World War III - I pushed the button

Share how living with this disease can and does impact your relationships. How do you cope? What questions to you have?
EeFall
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Re: World War III - I pushed the button

Postby EeFall » Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:21 pm

Chipmunk wrote:
EeFall wrote:Yeah, the movie theater is a treacherous place for someone with severe RLS. We did successfully see Oz, the Great and Powerful at the theater several months ago, I must have had a good day. The reality is that we raise them and then they are on their own (if we are successful :D ). My dad left my mother, 6 months pregnant, me at age 8, and my 14 year old brother to fend for ourselves as he found a girlfriend half my mom's age.

That must have been devastating. My daughter is 8 right now and I can't imagine what that would do to her. :( My husband's dad left when he was around the same age, and it profoundly affected him.


I wish I could say it didn't mess me up but even now, 50 years later, it messes with me. It is nice to say "get over it" but the reality is that it is a singularity (like a black hole), that I can't escape and I filter all life events around it.

badnights
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Re: World War III - I pushed the button

Postby badnights » Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:50 pm

I often wonder if my mother had known how some of the things she was doing would affect me and my siblings when we were older, would she have managed to be able to prevent herself from doing them? I think so. I think now, after years of being resentful and critical, that she was just doing her best with what equipment she had. That helps me accept the fallout, but I am not sure if it reduces the impact of the fallout. Perhaps.

It was interesting to see that my children were coming to the same sort of acceptance regarding me, about two decades sooner than I did. Much smarter than me.
Beth - Wishing you all restful sleep tonight
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ViewsAskew
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Re: World War III - I pushed the button

Postby ViewsAskew » Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:15 pm

badnights wrote:I often wonder if my mother had known how some of the things she was doing would affect me and my siblings when we were older, would she have managed to be able to prevent herself from doing them? I think so. I think now, after years of being resentful and critical, that she was just doing her best with what equipment she had. That helps me accept the fallout, but I am not sure if it reduces the impact of the fallout. Perhaps.

It was interesting to see that my children were coming to the same sort of acceptance regarding me, about two decades sooner than I did. Much smarter than me.


She either had an inkling but couldn't find a way out or she was completely unaware. I have to believe, as a survivor of abuse, that very, very few parents wake up in the morning and say, 'Gee, what can I do today to screw up my kids?" They are either self absorbed and can't see it, they are not in control in important ways (such as an alcoholic or codependent or mental illness), they are not educated enough, and so on. Those that are self-absorbed can cause a lot of damage, but they still didn't do it intentionally. There are likely some that do it deliberately. Hopefully they don't procreate often.
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

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badnights
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Re: World War III - I pushed the button

Postby badnights » Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:28 am

There are likely some that do it deliberately. Hopefully they don't procreate often.
Amen!
Beth - Wishing you all restful sleep tonight
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Polar Bear
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Re: World War III - I pushed the button

Postby Polar Bear » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:12 pm

ditto !!
Betty
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leggo_my_legs
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Re: World War III - I pushed the button

Postby leggo_my_legs » Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:18 am

I'm glad it's working out!

My relationship with my mother is at the end of the line. I've been trying for decades. She is extremely narcicisstic, intrusive, and controlling and it has gotten too painful.

I won't tell her we're done but I will avoid almost all contact except special occasion phone calls and even then I will share minimal info about myself and kind of shut it down and keep it surface. She then uses guilt and greeting cards to try to engage me. My uncle has cut her off too.

I don't know what I'm gonna do when she needs help at some point due to her age...Ive been taking care of her my whole life and don't want to continue. It sounds so cold but I don't feel much for her and I don't feel an obligation. I worry how it will affect my relationship with my sister who does feel obligated and will be upset with me.

ViewsAskew
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Re: World War III - I pushed the button

Postby ViewsAskew » Fri Sep 22, 2017 6:16 am

leggo_my_legs wrote:I'm glad it's working out!

My relationship with my mother is at the end of the line. I've been trying for decades. She is extremely narcicisstic, intrusive, and controlling and it has gotten too painful.

I won't tell her we're done but I will avoid almost all contact except special occasion phone calls and even then I will share minimal info about myself and kind of shut it down and keep it surface. She then uses guilt and greeting cards to try to engage me. My uncle has cut her off too.

I don't know what I'm gonna do when she needs help at some point due to her age...Ive been taking care of her my whole life and don't want to continue. It sounds so cold but I don't feel much for her and I don't feel an obligation. I worry how it will affect my relationship with my sister who does feel obligated and will be upset with me.


Does your sister have a similar experience with your mom? My sister is 13 years younger than I...my brother is 18 years younger and has a different father (but both our fathers were alcoholics). When I talk to each of my siblings, it truly is as if we had completely different families. Fortunately, at least with my sister, she honors my experiences and would let me off the hook if this was our father and he was still alive and needed us.
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest



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badnights
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Re: World War III - I pushed the button

Postby badnights » Fri Sep 22, 2017 6:21 am

leggo, it sounds like it's probably time for you to stop caring what she thinks of you. Or to find some other way to do less interacting with her. Be proud of yourself if you can defend your phone line against her - not even hear the phone ring when it's her would be best. If the cars she sends have guilt trips in them, tack all the cards she sends in a bag and look at it once a year - or decide you're only going to look at every 6th one, and judiciously throw out all the others. Spend MORE of your day with positive thoughts than negative thoughts, with people who like or love you. You can initiate contact when it's right for you.

Funny thing - my mother never seemed to like me, so I finally stopped giving a sh*t - I just gave up after a few decades of trying to get her to like me - and that made me nicer somehow, and she started to like me. Weird. Of course, we continued to live 3000 miles apart, so I didn't strain her new-found affection much with the reality of me. (Affection is probably too strong a word.)

I started visiting her more over the last 5 years (more meaning 3 or 4 times in 5 years....the last visit was a long one, 7 weeks when my dad died). With the distance gained by my own semi-advanced years, I could see clearly on these visits how outrageously self-centered she is. Appallingly so. And at the same time, she desperately tries to be "good", and hates herself for not being loving enough. What a mess! My oldest son saw right through her with his usual instant, bang-on perceptivity - how she played or tried to play emotional games with us all. As one of her children, I was still somewhat susceptible to her emotional blackmail, but my son was immune.

That all was changing even as I was observing it, as Dad's strokes and her own advancing dementia take their toll on her mental acuity. It is very painful to watch a self-centered person develop dementia. We still live apart, so there are lots of emails. My brother is cut off, for reasons unknown - Mom doesn't trust his wife, Mom thinks he's cheap - but my sister and I were getting 8 to 20 emails a day from her. I skimmed them and sent 3 or 4 replies, but my poor sister reads and replies to each one, and sends news of her busy day - hoping Mom will understand not to send so many emails, but of course mom doesn't get it. Now suddenly I'm cut off too, and I wonder why - and this is one of her tactics. She may not realize she's doing it, but she wants me to feel hurt and to ponder whatever sin I committed that she is punishing me for. Not that I know what it is. (Because I suggested that she call the real estate guy to look at her house? Suggested that she send 3 emails a day instead of 20?) I am happy to get less, but now I have to ask my sister for updates to ensure that mom is still ok.
Beth - Wishing you all restful sleep tonight
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leggo_my_legs
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Re: World War III - I pushed the button

Postby leggo_my_legs » Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:40 am

Views, my sister absolutely does. We complain about it. My sister can put up with it better than I can and I feel guilty about that but I guess we all have our ways of trying to cope. I'm glad your sister would support you in doing what you need to do. My sister is extremely supportive though this issue may be very tricky if it comes up.

leggo_my_legs
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Re: World War III - I pushed the button

Postby leggo_my_legs » Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:53 am

badnights wrote:leggo, it sounds like it's probably time for you to stop caring what she thinks of you.
.


Exactly what I need to do. It's not so much what she thinks of me...it's that I think I'm a bad daughter (ok that's internalized from her guilt trips).

How painful to not feel liked by your mom! That's awful. I am kind of the opposite--she likes me too much and wants to live vicariously through me. But she likes me as an extension of herself; she can't get that I'm separate.

Your son sounds like an amazing man. What an accomplishment to do well as a parent especially when your own mother didn't!

Dementia is a terrible illness. I wish there was a cure.

ViewsAskew
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Re: World War III - I pushed the button

Postby ViewsAskew » Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:21 pm

Not offering anything but ideas - and just ignore if you have thought of them or already do them. And, this is more of a personal story than a suggestion of any kind.

Without going into a personal pity party, I was abused as a child - sexually, physically, and emotionally. My mom is a wonderful codependent. My dad was an alcoholic who drank himself to death by the age 45.

Not sure I would be here in the life I have today if not for Twelve Step groups (and I was in several!), therapy, and lots of books, as well as the best set of friends one could want and who also were on a similar path. I still struggle at times - sometimes it takes me by surprise - and food is still a problem, though much less of one. I have been self-medicating with it since I was about five (at least my earliest memory of hiding under covers and eating). I stopped gaining weight years ago and have lost some over time, so maybe by the time I die I will have a normal relationship with food, lol.

I do not think I will ever be like people who have not gone through this, but I am radically different and no longer do many of the things I did (that were self-destructive). Cognitive behavioral methods have helped me interrupt long-used responses and supply new ones. Recently, a family member started dating a woman who was sexually abused. She has been talking to me a bit - I made it very clear that I am not a therapist as I did not want to cause any harm and I try listen and ask questions mostly. At any rate, in the last few months, I realized just how much I have changed and how little the past controls me in many ways. Not all, but radically different.
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest



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badnights
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Re: World War III - I pushed the button

Postby badnights » Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:40 am

views wrote: in the last few months, I realized just how much I have changed and how little the past controls me in many ways.
An unexpected but gratifying benefit of talking to her! Always nice to realize how far we've come.

leggo wrote:Your son sounds like an amazing man. What an accomplishment to do well as a parent especially when your own mother didn't!
I wish it had more to do with me. But I honestly don't know where his wisdom comes from. Some magical combination of genes & circumstances.
Beth - Wishing you all restful sleep tonight
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debbluebird
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Re: World War III - I pushed the button

Postby debbluebird » Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:23 am

badnights wrote:Funny thing - my mother never seemed to like me, so I finally stopped giving a sh*t - I just gave up after a few decades of trying to get her to like me - and that made me nicer somehow, and she started to like me. Weird. Of course, we continued to live 3000 miles apart, so I didn't strain her new-found affection much with the reality of me. (Affection is probably too strong a word.)
Now suddenly I'm cut off too, and I wonder why .


Sorry to hear about your Mother and how she treats you.
Dementia can sometimes really change a persons personality. Strokes made my Mother easier for me to be around her. My Mother loved me, but was very critical of everything. I believe, that was her way of trying to help me. I couldn't stand the negativity at times.
Just be glad you live far apart. My sister dealt with my Mother differently than I did. Sounds like you have done a wonderful job of raising your son. It seems to me that you are a better person because of her and that's a good thing.

leggo_my_legs
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Re: World War III - I pushed the button

Postby leggo_my_legs » Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:43 am

deleted, see below
Last edited by leggo_my_legs on Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

leggo_my_legs
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Re: World War III - I pushed the button

Postby leggo_my_legs » Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:45 am

badnights wrote: wish it had more to do with me. But I honestly don't know where his wisdom comes from. Some magical combination of genes & circumstances.


Give yourself some credit anyway, at a minimum for not ruining the magical combination! :D That's possible, I think.


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