Am I being paranoid? How to handle more frequent texts

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jennsc85

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Am I being paranoid? How to handle more frequent texts
« on: June 29, 2021, 07:41:16 PM »
Some of you might remember me from a few years ago when I was in a very bad place with my uBPD mother. I'm her only child and up until 2018, I was taking her to run errands multiple times a week while enduring frequent rages from her. She expected me to answer her calls and texts immediately, if I couldn't comply with whatever request(demand!) she had, she threatened to report me for elder abuse. She repeatedly threatened to call CPS and tell them I was mentally unfit to take care of my kids. When attempting to leave her house she would do things like lay down on the driveway behind my car and dare me to run her over, stand in front of the door, dislocate my thumb by grabbing my hand and pulling it back... finally in January of 2018 I was absolutely terrified of what she'd do to me but I realized: I'd rather be in jail for elder abuse than go on like I was. I blocked her number and didn't talk to her for a year. The next year (2019) we emailed occasionally. The following year (2020) I unblocked her number and up until now, she's only texted from time to time and nothing like before.

Anyways, for the past couple of weeks she's been texting me every day or nearly every day. It's nothing threatening, nothing aggressive, nothing demanding. She has her boyfriend for everything now so there's nothing to really demand of me anymore. Her texts are totally innocuous and innocent but I can't help but wonder... is she trying to edge her way back in so that we'll be in more regular contact if (god forbid!) something happened to her boyfriend?

Am I being totally paranoid? Should I just ignore a day of her texts and see what happens? Text back in a gray rock kind of way? Or do I need to just chill?

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Cat of the Canals

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Re: Am I being paranoid? How to handle more frequent texts
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2021, 08:02:52 PM »
I don't think you're being paranoid at all. It's pretty standard for PDs to push for more, more, MORE! It might even be the case that her BF is pulling away, and she is indeed preparing a safety net. Are her romantic relationships generally fairly stable or chaotic/filled with drama? If it's the latter, then it's probably only a matter of time before the relationship implodes, even if that's not what's happening currently. And borderlines know that.

I'd say to go with the frequency of contact that match the boundaries you've made for yourself... generally I avoid any "same day" responses to PDmom, as she will absolutely begin to expect that and complain whenever she doesn't get it. PDmil is similar - if my husband responds promptly to a text or call, it's pretty much a guarantee that she's going to start bombarding him with messages. They are usually fairly inane and innocuous, but are definitely meant to keep him on the hook. We have both learned to not even check texts or voicemail from either of them for days at a time to prevent being drawn into the cycle.

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wisingup

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Re: Am I being paranoid? How to handle more frequent texts
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2021, 08:06:01 PM »
Hi Jenn - I remember your story well - your mom struck me as one of the more extreme ones here on the forum.  I would advise extreme caution! 

BPS love to ignore all of the ugly issues of the past  & pop right back to what they think of as "normal" without confronting or solving anything.  How often would you like to correspond with your mom?  Once a week, once a month?  Whatever you decide, that is how often you should respond.  If she gets angry with you or shames you that you don't respond, you'll know you're headed right back to where you were.  Unless and until she comes to you to tell you that she understands how she hurt you in the past and that she's changed, she hasn't changed.

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jennsc85

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Re: Am I being paranoid? How to handle more frequent texts
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2021, 08:09:16 PM »
I don't think you're being paranoid at all. It's pretty standard for PDs to push for more, more, MORE! It might even be the case that her BF is pulling away, and she is indeed preparing a safety net. Are her romantic relationships generally fairly stable or chaotic/filled with drama? If it's the latter, then it's probably only a matter of time before the relationship implodes, even if that's not what's happening currently. And borderlines know that.

She has always pushed as far as she can and usually ends up getting her way by means of force- or by wearing someone down so much that they just give in to her. She and her BF visited for one of my kids' birthdays last month (they've visited maybe 5 times in the past year and a half) and this past time, he seemed to be a little more aggitated with her than before. She has a very bombastic and loud and demanding personality and I could tell just from his facial expressions and tone of voice that he wasn't feeling as calm as some of the previous visits. I'm SO worried about something happening in their relationship.

Her relationships are very dramatic. She has not had many romantic partners in my lifetime. Her marriage to my father was downright toxic and abusive. She dated someone several years ago and broke it off. And then her current BF. Her friendships (not many left now!) and work relationships and family relationships have all ended on bad notes with tons of drama.

I like the idea of waiting a day to text her back!

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jennsc85

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Re: Am I being paranoid? How to handle more frequent texts
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2021, 08:18:23 PM »
Hi Jenn - I remember your story well - your mom struck me as one of the more extreme ones here on the forum.  I would advise extreme caution! 

BPS love to ignore all of the ugly issues of the past  & pop right back to what they think of as "normal" without confronting or solving anything.  How often would you like to correspond with your mom?  Once a week, once a month?  Whatever you decide, that is how often you should respond.  If she gets angry with you or shames you that you don't respond, you'll know you're headed right back to where you were.  Unless and until she comes to you to tell you that she understands how she hurt you in the past and that she's changed, she hasn't changed.

That's exactly what my mother did in the past- act like things were normal without solving anything- but then throwing stuff in my face later on! Years ago I told her I couldn't pick her up from the ER. She raged and raged, called me over and over. Then the next day acted like nothing had happened! It wasn't until days later that she brought up me abandoning her at the ER!

I think a couple times a month would be OK with me. I would honestly be OK with nothing at all but once a week (as long as it's respectful and nothing crazy or demanding!) is fine with me. I just struggle so much with "gray area" boundaries. I tend to be more all or nothing and the idea of ignoring her is hard for me even after 3 years of minimal contact!

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Andeza

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Re: Am I being paranoid? How to handle more frequent texts
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2021, 09:07:52 PM »
Ah Jenn, I remember you! And I agree with the others, your situation is fairly on the extreme side. In other words, the amount of abuse you've endured from your mother is terrifying.

I recommend you pick one day each week that you will read and respond IF you feel like it. You owe her nothing. She has earned no respect, and certainly not prompt responses. Take care of you and be ready to duck the hell under cover if/when her relationship ends. Make yourself unavailable for anything, or else she'll suck you back in, like the godfather part 3.  :wacko:

I recommend going back, reading your old posts. Refresh your memory and it will help you strengthen your decision. The abuse, I'm sure, seems oddly distant now. And maybe reread everything WomanInterrupted ever wrote you. Heck, I miss her.
Remember, that there are no real deadlines for life, just society's pressures.      - Anonymous
Lasting happiness is not something we find, but rather something we make for ourselves.

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Cat of the Canals

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Re: Am I being paranoid? How to handle more frequent texts
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2021, 09:21:03 PM »
Quote
She has a very bombastic and loud and demanding personality and I could tell just from his facial expressions and tone of voice that he wasn't feeling as calm as some of the previous visits. I'm SO worried about something happening in their relationship.

Yep, all of this screams, DANGER AHEAD! Your gut is telling you her behavior has changed and doesn't make sense. Listen to it. Start preparing now for the (very likely) potential break-up. Get comfortable with the idea that you are not going to be the safety net. That your boundaries will not change simply because her relationship has ended. That you are under no obligation to be your abuser's caretaker.

I just struggle so much with "gray area" boundaries.

Same. It's like, "Well, it's not like I'm NC, so I'm going to talk to her at some point..." It can feel like I'm arbitrarily not taking her call or waiting to respond, which sometimes makes me feel like I'm being petty. But in the end, I'm always damned if I do and damned if I don't... so I might as well wait until I have literally nothing else to do before I decide to humor her. Because that's what it is. Humoring her. There's no connection between us. I'm merely one of the Queen's loyal subjects.


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Amadahy

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Re: Am I being paranoid? How to handle more frequent texts
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2021, 09:32:37 PM »
Hi Jenn,  sorry your mom is inching back, text by text.  I don't think you're paranoid at all and I think you've probably tried as hard as anyone possibly could with an impossible mother.  I'd suggest a text a week, if you can manage that (physically, emotionally, mentally).  Otherwise, you are BUSY with kids, pets, astrology, whatever!  Gosh, I miss WomanInterrupted .... she'd have all the emoticons and perfect words.  Just know, you deserve peace.  Do whatever gives you the very most peace.  Best wishes. 
Ring the bells that still can ring;
Forget your perfect offering.
There's a crack in everything ~~
That's how the Light gets in!

~~ Leonard Cohen

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Jolie40

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Re: Am I being paranoid? How to handle more frequent texts
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2021, 08:58:12 AM »
Anyways, for the past couple of weeks she's been texting me every day or nearly every day.

I knew texts would drive me batty so NO ONE has my cell number except husband
people have asked but I don't give it out, not even child's school has it

made going NC easier as no one can call me, either (we gave up landline)

I suggest- when you've had enough, get new number & don't give it out
« Last Edit: June 30, 2021, 09:12:42 AM by Jolie40 »
be good to yourself

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jennsc85

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Re: Am I being paranoid? How to handle more frequent texts
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2021, 08:04:49 PM »
Hi Jenn,  sorry your mom is inching back, text by text.  I don't think you're paranoid at all and I think you've probably tried as hard as anyone possibly could with an impossible mother.  I'd suggest a text a week, if you can manage that (physically, emotionally, mentally).  Otherwise, you are BUSY with kids, pets, astrology, whatever!  Gosh, I miss WomanInterrupted .... she'd have all the emoticons and perfect words.  Just know, you deserve peace.  Do whatever gives you the very most peace.  Best wishes.

I've been trying to make my responses as uninteresting as possible so hopefully that makes her less interested in talking to me although I don't know if she can even tell- she just wants to use it as a gateway to talk about herself. It's weird because sometimes I feel the urge to share something with her (you know, like you could do with a "normal" mother- and I have to stop myself and remind myself that I can't be like that with her because it would open the door to even more communication).