My mother

I didn't know it would hurt me so much... so I guess I need some safe space to talk about her.
She's extremely intelligent but... that intelligence goes wrong way.

I just recently got vaccinated and all excited, phoned her with all the details. She reacted defensively. Read my excitement as an attack on her. She doesn't want to get vaccinated and she went lenghts and lenghts not to actually tell me what she's afraid of. Instead, she accused me of attacking her and wanting to send her to a labor camp. What the hell?

I'm sad. After all my therapy, building friendships, even establishing civil relations with my inlaws - I learned to be true to myself and it's damn worth it - but I can't be true to myself with my mother. I never know what would trigger a really nasty response, passive agression aimed at inflicting maximum pain.

I learned not to take it personally but it still hurts when it happens.

I once read a book where a term "inner Machiavelli" appeared. I definitely have one. She has, too - but she denies his existence so when her inner Machiavelli takes over, he's totally uncontrolled.

But what are all that her psychological defences guarding? Whad demon hides there, behind all the opaque layers of denial, projection and twisting the reality? I sense some fear and a lot of disgust but that's all I could have ever tell.

Recently, I realized a possible tragic confllict in her: she despises feign but she's incapable of being honest.

Oh, man. Multi-generational C-PTSD sucks.

Comments

  • AmityAmity Administrator, Citizen
    I could trade 'mum stories' with you Magpie. That cutting sharpness can wear a person down, she sounds like a combination of my sister and my mum.

    It seems like this one has stung, the contrast with you and your own children acting as a measuring stick for what would be regular making it more obvious that it isnt normal to react that way to a child, even an adult one. Im sorry you are feeling sadness, you have every right to feel this way, your sense of right and wrong is perfectly normal. 💗

    Like in the moment of joy and high energy you were vulnerable and she couldnt allow that exist without action? I see it in my own family at times... a glimpse of a soft white underbelly can elicit a primal response.

    The reaction to your vaccination, could it have been planned? I mean would she decide in advance what her stance would be when she spoke with you?


  • magpiemagpie Citizen
    Nah.
    I'm trying my best to do better than her as a mother... and I've spent years learning the art of honesty. Being honest is so much more than just telling the truth. It's a lot about acceptance - to self, to others, to being wrong, to differences and conflicts... a whole new world I needed to learn to navigate.

    In my pre-teens, my parents created some cognitive bubble around them and Mom gets really nasty when someone tries to mess with it - I hated this bubble. I'm a curious bird. I suffocated in it, poked it all the time and finally left. Mom can still get nasty about it, like not acknowledging that I've left religion and I'm happy with it - and when I tried to explain it to her, she started psychological blackmail to bring me back.

    Man. I don't believe in True Loving God who would appreciate playing dirty and pretending faith.

    I never know what would trigger my mother. She can be okay but then I step into some guarded region and get full artillery attack. When we lived together, I had most "guarded regions" mapped and avoided them - which was also unhealthy but you need to live somehow. Now that I'm living on my own, including on my own philosophy, I don't want to care for this anymore. I'd love to have some normal relationship with my parents - but it looks like it's impossible. Whatever suffering my mother is unconciously guarding, it's too deeply ingrained in her :(
  • BenderBender Citizen
    I'm very sorry you're going through this.

    The only thing I've ever found to help in such relationships is managing expectations (yours, obviously). It's very difficult since we all have a place inside where we long to be able to connect with our own mothers more than anyone else, or at least feel safe and protected, but sometimes that's not possible.

    From my personal experience, when she's lashing out, she'd defending herself. Not from you per se, but protecting whatever not-so-healthy mechanisms she developed to protect herself. At her age, it's too late to change that and such a change would probably have a devastating effect on her anyway.

    Obviously, the only things you can control here are your own actions and to some extent, emotions. If you manage to fully accept that she'll never change or open up to you, it might become easier to deal with such instances or just avoid triggering them. I know this isn't great and it sounds like walking on eggshells, but from a pragmatic POV it's the only thing you can do to protect yourself while also allowing her to do the same.
  • magpiemagpie Citizen
    Thanks - I usually manage my expectations but being enthusiastic catched me off-guard.
    If only I could think my mother was stupid or evil - but no, she's one of the most intelligent people I know (and my social circle is science-education so you know...) and she doesn't intentionally harm. But she has some bottomless hole in her soul and it's growing harder and harder for me to avoid coming close to that hole.

    It's been particularily hard since covid because while I can live with my parents believing in a series of conspiracies and just not talk about it, covid has several practical implications to my everyday choices - and I can't pretend not to make such choices or not to be concerned by choices of my parents :(
  • BenderBender Citizen
    magpie said:
    Thanks - I usually manage my expectations but being enthusiastic catched me off-guard.
    If only I could think my mother was stupid or evil - but no, she's one of the most intelligent people I know (and my social circle is science-education so you know...) and she doesn't intentionally harm. But she has some bottomless hole in her soul and it's growing harder and harder for me to avoid coming close to that hole.

    It's been particularily hard since covid because while I can live with my parents believing in a series of conspiracies and just not talk about it, covid has several practical implications to my everyday choices - and I can't pretend not to make such choices or not to be concerned by choices of my parents :(
    Yes, unfortunately, intelligence has nothing to do with it. I'm aware she's not being intentionally nasty, that's something that makes things even more complicated.

    I've been in this kind of situations where one side feels compelled to defend/protect their self-image, delusions or world view at all costs, while the other is basically just forced to defend themselves and it can be incredibly tricky, particularly with a parent. Because you need to watch your every word and reaction around them and it can be incredibly stressful and exhausting. And every time you slip, you'll be promptly punished in some form.

    It's really very sad all around (and surprisingly common), especially when you have compassion and understanding for the other side.


  • AmityAmity Administrator, Citizen
    magpie said:
    Nah.
    I'm trying my best to do better than her as a mother... and I've spent years learning the art of honesty. Being honest is so much more than just telling the truth. It's a lot about acceptance - to self, to others, to being wrong, to differences and conflicts... a whole new world I needed to learn to navigate.

    In my pre-teens, my parents created some cognitive bubble around them and Mom gets really nasty when someone tries to mess with it - I hated this bubble. I'm a curious bird. I suffocated in it, poked it all the time and finally left. Mom can still get nasty about it, like not acknowledging that I've left religion and I'm happy with it - and when I tried to explain it to her, she started psychological blackmail to bring me back.

    Man. I don't believe in True Loving God who would appreciate playing dirty and pretending faith.

    I never know what would trigger my mother. She can be okay but then I step into some guarded region and get full artillery attack. When we lived together, I had most "guarded regions" mapped and avoided them - which was also unhealthy but you need to live somehow. Now that I'm living on my own, including on my own philosophy, I don't want to care for this anymore. I'd love to have some normal relationship with my parents - but it looks like it's impossible. Whatever suffering my mother is unconciously guarding, it's too deeply ingrained in her :(

    This raised a question for me, where is the line that cant be crossed... how is the impact of these words experienced differently by you depending on the reasons behind it.
    Again I can only go with what I know, but what was managable with my mum became unmanagable after my father died.
    Its hard being Autistic in this sense because I rely on her in small but essential ways and these days she has come to rely on me; in those exchanges I make my support conditional and despite the emotional flare ups and making small jabs, ultimately she is motivated to respect the boundaries, as she has more to loose.


  • Teach51Teach51 Citizen
    edited May 12
    I wish I had something comforting to say magpie, family psycho-pathology gathers its own crushing momentum and however hard I tried to neutralize it and stop the continuum, I failed. The long -reaching aspects of CPTSD and distorted development of my early years rendered me incapable of making the devastating family dynasty of  emotional damage stop at me, myself. It didn't, I failed. I don't blame myself, I utilized the tools and distorted but sufficient self-awareness that I had at my disposal and distanced myself from those who harm me either intentionally or not, this was the only way to stay sane and beats any other permanent option  of escaping unbearable pain and trauma.  There is no blame to be attached to manipulating, dysfunctional mothers or fathers , just the lingering sense of injustice and the sadness of a wasted opportunity for intimacy, bonding and mutual support. I needed to distance myself from the madness of narcissism and sociopathy in my family in order to survive, this I did when I finally realized that there was nothing at all that  I could fix and I would always be the scapegoat ad infinitum. I can't and won't do that any more, people who distort my own sense of self and reality are for me as toxic and lethal as drinking  a bottle of bleach. 
  • magpiemagpie Citizen
    edited May 12
    Teach51 said:
    people who distort my own sense of self and reality are for me as toxic and lethal as drinking  a bottle of bleach. 
    Yup, toxicity. In case of my mother, it's like some slow-working but building up poison was sipping from her wounds.
    And this time I forgot to put on my hazmat suit when approaching her.
  • Teach51Teach51 Citizen
    magpie said:
    Teach51 said:
    people who distort my own sense of self and reality are for me as toxic and lethal as drinking  a bottle of bleach. 
    Yup, toxicity. In case of my mother, it's like some slow-working but building up poison was sipping from her wounds.
    And this time I forgot to put on my hazmat suit when approaching her.
    ❤
  • (((Magpie)))

    I’ve not much practical advice. I was six when I realized my parents couldn’t care for me.  So I have not gone through the yearning for a close relationship with either parent. I can see it would be awful to have to live with the toxicity you describe. Remember you are right and she does not have to acknowledge it to make it so.

    Congratulations on getting your vaccination!
    🌟 ✨🌈 

Sign In or Register to comment.