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#25511 - 01/16/03 04:01 PM Re: Need Help and Advice
RJD Offline

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 326
Loc: jefferson City, Mo,usa
JM it is a very fair and loving letter. I know I need feedback from the people around me when I’m crossing boundaries with my behavior. It would be a very unloving thing to hold back and hide the truth from me that I have been so insensitive and lacking in boundaries. I would feel the loss of relationship with the person who would do that to me. I think your letter is clean of assaults on your brother. Your focus remained on your feelings about the experience. “I” statements show that you own your own experience in this, rather than pointing your finger at him and telling him what he should do, which would be assaultive. I hear clear expressions of disappointments and your experience of profound loss in your relationship with him because of his behavior. Again, what a loving thing to do.

My mother died twice in my lifetime. I could pretend that I still had a mother even while she was taking me to bed with her. I now know I was protecting her when I would say to myself, “ she just didn’t understand what she was doing to me.” All that agony and terror I was experiencing did not fit as a response to all the “loving” she was giving me, her special Bobby. It was if she was a great air ship with ruffles and flourishes decorating its exterior and floating miles above the earth, and I was hanging by an overstretched ( umbilical ) cord about a half mile long. And oh, the sensual magic of it all! Then one day the light of the sun filled the stairwell leading to and from her bedroom. It was a light so bright that the reflected light, off the rooms surfaces,
eliminated all shadows that would otherwise have been places to hide. It was the day she said, “Don’t ever tell anyone, they wont understand.” The umbilical cord had snapped “ ping “and I felt like I was going to die because I no longer had a mother to take care of me. I had to believe she was taking care of me, she was my mother. When I finally crashed into the earth, I had to completely rearrange my parts from the way she arranged them. How she had arranged them was not visible to me until long after I hit the earth. It was years later that I realized that I had been taking care of her needs most of my life. She had provided me food and shelter at the price of my blood, my self.

When she died the second time I was engaged to my wife. She was definately threatened by the presents of my new fiance. She was dying of lung cancer from a two pack a day habit with Chesterfield cigarettes. She waited till I had awaken that morning and was coming down ” those “ stairs that led to and from her room.. I saw her laying on the couch where she had been sleeping since “picking up a bug from her visit to her little brother in Tennesee.” ( I believe she incested that little brother. He came to visit once, in my adolescense ). She struggled to lift her head, as she labored to breath, in order to see me coming. When I saw her I knew the time had come. I cradled her head in the role of a dutiful son as she passed. The bitch got me one last time.
Aside from my rage it was an issue of integrity for me to care for her at the end. She did not show me how to have integriry. I had to learn that on my own in spite of her. I reasoned that I would extend the same kindness to comfort a perfect stranger who died before me. I have done this several times in my lifetime while working with sick and dying patients. Getting even would make me like her. I lost love for her when she said don’t ever tell anyone, they wont understand. Although I did not know it at the time.

If my mother were alive today I know, without her being conscious of it, she would try every trick in the book to come between my wife and I. I know she would swoop in hoping for some kind of a wedge to turn my children against me and my invading wife. I live a thousand miles from where I grew up and our visits would be cordial, short, and we would stay at a hotel. The only reason for the visit would be for the kids, at some point in their lives. They would be very guarded by me, and they would never be alone with her. If she came to visit , it would be at a public place. A restaurant, maybe at her hotel (not her room), or a park. It would be cordial. If she asked for more, I would have to leave. My wife would have to understand what it was all about beforehand and we would have to be in agreement on what we would do. I think we have that understanding.

The first outsider to understand my relationship with my mother was a Navy buddy. I was stationed 10 miles from my mother and “ home “. He couldn’t understand why I didn’t just live at home with all the great food my mother cooked, instead of the “crappy old barracks” with 200 other men. Somehow in a dinner conversation at my house, it was decided he could rent a room and he was excited at the prospect. He lived there for a couple of weeks, loved the great food, and started to get the smother mother treatment from her too. As we were leaving the house one afternoon she reached out to him to kiss him as a goodbye. There was something “funny “ in it to him and I could see it in his reaction. It was a feeling that I was very familiar with, with her. I felt a little embarrased and I also felt validated when I saw his reaction. We said nothing when we left the house. A little while later, after a silence he said, I understand now why you don’t live at home. Silence returned. What could I say, so I said nothing. He moved out. I could not, I just continued to spend as little time there as I possibly could.

I believe it wasn’t long after that another turnning point occured. My older brother ( my other perpetrator ) was living at home at the time. He was leaving the house to go on a date. He was twenty minutes late,and she knew it. As he was running out the door she said,” before you go would you move this ( heavy livingroom )chair over here?” After 5 or six furniture moves and 40 minutes later they were hysterically screaming at eath other. I was upstairs and heard the whole thing. I knew what she was doing. I was fed up. I was fed up enough to blow the house up, but knew it was not in me to do that. I knew that anything that I would do as her favorite would stun her and I wanted to maximize that using understatement. I wasn't going to give her the opportunity to claim the role of " victim "

I went downstairs and calmly walked past the two of them screaming at each other.

I went into the pantry, and with a calmness on the outside that hid the erupting volcano inside, I felt that had nothing left to lose.

I took a glass from the shelf. I filled it with only quarter inch of water. I did not want to overstate anything. Rage with the utmost of control was extremely important to me.

I returned to where they were embattled. Before they would stop to acknowledge my presence, I threw the water in her face saying, “Cool it.”

The look in her eyes told me I had gotten her attention.

From a place of deep indignation and betrayal she said,“ And I protected you.“

I had gone from being her love “object”, to being the “object “ of her contempt.

I went to a place deeper and said, “From what?”

She was stunned speechless. Our relationship was now changed forever.

The role between my brother and my mother changed too. He was now in an opportune moment to scramble for her favor. He started to defend her from me, but now had two loyalties to be torn about.

My role to him was his scapegoat, and here I had just defended him, and because of that he was also stunned.

She was now dissuaded to provide favor on any of us.

I have described her behavior at this point before, using the Freudian image of the Oedipal Sphinx with her phallic talons. These talons were easily capable of penetrating the flesh and tearing open a heart with their razor sharpness. She did this without hesitance to satisfy her hungers. Oedipus had to solve the Freudian riddle that asked something like "What begins life by crawling on its belly then walks on four legs, then on two legs? The answer is, "A man." I had dared to solved her riddle too. Just like when Oedipus solved the riddle, my mother too became so enraged that, she too dramaticly threw herself unto the rocks, smoking cigarrettes until she became cancerous, and died. Isn’t that a poetic ending. It was 20 years later in a therapists office, before I could fully comprehend what I had done. I felt exhilerated. It was my first mountain top experience culminating all my years of anguish, agony and struggle in and out of therapy. I had actually done it on my own years earlier, but it took all those years of therapy to reach the point where I could grasp what I had done. WOW!! I was on top of the world!!!
That lasted a week and I was back in the struggle again (that kind of sounds like an old song: "Back in the saddle again.") There are layers and layers to these issues.

I don’t know if my experience that I’ve described here is helpful. Your struggle certainly triggered me and percolated lots a stuff up to the top. Like they say in 12-steps,”Take what you can use and leave the rest.”

Thanks for posting, I needed that.

You're doing some incredable work.

#25512 - 01/16/03 09:39 PM Re: Need Help and Advice
Wuamei Offline

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
It was years later that I realized that I had been taking care of her needs most of my life. She had provided me food and shelter at the price of my blood, my self.
Oh little brother how I empathize with you! I took care of my mother until I was 13 and got tired of it, then she put me away in the children's home.

The bitch got me one last time.

Aside from my rage it was an issue of integrity for me to care for her at the end. She did not show me how to have integriry. I had to learn that on my own in spite of her. I reasoned that I would extend the same kindness to comfort a perfect stranger who died before me.
RJD, I think I could sooner care for a stranger.
My mother used me up till I started to fight back then she abandoned me and got me blamed in the process. Yeah, I still have forgiveness issues with her, I was just talkin with my T about that today.

She sent a Christmas package & wanted to know why I hadn't been writing back. I've not responded & probably won't keep the stuff; I haven't been.

When I tried to reconcile with her a couple years ago, I got the distinct impression she was worried
about getting old and was trying to feel out about me taking care of her, maybe her living closer.

I honestly don't think I can let "the bitch get me one last time."

If my mother were alive today I know, without her being conscious of it, she would try every trick in the book to come between my wife and I. I know she would swoop in hoping for some kind of a wedge to turn my children against me and my invading wife.
This is what my mother did a couple years ago, when we flew her out a couple of times for Christmas and a daughters' graduation. My wife & girls caught onto how jealous & possessive she was being way before I did. I won't have any more of that!

Well, I'm still working with this in therapy. I may decide to write, just to say I don't want to write or be in contact anymore. Don't want to say why. Don't want to deal with the denials or minimizations I know I would get becuz that's how she is and she's done that with many far lesser things.

Seems you've handled things pretty well my friend!

Actually I guess I'm not doing so bad either. Gotta keep remembering its a process, and I'm still in it.


"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

#25513 - 01/17/03 02:25 AM Re: Need Help and Advice
andrew-almost52 Offline

Registered: 10/31/02
Posts: 243
Loc: canada
Ah Victor, I know what ya mean about mothers. Man, they can be so totally impossible and draining. Not to mention infuriating...sometimes ya just wanna slap em. But, they are our mothers. And we don't get more than one of them in a lifetime (thank gawd). Don't do anything finite Vic, or it might come back and bite ya in the ass. i.e. writing a letter that ends it forever. The reason I suggest this is because when the old girl dies, she'll have you feeling guilty every day for the rest of your life .... which gives her more power than ever. Some of our mothers have done a lot of damage, but the fact is, when they were little girls they didn't dream of one day growing up, having a baby and then being the mother from hell. Something went wrong for them too, had to, or they would have been better mothers. As terrible as it sounds, they were probably as good as they could be. Pathetic I know. Maybe we need to feel sorry for them. Peace, Andrew

#25514 - 01/17/03 11:06 AM Re: Need Help and Advice
RJD Offline

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 326
Loc: jefferson City, Mo,usa
I think victor is right on target. The mother I needed did not exist. She was a figment of my imagination. In my mind, my need was so absolutely biologically and psychologically powerful, that I forgave and made excuses to protect her all the way. I might even have died as a young child without her. That is the hidden fear of every child, and therein lies her power.

I did this at the cost of sacrificing my identity as a man. I was my "mama's boy." I left my nuts in a box so she could get her needs met. I gave my mother what no man should have to sacrifice, his identity as a human being. It was my birthright. I’m not talking about male privelidge here. Mothers and fathers who abuse their children, male or female, leave us to believe that it was who we were born that is at fault. I felt inhuman like I was a freak of nature, born with gills, that devoured my own kind, and that should be destroyed for the sake of the species, like they do in the movies. I scoured the bible to see if what happened to me ever have happened to any other man in the history of the world, and I did not find myself there. Being born male was part of the precious little infant that I was born. She was profoundly disappointed I wasn’t born a girl for reasons of her own.. My sexuality did not develop according to the way it was supposed to optimally happen. I struggle every day of my life to maintain healthy relationships. I still struggle to treat myself as if I really mattered. What she did to me just about destroyed my ability to have a normal sex life. Intimacy should not feel like I’m going to die. I should not have to feel like I would rather be dead than go to bed at night. I don’t owe her, she owes me. She was an adult as much as I am now. She had choices and if she were alive she would have to live with the consequences of her behavior just like I do.

What is it that we are willing to deepfry a male perpetrator and not mother for the same behavior? I know the answer as you do, its our mother. Mandatory prison terms for moms? I think so. One woman who was asked, "why did you do it?", and her answer was, "because I knew I could get away with it."

I know If I don’t hold the person who harmed me accountable, then I will blame myself or the person who cuts me off in traffic, or my children,or my wife. My death was the only solution that I could see.

When is it time to say I don’t owe her anything anymore? Was my blood, my sanity, my nuts or my self not enough? What more price does a son owe his mother? To do it again?

She is someone who I knew and deeply loved once. Now I need to love the boy who needed her. I can no longer chose between them. The boy is where my loyalties lie now. Divorce is painful, but sometimes necessary. She forfieted her title and priveledges as mother. She blew it, I didn’t. I would not let her grandmother my children for their sake if she were alive today.

for more on my experiences you can check through portions of my thesis in the post: REGARDING ABUSE BY MOTHER Sept 17, 02

#25515 - 01/17/03 12:10 PM Re: Need Help and Advice
JamesMichael Offline

Registered: 07/24/02
Posts: 134
RJD and Vic,

Please see private messages.

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