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  • #385543
    Linarra
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    “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 am glad. It was one of the things I’ve been thinking about telling you but waiting for a good timing. I did notice the times you mentioned fantasy about talking to me over the phone, helping me escape my mother, or… being there, holding my hand and helping me through each step of the way. I was deeply moved by those parts of your posts, yet I didn’t reply to those specifically.

    Every of those would have been an occasion to tell I’ve had those small daydreaming about you. Not something like you helping me escape, no… mostly just about what our connection would look like if we could interact in real life, how I would feel… And it makes me feel really good to imagine this.

    I didn’t dare to tell you, because it would show attachment, and since we both experience fear of emotional attachment I am instinctively wary about showing signs and telling about it. I can do it though, slowly, when the timing feels right… with hopes if I do it in the right way it will be good for both of us.

    Figuring out the right way to go with attachment is difficult. I base myself on the attachment theory of Mary Ainsworth and John Bowlby (I don’t know if you’re familiar with this?) and my personal emotional experience. My personal experience as a receiver :

    – too much clinginess (from interaction with anxious attachment, coming from a fear of abandonment) feels suffocating, unsafe because I’m not trusted and I can’t feel free to be myself because I have to be wary of not harming the other person’s feelings with everything I do… So, not good. It can fall into unhealthy caretaking.

    – too much distance (from interaction with avoidant attachment, coming from a fear of intimacy) is alright when I don’t feel ready to being emotionally attached either, but when I feel some attachment it can go from… feeling disheartened to being heart-broken, and maybe awoken some anxious attachment feelings that I kill immediately because I know from my inner emotional experience that clinginess will make it worse.

    Now, as the person feeling and showing attachment to others, I relate to both anxious and avoidant feelings… (which would mean I have a fearful-avoidant attachment, I guess) Though, being more of an half-dead trunk than a person, I didn’t act on my feelings most of the time, I was trying to be more of an observant. When I didn’t have a choice because I was directly sollicited, I tried to tempered whatever I was feeling. And after I discovered attachment theory and what Secure attachment was supposed to be like, I tried to emulate it. I am still aiming towards that, learning to trust, learning to alright with expressing and receiving affection, and reminding myself that distance isn’t necessarily leading to rejection or harm.

    I am willing to let our connection be a blossom on my trunk, and I want to do it the healthy and secure way for both of us. Of course, there will always be some fear, anxiety, awkwardness… this is a whole package coming with the emotional attachment (this package thankfully includes joy, warmth, excitement!) The negative aspects of it are intensified by our similar childhood experiences that lead us to insecure attachment patterns, but as we are both on our healing journey I believe it is safe enough for us to… go for it. At the pace that feels right, since we are patient this shouldn’t be a problem to go slowly and safely. Carefully, because we both care about each other.

    Coming back to the bits of daydreaming I had about you. I didn’t dare to go too far because I don’t want to let my mind build expectations. I believe it could come in the way of our connection if I let myself feel any expectation. I rather experience our connection as it is, with the real you. I still have these bits of daydreaming because it is how my attachment towards you expresses itself. If we were around each other, I could look at you and pay attention. If you seem uncomfortable, we could talk and try to reach some clarity and peace (if you needed space and no talking it would be alright with me too). If you seem comfortable, we could just enjoy it. Maybe, after looking at you in the eyes and confirming you feeling good, I would dare to tell you how good I feel about you and our connection. Maybe I would dare to ask you about what kind of intimacy you are comfortable about, if I feel bold and confident enough, or maybe I would ask you what would make you happy to do right now if I still feel shy but want to show you affection in a softer way.

    These daydreams don’t exactly reach an end because it is just me imagining how I could express affection safely for both of us, and how I could react to different possible actions and reactions from you. They are some kind of simulation, some kind of training that makes me feel good and reassures me in my ability to handle a close connection safely.

    I hope you’ll sleep longer tonight!

    Linarra

    #385549
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    as we are both on our healing journey I believe it is safe enough for us to… go for it. At the pace that feels right, since we are patient this shouldn’t be a problem to go slowly and safely. Carefully, because we both care about each other“- Yes!!!

    As I read what you wrote about attachment styles, the anxious and avoidant, I thought: really, all that matters is Trust: that I am trustworthy and therefore, that you will be okay trusting me. All the academic information, as interesting as it is, will not bring about anything good unless the person you get attached to is worthy of your trust.

    I thought about our future connection, thought about .. once I get my passport renewed and Covid permitting, I will fly again to my country of origin, I could stop in Paris and travel from there to see you. Earlier I thought about calling you and it occurred to me that you are living with.. Her, and what if she gets on the phone and harasses me, what if she finds our communication here, email.. and attacks me, perceiving me as the Danger-Out-There.. I don’t want her or people like her in my life.

    I’ve had those small daydreaming about you. Not something like you helping me escape, no… mostly just about what our connection would look like if we could interact in real life, how I would feel… And it makes me feel really good to imagine this“- sitting in an outdoors casual restaurant with you, it’s quiet enough to talk but the noises around are pleasant, people talking to each other, seeming happy.. and we sit there, maybe drinking cappuccino with foam, your face so young, mine much older.. a smile, maybe a shy smile on my face, on yours, the sun is pleasant, warm but not hot, some traffic noise.. sitting there enjoying the pleasant sun, the sounds, noticing the awkward feeling and reminding each other that it’s okay to feel awkward, no need to add awkward on top of awkward… Maybe it’s later in the day and we an have a glass or red wine (I will have to add a sweetener to it, which might offend proud wine drinkers… will it offend you?)

    anita

     

    #385551
    Linarra
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    ” All the academic information, as interesting as it is, will not bring about anything good unless the person you get attached to is worthy of your trust.”

    Indeed, if there’s no trust it doesn’t work either way..

    “Earlier I thought about calling you and it occurred to me that you are living with.. Her, and what if she gets on the phone and harasses me, what if she finds our communication here, email.. and attacks me, perceiving me as the Danger-Out-There.. I don’t want her or people like her in my life.”

    Living with her made me keep people I care about away from my house (and unfortunately from me) for their own safety for very long. I don’t want her anywhere near you. I don’t want you to ever meet her, and I don’t want you to have to hear her voice.

    If we have a phone call I will get out and hide from her. I will be careful. It is my job to protect my loved ones from the monster, whether it is by keeping them away from me (if I’m unable to leave) or maybe, when/if I’m able to leace, by being away from her myself. There is just no doubt in my head that as long I am within this home, the people I care about outside have to be away from me

    Until now it wasn’t exactly a big issue, because my friends can’t or don’t care much about visiting me. For those who aren’t living nearby it visiting me never has been an option, and for those who do live nearby we just hang out outside. It is the first time I have to worry about having someone wanting to see me, so… I am a bit unprepared. I would have to prepare and plan things ahead. If I still live with her I guess we would meet far from where I live and I would lie to her about who I’ll be with (a lie that would prevent some fuss). To be honest farther than that I cannot imagine, because there’s no way to know what the future is made of, whether it is for Covid or my ability to leave home.

    I can just promise I wouldn’t let her near you, whatever it takes.

    ” sitting in an outdoors casual restaurant with you, it’s quiet enough to talk but the noises around are pleasant, people talking to each other, seeming happy.. and we sit there, maybe drinking cappuccino with foam, your face so young, mine much older.. a smile, maybe a shy smile on my face, on yours, the sun is pleasant, warm but not hot, some traffic noise.. sitting there enjoying the pleasant sun, the sounds, noticing the awkward feeling and reminding each other that it’s okay to feel awkward, no need to add awkward on top of awkward… “

    The scenery seems nice. I’m feeling anxiety because my past experiences of having anxiety in crowded places, but this anxiety is bearable when I’m with someone I trust. And I can still try to improve my anxiety management until then.

    ” Maybe it’s later in the day and we an have a glass or red wine (I will have to add a sweetener to it, which might offend proud wine drinkers… will it offend you?)”

    I wouldn’t be offended by such things. I’m am no proud drinker (of wine or anything, alcohol upset my stomach too easily) and when I have any kind of alcohol I prefer it sweet so, no offense. For that or any food preference by the way. I’m not exactly sure why people are wasting their energy criticizing other people’s personal preferences.

    Linarra

    #385552
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    I can just promise I wouldn’t let her near you, whatever it takes“- you are amazing, this is.. I deeply appreciate your promise and the fact that you went out of your way to expand on this promise in the three paragraphs preceding it… thank you.

    The scenery seems nice. I’m feeling anxiety because my past experiences of having anxiety in crowded places..“- I didn’t think about that. I would rather then meet you in a park, sitting alone on the grass, maybe by some kind of flowing water, no one close by, people being at a safe distance. And no alcohol because it upsets your stomach.. maybe we can have a to go coffee or hot chocolate and a croissant from a nearby shop, have our little picnic.

    anita

     

    #385553
    Linarra
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    “I deeply appreciate your promise and the fact that you went out of your way to expand on this promise in the three paragraphs preceding it… thank you.”

    You’re welcome. It is important to me.

    ” I didn’t think about that. I would rather then meet you in a park, sitting alone on the grass, maybe by some kind of flowing water, no one close by, people being at a safe distance. And no alcohol because it upsets your stomach.. maybe we can have a to go coffee or hot chocolate and a croissant from a nearby shop, have our little picnic.”

    I like it better, nature is more peaceful, and picnic are nice. If you want to try a restaurant or anything later it can be done, but maybe for the first meeting nature is better for me, less overwhelming. I will keep you updated though, if I end up feeling more comfortable in crowded place. And well I wouldn’t keep you from wine either. I am not uncomfortable with you having it even if I don’t drink alcohol (and I might if I feel like I can handle it, just have to be careful because I’m not a regular drinker). I’m sure we’d be able to figure out something nice, with a little bit of planning (I’m really bad at improvising, I like to be prepared, though I’m not against following the flow when I’m with someone I trust. As long we’re able to relax everything is fine.)

    Linarra

    #385554
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    Yes, nature is better, no reason to add unnecessary stress such as a crowded place, besides, for me, visiting you will be about meeting you, not about going to a restaurant or seeing other people.. so nature, a park- will be find and dandy with me.

    As long we’re able to relax everything is fine“- yes, I agree!

    anita

    #385556
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    It occurred to me that maybe you feel uncomfortable about telling me more of what’s happening in your home, with Her because it made me so emotional last time you told me- but I do want you to tell me what’s going on between you and her/ your siblings and her, it is important that I know about such an important part of your life. I will be okay with handling it emotionally, really.

    anita

    #385557
    Linarra
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    “Yes, nature is better, no reason to add unnecessary stress such as a crowded place, besides, for me, visiting you will be about meeting you, not about going to a restaurant or seeing other people.. so nature, a park- will be find and dandy with me.”

    Thank you for discussing it with me, I really appreciate it. I have still difficulty realizing you would really consider meeting (and that I am not rejecting with vivid fear). It is quite… new for me. All of this. I tend to avoid new experiences, I’m usually overwhelmed just at the idea, to the point I prevent anything that may entertain it.  So it is very strange to me that I am not doing that… I am not sure I understand. I just hope I’ll find the courage to live up to it. I’ll just try to figure things out at my pace though. I am peaceful enough, despite all the unknown factors. I think all the conversations we had, and the way we handled them helped me relax a lot. There’s something about it.

    I think I might be at a turning point in my healing journey, I am not quite sure because I can’t see ahead, but there’s definitely something different compared to how I used to proceed and feel. It is very mysterious, yet not too scary.

    “It occurred to me that maybe you feel uncomfortable about telling me more of what’s happening in your home, with Her because it made me so emotional last time you told me- but I do want you to tell me what’s going on between you and her/ your siblings and her, it is important that I know about such an important part of your life. I will be okay with handling it emotionally, really.”

    I’m not uncomfortable, not really, but she’s a mood downer so I like thinking about you better, she doesn’t need to take more space in my mind than she did already. But I can share, sure.

    Today she find a way to pet her nose into my brother’s business even if he’s not here anymore! By making a phone call he wouldn’t have liked her to make, because it is humiliating. I warned my brother, he asked me to stop her. I did, but not too efficiently. She was upset with me for ratting on her for the rest of the day. Being rude and everything, insulting and making phone calls to make sure everyone knows how unfair her ‘insert insulting descriptions I won’t repeat’ of daughter was spying on her.

    I wasn’t even upset back. But I felt annoyed when she interrupted me in my cooking, purposefully rejecting the meal I was making despite it was including her, taking my place and the tools I got ready to make her own food as some kind of power move against me (as I interpreted from her attitude). I sent her a dirty look thinking about how little she cared about her children, she seen it and insulted me, once she left the kitchen with her food I was able to resume the cooking. Her share of it is still in the fridge.

    After eating I procrastinated a little bit on washing my teeth because, unfortunately, the only access to the bathroom requires to go through her room. Instead, I read some old threads on Tiny Buddha until I finally felt the energy to pass through the monster’s room. Which reminds me I should do that now too before I go to bed.

    It’s alright, today had also some nice moments. I wasn’t numb.

    Linarra

    #385558
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    I sent her a dirty look thinking about how little she cared about her children“- you, your brother, your sister, the other older two- neither one of the five is HER children, she owns none!!!

    I remember when I stopped saying “my mother” and started saying “the mother”, as in.. no connection/ no relation, the intent being relation and ownership is not an unchangeable reality or destiny.

    I have still difficulty realizing you would really consider meeting“- I definitely do want and intend to meet, as long as you are willing, it’s just that I need to make it happen practically and I’ve been out of the habit of making things happen practically for too long. But definitely, if I fly out of the U.S., when I do- with your consent, I WILL make a stop in France (it excites me to think of that!!!)

    I think I might be at a turning point in my healing journey, I am not quite sure because I can’t see ahead, but there’s definitely something different compared to how I used to proceed and feel. It is very mysterious, yet not too scary“- no expectations on my part in regard to what the turning point may be, or even if it will be.. this is the magic of Healing.. you get to get surprised along the way, as in: I didn’t expect that! I had no idea!

    Today she find a way to pet her nose into my brother’s business even if he’s not here anymore!“- semantics: (1) in her mind, there is no such thing as your brother’s business- there is only HER business, (2) “he’s not here”: in  her mind- when he was physically there, he was still not there.

    the only access to the bathroom requires to go through her room“- I just had the image of you flushing her down the toilet. Symbolically, of course.

    anita

    #385559
    Linarra
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    “I remember when I stopped saying “my mother” and started saying “the mother”, as in.. no connection/ no relation, the intent being relation and ownership is not an unchangeable reality or destiny.”

    Oh yeah, I understand. It makes me remember how angry she was when we called “mother” instead of “mummy”. Oh angry she’d be if I called her “the mother”. Oh, once I was angry at her dramatic attitude and called her “The misery goddess”, she was angry, but it was a funny one. She brings misery to this world, feed on it and here she can have her grandiloquent title since she’s trying to impress people with the amount of misery surrounding her.

    Anyway, I’ll try to get rid of the ownership hints I guess. Might be a bit hard. Having to change normal sentences just because she makes the “my”/”her” twisted… How troublesome she is.

    I definitely do want and intend to meet, as long as you are willing, it’s just that I need to make it happen practically and I’ve been out of the habit of making things happen practically for too long.”

    I understand. It’s the same for me, but more “since forever” than ” for too long”. I didn’t start.

    ” But definitely, if I fly out of the U.S., when I do- with your consent, I WILL make a stop in France (it excites me to think of that!!!)”

    Your excitement makes me smile!

    “no expectations on my part in regard to what the turning point may be, or even if it will be.. this is the magic of Healing.. you get to get surprised along the way, as in: I didn’t expect that! I had no idea!”

    Thank you for not putting expectations on me. It is a very intriguing experiment.

    I just had the image of you flushing her down the toilet. Symbolically, of course.

    The image amuse me. It would be nice to be able to get rid of her so easily!

    I’m in bed and getting sleepy. We shared more posts than usual today, it was agreeable (no pressure for the next times, I just wanted to express my appreciation.) It it 10:45pm here so 1:45pm where your live (this time it should be right!) Have a good afternoon Anita. I feel really warm about you.

    Linarra.

    #385560
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    I feel really warm about you too! I read your whole post, will reply more tomorrow. I hope you have a restful night. I am about to wash dishes and go for my walk, good night, beautiful Linarra!

    anita

    #385576
    Linarra
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I didn’t exactly intend to write a post this morning. I intended to focus on something else, but in the end I couldn’t, and I ended up thinking about our discussion. I wondered if you still felt unease with me not feeling too strongly about the bad woman casual abuse. For me it’s still a regular thing so it’s difficult to feel strongly about that, especially since I had worse times before…

    I figured, since part of healing is being able to talk about the painful things, and since our talk could benefit silent readers, that I can share about some of the worse moments I went through during the last few years. I thought about a few things I could share with you, I’ll see if I can remember them all. As usual, you don’t have to reply to everything.

    So… These are shameful things. The shame is less vivid now than it was at the time, but there are remains of it left.

    About the bathroom situation. What kind of worse was it the last few years… Well, it was bad enough to affect my personal hygiene. This woman, she has been very pressuring about the bills related to water for very long (the anger mostly aimed toward my sister, but she was mentioning it to me on regular basis) and she was next to the bathroom, which have very thin walls so she can communicate through easily without even getting out of her bed. During an extended period, she was worse and it was very painful to have a shower with her nearby, and she was more pressure too… and I wasn’t going out of home because I didn’t have anywhere else to be… so I sacrificed my personal hygiene. For the bills, and because shower times weren’t very enjoyable. It didn’t seem as a big sacrifice at the time, but as it lasted I started to get ashamed. I didn’t have to go out or see anyone to be ashamed.  I was ashamed that my solution to try to appease the monster was to stop shower instead of getting a job and paying the bills myself. It was ridiculous… A proof of how incapable was. (It was after university, I was above 21, I wasn’t a child I should have been able to do something else…)

    Similarly, related to money issues and water, the system that was heating the water was partly broken around that time, I believe it lasted two years, almost three, because we figured paying for reparations would be too costly and nobody wanted to look into that we… went with the inconvenience. It was very difficult mentally in winter. Several times a day I had to get outside to restart the system so we wouldn’t be entirely freezing in our rooms, it took a while. It gave me a lot of time to think about how alien, incompetent, and messed up our family was. There was no way to tell when we would take care of this issue that anyone else would have at least try to fix as soon as they could. Eventually, after a lot of time and painful family fights, at least this one was solved.

    For my personal hygiene, I fixed my irregular teeth brushing habits despite the difficulty of it after it backfired on my health (it was 2 years ago, maybe?). And the showering I started to fix it more recently, but I don’t know when, because I figure it didn’t worth it for me to sacrifice my physical and mental well-being, even to spare money, even to avoid the monster. But it took me long enough…

    I think, the last thing I thought about sharing, that goes into the long list of how painfully/shamefully messed up this family was… That was still after I came back from university. Since we were stuck and in pain, with no solid plans for the future and to get money, we talked about that a lot with my siblings… Since I was mentally incapacitated with my anxiety and couldn’t get around the idea of getting a job and having to face people, my siblings suggested less conventional was to make money… among them, prostitution was the one they got the most insistent about. Half-joking, half-serious. I heard their points, I thought about it, but in the end I wasn’t able to consider it seriously. I was humiliated that I was seen as incapable that prostitution was seen as one of my few possibilities and somehow even that I wouldn’t do it.

    Not too long after that, I tried to work in a factory so I would be left alone by my family. Thankfully, even after I quitted they didn’t go back on the topic much, we established I was a hopeless case and that convince me into doing anything wouldn’t work. I rathered being hopeless than having my siblings getting on my back in such a way again.  I did not resent them… They weren’t any better with themselves, we were desperate and messed up. And it was painful for me to watch us hurt each other by trying to force desperate plans or keeping the shame and humiliation alive through our talks…

    There were a lot of tough times like that, they hurt so much, they were so suffocating and humiliating. So I’m able to deal with whatever I’m going through more easily right now, for some reason… right now is not good, but it is not as bad as it was years ago. I have grown a tiny bit stronger.

    So that was all the things I thought about sharing with you lately, I believe. Now you know a bit more.

    Linarra

    #385578
    Linarra
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Just the moment before… I was in my bed, relaxed, sleeping. Until I heard the monster’s voice coming nearby. She was talking on the phone, going towards my room. I jumped from my sleep and managed to make her understand she had to back off with signs. Thankfully she listened and left me alone. But I’m not relaxed anymore.

    My progresses aren’t good enough. Even if I’m able to calm myself down, it’s still feeling unsafe. It will be for as long as I live with her, for as long she’s in my life…

    She terrorized me from phone calls, terrorized me from driving, terrorized me from people, she made me feel like I couldn’t do anything. She hurt me so bad, and I didn’t protect myself well enough. I don’t know how I can still let it happen. I don’t know how I can manage to save myself when my energy and power is crushed down and reduced into pieces everytime I’m trying to heal just enough so I can have what it takes to leave. She always ruins anything that is good.

    I don’t know what I’m digging… A hole in my prison, or my own grave. I don’t know.

    I hope I’ll be able to come up with something…

    Linarra

    #385588
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    I did not read your recent 2 posts yet, and will reply to the 3 recent posts one by one, part by part with no editing.

    once I was angry at her dramatic attitude and called her ‘The misery goddess’… trying to impress people with the amount of misery surrounding her“-

    – perfect term and description of histrionics. A Merriam Webster definition of histrionics: “1: theatrical performances, 2: deliberate display of emotion for effect“- key word here is “deliberate”, meaning that her displays and performances of misery are not natural and honest but false, purposeful and dishonest. The purpose: to create an effect on her audience. When her audience is her children who naturally feel great empathy for their mother, the effect she wants to create is having unspeakable power over her children, power to do to them as she pleases.

    I wrote to you yesterday: “I WILL make a stop in France (it excites me to think of that!!!)”, and you replied: “Your excitement makes me smile!“-

    -My excitement yesterday was not “for effect”, for example, thinking something like: I will tell Linarra that I am excited about seeing her so that she will feel more attached to me, so that she will care more. I was excited and I shared it, that’s all that it was. But that’s not what happens when the histrionic mother expresses her emotions: she has an effect in mind, something she wants to accomplish.

    This is not easy to understand, this is why as I type this I want to develop the idea and hope you are following me patiently here: the histrionic mother has emotions just like anyone else, but often she expresses her emotions not naturally, spontaneously and honestly, but .. well, like an actress on a stage with the goal of making her audience feel this or that and behave in certain ways (feel sad or happy or scared.. cry or laugh, buy tickets for future performances).

    The histrionic mother displays Misery to her empathetic children for the following effect: that they will never leave her NO MATTER WHAT SHE DOES TO THEM. Being a Misery Goddess, she gets to OWN her children’s empathy and control them-  because her children’s empathy is not for themselves.. but for her alone.

    I wondered if you still felt unease with me not feeling too strongly about the bad woman casual abuse. For me it’s still a regular thing so it’s difficult to feel strongly about that, especially since I had worse times before…“- I feel hate for her, hate as in strong anger. I hate it that she succeeded in … habituating you to abuse.

    “I figured, since part of healing is being able to talk about the painful things, and since our talk could benefit silent readers, that I can share about some of the worse moments I went through during the last few years… So… These are shameful things… This woman, she has been very pressuring about the bills related to water for very long.. and she was next to the bathroom, which have very thin walls… it was very painful to have a shower with her nearby… so I sacrificed my personal hygiene… I was ashamed that my solution to try to appease the monster was to stop shower instead of getting a job and paying the bills myself… It was after university, I was above 21, I wasn’t a child I should have been able to do something else”-

    – You were ashamed for reacting to the Monster one way instead of another way. Think of the tree imagery: it sheds its branches and leaves and blossoms and remain just a trunk when it doesn’t get enough water or nutrients or sunshine. The tree doesn’t grow more branches, more leaves.. it sheds them. Similarly, when the Monster shamed you and terrorized you in regard to the water.. you didn’t go looking for a job (that would be like growing new branches, new leaves, blossoms). Instead, you withdrew, shed the extras (showers), being a trunk of a tree. Expecting yourself to expand because of abuse is an unreasonable expectation because NATURE’S WAY is to withdraw, not to expand when .. abused by the weather= lack of rain for too long.

    “Similarly, related to money issues and water, the system that was heating the water was partly broken around that time, I believe it lasted two years, almost three.. Several times a day I had to get outside to restart the system so we wouldn’t be entirely freezing in our rooms.. For my personal hygiene, I fixed my irregular teeth brushing habits despite the difficulty of it after it backfired on my health (it was 2 years ago, maybe?). And the showering I started to fix it more recently”-

    – congratulations for regularly brushing your teeth and showering! Did I mention that I hate this woman, that woman who does not deserve the title Mother.. but Monster? Did you notice that the two words are similar: Mother/ Monster?

    “after I came back from university… my siblings suggested less conventional was to make money… among them, prostitution was the one they got the most insistent about… I was humiliated that I was seen as incapable that prostitution was seen as one of my few possibilities and somehow even that I wouldn’t do it”-

    -I will share something similar: my mother (yes, I am using this word here) cleaned homes and offices, she was a hard worker and she did provide the best materially to my sister and I- I appreciate this about her, that’s why I use the word Mother here. But she daydreamed about being rich… when watching shows like Dallas and Dynasty, now old, but at the time- very popular soap operas about the rich. One theme in those movies was how women use sex to advance themselves, causing rich men to marry them, and my mother so it seems admired these women, referred to them as Smart.. She was okay with them having sex as long as it was for the purpose of becoming rich and powerful and.. as long as they didn’t enjoy the sex itself. Fast forward, I thought: I better do what’s smart and earn my mother’s admiration, plus make HER rich. Well, I was too ashamed of my body and too uncomfortable about sex to actually become a prostitute but my efforts in that direction: to attract a rich man so to get his money were PITIFUL, and further humiliating.. as I too felt “incapable.. even that I wouldn’t do”, couldn’t more like it, incapable of doing what my mother needed me to do, so it seemed to me.

    ‘I have grown a tiny bit stronger”- tiny bit stronger on tiny buddha (I like this play with words)

    “I was in my bed, relaxed, sleeping. Until I heard the monster’s voice coming nearby. She was talking on the phone, going towards my room. I jumped from my sleep and managed to make her understand she had to back off with signs. Thankfully she listened and left me alone. But I’m not relaxed anymore. My progresses aren’t good enough. Even if I’m able to calm myself down, it’s still feeling unsafe. It will be for as long as I live with her, for as long she’s in my life… She terrorized me… She hurt me so bad, and I didn’t protect myself well enough. I don’t know how I can still let it happen. I don’t know how I can manage to save myself… She always ruins anything that is good. I don’t know what I’m digging… A hole in my prison, or my own grave. I don’t know. I hope I’ll be able to come up with something…”-

    – this reminds me of The Beautiful Story of the Chained Elephant (exploring your mind. com), about a boy who went to the circus in town for the first time in his life:

    “..The boy was so fascinated that, at the end of the show, he..  walked with his parents to the back of the circus and he saw that the animals were in cages. The elephant, however, was outdoors. The boy approached the elephant and saw that someone had chained one of its legs to a stake in the dirt. The animal wasn’t moving at all. ..He was free but tied down at the same time. Although the chain was thick, the boy could tell that the elephant could remove the stake from the ground if it wanted to. After all, it was a gigantic animal. The boy asked his parents why the circus people had chained the elephant. They replied, ‘So he doesn’t run away’

    “‘So he doesn’t run away? He could run away if he wanted to!’ replied the boy. For the boy, the chain and stake weren’t obstacles for the elephant. The boy then asked his parents, ‘Why doesn’t he run away then?’ His parents shrugged their shoulders and couldn’t give him an answer. The boy continued with his questions and overall restlessness. The next day, he asked his science teacher the same question. She gave him a blunt response, ‘He doesn’t run away because he’s trained‘. The science teacher then explained how trainers train their animals. The child in the story of the chained elephant understood that although the animal was quite big now, it was once very small. When it was small, someone tied one of its legs to a chain and a small stake. The boy imagined how much the baby elephant probably fought to release the chain without getting hurt or getting into trouble.

    “The boy understood that the elephant didn’t realize how big and strong it was when it grew up. The elephant only remembered being a small elephant fighting against a chain and stake that wouldn’t budge. This is why, although it could now free itself, it no longer tried. To the elephant, the memory of that impossibility in the past was stronger than the real possibility of the present. The story of the chained elephant resembles many people’s stories, people who remain tied to bad past experiences”.

    This is not only a story, this really is how circus elephants are trained. From elsewhere online: “Chaining an elephant isn’t as simple as just putting a chain around its leg – an adult elephant would snap that chain without even noticing the effort. The way to chain an elephant is to start when it’s a baby. You don’t even need a chain – a strong rope will do. The baby elephant will struggle, but eventually it will realize that it can’t break the rope, and even worse, continuing to struggle creates a painful burn on its leg. The baby elephant learns not to struggle – it accepts that the limit imposed by the rope or chain is permanent, and there is no use struggling against it. Sure, the elephant grows up, and becomes the most powerful land mammal on the face of the earth. But the chains in its mind remain, and so the chains on its leg are never broken”.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by anita.
    #385595
    Linarra
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    If I summarize it, the woman who gave birth to me feel emotions (which is alright) but the way she displays them has a purposefully twisted aim: manipulation of the emotions of ‘her’ children, so she can have power over them and own them, making them stay despite the abuse and the pain. Which is wrong, and makes her wicked.

     “I feel hate for her, hate as in strong anger. I hate it that she succeeded in … habituating you to abuse.”

    Legitimate hate. It is good to have someone who is able to remind me what is wrong when my habituation is blinding/numbing me. I pay more attention and care to other people’s emotions, especially those I care about. When you are angry, it makes me make an extra effort, because I care about how you feel and what leads you to feel that way. So I try to view things the way you see them, in order to understand what you see and understand your feelings better. And it makes me reevaluate, reminding me of the familiar feelings I have when I am not numb.

    It is a strange way to proceed for me, but it works well enough. I guess it is a bit like when you mentioned how our conversation was helping you before. It is easier to feel for me when I know you went through similar things and were deeply hurt and angry. Because I feel the wrong at what happened to you, and because I trust your recognition ot that fact that what is happening to me is wrong even when I am too numb/habituated to really feel it… because of that, I am able to see it more clearly. And maybe feel it a bit more without falling into an urgent numbing…

    “Expecting yourself to expand because of abuse is an unreasonable expectation because NATURE’S WAY is to withdraw, not to expand when .. abused by the weather= lack of rain for too long.”

    Before, I would numb myself and not listen. Not allowing myself to acknowledge the pain because I didn’t know if it was the right thing to do, if I deserved a better situation, and the shame was just not allowing me to consider my pain. I was too busy attacking myself to make myself stronger even if it made no sense. It is… helpful to not jumping on those bad habits anymore.

    I am not healed, but at least I’m not working against my own healing anymore. Not as strongly at least, I am more able to recognize when I’m adding hurt to the hurt, and stop it.

    “congratulations for regularly brushing your teeth and showering! Did I mention that I hate this woman, that woman who does not deserve the title Mother.. but Monster? Did you notice that the two words are similar: Mother/ Monster?”

    It is nice, to not be alone in hating her… And I did notice the similarity between Mother and Monster as we changed the terms. Not that all mothers are monsters, but those who are monsters really have the perfect opportunities for big damages. There is really no defense for children, they are entirely relying on them and have no choice.

    “: to attract a rich man so to get his money were PITIFUL, and further humiliating.. as I too felt “incapable.. even that I wouldn’t do”, couldn’t more like it, incapable of doing what my mother needed me to do, so it seemed to me”

    By being capable of doing it, we would have given more power to the monsters… so being incapable wasn’t a bad thing.

    tiny bit stronger on tiny buddha (I like this play with words)”

    It is cute and positive, it made me smile. Tiny buddha is really a breath of fresh air to me.

     “this reminds me of The Beautiful Story of the Chained Elephant “

    Oh I remember this story, you mentioned it in a thread I read and I relate to it. Learned helplessness, training/conditioning… A very powerful way to remove the power of someone… A concept I’ve been taught again and again in my psychology classes and yet, strangely, knowing about it, seeing it… isn’t sufficient to fight back the phenomenon. It’s a bit ridiculous, but it is how powerful it can be sometimes… I guess, for all the years I have been taught to feel helpless, it may take me a lifetime to heal myself from the consequences of this… training.

    Linarra

     

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