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Topic: EMOTIONAL BLACKMAIL- likely extreme BPD?

8 posts, 0 answered
  1. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    9752 posts
    5 July 2014

    Hi all, 

    just a background. I have bipolar 2, dysthymia, anxiety and depression and ADHD when younger. My sister has depression. My mother undiagnosed as in denial for her 82 years has BPD (?). Her symptoms are so severe my sister and I dont have anymore contact. The extreme behaviour our mother had all our lives was so bad that living without her contact was a real blessing. Sad as it sounds. No regrets. Her need for control was unworkable. Manipulation was rampant and expectations very high of us. She owned us until we snapped.

    What I want to raise is emotional blackmail that we had as children right up till I was 28yo. I'm interested in the effects of it on you if you experienced it. I say till 28yo because it was then that I called my mothers bluff.  "If you go out with that girl again I'll pack my bags and go on a holiday and you can fend for yourself." she blurped. To which I replied "Do you want me to help you pack"? That was a big step for me...to call her bluff.

    Now that seems rather nasty but it was required as were the several other incidences that followed until it ceased. But these blackmailing episodes began as long as I can remember. Sadly it also involved my father "If you kids dont pick up your toys I'll tell your father when he came home" following which often we got belted by dad. Bless him, what a good man sent on wicked disciplining methods on her whim.

    I dont want to paint all BPD sufferers with an evil coating. I'm curious if EB is a trait in BPD sufferers or maybe this side of my mother wasnt associated at all with the illness.?

    We can blame parents for many things - some not justified some are. Some parents go off on their own tangent when parenting their children and dont observe nor listen to others how they parent their child. And some dont even read a book about parenting....as if it all comes so naturally. Hence some errors occur and its only when the child gets to a certain age they respond to stamp out the incorrect treatment of them.

    Again I hope I dont upset other sufferers. I am curious as to emotional blackmail and if you have experienced it and what you did about it.

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Jo3
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Jo3 avatar
    2269 posts
    5 July 2014 in reply to white knight

    Hi WK

    Your mum sounds so much like my mum.  OMG everything you wrote - that's exactly what my mum does with me. Yet it took me until I was 44 yrs old to realise that my mum is a controlling, manipulative and uses emotional blackmail to get to me and my sister.

    As you know WK I have BPD, yet I am so sure that my mum has it as well but never diagnosed.  She has now accused my sister and I for causing stress to my dad and saying it is our fault for his ill health. She is making us feel so guilty.

    In the four years of not talking to my parents I learnt to make my own decisions whether they were right or wrong. And I was living my life my way and in a peaceful calmer life.It was so nice not having to do what she wanted me to do; or get her approval for whatever I wanted to do. After all I am a married woman, I can make my own decisions, I don't need my mum to tell me what to do. But it took over 40 yrs to learn this and it saddens me to see that it took this long.

    Jo

  3. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    9752 posts
    6 July 2014 in reply to Jo3

    Dear Jo,

    Yes I read your other post detailing your troubles with your family. In fact your situation mirrors my sisters more than mine. She is younger than me. Whereas I left home at 17 to join the RAAF my sister stayed home and was 'controlled' by our mother in every way. Our mother even convinced her and her new husband to live under the same roof and any arguements among the young married couple ALWAYS included mother interfering. and so on.

    Eventually at me when 54 and sister 48 we cut ties with her. And we finally have a life without the chains around our necks. However- our father died in 1992 so we didnt have him around to make it harder- as in your situation.

    I can only suggest you contact your dad and tell him you are tired of him recieving second hand incorrect information from your mother and if he is ever upset then he should contact you immediately with a phone call.

    Failure for him to take your advice is his decision and you cant be blames for that...and as hard as it will be try to move on/forward with your life towards happiness. Dont blame yourself for what is essentially out of your control. And dont give in to your mothers scheming and manipulation that is really destroying the harmony of the family.

    My dad was wonderful but he was at my mothers beck and call, believed in EVERYTHING she said because he had blind loyalty. Well a parent also should have loyalty to the truth and loyalty towards whats right and if ultimately that means his/her marraige falls apart then so be it. You dont sell your family out because you are supporting your spouse that is telling untruths or twisting the facts. I know I'm frank about this but living the truth and being straight down the line is better than allowing a person to control you and living a lie.

  4. HelenM
    HelenM avatar
    347 posts
    7 July 2014 in reply to white knight

    Hi WK

    A very close friend of mine had a mum who was the most manipulative person I've ever come across. It was later in life that she was diagnosed with BPD but her behaviour makes it clear it was always there. 

    When Js sister died at 17 in an accident her mother demanded her son's new born baby to bring up. When the baby girl was an adult Js mother wouldn't let her leave to do her nursing. She was violent towards her boyfriends. I think the girl was in her 30s before she managed to get away.

    She wouldn't allow my friend to go somewhere but would change her mind when it was too late for J to get transport or whatever. How twisted is that. 

    My friend somehow managed to cope without getting caught up in it all.

    I hope you don't mind me posting but as soon as I saw your thread I thought of my friend's mum. There were things going on all the time and I can't help but think she was the mother from hell.

    Helen

    Having written this, I don't think this is standard in BPD is it?

     

  5. Jo3
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Jo3 avatar
    2269 posts
    7 July 2014 in reply to white knight

    Hi WK

    Thanks for your post.  In regards to trying to speak to my dad on his own - that will never happen. You know why? MY MUM.  He is with her 24/7.  He doesn't have a mobile phone, she always answers the phone and he is so blind by her it makes me angry at times. And if I was to write a letter to him he wouldn't get it because she would throw it out or return it to me WITHOUT my dad knowing.  .

    Because of her manipulation and control she has stopped all contact with her siblings and my dads siblings as well.  They have no one, no friends either. What life is that?? Not my kind of life that's for sure.

    Anyway, I am going to let this go, I can't live with her in my life; yes it makes me sad but that is the situation. She has wiped off my sister over a fight that mum has caused, that had nothing to do with her; she is also going to wipe me off as well if things stay like this - because I don't need this anymore; I don't need her toxic comments; her behaviour that puts me into feeling guilty, emotional - no no more.

    Jo

  6. hannaxo
    hannaxo avatar
    4 posts
    12 August 2014
    Hi White knight,

    It is so comforting to join this forum and read stories of people dealing with similar circumstances. I am not alone after all!

    My Dad has severe BiPolar and it is said within the family that I am his number 1 target for emotional black Mail due to my vulnerable emotional state and selflessness I have toward my dad more than anyone else in my family. It has only been the past year I have TRULY understood how targeted i have been. Comments such as "If i couldnt stay at your house, id have attempted suicide" and "if you werent always here for me when i need it, i wouldnt be here anymore" have been escalating normalities in my life.

    I am extremely close with my Dad, and have been trying everything to educate myself on how I can deal with these emotional blackmail episodes, but it is very hard when you finally learn to put yourself first. I have found sitting down and setting boundaries with him has helped, constantly reminding him that I am his child, not a healthcare professional and also asking him to expand on what he is suggesting has worked.

     
  7. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    9752 posts
    13 August 2014 in reply to hannaxo

    Hi hannaxo,  welcome

    So glad you are benefitting from these posts. 

    Blackmail isnt nice. It is a form of power and ultimatum. I think it is also inconsideration. The problem is, IMO, most people doing this dont seek help because to seek help you have to acknowledge there is a problem.

    'm afraid in your situation I would throw it back at your dad, as you are doing. Ask him if he should threaten you like this. It's cruel. It's unacceptable. It's usually idle threats. It's pressure no human needs.

    Thankyou for your feedback. As you can see with the other posters above- it isnt an isolated condition/behaviour.

  8. hannaxo
    hannaxo avatar
    4 posts
    13 August 2014 in reply to white knight

    Hi White Knight,

    Thanks for your feedback. I have thrown back his threats a few times and it usually ends in an uproar. I've found when he makes these threats, he is either extremely low or extremely "on edge" (something as little as saying " Im at work and need to call back later" will throw him completely off balance)..... but maybe the language I use can be a lot more calmer at times. When he says certain things, I forget to breathe sometimes and say things back out of angst. Due to a recent suicide attempt however, the cat team have been visitng daily and we have started some therapy together (and soon I will be getting my own sessions) so everything is very much out on the table now.

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