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VIDEO: "What is parental alienation?" Parental alienation is when a parent allows a child to participate or hear them degrade the other parent. This is not uncommon in divorces and the children often adjust. In severe cases, however, it can be devastating to the child. This video provides a helpful overview.
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Author Topic: Evidence of the Smear Campaign  (Read 1456 times)
mama-wolf
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« on: October 05, 2018, 07:51:34 AM »

I knew it had to be happening in person, but I guess I hoped it would stay off of social media.  I haven't blocked my uBPDxw, and she hasn't blocked me, but our settings are such that I really only see her most public updates in Facebook like changes to her profile picture, but we have more than 120 mutual connections.  Even on Instagram I have muted her posts so that I have to consciously go into her feed if I want to see what she's sharing.

My stepmom sent me a message last night, alerting me that my uBPDxw was "playing the victim on FB."  I could tell my stepmom was pretty mad about it, so I got someone else to pull up the post so that I could assess the situation. 

After her first meeting with our PC last week, my uBPDxw had sent me a laundry list of demands that she had accumulated over our first three months of separation.  She disagreed with my responses to several demands, in particular whether she continues to have a right to toys/books that belonged to the kids that she consciously declined taking when she was moving her stuff out.  I specifically went through the toys with her and offered to send more than she had selected, but she said she "doesn't have room" in the small townhouse that she has been "forced" to move into.

She made this recent demand because she saw that someone had paid me on Venmo for some puzzles (lesson learned there), and tried to play the whole "the kids have hardly any toys here" card.  She also tried to insist that if I did make any money off of something I sold, that I should deduct that from whatever I expenses I ask her to reimburse me for.

I told her that I first ask the kids if they want to keep something, and I encourage them to take things to her house, and that ultimately all finances (including property) were settled in the separation agreement that we signed at the end of our mediation.  I didn't get into the details of how the puzzles I sold were from when our kids were toddlers, or that anything else I plan to sell has been sitting around and untouched for well over a year.  I didn't go into the fact that I use the money towards things like replacing items that she took from the house, or to help with things like taking the kids out for pizza and a movie.  All she cares about is the fact that my current income is significantly higher than hers, but she does not think (or care) about all the extra money I pay on a monthly basis for all the kids' childcare, kids' health insurance, debt service against the tens of thousands of dollars in debt she helped us create, and--let's not forget--child support to her on top of all of that.

So, it seems she posted the following to FB earlier this week:

    "If you're the separated spouse that had to move out, would you think your personal property included selecting toys and books from your kids' rooms and playrooms?  Or do you spend the $250 that could go to a Parenting coordinator and instead spend half that much to buy books and toys for your kids at your new place? (Asking for a friend.)"

She followed that up with some additional remarks in the comments with carefully selected details of the timing for how long she had to pack things to move out, etc.  And of course friends have chimed in.  I can't (and wouldn't anyway) weigh in on that thread, but I felt I had to say something given how many connections we share.  So, I posted the following general statement in my feed:

    I have really tried to keep my separation and pending divorce completely off of my social media. Unfortunately, I find myself needing to get at least one message out. I will do my best to be succinct, and will try to make it my one and only post about this stuff.

    Friends and family, please remember that details shared here--as with just about every other aspect of our lives shared here--are specifically selected by the poster. Even outside of Facebook, whatever you hear from another person is influenced by their perception and their feelings. I could go into "my side of the story" and try to explain, provide additional detail, or otherwise defend myself against each and every perceived infraction. In the end, all that does is drag a whole bunch of people into a very personal, very painful situation for both of us.

    I will keep doing what I feel is best for my kids first, and me second. Not everyone is going to agree with my decisions--especially a person who used to have significant influence over what those decisions were and wants things to be different. Ultimately, I am responsible to myself and have to hope that people I have known throughout the years actually see me for me.

    I can't control what others say or think about me... .here or in person. I can only continue trying to live out my values and be the kind of person I have always wanted to be. If there is something you hear that you are specifically concerned about, I invite you to check with me directly before you change your feelings about me.

I had to get this out.  And I needed to share it here with others who really understand.  I can't stand the thought of people who know me changing their ideas about me solely based on what they're hearing from my uBPDxw.   It's bad enough that I have probably lost my nephews because of it.  It just really sucks.  Especially coming on the heels of my T's departure for maternity leave.

mw
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Harley Quinn
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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2018, 07:07:12 AM »

I think that what you posted was thoughtful and mature in that you did not react by JADEing in any way that I can immediately see.  How do you feel since sending this?  Has it brought you some peace?

Love and light x
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mama-wolf
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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2018, 10:36:54 AM »

How do you feel since sending this?  Has it brought you some peace?

It was so difficult not to obsess all day about what dialogue my uBPDxw was engaging in with others while I was not there ... .to 1) not know what was being said about me on a very public platform, and 2) be unable to defend myself to others who are not disordered and should have more capacity to have a reasonable dialogue.  I heard from a reliable source that the comments continued throughout the day... .and they got uglier.

I don’t know that making my post brought me much peace, really.  By finally publicly acknowledging the separation/divorce, several people did respond that they had no idea what I was going through and offered support.  So, I’m at least glad to be just a little less isolated in that respect, but it doesn’t exactly lead to any accountability for uBPDxw.

She pushes and pushes on how we are supposed to be working together as parents, and I just don’t get how she can’t see that this damages my willingness and ability to do that. I want so badly to send her a one-line note saying “Publicly bashing me with friends on Facebook is damaging to our coparenting relationship.”  Something that calls her out directly, but doesn’t get into it any further.  I’m resisting the urge as best I can, but it’s really, really hard.

mw
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Baglady
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2018, 11:35:20 AM »

Hi Mama,
As a fellow victim of a vicious smear campaign,  I offer you my full sympathy.  It is so soul-destroying on top of all of the other trauma we have to deal with.  I applaud your response, it demonstrates maturity, admirable restraint and character.
I've had to let go of the idea of "controlling" my image with many friends and family.  I hoped that my character speaks for itself and that I didn't have to defend my actions to people who have known me for decades, however, it is very saddening to me that several friends have decided to believe my ex's version of events or have just dropped off the face of the earth and not reached out to me but to him instead.
Ultimately, I've decided to take the high road, stick to my principles, be who I am and damn the torpedoes.  I'm finding out that so many of the old adages are true "Blood is thicker than water" and "You really find out who your friends are in times of trouble". 
Hold your head high and you will attract the quality of people who will serve you best in your life going forward.  The people who you lose in this process aren't worthy of you at the end of the day.
You know your truth, believe it and live it 
Warmly,
B
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MeandThee29
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« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2018, 02:30:45 PM »

I've had to let go of the idea of "controlling" my image with many friends and family.  I hoped that my character speaks for itself and that I didn't have to defend my actions to people who have known me for decades, however, it is very saddening to me that several friends have decided to believe my ex's version of events or have just dropped off the face of the earth and not reached out to me but to him instead.
Ultimately, I've decided to take the high road, stick to my principles, be who I am and damn the torpedoes.  I'm finding out that so many of the old adages are true "Blood is thicker than water" and "You really find out who your friends are in times of trouble". 

Yes, living it here too. His family rewrote our history and dug into areas where they didn't belong. Just weeks into separation, I could tell that they really didn't care what I had to say. The bottom line is that they view me as really off base and the primary reason we haven't reconciled. So their support of him and every piece of advice they give is built around that. They've since spent hours and hours discussing my flaws and our marriage. They've helped craft the ultimatums too. Quite a family system to contend with.

The irony is that I'm the one that has done a lot of formal work to understand and work through this. I'm the one that has taken every possible avenue to look at myself with a therapist, a ministry-based counsellor, our church leadership, and now with a local codependency group. I didn't trust my take on things. Good thing, too.
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« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2018, 07:16:11 PM »

Quote from: Baglady
Hold your head high and you will attract the quality of people who will serve you best in your life going forward.  The people who you lose in this process aren't worthy of you at the end of the day.

Wise words from Baglady.  Focusing on yourself, your needs and your goals, will likely cause you to think about the company you keep and whether the people in your life are on the same page as you.  If individuals fade away because they are taken in by others' opinions of you then that is an indicator that they were not headed in the same direction you are.  Some people are meant to be in our lives for a lifetime, others for a shorter period.  Be yourself, and the right people will fall into place in your life.  Quality over quantity. 

Love and light x 
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« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2018, 11:15:24 PM »

Passive-aggressive smears are no fun. I blocked my ex on FB while she was still living with us.  I didn't want to see her crap. 

What do you think would have happened if you let that stand and not posted? Are the nephews hers or yours by blood?
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mama-wolf
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« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2018, 09:07:45 PM »

As a fellow victim of a vicious smear campaign,  I offer you my full sympathy.  It is so soul-destroying on top of all of the other trauma we have to deal with. 

Thank you so much Baglady.  I know it could be worse, and many have certainly experienced worse, but it really is an added layer that I wasn't quite ready to deal with even though I was aware it could happen.

Ultimately, I've decided to take the high road, stick to my principles, be who I am and damn the torpedoes. 

Hold your head high and you will attract the quality of people who will serve you best in your life going forward. 

I'm trying.  That last part about attracting the right quality of people is similar to something my T said to me as well.  This happened after our last session before her maternity leave, but I can certainly envision her reinforcing that particular message.

Yes, living it here too. His family rewrote our history and dug into areas where they didn't belong.

They've since spent hours and hours discussing my flaws and our marriage.

Yes, MeandThee29, I'm particularly distressed about how many deep discussions my uBPDxw has likely had with her family and painted me as such a villian.  Again, I knew it could and probably would happen, but I'm finding it particularly hard to go through the reality of it.  I knew them for 15 years... .and hoped they knew me on some level.  I know they "have to" support her as their blood family, but wasn't prepared for the total cold shoulder.

Some people are meant to be in our lives for a lifetime, others for a shorter period. 

A really difficult thing to get comfortable with for someone like me who is just now starting to come to terms with having abandonment issues of my own.  But your point is a good one, HQ.  I guess part of it is a matter of patience to give those quality relationships a chance sift to the surface (and for new ones to start).  I'm still working on that patience part, too.

What do you think would have happened if you let that stand and not posted? Are the nephews hers or yours by blood?

Hi Turkish... .I'm not quite sure what would have happened.  I do think more of our mutual friends might have gotten sucked into her version of the story.  At the same time, I don't know that my message necessarily made it to everyone since I know people's feeds don't really show posts from everyone they are connected to.  At the very least, not posting would mean that I would have to keep updating individuals about my relationship status as I see them.  The post at least gets it out there.

The nephews are hers by blood.  The older one is 13 and hasn't blocked me on Instagram, so I take that as a good sign, but we'll see.  I haven't seen or talked to them since June.

mw
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mama-wolf
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« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2018, 03:50:32 PM »

Well, there was an interesting development today in the fact that uBPDxw actually replied to a comment on my post about the divorce, apologizing for “posting about such personal stuff” and saying she has “already learned from it.”

Which would have been an almost welcome thing except for the fact that she followed it almost immediately with a private message to me asking that I change the location tag that I use for my posts, saying:

Excerpt
Hopefully you saw the message/comment I posted publicly just before sending this message.  In that same spirit, may I ask you to re-name the house in Town A "Mama’'s House" or "Mama Wolf's House" or "The Wolf House - Town A"?  I ultimately can't control what you call it, but one day our kids will be on Facebook and see you calling it "THE Wolf House."  Thanks.

(Quick context—in addition to looking at my post about the divorce, she must have also seen a picture in my feed that I posted over the weekend with the location tagged as “The Wolf House.”  We have used that tag many times over the past four years since we moved here.)

The emphasis she placed on “the” by making it all caps was her emphasis. We still share the same last name, and will unless one of us gets married again and decides to change it.  I guess she’s feeling territorial about me using it since it was her family name, but that’s too bad. It has been my name for over a decade, and it’s my kids’ name.

I’m really inclined to ignore her message, and I don’t plan to change my tags. It feels like just one more way she’s trying to control things... .to control me in any way she can.

I’m finding lately that every time she contacts me I feel triggered in some way.  It’s exhausting and really frustrating.

And I highly doubt she learned anything about the prior post other than to be more careful about her privacy settings.  The smear campaign is bound to continue.

mw
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Turkish
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« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2018, 03:54:34 PM »

While I can see her point of view, she's asking you to rescue you from her feelings. 
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« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2018, 05:28:15 PM »

As a fellow victim of a smear campaign - h has spent countless hours talking with his parents about our marriage as well as his church leadership, I'm dealing with the fall out of it all. Our daughter now only has his parents as grandparents - and they are standoffish toward all of our kids. (the kids aren't impressed with their actions) And there are people in leadership at his church who aren't speaking to me because they were "confused" when I talked to them about me because it contradicted what h was saying; at the same time, there is a new pastor at his church who wants me to help with the church. I just said that people need to be able to talk to me if I'm going to be able to help.

I try to stay out of it as much as I can right now and let him say what he is going to say. I know that he isn't consistent in what he says anyway, and eventually people will figure it out. (or continue to be confused) H's parents who I've known for nearly 30 years didn't even acknowledge my mom's recent death.

It hurts to be cut off from relationship like that.
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« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2018, 06:04:28 PM »

While I can see her point of view, she's asking you to rescue you from her feelings. 

Yes, this is my take, too... .She continues to interpret my words and actions in the worst possible way, and to expect me to react and bend over backwards to make her feel better about it.  I just can’t do it anymore. And in those instances where her request has a reasonable component, I find that by going along with it I only make it worse for myself and encourage more and more demands.

I try to stay out of it as much as I can right now and let him say what he is going to say. I know that he isn't consistent in what he says anyway, and eventually people will figure it out.

I really hope people do figure it out... .for me and for you.  I get what others are saying about how if they don’t, then they are proving that they don’t need to be in our lives. I think that’s generally true, but the loss is hard.

mw
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« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2018, 09:19:22 PM »

She has sent me a second message asking again whether I will change the location tag.  I could use some help from the Family on how to respond.  Do I:

1) Just answer back with “No”
2) Say something more like “There is no emphasis on ‘THE’”
3) Tell her I don’t owe her an action just because she chose to comment on my post
4) Continue to ignore her request
5) Some other option (please elaborate... .)?

I’m a little stuck on this one and could use some perspective... .

mw
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« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2018, 09:35:28 PM »

Can you think of a SET response? We can work it as a community.

What's valid to validate, keeping in mind that you don't want to validate the invalid. 
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« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2018, 12:36:41 AM »

Can you think of a SET response? We can work it as a community.

OK, let me give it a try... .

S - I want to continue helping the kids see both houses as their homes.

E - I understand you are concerned that word choice in my location tag will encourage them to think of my house as their only real home.

T - We have used “The Wolf House” for several years, and this house is still home to a Wolf family even though it has changed.  There is no emphasis on it being THE Wolf House, and there are other Wolf houses in the area (your house in Town B, your brother’s house in Town C, your parents’ house in Town D).  I will not be changing the tag to emphasize location or the change in family dynamic.

Empathy is really hard for me with her because she burned up so much of it over the last few years (literally... .I struggled with emotional burnout for months). I appreciate any feedback!

mw
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« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2018, 04:36:44 AM »

Hi mama-wolf,

First, I want to thank you for posting and working through your contact with your ex.    It has helped me try and deal with mine... .  I've learned from you.

Here is my take on the SET … and why... .

S - I want to will continue helping the kids see both houses as their homes.  (I would suggest telling her what you ARE doing, not opening a door to what you might do... .or could do if the conditions suddenly become XYZ.)   Brief.    Friendly but not emotional.    Don't read in.

E - I understand you are concerned that  about the word choice in my location tag. will encourage them to think of my house as their only real home.    again I would avoid reading in, or engaging in her point at her level and request.   don't make it a discussion about her feelings or her wants regarding those feelings.   make it more about what you will do/won't do.


T - I have thought about your message and We have used decided “The Wolf House” has been used for several years, and this house is still home to a Wolf family even though it has changed.  There is no emphasis on it being THE Wolf House, and there are other Wolf houses in the area (your house in Town B, your brother’s house in Town C, your parents’ house in Town D).  I will not be changing the tag to emphasize location or the change in family dynamic but continue to support the kids now as they adapt to those changes.

Okay so maybe the 'support the kids now' is a little passive aggressive... .
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« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2018, 07:57:29 AM »

'ducks, thank you so much for chiming in.  I really like your edits and appreciate the explanation behind them!

Okay so maybe the 'support the kids now' is a little passive aggressive... .

 But I really relate to the underlying message.  I will probably leave that little piece out, but the rest is great.

I'm also planning to respond to her through the parent portal (Our Family Wizard).  I don't want to encourage the side lines of communication (text and FB Messenger) be used any more than absolutely necessary.

First, I want to thank you for posting and working through your contact with your ex.    It has helped me try and deal with mine... .  I've learned from you.

I appreciate you saying this.  I feel so selfish sometimes when I'm posting--particularly if I have a couple threads going at a time and am posting frequently/extensively in them.

mw
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« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2018, 04:45:51 PM »

While I can see her point of view, she's asking you to rescue you from her feelings. 

I agree. We nons have to get away from being responsible for other people's feelings. Not healthy.
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« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2018, 10:48:38 PM »

hello mw,

my experience was, if I opened a sentence to my EX with the words "I want to... ."

she immediately countered with "If you really wanted to you would just XYZ like I asked you to."

It was an invitation to a circular argument.   Not picking up on it is the best approach.   It's bait.

my ex felt most emotionally safe and secure when she was in control of me, my behavior (just do what I told you to), the narrative and as many external circumstances as she possible could.

It was very much a mind set, or an approach of, control the externals around her to feel in control about herself.    It was no way to live.

When we split up, she had launched into a very energetic campaign to control the narrative.  She is extremely emotionally persuasive, something I learned over time.     As you can probably guess she was very colorful, very dramatic and very much into telling 'her story'.      At the time I was laid out, flat on my butt, trying to rebuild my shattered self esteem.   I was in no mental place to be able to counter her energetic campaign.    and to tell you the truth,   I had a very difficult time seeing that her actions after she left the relationship were a continuation of her mental illness, just as her behaviors in the relationship were driven by her illnesses.    Some how I thought once the relationship ended,    the overt signs and symptoms of the illness would slow or moderate.    they didn't.


I struggled, still struggle honestly when I run into her campaign.    For a while I really limited myself to 'not discussing it'... .at the time I was a very active community leader and I ran into her every place I went... .   I withdrew for a while because it was just too painful.    and then when I ran into either her or someone just dying to talk about it... .I politely needed to be some place else immediately... .my phone was always ringing... .I always needed to run to the bathroom... .I was just on my way out the door, sorry I can't stay to talk.

Acting 'normally' was tough.   I felt everything other than normal.   Now when I run into her or someone who wants to talk about her... .   I typically say "I can't imagine where you heard that gossip from (I know exactly where they heard that, from her of course)  but almost none of it is accurate."


It's been a while since we've split up, and now when I run into people I have a different sense.   I get the idea they do want to talk to me about her, about things, but it is coming with a different flavor.    This feels much more like they want to say things against her.    people do so love to gossip.    People who were once her stalwart supporters, now are approaching me in a friendly and welcoming way.    Took a while to happen.   I am careful to not open the door to discussion about her.   that's is not something I want to entertain.    I also have to remind myself to be kind to them.   

I think in a normal break up, (whatever normal is)   there is a natural period where the immediate social circle adapts and processes.  In a break up with a high conflict, emotionally intense person I think it takes the social circle longer to settle down.    I've found I have been surprised by what people have told me much after the fact.   People are not as smart... .or as dumb... .as I give them credit for.    One of the things a friend told me was that in the immediate aftermath of our breakup that there was so much suffering in my face he found it hard to look at me.    Who knew.   


'ducks
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« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2018, 06:58:25 AM »

I agree. We nons have to get away from being responsible for other people's feelings. Not healthy.

Absolutely, MeandThee29--and she really resists my efforts to put a stop to this.  I have been berated multiple times for not being empathetic just because I won't 1) take responsibility for how she feels about something and 2) change my response/choice because of how she feels about it.  I still struggle with the impulse to do these two things based on years of conditioning.

she immediately countered with "If you really wanted to you would just XYZ like I asked you to."

my ex felt most emotionally safe and secure when she was in control of me, my behavior (just do what I told you to), the narrative and as many external circumstances as she possible could.

When we split up, she had launched into a very energetic campaign to control the narrative. 

At the time I was laid out, flat on my butt, trying to rebuild my shattered self esteem.   

Acting 'normally' was tough.   I felt everything other than normal. 

'ducks, all of this is sounding so familiar--both the control during the relationship, and attempts at control afterwards.  I do what I can to keep up the "normal" exterior, but internally I feel like I'm a mess, which I suppose is to be expected.  My biggest concern right now is figuring out how to stop getting so triggered by what feels like every single contact I have with her.

Now when I run into her or someone who wants to talk about her... .   I typically say "I can't imagine where you heard that gossip from (I know exactly where they heard that, from her of course)  but almost none of it is accurate."

I really hope I can get there.  It does sound like you are much farther along the process of healing and recovery that me, so I tend to wonder what you can be learning from my thread 

One of the things a friend told me was that in the immediate aftermath of our breakup that there was so much suffering in my face he found it hard to look at me.    Who knew.   

This really stuck out to me because for me.  My mom shared with me that my aunt had expressed deep concern for me after seeing the suffering/sadness on my face during a visit earlier this year.  I guess I had an unguarded moment because I usually stuff all that so deeply that it doesn't reach my expression for the most part.  Since the separation, like I said I have been working hard to keep up that normal appearance on the outside (especially for the kids).  But I do tend to wonder what my friends' perceptions are.

mw
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« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2018, 11:04:30 AM »

mama-wolf

I'm glad you identified what jumped out at me as the biggest issue.  Side communications.

Now... .you guys know me, I'm Mr "process guy".  Therefore my recommendation is to send her a note on parent portal asking her to keep all communications on there.

Yep... that's it.  No SET... none of that.  

Let her think about that and if she wants an answer or discussion about home tags (I'm not a FB'er so I may not use right words) she can ask you on the parenting portal.  Should she do that, we can work through SET and all that then.

That she wants to CONTROL how you title your posts says it all.  Wow... .!

Don't give her the validation/satisfaction that you have spent any time whatsoever considering a request not sent through the portal.

I'm not criticizing you for thinking it through here on the boards at all... .that's appropriate.  I don't want her to get "a response" from a "side channel".

FF

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« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2018, 03:33:19 PM »

Now... .you guys know me, I'm Mr "process guy".  Therefore my recommendation is to send her a note on parent portal asking her to keep all communications on there.

Yep... that's it.  No SET... none of that.  

Thanks, FF... .I get where you're going with this and will be pushing for that.  Maybe not as strongly as you suggest, but I do move the "discussion" to the portal rather than responding through the channel she chooses when going outside of the portal.

So, yesterday I did send the following response in the parenting portal using adjustments recommended by babyducks: 

Excerpt
I will continue helping the kids see both houses as their homes. I understand you are concerned about the word choice in my location tag. I have thought about your message and decided “The Wolf House” has been used for several years in both Facebook and Instagram, and my house is still home to a Wolf family even though it has changed. I will not be changing the tag to emphasize location or the change in family dynamic.

She replied by midday with the following.  I'm at least a little proud of the fact that I didn't let myself actually open and read her reply until after dinner.

Excerpt
I had suggested "The Wolf House - Town A" just as there is a "Wolf House - Town B," "Wolf House - Town C" and "Wolf House - Town D." Thanks, ever so much, for being so flexible and considerate.

Town B is where her parents live, Town C is where her brother and his family lives, and Town D is where she lives now.  Not as severe of a response as I was anticipating, but the heavy level of sarcasm definitely comes through.

mw
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« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2018, 04:47:48 PM »

That sounds like it went well 

You know her best, and I may be off base with this, but personally I'd be inclined to thank her for responding through the portal and suggest that all future communication remains there.  Then disengage. 

What do you think?

You've done so well maintaining your limit on not taking responsibility for her feelings.  Whilst you're on a roll... .

Love and light x
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« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2018, 07:48:21 PM »

You know her best, and I may be off base with this, but personally I'd be inclined to thank her for responding through the portal and suggest that all future communication remains there.  Then disengage. 

What do you think?

HQ, I think you are a better person than I am.

Any acknowledgment of behavior in alignment with what I would prefer would be either scoffed at, or accepted with a withering air of “how could you possibly think it would be otherwise?”

On its own, this particular conflict does seem to have gone well. In the context of the other interactions happening concurrently, it’s just a drop in the bucket.

mw
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« Reply #24 on: October 12, 2018, 06:14:56 AM »

I'm with HQ.  Thank her for the parenting portal.  I would turn the suggestion into more of a question.

"Thanks for handling this through the parenting portal.  Can we use this exclusively going forward?" or something else for the last part.

Can you let her manage her feelings about your thanks?  Let her scoff... .or perhaps she will phone the flying monkey squadron commander... .my guess is she will work it out.

However, the consistent part of FF advice to be succinct would suggest just saying thanks for parenting portal and leaving the rest out. 

FF
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« Reply #25 on: October 12, 2018, 08:35:22 AM »

Hi mama wolf

a couple of thoughts.   first -  I see no reason to escalate this conversation or elevate it any further.   You said 'nope' on the face book tags.   she got sarcastic.  it's done.   it's over.   I would suggest you continue with the brief firm factual approach to conversation and not engage with  anything emotional, potentially shaming or tit for tat.   and 2) remember you are not in a relationship with her or trying to build one - the goal right now is a business like not loaded or fraught with difficulties style of communication.


  I have been berated multiple times for not being empathetic just because I won't 1) take responsibility for how she feels about something and 2) change my response/choice because of how she feels about it.  I still struggle with the impulse to do these two things based on years of conditioning.

this right here is the crux of it for me.    It's a very interesting spot for me.    one that I am not adapt at handling.   I want to be the nice guy... .helpful... .I geniunely like helping people get what they want... .except with my EX doing that means changing my response or choice because of how she feels about it.    for me the conditioning was if I didn't do what my EX wanted there would be  Cursing - won't cause site restrictions at Starbucks (click to insert in post) to pay and she would destroy the relationship or rage or what was more difficult for me to cope with... .  covertly attack my self worth... .self esteeem.    comments like 'well I suppose I have to believe that you are trying the best you can'... .sheeesh I hardly felt the knife slide between my ribs.

what I found was that over time all those very covert subtle remarks had added up... .  and that I was starting to flinch in advance.  before the actual comment or action I was ... .as you said... .triggered


  I do what I can to keep up the "normal" exterior, but internally I feel like I'm a mess, which I suppose is to be expected.  My biggest concern right now is figuring out how to stop getting so triggered by what feels like every single contact I have with her.

I didn't find it easy to stop being triggered by contact.   and I found it difficult to understand triggers and what the meant and how to respond to them.    FWIW, I don't think we spend enough time talking about triggers.    For my EX, there was very little difference in her mindset after the relationship ended and how she thought about things during the relationship.    Honestly they were the same really.    Relationship On / Relationship Off she treated me the same.    Her understanding of relationship was so porous and different than mine.   for the year after she ended the relationship she followed me everywhere... .  grocery stores... .parks... .business places... .public places.   I saw her at least 3 times a week often more.    I was so triggery when I saw her car I would just about hyperventilate.   the last thing I wanted to do was see her.    the last thing I wanted to do was speak politely in public when she clearly ambushed me.     I had to give myself permission to be "mean"  and to let other people think of me as "mean".   and to understand that for a while my internal self image and my external image were going to be in flux.
   my ex has some weird thing about bird dogging me in public where I have to politely say hello and acknowledge her.   it is some weird metaphor for her life.   what I really want to say is  Cursing - won't cause site restrictions at Starbucks (click to insert in post) you.    it is a pretty profound moral dilema let me tell you.   especially if I am there in my public role as a member of my faith community.  being able to be strong enough to embrace the mean and angry parts of me meant opening myself up to other views of myself.   someone other than the nice guy who goes along to get along... .

time actually does help with those triggers... .   it does get easier... .finding ways to put concrete language around the triggers helps too.     Identifying... labeling... .building fences around the triggers helps... .    I get less triggered.     when there may be a trigger present don't blow by it... .stop and explore it as best as possibly.     Notice when other people get triggered... .  and how that looks... .it's often easier to recognize it in someone else first... .

what do you think?



'ducks

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« Reply #26 on: October 12, 2018, 11:51:02 AM »

first -  I see no reason to escalate this conversation or elevate it any further. 
2) remember you are not in a relationship with her or trying to build one

Hi 'ducks--agreed on letting things rest on this topic with uBPDxw and not engaging any more.  I can see value at some point with extending a thank you of that nature, but not right now.  And your point about relationship is a big one... .one my L has been stressing as well:  A lot of uBPDxw's behaviors and demands are motivated by trying to keep me in some form of relationship with her.  I don't want to feed that, and have been working hard not to do so.

for me the conditioning was if I didn't do what my EX wanted there would be  Cursing - won't cause site restrictions at Starbucks (click to insert in post) to pay and she would destroy the relationship or rage or what was more difficult for me to cope with... .  covertly attack my self worth... .self esteeem.

what I found was that over time all those very covert subtle remarks had added up... .  and that I was starting to flinch in advance.  before the actual comment or action I was ... .as you said... .triggered

Yes, yes, and yes.  I think the triggered topic deserves its own thread, which I'll start shortly.

mw
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« Reply #27 on: October 16, 2018, 03:39:15 PM »

Hi Mama-wolf! I'm sorry you have been put through the smear campaign tactic.  But you responded calmly and rationally and that is fantastic progress to make.

I've also been dealing with the smear campaign issue. It kind of amazes me that someone would only hear one side of the story and accept it as gospel.  Don't people know that the one side of the story they are getting is probably skewed?

I've spent a lot of time thinking about this and had a bit of a breakthrough with it. I know my ex is love bombing the people who took her side on things.  I think these people want to believe her side of the story is true without question because they want to believe the love bombing is true too.  If they question the story then they may also have to question all the love bombing.  At that point, the issue is not so much what they think of you but what they want to think about themselves.
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