The time came to go no-contact

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realitybaths

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The time came to go no-contact
« on: June 29, 2020, 03:41:50 PM »
This story may sound familiar to people.  I have a BPD sibling who's behavior has become more erratic and cruel as time has gone by.  Long story short, I sent out a scientific article to my parents and sisters related to Covid-19 which apparently she found "scary."  She then forwarded it to her husband, who launched a tirade on an email thread that he wasn't even on, signing off "Happy Father's Day to Some" (my Dad and brother were on the email).  This is not the first time she has had him launch an email assault--last summer he bombed my work email so badly that I had to leave a technology class I was teaching. This was because of a delusional (or was it evil) imagining that she had that my daughter was in the process of having a sexual tryst with one of her male cousins. 

Years of pent up frustration and anger just came pouring out in my response to her husband's email. Unfortunately, my other sister was on the thread; she is a key enabler now and I also let her know that I could not see them anymore without going through some kind of mediation. After the accusations against my daughter last year, which were fueled by paranoia and envy, I should have cut her off.  My emails were harsh, to the point, and established in no uncertain terms that her husband crash and email like this again. I blocked them on text and email.

I will now only see my parents individually or with my family if my sisters are not present. That is, until we work with some kind of mediator. I fear, however, that this will not happen and my sister and her husband are again reveling in the chaos and disruption they have caused, and the fact that they again have hurt my parents.. It is their specialty and modus operandi.

I wonder if anyone had any advice on moving forward. 

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Starboard Song

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Re: The time came to go no-contact
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2020, 04:54:54 PM »
Yeah.

We are 5 years NC with my in-laws (undiag BPD MIL) after a similar story. For years, whenever she was unhappy, MIL would slam a door in a face and start up a Silent Treat. We never fought for contact in those cases, but eventually FIL would wade in with an email or letter, trying to be the adult in the room. What we never saw was the amount of bullying and emotional blackmail in those letters. We should have begun training them to better angels years ago. Anyway, a crisis came to a boil and blew the works, so we are likely NC forever.

I have thoughts.

Most people do not understand this stuff. There will be family that don't understand. That doesn't make them bad, or flying monkeys. You don't need to argue with them, or let them sow doubt. Practice thanking them for their concern and assuring them you take these matters very seriously. We've almost completely avoided collateral damage, in spite of a smear campaign.

Going forward, remember that your future boundaries are yours to select and to live by. We went NC with only the slightest information about borderline PD, and my first post on this forum wasn't for another four months after going NC. Like me, you are learning a lot about self-respect, boundaries, PD traits, and tactics for managing them. If you find that their mere presence is manageable for you in the future, that is your decision to make, and is not caving in. You'd be more open to more family events (the ones you don't want to miss!), and they'll be exerting less control over you.

I guess my point is, (1) I myself am NC, and I'd never blame you if that is where you end up. But (2) NC is categorically different and harder than even the least tiny bit of VVVVVLC.

Be resolute with absolute confidence. No matter what happens, never JADE, never argue at all. You are so above this bullshit. Whatever level of future contact works for you, you need never again allow them to email, text, or message you in any format. Accepting their presence at a gathering depends on their ability to behave, of course, and maybe you'll just never be able to get them to the table.

You needn't persuade your sister of anything. You need only inform her. Boundaries are not controlling others. They are an expression of our morality. They represent what we will and will not do, or engage with. They ensure a space in which we can thrive. We do this not only for us, but for those in our community who need us to thrive.

Be good. Be strong.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2020, 04:57:08 PM by Starboard Song »
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

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realitybaths

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Re: The time came to go no-contact
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2020, 05:16:47 PM »
Thanks for this. I really appreciate this feedback. We have never been able to move on from the accusations against my daughter, which had also included my parents last summer. This is coupled with monthly and weekly backstabbing that involved myself and our daughters and my other brother.

My only regret is that I did not respond to his emails, nor to my other sister with grace or dignity.  Especially considering the chaos that was orchestrated by text and email last year in the false accusations against my daughter, the very fact that this man got on to an email thread for which he was never intended and was incredibly rude and disrespectful was triggering for me.  My emails were viciously to the point and scathing.  It as a firm putting down of the foot and saying "enough."  They were not well-spoken, but I still feel contained all stuff that needed to be said . . .

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Starboard Song

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Re: The time came to go no-contact
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2020, 06:56:43 PM »
My only regret is that I did not respond to his emails, nor to my other sister with grace or dignity.

Cut yourself some slack. I let myself get away too. As astoundingly mild-mannered as I am, I just couldn't believe the rhetoric I was hearing. I tried logic and carefully recitation of facts, but my FIL was off in another world where only one thing matters: saying whatever it takes to make that woman stop screeching.

We couldn't do it this time. We really couldn't. The end-of-life decisions of another person were at stake. So we stayed quiet until their anger was a singularity, and could no longer be stopped.

Nobody gets training for dealing with this type of abuse mixed with irrationality. Either one separately, we can handle.

I bet you really did do fine, though I admire you for holding yourself to a very high standard. Don't let this experience cause you to lower those standards in the rest of your life. We feel we've gotten a PhD in dysfunction. We both think we learned a lot, have improved ourselves a lot, through this ordeal.
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward