The trauma and remedy of insulting remarks
As a child I had no better father. My mother also however due to what I believe is undiagnosed BPD or NPD later on she became toxic so I had to remove her from my life.
Back to dad. He was such a good caring and considerate man that those around him in our community held him in great regard. He was even asked to be a justice of the peace, a role he turned down.
So, with my then undiagnosed bipolar, dysthymia, anxiety and depression I joined the Air Force at 17yo and went off the rails. Even though further careers included prison officer and PI I had a personal life that was chequered to say the least plus relationship issues.
I reflected this morning what comments were made by others in my past that made the most negative impact. "You'll never be a shadow of your father" carries the deepest scar, a scar made by- yes, my mother. "when are you going to act more like your father"..."your father never got drunk"...and "your father would roll over in his grave if he knew how you are treating your mother". Some comments made by my mothers friends that had ear full after ear full from her to the extent they just had to defend her.
So 11 years ago, my sister and I tossed our mother out of our lives. Today we still bare the mental scars of her treachery. However, we both must have been very strong to carry out that action and stronger still to not ever regret our decision. How? Well we were provided with the ability to judge good and bad by our father and that ability to judge came to roost when we knew in our hearts that such deplorable comments were designed to cause great harm and that was - wrong! For several decades she got away with such comments because she was powerful, manipulating and wore the mask of a matriarch. At some point my sister and I knew we would never stop her havoc and we also knew that by severing ties we would lose family members also which happened.
The philosophy of standing your ground when in your mind you know wrong has been thrown at you is a difficult one to accomplish. If you find yourself emotionally trapped and you do not have the inner strength to defend yourself and to implement measures to protect yourself in your future going forward, then you might well need professional assistance to do that.
Far better to place shields and distance in front of an enemy that to accept the wrath of their onslaught alone. You only have one life and its too short to waste a moment on one more insulting remark.
Hello Tony Thankkyou for your post i can relate....
My mother had split personality and cause lots of trauma to myself and siblings I have BPD from repeated trauma
If your mum had BPD you could find out what trauma she went through to get BPD
My Mother was so toxic I removed her from my life 8 years ago and never looked back
I rarely look back but sometimes I look back at similar comments my mother made to me and they hurt still but I have worked hard to make them untrue
You know the truth and your mother unwell that's why she makes comments like that, I realised this about my mum
Yes that philosophy is hard but when you do stand your ground when in your mind you feel at peace
It took me a long time and I have made peace and I am doing great......I rarely ever look back and time heals many wounds
I hope your okay and sorry for what you went through
Yes, I'm aware why my mother ended up as she is. It's an educated guess after much research but my mum grew up fairly isolated with an older brother on a farm. As he would keep the family name when married he was the favourite. As it was them days early last century. She resented him all through her life.
She painted a dim picture of her childhood about neglect and favouritism. However, as we matured we found out that she was indeed treated very well, a grand piano when 10yo as one example. But whatever the cause its the end result that mattered. When we were young children she was a good nurturer but that warmth dissolved as we became adults with our own mind and independence that became a threat to her authority.
I'm glad you are at peace also.
sorry for the hardships you experienced in the past.
I kind of can relate. I believe my mother suffers narcistic personality disorder, but I doubt she would ever go to psychiatrist for diagnosis, or even psychologist. It was a great taboo in my family, and I know it is for her until today, as she tried to threaten me to talk to her by saying, that she is so upset, that she might need to go to psychiatrist. And she would never admit that there might be something wrong with her, because she puts all the blame on the world around. Generally living with her and having her around, even as adult, was constant walking on eggshells, and trying to avoid any reasons for her 'explosions'.
I also guess the reasons for her trauma. It has been passed through generations of traumatized people.
And I feel really sorry for the things they experienced, it definitely scarred them. But all the hardship and trauma cannot be an excuse to hurt others. Every one of us has a choice to change how the things are done. I know I was able to break from the patterns of how I was brought up, because I can see, that my own daughters want to hug me, they want to talk to me and do things with me. And as I look back, I did not want to be close to my mother at age of 9. I feared her. I just did what she wanted, brought good grades from school and I tried my best to fly under the radar. But I was on constant alert.
And so last year I stopped talking to her. And the reason was very simple. I had major (C)PTSD flashback, that put me through depression, and dark thoughts, and I felt really awful for months, when I did not know what was going on with me and I needed my time and space to sort myself out, and the idea of talking to my mother gave me creeps and made me sick. And I told her that I need time. But she took it as personal offence, and got angry, why I don't talk to her, and how sad she is that I do not tell her my problems. I never did. I replied her harsh, that I am done with her not respecting my boundaries, and I can talk to anyone I want to, and manipulation and blackmail will not make me talk to her. We did not speak since.
But it feels good and relaxing. That I finally was able to stand up for myself and express myself without trying to pacify her and go again as she wished. I don't miss the contact with her. I feel more free, that I don't have to pretend to be a good daughter. And personally I don't care if I am marked as a black sheep in the family.
Thankyou Gucia for your story
Gee, fear at 9yo, thats not good. I relate very much to that fear, its terrible.
As for emotional blackmail, that is something I also had from my mother. The worst example was when I was dating a young lady. I was 27yo, she 23yo. She was a catholic and my mother didnt like her likely due to her religion. One day my mother created a scene with me and I tried to find out the real reason, then she said "if you dont break off with that woman I'll pack my bags and go interstate for a few weeks". I replied "I'll help you pack".
It sounds disrespectful but little did she know I had attended a GROW meeting whereby I was given a booklet and in it one chapter was "emotional blackmail". I had realised what she was doing was wrong.
Well she went on that holiday, after all I called her bluff so she had to follow through with it. Dad and I had the time of our lives.
"I'll help you pack" - I love it.
Yeah, when my mother tried to blackmail me the last time and told me she would need to go to psychiatrist, I was already on my journey, seeing psychologist and waiting for psychiatrist appointment, so my response was also "Go if you think you need help and maybe they will be able to help you." But I don't know how she took it.
But her ways of emotional blackmail was usually more subtle. It was more the fact that we were just on the constant alert not to do something that might push her over the edge. After all being treated like air and looked through even if she looked in my direction, closing herself in her bedroom and telling us we should think of what we just did (it was though, because as a kid or a teenager I did not really think I did anything wrong), or not to argue over toys with my brother, because if we did, she would take his toy and smash it on the wall, ant then tell us to see what we did (made her do), and to tidy it up. Or when I had a meltdown she would shout that I stop or she will have to call the ambulance, or that I will get a seizure - for years I thought calling an ambulance, or asking for help or even falling into a seizure was something horrible, bad, embarrassing, and unacceptable.
Then later all the contradictory messages. Her telling me that no matter what her home will be always my home, but when I found affection in arms of my boyfriend (unfortunately another abusive narcissist), I was greeted with comments "Oh, so now you treat this home like a hotel". But I seriously hated being at home.
Or other times she was saying "what did I do wrong, that you don't want to speak to me" (it started from the time around I was 10). If I told her, she would deny it never happened, which happened couple of times when I hoped that maybe she would listen. Or when I gathered myself to try break the ice and talk about my problems, I was hinted, that this is my problem so now I need to deal with it (she loved the phrase 'as you make your bed, so you must lie on it'). So after being treated like that 2 or 3 times, I quickly learned, that trying any meaningful conversation with her didn't make sense.
It looks like we have a lot in common.
I did a lot of reading mainly extracts of books-
STOP WALKING ON EGGSHELLS
UNDERSTANDING YOUR BORDERLINE MOTHER
both by Dr Christing Lawson.
And here is a link to my thread on it
thank you for the read recommendations and link to your other thread. I will have a look.
Sorry if I went off topic
But coming back to abuse, putting distance and limiting contact was so far the best thing to do. It is not perfect, because it is more escape than trying to find solution. But this is what I understand as setting up boundaries, which unfortunately is a big issue for me.