Thanksgiving Is An Oncoming Train

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Bach

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Thanksgiving Is An Oncoming Train
« on: November 20, 2019, 06:02:54 PM »
Trigger warning?  I don't know.  It triggers me.  Mother stuff.









I am very close to my brother, and for many years, he and I would host a Thanksgiving dinner for friends who didn't have other places to go.  We continued doing Thanksgiving dinners at his house after he started a family, and it was traditionally my favourite holiday.  However, a few years ago, my NM and her husband started coming to my brother's Thanksgiving dinner after they decided they were no longer up to making a trip out of state to spend Thanksgiving with one of his children.  As a result, Thanksgiving is now the one day a year that I see my mother.  It's a nuisance that has to be borne and there's never any drama, but even so, it messes me up.

I had some good days last week when even though I was feeling extremely down both physically and mentally, I was still able to more-or-less function, to do all the things I most needed to do, lay low and keep myself out of trouble the rest of the time, and bear it all with good grace.  But this week, I've been an absolute disaster, unable to concentrate, having difficulty sleeping, lacking the motivation to do even the smallest things, and filled at all times with frantic formless anxiety that makes it incredibly difficult to sit still, but just as difficult to attempt anything productive.  This morning I identified it as anxiety over seeing my mother next week, along with many other scary feelings, including an amount of anger I'm afraid to even recognise, much less admit to, and even a wish for her to die, not because of anything I feel or don't feel about her life or because I think that her being dead will give me any satisfaction or benefit in any way my struggle to manage my life's issues, but just because she has to die some time, and her dying will be ANOTHER @#$%^& THING that I'm going to have to deal with that is going to suck and bring up a million horrible thoughts and memories and difficult emotions (included will be excoriating grief over the mother she never was and the chance at a healthy life I never even had and the fact that she wanted me to die MY MOTHER WANTED ME TO DIE) and I want to get that &^% over with already.

help me I feel so bad I don't know how I'm going to stand it and just like when I was a child NO ONE WILL COME AND SAVE ME NO ONE WILL EVER COME AND SAVE ME
« Last Edit: November 20, 2019, 07:20:30 PM by Blueberry »

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Three Roses

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Re: Thanksgiving Is An Oncoming Train
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2019, 06:28:08 PM »
So sorry, Bach. I understand.  :hug:

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Blueberry

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Re: Thanksgiving Is An Oncoming Train
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2019, 07:40:09 PM »
I'm so sorry Bach! :hug: Unfortunately I understand due to that type of experience with FOO myself.

You mention that it's "a nuisance that has to be borne" and then detail what sounds like the beginnings of a pretty bad EF before you're even in the same room as your NM. For myself I eventually decided that I would remove myself from damaging mbrs of FOO and their damaging behaviour. That's the choice in the present that most of us (or probably all of us) didn't have as children. We were reliant on help from outside and that didn't usually happen.

I know it's really sad and even gut-wrenchingly painful giving up family celebrations with a FOO mbr you get on with because they're basically forcing you to meet with somebody abusive but ime having contact to those abusive and also the enabling FOO mbrs was just not worth it for the amount of triggering (including week or even month-long EFs) that ensued. ime during the process of healing the EFs got worse until I finally paid attention to their message.

Whatever you do, I'm standing with you. :hug: :hug:

 

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Kizzie

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Re: Thanksgiving Is An Oncoming Train
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2019, 08:40:46 PM »
So very sorry to hear this Bach, I know what that creeping dread and rising anger is like. Your NM's presence at what sounds like it was an enjoyable holiday in the past is yet another loss b/c of her.  What about not attending and putting yourself through that?   

Sending you much compassion and support  :grouphug:

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Three Roses

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Re: Thanksgiving Is An Oncoming Train
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2019, 09:26:47 PM »
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I know it's really sad and even gut-wrenchingly painful giving up family celebrations with a FOO mbr you get on with because they're basically forcing you to meet with somebody abusive but ime having contact to those abusive and also the enabling FOO mbrs was just not worth it for the amount of triggering (including week or even month-long EFs) that ensued.
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Your NM's presence at what sounds like it was an enjoyable holiday in the past is yet another loss b/c of her. 

Totally agree with the above statements. Since going formal NC with sibling my stress levels have come down dramatically. Supporting you in doing what works best for you, whatever that looks like.  :hug:

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Bach

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Re: Thanksgiving Is An Oncoming Train
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2019, 01:33:53 AM »
Thank you for the responses, friends.  I'd like to say that my brother is not forcing me to see my mother.  He's been my staunchest ally in my quest to understand and deal with what happened to me as a child.  If I felt that it was necessary for my mental well being to not come to Thanksgiving with our mother, he would be the first to tell me to stay home.  However, there are several reasons why it is important to me and how I feel about myself and my life that I go. 

The basic dilemma is that going will distress me, but not going will distress me in a whole different way.  I have thoroughly discussed the Thanksgiving question with my most trusted people, and concluded that I am not willing to sacrifice Thanksgiving with my brother's family for the sake of avoiding my mother.  My niece and nephew are still young, I don't have children of my own, and we don't have much local family.  I'm the only family my niece and nephew have who they see more than a few times per year, and they are the only children whose lives I'm able to play a consistent part in, so being there as part of their holiday tradition feels very important to me.  Plus, when I was a child, my mother was very big on disrupting my relationship with my brother, fostering conflict between us and including him while excluding me, all the while lamenting that he and I didn't get along well and would never have a good relationship.  The parenting my brother got wasn't quite as toxic as what I got, but his childhood was no picnic either, and discovering in our later teens that our shared experience could bond us rather than separate us has been tremendous for both of us.  Thanksgiving is our holiday, and I will not give it up for HER.  It's a situation in which neither choice is actually good, and so I have to determine which is less bad, and then make a plan for dealing with it.   I've made the determination.  I'm just a bit lost as to the plan.  In the past I have simply not allowed myself to think about it until the day, but that doesn't seem to be as possible now with my growing awareness of, well, pretty much everything about why I am the way I am that I was never aware of before.

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Kizzie

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Re: Thanksgiving Is An Oncoming Train
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2019, 06:36:29 AM »
Tksgiving is basically a long weekend so what about seeing them on a separate day from when your M is there? You could  start a new family tradition where you leave the cooking up to others and have a lovely meal out together so your B and his family can relax and so can you.  Keep the holiday, sidestep your M - win-win. 

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Three Roses

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Re: Thanksgiving Is An Oncoming Train
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2019, 09:52:39 AM »
I liked your statement -
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Thanksgiving is our holiday, and I will not give it up for HER. 

There were similar situations in my past when my kids were young and I wanted them to have contact with other people, other family, with whom I had good relationships. Choosing to be present when my parents esp my f was there seemed to be the best choice for me so I armed myself with tactics to stop his ability to push my buttons, start arguments, etc. There's a life coach who has a brief YouTube on things to say to narcs to stop them.
https://youtu.be/6TSh9zTHz2k

Also, if your b and you are united against her, the wind can be taken out of her sails so to speak - in my situation everyone knew how difficult my f could be so most people just tried to ignore him. (His brothers had the most difficulty with ignoring him.)

After the fact, I could concentrate on healing and relaxing. Like you, I was unwilling to forgo holidays just because of someone else's inability to behave like an adult.

If seeing your family on an alternate day won't work and you are just going to go and have to deal with her, then I wish you an enjoyable holiday with your dear bro. He sounds lovely.

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notalone

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Re: Thanksgiving Is An Oncoming Train
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2019, 01:34:23 AM »
Bach, I don't have any words of wisdom to add to what others have said. Just want you to know that I care.  :hug:

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Blueberry

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Re: Thanksgiving Is An Oncoming Train
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2019, 10:55:56 AM »
Sorry, Bach, "force" was maybe the wrong word. My thoughts were running along the line of: Is there any reason why your brother allows your M to be there when she was so abusive to you and he knows that? Circumstances at a FOO celebration brought me to look at that. I went VLC with the whole of FOO, but on the upside my healing has really been moving forwards since I was, well, forced to look at these things. It was gut-wrenching though in the first 2 to 2.5 years afterwards.

VLC/NC is not for everybody. I hear that it is not for you so e.g. that link from 3R is a good one to arm yourself with. I wish you an enjoyable Thanksgiving with your brother and family!

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Bach

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Re: Thanksgiving Is An Oncoming Train
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2019, 02:57:01 PM »
I so appreciate this dialogue with all of you.  It is very helpful.  I discussed all this with my therapist yesterday (and cried a lot) and I'm off the boil now.  In the past, I have dealt with this basically by NOT dealing with it, not allowing myself to think about it or worry about it, and, any time it started to creep in, dismissing myself with the thought of "I'll deal with it on the day, that's what drugs are for."  I think this poor strategy has contributed greatly to my getting ill in the aftermath, and I'm hoping that the processing I am doing now will help lessen that effect. 

Three Roses, that video was interesting, and gave me a new perspective on the relationship my NM had with her NM, and how it affected the way I deal with my relationships.  I found the parts about accepting the faulty perception, and not having a right to control that perception to be particularly resonant.  I will take it with me.

I am "Thanks-giving" to all of you for your compassion and support! :grouphug:


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Kizzie

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Re: Thanksgiving Is An Oncoming Train
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2019, 04:27:01 PM »
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I am "Thanks-giving" to all of you for your compassion and support!

Good one!   ;D   

Glad you're off the boil  :thumbup: and   :grouphug: