“My Mother Wouldn’t Like That”

I brought up to T yesterday what happened the night of the argument between my mother and my boyfriend (see Mother, Partner & Me for details). The day after this all happened I did want to speak to T about it, but for some reason I felt resistance in doing so. I wasn’t sure why but I think I was worried I had done the wrong thing and that T would be disappointed in me or something.  It has now been about 3 weeks and only yesterday did it somehow come up in my session (because we were talking about marriage and babies).

T said “when did this happen?” and looked quite quizzically.. I said “erm about 3 weeks ago?”. She seemed surprised and said “you didn’t tell me this?” and I kind of smiled awkwardly to say I know.  She asked me why and I said it had slipped my mind because we were discussing other important things and she said “You were ashamed”. I agreed and said that I was I guess…. I told her that I feel stupid because I got caught up in things and she told me there is nothing to be ashamed of.  She told me that the pull is extremely powerful and it isn’t at all surprising that sometimes I get sucked in and can’t see it.  That made me feel better.

I spoke T through exactly what happened and said that it’s only really now on reflection that I can see what had happened – that my mum had managed to find something that me and my boyfriend weren’t totally united on and “climbed in” to cause drama.

I admitted that as pathetic as it sounds, my mum “defending” and “sticking up for me” had clearly had the desired effect. I obviously was enjoying her being caring or protective of me and that is how she got me on side… unfortunately this meant that I therefore didn’t help my boyfriend and sat back watching it all unfold. She had got me and she had “won”.

T said that it is very hard because it isn’t really about me at all and the whole act of her looking out for my best interests aren’t what they seem – she just likes to cause trouble and she likes to paint my boyfriend as the bad guy. I know that is true.

As awful (but true) as it sounds, there is a power struggle because she likes to be the one holding the power over me – she likes to have me “on her team” so to speak and my boyfriend who has been with me throughout this therapy journey from the beginning obviously has learnt a lot about NPD and because it isn’t his mother, sees things a bit (probably a lot) clearer than I do and it irritates him A LOT. He hates the things she does, he sees her for what she is and he can see what she is trying to do – and because of that, he can’t let it go. He doesn’t want to feed into her and he doesn’t want to let her “win”….. this is why when the conversation first came up, he said he didn’t want to discuss it.

Unfortunately this resulted in me being in the middle and kinda carrying both of their shit because they weren’t saying out loud what they wanted to – because that conversation would go like this:

Mother – I want to paint you in as bad a light as possible so that Twinkletoes comes back to me. I need to have control over her, I need to get my narcissistic fix from her and YOU are the cause of that having changed!! I need to turn you bad.  I want you two to split up.

Boyfriend – I think you are a nasty, evil, manipulator and I will not let you pull the wool over Twinkletoes’ eyes. You will not get her back to damage. I love her and I will protect her. She will never be your narcissistic supply again.  We will not split up no matter what you try to do.

So because those things aren’t being said out loud, I guess I sat there totally in the middle not sure what was going on or who was right or wrong and what I should or shouldn’t be feeling. I love them both in different ways and despite knowing and understanding a lot about NPD, the sad truth is that it still is very hard to believe sometimes and unfortunately she still does “win” with me a lot because I get sucked in before I’ve had a chance to understand what’s happening.  At the end of the day, she is my mother and no matter how much I can hate her and dislike her I can’t switch it off completely. Maybe one day this will feel different, but right now there is still a natural thing in me to hope it’s different this time.  Typical words of anyone that’s been abused in any way I guess.

T suggested a few ways to handle this conversation should it come up again in the future. She suggested things like saying to my mother that I/we didn’t want to discuss it… (my reaction was aggghh no I can’t do that!!).  T asked why not and I said I just couldn’t… because… and then I realised I was about to say ….

because my mother wouldn’t like it”………………………..

don’t you just hate these moments.

I said to T, “God, sometimes I say stuff to you and then when you say it back to me and I hear it, I can’t believe what I am saying. Sometimes it sounds ridiculous.”

She suggested that we just played dumb and acted as though there was no “plan”…. She suggested we said something along the lines of “you will see when it happens” and close the conversation down quickly – we spoke about all these different options and how they made me feel, that kind of thing.

Conversation moved on to our ideas and plans about getting married and  by the end of the session one thing was clear. Every single suggestion T made, my first and very automatic thought was what my mum would think or how my mum would react to it… and that hit me for the first time quite how mental that is. I have never noticed that.

T said again that I have been programmed and conditioned my entire life to put her needs before my own so it is not surprising and it isn’t mental or silly or pathetic but wow, what a realisation. It really is “that bad”…. It’s really shocked me to the extent that I do this.

  • Have a small wedding and only invite a few friends – Omg my mother would go mad
  • Elope and get married just the two of you abroad – She would kill me
  • Have a wedding ceremony with very immediate family and throw a big party in a hall another time – she won’t like that because she wants the big white dress and the speeches and the dancing and the cake etc….

This went on for a long time.

T said that I can say to her when these conversations happen “that is what I want mum – it may not be what YOU would want, and that might be hard for you, but we are not the same”…. Or words to that effect, I’m sure you get the point. I pulled a face that said “AGGHHH I CANNOT IMAGINE WHAT SHE WOULD DO!!” which again was just more proof of how scared I am of her and how much I think about HER feelings before my own.  I decided at that moment that this was a good idea and is something I will think of using in the future.

I told T that I sometimes dreaded planning my future wedding because of my mum’s need to totally control everything and how the thought of it almost ruined the joy of the dream. I said that sometimes when I think about it, I think that I don’t want to stay at her house the night before the wedding like most daughters do, I don’t want her there when I am getting ready in the morning because she will upset me or stress me out – it isn’t how I imagine the morning at all. T said I didn’t have to do any of these things. I can do whatever I wanted to because it was my decision and my choice and my life.  I nodded and thought to myself that I really am starting to believe this but now I need to find a way to fight against the automatic guilt that comes along with this.

T suggested that me and my boyfriend decide what WE want and book it all and tell her afterwards.  Say to her, this is what we are doing and this is when – be there. That way she can’t ruin anything.  I said to T she will say it all with her reaction though, I will see the disappointment and the disapproval on her face because she will say that this is all my boyfriend’s doing – that she will convince everyone he has made me give up my dream of a big white wedding. T said “Let her!! you know the truth, it really doesn’t matter what other people think does it?” to which I said unfortunately it still did to me. I wish it didn’t, but it does.

I told T that my mum has said to me before that I am “a robot” where my boyfriend is concerned and that I just do whatever he or his family want me to do.  T said that’s because she just cannot see that I am my own person with my own mind and I have to be being a “robot” to someone – him or her and she is annoyed because it isn’t her.  I understood this and agreed.

So, insightful session. Not really about what I thought it would be about but I am glad it wasn’t swept under the carpet forever like I thought it was going to be.  Now that I am starting to notice quite how much my first thought is how my mum would react, I need to work on that and I need to start worrying more about me and how I feel and less about her and how she feels.  She has to look after herself now.

 

“I wish I could get inside her head and check”

AGGGHHHH!!!!!!!!! Bloody stupid, crappy, painful, wonderful therapy.

I am not sure how this post is going to go because it turned out to be a pretty huge session last night following my blog yesterday – I am only half surprised by this but yet the shock seems huge, don’t ask me how that is possible because I know it makes no sense.

To be honest, not much is making sense to me right now and I am not sure how much of my session I have totally processed.  I get the feeling that I might need to repeat the session again tomorrow just to be sure I have understood it all properly. I felt so confused and in so much pain last night.

When I wrote my blog yesterday I felt pretty chuffed with myself afterwards.  It was as though I had graduated to the “acceptance” stage of my recovery and I felt very mature about it.  I sent it to my T ahead of my session last night and was looking forward to talking to her about it.  Well, I say I was looking forward to talking to her about it, but yet I had this strange feeling that I might regret sending it to her because a few times in the past when I’ve had some sort of wonderful “revelation” or thought, I take it to T and come out feeling as though she has pissed all over my happiness parade.  I guess this is a case of the truth hurts or something?  I note that I held off sending it to her for quite a few hours before I eventually did.  I think I didn’t want her to pick up on anything that might not be as clear cut as it seemed – I didn’t want to hear that.  *Fingers in ears*

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T said that she hadn’t had time to fully digest my blog before my session which was fine. I didn’t expect her to but I think perhaps I wanted to give her the “heads up” because if she disagreed with the content, I didn’t want to see the shock, surprise or disagreement on her face.. I think.  Therefore, she didn’t need to have “fully” digested it as long as she got the rough outline of what I was thinking.

T said that I referred to my blog entry from the day before, but said she didn’t know what that said or was about and I said that it was just about how mother’s day went – how Sunday went. She asked how it went and I told her that basically it was bearable, tolerable and that nothing really happened so it was okay. I won’t go into the details here as most of how it went is in my other blog anyway but she said it sounded painful. I told her I felt a bit passive aggressive in that I was giving her a card I knew she wouldn’t like and doing it anyway.  Same for the present. I said that I was a bit touchy and impatient and that when things were said to me by her or my nan, I was kinda jumping to my own defense very quickly.  I guess I was on guard so to speak.  I said that I watched my mum and nan interacting and found it quite interesting. I said that I think my mum has suffered the same way I have and that despite my nan being a fantastic nan, perhaps she wasn’t a great mum. I said that having this new “insight” helped me to feel compassionate towards my mum because if she has felt the same way as me her whole life, it made sense why she turned out how she is…….

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T said that narcissism kicks in pretty early in life and that you are generally narcissistic by the time you are in your early teens. She said it isn’t something you suddenly develop as you get older or become an adult. She said that I could never become a narcissist now at my age for example.  I didn’t know that.

T said she felt my nan was a rescuer and not narcissistic.  That stopped me in my tracks because my whole theory yesterday had been based on the possibility that she was narcissistic (towards my mother growing up)…….. Oh right………… she said that usually a “caregiver” creates a “narcissist” and a narcissist creates a caregiver. She said she thought my nan (caregiver) created my mother (narcissist) who created me (caregiver) and that what I had to be careful of was that I didn’t overdo it and create a narcissist myself. Get your head around that for a moment.

As I understand it, a rescuer/caregiver needs to be needed.  They do so much for others/their children and perhaps cause them (unintentionally) to develop a sense of superiority which sometimes leads to narcissism (not normal levels but proper fully fledged narcissism/npd).  The caregiver takes care of everyone else and takes on everyone else’s feelings and problems.  Their sense of wellbeing and self-esteem is based on this role of being needed.  Being important.  Having a place.  This is what I do where my mother is concerned. I always carried her stuff for her. She projected it to me and I took it. I do the feeling for her.

Things are getting a little hazy at this stage… I am starting to struggle to remember the order of things so please bear with me if this gets a little confusing.

I said that whether my nan was narcissistic or whether she wasn’t – either way my mother is narcissistic an she didn’t plan to be that way. I said that it is a big cover up and that is the reason I felt sorry for her. The lump in my throat started about now.

T asked what the opposite to feeling this way would be? If I wasn’t feeling really sorry for my mum, what would I be feeling? I said….. hate?

She said that she thought I was petrified of feeling my anger, rage, the hate and so this was a much safer place to be [now feeling a bit annoyed].  T said that if I have “accepted” everything, then we were “done here” – I shook my head and said “oh no, I know we’re not” she said that when people say they have “reached forgiveness” it basically means that they think therapy is done and there is no need for us to continue digging around in all this stuff.  In other words, it’s like a sudden flight to health where we effectively try to convince ourselves/our T that we are done. Therapy is over – we are healed and everything is better. Self-deception.

I didn’t like the sound of this. I told T that I had a bit of a feeling when writing my blog yesterday that it might not have been the complete picture. I said I was open to it being a bit of a fleeting phase but that I really did feel very in touch with feeling sorry for my mum.

T said something about how it is easier to focus on that then to have to feel the pain, sadness, rage that my mum has caused me to feel.  [At this stage I felt myself tightening up in my chest… breathing changed].  I could feel something horrible happening.. resistance or something… pain.  I can’t remember this bit very clearly but other things were said and then I was crying again. I tried so hard not to cry, I didn’t want to cry – this was going to be a happy session.. but the tears flew out and I was crying a lot and in a lot of pain. I felt so awfully confused and my heart hurt. I didn’t like it, it was horrible and actually I can’t even explain this feeling because its uncomprehendable.  I told her this, I can’t explain it – I said “there are no words“.  T kept speaking as I cried and whatever she was saying was making me cry harder and harder.  Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?!!!!

T said that of course it is easier and safer to keep her good. She said it is natural for me to want to protect her, to not believe that things are that bad – to not believe that she is the cause of this pain. I said

“I just wish …… I just wish I could get inside her head and just check!”

Enter more crying…. by this point I was a hot, sweaty mess and had to stand up and take my coat off – I was boiling. T asked me if I wanted a glass of water – I said no (she’s not asked me that before when I’ve been upset). She said I was hot because I was “so upset”. I was, there was no doubting that.  T repeated that sentence back to me and I was crying so much. I just kept staring at the coaster on her table, I couldn’t make sense of this.  What the fuck? Why was I so confused? I couldn’t make sense of things, it was all so weird…. I don’t understand!!!!!!!! I was totally lost in all this information – these words, the thoughts, the feelings – it wasn’t making sense.

T asked what I wanted to “check” inside my mum’s head and I said through my tears that I just can’t believe it is possible for someone to be that bad – that evil – that nasty.. that empty. I can’t. She can’t truly be like that.  NO SHE CAN’T. [note – this is actually hurting my heart writing this bit].  I just want to climb inside her head and just see it for myself because we could be wrong.  What if she is really upset and sad and sympathetic and full of regret.. what if she does finally understand what she’s done and is totally remorseful… what if I am wrong? I could never forgive myself. What if she DIED????????????? What if she went to her death-bed feeling genuine sadness and love for me and I just treated her like some sort of monster and kept her at arm’s length because I was wrong? I need to check.

T said it was no surprise this “acceptance” stuff had happened right on the back of Mother’s Day. She said that sometimes when we are on the brink of feeling some painful things, our psyche likes to trick us back to safety, to comfort… trying to rescue us and comfort us and take us away from the devastation and pain and back to the adult place of reason and understanding and logic and intellect.  She said that Mother’s Day is very painful. I said it pissed me off and that I hated it. I said that the whole day is about celebrating our wonderful mothers and that it is shit.  She agreed. I also said I felt really selfish that some people out there found Mother’s Day so hard because they have lost their mum’s and would give their right arm for a day with them, and yet here I was, hating on mine who was still alive…. she told me not to think like this and that I shouldn’t try and compare the pain. She said it is a different pain, but regardless, I WAS in pain and it was caused by my mother so of course I don’t want to celebrate it.

T said that it is natural for us to try and explain it away. She said that a little kid that is being abused by a parent will reason that “I am naughty and it is me that makes mummy hurt me. I am bad”. She said that it gives that tiny feeling that we are in control somehow because WE are causing this. Mummy therefore isn’t bad – we are.. that is easier to tolerate, to handle, that thought is easier to live with.  You take the blame away from mummy and onto yourself. 

She said that is what I was doing – “poor mummy”.

She then said “think about last week’s terrorist attacks. That man that mowed down and killed and hurt all those people” (this was something that had really affected me that I had spoken to her about last week). I said yes… she said “Well he was a nice little boy once too – does that make what he did okay?”

OUCH.

No, obviously not…

*cry more*

She said it was the same thing – the same rationalising. Just because my mum was a little, innocent girl once doesn’t take away all of the pain and hurt that she has caused in the same way that the terrorist was still evil even though once upon a time, he wasn’t. She said “What about YOUR pain? What about not thinking about your mother and her pain and her life for a while and just focussing on YOU?”

Fuck, comparing your own mother to a terrorist – that’s where we are at! This cannot be my reality? Surely????????????

I said a few times that I felt confused. T said of course you do “it’s a total mind-fuck” – I was glad to hear her say that because at this stage I wanted to scream and shout and say something like this is totally fucked up!! What a fucking mess! This isn’t fucking faiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr (sorry readers for the swearing but that’s how I feel).

I said nothing made sense and asked why I wrote all those lies then? Why and how did I write a whole entire blog full of lies? She said the blog was not lies – it was true – I thought it was true. She said the blog was actually very clever and the blog was what had enabled me to access all of this. It was self-deception to a degree but she said it showed us how I used to cope when I was younger. She said this shows us what I used to get through and I was still trying to use it.  It isn’t mummy’s fault – Poor mummy.

I said I felt pathetic that I was scared of her – I said I know she can’t do anything to me. I’m nearly 30 years old for Christ’s sake! But she said (and I already knew) that just because we know stuff logically doesn’t stop the feelings…. I said I felt so stupid – she asked me to stop doing that and to be kind to myself. She said the adult me wasn’t scared, it is the child in me that is scared and I needed to be looking out for that child now. I knew she was right but I felt so angry.

What an injustice.

Our time was up. T asked me “where I was” and I said I didn’t know. Totally confused. I had cried for ages by this point. She told me I had to take very special care of myself and asked me to go very gently as I processed this.  I THINK she said something like “it’s okay to be okay you know” but I am not sure whether I misheard that??? Because that doesn’t really fit in the context of the session does it?

I went home, had dinner and felt exhausted so went to bed. I woke up throughout the night. At 3.30am I woke up and my eyes opened wide and I thought to myself how shit this was…. I tossed and turned for a long time. Today I came to work and I seem to be functioning okay actually. I haven’t cried (yet) today but I really needed to write this out to help me process it a bit… I am sure more will follow today/tonight and in my session tomorrow.

The really odd thing is that I have a weird kind of feeling that I am glad my T “saw this” it is like I have this sneaky feeling inside that if she had agreed with me and my post yesterday that I might have hated her for it in a way because perhaps then it would have been like her saying “yep, you’re right, your poor mum” and then it would have been all my fault again…. I know this doesn’t make any sense and is probably hugely confusing to you reading it…. I can’t think of any other way to explain it.

So I wanted it to be true – yet I didn’t… I wish it was, but yet I don’t…

WTF?

Guilt, Acceptance, Denial?

When I wrote yesterday’s blog I didn’t consciously know I felt that way until I had the words in front of me in black and white – one of the many reasons that I love to write. Sometimes I shock myself, yesterday was one of those times.

I’ve been thinking a lot since then about the guilt that I feel towards my narcissistic mother and yet at the same time, the pain I feel because of her. I find it really strange that I can be feeling two different emotions so intensely.  This morning I read a few articles on Google about guilt and it seems to be a very common theme with people raised by narcissists so I am not massively surprised but what has surprised me is that I suddenly feel a bit sorry for her.

Reading back my sentence about how I suddenly looked at my mother’s interactions with my nan on Sunday and realised that perhaps she herself is seeking love, acceptance and approval from her own mother – realising that is probably how/why she has become so narcissistic herself – has blown my mind.

The question howver is, is this just my way of making the pain she has caused more tolerable or is this a level of acceptance and understanding that I “should” be feeling? Are these feelings right or wrong?

I know that feelings really can’t be right or wrong – they just are, I say that sentence enough myself but what I mean is, is this part of the process and part of the journey that is normal for people like me or am I teetering off the cliff edge about to land in a deep river of denial?

Did she cause me all sorts of psychological harm? Yes. Was my childhood horrible? Yes.  Did she love me unconditionally? No.  Did he hurt me? Yes… BUT………… Did she set out in life to be a narcissist – No.  That’s where I am at today.

I’ve learnt first hand that you internalize all sorts of crap from your caregivers – you don’t know it to be right or wrong when you are that young and it just gets in and you don’t even really notice it.  Then one day you (hopefully) end up in therapy and you say things which are mirrored back at you and its like you “hear” them for the first time and realise they are wrong.

I’ve also learnt first-hand that had I not have taken myself to therapy, I have no doubt I would have become more and more like my mother until perhaps I ended up fully narcissistic too – after all, I was on a constant search for love and approval from her that I just couldn’t ever get and so I kept trying harder, bigger, faster…. perhaps eventually that hurt would have been so much that I covered it all up with a big NPD cloak.

With that in mind, it’s made me think that she had the same experience with her mother. She hasn’t had the benefit of therapy and she doesn’t know this stuff. She doesn’t understand anything is “wrong” or not normal or unhealthy… she hasn’t had the big “aha” moments that I have had.. she hasn’t read the books, the articles, the blogs, she hasn’t felt the power of being truly seen and heard by someone – hasn’t had someone “sit” with her whilst she cries and acknowledges some really deep, painful hurts.  She hasn’t had these things pointed out to her and been able to understand them, feel them, SEE them and so is it really her fault?

I don’t mean that it is someone else’s fault – like say, my nan’s, because if my nan was like that then chances are so was her mother and so the cycle continues and “blame” can’t ever really be given to anyone particular. I just mean it could have so easily been me.  One day, it could have been my child writing a blog like this.  One day my child could have found themselves in therapy having to dig through the mountains of pain and hurt trying to figure out that they aren’t to blame – all because I parented them like my mum parented me – like her mum parented her and so on…..

I am baffled.

Is blame even important?

Sometimes when I am really in touch with some of the pain my mum has caused me I hate her for it.  Sometimes when I am really in the midst of it, the pain of the sadness, the grief, the helplessness, the powerlessness, the unfairness, the crying, the headaches, the days where I can’t even bear to go to work and have to “adult”. The days where my attachment to my T becomes so childlike, all because of my upbringing and my experiences with her these thoughts would never cross my mind.  Days like that I am all about boundaries, giving the guilt back, I dislike her, I HATE her and it IS all her fault and yes, fault IS important…

Yet today, I just feel bad for her. I feel sad FOR her…. Am I in the bargaining phase of my recovery or what?

It doesn’t mean she isn’t accountable for the consequences of her actions. It doesn’t mean it is all okay. It certainly doesn’t mean I am healed and it doesn’t make it my fault again (like it was before I seeked help)… but it does help her to not seem such a monster. It does help to “rationalize” the perhaps, un-rationalizable (pretty sure that’s not a word but hopefully you catch my drift)…. Is this just self-protection stuff?

It does help me to realise that she really won’t ever change. It also helps me to realise that the way she is, the ways she acts all come from a place of hurt. That makes me hurt for her, I know the hurt very well. I guess it is only a coincidence that I turned out more on the codependant side of things and she turned out more narcissistic – it could have  easily gone either way for both of us.

Surely it is healthier for me to feel empathy for her (yet keep my boundaries) than it is for me to be consumed in hate and anger forever isn’t it? Surely if I stay angry and hateful towards her forever then she still has a great hold over me? Today, right now, I feel like I have gained a stronger sense of self, I feel like I know it wasn’t me or my fault that she never loved me how I wanted to be loved.  I understand that nothing I could have done would have ever made that different – nothing at all and that really helps.  That releases so much of the shame. I can be kind to myself now, I try to stay supportive and kind to myself and my inner child rather than copy the negative and hurtful words that I heard growing up. I feel like I am slowly becoming more confident and more able. I am working so hard to right the wrongs.

As you can probably tell from reading the above, I am not completely sure whether how I am feeling today is a permanent state of mind and I am open to the fact that perhaps this is some sort of denial or repression or something invented by me to make things easier to tolerate but I am writing it out anyway because regardless, it IS how I feel today and so in the end, it is still part of the journey towards recovery one way or another.

All comments and thoughts welcomed!!

 

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A card with all the words in…

So yesterday was Mother’s Day. I had been dreading it for weeks.  A whole day devoted to mothers. A whole day devoted to her. A day where society tells us, no matter our age – that we must thank the one who brought us into this world.

Mother’s Day is idealized. Mothers themselves are idealized. Not everyone’s mother deserves to have a day dedicated to “celebrating” them and yet society tells us that we must. It is enough to make us vomit.  Well if you have a mother like mine.

Having a mother who is a narcissist or who has NPD like mine makes this day really sh*t.  They expect presents, cards, praise and thanks.. not actually much different to any other day, but this day they are “allowed” to expect it because otherwise everyone will disapprove of YOU, not just your Narc mother.  So it becomes your duty.

The thing is, once you find out your mother has NPD, things start to make sense – at last! It is hugely uplifting which I know sounds a bit twisted, but the understanding that the problem really wasn’t you, is a feeling like nothing else. Shortly following the elation comes the pain… the devastation and the grief…  I haven’t spent nearly 3 years (and counting) in therapy to spend Mother’s Day thanking my mother for all that she did (and did not) do for me.  The reason I spend thousands of pounds a year and hours of my week in therapy is after all, because of her.

I have been aware of the day coming up, walking past a card shop twice a day on my daily commute has served as a constant reminder. I put off buying anything for my mum for as long as possible. In the past, I would have been thinking about what to get her for weeks. What would she REALLY like, what would make her happy… sadly, what would make her love me?

I’m not sure I understood that is what I was doing, but I do now and that is really sad. Now that I am nearly 3 years into my therapy, I am on the way to acceptance and healing from the damage my narc mother has caused me and I have let go of the need to try to please her. I no longer want to spend money I don’t have on finding the right present – because it is completely unobtainable anyway. It is a challenge that cannot every be gratified.

So, I have finally accepted this and so I purposely get a small gift and tell myself that it IS enough. That it will do.. but I won’t lie, it goes against everything in my body when I do this – it feels completely wrong to me.  I brought her a candle. A nice candle, a candle I know she loves because she has brought them for me (and she always buys things that SHE likes you see)…. I had it wrapped nicely in paper and in a nice gift bag.. then it was time to find the card..

Eugh the card is the hardest part. For anyone reading this that has a narc mother you will know what I mean. Even writing about the card makes my heart feel funny.

Card shops are my nemesis on mother’s day. I hate it. I hate watching everyone in there searching for the perfect card for their perfect mothers. I hate those people. Well, I don’t hate them at all, but I am jealous of them – I admit it!

I didn’t put myself through reading the cards this year. I managed to find the perfect card for my mother. It was a jokey card – one about mum drinking lots of wine instead of doing the chores! Was I being passive aggressive? Possibly…. but even she couldn’t deny the card summed her up perfectly. I will however be totally honest here and say, I still feel a pang of guilt that I know it would have upset her not to receive what she was hoping for.

She always told me growing up that she expects the cards with “all the words in” – and so that is what she used to get… but now I just can’t bring myself to do it.  I debated just grinning and bearing it and buying her a card full of “all the words” whether I meant them or not, but I can’t – it feels way too hypocritical and so I didn’t but I feel guilt about that today. Guilt that I have no doubt my T would say wasn’t mine. T would tell me to “give it back” and she would tell me it “doesn’t belong to me”.  But it feels like it does.

Yesterday morning I woke up and saw Facebook covered in lovely statuses to everyone’s “amazing mothers”.. thanking them for everything they do for them, telling them how they hope they turn out half as good as them.. rada rada radaaaaa… I knew how much my mother would love a status like that but I couldn’t bring myself to do that either.

I had to go for lunch with her yesterday. My grandparents were also there, as was my step dad, my sister and my boyfriend. I watched my mother give my Nan, her mother, a card. It was no typical card. The card was huge and it came in its own box. A special box which encased a special, huge card – one with all the words in.  Obviously.  Put simply, the card she brought her mother, shat all over the card I brought for my mother.  It has got me questioning, is she trying to win her mother’s love? I mean, she didn’t turn out this narcissist through pot-luck.

Somewhere along the line she got injured so badly that she turned this way.  The problem with having this feeling is that it does make me somewhat sympathetic towards my mother. I know first-hand how bloody painful it is trying to win your mother’s love and never getting it. Never feeling good enough.  Always feeling faulty.  If she has spent her whole life feeling like that (whether consciously or not) then I guess I kind of understand that she did the best job she knew how to… she did the best job with the tools that she had… even if that means the job she did was awful…… it is very hard to feel anger and pain and sympathy and hate all at once.  It makes me feel guilty. Yes, yes I know – blah blah blah…….

I noticed that my Nan asked my mother in quite an accusational tone whether I had got her a card. My mother said yes, and then she asked me, “Twinkletoes, did you get your mother a nice mother’s day card???”  What a weird question… the thing is, this question would have been fuelled somehow by my mother, it wouldn’t have come out of nowhere. I assume they’ve been discussing me and how I never make any effort anymore or something like that.  Meh. She also sat at the table and asked whether “anyone had any exciting news” which was very clearly aimed at me and my boyfriend and the hope that we would be announcing news of an engagement or pregnancy – that irritated me too, not because she asked, but because it was evidence of conversations had between her and my mother (trust me, I know them both well).

My mother brought my nan some presents which my nan opened in the restaurant, one of which was rather odd. My nan asked me if I liked it and I politely smiled and said, it was nice (although I think it was probably evident by my face that I thought otherwise).  My nan asked me what I collected and I said I didn’t collect anything. She looked appalled and said “you don’t collect ANYTHING??”…. My mother then said that her, my nan and my sister all liked the same things – that they all had the same taste… all of them apart from me.  For once, this was music to my ears! Is this a sign that I have broken free? A few years back, this would have devastated me but today it makes me feel relieved.  I am on my way to becoming my own person. My authentic self.

T has taught me that narc mothers think that we are extensions of them – and so it is important for my mother that I look like her, dress like her, like the same things as her and if I don’t – that spells trouble. Now that I properly understand this, it has made things much easier.

I thought about my T several times yesterday morning whilst getting ready for the meal. I thought about what she would be doing. I thought that she probably got some lovely cards – ones with all the words in.  Some thoughtful presents, not about their value but the sentiment.  I wondered whether her children would cook for her or bake her a cake like I would have liked to do if things were different. I caught myself and told myself that T isn’t my mother and never would be. I thought about writing her a card/note/email to let her know I was thinking of her after all, mother’s day is about celebrating all “motherly” figures, right?

I told myself that clinging on to the thought/hope/fantasy that she is or could ever be was just an attempt to soften the blow of my harsh reality. I didn’t really like that internal conversation and so I didn’t revisit that until writing it out now. I am suddenly very aware that attaching towards my T in a daughter like way/seeing her as a mother figure is purely an attempt to replace my mother with her instead of grieving the relationship I actually have with my real mother.  I know that is the truth even if I don’t like it.  And I don’t like it.

I note that I “forgot” to send my step-mum a card this year. This is very unlike me, in fact I’m not sure I have ever forgotten before apart from the years that me and my dad have not been speaking (which is quite a few!).  I remembered enough times to have sorted something out and yet I didn’t and I have been questioning myself why since.

In the past I have been to see her, taken her flowers or sent flowers if I didn’t visit and yet this year all I did was send a text message. I think that I realised that sending her flowers and taking her gifts were other examples of me trying to prove my worth – hoping it would make her/my dad see how lovely I was… perhaps that wish has gone away now. I did send her a nice text message but also feel a bit guilty today that I didn’t make the effort to post a card.   A few years ago me and my dad went nearly 3 years without speaking and I was (am?) upset that in that time I didn’t hear from her either.  Perhaps another example of me being a bit passive? That’s food for thought.

I’m a (unofficial) stepmum myself. My boyfriend asked me what he should do about mother’s day this year, because they are awkward for me… it is my view that he shouldn’t force the children to acknowledge me on this day because I am NOT their mum and that is the point of the day…. I said perhaps when we are married and I am officially their stepmum, a bunch of daffs might be nice but I think it totally defeats the point if the adult is telling the kids they have to.  It is my hope that one day perhaps they would buy me or make me a card, off their own back but if they don’t then that’s okay – because I am not their mum.  I hope one day to have my own child and I will not force or expect my child to do or buy me anything for mother’s day – clearly I hope that my child will love me in a healthy way and might want to draw me a picture for the fridge or whatever, but not because I think that day is all about me. Not because I will pile on the pressure for them to conform to society.

 

 

On a final note – please can I just say that for anyone reading this who may have found yesterday painful due to their loving mother’s no longer being here – I truly am sorry for you and I appreciate that some people may read this blog and think I am incredibly selfish for feeling this way. I understand that some people will be shouting “at least your mum is still here!!” at the screen and I don’t expect you to get it – the whole narcissist mother thing is very hard to comprehend and so I’m not going to even try to get people to understand.

 

Emotional Blackmail

I had my session last night and obviously the main focus was this situation at work with T (see yesterday’s post).

I have spoken to my therapist about this same situation countless times over the last few years regarding my friend T, so I felt silly for going in there yet again with the same story.. how exhausting that must be for her! She assured me that I shouldn’t feel like that because apparently it is really important that I go over it as many times as I need to, to really make sense of it.

So my therapist has told me a few times before that she thinks T is narcissistic.  She has told me this each time a very similar situation to now has arisen.  She told me that the dynamic with T is just like the dynamic used to be with my mother in that T makes me responsible for her needs and then uses certain tactics to make me feel guilty (which I always do!).  She told me that it is emotional blackmail.

Last night, T told me that I really haven’t done anything wrong. Just because I made plans to see another friend, does not give T the right to sulk, ignore or get angry with me.  The fact that she is coincidentally (real or not) having a shitty time in her personal life, is not my responsibility.  The thing that makes me have less empathy is that it just so happens that EVERY single time I’ve ever made plans that don’t include her, she has a huge drama in her life. One that she hasn’t yet told me and one that I am somehow just meant to know about like I am a mind-reader.

My therapist told me that I have been programmed by my mother that I have to meet other people’s needs and that their needs are more important than my own, that when I go against the grain and make plans for myself, they get so angry and say things to me like I am selfish and statements such as “it isn’t all about you!” because they are projections.  “It isn’t all about you” is what T said to me, when really she wants it to all be about her.

My therapist said that she is extremely childish and immature and that I shouldn’t rise to her silliness. I told her that I know I shouldn’t, but it just really pressed my buttons on Monday and I couldn’t help myself. I told my therapist that I messaged her after she abruptly left the chat to ask if she had the ump – she told me she understands the temptation, but told me that I cannot change her – I can only change what I have control over, which is myself and my response.

I told my therapist that I knew this, but something in me just couldn’t ignore this time. I have spent years ignoring her “bad” behaviour and I just had enough on Monday.

My therapist told me that she understood this and told me that now I am “really seeing” the abusive cycles I have got myself caught up in, it is harder to ignore. I agreed. I have managed to put in firm boundaries to protect myself from my mother and I no longer speak to my old friend who was abusive – now I am left with T who I thought was entirely different to my mother, but is clearly just as narcissistic and clearly treats me in very similar ways – emotional blackmail and guilt-tripping constantly to get what she wants at the expense of what I might want or need. I guess that now I am changing and getting healthier in my recovery, I have better boundaries and perhaps am developing a stronger sense of self which I didn’t used to have. My sense of self used to depend on what other people told me about myself – and so it was imperative to please them. My mother, my ex-friend and T. It is no coincidence that all 3 of these women are so much older than me.  They are all in their 50’s.

My therapist said that she thinks I am getting in touch with rage that I feel about all of the people who I’ve been involved with and the rage I might be feeling in response to T’s latest thing is probably more about the whole thing or perhaps mainly about my mother. I agree with that.  The general feeling I have which probably is coming from more of a childish place, is “No! You can’t tell me what to do! You don’t own me!!!”.  The sensible reaction of ignore, ignore, ignore just wasn’t working on Monday. It hit a nerve.

It hit the same nerve a year or so ago when I told T I wasn’t joining her for lunch that day and she shouted at me in front of half of the office, I lost my temper that time and shouted at her “GET OVER IT!!!”.  That went down VERY badly and resulted in a huge rupture in our friendship for weeks.  Another time I went to yoga at lunch instead of having lunch with her and that resulted in me receiving an email later that day to tell me she had spent the hour on her own crying (guilt-tripping) because it had been the anniversary of a relative’s death a few years previous.  I have a lot more examples like this.

My therapist encouraged me to just not rise to T. To just continue making whatever plans I want to and to let T react however she wishes without reacting to it.  Basically maintaining my boundaries.

I did my usual Googling this morning and found some articles which have really helped me to digest this a bit more (I am clearly a slow learner!)

emotional blackmail is a powerful form of manipulation in which people close to us threaten to punish us for not doing what they want. Emotional blackmailers know how much we value our relationships with them. They know our vulnerabilities and our deepest secrets. They can be our parents or partners, bosses or coworkers, friends or lovers. No matter how much they care about us, they use this intimate knowledge to win our compliance.” 

“Sufferers are blamers and guilters who expect us to figure out what they want and ensure that they get it. Sufferers take the position that if they feel miserable, sick, unhappy, or are just plain unlucky, we are expected to help them – even if they haven’t told us how. They let us know, in no uncertain terms, that if we don’t help, they will suffer, and it will be our fault. Sufferers are pre-occupied with how awful they feel, and often they interpret our inability to read their minds as proof that we don’t care enough about them”.

It has helped me to understand why I get such a huge feeling of dread come over me when I know I have to tell her that I can’t have lunch with her because of something that might have come up – why I dread her response and when it comes, I feel angry, guilty and fed up!! It explains why she ignores me when I don’t see her. How dare I not put her needs first! How selfish of me. It also explains why she doesn’t react the same way to our other colleague at work who is much more outspoken than me – because she would get a mouthful back. She chose her weak pray all those years ago and I played the game! I let this happen.

Overwhelmed: You feel overwhelmed from the excessive responsibility a narcissist dumps on you. A narcissist expects you to drop everything to “cheer them up” when they are depressed, angry or anxious. You are frequently blamed for their problems or unhappiness as they bombard you with unnecessary and irrelevant information”.

“Guilt: As soon as you try to do something positive in your life, a narcissist stops you though the use of guilt. They claim that they should be the most important person in your life, you owe them your unwavering loyalty, or you are being selfish for taking care of yourself.”

“Shame: When manipulated right, shame is a powerful motivator. A narcissist shames you by constantly reminding you of your shortcomings, often in a passive-aggressive way. Or they complain about how badly you treat them compared to “great” they treat you“.

“Anger: A narcissist generates an angry response by acting immature and selfish but accusing you of behaving that way. Then, they divert the discussion thereby preventing any real resolution, especially anything involving action on their part. Finally, you are set up with only you lose-they win options. Your anger is a response to feeling like you are fighting a no-win battle all the time.”

Being emotionally blackmailed takes 2. I am not trying to play the victim here – I have let this dynamic happen for all these years, I just didn’t realise and now I’ve opened my eyes and become aware of it.  For emotional blackmail to work, you need to have the controller, and the controlled.  The only way someone can emotionally blackmail you – quite frankly, is if you let them.

So, for me to break this pattern I need to accept whatever punishment she might decide to throw my way and not change my response. That will be hard for me, it will be going against what I’ve done my entire life. I need to get the message over to her that guilt-tripping me, sulking etc will no longer work. My therapist has warned me that if I don’t give in to her direct or indirect threats, she will “up the anti” – so I best put my seatbelt on for this is sure to be a rocky ride! I need to make all these changes whilst trying to remain compassionate – I am not trying to end our friendship, just trying to make changes to enable the friendship to continue, if these changes aren’t made then unfortunately I don’t think our friendship will continue for much longer.

Blimey, I never predicated that so many changes would be made from me starting therapy!

Outgrowing your “role”?

I am (nearly) 29 years old. I have worked in the same company since I was about 18. For about the last 7 or 8 years, I’ve had a friend at work, we will call her T.  T is older than me, she’s about 53.

A bit of background for T. She is single and has been for about 25 years. She has two children, a boy and a girl, who are 30 and 28.  She is very much a “motherly” character, you know, she was a scout leader, she is the one who brings all the goodies to work, she is the one with the plasters and sewing kit – the one who tells you off if you play on your phone in the canteen at lunch (more on that later…).

Now, when I met T, I was very young – about 20. This was before I had ever thought about needing counselling. I was in a relationship of about 5 years which was very on-off and not very good.  I was dating a guy who liked a lot of independence and I was very insecure and clingy and “needy” and used to really need someone to talk to about every aspect of my dramatic life.  I needed someone to tell me what to do and what to say and T was only too happy to be that crutch.  She clearly liked feeling needed and so I offered her that.  She offered me that motherly thing that I’ve been missing my whole life and so it was a friendship made in heaven… right?

Fast-forward 8 years to now and I am currently feeling very frustrated with T.

Over these years, an ongoing issue in our friendship has been that sometimes I like to do things in my lunch hour other than sit in the canteen with her (shocking, I know). I used to go to the gym a couple of days a week, some days I like to go to the shops, sit in the sun or lunch with my boyfriend. Problem is, when I tell her this, she acts out like a spoilt child.  She sulks, she strops, she ignores me, she closes down our “chat” online, she will tell me I am selfish, she will say things like “oh fine, don’t worry about me!” – all various things but the same idea.

And I’ve just about had enough of it.

Sometimes at lunch, we sit in the canteen, we eat the crap food that they serve and we chat about our evenings/weekends, normal stuff. If my phone vibrates I might pick it up to see what the notification is and she will act out again – I get told how rude I am, how dare I – last week I told her that she isn’t my mother and that it really winds me up that she keeps going on about it. I told her in future I won’t come to lunch with her just in case I need to look at my phone. She says “playing on your phone at the dinner table is extremely rude” I told her, it isn’t a “dinner table” – it’s the canteen and told her that we aren’t eating, we are not having a special meal and that I am not her daughter!!! She disapproves of this immensely as you can imagine.

The thing is, I think I’ve let it build up and up and now it’s making me furious.

I spoke to T about this a few weeks ago and she told me that it is making me angry because I am starting to see how controlling and possessive it is. I’ve broken away from my mother who is controlling in all sorts of ways, I’ve ended an old friendship of 8 years with someone who used to bully me and mess with my head in all sorts of ways, and stopped that abuse and now I am really noticing that she is another person I’ve attracted in my life that constantly tells me what to do and makes me feel like a child.

Similarly to what i said yesterday, I am so fed up of being that child. I am an adult and I can do what I want. I can go where I like at lunch time and shouldn’t be made to feel guilty for that.  I should be able to come and go as I like, play on my phone as and when I like – and they are just very tiny examples.

The thing is, I can’t totally blame her. She hasn’t changed really.  She has been the same for this whole 8 years. It is me who has changed.  I think all this therapy has opened my eyes to so many things, it has helped me to change and develop and become healthier and with that, sadly, comes the end of some less healthy things ….. I’ve changed and that means I’ve now outgrown the role that she wants to keep me in…

Yesterday I told her on a group chat that I had plans for lunch and she left the chat instantly.  I messaged her separately and said have you got the ump with me and she replied to say that it wasn’t “all about me”.. we haven’t spoken since.  However, a friend of both of ours has just messaged me to say that she is really down and has lots going on and that she juts needed a friend yesterday that’s all – well how was I to know??

So now what?

How do I deal with this? What do I say to her? Will she even be able to understand what I am saying? Will it just come across as me being really nasty? ….

I have just had enough of worrying constantly about upsetting her at the expense of myself. That feels like a selfish thing to say, but I know deep down, it isn’t.

Any advice people? I’d appreciate it!

 

 

Being The Good Girl

I’ve had this brain wave thought this morning. I’m not quite sure where it has come from, but I feel like I might be onto something.

I was thinking about regression in therapy and the ways in which I’ve become and felt regressed there recently. I did my usual Google search, not really sure of what I was hoping to read but searching for the answers regardless. I often do this and actually sometimes the things I’m searching for give me a clue to what I’m thinking about, weird as that sounds.

I looked up things about the therapeutic relationship, regression, transference, maternal transference and a few other bits and bobs. It got me questioning what is my transference with my T?

I feel small and helpless when I am in that regressed state. I become weak and hopeless. A victim? Maybe, a child, for sure. I clearly regress with her a lot these days which I guess is natural in part and probably helps us to “do” the therapy but having read lots about transference, it has got me thinking… is it transference that I feel so young and helpless around T? Maybe it is. Maybe that is how I felt around my mum. Maybe I still do to an extent? Obviously I was actually a kid with my mother so some of this feeling could be memories, but that isn’t quite what I’m talking about.

I become a child with her. I am hopeless. If she is away, I am lost.  When I am with her and we are accessing trauma stuff, I want her to hug me and make me feel better. Maybe make us a cup of tea? Because tea makes everything better.  Perhaps she would offer me a blanket and I could kick off my shoes and curl up on her sofa with my tea and we could just chat about nice things, not therapy things.

When I leave her sometimes I cry, sometimes it hurts a lot. I panic she will leave, go away forever. It makes me feel like I could break and why?

Because I am a child and she is the mummy.

An actual child without mummy would naturally feel those things, but I am nearly 29 years old. I’m an adult. I’m a step-mother. I have a home, a job, a car, bills… so why do I become that lonely, lost little girl?

Why do I become “little”?

Is it because I’m secretly hoping she will become “mum” for real? Or is it a defence mechanism? Little to me is innocent, good, cute, harmless….if I stay “little” then maybe I will get mothered? If I stay little I won’t get told off or punished because I am little and innocent you see!  I feel like I am on the cusp of really realising something, but I’m not quite there yet…. Agh, what is it??

By doing this, I render myself incapable. I make myself overwhelmed on someone else “saving” me.

Maybe it is my mother’s internalised words. “Behave yourself” – the undertone to that obviously was “or else!”.  I didn’t want the or else. She could say it all with her eyes. That look, the one all mothers seem to possess. I got told off a lot when I was younger for whatever “bad” stuff I did. I once had a bar of soap shoved in my mouth because she caught me swearing. I got told off big time once because I brought her husband at the time a cd for his birthday and apparently that wasn’t good enough. She used to tell my nan every time we saw her that my room was a mess and that I was dirty. I was so far from messy or dirty it’s ridiculous, I had proper OCD when it came to my bedroom. She just said that to annoy me. She used to say that I thought the world revolved around me and that I was selfish. I guess that I learnt that to be loved, you had to be good all the time and so perhaps that’s why I am always trying to be the good girl. But that’s not real is it? When I cried as a child she would ignore me and would tell me she would “give me something to cry about” or “knock me from here into next week”.  Even crying wasn’t allowed but bad moods – oh no, you do not get bad moods. Bad moods were not allowed.

When I was very little, maybe like 4, I had a troll. It was a soft body with a hard face and I got a biro and scribbled all over its face in anger. I got VERY told off for that but looking back, I think I was wishing it was her face. The troll was my transitional object after all. It represented her. A troll! Harsh but true.

In reality I’m not just a nice girl who doesn’t have moods and doesn’t swear, is never selfish or rude. Sometimes I am snappy and sometimes I leave my house in a mess and sometimes I don’t want to do things that I should do. Some  days I am far from cute. Today is actually one of those days. Today I had a “strop” because my hair wouldn’t go right and looked a mess. I looked a mess. Another topic that me and T have recently been talking about. My inability to tolerate “mess”. Physical or emotional and I think I know where that comes from……

I feel like I’ve become stuck in being little. Being under 5 foot doesn’t help that. People often say I am cute. I’m not cute.  I want to grow up now and stop being so weak and little.  I want to come into myself authentically and stop pretending to be something just to be safe.

 

 

The Fantasy of the Therapist

fantasy

[fan-tuh-see, -zee] /ˈfæn tə si, -zi/

  1. imagination,especially when extravagant and unrestrained.
  2. the forming of mental images, especially wondrous or strange fancies; imaginative conceptualizing.
  3. a mental image, especially when unreal or fantastic; vision:

a nightmare fantasy.

I questioned myself this morning, “should I have cancelled my session tonight to have spent the evening with my boyfriend?” and then I answered myself by thinking, “No, we will swap cards when I get home and will have dinner together”. But then I thought to myself, “Oooh, maybe my therapist might have wanted the night off to spend with her.. husband? boyfriend?”

Isn’t it weird how little we actually know about the person we confide in most in the world? The person who we spend hours pouring our heart and souls out to. You make up a fantasy of their life, whether they are married or not, whether they have children, a boy, a girl? What ages… you decide on what they might like to do in their spare time, what kind of mother they are, what their house is decorated like etc and where do you take it all from really? Not a lot!

My T gives very little away about her life. I know she has children because she has used the words “my children” to me before… it always brings on a strange feeling when she does. Jealousy? Clearly in my fantasy, she is the perfect mother. She is patient, encouraging, supportive and very maternal. She loves her children and she enjoys spending time with them. Likewise, they love their mother and seek comfort and familiarity in her. She can see her children for who they are and encourages them in all they do in life. They seek solace in her. Lucky kids. She is a strong, dependable, intelligent woman. A role model. She has hobbies and friends and a “normal” family.

I’ve searched her hands looking for a ring, she doesn’t wear one. I decide in my head once that she was probably divorced and happy on her own nowadays but recently I thought that someone so well-educated on healthy relationships and someone who has “worked through” any issues she might have once had, was probably able to have very happy, healthy, long-lasting relationships so I doubted she would be alone.

Once a few months ago, a man arrived when I was outside her house sitting in my car waiting for my appointment time. He got out of a large white van and was dressed as though he had a physical job like a builder or something. He knocked on her front door and when there was no answer, he went down the side of her house (this is where the therapy door is!). I totally freaked out because I thought he had gone into the room – my room! At my slot. I sat in the car 5 minutes past my session start time. It threw me into a bit of a panic as I didn’t know what to do. Eventually I went and knocked on the door, T opened the door as usual and it turned out that said man went around the back of the house to get in. My T told me that he wasn’t there to visit her… hmm, so who was he and who was he there to visit? I didn’t ask, because that isn’t the proper thing to do is it, not when you are always trying to be “good” anyway. I decided that he wasn’t her husband or boyfriend because he would have his own key and I decided that her husband wouldn’t do a job like that. I am far from judgmental or snobby so I have no idea why I thought this. I guess in my fantasy, if she had a husband, he was probably a therapist too or maybe a doctor or something. They would have high-powered, important, well-paid jobs.

I’ve seen her daughter park outside their house before and go inside, I guess that she is about 24 or around that age and I also know that T has animals. Definitely dogs and chickens.

Isn’t it weird how over 3 years, all I have put together is that she may or may not have a partner. She has one daughter and another child of which I don’t even know the sex – yet alone names or ages and that she has some animals.

Having said all of this, really we pay them to help us on our epic journey towards healing. As long as they are trained, empathetic, supportive, understanding, kind, attuned, consistent and all the other things that therapists need to be, does it really matter whether they are married, have kids, like the colour purple or watch Eastenders? I guess not. But I think that the fantasy of all those things actually tell us more about us and what we need and want in life, at least that is true of me.

It has only become clear to me since writing this blog entry that the “qualities” I’ve dreamt up about my therapist are probably actually what I wish I had in a mother.

They say you see what you want to see….

TT x

 

 

 

Peaceful mind

Hi guys, how are you all doing? 

It’s Sunday afternoon, about 1.30 as I write this. I am feeling pretty calm and content and have had a nice few days off work. 

As some of you will know, I took Friday off work because I wasn’t feeling great last week. I had a nice day on my own, I drove to the seafront and had a walk, went shopping and treated myself to a McDonalds (naughty!). Usually when I am on my own I just stay home sleeping and watching tv so I wanted to try something new. Just driving to the seafront was calming, just me and my music (and my horrendous singing!). 

Saturday morning I made myself, my boyfriend and my stepkids a yummy breakfast and then headed off for my favourite gym class – body balance. I love it. It’s a mixture of yoga, Pilates and tai chi. It’s so calming and the music is great too.  

After that we went to a local reservoir for a long walk in the fresh air and in the evening I went for dinner and to see beauty and the beast at the cinema with my bestest chick and I’m not ashamed to say that I ordered a large tango ice-blast and popcorn and was so excited about this I was like a kid! Brownie points for treating my inner child, right? 

This morning I got up early and headed to a gym class called legs, bums and tums which sounds fairly easy but is anything but! It was pretty much circuits and absolutely killed me! I came out red-faced and sweaty but feeling good. 

When I got home I had a nice shower, hair wash, cleaned and tidied my house and now I’m sitting on the sofa with a brew. 

I have had a few thoughts about T and therapy this weekend, but few and nothing of any real substance. I have certainly not been at all preoccupied by it or her this weekend which has been a welcomed break. I feel relaxed and calm which is a relief after some really hard work the last couple of weeks. It was becoming draining and painful and exhausting. 

Is there something in the whole “leave some of the sadness with me?” Did her saying that help? Or is it a coincidence? I’m not sure. 

I’ve got a busy week ahead with my two therapy sessions, my gym classes, going to the theatre with work friends, getting my eyebrows done and then Mother’s Day crap next Sunday (bleughhhhhh!!!! – for another blog) so i plan to enjoy this afternoon fully. 

I hope you are all doing well and are having a peaceful mind too. 

Love, TT x