Hi Coop. My husband is a survivor and he has also had issues with repsect to anger towards his mother. While she did not abuse him, she did little to build his self esteem and certainly did not get him the help he needed when he was being abused (he was victimized by a teacher). She pretty much criticized him and blamed him for some difficult behaviour as a teenager, instead of cluing in that something was wrong when her former "A" student son went from a star pupil to an alcohol and drug abusing kid barely pulling in D's.
With respect to your post:
>>>>My therapist thinks it's a good idea because she thinks i'm ready(i feel as though i am ) therefore i find myself consumed with anger and consumed with hurt and confusion and as a result i've been acting out alot.
Thats normal. Totally normal. I think its important to find somewhere to get the anger out. Just be thoughful and cautious on where you act out that anger. Try if you can to focus it away from those who really love and trust you. Exercise, writing, other methods really are helpful in managing that insane level of pscyhological and emotional energy that this is taking up. My husband took up Reiki to manage the colossal crisis of moods and emotions that his SA experience stirred up. I'm not advocating one thing or another, Reiki may not be your "thing" but I"m sure there is one healthy thing (working out? Writing? Singing? Art? solitary walking? building things?) that you could do that will help direct the energy that is brewing inside. I grew up with a very abusive and neglectful father (who recently died) and I know very well the anger-energy this takes up. I resorted to high-intensity exercise (I played soccer for 27 years have now switched to ice hockey).
>>>>How do i do the pain work on the abuse by my mother and maintain some for of balance with my fiancee.
Well you will have good days and bad days. There will be days when you will want to be open with her and other days you won't. Some days it will be hard to find balance. You may go for a long while at times when all you can do is focus on yourself. Thats normal. I would say focus on having FUN with your fiancee, don't let her become your secondary therapist. Its important to have a relationship with her that is a break from all the painful, heavy crap that you are dealnig with. Make sure to have FUN. My hubby and I had a limit on the level of heavy crap that we deal with - after awhile we just said "this heaviness is for our therapists, lets go out and goof off".
>>>Is there ever going to be a day when i'll be able to put it all behind me and move on with my life
Yes. there will. With hard work you will be able to move forward. A therapist my hubby had once said to him when he asked the same question:
"While your SA experience will not go away, you will learn to bear it without so much energy and so much effort. Its like a new denim shirt - at first its stiff and uncomfortable. But over time you break it in, you take it off from time to time, you tend to it, you mend it, you wash it and then eventually it becomes more comfortable and only every once in awhile you will notice it". This has been very true for him. He worked at his SA intensely for over 10 years (5 years in private therapy and 5 years in a mens' group) and its been a long road but he's definitely not as crushed and weighed down by it. He still has issues related to self esteem and confidence, but he certainly has stopped his substance abuse, feels no need for that anymore, has been able to be a LOT more open with me and our daughter, and finds that he has a lot more energy and mental "freedom" from his experience. He may always be at a disadvantage education-wise (he never finished high school because of his abuse experience) but I think that's where we get spiritual - we try to practice some of what we learned in church and realize that some people get "ten gifts" some get "five gifts" and some only get "one gift" but its what we do with waht we've got that makes all the differenc in the world. So he didnt get ten gifts, he maybe got 3 of them and there's merit in doing what we can with what we got, and not spending time on what was taken away. Mind you we are both close to 40 and its taken about 20 years to get to this level of philosophical-ness (is that a world?) but we are getting there.
>>>Is there a chance i can actually fogive her. Am i expecting to much to think i can/will forgive her
Maybe in time you will be able to understand why she did what she did, maybe you'll feel pity for her, maybe you wil gain a better level of understanding about her, but I think that's the best you can do with respect to forgiveness. You certainly do NOT have to forgive her now, or any time if you don't want to. It may be somethign you may get to in time but you certainly do NOT have to be there right now, or even ever, if thats where you have to to. Where you are in all of this right now is perfectly fine and perfectly OK!!!
Having been raised by an abusive parent myself I would bet that she simply had NO idea what the hell she was doing, was probably abused herself, and was acting out, and just has absolutely NO CLUE into the fact that her behaviour was so so wrong. I know that may sound incredulous, but in the years since my dad's death I have come to realize he was just INCREDIBLY clued out into how his behaviour affected others, and that inside he too was a scared and abused little boy in his own right. That certainly did NOT give him the right to abuse his own family (no way in HELL) and for that, I dont forgive him (because I was abused by him does that mean its ok for ME to abuse my kids? NO WAY) but I can understand it now (does not mean I am understanding of HIM though!). I chalk it up to complete insensitivity, complete self-absorption and a maladaptive way of looking at the world due to his own abuse experiences.
>>>I acted out the anger,literally, about 7 months ago i went to her grave on mothers day and pissed right on her name and i have no regrets whatsoever for doing this.Aboout a month ago i went into a rage blacked out and went to her grave(by the way the cemetary is about 30 minutes from my home)and smashed it with a sledgehammer and knocked it off it's foundation.
If its any consolation I have screamed and spat at my dad's grave too. I've even screamed at God for being so sick of this friggin drama in my life, for wanting some peace, and for letting it all happen (I cursed at them both - I probably deserve a lightning bolt to the head) But believe me I can completely understand why someone in your shoes would do such a thing. I didnt go so far as to smash the stone becuase it would crush my mom, and I'd probably have to pay for a new stone...
>>>I absolutely know within my heart i need to forgive her,not condone the behavior,to live a life i know will fall apart if i dont do the work.
Yes the work is very important. Its the ONLY way out of this.
Remember forgiveness is for YOU and not for her. its a way to be able to not be bogged down by the pain and anger of a horrific experience. you do NOT have to forgive and accept what she did, you dont have to condone it, you can hate the actions she took forever. I think thats a healthy way to look at this. But if you can maybe come to some level of undertsanding why she did it, but dont feel you ever have to accept it. In no way as long as I live will I be EVER able to accept the crap that my dad heaped on us. No way. But I have been able to let go of the anger a lot.
>>>Who can ever forgive someone so close to "oneself" as a child who betrays their trust to such a level that they've been screwed up most of theur life.
I dont know. I am still battling that myself. I ask the same questions about my grandparents - how could they have allowed that to happen to my dad, and indirectly, to me...
With respect to your mom I bet somewhere in her own past she too was a little girl who was hurt by someone she trusted, and she was acting out with respect to her pain when she was abusing you... these intergenerational things go ON and ON.. our priest at our church who has done a LOT of work with SA survivors sahys that it takes about 7-10 generations to finally tamp down a history of abuse. Its up to US to take the brave steps to STOP abuse in our generation and NOT let it continue on. Thats my mission in life anyhow... I will NOT let my daughter feel that she is anything but wonderful, loveable, and safe. Even if inside me half the time I dont feel anything close to wonderful, loveable or safe!!!!!!!!! I figure thats the only way I can bring some "cosmic" closure to all of this pain.. is to pay it forward.
>>>>Anyway i'm going to my therapy today at 3pm and although i'd rather not, i am however in a relationship and my fiancee encourages me to do what is comfortable with me and no one else not even her.
That sounds like a good relationship!
>>>Well who knows why i even vent about it , it's not like doing the work is going to relieve me of the pain i've had to deal with all my life therefore how can i expect to "change" if the willingness seems to be fading whereas before,early on in therapy,i would actually look forward to therapy.
I have been there too with respect to therapy - the pain jsut goes on and on, no relief in sight. If you can take just one hour today to focus on something different - take a walk, do some deep breathing, eat something insanely tasty
>>>Who knows , it is what it is and until the time is right for me to move on i will and not before and who knows if i will reoover and move on anyway.
You will move on, with time, effort, therapy and hard work, you WILL move on. Just dont judge yourself for where you are. You are where you are in your therapy and thats perfectly OKAY!