May
10

The Pain of Not having a Mother vs Being a Mother on Mother’s Day

By

 

 

dysfunctional mother daughter relationship

Texting with my Daughter Katie

I have three amazing and wonderful children. They were all under the age of 12 when I started this specific type of emotional healing journey that I write about here in Emerging from Broken. 

I have worked at being close to my children. I decided when each of them were born that I would be intentional in the way that I did relationship with them. I was intentional about what I communicated and how I showed them love and acceptance.  My main goal in the beginning was to inspire them to be who they are in spite of living in a world full of people living a dream someone else had for them. I had a slight concept of the millions of kids (like me) who tried to “fit in” by being what they perceived others wanted and by being / doing what they thought others would “love” them for.

Mothers Day articles and dysfunctional mother daughter posts along with dysfunctional and toxic parent child relationship posts are the most popular posts that I write when it comes to the search engines like “Google”. (not so much when it comes to sharing with social networks such as Facebook) My blog posts on this subject are found in search engines hundreds of times a day. There is a lot of pain in the world around toxic mother and child relationships.  This year I became aware of some new things about motherhood; the emotions I had to face as a mother caused me to reflect even MORE deeply on the way that my own mother treated me. And it was painful.

This year my oldest daughter Katie (she is my middle child) went off to the University of Lethbridge to study Neuroscience. Although it was an exciting time for both of us, feelings of pride and love mingled with fear and insecurity. There were so many unknowns! But life ~ at least life without restrictions has a way of going forward in spite of those fears.

The University of Lethbridge is only a three hour drive away so my daughter Katie was able to come home on many of the weekends. During mid terms and finals however, she would stay at the University to study and then sometimes I didn’t see her for almost 3 weeks straight.  And I could “feel it”. I felt an absence and a longing. Sometimes my chest would ache with missing her. Sometimes I would get up and pace the room, rubbing that empty spot and marveling at how my heart actually hurt with missing my baby.

Both Katie and I were surprised at the degree and depth of the homesickness that she experienced. I was scared that she wouldn’t miss us at all actually.  Without realizing it I had braced myself for rejection. I was afraid that she wouldn’t need me anymore and that she was all grown up and independent now. Perhaps she would even rejoice in “getting away from me”. I thought university kids were supposed to be celebrating their freedom from parents and calling their parents “lame” and all that sort of thing. I realized that I had been really afraid that Katie would go off to University and never think about me again. And that fear came from the experiences that I had with my own mother.  Not because I left home at 17 and never wanted my mother again, but because my mother never wanted me. My mother didn’t pursue me, but in my mind I blamed myself for that for so long that even when it came time for my daughter to leave home deep down I believed that she would not want me anymore either.

Katie wasn’t shy about expressing her homesickness which also surprised me. She wrote status updates in facebook about it all the time. She even posted a few screen shots of our text conversations. I had feelings that I had never had before such as an unbridled excitement that perhaps I had succeeded in achieving a really loving and mutually respectful relationship with my daughter!  

Katie and I had this one conversation on text messaging during her finals in the second semester where I told that I missed her so much that my chest hurt and she said that hers did too; she told me that it felt like her heart was crying. YES ~ that was the best way to describe it.  Another time I told her that it felt like something was missing in my chest and she said “It’s me! Its me that is missing” and YES ~ Katie was exactly what was missing.  

As time progressed I became aware of other thoughts just niggling below the surface; thoughts about my own mother. I wonder why my own mother never missed me? I moved out when I was only 17 years old. I moved across the country when I was 19 years old and my strange mother never seemed to give me a second thought.  She made “keeping in touch” my responsibility. She never showed any kind of vulnerability towards me by any sincere expression of missing me or having even in having any interest in me. I saw this all in a new light when I missed Katie so much my heart ached. I had to face the pain of being rejected by my own toxic, seemingly narcissistic mother in a new way when I acknowledged how much I missed my own daughter.  The “why questions” came flooding back. How could my own mother have been so cold?

This is a very painful truth. The deepest and most painful truth that I have had to face in order to overcome depression, dissociation, post traumatic stress disorder and all my other struggles with self esteem, living fully and finding freedom and wholeness has been to face that my toxic mother didn’t care and my emotionally unavailable father was never interested in me. By their actions, they didn’t love me. This realization came in layers over the years that I have worked on setting myself free. I have to constantly remind myself that understanding the people who hurt me is not part of the solution in the way that acknowledging and healing from the damage is. 

I missed Katie and acknowledged the pain of those feelings quite a few times this past year before I allowed myself to think about that pain in relation to my own mother. The deeper realizations are still so painful that sometimes I just don’t see that new level of acknowledgement right away.

It has been painful to comprehend that my own mother did not love me; my mother doesn’t LOVE me, the way that I love my own kids.  my daughter love

BUT it is also a reason to celebrate! I love my kids and I have learned how to have relationship with them based on equal value and mutual respect! I broke the cycle of neglect and parent child dysfunction!  I don’t expect my children to fill a hole in me like my own toxic mother did. I don’t emotionally neglect them or neglect them any other way. I went a step farther in my healing and broke the belief that parents have more rights and more value than their children have. I have modeled equal value for all people in my own family and my kids want to have a relationship with me.  Not only am I free of the oppression I used to live in, but they are free to live in wholeness too.

This Mother’s Day I am celebrating BEING a mother! ~ A real mother; a functional mother, a loving mother.  I had to re-parent myself for several years in this process of healing. I had to become the mother I never had (to myself) in order to become the mother I am to my own kids. I am proud of my kids and today I am proud of myself too!

Happy Mother’s Day!  Even if this year you are only celebrating the mother that you can be to yourself, please share your thoughts.

Darlene Ouimet

The Emerging from Broken book is ready for download! If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you, get this book today! This 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to healing.  Get yours here through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

 

Categories : Mother Daughter

289 Comments

1

aaawwww..this was a very moving article! I got a tear when I read the words between Darlene and her daughter. It is not a small thing to come from a place of COMPLETE emptiness up out of the ashes of a person’s life and to turn things around in this way to become such a supportive and loving mother like this. It is also great to find the place inside of us where it is okay to celebrate BEING a mother. How awesome and true! It is so powerful to let go of a toxic mother-daughter relationship and be free NOT to celebrate that relationship, but to instead focus on the beautiful one that you create with your own child/children. And I have to say that there were several years…from the time my own daughter was born until she was about 6 yrs old that I didnt celebrate Mothers Day at all…my husband tried to take me out and make it nice, but I was so internally miserable because I didnt have a mother (my mother died when I was little and dad remarried the next year to a woman who was cruel) and it never occured to me to celebrate being a mother with my own daughter at that point. I stopped going to church on Mother’s day and Father’s day because it was all about celebrating and I didnt feel like celebrating…I was too depressed. I began to pull out of it by something that seems so silly , but it worked for me. I bought the movie “Serial Mom”…and it is not the cleanest, happiest movie out there, but the dark humor with this psycho mother made me laugh and feel better. My “mom’ would have weird psychotic episodes…that is what i called them, it was never professionally diagnosed…and so watching this movie helped me get through a few hours of that horrible and empty day. I used to dutifully call and give a gift or card to “mom” too, and since it was a pretense, it made me feel worse. Then as my daughter got older and SHE wanted to celebrate me on that day, I realized that I would actually like that. I was not fussed over at all by my parents as a child…quite the opposite, so it felt really weird to me, to be honest, to have her wanting to pamper me and give me her little gift she made from school and a card, but I found myself being so touched by her love! So, it became a yearly tradition, and my husband…who tends to emotionally withdraw, even started coming around and now my daughter is almost 18 rs old and we have a family tradition set in place to celebrate ME. And it is a wonderful thing and I dont feel weird about it anymore. As the years passed, I started looking forward to it. Now I feel so happy when Mother’s Day rolls around because even though I dont have my own mother to reach out to, it is very special when you do have a child/children to celebrate together with and to know how much they truly love you. I have a ton of work to do in order to heal other areas of my heart and life, but I am extremely proud of myself for what I overcame and the work I put into motherhood. I determined before I had my daughter that I was going to be the kind of mother I always wanted and I worked HARD over the years to change and to heal and grow and be that to her. It has been a dream of mine that came true and I am so grateful. Loved this article…really made me happy!

2

‘by their actions they didn’t love me’ – just one of the ‘bell-ringing’ truths in that very moving post Darlene.

So happy for you and your daughter to have built such a wonderful relationship based on mutual respect.

I’m always baffled by the amount of parents who seem hell-bent on ruling their children as if they had no will of their own. Very sad.

Thanks to your excellent site i’ve decided to start trusting what I think and feel about my chequered collection of parents and especially mothers (three in total, none of them with any love for me)

But, it matters a lot less nowadays as I start to really believe that my feelings are valid and my refusal to carry on forcing a relationship with any of my ‘families’ is less to do with my utter wrongness and selfishness and more to do with knowing that I don’t want one because of whats gone on at every past meeting.

I tend to try and play the dutiful child with my most recent foster family about once every 5 years, one meeting which was supposed to be happening next week but I’ve cancelled it and made an active choice for the first time ever.

If I was going to feel loved and cared about or god forbid even heard as an individual it would have happened by now, time to stop flogging a horse that died in about 1994 🙂

Thanks as always.

R

3

Hi Diane

To be honest, it took me a while before I had the guts to post that screen shot of our conversation. It was a very emotional moment between my daughter and I. I had to process what it made me feel to go public with it. I discussed it with my daughter who pointed me to where she saved the photo in her facebook account. (I should have mentioned also that I wrote this article with her permission!) It made me feel “vulnerable” and even “exposed” and that was a feeling that took me a few years to allow!

I didn’t realize how scared I still was that things would not be okay with my own kids when they got old enough to decide about me as a mom before Katie left for University. (and deep down I am still worried; I have three kids!)

When my kids were small it seemed that mothers day was about my mother and mother in law. I remember being upset because I didn’t want to host mothers day one year! I felt like that was the ONE day of the year that could have been about me. And I felt guilty for thinking such a thing. Round and round it went for me. thoughts of “I want more in life than servant hood” and “I don’t deserve more” had to be faced.

Thank you for sharing your mother’s day thoughts with us!

Hugs, Darlene

4

Hi R.
I am baffled too but I see it every day. We used to hire a crew of high school students every year for haying ~ sometimes 7 or 8 of them at a time for several months. It was crazy how much they talked about not wanting to go to the post secondary schools their parents wished them to go to or not wanting to study what the parents wanted them too, but they almost always DID. There was a study done in Christian Bible Colleges ~ in an attempt to find out how many kids were “lost to the lord” IN christian college! The results were astounding! over 75% didn’t want to be there and guess why they were there?? To please their parents… This shocked me and this is only ONE example. (I don’t mean to pick on Christian families!) There are many many many more examples this is just the one that came to mind.

Thank you for sharing R. and YAY YAY for trusting yourself and your feelings! It all started when I started to validate me! Hope you will be doing “freedom ROCKS!

Hugs, Darlene

5

thank you so much for sharing your story,I have a daughter 21 years old. we were in the emergency room last night..she is having pain in her stomach and they cannot find the cause.This reminded me of one of the times when I was sick and not believed, couldn’t get up,eat and had a fever and pain in my right side. my mother said “your not sick” and it took the neighbor coming over to get me to the hospital,where they quickly admitted me with hepatitis.the look of disbelief on her face hurt so much.Yesterday the tears started to flow as I told my daughter I understand,and we will get to the bottom of this. She said “thank you mom for believing me.WOW..when I called my mother and told her what was going on.the concern spilled out of her mouth..but as much as I hate to say it..I think it is because mothers day is so close.She feels obligated to show concern,where there has never been before.I am trying to deal with this in the best way I know how.Not to! but it is zapping me of my energy that should be concentrated on my daughter at this time.Because she has consumed my thoughts,she has WON again.I need to take back my power from her and put it in the correct place.

6

Darlene…I hope it is appropriate that I share so frequently on here? I just wanted to say that I completely understand that feeling of being vulnerable to share…that is how I just felt this morning when I put in my first comment. Maybe I am misunderstanding why you felt vulnerable, but I felt that way because I never feel comfortable sharing how wonderful certain things are in my life with others. I have had friends that messed up with their kids, couldnt have children, they were going through a rough patch with their children, and then my “family” was all about not liking that I was actually parenting in a healthy way and close to my kid. I still have to fight with feelings like I am narcissitic for sharing the good and wonderful about my daughter and our relationship. Or if she does really well in school. I can almost feel the disappointment from ppl! So I tend to be hesitant and I still feel like I am bragging in some sort of a gloating way to others, but all I am TRYING to do is to just simply share. And to have something positive to share from MY life …from where I come from…is like a miracle. So…I am think it is absolutely wonderful that you shared this…it is so meaningful and inspirational. It shows how healed you have become and it is such a precious gift that you have healthy love in your family today! I do get scared…sometimes a feeling of panic actually..lol..when I think of my “baby” going out into the real world and leaving home. The “what ifs” about my relationship and love with her creep in and I have to just shut them down and trust that our foundation is so strong that we will weather whatever comes up…IF it comes up. So…I appreciate that you shared that too! I didnt know if anyone else ever felt like that too because noone shares that fear of the future! Thank you and hugs to you too! I know I keep saying this, but thank you so much for this site and sharing your stories and baring your heart to help ppl….it IS so helpful!

7

Oh yes, the ‘your not ill’ ‘diagnosis’ – usually delivered with a sneer and a declaration that I was only trying to get out of work by pretending to be ill 🙁

Good for you Kelly that you’re able to support your daughter and most importantly are able to tell her ‘I believe you and I’m here with you all the way’

Sometimes I feel that the most damage was done by the things that were never clearly stated and stated out loud.

Much expression was given to everything that was wrong with me but any support or encouragement was always inferred and according to all of them ‘surely I should have just known the good things about me (evidently by some sort of magic or telepathy)

Yes, agree with the incredible burden of parental expectation Darlene.

Always seems like some parents expected to raise exact clones of themselves.

I don’t have children but people think I’m a bit strange because I give even my pets a chance to be who they are and to be able to choose and have control over their lives. Every sentient creature needs and deserves at least that in my humble opinion.

Oh but I’m waffling completely off topic now 🙂

8

Kelly, that is so sad that your mother didnt believe you when you were clearly in need of a doctor’s care! And I can understand why it hit you so hard when your own daughter thanked you for believing her. I think that is so special between the two of you, and I do hope she will get better quickly!

R…I almost cried when I read that you have had three mothers in your life growing up that didnt love you…and that you werent valued. I cant pretend to know what you went through and how you feel with that, but I loved what you wrote about your pets! I dont care what ANYONE thinks or says….I have pets too (two cats) and they are like little children! I think they are such smart little animals and they are given respect and we pamper them …probably too much. lol. So…I loved that you wrote that you give them the chance to be themselves and choices! I am sure you are the best of mothers to your own “children”! I will tell you how “strange” we are in my house…we tuck the cats in when it is cold in the house and they are napping on their tower. One cat barely has enough fur to keep him warm and he will drip when he is cold, so he even gets his own HEATING PAD! Now who is the strange one? lol hugs and comfort to you! And a special Happy Mothers Day to you also! Pets count!

9

“She made “keeping in touch” my responsibility” – Snap.
“It has been painful to comprehend that my own mother did not love me; my mother doesn’t LOVE me, the way that I love my own kids.” – Snap “How could my own mother have been so cold?” cos she’s nasty and spiteful and it hurts like Hell. As you might have guessed I haven’t started the ‘re-parenting’ yet as I’m not too sure how to do it but at least I can separate myself from all her crap now. Yes Mothers Day is painful but at least I can be proud of how my kids have turned out (much better than me!)

10

Hi Kelly
You will(take your power back) ~ awareness takes time and it has to happen first. I had to find out what was in the way and where I got hurt in the first place before I finally over rode it and replace it with truth about myself and about my mom.
I am so glad that you are there for your daughter.
Thanks for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Diane
Share as often as you like. I can’t answer every comment but I read every one and try to answer them all.
I actually felt vulnerable because I was sharing my soft side! And it makes me feel strange to share that conversation; I have kept my kids pretty much out of this blog (becasue I like to write stories with details and I use my real name and some of their friends have found it) to respect their privacy, but Katie gave me permission to share this. It was something I felt odd about going public with! But not so much about my feelings as about my mushy side! My soft mushy side has been seriously taken advantage in the past! That could be a whole other blog post!
All of your wonderings in your comments are totally what I went through too. I had a huge thing about being afraid to “toot my own horn” huge conditioning that I had to break through.
Hugs, Darlene

11

Hi R
I can relate to the things that were not said “outright” causing the most damage. That is the hardest part. I had to look at the actions, the way I was treated and esp. the message that I got from that. And validate that I was right to feel wronged! Some of the actions were pretty bad but I wasn’t sure..

Interesting to note here; my mother DID take care of my medical needs and even dental needs. That was not one of the problems with me.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Sam
It is a strange combination of separating things out and bringing them back together that worked for me. The re parenting began when I figured out what had been missing in my childhood.
Hugs, Darlene

12

When I was a very young child, maybe three-four years old, I remember my one year older brother and I labored in the kitchen one morning to make our mother breakfast in bed for mother’s day. We knocked on her door, and said ‘Happy Mothers Day!” and all she did was scream back “MOTHERS DAY IS TOMORROW!!!” and went back to sleep, not even opening the door, acknowledging our effort or the fact she was leaving us alone, unsupervised in the house as always. My brother threw the food out over the deck, and that was end of it. But she maintained this attitude over time, I would give her gifts or cards, she would stare blankly at them, but the rest of the family was deadlocked on manipulating me with guilt and shame if I didn’t get her something.

It is touching reading how you’ve respected your children’s feelings and allowed them to be who they want to be, Darlene. When I went away to college, my relationship with my parents was already finished, and though my mother pursued me over email, it was only on account of her own vampirism (she was always on the lookout for new information about me and my life to use against me) and because she wanted to use me as her therapist. Sadly I’m sure my estranged siblings still flock to her every year on this day, sacrificing their own health and dignity to be disapproved of yet again.

13

Hi Darlene,
I was touched by your relationship with your daughter. A loving & mutually equal relationship is what I work towards with my 7 year old daughter. I believe I am a better mom in more ways than one. I listen to my daughter & validate her feelings. I show her genuine interest & love. For years, my dtr has had health problems & recently diagnosed with Graves’Disease. I blamed myself for her hyper & irritable behavior, which are symptoms of the disease.

Instead of having a supportive family, both sides of my family made snide & hurtful comments directly & indirectly towards me and went as far as excluding my daughter in certain situations. This brought back painful feelings & memories of my childhood neglect & abuse, buried inside of me. It was mostly feelings of sadness & shame. I cried a lot at that time. I was not able to identify those feelings at the time, but with my healing work, I’m aware & mindful of treating my daughter with care & using encouraging words and I’m so grateful for that! I’m far from emotionally neglectful or abusive. I do have better relationships with my kids- we can talk & discuss problems & accomplishments without needless criticism and put downs.

In terms of Mother’s Day, I have no desire to reach out to my mom. I’ve come to the realization years ago, that it’s my day too. I’m not obligated to shower her with kindness & presents. That’s what I did for years & it was not reciprocated, when I became a mom. Something is wrong with that! I don’t remember her saying Happy Mother’s Day to me, until I said to her one year, that my husband & kids were taking me out to dinner. She was like “That’s nice” & that was the end of the conversation. I found out a couple years ago, that my sister has a Mother’s Day brunch for her at their restaurant.

So, they are golden to my mom. My sister was talking about the brunch in front of me right before mother’s day, last year. If that’s not rubbing it in!…Anyway, they have a dysfunctional relationship & it’s based on what my parents can do for her. I don’t see that as mutual. It’s very much about what we can do for my mom and doing all the work to make the so-called relationship going. I’m just not trying that hard anymore! I envy one of my friends who goes out to dinner with her mom & children, every year to celebrate. That is so Mutual!
Wish I could have been more positive in this post. I feel sad now, although hopeful for a more functional & loving relationship with my daughter. I believe I’m building the foundation! I Love hearing about your loving relationship with your daughter, Darlene.
Sonia

14

Darlene, Of all the parenting methods I’ve read about and even tried, I have never heard ‘equal value and mutual respect’ and I love it. If we all grew up learning to control ourselves, not be controled by others, or control another, it would be a much better world.

I’ve had some bumps and bruises in my parenting experience and my kids have too because I had nothing to fall back on, I had to figure out every move and some things were a success and some things weren’t but I love my kids like fire and they know it and love me too. We aren’t perfect but we’re close and they know their dad and I are there for them no matter what. Good mothers aren’t perfect people and they don’t raise perfect children but they love their children unconditionally and unreservedly and when that is the case, mothers are generally, loved in return. That’s what I’m going to focus on this Mother’s Day.

Pam

15

Oh my gosh how I am able to relate. My son who is 18.5 yrs old just moved out of the house on his own….he is only 2 miles up the road, and works right across the street from my home but I feel empty and terrified that he doesn’t want or need me in his life any more. To make matters worse, he got angry at me the other day and stormed out of the house. Never before had he shown me disrespect and although he later apologized, I still feel numb like a part of me is missing.
Honestly I am glad that I am reentering therapy next week for my Complex PTSD. Way too much is going on in my mind and up until this year I had been dealing with things on my own, healing on my own, but I have reached a point I am no longer able to move forward on my own. I have hit a personal brick wall, something deep inside of me that my brain is fighting. I love your postings, they have helped me come farther than I ever thought I could. 🙂

16

Hi Caden
How awful that your mother reacted that way! what a rejection! I totally understand the thing about nothing was good enough but look out if you didn’t get anything at all! (I wrote a post about gift giving at christmas regarding this whole dynamic!)
And its’t it insane how so many people “flock” as you say to their mean moms “sacrificing their own health AND dignity” just as you say, only to be disapproved of yet again.
Thank you for adding your voice here
Hugs, Darlene

Hi SMD
I see your comments as VERY positive! I hear you saying that you don’t want any more phoney relationships, that you see the dysfunctional not only with yourself but with your siblings. That you are doing thing so much better with your own daughter; what could be more positive than that!!!!!!!!
Hugs, Darlene

17

Hi Pam
Love your good mother definition! EXCELLENT
Thanks for adding your thoughts to this !!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Gina
I would guess that there is something deep inside of your brain that is ready to face something.
Glad you are here, Thanks for your comments!
Hugs, Darlene

18

Hi Darlene,
Thanks so much for your Positive Comments! Your right, I don’t want anymore phony relationships, especially when it comes to my children. Yay for FUNCTIONAL & REAL RELATIONSHIPS! I’m looking forward to throwing my rock this weekend. I’m going to throw it on Mother’s Day to symbolize throwing out the guilt & shame I’ve held onto, in my dysfunctional relationship with my mom. I’m sure it will be emotional. I want to share the experience on EFB. I’m just unsure about the negative emotions that will come up, but I’m ready to face the positive & negative! The truth is what counts!
Sonia

19

I use to think that I was the only one who had a hard childhood. It seems that during my teen years I was surrounded by friends that all had loving homes. Then later on working with teens at church and camp they began to share with me so what I thought as a teen probably wasn’t true. Now having met people on here I know this is the case. When I was one I was left in a police station and then entered the foster system. For the first six years it was great as I was in a loving home. Then I was moved to different home. The mother there had boys and wanted a little girl. The problem was that I was tall for my age. I remember clearly her disgust at that. They would have family night just for the real family. My brother and I would have a sandwich and go to bed early. We were then moved to a new place where the razor strap was the method for punishment. I remember laying on a my camp cot bed looking at the sky at night wondering why no one loved me. I felt that I had lost two mothers, but it was my foster mom that I missed. Then I was so happy when I was placed back at my first foster home. I was only there for a year when it was decided that I should go live with my birth mother at my grandmothers. Things were okay there as my grandmother tried. Then my mother decided she needed a man in her life and proceeded to drag us all over and lived with several different ones. I would call my foster mom and she would contact SS. Then my birth mother decided to live with a man again and this was the worst time for me. He repeatedly tried to molest me. He was allowed to hit me with a belt, withhold food and often my bed time was right after supper. I still would not let him touch me sexually. I told my mother and she said nothing…and did nothing. Finally I told a pastor and he removed me from the home. I determined young that if I had children they would always know that they are loved. My husband and I have 4 children. They are grown with children of their own. They are all professionals and are well adjusted and we have a great relationship with them. Best of all they know that they are loved. (I didn’t mean to write a little novel here.) My foster mom passed away last year and that hurt as we have kept in contact. Our eldest is named after her.

20

Hi everyone!
Darlene, I don’t have kids, I have animals and step kids. I have made some stellar mistakes with my stepkids. It’s only been in my own truth and discovery about my mother, that I realize what mistakes I made. I work to repair that now. To not be the rigid and frigid joykill my mother was. I have to work at showing affection and speaking words of tenderness. I’m much more content with our relationship that way, and they are too. (as opposed to the bristled up order barking weirdo I tended to be before discovering there’s another way than my mother’s way)!

I had a flashback when I read about being accused of faking illness and medical neglect. I had a couple of flashbacks. My sisters and I didn’t get dental care at all that I remember. Seems like my first visit to the dentist was when I was 25.

Another memory I had was that I was allergic to corn pollen, and grass. My eyes would swell and be blood red. I still detassled corn and mowed lawns for money before I was old enough to work at a regular job. I remember one event in the cornfield that my eyes swelled completely shut. My mother mentioned a few months ago that she had to come get me from the field that day. I don’t remember that part. I think I stayed there and finished the workday. I can’t say for sure. I can say this for sure….. allergies or not, I worked those jobs. On the flipside of that, I was born a cat lover. There are pics of me lugging one around when I was barely old enough to walk. My mother was allergic to them. I was allowed to have one outside and they always got killed by the winter temps or by cars, coyotes, etc. I now am wondering, if I had to “man up” to the allergies, why didn’t she have to??

Another event when I was fairly young. I had an allergic reaction and she gave me some adult medicine. I have no idea what it was, but it made me really sick. I was sick for several hours too, until it wore off. I remember my adverse reaction to it was downplayed to the point of denial ~ a brush off. Suck it up!! Why? Because it was her fault I got so sick. I must have been like 7 or 8 years old and she gave me adult medicine, and obviously an adult dose.

I’m totally off topic, but these memories were just triggered by the reading above.
Love and peace,
Mimi
ps – excellent post Darlene. I love that you and your daughter are so open and close. It’s precious.

21

Darlene … this sure hit home for me. My mother was a lot like yours. And, like you, I have strived to have healthy and respectful relationships with my kids – to be able to show them what REAL LOVE looks like – and feels like. The love our mothers claimed to have for us (or at least mine) wasn’t love at all – it was something else. Something sinister and evil. I have strived to teach them to not be what someone else expects them to be (like my mother did to the point where I was dying inside.) I wanted my kids to have things I was not permitted to have … one being a voice; another, having a right to opinion as well as being able to express that opinion (in a respectful manner of course.) I let my children have freedom of expression in the way they wear their hair and clothes (which has not been scary and I have to wonder if it is not because I gave them the freedom and they chose to not run with it.) I love that I’ve taught my kids to be who they are and to not be afraid of that. I have taught them that not everyone will like them and that is actually a good thing – when everyone likes you, something is wrong – if everyone likes you it means you are trying to be who other people want you to be and that is not good! I love that my kids have opinions, even when they differ from mine – it forces me to think outside the box (my box) sometimes – it forces me to have give reasons for things I do which were ingrained in me and not always healthy by the way – and yes, it has often changed the way I parent when confronted on different things. My kids have actually helped me to be a better mom and person by me letting them question our motives and allowing them to disagree with us (my husband and I).

My kids are still young … ages 16, soon to be 14 and 11 … so far, observing my children, I think I have really happy kids. They still love being at home with us and we enjoy each other as a family. They seem to enjoy our (my husband’s and mine) company … and I am still amazed at when they think I’ve been gone to long out of the house and I get the phone call, “Mom … where are you?? When are you going to be home?” This is something I never did with my own mother.

As you may remember, Darlene, I haven’t had a relationship with my mother now for 12 years. I never expected to feel so blessed as a mother without her in my life and I never expected to be just so happy without her in my life. I know I am a far better mother to my children than she ever was to me – and that alone makes Mother’s Day for me one wonderful day. My kids aren’t big gift givers or card givers (they’re like their dad like that) … and it doesn’t bother me because I have kids who say to me, “I love you” – and they mean it … and I tell them every day, “I love you” … and I mean it. For me, just having that, is one amazing gift because instead of receiving a gift wrapped in gift wrap … its wrapped up in my heart, … and theirs!! And there is no greater gift.

22

Judy,
I am amazed at people who have been through all you have, and are able to turn it around with their own kids. It is determination personified. You are a true example of victory and triumph. Thank you for sharing your story. Happy Mother’s Day to you!
xoxo,
Mimi

23

Rise,
I love the way you said, “its wrapped up in my heart…and theirs!! And there is no greater gift.” That is the Heart of the matter! My 7 year old daughter told me today, she wants to “live with me when she is a big person.” She wants to “work at home” just like me and loves me. She was so determined that she went on to say, If daddy tells me to go to my own house, I will not go.” How sweet is that! I told her I love her now & forever. She just replied, “I know that mom”, so matter a factly. She knows she is loved and that is a gift in itself, for Mother’s Day!

24

Rise’,
You said something that I’ve often pondered in my life. In high school I had a best friend whose parents were so laid back. They just did life. No drama and big explosive outbursts of disappointment and disapproval. My best friend was the youngest of three. I loved being at their house. It was calm.

You mentioned wondering if your kids don’t run with their freedom because they have it. It was something I certainly didn’t have. I longed to break free. My best friend and her siblings all turned out quite well rounded. She and I had our share of fun. Her parents never made a catastrophe out of it though. I have wondered so often in life, if the difference was because she had freedom and I didn’t. She didn’t abuse the freedom and never seemed to have a desire to. I did ~ because I had no freedom. By that I don’t mean to suggest a simple curfew or rules that I had to adhere to. It wasn’t that exactly. I wouldn’t say my mom was particularly “strict”. It was just different in that there was no freedom to be who I am. I had to be who she wanted and expected me to be. It goes way deeper than a curfew violation. My mom wanted to own and control my soul.

Congratulations on breaking free and being an amazing mother. Happy Mother’s Day to you!!
With love,
Mimi

25

Mimi … my mother sounds a lot like yours. Control, control, control. Like you, I wasn’t allowed to be ‘me,’ either. My mother was strict (but only with me – she was more lenient with the others, especially with her favourite.) I was never a rebellious kid – but there is something to a kid wanting freedom when they don’t have it. I feared my mother way too much to be a disappointment (so didn’t rebel) – yet, ironically, I was a disappointment by merely existing, sadly.

One valuable thing I’ve learned as a mom is to always keep the mindset … ‘kids are people too’ – and even though they are kids, they deserve respect and confidence and they deserve to have a voice. I might be their mom but I don’t own them. I have friends who have teenagers and they are always warning me, “Oh, just you wait!” (in a bad way.) My oldest is 16 and he is very much a ‘man’ – a young man, but a man. His dad and I are so proud of him. I hope that our method of parenting proves all those moms wrong with their exasperated, ‘Just you wait’ comments.

I have already got compliments on my son as he already has a work ethic and when he turned 14, he was so eager to get a job. We didn’t even suggest it. We gave the okay as long as grades stay up – if grades decline, the deal was he would have to quit and we restricted him to only being able to work on weekends so as to not interfere with school. Letting him have a job actually brought his grades up! We were amazed at the self-confidence boost it gave him! He wants to work and he loves making his own money. (His employer loves him and when my son quit his job over Christmas, his boss told him that he’d hire him back in a minute!) Sure makes a parent proud. He is already at the maturity level where he does not want his mom buying his clothes for him either. He likes to be self-sufficient and this summer he is entering into a program to work towards being a journeyman welder. His goal is to be an underwater welder. He’s not a follower – he’s his own guy who doesn’t care if people like him or not (so different from me growing up) – and he’s such a likeable kid. He knows what he wants and he wants to travel and experience life (who thinks drinking to get wasted is such a waste of time) … and I wonder what on earth my husband and I have done to raise such a confident young man … whatever we’ve done, its working (and we have God to thank for directing us.) With the mother I had and the way I was raised, I am amazed that my son (well, all my kids really) are growing into strong and confident people – something I never was for a really long time. I am amazed that all the crap I endured can seemingly be corrected in one generation – or so I hope. 🙂 … Sorry for rambling there … I tend to do that! 🙂

Mimi – I don’t know if its because your friends parents were so laid back – I’ll bet you anything its because they didn’t hold to this mentality that they ‘own’ their kids – they let their kids be their own people and they accepted their kids as they are – flaws and all. It’s amazing how the parenting dynamic changes when you adopt the mentality that ‘kids are people too.’ Don’t get me wrong, we do have rules – and as we’ve explained to our kids, ‘Our rules are not designed to take away your fun, they are designed only for your protection.’ To which we explain that even though they may not understand how the rules protect them, but we do ask them to trust us in that we know what we are doing and that we have their best interest in mind.

Breaking free from the crap is one tremendous gift, Mimi – and it sounds like you know this too … I just read that you have step-kids. It’s amazing isn’t it how our abusive past can affect how we are as parents – but the good news is – once we figure it out, we can correct it and make things right. One thing I do with my kids is explain myself a lot (especially if I have a bad day), explaining to them that my ‘bad day’ is not a reflection on them or anything they’ve done. I apologize too – something my mother never did. Ever. It is amazing what can happen when our eyes are opened and we see things how they really are, for how abusive they really are. It’s when this happens that we can take the opportunity to makes things right for our kids (or step kids). There are times I screw up and ‘ugly’ can fly – but its times like those when I apologize to my kids and I never use, ‘I’m sorry, but …’ I take full responsibility for my actions.

It’s not easy undoing a sordid and toxic past with toxic parents … but when the effort is made, it is a blessing of greater magnitude than you can imagine!! At least, this has been my experience.

Mimi – I wish you too a very wonderfully delightful (step)Mother’s Day too!! {hugs}

(sorry for rambling.)

26

SMD ~ Aaaawwww!! Your story reminds me of when my youngest boy was about 8 years old or so (he’s 11 now.) I dropped him at school, and that particular morning I had to talk to his teacher, so I walked him to his class. Once in classroom, his teacher asked him to put some things on a desk across the room. I caught his eye from across the room and he did a walk/run up to me, and upon embracing me he said, “Mom, I love the way you smile like that … it makes me have to hug you.” … yeah, my heart melted!!

It’s moments like that which make the best gifts!!

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY EVERYONE!

27

I still struggle with mother’s day after many years…My relationship with my mother saddens me. My parents disowned me (their words) when i was 15. I had a lovable beautiful baby boy at 15 my parents didn’t want anything to do with me or my son because they didn’t like the color of his dads skin. At such a young age without any support from anyone beside a my sons dads family even that support came to an end shortly after we were married at 15 & 19 we divorced. I am just recently realizing how much trauma I went thru and I am now 55. I seems to be hitting me like a ton of bricks like never before. I’m not sure how to heal myself it seems like i just keep thinking about all that I lost and how angry I am that they ignored me and my son for all these years. years… so sad. I didn’t have a clue about how to be a good mother I went unconscious so I didn’t have to feel the pain. I ran away from that place where the people treated me so bad ran to the other side of the country my son wanted to return to where we came from to live with his father when he was 12 I let him go to live with his dad and I stayed on the west coast. I can’t even tell you how painful that was the hardest thing i ever did in my life, that brought me into an even deeper depression. I often beat myself up for not going back with him. He is almost 40 now and i have 3 beautiful granddaughter. I talk to my son often and I think we have come a long way in healing our relationship. I wish I had had more knowledge and was been a better mom because the last thing i ever wanted to do was to hurt my son. When my oldest granddaughter turned 15 last year the same age i was when gave birth to her dad, it really hit home as I could see thru her what it would be like to have a child at 15… I could go on and on about my story. Maybe this helps writing about it… mother’s day is a real tough one for me. I am grateful for this supportive place you have created. It’s nice to be understood and to feel a connection with others who are brave enough to be real. Happy Mother’s Day!

28

SMD,
You have a sweet baby girl!! You are an overcomer too. I love these stories of victory where people break free from their pasts and have that knowledge that there’s a better way.

For me, God has had a huge hand in it. He has uncovered so much for me. People might say God would never do that, reveal the truth about my mother ~ even show me things I would have never seen. But, I disagree because I’ve lived it. He has been my vindicator and advocate during this whole process, even when it seemed he was absent. There was always something to benefit, even in those times.
Happy Mothers day to ALL of you fantastic mothers!!
Love,
Mimi

29

Rise’,
I suppose my mother was strict, but we grew up in a tiny town and the boys that lived behind us grew up with incredibly strict parents. To use that as a measure, my mom was pretty lenient.

However, in my teen years, if my curfew was midnight and I got home at 5 minutes after, she would be LIVID!! The difference between her and my best friend was, I don’t think she even had a curfew. It was more like, be home at a decent hour and be careful. I don’t really know if that means my mom was strict. It wasn’t the curfew that I think about. It was the all out disappointment if I was even 1, or 5 minutes late. Is that really a catastrophe? I don’t think so. But, the implication that I was a total failure because I didn’t make it home on time was totally over the top. The sad part is, she didn’t want me ~ she didn’t want to invest any of her own time or money, but I’d better succumb to the brainwashing….. that being home 5 minutes past curfew meant my life was doomed to failure.

I am reminded of that quote on another post, “I will leave my past alone, when it leaves me alone”. That is so brilliant!!
Hugs and love,
Mimi

30

Brenda,
You have had a painful road. I’m happy you’re here and I hope you visit often.

When I think about skin color, I always say in my mind, “if a racist human needed an emergency blood transfusion, would they stop the process, ask if it came from a person of different race, and reject the life saving blood”? Of course not…. we all bleed the same. If one of your family members was in need of a kidney and your son’s father was the only match, I bet they would accept, regardless of skin color. This whole racism thing doesn’t even make sense to me. I think my thoughts on it stem from a much bigger picture. An image that racist people fail to acknowledge. We are all the same inside. We were all created to co-exist. We are all the same species. How is that difficult to understand for people??

I’m sorry for your painful journey. I hope you have a fantastic Mother’s Day. (please consider joining us in FREEDOM ROCKS).
With hope,
Mimi

31

Hi Everyone~
EFB has generated hundreds of comments this last few days and I am having trouble keeping up. I have meetings this morning and I will return to answer the comments on this post later on today when I have some time.
Hugs, Darlene

32

I wasn’t taken to the doctor as a kid if I got sick. When my children were sick I probably took them to the doctor too often over little stuff but I didn’t know what was normal so if they got the sniffles they went to the doctor. I wasn’t going to ignore their illnesses like my parents did mine. I remember going to the hospital for chest xrays when I got the Asiatic Flu in 1957 every day for a week. That was a major illness that couldn’t be ignored. People died from that flu. I remember going to the hospital when my mom said that I had malaria. All I remember of that is the high fevers. Again I was a young child who got to ride in the back of a police car with my mom to the hospital in the days before ambulances existed. I was never taken to a regular doctor that I recall. I was sent to school with chest colds that as an adult I discovered was bronchitis. I was sick a lot with chest colds, every Winter as a child. When I left home at 19, I didn’t have another chest cold until I was in 12-Step groups and beginning to deal with my incest issues at age 38. I got a chest cold and went to the doctor and was told my chest cold was bronchitis. I remember my 7th grade teacher giving me peppermint candy in science class one day because I couldn’t quit coughing from one of my chest colds. Illnesses were ignored by my parents.

As a child and teenager, my brother and sister and I were never given spending money and were not allowed to work as most teenagers do out of the home. That would have taken us away from my dad’s control too much for his comfort. When Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and birthdays came along, in order to buy cards, I would go hungry and use my lunch money to buy cards for my mom, dad and siblings at the Five and Dime store. I would go without lunch for at least a week in order to buy the cards. I wanted to please my parents so much that I gladly went without lunch. I wanted their love so much that I sacrificed my needs for food. No one ever asked me how I got the money to buy the cards.

As an adult, especially after I started working on my incest issues, I still bought and sent Mother’s Day cards to my mother until she died in 1998. I always had trouble finding a card that I felt I could be truthful with. I hated the cards that said what a great mother she was. She wasn’t. My mother was there for us in body only. She was emotionally checked out, not available at all. She was so shut down it seemed that she didn’t feel anything. The only time that I remember seeing her happy was when I was in 11th grade and my dad was away from home working in south Texas for 2 weeks. We all laughed and played while he was away. I always hated the gushy cards that praised her abilities to be a mother and someone that I could look up to. She didn’t have those abilities and I didn’t look up to her.

I never wanted to be like my mother. I always saw her as weak and my dad who was a rageful dictator as the strong one. Still I loved her and wanted her approval so bad that I brought her to live with my family when she and my dad divorced. She lived with us for 14 years before I was able to divorce her and let her go. I had settled for 14 years for her physical presence in my home hoping that one day she would wake up and be there for me emotionally. It never happened. Finally I was able to let her go and she lived with my sister for 4 years before she died. The sad thing is after she left, I didn’t miss her. How can you miss someone that was never there for you.

Like Darlene mentioned, I went to college to get a degree in teaching Special Education. I didn’t get the degree. When my husband graduated from college, I quit school. It was years later that I realized that I didn’t want to be a teacher. My mother did. It wasn’t my dream. I love working with kids but on a one-on-one level, not in a classroom full of kids. My brother was borderline mentally retarded and was in Special Education classes from 3rd grade through graduation from high school. My mom felt guilty at the cause of his mental retardation. That is why she wanted me to be a Special Ed. teacher. None of this was verbally expressed to me but I got the message from her. Being a teacher was never my dream but I was an adult before I saw that clearly. I would have loved to pursue a career in art of some kind.

Mother’s Day has always felt sad for me because it is the time when I miss what I never had until, like Darlene said, I was able to learn to parent/mother myself. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you wonderful mothers out there who are reading this. We can all be better mother’s to our children than our mothers were to us. I didn’t do as good a job of being aware and making those changes that Darlene has but I was a heck of a lot better than my mother was. I loved my children and they have always known that. They never had to wish and guess whether I love them or not. They know that I love them with all of my heart.

33

To all..
Our pasts may have been painful…but we have the choice to choose who we want to be. Never let it define you or dictate your future. I wish I had places like this when I was healing with Darlene’s wisdom. Darlene, what you said about Christians is true. Abusers can be found in everywhere, in all walks of life. No organization is exempt.

34

Brenda … your story made me feel so sad. I cannot imagine being disowned with a baby at 15!! My abusive mother always threatened that if I got pregnant before I was married she’d disown me. I couldn’t imagine.

My daughter is turning 14 soon and she had a dream that she got pregnant and that her dad and I were going to disown her unless she gave the baby up for adoption. I told her we would never disown her – her baby would be a part of us as much as it’s really a part of her. I told her that her father would never, ever allow adoption as a choice – the baby would be our grandchild. I told her we might be disappointed, but never ever unloved. I further explained the responsibilities of babies of course. A pregnant 15 year old girl NEEDS her mom most.

I told my daughter that if it happens, we will do what we have to to help her out … because we’re a family and families do that. I’m so sorry, Brenda, that your folks abandoned you. But you have been blessed … grand babies!! 🙂

35

Mimi ~ The Lord had a huge hand in exposing my mother’s treatment of me. I knew it was wrong but had no name to attach to it. I prayed about it and asked God for help. I was nudged to head to the Christian book store … and almost being lead with a lead, there it was … “Healing the Scars of Emotional Abuse” by Gregory L. Jantz. I skimmed through and I started crying. I took it home and almost memorized it!!

I love what you said to Brenda about skin colour too. Our blood is the same – its all red. Our hearts still feel and beat … a human is a human no matter the colour. With my kids, there could be a skin colour that could erect itself with their kids. My husband (as white as he is) is Lebanese. His grandfather was from Lebanon and he was dark. So many people have colour in their background of some kind or another.

Skin colour is skin colour … every human being deserves to be loved. It’s the way we were made! 🙂

36

Patricia “I always had trouble finding a card that I felt I could be truthful with. I hated the cards that said what a great mother she was. She wasn’t.” Same here I hated buying cards for her esp Mothers Day ones as they were full of sentiments I could not echo. In the end a few years after my parents emigrated I stopped sending any cards as there really seemed no point – I had no positive feelings for either of them and she only wanted a relationship on her terms. She took umbrage at that, I never heard from her at all; (if she had been ‘normal’ surely she would have wanted to know why I stopped contacting them?) She never even told me that my father was dying and didn’t tell me he had died or when the funeral was. As I’ve said in another comment, she showed her true colours there.

37

Great post Darlene, and what a blessing you two have in each other, that you have with all your children. Disinterested, disenegaged or otherwise occupied parents make these holidays hard. I try to reach out in other ways to other people and cherish those around me…and not mourn what couldn’t be or wouldn’t ever be.

38

Oh thank you for posting that story about wrapping up your cat Darlene.

Always properly tears me up to read that sort of thing, quite apart from making me feel less ‘weird’ for dishing up a second flavour of dinner when the first doesn’t appeal, administering cuddlings, dry towels (lots of rain here lately) and ‘chats’ in cat language in the middle of the night.

Sorry for random pet interjection post – no need to answer this one Darlene – you have enough to do as it is!

Love the idea of those without children but lovingly caring for pets celebrating mothers day. Am raising a glass to that tonight.

39

Hi Judy
Sounds like your childhood was for the most part a total nightmare other than those 6 years with the loving family! Thank you for sharing your story here. It is amazing how helpful it is to so many people who need to know what happened to others. I am sorry that you lost your foster mom.
Never worry about the length of comments here!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Mimi
Your examples (your alergies vs. your mom’s and the medication one) are excellent examples of how children are devalued! That is terrible that you had to work through those alergies and that your adverse reaction was ignored! You could have died from either. This “double set of rules” was huge for me to realize that the love laws didn’t go both ways!
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

40

Hi Rise!
Love your comments! Thanks for adding your voice. Equal value is at the heart of all great relationships!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Brenda
I am so sorry that this happened to you. That is horrible! It is great to hear that you have a relationship with your son now, and that you are both healing in it. I can relate to the ages of kids reminding me of myself at the same age ~ I had a lot of triggers etc. with both my daughters realizing what had happened to me at the same ages! Wow. It was shocking to realize what I had lived through at such a young and vulnerable age.
Thanks for sharing Brenda. I am really glad that you are comfortable here!
Hugs, Darlene

41

Hi Patricia
I felt the way about my Dad that you felt about your mom when you said you didn’t miss her when she left. I remember feeling guilty or shame because I realized that I didn’t miss my Dad, and I realized I never really had a Dad. I missed the idea of having a dad way more. With my mother I was shocked to realize I didn’t really miss her but that was because she was NEVER supportive of me and every phone call was like a reminder that I didn’t measure up. Who would miss THAT??
Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and story here Patricia!
Hugs, Darlene

42

Hi Shanyn
Very well said! Thanks for adding your voice here too.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi R.
No worries about the pet interjection!! That is awesome! and YES Pets can be mothered too!!!
Hugs, Darlene

43

Sam, my mother didn’t ask questions either because she was afraid of the answers. My mom once asked me why I was going to 12-Step meetings so much. I was holding a book in my hand called Adult Children of Alcoholics by Janet Woitz (not sure I have her last name spelled right). I told my mom if she really wanted an answer to read the book. I placed the book in plain site on my desk. I left it there for 3 weeks. She never once even picked it up to read the name of it. She didn’t really want to know. She was just expressing her disapproval that I was afraid from home so much. How sad that your mother didn’t even notify you when your dad died. That was mean.

44

Darlene,
Thanks for your comment. It’s so strange to look at that whole allergy thing through truth now. Another aspect to that is, it was just known that my mother didn’t mow lawns. I have never in my whole life seen her mow a blade of grass. She was just above that, and we accepted it as truth. She would also never DREAM of hitting a cornfield in the mud and dust and 95 degree days. I almost laugh when I get a mental image of that. Somehow, for almost 70 years now, my mom has always managed to get out of real manual labor. She would say she’s a hard worker though. LOL!!
Love,
Mimi

45

Just want to mention…. My cat and dog are sooooo my people!!
Love to all,
Mimi

46

Pam I always assumed I didn’t hear from her because she really couldn’t care less; that hurts. The person who should be the most ‘for’ you is at the very least indifferent and at worst outright hostile is hard to take. I always hoped when I was younger that I would find a replacement ‘mum’ to give me all the love I never had; even now I still have that hope even though I know it can’t happen and I have to ‘mother’ myself; it’s a hard one to kill off and I’ve had virtually no good examples to model good mothering. I’ve made the break in my mind from her now and I’m putting some space between me and her lies but I think the re-parenting is going to be harder.

47

Oh, Darlene, this one definitely made me cry! I have dealt with most of the issues with my molesting father, but not the ones with my violent, and later, just uncaring mother.

And, although I was not a perfect mother, I am certain I was much better than either of my parents. But, my son started pulling away from me in his late teens. (He is now 25) I really expected that it would improve with time, but it got worse when he got married. And even worse when he and his wife had a baby.

Now I hardly ever get to see my son or granddaughter; he never calls; he hardly ever texts me; and hardly ever sends pictures, either.

And I don’t know what to do, because it seems like I’m being treated like a criminal- and it hurts me, very much.

Have you any suggestions on how I might change the situation?

48

Hi Everyone
I have decided to throw my rock at 2:00 Estern Standard Time tomorrow (Sunday) if anyone wants to throw at the same time, knowing that at least one other person is doing it then. If you want to know what time that is where you live, just check the world time clock here:

http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/
Hugs, Darlene

49

What a beautiful article!!! Just gripping as always… Full of authenticity, transparency and healthy clarity… Love it!!! It shows that lives that are lost can be redeemed, and it shows the tenacity of the victim which was you, fighting all obstacles and climbing the mountain to the peak of healing. Makes me cry 100 tears. Thanks for sharing and for being real.

Happy Mothers Day!!!

50

Hi Darlene, I haven’t commented on your blog, but I read it all the time. I never read or known anyone who had a mother similar to mine until you. She is cold and narcissistic and dangerous to my well-being to this very day. My grandmother was the first experience of a motherly and unconditional love and she passed this February. I was lucky to have experienced this for eight years but it doesn’t seem very long at all. I don’t have children, I’m 32, but I did finally get loved back by my grandma. Her name was Violet. I miss her encouragement and thoughtfulness. I understand, maybe not in the exact way, what you are saying. Because of my Grandma Violet I realized that I always was a good daughter. I still cannot comprehend why mother could not have a caring bone in her body towards me. Why she treats her other two children differently. I have estranged myself from my mother and father. It’s nice not to lie like I used to and get cards for parents who were abusive in every way on these horrible holidays called Mother and Father’s Day. I am going to try and take your advice and mother myself today and hug my sweet dog.

Thank you for having me,
Coffee79

51

Hi BC825
Welcome to emerging from broken
I wish I had an easy answer for you regarding your son, but there isn’t one. My expertise on this blog is really in the area of recovery for the individual first. It is hard when there is little communication as in your case but I think still that if you concentrate on your own healing, you might see ways to communicate with him that may open the door to give him permission to tell you what keeps him from including you much in his life.
I hope that helps a bit
Hugs, Darlene

52

Hi Coffee79
Welcome to (the commenting part of) EFB ~
Yay for self mothering. Becomming my own mother had so much to do with the way that I am today! It seemed crazy at the time, but wow, it was so powerful.
What a blessing for you to have had your grandmother. Thank you for sharing with me today.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Ladybug
I am glad that you enjoyed this post!
Hugs, Darlene

53

🙂 @ your cat and dog being sooo your people. What an excellent way of putting it. Children and pets I welcome in my life any day of the week, the rest of the world takes a little more work.

Was talking to a friend yesterday as to why I’m not now going to see the ‘family’ as planned. She started talking about them supporting me, a place to go for advice etc and it hit me like a sledgehammer that that’s exactly what I never had.

Any problems and there were a few I could have done with a caring and experienced ear for were waved away with ‘you made your bed….) and conversation swiftly moved onto trivial chit chat trivia.

No wonder i decided quite early on that I had to make my own way in life without any support and no wonder I feel no connection to them at all!

‘you made your bed, now you have to lie in it’ – it’s such a nonsense expression really isn’t it? If I’ve made my actual bed and it’s uncomfortable I’d just get up and re-make/change it until it was to my liking.

Should apply that to my life as well I guess – don’t like your bed? Re-make it until your happy with it 🙂

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R,
I heard those words way too many times to count in my growing up years and beyond. I imagine dropping my mom off at a nursing home someday and saying, “you made your bed, now lay in it”.

I’ve been constructing one of many letters to her, none of which I’ve sent. This one however, is going out. I mentioned the “bed” phrase in the letter. I said to her that if it was okay for her to say that to me when I needed my mother, then it’s okay for me to say to her, “you married your husband (who my family can’t stand), it was your choice. You made your bed, now lay in it”!! And, if that isn’t satisfactory or it somehow hurts her feelings I’ll say, “well, I did the best I could”.
Peace and hugs,
Mimi

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I think that’s fair enough Mimi – applying the standards they applied to us. A part of me
would love to have the courage to say this kind of stuff to the people I still feel so much anger towards.

I hold back because I’m convinced that they just wouldn’t get it – not that it matters but think the fear of even their judging thoughts about me that would follow have me paralysed in inaction.

Crazy isn’t it – not like they’d ever communicate those thoughts and judgements so really I’m scared of more indifferent silence i suppose.

Anyway, this is all very me,me,me again – well done for your courage in writing what you did Mimi.

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wow, wot a discussion, i meet you because of the relatyionship i had with my mother ws falling apart and i felt so guilty at not wanting to jump through her hoops anymore. i dont see her now, unless it is by acciden tor she comes to my front door. usually to drop a card off for my daughter, who misses her nana, but if she cannot behave she wsnt welcome.
the relationship i have with my daughter is so very different, i have told her several times a day every day from birth that i love her, eve if i didnt feel it at the time, she didnt need to understand my inability to love, i jsut had to make sure she felt it, and luckily she hugs nd has cuddles when ever she wants, she has no fear that i will hit her and has and amazing capacity to care for others that hasnt been based on her caring for me, but on me actually caring for her needs first and foremost. to be fair if i had of had her any earlier than 34, i think i may have struggled more to be the parent i wanted to be and not the one i was trained to be. a struggle i still have, but the times i can cope are growing in length and now my other stresses ease it will be easier to keep the filters in place
thank you darlene, for helping to mend my wings and find my voice

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Hi Darlene and Happy Mother’s day to you!

I find reading these articles painful and difficult, but necessary at the same time. I have also come to the realization that I was never loved. Not by my psychopathic father, my narcissistic mother and nor my narcissist brother and my psychopathic sister. My father kept us separate from his family so I never really got to know them either. Every one of the authority figures in my life, was sexually abusive. My mother, didn’t believe me, so she emotionally and physically rejected me as her child. The three major relationships into adulthood that I had with men, were all extremely emotionally, sexually and/or physically abusive. My mother died of cancer when I was pregnant with my sixth child. While she was ill,she spoke of nothing else other than the sadness behind not seeing my siblings children, as they had not arrived yet at that point. She could have cared less about my children.

I have six children, three girls and three boys. I loved and love them all very much, but I was a toxic parent as I was involved with two psychopaths, one my ex husband and the next a boyfriend of ten years. When I got rid of the last one, my eldest was in college, my second child a mother, my third child working, yet we were close and three boys in which I am very close too. Somehow, even through the pain I caused my children, without awareness of patterns, psychopaths and not having addressed, I remained self destructive, yet I always ALWAYS loved my children. While I was emotionally absent, there were several crisis that would erupt and where I was there for them without doubt. I loved them and felt it genuinely in my heart. I saw their individuality, even through my own sickness. I encouraged it. These are things my mother nor father ever did for me. They went out of their way to show their hatred for me. And yet despite it all, the pain I was in, I still managed to know what love looked like. Down to the very basics, I got it. When I cut it off with the last ex a year and a half ago, and in the last year of the relationship, I was already detoxifying my life. I got rid of ALL of my biological family. When the ex was gone, I started to weed out friends, went to therapy with a trauma specialist, began to work on my childhood abuse. I am single and with very few friends and just my sons now. I keep my circles very small and safe. I’ve been rebuilding y relationships with my sons and it is beautiful to me, to them. This is not the case with two of my daughter’s. One of my daughter’s is borderline with predominant narcissism. She is the mother of my two grrandchildren. The other daughter, whom I was very close too, became involved with a psychopath and just had a child. I am not allowed to see her either. He has isolated her from everyone but her sister, the borderline who never ceases to tell anyone who will listen what a horrible mother I was and am. She is unable to work through anything with me, even though I have tried on numerous occasions to do so. This part of it is not about me, it is about her. I was very close to my grandchildren and as pathologicals often do, they were used as a weapon and she would remove them from me when she perceived a slight. the infractions so minor, so as to be ridiculous. One of those times was because I refused to house her while she hurt her husband by having an affair with another man and taking the children to another state. She had no choice bu tto go back to her husband and she cut me off in anger because I would not allow her to wait at my home until she could move three thousands miles away. The other daughter’s boyfriend is as pathological as the say is long. He is very dangerous and twice her age. He purposely triangulated she and I and I encouraged ed her to leave him. She refused but was in continuous touch with me because fo the abuse she was suffering at his hands. Then she became pregnant, told me that she had no alternatives and I’ve not see her since, although I told her I loved her and gave her resources just in case she decided to lave someday. This Mother’s day has been one of mixedd blessing. My sons are a joy. OUr relationship continues to thrieve, grow and flourish. Thre is mutual love and respect. But I would be kiddding myself if I weren’t to say how painful the day has been without my daughter’s for hom my heart aches, as well as my grandchildren. I pray about it a lot. I am still very close to my eldest daughter who lives about three hundred miles away. We have done a lot of talking and healing work. It is not easy to sit down with your chilhdren and let them know that you have messed it up royally for them. I live with that guilt everyday. I have apologized to the ones that I can. A family therapist that we were seeing said openly to us, “As a parent, you only need to apologize ONCE, even though you will work through many years of pain. Children, even as adults and especially as adults, to avoid their own issues will continuously manipulate you, guilt you, hurt you, punish you, even after you have apologized and will refuse to work through their issues and will NOT work with you on it either until they are ready to deal with their own.” They know where I’m at. Recently, during a conversation, my eldest daughter said to me, “Mom, even though you were really fucked up…I KNOW you always loved us. I never doubted that, ever. You never made me feel that you didn’t love me or that you didn’t care about me. But that man took a lot from you and subsequently our mother from us, but now we have you back and I’m proud of the work you’ve been doing on yourself.”

I got to thinking that only once in all the years my mother lived, did she apologize to me for not believing me when my stepfather molested me. I could tell with the venom in her voice, that she did not mean it. I knew this because I KNEW she did not love me. Had her heart ached because of the pain she felt she caused me and it was something she needed to do, I would have FELT it. It wasn’t until many years later that my sister told me that she told my mother to do it. My mother was highly dependent upon my sister. Got all her supply out of her and all her ‘success”. It validated what I knew wwas true.

It is hard to explain how it feels to really recognize and know that I was UNLOVED. It is a feeling of potential free fall as I hang onto the edge of the universe by a blade of grass, the child inside hoping that it isn’t true.

but it is true. IT IS TRUE. And even though it is, I know I can do something my mothe never could, LOVE.

My borderline daughter is now abusive to her own daughter. This causes me great pain. I often wonder if disorders are not genetic and have come to believe there may be truth to that. MY heart aches for my granddaughter who lives in misery and hell everyday of her life. I pray for her endlessly to be safe. There isn’t much hope for my daughter, but there is for the other. I’m waiting until her relationshp with her psychopath ends. She will not speak to me otherwise as he will give her big time crap over it. But I do have hope.

It is very painful to be awakened when my own children’s childhood is now past, and also facing the reality of mine. I have to heal from having been abused and I have to heal the pain caused to my own children through neglect.

To say it’s not overwhelming would be an understatement. You are really fortunate, Darlene, in having your isses addressed while your children were younger. You are also immensely blessed for the simple gift of being able to love.

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I understood when my first child was born that my mother never loved me. No one ever understands that when I say it, unless they, too, have overcome the cycle by discovering how to love intentionally & care for their kids.

I knew, then, I would require so much strength to let my kids go (eventually!!!). Luckily we get there day-by-day, and not all at once. I cherish my four lovely children, the only gift money can’t buy in this life.

I’m not a perfect mom, but I’m a loving mom, and that makes me proud. I don’t think I’ll ever regret choosing a family focused on love & peace. Having that vision has led me the right direction. I hope the kids will be better off than I was. <3

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Sometimes I feel sad for my daughter that she doesn’t have a sister (I love my sisters, they are my besties!). But then I remember that she has an AWESOME Mum, something that *I* never had. I’m so glad to be part of a wonderful mother/daughter relationship at long last 🙂

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Leslea … I know EXACTLY what you mean … it took me having my first child to know that my mother hated me. Her ‘I love you’ was nothing but a manipulation tactic – and if not that it was purely cover up so that no one would see her evil. I really thought that when I had children of my own then I would understand why my mother treated me with such disdain. I assumed that my eyes would be opened and I’d then have this profound respect for my mother … well, my eyes were opened alright! And I was suddenly confused, bewildered … and so, so angry. And you’re right – unless they’ve had mothers like ours, they will NEVER understand.

Big hugs to you! 🙂

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@Rise you give me hope to not be like my mother, I always worry that while I feel like im different from her now that when I have a kid, Ill end up just like her. I pray im better, im trying to heal and maybe I.fully will when I have my kid. Happy belated mothers day to you all.

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@Kelli sorry for your awful past, I pray things get better for you and your family. My.grandmother was ofyen worried about me and use to.say she prayed to live long enough to see me make it out ok, well im out and working on being ok, and my gma meams the world to me, no one was able to.do.a whole lot for my situation due to fear of what my mother would do, but I made it and appreciate them so much, i hope your granddaughter will see the same in you 🙂 Happy belated mothers day

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K. Ella ~

I know how you feel. When I realized how toxic my mother was, I was so SCARED that I would end up being like her – and that fear is still there and she hasn’t been in my life for 12 years! To make sure I didn’t mimic her in my parenting, I had to be deliberately not her. I had to watch the words I used and how I used them with my kids, I had to watch my body language as well. When my oldest was about 2 years old, my husband and I did this Christian parenting course – I can’t remember the title of it, but it was by a man and wife with the last name of Ezzo. I think that’s what it was. I learned SO MUCH and integrated this parenting to parent my kids. I watched a lot of healthy mothers with their kids. And to love my kids well, I had to learn what real love was (perfect description is in the Bible – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8). My mother’s idea of love, the ‘love’ she taught me, is not love at all – its something that there is no name for because love to her, for her, was self-seeking and self-gratifying.

God also had a huge role in changing me, my heart, and teaching me how to really love my own kids. It hasn’t been easy, but the rewards are so great. So great.

K. Ella – if you want to be different from your mother – you can be! And what is sweet about being a better woman and a better mother one day – is that its the sweetest revenge you can have without having to get ugly about it.

“The best revenge is to live well.”

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Thank you so much for that. I am truly happy to have found people who understand, no one else has. and your right about the LORD, my grandmother just told me about going back to church. I was really into GOD in my teen years and then my mother did not like the church I went to, but she had never been there, so I wasn’t allowed and since then I have fallen completely off. However I am an adult now and able to make my own choices so there is no excuse. I am feeling guilt for not wanting to speak to her or have her in my life, so that is a constant battle, I think I will speak to her sparingly, but had a not so great convo with her yesterday and decided I do not think that is the type of person I want in my life. I just wish we had the relationship I always wanted. However I am grateful for my dad, aunts and grandparents who have always been there for me. Once again, I really enjoyed your response. I am glad things are going well for you. 🙂

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Rise’,
Congratulations on your purposeful effort to be different. It can’t be easy to undo what we learn from our toxic mothers, in order to make a better way for our kids. I don’t have biological children, but I made some mistakes with my stepkids. My mother’s example was all I knew. I know different now. And, I DO different. I was shocked to read that you knew when your first child was born. I can’t totally understand it because I never had my own. Amazing what God will reveal to us isn’t it.?? In a “non ownership” response I got from my mother a month or so ago, she wrote that she had been praying and she knew God had an answer for our relationship. I wanted to laugh out loud. For one thing, I know in my heart it was God who showed me so much about her. It was God who guided me to the truth. That in itself makes me laugh at her shallow “prayers”. If she were truly listening to God, and observing what’s going on around her, she would be able to own her lies, etc. The fact that she maintains the lies, manipulations, poor acting, and triangulation makes me realize how “deep” her relationship with God must be. I also think about “honoring” my mother and how this all plays into it. If God wanted me to honor my mother the way society defines that, would he have shown me all this reality?? I don’t think so. I will honor her in the way He says I should. Not society. It’s not honoring her (IMO) to let her continue in dysfunction. Holding her accountable is a means to honor; an opportunity to really love the way God designed it. To me, that is my honor. She just ignores it. I know God saw that it wouldn’t have taken much more before I ended my life. He directed me here. And, it has saved me. When the people with Masters degrees in mental health don’t get it, the people who haven’t experienced it don’t get, and society shuns it, where else is there to go? God brought me here to be among people who understand and share the same experiences. It has meant the world to me to find EFB. I was on the edge of not surviving anymore. I love your courage and wisdom. Hope you had a fantastic mother’s day!
Love,
Mimi

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R,
You said, “A part of me would love to have the courage to say this kind of stuff to the people I still feel so much anger towards. I hold back because I’m convinced that they just wouldn’t get it – not that it matters but think the fear of even their judging thoughts about me that would follow have me paralysed in inaction. Crazy isn’t it – not like they’d ever communicate those thoughts and judgements so really I’m scared of more indifferent silence i suppose.”

Indifferent silence is just as painful and maybe more, as demeaning words and actions for me. I have learned painfully, to accept that silence as another person’s need to hurt or discount me. I have learned that people can say they love me, but their lack of action says different. It’s okay for me now. Each new revelation was incredibly painful, but I’ve always came out on the other side a little bit stronger, and wiser. I have learned to really appreciate the phrase, “actions speak louder than words”. So does inaction. With each revelation, I learn to rely more on myself and my own instincts and reality. It’s made me realize I can do this on my own. I don’t need approval from others like I once did. The whole process has made me stronger. I have most definitely been in your shoes and still am at times. The fear of judgment or the contempt of silence. I just told my sister a few days ago that I don’t do silence well. So, I can easily predict what I’ll get….. silence. Thankfully, I’m at a place where it’s okay. I don’t need anyone to communicate approval or support anymore. With each blow, I have gathered a bit of strength. It has begun to stack up. I’m stronger now than I ever was, but, still not as strong as I want to be. We will get there, R!! I have hope!! I don’t waste my hope on others now. I use hope for myself… that someday I’ll be whole!! Here’s to hope for you too. Be easy on yourself. This stuff is so painful.
With Hope,
Mimi

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Wow, this discussion is incredible! @ Coffee79, I really identified with your post. I’m so sorry for the loss of your Grandma Violet. But she is in your heart, and no one can ever take that away! I’m so glad for you, that you got to be validated by that very special lady! I had my Grandma, and also my Great Aunt, who both gave me the that special unconditional mother-love. My birth mother taks trash about my great aunt (long since passed), whenever she can. So disgusting! My sister’s were also treated much better than I. Dysfunctional mothers like ours have such a “narrow window of acceptance”, and if you don’t bend yourself exactly to fit their crazy mold, they have no use for you. My sisters were blonde haired and blue eyes, “very Irish looking”, my NM would always say. This she loved, as she was obsessed with being half irish (like her father, whom she idolized) and never spoke of her french half (her mother, whom she detested). So, here I come, dark haired and dark eyed. And I had a mind of my own, lol! I was just the bane of her make believe existence,it would seem.
You know, a scapegoat is an unfortunate animal that gets tied to a tree, and people throw rocks at it to take out their frustrations. I was amazed to learn that, as I was literally tied to a tree, as a small child, and left outside, alone. And it wasnt summer, in my memory. (I remember the little green coat I would have on). Crying did no good. No one threw rocks at me, but it hurt like they did. My mother was enjoying herself inside, with her irish looking baby doll! I can recall my first panic attack, while tied up, at 4 years of age! And worse, she convinced everyone in the family, that it was THE RIGHT THING TO DO, tie me up like that, b/c she couldnt keep track of me, and I liked to open the door and run outside. Amazing. Sorry for the digression, but it just came up!
Darlene, I think that is the root of it, accepting that these women never loved us, never cared about us. And begin to heal. I don’t know exactly what everyone means about mothering myself, but I think I understand!
For mother’s day, I still remain Low contact with her, for my father’s sake. I sent her some Shari’s berries,strawberries dipped in chocolate. They arrived Saturday. No thank you call. I got the berries kinda b/c I know she would prefer flowers, lol. To display how much she is “loved”. Anyways, I made a perfunctory phone call to her , about 9 pm last night. She RAVED over the berries, then proceeded to tell me, she didnt eat them, and didnt put them out as dessert at the Mother’s day dinner, as there were “so many other wonderful desserts there” (not by what she told me was there,lol). In other words, your gift was so unimportant, I just shoved it in the fridge, didnt show anyone, or even care to try it. So,your gift is just as inconsequential as you are. She went off into a soliliquy about all of her “charity work”, and I cut her off with a cheery, “well, just wanted to call and wish you a happy mothers day!”, and ended the call.
It is painful,never to have that mother love, that soft place to fall. Intruth, none of the children have it, they just play the game and perform to get what they want.
I often joke about her, and I have fun with things like gift giving, for instance, wil give a joint gift to her and my fahter, and it is something so for him, nothing about her, and she gets so pissed! Ican hear her, J , YOU are the one who likes that, not ME! That’s a gift for you! Yup, right-e-o it is! I joke, but it still hurts.

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R
About that expression “you made your bed now you have to lay in it” ~ I think it is more fitting to say that to the parent than to say it to the child. My parents are responsible for the outcome of our relationships. I was a kid, I didn’t “lay the foundation for relationship” they did. I like your saying, “re-make it till you are happy with it” that is what I had to do, but not because I made it wrong in the first place. Now if they would try to re-make THEIR beds, our relationship might have a different story ending.
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Carol!
Thank you for addding your voice to this post! I love to help people find their voices and help mend wings!
Hugs, Darlene

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Hi Leslea
I LOVE what you said about “overcome the cycle by discovering how to love intentionally & care for their kids.” HOW TO LOVE INTENTIONALLY is exactly what I did. Your comments are right on the button.
I made that decision too, I had that focus too; a family foucsed on love and peace.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Kelli
Thanks for sharing your story with us. I don’t think that any of these disorders are genetic as much as they are learned behaviour, learned coping methods, accepted false belief systems that get passed down. It is such a terrible “cycle” but it sounds like you are trying to break the cycle in your own family, and that is awesome.
Hugs, Darlene

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Hi Janie
Yes, the root of healing is discovering where the broken lives. And then it is rejecting the beliefs that others inflicted on us. (that we were less than, not good enough, unworthy) It is painful to fact that truth; that we had been regarded as unworthy of their accepance. But it is also an acceptance that leads to the ability to replace all those false beliefs with new beliefs. That we are as worthy and loveable as ANYONE else in this world. That painful realization and accpetance creates the space for a NEW foundation to begin.
Thank you for sharing your mother story today.
Hugs, Darlene

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Hi Janet
YAY for our kids that have awesome moms!!
Hugs, Darlene

I am sorry if I have missed answering anyone; this week the blog has been so crazy busy with the freedom rocks event going on that I have not been able to keep track of all the comments!
Hugs, Darlene

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Mimi ~ The things mothers will use to manipulate us or what they will say to try to convince us of their ‘purity’! I love how you define honour. I read an article which I saved to my computer some time ago. This teaching I found about honouring parents who are toxic and abusive was really good – this writer did her homework and I think you might get something out of it like I did.

Here is the link: http://www.luke173ministries.org/537996

hugs, Risé

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Rise’,
She liked to pretend in her statement about praying for our relationship, that somehow she has a more direct link to the Almighty than I do. Bahaha!! A lifestyle of lies, manipulation and thievery, etc…. forgive me for judging, but I bet her link is broken!! 🙂

Thank you so much for the link. I can always use insight into all the things that are spoken of here. I really appreciate it. I don’t have time to read it right now, but I will late this evening. Thanks again for sharing it!!
Peace and love,
Mimi

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Darlene,
No apologies needed for me. Just sayn.
Love,
Mimi

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Hi Everybody,
I just wanted to ask a question. Is it normal to feel pretty much just anger towards the emotionally abusive parent? I had spent years hurting, being made to feel “less than”, an outsider in my own family. As my own life came together, and the treatment didnt change, I find that it just comes across as anger. I feel very resentful that my mother colored my relationship with my sisters negatively. I know they have their own free will,and at least one of them, maybe both of them seem to have personality disorders, but still, I blame her.
And for all of those years, her pushing my buttons, trying to find ways to hurt me, and also make me angry, so I looked bad, especially in front of my father. I finaly told her one day, I’m not going to respond, or play your game anymore for things that she did, like having family parties and not inviting me, or seating us far away from the family at larger events. Betraying confidences. “forgetting” things that were important to me. The last straw was when she purposely planned a graduation party for my niece when I was working, knowing my niece and I were close. My niece that she always spoke negatively of, that she was a “spoiled brat”, she “ran my brothers house”, etc. (jealous of the attention my brother paid my niece when it is boiled down).
So, now that I refuse to react to mean treatment, and sometimes can turn it around on her, so she looks mean. But isnt she still getting her way, if I feel anger in dealing with her, most of the time?
I try to detach myself, and be “a good daughter” when it is necessary. For instance, she had been sick for about a week, and I didnt know. After finding out, I called to check on her, and she cut me off, then a day or 2 later I left a message, which she didnt return. That is also another thing that her and my sisters do, to disrespect the fact that I have been a nurse for over 20 years. Yet, if it ever comes to a situation where my mother needs in home care, or long term care, I really dont want much to do with it. And I dont think I should, with the way I feel about her.It feels unethical to me. I dont want to have to deal with my sisters either who are quite brutal and unreasonable to deal with where I am concerned. Then, I will look like a selfish, uncaring person to the extended family. So it is another “no win” situation. In fact I care for, and encourage people everyday, and care for my loved ones: my S.O, his children, his mom, my brothers, my friends, etc., my Dad. I just don’t have that same feeling towards my mother, or my sisters even, for that matter.
Just want to know if I am wrong, is something wrong with me, should I look at things differently? Am I normal? Or a hateful person.

Thanks,
Janie

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@Janie.. I have felt the same way. I have extreme bitterness for my mother because she will not grow, she continues to be mean and hateful at times towards people and I think that because of that I can not move on from my past. And I have been feeling bad, because “that’s my mother” However, I do not feel we should have the guilt that was placed on us by our mothers. After a while you get tired of it and you reach your breaking point of being disrespected, manipulated and abused, I think it is part of the grieving process and eventually it will pass. However no one can put a time limit on that, right now I am going to work on inner peace and pray that will help me get over the bitterness I feel for her, for MY sake. Because it is tearing me apart, I have realized just yesterday that she is really sick..and I mean mentally, I believe she needs help, but I can not allow her to suck me into that, which I feel she is. I hope the best for you as well. and remember its okay to be angry, but do not let it consume you, you deserve to break away from your childhood and have a REAL LIFE.. good luck to you 🙂

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Janie – this is very normal & part of the healing process – at least it was for me. For YEARS I was so angry and frustrated because, as being a Christian, I was always told I had to forgive her, which made me even more angry. Furthermore, at that time in my life, i had no one who understood my anger or what I’d been through – it was very frustrating. And then i found this sight … Then i got myself into therapy It wasn’t until I came to know that she will never change – even after attempting to try to reconcile – that I could finally forgive her. I no longer wish her ill will. I hope your anger doesn’t last as long as mine did.

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Janie,
Boy do I have a lot to say on your subject. 🙂
I am at work right now, but I’ll be home later tonight. I will pist then.
Tale care,
Mimi

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Janie,
You are not Wrong….Your feelings are valid & understandable given your mom’s abuse. I have the same feelings of anger and I can be a bleeding heart too LOL. I’m throwing away my guilt, when it comes up since there is nothing to feel guilty about. I have been a loving & good daughter showing her kindness, when she hasn’t towards me. Even when times warrant appreciation & kindness, she withholds. I spoke with my counselor about her behavior, this past Mother’s Day weekend, and she agrees that my mom is sick. She said, she isn’t giving me excuses, but my mom may not consciously realize what she is doing. I know what she means, however, if she has a Narc PD, she really couldn’t control her behavior, and I see her acting differently around my siblings. I’m tired of understanding her behavior and it doesn’t really help! So what, the relationship is one-sided and I’m stepping back more & more with LC. The question is, “What do I do next?” The answer is, I will keep working on my healing & not make the same mistakes she made with my kids!…I’m already breaking the cycle & it is hard work…It’s not just me, involves my kids too. Hope I helped you in some way by sharing my experience with my dear old mom. Have a Good Day!
Sonia

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SMD … I have to say I experienced the very same with my mother as you did yours. I extended kindness to my mother – obeyed her every whim, I was a pretty obedient kid and at one of her home parties she exclaimed loud enough that I was her worst kid – how I was worse than my siblings I’ll never know … I desperately tried to love her into loving me and all I got was further rejection and abuse. In my case, I really don’t think my mother thinks she’s done anything wrong. In fact, with my siblings she’s painted herself as the victim, not me. The woman lies and makes up stuff and my family of origin believes her – which I find amazing. I recall years ago when I had just decided to not have my mother in my life anymore and my aunt tells me that my mother told her that she’d been sending me letters and gifts … I told my aunt that she was lying. She sure didn’t want to hear that. And the other stuff she told her – untrue things. I was furious. My mother did a very good job at painting me to be the ‘crazy lady’ at being unstable – when really, she’s the one who is unstable.

I really do think that those who seem to have Narcissistic Personality Disorder really do live in their own worlds of fantasy where they are perfect and everyone else around them is flawed, yet all are destined to ‘worship’ the NPD person who uses pity to get it. It’s really quite sick.

And the guilt we carry by not being ‘exemplary daughters’ in our mother’s eyes is a false guilt. It’s their guilt put on us. It’s their shame and guilt, not ours.

And so true about how we will never understand the ‘why’ … the reasons are pointless and as hard as it was, I had to let go the ‘needing to know.’ It got to the point it didn’t matter anymore. And I’ve finally got to a point where I flat out don’t care what any of them (family of origin) think! And I am healthier for it.

81

Rise,
Love your comments!…Thanks for your validation!…You said it all well regarding our mom’s behavior. I just know she paints me as mean because I speak the truth & she is in denial. Your right, NPD really do live in their own world’s of fantasy where they are perfect and everyone else is flawed. My mom uses pity to look like she’s the victim & everyone falls for it. I can’t wait to hear what she told my Aunt about Mother’s Day. Her version of the Truth of course. My aunt told me that my mom told her I visited on Mother’s Day weekend. My aunt is down to earth & will tell me the truth. Eventhough she maintains some contact with my mom, she has been estranged from her for 10 plus years, prior to recently choosing to reconnect with her sister. She tells me that family is important and doesn’t want to mess anything up with my mom. However, she is tells me my mom puts on a “facade” and acts tough. That may be true but it’s no excuse for her mean behavior. I’m getting to the point that it doesn’t matter what she thinks. I know I’m not jumping threw hoops & take me as I am. She has been Lucky to have had me in her life!…Wow that feels empowering to say!!
Thanks for your awesome comments!
Sonia

82

Sonia ~ You’re so welcome … and they were lucky to have us. While it lasted, they (or at least my mother anyway) had a maid and and someone who kowtowed to her ‘needs.’ When I ‘woke up’ and saw her for how she really is … a part of her fantasy died and I got to suffer for it – thus becoming an empty shell person that couldn’t function. Even now, my life has gone on. And its her loss that she’s not part of it. Of course, my father and siblings aren’t part of my life either (its been 2 years) because my mother has poisoned their minds into thinking that I’m the crazy person. Their loss really … and dare I say, my gain. 🙂

83

OMG…. typing on EFB from my phone is obviously not a good idea!! Please forgive the borderline unsavory words! Sheesh!

So much good information in the responses to Janie. I just absorbed it all. I could identify with it all too. So sickening ~ their need to punish and bully and strip you of every last shred of hope or confidence or self esteem, etc, etc, etc.

Janie, I think anger is VERY normal. Although, I didn’t know that at all until I came here. Anytime I was angry growing up my mom would literally go into a rage herself and she’d usually whip me. All the while she’d be yelling about how I was NOT going to turn out violent like my father! The times I can vividly remember of getting in trouble for being angry as a kid, it was usually because she talked to me and/or barked orders at me like I was a colossol piece of S***! Anyhow, I’ve stifled anger and a whole gamut of emotions for years. Anger has definitely been a stand out emotion for me in life. I never really knew where it came from. Sometimes, I could feel my blood boil at co-workers or in-laws; anyone who threatened to belittle, badmouth, or shrink me in any way. I don’t want to say I acted on it all the time. Much of the time, I’d be fuming and just barely able to control it. It was bridled rage. I knew it was inappropriate, but I had no idea where it came from, or how to fix it.

Now that I’m further along in the process, I know exactly where it came from. I can look at any event where I was angry, and realize it was the result of someone’s behavior that mimicked my mother’s. I went years not being angry with her, but VERY angry at people outside my circle who treated me like she did ~ I guess even people inside my circle, now that I think about it.

Once I started to process things and uncover the truth about my mom, around a year ago, I could make the connection. After making this connection, I able to direct it to the source…. my mother. I was broken hearted, and angry at myself for it. I wanted to not love. There were times (like someone mentioned above) when I went to bed at night with such bitterness that all I could do was pray. I don’t like myself when I’m angry or bitter. Thankfully, my prayers were answered. I’m not angry or bitter anymore. I don’t wish bad things on my mother. I guess the best word to describe where I am today is indifferent. I’m finally at a place where I don’t care who she lies to about me or how horrible she makes me out to be. I had to stop caring about that somewhere along the line. It was destroying me. I realize now that she’s been CEO of my life for 43 years. As the years ticked by, I became more and more lifeless. No lustre left. I had no idea why. I had everything I wanted, and was still lifeless. A slow downward spiral with nothing to attribute it to. I know why now, and I have great hope that the lustre will return one day.

ALLLLLLLLL that to say, I don’t think many people escape without dealing with anger as a part of the process. I hope you continue to come here in pursuit of truth and the wisdom and love that is expressed on these pages. It has helped me so so much!!

Oh, one more thing. I too am a nurse. I have no desire to wipe my mother’s behind. I just mentioned somewhere on here earlier today (or yesterday) that I imagine dropping my mom off at the nursing home one day and saying, “you made your bed, now lay in it”. (her famous words) With any luck, I’ll be on the other side of the planet by the time that day comes, and someone else can do it. And, she likes to discount my nursing experience. When her sister was sick and passed away, she milked that for sympathy for a year, although she had nearly destroyed their relationship altogether before her sister got a fatal diagnosis. Then, because death was eminant, it was all pushed aside. Anyhow, she was with her in another state when she passed away. As she described it to me, she said, “you just don’t understand what it’s like to see someone die like that”! I just sat in silence thinking about the hundreds of people I’ve seen die, and what a halfwit my mother is. She’s also announced to me that she has a pretty good grip on the medical field since her mother was a nurse. I’d say she thinks she knows more than me on the subject. PFT!
Anyhow, sorry to burn up the screen here. I tend to ramble. Thanks for sharing your story and I sincerely hope you come back and talk again. There is hope in these pages. You’re not alone.
With love,
Mimi

84

Rise’,
The first paragraph, post #80 = my mother. YUCK!!
xoxo,
Mimi

85

Mimi … I’m thinking we are kindred spirits! WOW! Our mothers really are cut from the same cloth! Anger was a huge issue for me too … and I’d pray and pray about it – but could never figure out how to really release it or get rid of it. I equated it to not having really forgiven her. Truth is … anger has NOTHING to do with having forgiven or not. Anger has everything to do with what was done to us while we were rendered powerless by our abusers. Finally seeing a therapist to learn to deal with it and let it out has healed me in leaps and bounds. Being able to vent, in some way, is so crucial. How you feel about your mother today is exactly how I feel about mine – indifferent. Completely indifferent. And after two years of no contact with my father or siblings, I’m afraid that my feelings for them are also indifference.

I too was disciplined or reprimanded for expressing anger – even righteous anger. I learned in the past year and a half that anger is a healthy response when it comes to sticking up for oneself. It’s okay to be angry at injustices, especially when they happen to us! Growing up, I was reprimanded and degraded, humiliated, for sticking up for myself. Growing up it was a wrong thing to do. Now that I know its what you’re supposed to do … I have turned into a mama bear now when it comes to sticking up for my kids, something my mother never did for me – ever! Did you know when I was little (and my childhood has very few memories) my mother used to drop me at school and watch kids surround me and bully me and make fun of me and then … drive off!! Who does that??!! I think I blocked out so much of my childhood because of bullying – by my mother and other kids. I never had friends until I was about grade 5. Boys were complete and utter alien beings that I truly believed had no heart or feelings – I really thought they didn’t have feelings, especially feelings of love. I thought boys pretended love to get what they really wanted. I really thought boys were incapable of feeling anything and I grew up thinking that men marry not because they love the woman, but because they want kids (boys especially) to carry on the family name. So to have their family name carried on meant they had to tolerate the wife they were stuck with. (I’m so glad that I learned that this was not true.) When I was a kid, I cannot tell you what schools I attended or where and I can’t tell you who my teachers were or if they were male or female. My childhood memories are very choppy. … Now, I’m rambling!

Funny you should mention how she’d discount you as a nurse. I used to be an Insurance Agent and my mother had a real hard time with the fact that I knew more than she did about insurance. She would actually argue with me over coverages. Made me crazy in the head.

I often think our mothers were extremely jealous of us … which I don’t get. My daughter is beautiful and talented and I’d love for her to have more than I do. I don’t get how a mother can be jealous of her daughter. it’s Weird.

86

@Rise I understand you, I think my mother has borderline personality disorder, but she might be on the tad Narcissistic side.. She lies to cover up her behavior and I use to get so angry, but only recently have I figured that she actually believes these lies. She makes situations difficult or acts crazy over any little thing, and if you are not asking for her forgiveness or catering to her, she will get even more pissed and then tell people how ungrateful you are, how you mistreat her.
I always felt she was proud of me, because she would tell people of my accomplishments, however once I got older, i wondered if she was telling people this to make herself look good, so people would say “you are a good mother because your children have accomplished this” on the flip side, I feel she was jealous because I obtained things she did not,
I was also the maid, cleaning up everything and a baby sitter/mother figure for my siblings at a young age. When I talked to her about these things as I got older, she states every kid has chores (the whole house? including her room?,,okay) and her famous line “my mother…” apparently her mother had her siblings watching her, but my grandmother worked, not go hang out with whomever. I feel like I was created to be her crutch, to serve her needs, to fill her void and to be her slave. I have a supportive family who understands and I am grateful for that, however it is irritating that they always call me when my mother doesn’t do what she suppose to, because in a way I feel that I am my mother’s parent. I just want to LIVE my life. I need to know who am I and what I like.

I’ve been too told so many negative things by her that I feel so conflicted, like she created my flaws and I never got to be the person I was suppose to be. My mother also is spreading lies about the events on mothers day, but after that day I feel I had an epiphany, I am no longer a child, I am an adult, I deserve respect as a person, I would not deal with people like her if she wasn’t my mother and I have came the conclusion that her behavior is disgusting and hurtful and I’m done being treated like this.

I don’t feel like she ever liked me because she felt I held my grandparents to high regards over her, and because she “felt” like this she has always treated me awful. But according to her I was the mean one. Its funny how we are mean, because we stand up for ourselves, never once have i cursed at her or yelled at her, or said anything demeaning, yet she has to me. I respected her as my mother and I always will, but I will not continue to be used and abused and lied on, and I will continue to tell her how I feel she treats me and people
Sorry for the rant, but it feels good to get this off my chest.

87

Rise’,
Jealousy has been big for me too. Once my mom called me and said, “guess how much money I made this year?” How uncomfortable…. to try to guess my mother’s salary which I don’t give a flip about.

Her and her husband had a float boat for several years. Well, on a not-well-thought-out whim, my husband and I bought a boat at a dealership. It was an open bow speed boat. Wouldn’t ya know it was less than 3 months and my mother got a different boat, bigger than ours, after years of being content with a float boat. When I got my car I wanted vanilla, but because of options, I went with navy blue. Well, here comes my mom with a new car a few months later. She called to tell me and she said, “and, guess what color it is?” Of course it was vanilla, but one step further, it had a pearl finish. We bought a bigger house, she bought a house after spending 30 years in the same one. I just think that is so crazy! And, she wonders why I don’t tell her anything.

I have had to learn that lesson about anger as well. That it’s a natural response to being wronged. But, my mother has dictated to my family that I have such a “hot temper”!! Even in the last non-ownership email she sent me the very first line said, “you’re obviously very angry, and in pain”. Now, holding her accountable equals anger. She has fixed it so that no matter what I do or say, it’s my horrible anger coming out. It soothes her to think that ~ to make me out to have a horrible temper so she doesn’t have to face what she did to me to evoke the anger. My WHOLE family thinks I’m a hot head. But, I believe any one of them would have been too if they’d put up with what I did.

What your mother did, dropping you off at school then driving off ~ beyond imagination. So cruel. My mom never defended me either. OF COURSE she didn’t defend me, she wanted me to suffer so the more people to carry out that wish, the better. I wasn’t bullied in school but I had a step brother that is literally 6’7″ tall. He was three years older than me. When we were in high school we were in the driveway playing 1 on 1 basketball. He towered over me. He punched me in the chest with his fist, leaving a big bruise and knocking the air out of me. I started to cry when my mother and stepdad (who were watching) piped up and said, “well, you shouldn’t have fouled him”. I don’t even know what I did to “foul” him. She’s always gotten such satisfaction out of singling someone out. For many years, I was the target. It really stunk!!
Thanks for sharing. I think we could actually be sisters, haha!!
With hope,
Mimi
ps – LOVE the link you posted about honor! Thanks again!!

88

@mimi yes why is it always us? I received an email as well stating “you are so bitter and miserable” all because I had told her, I’m tired of her telling me I do nothing for her. So whenever we get into an arguement, I’m the miserable one and you are so sad, and how she is trying to live a better life and does not have time for drama, yet she gets along with no one for long. I do not get it. But I’m tired of trying to help, I’m going to help self now! I am so glad to be able to speak to people who have had the SAME issues as me. I have talked to people in the past who had issues with their mother, but i always tell them your mother was never MEAN and HURTFUL, there is a difference, it feels so glad not to be alone.

89

K. Ella,
I know your post was for Rise’….. I hope you don’t mind if I comment on it. I just wanted to add that my mom did all those things too. She had a few proud moments, only because she felt she “created” ME and therefore she can own my accomplishments too. And, like your mom, jealous at the same time. How dare I steal her thunder!!

Congrats on your epiphany. I’ve said the same thing many times ~ that I don’t have people like her in my life. At the first sign of lying and manipulation, jealousy, etc, I RUN!!! Now, it’s unfortunate that I’ve discovered all these things in my own mother. Not as easy to RUN!

You mentioned your mom making you out to be the mean one. That is so classic of my mom. She cries to everyone who will listen. After Memorial Day, I’m sending her a LONG letter. I’m putting it all at her feet. The things she will do with the accountability will be mind bending. And, so will the relief I will feel at letting her know I’m onto her and I’m also done with her game playing.

Please continue to “rant”. It does feel good to release it. I totally understand that feeling. I’ve ranted on here plenty of times. I hope you keep coming back!!
Love and hope,
Mimi

90

I took the day off yesterday and wow, what a discussion you are all having here! I have been catching up on it this morning.

Janie anger was such a necessary part of healing for me. (there is a whole series on Anger in this site, I think it is in the archives for December 2010)
There is such a think as “justifiable anger” and it is self validating to permit it, feel it and realize where it comes from and that there is nothing wrong with it.

Love the discussion going on here!
Hugs, Darlene

91

Thanks to everyone for their kind words, understanding, and observations! It is always amazing to me, that it is all just a twist on the same theme. It has always amazed me, in medicine, that when one part of the body is sick, it usually reacts in a similar manner as someone totally different from the other patient, just a little different twist on it. I guess when the family is sick, it is like a body being ill.
When I walked yesterday, it came to me that I went from a kick the dog type of victim, to a warrior, not taking any guff. In my career, I am a fierce defender of the underdog, and those taken advantage of, and I consider that one good thing I will carry with me. I am a tireless advocate and support for those oppressed. Looking for that happy medium, or maybe a total new role, in my personal life! Taking it to my Father in Heaven in prayer……
Thanks again, lovely ladies!
Janie
P.S. thinking part of my answer lies in the analogy to the body. Will meditate on that as well………..

92

Hi, Darlene,
Thank you, very much, for this article. It definitely hit home for me. I haven’t read all the comments here, yet, because my brain went numb.
Just wanted to mention, though, that I thought it interesting that you chose a) mother’s day and b) your wedding anniversary to hold Freedom Rocks! Is there any significance, there?

93

Hi BC825
There is no significance actually. The idea came up in the winter so we were waiting for a thaw. We planned for sometime in May. When I started to organize and do the back ground work for it, I started to run out of time and the weekend I chose was the only weekend in may that I could do it. I didn’t want to do it on mothers day weekend, which is why I designated both saturday and sunday as days to do it, and I hate to admit it but I forgot about my wedding anniversary until AFTER the dates were released! I could not do it next weekend as I am out of the country for 12 days starting next week and didn’t want to be doing the back end stuff then. That’s just how it all worked out!
Hugs, Darlene

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@mimi Yes please comment anytime, I appreciate your response. I can use the support and will support any one who needs it as well. I am happy to have found this site and am ready to be “re-born” as I call it. basically grow into who I was suppose to be and re-mother myself, re love myself. I think the letter will be good, I thought of doing the same for her, like a closing letter. Or even writing a letter to her but not mailing it. I hope things are getting better for you and continue to get better 🙂

95

Thanks, Darlene, I will check that out in Decembers articles!
@ K. Ella and Mimi, isnt it interesting, that when they cant illicit a response from you that can be deemed “bitter and miserable” in any way, ie, you appear happy, they work double time to try and create a miserable or upsetting situation or accusation towards you? At least that is my experience.

Janie

96

Yes it is sad. My mother thinks other people are miserable when they go against what she does, what she thinks or will not do what she says. Then she throws a stone “you never do anything for me” then when you comment back, she says you are arguing and being confrontational because you are miserable. I really think she believes I am so unhappy and miserable and feels bad for me, she told me once that she prays I get my soul together, because I have a terrible spirit, yet she is the one that can not get along with anyone, so I am on a mission to change things I know I need to change, but also know that I am not the person she tries to paint me, Im excited to start this new life. She really tried to hurt me the other day, but she has really helped me.

97

Darlene,
I recently read that you monitored your children around your mother. While I do not have children, for years I have been thinking of doing the same whenever I do have them. Because my mind is abstract, I was thinking of things that could go wrong with doing so. I wondered if my mother would be nice to my children and in turn they would want to spend more time with her, go out with her and stay over with her, and she would say well ask your mother, and that would be a NO!! which would make my children angry with me because they would not understand and being the manipulator she is, I could see her turning the kids against me, or she could dislike them as much as she claims to dislike me. I just wondered if you had to deal with such issues. Thank you

98

Janie,
I’ve been a fierce supporter of the underdog too. I’ve come to realize it’s because that’s who I’ve been the majority of my life. I have grown into a person who’s fiercely loyal to the people I love too. I have to be honest in saying that it’s rarely been a two way street. I have learned that lesson in very painful ways. I listened to a podcast from a distant church I love and the pastor said, “the worst feeling in the world is when you stand up for something, and then look around and your friends (family) is looking the other way. I’ve learned that the hard way. Professionally, and personally.

Comment #95 ~ powerful insight for me. I’ve never realized that before but it’s true for my momster too. Thank you for posting it.

K. Ella,
I can sooooo identify with what you said above. My mom doesn’t use the word miserable with me though. She’s always used the word angry. “you’re obviously angry and impossible to talk to”. It did NOT matter how calm I was or how bitterly angry she was, it was me who was obviously angry. She’s designed my whole life around my “hot temper”. I have been angry at times ~ but no one ever stopped agreeing with her long enough to find out WHY I was angry. And, the times when I wasn’t angry, only trying to settle something, she then accused me of being angry, ESPECIALLY, if it was her who was battling the anger. Any time I’ve tried to speak the truth, she claimed I was angry.

About the letter I’m writing… you mentioned writing and not sending a letter. I’ve done that many times too, and I’ve journaled a LOT about my mom. Both of those things afforded me relief. I have several letters to her saved on my computer. But, I have the one I intend to actually send, saved in my email. I keep adding and modifying as I go along, and as new revelations surface. I couldn’t say these things to her face because I’m not sure I would get it all out, and because she would lie to other people about what was said, my demeanor, etc. So, I have decided to write it. This way, she can’t shut me down, and she can’t lie about the content. My hope has been that she will walk away. That sounds crass, but, I’ve tasted freedom without her in the past 3-4 months and it was lovely.
Peace and hope to everyone,
Mimi

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K. Ella,
I just read your post about having children. I hope you don’t mind me commenting. I can’t have children, so I don’t have to face that dynamic. I’m thankful for that. I have read a lot about it though. It has to be tough to be in that situation. My mom has taken the approach of trying to win over some of her grandkids, and shunning others. The ones she tries to win over, she lies about. She lives in her own little fantasy that the kids prefer HER over their own parents, that their parents are terribly jealous, and they won’t let their kids have close relationships with others BECAUSE their jealousy runs so deep. She’s never told me that because she knows I’m loyal and would likely defend my sister. She tells the whole rest of the family though and anyone outside the family she can get to listen. I think it’s almost funny now. All these people she’s sucked into her web don’t have a clue. Yes, I too was once ignorant, not anymore.

All of her grandkids know who the favorite is, and that’s just ugly. She treats one family noticibly different than the other, but then there is the golden child from that family that she goes even a little further with. She dotes on her and tells everyone how special and particularly sweet she is. She’s no sweeter or more special than any of the other kids. My mom just chose her to be, and she spreads that around too. It’s unfortunate to make this observation, but, I suspect it’s because they relate so well to each other, as in, the granddaughter has some of my mother’s traits. She adores her grandma.

The other family, the shunned ones, has the only grandson, so he’s never been ousted so to speak. His sister has been the one under attack, nearly her whole life. She’s always been big for her age, and she’s always battled her weight….. something my mom has no tolerance for. She has bad mouthed her and her mom’s (my other sister) parenting style nearly all their life. I don’t hear it anymore. I stopped that ridiculous game of her badmouthing her own daughter and grand daughter.

I know there are so many way these toxic people can turn. This is just how my crazy mother handles grandmotherhood. Like she doesn’t have an ounce of sense or loyalty.
Love and hugs,
Mimi

100

Mimi,
That sounds just like my mother. Her criteria was/is, Are you Irish looking? She has this wacky obsession with being Irish, she is half Irish, and puts her deceased Irish father up on a pedestal (I dont know why, as he didnt seem particularly nice to her). She puts my sister’s children up on a pedestal, because thay are so “Irish looking”. Interestingly, out of my mother’s 9 brothers and sisters, she is the one who does NOT look Irish. So strange.
My little niece, who looked like ME, dark hair, dark eyes, was always sheamelessly badmothed by NM, was always pointing out how spoiled she was, how she “ran the house”. My brother, her Dad, did dote on her. And he had the money to fulfill some of her wishes. And the desire to. I just saw a close bond between them. I would always say, That’s Jay’s daughter. He has the right to care for her as he wishes. What is it hurting? (Maybe instilling self esteem into a girl who is non-irish looking? although, there is always the black irish to consider. Maybe she IS Irish looking. lol. how preposterous it all is)
I always had a close bond with this niece, so my mother has worked tirelessly, since she has become college aged (not requiring any care), to compete with me. Changing her tune, saying wonderful things about her (most of the time. she cant hide that she really DOESNT like her, all of the time. Sometimes it does slip out). I think I mentioned the big graduation party she threw for her, when she was sure I couldnt be there. It is maddening, that my niece doesnt see it, nor can I say anything.
She lives vicariously through my younger sister experience of marrying the “Irish guy”. (he’s irish and german, but bears the all important family name!) Over involving herself in their care, minding their business. Only the “Irish guy” isnt so very nice, lol. Once momster was haranguing him about not giving the “golden child” sister(his wife), the help she needed after giving birth to her second child, and IG said, “Why dont you mind your business and go have another drink, Mary?” and then he laughed in her face. Well, she was not having that, and she immediately clutched her chest, fell to the driveway, and hollered to my father, “J! Call 9-1-1!” Was taken to the hospital for “chest pain”, once again. Released the same day, so as a nurse, I know it was not taken seriously by the physicians. She told me later, that they had put her on a tranquilizer, which she “needed to take for months”, as she had to deal with IG, since she had ingratiated herself into their lives. IG had her number.
Sorry, couldn’t resist that dramatic momster story. It just had to be told. And it is interesting, if you cross her, she immediately activates my father (“J”), so she can try to turn him against you……..

Janie

101

Hello Mimi,
Yes please feel free to comment anytime, I am always willing to get advice. I will be needing a lot of support now that I have decided to cut her off totally and more than likely for life. I hope your letter gives you great peace! I think that is very bold and brave of you. Even if she never accepts what she did and least you are aware of the truth and you know that she knows, that you are aware.

My mother is also sucking in people that does not know our history, because she can not fool our family, but her friends and etc. I was at first upset, and then I said to myself..these people do not know me, but sooner and later the truth will emerge, I can not spend time on proving to others who I am. Your story with the grandchildren is my very fear. That either she will despise or manipulate, that is why I will keep a watchful eye over the whole situation. I guess I will have to wait until I have children to know what to do.

I am sorry you can not have children. I also hope your family can rally together to see what is going on and stop the toxicity from going onto the next generation. We have to break the cycle, and I am working so hard to do this. My grandmother had a rough childhood and her parenting is questioned (even though she is an amazing grandmother), my mother had the same and so I have however I can not and will not continue this. Thanks again for reaching out, I appreciate it!
Hugs and love as well,
K. Ella

102

@Janie, do you think your mother clings to the “Irish” part as a way to be closer to her dad, since he was not nice to her. It seems she is seeking his approval or reaching for something from him through other “irish” looking people. If you look at our mothers it seems they are all seeking something ,they are just as hurt and sadden and searching what we are, however they are not willing to accept and grow as we are. If that makes sense. and by our I mean with the similarities that you, mimi and I have said, because I did read on another blog post how this one woman had a mother who came from a great home, so in her case it is different. But mostly mothers with BPD or NPD, seem to be reaching for love or approval and are doing it in a negative way of force and manipulation. You have to have a strong self awareness and esteem to deal with them. I am going to try and personally turn all my anger towards her into prayer for her, it is hard as heck, but anger will get me no where! and there is a lot of anger. Good luck

103

K. Ella, Yes! I do thinks she seeks a connection with her father that way! I also think she sees her own mother as the one who manipulated her father against her, thus, she uses my Dad like that, and tries to turn him against others. Her own sister, whom she despises, was the golden child. Unfortunately, I am alot like her, and have alot of the same interests as her. So, I think that is another strike against me.

I do pray for all of my family members when I pray,including her, but not especially for her. She did attempt to create for me, the same situation she perceives growing up in. The difference between us is, I would never take such delight in constantly hurting and isolating my child, especially as a small child. That is just evil to me, a choice she made. Also, I believe she has a personality disorder, and is unable to change. Born without certain parts, like empathy. When I have to be near where she is, I protect myself, and those I care about, from her destructive ways. To me, she is a problem to be managed, not someone I coud ever, or now would ever, have a relationship with.
I do pray for the abiity to forgive, which has nothing to do with her, but everything to do with my own healing!
Thanks for the insight!

Janie

104

“To me, she is a problem to be managed, not someone I coud ever, or now would ever, have a relationship with.” Wow that is a powerful statement! That is how I am feeling as well, but you put that in a beautiful sentence, that sums it all right that. Good luck to all of us, I think we will make it and come out this thing renewed

105

K. Ella, I just wanted to say, I support you in your taking anger and trying to put it into prayer. When I first read that, I didn’t think I was strong enough to do the same, but in thinking about it, I can see where you are blessing and healing yourself, as well as seeking a blessing for the abusive person. Before encounters with my mother, I do find they come out better, with less damage, if I pray first.
Even if I do find that I am not strong enough to do this, I still support you in that way of handling it! How fantastic if it does bless and heal you!(not that you need my blessing)
Thank you for sharing how you are handling this, in your own life! I think I took this statement at first as how I should be doing something in my own life, and felt upset that I might not be able to do it, at least, yet. Judging myself, as I have always been judged, by my FOO.
It is great to find people on similar journeys, that experience so much of the same, and I hope we do come out of this renewed! It still amazes me, that the stories are just about the same, with their own unique “twists”. Yes, good luck to us all! We deserve happiness and we deserve peace!

Janie
P.S. Could you please let us know how you do with this process? I’m very eager to see how it goes for you!

106

Hi K. Ella
Re comments 96 and 97 ~ What you describe your mother as doing is part of the whole problem. (I think it is called gaslighting) designed to keep people in the spin; confused and not able to think clearly so that they gets her way. It keeps the focus off them and on the victim.

I was seriously in the fog back when my kids were small. I was mostly thinking of protecting them “sexually” when I talked about monitoring them. Emotionally I had an inkling that my mother was dangerous in other ways. She didn’t want to babysit so I didn’t have to worry about them spending too much time with her BUT I also had a huge awareness that my mothers game was to divide and conquer, so in that respect I did think about her trying to turn the kids against me.
The big thing is how I see it today; why do I think that my mother would not do to them what she did to me? Why did I think my kids might be safer with her than I was? My mother hit me and I told her that she did not have permission to hit my kids, but WHY did I think she would just respect that? Why, if I had a fear of her sexually, did I even let her NEAR my kids? Those questions are the ones that I think about today. When the fog lifted I saw everything so differently!
Hugs, Darlene

107

Mimi, (and K Ella)
Continuing with what I just wrote to Ella, why do so many children of these types of mothers tolerate that mother (grandmother) picking favorites or putting down a grandchild? What makes us think that it is okay? It is all about that longing for “love” so we allow mistreatment because we believe that compliance is part of HOW we get that love. I remember thinking deep down that I didn’t care if my inlaws didn’t like me but when they didn’t care to see the kids it offended me. FOR the kids! but I was still the parent who tried to make excuses for the grandparents so my kids didn’t feel hurt! (when the truth is what is really being avoided.! Thanks for sharing.
p.s. I shudder to think of the toxic dangerous people that I “adored” when I was a kid.
Hugs, Darlene

108

Hey Janie..Yeah I was speaking as far as my own life, I don’t choose to tell people how to handle this because what may work for me will not work for others. It was not easy to come up with this “praying to release the anger” I have been judgemental of people in the past and was trying to change that habit about me, so I decided to pray for the things I judge people on, and that goes for my mother too, she has issues, and I do feel bad for her, and pray she gets the help, but yes it isn’t easy.

this will be a constant daily struggle for me. You are strong enough to overcome anything, we have to believe that in order to get over this. When I decided recently to just end all contact with my mother I felt that I was going to have a break down, and I said you know what No I am not, I’m going to be better. But there are times in the day where I am hurt and sadden, and yes I am going to counseling. Sometimes I forget to pray and what not and read my bible (I’m saying this because this is how I was raised and church was important to me as a youngster)

So I’m working on that too, Im not a SUPER christian or bible beater, so I will not push that on other people, LOL. I am trying to go back to the basics of things I liked to do like read, write, etc and go from there. I will let you know how I do and please do the same, with each passing day we can help each other! It has been wonderful talking to you!
-k. Ella

109

Thank you for the great article. Mothers Day (and any other holiday) are very very painful for me. My daughter asked me “It’s Mothers Day! Are you excited?” and then gave me nothing, not a card, nothing. I had to ask for a hug. Then she chose to spend most of the day with her father.

I wasn’t expecting it to hurt so much after all these years of her rejection and “special treatment” of hostility on holidays, but I have been numb for 3 days now which culminated in her mistreating me quite badly last night. I still don’t know why.

I think about my mother and wonder how she must feel that I’ve rejected her. Unlike me, my mother has not accepted responsibility for the damage she caused to me. I try to understand myself better every day so that I can be a really good person for my daughter to love if it ever comes around that she can or will love me. I know I’m not wholly responsible for the pain that I caused her, in that the abuse I suffered from my own parents and from her father (which was and is ongoing despite our divorce) had put me in a terrible state. But I have to take responsibility for myself and I try all the time.

In truth, I gradually grew emotionally abusive and was very egocentric for about 10 years of my daughter’s childhood and then I had a nervous breakdown… I still think however that I wasn’t a completely terrible mother then and that I am a good mother now. Apparently it’s not good enough. I try not to compare myself with my mother or with my daughter’s father because I don’t want to shirk my responsibility and boost myself up in a petty way. But part of me does believe that I have done the best I could and far better than my mother did or that her father has done in parenting. I know I could have done better even at my worst if I had received support instead of undermining and exploitation. I feel wronged and it hurts me so badly. When I try to allow myself to experience emotions it’s so dangerous. I can be abused at any time for no reason by my daughter with withering disdain and hatred. She “tells” me (just like my mother did and her father does) that I am simply an evil person and that it is impossible to like or love me.

I try to set an example and continue to parent but I don’t know how to help my daughter. She rejects any suggestion that she take responsibility for her actions or that outside influences (her father) continue to affect her. She blames me.

I’m feeling very sad today, after last night’s blow-up I became ill as I usually do these days when I have to take maltreatment; I’ve had a nervous breakdown and I have a hard time staying mentally oriented and physically stable under this type of stress.

I want to Emerge From Broken too. I fear that it will not happen for me because I have a lifetime ahead of trying to relate to my daughter; unlike a young person who can build a life of healing, my life and capacity to heal are dwindling while my daughter grows stronger – and in which direction she will go I simply don’t know. I’m afraid.

I’m feeling really sad today. Thank you for the forum to share my feelings

Best wishes
Jyn

110

Jyn,
I am sorry you are so sad and did not have a good Mother’s Day experience. I find that cruel, that your daughter would ask if you were excited for it, then not do anything to make it a good day. I have never been a mom, just a step mom. So i don’t know this feeling of being let down by your child. But I do know what it feels like to be let down by a loved one, and it can cut like a knife. I think we are super sensitive to it, as we have had the abuse issues in our lives, and being left out by those people.
Please take some time to do some things you enjoy, spend some time with a friend, and know that you are a good person. That you would try to fix your relationship with you daughter, is something huge and awesome to me. That is a major accomplishment in your life, you should be proud of it.
I just wanted to say I was sorry you went through that, and send a cyber hug! If you are feeling sick, please get with the appropriate medical professional that can help you. It is important to care for yourself first, so you can care for the others entrusted to you!
I am hoping the Mom’s here will have some advice for you. Keep your chin up, and hope to here from you, how you are doing! xoxo

Janie

111

Mimi and K. Ella … I feel your pain and love the comments. It is amazing how a toxic parent – at least mine did as did yours – they would praise up your talents only because it made them look good! At least this was my case. I remember when she pushed me so hard to go to school to get into Commercial Design. I thought myself a good artist, but not a great one (I had no confidence in myself or my work then.) I felt so untalented when I looked into the program and you should have seen the treatment of me when I fought to not go into it. She gave me the cold shoulder … again. For months … again. She did ask me some time afterward why I wouldn’t go into it and I said I didn’t want to use my talent as a profession. And I didn’t. I think she hated the fact that she couldn’t puff out her chest to say, “I talked her into using her talent to be a Commercial Designer.” and then of course by doing this, she could claim some (or maybe eve all) of my success as her own if I was successful – and if I wasn’t, well – then I would have been her greatest disappointment. And I sure didn’t want any of that. This is a form of gaslighting. And it sucks having someone like this overshadow your life, controlling it through manipulation – not only you but other family members as well.

This brings to mind, although I’m not sure why, about one of the last times I saw the one sister I used to be close to until my mother changed that and my sister became more and more cold toward me. My sister exclaimed to me once that my mother said nothing but good things about me and says she loves me. I was instantly furious. But keeping my demeanour calm as much as I could, I looked at my sister and said, “It’s all a lie. She doesn’t love me – if she did, she’d SHOW it and she never does. And as far as saying nice things – its just a cover up.” My sister looked at me as if I just replied to her in Russian. But its true – my mother would say she loved me to make herself not look like the monster she was to me. And she’d say nice things also for the same reasons. What they will never know is how this woman treated me, especially when she and I were alone. It will always be her word against mine and vice versa. She has deceived them well, I’m afraid.

Like I’ve shared before – it was the hardest thing I ever had to do – omitting my mother from my life. It was also the greatest relief. That was 12 years ago. And two years ago when everything came to a head with my father and siblings … after excessive tippy-toeing around everyone and putting up with their ‘I wish she’d just get over it’ looks – I confronted them. The truth came out. They thought I was the crazy lady, to which I said, “If you think I am lying then I don’t want relationships with people who think I’m a liar.” I haven’t heard from any of them since. It’s not easy. And one has to be ready and feel strong to handle such a rejection. But now, I am finally free to be me and to live my life without feeling like I have to live up to someone else’s standards. It feels good to be free. 🙂

112

Rise, I can relate to so much of what you said. Isn’t it amazing, the way these mothers can turn other family members against us? And it is nothing overt they say, usually, they just know which little statements to drop, to push the others buttons. Evoking pity, guilt, etc. They are masterful at it.
Good for you, that you resisted her controlling your career choice. With my mother, it was, go to a certain irish catholic college, and become an accountant. period. My sister and brother did this, and their whole tuiton was paid. My other brother was a very talented artist, and no one thought that was worthy to assist him with his much smaller tuiton for what he wanted to study. I did nursing school on my own, after taking classes at a college for business,which I hated. When I had success during nursing school, my mother would always say, isnt that wonderful, that you can make a career change, later in life,after failing at your first choice. I didnt fail, I just didnt like it. And my midlife career change… I was 26 yrs old when I began my 2 year nursing school!
Such a narrow window of acceptance! For some reason, my mother had a nice picture in her head, of those virtuous young women, who donned their business suits and their sneakers, and took the train into the city, to work in offices. I was not one of them, of course. I think it was what she would have liked to do herself, if she were our age……

Thank you for showing there is hope for happiness after divorcing family members. I am totally no contact with my 2 sisters, and low contact with my mother. they are all 3 of them now working on turning my brother(the artist) against me, and it makes me very sad……….

Janie

113

Hi Jyn
Perhaps you can’t be the one to help your daughter. One of the biggest things that I have learned is that doing my work has the most profound effect on any other person including my own kids. When we concentrate on our own work instead of others, we come to see things very differently. I know this whole thing hurts, but I would tell my own mother the same thing if she were here talking about me. I would tell her to do her own work ~ be an example of healing and see where that takes you. I had to model slef love to my children in order for them to see that I was not going to take that blame for the stuff that didn’t belong to me. They eventually saw where it really belonged. They learned self love and respect from my self love and self respect.
Hugs, Darlene

114

Rise’,
Second paragraph, #111 ~ Oh EM GEE!! So familiar. No one knows what my mom did to me in private either. She also puts up a front as she loves me and has good things to say about me. Bahahaha!! I just have to laugh at that these days. I can’t think of any other sensible reaction to such calculated manipulative behavior. Just blows my mind. I mean, who thinks on things so intently that they know who to say what to in order to keep up the facade?? I would be so lost in my own circle of lies and manipulations. My mom will be 70 this year and she’s become a little more sloppy. Her own mom, who turned 90 today, rats my mom out all the time ~ without really even knowing it. If my mom only knew…. I know all the lies she tells my grandma. Haha!! Grandma has always been good to me too, but, I’m noticing just in 2012 where my mom gets some of her toxic traits. It hurts to say my grandma is guilty because she’s always been so good to me. But, the truth is, my grandma is guilty. I took her to dinner tonight for her birthday. She badmouthed her son so badly when I was with her. I remember recently I had a revelation that not ALL people badmouth others. I just thought they did because my mom always did. Then, being with my grandma this evening, the pieces fit together. I’m a little disheartened and found it hard to hang out with her after dinner. Funny my mom badmouths my grandma all the time, then runs to her crying and lying. Jeez it’s so screwed up!!

I’d love to comment on so much stuff people have said, but, I’m at my emotional limit for today. Not sad, just full ~ if that makes sense.
Hope everyone has a great night!!
Peace and love,
Mimi

115

PS – a thought about college. My mother never mentioned it to me that I remember. If she did, it was in comparison to the golden child, who carefully mapped out her life to be self sufficient. She did do it all on her own too, with no help from my momster, or anyone for that matter. Anyway, my mom didn’t push college on me at all. I was busy being a failure, and she couldn’t have me be successful. It was too much of a threat. I did my own nursing thing, but I had to move back under her roof later in my 20s to do it. When I told her I wanted to do it, she suggested a bajillion other things. She just couldn’t imagine me being a nurse. Double insult there. 1) she never bothered to know me. 2) if I did succeed, who would she bash on? She discouraged it in so far as to refust to cosign on a little loan I needed. $3,000. She didn’t have to fork over a dime. Just her name and it was for school, not a luxury yacht. She wouldn’t do it so I went to her parents. They did it. Boy was mother in a rage over that one!! How DARE I expose her hatred and disdain!!!
Okay, seriously going this time.
Goodnight all,
Mimi

116

Hi and thank you all for your kindness. Yes, Darlene, I have been taking that approach – working on myself. Doing what I can do because of who I am and want to be. I’m realizing that I think my daughter has very low self-esteem and has rejected love from others, especially me, because of my betrayal through my emotional illness when she was younger and the ongoing influence of her father. Now she doesn’t love herself nor anyone else. Yesterday afternoon I decided to deal with my pain by giving love to her: made up her bed fresh and clean with valentines on the pillow and made her lunch this morning (she’s a senior in HS). What I learned in my trials is where there is love there isn’t room for wickedness and pain. I still have hurt feelings but it’s fading. I have to give her a dignified opportunity – without shame – to love. So I have to let it go.

Seeing your snapshot, Darlene, with your daughter lifted my spirits tremendously. So beautiful!

Jyn

117

@Darlene, yes that is true. I have been so confused and blinded for so long, it feels so good not to be that way anymore

Rise- thank you for giving me hope, like I said before I have recently decided not to speak to my mother, I do not know how long this will last, or if I will have minimal contact with her in the future, but this has been so hard for me. But I’m ready.

Janie and Rise- My mother has chosen to not let my siblings talk to me. That has hurt me more than anything. I felt as though I raised them in a way, due to the fact that I always watched them. This will more than likely cause me the greatest pain, for us to grow up and apart. I hope they can see through the fog and continue to love me.

118

Hi Jyn
I didn’t realize that your daughter is only still in high school! There is LOTS of time to mend your relationship with her! There is SO much going on at that age. This is a tough time for all concerned but there is tons of hope! Thank you for sharing your love story. What a wonderful nurturing thing for you to do for your daughter.
Hugs, Darlene

119

It is really helpful to read this. I am on the start of my own journey in trying to break the cycle of dysfunctional parenting with my two little ones. Could you talk more about the specifics of how you reparented yourself — or point me to posts you’ve already written about that? I know that is my next step, but I’m not sure how to go about it.

120

Hi Ap,
Welcome to emerging from broken. I have written well over 300 articles about HOW I did this and they are all here in this site! You can use the above category buttons to get started or use the archive button and start at the beginning.
Hugs, Darlene

121

Thank you, Darlene, for making all these articles available to us. You are a very brave person, putting it all out there for others, like you do.
I, also, have no idea how to reparent myself,or what it realy means. So I will be doing some reading! I just started reading one about “trust”, and how it was not a large and necessary part of recovery. Interesting, because I am done trusting therapists, and also desperately hope I will meet one who can help!
Yesterday, I thought about my mother, and what it must have been like for her as a little girl. And the girl in the green coat, who was tied up and left alone, wished she could befriend the little Mary, who was probably having similar issues. It wasn’t that little girl’s fault, nor was it the girl in the green coats fault (me). I wasn’t thinking of what is now, just how it was for both of us. And then I felt less angry…And when I don’t feel angry, I am able to feel connected to others. I think it mad my day go better, and may even be a part of healing……..

Janie

122

K. Ella ~ I know its hard. For years, I tried the distancing thing from my mother – even that didn’t work. When I did see her with long breaks in between, its like she made up for lost time. It was awful.

For me, breaking ties was not easy and it did take time … like forgiveness its a process!! For me, I allowed lots of time to see if things would change until faced with the harsh reality that it would never change. I am finally free now to live my life and finally be able to feel good about ‘me.’ 🙂

123

Rise’,
You give me hope. I’m struggling lately. Just more realities. I’m starting to think the revelations, heartache and disappointments won’t stop until I’m completely free of everyone. Today’s revelation ~ silence is the sincerest form of rejection. OUCH. Although it’s been starting to become apparent to me over the last 5-6 weeks, it’s just like you said. A process until it really settles into your soul, and you can accept it and move on. Today was a tough day of things settling into my soul. Cried off and on all day. UGH!! I hate these kinds of days. It’s so easy to buy into a sense of doom, for me anyway. I can’t help but wonder what the future holds and I want to know already. It’s overwhelming to think that far in advance. Tomorrow I think I’ll just sing that song to myself….”one day at a time, sweet Jesus”. Just sad today. Tomorrow = a new day, and thank God for that!!
Love and hugs,
Mimi

124

Darlene – thanks for sharing such a personal and poignant part of your life. I wish you had been my mother ! today in counseling my therapist said to me “you were born to the wrong parents” – she said it a couple of times. Oh how i wish that were true but i know God does not make any mistakes. I could not deal with anything as a child because i had to survive and take care of my mother. She tried to kill herself when i was 7. My sister (only sibling) started running away from home then. my father was just totally unavailable. So i had to take care of my mother to make sure she would not try to kill herself again. No one else was going to do it so i started cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, whatever i had to do in order to keep my mother alive I did.

As i deal with the pain and trauma almost every day i am coming to a place of much more peace about my past. My anger has dissipated. My resentment and bitterness has faded. I have truly forgiven from my heart. I will not end up bitter and full of anger and rage like they did. I have much more contentment now that i have fully accepted what happened and that i cant change any of it and that I wish things had been different but the most important thing is that i am still alive and i am healing and i have broken the cycle of abuse and neglect. My sister has been addicted to drugs and alcohol for 40 years and i no longer have a relationship with her. I dont have any children, just a wife. I used to analyze things all the time and think “what if” but i dont do that much anymore. The fear is pretty much gone. the fear that i lived with every day that paralyzed me has just about vanished. There is no reason for me to be afraid anymore. I have taken care of the little boy inside me and he knows that he is safe now and that they cant hurt him anymore. I parented my mother for a long time and now i have had to learn how to parent myself because no one else did. I know that the family that i longed for is long gone and a distant wish. If i ever get a chance to be a parent i know i will do it much differently. I will make much different choices and provide a loving and safe environment. I had more peace this past mothers day than i have ever had before. it doesnt gnaw at me anymore. I am not hearing her voices in my head much anymore. Her effect on me has been significantly diminished with all of my work. The q is where do i go from here ? What do i do next ? How do i approach life if i dont have ptsd anymore and am not recovering from abuse like i have been for 27 years ? That has been almost my whole adult life – recovering. What does life look like without pain and without having to deal with the aftermath of a horrible childhood ? I hope the answers are good ones and that they come soon because i am ready !

125

@ Dave, that is such an inspirational story of recovery! I am so glad for you, that you are in a place of peace and looking towards the future. It is amazing that you have overcome ptsd as well! Didnt know that was possible!Did you do alot of therapy to get to this place, or did you work on your own? Could you please share something that helped?

@Jyn, it was a relief to hear your daughter is still a teen. I remember hearing in nursing school lecture, that the people who grew up to be the most healthiest adults, went through rebellion and separation in those years. There is definitely hope, and she is blessed with a loving and self aware mother!

Feeling better and more “back to normal” as of yesterday. Mothers day realy seemed to bring out alot of anger in me. Looking back over this week, it is almost as if another person experienced and thought/said these things. Anger can be very isolating. Who wants to be around such an angry person? When I get that way, I feel like a kook who cant keep quiet for her own good. Does that make sense?

Yesterday was a good day. I slept after working nights, took a long walk in the sunshine, am so blessed to live near beaches and trails through the woods! Had a nice dinner with my BF/SO, then we all watched a funny movie. His kids are 11 and 13, and live with us 50% of the time. I like being a friend to them, its kind of like being an aunt. I try to let only positive come out of my mouth, and leave the parenting to SO. The only time they saw me get angry,was when his daughter just nonchalantly walked by me, with a mouse in a cage, as a pet, that her mother had sent home with her. But I was not angry with them, at SO and his ex for letting it happen. I think that is normal.

It is painful to watch the kids go through the ups and down with their mom. She was also a scapefoat in her family, but she was more severely treated than I. Her mother abandoned the family when she was 12. Her mother is a splitter in the family and showers her little sister with favor and praise.Also treats the grandkids differently.These kids get the shaft. But maybe it is a blessing in disguise, as they dont have to spend much time with her.

This past summer, the grandmother was visiting in this area, and causing all kinds of havoc, snubbing and criticizing these kids,showing favoritism and treating the other kids, and being verbally abusive to their mother in front of them. Their Mom was talking about visitng her own mother in the fall, in front of these kids, and SO’s 13 yr old son says, “Mom! Why would you go to visit someone who isnt nice,and doesnt like you?” A very healthy insight!

It is interesting to me, that my SO, who is the definite golden child in his own family, would hook up with 2 scapegoat gals like myself and his ex. It is curious to watch both angles of the dysfunction, through the eyes of the SG, and the eyes of the GC! It hurts to watch the ex wife being scapegoated, and also SO’s sister. I feel so much pain when I see his sister try to turn herself inside out, at family get togethers to please her mother, to no avail. And she has anger towards me,an outsider, who just waltzed right in and is in favor with his mother. I keep it cordial with his mom, but understand I am in favor only b/c I am with her GC boy, it is nothing I have done myself. I will sometimes take her around, in the day, as she cant drive, to her appointments, and we share a love of knitting, so we spend a few afternoons a month together, doing that, but I resist her attempts to turn me into another “daughter”. Because I see the dysfunction. It sure is a funny feeling, tho, to be a golden child through association. As close as I will ever get to it in this lifetime, and that’s a good thing!

Sorry for going on here, could not sleep out here on the East coast.

Thank you all for listening, and for your shares, this past week. Please be patient with me, I am a bit of a slow learner!

Janie

126

Dave,
Congratulations on turning a corner. Cheers to freedom!! I’m so happy to hear you’re doing well. I’ve had a setback of sorts, but in my own words to others, this too shall pass. It just seems like such a trainwreck when in the midst. So painful.

Janie,
I know what you mean when you say, “who wants to be around an angry person?” I’ve felt that lately too. Angry yesterday particularly. More of the fog Darlene often talks about, is lifting and clarity is eminent and painful. I know I’ll come to embrace the clarity, but I had a really tough day yesterday. I was angry and tearful all day. I can’t stand that people’s words don’t match their actions. I also can’t stand that silence IS rejection. Secret rejection. I spent the afternoon with a sweet friend yesterday. I told her I was feeling this reality of silence. She kept saying, it’s only because people don’t want to face the demons, or reality. They prefer living in a dream world, where nothing is ever addressed. That made it seem less personal, but, still I was in incredible pain yesterday. My husband says, just walk away ~ leave it behind. He says my progress is halted by this hangup with “silence”. There was another event yesterday that brought intense sadness. I won’t go into it, but, just to say things keep happening; new realities. Yesterday was horrible and I’m glad, SO glad today’s a new day!!
Peace and hope,
Mimi

127

Mimi,

(per post#123) … I do SO feel your pain, and you’re right, as you’ve so eloquently said, “Silence is the sincerest form of rejection.” Painful, yet so true. I know this in my own life. The valley comes before the mountain top.

It is a form of a personal hell going through it … but the Lord is always with you. I remember 12 years ago being so burdened about, ‘do I oust my mother or do I find another way to try to show her I’m loveable?? That I am worthy of her love?’ Of course, I knew that there was nothing I could do or say that could make her love me when she just didn’t (I heard His clear voice tell me that – but even with that I was tormented!) And I prayed even more about it. But He was with me – He told me He would be all the mother and father I would ever need and that He loves me more than my parents ever could, and more than I can imagine … and He says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Of course, at the time, I’m thinking, ‘Well, its just my mother that’s the problem – not my dad – why would He mention my dad?’ … Well, two years ago, I found out. God knew! I hope it brings you comfort in knowing that when we are in Christ, there is no chance of being forsaken or forgotten by Him – He really does step up and look after you the way your parents didn’t – and sometimes He’ll use other people help Him with that. The Lesson for me through it all is this, ‘human beings will always fail you in one way or another for some reason or another … the One who never fails you is God.’

Let the tears roll – they cleanse, they mourn, they release, … they heal. This is all a normal part of the process. “For I know the thoughts and plans I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.” Jeremiah 29:11 (Amp Ver.)

“The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Saviour. He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest (in silent satisfaction) and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing.” ~ Zephaniah 3:17 (Amp Ver.)

… He will exult over you with singing, Mimi … He will rejoice over you with joy … may this bring you great comfort today!!

{hugs}, Risé

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Hi, Thanks for all your support. This is my only child & I’m not experienced with kids or healthy relationships. I know we’ve had trouble due to the divorce poison situation with my ex… I only recently learned what he had been doing ever since she was a little kid 🙁 Teaching her to blame others (me) for her problems – hating me was their “common bond.” I try to remember that she’s still growing but she seems so “grown up,” and I feel old beyond my years. Your enthusiastic optimism (and some thawing at home the past few days) really helps. My husband pointed out that the lows are less frequent and less awful and he’s right. I just feel ground down to the quick sometimes.

It does bother me that I cut off my parents and sibling entirely. It bothers me that they may feel pain because of it. However, the way it feels to me is that I had to cut off those people so I could survive. It had been many decades of the same old garbage and then I took on a second problem when I married an abuser and became a mother, and I just couldn’t handle all of it. In a way it was a push in the right direction though, having to get down to the nitty gritty and make some choices. I think we have to realize that we simply can’t “work it out” for many of the problems in life no matter how much we want to. I wanted to do something good with my life and I couldn’t accomplish anything if I was being drained down by managing all these difficulties. I think its better to do one thing right than attempt 10 things with no or negative results. That helps no one.

Like the other comments here, I also rely a lot on “inner strength” and inspirational quotations, leadership examples, and especially songs. I sing to myself a lot. I like Shaker hymns, they are simple cheerful and motivating.

Happy days ahead to all of you
Jyn

129

Hi Dave
I wish I could be everyone’s mom ~ I have such a heart for this stuff.
Yay for progress. Hugs, Darlene

130

Hi Janie
Re ~ your comment to Dave
overcoming ptsd is totally possible! This whole site is about finding the roots and changing the belief system in order to overcome any diagnosis.
Hugs, Darlene

131

@Rise, Yes I think it will take time,thank you for validating that, because I thought I was suppose to just feel like Okay I’m done and feel ready to do so, yet the next day I did it, I felt so down. I have recently just figured that my relationship issues could have something to do with deep rooted issues with her as well. Lately I have had confused emotions on pretty much everything. I just feel really lost. I enjoy talking to you 🙂

132

Thank you, Darlene! I will just keep reading here, then! I feel as though I have identified the issues, but don’t know what to do about them. I guess that will come with time……..

Thanks,
Janie

133

Hi Janie
It does take time. (and if the fog lifted all at once it would be horrible anyway, so it is best to just keep striving to learn and go forward) The whole thing is a process and I was “trying” to overcome for a very long time before I learned about the root issues with the belief system. Compared with how long I struggled, doing it this way (the way that I write about) took only a few years!
Hugs, Darlene

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NEW POST published on the home page!
I was so moved by the comments made by Diane on an old post that I am sharing them (with her permission) as a blog post today. The first key for me was hope and this post is full of that!
You can read it here; http://emergingfrombroken.com/inspiration-and-hope-for-emotional-healing/
Hugs, Darlene

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K. Ella ~ You’re welcome. I still have relationship issues as a result of the toxic relationship with my mother. In some ways I can be very transparent – but only about those things that I don’t mind get repeated behind my back should that happen. When it comes to things that I don’t want risk being retold by someone else – those things I keep to myself and they are between God and me. I don’t trust easily and am not sure I ever will. There are some things I just don’t entrust to people, and I think this often makes my friendships seem more ‘surface’ than ‘deep’ if that makes any sense. And because of that, I am not sure I will ever really be known.

My mother claimed to know me, yet she knew nothing about me. Nothing. And because she tore me down so much – I developed an ‘I’m not worth knowing’ thing. When I did show who I was, which was a flicker here and there, I was ridiculed – so I think this is why there is ‘this’ part of me that won’t trust that I will be accepted just as I am. Over the years, it has got better and am more at a place now where I have more of an attitude that I don’t care what people think of me … but yet, every once in awhile, I will hear my mother’s sneers in my head and I have suffocate them again.

“It takes time to grow into who you really are.” (sure wish I could remember who said that!) 🙂

136

Rise’,
Thank you so much for the scriptures and support. I am doing much better. It was a really bad day, and thankfully, it’s over!! One less day of brutal realizations to go through!! :o)

It does no good to reach out. It’s been tough realizing that. I think what an idiot I am for continuing when the responses were cool and short or nothing at all. PFT!!

I’m really looking forward to memorial weekend. I was dreading it because there’s a big party for my grandma who turned 90 on the 16th. I wanted to go and be a part of that, but felt discomfort at the thought as well. My stepson graduates from College that day, so, we opted to take my grandma out on the 16th, and go to graduation this weekend. Originally, my husband was going to graduation, and I was going to my grandma’s party. We switched it so I can go to graduation with my husband. It’s 3.5 hours away, so we likely won’t be back in time for grandma’s party, We will stop in if we’re back in time. Not having to spend the entire time at the party is a comfort. I made it up to my grandma by taking her out on her birthday. And, she’s the only one who matters. I know there will be judgments for not being there. A year ago, that would have really dragged me down. Today, I don’t care. As long as I’ve made it right with grandma, that’s all that matters. And, she’s okay with it.

We have plans on memorial day to spend the day boating with my step daughter and her hubby and kids. We will have a blast with them. So, no more dread of memorial day. God has worked it out in my favor!! 🙂

Thanks for your message and support. It means a lot!!
Love,
Mimi

137

The Lord is good, Mimi. I am so glad that He gave you an ‘out’ of sorts that is more comfortable for you. I think its great that you can even make an appearance. For me, just the thought of attending anything where my mother would be would bring on an anxiety attack – actually attending would bring on a FULL anxiety attack and the milder version was already too much to take. Full on anxiety attacks feel like what I imagine a heart attack to feel like – sooo painful.

I hope that you have a wonderful day at your step son’s graduation and a memorable time with your grandma!!

{hugs}

138

Rise’,
I don’t really battle anxiety attacks anymore. I was debilitated by them in my 20s though. I had no idea they were connected to my mom until this past year. No idea I feared her, and her critical judgments and bullying. They are painful and scary. At the time I was going through that, my mother was saying I was doing it for attention. That really hurt too…. at the time. Now, it just proves how little she knows about me or panic attacks. She never bothered to find out what the attacks were about. It was more fun to draw her own conclusion, and talk about it to EVERYONE!!! What mother gets joy and/or pity from her children’s suffering? Sickening!!

Hope you have a great memorial weekend too!!
Love,
Mimi

139

Hey Janie,

I have made more progress in six months reading this blog and reading others comments and getting lots of feedback, mostly from Darlene, than i did in 15 years of CBT before i found this site. The key for me is i deal with the pain every day. I cry every day. Its part of my healing process. the wounds are very deep and they take time to heal. I am 49 and much of my abuse happened more than 40 years ago. Thats not easy stuff to process but i own it and i deal with it and i hold my teddy bear and my stuffed rabbit and i tell the little boy inside that its ok and that he will be ok and i let the pain out. I am way past “why me”. I am at “i am getting thru this no matter what and i am going to heal and have a good life because i deserve it.” so i press on every day. My healing and my growth is my main priority in life. I work and I am married and have a house but my main focus is getting better. I do whatever i have to do in order to get better. So yes i did a lot of “talk therapy” but the main healing has come in the last couple of years and especially since reading darlene’s blog and another blog on overcoming sexual abuse. Once i found these two blogs i finally felt like i connected with people who understand what i am going through. I never felt that in counseling. I never made that connection. Now i know that i am part of a community of people healing from terrible abuse. I never had a connection before like i do here. Darlene understands me as much as anyone ever has in my life because its like we were walking the same path – she has just been ahead of me on the path and helping to show me the way. Darlene is the light that God uses to help me heal. Darlene and the people on this blog are the answer to all my prayers and cries for help for many years. As a male going through recovery like this its not easy. None of my male friends are going through this. None of them have a clue what i am dealing with or going through and the vast majority of them cant handle it. Its a lonely walk at times but one i will never abandon because i have come way too far not to finish the journey. I will run the race with perseverance and i will finish the race in freedom and wholeness !

140

K Ella – i am SO VERY PROUD OF YOU ! It takes a lot of courage to do what you are doing. I have been there. I understand what its like. I know its hard. You will get through this. Its just different. Its not a right/wrong thing. Its whats best for you. You have to do whats best for you. whatever that looks like and whatever gives you peace and takes away the stress and anxiety is what you/we need to choose. I think your siblings will figure it out when they are older. I think they will see the truth like you have. It just takes a while. I will be praying for you. We are here for whatever you need. I am glad you are in counseling. I am seeing two different therapists weekly and its helping a lot. It validates my choices and my decisions to break away and helps me respect myself and the decisions i have made to break away. You are not alone. We love you and care about you and we will be here for you as you go through this process. For me, getting my mother out of my life was one of the best decisions i ever made and it has allowed me to heal. I never would have healed if i had let her continue to be in my life and to continue to lie to me and to manipulate and control me. Now not only is she not in my life, i have gotten rid of all the other toxic people like that who were in my life. There were several others but i am rid of them all. My life is so much better for it and i am so much happier because of those choices. Hang in there ! You will make it !!!

Dave

141

Great comments everyone. Love the discussions going on. I have been busy getting ready for a vacation. I will check in on the blog while I am away but plan not to be here much and hope you all will continue your discussions on this post or on other posts while I am gone.
Hugs, Darlene

142

@Rise, when I was younger I was very open about my life, something that I regret now, but hopefully I wont have to see these people in life anymore and hopefully the people that I do see every now and then don’t really remember a lot. That is what I am praying about, but gosh that stresses me out thinking that I shared a lot about myself, mostly about a failed relationship. I was about 20, I guess I was seeking and searching for something, So while you did not trust, I trust too much, I rather had been like you and kept somethings to myself. But in time I grew not to share so much and now i only confide in a few people, who share equally with me. But my grandmother always says never tell someone all your business let them tell you theirs, so with that I am restraining, once I get my mother issues under control I believe things will make sense to me and I won’t need so much outside help.

@Dave your message was so inspirational. I am so happy you are doing well and happy to see the path I am choosing will work for me. Thank you for your beautiful message. It is hard to distance myself from my mother, I have already told my family, I might be making decisions they do not like, for example..if my mother needs something, I will no longer help her, and they seem to kind of understand, but I am not concerned with if they agree or not, this is the way it will have to be, no matter what she is going through. She recently told me she wish I was never born, so I will show her what it is like to see if I was never born. I thought about seeing two therapist, just to make sure I am getting what I need, glad to see that isn’t uncommon. Thank you for your support. I am also hear to offer any advice or console someone who needs it. Love you as well and I hope and am glad you are continuing to get better! 🙂

143

Darlene – enjoy your vacation ! You deserve it ! Mine is next month :).

K Ella – I also wanted to share that i am praying for you. I believe in the power of prayer and that God has connected many of us here because for a lot of us there is no other place that we have connected. I have never found a support group anywhere to deal with these issues in person. We recently decided to leave our church (again) because of a lack of support and unwilligness on the part of the church to make any effort to address our needs as a couple and my individual needs. Anyway – I am happy for you and the choice you have made. I know it will work out for good for you. I wanted to share more about my two therapists and why i am seeing two different ones.

One of them is very much a “feelings” therapist – helps me process my grief and pain and is very loving and caring. the other is very much more of a “thinking” therapist and while she is not distant – she is much more about processing thoughts and understanding my belief system and where it comes from and what i need to change in reference to my beliefs. This is working well for me currently. I never could find one therapist who had “the whole package” – both of them are serving crucial roles in my life and helping me in totally different areas – both very necessary to my recovery. I have never tried having two different ones at one time but so far i am very happy with it.

I am alone a lot. Its hard. I found that almost all of my relationships were either unhealthy or i had to do almost all of the work in order to keep the relationship going and when i stopped there was just silence – no response. Showed me that i was not valued by those people and that they only really cared about what i could do for them and not really care about me as a person.

I was discussing this with one of my therapists and she said people just stay busy to avoid dealing with their pain and issues and they stay busy until they break down (start having health problems or have a heart attack or get cancer or something like that). And that we as a culture value things much more than people.

I learned something new today with my “thinking” therapist – just because i feel that i made a mistake or did something wrong does not mean that it is wrong. I can be wrong in that feeling or that thought. I always thought that if i felt guilty then i must have done something wrong but she told me that feelings are not the only way to interpret situations. She said i have to use my brain and look at the situation and interpret it and then decide and she is right. I have relied way too much on my feelings to make decisions and not enough on my brain and my ability to think things through. She said most people react based on feelings and that is often what produces shame and guilt. So now instead of immediately going to a place of feeling guilty if i do something that i interpret to be wrong, I need to think about it first and look at it and then see if it really was wrong or if that was just my first reaction. I hope this is making sense. I learned to make decisions based on feelings and not necessarily based on truth or on my interpretation through thinking about it. I have carried so much shame and guilt my whole life and now i know why that is – not just because of how i was treated but the way i thought about it and the way i interpreted the action. I took things as automatically – i feel guilty therefore i did something wrong therefore i must apologize when in fact the vast majority of the time i did nothing wrong and should not have felt guilty and should not have apologized ! Wow – what a revelation. I will be working on this for sure !

blessings,

Dave

144

Dave,
I’m so happy to hear positive reports from you. It gives me hope. I have been struggling lately. I know it will pass… I HOPE it passes.

I have stuff coming up on Memorial weekend, then the letter to my mom after the weekend is over. I’m really mixed up on all of it. I’m trying to settle on what is best/right regarding my sisters, and my mother even. I am really second guessing myself on this letter. It keeps going through my mind, “what if she really did do the best she could.” I don’t know why, but suddenly, I’m wondering about my own sanity and how to handle mother dear. I’ve been so anxious and really having obsessive thoughts….. so distracting I can barely live in the moment. I think it’s all because of the up coming weekend. Family from every corner will be here to celebrate my grandma’s 90th birthday. I shudder at the thought of spending time there. I don’t really know how to pretend like everything’s okay, when there is so much turmoil inside. And, that feeling of being the outcast…. ugh, it’s been going on all my life.

Anyhow, I didn’t mean to write a book here, I just wanted to congratulate you on your recent successes and newfound freedom. I’m so happy for you!!
Love,
Mimi

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@ K. Ella, that made me cry, when your mother said she wishes you had never been born! What a horror she is! I’m so glad you are here, I love reading your posts, and you are a blessing to have here!
My mother wishes her only surviving sister had never been born, b/c she is jealous of my aunt. She was more successful and talented in her life, and she is not a pushover, and cant be fooled by my mother, like my other two dear deceased aunts, her sisters………….
Sending you hugs, and hoping you stay strong!

Janie

146

Mimi (post #138) ~ I never did get anxiety attacks when I was younger – but I was wonderful at dissociating. Thing is, dissociating only works for so long … eventually you have to deal with the pain.

What you said: “What mother gets joy and/or pity from her children’s suffering? Sickening!” … My thoughts exactly. My mother took far too much joy in that. I remember when, after being married for one year, she asked me in a condescending way, “So … how was your first year of marriage?” When I told her it was wonderful – you wouldn’t believe the disappointment on her face! She asked me, after being married two years in the same way as the first, “So … how was your second year of marriage?” When I replied, “Better than the first.” I swore I could see her seethe! I don’t get it. If my daughter said her first and second year of marriage were happy and wonderful – I’d be so happy for her. My mother wasn’t.

147

Rise,
Wow…Your mom sounds like mine did after I got married, except my mom said, “When are you going to stop calling, your married now”. I called once, after I came back from my honeymoon & actually missed my mommy dearest!…That crushed me!…I would be happy to hear from my dtr and to know she missed me. My mom wasn’t either! Painful Memory! She was lucky to have me as a daughter!
I’m so glad I’m not that way!
Sonia

148

K. Ella (post#142) ~

I know what you mean – I used to be quite open which is why I am shy when it comes to trusting people with very personal things. My mother betrayed my confidence more than once when in my early 20s. And I know why I shared so much with her … it was because I was striving so hard to have a close relationship with her. Of course, it totally backfired. When your mother betrays you – then to me, it meant that anyone can and so there are still things I just don’t share with people. My biggest mistake with my mother (in hindsight) is that I cast my pearls before swine in a way.

Mimi (post #144) ~

I struggled with these very things – oh, man did I struggle. And its another thing that takes time to unravel. I used to wonder too (to the point of exhaustion), “What if she really did do the best she could?” Well, for me anyway, when I processed these thoughts, I thought to myself, ‘Maybe she did do the best she could, trouble is when I told her how much it hurt me, the way she treated me, she made no effort to change.’ When she made no effort to treat me differently, to me – in my eyes – she then failed at ‘doing the best she could.’ Her best turned out to to be not good enough.

The anxiety I used to experience around her, or even at the thought of being around her became something which I could no longer endure. I thought, ‘What about me?’ Do I not get any normalcy in my life?? How is it that she [my mother] has conditioned me to question my actions instead of hers?? It’s insidious … very, very insidious.

A surprising saying came out of my mouth once when offering sound advice to a friend which actually gave me great peace even in my own life a few years ago, “Why are you trying so hard to love someone who chooses to not love you back, and why are you trying so hard to mend the relationship when you’re not the one who broke it??” Furthermore, “Why is it up to you to mend it when the other person – who did the breaking – does nothing on their end to mend what they broke??”” Since when do we have to be another person’s ‘saviour’ when they are so not interested in being ‘saved’ or ‘restored’?? You cannot ‘save’ someone who doesn’t want to be saved, and you can’t reconcile with someone who wants to ‘sweep it under the carpet so they can pretend it doesn’t exist, ironically saying they want to forget the past and just start over.’ Those who don’t want to change or reconcile prefer to just bury the problem and not deal with it – and all it ends up as is walking about with an elephant in the room that no one wants to acknowledge. I got tired of being the only one wanting to address the fact that there was an elephant in the room when everyone else ignored it, pretending it didn’t exist.

It’s often hard working one’s way through it all, trying to make sense of it all. I know for me, I was taught to always put my mother’s welfare and feelings first … even to the point of negating my own, which is something I don’t think anyone should ever do.

149

Mimi (post #138)- I got panic attacks too, but my mom called me a “worry wart”, “too sensitive”, “you make a mountain out of a molehill” & etc. I’m sure you get the drift…After awhile, I dissociated too & got depressed. It’s so sad to look at the pain I lived through & the past pain rises to the surface, as I remember. I am careful & intentional on what I say to my dtr. I don’t use hurtful words. If she is misbehaving, I’ll call her on her bad behavior but I don’t criticize HER. Criticism is NOT CONSTRUCTIVE It’s HURTFUL.
Sonia

150

Sonia (#147) ~

I actually called my mother, “Mommie Dearest” after the movie of the same name for awhile when in my teens. She hated it. I stopped – but I still felt she was like that to me … super controlling, demanding perfection (her very own standard of course, which was IMPOSSIBLE to live up to.

If our mothers could have only ‘seen’ us as people instead of things to ‘own’ and control … I would hope that they would have found blessing in knowing us and appreciating us – but that didn’t happen. And yes, with my daughter too … I cannot imagine ever, EVER treating her the way my mother treated me. Ever.

When mothers don’t love their daughters, I mean really love their daughters and sons – they are doing them a terrible disservice!! Not truly loving our kids maims them in real life in some way. Man, I do hope I’m not screwing up the love stuff!! 🙂

151

Sonia on post #149 … I got the same stuff exactly from my mother, ‘You’re too sensitive.’ Thing was, I wasn’t!

And how true it is, but I say … It is NEVER constructive or loving when we criticize harshly. Suggesting things in love makes more a difference than criticism, even if its gentle criticism – if there is such a thing.

152

Rise’ and SMD,
I call my mother that at times now, Mommie Dearest!! Haha!! I’ve never said it to her face though. Only around the house.

Thanks to you both for your comforting and validating words. I’ve really been a mess if I’m totally honest. This upcoming weekend has had me turned inside out. BUT, I’ve been sick most of this week and forced to realize I’m weakened physically from all the turmoil and worry inside. That was enough to help me say, enough is enough!! These people HAVE to stop occupying all my head space. I woke up scared yesterday morning and really had to do some internal talking and praying to turn it around and self soothe. I did come out of it feeling blessed and much more calm. I just have to think in my mind, “you people can do what you want to do, and I am going to do what I NEED to do which is forget you exist until I am better prepared to handle it” When I get physically sick repeatedly, it’s time to man up and put it ALL out of my mind until I can take immaculate care of myself. After all, it’s what mother has always done. She’s an expert at putting herself first.

Some of the things you reminded me of Rise’, I am going to use in my letter to her that I’ve been editing for MONTHS!! I have politely asked her to stop running to my grandmother crying and lying about literally everyone. She continues to do it, and I’ve been bringing it up for over a year now. That’s a good reminder ~ she’s not doing her best and trying to make changes if she’s continuing in the behavior. And, she pays a counselor to talk to. The only reason she goes to my grandma is to play the ridiculous game of “taking sides”, and getting sympathy. It’s certainly not because she has no one else. She’s off on vacations all the time with her girlfriends. I know she poisons them too, but she still hangs onto that one family member that will buy into her BS and feel sorry for her. And, it really is insidious and twisted if you have to LIE about other people in order to milk someone for sympathy. It’s pathological!! Whew, I don’t know about you girls, but I feel better!!! 🙂

I am actually doing better since being sick and realizing I has put my own self care so low on the checklist, yet again. It gave me a renewed sense of strength and I think I’ll be okay!

Thanks for the support and validation!! Boy, did I need it! I’m so grateful to have EFB!!
With love and STRENGTH,
Mimi

153

Rise – i have read several of your posts but just not commented. I dont have time to comment on all the posts. I commend you for finally putting yourself first and your needs first and walking away. I did the same thing. I walked away about 7 years ago. I have no contact w/any family at all now. They are almost all toxic. Once the fog lifted and i saw the truth i was shattered. Broken beyond belief. I am still grieving (crying) over all the suffering and pain they put me through and the loss of my childhood. I dont have any kids yet but hope to one day so i can parent differently.

You sound like a really god mom and i commend you for that. My mother and father both betrayed me later in life after i did everything for them as a child. It was like a huge knife stabbing me in the back. I was heartbroken. I feel like a combination of Joseph (betrayed by his brothers) and Jesus (betrayed by Judas). I cry a lot to release the pain. I have suffered my whole life. I dont trust easily anymore either. I used to be very trusting and that just ended up being bad in the long run because i trusted people who had not earned my trust and then they ended up disappointing me or just turning their back on me.

We are a very broken society. We just left our church (again) because the pastor refuses to acknowledge our difficulties and our struggles as a couple, despite me reaching out to him several times and asking for help. Did the same thing in the last church and after two years we finally left that one. The church in America is very, very unhealthy by and large. There is very little support for those that are hurting and suffering and no effort to “heal the broken hearted and bind up their wounds.” the churches we have been in only care about growing and “reaching the lost” to make themselves bigger and to cater to the egos of the pastors. Jesus has been showing me how broken the church is in America. Many pastors use and manipulate their congregation to make themselves look good and to feed their own pride. I am off on a tangent here but i wanted to share this because i know you said something about not going to church. We cant find a healthy church that wants to actually meet the needs of the congregation. We have tried five or six and come up empty. Its the same everywhere we go. Its sad. This is not Jesus vision for the church. When a church is unwilling to acknowledge the brokkenness of some of its members and the needs of its members something is very wrong with that picture.

anyway – i just wanted to encourage you in your growth and recovery. Its like we are in separate boats rowing side by side on the same body of water. Keep rowing my friend and i will do the same !

blessings,

dave

154

Dave, and everyone,
I know your comment was to Rise’, but it reminded me that I forgot my mother always has betrayed me. She could never be trusted from as far back as I can remember. On the day I found out about my husband’s affair last year, my mother came over to “console”. When she left, she told her office secretary when she got back to work, then she had a church group meeting later that day and told all of them too, I’d say anywhere from 6-8 people, some of who know my husband and I from that church. Then she told me “we” needed to tell my sister so she didn’t feel left out. BUT, if you ask her she says, you can always trust me, you know that!! I want to laugh out loud!!

I’ve found similar things to you in church Dave. I have stepped back as well so I can figure myself out, and see what the bible alone teaches me. I have been a follower long enough!
Love to everyone,
Mimi

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@Rise “It’s never too late to be who you might have been.” ~George Eliot,
That is the person who made that statement and it is so true and wonderful. Also yes , when my mother got mad she used a lot of things against me that i trusted her with, by twisting it around, for example, my father had another kid, when I was young, and confided in my mother, How i felt left out as a child by my father, and wish he would have been there for me as a kid, like he is for my sister, when she got mad, she told people how jealous I was of my sister and jealous hearted I was. smh, its a shame when you cant trust flesh and blood. (later I learned a lot about why dad was there, and it wasn’t all dads fault)

@dave, yes while in therapy I feel maybe I should be doing more, she does talk to me and let me talk and offer small advice, but I feel I should be getting more like playing games or something..or maybe I have been watching to much tv. 🙂 However it is good to stay busy, I have found for me, that through this process I will try and better myself in areas I need too. But my therapist has told me to also grief, you have to let all of that go, cry and feel sad, but know you have to move on and live your life. My friend also gave me good advice about another issues I faced from the past, I had been holding on to this hurt for years, being molested. She told me hey, he isn’t thinking about it, he is probably happy with life and now you are sitting here crying upset, you have to let it go, and that was a wake up call for me. and I said hey you know what, she is right. The people that hurt us, aren’t thinking about us, they are thinking of themselves and are probably happy and content with themselves, because its everyone else fault. Why should I spend my life in misery because they can’t get it right. So I hope to one day feel that way and snap out of this, but of course it will take time. Thank you for your kind words. I am praying for you also, and together I believe we can get through this. You/I/Others were not meant to have a life of misery. I read a scripture the other day that saidFor you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “abba father!” I said you are right… now I am not pushing my religion on others, so I don’t want anyone to get offended, this is just what is helping me get through.

@Janie, Thank you for the positive words, I enjoy conversing with you! Im glad you are here as well. I’m sorry that made you cry. And at the time she spoke it, I was numb. I can’t imagine being told that either, but after she said that I was like OKAY IM TOTALLY DONE, because if that is how she truly feels, I don’t want to be near anyone like that at all. Now she is going around saying things I said to her without adding my name, and people are pouring out sympathy. She admitted to not saying very nice things back, but claims she prayed about that. I am glad to have the support of my family, who know the truth. She has twist and turned my words around to get sympathy when in actuality I was trying to tell her, that she needs help. So that has angered me as well. But I can’t do anything about that. That is a shame your mother wishes her sister to never be born, doesn’t she know she can have what anyone else has, all it takes is work. But that is how it goes when you stand up for yourself and do not recognize the foolishness. People get mad, and that is what I did. I hope you are doing well in path. Hugs to all

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Mimi (post #152) … man, do I know what you mean!! My mother has done these same things – and you’re right – it is pathological. My mother pulls my siblings into her fantasy world that makes her the victim – not me. When it comes to them, I have adopted the attitude that ‘it is what is is.’ As much as we try, we will never be able to change them … or even encourage them to change. In their minds, they are always perfect and right and we’re the ‘challenged’ ones.

It does get tiring and I so understand about the being in turmoil. Thanks to EFB … I finally sought a professional (who happened to also be Christian) therapist. Between my therapist and EFB, I cannot tell you how much I’ve been able to heal. I still remember my first phone call with her – I said to her, “I just want my mother out of my head, can you help me with that?” When she said she could I almost started crying, right there on the phone. I asked her if she was familiar with NPD – she was and she had so much more insightful things to share which opened my eyes even more! The beauty of therapy really did help me to get them out of my head – they very rarely find there way into my brain anymore. My health is better – I feel more sane … its all good. 🙂

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Dave W (post #153) ~ I too have read your posts and have yet to comment – so glad you did. I can totally relate. When the blinders are off – its a freaky realization, at least for me, that my mother flat out didn’t love me – never did. A part of your world comes crashing down. My mother also betrayed me too many times to count. My father was basically non-existent, distant even, when I was growing up – so much so that when I finally grew up and got married – we didn’t really have a relationship. He was my dad and I was his daughter – that’s it. He worked away from home a lot and growing up, he felt like a stranger. My husband took note of me and my father’s relationship over the years and he described it as ‘formal.’ And it is, or rather, was – there is a relationship but there is no depth to it. It’s kind of weird. My mother was just outright verbally, psychologically and emotionally abusive – often in secret which made it hard for anyone to believe me because to everyone else, ‘she’s so nice.’ Like I said to my sister once years ago, “The woman you know and the woman I know are two totally different people.” As you may already know, she hasn’t been in my life for 12 years. I see you walked away seven years ago. I was so torn when I walked away from my mother 12 years ago, and torn again two years ago when I chose to not have my father or siblings in my life either. I didn’t want relationships with people who think I’m the one whose lying. My mother is a professional liar. I know she gave me life and for that I am thankful – I got to meet the greatest Father who ever lived – God my Father through Jesus … who really is the love of my life. But – the woman is flawed and I am pretty sure she was also abused although she would never admit it – and just because she was abused does not negate what she did to me – ever. Anyway, walking away is the hardest thing … but when it comes to succumbing to them and their needs or us needing our sanity back, I think choosing and wanting a life with sanity and normalcy is a much better way to spend one’s life.

We really are a broken society. I love that you touched on church. Although my husband and I love God more than anything and take serving Him seriously (even though we are FAR from perfect), we have not been to a Sunday meeting for years. It’s the same here in Canada – they are more interested in numbers while preaching some gospel which is no gospel at all. We have yet to find a body that isn’t about good impressions and putting on the mask of ‘look at me, my life is perfect because Jesus is in it.’ Jesus never promised us a perfect and happy life … but through all the crap, He promised us abundant life and joy indescribable which makes all the suffering a little easier to take and endure.

So many in the churches are broken people, heartbroken people and yet it seems (at least from when I was frequenting church services) as though they aren’t interested in the broken … they are interested in having the right programs so that they can lead folk in a recited prayer that supposedly saves them. Repentance doesn’t get taught or even mentioned anymore (at least no where I’ve been anyway.) Salvation is a process – at least that what I’ve read from God’s Word and what I’ve experienced. I know its frustrating, Dave. Been there! I remember when I was going through this stuff with my mother … all I yearned for was a listening ear from a fellow believer and I didn’t even get that – because it was my mother (and we get taught to ‘don’t dishonour your parents’) no one wanted to hear me, no one wanted to let me just vent and release the pain. Not really. I was ‘stuck’ for a long time. And ever since, when someone needs to vent or unload, I make it a point to just listen and not judge … to ask questions … to give advice only when its asked for, unless I ask them if they’d like my advice (which I always word in a way that they have an out, meaning they can say they don’t want to hear it.)

It hurts when the body isn’t anywhere close to being equipped to aid in the healing of the broken hearted – the very people Jesus came for … “He came to heal the broken-hearted and to bind up their wounds.” And if we are to be Christ-like, should we not be doing this too? Problem is, the way the modern ‘church’ works is that there is no room for lay people to really do that – just like there is no avenue anymore where we can practice spiritual gifts. Nowadays the pastor is the one with all the spiritual gifts, supposedly. We know this isn’t true, but, for example, you never get to see other gifted teachers in the faith get to teach the congregation. I think that as time goes on, the real church will go back to meeting in people’s homes – like they do in the middle east, in secret … and only believers are allowed in the circle, not seekers – just believers. I think the problem with modern day churches – and this is just my opinion – is that there are too many seekers who seem to want God, but really ‘trample the blood of the Son of God underfoot.’ …. 🙂 Now look who went on a tangent! Thing is – I totally understand Dave. I wish there was a way for people like you and like me who could change it – I just don’t know how we could break through this mould that’s been created. Maybe I should write a book about it?! he! he!

The Lord and His Word, in the end, are what got me through it … He directed me where to go to get the healing I needed. When I first ousted my mother I was a wreck and asked God to lead me to literature to help. I felt nudged to hit the Christian book store – so I did. I walked right over to the area of books which would have helps for this kind of thing. The first book I picked up and skimmed through, the words jumped off the page as bold (painful) truth. I started crying right there in the store. The book was, “Healing the Scars of Emotional Abuse” by Gregory L. Jantz – a believer, and a guy who knows his stuff! I memorized most of his book … and then the healing progressed from there. The Lord can heal us and change us whether we are in a church body or not – so thankful for Him for that!

As far as being a mom – I try the best I can and sometimes I think I desperately fall short. My husband and I took a Christian parenting course when our oldest was only two as things were emerging in my parenting that I KNEW wasn’t right, but then I didn’t know what ‘healthy’ was. This course was awesome – I think one could still get it if they wanted to. Its called, “Growing Kids God’s Way” by … umm – well, the last name was Ezzo – I think Gary Ezzo?? It helped me so much – SO MUCH!

When we have been abused like we have, Dave – I think it automatically inspires us to be better parents than ours were. I wanted to so much give my children everything I didn’t get … and what the parenting course taught me that I never forgot is what children need most at all times are four things: Time, attention, affection and … why can’t I remember that fourth one?? Okay, that fourth one is gonna bug me! Anyway, the first time I read this – I cried. They were all things I rarely got – at least not in a positive way. I think ‘love’ was the fourth one – makes sense anyway. And showing love is deeper than mere feeling. The point is, because you are aware of how you were raised and how damaging it was, I think you will turn out to be a great parent because you are going to want to give that child all the love, time, attention and affection you never got. And children need these things to grow into well-rounded human beings.

Good grief … I think I just wrote a short novel!

Anyway … row we shall, against storms and currents! I can’t tell you how excited I get when I get to meet fellow believers – just knowing we have Christ in common makes me feel like I already know you on some level as a brother (or sister for sisters who read here – you know who you are!) … to think we will share eternity together, forever. Imagine that!! Saying that “God is good” just seems so understated doesn’t it?!!

Keep fighting the good fight … keep your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith!

Blessing to you, Brother!

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K. Ella … George Eliot!!!! Thank you!!

What you shared so brought up memories with my own mother … downplaying our feelings and the way we saw things. I’m so thankful to be in a place in my life where I can choose who I want in my life and who I don’t … and the only ones I don’t want in my life are those who are toxic and those who side with those who are toxic.

Having choices is wonderful. 🙂

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Mimi … I forgot to say too, I am so glad you’re feeling better … aren’t you glad for this site where you have a lot of people who ‘get it’ – who understand?? It sure has meant the world to me!!

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@Rise, I called my mom, “Mommy Dearest” over the phone once. It slipped out & boy did she get mad!…She said, “Don’t call me that!” That sure got under her skin! The Truth hurts haha. It was a dig at her, and not nearly as many digs, that she has done to me over the years. I felt guilty then, but I’m glad I said it!..She needs to get her own poison medicine sometimes. It feels liberating to let it out!
I’m not putting pressure on myself to visit her either, especially now that she’s miserable. I’ve come to realize, that she’s always been miserable & she has always pointed the finger at me, for being the miserable one. My anxiety & sadness was her proof! God that is painful to say! I was not miserable just broken from her nastiness!

@ Mimi, I agree that my family has to stop occupying all of my head space too. I find that happens more, when there is a crisis looming or stress in my family. So in some ways, it’s a reaction to that & the emotional baggage again…Damn for that! I’m teary eyed these last few days & trying hard not to get myself too worked up, which does not help me. I feel like a mess, but I tell myself to ease up, since I’m dealing with a lot of emotional issues at this time. Bullies & Abusive People are really the MISERABLE ONES for putting down & pushing around others! They should try Cracking a smile once in a while! Can you tell I’m fired up?! Well, that’s my crazy speel for today. Hope all is well with you.
Hugs,
Sonia

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@anyone I wonder if your mother always felt bad for other children, when they treat you the same? I can remember several occasions, my mother wanted to save several children and tell me how bad their mothers were, yet the next day or the same day, she would treat me the same, then say you should be happy I’m not like “so and so” parents.. this is almost comical. Its like really????

@smd I’m sorry she made you feel that way, it is like the bully syndrome, make a person feel better because you have suffered or are suffering, and to make it worse, I was bullied at school and then at home, I loved to go home to escape school and visa versa, I think that our mothers have personally turned how they feel on us, if they are feeling miserable sad or whatever, they say we are, if they know they don’t appreciate others, they feel we don’t appreciate them. It does feel good to STICK it to my mother too at times, of course in a respectable manner, and when I mean stick it, its by standing up for myself, not cursing or degrading but saying, hey if you cant do better I cant deal with you, and yes you do feel bad, because you have been manipulated throughout life, and plus it is your mother, who wants to hurt their mother.. but even a dog gets tired of being abuse. I hope you are doing better, and all of us together can bring each other out of this.. we may need more outside help, but there are enough success stories on this site, that lets me know I will be okay.. Good luck to you Sonia.

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@rise, can you tell me some ways your therapist helped, I wonder if I am missing more in my sessions?

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@SMD and MIMI Yes what I learned in therapy was to grieve, I was bottled up and still am about things, but I will think of these things, talk to about them to a person I trust and cry about it, and I have felt that with each cry, talk and thought, I start to forget about it, and the ice chip and melts from my heart. Yes we have to put ourselves first in order to heal, in terms of feelings, if this is something I’m uncomfortable in or this makes me feel bad, the NO I can not do this. I have came to the conclusion that I can no longer and will no longer help her in any way. She does not appreciate the things I have tried to do, so she will see what it is like not to have me around. And as always I am sure she will find someone else to use.
@mimi, my mother also spreads lies, but claims to hate a liar? which has lead me to believe she actually believes these things she is saying. and then again while thinking about it as I type, I feel she knows what she is doing. But she is gaining tons of sympathy from people who do not know her or our situation. But I am being painted bad. That has really hurt me, but I am trying to stay focus on the fact, that I do not feel any wrong, just like she doesn’t. I simply told her, you can not continue to treat people like you do, its time to grow up and seek help, But my words were twisted and I look like a monster, because she is “trying to improve everyday and while she may not be perfect she tries to help others, how dare someone says she needs help, they must be miserable and need help themselves” and someone even said, “yes they are jealous..yes they need to seek within themselves” SMH, Its like our mothers words all over again through different people , I pray to get to the day where people’s words will not hurt me like they do. Continue with your letter, and please let me know how that goes for you, because I hope to one day write one as well! 🙂 Love all you guys, so glad to have someone to talk to, While therapist are book smart, we are situation smart, no one knows what we go through, are going through or have been through, so we know how to help each other as well 🙂

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K.Ella,
Thanks for your support!…Your right, our moms did “turn how they feel onto us”….It’s called Projection and it’s really about their emotional baggage. It’s hurtful because it continues. That’s the reason that I keep my boundaries & limits so I don’t get sucked back into being used or abused. It’s funny that you said your mom will “find someone else to use” because that occurred to me also. It’s like they need someone to dump on. My mom did this with my aunt recently, and gained much sympathy. Of course, I got concerned too but she has choices, and even though she is in a bad way, I can no longer help her by being there for her. She will suck me dry…sorry to put it that way…I have to protect myself and I’m doing it. Your right on when you said, “while therapist are book smart, we are situation smart”….yes!…No one really knows how it feels, unless they have been in those situations. Thanks again, I am feeling better every time I get my feelings & thoughts out….Sharing is helpful and I do believe we can help each other as well…
Sonia

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Rise’, SMD, K.Ella,
Thank you for the correspondence and giving me validation and support. It really does mean so much when my head is a tangled mess. I’m doing better the past few days. I had to come to a point where I said, this has to stop. And, reading everyone’s posts really helped me get some clarity again. I was getting lost in confusion and I hadn’t felt that for quite a few months. I know it’s because of the weekend upcoming. And, it will be okay. It’s just another day in paradise!! 🙂 I will feel all consuming relief when it’s over too!!

Rise’, yes I AM so glad for this site. I honestly just don’t know what I would do in times of intense turmoil like this. It feels like home here because people do get it. I’m so so thankful for that!!

K.Ella, my mother has convinced everyone that it’s part of her inherent being to LOVE kids. That she can’t resist them, or turn away. Many many times over the years she’s pointed out how awful some poor child is being treated and how she just can’t stand it. It just breaks her heart. Yet, she continued in beating me down at home. She loves kids SOOOO much that when I was 14 years old, and didn’t have a boyfriend AND was a virgin, that when I came home pregnant, I would get an abortion…. no questions asked. That’s how much she loves kids. She said, “I’m done raising kids, and I’m certainly not raising yours too.”

You also mentioned feeling bad for sticking it to your mother. For me, I only feel bad if I’m in that brainwashed mindset she so carefully constructed. If I’m thinking clearly and free of her nagging voice in my head, I don’t feel at all bad for holding her accountable. As a scapegoat, there has been stifled anger at different times in life. I was never allowed to show that anger or express my feelings. I believe the anger still resides to a much lesser degree and it enables me to think, “mother, you have this coming for ruining my emotional life”!! I don’t feel at all bad for that. All the times I was shrunk by her, having to sit and listen to all the nasty things she would say about me without showing any emotion or even being able to defend myself. Nope, I don’t feel bad for finally catching her in her lies and games and pointing it out to her. It’s HER fault, not mine. I was a child when she started doing this. She damaged my self view very badly, and she refuses ownership in anything. I was not allowed to lie growing up, and the consequences for that were worse than any others. She too HATE liars and I couldn’t begin to count the times she’s said my dad is a pathological liar in that he believes his own lies. She has often bragged about what an honest person she is, and prides herself on that. She is incredibly disgusted by people who are so pathological that they believe their own lies, and she’s not afraid to annouce that either. All that said, no…. I’m ready to call her on her facade because she’s caused me years of pain and struggle. I don’t want to hurt the fragile person I thought she was…. the delicate and deeply loving person she’s always pretended to be. That person doesn’t exist though. I learned that in the worst ways last year. To me, that person is dead. I’m only dealing with a shell of who I thought I knew. As long as I’m not sliding back into the brainwashed state, I have no trouble pointing out her lies. She would me, and always has.

Whoa…. didn’t mean to write a novel!! Sorry, I got off on a little tangent there. I’m feeling much stronger than I have for the last week or so. You might have noticed. 🙂

Anyhow, thank you all so much for the support and sharing your experiences. I sooooo appreciate it!! I wish I could hug each of you because your correspondence has really brought me through the past several days!! Thank you!!
Love,
Mimi

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SMD,
AGREE!! What K. Ella said about the therapists. My mom’s therapist is so lost. She doesn’t have a CLUE!! And, that’s despite my sister and I both corresponding with her via email to expose some of the crap she’s pulled over the last year. The therapist simply stopped responding. Haha!! I think it’s funny now, because she discounted and excused my mom’s behaviors. I look at that and think, “wow, despite evidence, and your advanced degrees, you’re still a moron” I know, that’s so mean, but she invalidated me so many times. I too saw her for a while and she spent the time telling me I hadn’t forgiven and making excuses for my mom. The fact that she’s being BS’d and has no clue is a little bit laughable to me now!!

I remember seeing a comedy spoof on the TV gameshow Jeopardy. When the contestant chose the category “therapists”, he pronounced it, “The rapists”!! I don’t think I’ll ever forget that. Please understand, I know there are excellent ones out there. My mom’s however, is blind!!
xoxoxoxo,
Mimi

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SMD,
Sorry, I keep going back and reading and seeing things I forgot to address!! Sheesh!! I wonder if you’v ever considered that chronic pain is subjective?? Please understand, I don’t pretend to know your mother’s situation and I’m not attempting to discount her pain. The only way to judge someone’s pain is by what they say, or in non-verbal people, the grimaces or moaning, etc. Could it be that your mom’s chronic pain is a tool she uses to leverage your attention or attention of others? I hope like heck this question doesn’t offend you. Its just that I can see my own mother using pain to manipulate others. I mean why not?? She’s used every other means possible. (my mom). Anyhow, just a thought that ran through my head.

I hope you’re feeling better too. You mentioned being teary. I applaud your resolve to stick to your boundaries. That is so tough when you still have frequent contact. Soooo tough!! Love from me to you!!
Mimi

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K.Ella,
I’m back again, lol!! My mother also paints me out to be a monster. She’s done it to me for as long as I can remember, and that has possibly been the most painful thing to endure in all of it. Going to a family function, knowing my mother has poisoned everyone against me, the people who should love me, looking down their noses at me and speaking to me with coldness and contempt. It hurts to be so alone. It hurts to not have a voice AT ALL!! If I did try to exercise my voice, they would look at me like I was mental for being angry or upset with my mom. Like I was speaking a foreign language. It seemed like they might sit and listen, all the while, sizing me up and noticibly disagreeing in silence. Then, I would feel like I just spilled my guts to be thought of an idiot, by people who should love me. All of that was so very painful and it has caused big issues for me. I’m just now at a point where I can usually not go into a complete tailspin about it. It’s taken a heck of a LOT to get here too!!
Hugs to you,
Mimi

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Sonia (#160) … I called my mother ‘Mommie Dearest’ quite a few times when I was a teen … she never asked why – but when she asked me to stop, I did. I don’t think I even knew ‘why’ – I just knew she didn’t treat me like she did my siblings. At that age, you don’t question your parents motives much – at least I didn’t. I wasn’t ‘allowed’ to anyway.

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K. Ella ~ As per your post #161, yeah, my mother would feel bad for other kids and put down other mothers (supposing that she was the ultimate mother I’m guessing). She would ‘feel sorry’ for other kids … looking back, I think it was all a front. I think she liked people to think she was compassionate. How sad that she never thought to be compassionate first with her own kids – or at least with me as she did single me out. I even had an aunt. after the big falling out with the rest of my family two years ago, tell me that “I hope you know that your mother never loved you.” I wrote back, “Tell me something I don’t know.” Her statement painfully reiterated her hatred of me … how real love for me never showed. It’s sad.

My therapist – she works in a way where you feel your way out of it. I don’t know how else to explain it. Some of it she would ask me questions which would reveal how much more toxic my mother was than I thought. Her way of doing it is that your body remembers and stores stuff. Things like anxiety for instance is a way of knowing that you are not dealing with something, that there is something you have buried inside you. Your body can hold onto a lot of things not good for us which then affects our health. To give you an idea, I was diagnosed with MS in 2003. My therapist bet me that my exacerbations were likely due to bottled up crap from my mother – in other words the body can only take so much before it reacts … this would explain why stress causes migraines in some people. She helped me to feel the pain, the rejection (something I chose not to do for years which ended up paralyzing me emotionally and psychologically) – she would ask me where I feel it in my body and then she asked me if I could just let it go … and most often times she’d ask me to think about what it would be like to just let it go a little wee bit – I would allow myself to feel what that would be like … after every visit I felt like another load had been lifted. She was/is very knowledgable about mothers like ours with seeming NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder). Some memories I had came back with much more vividness which ended up just reaffirming how much of the abuse was NOT my fault and also how damaged my mother really was. I wish I knew the name of this kind of therapy – she told me too but can’t remember. I remember her asking me once how close a proximity I could be to my mother. She asked me, “Across the room?” I said, “No way! If she was in this room the anxiety would be so bad I would have to leave.” She asked, “What about outside the door in the other room?” I said, “No, it would not be good enough either – knowing she’d be there would make me not want to leave the room.” She asked, “What if she was in another country and she couldn’t leave it – what country would be far enough away from you?” I said, “China. And it would have to be that she could never leave and a country I would never care to visit.” I cannot be anywhere near her which is why family occasions were never an option for me if she was there. I wouldn’t even be able to get out of the car. Anytime I was around her, she’d seem sweet – but EVERY time (which history proved) there would be a humiliation, a degradation of some sort before the event was up. It happened every time … and when she and I were alone, it was WORSE! And no one in my family will ever know that except me.

Mimi … are you and I sisters??!!!! (pertaining mostly to #165) Omigosh – your mother sounds just like mine. I got the same thing – no mention of abortion, but she said if I came home pregnant she would DISOWN me! My mother would say to people all the time how much her kids were her whole world, and “If it wasn’t for my kids …” I’d roll my eyes because she certainly didn’t treat me like I was special. She projected on me too – I came to think that perhaps my mother was jealous of me, but what mother would be jealous of her own daughter? I can’t tell you how much I want so much more for my daughter. I encourage her to be who God made her to be. I teach her that not everyone has to like her and that if everyone does like her, it reflects poorly on her character because then it means she doesn’t stand for anything. I teach her to stick up for herself, even if its against me (done respectfully of course.) I encourage her to be all she can be and that she can do anything with her life as long as its not immoral and that its something she loves and or is gifted at. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t expect my kids to be my puppets like my mother seemed to expect me to be. They get to have a life too! They get to have a life my mother tried so hard on me to control and manipulate. What mother doesn’t find joy in her kid’s happiness – mine never did that’s for sure.

Mimi – the very things you said about your mother (post #165 – 4th paragraph) I could have said of mine. I too hate lying. I HATE it! It reminds me years ago of something my sister shared with me. My sister was talking to an acquaintance of my mother’s on the street – this lady was telling my sister about some occurrence and my sister looked at her and said, “That’s a lie.” (And to this day, why this sister sides with her I will never know!) This woman said, “What?! Are you calling your mother a liar?” My sister said, “I guess I am.” Well it gets back to my mother who then confronts my sister. My sister confessed she said it. And then my mother says, “So what!! I lie. So what?!” GRRRR! My mother works the way yours does – I find it so uncanny really!!

After all these years of healing and learning … I have to say that I am finally at a point in my life where I feel genuinely sorry for her. She missed out on really enjoying her life. I always thought of her, ‘if she ain’t miserable, she ain’t happy.’ Sad. I have chosen to not live this way.

“The best revenge is to live well.”

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I hope Darlene doesn’t mind me writing ‘books’ – my gosh! 🙂

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I would also note, that how I treated my mother was always with respect. Even calling her ‘Mommie Dearest’ briefly was kind of done in ‘fun’ … kind of. I was a very accommodating daughter. I did what she asked of me for a long time. When I got married though and wouldn’t do stuff for her because I have a family of my own, it often got rough and I’d get accused of not ‘loving her.’

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@SMD I understand how you feel, once you had enough, you have had enough. It is time to see what the person can do without you since they seem like they do not care much for you. If this person wasn’t your mother, you wouldn’t even have given them that much time to treat you like crap. So I understand.

@MIMI, are you chosen to go to your grandmothers birthday after all? I think that would be great. I am unsure about how your overall family treat you, but I will speak from my situation. My family is supportive and can see through the lies and bs. Some will say “that’s still your mom”, while others will say “I understand you fully” So with that, I have already told my family this is what I have decided for my life, and you might not agree on my upcoming actions, for example not speaking to her, not helping her etc but please respect the fact, I am dealing with this in my own way, you did not live it, I did. With that being said, going to family functions, isn’t as bad as it could be. I do get extremely nervous and scared, that when she sees me she might strike me or look at me in disgust, like when I was a child, and that digs a knife in my heart and continues the rejection. In a way I want her to still accept me and love me, even though I feel I’m ready to walk away, and in another breath, her doing this will also confirm how I feel and validate why I need to stay away. In saying that before I go to these family events, I like breath and go over scenarios. If this happens then ill do this, or if this happens… I don’t know if that is good or bad, but I feel I have to always be prepared for THE WORSE..as well as the good. But overall when I do see her finally, I act as if she was a person on the street that is passing by, I do not acknowledge her one bit, she could be standing right next to me, and I will pretend as hard as I can that she is not around. I will converse with other people around her, but to me she is nothing but a stranger, now I know that is not easy for some,and I don’t blame them.. but in my personal experiences, I will not have this lady still control my life to where I will not go places to avoid her. Good luck to you this upcoming weekend. Also your mothers therapist is caught up in the manipulative lies. My mother is good at making people believe her because she can be so sweet and paint a bad picture of things because “she tried to give me what she never had and I am so unappreciative and manipulated myself by others, I do not care about her, even when she tried so hard, now she just can’t take anymore of me” LOL I find that funny, but I am glad the feeling is mutual. I don’t want her to cry over spilled me and neither will I. Its much easier to move on when the other person doesn’t care..I used that in my relationships with men, never knew I needed it for my own mother. Finally, yes you are right I should not feel bad for telling my mother how I feel. I think in a way I feel like a small child around her. But GOD forbid if I get a little sarcastic with her, she goes flying off the handle and then tell people I have disrespected her. Never cursed never downed just basically say “yes mother I am the most horrible person, or Yeah i will not allow you to call my phone with that crap again” One day my mother called me a B, and I told her I am no one’s B**** and that will be the last time you call me that, to which she replied “I will come over and kick you a**” I was in college at the time. To which I said “that will be fine and I will have you arrested” So on and off I have been trying to gain some sort of control over my life and how I am treated, but NOW I am really putting my foot down!!!!.

@rise I think I am looking for my therapist to ask me more questions and dig deeper, although I believe she is truly understanding and validates the way I feel. She has helped me in some ways. I have a question. Was your aunt trying to be hurtful or helpful? That broke my heart to think you had to wake up and read an email like that. That had to be awful. I don’t know if its worse to hear it from your own mother, or to know that other people know she doesn’t “love you” and they have to tell you. I’m sorry you experienced that. I too jokingly called my mother “mother dearest” but I was not joking, she would laugh and go “ok” but I was serious. I hope you are doing well with your MS and feeling better. I believe we were all respectful kids, we couldn’t and wasn’t allowed to be any other way. I know for sure I was scared of what was to come when I wasn’t a good kid.

WOW that was long! I must end with this. You hear so many people say I wish I was a child again, to which I say, I would never want to be a child again and relive my life. Who wouldn’t want to live a carefree and enjoyable life as a youngster…I would LOVE TOO, I want A childhood back, but not MINE. Much love to you all.. Thanks for keeping my spirits up. You all have no Idea how much you are helping me 🙂

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K.Ella,
Thanks for understanding!..Your exactly right, I ask my dad how she is doing and he updates me & that’s good enough. I care, but I don’t care, if you know what I mean….This would sound mean to someone who doesn’t understand the situation & our relationship, but not to my friends on EFB! LOL…
Sonia

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K.Ella,
I just read what you said to Mimi in post #173 about thinking of scenarios in my head, “if this happens, then I’ll do this.” This is exactly what I do too. I like to be prepared, however, there is usually something that will take me off guard. I do expect my mom to put her digs in but, sometimes she blurts out something hurtful. I can count on that!…So I do rehearse what I’ll say like throw some truths out there or have come backs. I do have one-liners but they don’t pertain to every situation. Also, there are social rules in front of others & that holds me back from making a scene. They don’t like when I challenge them in private let alone in public and I do understand. Who wants to be humiliated. I’m speaking up enough now, so I don’t just put up & shut up. Thanks for your comments. You make me think.
Sonia

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My 13 year old son actually told me tonight, that I need to “smack” my daughter, while she is having a tantrum. He went on to say that “it’s like medicine”. He wasn’t joking…I told him that’s WRONG!…Well if dad was here, “he would smack her if he had too”. I said, “I could call the cops for abuse too”…Also, “If you think I’m a pushover, then daddy is controlling. I honestly have not seen my husband do this and it concerns me that my son believes hitting is alright. I said,” Do you think she is doing this to act out & get attention?” and he said, with no hesitation,”Yes”. Well, in my dtr’s defense, she does have sensory problems & gets easily worked up. She was having concerns & anxiety about some things & I was trying to calm her down in a gentle/controlled way, before she headed for a tantrum & meltdown. Everything I read about with sensory problems is to have a controlled approach, because these kids pick up negativity and they will model aggressiveness, if a parent shows that behavior. They have sensitive radar. I’m going to have to talk further with my son. He also steps in, when I’m trying to handle my dtr, which gives mixed messages to her. I’ve told him not to step in, but he continues to do so. He actually said his sister will be more trouble in years to come, if it isn’t controlled now. I’m angry that he is telling me what to do!….I will talk to my husband about his behavior. We all need to be on the same page. I’m the parent. I’ve had other problems with his behavior & my husband backed me up. I usually have a good relationship with my son & we can talk about a lot of things. He is very smart & most of the time easy going. He doesn’t like to discuss his feelings though, and I chalk it up to being a teen, however, I’m afraid he has anger & jealousy towards his sister. I spend extra time with her, due to her needs. I also spend time with him. It’s a balancing act. My husband & I will need to sit him down & talk soon. I think I’ll need to discuss anger with him. It’s ok to feel anger but not to act on it negatively or aggressively. Thanks for letting me vent! I had to let it out…
Sonia

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K. Ella ~

Yeah, I’m not sure what my aunt meant by it. I’ve never known her to be malicious. I tend to think that she just blurted it out not knowing how else to say it. I mean, how do you say that to someone without it being a blow?? It’s a blow no matter how you say it – I think she was being reaffirming, validating. And, for me, it was very validating – it told me that I am not crazy, my mother really did not love me. My aunt has always said she loves me (a phrase I take very lightly considering my mother would say she did too – but NEVER showed it or exemplified it! I often have a really hard time believing people when they tell me they love me – I always wonder if its lip service or if it really is real. I still have a hard time sometimes believing that I really am loveable.) Twelve years ago, I got another validation from my uncle (this particular aunt’s older brother on my dad’s side). He worked in a bay 2 doors from my husband at the time and he kept asking my husband for me to come see him, knowing that he knew I ousted my mother from my life only months before. So I went to see him although I didn’t know why he wanted to see me because we weren’t close. But I went. He asked me if I remembered when my parents paid for our grandparents to come and see us for a month while living overseas – I said I did. He told me how when he picked up his mom (my paternal grandmother) from the airport, the first thing he asked her was, “So how was your trip?” Her reply to him was that she had lost all respect for my mother because of the way she treated me. At that time my emotions were pretty raw – but I can’t tell you how validating it was that someone saw how she treated me before I even really knew because when you’re a kid, its the only ‘normal’ you know.

And yes, kids with mothers like ours always are submissive and accommodating – we have to be because the consequences always involved some form of rejection. I so hate that I was raised thinking that love was an earned thing!!

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Everyone – I am struggling to try and figure out whether the anti-depressant i am taking is working or not ? I am not asking for advice – i would appreciate some feedback from those of you who are taking meds for depression. I am taking Effexor – 75 mg per day. I take two pills each day. 37.5 mg each. I dont think they are doing much. I was taking the Effexor extended release but my insurance stopped covering that so i went to regular effexor. I have been taking it for about 3 years. I am sad and cry every day. I cant figure out how much of it is related to pain from all of the abuse and how much may be genetic. I dont know how to determine if my depession is all related to abuse or if some of it may be inherited/genetic. My regular doctor has no idea about anti depressants. I was seeing a psychiatrist who just prescribed the pills. I stopped seeing him and went to a nurse pracitioner about 3 months ago. She is much more aware/in touch w/my situation. I am going to make another appointment to see her again to discuss this situation.

I was just wondering if any of you that have had long term depression/PTSD have experienced any real help from anti depressants ? Its very hard to know how much its helping, if at all. Effexor is a very difficult drug to come off of because the withdrawal side effects are terrible – nausea, flu like symptoms etc…so I cant stop taking it. I am thinking about increasing the dosage to see if that makes any difference. i will discuss with the nurse when i get an appointment w/her.

thanks !

Dave

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Hi Dave,
I don’t know if you talk to anyone in your family that may be on an antidepressant, but what works for one family member often works for another. Just some food for thought.

Janie

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@SMD, yeah once again I understand. That is nice you care enough to check on her. I think that is something I want to do. Not really deal with her but just see how she is. She is very emotional and I often worry she will end her life when things get stressed. I hope your weekend went well.

@rise.. I feel if my mother told me that personally, it would hurt but not as much, because she has a tendency to say hurtful things just to hurt people, even if she doesn’t mean it, however if someone else told me she said that, I would be more inclined to believe it because she likes to paint a picture of being so great and wonderful. SO if she actually told someone that, she must actually mean that crap. However her hurtful statements is what finally made me say okay I have had enough. even if you mean them or not, I can no longer deal with you saying things just to be mean. I am glad you got the validation you needed, because we all need that in our lives, that people understand us and can see through the bull.

@dave,I have never taking anti-depressants for long, however I believe you might have to try different ones, and continue your therapy. Medication will just level you out and I found made me feeling numb. You have to find what works for you and shop around. I hope you get better. We are here for you. Grieve for your childhood and cry it is okay, but know that you want a better life for yourself now, and I hope that will help you work through this. Love you!

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Dave,
My aunt & I were both on Effexor XR. It works for her symptoms of sadness & anxiety, however, it wasn’t cutting it for me. I still had crying spells & increase anxiety. The most effective antidepressant for me has been Prozac. It works wonders with my symptoms of anxiety, sadness, & fatigue. My thinking is not fussy like it was on Effexor XR. Also, it tends to give me more energy & I think it has something to do with it lifting my depression. I was on it years ago & it worked for a couple of years then pooped out.

I recently went back to it this year, since other meds were not working well enough on my symptoms. I’m so glad I did go back. My dose is currently at 60 mg. I think it is a miracle drug, however, everyone is different. It’s tricky business because it’s usually trial & error with antidepressants, because everyone’s chemistry is different. It’s like you have to be a guinea pig to find the one that fits. It’s worth it in my opinion. Your right with the withdrawals being hard for Effexor. I felt sick for the first week or so, however, I was also simultaneously weaned off & then Prozac was added in small dosages. I have an awesome APRN…she is very bright & caring.
Hope you this helps & you find some relief soon.
Sonia

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Dave ~

This must be so frustrating for you. I have been on anti-depressants. I went on them about 3 years ago because I flat out couldn’t function. I believe they helped a lot to ‘numb’ the pain until I was able to get to a place where I could deal with those feelings. However, I was never on Effexor, but on Cymbalta which really seemed to help me. I was less emotional on it and I felt more ‘sane.’ Coming off of Cymbalta is no picnic either (although not as bad as Effexor) – I came off it slowly being VERY aware that I would be emotional and it was a struggle to not go back on it on those bad days. But I kept my wits about me making myself aware that these are the side effects for coming off. I know this is not the case for everyone – this was my experience. Since being off (now about 6 months or so) I am back to myself in that I let myself feel whatever pain comes and be not ashamed of it. It’s really hard but I often think our bodies actually grieve and crying does that – at least it did for me.

From the sounds of it, I wonder if you need something different … but saying that, the withdrawal from the Effexor sounds awful. I do know that sometimes the dosages can be increased too which can also make a difference. I do hope you get to discuss it with your nurse … I am praying that you will get the help you need in a drug that works. Drugs can be a God-send sometimes, especially when nothing else seems to help or work.

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Hi Dave,
I am on effexor 150mg daily. I have been for 7-8 years I’d say. I have tried a few others. Remeron made me sleep so deep I would be in marathon sleep mode. Norpramin (I think that was the name) in my 20s when I had really bad panic disorder. It did nothing. I think I took amytriptyline also somewhere along the way, with little effect. My experience with effexor is such that it works for a while, but then my brain either gets used to it, or it stops working. The noticeable differences in the beginning become unnoticeable. It is HELL getting off of it though. I’ve done that before. I didn’t get physically sick, but, I was a basket case for about a 24-36 hour period. I very gradually took myself off too. But, still, that last minute dose would really mess with me once it was completely out of my system. I tend to believe that meds are a like a bandaid to get you through, until you can be okay enough to process. I have been on effexor so long that I’m reluctant to try to get off of it. I know the process I face. It is my goal to get off of it, but now certainly isn’t a good time. I’m not sure it really does anything for me these days. I stay on it to avoid the process of getting off of it.

Everyone,
I went to my stepson’s college graduation today. My intention was to try to make the 4 hour trip home in time to at least make an appearance at my grandma’s 90th bday party. Bajillion family from everywhere. I stressed hard over going for the last several weeks. Turned out, there were 650 kids graduating, which I totally underestimated because only 30 kids were at the nursing degree pin ceremony. Anyhow, it was a 3 hour graduation, then pics and such. We got home 2 hours after grandma’s party was over. We took her out on her actual birthday in case there was a problem getting home in time for this party. God really worked it all out in my favor. I don’t know why I worry!!

Now, the only things left to face are finalizing the letter to mother, and on Tuesday my sister is coming by to get her daughter’s kitty on their way home 500 miles away. I will be seeing her for the first time since she moved so far away. My other sister and I visited her shortly after she moved and it didn’t turn out so well. I was really singled out by both sisters and my oldest sister’s family. I was nearly debilitated by the whole scenario. For the longest time I cried and mourned the loss of both my sisters. Now, almost a year later, I’ll be seeing the oldest one for the first time since then. I thought I’d be working a private care case, but, I’m not so sure right now. That case has changing needs. Anyhow, I may be seeing her and two of her kids on Tuesday. I am letting it go though, in terms of worry. I am worn down ~ like I don’t have any worry left…. and that’s a blessing. After this weekend is completely over, and all the extended family has gone back to their homes, I’ll feel a sense of relief. It’s almost like being on the edge of my seat, waiting for someone to knock at my door, or call and expect me to join them for some gathering. Once I know that possibility doesn’t exist, I’ll be freer in my mind.

K.Ella,
My sisters are on to my mother’s facade. They have kids and I don’t. My mom has been a good grandmother to the kids. My sisters’ approaches are different than mine. Also, because I was the scapegoat, I think the approach has to be different. They are more in the mindset of letting it slide. Which, in my mind, actually means letting her get away with it, and like someone said (Rise’?), pretending there’s no elephant in the room. My vision is way to clear to overlook an elephant, so I’m moving forward in what I have to do to gain permanent healing, with or without my sisters. And, even at the cost of my relationship with them. That’s been a tough and heartbreaking reality, but it’s gotten much easier, although I have rough patches like the week or so prior to this weekend. Also, my mother is FAR more interested in protecting her secret identity. She wouldn’t come out with some brazen insult at a family function. Instead she seeks out people BEFORE the function, poisons them, then they all look at me and treat me with contempt. It’s been a few years since this happened, but, I have not FORGOTTEN her insidiousness. Another way she handles it is to bash me AT the event, never in my presence though. Always behind my back, making her way into little circles and injecting her poison. She’s very crafty. On the flip side, if she thinks it would serve her better to promote me in a way that she believes will exemplify her stellar parenting, she has on occasion done that too. VERY few occasions though. And, it’s all been out of self service. She is in the business of keeping her dirty secrets very hidden. She would never strike me, like you said, in a public setting. Her way is to strike me in private, then tell people it didn’t happen, or give some dramatized excuse for what I did to deserve it. It’s her way to strike me, then IMMEDIATELY get to the others to cry and build her case before I have a chance to come out with the truth. This way, no one has ever questioned what REALLY happened. It’s always been poor mother. Abused and tossed aside by her very angry daughter Mimi. It would almost be a relief if she came out with some abusive name calling in public. At least people would see her for who she truly is. The way it is now, she’s carefully constructed it for 43 years so that no one would ever possibly believe me, or believe she had some responsibility in it. She’s a snake. I think I’ll start calling her the boa constrictor!! 🙂 Vampire would work too since she likes to suck all my life’s blood.

Next week, I will finalize the “letter” to her, and send it off. I can’t wait. I might even celebrate the occasion with a bottle of bubbly!!

Well, there’s todays book entry!!
Hope all is well in your worlds,
Love and hugs,
Mimi

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thanks everyone for feedback !

Janie – i dont have any relationships with any family at all. My father is dead and my mom is in a nursing home. My sister and i are estranged. All of my family are very toxic. I had to cut myself off of those relationships in order to try and get healthy.

K Ella – thanks – i just seem to be grieving constantly which just does not seem “normal” – I do process my feelings and I am in therapy. I just cant tell whether the effexor is really working at all or not.

SMD – thanks ! I dont really have anxiety. Just a lot of sadness like i can cry anytime. I do find myself fatigued a lot also. Appreciate your feedback.

Rise – thanks. i havent ever felt numb while on the effexor. I have still continued to process and work through the pain and grief so i am not numb to anything. I just want the sadness lifted some so that i dont cry every morning when i wake up. Its not fun knowing that every single morning when you get out of bed you are going to cry. Sometimes i cry for 45 minutes. Rise – when you talked about feeling the pain in different parts of your body and working with your therapist was that perhaps called “guided imagery ?” – one of my therapists wants to try that with me and i have never done it before. In one of your posts (i hope it was you – i read it a while ago !) i think you said you had been diagnosed with MS and that you had held the pain in that your muscles could not take it anymore. I have felt my lower back muscles releasing and like stretching out and i think thats where all my emotional pain has been stored. I am really glad you shared about that because i was wondering if anyone else was experiencing that too or if anyone else had experienced it. I also get tension at the base of my head/top of my neck but some of that is because i have to wear a tie all day for work. Please dont ever think you cant share scripture with me. Please feel free to share any scripture you want. I am totally open to it and i appreciate it. Sorry your church experience has been much like ours. I thought maybe it was just where we live but apparently not. Thanks for your prayers ! I really need and appreciate them. I have lost almost all my friends the past few years. Eight or nine of our married couple friends have gotten divorced and all of them had kids so now none of them have any time hardly at all to get together. Plus none of the men could really handle me sharing about pain and being abused. they just treated me like a problem to be fixed instead of a broken hearted person in need of love and support.

Mimi – thanks for sharing about your experience with Effexor. Your comment of “the noticeable differences in the beginning become unnoticeable.” I think thats where i am. I have been taking it for about 4 years. I was on 150 mg and then went down to 75 about a year and a half ago or so. thats how much i take now. I was trying to avoid increasing the dosage because i know its hard to come off of. I ran out a couple of times and felt like i was coming down with the worst case of flu i have ever had. I learned the hard way not to run out anymore ! I am going to make an appointment with my LPRN as soon as i can and see what she thinks. she has about 25 years of experience prescribing meds and she even wrote me out a chart of which ones affect which emotions and help which emotions the most. I just dont think i am getting the benefit of the drug very much. I do have a stretch of about 10 days after my vacation next month in which i will have time off and can use that time to try and come off the effexor if need be. I wont be working during that period. Thanks again to everyone for your feedback and support !

love,

Dave

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Dave ~

I know I wasn’t much help in the Effexor department as I was on Cymbalta. I don’t know if we even have Effexor in Canada as I have never heard of it. What I do know is that Cymbalta can be hard to get off of too. I was so happy to see others sharing their experiences on the same drug as you are on! 🙂

I went to my therapist’s website and she does not use ‘guided imagery’ (and what I’ve read on it, I am pretty sure this wouldn’t have worked for me – but then what works for one person will work for another; knowing ‘me’, it wouldn’t do anything for me, but it could be worth a try.) My therapist uses SRT and EMDR together apparently … some sites helpful in explaining these therapies are:

For SRT:
http://www.cftre.com/courses-seminars/what-is-self-regulation-therapy/

For EMDR:
http://www.emdr.com/general-information/what-is-emdr.html

I have to say, with my experience, she used more the Self Regulation Therapy on me. And for me, it was very helpful!! She showed me how to feel (& think) my way through things in the process – I experience way less anxiety (something I struggled with huge) and I enjoy now a more broad sense of contentment and worth. She was awesome … even now there are some memories still coming to surface which come with added vividness. I still remember the events – where some things were blocked out and now they aren’t. When this happens its like experiencing the memory again from a different perspective, which for me, was so validating in that what was done to me was NOT my fault.

I hope these links help, Dave! If nothing else, may they be interesting. 🙂

SInce I’ve gone off of Cymbalta I find I am feeling things deeply again. I do cry sometimes still, but I think that in my case, its my body letting go of the toxic crap … its a release for me. My heart goes out to you Dave … it can’t be fun crying all the time and I can totally see how other men would just want to ‘fix’ you. And all you need is for someone to really LISTEN. I went through that with women – who I thought were my friends and no one wanted to hear about it. It can be so frustrating … and alienating in a way. Losing friends doesn’t help either. So many divorces in your circle of friends.

Let me know what you think of these therapies and if you think it might be something that would work for you … for me, it worked and my therapist being a Christian was an added bonus. 🙂

{hugs}

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Dave ~ Yes, it is me who has MS. No flare ups now since 2004! 🙂

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Dave ~

I forgot to mention too that my therapist was amazed at how I seemed to ‘survive’ all my trauma as well as I had – she was surprised I wasn’t more of a mess. When she asked me what my coping mechanism were, I told her that it was likely that I just escaped into my own little world. I was very artistic and I could spend hours in my room by myself, drawing. It was my escape – and when drawing I didn’t think about anything else – anything negative was ‘buried.’ It’s the only way I knew how to cope. She couldn’t believe how resilient I was – truth is, I sure didn’t feel it when going through it!! And I was a mess – on the inside I was a total MESS!

Burying oneself in her own little world though has its downfalls. I have very few memories growing up. I cannot tell you (until about grade 5) what schools I attended or where, I couldn’t even tell you if my teachers were male or female. Outside of school memories – again only flickers. I don’t remember any birthday parties which makes me wonder, ‘Did I have any?’ I do remember hatred and more often than that – indifference. I couldn’t tell you if I even have good memories as I don’t even have those. I don’t remember any maternal affection of any kind. Ever – unless it was for show of course (and memories of that are of only when I’ve been in my teens and older – I don’t recall any from before the age of about 12 or so. My coping mechanisms as a child was complete disconnect from my outside world. I was very much living in my introverted world – coming out of that was SCARY. In my own private world everything was controlled and nothing could shake it. When the outside world started to invade my private world, it felt like I was collapsing – my body and mind couldn’t take it any more – its like an implosion waiting to happen … which did happen. I still wish I had that private world to escape into … everything was ‘perfect’ there – it was a place where I felt completely safe, safe from any kind of harm. But its not there anymore. I find myself still trying to recreate it sometimes (and I’m 46 years old!) And I can’t … its a hard reality when you find out that nothing is secure (outside of God that is).

I love Darlene and her website, EFB, what would do and how could we cope if not for ‘places’ such as this?? Anyone I meet on here who has gone through the like suffering I have makes me want to reach out and hug everyone … in reality though, I’d be hesitant just because of my past and the hurt from it. But at the core of me is someone who wants to hug everyone. 🙂

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Hi Everyone,
I just saw this discussion on anti depressants and wanted to comment; About effexor (for the reader who is considering information on anti depressants) I was also on Effexor and it was very difficult to come off. There are arguements in Canada and the USA suggesting that this drug be banned. I had “brain snaps” with the withdrawals and I still have them although it has been over 8 years since I was on effexor. The withdrawal took months; flu like symptoms were big for me too. I have no idea why my doctor didn’t mention the well known difficulties that others had had coming off effexor, (perhaps they thought I would never come off antidepressants??) but I would suggest looking into the withdrawal symptoms of ANY drug before considering useing it.
(I am still on vacation and having a wonderful time)
Hugs, Darlene

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Darlene,
Happy to hear you’re enjoying your vacation!! You deserve it for sure! I wanted to ask what exactly “brain snaps” are? No rush in answering. When your all vacationed out, and you can’t stand another moment of relaxed bliss, then you could answer…. hahaha!

Rise’,
Thanks for posting the websites and what experience you’ve had with the treatment. I am going to go there and read up on what it is exactly and maybe seek out that treatment for myself.

I have few memories of very young childhood too. I can admit also that I don’t EVER remember any maternal affection, unless it was in the last several years. A forced hug during those times. I remember my schools and most my teachers. I remember one birthday party. Other than that, it’s just blank. I had my very first flashback ever over the weekend. I always wondered if I’d experienced it before…is it just a new memory, or is there something to suggest it’s a “true” flashback, etc. Well, now I know. My step granddaughter was here and she got upset and she cried so hard she was nearly hyperventilating, gagging a little, etc. When she did that, I got this vivid “feeling” with a distinct memory attached of myself doing that without being consoled. I was in a bed or crib, and I remember crying so hard that I was hysterical basically. I don’t know how old I was.

Anyhow, I just wanted to share that I had my first ever flashback experience. It was a strange feeling, but not a bad one.

Dave,
I’ve been thinking of you and I hope you’re getting some relief from the daily tears/heartache!
Much love to everyone,
Mimi

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Rise,
I like the SRT information. It reminded me of an experience I had recently. My counselor does Reconnective Healing, which accesses the energy in us to heal. Both children & adults benefit from this. I attended a session for about 20 minutes. I laid on a table like I was going to get a massage, while my therapist waved hands under & over my body. There was no hands-on touch. I kept my eyes closed and it felt like a magnet of energy coming from her hands. I felt so tingly & warm that I was giggling out loud, having head rolls & twitches. It was an amazing & strange experience. I would do it again.
Sonia

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Rise,
I think the Reconnective Healing is along the lines of SRT in that it balances the nervous system. My therapist says, it affects the cells on a DNA level. Not certain what that means or how that works. Just know that I felt like I drank a bottle of wine LOL
Sonia

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Sonia … I’ve heard of that before. My sister (years ago) went to someone like that. This guy told her what her ailments were without her having to say anything … I jokingly said to her, “Are you sure he’s not a witch doctor?” We both laughed.

My therapist didn’t work like that – but, I still came away feeling lighter and more confident and sure of myself … and that was awesome.

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Hey MIMI I hope the letter is going well. It seems through our talks the dialogue is lightening up, I am so glad we are here for each other. I understand the set backs at times, when you realize that your mother may not actually be in your life again. I had a moment recently and got very sadden, but then realize I can no longer deal with her. So its a back and forth thing, this is all new to me, but I hope to one day wake up and not care so much. Or maybe I will always care. I am glad your siblings are seeing the things you have been seeing for years. Hope they give you a better support system now, even though they may let it slide, hopefully they can be understanding of what you went through.

Hey Dave, I hope this week has been better for you then last week. Have you made any adjustments in your medications? I hope they help you.
Hey to everyone else!

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K. Ella,
Thank you for reaching out!! I have edited the letter many many times. I thought when the day came to send it, I would be so relieved. Now that it’s here, I think, “this is it!! This is really It”. This will likely be the end of my immediate family. That reality made its way into my mind, and has made me rethink AGAIN what the content of the letter should look like. Although I THOUGHT I was in a hurry, now, I think, this has to be perfect before I send it. The timeline has sort of fallen by the wayside and been replaced by the importance of articulation. Soooooo, I’m still working it!! I will update when I get it finally sent. Thank you for your support. I appreciate you!!
Love,
Mimi
ps – Dave, thinking of you!!

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Mimi ~

I feel for you. When I wrote ‘the letter’ to my mother 12 years ago – it wasn’t easy and like you, I wanted it to say what I wanted to say, articulately!! I wanted to make sure that there would be no ‘reading between the lines’ (I hate that when people think there is more being said than is actually being said!). I wrote a few letters to my mother before the ‘last one.’ I gave her a chance to change, and to not treat me like crap. Nothing happened and nothing changed. The last letter was telling her she was no longer welcome in my life or the lives of my children. It was hard. It’s not easy. But after editing and re-editing, I finally sent it. And the sense of relief came later.

Two years ago, I sent a letter to my siblings and father – I knew the outcome would likely mean for me ‘no more family.’ And I was right. That letter was also hard. I must have reread and re-edited that letter 5 or 6 times before sending it – making sure, again, that I communicated articulately what this woman did to me (because none of them ever asked me why I cut our mother from my life.) A situation developed that forced me to confront them about my mother’s abuse. I told them verbatim in the letter, “If you don’t believe me, then I don’t care to have relationships with any of you.” And I haven’t heard from any of them since. Their silence spoke loudly that they do think I’m lying – which I still find amazing. I have finally been able to move on with my life. And some days are hard, but the hard days are fewer and fewer, and I find I am far better off without them. Better off not being made to feel like the ‘black sheep’ of the family; better off not being looked at with the ‘oh, if she’d only get over it’ looks … I got so tired of feeling like I had to watch everything I said around them. It was awful – and now I don’t have to worry about that anymore. Whoever said, ‘blood is thicker than water’ when it comes to ‘family will always be there for you,’ was WRONG! It was a lie.

Praying for you, Mimi – that when you do get done editing, making sure you’re communicating what you want to communicate … that you will know when to send it. I don’t know if you’re already doing this or if you would find this helpful or not, but with my letter to my dad and siblings, I tried hard to express everything objectively without a lot of emotion (as with my family, it would have discredited me) and without name-calling … it was a ‘stating the facts of my mother’s abuse.’ This way, I felt I was more clearly communicating something that was real and hurtful. I made it very clear that omitting my mother from my life had nothing too much to do with her as a person as much as it did about how she abused me.

Hearing nothing from them makes one feel rejected. Orphaned even. But I am free. 🙂

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@ Dave, I am sorry to hear that you don’t have family around you, I have some members that are still in my life, but I came from the big extended model.I am glad you are taking care of yourself! I did not mean to sound “clinical” in my response, but I am a nurse, and that is sometimes how we are. I am probably a little detached as well, with my ordeals I have gone through. Where are you at with the medication? Your health practitioner sounds excellent. Good luck if you are trying to detox off of Effexor this summer. Hope it goes well for you! Did you ever think of trying yoga for body tensions? It is a great way for me to release. There are many gentle yoga techniques out there, even yoga therapy where you are guided through healing dialogue as you are assisted into postures. I have done one session of the yoga therapy, and would like to do more. However, one thing I found, during a yoga session(not the therapy), I had a dissociate experience. Didnt know what it was, til I read about it on here. Now I realize I am going to have to find a way to deal with that aspect. But, I am relieved to understand the thoughts and feelings that I have experienced have a reason. It can be very frightening, for sure. Need to learn more about this! It worries me, will i be able to find a therpaist to deal with this properly?
@ Everyone, I am sorry I am only here sporadically. Some days, I feel like I can’t look at things, and can’t “go there”. I need to do alot of physical activity and work through things that way. Walking, working out and such. I do come on and read a few days at once.
My mother called me today, and left one of those “call when you get the message” messages. Almost evasive, so I would call back, as I have been veerrry low contact lately. She sounded as though she had been crying, and I worried something had happened to my father, so I called back. Nothing had happened, and she wasn’t crying, just allergies, i guess. She wanted to talk abt my birthday. It was this past week, and she sent a card w/ a gift certificate for shopping, e mailed me, left me a phone message, and sent me a FB message. I sent a short, non informational email back, thanking her, and telling her my day was “pretty good”. No details.
So, today she called and said that she had asked a hotel we liked to go to to send me a gift certificate, and her credit card had not gone through,and she had never been notified, somehow just found out today. And that she wanted me to “watch for it in the mail”.
It was a sad little conversation, me giving no details of my life (no info to work with), and her, pretrending she did not know my cousin was ill and had been in the ICU, b/c as usual, she would like me to be “out of the loop” and control all the info. I told her my cousin had emailed and FB’ed me, so I was aware, she wasnt violating any confidences (honestly!). Interesting that her “loyalty” was to this cousin, whom the whole family bad mouthed, and I had befriended, b/c, I knew how she might feel (the system is currently charming her, befriending her, she is the greatest thing since sliced bread, all of a sudden–and, you guessed it! I hear from her less and less as my mother and sisters poison her against me, sigh!) It was just a pathetic, empty exchange.
I really think she is trying to pull me back in,with the new gift certificate, and I think she is unconscious to this portion of what she does.
It is not happening. No. I am so sorry for who will be the next scape goat, but it won’t be me. Because you know the dysfunctional system will pick it’s next victim. It is so predictable, isnt it?

This morning, I was caring for a patient my mother’s age, alone and frightened, and I was reminded of my mother. I felt so sad that I would not be able to participate in this part of her life, watching out for her and comforting her. But that is what the reality is for me to stay sane. Not to be subjected to abuse.

I felt very nostalgic this morning, and missed the happy parts of my childhood, those great people, now gone, who supported and loved me, and even when we all got along as young siblings. Interesting that NM called a few hours after I felt this way. Did she sense I was weak???

Love and healing to you all,

Janie

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Rise’,
Thank you so much for prayers and your thoughtful comment. I too am trying to make sure I’m not putting much emotion into the letter. I don’t want mother to have more ammunition… to say I’m angry. I have never called her names, but, the last letter I sent, which held her accountable for lying, she replied with “when you are able to have an ADULT conversation……” ~ implying I’m childish. I try to stay emotionless, businesslike, and factual. She won’t have a lot to work with there, but I know she’ll find something!!

It is hard. I’m actually a little on the fence about sending it at all. I didn’t buy her a mother’s day gift which is an all out deal breaker for her!! I haven’t heard from her, so I wonder if she will walk away on her own, without me prodding!! Since it’s been quiet, I sort of want to let the sleeping dog lie!! 🙂

I don’t know for sure what will happen. I know it’s never been a great idea for me to act on something when I’m not completely convicted. I am exhausted tonight, so I won’t be doing any work on it. I also have learned that making decisions when I’m exhausted doesn’t usually work out the best. I will sleep on it tonight, see what tomorrow brings!
Thank you for everything Rise’
Love,
Mimi
ps – I have been meaning to mention I’m thrilled to hear you haven’t had an MS flare up for 8 years!!! That is AMAZING!! YaY!

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Mimi ~ I’m thrilled I haven’t had a flare up in that long as well – but my ‘little lovely’ does remind me from time to time, that it is still there … lurking in the shadows.

I can see you totally understand where I was coming from! 🙂 … I was like you too – I had to know when the right time to send my letter was, and it can be so conflicting. But when she humiliated me in my own home at my son’s birthday party – it was then I knew that the time was ‘NOW.’ It was the last straw. Up until that letter, I wrote her so many that I never sent. Like you, expressing anger for instance was a danger as it would give her/them ammo to use against you later which I eventually learned was, and is, never a good idea. I learned to try to stay as objective as possible without getting emotional. Not an easy task when we’ve been hurt as we have. And, I too experienced the ‘what you did was childish’ kind of stuff. Grrrr.

Too ‘funny’ that you mentioned about not getting her anything for Mother’s Day … how its a deal breaker – I so get that!! I experienced that! Anything that denied my mother ‘worship’ was a deal breaker. I remember how incredibly offended and unjustifiably hurt she was when we didn’t make a bigger deal of her on milestone birthdays and anniversaries. wow. And then she has her disciples (my sisters) following in her ways – I remember one year on Mother’s Day when my mother’s favourite was crying … CRYING because her husband didn’t make a big deal of her on Mother’s Day being a new mom. I was over there that day – the women in my family making her husband out to be the bad guy. I recall asking her why she’d expect that?? I said, “You’re not his mother.” My mother and her gave me a shocked look – and I’m thinking, ‘oh, no! I went outside the borg family thinking!’ I was also a new mom and expected nothing from my husband and they both looked at me like I was mental. But then I was just so happy just being a mom that being made to feel special on a specific day didn’t matter to me. But maybe that’s just me, I don’t know.

Sorry … the mom’s day stuff just drummed up a memory. As for me with my mother, I could never buy my mother those sentimental cards – they never fit, and no way was I gonna ‘lie’ by giving her one that was not at all the reflection of my heart. Last year I found this website called, ‘Mean Cards.’ They had a mother’s day card and on the front it read, “You’re the coolest mom ever …” (wait for it! Ready?!) and on the inside it read, “And by that, I mean cold and distant.” How relevant to us don’t you think??

{big hugs} to you Mimi!

love, Risé

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Rise’,
OH MY GOODNESS…. that card is hilarious!!!!! I think it was Dave and I and someone else that discussed starting a Hallmark line of cards that express our true “Mother’s Day” sentiments!! I had no idea you could already buy them somewhere!! So funny!!

I was struggling to find that perfect NON mushy one this year. And, that’s not easy to do. I did find a good one, and I bought it, but failed to send it. It said on the front, “the apple never falls far from the tree”. Inside, “and that scares the hell out of me”!! Oh, I was cracking up right in Target!!

I’ve often thought that if I do something “bad” enough, my mother will walk away, relieving me of any guilt that might try to sneak in for severing ties. I’ve mostly wanted it to be her decision. I thought the accountability letter (for the lies) earlier in the year might do it. Since that didn’t work, I skipped gift giving. Somehow, I don’t think that will do it either. I will know when the time is right and the wording is perfect I think….. I HOPE!! Thanks for your input, sharing, and support!
love and hugs,
Mimi

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Everyone – quick update – very busy week ! Went to see nurse practitioner regarding meds. She is putting me on Prozac and taking me off of Effexor ! I will take both together for one month and then go completely off of effexor. I am a little scared of what will happen when i stop the effexor. So far its only been 2 days of reduced dosage of effexor – i am just taking 37.5 mg per day and 20 mg Prozac now. My nurse practitioner has 25 years of experience prescribing meds. Since going on prozac the crying spells have been minimal the past 2 days and i am feeling less sadness. I think this is God’s answer to my prayers for help. For those of you who pray, PLEASE pray for me and my wife during this transition. She is a teacher so she will be home when i come off the effexor at the beginning of July. Fortunately i have 2 weeks off of work (first week will be away – 2nd week i will be home) so i have some transition time. I covet your prayers during this transition time between meds !

love,

Dave

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Hi Dave
Something that I found helpful was to do some searching on the side effects of effexor so I knew what was happening when I came off them. (It was a nightmare but I did not take anything else for assistance so that might make a difference…) There are huge amounts of info on this drug.
hugs and love, Darlene

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Dave,
So glad to hear you are weaning off Effexor & Prozac is being added simultaneously! That is exactly what my APRN did & the crying spells did decrease significantly. It’s like it shuts off a valve to your tears LOL…Still can cry without the daily weeping & sobbing, which was a problem. Prozac works for me & my anxiety/depression is better. I feel more in control of my emotions & that is important. I’m not afraid to cry but I was scared of being out of control with the crying spells, especially when it interferes with functioning at work & in relationships. I do think Prozac has been the best antidepressant for me. I have read Prozac Nation based on a woman who had clinical depression &, when she went on it, she finally felt normal. She had spontaneous crying spells too. Wishing you a smooth transition off Effexor. In my experience, the Prozac should help in weaning off the Effexor. I started with a low dose of Prozac & increased slowly to 60 mg.
Best of Luck & Hang in There,
Sonia

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Hi Dave,
So happy to hear that changes are happening, and it sounds like you are getting good results already! The timing is right for you to attempt this now, with the time off in the summer, it sounds so encouraging! Wishing you the best, and I will put you in my prayers……….

Janie

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@Dave, good luck to that, I am happy to hear that you are doing well. I think switching it up will help for sure, because different things work for different people. I am excited to see what it will do for you. Much love Kaneisha

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@everyone, i have been so busy with life, I have not had the chance to be on here much, so please forgive if someone wrote me and I haven’t respond

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Thank you all so much !!! you are my lifeline besides God and my wife ! I love you all and am so thankful for your support and encouragement ! the prozac is def helping. I will def research the side effects of coming off of effexor. a friend told me a little over a year ago that it was hell for her coming off of it. I have run out of it twice and felt like i was coming down with a terrible case of the flu both times. I didnt make that mistake again – i only missed like one day of meds and i barely could make it. My nurse practitioner thinks that having the prozac in my system for a month will help taper the side effects of the effexor. I sure hope so ! thanks again everyone for your prayers and support !!

love,

Dave

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Hi everyone!
There is a new post on the home page now. It is a guest post by Pam W. and has to do with the subject of anti depressants on the negitive side of the picture. I wanted to mention it in this discussion, although I don’t want anyone to think that I am against using antidepressants, there may be readers on this thread who had really bad exp with both the mental health profession and with drugs that made things worse.
You can read the post here: http://emergingfrombroken.com/psycho-tropic-medications-used-as-chemical-asylums-by-pam-witzemann/
hugs, Darlene

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SMD,
I was right there last year. I knew I couldn’t work or go to school. I wasn’t sure I could do it without crying. I was a basket case every day!! And, I just couldn’t stop. My eyes hurt ALL the time, and they were swollen all the time. I looked horrible I’m sure!! It was all related to accepting my mother doesn’t love me. Of course there was a lot of crap going on throughout my whole family, and with my husband, but the time I’m thinking of was just a total loss of my foundation ~ at the processing of my mother! I’m thankful I went through it. I’m being honest when I say I don’t think about her much now. Only with regard to the letter I’m still trying to perfect!! Freedom comes eventually. The mental bondage is broken eventually. I haven’t heard from her for quite some time, so THAT helps too. I feel like hearing from her sort of arrests me right where I am. I think it’s because it’s unknown what her intentions are, or it’s a lie, or it’s a suck up maneuver because she wants me on her “team”. Yuck!! All those things just contribute to confusion for me.

BTW, I hope your dad is proving himself, and being a stand up father for you!! And, I wish you strength with your mom!
Strength for EVERyONE!!
Mimi

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Dave,
I’m very hopeful that you are going to triumph!! Thank you for sharing your successes and much peace and prayer sent your way!!
Love,
Mimi

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Mimi,
I hope your letter is going well and you find relief & closure. I’m wishing you strength no matter what the outcome is, with your mother. I know you are doing it for you & that is empowering!
Sonia

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Darlene/All – thank you so much for your feedback and support. I am dealing with a lot of intense emotional pain. I am crying 45 minutes to an hour every day. Its exhausting. Trying to work full time while going through this. very difficult.

Darlene – pls clarify what you mean by “brain snaps” – that sounds scary to me ! Thx for the link about anti-depressants. I will read it now.

so far i am doing well on the reduction of the effexor – decreased from 75 mg per day to 37.5 mg per day and taking 20 mg of prozac. So far no side effects from prozac and no signs of any withdrawal symptoms from the effexor. Pls keep praying for me. Thank you so much. Love to you all !

Dave

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Praying for you, Dave!!! Crying can be so exhausting – I do hope things turn around for you real soon. The Lord be with you.

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Dave – just curious, and just want to ask if you, as a Christian, ever did or read a book called, The Bondage Breaker by Neil Anderson?? It may have no relation at all to what you’re going through, but cannot help to wonder if part of it may be of a spiritual nature?? I know from my own life and past that there was a lot of spiritual bondage … Just thought I’d mention it, Dave. I hope you don’t take offense to me mentioning it. 🙂

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Rise – no offense taken :). A dear friend introduced me to Neil anderson and the bondage breaker and victory over the darkness about 20 years ago. I read both books voraciously. I have been to two of his conferences – one about 10 years ago and the other about 16 or 17. I have a few of his other books. I dont think its spiritual. A woman i trust who is a christian has been counseling people for 30 years. She said its all pain and grief. I was abused for 40 years. Pretty much every day for 21 years and then off and on for the next 19 or 20. While i started my recovery in the early 90’s there was still a lot of abuse because both my parents were very broken people and my mother was heavily into the occult when i was a child. i have renounced all of that involvement and God has given me peace that its not a spiritual issue. Thanks for your prayers. I really appreciate it. I pray for you too. I pray a lot for wisdom and discernment and i think God has given me wisdom in this process and in speaking to a couple of people that i trust who dont know each other, who both said it sounds like i am grieving my childhood and all the loss and all the pain and grieving the family i never had. The pain was tremendous. My parents were extremely abusive towards each other and me and my sister and i had no one to turn to. I had no one i could talk to. My sister started running away from home when i was 7 and i pretty much almost never saw her after that. She was put in a half way house a year later for six months and i only saw her two or three times during that period. We were never very close. She has been an alcoholic and drug addict for 40 years and has had two failed marriages.

anyway – i know there has to be an end to the pain at some point. its just hard going thru it every day.

blessings,

Dave

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Dave,
YAY that you are doing so well with the switch!
A brain snap is like a snap in the skull like an electric snap sound. It is scary! Mind usually happened at the base of the skull but they can happen anywhere in the head or brain area.
Hugs, Darlene

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Hi everyone! I hope all are having a relatively good week!

Oh Dave! I thought I’d mention it, even though I did have a bit of a gut feeling that its your body releasing a lot of pain – that is actually quite obvious. Being abused by parents is the worst kind in my mind … their abuse defines us from the time we are very young and it often takes a lifetime to overcome … sometimes I wonder if that’s even long enough.

I envy you some that you got to go to some of Neil Anderson’s conferences – that must have been so awesome. I went through this process as well, The Bondage Breaker I mean. My mother was into the occult as well – I too went through it all, renouncing it ALL. My mother was (and to my knowledge still is) into palm readings, tea leaf readings, seeing psychics, tarot card readers … horoscopes, there might have even been a seance or two and for all I know, maybe even a Ouija Board (which is so NOT a game) – she’s into it all and last I heard she started also taking my nieces to partake in this stuff … and the cycle continues.

When it comes to crying, I wish I could release it all at once these days – but it comes and goes in spurts and I often think my family thinks I’m losing it, but when it happens, I just let it happen. I’m not ashamed of the tears anymore. (See … now where did this come from {lightbulb moment!} – why did I ever feel that crying is something I should feel ashamed about???) The emotions are so strong that I can’t control them or stifle them. There was an incident a few weeks ago, when our Old English Mastiff puppy got quite sick and we weren’t sure he was going to make it, it overwhelmed and grieved me so much. Yes, its a dog … but those feelings of loss were so POWERFUL! (Even as I type this my eyes are welling up) He had to be hospitalized and after the second morning not having him by our bed, I could not stop crying for over two hours – and it was the hard kind of crying. I couldn’t stop. I was a mess. My eyes got all bloodshot and puffy. This sense of loss reminded me of the pain I experienced upon making the final decision to omit my mother from my life. She overstepped a personal boundary by humiliating me in my home at my son’s 4th birthday party (12 years ago.) I cried several hours a day for about two months back then. At the time (12 years ago), it felt like I was mourning the death of a dream – the dream of having a healthy mother-daughter relationship. I don’t know … does it feel like this for you sometimes – like its the death of a hope that will never happen?? After experiencing a crying spell, do you feel as though a load got lifted or discarded?? The reason I ask, is because I do … its a release and the release feels so good afterward.

I think I have a sense what you’re going through, Dave – at least I think I do. Releasing the pain is better than trying to stifle it ‘under the rug’ though I must say. I hope it doesn’t sound bad when I say I’m glad you’re crying … it means your body is grieving and releasing and I think its so much better than anger outbursts (which I used to suffer from because I wouldn’t let myself cry.)

My father’s ‘abuse’ when I was young was him being detached, indifferent, elusive in that he was impossible to know or get to know. He was passive and had no say in how my mother raised us. She was the head of the home in reality and she was the disciplinarian, not my father. He was gone a lot working, so I never was close to him. It’s no wonder I grew up thinking that men didn’t have affectionate feelings and it took me a long time to overcome that thinking – that men have feelings, because my father never really showed them and the odd time he did, I assumed he was pretending, unless the feeling was anger and that was always scary and very real. I remember feeling so afraid of him when his anger flared because when he got angry, he’d throw things. I remembered when my father’s father died (so many years ago), it was the only time I saw my father cry and it totally bewildered me – I couldn’t make sense of it. It bewildered me you know, my father having a heart. Weird huh?? I was able to forgive my father much easier than my mother, and accept a lot of stuff coming from him after he explained to us his childhood some years ago. I felt compassion for my father – I cried because there were things he went through that no kid should ever have to experience. Abuse really does repeat itself and get passed down if no one stands up against it.

Where my mother was concerned (she fits the description of someone with NPD) – I did eventually completely forgive her … but it was HARD and it took a really long time! Years in fact. Now I can honestly say that I don’t love her, with that said, I don’t hate her either … what I feel for her is indifference. It took a long time but I finally stopped asking myself, wondering, ‘Why did she treat me this way? Why couldn’t she love me?’ I have finally accepted, “It is what it is.” I have let it go.

Sorry … went a bit on a ramble there … but am glad I did … I uncovered a lightbulb moment … I gotta go think about that now. WOW! 🙂

Praying for you Dave … that the Lord will come though and be all the parent you will ever need. The Lord made that promise to me twelve years ago and I have never forgotten it. He told me that He would be all the mother and father I would ever need … and I would hope that God would be this for you as much as He has been this for me. Healing can be painful. It can also be SO rewarding and be a complete blessing.

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SMD,
Thank you for your thoughtfulness regarding “the letter”. I spent a whole day working on it recently. I still haven’t sent it. I think there’s too much content. I’m torn about whether to go into details or just give some simple undeniable responses that she can’t ignore. I find that when I go to edit, I start out short and to the point. The further I go into it, the less I’m able to do that. Emotions rise up, then I find that I’m using more dramatic words rather than simple and concise. SOOOOO, I’m still working at it. On the bright side, she’s currently pouting because I didn’t spend money on her for mother’s day. So, I’m enjoying the silent treatment. I’m certain it’s intended to destroy me. She has no idea how peaceful I am inside when she’s out of the picture though. I admire you for staying LC, I have a hard time with that. I’m less peaceful inside when I know she could strike anytime. Strength sent your way!! 🙂

Dave,
I’m praying for you as well. I too have done some Neil Anderson work. Victory over the Darkness. Good stuff!! Never been to a conference, but I find his perspective to be very down to earth. So many christian authors or leaders want people to smile and pretend it’s okay because they have God’s covering. I have tried to pretend God would take away my pain without going “through” it as well. I know I’m blessed in many many ways. God has shown me so much truth in my situation. That said, I still need to work through things, not around them, or over them. The time I spent crying daily last year was a time of incredible cleansing and like Rise’ said, if I stifled it, I would sometimes have unexplainable anger. Even today, if I need to cry out stress tears or pain tears and I don’t allow it, I will be more easily triggered at little things. My tone a little snappier. I wondered if it would end when I was approaching the three month mark of crying every single day, usually all day. I know what came out of me with those tears. Incredible pain. At the time, I thought I might never see the light of day again. Now, in retrospect, I wouldn’t trade that time for anything. It did bring tremendous healing of some new traumas and old. It brought me to a place of internal comfort in accepting my mother’s lack of love. I have no pain about her not loving me anymore. I have accepted it, and accepted that it won’t change.

I don’t know if you’ve ever read/heard the science behind tears, but chemically, they have a different makeup when they are a result of stress, or sadness, or say from peeling onions, or laughter. There is a release going on, and God is amazing in that he gave us that release. I’m praying for you to have brighter days, and this med transition will have a good outcome!

BTW, you have inspired me (and Pam’s last post) to join you in weaning off effexor. I have done this before and I will take it incredibly slow and in tiny little steps. I figure, 7-8 years already?? What’s another 6 months to safely wean off of it. There’s no hurry. I want to do it comfortably. I have my pill chopper, and I’m taking tiny fragments away at a time. I’m actually excited about it. I take the generic form, so it comes in tablets. Makes it much easier to slice it up as opposed to the name brand capsule form. Now, you have a buddy to do this with!

Rise’, I don’t have earthly parents either. God has shown me also, that he is my truest parent and loving Father. Although I forget to rely on him at times, He hasn’t failed me. For every event that I thought would end me, He turned my ashes to beauty. I couldn’t see it at the time. I’d be crying out to Him. My timing was a wee bit different than what He had in mind! 🙂

Peace and hope to everyone,
Mimi

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Well ladies and gentlemen, I did it. I just sent “the letter” to my mother. I really want feedback from the seasoned and more experienced people here. For that reason, I want to share the ugly and very private details. I’m reluctant to do so, and I don’t know why. My desire to get feedback overrides my reluctance, so, here it is……..EEEEK!

Note: This is an email mother sent me. I typed in my responses leaving her words intact. My responses to her content are marked by an asterisk. And, of course names are blanked out. There’s some BS details on my mother’s end that might be hard to follow. It was a lot of extra words designed to redirect my focus off of her lies.

HI Mimi,
After much thought and prayer I come to realize you are in a lot of pain and very angry and I am sorry for that.
*Holding you responsible for lying does not equal pain or anger. It means you lied, and you need to own it.

If I could change that for you I would.
*You can change, but you refuse. I’ve asked you politely to quit crying and lying to grandma. You continue to do it.

As far as the accusations you have made towards me I can say that with all my mistakes and imperfections I’ m human and will make many more mistakes before I leave this world. I can say without hesitation that I have always loved you and always been there for you no matter the situation or circumstances. Did I make mistakes, absolutely!!! But I did the best I could with the knowledge I had and what I had to work with.
*I need you to point out which mistakes you’re speaking of and I’ll be waiting for your response.

If that wasnt’ enough for you I am very sorry for that.
*Apologies are only true if they’re backed up by action. Refusing ownership in ANYTHING, continuing to lie, create drama, and pit people against each other, etc, proves this apology means nothing.

There were no sacrifices on my part for anything, as a mother I did what I did because I wanted to and beccause I loved all of you.
*My definition of love is WAY different than yours. I have a list of the names you’ve called me and the brutal way you treated me. I am willing to share it. It doesn’t equal love at all.

Your accusations of how I handled your memories of pain I will not own becoming enraged,bullying you and lieing,etc. Again I made mistakes and I’m human.
*I need you to make a list of the mistakes you’re talking about, and I’ll be waiting. Saying, “I’m human and I made mistakes” is easy to say. It sounds nice, AND, it allows you to escape owning anything. When I see a list, I’ll know you’re serious about wanting a healthy relationship with me.

In response o lies you say I’ve told: I have never been told who I told this lie to about your meeting with your paternal aunt.
*I truly hope you’re kidding. Are you saying if someone would have just told you who you lied to, you would have admitted it?? This isn’t a game ~ you know who you lied to, although you’ve likely lost count by now. First and foremost, you lied to me.

Yes I did know and yes ##### told me, she stayed here along with ##### and ########. The four of us went to Grandma’s , ##### left to go meet you guys and the other 4 of us went ot Krekels for lunch. We left grandma’s and went back to our house and ##### came back. We discussed your meeting somewhat and then went to ####’s for something the girl’s were in that night. I did email your paternal aunt in a day or so (not sure on that time line) and told her I thought she may have learned more than you guys did. The lie concernig your paternal aunt and I having connected in the last 5-6 years. I can’t give you exact dates but I do know that she and I, #####, and ##### sister ##### had lunch right after we had that family picture taken as I took that picture with me to show them and that was in 2006. We met for lunch several times of which that included other people. I don’t think I ever said we had daily, weekly or monthly meetings. We simply connected.
*The drama, lies, crying and manipulating you did surrounding my paternal aunts is pathological. You put yourself before me in that relationship, even thanked me for stepping aside so you could have time with them alone. Doesn’t that seem backward and really jealous to you?? Your sudden interest in MY aunts, whom you divorced 32 years ago was obvious to all of us. I won’t forget it. Forgive, yes, because God wants me to. I won’t forget.

I have not had any connections with your paternal aunt recently nor will I have in the future. Calling your mother a liar is a very strong accusation.
*It PALES in comparison to the things you’ve called me, and nasty things you’ve said to me, and about me over the years. Would you like to see that list?

In your 43 years of life how many timesdid you know me to lie to you. Does it make since that I would start now.
*No, it doesn’t make sense ~ you’ve been lying all my life.

If you want a relationship with your father and or paternal aunt, then go for it. They would probably enjoy spending time with you and maybe even a holiday like Thanksgiving.
*Obviously you’re very angry and in a lot of pain. (IF you notice, I used her own words on her here… hahahaha) I appreciate your “permission” to have a relationship with MY family. Remember, I don’t need it.

When you are ready to have an adult conversation without anger and accusations Iam very open to that.
*I need you to point out what I’ve said in recent correspondence that suggests I’m childish, or angry. I will be waiting for specifics. The accusations about you are true, and I’m not going to withdraw that.

I love you and always will and definitely want a healthy relationship with you.
*If this is true, you will answer my questions, and you will admit lying.

I have prayed and prayed about this and do believe God has a healing plan for us.
*God cannot work miracles in people who refuse. You have refused. He will allow you to follow your own will.

*P.S. – I am a grown woman and I have my own budget. I will buy gifts in the future when I decide to buy them, not when YOU decide I should. Likewise, I expect no gifts from you. Also, if you’d like to discuss any of the content of this email with the 3 of us (my sisters and I), I will set up a conference call. Give me a date and time that’s good for you, and we can all talk about it.

God Bless and Love , mom

So folks, there it is!! The big Kahuna!! Whew! I don’t know about you all, but I feel better!! Thanks for any input you’re inclined to leave!! I appreciate each of you.
Love and hugs,
Mimi

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Hi Mimi
Good for you! You are really doing some rabbit trail busting in this letter! (you keep bringing her back to the point) I noticed how your mother said “when you are ready to have an adult conversation”. and I noticed how she defined that and set the boundaries for it too. (No accusations or anger.) That is such a tactic and I loved your response! Love your letter! Love your self care and how you are sticking up for YOU.
Love Darlene

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Darlene,
Thank you for your input!! I feel some relief now that it’s sent. I have no idea how she will respond, or IF she’ll respond. At least she knows she can’t sugar coat everything to make me forget. Thank you as always, for all you do!!!
With Love,
Mimi

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Mimi ~ OMIGOSH! I CANNOT tell you how much your mother even sounds like mine!!! I thought you were brilliant. Keeping it factual and objective – I had to do the very same when I wrote my mother ‘the letter.’ My mother did the exact same thing, the avoiding responsibility thing and using, “I’m only human” to excuse the abuse. It didn’t cut it with me either. The response I got from my mother was, nothing. Nothing at all. It’s been a very long time now. The falling out with my father and siblings two years ago has also resulted in nothing.

My husband cannot believe ho my father has not responded or attempted to have relationship with me (my parents have been divorced for over 15 years.) My husband was not raised like I was – his family was and is the total opposite. (Thank GOD!) My husband expressed one time recently that he thought my dad might seek me out for relationship … but knowing my family and my family dynamic the way I do, I would be SHOCKED if any of them ever came looking for me. (My husband and I recently moved too and none of my family of origin know where I am now, and I kinda like it that way. With that said, my residence phone number is still the same … and still nothing.) And I am so much happier – its like feeling relieved … ALL THE TIME.

And per post #217 … I feel the exact same way, Mimi … “from ashes to beauty” baby!! 🙂 “He pulled me out of the mud and mire and set my feet on a rock.” The Lord is the best and most awesome Father any soul could have. And don’t you just love it how He is so faithful, even when we aren’t??! His love for me still blows my socks off! 🙂

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Mimi … on post #217 … such cool info on the tears that release!! It’s like they’re a pressure release. We get ‘squeezed’ too much … pressed in on every side too much … eventually, there has to be a release. It makes so much sense!! Thanks for sharing that (even though it was intended for our dear, Dave.)

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Mimi,
I noticed your mom deflects from the point & has pat answers for everything! She doesn’t back up her answers or try to work it out. Her comments are so one-sided. I could hear my mom saying these same words. Whatever the outcome, I’m glad you stood up to your mom & your holding her accountable. Stay Strong!
Peace & Hugs!
Sonia

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Thanks for the input ladies!! I appreciate it. My mom’s letter to me was perhaps the most sugar laden correspondence I’ve ever gotten from her. It may sound like she’s a sweet lady…. all that mention of LOVE. It was her feeble attempt to get me to drop it.

I had a much longer letter written. It was perhaps three pages. I kept going over and over it. I had a long list of things she’d said and done in the past, and present. It was much more personal. I just couldn’t feel settled about sending it for some reason. So, I started all over, keeping it simple and to the point. I still have the other one saved. I hope I didn’t make a mistake in not listing out the history. It would have only fallen on deaf ears and given her more ammunition. I’m thinking the opportunity to bring up the childhood stuff is forever gone. I don’t know how I feel about that. Would bringing it to her attention afford me more healing, or faster progress? I don’t know the answer to that question. If she follows along with the “clinical” definition of NPD, she will be GONE! I honestly hope that’s her choice.

Although I didn’t list out consequences or my new expectations of respect and equality, I hope she gets that from what I did say. All this said, it ended up way simpler than the original one I’d been chipping away at for weeks. I hope I don’t regret that.

Thanks again for your perspectives. I appreciate you taking the time to read it.

Rise’, you mentioned in one of your posts above that you feel relief after you’ve allowed the tears to flow. Maybe the chemical make up of those kinds of tears is what facilitates the relief? I’ve noticed the same thing. I related it to anxiety in my personal observation. When I was up to my neck in panic attacks many years ago, I always cried in the midst of the attacks. I would be exhausted when it was over. And relieved. One of the lingering facets of that is, although I don’t have attacks because I’m more self aware, I do have a sort of tension threshold. When I’ve reached it, I usually need to cry to get rid of it. I am more on edge and mentally uncomfortable until I eventually cry about something. Then, I feel big relief in the coming days and all the edginess subsides. Strange!

I was amazed to read your parents have been divorced 15 years yet neither parent has reached out to you. Mine have been divorced since I was 11. My dad has always been such a horrific alcoholic that I don’t think he thinks about anything or anyone else. I’ve accepted it. We aren’t “not speaking”, but we don’t speak all that often. It’s the alcohol that’s his first love and it’s always been that way. I have no reason to expect something different. I don’t know why, but I’ve always assumed your parents were still together. I imagined that they presented a united front and stuck together in their intentions. It’s disheartening that they’re separate “entities”, but hold the same view. I’m sorry for that. I’m glad your inlaws are good to you. Mine were good to me, although they both died in the same year 10 years ago. My husband has grown children which I’d never really considered to be my true “family”. Their mother is very much a part of their life and I never want to intrude on that. They are becoming my family now. I’ve let go of the mental constraints that allowed me to draw lines between true blood family, and “other” family. God has shown me that anyone can be our “true” family. A blood connection means little to me these days. It’s never meant much to anyone else in my family it seems. I won’t be the only one holding that special place in my heart anymore. They can walk away and I’ll be okay with it. My eggs are no longer in one basket, thank God. It took me forever to get here, and I’ve still got miles to go it seems. I have a few distant family members who see things for what they are. I never dreamed they would be by my side, and I’m so thankful to have their support. They sort of snuck out of the woodwork. Amazing what you see when your eyes are opened!

Wow, rambling Rose today!! Thanks for the support and I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!!
With love,
Mimi

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Mimi ~ I can so relate with your struggle with ‘the letter.’ There was one time when I did send my mother a letter listing everything and it was a lot longer than 3 pages … more like, I don’t know, 14?? Yeah. It was a bad idea – I think all it did was give her ammunition / information to use against me to make me look more like the crazy lady. Furthermore, her response to that letter was, “Let’s just start over and forget the past.” And I’m like, ‘What?! Are you kidding?! … Let’s forget the past so you can continue abusing me while you expect me to forget what you’ve already done and said to me??!! … I don’t think so!’ My last letter to her was pointed and I haven’t heard from her (in 12 years.)

Yeah, I used to think my dad was on my side – but unbeknownst to me, I found out that for two years prior to me confronting my dad and siblings two years ago … my siblings managed to finally get both parents to come to the same Easter dinner – it was done on the sly in that they didn’t tell either parent that they were both coming. (My parents had one ugly divorce – but the settlement was very fair.) From then on, my father got to enjoy all these family gatherings (which I never partook in because my mother would be there.) So since this happened, I know there has been talking about me, because during those two years is when I noticed a more pulling away. My father would take my sisters and their kids out for lunches and he never did that for me and my kids. I wouldn’t even be invited to get-togethers even when my mother wasn’t present. I was conveniently excluded. I was so tired of the game. I think it was their manipulation tactic to me, that if I wanted to be part of their lives it meant our mother had to be part of mine … no way was that going to happen. And so … there it is. It hurt. There is nothing more painful to endure than rejection … and rejection by your own family to boot! I really do feel as though I have been orphaned. I never expected to be as happy and content as I am now (God’s doing!) … after all I do have a Father who loves me – really loves me. It goes to show that the saying, ‘Family is everything’ is a big fat lie. Love is everything, not family.

I feel the very same about family – I mean, what has ‘blood’ ever done for me?? Family for me are my friends and brothers and sisters in Christ (my eternal family) and that suits me just fine.

I love not always having to be expected to read minds, to read between the manipulation tactics, to expect to conform to the dysfunctional family dynamic – it feels so good to be free of that.

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Hi Everyone~!
There is a new post on the home page today about negitive self talk and self care which is related to this discussion of mothers. (some of the results of this child abuse issue) I wanted to mention it here too.. here is the link: http://emergingfrombroken.com/self-care-and-nurturing-what-is-your-self-talk-like/
Hugs, Darlene

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Darlene – you are scaring the crap out of me with your description of the “brain snaps” – was it painful ? Did it feel like something was snapping or breaking in your head ? I have never heard anyone describe this before. I am just scared that it will start happening to me. How long does it last ?

Rise – dont be envious of me – envy is one of the 7 deadly sins 🙂 LOL – you should be laughing now – the conferences i went to were ok but they didnt bring any emotional healing at all. They did help me renounce all the occult stuff which i needed to do. Rise – you are becoming the sister i never had. My sister started running away from home when i was 7 to get away from our parents. I rarely saw her at all for the next 15 years or so. We were never close. She has been a drug addict and alcoholic for 40 years. I have no contact w/her at all.

Rise – you dont need to apologize to me for ANYTHING. you have not done or said anything that is even remotely close to being offensive. No it does not sound bad when you say you are glad that i am crying. I dont want you to not share something because you think i might be offended or take it the wrong way. I would much rather you share and if i am offended i will just tell you that you hurt my feelings – which i doubt will ever happen because you are so sensitive and caring and supportive. I trust you Rise – i trust you implicitly. I actually am glad that you are glad i am crying because it affirms to me that i am doing what i need to be doing. It affirms that i am on the right path. You are helping to guide me thru the healing process because you are ahead of me on the path. I am still crying every day and dealing with a lot of pain and anger towards my mother. I still have a lot of hatred for my mother bottled up inside that i am working on releasing just about every day. I know i need to get it out. I am doing the best i can. Its brutally painful and agonizing but i have to get it out.

rise – when you came off of cymbalta did you go on anything else or was that it – you just came off of it and no other meds for depression ? My dad was just like your dad – distant and unavailable and then would blow up without warning and explode like a grenade. It was terrifying. I thought he was going to kill me several times. My mother also had NPD and was a psychopath. I wish she had been successful when she tried to kill herself when i was 7. My life would have turned out much different and i would not be dealing with all the pain and trauma that i am now 40 years later because of all of her abuse and psychotic behavior towards me. She was a professional liar too. She lied to me about being born on mothers day. How sick is that ? I only discovered it a couple of years ago. She told me i was her “mothers day present” – well not only was i not born on mothers day i was barely born the day before mothers day. I was born at 3 am on a saturday and mothers day was the next day. She made a point of telling me over and over again how i was her special gift and her treasure. She brainwashed me so she could control and manipulate me to get me to do whatever she wanted. I have no idea what things about our life and her life were true and which ones were lies. The same with my father. He lied all the time. I literally believe that the vast majority of my childhood was all lies. I was a trusting, caring, loving and sensitive little boy that they used and manipulated and then betrayed later in life. Its no wonder i have so much pain. I did everything possible to try and please my mother and it was never enough. Never good enough. She called me “a bloody fool” and “a stupid sod” thousands of times in my life and constantly berated me saying “whats wrong with you. Why cant you do anything right.” – when the truth is that i rarely ever did anything wrong. thank you for your prayers ! I covet them dearly and need them during this very painful time.

Mimi – so glad you wrote the letter. thanks so much for your prayers and support. I really appreciate it !

This is juat a p.s. but am i the only male doing this type of deep work ? Are there any other men out there actually working on their issues and getting better and healing ? Any other men taking responsibility for their own pain and working thru it instead of taking it out on others ?

Love,

Dave

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Dave,
Just yesterday I mentioned to my husband that fact that I’m fleeing from my mother. He said, “you’re not the only one doing it”. I thought he meant my mother, but he then said he had spoken to a friend on facebook recently whom he hadn’t seen since high school. He said he asked his friend how his dad was doing. His friend said he didn’t know because he hadn’t spoken to him in 10 years. His friend said he had to start protecting himself eventually. I think out of concern (I hope), my husband asked him what happened. The friend said he didn’t want to talk about it. It seems men prefer not talking for some reason. I suppose it’s part of the typical programming that men undergo as children. I’m sorry you’ve been unsuccessful in finding males to bond with. There’s always EFB!! I don’t really have friends face to face that I share this stuff with. A few I do, but they’re long distance and they only know parts of the story. My total heart and story is on these pages though. Nowhere else. I’m so thankful for Darlene and EFB, and the friend I’ve met here!!

Hope you’re doing well with the med transition.
Love,
Mimi

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Dave,
It doesn’t hurt, it is just weird and I found out about it when I searched effexor on line. That is where I heard the name for the snapping sound. I still get them once in a while and it is over 10 years later now. It’s kind of like when you crack your knuckles except on the inside of the skull which makes it really weird. Search it out to find out what others are saying. I don’t think they are dangerous. (when I searched out effexor I found whole sites about ppl trying to get it banned because of the withdrawal)
Hugs, Darlene

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Darlene,
After I read your story about the brain snaps, I was looking at effexor stuff online and saw the description there. Doesn’t sound like much fun. I’m in the process of weaning from 150mg effexor daily. In very very small increments. I’m almost at a week with my first reduction, and I’ve literally felt no different ~ not even emotionally, which is what concerns me the most. One of the websites I read gives a detailed plan for weaning off effexor. I think it said to reduce every 7 days. Just to be safe, and minimize any symptoms whatsoever, I’m reducing every 14 days. And, if that doesn’t work, I’ll make it 21. I’m hoping to make it as painless as possible. I’ve wanted to do it for a long time. Excuses and procrastination, along with a little fear, kept me from moving forward. I finally decided there’s not better time than now. Despite being in the “process”, I know the power’s within me so I’m going for it!! And, I’m looking forward to being drug free.

Rise’,
Divorced people getting along is so foreign to me. My parents would never attend the same gathering, not even at a public place. My dad lives out of state now, so that wouldn’t happen anyway. He stays home with his bottle, doesn’t travel. I think they have seen each other once in 32 years, and it was a class reunion.

I have talked to my dad about their marriage because for so many years it was only my mom’s voice we heard. He was gone from my life for years and years. My mom got to tell her own version of the story and make it whatever she wanted. She fixed it so that we believed theirs was the only divorce on the planet that was entirely one person’s fault…. my dad’s. And, silly me, I believed it for years ~ that theirs was the exception to the rule that it takes two. My mother still believes she had no fault in it. Funny though, my dad has only ever said one bad thing about her; that she’s cold hearted. And, I know that to be true from my own experience. I can’t even begin to touch on all the horrible things my mother’s said about him, and the frequency and still to this day, 32 years later. Then, tells me I’m just like him. That’s lovely!!

I remember you saying that you heard from God about your dad some time before it became clear and you were puzzled by it at the time. Same thing happened to me with my sisters. It started coming to fruition very soon after I got the message. Truth and reality I wish I didn’t know ~ you’re so right, rejection from family is so so painful.

My revelation started with dreams. I’ve been having bad dreams about my mom for around 10 years, maybe more. Then last year, after visiting my sister at her new home in a different state, I began having them about her. It was puzzling, but the visit didn’t go that well, so I had a suspicion anyway. The dreams became more frequent and it was all surrounding her loyalty (or lack of) toward me. I was shocked each time some new revelation would arise about either of my sisters. When the big kicker came, just a truth staring me down one day out of the blue, I cried for about four days while I processed the reality that they’re neither one the people I thought they were. They neither one really give a damn if I’m just brutally honest. I decided with my middle sister that I’d quit contacting her. Just see if I was the one doing all the work. I haven’t heard from her in nearly 2 months. My oldest sister was reaching out quite a bit a few weeks ago. Sending simple texts and emails. I suspected it was because we were forced to see each other on memorial day. But, I gave her the benefit of the doubt. My suspicions were correct though. I haven’t heard a word from her since she went back to her home state. She sent me an unimportant text that day they drove home, but other than that, nothing. I know they’re both busy. I know they both have some private issues going on. I’ve been there. I don’t think I failed to remember them in my busyness or private struggles. But, the beauty of it all is starting to emerge. I think about them less and less all the time. They’re no longer the very first thought to hit my mind when I open my eyes in the morning. I’m thankful for that. I don’t want to hurt anymore. I’m sick of it. I wish this wasn’t my reality. I never dreamed in a million years I would be estranged from my sisters. But, it is what it is and the sooner I accept it and move on, the better. Acceptance is the name of the game these days. AND, positive self talk!!
Thanks for sharing Rise’!
Love and Hope,
Mimi

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@MiMI, I am so happy you finally sent that letter to your mother. I hope it gave you what you were looking for. I think that is very courageous of you to do that. Your mother sounds like mine does, they want to come off all sweet and kind, and the thing that kills me most is how they use GOD. My mother uses scriptures to attack other people and I found one for her too, Titus 1:16.. “They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.” However I haven’t used it in her face, or the faces of others on social networks. I truly hope this gives you closure.

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Mimi – my experience has been that men who “dont want to talk about it” are not really dealing with their issues. They may break off relationships but it does not mean that they are working on their issues and getting better. My father broke off many relationships but continued to be very abusive. There is a big difference between breaking off a relationship and working through all the feelings related to it. If you are not willing to talk about it then it means you are not really wanting to deal with it. Thats not healthy. that has been my experience with the vast majority of men. Many will break off relationships but few and far between are the men who will really take time to work through their issues and the pain surrounding it.

dave

Dave

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Dave ~ (post #227) … About envy- funny! 🙂 LOL! Thanks for the compliment for being like a sister you never had. I, myself, was the oldest of four kids. The second one was mother’s favourite. I was never close to any of them until there was an incident between my two younger sisters (the younger one really admired my mother’s favourite until then.) It was only then we became close … but about 4 years ago, it waned … fast. I have never been close to any of them, especially the favourite. I have always felt like I was on the outside looking in.

Going what we go through is brutal and many don’t understand it – they don’t understand how hard it is to move past it either. For me it was gruelling, as before I found Emerging From Broken – I thought I was the only one with a mother like mine and I was in a place where I felt completely stuck. And here we are on a site with others whose mothers were very much alike – freakishly alike. If I don’t know what helps the healing process, knowing others who ‘know’, then I don’t know what would! I am thankful for my husband too, as in my healing process he also encouraged me to get my mind off of my past as much as I could by redirecting my energies into other things. This is hard when its so deeply ingrained in us to question everything we do and say and whether or not its right or wrong, or worthy of correction or not. I found myself some hobbies I do enjoy though and started reading books of the fantastical nature – turns out I love this genre as they are a complete escape for me. It wasn’t easy to start – but I did. And as I find things to get my mind off my ruddy past and onto thinking about things that have beauty and calm and peace and joy … they have given me a new zest for life. It all takes time – but the beauty of life is something amiable to aim for. 🙂

I went through a time where I hated my mother too. I hated what she did to me and how she treated me. I hated how she couldn’t love me. After these many years of healing though, my feelings for her now are complete indifference. They say the opposite of love is not hate, its indifference. Now … I have no ill or negative feelings toward her. When I do think of her, I think of a verse that says, “A woman who tears down her own house inherits the wind.” It really is true. What really helped in therapy for me too – in letting that anger go, my therapist asked me if it was possible for me each day, to just let go of a little anger, just a little bit – just a molecule. Molecules are easy to let go of, they are so puny, but to consider letting it all go at once was just too overwhelming for me. :o) I still find this exercise very helpful in ‘letting go.’

When I came off of Cymbalta, I didn’t go on anything else. I find that since coming off of them, I can be quite emotional (and I’m not ashamed to let myself cry anymore) and it doesn’t take much sometimes to trigger the waterworks – they just come spilling out. I don’t know how people can control when they cry – I have never been able to do that. The pain is so raw that when it comes to surface, it floods out … there is no trickle. 🙂 My physician said that if I find I can’t handle being off of Cymbalta to go back on – he gave me another prescription just in case. So far, I haven’t had need of it, although I think I might function better on it. But I really want to live without it, if I can.

I know what you mean about parents – I know someone who was abandoned by her mother … I think I would have much rather been abandoned. It would have been easier – it would have still affected me of course, but not like having a mother with NPD does! I did the same as you, always trying so hard to win my mother’s love and approval, but nothing I did was ever good enough. I’ve learned in this journey, that there is nothing you can say or do that can make someone love you. They either love you or they don’t – and if they don’t – this too is not my fault, its not your fault – it is theirs! When I learned this – it made it easier to let go (which is still not an easy thing to do.) When my father went into a rage like yours did, I was always very afraid of him when it did happen – you just never knew if he might hurt you. I’d leave the house, go for a walk, or even shut myself in a room until I figured he was calmed down. I am so amazed at how when there is one parent who seemingly has NPD – the other is a passive parent – I mean, do these two kinds of people attract to one another or what?!

Dave, I am assuming you are in your late 40’s?? For the record, so am I. I was about 35 when I chose to not have my mother in my life anymore. I was newly pregnant with baby #3 at the time. She made me into an empty shell and I couldn’t take it anymore. People with NPD really are a form of emotional vampires – going about sucking the life and worth out of their victims.

I will continue to pray for you Dave, for healing and wholeness … may the Lord be with you.

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Mimi (#230) …

My parents had nothing to do with each other for the first, I don’t know for sure, 12-15 years since their divorce. The only reason they were at the same family event is because a sibling invited both of them without telling either of them that they would be there. But since is went off without too much of a hitch – they’ve done it for special occasions ever since (so last I heard anyway.) My mother did the same – blamed my father entirely for the failure of their marriage. My father shared one negative thing only once with me – that is the only time I have ever heard him say anything negative about her. He never put her down, at least not in front of us kids anyway.

Yes, the long and short of it is, no matter where the rejection comes from or how it comes about – its painful. There is no way around it, but through it. And like I said, I am finally at a place in my life where I can rejoice in what I have learned from all the ugly. Ashes to beauty. 🙂

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Rise’,
You said in your note to Dave you felt it would have been easier if you’d been abandoned. I was basically abandoned by my dad at age 11 I can tell you that at this date, I have much more forgiveness and acceptance in my heart for him than I do my seemingly NPD mother.

My dad’s absence meant he wasn’t actively injuring me. He didn’t jerk me around emotionally, and play games with my head and heart. He didn’t spend his life’s energy trying to make me hate myself, he didn’t call me names and look at me with contempt. There was no question what his deal was, or where I stood.

You’re right…. it’s much tougher with the one who tries to spin your head around, crap on you while pretending to love you, lie, manipulate, divide and conquer, try to convince you something that’s obviously black, is actually white, etc. That screwed with my head FAR more than my dad whose simple act of walking away said it clearly. He never pretended. He never hid his first love was in the bottle. Although it likely sounds a little strange, not having to question where I stood was far easier to accept. All those mind games from mother is what really screwed me up, I believe. I don’t intend to suggest that I wasn’t in abject terror of my father when I was really young. I was terrified of him. But, I can look at him now and realize it was child like fear. He was big and strong and I was little. (If that makes sense). And, when he got mad, it was sometimes violent. Still, all that considered, it didn’t do to me what the head games from my mother did. Hers lasted WELL into adulthood. The issues with my dad ended when I was 11.

Anyhow, I know you didn’t aim that at me, but I felt inclined to share how the abandonment affected me compared to abuse.
Love and Hope,
Mimi

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Hello All!
Just stopping by to say thanks for the awesome shares! It is amazing, how these women seem to all be cut from the same bolt of cloth!
I am very low contact, and feeling at peace today.
Thank you for sharing your experience and offering hope, so important, that we dont lose hope……….

Janie

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Hey @Janie and all, I have no contact with my mother, at this time and sometimes I feel peace and then others I feel distraught, lately I have just been feeling like I don’t know who I am, like I was created to be this person, and told I was this and that, and I became that. I don’t know who I am, and recently after deciding that my mother was not a good thing to have in my life, I feel like my whole life has fallen apart. I feel I am starting from day one (birth) to just be ME, it is so hard to explain, but I realized I have nothing to give in my relationship at this time, and had to put that on the back burner. I hope I do not mess things up with that, but I can not focus on that at this time. I don’t know what I want in a relationship, just every aspect Im so confused in. I just need some advice on how to deal with this, Hope all is well with you all.
@dave I hope all is going well with you, it seems the new med changes are good for you! I hope you continue to improve and move forward, It is a hard road and its sad these people have no idea what they have done to us, but We will make it through

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Mimi (#235) … I don’t mind you replying at all!! And I totally understand and it does bring me validation that the abuse of an NPD mother is FAR WORSE than being abandoned. Being abandoned I think is something you can come to terms with way easier – WAY easier. I do wish I was abandoned – I would like to think I would have never known the struggle of wondering who I am! Everything you’ve experienced with your mother I’ve experienced, Mimi. My father – though distant and passive when it came to raising us, never tore me down like she did. The man never berated me, and knowing the past my father had it was very easy to forgive the man. He never tore me down or did any of the things my mother did … but it did hurt when he still chose to not believe me when I came forth with the details of her abuse. But like I’ve said before (at least outside this forum anyway) … you cannot make someone love you, and you cannot make someone believe you. I can only hope that one day, not too far from now, the truth will reveal itself at the right time.

Just the other day I was having a day where I was feeling like, ‘am I really the crazy lady?’ … and its easy to fall into that thinking even still, even though its not as often, and it still takes sorting to know, ‘No, I’m not the crazy person.’ And what you shared validated me once again that their abuse is much worse than people can know who have never been through it – who have never endured it. It’s hard, it hurts and man, is it HARD to sort out. People don’t get it when they say, “Can’t you just let it go?” Oh, how we all wish we could. It is a rewiring of the brain, this I know.

I don’t know why I thought of this just now, but I just recalled another breakthrough I had some time ago … the whole time I was going through healing, I always thought it was about changing myself – there is that thinking again (ingrained by mother) that I’m flawed and that I have to change if I want anyone to love me. The truth is, NOW … its not about ‘changing’ – its about ‘healing.’ And healing will reveal who we really are at the core of us. Finding out who we are can be scary … but also exciting, exhilarating even … freaky even … sometimes. But you know, its all good.

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Rise – (i dont know how to get the little mark above the e in your name – dont take it personal or anything – i just dont know how to do it !) – thx for your feedback. I appreciate it. I appreciate you and your prayers and support. I just turned 49 last month. I had a really good session of EMDR today and got rid of a LOT of crap. I have the ability to let go of a lot at once. I can stay “in the zone” where i am feeling deep emotional pain and intense anger for several minutes during these sessions so i really go to the deep part of my being. It was an excellent session. i have a great therapist who is a god send. So glad you have made peace with your past. I think there will only ever be a small core of us who ever really understand this stuff and what we go thru. I heard a msg yesterday about Job and how his 3 friends got it right in the beginning when they just stayed with him but then eventually they all gave up and left him. my therapist just said people cant handle not being able to fix someone who is broken. they arent willing to take the time to help nurture us back to health (except Darlene of course :). She said that people dont place any value on doing that so they just dont do it or it makes them uncomfortable and they cant handle it so they just disappear. I feel i am very close to getting the rest of the real deep core of shame and guilt completely out. I can tell its getting easier to process because there is not a lot left but what is left is very deep and intense. Please keep praying for me !

K Ella ! I so wish I could hug you until all the pain and hurt was gone. I so wish i could change the way you feel. I wish i could absorb the pain and hurt for you. I KNOW that feeling of being distraught. I was there just a few weeks ago. You are NOT ALONE. I understand that feeling very much. I have been totally abandoned and betrayed by my family. I am praying for you. I am praying for the Holy spirit to guide and strengthen you. Hang in there K Ella – you will make it !! You will get through this. It does get better. I do understand that feeling of starting from day one. I totally get that. I was just there recently. I know what you mean. You are a beautiful child of God who was created for good. Your identity is in Christ. You are a new creation. You are his child. You are a princess and an heir to his throne ! Its ok that you feel like you have nothing to give right now. that is totally normal for what you are going through. There was a time when i told my wife a while back “i cant give you anything right now. i am empty. I dont have anything to give.” she was very sad. I was just being honest. As i have processed through grief and pain it has gotten much better. I now can give her what she needs from me. God has healed that part of me and our marriage. It didnt take him very long. sometimes he works very quickly. You have suffered a big loss K Ella. You have lost your family of origin. thats huge. there will be a time of grieving this loss but you will get through it and you will come out of it and be so glad that you did. I honestly dont miss my family at all. they were so mean to me and so abusive. Yet that was all i knew for 40 years before i finally broke away. It was like i was wandering in the desert for 40 years and finally found water. I have been thirsty ever since. You are a strong and brave woman. You have chosen wisely. God will honor your decision. We are here for you. We love you !!!

blessings,

Dave

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Rise’,
In your last comment, you wrote you hope not too far from now, the truth will be revealed. I read a little quote on pinterest this morning that made me think of you…..

“If you’re brave to say ‘goodbye’, life will reward you with a new ‘hello'”
~ Paulo Cohelo

This has happened for me. Some family that I never dreamed would come forward and be by my side, have opened up to me. They shared that they’ve observed the dynamics in my immediate family, and they’re well aware of what’s REALLY happening. I was shocked and so blessed. When I thought there was literally no one, they came forward. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, God rearranged things again… in a good way!! I’ve stepped back from trying to have it all figured out and meticulously predicting what will happen in the future and with whom. Such a waste of my time, lol. I would have never predicted the support from these people in my family. So, I gave up trying to know everything!! Heehee!

Perhaps you will find new support and love in a place you least expect it. I hope so. I wanted SOMEone to see the big picture in my immediate family. I was becoming okay without it, but the desire was still there a little. It’s proven to me that I truly can’t predict ~ and that not only has pain erupted in all this, but, some unexpected beauty has too. I will pray for the hidden things to become known in your situation. I hope some unexpected beauty comes from your ashes as well.
Peace to you,
Mimi

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@Dave, thank you for the encouragement. You are wonderful, through your pain and struggle you still find it in your heart to help others. I love that about you, I am so glad to have your support. I have been really trying to get closer to my faith and hope that GOD can fill the void of not having my mother in my life. I was talking to a friend about my situation and they were trying to be helpful, but she made the statement that its just one person, and not to let that one person negativity affect me. However that ONE person is a BIG deal, this isnt like a friend or uncle or etc. this is my MOTHER, one half of me. I am sorry you do not have the support from your family, but I am happy your wife stood next to you and understood. I am unsure about my relationship at this time, but hopefully It will all be clear to me in the future. Some people are used in your life, to show you love, God puts people in your life for a reason. I just would love to wake up and feel not confused. I appreciate your kind words. Love you and wish you all the best.

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Mimi ~

I love the quote and your testimony … I hope too that someone, or that some someones will come forward … for now, all is silent. So, we’ll see.

I know of one aunt and one cousin for sure who did see what went on … I have been really unsure about reconnecting. I just feel I’m at a place where I’m not sure who to trust right now when it comes to family. Thank you for sharing this though, it does give one hope!

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Dave ~ (#239) … Don’t worry about the é … its a working of the keyboard to get it. 🙂 … All my documentation, legal ID – stuff like that just has the usual ‘e’ – so am not at all offended. I know who you mean. LOL! I am going to be 47 this year myself, Dave. I ousted my mother around the age of 35 (I think I said that already somewhere) when I realized that the way she loved me was WAY DIFFERENT than how I loved my own children. Her “I love you’s” quickly became empty because no one can truly love you if its not backed up in affection and action!! That was my starting point. And oh, what a journey its been!

Sounds like your sessions are going awesomely!! I am so happy to hear of the recent progress! And yes, sometimes, the Lord can heal us quite quickly. When He binds up a wound, it gets healed … sometimes its quick and sometimes its slow. Sometimes I think when its slow there is purpose for it in some way that is a benefit for us.

K.Ella (#237) … I’ve been there!! Not knowing who I am and feeling like I have nothing left to give. It feels like such an empty place to be! I used to think of myself as an empty shell – I had nothing to give anyone, I didn’t have anything to give to myself even! After all these years, I am still not 100% certain of who I am, but I have a lot better idea in these past two years than I have had in a really long time. I have to constantly tell myself that I am not who my mother said I was. I am not her. I changed my name a year ago because I couldn’t get the negative connotation of that old name out of my head. Every time I heard my name I was reminded of my mother’s hatred of me and I just couldn’t live that way anymore. Because my mother was able to reflect on me who she thought I was and claimed I was – then I also saw myself the same way (if that makes any sense.) Which means I saw myself the way she did – I saw myself as she saw me (wretched, undeserving of love & affection, worthy of degradation and humiliation – you get the gist I’m sure.) So, I did what I thought would help free me from that (which I know isn’t something for everyone – but was necessary for me), so I changed my first and middle name. A friend of mine suggested my name, Risé – I fell in love with it and its been ‘who I am’ since. 🙂

So, if I can offer any advice, its to take it one day at a time and BE KIND TO YOURSELF – tell yourself every day, “I deserve to be loved” – something along those lines anyway. Learn (if you haven’t already that is) to breathe … what I mean by that is to learn to slowly breathe in and then slowly breathe out, this usually calms – it did me. Calm helps. Anxiety is normal when going through this stuff. Feeling like you were the bad guy, also normal. They made things our fault so much that we still take blame even when sticking up for ourselves. This was my experience anyway. (Forgive me if I seem to be rambling or going off topic here – I’m running on vapour today!) 🙂

Toxic people are never healthy for us. I struggled through a lot of false guilt and false shame, initially in the process – and it was hard to sort out at first. But when I would replay in my mind the things my mother said and did to me – I was able to say to myself, “This was the right and best decision I could have made for myself … and for my husband and especially my kids.” It can be confusing and it really is exhausting. It pays to remember to be kind to yourself … you deserve so much more than your mother could have given you.

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And Dave … still praying for you!

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K. Ella (#241) … when you said, “that ONE person is a BIG deal, this isnt like a friend or uncle or etc. this is my MOTHER, one half of me.”

Oh, do I ever understand where you are coming from!! A mother and daughter bond is INCREDIBLE. A daughter sees herself through her mother’s eyes!! It’s debilitatingly painful when a mother not only sees you as despicable, but treats you that way too! And you’re right! Your friend doesn’t understand that this abuse didn’t come from a sibling or a friend or an aunt or uncle – it came from your mother. It came from the person who is supposed to lift you up, encourage you, build you up, help you become all you can be … and our mothers did the severe opposite of that. And when its our mothers who did this it is NOT a ‘just get over it’ thing. And I’ll tell you truthfully, I’m not sure we will ever, in our whole lifetime ever be completely over it even when we think we are. {HUGS}

I thought of this song … although it is bittersweet for daughters like us … I think this might help communicate the powerful bond of mother and daughter, the way it should be! (I cry every time I hear this song.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gX-04oKskFs

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Hi everyone,
Today is not the best of days. Last night, trying to sleep, everytime I drifted off, I was jolted awake by thoughts of mean things my sisters or mothers could have said, old arguments where I felt bullied by my sister. It feels almost like post traumatic stress. The weather of spring also makes me nostalgic, and thinking of childhood, of the good times, before all of this became evident, and of my extended family, alot of whom are gone now.
But it is sick to miss people that hurt you and think you are dirt……
Just feeling overwhelmed, with work, relationship, and with an actual bully teachng my “Spirituality in Healthcare” class. Seems unbelievable that this mean woman is allowed to teach this. No spirituality observed in her whatsoever!
Thanks for listening.
Will read and ponder on your posts this evening. Hope you are all feeling well!

Janie

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K Ella – God is NOT the author of confusion. Some of this i believe is you being attacked. Stand your ground as a child of God created in his image to fulfill a good purpose. I pray that your faith will be strengthened during this trial. This too shall pass K Ella.

Its ok that i dont have family. I am MUCH better off without them. they were way too toxic to stay in my life. I am much happier and healthier without them. I dont need them. I dont need a mother or father. there is a big difference between want and need. Sure i wanted a good happy family but it just was not there. they were broken people who would have destroyed me had i not cut off contact. they were both sinking ships trying to take me down with them. I cut loose and said goodbye. You will experience a sense of loss (perfectly normal) – you have lost an important relatinship in your life. You will get through this. Do things you enjoy please K Ella – go do something you enjoy or something that you have fun doing. Please take care of yourself and nurture yourself during this time. You have got to be the parent now. You can do it ! You have the strength within you. God will help you ! We will be praying for you !

love and blessings,

Dave

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Janie,
I had a bully teacher a few semesters back. It was brutal, and I left class in tears several times. She singled me out for attack and I sat in the front row. She spoke just below a yell, so all the students could enjoy her attack on me too. I turned her in to the Dean. My class had two invitations to review her performance after the semester was over. Of course, she didn’t shine in my review. It never occurred to me that someone teaching at the college level would be so immature and insecure that they use their position to soothe their own souls. It was very true in this case. It makes me a little warm in my blood STILL, when I think about it. I was paying that woman’s salary. I couldn’t think of a single reason in the world why she should get away with treating me with all out disrespect, contempt, and bullying. I couldn’t even get her to answer my questions. She had no trouble answering other people’s though. I spilled it all to the dean, and I don’t regret doing that at all. My only regret is that I didn’t do more IN the classroom to give right back to her. I basically crumbled. I was having a very tough time at home, and I feel in my heart that she detected my vulnerability which gave her a perceived open invitation to run rampant all over my dignity and self esteem. The dean allowed me to finish the semester without going back into the classroom. I got notes and recordings from another student.

I’m not finished with school yet. I can tell you this for sure, I won’t tolerate that kind of disrespect again from a person whose salary I am paying. Good luck to you in the remainder of the class you’re in. I hope the “spiritual” leader sets a better example of true spirituality in the future.

K. Ella,
Last night I came in late from work and sat down and typed a response to your comment above. I was almost completely done, (3 good sized paragraphs), and my brand new kitten fought me tooth and nail to walk across my keyboard so he could be in my lap. After about 13 times of peeling him off, he finally deleted the whole dang thing!! AGH!!! I tried to recover it, but, I wasn’t able to. =^..^=

I was saying that I went through similar things you describe last year when I started to uncover the truth in my family, and most of all, my mother. I had no choice but to process it all and it was incredibly intense. I was very confused. I questioned every memory and historical event that rose up. My foundation crumbled before my eyes. I remember wandering around the house, just not knowing anything. Tough to explain, but, I really wasn’t functioning. I just had to move through it at my own pace and process it as I was able. I cried a LOT. I was even afraid to go places because I wasn’t sure I could keep from crying. I also journaled a LOT. Journaling isn’t something I LOVE doing, but, I made myself do it. And, it was extremely liberating. It is amazing what comes out when you decide to just write. After I made the commitment to do it, I would spend entire days sometimes, just writing. It was really therapeutic. There is so much to sort out, and it’s painful and confusing. I begged God for relief. He didn’t heal me miraculously, but rather, he showed me what I needed to do to heal. He eased my pain at times, but mostly, he showed me the tools I needed to get through it in a way that would afford me lasting change and healing. I believe in my heart that he also brought me here. I can look back and realize there were absolutely no accidents. Even the painful things happened for a reason. I agree with Dave that God is not the author of confusion. For me, it was a natural part of it, however. How could I have possibly expected to wade through all of that emotion and pain, and crumbling foundation, without being confused by it? How could I find out all these new things about my mother and my upbringing, and uncover so many lies and deception, without being a little confused? Don’t be too hard on yourself K. Ella. It is an incredibly tough time. It’s okay if you have some confusion in my opinion. That doesn’t mean it will last forever. Certainly it didn’t for me. I also wondered daily, if it would ever end. I questioned my sanity, and wondered if I would ever be out on the other side. I’m not entirely there, but the confusion has lifted 95%, and I’m much more settled than I was this time last year. I rarely cry now, and I am back functioning at nearly the level I was before. Each revelation was painful and confusing, but I knew the importance of moving through it instead of turning my head. It was perhaps the toughest thing I’ve ever done. I can tell you without a doubt in my heart, there is hope. I have great hope that you too will come through it and see brighter days again. Even if you don’t feel hopeful right now, I think that’s okay too. I didn’t have any hope for a period of time either. I believe in my heart that all that will return to you. It just takes time. I will pray for you K. Ella. And, I hope that your days begin to get brighter.
With love and much hope,
Mimi

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Mimi, thanks, it is so crazy making! I am done with the class this weekend, then start a new class on Monday.I am going to report her to the President of the College. I am gathering evidence to ask for a new grade if necessary, as she has been withholding my grades, behind on the last 3 papers grades. I connected with others in the class, who are having the same experience.
I can not believe that woman yelled at you in front of the class. And repeatedy! What a bully! This one here will not answer my questions straight forwardly either. I love the student she also picks on, who submits items outlines of questions, all business, “Please expound on this point” and ” this requirement is contradictory,please clarify and explain”. Right back to her! (This is online class)Thanks for sharing yor experience! I am glad you got through it, and that gives me hope.I will finish up my two assignments this weekend and be done with it. She will not deter me from my goal, when I am 2/3 done with the program!

@ Dave, Wow! So true that Want and Need are not the same in regards to a family. I want mine to be normal,present and involved. It’s not there! They don’t got it on them. I do not want or need the role I was assigned in all of that dysfunction.
And, yes, it is okay to grieve the loss, even if it is of an abusive/dysfunctional group of people. I think it is the saying goodbye to the Family Of Origin, as well,that is tough.
I am so glad for you, that God blessed you with a wonderful wife!
Your post was really inspirational,helps to keep moving forward. Thanks for all of your insight!

I need to go back and catch up on the reading in this thread. School and work has kept me so busy.

Hope I dont always feel like the newbie at this. Maybe I am keeping myself super busy to avoid the pain of this all……..

Janie

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Hi Janie,
There is a huge discussion in this site about the situation that Mimi went through ~ Mimi do you remember the post that it was on??
Good for you for reporting! We have to take a stand for ourselves. It is such a huge part of self validation; and validation is something most of us never had much of before.
Hugs, Darlene

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Darlene,
I’ve looked everywhere for that discussio you’re referring to. I was finished with that class in Dec., 2011. I went to those archives from october forward. The only one I could find was this one.

http://emergingfrombroken.com/standing-up-to-damaging-advice-and-overcoming-trauma-directives/

I remember a much more indepth discussion than this though. J, was involved in it as well. HMMMM!

I’ll post if/when I find it!
xoxo,
Mimi

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Hi Mimi
I know there was a big discussion going on on more than one post. (I posted a link for someone to read the other thread at one point.. but I can’t remember where either. (perhaps because there are over 17,800 comments in the website!!!! LOLOL) Even using search words in the back end isn’t working!
I hope you find it!
Hugs, Darlene

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Hey ladies, thanks for looking for me! I am have finished my last paper, and getting ready to type it. She has responded to me yet again, with a BLANK response, when asking for direction on the final assignment. I take that as a giant, S***w you, quit bothering me, up here, on high. LOL, another narcissist in my life. I have been playing coy for a bit, here, but am getting ready to send a scathing email to the college President. She needs to go, or at least go back over to the technical side of allied health, and leave spirituality to the spiritual.
Thanks again!

Janie

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Hi janie,
Let us know what happens! Yay for sticking up for yourself! Hugs! Darlene

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Darlene and Janie, everyone,
I did do a search in archives for the months surrounding that time… when I was finishing up that class. I just can’t find it. It disappeared I tell ya!! It just doesn’t seem to be there. UGH!!!

Tomorrow will be my first birthday without any family. I mentioned that to my husband today and he said that’s why he’s been extra attentive. He is the grill KING, and he grilled some excellent marinated chicken (he knows is my favorite) breasts for me today with a great salad. He’s taking half the day off tomorrow so we can go to my favorite restaurant, then spend the afternoon boating. It will be a great day.

It was my choice to tell my sisters I thought this would be a good year to stop gift giving, since mine comes first, and it involves mailing gifts miles away now. We decided to stop giving xmas gifts to each other several years ago. I thought it would be a good idea to not have those expectations of each other anymore. And, the obligation, money involved ~ just thought they would agree.

I got a funny bday card from my oldest sister last week. My mom sent me a giftcard with a greeting card. I had told her in my letter to her that my budget was mine and she no longer could decide if and when I bought gifts. I added that I didn’t expect any from her either. She sent one anyway. I don’t know how to feel about that. Did she do that because it would look bad for a mother to NOT get a gift? Who knows. I hate that I STILL have a place inside me that she has the ability to touch, and make me question if she love(d)(s) me. For the first time in a long time, I’ve actually thought about the card, the words in it, with a bit of emotion. Nothing earthshattering at all. But, I feel a little twinge inside… perhaps a wish that her words were true ~ a question if they are. I’m not really sad. It is a reminder of what’s been lost. The fantasy I lived in where she meant the words she said.

I took a nap this afternoon. I went into a very deep sleep and had a bad dream about my mom and my oldest sister. It’s not uncommon to have bad dreams about either of them. But, I’ve never had one with both involved. It was a 2 for 1. They treated me horribly. It’s always the same painful atmosphere in the dream. I haven’t had one for 4 months I’d say. I thought they were over. NOPE…. my mind just keeps reminding me.

I’ve never had any dreams about my middle sister. I also haven’t gotten a birthday card from her. It won’t surprise me if I don’t. It won’t hurt me either. It was my choice to stop contacting her several weeks ago. Since I made that decision, it dissolved, as predicted. It’s a relief to know where I stand. Knowing that relieves me of any obligation to keep it alive.

Since this distance with everyone, I feel less pressure. I feel some freedom to do and feel what I want. I don’t have to please them or prove myself…. that I’m not crazy, I’m a product of a really screwed up mother. My sisters didn’t get the more raw treatment the scapegoat inevitably gets. They don’t get it. I’m okay with that, and I’m even more okay with not trying to explain or prove it. Or, explain why I’m so screwed up. Explain the fears, anxiety, anger, craziness, inability to cope. With no contact, I only need validate myself, understand myself, prove it to myself, and trust and believe myself. It was once lonely, and still is at times. A moment of lonely is far more appealing than disrespect and all out lack of loyalty, or questions about why I try to process things that happened “so many years ago”.

So, anyway, tomorrow I’ll be doing my birthday with my husband and I. It will be wonderfully relaxing on the water, just the two of us. I might make myself a little cake or a big cookie with a gallon of frosting. YUM!!

Thanks for listening! Hope you all have a fantastic week!!
Peace for all,
Mimi
ps – I do have a new kitten that was kind of a birthday gift. He has surely brought playful life and love to my days. I am crazy over his fuzzy little self!! =^..^=

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Mimi, Happy Birthday! I hope you have a wonderful day. It sounds like a most memorable one is planned. Your new kitten sounds like a great little pet.
I think it is normal for the dreams to return/increase around times that are usually of family celebration. That happens to me to. I wonder if it is a form of PTSD. It is very jarring.
I just turned 50, and only heard for one of my 4 siblings, and my mother. My guy also went out of his way to make my day wonderful, which probably saved me.
I definitely think you are on the right track, and are making progress! The feelings of freedom you write about, I think are a positive sign. I think the more you make your life about yourself,what you will allow in and accept, and what you no longer let into your life, the better it is for you. Remember, these people chose to act this way, to be abusive and mean, and they are reaping what they have sown!
I think I had a hard time, when I went NC with certain people, that they didnt fight to have me back in their lives. But that is still valuing yourself through others’ eyes, and the ones we dont have contact with, we know how flawed their view of the world really is!
So make it a great day, because it is your birthday, and that is all about YOU!!!!

Janie

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Wow, Mimi has written her letter, and I may have unwittingly written one as well. I posted on a site for these same issues, on Facebook. I mistakenly thought it was a private group. General posts from the group would appear in my feed, but never people’s individual posts.I think what happened was,a friend saw the group, was curious, and entered the site. She responded to one of my posts on there, then a few other friends somehow saw it and posted as well.
It was a post actually about what a great mother i thought this particular friend was,it would happen,as she cared for her teenage daughter in the hospital. It brought up memories for me, when I was a teen, sick with mono and rheumatic fever, at the same time: fever, sores in my throat, painful nodules over my body, unable to swallow even my own saliva. The doctor told my mother to take me immediately to the hospital, as I was getting sicker. She then engaged in a 2 hour phone call, ignoring me. I would write her notes (as we were well trained not to interrupt her on the phone),telling her how sick I felt, and when were we going,and she just brushed them aside. When we got to my room at the hospital, she proceded to leave right away,kind of dump me, which I still find shocking!
So, one friend tells me she is sorry I went through all of that,and gave a healthy response. Another, asked “How is your friends daughter?” totally ignoring what I said, but giving a clear message here. THe “good mom” I was writing about, sent me a long email, teling me how she still loved her mother, even though she beat her with a belt, sending her to school with welts she would have to explain away. She then pretty much gave me the let by gones be bygones speech, and “They did the best they could,they didnt know any different,” lecture. When I pointed out to her, you were beaten severely, yet you never laid a hand on your children, how did that happen, then? She just reiterated what she had said “they didnt know any better” followed by some AA talk. Why is her way of dealing ok, nd not mine?
My FB site was then barraged by, “glass half full” posts,”living in the past” posts, and “My mother beat me with a belt and I turned out better for it” types of posts (that one, from a DIFFERENT friend who had confided in me that she had been physically abused!)
The worst part for me,is that someone in my extended family was sure to have seen this. I did not intend to start WWIII, or suffer anymore emotional abuse, from people who cannot understand.
I dropped out of the group, and deleted my posts (left the ones about my sisters up there tho, tough luck for them)
Feeling traumatized. Thought it was a safe place to share, and wondering how it happened…………

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I just wanted to clarify. Knowing what my friend went through, and she is a great mother, is even more amazing to me. I feel like I reverse judged her in a way for not experiencing abuse the same way I did…..
Her daughter is getting better, but largely due to the fact that her mom is there, advocating for her every day. She is also a medical professional, and knows what is right to do, and when her child is getting blown off. She has some difficulties being vocal to staff about everything, but gets them on the big omissions or inconsistencies…….

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Janie,
If you’re interested, the letter I wrote is comment #218 here. 🙂

Thank you for the birthday wishes. It’s going to be a good day!!

Love,
Mimi

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Janie,
I’m sorry that happened on Facebook. Seems like there are always loopholes there. It scares me to share anything like what I share here. I’ve kept it separate because it seems people do want to turn their heads, or make comments like the ones you mention. That is hurtful to hear. Silence is hurtful too. I’m sorry you’ve had this experience of basic rejection. It is disgusting that people who should love or support us, do the opposite.

I hope you have a great day despite the comments.
With hope,
Mimi

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Hi Mimi!
Happy Birthday (late) Our birthdays are only 5 days apart! (mine is the 23rd)
Each year it gets easier to not hear from any family on my birthday. (well my father sometimes still phones but usually I am not here when he does and what the heck to I say to him anymore?? It is all so phoney! He doesn’t want to work on any kind of relationship at all and I told him I am sick of the obligatory b.s. relationship that just reminds me of how much he never knew me, never saw me and never wanted to) ~ Anyway, about the rest of my family; it was really hard the first year and I found myself going between guilt (being willing to take the blame for NOT having a family anymore) and fear (scared that my mother would phone and ruin the day!) But now I don’t hardly even think about them on my birthday. I hated birthdays and christmas in the past (and was never sure why) ~ but today I know that they came with so much freeking baggage!! I don’t have any of that anymore! And I don’t miss any of that either!
Hugs, Darlene

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Hi Janie
The most contraversial post I ever wrote was about a parent who publically threatened his kid on you tube. On the you tube post itself (where he used a gun to shoot her laptop) there was WAY more support than there was people disagreeing with him. My mother used her abusive mother as an example to me. It was so sick how she would say that no matter what her mother did, she was still her mother and she still loved her mother. I said “what the hell does that mean???” Where does society get the idea that abuse is acceptable if it is from our parents?? (and answering that question (which I have written about tons in this website) helped me see and then change my belief system) There are LAWS in place about this stuff. What your mother did Janie was neglect. There are laws about neglect too.
I think people stick up for abusive parents for 2 reasons. Because they are still way to scared and controlled by thier parents and the false definition of love to do anything about it and so they can justify doing it to their own kids. Again, I have written lots about both these things in this site.
Thanks for sharing Janie. Sorry that you went through that!
Hugs, Darlene

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Hi Mimi,
Happy Birthday!…Hope you are having a good time & relaxing with your hubby! I can relate to your feelings about getting a gift from your mother & questioning whether she loved or loves you. I’ve come to realize my parents are not capable of love by the true definition, which is suppose to be mutual & loving. It’s sad how they will do the so-called right things like throw money at us, but forget to be there when we really need them to be. I’ve had too many times where I was overlooked & rejected, because of their needs. I believe they can feel obligated with strings attached, but I don’t have to feel obligated, depend or expect anything from them. The difference I’m coming to terms with is dysfunctional is denial & pathological is lack of empathy. I have empathy but I sure question whether they really do! Just some food for thought.
Have a Wonderful Day Mimi!
Sonia

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Mimi – happy birthday !!! Hope it was a great day !

Janie – sorry you had such a rough time with that teacher & with the whole facebook thing. the controversial post that darlene mentioned is something i got into a very heated arguement with a friend over (male friend – ex military) who totally loved the guy shooting his daughters laptop and saw nothing wrong with it at all. I told him he was way off base and that using a gun is no way to send a message to anyone unless you are trying to scare the living daylights out of them because i cant imagine anything positive ever coming from someone using a gun to make a point. we went back and forth in room full of friends for about 10 minutes and he would not back down (he is never wrong) so i let it go. I was fuming mad. Our society is so screwed up that people cant even recognize abuse when its right in front of them ! How sad is that ? People dont want to admit that they were abused or that their family did stuff wrong because then they might have to change or do something different. Or acknowledge the abuse. Their is a hierarchy of controllers and manipulators and they are everywhere. I just discovered another one who sneaked into my life and tried to weezel his way into doing work for us. I recognized it and called him on it and he has not replied to me at all. I avoid these type of people at all costs now and can recognize them usually pretty quickly. They are wolves dressed like sheep. they look like sheep and may sound like sheep but they are wolves inside. they will rip you apart if given the chance. No more for me and my wife.

Darlene – I love you and love your sense of humor. We share that in common. the stuff you laugh at, i also find funny and i love it when you make comments like “what the hell does that mean” ? i can totally hear you saying that :).

love to all of you. I pray for all of you just about every day. thanks so much for all your love and prayer and support ! You are the best !!!

love,

Dave

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Interesting turn of events. The “good mother”, has blocked ME on FB from seeing her posts in my feed. I can still see them on her page. I sent her a message yesterday, telling her I had gone to an Alanon meeting and how much I liked it. (she attends as well). Response: that’s nice…well, I’m with my daughter, i will talk to you later.(she would always talk, no matter what was going on) Then she blocked her communication from my feed. When I think about it, it is probably not normal to post photos of your teen daughter, 5-6 times a day, in her hospital garb, in less than flattering positions, going through rehab, sleeping, in a wheelchair. I think she is doing it for attention. Making herself the center of all of this, not her daughter, but the “Love” of her daughter. It’s all beginning to sound hauntingly familiar.
I think I am just have to remov her as a friend, or block her.
And what was she doing, going through my feed and seeing where and what I had posted on, anyway? Wasnt she busy enough, caring for her child?
Sigh………..

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Wow, just remembering, last week the GM had asked me to falsify a job reference for her, as a nurse! I could not believe it, I have not seen her since HS, never worked with her, we just know each other through FB. She has no relationship with any of the people she used to work with. How could I have blocked that out, let that go? I guess I am just a rotten judge of character……………..dang
(of course I didnt do it!)

267

Thanks so much to everyone for the fantastic Birthday wishes! It was truly a blessed day. Spent only with my husband ~ boating, enjoying God’s creation, my favorite restaurant, then relaxing at home. It was one of the best birthday’s I’ve had in years. I wondered if it would feel “empty” because of lack of contact with my family. It was just the opposite. It was FREE!!! I really enjoyed the day!!

Janie,
My mother said about a year ago that she had to quit going on facebook because it was just “too painful”. I didn’t really take her word for it. I figured it was a ploy for attention and she would be spending time there “behind the scenes”. Just to ensure she was telling the truth, I deleted her as a friend, then blocked her entirely. This was also a safe way to keep her out of my business. She never said a word to me about deleting and blocking her. It turned out for the best. If she was lying, she still doesn’t get to see my page. If she was telling the truth, she would never be wise to what I did. I’m thrilled she doesn’t see my stuff!!

One thing I’ve learned for certain in the last year ~ I don’t want to know her business, and I sure don’t want her to know mine!! Today, I feel NO guilt or shame for that!

At one point in the last 8 months she said she missed me and wanted to know what was going on in my life. I know now that her curiosity served only to give her information which she could somehow try to “outdo” me, talk about me, brag about what a good mother she’s been, or cry about what a horrible daughter I am.

If I give her good news, she breaks her neck trying to outdo it. If it’s bad news, she uses it against me, or for her own gain, or both. I am really stumped by my own mother competing with me. It’s become more obvious as the years have passed. She can’t slice me down to nothing anymore because I’m married, and not under her roof. So, in her hatred and envy of my success, she has gone a different route. In desperation, still trying to put me down, she simply tries to outdo everything I do. It’s usually about money. I should write a book entitled, “Keeping Up With Mimi”!! Sad!!

Thanks for listening and hope everyone has a fabulous Wednesday!!
Love and Peace,
Mimi

268

Mimi,
Yup,my mother claims she is “computer illiterate” and doesnt understand how FB works, yet, she knows every miniscule detail you post on there! My Nsister, before we stopped speaking, asked me to help me with her son’s FB site. Mom kept going on there, monitoring what he was saying, and called my sister, all alarmed, because he was friends with a “black girl”!! So,I told her how to block her from seeing his wall, his friend list, etc. She still found some ways to be intrusive, so my sister blocked her all together from his page. She doesnt seem to remember that, tho, lol. Everything is always my fault, lol.
I put my mother and other relatives I dont want to really see my day to day stuff in my “family” group. Everything posts to my friends group, and only friends can see my wall.
the “good mother” I refer to,is a FB friend who was posting pictures of her child, in the hospital, 5-6 times a day, showing her in bed sleeping, in a wheelchair, at therapy, in hospital garb, etc. I first thought this was a good mom, but then I’m thinking she is doing it to get attention and sympathy for herself. The first pic she posted, her older son commented, “Mom! For the love of God, take that picture down!” She just blocked his comment and kept on.
I ended up blocking her this morning, and feel good about the decision! (she was the one who asked me to lie and give her a phony reference for a nursing job. That is the one unmarred thing in my life, my nursing liscence!!)
Have a good Wednesday as well!!

Janie

P.S. Has anyone else attended Alanon,and what do you think? I liked the idea of working on ourself. Seems healthy!

269

Janie,
Good for you. I’ve found freedom in distance and very infrequent contact. I never had any idea what I was missing.

I went to a few alanon meetings back in my late 20s. My dad is a very severe alcoholic. I was struggling emotionally. I never felt like I fit in there. I could never talk, just sat and took it all in. I think if it feels good, you should continue. So many dynamics come into play in group meetings. Maybe I just wasn’t in the right one. Certainly I don’t berate Alanon. I just didn’t feel compelled to continue in the meeting I attended. I have a friend who got very involved in Alanon when she left her abusive and addicted husband. She swears by it still today. In retrospect, I can say I also had issues that reached far beyond what alanon could address. It was a very tumultuous time. I needed deeper help. I think what I actually needed then, and now, is Mom-anon!! 🙂

Good luck with your meetings and I hope you find what you’re seeking there.
Love,
Mimi

270

Janie
I was in 12 step programs for 25 years including Al Anon. It held me back because of the misunderstanding of the concep of acceptance and accountability. There were some great teachings but they seemed very often to get taken out of context because of the original belief system of unworthyness. It was so easy for me to agree that I must have done something wrong to bring it all on myself. The ways that I had learned to accept the abuse was never addressed. I was too busy letting go and being accountable. So the root of the problem was never addressed. (I write about that stuff in this site. Use the search tool for the word “accountability”. ) Just my thoughts.
Hugs, Darlene

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Hi All
My new post is finally published: “the fear of good bye if you don’t comply” is about why we are so afraid to stand up to someone else esp. a parent. It all starts somewhere and finding out what that fear really is and where it came from gave me some information about the lie behind it.
http://emergingfrombroken.com/the-fear-of-good-bye-if-you-dont-comply/
Hugs, Darlene

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All – i am dealing with significant pain/trauma the past few days. Good news is i have about 2 1/2 weeks off starting Friday. I am hoping my vacation next week is not spent mostly either crying or in bed from exhaustion from crying. the pain has been about a 8 1/2 or 9 on a scale of 1 to 10. I am remembering being left alone in a crib in a dark room and crying and crying and hitting the side of the crib over and over again trying to get someone to come. I have significant trauma from age 3 and younger. My mother had a complete nervous breakdown when i was about 2 1/2. She had her jaw wired shut for 6 months. She could not take care of me and there was no one else around except my sister who was 8 or 9 at the time. My father worked most of the time and i rarely saw him the first 5 years of my life. I felt like i was locked in a cage. I felt like i would die there in the crib. I felt like i would never get out. That no one would ever come. thats when i learned that my voice didnt matter. I cried and cried and no one came. thats when i learned that what i wanted didnt matter. Thats when i learned that i was not important and that neither was what i wanted. Thats when i learned that people will not be there for me in my time of need.

Now i am dealing with all of the pain caused by that trauma. Its right on the surface every day when i wake up. It feels like someone is peeling back my brain – like a traumatic brain injury being peeled away. These are my earliest memories and they are all traumatic. All i can remember is laying in the crib and crying day after day after day and no one coming to take care of me. I dont know how long this went on. My sense is that it was at least several months if not longer. No one knew what was going on. We lived out in the country. I dont ever remember anyone else coming to the house. Just a few years later i began taking care of my mother because she could not take care of me or my sister or herself. And my father didnt give a damn about what happened to any of us. We were a burden to him and he made it clear he would have been much happier without us.

My back continues to feel like its being stretched as the pain continues to be released from my back muscles. Every day i can feel it stretching more as more pain rises to the surface. Almost 50 years of carrying deep, entrenched pain that just will not subside. Thank God I have a break of about 2 1/2 weeks after tomorrow.

I covet your prayers and support. Besides my wife and one therapist (I was seeing two but had to put the other one on hold temporarily) you are all the support i have. None of my friends can handle what i am going through and neither could the church we were in so we left. Just like Job’s friends, they have all disappeared.

love,

Dave

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Dave – I don’t know how to express how much your story penetrates my soul.I remember pounding on the crib rails too. I am not very clear about me but I know my younger brother was left alone with me every day until school age. I would reach through the rails and try to lift him out – He was an infant and I was a toddler. Sometimes my mom would come home for her lunch and put him out of the crib. I remember I wanted to pick him up but he was not light like my dolls. He would take off his own diaper and “wash” it in the toilet. I tried to help him get dressed again. My brother has MD and was only diagnosed as an adult after many years of struggling on his own. I know he goes through so much pain and tightness in his body; only made worse by the family trauma and denial.
He is nearing 50 and is a brilliant scholar and musician. My parents have never acknowledged his talents and hard won accomplishments. They are still alive and able bodied and still tugging at him to help them.
I am a believer and sometimes I think the church is full of spiritual babies and adolescents who have no understanding of loving healing. You are right – they can’t handle it. Please know I can only guess at your pain but you have my prayers….

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Darlene,
Good to know your perception of 12 step meetings. I am trying to recall what it was like, but it was over 20 years ago that I went to an alanon. I didn’t feel comfortable, but I think it was because I was reaching out for something that couldn’t be given there. Something I don’t care for too much is the way they address the higher power. I know they have to use that generic term in order to speak to every walk of life. It just didn’t speak to me very much. Anyway, thanks for sharing your perspective of it. Something to chew on!! 🙂
xoxo,
Mimi

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Hello RIse… I totally get what you are saying (247), you feel like what your mother has been telling you all these years, its awful. Thank you so much 🙂 I hope to one day be close to 100% so I can have a decent relationship with someone and fully love them as well as myself. I know its been a while since I have been on, there is so much to do!! I miss you all and hope everyone is doing well. I will continue to read the post I have missed in the recent weeks.

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Im sorry Rise it was 243

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Rise-that song was very nice, thank you! I hope to return the motherly love i lacked to my future children
I guess the issue for me is that, my mother could be extremely nice and then also be mean
I wish she would be one or the other, Hugs to you and I pray that we can get over it, I would hate to live like this forever.

@janie (246) I hope your days have gotten better since this last message. My bully is also a “spiritual advisor” self proclaimed, and it is very
ridiculous to me, because she does not practice at all what she preaches, and it annoys me fully. I have decided to think of it like this.
maybe she is helping someone with the things she says and who am I to say she shouldn’t preach to others. i just hope she
will one day wake up and take what she preaches to heart and change.I am so sorry for that facebook issue
you know it amazes me how the abuser can always look like the saint and we always come out bad, I remember a year ago, mine writing on facebook about
how awful I was, and people were just pouring their heart out, and when i responded in anger, stating that no one knows the whole story
and how she has done stuff too, lord did they keep going on about how dispresectful I was. I have decided not to contact her on facebook anymore,
blocking her is even better, you should have the freedom to state whatever you want, You might have to block some people, or tell them to respect what you
write, hugs

@Dave, thank you so much. I am trying to get closer to my faith. I just don’t even know where to begin. I just wish it could happen right away
I have to learn how to be kind to myself, I feel so confused in everything I do, especialliay after having to
cancel my relationship until I get better, that is the biggest guilt of all. I am unsure
if I am making a mistake or not, but I do know I can not continue this relationship while feeling less
than a woman. I hope the med changes are working well for you. I have been thinking about trying something myself
I think I might try an herbal remedy for a few to see how that works. Hugs and love… I read your last post. I hope your
vacation gives you time to relax and heal from your past pain. I hate when that comes up from no where.I think you should
let it out, cry and forgive and continue to move forward with your life. I pray things get better for you, because we can not
stay trapped in this constant cycle of abuse. When speaking to a friend about my sexual abuse she told me” let it go, that person is not
thinking about you, yet you have spent your whole life thinking about them” something snapped and from that day on I let it go,
It isnt that easy with family however but I am trying to do it with each memory, much love to you!

@mimi Your letter was so uplifting 248. I appreciate it, you give me great hope. Life has got to be better
than I have been living it recently. When people ask what do you like to do, I have things i do like to do
but I feel at times I can not even enjoy them. and happy belated birthday

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K. Ella,
Thanks for the birthday wishes!!

I have a lot of things I like to do too. Things I get such satisfaction from, art forms tend to be my release. My big release and sense of accomplishment is home renovations. If it needs to be done, I am all over it. I have suffered from lack of interest in those things. I am getting back to myself finally (for the most part), and starting to enjoy those things again. It puzzled me that my passion was lost. I had things that needed to be completed in our house, and I had no passion or energy to do it. That is all returning, and what a relief. I feared I might be passionless the rest of my life. It’s been slow, like everything else, but it is returning. Seeing little progresses like this, gives me hope that it can all return and more.

Hope for you,
Mimi

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Hi, I wanted to update and say that things have been going much better between my daughter and me. She is now a college freshman and we have had many good conversations since I last posted: on personal points of view, intellectual topics, and emotional issues. I no longer feel despised, just misunderstood at times. She is no longer hateful toward me and has participated in several family events with grace and sincerity. I hope that our relationship gets even better as time passes and the awful memories of the past fade. I am pretty confident that I will have a great mother’s day next year 🙂 Thanks to Darlene and all for your support when times were so difficult! -Jyn

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Hi Jyn
That is excellent! Thank you so much for the update!!!
hugs, Darlene

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the enormous response from this post saddens me so much. But it gives me some strength also. Can it be that so many others have suffered as I have with the mind twisting of trying to figure out why I felt/ feel so unloved by my mother? How bittersweet: That I am not alone, and yet that so many have suffered. For myself, I want to know will I ever feel whole without my own mother’s love. I have filled myself up with the love I have for my children, especially my own daughter. But many times I am reminded, cruelly, the love that I feel, that I express daily, was absent in my life. Worse still than the sexual abuse I suffered from outsiders, was the pain of that suffering not being assuaged with love by the woman who bore me. I feel I will never, ever, reconcile that sort of disconnect in my mind.

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Hi Sybil
I can only tell you my own story and for me I am more whole than I have ever been since I learned to fill the void of the absence of my mothers love. I learned to fill those missing parts for myself. I learned self love and self care. I learned how to validate myself in all the places that I had been invalidated by others. That is what this website is about.
There are much bigger comment threads than this one. One of the mother daughter posts here is getting close to 600 comments. You are not alone! I hope you will share often.
Hugs, Darlene

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Hi Everyone!
I have published a new post related to mother daughter dysfunction and family abuse. Today I decided to publish an abusive comment in the body of a new article. I get comments like this once in a while and today I decided to use it as an example of how and why people try to make us shut up about the past. Here is the link to “People who try to silence victims interfere with emotional healing”
http://emergingfrombroken.com/people-who-try-to-silence-victims-interfere-with-emotional-healing/
Looking forward to the conversation!
Hugs, Darlene

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Hi Darlene. Thank you for the nice article. It gives me hope. One thing i have always been afraid about is that the cliche about “repeating the cycle” will happen to me too, and I will be a terrible mother without even knowing it because that’s what I was raised with. I’m so glad that you have such a positive relationship with your daughter, and hope that one day I can have one as good as yours. I am only 23 so I won’t be having kids for a while, but one thing I have always really wanted to do (and simultaneously felt insecure about) is having a loving family of my own one day.

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Hi Jeena
Welcome to emerging from broken!
When I healed from what happened to me I was able to make the changes in the way that I reacted to and to the way that I had relationship with other people. Healing has been the best thing I ever did towards becomming a great mother! Learning about ‘equal value’ for all people made a huge difference too. Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

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Wow, never thought I would be back on this site, you see I no longer have a mother since she threw me out of the family AGAIN after paying my brother’s funeral cost. I am Bipolar, and sometimes my daughter’s say things that hurt me a lot. I shut my mouth, but this time I didn’t. They posted something they thought was “funny” on their facebook and I told them it was distasteful and I didn’t like it. They said it was not for me anyways but it sure was about me. That led into a big fight, and my youngest said she was not talking to me anymore. Then my oldest daughter’s husband called me and told me I destroyed my daughter’s life and ruined her. I hung up crying hysterically, I can’t be calm and handle things like a normal person and I am not using my Bipolar as an excuse, it’s an everyday battle. I ended up driving away, my poor husband had to call the police, my daughter’s husband won’t say what he told me, he’s lying to her, I was 1/2 hour away from death when I was tracked down by police by my cell phone. I wanted to die, how could I be hated not only by my own mother but my own daughters whom I brought up all their lives on my own because their father decided to leave. Now, since March, we are still not speaking, I can’t see my gandbabies and miss them so much it hurts. This weekend is there birthday party, it’s almost like I want to put the brakes on. Being bipolar is destroying so many relationships, my doctor says I need to have patience, it takes time and lots of work which I am doing. She said you never asked to be bipolar, your daughters are old enough to understand that. But I must be this bad person for my daughter who says they are both in therapy and were told to stay away from me. I’m dammed if I do and dammed if I don’t! Lauralee

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Hi Laurlee
I am sorry you re going through this difficult time. I don’t think the problem is bi-polar so much as it is the cycle of abuse that we have been raised with. My bi polar, depressions etc. went away when I dealt with the pain of my past and the situation with my mother and father, and that was when things got better with my kids too. 🙂 There is hope! Thank you for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene

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Thanks for writing this. I started crying actually.

Though, I don’t know if my mom will miss me or not when I move out. I feel more that she may want to use me if I become successful or if I try to help her out she’ll just demand more. Though she shows that she wants updates from my older sister even if she is nosy and optioned on how to live life. But then again that relationship between my older sister and my mom is different compared to the relationship that I have with my mother.

I don’t know what I’m going be facing soon especially since I’ll be moving out this mid May. I’ve always been the neglected middle child. But thank you, thank you for showing the good side of things. I really needed to read such.

Lots of love and hugs
Skit

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Hi Skit
Welcome to emerging from broken!
There is hope. I found out that living fully has nothing to do with what they think or how they feel. Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene

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