Yesterday’s volcano 

It’s Sunday morning. The kids are playing on the Xbox, my boyfriend is in the shower and I’m just sitting on the sofa writing this before getting showered myself. 

Last night my boyfriend’s parents came over and we all watched the Eurovision Song Contest together with boyfriend’s kids. It was a nice family atmosphere which is usually something I love and something I always craved but yesterday I was in a bad place and I didn’t feel emotionally “there” really. Today we are all going bowling together and I feel a little bit the same. Kinda like I would prefer to hibernate but I can’t. 

I ended up emailing T yesterday because I felt really bad. I don’t like to email her between sessions because it feels too much, like I am invading her weekend and like I should be able to cope for a few days. I fought against those feelings and sent this: 

“I’m having a really tough day. I feel very angry and stroppy and yet I’ve cried so much that my heart and head both physically hurt. I don’t have any particular thought or conscious reason for this, in fact I told [boyfriend] this morning that it was because he doesn’t show me he loves me and that he isn’t committed to me and that I feel I’m just convenient to him… I know deep down that stuff isn’t true and yet it all came flying out. I know I’m trying to push him away, I even told him I didn’t want a cuddle when he asked for one which clearly I do. As soon as I said that, I burst into tears with guilt. 

I have the kids and [boyfriend’s] parents coming over this evening so I will have to put it all aside then, I think there’s an element of anger about the fact they are all such a close and happy family and that makes me feel very alone – even though I’m part of it … 

Anyway, I don’t know what I want or need…. I just felt I needed to and wanted to write to you”. 
She replied: 

It sounds like you are having a rotten day. I wonder if the feelings from all we talked about this week have found a way out now – now that you have a bit of space?

The feelings you told [boyfriend] about are all part of it – not being loved enough, no commitment and feeling like a convenience – they are all about what happened as a child and how you were treated. They are the very painful feelings you are in touch with today. It’s very important that you treat yourself gently and help the child part to stop pushing away in anger so she can be helped and steadied a bit by [boyfriend]. It’s good you could reach out to me so I can do that too.

Hang in there – we will talk some more on Tuesday. I hope, for now, that my words can help ground you a bit. I certainly am thinking of you”.  

Just as her reply arrived, I had snapped at my boyfriend again and told him I absolutely did not want a cuddle. He looked exasperated by this stage. I then burst into tears again and my heart physically hurt. Such a strange feeling. I then read T’s reply and felt instantly a little better, perhaps a combo of her email and the crying I was doing. 

I put on a DVD and fell asleep with my boyfriend on the sofa for a while. When I woke up, I decided to clean the house and there I was cleaning the shower when something fell off the windowsill onto my head. It made me jump and it hurt and I screamed in anger. I was furious. I carried on cleaning the bath and then…. the shower came on and absolutely soaked me!!! (Please feel free to laugh at this stage) the humour is not lost on me however I erupted with rage!! It pushed me over the edge & I shouted and screamed and swore and boyfriend came running up to me where he laughed at the state of me soaked from the shower, I burst into tears (again!!). 

I had so much anger in me it’s unreal, I’ve never felt anything like it. It was scary. I didn’t know what to do with it, it was leaking out all over the place and it made me feel very uncomfortable. 

I emailed T back and said: 

I imagine it is from that although not having any thoughts always makes that difficult. 

Thank you for your email, it did help immediately and I fell asleep. Drained from crying I think, but since then I’ve exploded twice over stupid things (including the shower coming on whilst I was cleaning the bath and totally soaking me) [boyfriend] found this rather amusing and the humour isn’t lost on me, but did seem to set off my rage again very nearly resulting in a smashed up bathroom!! I told [boyfriend] I feel like an unerupted volcano right now. 

Anyway, I have one hour until everyone arrives so must go and get the house sorted”. 

So, since then we had everyone over until gone midnight and now I’m getting ready for another day with everyone. I don’t feel the anger I did yesterday although wouldn’t be surprised if it’s simmering just under the surface. We shall see. 

I woke up to a text message from my narc mother saying she had put money in my bank account for my stepson’s birthday… this made me exhale deeply, it sounds ungrateful but it’s never “free money” with her. It is used to get something in return. I feel indebted and she will surely tell everyone how awful I am and how she’s doing all these nice things… I replied saying thank you but the amount was too much and I would return some. She said no, use the rest for yourselves… so I said okay, thank you. 

And that’s where we are. Have a nice Sunday everyone x 

Bursting my bubble

I went into my session yesterday feeling okay. I was feeling a bit annoyed that my excited-ness had worn off (thanks to T). T asked me how I was and I said I was “good”. She always smiles when I say this as if she doesn’t believe me. I think that’s because she’s very aware, as am I now, that I am a people-pleaser and I was taught that fine and good thanks were the only appropriate responses to that question.

When she smiles at me like that I always try to elaborate and so I said “well, I’m not as excited as I was on Tuesday”. She seemed to know this and said “ah, it feels as though the bubble has been burst a bit?” I said yes it did.  She asked me how that felt and if it was her that had done that. I said yes, she had brought me back to earth and it was crap. She smiles and said “what a bitch I am” in a playful way and I laughed and said “yeah, you’re so out of order”.

T then asked seriously, did it feel I was right or wrong? I said she was right but that was annoying.

I told T that several times I’ve had an exciting “revelation” and it feels she ruins it. (This all said playfully although honestly).

I said it hadn’t felt I was intellectualising but that it was clear I was. T said there was nothing wrong with that and that sometimes it helps us to be able to cognitively understand. I agreed.

T said she had noticed that it seems when I’ve had enough of the feelings – when perhaps they’ve become too much, that’s when I will read.  This intrigued me as it wasn’t something I had noticed about myself. T said that it’s like I need to give myself a break and so I switch off the feelings part and read and deal with things cognitively/intellectually. I found this quite enlightening. Also, I do like it when T out rightly tells me something like that, it’s nice to have some feedback and to know what she thinks about me/what she observes from the other couch.

She asked how I was feeling now about it all (i.e. about my mother). I said it was making me feel sick. T asked in what way and I said it was making me feel physically sick. T asked what exactly was bringing that feeling on and I said the realisation of the fact I was completely brainwashed. That I had never known (obviously) and that it was all so disgusting. T understood and said it was extremely sick. I said “it’s wrank” – which is odd koz it’s not a word I ever use lol!

T asked if I was feeling sad and I said no. I wasn’t crying at all. I said I just felt angry. T repeated “you are in touch with your anger” and I said yes I definitely was. This is a good step for me because anger hasn’t been something I’ve felt much in therapy.

I said that I was re-reading a book called “you’re not crazy, it’s your mother!” And that I had read it when T had first explained narcissism to me but this time it was even more amazing. I said there were just so many examples of things my mother did/does it was really quite shocking. T agreed it was shocking.

I told T what I had written about yesterday and repeated what I have written there.  T told me that it isn’t surprising and that actually, it was quite clever because I had to use the tools that I had.  T said that some daughters of narc mothers report memories of their mothers being really kind to them when they were poorly and so would regularly get “sick”.  I said that my mother was awful when I was unwell. She already knew this but for background, my mother used to make me clean up my own sick as a child whilst I was still being sick because she “couldn’t handle sick or blood”. A few years later she trained to be a health care assistant and has worked in the hospital for the last 12 years where she has to clean patients, bag up dead bodies and all sorts.  So just my sick and blood it seems.

I told T that I had text my younger sister to tell her about the book and said I had screen-shotted a section on scapegoats and the golden child because it summed up the dynamic of me and my sister growing up and I hoped it would help her. I’ve realised that in my teen years at some point o started to try to identify with her for her approval and at the time I was “promoted” into golden child position. This therefore meant that from my sister’s point of view, I was the lucky one and that she felt left out.

I wanted my sister to realise that me and mother were not “close” I was just enmeshed with her. Anyway, it fell on deaf ears unfortunately and she told me that going over the past wouldn’t help her and that she is “sure mum will upset me one day too but…” and I realised I was fighting a battle I would not win and so just accepted that we needed different things. It’s a shame.

T told me that at least I had planted the seed and that she would come round in her own time. She said I am further on than she is but said it is hard for her because she is living with my mother every day and I am not. I agreed. T said how hard it is when you can see it and you are seeing your family being sucked in.  I agreed. I said that since I had distanced myself from my mother, my sister was now “golden child” and so she would be enjoying that not understanding it all. I said to T that as soon as I received her reply I worried what she would do with this information.. keen to keep her golden child status what if she told my mum about the book or something? T said it didn’t matter really but obviously the thought filled me with terror.

We spoke again about the fear my mother provokes in me – I said that my boyfriend had told me to really think about what I was so scared of and that I really wasn’t sure. T said that it was a trigger back to childhood and the fact that she genuinely was very scary.  I said she was.  T said I have absolutely no doubt that your mother was an extremely frightening woman.  I said she was but that I keep telling myself I am an adult now, she can’t do anything but T said it isn’t as easy as that, the fear is deep set.  I agreed.  I liked this because it made me feel less pathetic for being an adult who was scared of upsetting her mother.

(conversation changed for a while onto my boyfriend’s mediation with his ex-wife although I was keen not to let this take up too much of my session. T said something nice though, she said “I have really noticed a big change in you and how you deal with [ex-wife’s name].  She said that I was much more able to see her as a separate person to myself and my boyfriend and not feel so threatened by her and their past.  That was lovely to hear because I feel the difference too, it used to be all-consuming).

We spoke about my mother again and I shocked myself at what came out of my mouth. I said that I knew this was a horrible thing to say, but… sometimes I think it would be easier if she were dead. I said that I know that is an awful thing to say, and I wasn’t for a second wishing she would die, but that it would mean I didn’t have to live with the constant fear, the guilt, the worrying about being ostracized from my family and everything else. I wouldn’t have to have the internal fight of being too “on guard and aggressive” when I see her, or run the risk of being sucked back in.  Lucky T seemed to know what I meant and didn’t look at all shocked or offended. She said that there are many, many daughters of narcissistic mothers who would think/feel the same thing.  She said she understood what I meant and that it would enable me to get on and heal without things constantly getting in the way.

I told T that what I am struggling with is how to be around her now. I said that I can’t help myself, I feel feisty. I am on guard, I like to try to catch her out on her inaccuracies.  I like to call her out on her shit and that I know I shouldn’t but I can’t help it! T said it’s because I am so angry with her. I agreed.  I said that at the moment she is not “liking” anything I put on Facebook when it has anything to do with my boyfriend or his family and that it was making me laugh and was becoming a bit of a game.. I said I know, I know, not healthy.  T said the best way to be around her was to act “benign” to not react. She said that was the best place to be in. I said that was difficult! T understood. I said that my book suggested letting the whole conversation be about the mother because they love that and it gets you off the hook too, I said I can’t, it feels so wrong to do that and T said I didn’t have to do anything that made me feel uncomfortable.  T said that she understands the temptation but it’s what follows that is the problem. The rage that I will get in return, she said it is not worth it.

I told T some of the awkward/inappropriate conversations that were had on Saturday. I will put some here for your amusement.

  1. I told T that on Saturday evening my sister told my mother that she didn’t like it when she came downstairs in the morning when her boyfriend stayed (my sister’s boyfriend that is) without a bra on. My mother likes to come down wearing a strappy pj top and no bra.. she has her nipples pierced.. its pretty cringe because her nipples are VERY prominent and obviously my boyfriend and my sister’s boyfriend both find this very uncomfortable. They don’t know where to look! My mother said it was her house and she could do what she wanted and that it was their problem if they didn’t like it and that they should grow up. My sister tried to get me to back her up and I just said that personally I make sure I put on a bra when I am around my step kids. My mother would not accept there was anything wrong with what she did. Anyway, it was a very inappropriate and awkward conversation that is probably pretty amusing to read about!
  2. My mother’s friend said she hated wearing a thong. My mother said she had only worn a thong once and that she went to the toilet and forgot she was wearing it and so wee’d all over it and had to throw it away…… gross. Not exactly normal conversation for my boyfriend and my sister’s boyfriend to have to listen to!

*******[THIS SECTION CONTAINS SOME SEXUAL REFERENCES]*******

Me and T said how there was such a lack of boundaries. T said that my mother tried to sexualise me at a very young age. This is something we have spoken about a few times before. I said that when I was about 16, I used to go to clubs with her and she would try to set me up with men who were her age.  T asked if anything happened with these men and I said no, luckily. I used to get scared and disappear off or hide in the toilets until they lost interest.  T said she couldn’t tell where she ended and I began.  We discussed how my mother liked me/my sister to know she was having sex. She used to always leave her door wide open so we would have to see and she was VERY loud about it, like really OTT loud (think porn video)… she was once having sex on the stairs and when I came home and shouted at her, she told me it was her house and I should move out if I didn’t like it.  All things normal parents just do not do.  I said that it reminded me of NYE one year, about 5/6 years ago now where I told her that her loud, open door’ed sex was upsetting me and she went ballistic and we rowed and told me at least she was desired and again, if I didn’t like it I could move out.  We didn’t speak for about 2 weeks after this argument and I lived with her so that was awkward.  T said that she should have felt extremely embarrassed but she didn’t and T said she was a bit of a voyeur. I said I can only think that she likes us to know how fancied she is because I can’t think of any other reason for it?

****** [SEXUAL REFERENCES END] *********

I said to T that I could be wrong, but I am pretty intuitive when it comes to my mother, that I think she is trying to “teach me a lesson” the moment. I get the feeling that she is using a bit of reverse psychology by not asking to see me, not liking my statuses, not contacting me etc in the hope that I will “realise what I am missing” or something. I said obviously I could be way off, but I would not be at all surprised. T said I could easily be right.

I said that she has gone through most of the stages set out in my book such as the victim thing (my daughter doesn’t want to see me) playing the victim, she’s tried to split us up by causing that big argument that time, using hoovering by sucking me in (briefly this worked), she is now doing the whole smear campaign thing of telling everyone that my boyfriend is controlling and manipulative.. so I wouldn’t be surprised. T warned me that she may well be about to “up the anti” and that I should be very careful.  She said that some narcissists even attempt suicide as a way to guilt their daughters back in! I said this isn’t something my mother would do, but I will be careful.

 

Inner-strength

It’s Monday morning, about 11am as I start to write and I’m at work reflecting on the weekend. I am feeling quite good really. I still have this new feeling of strength. It is quite hard to explain but it’s like I have this new lease of life, a new inner strength and feeling that I will survive and I will grow and that I will not be defeated.  It isn’t a feeling I’ve ever had before but I like it.

I have therapy tomorrow night and I am looking forward to going and sharing this with my T. I nearly emailed her at the weekend to let her know how I was feeling. I thought to myself that she might like to know that I was feeling determined and not in a bad way, then I questioned whether it was really for her, or for myself. Perhaps I just wanted to share my feelings with someone and who better than T? But I didn’t… I talked myself out of it because it felt a bit self-obsessed to think that T would benefit from me telling her before my next session.

I feel like for the first time in my life I really believe that my parents’ shortcomings weren’t about me. Such a simple statement to write, yet such a huge piece of knowledge to feel.

It still feels as though me saying out loud at my last session that neither of them can deal with my feelings somehow slotted together loads of pieces of a puzzle and I finally saw the full picture.

I’ve been reading a book over the weekend called “Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents” and it is very enlightening. I wish I could read the entire thing in one go because I am kinda obsessed at the moment and keen to understand as much as I can – I always get like this with new feelings/knowledge.

Anyway, over the weekend I saw both parents.

I went to the party (the one I only got invited to on Tuesday evening via my uncle). I obviously saw my dad and his entire side of the family. I was nervous on the way there and felt quite sick about it. I had promised myself that I was going there as a strong, independent woman and not a child that was fighting for her daddy’s love. I wanted to go there with my head held high, I wanted to prove to them as much as myself that I don’t need to be the victim, I don’t need to get drunk and cry, I don’t need to try and get through to him and I did exactly that. It felt as though I had gone with fresh eyes. I saw my dad, watched how he interacted with me, with others.  I noticed quite how awkward he is around me. I really saw and felt the emotional disconnect but for some reason, it didn’t hurt. It is sad for sure, but I just saw the situation for what it is.  For whatever reason he can’t emotionally connect with me.  I watched everyone going into a photo booth for pictures and a few hours into the evening asked my Dad if he fancied having a photo with me, he said yes (I imagine he didn’t feel he could say no but whatevs), we both put on silly props and pulled silly faces for the pictures.  I have kept the print out and it’s a nice memory.  In the past I wouldn’t have asked my Dad to go and have a photo with me, I would have watched him in there with my brothers and felt left out and jealous, but the new me decided if I want something from him, I am going to have to ask because he just isn’t capable of thinking about these things.

Towards the end of the night the subject came up of my future wedding (reason being that my separated aunty and uncle were both at the party and my dad was saying how awkward that must have been). I told my Dad that me and my boyfriend probably wouldn’t have a huge wedding day and had been discussing having a small registry office ceremony with closest family only and then a party in a hall. I told him that way we avoided awkward table plans, meals, speeches etc etc.  I said he could avoid my mum and stand at the other side of the hall if he wanted to! He said that he worried about my wedding day because of my mother. I said my mother was two-faced and would be nice to him on the day so he didn’t need to worry about her.  He said that he did worry because if anyone kicked off, it wouldn’t be him, it would  be her. I told him he didn’t need to worry about that.  He said that he knew she wouldn’t want him there and he worried about what that would mean for me.  I said if he didn’t feel comfortable walking me down the aisle or giving a speech then he didn’t need to. I told him if he didn’t even want to come then he didn’t have to, I wouldn’t force him.  He said that he would walk me down the aisle if I wanted him to (well, durr?) but that he did not want to do a speech. He said he hates speeches.  I felt disappointed but told him that was fine.

Clearly most father’s would want to do a speech at their only daughter’s wedding day, but you know what? What would he say anyway? So it’s a shame but not a surprise. It seemed quite symbolic to me really. I kept my strength and my smile and we all shortly left the party at the same time. I text him after to say that I had enjoyed seeing him and that I loved him.  He said the same thing back. I have thought since that perhaps I shouldn’t have text to say I love him but it’s done now and I’m not trying to be punishing so ….

On the way home I dropped in to my mother’s because she is the only parent I know in the world that is always up drinking with friends at gone midnight on any given weekend. She was there with her husband, a friend and my sister and her boyfriend.  We stayed about 2 hours I think.  It was okay, there wasn’t any drama it feels a bit like groundhog day when I’m there – all the nights there are the same. Alcohol fuelled surface level chat.  I only went there to shut her up.

I felt very on my guard which I often do, but more so because of the things she’s been saying about my boyfriend. I secretly willed her to say something to me so I could defend him/us but I knew she wouldn’t because she wouldn’t dare say anything in front of him. She did her usual fake niceness to him and that made me angry. So fickle and fake. Then we left and went home (we usually stay but didn’t because of everything that’s been said behind our backs).

She seemed angry with me, I just got that vibe from her and since then I put a status on facebook last night about how it was mine and my boyfriend’s 3rd year anniversary and it’s got a lot of “likes” from friends and family – but not from her which has amused me.  It’s a very different tactic from her because as I say, she is usually so fake and puts on the display that everything in her life is hunky dory so I am surprised by this yet I actually prefer it.

I’ve thought since that I wish she would just stop being so passive aggressive and backstabbing and just confront me. How hard would it be for her to say to me that she misses me and that she feels it is down to my boyfriend? At least I would have the chance to tell her she is wrong. Even if understand now that she doesn’t really miss ME, she just misses the enmeshment of having the previously very dependent and emotionally weak me “need” her. I don’t need her anymore and it’s killing her.  I would like to say I feel sad about that but at the moment I don’t. It is her own doing.

I am unsure why I feel so much more anger and aggression towards my mother than I do my father – they are both shit in different ways and both have made me feel very lonely and unlovable growing up… might need to think on that.

My boyfriend seemed very quiet and unhappy yesterday morning. I asked what was up a few times but he said nothing was wrong (it clearly was). I left him a while then went to give him a cuddle and tried to speak to him again but he maintained that nothing was wrong so I told him to stop being passive aggressive then – either tell me what’s wrong or stop being stroppy.  Eventually he opened up and said that he just struggled being at my mother’s the previous night. He said he feels very “trapped” there and obviously it is hard for him to go there knowing she’s been slagging him off.  Equally I guess he wants to go there with me because he wants to protect me and he knows that if I go alone, she will attack me.  I told him I totally understood.  He said it’s just such a horrible place to be. He said the conversations are “f*cked” up and that she is just awful. I agreed.  He said that it was so hard for him because I seemed “to be having a great time!”.  He said that I was laughing and drinking and he couldn’t understand it.  I told him that is only because I was just going through the motions. I knew we wouldn’t be there long so I just nodded along with whatever tripe she was talking.  I said that at the end of the day, she is never going to change – there is nothing I/we can do about it, it is just the way she is and so I guess I just know what to expect. I don’t have any expectations or hopes for her at the moment, I feel so little towards her, even the guilt has melted away and so I guess I just took it on the chin more than I used to.  He said he guessed so. He said he felt as though he had a “emotional hangover” from having to go there. I understood that.  I feel bad for him, it is asking a lot to take him there knowing what she is saying about him.  I did say to him that if he finds it really tough, perhaps he should confront her himself? He didn’t really answer that. I don’t know how to make this better for him really…

So it all went okay. I am glad I got through it feeling the way I do. I hope this feeling lasts. It feels so much better than the previous feeling I’ve had of being downtrodden, depressed and hurt.   I’ve felt like that for long enough now. I never even thought this feeling would be possible, it hadn’t even crossed my mind previously to try something new.

I know that it is sounds aggressive, but I feel like this is my chance to “win” to take some control back. I want to recover and heal and I want to feel my true feelings. The anger, the hate, the pain all of it and then I want to be released from the old feelings. They’ve taken all of that away from me for long enough.   The pair of them are nothing but emotionally crippled fucktards.  Thank god I went into therapy

Ooh ps, read this link: it is very helpful if you have emotionally immature parents like me  –

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/new-harbinger-publications-inc/parents-who-drive-you-cra_b_7511242.html

 

 

The Victim Is Dead.

The victim is dead.

Here lies the body of victim Twinkletoes – she died feeling sorry for herself for her lack of decent parents, for the all-consuming feeling of being constantly rejected by the people that “should” love her but constantly demonstrated that they did not. She died never feeling like she was deserving of love. She died feeling unlovable. She died having only half-lived her life.

The survivor is born.

Let me introduce to you the newly born survivor Twinkletoes. She is born with an understanding of her own self-worth, with self-respect and with the understanding that other peoples’ perception of her, is not her truth.  Newly born survivor Twinkletoes does not think about the things that happen in life as unfair, does not think that the world owes her anything and does not feel small, powerless or defenceless.  Survivor Twinkletoes is not a child, but a powerful, independent, strong woman.

 

 

Now that the introductions are over, normal service shall commence.

Hi guys. I haven’t gone mad I promise, although something has happened. Since my last blog yesterday which sounded very strong-willed, I went back downhill slightly and started to feel a bit of a victim again. I went off to my session feeling rather pleased to be having a session. I think looking back I was hoping to go in and have T tell me what to do, what to say and what I needed to do to make things better but obviously that didn’t happen.

I ranted, vented, moaned whatever you want to call it, I exhausted myself. T sat with me. She “heard” me, she understood and she validated but she didn’t tell me what to do to magically fix it which was a shame really… however we were (or rather I was) chatting away about it all and I said that it felt as though my mother and my father were both standing behind glass.  I can see them but I can’t “get to them” and T said “and they probably can’t hear you either if they are behind glass” and I agreed.  I said to T that when I was a child and visited my Dad for the day, he would always ask me at some point in the afternoon (awkwardly) what time I wanted to go home.  I never knew the answer to this and it always made me feel very uncomfortable. I told T that I never knew the “right” answer so I would always say very timidly that I didn’t mind, it was up to him.. whenever.  He used to get a bit annoyed because he clearly wanted me to decide but I was a child.  Sometimes he would say things like “well do you want to stay for dinner or not?” and I wouldn’t know whether he wanted me to say yes or whether saying yes was putting him out and so I would say the same thing, I don’t mind – it’s up to you”.  I gave a few examples of these silly scenarios and T said that even when I was a child he put it all on me to decide.  He couldn’t ever be the adult, the father and just make a decision and tell me what we were doing.  I said that was true and that also I was always so worried about saying or doing the wrong thing and pushing him away that I was always playing the good girl.  I said to T:

“Neither of them can handle my feelings. Neither of them can validate how I feel.  Neither can take themselves out of the picture for even a moment and try to see where I am coming from.  Neither of them can apologise when they are wrong or have hurt me, intentionally or not”.

T nodded her head and smiled at me as if to say “Finally you understand”… it was as though I had finally understood something that she had known all along. It’s one of them moments in therapy where you say something out loud that you just know is very significant and something that you thought you “knew” but only intellectually knew – and now you really knew it like on some deep level.

T then said that no, they couldn’t handle my feelings and that they couldn’t handle their own either. My dad buries his head in the sand and hopes it will all go away and my mother projects her stuff onto other people and is obviously so narcissistic that her grandiose sense of self doesn’t enable her to even consider she might be in the wrong.

I suddenly realised this was true and I suddenly understood the impact this has had on me, on my life so far. I think about them, their feelings and their responses before my own. I am too scared to be honest, I am too scared to say how I feel – I don’t even KNOW how I feel because I lost touch with my feelings a long time ago – if I ever learnt how to feel them in the first place?!

And then I thought “I’ve tried to be a good girl for 29 years now and it hasn’t worked – I am still chasing their love and approval and I haven’t got it so fu*k them! No more”.

I left T’s and went home where I did some housework and watched a few episodes of a series I like, a few hours later as I was hanging up some washing I thought to myself “ooh I haven’t thought about this for all that time, ha!” I was surprised because until this point, this stuff has been consuming me constantly. Not even seconds went by without me thinking about it all. I thought to myself that this was a good sign but wasn’t sure how it had happened. I thought it must just be the power of T.

But today I think I understand that it is actually the power of that realisation. It’s the effect of finally really “getting” something. Understanding something, being validated – heard and seen and, dare I say it… maybe even that belief that it really isn’t my fault. Like, really, it really, honestly, truly and genuinely isn’t (something I’ve heard a gazillion times before and rolled my eyes at because I thought it was just a pleasantry. You know, something you say to cheer someone up or whatever).

I then spent some time Googling (the font of all knowledge!) about “victim mentality” and “how to stop playing the victim” because I decided that I am fed up of feeling weak and powerless and childish. Yes I am hurt, yes I am angry – very at the moment, but I refuse to spend the rest of my life only half living.  What a waste that would be.

Here is what I learnt so far:

  • People like to feel like the victim because it basically brands them “the goody” and the other person “the baddy”. So I guess you get some sort of approval from that – in my case, approval is clearly something I want so it’s better than nothing right?
  • If you are a victim, its safe. You don’t need to risk anything or do anything – you can just sit around in your familiar “victim” status.
  • You don’t have to take responsibility because life is happening TO you;
  • Many people think they are entitled to good treatment. The truth is that they are neither entitled nor not entitled to it. The significant issues are what is going on and how do they feel about it. This woman would have been better off actively facing the facts of the situation and acknowledging her emotional reactions rather than personally judging it and feeling victimized by it”; and

 

  • Maintaining a child victim role leads to chronic passivity. Victimized feelings are very often appropriate to the child’s situation. Children are without power, are helpless and are at the mercy of their parents. Later as an adult, things happen that are sometimes beyond your control and understanding. However, the adult who is still playing the child victim role responds like the deer that sees a mountain lion approaching and instead of fleeing the danger becomes paralyzed. This person just keeps noticing over and over that the situation is unreasonable, unfair or threatening but doesn’t make the appropriate adaptive responses. In the case of the woman mentioned above, the tip off to the fact that she really preferred the child victim role was that she never made any substantial attempt to change her circumstances. Like so many of us, she would rather feel justified in complaining endlessly about her unfortunate circumstances while passively registering her dissatisfaction than actively changing her situation”.

So, I have made the decision to go to this party tomorrow where my dad, stepmum and brothers will be. I will go there and be strong and adult. I will not get caught up in any conversations about unfairness or rejection or disappointment because I will not waste my pearls (T’s phrase). I am going to the party because I WANT to go to it, rightly or wrongly.  I know I will only feel more upset if I don’t go and so why bring that upon myself on purpose?

The plan currently is this: Change my thinking from victim, to survivor. Change my mentality from defenseless child, to in charge adult.  Try and accept that my father is unable to give me what I would like and try to just accept what he can offer and if I decide at some stage that isn’t enough – well then perhaps I will have to make the tough decision to stop being the one to keep the contact.. we will see.

I accept that I may slip in and out of this mindset. It may feel easy today and impossible next week but I will hang in there.

recover from victim

 

strong women

 

recover

 

Ah, Sweary McSwearison

So I had my session last night and a long-lost friend turned up with me – anger.  Well hello anger, it’s been a very long time! Where have you been hiding?

Further to my last post on Monday (see Pity Party), I had another disappointment last night and it happened just as I sat outside my T’s waiting for my appointment to start. I received an invitation from an uncle on my Dad’s side of the family inviting me to my cousin’s engagement party… this coming Saturday (as in like 3 days away).  I thought that seemed a bit odd so text one of my brothers to ask if he was going and he replied to say that they “all were”…. I felt so gutted it was like another punch to the stomach. Yet another event my Dad hadn’t mentioned to me, another thing to feel disappointment over and obviously it hasn’t come at a good time on top of the holiday business and the stuff my mum’s saying to my family etc.  I was already feeling let down and hurt and this just felt like yet another thing….. but in terms of timing, I guess it couldn’t have been much better because I walked straight into T’s room and for the very first time when she asked “how are you?” I said…

“Angry”.

I expected her to look shocked but she actually didn’t.  She just asked why.  I said there were a few things – well two, my dad and then my mum.

I told T all about the holiday thing and then the party thing and I then told her about the stuff my sister had told me my mum had been saying about me and my boyfriend. I shocked myself as at one stage I swore, in fact twice I think and I just don’t do that in front of T.

I told her that I didn’t want to play the poor me card too much but felt so angry that I got such a shit deal from both parents, surely one of them could be decent?! T told me that it isn’t a “poor me” and that I am perfectly entitled to feel hurt, anger, sadness and disappointment in these things and that it really is very unfair. She apologised at one point and said how sorry she was that I had to deal with this (I wasn’t really sure how to handle that because it isn’t her fault is it?) but the thought was nice.

We went through all the details, I cried a few times but I was crying whilst being very angry. I soon developed a banging headache which tends to happen when I am angry or stressed or upset in therapy.

T said she imagines I just want to get my Dad and shake him – I said I do. I said he is just so unobtainable. I said it doesn’t matter what I do, there is no getting through to him. I ignore him – he doesn’t seem to care.  I shout at him – he gets defensive and then I don’t hear from him for a long time (years).  I cry to him – he gets defensive… it just doesn’t seem to make any real difference.

I said to T that what pisses me off (I actually said this, so proud!) is that he is completely unaccountable for his actions. He just cannot have a conversation with me, admit some fault and apologise – never.  He just can’t do it and I get left with knowing this and having to hold it all in and then times like this it makes me feel like I’m going to explode with rage!

T said she understood and said how unfair and frustrating it was. I agreed it really was.

We then moved to my mother. I told her the things my sister told me about how she said my boyfriend is controlling and manipulative and how it is all his fault that I don’t see her etc… T laughed at this and said it was such a blatant projection. I agreed.

I said it is ridiculous, all these people in my family that all go on about how they never see me yet not one of the idiots EVER texts or phones me to see how I am – none of them EVER invite me to their house or out for lunch/dinner whatever yet I am always the bloody bad guy, how does that even work???? I said I am so fed up with it.

I said that its stupid. I am a grown woman with my own mind, I have my own car – if I wanted to go and see my mother, then I would!! I said that I told my sister this and said to her, can you blame me for not wanting to see mum? When I see her she always insults me, attacks me, upsets me, slags off my boyfriend or attacks him verbally like last time.  My sister had absolutely no idea what I was referring to when I said this. I said, the row when we were last there about the baby thing? She was totally oblivious.  This made me laugh because it told me that my mother clearly knew she was in the wrong because trust me, if she thought she was in the right, the whole world would have known about it!

I told my sister what had happened and she was shocked and said she wasn’t surprised.

My sister said that her and my mother had got into a huge argument and my mother had shouted “what is so bloody special about him??” (referring to my boyfriend).  Apparently my sister said to my mother that she pushes people away and then once they’ve gone, she guilt trips them for not being in her life. I completely agreed with this.

I told T that I am so angry about it all but at the same time I feel like I should be “over it”. I said I am not ten years old anymore yet I feel it sometimes. I said I shouldn’t still need mummy and daddy’s approval, it is stupid.  T said that I didn’t and haven’t dealt with or processed the feelings from when I was a young girl and so I need to deal with them now. She said to me, this pain you are in now as an adult, imagine how you felt as a child? It would have been just awful.  I said well I don’t understand it now so I wouldn’t have had a clue then.  T said well, you do understand bits of it, it is just painful. I said that I might understand elements, like for example the fact my mother is narcissistic and that she projects stuff and that she is manipulative and controlling etc… but I still don’t fully understand it, but I guess by the word understand I actually mean that I just cannot accept it… I’m not sure.

I told T that sometimes I want to line them all up – my mother, my father, my Nan, my sister and I want to just scream and scream at the all from the top of my voice!!! T said she bets that I want to kill them. I laughed.

T kept telling me that none of it is about me. I am not the reason or the cause for the way they act but I told her it is very hard to believe that because I am obviously the only common denominator.  T said she thinks my father is a very weak man who just buries his head in the sand and said this is probably why my mother was able to be with him all those years ago (30 years now).

I said it hurts that my dad just forgets about my existence and T said she doesn’t think he does, but gets it feels that way. I said it does feel that way because there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever to contradict that thought.  I don’t hear from him, he doesn’t maintain contact.  T said he really should make more effort and I said yes he should, but I don’t want to be a chore to him, I want him to want to see and speak to me like most people do with their children! Agghh.

T said that she can’t help but wonder whether my Dad just sees my mother when he looks at me.  That he can’t separate us and because my mother hurt him so much all those years ago, he can’t handle a relationship with me. She said she thinks his lack of effort and “forgetfulness” are quite passive really.

I said regarding this party Saturday that I am so pissed off about it that it makes me want to push him away and be sulky about it but that the only person that ever hurts is myself.  I have thought about this sentence since my session and surprised myself that I said this – this wasn’t something I thought through, I just said it… interesting thought.

I told T that another of the things that my sister said was that now that I’ve “rekindled” things with my dad I’m suddenly seeing him “all the time” and he hasn’t been there for my entire life so that has hurt her.  I mean it’s factually incorrect anyway, but what is the point?

Oh yeah and another thing was that my mother gave me some money in January when she bumped into me, boyfriend and stepkids. It is my sister’s view that if I “don’t like mum” then I shouldn’t be taking the money from her and I should be returning it.  I said why should I? I don’t ask her for money, if she decides to do this once every 6 months or so, then why shouldn’t I keep it?  T said if it made me feel better I should return it but I said it doesn’t.  Perhaps it should, but it doesn’t. I don’t care about it and I don’t care about doing “the right thing” or whatever.  She gives money because she can’t give love and so I will take it (I know this sounds very nasty but its almost a stubborn reaction on my part I guess).  T said the problem is that the money comes with a price – it isn’t a gift, it’s like she then expects something in return. I said tough shit.

T said that this stuff is huge. She said it is very painful and she said that I needed to be able to feel this stuff, to think things and not shut myself down for “feeling sorry for myself”.

T said it is all “very fucked up” and I agreed. It truly is.

T said that she can understand how some daughters of narcissists end up going completely no contact and I agreed. I said to her, if that ever happens for me it will be as a result of this guilt making because the guilt used to make me feel awful but now it is wearing thin and the guilt making is the cause of this anger I am feeling.

I am so fucking fed up of being everyone’s poxy scapegoat. I have had enough of it.  They can all go and fuck themselves.