tug of war
- a contest in which two teams pull at opposite ends of a rope until one drags the other over a central line.
- a situation in which two evenly matched people or factions are striving to keep or obtain the same thing:“a tug of war between builders and environmentalists”
My mind feels full up today. I can’t quite grab hold of any particular thought and work it through enough to clear any space but all sorts of things are rattling around in there. I don’t feel peaceful – neither do I feel massively upset, I just feel the opposite to rested and very confused and uneasy.
I have spoken to my friends today about what happened between my mum and my partner on Saturday evening and they are all saying the same thing – that I can’t be to blame for their argument. That they are both adults and it is down to them, but that it wasn’t really my mum’s business and perhaps I could have told the pair of them to shut up.
I think because of the problems it caused it has left me confused and feeling a bit in the middle. Whenever I argue with my other half it leaves me feeling very detached and uncomfortable. It always takes me a while to warm back up and not feel this way so that won’t be helping. He is really angry with her and earlier on referred to her and my step-dad as “pinky and perky”. I tried to explain the situation as I saw it, very calmly but he closed the conversation down pretty quickly I think because he disagrees and didn’t want to carry on the argument today.
I think what a lot of it comes down to is this:
He hates her. He has never liked her. He has heard all the stories of the ways she has hurt me growing up and has heard the things she has said to me about him and is convinced that she just wants me back for herself and because she blames him for me going low contact with her, she likes to find any weaknesses in him/our relationship and insert the fears into my head. He also sees me dealing with some really horrific things in my therapy trying to heal from her abuse and can’t then see her in any other light. I can’t blame him for that at all I would be the same. He sees it that she did that Saturday night because I was clearly upset – it did cause a row between me and him AND what is worse for him, I then defended her to him when we argued by saying that he is a big boy and could handle that conversation himself. I also said that I agreed with some of her points but that if he was that pissed off with her, he should phone her himself and they can discuss that without me.
Maybe she genuinely feels it isn’t right that I should have to work full-time with a baby when most people don’t have to. Perhaps she genuinely feels it isn’t fair when his ex-wife still doesn’t work and her youngest child is nearly 9 years old but that I would have to work in order for him to make child maintenance payments to her. Maybe she genuinely wants what is best for me and therefore wanted to argue this with him and try to prove her point that it is wrong for him to suggest I would have to work full time – particularly when I have spent the last 3 years looking after his children and making lots of other sacrifices in life to enable him to finance us living together whilst he paid the mortgage in its entirety for the last 3 years for his ex-wife and her new partner to live scott free. Admittedly none of this is her business or her row to have. Or maybe she just found a conversation that my other half doesn’t like to have (because he is a private person and because he knows she is likely to stir things up somehow) and she found something that me and him were not united on. She found a topic that me and him hadn’t discussed between ourselves and once she saw the shock on my face and saw my reaction towards him, jumped on the bandwagon and did succeed in stirring the pot. Making me insecure or doubtful of him could therefore mean that I start to lean on her again, like I used to – therefore I would “pick her” instead of him.
Lots of maybe’s and no definitive answers of course.
My mum is obviously not a normal, healthy mother – she is seriously narcissistic and therefore her “love” isn’t genuine. It isn’t normal mother-daughter love we are talking about. I know that. The reason for her wanting to “protect me” if you can call it that, is probably all down to a power struggle. Wanting to win me back – probably for her own narcissistic supply. But I cannot deny that having her fighting for me felt nice. I know that makes me sound messed up, but if you had a mother that made you feel like you couldn’t ever do anything right, that you were always in the wrong and then one day she starts to “defend” you – you might feel the same way too. This is why I think I’ve gone back into the denial phase. She has managed (in part) to suck me back in. I think they call it hovering. Although she hasn’t suceeded completely, because I am still trying to be objective and can see her floored reasons for this and I haven’t turned her good and him bad which I might have done once.
Likewise, my other half could have found a way to end that conversation. He didn’t need me to rescue him. His anger yesterday was misdirected at me. His anger was for her and he shouldn’t have taken it out on me (I did tel him this). I think he had my best interests at heart, because he wouldn’t want me to work full-time with a baby if we had any other option. He wasn’t saying it to be nasty and he probably gets sick and tired of me moaning about how unfair things are because of him having an ex-wife and children to pay for when he cannot do anything about his past – and perhaps he wouldn’t even if he could because otherwise his children wouldn’t even exist. I think the fact that he hates her so much fuelled their argument. I think the fact she hates him right back made it worse.
I think that despite what they were actually saying to each other, the underlying message was “I will get Twink on my side – I will win her” because they are in direct competition for my affections. Neither wants to lose and both for very different reasons.
The harsh, really shit reality for me right now is that at the moment, I still feel like “she’s my mum” and have something in me wanting to protect her… even though the evidence is stacked against her. Even though I’ve been hurt so badly from her. Even though I’ve wanted to shake her before because of the pain she’s caused me….. I think I’ve had some sort of tiny glimpse at how painful it will be to really feel the pain of this and so I’ve jumped backwards into denial and bargaining instead of acceptance.
I just sat there and froze hoping they would sort it out and leave me out of it – but it didn’t work out like that.
I can totally understand my other half’s frustrations, I really can.. I just wish someone could see this from my point of view. Even if I am going backwards in my recovery, that happens sometimes, it doesn’t mean I will be stuck in this stage forever, but that must be very hard to accept when your with someone who is doing that. How difficult it must be for my other half to see me potentially falling for her games – if that is what they are. I know he really does have my best interests at heart, but for some reason it is harder to believe because I live in doubt that he really loves me even though he’s never given me reason to doubt him. Another legacy of the narc mother perhaps.
Excuse the obscenities but.. how fucking fucked up.