Out of the FOG

Coping with Personality Disorders => Dealing with PD Parents => Topic started by: Tired20 on December 19, 2020, 01:44:42 PM

Title: Having a bad day with flashbacks
Post by: Tired20 on December 19, 2020, 01:44:42 PM
I am low contact with my NM and willing enabler father. They are elderly and i am trying to hold on for the sake of the good times in my early childhood years.

Things got gradually worse over the years and have really snowballed in the past couple of years. As they’ve got older and my dad has got infirm my mother has gone from difficult to almost impossible. As her abilities have gone down so has her coping mechanisms. She behaves like a child if she doesn’t get her own way and everything is a struggle and a mammoth whine which I have to listen to how hard things are for her (queues in shops, etc) even though she does nothing to make her life easier, just does things then moans how hard it is. She expects me to go out and buy a car for when my dad stops driving (their ‘solution’ to living in a large house at least 10-15 minutes walk from amenities despite the fact that my dad can hardly walk). Constant jibes and guilt trips, you get the idea. If I say anything she doesn’t like ‘I am stressing out a pensioner’.

I keep having bad days like today full of self pity where I feel worthless and like I am suffocating with depression and anxious thoughts. I have flashbacks back to my mums outbursts and how I felt at the time.

My mum over the years is prone to outbursts where she has unleashed a vicious tongue on me criticising the way I look, the way I hold myself and even the way I walk (Apparently I slouch too much), and the way I eat (I apparently eat too fast). Every move I make is scrutinised to the point I have severe social anxiety. She also once sneered at me that is am lagging behind everyone else’ because I don’t drive and I rent and not bought a property.

If anything good happens to me I get accused of being ‘big headed’ and ‘need trimmed’, and if I dare say anything I am given the silent treatment & told  ‘if everyone knew the real me’  they’d change their mind I’m a nice person. Then she will have the nerve to criticise my low confidence!

She says things like ‘nobody crosses me and gets away with it, I’ll soon put them in their place’. She needs psychiatric help but she will never admit she has a problem (of course, the problem is always someone else!).  My dad is so passive and scared of her I think. He even joins in with her after witnessing her start an argument out of thin air.

I know I should go no contact but I’ve tried before and I didn’t feel any better. Just now there are the odd scattered good conversations and good days and I don’t know how I’d cope if anything happened to them when not on terms (which probably sounds ridiculous) when no contact as things only got bad later on and my childhood was relatively happy. Plus my kids enjoy seeing their grandparents (I have no fear they’ll start on them as they are totally different with young kids).

I feel trapped and like there’s no way out. I also don’t know how I’ll ever feel ‘normal’ or not feel ugly and worthless.

Parts of me hates her for what she has  done to me as a person, destroyed every bit of self worth and confidence I have because of her own dysfunction, but for some reason I don’t feel I’d cope if anything happened when no contact.

Thanks for listening.
Title: Re: Having a bad day with flashbacks
Post by: Hepatica on December 19, 2020, 04:43:48 PM
I'm so sorry. I can relate in every way to what you're experiencing. My mother is a very overt disordered person and age hasn't softened her one bit. Any added stress turns her into an adult sized toddler. My father is her enabler and seems to like looking the good guy next to her outbursts. My mother cannot edit what goes on in her head and says the most inappropriate things out loud to anybody. They are both now in their 80's and I have finally reached my limit and made the choice to go no contact. I didn't want to do it and it is not a simple decision. But I will say that for me, it has helped me immensely with my flashbacks. I am having them very little now, since August of this year, when I decided enough is enough, I only have so much life left to live and there is nothing selfish about wanting peace.  I tried limited contact for a long time but it just didn't work.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with choosing your own welfare Tired20. The road back to peace and happiness begins with choosing you. It's okay. When you're around people that bring out feelings of being worthless, anxious and depressed it's really time to heed those warning signals.

The fact that your mother tears you down means you are living within her twisted perception of who you are. She needs you to feel bad about yourself to keep you in her authoritarian control. It's like living in a country where the leaders starve their citizens and terrorize them to keep them in line.

You can leave that country. You're free. It means only telling yourself, enough is enough, I deserve so much better than this bull. I wonder if you are getting help via counselling with your self-esteem? Or reading books about toxic parenting. But It's My Family is a good book i recently read that helped me detach from my parents. Basically your mother has brainwashed you to believe you cannot leave her, when in all ways you are absolutely free to leave anyone who does not treat you well.

You can build back your confidence and self-esteem as you get out from under her control. Like leaving any bad relationship, it sometimes doesn't click easily and happen at first. It's like addiction. Sometimes you need to try again. All I know is that since I finally felt my anger, realizing how much of a toll my parents were taking on me, I've found it easier. And lately I am feeling happier than I've felt in a long, long time.

I've also found that the way my parents tried to make me believe I was, has totally shifted. I no longer feel weak and too sensitive and horrible and selfish. I feel a sense of self-respect I don't think I've ever felt. What a great gift I've given myself and yet as I write this, I don't discount your worry about how hard it is. It is hard. But leaving an abusive relationship is the best thing you can ever do for yourself to gain the true perception of who you are.

You are not ugly, worthless or abnormal. Your mother's behaviour is.