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    Dear Cali Chica:

    Your father is part of the two toxic parents unit-“look at you, never able to slow down”- not seeing his wife doing the chasing of his little girl???

    Not seeing what was going on for so very long (and still not) and blaming you for what his wife is guilty of- makes him very much a toxic, or abusive father.


    Cali Chica

    Yes, it does – indeed.

    Now,  I will reply to your email.

    Cali Chica

    Dear Anita,

    Good morning.  I know that you have yet to read my email and reply, you can choose to reply wherever.

    I read this quote this morning:

    “For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks; the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.”

    As  I say often, most quotes tend to be generic, and over arching themes to me – but, every once in a while I come across one that I feel really hits home.

    I thought about how for me, right now, my largest goal is to learn how to be a supportive, loving wife.  In an authentic, true way.  A way in which decreases hostility, increases vulnerability, and focuses on the task at hand without too much wavering.

    When I read the above statement,  I thought about how there have been so many things in my life starting from a young age in which I trained.  I have always been a good student.  Whether it was dance, school, residency.  Yet, during the actual “training” itself there were many ups and downs.  In the beginning, not knowing if it is the right path for me, the discomfort outweighing any reward, no end in sight.  Feelings of hopelessness, lack of confidence, comparison of myself to others – so many different waves.

    And yet, looking back I can say I was a good trainee in many aspects of my life, a fast learner, and a passionate soul.

    Perhaps this is the biggest work of all.  You mentioned from an early stage – way before I was able to understand, that the focus of myself should be my husband.

    You mentioned it in many different ways.  You spoke about objective reasons:

    My husband helps financially, he is someone I can depend on.  He is a partner to go through life with that can help support me.

    You mentioned it in emotional ways.

    He is my supporter, and as you say – Healing must happen in the context of good relationships, loving relationships – well here I have one.  Right in front of me, go and cultivate it!

    All in all you made it a point, that the rest is secondary, he is number one.

    Interesting how this seemed so foreign to me, a newly married person, who had been in many relationships in my life.  But not so ironic when I looked at how my roles and responsibilities panned out.

    I was entirely enveloped in making sure my mother – and to a large extent my sister -were okay.  Being there for them for support, entertainment, everything.  Now of course my sister was definitely supportive to me in many ways later in life.  But arguably I was the primary “head honcho” when it came to this.

    This sort of thing is still very much ingrained in me, and I believe that you see this in me as well.


    My sister recently went no contact with my parents.  I do not know the full details, as she has respected the fact that this would be triggering to me.  She had great support from 2 friends, her therapist, and I assume some conversations with you as well.

    I notice that regardless of her reaching out to me for support directly, no cries for help – it is of course still triggering.  I notice she feels this sense of being alone.  of course, as unlike me she is younger and not in a serious loving relationship with a reliable supportive partner to depend on.  Or like someone like yourself.  I am not comparing us.

    She has a good group of friends here, and I know she appreciates them.  I know a short amount of time ago, she was annoyed with the group – I mentioned the story to you, the one girl who tends to not do well under the influence of alcohol, acting out and such – not uncommon in 24 year old girls, etc.  And then when you and discussed the scenario you brought the light to me that everyone is human, yes everyone has flaws – and it is that they are magnified in my sister and my head.

    I hope my sister learns to look past these things, as she does not have the liberty to be critical of friends.  She has only recently started to make a strong friend circle, and that is huge.  So that scenario I  brought up to you, the girl who they wanted to have an intervention for, the one that acts out etc, and the intervention didn’t happen.  Well THAT girl was the person who was there with my sister on the day she decided to go no contact, there by her side the whole time, supportive, went with her to do all she needed to do, and took her to dinner.


    She is a great friend, I am glad for my sister.

    And most of all, and of course I know this is in confidence – I can not be her primary source of support.  My husband is incredible, he talked to her for a while on Oct 3 when she went no contact, and I was not involved in this.  He knows my sister is in a vulnerable time and wants to be there for her.

    I am glad for this, but I did instantly feel bad – I don’t know much but I know my husband was there for her.  I felt instant pang of tenderness for my husband, not wanting to add anything more on his plate.  I am not saying I am angry or resentful, my sister made a huge decision, she did not rely on me to help her do it – she acted strong and independent.

    But, in reality – I don’t want my husband to be given any more stress than we already have.  I don’t want to take attention away from him at all, and worry about her in any way.  I know that sounds selfish – but it is what I need.  It is that consistency that will help my husband and I grow stronger.

    I did have a good weekend with her and my husband celebrating my birthday, I do not mean to put her down at all – I just know that I do need to protect my spirit for in the future I find my attention from the true inner circle wavers.


    Dear Cali Chica:

    Good Morning! I will answer this post, and shortly after I will read and reply to the email from yesterday.

    “my largest goal is to learn how to be a supportive, loving wife. In an authentic, true way. A way in which decreases hostility, increases vulnerability, and focuses on the task at hand without too much wavering”- reads excellent to me, worthy of retyping.

    I like your description of yourself: “a fast learner, and a passionate soul”- that passionate soul is what I noticed first in the first photo I saw of you, the one you took in the subway- evident in your eyes.

    You listed the reasons that your husband should be your focus (inner circle: you-and-husband), and my favorite: “Healing must happen in the context of good relationships, loving relationships- well here I have one. Right in front of me, go cultivate it!”

    “I was entirely enveloped in making sure my mother- and to a large extent my sister- were okay”- your family role, one to be left in the past (regarding your sister).

    I am glad you brought up your sister and shared all that you did. Ever since her NC, Oct 3, I’ve been keeping the computer on into the evening, so to read from her if she posts, and I let her know of that and when I am away from the computer, I let her know for how long.  Also, when I see her name under the list of Topics I read and answer her first (except if you post at times- I answer you first, but may answer her first).

    I am very supportive of her and will continue- she knows that she can post to me anytime and I will read and reply to her as often as she does. I will continue to do so through the time that you and your husband move and settle elsewhere, and afterwards- for as long as she is in NC with her parents (if she contacts them I will still reply to her but not urgently). I hope this gives you some comfort. She has so far responded very well to me and I genuinely like her very much.

    Regarding my understanding of your sister: a long time ago, after I no longer communicated with her (June 2018 on her old thread), I realized that I was wrong about her, that I misunderstood her, having inaccurately projected my mother into her, thinking that your sister was histrionic and manipulative.

    I was wrong. As you shared about her after June 2018, different scenarios, I realized I was wrong and thought about posting an apology to her on her old thread, but felt uncomfortable, embarrassed and didn’t even know if she would have welcomed a post/ an apology from me. I finally did apologize to her most recently.

    What a relief to know that she is not histrionic, just like you wrote in your most recent post: “she has respected the fact that this would be triggering to me”, there were many indications that she is not in what you shared over months and longer. A random example- you met her at Central Park and she expressed to you that you and her should meet there more often, you were triggered and she responded in a way that was meant to make you feel better, letting you  know she is not expecting to meet you there often. There are other examples where it is clear that she has been trying hard to deal with her own distress without burdening you. Not a histrionic trait- the opposite of histrionic. Really she is honest and kind, genuine, a very good person.

    I can give you more details about what caused me to inaccurately project into her what is not true to her, if you ask.   But I will leave it as is for now.

    As I re-read her posts in her old thread it became clear to me that you too inaccurately projected what is not true. It is your mother that instilled in you the idea/ role that you have to take care of her, to get her to be social and so forth. Your care-taker family role was given to you by your mother, not by your sister.

    Cali sister genuinely wants you to be okay, to not be distressed by her, and good thing she can make it without your close support (or monitoring). On your part, watch that roar so it is not expressed against her. Always remove yourself from an interaction with her (take a time out) when you feel triggered.

    Again, for as long as cali sister is in NC, she is my highest priority here on tb. I don’t mind if you gave her my email address although I spend way more time here than there.



    Cali Chica

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making my sister such a priority.  I do agree that I saw her differently just a few months ago, but in fact she has grown tremendously.  Not to say she was histrionic ever, or a bad person – no far from it, but much more lost and un-grounded.  She has really found her way in NYC, with a great job with responsibilities that are even above the level of her age – handling that very well.  She has finally found comfort in a good group of friends.

    I guess It is up to me to make it a priority for me to “help” her – and she does not need my instant help.  She is fine.   I am lucky enough to have a husband who considers her his own family, my in laws were so glad to include her in our birthday plans on Sunday – we went to a Broadway show.  And as always she is welcome to all family events, Thanksgiving coming up.  They truly care about her wellbeing as well.

    I will say this, and the only reason I know this is because I saw my husband’s demeanor change. Here it is…

    My parents called my in laws the day before my birthday, Sunday.  They acted very nice and asked my in laws to wish me a happy birthday, to which they responded “oh we will if and when we see her, we won’t be seeing her soon.” A generic committed response.  My parents then made some random vague comments about my sister, that I do not know details about.

    My mother in law then asked my husband if my sister is still in contact with my parents, to which he replied, no in fact, it has been a few days.  My MIL then responded – oh okay that makes sense then.  This was not brought up at all to me or my sister.

    Now the only reason I know this is because my husband walked out of the apartment to walk them to their car, my sister and I stayed back with the dogs.  He spent about 15 minutes outside by the car, and  I wondered if anything was wrong.  Then I got the sense that my parents had called his, and they were discussing this.  Of course as this used to happen so much, my mother immediately calling my in laws and blasting them or acting innocent and trying to find information.  Of course.

    When he returned he seemed fine but slightly stressed, he mentioned nothing – my sister and I were there, and we all continued to sit and talk normally for a bit, and then the evening came to an end – Sunday.

    So yesterday during my birthday dinner with him,  I brought it up – I asked, did my parents call yours? I have a feeling they did –and he said no don’t worry, and I pushed and asked again- perhaps I shouldn’t have, doesn’t matter now.  And he told me the above.

    I instantly felt triggered, and instantly felt bad that my husband and in laws are being bothered by this.  He said it is fine and inevitable, and that his parents know how to handle it well.  I said for his parents to block the numbers – he said they won’t yet as it hasn’t been bad, but if and when in the future if things happen to escalate and my parents lose it and harass them – they would.  He told me to rest assured that it is all under control.  I asked him if he finds the whole thing stressful.  He states he doesn’t and understands it, we continued to talk and the gist of it is that he wants to make sure I don’t get too triggered or upset, as that will directly effect him as well and we will go back to a few months and a year ago when I was not making my calmness a priority – which you know.

    I guess I did feel triggered, of course.  The rest of the dinner feeling not centered for me.  No fault of my sisters.

    My  husband said something so simple that made sense: it is what it is, it’s family we are all there for each other and supportive – there are gonna be more and less stressful times.  This is true, but I felt everly so slightly annoyed that as soon as my husband and I are on the right path and moving in the right direction FINALLY with progress on my end, there is another curve ball.  NO fault of my sisters, of course my parents – she went no contact to protect herself, she didn’t bring harm – it is them.

    I will respect this time for my sister, being acutely in need, and feeling vulnerable, scared, possibly alone.  I respect this.

    I will also learn to know myself, better than ever perhaps – and develop the fine tuning that is needed to be both there for someone close to myself, but also shielded enough so that I am not overly re-triggered myself.  That will be a work in progress.

    I know that it is a huge relief and help, and immensely appreciated by all of us that of course we have your support.

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by Cali Chica.
    Cali Chica

    Dear Anita,

    I just read your email reply, and after you read above, and respond to what you like I wanted to let you know:

    ‘…they told us every person out there is bad and will hurt us.’- I want to take this part to tiny buddha and develop it there, if and when you are ready, let me know (here or in a post in tb).

    That you can elaborate on this here..

    And especially

    I think there is a way to speed up the process perhaps (don’t know much about what I just wrote, to be continued on tb if you want)

    I wonder what you will say about this, and what it will continue into for our conversation.


    Dear Cali Chica:

    Regarding the first of the two recent posts:

    – your sister needs you (in the package of you-your husband-his parents/family) as Family. This is what you are to her, in that package- her family. She doesn’t need you as her Savior. Divorce yourself from that role, simply be.. family, what family is supposed to be, comforting. You are not her therapist, not her rescuer and such efforts only hurt her and you.

    -regarding your husband and his parents- what nice people they are, really! In great contrast to your parents whose very mention make me gag, mentally. Don’t like them. (My goodness, there is hail pouring out of the sky as I type this, and hard!)- Yes, I do not like either one of them. They did nothing but harm you and your sister. If I was on a jury and they were in trial for the pain they brought to the two of you, I’d have them sell that house and all belongings that they don’t have to have, live in a small apartment and I will award all their money to the two of you.

    Regarding your recent post:

    1. You wrote in the email to me: “the ROAR.. is much deeper than feeling angry.. where does it come from? Why is it always there, in moments of good or bad?.. they told us every person out there is bad and will hurt us”-

    – I know there is something here to look more into, sure of it. So let’s refer to this topic as ROAR as we proceed.

    2. I wrote to you in the email: “I think there is a way to  speed up the process”- I know there is. There is no reason for you to go as slow as I did. I learned a thing or two about the process and there has to be a way to speed it up- not to rush, mind you, but to be more focused and efficient. Let’s refer to this topic as .. you choose a name.



    Cali Chica

    Dear Anita,

    Great! It looks like we have our “work” cut out for us today! I am excited.

    First, you are right – family – yes, savior -no.  I will keep this in mind in all of my interactions with her. It is a must to keep this in mind for the good of myself, my husband, and most of all – her.

    And yes, my in laws are a dream – I am very fortunate to have them, and so is my sister now too – as they extend their love and support and are extremely judgement free.

    1- ROAR


    short for acceleration, but a less abrasive or intense word – accel to me sounds like a fancy tech company, where people work efficiently and productively and move forward.

    Cali Chica

    Dear Anita,

    I have a small gap of time so  I wanted to start brainstorming our topics.  I will start with 1, as I asked those rhetoric questions.  I will let you read this, reply as you wish, and take the lead on 2.

    1-the ROAR.. is much deeper than feeling angry.. where does it come from? Why is it always there, in moments of good or bad?.. they told us every person out there is bad and will hurt us”

    The Roar is deep, you taught me this.  I observed this after the fact, and confirmed this. It is much deeper than I even know.  The depth can be mysterious and unpredictable as well.

    Why is it always there? As we learned last week, there is baseline hostility.  Our mothers told us the world is a bad place, and that others will hurt us.  In my case my mother said this, but also put the pressure of go out there and seek others relentlessly.  Part of the roar is the conflicting message.  It is knowing deep down, even in a child brain that something doesn’t feel right, that you don’t necessarily want to get up and get on the phone and call a friend over, but you “should” as that will be “fun.”  A roar begins to build from this in-authenticity.  Going against natural cues.  Soon enough natural cues are so suppressed it is as though they do not exist.  Which goes to the concept of ROAR is that loss of that primitive human self power.

    It is there in moments good and bad, because it was all blurred together.  Good moment? Just got engaged, fiance threw a huge party – my mom throws a fit and focuses on the one person missing and terrorizes me more than my entire life for the ensuing days after. Is it good anymore? nope.  Is it bad now? I dunno…

    How confusing.  Good and bad always intermixed, in fact there wasn’t much good at all with a mother like this.  She had a way of robbing joy of anything.  And then chasing – as the analogy of yesterday – around and saying why are you running away why are you not happy? Double whammy.  Being forced to “be happy” while being terrorized.  Impossible.

    So as life changes, and perhaps there are more delineated moments that are actually good, or actually bad – there is no differentiation.  There is no sigh of relief, of ahh that was nice.  There is no extra anxiety even sometimes when something is bad – as the baseline was already so high! A baseline terror, a baseline unease, baseline discomfort.  Omnipresent, through all the trials and tribulations.  Which makes it even harder to trust “natural cues” that become even more and more further suppressed, or invisible even.


    Dear Cali Chica:

    Lets focus on ROAR (shortened at times to  “R”) for a while and start on Accel later, maybe tomorrow.

    As I read your brainstorming the topic of R, above, it became clear to me that in the core of R is something much more primitive, something prior to language, to words and all these thoughts you expressed above and before.

    You probably know the feeling- you bump into  something or someone, and you hurt your head or your foot- feel the physical pain and immediately you feel angry, know that experience?

    There are no words involved between the physical pain and the anger. Pain-> anger.

    My mother too told me a whole lot about how bad people are, a whole… lot. But the pain I personally experienced in those formative years was not any pain those other people caused me, but the pain my mother caused me.

    The pain that your mother caused you, that was very personal, because she was everything to that young girl that you were. Key to untying the knots of ROAR, weakening it to a roar is in that very personal experience of the young girl CC with her mother, her mother causing CC pain, in a very personal way, or ways.


    Cali Chica

    Dear Anita,

    You stated:

    Key to untying the knots of ROAR, weakening it to a roar is in that very personal experience of the young girl CC with her mother, her mother causing CC pain, in a very personal way, or ways

    If and when you have time, I would like you to elaborate on this – as I am not sure I fully understand.  I sense that it is going back to that young CC and addressing her experience as it was back then…


    Dear Cali Chica:

    The following is my train of thoughts, stream of consciousness, I don’t have a destination in mind as I type the following:

    Something about you being your mother’s soldier, her hero, her super child, SCC, her golden child, her pride, or supposed pride, her Promise, the dancer in events, make her proud, her social butterfly, make her proud-

    – all those efforts, for what?

    Maybe what I am going for is.. were you really her hero, her super child, her golden child or were you  only imagining that you were those things, building these images around things she said, things she said but didn’t mean?

    Did she make you believe you were all those wonderful things to her but you weren’t really those things to her?


    Cali Chica

    Dear Anita,

    Stream of consciousness for me as well.

    okay so the roar has deep roots into childhood, way before true anger and emotions developed, like that anger we get when we feel instantly annoyed and frustrated for touching a hot pan….oh **** people say instantly.

    yes, dancing monkey, prize to show off, daughter to push down, free therapy ear, someone to berate and make herself feel more worthy, someone to put on a pedestal to make herself feel more worthy, someone to emotionally kick down and build up at a whim…

    So was I really her super child, golden child, etc etc…

    Well, if it is true, what the conclusion is from your end, my mother – our mothers, that they never did love each other…then would it be that she never also valued me?

    i think of it as a search in vain, seeking seeking climbing grasping, but having a hollow shell – no substance – but seeking your hand out to grasp…grasp anything in sight…saying “help me lift me, oh no you can’t do it no you can’t – you are useless!!!”

    pretty much a crazy person who grasps at the air blindly and thinks in circles, looking for a way “out” but never allowing any true help or concern, having no true value for anyone – but their ownselves

    Cali Chica

    Didn’t reflect

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by Cali Chica.

    Dear Cali Chica:

    This is it: “she never also valued me”- this is the pain. To not be valued by one’s mother.

    This is the pain that feeds the ROAR.

    For me, it does. After I posted you last I went back to me, to what is in the core of my rage, my hostility- and this is it. To not be valued by the person I most valued.


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