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Jenna

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 21 total)
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  • #298097

    Jenna
    Participant

    Anita!

    I have been meaning to write you, thank you so much for checking on me! Veil is still lifted – I’m taking one day at a time. I no longer give her my attention. I read your reply last weekend – and it was so encouraging, I haven’t stopped since. If I can do a day, a week… I can do it! The anxiety is still there, but I have just been focusing on being kind to myself, to my children. Hiding and avoiding is not love. I can see a change in my children in just a week. I just keep reminding myself to focus. It’s amazing how far eye contact and smiling goes. Its not hard to do. My mother has not loved me..but like you said, my children have and do. Giving them the love they deserve will keep going, if they feel loved..their children will feel loved and so forth. It’s really like a light bulb came on. I can’t thank you enough. I also made an appt- for CBT – I want to keep this mindset.

    #297133

    Jenna
    Participant

    Anita,

    I never found anything helpful in the “self-help” books either. I’m taking your advice on the CBT, tomorrow I will make some calls and schedule an appointment. I usually see my mother sometime on the weekend but I chose not too this time.

    Friday night the kids and I had a movie night- I put my phone away, just enjoyed my time with them. I knew my mother was probably going to text me but I was trying to be as present as possible without distractions.

    The next morning I wake up  and see I have a message from the night before at 10:30pm from my mother “is everything ok?” and a new one from that morning at 7:30am – “Are you ok? I hope you’re phone is just dead” and another from my sister “Are you ok, mom is fretting and it’s caused the trickle anxiety effect, are you good?”

    I responded to my mother “Yes, Im ok, just had a movie night with the kids” – then she says “I was worried about Violet (my 4 year old) I  feel so guilty about the smoking now, I feel so awful, please remind me to not smoke if you see me light one up”

    This put me into an anxiety meltdown….not for long though… I started to feel like complete crap and couldn’t figure it out.. And then I thought about what you said to me. I was feeling guilty for her bad feelings, the “oh no Mother is sad” crap. Even after it registered ..the feelings were still there. I am not going to soothe her… soothing her makes me feel better but it’s not right. My feelings lie, I lie to her and myself.. it’s wrong. I made a decision to not talk to her all weekend. I tried to be as present as possible with my children..I was more attentive and tried to have better eye contact.  We planted new flowers, played outside, cleaned bedrooms..we had a great weekend, good quality time. I felt like I was dying inside because I knew she wasn’t happy, but my kids faces were happy and that’s the most important. This is going to be a struggle but it’s do-able.

     

     

    #296651

    Jenna
    Participant

    Anita,

    You are phenomenal, you grew from your mistake.

    I am starting to see things more clearer.  I don’t particularly like the facts, but they are indeed facts. You are absolutely right on every point. I have the power to end it. I need to let her go. No more abuse for anyone. It will be hard but it’s harder to live feeling this way. Truth is healing. The truth is, the more I think about it…I loved my father, I knew he loved me but he stood by and ignored her behavior. I never felt that close bound because he let it continue. He always took her side. He went to work supported us financially, never yelled. I held a lot of resentment towards him up until he died. Allowing the behavior is just as bad. I guess if you deny the truth, you become what you hate. Thank you for the help, do you have any book suggestions? Any book that helped you grow from the self-help aisle?:)

    Jenna

     

    #296543

    Jenna
    Participant

    Anita,

    That’s awful. It seems like the oldest child feels like the keeper with angry mothers. Your sister was lucky to have you. How sad to be stuck in that small apartment, with her.  My younger sister was 4 years younger than me, witnessed the way my mother was to me and did everything in her power to be the “good” child. She never told me this until recently. She has trouble dealing with my mother now as well. It was very hard being alone in dealing with the angry mother all those years because no one understands and you start to wonder if you just made everything up in your head.

    It’s heartbreaking to think how many children are trapped feeling responsible for their parents. You would think in 2019 people would have evolved more, but child abuse happens continues to happen. Just yesterday my son came crying because a child at school teased him. It made me think, what is happening in that childs home that made him think it was ok to hurt someone. Mind blowing.

    Jenna

    #296409

    Jenna
    Participant

    Anita,

    Yes you are very correct.absolutely. Do you have siblings? If so, did they have the same type of experiences or did she treat them differently? I was the only one in my teen years that would fight back with her. I have 2 younger siblings.

    Jenna

    #296373

    Jenna
    Participant

    Anita,

    Oh yes, the Self Help aisle. That makes me smile that you were there too, searching. Of course, I wish that you had all the love, support and guidance you deserve without having to search. It makes me smile because, when I was there I felt very alone, probably like you. Now, I smile because I realize I wasn’t so alone after all.

    Very interesting you pointed out that I had empathy for my mother but not for the actual victim. It’s true my mother was mean to that lady and I still felt more empathy for my mother. Crazy. I can see how that relates to the relationship between her and I.

    1. Does your mother know that your 4 year old has asthma?

    Oh yes

    2. Did she in the past smoke in the car or home where your 4 year old was present?

    Not in the home but yes, in the vehicle. It could have lead to an asthma attack (possibly fatal) and I just allowed it. When I type this out – it makes it so much more real. I can never let it happen again.

    3. What happened today, did she lit a cigarette in the car, what did you say, what did she say?

    She had a cigarette in her hand as I pulled up. I was thinking …oh good, she’s going to throw it out and I won’t have to deal with this today… I was wrong. She continued to smoke it and get in the vehicle. This blows my mind she thinks this is ok- It pisses me off as I write this. I need to do better. I said as non-confrontational as I could to put it out..ughhh..and I lied, I said “Hey, im sorry, I was late on her medicine this morning, I can wait in the car while you finish it out there..” I lied, I was on time with the medicine, I chickened out, it’s a bad habit..(I messed up..not you..don’t feel threatened or picked on*). She said “oh ok, no problem”… then once she was finished and got back in the car it was quiet…I hate that silence..I get this nervous energy and start asking about work..she starts to get less tense and complains about work.. She isn’t included in the group messages at work..she vented about my brother, says he is acting different towards her, she thinks it’s because he smokes pot…She vented about her mother..her sister.
    Oh and when I dropped her back off, she lit a cigarette before she got out of my car…Did she forget? She’s very smart- I can’t imagine she could have… It’s like she wants to fight.
    Jenna

    #296219

    Jenna
    Participant

    Anita,

    Thank you for saying that I’m a good person. I’m so glad you found the therapy you deserve. I think its extraordinary you take the time to help others, you have a selfless and kind heart, you are appreciated.

    I understand what you mean about people putting the veil back down. I remember a few years back reading an article about narcissistic mothers, it all made complete sense but I felt guilty reading it. I felt disloyal, how can she be the problem, when she’s let me know I was the problem all these years,  I was more comfortable taking the blame. I remember being 14-15 going straight to the self-help section at Borders. She never went to that section and I assume she thought it was completely normal her teenage daughter was. Good grief..

    So what do I want to stop doing now? I agree with all her opinions and I condone her unacceptable behavior. Just the other day in the store a woman left her cart unattended. My mother starts looking through it..my anxiety started going up the moment she started looking through it. She said to me, “Do you think this is someones cart?” I said “it probably is”, then a woman came up and said “That’s my cart” …right then I wanted to hide. My mom say’s “WELL YOU SHOULDN”T LEAVE YOUR CART UNATTENDED” in a loud aggressive voice. The woman looked offended and taken back by my mother and said ” The ladies up front told me to put it here” then my mom said..as she’s walking away, “well it’s ugly and I didn’t want it anyway.” All these emotions flood in, I know my mother was embarrassed. I know deep inside she is insecure. But the way she acted was mean. Then she strolls over to me talking loudly about the lady..who is 10 feet away. I smile and give the look like, it happens. I know if I look embarrassed or get upset she will get even more defensive. Situations like these happen all the time. When we got back to the car, I make a joke of it and say.. (I really dislike myself at these times) ..”The lady should have been with her cart”…what I want to say and believe is “That was blown out of proportion, a simple misunderstanding ended in hurt feelings, unnecessarily. You were wrong to say her things in her cart were ugly, just because you felt embarrassed”

    I’m actually on the way to pick her up now and to take her to lunch. I dread it. She smokes and my 4 year old has asthma. The last few times I’ve taken her somewhere she lit a cigarette in my car. So today I’m going to tell her, we can pull over if she needs to get out and smoke but she cannot do it in the vehicle with my daughter.  It might not go over well, in fact I know it won’t. Times like these when it comes to my childrens safety. I have to tell myself, it’s selfish to put my need for my mothers approval over my childs health and well being. This is a problem and is going to be a long road ahead but it needs to stop. Thank you for listening as always.

    Jenna

    #296017

    Jenna
    Participant

    Anita,

    My brain has been on overload since your last reply. When I was young, I had the flight response with my mother and as I got older..teen through older twenties, I would fight back. In my teens I was addicted to pain pills in my early twenties. After I got sober I decided I would deal with the stress on my own,  I didn’t want to negatively effect other people with my poor choices. I became submissive with her.. I say that word because now it’s the only word that seems to fit. I  agree with her at all times in order to be accepted by her. Like, I said she’s very opinionated. She has always been very loud about her likes and dislikes. If you don’t agree she takes it very personally. I get by with a lot of smile and nodding. I don’t want to live like that anymore.

    Its very sick, now that I think about it. Her love is conditional- ‘agree with me- accept my treatment or your not worthy’. I am looking into therapy again. I want to make sure I do all I can to raise healthy children, physically and mentally. I feel I have a good place to start now. Thank you so much for the time you’ve taken to write me.
    You have no idea how much you’ve helped me. It feels like a veil has been lifted. I am so sorry you had to go through the same type of treatment. How did you heal? (If you don’t mind me asking)

    Jenna

     

    #295709

    Jenna
    Participant

    Anita,

    Gosh, you help me to understand things so much better! I still feel like a child when I deal with my mother. SO it really makes sense when you said it doesn’t disappear when you reach adulthood.

    When I was a young child, she never beat me. But I was scared of her when she was angry. She yelled and screamed when she was mad. I can remember her cleaning my room when I was probably 7 or so. She was screaming and throwing things around the room, telling me I was a slob, “you never take care of your things” It was like she hated me. I remember her telling me to get under the bed and clean it. I can’t remember all the details but I remember just laying there and crying. She could be a terror, it was the yelling and the way she looked at me with her eyes, like I was the worst child in the world. It didn’t last for 10 minutes, it lasted for hours. Then, she’d tell me to leave because she couldn’t look at me and she would do it herself and she did. At the end of the fight, when she was calm, she hugged me and told me she was sorry, said something funny to make me laugh and that would be it. This would happen every once in a while, every couple of months. It would feel like I ran a marathon after those episodes. I can’t imagine acting like that to my children, or being mad at them that long. When im upset with my kids, I tell them, we talk about it and it’s over. It’s nuts when I look back on all of that.

    With my father, I  knew he loved me because he made sure I always had what I needed. He wasn’t a hugger..and didn’t say I love you much but he was there. He had an odd way of showing affection.. he would joke around a lot. He never yelled at me like my mother. I don’t remember him ever scolding me. He would come to all my softball games as a teenager, played catch with me. He always seemed proud of me. He smiled a lot. If I was upset he’d always tell me everything was ok. He always made me feel safe.

    #295623

    Jenna
    Participant

    Anita,

    You just lifted so much guilt I’ve been carrying around. I am not responsible for my feelings. Well, that just made life a lot simpler, it’s like you turned a light on!  I’ve always known its ok to feel mad..sad..anxious, just acknowledge it and let it pass.

    Now I’m realizing I was only doing that with a some of my feelings..the ones I decided were ok to feel. That is really going to help me moving forward.

    So, not responsible for my feelings, only responsible for my actions. That also helps me in dealing with my mother because I get so stressed when she’s upset or angry. If I’m not responsible for my own feelings, I most certainly can’t attempt to control hers. I am always trying to find ways to make her feel better and get upset with myself when I can’t. So much weight lifted..

    As far as when I started being uncomfortable with  touch, I’m not quite sure. My parent weren’t really affectionate. The only time I remember getting a hug is if I did something wrong and my mother, after feeling bad for overreacting apologized for yelling and hugged me- I know I had good feeling when she hugged me at that time. But the feeling I get now.. the anxiety started probably after my father died. I never remember it being like this.. I remember hugging my 2 older children a lot as babies and toddlers and having no problems. I was 6 months pregnant with my 3rd child when my father suddenly died. Yikes, I never really put that together!

    #295559

    Jenna
    Participant

    Anita,

    Thanks so much for getting back. When they come for affection my arms feel really heavy ..my chest tightens and I want it to end as soon as it begins. I hate even admitting that. It reminds me that they deserve more. I tell myself “they are in need of more” . I say “I’m not fit for this position” — But every day I try my best because I know they are better with me than without. I give enough good/positive to out weigh my awkward hug giving. I just want to do better and feel good doing it.

    When I go to them to give them hugs- I have to tell myself, they need a hug..this is my job. But I feel awful for the awful feeling ..if that makes any sense. I wish it was a natural thing for me to give. I can give affection through words…that part comes pretty easy.

     

    Jenna

    #295359

    Jenna
    Participant

    Anita,

    That’s absolutely right- about children taking on guilt for the adults mistake. That’s exactly what I did..

    Take your time, I look forward to hear more from you- always a pleasure to read your replies:)

     

    Jenna

    #295351

    Jenna
    Participant

    Thank you, Anita for the response. That makes sense and makes me feel so much better when you put it like that… NO she continued to neglect us all. However, she was much nicer to her daughter, I remember being very jealous.

    “It is not about making mistakes that makes a person good or bad, in your example with the caretaker, it is about a person not being alarmed by witnessing an injury to a child caused by their mistake and not resolving to correct that mistake immediately.”

    You always make so much sense and I love getting your feedback. It means so much you taking the time to offer guidance.

    #295283

    Jenna
    Participant

    Jade,

    You’re welcome:) Please don’t blame yourself. You are aware now. Do whatever it takes to become a teacher! Teach and care for actual children instead of a man-child..much more rewarding path;) Oh and listening to podcasts really help me with ruminating thoughts. ‘My Favorite Murder’ is my ..favorite podcast. I sound like a psychopath recommending that LOL but it’s good. It reminds me that it could have ended a lot worse. Whenever I feel really bad all I have to do is listen to some of those stories..yikes:(

    Yes, you fell for it but you’re wiser now!

    #295239

    Jenna
    Participant

    Katie-

    I’m so sorry you are going through this. Teenage girls can be the most horrible creatures. I don’t know how ‘tiny buddha’ of a response that is. The reason the movie Mean Girls was so popular is because it was so accurate. They are throwing stones and they hurt! I like you instantly and I don’t even know you, comradery I think it is:) Mean people suck- as Mark said. It will get better, it will pass and their attention will be on someone new. The only good thing from this is.. you know a little more about yourself now. You are not like those girls – that’s something to smile about! Keep your chin up:)

    IT GETS SO MUCH BETTER.

     

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 21 total)