Grey Rock Fail! 😱

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jenlem

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Grey Rock Fail! 😱
« on: September 11, 2020, 09:02:42 PM »
I'm low contact and when I do go round, it's for the sake of enabler Mum rather than narc Dad.

Sometimes I forget that I should only visit if I'm feeling strong - if I'm able to put on psychological armour beforehand.

Things have been tough with a rollercoaster of Covid implications and kids going back to school. I've been feeling low.
My armour was non-existent this week, but I went round.

Got told I "should smile...shouldn't be so miserable...should snap out of it".
It pressed my buttons and I ended up shouting and leaving. 😕

No communication since. (Presumably, it's my fault as I "shouldn't be so sensitive" and "should just let it go over your head".)

Grey Rock is very hard when you are feeling low, weak and vulnerable.

When I think about the way other people seem to draw strength and support from family in difficult times, it makes me feel so sad that my family actually make me feel worse. 💔

Anyone else had a grey rock fail?


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Bloomie

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Re: Grey Rock Fail! 😱
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2020, 11:55:16 AM »
Hi there and oh yes, I sure have had gray rock fails!

Knowing we need to be in a position of strength and not vulnerability going in is so insightful! Even when ready and equiped emotionally, even when I am able to respond with gray rock, the lack of familial support and the targeting with someone telling me how to feel, how to be, how I fall short because I am human takes a considerable toll. I so get it!

How are you doing today?

"You can understand and have compassion for someone and still not want a relationship with them."
Amanda E. White, LPC @therapyforwomen

Bloomie 🌸

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Blueberry Pancakes

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Re: Grey Rock Fail! 😱
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2020, 01:22:21 PM »
It happens, and it is alright. Please do not be hard on yourself for the outcome of this latest interaction.
 
I think grey rock is very exhausting because it takes constant diligence. You can no longer just enjoy the moment or let things unfold naturally as you can with others or as you once did with these people. With NPD family, you are always processing what is going on through your emotional filter, and then making deliberate decisions to adjust your reactions. Also grey rock does not stop the behaviors of others, so even if you do it by the book you can still feel the impact of nasty words and behaviors. At least know that none of this is your fault.

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nanotech

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Re: Grey Rock Fail! 😱
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2020, 03:57:40 PM »
Iím a bit of a smug bug   :smug: and reckon Iím good at grey rock. But I never had to do it face to face with both parents!
Iím not sure I could have coped.
So, well done! And never mind!
Iím thinking donít go round next time. They are really good at drawing us in. Then they push our  buttons.

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Adrianna

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Re: Grey Rock Fail! 😱
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2020, 04:00:17 PM »
Gray rocks is hard and I know Iíve had issues keeping it up. Iíd go see her and think Iím gonna do this and within 20 minutes Iíd be a mess - angry, sad, hurt, etc.

It goes against the give and take in normal conversations and how we should relate to people. Itís not easy.
If you do it long enough youíll feel the freedom of dropping the rope and just barely talking to the person because almost all interactions with them are exhausting and crazy making.
Practice an attitude of gratitude.

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moglow

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Re: Grey Rock Fail! 😱
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2020, 11:08:01 PM »
Hey Jenlem! When you can, take a moment and try to reframe this situation - you didn't fail. It was a teaching moment and you learned/reinforced an earlier lesson. Maybe you learned something new about yourself that you needed. We need that reinforcement from time to time, believe me I know! I've replayed some lessons WAAAAAAY too many times, always with the same result then one day it clicked into place.

I plan ahead for interaction with mommie dearest most times now. I rarely contact her at all, but I don't call or respond when I'm tired, depressed, upset, feeling downhearted, etc. If it's not a good day for me, it's not happening. I know better, learned the hard way. That woman can hone in on vulnerability quicker than anyone I know - and she pushes those buttons because she installed them. She knows exactly what/where they are and how hard to push them.

Find your boundaries and enforce them - I don't mean crumbling then kicking yourself later. I mean take a deep breath, stand up and say it's time to go. I'll see you another time. Then LEAVE. Don't sit there to be battered. You don't deserve it and you'll only beat yourself up more later. I think you'll feel better to just tamp it down and try to let it roll off as you walk away.
ďNothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.Ē  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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tiger

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Re: Grey Rock Fail! 😱
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2020, 03:27:26 AM »
Hey Jenlem!

This has happened to me so many times too!

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When I think about the way other people seem to draw strength and support from family in difficult times, it makes me feel so sad that my family actually make me feel worse. 💔

I totally relate to this too.  and in tough times, i find it hard not to get preoccupied with this. I find gray rock requires so much vigilence that I have to keep rehearsing in my head all the reasons not to get sucked in and actually start relating to them like normal people. Talking to them like they're normal people sets me up for another emotional kicking.

Anyone got any tips for keeping the emotional gray rock without wasting energy on thinking about them and their crapness (if that makes sense)? 

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jenlem

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Re: Grey Rock Fail! 😱
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2020, 09:01:12 AM »

How are you doing today?
[/quote]

Oh you are so lovely! I'm OK thank you. Onwards and upwards!

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jenlem

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Re: Grey Rock Fail! 😱
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2020, 09:10:35 AM »
Thank you for all the replies - it helped me so much to know that someone out there understands. You are all amazing!

A couple of people used the word 'exhausting' and I think you are absolutely right. When I don't have contact for a while I kind of forget how exhausting it is. I feel so tense and 'not myself' the whole time I am with my parents. :stars:

Sounds like there may be a funeral in the family imminently. A sibling of the PD parent, I barely know him. He has asked my parents to go and sort out his flat for him as he's in a hospice so clearly hasn't got long. How sad that he's all alone and my parents are all he's got.
Totally messed-up family!!! It's a miracle that I have a happy marriage and kids.

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Lisa

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Re: Grey Rock Fail! 😱
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2020, 01:47:36 PM »
Absolutely!  You are not alone in this struggle.  I still find grey rock very difficult and resonate with a lot of people's responses.  I still often think I might get a typical response and I still think I can talk to them like I do other people.
I am currently struggling with a response to my parent who is trying to start an argument and wants to have a big chat that's been ignored for too long??? I'm so not interested in whatever that chat entails and struggling to know how to respond to even the request for it. 
The responses here are right, even small interactions are exhausting!