Mixed bag

Every time I think I am getting comfortable with how my world is I come across something that shows me I’m not. This time it was a very small feather in a card from my Mom that I had tucked away. She does love me to the extent that she is capable of. I adore feathers, I have been know as the feather slut to my friends. My only tattoo is feathers. They have been a consent love throughout my life. That she took the time to save this small feather and send it to me meant a lot. It gets me thinking about writing to her at least. But then, do I really want to. I can’t tell. I can tell I no longer want contact with my step father. I really just don’t and I don’t think that is out of line. Not to me or the others around me.

My therapist brought up the fact that possibly my mother suffers from her own mental illness. I was amazed to say the least. Not sure why, but I had never even considered that. Was it my own blindness that kept me from that realization? Possibly, my mate looked and me and said “Ya, you didn’t know?” Really so one of those things I was the only one who didn’t know. I guess it has to do with the whole looking at my mother as a person not just my mother. I know if friends treated me the way she has I won’t stick around for more. In fact I have cut a friend loose and that hurts almost as much.

Narcissists love to point out your flaws. I have been doing a fair amount of research on Narcissist parents, what an eye opener. I have sat on this post for almost 2 months as I try to digest all the information and the possibility that is what is wrong with my mother. This is still such a new concept to me that it is very hard to get mind wrapped around it. I m sure once I come to a better understanding I’ll have more to post.

This post was written a year ago. It still holds truth.

Shoes

I have neglected my writing for almost a year. The things I had to say were too angry and filled with bitterness. I am trying to move away from that and live in the love I have in my life. I have come to realize that I do still need to express the anger to more fully let go of it. Having said that this post is not about that, I will post more later. Today I want to talk about shoes.

I went to a concert last month with a friend. It was raining and cold in the city which is pretty normal for this time of year. As we walking to find someplace to have dinner I noticed a homeless man curled up in a doorway. He wasn’t begging or asking for anything. He was trying to sleep. I noticed he had no shoes and his socks had huge holes in them. He did have a small bag of belongings with him. We had our dinner and passed by this man again. Still shivering with no shoes. We enjoyed our concert and when we came out he was gone. I had been thinking of him and wondering how I could help him.

It has been a couple of weeks and I find my thoughts returning to this man and his plight. Not sure why this has hit so hard, but it has. Then tonight a story on the news a young man bought a homeless woman some food at a chain in the city. They would not allow her inside to eat, because she had no shoes. She was cold and soaking wet, but because she had no shoes they would not admit her inside. I know I’m not the only one this is speaking to. Now I need to figure out what to do about it.

With all that is amok in this world shoes have got my attention. Rather strange I guess but there it is. So, I guess I need to start seeing how I can help.

May 18, 2015

We just made it through Mothers’ Day and now it will be my mother’s birthday in 2 days. Seems like this time of year is just hard. It was always my favorite time of year. I love spring and the flowers blooming, sunshine and warmer weather. This time of year is the best. Maybe it helps to deal because I have sunshine to balance out the gloomy feelings? Do I send a card or not? I haven’t for almost two years. Do I even want to open that door a crack? What is the worst thing that could happen? She might take it as a sign I want to talk? Do I, no it is too raw to think about talking.

Just getting started, a little bit about me

.”Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’ ” – Mary Anne Radmacher

This has been one of my favorite quotes for many years. It says much of how I have lived my life. Always trying to do better. Who was I trying to please? This is a place for me to express myself and share some of my journey to becoming whole. A little of who I am. A 60 year old woman, wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, new sister and friend. I retired from the USAF and Air National Guard after 26 years. Worked in non-traditional roles and helped open a few doors. This is just my first dip in the pond, I hope by reading what I have written it may help someone else who is struggling with similar issues. But for now this is all.

I found this in my drafts, I thought I had published it. Sigh…

So here it is now as a little bit about me. I was abused both sexually and verbally with the occasional beating for good measure. I don’t share my blog on FaceBook. It is too painful and personnel. I don’t think it belongs there. I am open to sharing with people to help them on their way, but I like to try to keep FB as social and who wants to read this there? Not me anyway.  I did share a post about a teen who committed suicide after public shaming, it struck a cord with me. The cut hair is what did it. You see I ran away from my abusive home. Several times. After the first time my beautiful waist length hair was cut off so “I wouldn’t look like every other little tramp on the street.” I was offered a choice at the time, but I recognized it wasn’t really a choice at all, that was what was expected of me. I hated it so much. I was 15 at the time. I really don’t ave any contact with people from that time in my life. I even changed my name. When asked about it (name change) I reply Debbie died. I was 19 when a friend looked me in the eye and asked me what I wanted to be called. Major wake up for me. I was so surpired that someone would ask me what I wanted and mean it.

Indecision

Indecision it plagues the best of us from time to time. I think it is even worse for those of us who are estranged from all or part of our families. I know it plagues me to no end. You can see it throughout my writing. As I look back through my life it has always been a sticking point for me. First while trying to break the cycle of abuse, to later trying to figure out “Is this normal?”  I used to tell a friend of mine she was my normal stick, because mine was broken. Turns out many people’s are and I think that leads us to being indecisive. What if I’m wrong? What if the way I’m looking at things is warped? So many what ifs, but you know what? Everyone has them. It is important to look at things from all sides when you are able to; but, it is also important to not allow it to disable you. I feel I’m starting to wander off point a bit, but so many well meaning people add to our indecision with comments like “But she’s your ____.” or “Its family you have to forgive them.” “They are the only _____ you will ever get.”

Those comments not only hurt us they heap on the indecision if you aren’t careful. This is a very hard journey at times, don’t let other people; no matter how well intentioned they may be add to your struggles. It is ok to be unsure, or to stand fast as your journey takes you. Be kind to yourself and take care.

One-thing-you’d-like-to-say-to-your-mother

http://www.e-stranged.com/blog/whats-the-one-thing-youd-like-to-say-to-your-mother/#

Being new to this I couldn’t share the above post. Must have hit the wrong button or something, so I posted the link above. This post hit a few spots for me and I wanted to share.

Mother’s Day is now passed and I didn’t contact mine. While I still feel guilty for not, I also feel a sense of relief. I can’t help but compare how I’d feel in her shoes to how I feel. Not that I would have made the choices she has. I think by now in my life, I know that without a doubt. I would have reacted differently. I feel a sense of loss all the same. Maybe that will never heal, but I am hopeful that it will. I hope that the love around me will help with that healing. I know I am deserving of that love and am seeking to convince my heart of the same.

I no longer wish to engage in self destructive behaviours. I am in counseling to help with that. To help the heart learn and believe what the brain knows. For me that has been a lifelong struggle. I asked when do I get to move on without dragging my past along with me. Stuff happens shouldn’t we be able to move on? I want to be free. I will work towards that end.

The next hurdle is my mother’s birthday, it is just one week away. I get to go through all the same stuff again. Why do I feel such a sense of terror at the thought of contact with her? I have tried to answer that question many times. She can not harm me, but she can still push my buttons. Yes, I am working on that. I don’t know what scares me most the thought that she will answer or that she may refuse to even talk to me. While I choose to not have contact it is my choice and I feel in control. If she is in control have I lost control of the situation? Small steps towards reconciliation was brought up and my first reaction was NO! Is that my final answer? Do I really not want to ever see my mother again? I can’t answer that right now. I am still to fragile to consider it. I guess that will be subject to change as I go through this process.

Other people although well meaning are quick to say “but it is Your Mother and you only get one.” You HAVE to have contact, you must forgive, you must respect and so on. While I know they think they know best, they simply do not. I wish that for just one moment they would stop and consider that not all of us have had the same experiences in life. Some mothers are not deserving of love and respect simply because they gave birth to us. Some mothers made really bad choices, then refused to talk about them when confronted. Some lied. Some beat us and let abuse continue even when they knew about it. I still have so much anger to work through right now. The lies and not wanting to even talk about it hurt the worst I think. Starting to sound like a broken record so that’s all for now.

Backsliding

Two days ago I had an incident, I won’t go into it here a it is way too painful right now. I don’t even know what the full consequences will be yet. I know I am very anxious and have made the decision to go back into counseling. I have been very happy lately and I think way down deep where we don’t want to look or poke around   I feel I don’t deserve to be happy. Why I feel that way I’m unsure I have some theories but I think I will leave it to the professionals to unravel. I will be seeing the same person who cut me loose this winter, but I believe he will refer me on this time. At least I will be asking him to. I can’t get in until May 11th, but they do have walk in if I can’t wait. I’m still unsure at this point if I can or not. I usually want to jump right in and start tearing into problems and get them sorted out as soon as possible so I don’t obsess over them and work myself into a state that is even worse. I can’t help but think this stems from my childhood and the abuse. Which leads me to, when is it over and we are healed? Is that just a pipe dream, or have I just not found the right combination of drugs and counseling? I have done the work and come very far, but it still doesn’t seem to be enough if I still act out. Why would I put everything I have at risk and punish myself in this way? What am I punishing myself for? I know I have a hard time accepting love, there is always that little voice telling me I don’t deserve it. How do we shut that voice up? Just like the voice that tells me I am not pretty. I don’t have the tools to shut it up entirely, I need to work on that. My husband told me I have been in swings of late. I have to believe him he sees things I do not. He tells me I have been behaving in a  Narcissistic way lately. That is one of my worst fears. I know many times of late I heard my mother come out of my mouth and that always horrifies me. I think this is enough for today. We will see what the next few weeks brings.

The Bad Daughter Club

A friend of mine and I joke we are “The Bad Daughter Club.” While it is funny in a warped kind of way it hurts also. I never wanted to be the bad daughter, I spent the majority of my life trying very hard to be a good daughter. I am still struggling with this whole estrangement thing.

Am I a good person or should I just bite back all I have to say and mend our relationship? She is afterall the only mother I will ever have.

But what if that relationship is more hurtful that sustaining?

Should I suck it up for the others in my life that think I should?

If we try to mend our relationship what do I do when she starts criticizing my life and my choices?

How do I respond when she tells me how to parent my adult children?

How to lose weight?

How to worship? I raised you as a______. Really, when?

How to be happy when I’m depressed, because after all you can just snap out of it.

How to live?

So many questions…so much anger. Yet I miss the thought of Mom. I hear her in my voice, I see her in my mannerisms, am I becoming her? Would that really be a bad thing? Oh snap out of it, yes it would be. But I miss the good parts, the parts that didn’t hurt. I think about how I would feel if my children were to break off ties with me. Beyond crushed and I work to try to keep our communications open and try very hard to not be judgemental. I know sometimes I am, my mother trained me well and it is a fight to be open. I consider it a fight worth fighting though.

As I read through what I have written I am able to see how much anger I still have to work through. It only hurts me so learning to let go of it serves me. How do you let go? I have on other parts of my life, but maybe it is because she won’t talk about any of it with me? When I tried to she got really angry with me, so I let it drop. I’ve written countless letters never to be given to her, but it still sits and festers. I know that it is unhealthy for me. I hope with time and more writing that it will start to release.

Healing

For the very first time my mother called me since we have become estranged. I did not answer and did not feel any guilt about it. That is huge for me. I can’t ever remember thinking of my mother and not having guilt about something. There was always something. I hadn’t called enough, I hadn’t gone to visit her, hadn’t told my adult children how to behave. Had not conformed my world to her expectations.  I know she doesn’t understand, I haven’t explained it to her. I tried didn’t work very well. I tried just pulling further away. It would be so simple if I could just leave it alone and not deal with her. Please don’t tell me I’ll be sorry when she is gone. Maybe I will, but I have enough guilt already. There will be an event in a year where I know she is invited. How will I handle that? I don’t have a clue yet. I know right now I don’t want reconciliation, but I have learned not to use words like never. It would be much simpler if one of us chose to stay away. I don’t see that happening. I will keep trying to heal and see where that takes me.

On to another note. My counselor has cut me loose. After only two visits. Still not sure how I feel about that. Excited that he feels I can handle myself on my own and scared all at the same time. Some of that “No wait I’m not really OK.” stuff I need to sort through. He did suggest I write to myself so when I am down I can look back on the light at the end of the tunnel. Seems like a good ideal and I probably will at some point. Just not right now and not here. So many times it feels like we are putting on a brave front for the world while we are falling apart at the seams on the inside. That is where I was last fall when I went looking for some help. I’ve dealt with my depression for long enough to know when I need a little help along the way. Self aware. That would be a good descriptor for me. The first time I went looking for a self-help book for survivors, there were none. They all focused on the many things you would become if you had lived through abuse. But what if you just became “normal?” You weren’t wacked out totally; just trying to make it on your own and have a life? That was where I was at and still am to some extent. There are so many books like “When Rabbit Howls” and if you Google childhood sexual abuse you get pages. I am happy that there are. We didn’t talk about it when I wanted to. The first time I told a Psychiatrist he didn’t believe me. I didn’t hate men so it couldn’t have been true. You kept quiet, sshhh don’t tell, you must of asked for it, it wasn’t that bad… Yes people really said those things and worse yet they believed them. It was OK to hit your kids, even when you left  massive bruises. So yes I have done some healing and I will no longer just be quiet. I will write on these pages of my journey and where I have been, in the hopes that it helps me to heal an perchance someone else along the way.