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Isabelle

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
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  • #355154
    Isabelle
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    You are right, I did see her comment as a tentative apology. On the other hand, I was not convinced by it. I do not believe that she meant it. Rather, she said it because she does not want me to throw her out of my life. This is also why she treats me very differently than my sister. She is 3-years older than me and she has a very tough time setting limits with my mom. She does way too much to help my mom, including taking her in on many occasions (my mom currently lives with her). My mom is sometimes critical of my sister, allowing herself to comment on the way she lives. She never does that with me. I think that deep down, my mom knows that the thread relating me to her is very fine and could break at anytime.

    The healing that I am referring to is the warm feeling that I experience when I make my mom happy. It’s just from the fact that I did something that’s within my power, I did it willingly and graciously. I tend to feel what others feel a lot. Her joy brings me joy. That’s how I can best explain it. Perhaps the term healing is not accurate. What is healing exactly?

    Take care,

    Isabelle

    #354784
    Isabelle
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    She said to me a couple of times that she was had not been there for me. But she did not say the words “I am sorry”. When I left my ex, she gave me some furniture that she did not need anymore. This saved me some money, which I appreciated. None of this feels to me like she sincerely regrets her actions. My mom is not brave and mature enough to do this properly. This is why I say that I expect nothing from her. I know that my perception of her will never change and she will never be able to make me feel better about my past.

    Isabelle

    #354682
    Isabelle
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    The way you put it, yes it does look like abuse.

    When I say that I have done the opposite, I mean that I decided very early on the my life would be better than hers. I worked very hard to make a career and to never become financially dependent on anyone. I put myself through university, reaching the highest level when no one in my extended family had ever set foot in a university. I had no idea what I was doing and was terrified, but I pushed through and achieved many things that I am proud of. Of course, my career disappoints me in many ways, but I still have something. My mom had opportunities to build a career and never really tried, instead always on the chase for a man that would support her. Including a man whom she followed to Vancouver who left her for dead when she announced that she was leaving him.,

    As a parent, I am there for my child. He is my priority and I am giving him everything I can for him to grow into a healthy and happy human being. His life is better than mine ever was as a child. One example of my mom’s behavior that is opposite to mine is how she threw me out of her house when I turned 18. That was just a few months before I started university and was super anxious about this. She did that because her boyfriend was tired to have me in the home. She has always prioritized men over me.

    Isabelle

    #354538
    Isabelle
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I believe that my relationship with my mom has hurt my mental health in the past. She was never there for more when I needed her and it made me suffer deeply. Now I have given up on her ever being there for me a long time ago. I expect nothing from her anymore. But I was intrigued by your comment on having to chose a side in order to feel consistently strong. I wonder how that could change my life, which is why I asked how it changed yours.

    Isabelle

    #354520
    Isabelle
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    This seems quite radical to me. I have always thought of people ending their relationship with their parents as those who were abused. I don’t feel that I was abused. Neglected, ignored and betrayed, yes. But not abused. Actually, my goal in life was more like doing the exact opposite from what she’s done. But this is still shaping my life in relation to her I guess.

    I would like to know more about your experience of ending your relationship with your mother. How has it transformed your life concretely?

    Isabelle

    #354394
    Isabelle
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    This is very interesting, I know exactly what you are talking about. Going back and forth between feeling weak and inferior, and strong and superior. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have lived with anxiety since a very young age. Around 5, I started having violent migraines that would make me throw up. I also had night terrors. I have had periods where things were better, but it never lasts.

    I do not know what I will do regarding my mom. Your remarks certainly have given me food for thought.

    I am pretty sure that I will never completely heal from this. Knowing that the intense pain that I feel when I am in a bad place will keep coming back is one reason why I entertain suicidal thoughts. There were periods where I was able to live in the present moment. This is when I was most happy. When the pain started to creep up, I would slow down, go under my rock, as I call it, and remind myself that everything is temporary. Eventually, the pain would recede. It is difficult to keep this way of life. Often, I do not find a way to face my responsibilities while giving myself the time and space needed to calm things down. I am trying to achieve some sort of balance.

    Isabelle

    #354356
    Isabelle
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    It is kind of like a drug.

    So you believe that keeping a relationship with my mother prevents me from developing more healthy relationships? I do not understand why they cannot co-exist. Maybe because keeping a link with her makes me unable to fully see everything that is wrong with this relationship, therefore making me less discerning in my relationships more generally?

    Thank you for your congratulations. You really helped a lot. I needed someone to present things clearly to me. 🙂

    Isabelle

     

     

    #354334
    Isabelle
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    It must have been hard to end contacts with your mom.

    Your observation on the title of my thread is indeed interesting. I have often heard that our relationship troubles are always somehow related to our relationships with our parents. I had doubts about this… but it seems appropriate in my case.

    Yes, mothers are supposed to be strong enough to take care of their child. Sometimes they are not. But if they are struggling, they should at least try their best and show their child that they are trying their best. As a mother, I cannot comprehend why my mom did not try more. She disappointed me over and over again. Why do I still try, albeit reasonably, to bring her joy despite this? I know that I will never heal her. She will probably never change. But somehow, it makes me feel good to put a smile on her face. Today it mother’s day. How interesting that we are exchanging on this topic today. 🙂

    I still do not know what is a healthy relationship, but I am trying to find out. I wrote an email to P earlier, telling him that I am ending our relationship. This time I sent it. I am sad, but relieved at the same time.

    Isabelle

    #354326
    Isabelle
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I completely understand what you mean about wanting to make your mom happy. I still wish this today! Her life has been so difficult and when I can, I try to make it a bit better. Somehow it feels like it is healing me when I am able to bring joy to her. Once I was able to take her with me to Belgium where I was attending a conference. It was great. I hope I can do this again someday.

    So my relationship with her has not changed much, I still want to take care of her. I try to be careful though, to do only what I really want to. She tends to make poor life choices sometimes, and ends up in trouble, financially and psychologically. I help when I can, but I no longer feel it is my responsibility to save her.

    How about your relation to your mom?

    Isabelle

    #354306
    Isabelle
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    By “no one there for you”, I guess you mean an adult. There was no adult. I did have siblings though, so I was no completely alone. I actually was the one taking care of my mom. I could feel how fragile she was and I wanted to make her feel better because I was afraid that I would lose her too. She later told me that she was suicidal during this period, so my fear was justified.

    Isabelle

    #354292
    Isabelle
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Yes. Your analysis of my situation with P is accurate. Thank you for taking the time to present things clearly. Now I see it: I was hoping that there was an explanation for his behavior other than “He doesn’t care enough to make the time.” But he clearly does not. I think that it’s time to admit it and move on. This is painful. It brings me back to when I was 9, when I finally had to admit to myself that my dad was probably never going to call or write more than once a year.

    I knew that I was taking a risk by getting attached to P. In the end, I still think that it was worth it because my relationship with him did help me to get out of a toxic relationship.

    I don’t know what else to say. I’ll take the time to process all this and try Ho’oponopono, as Ravi kindly suggested.

    Take care Anita,

    Isabelle

    #354288
    Isabelle
    Participant

    Hello Ravi,

    My understanding of what you are conveying to me is that my current suffering comes from my attachment to the outcome of this relationship. Expectations are making me suffer. This is right. I am suffering because I want him to be there like he once was, and he is not. Hence, my desire to find a way to put an end to this relationship. To not feel this longing for his presence anymore.

    On the other hand, you agree that we all have needs for human connection. So the key to ending suffering is to find a way to detach oneself from this need? Or find a way to fill it without others? But then what is the purpose of human connection? I don’t understand.

    This is more or less about my self-worth per say. I don’t think that I am unworthy because he distances himself from me. I do not find myself especially worthy, but the reason for this is not his failure to engage with me as often as I would like. I interpret  his behavior as meaning that I am not worth much in his eyes. Maybe I would feel a bit better if I knew that the reason for his behavior is not that I am unworthy of his friendship. Because that would mean that when all this is over, we may pick up where we left before this pandemic hit. That it is not about me. But in the meantime, I would still suffer because my need for connection is not filled.

    Thank you for recommending Ho’oponopono, I will certainly give it a try and let you know the outcome! 🙂

    Take care Ravi,

    Isabelle

    #354228
    Isabelle
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Please feel free to ask all the questions that come to your mind. I am truly grateful that you are trying to help, and questions are necessary for you to achieve a better understanding of my situation.

    I do tend to forget to congratulate myself for leaving my ex. I do this in general. It’s always on to the next challenge. Never enough. Thank you for reminding me to give kudos to myself. 🙂

    The excuses I used for my ex were that he was stressed, unhappy with his job, which he found asked too much of him. Unhappy with life in general. I told myself that he had difficulty facing the challenges of life. And I thought I was partly responsible for his unhappiness, for neglecting him when my son was a baby.

    With P, well he is explaining to me, in his emails, what is going on in his life. It’s clearly hectic. It was already quite hectic before the pandemic, to the point where I was already questioning whether he did have room for me in his life. And it has become worse with the pandemic. I believe him, when he explains to me how busy he is. But for me, deep down, this does not justify his failure to take 5 minutes, just a couple times a week, to write a few lines. He was able to write much more often before and his life was hectic back then, so why not now? If I am not worth 5 minutes a couple of times a week, then what am I worth in his eyes? Does he not want to know how I am doing? So I do not have to makes excuses for him. Rather, the similarity to my relationship with my ex is that I am still being understanding and patient with a man, hoping that things will get better.

    When we spoke about my separation, P did not seem to fear me asking more from him. What he told me was that he might lose me to another man now that I was single.

    The reality of P’s partnership I know quite a bit about. He stays with her for his children. Coming from a broken home – is father was completely absent, he never met him- P’s priority are his children. He wants to be there for them. He feels that his partner is focused on her business, on building it for their children, leaving no room for their love life. He says that they consulted with 2 therapists to try to make things better. They diagnosed her as asexual, and one of them suggested that perhaps P could find another woman to fill his sexual needs (like me, he has a strong libido). His partner was never opened to it, so after a while, he decided to find someone. That’s when we met.

    Writing these lines, I am realizing that one thing that has been tormenting me about my relationship to him is that I feel that he broke my trust. When we started emailing back and forth, I told him that I was looking to find a friend with whom to also develop sexual intimacy. Because I could not – and still cannot – see myself just having sex without some sort of affection towards the other person. He completely agreed and said that this was exactly what he was looking for. When I was writing to him about my hesitations and worries with regards to my relationship with my partner, he encouraged me to open up and explicitly said that he really wanted to be my friend. And then, after we met for the first time, I felt him pull back a bit. He started writing less often, apologizing when he did not write for several days and explaining what had kept him. I feel betrayed because he has been acting less and less as a friend. I wrote him, the other day, that I felt like I had lost a friend and did not know why. He answered that his life was hectic, that he was having a hard time coping with the pandemic, that he really missed me and often thought about me. His emails are actually really sweet. But then I wonder, if things are so difficult, why is he not reaching out to me more? I did offer to lend him an ear.

    So where I always end up is OK, I just have to be patient. Wait for this crazy period to come to an end, and then see what happens.

    I did express optimism, didn’t I? 🙂 I think that writing here is really helping me.

    Thank you, Anita. Take care.

    Isabelle

    #354200
    Isabelle
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    How does one cultivate a “realistic with a touch of optimism perspective”? I used to be optimist. Despite the depression and anxiety, there was always hope in my heart. Now I am having such a hard time finding it. It’s like I have been knocked down so many times in the past years, how do I find the strength to carry on? It feels like leaving my ex and moving out took the last of my strength. And as I am writing this, what comes to my mind is that I probably simply have to wait it out. Be as gentle to myself as I can be. Cry when needed. Rebuild my strength slowly. This has worked in the past, maybe it will work again.

    Your remarks on my ex’s lack of use of his IQ are spot on. This is exactly what I kept telling myself… and then I would find him excuses for being so selfish and inconsiderate. I see this clearly now.

    Perhaps I am doing the same thing with P. Being too understanding. As I mentioned in a previous post, sometimes I tell myself “OK now I am putting an end to this”. I write him an email to let him know…and I don’t send it. When I decided to end things with my ex, things were crystal clear in my head. They are not when it comes to P.

    Yes, indeed a relationship with a single man would be better… I was still with my ex when I met P so the fact that he was already involved was fine by me. My situation has changed however, but not his…

    Take care,

    Isabelle

    #354196
    Isabelle
    Participant

    Dear Inky,

    Thank you for taking the time to answer!

    There is no way I can reconnect with the man from my infamous trip.

    All the things that you mention are indeed quite possible! I have no way of knowing. I am indeed keeping my distances with him since he started writing less often… As you say, maybe this whole thing will gracefully end.:)

    You made me smile with your Mic Drop. Funny woman. 🙂

    Take care,

    Isabelle

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)