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  • #384769
    Linarra
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    “when you wrote this you knew just what I need (and what I needed and did not receive from my mother: a consistency or fondness, or affection or.. maybe even neutrality, regardless of my little choices, or a word I happened to say, etc.) Thank you!”

    You’re welcome! Of course I knew, as I need it too, and I’m happy to provide. After I wrote this note and posted the message yesterday, I felt good. I felt good because I didn’t do it out of fear (since we already worked around that a bit), only out of care. And it feels really nice to do the things not because I fear a repercussion, but because I really to make them so you can have a good time as we discuss. Unconditional affection feels really nice to give.

    When I think of it, not so long ago I still felt that unconditional affection wasn’t a thing. Because I wasn’t able to give genuine unconditional affection to my abusers (despite my unavoidable love for them I guess?), and therefore genuine affection could only happen at the condition the other person didn’t hurt me so bad I couldn’t feel safe enough to care about them.  So, in literal terms, it was conditional? But I think it is a pretty reasonable prerequisite for unconditional love to happen in a healthy way.

    When I am anxious, the things I give cannot feel genuine and willing, because it feels like what I’m giving is the prerequisite for my safety. It isn’t enjoyable, it is distressing and it makes me lose myself in the process, because I cannot know for sure what I would genuinely feel like doing if I did have the choice, if I didn’t have to do things a certain way to be safe.

    This is why, I really like to provide this unconditional safety to people who also make me feel safe. Then the affection and good feelings flourish naturally.

    Oh, I did ramble quite a bit there, didn’t I?

    “I think the fear/ anxiety behind this is not your perception that you are being “given anything” but that something is being taken away from you.”

    It is very likely. I didn’t want genuinely to be there and do this, I didn’t even want to earn money. I did it because I was pressured to do it by my family. I knew I wouldn’t know what to do with the money for myself except to keep it safe for the time of urgency, so for my family most likely. The motivation, the means and the context weren’t right for me, so even if I was given something, I guess it didn’t compensate for how much was taken away from me…

    “What about real freedom, not the illusional freedom, as you put it, but real freedom from her– wasn’t it a meaning, for you?”

    I guess I never considered myself free. I just wanted to see what life was like away from my toxic environment. I did, and I liked it, but it wasn’t enough. I cannot describe the awful feeling it was when I realized I didn’t have what it takes to achieve real freedom from her back then. My self-esteem took a big hit around that time. I escaped the prison I wanted to escape for so long and I found out… I didn’t really wanted freedom, I didn’t know what to make of my freedom. It was overwhelming, scary.

    I had been nothing most of my life, I was just a thing adapting to chaos, a thing that had somehow learnt to not want anything, to not need, to not expect anything for my future, to not be a person… And I genuinely didn’t know what to do with myself, even for the little things. I let my friend who was also my roommate and classmate make the decisions because she was thoughtful, reasonable (everything my mother was not) so I trusted her, and I didn’t mind… I actually was quite comforted by the fact I didn’t have to face the dreadful fact I was just an empty shell who genuinely didn’t care about most things. Oh I was aware of that, but I let it be… since I didn’t know what to do about that.

    I searched for solutions though. I considered the “fake it until you make it”, but I didn’t know what I wanted to fake so it was a bit complicated around that time. I didn’t have many models around to influence me positively.  Fast forward now, it is a bit easier, I have a better idea of what I could possibly be as a person, but… I still have built my life around my own little prison. I wasn’t able to build myself as a person in the outside world.

    I cannot feel the meaning in real freedom yet. I think it is the consequence of the learned helplessness from my childhood that is still preventing me to feel much about it. I have been conscious of this for a while, and I have been trying to fight it on a small scale, but on the large scale it makes it impossible yet to yearn for real freedom like you or my siblings seem to feel/need strongly.  It is a bit disheartening. But I think, eventually, I might be able to change that. I wonder if it’s alright to keep doing baby steps around that or if I should do a big jump. I just can’t visualize the big jump yet though.

    Alright, that was a lot of interesting development for me. Without rereading because I’m late on making lunch.

    I wanted to add, this sentence yesterday “I hope you sleep well-enough tonight, precious Linarra.” made me feel really warm. I felt indescribable positive feelings when I saw you put the word “precious” in relation to me. I slept quite well, and I hope you are sleeping well tonight too, Anita. I will keep thinking of you after I send this message.

    Linarra

    #384782
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    I will be reading and responding to one part of your recent post before reading the next, and no going back to edit:

    Oh, I did ramble quite a bit there, didn’t I?“- I don’t know if it was rambling, but sometimes something important comes out of rambling.. and if nothing does, it’s okay. You are welcome to ramble here!

    “I didn’t even want to earn money. I did it because I was pressured to do it by my family. I knew I wouldn’t know what to do with the money for myself except to keep it safe..  for my family most likely“- (1) like I suggested before, pressure does not work, pressure an anxious person and it backfires, (2) even though you feel comfortable in your jail/ home, part of you wants out, and that part doesn’t want to hand money to the jailer so that she can make your jail even harder to escape.. when and if you will.. Maybe.

    “I escaped the prison I wanted to escape for so long and I found out… I didn’t really want freedom, I didn’t know what to make of my freedom. It was overwhelming, scary“-

    – There is a term,  prisonization: “the fact or process of becoming unduly accustomed to prison culture, resulting in difficulty adjusting to life in the outside world… the social system of the prison community is mainly concentrated in organizing a barrier against official authority, while maintaining inmate unity….  In an inmate society, solidarity is often found to be highly significant… Prisonization involves the formation of an informal inmate code” (online).

    Based on the above, I am thinking out loud: you are an inmate, one who lives in prison. Your prison is made of the building where you live with the Authority (your mother) and other inmates (your siblings). You are well adapted/ adjusted/ accustomed to your prison, having gone through the process of prisonization. This adjustment makes it difficult for you to adjust to life in the outside world. You (an inmate) and your siblings (other inmates) organized a barrier against your mother (the official authority), maintaining solidarity against your mother, having formed an informal sibling code consisting of informal rules in regard to how best protect yourselves from abuses by the official authority.

    Here are inmate code rules listed by Wikipedia: 1. “Never rat on an inmate, don’t be nosy, don’t have loose lips, and never put an inmate on the spot. 2. Don’t fight with other inmates… 3. Don’t ..whine.. Be a man and be tough. 4. Don’t trust guards..”.

    I am thinking of a further complication regarding your prison: the official authority is.. perhaps an inmate herself, a combination of authority and inmate. Maybe there is some solidarity and an inmate code that you experience with her as well.

    I had been nothing most of my life, I was just a thing adapting to chaos, a thing that had somehow learnt to..  not be a person… I let my friend who was also my roommate and classmate make the decisions… I actually was quite comforted by the fact I didn’t have to face the dreadful fact I was just an empty shell… I still have built my life around my own little prison. I wasn’t able to build myself as a person in the outside world“-

    – still thinking out loud: becoming “nothing.. a thing” was your adaptation to your prison: a thing does not get too disturbed when thrown around by the official authority, as compared to a person who feels and thinks and needs things, like safety and love. To hurt less, you became a thing. And a thing in the outside world needs a person to do the things people do to make it on the outside world.

    I cannot feel the meaning in real freedom yet. I think it is the consequence of the learned helplessness from my childhood that is still preventing me to feel much about it…  it impossible yet to yearn for real freedom like you or my siblings seem to feel/need strongly“-

    – I think I understand now.. you are not motivated to exit your prison because you.. don’t feel like it. Without a feeling/ emotion there is no motivation. For me, the word feeling is the same as the word emotion. The word emotion can be seen as e-motion, or energy-in-motion. It is the energy that makes motion (such as leaving your mother) possible. No energy=> No motion.

    It made me smile to read that you slept well and that the word precious made you feel really warm. I am still smiling at the thought!

    anita

    #384813
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    Regarding your post before last, the one from yesterday:

    I like sharing casual anecdotes of my mother’s hectic behavior with her because it makes her laugh“- this is a difference between our parallel individual experiences: no way in heaven or in hell would I have considered before or now anything my mother did as something funny, something that will make me- or anyone else- laugh. What she did was just too tragic, on so many levels, in so many ways: nothing that could be presented lightly or in a funny way.

    I wrote to you: “I wonder if you have your own room and if you lock it when you are in it, so that no one can get in without you letting them in? A lock could comfort you.”, and you answered:

    I don’t but I don’t feel the need for it, I don’t feel distress at being invaded by my family usually. The anxiety mentioned previously was the one of caring about people of the outside world and the risks that go with it”- no fear of your mother entering your room.. meaning you don’t feel she is a source of danger, or a possible source of danger.

    How can this be, I ask myself.. I mean, you wrote “I don’t feel distress at being invaded by my family“- you didn’t mention the idea of being invaded by your mother, but by your family.. You placed your mother and your siblings together as “my family”, and indicated that you are not afraid of any of them..

    How can this be. I don’t understand.. And I would like to understand. What makes your mother part of your family, why is she in that word (family), and together with your siblings?

    anita

    • This reply was modified 5 months ago by anita.
    #384846
    Linarra
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    It’s 8:30 when I’m typing those words. The windows are open and the temperature is a little bit colder outside than inside at the moment. I wonder if the sky got any clearer where you live since last time.

    I am a bit anxious to write this message. Nothing too heavy yet, and I make sure to not drink strong coffee to avoid making it worse than it should. I am anxious about having maybe upset you or made you uncomfortable. Because people are usually uncomfortable and dislike what they don’t understand.

    I will answer your last message first, then the first (in the same post). I will try to explain as clearly as I can. If you have more questions feel free to ask them.

    “this is a difference between our parallel individual experiences: no way in heaven or in hell would I have considered before or now anything my mother did as something funny. What she did was just too tragic, on so many levels, in so many ways: nothing that could be presented lightly or in a funny way.”

    It is understandable. I wouldn’t laugh at anyone else’s tragic stories. Unless they have presented it themselves as something laughable.

    Among my siblings, it is a coping mechanism. My personal experience of it would be: I couldn’t process the absurdity, I couldn’t feel sad or cry. And even when I did cry, it didn’t make things any better. The pain and sadness were… meaningless, unbearable. I personally couldn’t survive on the idea most of my life was tragedic. Especially since my mother used our tragedy as a weapon against the outside world (just like she did with her tragedy), in a way I found humiliating. So I had to get rid of the feeling of tragedy, I couldn’t bear it.

    The negative feelings would have been too overwhelming, and feeling them I would feel too like her, and they would have never reached an end because there was no hope of help from others or from myself. So from here came the laughs. It was an outlet, not the best comfort, but the only one I could have with no support at all.

    There’s also a thing… I don’t know if you heard of this “if you find a way to laugh at the scary stuff and they won’t be as scary anymore” thing. Well, it wasn’t exactly purposeful, but it was also a way for me to deal with fear. Make everything less serious, more bearable. Even if the cost of being able to bear that a little too well have been greater, not the best long-term strategy I would say.

    Laughing at things didn’t heal the pain, didn’t take away the gravity. But it participated in the numbing (which felt more peaceful), and eventually, it made me believe reality wasn’t awful enough for me to deserve help.

    Just in case you may have interpreted it that way, I will make it clear: I never found anything you told about your mother funny. It would be inappropriate. We’re not in that kind of dynamic here and I never made the mistake or confusion.

    “How can this be. I don’t understand.. And I would like to understand. What makes your mother part of your family, why is she in that word (family), and together with your siblings?”

    Well, as I wrote this I used the initial meaning of family: blood-related, living in the same household since forever… unlike chosen family. But I guess I can elaborate a bit on my feelings about my family. Or my mother being part of it.

    There were times I told my mother “I don’t consider you as my mother anymore” (there were hurt on her face – or was it anger? -, and I was hurt too, it made me feel like a bad person.) I said it so I could show her I wanted to be separated from her but… As we live together, we’re in a time loop. We are forced to cooperate together as a family once in a while. She’ll ignore I decided to mentally separate from her. And, while I remember, it doesn’t change the fact I have to adapt and cooperate.

    Plus, I do not think of family as a good thing anymore. My family also evoke to my mind the feelings/words ‘dead’, ‘rotten’, ‘mental illness’, ‘self-destruction’. In that aspect, she fits very much the definition of my family.

    I wouldn’t say I am always “not afraid of any of them“. There are times it gets very scary. But at the moment, if my actions and emotions are under control, this environment is… manageable. My mother leaves me alone most of the time because I behave right enough. And I appear to have no life, so I am of no interest to her. And when she acts up I know what to do to be less affected.

    My mother is a danger, and she is scary. I know that. But I fear not for me, I fear for others, those who have no self-defense and immunity from her and this family environment and who will hurt more. Like, animals… With my siblings, we try to avoid having new animals in this household because it would be bad for them. Last time, when she hit me, it was because of that. She resented me for finding a better home for an abandoned kitty we saved. That day, I was more afraid for the kitty, and felt more empathy for it, than for myself.

    I guess my brain is currently too broken and exposed to this environment to feel or care for myself. But when someone else is hurt feel again, enough to consider protecting. Sometimes I hesitate though… when the protection asks me to face my fear of the outside world or my dysfunctionalities. Because these I don’t know how to handle. They require actions, not coping/resistance. I am bad with actions.

    I don’t know if any of that helped you to understand? But if it can help… When I was at university and came back home during the short vacations, I would always suffer from my mother’s presence more, fear more, and regret coming back home, because being out there makes me lose my adaptation to the harm and chaos.

    And reversely, when I am at home for a long period and were able to go back to my adaptation and emotions numbing… The very few moments I go out and am shortly exposed to the outside world (hanging out with friends), in this context it is the outside world that upset most. Because it reminds me of how painful my household is, how different it is from the healthier context my friends are showing to me. And how impossible it is for me to be adapted to both the outside world and my home without having a mental breakdown.

    The “prisonization” comparison you made seems to fit my experience of it. Even this part: “the official authority is.. perhaps an inmate herself, a combination of authority and inmate. Maybe there is some solidarity and an inmate code that you experience with her as well.” I would add, maybe, the outside world was an authority that we would hide from and protect against. Those would be these times when my mother was also an inmate instead of the main authority. She would incite fear of the outside world to make us build solidarity with her.

    “To hurt less, you became a thing. And a thing in the outside world needs a person to do the things people do to make it on the outside world.” 

    This one stings me. It feels true, but it makes me feel bad. The remains of the person inside me don’t feel good about being an object.

      “Without a feeling/emotion there is no motivation. For me, the word feeling is the same as the word emotion. The word emotion can be seen as e-motion, or energy-in-motion. It is the energy that makes motion (such as leaving your mother) possible. No energy=> No motion.”

    I see it that way too. Emotions lead to actions. And I am lacking in my emotions… The first time I found the tiny buddha forum, I was already exploring that issue. The difficulty of feeling (or recognize?) emotions. I knew my absence of motivation was related to it.

    My brother says I need a radical change to be able to change my brain chemicals, but we also know within my current situation there will be no change if I do not initiate it, and I have difficulties feeling motivated to initiate. So it seems I’ll have to force my way through it.

    It is 10:21 now. I am less anxious now I elaborated, but the anxiety might come back. I will try to appease it if it does. I don’t feel very optimistic but I’ll try to meditate and see if I can figure out some ways of unlocking emotions and initiate some more changes.

    Linarra

    #384851
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    It is now 5:29 am my time and before I got up from bed I thought about the last post I sent you and thoughts came to my mind that I wanted to tell you. I did not read your recent post, not a word of it. I scrolled down to write you this message before reading any of your response to my prison analogy. After typing out my thoughts I will go up the page, copy your recent message and respond to it part by part.

    My thoughts: at first, your mother was the prison official/ the Guard and you and your siblings were the Inmates. At one point, your mother told you to take her place with your siblings, to be in charge of them once she supposedly killed herself. Fast forward, you are now Guard, and your mother is more like an Inmate. You are in charge, you are in a position of power.

    I don’t know a thing about the household dynamics in your home, who makes the rules regarding cleaning, preparing meals, etc., but I think/ have the feeling that somehow you are in charge/ in position of power, as the eldest sibling, the one handed the power by her mother long ago.

    Your mother is a rebelling Inmate at this point: she behaves much of the time, but sometimes she acts out (as real inmates in real prisons do, verbally abusing the guards, even hitting the guards), becomes verbally abusive, she even hit you, but in the context of your home, you are Guard. Outside your home- in the outside world- your position of power is taken away from you.

    Power is inside the home, No Power on the outside.

    And now, I will go up and copy your message…

    I wonder if the sky got any clearer where you live since last time“- yes, last evening it was clear, the sky was blue, light blue, what a relief!

    I am anxious about having maybe upset you or made you uncomfortable. Because people are usually uncomfortable and dislike what they don’t understand“- yes, I was .. angry somewhat, nothing intense, when I sent you the last message, for the same reason you stated here: people dislike what they don’t understand. You are very perceptive, I am impressed, but not surprised.

    The pain and sadness were… meaningless, unbearable… So I had to get rid of the feeling of tragedy, I couldn’t bear it..  and feeling them I would feel too like her.. So from here came the laughs… Laughing at things.. participated in the numbing (which felt more peaceful), and eventually, it made me believe reality wasn’t awful enough for me to deserve help“- this makes sense. I remember having laughing fits as a teenager or in my 20s, a release. But never at or about my mother.

    Just in case you may have interpreted it that way, I will make it clear: I never found anything you told about your mother funny. It would be inappropriate. We’re not in that kind of dynamic here and I never made the mistake or confusion“- although I didn’t have the thoughts you pointed to right here in this paragraph, I was disappointed (and angry) at the thought that maybe your mother was not as scary or tragic as mine, maybe not even close, because I could find nothing funny about her behavior. It was as if, in my mind, you took away our commonality, our parallel experience!

    I do not think of family as a good thing anymore. My family also evoke to my mind the feelings/words ‘dead’, ‘rotten’, ‘mental illness’, ‘self-destruction’. In that aspect, she fits very much the definition of my family“- part of my disappointment/ anger was about your use of the word Family in a positive way when your mother is included in the word. It was just too different from my experience. Plus, it indicated something strange, as in, how can it be.. given our shared, parallel experiences of childhood..

    There are times it gets very scary. But at the moment, if my actions and emotions are under control, this environment is… manageable. My mother leaves me alone most of the time because I behave right enough. And I appear to have no life, so I am of no interest to her. And when she acts up I know what to do to be less affected“- going back to my prison analogy, here it reads that you are a smart Inmate, careful to not get any attention from your mother, the Guard.

    My mother is a danger, and she is scary. I know that. But I fear not for me, I fear for others, those who have no self-defense and immunity from her and this family environment and who will hurt more“- your mother is Guard then, dangerous and scary, but you don’t fear for yourself because you have “self-defense and immunity from her”, while others don’t. I’ll keep this point in mind as I continue.

    When I was at university and came back home during the short vacations, I would always suffer from my mother’s presence more, fear more, and regret coming back home, because being out there makes me lose my adaptation to the harm and chaos… how impossible it is for me to be adapted to both the outside world and my home without having a mental breakdown“- being away from her for good (no visits) was and is the right thing for you, if you had the irl social support that you would need outside.

    The ‘prisonization’ comparison you made seems to fit my experience of it. Even this part: ‘the official authority is.. perhaps an inmate herself, a combination of authority and inmate. Maybe there is some solidarity and an inmate code that you experience with her as well.’ I would add, maybe, the outside world was an authority that we would hide from and protect against. Those would be these times when my mother was also an inmate instead of the main authority. She would incite fear of the outside world to make us build solidarity with her“- I missed this part in my analogy/ comparison, your mother, the abusive authority in the home presented herself as the victim, the one abused by the outside world.

    “The remains of the person inside me don’t feel good about being an object… Emotions lead to actions. And I am lacking in my emotions… The first time I found the tiny buddha forum, I was already exploring that issue. The difficulty of feeling (or recognize?) emotions. I knew my absence of motivation was related to it… within my current situation there will be no change if I do not initiate it, and I have difficulties feeling motivated to initiate. So it seems I’ll have to force my way through it“-

    – But how will you force your way through it when you are not motivated to do so… something about you will need to start to care, to get un-numbed. The object (“being an object”) will need to come to life again (like it did when you were at university and had the social support/ help of a friend).

    No doubt that leaving your mother and never living with her or visiting with her again is what is right for you, but you need irl social support/ help to make it happen.

    I wonder if living with your mother.. if you feel that you are protecting her from the outside world, and I wonder if you would feel guilty if you leave her (I am exploring ideas, if this is too much and too fast, let me know and take your time).

    I do hope you are less or not anxious like you were earlier, are you?

    anita

    #384892
    Linarra
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    ” Fast forward, you are now Guard, and your mother is more like an Inmate. You are in charge, you are in a position of power.”

    I am not functional and respected enough to be considered in charge, I don’t think I have much authority as an individual within the household. I’m just a voice among all of us. I would say we are all inmates at this point, because I think it’s true  to say my mother had lost her authority at some point. I didn’t replace her. There was just no more authority. Maybe the fear of the outside world only and the remains of the internalized past abuse.

    Though, my mother’s version is sometimes: She is the prisoner (the only prisoner) and her children are her prison guards. She has been projecting my father’s abuse on us for long.

    As an inmate, she is problematic because she’s making a mess out of every little fight and would pick fights too much. A “rebelling inmate” as you say. But I am no guard, I am just equal. We are scared of her like any inmate would be scared of a scary unpredictable harmful inmate, and there’s no real authority to stop her. Just collaboration and smartness to deal with her.

    “Outside your home- in the outside world- your position of power is taken away from you.”

    It isn’t power that is taken away from me. It’s support. In my home, what I cannot do because of my dysfunctionality (go out for groceries, phone calls, making decisions… basically anything I struggle with because I am paralyzed with fear/anxiety or do not manage to take actions for some other reasons), someone else will be able to do it. Maybe.

    The other family members aren’t too functional either so sometimes we’ll just drop it. Keep it to the essential survival stuff. If there’s a long-term danger we won’t take care of it until it happens we have not a choice to deal with it. And even there we might not do it. But until then we didn’t die so even if we’re not efficient and will suffer the consequences for it, it’s still better than being alone without any support at the moment.

    ” although I didn’t have the thoughts you pointed to right here in this paragraph, I was disappointed (and angry) at the thought that maybe your mother was not as scary or tragic as mine, maybe not even close, because I could find nothing funny about her behavior. It was as if, in my mind, you took away our commonality, our parallel experience!”

    I understand.  The parallel feelings we shared previously are real for me. Blurred under a lot of confusion and coping mechanisms. But I wasn’t dishonest about them.

    I think though there’s a lot of subtleties and differences in our experiences. That wouldn’t remove the similarities for me, your inputs are still relevant to help me understand my mother who has impacted my life forever, and from who my mind had difficulty to separate sometimes… but I understand how finding out differences among our experiences would be upsetting for you.

     being away from her for good (no visits) was and is the right thing for you, if you had the irl social support that you would need outside.”

    I agree.

    “But how will you force your way through it when you are not motivated to do so… something about you will need to start to care, to get un-numbed. The object (“being an object”) will need to come to life again (like it did when you were at university and had the social support/ help of a friend).””

    I acknowledge the problem there, and I am unsure of the solution. I don’t even know how to build irl social support as I have a hard time trusting people… I don’t want to rely too much on people because I am afraid of being betrayed again.

    “I wonder if living with your mother.. if you feel that you are protecting her from the outside world, and I wonder if you would feel guilty if you leave her”

    I was kind of hoping she would be dead before it would become a thing I’d have to worry about (if I ever find a way to get out of here), to be honest… Might be a bit crude to say, but she had been going on saying she wouldn’t live long and had a ton of health problem. I was hoping I wouldn’t have to go through this one moral dilemma.

    “I do hope you are less or not anxious like you were earlier, are you?”

    I had my share of random anxiety scattered throughout the day. I cannot say if the cause was this discussion or if it was because of my mother being stressful. Or just my random brain chemicals acting up. It should be alright for tonight, though.

    Linarra

    #384895
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    I am glad to have received your recent reply. You had your share of random anxiety scattered throughout the day, you say. My energy is low and has been low most of the day, except during one phone call that I made earlier.

    It is not surprising really that two people who had such similar experiences- do not have identical experiences (no such thing, really, two people with identical experiences), and it is something to always keep in mind, so to not misunderstand each other’s experience by assuming it’s the same!

    I am looking forward to understand my individual experience better because of our communication, and I want nothing less for you: that you will understand your individual experience better because of our communication.

    I need to take a break and be back to your thread, to reply to the rest of your post when I am back in a few hours, I am guessing.

    anita

    #384903
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    I would say we are all inmates at this point, because I think it’s true  to say my mother had lost her authority at some point. I didn’t replace her. There was just no more authority“- isn’t the home you live in clean enough, dishes and laundry washed, bills paid, etc.? And if so.. are these chores done by all parties through equal cooperation (?)

    my mother’s version is sometimes: She is the prisoner (the only prisoner) and her children are her prison guards“- in her mind, are all her children-guards equal in abusing her, one more than another (?)

    We are scared of her like any inmate would be scared of a scary unpredictable harmful inmate, and there’s no real authority to stop her. Just collaboration and smartness to deal with her” – in the collaboration and smartness dealing with her, each one of the siblings has his/ her own job/ expertise (?)

    In my home, what I cannot do because of my dysfunctionality (go out for groceries, phone calls, making decisions… someone else will be able to do it. Maybe“- if your siblings’/ mother’s functionality in regard to the household is doing the shopping etc., .. what is your functionality in the household (there has to be one, could it be.. advising your siblings perhaps, being the one with the cool head/ calm presence when your mother misbehaves)?

    “I wasn’t dishonest about them“- I trust you..  even when I don’t. I like this sentence I just wrote, but truly I do trust you, I believe that you are as honest as I am, no  less.

    your inputs are still relevant to help me understand my mother who has impacted my life forever“- it feels to me that I entered a phase where understanding you/your mother is more difficult than it was so far, but I also feel that I can walk through this phase and be wiser on the other side of it.

    I don’t even know how to build irl social support as I have a hard time trusting people“- it will take losing your trust in what your mother taught you: that people in the outside world are not to be trusted. (It is the person in the inside that is not to be trusted)

    I don’t want to rely too much on people because I am afraid of being betrayed again“- you were betrayed by your mother, way more than you were betrayed by any other person, true? How many people on the outside betrayed you?

    I was kind of hoping she would be dead before.. I find a way to get out of here“- why that hope, why would it be easier to leave if she dies first???

    I had my share of random anxiety scattered throughout the day. I cannot say if the cause was this discussion“- it could be this discussion. Like I said, in my experience this is a more difficult phase in understanding (this is why I am asking all these questions), one that requires patience.. it is not fun, nor is it a phase soaked with affection and empathy (there is something very unclear to me and I can’t pinpoint right now what it is!) but it’s just a phase. If you are willing, we can go through it together and get to a better place.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 5 months ago by anita.
    #384923
    Linarra
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    “I am looking forward to understand my individual experience better because of our communication, and I want nothing less for you: that you will understand your individual experience better because of our communication.”

    I’m looking forward to it too, even if it means going through uncomfortable parts.

    ” isn’t the home you live in clean enough, dishes and laundry washed, bills paid, etc.? And if so.. are these chores done by all parties through equal cooperation (?)”

    Hm, yes and no. The bare minimum is achieved with difficulty. And not exactly equal cooperation either.

    Mostly, it is me and my mother doing the things. She does the things requiring getting out (groceries) or administrative things (bills), she does the laundry for herself and my siblings but I do my own. I do the cooking and dishes. Sometimes I help my mother with her chores, sometimes she helps with mine. My siblings can help/participate sometimes, but it is in no way a regular thing.

    For the cleaning, I try to do bits of it sometimes, very randomly and rarely because I didn’t manage to make a routine for that yet. The house is… very messy. Too messy for the amount of energy and motivation I have.

    My mother accumulated a lot of things, I don’t know what to do with those, they are getting in the way of proper management… Sometimes I will try to do some tidying and cleaning a bit. If I’m not doing it, nobody is doing it. Half of the space we own is used as chaotic storage. Nobody makes a decision about those rooms. We ignore it and live in the parts that are livable (but still somewhat messy).

    Even if I tried to improve the messiness bits by bits, I started giving up after my mother brought a looot of stuffs from her deceased mother’s apartment last year (her mother had syllogomania, so there was a lot, even if she didn’t bring everything.) I dealt with a lot of that messiness for over 6 months last year. Mostly alone (my mother would do a tiny bit before giving up and go back to her depressive/histrionic mourning). At that time my brother wasn’t home, and my sister was but wouldn’t help. My mental breakdowns had mental breakdowns, quietly of course, as I was trying to do all the chores and tidying after my mother’s mess alone.

    Once it became a reasonable enough amount of untidiness… I gave up. Absolutely nobody cared if I did the rest of not. If they showed any care, it wasn’t through support or participation. There was not much empathy or care from my family for the part I did in order to keep the household livable even before anyway (except from my brother who used to participate a bit more than my sister, but he was gone at that point). I wanted to do it for myself so I could have a livable environment, but at that point, even for myself, I couldn’t bear the amount of work alone.

    Fast forward, except for the cleaning/tidiness, my mother was able to resume her participation in the chores after her mourning which leads us to the previously mentioned cooperation between me and my mother.

    “in her mind, are all her children-guards equal in abusing her, one more than another (?)”

    In her mind, my sister is the worst because she participates less in chores within household and is often uncooperative. She takes without giving back, and without a thank you. So my mother dislikes her and abuses her the most as a payback.  Then for my brother and I, it would be because we sometimes snap at her when she’s overwhelming us with her histrionic show and makes our life difficult, but we’re getting better at staying calm. She also considers us abusive/controlling when we try to make her behave more reasonably when she’s doing something that makes herself or anyone in the household in danger.

     “in the collaboration and smartness dealing with her, each one of the siblings has his/ her own job/ expertise (?)”

    Mostly, we shared our expertise with each other at this point. It is more about helping each other to stay calm, when one of us is directly aimed and hurt, the others will protect them, but also we are giving each other regular reminders of how to behave to avoid triggering or fueling my mother. We’re discussing the dangers she’s creating too and try to figure out solutions sometimes.

    what is your functionality in the household (there has to be one, could it be.. advising your siblings perhaps, being the one with the cool head/ calm presence when your mother misbehaves)?

    I guess the things I wrote above answer that, if you need more clarification you can ask.

    ” you were betrayed by your mother, way more than you were betrayed by any other person, true?”

    Yes, I think it’s true.

    “How many people on the outside betrayed you?”

    Hum, I am unsure… First, I didn’t get close or really trust people outside so there wasn’t many occasions to be betrayed. I was bullied and rejected, sure. But I guess you cannot speak of betrayal when the trust wasn’t there to begin with.

    The most obvious feeling of betrayal was this irl male friend who took advantage of my need to see someone outside of my house as a challenge (my other irl friends weren’t available anyone, living in cities far away) so he could push through my boundaries, hoping to get a relationship with me as I had previously established I didn’t want that and wasn’t comfortable with the physical closeness.

    Other than that… it’s more complicated because I mostly witnessed awful human behaviors all around. A lot of people taking advantage or trying to hurt others.

    Before we cut ties with my extended family, there was a lot of… traumatizing things happening with them. Dangerous things. I don’t know how I processed them because there were both family and outsiders. There were also outsiders in connection to them that attacked. Or outsiders who disliked my mother very much that were scary, because my mother mingled with iffy people at times…

    I think mostly I am traumatized by all the things I witnessed happening to my mother. She was a danger to herself and to us, and I am unsure if I can protect myself better than she was able to protect herself. Especially with the lack of support and my dysfunctionalities, it could make me vulnerable.

    “why that hope, why would it be easier to leave if she dies first???”

    I don’t know. I guess I am afraid of what would happen if I were to leave her alone. Afraid of the blame I would bear for what would happen to her. She got me trapped in being the caretaker of her, partly. My life debt wasn’t about money. Behind her words and behavior, it was always implied “I took care of you when you were a child, I protected you, now you have to do it for me too”. Proof of that in one of our recent talk, I said “I am not responsible for your mental health, you should follow a therapy, learn how to take care of yourself, learn how to be responsible” and she was very offended that I refuse to take care of her.

    “Like I said, in my experience this is a more difficult phase in understanding (this is why I am asking all these questions), one that requires patience.. it is not fun, nor is it a phase soaked with affection and empathy (there is something very unclear to me and I can’t pinpoint right now what it is!) but it’s just a phase. If you are willing, we can go through it together and get to a better place.”

    I understand, and I am willing. Thank you for your patience.

    Linarra

    #384931
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    I’m looking forward to it too, even if it means going through uncomfortable parts“- reading this made me feel good, brought a part-smile to my face following waking up too early again (3 am).

    In this post I will be re-reading your previous posts from the first on July 13, quote (following an *) and take notes (my current understanding, given newer information, an understanding that is open to be changed or developed further). I imagine that it will be another long post (but we are both patient, aren’t we..):

    * “I am not able to get a job (and honestly don’t even want to if it isn’t meaningful because I’m unable to gather energy to fight anxiety and depression for things I don’t find meaning in). I struggle when I have to go out of my home for about anything. For very long, I’ve been just barely going out and don’t feel comfortable outside my home”-

    – your sense of meaning is inside the house because that’s where your mother is and it is where your siblings are. Your job is to take care of her and to keep her, your siblings and yourself safe from.. her. You are not motivated to go outside your home and get a job because you already have a job and it requires you to stay inside your home.

    * “I want to believe it’s possible to reach some kind of peace and gain some kind of strength eventually”-

    – you are trying to reach some kind of peace every day as you stay inside the house, making sure there is peace, and that no one gets physically hurt. Your sense of strength is being practiced every day inside your house as you keep everyone safe.

    * “I had difficulty processing how people could be so destructive to themselves and others, especially their family”- your job is to protect your family from destruction by being present in the house at all times, ready to respond to any sign of destruction.

    * “I love writing and drawing, it makes me happy, stimulated, and my love for it always gave my life meaning when nothing else could”- your job is to protect your family. During downtimes (like in any job when nothing is going on for a while) you get to write and draw, and you enjoy it very much!

    * “she was out for war and drama. Spared no one, so we had to be careful not to fuel her. Which was difficult because she could start over the most little things”- your job is like a firefighter: watch for smoke, locate fire dangers, put out fires at their beginning.

    * “(I) do not let her know about (my) existence”- you put out any fire inside of you too, so that any glowing ember on your part doesn’t grow into a fire.. if it reaches her. Emotions (Energy-in motion) are deadened, so that there is no motion that will reach her and starts a fire.

    * (to me:) “I also intend to respect you and your boundaries, so I believe if any discomfort comes into this talk we’ll be able to discuss it in a well-intentioned and respectful way”- always in your posts, you are tactful, polite, accommodating, respectful, pleasant, even-tempered/ calm sounding, no Ups-and-Downs but Flat, logical, balanced (ex. “My inner child had her wounds, but she has also her strengths): altogether a perfect Non-Starter of Fires.

    * “From quite early in my youth, I valued analyses..  and craved an understanding of people and complex situations. I was trying very hard at that because I saw my family falling apart before my eyes”-

    – you developed yourself in any which way that will prevent fires or put them out when they start, including developing your intellectual analysis skills. I am thinking of you at this point, Linarra, as the Perfect Adaptation of a Daughter to a Histrionic Mother.

    * “From my observation of her, being emotional brought bad consequences, so as I grew up shutting my emotions down. Now I see this ‘solution’ have its own kind of bad consequences”-

    – being emotional brought about bad consequences= Fire, so you grew up shutting down your emotions, so that they don’t start her fire. A perfect adaptation of a daughter to a histrionic mother. As a daughter to a histrionic mother I am impressed by your overall adaptation, it is so superior to my adaptation. I am literally thinking in my mind right now: WOW!

    I am going to skip a lot from here on: * “My mother told me she would die and I would have to replace her, to be my siblings’ caretaker in her stead”- you are the firefighter care taker of your household, a job that requires your presence there at all times.

    * “Usually, I would have comforted myself with fictional characters, they make me less lonely during those times”- like a firefighter during down time, watching TV, something pleasant to pass the time in-between fires.

    * I had been nothing most of my life, I was just a thing adapting to chaos, a thing that had somehow learnt to not want anything, to not need, to not expect anything for my future, to not be a person… an empty shell”- adapting to chaos, the perfect adaptor. So perfect that she is almost a thing, an empty shell.

    * “I wanted to add, this sentence yesterday “I hope you sleep well-enough tonight, precious Linarra.” made me feel really warm”- the perfect adaptor is almost a thing but not quite. She still feels, “really warm”. (Around your mother “really warm” can easily start a fire).

    * “I am anxious about having maybe upset you or made you uncomfortable”- afraid you started a fire in me.

    * “The negative feelings would have been too overwhelming, and feeling them I would feel too like her, and they would have never reached an end”- you didn’t want to be like her, to over-react, so you under-react and shut down, forming a physical habit of doing so.

    * “With my siblings, we try to avoid having new animals in this household because it would be bad for them”-

    – your household is bad not only for new animals but also for the two young women and one young man who are currently living there. When a house is a fire hazard, and a fire can erupt at any time, the solution is not to stay there 24/7 preventing fires and putting them out as quickly and as efficiently as possible. The solution is to safely exit the house and safely demolish it.

    * “my mother had lost her authority at some point”- no, she did not lose her authority. She is very much in authority. (I was confused recently in regard to who’s in authority, but not anymore).

    * “We are scared of her like any inmate would be scared of a scary unpredictable harmful inmate, and there’s no real authority to stop her. Just collaboration and smartness to deal with her”- you are all scared of her because she is the authority, the “scary unpredictable harmful inmate” is Authority.

    * “what I cannot do because of my dysfunctionality (go out for groceries, phone calls, making decisions… basically anything I struggle with because I am paralyzed with fear/anxiety”- the fear is more about not being inside the house to watch over the “scary unpredictable harmful inmate” than it is about being outside the house.

    And now, to your most recent post: you and your siblings help each other to stay calm, protecting each other from her attacks and remind each other “how to behave to avoid triggering or fueling my mother. We’re discussing the dangers she’s creating too and try to figure out solutions sometimes”- it’s a group effort then, to prevent and manage fires.

    * “I am afraid of what would happen if I were to leave her alone. Afraid of the blame I would bear for what would happen to her. She got me trapped”- this is your Job: to stay in the household and protect your mother, your siblings and yourself from your mother’s fire.

    You are trapped in this job. Did you ever think of it as your job, with a capital J?

    anita

    #384940
    Linarra
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I read your post entirely, several times, before starting to reply. I’m doing it spontaneously and it will not necessarily be very chronological.

    “reading this made me feel good, brought a part-smile to my face following waking up too early again (3 am).”

    I am glad it did. I am glad I am still able to bring you even a part-smile.

    The anxiety came back today. I think I’ve been worried at what it would mean that you considered I might have overpowered my mother enough to have more authority than her. Overpowering my mother to me, would mean being a bigger monster. Which isn’t good. My mother is pretty destructive and ruthless, she fights authority unless she is too afraid, if I were able to contain her through real authority it would make me the abuser she sometimes thinks I am. It would make her right. But it also would make me no good to be around people in the future. I wouldn’t trust myself to be around anyone if I had taken harmful such habits…

    Though, I wonder what makes you sure now that “she did not lose her authority. She is very much in authority. (I was confused recently in regard to who’s in authority, but not anymore.” ? After all I do stand up to her and… I’d say her authority has always been flawed. We didn’t obey her, a lot. We would fear her, not when she ordered us, but when she would put us and herself in danger. We weren’t/aren’t very respectful with her, but we are fearful. Is it still enough of an authority?

    Your new analysis in this post is interesting, it is… Hum I am not sure. “A perfect adaptation of a daughter to a histrionic mother“. The prognosis I infer from this isn’t very good from a personal standpoint, but I would rather that than being a harmful authority. There’s still a better chance of recovery than if I were, well, destructive.

    “you developed yourself in any which way that will prevent fires or put them out when they start, including developing your intellectual analysis skills.”

    When I was younger, I was quite proud of the analysis skills I developed. But at some point, they started to annoy me. What good is it to have strong analysis and make damage control if I couldn’t heal/eradicate the source of the perpetual fire? In the end, it wasn’t very smart of me to stay in “fire hazard” house. People told me to get away. I knew they were right. I knew the best option would be to get away, have a job, help my siblings to get away too. That’s partly why I went to university too. But… I failed. I couldn’t focus on outside world survival. I was still… trying to figure out how to help my family at the core, without extraction.

    “this is your Job: to stay in the household and protect your mother, your siblings and yourself from your mother’s fire.”

    But it isn’t a good job, isn’t it? It doesn’t prevent the time loop and the regular fires… It would make sense to resign for something more efficient, but I do not have the qualifications for the other possibilities…

    “You are trapped in this job. Did you ever think of it as your job, with a capital J?”

    Not really, no. It depends on how you look at it… I did think things like “I will never leave before both of my siblings are already out, because I could never leave them alone with my mother without help.” This wasn’t a job, it was common sense. But I also thought “I am so unfunctional, anyway, I’ll be the last to leave. Especially if I’m aiming at an art career, not enough money means no way out.”

    Though, maybe you’d be interested to hear that after I left university and didn’t have a plan for the future, my mother was telling people : “She is stopping her studying to take care of me and her brother (15 year old at the time), because I’m ill and will need to be hospitalized.” It wasn’t true, it wasn’t my motivation and I thought about that “Wow she’s so ashamed of me she would tell such blunt dramatic lies… I can’t exactly correct her because telling I have no idea what to do with my future wouldn’t look good but, please…”

    My real reason for coming home was my absence of aspiration/motivation for any typical job. You can infer that it was because I already had a job… I don’t know. I just assumed I was a coward with too much mental illness and dysfunctionality which isn’t false either. My adaptation caused that. I couldn’t have aspirations or motivations for anything when I didn’t consider myself as a person and had diminished emotions/motivations.

    I want to tell you I am impressed by your patience, I didn’t expect you would go back to reading the beginning. It was interesting to read your analysis, and I’m curious to see if it’ll change later on.

    It is 11:40 pm for me and I believe 2:40 pm for you, I wonder if you are feeling well right now or if it’s another low-energy day for you (especially with the sleep deprivation).  Of course, even if I replied tonight, you don’t have to answer today if you are tired! Either way, I’ll be patient.

    I wish you a good afternoon,

    Linarra.

    #384941
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    Of all the times I told members in other parts of the world, it is XX am or pm where you are, no one ever said: it is XX where you (anita) are.. until you. It may sound like a small thing to reciprocate.. but it is not small, because it never happened before you!

    I am tired, it is 2:52 pm now. I will try to rest with closed eyes (it is only 13 degrees celsius now, for the first time this summer it feels like global warming is not happening (just for today), and go for my hour walk in about an hour. I will reply to your post Wed morning (my time). Thank you for wishing me a good afternoon and I wish you a good night!

    anita

    #384960
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    I will read part by part and respond to each before reading the next. I was up again at 3am (this is becoming a pattern, not good). And I have plenty of time this morning, no one to reply to other than you, so I’ll take my time and elaborate. It will be another long post, maybe very long:

    The anxiety came back today. I think I’ve been worried at what it would mean that you considered I might have overpowered my mother enough to have more authority than her“- something similar crossed my mind and disturbed me recently, but I am now relieved from that disturbance.

    Overpowering my mother to me, would mean being a bigger monster. Which isn’t good. My mother is pretty destructive and ruthless“- you are not like her, not at all. What I understand now is that you are a perfect adaptation/ reaction to her, and therefore, outside your daydreaming, creative writing and drawing, this monster, this destructive and ruthless woman owns you.

    “Though, I wonder what makes you sure now that “she did not lose her authority. She is very much in authority”-

    – I am indeed sure that she did not lose her authority over you because your life (outside your daydreaming and creative writing/drawing) is about her. She is the center, the actor; you are in the periphery, the reactor.

    After all I do stand up to her”- you stand up, but you don’t walk away.

    “and… I’d say her authority has always been flawed”- she owns 3 people, that’s a pretty impressive authority.

    “We didn’t obey her, a lot”- the fact that you don’t obey her means that she does not have complete authority over you. She has enough authority  to keep the three of you living with her. She is not keeping the doors locked or pointing a weapon at the three of you, making escape impossible. The three of you are three adults choosing to live with a monster. It doesn’t FEEL to you like it is a choice (or you feel like you are choosing to live with her for practical reasons) because of her authority, because she owns you.

    Three adults don’t choose to live with a monster unless the monster owns them, unless the monster has authority over the three.

    “We would fear her, not when she ordered us, but when she would put us and herself in danger. We weren’t/aren’t very respectful with her, but we are fearful. Is it still enough of an authority?”-

    – yes. I wrote to you yesterday that my understanding is open to change- well, not what I wrote to you so  far in this post. It is not open to change. It is just .. so basic, there is nothing here to doubt. Not more than I can doubt gravity. Based on the information you provided- I am sure.

    Your new analysis in this post is interesting, it is… Hum I am not sure. “A perfect adaptation of a daughter to a histrionic mother“. The prognosis I infer from this isn’t very good“- about the following I am not sure (I can’t predict the future), but I think that the prognosis is that you will live with your mother until one of you dies. Evidence for my prognosis is what you wrote Aug 16 regarding leaving her: “I was kind of hoping she would be dead before it would become a thing I’d have to worry about (if I ever find a way to get out of here)”.

    What good is it to have strong analysis and make damage control if I couldn’t heal/eradicate the source of the perpetual fire? In the end, it wasn’t very smart of me to stay in “fire hazard” house. People told me to get away. I knew they were right. I knew the best option would be to get away“-

    – good point, what good is strong analysis/ understanding if you don’t have the courage to do what’s right for you to do?

    That’s partly why I went to university too. But… I failed. I couldn’t focus on outside world survival. I was still… trying to figure out how to help my family at the core, without extraction“-

    – I understand. We all fail to do a lot of things. I failed a whole lot.

    “‘this is your Job: to stay in the household and protect your mother, your siblings and yourself from your mother’s fire’. But it isn’t a good job, isn’t it?“-

    – my answer is twofold: (1) No, it is not a good job to protect a monster. (2) Yes, it is a good job to protect the victims of a monster.

    It would make sense to resign for something more efficient, but I do not have the qualifications for the other possibilities“- If living with your mother distressed you enough, if it was too difficult for you emotionally, the only qualification it would take for you to leave her would be to pack one backpack or suitcase with your stuff, open the door and step out. But you are not distressed-enough, you have adapted too well to the situation.

    I did think things like ‘I will never leave before both of my siblings are already out, because I could never leave them alone with my mother without help“- will there be something new that she will be doing to your siblings if you weren’t there.. is there something you are now preventing her from doing to your siblings?

    I also thought ‘I am so unfunctional, anyway, I’ll be the last to leave. Especially if I’m aiming at an art career, not enough money means no way out’“- I am not sure about this, but I think that it’s very possible that if you did have enough money, you would still live with your mother.

    Think of this, if you will: your mother was her mother’s Victim, and her mother was the Victimizer. That happened in another house, long ago. Fast forward, in the house where you are living now, there are three victims and one Victimizer. Stated again: in the context of the house/s where your mother lived before you were born, she was Victim. In the context of the house/s you lived all of your life, you and your siblings have been Victims and your mother has been the Victimizer. There is no complexity in this regard when the contexts are considered.

    after I left university and didn’t have a plan for the future, my mother was telling people: ‘She is stopping her studying to take care of me and her brother (15 year old at the time), because I’m ill and will need to be hospitalized’“-

    – she was “telling people”.. sounds to me that she was telling  one person: you, Linarra, that she wants you to take care of her and of your brother, which is what she told you many times, didn’t she? I mean, you knew what she was telling people because you heard what she said either from the people she was telling or from her.. words that were meant for you.

    My real reason for coming home was my absence of aspiration/motivation for any typical job. You can infer that it was because I already had a job… I don’t know“-

    – I think I know: the job you already had is spelled out in the paragraph right above: “to take care of me and her brother”. Your mother said so.

    I just assumed I was a coward with too much mental illness and dysfunctionality which isn’t false either. My adaptation caused that. I couldn’t have aspirations or motivations for anything when I didn’t consider myself as a person and had diminished emotions/motivations“-

    – this is where I am not sure at all, and I have no way of knowing if you are and will continue to be a coward (lacking courage, as I mentioned in the beginning of this post), or if you have “too much mental illness and dysfunctionality” to make your life more than a Reaction to your mother (if you Create your life beyond daydreaming and creative writing and drawing).

    I want to tell you I am impressed by your patience, I didn’t expect you would go back to reading the beginning. It was interesting to read your analysis, and I’m curious to see if it’ll change later on“- thank you. I specified above what I am sure about and what I don’t know. The items I am sure about are not open to change.

    “I wonder if you are feeling well right now or if it’s another low-energy day for you (especially with the sleep deprivation)”- it’s been a few days that I’ve been waking up too early. I don’t like the feeling, but I am glad that I can still make sense here, on your thread. It is afternoon your time, I have an image of you in the house,  I can see the clutter, almost hear the voices of your brother, your sister and the monster.

    anita

    #384971
    Linarra
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I’m glad you appreciate the reciprocation. For me, when I reciprocate those little things, it is a way to understand and experiment with your way of communication, a way to feel closer to someone I appreciate. I like them, these little bits of spontaneity when you share your time and what’s going on next for you.

    “I was up again at 3am (this is becoming a pattern, not good). “

    Not good indeed. Do you have any idea what it may come from? I really hope you’ll be able to have better sleep soon!

    ” I am indeed sure that she did not lose her authority over you because your life (outside your daydreaming and creative writing/drawing) is about her. She is the center, the actor; you are in the periphery, the reactor.”

    Ah yes, it is mostly still like that. I try to guide her to better choices but she is still in power, I depend on whether she will feel like listening or not. And… Strangely enough, she does listen sometimes! She considers my opinion on certain things. Often when I was a teen she would ask for my advice and not listen (it was annoying). Now she does listen to me a bit. Sometimes she is reluctant and it requires more instance from my parts.

    Really, educating her is a full-time job. Because sometimes she sees the benefits of being reasonable (she acts reasonably with my brother because she thinks he will leave forever if she doesn’t behave, but he despises so he’ll leave anyway, he just makes her believe she can still own him until he cut ties), some other times the drama what pleases her the most. Educating her is still important because she has no idea how to behave well, even when she wants to win over someone… I help her with that. It does not strengthen her power because at this point she’s very much disliked by all of us, but it does make our life with her more bearable.

    Though, maybe… Helping her making herself more bearable at times is what prevents the urgency to leave, and so makes her ownership more efficient… Well, I’m already holding myself responsible for this situation, let’s just add that to the pills of “all the things I did wrong by trying to do well”.

    ” It doesn’t FEEL to you like it is a choice because of her authority, because she owns you.”

    That might explain why I feel powerless over this situation or over the possibility to leave, even when the theory makes it sounds easy enough to leave.

    “I am not sure (I can’t predict the future), but I think that the prognosis is that you will live with your mother until one of you dies.”

    Once, it was a prognosis I was resigned to. She owned me up completely and I was ok with that, it was meant to be… And I kind of expected/hoped it would happen fast enough, the death of one of us.

    Now, even if I still can’t imagine a future for myself, I can see how it could be… a waste of me, if it were to last for too long.

    “will there be something new that she will be doing to your siblings if you weren’t there.. is there something you are now preventing her from doing to your siblings?”

    At the moment, there’s nothing new.

    My brother should be gone for good soon (he came back during the summer vacations because there were some things he was engaged to finish around there, but once it’s done he has no reason to come back and doesn’t intend to do so unless it really can’t be helped), so that’s good news for him.

    If I were to leave before my sister, I don’t know how it would go… Because my sister and my mother have always been the biggest source of fire when they are together. I have no idea how it would go. Whether my sister would choose to leave or to stay, and in the latter option, how much my mother would make her suffer since she dislikes my sister the most but would have no other children yet to own.

    But in the end, it doesn’t even matter now, because first I would need enough motivation to leave first for it to be a real worry.

    ” I am not sure about this, but I think that it’s very possible that if you did have enough money, you would still live with your mother.”

    I think so too… I had such a thought. And wasn’t proud of it.

    “she was telling  one person: you, Linarra, that she wants you to take care of her and of your brother, which is what she told you many times, didn’t she? … words that were meant for you.”

    I wouldn’t be surprised if she were addressing me these words.

     I think I know: the job you already had is spelled out in the paragraph right above: “to take care of me and her brother”. Your mother said so.

    My brother doesn’t need anyone to take care of him now. Only my mother is left, and I told her countless time I didn’t want to take care of her and had no intention to. I am trying to figure out who I wanna become… and how to leave without ending up alone, or in another bad situation. I don’t even know where I would want to go. I don’t care as much about places as I care about people… But I also don’t trust people, I can’t rely on them. I should be able to rely on myself alone. But I don’t… know what to do. But I’ll have to figure it out anyway.

    “it’s been a few days that I’ve been waking up too early. I don’t like the feeling, but I am glad that I can still make sense here, on your thread. It is afternoon your time, I have an image of you in the house,  I can see the clutter, almost hear the voices of your brother, your sister and the monster.”

    Now it is 8:13 pm here, and 11:13 where you live (still morning! 9 hours is a lot, isn’t it?), my house sounds eerier in this short description than in my mind. Maybe it’s because I chose to not focus on the eerie parts now, I know there was a time I was a bit uncomfortable with the eeriness of it.

    I hope you’ll be able to get some rest today, and a better sleep tonight. I will think of you before I sleep.  I tend to, lately, since it’s been a while I’ve been deprived from my usual sources of daydreaming.

    Linarra

    #384979
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    I like them, these little bits of spontaneity when you share your time and what’s going on next for you“- then I will share more. The sun just came out, it is very sunny for the first time today. I hear the neighbors chicken making their noises from the outside and the air purifier in the inside (had been on since the wildfires smoke, no more smoke.. maybe I should turn it off).

    “I really hope you’ll be able to have better sleep soon!“- thank you. And when I do sleep better, you will be the first to know!

    “I try to guide her to better choices but she is still in power“- if you were in power, you wouldn’t be living with her or communicating with her, and you wouldn’t be trying to guide her.

    Strangely enough, she does listen sometimes! She considers my opinion on certain things. Often when I was a teen she would ask for my advice and not listen (it was annoying)“- reads like you feel a sense of accomplishment, a pride for what you believe is progress.

    Really, educating her is a full-time job“- I told you that you have a Job and it’s inside the house. I said the job was to prevent fires or put out fires that already started. Education is mostly about preventing fires.

    Because sometimes she sees the benefits of being reasonable.. some other times the drama what pleases her the most“- so there is an element of choice to her behavior.

    Educating her is still important because she has no idea how to behave well“- you underestimate her. It’s easier to think of one’s mother as one who doesn’t know better than it is to think of her as one who chooses to not do better.

    even when she wants to win over someone… I help her with that. It does not strengthen her power because at this point she’s very much disliked by all of us“- Maybe she pretends to listen to you, winning you over that way, just a bit, getting you excited over the perceived progress (“Strangely enough, she does listen sometimes!”)

    But in the end, it doesn’t even matter now, because first I would need enough motivation to leave first for it to be a real worry.

    I am trying to figure out who I wanna become… and how to leave without ending up alone, or in another bad situation… I also don’t trust people”

    – to use Kahlil Gibran’s words in his poem On Children, words he addressed to mothers,  I would like you to become the daughter of life’s longing for itself, no longer owned by your mother.

    From his poem: “Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

    “You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams”.

    “Now it is 8:13 pm here… I hope you’ll be able to get some rest today, and a better sleep tonight. I will think of you before I sleep.  I tend to, lately, since it’s been a while I’ve been deprived from my usual sources of daydreaming“- It is now 1:35 pm here, 10:35 pm your time. The sun is still shining, the sky is light blue, the chickens are quiet right now, inside I can hear the refrigerator motor.. the chicken sounds are back. I am hungry and tired. And I am smiling, feeling nice and warm inside with the thought of you.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 5 months ago by anita.
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