Always asking myself 'Is she why I struggle with feeling worthless'

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LindaLoo

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I can never pinpoint where this feeling comes from. I know my Mother always seemed so self-absorbed, but can that really make me feel worthless?  I'm 65 and still struggle with this.  I have good days, and bad days.  I guess all the snippy things she has said to me over many years has caused this. I could write a book on those things! She also favors certain siblings.  I lost my Dad at age 12 and possibly not having him in my life created some deep issues.

I have learned many coping skills to deal with my N mother, but the 'unworthy' hangs over my head like a dark cloud

Do you feel this way?


 I'm 65, time to get over it!!
~Your heart knows things that your mind can't explain~

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: Always asking myself 'Is she why I struggle with feeling worthless'
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2019, 04:48:27 PM »
Yes you have a very valid reason, especially snippy things, that plants voices in your head, programming. Think about all the negative thoughts, the way you speak to yourself internally. That's not he way we need to treat ourselves but it's what we're accustomed to, what's comfortable. It's what's been programmed. Time to rewrite the code.

It helped me to challenge those thoughts, take them on trial as it were and decide as a grown adult if that's what I really good to believe about myself. Pete Walkerys website had some good tips that helped me.
Each and every contact with a PD person results in damage. Plan accordingly and make time to heal. See Toolbox for tips. Individuation is the key to emotional freedom.

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LindaLoo

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Re: Always asking myself 'Is she why I struggle with feeling worthless'
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2019, 08:26:23 AM »
Thank you Spring Butterfly

Yes it is time to rewrite the code. I want to feel good about myself.  I feel panicky if I see an email from her. I know if I haven't been in contact for awhile, then I'm going to a bashing. The odd thing is after she does these things, she acts like she did nothing wrong. 

I am going to go look at Pete Walkerys website. Thank you for your reply

I truly need to hear other peoples stories and advice :bighug:
~Your heart knows things that your mind can't explain~

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: Always asking myself 'Is she why I struggle with feeling worthless'
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2019, 09:22:48 AM »
Yes it's as if the steam builds like a pressure cooker, I could see and feel it coming, but then after the explosion it's like a release and both uPDm and enF would act as if nothing at all bad just happened. Crazy making.

A the Hoover's and bashing is just an attempt by the damaged person to regain control. Their emotions and issues is not ours to fix, only the other person can do that, but often with PD they're not even willing to admit there's an issue at all. Just sweep it all under the rug, stay quiet and maintain a facade of "normal", keep the family secret.

My autocorrect wacked out. Here's the website.
http://pete-walker.com/

Stories by the ton here in our OOTF support community, unfortunately. At the same time it's comforting to know that we're not alone and to have others who understand. We walk the path and journey to healing together.
Each and every contact with a PD person results in damage. Plan accordingly and make time to heal. See Toolbox for tips. Individuation is the key to emotional freedom.

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TriedTooHard

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Re: Always asking myself 'Is she why I struggle with feeling worthless'
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2019, 09:30:25 AM »
Yes, Spring Butterfly is right.  Unfortunately, this is common.

When there are other siblings, and some of them are favored, and others may still be in need of the uPD's help, they have different experiences of the uPD and can't/won't offer support.  This makes it more confusing to pinpoint the cause of these feelings.  The snippiness is very damaging - don't let them tell you otherwise!

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LindaLoo

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Re: Always asking myself 'Is she why I struggle with feeling worthless'
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2019, 09:49:16 AM »
Spring Butterfly,  Oh how true, like a pressure cooker!!  Shes doing the silent treatment now, but I know it's building and expect an email any day. I refused to go to a family reunion, It is a dysfunctional group and I choose not to engage. Mother will give me a scolding :roll:

I will go to the website today.

TriedTooHard,  So true, none of my siblings will talk about our mother. My two remaining brothers see the problem, but choose to ignore it. My deceased brother called me many times and we talked about the issues. I miss him. I do agree that they have different experiences with our mother. I see them trying to do the 'honor' thing.

Thank you both so much
~Your heart knows things that your mind can't explain~

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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: Always asking myself 'Is she why I struggle with feeling worthless'
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2019, 04:17:08 PM »
Hey, I hope you're taking care of yourself after that family reunion. These are the cousins who blew off the funeral of the brother you were close with, right? It might have been a tough day just knowing they were all getting together. And now with your mother's telling-off imminent... Maybe just delete that son of a gun without reading it. You're not obligated to read words that are likely to be hurtful to you.

My uNF is the king of snippy commentary tearing down our every move. I suffered horribly from extreme self-consciousness as a result. Everything I did from the way I drank from a glass to my laugh and my sneeze to how I washed dishes to my posture to the way I BREATHED was a source of feeling "unworthy." Everybody just assumed I was shy and awkward. No, I was constantly trying to be aware of all those things about myself and do them all exactly right, all the time. Because I believed people would be disgusted by me if I couldn't.

I think snippy talk, and sarcastic talk, are very caustic and erode a child's sense of self-esteem horribly. These ways of communicating are inherently putting down the person on the receiving end. It is extremely disrespectful to speak to any person like that, let alone a child who needs to identify with the parent as a matter of survival. If the parent continually gives the child the message that he or she is annoying, embarrassing, disgusting, stupid, in a word, unworthy, that child is going to believe it.

So in other words, you are responding in a very normal way to what you've experienced. And please do not beat yourself up for taking 65 years to figure this out. Most people from dysfunctional systems NEVER figure it out. I have a over a century's worth of PD genealogy on both sides of my family to prove it. I'm the first person as far as I can tell to fully defy the status quo.

I second the recommendation of Pete Walker. His chapter on the Inner Critic is one I go back to time and again.

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LindaLoo

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Re: Always asking myself 'Is she why I struggle with feeling worthless'
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2019, 04:54:45 PM »
Call Me Cordelia,  Yes, thank you for remembering about that reunion! Only 1 cousin out of 15 came to my brothers funeral.  We had the family night on a Friday and the funeral on a Saturday  and they didn't come to anything or send a card, a message, a call to even acknowledge he died. They were only 30 minutes to and hour away. I decided it was something I could not accept.

That's when I said H*** No, to going to the reunion!  I haven't heard a word about it, but Mother will be making sure to let me know I was a 'bad girl' LOL!!

I am so sorry your uNF  was so critical of you. That's so sad he made you feel unworthy :( Why does any parent behave in such a cruel way. It's sad for a child to always have to be on edge. You are right, children need to identify and feel love.  The stories on here are heartbreaking. I am so glad there is a place for all of us to vent and feel important.

Good for you being the first in your family to defy the status quo!!  I am glad we are the ones who are real and see and admit the dysfunction. 

Thank you again!  :bighug:
~Your heart knows things that your mind can't explain~

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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: Always asking myself 'Is she why I struggle with feeling worthless'
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2019, 07:17:44 PM »
Why? I learned in therapy itís projection... my father felt intrinsically unworthy, but couldnít face that feeling. So he put it on me. It was put on him by his parents. And so on, who knows how far back.

This shame does not belong to us. We canít resolve it, or rescue anyone else. We can only reject it. And just that part is a daily battle. It does get easier. I donít expect it will ever fully disappear. But I know what it is when I find myself feeling that old shame trying to shove its way back into my mind again, and I know what is true.

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treesgrowslowly

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Re: Always asking myself 'Is she why I struggle with feeling worthless'
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2019, 10:37:40 PM »
Why? I learned in therapy itís projection... my father felt intrinsically unworthy, but couldnít face that feeling. So he put it on me. It was put on him by his parents. And so on, who knows how far back.

This shame does not belong to us. We canít resolve it, or rescue anyone else. We can only reject it. And just that part is a daily battle. It does get easier. I donít expect it will ever fully disappear. But I know what it is when I find myself feeling that old shame trying to shove its way back into my mind again, and I know what is true.

I agree with this. When I came to look at their behaviours as being about what they couldn't face, they projected their criticisms on their children. Most of them never realize in their own lifetime that they've done this.

Lindaloo you sound like you have a good handle on the what. The why is harder and the how as in how do we recover is the biggest step or stage. I dont think it is something we get over , it is something we update within ourselves, by seeing our self as wholly seperate from our parents beliefs about is. It is tragic that parents have children they dont know how to nurture and love up and cherish and show affection to. I grew up without those things and it is up to me now to find out how to give myself those experiences. Those experiences will never come from my mother. She is too lost to her own stuff.

I just listened to an episode of shrink wrap radio online that interviewed Dan Brown. He said there are 3 lines along which we are developing in the first years of life. Emotional, self and relational. It gave me a good idea of what I'm working on for My self.

The grieving stage is tough and online communities like this are so helpful. There is grief and anger when we think about what we needed from our parents.

With support, I learned how to answer the questions I had about the effect of my self absorbed mother on my emotions. Sometimes the word grief doesn't even cover it. You're not alone in your journey here.

An emotionally immature mother will demand that her children control themselves including repressing their need to play. Through exploring and play, our self develops. A critical mother does a lot of disruption to her child's emotional health and sadly, a lot of us can attest to this.

The inner critic section in Pete Walker's books is a revelation inregards to your question. I'll be interested to hear what you think about it!

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LindaLoo

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Re: Always asking myself 'Is she why I struggle with feeling worthless'
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2019, 06:54:09 AM »
Call Me Cordelia,  Yes, projection is it!  Like your father, I believe my Mother feels unworthy, but you'd never know it, she comes off as arrogant, never wrong, and will rage if you cross her. Her Mother was an alcoholic. She will say to me, " sorry I'm not the mother you children want, to bad, that's just how it is"  I agree it may never fully go away. I am here to learn and work on healing myself.  Thank you!

treesgrowslowly, It is true, they are lost in their own stuff. It hit me just now that I always felt responsible to try and save her. All those years of doing that took it's toll.  I could never make her see that I have my own struggles. If I tried to tell her it always turned around about her. This made me feel that I did not matter.  It is so important to know we aren't alone.  Thank You

All of you understand, that is vital to healing, that we have others to lean on. Thank you everyone for being so helpful :hug: Reading your stories and advice is a big step in getting well

I hope it's ok to post a quote. I was reading on Pete Walkers website, this hit home....My father died at age 44, and my Mother had nothing to give me. So no parent to be a caretaker.

"Traumatic emotional neglect occurs when a child does not have a
single parent or caretaker to whom she can turn in times of need or
danger, and when she does not have anyone for an extended period
of time who is a relatively consistent source of comfort and
protection. Growing up emotionally neglected is like nearly dying
of thirst just outside the fenced off fountain of a parentís kindness
and interest. Emotional neglect makes children feel worthless,
unlovable and excruciatingly empty, with a hunger that gnaws
deeply at the center of their being"

~Your heart knows things that your mind can't explain~