Discussion in 'Rants, Musings and Ideas' started by ThePhantomLady, Mar 5, 2016.

  1. ThePhantomLady

    ThePhantomLady Safety and Support SF Supporter


    I am visiting my mother most weekends, despite the fact that she abused me all of my life... but it's so very triggering for me to go there, being alone with her, us getting into the smallest arguments... and then there's the fact that the school where I was severely bullied and sexually abused as well is almost next to her house.

    This weekend we were also supposed to visit my mother's aunt (the closest I have to a grandmother) but I knew after what happened last weekend that it wouldn't be healthy for me to go there. So I told my mother I was very tired and felt unwell so I was staying home this weekend...

    First she tried to convince me that mum's aunt wanted to see me...

    Now mum just took a picture of her dog, who I love so much... he has that sad expression and she's writing how much he misses me, and he's wondering where I am...

    Why can't she just leave me alone? Why is it so bad that I need a break for once? BLAH.
  2. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    Ugh. So hard to have people who just seem to zero in on what makes us feel badly. :(

    I have a thought - it is not to "excuse" your mom's guilt-tripping, but just maybe to think about. Almost all want to love their children and do well by them. And in spite of "unhealthy dynamics" between parent and child, there is likely some sense of "love". Some parents don't have a good model of parenting from their own parents, and they struggle with their own kids; sadly some repeat the very issues that made being a kid hard for them.

    All that said, is it possible, even ever-so-slightly, that your mom is using the dog situation to say that some part of her own psyche misses you?

    The relationship with your mom that you have described on SF in many threads and posts is not "perfect" at all...But, I think even misguided parents probably want to feel connected. It's just a thought on my part. And it definitely doesn't mean you need to feel guilty or to spend more time with mom and dog than YOU can cope with. I offer it only to add more "human-ness" to the person who seems hell-bent on manipulating you (your mom).

    Parent-offspring relationships can get quite muddled when all parties are adults. Maybe your mom can't leave you alone because she is still looking for a perfect mother-child relationship (there are NO perfect relationships in the world, imo. Just people who are willing or not willing to communicate with each other. I think maybe your mom has some challenges with open communication.)
    ThePhantomLady likes this.
  3. ThePhantomLady

    ThePhantomLady Safety and Support SF Supporter

    Thank you so much for giving me another side to things @Acy ... It's very difficult to see anything other than a monster and all the "why didn't you do that, why did you do that... why?" sorrow I feel towards her.

    A while ago, last year I think we had a talk... just a short one. Feelings isn't something we really go into; obviously. She told me that her and I would never be 'that close' or 'good friends' and that was just how it was. So I find it a bit difficult to see that she'd try.

    She doesn't believe she ever did anything wrong by me. She believes I'm a weak person.

    She told me before that she never wanted children, but when she found herself pregnant so soon after both her parents died she decided to keep me, just so she would be less lonely.
    In her defense she hasn't had the easiest life either... her father favored her sister, both parents died when she was in her 30's shortly after each other, and then she got pregnant by a married man... who left her when she decided to keep the child (me). I guess she couldn't cope...

    She has no interest in children, she's never had. If her friend had her grandchildren around she couldn't care less.

    I don't know why she even wants me to come, I guess she's scared of being alone or something. Either that or it's a facade thing... people around her would probably judge her if her own daughter didn't come to visit.
  4. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    I'm in agreement with Acy, maybe your mom is trying to create a bond that never existed? Maybe she is trying to make up for all her wrong doings or even wants to see if you will forgive her (through your actions). I feel for you having to put up with this. It must bring back the worst of memories, know we are here for you always <3
  5. NYJmpMaster

    NYJmpMaster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    In the end the you can only control things you can control - and that is your own actions and very little else in the world. Whatever happens around us or whatever people do , we can only control and truly effect change by choosing our own actions. It is your choice how much contact you have with your mom. By now I am sure you realized she will never change and suddenly become the fairy tale mom that is supportive no matter what you do and has no conditions for her support (if such a person exists I have never met them, it is just a matter of how far away from that impossible ideal somebody is).

    You can control your actions though, and all choices have consequences. Choose you actions based on what works best and then accept the consequences as a personal choice.

    * You can easily if you choose cut off all contact with parents. It is a valid choice- the consequence is dealing with your own feeling of loss or guilt.

    *You can choose to fall lockstep to her bidding in an attempt to be the perfect daughter for the far less than perfect parent- the consequence is loss of freedom and pain you feel by doing this.

    * You can choose to make the decision of how to be each and every time the situation presents itself and simply go along with without trying to set up conditions that she is either incapable of following or unwilling to follow

    Since hoping for some great change or epiphany on her part (and knowing you cannot control anybody's actions besides your own, certainly not hers) it simply causes more stress for you and hoping for something that you know will not play out and that leaves you stressed and angry and hurt. You can choose whenever you like to say no, leave it as an absolute and unyielding no, and then ignore what else is said or do not answer the phone/delete texts or whatever until you decide for yourself you want to deal with again. Then/if you decide you will try to deal with again you are back to understanding/knowing that she will infringe on your personal space and ideas.

    As an adult, nobody can belittle you or treat you poorly without your permission(short of physically restraining you/kidnapping) , simply stand up and leave or do not go/hang up phone/block phone /social media, do not open door if comes to that. You cannot control their actions and make them act or treat you differently anymore than they can control you if you choose to not let them. Where the real issue is that you both want the other to act and behave differently and are un-accepting of the fact it is not going to happen. While I personally think from the description you are completely in the "right" in this case, I am sure she is just as certain as you or I that she is right and you are wrong. She chooses to simply control her own actions and do what she thinks is best and does not let what you think effect her actions.

    You might consider taking a page from her book and do the same and save yourself endless grief. It just may (after a period of time) be something she can understand since it is the way she acts and may lead to some common ground at some point in the future. and if not then the stress of the deciding and choosing goes from a near constant to the 3 seconds you spend making a choice on the "next event" whether you will go or not and then going on with your life since you cannot change anything about the way she will act or react in either case. This is really one of those cases where people often say is easier said than done, but in reality is far easier done than said if you you just choose and stop worrying about who is right and instead consider what control you have over the situation.

    If you accept that you chose to go regardless and that it was really your free will, it may be easier to deal with the situations you have yo endure - simply by saying I chose this because it was better than feeling guilty and I can equally choose to leave any second I want to without a single word to anybody unless I decide to. Choice and control are very powerful in helping a person endure situations, whether it is to endure being there or to endure the feeling brought on by not going. You just need to actually accept the fact they are your choice and you are responsible for the feelings that accompany that choice since you are the only one you can control.
    ThePhantomLady likes this.
  6. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    NYJmpMaster is making some excellent points, here, too. Your mom might want a connection, but if things are so non-productive and even outright destructive, you have choices...see her or not see her.

    Just because she herself might want a connection doesn't make it work out smoothly or automatically. She has lived with herself the way she is and the way she thinks for a long time. Change is going to be hard for her, and as NYJmp suggests, your waiting for an epiphany from her might just cause you too much stress. If you continue a relationship with her, it would likely put you in better position if you go into it aware that mom might never ever understand or admit to how she hurt you in the past, and she might not change all that much. It might be episodes of good and then back to manipulation, and then back to good...

    Knowing what we're up against can help, but only if we are prepared to simply accept the other person as they are and not have other expectations.

    I know it's a hard spot to be - loving a parent because it's our mom or dad, and feeling really upset and hurt by things they have said or do say. That tug between "love" and "how can you say/do that to me?" is hard to balance. Most parents do the best they can in a given situation as their kids grow up. If their parents didn't teach them well, they might have less than ideal parenting skills.

    Honestly, I would test the waters, be as kind as I could be, but I'd be trying to hold on to my own sense of self and needs, too. That's me. What do you plan to do?
    ThePhantomLady likes this.
  7. ThePhantomLady

    ThePhantomLady Safety and Support SF Supporter

    I have agreed with myself that I will only come every second week, if even that much, I am thinking about presenting that plan to her with the excuse that the train fare is expensive. (I tried that before and she gave me money... but I'll insist I feel bad about taking her money).

    I am not expecting my mother to change, or even regret what she did... my problem is more I grieve my ruined childhood. I stopped expecting her to love me a long time ago... and I know this is a horrible thing to say but I don't really love her either.
    As a child I think I did... Some of my very early suicide attempts (I was 9 when I had my first) were because I wanted her to be happy; I thought if she didn't find me she could find love and become happy... and when she threatened to give me up or when she drove away pretending not to come back my little world shattered.

    I have no real affection for her anymore. When I was 15 I knew she truly never loved me... and I started to really hate her. Her beatings and punishments were one thing... but her blaming me for being raped when I was 13, and confessing she hadn't really bothered much when she caught a teenage boy molesting me IN THE ACT! when I was only 4. I can never forgive that.

    I have later accepted that she will never understand. She's simply incapable of human emotions... (I wish I could blame it on a drinking habit or something... but she was always sober). I think she always felt detached from me... she told me that when I was born (emergency c-section under full sedation) and they finally presented me to her someone asked her "Isn't your daughter lovely?" and she just said "well they tell me she's mine...". I don't think she ever managed to bond to me.

    I am grieving over my childhood, and that's what my therapist is currently trying to work on with me. I know nothing that happens now can change what happened, and even if my mum should try to apologize (or anyone else who hurt me for that matter) it won't really help. I need to deal with how it feels and the impact it had on the person I became as a result of it.

    I feel like I'm being too cold. Now my mother doesn't have many people in her life... she's distancing herself from some of her few friends (she never cared much for socializing), she feels one of her friends spends too much time on her grandchildren... my aunt demands attention a lot, and it's always annoyed my mother (who can blame her when her father favored the sister and barely looked to her side)... and my mother's aunt is sick and being difficult. Mum usually uses me to rant to... I just shut my ears and let her rant about how weird our family is.

    But I just can't keep going there. Visiting her always results in me succumbing to selfharm and suicidal thoughts... I still fear she'll hit me sometimes. She has this stupid habit when she gets cold fingers to put them on my skin and I instantly thinks she's about to hurt me. The last time she actually hit me I was 19. She did apologize for that.

    I have left her before. after Christmas 2014 I couldn't handle her anymore. For months I didn't reply to any messages, in the end she started to write messages asking if I was alive at all... I finally responded that I was, but I didn't want to talk to her. She ended up writing me an email inviting me to her, offering that we talked about things. I ended up accepting... but we never really talked it out. I didn't see any point in it... she would never understand I felt... so I just told her that we should forget about it.
    Last Christmas we put some boundaries in place and discussed how to go about things (at Christmas her sister, my aunt becomes a joint trigger for us as her lack of helping pisses off both of us, and my OCD and the fact that I've been whipped to be perfect during stressful situations makes me stress out too)

    I'll probably visit my mother next weekend and offer her that solution that I can only come once every two weeks. I'll blame it on the trains, and if she needs more reasons I'll try to tell her that being so close to that school building is bad for me. She knows I was bullied and blames all my issues on that anyway.
  8. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    Small idea...just say when you ARE going to be there. When you aren't going to be, just say you have "other plans", a "previous engagement".

    Yes, she'd surely want to guilt you into going to see her, but that's one of the choices you'll be making. And if you set boundaries about when you will or won't go, might be best to be as firm as possible. Not a money issue she can argue with you about. A plan to do something and others are counting on you is easier for you and harder for her. As I said, it's just "an idea".

    You're doing all kinds of good things. It's a lot of work. Pat yourself on the back for all that you're doing!