Went NC with NPD brother for a month - it opened my eyes!

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Danboro

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Went NC with NPD brother for a month - it opened my eyes!
« on: June 23, 2021, 12:20:52 AM »
So, I have a NPD brother who I was very close with, and for years thought of as my best friend and “only friend” (as he likes to keep reminding me). I’ve suffered years of psychological abuse from him, and have posted previously about it on this forum. Anyway, very recently he decided to play one of his vicious mind games, playing me up against his girlfriend, belittling me in every way and reminding me of just how pathetic and inferior I am... This led to a huge falling out between us, and for the very first time I went No Contact, albeit for only a month.

I blocked his phone number and all of his social media, and asked my mother that if she wanted to see him, could she meet him away from the house. Surprisingly, she agreed. I think she actually understood just how awful he had treated me. The first week was extremely difficult - my depression and anxiety was its worst, I felt pathetic, used and abused... Honestly I felt so isolated and alone. Then things started to gradually feel better. That second week onwards I felt “free”. Like my mind had started to process and deal with the psychological torment I had suffered. I was away from his constant abuse and mind games. I even started planning things I wanted to do later on in the year, even if it meant going alone and doing them by myself.

Then a month passed... One morning I was taken totally off-guard, and he rang my mother asking to come over. She told him she would meet him in town for coffee instead... 30 minutes later he showed up at the house begging to talk to me. I had an immediate panic attack, and unfortunately I ended up giving in, as I always used to with any of his demands. I stood my ground for a little while then ended up going back in to that inferior child-like state I was used to... frightened of him.

However, there is a positive. It’s been a little over a month since we “made up” (he thinks we have anyway). But unlike other times when we have fallen out and made up, I now feel like a switch has been turned on in my head - that’s the only way I can describe it. I no longer see him as the “best and only mate” he so often claimed to be, in fact, for the first time I now only see his ugly and toxic personality. Being around him makes my skin crawl, I can barely stand to be in the same room as him... And while it does make my anxiety skyrocket whenever he is around, I feel like this time he has done irreversible damage to our relationship. I do still have that feeling of inferiority in his presence, but now I have actually tasted freedom, away from the psychological abuse - and I know how good that feels. It may have only been for a few weeks but it was like discovering myself again.

Unfortunately I’m now in a little bit of a sticky situation as I don’t want to cause drama within the family, and my mother is pleased we’re “speaking again”. I live with my mother, so it’s hard to get away from him completely... My main fear is that I end up regressing and going totally back to square one. Although I do acknowledge that I have, at least in part, done that by initially giving in to him and hearing him out.

I do want to thank this forum for giving me the courage to initially cut him off, because at least (even though he is back in my life) it really did awaken something inside me that has shown me there is some light at the end of the tunnel. There’s still a lot for me to work out, especially which steps I take next, but yeah I just wanted to share this experience.

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LemonLime

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Re: Went NC with NPD brother for a month - it opened my eyes!
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2021, 04:02:01 PM »
Congratulations Danboro, you've done a lot of good work.
Keep going!  Keep checking into this forum every day for inspiration.   Post often.
Study the ToolBox.   Get therapy.   One foot in front of the other!!

 :banana:

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stowaway77

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Re: Went NC with NPD brother for a month - it opened my eyes!
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2021, 03:29:07 AM »
Sibling abuse can be very very awful and there is very little awareness of it. People play it down as "sibling rivalry".  I'm sorry this is happening to you! I also have a NPD sibling and have been coming to terms with what that means.

Your brother is very very insecure and gets his a sense of superiority from dominating you. If you choose to distance yourself from him again, he will try to get you to stay. He doesn't want to lose you as a punching bag. Stay strong, know your worth. You've been very brave so far. Onwards and upwards!

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Blueberry Pancakes

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Re: Went NC with NPD brother for a month - it opened my eyes!
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2021, 04:51:20 PM »
Danboro - Oh, I think there is so much good to take away from this post. It seems perhaps you realized where you wanted to instill boundaries with your brother, you put said boundaries in place, and are reflecting back with new clarity on some dynamics in the relationship. I think such awareness is huge.   
     
You started feeling better and rediscovered yourself. That sounds like an excellent place to be. I think we find what works best for ourselves by doing as you describe - set boundaries, assessing how we feel, and continue to tweak as we feel needed. I think we learn as we go, and if our wellbeing improves we must be on the right track. 
 
One other thing you mentioned stood out and that is feeling like something physically changed or that a switch just got flipped. I felt the same and cannot describe it any other way.

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Boat Babe

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Re: Went NC with NPD brother for a month - it opened my eyes!
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2021, 08:00:59 PM »
I echo everyone's celebration of these first steps OOTF. This is where YOUR life starts to get better, slowly but surely.

The shift comes when the NPD "spell" is broken. When you start to see the abuse for what it is. And you get a glimpse of how good you can feel when not subjected to that abuse.

I don't at all know your circumstances but see if you can get away again soon. Can you go on holiday, travel, study or work in another part of your country. Start doing as many good things for yourself as possible. If money is tight get involved in something creative or in the voluntary sector. Fill your time with good stuff. Go super grey rock with your brother. Don't give him any supply. You have got this .
It gets better. It has to.

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nanotech

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Re: Went NC with NPD brother for a month - it opened my eyes!
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2021, 01:09:40 PM »
I agree about the feeling that something has changed irreversibly. It’s a switch that’s flicked, and everything has been illuminated.
I felt very close with older sister for a long time, yet it was fraught with problems. The enmeshment hid that truth from me, and I was in denial for a long long time.
I’m sending hugs. You deserve better relationships than the one he thinks he’s entitled to impose upon you.


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Blueberry Pancakes

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Re: Went NC with NPD brother for a month - it opened my eyes!
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2021, 02:54:04 PM »
...a switch that's flicked, and everything has been illuminated...   You deserve better relationships than the one he thinks he’s entitled to impose upon you.

Nanotech, I think that is well said. I have a golden child sibling and I always thought we were so close. With a "fogless" lens now, I wonder if I was just codependent. I felt like my entire worth as a human was based on whatever she thought of me. When I was with her, I was on cloud nine and with me she always had a loyal follower. With such a dynamic I do think the sibling can feel entitled to always have this relationship there for them as needed, status-quo.   

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MarlenaEve

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Re: Went NC with NPD brother for a month - it opened my eyes!
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2021, 03:51:58 PM »
I remember your story from your post. Well done for going NC, it's a good step forward. It does lead you to many realizations.
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing:
the last of the human freedoms-
to choose one's attitude in any
given set of circumstances, to choose
one's own way.
-Viktor Frankl

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Hilltop

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Re: Went NC with NPD brother for a month - it opened my eyes!
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2021, 03:00:50 AM »
I agree that when a light is turned on or a flick of the switch or that feeling that something has changed, you really can't go back to how things were.  When you see the abuse for what it is, when you see how much better you feel the more time you spend away, its really hard to go back.

I spent years feeling bad about the relationship with my sister or lack of relationship with my sister.  I had that moment as well where it changed and now I simply don't want a relationship with her.  Its really too hard and too much water under the bridge.

A healthy relationship really shouldn't be that hard, it really shouldn't.  Good on you for NC.  Keep going, you say you feel better that's a good sign.  Those boundaries are working for you.

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marymackblack

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Re: Went NC with NPD brother for a month - it opened my eyes!
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2021, 02:50:27 PM »
This was so inspiring to read, Danboro. Congratulations,  I'm still in a process of learning how to let go of the 'walking on eggshells' and panic my sibling brings on.
Reading this helps me and reminds me of how important it is to stand my ground. I totally related to the ideal "best friend , so close" scenario , which I bought into and thought I would take the bad with it because it was "special".  I haven't had that switch flip, but I'm close, this was so helpful, thank you.  :bighug: