Can't Believe I've Landed Here

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pizzap66

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Can't Believe I've Landed Here
« on: April 19, 2017, 12:31:31 PM »
Hello!

After an experience my daughter had over the weekend with my mom, I realize my mom is a narcissist and she has been using forms of gaslighting all my life.  I'm now 50 and my daughter is 21.

 After this particular incident, I did some research because it was nagging at me....the term gaslighting was something I came across last year, but I put it out of my mind. Now I realize I was a victim and my daughter has been one too.  I've been reading tons of stuff for the past 2 days (mentally exhausting yet liberating at the same time). I'm struggling a little.  It's good to know that I haven't imagined everything that's happened to me over the years, but at the same time I still feel guilt for the difficult relationship I have with her, for hating when I see her name come up on Caller ID, for scorning all those "I have a great mother" memes, for often thinking that when she dies, I won't know what to say about her at the funeral.  I suppose this all makes some sense, but I'm not coming to terms with it just yet.  Monday I realized what was going on, yesterday I read up on all that I could and jotted down the sudden flow of memories that have resurfaced, and today I'm feeling sad and yet relieved at the same time.  My daughter feels bad because she now thinks I'm suddenly suffering some form of PTSD over it.  I don't know. Maybe she's right.  Anyway, thanks to all of you who are here. I think this board is going to be a tremendous help.

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coyote

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Re: Can't Believe I've Landed Here
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2017, 12:41:10 PM »
Welcome to OOTF pizza,
You will find a lot of folks here with similar stories. The Toolbox is good for skills on dealing with mom and any other PDs in your life. You will find this a supportive and nonjudgmental community. Once again welcome and wishing you peace and strength in your journey.
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.

 Wayne Dyer

The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?

Capt. Jack Sparrow

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Menopause Barbie

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Re: Can't Believe I've Landed Here
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2017, 12:59:50 PM »
Wow, pizzap66, so much of what you wrote sounds familiar! I, like you, was in total disbelief when my relationship with my mother lay in shambles at my feet. I never would have predicted that we would go 2 days in a row without talking on the phone, let alone more than 2 years of no contact. We were "so close" (translation=enmeshed) and had been each other's emotional support since I was a little, little girl (translation=parentification and control).

So what happened? Oh, my story is all over this forum, but the part that is relevant is that, like you, my mother and I "broke up" over her treatment of my young adult daughter, NOT her treatment of me. She could do whatever she wanted to me and I would assume it was either (a) my fault or (b) not her fault--so it always worked out for my mother! Then she started using her Waif Borderline University graduate techniques on my daughter: playing the victim, guilt tripping, backstabbing, gossiping, arguing in endless circles of  poor logic and tears. Suddenly, my eyes were opened. I could finally see my mother's true nature, but only when I had the perspective of an observer, watching her try to manipulate my daughter. (Who, by the way, wasn't having it!!  :no_shake: --Good girl!)

I think there is something magical about hitting 50 for women. I just wrote about this yesterday but I'm afraid if I go looking for my post, this one will disappear! (Me and computers  ::) ) I know for myself, as you can surmise by my screen name, coming up on the menopause years just made something in me change. I got tired of playing along with all the PD games and just felt the need to look these people in the eye and say, "You know, the emperor has no clothes." I didn't want to play along anymore. I read a book once, called The Female Brain, I think, and the author attributes mid-life hormonal changes with a restructuring of a woman's priorities. #1 thing is no longer keeping stability at all costs, because our children are grown, and we become willing to take the risk of rocking the boat and declaring our truth.

Of course, as you are undoubtedly discovering, declaring our truth comes at a cost. I sound real tough writing all this out, but, I can assure you that, as all this "restructuring" (translation=my whole FOO has cut me off. And my in-laws.  :???: ) was occurring, I was an emotional basket case. Enter this forum. You will find it is a great place to heal and grow. Welcome!

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pizzap66

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Re: Can't Believe I've Landed Here
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2017, 01:23:34 PM »
Menopause Barbie, thanks!  My head is spinning today  :stars:

I loved your a) and b) options of my fault, not her fault.  Sad but funny at the same time.  My relationship with her has been difficult for as far back as I can remember. Now I understand why. I always vowed that if I ever had a daughter, things would be different and I'm happy to say my relationship with my daughter is healthy and good. Actually, while my daughter lived with and near my mom, my mom would always make fun of her every time she was on the phone with me. "All you ever do is talk to your mother"...."You're on the phone with her again?".  That sort of thing.  It would tick us both off, but we knew she was jealous of the fact that she doesn't have a daughter who feels to call her every day.  I've tried to avoid her most of my life and now I understand why   I've lived 500 miles away from her for 25 years.  All my married life.  She would call me every Saturday morning until about 5 years ago after my dad passed away.  The calls stopped and when alot of time goes by and I call her, she tries to lay down a guilt trip about it.

Anyway, I think my daughter wants to go NC. I'm nervous about it.  My husband is so super super supportive and totally sees all my mom does.  He suggested we no longer go up to visit without her inviting us.  I'm ok with that!  Now that my daughter has moved back near us, it will make it easier.

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Menopause Barbie

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Re: Can't Believe I've Landed Here
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2017, 01:49:13 PM »
You know, pizzap66, you don't necessarily have to decide to do no contact. I didn't. I never would have had the guts to. (Well, not with my family. The in-laws made it easier :bigwink: ) You can just decide to pull back and see what happens. I would never recommend going NC when you have any doubts. Wait till it becomes your only viable option, your only way of protecting yourself and your family. If your mom is anything like mine, she will not take kindly to your pulling back/setting boundaries. She will push the envelope and FORCE you into either total submission to her desires or NC. These PDs tend to be very black and white in their thinking. No middle ground. Something about us taking control of our lives and pulling back from their control tends to make them snap. My mother, when I said I couldn't do the multiple phone call a day thing anymore, decided a good round of silent treatment would make me realize what I was missing. It did. But not in the way she expected...

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pizzap66

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Re: Can't Believe I've Landed Here
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2017, 01:58:05 PM »
Menopause Barbie, you're right.  I haven't decided.  I feel as if I've already pulled back so much through the years, though.  Going NC just seems like the logical next step.  However, now that I know what's been going on, I think I might be able to interact with her in a more healthy way (for myself).

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practical

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Re: Can't Believe I've Landed Here
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2017, 04:20:29 PM »
Just wanted to add my welcome and repeat what MeopauseBarbie said, you don't have to make a decision about NC, and your daughter can do what she needs to do for her sake independently of you. You can decide to go for a Time Out rather then NC http://outofthefog.website/what-to-do-2/2015/12/3/take-a-time-out, quite a few people are low contact and it works for them. I have done both with M, depending on where I was in my own healing journey. Check out the Toolbox     for help in taking care of yourself and handling your M, topics like Boundaries, Medium chill, Circular Conversations and JADEing are really helpful.

See you on the boards!
If Im not towards myself, who is towards myself? And when Im only towards myself, what am I? And if not now, when? Rabbi Hillel

"You can forgive, but you cannot forget." Otto von Bismarck