Forum Replies Created
October 31, 2023 at 10:00 am #423863
thank you so much for your reply and thoughts on the previous message. The car driving comparison is really eye-opening. I need to proccess deeply all of your suggestions and make myself a plan on how I can start doing more for myself and less for my mother to feel happier.
I give myself a few days to think through of what you have written and will come back to disscuss more on that.
Thank you once again for taking your time. Your knowledge and ability to help is just unbelievable to me. I have met so many theraposts and none of them were able to find the core issue, nor came closer to what we are talking about.
I am so happy that I decided to write in this forum and received such help. Anita, thank you once again!
MildaOctober 31, 2023 at 9:11 am #423860
<p style=”text-align: left;”>“Do I have a chance of living my life as a child and not as parents’ (more mother’s) emotional support?”- when you say “living your life as a child”, you mean while having contact and interacting with your mother? Can you elaborate on this question? – yes, I am not thinking on stopping having contact with her, but I do not want to stand in the care-giver and emotional supporter role anymore, who tries to fix family problems.</p>October 31, 2023 at 7:09 am #423854
Thank you, I am really trying my best! Can you explain more on using the phrase ” is that so?”? What is this phrase really about? Can you give a more expanded meaning on that?
MildaOctober 31, 2023 at 7:07 am #423852
The way you deconstruct my text is very unbelievable, thank you for taking such in time reading and replying to my every thought!
In your adult life circumstances, there is no danger in what she said, no danger to you, no danger to her (she survived that silence wall for many years). But in the child’s mind, in a child’s world, that silence wall was danger because you didn’t know what will happen next, and what you feared will happen next was something as final and catastrophic as death. She is still living at home with her parents and she still gets scared for the same reasons she was scared back then. – exactly, I am as scared, wit fear and in danger as a little child, who’s life is parent’s responsibility. It is not anymore, byt sadly I feel the same and I let those thoughts and emotions control me the exact same way that it did when I was a child- keeping mom’s company, cheering her up, comforting her and doing everything I can to fix the situation and how mom is feeling.
her duty to take care (to parent) her adult mother. The daughter took on that role because… no one else did. Someone had to be the adult, solve problems, create and maintain peace/ safety in the home! Of course, it is mission impossible for a child to be an adult, but the child tries her best. – you are very right. Actually another problem there is that I have an older sister, which is very very egocentric, used my care-giving to help her with her children, to also cheer her up, never asked me how do I feel, do I need any help etc. So I decided not to talk with her and just delete her from my life as she was giving only negative emotions to me. During one conflict in our family, my sister got very angry and left the home, said to mom that she will never talk to her again and from that moment my mother was crushed (father is just never talking about this as it never happened), but mother used to say to me, that I have to talk to sister, I have to fix this, I never understood why. I never understood why do I have to fix deep family problems, because none of the parents were/are in adult role, they always step back and do nothing, waiting for me to fix family problems. I feel a huge guilt inside of me that I am not trying to fix anything, because living without my sister in my life is all good to me, I never miss her, but seeing that my mother is devastated because of that makes me want to comfort her and get back with my sister JUST BECAUSE OF HER, not because I WANT IT. This constant feeling that I have to shape my life somehow in order for my mother to feel good is exhausting me. I do not want to feel the guilt. I try to understand that family problems are not for me to fix, and because I was doing that for so long from a very young age (comforting everyone in the family), my parents got used to that and they are always waiting for me to care for them and help them. I feel so sad for that, always scared when I see my mother calling me (because it is equal to me that my help and support will be needed as for a child) and just want to be in peace. But I do not feel the peace as I never felt it in my childhood. What are your thoughts on that? What is the deeper work you think I should do on myself? I see myself as a highly sensitive, emphatic person, being in a reverse role in my family and it is draining me completely. Is there an way of changing this role reverse? Do I have a chance of living my life as a child and not as parents’ (more mother’s) emotional support? Thank you!!
MildaOctober 27, 2023 at 6:21 am #423781
Anita, as I feel very comfortable talking to you regarding my issues, because I feel heard and understood for the first time in my life, I want to share what happened to me today.
I tried to use the strategy that you suggested me. This situation caused my natural reaction of helping my family, and I want to know how do you think I should have responded to that. I was text messaging with my mother. Started with random topics and (as always) at one point when I asked mother what are the plans for weekend, she replied: well, father is again not talking to me, built a silence wall, so I will be doing my own things, and he his. After reading this message, I physically felt a stress reaction: my heart was racing, head spinning, felt nervous, scared and had an immediate thoughts of “I HAVE TO DO SOMETHING, I HAVE TO SOLVE IT, HOW CAN I COMFORT MY MOTHER, HOW TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM FOR HER, WHY IS FATHER NOT TALKING, I HAVE TO MAKE THEIR RELATIONSHIP RIGHT, I HAVE TO KNOW THE DETAILS, MAYBE KNOWING THE DETAILS WILL HELP ME SOLVE IT”. It was a true reaction of stress, tension, fear. But I paused. I didn’t write anything, I just put my phone away. Tried to challenge those thoughts and said to myself that I do not have to comfort her, solve her and father’s relationship problems, cheer her etc. But then I started facing new thoughts, which were: “How dare you not helping her, comforting her, she is lonely, go do something, say something, you are not taking care of your mother, which is your duty. Doesn’t matter that you do not think that it is your responsibility to do that, JUST DO IT AND DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO HELP HER AND MAKE HER HAPPY!!”. Those thoughts were the ones that made me really sad and stressed out. I didn’t know what to do, I wrote to my mom: “Oh ok, get it “. That’s it. No comforting thoughts, no questions, solutions, nothing. After writing that I felt very bad, as the worst daughter ever. And I feel till this moment that I made a wrong decision, that I had to help her, that she is poor and sad, with no one around to help her, I am the only one that can do it. A huge guilt inside of me. I would appreciate a lot your insights on this situation, maybe this could help me reshape the way I think and see situation.
Thank you so much!
MildaOctober 26, 2023 at 2:01 am #423747
Thank you so much for your advices! I feel heard for the first time actually.
I tried so hard for so many years to find and understand what am I doing wrong, why do I feel drained, tired, do not want to do anything for myself. Now I finally understand that my energy resources have been always given to others and for others, but all of my life I thought that this is the correct way of living.
It will be hard now to start living, thinking, talking differently, because my brain says “is this really a correct way to live? Why are you not checking on everybody, why are you not asking them how is their day, what are they doing?”.
Anita, as you seem a very intelligent and wise person, maybe you know some good books/podcasts/youtube videos regarding this topic that I am struggling with? Setting boundaries, how to stop being the care-giver to others, start to live my own life? If yes, I would appreciate suggestions a lot.
MildaOctober 24, 2023 at 11:28 pm #423715
Thank you so much for your reply and advices, it means a lot.
Yes, I really am a very empathetic person, which had to be this way, because otherwise I wouldn’t have survived my childhood, it helped me to not get in trouble…
Thank you so much for your reply and advices, it means a lot. I believe it can be a first step to a new me:)October 24, 2023 at 11:20 pm #423714
Thank you for taking time to understand the situation better.
Answering the is it that growing up, you had to always be there for your mother (or father) because she was very unhappy and so, you tried to solve her problems/ make her happy? part – exactly, I had a very chaotic childhood, my father had serious drinking problem, so mother was always thinking on the next step, most of the time tired, scared or just with thoughts floating somewhere else. I do not remember of doing anything fun with her, so the coping mechanism formed that I always have to scan others’ emotions to know what is the situation, what is the environment, whether I can ask for help/ talk about my problems/what scares me etc or if I shouldn’t because my mother/father is at the moment busy with their problems. I had a need inside to always solve their problems, so that maybe then I can live in a happy, stable and calm family with happy parents.
This little child’s dream is haunting me till this day with everyone, whether I am talking to a person that I see for the first time, my family or a close friend- I want to know all of the details, how they feel, what they are thinking. This is a very heavy emotional weight, because what I do all day is thinking of others, feeling what they feel, thinking on how I can cheer them up, which advice I should give. I believe even reading this it feels exhausting. It really is, I feel empty, with no one to talk, just serving for others emotionally and physically.
This high sensitivity helped me to go through my childhood, to get parents love, but now this high sensitivity doesn’t serve me, it exhausts and I feel as I have never lived my own life, because I had to think of others and help them live their life…