My advice? You guys have weak conflict resolution skills. It is a two layer problem.
- The SPECIFIC THING -- whatever it was that set all this off.
- And then the HOW YOU COPE with solving conflict THINGS IN GENERAL.
That's your conflict resolution style. It seems weak to me so it makes the THING that much harder to bear and sort out. You have clunky tools.
You have opportunity here to choose to work on beefing up your conflict resolution skills not just with her, but with your polyship's various tiers. (Here's one example thread
of people in a triad having a THING and learning how to break down the elephant. )
- Own your upset.
- Let her own her upset.
- Learn to set a time limit for a check in so you are not in endless limbo. (That is what you suffer from here. The not knowing. )
- Learn about more effective conflict resolution methods while you are waiting in Limbo.
- Don't be dragging your other Meta Sister person and your Shared BF into the middle of it. Especially (like the BF) if they have weak boundaries on that kind of thing.
Her way of dealing with issues with me had always been to withdraw without warning and not contact me until she was ready to talk about what happened.
Again. Let her own her upset.
If that is how she chooses to handle difficult things -- by hunkering down away from stimulus to lower her internal volume so she can then be ready to talk more calm, that is how she handles it. It is not an unreasonable method for coping with emotional flooding - to back away from the stimulus.
(here is one emotional flooding article
with tips. Here is another.
Google more. Maybe YOU are also having emotional flooding.)-
But since you also write this...
this email left me with a lot of hurt, resentment and anger over how she decided to deal with her feelings and how she wouldn't provide the opportunity to work through them with her. Instead, she really left me hanging.
To me it sounds like you'd be more ok in giving her emotional space so she can clear her emotional flooding wackies if she ALSO Gave a check-in time.
If she said it like
"I need some space to cool off my hot head. Can we come revisit this in a week? And if I'm still too hot under the collar to talk like a calm person, I'll tell you. But at least we can do a temperature check and not leave you hanging. Is that reasonable?"
You could ask her to treat you that way in future.
"I want to stay with you and work this out. But next time? Can you tell it to me more like THIS (see above) and not just shut down and shut me out completely? I'd like to know a check in point is coming so I don't overworry and get all cranked up myself. That's no good for either of us to be able to move it forward."
Often it was days or weeks before this happened, and if I didn't pick up that she was upset and said or did something to push her to talk about issues or inadvertently upset her, it would only make her more upset.
Is her expectation that YOU will do all the work of conflict resolution? Either in being a mind reader or drawing it out of her. She does not want to do the work herself?
If she could set the limit when it happens then later at the checkpoint you agreed to she could say
"Alright. Thank you for giving me some emotional space and waiting to our week later checkpoint. I am ready to talk about it now if you are willing."
If she's not strong enough to do that yet? YOU set the check in. Own that part of the elephant -- get her to a place where she can be strong enough to OWN her side.
"Look, I see you are upset. You are sending me all kinds of provoking hot head things. I will give you emotional space and then check back in a week. See where tempers are at and if we are cooler then we can set the appt to work things out. But I have a limit -- do not needle me. I want to be in right relationship here. "
And don't let it become the game of moving the appointment all around the place -- pick one and stick to that checkpoint. You are supposed to work together to break down the elephant -- not cover eyes and pretend it does not exist and also pretend isn't pooping all over the relationship!
Just my 2 cents.