Longing for the mother

I woke up this morning with a thumping headache, a bad mood and a bad back ache. The back ache has got gradually worse the last few days but today it hurt a lot.

As we are staying with my fiancé’s family at the moment and his kids also stay with us at weekends, it was all a bit too much for me this morning. My mood was getting worse and holding it all in was getting harder and harder.

I found myself thinking about my T. I have thought about her a lot the last few days since my session on Tuesday. The closest feeling I could relate my feeling to would be “missing”. It was like I was missing her but I’m not sure that’s entirely accurate.

I touched on this briefly the other day, but the words I come up with are words such as “longing” and “missing”. As one of my fellow bloggers pointed out, it’s the grieving of the mother wound. I’m in touch with feelings of loneliness and sadness. It’s feelings I experienced when I was young and stuck with an emotionally unavailable mother. Isolation and sadness, emptiness. I feel those things again today and it’s very hard.

I wrote a list of words that just felt relevant to me today, they included the following words:

Missing

Longing

Sadness

Flat

Attachment

Connection

Emotional

Closeness

Attachment pain?

Mother wound?

Grief

Loneliness

Aching

Needing

Nurturance

So I think perhaps the feelings of sadness, aloneness, missing and longing are old feelings and in the here and now, they make me want to seek comfort and nurturance, connection and warmth. I want the familiar and genuine connection T offers me. I guess what I’m craving is “a mother”. MY mother but not my actual mother – it’s back to that fantasy mother I guess.

T provides me with some of the things I feel I need today and so I guess it makes sense for me to long for her in some ways – even if it’s not really her I need, but MY mother. The hole where my good enough mother should have been/be, but isn’t.

Days like this, times like this, being around lots of people makes me go stir crazy. I really struggle with that. I need time alone, I crave space and quiet. I need to cry or read or write or drink tea in a blanket. I struggle being “stepmum” and looking after the kids because I guess I’m triggered to a child like place myself and if I’m totally honest I think I struggle to be affectionate or enjoy them because it taps into the lack I had/have. I know that’s not what I should say or how I should feel but the words just came out so I’m sure they must be true.

It makes me angry. Perhaps my anger is hiding my sadness? Either way I couldn’t cope this morning and so guess where I am as I type this on my phone? I’m in my car. My lovely new car. I decided to grab a flask of tea, my psychologies magazine, my “Dear Daughter of a Narcissistic Mother” book, my make up bag(?) and off I went. I have only driven to the local park where I’ve parked up with the heating on and I’ve put my make up on, I’m listening to the radio and the snow is gently falling. I feel so calm now. Nothing like 45 minutes ago where I could have exploded from all the various emotions I wrote about above.

There’s some guilt that I shouldn’t be hiding in my car on my own and that I should be with my fiancé and the kids but I need to look after myself too, right? And what good am I to any of them in the state I was in earlier?

I feel so mean saying this but this is my happy place right now. I’m so at peace right now. I’m warm, I have my tea, I’ve kicked off my Ugg boots and am sitting cross legged (I’m small!), sipping my tea and typing out all these feelings which gives me such a release. I could stay here for hours if I didn’t feel like I should be with them.

I’ve read many articles which say in order to heal you need to internalise the good enough mother (so T) and that you learn to mother yourself and you learn to soothe yourself. I wonder in times like this whether the longing for comfort and closeness will ever go – right now it feels unlikely. I know I’ve been able to calm myself a bit, I’ve been able to give myself a little bit of space and I do understand that is progress… but I would still just like to be looked after if I’m honest. What I would like is for a really tight hug from a caring and kind mother. I would like to be a little girl for the day and not the adult. I hate that I’ve missed that chance and that I’ll never get that again.

I’m grieving that chance I suppose and I’m craving closeness and connection to make that pain more bearable when perhaps I just need to learn to tolerate it and let it pass?

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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.

She doesn’t want me to thrive

The fact is, she doesn’t want me to thrive. She doesn’t want me to be independent, confident or authentic. She doesn’t want me to have a happy relationship or marriage. She is jealous of those things because she isn’t them/doesn’t have them.

She’s never liked any of my boyfriends because they threaten her. They threaten her because she always knew if I met someone dependable and reliable, I would move away from her and she couldn’t tolerate that.

She now tells herself and everyone else that will listen that my fiancé is controlling and manipulating me because she can’t bear that I’m “gone”. I’ve grown up and I have my own life. I have my own house, family, relationship and it has no drama. I therefore don’t go to her house every weekend crying into my wine whilst she tells me what to do and say.

She always planted seeds of doubt in my head when I saw her. She used to tell me that he didn’t love me, that if he did, he would have proposed by now. She said he would never divorce his (now) ex-wife, that he would always go back to her, that he would always put me last – behind his kids and that I would hate being a stepmother. She told me often he wouldn’t want any more kids and that he was lying to me to keep me. She even said he has probably had a vasectomy that he hasn’t told me about and would tell me when it was too late. She said this again when we were struggling to conceive last year. She said there was nothing wrong with me – it had to be him. She said this even after he had his sperm tested and had a good and healthy result.

She doesn’t like me being a good stepmum because she hated being a mother. Why should I be able to enjoy it when she couldn’t? Why should I be good at it when she failed so terribly?

She doesn’t like my best friend – she says she doesn’t have tome for me anymore and that now she is a mother, she is only interested in her mummy friends. This is not true. She doesn’t like me having a reliable friendship because she has (lots of) fake and artificial friends. People that flock around her for parties and drinking, but nobody that is genuinely by her side throughout thick and thin because she uses people only when it suits her and people sooner or later get fed up.

She doesn’t like me having a relationship with my father because she claims he was a terrible father who didn’t care about me one iota when I was younger. He tells me a very different story that she told him I didn’t want to see him. I also believe that she needed me to keep her good and turn him bad because you can’t love both her and someone else. She had to have full control.

Also, she didn’t have a relationship with her own father (possibly because her Mum used the same tactics, who knows?) and so I couldn’t have a good relationship with mine because that wouldn’t be fair to her.

She let me stay home from school all the time in exchange for doing housework. I wonder whether that is because she didn’t want me getting a good education, becoming more intelligent than her and potentially getting a good and well paid job? Maybe that would threaten her.

She hates me having counselling – obviously. She tells everyone my fiancé and my therapist brainwash me. I don’t have my own mind and these can’t possibly be my decisions. Is that to protect herself or because she knows how easily manipulated and brainwashed SHE made me?!

Christ even when I passed my driving test she said the examiner only passed me as I wouldn’t be on the road often. I couldn’t have earned that pass. I couldn’t have that independence, that achievement.

All of these things I’ve known before…. but now it’s like I’m slitting them together and can see the bigger, clearer picture.

So on my wedding day when I’m standing there making my vows to the one that makes me happy and who truly encourages me to be the real me, she will not be welcome. And neither will her flying monkey lapdog who tries to intimidate me and do her dirty work for her – allowing her to play the poor, innocent victim.

What kind of mother wants to hold their child back?

The kind that feels inadequate and less than herself – despite the fake self cover up that’s taken her over. The narcissistic defence trying to fool herself and everyone else.

If only she could dig deep and feel her own pain and get some help this may be a different story.

She doesn’t want me to thrive.

I wish…

The feelings right now:

I don’t WANT to be “no contact”.

I don’t WANT to feel so sad. So guilty.

I feel as though I’m only doing this because it’s what I “should” be doing. Because it’s what the books say, because it’s what the audiobooks say… it’s what T implies and my fiancé seems to think is best.

I don’t WANT to try to heal or try to get through it. I don’t want to try and keep my mind busy so I don’t fall apart crying.

I also don’t want to just backpedal to her and say sorry – because the only thing I am actually sorry for is upsetting her. I still mean what I said about how I felt unloved and that she’s been saying horrible things about me and my fiancé behind my back.

What I want is for her to say she misses me and doesn’t want to lose me. That she can’t even sleep at night and she’s prepared to do anything it takes for us to try and get back on track. I know that won’t happen and that’s what breaks my heart in two I suppose.

In these moments I’m a child who wants her mummy to come and cuddle her and say it’s all going to be okay because a mummy never leaves her babygirl. That she never gives up on her. That her pride means absolutely fuck all compared to her daughter.

She would break down in tears and say she is sorry I ever felt like that and that she would do it so differently if she could go back in time.

I would feel validated at last. We would talk about the triangulation with my sister and the lies she’s told about my fiancé and try to put that to bed …. we would all feel so much relief and then I could continue planning my wedding without the great sadness and guilt in the back of my mind.

Everything would fall into place and the rest would be fixed with time and honesty.

My anger would vanish and so she would never worry about us rowing like “that” again. I wouldn’t feel resentment.

And we would start a fresh. I would feel loved and heard and she would feel relief like never before.

Life would feel much, much happier. I’d sleep easily. I’d wake up thankful.

Sliding Doors

Has anyone seen the film Sliding Doors? I watched it when I was about 11 years old for the first time, I remember this clearly because there was a sex scene in it and I was watching it with my Nan and remember feeling extremely awkward!

The general concept of the film is about how life can go in different directions.  It begins with a story line of what happens when a character DOES make the train, and another storyline where the character DOES NOT catch the train.  From that point, their life goes in two different directions.

I have been thinking about this film today because I find myself wondering a lot these last few days how my life could have gone.  Not so much in general terms but specifically around the events with my mother and her NPD.  What would have happened if I had stayed the Golden Child and remained enmeshed with her – what would my life look like right now?

I’ve been reflecting on my life a lot since writing the Goodbye Mother letter and today I was thinking how the first 18 years or so my mother fell into the category of “Ignoring Narcissistic Mother” but when I became 18 and old enough to drink and smoke and go to clubs and date men and share clothes with her, idolise her… she fitted better in the category of “Engulfing Narcissistic Mother” – this is the stage where the control and enmeshment began.

Now what would have happened if I hadn’t met my current fiancé and started therapy? Would I still be enmeshed with her? Would I be a narcissist myself by now? Maybe I would have met another man but not started therapy and therefore never realised the dynamic I was in! Perhaps I would have met a narcissistic man or more of the same type I used to meet, emotionally unavailable.  Perhaps I would have spent my entire life trying to fix them and have the happy ending I never got with my mother.  It’s a sad thought.

The “storyline” I find myself in now is one where I am playing the starring role of “Narcissistic Mother’s Scapegoat”. I am not only her scapegoat mind, but also my sister’s who is playing the lead role of “Golden Child” and, not only that but I think potentially “Narcissistic Golden Child”.

scape

There are basically two roles you can play when you have a mother as narcissistic as mine.  The Scapegoat or the Golden Child (you could also be a lost child but there is only two of us).  The perks of being the Golden Child are that you have the narcissistic mother’s protection.  She will agree with you (in public at least), she will tell you that you are “just like her” and if she is anything like my own mother, tell you that you are in fact a “mini me”. Now considering how much she thinks of herself, this is meant as the highest type of compliment. The downside to being the GC is that you are not allowed to be your true, authentic self, have your own (differing) opinions on things or allowed to say no or argue with her.  You are no longer a different person, a person with differing interests, hobbies, thoughts etc – you are enmeshed and an extension of the narcissist.  Also just because you are picked as GC doesn’t mean you are no longer abused in any way, you still are, it is just much more subtle and hard to detect.  In my case when I was GC my mother would regularly tell me how I needed to lose weight or change my hair, do my make up differently, shop in different shops and become more fashionable – but she would tell you that she loved you and this was all for your benefit! She just wanted you to make the best of yourself!

The downsides to being the Scapegoat are many: The narcissist and whoever her enablers are, perhaps siblings or step-parents project anything and everything negative onto you.  YOU are the sole cause of anything bad in the family or in life generally.  You are trouble, evil, mentally unstable.  It is VERY hard to have a strong enough sense of self/self-esteem to not start to feel guilty about all this crap that you are told repeatedly is your fault.  There is the gaslighting, the narcissistic family will make you doubt yourself and your memories and version of events.  At some stage you do think to yourself, “shit, they can’t all be wrong can they?”.  You start to think that if ALL of them have one story and you have a different story… well, maybe it is you after all? That is tough.  The gaslighting is the stage I’m at right now.  Apparently this is really stereotypical for a narcissist when confronted but my mother (and sister) are telling me that I “have gone fucking crazy”, am “brainwashed” and that they are not sure “what is going on in my head right now”.  Gaslighting at it’s finest.   This causes cognitive dissonance.. BIG TIME.

There is inevitably the fear element as well.  I struggled with this BIG TIME.  The fear and the guilt were definitely my biggest struggles.  There is also something really hard about admitting that you, adult you, is scared of your parent.  I DID NOT want to admit that I was scared of her, of what she would say, what she would do, of upsetting her.  What would the consequences me? How would she punish me? It was all very illogical but the fear was real.

And lastly, the worst one for me at present – you are isolated and ostracised from anyone that enables the narcissist or is scared of them or perhaps equally as abusive as them.  I currently find myself watching to see which member of my family is next to be “disappointed” with me or cut me off. Narcissists cannot and do not accept people disagreeing with them. That truly is the ultimate betrayal to them.  You are on their side (yes pathetic) or you are against them and that is that.  You will be shocked at the amount of people who “side” with the narcissist, even ones that know stories or have seen evidence of their abuse in the past.  It is shockingly shit and nothing can prepare you for it.  My sister was my mother’s scapegoat for years until we swapped places and she used to suffer with depression because of it – yet she is very happy abusing me right now and ganging up with my narcissistic mother against me.

That is a long and bleak list of downsides to being a scapegoat I know but what about the perks?

Anyone who finds themselves in the role of the scapegoat will be naturally empathetic and sensitive.  The fact that they find themselves in that role shows that they are a truth-seeker and more importantly, I think, they have somehow held on to their authentic true self and believe me that is not an easy thing to do against a narcissist and her army.  But the clear winner here has to be the pure fact that the scapegoat escapes the dysfunctional family – they ESCAPE!! They get away from playing roles and being gaslighted or projected onto.  They escape the FOG – the fear, obligation and guilt.  They no longer have to be on guard or put on a mask, a fake self to try to stay safe around the narcissistic/dysfunctional family.  They can heal and finally be validated for all of their struggles and pain.  They can have a kind and empathic witness emotionally hold them as they navigate their way through all the grief and pain and begin to heal from the years of abuse.

I saw a meme today which said it should be called the “Escape Goat” rather than the “Scapegoat” which I think is perfect.

Anyway, I feel at peace today for all of the reasons above and other reasons which I find harder to articulate that I would never wish to swap roles and be the GC again. Never.  Being the Scapegoat is emotionally very difficult, it can be extremely lonely and draining but I honestly felt like something was missing from my life until quite recently – I spent my life unconsciously desperate for approval, for affection and to be told that I was good enough.  I was always trying to fill the painful mother hole/wound that was still raw as hell and now, all of a sudden, I am seeing things differently.  Now I am truly seeing and believing fully that it wasn’t ever me or my fault.  She has a personality disorder.  I was not too sensitive, too needy, pathetic, boring, stupid, fat, brainwashed or evil.

This sounds a bit egotistical but I feel like I must have more strength than I’ve ever given myself credit for or was even aware of myself.  I have (thanks to T) been able to fight against her abuse, lies and punishment.

I feel lucky in a strange way, not lucky that I had to go through any of it of course and I do still grieve for the fantasy mother and probably will for a long time, but my life could have gone the other way, like in Sliding Doors – I could have never got away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Mother… Smearing

So I haven’t got time to write a proper blog but needed to write this quickly…

I went to see my Aunty tonight, the one I’ve written about a lot recently, the one my mother is not longer speaking to because she was “being disloyal” to her by continuing to speak to me…. anyway, we obviously discussed everything and this is what I’ve just found out:

1) my mother has told everyone that I am obsessed with my counsellor and go to therapy 4 times a week.

2) that I think (and I quote) I am “so hard done by and had a terrible childhood” – sense the mocking tone of that: and lastly

3) My mother has told my Grandparents that I’m no longer speaking to her because I had such a terrible childhood and my grandparents are allegedly horrified, shocked and disappointed in me….

I have a lot to say about this and I’m having a lot of thoughts about it all. I can’t make much sense out of it at the moment but I’m starting to think that perhaps she genuinely doesn’t think she’s guilty of treating me badly when I was a child. Until now I thought she knew she was a shit mum but was just incapable of apologising, now I wonder if she truly doesn’t think she has anything to apologise for. (I know: wake up and smell the coffee).

At least I have some insight to her I suppose.

No Contact Confusion

Unsurprisingly given her text on Christmas Day, my mother text me just after midnight last night.  It read “Happy New Year darling, I love and miss you so much xx“.

She sent the message about ten minutes after midnight and I thought for those ten minutes that she wasn’t going to bother.  I felt a mixture of sadness and relief for those ten minutes and then when she did text, a mixture of gladness and anguish.  So confusing.

Much like Christmas Day reading her message sent me spiralling into confusion and guilt and sadness…. I wondered around the house for a further ten minutes or so contemplating what to do and then broke down in tears (unlike Christmas Day).  I think the reason for the tears this time was because there was less pressure on me to “be happy and have a good day”, me and my fiancé were only at home and the countdown had happened. I felt sad.  Some of my thoughts were

  1. Maybe she really does love and miss me
  2. Who is this NC actually benefiting?
  3. Why am I NC? It is only upsetting me
  4. What do I say back?

I sat down with my fiancé who seemed to be trying not to speak about her text. I know, as I’ve said previously, he doesn’t want me to speak to her any more but he hasn’t outrightly said that, it’s just obvious.  In the moment I said to him “I know you don’t want me to speak to her but you need to understand I still have feelings, I still WANT her to apologise“.  He didn’t like that at all and seemed rather annoyed.  I said to him that I just wonder why I am doing this NC if she is never going to apologise because I seem to just be hurting myself all for the sake of trying to show her how serious I am or something?  I said it felt as though it would be easier to go back to low contact and perhaps use techniques that I’ve read about such as “grey rock” where you just learn to not react emotionally to anything, keep conversations light-hearted and don’t get sucked back in to any drama (I imagine this takes a lot of practice).  He said “If you speak to her, if you make up with her, you WILL have to actually see her and you’ve enjoyed not having to see her?“.  I could feel myself getting angry with him so we ended that conversation there.

In the end I did reply. I said “You too. Happy New Year“. Pretty short and blunt and no express “I love you” or “I miss you”. I felt a bit shit not saying that to her but it didn’t feel right for me to say it.  I went to bed about 45 minutes after replying and she hadn’t read it at that point. By the time I woke up this morning, it had two blue ticks showing she had read it, she didn’t send any more.  Much like Xmas Day. I have since seen on Instagram that she was at home with her husband, my sister and her boyfriend and my brother and his girlfriend. This is unheard of – she is ALWAYS out at a party or club or away somewhere. The fact then that she was at home with my siblings and didn’t open my message for so long made me think I had been stupid to think she was that bothered whether I would reply or not (or if she was previewing it like I had done).

Today I have had a lot of thoughts about this.  1 thought being whether this NC thing is a good idea or not, if it is working or not etc and 2, why she bothers to text me wishing me a Happy Christmas and Happy New Year by text if not to find a way “back in” so to speak.  Does that make sense? Like, if it was a standard narcissistic hoover (which I’m not saying it isn’t) wouldn’t she then reply again and try to initiate conversation? And if she doesn’t want to initiate conversation, why say she misses me “so much”? Is it just that my replies are closed and so she doesn’t bother or what?

In terms of the actual NC, I am really confused.  As you know already, the NC came about in October following an almighty argument where I confronted my mother about her slagging me and my fiancé off to people saying that I had changed and that my fiancé was controlling and manipulating me to not see her anymore.  She denied that (furiously) and then the argument moved onto my childhood pain, all of which she denied.  The argument ended with her telling me I was brainwashed and needed sectioning and to sack my therapist who was clearly making me worse.  We had several texts the day after, in which she denied any wrongdoing in my childhood and told me that I needed to move on and stop bringing up the past.  She also told me that I always had a nice roof over my head and that I didn’t go without much considering my dad wasn’t around.  No accountability, no apology… nothing.  From that evening and for another 6 weeks, there wasn’t a word between us.  6 weeks later she sent a text telling me she loved and missed me.  I ignored it.  Another few weeks later the Christmas card arrived and then the Xmas Day and NYE texts of which I replied very bluntly.

So the NC came around really because I was furiously angry and hurt that yet again she could not validate my pain and apologise for causing it.  I guess in a way it was a knee-jerk reaction but it wasn’t meant as punishment, just I needed a break from it all and felt too angry to see a way forwards.  I admit that over the last few months I have been hoping for her to realise how serious I am and offer what I need and want – even if it wasn’t as deep and meaningful as the fantasy, just some admittance of making some wrong choices, that she would do things differently or something.  The words “sorry”. [EDIT: reading this back after publishing makes me think that this is actually exactly what T DOES DO when we have a rupture isn’t it?].

Clearly that isn’t going to happen is it.  It has now been a few months and we have both had our Christmas and New Year separately without each other, there has been no further conversations or attempt at reconciling and now I question if the NC is helpful in any way? I admit, there is a childish part of me that doesn’t want to “give up” or “lose face” – the bit that thinks she is holding out for me to get bored and cave and beg for her love… and yet at the same time, every time she sends a message saying she loves me or misses me, I get so upset and question why I am doing it? Who is it benefiting if not me? If I am still upset?

I guess some people would ask if it is better to have a hollow relationship than no relationship and I genuinely don’t know how I feel about that answer right now.  In some ways comparing how I felt with her with how I felt with T brought me pain as I realised the lack of real connection and felt how little she really knows or sees me and yet, having absolutely no contact with her is painful too and feels like I could be making a mistake when life is so precious (not to mention the ridiculous “what if I am wrong” that still creeps in every now and again).

On the other side and on the corner of keeping NC is the fact that she hasn’t once apologised to me or tried to and so that does make me question how sad she really is feeling at not seeing me.  I do question what other “normal” mothers would do in this situation.. would they let Christmas and New Year go by without attempting a conversation, sending a detailed and heartfelt letter perhaps or knocking at the door? Is the fact that none of those things have happened a sign that she is still feeling the victim and is hurt by ME for suggesting she has ever been less than perfect? I don’t know.  How long is she planning to let this go on for? Is that what she is saying about me?

The truth of the matter is that I don’t WANT to be no contact with my mother.  I do want her to fight for me, I do need her to just say she made some mistakes and that she is sorry for them!! I totally understand that she is human, that she has her own issues and limitations and that she can’t go back in time and change things now… but I want her to realise that despite that fact, she CAN make me heal and make me feel better by listening to my feelings and just HEARING what I am saying.  It isn’t about punishment, it has never been about punishment.  I can’t see how we can have a relationship until this has happened because it keeps me feeling invalidated and unimportant and it keeps me feeling angry – the effect of which seems to be that every now and again, I blow a fuse and spit venom all over her.

So what now?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trying to recover from the rupture

As 4pm drew closer today I began to feel more and more nervous. At ten to 4 I had to rush to the toilet where I got stuck for the entire 10 minutes (sorry for TMI)!. I watched my phone hit 4pm exactly and felt sick… I found T in my call list and pressed dial.

The phone rang just once or twice and then T picked up. I didn’t know what to say to her.  We said hello and then she asked me how I was currently feeling  had felt since I had sent her my email the other day.  In all honestly I wasn’t sure how I felt so I actually had to think about the answer to that question. I told her that her reply to my email had helped to lift a lot of the anger and pain and that knowing I would be talking to her today had also helped although I admitted that I was nervous and scared that it may end up making me feel more pain.

T told me that she had done some writing that she wanted to read to me to try to explain why she spoke differently to me and to other people. I was quite shocked at this, I’m not sure why but I think it’s something about the fact she had been thinking about it a lot and had clearly put a lot of thought in prior to this call.  Writing that now sounds obvious really doesn’t it? I guess of course she did.  Anyway, she begun to read to me and I can’t quite remember what she said but I do remember that I started to cry pretty quickly because what I “heard” at first was something that meant “some people need more love than others – than you do” and I cried because I thought my worst fears had come true. There really wasn’t anything she was going to say that was going to fix this rupture and there really was nothing she could say that was going to make me feel better, to enable me to trust her enough to be vulnerable with her again – to do the work with her anymore.

She said something about how she didn’t want to force herself and her love on me (as I heard this I thought to myself “it isn’t forcing when I want it”.) She said something about how my mother was an overbearing narcissist, that she didn’t want to repeat that for me and that she trusted me to show her what I needed.  She also said some things about how she worked using her intuition and that she truly believed that she was a good enough mother figure to me, and to all of her clients.  Now I got what she meant about my mother being an overbearing narcissist in one sense, but in another I was confused because my mother DIDN’T show me any love or affection so surely that isn’t the same? Surely that IS exactly what I need? There was so much being said and so many thoughts and feelings going on at once that it is hard to remember it all now.

She then explained how everyone she sees has different needs and said to me to think about my 3 stepchildren and how I would treat them all differently, but love them all the same amount.  She said you could have two children and one need a lot of reassurance and the other not need that so much. She said she worked using her intuition and was guided by me.  At this stage I was feeling pretty confused because, as I’ve already said, I understood what she was getting at, but I just kept thinking… yes, but I NEED you to show me love and affection so why won’t you do that??? If we all have different needs and I’m yelling at you because I want something (for my needs) then why aren’t you doing it?

I cried pretty constantly the whole time she was saying these things and then she asked me if I understood what she had said.  I told her I kind of did but kind of didn’t and she said it was okay if I didn’t fully get it at this moment in time, that perhaps I would in the future and that perhaps it would take more than just this one hour (someone had said this to me in a comment the other day and I am thankful they did as otherwise my expectations would have been too high – thank you).  I still felt rather disappointed and a bit deflated at this stage.  I could hear she was trying to make me feel better but it just felt a bit like what she was saying to me and what she was expecting me to feel weren’t tallying up somehow.  Like, was I missing something here?

She said that there was no denying it “was a monumental way to cock up“.  She actually admitted to me that when she realised what had happened, she had to phone a therapist friend of hers to cry to them! I felt instantly very guilty and sorry for her when she said this and said “oh nooo did you?” and before I could finish saying it she snapped quite abruptly “No! You do not feel guilty for that, I am not telling you that for you to feel bad about, but simply so that you understand that I did and do care very much“.  She said she knew instantly how deep this would have hit me and then said that the only reason she didn’t pry into how it had made me feel instantly and by text was because I was meant to be in session with her only a few hours later – until I cancelled.  She also added that being a therapist was a vocation to her and not just a job.  She said she really does get it and does deeply care, it wasn’t somethign she did simply to pay the bills.

I eventually said to her outright “I get that everyone has different needs and that you treat us all differently, just as I do my stepchildren, I get that.. but, I feel like I am always fighting to get someone to show me love and they never do and that IS what I want!” T said that it might feel to me like what I need is for her to show me lots of “gushing love” but that often what we think we need, isn’t actually that helpful for us.  She said that if she is working with someone who has had no love and affection from a mother and who has suffered childhood trauma and cruelty, that gushing them with love would be extremely damaging and painful for them.  My ears pricked up…  I questioned why and she said in the most extreme case, showering someone who has been loved deprived with affection COULD lead them to commit suicide. At this point I was listening intently but still confused and then she said this:

“Imagine a baby that is starving, literally starving and nearing death, extremely malnourished and very sick.  What you might think you need to do is to take the baby and feed it and feed it and feed it to make it better, to save it? But actually that would kill the baby!  What the baby would need is to be drip fed tiny bit by tiny bit until it built up a tolerance and could slowly adjust to having more food”…

Something about this image clicked in my head and really made sense… okay… okay, this was helpful – I told T this image was very helpful. She continued explaining and said that in my head I think I know what I need but that a lot of that was fantasy and built up using the fantasy that she is the perfect mother and that the perfect mother would and could never hurt me.  But that the fantasy was wrong.

I told T that it was so painful for me because so many times over the years I have got upset and complained to my mother that she never hugged me or told me she loved me or showed me any affection and my mother would shame me and tell me to grow up and tell me that I wasn’t a child and that I was pathetic.  I said it felt like the same thing was happening all over again – not the shaming so to speak, but like T was saying that she wouldn’t show me any affection even though she could have.  I told T that my mother was always very gushing with her men – just not me and the feelings were triggered by the text she sent me.

She said something again about being led by me and I said something like “but I have told you before that I sometimes find your emails lacking warmth and a bit cold and clinical!” and she said it was quite a while ago and said “lets not get too carried away, it is only an email sign-off, you do FEEL my love in many other ways – I know you do and I know that you have the capacity and capability to feel that love. Some people cannot feel it and need me to speak to them in different ways, in ways that might help it to get through to them. You feel my love here”.

Hmm…something about what she said made me feel ashamed. It felt as though she was saying “Jesus Christ, it’s a bloody sign off on an email!” and so I said that I understood that it was stupid and I was being irrational but she butted in and said she doesn’t think that for a single second, she said how much she understood the pain was very deep. She said every therapist’s favourite line… twice “This IS the work” with extra emphasis on the IS. I had to try not to chuckle.  She then spoke about “the frame” which I took to be a reference to the therapeutic frame, as in the guidelines or something? She said that it is expected and normal for me to want to bash the frame about and hit it and try to change it and it is her job to hold steady whilst I did that.  This gave me an image of a toddler who wants things it can’t have and kick and screams for them all the while the mother is calmly saying “no” but not shaming the child and, perhaps, validating the child’s pain? I don’t know, I could have this entirely wrong. I need to do some reading about the frame to fully grasp this I think.

[What I need to write next may offend/upset/annoy or possibly trigger those who have D.I.D or parts – I am not sure but I want to be cautious so consider this a warning if you want to continue reading].

T said that the person who the text was actually for was much more dissociated than I am and she said that sometimes she “doesn’t even bloody know I am here at all! I have to fight to get through to her to know I am there for her!”.  She then said I wasn’t that split and dissociative and that I did know she was there – that she only had to say something gently and I knew it, but that the other girl didn’t.  She said that working with parts was an entirely different way of working but that I wasn’t that split-off. She said that I was integrated.  (I questioned how true that was as she said it..).  She later said that the work I was doing was entirely different and that we were “nowhere near each other” whatever that meant.

I told T that I always secretly hoped I was her youngest client and that it made me special to her somehow.  She told me that it didn’t matter whether I was the youngest, oldest, prettiest or whatever.. that I was special to her just for being me.  She said that I didn’t need to “jump through hoops” for her.  I cried as she said this even though it felt a bit of a cliché you know like “you are special just the way you are”… but I think I believe her….. I think.  She said that I was working “beautifully” and was doing very well and that she admired me said I had plenty of courage even if I didn’t feel I did at times.  She said something along the lines of how the other client was in a very difficult place and that therapy was very difficult and unpredictable for her but for me, I may be struggling but i am progressing along very well.  I have mixed thoughts about this.

She told me that there was a space inside her that was just mine and that nobody else could ever take or come near because it was just for me and then said that she wondered if it felt a bit like finding out you were going to have a sibling when you were a child – others – someone else to share mum’s love and being really angry about it.  She said she wondered if it reminded me of when my sister was born?  I admitted when my sister was born I was terribly upset and jealous, having been an only child for 7 years, I was used to that and when I already had no love or affection another child surely meant I would have even less?! I’m not sure how accurate that fear was because it made not difference to the lack of love I got but it did result in lots of other feelings of insecurity and being forgotten or left-out.  It set me (and my sister) up for years of competing for her attention. The ultimate power-trip I guess. MEH.

She told me she had a lot of love and care for me and she said if I wanted her to sign her emails off “with love” from now on, that she would. I felt immature but thought to myself that it really isn’t the same when you ask someone is it? LOL and then she said …. I try to match your style in your emails to me… and I interrupted her and said, I had thought this only today.. when I re-read my emails to her, I always signed them off “Thanks, TT” and admitted that was rather formal, especially for me! I said I had done that because I was copying her style and she said she was following my lead!!! I did laugh at this.

I guess the main things I took from the call were that she thinks lots of affectionate words and gushing love is NOT what I need, even if I think I do… that she thinks I have the capacity to feel her love in many other ways and that some clients do not and that because I am in a constant state of hypervigilance, looking for perceived proof of being rejected or abandoned, that is why this hurt so much.  It did tap in to some very deep wounds of mine, mainly being unloved/unloveable and not special.  She said once or twice that I did not get to experience the good enough mother and that I was not taught that was allowed to feel angry and resolve something with her and that her love did not change for me if I did have those angry feelings.

Right now I have lots of words and thoughts and reactions to sit with and work through but I do already feel heaps better.  She reminded me that each rupture we get through is helpful and will build a deeper level of trust.  She said with each rupture that we successfully repair, I will gradually remember that things can be survived no matter how hard they get between us. I understood what she meant as she said this because the other day it seemed insurmountable and now it doesn’t.

Right now, believe it or not… whether she signs an email “with love” or just her name feels wholly insignificant… isn’t that funny? Or perhaps makes me a little crazy! Perhaps her reassurance has helped me to come out of my triggered place and back into a more rational and adult place? I’m not sure.  I feel hopeful but yet the remains of some sadness lurk below the surface, a bit like when you’ve got back together with an old boyfriend and you are glad but you feel a little fragile and kinda nervous and careful? on guard perhaps?? I dunno, it’s hard to explain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mirroring Feelings of Disappointment and Sadness.

Happy Boxing Day everyone. I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas Day and enjoy today whatever it brings for you.

This is the first time I’ve been able to sit down with my laptop and write and I feel like I need the release so much. I feel like I have so many different thoughts and feelings floating around in me and that once I’ve managed to write them out, I will feel a bit lighter for it. Here’s hoping.

So the things on my mind are: My mother and her Christmas Day text – the confusion and conflict that brought me, my decision and the end result.  My Dad and his texts over the last few days and the feelings that has brought up in me and my T and my feelings over her and the general feeling of Christmas having not seen anyone in “my family” (meaning my family of origin rather than my family of choice).  I apologise that some of this will be duplication from yesterday’s short typed-on-my-phone posts and some of it may already be written in comments but I am going to write it all out in full here for my own benefit really.

My Mother & Christmas so far

My mother sent me that I love you text about 3/4 weeks ago and I ignored that.  The guilty feelings over that passed pretty quickly, much quicker than I thought they would actually.  Then came the Christmas card last week.  That triggered yet more guilty feelings in me but I did ignore it because .. well, what was the point of it? Perhaps if she had written something other than our names and theirs… but she didn’t and so it made me feel as though it was more about keeping up appearances or being able to tell people she had sent us a card which would make her look like the good mother. Moving on, Xmas Eve I said to my fiancé that I knew she would text me and I knew it would be early in the morning. She has always got up very early Christmas Day to cook so I made the decision to turn my phone off when I went to bed. That is unheard of for me, my phone normally just goes on silent but I didn’t want to look at my phone when I woke up (which I always do) and for that to be the first thing I saw. So off it went and I waited until me and my fiancé had got up, had a cup of tea and opened our presents before turning it on. Sure enough there was a text, sent early which read “Have a lovely Christmas. Love you lots xx”.

From then and for the majority of the rest of the day, I was distracted with thoughts about that text. I didn’t know whether to reply or not. I toyed with what would happen if I ignored it and what would happen if I replied.  Neither option felt good to me, both felt like a no-win situation.  I tried leaving it to just percolate in my head as I showered and things but could feel my mood plummeting. I didn’t want to feel that sadness on Christmas Day and so I guess in hindsight what I wanted to do was whatever stopped me feeling shit, sad, guilty and ease my conscience a bit.  Equally I kept asking myself “what do you WANT to do?”.  I tried hard to distinguish between what I wanted to do and what I felt I SHOULD do and that was trickier then you might think.  What I WANTED to do was to open a text full of sorry’s and messages asking for my forgiveness but clearly that wasn’t going to happen and obviously I had no control over her actions anyway, so what did I WANT to do myself? I still don’t really know the answer to that.  I acknowledged I had heaps of guilty feelings going on in my body, guilt that she would be sitting there sad on Christmas Day because I hadn’t messaged her back and that I wouldn’t be seeing her. Those fantasies (however inaccurate) made me feel terrible.  I told my fiancé that was what my imagination was drawing up and he asked me whether I thought my mother felt wracked with guilt when she left me home alone on Christmas Day when I was younger or if she was full of guilt now at the ways she has treated me etc.  Obviously the answer was no. I could tell from his tone that he was a bit agitated at my guilt. I can understand that from his point of view to be honest, it must be hard when he loves me and he sees and hears about all the hurt she has caused me and then sees me beating myself up for being guilty.

We then arrived at my fiancé’s parents’ house and so from that point onwards I knew I wouldn’t have the opportunity to talk about it again. I was now on my own with it. We had a lovely day with them, they are such lovely and kind people. We had a lovely dinner, some drinks, a toast, some photos and played board games – all the normal things families do that I always craved growing up. It gave me the warm fuzzies in one sense, because it was what I had always wanted but it also made me feel something else…. some kind of missing. Missing having my own family to do that with – missing “them” even though “them” are dysfunctional and toxic and even though I would never have been doing those same things with “them”.  It’s hard to put in words what I mean, but it’s something about not having my own blood to feel those things with/for/about. I don’t know if anyone will understand that feeling?

Anyway, I’m not sure what happened but all of a sudden I went onto my WhatsApp and actually opened her message, before I had only previewed it.  When I did, it said she was online and something about seeing her online did something to me and instantly I typed a reply “You Too x” and I hit send before I thought about it any further. I then stupidly watched until the message got two blue ticks which took about 4 or 5 minutes and then she disappeared offline again.

The effect that had on me was that in one sense the guilt eased up immensely and in another, I felt weirdly disappointed that she read my response and then went offline. Gone again. Just like that.

I know that sounds completely ridiculous. I said myself that one of the reasons I was worried to reply at all was that I didn’t want messages back and forth… so I got what I wanted didn’t I? You’d think so.. but for some reason, it felt strangely sad to me that nothing further was said. I totally appreciate that there isn’t much you can say to “You Too”, it is hardly a conversation starter is it? What exactly was I hoping for? I guess if I am totally honest I was hoping for something along the lines of “I miss you not being here today” or perhaps “Christmas isn’t the same without you”… I don’t know. Having said that, I DIDN’T want to have to reply to tell her that our argument was still unresolved so what did I want? Total contradictions and complete conflict. I know none of that makes sense. Feelings don’t always make sense I guess.

Nothing has happened since then. I told my fiancé when we went to bed at his parents’ house last night. He thought I was joking until I told him I really wasn’t. He seemed disappointed and shocked that I had sent a reply. I know he doesn’t want me to know he really would rather I didn’t speak to her again because he doesn’t want to control how I feel or think, but it is clear to see. He hates her for the things she has done to me and the way she has made/makes me feel.  He said the other day he just wishes she would fight for me – show a bit of effort for once. I am sure I would feel the same if I were in his shoes.   Today I am just left feeling a bit….. a little bit empty I guess.  I know that sounds a bit dramatic, but I do. I just feel Christmas isn’t quite right. I feel a bit lacking of something. Some familiar family time or something.. I don’t know.

Anyway, that’s that. Moving on, my Dad.

My Dad

Things have improved with my Dad recently. We have spoken via text more than we ever have before. I am not sure if that is because we are both making a conscious effort, whether it has something to do with me not speaking to my mother (from both of our point’s of view) or whether it is something else but it is good.  On Xmas Eve he sent me a text which said “Happy Christmas Eve my darling xx” and it nearly made me cry. It touched my heart instantly. I was actually mopping the bathroom floor at the time and I felt so much warmth come into my body when I read that. I replied a few minutes later and said what a lovely message it was and said the same back. It was lovely.

Christmas Day he sent another message this time he said “Happy Christmas my daughter” and again, it felt lovely. Really lovely. Such simple things that meant so much. We then had numerous texts over the course of the day, some in the morning and some in the evening.  Then today he sent another!!! Happy Boxing Day and “two more sleeps” meaning until we saw each other. Later in some messages I told him it is my last Christmas with our surname as I will take my fiancé’s name next year and he said he wasn’t sure he liked that and that he hadn’t thought of that. It felt strangely nice that he felt he didn’t want me to lose our surname – our bit of connection I guess? The messages made me feel young I suppose.

I later told my fiancé about these messages and he said how he was really glad and that he wasn’t a total write-off after all (as we had both said many times over the years). I was shocked but I said to him “It just makes me feel a bit sad…” my voice cracked and my eyes welled up instantly. I had to try really hard to choke back the tears. As that happened his car alarm went off and he had to go and sort it out and that conversation never continued but I realised that the messages were and are nice.. and his effort is wonderful but the thing that makes me sad is that I am nearly 30 now.  I needed this so badly before now…. I don’t say that in an ungrateful way. I’m not saying it is too late, clearly it isn’t, but it taps me into some more loss. Loss of being a child that received messages like that from her daddy. I needed that so much then.  It also taps me into some sadness over how my mother (unconsciously I am sure) ruined any chance of that for me and him.  For whatever reasons, her narcissism, her jealousy, her insecurity, control? whatever, she put a big wedge between us. She made me doubt him a lot, she told me lies about him and constantly told me how he didn’t care about me and I was a child who naturally believed her mother.  When the whole false-self thing kicked in and I morphed into her when I was a late teen, he had no hope. WE had no hope.  And so, it is better late than never of course, it truly is… but it makes me feel another sense of loss and missing.

T

And lastly, T.

I am very aware at the moment that I have such a strong desire to stay away from T.  I am very glad that there is no therapy tonight and I am still very glad that I didn’t go to my session last week either.  I don’t feel in touch with any real sadness of not feeling a happy and warm connection with her although I guess it must be in me somewhere.  I just feel a real need to stay the hell away from her. That stupid message hurt so much and I feel so childish and immature and pathetic for feeling that way. It’s based entirely on jealousy and insecurity isn’t it, I can see that… and I can see that I am doing the whole black and white splitting thing again which isn’t healthy or very adult and I don’t WANT to feel how I do.. but .. I do.

I feel silly for writing this but it’s like it has ruined everything. It feels it has taken away something so big. It has changed how I see her entirely.  The fantasy has been ruined and what is left is the truth that T feels differently about me than she does about that other person.  That other person whose name I will never forget. Why do I have to feel so extreme about this? I can see it shouldn’t make me feel this way. It shouldn’t change anything and yet it does. It has.

It sounds ludicrous I know, but all I want to do is run away and never have to see her again. I don’t want to talk to her about this. 1 because – well, CRINGE and 2 because – what is the point??? She can’t say anything that will make this feel any better for me. Perhaps she will empathise and say she can imagine how painful it is and that makes it worse. I don’t want her pity.

The other thing about that bloody text is that the therapisty bit in there was so generic. It is the same words and phrases that she uses with me. Of course it is! But seeing it for yourself in black and white makes you feel so… so insignificant and so…. just so nothing.

I can see that the facts haven’t changed. That she has been sending other people messages like that for the entire time I have known her, I just didn’t know.  I can see that it doesn’t change the fact that we have done lots of good work together and that I have benefited hugely from our sessions but I can’t get the reality and the mature outlook to tally up right now. All I am left with is this feeling that everything has changed and will never be the same. Some kind of disappointment and sadness.  Much like I am left feeling right now about my mother and my Dad.

I’m sorry to anyone that has read this far that this is such a negative and bleak blog for Christmas, for Boxing Day. I just needed to write this out and try to get it off of my mind a bit.  In a few hours the children will be back with us and I have to get myself back into adult me.. until then I plan to snuggle under my new super soft blanket and hide away from the world.

Twink x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advice Re Xmas Card

Thoughts on the Christmas card.

I am worried that as the card she sent was only addressed to myself and my fiancé, that the kids’ cards and presents are going to arrive soon. I’ve been worried about this for the last 2 months. I still think the kids’ presents will be hand-delivered by her husband.  I really do and the thought of that makes me incredibly anxious.

My fiancé suggested last night that I send my mum a message asking her not to send anything further (i.e. the kids’ presents), I really, really didn’t want to contact her and so the thought of the exchange made me panic. I started to plan what I could say and thought about sending a message which said something along the lines of “I have received your card tonight and I received your Whatsapp a few weeks ago. Whilst I appreciate that they are probably meant well, our issues are not resolved and so it’s just awkward. Until the day comes that our issues are properly resolved, I would appreciate it if you would not send anything further”.

Now just the thought of sending that makes me feel anxious… setting such a firm boundary makes me nervous but also, it is inviting communication back and that is something I REALLY want to avoid. Now more than ever. What I worry about is that she will reply to say that it is ME that is preventing the issues from being resolved and that SHE is trying… that will just infuriate me because her version of “trying” is just brushing things under the carpet and moving on like nothing has happened. As she said 2 months ago, “I do not need to keep going over the past and neither should you”.

I would get angry and defensive and end up replying to tell her that until she can self-reflect and have an honest look at the things I’ve complained about – we won’t ever “resolve” anything – and then I’ll upset her (and myself) and it starts the whole thing off from scratch again – this time right on top of Xmas.

And so really what is the point?

I just don’t want to start getting into all that… I don’t feel like I have the mental energy at the moment. My fiancé said just because I send that message doesn’t mean I need to enter into anything, that, in fact, I could block her number or ignore her response….. but I need to be honest with myself that I won’t be able to do that. I am not “there” yet, clearly and so I guess the truth is that I am hiding. Running away and avoiding having to actually deal with anything.

I also can’t help but feel that if I contact her, in any way, that her attempt at getting me to engage with her has worked. That the no contact would be interrupted.. I know it’s not a game and that I probably shouldn’t think of it that way, but… I don’t want to be sucked into it.

Back to the kids’ presents. The very worst case scenario that I’ve come up with so far is that she/stepdad rings the doorbell on Xmas eve when I have a house full of in-laws and kids, having a lovely fake Xmas day and it is them (or one of them) coming to deliver presents because how awkward would that be? I would have to be nice to them otherwise I would look terrible and also cause an atmosphere and upset the kids and I obviously don’t want that. So how would I handle that?  My fiancé has suggested that we make sure that either he or my father-in-law open the door should it ring, and not myself or the kids and that perhaps they can just take the gifts from them and not have to be involved in anything – shut the door and we carry on as normal…. OR we remove the battery from the bell .. but that is less realistic because there is a door-knocker LOL.  I panic when imagining these scenarios, what happens if someone opens the door and the kids run to the door and the end up being invited inside….. I will  be FORCED into exchanging pleasantries with them, offering them a drink?

So I am living in denial right now and wishing that none of this happens whilst I bury my head in the sand.

Any advice?