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Thread: My mom

  1. #1
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    My mom

    I am hoping to get advice about how to communicate with my mom. If I could afford it, I would talk to a therapist more in depth about everything, but I'm hoping this can at least give me some insight.

    A relative was emotionally abusive to me for years. That person had a child, a child whom I was fairly involved with in her younger life. When the abuse continued ( particularly targeting me, in plain sight to other family members), and even worsened, I disengaged. I couldn't take it anymore. Not having the abuse in my life has been very good for me. But the people who I still allow in my life also watched the abuse happen and didn't do much about it. They even know and admit that it was going on, yet all they have to say is that I should keep in touch with the abuser's child.
    Now, it's not that I hate or blame the child, but the child is a fruit that still clings to the abuser's branch, and even though the other members of my family know this person abused me, they are very much in denial about how bad it was, or how manipulative this person is. Again, because this person is a master manipulator and I am the abuser's favorite person to hurt. When I attempt to explain that the abuser's insistence that I maintain contact with the child is a play made in a game, where if I choose yes, the abuser has a foot in the door, and if I say no, they can blame me for being mean to a child (that isn't mine), no one listens.
    I have mostly maintained contact with my mom, who blames and guilts me for not talking to her enough or seeing her enough ( even though I see and talk to her more than anyone besides my husband). Most times I talk to her, she pushes and pushes about me maintaining contact with the people in the abuser's life "at least".
    Trying to explain never does anything. I am only blamed, and I really can hardly stand it, and I sometimes almost want to just never talk to any of them again. Actually, that's very much what I want. I honestly get nothing from them. I do it for them. My mom wasn't perfect, but she did do good things for me as a child, so I feel I owe her some presence in my adult life. She is just in denial.

    I just would like some insight on how to talk to my mom when she brings the situation up. "Why are you so uncompromising?" "This hurts me." "Don't you have any love left?" "You're being so selfish." "It's not the child's fault." It is not my intention to hurt the child. I am just trying to heal away from people who are tied up in the world of the abuser, who will do anything to get me back into the old way of things where they can hurt me and no one does anything about it. All I know is that explaining doesn't work. Not a single word I say is heard. How do I maintain contact with her without still getting roped into this stuff? How do I communicate without getting dragged into an hour-long, negative, back-and-forth conversation where nothing is accomplished?

  2. #2
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    I had a situation where I really really love my niece, but not her parents. Niece is too young to have a relationship with me without the assistance of an adult.

    Often in a big decision like this I first peel away all my thoughts on what anyone else thinks, throw them aside for the moment, and spend some time just figuring out what it is that I and only Me really really want if no one else was involved in it. So I start from there and add stuff that is unavoidable. Yet always peeling all the other thoughts off the idea really helps me feel centered on my own wants and needs first, then I get to consider the greater dynamics.

    So as much as I love my niece and all, for me, I feel loving me comes first. (Others may feel different of course) So the reality was that to reach the niece I love, meant being subjected to abuse from parents. This was a factor I needed to accept as a given and not try to change as I cannot depend on others to behave and treat me the way I desire, just up to me to allow or not allow it.

    Sad to say, I had to grieve and let go of that relationship with my niece. I hate it, yet do feel within me that it truly is the right decision for me. For me to participate in ignoring, minimizing certain abuses, is like a form of self neglect and abuse and makes me feel like a silent agreer to abuse and that ones watching could think I am in agreement to things I tolerate by my "pretend agreeable" behavior just to see a niece. Even if I could justify it to myself as doing it for a "greater good," I really cannot as for me and the way I can sit right with things, the idea of faking ok with what I would have to succumb to just cannot do.

    Seems like this is a very personal decision with many personal variables. Just saying that cause I can completely see how there can be way many possibilities of ways to go in such a situation and can seem ok for many reasons or not ok for many also.

  3. The following 2 users say thank you to Sunfl0wer for this useful post:

    Jane (08-13-2016),weepingwillow (08-12-2016)

  4. #3
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    In my experience the best way is to stop trying to convince the person. She's probably invested in minimizing the abuse since she knew it was happening, and it's unlikely she's going to listen because of that. For me what has worked best is agreeing to disagree. I generally acknowledge that we disagree on something and kind of try to put it to rest that way. If it comes up, I ignore it. Usually either the person gets mad, blows up at me, and then leaves me alone for a (merciful) while or loses interest because I'm not engaging.

    I have a long standing issue with my mother in law, and many people tried to push me into communicating with her. Makes it hard to argue with me when I just say "no" or "nothing's changed". Doing this sends my anxiety through the roof, it's a very difficult thing for me, but it has saved me a lot of other stress.

    idk if any of this is relevant to your situation. I can relate to losing contact with people you like because of going no contact with someone abusive.
    Currently dusting off my jumpsuit. Cover me!
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  5. The following user says thank you to weepingwillow for this useful post:

    Jane (08-13-2016)

  6. #4
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    Thank you both very much.

  7. #5
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    I've had a relationship with my mother that has been good at times and very bad at other times, in recent years. In the past, she had been very abusive but in recent years, the parts of that real terrible stuff had dropped away.

    I've chosen to stick with our relationship. I don't know if you want to in your situation.

    What I've noticed with my mother is I will respond in an automatic way to what she says, things she does. Its habit. Its also basically her, "calling the shots" so to speak in what I will say and what I will do. She knows if she says something that I will react a certain way, she's known me for how many years now?

    These things are what I needed to change if they were causing problems were the automatic responses, my reactions to her, things I take personally, things that draw me in that I get sucked into it. Which I do understand is a lot harder to say than to sit here and type it out. It takes recognition and for me it would often be caught after the fact but it would not take long before I'd catch it early enough to stop the reaction.

    So then I could ask her, instead of reacting, something like "what do you mean?" "I'm not sure I understand why you are asking me that in this situation." When I started doing that I literally saw her draw back from me physically. She was so shocked.

    As I said, this is hard to do, its taken me a lot inside of work to become clear enough in my head. It sounds in your situation pretty clear though what is happening. Possibly you might begin to make it clear to her in firm manner that you don't want to have that conversation again, that you don't think it leads to anything productive.
    Peace Love Unity Respect

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  8. The following 2 users say thank you to Revolution for this useful post:

    Jane (08-22-2016),Sunfl0wer (08-22-2016)

  9. #6
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    with this statement by revolution:

    These things are what I needed to change if they were causing problems were the automatic responses, my reactions to her, things I take personally, things that draw me in that I get sucked into it. Which I do understand is a lot harder to say than to sit here and type it out. It takes recognition and for me it would often be caught after the fact but it would not take long before I'd catch it early enough to stop the reaction.
    .
    ..was what I discovered and tried hard to do too...to take my contribution out of the sick dynamic...gave me back some sense of control and dignity and helped to disrupt and change this established game...her winding me up, me reacting. A game that only works if you have two participants. Was hard to opt out but sure helped when I did.
    Rest in my arms precious child; cradled and warm. You are safe. The war is over.

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