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Viewing 6 posts - 16 through 21 (of 21 total)
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  • #409527
    Neera
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    My partner and I finally moved out. We were suppose to earlier but there were a lot of issues with the house which kept delaying the move but it has finally happened. And during all this, there was a lot of moving, unpacking, and settling that needed to be done. But unfortunately, a few days before the move, there was a big fight with my family, well mostly between my dad and I. I will continue to explain but first will address your reply.

    Yes, the points you mentioned about my mother’s nature has put many questions in my mind. It is sad for me to sometimes acknowledge the truth because I want to believe there is still good left in our relationship but it has slowly diminished. It is only good when interactions are less, and it causes me a lot of pain but at this point, there is not much else I can do. And I feel to keep the relationship of what we still have somewhat alive, I must move forward and maintain boundaries. This is a lot easier said than done.

    I do still think my family loves me, but perhaps the way they have shown me love over the past years has not been in the best of my interest. I know for a large part it is all unintentional and they still live in their bubble of what they did was best, but I have to believe that there is still love there, just not the way I would want it to be. For example, they have always financially provided me with the best, but in other aspects, my mental health has greatly suffered.

    I also feel I am always the person that ends up being the easy one for my parents to argue with and hold a grudge against. For example, the most recent fight, did not involve me, but because I stood up for an important household member, I was the one at the end being blamed for. And now my dad has been holding an attitude with me, and wants me to apologize, when I truly feel I did nothing wrong. I. have apologized many times in the past to keep things peaceful at home, and within myself, but this time I cannot apologize for standing my ground against aggression. I cannot tolerate such things.

    It bothers me less now that my partner and I have moved out, we are starting a new chapter and things between us are starting to return to normal (the happy us). And I feel so loved because of him everyday.

    But there are still moments in the day where I feel very sad. Sad because I want to have a good relationship with my parents, but feeling tired and hopeless because I do not know how to continue. I feel I always get the short end of the stick with them. They will all sort it out between themselves, and then just blame me until I apologize. It really mentally affects me and I am trying to move past it. And their behavior sometimes makes me feel as if I am wrong, and unworthy, and undeserving of love. This is where therapy, I hope, will be helpful. I am slowly settling into a routine, and then I will start therapy.

    I hope all is well with you, Anita.

    Love,

    Neera

    #409529
    Neera
    Participant

    Dear Tee,

    Yes, I would tell my mother from a very young age to become more independent. To seek professional guidance/support. To leave my dad because it was mentally affecting the entire family. I would provide resources, and seek other family members for her support. But she never could. She always says its because of my sister and I that she stayed but now that we are much older, much more independent, and she still chooses to stay, I am not sure I believe her when she said it was for us. Maybe at some point it was, but when you see it does more damage to the household than good, it’s time to leave.

    The change in dynamic happened very recently. Mostly because my mom has really learned what things not to discuss with my dad, and my dad has somewhat gotten better in terms of being less angry. Fights still occur but not nearly as often. I feel they have gotten much better at walking on eggshells around one another.

    My partner has been a blessing for me. Our time together makes me very happy, and I hope as more time passes, the sadness I feel because of my relationship with my parents will become less.

    I hope you are doing well, Tee. Thank you again and hope to hear from you soon 🙂

    Love,

    Neera

     

    #409531
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Neera,

    it’s a pleasure to hear from you again! I am glad that you’ve finally moved out from your parents’ place into your new home. Congratulations!! And also, that the relationship with your boyfriend is good again, without the tensions you’ve experienced at your parents’ house.

    She always says its because of my sister and I that she stayed but now that we are much older, much more independent, and she still chooses to stay, I am not sure I believe her when she said it was for us.

    Most likely it wasn’t for you and your sister. And the proof indeed is that she chose to stay for all these years, whereas the relationship between your parents improved (at least on the surface) only recently, as you say.

    I think you’re right when you say that they got better at not triggering each other, i.e. walking on eggshells around each other. In order to maintain a semblance of “harmony” in a dysfunctional relationship, one needs to accept certain rules of the game. I think what also keeps them “united” is that they both blame you. Projecting blame on you, scapegoating you, enables them to wash off the responsibility from themselves and keep the status quo.

    It seems your father shows loyalty to your mother by taking her side in conflicts, blaming you for everything, and expecting you to take the blame and apologize to your mother. This is how he shows his “love” and “support” for your mother. I think this is a part of how their dysfunctional relationship is still surviving.

    In fact, it seems this has been happening a lot in the past: you bowed down and took the blame, so there could be “peace” at home:

    I have apologized many times in the past to keep things peaceful at home, and within myself

    Your parents would coerce you into apologizing and taking the blame, even though your mother was verbally and emotionally abusing you. You said that whenever you tried to talk to her and point out at some things, she refused all your arguments and would attack you by name calling, swearing, yelling… After each argument, she would give you silent treatment. It was her who felt “wronged” and “harmed” by you. You were the villain, and she was the victim.

    Your father took her side, and insisted that indeed, you were the villain and she was victim, and that you should apologize. So not only did you suffer abuse by your mother, but also by your father, who took her side. They both coerced you into submission, and they wouldn’t rest until you gave in. Because after each argument, your mother was giving you silent treatment (which is a form of emotional abuse), whereas your father was pressuring you to apologize. So, covert coercion by your mother, and overt coercion by your father.

    You of course couldn’t bear to live under such pressure – with both parents emotionally blackmailing you – and you gave in. You alone couldn’t go against both of them, specially because you doubted yourself too. A part of you believed (and still believes) that they are right: their behavior sometimes makes me feel as if I am wrong, and unworthy, and undeserving of love.

    You said each such argument caused you terrible anxiety. And no wonder, because it was both of your parents riling up against you. In order to keep peace at home and peace “within yourself”, you gave in to their coercion. You took the blame and apologized… and then things went to normal for a while… until the next time you tried to question your mother.

    This time I cannot apologize for standing my ground against aggression. I cannot tolerate such things.

    Good! You were exposed to both of your parents’ aggression all of your childhood and youth. It’s great that you’ve started seeing it for what it is, and that you refuse to bow down and apologize for something that is absolutely not your fault.

    You don’t need to accept their verbal and emotional aggression any more. You don’t need to take the blame and apologize for standing up for yourself (or other family members whom they choose to attack).

    There are still moments in the day where I feel very sad. Sad because I want to have a good relationship with my parents, but feeling tired and hopeless because I do not know how to continue.

    I understand your sadness… we as children always want a good relationship with our parents, we crave for their love and support, we crave to bond with them….

    But what if the reality is different? What if you cannot have a good relationship with your parents? Because so far, the only way to have a semblance of a “normal” relationship with them was to shut up, take the blame and admit that you are wrong. If you refuse to do that any more, I think only a very superficial relationship is possible, because they don’t show any willingness to change.

     

    #409541
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Neera:

    Good to read back from you, congrats for finally moving out of your parents’ home and for your relationship with your partner improving as a result!

    I want to have a good relationship with my parents, but feeling tired and hopeless… I always get the short end of the stick with them. They will all sort it out between themselves, and then just blame me until I apologize“- you care too much about having a good relationship with your parents while they don’t care much to have a good relationship with you, this is why you try hard, only to get the short end of the stick. Ongoing unreciprocated love is very tiring.

    Talking about love: “I do still think my family loves me, but perhaps the way they have shown me love over the past years has not been in the best of my interest“- inherent to the nature of love is to operate in the best interest of the loved-one.

    I know for a large part it is all unintentional“- inherent to the nature of love is to intend to operate in the best interest of the loved-one

    they still live in their bubble of what they did was best“- to believe that they didn’t do their best and that they should do better is the difficult path. The easy one is to… not think about it.

    “But I have to believe that there is still love there”- a child has to believe that his/ her parents love her. It is too anxiety-provoking to believe otherwise because it’d instinctively mean that the child will not be fed/ protected, and therefore die. As an adult, if you are able to physically feed and protect yourself, believing that your parents do not love you is possible, although difficult.

    * I am sure that your parents felt affection for you at times, particularly when you were a baby. But love is more than occasional bouts of affection.

    I have to believe that there is still love there, just not the way I would want it to be. For example, they have always financially provided me with the best, but in other aspects, my mental health has greatly suffered“-  unlike a turtle hatchling, a human child needs more than his/ her physical needs (food, shelter, medicine, toys, etc.)  met: social-emotional needs like the need to feel worthy within the family (the first social group) are necessary for emotional and physical health. This is true to puppies and to other social animals: a puppy without love and touch is… a very sick puppy.

    I have apologized many times in the past to keep things peaceful at home, and within myself, but this time I cannot apologize for standing my ground against aggression“- congratulations for standing up for a good principle (being against aggression), instead of submitting to your parents and obeying them no matter what they say and do.

    Their behavior sometimes makes me feel as if I am wrong, and unworthy, and undeserving of love“- stick to doing right by your principles, such as your stand against (unnecessary) aggression, and you will support your sense of worth/ deserving of love. (There is a saying in some support groups: principles, not personalities)!

    My experience: it took me a long time to finally believe that my mother did not (and does not) love me. There were occasional bouts of affection but that wasn’t love. How do I know? Her words and actions expressed hate, not love. I used to be very confused because she worked very hard and bought me the best of everything: favorite foods, clothes, toys, etc. And when I was sick, she took care of me, but she also shamed me for hours at a time, calling me “a big zero, a big nothing” etc., etc., loud hateful voice. As a result of her treatment, I developed facial and vocal tics that were quite extreme, and yet, she had no mercy for me.  Love doesn’t do that!  What motivated her to buy me the best of toys etc.,.. guilt perhaps, taking breaks from hate.

    I mentioned puppies earlier, think of a human owner of a puppy who feeds the puppy well, best puppy food available and toys too, but every week or so, the owner beats the puppy up, causing it to bleed and hurt for hours and days at a time. While the puppy recovers from his injuries, there’s the special treats and a new toy. Is this love? Is the owner taking breaks from love when he beats the puppy, or does he take breaks from hate when he feeds the puppy…?

    anita

     

    #409823
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Neera:

    I did see my mom as a victim growing up. And the more I learned about domestic violence in school, the more I wanted to free her… I would tell my mother from a very young age to become more independent. To seek professional guidance/support. To leave my dad… I would provide resources, and seek other family members for her support. But she… always says it’s because of my sister and I that she stayed“-

    – she preferred to not be free of her marriage because she perceived ending her marriage and becoming independent as being much more difficult and therefore, undesirable,  than staying in the marriage. She excused her reluctance to free herself by suggesting that she was such a good mother that she sacrificed her freedom for her daughters. But she didn’t sacrifice her freedom: she didn’t want her freedom.

    You, on the other hand, really want your freedom (freedom from their fights, from your mother’s arguments.. and from the anxiety and emotional turmoil that you experience as a result), don’t you?

    anita

    #409896
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Neera:

    I understand that you may not be reading this, nonetheless I am submitting another post because it helps me understand life better when I re-read what an OP shares, looking for some new understanding. If you are reading, I figure it may or may not help you, but it will not hurt you, so here it goes:

    1) About Love: “I have a loving family…  I genuinely believe I have the most caring family… I drew a boundary with my mom and her abusive tone with me, which also involved swear words and yelling. After asking her repeatedly to talk with me more calmly, and to NOT name call, it does not work“- Love and Abuse cannot co-exist, it is one or the other. Sometimes there are no grey areas, and this is one of these times. What by themselves may be loving acts (ex., preparing your favorite meal for your enjoyment), when combined with abuse, these otherwise loving acts lose their loving content. All these acts leave you (the recipient of these acts) with- following a temporarily pleasant feeling perhaps-  is confusion and maybe guilt for supposedly being angry with whom appears to be, by this or that act.. a loving person, a loving mother.

    2) The Proof is in the Pudding: “My mind is constantly running and assuming the worst. I feel stuck. I feel helpless. I want to escape my mind and silence my thoughts but it’s as if my body is frozen, I do not have control“- these are not the results of being loved: a loved person does not want to escape her mind; a loved person feels in reasonable control of her thoughts and feelings.

    3) Anger in-motion: “The fights are now much less between the two of them but now it has gravitated towards my mom and I have major disagreements and arguments“- a way to think of the word emotion, is energy-in motion (e-motion). Anger is very much energy in motion, it has to move: if your mother’s anger is blocked from reaching your father, it will move toward you, and unblocked, it will reach you.

    4) More about Anger in-motion: “A lot of the arguments use to be around me sometimes comparing how she raised my younger sister in contrast to me. For example, they allow her more freedom as growing up since she has always been the rebellious one. She (mother) never gets as angry at her (younger sister)”- perhaps your younger sister’s rebellion blocked your mother’s anger (your mother’s anger turned away by your sister’s anger) and toward you, the sister who, at least for a long time, looked up to her mother as an idol (“Growing up, my mom was my idol”).

    5) About the Grudge: “It seems anything I say that remotely is different from what she wants causes a HUGE argument, and gives me terrible anxiety, followed by silent treatment from her… I really do not know what I do that causes severe reactions–the words she says are so hurtful… these bursts of aggression happen over the slightest reason…  she has some strange grudge against me“- your mother felt unloved since she was a child, and it may be that because you loved your mother so much (“I love them so much… I tried to be the partner for her that she needed, trying to be perfect”) , your very love for her triggers her anger. It is like giving a starving person a healthy amount of food: it doesn’t feel like enough, and the starving person gets angry: This is Not Enough! Give me More!!! 

    6) About What she Wants: “I would tell my mother from a very young age to become more independent. To seek professional guidance/support. To leave my dad because it was mentally affecting the entire family. I would provide resources“- in her mind and heart, she is still a dependent, angry, petulant child who is not ready to grow up and become independent and free: not before she gets to have the childhood she needed but did not get.

    anita

Viewing 6 posts - 16 through 21 (of 21 total)

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