Sharing thoughts about FOO, mother, and the path Iíve been on

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lotusblume

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Hi everyone,

I hope you are all doing well. These can be stressful times, esp when dealing with dysfunctional FOO.

I have been off the forum for a while, I have been doing so well, taking care of my life, moving forward, and thriving. I have worked very hard and been through my dark night of the soul, and it seems I have come out on the other side.

The last time I wrote, i think a while ago, I was considering a confrontation with my parents. I have oscillated between NC and LC in the last two years, and I had still been carrying a lot of fog, anger, sadness, and just heaviness. A LOT of guilt and shame.

And now, that is mostly gone. A weight lifted. A couple of months back, I finally confronted a very PD bullying sibling, calling her out on her BS. I stood up, I was assertive, and I told her she needed therapy if she would ever hope to have a relationship. I put it all out on the table, I put back in front of her all the nasty abuses she had done to me. She played the victim, accused me of hurting her, and said she never hurt anyone in her life (lol).

I said we could have a relationship only under three conditions, an apology to me, to my partner, and if she underwent therapy. I watched her narcissistic tactics and could pull them apart. I was not a victim or manipulable anymore, and I told her so. It felt fantastic.

She had been haunting and hoovering and love bombing and smearing me for two years, and that put an end to THAT.

Sometimes it is worth it. The guilt I felt was GONE. I feel ZERO guilt. I saw the truth, I saw how she reacted to my confrontation. And she chose not to have a relationship with me, in the end, and I chose not to have one with her, unless she changed her behaviour.

On a high from that confrontation, I decided to call my mother. I confronted her about the family dynamics, abuses from childhood, the scapegoating, etc. She was shocked and tried to deny she was ever abusive, but then I brought up specific expressions she would say to me, incidences of abuse too precise to deny. She was silent. When she started to play the victim and guilt trip me with crocodile tears, I silently waited, detached, and then called out her manipulative shit on the spot. She stopped right away. She actually even apologized, and not even a fake apology, but a real one. She said (for example) Iím sorry I used to yell at you. She also conjured up some half ass apologies, like Iím sorry you experienced it that way, but regardless, it took me by surprise. She actually seemed to empathize with me and hear me. After almost two years of barely speaking and thinking I may never be in her life, I think she knew she had to be real, on some level.

She even said she would go to therapy, which I suggested to her. She genuinely wanted to repair things and asked how she could do so if I didnít give her a chance. We had a long discussion, and I felt good, I was no longer her enmeshed dutiful daughter. I spoke to her as a woman, to her mother.

She said she wanted to write back to my original letters before my initial NC which had been important to address (tick tock, hasnít happened, probably never will).

I told her not to expect a relationship, but based on our conversation, I wasnít sure where to go next, but I put up these boundaries directly: if you call or text, I will not answer. Email only.

As soon as we got off the phone, she texted me. I did not answer.

I didnít hear from her for a while, I let the dust settle. Honestly, those two confrontations were cataclysmic in my healing process, but I would not have been ready for them had I not done all the work and had that time pass.

Now, the problem is, my mother parentified me, and is extremely engulfing. So without her doing anything but offer some semblance of compassion during my confrontation, my feelings of empowerment and assertiveness started to get tainted with a small guilt - maybe I was too hard on her.

Then it was, maybe I should call her.

Maybe she has changed. Maybe she can change. Maybe she wasnít so bad.

Whitewashing 101.

So powerful, that mother wound.

So anyways, fast forward about two months and Covid happens, she writes an email of the enmeshing type, so worried, lovebombing. I respond, politely and disengaged emotionally. She responds, seeming to mirror me, more disengaged and alluding to taking steps in self care (good! Genuinely happy if she does take care of herself!)

I have to be careful not to care take her, but I feel the desire to. One thing that became crystal clear during the confrontation, of upmost value, was how much she used me as an emotional crutch, as her therapist and confidante. I literally told her, stop, I donít want to hear it, Iím not your therapist. She abided.

Anyways, I wrote back short, kind and loving but not enmeshed, she never responded.


Fast forward a few more weeks, message from my father. I confront him by email, didnít go as well. I was feeling to weak at the time, and I felt sorry for him even as I was confronting him. He never responded, apologiZed, took responsibility, nada. I can totally picture him playing the victim.


Then my motherís bday comes. I send her an email, wishing her happy bday, saying let me know if you would like to speak on the phone, and what time.

She never responded.




(I felt torn about this. I wanted to have a cordial relationship, probably more deep down, wishing to have my mom back in my life. Rejected because it was not HER way. She doesnít have my phone number, and Iím sure she expected a phone fall or whatever. Email not good enough. Or, she just didnít get it. I gave her benefit of the doubt and tried to move on, but I felt hurt.)


So a couple days later, I see that she had infiltrated my Facebook world. I finally resurfaced after a two year hiatus, new account, blocked all my FOO and some extended. I created a secondary fb page, an artist page linked to my profile, figuring all those people would be blocked. (You cannot block them, only ban from page. Since they are blocked, I canít look them up to ban them. Have to wait for an infiltration.)

I felt sick to my stomach. A week earlier, didnít answer my bday message, and now was coming into my territory, which was sacred for me and I do not want FOO sabotaging it. I especially do not want my engulfing matriarch to get in there.

So after crying and trying to rationalize letting her breach my boundaries, discussing with my hubby for two hours, I block her.

Ten minutes later, she answers my bday email. ę Would love to talk to you. Ľ


óóóóóóóóóóóó

So now I know, she was manipulating me. Ignoring my email, rejecting me, giving me the silent treatment, punishing me. Making me wonder if she got it, so I would call her to check. Thatís how my brain works. Conditioning is strong.



I havenít responded. I am pissed now. I know she was playing a game and Iím not playing. I genuinely tried to be kind and reach out in a boundaried way. She doesnít want boundaries. All or nothing. Enmeshment and engulfment.

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SunnyMeadow

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Re: Sharing thoughts about FOO, mother, and the path Iíve been on
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2020, 12:42:58 PM »
Sounds like she's definitely manipulating you lotusblume. So sad when she could be having a perfectly wonderful relationship with you. Instead she must relate by playing games and manipulating, just so she can have her imagined power.

Your mother ignoring your happy bday email then contacting your after figuring out she's blocked on FB, classic game playing. You're right, she was ignoring, rejecting and giving you the silent treatment. I've had the same games from my mother. These women are mothers but they never got the good mother handbook. They are working from the PD handbook. It's truly pathetic. To this day, I still give my mother the benefit of the doubt that the next meeting, phone call or text is from a caring mother and it never is. It will always be ALL about her. I'm sorry this happened yet again.

I'm really impressed with the way you confronted your sibling. Good for you for being assertive and standing up for yourself.


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PeanutButter

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Re: Sharing thoughts about FOO, mother, and the path Iíve been on
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2020, 02:25:28 PM »
Its easy to recognise the overt abuse. Not so easy to see the covert.
 
 About halfway through your post I got a funny feeling when you said "she apologised" that at a later date you may have to be punished for 'making' her do that.

 Im sorry it looked so hopeful but then you just got more of the same. You deserve so much better. You should give that to yourself. Be the mother you never had to yourself. 

Happy belated birthday. Take care.
If there is a hidden seed of evil inside of children adults planted it there -LundyBancroft  Self-awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong good or bad -DebbieFord The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none -Thomas Carlyle

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TwentyTwenty

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Re: Sharing thoughts about FOO, mother, and the path Iíve been on
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2020, 02:45:34 PM »
Iím sorry to hear you are going through this..

You are being played by a master to keep you in the cage.. So very sad.

I hope you can escape one day.

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lotusblume

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Re: Sharing thoughts about FOO, mother, and the path Iíve been on
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2020, 02:53:40 PM »
Sounds like she's definitely manipulating you lotusblume. So sad when she could be having a perfectly wonderful relationship with you. Instead she must relate by playing games and manipulating, just so she can have her imagined power.

Your mother ignoring your happy bday email then contacting your after figuring out she's blocked on FB, classic game playing. You're right, she was ignoring, rejecting and giving you the silent treatment. I've had the same games from my mother. These women are mothers but they never got the good mother handbook. They are working from the PD handbook. It's truly pathetic. To this day, I still give my mother the benefit of the doubt that the next meeting, phone call or text is from a caring mother and it never is. It will always be ALL about her. I'm sorry this happened yet again.

I'm really impressed with the way you confronted your sibling. Good for you for being assertive and standing up for yourself.

Thank you so much. I needed to express my perception in writing, and decided to share here to help myself and others. Iím sorry you have experienced this too. Thank you for validating my experience, and from an outside perspective agreeing that it was pure manipulation.

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lotusblume

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Re: Sharing thoughts about FOO, mother, and the path Iíve been on
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2020, 02:59:09 PM »
Its easy to recognise the overt abuse. Not so easy to see the covert.
 
 About halfway through your post I got a funny feeling when you said "she apologised" that at a later date you may have to be punished for 'making' her do that.

 Im sorry it looked so hopeful but then you just got more of the same. You deserve so much better. You should give that to yourself. Be the mother you never had to yourself. 

Happy belated birthday. Take care.

Interesting that you figured I would be punished for that. It totally and completely makes sense. Seems like punishment as well for calling out my father as well, and not playing the enmeshment game with her.

She had tried to ignore my whole confrontation during the Covid email, used it as an excuse to rug sweep and try to suck me back in.

Iím sorry to hear you are going through this..

You are being played by a master to keep you in the cage.. So very sad.

I hope you can escape one day.

Thank you for being so blunt about it. After thirty something years of being in that gilded cage, I still have not fully accepted reality, and I am aware of it. Intellectually, yes, emotionally, no, and itís creating the last remnants of guilt and cognitive dissonance. I want her to be the ę good mother Ľ, or rather, my inner child still does.

I am glad that from outside you could see how evil and sad it is that I am being manipulated by a puppet master, and I am the puppet. I am going to think long and hard about your words. Thank you.

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Jade63

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Re: Sharing thoughts about FOO, mother, and the path Iíve been on
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2020, 04:13:20 PM »
"I put up these boundaries directly: if you call or text, I will not answer. Email only. As soon as we got off the phone, she texted me."
Translation: You are not in charge of this relationship, I am.

"I block her. Ten minutes later, she answers my bday email. ę Would love to talk to you. Ľ"
Translation: What horrid daughter blocks a mother who would love to talk to her?

She IS a master at this game. You will never win. And that is the saddest part.

~jade

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TwentyTwenty

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Re: Sharing thoughts about FOO, mother, and the path I’ve been on
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2020, 04:40:48 PM »
lutusblume, it’s a hard thing to realize until you start emerging.  But once I started seeing life on the outside, there was no going back.

Unfortunately, refusing to stay put, and prioritizing my well being over the demands of others to diminish and degrade me made the attacks even worse and more damaging.

So, now we are forever NC with absolutely no hope of reconciliation.

I’m forever free!   :D

I hope you can be also

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lotusblume

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Re: Sharing thoughts about FOO, mother, and the path Iíve been on
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2020, 09:24:38 PM »
"I put up these boundaries directly: if you call or text, I will not answer. Email only. As soon as we got off the phone, she texted me."
Translation: You are not in charge of this relationship, I am.

"I block her. Ten minutes later, she answers my bday email. ę Would love to talk to you. Ľ"
Translation: What horrid daughter blocks a mother who would love to talk to her?

She IS a master at this game. You will never win. And that is the saddest part.

~jade

Exactly!

Thank you for writing that. Thatís spot on. I think it was also her way of dominating and then submitting, if that makes sense. A power struggle. Also, impulsive.

lutusblume, itís a hard thing to realize until you start emerging.  But once I started seeing life on the outside, there was no going back.

Unfortunately, refusing to stay put, and prioritizing my well being over the demands of others to diminish and degrade me made the attacks even worse and more damaging.

So, now we are forever NC with absolutely no hope of reconciliation.

Iím forever free!   :D

I hope you can be also

Iím glad you are free. Was your mother an enmeshing, engulfing type who used silent treatment as well?

I have been weak, that is the problem. I know the solution is to go no contact and just focus on myself, at least temporarily, because no boundaries exist. After the bday email incident last week, I wrote a short no contact letter to her That I did not send. I figured I would just move forward and not interact with her manipulation.


UPDATE:

In the middle of this post today, I got an email from her again. Hereís how it went. It was short, about two sentences. She said she would love to talk and that a old friend of hers asked about me and would love to get together (we live close by).

This is what she did: forward me the email she wrote to her friend, and the response written by her friend. (As proof! And a way to suck me in. And no boundaries!!!)

She wrote on top of that how she would love to talk and her friend would love me to contact her as well.

Back story:
 When I confronted her a few months ago, she waifed over how her dear old friend who lived near me had asked about me and she just didnít know what to say so she didnít respond.

So now, her friend asked about me again, and instead of be real with her friend, herself, and me, and tell her friend we had a falling out and have been distant, rather than telling some version of the truth, she distorts it. She cares more about how things look, than how they are.

And then she imposes that onto me.

ďShe could at least tell her friend we had a falling out or something, be real!Ē

I wailed to my DH.

ďShe doesnít believe you had one. It does not exist for her.Ē

Wow. Truthbomb.

She is not just keeping up appearances with others... but with herself... is that possible??





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PeanutButter

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Re: Sharing thoughts about FOO, mother, and the path Iíve been on
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2020, 03:04:26 AM »
Yes imo even when noone else in their life is being fooled by them (that does eventually happen to a few imo) they are still fooling themselves:worship:

They lie to themselves first and formost. :upsidedown:

 I also noticed the pattern of caring more about what they look like to others than about the relationship with you:jawdrop:
If there is a hidden seed of evil inside of children adults planted it there -LundyBancroft  Self-awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong good or bad -DebbieFord The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none -Thomas Carlyle

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Seven

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Re: Sharing thoughts about FOO, mother, and the path Iíve been on
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2020, 06:13:30 PM »
 :yeahthat:

My mother to a T.

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lotusblume

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Re: Sharing thoughts about FOO, mother, and the path Iíve been on
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2020, 12:18:02 AM »
Yes imo even when noone else in their life is being fooled by them (that does eventually happen to a few imo) they are still fooling themselves:worship:

They lie to themselves first and formost. :upsidedown:

 I also noticed the pattern of caring more about what they look like to others than about the relationship with you:jawdrop:

After all this time, itís still so hard to wrap my head around. I canít empathize with that, I donít understand it.

Wait...
Maybe I do. Before I was Out of the FOG, I used to have way more subconscious fleas that I mirrored from my mother. If I acted like an asshole and someone called me out on being toxic, i would talk to dear mom about it and her response was always, their loss, not yours. I remember at some point when I was in my twenties and a wreck, I began to mirror that victim mentality and think i had not driven people away when I had. But deep down, I felt wrong, shameful, and questioned myself.

I guess my mothers shame and guilt is quite deep and not as accessible. I remember when I was a kid, I would always say to myself, ďshe never apologizes, itís never her fault!!Ē She very rarely accepted blame.
:yeahthat:

My mother to a T.

Im sorry. Itís hard to wrap my head around. I can see how her mother was toxic, and her adult children (my mother) are subservient and full of repressed anger but will never detach, and I have managed to extricate myself from my grandmothers web. But my own mother, does the same thing, more covertly, and with different flavour, and I still have the instinct to Fawn or flight.

I havenít answered her.

Thank you so much, all of you for sharing. You have really helped a lot during this time.