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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Mother… Smearing

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

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

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

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

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

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

At least I have some insight to her I suppose.

Golden Child In Therapy

How did I, an ex Golden Child end up in therapy… and how did I end up a Scapegoat?

I guess the answer to that is in the question itself isn’t it?  I ended up a scapegoat BECAUSE I ended up in therapy.  What I am actually thinking about is the fact that it is much more common for the scapegoated child of a narcissist to end up leaving the dysfunction and toxic mother than the golden child and yet I was the GC so how did it happen?

I guess it mainly came about because my romantic relationships were dreadful.  I was constantly in relationships. One after the other, literally.  Right from a child on the playground I was on the look-out for a boyfriend.  I guess I copied my mother like all kids do.

I picked the wrong men.  As in, for me.  Looking back I can see that I was picking the commitment phobic men, the avoidantly attached ones which for someone like me who has an anxious attachment style is a match made in hell, not heaven.  Those men kept me constantly triggered and anxious. I never felt secure and relaxed because even when things were going well, it was just a matter of time before it all fell apart. I was constantly fearing abandonment and in many cases, I was right to.  Or perhaps I pushed them away with my “neediness” I don’t know.

Because of my insecurity, anxiety and neediness in these relationships, I thought that there was clearly something very wrong with me and that I needed help.  I wanted to be fixed so that I wasn’t such a nightmare girlfriend and I wanted to feel like everybody else seemed to feel, calm and relaxed in their relationships and not a ball of nerves and so I took myself off to therapy.

I won’t go into what happened with me leaving and coming back and quitting and starting again here as that is for another post but I soon found out that T thought my mother suffered from Narcissistic Personality Disorder and all of a sudden my cares about being insecure in relationships took a back seat.  I had no idea then what attachment styles were, what mine was or what relevance that all had on me and my life.

SO that is how this ex-Golden Child came into therapy whilst my sister, the ex-scapegoat didn’t despite hating her family life and being very often seriously depressed.  And now, because of what I have learnt about the dysfunction of my enmeshment with my controlling mother, I began to pull away emotionally at first, and then physically and as you know, we are now not speaking at all.  My sister is now Golden Child, she is living my old role becoming more and more enmeshed with my mother and I am the scapegoat watching from a distance.

Mental.  I almost want to say thanks to all of the avoidantly attached men that I dated, for our disastrous relationships and for getting me to therapy, else I would have never got away from it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Trying to recover from the rupture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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