"I have no energy to be fake around them"--the above insigth from Paloma above means a great deal to me and hits the nail on the head. I can't play my part in the play of today with my family any longer. I have one brother and sister, both older, and we grew up mainly with my mother (a series of men) and one step-father. My dad was out of the picture quite early. My mother was (she's dead now by her own hand), mentally, physically and sexually abusive. I lived in terror. My real dad never made an effort to try to get us kids away from my mother whom he had witnessed on numerous occasions beating us. She demanded he leave the household, and he did, not to resurface until years later expecting/demanding perfect children with accomplished careers. He did not feel he had any part to play in the madness that was our childhood.
My sister grew up to be an abusive bully towards me. When she left her long term common-law husband after numerous affairs on him, she left her kids (whom she had screamed at on a regular basis) she became more critical and bullying of me; even at the ages we are now, myself 46 and she being 49. She is an artist and I used to paint and draw, so when I took it up again recently she went bezerk and said it was an insult to her. If someone compliments my green eyes she will yell "I'm the one with green eyes!!!". I have spent my adult life seeking therapy to deal with all the childhood abuse. A therapist would notice how many excuses I would make for my dad who abandoned us and it took me a long time to accept that he did that. I did work through and forgive him because I did not want to be poisoned by anger. Both his family and my mother's were rageaholics. I did not want to live like that, early on I could see myself raging, lashing out at people. I did not want to repeat this legacy. I have engaged in relaxation and meditation for years to deal with anxiety and hyperarousal, I am known to people at work as a calm and caring person. But my family, sister and dad, see weakness in going to therapy, they don't see their own dysfunction. They don't see how much help they need. When I talk frankly about our family dynamic it is met with personal attack, blaming me and the threat of "I'm never speaking to you again"
I have never realized until recently just how screwed up and deluded they are and it can be so easy for me to think I am the one that is the source of their pain. The haul out 20 year old situations of me checking myself into hosptial because I was depressed. They don't want to be "tainted" by what they perceive as my weakness, and mental illness. Their motto in life is "get over it"
But they have got over nothing, but rather have fed their anger and resentment and grudges. Any attempt to communicate results in them yelling so I withdraw and then get attacked again for withdrawing from them!! I recently told them I feel the scapegoat for all the family's problems and of course, this did not go over well. It's still all my fault. I am expected to just shut up and let them win, be right. So when I stopped playing that role in our sick play, I was ousted from the family. But it is no family, my sister disparages my dad to no end behind his back and then is sweet to his face. It is a sick family and I am really realizing just how sick it has been, has always been. But I am responsible for NOT participating in that sickness no matter how much they attack me, and put me down for it. I can't pretend that things are great, have always been great. I'm glad to see this forum and so many situations similar to my own.
I know it's really hard to walk away and also to believe that you are who you are and not who they think you are. When you live in a family that tells you how awful you are your whole life, it is so confusing to believe and know yourself as someone different. I stopped speaking to my parents about 6 months ago and it is coming up on my birthday and I feel so sad right now. I knew I needed time to myself to understand myself without them telling me how awful I am. It sounds like taking time for yourself to get to know the real you is necessary. Do NOT feel bad about that. You need this time and you DESERVE it! Take good care of yourself and if thoughts of your family come up, change the channel and think about something in your life that feels good. It's helped me to focus on my own health and happiness and to put them out of my mind as much as possible.
Focus on your relationship with your husband, yourself, your friends, and all the positive things in your life. What you're doing right now is the most positive thing anyone can do, breaking the cycle of family dysfunction. You're going to feel so much better once this painful period is behind you for a little while. It's really brave to do this and although it hurts because they may not get it, it sounds like they don't get it anyway, even when you are around.
No one who is self-aware and has as much insight as you would fail as a parent. You care about the lives of your future children and as long as you maintain that and do your best to improve yourself (by doing things such as separating yourself from toxic people) you're going to be an amazing mother!!
Just want to start off by saying how much peace I've recieved just by finding this forum. I know now that I am NOT alone. I felt like I couldnt say anything about what was going on in my home since I was a child. I couldn't 'air dirty laundry.' I wasnt trying to do that. I just needed someone to listen to me so I could get this junk out of my head! So glad I found you all. Peace, Love and Light to you all.
I'm almost 28. Married over 5 years. I love my hubby, but sometimes I think I got married so young to be saved from the life I was living under my parent's roof. My husband is my bestfriend. I thank God for him everyday.
I finally swallowed the 'pill.' By 'pill' I mean finally accepting the inaccurate, borderline crazy, irrational perception my parents have regarding my 3 brothers and myself. We're disappointments. I am a talent-less, evil, bipolar, ugly daughter, who will never be good enough or will never be like so and so's daughter. It used to hurt me. Used to eat me alive, and I actually entertained their foolishly inaccurate assumption of me, and internalized that. But retrospectively looking back on my life and friendships, I now know just how wrong they are. I finally know who I am apart from them. Freedom to say the least, but now I find myself completely exhausted with my parents and their dysfunctional 'marriage.'
I am finally walking away from them and no longer want to pursue any sort of relationship with my father, and specifically my mother. It is what it is. How do I deal? Im somewhat numb; I dont care if my estrangement hurts them, I have no energy to be fake around them, I do not wish to see them. I am completely over my parents. I have so many other wonderful, positive people in my life. I cant even fathom letting them in again and going thru this in another week or so (my mother is manically depressed and these episode happen weekly.) I just dont want to. And to be honest, I am not sure if I even have love for my parents. That kind of shocks me; somewhat hurts me. I don't really understand my feelings at this time. I made an apt to finally get some counseling. I want to start my family and I want to clean up my well being, mental and emotional health before I become a Mom. I just have so many fears that I will turn out like her when I have kids. I feel like although I want a family and children of my own, I will fail as a parent, just like I failed at being a daughter.
I know that you all know what I'm talking about, and thats so awesome to me! Finally a community of people who 'get it.' Praying for us all.
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