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Chosen Relationships / Re: Why am I still here?
« Last post by IAmReady on Today at 08:42:39 PM »
I agree with everything Nothing Identifying wrote.

I am extremely surprised that a therapist would discourage you from blocking a PD partner who has been the cause of so much turmoil and stress in your life, to the point that you have C-PTSD. It sounds to me like your therapist doesn't get how truly toxic these people are, and that the normal rules of separation/breaking up don't apply.

What purpose does she feel it will serve to continually expose you to your PD partner's abuse? You say he is continuing to use you for his "psychological dumping ground" - why would your therapist want you to have to cope with this? Perhaps she means well, but in my opinion such advice might only worsen your trauma and prolong your stay with this man.

If your therapist believes that you are "hardening up" and developing coping skills through continued (unwanted?) contact with your partner, I worry that such notions are the result of your therapist simply not understanding PDs and how they operate. You would never advise an abused woman to stay in contact with her abuser so that she can develop some good coping skills for dealing with difficult people (!!!). You would tell her to hit the road and get as far away from the abuser as possible.

If in your heart you are truly ready to block him and move on, I hope you will trust your instincts (and get a new therapist).

Dealing with PD In-Laws / Re: Family mediator - good move or not?
« Last post by kayjewel on Today at 08:40:32 PM »
For mediation or family therapy to work, all parties have to be acting in good faith. Doing things in good faith is something that PD and N people have a very hard time with.

There's a deeper issue here, though. You said you want to have "agreements in how they have contact with the kids with my terms taken into account."

Good grief, you're the children's parent. Your terms should not just be "taken into account". As the parent, your terms are the only ones that count. Do not do anything that would result in your giving up any of your power or authority as parent.

If you feel that your kids would benefit from having NILs on their lives, and if you feel the benefit would outweigh the negatives, then you as the parent could decide to let NILs have contact with your kids. But only on your terms, and you set the terms. If they cannot abide by your terms, they cannot have contact with your kids. Period.

Your decision should be based on how the NILs are now. Not on how you're hoping they could be if this, that or the other happened.

Also, read about proxy recruitment. PD people have a way of enlisting (or trying to enlist) counselors and therapists to use against you.

I'm so sorry on two levels, one, because of the way he sees you, which is so devaluating, and second that he told you so to your face and didn't think about how hurtful this would be to you.

Objectification from the glossary describes it well as well as Fungibility, and both are painful to experience. I'm sorry you had to hear those words, and also want to let you know how amazing it is that you are taking it so calmly. A clear sign of your own OOTF work.
Thanks I am ready
I only listened to her speak and didn't read any of her books as of yet. But hearing your assessment of them I may just skip them altogether. 

Are there other books you would recommend instead?
Dealing with PD Parents / Re: My mom is in financial failure
« Last post by practical on Today at 08:33:38 PM »
Welcome to OOTF!

You are few is spot on, you would be sending good money after bad and be an enabler to her unhealthy behavior (check Glossary    for any unfamiliar terms like for example enabler). My M was bipolar, and we were in your position, unfortunately my father kept bailing her out, so another cycle of unrestricted spending would start soon after. By not sending her money, by not making this your problem, which it isn't, you are giving her the responsibility for her life. There is something called the 3 C's Rule:
I didn't cause, I cannot control it, I cannot cure it, which I have found very helpful. you can read more about it in the Toolbox     . You may also want to look at My Stuff/ Your Stuff and Boundaries. There is a lot of really helpful information in there focused on you, how to help you - not your M - to grow and heal.

Holiday Triggers - they are a real thing, you are not alone in trying to navigate them. The best way to deal with it is to not engage in her drama. A simple statement like "I'm sorry you cannot come. How is the weather?" and at the end the pivot to a new topic to redirect the conversation or if nothing helps "I have to run!" might do the trick, even if it might sound ridiculous to you right now. It is called "not taking the bait" and practicing Medium Chill.

Please have a look around, as I said, check out the Toolbox, and look at the various other tabs at the top of the page and the resources. You may find reading through the helpful, as many of them contain information about "What to do" as well as "What not to do".

You are doing the right thing by saying No. It may help you to think of your M as toddler with a temper tantrum or in a petulant mood, and just like you would set boundaries with a child, you have to do with your mother, which can be very difficult in the beginning.

Sending you strength.

Hi Everyone

I phoned uNPDF today expecting more hoovering/ST/raging over an upcoming family party that I've decided not to go to but I was wrong. No discussion on this topic whatsoever.  Instead he told me he'd been talking to one of his carers and she'd asked him if he had any children (he has me and my B) His reply was "I don't really have any children, they live too far away to be of any help to me"!!!!!  :aaauuugh:  I was shocked, so shocked that I couldn't think of a reply.  Afterwards I sat down and thought about my feelings and what I felt predominantly was sad but not really surprised, it was solid confirmation, if I ever needed it that he sees me and B only as objects to be used.  A couple of years ago I would have been deeply hurt and dwelt on this for days afterwards but now I just think - well what do you expect?  In a strange way this seems like a step forward. LW

Yup--your father's way of looking at people is really similar to my own.  It's funny how PDs or narcs say such similar things. 

When trying to shame me as the bad daughter, my narc father once said: "You are of no help to me."  My brother, on the other hand, has dropped everything to be narc father's servant (and he gets criticized non-stop as a reward).  But he gets one compliment from narc father: "He is of use to me."  It's the saddest thing to hear: "Of use to me."  It means we're not people outside of what he can obtain from us.   My narc father is always trying to cajole me into returning home, offering enticements, which I know he'll rescind, just so he can have another person catering to his whims.  He's never satisfied.  Goodness knows my poor mom tried her best to please him with little results or praise.  She's gone now--died from a stroke.   When mom was in the hospital, his words were: "Who will take care of me?"  It's sad.  But, at the very least, you know that's how they see everyone, and thereby, it's less hurtful because it's nothing you did, in particular.  It's just how they're wired.  The only bright spot, I guess.
Take care....             
Dealing with PD Parents / Re: Inconsistent Concern/Compassion
« Last post by scribblesandsuch on Today at 08:27:49 PM »
It really is confusing and remembering those "good times" really kicks up the guilt a notch or few...hundred. I feel like my mother got worse as we got older too. I can't decide if it was somehow related to us growing up, or the effects of her aging.

What's also confusing is that some of what was masked as concern, was as often an excuse to exert control or make demands as it was sincere. At times, it was also a means of achieving other ends while preserving her view of herself or her image. It really wasn't all for show; there were moments that were very genuine. There was a primal sacredness to the fact that we were her children, but also the expectation that we existed for her, as if to fill some void.

The pain she felt as a result of that void was also very, very sincere and it was truly heartbreaking to watch. The thing is, we didn't cause it and we were powerless to fix it. Even so, we were made responsible for it and every failure to resolve her pain was thrown in our faces with sometimes terrifying intensity and venom.
I'm still getting counseling for the abuse I went through growing up with an BPD/Nmom and enDad.  I'm diagnosed with PTSD.  However, I feel that my experiences has made me a more empathetic person - I don't ever want to be like my parents.  I'm not trying to brag on myself or anything, but I am usually a "warm" person and open - I find it easy to talk to anybody.  I listen to anybody - especially people who seem to be having a hard time.  People tend to tell me their stories - I don't know why or what it is - I can be in the elevator with somebody for a minute and ask how their day is and I guess it's because if they dont' seem okay, I ask another question and then bam they are telling me something really bad's going on in their life and I say somethign encouraging and then never see them again.  It happens a lot like in random places, waiting in line, with the cashier, with somebody who is working on my car, etc.  I think it's a good thing, when its someone I have a brief conversation with.  However, its a HUGE problem when it's somebody that I'm "stuck" with everyday - for example, coworkers, and in college - roommates.

I tend to welcome people and when there are red flags I don't / am too afraid to draw firm boundaries fast.  I'm afraid of hurting other people's feelings, of making a situation awkward.  I think that I can handle it - I keep telling myself "I can handle this amount of uncomfortable for the sake of them not getting their feelings hurt if I draw a boundary." and then it ALWAYS gets worse, because as well all know, people with PD traits, or even just selfish people who are emotionally draining, tend to take more and more until you either have to say "no!" or run.  Usually I try to "run." 

I am in a job right now that I just started this summer.  It's a really good job for me, just out of college.  I love the position, and everyone I work with, except my boss.  My boss has crossed boundaries with me, and at first I did what I usually do - try to pretend nothing is wrong, while I'm so uncomfortable, and continue to be nicer and nicer, out of sort of wanting to protect myself - not wanting to rock the boat, because I'm scared of her.  Well, I realized this pattern, and I decided that I don't want to pretend that I'm comfortable.  I don't want to run away from this job either.  So what's left is asserting boundaries.  I discussed this with my counselor, and I started creating boundaries. 

Her reaction to my boundaries has been surprising!  She has become more and more emotional, agitated, bold.  So I started documenting everything that I do at work, and the instances that I'm uncomfortable.  I've asked other coworkers if they felt the way she was speaking to me was appropriate.  I've had a lot of coworkers tell me that they have my back if I am ever questioned about my work, because they have witnessed her behavior. 

I decided to speak with my boss's boss, to make them aware of the situation.  My boss was reacting to my boundaries in more intense ways, so I was setting MORE boundaries and her reactions got more intense, so I felt that either she was going to get the message with my boundaries, or she was going to "explode" and I might need to explain my side of the story to her boss, so I was proactive and met with her boss and told her everything.  I asked her to not "get her in trouble" because my intention wasn't to take action with HR, but to just make sure she was aware if the situation got worse, and I was hoping it wouldn't.

Well, a week later, my boss screamed at me and was so out of line that I went back to her boss, and told her I am at my limit of what I can handle as far as stress - I am not able to do my job well in this situation, I've tried to assert boundaries, I'm uncomfortable, and I'd like to involve HR.

I'm not sure where this is going to go or what to say, or what the possible outcomes even are, as I am just new to the professional field - I just graduated college last year and previously I had never been treated this way, even working in retail, food service, and hospitality - lots of customer service fields and I had STILL never been talked to this way at work. 

My job includes "counseling" a large number of people, in some fashion.  I dont' want to say what I do as it's kind of unique.  It requires me to be easy to talk to.  I am now unsure of my ability to assert boundaries because, every time I've run across someone who is a PD or behaves in a similar way, and then end up running away from the situation with them, after dealing with those situations, I never want to become "cold" or less easy to talk to, because I do feel that is a good trait that I have.  However, this is THE one situation that I think will make me become more closed off to people, and less trusting and open.  Maybe that is a good thing?  I realize that I need to be confident and sure about my boundaries, and recognize red flags ASAP.  I just don't want to go around thinkin that everyone who has red flags is a PD  -- I don't trust my ability to recognize red flags.  I know that I am really sensitive to people because of my experience with my family, and I want to use that to be an open, kind person with empathy.  But if I think that I'm being empathetic, when really I'm just lacking boundaries and getting hurt, then I don't want that.  It's hard to tell and this situation is making me doubt what I know about boundaries and trusting people.  I feel very manipulated by my boss.  She was so kind, spoke in a soothing tone, always seemed caring.  Then suddenly she started speaking to me harshly, and blaming me for things, following similar patterns to my N/BPDm.  I didn't trust my OWN instinct of being uncomfortable around her, because I wanted to give her a chance, and I thought I was being too sensitive.

Any advice is appreciated!
Dealing with PD Parents / My mom is in financial failure
« Last post by GirlJ on Today at 08:14:39 PM »
Hi, I'm new to the group. I've been learning how to live with a PD parent. I'm an adult with my own family but that seems to be a trigger for my mom. Every event, holiday and birthday are compromised with her not being able to "celebrate " because I have chosen to live so far away. She is currently in financial ruin and she sees it as my responsibility to get her out of it. I love her but I also know she made choices that got her in this position. By sending her money I would be sending good money after bad! I feel strongly about this but I also fear what will happen to her. Honestly, the money I could send will keep food on her table but will not help with anything else. I feel mean and disrespectful. Advise?
Tonight (Saturday evening).
Dad/ spouse: playing online computer game 5p-9pm.
Family around him.
Mom/spouse/me (narrator) , after dinner, dishes, cleaning: Your son wants to show you his music creation.
Him: Grunt
Eventually he stopped his ipad game and looked at his son's music creation online.
He attacked me in front of our son, called me a bitch who was controlling him and many other negative labels.
I am mystified clueless and heartbroken.
He got abusive towards me in front of our kid.

I know this is a fragment and not quite clear.
I need help to figure out what is happening and to get clear and to get my son to a safe place.
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