can't stand more aloneness
Welcome again. I see you've posts before, hopefully I can help.
Relationships with mums are difficult at the best of times. Mine was dreadful and it was never go to improve for many reasons. She passed away over 30 years ago, at 67 years of age. I agree totally with you that helping the aged and those who brought you up is something we ought to do. However, for myself, I had to leave the city to escape my mother. Her personality and behaviour had a detrimental affect on me and I needed to become my own person. Not to become someone who was an image of her, which she was trying to do. It was a decision I had to make for my own survival. Staying around her would have meant me - not growing, not forming healthy relationships with people, not being happy. I concluded she would not have been any more unhappy when I left than what she already was. So I moved away.
It wasn't an easy decision to make of course, but, make it I did and never looked back. There was always an expectation of me phoning once a week. Which I did dutifully, but confess I did as your brother does, I held the phone away from my ear and turned my hearing off while she ranted. Then said goodbye.
For me this was easier than arguing about things that I didn't agree with or that she didn't agree with. The arguments were always pointless and one-sided from her perspective. I could never say hurtful things to her (like I wanted to) because - she was my mother after all. And if the truth is known, I was afraid of her. The things she said about people (me, other family members, neighbours, friends) were awful.
I now realise, my mum had a mental illness. She had severe/major depression, OCD - that was never diagnosed or treated. Also, I suspect she had childhood trauma that may have increased her narcissistic personality and predatory behaviour of males. Now, I am saddened that there was no support during those times for people with mental illness.
A friend of mine said to me about 35 years ago, when my mother came to visit me for my wedding, 'keep her well away from you and your hubby', 'don't have anything to do with her'. Well, living in two cities thousands of kms apart helped. Interesting, my friend had met her once!!
Making tough decisions, such as cutting yourself off from your mother is incredibly difficult. However, for me, it's helped me to grow, to develop, to create a world around me that I can live in.
Keep reaching out ratboy. You're not alone.
You’ve helped me a lot with your post.
You could almost be talking about my mother and situation, except I did not leave the city when things got bad. My mental health issues instead got worse and I’ve been on antidepressants since 2004 for anxiety and depression.
When you said that about:
I concluded she would not have been any more unhappy when I left than what she already was
I thought wow. That’s it. That’s why, despite all I’ve been feeling, I haven’t been thinking I made a mistake. I did snap, emotionally, but I don’t want to go back to how things were. And also when you wrote:
Staying around her would have meant me - not growing, not forming healthy relationships with people, not being happy
I thought; This is what has happened to me. This horrible loneliness. Even my brother, who lives in another state, has acknowledged this and said he thinks it would have been better for both of us (as in myself and my mother) had she accepted his offer to help her relocate near his family.
I have said hurtful things. I’m not that good a person. I wasn’t wise enough or brave enough to make the cut 20 years ago.
My mother does say bad things about other people and has cut off members of the extended family as well as ceasing to speak to neighbours or ex-friends for “doing her wrong”. I have to put it that way because she’s never been clear on just what they did, only that she “knew” they didn’t want her calling/visiting/whatever it was. And what you say about possible mental illness/childhood trauma, well, I can’t say. The trauma could be; she got evacuated as a child during the London Blitz to stay with a horrible aunt and uncle, purely because otherwise they would be assigned a strange child and they didn’t want that. So the aunt asked her sister, my grandmother, if they could have one of theirs! It was an awful few years, from what I’ve heard, and not because there was a war.
A world that I can live in – that would be good.
If I can’t have a partner and I’m beginning to think I can’t, then it would be good to have even friends who want to be around me. Right now I don’t much want to be around me so how can I blame other people?
I want to change my life, I really do, but I’m in my 50s and am wondering if there is even time?
Thank you so much for sharing your story. So brave of you. Our mothers do sound incredibly similar don't they?
Maybe it's a sign of the times. While your mother grew up during the London blitz, my mother grew up during the Australian depression with strict parents. My mother had to work in her father's business without pay which she resented and never forgave him for. Her relations with her siblings was tainted. Not sure what happened, but it became very fierce as the years went on.
Anyway, back to you. How about being a little kinder to yourself. Do something for yourself that you really do enjoy or something new that you've never done before? Tip your toes into the waters edge and feel the water, the cold, the smoothness of it.
You sound a little afraid Ratboy. Remember you're not alone. There are many of us out there who find it difficult to trust people and to make the friendships that we think we should have. Maybe think differently, just because you're in your 50s doesn't mean your out to pasture yet. I'm in my 60s and life is just beginning for me. Now that I no longer have to manage a job along with my anxiety and depression.
I'm doing things like - leadlighting. Using my hands that I've never done before. I truly astounded myself that I could cut glass, turn some lead and make a rather pretty lampshade. A bit rough around the edges, but hey, I did it with the coaching of an even older person (someone in their 70s?80s).
Living with the stories our mothers have brought us up with have shaped our thinking of ourselves and the world. What I have done is 'change my thinking about myself, about my values and my beliefs'. I had to, it was the only way I was going to move on from how I felt - devalued, worthless, no self esteem whatsoever, no confidence.
Change can happen. It takes time, effort, commitment, understanding doctors and health professionals, along with a healthy lifestyle (exercise, social activity, limited alcohol consumption). In some instances medication if necessary.
You seem to have the ability to make the changes, though maybe need some support. Thank you for sharing and hopefully we'll hear more from you. We're caring and supportive here.
Thanks, PamelaR. Don't know that I'm afraid exactly; I can do things I'm scared of if I decide I have to. I'm not good at social stuff, I know that. Still spending a lot of time on my own, feel a bit pointless. Was okay today, got out to do a bit of a search through some antique shops and some exercise, but as evening comes on, so do negative thoughts, it seems. You aren't good enough, you don't deserve to be happy, you aren't even talking to your mother. [This is what's going through my head] I've tried to post to some people here, but seems I'm the kiss of death, no more posts after I did on all of them!
I am not sure on how this changed to the mother part of things after reading the first post here, and I cant say I know what you are going through, I just hope my words can encourage you somehow.
I just want to say that we can do things to avoid the feeling of loneliness most times, and in your situation above where you say "Two weeks ago I tried to connect with a friend, no reply for a week, then oh, I got a new phone, maybe next Sunday? Now it is next Sunday and I doubt I'm going to hear anything." - I just want to say that if they do things like that, go out anyway, get out there and enjoy life, go see the antique stores you said later in the post you like to do, you may find other people with your own interests, but the thing is, because you going out, you dont really get time to feel lonely, before you know it, the day has passed and you had fun. What I am trying to say, is go out and enjoy life, take a chance to get some dreams filled out, or work towards getting your own dreams done.
Hope this helps, but if not, I still want you to know there are people that care, even if their advice isnt good,