May 27, 2020 at 10:51 am #357011
You are welcome. It is nice when we are validated: your friend having said “THE EXACT thing happened with her”, making you feel better about ending your contact with the mutual friend you both had, the one who excessively and irresponsibly vented to you.
Your reply to your best friend was: “I really appreciate that you find me reliable. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and being open to me about your stuff.”
You asked: “Is there something wrong with these?”- no, it’s a beautiful reply, as perfect as can be.
You are afraid that she will think that you presented yourself in this reply as stuck up and superior to her. You are therefore “a nervous wreck.. feeling excessively anxious.. My heart keeps dropping every two minutes, and my stomach churning too.. regretting over my words”-
– when your mother vented to you when you were a younger child about how terrible her life is, ex.: “my life doesn’t have a purpose and I want to die”, venting to you this way for long stretches of time, on and on, she expected you to respond to her (“She expected someone to respond to her .. 24/7 by her side”).
And you did respond to her the best you were able, saying anything that you could think of, so to make her feel better, so that she will not want to die anymore. Your intent was 100% sincere, your love for her complete.
But she must have misunderstood what you said to her and somehow objected to it, maybe turning what you told her against you, suggesting you meant something you didn’t mean. And maybe that .. kind of shocked you, you only meant to help her and she took what you said to mean something else. Was that the case?
If it was the case, fast forward: your reply to your friend was perfect, I can’t think of anything more perfect to say to a person. (I am thinking that you have practice of saying the perfect things, for having said empathetic and loving things to your mother from an early age during her venting marathons).
Problem is that your mother didn’t react positively to your sincere efforts and a job well done, so fast forward, you “hear” your mother accusing you of things while imagining your friend is accusing you of those things. You know you were sincere and meant the best with your friend, but you are “hearing” your mother’s misunderstandings and accusations that you meant something you didn’t mean, or that you feel something you don’t feel. And you get confused and troubled.
What do you think?
May 29, 2020 at 10:10 am #357171
- This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by anita.
Yes it is nice being validated.
It is exactly the case you mentioned. I “hear” my words being misunderstood and me being accused on the most random things I do. More than half of the time I imagine the things before hand; what are the all possible ways of my words or actions getting twisted enough in others’ eyes to be taken or misunderstood as bad/evil. It has really become a sub-conscious thing now, and I realize it AFTER I’m done accusing my own self and overthinking a little action of mine. But most of the times I don’t have the ability to distinguish, if my word, or action really hurt or affected the other party negatively or is it totally an irrational critic inside of me speaking. And as long as I remember I’ve dealt with this for a long long time. Ever since as a child I guess. What I called it in mind was “Dealing with the problems of justifiability of my morality”. I can’t justify what was moral or immoral, even though the intention was sincere, did the person get hurt, or discouraged or anything? This keeps me thinking A LOT.
Maybe it has to do with my parents’ arguments where at this point they ask their children to “pick a side” in the end, and you’d usually go with “both”, or try to come up with something to tell them sincerely that it is not that they think both of the parents are wrong or bad or unwanted in children’s eyes, but they misunderstand you. I’ve experienced this as a teenager too, when my calls and fights with me on the phone just to vent out his resentment towards mum. In his random outbursts, I’ve learned to stay silent now. Because if I reply with anything, even if it has a nice intention, he uses it against me to tell me that I support my mum AGAINST HIM. And my brain equals that out-of-blue argument to maybe I’m a bad person.
I have this fear too. Of losing someone if my actions or words are reached out too late. Or if they’re even at slightest the wrong. If what I said or did made them lose something (emotionally or physically), I’m the worst person alive. It is apparent that this deep rooted fear is from watching my mum attempt to take her life away. That fears me so much, still. I’ve lived with these thoughts like that since I was that 6-year old child.
When I get anxious on repetitive thoughts like the replies I made to my friend, I keep hanging on to a guilt of what I said (past), and fear of something that might happen (future). I mentioned past and future, because it really highlights my brain is hanging onto anything but the present.
Shortly, what I think is: the guilt, and judging myself repeatedly comes from my parents’ arguments, and the way my mum accused me for incest so quickly, so as a protective mechanism maybe I judge myself too quickly before anyone could. And the anxiousness comes from the fear of witnessing a loss again. I might be wrong
JavairiaMay 29, 2020 at 1:35 pm #357188
“if I reply with anything, even if it has a nice intention, he uses it against me to tell me that I support my mum AGAINST HIM. And my brain equals that out-of-blue argument to maybe I’m a bad person”- your father was angry at your mother, you tried to help him (having the best intention: wanting to help him!), and he responded by accusing you of going against him (accusing you of having a bad intention: to hurt him!).
When that happens, a child gets confused: on one hand you know you had a good intention, on the other hand, a child naturally believes the parent. It creates confusion and self doubt. You suspect that you are a bad person because … only a bad person will want to hurt her father! And then you think: but I didn’t try to hurt him! And (his) voice says: yes, you did!
“I have this fear.. Of losing someone if my actions or words are reached out too late. Or if they’re even at the slightest the wrong.. It is apparent that this deep rooted fear is from watching my mum attempt to take her life away.. since I was that 6- year old child”-
– when your father reacted to words you said with an outburst of anger, that gave you the impression that your words are very powerful. But it was not your words that were powerful- it was his anger that was powerful, and his anger preceded your words and used your words as fuel, like fire uses wood as fuel, to get stronger!
Watching your mother attempt suicide when you were six: did she talk to you at that time, telling you what she was doing.. what did you see her do and what did you hear her say? (Answer only if you feel comfortable answering. I am okay if you choose to not answer).
anitaJune 2, 2020 at 11:50 am #357458
When she attempted suicide, she really didn’t have a talk with us. It was very quick, something that came to her in the heat of the moment, but the way things were back then, it showed she’d been really meaning to do it.
It was 16th March, that is the day right after my birthday. So you can assume we had a little family meetup for that, and of course with that interaction another fight of mum and dad began. The next day, the fight got worse and she decided to leave the house with 2 of us children(not the eldest brother, I don’t remember where he was back then. Maybe at a boarding school, but I’m not sure), without a notice to dad. My brother who was with us somehow messaged dad and let him know before we were about to travel out of the city. The things went really bad after that. We came back at home where our mum lives(it was sure at this point dad lives in a different house with his new mistress). The fight got so bad (both verbally and physically) that dad hit mum real bad. She was seriously in pain. He hit her very bad. He dragged her by hair to the master bedroom,, this is really painful writing
Anyhow, that was during the moment she went outside crying silently. Nobody followed her, everyone was in the room, and they stayed there. There were two more people other than 4 of us family members, they were our family friends. They were probably arguing with dad at the moment. As she left the room, I intuitively went along. She went to the laundry area and my heart was just dropping. She picked up the bottle of Phenol liquid or something and drank it all up. I started screaming for help the moment she went near the bottle area. Nobody was coming. They all came when she was done gulping it down and was experiencing the symptoms. This is what I saw her do: cry, push me away and then drink it. She made a little eye contact with me and pushed me away as I was trying to come near her and take the bottle away.
I hear her say nothing. She didn’t say a word after she got hit by dad. All she did was cry and then leave the room to take her life away. Although she did hear me say, “No, mum.” “No, please no” “please don’t do this” “please someone come for help!”, she kept pushing me away. I didn’t know what to do, while I was trying to stop her I really had to call someone for help too, so you can imagine I was approaching her, telling her to stop and calling for help all at the same time.
And she was only making silent eye contacts with me at the moment. Those eye contacts were very cold and angry. Ever since a child I’ve imagined my mother’s eyes to be really sad ones. The ones that are full of worry and sadness, but that was the only time I saw them full of anger/coldness, and nothing else. Not even sadnessJune 2, 2020 at 1:11 pm #357465
March 15 was your birthday. And “another fight of mum and dad began”. The next day, March 16,”the fight got worse”. She took you and your younger brother out of the home.. you went back home where your mother lived, he hit her real bad, dragged her by the hair to the master bedroom, she left the master bedroom to the laundry room. You alone followed her, “intuitively went along” after her. In the laundry room, she “picked up the bottle of Phenol liquid or something and drank it all up”.
You started “screaming for help the moment she went near the bottle area. Nobody was coming”, she went for the bottle of phenol, you tried to take the bottle away from her, she pushed you away and drank it. “No, mum.. No, please no.. pleased don’t do this” you begged her, “please someone come for help”, you cried out.
As you tried to save her life, she looked at you with “silent eye contacts… Those eye contacts were very cold and angry.. (eyes) full of anger/ coldness, and nothing else. Not even sadness”.
Your story, Javairia, is breaking my heart. As I read it at first I felt dizzy, I lay down but it didn’t help, so I walked around, did some chores.. I googled phenol, it reads that a small amount of it is very poisonous, so if she indeed drank phenol, it must have been a very, very small amount, diluted in water or the like, so overall it didn’t lead to seizures and symptoms that required hospitalization. If it was phenol at all. I don’t know if .. she did it to get attention only, knowing it wasn’t dangerous.
But you watching her, following her, begging her to not do it is breaking my heart. It is devastating. I have tears in my eyes. I am so sorry this happened to you.
And I think that I feel so badly because I had similar experiences myself, as my mother too did similar things.
That coldness in her eyes, I know that look. I know those silent, cold, angry eyes. I remember them well.
I am so sorry, Javairia. This kind of experience, it is a good thing that you shared about it, and it is a good thing for me to read it and to re-experience some of the horror of how it felt for me too. It feels badly but it’s good for me. So thank you for sharing this very, very private personal experience.
Next, I will go for my walk, I know that the chill air will help me feel better. When I return, I will write to you again.
<h5></h5>June 2, 2020 at 1:32 pm #357466
Thank you for listening, like always.
I hope you feel better after your walk, if reading it made you feel stressed out
Take careJune 2, 2020 at 2:09 pm #357468
(the phenol liquid sure is strong. It wasn’t diluted, but the bottle wasn’t full. She stayed hospitalized for a week or two, and sick for more than a month)June 2, 2020 at 3:18 pm #357471
I returned from my walk in the rain. What you described is a powerful and devastating emotional experience in your young life. I shared with you how I felt when I read it because I wanted you to know that I know how devastating this experience must has been for the young child that you were. It would be powerful at any age, but at six or so, it is most powerful.
It wasn’t your fault, you know. She was angry at your father, at the other people in the bedroom. You were the only one who followed her, the only one who tried to save her life as she reached for the bottle of poison. You have no responsibility whatsoever to the fights between her and your father, nothing to do with her anger, his anger, none of it. You were a victim to their fights and to your mother terrible action of drinking poison in front of her little girl.
The “bad person complex” you mentioned before, it is based on something that is not at all true: what she did was not your fault, and because you were a young child, much smaller than her, there was no way for you to physically prevent her from what she did.
Did she ever talk about that incident with you, ever apologized to you???
anitaJune 3, 2020 at 9:49 am #357530
Rationally everyone can tell it was not the children’s fault in the house, of whatever happened in the adults’ lives that day. But you are correct. It was devastating for us, that’s why I still feel guilty of every little action of mine, and every word I speak. As if someone is going to grab something harmful again, and I’m going to lose them forever. My mind is really not thinking rationally more than half the times, and especially when this guilt hits over. “Bad person complex” is especially rooted to this incident. I’ve been envying people who are not that emotionally sensitive as I grew up to be. It’s an illogical thing to say, but I feel inferior to them.
She has talked about it several times. More like re-called it. And that’s all, she just re-calls it. She doesn’t talk about if I felt scared or resentful or anything towards that action. She would leave it to be like, “Do you remember when your dad hit me, and I attempted suicide?”. And I find it weird why she would bring that topic up that way. Without even asking us how we felt, or even venting out herself, that she felt helpless that day. She simply re-calls it. So, no. No, she didn’t ever apologize. She’s never been sorry for doing that. I don’t know what I’m supposed to feel about that. But, seriously I don’t feel like a victim to her actions, but deep down I sure am guilty.June 3, 2020 at 10:59 am #357535
“Rationally everyone can tell it was not the children’s fault… but deep down I sure am guilty”-
– deep down you feel that you are guilty. But you are not guilty. You are innocent.
I understand, what difference does it make that I just typed the above sentence. You feel guilty so you believe that you are guilty.
But is it possible to feel that something is true, and to believe it is true, and yet it surely isn’t true?
Think about a person experiencing a psychotic hallucination: the person is absolutely sure (feeling and believing that) something is happening while it’s not happening at all.
I want you to better understand that concept that it is possible to feel and believe that something is true, and yet it is not true at all.
I felt and believed for decades that I was responsible for my mother threatening suicide for many years. Like you, the rational idea that I was not guilty of her suicide threats and behavior didn’t make a difference to me, I felt guilty nonetheless. I felt like and believed that I was a bad person.
Fast forward, I no longer feel guilty for her suicide threats and behaviors, and I no longer believe that I am a bad person. Finally, what a relief! But it didn’t just happen, it took a long, long time for my emotional understanding to catch up to the superficial rational understanding that I am not guilty (and it is the emotional understanding that makes a difference in matters of guilt and innocence, not the rational).
Your mother didn’t really see you when you followed her to the laundry room long ago, and a decade later, she still doesn’t see you. She only sees herself. It is as if, in her mind, only she has feelings and you don’t. She asked you: “Do you remember when your dad hit me, and I attempted suicide?”- as if you are only memory, not feelings.
It is amazing to me, how self centered many parents are, seeing only themselves, as if.. children are.. not people.
June 10, 2020 at 11:14 am #358171
- This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by anita.
How are you these days?