October 17, 2022 at 3:19 pm #408635
<p style=”text-align: left;”>Dear anita,</p>
Thank you for giving me and the other people on this forum the chance and space to talk about their struggles.
And thank you for being part of the solution.
I hope you are showing your apples who’s boss.
EdOctober 17, 2022 at 3:37 pm #408638
What you described is nothing less than sessions of uninterrupted mental and emotional torture, such that I am familiar with myself: I am so sorry that you (and your younger siblings) went through these torture sessions. No wonder you were greatly impacted. I feel anger at your father and at your mother!
I will reply further later: best that I do tomorrow morning (in about 15 hours from now). Next I will be going for a walk (no apple picking today)!
anitaOctober 18, 2022 at 1:12 pm #408675
I am replying to you later in the day, after I replied to everyone else first, not because I forgot about you: I thought about you first thing when I turned on the computer this early morning. I postponed replying to you because of your emotionally charged (for me) post from yesterday, the one I am now replying to.
“I will try to give some context while describing the ‘talks’ with my father… this topic is difficult to write about“- like I just suggested, this topic is difficult for me too, to read about and write about because I too had “talks” with my mother growing up.
“The first thing that comes to my mind is how he used to call me stupid, lazy and a loser“- and the first thing that comes to my mind about those talks is that she called me “A Big Zero”. She called me Lazy plenty of times.
“This happened most often when I failed to meet his expectations with my grades in school, doing chores or whenever he felt like it“- whenever she felt like it, is when those “talks” happened, and for as long as she felt like it.
“He criticised and mocked me for my appearance, my manners and social life…“- I am not repeating what he said to you because he repeated it often enough himself. My mother criticized me and mocked me too.
“Conversely, when I changed things about me concerning these topics i would be mocked and criticised for these changes as well“- same here. There was no winning during (before and after) those “talks”, no winning her approval. Everything, well almost everything was subject to criticism, mocking and shaming.
“Sometimes he would accuse me of lying, ‘conspiring’ against him“- it is as if your father and my mothers are twins. She heavily accused me of lying and of having all kind of intents to hurt her, intents I didn’t have, and when I protested and told her the truth… she increased her false accusations.
“The mentioned topics would then push him to talk himself into a rage, most often if I opposed his statements or opinions. Calling me things like ungrateful… while explaining the many things he was doing for me, while also listing all of my shortcomings and wrongdoings towards him“- not similar, but identical to my mother.
“I would be glad to share more about the contents of his monologues, but at around 15 minutes of his hatred I would start dissociating, ‘waking up’ when he was finished and starting to tell me that he… ‘wanted the best for me‘”- I can’t tell for how long I dissociated, from the first few minutes and on, I think. She didn’t tell me that she wanted the best for me, etc. at the end of the “talks”- she said it a few days after, in between the “talks”.
“My mother stayed mostly ‘hidden’ during my father’s outbursts, in the kitchen for example. She seldom entered the situation, mostly when the ‘session”’ entered its 3rd hour“- My father was not living with my mother and I. There was only my younger sister. But the neighbors, right across the thin wall of the tiny apartment, they heard her LOUD talks but never a mention of it, never an intervention.
“She then tried to somewhat appease my father (‘I think they understand your point now’)“- his point was to relieve his rage by inserting his rage into you. Not a valid point, was it.
“Or asked/begged him to end his speech for the day (“don’t you think it’s enough for today?’)“- she allowed him to terribly abuse you!
“I can only remember around 3 or 4 times in about 3 years when she stepped in to get me and my siblings out of the line of fire, making her the target of his rage. Other than that, she mostly looked away and had a guilty/ashamed expression on her face when I saw her during or after the ‘talks’“- I am sorry, Ed. I am deeply sorry.
Those “talks”, those “sessions” had nothing to do with a parent disciplining a child. It was nothing but dumping their rage their shame, their distress, their disappointments into us, the children they were supposed to love and protect. This is as basic and as primal a betrayal can get. And the crazy thing… all these years I felt sorry .. not for me, but for her: oh, my poor mother being so unlucky as to have me, a poor excuse for a daughter.
Well, Ed, do you see why I postponed replying to your post? But it is a good thing that I replied because it helps me process the “talks” and “sessions” I experienced myself, talks and sessions I kept on experiencing while continents and oceans away from my mother.
Apple picking season seems to be over although there are so many, many thousands of apples on the trees.
anitaOctober 20, 2022 at 5:34 pm #408740
I have been struggling these last few days to find the right words for my answer to you. I didnt want to give out overly used or cliché words, but whether or not i will manage to avoid these, i will now give you my thoughts.
I thank you for sharing about your experiences. As i know myself, this takes a lot of courage, so that makes you very brave.
I am also grateful for your kind, undestanding and thoughtful words concerning my accounts. It really means a lot to me.
<p style=”text-align: left;”>Reading about how your mother abused you made me feel angry, as you have been so very compassionate and patient with me and me telling you about my problems at length. I cant imagine for the life of me how this woman could call you “an absolute zero”, as how i see things you couldnt be farther from this description. Your mother was not the unlucky one to have you, you were the unlucky one to have her as your mother.</p>
I sincerly hope that my probably emotionally charged words do not hurt you or make light of your (probably still) complicated feelings.
I also hope that you are proud of yourself for standing up for yourself by cutting her out of your life, being here to help others and also having the courage to talk about your past and feelings, because you earned every last bit of it.
If anything i said went too far in any way or made you feel uncomfortable, please tell me.
EdOctober 21, 2022 at 10:31 am #408759
“I didn’t want to give you overly used word or cliche words… I sincerely hope that my emotionally charged words do not hurt you or make light of your (probably still) complicated feelings… If anything I said went too far in any way or made you feel uncomfortable, please tell me“- sincerely, you used no cliches, did not make light of my feelings/ experience, and you didn’t go too far. As a matter of fact (and it is most interesting to me): never, in these forums, did I get a response from a member in regard to my experience with my mother (I shared my experience with you more than with any other member) that was okay with me until your recent post. Every response I received in the past alarmed and disturbed me to one extent or another. But not yours. I think that the reasons for this is that (1) you and I had similar childhood experiences, (2) you are a decent, conscientious, sensitive person, (3) my feelings in regard to my mother are way less complicated than in the past, and made even less complicated by our recent communication.
“I thank you for sharing about your experiences“- you are welcome and thank you for being the right person for me to share about my experiences!
“As I know myself, this takes a lot of courage, so that makes you very brave“- you are very brave too, for the same reason!
“Reading about how your mother abused you made me feel angry“- I can’t tell you how many times anger was not at all in responses I received. No anger meant that nothing bad was done to me… and that invalidated my true experience of course.
“I can’t imagine for the life of me how this woman could call you ‘an absolute zero’, as how I see things you couldn’t be farther from this description“- this sentence means a whole lot to me. Calling me a big zero (same meaning as absolute zero) felt like a dagger to the soul: the body keeps living but the soul dies. It is like… no one, no human wants to live if she/ he has ZERO value. I am trying to remember right now, at this moment as I am typing… trying to think why she said this (and so convincingly, loudly and repeatedly), why she hated me SO MUCH. And the only answer I have (not an intellectual answer, as in going over her childhood and how her anger came about, something that I have done plenty of for so many years), is that she ENJOYED saying it. There was joy in her eyes, in her voice, a joy that a powerful creature gets when exercising its power.
“Your mother was not the unlucky one to have you, you were the unlucky one to have her as your mother“- she used to tell me that she was “the best mother in the world”.
“I also hope that you are proud of yourself for standing up for yourself by cutting her out of your life“- no one has ever said this to me. When I ended contact with her in May 2013, I received no encouragement or support from my therapist at the time, a great disappointment to me. There is still a strong taboo about ending contact with a parent.. it takes no less than a parent causing severe physical damage to the child (such as landing the child in a hospital with broken bones, starvation etc.) to… justify ending contact with the parent, in many people’s minds.
“I also hope that you are proud of yourself for… being here to help others and also having the courage to talk about your past and feelings, because you earned every last bit of it“- this is the nicest thing I can possibly read. Thank you!
What your father said about you, the negative things he said about you and about his intents, etc.. … that wasn’t true either.
anitaOctober 24, 2022 at 8:48 am #408970
I hope you are well and healthy.
I am struggling these past days to find time and headspace to post something, as a lot is happening right now.
I want to write something hopefully in the next few days.
EdOctober 24, 2022 at 9:28 am #408975
Thank you for the note. I am sorry that you are struggling these past days! You are welcome to post any time about anything.
anitaOctober 28, 2022 at 1:16 pm #409178
Thinking about you, Ed, hoping you have more clarity- and the peace of mind that goes with it- than you did 4 days ago.
anitaNovember 9, 2022 at 7:25 am #409818
<p style=”text-align: left;”>Dear anita,</p>
Thank you. The last 2 weeks were pretty stressful, as a friend of mine opened up to me about her boyfriend (a now former friend of mine) being physically and emotionally abusive with her. I was busy supporting her and managing my own topics, as she staying at my place for a while until she finds her own appartment.
This whole situation made me think a lot about abuse and the things you wrote in your last massage, when you talked about the lack of support when exiting dangerous relationships.
As i witnessed the behaviour of my female friend’s family and friends towards her situation, i was just as surprised by the lack of understanding by these people just as i was speechless by your therapists reaction concering the decision you made. I can only guess that if one has not experienced the damage you can suffer from such situations, there simply isnt a deep enough understanding. I now directed my friend towards crisis and counseling services for women.
I myself am sad to lose another friend, even though i managed to reconnect to some other people. I am also struggling with intense anger and feelings of helplessnes, although i suspect that these feelings stem from me triggering because of the situations nature.
I hope you are healthy and doing well. I guess apple season is over, so i hope you wont catch a cold during your walks when it gets colder.
EdNovember 9, 2022 at 9:03 am #409821
I am impressed but not surprised that you are helping a friend to move on from an abusive situation, you are a good man, Ed!
“I hope you are healthy and doing well. I guess apple season is over, so I hope you won’t catch a cold during your walks when it gets colder“- thank you. There is frost outside, this morning, for the first time since last winter. I am healing from an inflammation of a muscle that has been pressing on my sciatica nerve, so no walking or physical working for 5 days so far, but ibuprofen is helping a lot. Maybe I will walk a bit or work today.
“I was speechless by your therapist’s reaction concerning the decision you made“- until I read this sentence, I was alone in my displeasure regarding his lack of support to my ending contact with my mother.
“I am also struggling with intense anger and feelings of helplessness, although I suspect that these feelings stem from me (being) triggered“- I went over some of our communication, looking for something. I came across some of your words that made me smile. I will quote them and comment just a bit:
“You used words to give my struggle and pain a form that finally makes sense: “anita: Not Guilty” is so f****** powerful. I am truly happy for you to be able to live these words” (June 29)-
– I want you, Ed, to live by these words: Ed: Not Guilty!
<b>”I am desperate for a judgement about my past, in the sense that I am desperate to know if I did wrong and deserved what I experienced or if I am allowed to free myself and move on</b>” (June 29)-
-You did no wrong whatsoever to your father or to your mother. They did wrong to you and you didn’t deserve it. You were a good boy then and you are a good man now. You are allowed to free yourself and to move on!
“I am so horribly afraid of me getting it wrong… What if me even posting this is just some way of me keeping up my own delusions… I just don’t know how I will ever know what is true“ (Oct 17)-
-8 pages and five months into your thread, I am confident that you are getting it right, and that you perceive and understand reality as it truly is.
Oct 17: “he used to call me stupid, lazy and a loser”- <b>you are smart, hardworking and a winner!</b>
“You have no right to be so proud of yourself”- you have the right to be proud of yourself: I am proud of you!
“Sometimes he would accuse me of lying, ‘conspiring’ against him”- you are a very honest man, remarkably honest!
“Calling me things like ‘ungrateful/ insolent/ disrespectful'”- you are remarkably grateful, polite and respectful!
anitaNovember 13, 2022 at 2:30 pm #410035
Thank you so much for your kind words. I had trouble accepting your compliments as i still have some trouble from time to time about my self perception, but i am slowly coming to appreciate your words. And they are making me smile now.
Life is starting to move forward again and my anger and confusion are slowly fading with each day.
I hope your inflammation is calming down and that you are able to move freely again. I read that warmth (like hot patches) might also help in addition to the ibuprofen.
Get well soon!
EdNovember 13, 2022 at 6:57 pm #410099
Dear Ed: I will read and reply in about 11 hours from now.
anitaNovember 14, 2022 at 10:08 am #410115
You are welcome and thank you for your good wishes and hot-patches suggestion. I am glad to report that after 5 days of inactivity, I had 5 days of activity so far (still taking ibuprofen, although less than before), including walks in the nice weather of recent. My mood improved as a result. And so, we are both doing better, aren’t we? When I just read that my words made you smile, a smile appeared on my own face, first time today!