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 Post subject: Mom does what she does because of her, not me
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:44 pm 
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Don't take it personal...

Several weeks ago Mom didnt keep the credit card on file at my doctor's office updated. It's not personal. She forgets. it's not about me. I can get angry and feel she "wronged" me. But it's not about me. I can feel she donest understand how important it is to me, how my treatment and relief of suffering are held up by her, but in reality they wernet really. And, actually i handled it well above average. Yes mom has so much trouble empathizing, but that is also not about me. She has trouble empathizing because of her own wounding. She probably did not have anyone empathize with her own deep needs to be seen, heard, valued. yes, she makes choices now that are incredibly irritating, but this is not about me. It's about her own dream and illusions.

Mom said she'd get the problem fixed on Monday (it was Saturday) but didnt cal me and instead emailed on Tuesday pm, saying instead of calling Monday she spent the day "choosing to read about my doctor rather than get the financial problem taken care of" (???!!!!@#$!!!!!!!$@#!!!) and while i did take this personally at the time, and it was completely enraging for a bit, i can see now that it is not personal. My mom's choices have NOTHING to do with me. She is wounded and very annoying. She cant relate to others, to my pain. She cant see how rediculous this is. But still, it's not about me. It's about her. Her need to be "invovled" (ie - take over actually: ))....her need to be center stage. She needs this because she desperately needs love and attention....just like everyone else in the world, including me.

It's NOT about me. I can take it personally and suffer and feel "never seen", never heard, invalidated, but what will it get me? Anger and feeling unloved and unlovable.

I called her and was calm, but I escalated to a simmer (not a boil) about this. We almost never talk on the phone, mostly email relationship. She will view this as me being a bad, or difficult person. That I use her. That Im unkind. Ugh, I feel that I can never win with her. Ok.....dont have to take this personally. Mom will have that view of people no matter what. She thinks everyone wants her money. We don't. We want a relationship with her which we just find cannot happen (not easily anyway) and when we can't connect with her in a reasonable way, we distance. I need her financially because of my physical illness. My having an occasional melt down now and then is understandable. The disconnection between us that happens under the circumstances of who she is and who I am is just average. That she will see me as a bad person is average for someone who is viewing things as she does. It is not personal to me.

God/the universe is not unfair to me. Bzillions of people everywhere have annoying parents, it's not about me. It's not personal.


I dont have to fix it to make everythign all right. That she will view me as she does is not my fault and it is not personal. I can spend more time getting upset. I can try to help her see how I viewed this interaction (as i did do.....to no avail)......and suffer. Or i can decide to not take it personal. Man that's hard. It's hard feeling she thinks im a bad person. I can learn to not take this personally.


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 Post subject: Re: Mom does what she does because of her, not me
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 1:34 pm 
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Once again, it's like reading my own life.

I think you are doing an incredible job at keeping this in perspective. Your mother is abusive to you (passive aggressive, not doing what she said she would, shifting the goal posts without telling you, making a dependent person wait and feel nervous about getting necessary help) and it's hard NOT to take that personally. The fact that you can go through all of this crazy making and BS and STILL realize it truly isn't about you, even though it directly impacts you is OUTSTANDING.


BRAVA BRAVA BRAVA

STANDING OVATION


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 Post subject: Re: Mom does what she does because of her, not me
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:49 am 
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Thanks Surreal. That was nice to hear. : )

It comes and goes though! It's true that things had definitely been getting better with my relationship with my mom over the last few years. I saw her web of tricks and quirks, disengaged from them, distanced myself while maintaining a civil and mildly warm connection with her, refrained from reacting to her, and had a lot of grace about just trying to let her be her. But after all this calm, the storm came back recently....there was this minor blow up over the credit card/doctor issue, and then a HUGE, gigantic blow out (1.5 hr phone call explosion) last Wednesday about more medical stuff, and well, just about everything.

(Note, FYI...ok, this post turned into more of a journal writing about my connection with mom...To Surreal, or whomever: Read if you want)...

Among my brilliant points in that phone call ; ) that I decided to "enlighten" her about was the idea that she ought to quit focusing on a bpd dgx i was given, but rather to consider that my therapist is pretty sure that my mom has her own personality disorder - NPD. And then I went ahead and decided to share with her every single other deep disappointment I have had and still have in her!! It wasn't a pretty call.

It felt good to say these things that over the years, she has always refused to engage in conversation about (she cant tolerate criticisms), but the aftermath is not feeling good. For one, I doubt she'll have heard much of what i said. But also I was just so negative, so allll black with no white, it was a bpd hour! And everytime i made a point, I could see that I was just blaming her for things that she just cant comprehend and arent her fault. She's too wounded, and I've held her accountable for things that I just cant hold her accountable for.

She said she's never given me empathy for my (physical) illness (of 20 years) because she always thought that saying how bad it is would just make me feel more hopeless. (!!!@??@@!%$#%@!!!) Ive been taking it so personally for most of my life that she can't/won't offer words of kindness and empathy, validation. I felt Ive told her the kind of things I'd like to hear (she has said in the past that she doesnt like being told what to say which pissed me off and furthered my resentment toward her) But now i see more clearly that i too have made assumptions in taking it personally. For *her*, hearing empathetic words would make her feel worse. Not for me. But for her. So she wasn't as much witholding kindness from me, as doing waht she really thought would be helpful.

It's confusing. I mean it's true what i just said. But there is also the truth that I have told her waht i want and she has not been open to it. And that is partly a character defect of hers. I guess it's both. It involves both my misunderstanding her, and also her character defect. But even still, that is not personal to me is it.

Since I told her about my bpd dgx about three years ago, I feel she has taken just a little too much interest in it. It was ok at first, but then it's like she turns me into a project. And brings it up all the time, while still refusing to acknowledge the traumas and invalidating environment (like her!!!) that landed me with that dgx. Even still, there is truth in what she had to say last Wed...She got my achilles heel...in asking how much of my physical illness is affected by my bpd. And I have to admit in retrospect that there was kindness involved in her asking this even though it enraged me at the time. I have to admit that while she does turn me into a project and she does get way overly involved if I don't protect my boundaries with her, I can see that she also truly does want good things for me - she wants me to have the most effective treatment for my physical illness and if that involves treating the emotional traumas in order to help the physical, then she wants that. The physical treatment we were discussing was not covered by my insurance and is ghastly expensive. I can see her point now. And I can see how i threw in all my own thoughts in my head about me not working hard enough on an emotional level before asking for physical help. And how Im a spoiled, little demanding shit who can't tolerate the physical distress I'm in.

The truth is that i while i was sooooooo triggered and went from peaceful to totally ashamed/enraged in about three seconds, I was denying that my mom's concern is my own concern as well. Ive done tons and tons of emotional and somatic/trauma body work. And yet i do still wonder if some keys to my physical illness are still locked up somatically by the emotions. I feel sooooooooo angry at this....that I havent been able to get clear and have the confidence to say, I've tried as hard as I could. I did the work. Time to treat the physical now. I wish i felt the confidence to say that I've surrendered enough on an emotional level. I do. and then I don't. I do. and then don't.

I hate fricken surrendering constantly. I hate it! I hate constantly having to OWN my own uncertainty. Do you always have to own it? Seriously. I mean, is it ever helpful to just not own it??


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 Post subject: Re: Mom does what she does because of her, not me
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:43 am 
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Liz,
It does sound to me like your mom is concerned about you, though not in the way you might want her to be :)
Sorry what do you mean by surrendering emotionally?


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 Post subject: Re: Mom does what she does because of her, not me
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:05 pm 
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Mere,

You are right. Heard that as invalidating at first. But you are right. So thank you.

She doesn't meet my emotional needs at all. But I do need to shift focus to see that, within her limitations, she does care.

Surrendering emotionally - to me means when you put down your defenses. Some believe that negative emotions make you or keep you physically sick. I believe that's possible and Im unsure how much of my emotional problems keep me physically sick and whether I feel I've worked hard enough/surrendered enough emotionally.

I also believe that being physically ill can make you emotionally sick, too. How much of one is causing the other has been something that has not been totally clear to me and a source of shame.

Of course you can treat both the physical and emotional at the same time and just do whatever seems to help. The thing though in this case is that the treatment we were discussing for my physical illness is not covered by insurance and is incredibly expensive. So to ask her to help me financially for a physical treatment, I want to feel that I have done what I can on an emotional level to do "my part".


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 Post subject: Re: Mom does what she does because of her, not me
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:11 pm 
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Liz,
I do think you are currently doing your part on the emotional healing, by working out your issues on this board :)
Yeah I personally think that physical and emotional are linked to a certain extent, but they are also two separate dimensions. I notice that I tend to succumb to flu whenever I have been too down emotionally. But sometimes physical illnesses have a cause of their own too :)
So your mum is helping you with the financial aspects of the physical healing, is it?


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 Post subject: Re: Mom does what she does because of her, not me
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:45 am 
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Have to keep remembering that what mom does is because of her, not me. I asked her to please talk to my doctor about the treatment he is recommending, and she said she needs to take time to confer with a counselor to get support and advice on how to proceed with an adult child who needs financial support. She is therapist shoppping for someone who specializes in bpd. She said it might be a week, a few weeks, a month, she said she didnt want to commit or say.

I do feel some understanding and compassion, but Im pissed! Im in intense physical distress. Who says to their daughter, "I know you are in serious distress. I know it's been a few months. But I need at least another month." Her goal is really not a decision. It is support for herself, an arena for her to deal with her own issues. She'll want me to listen to her emails about her personal growth about it all. Fricken pissed off.

Mom does this because of HER not me. I already know that. Have to keep remembering that. She is disconnected from my pain. Have to keep remembering that. It's hard to understand it. Im feeling invalidated. Feeling my pain doenst matter. But i have to keep remembering that she has said it very clearly that she distances from my pain because it overwhelms her. It's not because of me. I can do this. I can see that it's because of her, not me.


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 Post subject: Re: Mom does what she does because of her, not me
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:01 am 
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Liz94 wrote:
she said she needs to take time to confer with a counselor to get support and advice on how to proceed with an adult child who needs financial support.


how and IF to proceed, that is. She is not even sure she is going to decide to continue helping me. ...There are a lot of details to all of this. But the point is still that I need to see that what I perceive as invalidation is her taking actions because of what is going on with her own self, her own thoughts, wounding, her needs, her perceptions, her flaws, her choices. It's not because I'm a bad person, or too needy, too insistent, too ugly, my needs are invalid, im not in pain, or that i dont need relief. It's because of her.


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 Post subject: Re: Mom does what she does because of her, not me
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 4:12 pm 
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You are not a bad person. A bad person would never make this kind of effort to improve themselves. Good for you that you did not boil over. I have struggled with feeling like a bad person my whole life. That is just what happens when you grow up not being validated or being allowed to have needs. Your needs matter and you are seeing to it that they get taken care of so good for you.


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 Post subject: Re: Mom does what she does because of her, not me
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:28 am 
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Thanks Renee.

I appreciate it. : )


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 Post subject: Re: Mom does what she does because of her, not me
PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:29 am 
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Ugh, having a really hard time WAITING for if/when she will let me have this treatment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ugugugugugh

I know she does what she does because of her not me.

but it's still awful waiting. the distress is horrible.

Perhaps the thing makeing the distress worse is my less than developed ability to be "there for myself". If I could feel compassion for msyelf, feel this is reallllllly hard, feel this isnt my fault im suffering, tell myself im hre for me. hold my hand, hug msyelf, soothe myself. get some kind of relief. ugh, so hard to do tht wo/sleep. um......jeesh..........maybe I should start looking ways to get other funding....medical needs funding.

ugh ugh ugh.

thinking blabbering, complaining. can someone see me? lonely here. would enjoy a wave if someone can see me.

i have to admit i havent bee following other threads the last two days, myself. i will catch up soon.

sending out healing thoughts to all.
Liz


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 Post subject: Re: Mom does what she does because of her, not me
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 9:21 pm 
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I'm here liz. I'm here.

many, many hugs!


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 Post subject: Re: Mom does what she does because of her, not me
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 9:32 pm 
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thanks mm, i appreciate it.


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 Post subject: Re: Mom does what she does because of her, not me
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:07 am 
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I am sooooooooooo upset!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank Gawd I have a counseling appt. tomororow. i should NOT have read my email this late at night. I knew i shoudlnt have.

So mother took her precious month to reconsider, and sent me an email tonight with very little information, although it looks 95% clear that she will not help me with medical treatments anymore. She will help with some very basic needs, but it looks like she has decided not to help me medically anymore. I am sooooooooo upset. As usual, she provides very little information, drops her bombs, then expects me to act completely civil and kind toward her. Too many details to write about it. Just SO FRICKEN UPSET.

I am sooooooooo upset. i desperately need my health back, my life is a fricken living hell and i am so flipping upset with her. hate her fricken guts right now. hope she rots in a nursing home staring at the ceiling as i have been doing for so long. oh my gawd i am so upset.

I truly thought we connected in those calls to her a month ago when there was all this connection and forgiveness. She was about to agree to help me medically, it was so close. I was not expecting this.

Will i distance from her again? cut her out of my life again? how can i forgive her??

too soon to think of all this. just need to talk somehwere, it's late, no one to talk to. have to calm down. i cannot sleep. so upset.

What can i learn from this??? how can this be something valuable?? Maybe this will be the opportunity to see how incredibly invalidating she has been for 42 years. how completely incapable she is of connecting with anyone else's pain. how completely narcisissitcally wounded she is. Will this be my opportunity to learn to finally validate myself. ive come a long way. But i still flounder so much. SO MUCH. In fact i SUCK at self validation. In many ways im still a spineless person without integrity. Im so spineless it makes me hate myself and i think seeing my flaw - that's what makes me forgive her narcissism. We are both flawed. She has abandoned me so many times. Maybe this one will be the one where i take it learn what i need to finally get well and heal. Will i have the wearwithall without my physical health? uuuuuuuuuuuuuuughhhhhhhhhhhhhh this is sooooooooooo painful.

Would really appreciate any words from anyone. will write more soon.

liz

this is so painful.


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 Post subject: Re: Mom does what she does because of her, not me
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:48 am 
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Liz
Many hugs to you...

I think you're experiencing pain on two levels - physical and emotional...

can't help you on the physical part...

I think you got to see your mother's decision as HER STUFF, then it will be less painful for you. Do you feel she's rejecting you or abandoning you?


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 Post subject: Re: Mom does what she does because of her, not me
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:29 am 
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Thanks meremortal.

Yes of course i feel abandoned.

I should add something....When i said i hope my mom rots in a nursing home staring at the ceiling...That sounds pretty horrible unless you understand that my mom, while she is 82 years old, is still healthier than all four of her children. She does not and has never taken a pill for any illness - because she has none. She still dances tango and moves like someone in their 30's or 40's. While she is getting older and is slowing down, she has rarely suffered physically in her life. I was fantasizing about us switching places - I was wishing she would experience what I have experienced for the last twenty years -I have been the one who has spent a lot of time as the sick old person rotting away alone, and isolated. I am having fantasies of her experiencing the same. With no children to come visit, inadequate medical care, alone and rotting. etc etc etc. Dont worry, just fantasies i was having.

Am starting to feel some silver lining. Not strongly yet. Waivering. But maybe this is a gift. I am realizing how many times she has abandoned me that I am aware of. Ive only really understood the last few years how she has done this. I coudlnt see it before. Maybe it's getting clear. When she does this, I have turned everythign on myself, beliveing i was the cause of these abandonments. Or believed my pain was not significant or real. Believed i was too needy. Too ugly. etc. Believed i was bad and my needs werent real. A walking shame-being, every second of my life practically. It's the invalidation more than the actual abandonment that is so damaging I think.


...Don't want to face the other part...Ugh.....The part that i helped co-create. Ugh, it's confusing. How much did i create my own suffering? Waivering all over here. I can see that I should forgive her because i see that it's a wounded ego taht makes her do these things. Wounded egos make people do very negative things. It makes her be an asshole to me. And my wounded ego makes me have unending pity parties. What's the difference? They are both blame-worthy. How can I blame her if I am to blame too? Hard to forgive myself now. If I can forgive myself, maybe I can heal. It is so hard. Confused. Glad I have counseling today.


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 Post subject: Re: Mom does what she does because of her, not me
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:39 am 
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Liz, I am so sorry. I don't know what to say. I am so sorry to hear this news.

Now it's time to figure out what other resources are available to you to get your needs met. Can we help you puzzle it out of you would like us to?

Disability? Medicare? Volunteers maybe? There is a program in Albany NY which matches people with mental illness and companions to do activities with. i realize you are talking about physical stuff, but just as an example of resources that might be out there to fill in some of the holes...can you speak with a social worker, who usually have tons of resource suggestions?

I know just how you feel. i am so sorry liz.

surreal


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 Post subject: Re: Mom does what she does because of her, not me
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:13 am 
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I can really relate to the pain of invalidation. Reading the work of Alice Miller has been very comforting. It felt as if she was validating me and encouraging me as I read her books. I would definitely recommend The Body Never Lies to you.


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 Post subject: Re: Mom does what she does because of her, not me
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:47 am 
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Renee, thanks for the book recommendation. I read a bit online about it. Have you read The Courage to Forgive, the Freedom not to? It sounds like it might be similar in certain ways. It was interesting what Miller wrote about emotional and physical illnesses being created by abuse. This is what I have struggled with for so long. I wonder how much my physical illness is created by or maintained by my emotional and mental state. There is no lack of opinions out there on this issue - from New Age ideology that can go so far as to say we make ourselves sick to those who believe they have no connection.

I read online a review of Miller's book and it said that Miller feels that the parent is to blame for abuse, no matter if they were aware of it or not. Was that your experience of reading it? That sounds sort of severe to me. Maybe that was just the reader's interpretation.

I think with my mom what I am feeling is that most of the time she really truly seems unaware of how she harms others. She is so concerned with protecting herself, that she just cannot see or feel for others very well.

Forgiveness is a personal issue. I'm not sure what I think about it right now. I know that i felt a whole lot better when i felt forgiving of her a month ago. I forgave her because I saw that I am weak too, in many ways. I've been waffling this whole time, feeling spineless about asking her for this treatment because I am not sure that I deserve it - not sure that I have taken enough responsibility on an emotional level that would either heal my physical state (to some degree - im not saying completely) or make my life at least tolerable and bearable, joyful even, amidst the distress. I fricken hate owning my own certainty!


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 Post subject: Re: Mom does what she does because of her, not me
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:03 pm 
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Liz94 wrote:
I fricken hate owning my own certainty!


i meant: uncertainty


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 Post subject: Re: Mom does what she does because of her, not me
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:51 pm 
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I prefer to not use the word blame but rather responsibility. The parent is definitely responsible for the damage that they inflicted whether it was intentional or not. Too often victims of abuse blame themselves. People who are/were victimized deserve an advocate. We are responsible for how we deal with the damage that has been done to us. My parents are very much responsible for where I find myself today in terms of psychological/emotional damage but I am responsible for my recovery. Sometimes I really resent how hard I have to work and I really wish that I was never born. Part of me says that I never asked to be born and another part of me believes that I agreed to all of this before being incarnated. It's hard for me to believe that I would agree to all of this sometimes. Today I am very angry at what I perceive to be a burden rather than a gift. I wonder "Why me?" I guess I will have to just keep doing the work and hope that the answer will be revealed. Today it occurred to me that perhaps I am being stripped of every vestige of pride that I have so that I can move on to a higher level of consciousness.

On the forgiveness thing... I like the idea of it but sometimes I just don't feel it. Forgiveness cannot be forced. Some people say that they have forgiven but they really haven't. I don't want to do that. I do not want to nurse secret grudges and in order not to I have to give myself space and time. However much I need. It is a lot easier said than done.


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 Post subject: Re: Mom does what she does because of her, not me
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 3:14 pm 
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venting here:

Hate my fricken mom. hate her hate her hate her. hate her fricken guts.

HATE HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Im so TIRED of owning my own feelings in reaction to what she does to trigger them!!!!!

Feel like a victim!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where is my soft place to fall? My comforter? My nurturer???!!! NOWHERE.

dont want to own anymore when she triggers me to feel like a bad, spoiled, needy, greedy, irresponsible person. dont want to own these feelings at all anymore.

cold emails, condescending shit, condescending warped language. Uses miguel ruiz in all the wrong ways. no capacity for empathy. she and her accountant can go *&(%*&^ themselves. wish i had zero financial connection with them both. ugh. now that she's exited the picture logistically, she's turned things over to her cold accountant. cannot stand corresponding with him. everythihg's twisted. she goes back on agreements with me.

such cold language. aghhhhhhhUO34jkl54URI3@#$@#$!$ughgugugugh!!!!!

course im just whining because inside waht i feel is afraid that everythign i feel might be right: im just a spoiled irresponsible bitch.

AGH@@$#@#$@#Q$#


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 Post subject: Re: Mom does what she does because of her, not me
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:37 pm 
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You may feel like you are bad, spoiled, needy etc. but that does not make it true. All human beings have needs. It seems to me that you would appreciate being validated and heard and treated as if you matter. There is nothing wrong with that. There are people who can do that for you.

I had to go no contact with certain people who really were invalidating me to a degree that was simply unacceptable. I am better off. Of course everybody's situation is different.


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 Post subject: Re: Mom does what she does because of her, not me
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:02 pm 
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I know this one’s going back, and that I’m new, and do not have BPD… but wow, thanks for the insight, and I’m in love with someone who does. Her mother and a couple of social extremist brothers are all she has. She treats her mother like shit, it’s unreal to witness. She’s peaches & cream to the rest of society - but to those closest to her, especially those who can’t abandon her, she comes down hard.

I know this is a nurturing place, and though finding myself on the “outside” of BPD, by proximity and love - I’m standing within the flames. The repeated “Hate hate hate” I just read has been leveled at me, before an/ the eventual apology. That kind of rhetoric and accusation has consequences, it has to. What self respecting person (let alone narcissistic) would accept it?

Personally, I’ve had that same ‘phone call’ with my mother – it was ugly, both unleashing pent-up hostilities of a lifetime, at least mine.. In the end, we calmed, as I ‘thanked her’ for not hanging up but hanging in there. There’s been no need in the last couple of years to bring it up. Actually, I found it healthy to have had such an ugly exchange and moved on. My father would likely have been a different story.

Mom’s 78 and Dad’s 83 – and they’re no longer responsible for me. If anything, I feel responsible for them! Will I put them through the Hell they did me and my siblings? No. Why? Because they’ve grown, and appeared at the time to have done their best. What parent knowingly messes up their offspring? Purposefully, I can’t imagine ~

I’ve pointed out my mate’s hostility toward her mother, as did her brother after an extended visit. She didn’t know she’d been harsh or mean; no doubt the BPD at work. I’ve pointed out her propensity to cow to others while ‘taking it out’ on those closest to her and she appears to be paying closer attention. Those who love you want to help, and even with the narcissistic traits of this mother, she must be doing her best, limited as it is… So let ‘us’ help ~ we love you. And if we can’t help, look elsewhere, we’d expect you to.


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