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  • #385383
    Linarra
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    It’s around 2 a.m. here, so I guess around 2 p.m. for you.

    I tried to find an answer to your question but I didn’t. I wasn’t able to identify something that was lost. The thought of your answer brought up a lot of fear, it made me really afraid. The thought of losing our connection feels really painful. I’m angry at myself for causing it. I want to fight myself, but the feeling is slowed down by resignation. It was too good to be true, the good things don’t survive around here.

    I still feel pain, I want to destroy parts of me with hope it will stop the spreading of the gangrene. If anything good in me is still alive it should be spared the contamination. Maybe it’ll survive if I destroy the rotten parts. So maybe I should cut and cut until I’ll see what’s left. I am angry and disappointed in myself for losing our connection, which is one of the few thing that made me feel joy recently. So maybe if I use this anger… But I’m afraid there won’t be anything left of me once I start the process. And is it really gentle? Is it really healing?

    I don’t really want to hurt the part of me that is still alive because I’m in distress. Because I am undeserving of anything good until I managed to leave. I won’t destroy anything tonight. I’m soothing my anger. No matter what happens I don’t regret talking with Anita. The connection was good for as long it lasted. I’m sad, I’m crying. Wondering if I should delete what I wrote. But I won’t. Because I won’t be able to answer more honestly than that tomorrow. It is why I started typing during the night, because tomorrow maybe I’ll be numb again.

    I’m sorry. If I did anything wrong please let me know.

    Linarra

    #385384
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    I jut noticed your recent post, not focused enough to read all of it, but focused enough to know I feel relieved that you did reply, and to let you know that I really, really don’t want to lose our connection! will be back to you in about 10 hours.

    anita

    #385392
    Linarra
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I’ve been planning to reread the post I wrote last night (the last one), because I don’t exactly trust myself to write in a way that makes sense while just waking up from 3 hours of sleep… but I’ve been postponing it, expecting embarrassment.

    I finally did it, thankfully it seems the phrases are mostly making sense (except for my inability to write your time at the moment, but I’m not surprised). But I’m indeed embarrassed but my emotions… I really have no filter when I’m slightly sleep deprived, and usually I’m more emotional in such conditions.

    I’m not exactly sure what I’m thinking from my choice to absolutely expose myself by replying in the middle of the night but that’s good it brought you some relief.

    There’s no need to worry about the intensity of the emotions I expressed last night, it was intensified by the tiredness and extra spontaneity that didn’t allow much rationality.

    I had trouble going back to sleep after that but I eventually did.

    Linarra

    #385395
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    I just read your 2 am post, the most powerful post I read from you and it made a big difference for me, it moved me positively toward you, feeling closer to you again.

    I will explain what happened recently on my part ever since a day and a half ago, Aug 27, when I read this part of your post that day:  “my mother at the moment, because not later than today she came into my room… she went crazy…  screaming all over the place and was telling to my sister and me that she would kill us..  went to bed without an apology for any of her actions… Yesterday, as I was showering, she came in..  she looked pitiful…  she invited herself as I was showering, breaking intimacy… makes me wonder if I am the one with a problem, as I don’t feel empathy, as I say her ‘I don’t care’ when she’s speaking of her death. It makes me wonder if I am really the abuser she tells me I am”-

    – it hit too close to home for me: the actions you described on her part were so recent:  on the day you posted and on the day before, not long ago in a distant childhood, not a month ago, but.. I could almost touch it, that’s how close it was.. happening right now!

    The abuse is HAPPENING, is what occurred to me, an awareness I didn’t quite have before in regard to you. I didn’t think of it as really happening right now before Friday Aug 27 as I read your post (quoted above).

    With this new awareness I felt ANGRY, angry at her: how DARE she, how… dare she!!!!!?????!!!!!

    And I was so angry that when she entered the bathroom, invading your privacy, you thought SHE looked pitiful, later feeling guilty for.. not feeling empathy FOR HER???????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    How did YOU look when she entered the bathroom? How did you look when she woke you up from sleep screaming about your brother?.. How did your  brother look when his chance for a good time was stolen by your mother who called the cops on him???

    I can hardly stand the INJUSTICE of this, it is so WRONG I have no words.

    Next. I got angry at you and thought to myself: why doesn’t she STOP this situation, why does she allow this MONSTER, her mother, to keep abusing everyone (and why do your siblings allow the same), WHY IS SHE ALLOWED to do what she does, why is everyone feeding the beast??????????????!!!!!!

    I was confused Friday and Saturday, feeling disconnected from you until I read your Sunday 2 am post, the emotional, powerful one. As a result of reading it, I felt connected to you again.

    The thought of losing our connection feels really painful. I’m angry at myself for causing it. I want to fight myself, but the feeling is slowed down by resignation. It was too good to be true, the good things don’t survive around here“- this part of the 2 am post made me think: she CARES, she VALUES our connection, therefore it MUST survive.

    I won’t destroy anything tonight. I’m soothing my anger“- I feel that pride in you again.

    No matter what happens I don’t regret talking with Anita. The connection was good for as long it lasted. I’m sad, I’m crying. Wondering if I should delete what I wrote. But I won’t“- proud of you again for not deleting it. This post that you did not delete made all the difference for me.

    tomorrow maybe I’ll be numb again“- I wonder if you are numb now.

    I’m sorry. If I did anything wrong please let me know“- I know that your 2 am post was not wrong, it was the right thing to do. (See how Emotion can be trustworthy, how it can lead you to do the right thing?)

    I should elaborate on my angry response and confusion of earlier, so to process it better and so to share with you: your mother reminds me too much of my mother, her recent actions are the same as mine, minus calling the cops of her child: the screaming.. oh, the screaming and threatening to kill me or herself.. the violation of any and all  privacy available for her to violate.. and my response, same as yours: feeling sorry for her.. not for me, but for her. Feeling sorry for her and angry at her, empathy and anger, shame and guilt.. and fear, no wonder I was so exhausted. IF ONLY I stopped her, if only I stopped feeding the beast, I could maybe I would have saved my sister.. maybe I could have saved the people she passed on the damage to. I don’t want to elaborate on this, it hurts too much. I regret not STOPPING HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I think back now, seeing my face as a child, in my mind’s eye displaying those quite severe tics that plagued me back then, those unwanted muscular movements of face, head, shoulders and every single muscle in my body that could be moved.. and I think, this girl was not ABLE to STOP the MONSTER.

    Back to you and the monster you are living with: what she is doing is WRONG. That wrong will be passed on to new people if any one of the three of you (your brother, your sister, yourself) bring a child into the world. This WRONG needs to be STOPPED. ASAP!

    Save yourself, and in doing so, you have a chance of saving any one of your siblings, or both and the children they may bring into the world.

    I am feeling anger right now, a valid anger, I am okay with this anger: anger at the Monster, anger at the Wrong passed on from one generation to the next, a Wrong so common, to one extent or another, that (I strongly believe) is what’s behind humanity destroying itself via global warming/ climate change, political radicalization, departure from science, and more.

    I am seeing the bigger picture in which you and I are only 2 people. Neither one of us can save the world, but if each one of us can save just one person, that’s good enough, and I mean if you can save yourself, that can be good enough. It will be good enough.

    I am well aware that at least true to yesterday, you don’t really want to move out (or have the Monster move out): “Leave sure, but I don’t feel up to it without a plan and at least a bit of motivation“, Aug 28. You have no desire to no longer live with your mother. You think that the trouble and money it will cost you to no longer live with her .. is not worth it.

    I don’t think that there is anything I can do to change this other than.. if I had the money and ability to .. I am guessing, offer you $500,000, I am guessing, maybe a million dollars (I am not joking here, I am serious!) so that you have an attractive plan to motivate you to no longer live with your mother (“I don’t feel up to it without a plan“, Aug 28)

    And without offering you a plan attractive enough, I don’t have the right to insist that you move out. Not being there, able to hold your hand and help you in each step of the way, I have no right to .. basically, to tell you what to do.

    There is also this one complication: in this imaginary scenario, if I showed up with an attractive plan and you ended up living comfortably on your own, it is possible and at this time, probable that you will still be in contact with the Monster, visiting her, still receiving her abuse because of … still feeling empathy for the Monster.

    I am not looking back at what I wrote in this post, no editing. I will close it by saying: I don’t know where to go from here and I guess this is the real nature of the healing process- for me and for you: not knowing what’s next. But what I am sure of is that I want to heal further through my communication with you, that I value it and I value you. I want/ am motivated very much to keep communicating with you.. forevermore, that’s what I am feeling.

    anita

    #385423
    Linarra
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I had to read your post several times (and reread my post of 2 a.m. too) to process. I tried to think a lot, even if I cannot think too far. Just like you, “I don’t know where to go from here”... But I’ll try to give you my thoughts and feelings as clearly as possible.

    First, I am relieved we’ll keep communicating, and that you feel closer to me again. I understand the… distance you take when the situation gets too close to home. And since it is so close to you, I understand why you would feel anger towards me for not leaving. I remember I felt such anger toward myself before I was more adapted, less numb. The self-hatred didn’t help though… It turned into shame and more inaction. I hate my mother, I hated myself, I thought if fate made any sense it should kill us both. I thought if my family disappeared the world would be better. So I understand and agree when you said : “I am feeling anger right now, a valid anger, I am okay with this anger: anger at the Monster, anger at the Wrong passed on from one generation to the next”. I felt a lot of pain and anger contemplating helplessly the inter-generational mental illnesses, the fifty shades of trauma…

    My siblings and I, we were so alone in this, shamed, tied to secrecy, truly believing if we were to speak about our reality the blame would fall on us. Nobody would believe us about what kind of monster our mother was, everybody would believe her because her speech is more intense. I always thought if I was to speak about this, even if the difficulty of the situation was acknowledged I would be considered as responsible for not being strong enough, for not being close to save myself, and therefore I would deserve/receive no help or sympathy.

    So I had… to fake being strong until I was. It didn’t heal me, it turned me into something… something so numb that it brings even less empathy to people. I am crying again. Maybe the loss you asked me about yesterday was… the loss of my connection to humanity. The loss you get when you have been scarred by your life so deeply you can’t feel emotions, can’t feel human, cannot hope to be healed/fixed… And yet, yet… I just have enough emotion left to suffer from… this loss. The loss of not being able to have human connections. My greatest pain.

    My mother’s yelling, threats, shaming, mind games… I was able to get used to it. What I never was able to get used to, even though I actively tried, was… the pain of not being able to connect, of having to live with the thought I would be forever alone. Being so broken that I would never be able to get any good human connection at all, not without risking being abandoned when people would realize… where I came from, and how far from being a person I came to be… Worse. If they were to bear with that, what if I was broken enough that my issues could… spread? Just like my mother did to me. So I resigned myself to survive alone. And I couldn’t really do it honestly. I was missing everything I would need, the strength, the experience, the motivation. How to be motivated when you have no hope you’ll ever be an entire enough person, when you are convinced the only people who would want anything with you will be those who intend to use you as an object. Because those who want a human would notice something’s missing… And I didn’t have the energy. My mother doing her mind tricks and feeding upon me… How could I have it?

    I’ve been crying from the moment I mentioned it until now. Now I am not crying anymore but my eyes are irrated. I was trembling as I wrote, I hope I didn’t make too many mistakes because I won’t have the courage to reread this post. I hope it’ll be readable.

    I have to tell you… My brain fails. My memory isn’t good. Unlike you (from what I gather from your posts) I am not very visual in my memories, and not very auditive either I guess, except for a few exceptions. But I have some memories of feelings, from some moments I wasn’t numb. I remember the distress… I was alone with my siblings, nobody to confirm we were suffering, nobody to tell us what was going on wasn’t normal, that maybe we weren’t to blame. I remember, in this distress, asking myself often “It has to be abuse, it can’t be normal… She cannot have the right to do that?”, “She shouldn’t be allowed to hurt us even if she is our mother”, “Why nobody is noticing? Do we really have to tell about it? Then… maybe it’s normal, maybe we aren’t suffering enough to deserve help.” And… I became adult, we became adults, and then I thought “Now it is too late, maybe people would believe children are defenseless and deserve help, but adults? It doesn’t matter how messed we are now, we’re alone. People won’t understand someone supposed to be old enough to defend themselves yet being as powerless as we are.”

    From all the people I mentioned my mother’s behavior, you were the only one I remember who got so angry (most don’t even show any anger). This makes sense, I gave you more details and you are able to feel it at a personal level due to your own experience. You are the only ones who allow me to feel like what has been going on is really abuse, and very wrong. I’m grateful for that, it allows me to remember the feelings I’ve been burying for so long.

    I have been, very disturbed the first time I read your post… disturbed by so much strong emotion, so much anger. And some even aimed at me (which echoes my self-hatred and my past inner belief maybe I am bad/broken enough to deserve… more hurt). But in the end, I understand. Thank you for reminding me of my anger… and I’m sorry. I’m afraid you’ll have to be more patient with me, I wish I could do as you say easily but… it is unlikely to happen so fast.

    I do value our connection a lot, so it would take a lot to break it but if there’s more pressure than my mind can bear without breaking I will have to slow down… I don’t want to lose our connection over making not enough efforts, but I wouldn’t feel great to lose it over feeling I’m too broken to meet your expectation and to succeed in my healing either… I will keep trying to heal, and help my siblings but… It’ll be difficult. You don’t have to pressure yourself by coming up with a plan either… Maybe we’ll get somewhere eventually, see how I can stop feeding the beast eventually, but I cannot process everything at once.

    Thank you for sharing your feelings with me Anita. I really like you, even when your intensity gets challenging for me.

    Linarra

    #385424
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    I went through your recent post superficially, not reading all,  because it is now later in the day and although I slept better last night, I am too tired now to handle the emotional intensity of our communication. I will read, re-read and reply further Mon morning, which is in about 17 hours.

    But for now, I smiled as I read this: “I do value our connection a lot, so it would take a lot to break it but if there’s more pressure than my mind can bear without breaking I will have to slow down..”-

    – I smiled because I am relieved that like me, you too feel strongly about our connection. I feel very good (!) about our connection and communication, it’s the best. I also smiled because I appreciate your sensibility regarding the pressure factor. What I expressed to you earlier were my strong emotions, but there was no intent or desire to pressure you, my emotions are as they are, no manipulative intent driving my emotions.

    I wouldn’t feel great to lose it over feeling I’m too broken to meet your expectation and to succeed in my healing either“- your healing is and must be your own  individual process, not something meant to meet my expectations. Your healing process has to be your own, about you and not about me: you decide why, what, where, when and how.. whenever you are able to decide these things. Besides, I don’t think I expect anything from you in regard to your healing process. I hope, realistically hope.. but no, no expectations.

    Be back to you tomorrow!

    anita

    #385437
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    I didn’t yet read or re-read your recent post, but I thought of something before getting up this morning and that is my need and assertion that I will no longer refer to that woman as your- or anyone’s mother. The word Mother has a positive connotation and therefore that woman does not deserve the title. She as well as the woman who gave birth to me were mothers sometime after having had sex and that motherhood ended sometime before or after giving birth, when they became something else to us: Monsters or Beasts. I will never, ever again refer to any one of these women as Mothers, but as Monsters. If you prefer that I use another word that has a definite negative connotation (in English or in French), let me know what it is.  I am open to suggestions.

    And now to your most recent post: “The self-hatred didn’t help though“- the victim joins the victimizer in.. hating the victim, two against one.

    I hate my mother, I hated myself, I thought if fate made any sense it should kill us both“- I read and reply to part by part. This part elaborates on what I wrote right above. The victim-child is not capable of understanding that she is not the Monster. In the victim-child’s mind, she and the Monster are ..pretty much the same, a single entity. To get rid of the shame, she thinks that both (one entity) must die.

    My siblings and I, we were so alone in this, shamed, tied to secrecy… Nobody would believe us about what kind of monster our mother was, everybody would believe her because her speech is more intense“- her speech is more intense, plus most of your life she was bigger and stronger and the one who was capable. You were small and helpless, unable to sit, then unable to walk, unable to shop and prepare food, etc., and you looked up at that big, strong and capable woman who was able to do all the things you were unable to do.

    Fast forward, you are an adult, you can see that she is maybe smaller than you are, weaker, frail.. maybe, but you are still under her power because you feel sorry for her, you feel empathy and sympathy for her. The Monster knew instinctively that she will not forever be bigger and stronger than her children, and therefore, she will not be able to overpower them physically, so she made them feel sorry for her, demand more of their empathy, make them scared for her life, make them feel shame and guilt.. so that when they are bigger and capable to leave her, they won’t.

    And she doesn’t want her children to leave her because they are her only source of Power. And Power feels good!

    I always thought if I was to speak about this, even if the difficulty of the situation was acknowledged I would be considered as responsible for not being strong enough“-she weakened you with her triple weapon of Fear-Shame-Guilt, profiting from your history of being small and helpless as babies and young children, and keeping you that way.

    I am crying again. Maybe the loss you asked me about yesterday was… the loss of my connection to humanity. The loss you get when you have been scarred by your life so deeply you can’t feel emotions, can’t feel human, cannot hope to be healed/fixed… And yet, yet… I just have enough emotion left to suffer from… this loss. The loss of not being able to have human connections. My greatest pain“-

    – at one time I gave you the image of a tree shedding its branches and leaves and blossoms and remaining just a trunk, a bare trunk, because there is not enough water and nutrients in the ground. When the tree’s branches die and drop to the ground, it can’t reach up toward the sun and connect with the sun. Without its leaves it cannot connect further with the sun and absorb its light. Without blossoms it cannot connect with bees. Without fruit it cannot connect with birds and bears. Just a trunk it is almost dead, having lost connection with life. Almost dead but not dead yet, alive enough to suffer, not alive enough to connect with life= to LIVE.

    My mother’s yelling, threats, shaming, mind games… I was able to get used to it“- by shedding your branches and leaves and blossoms. The logic behind it: less connection with her= less pain.

    What I never was able to get used to, even though I actively tried, was… the pain of not being able to connect, of having to live with the thought I would be forever alone.“-

    – the lonely tree trunk with no branches, no leaves, no blossoms to connect with LIFE. It is afraid of forevermore.. being just a trunk.

    Being so broken that I would never be able to get any good human connection at all, not without risking being abandoned when people would realize… where I came from“-

    – you made a good human connection with me, a former tree trunk, like you, and so, I do know where you come from. I am more than a trunk now, I have some branches and leaves and a couple of blossoms.

    Worse. If they were to bear with that, what if I was broken enough that my issues could… spread? Just like my mother did to me“-

    – this is about the lack of separation I mentioned earlier. You don’t know yet that you and the monster are not the same person. Intellectually (and therefore, superficially) you understand this, but not emotionally, deep inside. You don’t understand that- going back to the tree imagery- that you are not the kind of person who will grab an ax and cut off my branches! (She is the Monster. You are not).

    How to be motivated when you have no hope you’ll ever be an entire enough person, when you are convinced the only people who would want anything with you will be those who intend to use you as an object“-

    – You can’t know how it is to be connected to others as a person when you didn’t yet adequately experience it long enough to trust that it exists and can be trusted to continue. This is why for as long as you allow it, I must stay connected with you, so that maybe.. just maybe you will trust me and our connection.

    Because those who want a human would notice something’s missing”- back to the tree image, I said I have a couple of blossoms, guess what- I have a third, because I connected with you, and there are more blossoms to have because as long as we are alive there is always something missing/ something to yet have.

    I’ve been crying from the moment I mentioned it until now. Now I am not crying anymore but my eyes are irritated. I was trembling as I wrote, I hope I didn’t make too many mistakes because I won’t have the courage to reread this post. I hope it’ll be readable“-

    -Very readable, can’t be  clearer. And..  back to the tree imagery.. I think that this crying experience, the irritation.. that may be what a tree trunk .. feels when a new branch is starting to grow just a bit.

    I have to tell you… My brain fails. My memory isn’t good. Unlike you“- you don’t know because I didn’t tell you and because my brain’s function has greatly improved: my brain failed me for decades in ways that could have easily killed me. My brain was severely inattentive, severely numb, severely dissociated, I was spaced out.. couldn’t focus, couldn’t process information. And my memories from childhood: it will take no more than 5 minutes to verbalize ALL of them.

    I remember, in this distress, asking myself often ‘It has to be abuse, it can’t be normal… She cannot have the right to do that?’, ‘She shouldn’t be allowed to hurt us even if she is our mother’, ‘Why nobody is noticing?..'”-

    – Similar thoughts on my part. She was so loud when she screamed at me and yet no one interfered. When I was a child, where I was- there was no such thing as the police in connection to parents and children, nor was there anything like a child protection agency, or children rights.. . Children belonged to their parents and it was up to the parents alone as to how to treat what belonged to them. To interfere with a parent’s mistreatment of their child (except when a parent literally breaks the child’s bones or the likes) was considered minding someone else’s business, interfering with the parent’s business.

    Plus, adults witnessing another adult’s violence toward a child, be it verbal or physical, are afraid to receive a similar violence themselves if they interfere.

    And… I became adult, we became adults, and then I thought ‘Now it is too late, maybe people would believe children are defenseless and deserve help, but adults? It doesn’t matter how messed we are now, we’re alone. People won’t understand someone supposed to be old enough to defend themselves yet being as powerless as we are.‘”-

    – when I got angry at you recently for feeding the beast, as I put it, for allowing the abuse, I forgot how I was as an adult, quite incapable. I mentioned above how my brain failed me too. Yes, it is true as I look back: as an adult, I wasn’t able to stop her any more than I did.

    I remember I was 20, maybe a bit older than 20, in the apartment where I lived with her, such a small apartment and yet she RAN toward me. I don’t think that she ever walked toward me so to hit me, she RAN. So at 20 or so, there  she is RUNNING toward me, like a wounded animal.. so I did something I never did before, I stretched out my arms and with my hands I closed in on her hands and pushed toward her just enough, with just enough force to stop her running. I stayed like that for a while until she simply withdrew and moved away. It was so pathetic, in my mind. I thought to myself: THIS IS ALL IT TOOK???? This is all I had to do in the past to make her stop???? And I felt sorry for her, oh.. poor monster lost her courage.

    That was the last time she attempted to physically hit me. So you see.. the monster is not out of control when she abuses us, it’s simply a power strategy on her part.

    From all the people I mentioned my mother’s behavior, you were the only one I remember who got so angry (most don’t even show any anger)… You are the only ones who allow me to feel like what has been going on is really abuse, and very wrong. I’m grateful for that, it allows me to remember the feelings I’ve been burying for so long.. Thank you for reminding me of my anger… and I’m sorry. I’m afraid you’ll have to be more patient with me, I wish I could do as you say easily but… it is unlikely to happen so fast”-

    -You are welcome. I think that you don’t have to worry about me not being patient with you because I am here with you helping myself, wanting to understand myself better, to.. grow longer branches reaching to the sun, more leaves, more blossoms.. for my own sake, for me. You are helping me to do so because of our very special, unique connection, as I perceive it.

    I don’t want to lose our connection over making not enough efforts, but I wouldn’t feel great to lose it over feeling I’m too broken to meet your expectation and to succeed in my healing either… I will keep trying to heal… Maybe we’ll get somewhere eventually, see how I can stop feeding the beast eventually, but I cannot process everything at once“-

    – I can’t process everything at once either, was never able to do that. I expected myself to process everything quickly and become a.. functional member of society, put a lot of pressure on myself. I failed every time I tried to meet my own unrealistic expectations.

    I really like you, even when your intensity gets challenging for me“- I really like you too. When I feel distant from you again, maybe even angry… I will take a break, a walk outside.. and I will like you again afterwards. Anger doesn’t have to be catastrophic and lead to a disaster.. if you are not a monster.

    anita

    #385443
    Linarra
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Before replying, I’ll tell you some news that I believe will please you. First, my brother went back to his studies, so he won’t be home for the next few months and since he mentioned a lot his intention of not coming back at all if he can’t help it (and he’s quite determined) he might not come back. Second, the fact he came back home this summer was actually helpful for something, because he helped my sister getting a job and making a step further in her goal, if it goes well for her she might be the next one to leave. It will take some time, but there’s progress for her. I am proud of them.

    Now, I’ll reply to your post:

    ” I will never, ever again refer to any one of these women as Mothers, but as Monsters. If you prefer that I use another word that has a definite negative connotation (in English or in French), let me know what it is.”

    I understand your need and I’ll try to be careful to not use the term mother with you from now on then. I don’t know how comfortable with using the term Monster myself, but I might get used to it. I can’t think of another English term. In French, I’m thinking about “marâtre”

    Definition from wordsense.eu :

    marâtre (fem.) (pl. marâtres)
    1. A stepmother (especially an evil one, as the -âtre suffix came to be a pejorative)
    2. An abusive, wicked birth mother

    “she weakened you with her triple weapon of Fear-Shame-Guilt, profiting from your history of being small and helpless as babies and young children, and keeping you that way.”

    I feel this one deeply. She’s been doing that so much, unfortunately successfully.

    “You can’t know how it is to be connected to others as a person when you didn’t yet adequately experience it long enough to trust that it exists and can be trusted to continue. This is why for as long as you allow it, I must stay connected with you, so that maybe.. just maybe you will trust me and our connection.”

    Thank you.. It is important to me. I don’t know how long it’ll take to really trust, but I am glad you are willing to try. I really believe I need more positive connections, real ones, with people who consider me as a person. Maybe it’ll help me find back some life and be more connected to my emotions. And maybe as I feel more and more like a person, and get used to healthier connections, I will recognize more easily the wrongness when it is happening.

    “back to the tree image, I said I have a couple of blossoms, guess what- I have a third, because I connected with you, and there are more blossoms to have because as long as we are alive there is always something missing/ something to yet have.”

    This image is hopeful, I like it. And I’m honored to be able to add one more blossom to your tree.

    “you don’t know because I didn’t tell you and because my brain’s function has greatly improved: my brain failed me for decades in ways that could have easily killed me. My brain was severely inattentive, severely numb, severely dissociated, I was spaced out.. couldn’t focus, couldn’t process information.”

    I’m glad to read it can greatly improve, and that it did for you. This issue is one of the things that makes me lack confidence in the idea of being able to take care of myself well enough to survive in the outside world. Not being able to trust my cognitive functions is scary…

    ” It was so pathetic, in my mind. I thought to myself: THIS IS ALL IT TOOK???? This is all I had to do in the past to make her stop???? And I felt sorry for her, oh.. poor monster lost her courage.” “That was the last time she attempted to physically hit me. So you see.. the monster is not out of control when she abuses us, it’s simply a power strategy on her part.”

    It is easier to stop physical attacks than mental manipulations… And I also believe I was more messed up by the mental attacks than any of the physical ones I receive in my life. The physical ones are proofs something is wrong, they show evidence of something awful. The mental ones are more easily overlooked, innocent looked, and before you know it you’re stuck into the trap so deep and even there it can be difficult to recognize the victimize as one.

    “I expected myself to process everything quickly and become a.. functional member of society, put a lot of pressure on myself. I failed every time I tried to meet my own unrealistic expectations.”

    I feel this one very deeply too. It takes a lot to let go of unrealistic expectations.

    “I really like you too. When I feel distant from you again, maybe even angry… I will take a break, a walk outside.. and I will like you again afterwards. Anger doesn’t have to be catastrophic and lead to a disaster.. if you are not a monster.”

    Thank you. And you are right. Another emotion that has been twisted so much.

    Linarra

    #385444
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    Yes, it does please me to read that your brother will not be living with the Monster for the next few months and I hope he will never again live with her. I hope for the same for your sister and of course, for you!

    I need to read/ re-read your recent post later when I am more focused. I need to take my walk outside soon, to do a few chores before I leave, dusting, washing dishes.. well, it’s 10:25 pm your time, so I hope you go to sleep soon and have a better rest/ night. I slept better in the last two nights but tired right now. Good night courageous Linarra (I mean it/ feel it, I am not just saying it!)

    anita

    #385448
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    I know that I will not be able to get back to you before Tues morning, my time, which will be Tues, about 4 pm your time. I hope you are sleeping well as I type this, dearest Linarra.

    anita

    #385487
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    I’ll try to be careful to not use the term mother with you from now on then. I don’t know how comfortable with using the term Monster myself, but I might get used to it. I can’t think of another English term. In French, I’m thinking about ‘marâtre’.. A stepmother (especially an evil one..  An abusive, wicked birth mother“-

    – I very much like “birth mother” and birth daughter to point to the reality that a birth mother and a birth daughter don’t have to be connected beyond the unchosen fact of one popping out of the other’s body.

    – There is a Shakespearean quote: “To thine own self be true”. You can use whatever terms or words you want to use as long as the words you use feels true to you, while I will use the words that feel true to me. The healing process is about being more and more true to yourself, which means: you must not accommodate me at the expense of you being true to yourself. Call that woman whatever feels true to you.

    I wrote to you:she weakened you with her triple weapon of Fear-Shame-Guilt, profiting from your history of being small and helpless as babies and young children, and keeping you that way”, and you replied: “I feel this one deeply. She’s been doing that so much, unfortunately successfully“-

    – A grown up woman used weapons against a small and helpless child, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.. expressing no regret, making no significant efforts, if any, to correct her ways and put down the weapons.. and then she used the same weapons against a second child… and then against a third.. and a fourth.. and a fifth.  Does she deserve yours or anyone’s empathy… this woman who harms children with weapons .. just because she can get away with it?

    This wicked birth mother is wicked indeed. Long ago she was a child herself, harmed by her own mother and by other adults in her young life.. but that didn’t cause her to side with those harmed, too weak and dependent to protect themselves or fight  back. Instead, she sided with those inflicting harm on the weak and dependent.

    Many, many years ago, this wicked woman was a child herself, a good, loving child. You can see glimpses of the child that she was in her face, in her voice, when she is scared, pitiful, hopeful or affectionate.. but thing is, the child that she was is gone and is never coming back. What you see is glimpses of a child that is long gone.

    “I really believe I need more positive connections, real ones, with people who consider me as a person. Maybe it’ll help me find back some life and be more connected to my emotions“- as social animals, positive, meaningful connections with others make it possible for us to experience emotions. Without connections, we feel dead inside. Connections make us feel ALIVE!

    “one of the things that makes me lack confidence in the idea of being able to take care of myself well enough to survive in the outside world. Not being able to trust my cognitive functions is scary“- positive, meaningful connections with others will bring your emotions and your cognitive functions back to life, infusing your heart and brain with much needed oxygen!

    I also believe I was more messed up by the mental attacks than any of the physical ones I receive in my life. The physical ones are proofs something is wrong, they show evidence of something awful. The mental ones are more easily overlooked“-

    – (1) she uses mental weapons because they don’t leave physical marks: no blood, no broken bones, (2) she knows how mental wounds feel like because the child that she was suffered those.. and yet, she does to others what was done to her, not once but again and again.. and again.

    After I submitted to you the last post yesterday, ending with “dearest Linarra”- I was worried: maybe it  made you feel uncomfortable, it could potentially, if ..let’s say the wicked birth mother refers to you this way, in French. Also, I am quite new at referring to people affectionately. How do you feel about me calling you earlier “sweet Linarra”, and this “dearest Linarra”… ?

    anita

    #385498
    Linarra
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    “The healing process is about being more and more true to yourself, which means: you must not accommodate me at the expense of you being true to yourself. Call that woman whatever feels true to you.”

    I like this idea, not having to accommodate to understand each other, to be able to be true to myself without having to fear every time about how it could endanger our connection.

    “Does she deserve yours or anyone’s empathy… this woman who harms children with weapons .. just because she can get away with it?”

    Having empathy for her costs too much. And honestly, it didn’t make her a better person to have mine. So she doesn’t deserve it.

    “Long ago she was a child herself, harmed by her own mother and by other adults in her young life.. but that didn’t cause her to side with those harmed, too weak and dependent to protect themselves or fight back. Instead, she sided with those inflicting harm on the weak and dependent.”

    She claims she protect us so strongly. And I can see her actions are sometimes coherent with that, but even when she makes actions in order to ‘protect her children’, she thinks more of herself than she thinks about her children. Because we tell her “no it’s not going to help”, “no it will cause more harm”, “no, it isn’t your business”… and yet she keeps imposing her harmful “protection”. This means the truth is… no matter how much she lies about it, she’s on the side of the harm.

    ” positive, meaningful connections with others will bring your emotions and your cognitive functions back to life, infusing your heart and brain with much needed oxygen!”

    Very very much need indeed.

    “After I submitted to you the last post yesterday, ending with “dearest Linarra”- I was worried: maybe it  made you feel uncomfortable, it could potentially, if ..let’s say the wicked birth mother refers to you this way, in French.”

    Oh, she does call me with french endearments terms but, to be honest, I don’t listen to her much when she’s being affectionate. I listen to her so little that I couldn’t tell exactly what endearment she uses, or how often. And even those I can remember at this moment I don’t associate them with her specifically. But don’t worry I will telling you if something reminds me of her in a way that makes me uncomfortable.

    “Also, I am quite new at referring to people affectionately. How do you feel about me calling you earlier “sweet Linarra”, and this “dearest Linarra”… ?”

    It depends on the moment. Yesterday, I was still a bit worried about our connection (only slightly), so I didn’t allow myself to feel warm like other times you showed affection. When it comes to affection, I have a ‘proceed with caution’ system. I am open to it and enjoy affection very much when in relationships that I trust, but even when I trust there are times when my brain get stuck into evaluating the risks.  Not the risks of big betrayals, but the risks that come with usual emotions and fluctuations that come with relationships… which are not supposed to be too risky, but since my brain has been used to be cautious I can’t help a bit of worry.

    As I said, it’s not too intense, but when they are there, they can be messing with my appreciation of the connection. Other than these times, I very much appreciate affection and I don’t believe I have specific negative triggers. If you have some, please tell me so I can be mindful of them.

    Linarra

    #385502
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    Having empathy for her costs too much“- having empathy for her costs you your mental health. When the deer has empathy for the mountain lion, it costs the deer its life.

    it didn’t make her a better person to have mine“- she used your empathy against you.

    So she doesn’t deserve it“- she uses your empathy to keep her power over you. A deer feeling empathy for the lion will not run or fight the lion, not wanting to.. hurt the lion’s feelings or prevent the lion from satisfying its hunger.

    “She claims she protect us so strongly… she keeps imposing her harmful ‘protection‘”- the lion protects the deer from the wolf because if the wolf eats the deer, guess who’s going to stay hungry?

    Yesterday, I was still a bit worried about our connection (only slightly), so I didn’t allow myself to feel warm like other times you showed affection. When it comes to affection, I have a ‘proceed with caution’ system… Other than these times, I very much appreciate affection and I don’t believe I have specific negative triggers. If you have some, please tell me so I can be mindful of them“-

    – I am cautious too, we have this in common. Historically, I felt uncomfortable giving and/ or receiving affection, but I am getting more comfortable with it. Still awkward though. So, I’ll express it once in a while, not in every post.

    anita

    #385509
    Linarra
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    “the lion protects the deer from the wolf because if the wolf eats the deer, guess who’s going to stay hungry?”

    It makes sense. A tricky subtlety for a child’s mind, but easier to understand as an adult.

    “Historically, I felt uncomfortable giving and/ or receiving affection, but I am getting more comfortable with it. Still awkward though. So, I’ll express it once in a while, not in every post.”

    I understand, and I don’t mind.

    Thankfully, I was lucky enough to have been exposed to affection (despite the low personal investment from my part due to my caution and poor social skills) from several friends who weren’t shy with affection (more physical than with words, often, but it varied from people to people). I found were able to drop the awkwardness for some, then it would get back depending on the circumstances. But I find, despite the awkwardness, it’s still worth it when the connection is good.

    I don’t have much daydream lately, but sometimes, after or before our conversation, it happened that I imagine an alternative reality in which meeting each other would have been a possibility. I wondered whether we’d still get along and how awkward it’d be. I figured, if somehow we’d still appreciate each other and therefore affection would have be not entirely unwelcomed, that I would probably ask you if it’s alright before giving it. It’s awkward to ask but it’s more comfortable to have clear consent even for little things. And I appreciate how mindful we’re trying to be (while staying true to who we are!) in this conversation, so I find it interesting to imagine what it looks like in more real context.

    Have a good afternoon Anita, I hope you’ll sleep well enough tonight!

    Linarra

    #385516
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    “I don’t have much daydream lately, but sometimes, after or before our conversation, it happened that I imagine an alternative reality in which meeting each other would have been a possibility. I wondered whether we’d still get along and how awkward it’d be. I figured, if somehow we’d still appreciate each other and therefore affection would have be not entirely unwelcomed, that I would probably ask you if it’s alright before giving it. It’s awkward to ask but it’s more comfortable to have clear consent even for little things. And I appreciate how mindful we’re trying to be (while staying true to who we are!) in this conversation, so I find it interesting to imagine what it looks like in more real context”-

    – this is so beautiful that I had to quote it all just so to see it again, it makes me smile and feel so good about you!

    I too hope to sleep well tonight (I woke up at 4 am this morning!) and I hope you have a good night as well.

    anita

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