My Condescending Mother

Do you have one of these? If so, I feel your pain! I was on the phone with my therapist today and I uncovered something valuable. I have been converting vhs tapes into dvds for my family. So I have been seeing how my life was when I was just a few months old,  a toddler and then as a 6 year old. And let me tell ya- subconsciously I had not idea how much this stuff was bothering me.

I went into work and had a huge panic attack just because my schedule changed. I felt like I had no control over my emotions, my home, my job- ugh it was horrible. But anyways- back to the original story…

I ALWAYS swore up and down my mother was the best thing out there before she remarried my step dad. I associated all her changes then. Soooo NOT TRUE. Her outwards changes, moving around and abuse started to take shape more and become more outwardly noticeable but not her condescending attitude.

I also realize I am the same age as she was in the videos. And not to toot my own horn- but I am way more mature than her. She was not ready to have children. Emotionally she couldn’t handle it. I am so surprised I have turned out the way I have. It is only by the grace of God that I am the complete opposite of her. I am nurturing, passionate and caring. Granted I got some of her in me too, stubborn, opinionated, judgmental & unforgiving (I am trying to break those last two).

So here I am editing these videos and I hear her comments- her attitude towards me being a little kid. She was so mean! Instead of nurturing me- she cuts me down for others to laugh, belittles hurtful situations, doesn’t console me but makes fun of me, never gives me complements or encouragement. In the videos I struggled to really speak because I believe of her attitude towards me. I always felt stupid.

When I was older it was more noticeable that I couldn’t ever please her. She wanted me to be smart, I wasn’t. I have dyslexia and I used to stutter. I would shut down with stressful situations because I didn’t want to be judged, yelled at or criticized. She wanted me to sew, cook, clean, have the Bible memorized, have a  4.0 GPA, skinnier, less busty- this list goes on.

I understand wanting the best for your child and giving them life skills. I will do the same. But HOW she went about it was all completely wrong. I never got any love, any support, any meaningful conversation that I recall. I feel more like a trophy than a daughter. And believe me I struggled so when I didn’t deliver being a “trophy” I was cut out and cut off. Hello exile!

I always strived for attention and love because I never got it. I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted to do in life. I never had the opportunity because she was so concerned with how I made her look. I get so incredibly angry at her, even still with no contact. I just want to make her pay and owe up to how she treated me.

Lord help me when I have my babies and she wants to come around. If she isn’t careful I will be out for blood. (Not literally)

On another note though, I am trying to see how my other family members love me, even though they are all kinda condescending to me. I guess that gene runs in the family. Ugh how I hate it. Why can’t you just be nice?

PS This thursday I have an appointment at the local Psych Center. I might have another post coming this week depending on how I feel. Thank you to all who follow this blog, like my posts, comment and support me. ❤

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Stuck

I don’t know what I want to talk about today. I wanted to avoid blogging but I decided it is best. This past Sunday was an ugly one for me. I can’t even say the word Sunday sometimes. I know I need to work on my trigger words- I haven’t yet.

But anyways… My husband really wants to be involved in our church. I do too at some point, but I can’t now. As soon as I go into church, around smiling, happy faces I feel like I have to be smiling and happy too. It is annoying and stressful- to pretend that everything is fine when it isn’t.

But let’s say I make it through that part. The part that really chokes me up is seeing everyone with their families, all sitting together. Babies, sisters, brothers, moms, dads, grandparents and so forth. It reminds me how for most of my life I truly felt rejected by one side of my family and of how my own mother doesn’t want me in her life.

I am too much of a trigger for her. I can’t see or spend time alone with my sisters. They are growing up without me. And not by my choice. It wouldn’t matter if I was the most perfect daughter in the world- she still wouldn’t want me there. I look like my dad. I am close to my dad. I went to live with him when I was 14. So in her mind I chose him over her. Which in reality I didn’t. I didn’t feel wanted or loved with her. I wanted to go somewhere where I was loved.

That part- I can never make it through because if I try- I can’t pretend I am happy at that point. I start to cry or frown, get jealous, mad, lonely, anxious. I then feel that pain of rejection for the rest of the week.

I decided I am going to try and go back to therapy. It won’t happen till probably next year because of my job but I will try. I have no idea how to face this. This past Sunday was ugly because I didn’t want to go and when someone pushes me to go- I get extremely hateful, snappy, depressed and angry.

I feel like a frightened dog that is cornered and afraid of confronting it head on. It also feels like no one understands. Sure they understand it for a little while, how I can struggle with this for a little while. But to struggle with this for 13+ years, people start to get less understanding and more pushy.

Even my own father says it’s like I am still 13 and stuck.

The Hardest Hurt

I have been thinking this morning… After I emailed my ex and talked to him, I realized what one of the hardest hurts in life is. For me personally, it is someone who says they love me but all their actions point to no. And the fact that I have a gut feeling something is up or I don’t feel their love.

Anytime I try to confront them on the subject whether it is my first love/ex or my mother- I have never felt their love. I wouldn’t say I am sad because THEY don’t love me truly. I am sad and hurt because they always say they do, manipulate me into thinking they do but when I need them they are no where to be seen.

Now my ex is a thing of the past, I am just now able to deal with the reality of his lies. Our relationship is tied in with my sexual abuse since he helped me through it. My mother, of course, will always be apart of my life whether I like it or not.

But why would someone ever say they love me but not really mean it? That is such a deep rejection I cannot almost not even process it in my mind. Plus with me already having PTSD is not a good mix.

I get so sad thinking about how someone who is supposed to love me unconditionally, who helped create me doesn’t love or want me around. It makes me think something is totally wrong with me and then I go into people pleasing mode. I also try and conform to the crowd because I am not confident enough to be myself. Why be myself when I am always rejected by my own mother?

 

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Sometimes You Just Gotta Say F It

Excuse my language but it is true. I am not proud to cuss- I never do unless something calls for it. But I have come to realize all the crap I have been through sometimes there is just no other way expressing the anger I feel.

Next week is my final week with my therapist. She will be back in another place that costs $$ back in August but I don’t know if I really need to see her after this. I have made some major breaks with all my abuse, nightmares, sexual abuse and my exercise abuse.

I was forced to run every day on the treadmill for my m. ‘s lack of self confidence in herself. She viewed me as just an extension of herself and not as my own person. The repercussions of that is she was living through me. Since she was fat in middle school and high school- I had to run every morning a certain distance under a certain time. If I didn’t reach to what she thought I should or if I fell short- I wouldn’t be allowed to go to school, basketball, or anything else she wanted to come up with.

I remember one time she caught me running with my hands on bars and was “so very disappointed in me” because in her eyes I was cheating. She wouldn’t let me go to basketball practice until I ran that mile without touching the handle bars.

I went back down there and ran that whole mile without touching the handle bars fused on anger while her fat ass sat on the couch watching me. So you can imagine the extreme hate I have for exercise, treadmills or anything pushing my body to the limits. I associated that with my m.’s abuse. If I did exercise it would either put me back into that state, make me extremely angry to the point that I wanted to cut, or so depressed I wanted to end my life.

Now- I can’t tell you what clicked but I believe it is because I disowned her publicly for the first time ever in my life. Granted some family didn’t approve and gave me a 1,2… (which doesn’t matter).. but ever since then- I am able to handle conflicts better, especially with women.

I guess I viewed all women like my mother so I would never speak up and say something if I disagreed, felt pressured, angry, hurt or what have you. I would just say silent. Well since I broke the silence with my mother, I have broken my silence entirely. Now- that doesn’t mean I shout it from the rooftops but this girl has some backbone for the first time in her life. 🙂

Now to my point of all this and the reason why I titled this blog this way.. Yesterday was my first day working out and I ran on the treadmill. I only ran .5 of a mile, but who am I am trying to impress? This is the first time I am able to truly work out in a healthy way in probably, no joke, 3 years.

Well those emotions came up in me again.. of needing to be perfect in my run, not touching the handle bars, doing everything perfectly, I even felt the sense of anger arising in me again. I didn’t panic, I didn’t stress… I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and said, “Fuck off (my mother’s name).”  That seemed to work. Now I didn’t say it outloud, I said it in my head. You can say it as many times as needed but to my surprise I only needed to say it once.

After that I am able to work out fine, I just don’t allow myself to go back to that state. I have handled it and I can deal with it when it arises but I don’t go searching for triggers or trying to remember. I hope this helps someone like it did for me.

I can’t tell you how long I have waited for the chains to break. I finally do feel free. So it is true- sometimes you do just gotta say F*&K IT. I wish you the best.

Speaking in Quotes

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I love getting birthday cards, emails and letters from family members around my birthday. It is so enlightening and I feel so loved when that happens. But there is one person who always sends me cards or emails that all she does is speak in quotes from the bible.

This makes my insides want to puke. I myself have a very hard time with my relationship with Christ as it is. Sometimes I can’t even sit in a church that I love because the triggers are so bad. Here recently since my birthday I haven’t been able to bring myself to do my daily devotions or prayers.

On one of my birthdays a couple years ago I got a card that said,”Thank God you are alive one more year to serve him.” And that was it. Nothing else was said. No “I love you” “I miss you” “Happy Birthday” “You mean so much to me”…. it hurt. I was shocked.

I still can’t even bring myself fully think about it but this most recent birthday and card was the same. The card was blank on the inside and my m. wrote in it from cover to cover. All the words that were in it were just quotes from the bible. It breaks my heart.

How in the world can I get over it? I mean I know to not expose myself to it but what about the times I can’t help? She is my mother, which means family. I don’t want to cut myself off from everyone of my family members on her side just to avoid her. I know I need to be stronger and I want to get there.

Honestly, sometimes I really don’t even like to think about being a Christian. I know being a Christian is to be loving, sweet, forgiving and to be kind. But the home I grew up in it was manipulative, judging, rules, harshness, grudges, discipline, abuse- nothing about love and forgiveness. And that is what I think about at first. I really hope God understands. I don’t want to be like this. This is probably one of the worst triggers I have currently.

Parent or Guardian

Laying in bed this morning after my therapy session yesterday I have a lot of anxiety. I am listening to peaceful music, praying and deep breathing- trying to get rid of all my anxiety. I have heard therapy is challenging. My therapist has even told me that it takes courage to heal. My 3rd visit was yesterday and I have met my first challenge.

She mentioned a few key elements that I have always wondered about. A question that is always on my mind is what would my m. be like if she wasn’t mentally sick. I remember her before it got bad and how fun she used to be. My therapist answered that long lost question of mine. My m. would be me. She told me that I am the best part of my m.

I have never heard that or thought of it that way. I have been told I am like her in negative ways but never in positive ways. She said that I am the best part of her and that’s part of the reason why my m. chooses to direct the abuse at me.

If you are wondering why I choose not to right mother or mom and only m. is because I do not call her mother. It is strange for me to hear it, say it, or write it. I normally call her by her first name (not to her obviously) and for the sake of privacy I do not put her real name. My counselor also addressed that yesterday asking how long I have not called her mom. I told her most of the time nowadays I call her by her first name.

When I hear the word mother or just type it- I get extremely sad or depressed. I sometimes think about my step momma who I do call mom sometimes but most of the time it just feels like an empty word. One of my goals in going to therapy is to be able to hear, write or talk about a mom, mother, mother’s day, and holidays without it being a lonely depressing trigger. For awhile I felt like I was mourning the loss of a mother. I felt motherless.

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I am trying my hardest now to not give my m. so much power over my emotions and my life. I took the first step in moving her email address into spam (which is huge for me). I did send her birthday greetings and she responded with requesting I call her sometime soon.

At first I had a rush of hope that she missed me. But being honest with myself I know this happens every few months when she chooses not to contact me. Even without hearing her voice just reading the typed words in the email I know it’s not sincere. I hope differently and try to lie to myself that “maybe this time it will be different”. I began to tell my therapist how I felt about this.

I told her that I feel like my m. just wants to know and she doesn’t really care how I am. My m. values information. My therapist smiled and nodded her head. She told me that that is exactly why my m. sent that response and that I should trust my gut. I knew I was right deep down inside but I have such hope that she’ll change- I blind myself.

Next subject that I talked to her about it when it comes to her birthday, mother’s day and holidays should I send her cards and gifts? My counselor looked at me as if she read my mind. I kinda was fearful to admit my true feelings. She sighed and told me how I have felt about it all these years. It was just like calling her mother or mom- it is awkward.

It is so awkward to feel obligated to acknowledge someone who isn’t there. I don’t want to come across mean or ungrateful. When I was growing up it was said to “honor your father and mother” to not be “ungrateful” to be “respectful of your elders”…  My mind is conditioned to believe if I don’t notice her I am a horrible person. She will become “so hurt” by it. Of course that brings me shame, guilt and makes me feel like a failure. I am almost in tears and I don’t exactly understand why.

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I had a mild panic attack last night for awhile and I am starting to have one now. My anxiety is just overflowing again. My breath is short and my head is hung low. I don’t want to be an ungrateful child. My m. makes me out to seem like I am some rebellious, foul, shocking person and I believe it.

My counselor gave me a challenge to overcome and this triggers all my anxiety today as well. I need to give myself permission to not care. I need to give myself permission to let go. I need to give myself permission to have a thought of my own. Permission to not bow to her. Permission to have my own life without her control.

I do not know the woman. I never really have. I mean I know her pain and why she is the way she is but I do not have a relationship with her. I need to be honest with myself and give myself the permission to go on. As soon as I try to, I have a tremendous amount of shame and guilt.

My chest gets so tight. I am worried about what she will think. I have always been a people pleaser and it’s time to stop. I want to be truly happy and to have thoughts of my own. I even try to please my husband to get affection. For example, I will deny myself food for hours to just wait for him. I never really do anything for myself.

I heard this song the other day, Freckles by Natasha Bedingfield:

“I used to care so much about
What others think about
I almost didn’t have
A thought of my own

The slightest remark
Would make me embark
On a journey of self-doubt”

 That couldn’t be more true. I want to start having thoughts of my own and stop worrying so much about what others will think, if they will approve or accept me. I know this journey is going to be a long one. I am having such a hard time giving myself permission. Maybe I will make little slips out and write down everything I give myself permission to do. That might be a helpful activity and I will place them where I can see them everyday. Until next entry.

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To the One Who Wears the Mask

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I know you.

I am apart of you.

When the fogginess of wanting to be accepted by you has cleared- I am left with heartache. My heart does not ache for myself or my own pain but for the mask wearer. I know if you probably read this it wouldn’t even sink in. You are too far gone in your mask.

I feel your pain and the heaviness of the mask. I didn’t know you as a little child but you went through some traumas of your own. Being the first child- did you have anyone to lean on? Did you create the mask as a little child to fool people that hurt you?

I can see how a mask can be empowering and an escape to a little child when the home is turmoil and unstable. It was like a breath of fresh air. Something you could control and focus your energy into. You can be anyone you want to be in your mask. No one has to know who you really are or what your life is really like. I can understand your mind was just trying to protect its self. I told you- I know you. I am apart of you.

At first the mask was a protection tool and an escape. Over time it became your face, your safe haven, your “go to” and as time went on- you took the mask off less and less. Why would you need to take it off? It would only show the hurt, the pain, the abandonment, the broken home and the abuse. You like the mask better- anyone would.

You have a huge hole in your heart and this mask fills it for you. You rid yourself of the liability of feeling guilt because guilt and shame were thrown at you as a child constantly. You witness first hand how manipulation can get you things that you want so you developed the tool.

As a little girl when you tried to emotionally latch on you were rejected, hurt and abused. You stripped yourself from viewing people as people and only as objects. Looking at a person as an object means they cannot hurt you and you don’t have to be emotionally bound to them.

The mask provides you with just seeing their uses and how they can benefit your mask further. I compare it to sex “without the strings” of the relationship. You view, collect and pick people for their uses and benefits “without the strings” of emotional attachment.

And of course how can a mask be fun if it doesn’t make you feel better? Want to be sexier? Smart? Desirable? Smooth? Charming? You as time went on made the mask so incredibly pretty. You softened the edges so “the objects” can’t find the seam-line. Your mask is slowly latching onto your face but what you have created makes you feel so good.

Let me illuminate something for you before think your mask can save you. Have you ever thought about the side effects of wearing a mask for so long? It gets hot, stuffy, suffocating and sometimes it actually sticks to your face. Your mask helped you as a child deal with your emotions and help defuse the situation but now it is apart of you.  You can’t get it off or change it nor do you want to because you are still that scared little girl behind the mask.

The mask has its own mind now. Its own wants and needs and you must fill it at any cost or it’ll start to crack. And the “objects” will see. The mask that used to be a breath of fresh air is now a parasitic leech. You and your mind have no idea about this. You cannot see the damage it is causing you because you have wiped away the feeling of remorse or guilt. You do not care in your mask. You just want it your way and to feel good about yourself.

The horrible side effect of your mask has made you callous and shallow. Can anyone ever truly smile in a mask? No. No one can see your real smile and the mask won’t let you- even if you knew how to smile. You mimic what you have seen over the years because you, yourself did not let yourself experience or deal with emotions. Your brain never made the connection as a small child.

Your escape has now become your prison. I told you- I know you. I am apart of you.

One night, after I cut my legs so deeply my dad and step mom found me outside. They helped me into the bathroom and washed away all the blood. It was such a humbling, loving experience- I couldn’t help but cry. They were cleaning the cuts I made because I hated myself so much.

I wish I could provide you with that kind of support, love and understanding. They didn’t hate me or get mad at me for what I did. They were just there to surround me with love. I wish I could peel back the mask piece by piece and save you. I would do it in a heartbeat for you. I wouldn’t hate you, judge you, leave you or whatever else you might think- I want to just surround you with love and help you.

This is how much I love you.

My heartaches for you because I know the little girl is stuck behind the mask still reliving all the trauma and pain. I just want her to come out and heal. I want her to experience life in the way it is meant to be, to truly love and to be loved. I don’t want you to drown in your own sorrow and pain. I don’t want you to be cut off from family and friends. I don’t want you to be imprisoned by your own mask- I want you to just be free.

This is how much I love you.