Author Topic: Checking In  (Read 2213 times)

Twoapenny

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Checking In
« on: April 05, 2024, 05:16:05 AM »
Hi everybody,

I hope you guys are well.  I've been hard at work trying to get to the nub of 'why my life is such a mess' and it has been hard going at times!  I've tried to keep up a regular routine of yoga, healthy food, plenty of water and early bedtimes, along with trying to limit internet use (or pointless internet use, to be more specific).  I cancelled all the TV packages and we've gone back to watching DVDs which has completely changed my 'sit mindlessly in front of the TV for hours' problem as well.

I've been doing this thing called 'The Daily Practice' which I got off a self help channel on YouTube.  It's based on a technique used by AA programme followers, apparently, and it simply consists of writing down all your fears and resentments, twice a day, and then meditating afterwards.  I've not managed to do it twice a day very often and I quite often don't meditate afterwards either, but despite that it has been very revealing to me when trying to get to the bottom of the two main issues in my life, which seem to be (a) my deathly talent for procrastination and (b) the unhelpful patterns that seem to repeat endlessly no matter how hard I try to change my external circumstances or my own behaviour.  What has become apparent over the last few months is that fear is at the bottom of every situation in my life.  I discovered that I'm just as afraid of succeeding as I am at failing which I hadn't realised before, and I realised that, whatever I do, there is a criticism that accompanies it.  If I don't cut the grass I'm lazy, if I do cut it it's because I've got an easy life and I've got time, if I don't cook from scratch it's because I'm lazy, if I do it's because I'm at home all day and I've got nothing better to do, and so on.  I was aware of that aspect of myself but it's something I've found very difficult to stop.

The last few days have been very revealing because i realised that what I've actually always been terrified of is making my mother angry.  I have no conscious memory of ever thinking this, or feeling it.  I think this must have bedded in very young, pre-language, and has been  there all along without ever being really obvious to me.  I realised the problem we had growing up was that we had to be good enough not to cause her any problems or embarrassment (or create any extra work for her) but we couldn't be good at anything in real terms, like cooking, gardening, relationships, school, work, parenting or anything else.  She's so destructive that any sign we had talent in any area we were mocked and put down, or it was presented back to us as being snobby, up ourselves, thinking we were 'it' and all manner of other nonsense.  I have always been aware she did that but I don't think I ever realised just how deeply entrenched that was in me.  Almost a reality of being seen and not heard.  What kind of person feels so threatened by an eight year old getting ten out of ten in a spelling test that they have to say something nasty instead of saying 'well done'?  It beggars belief.

The result of that is that I've had a few days of feeling like I've stepped out of some sort of parallel universe.  Everything feels very real and like I'm seeing it for the first time.  It's an odd sensation, because I also feel like a woman who's been battling every minute of the last fifty years and I really just want to lie on a deserted beach in the sunshine with a friendly waiter bringing drinks and snacks every couple of hours.  Preferably for the next ten years :) There's a life ahead of me now but I've genuinely no idea what I should do with it.  It feels exciting and scary at the same time.  Tired more than anything!  But wondering what the future holds.

The upshot of all of that is that i got a call from my sister to say my mum had phoned, saying she has cancer.  My first question to my sister was "do you think she's telling the truth this time?" and my sister's reply was that she doesn't know.  We were trying to work it out and we think this is the fourth time she's claimed she has cancer.  On previous occasions she's implied cancer is present and she's had to have surgery and other treatment.  Then she's denied she ever said it and when we've gone through what she's said she's been able to, quite correctly, say "well I didn't actually use the word cancer, did I?  You've assumed that".  And this ridiculous merry dance has repeated itself with regard to other situations and health problems as well.  So whether she is ill this time or not we don't know.  The gathering of other relatives has already started; my sister had a call from my aunt, who herself had received a call from a cousin.  Fortunately no-one has my number.  I asked my sister if she's going to go down there and she said no because she knows the sort of abuse she'll get from my step-dad.  Truthfully I'm suspicious of the timing; the lovely father of a childhood friend of mine passed away recently and we went down for the funeral.  My sister got the call from my mum on the day of the funeral, and given the way gossip spreads down there I'd lay money she knew we'd gone down for it.  This is another pattern of hers; attention is being given elsewhere so she has to draw it back to herself.  I could be wrong and it might just be coincidence but it's those repeating patterns again.  She followed up a couple of days later with another call to my sister, saying she'd received flowers without a card and were they from her?  She does this every time as well, there's always an anonymous delivery to wish her well.

I've been waiting to see how I feel about it all; given her age now if she really does have cancer then the treatment is very gruelling and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy (which is probably what she is).  I'm not looking forward to being older and having those thoughts about whether each health scare is a sign my number's up and I wouldn't wish that on anyone, either.  But knowing her as I do, she won't be reaching out for support at a time like this, she'll be looking for a whipping boy, someone she can criticise, jerk around, manipulate and generally have some control over.  She's run out of contenders, really, none of her children, grandchildren or great grandchildren have any contact with her and the few people she still has in her life have only ever seen her 'wonderful' side, so she won't be able to unleash reality on them.  I thought back to all the times since I've had my son that I've been ill and how awful she was when he was little, what horrible games she played when my mental health was so precarious and all the crisis situations I've had to go through since then alone because I was too scared of her finding out that I was in a weakened state and coming after me again.  Even with private therapists I was never fully transparent because I knew my records could be subpoenaed and there were things I didn't want getting dragged through a court.

I thought about the fact she hasn't contacted me directly, when she's always found herself perfectly capable of doing so to harass, threaten or intimidate us and I wondered about the relevance of that.  I know there will be (normal!) people who will say I should contact her because I'll regret it if I don't speak to her before she dies and I thought about that a lot.  Truthfully, my only regret is that I didn't pack a bag when I was seventeen and never look back.  It wouldn't have repaired the childhood damage but it would stopped a lot of the adult stuff from happening.

I'm quite surprised to find I don't really feel anything.  Not in a numb kind of way, but I think I really, truly am done, not just with her but with the family drama altogether.  My sister started to talk about her ridiculous ex partner's behaviour and I cut her off and said I was just on my way out.  I haven't contacted any of my other siblings because I don't want to get dragged back in to the drama party.  I'm making good progress on myself - I don't know what the next step is but it feels like it will be a step forward, not a step toward the spider's web.  I saw both my sister and my brother last time we went down, separately, and came away not wanting to see either of them again.  I'm just done with it all.  The feelings of guilt, responsibility, what about the kids, all of that seems to have gone.  Whether it's just tiredness or whether it's really behind me I don't know, but it isn't there so I'm focusing on that for now.

So that's where I'm at :)  I hope all of you are well and getting some spring weather.  We've had nothing but rain for months now; I feel like a swamp donkey :) xx

sKePTiKal

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Re: Checking In
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2024, 07:02:58 AM »
Well hello there! So nice to read your update! You sound good.

My condolences on the seasonal sogginess; we've had it here too. But soon it'll be May flowers and be much more pleasant.

I can totally relate to your feelings about your mom. Seems normal to me! I had heard the same caution about regrets, and while we never really "made peace" (wasn't possible) I can say the same thing I felt before - I just didn't feel anything about her, even though I still wished it had been possible to bridge the distance between us. I still struggle with the old conditioning, at times, even though she's been gone a year now. My brother probably doesn't understand why I didn't rush to his side either. He's not brought it up.

I'm kinda thinking that perfectionism, and the constant pursuit of "evolving" or "working on ourselves" is a symptom of that conflict between fear of failure/success. If we'd just sit with ourselves for 5 minutes, and tell ourselves that we are just fine the way we are and that we LIKE ourselves... acceptance might take the edge off the inner critic's sharp tongue. But that's likely more about where I'm at, than for anyone else.

I guess I wanna say, life isn't a race or competition. No one really "wins" it. It's more of jouney filled with discoveries, challenges, tough spots, and those rare perfect days. It's not our jobs to "make today" what it is, completely... but it can be a collaboration with all the things/people around us.

Good job, Tupp! Take some big deep spring breaths and soar on...
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

Hopalong

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Re: Checking In
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2024, 03:56:23 PM »
Tupp, dear--

I CELEBRATE your not feeling much about her. What a leap in healing!

I guess the ultimate "release the outcome" is when the last toxic thread between you and her doesn't "snap" but gently floats away because you've unclenched your grip on that part of your identity, meaning as a part of her. Unclenched it, released it.

Nobody wants any elder to suffer. Elders like her survive until the end still harming people around them. So you're just still wise, sane Tupp. Not walking into fire.

I thought your new revelations are extraordinary, and that you in fact live an extraordinarily meaningful life. Your level of insight astonishes me, as ever.

hugs
Hops
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Twoapenny

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Re: Checking In
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2024, 04:10:55 AM »
Thanks, Skep :)  It's a weird situation, isn't it?  I was trying to explain to someone yesterday (who was aghast that I wasn't rushing to her side) that she isn't normal.  I hate using the word because we all know there's no such thing, but I know what she's like and a crisis (if indeed there is one at all) isn't something she seeks support in dealing with, it's an opportunity for the victimhood and the puppet making behaviour that she thrives on.  I asked myself if she got in touch, and if she said sorry and if she asked me to go, would I?  And the answer's still no.  In a way I'm relieved because my big worry was that if and when a time did come that she needed me I'd still rush off to her, partly because I just hate the thought of people having to cope alone.  But even that feeling isn't there now.  A relative from overseas has arrived and she tends to fly in when there's a crisis (sometimes the local gossip is a good thing for me) which may mean she really is ill this time.  But I still don't want to go near her.

With regards to the self improvement stuff, I think I'll start to relax a bit when I can see changes in my external environment - when I can start to form healthy relationships, or meet more people who accept disability or even encounter a social worker who can write a factually accurate report.  I think then my feeling that there is some sort of black cloud over me will lift.  But yes, it can become an endless quest and that's just as unhealthy as not trying to figure out anything at all.  Hope all is well on the mountain!  And that B's medical situation is less arduous than it was.

Thanks, Hopsie.  You're right, elder suffering is awful and I really don't like to think of it.  But then, her reactions to this won't be the ones most would have and she's actually in a much better situation than most.  Husband is still there, they have a lovely home, plenty of money, dozens of wonderful friends (according to her) and my two clueless cousins who do her bidding for her as her evil daughters left her to fend for herself.  They might be a bit less keen to involve themselves if they start actually having to do anything other than agree with everything she says.  And if they hadn't both been so vile they'd have four adult children and eight adult grandchildren who would drop what they were doing to go and assist, and who might all be living nearby still if putting hundreds of miles between us all hadn't been the only way to escape.  But she won't see any of that, it will all be about how she's been abandoned after years of selfless devotion.  Yes, I'm steering well clear.  It has been interesting that the last 'release the outcome' has happened without any fanfare, as you say.  I had thought I'd have to do battle with myself if something like this occurred but no, there's no inclination there on my part.  One thing I am grateful for is I do feel I've learnt from my mother's mistakes and that's worth a lot for me.  I don't think my son's been through the same childhood that I did and I'm grateful for that.  I hope your ribs are feeling better soon! xx

lighter

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Re: Checking In
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2024, 10:42:40 AM »
Hi, Tupp. I'm so glad you're releasing the fear around your mother and what you'd do/will do if she's ill.

Nobody can sustain that "poor me, all my kids and grandkids abandoned me after I did everything perfect."

There'll be cracks in mum's facade and all will become clear, IME.

It's interesting what washes up in the subconscious shore when left to be what it is.  Releasing what I thought it could be or would be it , God forbid, should be leaves space to relax into clarity, come what may.

I do like the idea of leaving room for just not knowing.  Simple.  It takes up space I usually fill with connecting old dots or fearing into future and I've noticed my intuition is sharper, wiser, quicker.  That part's a very happy shift in how I move in the moment and what I leave behind.....so much of the past just keeps falling away, like a crust, heavy and old.

I'm hoping all your rain means trees, flowers and shrubs are about to explode into joyful color.  My sister and I are intensely engaged in saving Hemlocks from the forest and we got so many planted the last 3 days!  Joyfully making and covering ourselves in mud so you're in a good group!!!

Maybe all the negative battling thoughts will become familiar friends you notice, comfort and calm into silence?  Seizing all the little joys of cooking and being in nature can be just those things, IME.

The negative thoughts, protective and wounded parts, can't be banished, but they can be noticed and tended to, IME.

Everything belongs, but it's lovely to grow the healthy and uplifting things while letting the other parts know they've done their jobs.... it's ok to rest.

((((Tupp)))) I'm so happy to see you're back!  Even if it's a little visit.

Lighter

Twoapenny

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Re: Checking In
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2024, 01:06:56 AM »
Hi, Tupp. I'm so glad you're releasing the fear around your mother and what you'd do/will do if she's ill.

Nobody can sustain that "poor me, all my kids and grandkids abandoned me after I did everything perfect."

There'll be cracks in mum's facade and all will become clear, IME.

It's interesting what washes up in the subconscious shore when left to be what it is.  Releasing what I thought it could be or would be it , God forbid, should be leaves space to relax into clarity, come what may.

I do like the idea of leaving room for just not knowing.  Simple.  It takes up space I usually fill with connecting old dots or fearing into future and I've noticed my intuition is sharper, wiser, quicker.  That part's a very happy shift in how I move in the moment and what I leave behind.....so much of the past just keeps falling away, like a crust, heavy and old.

I'm hoping all your rain means trees, flowers and shrubs are about to explode into joyful color.  My sister and I are intensely engaged in saving Hemlocks from the forest and we got so many planted the last 3 days!  Joyfully making and covering ourselves in mud so you're in a good group!!!

Maybe all the negative battling thoughts will become familiar friends you notice, comfort and calm into silence?  Seizing all the little joys of cooking and being in nature can be just those things, IME.

The negative thoughts, protective and wounded parts, can't be banished, but they can be noticed and tended to, IME.

Everything belongs, but it's lovely to grow the healthy and uplifting things while letting the other parts know they've done their jobs.... it's ok to rest.

((((Tupp)))) I'm so happy to see you're back!  Even if it's a little visit.

Lighter

(((Lighter))))))  It is/has been interesting to be able to take a more detached view on a lot of things just lately.  My social media/online embargo has been helpful for that.  I did a karmic cord cutting meditation yesterday, in which you visualise the person you want to detach from and go through a ritual of doing so.  I see my mum standing before me and I hate her, and then watch her transform into a terribly sad and lonely little girl, desperate to be loved and aching for someone to hold her.  I know that's the bit that troubles me with any troubled soul that crosses my path - what I see and feel is that terrible loss children bear alone and how it creates these terribly hostile and aggressive adults.  That's the bit I'm working on at the minute - seeing the current reality and dealing with that in real terms.  I feel so sad for the broken children part but I made a deal with myself that I'd only step in to fix that if asked - no unsolicited advice, no offering to do things in case it helps, no sucking it up in the hope they'll see it for themselves.  That said, at this stage if my mum did ring and ask for help, I think the only thing I'd be willing to do is find information and send it to her.  Something that involves no contact and direct communication.  Not that she would but it's a position I found for myself that feels comfortable should the need occur.

Yes to relaxing into outcomes and leaving unknowns as they are.  I still find that very difficult.  Decades of having to shore up against every possible attack from every possible angle in every way imaginable.  It's hard work rewiring the processes and I do fall back into my old habits a lot.  But, two steps forward and all that :) xx

lighter

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Re: Checking In
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2024, 03:43:38 PM »
You're a very kind person, Tupp.  Letting your mum's wounded child go is all you can do, IME.  Her protective parts won't allow anyone to help....most of all you, so You're off the hook.  Ready or not.  She would never let you in, imo.

I'd be likely to research and forward through third parties, myself.  Action  would help me get back to normal.....the act of doing what I could, then turning back to self care joy  is a sort of meditation, I find.  Maybe it's a life skill or healthy coping strategy I never learned, but needed desperately as an empathic child not allowed boundaries.

I limit t screen time too, Tupp or I'd tap out SHE LET GO once again for the board.  I have taped in the bathroom and it's always a comfort and relief.....a touchstone of sorts.

Lighter

Twoapenny

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Re: Checking In
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2024, 06:03:02 AM »
You're a very kind person, Tupp.  Letting your mum's wounded child go is all you can do, IME.  Her protective parts won't allow anyone to help....most of all you, so You're off the hook.  Ready or not.  She would never let you in, imo.

I'd be likely to research and forward through third parties, myself.  Action  would help me get back to normal.....the act of doing what I could, then turning back to self care joy  is a sort of meditation, I find.  Maybe it's a life skill or healthy coping strategy I never learned, but needed desperately as an empathic child not allowed boundaries.

I limit t screen time too, Tupp or I'd tap out SHE LET GO once again for the board.  I have taped in the bathroom and it's always a comfort and relief.....a touchstone of sorts.

Lighter

Lighter, this thing you said - "her protective parts won't allow anyone to help" has rattled around in my brain since I read it.  Not just because it's absolutely true of my mum, she actively destroys anyone who has a healthy kind of love for her (like her own adult children) but because I think it applies to me as well.  I've been trying to puzzle out the 'help' situation for myself, largely because I don't find a lot of what is offered as help, helpful.  Sometimes that is just practicality (a friend saying they're happy to listen when what I really need is someone to sort the garden out) but it's also that vulnerability that goes with needing and/or accepting help.  It was always something that was mocked when I was a child, a way of someone demonstrating their superiority over me, showing me how stupid I was, how pathetic (usually attached to being female as simply being less physically strong than my step-father was used as an example of how superior men are to women), another way of tying me to someone (i did this for you, you must do this for me), and so on.  And it's something I've noticed in my own reactions towards others now, I do feel a sense of contempt?  not sure if that's too strong a word, but I've noticed lately that I really lack compassion for others and find myself tutting at people not knowing how to deal with situations that seem obvious to me.  It's weird, isn't it, how much we internalise and how long it can take us to realise that?

I'm still trying to follow a routine of yoga, meditation, writing down fears and so on.  It has transpired that my mum's cancer does seem to be real this time.  I have still kept my distance.  My sister has also kept contact to a minimum (in fact, the whole family seem to circling round one another waiting to see what happens next).  I think we all know the lack of contact will have made her furious and it's a case now of waiting to see who she goes after this time.  I'm grateful we live so far away.

I've focused on meditations that involve visualising cutting chords, it seems to be helpful at the moment.  I did more with my mum and that seemed to settle things down after a while.  I've done several with my step-dad, it was odd to realise how terrified I still am of him.  But that, too, seems to have settled a bit.  Most recently I felt I needed to cut ties with that version of myself that was created as a way of coping with everything over the years.  That was an odd one, it did feel like I was abandoning a child somewhere.  I cried a lot.  It's odd how these things/people/versions of who we are don't really exist yet seem more real and have taken up more space in the world than we have ourselves.  Onwards and upwards and all that.  I hope all is well with you xx

Twoapenny

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Re: Checking In
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2024, 03:32:55 AM »
I'm in a verbal vomiting phase at the minute :)

I've been thinking a lot about my situation with my son.  I don't have concerns that there's enabling going on; I'm very aware of what he can and can't do and spend a lot of time supporting him to do as much as he can for himself, only stepping in when it's absolutely necessary.  But I have been thinking a lot about my own co-dependency issues, and I do think for a long time my son's situation has meant I have had many situations where I could be the best at something, when compared to others.  I haven't done it for that reason, I genuinely want what's best for him and that is him being able to do as much as possible for himself, and having a good network of decent people around him, personally and professionally.  I'm also very aware (as I think we all are) of the damage parents can do, intentionally or otherwise, and I very desperately did not ever want him to feel the way I've always felt when my mother's around.  But I do feel he's my only success in life.  Take him away and I'm just another mediocre person bumbling through, and having never had a sense of being good enough, simply by existing, mediocrity has never been a comfortable option for me.

I've thought about this in connection with my public sector experiences, having had just another dreadful one and come away shaking my head at how clueless and ineffective they are.  I was looking at the many boxes of paperwork I'm steadily scanning my way through and at how many times they've done a terrible job, how many times I've thought, quite rightly, that if I did paid work instead of fighting them I could pay for what he needs myself, and looked at how ineffective the whole situation has been throughout his life.  And I realised that public sector staff are probably the only people I can feel superior to.  I don't mean in a snobby way, but we are on a low income, in local authority housing and as such, we are the dregs of society.  We have no value and I have found that really hard to live with over the years.  If I compare myself to people who earn, there is no comparison, even a part time minimum wage job pays more than we receive in benefits.  People are automatically afforded more status by going out to work.  When it comes to knowledge and lived experience, I can beat public sector staff hands down.  They're so badly trained, and so hampered by ineffective systems and incompetent management that anyone with an ounce of common sense and some mild experience of managing a health problem can trump them.  And I got to thinking, is that why I keep going back to them for help?  Even though I know they will never provide what he needs (or me, for that matter), is it some perverse way of making myself feel I'm better than someone else?  Getting a bit dark, maybe I'm not on the right track with this but it feels like something I should think about some more.

I've also noticed that I do a lot of silly stuff around my son - songs and jokes, silly dances and walks, things that are better suited to a younger child.  It annoys him, and he tells me so, but still I find myself doing it, almost without realising it.  I'm not sure I know how to relate to him as an adult, and that's something I need to figure out.  Part of it is I do feel I get unconditional love from him and I've never had that from anyone else.  I think it might trigger something in me.  But I don't want to end up with a dysfunctional relationship because I haven't been able to change as he has.

With that in mind I've been doing more cord cutting meditations, not because I want him out of my life, but because I don't want to become something or someone that holds him back or keeps him pinned in one place.  Equally I don't want my existence to revolve around him, or his around me.  It isn't healthy for either of us. Interestingly in the meditations I can't visualise him as an adult, only as a little boy.  He's half a human taller than me and considerably stronger and heavier so something is off there!  Lol.

Anyway, just rambling and spilling it out somewhere, it's observations rather than concerns.  Things are pretty good, we've had some dry weather so the garden is looking lush rather than swampy now.  Finances are easier thanks to some very kind people helping us out on that front a while back so there's less pressure on that front as well.  Hope all is good with everyone else :)

Twoapenny

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Re: Checking In
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2024, 08:56:04 AM »
Well this is weird!  I've got three big boxes of paperwork to sort out so I tackled one this morning.  Eight years of paperwork in there, all relating to health, education or social care.  I have always thought of this paperwork as being related to my son.  But going through it this morning, I realised almost all of it is actually about the battles I've had with my mum.  Most of it focuses on the complaints I've put in after my mum's claims (most of which I didn't know about until much later) created child protection investigations or refusals from professionals to carry out assessments my son needed.  Almost all of this crap we've been through relates back to my mum, indirectly, to a certain extent, but it definitely represents her and the way she behaves more than it represents me or my boy.  The assessments that are just about him are relatively straightforward and don't take up a lot of space.  Mental health reports about me before she started her terror campaign are straightforward and quite complimentary.  You can see there's a definite change in attitude from staff once she started sticking her oar in.  Silly bint should have found herself a hobby.

I've had very little in the way of emotional reactions to it all other than irritation or frustration at the futility of it all, and incredulity at how easily she pulled the wool over so many people eyes.  It was all so easy to check, with me, and with other professionals, yet no-one bothered.  They took her 'opinion' over the factual input of probably a dozen other professionals.  How weird is that?

Hopalong

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Re: Checking In
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2024, 04:32:01 PM »
((((Tupp)))),
I have always been amazed at the depth and honesty of your introspection, and the maturity of your conclusions.

I remain amazed. There's something so enormously truthful (non-denial, accountability, active response to insight, etc) about your processing of your own life, personality, needs, strengths and weaknesses.

I believe your mother has been a dank, oppressive and suppressive force in your life for long enough, and as you look back, I feel as though you have cut many many cords to her. What once looked like a rope that could secure a tugboat has frayed down to threads. Nature will rot those away in its own pace, but you're free.

Looking back, that's an extraordinary process of will to thrive, love for Son, and refusal to let her drag you like an anchor again. You have become your own anchor, to raise or set as you see fit. Wow.

Being poor sucks. And you have your own good mind, a Son who loves you (quit singing baby songs to him!), and perceptiveness. Astonishing perceptiveness.

Bravo, you.

hugs
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Twoapenny

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Re: Checking In
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2024, 05:01:41 PM »
Thanks, Hops.  It's odd how things feel very confused and stuck for a long time, and then they seem to shift free again.

Now here's another odd thing, and I wanted to ask you guys what you think, just as an observation thing, not with a view to doing anything about it.

I kept thinking about all these times my mum has contacted professionals making claims about me abusing my son. What I can't get my head around is why she did it in the way that she did.  It happened each time she and I fell out.  I've always presumed that to be her response to losing control over me, and I'd always had it in my head that what she was trying to do was to get custody of my son, or some sort of enforced input in his life.  But reading through all this paperwork again, there's no mention in there, at any time, of her trying to get him or suggesting he should be taken from me.  What she did each time is contact someone claiming that my son's problems were down to my parenting of him; my mental health problems making me a bad parent.  When I was in hospital during a breakdown she isolated me by telling friends I wasn't allowed visitors (I didn't find out until many years later).  She told docs at the hospital that she was happy to have me stay with her and then as soon as I got in the car she told me I couldn't stay more than two nights.  She called docs telling them I was out of control and my behaviour was so bad they couldn't have me in the house; I'd done nothing and didn't know about that until a long time after, either.  She at no time during the period I was ill raised any concerns with social workers or any other members of staff about my treatment of my son; there's not even any redacted information during that period which would indicate she told them something she didn't want them to know about (in fact there's very little interaction between her and the social worker other than brief notes about childcare arrangements and emergency phone numbers). 

So we've gone through the actual period of me being ill with her exaggerating and/or making up things about me, with no mention of me mistreating or neglecting my son (from her, or anyone else).  We went through about a year or more of early interaction between me and the health visitor, doctor, speech therapist and paediatrician without any input from my mum to any of those people (again, no redacted information,  no weird or out of place comments).  We moved to a different area that summer (different team of docs, social workers etc) but she didn't contact anybody for about four months after that, and that was when she claimed I'd caused all his problems through my treatment of him when I was ill.  I'm kind of baffled as to how they all accepted that.  He was very young; for me to have done that I'd have had to have severely neglected him from birth really, it would be odd for him to have remained in my care if that were the case?  And even more odd that we'd be able to move from one county to another without any information being passed between professional teams.  Added to which we weren't in hiding; he was in nursery, registered with a doc, attending groups and so on.  So them accepting what she said without anything to back it up is really weird but it's also only just dawning on me that what she really seemed to doing in all this is exaggerating my health problems and trying to convince people they were severe enough to damage my son in that way.

Could she be suffering from that fabricated illness thing, do you think?  I'm not sure what they call it now, it used to be munchausen's, I've heard it called fictitious disorder as well.  The fake cancer thing has played on my mind through the day and now I'm starting to wonder if this whole thing has actually been about her pretending I had health problems I didn't have.  I've got a report where she claimed I had schizophrenia and could switch personalities without warning which would have been funny if it hadn't been so serious, but she put together an almost cartoon like description of how she claimed I was to someone at one time.  All of it completely made up.

I'm just thinking out loud really, but for some reason re-reading some of that paperwork over the weekend, I've seen some things in a different light and I'm starting to wonder if my interpretation of this has been wrong.  I've always thought she was trying to get my boy but now I'm starting to wonder if it was all about attention being paid to her?

sKePTiKal

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« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2024, 07:20:23 AM »
Hi Tupp. Speculating on the why of your mom's behavior now, probably won't turn up any specific, accurate answers. But the new vantage point you're in right now has certainly offered a new perspective on it! Noticing the lack of stated threat to control/manage your son IS a big deal. I'd see that, as meaning you were the target all along for her harassment. Why, is kinda impossible to know and likely she doesn't know at this point in time either. Stuff like that gets lost in the filmstrips of the past, the older we get.

Maybe it was all about her wanting attention; maybe she was intuitively conscious she was pushing you & son away and didn't want to lose her favorite "I'll pick on her and feel strong again" ego coping mechanism. Maybe she's just always been this way, and there was nothing you were; nothing you said; nothing you did that created this situation between you two. I do still kinda believe that sometimes daughters are born to mismatched moms for whatever "life challenge lessons" there are to derive from it. I see it a lot in the difference in my two daughters; my silly relationship with my mom that caused me so much difficulty in life, for awhile.

It'll be interesting to see what you discover, or think about this after you've pondered it some.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

Twoapenny

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« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2024, 08:14:33 AM »
Hi Tupp. Speculating on the why of your mom's behavior now, probably won't turn up any specific, accurate answers. But the new vantage point you're in right now has certainly offered a new perspective on it! Noticing the lack of stated threat to control/manage your son IS a big deal. I'd see that, as meaning you were the target all along for her harassment. Why, is kinda impossible to know and likely she doesn't know at this point in time either. Stuff like that gets lost in the filmstrips of the past, the older we get.

Maybe it was all about her wanting attention; maybe she was intuitively conscious she was pushing you & son away and didn't want to lose her favorite "I'll pick on her and feel strong again" ego coping mechanism. Maybe she's just always been this way, and there was nothing you were; nothing you said; nothing you did that created this situation between you two. I do still kinda believe that sometimes daughters are born to mismatched moms for whatever "life challenge lessons" there are to derive from it. I see it a lot in the difference in my two daughters; my silly relationship with my mom that caused me so much difficulty in life, for awhile.

It'll be interesting to see what you discover, or think about this after you've pondered it some.

Thanks, Skep.  I think you're right about the different perspective being helpful, and about the mothers and daughters thing.  I spoke to my sister about it all this morning.  Two interesting things came up from that - one is the way the different pieces of information we each have form a completely different picture, for both of us.  The other is how well my sister and I communicate when we talk about this really deep messed up stuff.  When we have light and airy, chit chat conversations we both annoy one another immensely and end up getting snippy.

It has already meant my anxiety about my son has dropped considerably.  I'd always felt I needed to protect him from her but that's just evaporated.  I don't think it was ever about him now.  It sounds silly but I've always had a nagging fear that some of what she said about me was true, and that her attempts to intervene were some sort of misguided effort to help, albeit from a place of not really understanding the situation.  But now - I honestly think all of it was about getting attention for herself and we were just the unfortunate vehicle for that.  It means a lot of the 'what was so wrong with me' thinking has vanished as well.

She has called my sister to say there was more cancer than was first thought, and that she needs more surgery.  We don't know if this is true, or if she's increased the story because she didn't get the response she wanted to the first one.  It does seem that she had some sort of hospital procedure (this has come via the village grapevine).  True or not, whilst I don't want her to suffer, we are all keeping well away.  I feel kind of detached from it all.  She's done so much damage but has flown under the radar with it all.  Very, very dangerous.

Twoapenny

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« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2024, 03:05:49 AM »
Well lovelies, I am logging on this morning to tell you all that I am feeling very proud of myself :)  And genuinely so, not in some vain attempt to bolster myself up.

I have sorted through another big box of paperwork.  Fewer revelations about my mum this time, but it's become clear to me that the amount of paperwork that actually relates to myself or my son is fairly small - think a couple of box files worth.  Things we currently need can easily be stored in a drawer or a single ring binder.  Almost all of this colossal weight of paper that I have lugged from house to house over so many moves is my mum.  Literally.  I didn't have her in my life any more, so she made sure she was represented in some other way, and she's done it by generating paperwork for me to deal with.  Even when I got to the point of telling her I wasn't going to deal with her problems any more, she's just created other problems that I had no choice but to manage.  Stupid, pointless, ridiculous woman.

What I am proud of, as I work my way through these paperwork mountains and the many allegations, communications, complaints and follow ups over the years, is the way I've handled it.  At the same time as providing 24 hour support for my son (and doing it well) I have dealt with all of these situations in the correct way - on paper, in accordance with the procedures, correcting inaccuracies, requesting information, getting to a point in each case where staff have had to admit that either the procedure was not adhered to and/or that the information they were using was inaccurate.  Polite, calm, measured, coherent, cohesive paperwork, all of which, over the years, has been filed, stored and kept available in case it was needed again.  It's a twenty year documented history of abuse, and it's an interesting read.  I have behaved better than most of the professionals involved (there have been a few that did a good job and it was nice to remind myself of them) and I've behaved a thousand times better than my mum.  I have done a bloody good job and I am genuinely feeling proud of myself for being a decent human, and a good mum.  Albeit one with an achy hip lol xx