but its my fault!

  • 6 Replies
  • 1071 Views
*

green tree sky

  • Member
  • 12
    • View Profile
but its my fault!
« on: October 30, 2017, 11:17:22 PM »
 :heythere:
I am having a bit of a hard time and feel the need to reach out to other people who understand.

While I have had 'mother issues' for a hundred years and have visited counselors for about 22 of those it is only within the last year that I have understood narcissism and CPTSD - making sense of all the issues I have experienced all my life (now just about to turn 60). Both parents are still alive in mid 80 NM/BPD with enabling father. I instigated no contact with them about 6 months ago which was wonderful but I find it so hard to hold the line that it was them and not me that was the problem.

Our family world was set up to make my mother happy - it was the role my father had taken on and made sure the children upheld his role.  NM is of the seductive variety, (queen BPD) never be seen to be mean or hurtful, she manipulated my father, who is actually very soft-hearted, into punishing the children (my brother and I)  if we did not 'make her happy'.

So while I did get some pretty brutal physical punishment early on the ongoing damaging stuff was her mission to turn me into herself and live vicariously through me. She became adept at using emotional blackmail, backed up by the unspoken threat of physical punishment ('the look' as Pete Walker calls it) ). The subtlety of it makes it SO hard to hold onto the truth that it is not me that caused the depression, low achievement, inability to stick with anything, workaholism, dissociation, the isolating, the codependency, the CPTSD.

-- I was never allowed to say anything that she did not want to hear
-- if I spoke back I was brutally punished -  aged 5 was chased around the property, beaten and had mouth washed out with soap - it only needed to happen once for me to never speak back ever again
-- was not allowed to like any colour she did not like (might seem minor but it was ideological al consuming hatred of pink that even my brother talks of?!?)
-- children should be seen and not heard was high on the behavior rules
-- "be a lady" was used to shame me when they did not approve of my behavior
-- was not allowed to eat a food she did not like
-- must eat everything on my plate or be sent to bed without dessert (dessert was a meal of high importance in the family - as it was the one my mother loved the best)
-- praise her for such a wonderful meal after EVERY SINGLE meal (my father still does it even if it was crap)
-- was not able to choose the clothes I wanted - even if I made them!
-- I was not allowed to close the door of my bedroom 
-- My bedroom had to look ready for a photo crew to turn up at any minute - I could only put up posters that showed of my interests on the inside of my wardrobe door
-- she would intervene in my friendships somehow 'friends' just no longer wanted to see me
-- I was expected to be brilliant at everything so she could bask in the glory, she had wanted the children to become "professionals" (doctor or lawyer would have been good)
-- she would look in the window when my partner and I stayed at their house
-- was never verbally abused by was ignored if what I had done was not on the high end of their approval rating scale
-- and on it goes...

One night at age 18 I just did not go home I left with a boy who they hated - he was not handsome enough, clever enough, or socially well placed. They did so much to break us apart but could not - they made his life hell poor guy, but also being a codependent he put up with it  :'( He was a decent boy but I am sure if they had let it run its course I would have gently broken up with him and stayed friends - we instead stayed together in codependent enmeshment for 21 years, remaining all too closely in contact with my parents. Little or no healing happening...

And on and on it goes...

I never want to have contact with my mother again but I have tried to set up contact with my father only - had realized that a relationship with an entity (the parent system) is impossible - how can one expect to have a deep relationship with an entity?

I live on a remote property (self-isolation) with my husband (who while supportive, is not very conversational). I realized I missed my Dad and have asked him to come to visit by himself - something that happened before no contact, as he used to come to help me build things (I was a sculptor**). The meeting is 3 weeks away and I already feel my sense of placing the blame where blame is due ie with them, is fading (yes have read Pete Walker's books). I am feeling myself taking the blame again: how could you be so ungrateful? your mother worked so hard to put you through school, you had food and clothing, your mother is getting old - how could you desert her? (I can hear my father say this or at least imply it - so much was unsaid!) therefore: it must be my fault I am so unhappy and lost.

I have a session with my therapist to workshop the meeting with my Dad - to help me stand my ground and to say stuff that needs to be said... I can though feel the old ways finding their old coat hooks in my being and hanging themselves back up with the same heaviness they always had.

** I was a sculptor with a reasonably high profile but it was agony to work  - only driven by punishing deadlines - I was overtaken by imposter syndrome when I started winning awards and realised  I was making the work to try to make parents NM love me -- Crap!!!! I have stopped working.
:fallingbricks:

Just writing this gets me furious but I cannot hold that it was the lack of unconditional love that put me in the place I am now. I was told by my mother that I should have swept it under the carpet by now...

Anyway, I am going to post this here - even though my old patterns tells met I 'should' not... ( it IS way too long)
Thanks for making this opportunity available.

*

Libby12

  • Member
  • 97
    • View Profile
Re: but its my fault!
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2017, 07:35:49 AM »
Hi green tree sky.

I haven't posted much recently as I have been going through a really bad time, but I had to reply to you because your summary of your childhood and life into adulthood is just so very similar to mine. 

I struggle and struggle with the idea that it is all my fault,  especially when the same, negative things keep happening in other relationships.

I am over fifty and have been absolutely NC with all of my FOO for five plus years.   Their choice more than mine.  The first time I spoke out,  I was dismissed from their lives. After all, I had broken the family rule of  "everything is for/about mother as she is perfect!" 

I am in such a bad place at the moment that it's hard to be positive but I just wanted to say that I really understand how you feel and would be pleased to hear more of your story. Living this sort of life is just so lonely,  despite my having a good husband and children.

I wish you well.

Libby

*

green tree sky

  • Member
  • 12
    • View Profile
Re: but its my fault!
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2017, 11:13:53 AM »
Hello Libby

thanks for replying - knowing that what I have experienced is not "just me" helps. I am always so sorry though to hear of others who have had to put up with the same pain... How is it that this is allowed to happen in a ' civilized' society?

I am so sorry to hear you are in bad place - I hope you can find some way out. I am so glad you have a 'good husband and children' and are not completely alone but I certainly know what you mean - the inner loneliness. Entrained into us when we realised so early on we could not find deep connection from family or friends.

There is not too much else to my story - I have done a lot of things but also stopped doing lots of things, a pattern which I could never quite understand before I encountered imposter syndrome one of the many symptoms of CPTSD. I am currently renovating a house - it has been taking an awfully long time even though it is something I have wanted to do for a long time... it has been so hard to be motivated and I now understand that I have spent huge chunks of time in debilitating flashbacks. I am trying to use lots of tricks to help rewire my brain, from binaural beats to self-hypnosis.

I find seeing a therapist every two weeks is critical - I really struggle to afford it financially but mentally I  cannot afford not to do it! Are you able to see anyone? or join a meetup group? I find that when I go out a bit and engage with others even in light conversation I can alleviate my loneliness and isolation a little bit... I do not find this easy on any account.

thanks again for reaching out in support - please feel free to share more of your story if it helps.

green tree sky

*

Blueberry

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • 5146
    • View Profile
Re: but its my fault!
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2017, 04:22:38 PM »
green tree sky,
I can relate to a lot too. Welcome on here btw. Just wanted to let you know I read your post and validate what you suffered in FOO. And continue to. I have similar problems with PDM (Borderline, witch variety??) and enFather, with whom I'm VVVLC and VLC respectively.  :hug:

*

green tree sky

  • Member
  • 12
    • View Profile
Re: but its my fault!
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2017, 10:58:56 PM »
Thanks Blueberry - your validation helps. I am sorry that you continue to have issues with you FOO too.

Your varieties of LCs indicates you have some contact with parents - how do you find that? I am so sure I will fall back into a deep hole when I see father again... just phone calls from them, the parent entity, forced me to go NC. I really wonder why I have tried to set up recontact with my enFather ??? must be that 'hope that it might be better next time' syndrome.

*

Blueberry

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • 5146
    • View Profile
Re: but its my fault!
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2017, 08:55:30 PM »
Hello green tree sky,

I had a big blow-up with the whole of FOO about a year ago. I realised a whole lot of stuff and have finally been setting limits and contact has been getting less and less. I allow written only. Refuse phone calls. I live a long, long way away so nobody is going to end up on my doorstep unexpectedly.

A long time ago I was NC with my parents and have been on-and-off NC with one brother. Then I got back into contact. Things seemed OK, but I guess they weren't. It's not all their fault, but it's not all mine either. It's the fault of a dysfunctional family. But I'm the only one who's looked into anything seriously. And I'm also the one who gets blamed for more or less everything. If I'm not blamed, then it's M's fault. EnF and my brothers, including one who physically assaulted me and abused me emotionally and verbally when I was younger, are not at fault. In their eyes. Actually in M's eyes too. They're at fault for other things in her eyes, but nothing to do with me. For what's happened to me (C-PTSD) people outside the family are at fault. Teachers, and people like that. In M's eyes. In sibs' eyes, M's partially at fault, but she still needs protection from me, in case I were to say anything untoward and she might commit suicide  :blink: :blink:

I found this website and Out of the Fog after the huge blow-up and they've both been eye-openers. Flying monkeys, Golden Child, and all sorts of other concepts which are currently not available in my brain but often are, and are helpful in understanding that it's not 'just me' who's so stupid or something. No it's the whole dysfunctional family system. Which I didn't Cause, can't Control and can't Cure. 

"It's not all their fault": maybe I'm blaming myself again with this comment. I guess, I mean everything that went wrong a year ago wasn't all their fault. I hadn't set various limits adequately in advance. But it was because I couldn't. One reason for going back to various forms of exceedingly low contact. I've done so much therapy, so much work on myself, but in the context of a FOO who see me as a Potential Problem, I don't have the internal strength to set these limits. So that became clear to me: I need to severely reduce contact in order to save myself. I come first. Novel concept for me.

Yes, I also suffer from "maybe it'll be better next time" syndrome or in my case more "if I keep struggling and explaining, maybe they'll finally understand me and change and things will be better" syndrome. But I now know finally that that won't work. They don't care enough. So it's good for me to read on  here: things i've written or others have written so as to remember not to get  :hoovering: :hoovering: in again by all sorts of little things.

Sorry my posts always get so long. We can discuss more later, if you're interested.


*

green tree sky

  • Member
  • 12
    • View Profile
Re: but its my fault!
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2017, 02:25:14 AM »
Hey Blueberry that sounds very intense - thanks for sharing your experience of getting back in contact. I agree it is not all their fault. There were 'extenuating circumstances' which made them the way they are but no matter how much we can recognize that it does not make it OK or the issues we face go away. I have recently read Pete Walkers great books and agree with his idea that placing blame where blame is due is appropriate - it does not mean telling them they are the "the problem" necessarily but it helps me recognise that it was not my fault that this happened, I was not a bad person (a feeling that I am sure many CPTSD suffers are anointed with).

Yes in my family nothing is ever allowed to be M's fault or in full martyr mode, she might take it ALL on as her fault  :stars: I can see why EnF did what he did to shield himself from the fall out of her emotional drama games - keep it smooth and 'happy'.  I have never quite seen it quite so clearly, so thank you.

Interesting what you say about setting limits - I am not sure I have it in me to set the boundaries needed and to speak my truth hence my NC (and remote location).  I have not tried to do much explaining, I am not sure  I will even try with parents I know I will be dismissed  (how could it be mother's fault?). My brother and I have always understood M is 'crazy' but he seemed to clam up once I had an NPD/BPD framework and he completely ignores my discussions about CPTSD.  A lot of denial in my family!

So do I speak out or not? ...it is all part of my truth! But as Brene Brown says it is important to know with whom you can share your story without feeling invaded or invalidated... hence LC and NC.

It is hard to keep posts short - this stuff is interesting and needs discussing. Thanks for your input.