mix it up, be inconsistent, not the same day or time, sometimes 6 days, sometimes 8 days. It took some time for me to work it down, I had to dial it back slowly and even then it created chaos and drama. Choose to ignore the drama via Medium Chill and the Toolbox has some suggested phrases.

It felt weird, not like me at all, but it helped me disconnect and go from daily in person contact in addition to emails, texts and phone calls (because being together for several hours a day wasn't enough) and not it's whenever. They're angry, resentful, full of harsh tone so I keep it to text and email maybe once a month or sometimes longer.
Every interaction w/ PD persons results in damage. Plan accordingly, make time to heal
Individuation is the key to emotional freedom
It's foolish to expect of others what they have no capacity to give
If others were self observant, introspective, this forum would not exist