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This topic contains 453 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  anita 2 hours, 57 minutes ago.

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  • #307357

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Cali Chica:

    Your plan posting email then deleting, we can do  it today if you want, if you are at the computer, let me know you will be doing it, I okay it, you send me the address, I will then send an email to your address and we will have each other’s.

    Four year old or younger CC, “sad, lonely, desolate, cold”- like a fawn left alone, without her mother. I see this on my walks often enough, young fawns following their mothers. They follow closely because they don’t want to be left alone.

    I saw older fawns (parallel to let’s say the teenage CC)- they stick around the mother, but they don’t follow closely everywhere she goes. When they hear me approaching (danger), the young ones often hop away first, going their own direction, the mother responds later. These teenage deer make me think of the feisty teenage CC, forming her own way, not following her mother closely and obediently like before.

    The teenage CC although feisty has been traumatized. Even though she proceeded to live independently of her mother, the fear stays. It is no longer attached to its origin (early childhood experience), instead it attaches itself to thousands of thoughts,  feelings and sensations throughout the day, circulating.

    “How scary it is for a young child if a mother is screaming, ‘I will die I will die!’ how scary it is if they see their mother on the floor in despair acting like she IS DEAD”- reminds me of another animal situation, a few months ago a young coyote was separated from its social group, close to the house here, the racket was unbelievable, the noise he made calling for the others, didn’t stop calling until they did show up and he was reunited. What happens to us as children is we call, or cry and cry but no  one hears us and no one comes to get us. We stop crying because no one hears us. The fear then cements, sticks and stays and festers. It is not just one event, it is as scary as can be, absolutely, but it is not being heard, no one coming for us. You then do your best with what you have, getting any and all comfort you can get and imagine best you can that you are getting more than you are getting… but that “primal scream”, that coyote scream the other night, it keeps going and going.

    anita

    #307359

    Cali Chica
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I just read the first line of your email and felt a nice feeling, I thought “let’s do it!” It’s a good day for it I feel.

    It is 3:00 my time.  and you will then also know my real name! I am ready for this.

    When you send me your response, I will respond next with my email. 🙂 and you will then also know my real name! I am ready for this.

     

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by  Cali Chica.
    #307363

    anita
    Participant

    Okay, ready.

    #307365

    Cali Chica
    Participant

    okay great! ill respond to your email.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by  Cali Chica.
    #307367

    anita
    Participant

    got it.

    #307371

    Cali Chica
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I am happy for that exchange we just had.  Yes, I agree I enjoy chatting here.  It has been a wonderful daily ritual for me, and we shall continue it.  Yet I am happy to know we can keep in touch personally, if Tiny Buddha ever changes.  In that case I definitely want to go back and archive and print out all of our first posts.  They are so incredibly special.

    you are right, there is no one in my real life that I speak to this extent daily, except my husband.  But even so, you and I can relate on the aspect of the “mother trauma” which is an special and unique connection/understanding/appreciation unlike any other.

    #307379

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Cali Chica:

    Yes, we can relate on this very difficult terrible thing, this “mother trauma” as you accurately referred to it. I am excited about our exchange.

    anita

    #307409

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Cali Chica:

    You wrote yesterday (I added the bold feature): “I never thought that wow young Cali Chica was in fact afraid of losing her mother! Scared to death of it!.. I have a visual right now of being in the small apartment I lived in.. younger than 4.. the words that come to mind are: sad, lonely, desolate, cold. And then I think about it, it was a place of despair. A place of worry– that my mother just would not make it…. I recall her being sad, lonely, frail. I recall her being in despair… How scary it is for a young child if a mother is screaming, ‘I will die I will die!’ how scary it is if they see their mother on the floor in despair acting like she IS DEAD. How scary to hear about their father hurting their mother, stories of bruises and pain. How scary it must be to live an entire lifetime in childhood- fearing that their mother would or could  be gone in a second”.

    What you referred to as “mother trauma” in your last post is a trauma you and I share: having lived with and grown up with a histrionic mother, a mother who generously shares and exaggerates her negative feelings, her despair, her loneliness, her hurt, her pain… the injustice she suffers, on and on and on and repeatedly. The child cannot separate herself from her mother, and feels her pain, absorbs it like a sponge.

    Having a histrionic mother overwhelms the child’s nervous system as the pain of the experience, including the fear involved, is just too much for the neurons to endure without taking some desperate measures, or adjustment, irreversible in their nature (unless taking on the healing process with intention and attention, perseverance and patience, using effective tools and help from certain others).

    The specific measure, or adjustment I am referring to today is despair, which you mentioned twice in the quote above. The child, stuck, trapped with the histrionic mother, repeatedly scared to death, alarmed, alert, worrying, unsettled, tense day in and day out, crying but no change, trying but no change, she brings her mother a flower, she tries to make her happy.. no change, she feels helpless to change the terrible situation, hope for a better life dies, which is what despair is. The brain settles into despair, pessimism, expecting the worst, disassociated, emotions repressed, as numb as can be, she may sink into inaction or spin her wheels in endless action. Nothing changes.

    Despair, defined online, is “…the complete loss or absence of hope, the feeling that there is no  hope and that you can do nothing to improve a difficult or worrying situation.. the feeling that everything is wrong and that nothing will improve… a deep sadness… a state of depressed mood and hopelessness (hope: the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will  turn out for the best, optimism.. a desire that something will happen)”

    A child loses hope when things don’t get better no  matter how hard she tries. The child learns to expect things going wrong forever more. The child drowns in her histrionic mother’s displays of sadness, despair, loneliness, her complaints of injustice and a hostile world. The child doesn’t have the option of .. an outside perspective. She drowns in her mother’s histrionics.

    Fear and despair cement in her brain and without intentional and attentive healing, she will live the same way for the rest of her life: breaks of happiness, of joy here and there, those happen, hope is not completely dead. But in between those infrequent and short breaks, it is the same old, same old fear and despair.

    Hope, optimism, the joy of living, the calling of the wild, the wagging of the tail on a daily basis, not interrupted by despair- it  is possible for you and I. For you, more than for me, because you are younger and I am getting old and … statistically I have less time than you and a lesser and lesser functioning body. And no career to launch, if I chose to.

    How to regain that hope- first understand how hopelessness came about. How we were not born with it, we absorbed it having been inflicted with the “mother trauma”.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by  anita.
    #307603

    Cali Chica
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I did in fact have a light weekend. Thank you for hoping that for me. Much lighter than the past previous weekends for at least a month or so. I read your last post. In order to gain hope, we must understand where the hopelessness came from. We must know that we were not born with this hopelessness, it was inflicted upon us by the mother trauma.

    The terms: hope and faith

    Have come to me quite often recently, I mention that to you in the earlier post. The Sanskrit words for these terms are quite beautiful, and they seem to resonate in my mind on a daily basis.  I noticed that colloquially to have hoping to have faith does not really mean much to me, but the true definition of it has been lost along the way.  Talking about all of this fertility, possible baby stuff, I have About what it must be like to actually parent a child.  The concept of if the mother is going through a hardship, how does she display it to her child? How does she show her pain and fear in an authentic way, but but not to traumatize a child. I’m not of course asking these questions for either of us to answer, just something I’ve pondered. Food for thought. About not really being a parent per se, but about human display of emotion as well as healthy emotional stability.  And more than anything the concept of distress tolerance really fits in here as well. In a rudimentary way, tolerating distress so as not to jump to emotions that are not a true indication of what you are feeling – acting out.

    Then I thought about things that I have watched on TV, and things that I have observed in other people, including my own mother in law. The concept of showing emotion, even defeat or sadness, but still having a glimmer of hope, positivity, and determination. How special and strong this is.

    As above I have thought about the terms faith and hope, but the term strong has a mixed feeling for me.

    So many ways, to me being strong is in many ways powering over another human being, or powering over my own self and feelings. And when he weighs my being strong has been exceptionally helpful in my getting to where I am, but now detrimental for me to remove my armor.  Moreover, the term strong was used by my mother and so many ridiculous Waze. She would commend the strength of others who are not emotional. She would also commend the emotionality of individual’s who are hysterical Saying how they are so true and full of feeling she would come and individuals who were totally unlike her, saying how they were strong and she was sweet. Well I make a correction, saying how they were strong and we were weak. Always making things a WE.  Throwing my sister and I into her depravity.

    So somewhere along the lines, but idea of what true strength means and the importance of it was lost on me. In many ways, strength equals hardness. Of the work I have done with you, and recognizing concepts of softness and tenderness, I have learned that hardness is that armoring that protective mechanism because of all the drama.

    I know it will take time, but slowly slowly I will learn that the hopelessness is not intrinsic or innate in me.

    The most important thing is that I truly have faith and belief that hope is within me.  That softness and tenderness are within me. I know this. And that’s really what matters.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by  Cali Chica.
    #307639

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Cali Chica:

    “In order to gain hope, we must understand where the hopelessness came from. We must know that we were not born with this hopelessness, it was inflicted upon us by the mother trauma”

    “The terms: hope and faith… the true definition of it has been lost along the way… The concept of showing emotion, even defeat or sadness, but still having a glimmer of hope, positivity, and determination. How special and strong this is… the term strong.. was used by my mother.. She would commend the strength of others who are not emotional… saying how they were strong and we were weak. Always making things a WE…  what true strength means and the importance of it was lost on me… In many ways, strength equals hardness… That softness and tenderness are within me.”

    My thoughts:

    -“Always making things a WE” – but when you tried to help her, fitting a WE, she turned against YOU: who do you think you are etc. You tried to help her multiple times all through your life, and she attacked you in return. Last time,  you tried to bring good people into her life, your husband’s parents and family and what did she do in return- attack you (and them).

    A histrionic mother is never a we. She is a sole performer on stage, performing for an audience. She is invested in the performance itself, not in being helped by anyone, not in meaningful exchange with another. Her performance makes her feel good, and so she is helping herself.

    You see her performing sadness, despair etc., and you want to help her but you don’t know that the only help she will receive from you is what she is already taking from you- performing to you, the audience. Feeding on you being a captive audience, feeding on your natural empathy for her. She already took from you all the help she needed from you, but you didn’t know it. You kept thinking that you are yet to help her, that she wanted help from you beyond what she took.

    A performer on stage, if performing well, really does experience the feelings he expresses on stage, based on feeling similar in his/ her life before the performance. And then, she exaggerates the particular feelings that she wants audience to feel, and feel intensely.

    The histrionic mother sees her daughters naturally happy-go-lucky, not aware yet of emotional pain- angry at this injustice (how dare these girls not know her pain yet?), she corrects it. Now she gets to act soft some, sweet, child like because she unloaded her hardness for a while by dumping it on her girls.

    anita

    #307649

    Cali Chica
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Good morning.

    A new point for me, that she already has taken from me.  As in the performance in and of itself is what is helpful for her.

    The star in the light  – sole performer on the audience, with a large microphone.  A captive audience -myself.

     She already took from you all the help she needed from you, but you didn’t know it. You kept thinking that you are yet to help her

    What a lifetime of waste!! You know your saying, all the efforts were in vain.

    I thought about this today – but for another reason.  It may seem off topic, but in my head it is not…

    On Saturday after speaking with you, my husband and I went for a walk to Central Park.  Dogs are not allowed off leash in the middle of the day, but we have found some secret areas – hidden gems- where we let Bodhi off leash and let him be free.

    My sister asked what I was doing.  I paused, didn’t answer immediately out of rush or knee jerk pattern.  i asked my husband – good idea right.  He said sure, her and her dog can join.

    So she did.  The dogs played, we relaxed for an hour.  I was aware of what my husband has said, that he doesn’t like who I am around her often, this entertaining jester. I observed myself from the moment she walked towards me to when we left.

    I observed the following.  A feeling of “rush” or uneasiness started as SOON as I saw her in the distance walking towards me.  A shifting of the gears, going from relaxed disengaged, to engaged.

    Engaged, invested, on point.

    I wondered why…and I thought the following – and writing naturally without judging what is coming out, not saying it is true or false, just what I felt and observed, many of which could be a bias of mine, or not..doesn’t matter for this conversation. – I guess a disclaimer

    – I saw her face as she was walking towards me, she looked pensive or in her head, it felt immediately necessary for me to “perk her up” or entertain her.

    -I saw how her expression changed as she was my dog run to her, all smiles, I thought to myself, it was in my head that she looks down or pensive. CC just because someone doesn’t look all thrilled and happy doesn’t mean they need fixing, you will learn that

    -While we were hanging out, it appeared she was calm and not frenzied.  I stopped myself from over talking, over compensating, putting on that jester role.  But I do know that there is a difference between when she was there, when I was more disengaged enjoying nature, than when she was there.

    -my husband had to leave because we had late lunch reservations.  I observed myself, I felt a small twinge of guilt or anxiety – thinking oh i am going to have to say we are leaving, feeling bad – a slight amount nothing overwhelming.  feeling the need to over talk or over compensate by saying something like : “gotta go but we will do this again soon.”

    – but I didn’t…and she was normal and fine too.  she said okay awesome that was fun enjoy your lunch

    -as uneventful and normal as could be…

     

    I write all the above down to journal.  To see the situation from the outside – uneventful not stressful not frenzied.  And from within – patterns, twinges of guilt, deep rooted tendencies.  But I did not act on those patterns.

    So this morning early in the morning – and I have told you that I do not answer emails or texts as soon as  I wake up – as I don’t want to create more rush in my AM routine.  I see a message:

    Hey that was so fun letting them off leash together, we should do that more often – maybe even on weekdays.

    Instant dread Anita.  Instant feeling of “oh no here we go – pressure”

    The text did not say, do you want to do this or that – it did not ask for anything specific – but still.

    It taught me something very very very big, and I will try to word it best  I can:

    A huge part of my uneasiness and feeling of pressure comes from the role I have had with my sister.  It does not matter if she has changed or not, that pattern remains.  And the feeling that she is baseline lonely and I have to entertain her.

    I notice now that she has good friends, a good job, and a life of her own.  It is up to me to create patterns that suit me.

    So I did:

    i responded later when I had a chance:

    Yes that was fun! Weekdays will be tough as I am focusing on doing less activities so I am not rushed, but yes would be fun on another weekend when we are both free.

    Her response:

    “oh I didn’t mean after work, just meant in general”

    I thought about it —well she said maybe we can even do it on weekdays – so wouldn’t that be after work? hmmm

    And then I sotpped, no need to ask or say more.  I got my message across:

    NO, I can not engage in social activities with you on weekdays.  Weekdays are for work, and for me to come home not rushed, do something good for myself whether it is relaxing or going to yoga etc, and approach dinner and time with my husband in peace.

    She already knows based on the last few weeks I was in a tough place and deleting many activities on the calendar and making active change.  This includes everyone. It means time for me.

    It also reminded me of this thing my husband has said many a time – and now that you have seen my inner circle more closely it may or may not make sense.

    It sounds harsh but he has said to me: your sister isn’t as smart or “aware” as she lets on.  She likes to think she is, because of how you are – but she isn’t.

    I would usually go to her defense.  But I see now.  She is 27, young, finding herself in her own way.  I see that for what it is, doesn’t mean she is inferior.  Just that her needs are different than mine.  And I am happy to practice voicing mine – and soon without any guilt!

    Like you said in that post – when it comes to social CC, I will have to make active changes, and if the other person does not NOTICE or SEE a difference, I am not doing it enough.

    Yes, precisely.

    #307653

    Cali Chica
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I wanted to add an edit but couldn’t, my husband has said in the past that my sister has an uneasy vibe often, seemingly chill and aware, but has a tense energy…and seems lonely and bored.

    so that is likely why  I feed off of it – he mentions how I am used to that role, so I continue to – even if my sister is no longer the crying for help person anymore.

    #307657

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Cali Chica:

    Good afternoon. Not off topic: “A feeling of ‘rush’ or uneasiness started as SOON as I saw her in the distance walking towards me.. I saw her face as she was walking towards me, she looked pensive or in her head”- you didn’t imagine that, reads like her. That activated your fear because I figure your mother looked like that before she started on a histrionic episode.

    “it felt immediately necessary for me to ‘perk her up’ or entertain her”- like you did for your mother, including as an adult while in medical school, visiting and immediately entertaining your mother with stories.

    “I stopped myself from over talking, over compensating, putting on that jester role”- it is the same role with your sister as it was with  your mother.

    “I felt a small twinge of guilt or anxiety- thinking oh I am going to have to say we are leaving, feeling bad.. feeling the need to over talk”- same role, same experience of childhood and onward.

    Her message: “that was so  fun.. we should do that more often- maybe even on weekdays” – she had lots of fun, and a break  from anxiety and living in her head. She wanted more of that break and fun.

    “Instant dread.. feeling ‘oh no here we go- pressure'”- having to entertain your mother was pressure, fearing that if you don’t- she will fall apart.

    You asserted yourself with her very well, clearly and appropriately. “Her response: ‘oh I didn’t mean after work, just meant in general”- she is used to times when you responded aggressively to  her, sensing aggression in your (non-aggressive) assertion, trying to take back what she perceived to have brought about your anger.

    “my husband has said in the past that my sister has an uneasy vibe often, seemingly chill and aware, but has a tense energy.. and seems lonely and bored”- she is probably as anxious as she used to be. Her anxiety of past, that kind of anxiety doesn’t go away. If she doesn’t express it to you, I am positively impressed, it is the right thing for her to do, to contain her expression of it in your company, so to not burden you with it. In other words, it is a good thing if she is not histrionic.

    But seeing her pensive is enough for you to get triggered because what it triggers is your experience with a histrionic mother, and this is why your posts of today are not off point.

    anita

    #307659

    Cali Chica
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Yes, I agree and am also impressed that she does not burden me with her anxiety or uneasiness any longer.  But as you said, it is enough to trigger me of course.

    You pinpointed in your point EXACTLY why I am triggered, starting from a far.

    And also, her taking back as she is used to me responding aggressively.  Resenting her for being burdensome, and having caused issues for myself and my husband.  Recalling back in December when we moved here to NYC having to focus more on getting her moved in and settled than our own selves – how this rushing was not something I was aware of then – but looking back oh how much rushing! Instead of easing into our own move into NYC as a married couple, throwing everything to the side to help my sister.

    I  believe my response was good.  To the point, not mean or rude, but also direct.  So as if to say, sorry no my own health and relationship is the first priority, but if and when I have mental space I can socialize with others, including you.

    She is supportive of this as she understands what my needs are.  Yet it is always up to our own self to continue to assess our sometimes ever changing needs.

    This made me think of something just now.

    My last patient was a young healthy woman.  She denied any medical problems including anxiety.  It is uncommon for patients especially in the socio-economic circle of the practice I am in, and in NYC to deny having anxiety.  Often if they do, it is because they are unaware they have it, or simply don’t feel they are anxious.  Yet, there are some people who do not feel daily baseline anxiety.  Which is excellent for them.

    This woman would fall into the latter, I could tell, well based on meeting her for a small amount of time that is a very broad judgement I know – but for conversation sake let’s go with it.

    It made me think about how for me, how anxiety is SO much dependent on my interaction with others.  Yet, if you put me in a hole far away without this interaction – it is not like it will all go away.  My brain has been wired a certain way of course due to mother trauma.

    Yet, I thought about it.  IT all goes back to rushing.  It reminded me how you mentioned last week, sitting in a recliner, typing away, yet you still rushed a few times.  As rushing starts in the brain before action.

    So no matter what it is – for me it goes back to rushing.  It’s just that interaction with others makes that even worse potentially if the individual is triggering, or in the case of my sister brings me to this patterned role I had with my mother.  In these scenarios the neurons are amped up even more ready to fire, and so rushing is overlooked.  It is when rushing is overlooked that it is even more detrimental.

    #307661

    Cali Chica
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Yes, I agree and am also impressed that she does not burden me with her anxiety or uneasiness any longer.  But as you said, it is enough to trigger me of course.

    You pinpointed in your point EXACTLY why I am triggered, starting from a far.

    And also, her taking back as she is used to me responding aggressively.  Resenting her for being burdensome, and having caused issues for myself and my husband.  Recalling back in December when we moved here to NYC having to focus more on getting her moved in and settled than our own selves – how this rushing was not something I was aware of then – but looking back oh how much rushing! Instead of easing into our own move into NYC as a married couple, throwing everything to the side to help my sister.

    I  believe my response was good.  To the point, not mean or rude, but also direct.  So as if to say, sorry no my own health and relationship is the first priority, but if and when I have mental space I can socialize with others, including you.

    She is supportive of this as she understands what my needs are.  Yet it is always up to our own self to continue to assess our sometimes ever changing needs.

    This made me think of something just now.

    My last patient was a young healthy woman.  She denied any medical problems including anxiety.  It is uncommon for patients especially in the socio-economic circle of the practice I am in, and in NYC to deny having anxiety.  Often if they do, it is because they are unaware they have it, or simply don’t feel they are anxious.  Yet, there are some people who do not feel daily baseline anxiety.  Which is excellent for them.

    This woman would fall into the latter, I could tell, well based on meeting her for a small amount of time that is a very broad judgement I know – but for conversation sake let’s go with it.

    It made me think about how for me, how anxiety is SO much dependent on my interaction with others.  Yet, if you put me in a hole far away without this interaction – it is not like it will all go away.  My brain has been wired a certain way of course due to mother trauma.

    Yet, I thought about it.  IT all goes back to rushing.  It reminded me how you mentioned last week, sitting in a recliner, typing away, yet you still rushed a few times.  As rushing starts in the brain before action.

    So no matter what it is – for me it goes back to rushing.  It’s just that interaction with others makes that even worse potentially if the individual is triggering, or in the case of my sister brings me to this patterned role I had with my mother.  In these scenarios the neurons are amped up even more ready to fire, and so rushing is overlooked.  It is when rushing is overlooked that it is even more detrimental.

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