Big life events for BPD sis - appropriate response?

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thirstywork

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Big life events for BPD sis - appropriate response?
« on: September 29, 2021, 08:49:12 PM »
My BPD sis has recently had some major life events.
Iím NC with her and havenít had contact in 3.5 years. Itís been lovely! But we do have other family members in common still. They are flying monkeys so I donít discuss her with them at all.
She got engaged last year and nobody in my family has actually told me yet. My boyfriend saw the announcement on a local Facebook group and it was him who told me. Iím pleased to have not heard anything about it because Iím desperate to NOT have to go to her wedding, that would be hell I think. Plus it opens up the opportunity for me to not have to return the favour should I ever get married.

She got pregnant last winter and quite honestly I didnít believe it for a long while. She was in the midst of a drama meltdown at the time and I thought it was another one of her ploys for attention. Another family member told me about the pregnancy at the time. A couple of months ago she had a baby shower, I wasnít invited. Iím pretty sure I only knew about it because someone accidentally mentioned it.

Cut to now. The baby has been born. Despite it being a blood relative of mine I have no emotional attachment to the baby or even the idea of the baby. I have other family members with children I deeply care about so I donít think Iím broken in that sense. When I went NC it was like a weight has been lifted, Iím finally free of my abuser. Going NC almost felt like the easiest thing I had ever done. I fell in love with NC. My family members assume Iím cold hearted, perhaps I am. Or perhaps Iím incredibly strong for cutting someone out of my life who abused me for 30 years. If thatís whatís cold hearted is then I LOVE being cold hearted. And similarly, I feel nothing (not good, not bad, simply nothing) for anything that happens in her life. Engaged? Ok. Had a baby? Right.

Hereís my question: when someone youíre NC with has a big life event are you supposed to momentarily stop looking like an a**hole? Because, trust me, I feel very good about my decision. But the rest of the family assume Iím an a**hole. And any excuse to make her look great and me look bad is something she would have a field day with.
Am I supposed to send a card? Or something? I donít want to to be honest but is this one of those moments where the family may go ďwow you really are an a**hole, you didnít even send a cardĒ.

Does NC ever break for stuff like this? Is that inviting trouble? If I make contact, would that initiate something for her to think that she can contact me back?

Anyone have any experience with this?

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hhaw

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Re: Big life events for BPD sis - appropriate response?
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2021, 10:26:47 PM »
You're in a double bind.  No matter what you do..... you'll end up with blowback, ime.

Which choice serves YOUR mental health in the best possible way?

Consider choosing that and always choosing that.



hhaw



What you are speaks so loudly in my ears.... I can't hear a word you're saying.

When someone tells you who they are... believe them.

"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
Nietchzsche

"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
Eleanor Roosevelt

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Leonor

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Re: Big life events for BPD sis - appropriate response?
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2021, 04:53:20 AM »
No contact means no contact.

No card. No phone call. No liking social media posts. No acknowledgement beyond very chilly medium chill at the occasional run-in, just as you would politely treat a stranger on the street.

And just as you would treat a stranger on the street, you wouldn't necessarily wish any ill to befall this person. You might smile at a little child in her stroller. But you're not going to follow her parents to find out where they live and send them a goody-basket, because that would be weird.

Flying  response? The same as if they were telling you about their friend or coworker's new baby. "Oh?" "Ah." "That's nice." "Hm."

It's not anyone else's business how you think or feel or respond to anything, and it's not your business how they think or feel or respond to you.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2021, 04:54:56 AM by Leonor »

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blacksheep7

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Re: Big life events for BPD sis - appropriate response?
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2021, 12:02:00 PM »
I don't think you are cold hearted, you had your reasons like all of us who are nc. 

Your sis abused you for many years and you had enough.  Nothing else to add.

A poster once wrote:   I only care about those who care about me. 

 :meh:
I may be the black sheep of the family, but some of the white sheep are not as white as they try to appear.

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Bloomie

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Re: Big life events for BPD sis - appropriate response?
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2021, 12:09:06 PM »
thirstywork - I think of the even emotional response you describe feeling when we hear of some major event in a family member's life as healing. Not indifference, just no longer invested there.

The other thing I have found - by trial and error in my own life with family I am no longer in contact with - when I respond to someone's life event they did not directly tell me about and who I no longer have a relationship with and no longer desire a relationship with it is confusing and muddies the waters for both of us. And... I have begun to see this as possibly a boundary violation on my part when I act on information that did not come from them.

We recently received a message from an estranged family member asking about how a medical procedure went and we had not told them about this ourselves. They were told through another family member and it was uncomfortable and unwanted contact and we then had to decide if/how to respond.  :stars:

I am learning to honor the actual level of contact we have and keep communication consistent because from where I sit... that is kindness and the most loving thing I can do. To communicate or not, honestly.

Others will not understand this journey and our choices. They will disapprove - even hotly and passionately disapprove! The push back we have had for NC with a sibling has not let up for many years from certain shared family members who refuse to accept they do not have the authority to tell us how to conduct our lives or tell us how we have experienced another person and the conclusions we have come to from those experiences.

NC is a very difficult and personal decision. Breaking NC is sometimes necessary when we share - let's say, elderly parents - but, otherwise consistency is kind is my motto or continue as I mean to go.

Good luck with this. I'm glad you reached out and shared.

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bunnie

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Re: Big life events for BPD sis - appropriate response?
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2021, 12:49:08 PM »
thirstywork,
As hhaw stated, you're in a double bind. It's a very distressing place.

I'm in the same situation. I've been scapegoated and estranged from my nieces and nephew. There have been a few milestones in the kids' lives that I've missed due to my refusal to be baited. The emotional blackmail has been too much. So I stopped responding to news delivered through family members. These same family members don't extend themselves to support, but expect me to do so.
I now say, "I don't care." But that doesn't mean I'm not caring.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2021, 12:59:51 PM by bunnie »
To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize - Voltaire

ďSometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on. - Eckhart Tolle

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Tinkerbell

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Re: Big life events for BPD sis - appropriate response?
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2021, 09:28:58 AM »
Hi Thirstywork,

you have doubts, so normal, everyone has them.
You are the director of your own life! Everyone makes their own decisions, we all know you are happy with your desicion to go NC and it took a lot of courage.
Dont feel guilty for not contacting when life events happen. They didnt feel guilty towards you either, didnt they?
The doubting is a lack of self love. You have to still trust yourself and reminder why you made this huge decision. Because at the end of the day, you are the one thats responsible for you.

I wish you all the best!!

Tinkerbell

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thirstywork

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Re: Big life events for BPD sis - appropriate response?
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2021, 08:28:21 PM »
Just amazing responses. Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to respond. I actually came back to the page the following day to see if anyone had come back yet and a couple of you chimed in. I didnít have time to respond at the time but it filled me with confidence that I need to stick to my guns.

To read the further responses with some helpful reminders and some SUPER wise words was just the support I needed.

And youíre all 100% right. I canít go no contact and then just undo it for big events. That would seriously blur the boundaries and make going no contact again thereafter messy.

I think what Iím learning is that no contact will be challenged time and time again in different ways, and I just need to steady myself when it happens and think through the reasons why itís so important to me to protect myself.

Thank you all!