New Here - Not sure if PD Parents or not

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ana76

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New Here - Not sure if PD Parents or not
« on: April 02, 2016, 05:47:32 AM »
I guess my childhood was nowhere near as bad as some people on this forum, and I apologise if I seem superficial

I'm feeling kinda messed up at the moment. I don't know if my parents have personality disorders, all I can do is explain my situation and hope someone can offer some advice.

My mother was very young when she had me - 17. Her parents - I adored my grandparents, but I have no idea what they were like as parents. They did a pretty good job at teaching me about life.

My father died when i was young - he was a violent alcoholic, who came from a very long line of violent alcoholics. He never really had a chance at being normal. My brother and i saw way more than any child ever should - thankfully my brother was young enough to not remember it. I do though. I saw him rape my mother, fire a shotgun into the car my baby brother was in and try to slit my mother's throat.

After he died, my mother met another man. He was great to start with, but he was a violet alcoholic too. He gambled, lost a lot of money and eventually became a drug dealer. I have 3 siblings from this relationship. I ran away from home at 16 after my step father smacked me in the mouth for the second time. The first time I was 13 and had braces so my mouth was cut to pieces. Mum always said that no-one should hit kids in the face, but she did nothing about it.

I left home as soon as I finished high school. I have had rocky relationships with both my mum and step dad since. I've given them a lot of money over the years, as well as being the "relationship counsellor" for both of them. I know waaay more than I ever wanted to about their private life.

My mother - well... here's where I just dont know. I work so hard to make a good life for myself and my daughter.  My mother has never given me any support becuase apparently I dont need it. I'm self sufficient and can do everything myself. OK - I have a great job and a good life.. but I've worked bloody hard to get here. I'm a single mother - my ex-husband cheated on me (when I cried to mum, she patted me on the shoulder and said "You'll be fine - you'll get over it").

I've gone through periods where I havent spoken to my mother because of her attitude to me.  I have a very strong stance on illegal drugs and will not allow my daughter to be around addicts or anyone that  enables them. I left my home town because my mother got cranky about me not allowing my daughter to spend time in an addicts house. We didnt speak for over a year. We since reconciled - I have paid her bills, bought her appliances and spent a small fortune on a holiday for her birthday.

Now however - I have 2 siblings who are drug addicts - one who lives at home with my mum. I wont go there, nor will I allow my daughter there. I have also cut off the financial support. Now I am getting mesages saying what a horrible daughter I am becuase I dont care about mum and am not helping her financially anymore. I need to cut contact, but it's so hard when I am constantly guilt tripped - everytime mum and i argue, she has a health crisis. She has a number of health problems, but is unwilling to change her lifestyle to minimise the effect of them.

Sorry for this turning into an essay.. but any suppoert and advice would be very welcome. 

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practical

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Re: New Here - Not sure if PD Parents or not
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2016, 09:31:23 AM »
Welcome to OOTF ana76!

I'm really sorry, you have been through a lot and I admire your strength and courage in building your own life and protecting your daughter and yourself!

I guess my childhood was nowhere near as bad as some people on this forum, and I apologise if I seem superficial.
You don't seem superficial at all and you have had to deal with way more than any child or even adult should when it comes to their parents or really anybody. You were clearly physically abused, and don't seem to have had the support and unconditional love of your M, F or stepdad. Rather you became their "relationship counselor", something I was to my parents too and I see as emotional abuse and a total lack of boundaries on their side. From what you write, it seems you filled a role for your M, you were a source of money and a shoulder to cry on, a free therapist, while it doesn't seem she gave you anything in return. Now, that you are setting boundaries to protect your daughter, and are no longer willing to give her money, you become the "bad daughter". You are not! You are not responsible for your M's happiness, she is, while she was responsible for your safety and more when you were a child, something she neglected.

I need to cut contact, but it's so hard when I am constantly guilt tripped - everytime mum and i argue, she has a health crisis. She has a number of health problems, but is unwilling to change her lifestyle to minimise the effect of them. 
You see it quite correctly, the health crises is a way to guilt trip you, and I like digital.angels take on it. "Health crises" are a perfect way to install guilt, to keep you involved. My F has constant health issues, and I used to spend hours trying to help him till I realized it was about the drama he could create that way, the attention he would get, not any real or often imagined health problem, and in the end, just like your M, he did just what he wanted. I don't know whether you have looked at the Toolbox     yet, there is an article about FOG - fear, obligation, guilt, that might really help you. It is hard to unlearn these reactions, but once you become aware of what happens, it becomes easier. Also look at Boundaries and Medium Chill. The toolbox has a wealth of information that will help you take care of yourself and your daughter and enable you to handle the situations with your family better, as well as how to protect yourself and heal.

You may want to look at the Disorders   section and read through the various Personality Orders and the traits associated with them. We don't diagnose on this website only a professional can, but for many of us it is helpful to put a name to all the behaviors they have experienced. I struggled for years to make sense out of my M's behavior, till I realized she may have had Narcissistic Personality Disorder, as almost all of the traits and all of the DSM criteria fit her. I experienced such a sense of relief, because it made clear it wasn't my fault, I had done nothing wrong, I was in a losing battle from the beginning, there was not way I could have ever made her happy, which furthermore should never have been my job assignment in the first place - just like it isn't yours with regard to your M.

Please explore the site and its many resources. You may also want to check out Going No Contact with a PD Parent board as well as Working On Us .

Here are two of my favorite pieces of wisdom I learned from this website and might help you too:
The 3C's rule: I didn't cause it, I cannot cure it, I cannot control it and the 51% rule, meaning your own needs are at least a little bit more important than the needs of others.
http://outofthefog.website/what-to-do-2/2015/12/3/the-3-cs-rule
http://outofthefog.website/what-to-do-2/2015/12/3/the-51-rule

You have found here a very caring and supportive community and I hope you will keep posting.
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)

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JG65

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Re: New Here - Not sure if PD Parents or not
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2016, 10:27:09 AM »
Dear Ana76,

You've overcome so much! 

In addition to the information here, you might find information from Al Anon to be helpful as well.  While it is not possible to say whether or not your parents have a PD, they do have addiction issues.

When you give money to active addicts or alcoholics to help them, and you tolerate bad behavior, you enable them.   also, this bad behavior is harmful to you and potentially to your child. 

The advice below is solid.  Trust yourself and don't let you parents and siblings try to guilt you into helping them continue their addictions.  They have no right to expect you to tolerate that and in the long run doing so is not beneficial to anyone.  When they run out of people willing to support them in their addiction, it just might force them to change.

My mother is a recovering alcoholic and my father has narcisstic personality disorder, so I have dealt with addiction and abuse. 

You deserve the space to heal and a life free of people who mistreat you. 
Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences - Robert Louis Stevenson

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rosie

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Re: New Here - Not sure if PD Parents or not
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2016, 02:28:14 PM »
I believe it doesn't really matter if your mother has a PD or not. What is absolutely obvious from reading your text is that she hasn't been much of a mother for you, and you need to start looking after yourself. The advice to try out Al-Anon is very good and I second it. That was the beginning of my healing journey, realizing just how dysfunctional my family had been. In my case, there was a veneer of high respectability, but my father was still an alcoholic and a NPD, and my mother has personality issues. It took the Al-Anon meetings for me to be able to admit to others and to myself that this was abusive behavior and that I deserved better. Before that, no one in the family had admitted my father was an alcoholic, because he was so high-functioning. And my mother played the victim so well it was difficult to see that she had just as many issues as he did.

Maybe the biggest eye-opener for me was truly coming to realize that I could not count on my mother for anything. She had always played the role of caring mom so well that I just couldn't see how bad her record had been. Whenever I wanted anything, it ended up being about her, and I got short-shrifted.  You have a child and are trying to do your best by her. Her needs should always come before those of a mother who didn't know how to mother very well. I'm sorry you're having to go through this. Yes, you've worked hard and should be praised for keeping your integrity.

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all4peace

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Re: New Here - Not sure if PD Parents or not
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2016, 04:03:17 PM »
welcome, ana!

Please don't minimize your childhood. The memories you recall are truly appalling. You have faced an enormous amount in your life and I'm so glad you've found this forum for support.

It sounds to me like you are doing a great job protecting your own daughter, in a way you were never protected. It also sounds to me like your mother is very good at receiving but not at giving. I'm so sorry that you don't have a mother who can be there for you in the way a mother should.

I don't have any advice, just a lot of respect for how far you've made it with so little support. I applaud your mothering and encourage you to keep doing whatever you need to do to treat yourself with respect and protect your daughter.

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ana76

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Re: New Here - Not sure if PD Parents or not
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2016, 08:23:14 PM »
Thank you all for the support! I will definitely be checking out the Toolbox and other recommendations. It is very hard to unlearn behaviours and I do feel very guilty for not being available for my mother. But everyone is right - I do have to think about my daughter first.

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Claudia

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Re: New Here - Not sure if PD Parents or not
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2016, 06:44:22 AM »
Thank you all for the support! I will definitely be checking out the Toolbox and other recommendations. It is very hard to unlearn behaviours and I do feel very guilty for not being available for my mother. But everyone is right - I do have to think about my daughter first.

This post from you ana76 says it all.  You have to think of your daughter first which is what a 'normal' mother does.  Unfortunately PD parents don't know how to do this because they always think of themselves first.  Life owes them something instead of the other way around.  You sound like a good mum who is doing the right thing for your daughter.  Your child SHOULD come first and you are doing the right thing by her.  Your initial post was anything but superficial, you have been though a huge amount in your life so don't ever feel like you need to play that down.  Stay strong, it seems like you know in your gut what the right thing to do is.  PD's love to guilt us into thinking we are doing the wrong thing but think of it like this, how do you feel as a mum?  You feel protective and supportive of your daughter, you don't expect your daughter to protect and support you because that's not what we have children for.   You sound like you are doing the right thing to me and you and your daughter will be better off in the long run with out this negativity in your lives.

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bopper

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Re: New Here - Not sure if PD Parents or not
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2016, 02:07:59 PM »


Now however - I have 2 siblings who are drug addicts - one who lives at home with my mum. I wont go there, nor will I allow my daughter there. I have also cut off the financial support. Now I am getting messages saying what a horrible daughter I am becuase I dont care about mum and am not helping her financially anymore. I need to cut contact, but it's so hard when I am constantly guilt tripped - everytime mum and i argue, she has a health crisis. She has a number of health problems, but is unwilling to change her lifestyle to minimise the effect of them.


Allow me to translate this for you:

"If you don't give mum money, then how can we freeload off of her?  She isn't going to take responsibility for herself and we can't even take responsibility for our own lives..."

Also ask yourself:  Why do you care more about her health than she does?

Of course everyone wants you to keep driving the gravy train...but giving them money will not help them...you probably think 'well, if I just help them get over this bump, they will be okay"...or "sending mum on vacation will cheer her up"....or if I come over and help with this health crisis, then she will be good to go..."

But your mum has learned to use the health issues as a control device...if she is not healthy, then she doesn't have to work. She gets sympathy, and she gets you to come over to visit/give money.

You have to realize that they don't think like you, are not motivated the way you are...it may be the way they were brought up, it may be a personality disorder, it may be addiction...

Whenever you feel guilty about your mother (who has other children who live with her to support her!!!), think about your daughter and think about breaking the cycle.  You are cutting your Family of Origin (FOO) off, so you can start fresh with your FOC (Family of Choice).
You are keeping your child away from addicts and your mother's behavior.

Just because they are incapable of loving you, doesn't mean that you are unlovable.
Anything makes the false self appear real is supply.