Poking the bear, revisited

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moglow

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Poking the bear, revisited
« on: July 12, 2020, 10:19:24 PM »
From time to time I wonder if we all do this - opportunity presents itself and instead of turning away like we've always done, damn the torpedoes and confront head on. While I would have never in years past, now I find I'm just not willing to pretend. I'm not willing to give mommie dearest that sick sense of gotcha! and leave her believing the status quo remains untouched. That SHE remains unchallenged. And so here I am ...

Mother and I rarely communicate on much of any level these days. I'll send a quick text, maybe mail a generic or silly card depending on the holiday, she'll text when there's a storm or some disaster looming. I don't engage in sentimentality with her because honestly I don't feel much there anymore. There's no yearning for her approval, only the most remote possibility of her commiserating with things gone wrong, and she's patently uninterested in anything of the details of my life. Her "circle" if you could call it that is extremely limited and has been for many years now. She claims she's not a joiner but the fact is she's just not interested or invested in other people except as their interest applies to her. Our conversations have been reduced down to literally, the weather and her health.

Anyway, mother sent a text Friday mentioning the coronavirus and cautioning me to take care of myself [seriously. I'm late 50s, I've been taking care of myself for quite some time now. If I needed help, she's not on the short list of people I would turn to.] But okay, opening volley and I return, share a story gleaned from a recent conversation with someone who had tested positive, suffered an interesting array of symptoms, and was now testing negative again. She poo-poohed my comments, that I didn't know what I was talking about and the 'rona was nothing like that. Okay, the guy told me what he went through and had the golden ticket to prove it, but all righty. The short text conversation had the feel of someone picking a fight but I let that go.  On my way home that day knowing I'd be on the road a little while I decided to give her a call.

The conversation was odd and random, and she kept talking over me. No matter what I said, mother was trying to finish my sentences and talk over me. I'd stop and she'd stop. I'd start talking and she'd do it again. She said something about her dog missing his buddy [her other dog had passed away not long ago] and I was going to tell her about having recently lay my sweet senior kitty down due to kidney failure ... only, suddenly she's all "well it's good to hear from you, I hope you take care of yourself!" Hang on, I was going to share something - but she's done with the conversation, made it clear she wasn't listening or engaged. And she ended the call.

I wanted to be mad but I wasn't. I was resigned as I mortared yet another brick in that wall, wondering what possessed me to even bother. I sent her a text later, told her point blank that my feelings were hurt by the way she acted, it was rude and disrespectful to keep talking over me and cutting me off the way she did, that she's done it before and THAT is why I'm so seldom in contact. She fires back that there's always a misunderstanding with me regardless of what she says or does, that she was anxious to talk to me and maybe pushed too far. Um, NO. Anxious she may have been but there was no misunderstanding - cutting that conversation short the way she did said nothing about wanting to talk to me. It said I was an inconvenience, a bother and she wasn't interested at all.

So no, it didn't end well. I got the text equivalent of her hanging up on me [a favorite of hers from way back, when she gets uncomfortable she shuts down and hangs up rather than actually facing a problem head on and attempting to resolve it]. At one point she called and I missed the call, I text her back and asked if she'd like me to call. No, she hit the button by mistake. Okayyyyyy, but we have a problem here, can't we talk about it? No.

Yesterday morning - me being me - I send her a couple of texts, trying to write out what I felt had happened and how I felt about it. No response. I sniped that I guess she really doesn't want to talk anything out, that clearly this wasn't important to her. I got an all caps I HAVE COMPANY in response, and not another word. Still not another word. She's gone radio silent again while she licks her wounds. It wouldn't surprise me if she starts up again tomorrow when she knows I'm at work, knowing I won't respond and or take any personal calls. ALSO a favorite of hers, shooting volleys from behind her bulwarks and feeling all self important with it.

I dunno guys, I truly don't know why I bother on any conceivable level these days. There's no fear or guilt, maybe some lingering sense of obligation that I reach out because she's "mother", even if i do get smacked down every time. And no, when she's gone I won't miss her. I don't wish her ill because I think she's brought on quite enough of that in her lifetime. Any mourning to be done is going on now and has been for some time, mourning what could or should have been. Watching my sisters and friends with their families - THAT's what I wanted! THAT's what was denied! THAT's how it should have been!

But sit silent and bite it back, allowing and thereby seemingly encouraging her abuse and ugliness to continue? Nope. Not anymore. That daughter is gone and if mother doesn't like it, so be it. She can sit in her silence.

“Nothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.”  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

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xredshoesx

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Re: Poking the bear, revisited
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2020, 10:59:45 PM »
sending peace to you.  i see the growth in you and the grace you've allowed yourself through the entire process with her.  ps this could have been any conversation i had with my mother at any time between whenever i started talking and the last time i spoke with her.

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moglow

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Re: Poking the bear, revisited
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2020, 11:12:23 PM »
Thx, xredshoes, and I'm sorry you get where this is coming from, that you've been there.

I wont lie - there's some pain here, that her own child means so little. I can't take it personally really, given the dearth of relationships in her life. I know I'm not at all the only one treated this way. Her immediate bitter defensiveness followed by excuses followed by martyrdom is so tiresome though. There's truly no breaking through that shell with her. It's like she runs through her list of allowed responses then shuts down.

Problem for me is, now I want to shut down. If my own mother sees and cares so little ... Who'd really care. Turning this inward never ends well, but it's there, staring me in the face.
Not feeling the peace just yet, but at least I'm reaching out for it this time. Her next volley looms - I can't imagine her letting it go without another round but it'd be nice if she does just that. I'm kinda over it. And her.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2020, 11:16:23 PM by moglow »
“Nothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.”  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

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moglow

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Re: Poking the bear, revisited
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2020, 11:45:19 AM »
So far, silence. Guess she's taking time to cool off, waiting for me to reach out so she can gloss it all and pretend again. Or there will be some event or holiday she can use as reason to pretend interest. For mother the cycle continues. For me, not so much. I've lost the desire to explain or attempt to resolve anything with her, just hope to be left alone and her to stop the pretense. I wish I'd found this place years ago.
“Nothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.”  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

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treesgrowslowly

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Re: Poking the bear, revisited
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2020, 11:58:04 AM »
Well as kismet would have it, i had a dream about a bear last night so i think i should respond to your post when you titled it poking the bear!!

Cosmic signs aside, I actually remember this feeling really well that you describe. Or rather this set of feelings as you go through the cycle with her again. And I've been through it with lots of people actually. Because its all about this cycle of the withholding and me trying to figure out why i bother when they've done this countless times before.

It is pure misery when our own parent behaves like this. It is hurtful in a way that a lot of people just don't understand. So I'm glad we have this forum to share these things.

Trees

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moglow

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Re: Poking the bear, revisited
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2020, 03:55:36 PM »
Thx Trees, it is indeed a special level of hell. We're taught all our lives "but she's your mother ... " and that supposedly gives her an all access pass. No one ever bothered to teach us that we really dont have to live this way. We just wait for their death to know it's truly over.
“Nothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.”  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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xyzxo

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Re: Poking the bear, revisited
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2020, 07:10:53 PM »
I am sorry that it is this way, MoGlow.  It is pain that cannot be comprehended by those with non-disordered parents.

I am sorry about your sweet kitty. 
xyzxo
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moglow

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Re: Poking the bear, revisited
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2020, 07:55:29 PM »
Thx, xyzxo - it's been painful as you can imagine. I knew I didn't have many years left with him but goodbye never comes easy. I'm still looking for him in his favorite nap spots, listening for him, reaching out to pet him in the night.

I actually told mother about it in a shitstorm of texts earlier - no acknowledgement from her. No consolation or hint of comfort fir the loss of my buddy. Nothing. She's too intent on digging up bones and rehashing things I lay to rest many years ago. She now says I need to stop blaming her for things that happened in the past. Here's an idea - accept responsibility for your own stuff, mommie dearest. How about *you* stop blaming others. That'd be nice. Projection, pure prime projection, I know.

The tone of her msgs earlier today is considerably different within the past hour. She's back to playing victim with the unreasonable daughter. Her most recent volley ended with: "from her." Just that, completely out of context and apropos of nothing said before. Yeah, she's being coached now, forwarded my msg to someone else so she could compose her next. And she thinks I can't see that? Playing to her audience.

I've made plenty of poor choices over the years and trusting that woman was way up on the list. Now it's just sad.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2020, 08:52:03 PM by moglow »
“Nothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.”  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: Poking the bear, revisited
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2020, 04:14:35 PM »
Ugh so sorry and just sending a hug.

ETA don't you dare turn this in on yourself!
"Problem for me is, now I want to shut down. If my own mother sees and cares so little ... Who'd really care. Turning this inward never ends well, but it's there, staring me in the face."
« Last Edit: July 19, 2020, 04:16:10 PM by Spring Butterfly »
· Every interaction w/ PD persons results in damage. Plan accordingly, make time to heal
· Individuation is the key to emotional freedom
· It's foolish to expect of others what they have no capacity to give
· If others were self observant, introspective, this forum would not exist

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moglow

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Re: Poking the bear, revisited
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2020, 06:20:54 PM »
It's there, SB. The way she talked to me, the tone of her texts when she started ranting. She brought up yet again a particularly painful time for me - I was a liar (her word) because I recall a different conversation, because her version of events dont match the actions taken.

According to her I invented facts to suit me, outright lied about her part in that situation, the all caps and exclamation points - I could hear her saying those things, the sneer and disgust. She's rewritten history, disregarding (or intentionally ignoring) the fact that someone else was there, heard what she said and how it was said.

All that after I'd asked her specifically more than once over the years to stop bringing that up. She claims that's where our problems began (13 yrs ago) when in all honesty thats where I truly saw her, where *others* saw who she is and what she'll do. Her demands y3o be "right" completely override decency and respect.

I know my memory is faulty and that I dont have (or want!) Total recall, but she figuratively kicked and punched me when I was down and dependent on her. My brother even lit into her about it at the time, told her she'd gaffed me when I was vulnerable just because she could.

Now ... It's all fresh again. The pain and hopelessness and struggles I had at that time. Now more than ever I want to be free of her. She cares no more about me now than she did then and damned if I know why she keeps coming back for more - or why I allow it.

Sorry. - it's not a good day. But maybe I needed THIS so I wont go back for THAT.
“Nothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.”  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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sandpiper

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Re: Poking the bear, revisited
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2020, 06:41:41 PM »
Big hugs to you Mo, and condolences for the loss of your companion. It's rough when they go. I lost the last of our elderly batch a year ago...there's two kittens romping around the house playing the Curtain Shark game & they warm my heart.
But I still have her blanket on the living room sofa & I miss her bitching at me that I needed to arrange it 'Just so' and even then it wasn't right. LOLZ I was in love with a total narcissist control freak cat but she gave so much love back.

I have been wondering about the need to reconnect with them and 'poke the bear' as you say, and I'm wondering if it is something that we spiral back into, in a way, because on some level we need the reminder to test our realities.
I still have moments where I think 'Was it really that bad?  How can the people around me/us not see it? Does that mean that it is me?'
And I can't help but wonder, on some level, if that is what drives it. It's that need to don the diving gear and sink ourselves down into the murky depths of the lagoon just to check if the monster is still there. Is it real? Have it's teeth & claws fallen out? Has it turned into a friendly cuddly undersea reptile since our last visit there? Why do the locals tell such fond stories of it being all cuddly when they go to throw it fish & it does the giggle act & claps it's hands for them?'
It's like other people get to visit the performing animals at Sea World and I get to visit Cthulu.
I think that Plague has tested us all, and it is only human to want to reconnect, build bridges, mend fences, to solidify community bonds at a time when the pandemic is testing that. I think you should take it as a credit to your spirit that you had that urge - but also, remember the limits of their frontal lobes. Not all the lights are on up there, hon. They can't. Call it biology or psychological defences or damage or whatever. But they are just stuck at that level of low EQ. I've come to view it as a psycho-social disability. And I've come to view my own urges to try to reconcile with them as the psychological equivalent of cutting. You know how some say that people cut in order to see if they bleed because it means they are still real? Because the abuse and the gaslighting means that people dissociate so severely that they just don't feel real or seen or heard or visible any more.
That's how I feel around FOO. And when I get the compulsion to re-engage, I remind myself that it's the spiritual equivalent of picking up a razor, because I know that all it will do is open another wound, allow me to see that my pain is real when I bleed and I cry, and then there will be another scar to show that I didn't imagine it. It's real. It happened. Cthulu still sleeps at the bottom of that swamp, and just because the tour park operators throw it kippers for breakfast doesn't mean that it's safe for me to visit.
Protect your heart, Mo.
You and the other old ones from these boards carried me out of that swamp.
I'm here to remind you that I couldn't have done that without the wisdom and the love and the insights that built that life raft.
You guys gave me that because that is what is inside you.
It's only natural to feel soiled and exhausted and dispirited after one of those interactions, and to then beat yourself up because you know better.
But perhaps on some level, you needed to test that, just because we are living in crazy times, and it's the human thing to do.

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xyzxo

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Re: Poking the bear, revisited
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2020, 07:18:16 PM »
Wow, MoGlow.  Ignoring your loss of your beloved animal.  That is just wrong, and it is sad.  For a mother to ignore her child's loss, wow.  I am sorry.   
xyzxo
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moglow

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Re: Poking the bear, revisited
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2020, 07:29:52 AM »
Cthulu ... Sandpaper, you need to bottle that one up and sell it. An appropriate analogy as any I've ever read - you'd make millions. You just about made me cry with the truth -and compassion- of it. Balm to my heart, it is. Breathing a bit easier, so thank you.

And yeah - no acknowledgement of my loss. He was +/-17 yrs old and with me since a tiny kitten - he even stayed with her a short but painful time when i was in a bad situation and didnt have a home for him. She knew what he meant to me, knows how hard this is. And not one word.

It's a painful journey, y'all. But you know this.

« Last Edit: July 21, 2020, 07:32:28 AM by moglow »
“Nothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.”  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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SparkStillLit

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Re: Poking the bear, revisited
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2020, 06:26:47 PM »
Moglow I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved kitty. I too know the pain of the thoughtless door holding or stepping over nobody or not sitting on the unoccupied Cat Cushion. I am so sorry that your mother couldn't be bothered. That was indeed ugly and just adds to the wound. Big hugs.

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moglow

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Re: Poking the bear, revisited
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2020, 07:45:04 PM »
"It's only natural to feel soiled and exhausted and dispirited after one of those interactions, and to then beat yourself up because you know better." Pretty much sums me up, right there. I need a good sugar scrub, a soak in a hot tub, better self care. Working on that.

“Nothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.”  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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nanotech

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Re: Poking the bear, revisited
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2020, 09:57:28 PM »
I’m sorry for your loss Moglow.
I’m loving sandpiper’s analogy too, and the whole truism of our getting tempted to revisit the abuse, just to check it was real?
The absence of abuse, makes us doubt it.
 Yup. And not only that- we WANT to have been wrong.
No one wants to believe they’ve been abused. The hardest part is accepting it’s real.

Huge events tempt us too. I nearly resumed contact in March, when the UK locked down.Society expects things- I felt that pressure to ring my NSIS and NBRO. I resisted that.
I speak to my dad, but I try to keep it short. He’s passive- aggressive and he talks over me too. They will never change.
She would view your cat as a kind of rival for attention. The same way my dad views his grandkids.  :sadno:
We are FROM them, but we are not OF them.
Sending hugs xx

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sandpiper

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Re: Poking the bear, revisited
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2020, 09:05:59 PM »
Big hugs to y'all & glad to hear I got some giggles.
Strange times, and more important than ever to do the self-care thing & to remember that we put those boundaries in place for a reason.
 :bighug: :bighug: :bighug:
Nanotech - spot on, they see anything we love as a rival.
Mo - have you read The Erratics yet, by Vicki Laveau-Harvie? I think I mentioned it here a while back. Still love that book & the way she navigated her mother's narcissism. Sometimes you've just gotta laugh, when you're done screaming into the pillows  :P

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Phoenix77

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Re: Poking the bear, revisited
« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2020, 06:06:43 AM »
Hi

I totally relate to this thread, so much. This exactly describes my relationship with my uBPDm. I poked the bear today - so stupid but I feel so much anger mixed with obligation and fear for her wellbeing. She also brings up old  painful things with me when I’ve said something to upset her. I get super disappointed that, as an adult(in my 40s), I dont have and never had a mom that is stable and supportive. I reach out over and over and to be fair she tries too but too much contact and we’re back yelling again. Worst part is that we live in different countries and now she’s approaching retirement she wants to immigrate and live with us. I want to help but my whole life will get sucked away by her BPD. No idea what to think or do.