I feel like I was cut to the core

  • 26 Replies


  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 366
Re: I feel like I was cut to the core
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2017, 06:10:01 PM »
SS, the waiting game is good, it means you aren't in a hurry to respond to her demands immediately. Well done for asking why, as that will stop her in her tracks and make her think that you are questioning her.

Malini's answer to you about
Choosing to go silent and avoid her is an excellent self-care reflex. Who knows what will come out of it, but sometimes when we calmly wait, their reactions and behaviours show us what our next step should be.
Is a great way to deal with it. Waiting also gives you time to think about what to say, or respond in a better more controlled manner instead of reacting immediately.

I loved boppers last response when she replied to you saying "Do you know you just said that out loud". Which you could also change to  "Did you really just say that out loud" just practice with different responses out loud a few times as it gets easier with time. I've practiced what to do if I happen to bump into one of my sisters and it worked. Admittedly it was the wrong sister because I thought I'd bump into one in particular at the gym I use. I didn't think my other sister would be the fist one I'd bump into and I just managed to walked past her without any reaction whatsoever and was pleased with how I handled it.

Also try to see her with other people present as depending on who it is will depend on her behaviour towards you. If it's family let them see you responding to her so that they get the message as well. The message that says that you won't let anyone treat you disrespectfully any more.

Take good care and you don't have to do anything you don't want to.  :sadno:

But still, like dust, I'll rise.  (Maya Angelou)



  • Guest
Re: I feel like I was cut to the core
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2017, 06:14:11 PM »
@Spring Butterfly, really? So, I left the hospital never having addressed how her comment was hurtful. Other than my sister making a face to me, it was not acknowledged again. I wasn't even sure if my mom was aware I was hurt or that it was even a mean thing to say.

Within the context of that, doesn't her response to my inquiry ("forget it" to my "about what") make it seem like she knew she was in the wrong? I read it as, she expected it to be a smooth apology but when I expressed reservation/resistance even in the slightest, she threw her hands up bc it's "too difficult". That's how my mom is...she's emotionally void and says hurtful things and other times says NOTHING when it's appropriate to (emotional neglect). Times when she does apologize she just expects you to gladly accept; as though you aren't allowed to ever express your feelings in the situation. I think it's because she doesn't feel she can handle feeling your hurt; it makes her too uncomfortable.

But back to her response...I am guessing she at least had it on her mind bc otherwise a general inquiry like "about what?" shouldn't be triggering the kind of response she gave, right?


Spring Butterfly

  • Spring Butterfly
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 17177
  • You can be free and heal ❤️‍🩹
    • One Key to Better Boundaries
Re: I feel like I was cut to the core
« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2017, 07:07:57 PM »
I'm so very sorry if my response seemed flip.

Yes I understand what you're saying about all the subtle angles including the possibility she might realize this isn't going to be easy to fluff off but I was more leaning towards seeing the whole thing sort of degrade to where you are just free to sort of fade into the background. I think it's awesome and very strong of you to come back with "about what " rather than just jump on the phone. She may need to take some time to regroup and figure out what to do from here but there's no telling with PD persons what that might be. She may even turn around and feel that her illness grants her a get out of jail free card or that "it was the medication talking" or she may come back with one of those non-apologies and expect you to smile and say sure no problem mom. 

Granted I'm probably seeing your experience through my lenses as I put up with the cutting and biting comments for far too long. When I started standing up for myself it was clumsy and awkward, and to be honest when there is contact even at this point I'm soft-spoken compared to uPDm aggressive attack and tone.

As awkward and clumsy as it was uPDm couldn't and still can't stand that I stand up for myself. She gaslights and denies in the moment when confronted so I saw no need to address the issues. So I just let contact fade.

My comment was an attempt to reinforce what Malini said "Choosing to go silent and avoid her is an excellent self-care reflex."

Based on your saying "So I stood up for myself by explaining myself...which didn't feel quite right but was better than nothing." I was under the impression you did say something and I think anything you said, anything at all, is better than nothing. And if she's anything like mine she will definitely feel the shift in those waters. That plus your challenge to her text is not going to go unnoticed.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 07:17:04 PM by Spring Butterfly »
Every interaction w/ PD persons results in damage-plan accordingly, make time to heal
Individuation is one key to emotional freedom
It's foolish to expect of others what they have no capacity to give
my Empowered Growth blog



  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1533
Re: I feel like I was cut to the core
« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2017, 09:24:15 PM »
SolongStockholm, obviously you know your M better than any of us on this board. To an outsider to your family, like me, armed with some experience of growing up and dealing with PDs 'Call me when you have a minute' sounds like an order and not an invitation. Your request to know 'what about' is perfectly reasonable. If I wanted to apologise, I'd respond by indicating that intention, and not blow the person off by a message like 'forget it' .

The exchange reminds me of how often PDs will blow hot and then cold to keep us on our toes and wield their power over us. It's also a way to create unnecessary drama, and can be really guilt inducing.  A true apology entails a person changing their behaviour or at least saying that they will try to do so. Otherwise the apology carries no value, if it only serves to let them off the hook and remain free to repeat the hurtful behaviours over and over.

Finally, and this is completely based on my experience, for years, I thought the reason my NM never wanted to hear about my negative feelings was because, as a mother, she couldn't bear to hear if I was sad, angry, disappointed,etc, because all parents want their children to be happy - right? And hearing my pain would be painful for her. Coming Out of the FOG, I realised that she didn't listen to or brushed me off everytime I shared those feelings because she didn't care. Only her feelings were important and my role was to make sure that she always felt good.

If she truly wants to apologise, she will find a way to do so, but I feel as if her reaction to your 'about what' was her way of punishing you for daring to ask that question, because it was a way of reclaiming your power in the exchange rather than jumping on the phone to call her, as she had ordered you to.
"How do you do it?" said night
"How do you wake and shine?"
"I keep it simple." said light
"One day at a time" - Lemn Sissay

'I think it's important to realise that you can miss something, but not want it back' Paul Coelho

'We accept the love we think we deserve' Stephen Chbosky



  • Guest
Re: I feel like I was cut to the core
« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2017, 10:15:33 PM »

I think you're right. Your breakdown is really resonating with me. Thank you for taking your time to do so.

I always thought my mom was BPD (or at least high on the spectrum) but I didn't realize she was so game-y. I think she's actually a lot more PD than I realized. She's a total martyr. She truly was a victim of emotional abuse and neglect by my Grandma (her mother), which i witnessed all the time but thought was mostly normal bc she treated me in much of the same way.

I have a VERY surface level relationship with her and things have been decent lately. I act as though I need nothing from her (other than occasional watching of my DD which I have no concerns about bc she and my dad are great with my DD in super small doses). But once around Thanksgiving and once around Xmas out of nowhere she treated me like her "whipping girl". It was almost like she had a bad day and needed to hurt someone.

Hearing everyone's responses make me realize she may be more dysfunctional than I realized. Her response is so messed up and I now (for the first time) realize that the only way to continue a relationship with her is if a) I have to trudge uphill to try and get her to see my point of view and actually empathize with it (possibly only IF she isn't PD, I know) or b) ignore my own needs and act like all is fine. I don't have the energy to do the former and I Will no longer do the latter, so I guess that's it. I'm just done.

I have ALL "signs/symptoms" of being an adult child of an alcoholic, have a (likely) stress/anxiety-autoimmune disease and an anxiety disorder. CLEARLY, my past has done a lot of damage. I'm in weekly attachment/trauma-focused therapy, engage in intensive self-study on anything and everything I can to learn more about my family/PD/anxiety disorder, etc. and grow beyond it to work toward change. I've committed myself to growing for me, my marriage and my daughter (19mo) so I can be the kind of mother who's love isn't confusing, inconsistent and hurtful. I CANNOT afford to keep someone in my life who brings me down. I'm just done.

Thank you all for listening. Thank you for this space to air out my frustration-some productive and some not so much. I'm so grateful for it all.



  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1533
Re: I feel like I was cut to the core
« Reply #25 on: April 21, 2017, 10:45:09 PM »
sS -  firstly :hug: :hug: :hug:

You are doing a lot of work on yourself which is great - exhausting - but great. Initially it does all feel like climbing Everest and we are often presented with choices that seem impossible to make.

I'd just add that I too am a child of an alcoholic, my enNDad, and I did a lot of work on myself 20 years ago and was able to emotionally detach from him. However, the consequence of having an alcoholic parent was that I clung for dear life to my other parent, because she was adequate, reliable, not an alcoholic and I believed she was looking out for us kids and had our best interests at heart. Well that was a gross error of judgement and when I learned about narcissism, my blinkers came off and when I saw her for what she truly was I was like a deer caught in the headlights.

Like many, we are willing to do all we can to break free from the cycle of abuse, like you say, to be better people and in many cases, better parents whose love is consistent, unconditional and uplifting. Nobody gave you a 'get out of jail' card, you, like many, are investing so much of your  time, energy and self to not land in jail in the first place. Sadly, our parents are incapable of this and it is up to us to look out for ourselves and choose our own wellbeing over theirs which is the way normal people deal with their lives.

Take care.
"How do you do it?" said night
"How do you wake and shine?"
"I keep it simple." said light
"One day at a time" - Lemn Sissay

'I think it's important to realise that you can miss something, but not want it back' Paul Coelho

'We accept the love we think we deserve' Stephen Chbosky



  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 3919
  • "They can't eat you" - Greg Proops
Re: I feel like I was cut to the core
« Reply #26 on: April 22, 2017, 04:39:27 AM »
Hi solongStockholm,

I'm so sorry you're going through this - you don't have to, you know.  You can set yourself free by giving yourself permission to stay away.

UnBPD Didi was a hateful, spiteful, cruel creature - vindictive, petty, a perpetual victim and waif who demanded to be treated like a queen.  When I started pulling away, the health scares started to become endless. 

Come now!  Come quick!  She's dying!  Dying again, some more!  Dying again!  Really dying!   :roll:

Since I'd been dealing with variants of that all my life (aka "Didi isn't getting enough attention"), I stayed away.

Even when she was in Hospice - REAL Hospice - nope.  Not happening. 


I knew she was going to be like your mom and wasn't going to sit there and let her rip the hell out of me for what?  Looking like I look?  Living my life to my specifications and not hers?  The stupid things I did as a kid being brought up and rehashed yet AGAIN because I should have known better?  Listening to her rehash all the wrongs perpetrated upon her her person - real or imagined - since 1935 and *not seeking vengeance upon them FOR her*?  Not giving Her Majesty grandchildren to either spoil or hate?  Not doing my hair, makeup and clothes to what she thought was acceptable?   Being an utter failure as a human being for not being able to read her mind and fill that black hole of endless need inside her?

I knew it was her last chance to vent her spleen - all the poisons that lurked in the mud would hatch out and I had a few choices:

1.  Listen and burst into tears, out of earshot.
2.  Tell her what she could cram where and march out with my head held high.
3.  Stay away.

Staying away was the best option.  She got her final dig in at me over the phone, and I still laugh about it to this day.

I'd been Medium Chilling her with variants of being busy, so busy, very busy, you know how things are, never a dull moment - and unNPD Ray was holding the phone, trying to hand it to her, when the little, frail, lung cancer patient in Hospice roared, "TELL HER I'M BUSY!"

Oh.  Okay.  No problemo.  I hung up and knew I'd made the right decision - if she lasted a day, a week, a month - nothing was going to change.

Those were her last words to me.  She died in the company of strangers the next morning.

That was over three years ago.  So much for the woman who used to scare the hell out of me as a child by raging, "You'll be sorry when I'm gone!"

I haven't shed a tear and I haven't missed her at all.  So much for wishful thinking, Didi.  The world is a much better place without you.

The more I've come Out of the FOG, the more I've found this is a relevant question, so I want to ask you:

What do you want?

You can't have a mother who loves you with the fire of 10,000 suns and would go through hell and back for you.  You have...well...her...and I'm very sorry.

Knowing what you have - her - and knowing what she's like, how she is, how she can be - WHAT DO YOU WANT?

There is no right answer to this question.  There's only the answer that gives you the most comfort, security and peace.

It's a question only you can answer.

Do you want more of the same?  Do you just want to be left alone?  Do you want others to leave you alone?  Do you want to sit there through every grueling minute and listen to every hateful thing she says, knowing that's not you?

Are you strong enough to take it?

Do you think her words will set your own recovery back for a very long time?

Only you can answer those questions.

You can do anything you want.  You don't have to give reasons.  You can be "overwhelmed" with emotion - and just what those emotions are, nobody knows but you.   :bigwink:

It's entirely up to you.

I didn't go to Didi's fab memorial service, didn't prop unNPD Ray up during her funeral (he's the only person on earth who ever had a spouse die, you know... :roll:) - I was too OVERCOME with emotion - his kryptonite - and I live 3 miles away, so it's not like I had a time/distance buffer.

Life went on.  When Ray's time comes, he's being chucked into his mausoleum with Didi without any sort of pomp, circumstance or prayer service.

It'll be just another day around here. 

That's my final decision and I'm at peace with it.