Triggers

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MargaritaBulgakov

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Triggers
« on: May 13, 2019, 05:08:53 PM »
Hello all,

I lurk occasionally, but havenít posted in a while. Iíve been NC with both my parents for nearly 2.5 years.

In the beginning, I didnít really have a plan. I just knew I couldnít keep going around in circles and so I just stopped and got off the merry go round. I think I did think things would get resolved but then time just passed and nothing changed.

In the beginning I was super insecure and even frightened by my ďdefianceĒ. I was so afraid of being punished. In the end there was nothing they could do and for the first time in my life (and Iím in my late thirties) I realized that they didnít have any real power.

Next I went through a stage where I pitied them and wondered if I was just too hard on them, expecting too much. But this stage came and went too because I only had two remember how quickly everything escalated.

Next I went through a stage where I missed having a parent any parent at all. But this was overruled too. I realized it was probably better to focus on the other relationships in my life, like being a good parent, good spouse, neighbor etc.

Today I mostly live life without thinking of them but occasionally little snippets jump back. Itís like when something happens in a day that reminds you of a dream you had forgotten. Mostly these little triggers shock me. I realize just how crazy it all had been. It seems unfathomable to me that once upon a time I wasnít sure if my reasons for NC were valid.

Here is an example:

My daughter has her first ballet performance coming up.
Me: Iím so excited for you! This is going to be so much fun!
Daughter: Did you dance ballet when you were a kid too?
Me: oh no. My mom didnít want me to.
Daughter: why not?
Me: Because she thought I was too fat. (Suddenly incredulous that I just admitted that out loud)
Daughter (jaw dropped): Were you?
Me: (very slowly) No. Actually not. I was just average.

I have triggers like this every so often. Just a vague memories of the way things really were. And the new me, the one who is no longer justifying and ignoring all of those casual acts of cruelties (and there were thousands upon thousands) is floored. Like how did I allow it to go on for so long?

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KeepingMyBlue

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Re: Triggers
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2019, 06:17:36 PM »
This reminds me of one of my more defiant moments as a kid.

"Mom, I tried out for choir!"
"I'm so sorry sweetie!" *hugs*
"Um, I got in, btw."
"But you're tone deaf!"
"The teacher didn't think so."

Queue the manipulations, but I am proud I didn't give that one up!

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Sidney37

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Re: Triggers
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2019, 08:10:43 PM »
Itís so hard.  I am so sorry that those things still trigger you.  What she said wasnít OK.

 I was in the choir and theater growing up.  She was mortified.  She was so afraid my performances would embarrass her.  She was always trying to get me to quit.   She called my singing ďscreamingĒ and my piano playing ďbangingĒ as a way to discourage me.    She was furious when I tried out for a school play.  She claimed at the time that she was just trying to keep me from being disappointed when I didnít get a part.  I got it and all she could talk about was how everyone else was going to be better than I was. She was especially mad when I sang in the church choir when someone pointed out how nice it was to see me paying attention to the sermon as a teen.  OH NO!  The other teens werenít paying attention.  I was , so that embarrassed her, too?!?!   I should sing with less emotion and not pay attention?!?

 Iím never embarrassed when my kids try something new.  Iím just proud of their efforts!   Our moms have no idea how to love us and just accept us for who we are. 

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Hilltop

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Re: Triggers
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2019, 01:08:28 AM »
When I hear people say they played sports or were in the school play in school.  My parents never wanted to drive us anywhere as it interrupted their time so I literally was never part of anything in school, no sports, no plays, no choir, nothing.  Hell even on my 16th birthday I was grounded, no going out, no phone calls, nothing.  Sweet 16.

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SomethingElse

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Re: Triggers
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2019, 03:29:23 AM »
Honestly, I respect your use of the word "defiant". Language has a lot of power. I have found that taking back language that sounds "harsh" has helped me to overcome the anxiety and triggers more easily. :) Good for you. I think that adults have the responsibility to take back power over their own lives when it has been stolen by PD family members and chosen relationships.
And it is commendable that it has been 2 and a half years for you.

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11JB68

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Re: Triggers
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2019, 02:52:54 PM »
Interesting thread.
Updm never encouraged me to do any extracurriculars, I did them anyway, often she complained (inconvenient for her). Also yes lots of shaming about poor singing, playing, not the right body style etc. Made me quit a sport once 'because of my asthma'...
H's mom forced him to do stuff he didn't want to do because it's what she wanted...just as bad.
I've tried really hard to give ds opportunities and choices without forcing or judging...hope I've done ok by him... Though I think uPDh traumatized him a bit when he helped me coach a team....I left uPDh pout of most stuff after that...


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MargaritaBulgakov

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Re: Triggers
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2019, 03:49:07 PM »
Thanks everyone who has added to this thread. Whenever I come here, Iím always amazed at how many people have such similar experiences.

It occurs to me while examining this thread that throughout my childhood my mother reminded me how fat I was and continued to do so for as long as I was in contact with her. Itís funny in a non humorous way how these little eurekas have only happened after I put some distance between her and myself.

My motherís way of reminding me daily about my size was always couched as if she cared and was my loving defender. It was confusing for me and not at all clear cut. The thing about ballet, and I remember begging repeatedly to dance, wasnít like she said, ďNo way you little fatty.Ē It was more like, ďOh honey, ballet is for those little anorexic girls. Youíre just not built like that. Youíre SO much prettier than they are.Ē The same was said when I wanted to do gymnastics. I was allowed to do karate for about 3 months. I think she paid for one season in the hopes that I would quit on my own but I loved it and had just gotten my first new belt color. She promptly pulled me out saying it wasnít really for girls.

I never was really fat. I had a bit of baby pudge as kid but by the time I got to high school I had grown out of it. I was even voted the second prettiest girl in school when I was a sophomore, which has always made me laugh. I was so confused at the time. I thought it was a mistake. I had just assumed by then that I was simply a fat girl and therefore ugly because my mom made it clear that the two went hand in hand in her round about subtle way.

In high school I played sports. I ran cross country, participated in track and field and played varsity soccer. I donít remember either of my parents attending anything or even commenting on any matches or games or asking how they went. Which is strange when I consider that my mother was definitely a highly enmeshing and smothering mom.

I suffered a tremendous amount of body image disorders. The disorders really haunted me but in the last couple of years Iíve noticed that theyíre fading away. Dramatically so.

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11JB68

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Re: Triggers
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2019, 12:55:53 AM »
Margarita...
First, your comment:"Itís funny in a non humorous way how these little eurekas have only happened after I put some distance between her and myself. "
I feel this too...and even with updh, whom I'm still with...but having ootf/tools I have been able to get some mental distance and observe more objectively..
Also...my uPDm was similar...enmeshed yes...but NEVER attended a track meet or field hockey game....why? So weird...but one thing I'm learning...there is no logic to their behavior