So confused

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Annegirl

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So confused
« on: September 19, 2014, 11:12:40 AM »
My husband was the first person to show me that my mother wasn't your average mother. He was appalled when it was he day before our wedding and she scratched me on my arm and made me bleed. Then he hasn't got over when she texted him when I ate an apple at my parents house while I was pregnant and she told him tell "my name" to get her own fruit and don't bludge off us. ( I used to be the "mother" from age 14 to 22 as she was never home. Plus I had to pay board. There are many horrendous stories I could say that she did to me but I'll stick to the light stuff as I read that trigger alert thing so I won't go into details about anything. All I'll say is that when she was home any little thing could set her off, finding one of my hairs on the bench for example, or if she was angry at my father, first he'd gets beating so I'd take the younger children with me and lock us in the bathroom so they won't see it even though we could hear it, then she'd come storming to the bathroom door and a couple of times she made her voice soft and told me open the door I promise I won't hurt you so I open the door and she was lying to get me to open the door so she can hurt me. So now I'm confused because she sent an email because for the sake of my father I sent a photo of our children to them last week and she thanked "my children" for the photo and sent a photo of her and my sister and her children and a child my mother is looking after in the weekends she has cerebral palsy and I had a dream that she sat that child down roughly one day when she was angry and is dreamt I was there and tried to call the police but they had disconnected the phone and my mother dug her nails into my arm. I know that part is just a dream but I am so confused she is all nice and mellow now and changed and apparently is sad about my and her relationship ( according to my brothers) just feel pretty * about it all and I am angry that she can show herself to be such a wonderful person in public and even be allowed to look after a child after everything she has done. But then none of us are perfect and maybe in her older age (60) she is mellowing out.  ( not that 60 is v. Old)

Re: So confused
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2014, 12:51:30 PM »
Sorry to hear that. That has to re-open a lot of old wounds. Honestly, I'd be confused too. If someone was that weird to me for such a long time, merely being "sad about the relationship" doesn't really cut it. I'd need to know that they realize they've done a bad thing. From what you wrote, I'm getting the mental image that your mother seems to think that some badness happened all by itself, as if emotional abuse is like toadstools, it just pops up and you go look at it and make some vague regretful noises and that will make things be okay. - That isn't enough. That isn't nearly enough. - I'm talking for myself here, maybe other people are more forgiving.

No, that's nothing to do with forgiving, coming to think of it. Forgiveness isn't the same thing as "absolving the other person from the consequences of what they've done". It's very possible to forgive someone and still keep your distance, knowing that contact would put you at risk again. I forgive the tiger for eating baby bunnies, but that doesn't mean I'm going to take my own pet rabbit to the zoo and fling it into the tiger enclosure.

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keepfighting

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Re: So confused
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2014, 12:55:27 PM »
Your mother sounds like a two faced, cold hearted manipulator. I am so sorry for the way you've been treated as a child/adolescent/adult. It sounds horrible. (((hug)))

Before you let yourself get too confused over a small incident and begin to doubt yourself too much: Look at the evidence of her actions, pay no attention to her words or those of her flying monkeys. Does this letter of thanks addressed to your children really show remorse about how she treated you? Does it demonstrate that she wants things between you and her to improve or might it be an attempt to influence your own children in her favor? ...

Here's a link to an enlightening article about emotional manipulation, how to spot it and protect yourself against it. Maybe you know it already.

http://themindunleashed.org/2014/09/8-ways-spot-emotional-manipulation-free.html

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Annegirl

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Re: So confused
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2014, 09:12:03 PM »
Thank you so much Scroedinger's cat and keep fighting.
I found your responses to be helpful and yes it will definitely help to look at the evidence of her actions.
After almost 8 years of me not going back home a few months ago my dad had a major heart attack and was in ICU and i was getting emergency passports ready to go see him, and booked a motel my mother went nuts and told me not to come as my father needed REST etc, I wasn't going to listen to her and started packing etc but all my energy just went and knowing i wasn't welcome anymore and discovering that my father pulled through the operation i didn't go. She has somehow turned the whole thing around and I'm the bad guy….

Re: So confused
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2014, 12:46:27 PM »
Oh wow. And that was just eight months ago?! Honestly, I think you have every right in the world to keep your distance from her. That might be the best policy even if you didn't have CPTSD. Since you have, there's just too much at stake for you.

Out of the Fog has some information on a thing called the "Medium Chill". http://outofthefog.net/CommonNonBehaviors/MediumChill.html It's a way of detaching from a person in a subtle way that gives them as little ammunition as possible. It's an extra option if simply cutting off all contact might make things yet more difficult.

You probably know that website already. In case you don't, it offers a good and comprehensive overview about the many, many unhealthy and damaging behaviours that you get blasted with when you're interacting with people who have personality disorders. There's also a forum, like the one here.


EDITED TO ADD: I just happened upon the thread on regression. HOLY SH*T. No, no, really and truly, I can't blame you for wanting to NOT be in touch with Mommy Dearest. This is just chilling to read. I'm so sorry you had to go through all that, and at such a time! I'm sorry for your loss, annegirl.



« Last Edit: September 20, 2014, 01:03:54 PM by schrödinger's cat »

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selfcompassion

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Re: Relationships with SOs
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2014, 07:01:56 PM »
It can be difficult to understand this kind of behavior until we fully understand our imposed role as the "family scapegoat". Your description of the treatment you are receiving, is nothing more than garden-variety family scapegoating. That is the role that has been forced on you, quite likely since birth (though roles can change, depending on the emotional manipulators goals).

Have you ever encountered John Bradshaw's work on the family? He is on youtube, and he is a wonderful place to start learning about what is being done to you; by your nuclear family, and extended kin-group.

The scapegoat role is one you may never escape -- in their eyes. But you can change it for yourself, and your new family. It is some of the most important work a childhood trauma survivor can do, and can be the starting point for anyone's recovery from CPTSD. Once you have a full understanding of scapegoating, you can begin to learn what you will tolerate, and what you wont. It gives you personal power over the attempts she makes to "put you in your place". Your authentic place in this world is that of a full-fledged human being, not a whipping-post for disordered family members.

They cannot make you a scapegoat unless you help them. You have to place yourself -- and by extension your new family -- in that arena.


Your mother crosses the line from passive aggressive scapegoating, to actual bodily harm. You cannot fix her. You cannot fix "it." You can only reject the scapegoat role, and stop rewarding the scapegoaters with your presence. If you keep standing there, they will continue to throw handfuls of their stinky stuff on you. The scapegoat has to remove him/herself from the battle. Let it rage-on without your presence. Let them eat each-other, while you focus on recovery, and your new -- much more important -- family.

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Annegirl

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Re: So confused
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2014, 10:36:14 PM »
Thank you SC for your response, I really love your validation as even though sometimes validation surprises me it helps me SO much.
Thank you selfcompassion for what you wrote, I will definitely look that guy up. I love your wise words very very much and I am already on the path of focusing on my own family and have learnt to love my children unconditionally and am seeing great encouraging results. I am starting to see maybe it is best to have no contact although Schroedinger's Cat medium chill about once or twice a year by phone is probably something I will learn to do. I did NC and then my mother turned up one night having made a decision that day to book a flight to "surprise" me while I was in labour with my now youngest..... at the time I was over the moon as she was in my space and I knew she wouldn't get stressed about the children touching things as it wasn't her house, she took the children for a walk to the playground and I thought our relationship was repaired and she was better now in her older age. Now, her flying over that time always adds so much confusion for me now.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2014, 11:34:01 PM by Annegirl »

Re: So confused
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2014, 07:35:48 AM »
Then you might perhaps find this interesting: http://www.outofthefog.net/CommonBehaviors/PushPull.html:

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Push-Pull - A chronic pattern of sabotaging and re-establishing closeness in a relationship without appropriate cause or reason. ... Sometimes they draw us close, other times they push us away either overtly or through behaviors which drive us away. ... [We] can clearly see inconsistencies in the cyclical arguments and behaviors [we] are dealing with, yet the person with the Personality Disorder may be completely blind to the contradictions.

More at Out of the Fog. An acquaintance of mine did that: she'd sucker you in with honeyed words and little favours and presents, and then once you'd let your guard down, there'd come the barbed comments. No, what am I saying, not just barbed. Stiletto remarks, honed to a fine point, hitting you right where it hurt. And then, when you were hurt and pulling away from her: "Oh, I didn't mean it like that", etc, and she'd be all honeyed kindness again. If you resented her for what she did, she was every inch the unjustly persecuted innocent. It was HIGHLY confusing. But then thank goodness I came across a definition of Borderline Personality Disorder, and it fit her to a nicety. I'm not saying your mother has that, because I don't know her. But there are some behavioral patterns that are confusing because normal rules of normality don't apply to them. Sometimes, if a thing looks weird, it's not because we don't get it or because we're too ill-informed: it's because the thing is weird.

And I'm glad you're feeling better.  :)

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Annegirl

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Re: So confused
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2014, 09:38:18 AM »
 :) Thank you so much SC, and Gosh, that push pull thing seems to fit, she fits into pretty much every single label of NPD which is the fight type of cptsd apparently..... She was in therapy, counselors etc for pretty much 15 yrs or so but I don't know * she ever told them b/c all I ever heard from them is that your mother is very unwell and needs you to help her more and not talk back so much etc etc etc like *??!!! Just getting everyone to back her controlling me, so I steered clear of therapists for so long only up until this year.  I hope you don't see that friend anymore.....

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selfcompassion

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Re: So confused
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2014, 01:24:06 PM »
You are the only person who can decided to go no-contact with toxic family members. I had to with all of my family, because they simply refuse to release me from the scapegoat role. I refused the role after reading John Bradshaw's work. I named it, I owned it, and now I refuse it.

But your contact with your family is something only you can decide. I cannot give such advice as it is not my place to make huge decisions for you. We really need to reflect, with the help of a good trauma doctor, to make our decisions on what our new boundaries will be for us and our new families. It is important to protect your new family as much as you are able. Protecting them, protects you. Just don't go overboard and make any final decisions before talking it over with someone you can trust. It's tricky, and help is needed.

Just because a person shares some DNA with you, does not mean they get to mistreat you. In fact, it should come with a promise of unconditional love and compassion. If it does not, you may have to decide to enforce protective boundaries. You will need help with that, as scapegoats have a very difficult time creating functional boundaries on their own. But it is a skill that can be learned, like all of the skills that can lead you down the path of recovery.

Re: So confused
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2014, 02:42:15 PM »
No, thank goodness, I don't have any contact with her anymore. She lives on the other side of the country, and we only met a few times because a common friend of ours was critically ill.

Sorry to hear about your mother's therapists. As if things hadn't been bad enough for you already...  :-\
« Last Edit: September 21, 2014, 02:49:16 PM by schrödinger's cat »

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Annegirl

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Re: So confused
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2014, 10:46:50 PM »
Self compassion- we are in a different country to her though...

SC- phew, she's gone! And thank you, it's really great being able to get over it here with you supportive and validating friends. :)

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Annegirl

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Re: So confused
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2014, 01:15:30 PM »
Your mother sounds like a two faced, cold hearted manipulator. I am so sorry for the way you've been treated as a child/adolescent/adult. It sounds horrible. (((hug)))

Before you let yourself get too confused over a small incident and begin to doubt yourself too much: Look at the evidence of her actions, pay no attention to her words or those of her flying monkeys. Does this letter of thanks addressed to your children really show remorse about how she treated you? Does it demonstrate that she wants things between you and her to improve or might it be an attempt to influence your own children in her favor? ...

Here's a link to an enlightening article about emotional manipulation, how to spot it and protect yourself against it. Maybe you know it already.

http://themindunleashed.org/2014/09/8-ways-spot-emotional-manipulation-free.html

Wow thank you for this link keep fighting. And thank you for your wise words. They helped me so much today. She has never apologised or shown remorse and yet today my twin brother told me my and her relationship is her most painful problem right now and that she feels really guilty about it.