Lost in the Funhouse Mirrors

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Dinah-sore

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Lost in the Funhouse Mirrors
« on: December 09, 2017, 11:51:31 PM »
I feel like I am lost in a funhouse mirror room. I don't know how it happened, but I must have let my guard down. I opened myself up for more abuse from BPDm and I didn't even realize I was doing it until today.

So many ways she has messed with my brain this week. I am having a hard time seeing reality, and when I see it, I am surrounded by a bunch of other perceptions (lies) that contradict truth and it is screwing with my mind and my peace.

1.) My mom almost died last month. She was on life support for a week (many of you might remember). During this time she was in ICU and unconscious I spoke to many of her doctors. She had at least 4 that rotated, along with respiratory therapists. They all diagnosed her with a progressive lung condition that is serious. I have been worried. Waiting for her to go to see the pulmonologist (who didn't see her in the hospital, and just met her this week).  Also worried to death that she would lie to him. So this week she went and she lied. She told him how much better she was feeling. And if she had that lung disease she wouldn't feel better. So he told her she doesn't have it. He didn't test her or anything!!!! So not only do I NOT know what stage she is in, but now she is saying it is just an asthma attack. I am mind screwed. I asked her if she told her all of her symptoms, and listed them. She said, "NO! I only have those symptoms when I am sick!" I said, BS. She hung up on me. She spent our entire vacation this year in the hotel room, because she couldn't breathe. She has major debilitating respiratory symptoms that are constant, and have gotten worse over the last 20 years. It isn't an asthma attack. AND, when she told me it was asthma she was happy that I was "wrong." She said, "You are going to be upset Dinah, but the doctor said I don't have this disease and that in a few months I will breathe just as good as you." I asked her if her oxygen dropped this week she said no. It was a LIE. My dad told me it dropped to 84 on Sunday walking a few feet from the church to the front row parking space. Less than 30 seconds of walking. The dr. who told her that she only has asthma said it can't go below 91. It does. Every time she does something. Now she says it is just acid reflux and being overweight. She has lung disease!!!! I trust the ICU doctors who treated her, tested her, etc. They told me that it was probably late stage since she could have her oxygen drop under 70 and still be conscious. Plus her co2 went up to 140. She has a barrel chest, and she has an enlarged heart---all signs of late stage lung disease. But no. she is fine.

I know I need to let it go. I find myself googling "asthma vs. her lung disease" over and over and over, to prove to myself that my truth is truth. This doctor didn't even give her a lung function test. He only listened to her chest. He didn't give her a nebulizer. If she has asthma, and almost died--why didn't he give her a nebulizer????? My youngest has asthma and has a nebulizer and didn't even almost die. I am clueless. her pulmonologist from ICU told me she would need supplemental oxygen and a cpap. She doesn't even have a nebulizer.

She is happy to just have asthma.

I need to let it go.

It is a funhouse mirror.

2.) She is back to catastrophizing my life. I was sick on Tuesday, fever and cough. She acted like I was dying. She blamed me for getting sick because I went out of town last Tuesday night. I must have caught it from another city. Last night I was Christmas shopping by myself, she was freaking out, she told me I was going to get mugged, it was 6pm and I was at a beautiful outdoor mall, and people were dressed like Charles Dickens singing Christmas carols, and she was on the phone begging me to stop shopping and go someplace safe. Today my fever came back, I didn't tell her. It would be my fault for shopping after dark. I told her happily that we were planning to take the girls for a drive to get hot cocoa and look at Christmas lights. She freaked out and said that what would I do when they spill hot chocolate in my car and scald themselves. They are not toddlers. My dd is at a friends house tonight, my mom doesn't like the family, she gave me the silent pause.

3.) She is acting like people don't like me, but that she has my back. I got a text from an old employee that I trained thanking me for the time they spent learning from me. It was a very sweet text and it made me feel very proud of the work I do. I sent it as a group text to my family. She texted back, "I think you do a great job. Too bad your administrator doesn't see how brilliant and valuable you are." My administrator LOVES me. They couldn't appreciate me more. So I ignored her text. It felt so insulting, like she is backhandedly saying yes one person likes you but other people don't. So I ignore her text, then she calls, she needs to drive it home. I cut her off and remind her of a letter the administrator sent me that was so kind and appreciative. She then said, well I didn't mean just him, there are other people too who don't appreciate your work. I won't bring up their names. I just need you to know that I VALUE YOU." It felt so manipulative. Like she is trying to isolate me from normal people, suspect that there are people out there who are against me (?), and make me feel like all I need is her approval. I don't need her approval!!!! LOL it is my professional work!!!! It has nothing to do with her!!!! Why couldn't she just say, "that was nice." Without having to pretend like I sit over here worrying that people don't appreciate my work. I don't. I wasn't even close to thinking that. She is so freaking negative.

So what I realize is, I thought I was doing better. Not sharing as much information with her. Only trying to have small talk. Only sharing positive things. "Look at this nice text." "Christmas lights." etc. But it is too much. Everything I say gets a comment that puts me in a position to explain or defend myself. When I told her my DD was going to a friends house she said, "You do know these people whose house she is going to?????" in a tone. Like I need to explain myself to her. To the woman who used to drag me to drug houses, and make me sit in a bedroom with filthy sheets, all night, with only stale potato chips to eat, while she would get loaded and party until the sun came up. And don't bother her, or tell her I am bored or hungry or want to go to my own home. Nope. That is selfish. But she thinks she can tell me not to give my kids hot cocoa in the car? Or go shopping at 6pm after dark? or let my kid go have dinner with a friend from church?

I am still in the fog right now. And I think I got here, by being distracted, by the lies. The funhouse mirrors all around me. She is living in a lie. And I see her lies, and I see my reality. And even though I do not believe her lies, I still worry. She is still my mom. I am frustrated that she is putting up all these false realities, and expecting me to believe them. It is really messing with my head. It almost feels like gaslighting. Only because I am being asked to doubt my own perceptions for her well being. And as I try to not talk to her about her health, I came up with other things to talk about---happy things. And she twisted those things into ways to mess with me too.

I feel right now, like I just don't want to talk at all. My words feel like narcissistic supply. I feel like I am feeding her one thing, so I don't feed into her health stuff. I need to stop feeling the pressure to fill up the conversation. Stop talking.

She also shamed me this week too. We were talking about a funny story from my childhood. Which would be totally inappropriate for social media, and she told me not to put it on Facebook. I wasn't going to. She said, "you always get it in your head, if it is funny to you you post it. And it isn't funny to anyone else and everyone thinks you are so weird. But you get it in your head, and you go typing , and post it, and then everyone thinks you are so weird." She went on and on. It was horrible. I do have a silly sense of humor. So part of this is kind of true. But I dont' post inappropriate embarrassing stories from my childhood--she is usually the one to bring those up to make fun of me. "everyone thinks your weird." has been repeating in my head all week.

Advice on how to re-establish some boundaries? I am thinking first and foremost limit contact a bit. Pull back again? And also not to share as much?

Also, I know it is her body to neglect if she wants to, but I can't pretend to go along with it or that I believe her. Also, it is really getting to me that she is doing this. It feels like a slow suicide. There is medicine she needs to be taking that she isn't taking. She will get sick again. It is hurting me to be on this roller coaster. Not only worried about her health, but worried about how she is lying about it. How do I let go and let her do this? I feel it in my body. Like the stress of it. I also feel like I have to keep proving to myself that I am right, and she is in denial. I had 4 doctors and more therapists tell me what was going on. I just can't believe they were all wrong, especially knowing she lied to the doctor this week and he didn't test her. Any advice?
« Last Edit: December 09, 2017, 11:54:38 PM by Dinah-sore »
"I had to accept the fact that, look, this is who I am. I have to be who I am, and all of us have a right to be who we are. And whenever we submit our will, because our will is a gift, our will is given to us, whenever we submit our will to someone else's opinion a part of us dies." --Lauryn Hill

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VividImagination

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Re: Lost in the Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2017, 01:15:54 AM »
Your mother is using gaslighting in the way an abusive partner demoralizes their victim to isolate them socially. It is used to deprogram and strip away the victim's identity so that the abuser can mold them into the person they want - a better victim.

I'm sure you realize that your mother probably lied to you about every single aspect of the visit, including what was done and what was said. For all you know, your mother may have refused the diagnosis or treatment. The power of denial is very strong. You may want to begin coming to terms with the fact that your mother is dying, especially in light of the fact that she refuses to help herself. I'm sorry - my mother was also medically noncompliant with diabetes and heart failure, insisted on taking a trip by air against medical advice while in the midst of renal and heart failure and died within 48 hours of the flight.

I would cut off the information supply and go MC/grey rock. When she says things that infantilize you or your children, I'd respond with, "You're being ridiculous...gotta go.".
There are three solutions to every problem: accept it, change it, or leave it. If you cannot accept it, change it. I f you cannot change it, leave it.

Sometimes you're damned if you don't and damned if you do, so damn well do what's best for you.

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Seven

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Re: Lost in the Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2017, 01:40:28 AM »
 :yeahthat:
Could not have put it better myself.

Last time i saw my M the first thing out of her mouth was "i went to all of my doctors this week.  No one can believe i am my age.  Oh, and nothing has changed.  Everything is still the same". All proud of herself.  Now, she didnt tell me what kind of doctors she went to.  She has a GP (whom i know very well) that she goes to every 6 months for a checkup,  and a general surgeon who checks her carotid every 6 months since she has a small blockage, and a neurologist, who of course she likes as a person but prefers not to go...well because he's the one who tests her memory..  she could've gone to the dentist for all i know and everything still be the same.  All i could say was "oh, okay".

Ive been to the neurologist with her once.  When that appt happened she flat out refused to have  baseline testing done.  We're not talking scans of any sort.  Just cognitive testing.  She just flat out refused, vehemently.  Her reaction was actually embarrassing.  Another time she asked last minute if my son could take her because it was raining and she was afraid to drive.  Another time she took a family friend (not even her friend...it was a friend of Bro5 and Sis1).  So neither of those two were in the room with her for those appts so we dont know the real answer to what happened.

I just refuse to play these games with her anymore.  She doesnt look her age, but she definitely doesnt act it either.

I let her be in her own little denial world.

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WomanInterrupted

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Re: Lost in the Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2017, 02:47:30 AM »
I think Vivid nailed it.  :thumbup:

I stuck to *only* Medium Chill responses (well, mostly - when she didn't throw out something outrageous and catch me with my guard down!) with unBPD Didi after she was diagnosed with advanced emphysema and lied to her chiropractor while I was standing right there.

She got really weird, flirty and coquettish, saying, "I just spent a week in the hospital and they didn't find a THING wrong with me!"

I corrected her to the good Dr. Snapnpop and told him what was really going on.  When I looked back at Didi, she was not only giving me The Death Glare, but *baring her teeth!*

BARING HER TEETH!   

It was gone an instant later, but MAN!   :stars:

That's when I decided the crazy train was going to derail without me.  Didi could tell her lies to anybody she wanted, and I wasn't going to be involved.  When she waifing it up with her sooooooooo sick, help me schtick, I'd refer  her back to her doctor, visiting nurse, pulmonologist, or pharmacist, which she didn't like ONE bit, but I didn't care - I'd gotten to the point that having her slam the phone down on me was a *relief.*

If I were you, that's what I'd do, with anything health related (or anything AT ALL, for that matter!)

"That's good/nice.  "That's too bad."  "A shame to hear it."  "Huh, that's something."  "I don't know what to tell you."  "You need to speak to your doctor."  "You need to call your doctor - I can't help you."  "I don't know what you expect me to say."  "Hmmmm."

I wouldn't tell her doodly squat about my comings, goings, shopping excursions or taking the kids anywhere, or mention what they'll be doing/consuming.  She's *always* going to have something negative to say, so don't give her any ammo.

Besides, people who only have negative things to say really aren't *worthy* of being involved in your life.

About that "everybody thinks you're weird" comment - are you SURE she's not related to Didi, because I used to hear that all the bloody time - until I took that weapon away from her and broke it over my knee, proverbially speaking.

I *embrace* my weirdness!  Being normal is SO overrated.   :)

How do you *define* normal?  And who put your  mother, the Queen of Phobias, in charge of policing it?

I mean, come on - look at who is telling you you're the weird one!   :rofl:

Didi was trying to corner me into a Saturday thing (before I discovered boundaries) at the good Dr. Snapnpop's office, in front of his front-of-house employees, and the only excuse I could come up with was needing to make pet food, so no.

Yes - we make our own pet food and have since 1990.

She snapped, "Oh, why don't you just buy pet food like a normal person?  WI, you're so WEIRD!"

Instead of being shamed into agreeing and yes, I would take my hoarder mommy shopping for more crap she didn't need, something inside me snapped; I grinned and said, "YES!  Yes, I am!  Somebody has to keep things interesting, don't they?  Why shouldn't it be me?  I get to have more fun that way."

Dr. S's staff was cracking up - and Didi was PISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSED.

She also never dared call me weird again because not only do I OWN it, I wear that shit WELL!

I look GOOD in weird!   8-)

And I'll bet you do, too.  I bet you look *fabulous* in weird.   :yes:

Weird isn't weird - it's differences that make us individuals and not pod people.

But, to people like Didi and your mom, it's a *threat.*  Our individuality *scares* them.  It means they haven't crushed the life out of us yet and may still be able to make decisions for ourselves.

I notice she went not only for weird, but your sense of humor.

Please *don't apologize for your sense of humor* - or let her erode it.  Once that's gone, it's very easy for her to trample all over you and try to remake you in her image, which means, in part, dutifully turning your GPS back on.

Never let her kill your sense of humor or your individuality.

BE yourself.  Others DO appreciate you - as you found out from that nice email.

Your mom isn't worthy of you sharing things like that with her.  The only thing she'll bring you, to quote Sheryl Crow, is down. 

 :hug:

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louisebt

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Re: Lost in the Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2017, 08:10:50 AM »
 the level of denial is breathtaking here. You need to back away from anything health related asap. Something deep inside her knows she is dying and her dysfunctional behaviours are going batshit trying to pretend that's not happening.

when my mother was in the hospital and i reached the end of my sanity the choice was very clear- she is going down like a sinking ship, kicking and screaming and she will pull me down with her if I let her, or I can let go and let her sink which is what is going to happen anyway.

best decision I ever made.

I had to accept she was going to cause her own death by her behaviour and there was nothing I could do about it. And in most importantly no matter what she said it was NOT my job to try to.

When I read the story about the drug house my first thought was 'how can she think she owes her mother anything, one second of her time and energy after being treated like that'
but we do don't we, because we have been well trained.

 :bighug:

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illogical

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Re: Lost in the Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2017, 09:42:52 AM »
Fantastic advice you've received on this thread!

Your mother has a very serious medical condition and a very serious mental condition.

The narcissist's world is very, very fragile.  It's a world of their own making, but it's like an egg-- very easy to crack.  Your mother is trying to pull you into her world so you can shore up this fragile world.  She doesn't have the ability to self-soothe, so she reverts to lying, denial, gaslighting and blame-shifting to make herself feel better.  All is at your expense.  She's trying to off-load her bad feelings (anger, fear, etc.) on you. 

But you have a choice.  You can refuse to take on your mother's problems and enter her world.  You don't have to buy that ticket to the Funhouse, where reality is elongated, shortened, wavy, twisted.  Where you doubt your reality and begin to think you are that distorted image you see in the mirrors.

My advice is to take the advice given above on this thread by VividImagination, Seven, WomanInterrupted and lousebt.  Stay far, far away from her world.  Keep your boundaries tight.  They will act as a shield to protect you.  Realize, though, that every interaction with her is dangerous.  When you feel your own reality slipping away-- as you have posted here-- it's time to reduce contact to protect your own mental and physical health.

« Last Edit: December 10, 2017, 10:31:29 AM by illogical »
"Applying logic to potentially illogical behaviour is to construct a house on shifting foundations.  The structure will inevitably collapse."

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practical

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Re: Lost in the Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2017, 10:08:07 AM »
You already go a lot of good advice. Here is what I learned from dealing with M and F (both elderly, both lying to their doctors, M not medication compliant which got her committed ultimately).

- I especially don't share nice things that happen to me, my little or big achievements, because to often a bucket of ice cubes was poured over me, my good news was dissected, belittled, ignored, or some other way turned into something negative; or in another twist it was appropriated as their achievement and I became a footnote.

- Make the 3C's Rule your mantra:
 "I didn't cause it, I can't cure it and I can't control it."
Before I found OOTF I had a post-it sticker on my computer saying "I admit, I have no power over my parents" an adapted version from 12 steps of AA.
When you understand this mantra, you start to detach.

F has heart and lung issues, and while overdramatizes to doctors (so the opposite of your M) once he leaves their offices he does things nobody with his conditions at his age should do anymore, like digging out trees in 100F weather. I kept battling with him like you are doing with your M, making myself miserable and exhausted and having nothing to show for it. At some point I accepted that he will die during one of his crazy escapades, and maybe that for him that was the best way to die.

M was dxbipolar, she took her medications at her own whim, which ended in one of the most extreme manic phases I have ever witnessed. She thought she was great and this is how she wanted to feel all the time, so no, she wouldn't see her doctor again and certainly not take her medicines. B and I worked feverishly to get her committed for treatment and couldn't due to some legal issues which left us utterly frustrated. In the end she got herself committed because her behavior had gotten so outlandish police picked her up while she was out. She ended up being permanently committed. This would have been avoidable, in the end it was her actions that got her there and I accepted that I was powerless.

Please don't argue with your M about her health, she is considered an adult, this seems to be the way she wants to lead her life. I have come to respect the choices my parents make and keep clear boundaries so they don't involve me in them e.g. I don't give advice about medications anymore or even make suggestions what they should or shouldn't do.

You cannot fix or rescue her, and while you are trying you are giving her access to your life and she uses it to bludgeon you. Less contact is a good first step, and then avoid talking about what is going on in your life, my favorite line is "Everything is always, just fine" and then switching topics, and keep any kind of contact short.

Her illness pulled you back in the FOG and that is totally understandable.
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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Obliviot

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Re: Lost in the Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2017, 12:02:08 PM »
Woman Interrupted nailed it with the observations on "everybody thinks you're weird".  Oh how I LOATHE comments like that, so flippant but yes they can replay in one's head over and over and over.  I've also heard it in the form of, "you're getting a reputation for being..." which was confided to me in the most convincing imitation of sincerity ever.  These people make me sick with their casual destruction of people's headspace. 



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VividImagination

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Re: Lost in the Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2017, 12:11:24 PM »
My NM's version was "everyone says". It's a grab for your sanity, pure and simple. They want to drag you into their world, as illogical explained very, very well. It's an empty world, and they desperately want someone in there with them to validate their beliefs How to do that? Make you as crazy as them by stripping away your self-esteem and sanity.
There are three solutions to every problem: accept it, change it, or leave it. If you cannot accept it, change it. I f you cannot change it, leave it.

Sometimes you're damned if you don't and damned if you do, so damn well do what's best for you.

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daughter

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Re: Lost in the Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2017, 12:25:51 PM »
It helped me to document for myself, in writing, the specific disordered behaviors I was dealing with, in addition to weekly therapy sessions for myself.  I needed the validation ( and paper documentation to make that "real") that my NBM's and NF's mannerisms, their bad behavior, self-entitled expectations and demands, and general demeanor, were: 1) inappropriate; 2) not my responsibility to accommodate and fulfill; 3) emotional abuse of me.  I needed to learn, and even more importantly accept, that I was neither to blame for it, nor responsible for making them happy.  My parents' problems, their npd-enmeshment, their need to "control and dominate", these were no longer my responsibilities to fulfill and endure.   Like you, I needed to disengage to attain my own emotional well-being.  Documenting episodes and concerns, coupled with competent therapy, led to a major life-change: I became a truly independent adult, rather than appendage to my parents, rid myself of FOG, be fully OOTF, and found myself a safe-spot, emotionally-speaking.

I think your mother is "sucking you dry", as if it's your absolute duty to tolerate and enable her high-maintenance self-centered destructive persona.  Your father seems to tolerate this disordered situation; maybe he feels it's your "duty" to do so too.  Likely there's some familial npd-enmeshment, with you ensnared to be their "good girl/dutiful daughter", obedient and accommodating, "being there" at beck and call of your parents.  Self-preservation urgently needs to happen here, for you, in a hurry.  It's both grossly inappropriate, and emotionally harming to both you and your own FOC Family.  Your mother tries to control and dominate you, your time, your priorities, your emotions, but she's wrong in that assumption of power over you.  I would be rightfully concerned; big changes are needed.

Here are some fundamental rules/observations:

1) You didn't create your mother's/parents' emotional problems, nor are you obligated to obediently endure and facilitate the resulting bad behavior and poor decisions.  Whether your mother is mentally-ill, or just prone to stupid selfish choices, ultimately this isn't a "fixable" situation.

2) You aren't responsible for your mother's/parents' perceived "happiness", emotional fulfillment, or medical health; they are solely responsible for addressing and resolving their own medical and emotional needs, even if she is (they are) making poor choices.

3) You're not obligated to sacrifice yourself to ensure your mother's/parents' well-being, this will always be their responsibility, until their mental faculties are truly diminished. 

4) Your mother is mentally-competent to make her life-decisions and medical choices, even if her decisions and actions are stupid, self-defeating, and/or ultimately injurious to her long-term health.  You're not to be the "white knight", intervening to implement more prudent choices.  You can be kind, but detached from these decisions and choices.

5) Your own family, your own DH and children, are your first priority, not your mother, not your parents.  Your own emotional well-being is being short-changed here, in a dramatic and tangible manner, by the chaos your mother presents in your life.  Your father seems curiously absent, emotionally-speaking.  You're now fulfilling your father's own role here, with you serving as pseudo "spouse/primary partner" for your mother, That "surrogate spouse" role-responsibility you should consciously quit providing. 

« Last Edit: December 10, 2017, 12:51:21 PM by daughter »

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Zebrastriped

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Re: Lost in the Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2017, 03:23:15 PM »
Dinah-sore, my uBPDmom also has a debilitating lung disease, and lies to the doctors.  I managed to sneak down to his office and enlighten him, for all the good it did me.  I came to terms with the lying by realizing that someone who is oxygen deprived likely is losing their memory.  It helps my dad get not quite so furious about her not remembering things.  I choose last week to run interference for her with the medical community.  I'm not sure yet if I have succeeded and I'm not calling the 'rents to find out.  Mostly, I did these things so the family will have a softer landing when she passes.

Its horrible to be on this frogger ride with them, never knowing where the bottom is.  You do need to be sure to protect yourself first.

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all4peace

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Re: Lost in the Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2017, 04:11:30 PM »
I love the comments about weirdness. I found this article last week and loved it: http://www.psychedinsanfrancisco.com/championing-your-weirdness/

And I also believe it is highly threatening to less-grounded people to be around us--those who know we're different and are totally ok with it, who love it, actually! Ns spend their lives propping up an image of themselves, and here we are simply BEING ourselves. If we don't have the sense to see how bad we should feel about that, well then they are there to help us out.

Your NM's campaign to let you know how "weird" you are, but that she understands and loves you, is all about isolating you just in case you actually start seeing how messed up she is and how many people embrace your uniqueness and love you for it!!
« Last Edit: December 10, 2017, 04:20:39 PM by all4peace »

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practical

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Re: Lost in the Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2017, 06:34:09 PM »
There is something else you may want to work on and this is independent of your M's PD issues, it is accepting for yourself that your M (and your F) are going to die, that they will not live for ever, that dying is part of out progress through life. Often this is shoved to the side, it isn't a topic anybody wants to think about, and we cling to the idea that medicine will fix it, or X will fix it. This is certainly something we are powerless about, and accepting and thereby detaching has been very helpful to me as I deal with the crazy things F does.
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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Dinah-sore

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Re: Lost in the Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2017, 10:50:01 PM »
Your mother is using gaslighting in the way an abusive partner demoralizes their victim to isolate them socially. It is used to deprogram and strip away the victim's identity so that the abuser can mold them into the person they want - a better victim.

I'm sure you realize that your mother probably lied to you about every single aspect of the visit, including what was done and what was said. For all you know, your mother may have refused the diagnosis or treatment. The power of denial is very strong. You may want to begin coming to terms with the fact that your mother is dying, especially in light of the fact that she refuses to help herself. I'm sorry - my mother was also medically noncompliant with diabetes and heart failure, insisted on taking a trip by air against medical advice while in the midst of renal and heart failure and died within 48 hours of the flight.

I am so sorry that that happened Vivid <3 The part where you said, "You might want to begin coming to terms with the fact that your mother is dying." was very helpful for me. Not that I want her to die. I just need to prepare myself. I think that in normal families, the family is told what to expect. Like given a possible timeline, 6 months, 2 years, etc. I needed that. I wanted to know so bad what stage she is in. And then to be told she is going to get better, is excruciating.

My dad called me today and told me that she is not doing well. She is not moving much. He says that he believes it is the lung disease too. That there is no way it is just asthma. But he says he is not arguing with her about it, because she must be too afraid of the truth. He said she is also getting grumpy again at home. Which is what I am picking up on. After the hospital, she was acting like Jonah in the Bible. Or Lazarus. Super positive, talking about how God has a plan for her. Very religious, positive, hopeful. Now she is reverting back to moodiness and controlling behavior. Incrementally. My dad says he thinks the next time she catches a bug she will be back in ICU. I agree.

But I needed you to tell me to prepare myself, that I am not deluded. That in the midst of her delusion, I need to know she is going to die from this.

:yeahthat:
Could not have put it better myself.

Last time i saw my M the first thing out of her mouth was "i went to all of my doctors this week.  No one can believe i am my age.  Oh, and nothing has changed.  Everything is still the same". All proud of herself.  Now, she didnt tell me what kind of doctors she went to.  She has a GP (whom i know very well) that she goes to every 6 months for a checkup,  and a general surgeon who checks her carotid every 6 months since she has a small blockage, and a neurologist, who of course she likes as a person but prefers not to go...well because he's the one who tests her memory..  she could've gone to the dentist for all i know and everything still be the same.  All i could say was "oh, okay".

Ive been to the neurologist with her once.  When that appt happened she flat out refused to have  baseline testing done.  We're not talking scans of any sort.  Just cognitive testing.  She just flat out refused, vehemently.  Her reaction was actually embarrassing.  Another time she asked last minute if my son could take her because it was raining and she was afraid to drive.  Another time she took a family friend (not even her friend...it was a friend of Bro5 and Sis1).  So neither of those two were in the room with her for those appts so we dont know the real answer to what happened.

I just refuse to play these games with her anymore.  She doesnt look her age, but she definitely doesnt act it either.

I let her be in her own little denial world.

It helps so much to see that so many of you have dealt with similar circumstances. The denial. The medical sabotage. The lying. I am so sorry for what you have gone through. But at least it takes away some of the confusion. I am not crazy. I am not wrong. This is something that PD people do.

the level of denial is breathtaking here. You need to back away from anything health related asap. Something deep inside her knows she is dying and her dysfunctional behaviours are going batshit trying to pretend that's not happening.

when my mother was in the hospital and i reached the end of my sanity the choice was very clear- she is going down like a sinking ship, kicking and screaming and she will pull me down with her if I let her, or I can let go and let her sink which is what is going to happen anyway.

best decision I ever made.

I had to accept she was going to cause her own death by her behaviour and there was nothing I could do about it. And in most importantly no matter what she said it was NOT my job to try to.

When I read the story about the drug house my first thought was 'how can she think she owes her mother anything, one second of her time and energy after being treated like that'
but we do don't we, because we have been well trained.

 :bighug:

Wow the image of the sinking ship, that is so powerful. I feel like I am being sucked down, like the movie Titanic. I actually wrote a poem about six months ago about her drowning. We were both in the water and she was clinging to me, pulling me down too. Instead of taking responsibility and treading her own water. She was clinging to me. And I couldn't support the both of us, and it was drowning me too. The weight of it. It helped me process how I felt back then. Your comment therefore, really resonated with me. <3 thank you.

And as horrible as I feel assigning blame. She did have a very large hand in these health problems. She refused to get help for this breathing condition for 20 years. She had excuses for why she thought she couldn't, but they were excuses. I wonder if there was an element of pride in that, not wanting to be weak and get medical care. Her abusive father, used to call people who needed a dr. weak. He was a horrible man. But this isn't something that I can fix. I haven't come to terms with that. It was easier when she was intubated, when she is unconscious people can help her. When she is awake and involved she is scheming to get home, and lying about how good she feels. She tried to talk her way out of the ambulance when we called 911.

Fantastic advice you've received on this thread!

Your mother has a very serious medical condition and a very serious mental condition.

The narcissist's world is very, very fragile.  It's a world of their own making, but it's like an egg-- very easy to crack.  Your mother is trying to pull you into her world so you can shore up this fragile world. She doesn't have the ability to self-soothe, so she reverts to lying, denial, gaslighting and blame-shifting to make herself feel better.  All is at your expense.  She's trying to off-load her bad feelings (anger, fear, etc.) on you. 

But you have a choice.  You can refuse to take on your mother's problems and enter her world.  You don't have to buy that ticket to the Funhouse, where reality is elongated, shortened, wavy, twisted.  Where you doubt your reality and begin to think you are that distorted image you see in the mirrors.

My advice is to take the advice given above on this thread by VividImagination, Seven, WomanInterrupted and lousebt.  Stay far, far away from her world.  Keep your boundaries tight.  They will act as a shield to protect you.  Realize, though, that every interaction with her is dangerous.  When you feel your own reality slipping away-- as you have posted here-- it's time to reduce contact to protect your own mental and physical health.

Wow. You are right. I believe that she is truly using me to try to make herself feel better. I am not her medicine.

She was on my case earlier this week because my dr. prescribed a new medicine, that I had been very open about wanting to try for a few months. It is a natural medicine. No side effects. So I told her about it, and she freaked out. She said it would change my personality (it won't). Or get me high (it won't). ETC. I ended up getting firm with her and said, "You know mom, I don't think you are nervous about me taking this medicine. I think you are nervous about going to the Dr. tomorrow so you are choosing to be nervous for me instead. That is your choice. But I am comfortable with the decision to try this medicine." She called back an hour later telling me that she had been researching my medicine and there is no side effects. It pissed me off. I didn't ask her opinion. She still spent an hour looking into it, and called to let me know she is okay with it. It is something you can get over the counter too or online. Kids take it!!!! LOL. But it took her mind off her own problems.

That is the thing too, how she ignores her severe health problems, but over worries about our normal colds and flus. It makes me so mad.

You already go a lot of good advice. Here is what I learned from dealing with M and F (both elderly, both lying to their doctors, M not medication compliant which got her committed ultimately).

- I especially don't share nice things that happen to me, my little or big achievements, because to often a bucket of ice cubes was poured over me, my good news was dissected, belittled, ignored, or some other way turned into something negative; or in another twist it was appropriated as their achievement and I became a footnote.

- Make the 3C's Rule your mantra:
 "I didn't cause it, I can't cure it and I can't control it."
Before I found OOTF I had a post-it sticker on my computer saying "I admit, I have no power over my parents" an adapted version from 12 steps of AA.
When you understand this mantra, you start to detach.

F has heart and lung issues, and while overdramatizes to doctors (so the opposite of your M) once he leaves their offices he does things nobody with his conditions at his age should do anymore, like digging out trees in 100F weather. I kept battling with him like you are doing with your M, making myself miserable and exhausted and having nothing to show for it. At some point I accepted that he will die during one of his crazy escapades, and maybe that for him that was the best way to die.

M was dxbipolar, she took her medications at her own whim, which ended in one of the most extreme manic phases I have ever witnessed. She thought she was great and this is how she wanted to feel all the time, so no, she wouldn't see her doctor again and certainly not take her medicines. B and I worked feverishly to get her committed for treatment and couldn't due to some legal issues which left us utterly frustrated. In the end she got herself committed because her behavior had gotten so outlandish police picked her up while she was out. She ended up being permanently committed. This would have been avoidable, in the end it was her actions that got her there and I accepted that I was powerless.

Please don't argue with your M about her health, she is considered an adult, this seems to be the way she wants to lead her life. I have come to respect the choices my parents make and keep clear boundaries so they don't involve me in them e.g. I don't give advice about medications anymore or even make suggestions what they should or shouldn't do.

You cannot fix or rescue her, and while you are trying you are giving her access to your life and she uses it to bludgeon you. Less contact is a good first step, and then avoid talking about what is going on in your life, my favorite line is "Everything is always, just fine" and then switching topics, and keep any kind of contact short.

Her illness pulled you back in the FOG and that is totally understandable.
 
Thank you so much. I am so sorry that you have gone through all that. Very sorry. I thought about what you said about your dad. Maybe that is how he would like to die. Maybe this is how my mom would want to die. Not knowing she is dying?  You are right, the illness pulled me back in. Today I pulled back out. She called twice, I let them go, then called back later. I kept it short. She asked if I was mad at her. I said no, just distracted. She wanted to know what I was distracted about and asked if she could help me. I said, it was just fixing lunch, but thank you. And got off the phone. I know she felt depressed. But I needed a break.

Dinah-sore, my uBPDmom also has a debilitating lung disease, and lies to the doctors.  I managed to sneak down to his office and enlighten him, for all the good it did me. I came to terms with the lying by realizing that someone who is oxygen deprived likely is losing their memory. It helps my dad get not quite so furious about her not remembering things.  I choose last week to run interference for her with the medical community.  I'm not sure yet if I have succeeded and I'm not calling the 'rents to find out.  Mostly, I did these things so the family will have a softer landing when she passes.

Its horrible to be on this frogger ride with them, never knowing where the bottom is.  You do need to be sure to protect yourself first.


I am so sorry that you are also going through this. I have thought about writing the dr. a letter explaining the whole story to him and let him know he can ask my dad to verify the facts. But I feel like that would be an invasion of my mom's personal life. I wouldn't want her doing that to me. So even if it would be in her best interest, and to extend her life, I felt like I couldn't do something like that without her knowledge and permission. She told me I could go with her to her next appt. I don't want to because I don't want to argue with her in front of the dr. If she contradicts what I say. She has to want to face the truth. I can't force her to. <3 :( You are so right about being on the frogger ride with them and not knowing where the bottom is. Best wishes to you <3

There is something else you may want to work on and this is independent of your M's PD issues, it is accepting for yourself that your M (and your F) are going to die, that they will not live for ever, that dying is part of out progress through life. Often this is shoved to the side, it isn't a topic anybody wants to think about, and we cling to the idea that medicine will fix it, or X will fix it. This is certainly something we are powerless about, and accepting and thereby detaching has been very helpful to me as I deal with the crazy things F does.

You are right. I need to come to terms with the fact that the conditions she is dealing with are progressive and fatal. That this is normal, even though she is handling it in a different way. Even if she gets "proper" treatment, it is still no guarantee. A cold can end her back up in the hospital. We are all powerless. I need to come to terms with this.

So you think it isn't "wrong" of me to think that she has a more serious condition than she wants me to believe? This is serious, right?

I just second guessed myself. Again.

Thank you for all your advice. I am going to respond to the other comments now.
"I had to accept the fact that, look, this is who I am. I have to be who I am, and all of us have a right to be who we are. And whenever we submit our will, because our will is a gift, our will is given to us, whenever we submit our will to someone else's opinion a part of us dies." --Lauryn Hill

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Dinah-sore

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Re: Lost in the Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2017, 10:50:43 PM »
I think Vivid nailed it.  :thumbup:

I stuck to *only* Medium Chill responses (well, mostly - when she didn't throw out something outrageous and catch me with my guard down!) with unBPD Didi after she was diagnosed with advanced emphysema and lied to her chiropractor while I was standing right there.

She got really weird, flirty and coquettish, saying, "I just spent a week in the hospital and they didn't find a THING wrong with me!"

I corrected her to the good Dr. Snapnpop and told him what was really going on.  When I looked back at Didi, she was not only giving me The Death Glare, but *baring her teeth!*

BARING HER TEETH!   

It was gone an instant later, but MAN!   :stars:

That's when I decided the crazy train was going to derail without me.  Didi could tell her lies to anybody she wanted, and I wasn't going to be involved.  When she waifing it up with her sooooooooo sick, help me schtick, I'd refer  her back to her doctor, visiting nurse, pulmonologist, or pharmacist, which she didn't like ONE bit, but I didn't care - I'd gotten to the point that having her slam the phone down on me was a *relief.*

If I were you, that's what I'd do, with anything health related (or anything AT ALL, for that matter!)

"That's good/nice.  "That's too bad."  "A shame to hear it."  "Huh, that's something."  "I don't know what to tell you."  "You need to speak to your doctor."  "You need to call your doctor - I can't help you."  "I don't know what you expect me to say."  "Hmmmm."

I wouldn't tell her doodly squat about my comings, goings, shopping excursions or taking the kids anywhere, or mention what they'll be doing/consuming.  She's *always* going to have something negative to say, so don't give her any ammo.

Besides, people who only have negative things to say really aren't *worthy* of being involved in your life.

About that "everybody thinks you're weird" comment - are you SURE she's not related to Didi, because I used to hear that all the bloody time - until I took that weapon away from her and broke it over my knee, proverbially speaking.

I *embrace* my weirdness!  Being normal is SO overrated.   :)

How do you *define* normal?  And who put your  mother, the Queen of Phobias, in charge of policing it?

I mean, come on - look at who is telling you you're the weird one!   :rofl:


Didi was trying to corner me into a Saturday thing (before I discovered boundaries) at the good Dr. Snapnpop's office, in front of his front-of-house employees, and the only excuse I could come up with was needing to make pet food, so no.

Yes - we make our own pet food and have since 1990.

She snapped, "Oh, why don't you just buy pet food like a normal person?  WI, you're so WEIRD!"

Instead of being shamed into agreeing and yes, I would take my hoarder mommy shopping for more crap she didn't need, something inside me snapped; I grinned and said, "YES!  Yes, I am!  Somebody has to keep things interesting, don't they?  Why shouldn't it be me?  I get to have more fun that way."

Dr. S's staff was cracking up - and Didi was PISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSED.

She also never dared call me weird again because not only do I OWN it, I wear that shit WELL!

I look GOOD in weird!   8-)

And I'll bet you do, too.  I bet you look *fabulous* in weird.   :yes:

Weird isn't weird - it's differences that make us individuals and not pod people.

But, to people like Didi and your mom, it's a *threat.*  Our individuality *scares* them.  It means they haven't crushed the life out of us yet and may still be able to make decisions for ourselves.

I notice she went not only for weird, but your sense of humor.


Please *don't apologize for your sense of humor* - or let her erode it.  Once that's gone, it's very easy for her to trample all over you and try to remake you in her image, which means, in part, dutifully turning your GPS back on.

Never let her kill your sense of humor or your individuality.

BE yourself.  Others DO appreciate you - as you found out from that nice email.

Your mom isn't worthy of you sharing things like that with her.  The only thing she'll bring you, to quote Sheryl Crow, is down. 

 :hug:

Thank you so much WomanInterrupted, My mom also does the flirty, coquettish voice when she talks to drs. It is so strange. But it is her way to manipulate them, without showing her inner dragon. I need to take your advice for the medical stuff. Thank you for sharing what worked well for you.

also, thank you so much for what you said about her comment about me being weird. I am so sorry about what she said to you, but I love how you adapted to that circumstance. I think weird is good too. I actually like my sense of humor. I get it from my dad. And she says the same thing to him, "people will think you are weird." People think he is FUNNY and QUICK and SMART and NICE. I think we got this humor to COPE with the abuse in the house, to an extent.

I feel like I am trying to find my inner weirdo this year too. I bought these handpainted shoes, that are super artsy-hippy looking. They are very eccentric, but I loved them, and thought they were beautiful and unique and no one would have anything like them. I wear them, not caring if I look weird. They feel very "me." I feel like I am just now going through a second adolescence. Trying to find myself and love myself. Who cares if I am weird. I want to wear weird well too!!! <3

Hopefully, I am far enough along that her comments don't derail me too much.

Woman Interrupted nailed it with the observations on "everybody thinks you're weird".  Oh how I LOATHE comments like that, so flippant but yes they can replay in one's head over and over and over.  I've also heard it in the form of, "you're getting a reputation for being..." which was confided to me in the most convincing imitation of sincerity ever.  These people make me sick with their casual destruction of people's headspace. 

I remember the reputation thing too. I got that a lot. And with the sincerity. Like, "I am only telling you this because I am trying to HELP you." yes. yes. yes. 

My NM's version was "everyone says". It's a grab for your sanity, pure and simple. They want to drag you into their world, as illogical explained very, very well. It's an empty world, and they desperately want someone in there with them to validate their beliefs How to do that? Make you as crazy as them by stripping away your self-esteem and sanity.

I was thinking about this the other day. In the church we have gone to for a LOOOOONG time, there is this idea that "self-esteem" books are bad. That "self-esteem" is not Christian. And that it is pride. I was thinking that whoever said that has either never been abused, or is an abuser!!!! If someone needs a self esteem book, or help, it is because they have been stripped away by abuse. This also makes people prey for more abuse. If you tell them it is wrong to esteem themselves. "Esteem others as more than yourselves." is in the Bible, and it is used often times to combat the self-esteem movement. And yet they forget the self-esteem of Christ. He knew WHO He was. And He didn't let the opinions, and abuse of others, derail Him. His example of how to deal with difficult, abusive people is pretty amazing too!!!

But yeah, my mom does try to erode my sanity and self-esteem so that she can control me and use me to validate her own beliefs.

I love the comments about weirdness. I found this article last week and loved it: http://www.psychedinsanfrancisco.com/championing-your-weirdness/

And I also believe it is highly threatening to less-grounded people to be around us--those who know we're different and are totally ok with it, who love it, actually! Ns spend their lives propping up an image of themselves, and here we are simply BEING ourselves. If we don't have the sense to see how bad we should feel about that, well then they are there to help us out.

Your NM's campaign to let you know how "weird" you are, but that she understands and loves you, is all about isolating you just in case you actually start seeing how messed up she is and how many people embrace your uniqueness and love you for it!!

Thank you All4Peace for the article. I read it twice and saved it in my phone so I can have it for later. It was so good. I love how it emphasized finding the right "tribe" of people who love you for who you are. Where there is honesty, freedom, and acceptance.

I do think BPDm does this to isolate me. She tries to isolate me too by turning me against people that she doesn't like or want in my life. Trying to undermine my friendships that she doesn't approve of, "to protect me from them." Etc. Thank you so much.

It helped me to document for myself, in writing, the specific disordered behaviors I was dealing with, in addition to weekly therapy sessions for myself.  I needed the validation ( and paper documentation to make that "real") that my NBM's and NF's mannerisms, their bad behavior, self-entitled expectations and demands, and general demeanor, were: 1) inappropriate; 2) not my responsibility to accommodate and fulfill; 3) emotional abuse of me.  I needed to learn, and even more importantly accept, that I was neither to blame for it, nor responsible for making them happy.  My parents' problems, their npd-enmeshment, their need to "control and dominate", these were no longer my responsibilities to fulfill and endure.   Like you, I needed to disengage to attain my own emotional well-being.  Documenting episodes and concerns, coupled with competent therapy, led to a major life-change: I became a truly independent adult, rather than appendage to my parents, rid myself of FOG, be fully OOTF, and found myself a safe-spot, emotionally-speaking.

I think your mother is "sucking you dry", as if it's your absolute duty to tolerate and enable her high-maintenance self-centered destructive persona. Your father seems to tolerate this disordered situation; maybe he feels it's your "duty" to do so too.  Likely there's some familial npd-enmeshment, with you ensnared to be their "good girl/dutiful daughter", obedient and accommodating, "being there" at beck and call of your parents.  Self-preservation urgently needs to happen here, for you, in a hurry.  It's both grossly inappropriate, and emotionally harming to both you and your own FOC Family.  Your mother tries to control and dominate you, your time, your priorities, your emotions, but she's wrong in that assumption of power over you.  I would be rightfully concerned; big changes are needed.

Here are some fundamental rules/observations:

1) You didn't create your mother's/parents' emotional problems, nor are you obligated to obediently endure and facilitate the resulting bad behavior and poor decisions.  Whether your mother is mentally-ill, or just prone to stupid selfish choices, ultimately this isn't a "fixable" situation.

2) You aren't responsible for your mother's/parents' perceived "happiness", emotional fulfillment, or medical health; they are solely responsible for addressing and resolving their own medical and emotional needs, even if she is (they are) making poor choices.

3) You're not obligated to sacrifice yourself to ensure your mother's/parents' well-being, this will always be their responsibility, until their mental faculties are truly diminished. 

4) Your mother is mentally-competent to make her life-decisions and medical choices, even if her decisions and actions are stupid, self-defeating, and/or ultimately injurious to her long-term health.  You're not to be the "white knight", intervening to implement more prudent choices.  You can be kind, but detached from these decisions and choices.

5) Your own family, your own DH and children, are your first priority, not your mother, not your parents.  Your own emotional well-being is being short-changed here, in a dramatic and tangible manner, by the chaos your mother presents in your life. Your father seems curiously absent, emotionally-speaking.  You're now fulfilling your father's own role here, with you serving as pseudo "spouse/primary partner" for your mother, That "surrogate spouse" role-responsibility you should consciously quit providing. 


Thank you Daughter, for everything you said. It was especially helpful the idea of documenting things. I think it helps me to be able to set down my worries and walk away from them. I noticed that all week I was ruminating and thinking and arguing in my head. But after I wrote it down here, I felt like I had done something. That the worries had been dealt with a bit. And I could walk away and think of something else. I felt better. I think I need to start a private online journal to write down my thoughts. Then I might feel better, and even process stuff better when it is no longer swirling around endlessly in my thoughts. I think that will really help.

Also thank you for telling me that I am not responsible to be a white knight and save her from her health. I do worry. If I hadn't intervened a month ago, she would be dead. I literally saved her life by calling 911. She wanted to wait to see her primary doctor the next day. She would have died overnight. She was admitted into the hospital, but that night even with oxygen, they had to move her to ICU and intubate her because her co2 rose to 140. If she was at home her oxygen would have kept dropping and co2 would have kept rising. The dr. even shook my hand and told me I saved her life.

BUT.... I can't carry that weight. I can't be the one to be responsible for her health. Because then if I put that on myself, when she dies, I will feel guilt. And it won't be my fault. There will come a time when I won't be there to call 911 or know what is going on (we live separately). And when she lies to her doctor and he tells her she doens't need life prolonging support, what can I even do??????

I need to let go. The only thing I can do is protect myself. Pray for her. And prepare myself for the inevitable. :( 

Thank you all for the advice and support.

I feel much better now.

I feel like those mirrors have cracked and I can see much more clearly, the reality before me.
"I had to accept the fact that, look, this is who I am. I have to be who I am, and all of us have a right to be who we are. And whenever we submit our will, because our will is a gift, our will is given to us, whenever we submit our will to someone else's opinion a part of us dies." --Lauryn Hill

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practical

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Re: Lost in the Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2017, 11:39:36 PM »
Happy you are feeling more grounded again.

I came across this in another thread and actually have quoted it somewhere else before, I think this might help you even if your M isn't a hermit BPD:
currently reading 'understanding the borderline mother' by Christine lawson- goldmine. my mother is the 'hermit' type which i see talked about less on these boards. I think i will print this paragraph out and pin it up somewhere

'adult children cannot sacrifice their lives, their sanity, their health or their wellbeing in the effort to protect the Hermit mother. They can only give as much as they feel is safe to give and must release themselves from guilt in order to enjoy life.
The average person cannot imagine the intensity of the anxiety experienced by children of borderlines who struggle with the process of separation. Adult children experience annihilation anxiety, fear of ceasing to exist whilst still alive, when merged with their Hermit mothers.
Because their mother fears living, the Hermit's children have no choice but to leave her alone.'


Quote
So you think it isn't "wrong" of me to think that she has a more serious condition than she wants me to believe? This is serious, right?
Yes, it is, you are anchored in reality, you actually comprehended what the doctors said, your M has the power of denial, which can be incredibly strong. F keeps telling me "You know your F, nothing will kill him." - there is nothing you can say.

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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WomanInterrupted

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Re: Lost in the Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2017, 04:30:42 AM »
If you're trying to wrap your mind around the dearth of information regarding her REAL medical condition, the internet is your friend.  Google it.  :yes:

With sites like WebMD - and others dedicated to her specific disease - you'll be able to gauge what's going on by reading the symptoms. 

With Didi - who never again addressed the emphysema with me, BTW, because she was *responsible* for giving it to herself, by chain-smoking for 60+ years - I found a site that told me her condition was so advanced, she'd probably be dead in 6 months.

It was only off by a few weeks, as it turned out - and it wasn't the emphysema that killed her.  It was the lung cancer she did/didn't have, depending on what day of the week it was.  :roll:

But...still...I had time to process and wrap my mind around *exactly* WTF was going on, even if she was playing up all her Mystery Ailments and alluding THOSE were the problems me and my Associate Degree in Medical Assisting should be focused on.   :stars:

I really think she didn't expect me to fix jack squat.  In retrospect, that was a smokescreen to get me over there so she could treat me like dirt, put me down, belittle me, gaslight me - all the things your mom is doing now.

I think on some level I *knew* that, which is why I started lowering contact with every single week that went by - even though they don't appear to accept what's going on, on some level, they know too - and if they're particularly nasty, find a way to not just get a pound of flesh - but flay you alive and smirk that you deserved it.

Think of it this way - she may only have a matter of a few months to a few years of making your life a living hell, so dammit, she is going to make *every single second hurt.*

Your *mother* - who claims to love you.  Does that sound like anything a loving mother would do? 

And you don't have to accept that.  You can bow out of the picture, if you *allow* yourself, let her live in her delusions, and let your FATHER be her primary caregiver since he's the one who married her.

That isn't your job - nor is calling an ambulance because he doesn't want to invoke her ire.

He picked her - HE gets to deal with it.  That's *not* a responsibility he can fob off on you - you have your own life and you won't always be available to take his calls.

If a dramatic downturn occurs while your phone is off, HE needs to make a decision.  Ambulance or no?  What does she really WANT?

He knows her best - let HIM decide.

They have their own messed-up Dysfunctional Dance you'll never be able to follow.  Let THEM continue it and *stay out of it completely.*

Unfortunately, if your mother passes away because your father appeared to not to be able to make a decision or opted against calling an ambulance - those are HIS choices.  THEIR choices.  Neither one of them is dependent on YOU to keep them alive.

If I were you, I'd drop the rope - NO more ambulance calls (that's between them and your father IS an adult who can make his own decisions, based on knowing what he knows about your mom), NO more looking up alternative treatments for her condition (if she wants that so badly, she'll make an appointment with a holistic practitioner or herbalist), and *no more making either of them your primary concern.*

You have CHILDREN.  You have a DH.  You have YOU!  *Those are your primary concerns.*

Those are the people who depend on you and love you.   :)

Your parents *don't need a babysitter* or micro-manager.

If she won't take care of herself, there is not a damned thing you can do about it.

What you CAN do is *prevent* yourself from being abused further by lowering contact and sticking to a pretty strict Medium Chill.

I've heard it said here before:  They can't get your goat if they don't know where it is.   :bigwink:

I decided, well, if Didi is going to die, she's not going to take strips of me with her like trophies.  She is NOT getting the pounds and pounds of flesh she thinks she's owed by all my perceived failures and disappointments *to her* by me being me and not an extension of her.

I knew it was going to get bad - and it did.  It only made me more resolved to *stay away.*  Didi and Ray can figure it out on their own.  I didn't cause it, I can't control it, and I can't cure it.

You do NOT have to keep your abuser alive because her enabler doesn't want to be responsible for how angry she'll be that an ambulance was called - that's between THEM.

Let THEM sort it.

I know that may have sounded a bit harsh, but it's the reality. 

And it really sucks.

But I want you to know something - You ARE NOT A BAD PERSON if you drop the rope and let things unfold organically.

You ARE NOT A BAD PERSON if you tell your father to call 911 and he doesn't want to - and you say, "Your call.  Good night, dad.  I'm turning my phone off now."

You are NOT A BAD PERSON if you walk away and say, "Not my circus, not my monkeys."

You are NOT A BAD PERSON if you decide, "Your problems are your own and I can't do anything about them."

 :hug:


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practical

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Re: Lost in the Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2017, 09:03:08 AM »
 :yeahthat:
I have been there and if you want to survive and stay sane, stay out of their toxic dynamic, their toxic dance they want to pull you into (I wasn't this smart as I was still in the FOG and the poison I got poured over me, the abuse I got as "thanks", I hope you don't have to experience it. Yes, they pulled me into it, even begged me to help, but when I acted like a rational person they didn't like it and punished me in small and big ways and your M is already on her way to do the same.)

My F was always afraid of calling the ambulance, B did it one time, M arrived at hospital and pretty much immediately signed the self-release forms and was back home :fallingbricks:, which also happened the few times F did actually call an ambulance. They write their own destiny, they chart their own lives path or in your M's case path to death possibly. There is nothing you can do other than get out of the way of the train hurling towards you.

It is really hard, because with normal parents you could help and it would be a pleasure to do so, so my mind kept getting all mixed up about whether I was doing the right thing by stepping away, whether I was unloving, mean and selfish, but the futility of whenever I tried to help and the punishment I got in return, which could be as "small" as belittling that I don't have clue and am doing everything wrong or as big as revoking my POA with a bilious lawyers letter after I saved F's life, it finally convinced me that stepping away and detaching was my only choice, because in the end my responsibility lies with my own life first.
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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illogical

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Re: Lost in the Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2017, 10:07:33 AM »
...BUT.... I can't carry that weight. I can't be the one to be responsible for her health. Because then if I put that on myself, when she dies, I will feel guilt. And it won't be my fault. There will come a time when I won't be there to call 911 or know what is going on (we live separately). And when she lies to her doctor and he tells her she doesn't need life prolonging support, what can I even do??????

I need to let go. The only thing I can do is protect myself. Pray for her. And prepare myself for the inevitable. :( 

The above in bold is the crux of the matter.  You are not responsible for anyone who is a competent adult, except yourself.

And you are right.  What about the next time it happens-- i.e., that your mother can't breathe and needs to call 911?  You cannot be there 24/7 to make sure 911 is called.  And you really don't know what is going to happen, so you can't prepare for every contingency.  The reality is, she might die in her sleep.  She might die before the EMTs arrive, on the way to the hospital, in the hospital.  Or she might live on for several more years.  You don't know.  It's not your responsibility to take your mother's life in your hands. 

Let your father assist her, as others have said.  If he's too afraid to call 911, that's on him.  By inserting yourself into the situation, you send the message to him that you are willing to be his safety net.  He is very much a part of the dysfunction and it is by his choice.  He married your mother and he continues to live with her.  That is his choice. 

In a dysfunctional family, everyone has a role.  Your mother's is obvious.   She's the Queen Bee.  Your father is the Enabler.  You are the Scapegoat-- the one they turn to to fix all their problems.  You don't have any control over the decisions your mother and father make, only your own life.  You can choose to continue to be a part of the dysfunction, or resign your role.

My humble advice is not to underestimate your father's part in this.  By assuming the role of Scapegoat, aka safety net, it sends him a message that Queen Bee is not his problem.  It's your problem, and you will pick up the pieces when Queen Bee derails the train (makes a mess of things).  I would make it clear to him that he is not to count on you the next time there is a crisis.  That he needs to have an Emergency Plan in place for the next time there is an emergency.  He may very well ignore your advice, probably will.  But at least you have made it clear that you are not going to be available to act as a Life Alert Pendant for your mother.  If he persists in making you the Scapegoat, you demonstrate through your actions that you are no longer available to act in that regard.  I know it's hard to change the roles, but it's imperative to your own survival that you resign your role as Scapegoat.

"Applying logic to potentially illogical behaviour is to construct a house on shifting foundations.  The structure will inevitably collapse."

__Stewart Stafford

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: Lost in the Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2017, 11:53:54 AM »
In addition to the comments here I can add it helped me to keep in mind all this medical issue drama is all just another Hoover designed to create FOG  to pull us in because the PD person needs a "fix" when the pressure within them builds and they need an outlet.

Looking back when I was enmeshed the cycle would run minutes at a time going through the whole cycle several times in a matter of hours. Once I started disconnecting uPDm was able to keep the "nice" part of the cycle up longer periods of time. Inevitably she would start to implode, I could feel the tension build part of the cycle, and she needed an outlet so there would be some sort of explosion, this would bring her relief having transferred her bad emotions off to someone or at least have someone sharing the mood and we would pretend nothing had happened moving into the next part of the cycle:
http://www.soulshepherding.org/wp-content/uploads/Cycle-of-Abuse.png

Please keep in mind medical emergency and/or neglect is just another type of Hoover.


. . . and to quote bopper let's run "weird" through the PD translator - "you're behaving different than me / independent and we need to be the same / enmeshed / under my control so just stop individuating this minute."
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
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