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#380675 - 12/25/11 10:14 PM Struggling with mom - ? for those with siblings
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1577
Loc: California
Happy Holidays, my Brothers.

It's been exactly one year since I woke up to the realization that I was affected by CSA. Exactly one year later, I find myself with a conundrum and need the wisdom of the collective here.

I am an only child. My mom did a terrible job raising me, and I've been working to let go of all that. I struggle today because my mom is not a pleasant person to be around. She's narcisistic, wallows in sadness and self pity. She suffered some pretty bad abuse as a child.

Here's my dilemma. I can forgive her for the mistakes of the past, but I don't know how to have a relationship with this woman. She has betrayed my trust several times (I believe she meant well!), has terrible boundaries, and has broken promises.

I make the same fool hardy mistake offering her grace and back into my life, only to have my confidence in her shattered again. Again, I know she means well, but at the expense of my privacy and my boundaries.

She was not my sexual abuser, but she did have an emotionally inappropriate relationship (emotional incest).

Last night was hard. Because 8 months ago I made her promise to attend alanon to get support for her ongoing problem with her alcoholic husband. I am also in alanon. With hope in my eyes, she agreed to go, and I said it would be a great way for us to mend our relationship - within the 12 steps of alanon.

Last night, 8 months later, I found out that she broke her promise. She went to two meetings, and talks to her sister's AA sponsor from time to time. Nothing else.

I felt so hurt, and growing ever concerned about her mental health, and her aging rapidly, I fear that I will lose any chance ever of seeing her grab at her own recovery like she says she wants to do.

She's scared. And she's a professional victim. And by that, I mean the person who thinks the world owes it to them to make up for the sorrows they suffered in childhood. I've been a professional victim. MS and Alanon have helped me to see how this psychic trap works, and now that I've been climbing out of my own victimhood, I can see it clearly running havok in my mom's life.

She's not vile, she doesn't attack. But because I carry so much pain in never really having her as a mother, I am angry. I can't trust her to share my pain with her. So the only feeling I can feel safe expressing around her is anger whenever she does what she does in our interactions together (always talking about herself).

I want to be a good son. I know several people who, in recovery, have found it within themselves to take care of their ailing mother / father. Or at least have a loving relationship with them, acknowledging they can't have the relationship they want. I admire those people and want to admire myself the same way.

I'm told by some that I should just accept her for who she is, and try to relate from there. That the most loving thing I could do is just love her as she is.

How can I do this in my own life, after having described the above?
I generally just don't like her company, and it appears, many people in the family feel the same way.




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#380678 - 12/25/11 11:10 PM Re: Struggling with mom - ? for those with siblings [Re: Magellan]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1631
Loc: Minnesota
I've had to detach and find healthy nurturing relationships and learn how to do those-I cannot have the kind of healthy relationship with my mother I needed-I need to find and learn those behaviors I missed growing up some where else- its a broken part of me that makes me sad, but I know I can find better relationships of my own choosing elsewhere.

When I expect family members to act in certain ways, I set myself up for disappointment and frustration.

_________________________
We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

�It doesn't matter where you've come from,
It matters where you go" Frank Turner

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#380737 - 12/26/11 03:47 PM Re: Struggling with mom - ? for those with siblings [Re: Mountainous Buck]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1577
Loc: California
Thanks for your feedback, Buck.

A 2nd part to the question - my mom made me swear to keep her secrets - she's a pot head and she married a drug dealer. She hid this from the family, but I've known all along.

Now her marriage is falling apart, and she's playing the perfect victim card. I know she got herself in this mess by her choices, but I fear the rest of the family thinks she's just an unlucky woman with mental illness.

I wonder if it is my responsibility to divulge these terrible secrets my mom has hidden about herself from the family - that she willingly married a drug dealer, is a pot smoker, and wasn't the hapless victim she is making herself out to be?


D


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#380743 - 12/26/11 04:44 PM Re: Struggling with mom - ? for those with siblings [Re: Magellan]
whome Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1739
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
Guilt oh Guilt, my constant companion.

It was Christmas, and I didnt even send her a card or call. It will be her Birthday on the 27 of Dec. and I probably wont even call.

Every year I feel more and more guilty, but I cannot have her ruining my life any more. Worst is that I have told her all about how she affects me, and the response, "I have been like this all my life, why should I change now."
When My Father remarried, I thought Great, maybe I will finally get a real mother, but hey I got much of the same.

What helps me Cope? well I realize that my mother must of been hurt in her childhood and that is why she did what she did to me, and her current behaviour, guilt, she feels guilty about what she did to her children, she also didn't know any better.

Do I love her more, NO, Can I tolerate her more, yeah a little.
At least when she does call and talk to me, I don't feel utter hatred toward her, but rather, sympathy and compassion. Its like Ugh Shame poor woman.
Sad that we have to feel this way about our mothers, the ones we are supposed to love unconditionally.

As for your second Question
I think that people probably know, and it isn't your job to inform them unless their behaviour is hurting someone. Keep it quite but is someone asks, tell. Dont hold in the lies of others any more, Our lives to date have been a mess of lies.

This is of course my personal opinion, use it if it suites.

Heal well Brother
Martin



Edited by whome (12/26/11 04:48 PM)
_________________________
Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
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#380745 - 12/26/11 04:47 PM Re: Struggling with mom - ? for those with siblings [Re: Magellan]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1631
Loc: Minnesota
Yuk,

I hear you about the secrets:

when my sister totalled her SUV and almost died drunk, my parents lied to the hospital chaplain that "she must have fallen asleep"

when my brother died from non-stop drinking, others took offense when i said he died of alcoholism;

I have to find ways to speak my truth without going into excessive detail: sharing in a general way helps me do this.

It is NOT your responsibility to divulge her secrets, but when asked, you can share the larger deeper truth on a principled basis.

You mentioned you are in a 12-Step program (Al-Anon) in my experience, dooing Steps 4-9 will give you greater clarity around your relationships and your part and suggest new ways to go about situations like this.

_________________________
We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

�It doesn't matter where you've come from,
It matters where you go" Frank Turner

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#380748 - 12/26/11 05:17 PM Re: Struggling with mom - ? for those with siblings [Re: Mountainous Buck]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1577
Loc: California
YES! I'm on step 4 in alanon, taking a fearless and searching moral inventory over HONESTY. I suppose this is perfect timing for me to be looking at how I've been in this area, and what I feel the need to change.

I fear that my mom is destroying her life, claiming to be a victim, and I carry a dirty little secret for her. The family wants to blame her alcoholic husband, but the family doesn't know that she willingly went into that marriage knowing the truth of the man she married. She chose her path, and she's been getting high almost all the time.

My dad did exactly the same thing, playing the victim card and hid his disease (drinking). No one knew. He killed himself 8 months ago.

I spent all my life protecting her, guarding her dirty secrets. Rigidly opposing any form of gossip or any betrayal of her confidence.

I can't just sit idly by watching her destroy herself. So I'm stuck with this dilemma - is it my responsibility to unburden myself with this dirty secret?

I'm reassessing boundaries, it seems? This is a privacy and boundary issue, but I've no experience other than my past rigidity to just not gossip or spread any word behind anyone's back. I just don't do it.

I wonder how healthy that is in a situation like this?

It is not meant to hurt her (though she might take it that way if I choose to say something). I am really really worried about her.

D


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#380749 - 12/26/11 05:25 PM Re: Struggling with mom - ? for those with siblings [Re: Mountainous Buck]
Avery46 Offline


Registered: 09/23/10
Posts: 1243
Loc: USA
Hi, Magellan.

I can relate so much. I too have been betrayed. I am sorry your own mom has betrayed you. You deserve to have the unconditional "positive" love of a mother.

My mom is the professional victim as well. I believe she was abused as a child. I know she was abused as an adult. She believes by going to church she is superior to others.

The way I have handled my separation from her in the past was not good. I am determined to find ME. She has lots of secrets that are hers not mine. If someone asks me about her I tell them my truth about her. If I don't know something about her I tell them "I don't know." I try not to speak for her. Any abuse of her by others are to be owned by them just like I need to accept the abuse by others of me doesn't belong to me. She needs to own how the abuse affected her. She needs to educate herself.

I educate myself about what a child "needs" from a mother. I "accept" only positive messages from others including other woman. I tell myself only good messages.

Telling the "truth", being honest about my behavior, and telling the secrets of MY past is my goal in life.

Peace,
Avery

_________________________
aka DJsport

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#380766 - 12/26/11 08:08 PM Re: Struggling with mom - ? for those with siblings [Re: Avery46]
Andre808 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/11
Posts: 15
Loc: Honolulu, Hawaii
Hi Magellan,

I understand your feelings about trying to be a good son despite my parents failings. Mine are just unsympathetic and don't have the emotional strength and ability to even deal with my CSA. I am with Mountainous Buck and have had to set some clear boundaries with my family and setting very low expectations. Otherwise, they always just end up disappointing. I make my required calls on Christmas, birthdays etc, but I don't really ever think we'll have a truly loving relationship. It's more just playing a role of dutiful son on the right day of the year.

It sounds like you are on the right path to your recovery. While it sounds harsh, I hope that you can focus on yourself and get through all your steps, which may mean not taking on your mom's baggage. You can only really control the things you do and working the process should be your goal. Perhaps as you move through the steps, you will find clarity and the right answer to your questions.

Andre


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#380846 - 12/27/11 04:46 PM Re: Struggling with mom - ? for those with siblings [Re: Andre808]
blindpet Offline


Registered: 11/12/11
Posts: 57
Loc: DK and UK, Europe
Magellan,

I have had problems with my mother since I was a teenager. My mother is an angry child in an adult's body expressing her childish anger with adult words. She drinks and is generally just a bitch who has admitted to herself and her children on many occasions that she should never have had children.

I went through many programs and always tried to have open, honest conversations with her to try and reconcile and have a healthy loving relationship. Time and time again I was met with either verbal abuse from the angry child or emotional absence (again the surviving angry child) both of which are unacceptable when I am putting myself out there.

I have also gone through several spells (months-years) where I didn't speak to her and then foolishly I return hoping things will be different - I'm 28 and they are no different from when I was 14.

I'm not trying to hijack your thread but using my own experience to try and shed some light on your questions. We don't get to choose our parents, no matter how dysfunctional they are and how miserable they make us we form an attachment to them simply because of how much time we spend with them. It is this, I believe, what makes it so hard to let them go if we do not get anything valuable/nurturing out of being in a relationship with them. If you had a friend/partner who behaved the same way as your parent you would let them go, right?

Another point I have learned is that you cannot save your parents. Similarly nobody could save us and put us on the path of recovery, we can be guided but we take the steps ourselves and the same is true for our parents. If they are willing to do the work to help themselves FOR themselves then you can lend an open ear and support them but you can't force them or expect them to give themselves what you feel they deserve. If they can't see they deserve better they won't be motivated to help themselves. That's the shitty truth of it all, we just have to accept it.

What have I done? I told my mother I can no longer have some superficial relationship with her where we pretend there's nothing wrong. I told her if she ever wants to get help and talk about stuff with me I am here for her (and me of course) cause I want us to have a relationship together. I sent her books to read to hopefully give her insight into her dysfunction and get the help she needs. I simply couldn't take it anymore and I don't need a mother who can't be there for me emotionally.

So I guess I'm saying: relationships are give and take, if you are only being taken from and not given anything then that kind of relationship isn't healthy and should be ended no matter who that person is (in my opinion).

Check out the book Homecoming, it's what made me realize most adults are just children in adult shells trying to get their childhood needs met by adults (which I am also guilty of). It's also the book I sent my mother and am reading myself, it makes me tear up every time I read it just like victims no longer.

Mike

_________________________
I didn't fuck it up, but I will unfuck it up. All MS members: Let's all unfuck it up!
It does get better because I will make it better, together we can make it better.

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#380851 - 12/27/11 05:33 PM Re: Struggling with mom - ? for those with siblings [Re: blindpet]
blindpet Offline


Registered: 11/12/11
Posts: 57
Loc: DK and UK, Europe
I forgot to mention I have 2 brothers as well. One of them no longer speaks to her and the other is considering it because he gets only negativity and childish whining from her.

Remember your recovery is about you and surrounding yourself with positive, nurturing and understanding people is essential. It's not about you fixing your mom, that's her job and hers alone.

_________________________
I didn't fuck it up, but I will unfuck it up. All MS members: Let's all unfuck it up!
It does get better because I will make it better, together we can make it better.

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