Archive for the ‘grieving’ Category

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Two Right Answers?

July 9, 2011

In our Good Grief group meeting this last week, AR suggested that the two choices I have are both right. That neither one is wrong.

I can choose to take the emotional risk to once again call my parents. Or, I can choose to not take the risk…especially given the history and the next to zero chance that anything will have changed…and especially since my parents DO know how to contact me should they wish to actually connect.

We were talking about guilt…guilt over things we wish we had or had not said or done with the person we had lost. My focus right now is my mother who has melanoma. Although any relationship we once has been gone long ago, her death will bring a final end to any possibility of change.

My husband referred to it as “anticipated” guilt. I had shared how I am looking forward and wondering what decision I should make and whether it will be the right one. How can you know? One thing AR said is important is that we keep talking about the things we are experiencing surrounding the losses we have. Keep talking until we can work through it.

I have been pondering his comment that both decisions are right. In my mind, I kept feeling like I was being a wimp…too fearful to face my father’s abusive words. And what if my mother is somehow being controlled by my father? Forget that she was abusive, too!

In our last conversation, my mother admitted that it was being pushed aside for my son. She said she REALLY WANTED (her emphasis) for me to understand why that was…that it was IMPORTANT that I know. Then…no more contact. It could be manipulation. It could be that she actually let her guard down and got real for a couple of minutes. It could be all kinds of things.

I think it was really helpful for me to hear AR say that BOTH decisions were right….especially since he knows a lot more details than the other women in the group. He knows my parents are toxic for me from meeting with me previously.

I just want to do what is right, but having it pointed out that they KNOW the door is open…they KNOW they can write my hubby and my mother can write me…helped bring a more balanced perspective. It IS helpful to hear that from outside of myself.

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Grief Group…

June 15, 2011

AR is the therapist facilitating the group. I had an advantage in the sense that I have worked with AR before. He helped me with some tough things. Unfortunately, though, he had no experience working with clients who have experienced the type of abuse I have been through. So, between that and finances, I quit seeing him. When I saw that he was doing the grief group it just felt like something I needed to do. The price was right…free.

Tonight, there were only two others…women who had lost their husbands within the last year. There are supposed to be a couple more people who could not make it the first night. I felt kind of the odd one out, but as AR said…there are many different things a person can grieve over. In fact, I recommended it to my hubby afterward because he is going through so many losses himself…especially in the area of employment.

One of the first things he did was share some things about himself and his own experience with grief. After that, we each shared why we were there. Although I feel I have a pretty good handle on what I am grieving and why, it still felt kind of awkward. My situation is different from theirs, although it is not unusual, per se. I know of many people who are estranged and one wants to reconnect. And yes…there is oftentimes even one who is very ill…making a desire for reconnection more urgently felt.

I shared that I did not need to connect, but that I wanted to. When she dies, I want to know that I did everything reasonable to reconnect…that I did the right thing…that I did what I believe Abba wants me to do. I want my conscience clear. Really…it is more about making sure they know the door is open on my end. It would be nice to be able to have my mother receive the truth that I love her…in spite of everything, but I really don’t see that happening…outside of a miracle. But then, I serve a G-d who does miracles. Still, He won’t force Himself upon a person, either.

We were given a little book to read as we go along…a tiny thing…on grieving. I forgot to bring it in the house with me so I can’t give you the title. He read a few paragraphs here and there and we talked a bit. We covered being in shock and some of the different ways people grieve and the different things they grieve over.

It is hard enough for me to start something new like this. It is harder still when I feel as if my story is so much different from the others. I wonder what the circumstances are of the new ones that will come next week. At least I have the advantage that AR knows my story enough to understand what is going on beneath the surface of what I share.

I know this is rough. It is a bit difficult to focus, so I hope there are no typos!

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Grieving…

June 15, 2011

I leave in an hour for the first night of grief group. All day long I have struggled to function. In fact, it has not only been today. This has been building over days…perhaps even a week or more. For the last week or so I have been struggling with bouts of depression, culminating with feeling like I am so nonfunctional today. It is hard to even think, let alone accomplish anything. Yet, I did get some things done anyway.

I have no idea what to expect regarding tonight. I have never been to a group like this. I just know I need to go…so I am going. I am determined to work through this. I figure it will be interesting being the only person there with an SRA history. Or at least, that is the most likely scenario. Who knows? Perhaps there will be others there with abuse histories, although that is not the focus of the group. I kind of wish it was, but it isn’t. So, I will have to use some discernment when I share. (I assume there is a time of sharing.)

 

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This Is the Week…

June 13, 2011

I start the grief group. The first of six meetings is in two days. Emotionally…I am all over the map. Body memories I was hoping I was done with have come back.

Our living situation does not help. There is a LOT to do and only us (mostly hubby and son) to do it. He (and I) are feeling a bit overwhelmed. We are no longer in the old place, and yet not completely in the new one, either. We have to do laundry at the old place still and we are paying for two power bills…which really hit when I opened the mail today. We also have things that keep going wrong…like a persistently leaky shower. Thankfully, we think we finally have that one figured out. And then there are the tools that either stop working right or quit altogether.

Our son has been staying in the extra room while his room is finished. Hopefully, he will be moving into his room tomorrow…which will give me access to the office room. Once it has a door installed it will be the one room where no one is to walk in on me. It will be the office, the counseling room, the art and craft room, the guest room. It is not very big, but it will do.

I figured that being in a much bigger place where I can actually have some privacy to process would start bringing things up. I believe that most of what is coming up is related to my parents…specifically to my mother’s condition. As the body memories raged yesterday morning, I found my focused on my mother. It was mostly nonspecific…just a sense that it was connected to my mother.

I expect there will be lots more coming up once I have that room and things are a bit more settled. Not only will there be issues surrounding my mother (and father), but I am sure all kinds of things that have been shut down due to our previous living situation will start to open up. Randy Noblitt says he thinks my system is totally shut down. We will see how correct he is.

As for mom, I have already done a lot of grieving over the years for what was and what wasn’t. Now, there is a new level of grief…just like when my sister died. Grieving over the finality of things…over what will never be a possibility of happening if she dies.

One of the things that is difficult is that I don’t know who is really calling the shots. Is it him? Is it her? Is it both? He wrote to rail at me and she has been silent…unresponsive to my emails.

I guess what is most frustrating is that it seemed almost as if we were on the verge of a breakthrough of some sort. My last contact with her was on the phone. My father had interrupted the call to let her know that she had to get going for her oncologist appointment. She said that she loved us all and I told her I was glad to hear her say that because it seems like it has always been about our son and that I was being pushed aside. She actually told me then that I was RIGHT! She also said that there was a reason for it and that she REALLY wanted to share it with me. She even repeated herself that she really wanted to talk to me about it. After that…nothing.

I emailed her to tell her to tell when is a good time to call her as I did not want to wake her if she was resting. No response. I have emailed her a few times…just simple things like letting her know that I still love her and reminding her that she said she wanted to talk to me. Nothing. Is dad reading her emails and deleting them? Is she just giving me the silent treatment? Is this just more of the manipulative head games they try to play?

My dad says that the only way they will consider reconnecting (since I left them – HA!) is if I let my mother talk on the phone with our son for as long as she wants without interference. That is very interesting seeing as how she lost phone privileges in the first place due to her telling my hubby that he had no right to correct our son when he was on the phone with her…that she was in charge. And this was after she blatantly did not respect the boundaries we drew for our son.

So, I get to check what a grief group is like and see what I can do with all this stuff. It is important that I face it…not run from it. I sure wish I could talk with a therapist who has experience with cult survivors…a SAFE one! Even if I had the money and transportation, I just don’t know if I am ready to trust that again.

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Grief Group…

May 31, 2011

A therapist I went to for a while is having a free grief group. I am not sure why it is free…perhaps the church it is being held at is paying for it. Or, maybe he is just giving something free out of gratitude for how blessed he has been in his practice. I just know that price is right and I am signed up. He needs a minimum of 5 people and I hope he gets them.

So…why am I going? Because of my mom. There are so many issues I am facing surrounding her death. I may not even be told that she when she dies…although I think my father probably would tell me by throwing it in my face. Actually, I can see him writing and telling me that I need to call him in order to find out how she is doing. I just cannot believe he won’t pull some kind of power play.

Her death will mean the finality of so many things…a loss of little girl dreams that never really do die. There are so many levels of grief. Grief that I am not being kept up to date. Grief that I will most likely never be able to have a connection with my mother. I can live without it, but I do want it.

On another level, her death will mean a releasing. There will be no more chances to think about or even try for. It will be time to grieve and move on in a different way than I have moved on so far. There is a separation and yet a connection right now. Like it or not, she is my parent. Although I am not holding my breath, I cannot ignore the hope that we will be able to at least talk about some things.

I have thought many times over the years about how I would respond to news of the deaths of either or both of my parents. It is one of those things that I think you just cannot know until it happens. Their deaths will mean the loss of so many possibilities…so many things that could have been. The fact that they were among my abusers does not change that. I have found freedom and I so wish they could, too. I have heard of such things happening and I know that nothing is impossible with G-d.

So, I think it will do me good to be able to voice some of this in a group. At least, I hope it will. I also hope we can afford the gas, but I will just have to trust my heavenly Abba for that just as I do for everything else.

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Parents…a Love/Hate Affair…

December 21, 2010

There is a drawing I did back in 2005 that so reflects how I feel right now. You can see it here:  Always Out of Reach.

My parents are one of several reasons I have not been writing here for a while.  Some of those reasons are good ones…I have been baking, shopping and wrapping. Others are not so good…I have been struggling in my living situation even more with the early onset of cold weather and snow and I have been emotionally drained from trying to deal with my parents. Yeah…my parents.

As you can see in the picture, nothing has really changed since I have been a young girl. The man who used to be my hero (in what I came to realize was a made up life) is just as unavailable as ever. The game playing still goes on. The manipulation attempts…or maybe…they are not merely attempts, but actually accomplishments…at least on some level…in spite of my attempts to not be drawn in.

Awhile back I phoned my mother. At the end of that call, she admitted that my perception of being pushed aside for my son was accurate. She was being real and she told me that she wanted me to know why that was. She said it was important, but not, apparently, important enough to answer any of my emails following the call.

Writing to my father produced more of the same messy communications as always…or should I say lack of communication. He ignores part of what I say, picking and choosing what he will respond to. His responses do not always make sense because he will quote me out of context. This last email he basically wrote everything I wrote back to me.

My husband had already written him…telling him to piss or get off the pot. Either communicate in a real way and start a relationship or back off. Make a choice. His choice was to parrot what I wrote to him back to me.

So, I wrote him with four things he could do to show me that I can start to believe what he writes to me. I have blocked his email addresses. He can do those things and he can write via my husband. If that happens, then I will consider unblocking his emails, but I am not holding my breath. No longer will my pulse race when I see an email has come into that email account for I will know it is not him.

I did not block my mother, though, so I won’t be surprised if she suddenly starts to write me. It is difficult to predict, but they do like to sort of play tag team at times. I hate to cut her off seeing as how she is dying. However, it does no good to try to connect if she is not truly open to connecting.

When Paul wrote and reminded us of sending in a piece for the 6th Arts Carnival, I started looking through my pieces to see what I might enter. When I saw this one, only two days after telling my father I was blocking his email, well…it just seemed fitting. As I wrote Paul sending him the link and telling him why this particular piece, I found myself tearing up. There is a lot of grief still inside over not having my parents and over never really knowing what it is like to grow up feeling secure, loved and sane. The only love I really remember is the love of Yeshua/Jesus.

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Cruelty and Healthy Boundaries…

September 17, 2010

What my mother has done is cruel. I keep trying to empathize and to understand her pain. But not matter how much I empathize…no matter how much I forgive…it still hurts like hell. I am the unwanted daughter. I did not step up to the plate. I did not take over. I stepped out of line. I left. I have no desire to be a princess other than in the One True Creator God’s kingdom.

I will never live up to her expectations. Her expectations (and his) lead to death. I have chosen a different path. If they do not want me…they can forget my son. I was actually willing to let them talk to him on the phone, but if they don’t want me…forget it. That is not being selfish…it is being real. It is not being vindictive…it is setting boundaries…healthy boundaries.

Boundaries are not OK in the cult. My whole life I had no boundaries. I did not know where I ended and other people began. I was trained to be a chameleon…to anticipate others needs/wants. Those in the cult who knew the trigger words and actions could get anything they wanted. NO MORE!!

I was accessed by a “Christian” therapist after we moved here. He had experience with cult clients. Little did I know that he was not only cult himself…but that we had met many years ago. It ends here…and now! I will not kowtow to my parents. I will not kowtow to anyone but my Lord…and He does not ask me to. He lifts my head to look into His eyes so that I can see His healing love.

I hurt. I am angry. I do not deserve to be treated this way. Even IF I had been the worst daughter on the planet…rather than simply and imperfect one…I do not deserve this. I have reached out via email for a year and a half. It has gone nowhere. I tried. My conscience is clear. I have done what I can. It is their loss. They can blame me all they want…but they have a part in this. I am an adult. I will not submit to them or to their control. I will not go back to the way things were.

So I will continue to mourn what was and I will mourn what never was. I will mourn the dream of having a somewhat regular family. I will keep my heart open until there is nothing left…and at that point…I will mourn for what will never be. I have dreams. I have always had dreams. Many of them are just broken dreams…turning to dust beneath my feet. Oh, well.

I have survived. I will survive. Nay…I will thrive! In spite of how hard my life is right now…I have more freedom than I ever did living under their control. The Creator has given me the gift of who I am…all of me. I am His…and no one else’s…no one’s.

I hope we can make peace before she dies…same with him. But if it does not happen…I refuse to beat myself up with guilt that is not mine.

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