Tired of the silent treatment

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Pepin

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Tired of the silent treatment
« on: April 19, 2021, 12:39:31 AM »
One of my siblings has been dishing out the silent treatment.  This isnít the first time.  And now there is definitely a pattern.  I am a bit heartbroken over this actually.  It has been difficult for me to be quiet and I keep trying to initiate conversation.  The most recent replies have been short and offer no reciprocity. 
I am thinking that I might need a break from this sibling but not sure how to do this.  We donít live near each other and texting has been the only means.  Should I block them or just give up conversing? 

I am tired of not being able to have an opinion about something.  I am tired of being told that what I think is wrong.  I am tired of hearing that what I do is not right in their eyes.  I have never treated any of my siblings with disrespect and I have never given them the silent treatment - yet this has been done to me over many years.

We were raised in dysfunction and it has affected us all differently - but again, I have never acted from a place of selfishness or manipulation. 

I really thought that after everything we have been through to date, that we were done with these bad behaviors.
NPD F (overt/covert) NC
DPD MIL (covert) VLC
FALLEN GC SIB
GC#2 SIB (covert) LC

No PD is going to tell me what to do.

People who don't bring joy, let them go.

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Pepin

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Re: Tired of the silent treatment
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2021, 08:58:25 PM »
I think I am just going to give myself some space.  No more texting for a while unless they initiate.
NPD F (overt/covert) NC
DPD MIL (covert) VLC
FALLEN GC SIB
GC#2 SIB (covert) LC

No PD is going to tell me what to do.

People who don't bring joy, let them go.

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bets

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Re: Tired of the silent treatment
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2021, 01:05:09 AM »
Hi, Pepin. I'm so sorry you are going through this.

All three of my siblings give me the "silent treatment." Basically, they only email me once a year, on my birthday, and then only in the briefest possible way. I have no idea why. I was the scapegoat with my parents, and I guess somehow it got passed down. The fact that you actually texted with your sibling is amazing to me! No way would mine ever get that close to me.

Like you, I have reached out over and over, just to be rejected. In my case, I felt a great sense of responsibility, as I was the oldest.  95% of the time, I was incredibly kind and nice and loving to my siblings. The remaining 5% I have apologized for, felt incredibly guilty about, and tried to make amends.

I don't know about you, but until recently, cutting ties seemed completely impossible to me. But I did it recently and I feel fragile but safe. Maybe you'd feel good, too, if you gave yourself some space. Since you suggested it in your post, I wonder if that means it's what you'd like.

In my case I switched from a "What did I do wrong?" mentality to a "How is this affecting me" mentality. I also let go of my belief that my siblings would commit s*cide and I would be responsible. 

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Poppy

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Re: Tired of the silent treatment
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2021, 12:29:11 PM »
I have a similar experience with my sibling.
Years of me trying to keep some semblance of a relationship going. Invitations to dinner, BBQs, suggestions for meet ups, coffee, asking how are yous etc etc with very little reciprocation on her part and met with brief responses, ducking invites, cancelling last minute...

So cruel and nasty. Especially since
when we'd actually meet (always with friends we have in common there as well or at family functions) she would then be the beacon of joy and smiles and fake interest.

Maddening to say the least. And I kept at it. Until I didn't and didn't invite her to my birthday. She found out, called me and literally demanded I "explain myself!"

She didn't like my answer that I wanted to celebrate with friends and not family this year. Granted, this was the first time ever so understandably surprising for her. And if I could have that conversation again, I would be honest and say I wanted to celebrate with the people in my life actually seem to like to spend time with me. And who initiate contact with me as well. 

But what I never expected was that she was angry, dare I even say hurt...?! Anyway she said she needed a break from contact (like we had any, really) and I haven't spoken to her since. Almost 1,5 years. Just like that. Years of rejection, negativity, snide comments, fake smiles in public and baiting me, accusing me of hideous things I never did and the 1 time SHE felt rejected... Gone!
Now she can claim it's something I did maybe? Who knows. It feels like she was waiting for it maybe.

But you know what? It is a blessing. My life is so much more peaceful. More so than I even realized it could be. Her constant rejection, silent treatment and stonewalling had more of an impact than I had realized. And now that I'm free of all that it is so blissful!

I did get text messages on the kids' birthdays and a few other occasions. factual ones, like she's ticking a box. So no one can say she went NC with me or something? Or to keep me on the hook possibly? I don't know and I don't care. I've responded briefly but I don't consider these texts a break of her distance she wanted from me. That would require a face to face chat at least.
But I doubt I even want that now.

Of course it's also sad. Devastating really. That this is the cards I've been dealt in he sibling department. I wish things were different and I miss my nieces and nephew terribly. But I choose to invite people in my life now who bring me joy. Not those who leave me feeling bad.

So I say, hold off on contacting them for a while. No need for telling them anything, just focus on you for a bit and put those relationships on pause, emotionally. See what that brings you! Hit pause on the chasing of something you know will make you feel hurt.

You may upset the apple cart like I did, and you may (also) find a new kind of freedom and courage and strength and happiness.

I'd love to hear how you get on!

 :bighug:
It's never too late to be who you might have been (George Eliot)

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Starboard Song

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Re: Tired of the silent treatment
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2021, 12:35:50 PM »
I am sorry you are going through this.

Take this time to heal a little.
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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nanotech

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Re: Tired of the silent treatment
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2021, 03:40:00 PM »
I have a similar experience with my sibling.
Years of me trying to keep some semblance of a relationship going. Invitations to dinner, BBQs, suggestions for meet ups, coffee, asking how are yous etc etc with very little reciprocation on her part and met with brief responses, ducking invites, cancelling last minute...

So cruel and nasty. Especially since
when we'd actually meet (always with friends we have in common there as well or at family functions) she would then be the beacon of joy and smiles and fake interest.

Maddening to say the least. And I kept at it. Until I didn't and didn't invite her to my birthday. She found out, called me and literally demanded I "explain myself!"

She didn't like my answer that I wanted to celebrate with friends and not family this year. Granted, this was the first time ever so understandably surprising for her. And if I could have that conversation again, I would be honest and say I wanted to celebrate with the people in my life actually seem to like to spend time with me. And who initiate contact with me as well. 

But what I never expected was that she was angry, dare I even say hurt...?! Anyway she said she needed a break from contact (like we had any, really) and I haven't spoken to her since. Almost 1,5 years. Just like that. Years of rejection, negativity, snide comments, fake smiles in public and baiting me, accusing me of hideous things I never did and the 1 time SHE felt rejected... Gone!
Now she can claim it's something I did maybe? Who knows. It feels like she was waiting for it maybe.

But you know what? It is a blessing. My life is so much more peaceful. More so than I even realized it could be. Her constant rejection, silent treatment and stonewalling had more of an impact than I had realized. And now that I'm free of all that it is so blissful!

I did get text messages on the kids' birthdays and a few other occasions. factual ones, like she's ticking a box. So no one can say she went NC with me or something? Or to keep me on the hook possibly? I don't know and I don't care. I've responded briefly but I don't consider these texts a break of her distance she wanted from me. That would require a face to face chat at least.
But I doubt I even want that now.

Of course it's also sad. Devastating really. That this is the cards I've been dealt in he sibling department. I wish things were different and I miss my nieces and nephew terribly. But I choose to invite people in my life now who bring me joy. Not those who leave me feeling bad.

So I say, hold off on contacting them for a while. No need for telling them anything, just focus on you for a bit and put those relationships on pause, emotionally. See what that brings you! Hit pause on the chasing of something you know will make you feel hurt.

You may upset the apple cart like I did, and you may (also) find a new kind of freedom and courage and strength and happiness.

I'd love to hear how you get on!

 :bighug:
Poppyís experiences are virtually the same as mine- itís uncanny really how similar they are.

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Pepin

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Re: Tired of the silent treatment
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2021, 08:38:30 PM »
But you know what? It is a blessing. My life is so much more peaceful. More so than I even realized it could be. Her constant rejection, silent treatment and stonewalling had more of an impact than I had realized. And now that I'm free of all that it is so blissful!


Of course it's also sad. Devastating really. That this is the cards I've been dealt in he sibling department. I wish things were different and I miss my nieces and nephew terribly. But I choose to invite people in my life now who bring me joy. Not those who leave me feeling bad.

Yup.  This is where I am at.  Every now and then I ask myself: what if we didn't see each other anymore, would I be sad?  Honestly, yeah, I am sad for the cards we were dealt, too -- but I can't just keep hanging on to someone that is unable to walk with me in life.  It has been such a one directional relationship in a sense.  And I just can't be a doormat to this sibling anymore to wipe their beliefs all over me and demand that I agree.  My friends and I don't always agree but we don't pin each other down and insist on changing whatever it is in question.  We do what works for us.
NPD F (overt/covert) NC
DPD MIL (covert) VLC
FALLEN GC SIB
GC#2 SIB (covert) LC

No PD is going to tell me what to do.

People who don't bring joy, let them go.

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marymackblack

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Re: Tired of the silent treatment
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2021, 04:51:48 PM »
Hi Pepin, I have been through the silent treatment on and off from my BDP sister for 20 years.  I related to what you said about 'all we've been through, you'd think...' But sadly my experience is that the older we get , and challenging things happen to our family,  like our Mom with Alzheimers, the worse her emotional reactions and criticism of me become.  With help of my therapist and all of you, I started practicing the grey rock method and stopping the cycle I was in with her. Before when she would give me silent treatment, I'd try everything to get in touch, to try to include her and apologize for "whatever I may have done". It never worked and when I look back at some of the emails I sent to her, it's sickening how I groveled. I realize I was only perpetuating the cycle we were in. She would cut me off, or do manipulative things through emails and texts to provoke me, and then go silent. I'd grovel and try to fix it to make her feel better, feeling so awful that I'd hurt her feelings etc. But now that I understand BDP, I see that no matter WHAT I do or say to her, it's like knives flying through the air at her. Sadly my older sister role and all that entailed in our childhoods has cast me as her enemy, to be hateful and jealous of. So everything is an assault on her. Now that I grey rock, it's been more quiet, with just once in a while a text to provoke a reaction. I've found that I need to hide everything I post on FB, because when I don't she sees it and then lashes out and cuts me off , like she did just this week. I cherish the smart and compassionate responses to my situation from this forum, and will repeat to you that setting boundaries is the most compassionate thing to do , for you and for them. Their biggest fear is abandonment and so they test how attached targeted people  are to them . So of course we are always wondering, should I cut them off. Like you I was so exhausted from walking on eggshells with everything I said. You can't win, so just keep your side of the street as clean as you have. You are a good sibling to be trying , recognizing and caring as you have. 

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Pepin

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Re: Tired of the silent treatment
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2021, 05:28:53 PM »
Hi Pepin, I have been through the silent treatment on and off from my BDP sister for 20 years.  I related to what you said about 'all we've been through, you'd think...' But sadly my experience is that the older we get , and challenging things happen to our family,  like our Mom with Alzheimers, the worse her emotional reactions and criticism of me become.  With help of my therapist and all of you, I started practicing the grey rock method and stopping the cycle I was in with her. Before when she would give me silent treatment, I'd try everything to get in touch, to try to include her and apologize for "whatever I may have done". It never worked and when I look back at some of the emails I sent to her, it's sickening how I groveled. I realize I was only perpetuating the cycle we were in. She would cut me off, or do manipulative things through emails and texts to provoke me, and then go silent. I'd grovel and try to fix it to make her feel better, feeling so awful that I'd hurt her feelings etc. But now that I understand BDP, I see that no matter WHAT I do or say to her, it's like knives flying through the air at her. Sadly my older sister role and all that entailed in our childhoods has cast me as her enemy, to be hateful and jealous of. So everything is an assault on her. Now that I grey rock, it's been more quiet, with just once in a while a text to provoke a reaction. I've found that I need to hide everything I post on FB, because when I don't she sees it and then lashes out and cuts me off , like she did just this week. I cherish the smart and compassionate responses to my situation from this forum, and will repeat to you that setting boundaries is the most compassionate thing to do , for you and for them. Their biggest fear is abandonment and so they test how attached targeted people  are to them . So of course we are always wondering, should I cut them off. Like you I was so exhausted from walking on eggshells with everything I said. You can't win, so just keep your side of the street as clean as you have. You are a good sibling to be trying , recognizing and caring as you have.

I am sorry you are going through this, too.  Your words are encouraging as I navigate this.  Seems as though this sibling has cooled off a bit but I don't see this as being the end.  It is absolutely cyclical and I know now to back off and retreat to the gray area whenever I see a red flag.  I certainly don't want to be on the receiving end of their silent treatment as it is terribly triggering to me.  And I think that it is the end result that they are expecting anyway - that I get triggered and react with some kind of explosion - except that I won't explode.  I know better than that.

Again, after everything we have been through (you and other posters as well) - why can't everything just be chill and nice?  Everyone is just trying to recuperate and "live" after what we have been through. 
NPD F (overt/covert) NC
DPD MIL (covert) VLC
FALLEN GC SIB
GC#2 SIB (covert) LC

No PD is going to tell me what to do.

People who don't bring joy, let them go.

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Blodyn

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Re: Tired of the silent treatment
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2021, 12:13:17 AM »
Hi Pepin.  I had just posted this comment on another personís thread.  I think the same applies to your circumstances.

ďIíve been on the receiving end of the silent treatment from my PD sister for several years now.

I read somewhere (sorry I canít remember where), that the feelings invoked by the silent treatment, triggers our fear of abandonment.  This is a normal response and in order to stop the uncomfortable feelings of abandonment, our minds ruminate about how to resolve the difficult relationship with the person imposing the silent treatment on us.

There are a number of problems with this ruminating that we need to consider:

1) the power (silent treatment) being used against us is abuse
2) it is a passive aggressive form of communication that cannot be responded to in any meaningful or healthy way.
3) all attempts to stop the silent treatment provides the PD person with the narcissistic supply that they are looking for. I.e. the PD person uses the silent treatment to get you to respond.
4) the PD person will never take responsibility for their own actions for as long as you keep trying to make the relationship work.
5) in any healthy relationship each person must accept responsibility for 50% of the relationship.  If you are always doing the giving, and your PD brother is doing all the receiving, the. There is an unhealthy imbalance in the giving/taking.  You are giving 100% whilst your PD brother is giving 0%.
6) any child that took on the caretaker role in the family will become a people pleaser in adulthood, and this is what you need to work on.

Forget about trying to make this relationship work.  You can spend years, even decades, on a relationship that is one sided and you will still fail.  It takes two people who are committed to make a relationship work to make it happen.

Try to accept that even though this relationship is a blood relative, you are under no obligation to fulfil any more than your 50% share of the responsibility in that relationship.  Any challenging feelings that arise out of being yourself and only taking on board your 50% share, are the result of how you were conditioned to respond when you were a child.  Try to learn to let go of the fear, obligation and guilty feelings that these toxic relationships evoke.

Do lots of reading about healthy boundaries vs unhealthy boundaries.

And get hold of a good self help book on people pleasing.  One that I would recommend is When Pleasing You Is Killing Me by Dr Les Carter PhD.  Dr Carter has a really good YouTube channel on narcissism.  Well worth binge watching.

And finally, stop chasing people who give you the silent treatment.  If you do, youíll only empower them to keep doing it again and again.  Take the time that the silent treatment has given you as an opportunity to work through the uncomfortable feelings that the silent treatment evokes.  Try to think of this as a grieving process.  After all, you are grieving the loss of a relationship that you wanted and needed but can never have.  If you do the grieving work you will reach a point where you no longer crave for your FOO to be something that they canít be, and you will achieve something that they can never achieve, which is acceptance of yourself exactly as you are.  You will learn to respect yourself.  You will learn that you always were a perfectly acceptable human being and that your FOO and PD brotherís treatment towards you, says more about them than it does about you.  And you will develop a very healthy intolerance of the bullshit that PDs dish out.  You will develop a healthy antenna for spotting narcissism and you will become self aware when someone is trying to manipulate you.  These are good skills to have.

Itís hard work, and it will take a lot of practice, but it is worth it in then end.

My FOO forgot about me years ago.  My PD sister initially gave me the silent treatment nearly 9 years ago, but I now consider myself discarded.  It was hard to accept but having worked through the grief I now consider myself one of the lucky ones.  I got away!  Iím almost tempted to send her a thank you note but I refuse to lower my standards to her level.

I hope you find the solution that works for you.  Best of luck.  Blodyn.Ē

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Pepin

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Re: Tired of the silent treatment
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2021, 03:39:50 PM »
Thank you Blodyn, for your wise words.  My sibling has been relegated to my back burner for now.  I have been doing a lot of inner child work - and I understand why my sibling is the way that they are in relation to me.  And how unfortunate it is that they have to stoop to this petty level of operation in order to try and punish me for their own shortcomings.  This sibling will have less of a place in my life going forward - if any.  This is their mess to deal with, not mine.  We are all adults and it is time for this sibling to behave like one. 
NPD F (overt/covert) NC
DPD MIL (covert) VLC
FALLEN GC SIB
GC#2 SIB (covert) LC

No PD is going to tell me what to do.

People who don't bring joy, let them go.

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Sheppane

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Re: Tired of the silent treatment
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2021, 08:13:16 PM »
Hi Pepin
I don't have much to add to what others have posted here other than to empathise.
I recently read somewhere " we don't owe ANYONE a relationship ".
That resonated with me. 50%, no more.

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JollyJazz

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Re: Tired of the silent treatment
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2021, 12:36:02 AM »
Hello, so sorry to hear this. I just wanted to say I empathise and you aren't alone. I'm also dealing with a sibling dishing out the 'silent treatment' for months.

It does hurt of course. And as someone else said, they want to hurt us, it's an abusive tactic.

We can know this intellectually and yet of course it's hurtful. I found it especially hard because I'm actually building up better boundaries, getting a bit better at expressing feelings etc. and of course this is a reaction against that. So it is extra hard

Best wishes and hope you can get in some nice self care. You did nothing wrong you're fine as you are