What happens when you can’t forgive?

Clearly I am a stage in my healing where I am seeing and feeling the effects of my mother’s narcissism. I am seeing and feeling, properly, for probably the first time, how deeply hurt and wounded I am because of her.  Because of her failure to love me and care for me, because of her failure to protect me and because of all of the horrible situations I have had to witness or encounter because of her – not to mention because of the way I have felt about myself my entire life because of the messages she made me believe were true about myself.  I am full of resentment at the moment. I hate her for some of these things. I have also completely let go of any hope, or even desire, that things could be different.  I truly understand that she will never change – something that I think before I thought I understood, but perhaps only understood on a logical level.

The issue this brings me is that I understand that I know that hanging on to anger and resentment is not beneficial or healthy for me. When listening to my audiobook this morning (You’re Not Crazy, It’s Your Mother) the subject of forgiveness was spoken about and it said that you have to learn to “write off the debt that she owes you” because you will never get the acknowledgment or apology that you want and that the only person you are hurting by holding onto that, is yourself.

But I can’t do that. Yet at least.  And then that makes me feel bad…. Being unable to “write off that debt” or being unable to “forgive” her makes me feel as though I am doing something wrong.  But I know myself and I know that right now, any acceptance or forgiveness would be entirely fake and what is the point in that?

anger

I am also too angry to even try to do that. Too angry to even bother faking any acceptance or forgiveness. It just isn’t on my radar right now. I just cannot bring myself to even think about that as an option.  That makes me feel stubborn, but it’s how I am feeling nonetheless.

My mother has said to me (and is probably saying to everyone else right now) that I am living in the past, that I can’t move on and that lots of people have had it worse than I did. That I have to move on and the most insulting one, that therapy has made me this way – that it is doing me more harm than good.

What I hear is “Get over it” and “You didn’t have it bad” (the undertone to “you say you had a bad childhood but we always had a nice house and I worked hard because of no help from either of your fathers”).  Both of those statements FEEL to me totally invalidating and like gaslighting.  Yet at the same time it makes me confused because I do understand that she can’t actually go back to the past and undo anything.  Of course she can’t … but if someone had genuine remorse, they wouldn’t say or imply for you to “get over it” would they? They would say how sorry they were and say that they wish they could fix it.  They would try to make up for it somehow.  Or something like that.  Am I wrong?

So what I am feeling right now is her effectively saying:

Get Over it” – “Shut up talking about it and move on

And me saying:

NO! I won’t!”

When I put it like that, it helps to remove the guilt that I feel from the fantasy that perhaps I am unfairly baring a grudge and living in the past, unable to move on etc, – in other words, that my mother’s words are true. The other thing I imagine is that she may offer what the audiobook calls a “fauxpology” – a fake apology.  I can’t quite see that myself, but I have learnt that narcissists really will do anything to get what they want and if she does realise how serious I am, maybe she will offer me a fauxpology. Something along the lines of “I am sorry that you..” or “ I am sorry if you are still upset about the past but I can’t change it” or maybe just “We need to move on” (which isn’t actually an apology at all and she has already said in so many ways). In fact I guess she said that in her text which said “People are entitled to their own opinion” I.e. you are wrong.

You can’t forgive someone who isn’t sorry – can you?

At the moment, I have no doubt that if I am around my mum, I would be on guard. Looking out for any perceived signs of attack, insults or whatever. I can’t relax with her because I am constantly waiting to defend myself from her.  That could be defending myself against comments about my fiancé, my father, my job, my looks/clothes etc or any number of other things.  It isn’t fun for either of us.

She said in her messages last week that I have “changed from a loving, caring, fun girl into someone who is always looking for an argument”.  She also said that she felt “on egg shells” around me.  Now I know that I have not changed into someone who is always looking for an argument, that isn’t true.. BUT perhaps I have around her.  Sunday night my fiancé told me that he doesn’t like who I am when I am with her and did actually say that I seem aggressive AND that he feels on egg-shells waiting to see if a row will kick-off.

I don’t really believe that she feels on egg-shells around me… but maybe she does. Maybe she knows I am liable to explode at her if she hits a nerve.  I can’t entirely blame myself for this at the moment, although I can clearly see it isn’t exactly great behaviour. But it does tell me that being around her right now isn’t really a good idea.  For either of us.  I can’t exactly say that though, can I?

Right now I have a lot of anger and resentment towards you and being around you isn’t enjoyable for either of us. You say I am looking for an argument and that you feel like you are on egg-shells around me. I feel on guard around you, like I am ready to defend myself to you.  For those reasons, I don’t think we should see each other for a while because it cannot end well”.  I COULD say that.. but she would again, say to me, and to everyone else, that I am holding a grudge, stuck in the past etc….. does that matter though?

This sounds harsh but the thought of seeing my mother in “safe” places, such as public places and not around alcohol, still makes me feel anxious. In fact, it makes me feel more anxious because I guess the alcohol gave me brave pills or something (entirely dysfunctional I know) and something I have only just realised and am now taking steps to resolve – by knowing that IF I see her, it cannot be around alcohol.

The sad fact is that we have nothing in common, nothing to talk about. I don’t want to share anything of any real meaning with her such as my good news, my worries or family plans such as plans for a baby or details of our wedding. I genuinely feel quite mean for saying and thinking that, but I genuinely mean it. If we weren’t related to each other, I wouldn’t have her in my life (anymore at least).  Like my two ex-friends, once I realised their behaviour towards me was wrong, unhealthy and damaging and that I deserved better, I ended those friendships.  This is just harder because it is my mother.

Reading this back, clearly the main thing playing on my mind and causing me confusion and doubt is what she says about me being stuck in the past and not being able to move on. That is clearly my sore point right now.

Here are some quotes from her last few text messages a week or so ago:

You and I know I’ve never told you what to do!

I never told you constantly as a kid that I couldn’t wait to get rid of you!

All I ever wanted was for you to meet the man of your dreams and to be happy so that when the time comes that I am no longer around, you would have your rock.

You say you had a bad childhood but I worked full-time as I had to as never had any help from your dads, but we had a nice home and you did not go without much considering I was a single parent.

I give you nothing now emotionally? – That is because I never see you. You have never once invited us round. I text you religiously once a week otherwise I don’t think I would hear from you.

If you ever wanted us to go out – you could have asked.

You are also able to invite us to anything with the kids. You can’t say that is all our fault. We don’t know your plans with them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Is This The End?

I genuinely can’t believe I am about to sit and type this.  I am in some weird type of shock.

I went to my mother’s last night (yeah I know, you already know this isn’t going to end well don’t you) and ended up in a very vicious row with her and being kicked out of her house by her and her twat of a husband at 2am.

I genuinely do not know if this is the end of us.  It is a real possibility that we will not speak again. I may never speak to my mother again. I can’t quite believe the words but they feel very likely and very possible and very true right now.

The evening took a nose-dive when me and my sister began a rather heated conversation about my wedding. She was saying that she wanted to plan my hen do and I was saying how she could, but that I wanted all of my bridesmaids to be involved in the planning of it.  At some stage I told her that I was actually very hurt at her lack of interest in our wedding and more specifically, her lack of interest at our engagement.  My sister is incapable of seeing someone else’s point of view and gets very defensive if someone disagrees with her (I wonder where she gets that from).  It got more and more heated and she started reeling off loads of things that I have done that have annoyed her. One of which was that I wouldn’t cancel one of my therapy sessions to attend a meal for HER father’s birthday back in August. I wrote about that at the time so you may remember my feelings about that back then.  Anyway, I told her that the fact she covers Facebook (yes the devil) in lovely affectionate statuses and photo collages of all of her friends and of our other step-siblings, it hurt me that she didn’t acknowledge our engagement at all. Nothing. Zilch. She said that we were no longer close and that she didn’t really like me anymore.  OUCH.

In the end she ran off to bed crying because I was trying to say my side of things but she expected me to sit and wait until she had finished before saying anything. That was impossible because she was going on for so, so long. Off she went.  Wonderful.

Everyone else then went to bed apart from me and my mother.  This has often ended badly so I should have seen it coming. Perhaps I did? My mother started to stick up for my sister and I found myself pretty aggressively saying to her “Why are you siding with her? Why aren’t you understanding my side of things”? From there it went from 0 to 60 in seconds and she was telling me how I had dissapointed her when she had sent me a message inviting me to her 50th birthday weekend away because I said I would only come if my fiance was able to come with me.  I explained my reasons why that was at the time, and again last night. It fell on deaf ears.  Before long, she was saying all sorts of shit that really pissed me off and I became VERY ANGRY and told her that it pisses me off that she has the cheek to moan to people that we aren’t close anymore when she slags me and my fiance off to our family and her friends saying that I have changed and that my fiance is controlling and manipulative blah bah ….. She denied that she had said anything like that and I said she was a liar.  She was outraged that I said that and said to me “Do you really believe them over your own mother?” I said Yep. Totally. 100% I have no doubt. (For background these “other people” are reliable sources and include my sister, other family members such as my aunt etc and I can hear her saying it, I believe it with my whole heart).

I then told my mother that my entire life she made me feel unwanted. I told her how my entire life she did nothing but tell me how much she wanted to get rid of me. From telling me she gave me away the day I was born, to telling me I had to move out on my 16th birthday when I was as young as 5 years old, to telling me repeatedly as a late teen/early twenties that she couldn’t wait until I finally met someone who could “take me off her hands”. I told her that now she has what she wants and she hates it because she’s lost control of me and so she blames my fiance when in all honestly, its nothing to do with him.

Before I knew it, my mother was phoning her husband who was in bed, telling him that she needed him NOW.  I told her she was pathetic, why did she need to get him? this was nothing to do with him! GOD I HATE THAT SHE DOES THAT!!!!! She has done that my whole life. Gets her bloke involved when we are having a disagreement and gets him to shout at me, back her up, enable her.

She told me that she needed her husband there to “witness how evil I was being”, “to hear the things I was saying to her”.  Please.

She told me to get out of her house. I stood up, very confidently and said with pleasure. I walked towards the kitchen door to go inside and genuinely expected to feel her yanking my hair or punching or kicking me, something. I could feel myself internally tense and wait for the physical attack. Luckily it didn’t come. I walked into the room my fiance was in and told him to get up, that we had to leave. With that her husband flung the door open screaming at me “WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO YOUR MOTHER? WHY HAVE YOU UPSET HER SO MUCH?”.  He then added that “Every fucking time I leave you alone with her, you do this!” (That is such a lie as this has never happened before.)

She said to him that I was evil and that I had told her she was evil and that she was the worst mother in the world. I didn’t actually say those things but I guess she isn’t/wasn’t wrong.

She then delivered this beauty “You need to sack your counsellor mate because you are fucking evil and need sectioning”.

Wow. That right there is my mother.

I replied equally as maturely “I don’t need to sack my counsellor, it’s because of her that I have finally seen what a nasty bitch you are”.

I’m still shocked by this as I type it out my heart is racing.

And so me and my fiance left with me shouting to the pair of them to fuck off as my stepdad (AKA: Mother’s lapdog) shouted shit at me.  We then had to walk at 2am in the dark for half an hour to try to find a taxi and get home.

I cried on and off the whole way. I told my fiance several times that I was scared. I couldn’t tell him what of. But I was very scared.

We got home and talked about what had happened for a while. I cried a lot of that time. We eventually went to bed at 4am.  When I woke up today I was in shock over what has happened. I still am.

I have not heard from my mother, her lapdog or my sister and I do not expect to.  My mother seriously has never apologised to me (or anyone I am sure) in her whole life. NEVER and my mother is totally unable to admit she has done any wrong, much like my sister and the fact that the three of them live together will mean that they will all have each other and obviously it will mean that I am, of course, the evil one.

She kept shouting at me over and over again “What the hell has happened to you?” and “You are so fucking evil!!”, “Look at you?”.

I have written about this before, but 3 years ago, weirdly in November(!) a very similar argument occurred. I had been in counselling about one month and T had explained to me that my mother was narcissistic. I found myself shouting at her all her shortcomings as I grew up, her lack of interest, her lack of affection etc.  Unfortunately that night, my sister, my mum’s lapdog and my aunties, uncles and cousin were all there. The entire lot of them sided with my mother and I was completely demonized.  That side of the family still keep a very large distance from me and that was the last time I argued with my mother.  Until last night.

So you can probably imagine that this event last night has probably cost me the entire family as well as my beloved grandparents because my mother sees them most days and my Nan will not understand my point of view, neither do I wish to persuade her of my feelings, she is old and doesn’t need the hassle.

So…. Now what? Where do I go from here?

Is this the beginning of no contact?

One thought I’ve had is that she has given us a large amount of money towards our wedding. Will she give it back? I feel I should give it back regardless but selfishly we can’t actually afford to do that….

I keep thinking how weird it would be to lose so many of my family like this and before my wedding. Visualising our wedding day without all of those people is just painful.

I have thought, shit, it’s nearly Christmas. At this rate me and my fiance will be sitting at home just the two of us. How sad.

The strange thing is that my main feeling, other than shock, is relief. I am relieved I’ve told her those things although I am not at all proud of the way I said them or how aggressive and nasty I was. I was uncontrolled and clearly very triggered and reacting from a rage place. I meant what I said though.

I have seconds of guilt… seconds of absolute terror and fear and then relief again. And probably very textbook moments where I think “they can’t ALL be wrong…. what if it is me?”.  It defies all logic really. I know it isn’t me.  I know they are all toxic and dysfunctional. I also know my mother has wounded me terribly and yet I feel totally unjustified in cutting her out.

So once again, I am the persecutor (Evil, nasty etc) and its poor victim mother. Poor her, how could I.

I know that not having my mother in my life won’t leave a huge deficit in the sense that she doesn’t actually give me anything. She doesn’t ever come to my house, she has nothing to do with my stepchildren, she doesn’t invite us to dinner or to meals or anything healthy like that. I visit her normally through a sense of obligation and I go there guarded and with my invisible armour on waiting for her next attack.  She doesn’t support me in any way, she doesn’t give me warmth, connection, nice conversation, advice. I keep my distance from her emotionally and do not tell her anything. I do not confide in her. I see the glow she gets if I have bad news or a problem. She loves it. She clearly hates me being happy – that is evident.  So what will I miss?

I don’t know what I’ll miss. But it feels ever so scary and I can’t help but picture her face which was very genuinely shocked and angered and hurt by my words. Does she really not realise how she has hurt me? And if not, does that mean I shouldn’t blame her?

Anger Turned Inwards

anger

In last night’s session I told T that I had noticed from reading through some of my old blogs that when I have my “bad days”, I tend to be extremely harsh about my weight and my looks. I told her that I always feel “hideous”. I told her that reading through the posts written on days where I was in that dark place, there was a very familiar theme where I pulled myself apart and called myself lots of horrible names.

T said she could tell I was really quite taken aback about this and I told her that I have NEVER been someone who has liked her appearance, particularly my weight but other things too, but that this was shocking because of how extreme the self-hatred was in some of those blogs.

I told her that last Monday’s post (written in the rupture) was particularly awful. I told her that it was the most severe I have felt with regards to the self-hatred. I was trying to get her to understand that it was the closest I have ever come to self-harm. I have never self-harmed in the conventional sense of the word but that day last week I guess the image I had was VERY vivid and the thought did cross my mind. I know I shouldn’t really admit that but I feel it is important at the moment.

I didn’t actually tell T this and I’m not sure that she quite understood what I was trying to say (why would she when I wasn’t actually saying the words).. I was too embarrassed to tell her and thought perhaps I would send her that blog after the session so she could see for herself (but I didn’t/haven’t).

I said to T “I am wondering if on the days where I am really down and crying a lot that I am actually angry?” and she kind of nodded and said “you mean the anger comes out as tears?”. I said to her perhaps yes, but I was thinking more that the anger is turned onto myself in a “I hate my body, I am thick, I am useless” kind of way.

I have thought about this a lot since my session and this is what I’ve come up with.

Many people say that depression is anger turned inwards. My T said this to me years ago and I remember always finding that immensely interesting. I didn’t think it applied to me (I wasn’t depressed OR angry apparently) but here we are. Now, why would you turn your anger onto yourself? For me the reasons are clear: Trying to save others from being on the receiving end of my anger.  Preventing myself from pushing people away and causing them to abandon me.  Being the good girl. Having been taught that I am not allowed to show my anger else I will be punished.. there are probably more reasons than that even.

If I have been too scared of my own anger for all of the reasons above, it makes sense that any angry feelings I had wouldn’t have just miraculously disappeared, so where did it go? Onto myself.

Forms of turning anger inwards for me include the self-hatred as discussed above, reckless spending or perhaps drinking too much, different food habits perhaps not eating enough (starving myself and punishing myself for being “fat) or perhaps eating too much to try to feel better. Withdrawing socially, sleeping too much or not enough and various other things.. which lead me to my next thought:-

On my “bad days” I stay home because I can’t face the world/work/people. I stay home, I draw the curtains and lock the doors, I cry on and off all day, I might sleep a lot or I might not.. it depends but the thing I am focussing on here is that I lock myself away.  Now, when I was young, about 4 probably, my mother and her friend locked me in a room because I was being “a little brat” I was locked in there for a long time, at least a few hours and the memory of it still makes me feel weird.  I banged the door in with a hairbrush over and over again until I fell into a heap on the floor from exhaustion. Nobody came, nobody helped me and it was horrible.  It is a memory I talk about a lot and clearly a memory which has had an impact on me because a few years ago me and my fiancé were having an argument and he left the bedroom in a huff, slamming the door behind him. I FREAKED out at that. I couldn’t bare that door being closed and me being left in it like that. Clearly I now see it was a trigger for me of that horrible memory.

Today I feel I may have joined some dots up..

When I am depressed (read ANGRY), I lock myself away in my room (house). I punish myself for having angry feelings. JUST LIKE SHE DID.

I could be onto something here or I could be way off and being a bit dramatic, but it feels like I might have really understood something that I unconsciously do.

The problem with locking myself away like that is that I become stuck in my depressed, crying state. I am left to almost marinate in my own sadness. The feelings are usually hopelessness, powerlessness and other similar things which would make sense if you think about it because if you are angry with someone else (let’s say my mother in my case) but I am too scared to feel that anger towards her, I decide that I will blame myself for my disappointments and frustrations. I decide that it is all because of me, my shortcomings, my failures, my inabilities…. Because unconsciously I’ve decided, or perhaps learnt, that the alternative is to express my anger outwardly and to lose the love, care and affection of those I depend on. I guess the primitive fear goes back to the fact that without my mother, I would have literally died and so I couldn’t possibly feel the amount of anger I must have had in me to her.

So moving on now that I’ve had this idea, I guess the next step is to try to be honest with myself when I get those feelings and figure out what I am truly angry about. I imagine that won’t be easy giving that I’ve been able to block that out for my entire life to date. If I can pinpoint the real source of that anger and find a way of expressing it more appropriately (not in hurtful ways), perhaps I will disperse the anger quicker and in the process perhaps I won’t hate myself quite as much.

Doing my usual Google search, the suggestions for getting in touch with repressed anger/anger turned inwards are figuring out the following:

  • How often do you feel that way?
  • What type of feelings do you get?
  • What are the warning signs?
  • What triggers it? (i.e. is it a lack of self-control, self-discipline, forgetting something or being selfish or not having the ability to do something you wish you could).

Now I don’t know what to do with my anger, clearly so I need to make it my job to find out how to appropriately do that. Time for more Googling and to buy lots of new books I think!

“The first image that comes up is stripping my clothes off and then slicing the fat off my body.”

“I’ve noticed that my fiancé is the one triggering my angry feelings. Whenever he comes close to me to try and touch me or make a joke it makes me mad. Why?” 

“I feel so stupid.” 

Borderline Personality Disorder?

I had a dream last night that I was in a different house, I think in the dream it was meant to be my aunt’s house but she was away and I was house-sitting or something.  I was having my therapy sessions there but T was changing the times of my sessions and at one point I sat outside the room waiting for her for over an hour past my session time.  I didn’t know what was going on but I acted as though it was fine and I didn’t ask why she was late but inside I was stressing out.  Later in the dream I went for a ride on a motorbike or in a car or something, I can’t quite work it out, with my fiancé and then realised I only had 20 minutes until my session time and I knew I wouldn’t make it back in time. My fiancé was non-phased by this and was relaxing on the grass wherever we were but I was very anxious and stressed by it all. I remember feeling extremely stressed and upset.

I woke up feeling a bit….. groggy perhaps? I feel a bit irritated and a bit low in spirits I guess and I don’t really know why but usually feelings from my dreams seep into my waking life and so perhaps the dream stirred up some feelings for me.

I had spent my evening on Google reading about Borderline Personality Disorder , the whole push/pull thing, the fear of intimacy and engulfment and also some development phase that I clearly didn’t work through properly which is why all of this happens in the first place (I have forgotten what that was so I will try to find it again).  I read A LOT and it all fitted me so well.

It was one of those weird times that you are glad to read yourself in something and know that there is a reason for things and, obviously, that it means there is hope that things will get better. It also really grounds me when I can read stuff (intellectualise perhaps) because it becomes less scary somehow.. but given how I feel today, perhaps it has stirred up some other feelings or maybe its something else.. maybe it’s because it is T day and I have some unconscious fears about that? I don’t know.. maybe it is the dream.

The things that the dream and the stuff I was reading have in common is the fear of abandonment.  I can see that. In the dream T wasn’t being reliable was she? She wasn’t showing up when she was meant to and I didn’t know where I stood with her. Will she come, won’t she come? In the stuff I was reading I understand that the reason for the push/pull in relationships comes from a desperate need for intimacy and affection but at the same time, having a deep fear of abandonment and engulfment and so hence the push part of the push/pull situation. Leave before being left etc….  so the common theme therefore being abandonment right?

I don’t know, maybe I’m feeling the old body memories or emotional flashbacks of the abandonment fear. I feel irritable and moody.

I then flicked through some of my old blog posts to see if I could find any evidence of my new knowledge of the BPD traits.. and I did, but what stuck out more for me than anything else was quite how many “bad days” I have had.  I wrote a list down and there are at least 30 bad days.. not including today and others that I may not have written about at the time. These 30 days are between today and February this year.  So in 9 months, I’ve had 30 bad days.  An average of 3.3 per month. That is a lot, isn’t it?

I read that one of the “symptoms” of BPD is Emotional Instability and experiencing a range of emotions such as rage, sorrow, shame, panic, terror, emptiness and loneliness.  I then read

“You may have severe mood swings over a short space of time.

It’s common for people with BPD to feel suicidal with despair, and then feel reasonably positive a few hours later. Some people feel better in the morning and some in the evening. The pattern varies, but the key sign is that your moods swing in unpredictable ways.”

That is true for me.  I do feel a range of emotions including ALL of those things above… I don’t feel suicidal with despair but I do sometimes feel fine at one part of the day and then horrific at another; or visa versa.  I don’t feel “suicidal” but I have had images of harming haven’t I? I’ve written about that as recently as last Monday.

The next bit I read about impulsive behaviour. It talks about self-harm, feeling intensely sad and depressed but also impulsive activities like binge drinking or spending or gambling etc.  I have always described myself as impulsive. Often when it comes to shopping and buying clothes that I don’t have the money to buy (even when I have no money and I use credit cards or an overdraft). If I want to buy something, I will buy it and then later feel silly or guilty for it. The high doesn’t last long.

Next..

Unstable relationships

If you have BPD, you may feel that other people abandon you when you most need them, or that they get too close and smother you.

When people fear abandonment, it can lead to feelings of intense anxiety and anger. You may make frantic efforts to prevent being left alone, such as:

  • constantly texting or phoning a person
  • suddenly calling that person in the middle of the night
  • physically clinging on to that person and refusing to let go
  • making threats to harm or kill yourself if that person ever leaves you

Alternatively, you may feel others are smothering, controlling or crowding you, which also provokes intense fear and anger. You may then respond by acting in ways to make people go away, such as emotionally withdrawing, rejecting them or using verbal abuse.”

Okay so I have a fear of abandonment, that is undeniable. I suffer from feelings of intense anxiety and anger (which I usually turn towards myself but T perhaps found herself on the receiving end of last week).  I don’t constantly text or phone anyone and I wouldn’t physically cling or threaten to harm or kill myself but in all honestly that is more about saving face. I have often wanted to constantly text or call someone but I wouldn’t do it. However I can’t handle the feelings associated to that feeling of being abandoned or forgotten or left or not important… I could pull my hair out of my head.

It says that people with BPD have “love-hate relationships” and that they have a very black and white view of people. That they make people either all good or all bad with no real in-between.  Splitting/fragmenting.. I know I do that. T has said that to me many times.  Look at my latest rupture for evidence. T was all bad for a few days… and then it was over and she is now all good again and the only person who is “all bad” is me.  Look what I did?

For many people with BPD, emotional relationships (including relationships with professional carers) involve “go away/please don’t go” states of mind, which is confusing for them and their partners. Sadly, this can often lead to break-ups.”

I then found this website https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-disorders/borderline-personality-disorder.htm which had a list of statements that would describe feelings associated with people who have BPD.

  • I often feel empty
  • My emotions shift very quickly and I often experience extreme sadness, anger and anxiety
  • I’m constantly afraid that the people I care about will abandon me or leave me.
  • I would describe most of my romantic relationships as intense, but unstable.
  • The way I feel about the people in my life can dramatically change from one moment to the next—and I don’t always understand why.
  • I often do things I know are dangerous or bad for me, such as driving recklessly, having unsafe sex, binge drinking, doing drugs, or going on spending sprees.
  • I’ve attempted to hurt myself, engaged in self-harm behaviours such as cutting, or threatened suicide.
  • When I’m feeling insecure in a relationship, I tend to lash out or make frantic gestures to keep the other person close.

I relate to many of them, particularly feeling empty, having emotions that shift quickly, the impulsive things as previously discussed and feeling very insecure in a relationship.

And this…. the 9 signs of BPD

  1. Fear of abandonment. People with BPD are often terrified of being abandoned or left alone. Even something as innocuous as a loved one getting home late from work or going away for the weekend can trigger intense fear. This leads to frantic efforts to keep the other person close. You may beg, cling, start fights, jealously track your loved one’s movements, or even physically block the other person from leaving. Unfortunately, this behavior tends to have the opposite effect—driving others away.
  2. Unstable relationships. People with BPD tend to have relationships that are intense and short-lived. You may fall in love quickly, believing each new person is the one who will make you feel whole, only to be quickly disappointed. Your relationships either seem perfect or horrible, with nothing in between. Your lovers, friends, or family members may feel like they have emotional whiplash from your rapid swings between idealization and devaluation, anger, and hate.
  3. Unclear or unstable self-image. When you have BPD, your sense of self is typically unstable. Sometimes you may feel good about yourself, but other times you hate yourself, or even view yourself as evil. You probably don’t have a clear idea of who you are or what you want in life. As a result, you may frequently change jobs, friends, lovers, religion, values, goals, and even sexual identity.
  4. Impulsive, self-destructive behaviors. If you have BPD, you may engage in harmful, sensation-seeking behaviors, especially when you’re upset. You may impulsively spend money you can’t afford, binge eat, drive recklessly, shoplift, engage in risky sex, or overdo it with drugs or alcohol. These risky behaviors may help you feel better in the moment, but they hurt you and those around you over the long-term.
  5. Self-harm. Suicidal behavior and deliberate self-harm is common in people with BPD. Suicidal behavior includes thinking about suicide, making suicidal gestures or threats, or actually carrying out a suicide attempt. Self-harm includes all other attempts to hurt yourself without suicidal intent. Common forms of self-harm include cutting and burning.
  6. Extreme emotional swings. Unstable emotions and moods are common with BPD. One moment, you may feel happy, and the next, despondent. Little things that other people brush off can send you into an emotional tailspin. These mood swings are intense, but they tend to pass fairly quickly (unlike the emotional swings of depression or bipolar disorder), usually lasting just a few minutes or hours.
  7. Chronic feelings of emptiness. People with BPD often talk about feeling empty, as if there’s a hole or a void inside them. At the extreme, you may feel as if you’re “nothing” or “nobody.” This feeling is uncomfortable, so you may try to fill the hole with things like drugs, food, or sex. But nothing feels truly satisfying.
  8. Explosive anger. If you have BPD, you may struggle with intense anger and a short temper. You may also have trouble controlling yourself once the fuse is lit—yelling, throwing things, or becoming completely consumed by rage. It’s important to note that this anger isn’t always directed outwards. You may spend a lot of time being angry at yourself.
  9. Feeling suspicious or out of touch with reality. People with BPD often struggle with paranoia or suspicious thoughts about others’ motives. When under stress, you may even lose touch with reality—an experience known as dissociation. You may feel foggy, spaced out, or as if you’re outside your own body.

Again, I can relate to many of them.  My anger is mainly directed towards myself and my body image or me being “ugly” or “stupid”… I guess occasionally my fiancé may be on the receiving end of it.. and perhaps T was last week, but usually its directed towards myself.  Perhaps this is what causes my depressive days or days like today where I feel irritated and angry with no real reason… things trigger me easily to lash out like a busy day at work where I feel I can’t stay level-headed.  Friday for example, I was busy at work, not feeling great and I CRIED at my desk because I was stressed.

This morning my fiancé said he woke up and thought to himself “how do I feel today” because he wasn’t feeling too good yesterday. He laughed and said how silly is that? I told him that is my first thought EVERY DAY.  He asked “in a mental capacity you mean?” and I said yes.  He said that was very sad.  I guess it is, isn’t it? I can go to bed happy and wake up feeling very sad or vice versa.. it is my very first thought of every day. Yesterday I felt excitable and hyperactive and today I feel rubbish.

I know that lots of people don’t agree with needing a “label” and I can’t be bothered to get into a debate on that right now, my brain is too fried, but for me, this is helpful. I will speak to my T about it tonight and see what she says.

If I am right and I do have BPD at least it explains a few things, particularly the mood swings and the extent at which I go from happy to utterly depressed and back because that really does worry me sometimes.  It explains the push/pull to me more and helps me to understand and it means I can read up about it so that I feel less scared by everything.

I think that T triggered something in me that session which made me freak out and pull away from her. I split her off as all bad and projected onto her until the next session where we started to repair things and I came back down a bit (the depressive position I spoke about yesterday).  The sadness and grief that followed on Thursday and all the tears I cried that day which were the result of my panic at her leaving me due to my anger… my fear of abandonment kicking in and my need to pull her back to me again. Is this what I do in all of my relationships?

Did I decide to drop a session whilst T was on holiday because I was freaking out about her leaving me? Because I was unconsciously fighting against my own abandonment fears? Was I trying to pull away from her because I was hurting?……… and the tears and fear I felt on Thursday about the fact I would only see T once a week instead of twice soon, is that me panicking because I have brought on an abaondment (kind of) all by myself…. a self fulfilling prophecy?

So many thoughts in my head right now whirling around!

A Letter to T (not actually sent)

Dear T,

I am writing this for my benefit more than your’s, but perhaps it will help us both. Who knows.

Right now things aren’t feeling good for me. About you. You aren’t feeling safe to me at the moment. In fact, you feel dangerous to me. That probably sounds a bit dramatic but its the truth.

Right now I feel that when I see you I will have to put on an act that I am very strong, very sure of myself and of my feelings, opinions and thoughts and not weak. The reason I feel like that is that I feel if you sense my weakness, you will sense a “way in” and you will use it to your advantage to “win” somehow. Perhaps by making me doubt myself and think that you are right and I am wrong, perhaps by persuading me that I have been stupid, perhaps by filling me with guilt…. perhaps by removing the sense I have at the moment that I am not weak or stupid or guilty, but I am listening to my own mind, my body and to my gut, to my self for once. I don’t want you to take that away from me.

When I started to have doubts that perhaps you aren’t actually who I thought you were, I tried to brush them off. I tried to ignore myself and then I tried to listen to myself… listening to myself is what has got me here. I have spent my life ignoring or dismissing my own beliefs or ignoring my internal danger radar – I decided that has to stop. And here I am.

You don’t feel safe because I feel like perhaps the whole time that I have looked at you as the some great protector, the fantasy mother or whatever else I’ve seen you as, has all been wrong.  When you apportioned  your own angry feelings to me you were wrong. You weren’t only wrong, you did what SHE does. Don’t project your negative shit onto me. I won’t take it. I am NOT a scapegoat anymore for anyone, least of all you who should know better.  Why do people see me as such an easy target? Do I do something to make that possible? Is it because people look at me and think “she won’t do anything about it”? Is it that easy?

You don’t feel safe anymore because you ruined my good news. SHE does that too. Why have you started doing the things that she does?

You’ve admitted that when you got my email telling you I had a new job and telling you I would be dropping back to one session a week you felt anger. I could tell you felt something negative because of your reply. I admitted to you that your reply left me feeling disheartened and dissapointed. It felt “therapisty” and cold to me, but as usual, I doubted myself because obviously you are right all the time.. or so I thought. I should have trusted my gut at the time. I could feel something wasn’t right then but I chose to ignore it. There seems to be a pattern emerging there.

You experienced a negative reaction to my good news. I don’t know the reason for that, but what I do know is that, that isn’t right. It isn’t normal for my therapist to have a negative reaction to my good news.  Guess who else would feel a negative response to my good news?? HER AGAIN. I expected more from you T.  At least with her I can put it down to her being jealous of me somehow, but clearly that doesn’t apply to you and so the only way I can make sense of that is that you want to keep me down, small, weak…. dependant on you and that makes me so angry. Why do you both want to keep me needy?

I feel like you will blame all of this on me. I feel like you are currently sitting at home feeling totally un-phased by all of this. Perhaps it crosses your mind every now and again and you think to yourself “Ooh Twink has turned me bad – at last, this will be interesting” or something similar which feels painfully condescending and disrespectful to the pain and anguish I am left with in the meantime. It makes me feel like a fucking science experiment. You won’t admit that to me of course, that wouldn’t be ethical. My feelings mean shit, right?

Being angry at you or not trusting you feels like a no-win situation. You are more intelligent, more important, more authoritative and more wise. I am none of those things and so, naturally, I am wrong.

Every now and then this wave of guilt washes over me when I think of the times you have been kind and soft and it makes me cry. Like now as I type that… but I am fighting against that because I can’t lose my anger. Losing my anger makes me feel weak again and as I have already said, me being weak means you get to be stronger and overpower me and I can’t let that happen. I can’t be crushed. Guilt is a bastard little shit face. Guess who else uses guilt to win?

If it turns out that you are just like my mother I don’t know what I will do. The thought terrifies me. It isn’t impossible though is it? Look how many people like my mother I’ve already attracted in my life! There’s Sarah, then Tina and God only knows how many other people, not to mention the fact my Nan and sister clearly treat me with similar traits to my mother and her narcissism. Do what we say, do what we do, don’t disagree and don’t say no… or else…… that’s how you made me feel too.

If I have bared my heart and soul to you for the last 3 years and all the while you were just like her, then I give up. I won’t ever be able to trust anyone again because if even a qualified therapist is able to control and manipulate me and make me feel weak and use me as a scapegoat for her shit feelings, then what hope is there?

I think I will stop there because I am drained and I have a headache from crying.

Despite my anger, my fear and everything else, I can clearly see that a lot of this letter is probably transference after all…… but that doesn’t give you permission to make light of it. The feelings are real, the pain is real and the fear is real too.

Don’t laugh at it, please.

 

 

 

 

 

Disaster 

Fucking therapy. Honestly, why do I sign myself up for this torture? What a joke. 

I’ve just this minute got home from my first session back in over 2 weeks and can honestly say, it was the worst session I’ve had in all the years of therapy I’ve had. 

I’ve never felt like leaving a session so much before. Like I genuinely considered leaving. I stared at the clock or the floor the whole time and I felt so angry and so frustrated with T I could have combusted. 

I went in there unwell, I have a stinking cold. Obviously that can’t just be a cold though, can it? Noooo it’s all about her and going back after a break. Yawn! 

Then we start talking about my new job. I told her how dissapointed I’ve been with everyone’s reaction. She said “maybe you wer dissapointed with mine?” Yes. Yes I was. I admitted it. I told her it was a HUGE deal for me and I would have liked some happiness and congratulations. I explained I wanted her to do what my mum doesn’t. She said something about how she had to play it safe because it was tied up in dropping a session etc.. 

Anyway, I’ll write more another time because now I am too pissed off but basically she just didn’t listen to a thing I said about dropping a session. She didn’t hear me at all. She kept on repeatedly telling me I was potentially ruining my therapy, she even said I DID NEED to be going twice a week, that I’m not “where you think you are” (fuck you). 

She went on and on and on and on about how I was sabotaging myself, how I was shut off and how I wasn’t in touch with my feelings or my child self… she kept on and on about how I should tell my new job I need therapy twice a week and how I should tell them I need Thursday afternoons off. I told her, clearly, I didn’t want to do that. I told her I wanted a fresh start, I wanted to throw myself into my new job and I didn’t want to do that. 

She wouldn’t have it. She wouldn’t listen. She didn’t hear me AT ALL!!!! 

I felt myself boiling with rage. I let her talk, I breathed through it – but my God she wouldn’t let up. 

At one point she even said that if I stop back to one session a week, I will shut down and not be able to access the stuff I was and so I snapped “so I’ll have to stop and it will all be pointless”. 

She said she could see I was angry with her. No shit! 

She kept on about how she was trying to put a middle ground in because I had gone off too far the other way. 

I’m genuinely sure she would never have spoken to or said the things she said to me had I been a 40 year old woman instead of someone her daughters’ age. I think there’s some counter-transference going on. 

I’m so angry at some of the jabs she made such as “why would you want to work for a firm that wouldn’t allow you to have Thursday afternoons off?” and things like how my therapy won’t work once a week.  She also said “are you getting a pay rise because there’s no point going sideways?”. 

The whole session was her talking AT me, not to me. It was her on her high horse telling me how wrong I am. 

I can’t even bring myself to write anymore right now. I have never felt like this about her before. I’ve never wanted to walk out so much. 

She even kept trying to make “jokes”, couldn’t she see how angry I was? 

Man. Wtf. Oh and then she said I might “fill in the gaps” meaning I would misinterpret what she was saying and that I would confuse her with my mother. 

Ha well if so, that’s because you sound like my fucking mother! 

Laughing At My Anger

Last night I had a dream about a lady at work. In the dream I was shouting and screaming at her, really going for it and I was clearly extremely angry and upset.  She however, was smirking the entire time, looking down on me as though it was amusing her to see me loosing my shit.  Eventually after a lot more screaming I totally lost it and I slapped her across the arm really hard.  

She looked almost pleased that I had lost it to such an extent and just looked at her arm and then me and walked away.  I fell to the floor in a heap of exhaustion and distress and sobbed as though I was dying. A few minutes later the police turned up and took me away, all the while this lady just smiled in a kind of psychopathic way. 

I told T about this dream at this afternoon’s session and we spoke about it at some length.  T said that she felt this was more of a memory.  Elements of that dream really did happen in my childhood and actually more recently than that.

In the dream the lady did not attempt to soothe me. She didn’t try to calm me down or help me in any way.  In fact what she did was humiliate me in my pain, laugh at the agony I was so clearly in and purposely provoke me in my anger until I did something “bad” or undeniable that I could then be punished for.

When I tried to explain the part of the dream where I was absolutely distraught and on the floor in a crying mess, I said to T that the way I was crying and the way I was feeling in the dream was exactly how I feel when I experience the regressed emotional flashbacks or attachment pain stuff. Stuff like last week when I didn’t want to leave and I had such a deep longing for her – or more accurately, for “the mother”.

I said for what could easily be the gazillionth time that I can’t find the words to explain this pain to her because any word I use feels minimising of my pain, but that even the image is accurate.  Every time I write about really feeling the full force of pain inside me in those moments, I often write that I would fall on the floor in a heap and almost die from the agony I’m feeling and that is exactly how it was in the dream only I was watching from a third person’s perspective – hence it feels like a flashback of sorts.

I told T a memory that when I was a young child, maybe 5 or 6, I was very, very angry.  I was told to shut up over and over again but I would not let it go. I guess the fact that I wasn’t being acknowledged, helped, soothed or even the fact that my mother (and another guy) were not trying to help me at all and the fact that they laughed at how exasperated I was getting just made me want to explode and so they locked me in a room and I bashed the door with a hairbrush over and over and over again. They just totally ignored me until I had cried myself into a sleepy pile on the floor.  Eventually they let me out and I was told off.  I remember that story from that perspective but I’ve also been reminded of this “funny story” by the man that was there at the time many times in my life. He often says how much of a brat I was and that he had never seen someone so young, so very angry.  He laughs as he tells people (usually new boyfriends) that they locked me in a room and I bashed the door repeatedly with the hairbrush. I used to laugh along and cringe a bit, but now the story makes me feel sick and hurts my heart. That was no way to handle an upset and angry child. I was probably angry and crying out to be noticed because my mother could only see the men in her life, not her daughter.

I wonder now if that was the day I locked my anger away and if that was the day I realised there was no point in getting angry because it would never help me get my mother’s attention.  Or perhaps anyone’s.

More currently, in November 2014, about a month after T taught me about narcissism and told me she thought my mother was severely narcissistic or suffered from full blown NPD, I was at my mother’s house and was a little bit tipsy.  I had found out that evening that the murderers that killed a colleague of mine had been sentenced and so was possibly emotional (that is my mother’s excuse for my behaviour anyway).  Anyway, some family members were there and one of them started talking about my boyfriend and saying some negative things about him that had clearly been said by my mother and I snapped at him that it sounded like something he had been told. He denied it but it was no use, the conversation gradually heated up and then I burst into tears and said how fed up I was of my mother badmouthing my boyfriend (story of my life) and from that point on, it/I erupted.  My mother and I ended up in the bathroom where I spat a whole lifetime of questions of why she was the way she was – why she never told me she loved me, why she always put men first, why she never acknowledged the csa and various other things. Needless to say, she wasn’t accountable for anything at all and gaslighted and invalidated me in true narcissistic style.  I was, like in the dream and like in the hairbrush story, totally raging (from a very hurt place) and not being listened to or helped in any way.  My mother then went into victim mode and cried her poor me’s and the family all rallied around her.  A cousin and my step dad began telling me how awful I was and how amazing my mother was and I screamed back at them that they were blind and that it was nothing to do with them, it was between me and her.  My cousin then stepped in and said I was lucky to have a mother like her and then my cousin and aunty cuddled my mum.  So I left. I just walked (stormed) out (in a furious and crying mess) and walked to my flat where I lived alone and I fell on the floor in desperation and loneliness and cried my heart out on my own – as usual.

Me and my mother didn’t speak after that night for about two weeks until one morning I was playing on my phone on the toilet, and she text. I opened the message hoping for an apology but it just said something along the lines of “Hi darling, I hope you are well? Would be nice to see you soon!“…

WTF??

Mindfucking.  I wasn’t far enough into my recovery to understand all of this in the way that I am writing about it now, but the point is – anger and my mother only serves to make you the bad guy. Like in the dream.

I told T that in past relationships, that tended to be rather volatile and up and down (because I was an insecurely attached girl dating avoidant men – durr!!) if we were arguing and someone laughed at me, that was it – I saw red and totally lost the plot. Luckily for me, me and my boyfriend do not argue like that and so that horrible side of e hasn’t come out for a long time. But it’s there – laughing at my pain is a no-go area.

And more currently still, there is work (ex) friend.  I can see the parallels in her and my mother now and I can see the parallels in the dream and what is going on with her at the moment too.  In true narcissistic style, she is smear campaigning all over the workplace She is telling people that I am ignoring her and she has no idea why, that she is devastated blah, blah, blah and clearly that can evoke some anger.  I think anyone would feel some frustration when someone who has been emotionally hurting them manages to make themselves look the victim.  When they lie, gossip, twist truths and try to ruin what people think of you it is incredibly unfair and anger tends to be born from the feeling of unfair does it not?  The smear campaign is a deliberate attempt at damage control in their favour – it is to try and cover up or prevent any attempt you might have made, or try to make, of exposing them for what they truly are and what they have done.  At this stage they start to play the victim and that will bring them some new sources of supply as people fall for the lies and they then use that new supply to make you jealous. To show you what you are missing.

Next up I will be on the receiving end of her rage and given how volatile she is anyway, I don’t doubt that will be ugly.  T warned me that I will be made to look like the biggest bitch that walks the earth and that I just need to ensure I do not take the bait. Do not react to anything AT ALL no matter how grossly unfair.  She said it won’t stop me wanting to “put a few F’s into her” but to do that in session with her.

The persecutor wants to wind me up until I do something undeniable just like in my dream when I eventually slap the woman who is smirking at my pain.

Fu**ing narcs.

 

FFS

Read previous blog first or this won’t make any sense

I’ve never felt anger towards my T before. Never. Not consciously anyway.

Until just now.

I emailed her to tell her how upset I am and why. I even put in quotes the sentence about wishing I could sit on her lap for longer etc.

She replied just now, it’s a very kind and gentle reply but she didn’t understand. She said how tough it is for me that my child part didn’t get tended to today because I only ever take my adult self on a Thursday. But that isn’t the problem!

I know this probably doesn’t seem like a big deal to people but I felt so hurt and upset and disappointed and (I can’t believe it but..) angry!

I burst into tears and said out loud “no, no!!!”.

Now I wish I hadn’t told her! Now it’s worse.

I replied quite bluntly (another first!) and said it wasn’t about that. It was the break stuff. I don’t think she will reply because I kinda closed the convo down but maybe if she picked up on some anger somehow that would help? But why would she pick up on anger – I didn’t tell her I was angry. Clearly she’s not a mind-reader!

Oh also. What’s with fucking kind wishes or best wishes or whatever – why does that feel so horribly cold and professional?!

AGGHHHHHH!!

She’s a geriatric Barbie doll

Last night’s session.

Work had a bit of a weird atmosphere yesterday. It was very quiet and lots of people had taken the extra day off to make a longer long weekend. Mood wise I felt okay you know, not particularly happy but not very down either. Just so.

On the way home from the station last night I found myself with a bit of road rage 😡 and then when I got home found myself snapping at my boyfriend and feeling irritated. I drove to my session and noticed that I felt in a bad mood, nothing felt right. No song was right, I felt annoyed and thought that it was probably due to therapy somehow.

When I got there T asked me how I was and I said I was good and that I hadn’t thought about anything therapy related at all since my last session which wasn’t like me at all. T said perhaps something had been released and it had enabled me to have a bit of a break and “leave it” there with her. I agreed.   I told T that although I had been feeling okay all weekend, since I got home from work tonight I felt a bit miserable.  T asked if I was upset and I said, no, sorry I mean snappy, irritable – I clearly use the word “miserable” out of context when describing my own mood.  T said perhaps because I had therapy tonight and I said that I thought the same although it wasn’t because I didn’t want to come, because I did.  I said I didn’t want to cancel and I would have been very disappointed if she had cancelled, but perhaps the mood was because I knew I would have to think about and deal with this stuff again.  She said that most people who get road rage are people who have passive anger.

We spoke about how the weekend had been and I showed T a photograph of my mother which she had put on Facebook of her and her latest group of BFFs at a festival. My mother was wearing a top which she had tied up to be a short crop-top and looked just ridiculous. T looked at the photo for quite a while and said how age inappropriate she looked and how fake her smile was. I agreed.  T asked how it made me feel and I said it hadn’t bothered me, but I had laughed and thought how pathetic it was.  T said that somewhere it would have affected me and said that my mother had no regard for the fact her daughters wouldn’t like to see their mother acting like that.

I mentioned my upcoming holiday in two week’s time and T said that she knows this is really hard, but perhaps now was the right time for her to give me her summer holiday dates (Bleugh).  I said that was fine and got my phone out to put them in my diary.  She said she was doing things differently this year and was going to take one week in the middle of July and then 2 weeks in September. I noted the dates and said that was all fine.  T asked how it felt and I said it was fine and probably wouldn’t have much impact on me until just before.  T said that she felt as I struggled to show her any needs, I probably felt I had to keep it in and that perhaps I didn’t let my true feelings about this out to her. I said maybe, it was hard to say because at the moment it felt okay but we would see.

T said she had been sitting there before I came in thinking about quite how hard I find it to show her I have a need/needs. I said yes. She said that she was thinking how my mum liked me to be vulnerable and as we had discussed before, was quite voyeuristic about it and so she wondered if I was up against that with her because she was encouraging my vulnerability?

This wasn’t something I had ever thought about before so I wasn’t really sure what to say or think. T said that she knows how thankful I always had to be to my mother for bringing me up or simply being my mother and she wondered if I felt I had to be the same towards her? Did I have to be thankful and “blow her ego up”… I was thinking, no obvious thoughts came to mind.

T said she wondered if sending emails to her with my gratitude kept me safer. Whether I was less likely to be attacked that way? She said that in her last break I had text her a text to show my gratitude towards her and our relationship and that maybe that was the safest way to do it but that deep down I may have felt angry with her.

T said again that at some point I may well start feeling angry and irritated by her. That I will make her what she needs to become for me to really deal with my anger and rage. She said that she didn’t tell this to scare me but wanted me to understand it so that I understood when it happened. I said it did scare me a bit because coming here was my safe haven and I didn’t want that to change.  T said it would and could still be my safe haven, we would work through it.

T said that emailing on its own was showing a need but the content was hard for me to express. She asked me where in my body I felt it? I thought and I wasn’t sure. I said probably my head because I often get a headache if I’m down and said I have what I call “head cloud” which is where everything feels heavy and miserable sometimes. I said sometimes I just wake up like that. T asked if it’s after I’ve had dreams and I said yes sometimes. She said that sometimes our mood could be because of things that are unconscious to us at the moment and I agreed.

T said it was worth thinking about because some people might notice for instance that they get a stomach ache before they cry or something like that. I said I have noticed things before like I sometimes get heartburn before therapy and I’ve had it enough now to be able to explain it to myself “ah, it’s because I’m nervous about therapy tonight”. T nodded. She asked if perhaps I saw a colour or a picture or a shape? I said no… I said I don’t really understand but that I didn’t think so.

T asked how I feel when I am miserable or angry, where do I feel it in my body? I said I don’t know… this was hard because I felt a bit stupid not knowing the answer – t said it is okay and that it’s still a new concept for me but it’s worth thinking about.

I told her that I had a memory the other day that when I was young and my mother was getting ready to go out, which she did a lot, she would pout in the mirror and ask me how she looked. I would say “lovely” and she would always say “JUST lovely?” So I would say “beautiful” and she would say “just beautiful??”. I told T it became a joke that me and my sister would tease her with and before she asked we would reel off as many positive words as possible and that it was annoying. I said it was only now I realised how narcissistic that was – she was literally asking me and my sister to tell her how wonderful she was.

T asked if she would tell me nice things when I was going out and I said no. Never. She did the opposite. She always pointed out things that weren’t good enough, in front of my friends and that again it’s only now I realise how cruel that was. I said that I always tell my stepdaughter how lovely she looks and said that only the other day she had done her hair and I told her it looked nice but she said she was worried her ears looked big. I said they absolutely didn’t and then told my boyfriend on the quiet to tell her how nice she looked. I said even if she did have “big ears” or something, I would never, ever point it out to her.

T said a mother should tell her daughter she looks pretty. (Automatic thought was lucky T’s daughter probably got that growing up) – I know, jealous much.

I said, I hate the impact she’s…. then got choked and started crying but managed to stop myself quickly. T told me not to swallow it. I took a few deep breaths and said I know we’ve touched on this before, but… and T interrupted and said we will have to revisit it many times… I said the impact she’s had on my view of my body and looks makes me feel so angry.

I thought very briefly about telling T the extent of this but she said something and I decided not to.  Part of me really wants her to understand the ways she has affected how I view myself physically but at the same time I am scared to point my flaws out to T because I don’t want her to look for them when they’ve been pointed out to her and become more obvious.

I said the last time we spoke about this, I had left her’s very upset and found the next day or two really very difficult. T said that’s because it came up at the end of the session and that when this happens it may well get me in touch with my anger. I said I think it did a bit last time because I felt angry that I had to go. T agreed and said you would have liked to stay. I said yes. This made me upset again. (For background when this happened I cried a lot when I got to the car and all the way home and again a lot at home. I kept hoping T would text or email me to see how I was because I left in so much pain but she didn’t and that felt cold).

T said I was angry with my mother even if I didn’t feel it and I said oh I know I am, I am not trying to pretend otherwise. I am very aware of my anger at her. I said this is why I am steering clear of her at the moment because I wouldn’t be able to stop myself if she said something.

T asked what sort of thing and I said if she made a comment on my weight or clothes etc I think I would lose it. T asked what I would like to say? I said I didn’t have a clue but that perhaps I would tell her she looked like a geriatric Barbie doll. T burst into laughter but stopped herself quickly.

She suggested that I wrote a letter to her and dispelled some of my anger. I said I had written letters before that I had read to T and she said I had, but they were much more “in the head” and this might help with the anger. I said I wouldn’t know where to start. She said not to worry about sentences or spelling and just to write words or scribbles or whatever I felt I needed to do. I said maybe.

I’ve since thought about this and note that I feel some reluctance which surprises me because I’ve always wanted T to “give me homework” or some sort of project to do and yet I don’t see myself doing this at the moment. Maybe I’m scared of my anger or something, I don’t know.

I said to T that it is really hard that she doesn’t even know I am so angry with her. I said that usually when you are upset with someone, they know about it and it is hard to be so angry and yet have to act as though everything is normal when I speak to her. For example she text me Sunday inviting me to a festival that she was at (don’t ask!).  T asked what it would mean to have replied and said “I am upset/angry with you at the moment”? I told her that then she would ask why and I can’t tell her and even if I did it would be completely useless because she can’t accept any criticism or blame for anything and it wouldn’t get me anywhere.  T said that neither of my parents were able to take any blame at all for anything. I agreed.

I said that I genuinely do not want an apology off of her – I have given up hope that things may ever be different: that she might change one day into what I want her to be – I said that if she did apologise now, it wouldn’t help, it would be too little too late so it isn’t that…

T said you just wish she was a normal mother? I said yes.  I told T that my anger and sadness were very mixed up and it was hard to say which I felt because I wasn’t sure. With that I got teary again and as I tried to push back the tears, they came out quite hard and forcefully and I let the tears come for a bit.  I think T said “oh Twinkletoes” and that seemed to make it worse but in a kinda nice way… I wasn’t entirely sure what I was crying about.

I think we spoke about some more stuff but nothing is jumping out right now. I left T’s feeling okay-ish although I had to sit in the car for 5 minutes before driving off and I cried again and felt so very sad.  When I got home I was very quiet which is very unlike me, I didn’t have anything to say and I didn’t really have any conscious thoughts, I just laid on the sofa until bed time.  Eventually my boyfriend came over and asked if it was a hard session which I said yes it was… and cried again as he gave me a cuddle.  He later asked me if something had happened and I said no, it hadn’t.

I wish I could explain to both him and to myself what I am crying about specifically but I can’t. I think it is just the sadness about the whole situation really. I wish it wasn’t reality but it is and it sucks.

T hit the nail on the head when she said that I was having to re-write my history and figure out what is and isn’t true and realise the damage that has been done.  I just feel like I am in the middle of it all at the moment and it does feel overwhelming at times…

The tears could be about the body image stuff and the anger and shame that brings up in me… it could be the breaks coming up.. it could be the neediness and the fear that brings.. I don’t know, but when I got in the car last night I thought how quickly my session had gone and how it just didn’t seem long enough.

Twink x

 

Questions about the fear of needing

I have been thinking about this a lot lately, particularly since my session Tuesday night and since my last blog, the comments that you lovely lot have been leaving me and today’s thoughts are:

 

Question: If I had a different childhood and therefore a different attachment  (perhaps secure rather than insecure/disorganised) would this be different? Do “normal” children/adults not experience this fear?

I think I know that the answer to that is that no, they don’t… that this fear of mine is uncommon (although clearly not unheard of according to things you guys have said in support) but I think I am just trying to get my head around this properly.

Not to sound like a child “blaming” someone but… so it’s her fault that I feel this way? It’s because she didn’t consistently meet my needs that I learnt to be scared of needing someone to rely on? Is that really right? If so, I feel so sick and angry about that today. How bloody unfair. How cruel.  How can you punish a child and scare them for having needs?

For me to feel scared of relying on someone – particularly someone like T who is clearly there to help me, I have clearly learnt that depending on someone and being vulnerable is potentially risky. Risky how? A risk of rejection or risk of abandonment or punishment I guess… and how would I have learnt that lesson? I assume by being abandoned physically and/or emotionally or by being made to feel rejected or ashamed. I guess my mother’s whole “you are so needy” is an example of that……………….. sorry if this is blatantly obvious to you guys, clearly it is taking me some time to understand this on a deep level.

 

Next question: this desperation of contacting T, of needing her there, of needing her to help me hold my stuff – is this how a child feels towards her parent when she is young or something? Or is this just something that I am personally experiencing with T right now?

I ask that because I am aware of the “re-parenting” that is done in this type of therapy and that T has said to me so many times before that I “need to do with her what I wasn’t able to do as a child”…. Is that what she means?? I wonder if that is why it feels so primal/infantile? Regression that kind of thing?

I am seeking answers today and I’ve woken up feeling unwell. Sick, blocked nose and headache-y. I don’t know if I am feeling sick because of this stuff – if it’s emotional or whether I am just genuinely getting unwell and that’s making me feel shit. Either way… I need to understand this stuff a little more.

too much