PD parent can't handle child being independent/having other people in their life

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outofDEN

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Has anyone else, especially only children of PDs, experienced their parent lashing out whenever you focus your energy on your S.O. or his/her family?

Today my mother accused me of "joining another family and abandoning her", that I don't care about her, and that I won't "stand up" to my S.O. and tell him I would rather go see my mother, all because I am attending a dinner with my S.O. and his family members.

She said while COVID has been going on I have been busy building a life that doesn't include her in it and now she will be alone forever because I have chosen not to care about her and only about myself.

The FOG sets in when I consider the fact that I have only seen my PDm a few times this year due to COVID, and I think maybe she has a point. And then I consider I also just spent all last week with her... The mental gymnastics is exhausting.

Has anyone dealt with PD parent(s) accusing you of abandoning them for your friends, your S.O., etc. and how have you dealt with rationalizing your way through the FOG?

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Seven

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My MIL is this way.  DH is an only.  That woman has done everything possible to break up our marriage, cause problems within my own large family, etc. it took DH some time to figure out his parents just aren’t “right”.  DH and I only really ever fought about his parents.  At one point DH said “everybody hates my parents”. And my retort was “well, what’s the common denominator, hmmmm?”  It opened his eyes some, but it took some nast moves on MIL part to get them wide open. 

Right now he’s NC until they apologize for some of their entitled behavior.

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Cat of the Canals

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ANYONE - parent or otherwise - who is so jealous of your relationships with other people that they start making it a competition of "who gets more of your time" does not have your best interest at heart. She will always win this game, because it is set up in her favor. If you spend any time with anyone but her, you prove her point. She wins. You lose. Pure manipulation.

There are X components that have helped me on the "Get Rid of the Guilt" journey.

1. I can't remember who, but one of the Youtube channels dealing with NPD/BPD topics said something that really struck a chord with me, and it was something along the lines of, "You probably have a hard time admitting this, but I bet you don't like your [narc] mom very much."

It was like a lightbulb went off! I generally wasn't "allowed" to not like people. unPD mom is the one who decides who is Good and who is Bad. If she likes someone, and I don't, I am being unfair/mean/nasty/negative. If she doesn't like someone, they are unquestionably evil.

So of course it would be almost impossible for me to admit to myself that I don't like her very much! But why would I? I wouldn't like ANYONE who treats me the way she does, with the near-constant guilt trips, gaslighting, and being expected to rugsweep all of her unpleasant, immature behavior. And that leads me to my next revelation:

2. I think it was someone on this board who posed this question: If someone other than your mother treated you the way she does, would you put up with it?

My answer was a resounding HECK NO. I have cut off friends for way less. In fact, if I get even a whiff of manipulative behavior, I am out.

And this leads me to the final piece of the puzzle:

3. If I admit to myself that I don't like my mother because of how she treats me, and that if she were anyone else BUT my mother, I would probably have already gone NC, then why would I ever allow myself to feel guilty for putting in all of the work it requires to stay LC with her?

Because it isn't easy. It's an effort to stay in contact with her, even on a limited basis. It's not the kind of "sacrifice everything to prove how devoted I am" effort that SHE wants. Instead, it's the "do everything I can to keep myself sane while maintaining a relationship with this very difficult person" effort. And it's a lot. It is HARD to medium chill every. single. phone call. It's HARD to keep my mouth shut and grey rock through her snide/sarcastic "jokes" at my expense. But I do it because that's what it takes to maintain the relationship, and I've decided to accept that. For now.

So maybe you feel guilty because the fact is your DON'T particularly want to spend more time with her. Is that a sin? Not in my book. Hell, even if she was Mother Theresa, I still believe every person has a right to decide how they spend their time and who - if anyone - they spend it with.

You don't owe her a certain number of hours or visits. She has her own life. If she's dissatisfied with it in some way, that's on HER to solve. She doesn't get to co-opt your life because she's bored or lonely. That's not how it works.

Practically speaking, I'd suggest putting her on an info diet. If talking about spending time with other people leads to guilt trips, stop telling her about it. She wants you to visit on Sunday, but you've got plans with the in-laws or your SO or a friend? She doesn't need to know that. Tell her you're busy. End of sentence. Next subject. If she can't tolerate you having relationships with other people, then she doesn't deserve to know about them.

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Hattie

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She is a grown woman and is perfectly capable of finding a spouse/ friends/ other people to hang out with. Or even to spend some time by herself. It isn't your responsibility to meet her needs for her.

My mum is similar, so I get how hard it is to push back with this stuff, but you are perfectly within your rights to do so.
Love is patient; love is kind.
It does not envy; it does not boast.
It is not proud. It does not dishonour others.
It is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered.
It keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

1 Corinthians 13: 5-8.

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Sheppane

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This is so familiar outofDEN. I have been on receiving end of a lot of accusations about my SO and me "favouring " his family over my FOO. Some of it gets very crazy. I think my separating out from FOO was seen as a betrayal in some way. There is a scorecard kept and it is wheeled out from time to time and starts off with " remember when ....". If I mention spending time with SO/ ILs there is never a flicker of interest and I always feel guilty for mentioning it. Mainly because the disapproval is so palpable in tone and facial expression , even if she doesn't verbalise it. But it doesn't go unnoticed and in full DARVO mode it all comes out . It's like it is kept underground but if I do anything which provokes rage it all comes out.
At the bottom of it I think there is a lot of jealousy and her own stuff but rather than address them far easier to project it onto me. She experiences less pain that way. So I find it sad sometimes and I even feel sorry for her except that those feelings tend to slide me right back into FOG. I need to remind myself that I am not responsible for her feelings,  cant control them and yes it may be sad deep down but I have to be careful that that doesn't cause me to slide. As feeling sorry for her is what reels me back in. I can still wish her well and send her love knowing that I didn't cause her pain. I try and allow her to feel about me whatever way she does. That doesn't have to mean I like it. It can get nasty at times but I need to constantly remind myself I've done nothing wrong. This is the result of decades of dysfunction being passed from one generation to the next. I cant hold all that in me.
You have got some great advice in the replies above. Guilt re not seeing her in COVID..yes I have that too. But guess what , we didn't cause a global pandemic either !!
 :bighug:

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chowder

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Oh, yes.  We had had a FOO photo taken on Mother's Day in a restaurant.  When I got engaged soon thereafter, insecure M said to me, "Well, since you won't be needing the family photo in your NEW LIFE, you can give it to me." 

I told her to stop being ridiculous.  I had given her no reason to think that.  I had invited her to my home in the suburbs on many occasions because I had air conditioning and she did not, so she could get out of the city summer heat.  She didn't drive and would be alone in my home while I went to work, so since she had been taking piano lessons, I bought her a piano.  I then introduced her to my neighbors so she would have someone to talk to, whom she later turned into flying monkeys for her own selfish purposes.  She even put one neighbor up to prying and quizzing me about having a prenup with my H-to-be.  When I found this out later, I felt so betrayed ... by both of them.   And H-to-be had bought dinner for all of us ladies and spent time with everyone.  Oddly enough, H still encouraged me to invite her to stay for the A/C after we were married, but there was too much water under the bridge.  He didn't have/see the history with her that I had experienced.  I couldn't compete with the demons in her head.  She was always jealous, and drove a wedge between me and any relationship she could work her way into.   She was even jealous of the fact that I drove and she never did.

When the wedding came and this particular flying monkey neighbor was not on the guest list (she would have been, if not for her betrayal), M launched her campaign for this neighbor to be invited.  But it was not to be.  Which bothered my calculating M even more.

Of course it was just a matter of time before her statements and actions became more offensive and lashing out, until I finally went NC after she made derogatory comments to me about my H. 

She was always particularly jealous if she made a contact with someone first, and then if that person and I happened to foster a friendship that didn't involve her friendship/involvement to the same level, she would strike out as well.   She even asked me to end a friendship one time based on that, and of course I didn't.  The more she would not get satisfaction from me, the more she would strike out.  It was a vicious cycle with her, and I really had no choice but to go NC when it became untenable and nonsensical.  And then she would try to recruit others against me and start a smear campaign.

It was always all about her and blaming others.  When she was in the hospital diagnosed with emphysema, and someone asked why she never gave up smoking when others in her family had, her response was, "Because my husband never gave me a good reason to."

She died a very sad woman.   The last 3 years of her life that were NC for me were very peaceful.   And she missed out on seeing a beautiful grandchild.  If people said, "Oh, you're denying your mother the opportunity to see her grandbaby," I replied, "No, SHE'S the one that denied herself."  I had even approached my D to see about righting the situation.  An apology was never forthcoming.  Indeed, it wasn't even addressed at all.  He couldn't stand up to her, so there was radio silence thereafter.

Sad that it had to be that way, but I came to terms with it and it was the best choice for my FOC and me.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2021, 12:43:22 PM by chowder »

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Boat Babe

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My mother is jealous of my dog. I told that story here over a year ago.

The latest is that she doesn't want me bringing the dog when I visit (ostensibly because he licks people and that's unhygenic)  and she actually PAYS me to put him with my regular dogsitters when I visit. That way she doesn't have to witness me being affectionate with another living being!  :stars:
It gets better. It has to.

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BritBritBrit1

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Yes, my BPD father has never been able to handle anyone else in my life or me "choosing" anyone over him.  In high school he would freak out about me wanting to be with my friends instead of him, and he brought it up for year and years afterward.  Then I moved to another state with my mother when I was a senior in high school, and he had to remind me for many years about how I abandoned him.  (This was after he left my mother for another woman.)   I'm now in my mid-40s, and his thing for the past 15 years has been about how it's "not fair" that I see other family members more than him.  I finally blocked him on FB, because any trip I took or other family members that I would see ended in a tantrum by him.  We're about six weeks NC now, and I'm hoping to put his nonsense behind me. 

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Pepin

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NF was the same way throughout my youth, especially upon hitting the teen years.  He felt threatened that I finally had other people to hang with and that I was becoming more independent.  He knew that ultimately he would be exposed and tried to shut me down whenever he could.  It would only be a matter of time when I would connect the dots and realize that NF was not like other parents...and YES, I did come to the conclusion that something was very wrong with our family.  NF even kept us from our Mother's side of the family (she passed when I was young). 

In college it got even worse and when I started dating, of course more worse.  He made threats left and right to me and my siblings about generally anyone that we were friends with....back handed comments galore whenever he could get one in.  He tried so hard to tear me down and I finally said ENOUGH and left home for good.  These people are just miserable excuses for humans forcing their children to be their never ending crutch because they don't want to do the hard work.  During my time here on earth I deserve to have a life and it certainly wasn't going to be a life on his terms.
NPD F (overt) NC
DPD MIL (covert) VLC
FALLEN GC SIB
GC#2 SIB (covert) LC headed to NC

No PD is going to tell me what to do.

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

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Spring Butterfly

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Yes it’s not in the PD thinking to believe their offspring will at any time leave the nest and go live their own life.

My family views me as having abandoned them even though I relocated my family to care for them - not just parents but siblings also. In their mind even though I live literally in the same neighborhood and am present to coordinate any needs they have because I selected my own friends and church that isn’t the same as theirs I’ve abandoned them. They don’t reach out to me at all - silence. I quite like the silence once the sting of total rejection wore off.

Go live your life. It’s ok. Really. That’s the purpose of the nest. It’s on them to adjust to reality of life.
· Every interaction w/ PD persons results in damage-plan accordingly, make time to heal
· Individuation is one key to emotional freedom
· It's foolish to expect of others what they have no capacity to give
my Empowered Growth blog

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Sidney37

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The one year early in my marriage that I actually thought it would be a good idea to split a long holiday weekend between my parents and in-laws, my PDm actually counted the time down to the minute.  PDm got the actual holiday and the religious service, but the in-laws got 3 more hours and X minutes than she did. We spent several days at each house and she was furious over 3 hours and a precise number of minutes.  She just knew it was always going to be this way and because there were similar aged cousins at the ILs house/town my kids would like them more.  It was just a “sign of things to come”.  We’d never want to visit her again.

It was then that she decided that gifts from her had to be better than gifts from ILs so my kids would love her more to the point that she asked me to unwrap Christmas gifts from ILs, tell her what they were before she went shopping and then re-wrap them!  Nope.

She was also jealous of the time I spent with my own children.  She would call my house every day about 5-10 minutes before they got off the bus when they were in elementary school.  She would snap at me or guilt trip me if I suggested that I needed to hang up when the bus arrived so I could pay attention to them.  “Fine then.  Never talk to me again!”

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Danden

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As in other things, my M just doesn't want me to have good things in my life, because it makes her insecure.  My in-laws were great people and this was a problem for her.  Before the NC, and in earlier years of my marriage, when my in-laws were still alive, she would throw her fits.  One scene I remember is one day my in-laws came over and she showed up unexpectedly.  She was upset to see them at my house when she hadn't known about them coming and to see us having lunch together.  Apparently I had hugely offended her by not "inviting" her.  As if they (and I) should not do such a thing without her knowledge/consent.  She told this story to anyone who would listen for several years about what a horrible experience she had that day, how shocked she was to pull up to the driveway and see their car there, and what a horrible daughter I am.  :stars:

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FlowerPot

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oh this thread has so many familiar themes- been there, done that  :yeahthat: (in fact all of them)

first year we were married ( I am only child) we went to my  parents, next year we went to the in-laws. Cue almighty sulk,
"we aren't bothering with a Xmas tree etc etc.

On Xmas day MIL suggested we phoned them to chat - no answer, all very odd. few days later I discovered they had gone to mother's  brother without letting me know
"he was so upset that we had been left ALL ON OUR OWN at Xmas that he insisted we went to stay there"

I should have put my foot down there and then - I didn't realise that this was abnormal behaviour - MIL did and was a good support later without actually  saying much.


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Sidney37

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 :yeahthat: 

Oh, the no Christmas tree sulk!  Yes!  The one year out of 15 (yes 15) that they generously offered to allow in-laws to visit us on Christmas instead of coming themselves, they didn’t think having a tree was worth it when they were home alone.  But they put up a tree to look at before and after Christmas the 14 years they spent Christmas with us?!?! :stars: :stars:

And the bucket list vacation FIL took us on when he knew he was dying... she was furious he didn’t invite her and EnD, too... in a bucket list vacation with his kids and grandkids.  She took a similar vacation one month later with church friends because she wasn’t about to have me go to this particular place and not get to go, too, and complained for a year that my trip was better because hers went to religious sites.   Eventually she guilted me into redoing my vacation with her, EnD, and my family and me paying for all of us.  That’s about the time that I came OOTF. 

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Lisa

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Yes to all of these comments, I am nodding along as I read... all these scenarios are very familiar to me.
Ever since I was a child my Mom has been jealous of my relationships with other people, including my Dad and my sisters!!
My marriage heightened that, it got to the point where I stopped telling her if I was spending time with my in laws.  I would tell her about the walk I went on but leave out that it was at my in laws house.
Most recently she got angry with me for not spending my 35th birthday with her and instead celebrating it with friends, she brought it up on three separate phone calls, so bizarre!

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FlowerPot

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 :yeahthat: used to hope that mother wouldn't find out that we were sidling off to the in-laws house. MIL used to say "now does your mother know you are visiting us?"  as they used to speak on the phone and MIL had to get her side of the story right, apparently our visit to MIL & FIL used to induce a prolonged moaning session from my mother during these calls.

Blimey how did I put up with it?? MIL was a hero.

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cfe123

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YES. My BPD parent always attacks most when people are immersed in their own lives. He attacked a sibling when he was in the hospital. He has launched a terrible campaign against my spouse, all behind my back. Although he was extremely hard to live with when I was younger, once I got to college it was the beginning of the end. I saw a counselor and started to realize that I wasn't insane, that he was not normal. When he realized I was starting to recognize what he was doing, he gave me the silent treatment for months. The worst attacks started when I got married, began my first job, and bought a house. That is when the attacks really started to escalate and things have gone seriously downhill since then.

What I have to keep reminding myself is that it is far better to have my own life than his approval, especially because those who try to appease him or get him to act like a father/spouse pay a much, much higher toll.

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JustKathy

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My Nmother did those things, though I wasn't the target, my GC brother was. I was the scapegoat and left home while still in high school. After that I was placed under the silent treatment, though she did try to break up my marriage by sending my husband letters and emails telling him I would "turn on him" like I had turned on her.  :roll:

My other two siblings were discouraged from dating and having any relationships outside of the FOO. When my GC brother got married, all hell broke loose. Nmother saw it as a betrayal and did whatever she could to interfere in his marriage. When she failed to break them up, she disinherited my brother (who, as GC, had been sole heir). My sister, who was a sort of a secondary scapegoat never dated and never married. She gave my mother exactly what she wanted. She was rewarded by becoming the new GC and being named sole heir. She'll end up with a mortgage-free house and plenty of money but will grow old alone. I sure wouldn't want my life to end like that.

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Fortuna

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My mom used to get insanely jealous of the in-laws. If they came to visit and we went somewhere she'd keep bringing up we hadn't taken her to this museum/on this hike/to this restaurant (That he had no interest in before that). She refused to have Christmas with them, making excuses and such just so she didn't have to be in the same room where my kids would be happy their auntie and other grandparents were there. The attention wasn't on her so she could not stand it. She'd get angry when I referred to doing something with my husband and kids 'as a family' because i wasn't including her. She'd demand I invite her to do things on weekends. At one point I asked where she would like me to invite her: the grocery store or the hardware store, or maybe to help mow the lawn and get the laundry done, because that is what we do on the weekends. If I came over with the kids she'd want to have my attention alone os she sent the kids to watch TV instead of being a grandma.  So forth, and so on.

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Empie2204

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I have got to know this vicious circle on the example of relation my MIL - my h and then
my h - our kids.
PD parents of this kind cling to their children desperately and they use all weapons.
In a civilized world it is expected you don´t let your parents die abandoned and in poverty, but normal parents don´t misuse this good tradition.
PDs use this  to suck all energy out of their grownup children and they masterfully interpret everything for their benefit.

The independence of their offspring should be the pride of every parent. That´s when their job is done, this means to be a parent.
PDs are children of their children.