Forum Replies Created
July 14, 2017 at 9:04 am #158078
Congratulions! About 2 years ago, I took a 1 year break from social media (joined again in 8/2016). It was a great time to just reconnect with myself and go back to the “old fashioned” way of making plans: texting and phone calls! 🙂
I recently realized that social media (mostly Facebook) perpetuates my anxiety about relationships, so I’m taking another break beginning this weekend- I’ve already announced it to my friends. I’ll look at it occasionally to see if there are events I want to attend, but other than that, I won’t be using it as a means for entertainment anymore. Now that I’ve fully realized the extent to which Facebook highlights my insecurities, letting go of it seems much easier.
I fully applaud your decision to jump off social media for a while! Please post soon about how it’s going 🙂May 12, 2017 at 9:52 am #149199
Now that you’ve “broken apart” the traumatic experiences of your childhood, maybe you can find a way to create the life you’ve always wanted.
Has there been a hobby or a group that you’ve been part of consistently? Or maybe there’s something you’ve always wanted to try, but never found the time/energy/resources. Now may be a time to rediscover who you are without emotional pain holding you back. You may even end up impressing yourself with your ability. 🙂
Wishing you many blessings.October 18, 2016 at 12:08 pm #118436
It could be possible that what makes you feel love and loving (getting the girls’ lunches ready, planning a romantic date) or “acts of service” isn’t the same thing that makes your wife feel loved.
Have you considered reading “The Five Love Languages” by Dr. Gary Chapman? While I believe he is a man of God, the topic of religion isn’t pervasive in the book. It gives practical advice for those seeking to reignite love (or fill their spouses “love tank”) in their marriages, along with stories from couples over his several years of counsceling.
While I believe that sometimes separation may be for the best of both involved, as anita seems to insinuate above, it is clear that you aren’t ready to give up on your marriage. But waiting for feelings to come back won’t be successful if that’s all you’re doing. Work is what’s required now. If you’re wife is willing to go to therapy, she may still want to work on it as well. I applaud that. Keep us informed, whatever you choose.
AmandaSeptember 22, 2016 at 7:19 am #115883
There’s also a website that I used when on my journey; it may or may not be of help to you. In my opinion, it doesn’t try to force anything on you (although tapping is referenced a lot), but let’s you make your own decision regarding your mother by hearing about others experiences.
Good luck to you, whatever decision you make regarding your mother.August 22, 2016 at 8:41 am #112992
If you can live without her, then end it (for good).
Respectfully, it’s doing both of you a disservice to stay in a relationship that isn’t going to work out. I’ve been dragged along before, and I lost all fondness for that boy and the relationship we had. I find that I have the most respect for an ex that told me he wanted to break up, where he thought we went wrong, and we ended it amicably.August 15, 2016 at 9:34 am #112405
What I’m trying to say above is that unless she’s told you specifically what her intentions are, you can’t be sure. I never had poor intentions when it came to the man I was into, but everything I did must have come out the wrong way. It doesn’t sound you have the highest hopes in regards to her intentions. If that’s the case, I would definitely recommend not reaching out. If, however, you think she had the best intentions, it may be in both your best interest to get some clarification. If nothing else, maybe you’ll get some much needed closure. It’s a luxury not all of us have the possibility of.August 15, 2016 at 8:43 am #112399
Your post could have been about me, because it resonates on many levels (except the one about my birthday coming up soon).
I’m not telling you to get her a card or send the earrings, but know that sometimes, people genuinely don’t realize what they’re doing wrong in a relationship. Maybe it was the way she was raised, as it was with me, to never know what a healthy relationship is. Obviously lying about someone is not acceptable behavior, and we’re all responsible for our own, but falling in love can be an overwhelming thing for those who’ve never truly experienced it before. If we have trust issues to boot, it only makes us more confused.
I think you did the right thing for yourself (and maybe her) in walking away. I’m not attempting to justify her behavior, but sometimes experiencing the loss of someone is the only thing that can jerk you into the reality of what you’re doing wrong. It happened to me. While I knew him, I was listening to all the wrong people, letting their projections in, and consequently was unable to do the same with him. I wasn’t able to rise above the opinions of the people around me and express what I truly wanted after the initial “glow”. My heart, head, and body weren’t in alignment and as a result, every relationship I had suffered, including the one I cared about most.
He’s gone now, and while I don’t expect I’ll ever see him again, the loss made me realize the kind of person I wasn’t, and the kind I want to be. My life is on a completely different track, and although it’s still bittersweet, I’m more myself than ever before. But maybe it can be different with you two.
Maybe you’ll find one another again, or for the first time, someday. Even if you decide not to see her again, it’s possible to love someone from a distance.August 9, 2016 at 9:29 am #111994
I’m not a therapist, but I have dealt with similar issues with my own mother. Given my experience, and what I read from you as well as other books on the subject, I believe your mother may be a victim of NPD- Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I’ll provide you with some resources at the end of this that I believe you may get some insight, if not help, about NPD. YOU ARE NOT ALONE in your struggle.
It’s not surprising to me that you describe yourself as a “people pleaser”- reformed one right here. But think about this: are a people pleaser because you genuinely want to be, or because you were taught to be by your mother’s demands and what you call “rage” when she doesn’t get her way? It is a question I asked myself one of the many times I went no contact with my own mother- typically after a fight, which, not surprisingly, never worked. You and your sister’s (and all the children) seem to be victims of your mothers (assumed) NPD. Her skipping your nephew’s graduation sounds like a way of keeping the attention on herself during what should be a time of celebration. Yes- even in her absence, she did something that would gain her some attention. Maybe even one of you went to check on her the same day that your nephew and the family was to be celebrating his success. By not showing up to his graduation, I believe your mother is sending a very clear message: I am to be the center of attention, and if something isn’t about me, I’ll do anything I can to make sure it becomes about me.
A few other examples I noticed from you send off red flags when looking for NPD: your mother being “ill” with chest pain while your sisters are on vacation, people in the family going to the grocery store for her when she seems capable going herself, even her letters about the way her husband’s failing health was affecting HER. These are all ways of keeping the attention on herself. You stated that your father always rushed to her side; I believe that is because he, like you, learned that the best way to deal with mom was to appease her. Enable her. Keep mom happy, and we’ll all be “happy” too. But I don’t believe you are happy, or you wouldn’t be here.
I sincerely hope this isn’t coming across as guilt-shaming- I myself have been the victim of the same situation for the past 30 years, the same amount of time you have, and have only recently gained the clarity to speak in honesty about what affected (and infected) every area of my life for the past 30 years. We are the exception, not the rule. From what I’ve read, some children of narcissistic parents don’t even realize that they were a victim of abuse until after the parent passes away. It’s all we’ve ever known- how can we doubt their love for us?
It is fairly common for daughters of narcissistic mothers to feel guilt for either not loving their mother enough, or not feeling like you’re doing enough for her. It’s the product of your upbringing- not anything you yourself have done. Read that again: IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. I’ve been doing the same for my mother for 30 years, and I completely understand your sense of loyalty to her. It is actually admirable in a family member. It’s only when that loyalty is not returned and in fact taken advantage of that it becomes a double-edged sword- hurting both you and the abuser. As a fellow traveler in this journey , I would encourage you to ask yourself “Is my time best served to my mother, who won’t ever get enough attention, or to my own family, who need and deserve wife/mother who is happy and at peace?”
It sounds like you and your sisters have formed a tripod in order to support your mother, a constantly shifting weight that you have to bend beneath to support. Your concern seems to be that if you don’t hold up your end anymore, the remaining weight will collapse on your sisters. It seems as though you think you have to continue to hold up your end for the sake of mom. But you don’t. Despite what you may think, it doesn’t benefit your mother for you or your sisters (or your families) to continue to keep someone from supporting themselves. You do not have to bear the weight of your mother’s problems, if you don’t want to. I felt as though I was pulling my end to support my mother for 30 years, and only very recently became aware of the abuse (yes, abuse) I was suffering and enabling, against my knowledge. The fact that I felt I was responsible for my mother’s (and everyone else’s) emotions was a problem in and of itself, one that I didn’t realize until I turned 30.
I would encourage you to look at http://www.daughtersofnarcissisticmothers.com and/or http://www.luke173ministries.org. The first, especially, is a great site to hear about other daughters whose mothers suffer from the disease, and goes into depth on EFT, which user CLB mentioned in a previous response. Also, if you want to attempt to create boundaries between you and your mother, it can help with something called “Low Contact” or “No Contact”. I’ve recently put into play the one of these with my mother, and it took a long time (and a lot of struggle) to happen, but I have gained an insight and happiness that I never thought was possible. I no longer hear her voice telling me that I’m not good enough. All it means is that I can’t be good enough for her, and that’s because nobody can.
I’m not advocating LC or NC, but sharing my personal story. If you’d need someone to hear your struggle, know that I have been there, and you aren’t alone.