Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 911138

Shown: posts 1 to 13 of 13. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Disappointment or Relief?

Posted by antigua3 on August 9, 2009, at 13:36:46

I just spent a week at my mother's. Going there is the most triggering thing/event of my ongoing life. I'm always the "good" girl when inside I feel a lot of hate. I always feel so ambivalent about her. I love her or hate her, but don't ever show the hate. Yes, black and white thinking, but I can't see the gray yet.

In any case, I was a little worried about going because since I'd last seen here, I've had--I don't even really know how many--maybe six or seven major, major flashbacks and have become aware of things that it's inconceivable to me that I never knew about.

My psychiatrist asked me weeks ago (haven't seen him in a month) if I'd ever thought of telling my mother about these experiences and I just told him, "Are you kidding? No way," and folded my hands tight across my chest. The session ended with a discussion of how I could handle telling her, even though I had no intention, but we never worked all the way through it. It was more than thinking through all the possibilities of how she would react; it was about having a "solution" in place when I told her, but I haven't seen him since to find out what he meant by that.

My T thought the flashbacks were too new and I needed more time to sort them out and to not even consider telling my mother at this time. (If my mother had protected me/been the "good" mother, these things probably wouldn't have happened.)

After thinking about what my pdoc said, the thought occurred to me that if I told her these really awful things, I could get comfort from the only person it would matter most--my mother.

I had no intention of telling her these things, but shortly after I arrived--I swear, it was only 20 minutes--due to an argument we kind of had (we never, ever fight), I blurted out what happened to me.

And I didn't get what I wanted. I'm not really surprised or disappointed, truly; as usual, she turned it into it all being about her, etc., etc., and the awful things that have happened to her ("But you weren't 11, Mom, is as far as I could get with her). I tried to hug her twice, to get that comfort, and she didn't really embrace me. Let's say they were half-hearted hugs from a big hugger.

Several years ago, I told my mother that my father had abused me and she was very good about it. I felt she really cared and was sorry, etc. This time around, she wasn't there.

But maybe that's good? Maybe it's a relief to see her more as she is rather than as I imagine or wish for?

Nothing was ever mentioned in the next five days. We had a really great time together, but I always felt the cloud hanging over us.

I usually crash hard after seeing her; I guess keeping up the pretense (even though it doesn't feel like it at the time) takes a whole lot of energy and stuffing of emotions.

It has been really difficult since i got back. I'm a mess. The simple question is why does she act that way? The answer is that she is a complicated, troubled woman and I love her. Residual, passionate love from a child who was abandoned and never got over it.

I don't even know why I'm posting. Maybe because I just needed to write about it. I know I broke the cardinal rule that I should have been prepared for a variety of responses from her, but another part of me just had to blurt it out.
What a lot of things to work on..
antigua

 

Re: Disappointment or Relief?

Posted by annierose on August 9, 2009, at 16:41:44

In reply to Disappointment or Relief?, posted by antigua3 on August 9, 2009, at 13:36:46

Your mother's lack of a reaction is a larger indication of her own mental issues.

I am so sorry that she wasn't able to comfort the hurt that has lived (and raged) inside of you for so long. I think mother issues are so huge and hard to comprehend. How could a mom act so unmotherly? How could they not protect us? How could they not see the pain we were living with?

... the questions are never ending ... as is the pain we are left to sort through.

Your mother did hear your words. She chooses not to let it sink into any sort of consciousness.

I'm sorry. Moms are so disappointing.

 

Re: Disappointment or Relief?

Posted by Partlycloudy on August 9, 2009, at 16:57:39

In reply to Re: Disappointment or Relief?, posted by annierose on August 9, 2009, at 16:41:44


> I'm sorry. Moms are so disappointing.
>
>

My mother has said all along that she did the best she could.
I think that, given what I learned from her, it was a huge part of my decision (and also my sister's) of us both not having children. I could say that I would NOT do what my mother had done, but I also wouldn't wish the kind of grandparent she's become onto a family, either. So aloof and remote. Yet with a plastic smile glued onto her face.
So sad, and angering indeed.
pc

 

Re: Disappointment or Relief?

Posted by antigua3 on August 9, 2009, at 18:43:23

In reply to Re: Disappointment or Relief?, posted by annierose on August 9, 2009, at 16:41:44

> Your mother did hear your words. She chooses not to let it sink into any sort of consciousness.
>
Thanks, you're absolutely right and I have to remember that--she's incapable of it, and that's just the way it is.

So I guess that means I shouldn't worry that I told her something that might hurt her? (That was one of my primary concerns about telling her; I had to protect her from knowing what an even worse mother she was, but it didn't seem to faze her; that was pure projection on my part.) All it did was make her defensive.

I guess I should focus on what my T said when I called her while I was away: my secrets are all out. I don't have the burden of carrying them by myself anymore, and these feelings of needing to protect her won't build over the years as they did about telling her about my father.

I've waited for so many years to know "the things" that were holding me back, and now that I know, things seem to be moving at lightening speed. Maybe I just need to slow down a little.
antigua

 

Re: Disappointment or Relief?

Posted by antigua3 on August 9, 2009, at 18:49:31

In reply to Re: Disappointment or Relief?, posted by Partlycloudy on August 9, 2009, at 16:57:39

> My mother has said all along that she did the best she could.

That's what my mother says all the time and it's not good enough. She was selfish, pure and simple. I can understand in some ways why she did the things she did, but they were still wrong.

> I think that, given what I learned from her, it was a huge part of my decision (and also my sister's) of us both not having children.

I thought about this a really long time before having children, but I am married to a very stable, loving man who had great parental role models, so I figured he could help me along the way. (Not that they, or he, are/were perfect!)

It has been really important to me to raise my children differently than I was raised (ha! I raised myself) so the pattern would stop with me. So far, I think, or hope anyway, that I have been successful. While I feel miserable about my own life right now, I feel good about them. (Of course, I've had my T so long that she actually helped raise them too, which is worth every penny I've ever spent on therapy.)

Of course, they will have their own issues. Will I say I did the best I could? Hmmm, interesting thing to ponder.

So nice to hear from you. Hope you're hanging in there.
antigua

 

above for pc (nm)

Posted by antigua3 on August 9, 2009, at 18:50:25

In reply to Re: Disappointment or Relief?, posted by antigua3 on August 9, 2009, at 18:49:31

 

:-) (nm) antigua3

Posted by Partlycloudy on August 9, 2009, at 19:45:39

In reply to above for pc (nm), posted by antigua3 on August 9, 2009, at 18:50:25

 

Re: Disappointment or Relief?

Posted by Daisym on August 10, 2009, at 0:07:49

In reply to Disappointment or Relief?, posted by antigua3 on August 9, 2009, at 13:36:46

I think some things just explode out - blurting, by definition, lacks planning. But some part of you needed it out there - no matter what. I can hear it, "no more secrets! No more secrets!"

It is interesting that on the one hand, you worry about hurting your mom and on the other, you are aware that she thinks she did the best she could. Part of what I allow for my own mom, is that they grew up in a time when family secrets were never shared, and it was the woman's job to keep up appearances, NO MATTER WHAT. I'm not agreeing this was the right thing but we should try to remember that even therapists didn't "believe" the sexual abuse was "real" until about the 1980s.

And yet - "I did the best I could" is so hurtful. I wish often mine would say, "I'm so sorry that you were hurt" or "How can I help now?" or even, "That B#$sta@d!" But I know she won't so I've never told her.

I'm not surprised there is fall out after you spend time with her. I imagine your psyche and your body are remembering all those "afters" when she wasn't there for you. How exhausting.

I can't help but wonder what your pdoc will say about your telling. Be gentle with yourself this week.

 

Re: Disappointment or Relief? Daisym

Posted by antigua3 on August 10, 2009, at 11:37:19

In reply to Re: Disappointment or Relief?, posted by Daisym on August 10, 2009, at 0:07:49

Thanks Daisy.

I guess it is hard to accept that our mothers grew up in a different world, where things often happened and kept secret.

I always feel like my mother is trying to one-up me on what happened, but the things she tells me don't, to me, seem to have been anywhere near as bad. But maybe I just don't know.

She makes me crazy when she does this and I begin to doubt myself and the severity of what I went through. Maybe I'm making a big deal over nothing? Maybe none of these things never happened? It brings forth so much denial, which has always been my strongest defense, one that has taken me so very, very long to let go of.

How does a person who has gone through terrible things that so many of us have really "know" how bad it was? For myself, it was just the things that happened to me and I don't know how bad they were. Does it really matter anyway? This isn't a contest to see who had the worse experience and I have trouble with that issue.

My T says I know how bad it was, but I just don't want to accept it yet.

I did have an interesting experience with this subject with both my psychiatrist and T. I was so sick of them saying, "you went through some awful things as a child," because I could never gauge what they meant. I often think that I'm just being a big baby and should just get on with my life. So, I found a way to ask them that would give me the answer I wanted and their answers were exactly the same, and it was harsher than I had anticipated. So I can't hide from it, but it also helped me understand that my pdoc knew and I've taken great comfort from that.

I will let you know what he says. It should be interesting.
thanks again,
antigua

 

Re: Disappointment or Relief? antigua3

Posted by fleeting flutterby on August 10, 2009, at 14:06:44

In reply to Disappointment or Relief?, posted by antigua3 on August 9, 2009, at 13:36:46

I'm sorry your mother didn't give you what you so very much needed. :o(
I can so relate. Yea, when I'm upset and have to speak to her, it turns into something about her or she denies everything I've just said, that took me months/years to get the courage to say....*sigh*..... yea, it's a tough place to be, I'm sorry.

I find it interesting that the first time you talked to her-- about your dad-- she was somewhat supportive. and then when asked by your psychiatrist if you would talk to her about these other things you replied, "no way"-- it's almost as if you already figured how she would react.

I suppose-- in answer to your question "Disappointment or Relief?"-- you could possibly feel both-- you think? Disappointed that your mother didn't comfort/support you and yet relieved that you've finally expressed what's been inside yourself all this time.... it's out there now and there's no more wondering how it will go.

not sure if this would be helpful for you-- but I've found a bit of solace in finding out what a wounded woman my mother really is.(she had horrific things happen to her as well when she was a child) Not that I want her to be wounded-No, no-- just that it helps to realize that she didn't necessarily neglect and abuse me just for the heck of it-- she often wasn't able to do any better-- to be a "good" mother..... (not that your mom is as mentally ill as mine, but maybe thinking this could help a little...) and I'm not excusing such behavior by a mother-- just looking at things with a different spin to it.... many times people do things or don't do things they should do, for some inner reasons-- they may not make sense or be good reasons to everyone else --but-- there they are just the same......

I feel for you and hope you can give yourself the comfort/support that you need.

best to you,
flutterby-mandy

 

Re: Disappointment or Relief?

Posted by antigua3 on August 10, 2009, at 18:35:06

In reply to Re: Disappointment or Relief? antigua3, posted by fleeting flutterby on August 10, 2009, at 14:06:44

flutterby-mandy--thank you so much. You've given me some new things to think about.

> I can so relate. Yea, when I'm upset and have to speak to her, it turns into something about her or she denies everything I've just said, that took me months/years to get the courage to say....*sigh*..... yea, it's a tough place to be, I'm sorry.
>
Yep, that's my mother, and it is a tough place when you've been a weak person who constantly covers hate with love. I can hear my psychiatrist suggesting that I look at the "gray" area and I'm really trying. It wouldn't be so tortuous if I could do that. But why do I have to love her so much? It's the same with my father. I layered love over hate so I didn't have to hate him. I still don't, really, except I do hate what he did to me.

> I find it interesting that the first time you talked to her-- about your dad-- she was somewhat supportive. and then when asked by your psychiatrist if you would talk to her about these other things you replied, "no way"-- it's almost as if you already figured how she would react.
>
I think, stupidly of course, that I didn't want to inflict any more pain on her, but it didn't seem to faze her. She has a funny way at looking at the world, and I see now that it's always about her; she can't see/or chooses not to see that everything isn't about her. For God's sake, I wasn't blaming her for what happened--that's what I thought it would sound like when it came out, even though I said flat out that I wasn't blaming her. She just conveniently took herself out of the equation and turned it back on me.

> I suppose-- in answer to your question "Disappointment or Relief?"-- you could possibly feel both-- you think?

Absolutely, I feel both ways, but right now I feel so very, very alone with all of this. I know that after seeing her provokes intense feelings, but this time it's different. Maybe worse because I told her the worst and she wasn't helpful. I'm mad that I just blurted it out; I really didn't intend on doing that, but that's just how it happened. Given the argument we were kind of having, I think I wanted to hurt her, to get some sort of satisfaction. Isn't that a horrible way to be?
>
> not sure if this would be helpful for you-- but I've found a bit of solace in finding out what a wounded woman my mother really is.

I know what a wounded person she is; I've protected her for years. But when she is deliberately hurtful to me, one of two children she has who treat her like a queen, I just don't get it. She's just so selfish, and when she admitted why she abandoned me at 12, it was for very selfish reasons. Now that I know this, maybe I can put it to rest.

I just feel overwhelmed at the moment. I can't seem to settle down and put my thoughts in any kind of order. I'm being hit by all sides by so many different types of awful feelings and I need to sort them out. And all of this has just made the intensity of the flashbacks so much stronger. I can't seem to escape them, or let them go as I've been advised.

Tomorrow should be interesting as I see both my T and psychiatrist. I kind of feel like they've lied to me. They promised me I wouldn't have to travel this path alone, a path I've never been down before, but I don't feel them with me. I don't feel secure enough to reach out to them. It's like being back in that stage where I think "they're just doing their jobs; they could care less about me." They don't live this every moment of every day so it was stupid to trust them.

Now I really sound pathetic so I'd better stop.

thanks for your kind words flutterby,
antigua

 

Re: Disappointment or Relief? antigua3

Posted by fleeting flutterby on August 11, 2009, at 10:35:55

In reply to Re: Disappointment or Relief?, posted by antigua3 on August 10, 2009, at 18:35:06

> flutterby-mandy--thank you so much. You've given me some new things to think about.
>

----flutterby: You are welcome. :o)

> Yep, that's my mother, and it is a tough place when you've been a weak person who constantly covers hate with love. I can hear my psychiatrist suggesting that I look at the "gray" area and I'm really trying. It wouldn't be so tortuous if I could do that. But why do I have to love her so much? It's the same with my father. I layered love over hate so I didn't have to hate him. I still don't, really, except I do hate what he did to me.<<

----flutterby: Oh yes, the "good" child. that is me too! I was the model child(yuk--I still am even as an adult) -- there was NO teenage rebellion from me. I held everything inside, my pain, my trauma, the abuse-- everything.
Why do you have to love her so much?---- could it be that you so so want it returned(love) and hope that if you love her THIS much that you will finally get it back?-- could that be part of it?? unfortunately-- love is not necessarily reciprocal. :o( I've found that out from my mom. Now I hold her in my heart as a distant aunt, one that I have to care for but not get too close emotionally.


> I think, stupidly of course, that I didn't want to inflict any more pain on her, but it didn't seem to faze her.<<


----flutterby: No no, not stupid at all. You are a compassionate person. Hats off to you in being so, you sure didn't learn that did you. I grew up learning that my mom was emotionally weak and so even as a child I focused on protecting her instead of myself, as she had to be as healthy as possible to take care of me.(if that makes any sense)

>> She has a funny way at looking at the world, and I see now that it's always about her; she can't see/or chooses not to see that everything isn't about her. For God's sake, I wasn't blaming her for what happened--that's what I thought it would sound like when it came out, even though I said flat out that I wasn't blaming her. She just conveniently took herself out of the equation and turned it back on me.<<

---flutterby: Yes, what a disappointment for you, I'm so sorry. maybe keep this in mind-- it's her misgiving, not yours-- so in this instance it IS about her and not you. You don't have to own her inability to comfort you.

>
> I'm mad that I just blurted it out; I really didn't intend on doing that, but that's just how it happened. Given the argument we were kind of having, I think I wanted to hurt her, to get some sort of satisfaction. Isn't that a horrible way to be?<<

----flutterby: I don't think so. You were hurting and wanted to be heard and validated- we all have that right. Maybe you just wanted her to feel pain so she could relate to you? maybe? or maybe you were angry, rightly so, and needed to get it out.


>
> I just feel overwhelmed at the moment. I can't seem to settle down and put my thoughts in any kind of order. I'm being hit by all sides by so many different types of awful feelings and I need to sort them out.<<

---flutterby: Oh yea, "mental chaos" I call it. I can so relate. :o(


> Tomorrow should be interesting as I see both my T and psychiatrist.<<

----flutterby: Oh, good luck! Hope it all goes well.

>> I kind of feel like they've lied to me. They promised me I wouldn't have to travel this path alone, a path I've never been down before, but I don't feel them with me. I don't feel secure enough to reach out to them.<<

----flutterby: could you be feeling those rejections from your mom here? maybe you see them doing the same?

>>They don't live this every moment of every day so it was stupid to trust them.<<

-----flutterby: heh, you sound just like me. trust is very difficult for some of us.

thinking of you,

flutterby-mandy

 

thanks :) (nm) fleeting flutterby

Posted by antigua3 on August 11, 2009, at 11:05:26

In reply to Re: Disappointment or Relief? antigua3, posted by fleeting flutterby on August 11, 2009, at 10:35:55


This is the end of the thread.


Show another thread

URL of post in thread:


Psycho-Babble Psychology | Extras | FAQ


[dr. bob] Dr. Bob is Robert Hsiung, MD, bob@dr-bob.org

Script revised: February 4, 2008
URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/cgi-bin/pb/mget.pl
Copyright 2006-17 Robert Hsiung.
Owned and operated by Dr. Bob LLC and not the University of Chicago.