Acknowledgement/Moving On

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Justme729

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Acknowledgement/Moving On
« on: June 11, 2020, 10:19:36 AM »
This was kind of posed in a therapy session.   I struggle with the relationship with my mom.   I canít move forward because I canít talk about what happened.  It is OK for her to talk about how her abusive boyfriend and my dad traumatized her.  It is OK for her to say she was undx with bipolar.   It is OK for her to justify her actions due to those factors.   However, if I bring up anything I am automatically shutdown.   My own trauma doesnít matter.   

Rationally, I know it will never happen.   I want it to happen.   I want those conversations to happen.   But it wonít.   I maintain the peace for my children (because she has come a long way).  I want to matter.   I know I matter, but within my family she is and will always be the victim.  Basically, the therapist said having a surface level relationship is a way of protecting myself from the hurt knowing this is the limit of the relationship.   It is still hard to take away that natural urge to want the relationship with her. 

Any experiences?  I know there is no right or wrong answer here.   

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vijaykumari

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Re: Acknowledgement/Moving On
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2020, 12:08:27 PM »
I can relate from both sides-with my own mom, who does that herself, and from my own child. My mom has always been the sick one and whatever she does is dismissed as part of her mental illness, history, etc and it's always tolerated, enabled, dismissed.  Then again, I've noticed that since my adult child has been home I have been expressing more of my own problems and I think it's too much.  One time they said politely "mom next time I wake up late, instead of criticizing me, can you also ask me if I'm ok because if I'm not up by noon it means I'm struggling with something". 

It might be that your mom is so wrapped up in herself she doesn't realize what she's doing.  It also might be that she feels so guilty she can't hear it.  My mom once said that my trauma was so painful to her she couldn't hear it or talk about it without breaking down.  As a mom myself, it is very hard to talk to my kids about anything bad that they experienced but I have talked about this issue.  I've basically said "I think you need to talk about whatever is on your mind and if you're worried about my reaction I'll survive; I might cry and look like a mess because I feel bad but it's not going to be that bad". 

So if you wanted to try something, start with this: let her know that you understand that it's hard to hear certain things. Tell her you know she might be overwhelmed with feelings but you are not going to blame her.  (You might see her as responsible but that's different.). And give her space to get used to that concept.  Do things slowly but do them.  For example, before you say "this trauma happened" say something like "one of these days we can consider talking more about events in my past".  You're taking control of things. 

I feel that as a mom my role as a minimum is to hear the bad stuff.  Your kid skins her knee and you say "oh, you skinned your knee, that must hurt".  Maybe you couldn't prevent it or fix it but at least you can see it.  That's why I'm saying push the issue even if you push it super slow.  My mom is 86 and she has changed a lot over the years and our relationship has changed, and looking back I can see that changing the way I talk to her does make a difference, and also as she gets older she changes. 


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Psuedonym

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Re: Acknowledgement/Moving On
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2020, 03:57:43 PM »
Hey Justme729,

This is pretty much a trait of all PDs. You're here so I'm assuming that you think she might have a personality disorder. If she does, she will never, ever, respect your feelings or your experiences as legitimate. In fact a very likely outcome will be that she'll turn it back on you, gaslight you, project her own behaviors onto you, or throw a tantrum. Or she'll go into victim mode and just start talking about herself again. People with PDs are, by nature, unable to accept any real or imagined criticism or to self-reflect. I don't know your situation with your mom, but it sounds like you know that this is a bad idea. You said:

Rationally, I know it will never happen.   I want it to happen.   I want those conversations to happen.   But it wonít.


In this case, you need to listen to your rational self. It knows best. You're most likely never get this from your mom. Again, if she does have a PD, at best you'll only have a superficial relationship. You can't have an actual relationship with someone who will never validate your feelings or experiences. The good news is, you can get validation from yourself. it sounds like you are already on that path in that you're talking to a therapist and starting to heal.

Sorry you're going through this, but know that everybody here understands it and has been there.

 :bighug:


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FindingMyLight

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Re: Acknowledgement/Moving On
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2020, 04:14:56 PM »
I am new to all of this myself and have been reading as much as I can about it.  My mom has NPD, and does a lot of the things that you are describing.   It makes me sad knowing that she's not capable of being the mother I want her to be.  It doesn't excuse her behavior whatsoever, but it still makes me sad.   One of the things that I read that really sticks with me is, "If she did it to you when you were five, why would she not do it when you're 35?"  That quote resonated with me, because it is true.  I can never remember a time when I was allowed to express any type of negative feelings about her behavior or what was going on around me.  It is still that way today.  I have to realize that expecting any type of validation of my feelings from her is just setting me up for disappointment and more hurt. 

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Justme729

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Re: Acknowledgement/Moving On
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2020, 06:28:35 PM »
Yes, I do believe she has an undiagnosed bpd.   She hides under the guise of being bipolar and was undiagnosed.  Now that she is diagnosed itís all in the past.   She told me recently that she has graduated from therapy and has dealt with all the issues of the past.   Iím so glad she feels like that,  but I disagree.  It makes it hard because she now really doesnít see the issue.   I call her on VLC.   My brother is NC but he is just being an immature punk according to her.  She ďlistenedĒ to my other brother and all is resolved.   I just donít know.  It doesnít feel resolved.   

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Psuedonym

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Re: Acknowledgement/Moving On
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2020, 06:29:24 PM »
I don't know if you ever listen to Les Carter's videos, justme729 but he has great advice (applies equally to BPDs as well as NPDs). Here's his latest which seems specifically relevant to you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rboCAJKMYrQ
Hope it helps!