Surprisingly Sad (Mother’s Day)

I feel weird right now.  I have all sorts of feelings going on and I feel all sort of… muddled up and unsure of them.  It’s hard to explain.

I met my mother and sister for lunch today, we were there about an hour and then I took my car to be cleaned and sat in a queue for literally 40 minutes trying NOT to think about it all but now I am home and I have an hour to myself.

I have cried a few tears but again, I’m not sure what they were for exactly. Confusion, sadness.. something else?

This might be a surprising post from me and a little different to my usual when it comes to my mother (believe me, I am just as surprised).

Last night I was in the bath reading a book and thinking about today and I felt the urge to text my mum and tell her that I was looking forward to seeing her.  Almost automatically, I told myself no, I don’t do things like that.. but then I refused to listen to that and decided it was how I feeling and so what did I have to lose? I sent it and she replied immediately saying she was also looking forward to it and we had a few messages about a programme she was watching.  That programme was “Dirty John”.  She said she kept having to pause it because it was shocking her and making her anxious and stressed and I found myself wondering if she could see how that story could have so easily been about us.  Me, her and my sister.  I nearly said that, but thought better of it.

Anyway, I got there a while before my sister today and found her walking around the garden centre.  I took her a card and a bunch of tulips and we walked around the plants together for about 5 minutes before going into the tea rooms.  We mainly chatted about a house that I am viewing tomorrow that I have fallen in love with already and she told me that she has already seen it because my aunty was thinking of buying it but had decided not to (can you believe that?).

Anyway, conversation was fine. I felt a familiar sense of kind of nervousness or awkwardness or something but not badly.. just it was there.  Anyway we ate our lunch and chatted about various things.  At one point they were talking about my aunty’s celebration and how lovely the venues were etc… I surprised myself at feeling a bit left out but they didn’t seem to notice that or it didn’t cross their minds that I might feel that way.

And then we all walked to our cars and went our own ways.

The feeling I am left with which surprises me is I feel sad at how distant and disconnected things feel.  It might not make much sense to read this, but I feel in touch with missing her.  She feels so far away.  WE feel so distant.  It feels so sad to me right now.

I’m surprised that I feel this way because most of the time I just want to keep as far away from her and them as I can and only last Sunday I literally CRIED at the thought of “having” to see her.  I torchured myself for months about mother’s day and about how fake it all felt for me and how crap it would feel. And it does, but for a different reason to what I was expecting.

I suppose if I am honest with myself, I wanted her to me all mummsy and want to see me for longer.  She always seems in such a rush to go and usually that suits me just fine.  Not today it seems.  I wanted her to suggest we went somewhere else afterwards or I wish she invited me to something or suggested we did something together soon … I don’t know. I just feel like I’ve come away and I feel so…. abandoned? I don’t know. I feel like she’s properly given up on me.  I feel like I’m removed .. disconnected… I’m not her daughter anymore and I know that doesn’t make sense, I can’t explain what I mean any better at the moment.  Perhaps the feelings are too current.

I finished reading a book this morning, a fiction book and the story is about a grandmother, a mother and an adult daughter.  There were various things in the book that made me think and one of those things was how in the story, the adult daughter and her mother had a very distant and awkward relationship – the daughter even called her mother by her name and not mum/mother etc.  In the book their relationship improves and also, another woman (also a mother) says that mothers are just women too and how old does a daughter have to be before she realises that – that mothers aren’t just mothers or wives, they are people just like us.  It got me thinking.  Perhaps it is wishful thinking but I started to think that maybe there is a way that me and my mother can improve our relationship now that I’ve dealt with so much of the old hurt and pain.  Now that I don’t need her in the way that I used to.  I wondered if perhaps there could be a way that I could build a new relationship with her, one where she was just a woman and so was I… where she didn’t need to be judged on her previous mothering skills … does that make any sense?  Anyway, I suppose today when I sat at lunch and felt the obvious emotional distance between us, it hurt because it feels like she’s moved on from me (and again, I know that doesn’t make much sense either).

I feel like I’ve been left behind or something.

Her and my sister are so clearly close nowadays and I know that people say things will change if my sister doesn’t do what my mother says or wants etc, but I haven’t seen any evidence of that.  It’s like my mother has changed now that my sister has moved out and their relationship is more adult.  Perhaps it would be the same for me?

I kind of feel that I’ve pulled away so much that it all lost. I feel like it could never be anything more than it is now and that I’ve caused so much damage – irretrievable damage?

I also know that anything I’ve done I had to do at the time and I needed to do for myself.  For my own sake. To heal and to try and process my childhood pain and how that still effected me as an adult. I don’t blame myself for it but it feels very sad right now that this is where we are.

I don’t know what I was expecting.  Perhaps I’ve just been triggered into the little girl and I will feel differently later or tomorrow.  My heart just hurts a bit right now is all.

I don’t know why the sudden wish for it all to be made better.. I find myself sitting here at home on my own and visualising sitting at her house with her.  I visualise sitting in her garden with her just chatting and visualise going there after work on a Friday and staying over the night, with no rush to leave and the comfort of that.  That is weird because I haven’t done either of those things in years – literally years and they were very seldom nice times anyway.. often she would tear me apart in some way about my weight or clothes or my boyfriend of the time etc.  It’s all fantasy stuff I suppose.  It’s the wishful-thinking.. rose-tinted glasses thing I guess…

I thought I was dreading seeing her and I thought I would be relieved once it was all over as quickly as possible but actually the effect is quite different. I feel a real hole in my heart this afternoon and I’ve cried as I’ve sat and typed this entire post.

I wonder how she is feeling but I have this horrible sense that she is absolutely fine – happy and I’m crying like an idiot because she is “over it” all and for some reason I am left behind wishing it was different/that she felt different.  Of course I actually have no evidence of any of it.

It isn’t that I wish things could go from what they are now – non-existent to absolutely everything but I wish there could be more than what there currently is.  I wish my husband would tolerate her and I wish I could forgive her husband and her enough to move on with a new future.  I just don’t think some of those things can happen.  It makes me very, very sad.

edit: I liken this feeling to having broken up with someone for a good reason and then meeting up again in the future and feeling the change and the space between you and someone you used to know so well. Wishing you could get back together but sending that they don’t, that they’ve moved on.

Jealous

I hate myself for thinking/feeling this way but I do… I find myself feeling jealous that my sister thinks her life is pretty damn perfect right now and yet mine feels so bloody hard.

I know sisters aren’t meant to feel like that about each other, I can only blame the years of being pitted against each other by our narc mother but I have to accept responsibility for my own feelings and these are my own.. I feel horrible.

I woke up to see photos of her and my mother out with all the family yesterday, smiling, hugging, having fun together. Needless to say I wasn’t invited.

My sister thinks my mum is amazing. They go shopping at weekends together and meet for breakfast with my Nan together on a Sunday. I don’t get invited.

My sister’s craved my mother’s love, approval and attention her entire life so of course this is making her so happy. Of course it is…

and yet I find myself going through the hardest thing ever right now and feeling so excluded and lonely sometimes – today I felt angry and resentful and jealous of her happiness and that makes me hate myself even more. Who feels like that?

It’s not her fault that she’s got a relationship with my mother that she enjoys. It’s not her fault that I’m having a hard time or that I’ve chosen to do such hard work in therapy that takes it toll. It’s not her fault that I feel left out of family events I “can’t” go to anymore….

it’s a horrible way to feel.

Mother’s Day Angst

I’ve been dreading Mother’s Day for literally months now.  Dreading it.  It is now a week away and I’ve been avoiding thinking about it for a couple of reasons.  1) because I had some really shit news on Friday and 2) because I’ve not wanted to think about it or make any decisions.

This morning I woke up early and was scrolling through Instagram when I saw two new photos my sister had uploaded of her and my mother.  One of the first things I noticed was how similar they looked – well, not similar in looks actually but they were both wearing the same type of headband and they both had on those necklaces that looked as though you were wearing several at once.  I saw a certain landmark in the background which happens to be near where I work and so I realised where they were – a rooftop bar clearly celebrating my aunt getting the all-clear from cancer.  I admit to studying the photos for a while and then I moved on with my day and didn’t think much more of it.

Later in the afternoon my sister text me and mentioned Mother’s Day and said that my mother has planned a meal and that the restaurant has been booked.  The meal is for my mother, her husband, my sister, her boyfriend, my nan and grandad.  I obviously wouldn’t go but I still feel its rather rude not to have received an invite lol… anyway, she then suggested that I saw my mother on the Saturday instead.  Without really thinking I replied to say that I couldn’t actually do that but that I would send a card.  That was a stupid thing to say because instantly she replied “you’re not going to see her for mother’s day at all??????”. Eugh. I ignored that question and quickly said I had to go.  It filled me with dread and with that, all of a sudden all the Mother’s Day angst came flooding back.

On top of the stress and upset I was already feeling, this felt too much to deal with and I started to feel hugely overwhelmed and very stressed.  By the time I got home I burst into tears.

After chatting it through with my husband I’ve come to the following: If I am deciding to keep “low contact” or even “very low contact” with her, then unfortunately I am going to have to just suck these sort of days up and do something – no matter how generic and unimaginative.  I can’t really keep the low contact up and do nothing – as much as I would like that.  Hubby says that unless I am ready and willing to tell her I don’t want to see her anymore, then I don’t really have much of a choice.  (Though that would be my choice if that makes sense).

I get stressed and overwhelmed by the whole thing because I don’t WANT to see her and I don’t want to make a thing out of Mother’s Day because it feels wrong and fake and it feels like I am going against how I feel – and these days, that is painful.  I keep thinking that perhaps I just put too much weight on it, perhaps even if it is fake and I don’t mean it, it doesn’t really matter… perhaps just doing what is expected is fine and doesn’t mean anything if I know how I feel… I feel rather conflicted about this one because then I think well, isn’t that just letting the obligation/guilt/fear thing win and dictate what I “should” be doing?

Basically I feel I have two options here: 1) Do nothing – face the fallout and tell her I don’t want to see her anymore OR 2) do whatever I can manage for an easier/quieter life.  As hubby pointed out, I have enough going on in my life right now without bringing more upset and stress onto myself which is true.  Though it could be argued she is part of that stress and upset.

We broke it down a little and decided that I should avoid dinner or drinks which meant evenings were out – and clearly she has plans on Mothers Day with the family which only really left daytimes for breakfast, lunch or coffee and as I am at work all week, that only leaves Saturday – the day before.

I felt stressed over seeing her, I still do.  The stress is mainly because I have NOTHING to say to her.  we have nothing to talk about, nothing in common.  it feels awkward and on top of that, I am (as I’ve already said) going through a lot right now that she knows nothing about and I will find it very tough to sit there and smile and stay detached whilst knowing inside I am actually finding life very tough at the moment for a very BIG reason that I just do not want to share with her because she absolutely cannot offer me any emotional support whatsoever.  My sister can’t come this time and so there is nobody else there to take some of the pressure off…. that just makes me dread the whole thing even more.  It makes me tempted to meet her for drinks but I know that is just another example of me being a coward and knowing I could hide behind the alcohol and the alcohol would give me brave pills but there are so many downsides that would come with that, not to mention  SHE gets brave and she would start to bring up conversations that really would end badly.

I worry about giving her the card I have chosen because I know she will hate it and yet I don’t want to buy her a “nicer” one because that feels fake.  I haven’t got her a gift and so I would need to get something and I have no idea what because I don’t even WANT to – I would just get something because its the done thing.

So the first thing I need to do is make contact with her and see if she wants to meet Saturday for breakfast or lunch or coffee.. I kinda hope she’s busy but then we would just need to find another date and I don’t really wanna do that either LOL.. I am putting off texting her because I don’t want to.. LOL. This is so ridiculous isn’t it?

 

 

 

 

 

Love-Bombing & Giving back the projection

I wonder when I turned into the kind of person that found sneaking off to a coffee shop on my own for an hour, a treat. I wonder when it was that I swapped my absolute fear of being alone in public, of being looked at or judged, for sitting at a table with a snack and a cup of tea and finding it the most relaxing way to spend an hour. In fact, I’d go so far as to say I crave it!

So here I am, I’ve just been watching something on Netflix on my phone but I also had a craving to write so I thought I would quickly write here. It’s not quite satisfying the craving because in the perfect world I would be in a coffee shop nowhere near work and I would have my laptop and some comfort clothes on – but hey, I’ll take what I can and so my phone and my work clothes will have to do.

I’m feeling pretty good today. Work was stressing me out this morning but that’s just work stuff, not emotions or people or anything, literally paperwork. Russian visas to be precise. Ball. Ache.

I had therapy last night and told T some of the new things I had been thinking. I told her that I knew it didn’t sound like much out loud, but that my new thoughts felt huge.

I told her that I realised that my mother’s upset at my lack of attention/interest/love etc and that I realised that’s exactly how I felt all of my life growing up with her.

She agreed.

I explained that in a bit more detail and said I know it sounds like I’m being spiteful, but I’m not, I didn’t mean it like that – it’s not meant as punishment or anything. She said it absolutely did not sound like that at all.

She said “you’ve given the projection back”.

I didn’t really focus on that last night but it has been on my mind today because I clearly remember her saying a while ago that I needed to “give the projection back” when I was feeling desperately guilty. I had no idea what she meant to be honest. Hearing her say that last night felt good. Had I given it back?

I plan to speak to her about that in more detail in tomorrow’s session but I guess what she means is it isn’t me that should feel guilty, it’s her and so I’m refusing to carry that weight and I’m “giving it back” to her. Not that she would accept it … I guess that’s not the point.

I told T how clearly I can see her lack of empathy all of a sudden. I said the few examples I could think of immediately being 1) when I told her about the sexual abuse by her then boyfriend, 2) my operation when I was scared I had cancer, 3) when I confronted her about how I felt growing up. T already knows these stories and she knows all the details of what happened so she agreed with me. I said it was like all of a sudden I could really understand how awful her reactions were. I said I just keep trying to put myself in her position and imagining my stepdaughter telling me those things and how I just realised how shocking it all was in a way that I hadn’t before.

T agreed with me. Clearly she’s been thinking this way the whole time but I’ve taken a while (5 years!) to catch up.

I asked T is she had heard of the term “love bombing” in relation to narcissists and she hasn’t. I told her what I had been reading about it and what it meant and she seemed very interested. I told her that mostly everything I had read about love bombing was in relation to romantic relationships with a narcissist, but that I had put it into my context, with my mother and it had made sense. I explained that the inviting us to “forget it all and move on”, the invite to go to her house, the money she put into my bank account, the messages saying how much she loved me, how much she missed me, how I was her “daughter” etc were all part of this love-bombing. The idea being to confuse and guilt the receiving party into thinking the manipulator is actually lovely, to doubt your perception of them, to feel bad, feel guilty.

T understood straight away and agreed with what I was saying about my mother and her “love-bombing” and we both said how what usually follows is devaluation and then discard. Perhaps not discard with my mother, but devaluation for sure.

I said reading what I had really helped because it stopped me thinking that perhaps I was wrong and also I told T that I couldn’t help but feel I was being a horrible person thinking her “generous” gifts could be somehow “bad”.

Anyway, I have to go back to work now unfortunately so this is shorter than I would like it to be. Hopefully it made some sense anyway.

Thoughts ❤️

This isn’t a blog really, I just wanted to write a sentence that I’ve been thinking that feels important and I wanted to write down.

On Saturday night about 10pm my mother text me. I was at a party and when I looked at the message all it was, was a red heart emoji. Just that.

Usual thoughts and feelings came…. why? What does it mean? What do I say back etc?

I’ve since thought that perhaps it was meant to “remind” me of her presence. Or maybe it was meant to make me think she loves me… or maybe it was just sending something because she didn’t know what else to say.

Then today, whilst walking to the station I thought this: I think she feels sorry for herself that I am disinterest in her and in her life – that I don’t seem to care BUT that’s how I felt for my entire childhood. I grew up feeling like an unloved, unwanted, burden. And I was a child who needed a mother’s love. SHE is an adult who has her own life and others to love her, such as her husband and my sister and her own parents and friends. I thought to myself, what does she expect? And I thought to myself, actions have consequences.

If I don’t seem interested or love or miss her like she would like me to, that’s because of the way she treated me my entire life. That’s because I’ve learnt to stand on my own two feet. That’s because I’ve had nearly 5 years of therapy where I’ve been learning to gain a sense of self and learn to love myself and realise I was not to blame. Where I have had to go through (and continue to go through) feeling the terror and grief and utter heartache of my lonely, scary childhood with my mother who made it clear, I was just in the way and ruining her life.

Now I can own my own experience regardless of the invalidation from her. Now I can see how shocking her behaviour was. Now I can see I was loveable. Now I can see how neglected I was. Now I can see how endangered I was time and time again. Now I can see she genuinely is incapable of having any empathy with me for MY feelings, for MY hurt, for MY experience. She refers to it as “our differences but that’s just life”. Minimising it all. Rug-sweeping everything.

I don’t say this in an angry “this is pay back” kind of way, I mean it’s literally a consequence of her actions.

Does that make sense?

Some things

Things I need to write about.

  1. Today I found out that an old school friend has died. He was 30, recently married and had a 7 month old baby.  We haven’t spoken for years since college but it is such a shock and such tragic news.
  2. Therapy today – I only bloody saw one of T’s daughters for the first time.
  3. I never write about my relationship with my husband but I feel I need to write about some feelings I have right now regarding him/us.
  4. The money.

Okay so there isn’t much more for me to say about number 1.  The news is bloody tragic. It really has shocked me so much, I just cannot believe it.  In fact, I mean that quite literally – I don’t feel like I have taken it in yet, it doesn’t seem possible that someone I knew for all of those years who was on a very similar path to me is now gone.  Just like that.  I keep thinking about his wife and their baby and how someone gets through something so terrible.  I keep picturing his face which is really hard and it reminds me of how I felt when another of my friends died at 21 years old – both of these people were in our group  at school.  Both now gone.  21 and 30 – no age to die.  One through suicide and one through an accident.

Number 2
Well, I can’t quite believe this but I pulled up to T’s earlier and I had only been stopped a matter of seconds when I saw someone out of the corner of my eye near T’s house.  I looked up and saw it was one of T’s daughters coming out of her house, carrying a dog in her arms.  She had nothing on her feet and was wearing a tracksuit. She got into her car which was facing mine and I played around with my phone to hide my awkwardness.  I looked up a few times and she was still looking in my direction and then she got out of the car, and went back inside.  I can only assume she left something in her car, but I have no idea why she had to take the dog with her – perhaps to stop it running outside or something.

It was weird seeing her. In 5 years I’ve never seen her despite seeing her car outside most times.  I’ve seen what she looks like enough times because I used to look at her on Instagram but it was weird seeing her in real life and, I suppose it was the shock of seeing her right there when I have never had to see anyone before.

Obviously my paranoid mind was thinking all sorts of things.   Had she come out to get a look at me?  Was she coming out to look at me because she knew it was me who used to look at her social media all the time? Did she purposely wait until my session time? And then I started wondering if T doesn’t stop her from doing that kind of thing – I mean, clients who relate to their T in the way I do and clients with mother issues/attachment issues really don’t want to be seeing T’s children do they?

To my surprise, I didn’t feel any strong feelings about seeing her and T didn’t say anything about it or ask how I felt etc so either she didn’t know I had or maybe she just saw I looked happy enough and so thought she would avoid it? Who knows.

Onto number 3..

So I rarely write about my marriage and mostly that is because there really isn’t much to say.  We don’t have big arguments or anything and we get on very well.  The only time we tend to disagree is about my mother or possibly money (me wanting to spend it by going out to eat or booking a holiday and him wanting to save it for a house, baby, the future etc).  However…. I’ve been feeling some things lately which I suppose I’ve been kinda trying to ignore but they’ve been getting louder and then today I feel it even more.  At the same time however, a bit of me wonders if it is about him at all or whether I am transferring some feelings about someone else/something else onto him because it is easier or safer or whether I am using these things as an excuse or something…. I don’t know.

The first thing that started this off was that he doesn’t seem to want to have sex hardly ever anymore.  I know that can happen, that sometimes people go through phases etc but I started to feel a little bit insecure about it and when I made a few comments, he would get a bit stroppy or tell me he didn’t want to discuss it.  He always says he is tired and stressed from the day or I have been to therapy or whatever and so he’s started to only want sex on a Saturday morning when the kids are all here and it makes me feel on edge.  Not being funny but it isn’t exactly relaxing knowing there are 3 sets of ears potentially listening out or that any second there could be a knock on the door or whatever, yet alone the fact we cannot make any noise whatsoever and the fact that due to this there is absolutely NO romance involved in it whatsoever.

Anyway… as we are trying to conceive and have been for what feels like eternity, there are times when we have to have sex and that alone is not romantic let me tell you.  That has probably made me feel even worse because he will be brutally honest and say things like “God do we have to” or “Eugh, again?” and I’m like, yeah, I don’t particularly want to either mate.  You know? Without being too graphic, its got to the point on those fertile days where there is no foreplay or kissing or anything and its not for mutual pleasure if you get my drift. It is a job to do. Another chore and I don’t blame him for this one – we both feel the same. It would be easy to blame the whole sex thing on this but it is no different the rest of the month so that doesn’t really work.

Anyway, sex aside I just feel a bit neglected recently I suppose.  It is all such silly things but things like I will text him and he will read it and ignore me rather than reply.  He will come home every night and just sit on the sofa and play on his phone and he will often stay up later than me because he wants to watch something and I need to get to bed as I get up so early.. then the kids are here and obviously the dynamic is different again.

I know that he loves me and I’m not worried that he is going to suddenly want a divorce or anything so I’m not trying to dramatize anything… I just feel a bit… kinda lonely I suppose if that makes sense?  I guess it is upsetting because it has never felt like this before and so it’s probably pretty normal stuff, but it isn’t normal for our marriage you know?

Anyway, as I started to write this he phoned me to say he was staying late at work tonight and I found myself being really stroppy and short with him on the phone.  I couldn’t help myself and the second I hung up, I burst into tears because I felt guilty for being a bitch.  Even writing this now makes me feel so bad I’m crying again.

I can’t help but feel that my feelings have nothing to do with any of the stuff I’ve written above but it feels like it is… so I’m confused as to whether it is any of that stuff and genuinely I do feel bit taken for granted or whether I am using him as an excuse for my bad/sad/mad feelings.

Which leads onto number 4

It has been a week since “the money” thing.  I haven’t actually given it much thought the last few days but to be honest that is mainly because of Tuesday’s night’s session and all the feelings that kicked up/my new favourite hobby of distracting myself to block out thinking and feeling.

All of the main feelings of panic and anxiety etc have passed in relation to the money thing and now I just feel like I need to almost pretend it didn’t happen to make sure that I keep my boundaries and don’t get sucked into doing anything differently.  Yesterday at work someone was talking about how they have been fixing furniture and revamping old things and it reminded me that when I was younger, my mum went mad for “sponging” the walls and things.  In the early 90s that was a thing apparently! Anyway as I remembered it I wanted to text my mum and remind her and in my head we would have a laugh over it.. but then I realised I shouldn’t be encouraging contact and I shouldn’t do that now of all times when I don’t usually make any kind of small-talk because it would send out the wrong message wouldn’t’ it? And besides, it might then prompt her to ask to see me and then I would end up feeling stressed about that… so just not worth it.  So I didn’t.  But I wanted to and that kinda sucks.

I’ve touched on this previously already but I felt quite shocked and overwhelmed by the stuff I spoke about in my session on Tuesday by the time I got home and I told T that in today’s session.  She said she wasn’t surprised and that she had just been sitting there thinking about how I told the story/stories differently this time to before.  I didn’t ask what she meant by that but I am pretty sure what she meant was that previously I just told the stories and this time, I felt the feelings the memories brought up.  I know that I felt that to be the case.

I can sense that I’m not fully letting the feelings come at the moment – I’m probably scared of the intensity of them, but I keep thinking to myself that the things I went through were actually awful and that I’ve played them down my entire life.  Now all of a sudden those things feel big.  They feel traumatic and they feel very, very, bloody unfair (I know, I know).

It made me see that my mother really didn’t care about how much pain I was in back then and she still doesn’t.  This is a real obvious statement I know, but I can feel it at the moment whereas often when I say or write that, it is the logic – the obvious logic of her words or actions.  Feeling it makes it more real.  More shocking and more painful.

In one of her messages about the money she referred to our issues as being “some differences but that is life” and reading that sentence made me feel so angry.  Some differences?! I mean, way to play it down.  Those differences are my entire life experience!! My feelings.  My hurt and my pain.  For her to just say something that casual like our different views hurt.

Since that message I’ve thought to myself I wonder if she really thinks that way.  I wonder if she genuinely tells herself that; that we just have different views (I.e. that my view is she was a shit mother and I grew up feeling unloved and that her view is that she was a great mother who did the best she could and I have nothing to feel hurt by).  I mean.. even if you think you did your best, wouldn’t you want to hear your child out and wouldn’t you apologise anyway? Wouldn’t you hear your child’s pain and want to reassure them that THEY did absolutely nothing wrong and apologise over and over again?  Not her.  She just thinks its a “different view”.

As I write this I can feel the anger bubbling up inside me.  How can she minimise my pain like that? How can she not self-reflect at all and see that actually, her choices in life put me in some really shitty situations and that she was barely around and did not have any idea how I actually FELT about anything.  All she sees is that she was a “single mother” (who wasn’t actually ever single) and that she “had no help from either of your dads” and that “other people have it much, much worse”.  So defensive.

That right there is why things between me and her will never, ever be able to be improved.  She cannot or will not allow herself to put herself in my shoes and see how I felt growing up.  She cannot hear that I was lonely, scared, insecure, felt unloved etc etc… she just can’t.  I’ve told her twice now and both times she just kicked off and called me things.  Both times we stopped speaking for a period of time. I told her once that I didn’t want to talk to her unless she had had an epiphany and she told me it was me that needed one, not her – when I stopped all the nonsense.

Because she is a narcissist and all she cares about is her own feelings.  The lack of empathy being one of the main characteristics of a narcissist. Suddenly so obvious.

After I told her about what her boyfriend did to me and she had finished fawning about everywhere telling everyone how she blamed herself and how she couldn’t eat or drink (perleaseee), she said to me “Oh sorry, do we all need to sit around and feel sorry for you every day for the rest of our lives. Poor you!!”.  THAT is the level of empathy my mother has about her (then) boyfriend being a fucking paedophile.

Because like EVERYTHING else, we need to just forget it all and have no feelings about any of it. Ever.

Don’t have feelings. Don’t talk about it.  Definitely do not confront her.

What the fuck though?

This article says it well:

Lack of empathy is a trademark of narcissistic parents. Empathizing with your children is feeling what they are feeling and acknowledging those feelings. It is the art of compassion and sensitivity, as well as the ability to give moral support in whatever they are experiencing. You do not have to agree with them but you are there for them. You put aside your own feelings and thoughts for the moment and tune in to their emotional needs to attempt to understand where they are coming from and why. Instead of citing rules or trying to give advice and direction, try this empathy exercise instead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shocked?

I know this doesn’t really make sense but I left Tuesday’s therapy session feeling what I can only describe as “in shock”. I had told T about the dream I had Saturday night about being outside one of my childhood homes and the feeling it left me with all day on Sunday (feeling shit). We spoke about the dream and T said she felt there was something that I needed to “revisit” and I told her what the house meant to me, the things that happened there.

Time ran away as it often does in therapy and before I knew it I had spoken in detail about the sexual abuse stuff and the grooming, about how I felt that evening when I went to bed and how petrified I was when he came up the stairs and started sending me disgusting messages from the bathroom opposite my bedroom.

I had spoken in detail about the man that was violent and had started to physically abuse my mother and how I had found her on her bed naked and covered in the glass from the large mirror he had pulled off the wall and smashed onto her. How I had to get him out of our house. Again, how bloody scared I was.

I spoke about the times I ran away and where I went and what it was like when I went home again.

About how I lost my virginity in that house at a young age and how that guy dumped me and told my mother it was her he loved…

Blah blah… there is more but it’s going to end up retriggering me if I carry on. The point is, as the session wound up and I had a couple of minutes left I just sat in silence and found myself in a bit of a daze. I was just staring at the floor and was aware that T had two clocks which were ticking out of sync and suddenly seemed SO loud.

I usually hate the “awkward” silences but I didn’t have anything to say. I was feeling weird. After a pause T said “it seems like its washed over you” and I said “erm yeah I guess I’m just processing it all” and she agreed. Anyway, I left and in the car home I felt weird.

When I got home I still felt weird. I keep writing weird because I genuinely don’t know how to explain that feeling.

I sat on my bed for a minute and stared into space again. I felt the weight of the things I had just spoken about. I felt like my adrenaline was pumping through me and I felt anxious and kinda on my guard or something. I felt like I wanted to cry, but nothing was happening…

I felt so uncomfortable that I decided to distract myself and went and put the tele on and started to cook my dinner. Every now and again I would “remember” and feel that same feeling.

It was like… I was scared or anxious or shocked.

I had fleeting thoughts that lasted half a second where I thought “shit, that’s big” or “why the fuck do I feel sorry for her when she let all that happen to me?”. Then I would banish it all again.

When I went to get into bed I caught a glimpse of a photo on my bedside cabinet of my 3 stepchildren which was taken about 5 years ago. The 3 of them smiling and looking so young and cute and innocent and I thought to myself “oh my god I don’t even know how a childhood like that feels – one without fear or trauma”. It sounds awful but for half a second I hated them for that. Then I nearly cried again but didn’t – why weren’t the tears coming out? I could even feel the lump in my throat.

One thing T said in the session that has stuck with me is that in most cases of childhood sexual abuse from a partner of a mother, the mother is a narcissist. She explained that the men were clever and knew the mother would be so wrapped up in herself and that the child wouldn’t be protected, would be vulnerable. She said he was with her to “get” to me. That made me feel sooo sick.

She also said that although what he did was awful I had a close call. I know she’s right, it certainly could have been worse. I’m grateful they split up after that happened – though they did get back together a few months later and i came home to find him back in my house again. Luckily it didn’t last that time.

I’ve thought about this feeling a little since Tuesday though admittedly not a lot because it’s a horrible feeling that I find myself trying to block out. I think it’s shock.

I know that sounds weird but it’s like the severity of some of those things suddenly sunk in. Like I heard myself properly for the first time or something.

It FEELS awful. It never used to. How can you feel shocked about your own memories years and years after they happened?

Buying an old childhood house/the money

Last night I had a dream that I took my sister to see one of our old houses.  We stood outside the house, facing it and she told me that she didn’t recognise or remember it at all.  I couldn’t believe it.  I started to describe the layout of the rooms to her but she just didn’t remember living there at all and I was so surprised.

In the dream I wanted to/was going to buy that old house of ours back and live in it as an adult – now.  I can’t be sure now but I think my sister was still quite young in the dream, not a child but clearly younger because I think she was going to be living there with me.. (I think).

I woke up from this dream this morning and was pretty confused. Why on earth was I dreaming about that particular house.. AGAIN.  Last night’s dream has to be the third or fourth time I’ve dreamt about that house and I haven’t lived there for about 15 years! I moved a lot as a child and am not exaggerating by saying I have lived in about 25 houses, possibly more, so I wonder why I keep dreaming about that particular house.

I Googled what it means to dream about a house you’ve lived in previously and it asks questions such as “what does that house mean to you?” and “think of the house as yourself, what does the house symbolise or represent to you?”.  Well, let me tell you one thing: the house does NOT hold good memories for me.

  • First of all that is the house that I was groomed and sexually abused in.  That is probably the most obvious of the things I associate with that house but also as I didn’t tell my mother, the house I felt terrified and kept the biggest secret of my life in.  To date probably the most scared I have ever been.
  • It is the house that I witnessed my mother being beaten up by one of her fiancé’s in.
  • Whilst I lived there I used to have to babysit for my sister nearly every single night after school whilst my friends went out and had fun.
  • I ran away from home when we lived there.
  • I had to act like an adult the whole time we lived there as I had so many responsibilities.  I had to look after my younger sister, cooking and cleaning for her, bathing her etc, but I also had to look after my mother when she was dumped or when she was physically hurt.
  • I also lived in that house when I lost my virginity to the boy who then told my mother he actually loved her……… GAH!
  • Whilst I lived in that house my mother would spend nights and weekends away with various boyfriends and I would be left alone.  I used to have house parties/gatherings and invite all my friends over so I wasn’t alone.  I even spent a Christmas Day evening alone in that house at 15 whilst my mother went to see a guy.

I guess considering the above that my time at the house is a pretty decent representation of the chaos and dysfunction that was my life, that was my childhood/teen-hood.  So why on earth would I be dreaming of wanting to buy it and move back into it?

Is it about wanting to live there without those things happening? About kind of painting over the bad things and trying to live there with happy memories?  WHY would I want to go and live in a house that was such a reminder of so many painful things?

If a present day situation is triggering some unfinished emotions from my time in that house, that could make sense, but again why would I want to go and buy it and live in it?

If the house IS me in the dream, then what am I?  A very sad, pained, scared, lonely teenager. Is that how I am feeling now?

I can kind of understand why my sister was in the dream and also why her inability to remember living there shocked me so much.  Me and my sister have a different experience of our childhood.  Both of us remember missing some fundamental things from our mother, both of us remember some dramatic things happening and both of us remember moving house and school often and feeling scared of certain men BUT she doesn’t remember some of the things I do and she didn’t experience some of the things I did.  Firstly she is 7 years younger than me, so for 7 years that I was neglected and alone, she was not born.  Secondly, she was very young when her father hit my mother and when my mother had an affair behind his back that I used to have to see.  She was also very young when we moved a lot of the time and she used to stay with her dad a night or two in the week and at weekends.  Not to brag, but she also had me looking after her and I didn’t get that from anyone.  She didn’t experience sexual abuse (that we know of) and she didn’t experience the same mother that I did.  She had it worse in some ways, she was the scapegoated child and I became (at about 17) the golden child.  Our memories of things are different.  Our experiences were different.  So her not remembering living in that house kind of makes sense.

It’s no surprise that I am dreaming about childhood related things after what happened on Friday I suppose and I’ll be honest and say that I felt sad all day Friday at work and then I felt the sadness creep back in yesterday late afternoon/evening and I have spent all of today feeling miserable.  I feel kind shitty you know like when you feel angry but you know it’s actually that you need to have a huge cry and let all the boo-hoo’s out?

I feel like potentially the meaning of this dream is really obvious but I just can’t see it.

Is it tied into this money somehow?

Her sending me that money Friday afternoon really threw me.  As always, I didn’t see it coming.  I spent hours debating what I should do and hours feeling sick and anxious about it.  It is still playing on my mind now but I feel I said the right things in my messages to her.  For anyone that missed my post about this, Friday afternoon about 4.30pm my mother text me and my sister to say she was about to pay some money into both of our accounts.  She did, she sent £1,000!! Just for nothing, just out of the blue.  I didn’t know what to do about it because we haven’t spoken for 2 weeks since she invited me and my husband over and I said no.  I have such little contact with her these days that her sending me such a large amount of money felt very uncomfortable and from everything I have read and learnt about narcissists, money is used as a really powerful manipulation/control tactic.  So much went through my head about why she was sending it and what I should do.  I tried to give it back but she sent me a message which told me she wasn’t trying to buy me, that the money had no strings attached, that there was no ulterior motive.. (weird things for her to say right?).  I told her I didn’t want to be seen as shallow or a money-grabber and said that last time she gave me money she told people that she resented me for not returning it when we fell out and people thought badly of me and I did not want a repeat of that.  Anyway, long story short I ended up keeping the money but it feels…. loaded I guess.  Despite what she has said and it is playing on my mind.

Anyway I have to go now, I might try to write later if I get time.  Any insights you guys have about any of this would be really welcomed and appreciated!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Email to T (not sent)

I feel as though I need to “talk” to you so I am hoping that maybe it will help just typing this as though I am…..

I cried when I got home yesterday. I wrote it all out and came to the conclusion that the tears were about the fact that (as always) we talk about so many things, some really serious and important and some not so important and every now and again I realise that I miss out on so much from having a normal relationship with my mother. I feel like a broken record, I have said and felt this way soooo many times that I should be a pro at handling it by now, but clearly I’m not. 

As we’ve said before sometimes stuff I get from you can feel bittersweet. It gives me something that I would not otherwise get– at all – and yet it can make me realise what I am missing from a mother and that hurts. You already know some of the other things that can bring up, the limitations etc but I also realised that there is an element of shame attached to having to have a therapist to get some of the more basic things when other people get that from their mother. It might sound silly, but the fact that it is you talking to me about all of these things, smear tests, breast screening, fertility tests etc… just makes me feel a bit ashamed/embarrassed– hopefully you will understand what I mean when I say that. I am so glad you do – I am really grateful that I have that, but you know…why can’t it be her? It just makes me feel like I am missing such a fundamental .. thing.. person.. and I am, I know, but it makes that so much more obvious.

I suppose I can see that anyone might talk about all of those things with their therapist, but in my head that would be as well as their mother, not instead of… does that make sense? Like, without you I wouldn’t get any of this stuff whatsoever! That’s a harsh reality to accept possibly made worse by the fact some of these things are really important like life and death things. Obviously it isn’t just about those health things, its everything isn’t it – literally, every single conversation we ever have. It could be about babies, someone dying, about my weekend plans or a TV show! It’s just all of it. 

I wish I had that stuff on a permanent basis – someone available all the time and forever. The space where she should be feels so much more obvious at the moment.

Also it’s the fact that a mother would be involved in my life in other ways like being a part of my life with [hubby] and the kids. We would have and be making memories as a family like we do with [hubby’s] family – that has never been and will never be the case. She would know Paul and the kids as individuals – know the things they like and dislike and aspects of their personalities etc. She doesn’t – she never will. She would come to my house for dinner occasionally or pop in for a cup of tea. Again, she never has and she never will. Obviously you can’t either so I’m not being reminded of that by you but I suppose if you really think about it, I would like you to be able to do those things too – and you can’t – so maybe it is similar after all. Although maybe if she had been a normal mother, I wouldn’t have come to therapy in the first place so I wouldn’t be wanting you to do those things either LOL…. It’s a bit of a what came first -the chicken or the egg?

Work was horrible this morning, I was so stressed and felt so overwhelmed trying to contain all of the sad feelings as well as the stress at work. I finally got a break at 2pm and went and sat in a coffee shop on my own for a while which really helped. I’ve never done that before but I will definitely do it more often now, it was such a relief to get some space. And then… she text me didn’t she. 

My Nan apparently stopped a man getting beaten up this week and there is an article in the newspaper about it. My cousin sent me a link to it early this morning and I did wonder if she would send it to me or not. I suspected not because I didn’t get the news about my aunty, but just when I least expected it and had forgotten about it, a message came through from her attaching a screen shot of the article. She didn’t write any message other than to say “this was nan” – she didn’t say hello or anything else whatsoever. I replied and said “I know, I received the article this morning – can’t believe it!” And she replied with laughing emojis. That was an hour ago. I can’t understand why she didn’t even say hello or ask how I am or anything when we’ve not spoken in 2 weeks and when she never replied to me. It feels weird to me. [Hubby]l said it’s her way of breaking the silent treatment without having to say anything or acknowledge that she’s been avoiding me/trying to punish me/sulking – -whatever. He says it is a way for her to kind of “drop in” and re-set things so she could then send a normal message another day soon without it being weird. 

Sorry, I don’t think this email really has a point or a question or anything. I just feel sh*t about it all.