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My Sticky Situation

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  • #399462
    Kyle
    Participant

    <p style=”text-align: left;”> To start, this is my first post on the forums, so if this can be better suited elsewhere just let me know and it’ll find its way over to the other category.</p>
     I am 19 years old and have lived with my single adoptive mother (she adopted me before I was born) for over ten years. My father has been out of my life for nearly six years. During a Thanksgiving trip to his home he coerced me into filing false abuse charges against my mother. After that I have never been the same, for a while, between four and five years, I went into an emotional shell. Only recently I have managed to begin to claw my way out of it… but not without a lot of friction between my mother and I. I am trying to feel more sincere emotions, but there are three other obstacles blocking my path to trying to be close to who I want to be. The first is that I seem to lie automatically, mostly as a defence but sometimes it just happens. The second thing, though I’m slowly learning, is growing up into a man. The final obstacle is that I feel I do not have integrity. I did go virtual throughout my Senior year and some of my Junior year of high school because of Covid, that did mess up my plans of resolving things. I have struggled through college, I’m not happy with how I look nor how I feel, and the help I was given now and as a child seems to not help much. I just want to be better as a person, and I want to do this before my relationship with my mother is too far gone. I can give more details on events between my mothers divorce and now that helped push me down if you wish, but there is a lot.

    #399465
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Kyle!

    I appreciate your honesty and vulnerability in what you shared!

    Couple of questions if you don’t mind? How old were you when this thanksgiving trip happened?

    You mentioned that your father coerced you. How?

    Have you ever experienced any difficulties with your mother?

    How do you feel about the coercion and filing the false report about your mother?

    Sometimes when we lie it can be because we are afraid of being vulnerable with people, this can include being afraid of showing people who we are. Does this resonate with you at all? If not do you see any reasoning behind this behaviour?You mentioned that lying can be a defence. A defence against what?

    Please feel free to share whatever you would like to. Sorry if the questions are difficult. You don’t have to answer anything that you are uncomfortable with.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 1 day ago by Helcat.
    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 1 day ago by Helcat.
    #399468
    Kyle
    Participant

    I was about 12 at the time, and I will admit like every boy who was taken care of by their mother I always wanted to see more of my dad. He coerced me by saying I could move in with him, go to the same school his girlfriends kids went to, hang out with him more, that type of stuff. That alone was a big rough time, and is probably the biggest mistake I’ve made so far in my life. I atleast have moved away from holding that over my own head, atleast I think I have.

    I lied throughout my first year of college, told my mom I was doing fine when I dropped a course and failed another. We also had a ton of rough patches from outside influences, from ex step dads to ex friends etc. I also keep constantly doing things that either have her trust/faith in me vanish, which makes me want to try to either protect her from what I do or to make my self image look better. This gets the defensive lying up, atleast I think it does, but it could also be not wanting to show who I am. I have constantly tried throughout my life to be me, but I was always shot down and ostracized for it. This came to a head with the trip and false charges, then I just built myself a wall around who I am and stayed that way for five or so years. I sometimes feel that lying has been hard coded into my because of the years I spent doing it, and don’t know what really is the root to dig out.

    #399474
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Kyle:

    I would like to reply to you when I am more focused, in about 11 hours from now.

    anita

    #399475
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Kyle!

    If possible, therapy is always helpful to get to the bottom of issues.

    Thank you for bearing with me! Just a couple more questions checking my understanding of the situation.

    Is it mostly just your mom that you lie to? Or other people as well?

    Was your mom trying to limit the time you spent with your dad at the time of the false report?

    How has your mom responded to each of these mistakes that you made? Was she angry or upset? How did she react?

    Can you tell me more about when you felt shot down and ostracised?

    #399476
    Kyle
    Participant

    I shall start by saying no, my mother always supported a relationship between my dad and I. It’s just the times I saw him were for apart, as a kid even of that age months felt like a metaphorical eternity.

    I was basically a social pariah in my high school. I had few friends, and seemed to rub most people the wrong way when we first met. Some claimed it was just how I looked, I know I’m not the best looking, some said it was my voice pre puberty, others just didn’t like my personality. Throughout the years I always shed friends, many friendships would die out even as I tried to help foster them. I will admit, sometimes I tried too hard to keep a friendship going and thats what killed them.

    This could partially do with the aforementioned wall I metaphorically built around my heart. I tend to lie to anyone and everyone including my self, and this is one of the few times I have been fully honest. I have been told I can be fake sometimes, acting strong so others can lean on me is how it’s usually portrayed.

    Going to how my mom reacts, I will say she doesn’t fake it at all. At first she just tried to explain to me the errors of my mistakes, and yes you can tell she was mad. She wasn’t ranting and raving and screaming, just the mad you are when you know someone can do better. Over the years she has grown rather tired of my constant blunders and lies, which brings out her anger more and more. She doesn’t hit things or anything violent like that, it’s just her biggest pet peeve being prodded at for more than five years. What happens is we usually sit down and she gives her talk while I don’t say much out of shame. She sometimes has said things she regrets and I know she doesn’t mean, but later on we have a talk when she isn’t as mad and she apologizes every time time that kind of talk. This sounds like I’m painting her to be a bad guy in a way, she isn’t. She is the best mom I can ask for, she is just tired of this and I want to make sure I make my last chance count.

    #399477
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Kyle!

    Was there a reason that you didn’t see your father for months? In a typical co-parenting relationship the time with each parent would be split 50-50.

    How did your mom respond when you asked as a child to spend more time with your father?

    It sounds like you were bullied in high school. Would you agree? Children and teens can be very cruel to each other.

    I don’t know if what you surmised about how your friendships ended is true. I’m not suggesting that you are lying. But relationships come and go a lot in life. Perhaps no matter how you behave they would have ended? It is unfair to blame yourself for that. There are at least two people in a friendship. The other party is also responsible for keeping or ending the friendship.

    Sometimes in school we have a limited choice of friends and we are just with anyone who will accept us. They might not even be good friends.

    Did you know that you were adopted as a child? Do you have any feelings about being adopted?

    I don’t think it seems like you are painting your mom out to be a bad person. Quite the contrary, you are defending her. I am not trying to suggest that this is your mom’s fault. But there generally reasons behind the way we behave.

    You mentioned that you feel shame and that you break your mother’s trust when you make mistakes.

    Are there any other mistakes that you’ve made relevant to your mom other than the false report and the difficulties with school work?

    You mentioned that you feel shame about these situations and that lying is your mom’s pet peeve and she gets mad. More and more as time goes on.

    A common reason why we learn to lie or hide our behaviour is when people respond poorly when we tell the truth. Another reason could be that it was your father that initially encouraged this behaviour.

    Personally, I can understand why a little boy who barely gets to spend any time with his father can be coerced into saying something untrue in the hopes that they would spend more time with their father.

    What happened was unfortunate, but it also wasn’t wholly your fault. It would have never happened if your father hadn’t coaxed you into action. You were manipulated.

    I think you have a lot of good character to want to change this behaviour stemming from childhood.

    Honestly, you aren’t the first person to lie about difficulties with school work. This is understandable too! It’s not ideal, but it’s not the end of the world.

    Did your mom put any pressure on you to succeed in school?

    It sounds like you carry a lot of shame. The difficulty about emotions is that sometimes we believe emotionally, something different from what logically we know to be true.

    But when a mother rejects you because of mistakes it is easy to internalise that. In your mind her being mad is understandable, but in your heart you feel shame and mistrust.

    It can feel like love is conditional, something that we don’t deserve when we make mistakes. What do you think?

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 1 day ago by Helcat.
    #399479
    Kyle
    Participant

    While most co-parenting relationships are within the same state, my mom moved two states over back to where she grew up to help give me a better childhood. I will also say, looking back, it was my dad who mostly kept our relationship with less contact than I wanted. He had a weekend a month he could visit me in my home state and he never did, and sometimes he had to cancel my visit a week before I went to see him.

    I can tell you that I indeed was bullied throughout my middle and high school years, though during middle school it was more numerous times while high school was more big incidents. The relationships probably would have ended either way, but some of them were just a nasty split.

    I also was somewhat pressured into succeeding, no more than most kids though. My mother just wants me to be successful in life.

    There are a ton of little mistakes that add up. I don’t listen to what’s being asked, I do things not in the right way or order, and so on. Add this in to a family buisness and it’s not just my time I’m wasting but hers, and for a buisness time is money. There have also been times when I’ve done things I’ve been told I shouldn’t do, mostly talking to people who bring me down, and also a case of pronography (I am misspelling it in case that’s a word you’d rather use a different one on here) addiction when I was younger.

    Even with the knowledge that the love my mother and I have is unconditional, I still go back to the old ways and feel if I don’t so good I’m not worthy of love. So yeah, I guess that is a good way of putting it.

    #399482
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Kyle!

    Wow I’m sorry to hear that you experienced a lot of trauma throughout childhood. Events like bullying, parents separating and even moving out of state are part of everyday life but they are considered traumatic.

    It must have been very difficult growing up  separated from your father and bullied throughout school.

    It can be difficult for people to visit out of state regularly. But I don’t think there is any excuse for cancelling when you were supposed to visit.

    It may seem like a silly question since you don’t have a relationship with him anymore. But do you feel unloved by your father? If so how does that affect you?

    I am also adopted and have a complicated family situation. In my experience, these things can create a lot of difficult feelings.

    I can tell that you are a good son that loves his mother.

    All people are flawed and have weaknesses. It is possible to love someone and for them to do things that hurt us sometimes. It is also possible to love someone and not agree with everything that they do.

    It sounds like your mother has very high standards. Sometimes people do this to protect us, but it can also be hurtful when we find that we don’t measure up.

    Lots of people make similar mistakes when they are young and even when they are older. Unfortunately, making mistakes is a normal part of being human.

    My advice is if defensive feelings arise and if you feel like you want to tell a lie to protect yourself, rather than tell a lie you could remove yourself from the situation. Excuse me, I need to go to the bathroom always works for a speedy getaway.

    If you feel anxious or defensive about confiding sensitive things to your mother. Perhaps you could try talking to her and say what you have shared here? That you have difficulties and want to work on telling the truth that sometimes you lie when you feel defensive and it would help you a lot if she would try her best to stay very calm when you tell her these sensitive things.

    Perhaps you could come to an agreement between you both about what would be helpful? Maybe your mother could delay her response when you confide sensitive truths? Or if it would be easier to write what you want to share? Anything at all that you both would find helpful.

    #399511
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Kyle:

    You (19) shared that your adoptive mother adopted you before you were born. You lived with both your parents for some time, then following their separation, your mother moved back to the state where she grew up. Your father had one weekend a month to visit you in the state where you live with your mother, but “he never did“, and sometimes you had to cancel your visits to him.

    Some of the time when you lived with your mother, it was just you and her; at other times, there were “outside influences” in the home: two or more stepdads, and other people. At home and/ or elsewhere, you were “always shot down and ostracized” for being you.

    In middle school and in high school, you were bullied and otherwise rejected because of how you looked or sounded or something about your personality, “sometimes I tried too hard to keep a friendship going and that’s what killed them“, you shared. You felt like a social outcast, a social pariah.

    Your mother always supported your relationship with your father, and you “always wanted to see more of my dad...(but) the times I saw him were far apart… felt like a metaphorical eternity“. During a Thanksgiving visit to your father’s home when you were 12, your father coerced you into filing false abuse charges against your mother by promising you that you “could move in with him, go to the same school his girlfriend’s kids went, hang out with him more“.

    You shared that you struggled through college, that you are not happy with how you look and how you feel, that you “seem to lie automatically… it just happens… I feel I do not have integrity… I tend to lie to anyone and everyone including myself… I have been told I can be fake sometimes, acting strong so others can lean on me is how it’s usually portrayed“, and you “just want to be a better person“.

    As to the nature of your lies, you shared about the following: (1) you participated, at 12, as a result of being coerced by your father, in filing false abuse charges against your mother, (2) “a case of pornography… addiction when I was younger“, (3) in your first year of college, you dropped a course and failed another, but told your mother that you were doing fine, (4) following “a ton of little mistakes… I don’t listen to what’s being asked, I do things not in the right way or order, and so on… (in context) of a family business… wasting… for a business, time is money“.

    As to the motivation of your lies: you made up lies “to either protect (your mother) from what I do or to make myself image look better…  not wanting to show who I am… not worthy of love“.

    You wrote: “Over the years she has grown rather tired of my constant blunders and lies, which brings out her anger more and more. She doesn’t hit things or anything violent like that… She is the best mom I can ask for, she is just tired of this and I want to make sure I make my last chance count” –

    -Your mother gave you a “last chance“?

    – My input: you wrote that your mother adopted you, not that your parents adopted you… just her. You described a father who has not been motivated to visit you and be in your life, a manipulative man… quite cold-hearted. No wonder your allegiance has been to your mother.

    You feel guilty in regard to your mother, but you are not guilty, in my understanding.

    Over the years she has grown rather tired of my constant blunders and lies” – what about her blunders?

    Has she always told you the truth when you needed the truth, when you deserved it?

    anita

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by anita.
    #399513
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Kyle:

    My questions were: “what about her blunders?” and “Has she always told you the truth when you needed the truth, when you deserved it?“- I know the answers even though I never met your mother and never will.

    Of course, she blundered, we all blunder; of course, she didn’t always tell you the truth which you deserved to know, we all fail some others in this way.

    She blundered in relationships, choosing men that she shouldn’t have, she blundered when she encouraged you to have a relationship with a man (your father) who wasn’t interested in such. And these are only the blunders I know about, based on what you shared.

    If you see your mother as a perfect, blunder-less specimen, you will continue to see yourself as a Mr. Blunder.

    Your mother is human, you are human, you both make mistakes. Question is how to learn from mistakes and make fewer of them,

    and how to have a relationship with your mother where the two of you, now adults, can help each other to make better choices and fewer mistakes, each taking responsibility for one own’s blunders, communicating honestly with the other, and taking it from there.

    If you don’t have the issue of personal responsibility for mistakes/ poor choices squared away, you continue to find yourself in your “Sticky Situation” (title of your thread), a situation where her sticky blunders get stuck to you.

    anita

    #399824
    anita
    Participant

    How are you, Kyle?

    anita

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