Update: meeting with parents

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all4peace

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Update: meeting with parents
« on: December 18, 2018, 04:04:29 PM »
So, it happened. I had wonderful friend and spousal support in the time leading up to the meeting. Once parents knew it was MY therapist we were meeting with, things got interesting. I finally got communication from both of them, and apologies all around. One parent claimed to have made things right with every person I had referred to as having been violated.

My T was very kind to them. I believe most of what T said sailed right over their heads. One parent fished around beforehand to figure out "what T knew." I ignored the bait. This same parent's first question in the mtg was "what T already knew." I shut that down immediately and firmly.

One parent is endlessly bewildered over why our relationship has gotten so bad.
The other parent is sad that I just don't want to get better.

One parent openly boldly lied in the meeting. Lied about lying about lying.
The other appeared to be asking if T could be their personal T, but it wasn't too clear. Asked for more sessions to understand why our relationship is bad. Directed to work with their own T to get help in figuring that out (I've been explaining clearly and repeatedly, hence this advice).

One didn't apologize in the mtg.
The other's apology was vague to the point of absurdity and managed to lump all of us parents in the room (therapist included) into the apology, along the lines of "All parents have regrets." I was thinking that not all parents' regrets include bruising and bloodying their children, violating all boundaries, emotionally neglecting, repeated abandonment, inter-parental violence and more. But, you know, we all have regrets.

I stayed calm, although visibly angry (as noted by T afterwards).
I didn't say anything I didn't want to.
I did say everything I wanted to.
I managed to keep my body calm and mind engaged. I was quite afraid of being in flight-fight-freeze and using only my amygdala, so it was a huge relief to have had my mind fully operating.
I wasn't warm or friendly, and I decided that's fine. I was polite, and that is enough.

Pros:
-I needed to offer them what I did, for my own peace. I offered it, they ignored the gift it was, nothing has improved, and I'm ok with that.
-I needed to face my fears, in person.
-I needed to know that my fragmented parts, my inner children, all the wounded parts, were healed, integrated and whole. I needed to know if my adult self could show up. She did.
-I needed to do this for myself, my children, my marriage, my siblings, and even my parents. I still believe it was the right thing, even if they chose to not make use of it.

Cons:
-It took a lot of energy to prepare for this. I lost a lot of sleep and productive time.
-It's taken a lot of energy and time to process this afterwards, and more lost sleep.

Overall:
I'm glad I did it. I think it's important to listen to our inner voice, to trust ourselves when we feel moved very clearly in a direction, even if others cannot understand why. When I got home and really started to process it, one thing that became very clear to me is why I have developed my relational style as I have. I could see it so clearly, and it will help me stop the unhealthy aspects of that, to realize very clearly where it came from.

I appreciate the support I received ahead of time, incorporated so much of it into my planning, and wanted to share how things went once I had time to process and get it written down. Thank you!

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Starboard Song

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Re: Update: meeting with parents
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2018, 04:19:11 PM »
I didn't say anything I didn't want to.
I did say everything I wanted to.
I managed to keep my body calm and mind engaged.

Overall: I'm glad I did it.

 :yourock:

Thanks for sharing this update. I had wondered how it was going to work out. In my last meeting with my FIL, I didn't do nearly as well. In particular, I didn't even attempt to say all the things I wanted to say. 

You've done so much on this forum, helping me and so many others to understand ourselves and even the challenging people we deal with. You help us bolster our boundaries while also keeping them kind. I'm glad you came prepared for every type of sideways and I am glad you dodged them all.

I suspect this will fire up some renewed enthusiasm for engagement on their part. I hope that it also fired up your own feeling of stability, and resolve, and an assurance that this is rightly behind you.

Well done, you!


Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

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practical

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Re: Update: meeting with parents
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2018, 07:37:12 PM »
How incredibly brave and strong, and what an amazing way to show your child-self you can protect her, nourish her.

This was your path to get closure. I totally agree, we each have to follow our gut feeling, this meeting is what you needed. You also seem to have been in a good place beforehand - you sure have worked hard for it - you don't seem to have had hopes of some happy reunion, but rather were solidly grounded in reality. I think this is what made this meeting at all possible, because you were so advanced in your healing, so you couldn't be dragged into JADEing or circular arguments nor did FOG overwhelm you.

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When I got home and really started to process it, one thing that became very clear to me is why I have developed my relational style as I have. I could see it so clearly, and it will help me stop the unhealthy aspects of that, to realize very clearly where it came from.
This is truly amazing to me, it shows who you are, out of this mess you pulled something that will help you grow further.

You are one strong woman!
“If I’m not towards myself, who is towards myself? And when I’m 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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RavenLady

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Re: Update: meeting with parents
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2018, 08:06:51 PM »
Wow! How awesome to be able to share such a success story. Congratulations!
sometimes in the open you look up
to see a whorl of clouds, dragging and furling
your whole invented history. You look up
from where you're standing, say
among the stolid mountains,
and in that moment your life
becomes the margin
of what matters
-- Terry Ehret

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bohemian butterfly

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Re: Update: meeting with parents
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2018, 10:03:12 PM »
I’m soooo proud of you!  Thank you for sharing.  You were brave, strong and an inspiration.   

I loved the pros/cons section and especially the overall. 

Your post was very important; you are right, although some aren’t able to:  write/send letters, go to therapy, have meetings with their FOO, we each have our own path. 

Your post really helped me and you are an inspiration.  Thank you for all that you do.  Thank you for sharing. 

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Fightsong

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Re: Update: meeting with parents
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2018, 05:47:51 AM »
Oh A4P what a wonderful post. It feels so full of integrated healing, feels like a yin- yang of  acceptance and healing with sadness and loss.

I really resonate with that bit about wanting to know if your adult self can show up.  I so utterly get that. I am so happy for you that she did. That she is there and she has the power and the healing to hold the hands of the little ones Tight enough that they know your adult self ‘has this’.

Good job. Good job.

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Adria

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Re: Update: meeting with parents
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2018, 12:27:23 PM »
All4peace,

Hooray for you! Clearly the pros outweigh the cons. It sounds like you accomplished most of what you were hoping for, and what bravery to do so!  It seems this session was quite revealing in all aspects. I'm sure this will help you move forward with more peace, understanding and clarity. You did it! :applause:

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daughterofbpd

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Re: Update: meeting with parents
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2018, 02:23:17 PM »
You are very brave and strong! I'm glad the meeting was beneficial to you.
“How starved you must have been that my heart became a meal for your ego”
~ Amanda Torroni

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betta fish

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Re: Update: meeting with parents
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2018, 11:55:42 AM »
Hello,

It must have been difficult indeed. I hope this leads to some answers for you, even if their answers were vague at best.  You did what you needed done, I am very impressed with your ability to stay strong.
“Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman.”
― Maya Angelou

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all4peace

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Re: Update: meeting with parents
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2018, 04:48:45 PM »
Starboard, I know many have parents who accuse them of terrible and heinous things. Mine didn't, so I suspect that helped me keep my train on the tracks. It helped me NOT to anticipate every single possible thing they could say or do. I classified it into categories in my head, and much of it could go into "Things I Can't Deal With" and could address with "I don't have anything to say about that, but thank you for sharing your perspective."

Thank you for your kind words. Do you think that not being able to say all you wanted to say has left those words rattling around inside of you? I found it incredibly helpful for me to not have those unspoken words rattling around and am so very thankful that my brain stayed functional that day. I am so sorry that you weren't able to say it all. :hug:

Practical, my inner children were a huge reason for this meeting. #1 was to let my parents say what they might need to say to move forward. I was hoping for specific and meaningful apologies, and that didn't happen, but what DID happen is my adult self was able to be sure she could take care of the younger parts of me. That felt amazing! I was anxious and awkward, and I decided that is ok. Thank you for the many times you've helped me on this forum and have been a part of that healing.

Ravenlady, thank you!

Bohemian butterfly, it stops me up short every time on this forum someone says "I'm proud of you!" I have myself said it many times. It's such a strange, sad and beautiful thing to hear words on an internet forum that we haven't been told by our parents. Thank you, it really means a lot to me.  Thank you for your kind words.

Fightsong, thank you for understanding. And I love that you use the word "integrated"! It has been such a part of my T process.

Adria, I really hope this will catapult me forward. I know this will be a part of my life story, always, but I want to let this be a ceremonial recognition of the death of what I wish could have been, but isn't.

daughterofbpd, thank you!

betta fish, I was terrified. My hands were going numb and I was worried I might pass out or worse. Breathing and affirmations helped me reclaim my body and mind. Thank you for your kind words.