Domestic Violence Dream Triggers a Realization

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physical abuse
Faded Hope

I had this dream the other night.

I dreamt that my mother threw an elegant cocktail party. It was attended by her well to do friends and it was very formal. The house was decorated beautifully; all dressed in sparkly Christmas decoration, Christmas flower arrangements and the type of decorating perfection that my mother has always been known for.  There were handsome waiters in beautiful black tuxedos quietly bringing around trays of fancy treats and beautifully presented drinks. 

My mother looked stunning in her black full length evening gown; She was happier than I had seen her for years.   

I felt as though I was not actually “at” the party but that I was observing it. I felt awkward in my professional style dress and wished I had thought to buy a new evening gown myself. I felt more like I was part of the “staff” instead of a guest. (In real life I always felt like part of her staff too ~ just a servant, her cook, her whipping post) I noticed that what had started off to be a slight tension headache was quickly becoming a migraine headache and I decided that I better take some Advil and get somewhere quiet to let the pain killer work before it was too late.

I quietly slipped upstairs to the guest room to lay down while the Advil took effect.  A few moments later my mother quietly slipped into the room.  She whisper/yelled “what do you think you are doing?”  I felt that same shock and bewilderment that I always felt when she asked me something in that accusatory tone of voice as though I was purposely doing something “wrong” and that I should not PRETEND that I didn’t know what she was talking about.  I was already backing away from her as I explained that I was getting a migraine headache, that I had taken something for it, and that I was going to stay quiet for a half hour while it took effect. I didn’t think anyone downstairs at the party would even notice. I could see in the dream that she was becoming outraged.  Her eyes were beginning to grow brighter and she got this “look” that I had come to know as “the warning look”.

I felt myself brace. I knew what was coming next.

She started to reprimand me. Her whisper/yell became louder and then she dropped the whisper. She was very angry with me. She said that I always found a way to ruin her plans, that I had to make everything “about me”, that I was selfish and self centered.  How dare I take the focus off her and her party! She said that she had gone to so much trouble for this party and that she had been planning it for months and that I had ruined it.

She started to hit me and while she was hitting me she continued to express her disappointment in me and her devastation over how I had wrecked her party. 

In my mind, although I was dreaming, I was shocked but at the same time I had this surreal feeling that “this verbal rant” explained a few things.  My mother had gone on these rants in real life accusing me of all sorts of things and bringing up every time in the past that I ever messed up in her mind. BUT she had not verbally spewed any of this detailed stuff while she was hitting me and she had never make it so clear that in her mind I had destroyed something that was so important to her in the way she did in the dream.  In real life when she went off on me as an adult, it was always more about the things that I did that made her so ashamed of me. I never connected those rants to the current event in event in her own life that she thought that I had actually destroyed or that whatever I had done had gotten in the way of her success or happiness.  

It was as though I suddenly realized that her rants and rages had their foundation in her belief that I had hurt her perhaps on purpose; that I had actually “set out” to wreck things “for her” and that I had control over those things.  I felt as though her disgust with me had to do with her false belief that I could make her world perfect if only I “wanted to”.  

I realized also that somehow I had believed that too, all my life; that I “could have been” the perfect daughter if “I wanted to.”  But I believed that I was a failure as a daughter, just like she said. And because of that “failure” that I took responsibility for, I believed it was my job to restore her order by taking abuse from her. Verbal abuse, emotional abuse and even physical abuse.

In the post I wrote about when my daughter was born and how my mother made this big deal about wanting to “be there for me” and how hopeful that I was that she was “finally going to be “My Mother” and then how it turned out to be such a disaster to have her there, I give an example of how my mother raged at me for some unknown reason.  I used it as an example of our dysfunctional mother daughter relationship and her symptoms of narcissism.

Through this dream, I suddenly realized that in my mother’s mind, when things went off the track when I went into labour with my daughter, and all the anxiety that it “caused HER” I had destroyed the way she had envisioned the whole thing going.  She had this “plan” that SHE was going to be different this time. This time it was going to be about her, my mother, being there for me. This time (my mother believed) she would make up for all the other times that she had NOT been there for me.  She was going to be mother of the year and for once she was going to “be a great mom” and because of how it actually went, she was royally stripped of her grand plan to “make it all up to me” and it was all my fault, so she did what she always did and lashed out at me. She blamed me because things didn’t go HER way when I was having MY baby. This was actually how she justified her verbal and emotional abuse.

Putting dysfunctional events with my mother through this grid of understanding made many of the mental madness moments in my relationship with my mother more understandable. It is still pretty sick and dysfunctional. In the dream I thought to myself; “my poor pathetic mother. She really is a little bit psychotic.  Her thinking process is completely dysfunctional and abusive at the least.  She is freaking out at me because my headache interfered with the way she envisioned her perfect Christmas party”.  

When I woke up I didn’t feel so sorry for my mother; I was relieved that it was a dream!

(I actually threatened my mother when I was 15 years old that if she ever hit me again I would hit her back and it scared her enough to stop that part of the dysfunctional toxic parent child relationship we shared, so although this dream was about my mother physically abusing me as an adult, that never happened in real life.)

NOTE: Realizing this and having this insight into my mother’s thoughts, doesn’t change the damage that my mother caused to me, it just helps me comprehend how messed up her thinking is. Realizing her crazy thinking does not excuse her behaviour nor should it be used as an excuse for her behaviour. Using these insights as excuses for mistreatment and abuse got me stuck in the dysfunction for YEARS.

This little insight through the dream helped me to realize HOW she thinks (based on her reactions in the past) however it doesn’t change the fact that she is and was wrong and that the way she parented me and our mother daughter relationship was toxic and dysfunctional. She has always acted as though she believes that it really is my job to make things go well for her. Her actions inferred that life doesn’t happen, but that I “caused” good things to go bad. She acted like I had trouble with the birthing process just to wreck her plans of being the perfect mom for once. I could never get my head wrapped around her way of thinking. (and I no longer want to)

Please share your thoughts,                 

Exposing truth one snapshot at a time;

Darlene Ouimet

Related Posts~ My Mother Finally wanted to Be my Mother (this is the story I refer to when my daughter was born)

61 response to "Domestic Violence Dream Triggers a Realization"

  1. By: Robin Posted: 29th November

    It’s funny. What happened in Darlene’s dream actually happened to me in real life. I had a migraine and my mother kept barging into my room to complain about her husband that had just left her. She didn’t care that I was in physical pain. I think it gave her perverse pleasure to keep me from getting the nap that would have helped. One of the times she came in she told me that she found out that my step-Dad had been sleeping with my classmate. (This turned out to be true, I found out later. If only that had been one of the many lies). The fact that I was trying to rest while she was going all over the house scrubbing it from top to bottom because she was too keyed up and crazy to sit down for 5 minutes, made her angy at me.

    I’m so glad that’s not my life now. I went no contact last year and it was the best decision I ever made. She called me on Thanksgiving and I ignored the phone. If she really cared about me she would have called on Wednesday or Tuesday or Monday or the week before etc. She really just wanted to hurt me and ruin my holiday. But without her I found myself doing things that she had tried to convince me that I could never do. I cooked my first turkey and it was delicious. I celebrated the holiday by myself and *loved* it. It was the most peaceful and pleasant Thanksgiving I’ve ever had.

    My dad tried to call as well and I ignored his call as well. I found myself healing during the vacation where I didn’t let hurtful people in…No crazy parents, no crazy church people, no fake friends. I have no regrets.

    And, since I’m all off subject anyway, let me add something else. I realized that my criteria for a friend was that a person had to be friendly and nice to me. But people like that can pretend and really end up being awful people. I’ve decided that my number 1 criteria for a new friend is that they understand me. Someone who understands you is more likely to be giving and compassionate.

    Wow…getting off of soap box now… 🙂

    Robin

  2. By: J Posted: 29th November

    thanks Sophia, much appreciated! I’m trying to, but struggling pretty bad. hope you’re doing well!

  3. By: Tamara Posted: 29th November

    One note on “reparenting” yourself. I happened to be reading a book on organizing your home in 40 days. I am hit or miss with this skill. Though this book is written with a good dose of humor the chapter I happened to be reading suggested to step back and be your own good Mother.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 29th November

      Hi Tamara…
      THAT is funny! My mother was amazing at keeping a beautiful home.. and I think that is why I hate housework so much. The “house” was way more nurtured than I was!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Mimi
      Dreams have very often been clues for me. I look at the parts of them that I seem to have significant feelings about and find out what that part of the dream represented in my real life. I have made tons of connections through dreams.
      hugs, Darlene

  4. By: Tamara Posted: 29th November

    Wow Pam #8 that shoe reference is a familiar one for me. SHE loved the saddle shoes when she was in highschool and I end up wearing them in 2nd grade ugly ugly..too funny. I wish I would have had the guts to flush ’em too. Also my parents in their late 70’s just moved into the same townhome complex as my younger brother. They spent alot of money, “lost their home” and rent a place now while my bro and wife saved a lot of money and paid cash for theirs. Glad I am far away.
    Mimi One word you used “whispering” I still hate it when people do it around me. My parents constantly whispered wisecracks to each other based on any or all weaknesses of any of their 5 offspring. It always blew me away how they could be so “hurt” when confronted in a gentle direct way ie: when you/Ifeel; yet blast the hell out of anyone else when they were just being themselves. <3

  5. By: Mimi Posted: 29th November

    Darlene,
    This post is representative of the countless dreams I’ve had about my mother. She didn’t abuse to the degree you describe (in your dream and in real life), but emotional abuse was abundant I’m coming to realize. I have had nightmare like dreams for about 10 years off and on, and in each one, she was a ringleader, whispering, glaring, sizing me up in a conversation with my family members, giving the looks of disdain and judgement I came to know so well in real life. They are so realistic, that it nearly mimics what life has been like with my mother. Strange!!
    Mimi

  6. By: sophia Posted: 28th November

    Happy birthday, J. Hang in there, day by day. Sending you thoughts of health, strength, and truth.

  7. By: Kate Posted: 28th November

    This dream is SO like an experience I had in 2004 when a relative through a huge politacal-religious-family bash and we all had to travel across the country to be there. The temps were freezing, and my ex-husband mandated that we were NOT buying winter coats for our kids to wear! I bought them anyway. Looking back, I can see EXACTLY why he said that. He would do anything to make ME look BAD to his family so that he could justify the divorce that was around the corner. CLEAR AS A BELL NOW!

    My son ended up feverishly ill, puking ill, in a basement room with me, and the royal highness host, herself, found little old me in that basement room with a sick son and basically told me to get back upstairs because “you are not going to want to miss what is going on…” I basically ignored her, after seeing how far the party room was from where we were. Then my ex ended up telling me that I ruined the night (it was inevitable–to be blamed for that–who knows what fool move he pulled on soneone while I was not in the room, and decided it best if HE leaves???? but blamed it on me instead)

    The ex’s family who through this bash did not come out and say the things Darlene’s mom said to her in her dream, but the ACTIONS speak lies all the way around

  8. By: Kate Posted: 28th November

    Tracy,
    WHAT a great story~ I am SO glad you could write that and DID write it!

    Don’t give the opportunity for more hurt. YES!~~

    “You are the one that needs help” I LOVE that!!

  9. By: Kate Posted: 28th November

    My favorite line in this article: “She has always acted as though she believes…”

  10. By: Tamara Posted: 28th November

    I read as much as I can of the blogs and I am kind of all over the place. I find a common experience and so much truth and I do kind of jump around. Sometimes I think that since I was not hit or punched I wasn’t really abused. My material needs were met – I was a latchkey kid that developed narcolepsy when I was 14. I was smart enough but I just could not stay awake/alert in school. I was diagnosed at age 30 after many years of just thinking I was lazy and not trying hard enough. I am relating to the dream and the head-ache in the dream – (geez even in your dream you get a headache; sorry but that just sucks) I had a lot of severe headaches as a teen and young adult. I attended a conference in oct. for people with narcolepsy and found out most of them also had them before diagnosis and medication – that’s another story… The idea of offering sugary snacks to a person who is tempted but has to watch it reminds me of my mother who gets pissed off because I would nap too much or want some time away from them when I used to visit. (When I was a kid she always arose at 5:00am to go to work by 6:30 -she did not need to be there until 8:00am but this way she would not have to see her children in the morning)She exudes this weird moral highground about getting up early. I mean, who cares?I do NOT visit anymore. I used to come to town, clean house top to bottom, try to buy everything I thought they might need – put together outings with other siblings; etc. It was never enough. My parents always acted like they were “receiving ” love and having some needs met and all the while belittling, grumbling, fault-finding, complaining.They have never once acknowledged that I have Narcolepsy. I don’t need sympathy from them but just understanding. As kids,in the summers in San Joaquin valley they would want us to hoe tumble weeds from under the grapevines. It was HOT. Really HOT. I would fall down (cataplexy and sleepiness) I did not want to get up. I don’t know how my brother and my sister did it. By the way – my brother has MD and he was also diagnosed as an adult. As children our parents had insurance but would not take us to the doctor. I think my brother and I would have had a few years of our life a little smoother (crappy grammar but I am getting it out) When my brother finally got a diagnosis, he told my mother and the only reaction was” Oh no, your sister wants to have children – I hope she does not have the gene!” No, the “sister” was not me but my older sister who is, as my mother toasted at thanksgiving, her”golden child”. So glad I skip the family holidays now, but I do talk to my brother. If anybody got this far – I say thank you for “listening” Emergence certainly takes time….

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 28th November

      Hi Tamara
      My material needs were met too and some of the worst abuse in my life was not physical OR sexual. It was emotional, neglectful and especially that fact that I was so discounted. Not valued. That is at the bottom of ALL abuse. Not being valued. Realizing (as you are doing here in these comments) that by the way I was treated (by many) I was invalidated and not valued. My value was discounted. That left the deepest scars. That is the bottom line for me of what I had to deal with and overcome. I had to realize that “they” were wrong about me, and that having no value ~ is a huge lie. I have tons of value.
      Hugs ~ thanks so much for sharing!
      Darlene

  11. By: MZC Posted: 26th November

    Well, certainly, you had the temerity to pretend to have a headache, you rotten person you, so you could be the center of attention like you always had to be. Her perfect party was ruined, ruined! by one of her friends “having” to be concerned about you. Why did you have to insist on making her life so difficult? Her life could have been so much better if you only did everything she wanted you to do, read her mind as to what it was she was thinking and feeling, never argued or even disagreed with her, and were totally solicitous of her, never having feelings or thoughts of your own, and never pretending you were sick or hurt. Seriously, how little she asked of you.

    Just being facetious and a little bitter. When I told my mother I had diabetes, her first response was, “Well, I DON’T have diabetes. My doctor told me so, and I am glad about that.” What??? It really is all about them. Their first response to anything is, how does this affect ME? But if they have any intelligence at all, they know what social expectations are, and she’s given me books on blood sugar control. Of course, she still offers me sugary stuff to eat.

    I am so glad for this blog. My friends with normal mothers simply have no frame of reference to even be able to begin comprehending what I’m talking about. You all understand. Darlene, I’m so thankful you started this blog and OSA on FB. It’s brought so much healing. I know I’m not the crazy one anymore.

  12. By: MZC Posted: 26th November

    I’m 50 today. I am glad I am now healing, although I’m sad for all the wasted years.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 27th November

      Hi MZC
      Happy Birthday! Welcome to the fifties!
      Thank you for your humour and for adding some more context to this post. What you have shared is another example of what many parents do to make everything about them. I had to take my life back.
      Hugs, Darlene
      p.s. ~ Just to clarify; OSA (overcoming sexual abuse) is not my facebook page or my site but a separate site sort of like a sister site to mine. We fully support each other in each others messages. I have the emerging from broken page on facebook.

  13. By: Tracy Posted: 26th November

    Hello Darlene,

    First I Thank you Darlene, for the courage to write about your mother. One of the biggest things I was taught was not to tell what goes on inside our home (Secrets, Secrets, Secrets). No matter what, and by you exposing your mothers NPD has helped me. This past spring, I went to family therapy with my mother hoping I would have a real mother (aka loving, kind, warm, etc. etc.)
    By the 5th week I was becoming anxious, fearful, and very sad. Therapy basically was becoming hell, Sally our therapist allowed my mother to lay down the rules, in the 1st session, which was, I cannot talk about the past. So what is the point of going to therapy, right? My mother made herself a victim the 1st session, telling Sally about her childhood from hell. I feel Sally sided with my mother, so if I brought up something from my childhood I would be reprimanded by my mother, and Sally.
    I don’t know exactly what happened but the night before therapy My spirit said to me “Your mother is narssistic”. I went online and read at least 5 different articles on NPD mothers. It ALL MADE SENSE to me now.
    The next day in the session, I paid more attention to what she was saying, I did not realize what a LIAR she is to make herself look good to people even if they are virtual strangers or if it’s at my expense.
    To make a long story short, I confronted my mother and told her I think she has NPD. Of course she reacted like ALL NPD’s with nonsense and RAGE, she SPEWED VENOM and LIES,at me . Thank GOD I KNEW what I was dealing with.
    That’s when Sally said to my mother, “I QUIT, everything cannot be your daughters fault you do not take responsility for anything ” Sally looked at me with such sadness, and said “I’m sorry”.
    As I walked to the bus stop, my mother walked up to me and said “I can get you some help” Just like the NPD mother she is, I looked at her and said, “I’m not the one who needs help”. That was the last time I saw her, or spoke to her. I now understand her, I have compassion for her, but I will not subject myself to her, not even on her death bed. I cannot take the chance of her hurting me.

    From a Recovering Daughter

    Tracy

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th November

      Hi Tracy
      Welcome to Emerging from Broken
      Thank you for sharing this here. Wow, what a story and good for you for standing up for yourself.
      Hugs, Darlene

  14. By: joy Posted: 26th November

    HI Darlene..thanks am hanging in here.. today am a little under weather..maybe something I ate.. so I apologize for not responding sooner..

    Its when you are not feeling well; or are going through something traumatic that one appreciates having a mom but. .when one is not present..going through such is all that harder. Moms, I heard, always know how to make you feel better: when they are not dysfunctional..

    I know that, like for you , and for others.. things will become easier. I have great friends.. and great support and great therapist..

    Have a super nice day, Darlene, I appreciate your words:

    Hugs

    Joy

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th November

      Hi J

      I know that your birthday is this week and wanted to ask everyone to join me in wishing you a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY.
      ((it is really quiet online J. due to the American Thanksgiving weekend, so if you don’t get a flood of wishes, that is the reason!” ))

      Birthday hugs!!
      Darlene

  15. By: Libby Posted: 26th November

    I never used to dream – but since I began to heal I do. And they are very revealing. They have helped me to face the reality of the wilderness that my childhood was. My Mom didn’t rage – she was always very calm and calculating. AS a mental health professional she could be very adept at manipulating words – and me, and making me feel like I was a nuisance. SHe never said it, but I knew, that I had ruined her life. She had discovered, too late, that she didn’t want to be married, didn’t want to be a Mum, didn’t want to engage in family – didn’t like me. So she didn’t. She was there, she went through the motions, but it was always clear to me that I could never have a warm relationship with her and I never did. The closest we ever came to really communicating was just before my wedding and her death. Just the one time in nearly 40 years. As for my father, well I couldn’t have a proper father-daughter relationship with someone who was not mature enough to be a father, and as a consequence behaved like a bullying older sibling.
    I realise that adults do not have babies for the people that they will become – but these two were so clueless about being parents, and so proud of being mental health professionals who were applying their professional expertise in my upbringing.
    AS I go through therapy, I am often amazed when I express something that to me was “normal” and of little account – and the response I get from therapists is one of horror and outrage on my behalf – so then I review that memory – and they are quite right.
    I now have no “family” left. I don’t miss them.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th November

      Hi Libby
      It is so sad how many adults have babies in order to fill a need they have; they place all these HUGE expectations on these babies and children can not possibly fill the needs of parents. (and so many mental health professionals are only in that profession because they have a deep need to heal themselves ~ not the best motivation to be in the helping others profession)
      Sounds like you have a wonderful therapist! So many of the them don’t’ react at all to these stories that “we think” are “normal”.
      Thanks for sharing and for adding your thoughts here Libby!
      Hugs, Darlene

  16. By: J Posted: 25th November

    Hi Joy,

    I really feel for you with all that you’re going through. It really sounds like the sort of situation where just getting through is such a huge effort and takes such a toll on you in so many ways. Can’t really think what else to say except HUGS and a 🙂 for hope of better days to come.

    I feel like I need to dump a bunch of my own stuff too. My 30th birthday is coming up fairly soon, and I wish it wasn’t. Bringing up a lot of s**t for me.

    The current thing that’s had me stuck in bed for the last couple hours stressing is a voicemail from an out-of-town acquaintance on my phone last night (didn’t hear it til today). Basically said “I’m in town tomorrow, call me to catch up”.

    The backstory – known each other from birth pretty much; family friends, etc etc. I’d kinda realized quite a few years ago that I didn’t really like him in many ways, and had basically stopped actively trying to pursue the friendship. He still usually calls to catch up with my parents, so since moving back home have seen him more from that.

    I think the thing that’s really f**king with me atm is that my mother seems to maintain her relationship out of obligation, and she also seems to expect us (her children) to be obligated too. It’s bulls**t. (Sorry, feeling pretty pissed about all this). I kinda wish I just completely hated/had no respect at all for the guy, so then I could just cut off completely and not care. Actually, I guess I don’t really have a lot of respect for him, but he can be fun to hang around.

    I’ve been so scared with my birthday approaching, because it’s the first one since I’ve seen through the brainwashing of my parents & shifted the blame to THEM for all the effects their abuse has had on me, instead of believing their indoctrination that all the ways I struggle to function in this world are my OWN fault.

    But they (of course) will only be concerned that they get to see what they want to see, and that I roll over and act like everything’s great and we’re a very happy family with no problems at all.

    And of course, to some degree at least, that’s what will happen. Because they shoot down even the smallest attempts at standing up for myself (nip any potential problems in the bud), I refuse to put myself through even MORE s**t from them right now. So I’ll just take the path of least resistance. Or not. Maybe I’ll just say I don’t want to celebrate, or that I don’t feel well or something. Then at least I wouldn’t have to sit through some god-awful pretense of a celebration.

    I really hate how hard everything is atm. Still holding on to the idea of getting out, cutting off, and giving myself the time & space to start healing and trying to get used to the idea that my life is MY LIFE. Maybe over time, I’ll then feel confident enough to stand up for myself and give them the option of changing if they want a relationship.

    And maybe I won’t. 30 years is a long time. I’ve been feeling extremely bitter about wasting my life trying to be something simply because my parents think they own me and acted accordingly. I honestly can’t see either of them changing their way of thinking or acting (especially not quickly, or significantly). And if I choose not to even give them the chance of adding further to the abuse by cutting off completely and forever, then so be it. It’s MY f**king life. They’ve already f**ked up 30 years of it, and quite frankly, I strongly suspect I’ll be dealing with the after-effects (to some degree, at least) for the rest of my life. Some legacy.

    Ok. I think I’m done.

    No idea what to do right now. I can’t even trust my own thoughts. Another friend has offered to take me out for tea, and I’d like to, but I’m guilting myself re feeling like I “have” to see my out-of-town friend, or invite them along too. And even though I wouldn’t mind seeing him in some ways, it’s the expectation that I just automatically WILL see him, whether I want to or not, or whether it’s convenient for me or not (no mention in the voicemail of asking if I had plans, let alone any notice beforehand – just expectation) that makes me want to just ignore it (or actually say “no” if I find a backbone somewhere!). Which of course, will most probably lead to repercussions when the story gets back to my mother (which it almost certainly will. His mother and my mother both seem to thrive on bitching about other people and all the ways in which THEY get mistreated. Cry me a f**king river. Look in the mirror sometime)

    Sorry for all the negativity & language (again).

    Take care everyone.

  17. By: MZC Posted: 25th November

    If I adopted my children out, moved in with her, provided my own necessities, and waited on her hand and foot, perhaps that would make her happy…for a while. Then she would find something that dissatisfied her and I could end up sacrificing my life make her happy (she has a history of belittling my injuries and illnesses: if I hurt, she hurts worse). At my funeral, she would make sure the spotlight was on her.

    I’ve taken to going to visit her Sunday afternoons, but even that little makes my stomach churn. Those snide little comments! I have heard that she brags on me to other people, perhaps to make them believe that she loves me and I love her and everything is hunky dory, which it certainly isn’t. I am an object to her, tolerable only in my service to her.

    She tears down my sister to me, and I’m sure she tears me down to my sister. She must be doing the “divide and conquer” thing. The really pathetic thing is that she is doing this from a position of relative helplessness (walker, wheelchair on outings, lift chair) and we are still trying to make her life perfect.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th November

      Hi Giftedwithbrokenness
      Yes, it is a way to deflect the conversation!
      Thank you for all these great examples of what I am talking about here!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi MZC
      Belittling injuries and illnesses is another great example of what happens… snide comments, yes. My mother was BIG on the divide and conquer thing too. With my mother I had to stop feeling sorry for HER and look at what it was doing to me and feel sorry for ME.
      Hugs, Darlene

  18. By: Pam Posted: 25th November

    Their brains are in backwards, Darlene…sigh…I disapointed my mom terribly when I was six and she bought a pair of saddle oxfords for me and I thought they were the ugliest shoes I’d ever seen. They were popular when she was a teenager. I tried to flush them down the toilet because I hated them so much. I think she still hasn’t forgiven me for that. She was really angry with me when I became a teenager and wanted to spend more time with my friends that with my mom. I’d disappointed her again because she had a fantasy of my being her best friend and doing everything together. I was dumb-founded then and it still dumb-founds me now. When I was grown and they moved in next door, I saw with adult eyes, that she expected me to fill every need, emotional and physical, and whenever I didn’t give her what she expected, my name was mud. I know she’s sick but I also know that she’ll never be able to admit it and that she’d never do anything about it. I can’t make her better. She makes me sicker. It’s really just about survival.

    Pam

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th November

      Hi J
      The “process” including realizing things we didn’t realize before, acceptance, clarity ~ all take time. Fear is very normal. I was so afraid to realize the truth about all this stuff. I was very afraid that I was going to find out that it was “really me” that was the problem and that I was going to find out that I was the one who was selfish and self centered. But I kept going. The truth shook out in the end. It wasn’t me. Hang in there!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Pam
      I got a huge smile at your story with the shoes! Thanks for sharing that!
      I can relate to all that you have shared here. I love your conclusions! she is sick; she refuses to see it; you can’t make her better; she makes YOU sicker; this is about survival ~ YES
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts here Pam!
      Hugs, Darlene

  19. By: MZC Posted: 25th November

    “I felt as though her disgust with me had to do with her false belief that I could make her world perfect if only I “wanted to”.”

    Bingo. Hits the nail on the head. An “aha” moment for me too, reading that.

  20. By: joy Posted: 25th November

    Hi J

    Right now .. my days have been filled with many deep breathing exercise sessions….. Everything that can be imagined about what can happen is playing out in my mind.. I will be so glad when it’s finally over as my heart has beating so much faster and my sleep less cosistent.. All that being said, I am doing the best I can.

    Joy

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th November

      Hi Barbara
      That is exactly what I realized too. I LOVE the way you put it!
      Thanks for these comments!
      Hugs! Darlene

      Hi Joy
      Hang in there my dear one! It hurt me deeply too when I saw other mothers “love” their kids through a real definition of love, but eventually that pain went away as I learned to love and re-parent myself. Today I appreciate SO MUCH when I see or hear about loving moms/parents. All of this takes time but it happened for me. There is hope for ALL healing.
      Hugs, Darlene

  21. By: joy Posted: 25th November

    Hello Giftedwithbrokenness..

    It must be terribly painful to have wanted to have your mom there understanding you and helping you during your divorce. . a time when having a mom would be so beneficial to you ..and knowing she would not be there. .She was too taken up in her own world . .She didn’t want to hear..and that’s sad.. How terrible that instead of holding your close and telling you how she loves she made you feel so much worse.. I understand those feelings in so many ways.. I am going through something that I wish my mom would be there for me as well..it’s an awful feeling. .having a mom but not really having one..it’s painful beyond words..

    Joy

  22. By: J Posted: 25th November

    Hi Darlene,

    this part really clicked with me:

    “…..I realized also that somehow I had believed that too, all my life; that I “could have been” the perfect daughter if “I wanted to.” But I believed that I was a failure as a daughter, just like she said. And because of that “failure” that I took responsibility for, I believed it was my job to restore her order by taking abuse from her.”

    It feels a bit strange in my head…. I think it’s kinda like it instantly felt important to me deep down, but my head can’t process it fully yet or specifically apply it to my own situation. Does that make sense? (I’m not sure if it even does to me)

    I’m also feeling a bit weird from thinking about narcissism. It’s something I haven’t felt able to read/think about that much yet, I think because I’m pretty afraid it’s going to apply to me as well as my parents. (I suppose this could be a “depression” thought just messing with me. But I guess deep down I’m pretty afraid it’s true).

    Not real sure what to do about that. Maybe I could try being gentle on myself for now and worry about it when I’ve got some stability in my life situation. Probably need to be away from the parental influence for a while and stabilize a bit more before trying to face up to the stuff I’ve inherited that I don’t want.

    Hope everyone’s doing well!

    PS Joy, thinking of you with court coming up. Hope you’re doing ok!
    🙂

  23. By: giftedwithbrokenness Posted: 25th November

    My histrionic mom seems to function in the same way. She has told me several times how she thinks I mean to hurt her. Really it is a way for her deflect the conversation. She gets so emotional and wrapped up in herself that she doesn’t hear me at all.

    During MY divorce, my mom had to make it all about HER. She entirely made up her version of events about my divorce which she knew nothing about. Why didn’t she know anything about the truth of events? Because not once did she call, sit down with me, nor ask me in anyway about what was happening and what I was going through.

    She does have perfectionist and outward-appearance (face-saving) tendencies so maybe it is why she has to create her own reality. Too bad that reality is based on
    lies, and based on calling her daughter a liar. As well, as abandoning her daughter in a time of great need, all for the sake of not being able to face reality.

    My maternal grandparents are extremely avoidant personalities, and I’m not sure how often this runs in the family of narcisissists too.

  24. By: joy Posted: 25th November

    Hi Darlene,

    What a dream.. how you come to see things through it is amazing too. I never had any such dreams: but I have known the feeling of being put second to something less important. Like a pack of cigarette, case of pop, the clothes dryer door. Whenever something of lesser value broke, I got broken. It was saying my welfare was less important to my mom than some dryer, some missing cigarettes, some spot on a dish.

    I know my mom was dysfunctioal.. her way of hitting me was to such extremes.. he way of treating me was nothing like that of a caring mother that I have heard of from friends..something inside her was not ticking quite right.

    Mothers who give life shouldn’t spend so much time destroying it..like my mom did through the daily beatings: physical and mental and emotional. Instead of takig time to teach me things to ready me for life she did all she could to rob me of it and she has in some way succeeded.. I walk wounded..trying to heal from years of abuse..

    I know she was no where normal.. as I have seen and heard from “mothers” how they love their children. this only intensifies my pain.. knowing how it should be and realizing how it was..

    I know though . I am going forward. .I have some good support. Thank you Darlene for this blog .. your continued support.. and frienship..

    Hugs..

    Joy

  25. By: Barbara Posted: 25th November

    This is exactly what I realized about Ns in general and my NMother – they have a play or story in their heads about how things should be. Since everyone is an OBJECT to them we are merely players/pawns in that performance.

    Of course we are REAL people and when reality intrudes on their trying to make their fantasy life real they RAGE. They can’t deal with anything but their own delusions. They hear what they want and see what they want – which causes a lot of WTF moments in us here in the real world.

    On of my mother’s favorite mantras – which was said to me in some way everytime we were around each other for more than 15 minutes, was “I KNOW YOU LIVE YOUR WHOLE LIFE JUST TO HURT ME!” Years later I realized there was no way I could make her see how insane and unreasonable that statement was. I was an object, you see, and should not have needs or thoughts of my own. She believed I was out to get or ruin her with her whole being. That’s when the light went off that it was HER not me.

    There you have it.

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