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Skills we were never taught
98
A 3 Minute Lesson
on Ending Conflict
Communication Skills-
Don't Be Invalidating
Listen with Empathy -
A Powerful Life Skill
Setting Boundaries
and Setting Limits
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Author Topic: Silent treatment  (Read 39 times)
Mariposas

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
Posts: 4


« on: April 08, 2021, 01:43:19 AM »

Hi...
I'm really hoping someone is awake.  I'm so sad.  I'm on the receiving end of the silent treatment for almost two weeks.   I had such an intimate relationship with my foster daughter and now I can't believe where we are.  

Or I guess we did. From all I read, that is limited.  I only think my adult foster daughter has bpd. I know she is anxious...I can't tell you how many times, I felt like I was abused until I would try to stand up for my self or explode.  Then she had all reason to say I was the problem....I'm so sad.  That's not who I am and yet when I hear her, she's saying she's changed and that I'm gaslighting her, lying, manipulating, and evil.  

This past week, I had fallen down some stairs and hurt myself really badly.  I was with my husband ( we've been separated, but are working things through) I really wanted my daughter to come get me, but when I asked, to me she was giving me reasons why she couldn't, so I asked my husband and that's where this started really, we haven't been able to recover.  When I asked her for help a few days later, it just seemed like she and her husband were really inconvenienced to come and the same happened a few days later when I asked for help again.  That's when the exchange happened the provoked the silent treatment.  She began giving me a list of all I had done to hurt her, the times I'd judged her.  Things I'd apologized for and thought we'd worked through...she wouldn't stop, even when I asked her too and finally I got angry.  I thanked her for coming and said she didn't need to come or stay......when I motioned with my hand like a shrug, she took it as a "get the hell out of here"  I went after her to try to clarify and then she continued with all the times I hurt her....again, I felt so beaten down.  Normally, I feel like I can handle the accusations, but maybe because I didn't feel well.  I finally said I don't know what to do anymore....I hurt her more than I can even imagine.  We had a conversation about it later and she said I'm not manipulating you, but I had such a battle not to self harm and had to work hard to calm the voices and just ran as fast as I could.....

How can I possibly hurt her like that? She came into my life as an adult, but I felt called to be her mom for so many reasons.  We were friends at first, but she saw me as her mom from the get go.  I'm used to 5-6 texts a day...goodnight and good morning and now everytime I don't hear from her, I worry that she's done with me.  She said, this isn't the first time you've given up on me....I love you more than my friend, more than my mom and you gave up on me...now she's just indifferent.  I didn't want to fight her and just accepted what she was saying, but she still has not believed that I gave up in that moment.... not forever.  But this silent treatment is breaking me and breaking my heart.  I thought our relationship meant more than this...What I did was not enough and it's so odd, she says that about me....That all she did in her love for me, I couldn't believe her.  

It was hard sometimes to believe she loved me with all the harsh criticism, and the rage that would come at me when we were living together.  I can't say that to her because she says I"m twisting things around and not taking responsibility for my actions and that I always blame her for our arguments.  I didn't see them as arguments until she would go so far and I had to defend myself somehow.  She almost got physically abusive to me a couple of times, but once she stabbed herself with a knife ...in her thigh and she said it was to stop the pain from me not listening to her and fighting her....I was trying to defend myself from the accusations coming at me.

I feel sad to leave her in this hell of emotions she fights, but it seems like it's what she wants...and again, she says I'm the one that pushes her away....I so don't understand all of this.  I've read so many books that she would criticize me for, but really I was just trying to understand and walk alongside her in this hell she was in so she wouldn't be alone.  I guess she's not alone now.  I am.
Thank you for listening

 
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Our objective is to better understand the struggles our child faces and to learn the skills to improve our relationship and provide a supportive environment and also improve on our own emotional responses, attitudes and effectiveness as a family leaders
Flora and Fauna

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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 10



« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2021, 08:56:23 AM »

I think my daughter may be younger than yours (mine is 17) and I can relate with so much of what you've said.

She was kind of diagnosed at 14, her first hospital stay. I say kind of, because as you're probably aware, doctors are reluctant to diagnose. We had a wonderful psychiatrist who asked me to do some research on my own about BPD, and to let her know if anything resonated. I really appreciated that suggestion...so she wouldn't "get in trouble" with her colleagues for diagnosing, yet she was validating the behavior, symptoms.

Anyway, you've described very well, what it's like with my daughter. Silent treatment for weeks. A vacation (rented a home to be Covid-safe, etc.) was virtually ruined, because she decided that something I said warranted the silent treatment. She also stayed up all night a few nights (good about taking day time medication but has bouts of not taking her night medication and therefore would not sleep), and was falling asleep during tours, etc. When she later told me the "infraction" I'd done to warrant the silent treatment, I was floored. This is when I began to see that the lens that she sees relationships/the world through, is so very altered. I don't understand why/how she can joke with friends ...and her friends can make an innocent comment here or there and she's fine with it, but if I say the same thing, I'm horrible, insensitive, traumatized her, caused her illness...you get it.

The first time she verbally attacked me she had me in tears. It was so confusing, and twisted and confounding. She was relentless. No empathy at all. The way she (and it sounds like your daughter) rewrite the past to make it as though we were neglectful, hurtful mothers. You (like I) know of all the supportive and good things we've done, and to have our daughters malign and blame us, and to have reason to believe that they're slandering us to others is heart-breaking.

I felt good when I heard that a friend of hers took up for me and said, "your mother isn't like that." It meant so much. It's hard knowing that new friends that she'll make, won't have a frame of reference, and will likely believe that I was some sort of horrid mother that caused her mental illness. That really bothers me. I'm far from perfect, but to have folks think the worst of me.... Yes, I know the truth, but I'm not sure how to not be bothered by negative things put out there in the world, about me.

I finally decided to reach out to a therapist, for me. We had an initial consultation and agreed that I could make appointments as needed...kind of like crisis management. I feel isolated sometimes because how in the world do you explain this to friends?  It takes as much energy to explain and defend my daughter (since she DOES have a mental illness) as it does to shore myself up to deal with her.

One thing I'm struggling with is the future. It's hard to try to not live - like the other shoe is going to drop. Just waiting for something bad after something bad. Even when things are good it's like you can't just collapse yourself into the good. I have a strong sense of humor and appreciate good times just like the next person....it's just that well, for example, longevity runs in my family. My mother is 98. Sometimes when I think of living a long life....THAT can make me sad. I don't want to live life on these terms. I'm not saying I"m suicidal....I'm saying that it's daunting, to think that life is going to be this way. So that's why I decided to seek a therapist....to try and find a way to live my best life, even with periods of well, PLEASE READtiness.

I say all this to say, that I can relate to you....and appreciate this message board, very much.
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