Opportunity to rebuild trust - but I'm so distrustful

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DistanceNotDefense

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Opportunity to rebuild trust - but I'm so distrustful
« on: June 26, 2020, 11:27:52 PM »
Hi all - I'm new here and originally had another screen name and posted a few times a while ago, but can't seem to log back in for what it's worth and don't get password reset emails for some reason. Anyways....

I'm in a pickle and emotionally confused about what to do. Last year I confronted and opened up about FOO EA/PA/SA/Neglect only to experience uniform rejection/dismissal/minimization, denial of my memories and diagnosis (CPTSD) from FOO.

I was especially shocked to experience this from my sis (non-PD but enabling/fawning at times) who I was extemely close with. She distanced herself from me, which I supported because the news overwhelmed her, and she needed new boundaries. I'm sure she needed to process.

But unfortunately behind the scenes, I got strong hints later that she was participating in denial/minimization and even possible character assassination of myself behind my back with another sibling, who I suspect highly of uNPD. In an awful conversation with the uNPD sibling months ago too (last one before I went NC), I got a sense that some of the uNPD sibling abuse I vented about to non-PD sibling got to uNPD sibling, because she "weaponized" things against me that she implied they talked about. She said things about herself especially that I haven't said to her face to put me on the spot and make me feel bad, so I put two and two together that she spilled the beans to her.

I went LC for months in response not only to honor her boundaries but also to protect myself. But she's tried to be in touch, sort of off and on sparingly, which has been hard and has felt sort of manipulative/hooverish, but I can't tell, and she has seemed to express missing me and wanting to have a friendship again from time to time, which has felt like toying with my emotions, because then she'll pull back again.

I have kept all my suspicions and evidence to myself all this while. But a couple days ago she texts me and addresses feeling distance from me (hard to hear when she established distance first) and I decided I would be honest, even at the risk of breaking her boundaries, considering that she couldn't seem to keep LC with me despite herself.

She expressed shock and even apologized that I had been holding onto this for so long, that she had no idea. I didn't expect this remorse, though I'm concerned it's people-pleasing behavior. The character assassination stuff especially shocked her and she said she felt used by other sibling, and that she couldn't think of anything she could have said that would have been weaponized like that. However, it all doesn't add up to me that she would be completely in the dark, perhaps she was just venting and didn't realize what she said would be used against me. My trust with her is injured regardless, that's for sure.

I'm torn but ultimately feel so distrustful. I've worked so hard to protect myself from the pain of widespread FOO rejection and losing the closest person to me. We've given each other space again after the confrontation and I want to feel like I can believe her after she does get in touch again and processes things, but a part of me just wants to close the door on this opportunity, I'm so sick of the lies and unaccountability and the warping of facts or experience behind my back to hurt and invalidate me. Maybe my uNPD sibling did use her and warp all her words around to hurt me, but things just don't add up, either, or maybe I'm too hypervigilant. I'm glad I took the chance to finally put my story out there but it feels easier and safer to just not trust after all that's happened, because I've felt better and happier for it.

For anyone who read all of this, thank you. Any insight is appreciated. Sorry the message is so long. If you were in my shoes, what would you do? Thanks in advance.

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Maxtrem

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Re: Opportunity to rebuild trust - but I'm so distrustful
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2020, 12:58:59 PM »
Maybe my uNPD sibling did use her and warp all her words around to hurt me, but things just don't add up, either, or maybe I'm too hypervigilant. I

PDs have been known to lie, distort reality and manipulate... Personally I try to limit what my uBPDm tells me about other family members; there is some truth and lies, but it's impossible to know for sure. 

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PeanutButter

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Re: Opportunity to rebuild trust - but I'm so distrustful
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2020, 05:58:19 PM »
I have NC from all of my siblings. Even though I only believe that one is pd. The intergenerational abuse that is my foo's disfunction means the family as a unit is ill. I cannot connect with any of them now that I am healing. Without ackowledgement of the abuse/disfunction there is no trust/safety for me.
If there is a hidden seed of evil inside of children adults planted it there -LundyBancroft  Self-awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong good or bad -DebbieFord The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none -Thomas Carlyle

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DistanceNotDefense

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Re: Opportunity to rebuild trust - but I'm so distrustful
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2020, 08:39:41 PM »
Thank you, Maxtrem and Peanut Butter - it's helpful to have some context for how others go about relating to their siblings.

Going completely LC/NC sounds the easiest and safest, but doing that (with this non-PD sibling especially) seems rushed when there's opportunity to see how she might respond, change, or maybe do things differently with facts before her (though as I type this out, I think of myself as being naive about this...what am I holding on to? The FOG is probably thicker for her than for me.) At the very least, LC feels good with her, NC not quite yet though. I guess I'm just giving her one last chance in a way.

It's also very hard for me to see clear since me and this non-PD sibling have always been very close and it always felt like we cared for each other. Part of me just wants to give her a chance, even though it just all feels easier to shut the door on even the smallest possible smidgeon of drama for good. I guess I have some small hope that she'll be scandalized enough by what I told her to face our FOO's dysfunction/abuse squarely, but a deeper part of me knows she probably isn't even as scandalized as she made it seem, and the people pleasing of other family members will continue. (Part of me is motivated by wanting to protect her from other FOO, though.)

I just can't tell if her shock about the PD sibling is genuine and where it will go...or if she actually did participate in the character assassination just as much and she's just trying to deflect consequences with people-pleasing/apologizing. She says she needs  time to process which would be important for anyone in this situation, but my expectations are so low and the cynical part of me feels like I'm just wasting my time, that there's not even a point in giving her a chance. I half expect she'll more likely just drain the clock and never really "process" it, just use it as an excuse to not really confront what happened with me and the truth of this other PD sibling, and that months will go by and nothing will change.

The hardest part is sensing she wants a relationship with me still, even at a distance. Even though she might have worked with PD sibling to sabotage my life and relationships behind my back. Now she fully knows about it (and would have to reflect on her own behavior) if it were true now that I've called it out. And the fact that she would have no conscience if this was the case would be so painful, and it would also mean that our closeness all these years was always and illusion.

Even months ago when the distance all started, she would text me that she misses and loves me. This feels manipulative and like a huge red flag for me. She doesn't want to confront me (yet) with why she wants distance, she would rather spill it to a sibling, and then have them tell me about the problem in a much more horrific, toxic way - but STILL want to text loving things like nothing never happened? I STILL don't even exactly know why she wants distance from me, not from her directly, and something about all this just feels so wrong in my gut. I want to be wrong, but I feel that I'm right in that there's no use trusting her again right now.

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Bloomie

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Re: Opportunity to rebuild trust - but I'm so distrustful
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2020, 11:40:58 AM »
DistanceNotDefense - maybe take it slow with your sister and let time reveal her true intentions? You can be cautious and watch and wait in a situation like this I am thinking and see if your sister is able to get real and look at this honestly with you.

In my own sibling group, I don't consider any one of them completely trustworthy. We were so pitted against one another and were not raised to be loyal to each other. It was everyone for themselves with each placating and trying to survive. I am NC with one high conflict, violent, addicted sibling, and very carefully in contact with my other siblings. But, I have learned the very painful way not to count on them for absolutely anything and I do not share anything with them that is difficult and vulnerable.

What I guess I am trying to say, is the hope I had was that we could heal from our FOO experiences together. :no: I know there are sibs that do that, but there is not enough trust between us, and there are so many secret alliances and stuff said behind the scenes, that they are not the place where I can find good support and common ground for healing from the abuse in our home growing up.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2020, 11:31:46 AM by Bloomie »
"You can understand and have compassion for someone and still not want a relationship with them."
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Bloomie 🌸

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DistanceNotDefense

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Re: Opportunity to rebuild trust - but I'm so distrustful
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2020, 04:47:07 PM »
Thanks whole hearted.... although I think you posted in the wrong thread by accident....

And thank you Bloomie 🙂 I think what you say aligns very much with how I feel. Being patient with it would be best, though it feels like a crazy balancing act!

I'm impatient and really wish I could just close the door on this chapter of my life, and any possible further abuse from FOO, but I sense this non-PD sibling needs a chance, and to maybe even have a supportive FOO on her side when the time comes. But it's very hard cutting off feelings of obligation and guilt, but only up to a certain point so as to keep the door open for her....it's like walking a fine line ... it's so much easier to either go all the way and shut the door, or just fall back into the old toxic FOO generational trauma/patterns/habits.

 I'm grateful for this forum tho and getting a sense of what members feel is the best line in the sand so to speak. It's very foggy with this one.

I think that's the hardest part Bloomie - realizing that non-PD sibling possibly isn't straight up trustful at all, and things won't ever be the same, and even if she tries to present herself as trustful and wants to be given another chance. Even if she wanted to be trustworthy, she's dealing with pressure from PD family members to be untrustworthy and that's the thing I can't trust, that she can establish boundaries and stick up for herself. She's an enabler/people pleaser, it's my other siblings and mother that are truly abusive. I think you're right on the money that trust just can't happen, but what's tough is when the said sibling wants closeness AND trust to have a bond with me - that seems to be what she craves again like from how things were before, and it just feels so rough and I can't do that, and that's another thing I'll have to confront her over! Ugh.

What's even worse and toys with my feelings is that what she perceives as me putting up "distance" is me actually holding back vulnerable and emotional things going on with me, for fear of her being irresponsible with the info with FOO, and to ALSO respect her boundaries. We've always been so close. But it's starting to feel like an "always too much or never enough" situation, which is kind of subtly emotionally abusive to me, I fear. I'm too much emotionally for her so I pull back from over sharing, but when I do that I'm being too distant? It's like I can't do anything right with my emotions in this situation (my childhood in a nutshell)! And my worst fear is that this is actually just giving her a low supply of things to talk about behind my back to other FOO, and that's what this is really about and why she has me in a "triple bind" almost.

That sure doesn't sound fun at all, Bloomie, with your siblings. I think that's what I hope deep down, too, is that we could all heal together. But I must keep the door open to that possibility without hedging my bets on it, since it's so early on in my healing process with FOO. Just three years ago I though my FOO were the closet and most trustworthy people in the world and in my life, only to have it be an exploding illusion of enmeshment, boundary breaking, lies, etc ...

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DistanceNotDefense

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Re: Opportunity to rebuild trust - but I'm so distrustful
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2020, 07:59:56 PM »
Well here's an update to my situation... A close friend of my uNPD sibling got in touch out of the blue telling me that this sibling has completely cut her off in an emotionally abusive way, just recently, much in the same way she did to me years ago. She's feeling hurt and shocked, and deceived, just like I am/was, and she's having her own Light Bulb Moment about her, as those two were very close and almost like family themselves, and the same abusive patterns apparently unfolded between them, too (with friend completely being the victim). She feels huge relief talking to me and has felt like she was going crazy with my sibling. I'm also shocked because if this friend is being cut off and abused, this is some heavy proof of how malignant her PD might really be. I can't believe it, and this is the worst move thus far.

But what's worse is she also divulged details of what uNPD sibling said about me during the time leading up to this falling out. She told me what she has said about me to FOO, pretty much confirming my suspicions about character assassination behind my back. And the details are gruesome. UNPD has been desperately trying to isolate me from other family members, influence them, enlist them as flying monkeys against me, convincing them that I am an abuser and even saying that I myself am a narcissist and just like my dad (he was primary abuser in FOO for of all of us so this is extremely hurtful) and going so far as to say that I was abusing my non-PD sibling for years, the one who is the subject of this topic, and just because I had a close relationship with her.

And there's far more that she said that is absolutely awful to know that she actually said about me, and actions she took to hurt me and ruin my relationships, and it's so hurtful, but it would take up so much space here, it's almost neverending. She thinks I am a liar, an abuser, nasty, mean, a bully, and that I fabricated and lied about everything I went through as a kid. All because I confronted her on a few things that were hurtful to me, she wants to destroy everything.

It's also clear she's gotten into my non-PD sibling's head about this, too, also my M too quite possibly. It's very likely she's successfully convinced her I am an abuser and a liar. Where I was already cautious now I am so mistrustful and can't help but think, according to non-PDs actions towards me and wanting distance, that she mostly believes what uPD sibling has fabricated and she can't be trusted at all now, she sees me in a terrible and false light now. I'm devastated that non-PD would actually believe what PD sibling says and take action on it. The dysfunction is so deep.

I can't honestly believe or accept any effort for the two of us to stay connected in any way right now. It just hurts too much that she would side with the more hateful side of things, and so easily turn against the person she's been the closest with throughout her life. Maybe I wasn't perfect as a sibling I'm sure, but I never thought it would come to this, I've always loved and supported all of them.

What do I do. I almost want to block everyone's numbers and never speak to them again, I'm so hurt. My m is trying to visit me in a couple weeks but I can't bear to be around her knowing that she knows what's being said to me behind my back and she just lets it happen, maybe even believes some of it. This ex-friend of uNPD sis said she even tried to reach out to my other two FOO members after being viciously cut off and villainized, because she was desperate for more insight into the problem (and clearly in the FOG), and even brought me up.amd what happenesd. My FOO just said that they didn't want to get involved. UNPD sibling is "just going through things."

Anyone out there, help! I want complete NC in this moment but I'm scared of my FOO and the worse things that will happen when I do. I'm tired of guessing whether or not they care about me - I guess if I have to guess then they don't

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Kat1984

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Re: Opportunity to rebuild trust - but I'm so distrustful
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2020, 12:50:27 PM »
Oh Distance, I'm so sorry you are going through this.   Others will have advice, I only can share that you are not alone.

Your story sounds so much like mine in terms of a sister who is PD or PD-ish.  I'm lucky though that the rest of my family is not PD.   Since we were kids I suspected that my sister talked smack about me and my mom about our backs.  To her friends.   In fact, one of her friends once said to me in confidence "You seem so nice.  I never would have guessed you would seem nice after what your sister has said about you and your mom".   Busted!

We got closer as we aged, and bonded over our mom's enmeshment....meaning we had lots of conversations about how Mom could be too enmeshed with us, mom was always too involved in our lives and worried that we would somehow "screw up".   So we bonded.   But sister was never well, and had rages and meltdowns that we all dutifully ignored because it was clear that that was the only way to keep the peace.   She majorly blew up at me 2 years ago and used her words to deeply wound me, using things she knew about me as weapons.  She won't apologize or acknowledge that yelling, name-calling  and rolling her eyes at me are condescending and not "adult" ways to communicate.  So we are VLC now.

I'm lucky that my parents have seen enough of her shenanigans to "get it".    But it's very painful that nobody else understands.  In fact, the extended family think she is so cool and creative and wonderful.   And of course I can't tell them what she has done to me.  They wouldn't be able to believe it.   So I don't.
I miss our close relationship.   I feel like I'm in a nightmare.   I can't believe this is happening.

I still hope things can be better someday, but I know deep down I have never truly trusted her, and never will.    I have not been a perfect sister either.  But who is?
Nobody is perfect.

I'm so sorry and you are not alone.   I still don't know what the future holds for me, but I do know that these folks are not easily, if ever, changed.
I hope you can take some comfort knowing you are not crazy.   Her ex-friend can confirm that.   And that is a bit of a gift in a way.   You will get through this.  You deserve peace.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 12:54:11 PM by Kat1984 »

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PeanutButter

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Re: Opportunity to rebuild trust - but I'm so distrustful
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2020, 03:49:19 PM »
 Hi again. I will share a little more this time. Your situation with FOO/SIBS resonates with some of my experiences.

 I come from a disfunctional FOO. I have a sibling that I believe is disordered and 2 siblings that I dont think are. I believe my M is ubpd. I believe my D is enabling/codependent.

 The thing is personality disordered behavior is on a spectrum. So someone who may not have a personality disorder can still be exhibiting disfunctional unhealthy behaviors.

IME that is what is important. Not whether a person checks off enough criteria to meet the pd diagnosis, but do they have hurtful/harmful behaviors towards us or others and are they accountable or do they claim as long as their intentions were not bad they get a pass.

 IME within a personality-disordered person's family you will find ALL the family behaving in disfunctional ways; whether it be unhealthy coping mechanisms, uncouncious defenses, or even emotional abuse tactics such as emotional blackmail and thought policing.

I was able to make sense of this once I started learning about Murray Bowen's Family Systems Theory.

 One thought is that if a family member steps out of their 'role' in the 'system' in some way (getting therapy, setting boundaries, low contact etc.) that it will destabilize the whole 'system'.

 For example a scapegoat goes No Contact a new scapegoat can be chosen to fill that role. Persons can also be put in multiple roles and be switched roles as needed. A sibling who was previously scapegoated might get out of that role by joining in with the others to scapegoat another sibling who has made moves to disconnect from the system by getting healthier.

I highly reccommend learning the family systems theory.
Here is a sample that transformed how I understood my FOO and all of the relationships within it.

https://youtu.be/uNWOfXPRNEs

Jerry Wise explains how you ACON can take back your power and achieve freedom from their narccississtic family member.
If there is a hidden seed of evil inside of children adults planted it there -LundyBancroft  Self-awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong good or bad -DebbieFord The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none -Thomas Carlyle

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DistanceNotDefense

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Re: Opportunity to rebuild trust - but I'm so distrustful
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2020, 10:56:38 AM »
Thanks for sharing your story Kat1984. It sounds very similar to mine.

But it's very painful that nobody else understands.  In fact, the extended family think she is so cool and creative and wonderful.   And of course I can't tell them what she has done to me.  They wouldn't be able to believe it.   So I don't.
I miss our close relationship.   I feel like I'm in a nightmare.   I can't believe this is happening.

After all this I am completely bereft of family. When people/family/friends talk about my uNPD siblings "charm" (when they're first under her spell) they talk about how "cool and creative" she is, too. If I were to go around trying to warn people of what she could do, they'd think I was attacking her. So it's something I can't really do...even with my non-PD sis but it would backfire...but I wish I could.

My non-PD sis was my strongest family. It's hard to describe the indecisive place I am in, but it sounds very similar to yours Kat. I miss what we had terribly and I also want to be a good and even the bigger person as much as possible, to potentially protect her when she does eventually get hurt and abused by PD sis, so I keep the door open to hope.

But so far, the only things that come through only hurt me more. Only more signs and proof that FOO side with her and that she's in their heads. I don't know how much longer until I need to completely shut the door - I long for there to be a chance and I don't want to cut off a chance of redemption, but it feels so much safer and less painful to close that door and never be hurt again.

It does feel like a nightmare and sometimes I still can't be believe it's happening. I never, ever dreamed it could.

Thanks for the resources, Peanut Butter, I looked into them and they are helpful. I think you make a good point that it shouldn't come down to diagnoses. I wish there was some sure sign I could get that it's time to close the door on my non-PD sibling for good and move on and finally not have any way to be hurt, or if it's really best that I hang on for her sake. A diagnosis would help but I know she is non-PD enabling ....when is it time to draw the line with those types?

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DistanceNotDefense

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Re: Opportunity to rebuild trust - but I'm so distrustful
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2020, 11:15:48 AM »
Also, I'm hugely thankful to this forum. I'm so comforted by people sharing their experiences here and weighing in. Makes me feel so much less alone 🙂 so thank you.

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Kat1984

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Re: Opportunity to rebuild trust - but I'm so distrustful
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2020, 03:36:18 PM »
Distance, I hear that you are in so much pain.   The lack of clarity is so difficult and adds to the pain.

My therapist told me that the goal could be to "protect myself, while maintaining an open heart".   And I agree with that for me.
Also I have added "and maintaining open arms".    I have made it clear to my parents that although I have set boundaries now, my heart and arms are wide open.  I want them to know that in case they have a chance to convey that to my sister (since anything I say to my sister would be immediately discounted by her as "manipulative" or something like that).    I have made it clear that all sister needs to do is to acknowledge what she did is not acceptable, and to promise to do things differently.  Then the healing can BEGIN.  And when I say begin, I mean the trust could start to be rebuilt.   Very slowly.  Very very slowly.  And with eyes wide open.  Probably would take years at best.  But I'm willing, if and only if I see true signs of change on a consistent basis.

Also my therapist said "you are very low contact with your sister FOR NOW.   It doesn't mean it will last forever.  Things can change".    She encouraged me to be open to that idea, but not attached to it.

Difficult, but it does make me feel better to think of it that way.    I think you and I have sort of a unique situation in that we have sisters that are not all bad.  I know my sister does not completely lack empathy because she has shown me empathy many times in her life.  She is PD-ish.   She has some wiring problems.  Unfortunately she cannot see these wiring problems.  And it's those problems themselves that keep her from awareness.  Ugh.

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DistanceNotDefense

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Re: Opportunity to rebuild trust - but I'm so distrustful
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2020, 09:28:37 PM »
Thank you again for your kind and helpful words, Kat. Striking that balance can be so difficult! I admire you for being able to do that. Lately all the newest discoveries are so painful that my open heart just feels hurt. Hardly anything good comes through. And I want to close it so badly sometimes and have peace. The shock is still strong now but hopefully my outlook and sense of balance may improve.... It's just hard knowing that somewhere out there, right now, my former best friend/sister has been convinced by a uPD sibling that I am abusive towards her. She's really gotten into her head and everything feels crazy. I can't believe this is happening.

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GettingOOTF

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Re: Opportunity to rebuild trust - but I'm so distrustful
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2020, 09:41:10 PM »
I have NC from all of my siblings. Even though I only believe that one is pd. The intergenerational abuse that is my foo's disfunction means the family as a unit is ill. I cannot connect with any of them now that I am healing. Without ackowledgement of the abuse/disfunction there is no trust/safety for me.

This is my situation. I donít believe either of my siblings is PD but the abuse and dysfunction is intergenerational too. I sadly see it with my nieces too. I donít believe itís possible for me to have any relationship with my siblings while my father is alive and by the time he isnít the damage may be too great.

I look at how hard Iíve worked. The years in therapy and all the other work Iíve done. I donít see my FOO doing this work. For me I think itís a case of ďI canít unsee itĒ. I donít think there is a way back to trust and if Iím honest with myself the trust was never there, I simply didnít know any different.

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PeanutButter

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Re: Opportunity to rebuild trust - but I'm so distrustful
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2020, 03:57:00 PM »
I have NC from all of my siblings. Even though I only believe that one is pd. The intergenerational abuse that is my foo's disfunction means the family as a unit is ill. I cannot connect with any of them now that I am healing. Without ackowledgement of the abuse/disfunction there is no trust/safety for me.

This is my situation. I donít believe either of my siblings is PD but the abuse and dysfunction is intergenerational too. I sadly see it with my nieces too. I donít believe itís possible for me to have any relationship with my siblings while my father is alive and by the time he isnít the damage may be too great.

I look at how hard Iíve worked. The years in therapy and all the other work Iíve done. I donít see my FOO doing this work. For me I think itís a case of ďI canít unsee itĒ. I donít think there is a way back to trust and if Iím honest with myself the trust was never there, I simply didnít know any different.
:yeahthat:
I am not the same person. I accepted the relationships without trust. I just realized this. Now I will not be in a relationship with someone I dont trust. I will not accept betrayals in my relationships with ANYONE no matter who it is.
 "I can't unsee it" So true! That really resonates with me as the reason why I cant go back for a do over with any of them.
If there is a hidden seed of evil inside of children adults planted it there -LundyBancroft  Self-awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong good or bad -DebbieFord The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none -Thomas Carlyle