Getting triggered by Nons who don't realise they are Enablers

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Sapling

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Getting triggered by Nons who don't realise they are Enablers
« on: January 31, 2021, 01:51:01 PM »
I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this so please feel free to move it...

I had so much PD drama last year that forced me to confront a lot of deep emotional pain in a short amount of time; I cut a lot of ties, went back into therapy, found this forum, spent a lot of time on my own (reading about things like narcissistic abuse), and I ended the year exhausted (although grateful to have finally found my feet firmly planted in reality). But now that I am trying to get on with my life, I find myself getting very triggered by Nons who enable or don't see the seriousness of PD behavior.

This happens to me when I hear people defending narcissistic celebrities, politicians, and other public figures. Or it happens at a personal level when someone defends an obviously manipulative person or gives the benefit of the doubt to someone I see as an abuser. Whereas before I might have been irritated by their words, now I start spiraling and I find it very hard to handle. I don't know why but I feel panicked by their lack of insight.

I don't know what to do. Last night I couldn't sleep because my new (and somewhat naive) flatmate was defending someone who I think of as a manipulator. I don't think they were gas-lighting me or anything. I think they truly believe that "everyone has some good in them"  and this person "thinks they are helping people"... and so on and so forth. But i found it very triggering. I'm wondering if I should say something to them about how these conversations affect me. But then I feel like I have somehow been weakened by my exposure to so much PD behavior that I cannot even tolerate other people not seeing it.

Am I going crazy?  :stars:

I'm also disappointed by this new flatmate's views even though they are a very nice person. I feel deeply saddened that good people prop up and enable abusive and exploitative behaviors in other people, even if they do not engage in those behaviors themselves.

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Hepatica

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Re: Getting triggered by Nons who don't realise they are Enablers
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2021, 03:03:17 PM »
I totally get it. Totally. I just posted below about people who love bullies. My post is slightly different but what you've described explains so much of how I feel. The enablers drive me bonkers.

I've had to back away from a lot of people because they excuse or overlook abusive people. I have been very confused about this lately and don't know how to deal with it. Perhaps I am just in a very sensitive place in my healing process and I'll build a thicker skin and come to terms with other people's choices better in the future. But right now I am not able to do that.

The past four years have left me speechless too many times. When I see an abuser it is so obvious to me and it's because I have read so much about malignant narcissism and psychopathy and personality disorders in general. Many people have not read these things and I have to forgive that I think, but I find myself at times wanting to give them information. I don't though. I just slowly back away and feel sad.

I have absolutley no advice for you. I just really understand.
“There is a place in you where you have never been wounded, where there's
still a sureness in you, where there's a seamlessness in you, and where
there is a confidence and tranquility." John O'Donohue

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DistanceNotDefense

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Re: Getting triggered by Nons who don't realise they are Enablers
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2021, 03:30:29 PM »
I don't think you're going crazy Sapling. And I totally relate to how you feel.

I think it's really hard to warn people about a type of abuse that's extremely difficult to put into words. I mean, even people who leave cults that are rife with Narc (and more) abuse are still made fun of and blamed for what they went through, despite their being tons of literature, experts, and studies proving how legitimate brainwashing is, and we have gone through similar.

It's clearly such a nuanced experience that people just don't understand. (Or they don't want to). It's like we took the red pill in the Matrix, but others have taken the blue (or haven't taken either yet at all and are frankly just indecisive)

I still get extremely worked up when people close to me just don't see the patterns, tendencies, and tactics I notice in others that remind me of PD abuse. Because my FOO is exceptionally covert, I pick up on passive-aggressiveness, codependency, and self-victimizing now almost as if I were allergic to it.

I even have mutual friends with others that I have long stayed away from, and my close friends don't get why, and I don't explain why - especially when I don't seem to easily "give in" to subtle control. These people pick up on and single me out for it sometimes. It's just too hard to explain and they'd probably think I'm crazy. I can still spend time with these types but really not very often. It's so draining.

I have honestly given up on trying too hard to warn people about what I see, though I still can't help but open my mouth sometimes. I regret it more often than I feel like it actually made a difference, but that's just me. Only people who've been through it and are able to "wake up" to what's really happening will get it. I also think I have "rescuer" tendencies too that are all wrapped up in my own codependent upbringing, and have to remind myself that it's not my job to rescue others from their own situations by warning them...maybe that's not my job....it makes me feel better to do it, but frankly, it could be interfering with their own growth and where they're at, while I still have a ton of my own growing to do and to focus on.

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Poison Ivy

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Re: Getting triggered by Nons who don't realise they are Enablers
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2021, 03:46:46 PM »
During my divorce, my then husband was passive about and unresponsive regarding his role in the process, e.g., submitting documents. I was advised to keep records of all my contacts with him that pertained to the divorce, such as emails I sent or voicemail messages I left reminding him that something was due or a meeting had been scheduled or whatever. At some point, I told one of my brothers about this, and my brother told me that I should bend over backwards as far as my husband was concerned. I thought, "Bend over backwards? I'm an f'ing pretzel now!"

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Sapling

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Re: Getting triggered by Nons who don't realise they are Enablers
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2021, 03:51:21 PM »
Perhaps I am just in a very sensitive place in my healing process and I'll build a thicker skin and come to terms with other people's choices better in the future. But right now I am not able to do that.
Thank you Hepatica, this is exactly how I feel. Thank you for drawing my attention to your post about how people love bullies. I agree that it is very disconcerting. I so appreciate your understanding right now because I feel so down about myself for feeling this fragile in the face of other people's ignorance about these tactics and power dynamics.

DistanceNotDefense, thank you for saying this:
I don't think you're going crazy Sapling. And I totally relate to how you feel.

I think it's really hard to warn people about a type of abuse that's extremely difficult to put into words. I mean, even people who leave cults that are rife with Narc (and more) abuse are still made fun of and blamed for what they went through, despite their being tons of literature, experts, and studies proving how legitimate brainwashing is, and we have gone through similar.

I'm feeling really vulnerable at the moment and I too have to remind myself that its not my job to 'explain' things to people or rescue them from their situations. I think for me where it gets confusing is when people defend and enable behavior or are just blind to it, and I see all of the harm that will come from them trying to support that behavior. It makes me feel helpless and impotent.

Also, why are naive people so confident in their views?!?!   :roll: It's infuriating when someone with less life experience than you tried to explain to you how the world is, when they really have no idea what they're talking about

I cannot explain to you how quickly this one conversation sent me into a state of despair. It's really worrying  :sadno:

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Sapling

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Re: Getting triggered by Nons who don't realise they are Enablers
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2021, 03:54:20 PM »
During my divorce, my then husband was passive about and unresponsive regarding his role in the process, e.g., submitting documents. I was advised to keep records of all my contacts with him that pertained to the divorce, such as emails I sent or voicemail messages I left reminding him that something was due or a meeting had been scheduled or whatever. At some point, I told one of my brothers about this, and my brother told me that I should bend over backwards as far as my husband was concerned. I thought, "Bend over backwards? I'm an f'ing pretzel now!"

I hope you mean that your brother was telling you that's what your ex husband thought, not what he (your brother) thought you should do! How awful. I'm sorry you had to go through this  :no:

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Poison Ivy

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Re: Getting triggered by Nons who don't realise they are Enablers
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2021, 04:06:48 PM »
Sapling, my brother thought I should bend over backwards to make things easier for my then husband during the divorce. I felt very triggered by my brother's statement.

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Sapling

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Re: Getting triggered by Nons who don't realise they are Enablers
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2021, 04:12:30 PM »
Poison Ivy, that is awful. Honestly, when I hear things like that I just think wtf is wrong with people?! Good on you for leaving a relationship that wasn't working and going through with the divorce despite being made to jump through hoops to get it. Fwiw I think that takes guts  :applause:

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Sapling

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Re: Getting triggered by Nons who don't realise they are Enablers
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2021, 04:15:48 PM »
I guess my next question is:

Does anyone have any advice on what to do once you have been triggered by a Non in your life? How do you get back to being grounded again and feeling sane and being able to interact with them without blaming them and their ignorance for what you've suffered at the hands of PDs?

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Poison Ivy

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Re: Getting triggered by Nons who don't realise they are Enablers
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2021, 04:23:13 PM »
I think the most difficult part is when I'm wondering whether the nonPD person is right and I'm wrong. "Gee, maybe I'M the one with a personality problem. Maybe I'm being too harsh on my spouse! Brother is right about other things" and so on. At this stage in my life, I've learned things not only about myself and my ex but also about my brother. He's basically a nice person but not very deep psychologically. He has chosen to stay in a marriage with a person who is not very nice to him. His comments come from how he has chosen to proceed in life, and I now realize I don't have to accept that because he's right about some stuff, he's right about everything.

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DistanceNotDefense

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Re: Getting triggered by Nons who don't realise they are Enablers
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2021, 04:32:46 PM »
I cannot explain to you how quickly this one conversation sent me into a state of despair. It's really worrying  :sadno:

Sapling, it's definitely a different thing altogether when that person is your flatmate! I would really struggle with this. I would feel like I would need a lot of space from this person somehow even if I lived with them.

Sapling, my brother thought I should bend over backwards to make things easier for my then husband during the divorce. I felt very triggered by my brother's statement.

Poison Ivy. Omg. This is SO messed up.

I agree with you that I think your brother told you that because he does that with his own marriage. You bringing up a better and more empowered approach makes him uncomfortable.

I guess my next question is:

Does anyone have any advice on what to do once you have been triggered by a Non in your life? How do you get back to being grounded again and feeling sane and being able to interact with them without blaming them and their ignorance for what you've suffered at the hands of PDs?

Heavy, heavy doses of boundaries, space, and alone time separate from them (insert laughing/crying face here) I take a break and put things on pause.

I have a carousel of friends/mutual acquaintances who trigger me this way sometimes, and I tend to just cut down how often I see/interact with them (a couple times a month, every 3 months, etc.) and it starts to feel better with time and space without feeling like I'm literally avoiding them (easy to chalk it up to busyness or whatever, etc.) I may feel too impelled to be antagonistic and stressed otherwise. I try not to cut them off completely which I've done with others in the past. I'm learning so much about boundaries....
« Last Edit: January 31, 2021, 04:36:19 PM by DistanceNotDefense »

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Hepatica

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Re: Getting triggered by Nons who don't realise they are Enablers
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2021, 04:56:37 PM »
Sapling,

Maybe just note to yourself the topics to avoid with someone who throws you into confusion, and work on getting really strong within yourself. Trust your smarts and instincts no matter what an untrust-worthy person says. I find this is a huge part of everything for me, the standing by myself and not losing myself to the narratives of the PD's and the enablers. It's one of the hardest parts because I am prone to move into confusion and self-doubt as if it is a groove that I can fall into with the slightest nudge. This is after years of interacting with a FOO who uses gaslighting as their ultimate control weapon. 

The more I get certain that I believe what I am feeling and thinking, the better for my healing and self-esteem. I have to really work on not falling into those old patterns.
“There is a place in you where you have never been wounded, where there's
still a sureness in you, where there's a seamlessness in you, and where
there is a confidence and tranquility." John O'Donohue

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Poison Ivy

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Re: Getting triggered by Nons who don't realise they are Enablers
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2021, 05:01:47 PM »
 :yeahthat:

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SparkStillLit

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Re: Getting triggered by Nons who don't realise they are Enablers
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2021, 05:39:59 PM »
I hope it's not me.
I'm frankly sick of all these PDs around me trying to force me to do something or other. Ramping up their forceful awful behavior to try to intimidate me into doing what they want, which is giving them information and power over other people and me. I'm tired of being used. I'm pushing back. It's exhausting, because being PDs they never lie down or back off, they go to the next level. They are scary people.
I once read about "hungry ghosts", and I immediately wondered if they exist on this plane, because if they do, it describes updh to a tee.
Insatiable. Even if he gets what he wants, he then wants more and more of it, like a drug. It does no good.

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Janeite V

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Re: Getting triggered by Nons who don't realise they are Enablers
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2021, 12:13:43 AM »
One of the lines that triggers me the most is "judging that person makes you just as bad, if not worse, than they are." These people seem to think they see people in shades of grey and yet have no concept of degree.

In many cases, I think people are mistaking personable behaviour with being a good person. Narcissists and other predators can be extremely personable.

Other times, I think it is just good old fashioned victim blaming and just world fallacy.

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Sapling

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Re: Getting triggered by Nons who don't realise they are Enablers
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2021, 06:58:44 AM »
"Heavy, heavy doses of boundaries, space, and alone time separate from them (insert laughing/crying face here) I take a break and put things on pause."

Thanks DistanceNotDefense. That is exactly what I've done. I do feel a bit bad because they're new in the flat but I just need to also adjust my own expectations about where this person can meet me.

Thanks Poison Ivy for your thoughts. And yes, I am not surprised your brother is in a dysfunctional marriage. It is probably veru confronting for him to see you leave a situation he can't/won't leave. 

Janeite V, SparkStillLit, Hepatica. Thank you for your sound advice. "Trust your smarts and instincts no matter what an untrust-worthy person says. " I know what I need to work on here.

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LemonLime

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Re: Getting triggered by Nons who don't realise they are Enablers
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2021, 02:27:15 PM »
Of course you're not crazy Sapling.  I think one of the worst parts of having a PD is our lives can be how crazy we can start to feel.  Please don't go down that rabbit hole.

It's ignorance.  People are ignorant.  And most people do not let their ignorance get in the way of having a strong opinion about just about everything.  :)
And now that I say this I realize one of the other worst parts of having a PD in my life is how lonely I feel in it.  Trying to get people to understand, even most therapists, is so so frustrating.  That's why this board is a savior.   People GET IT here.

Frankly, watching people the past 4 years waiting for a certain politician (who shall remain nameless) to "reach bottom" or "realize the harm he's doing" or "finally feel some empathy" has been heartbreaking for me.  I knew how this terrible story was going to end.  And it ended in just the flavor I was expecting.  I was not the least bit surprised at the daily horrors that my fellow citizens were subjected to.   And even my DH, who knows a bit about PDs due to my experience with PDs, still naively thought this politician might change and learn.   I knew better and I was right.  Apparently people have to fully feel the wrath of a PD personally in order to "get it" and many don't even "get it" after being gaslighted and DARVO'd.    It's truly a strange disease, this PD.   :stars:

I have tried to garner some empathy for the people who don't get it by remembering how naive I was about so many topics in life, until I experienced them myself.   I'm sure I gave terrible parenting advice before I was a parent.  Same about marriage advice.  And before I had health problems I gave bad advice about dealing with the emotional aspects of health problems.   That helps me a bit in dealing with naive people.

But I think we are scared of what the PDs can do.  We know their power, and we don't want to see the world ruined by them.  We want more people "on our side".  For me, I want my PD to feel the pain of having others reject them....or rather I want their world to come crashing in enough to make them need to take a look at how they're doing life.   As of now, if I'm the only one going VLC, they can reasonably make a case that it's my problem not theirs.  And that sucks.

I love all the advice already given by others.  The insight into Poison Ivy's brother is brilliant.  I always forget how important it is to remember that most of what people say to others is really about themselves in some way.   Note to self:  when someone gives advice that seems naive or really off-base, ask yourself what they are resisting seeing.     Hugs

« Last Edit: February 01, 2021, 02:32:07 PM by LemonLime »

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Sapling

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Re: Getting triggered by Nons who don't realise they are Enablers
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2021, 09:02:45 AM »
You're so right LemonLime. I do just want more people to GET IT and I get really disheartened when they not only don't get it but are really confident that they know how people work and everyone (in their mind) has the best of intentions. I think I'm also confronted by the naivete because I see it as the silent accomplice or invisible fuel of people who abuse power (whether that is the power of an oval office or the power one has over their children/lover/friend/employee etc). I find it hard to take but I see what you're saying about how we've all been naive about something and its worth reflecting on that when I feel myself spiraling.

I'm definitely going to use that Note to self:  "when someone gives advice that seems naive or really off-base, ask yourself what they are resisting seeing."

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Hazy111

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Re: Getting triggered by Nons who don't realise they are Enablers
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2021, 12:58:28 PM »
It is my contention for a long time that PD is far more common than people realise and enablers of PDs are  sometimes PD.   They are the covert passive ones.  Or they are submissive "fawn" types.

They were raised by PD parents and learnt to pacify and please the PD parent . Its a behavior carried into adulthood and when they come across a PD that reminds them of either or both parents they slip easily into enabling behavior . Its not even in conscious its sub conscious. Ive witnessed it in the family and with work colleagues and  so called friends, lots of situations even forums .

When you think about it a non PD person wouldnt tolerate such behavior , they would be repelled by it and act accordingly.

Once youve seen it , you cant unsee it. Its everywhere.

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Hepatica

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Re: Getting triggered by Nons who don't realise they are Enablers
« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2021, 01:22:29 PM »
Hazy111,

I really agree. I've come across this appeasement in people toward PD like behaviour in all areas of my life too, in work, family and as you say, online forums.

Some people don't seem to have that "line in the sand" that I have where I see something and I'm like, woah, that's abnormal, I'm moving far away. Others move in closer, forgive, and appease a toxic person and they seem to take pride in it. It does seem to be likely that this was played out in their family of origin. Some people do not want to wake up to see their parent as flawed at all. And when they see familiar patterns in the outside world, they continue to take that loyal stance with anyone that reminds them of the dysfunctional parent.

This is my sister in a nutshell. She and I have taken entirely different routes with the FOO. She moves in closer to my uNPD parents while I back away. She also supports leaders that have very overt NPD characteristics and writes off the red flags entirely, pointing out only what she thinks are good qualities.

What does this mean for those of us who see it and make decisions about it? I wonder why I seemed to see it? I just knew the behaviours of my parents were beyond just wrong choices, that it indicated something very frightening. I suppose going to therapy helped me wake up slowly and moving away and seeing how normal people love each other helped too. My sister never left our home town and chose a very traditional route. She also was gifted with a very upbeat, charming personality that seemed to get her thru for many years, until she hit her fifties and began to really have to look at herself. Will she ever see? I don't know.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2021, 01:28:51 PM by Hepatica »
“There is a place in you where you have never been wounded, where there's
still a sureness in you, where there's a seamlessness in you, and where
there is a confidence and tranquility." John O'Donohue