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Author Topic: Did I over do "no contact"?  (Read 208 times)
LeneLu
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« on: January 06, 2019, 06:16:52 PM »

Hello,

This past weekend was the first time for me to see my uBPDsis after 18 months of no contact (nc). It was for a family wedding.

I had no intention of talking with her, mostly because I don't know what to say.  Pleasantries seemed inappropriate. She has told me that she "is not going to change for me and will speak to me anyway she wants," so, to protect myself, I avoided her. It wasn't blatant, I think I managed it pretty organically.  There wasn't assigned seating or anything, so it wouldn't appear to outsiders that, "Oh...I am sitting over there." However, I am sure that if anyone were watching, they would have noticed.

And...she didn't speak with me either (literally, not one word).

Logic tells me that she would not have caused a scene, because of the disrespect it would have shown to our hosts. Other peoples' impression of her is very important (in fact she had a real "charm" offensive going if anything). However, if given the chance to say something snide to me under her breath, she would have taken it.  I couldn't give her the opportunity.

So, did I overshoot it with the nc or did I stick to my boundaries?

lenelu

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Harri
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« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2019, 06:57:11 PM »

HI.   Welcome new member (click to insert in post)

I'm not sure we can answer that question for you.  Look at your motive behind going no contact.  Did you use no contact as a tool and work on yourself, boundaries, differentiation?  Or did you not work on any of that and focus more on protecting yourself?  Was it a form of punishment and silent treatment against your sister?  I am sure there are other things as well, but those are the ones I can think of off my head.  No judgement here.  Your goal and what you got out of no contact is the issue here not how your sister perceived it or even how she responds.

Her reactions do not (or should not) determine the value of your behavior and choices as long as they are based on your personal values.   Virtual hug (click to insert in post)
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     everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way. ~ Viktor Frankl
LeneLu
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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2019, 06:28:34 AM »

Hmmm..those are good questions and honestly the answer is "yes" to all of them. 

I am not going to engage with her until I have some reassurances that she is going to be civil.  That is what I asked for, that is what I need, that is my boundary.

I did think a lot about differentiation.  When I saw her talking in clusters and looking my direction, I assumed that she was telling family what the story was...her story.  If they want to know mine they can ask or they can figure out the truth knowing what they know of me.

Was it silent treatment?  While, yes, there is a side of me that wants to punish her, I really didn't know what to say to her so I think that that was the default behavior. 

Anyway, I am now past the first encounter and can reflect on it and my behaviors, motivations.

I honestly don't care what she "thinks" of me anymore. She thinks awful things of me that I know are not true.  I guess that is another motivation for not speaking to her at all...nothing I say is going to change her mind.  I didn't want to get into defending, explaining and arguing. 

I will have a long stretch of time before I have to see her again.  I will reflect more on the encounter and your questions.  Thanks for redirecting me to focus on me.

lenelu
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Notwendy
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2019, 07:52:35 AM »

One idea a counselor brought up to me was when I was reacting- rather than acting from my own sense of values. Reacting- " you aren't nice to me, or not speaking to me so I won't speak to you". Acting " I wish to not have contact with you as it is best for me" ( that isn't contingent on the other person.

When we react sometimes we can go to an extreme. Sometimes a good goal is in the middle. There are many members here who feel NC is their best option. For me, I was not comfortable doing NC with my BPD mother and I have opted for low contact and boundaries on what information I share with her. She also tells people untrue bad things about me but I can't control what she says or what they think. I try to focus on my own choices.

It's awkward to be at a family event and interact with relatives who she has said all kinds of things about me to, but I try to be civil and casual- not get too close or react. My own guideline is to only share information that I would not care if anyone knew ( as my mother doesn't keep confidences and I don't want to get into emotional topics with her). Still, we would have lots of things to say at a family event. I can tell her things like " my child's soccer team won the tournament, or how did you like the movie you saw? Things like that feel less akward than obviously not speaking to people at a wedding. I think to completely do NC one might have to not attend these group events, but it also isn't necessary to have to miss out on them. LC, and casual, is a middle ground.
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LeneLu
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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2019, 07:09:18 PM »

Notwendy,

That is a great way to distinguish one's approach.  I can confidently say that "I wish not to have contact with her as that is best for me."  I guess no one else can make that determination for me, but me.  Thanks for helping me clarify for myself why I made that choice.
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Irish1477

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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2019, 01:06:31 PM »

I have struggled many times with the decision to go NC. Over the years I have gone LC with boundaries in place with my dxbpd mother, but eventually she is on her best behavior and eats away at my boundaries & we fall right back into the same mess again. There is no such thing as a low contact with my mom that is healthy for myself, nor my husband & children. So, complete no contact is the only option available that brings peace to my family, and does the least amount of damage to my mom from my end.

If low contact gives your sister the ability to continue to berate you with insults, even in an atmosphere where she must do them quietly so as not to be overheard by others, it sounds like you might be making the right decision. However, only you know if this is appropriate for yourself. NC is not easy. I call it the most heartbreaking road to peace I have ever been on.
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Harri
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2019, 02:53:49 PM »

Excerpt
Hmmm..those are good questions and honestly the answer is "yes" to all of them.
That is okay.  What's important here is that you are aware of your motives for the NC.  Knowing will guide you on what you may want to work on more for your own healing or just sitting with and being okay with your choices.  I think you have that for the most part as you said here: 
Excerpt
I am not going to engage with her until I have some reassurances that she is going to be civil.  That is what I asked for, that is what I need, that is my boundary.
I hear self acceptance here, allowing that you have your own needs and a right to them!   Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

Excerpt
If they want to know mine they can ask or they can figure out the truth knowing what they know of me.
Exactly!  It may not be the greatest feeling in the world but this shows more self acceptance and differentiation!  So yes, you got it!   Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

Excerpt
Was it silent treatment?  While, yes, there is a side of me that wants to punish her, I really didn't know what to say to her so I think that that was the default behavior.
Wanting to punish someone who has hurt you so deeply is, I think, natural and it is okay.  You were not weaponizing silence rather you used it as a tool to heal and protect yourself.  That is okay, good even.

Excerpt
I honestly don't care what she "thinks" of me anymore. She thinks awful things of me that I know are not true.  I guess that is another motivation for not speaking to her at all...nothing I say is going to change her mind.  I didn't want to get into defending, explaining and arguing. 
  Virtual hug (click to insert in post)  And another kudos from me!   Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
 
Excerpt
I will reflect more on the encounter and your questions.  Thanks for redirecting me to focus on me.
You're welcome!  Thank you for hearing what I was saying and working through everything.  It is not easy work that you have been doing but you have done very well and I am happy for you.   Virtual hug (click to insert in post)

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     everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way. ~ Viktor Frankl
Notwendy
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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2019, 06:23:54 AM »

I call it the most heartbreaking road to peace I have ever been on.e.

I think that states the whole picture. I could add NC to that too. It isn't my wish to not be more involved with an elderly parent. I see my friends at this stage of their lives- middle age- involved with the care of their parents. It's both a challenge and a blessing.

I attempted this when my father was ill. I wanted to help him but when he was in the hospital, I became the sole target of my mother's raging, manipulation, and abuse. I realized for my own sanity that I could not be involved emotionally with her. She doesn't treat me like a daughter, but like a servant she feels she can verbally abuse. It's sad for me to know she's elderly and on her own, but she's financially solid, has caregivers, and it is more peaceful for both of us this way.
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LeneLu
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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2019, 11:50:57 AM »

Thank you all for your encouragement and insights. 

I met with my T last night and this was her take on the question:

She said that if I had engaged in small talk (just to be polite) with my uBPDsis, it would have been interpreted as "all is good, this is over, we can go back to status quo".  This would have erased everything that I have tried to accomplish with NC.  By maintaining it in this setting, I reinforced my boundaries are firm and I am not accepting less than civil treatment. 

I agree with my T because that has been the pattern before...I back down.  I didn't this time!  I hope it made an impression.  I guess if nothing else, I came out of it unharmed.

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Harri
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« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2019, 12:18:13 PM »

Excerpt
I agree with my T because that has been the pattern before...I back down.  I didn't this time!  I hope it made an impression.  I guess if nothing else, I came out of it unharmed.

Not backing down is huge as is coming out of the encounter unharmed.

Do you feel more confident in your ability to handle these situations after the success of this one?
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     everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way. ~ Viktor Frankl
LeneLu
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« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2019, 07:56:59 PM »

I am not sure about that yet.  There were so many people at this event that no one noticed the cold interaction.  When there is a smaller family event, we will be more on display.  But because we were in a crowd at this last event, it was probably the best "first" encounter I could hope for...it was not so intense since it was somewhat deluded. So, hopefully, I am building up immunity for the next event.
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Harri
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« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2019, 09:12:09 PM »

Excerpt
So, hopefully, I am building up immunity for the next event.
  I think you are.  It takes time and practice but you did great.   Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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     everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way. ~ Viktor Frankl
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