Dreams

Friday night I dreamt of T. It was a strange dream and it wasn’t until I was out for a run Saturday morning that the dream suddenly came back to me. I actually stopped running suddenly as it flashed in my memory and I opened my phone to write a quick (illegible) note before it went away to the place that forgotten dreams go.

In the dream I was having a session with T but my husband was also in the room, though he was completely relaxed and just reading a newspaper with his legs stretched out. T told me that she used to do another job and said that she was so rich that she had more money than she could have ever spent. I was like 😲 wow!  I then picked up a glass of orange juice which was in front of me and drank it and just as I swallowed the very last mouthful, I realised that it was T’s juice and I was horrified and said to her “OMG I am sooooo sorry, I thought that was mine!” she didn’t seem too bothered and just said “So I see”.  I was mortified that I had done that, it was like I was just on autopilot and wasn’t thinking about what I was doing.

Looking around T had drawing stuff and sewing stuff everywhere. The room was messy and I remember thinking she was arty and had numerous hobbies. She went upstairs for something but didn’t come back for a very long time. Meanwhile I remember thinking how glad I was that T was able to see how I was around my husband in that I didn’t change and that I was completely myself.

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Then, last night I had another dream. This time about my mother. This one felt SO real. In it I had arranged to go shopping with my mother and when I met her she was with my Nan and my sister. She hasn’t said they were coming and I was a little bit annoyed because I felt a bit overpowered by them all (due to the fact they are all close and I’m almost estranged).

I remember walking around a shop feeling a bit nervous and then my mother said “right, you need to snap out of this now! Get your husband and come to my house Monday after work” – what she meant was that I had to start talking to her husband again and my husband also had to come along and make up with them both”.

I felt angry and said that I didn’t want to and that I did not miss going to her house or seeing her husband and said I was happy with the way things are. She was furious and shouted “Ohhh well as long as YOU are happy, that’s all that matters isn’t it?!” – being sarcastic. My nan and sister were standing behind her looking disapprovingly at me.  I snapped “see, this is what I mean. We can’t spend time together without something like this happening. I’m going, bye“. And off I went.

I then had an internal panic about how I would find my way home from where I was to my in-laws where I’m currently living and then I realised I had my car in a car park and was nervous about the drive. I remember thinking I should call my husband but thinking he was at work so I shouldn’t bother him and that I was an adult and should be able to work it out on my own.

In the dream I was shaking with anger and fear but I felt pleased I had been able to say what I needed and walk away.

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I felt fine, happy even, both yesterday and today and so the dreams didn’t seem to impact my mood like they sometimes do. I was grateful for that as I hate the feeling they can leave me with some days.

I assume I am dreaming about T because she is on a two week break and I actually quite like the dream because my husband was there and totally relaxed which I like to think is symbolic of how comfortable he is with me having therapy and also perhaps something to do with the fact that my husband would love to meet T and to be a fly on the wall and equally, I would like T to meet him.

I am not sure what the relevance was of me drinking her orange juice, but the feeling in the dream was that I had been SO relaxed and comfortable that I had done it without thinking and maybe that’s a nice sign of how relaxed I am now feeling with her compared to over the years.  Her telling me how rich she used to be was strange and I was so shocked but I wonder if this could be symbolic of how little I really know about her life.  For example not knowing what she is doing in her break and not really knowing anything about her past.

The dream about my mother on the other hand, well, that one isn’t so surprising or strange although the timing feels a bit odd as I haven’t thought about her consciously so it seemed a surprise in that sense.

The content of the dream however is so close to reality that it doesn’t surprise me whatsoever.  That dream could very easily play out and in actual fact, in recent months I’ve been so nervous about her blatantly asking (telling) me to pack it in and do what she wants – go to her house, see her husband, get my husband to suck up to them etc.  However as I have written recently, I have suddenly made peace with that fear in me and I now really know that I don’t want to do those things and so the panic I used to feel is no longer in me.

Perhaps the dream was my subconscious’ way of playing out the scene.  Trying it out for size.. preparing me for the real deal perhaps? Also the last time I saw her we went into a clothes shop and I felt the same nerves about her.  My psyche is clearly working some things through.

T would say that it demonstrated that I could stand up to her and walk away and survive it and that I would be okay. The world wouldn’t end etc.  But honestly, I don’t feel that worry and panic or fear at the moment anyway.  Still, it was quite helpful to have that dream because perhaps in the future a similar scenario will play out for me and I will have that memory to use for reassurance.

In real life, my mother text me earlier this week asking me how the house was progressing and said again how much she just cannot wait for me to move back closer to her and how she can’t wait to see me so much more.  This really is weird, I’ve said this before but I just do not understand her logic here.  I have lived ten minutes away from her for years now and now that I am temporarily further away its like she’s convinced herself that this is the only reason we don’t see each other more often. Like whhhatttt??? It’s so weird!!!

Last time she did this T said “that fucks with your head” which is true but when I asked T WHY she would think that or say that, T said she wouldn’t be surprised if she was just saying something for the sake of saying something or even saying what she thinks she should say.  It baffles me nevertheless, it isn’t like she would even come to my new house because she never does and never has and she wouldn’t now because of my husband.  Surely she isn’t going to expect an invitation for her and her husband to come and see our new place by way of offering an olive branch? God I hope not because that simply is not going to happen.  Perhaps she really does think that just because we will be living a new, exciting phase in our lives (having purchased our first home) that all the past will magically be wiped away and we will all play happy families again.  Oh dear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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therapy in the park & inner calm

I want to write whilst I have a moment, living with 8 people in the in-laws house without a bedroom doesn’t allow for a lot of time to sit and contemplate one’s inner-thoughts yet alone allow for time to actually write them down! So whilst I am at work on this lovely Friday afternoon without much work to do, I thought I would grab the opportunity. 

I spoke to T on the phone yesterday as is my current routine since the move. To be honest I wasn’t really looking forward to it because I find it difficult to think of enough to talk about on the phone. I don’t really know why that is because I certainly don’t have that issue when there with her face-to-face, but there we go! Anyway, since the move to the in-laws I drive myself to a local park to speak to T where I can be alone and not overheard and me and my husband have taken to calling this TITP – Therapy In The Park, which has kinda stuck and I quite like it ha ha.

So yesterday’s TITP was way better than I had imagined it would be. I’m not entirely sure why, but as I settled down to speak to her, I realised that I felt a real sense of happiness and calm (which is VERY surprising considering everything). During our hour-long phone conversation, I felt light-hearted, fun, happy and just light… we laughed quite a lot and I felt totally and utterly unfiltered like I wasn’t thinking at all about the words forming in my head before they fell out of my lips – I just said stuff and laughed and it was just great. Before I knew it the phone session was over and I was fine with that in the sense that I had nothing pressing to talk about and I felt… whatever it is you feel after a good therapy session.. perhaps contained? – anyway we hung up and I felt myself literally smiling (probably made me look like a freak in public on her own grinning) and I went for a stroll around the park and took some photos and sent one to T showing her the view and telling her that I could get used to TITP. She sent me a quick message back and I smiled and put my phone away. 

Now nothing about that sounds particularly interesting I know, but the feeling I got was new… and if not new, then not common enough to feel “normal” or be taken for granted. It was nice. Really nice. I would quite like to tell her this but I wouldn’t have a clue how to explain it and I don’t want to analyse it or over-think/over-talk it and ruin it, so I am just writing it here to note it down for myself really. 

Regarding my mother..

I wanted to write another update about where I am with things regarding my mother after the other week’s complete meltdown. I still can’t believe how much that got to me, how much it shook me and how utterly distressed and desperate I felt.  

I feel so much better now. So, so, so much better.  

I seem to have found a bit of a middle-ground though and I’ve not gone straight back to how I was before the meltdown occurred in that me and my mother have exchanged more messages in the last few week than we had for about a year(!) but I am finding them nice, but not drastically important, and I’ve lost that awful, sudden need to see her which feels safer. At the same time her messages aren’t making or breaking my days and I am not consumed by the content or anything… it’s hard to explain. Yesterday we exchanged some messages about random things – she sent me photos of her new lounge and her garden and spoke about some events she has coming up etc and I spoke about how I am excited for a wedding next week and mine and Hubby’s apt at the fertility clinic etc. I was slightly nervous that she might ask me when I was coming to stay with her, but she didn’t and so I didn’t need to worry about what to say and how to say it which was a relief. 

I was telling a friend about how I felt the other week and about how upset I was in my session and she said to me “Well I have to admit that if one of my kids didn’t speak to me or want to see me, I would be very upset too” (her kids are also adults) and I found myself saying back to her “Yes but the difference is that if one of your kids didn’t want to see you and you had nothing to do with them or their wife, you would be sitting around trying to figure out what had gone wrong/what you had done and how you could make it better wouldn’t you?” – she agreed. I then said “the difference is, my mum has had years to do that but all she seems to come up with is that she’s never done anything wrong and that it is just all down to my husband and how he has manipulated me and poisoned me against her”. 

The words came out of my mouth and it was like I *heard* them and surprised myself at my own understanding (weird I know). I realised as I said it that it was absolutely true. I knew it before and I know it now, but I didn’t *feel* it the other week. The other week when I was completely and utterly drowning in the child part of me’s hopes and dreams and wishful thinking, none of that felt remotely important. I was willing to turn a blind eye to everything – all of it – in exchange for the love of my mother. I was utterly desperate to be looked after and nurtured and protected et. It felt bigger than everything. It felt HUGE. The logic had detached from the feelings and I couldn’t hold both at the same time.  

Now, at the moment I find myself in this weird no-man’s land really. I question if I am a little numb? (I am not sure). The way I feel is that I can see/feel/remember all the bad stuff yet feel no anger about it and also I can understand the wants, needs and wishes of the child but nowhere near enough to want to actually try and get them. I have no intention of going to stay at her house or of turning up at her door crying or begging her for the chance for us to start again or any of that dramatic, movie-type stuff that I was imagining. I just feel…. nothing really… just like I am here and I can see both sides of it equally but without being affected by either. 

I am not sure if that is a good sign of having balanced myself back out (potentially more so than before!) or whether I am actually numb because the pain of the other week was too much. Who knows? It sure feels better this way though. I feel calm inside and I am not caught up in the stress and anxiety of being angry with her, being hurt by her lack of contact or dreading seeing her or whatever.. I just feel like we can have a few messages about normal stuff which is genuinely fine… but I am not being guilt-tripped or attacked and I am not dying for more or using her messages to boost me up….. it just is what it is and it is actually fine. For now at least.

What happened rocked me in a massive, massive way. I am still shocked by the hugeness of the pain I felt but I am so, so glad that it has passed and that I am okay. I am wondering whether that is likely to happen again? Is it part of the process or was it me falling off the wagon so to speak? Has it helped in some weird way? Who knows!

Oh and to end, this made me laugh…. My mother said yesterday that she had started to read a book my sister recommended. She told me the name of it and so I downloaded it at the park yesterday and I’ve been listening to it since. The book is hilariously funny and extremely crude and rude and shocking in content, BUT that didn’t surprise me. What surprised me is this….. the girl who is narrating the story in first person/diary-entry style, is a young girl. This girl is having therapy…………. This girl is having therapy………………HA. My mother and my sister LOVED this book about a girl in therapy – it makes you die doesn’t it? The two people most adverse to anyone having therapy. Hilarious. Anyway, I am yet to see if the therapist is painted as some manipulating, evil, money-grabber (I sincerely hope not), but we shall see. It is interesting to me because as neither of them have a clue what therapy consists of and as they both clearly have their own fantasies (as T would say) – this book may be changing their opinion.. or confirming them!!

 

 

The feels

I’ve wanted to write about the feelings I’ve been having regarding my mother over the last week or two but I’ve not really known how to explain the way I’ve been feeling or what I’ve been thinking and then on top of that, I’ve moved out of my house and into my in-laws and so I really don’t have much time (or space!) to be able to do so.

The problem with this is however, that I now feel a bit stressed and a bit …Ahhhh where it’s all inside and needs to be written out a little.

It’s also hard to write about feelings that change so quickly. Last Sunday I was crying and feeling SO much sadness and grief and was very much in my child state – last Tuesday’s session was the same but today as I say, being in someone else’s house, surrounded by lots of people and noise and mess… the feelings aren’t really “here” and so it all feels a little disjointed.

Basically last Sunday as I say I was feeling like a vulnerable child. The upcoming move was stressing me out and I had seen my mother a week previous which is when she cried and told me how much she missed me and wished she could see me more. I posted about that at the time so there’s a separate post for details. Her tears seem to have really made an impact on me, it was very hard for me seeing her cry. Seeing her tears and seeing her vulnerable possibly for the first time ever was horrible. Seeing her upset made me feel hopeful I think. I think it really ignited something in me and as I was feeling vulnerable and stressed about the move, it all got too much and by Sunday last week, I was crying and feeling like I really needed my mum.

When I went to my session on Tuesday I was so desperate to tell T all about it but I was also anxious and I was nervous that she would make comments about how my mother was playing games or wasn’t genuine and that I would feel angry or defensive etc. What actually happened is that I told T I had “apparently lost my mind and gone totally crazy” and I told her what had happened and how I felt.

T was kind, she seemed understanding and empathetic but she did make it clear that I was feeling vulnerable and child-like and that I really needed to try not to react and to try to just “stay still” and not do anything at the moment. In that session I cried. I really, really cried. I sobbed into my hands in a way that I’ve not for a very long time in therapy. I felt exhausted and I felt completely lost. I said things along the lines of “it doesn’t feel natural to have to to stay away from your mum” and I said that I hated myself for forgetting everything I had learnt but that the knowledge and facts felt so far removed from my feelings.

T said that she hoped I would take some comfort just from having spoken out the feelings and sharing them with T – from crying even. I thought to myself that was very unlikely. It was a really weird and shit feeling actually….. I was effectively being told to NOT do the thing I felt I wanted and needed to do in order to feel better. It felt unfair and it felt strange and cruel. I’m a way I guess it felt like punishment or something.

The next day unfortunately was moving day and so I didn’t have any time to process the feelings and I was stressed and overwhelmed.

By Thursday’s session I wasn’t really sure what I was thinking or feeling so when T asked me “where I was” with it all, I didn’t know. I said I wasn’t sure and that I guess I felt a bit numb to it all. I had kind of blocked it out. I told T that my mum had text me on move day and again the day after (that day) to ask how it went. T asked how that felt and I said it was weird really because it was more contact/effort than she had made for such a long time BUT it felt a little bit like she was doing it in order to get some sort of pay-off (mainly me going to her house to stay one evening)…..

I don’t know if this makes any sense to anyone else, it’s hard to explain but luckily T seemed to understand what I was saying.

Anyway Friday was my wedding anniversary and my husband and I went away for a night which was very much needed and was lovely. Today is strange as we are living at his parents’ house and his sister is here with her 3 kids and we don’t have a bedroom or anything and it’s hard today…. I don’t know what to do with myself and I’m feeling down about the baby stuff I posted about yesterday and ruminating about being here and missing my own house as well as the above…. I’m feeling just a bit stuck and frustrated and me and my husband have been bickering because of it which is such a shame after such a wonderful couple of days away. Bit of a crash landing.

I’m trying not to think about my mum too much because I am scared I’ll dive bomb back into those horribly painful feelings of last week. The neediness and grief like feelings – they were so horrible, honestly I didn’t know what to do with myself. T said it may feel like life an death and that’s so true. I felt like I could die if I didn’t go to her. Apparently that’s attachment and that’s what keeps babies bonded and attached to their parents/caregiver – she explained that is how children can desperately want to stay with their parent even if they are abused by them. We are programmed to attach to them for our survival and so I guess that goes some way to explaining why I felt as bad as I did.

I know that being realistic, going to my mum’s would mean pretending everything was fine and sweeping everything that has happened the last few years under the rug and I don’t want to do that. The alternative would be to hash it out and I really can’t even stomach the thought of that. My mum still doesn’t think she’s ever done anything wrong so where would that conversation end?

It feels like a waste. She’s there – I’m here. She seems to want a relationship and obviously so do I…. but it just isn’t that simple.

One thing I have just remembered is that when I was crying on Tuesday, T said “what do you hope to achieve?” (about me going to my mum’s house). I thought for a second and laughed and cried at the same time as I said I had no idea. T said the feelings had taken over and that I needed to try to bring the thinking/logic back a little to keep me safe.

So that’s that really….. I still feel a bit numb about it all. I’m worried that she will text me and ask me when I’m going because I’m still caught between half wanting to go and half knowing it’s not a good idea. I don’t want to hurt her and I know she’s got her hopes up. I also haven’t told my husband any of this…. he doesn’t have a clue how I’ve been feeling or about what I’ve said to my mum or about how badly I cried at T’s last week…..

I hate that any of this is real you know. I know that sounds like a stupid thing to say and maybe it sounds like a poor me but I do hate it. I wish so badly that it could be different.

Love-Bombing & Giving back the projection

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

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

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

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

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

She agreed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shocked?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buying an old childhood house/the money

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is it tied into this money somehow?

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.