A year and a half of NC, and a card came in the mail today.

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stasia

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A year and a half of NC, and a card came in the mail today.
« on: January 02, 2019, 11:45:30 PM »
And it's a huge gross lovey dovey love bomb, too. Boyfriend read it; I didn't even want to touch it. She wrote something to the effect of "No matter what, I will never stop loving and believing in you." That was all. No screaming, no waifing, no raging.

WTF do I do with this?

I had hoped that she'd lost my address somewhere in her hoard - I moved shortly before going NC and while I gave her my address, grudgingly, she didn't have occasion to send me anything before NC. But no, she has it. Now I need to worry that she's going to show up at my door.

After my panic attack stopped - haven't had one of those in over a year, since she sent a FM after me, she is the ONLY cause of my panic attacks - I just couldn't stop bawling my head off.

I wish I could take that at face value, because I want that so badly to be true. I want a loving mom. But, the cynical part of me says, she sent this because she needs me to do something for her. There's some crisis. And she's trying to hoover me back in.

There is no middle ground with her. She does not respect boundaries. My choices are either NC, or her contacting me constantly, crying and telling me to fix her life. If I crack that door open, I know what will happen. I know what I'm leaving myself open to. I can't do it again. Any contact with her will ultimately lead to her wanting me to caregive her, and I can't do that again, last time it made me literally suicidal.

I'm looking at a horrible start to the year - Boyfriend getting a scary medical test*, work is insane - and I've been thinking often, "thank god I am NC and don't have to deal with my mother on top of all of this." If I add her back into my life, I will break.

She'll never understand that.

Once I calmed down, I said to Boyfriend, "You know what the card DOESN'T say? 'I'm sorry I hurt you.' " There is no acknowledgement of anything bad having happened between us.

So, guys, what do I do now? Ignoring it feels like an asshole move. Part of me feels like this is my opening to write a "I'm not angry with you, but I cannot be in contact with you for my own self protection and my own mental health, please respect that" letter. I haven't done that yet because I didn't think it would do any good and I'd just be falling over myself to defend my position, which wouldn't be helpful. Do I do that now?

I really do not want ANY contact with her but I fear she's going to escalate if I don't respond. But if I do respond, then I'm training her that sending a lovebomb gets a response from me and I do not want that.

Sorry, you guys, I'm clearly all over the place here. Could really use some advice and/or support. I feel sick and shaky and...... hunted.

*Which is TOTALLY bringing back all of the trauma of being forced to caregive her, because I'm terrified Boyfriend's test is going to have a bad result and that he will need caregiving. I've been having daily flashbacks to caring for M as it is. And now this shows up in the mail because CLEARLY I needed another trigger right now, ARGH.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 11:47:23 PM by stasia »

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Just Jay

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Re: A year and a half of NC, and a card came in the mail today.
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2019, 02:22:27 AM »
Being NC is incredibly painful even when it's right for your life. It sounds like you're clear on your reasons. The healthy part of you knows that. The child in you -- which is a basic human need -- rebels against it all. Of course you need your mom. You need her to be a mom in a give and take relationship.

She probably can't be that mother for you.  Ever. So you're making your distance and creating your own life. Good for you! It's really, really hard, but I swear that if you remain true to your needs, you will become very strong.

Love to you.

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WomanInterrupted

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Re: A year and a half of NC, and a card came in the mail today.
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2019, 02:45:41 AM »
I'm so sorry, Stasia!   :bighug:

Personally, I would NOT write back - especially if you think it will fall on deaf eyes, so to speak.  :bigwink:

Your statement might only enrage her, and get her back into that, "You think YOU have problems!?  Put 30 years on you and see how you do!" mindset (Witch) and you *really* don't want that - because if she wasn't coming, your statement might prompt her to act.   :spooked:

I'd stick with radio silence and *really* take in that yes, you're *right* - things have probably gone from bad to worse over there, she's running out of people she can use,  and she thinks ONE love bomb will just erase *the entire past* - and contact from her won't be a trickle here or there, it'll be like a dam burst, with a nonstop *deluge* of her needs and wants.  :sharkbait:

Again - you're right.  She didn't say, "I'm sorry I hurt you."

She didn't apologize for a thing or acknowledge she can be difficult, problematic - or say she's going to T, taking meds, seeing a doctor for her health problems - anything that would lead you to believe there's a possibility for her to make positive changes in her life.

Because she *can't* and honestly doesn't think she did anything wrong - or is doing anything wrong now, by repeating the same patterns over and over - that's a person you can't have a relationship with, because it's completely one-sided.  She is always the wronged party, and you have nothing to complain about.   :dramaqueen:

I *love* that little, "I'll never stop believing in you" bit and couldn't help but roll my eyes all the way to Alaska.   :roll:

You know what she hasn't stopped believing in, when it comes to you?  That you'll embrace her insanity, move in with her, see to all her endless needs, and care for a bajillion feral and semi-feral cats in her hoarded-up, flea-infested home, while she sits on the floor and dictates your every action, screaming for you to do SOMETHING - but not allowing you to really DO anything!   :aaauuugh:

*That's* what she still believes in.
 
She believes you'll fall back on your programming and she'll win - that's all.

That's what she really hasn't stopped believing in.

She has made her own messes, and can figure out how to clean them up, without your help.   :ninja:

I don't understand what she thinks you can "fix" because she won't listen to reason.  :roll:

I'm sorry to hear about your BF having a test, and hope the results show he's in good health - or if there is a problem, it's a small, manageable one.   :)

I'm going to freak you out in a good way about caregiving for a *normal person* - just to put your mind at ease.  ;D

I just did this with my own DH, in May - he had bilateral inguinal hernias that had to be repaired, because they just don't go away on their own.

It was basically like he had the flu for a week, but had to use a cane, and had to sleep sitting up for several days.  DH followed doctor's orders, got up, moved around, and didn't want to be fussed over - but if he was feeling particularly sore or stiff and asked me to get something, he always said, "Please" and "thank you."  8-)

DH *wanted* to get well - the worst part of the whole thing was the day of withdrawal he went through when he stopped taking the hydrocodone - he'd taken less than *half* the script, started getting kind of grumpy 48 hours later (I put it down to cabin fever), and the next day, it was full on puking and migraines, followed by 12 hours of sleep - and then he was fine.   :???:

But I know why - I looked it up.  DH had been eating citrus while taking it, which is something you *really* shouldn't do, because it does something that makes your body more receptive to becoming addicted - you'd have to look it up, and when you read it, you'll say, "OH!  Got it!"  :doh:

That's the only thing I'd do differently:  if hydrocodone is going to be involved, *citrus is bad, m'kay?*  ;D

But overall, we put the whole thing down to, "Well, that happened."   :meh:

Your BF is *not* your mom.  He's *not* going to Waif out on you, sit on the floor and wail like a banshee.  He'll be interested in recovering and getting back to normal - and *not stressing you out.*  :yes:

No - I don't think the man in your life will be very happy to see you worried, stressed, or doing more work around the house,  to take up his slack, if he's anything like my DH.

I think I can safely say that as worried as you are about being a caregiver to him, he's just as worried, because he doesn't want you to be in that position.  He also doesn't want to be in the position to need a caregiver - and I think most normal, reasonable, rational people feel the same way.    :thumbup:

It's *not* the same as your parents - you won't be *trapped* and unable to leave.

With a little luck, you'll both be like DH and me, and a few months later, you'll both shrug and say, "Well, that happened."   :meh: :drinks: :zzz:

And I think you'll say the same thing, about your mom, as more time goes  by and her card becomes a footnote, and starts resonating with you more as, "Jesus, lady - give it a freaking break.  You're not fooling anybody."  :evil2:

With both situations - you've GOT this!   :cheer: :cheer:

And if at any time, you feel like you don't - please post!   :yes:

I think the card was just a fishing expedition and nothing will come of it - and I hope your BF gets good news.   :)

Believe it or not, you're going to be okay.   8-)

 :hug:

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AnneH

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Re: A year and a half of NC, and a card came in the mail today.
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2019, 09:56:39 AM »
I've been getting cards like that for the better part of the past decade. Or I assume I have since I now throw them into the trash unopened. In my experience, it has always just been another attempt to draw me back into the "family" system and an opportunity for PD family members to play the victim: they are loving and caring and we have abandoned them and hurt them so badly for no reason at all! But they will take all of our bad behavior and swallow their pride JUST to get their beloved sister/daughter/etc. back. Does that sound familiar? You might want to research the "honeymoon" phase of abusive relationships where the abuser is on their best, most loving behavior in order to get the other person back.
My most extreme example of this was when en dad had just learned that I had involved the police to prevent unhpdsis from contacting me further and showing up at my doorstep. I immediately received a loving email saying how much he missed me and wanted to Skype with me! I don't really believe that a Skype conversation would have been full of love and support for me, to say the least...

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Starboard Song

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Re: A year and a half of NC, and a card came in the mail today.
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2019, 10:47:53 AM »
You may one day get a card or letter that is more substantial.

But for me, "I will always love you" is not the next rational line after what she probably last said to you.

My own MIL conducted brutal libel against my family in the community. Waiting three months and saying she hoped we could meet in the spirit of love, and that she still hoped for a change in sentiment from us, that didn't impress me. So we remain NC.

You sound very confident in your NC decision. I'd recommend you not respond. It is loving and decent to avoid conflict.
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betta fish

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Re: A year and a half of NC, and a card came in the mail today.
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2019, 11:47:59 AM »
Hello,

There is no logic to these attempts at contact.  I received a card for my B-day after 9 months NC. This after my uBPDmom sent a process server to request mediation or she would take me to court to gain access to her grandchildren.  In mediation her last words to me were that she never realized how toxic I was and she had never been happier.  After which I was sent another process server to take me to court. A couple of years later we are still awaiting a court date. The card was filled with comments saying how wonderful I am and how she missed me and that her love was "unconditional".  Like I was the one who needed forgiving :aaauuugh:.

The card is unlikely to be indicative of her changing. Your panic attack at a card is not a good sign that the relationship is good for you. I hope you can find peace and a resolution to your anxiety. 
“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.”
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stasia

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Re: A year and a half of NC, and a card came in the mail today.
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2019, 01:58:28 PM »
Thanks, everyone. I am a LITTLE calmer today. Though this morning I saw a woman with white hair similar to my mom's style walking to the train in front of me and about lost my shit thinking she'd driven here from the suburbs and was going to get on my train and pester me. It wasn't her, of course.

Being NC is incredibly painful even when it's right for your life. It sounds like you're clear on your reasons. The healthy part of you knows that. The child in you -- which is a basic human need -- rebels against it all. Of course you need your mom. You need her to be a mom in a give and take relationship.


Yes, I am unlike many others here in that my mother often behaved in a loving manner when I was a kid and a teen. Sure, there were problems, but she hadn't gone, as others call it here, Full Metal Waif yet. She would often write things in birthday cards and such about how much she believed in me. So that really was a punch to the gut. And a bit of cognitive dissonance - "wait, what, she's being NICE like she used to be? But.... I know that's not really her any more! What is happening here?"

It's like, I really really really want those words to be true. And part of me believes that SHE believes those words are true. But then I think, "Loving moms don't tell their kids that their lives aren't real and their problems aren't real problems. Loving moms don't force their kids to be their emotional support. Loving moms don't waif into their kid's voicemail while their kid is at an important job interview and thus has her phone turned off, and then hiss "thanks for nothing!" in the last voicemail when their kid still hasn't called them back within an hour. Loving moms don't tell their kids that their hoarded cats are their only reason for living. Loving moms don't tell their kids about how badly they want to die and then hint that their kid not doing enough for them is the reason; if they're experiencing mental health problems they seek therapy or meds."

(I know that last one can be challenging but I have friends who are moms who have various serious mental illnesses and they are SUPER hardcore serious about being compliant with meds, with going to therapy, if they feel themselves spiraling they are ON that shit immediately and in their shrink's office for a med adjustment. One told me, "I owe it to my kids, I can't parent through crazy and they deserve a sane mom." So I know it can be done.)

Your statement might only enrage her, and get her back into that, "You think YOU have problems!?  Put 30 years on you and see how you do!" mindset (Witch) and you *really* don't want that - because if she wasn't coming, your statement might prompt her to act.   :spooked:

Yes, this is my fear. Boyfriend thinks she will escalate and keep contacting me if I do not respond. I think that she will escalate and keep contacting me if I DO respond - that if I crack that door open she will shove her way in and start sending me all sorts of lovey crap in the mail.

I guess she's going to do what she's going to do, regardless of what I do. I'm kind of looking forward to showing this card to my T tomorrow and saying, "I told you so!" (T floated the idea that maybe M had given up on contacting me a while ago because she'd found others to do her waify bidding, and I basically laughed in her face and said, "no way, she's going to pop up again for sure at some point wanting something.")

I'd stick with radio silence and *really* take in that yes, you're *right* - things have probably gone from bad to worse over there, she's running out of people she can use,  and she thinks ONE love bomb will just erase *the entire past* - and contact from her won't be a trickle here or there, it'll be like a dam burst, with a nonstop *deluge* of her needs and wants.  :sharkbait:

Yes, I think this is exactly what is going on. I hate that I have to think so cynically, but here we are.

I mean..... I COULD take this at face value, right? "No matter what, I love you and believe in you." Great! That means she loves me and believes in me *even if I stay NC because that is what is best for my mental health.* And *even if I choose never to caregive her or help her with adulting tasks ever again.* Yeah?  :ninja:


I *love* that little, "I'll never stop believing in you" bit and couldn't help but roll my eyes all the way to Alaska.   :roll:

You know what she hasn't stopped believing in, when it comes to you?  That you'll embrace her insanity, move in with her, see to all her endless needs, and care for a bajillion feral and semi-feral cats in her hoarded-up, flea-infested home, while she sits on the floor and dictates your every action, screaming for you to do SOMETHING - but not allowing you to really DO anything!   :aaauuugh:

*That's* what she still believes in.

I admit that is hard to read, but you are probably right. She definitely knows what buttons to push, though. She used to send me "believe in yourself" cards all the time, like, when I was in college or if I was going through something hard, before her PD got really bad. This is a throwback to better times. I imagine that on some level she realizes that, and that she thinks she is going to tug at my heart and my programming is going to kick in. I don't know if she is being deliberately manipulative or if this is just a "please please let's go back to how things were" cry on her part.


I don't understand what she thinks you can "fix" because she won't listen to reason.  :roll:

No, she will not, but she wants me to, like, find out for her why her insurance went up and get them to put it back where it was, or talk her through basic adulting tasks like getting her driver's license renewed (OH GOD typing that out I just realized she's of an age where her state is going to require her to take the test again. Won't That Be Fun.... yes, I think that's a good reason right there to stay NC.) Or find her someone who will plow her huge driveway at no cost. Or figure out a way that she can get benefits that she thinks she's entitled to, without actually showing anyone her financials to prove she qualifies incomewise. She thinks that because I'm "so smart" and use the Internet, those are all things I can magically do for her.

I'm sorry to hear about your BF having a test, and hope the results show he's in good health - or if there is a problem, it's a small, manageable one.   :)

Thank you. I'm just going to spit it out - it is a colonoscopy. His mom died of colon cancer. So we're both pretty freaked out.

Thanks for sharing your story about DH and I hope he's feeling better. My fears are more around having to put my life on hold for caregiving, after having put my life on hold for most of my adult life because of M and *just now* getting out from under that. There are big things I want to do in the coming year and they are on hold because I can't do them if he has cancer and I have to care for him (and support both of us while he can't work). I'm also worried about having to do squeamish medical things - like, cleaning up chemo barf or surgical wound care or toileting him (my T said that having to scrub my father clean after BMs 3x a day traumatized me, and mostly I don't agree but maybe it did because this is a scenario that my brain keeps getting stuck on). And, if he ends up wearing a bag like his mom did, there is literally ZERO chance of him being able to change it himself, because medical stuff involving orifices freaks him out. I will have to do it for him. This is giving me major flashbacks of trying to convince M's doctors that I couldn't give her heparin shots in the stomach at home. Though, that's the one thing that I did win at not being bullied into! But I know how hospitals try and guilt you into doing medical stuff at home that you're not qualified to do, when they could just as easily send out home health care.

I'm trying not to think about it. But I know I'm majorly stuck in emotional flashbacks over this. Just walking into the hospital with him is going to be really tough.

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Kiki81

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Re: A year and a half of NC, and a card came in the mail today.
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2019, 02:37:08 PM »
I get a yearly card from my Narents on my birthday.  I understood what you detail in your post.

You ask: What do I DO with this?

Good question! I believe that a lot of us have been conditioned since day 1 to DO for our parents. DO whatever they tell us, and DO IT immediately.

So I find that in life, my knee jerk response to a lot of situations is: What do I DO?

That is a problem on top of a problem because most issues resolve themselves without US DOING ANYTHING.

So of course my response to your (possibly rhetorical) question is: Absolutely NOTHING!!!

And btw, I find the "I will always love you" to be waify, myself. (And who is she, Dolly or Whitney with the "I will always love you?"  ;)

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stasia

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Re: A year and a half of NC, and a card came in the mail today.
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2019, 02:46:31 PM »
I've been getting cards like that for the better part of the past decade. Or I assume I have since I now throw them into the trash unopened. In my experience, it has always just been another attempt to draw me back into the "family" system and an opportunity for PD family members to play the victim: they are loving and caring and we have abandoned them and hurt them so badly for no reason at all! But they will take all of our bad behavior and swallow their pride JUST to get their beloved sister/daughter/etc. back. Does that sound familiar?

Kind of? Honestly, this is the first time I've defied my mom's wishes in any way - it took until my late 40s to have my teenaged rebellion, apparently. So this is all new territory for me. I honestly had no idea how she was going to react to the NC. I haven't had any attempts in contact in more than a year; last fall she sent a FM after me on social media. My T thought that she'd likely discarded me as "not useful" and found other people to support her waifiness, and therefore thought she wouldn't try and contact me again. Looks like she was wrong.

Yes, I think this is an attempt to pull at my heartstrings and draw me back in. It DOES pull at my heartstrings, I won't lie; what kid doesn't want to hear "I love you and believe in you no matter what" from their mom? Except, through therapy and reading and posting here, I know not to take this at face value. I think she wants something from me. Maybe she has a health issue and is fishing for a caregiver. It's been a long time since she's let me finish a sentence, since she didn't talk over me with her problems, since she showed interest in my life. I felt like an Alexa, stuck on a shelf until she needed me to perform a task for her. Her words don't negate that, even though I believe she believes them.

The other thing I noticed too is - her handwriting on the envelope is really, really neat. That isn't normal for her. Usually when she'd send me stuff it was a sloppy disorganized scrawl. I didn't look at the card itself, Boyfriend did that for me, so I can't speak to how it is inside the card. I dunno, that probably means nothing, though I almost didn't recognize the handwriting when I got the mail because it seemed to be very.... careful, I guess? Or like she's trying to appear sane? It is definitely her though.

You may one day get a card or letter that is more substantial.

But for me, "I will always love you" is not the next rational line after what she probably last said to you.

She last called my voicemail and demanded that I get her out of jury duty (which.... how? I don't have that power!) and said a bunch of stuff about how awful her life was. By that time, Boyfriend was listening to voicemails for me so there was probably more to it than that; he did a good job of filtering out the emotional blackmail and waifing and just keeping it to anything I truly needed to know.

Now I'm starting to get a bit angry - I mean, who does that? Who sends a love bomb to someone who clearly wants nothing to do with you, who you think is probably angry with you? (I mean, I'm mostly not angry, I'm mostly terrified, but she definitely would not understand why I'm scared of her at all. She probably thinks I'm very angry.) This is, like, stalker ex behavior, yeah?

There is no logic to these attempts at contact.  I received a card for my B-day after 9 months NC. This after my uBPDmom sent a process server to request mediation or she would take me to court to gain access to her grandchildren.  In mediation her last words to me were that she never realized how toxic I was and she had never been happier.  After which I was sent another process server to take me to court. A couple of years later we are still awaiting a court date. The card was filled with comments saying how wonderful I am and how she missed me and that her love was "unconditional".  Like I was the one who needed forgiving :aaauuugh:.

The card is unlikely to be indicative of her changing. Your panic attack at a card is not a good sign that the relationship is good for you. I hope you can find peace and a resolution to your anxiety. 

Oh geez, that is a major head scratcher for sure. Again, WHO does that?? I'm sorry your M did that to you.

You're right - a lot of the stuff I've read about mental health and its effects on the body talks about how your body tells you what you should do if you just listen to it. It is not a sign of a healthy relationship when my heart starts racing, I start shaking, and then my arms go tingly and numb - that's only happened to me a couple of times before and it always freaked me out until a friend told me that was common during a panic attack. Always fun trying to text your T when your hands don't work that well. :/ And it's like, OK, I didn't MAKE that happen. I was just standing there waiting for Boyfriend to get home so he could open it for me, and trying to take deep breaths, and my body started having those symptoms without my permission.

I know she hasn't changed. This isn't an "I'm sorry." This is a "please contact me." I don't want to. But part of me feels like I owe her an explanation. I know it won't do any good, but still, part of me says "she has no idea how you feel, you owe it to her to tell her and to say 'please respect my wishes for NC.'" I ghosted her, and I still feel guilty about that.

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practical

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Re: A year and a half of NC, and a card came in the mail today.
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2019, 05:48:59 PM »
Please, don't answer the card. Whatever made her write you, nothing has changed. As you say yourself there is no "I'm sorry" or "I have done a lot of thinking" or "I have moved and given all the cats away", in short no indication of any change. It is a test balloon to see whether you are still available. Ignoring it isn't an "asshole move", it is the sane choice as you owe it to yourself to take care of yourself and protect yourself. And yes, I totally understand you wanting a mother, unfortunately yours wasn't cut out to be one for you. I think your reaction, the being triggered, crying tells you what you need to do. It is more than fine to put your own health first. You have a voice now, and that voice told you through the tears you cannot deal with her anymore.
:bighug:
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"I can forgive, but I cannot afford to forget." (Moglow)

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JustKathy

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Re: A year and a half of NC, and a card came in the mail today.
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2019, 05:56:27 PM »
Quote
Ignoring it feels like an asshole move.

No it doesn't. It doesn't sound like an asshole move to me, and I doubt it does to anyone else here. Ignoring it is a self-preservation move. Just remember you had reasons for going NC; reasons that were very valid and necessary for your emotional and physical well being. The only asshole move I see here is a mother abusing a child her entire life and never apologizing or making any genuine effort to own up to it.

This year I also got a "love bomb" card from my enFather after two years of not hearing from him. It was filled with the same things .... his health is failing, he hasn't seen me in sooooo long, he misses me. And for the first time in my 58 years, he wrote "love you" at the end. Not I LOVE YOU, but the social media-type cordial sign off of "love you." Still, it ripped me apart because I had waited my entire life to hear that, even if it wasn't entirely heartfelt.

BUT, as with your card, it was missing the two words I need to hear before I'll ever consider responding: I'M SORRY. He took the time to write out all that other stuff, he could have easily added, "I'm very sorry for whatever I did to hurt you." Really, how hard would that have been? That may be a rhetorical question. It probably never crossed his mind because he isn't sorry.

As long as there is no remorse on their part I choose to ignore. It's not an a-hole move. YOU ARE NOT AT FAULT.

Stay strong!

« Last Edit: January 03, 2019, 06:05:07 PM by JustKathy »

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stasia

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Re: A year and a half of NC, and a card came in the mail today.
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2019, 06:51:40 PM »
practical, I'm leaning very strongly right now toward not answering. What would be the point? It would only result in more mail. No thank you. One panic attack a year is enough for me. I feel guilty because I'm probably hurting her with my silence, but I can't go back to the way things were and if I crack that door open even a little she will come barreling through it and that'll be the end of my peaceful life.

There's just this other part of me that desperately wants to be heard by her. Who wants her to SEE me. Who wants her to understand that, I didn't go NC because I'm angry with her, I went NC because my body simply cannot handle the stress of trying to prop her up emotionally the way she wants (needs?) me to. Because I now have severe anxiety and PTSD that my T says is due to being forced to caregive her and F, and I need to heal that, and you can't heal when someone's waifing in your ear daily. Because I want a peaceful and quiet life.

Because I was falling the hell apart, bit by bit, daily, for the past 10 YEARS, ever since she went into the hospital and the social workers told me I was guilty of elder abuse and neglect because I'd "let her" neglect her health -- and she just. didn't. notice. All she could ever say if I'd hint at not being OK would be "Oh yeah - well, put 30 years on you and see how well you do with that?" How can a mom who supposedly loves her daughter just not notice her daughter falling apart and spiraling downward, and instead go on and on again about how the neighbors' kids are too loud or this other neighbor offended her or she wishes she were dead because she has no one to help her?

Because - and she'd love this one because a social worker actually told her this once regarding my F, in these words, and it pissed her off so hard - her problems are just too big, there is no help out there for them.  (Every time I have ever tried to brainstorm what help she could receive that does not involve me, I hit the brick wall of "that won't work because she has way more cats than her town allows and that means she won't let anyone in. Because any organization would immediately report her and/or take them away and then she'd flip the hell out.")

Part of me wants to just spill it all out at her. But I know it won't change anything. It's not like she'll say "there there, it's OK" - which is what I actually need from her. It won't happen. Her problems and her terror and her rage will always be front and center, and I'm just this thing that sits on a shelf until she needs something. I wonder what it is this time. Health crisis? Taxes? Probably taxes; it's a bit early but she probably wants to get on my schedule for that now so she can stop having anxiety about how NO ONE IS HELPING HER.  :roll:

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Absent Minded Artist

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Re: A year and a half of NC, and a card came in the mail today.
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2019, 07:23:49 PM »
Quote
Loving moms don't tell their kids about how badly they want to die and then hint that their kid not doing enough for them is the reason; if they're experiencing mental health problems they seek therapy or meds

 :yeahthat:

I so totally agree that responding to the card is a terrible idea. Out of curiosity, were you and your bf together before you went NC with her? He thinks that if you respond it will make her back off, but we all know that PD behavior doesn't work like that. It's really hard to explain that level of dysfunction unless one has seen it firsthand.

I really hope that things work out with your bf and his test. I think you should consider what YOU need right now, instead of what your mom feels entitled to.
"A manipulator makes you fear everyone around you so you don't see the monster right in front of you. They may have tied your blindfold, but you can take it off"
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Brenè Brown

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DaisyGirl77

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Re: A year and a half of NC, and a card came in the mail today.
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2019, 10:14:58 PM »
Stasia, this just occurred to me.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but you changed your number a while back, right?  This card might be her way of verifying whether you're still where you live because you're now wholly unreachable by phone.  She may have found out when she dialed your number & got a stranger on the other line & must've had a great shock to learn you'd taken that step.  (Good on you, btw!)

I'd ignore any & all cards & letters & whatnot that may show up from here on out.  Give them to your boyfriend to read if you need to, or toss it in the bin unopened.  You are safe inside your shark cage. :)
I lived with my dad's uPD mom for 3.5 years.  This is my story:  http://www.outofthefog.net/forum/index.php?topic=59780.0  (TW for abuse descriptions.)

"You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep others warm." - Anonymous

NC with uNM since December 2016.  VLC with uPDF.

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stasia

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Re: A year and a half of NC, and a card came in the mail today.
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2019, 12:04:14 AM »
Absent Minded - yes, we've been together for almost 15 years. I think he mostly understands what it is I'm dealing with; his family isn't PD but has different sorts of dysfunction. Sometimes, though, he'll say something like that and I'll think, right, his family experience was totally different than mine. I think he has a hard time getting his head around waifs and how tenacious they can be; his F has many issues but has never shown one bit of waifiness or dependence on him. (Which *I* find shocking and can't get my head around, so I guess that goes both ways.)

DaisyGirl, I did just change my phone number, but I've had her blocked (at the provider level) for some time before that. I only changed my number because AT&T stopped offering that service. And THANK GOD I did, because I'm sure she's tried to call. But yeah, she's been getting a "this number is not in service" when she tries to call me for as long as I've been NC. That is nothing new. Though, if she called recently and someone else has my number and they answered, maybe that did give her a shock.

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WomanInterrupted

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Re: A year and a half of NC, and a card came in the mail today.
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2019, 02:58:38 AM »
Stasia, that you *changed your number* so she contacted you by mail, should tell you volumes.  You do NOT want contact, so she *forced* unwanted contact upon you.   >:(

I'd *definitely* not answer - maybe she'll think you moved again.   :thumbup:  If she knows you've changed your number, she might think a move is definitely possible and not want to risk showing up at yours, only to have strangers look at her like she's a lunatic.

A card or letter is one thing - it can be returned, forwarded or sent  to the dead letter files.  That's a chance she may take again, in the future, but I don't think she'll show up if she's not even sure you live there.   :ninja:

And I don't think it's an asshole move to not respond - see my first paragraph.  She *forced unwanted contact upon you.*  There is NO need for you to reply!   :yes:

I *know* you'd like a mom who *sees* and *hears* you - but unfortunately, you don't have that kind of a mother.  She only sees, hears and is concerned about *herself* - and doesn't care about what it costs you in terms of your health, sanity, time, or if her wants or demands are even reasonable.  She expects you to jump in and cover for her, at all costs - and that's not fair to you, at all.

I'd suggest you write a letter *for yourself* - or a bunch of them - and never send them.  They're for *you.*  You can burn them, bury them, delete them, or post them in the unsent letter section.  It's entirely up to you, but writing it out of your head may be helpful.    :)

You wrote:

I think he has a hard time getting his head around waifs and how tenacious they can be

My DH was utterly gobsmacked at the depths unBPD Didi would stoop to, and how persistent she was.  She WANTED that hospital bed in our living room, and dammit, she was going to get it, no matter what DH or I thought on the subject!  I was GOING to be her 24/77 slave, *in my own home* - and that was THAT.   :pissed: :dramaqueen: :bawl:

Well, it's kind of hard to force the issue when your slave won't visit and rarely calls, only uses Medium Chill and acts completely oblivious to "hints" about needing care, or asking if I've priced out hospital beds yet.   :ninja:

But yes - they act like they're a pit bull, and we're a juicy steak.  The only thing that really works is starving them out or ghosting them - not out of spite, but for our own well-being.  :)

Your body is telling you *everything you need to know* - contact with her - ANY contact with her, is BAD for you.

Stay in the shark cage!  It's safe there!  Keep your hands and feet inside! 

I want to take time to address your BF's colonoscopy - yes, I know his mother died of colon cancer, and I'm  very sorry to hear it, but I think you're really getting ahead of yourself and putting the cart before the horse.

When you get to a certain age, they like to do that test - especially if there's a history of colon cancer, but it doesn't mean he's got actual problems, or serious problems. 

UnNPD Ray's FOO also has some colon cancer history, he had 2 colonoscopies and was told to lay off peanuts and popcorn, because he'd developed some diverticula (pockets in the large intestine that catch things like pieces of peanut, popcorn hulls, poppy seeds, strawberry seeds, tomato seeds and *all* small seeds, which can cause inflammation and sometimes infection) - and that was that.

I think they removed a couple of polyps and sent them for biopsy, but the doctor said they looked benign, and not to worry.

Ray didn't - and also didn't lay off the popcorn or peanuts.  :roll:

If the doctor does find signs of trouble more serious than diverticula or benign polyps, you've got a LONG way to go between colonoscopy to colonectomy and a colostomy bag - and probably a lot of options. 

If you or your BF don't like the options, feel you're being rushed or pushed when there really isn't a need for *any* rushing and pushing, *get a second opinion!*  :yes:

With luck, it won't come to that and he'll be given a clean bill of health, and told to schedule another colonoscopy in a couple of years.  :)

When it comes to things medical or veterinary, I tend to think like this:  it's probably nothing, but if it isn't, have a solid plan in place.  Have a plan B.  RESEARCH - the internet *isn't just for porn!*  ;D  Keep CALM  and things will resolve themselves as they should, and eventually, it's going to be all right, things will get back to normal, and one day, we all look back and think, "Well...that was interesting."   

Oh!  Speaking of looking back, if they wrote your BF a script for about a gallon of liquid to drink before the colonoscopy, I'd advise him to call his doctor back and ask for the pills, instead.

That liquid is *nasty* - but the pills do the same thing (clean out his colon), without the possibility of making him want to barf.

Nobody needs that, on top of Roto-Rooter the following day.   :aaauuugh: :bigwink:

 :hug:

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practical

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Re: A year and a half of NC, and a card came in the mail today.
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2019, 12:07:03 PM »
practical, I'm leaning very strongly right now toward not answering. What would be the point? It would only result in more mail. No thank you. One panic attack a year is enough for me. I feel guilty because I'm probably hurting her with my silence, but I can't go back to the way things were and if I crack that door open even a little she will come barreling through it and that'll be the end of my peaceful life.
Yes, you might be hurting her, but her real hurt, the one that creates the chaos she causes, creates her demands, her abuse, the bottomless pit of her needs, you didn't cause and you cannot fix and that is what this letter is really about and so is your panic attack. Whatever hurt you might cause by not answering is like a drop in the bucket in her life of victimhood, while answering would cause you real damage. If you imagine a set of scales, like the old fashioned kind you see Justice hold in monuments, they would strongly tip to your side, because the hurt you would cause yourself by answering is so much heavier than whatever hurt you cause her by protecting yourself.
“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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stasia

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Re: A year and a half of NC, and a card came in the mail today.
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2019, 12:54:02 PM »
Stasia, that you *changed your number* so she contacted you by mail, should tell you volumes.  You do NOT want contact, so she *forced* unwanted contact upon you.   >:(

I'd *definitely* not answer - maybe she'll think you moved again.   :thumbup:  If she knows you've changed your number, she might think a move is definitely possible and not want to risk showing up at yours, only to have strangers look at her like she's a lunatic.

Yes, this is how I feel. My friends and I talk a lot about consent, in various contexts, and I feel like my consent was violated here. I did not say it was OK for her to send me stuff!


A card or letter is one thing - it can be returned, forwarded or sent  to the dead letter files.  That's a chance she may take again, in the future, but I don't think she'll show up if she's not even sure you live there.   :ninja:

I really hope you're right. It helps that she's terrified of the city that I live in, and it seems unlikely that she'd leave the cats for that long. (Oh, speaking of which? My kittens were TOTALLY into the envelope. It must smell like 8 zillion cats to them. I admit I found that even more triggering; I try not to think much about what condition her house must be in and how bad it probably smells with that many cats. I KNOW she does not have one litter box per cat like you're supposed to.)

And I don't think it's an asshole move to not respond - see my first paragraph.  She *forced unwanted contact upon you.*  There is NO need for you to reply!   :yes:

What I get stuck on is, she doesn't think she's forcing me. She probably thinks this is something I should want (because she wants it and because she can't get her head around me having needs different from hers). And, I never personally told her "do not contact me." Boyfriend did. Because I couldn't, without panicking.

I *know* you'd like a mom who *sees* and *hears* you - but unfortunately, you don't have that kind of a mother.  She only sees, hears and is concerned about *herself* - and doesn't care about what it costs you in terms of your health, sanity, time, or if her wants or demands are even reasonable.  She expects you to jump in and cover for her, at all costs - and that's not fair to you, at all.

Thank you for this reminder, you are right. That is not who she is, and I need to accept that she cannot give me what I need from her.

I was thinking this morning about how many times this has happened. We have some blowout, she gives me the silent treatment for a while, then she calls like nothing is wrong and I play along and for a while stuff is fine.... until it's not and we're right back to her calling me daily waifing about how the neighbors hate her or about how feral cats are dying in her yard because it's so cold, or a million other things. I do not want to fall for it and get sucked back in this time.

Your body is telling you *everything you need to know* - contact with her - ANY contact with her, is BAD for you.

Yes. I know this. It is hard for me to think that it's OK to listen to my body, after all, M caregived my F until she literally fell onto the floor and could not give up. That's the model I have - you give and give and give until it literally kills you, because your own health and feelings don't matter. That is not what I want for myself, and honestly I think that thinking is pretty effed up - but, programming.

Re the colonoscopy - I am a huge researcher and plan-B-maker. I know that one big reason that I'm so worried about this is because the trauma of caregiving my M and F is all coming back. Honestly, it wouldn't matter WHAT the health thing was, if I get one whiff of having to be a caregiver again, for anyone, I freak out. All the research in the world doesn't quiet my lizard brain that's screaming in fear.

And, I'll be honest, we don't have much money and his insurance isn't great and if it is cancer I've no idea how we're going to pay for it esepcially if he can't work.

Oh!  Speaking of looking back, if they wrote your BF a script for about a gallon of liquid to drink before the colonoscopy, I'd advise him to call his doctor back and ask for the pills, instead.

I wish. We tried; his doctor does not allow the pills. Says you don't get clean enough and then he'll have to repeat the procedure - NO THANK YOU.  (Why is there no poo emoji on this site? hahaha)
« Last Edit: January 04, 2019, 12:57:24 PM by stasia »

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newlife33

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Re: A year and a half of NC, and a card came in the mail today.
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2019, 02:43:51 PM »

I wish I could take that at face value, because I want that so badly to be true. I want a loving mom. But, the cynical part of me says, she sent this because she needs me to do something for her. There's some crisis.

Once I calmed down, I said to Boyfriend, "You know what the card DOESN'T say? 'I'm sorry I hurt you.' " There is no acknowledgement of anything bad having happened between us.

I feel sick and shaky and...... hunted. .

Sorry you are going through this.  It seems like it's part of their playbook at about a year or so into the NC to try and do these tactics to get you back.  And it's a horrible thing to do.  Because like you said we want to be loved and cared for and seen and validated and all the wonderful things a community or family gives.  So we see the good and we think the best, and a lot of times we can break and fall back into the trap.  And even if we don't they have still won with the letter because it can cause those panic attacks and traumas to start coming back up. 

What helped me a lot with any letters I received (and their were many) was I began to light them on fire and burn them until they were ash.  It was very cathartic and felt empowering to destroy something from them, and it really helped to clear up the triggers and panic attacks.

It really is amazing how the love bombs can look and feel so genuine and nice, but if you really think about them they are hollow.  Nothing about an apology or any sort of admittance of fault or asking how you are doing.  If they did that it would be giving up control, and we all know they can't do that to save their lives. 

Totally can relate to the feeling of being hunted.  I am a 180 pound 35 year old male who goes to the gym 3 days a week.  Even with that I still live in fear or my dad's side of the family.  Less so in a physical way, but I think it's because I always know they are out their plotting and thinking about ways to trick or manipulate me to "coming back into the fold."




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Psuedonym

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Re: A year and a half of NC, and a card came in the mail today.
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2019, 04:25:10 PM »
Holy crap, stasia,

I just read your post (after talking to you on the other thread) and think we may be living parallel lives. Ha. Seriously, down to my bf's parent dying of the same form of cancer and having the same procedure done. How weird is that?

Also, speaking of that, my bf goes every couple of years for said procedure and you know what? Nothing. The doctors are so adamant about doing screenings because if they see anything that looks in any way suspicious or  that looks like it could become something years down the road – they remove it right then. it's like a half hour procedure and done. Also I don't know how you couldn't be traumatized by what you went through with your dad because I was traumatized just reading about it. You have been through a lot.

This especially I could have written word for word: It's like, I really really really want those words to be true. And part of me believes that SHE believes those words are true. But then I think, "Loving moms don't tell their kids that their lives aren't real and their problems aren't real problems. Loving moms don't force their kids to be their emotional support. Loving moms don't waif into their kid's voicemail while their kid is at an important job interview and thus has her phone turned off, and then hiss "thanks for nothing!" in the last voicemail when their kid still hasn't called them back within an hour. Loving moms don't tell their kids that their hoarded cats are their only reason for living. Loving moms don't tell their kids about how badly they want to die and then hint that their kid not doing enough for them is the reason; if they're experiencing mental health problems they seek therapy or meds."

...in fact I just got the 'thanks so much! If I have a stroke, don't revive me!' zinger when I told her I was snowed in and could not leave my house. (This was several days before I went NC).

I also experienced the whole jekyll and hyde aspect of my uBPD M being 'nice' to me, especially when I was younger. I now realize that was the same form of nice as getting a loan from Tony Soprano. Now you are indebted forever, (in their strange reality) and you will never, ever, be able to pay it back. Whenever my bf (who is very brave) tries to point out her behavior, she starts screaming about how she was the 'best mother in the world!'

I also had a panic attack a few weeks ago; I had never had one and it was terrifying. it was actually when I realized that I had to go NC. I should have known when I realized that I was actually afraid of my phone. First I turned the ringer off, then I turned the vibrate off, then I put it face down, and then I didn't want to be in the same room with it....and then I blocked her number and the phone and I are on good terms again.

I have another video for you! I just watched it myself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hevJMW2RP5U
It talks about obligation and guilt being driven by fear and Kris is like the virtual version of a good friend shaking you by the shoulders and yelling 'Are you out of your mind? Snap out of it!' before you do something you know will be self destructive. It was very validating for me and I hope it will be for you as well! It talks about the guilt/fear stuff right at the beginning, so you don't have to watch the whole thing.

Hugs!
« Last Edit: January 04, 2019, 04:27:55 PM by Psuedonym »