Reflecting...

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jennsc85

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Reflecting...
« on: August 12, 2017, 09:12:09 PM »
So, a year ago today (I'm weird and remember dates of odd things!) I had one of the worst confrontations with my mother that I've ever had in my adult life. I had taken her to run an errand and she was spewing her usual hateful comments at me. I was feeling overwhelmed and upset so I spewed it right back at her. She told me for the first time that I would be caring for her until she died. I asked her what she'd do if I moved away. She told me that I was threatening to abandon my elderly mother. I back pedaled and asked her what if I keeled over dead tomorrow. She gasped and said she didn't know that I was mentally ill enough to threaten suicide. She went on and on about how my children would hate me, my husband would leave me. She told me how horrible and hateful and ill I was... and continued to drill it into my head that I was responsible for her until the day she(or I!) dies. That was the part that got me.

This was the first time in my adult life that I felt THAT level of hopelessness. I went home and sobbed, like, crying my eyes out until I was shaking because I felt so trapped by her and I hadn't felt that way since I was a teenager living at home with her. You know the worst part? After being THAT upset, I still went to pick her up from an appointment later that afternoon AFTER she'd upset me to that level.

Anyways, there's a silver lining to this.

I'm still struggling to deal with her, but since I've found OOTF I can really reflect on that situation from a year ago.

Now, I feel like I can tell her "No" sometimes. That's not something I ever thought I could do with her. Now, if she did that and needed a ride later on I feel like I'd be able to say "No, not after how you acted." A year ago, that was almost laughable to me. I just COULDN'T. I still am scared about being her "forever caregiver" but I feel like I can tell her "No, I'm not your caregiver. You'll have to make arrangements for xyz." A year ago when she said nasty things, I said them right back. Now I know that no reaction is the best reaction. Staying calm in the midst of her storm DOES work and makes me feel better in the end. If she asks me to do something and I can't or don't want to, I tell her I can't and actually stick with it. A year ago, I would say "no...." but then I'd waver and end up doing something anyways.

I feel like even though she's been really nice to me for several weeks now, I know not to let my guard down like I used to. A year ago if she was nice to me for even a day I'd start sharing personal information with her to try and feel close to her (Even though I couldn't stand her!) Now, since discovering MC, I don't share anything personal with her that could get any kind of reaction from her. Everything at home is fine, my job is fine, kids are fine... I just let her talk and respond nicely as long as she's nice. I never could have imagined doing that.

I just feel so thankful for discovering this forum to help me along the way and I can't even express just HOW grateful I am to everyone on here! I hope everyone else has experienced something positive, too!

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WomanInterrupted

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Re: Reflecting...
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2017, 11:06:09 PM »
Hooray, JENN!   :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer:

It's amazing to look back with open eyes to see clearly just how bad things were.   :aaauuugh:

I don't think it's strange for you to remember the date of a conversation that damaging.  It was probably one of the catalysts that made you start thinking, "This can't be normal..." - and looking for help.

You sound like me the first time I Medium Chilled Didi and didn't let her push me around - "Oh my God, you mean that WORKED!?!?!?"   :jawdrop: :yahoo:

The more you say, "NO" - and it sticks - the more you figure out no, there's nothing she really can DO to you but yell, say hateful things and twist your words around, but you're not giving her information to twist around, so she's been effectively defanged.

You're right - she's hoovering you now - don't slip up and give her ONE crumb of information.  This is a *trap* she's trying to set, to lure you back in - and you know "nice" won't last.

And, you know, she can say all she wants that you're going to be her caregiver and pay her bills and move into your house and you'll never be rid of her - that's all it is.  Empty, toothless words.

She can't *make* you do a thing.  Slavery is illegal.

All these insistences of hers, I think, should earn her another consequence - she no longer gets to visit your home.

Why?  Well, people like your mom sometimes have "accidents" when they visit, which requires them to stay with you for a month while they mend, going as far as to demand your bedroom.   :aaauuugh: :aaauuugh:

If she's insisting you're going to be her caregiver and she's going to move in, she no longer gets to visit.  You're "busy" and perhaps you can meet at a restaurant - she can either drive or take the bus, but you're *not* driving her.

Staying out of that car is *crucial* to your well-being.  I can't tell you how much damage Didi used to inflict while I was driving, because she knew I was trapped in there with her.

I sometimes wondered what would have happen if I'd pulled over at a gas station and said, "GET OUT."

That thought crossed my mind more than you'd think!   :evil2:

You are doing wonderfully and coming along so well!  It seems like you're getting your confidence back - which is a huge bonus of coming Out of the FOG.   :)

The more confidence you have, the easier it is to start laying down even more boundaries - until the day you start to think blocking her number and going NC are really viable options.   :yes:

If you do make that decision and start getting calls from "concerned" social workers  (Ray's doctor's office had a few, as well as his 3rd party Medicare supplemental insurance), the only thing they can do is try to FOG the living shit out of you and tug on your heart strings.   :roll:

But by then, you'll be so over it, they haven't even invented a word for it yet.   8-)

I'm getting ahead of myself - but I just wanted to remind you *nobody but YOU* can force yourself to be a caregiver.

Keep fighting the good fight, Jenn!   ;D

We're with you every step of the way!

 :hug:

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practical

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Re: Reflecting...
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2017, 05:12:52 AM »
I'm still flabbergasted that your M thinks of herself as elderly when she is still working and about my DH's age  :stars: . I wonder whether she does this too when she talks to others or whether she only uses this with you to induce guilt. My F is elderly, he is in his 80s, and really only became elderly once he got close to 80. And your M jumping to suicide, when you said simply you could die ahead of her and having a whole speech about how egoistic that would be of you :stars:  :aaauuugh: . Your M really has a severe case of me, me, me, I'm the center of the universe :dramaqueen:

Those No's are so important and you are doing so well with them. They give you your power back. They are something we should have learned in our teens latest as part of growing up and individuating, and saying them should have felt safe, not be ridden with anxiety, but no such luck in a dysfunctional family. You are on the right path! :cheer:
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)

"I can forgive, but I cannot afford to forget." (Moglow)