uPD sib and her charm campaign

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LemonLime

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uPD sib and her charm campaign
« on: October 10, 2021, 08:52:48 PM »
Ugh.  Some of you know I have a uNPD sibling, who is as covert as one can get.  She 's far too sophisticated to fall into the trap of being obviously narcissistic.  Which makes it crazy-making in its own way.  On the other hand she's not as bad of a narcissist as many of you have to deal with, and for that I'm grateful.

Her main issues are her incredibly fragile ego and her defensiveness in order to maintain her image of all-loving, nature-loving, at-one-with-the-world bohemian superwoman.    One who has special mind-reading powers, but is victimized because people are jealous of her intelligence and power in the world.  Apparently we are all sort of daft compared to her ability to see things as they really are, read other people's minds, communicate with pets on another level, and just generally be better and more intuitive than the rest of us.  Also, she is apparently is far more compassionate than the rest of us.   :stars:

So she rages when she darn well wants to, and nobody stops her because she surrounds herself with "yes men".   And only does it in front of FOO.  Til I finally put up a boundary and totally threw a monkey wrench into her world.  I went VLC due to the rage and she is clearly at a loss, but has been working on how to regain control.

My parents were out of town for a few weeks so sib flew into the country with her spouse to house-sit for my parents.  Just to be "nice".   Oh and to use their car and whatnot.  But also I suspect there was another reason for their visit.  I believe she has been trying to smear me since the VLC started.  Or at least frame it as "Lemon Lime worries me.  She seems not totally well.  A bit withdrawn, and seems to be isolating" (I'm not).   "Oh well, I'll be here for her when she comes out of her funk.  I'm a loyal sister, after all".   Or something of that sort.

I believe she now has decided to up the game and to charm the pants off all our mutual friends and family.   She has entertained family at her place, going over the top with graciousness.   While my parents were away she planted their whole garden and fixed a bunch of things that were on their to-do list.   She insisted that she host my parents' friends at the usual brunch that my parents have weekly at their house.   She insisted that my parents not cancel it just because they were to be away, that she would be the host.   The parents' friends were so impressed and charmed....oh my goodness, how lucky my parents are to have such a gracious and generous daughter.   Having old people over, making them fresh food and entertaining them with her (exaggerated) stories!   Then off sis went to parents' friend's house to do some odd jobs for her, just because.   

So today I get a note from that friend of my parents, who I have had a much closer relationship with than my sib has.   Friend went on and on about how sib hosted and helped her, was so kind.    Of course this friend does not know anything about sib's rages, as my mom is a good little soldier and keeps "family things in the family". 

I'm so enraged that sib gets away with this.  She has her puppets doing her bidding, keeping their mouths closed about the real story (even though they have seen the rages), so sib comes off looking like a rose.  There is no way to make people understand her ugly underbelly without looking like a shrew.  There is just no way.  Everyone is playing their part in the play that sib directs.  It's emotional blackmail and I'm sick about it.

She sends me gifts on my birthday and makes sure to act as though she is not aware of anything being wrong between us.   Mom says "Lemon Lime, she acts as though things are totally fine between the two of you."    Mom knows the whole story but will not confront sib, as mom is all about keeping the peace in her house. 

it's gaslighting and it's framing.  It's so sick.  And hardly anyone can see it.

She has always needed to be higher on the ladder.  Normally she does that by putting others down.   But I suspect she has changed tacks, as she may realize that many people who have met me will have a hard time believing terrible lies she might tell about me.   And of course mom and dad know the truth because they've seen it happen, so sib knows they won't believe her trash-talk about me.    So I guess the other way to "win" is to ingratiate yourself to FOO and Friends.   That way, if Lemon Lime dares to spill the beans about sis's bad behavior, they won't believe me.  How could PD sis rage?  It's impossible to imagine, given how wonderful she has been to everyone.   Very clever, sis.  Very very clever.

Lemon Lime will be punished for not towing the line.   For not indulging sib's fantasy of her immaculate image. 

Ugh.  Just ugh.
The bad guys shouldn't win.  The bad guys are winning.     :blink:
Thanks for the space to vent.

« Last Edit: October 10, 2021, 09:01:27 PM by LemonLime »

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Bloomie

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Re: uPD sib and her charm campaign
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2021, 12:24:21 PM »
LemonLime - the length someone will go to in order to establish a narrative that paints them positively versus actually taking responsibility for themselves and owning their harmful behaviors  - truly becoming the lovely, kind, person they play for an audience for the period of time it benefits them - will always be mind boggling to me.  :stars:

The "oh, I'm so so worried about Bloomie... I think she is struggling emotionally... physically... spiritually... she is acting out of character..." when I have removed myself from the manipulations and abusive behaviors of a sibling is very familiar and disheartening.  To see the buy in of so many people in our shared circle is crushing and on some level alerts me as my character will subtly be challenged and ever so sickeningly sweetly be attacked.

Here's the thing... you know. You know about the rages and abuse. You are most likely the only one who is expected to absorb that abuse from your sister for your entire life. Longer than your parents (most likely as you will live longer), much longer and much more intimately than any of your parent's social circle, or friends from your home town, or church, or any shared community of people.

People are drawn to superficial charm and 'acts' of charity and most are not in a position to ever see, or need to see, beneath the surface. It is really hard not to find ourselves threatened by the what if's. And there is where the most important boundary comes in for me... refusing to ruminate and imagine what is being said or done or thought of by others when a sibling is actively and covertly undermining.

Know that you are validated here. I believe you and I support you as you process the latest of what I personally see as the slipperiest of the slippery - the Goddess of Goodness act. 

Sending you strength and peace as you trust yourself and continue to rely on your own good judgement and character in all of this. 

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notrightinthehead

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Re: uPD sib and her charm campaign
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2021, 03:57:50 AM »
I agree with Bloomie, refusing to ruminate, forcing myself to think of something else is the best medicine for me in situations like that. I try really hard to not give such people power over my mind by thinking about them, what they are plotting, saying, thinking.
When I have to listen to recipients of the charm attack I say something like "Yes, she comes across as charming, helpful, understanding..." thus trying to plant a seed of doubt. And I no longer keep the silence. When someone I like and trust asks me about the reason for the rift in the relationship, I answer honestly. Briefly, but honestly. I feel that keeping it quiet is enabling the behaviour.
Sounds like you might have this problem for a long time and you seem to be very capable to protect yourself and continue on your healing journey.
I can't hate my way into loving myself.

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LemonLime

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Re: uPD sib and her charm campaign
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2021, 02:59:19 PM »
Bloomie, thank you so much for your kind and soothing words.  They're exactly what I needed to hear.   That I am understood on this forum, that this is how some PD's operate and that it is normal to be crushed by it all.   I'm so sorry that you have also had to endure this.  You are so right about all of it, and I thank you for your words about not ruminating.   For ruminating about it is exactly what I do, as well as thinking about the What Ifs, and it's really the thing that is getting in the way of a happy life right now.  But I have the power to NOT ruminate, and that will be what I work on next.

Notrightinthehead, thank you.  I too, feel that keeping quiet is enabling sib's behavior.  After all part of the reason she PD is because my parents never called her out.  They remained silent, just as sib wanted/demanded.   I will remember the example of what you say to people who might be under The Spell (as I call it).  Just enough information to plant a seed, but not enough to risk being framed as Persecutor.  That feels important to my own integrity, which sib has tried so hard to squelch all my life.  And she did manage to squelch my integrity for many many years.  But no more.

You all are such a blessing.   Thank you again from the bottom of my heart.
LL

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Hepatica

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Re: uPD sib and her charm campaign
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2021, 08:43:13 PM »
LemonLime, I'm so sorry you have to go through this. Bloomie is so right that people are drawn to superficial charm and 'acts' of charity. The thing is, is the PD person cannot maintain the charming act for very long. It seems to have a timer that runs out sooner or later and it is often, only the family who witnesses the PD person when they take their mask off.

I was not blessed with superficial charm. :) I am awkward and shy but my sister could easily get an acting award. It is only if you spend more than four hours with her that you will see the mask fall. And what's behind it is petty, jealous, attention-sucking and competitive. Because I have seen it, I then became a threat to her and she too went on a charm offensive, as soon as I set one very healthy and reasonable boundary with her. My parents too overlook her behaviour because they need her.

What you said about your sister needing to be higher on the ladder is so familiar to me. I hate that they get away with everything they do that is underhanded and cruel to us. It is true that it really feels like the bad guys win every single time in a PD family.

But it cannot be the reality. They cannot be happy with the feelings the have that make them constantly need to manipulate others. It can't be a good feeling. I think opting out of the game is our only choice and for me I keep working on my own inner well-being and joy as I take space from my sister. Her outer focus of having to control the world around her I would never, ever want to feel for even five minutes. It must be a terrible feeling.
ďThere is a place in you where you have never been wounded, where there's
still a sureness in you, where there's a seamlessness in you, and where
there is a confidence and tranquility." John O'Donohue

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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: uPD sib and her charm campaign
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2021, 12:02:28 AM »
Hepatica, or as we used to say as kids, ďSee ya! Wouldnít wanna be ya!Ē

I was socially awkward too, and my younger sister was Junior Miss Student Council. Our roles were well established; unquestionably she was the GC and I the SG. And yet she was so insecure. In her mind I had the power to ruin EVERYTHING. Just by existing, I guess. She would forbid me from interacting with her classmates during election time, lest I lose her votes. I had to stay off her turf. She was jealous of any attention I got from parents or other people.

I see a similar dynamic with LemonLimeís sib. The family apparently isnít big enough to love the both of you.

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guitarman

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Re: uPD sib and her charm campaign
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2021, 05:56:35 AM »
*** Trigger Warning ***

LemonLime you could be talking about my uBPD/NPD sister. I can relate to much of what you have written about.

My sister claims to be a psychic and says she can read peopleís minds. Sheís been on a cable TV station and internet radio around the world asking people to call her to get a reading. Thatís how deluded she is. Itís all so sad really. She can be quite a vulnerable person.

Her narcissistic rages are terrifying but she keeps those for our FOO. If she raged in front of her friends they wouldnít be her friends any more. So she can control herself when she wants to.

I used to believe that she had many mental health issues including suicidal ideation. Now I have reclassified her behaviour as abuse. I now call her my abuser and that I am her target of abuse. Abusers are all about power and control.

Iíve not had any contact with her since our elderly mother passed away two years ago. I donít want to see her ever again. Iím done. Iím done with all the death dramas. I wish her well from afar.

My sister also does smear campaigns and makes false allegations. She can be vary dangerous as people who donít know the truth believe her. She can be a good actress and plays the victim all the time.

You need to be aware of the narcissistic cycle of abuse where the abuser turns everything around to become the victim. They do this by provoking you into being angry at them. Then you shout at them and they then have the evidence that you are the abuser and they are the victim. Itís a sick, twisted game that they can play.

So my golden rule is to always remain calm no matter what happens. That way my sister canít get what she wants by provoking me into anger at her. I donít feed her narcissistic supply. I donít give her what she craves.

Other people donít really understand what we have had to endure for a long time unless they have experienced this all for themselves. You are amongst friends here who really do understand. You are not alone.

One day her true behaviour will leak out and her behaviour will be seen for what it really is. That is what she is probably terrified about. The mask will eventually slip and she will be found out.

There are techniques to use such as grey rock and medium chill to detach yourself and not get so upset. Iíve learnt that we canít control anyone elseís behaviour, we can only change and control our own. Thatís very freeing to realise.

Observe donít absorb.

Keep calm. Stay strong. Keep posting.
"Do not let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace." - Dalai Lama

"You don't have to be a part of it, you can become apart from it." - guitarman

"Be gentle with yourself, you're doing the best you can." - Anon

"If it hurts it isn't love." - Kris Godinez, counsellor and author

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LemonLime

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Re: uPD sib and her charm campaign
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2021, 08:24:08 PM »
Thank you Guitarman for your sage advice.  I've followed your story for some time, and have seen the similarities between our sisters.  I remember learning from you about the idea of the PD provoking us so that they can play victim.  And since that time, I've been able to see that dynamic with my sister.  She will be Persecutor so that she can then play Victim.  I've learned Gray Rock and Medium Chill, and they have served me very well.

I keep learning things about PDs, sort of in layers.  It's taking me a surprising amount of time to "get it", and to wrap my head around what PDs do.  Then I spend some time looking back at interactions with my sib, realizing all the times she was being dysfunctional.  Although it always seemed something was "off" I couldn't put my finger on it and didn't get just how bad things were.  I always sort of talked myself out of my feelings.  It's good to get affirmation here, even though it's sad that we are all in this situation.

Something sort of "funny" is that my sib has accused me of being "entitled" and of "triangulating".   She has accused my husband of "baiting" her.
It's so weird but really so predictable when I think about it..... the projection is jaw-dropping.   Sib has a college degree in psychology.... :stars:  Of course.

Another thing I realize is that  for some time I felt that if I just ignored sib or did MC/GR, I could opt out of her drama.   And to some extent that's true.  But not totally, since she will just up the game to slandering me.   Once a PD has their sights on you, it's difficult to truly be free no matter what you do.  I guess unless you fake your own death!    ;)
They have so many "tools" in their toolbox, don't they?   I'm glad we have our own Toolbox on this forum.
Thanks again, everyone.  You're the best.




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Hilltop

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Re: uPD sib and her charm campaign
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2021, 12:12:16 AM »
Hey Lemonlime my sister is also the charming one, the extrovert so people have always been more comfortable around her than me who is shy and more of an introvert.  My sister has also gossiped about me and has pretty much written me off.  She still loves to get gossip about me from our parents but makes zero effort to personally interact with me.  I have since given up on the relationship and I hope to never see or speak to her again.  For me in some ways too painful, since we were closer growing up and then one day she turned her back and me and simply never spoke to me again.  I did find out my mother was making up stories about me and slandering me so that's likely a large part of the problem.

I have found with both my mother and earlier with my sister that they will set up situations to make me angry and then when I react they play the victim and accuse me of being sensitive, dramatic, depressed. They then seem to point the finger and accuse me as being the problem and they are innocent. I have for a long time now gone medium chill and stopped reacting however it doesn't help a great deal as I have still had to deal with the original slight or insult, which is why I moved to NC with my sister and almost NC with my parents.

I don't think there is a way around these dynamics, I have spent years trying so many different ways of handling it and gotten no where.  When they don't get their desired response I have found they slander me or gossip about me to stir up trouble or drama or continue the narrative that suits them.  I have found walking away the best option for me.

My mother is also a big one for putting on the charm with others so that she can continue her narrative.  At the moment she has even started contacting my in-laws and is being super nice and helpful with them.  I believe she is worried that I am talking about her, telling the truth, so she has to contact people and charm them so they won't believe anything I say.  What she doesn't realize is that I am not like her, I don't talk about her, I don't talk about my problems with her, I don't lie about her and I don't gossip about her.  I just want to be left alone.  I have a friend who lives close to where my parents live and my mother has commented that she hasn't seen them out at the shops in ages.  I could tell that she is trying to find an in with that friend as well.  One of her friends does see my friends mother though and I am surprised at the information that has been relayed.  I really just want her out of my personal business.  She created problems and drama's.  She did try with my friend through the mom's but it didn't get anywhere.  Its really awful to have someone in your life do this, let alone a family member.  It really can do a lot of damage.  Its for that reason I have taken a massive step back, stopped all information and now rarely see or speak to any of them.  My mother use to work with a woman who was married to a man I worked with, it was this weird twist of fate and my mother even tried to cause drama there, she told this woman about a fight I had with my husband early in our marriage.  At that stage I didn't realise who my parents were and thought they were supportive, I didn't realise that all my problems were shared around at her workplace, I cringe thinking about it.  However that's what they do, put on the charm, paint a difficult narrative of you because they want to be seen as the victim, the good one.

I would like to say that people will eventually see them for who they really are but it doesn't always work.  There was one group of friends my mother had who stopped talking to her.  However plenty are still around, I find its the ones who enjoy the gossip and drama that stick around and of course there are always new sources of interest such as my in-laws that pop up.  Luckily now that I have moved away, my mother only has two sources to get at me through.  Speaking to my in-laws also works for her as she gets her gossip about us from them.  She doesn't need to speak to me but she needs to keep up appearances.

I also found that when I stepped back from my sister and stopped worrying what had happened, the drama was continued by my mother with her conversations about my sister etc.  If I said I didn't want to hear about her you can bet that every conversation we had for the months following included my sister.  I gave up.  You can't stop these types from playing their games.  I hope you find a way to deal with them, it isn't easy.

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LemonLime

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Re: uPD sib and her charm campaign
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2021, 12:09:53 PM »
"My mother is also a big one for putting on the charm with others so that she can continue her narrative.  At the moment she has even started contacting my in-laws and is being super nice and helpful with them.  I believe she is worried that I am talking about her, telling the truth, so she has to contact people and charm them so they won't believe anything I say.  What she doesn't realize is that I am not like her, I don't talk about her, I don't talk about my problems with her, I don't lie about her and I don't gossip about her.  I just want to be left alone."

Hilltop,
I so relate to what you have written, especially the quote above.   The PD does not "get" that we don't operate like they do.  They project their petty and mean actions onto us, assuming that we play like they do.
I'm sorry you are dealing with this.  It's not fair and none of us deserve this.  Thank goodness we have each other.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2021, 12:11:48 PM by LemonLime »