"you have no power over me" Labyrinth

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beacartoonheart

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"you have no power over me" Labyrinth
« on: December 22, 2016, 07:59:42 AM »
Last week I received two cards in the mail.  My birthday and Christmas are a week apart. Although there were no return addresses on them, I still shuddered at the sight of the somewhat familiar hand writing. 

My heart sunk into my stomach, my anxiety started to rise because I feared what could be inside the envelopes. This is my first birthday and Christmas spent NC with my bpd mother, the guilt trips and abuse were tucked away inside these safe paper envelopes that I held in my very shaky hands.

I stared at the envelopes for quite a while, I placed them down, I picked them up, I placed them down again and picked them up again several times until I convinced myself that no good could come from peeling back and tearing open that envelope/ door that would lead to no where but pain for me.

I didn't throw them away, but I haven't opened them either which I am assuming is a step in the right direction. I feel no need to open them now and it feels great knowing now that she has no power over me anymore. I hold the key to my happiness, I am no longer in the position where she can hurt me, I'm in a position where as I can only hurt myself if I allow her to try. She has called a couple of times since I received the cards, she left voicemails (her calls are blocked) and I've deleted them all before listening to any of it.

Getting to this point has been a struggle for me because I always felt like I had to tend to her every need so for the past 11 months I have been listening to all the voicemails, and have been feeling guilty for saving myself. Not this week, this week is my week and I'm going to embrace it as I take a step forward into discovering the me that has been lost for so long.

some of you have suggested I take this leap and take NC to the next level, thank you for your help :) you were so right.

 

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MiniWheat

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Re: "you have no power over me" Labyrinth
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2016, 02:49:25 PM »
Thanks for sharing, this is inspiring! Keep on keeping on.
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Time is precious.
Live life with authentic high integrity people.

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NewDawn

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Re: "you have no power over me" Labyrinth
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2016, 05:12:39 PM »
Hi Beacartoonheart,

I think you are making great progress in breaking the emotional bonds and going NC.  It helps to know that there is a child self and a parent self inside.  The child will fight to break the NC rules.  That's when the parent steps in and stops the child from hurting herself.

I'm glad you didn't read the letters but having them around the house seems like it would provoke temptation and anxiety.  And just like having anything "bad for you" in the house, in my opinion, it would be best to get rid of it.

Journaling helps clarify thoughts.  I went to a therapist specifically to learn how to deal with letters/packages because receiving them and reading the gaslighting would send me over the edge for weeks.  I now open all letters slowly and carefully making sure not to read anything.  I scan for a check and take that out, then rip the rest up and discard in a public trash can so as not to be tempted to get it out of my own trash in a moment of weakness. You will be surprised at how freeing it is not to read one triggering word.   

This is not 100 percent foolproof though,  as I just received childhood photos which I didn't rip up and I have been very angry, sick, and shaky for for a few days now due to the hoovering and attempt to suck me back into her abusive game.

I have recently learned that No Contact is certainly the better option - the only option in some cases - yet we are still in a type of "relationship" with the abuser, albeit a "No Contact" relationship.  It has it's ebbs and flows but for the most part, we are in control. I am now thinking, "It's Not Over Till It's Over" - in my situation not until her death.  But we can greatly reduce the triggers and manage the hoovers, giving us our life and energy back as we move forward into a better place.

Much love for a beautiful, peaceful holiday and new year!       
« Last Edit: December 22, 2016, 05:16:03 PM by NewDawn »

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footprint

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Re: "you have no power over me" Labyrinth
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2016, 09:43:31 PM »
Congratulations to you for not opening the cards, beacartoonheart!  I can really relate to this post.  I have been officially NC for 6 months, although I was VLC to the point of practically being NC for about two years before that and LC leading up to VLC for 5 years.  But the cards still come and I don't know what to do with them.  Since I'm NC otherwise, the seemingly "right" thing to do is to rip them up.  Sometimes I wonder, however, if there is some information in there that I need to know.  What I've been doing recently is having my husband read them to see if there's anything relevant.  This is unfair to him, however, and so I've actually recently been thinking that I need to chuck them when they arrive.  Their emails, phone calls, etc. are blocked, so this would be the similar way of blocking the letters.

In any case, good for you and sounds as if you've really made some amazing progress in your healing process.

footprint


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beacartoonheart

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Re: "you have no power over me" Labyrinth
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2016, 08:07:29 AM »
newdawn
I'm sorry you recently received old photos. That would trigger me for sure. I wonder if it would be therapeutic for you to cut the bad out of the photos and only keep the happy memories in them, or photos of yourself. Toss the bad and keep the good, similar to NC, discard of the poison and keep/find yourself.

I placed the cards under a heavy piano, getting to them will take some work if I happen to have a moment of weakness. I thought about writing the return address on the cards and sending them back but I feel that may stir the pot more. I feel like that would in the end be more hurtful to her and that's not why I went NC.
if she thinks I read the cards and that I am feeding into her guilt trip voicemails, let her believe it, it is a waste of her breath and time, not mine and besides she believes what she wants anyways, the truth is irrelevant in her eyes.

footprint
tossing the cards straight up may seem like the right and healthy thing to do but I think for me I would feel pretty terrible about it. Not for her but for myself and my character. To me it would feel like an act of revenge same as if I were to burn them.  I'm not seeking that feeling, I just want peace within myself right now. I'm sure there will come a time where I will feel comfortable tossing them but right now I am in a very numb state of mind and I like it here, no need to stir up unwanted emotions. For some people i'm sure it is very freeing to throw them out and to never look back, I like knowing I have them yet have the strength to walk away.

I too like yourself wonder if there is anything important locked inside of those envelopes and i'll admit that a part of me worries about the day she will no longer be around, maybe locked away in those cards lies an apology for everything she has ever done......i'm not stupid, I know it would obviously in reality just be another empty apology but at least I would have something to hold onto. she is ill and I know that is not an excuse for what she has put me through but she has no control over her alternate universe. love may be a very strong word but so is hate and I feel neither for her, I do however care for her but keep in mind I am the type of person who would care for a 5 legged limping spider. I don't think I will have a problem ignoring the cards while they are out of sight out of mind....and placed under a really heavy piano.    I suggest doing what is right for you and if you feel tossing them will help you a great deal then you should jump on that train and toss/ burn away :)

thank you for taking the time to share :)     

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Amadahy

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Re: "you have no power over me" Labyrinth
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2016, 11:56:54 AM »
Progress, indeed!  Good jobs, beacartoonheart!

I've been NC for nearly two months and have received two letters and what looks to be a Christmas card.  I have opened none.  DH says he will open if I want or will throw away if I want, but I'm not ready yet.  I have thought of all the things those pieces of mail could contain and none would be helpful or healing -- ranging from scripture to pseudo-apologies cloaked in passive-aggressive language to waify boohoo talk.  Even if she said I hung the moon and loved me there and back, it would not be true or helpful.  So, there they sit.  But, before I would have torn into them and hung on every FOG inducing word until I was sick.  Yay, us!  :)
Ring the bells that still can ring;
Forget your perfect offering.
There's a crack in everything ~~
That's how the Light gets in!

~~ Leonard Cohen

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beacartoonheart

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Re: "you have no power over me" Labyrinth
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2016, 02:48:46 PM »
Amadahy!
I'm happy to hear! Congrates on your new found power:)

I don't have much family as my bpd mother pushed them all away from me when i was a child so christmas is a little lonely but what we have accomplished i feel is a much greater gift than anyone could give us :)

I hope the holidays treat you well:)

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footprint

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Re: "you have no power over me" Labyrinth
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2016, 01:52:24 AM »
I too like yourself wonder if there is anything important locked inside of those envelopes and i'll admit that a part of me worries about the day she will no longer be around, maybe locked away in those cards lies an apology for everything she has ever done......i'm not stupid, I know it would obviously in reality just be another empty apology but at least I would have something to hold onto.

ah, the ever elusive apology...I see that you, like I, are at the bottom an optimist(?).  I too have this hope, thought I doubt it will ever happen.  I like what you wrote about being the type of person to care for a "5 legged limping spider"...I can relate to that too!  The question is: are these qualities innate in us or were we engineered to be/feel that way?  It's a question I ask myself a lot.  My husband thinks it's innate in me, but I don't know.

Sending strength,
footprint

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beacartoonheart

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Re: "you have no power over me" Labyrinth
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2016, 06:07:54 AM »
footprint
That is a really good question, I've never really given it much thought. I have however wondered if I allow people to get away with too much because I have been so used to being my mothers door mat. Nothing really bothers me, I have pretty thick skin and it's probably because no one can hurt me the way that she has, or maybe because I'm just so used to it that I think it's normal to be treated like garbage so it doesn't faze me. I've noticed lately that I do a lot for people who don't deserve it and I don't know why I keep helping those people. Maybe that is the part that has been engineered into me, all I have ever been is my mothers baby sitter(taking care of her)/ therapist/ slave/door mat/punching bag that I have not yet figured out how to be me. I'm hoping that part will come with time. 

As for the animals/ creatures/ 5 legged limping spiders, I think it's good that we care about the ones who can't speak up for themselves. If that quality has been somehow in a messed up way engineered into us, then at least something good came from our crappy situations. My bpd mother used to call me to describe in detail how she killed mice in her house. She only called me to tell me because she knew it would get under my skin that she did not use a humane trap but instead killed them in very violent ways. Every gory detail was described to me even when I told her to stop but situations like that differ me from her and I'm grateful I'm not like her.

just a few short days till the holidays are over,
keep your head above water:) we've got this.

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footprint

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Re: "you have no power over me" Labyrinth
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2016, 03:17:50 PM »
just a few short days till the holidays are over,
keep your head above water:) we've got this.

I got to this last sentence in your response, beacartoonheart, and it really helped.  It's a simple thing to say, but I felt very relieved upon reading it because the past week has been particularly hard for me.  I have my own family--DH and two beautiful kids--and we do our own traditions for the holidays.  But all of my holidays, even up into my 30s, were spent with NPD parents, so there are a lot of memories (mostly bad ones) of those times that keep recurring for me.

Thank you and yes, we're almost there!
footprint  :)

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beacartoonheart

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Re: "you have no power over me" Labyrinth
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2016, 01:18:17 AM »
:) glad i could help footprint. I hope christmas treated you well, i definitly found it really hard and found myself in the mirror giving myself pep talks to make it through the day.... I went to my better halfs family for the first time in 4 years. It's difficult being surrounded by normal people, i was on edge thinking an argument would break out or that i would be yelled at for something as simple as falling asleep on the sofa after a big meal.  I don't know what it's like to be in a normal environment so it really seems to make me uneasy. I'm sure this too is all part of the healing and i've made it through the day so i'm happy.

We can breath again.