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.

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Invalidation Hurts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who wouldn’t be????

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

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

Invalidation for me means:

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

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

Hopefully my own validation will be enough.

INVALIDATION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ambush and The Text

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

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

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

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

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

ANGER.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh God.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Advice Please: Do I send the letter? (Edited comment at end of blog)

This Goodbye Mother letter is playing heavily on my mind.

I really think I want to send it. It is the only one I’ve ever wanted to send. The others helped just to write them but I always chickened out of sending them because I wasn’t yet ready for the consequences of her never speaking to me again.  Now it is different because I have finally accepted the truth and now I do not want to speak to her.

People on a forum I’m on (Out Of The Fog) have wisely advised me that sending the letter isn’t always a great idea.  Some people have suggested that it could be used against me, showed to people, put on social media and used as part of a fresh smear campaign.  Some people suggested I was wasting my energy sending it and some said it was good to write it but not to actually send it – that it was a wasted attempt at getting an answer or apology.

But here’s the thing

I seriously DON’T want a response.  I do not want a reply. I do not want a letter back or for her to phone me and ask for us to meet and talk.  I am done.

My reasons for sending it are as follows:

  1.  It feels like closure.  I am setting out MY side, uninterrupted and uncensored.  It is the total truth and I am telling MY story not fearing the consequences.
  2. Something about it feels like I am owning my power.  I don’t mean that in a narcissistic way but it feels like sending it empowers me more. Somehow it makes me feel less like a scared little girl and more like an empowered and strong woman owning her story.
  3. It prevents me feeling like I owe any further explanations for my no contact.  There cannot be any words of how she doesn’t know what she has done.
  4. I get the chance to respond to her lies – that I have lost my mind, gone crazy, been brainwashed, am obsessed with my therapist.
  5. I get the chance to say “no more”.
  6. I get the chance to tell her she is NOT invited to our wedding.
  7. I get the chance to give the money back – AND document it.

BUT… what I want to know is, what do you guys think? Do can you see the reasons I want to send it? Do you think it is a bad idea?

The only thing I am sure of is that the letter genuinely isn’t hoping for a nice, empathetic response. I am not expecting any of it to get through to her. It isn’t meant as punishment either.  I do get that I can know and own my truth and my story without sending it.. but I don’t want to feel any guilt that perhaps she doesn’t know how I feel fully or perhaps she will contact me soon or right before my wedding.. it kinda makes me feel like I get to end the whole situation in some way.

Comments?

[EDIT] – Thank you to everyone who has commented. I have read them all but am too tired to respond directly right now. I am going to bed now and will sleep on it but thank you all. I may not have wanted “don’t send it” to be the response but I am sure you are all thinking of me and so I need to listen to you all – as shit as that it.  Thank you x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Safe enough to “act out”

I’ve been thinking of my phone session with T ever since we got off the phone yesterday. I’m pretty sure I was processing it overnight and it was the second thing on my mind when I woke up this morning (second only to the fact we have to find a new house to live in!).

One of the things that I remembered since writing last night was T saying that it was actually a sign of feeling safe that I was able to cancel my session the other week.

Don’t get me wrong, she very quickly tried to encourage me to always go to my sessions no matter how hard it was or how angry or upset I was feeling, in fact she said “even if you have to get here crawling on your hands and knees!!” So I just want to make it clear that she wasn’t rewarding me for it so to speak.

She said that I must have felt some sense of safety that I could be angry and cancel a session knowing it could, possibly, hopefully be repaired and made to feel better again… eventually.

She asked me whether I was scared she would retaliate or attack back or punish me for my anger and I told her that actually, I had been able to hold on to the fact that in the past she has never done that and that I did know she would allow me to have and tell her my feelings without embarrassing me. I did manage to hold that fact (this is progress, right?).

I’ve thought about this a few times since and it may sound a bit weird but I think it does show a sense of safety doesn’t it?

I used to always strive to be TWBTC (the worlds best therapy client) and obviously perfect therapy clients do not cancel sessions and do not experience any anger towards their T’s do they? Yet alone TELL them about it! So yes, I do think it shows some kind of ability to hold on that all will not be lost, all will not be ruined and destroyed forever.

This made me think about what would happen with my birth mother (note the negative tone). I genuinely don’t remember a single time that I’ve sat my mother down, told her that she has upset me or annoyed me somehow and had her say she understands how I feel and apologise OR say she understands how I feel even if she has her reasons. Isn’t that saying something? I have NEVER had that experience with her. Not once.

What I have had is her belittle me, tell me I am pathetic and childish or need to grow up or attack me back with things I have done that upset or hurt her somehow. She had often told me how ungrateful I am and remind me of “all the things she’s done for me” but the difference in the two experiences is huge.

T reminded me yesterday that my mother’s inability to show me love and affection and the fact I didn’t FEEL loved, was about her and not me. She said quite strongly that I AM loveable, that it was her issue and not mine. She also said that mothers who absolutely smother their babies and are draped all over them is about their needs (the mother’s) and not the baby’s. She said it’s similar in therapy, the baby shows it’s mother what it needs and so does the client. There is no need for a mother or for a therapist to smother. It doesn’t allow the baby/client to breathe and think for itself.

Anyway, the point of this blog was meant to be that although not advisable or encouraged, it may well be progress that I’ve been able to get angry and “act out” probably safe in the knowledge somewhere deep down that she will still be there.

Apologies, enmeshment & estrangement

I’ve been very busy at work today so I haven’t thought much about everything with my mum which is a welcomed break. I saw T last night and then dreamt about her, which was a pleasant change from the awful anxiety-inducing dreams I have been having most nights, although my mum was still in the dream a little bit.

In it, T had given me her gold watch to borrow and I was very touched that she trusted me with it. I wore it around my neck (don’t ask how that is possible) to make sure I didn’t lose it. We then sat at her computer inside her actual house and were mucking around doing something, we took a selfie and T laughed really hard and loud. Her children were in the house but not with us. We went 15 minutes over our session time and I was very happy with that.

Later in the dream I was at a party and there were lots of people my age there who I did not recognise, they were all friends with my mother. I was later speaking in a kitchen with my sister and my mother walked past and I debated ducking down and hiding at the side of the fridge so that she didn’t see me, but then decided I would look pathetic if she saw me hiding and so I stood firm (but was really hoping she didn’t come in the room or see me.

In my real session last night, I gave T her Christmas card and gift. I wrote in her card that I wished her a very happy Christmas and NY and said that ‘thank you’ would never seem enough. I also wrote a short note about what rose quartz symbolised and how it felt really relevant to give to her. I guess that the dream of her lending me her gold watch is related to that somehow. Perhaps I would like her to give me something (not necessarily buy, but give) so that I could feel connected to her. I guess that must be what it is about although I do already have Frank. As for the bit with my mother, that isn’t hard to work out because my mother is always befriending people my age and getting new friends which used to make me very jealous – why could she enjoy their company so much but not mine?

I have been reading a lot about enmeshment the last few days. I have gained a deeper understanding of how enmeshed my relationship with my mother was. Despite 3 years with T and reading all the books on narcissism that touch on enmeshment, I truly did think me and my mother ‘used to be close’… it sounds ridiculous to write now, but it was only really yesterday that I *really* understood we were never close. Never. We were truly enmeshed. I read an article which summed that up so well, it said things like ‘If you think you and your mother are best friends, if you tell her absolutely everything, if you run every decision by her, if you two share clothing, if you only feel okay about a decision if you know she would approve of it‘…etc etc and I was like *lightbulb moment*. Another step in the recovery.

It made me think, she thinks we used to be close and then I met my fiancé who took me away from her (and now blames T for this for brainwashing me) but really it’s because 3 years ago (coincidentally the same time I met my fiancé), I started seeing T and disconnected from my mother psychologically. I distanced myself emotionally – and soon after, I also moved further away geographically. Anyway, she probably thinks that if I was to “stop going over the past” (read if I stopped mentioning my childhood abuse), we could be ‘close’ again. She doesn’t understand that will never happen and it made me think, if she knew she wouldn’t want me back in her life anyway. She wouldn’t be happy with our relationship any other way and she will, I know for certain, always blame my fiancé for that (as well as T now it seems). She will take that with her to the grave I am certain.

Writing this reminded me that a year or so ago I was at her house, drinking with her as I did and said something nasty, she said to her husband “there’s our TT!” and then went on to say how I am not myself these days and THAT is what she isn’t happy with my fiancé about….. now I realise what she meant was, “that sounds more like me!” – isn’t that sad or maybe sick? Both?

This isn’t really related but I also remembered that only several months ago, she was saying how she hopes my sister’s boyfriend CRIED when she told him she was very upset with him for something he had done. She went on to say that she, and this is a quote. “Made all my men cry” and only then would she feel they had been suitably punished. She said if they didn’t cry, she would keep going. I told her there and then that she was sick – she shouldn’t have to reduce a man to tears to accept an apology off them. She laughed. She knew what she was saying was ridiculous and sick…or she found it funny. I don’t know. That’s all about humiliation right? Or propping up her ego?

Anyway, the fact is that we were never close really and the only way that “closeness” could come back is if I forgot everything I had learnt and went back to being the fake me who went there every weekend for drinks, who slagged everyone off and took her advice on every aspect of my life. In the process I would lose my fiancé and stepkids and my real self. So that’s not going to happen. RIP enmeshed me.

I’ve realised a lot this week that I focus far too much on what SHE might be feeling and what SHE might be thinking or saying. I realise I need to take the focus off of her and put it back on to myself. How am I feeling, what do I want? I questioned why I do that and I think it’s because I was conditioned to put her before myself and I was conditioned by fear. I needed to be one step ahead and suss out what she would be needing or thinking. I have to remind myself constantly, that’s not the case any more.

T told me last night that nothing can happen now. That I can say at any time I need more time or I have nothing to say… I told her I’m petrified of what comes next and when and how I’ll next hear something.

T said something like “what about giving yourself permission to stop that worry and just know that you’ll survive it whatever way it comes?” I kinda went into shock… errr sorry what? Is that an option? Is that possible? It all sounds so simple doesn’t it? But she’s right of course.

I told T that part of me feels guilty that I ignored/didn’t respond to her message. T asked me why and I said “because she meant it nicely”. T seemed surprised and questioned me “did she?”. I said “well yes, if someone sent that surely it’s meant in a nice way?” T said I was confusing normal people with a narcissist. I smiled sadly.

I read T my latest letter and made a joke about how it was letter 5000. T said to keep writing, that it gets the feelings out. I told T that whilst I had written in the letter that i needed an apology. I didn’t want to spoon-feed her with what to do. T asked me what I would do if I sent it and my Mum then said she was sorry? I said well, I would ask her what exactly she was sorry for to see if she had any idea but also said to T that I knew my mother would be very much like “you wanted an apology. You’ve got one – take it or leave it” and I would have to leave it

And so I realised (again) that I’ll never get a genuine apology. Even if she said the word sorry it wouldn’t be what I need it to be. I told T that I’m limited on how much I can handle that fact.

T said to me “If you never want to see your mother again you don’t have to. It’s not even like you could have a limited relationship doing something together you enjoy, because there isn’t anything is there?”.

She is right. I told T I want to say to her “what you want is a mini-you and I am not like you anymore.” She would deny it of course, but that IS what she wants.

It’s unfamiliar ground right now. I’ve never had this much space from her before. I’ve not had social media for about 3 weeks so I can’t see what she’s up to (which is a relief) and she can’t see what I’m up to (which is an ever bigger relief). I’ve not seen anyone that we are both close with so there’s been nobody to pass things between us…. I’ve ignored a message from her and I’ve never done that before. It’s brand new and it feels weird. Not bad though.

You would think the longer this goes on, the more I would miss her or want to fix things but the opposite is true. The longer this goes on the more I realise it can’t be fixed.

Did I really see my mother for the last time 6 weeks ago? Is that it forever?

When I left her house that night, I left angry, crying, shaking, scared and relieved but I never thought it was the absolute end. The beginning of NC. Of being estranged. But I think I am.

I’m not hugely sad by the way, I’m not sure how this reads? It’s more disbelief!

Another letter to Mum

(Not sent. Spontaneously typed on the train home).

Mum,

I’m writing this letter to you in response to your text on Friday.

I thought I should explain my feelings so that you understand why I am keeping the distance that I am.

You already know how I feel so I won’t go into detail about it again. I told you 3 years ago, I told you 6 weeks ago and again in the texts we exchanged a few days after that night.

I am not keeping distance because I am angry and hate you. However I do have some anger towards you.

The reason I am keeping my distance is as simple as this: whilst you are unable or unwilling to accept my pain, take some responsibility for it and apologise for that pain, I am stuck in that anger and can’t see a way for us to have a happy and healthy relationship.

Until I am no longer so hurt and angry, arguments like 3 years ago and 6 weeks ago will repeat themselves. And what’s more, the more you fail to respond in the way I need you to, the angrier I get and the probability is, the more regular those arguments will happen.

That isn’t fair on either of us.

So for me, until I feel differently I am trying to see how I can get rid of some of that pain and anger on my own. Without you doing that.

I haven’t yet given up the hope that you will have some sudden epiphany and see my pain for what it is: genuine sadness and not anything else like, baring a grudge or aggressiveness which is how I feel you see it. I don’t think you hurt me intentionally, but you did hurt me.

You can’t help the way you feel and you are completely entitled to your feelings of course: as am I. At the moment our feelings are too far apart.

I cannot push this under the rug any more. Mum, I have done that my whole life and I refuse to do so any longer.

I am sorry if you are sad or hurt, but so am I. This isn’t revenge just me being, once again, 100% honest.

So now you know how I feel.

Please do not respond unless you can offer me what I need because It will be pointless. I have thought long and hard about this letter and I mean what I say in it.

I do hope you have a nice Christmas.

A hair, a flood and a haunting

Last night I had another weird dream. It really annoys me that even when I go to sleep I can have dreams that keep me so anxious.  In last night’s dream my mother had emailed me to say she loved me (like she did in real life Friday night) and I had ignored it (like I have in real life).  What followed a few days later was another email which said something along the lines of “However….” and then went on to say that she needed me to sort out a hotel booking that I had made on their behalf because it was currently I my name. The “whatever” was meant to mean, I do love you BUT…..

I went to the hotel to try to sort out whatever the problem was but whilst I was there I had a sandwich and found a clump of hair in it, I tried to sleep in a bed whilst the room was haunted and the ghost threw toilet roll around it and I was petrified AND the sea had flooded a room and there was a leak from the ceiling.

Later in the dream I went to wake my fiancé up but he was sleeping at the bottom of a bed that my mother and her husband were asleep in so I had to be really quiet not to wake them.

I looked up the dream meaning for finding hair in your food, food and haunted room and found this:

To dream that there is hair in your food means that you are entangled in some emotional matter which you are not sure about how to get out of

To dream about being haunted indicates early unpleasant experiences and feelings that still haunt you.

If you dream about a flood, more likely than not you have recently felt overwhelmed in your life by something (or someone) that seemed like an uncontrollable force – one which left you feeling somewhat helpless, at their mercy, and victimized.

I guess that makes sense really.  I am clearly entangled in an emotional matter that I am not sure how to get out of, early experiences and feelings DO still haunt me and I guess the whole situation has made me feel a bit overwhelmed – although not at their mercy.  Perhaps that is why it was only one room that was being flooded and not the whole hotel. I think the dream shows my unconscious worries about having not responded to her text.  Perhaps I unconsciously think that not replying will lead to some disasters.

I feel pretty much the same as yesterday today, despite the dream but I did wake up feeling something.. I’m not sure what.  I had a few tears this morning, I just felt I needed to release them, I didn’t really have many conscious thoughts to accompany them. Just felt a bit sad I guess.  It snowed all day today so we went out for a walk in the snow, threw snowballs and made snow people (political correctness at its finest)! When we got home I felt the need to cry again, just a tiny bit, not a lot but I didn’t really have the space at the time so I didn’t.

I was scrolling through Instagram earlier though and my sister had put a photo on of her, my mother and stepdad all wearing scarfs and hats clearly in the snow.  The three of them were smiling.  The photo did have an effect on me, but I’m not sure what exactly. It wasn’t jealousy, I didn’t wish I was there with them, but it was odd. I guess because it is the first photo of my mum I’ve had to see in a while since I deleted my Facebook account.

A few hours ago my fiancé sat down next to me on the sofa and said “So, shall we talk about it?” I had been waiting and hoping we would but didn’t want to bring it up because I feel it is all I talk about lately! I told him as much.  He asked me how I was feeling about it all and I told him pretty much what I wrote here yesterday.  I said that I had some guilt about not replying – whether or  not I should.  That I still hadn’t let go of the need for her to take accountability and apologise – even though I knew that won’t happen.  I said that my reality is still that nothing has changed.  That 6 weeks passing didn’t make anything better or hurt less.  I still need an apology.

I explained to him that until she takes some responsibility for her mistakes and apologises to me, I am stuck in this angry place and I can’t have a healthy or enjoyable relationship with her whilst I feel that way.  It really is as simple as that.  Nothing really that I haven’t written here already.

He said that the fact is, before I started therapy 3 years ago, I was enmeshed with my mother which is why I told her absolutely everything, why I asked her what to do about everything and why I couldn’t imagine surviving life without her.  He said that starting therapy 3 years ago enabled me to separate from my mother in the way that children separate from their parents as a normal childhood development stage and that it was normal and natural the way I separated from her but because of the way she is, because of her narcissism it was a narcissistic wounding for her and she had to find reasons that I had done that (which obviously couldn’t be her) and so she blamed my fiancé.  He must be controlling and manipulative.  Fast-forward to now and it’s my therapist’s fault for brainwashing me.

He said that despite this, I was only 29 years old, that we were getting married next year, that we had built a lovely family together with his children and we had our house and our love etc. He said to me that if I hadn’t got myself to therapy, I may not have been released from the unhealthy enmeshment with my mother until the day she died, which could have been when I was in my 60s! I agreed and said I had thought this many times. I’ve read so many forums where people in their 50s or 60s had just realised they had a narcissistic mother (or father) and how grateful it made me that I had found this out whilst I was young enough not to let it take over my entire adult life. Thank God. We both agree that we wouldn’t have worked out if I hadn’t got this help, I would have been too triggered, insecure and jealous over things with his ex-wife and his children and I wouldn’t have enjoyed the security of a happy relationship the way that I am (thankfully) able to now. He basically said, “I know it is hard now, but it is so worth it for the rest of your life”.  Boy is he right.

I admitted that when the guilt comes it is normally because I imagine my mother upset and think that because of the narcissism, because she has a personality disorder, I feel sorry for her not understanding what she has done wrong, what she needs to apologise for… for feeling confused and upset that she’s “lost me” (obviously she might not feel any of those things!).  He couldn’t really understand that, he just said I had nothing to feel sorry for her about.

I said that I didn’t miss her – not her, her as a person but I was sad of course that I’ve lost my mother. As in, the archetype, the figure, the role.  That is so sad.  It just helps that the word mother, and my mother’s face in my mind are beginning to be separate and different things now.  No longer is that child’s craving for a mother about HER.  Does that make sense to anyone?

I told him what I said here yesterday, normally I am dying for a way to fix it all, to make it all go away and be better but I am not this time. I guess that is because I can’t un-know what I now know.  It can’t ever be “fixed” or “better”.

I don’t like not knowing what will happen next, that makes me fearful I think.. or something like that. I think that is what the dreams are about. What happens next? Will she start telling people her version of events? Will the flying monkeys contact me soon and start to pass on messages about her and what she is thinking and feeling? Will she directly contact my fiancé or something? I just don’t know and I don’t like that….. I’ve had it easy so far really I guess as she didn’t tell anyone and she didn’t contact me until Friday for 6 weeks. Ignoring her declaration of love may possibly change that.

I think Christmas will be hard for me.. I wouldn’t rather be there at her house, but being with my fiancé’s kids and parents for the entirety will hammer home that I don’t have that. There’s something about Christmas that makes that harder but having said that, I felt the same the last few Christmases’ and she was in my life.. I saw her… so really what difference does it make? It’s just that whole belief that the day itself is all about love and family when in reality, is that day any different from any other? really? Probably not.

On the note of actual Christmas, I haven’t bought her or my stepdad a Christmas present or card and that makes me uneasy.  Isn’t that crazy? Why would I have done? In the back of my head I keep thinking “I should get something just in case…”  how ridiculous is that? It just goes to show more fear in me doesn’t it? More fear that if somehow, by some miracle I saw them and had no material present to give, that she would be angry and I would feel awful.