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Author Topic: Friend with a Personality Disorder  (Read 225 times)
zachira
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« on: June 22, 2022, 02:21:56 PM »

I have been friends with a woman for years who I am sure has a personality disorder (not BPD or NPD). She often talks about me being her only friend. It seems every time I grow as person as I have this past year by going no contact and low contact with certain family members, that I let go of certain friendships because I have outgrown these friendships. I feel I have enabled this friend by being kind to her about all the problems she creates for herself with her rigid perfectionistic standards and demands to be in control. I have told her recently a couple of times she really needs to see a mental health professional, and of course, she did not respond. She did not call me for a few weeks, and now is calling me again. I have not called her back, as I feel that I am enabling her, and I am tired of the one sided nature of the relationship when it comes to being open to listening to other points of views that do not agree with her rigid beliefs which she tries to force on everyone. She has been generous and kind to me many times, and we do have many interests in common. It is just now, I do not want to continue to enable her behaviors and let it go. I would like to tell her I want a break from the friendship until she is making progress in treatment with her obsessions and compulsions, which she admits she has. Your thoughts and advice, and experiences with similar situations?
« Last Edit: June 22, 2022, 02:27:19 PM by zachira » Logged

Riv3rW0lf
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« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2022, 03:50:35 PM »

Friendship ... This is a topic I'm not sure I have much help to give, and can only talk from my experience, and what little wisdom I've learned from it, the things that seem to work with me anyway.

I moved a lot around and I never had real intimate friendships. On top of that, because I didn't trust my mother, I always found it very hard to trust my female friends and would hang with boys or men, which resulted in sexual tension blurring the picture.

My first real friend I made 10 years ago, and we are still friends. We share a common trauma, and found, in each others, what we were looking for : a proximity of acceptance, but we don't tell each other how to do things.

I listen to her, to her thoughts. I provide emotional support and I provide only guidance when asked for it, which most of the time is not asked of me. And she does the same. She tells me when she sees me being treated unfairly, for example, and she provides support, she props me up, but she doesn't really tell me what I do wrong.

Now... Is it a real, honest way to be? I don't agree with a LOT of things she did and does. I see the dynamic of her family, and I see she hurt one of her boys, unwillingly for many years. I know a lot of things she did out of pain, that truly hurt people who love her, but the way I see it : it is not my place to call her out, because this is not what this friendship is for, for me...

With this specific friend, we share our emotional turmoil, our roads in life, without judging. I am there to provide a mirror of empathy, and I do not try to guide her, or push toward one direction or the other, I listen... And she does the same with me.

I feel I made more real friends doing this, over the years.

But it all depends on what friendship means for someone... I still contact friends I made many moons ago, and we changed, but I still sometimes connect. Some friends are for a beer or two, to play a board game, to watch a movie.... I'm not close with all of them, but it's nice, sometimes, to just relax and enjoy a board game. I don't know much about their inner life struggle, and I don't feel like I need to, to call them my friends...

My friends all have a different purpose for me, they fill different needs, and I also fill some needs they have that others cannot fill. And it is enough... I don't talk about my inner life struggles with many of them either, just the one I mentioned earlier actually. She is the only one I trust with it.

I don't know if that helped or not...

I made peace with my existential loneliness and I now accept, more consciously, that it is ok to have friends I don't agree with, or with whom I am very different. Unless they start abusing me, I don't end a friendship, even if I might have outgrown it... I will still check in once in a while, just because... They are still walking too, and our roads might reconnect at some point, on other points... If that makes any sense.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2022, 03:58:22 PM by Riv3rW0lf » Logged
zachira
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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2022, 11:50:30 AM »

Riv3rW0lf,
Thank you for sharing about your experiences with friendships. I agree with you that there are different kinds of friendships. When we come from a highly dysfunctional family, we often make dysfunctional friendships. I am finally conquering my problems with emotional dysregulation, and have tended to attract friends who are struggling with emotional dysregulation as well. My healthier friends are more into keeping the emotions at a healthy level which allows us to connect instead of exhausting each other emotionally. I am now understanding why so many people found me too emotionally overwhelming to be around. I know how much it hurts to be rejected, and I don't really want to hurt this friend. I have been slowly enforcing healthier boundaries with her, which I wish had done since the beginning. I have called her, left a message, letting her know I am busy and not available to talk for a couple of weeks. I am finding her obsesssions and compulsions to be too much, and feel a need to stop her when she starts. I am not sure how much longer the friendship will last, if we have too much contact. I like your examples about how some friendships are more limited. I would say I would like to keep her more as a fringe friend. I know people who went through terrible times, got therapy, and mostly have a healthier group of friends who have limited contact with the less healthier long time friends.
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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2022, 04:02:56 PM »

I think this is a great place to start.

For us especially, with NPD/BPD mothers, we too often take responsibility for someone else's emotions and problems.

I hurt a lot of my past friends too with my emotional dysregulation, made a lot of things I am not proud of. When the friendship got too intimate, I felt like I had to sabotage it for some reasons, and I would do something to hurt them. Those were the nice friends.

The less good friends, I would get completely sucked in and try to carry them, losing myself in the process.

Now I keep a healthy distance with all my friends, if that make any sense.

I know I wouldn't hurt anyone right now, I changed a lot since that time. But I don't know ... We all have our own path to walk, and anyone who seems to want too much of my time and attention, it just set some kind of red flag, somehow?
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« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2022, 07:49:50 PM »

hi zachira,
Tricky question. 

I guess this is a tough one, do you tell your friend her obsessive compulsiveness is driving you away?  I am sort of surprised that your comment about her needing professional mental health help was so well received...I would have thought that would have pushed her away naturally.  But, as you describe, she needs you as her outlet, so was unphased.  If she does have a PD, you might be her "person."

I think if there is no actual abuse, and this friend is just annoying you, then it's safe to distance slowly, over time...maybe a few months?... then completly ghost.  This technique is described in any of Bill Eddy's BIFF series of books, if you're not familiar.  The thing is: if she really has a PD, you cannot just cut her off.  You have to phase her out, so she doesn't panic and cling to you.  And after you ghost, she may come back, and then you have to BIFF with her to not upset her (just be friendly and boring) and then she'll move on to someone else who she gets more of a reaction out of.

Just my thoughts, let me know what you think.

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lm1109
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« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2022, 08:00:33 PM »

This thread really resonates with me right now. I am currently experiencing something similar. I agree with friendships varying in different degrees. I have a best friend since middle school that I share my deep stuff with. We ebb and flow...sometimes we are very close and sometimes we grow apart a bit...but she will always be a friend. She is the closest I have to a sibling and really my last link to my "childhood" era. We grew up similarly (narc/BPD mom's, alcoholic dad's) Unfortunately...she married a narcissist. She knows it and will tell you she married someone just like her disordered mom but she refuses to leave him. I had to put up boundaries with how much ruminating or being her sounding board I can take. She has been receptive to my boundaries and so I've really been learning to just love her where she is. I no longer try to give her advice about her marriage or "fix" anything...and actually have come to understand that doing that is part of my own issues. But I've found other ways to support her like offering to keep her son overnight every once in a while so she has some time for self care. Her son doesn't have other siblings or kids to play with and my kids also have fun having him over so it's good for everyone. In the end she is and has always been overall a good friend to me and so we will always be there for each other where we can be.

I have other friends that I consider "easy" friends or family friends...the friends that get together and get our kids together and have fun...no real deepness...but the relationships are easy and fun.

I have one friend that I'm struggling with right now
When we come from a highly dysfunctional family, we often make dysfunctional friendships.

Yes! This particular friend started out as a mom friend (our son's are friends) I noticed that she seemed to have conflict with a lot of people but I disregarded the red flag. The more she shared....the more she reminded me of my Mom. I found myself tiptoeing around in conversations the way I always did with my mom(that feeling of you HAVE to agree with her or she will get mad) Recently she has shared some things about her relationship with her oldest son and I feel she is BPD. It's uncomfortable to sit and listen to her talking about her manipulating him, guilt tripping him, etc for acting his age. Recently she told me that he decided to spend memorial day with his girlfriend instead of the family(he is 23) and that they got into a fight and she slapped him and now she refers to him as the step son(he is a step son but she adopted him and had always referred to him as HER son before this ) she threw it up in his face that his real mom abandoned him for drugs, etc. She also seems to be setting him up for failure. This conversation was a wake up call for me and even being silent made me uncomfortable...as if it was somehow enabling her. To top it off I ended up having to cancel going to her daughter's grad party(me and my son were sick AND I was in excruciating pain because I ALSO had a toothache and couldn't see the dentist until that Monday) she acted annoyed and ended up getting pretty rude with me. I have shown up to literally every other bday or event she has invited me to...this is the first time I've ever cancelled and I didn't deserve the response.

I'm realizing that I attracted someone A LOT more like my Mom then I was initially admitting. I am not someone who likes confrontation..so I am really hoping I can just be "busy" and move on without any issues.

All this to say...I understand what you're going through. For me...I've come to the conclusion that some relationships are worth the effort and some are NOT! Im going to try harder at listening to my own inner guidance when I'm seeing red flags. I realize now that I only have so much energy each day and I'm not being so free with it anymore!!
 



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zachira
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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2022, 08:20:16 PM »

Thank you for your replies. I will answer you individually later when I have time to reply more fully. I have a question I would like to ask meanwhile. I feel with this friend that I am enabling her mental illness and being a flying monkey. What do you think? I never want to be a person who enables the abuse of others yet by enabling her and being a flying monkey, I feel I am doing this. Her children want nothing to do with her and she has not seen them for years. Her obsessions and compulsions come first with everybody, even with her children. When she talks about how she treated her children, I feel upset because some of her behaviors are similar to my mother's who had BPD along with obsessions and compulsions.
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« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2022, 07:21:57 AM »

I think friendships are important, but it seems over time, few are for the long run.

As a teen, my friendships were very important- perhaps even more important because for me, they were a source of affirmation and genuine bonds that I could not achieve with my parents.

It seems though, that for some friends, this was less important.

Over the years, "friendships" seem to be more circumstantial, and not long term. People, and circumstances change. I have had close friends who moved, and distance changed things. I had a close friend at work who now has a new job. I don't see her as often and she is too busy to maintain the connection. I feel sad about this but I also don't want to continue to try to reach out to her when it's not reciprocated. I don't think it's personal on her part, it's that she tends to stay busy.

I have also let go of friendships with people when it's dysfunctional. One early one was a childhood friend who seemed to always have drama- with her parents, with boyfriends. I went to visit her during college and even cut my visit short with her due to the drama. It wasn't that she was a bad person or did anything mean or hurtful. It was just too much and I felt uncomfortable with it.

Another friend was self centered. Some friends and I planned a baby shower for her. At the last minute she cancelled because of something she could have done at any time, but just wanted to do it then. I realized that, the effort we made to plan a nice event for her meant a lot more to us than to her. This was not the first time. I realized that she had trivialized the friendship from the beginning.

And I as well have felt hurt when friends moved on from me for whatever reason. Now though, I have learned that this happens. People change. There's a Madea video where she talks about relationships being like parts of a tree. Some are leaves and they stick around for a season. Some are roots. I think we are fortunate if we have a few roots and also leaves. A leaf is lovely too.

Zachira- you have changed and now have noticed this friendship isn't something you wish to continue. I think we have to understand that when I friendship changes - it's not because either person is a bad person. It may be that the friendship is more of a leaf than a root. It's OK to decide it's not for you. I understand you don't want to hurt your friend, but also don't feel the relationship is good for you.

Rather than an abrupt split, or saying something that may not be helpful, you could also reduce to "medium chill" and spend less time with this person. Without input, the relationship could fade a bit.



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« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2022, 08:23:02 AM »

Not to hijack your thread or anything zachira, but I am in a very similar situation, except with my oldest step daughter.  She is very anti social...probably has a PD (we most certiantly think her sister, my younger step daughter is BPD).  It's hard to know who's what, but the family system is dysfunctional.

Anyway,  I recently found out through some investigative work I did there is a lawsuit against my step daughter's boyfriend who she lives with.  He bascially took his kid back from the bio grandparents (who raised the kid since birth) after the mother died when the child was 7 mos old.  The child is now 4.  I have an ethical and moral problem with just taking a child from the only family he knew (this was done a year ago when the child was 3) and not letting the child see his bio grandparents who raised him.  The lawsuit is hundreds of pages and gives all the contacts grandparents have tried to make.  My step daughter's boyfriend only started responding about 8 months ago, but for the first 6 mos after he took his boy from them, no response from him to them at all.

So my step daughter is not my "friend" but she is an adult child (my husband's) that I did not raise.  And I have a real ethical dilemna with what they're doing to this kid.  My step daughter also has two kids of her own which she shares with her ex husband.  Occasionally my husband and I get to see them.  Do you see the pickle I'm in?  Similiar to yours.

What to say...should I stop being her "friend"...I don't agree with what they're doing, but technically, they've told us nothing or mostly lies about what's going on.  My husband and I only found out the truth because I looked for and found the court documents (all public record).

I totally get the idea that I will be her "flying monkey" if I go along with any of the current shenanigans.  Big hugs to you, when kids are involved, it's really really tough to know what to do.


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zachira
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« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2022, 11:13:05 AM »

Appreciate your feedback and all your replies.
I am a person who appreciates people being honest with me most of the time, as long as the person is not intentionally trying to be cruel and hurtful. I have often thanked people who told me things that were hurtful, like they did not want to be friends with me, and said how much I appreciated the truth. I do not like to have to guess how people feel. I did enough of that with my disordered family members and their flying monkeys. My therapist told me a few times that of all her clients I was the one who was the most willing to look at myself. I often sense that people fear telling me the truth and when I am receptive, they really appreciate being heard.
The advice I am getting here is to slowly go no contact with the friend. What I see myself doing and fear doing, is reminding her how she has told me on various occasions how she has OCD and that I can't deal with her obsessions and compulsions anymore, will not enable her anymore, reiterate that she needs treatment, and I do not want contact with her until she is making progress in treatment. I believe that she does not have OCD and that instead, a qualified professional would diagnose her with OCPD. Her obsession with perfection has led her to be fired from jobs and work way below her ablities. I am her only long term friend. She has pretty distant relationships with her siblings and acquaintances who are friends for awhile than distance themselves from her. Due to this most likely being a personality disorder, I am anticipating the kind of responses many on PSI get when they are honest with the disordered people in their lives. I just hate lying to and manipulating people. I have caused myself plenty of grief and drama in my life when being honest with my disordered family members and their flying monkeys. I am feeling terribly guilty about either slowly getting my friend out of my life or telling her the truth.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2022, 11:27:41 AM by zachira » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2022, 11:32:00 AM »

I think ultimately, you need to decide according to what you feel is best. Your values are your boundary.

She is not likely to react well to what you say or do either way but you need to know you have been true to yourself.

While it's possible to see LC as dishonest in a way, I try to think of it in the grand scheme of things. If the person is connected to other people in your life, then NC might mean they get cut off too. Is this in the best interest of them or you? Especially if children are involved, LC may be in their better interest.

If the relationship is causing you emotional distress and you feel it's not something you can handle, then NC might be the better decision.

Best to base this decision on you, you. If you feel she needs help and want to tell her that, then you need to feel you have done the best you could for your friend. I also think I'd tell someone they needed help if I truly believe it. It may backfire but you have been true to yourself.

These are all different ways to approach this but ultimately, your choice is the one you feel you need to do.

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zachira
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« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2022, 12:34:04 PM »

Notwendy,
I think you are right that I have to be true to my values. I already told her the last two times we talked that she needed to see a mental health professional. She did not call me for several weeks after that. Beatricex is likely right that she is calling me now because I am the one (she can count on to put up with her behaviors). What does that say about me? Am I codependent? Am I a flying monkey? I am sure there are plenty of people who have told her she needs mental health treatment. The court took away her primary custody of her children whom she now has not seen for several years because they have gone no contact with her.Her grown children told her several years ago they do not want a relationship with her. I also know she was in marriage and individual couseling at two different periods in her life. She was given repeated feedback on jobs that her work was unacceptable and she would be fired if she did not improve her performance. With great difficulty, she held onto her main job and was fired from the other one. She could have asked me why she needs to see a mental health professional. I have been setting more boundaries with her over the last year or so. I hurt when she calls me because I do not like to be ignored and I do care about her and there are many things I like about her. I am going to ignore the calls for now, and maybe at some point I will tell her again she needs to see a mental health professional. I want friendships with healthy people who can emotionally reciprocate. I have wasted too much of my life on the wrong people.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2022, 12:40:31 PM by zachira » Logged

Riv3rW0lf
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« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2022, 05:26:49 PM »

What does that say about me? Am I codependent? Am I a flying monkey? I am sure there are plenty of people who have told her she needs mental health treatment.

For me, I see lots of empathy.

I do think there is a big difference between a flying monkey, who, for me, turn their head away from the abuse VS friend who are legit concern for the welfare of the 'abuser' and of their family.

I was talking about this friend of mine earlier, the one who hurt people she loved. She doesn't have a PD, but drawing from that and from me (because I was once very dysregulated and I hurt good people along the way), I can say that, in the end, abusers were, at some point, victims too. Does it make abuse ok? No... But will leaving them completely alone lower the abuse or worsen it? I don't know... But I am thinking it might worsen it. Sometimes, I think friends can change the course of things by providing an ear and empathy. But this should never be done to the cost of your own mental health. And it might not apply when there is a PD, and the need for a mental health professional.

If something is triggering you, making you feel wrong, then something probably is wrong and going against your deep values, or maybe you feel like she takes you for granted, and her long silences are some form of abuse. If the relationship is always just one way, then I also wouldn't stay. I can withstand narcissistic tendencies, because I was born into a household like that, but I think we all have limits to feeling used.

You are not her therapist. You are her friend. And I think friends are there to help us feel better, and we should make them feel better too. If a friend makes you feel worst about yourself, then I wouldn't call this friendship...

This is just my take on it anyway...

I understand wanting to make friend with people who can reciprocate empathy, and I think this is healthy, it is self-care. And the more self-care we do for ourselves, the truer we are with ourselves, the more we will attract like-minded people... I truly believe that.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2022, 05:32:29 PM by Riv3rW0lf » Logged
zachira
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« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2022, 11:31:19 AM »

Thank you all your replies and sharing how your friendships have changed over time and the different kinds of friends you have. I am not finding time to individually reply to everybody and I hope that is okay. I have read every post and appreciate your time and input. Notwendy is right about being true to our values. I have finally realized that this friend's obsessions and compulsions have priority over anything else. She has done so many heartless things at times to others including her children, yet at times she has been extremely kind to me. It is with the people she is closest to like her children when she had a relationship with them or potential boyfriends with whom she might end up being in a relationship that she is extremely cruel and judgmental. It seems that this is the case with many disordered people, that they are nice to those people with whom they have more superficial relationships and mistreat the people with whom they have or might have intimate relationships or close friendships. I am feeling like she has let down her hair, and now I hear about how badly she treats others. Also she now has the habit of being busy cleaning her house or doing other activities when we are talking on the phone and often goes on and on about her obsessions which is a change from the kind of phone conversations we had in the past. It is like I have become so close to her that she has no filter with me, that I now see why her children have been no contact with her for many years, why she has never had a boyfriend since being divorced despite claiming to want to remarry and why she has no close friends in the area she lives in, despite living there for most of her adult life. The last year, I have been setting more and more boundaries with her, as I have not liked how she was treating me at times or how she has tried to enforce her rigid values onto me. The lesson here is that a good relationship improves with time as we feel more connected and seen by each other, and the bad ones become worse as the person shows their true colors. If I don't set the healthy boundaries with her, than I am codependent and being a flying monkey. I know how badly flying monkeys have hurt me and I also know how some of my codependent behaviors have hurt me and enabled others. I still have lots of work to do on setting healthy boundaries with others. Thankfully my daily meditation practice is helping me to stay calm and be able to connect with healthy people like never before. Most of my life, I have been so emotionally dysregulated that I was attracted to and attractive to other emotionally dysregulated people. Now I am finding myself wanting and loving the connection with people capable of healthy connection with whom I can enjoy peaceful moments.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2022, 11:47:05 AM by zachira » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2022, 06:20:22 PM »

The lesson here is that a good relationship improves with time as we feel more connected and seen by each other, and the bad ones become worse as the person shows their true colors. If I don't set the healthy boundaries with her, than I am codependent and being a flying monkey. I know how badly flying monkeys have hurt me and I also know how some of my codependent behaviors have hurt me and enabled others. I still have lots of work to do on setting healthy boundaries with others. Thankfully my daily meditation practice is helping me to stay calm and be able to connect with healthy people like never before. Most of my life, I have been so emotionally dysregulated that I was attracted to and attractive to other emotionally dysregulated people. Now I am finding myself wanting and loving the connection with people capable of healthy connection with whom I can enjoy peaceful moments.

Thank you for this!!! You put words to what I am feeling about this right now as well. Beautifully said!!!  With affection (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2022, 08:47:23 AM »

Im1109,
Glad this thread has been helpful. Thank you for participating and being willing to help others by sharing your challenges with a disordered friend.You are right: some people, we need to stay away from.
When we grow up in dysfunctional families, we often struggle with attracting or being attracted to people who are similar to our disordered family members. For me, what has been key, is to no longer crave the drama. I used to feel bored with people who seemed to have calm happy lives for the most part and did not enlist me in any of their personal dramas.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2022, 08:56:17 AM by zachira » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2022, 10:37:02 AM »

I agree with this. I also noticed that I was attracted to people who put me in my familial "role." Even though I was the youngest in my family...I was still the "therapist." Everyone in my family came to me with their problems and I was used as a dumping ground(so to speak). The ONLY attention I got from my Mom was when she was using me as her therapist or (sadly) gossiping about anyone and everyone to me....even when I was extremely young! I'm just now learning (at 35) what a normal give and take relationship even looks like. I was taught that "bonding" came from commiserating and my value in a relationship was being the therapist/sounding board/rescuer. Looking back...I realize...I could not have attracted healthy relationships with this belief!

For me, what has been key, is to no longer crave the drama. I used to feel bored with people who seemed to have calm happy lives for the most part and did not enlist me in any of their personal dramas.

This is a good point!! I'm realizing that in a way...other people's emotional addictions became my own emotional addictions. The Holistic Psychologist on YouTube and in her book How To Do The Work explains the family dynamics and emotional addictions REALLY well...it's been helping me a lot. It's crazy how we unconsciously repeat those family dynamics throughout life without even realizing it!!! 

This thread has been really eye opening for me!!! With affection (click to insert in post)
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Riv3rW0lf
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« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2022, 01:43:09 PM »


When we grow up in dysfunctional families, we often struggle with attracting or being attracted to people who are similar to our disordered family members. For me, what has been key, is to no longer crave the drama. I used to feel bored with people who seemed to have calm happy lives for the most part and did not enlist me in any of their personal dramas.


*Lightbulb*

For me, it wasn't boredom, it's more that I didn't felt like we really connected and I thought maybe they didn't like me. But they did want to see me again, and I guess... Again, that I was lucky enough to end up with emotionally healthy people that showed me how to have healthy friendships.

And later on, I remember coming back from Venise with the friend I am the closest with, and saying to another friend that it had been a bit hard and that I didn't want any drama anymore...

I had forgotten about that. Then I stopped calling this friend for a while, and when we reconnected, I stayed a bit more detached emotionnally.

Again when I saw her last... It's not that there is a pressure, it's not that I feel engulfed, it's that she always has something negative to say on my husband.
And then I find myself questioning my relationshion. She sparked my last thread about it and it took me a couple weeks coming back to see my husband for who he is : imperfect, like me, and good enough, like me, and in the end perfect for me. We work through our sh*to together, and truthfully, we both change each other for the best.

So anyway... Just realized maybe I will have to set a boundary with her too not to talk about my husband with her, and not allow her to critic him either.

I am starting to realize why a lot of people have a boundary that is : I don't talk about my relationship. Even though it sometimes feels good to vent. Some people are safer than others for this too... One of my other friend will listen and then vent on her own relationship and then we always end it feeling more love for them for some reasons... She doesn't judge or critic him or push him down telling me I deserve more... The is no seed of doubt... Just healthy venting for the both of us.

Sorry I didn't mean to hijack this post, but it is a eye opener for me as well.
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« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2022, 11:49:15 PM »

If she does have a PD, you might be her "person.
This connected with me.  I would really like to hear more of the theory  behind this.  Is it as simple as everyone with a PD (or BPD) needs 1 primary person to "fill them up", meet their emotional needs, be their sounding board, play out their drama, or dump on?

I'm just curious about the message behind "being her person"...

I would like to "unperson" myself with my mother... Frustrated/Unfortunate (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2022, 12:05:10 AM »

I have been very kind to this friend and not been as judgmental as others would be. I have spent hours listening to her. I realize I did not put up boundaries when a normal person would, thus Methuen I believe this is why I became her 'person'. In your case, you were groomed by your mother since birth to be your mother's 'person'. Being an only child, there is nobody else to be your mother's 'person', in the ways that you are. You have often said, you wished you had chosen to live far away from your mother when you were younger. Now you are doing your best to disengage from your mother, and she is not giving up on you because there is nobody else to be what you are to her. I admire your courage and intelligence in going back to work and making yourself less available to your mother. I wish my brother could have found a way to disengage with my mother. Instead he got cancer and died in her home, with mom abusing him in the months before he died because he was abandoning her.
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« Reply #20 on: June 29, 2022, 12:21:18 AM »

Thanks Zachira.  
Excerpt
The last year, I have been setting more and more boundaries with her, as I have not liked how she was treating me at times Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post) or how she has tried to enforce her rigid values onto me Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post). The lesson here is that a good relationship improves with time as we feel more connected and seen by each other, and the bad ones become worse as the person shows their true colors.
It sounds like disconnecting with her, whether it be the medium chill method, or the other way, would be a sign of growth on your part. I doubt that there is a "right or wrong" way.  Just doing it and looking after yourself in the process (instead of putting her needs first) will be a bit of a journey.  I like what NW said, about being true to yourself, and doing what is right for you.  I love the metaphor of friendships being like a tree, and some are roots and some are leaves, and leaves can be lovely too.  I have never heard this metaphor before.  It is filled with wisdom.  I can think of a leaf that lasted about 8 months, but kind of changed my life in some ways.  It was a beautiful leaf, and came at just the right time for both of us.

You've got this Zachira.  Let us know how it goes.  We can all learn from your experience.
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« Reply #21 on: June 29, 2022, 11:21:41 AM »

Methuen,
I love your tree metaphor. Two friends can grow together or grow apart. I was terribly immature when I became friends with this woman many years ago. Since then, I have had years of therapy, and now have very little contact with my dysfunctional family members and their flying monkeys. I am sad for this friend because she clearly has OCPD, dysfunctional obsessions with perfection which are mainly about religion and morality. I know many people from her religion, and they don't begin to carry to the extremes she does this religion's doctrines, like they never have used religion as an excuse to abuse their children. Mental health disorders are either ego dystonic, truly disturbing to the person with mental illness, or ego syntonic, (the person with the mental illness feels comfortable with their dysfunctional behaviors which is a hallmark of personality disorders). I have left her a voice mail that I do not want to talk on the phone with her now, because I am very busy with many things I have to get done. I see no point in giving her any real explanation. She has been given feedback over and over again about her dysfunctional behaviors. She is very critical of the therapy her sister had, who I also believe had OCPD, and believes the therapy is responsible for her sister's death. There is no hope for change or growth with this friend. I feel terribly sad for her and truly care about her, yet I am not helping her or myself by enabling her.


« Last Edit: June 29, 2022, 11:27:10 AM by zachira » Logged

zachira
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« Reply #22 on: June 29, 2022, 11:38:53 AM »

What really made me want to end the friendship, was my friend's description of how badly she treated a man she had a date with, the first date she had in years. She justified all her bad behaviors with him. He was clearly a fine man, did everything he could to meet her unreasonable expectations. He called her up to tell her he wasn't ready to get into a relationship, a couple of days after the date.  I finally see that she seeks people out who will let her get away with her dysfunctional behaviors. I thought I had made some progress with her, discussing how she might welcome her children back into her life if they ever sought her out. She is very firm that if they ever came to see her on the sabbath, she would put the religious practices of the sabbath over her children, and arrange to see them at another time on her terms. There is no hope for any growth or change. The worst things that happen to her like her children wanting no contact with her, did not change her, though she is heartbroken about losing them. Anything I do will not change the fact that she has a personality disorder, would likely be diagnosed with OCPD if she were to ever see a mental health professional. I have some codependent issues that I need to work on.
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