Lost in the Funhouse Mirrors

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illogical

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Re: Lost in the Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2017, 02:11:13 PM »
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.

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


 :yeahthat:  This is so spot-on. 

I think it's easy to get caught up in the drama of your mother's life-threatening illness and lose sight of how she milked this crisis (which came from her own self-neglect) for all it was worth.

Recall how your mother blamed you for her crisis-- of course in a "joking" and totally deniable manner-- which was just a way for her to reject any and all responsibility for what happened and scapegoat you.

To quote from your other post--

"I was sitting there with my aunt, chatting in her room today.  And my mom makes a snarky comment, "All I needed last week was for you to give me your albuterol, but noOo, you had to go out of town and go to that event instead."  In a sarcastic "no one cares about me" tone, lighthearted, but pointed."

To key in on practical's comment, you can try your best to do what you think "is the right thing" and take charge here, but in the end, you will get scapegoated for whatever happens.  It is futile to attempt to "fix" your mother or her health problems.  In the end, she will drag you into the quagmire. 

So I would be on high alert for more medical emergencies during the upcoming holidays.  My NM loved to rain a big dark cloud of gloom over my cheerful self.  If she smelled even a whiff of cheer, she tried to snuff it out immediately by attempting to gain center stage through medical crises-- some of which were real, some not and some a combination.  Please be careful.
"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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Terichan

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Re: Lost in the Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2017, 03:24:58 PM »
I need to let go. The only thing I can do is protect myself. Pray for her. And prepare myself for the inevitable. :( 

Dinah, you've gotten so much good advice already -- I think your quote here gets right to the heart of the matter. You can't control your mother, you can't fix her, you can't force her to try to fix herself, and even if she actually stopped denying her condition and took the treatment available for it -- the sad reality is, people die, parents die, everyone dies, none of us get to live forever. Your mother's life and her life choices are hers and hers alone. Sure, we can try to help, do what we can, try our best, but often our best just isn't enough, even if the other person accepts our help. And your mother is bound and determined not to do that. You do have to let go, for your own self and sanity.

I also totally get what you say about not going down with your mother's ship. My own BPD mother was desperate to take me down with her. She wanted me to worry about her every second, to try and try and TRY some more to get her to take care of herself even as she refused to do so, she wanted me to be absolutely beside myself when she was ill, to be unable to function until she was well again. To work myself to a frazzle worrying about her. She thought that's what a child's devotion to her beloved mother should look like. She wanted me to live her illnesses with her.

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.

Absolutely!! This was my BPD mother to a tee. I remember once, she was talking to me about illness X -- to this day, I have no idea if X was real or fake, she lied about so many different illnesses I eventually gave up trying to figure out if her disease du jour was real or not. She was baiting me with tales of this illness and how she had been told to do ABC to get better but that ABC was too uncomfortable or too inconvenient or whatever, and I just refused to engage. I went "Hmmmm" and "Oh, that's too bad" and other grey rock responses and she got very agitated and she said "Oh, honey, you don't want your mama to have Illness X, do you? It must be so hard for you, you can't even talk about it you're so upset. You poor thing, you're worried your mama's going to die!"

At the time, that statement made me furious, because that wasn't it at all, I didn't even believe she HAD illness X -- but now I can see it was another form of denial for my mother. She couldn't accept the fact that she'd wrung all the "my poor mommy, oh no she might die!" out of me years before and that I had already let go, let go of feeling responsible for her health or feeling that I had to force her to do ABC against her will so she wouldn't die. So in her head she turned my non-engagement into incapacitating worry. And even way back then (probably a full decade before she actually did die) I decided to not correct her, to let her think that, if that's what she wanted.

So you may have to let that stuff go too, to let your mother do -- and think -- whatever she wants, even if it's something about you that's not true (like accusing you of not caring about your own mother, or stuff like that) Let it go, let it all go.

In the end, my mother did die, part of the cause of her death was definitely self-inflicted, and it was difficult and it was sad, but it was also inevitable and it was the natural pattern of life. Ideally children will outlive their parents, the alternative is our children dying first and who wants that?! It does sound like your mother has a disease that will take her sooner rather than later, but it's not your fault and it's not your responsibility and you don't need to get pulled down with her. I would never try to make my children responsible for my health, I'd guess that you would never do that to your children either, so when you start feeling guilty or responsible, try and imagine doing to your kids what your mother is doing to you and I'll bet the guilt will evaporate fairly quickly.

Huge hugs. You can and will get through this.
ďSometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.Ē
― Thich Nhat Hanh

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VividImagination

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Re: Lost in the Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2017, 03:54:41 PM »
To piggyback on what Terichan said...my NM believed in transactional love. For her, the more you worried and hovered and clucked and googled and slaved at her feet, the more you loved her. If you didn't do those things you simply didn't care.

When she was feeling unloved, she would manufacture a medical emergency to see how we responded. A favorite was to push herself too much then fall helpless in the floor. My sister and father weren't allowed to help her...only the smallest person (me) could drive twenty minutes across town and wrestle her 300 lb bulk out of the floor. The second time I refused and sent my husband, and she never called me again.
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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Dinah-sore

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Re: Lost in the Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2017, 09:37:36 PM »
I did look it up online and from what I could tell, 50% of people who were intubated with her disease can live up to 5 years. That is best case. So I am assuming with the enlarged heart and weight/blood pressure issues, that only complicates it. So it is probably a few years at best.

But yeah. Anything can happen to any one of us at any time. But I need to come to terms with it, and protect myself, so my memories are not as painful as they could be.

I totally get it, that she is having negative emotions, so she can put them on other people and feel better. That makes so much sense. So the more scared or upset (or ill) she gets, the more dysfunctional or abusive she can become. That is how she will cope. So she needs to hoover me into the fog so I am available to make her feel better.

It is so helpful to hear your experiences and how you went through similar situations, and how you coped. Thank you so much for the support, and wisdom.  It really helps me feel less confused and anxious. Thank you.
"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 #24 on: December 11, 2017, 10:48:53 PM »
I wanted to address something you said, Dinah, that's been bugging me all day. It was buried in a huge post, so I just pulled it out instead of quoting:

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!!!


It took until I reached my 40s to realize that church leaders, great and small, are just people searching for answers just like us. Just because someone in authority says it or even believes it themselves doesn't make it so. The use of the word "esteem" means revere. The modern understanding of self-esteem is self-respect.  A person who respects themselves is not going to blindly do as they are told, they will have healthy boundaries, treat others with respect and expect the same. A person with self-respect thinks for themselves.

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.

People in positions of religious authority can do this as well. I learned to listen to my heart when deciding what I would and would not accept as doctrine.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2017, 10:59:55 PM by VividImagination »
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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GettingOOTF

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Re: Lost in the Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #25 on: December 11, 2017, 11:55:01 PM »
I keep wanting to reach out and respond to this, but itís too overwhelming to type it all out so Iím just going to say that I have been where you are and a lot of your post I could have written.

Itís so hard to watch a parent give up on themselves like this. My mother denied her illness until she couldnít any more and then it was too late. Itís a lot to deal with.

After my mother got her diagnosis was when I first started stepping back and letting people make their own decisions without my input. I knew they wouldnít listen to me and decided to just make the time as drama free as possible. I see now that there really was nothing I could do and Iím happy with how I handled it, for me, her and the rest of the family.

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Zebrastriped

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Re: Lost in the Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #26 on: December 12, 2017, 10:33:34 AM »
Dinah-sore and all the responders, thanks as I go thru some of the same medical stuff with my mother as all of you have.  Its important to know that someone else goes thru these same soul searching struggles.  And that there is a vast variety of solutions.

Dinah-sore, I hope you saw in your research that the medical community itself admits that it does a poor job with timetables for lung related diseases.  There just is no predicting the course of these illnesses yet. 

We will have to work on the acceptance thing as buddies.  And I am so grateful for all the friends here.

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bopper

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Re: Lost in the Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2017, 12:49:36 PM »
Another thing to consider is how much information you give your mother.

Why does she know you are sick?
Why does she know you went Christmas shopping?
Why does she know you took the kids in the cars to look at lights?
Because you told her.
Normally these are fine conversation topics. THese are the things that you would talk with your mom about.
But for a PD mom...decide if the results are worth it.
Is it time to put her on an information diet?
Maybe don't call her so often.
Maybe don't take all her calls. Call back the next day.
Maybe be vague..."ah, just busy with Christmas stuff, you know..."

Re: her health
You have the choice to let her live her life the way she wants (in denial), or you can call the Pulmonologist and say that you just wanted to let her/him know that when your mom walked from church her O2 level was at 84...that she may be in denial and he/she may want to rely on tests more than her reporting of symptoms.



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

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practical

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Re: Lost in the Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #28 on: December 12, 2017, 01:27:46 PM »
Is it time to put her on an information diet?
:yeahthat: Like any diet not easy, in my experience totally worth it though. "Oh, the usual", "Nothing special" are my answers to "What have you been doing?", "What's going on in your life?" and then I guide the conversation towards other topics, more neutral topics that won't come back to bite me.
ďIf Iím not towards myself, who is towards myself? And when Iím only towards myself, what am I? And if not now, when?Ē (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 #29 on: December 12, 2017, 03:39:41 PM »
..I totally get it, that she is having negative emotions, so she can put them on other people and feel better. That makes so much sense. So the more scared or upset (or ill) she gets, the more dysfunctional or abusive she can become. That is how she will cope. So she needs to hoover me into the fog so I am available to make her feel better.

Yes, it's that-- she wants to put you down to make herself feel better-- but it's much more.  It's also about controlling you and every aspect of your life.  It's about shredding your self-esteem, your identity, in order to render you her "puppet".  She doesn't want you to be an individual with thoughts and feelings of your own, because this represents a challenge to her complete authority over you.  So she is setting her sights on chipping away at any fun/happiness/pride from accomplishments/sense of self-worth that you have.  Her goal is to make you follow her every wish and command, to dance like a puppet on a string.

Sorry if this sounds harsh, but this is what narcissists do.

Bopper is absolutely right:  cut off her information.  And I would add, don't expect any validation from her.  This is likely your inner child talking.  Every child wants and needs validation from their mother.  And when we don't get it, we continue to seek it, even in our adulthood.  But if our mother is PD, we must look for it outside of them, because they aren't capable of giving it to us. 

Right now your mother is trying to get you to comply.  Total compliance is her goal.  And until you do, you will have a target on your back.  Information, even about little things, will be twisted and spun and used to demean you.  So the less said the better. 

You are in a very difficult situation with your mother.  But we get it, and we're here to support and validate you on your journey.  :hug:
« Last Edit: December 12, 2017, 03:42:35 PM 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 #30 on: December 12, 2017, 05:56:44 PM »
Dinah-sore, I wonder if this thread about giving up hope might help you? It is about a Chosen relationship, it applies just as much to Unchosen. When I gave up hope for F to change, to be reasonable with the most rational tiniest issues and for him to stop living in denial, when I gave up hope I gave up my own kind of denial that had protected me from seeing things weren't going to change, I was never going to have emotional parents.
http://www.outofthefog.net/forum/index.php?topic=70543.0
ďIf Iím not towards myself, who is towards myself? And when Iím only towards myself, what am I? And if not now, when?Ē (Rabbi Hillel)

"I can forgive, but I cannot afford to forget." (Moglow)

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FromTheSwamp

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Re: Lost in the Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #31 on: December 13, 2017, 12:09:23 AM »
I realized after I put both of my parents on an information diet just how little they cared about my life.  I stopped volunteering anything of consequence about myself, and they never asked.  I let them talk for the most part.  It was a relief in some ways, since I wasn't talking about myself, they had much less opportunity to invalidate me.  I'm still working on it, of course, since it's a weird way to have a "conversation" and sometimes doesn't come naturally. 

It's worth a try - just keep directing the conversation back to more neutral topics that are about them.  You might find, like me, that not only do they not mind, but they actually prefer it. 

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lindentree

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Re: Lost in the Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #32 on: December 13, 2017, 12:17:20 AM »
I'm so sorry you're going through this. I've benefiting from reading such great input from everyone. I needed a reminder recently to limit contact and information. It's so hard to NOT share successes, details, experiences but it rarely proves worth it. As someone said, it's our inner-child wanting validation and it's natural for a parent-child relationship. But it's asking too much from someone with the emotional maturity of a child. Best case scenario for me is NBPDm relates my achievement back to them (in the case of Narcissism). Best wishes as you limit contact and stick by your boundaries. We are here with you!