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

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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 #40 on: January 08, 2019, 02:16:05 PM »
I am overwhelmed by all of this good advice!

I don't really know my neighbors, other than one next door neighbor (they have small kids who play outside a lot and I'd be worried about them being frightened by a crazy lady), and my downstairs neighbor, who as I believe I said upthread is a very difficult person and now that I think about it, shows some signs of PD herself.

I've read stuff about getting orders of protection if she does actually start stalking me..... but in my city (state?) they seem to be hard to get. I tried to help M get one against F once. He was legit physically abusive. They denied her, saying that what he was doing to her "wasn't bad enough." My jaw dropped when I heard them say that. I was there and I helped M sound like a not-crazy person and lay out logically and rationally what was happening. Didn't matter. If what F did to M wasn't "bad enough," then M bothering me against my wishes certainly will not be in the eyes of the court.

The other thing that always stops me about getting the law involved if she escalates is - "if she gets put in jail then I'd have to arrange care for all of those cats, because she'd be in jail and it'd be my fault she is there. And then I'd have to pay whatever fine she got because she can't afford it."  :roll: Ridiculous, right? I know I'm not supposed to think that is my responsibility. But that is how my brain works.

hhaw, you're right when you say that I need to find a way to calm down my brain and body. It's hard to remember that I "choose" how I react to this when I am not choosing to have my heart race, to start trembling, to have my hands and arms go numb and tingly. Unfortunately, I have not been successful using yoga or meditation to get my body calmer. I try deep breathing but that doesn't help either. But then - panic attacks ONLY happen to me when M makes contact. The last time was in November 2017. So I haven't had a panic attack since then, until last week when her mail arrived. I'm trying to remember that last time it took a week or two before my body returned to somewhat normal, so it's probably reasonable to think that will happen this time as well.

Going to talk about all of this in T tomorrow. It doesn't help that I'm also terrified about Boyfriend's medical stuff, and that my job is really bad right now. I'm just getting it from all sides. Tried reaching out to my one IRL friend who knows about my mom yesterday, but before I could tell her "I need support" she asked for support from me, and I don't think I did a very good job of it as she cut off the conversation pretty quickly. So I cannot turn to her. I'm glad I have you all because I don't have another place to talk about all of this. Boyfriend has said he is tired of hearing about how scared I am, so I can't talk about it with him either.

Juniperberry, I have been turning over and over in my head why I'm so scared of a public scene. I feel like most people with PD parents would rather encounter them around other people, rather than alone one on one where they can be abused in private without witnesses? What I've come up with is: I am afraid that others are going to pressure me into having contact with her. Most of the co-workers on my immediate team are caregiving an elderly parent. From what they've said, it does not sound like their parents are PD, it's just the usual aging parent stuff. (I remember when one of them was talking about how her M on the opposite coast was needing more and more care, and without thinking I blurted out, "Oh no, is she pressuring you to quit your job and move there and move in with her?" Co-worker looked at me like I had 2 heads and was like "nooooo....." Right. Forgot. Most parents don't demand that.) I am pretty sure that if M came into my office and started crying at me, they would all be like, "oh, that poor elderly widow, why does stasia not talk to her? How awful! stasia seemed so nice!" and then start trying to make me talk to her, soothe her, help her.

Same thing if she banged on my door. I feel like my downstairs neighbor in particular would sense a kindred soul and probably let M into her apartment to wait for me!  :aaauuugh: I have less than zero desire to discuss my relationship with M with my very difficult, boundary-challenged neighbor. (Maybe SHE can help M and soothe her when she cries and rages, haha.  :evil2:)

I know this all comes from the social workers telling me years ago that I'm responsible for M, that I had no right to go NC with abusive alcoholic untreated bipolar F because he needed care, that everything that was wrong with the both of them was entirely my doing because I was not there, that I had no choice but to provide hands-on care myself since they couldn't afford anyone and also did not want anyone except me. I sometimes feel like the entire world feels that way about me, and that if they only knew what a terrible person I am for having cut off a needy elderly widow who is all alone, they'd be horrified and demand that I fall in line immediately because "she's your MOM." I would feel like I had to defend myself, and I sometimes feel like there's no defense because what she did to me isn't "that bad" and she needs my help.

I also have a hard time talking clearly when I am having an M-related panic attack so I don't know that I could choke out "I do not want to talk to you, please leave." I'd probably just shake and cry and stammer. :(

WI - no worries, Boyfriend has said the same thing to me re M and her cats and her fate should she follow through on suicide, many times. But.... she keeps most of them in one (very large) room in her house. Except for one unneutered male, who lives in my old room because the large room has unspayed females and so far at least she's been smart enough to know that's not a good idea. So, unless she drops dead in that room, unfortunately your theory does not hold up - and even if she does, Mr. I've-Got-Big-You-Know-Whats is still starving in my old room.

And, the last time she got on the floor and didn't/couldn't get up, she had 2 cats. I am not certain how long it was that they went without food before she called me to come help her with them and F, but I believe it was at least a couple of days. So, no, they were not enough inspiration for her to get up.  She said she "couldn't" because she was too weak. I..... don't know? I know that, like, if you lay in bed for too long weakness begets weakness and it gets harder to get up. I personally feel like this was part tantrum and part her body legit giving out because she wasn't caring for herself; by the time she got to the hospital she had fluid in her lungs and around her heart and various other ailments.

I like your list of facts - I do have a hard time accepting "I can't do it" as fact, because I feel like I should be able to push through my panic. That's my programming. Have I posted here that M told me that SHE had PTSD from living with my father? Which, is probably true, but I feel like if I ever told her "I have PTSD from taking care of you" I would again get the infamous "YOU? What about me? Put 30 years on you....." She always used to tell me, about all sorts of things in life, "don't think about whether you WANT to do {some task or chore}, just do it!" Geez, way to tell me that my feelings are not important....

My T does tell me a lot that it's not just that I don't WANT to care for her or be in contact, it's that I literally cannot for my own health. The challenge, I think, is believing my health is more important than M's. I admit I'm not there yet - well, I guess I am a little or else I wouldn't be maintaining the NC especially after this love/guilt bomb.

Once I got past the "OMG, she's love-bombing me like she used to when I was a kid and I didn't know anything was wrong with her, before the PD got bad, this is incredibly painful and I'm gonna freak out for a while now" I did feel a little anger. She didn't say I'm sorry. She didn't acknowledge that anything was wrong. This has been a pattern with every time she initiated Silent Treat - reach out randomly, act like nothing's wrong, be sweet.... for maybe a couple weeks and then start in on the demands and the misery and the tears. I have less than zero interest in getting on that hamster wheel again and part of me feels like, "REALLY? Are you serious - you expect me to do this AGAIN?"

You know, what makes me angry is that I thought I was doing better. I was actually going to start seeing a new T who focuses on CBT, to help me with things like health anxiety, and my fears that something awful is going to happen to my cats. Working on ME, not working on how to cope with M. My existing T even said a few weeks ago at the end of the session, "do you know you've gone this entire time without even mentioning your mother?" And now M has to rear her head and destroy my peace, even though she knows that I do not want contact with her, because SHE wants contact. And now I have to put this other T on hold (because she doesn't work with trauma) and go back to trying to calm myself down re M, when I had been doing WELL around that for MORE THAN A YEAR because she hadn't contacted me. That part pisses me off. I have better things to do than to try and solve panic attacks that *I would not be having if M would just stay the hell away from me.*

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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 #41 on: January 09, 2019, 05:08:30 PM »
Your mother is not your burden to carry.

What your neighbors do is not your burden to carry.

Everyone here is an adult and responsible for their actions.

Its hard, I know. I've had my mother tell some enormous lies to my dentist, my dermatologist and my internist (when my Narents moved to my city I foolishly gave them referrals to my medical providers).

This is why being in a relationship with them destroys us. Its 24/7/365 chaos that eventually destroys us from the inside out.

Best to Drop the Rope.

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hhaw

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Re: A year and a half of NC, and a card came in the mail today.
« Reply #42 on: January 09, 2019, 10:17:51 PM »
I wish you could secure distance between yourself, and your mum.

I realize you have a job, and your bf is ill.... it's not a good time.  It never will be, unfortunately.

About the humiliation, and trauma of public spectacle.... which is mortifying to me, even without FOO involvement in my trials and tribulations....
all you can do is come up with a plan to limit the chaos, put it in place, then try to keep your head where your feet are. 

Worrying about every single possible problem will drive you to distraction.  Distraction keeps you from thinking clearly, settling yourself.... YOU ARE OK IN THIS MOMENT.... as you sit here, you can get a cup of tea, engage in fellowship on this forum, and seek out comfort with and for your bf.  THAT shouldn't be something worry takes from you on a day to day basis, bc that is something you can control. 

I know, bc I've lost so many years worrying, and figuring out what helped me get through.   A good plan.  Put it in place.  Try to live in the moment. 

You're going to be OK.  Even if it's not OK.  It's OK.

::wishing and praying you find a move possible, and uplifting::.
hhaw



What you are speaks so loudly in my ears.... I can't hear a word you're saying.

When someone tells you who they are... believe them.

"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
Nietchzsche

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Lillith65

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Re: A year and a half of NC, and a card came in the mail today.
« Reply #43 on: January 12, 2019, 07:11:02 PM »
Oh my goodness.

I received a big Christmas card (for a lovely daughter) with almost the same wording as Stasia’s card.

I felt sick, shaky, guilty and anxious after I had looked at it.

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My T does tell me a lot that it's not just that I don't WANT to care for her or be in contact, it's that I literally cannot for my own health. The challenge, I think, is believing my health is more important than M's. I admit I'm not there yet - well, I guess I am a little or else I wouldn't be maintaining the NC especially after this love/guilt bomb
I could also have written this. So true.

I have read the first page of this thread so far and it is so helpful.

I will definitely come back to read the rest.

Thanks to everyone who has posted!
« Last Edit: January 12, 2019, 07:15:04 PM by Lillith65 »

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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 #44 on: January 13, 2019, 04:28:36 PM »
Did you watch this video? I think it might have gotten lost in the outpouring of good advice you've gotten: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hevJMW2RP5U



Belated thanks for this - I did finally find time to listen to it and, OMG, I wish this woman were my therapist. I love her perspective on toxic families - also found a video of hers on aging elderly toxic parents which was helpful to me.

Lilith, I'm so sorry that you're going through more or less the same thing. I know how terrifying it is, and how hard it is to explain to people with "normal" parents why what appears to be a loving card from one's M is so scary. We all get it here! ((hugs))

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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 #45 on: January 13, 2019, 08:12:36 PM »
I'm glad you liked it! Kris is great and whenever I'm feeling foggy I watch one of her videos to snap out of it.! :) I watched the one on aging toxic parents as well and it neatly summed up my M's transition to assisted living.