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Author Topic: Letter from uBPDm  (Read 532 times)
Rbrdkyst4
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I have the right to live my life the way I choose


« on: March 17, 2012, 01:44:54 AM »

My wife and I got married recently, and my uBPDm and enDad chose not to come and fly off to a sunny location to celebrate their own wedding anniversary. Of course we have restricted all wedding photos, much to their disappointment. Heck, since they didn't come, they've lost the privilege to see any of them and I've decided that no contact is best, complete and final.

Next, I got a phone message about a week ago from uBPDm saying that she hadn't heard from me and since it was Sunday and "Family Day" in her books, she wanted to chat. ...not happening...

So finally I got this letter that I'd like to share with you, a week later: (my comments in blue)

Dear [my wife] and Rbrdkyst4,

We hope that you are now happily settled into your home as husband and wife after your exciting time at (event) no mention or recognition that we actually had our wedding and got married

We know that there have been misunderstandings between us in the past, but, none of us has to remain in the past. We are truly sorry if we have said or done things that you perceived as hurtful back then. We did not intend to be hurtful. Perhaps we over-expressed our sense of caution about your relationship as well as our perception that we were being deliberately overlooked by you initially. We regret this very much. ...lots of things were hurtful. I have filled half a notebook of their crap and a lot of it is from the past 4 years

Today we ask for your forgiveness for anything in the past that we might have said or implied that caused you to feel judged or excluded from our goodwill. ...excluded? felt downright persecuted! "Goodwill" ...makes me shudder...     "Family is the most important thing" as Rbrdky's wise grandfather said. We agree. if family is so important, then why have I been called a family traitor? why has my integrity been challenged? why have they not been accepting of me for who I am and the choices I make?

So we hope you will forgive us for the past and accept our goodwill and friendship shudder for the future. Because, you are a vital part of our complex, multi-faceted, multi-talented family[/u]

uBPDm & enDad



My thoughts are that if we forgive and forget the past, then we're just setting ourselves up for disaster. "Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it" George Santayana.

In the book that I'm reading "Be More Assertive", by Suzie Hayman, there's a chapter aptly titled "Becoming Assertive", there's a part that I found to be very appropriate. It states, simply, that it helps to discuss things with your support network. That network when you were young was that of your parents. As you get older, it becomes your friends but your family still plays an important part. (Now here's the part that really hits the nail on the head...) "But once you leave home, while family are your safety net, you should be shifting your focus on your own life and needs, and a new support network - friends, and the family you begin on your own." My FOO is no longer a safety net that I can rely on.

I'd like to hear your thoughts and opinions. :D Thanks!


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Mom2MyKids
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« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2012, 02:13:32 AM »

FIRST, congratulations on your recent wedding! 

As for the letter, WOW, I too shudder when I read the letter.  Did she put in the bold font or did you add that?  That is amazing?  First of all, any apology that starts with "We are truly sorry if" is a NON apology and then she says  "we have said or done things that you perceived as hurtful " just implies that you have a perception problem.  it is only your PERCEPTION that is wrong.  And the way she continually says that things are "In the past" because she wants to let bygones be bygones and not have to show an ounce of remorse.  I hate to say it, but this letter is nothing buy manipulation.  Even saying things like "Today we ask for your forgiveness for anything in the past that we might have said or implied that caused you to feel judged or excluded from our goodwill."  The worst part is not so much the "what we might have said" part, but the way she refers to it as "anything".  Like she can't be specific about things she has done wrong because it will implicate herself and honestly, she probably doesn't even know.  If she can't recognize the specific things about what she has done wrong, then she will undoubtedly do them again.  How could she NOT if she doesn't even know what she did wrong. This apology is just a way to hopefully smooth things over so she can go back to the way things were.

Of course it's best to go no contact with someone like this.  It doesn't sound like there is any talking to her about anything.  And to not go to your wedding is one thing, but to then insist on seeing photos?  If your mom is like mine, she only wants the photos of your wedding so she can show them off to friends so she can pretend she was part of it.  I mean, it was nice of them to not show up at the wedding and make a stink.  I'll give her that much, but I'm sure her motives were not so pure.  I'm sure she did not want to be where she was not the center of attention.

I do agree that going no contact is appropriate and now is the time to make a new life with your wife.  Your only loyalty is to her now.  Not to your mother.
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"The worst thing about projection is that mud sticks best to a clean spot"
educator
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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2012, 05:19:02 AM »

Quote
Today we ask for your forgiveness for anything in the past that we might have said or implied that caused you to feel judged or excluded from our goodwill.

This part, I think bothers me the most.  I feel like she believes she has done nothing wrong.  She won't apologize for a specific thing she's done, rather a blanket statement.  And...I feel like she indicates the problem is really yours...you might have felt judged or excluded from her goodwill...she never meant any harm, but you took it that way. 

Also, I think it's odd they chose not to go to your wedding.  Was it a finiancial thing or just a they didn't want to go thing?  DH and I ended up just eloping because we had no money, but he also indicated he didn't think his uBPDm would come anyway.  She'd make up some lame excuse.

Sorry that all of this happened to you.  Congratulations to you and your wife.  I 100% agree with the book you are reading in that when we grow up we have a different support network.  Going no contact is a tough decision and one that I think should be discussed with a T, but may be the case here.
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allergictodramaSD
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« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2012, 06:46:58 AM »

I think a quick translation of that might go somewhat along these lines:

"We are truly sorry that you insisted on marrying [wife] despite our disapproval of a relationship that has played a significant role in your un-enmeshing yourself from us and beginning to establish a truly independent adult life.  Since we failed to prevent the wedding, we are now saying the minimum we feel is necessary to reel both of you back into the cycle of craziness, preferably in time to get our hooks into any potential grandchildren as well." 

I'm sorry, but very glad to hear you had a good wedding, and are feeling increasingly detached from the craziness.  Are you thinking of answsering? 
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P.F.Change
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« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2012, 08:39:33 AM »

Sounds like there may be some narcissism at play here, too. Have you done your reading on NPD?

What is the relationship between BPD and narcissism (NPD)?

PF
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Mom2MyKids
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My home away from home!


« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2012, 10:10:45 AM »

Sounds like there may be some narcissism at play here, too. Have you done your reading on NPD?

What is the relationship between BPD and narcissism (NPD)?

PF


Here is what the link said. The only thing missing from this description is a picture of my mother.  It fits her to a T!

Quote
Both are personality disorders, and they share some of the same symptoms, so how do you tell them apart?

Finding anything positive about narcissism is difficult, since most T find them very resistant to treatment. Here is a very negative view, but one that I found very informative...

Narcissism

Joanna M. Ashmun.
http://www.halcyon.com/jmashmun/NPD/index.html

Narcissistic individuals feel that they are special and unique in ways that others aren’t. They lack empathy to a stunning degree, and are amazed when others protest their poor treatment of them. They expect privileges and indulgences, and they also feel entitled to exploit other people without any trace of reciprocation. Their behavior is contemptuous towards others, a dismissive attitude towards other people's feelings, wishes, needs, concerns, standards, property, work, etc. In their minds normal rules don’t apply to them and they will break them when they feel they can get away with it, yet they expect others to follow them. And they criticize, gripe, and complain about almost everything and almost everyone almost all the time. Narcissists have little sense of humor. They don't get jokes, not even the funny papers or simple riddles, and they don't make jokes, except for sarcastic cracks and the lamest puns. Narcissists are not only selfish and ungiving -- they seem to have to make a point of not giving what they know someone else wants.

 There is only one way to please a narcissist (and it won't please you): that is to indulge their every whim, cater to their tiniest impulses, bend to their views on every little thing. and do not expect any reciprocation at all, do not expect them to show the slightest interest in you or your life (or even in why you're bothering with them at all), do not expect them to be able to do anything that you need or want, do not expect them to apologize or make amends or show any consideration for your feelings, do not expect them to take ordinary responsibility in any way. Once they know you are emotionally attached to them, they expect to be able to use you like an appliance and shove you around like a piece of furniture. If you object, then they'll say that obviously you don't really love them or else you'd let them do whatever they want with you. If you should be so uppity as to express a mind and heart of your own, then they will cut you off -- just like that. Once narcissists know that you care for them, they'll suck you dry -- demand all your time, be more work than a newborn babe -- and they'll test your love by outrageous demands and power moves. In their world, love is a weakness and saying "I love you" is asking to be hurt, so be careful: they'll hurt you out of a sort of sacred duty. They can't or won't trust, so they will test your total devotion. If you won't submit to their tyranny, then you will be discarded as "no good," "a waste of time," "you don't really love me or you'd do whatever I ask," "I give up on you." These people are geniuses of "Come closer so I can slap you." 

Psychology Today
http://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/narcissistic.html

   * Overreacts to criticism, becoming angry or humiliated
    * Uses others to reach goals
    * Exaggerates own importance
    * Entertains unrealistic fantasies about achievements, power, beauty, intelligence or romance
    * Has unreasonable expectation of favorable treatment
    * Needs constant attention and positive reinforcement from others
    * Is easily jealous
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AfraidAndSad99
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« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2012, 12:55:43 PM »

I positively LOVE AllergicToDrama's "translation" of uBPDm's letter. It's perfect.

Keep up with the no contact and keep loving your new life partner. (About the only thing that can get through a real no contact is a mailed letter.)

Hooray for you!

AfraidAndSad99
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Rbrdkyst4
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I have the right to live my life the way I choose


« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2012, 01:38:51 PM »

Thank you for your replies! I'll try and answer everyone's questions...

@M2MK: my mother put those words in capital letters, I merely put them in bold.

@educator: my parents have no financial issues that I'm aware of. If they can jet off to parts of the Carribbean instead of my wedding, I think that they're doing okay. Personally I think it was for the best that they didn't come anyways.

@allergictodrama: I had thought about responding by mail. Something along the lines like "I would be a fool to forgive and forget" and "I have a new family now, and my allegiance is to them and the friends who came to support us at our wedding". If I were to reply, would anyone have any suggestions on tactful ways to reply so that they'd get the hint?

@PFChange: Thanks for the link! I read it through and wonder: can she have both PD's? There are many things with NPD that fit the bill, but BPD seems to have the edge.

Thank you all for your answers! My next question is: should I reply, or not? I'd like to tear a strip off of her, and the replies I've suggested would hammer things home (part of being assertive I guess). At the same time dignifying her with a reply would be too much. Guess I'll have to think about it... if I did reply, any suggestions on how to write it? I recall there being a way to respond to hostile emails/letters etc - the BIFF technique (Brief, Informative, Friendly, Firm) but I merely see the Informative part as a bad thing since that might give them fuel for the fire, so to speak.
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Rbrdkyst4
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I have the right to live my life the way I choose


« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2012, 01:41:47 PM »

@M2MK: the comment about the photos is spot on! She only wants them to show off her "perfect" family and how proud she is to people who come over. Our achievements are her medals that she shows and brags about.
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Mom2MyKids
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« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2012, 03:24:36 PM »

@M2MK: the comment about the photos is spot on! She only wants them to show off her "perfect" family and how proud she is to people who come over. Our achievements are her medals that she shows and brags about.

that's my mom as well.  If someone comes to visit her, she writes all her friends about the fact that someone came to visit her and details the visit to others.  Oh, and she leaves out anything negative because that wouldn't look good at all.

She'll say she doesn't bad mouth others and doesn't air her dirty laundry etc...  but she comes across like everything is good and nice and wonderful.

My brothers went up to visit my parents 2+ years ago to have a sort of intervention and she wrote to everyone about the wonderful visit she had with her two sons and all the things they checked off of her "to do" list for her as that is a normal visit from your two adult suns.  They hung a lamp, fixed a printer, changed a license plate, etc...  Not one mention of the confrontation or the denial or the tears or getting caught in about a dozen lies.  It was simply a lovely visit with her two adult sons who went out of their way to go visit her because she's worthy of a visit like that.   

If I sent pictures of the kids, she would send copies to others, not saying "look at my grandchildren how big they're getting."  It would be "Look what my daughter sent me!  Pictures of my grandchildren."

"Look what I got."
"Look who came to see me."
"Look at pictures from the event that we were invited to."

Translation:  People want to see me, send me things, talk to me on the phone, write letters, e-mails, cards to me.  People want me to go visit them.  People want to spend time with me.  I am wanted and I am loved and I am missed.

In the case of the wedding, my mother would not care about the wedding.  She would only care that she was invited to it and that someone wanted her to be there.
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