That's who you truly are

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WinterStar

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That's who you truly are
« on: June 07, 2021, 02:22:47 AM »
Ugh. BPD nice waif mom's birthday card to me arrived. Outside it quotes scripture and says "wonderfully made, accepted, loved, chosen, beautiful, gifted, valued" and inside "That's who you truly are." Like, she defines me to me. Again. This from the lady whose last major communication ended with her letting me know she has never understood me.

My mom was very overweight but called herself "big boned" and used to tell me when I was little that I am also "big boned." I was large when I was born, so all my children would be too, and I would need C-sections for all of them just like she did. When there was something she liked that I didn't, she'd tell me I was wrong ("You have to try it!) or try to talk me into liking the thing. If I liked something she didn't, she would talk with me about why she thought it was problematic/wrong/no one should like this. She'd be "concerned" that I liked it. She would compliment me in a completely unrealistic way that was disconnected from who I am. "I always knew you would accomplish that thing!" even though it wasn't at all foreseeable. And the most praise always came when I did what she wanted: "You're so awesome at listening to all of my problems!"

The birthday card is so "nice" and so incredibly annoying. I'm actually not doing what she wants right now, but all the old guilting hasn't worked right this time around, so here we are with a card full of platitudes and just her signature. So overly glowing and then cold at the same time. Withholding of real affection since she's so "hurt" that I'm not focused on her and her feelings. Because those are the only feelings that matter. It's so subtle and impossible to explain to others that I'm only doing it here.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2021, 02:38:39 AM by WinterStar »
I am only resolved to act in that manner, which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness, without reference to you, or to any person so wholly unconnected with me. -Elizabeth Bennet

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Boat Babe

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Re: That's who you truly are
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2021, 04:51:58 AM »
I hear you loud and clear. I'm glad you can see this for what it is and that you are not taking it on board. Infuriating, frustrating and saddening nonetheless. Sending hugs.
It gets better. It has to.

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FromTheSwamp

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Re: That's who you truly are
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2021, 10:30:11 AM »
"wonderfully made, accepted, loved, chosen, beautiful, gifted, valued"

This reads that you are valuable because you are her child.  Not for who you are.  She made you, accepted you loved you, chose you, made you beautiful in her image, gave you your gifts, and valued you - in her mind. 

What it doesn't say is that you are a lovely person because of what you have done and how you've made yourself into the person you are today.

Blech.

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Leonor

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Re: That's who you truly are
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2021, 12:34:22 PM »
Oh yes I get it too!

Here's the key: "You're so wonderful at listening to my feelings!"

Bingo!

That was my "nice" mom too.

All the empty platitudes and "special relationship", blah blah blah.

Then she would say things like, "Oh,I'm so glad you're a (her political party)" when I have been a registered (different political party) since I was old enough to vote!

It's like she has a fantasy daughter, or a doll, or a dog.

She doesn't know the real me, and after so many decades I'm still not sure who the real me is.

Have you read Alice Miller's The Drama of the Gifted Child?

It's a very healing book for all of us wonderful fantasy daughters.

I hold onto the Velveteen Rabbit, and how love and wear make you real.




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Cat of the Canals

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Re: That's who you truly are
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2021, 04:23:53 PM »
Your mom sounds a lot like mine, so I totally get it. She has so much of her ego wrapped up in me that I'm not even allowed to be "bad" at things. If I say I'm bad at dancing (because I am!), she says, "That's not true!" It's impossible to explain to anyone without PD experience that she doesn't say this reassure me. She says it to reassure herself. And it's the same with all the platitudes. It's not for me. It's for her.

The last time we spoke on the phone, she complained that I'd only given a book we both read 4-stars instead of 5. Yet I've gifted her many of my favorite books and had her tell me how she "couldn't even finish it."

It's like in their minds, we only exist as a reflection of them. So if we aren't mirroring them, that's a problem!

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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: That's who you truly are
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2021, 11:56:46 PM »
WinterStar, I relate to this! The attempts to force me into their box of who they say I am... :barfy:

Quote from: FromTheSwamp
This reads that you are valuable because you are her child.  Not for who you are.  She made you, accepted you loved you, chose you, made you beautiful in her image, gave you your gifts, and valued you - in her mind.

:yeahthat:

And yes, the only genuine praise Iíve ever received from my mother is for how compassionate I am!!!

The other way Iíve experienced this is similar to Catís mom getting mad over the 4 vs. 5 star rating. Say I didnít agree with them on this one thing, something dumb, oh I donít know I like sushi. So the story becomes that Iím huge into Japanese food and want it for every special occasion to the end of time, and whatever shall we do itís Cordeliaís birthday and we simply canít abide sushi. :roll: When really Iím not that into it itís just fun every once in a while. The slightest difference becomes a Big Fat Deal and I felt so badgered to just conform, and as if they were trying to shame me out of being different from the fantasy daughter, of going off script.

It reminds me of the part in Pride and Prejudice where Elizabeth is reading, and Miss Bingley snidely says, ďMiss Bennett is a great reader, and takes pleasure in nothing else.Ē

ďI deserve neither such praise nor such censure. I am not a great reader, and take pleasure in many things.Ē

You saw me reading a book one time. I enjoyed having sushi before. So what? Chill already.

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nanotech

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Re: That's who you truly are
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2021, 09:27:17 PM »
WinterStar, I relate to this! The attempts to force me into their box of who they say I am... :barfy:

Quote from: FromTheSwamp
This reads that you are valuable because you are her child.  Not for who you are.  She made you, accepted you loved you, chose you, made you beautiful in her image, gave you your gifts, and valued you - in her mind.

:yeahthat:

And yes, the only genuine praise Iíve ever received from my mother is for how compassionate I am!!!

The other way Iíve experienced this is similar to Catís mom getting mad over the 4 vs. 5 star rating. Say I didnít agree with them on this one thing, something dumb, oh I donít know I like sushi. So the story becomes that Iím huge into Japanese food and want it for every special occasion to the end of time, and whatever shall we do itís Cordeliaís birthday and we simply canít abide sushi. :roll: When really Iím not that into it itís just fun every once in a while. The slightest difference becomes a Big Fat Deal and I felt so badgered to just conform, and as if they were trying to shame me out of being different from the fantasy daughter, of going off script.

It reminds me of the part in Pride and Prejudice where Elizabeth is reading, and Miss Bingley snidely says, ďMiss Bennett is a great reader, and takes pleasure in nothing else.Ē

ďI deserve neither such praise nor such censure. I am not a great reader, and take pleasure in many things.Ē

You saw me reading a book one time. I enjoyed having sushi before. So what? Chill already.

Iíve experience of this. You may casually express a different preference one time, or take an opposing viewpoint once, and that choice or perspective is from then on and to all eternity, engraved and enlarged upon in their skewed view of you. You Ďbecomeí the difference, and the difference becomes all that you are. Itís the  black and white thinking. Itís the splitting.
Either we are the same or not.
My BPDmum couldnít understand why I didnít like the kind of books she enjoyed reading, or why I might have a different taste in film, or indeed in food. Mumís taste in food was very plain and I was supposed to agree. I was not supposed to even try, never mind enjoy, Chinese food.
Anything different was frowned upon and actively discouraged.

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Andeza

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Re: That's who you truly are
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2021, 09:42:47 PM »
Yes, we are supposed to be mini-me's after all. Merely extentions of our disordered parents... mirror images. Serving their wants and needs endlessly. Blegh.

There finally came a day mine realized I wasn't like her or the image she was holding in her mind of me, and then she delivered the "you've changed" line with as much shock/derision/disgust as she could possibly cram into two words... It was honestly impressive. I only say that because I was, at that point, detached from caring what she thought.

Ah well. I think for pwPDs life is full of rude awakenings. Like the fact that people are more than the sum of their suppositions about them. We are more, after all. Let's celebrate it together a bit. :bighug: much love to you all!
Remember, that there are no real deadlines for life, just society's pressures.      - Anonymous
Lasting happiness is not something we find, but rather something we make for ourselves.

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nanotech

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Re: That's who you truly are
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2021, 10:57:58 AM »
Yes to that Andeza.
As early as my pre-teens, if I expressed a different viewpoint or (heaven forfend) I attempted to stick up for myself, my BPDmum  would send me to my room and I would get told with disappointment  and  with damning tones,

ĎYou used to be such a niiiiiice girl!í

At the time, this  comment really cut me to the quick. Physical pain. My stomach would lurch, and Iíd think.
ĎIím not a nice person.í
With my already low self esteem, I would comply once more. Iíd get in line to feel loved.

Iíve read in a good therapy book
( codependent no more?)  that  a child sticking up for itself is an important  and necessary stage, crucially linked to the healthy development of their own identity and their eventual successful individuation. They  need this stage to be allowed and acknowledged by their parents.