Just a random ramble

Do you know what I think makes this more difficult? That there are so many different types of narcissistic parents and that there are so many different types of abuse and neglect and that some are the total opposite of each other – yet you can be subjected to both and it makes you feel crazy and question what’s true.

Let me explain what I mean.

I grew up always feeling unloved, feeling one hell of a burden. Always wishing I had experienced maternal love, warmth and affection. So I guess I felt emotionally neglected?

Fine okay. On top I felt the physical neglect as my mother was rarely around and always out with friends and men. Still, neglect.

And yet now, thanks to counselling I understand that my mother was also considered an “engulfing mother”. A controlling mother and one who saw me as an extension of herself. Who had no boundaries.

And that’s sooooo confusing to me – even now.

How can someone who was physically and emotionally neglectful also be engulfing and controlling?

I have found myself confused by this even though I logically understand it. It’s hard to try and get through to a PD parent at the best of times, but it’s confusing even for yourself when you go from saying “you were never there, you never cared!” And then following it with “you were controlling, you wanted me to be you!!”.

So for me until I was about… 17 I was a burden. In the way, boring etc.

Then I was the GC (golden child – not Gemma Collins!). I was enmeshed with her (obviously I didn’t know this).

And then I went into therapy and pulled away emotionally and physically and I grew up and began to individuate (late) and got myself a nice partner, now fiancé, and basically developed my OWN personality and life which is absolutely NOT allowed by an engulfing narcissist.

Since confronting her about my pain and sadness we’ve not spoken (aside from a couple of attempts at hoovering via “I love you” texts), it could be silent treatment? It could be anger, who knows?

What a mind f*** hey?!

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Optimistic

I keep thinking that I want to write because the last few days I have been feeling pretty optimistic and I thought I should write it down so that on the less optimistic days, I can read it back in the hope that it helps somehow.

Mainly I have been thinking about how much has changed for me in the last few months, particularly since Christmas but also, and perhaps coincidentally(?) since I’ve been no contact with my mother. I feel different at the moment and I want to explain how but I’m not sure how to articulate the feelings. I thought about the things that have changed and things that I am looking forward to and they are so big! Things such as:

I started a new job at the end of November – some of you will remember that it didn’t go well and that I was more or less bullied by two wannabe mean girls and it was horrible BUT I was proactive and I decided I couldn’t work in an environment like that and so I applied for another position internally which I was successful in getting and have now been in my new, new role since 2 Jan. I love my new team and the girls I sit with every day and enjoy my job, particularly on the busier days.  So, item 1: new job.

We then got served notice and told we had to vacate our lovely rented house on NYE. That was bad timing and quite a shock and it was very unwelcomed news which was subsequently followed by us finding another new house only to lose that again a few days before we were meant to move into it!! That was hugely stressful and very upsetting again BUT, we have now found another house and one I actually think I will enjoy even more than the first one we found.  It’s in an area more familiar to me and means I will be much closer to T’s, my dad’s, my best friend’s and close enough to drive to various places like the gym or the supermarket and the local town centre for shopping etc.  I am excited by that.

Next up, I think I am about to buy a new car!! Probably not hugely exciting to anyone else but for me it’s very, very exciting. I only passed my driving test a year and a half ago and I could only afford a very old (16 year old) clapped out old banger which has been rather problematic to say the least. The car is not reliable and I have lost a lot of my confidence due to its unreliability. This potential new car isn’t new, it’s still 10 years old but the comparison is quite remarkable, it FEELS brand new to me. I took it for a test drive Saturday night and the steering feels light, inside it feels just, immaculate I suppose? It is quiet, my seat is higher (which is a good thing as I am very small!).  Anyway, as long as everything goes to plan I should be able to pick it up over the weekend and I just cannot wait. I am nervous though too… it feels very different and will take some getting used to but I hope that a bit of practice will do the trick. It feels like a more “adult” car for some reason, perhaps because it has 5 doors instead of 3 haha.  I’m looking forward to it.

On top of those things, in a few months I will celebrate my 30th birthday, followed only a week later by my hen weekend which is a total surprise and then of course, my wedding! A new name on top of my new job, home and car.

In terms of therapy related stuff and my thoughts and moods more generally, I am feeling rather light at the moment. I feel very at peace with things which although I know is a very good thing, does make me feel a bit guilty. I feel like I should probably be upset and crying and missing my mother – troubled by it at the least, but I am not at the moment. This changes though so I want to enjoy this feeling whilst it lasts because who knows what’s next.  I was thinking this morning as I walked to the station that I still don’t miss her and that I feel as though I probably should.  It’s been 4 full months now, as March approaches so does the 5th month of no contact and I still can’t quite believe I am writing that.

I still feel some dread about mother’s day but am 99% sure that I won’t be contacting my mother. I have struggled with a lot of worry, panic and guilt about that but I think I am currently at the stage where I’m thinking, why would I send a mother’s day card when that would just send the message that I am sending out an olive branch or that she is forgiven purely because time has passed? I still don’t feel angry with her to be honest… there is no anger in that thought, but just simply, she still hasn’t shown any attempt at empathising with me in my hurt and she has simply left me alone.  I think to myself that sending something would perhaps give her the hope/thought that I was ready to “move on” which is what she wants, us to move on with no real discussion or apology and I am not prepared to do that.

It’s a weird feeling not missing your mother. I keep thinking to myself, surely I SHOULD miss her? Surely I should be upset, be crying? Something? Why am I not? Am I cold-hearted? Then I think to myself no, I am not. I know I am not. I guess as nasty as it might sound, there isn’t much to miss in the reality. Sure in the fantasy there is plenty to miss but I’ve been more reality-focussed lately so perhaps that’s why. I don’t miss being told what to do or what to wear or how I look isn’t quite good enough. I don’t miss pretending to be someone I’m not for approval. I don’t miss yearning for some acceptance and love that I will never get and feeling the hurt when I don’t get it. I don’t miss drinking with my mother until the early hours gossiping about other family members or close “friends”.  I don’t miss her planting seeds of doubt in my head about my fiancé or stirring up feelings of envy in me about my stepchildren.  I don’t miss having my private life, my therapy or friends or my father attacked.  What DO I miss?…….. maybe having someone who is more “mine” to text or call when these big things happen. Because the person I tell now is my mother in law and there are things I don’t tell her purely because she gets a little awkward about things that are more emotional. I think she worries about what to say and I sense the uncomfortable-ness in her and it prevents me from saying too much.

All in all though, things are looking up. I feel quite good and I feel rather happy.

Moving weekend

Happy Saturday everyone!

I am currently at the hairdressers with a head of foils looking fabulous! … not! Why do hairdressers insist on placing us in front of huge mirrors? I’m sure the longer I sit here, the more disfigured my face becomes… it all kinda blurs into one. Does anyone else get that? I’ve certainly never felt pretty looking in a hairdressers mirror for hours.

Anyway, today I am at a new hairdressers because I decided not to go to my normal (and much loved) one due to it being situated in my mother’s small town. I just didn’t want to run the risk of bumping into her.

I felt like perhaps I shouldn’t be avoiding my normal places but honestly, it would be difficult and no doubt trigger a huge guilt attack which I just can’t deal with at the moment and so I’ve come here instead, a hairdressers in my own small town. But not for long…

This is the weekend we move out 😦

Tomorrow we have a hire van (doing it ourselves since my sister’s dad became an invalidating flying monkey!!), and a storage unto to put everything in. My house is currently FULL of boxes and bags of clothes and possessions and all that is left for me to take to my in law’s is two bags of clothes, some shoes, some toiletries, my hamster and my laptop. God it feels strange!

So as I am sat here at the new hairdressers I know I won’t be back in this little town (probably) again and it’s sad.

BUT….

But… we viewed (another) house Thursday night and it was lovely. It’s smaller than what we have now but has enough bedrooms for us and the kids, has a garden and a garage and is a 5 minute walk to the train station which is perfect!

The only slight problem is that it’s a bit further in the opposite direction to where the kids live.

Unfortunately yesterday morning, after not asking my fiancé whether he liked the house or not all evening as he was in a bad mood! I asked and he said he liked it but didn’t want to go for it because it was too far. We ended up in a screaming row. I actually stormed off to our bedroom, slammed the door and got into bed where I sobbed my eyeballs out. I was so disappointed.

Later on in the morning he text me saying he was prepared to do it and told me to apply for it! Yay!! So I did and the landlord accepted us and we have sent off the money for all the usual checks they do. Potential moving in date of end of March! I am elated.

Completely selfishly, some of my own reasons are:

It’s a 15 minute drive to my dad’s house. Me and my dad have been getting on sooooo much better since I’ve gone no contact with my mum. He texts me regularly, I call him regularly and being able to drive to him that easily would be lovely.

It’s an 18 minute drive to counselling and what’s more important for me, it’s nice local roads and not scary busy dual carriageways! Win!

A ten minute drive would get me to the nearest supermarkets and also to the town centre which is full of shops, a cinema, bowling, restaurants etc.

And lastly, my best friend lives 5 minutes away.

So yes, totally selfish but the idea of these things being in my reach is wonderful. Since going no contact with my mother I’m trying to work on my relationships with these people because they are my support network. Keeping close with them helps me to feel less isolated and less lonely.

But look, the kids keep their rooms, my fiancé gets another garage where he can use his turbo trainer and the garden has flower beds for him to plant in AND the house has a greenhouse – something he’s always wanted. Not bad hey?!

So tomorrow we move in with the in-laws until the end of March and I won’t lie, I’m not looking forward to it, but knowing we have a new house to move to at the end of March has certainly made it much easier to swallow.

So as my hair colour takes and I sit and write this, I’m feeling more optimistic than I have for several weeks despite the sadness at leaving out house and this town tomorrow. When I get home in an hour or so, it’s going to be a mad house with packing and skip-runs and the kids all getting (too) excited. I’m making the most of my last bit of alone time for god knows how long…. ahhh!

On an unrelated note, I saw a sign for Mother’s Day on my way to work the other day. Here in the UK it’s on about 11 March. I am dreading it. I’m trying to block it out for now as I am occupied with everything else but it’s there in the back of my head. How will I handle that? Ahh.

Dear Diary…

Today’s blog will mainly be a diary entry for myself rather than anything of any real interest. I feel a bit… I’m not really sure what.  Miserable? I don’t know, down, sad I suppose.

House/Moving

We were meant to be moving house next Monday. Literally a week tomorrow. I’ve been SO looking forward to moving into our new house, getting somewhere that felt “safe” and that none of my “family” could get to me.  Somewhere I could make a home again for me, my fiancé and the kids.  It was meant to be something positive in amongst the ten tonne of shit we’ve had recently.  But no.  That would be too easy wouldn’t it? Just in case I wasn’t already struggling enough, the house move fell through on Friday afternoon.  It’s a long story but the very short version is that we were told all the furniture in the new house would be put into storage before we moved in and when I checked this the other day, we were told that no, all furniture was staying and they were “sorry” for any inconvenience.  We can’t afford to put our or their furniture into storage and pay the new (higher) rent and we aren’t prepared to sell our entire 3 bed house worth of furniture when we are only signing a contract for one year – which has a 6 month break clause in it and could find ourselves looking for a new home by August (not to mention that’s when we get married! – can you imagine?).

So as I write this I am sitting surrounded by a house full of packed boxes, and no new house.  We are lucky enough that my fiancé’s parents have said we can move in with them for a while until we find somewhere and truly, I am grateful for that – Christ only knows what we would have done without that offer… BUT…

but as this is my diary and I am writing honestly, it sucks.  I know, I know, I should look on the bright side, be more positive and count my lucky stars that we aren’t out on the street but God.  I am not good when I am out of my own comfort zone. I seriously struggle being around people too much. I guess I’m a bit of an introvert in that way.  I NEED my routines and my space to feel… what? happy? settled or something.  It sounds silly but it’s the small things. Being able to put my pjs on with no bra the second I get home in the evening. Having that half an hour where nobody is home but me – cooking my different Slimming World dinners in my kitchen with my music playing. Sitting down in the evening to the programmes me and my fiancé like to watch. Taking a bath/shower when I like, not worrying about waking anyone up in the mornings.  Having my own room to escape to when the kids are with us at weekends, even if that’s just whilst I get dressed and ready for the day.  Agh.

I crave my own time. I love my fiancé, the kids AND I love his parents but I really do need time to just be alone. To be with my thoughts, to write on here, to watch my rubbish tele or to cook. Those are my things and they will all be taken away when we move.  Not to mention there really is something shit about HAVING to move and not wanting to. Being forced to leave the house we call home with nowhere of our own to go.

I know it could be worse, I know, I know. But I am feeling very anxious about it. I am sulking internally about it.  It’s not even like we have an end-date in sight. We will literally be there for however long it takes us to find a new house.  So, in the meantime, next weekend we have to take our entire house worth of furniture and belongings to a storage unit and lock it away.  I’ll be taking myself, some clothes, this laptop and my hamster and moving in with my to be in-laws where me and my fi will sleep in single beds in a room with no tele and no lock.  MEH.

Fiancé’s Birthday

House move aside, it was my fiancé’s birthday yesterday.  He had a nice day.  I had arranged lunch out at his favourite restaurant with the kids and his rents in the afternoon, had a birthday cake for him the afternoon and then surprised him at the pub in the evening with his two best friends turning up.  He seemed very happy and thanked me so many times telling me how loved he felt.  That felt good, I hope he does feel loved because he makes me feel like that.

My Dad did something which I really liked yesterday too. He sent my fi a birthday card in the post with a gift voucher in but he drew a silly picture on the envelope which is a bit of an “in-joke” we have with him.  It made me burst out laughing when I saw it and there is just something about that small, silly gesture which has played on my mind all weekend.  I really, really liked that he did that.  It felt so nice.  I’ve questioned several times, what is it that I like about it so much and I am not entirely sure.  My fiancé thinks it’s some kind of validation about my choice in partner  – that despite all the bollocks going on with my family, that him sending a card with a little in-joke picture on it, kinda says “I like him”.  Perhaps he is right.

My mother, needless to say, did not text my fiancé to wish him a happy birthday.  I can’t work out if I am surprised about that or not. In one sense it would be a hugely hypocritical move to make when she’s been slating him BUT because she is still denying that and blaming him for my not talking to her, I guess why would she?

I think it’s a good thing for my sake that she didn’t.  And for his because I know he wouldn’t have replied to her and that may have potentially set my guilt off – you must reply to a “nice” message right? I know it’s silly really.

Other Family

Last week was my best friend’s 30th birthday, one of my brother’s 21st birthdays, my sister’s birthday AND my fiancé’s yesterday.  Obviously my best friend and my brother’s birthdays aren’t issues here but my sister having her birthday a week after that stupid ambush was.  I really didn’t know what to do about it or how to/whether to acknowledge it.

I decided to send her a birthday card in the post (to my mother’s house – awks) with a gift voucher in for her favourite shop.  I kept the message short, have a lovely day etc, love me, my fi and the kids.  On her birthday morning I text her to say happy birthday and she replied to say thanks and thanks for the card and voucher.  That was that.  I knew that last night, the closest Saturday night to her birthday she was going out to celebrate with her work friends.. and my mother and stepfather (of course).  That played on my mind a bit and I don’t even really know why.

My aunty is currently going through radiotherapy for a brain tumour and I decided to send her a message on Friday. I wasn’t sure if I would get a response or what the response would be like because this aunt is “close” with my mother.  They regularly have parties together and so she would have heard my mother’s side of this plus just as an added extra, she was there 3 years ago when I confronted my mother for the first time and she was hugging my mother as she cried – so clearly she isn’t going to be very supportive of me and my feelings in all of this.  Anyway, I text and said that I was thinking of her and hoped her treatment was going okay and she did reply Friday night.  She stuck to the facts of her treatment, which sound horrific, I feel very sad for her but am glad I sent something. It’s eased my conscience a bit I guess as selfish as that sounds.

My nan is playing on my mind now. I want to send her a message and ask her how she is but I’ve been putting it off.  I have been expecting a fall out with my nan since me and my mother fell out. It hasn’t happened yet but I am absolutely certain it will and I really, really don’t want it to.  1) because I love my nan and her turning on me would be bloody painful but also 2) I am so totally emotionally tired of fighting and arguing and even if I didn’t “respond”, it would then be on my mind and I don’t want it to.  Meanwhile I feel bad for not contacting her just in case she doesn’t do that and I’m missing out on potential normal contact.

Diet/Food

Anyone who follows me on Instagram will have probably seen the occasional food pic and #SlimmingWorld etc.  I’ve been on Slimming World since January and I can honestly say, it’s really good!! I’ve never really followed a proper diet plan before – only ever counted calories or restricted certain foods.  What I am enjoying on SW is that I am learning how to cook a lot of real food, you know, proper healthy, homemade meals.  The biggest change for me has been planning ahead but also, not using jars!  In an average week I would cook a spaghetti Bolognese, perhaps a chilli and then maybe buy a few ready meals that you just heat up in the oven, like a shepherd’s pie, a fish pie or something like a lasagna etc.  No more!! No I am making healthy foods from scratch, including the sauce and it’s delicious!

In terms of weight loss, I’ve lost 7lbs since New Year but more like 10lbs since about November time where I weighed more than I did at the start of this.  I feel a lot better, my jeans fit much better and my stomach feels much flatter.

Today for breakfast I made myself and my fi a bacon and tomato omelette which is totally “syn free” and am currently cooking a beef stew in my slow cooker which will cook slowly until this evening.  It looks and smells great already.  Not particularly exciting I know, but I am strangely enjoying it. If anyone is tempted to try any SW recipes, look on Google there are so many to choose from but some of my favourites are the Diet Coke chicken, pizza topped chicken, syn-free chips and the chilli con carne. All delicious and you don’t feel like you are on a diet with them at all!

Other than those tasty treats, I am drinking hot water with lemon in and that is tasty and meant to be good for weight-loss and detoxing too! #WINNING.

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The dream that knocked me for six

Ugh.

Last night I had the most horrendous dream. I remember there was arguing between my mother and I, and that my sister was very upset and begging me to make up with her. I refused to because she still hadn’t validated me at all and was still trying to act like nothing had happened.

Next, she had wrapped a rope around her neck and jumped into a hole of water in the ground (a bit like a small circular pond), she had tried to kill herself. Somehow, and I can’t remember how now, I ran and pulled the rope and my sister out and she was just about alive, I untied the rope from her neck and she collapsed onto me. She was sobbing and so was I, although I was so scared that I was shouting at her in anger, that I couldn’t believe she would do that. She was totally broken and now so was I.

I felt horrendous grief and fear and sadness but also so much guilt. If I had made up with my mother, she wouldn’t be feeling so desperate. I could have saved her from nearly killing herself and yet I was nearly the cause of her suicide!

I woke up from this dream in the night and was sweating and frightened but fell back to sleep somehow.

Today though…. well today has been so, so tough. I have felt such a sadness all day. I feel very low and lethargic. I feel like I could burst into tears at any moment. I’ve thought about my sister constantly as you might imagine.

I know it’s only a dream but god it’s had such a horrible impact on me.

So what does it mean? Is it symbolic of my fear that my sister really will do something to herself? I mean I wouldn’t say that was impossible as she has always suffered with depression (even though she currently claims she’s managed to put it all behind her…. cough!).

Is it symbolic that she wants or needs me to save her?

Is it symbolic of my guilt? My worry for her?

When she came over last week with her Dad and my fiancé asked her if she would still want a relationship with me even if I never spoke to our mother again she said something quietly like “oh god”. She cried a lot, several times. She clearly wants my mother to stop crying and she clearly wants all the drama and fighting to stop. She’s not alone.

Today I feel utterly defeated, low, fed up, depressed (not properly but you know). I feel so exhausted from everything.

I don’t have the energy for all of this. It’s messages that trigger me, cause me to feel such huge anxiety, play on my mind, make me feel scared and nervous. There’s seeing people who are intimidating and of course invalidating, there’s the guilt I feel towards the people I leave behind like my sister… there’s the guilt I feel (rightly or wrongly) towards my mother who, despite her abuse is so personality disordered that she has no idea what’s going on or what she has done – who, in her own way, in her own head, is grieving for me somehow…

and then there’s me grieving the loss of being able to “get” at my mother in the way I’ve always needed and wanted to. My grief that half of my so called family are so invalidating and turning on me for having feelings…

The fear every time the doorbell rings.

The fear that someone will die whilst this is going on and I’ll hate myself. Perhaps I feel it would be my fault… just like the dream.

It’s all just a bit too much for me today. Today it is just overwhelming me. Today I don’t feel like I can cope or that I have the strength to carry on.

And annoyingly, this weekend I had felt quite pleased that I had managed to proactively make plans. I saw friends, walked in nature, celebrated one of my brother’s birthdays, started packing my house, felt proud of my weight loss etc – my fiancé even said how well I was doing despite it all.

Today I’m not doing well at all.

Invalidation Hurts

I’ve thought a lot this weekend about invalidation and what it means to me.  Before going to therapy I hadn’t even heard the words “invalidation” or “validated”.  After a while I understood the meanings but to be totally honest, put them down to being airy-fairy therapy words and definitely not words that I would use myself.  Fast-forward 3 years or so and invalidation is a word that seems to be coming out of my mouth A LOT.

When I ended up having THAT row with my mother in October, what I wanted and needed from her was to be validated.  I was screaming (literally) for her to finally see and hear that I was hurt. That I had a lot of hurt and pain inside of me that I was desperate for her to see, acknowledge, apologise for causing and help me to heal from.  What I got instead was total invalidation.  She went on the attack and listed off my faults, invalidated me by making me feel overly sensitive and pathetic for having these feelings and then insulted me by saying I was crazy and needed sectioning as I was brainwashed (I guess this was gaslighting as it made me question my sanity).

A few days after THAT row, she text me to say how upset she was.  She sent a few long messages, all of which were totally invalidating.  One actually said “You say you had a bad childhood?” the tone of which instantly suggests it’s an opinion rather than a fact, and then a question mark like she’s questioning I could even SAY that!  She continued “but we always had a nice house and you didn’t go without much considering I was a single parent with no help from your dad“.  I should be grateful, after all I had a nice house (which is actually laughable as I moved at least 22 times before I was 16, doesn’t mention that I lived with 2 physically violent men AND a paedophile but hey, moving on…) she then goes on to blame my dad for not supporting her and the end result is that I should feel LUCKY rather than hurt.  As for the “didn’t go without much” well, that is questionable.  Personally I feel like I went without all of the most important things a child needs like love, protection and safety.

Next came the “Lets agree to disagree” text.  Because agreeing to disagree that I grew up feeling unloved, unlovable, faulty, wrong, broken, not good enough, ashamed etc are things you can just “agree to disagree” on aren’t they?  ABSURD.

Another few months later she sent an angry text and in it she listed all of the ways she “was always there for” me “unlike some” (this is another dig at my father). She went on to say that it couldn’t have been that bad as I didn’t move out when I was 16 and never go back. She then said in fact, I went home a few times and that they always let me return and helped me with most of the things I needed.  By that she will mean money, physically helping me move house and buying me things like an iron etc.

Then came her “goodbye” text which said she was no longer waiting to hear from me and would deal with that in her own way.  She told me to be happy and that she hoped I didn’t regret my decisions as time was precious.  She also made sure to get in a few shitty comments about how I could “believe what I like“.  This one very nearly worked, I did begin to seriously question if any of my pain and hurt was worth losing my own mother over.  Perhaps I really should be over it by now?

And most recently, a few days ago, she says she wishes she could “wrap her arms around me and hug away the pain and hurt” and that she will always be there for me, if and when I need her.

Every message stinks of invalidation.  The last one is clever though as on the surface, there’s some validation in it, right? She’s FINALLY, FINALLY seen that I even have hurt and pain?? I still find myself hopeful about that to an extent, but where is the acknowledgment of what that pain and hurt is about? Nowhere. So what is she actually acknowledging? That I have hurt and pain from somewhere/someone else? Or that I am mentally struggling at the moment? I don’t know but it’s not right I know that.

Then flying monkey who arrived Wednesday night – well, quite frankly that twat just invalidated my entire life.  He invalidated my experience of my childhood, my mother and my current adult feelings about it all. He told me to move on, draw a line under it, told me that I was an adult now (so I assume should grow up?).  It was horribly invalidating. He also told me that as he experienced a terrible childhood himself, he knew how I felt about certain aspects but that I should still “draw a line under it“.

My sister told me that my mother was very upset and crying all the time – so clearly her feelings were more important than mine. When I told her my boundaries for any future relationship between us, her response was that she didn’t understand the need for “rules” and got visibly annoyed and upset.  She said it was weird.  So now my boundaries were being ignored too.  Not to mention I told her NOT to bring her dad with her, yet she still did. How rude is that? Still gets my back up.

So there is the background to my recent experiences of being invalidated.  What I am struggling with at the moment is what I experience when this happens. I see red.  Like, a red mist. I become so very overcome with anger that I genuinely worry I won’t be able to control myself and this is SO unlike me. I have never been a particularly angry person, I would not describe myself as angry or aggressive and I am certainly not violent, ever.  But in these moments, I could totally lose my head.

I keep reading on forums, blogs and articles that the best thing to do is to not react. Particularly, not to react emotionally.  Keep calm, don’t “JADE” (Justify, Argue, Defend or Explain) yourself and to basically validate yourself so that it doesn’t get to you.

But I don’t seem to be able to do this yet.

Why has this become such a huge trigger for me? I mean, I guess looking back I’ve spent my entire life being invalidated so why now is that so completely unmanageable?

The other HUGE trigger for me at the moment is the comments on my therapy.  Flying Monkey Wednesday night compared my therapy to “a cancer eating away at you“.  My mother said I was “brainwashed with my therapist” my sister said “it’s gone to your head” and when on Wednesday, at the ambush, I implemented my boundary and said I would not discuss MY private counselling any more and neither would I allow it to be discussed or insulted again, I was met with such shock and confusion such as the wonderful “You are so angry, I’ve never seen you with so much anger and you are so defensive!”.

Who wouldn’t be????

So the two toughest things right now are the complete invalidation of my feelings but also the invalidation that 1) therapy is helping me and 2) that therapy is PRIVATE and not something I wish to hear their (negative) opinion on! oh and that it isn’t making me crazy.

I seriously need to try to find a way to handle this more effectively otherwise I’ll be in prison for murder.  One of the most annoying things about the reaction that it gives me is that I probably play right into their hands – “proving” that I am crazy and fiercely angry and aggressive.  UGH.

Invalidation for me means:

My feelings are wrong, bad, pathetic etc – causing me to feel ashamed
That I am “wrong” for “still” having these feelings – causing me to feel ashamed
Making me question my own sanity – am I crazy?
Feeling isolated – nobody else feels this way
Losing family – Mother, stepdad, sister, her dad, aunty.. who is next?

The only thing I am glad of is that all of this invalidating is making me angry and not doubt myself.  I guess that is a good thing? Hopefully this will be a work in progress and eventually their invalidation won’t matter to be at all.

Hopefully my own validation will be enough.

INVALIDATION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ambush and The Text

I have wanted to sit and write for days, particularly today but I have felt way too tired to actually do it.  It is ten to 7 now and I still feel like I could fall asleep as I type this but I also really need to get some thoughts and feelings out of me and onto the page in the hope it helps me to feel a bit less stressed out.

On Sunday my sister text me asking if she could come over to my house, to talk to me and my fiancé because she felt “shit” about our falling out.  I was shocked but pleased that she asked this and told her I was very glad and that yes, of course she could. We made plans for her to come over Wednesday evening.  An hour or so later she text saying that she had seen her dad (for info, not my dad) and that he had a Christmas gift for me and my fiancé and so could he come along.  Instantly I worked out that he must be the person behind her asking to come over, as clearly my mother wouldn’t encourage us to get along – she would hate that.  I responded kindly but said we should sort our issues out alone first, and that we could make plans to see him the following week.  She replied saying OK.

Wednesday night came around and I was feeling a bit apprehensive about my sister’s visit.  The doorbell rang just as I was dishing up our dinner and so my fiancé went to let her in, however the next voice I heard was her dad’s “I hope you don’t mind me coming along” and then my sister’s voice saying “I’m staying at Dad’s”.  I was not impressed by this at all and I was (probably naively) totally unprepared for him being there and so felt a bit nervous and on the back-foot.  I felt annoyed with her for going against what I had said and inviting her dad anyway.

They came in, made small talk whilst we finished our dinner and then we made them each a cup of tea.  My fiancé then went outside to have a cigarette.  The second he went outside, her dad said to me “Right, look here, I have come over because I need to have a word with you. I am very concerned by your behaviour recently. I respect that this is your house and so you have every right to tell me you don’t want me to carry on”.  I think I probably rolled my eyes at this because I knew instantly the tone of the conversation was going to be “look here, pack it in’ and I wasn’t wrong.

He then started to say, “I do understand that counselling helps some people to deal with demons and their feelings about certain things but…” and I showed my frustration by rolling my eyes and a deep sigh. I was angry already.  He then said “counselling is like a cancer, it will eat away at you from the inside”.  He said it was “a scar that I was picking at needlessly and needed to leave alone”.

ANGER.

I then stopped him and said, I think we will stop this conversation here and wait for my fiancé to come back into the house because I think it is rather unfair that you’ve come over to my house, against my wishes and then waited for him to leave the room so you and my sister could gang up on me and start attacking my very private business, MY counselling which was none of his business.  I guess I was a bit rude at this point because I had reached new levels of frustration and I was so unprepared and shocked that I guess my anger was coming in as self-protection, rightly or wrongly.

My fiancé walked back inside and he spoke directly to him and said I was just saying that I need to have a talk with Twink about her behaviour and actions recently and that I am very concerned for her – is that okay with you? My fiancé said he was happy for us to have a conversation but would absolutely not tolerate any arguments.  He agreed. He then carried on his rant about counselling, I repeated it was none of his business – he then looked me up and down raising his eyebrows and said “What is wrong with you? I have never seen so much anger in you! You are so defensive!”.  I snapped back at him, yes I was angry and defensive because he had come into my home and started to insult and attack my private things that he “knew nothing about!”.

It went from bad to worse after this point. He said he had been speaking to my mother (well, durr) and how she had told him what I had done and said recently – that we hadn’t spoken since October and that I was so brainwashed and angry and defensive blah bah blah.. he started to tell me  how I needed to “draw a line under it and move on”.  He went on to say all the usual crap about how he knew I “didn’t have the best childhood” but that I was now an adult with my own family so it was time to stop this nonsense.

He said I had to have my mother at my wedding. That even if I invited her to my wedding and then never spoke to her again, then that is what I should do. I asked him why? Why should I? For whose benefit? I then told him, in a pointless attempt at justifying myself, that my mother had been badmouthing my fiancé for months behind our backs saying that he was controlling and manipulative and that I wasn’t the real me, that I wasn’t happy.   He said well she may or may not have said that and I said well my sister and my aunt had told me and I know she said it because since we have fallen out, she’s implied it herself in messages! I also said when I used to go to her house, she would wait until my fiancé was out of the room and would look at me and say “so how are things really? implying that I was putting on a happy front for his sake.  She would tell me that he didn’t love me, that if he did we would be married by now, have had children by now. She said he would always end up going back to his ex and that his children would always come before me (which is totally wrong in her view – as demonstrated by my childhood!).

His response? “Well your nan said some nasty things about me when I was married to your mum, just ignore it” – Errrrr how about no? He also then said to my fiance something about “his wife” and I angrily corrected him by saying “EX wife!”.  How rude.

He then said to my fiancé “How do you feel about having her mother and stepfather at the wedding?”.  My fiancé answered very sarcastically “Oh well yes I would LOVE to have people like that at my wedding!”.  Her dad, visibly annoyed said “be serious” and he said that no, he absolutely did not want them there.  My sister’s dad’s response to this was…. “Well the day is about Twink anyway, not you!”.  How fucking rude. I corrected him but he spoke over me and disagreed.

My sister then piped up and said to me “Mum has been crying every day for months now, you’re not the one having to deal with that. It’s okay for you, you don’t live there but I do!” (so effectively: make up with her for my sake).  She went on to say that our nan was ill and our aunty having radiotherapy and that poor mum couldn’t take it.  She then said “Mum spoke to me about the abuse stuff (this is a reference to the sexual abuse I suffered at the hand’s of her then boyfriend that does not get mentioned – EVER), she continued “and it’s not that she doesn’t believe you, BUT…” I widened my eyes and thought I may well smack her in the face depending on her next sentence.  My fiancé jumped in and said very firmly “Be very careful what you say next!” and she then burst into tears and covered her face.

Her dad interjected and said that sometimes people are in denial and that my mother may know it happened, and believe me but not want to face it and that I just needed to accept and understand that. I shouted back at him, why do I have to just accept that?? I burst into tears and said you have no idea how it feels to tell a parent that you’ve been abused for them to say they don’t believe you.  You have NO fucking idea.  He shouted back at me that actually, he did know how I felt and that I knew nothing about his childhood and he was actually abused in many ways.  I cried hard and said why is everything about me letting it go, me accepting it, me getting over it – why is nobody at my mother’s house shouting at her to deal with it, to apologise??!!

He said I know you want an apology from your mother but.. and I interrupted him and said you told me on the phone Xmas Eve that you fully understood why I needed and wanted an apology from her AND what’s more, you told me you haven’t spoken to your own mother for 20 years for the same reason!!! I called him a hypocrite and he said it was… “different”.  I sarcastically laughed and said of course it was.

I  told him he was unbelievable considering he has slagged my mother off for my entire life and yet here he was, fighting her battles for her. I can’t understand it. He said he wasn’t that he was trying to help. PAH!!! He also denied ever slagging her off – gaslighting?

At some point in all of this I said firmly that I was no longer willing to discuss my therapy or my relationship with my mother.  He seemed totally miffed by this.  My fiancé then said to my sister, okay so Twink’s rules are that she wants to have a relationship with you and that she wants you two to not discuss your mother or her counselling.  Can you do that? My sister said she doesn’t believe sisters should have “rules”.  I said well very clearly WE did because look at the mess we are in!!! My fiancé said to her, what are your rules for Twink?? She just cried again and said it was weird and that it was all shit.

My fiancé then said to both of them, IF Twink never speaks to her mother again, IF that is what she decides to do, and that is none of our business, will you still be able to have a relationship with her? He asked my sister first who said yes instantly.  He then asked her dad who hesitated and said “well, I’m not sure.. I” and I sneered, unbelievable.  This sudden loyalty to his ex-wife who left him for another man, took away every single possession he had, stopped him seeing his daughter (and me) and told us both how he physically beat her repeatedly – causing us to be petrified of him was now saying he wasn’t sure he could have a relationship with ME because of my private row with her. WTF???

After a bit more invalidating he stood up and said “come on, we are going” to my sister and off they went.  I’ve not heard from them since.

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When they left, I broke down into tears but I was angry not sad. I was furious in fact. My entire body was tingling and my legs were weak. I was hot. It is the angriest I think I have ever felt in my life. How dare he?! I felt utterly attacked, ganged up on and invalidated.  The invalidation (now that I even know what that is) is the hardest thing I am up against at the moment. I am being invalidated from every angle and it is awful. You spend your life blaming yourself for being unlovable or faulty somehow, get yourself to therapy and dig deep, do some hellishly painful work – you fight against the defences that you’ve put up and finally realise it wasn’t you – that there was a lot of dysfunction and narcissim for example… and then everyone tells you to shut up and that you are wrong again. It’s mind-fucking.

There is such an obvious lack of empathy and care for my feelings about the way I have felt growing up – and now as an adult.

I was furious with my sister for going against me saying not to bring him and bringing him anyway. That is so unfair.  Ignoring me saying no and bringing him anyway because she wanted back-up. I’d understand that if she was a child herself or even if it was my idea to invite her over where she may feel ganged up on, but it was her suggetion and I took it at face value that it would be the 3 of us and that she would resepct my wishes. What a boundary invasion. I have some compassion for her, I know she just wants everything cleared up and she clearly thought her dad would help but boy was she wrong, he just made everything much worse.  I give her credit however for saying she would still have a realationship with me even if I didn’t ever speak to my mother again  but although I belive her, I doubt how possible my mother would make that.

I told my fiancé that I was so very disappointed. He had been good to me when I was younger, I have nice memories of normal days out and beds made up on the sofa for us to eat sweets and watch films.  He was my bit of normal.. I mean Christ, the guy applied through the Courts for custody of me!! He knew my mother was shit.  I once ran away from home and hid out at his house and he let me stay there telling me I never had to go home again if I was that unhappy there.  He always referred to me as his daughter – he tells everyone he has two daughters and I am not even his daughter.  What happened to all of that? Disappointed doesn’t do justice to my feelings but it’s the only word I can come up with.

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So, after all of this, as if that wasn’t enough whilst I was out with my old work friends last night I checked my phone which had been in my bag for hours and there was a message on the screen from my mother.

Oh God.

I opened it and read what she said and I felt so weird. I don’t know the feeling exactly. I guess I felt some kind of relief that she had finally acknowledged I had hurt and pain but frustration that she still wasn’t relating any of that hurt or pain to herself.  I found the message weird, it wasn’t like her at all. She spoke of wrapping me in her arms and hugging me – the thing I have wanted my ENTIRE LIFE.  A mother’s warm embrace. A protective and loving cuddle.  Protection, safety, love, nurturing.  She even signed the text off with how she loved me billions and included the word “Mum”.  Again, not something she has ever done before. It was like a different person had written it.  Confusion.

So I did what any normal, healthy person would do and drank myself into oblivion resulting in me being sick on the way home and again when I got into bed and getting 3 hours sleep.  Yeah, not a good move and one I feel pretty ashamed about today.  I know better than that.  I did what she does and tried to drink my feelings away and ignore it all.  I’m trying not to be too hard on myself, we all make mistakes, I won’t do it again that’s for sure.

I’ve been trying to work out what the text is about.  It has confused me. I kind of know in my head that it is just another, a different, tactic to try to get me back.  She’s tried ignoring me, sending aggressive and nasty messages, telling me she is walking away now and to effectively have a nice life.. and now this. This is probably the worst of them all because it’s like it is dangling a carrot of empathy and validation and affection in front of me saying “come back and I will be affectionate and I will give you everything you’ve ever wanted and needed” and yet, it isn’t genuine because I can’t help but feel that 1) she’s gone from attacking me for being brainwashed to this and also although she acknowledges my hurt and pain, she makes no attempt to make that better in any meaningful way – like telling me she is sorry for example.  So where/who does she think this hurt and pain has come from? I wonder if it’s a dig at my mental health? Is she trying to say she knows I am in a bad place mentally and wants to make me better? Therefore telling me again that I am crazy and wrong and brainwashed????

I can see that the use of the word mum in the text was just for effect. Like she is reminding me of her status in my life. MUM.  She who should be obeyed.  Your MUM, the one that loves you most etc etc….

Clearly the fact the message came the day after the pathetic ambush/intervention thing is no coincidence. I mean, my sister’s Dad admitted he had been speaking with my mother and so he was being a flying monkey – doing her bidding for her.  Like everyone does.  But what did he say??  I imagine that he said I am clearly not right, that I was extremely aggressive and defensive and she will be saying “see, I told you, she is unwell”.  What happened to the nice girl?

AARRRGGHHH God that makes me so angry. It’s the injustice of it. Somehow I have become the villain and she the victim.  It feels as though someone says they were abused in some way or hurt somehow and the response is, we need proof or she didn’t mean it but the real villain simply says “it wasn’t me, I didn’t do it” and everyone goes “okay, we believe you”.

It really hurts. It is VERY confusing and as I said to T today, it is seriously exhausting. I feel so done in from it all. I just want to be left alone and there is constant shit coming from all angles.

The only thing I am pleased about is that I must have got stronger because I was able to stick up for myself, able to set my boundaries regardless of people’s reactions to them and what’s more important I think is that I have not wanted to give in to keep these people happy.  If anything, it’s just made me more angry and more determined.  The dysfunction is so clear and it’s awful.  I know it is a very childlike statement but it is all so unfair and all I keep thinking is that nobody is genuinely looking out for me in this – it is all about keeping up appearances, keeping my mother happy, giving people an easy life and basically that I am upsetting the balance and so need to shut up complaining.  How does that happen? Proper victim blaming.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now a text….

I just want you wrap you in my arms and hug you and wish I could take away all your pain and hurt my darling. Just to let you know i will be here for you if and when ever you need me. I love you Billions xxxx mum xx