Caught up

I am still caught up in this… whatever “this” is. I still feel the pull more than I have done for literally years. I can’t understand where its come from! How have I not felt this so strongly despite everything that’s gone on and yet all of a sudden it feels as though I’m ready to just wipe the slate clean and try again? I’ve done so much therapy and work on myself and grieving (5 years’ worth!). I’ve been no contact and v,v,v low contact for the last 3 years and now I find myself actually genuinely wanting to see her and as someone pointed out (quite rightly), it wasn’t long ago that the thought of even an hour’s lunch was anxiety-producing and filled me with dread or fear (or both). 

I am clearly very emotionally vulnerable at the moment. I can feel that acutely. The “need” for a mother’s comfort, love etc is bigger than ever and as someone said, I guess a lot of that could be due to the fertility struggle but also the stress I am experiencing in having to live with my in-laws for the next two months far away from my usual town. I just felt this overwhelming need to have something of “mine”, something familiar… something that wasn’t .. hmm I am not sure how to explain this. I just wanted to have my own things, people, places to run to when it all gets too much and my mother offered that in her messages – suggesting that I can always jump in my car, always pop out for some time out and always go and see her/stay with her for a break. It felt AMAZING. I felt sooooo much better after our messages Sunday night – I don’t think I’ve said that in at least 5 years.  

I guess it could very easily be a hoover… it could be her playing on my vulnerability …. it could be her making the most of me clearly wanting some love and comforting and her knowing this is her best shot – me feeling overwhelmed by being surrounded by my husband’s family – parents – kids – being stuck far away from my normal area and feeling stressed by everything. I like to think that she is offering these things because she genuinely wants to love me and help me but I do admit there is a very large chance that she’s playing on this opportunity because I am feeling weak and easily manipulated. I sound stupid in what I’m about to say I know, but I hate that could even be true. Surely not…. and yet I am not totally stupid (despite this post!!) – I know from what I’ve read it could, and is likely to be the case… to get me back in her fold, to get me back under her control/under her spell that ultimately this is short-term effort for her long-term gain. I feel like a child who naively believes the bad guy wearing a mask.  

But I want a mother and I want to try…. and I feel SO silly for that but I just can’t help it.  

I don’t know how to explain this but I feel like I just want to “let go” of all the holding back, pulling away, being detached, being firm, having boundaries – I feel this need to just let go of it all and let myself NEED, WANT and to just succumb to some niceness from her whilst she is trying. I am so tired of trying not to want her or need her, it’s like all the energy is gone. Sometimes I feel I am fighting against myself and my own wants and wishes just to please T and hubby. That makes me feel so crazy and so stupid and I keep thinking “what if” she dies, what when she is no longer here and of course – the worst one – what if she is genuine? what if she has changed?? What if I don’t give her a chance?

Tempted

Since seeing my mum last weekend I’ve thought about her a lot and wondered whether something could be salvaged.  I spoke to my T who is understandably sceptical and told me to try to hold still and steady and not do anything just yet – which I didn’t do and was pleased about as I used to be quite impulsive. 

I’ve felt pretty upset this weekend over a few things, I’m moving out of my house this week and that’s been very stressful, I’m moving into my in laws for 2 months, quite far away and that’s stressing me for all kinds of reasons and also I’m struggling with continued disappointment with conceiving and am undergoing fertility help etc etc…. anyway the point is, yesterday I text her just to “chat” which I’ve not done or wanted to do for a very, very long time. 

For once my mother was great. She was very empathetic, understanding, kind and caring. She helped me to feel better and reassured me, told me all sorts of positive things to think about and told me that she is always there and that I can always go and see her when living away for a break and told me that despite what I may think, her husband does love me and always will…… 

This is how I feel right now: I want to go and stay with her for a night over the next few months that I’ll be living at my in laws. I want to… I maybe shouldn’t, but I really do want to try… the main issue is that her husband will be there and I am not keen on seeing him. I don’t want to argue with him to be honest but equally don’t want to just act as though everything’s fine and I don’t have much choice if I go and stay at their house. I can’t insist he goes elsewhere obviously… so that’s a slight issue. 

I’m also worried what my husband would say and think as he hates them both and certainly will not encourage this… in fact I worry he will be concerned and we could potentially argue over it which I would really hate. 

I feel maybe I’m being stupid…. I haven’t forgotten everything that’s gone on over the years, I really haven’t… but I just feel I’ve done a lot of work and grieving and she is trying (I know that may not last), I just can’t help wanting to try and see how it goes…. 

Am I mad? Could this be worth a try? How do I handle things with her husband? With my own? 

I am also aware that due to all of the reasons above, I am quite vulnerable and perhaps in touch with the child in me and I can actually *feel* the pull of wanting to be comforted by my mother…. I’m not ignoring all the facts and past issues or trying to convince myself that she’s suddenly an entirely different person – I just feel like there could be something to rescue here and that if I go against this, I’ll only be hurting myself and doing it for the wrong reasons (ie what my T thinks or my husband think) and I know they both love me and want the best for me but I don’t think anyone can truly understand the pull unless they are in my situation.

Another thing that worries me however is that if I go there, alone, it’s like saying their treatment of my husband has been okay and like he’s not important and obviously he is everything to me and I don’t want them or him to think that.

Confused.

Sad ☹️

I saw my mum today for the first time in 4 months. We met for breakfast. I felt a little awkward and nervous for a while and noticed that I struggled to maintain eye contact with her for long.

It struck me how I feel I barely know her anymore – since we have grown more and more distant over the last few years.

We chatted about various things, but nothing too heavy and we didn’t speak about one another’s husbands – neither did she ask about my stepchildren as is normal.

When it came to us leaving she suddenly burst into tears and really, really sobbed. I was so shocked and wasn’t at all prepared as she’s not done this before when we’ve met up.

She cried and said how much she misses me and how she wishes she could see me more and for longer than “just breakfast”. I said “well you never text me” which came out before I had thought it through, she said “I do! All the time”. I then said “mum you always just want to go out drinking and I don’t want to do that” to which she said “I don’t” and cried more.

We hugged a bit and I made sure she was okay to drive and told her we could go shopping or something soon and she agreed and nodded and wiped her tears and then she drove off and I went to my own car. After she drove off, I also burst into tears and sat in the car for a while to compose myself.

I’ve felt sad all day since that happened. Seeing my mother so sad and vulnerable has got to me. I know many people would say that it’s manipulation or crocodile tears, and maybe it is, but it felt genuine. I think she really does miss me but it’s hard because obviously I separated/distanced myself for a reason.

It’s hard. I guess in some ways we both want the same thing: to see each other more and be closer, but our ideas of how that plays out in real life are quite different. So much has changed and so much damage has been done.

Us both not liking or being willing to see the other’s husband really doesn’t help matters, but in my case there’s absolutely no chance my husband will ever, ever, see her again. He’s very clear on that point.

Maybe I’m being really naive but maybe she has mellowed and softened a little with some age and a lot of distance. I wish things could be a bit better than they are but I just don’t know how.

It can still make me cry as I replay that scene at her car. I don’t know how I stayed so calm and composed at the time – once she had driven off I felt like my heart was breaking. I’ve worried since that I must have seemed so cold and uncaring but I’m not – I care a lot but I probably didn’t seem like it.

My mum is not one to cry. She never used to her upset or be vulnerable and certainly when it came to me. Her crying over missing me is very hard for me because it’s like affection and care and love I wanted and needed my entire life but could never get from her, what do you do with that now?

I don’t want to punish my mother for my childhood forever. I don’t think that’s helpful for either of us but so much is different and so much has happened! I know that just because she’s cried shouldn’t change a thing, but it’s making me question whether she’s different now and I know that even writing that makes me sound like a textbook case!!! “Maybe this time is different”, or “maybe she’s changed” – I know… ugh.

😦

More Confusion

Following on from yesterday’s post I had to get back to my mother having told her I would find a suitable date on Friday. I text her and said that due to this and that, Saturday or Sunday 21st for breakfast or lunch worked best for me. She replied to say that 21st for breakfastworked best for her. She then sent another message immediately afterwards asking me to please find an evening so we could go out for a “night out” with loads of smiley face emojis.  

Clearly I should have told her outright I do not want to drink with her, or maybe I should have just ignored that message altogether however I didn’t feel able to do that (especially when it was ME that had suggested we had drinks Friday night) and so I just kinda fobbed her off by saying I that I would do, but that I wouldn’t be living locally for at least a few months. She replied and said (amongst other things) that she was really hoping to see me more when I had moved and was settled.. with some sad face emojis.  

Erm …

Now I’m even more confused because I cannot understand why she would think she would see me more when I have moved house considering I am moving literally a few minutes away from where I live now. I also can’t understand why she thinks that the reason we haven’t seen each other for the last 4 months or so is because of location or where either of us lives – it clearly is not. She and I live about ten minutes apart. Is she just kidding herself? Just saying that for something to say? Weird. I genuinely did not know how to respond to that and so I didn’t really acknowledge that message and just said what a stress it was buying a house and made a joke about how I will never move again. 

I feel like I’m still trying to play catch-up with all of this. I’ve heard barely a thing from her for the whole of April, May and June and now all of a sudden I’m getting messages about how she misses me, can’t wait to see me, how despite having a breakfast date arranged for a few weeks’ time, she wants to arrange a “night out” and now this about how she “hopes to see me more”.

I’ve been asking myself some questions about all of this, the main question being “Why?”.

Why now? Why the change? Why does she think that? Why did she not contact me and why is she now being all “nice”? Why? I imagine T saying that there isn’t much point in trying to understand her motive because I can’t put myself in the mind of some with narcissistic personality disorder. I imagine her saying that my mother is clearly just bored and testing the boundaries again now that some time has passed. 

I have been wondering whether it’s because she tried to punish me with her silence and get me to go running to her, but I didn’t and so she has decided she needs to try a different tactic? I wonder whether it really is the case that she is just bored and fancied seeing what I would do/say, seeing how easy it would be to pick me back up and whilst that is entirely plausible, it feels hard to accept (probably because I don’t want to?). 

I do believe that she puts up with the breakfast or lunch meetings just to appease me in the hope that they will lead to drinking nights and I do wonder if she just got fed up of “putting in the work” so to speak in March after another “boring” lunch meeting and so she gave herself a break or couldn’t be bothered anymore and now she’s had a break, she thinks it’s worth the effort again to potentially get to drinking time? Perhaps I’ve bought this all on myself by my stupid offer of meeting her for drinks on Friday and now she thinks that is something we can do again – agghhh stupid me!!

Another thing I find confusing is that at our last meeting, in March, I told her I wanted to visit this particular rooftop bar that her and my sister had been to and she suggested we went for my birthday. I (after having had a drink or two later that night) told her via text that my birthday was ages away and couldn’t we go sooner? Clearly not… I find it hard to understand why she gave up that opportunity – I literally handed it to her on a plate. And then she didn’t even suggest seeing me for my birthday anyway – again, another missed opportunity for dinner or drinks etc. It’s so confusing.

This whole hot and cold thing is hard. It is harder than when she’s totally engulfing OR totally ignoring, though I suppose if I am brutally, brutally honest with myself, at least this feels like she wants to see me in some tiny capacity…. But it isn’t normal and it isn’t what I want it to be – obviously.

Hoover confusion

I’ve written a lot recently about how my mother has not been contacting me and how we haven’t seen each other in over 3 months and how that’s felt for me. I’ve written about the whole “narcissistic discard” thing and I’ve written about how hard that’s been for me despite the fact that it was me who wanted and needed the distance. Well, imagine my surprise when Friday afternoon she sent me a message which asked how I was, said she missed me so much and asked when she could see me.

I wasn’t prepared for it at all and I was at work so she caught me off my guard. It was weird because part of me was secretly relieved she had contacted me as the silence was clearly difficult, but part of me felt anxious too.

Before I knew it we were talking about dates we could meet and I thought I could offer to see her that very same evening… at the pub for a drink. I told myself that was a terrible idea. I told myself I’m not supposed to do that. I told myself that would be sending the wrong message and would only set me back, that I had set that boundary for a reason and that I had to stick to it. Annoyingly despite telling myself this I was having an internal battle with myself and for some reason I actually wanted to see her for a drink.

I couldn’t think clearly at the time but with the benefit of a few days having passed and now being calm about it all, I think that what happened was I was finding the lack of contact difficult and so when she contacted me and said she missed me and wanted to see me, I wanted to keep her interest and let’s face it, I’ve been well trained in knowing how to make or keep her happy and I know that drinking with her on a Friday night is right up there with the best ways.

She said she was busy that evening and so we threw around some more dates. I felt disappointed but also relieved. I felt like I had a lucky escape in lots of ways, but also felt sad that she had said she couldn’t see me which actually is silly because I shouldn’t expect her/anyone to just drop everything for me – and I don’t usually.

We still haven’t found a date that works and to be honest I was so drained by all the weird energy in me on Friday that I said I would get back to her and I haven’t done that yet. She suggested another Friday evening so we “had the whole evening together”.

This is hard for me because when I see her we struggle for conversation. She doesn’t ask about my husband or my stepchildren, I don’t ask about her husband and the distance between us feels soooo obvious. It’s difficult. We smile our way through an hour at breakfast or lunch and I genuinely believe we both feel awkward. However when alcohol is involved, everything is different. When she’s had a few drinks she gets brave and will start to ask questions and push conversations that she wouldn’t risk when sober. She might start by saying she really does miss me or ask me outright why I won’t see her husband etc.. she starts to ask questions about why I’ve not had a baby yet/got pregnant yet and other things. This time around I have no doubt she would tell me how hurt she was that I didn’t attend the recent family event.

When it’s me that’s had a few drinks, I get brave too and I am likely to be swept up in all the fakeness and start to imagine things can be fixed if we have this honest conversation OR I get brave and start telling her how I feel and what I think and all the ways she’s hurt me (bad idea).

It’s hard to explain and I imagine to anyone reading this it would be hard to understand why I would ever want to opt for drinking with her but I guess it’s because despite all the dysfunction around the alcohol and what it does to both of us, somehow there’s a hope in me because it at least opens a real dialogue – one that doesn’t exist when we’re both sober. I guess also I spent many years drinking with her on a Friday and so partly there’s the habit/familiarity of it and partly I hope it will make her happy and then she will be nice to me and it will all feel better.

I keep having to tell myself that this whole “I miss you so much” thing is a hoover and that it’s textbook. She’s shown me no interest whatsoever in months, not even for my birthday and now she suddenly misses me and wants to see me. I think about how she can barely make it through a lunch or breakfast with me sober and wonder why she suddenly wants to see me for “the whole evening”….

I also find it interesting that her message came on a Friday which, as I’ve said already, was the night I always drank with her at her house. I may be reading way too much into that. Who knows.

Anyway, after I had given up trying to find a date which we could both do, I went home and by the time I got off the train I felt horrible. “Horrible” is the word I am using and it’s a strange one, but that’s genuinely how I felt. I felt hot and sweaty and my jeans felt too tight and I felt agitated and stroppy. When I got home I cried and took a shower before laying on my bed for a while to calm down. I couldn’t understand what exactly I was so wound up about, surely not just because she couldn’t see me that very same evening? That felt very immature. Something wasn’t sitting right with me though and I felt all out of sorts.

With the benefit of having thought and slept on the whole thing for a few days I think it was just all the confusion that made me feel so horrible. Its having my mother offer me what I’ve always wanted and needed and telling me she wants to see me and that she’s missed me, but also knowing that it’s not really me she’s missed but the attention I used to give her. It’s knowing I dropped my own boundary within a second despite how hard I’ve worked and then the disappointment that despite me dropping that boundary, she couldn’t go anyway! And then the relief that she couldn’t go… it’s a lot to get your head around in the moment.

It reminds me how I’m not as strong as I thought and hoped I was, that the pull to go back to her is still there sometimes; even though I thought it was long gone. I guess I feel disappointed with myself in that, though I do understand the child in me is still trying to get to her mum.

Anyway… no damage was done and having reflected on all of this over the weekend I guess I know I just need to find a date for breakfast or lunch and avoid the drinks. I’m just going to have to handle the awkwardness and accept that after I see her for an hour that I’ll come away feeling all stirred up inside and I’ll probably cry again and then she won’t contact me for months and I’ll feel neglected and potentially this whole thing will repeat itself.

It’s hard because I’m not happy either way. I’m not happy when she’s constantly on my case trying to see me or making me feel guilty. I’m not happy when she totally vanishes for months and I’m not happy when she blatantly ignores the people I love (husband/stepkids). It’s hard to accept she just wants me to drink with her and to show her attention and that it’s not really about me – that’s still tough to really fully accept.

Therapy break confusion

It’s Thursday afternoon here in the UK which means that this week is nearly over and in turn, the therapy break is nearly over too. Actually I still have 5 sleeps to go but I’ve done 8 already and usually the weekends are easier because they go so fast – unless I have time to myself like last Saturday and then it’s harder… lol. Anyway, I’ve now missed my second session of the week though admittedly, I would be arriving home in about two minutes usually.

It’s weird because I’m doing okay. I’m not in any kind of crisis and nothing awful is happening. In fact I’m doing pretty well considering everything that’s going on and yet when I got home from work last night I felt moody and when I tried to fill up the kettle and sprayed water all over myself instead, the tears leaked out. I suddenly felt sad and flat (not because of the water I’m sure lol).

Today I’ve felt fine again but I’ve just sobbed my way through an hour’s episode of something and now I’m sitting here thinking that maybe that was just an excuse to release some tears.

I miss T right now. Missing her is strange, it’s so…. it’s so strange because the logical part of me says it’s fine and normal to miss her when I see her twice a week and when she’s such a huge part of my life… but another part of me feels shame about that because I feel like it’s *just* a week and I really should be able to get by for one week without her – even that I’m too old for this. I’ve said this before but I start telling myself that 31 year olds don’t miss their parents after one week and so why am I missing T when she’s *only* my therapist.

It’s not that I desperately need her for anything – I don’t. It’s just weird knowing she’s not around. Its the same old thing that it reminds me that she’s not really mine (so to speak) in “real life” and that I’m her job. That she’s out of bounds because she’s on a break… from work… from me and others. I don’t like that.

I also know it’s not so clear cut. I know she cares a lot for me and for her other clients I’m sure (but I don’t think about other clients: obvs). Maybe she has thought of me; maybe not. I don’t genuinely believe she just switched off all her care for me the second I left my last session, not after so many years…. I don’t believe she’s a robot who doesn’t care and also, and maybe more importantly, I know that she still thinks about me when she can’t physically SEE me. Object constancy etc… it’s taken me literally years to be able to believe, trust and feel someone can still think of me and “hold me in mind” when they can’t see me. Me and my husband even have a joke about this, I’ll say “you still love even when I’m under the blanket??” Which is a joke about object constancy and how babies learn that others are still there when they are hiding behind their hands or under a blanket etc.

I’m sooooooo much better with my husband. I genuinely barely ever (If ever) doubt him or his love and I always feel held in mind by him. I’m not quite there with T yet though for some reason and as silly as it sounds I think that’s partly because I can text and phone and see hubby all the time and with T it’s restricted time. Also there’s the small fact that hub chooses to be married to me/to live with me and he tells me he loves me all the time and obviously it was me that picked T and I pay her so…. it does muddle things somewhat huh.

Sometimes when I’m missing T I wonder if it’s really T that I’m missing or whether I’m missing my mum, or *a mum*. It’s genuinely hard to tell. I suppose in lots of ways T gives me some of what a mother would – I go to her and I tell her anything I want to. She is kind and gentle and supportive and we have normal lighthearted chats too and we laugh and we smile and I come away EVERY time feeling better about things. What’s not to love?

I’m a little bit unsettled at the moment because I move out of my house in about 4 weeks, just less actually and so I’ve had to start ordering boxes and masking tape collecting newspapers to wrap up kitchen stuff…. it’s all got to go into storage whilst we stay at my in-laws and for two weeks we won’t even have a bedroom or a bed because the house is full up with other family. All these things make me stressed and panic and overwhelmed and I have been telling myself to stop being such a high maintenance princess, but it just gets to me. I like to have things the way they should be. I need my calm, tidy, safe haven.

My home is literally my favourite place to be and I need to be alone, hell, I even like just being able to cook or do the washing or lay on the sofa in my pjs.

Anyway, I’m going off topic the point is, I guess it’s not a “normal” time for T to be gone so maybe I miss her more because of that. Or maybe that’s all just an excuse.

In my last session she told me I could drop her a text or an email as I told her I would miss being able to tell her what was going on about our house move. I thanked her and I’ve thought about that but I have no house related news to tell her and I don’t feel comfortable just messaging her whilst she’s on a break for no real reason. I wish I could.

Is it just shame that stops me? Is it that somewhere deep down I know it’s not really her I miss but what she represents? Is it that when she’s gone I feel the hole that she (partly) fills – where my mother should be?

Ugh writing that made me cry. I’m so fed up of crying over this mother stuff at the moment. Honestly it’s been literal years now and it’s pissing me off. I want it to stop now. I want to be able to move on and not have to feel moments like this – or like Saturday when I started trying to blame myself for my mother’s disinterest in me. I really, really want to move on with my life now.

I know it sounds really melodramatic but I keep visualising myself still crying about it all when I’m like 70 years old or something and thinking what a waste that is! I watch things on tele where people lose their parents or spouses through death and they seem to heal quicker and better than I am. I’m doing so well in some ways and then things like this happen and I’m angry because it’s still there you know? It still manages to creep in and just kick me in the stomach or whatever.

I’m so over it all.