“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?

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21 thoughts on ““I wish I could get inside her head and check”

      1. OK here we go…
        Yesterday you wasn’t sure if it was acceptance or denial. It was the beginning of acceptance, because you were starting to understand the ‘why’ and it didn’t sound to me like you were then denying the way she treated you, there was no bargaining sort of behaviour i.e. “I know she SEEMS awful but actually it’s her way of loving me and that’s OK”. There was none of that! You know that she still hurt you and that wasn’t OK. I really think T could have taken this one of two ways and she went this way, the other way was to just ask you, do you think the way she has treated you is OK? That right there! That’s it! At this particular time at this point in the journey, you just needed to come back to knowing that just because someone else hijacked her childhood, doesn’t make the hijacking of yours any less painful or excusable. It is still OK for you to be mad, be in pain, you don’t have to forgive her just because you understand the ‘why’. What the ‘why’ gives you, is an understanding of the person that hurt you, and knowing that it was not your fault. You didn’t do anything wrong. It explains the behaviour but it doesn’t excuse it.
        I’m just so fucking mad because it seems like shes rail roaded you away from something that was actually positive for you to realise. She’s unearthed the temptation of “poor mummy” that could lead you to denial and bargaining, but I think she took the wrong route and brought a positive learning into question and thus question yourself.
        OMG I’m just so angry. Am I making sense? Xxx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You make sense, yes… it is so much to take in (my session I mean) I don’t really know what to say or what I am thinking….. I don’t know…… I did totally agree with you but now I’m not sure…. I think I agree that perhaps she has rail roaded me away from a positive realisation but yet I am torn by this sense that she is right because I know I have so much pain and hurt (which was evident in my session last night) … oh I don’t know. It’s all so fucking confusing!!! x

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      3. Yeah I hear you, it is just my opinion and I could absolutely be wrong. It just doesn’t seem like from your other post that you were denying the pain and hurt, the way T suggested.
        If it’s at all possible, could you write down (just for you, or blog) what you actually think? If you find yourself second guessing because of T or a comment here, or what’s right or wrong etc, catch that and zip it’s mouth. What do you think? No right or wrong, not what should be, that doesn’t matter. When everyone else is quiet, what do you think, what do you feel? Just you xxxxxx

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      4. Hurray! You do! I was all in there with my rage and I apologise, I was just so defensive of you. I don’t mean it to be an attack on T at all, I know she’s awesome. But it’s ok for her to be wrong sometimes too, does that seem scary? I know I don’t like the idea of Marge getting something wrong, but I do see that as a strength (in us on the other side) if at any time we can confidently disagree. Or even confidently agree as it could be in this case, you may come back and say I was way off. And that’s OK too! But right now you’re not settled. Do not be afraid of what you think and feel. I will celebrate with you either way. You do you TT 😊 xxx

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      5. You are right. Her being wrong might be okay sometimes but it brought out such a lot of grief in me that if she was wrong I guess the fear is that it would feel like it was manipulation or something? Hard to explain what I mean.

        Please don’t apologise for any rage or whatever, I wrote here hoping for feedback in whichever form Iy arrived…. it’s so hard sometimes. I think I’ve been told how I should feel so long that when someone asks me what I think I don’t know!!! Isn’t that mad?!! Xxx

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      6. Also, I hear what you’re saying about manipulation, but that is not how I’d see it at all. I think she totally said and did what she thought was right and what she thought was best for you, and she made some sense and you’ve agreed with some of it. That is OK, that is not manipulation. If you decide something different and put across a solid argument for it, and she agrees, that won’t be you manipulating her, you know? Xxx

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  1. Yeah I agree with thislittlemindofmine. I think your therapist is awfully good and I agree with a lot of what she said and she clearly had great insight and education on this subject. But she did seem to ignore the success in you understanding and being able able to hold the duality that exists in your mother. She hurts you AND she is also a hurt daughter herself.
    And if your Nan was an over attentive caregiver… then why was your mum so jealous of her mum giving you so much attention? How could she be jealous of something she herself got in abundance? I also think there’s more than one way to make a narcissist.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is a very good question….I am going to need to ask that tomorrow………. This is so difficult. I can’t decide how I feel about it because I have this instinct to defend my T at all times – yet I get what you (and what thislittlemind have said)! x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You don’t have to feel one way or another about it all. Just give it some time to process. I think your therapist is right about the danger of you using this realisation to feel sorry for her as a defence to feeling the pain and anger and rage. And that’s somethng she’s looking out for and she’s going to protect you from that, she isn’t going to allow you to do that. That is a GOOD therapist. All I#m saying is she’s maybe missed that this isn’t just a new defence to avois feeling or working through the rage, but also a progression in your ability to see the greys, to understanding that your mother has issues of her own. I’m sorry you feel like you need to defend your T. That’s a very natural feeling, i often feel it too when people point of Sienna’s flaws or mistakes. Just know that no one is attacking her, just pointing out that she’s maybe not entirely correct in this situation.
        Ultimately we can’t know her or you, so what’s important is that you and her work through this together.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What an impressive amount of work your going through with your therapy! The final interpretation of your feelings and life events are always yours, but how interesting for you to have someone point out other angles to contemplate on that you might have missed.

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    1. Is it? Thank you – nice to have some input from the “outside” on that koz I never know if I’m doing a lot of work or not as never know what to compare it with haha!!!

      That’s a nice way to think about it….. interesting!! C

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi. Newbie reader here again. You do some fantastic work. Your writing is clear and your thoughts are heart-felt and deep. My thoughts on this post is maybe “both and then some” are true. Meaning many things can be true at the same time. Your mother could have been a victim. She was a perpetrator. I think you were in your ‘observer’ state of mind when saying maybe your grandmother was a narcissist too, seeing both of them from another perspective. Knowing you have an ‘observer’ part of yourself can be a good thing and very useful. If you can get into that headspace and look again maybe you can see that the idea of what your T said and what you said the day before are both true. And then some. It’s very hard to hold conflicting emotions and ideas in front of ourselves and say that even though it makes no sense for them both to be true they are and there is more truth to it all too. I hope that was clear. I ramble trying to reach a meaningful conclusion. Take care of yourself in this fragile place. -Lora

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    1. Hi Lora! Thanks for reading my blog and thank you for such a helpful comment. Sorry I didn’t reply sooner but I was out last night so only just read it properly this morning.

      Firstly, thank you – that’s really nice to hear and kind of you to say!! I try not to filter anything down despite how crazy it might sound – I don’t think it’s worth blogging if you only tell half the truth! But it’s scary sometimes putting it all out there.

      I think you are right. I think I am struggling with conflicting emotions and I think I’ve got myself caught up in what is “the right” way to feel or what is the right thing to be thinking when it isn’t really as clear cut as that. Having had a few days to think on this, I do think perhaps I was making excuses for her – even though what I’ve observed (good word) is true, I need to reach more of a middle ground.

      You didn’t ramble at all I found you what you said really insightful and nicely worded, thank you.

      I see T again this afternoon so no doubt there will be more to this…. I can’t decide if I’m pleased I have a session or if I want to hide and not go haha x

      Liked by 1 person

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