I would appreciate any constructive, practical suggestions, insights or shared experiences regarding an extremely difficult family (mainly mother) situation. I have, however, received more criticism that I can take and although you don't know me (!) all my previous partners and current good friends say the things that have been said do not match with who I am at all. I agree with my friends (on a good day) but some how the negatives persist niggling away in the back of my mind in the voice of my mother and family criticising me. So although I really do do do want to move on i know that in order to do this I need honesty and help which has the tone of compassion not judgement or blame (I literally cannot take any more of that). I don't want to label anyone/anything (or myself) but the more i read, it scarily seems like what i've experienced through childhood and still now is (emotional) abuse. There was an awareness meeting with child protection specialists recently at work and when they described the definition of 'emotional abuse' and burning hot tears involuntarily rolled down my cheeks on to the table, luckily noone noticed) I don't know where to begin so maybe rather than go into who, when, why, how it is just better to say that I find my mother has and does have an extremely negative affect on me. When I speak to her on the phone, see her handwriting on any mail I go cold and begin to feel panicky and unwell. We haven't seen each other in 3/4 years and barely communicate now but when we do she is very angry and throws all blame at me. When we communicate of any level (postcard/card/email/letter/by phone) I feel quite unwell, confused and sick and it literally takes weeks to get over that. I recently asked her on the phone what I have done that is so bad (to blame me for EVERY thing, criticise any genuine efforts I make/have made or made her not visit in 6 years or ever phone) and she wouldn't tell me so I got worried. To my knowledge I had always been the most diligent, thoughtful, considerate daughter I possibly could be but when pressed she finally screamed at me that what I've done is lots of 'pissy little ****** things that don't even matter'. My father defends her with his life either by blaming me 'you have destroyed your mother' or by saying nothing, I literally never hear from him. In March my partner wrote to my father by email seeing what pain i am in asking why he never contacts me, my father acknowledged this email but never actually replied. Last year my partner phoned my father to introduce himself (we've been together 18months and he's never met my parents/family) and during this conversation my father said about me that i've always been 'too good, too nice'. I know by her own admission that my mother has manipulated and lied to my brother and sister and consequently they have chosen her side and I do not hear from them and if i do they blame me. ANY way, the point is I don't have contact now. I have acknowledged birthdays, Christmas but this year not heard from them. You'd think perhaps that this would be/feel like a blessed relief but it's actually left me feeling deeply sad, a pain I feel on a daily basis which I don't know how to shift. I have spent £1000's on counselling, been to see a life coach, hypnotherapist and read a lot of pyschology books and although my understanding is better now the pain i feel is not. I blame myself, I feel ashamed, embarrassed, sick. I feel rejected and like an orphan, discarded. I don't know how to move on but need to and want to as this is literally ruining my life, hurting and chewing me up more and more and affecting my relationship/friendships. Any suggestions? Thanks.
I agree with teko, somehow you problems began at home you are going to have to talk to each family member somehow like a grown up, and ask( what have i done to make you feel this way, and please give me a-straight answer, and if i have done something to offend you, i will try to make it right) because the way i am reading this there is some little something that started this, and it must be faced, asnd tell them you do not remember anything that you may have done just do not yell, and try one person at a time or get them all together, and say i really need to talk, as something is wrong Please keep us informed, if this does not work , we are here for you lots luck jo
Do you have any reason to believe that YOU did something wrong? These people sound like they are abusive, as you feel, and generally if you go to people like this, they will tell you that you did all kinds of things wrong, when you really didn't. I would be very careful, and make a plan with a thrapist, should you decide to do this.
I just finished reading your post and I might as well have written it myself. I have had strong issues such as yours my whole life. The only differance is that I have continuously let my mother back into my life,only to be left feeling used hurt and dejected. She bad mouths me constantly and no matter what I do for her she finds something bad in it. I can do nothing right in her eyes. I broke my back in May and spent alot of time in the hospital etc. She flew down to see me when it initially happened and then went back to work. She left work and asked for time off to come back to be with me to help and support me. The opposite happened, she did come down and stayed at my house for 2 weeks and visited me in the hospital occasionally. Her and I had a disagreement in the hospital one morning and she left and I never heard from her for 2 weeks. Though she had the nerve to tell people I kicked her out. She made herself the victim in this whole matter when all I did was try to keep her happy even from my hospital bed. She came back one more time just before I was released and I try to have a heart to heart talk with her and tell her how hurt I was about her taking off on me a few weeks earlier and said I just wanted things to be good between us. Her answer was to tell me to quit dwelling in the past even though it had just happened.She again left and I have not talked to her since. I have been home from the hospital for almost a month and she is still in my city staying with my sister and has blamed me for everything again making herself the victim. I, like you have seeked therapy read all the books and done everything in my power(evenbefore the injury) to be a good daughter. Even my sisters agree that she has some sort of hate on for me and know one really knows why. I stronghly disagree with some of the posts written to you because I have, my whole life tried to confront the issues head on and have always forgiven and moved on (as it sounds like you have done as well). Those were always short term fixes and my mom would again quickly find reason to lash out at me. My response to your post is that I believe that your mother needs to get help or learn how to connect with her true feeling in order for you to be able to have a relationship. I feel my mom has feelings of guilt and resentment for things she has said and done but will never own up to them so therefore there is no hope for her and I. I do hope for your happiness that there will be a differant outcome for you and your family. Sorry I wasn't much help but wanted you to know that there are more of us out there.
Thanks for the comments, I appreciate the time and effort they take to write. What's difficult is the situation is so complicated and so personal and when you're the one in the situation you often know much more than others can know or see but on the minus side it can feel overwhelming which is why i wrote this post - for some objectivity. When I wrote the post the situation (as it is now) is that there is no communication between myself or any member of my blood family (which is not very big). This still is the situation but what I did not include is the past events that led to this situation, 1 because they are the past and i'd like to think they were literally the 'past' and could stay there and 2 because events that occurred in the past are personal and by revealing these i feel disloyal to the family members who they concern and that makes me feel sick and guilty for breaking the 'code' and not keeping events in the family as my parents always expected, even though they would not talk about the things that happened. My sister is years older than me and growing up she was very very unhappy, she was kicked out at a young age for what i observed as a child as a non-reason. She'd talk on a loop about what had gone on in childhood and the way she was treated and I would listen and absorb what i heard. I witnessed some of her treatment and to this day it makes me cry when i recall what i observed and heard. My brother being a boy got away with a lot more, expectations on him were far less but still he had times where he was treated badly and he was once thrown out at Christmas for something very minor. He talked about this and was confused and hurt by it but then for years besides acknowledging things in the past were 'bad, man' he wouldn't get into it. A few years ago we met for dinner in the city where i live as he'd been on a course there all day. He was drunk when we met and we'd barely sat down at the restaurant when out of nowhere he talked and talked about the serious, untalked-about things that had happened in the past and asked if they were why i found it difficult to be in touch with my parents to which i said yes (he knew that anyway, I've always struggled with it and been honest about this). When the meal was finished he literally ran off and jumped in a taxi changing his plans suddenly to go out with friends to carry on drinking instead of staying with me as planned. It felt like he could not talk about it without getting very drunk first, he won't talk about it now. I do understand this and respect it, I have not asked my brother or sister to talk about things as they've both in the past few years drawn a line under it and have a relationship with my parents, which (as said) excludes me. The problem I have is that I was years younger than them both and observed and absorbed a lot of events that were traumatic as well as receiving a lot of unhelpful (i feel) criticism and ridicule for being who I am. My mother told me around 6 years ago that her love for me is 'conditional' which I something I also struggle to get my head around ever saying to your child whatever age they are. I do not feel that I am being a child about this, I feel i could have gone down that route and shouted and sworn at my mother but that's not what I am like. I teach young children and am sensitive, softly spoken and considerate in my actions and I do not feel it would be helpful or constructive to begin behaving in another way now. I do not blame my mother but feel confused and hurt by her behaviour. She doesn't speak with warmth but anger and each time we communicate it feels each time like i'm being burnt by a furnace again.
continued... By seeking advice and support over the years I have been trying to make sense and piece events together to understand what has been a dysfunctional situation (all my life and longer). I could have become embedded in the hurt and played a victim and laid down about it but I've always had a drive to make things 'right' for the greater good for everyone in my family, not to hurt them or for selfish gain or to make myself look good/like the victim, to the contrary it has been 'extremely' difficult to admit there are problems and I feel embarrassed and ashamed telling people that I do not have a relationship with anyone in my family, as I can see - of course - that people can easily think what does that say about 'me' as a person, especially when they do not really know me. I have seen and heard my mothers hurt (she was very angry and very unhappy when I was growing up), my sisters hurt, my brothers treatment and how over years this has affected us all. What is sad, and I worry cannot be fixed is that due to the dysfunctional nature of this situation there has always been one person out on a limb/in the cold. Three children makes this easier perhaps, but as a child my mother appeared to treat my sister as the enemy. Then my brother had his turn but this was not long. My sister after that was not in touch with my parents (or me, as I lived at home then) for 5 years. Now I am the furthest away in distance and the one who there is no communication with. After years of considering it I wrote to my mother two years ago and carefully outlined main events in the past that I found traumatic, this letter was to her and was meant to be kept between her and I. i did not involve anyone in my family at this time, only asking two close friends to read the letter before it was sent to check it did not read as 'blame'. My mother said she could not remember events I had included (she and I still do not know why she can't remember) and so even though the letter included nasty and very damaging things I had heard both my parents say about my sister that I never wanted her to know my mother turned to my sister to ask her to clarify the events, let my sister read the letter herself and then my sister then became very angry with me. My sister confirmed to my mother that the events I addressed in the letter did happen, much to my mothers horror and then my mother phoned me and literally screamed down the phone for two hours at me, going through the letter point by point, spitting out the words 'sorry' and blaming me for the hurt i had caused. I didn't want to involve my brother as he has his own family now but my mother rang my brother telling her how hurt she was and he phoned me and told me how hurt she was and said he was choosing her side and told me that I was on my own. I didn't ask him to choose but after speaking to my mother he felt the need. My father was 60 in April this year and after a year or more of no communication my mother invited my partner and I to go by email. My partner and i had already booked a trip to go abroad but without a thought my impulse was to cancel this trip and we booked flights to visit my parents for my dads birthday instead. When I replied and told my mother we were coming she phoned and asked if I wanted to go which confused me as I had already changed my flight and booked tickets. To make a long story short she said me going there would make it very difficult for everyone, that she didn't think for a second I'd go when she invited me and the only reason she asked me to go was so i couldn't say I hadn't been invited. She then said she didn't want any more contact with me, told me I couldn't tell my dad about this or it would ruin his birthday and put the phone down on me. I rang her back crying telling her I love her and want a relationship with her and said I wouldn't go to the party but i would like to arrange a visit soon after, I spoke briefly to my father and he said he'd let me know how the party went, but that was in April and I still haven't heard from them. I accept each family member for who they and why they feel as they do but this acceptance and understanding of what's gone on doesn't really help me very much. Even though I understand to pain and the psychology I just find the events so exhausting, confusing and hurtful and the reason I wrote to this forum is because I don't know how to heal the pain of what feels like rejection from them all, sometimes the burden feels too heavy to carry but it's too real and family too big-a part of life to ignore. I hope this makes the initial situation clearer and that in writing this I have still respected the privacy of my family.
Thank you for your comments...When I wrote my post to zoidal i was only trying to tell her that sometimes nothing will work. I think you hit the nail on the head by saying "this may not be settled to your satisfaction". If things where to zoidal or my "satisfaction" we would have a loving tender relationship with our mothers. Also I have not lived my life trying to please my mom. I, myself am a mother of 3 children, 22, 20 and 11 years old so I know how it is to have a healthy mother daughter relationship. My mom flew down to see me on my dollar and that is something I don't complain to people about, accept to a few strangers on a forum who do not know me or my family. Our family does not have yelling or screaming matches or behave like teenagers. I've raised 2 and have one preteen so I am aware of how a teenager behaves. My mom simply chooses to speak and gossip to people to have them feel sorry for her. I do not try to control her, I only want to have a relationship with her that does not include CONSTANT hurt. We are all human so hurting someones feeling now and then does happen. As for me being the victim, I sure am. I am the victim of a crime that has left me with a broken back and almost 3 months of pain worse than childbirth. I am also the victim of being lied to, used and then abandoned. As for my mom flying to be by my side,it was an excuse for her to come down and spend time with my sister which is currently where she is. Our disagreement ( not argument, was over a cup on coffee ). She left my hospital room and never returned which left me devastated. If there was ever a time that I needed my mothers support was then and now. I am glad my mother is here on earth and I wish her peace and longevity, however, I am tired of that saying "you only have one mom". There is also only one me. My reasons for being on this forum goes much deeper than my relationship with my mother. Having never been involved in this sort of community, I was only trying to give a little imput and let zodial know that, though our situations were differant, our feelings were the same and I understood hers.
Sometimes we err in comparing our own situation to the situation of others. However, this comparison can even be a way to heal, becuase we sometimes talk about the differences, and when we vocalize about our conditions, we make them clearer to ourselves.
One thing I am saying is that we need our differences. When we put labels on a situation, like "leave it to the lord," we dismiss the situation, instead of understanding it. I think that referring to God is fine, but I feel we cannot assume that everyone believes in God. We must respect every belief.
When I know that someone believes in God and that it is important to them, I respect it, because I care about the person. Others have different beliefs, even different gods. Their beliefs are important to them, and equally important. It is really important, I believe, to assume there are a lot of beliefs out there, and to not speak as if there one god.
I think this forum, like the depression forum, does not refer enough to therapy as a means to understanding our conditions. Medication is also important for the after effects of abuse. I think this forum could be more balanced, and more helpful to people, if we had a professional, or even a paraprofessional, supervising it.
If anyone agrees, mabe we could communicate that to med help.
Others might consider that this forum is not very active, while abuse is very prevalent.
Med help should notice this, and offer assistance.
I don't mean to offend anyone about religion; I am simply asking for us to assume that people are different; we are not all the same.
I agree with a lot of what you say and you sound like a wise women, I read your story and I am truly sorry for the troubles that have happened to your son and his babies. I currently have one sister that is addicited to crack cocaine and our family has tried everything including intervention. Nothing has worked so far. I want you to know that I don't judge my mom at all because I do know alot of went on in her childhood and she grew up old school just as you had and indured many unthinkable things. I do take that all into consideration when she makes me feel bad. I am only here to vent and let it out as it is quite theraputic just to write and see your words and what other people think. If you knew me you would know that I am one of the last people on earth to hold a grudge thats why when my mom reaches out I always go back for more. I try not to judge or grudge but I am guilty of hurting and sometimes resenting. Thanks for your opinion it was interesting and helpful.
I wish I could help. I already wrote about my family. You are younger. Please try whatever you think about your family, but also know that if you cannot help the situation, you can have a rich life. After all the abuse from my famil, my daughter has not joined them, because they now have money. The stole some of it from me.
I have grieved about my daughter for all but 5 years of her life. I am angry right now, but I will do everything I can to lead her toward health, because she is my daughter, My in-laws really worked on her mind when she was young, so I feel it is not all her fault.
I find it incredible that your mother does not remember those events. My mother indirectly acknowledged my abuse when I returned after a ten year absence. One sister laughed at it, and the other one says she has no memory of it. My two brothers also abuse me. As I have said, a lot of mental illness.
I have joy in my life; Irecently earned my doctorate, and I have been published several times.I work with and write about people who have lost their families and their countries--refugees.
I have other joys, but not much companionship. I recently lost part of my vision, and I will undergo intensive therapy for that trauma, the abuse by my doctor, and the trauma I still have from the childhood abuse. I am very afraid of people. I lost two jobs that I liked a lot when I was suffering the deterioration of one eye. No accident, I think.
It is very hard to overcome all of this. Every hint of kindness from others and every kindness I can do helps so much.
You sound like a kind person. This can help you heal.
I just want to say how sorry I am for what you have gone through, life's hard enough without the added burden of having parents that you can't rely on and can only offer conditional love. My only sister and I don't get on, sadly but thankfully she lives interstate so i only see her once a year at a christmas gathering at my parents, she is someone I dont want to be around for too long so I just make light hearted talk with her and try not to say the wrong thing. Fortunately I have wonderful loving parents who i am very close to.
Your mother sounds like she has deep problems and if you want any kind of relationship with her then you could just keep it light and send a birthday and christmas card each year to each family member as Teko suggested, at this late stage of both your lives you are never going to be satisfied with her explanations and the selective memory loss just adds fuel to the fire.
Don't let her toxic behaviour rule your life, you either have to accept her on her terms knowing she will never change or cut off contact if that's the only way you can truly deal with it, put yourself first and unleash this burden you are carrying around.
Good luck and i truly hope you find some inner peace one day soon.
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